• Alan Fortney

    I wish more of our political leaders would read (and understand) this issue!!! People should not have to suffer due to ideas of mass closure!

  • Alan Fortney

    Thank you for running this article and raising awareness to this issue!!! I applaud you!!!

  • Laurie Stengler

    Excellent article!!!!!!!!! I will be forwarding this to my legislators. Thank you.

  • David Hart

    Very well written and insightful article. When does the madness stop. The de-institutionalization advocates seem to have forgotten one important thing…what happens to the individual after being evicted from their home(ICF/IID) and palced in an inferior setting? How many more people with ID/DD need to die till these ideologs and government agencies realize their mistakes?
    Our political leaders have been sold a “bill of goods” from the so called non-profit companies who represent most of the community options. Quality of care for most is not their priority, thier priorty is more contracts or in this case more bodies and to get away with providing the least amount of care possible to a very vunerable population.

  • Sybil Finken

    Thank you so much for allowing Tamie Hopp to write this article for NPQ. As a wise man once said, “It is as wrong for No-one to live in an institution as it is for Everyone to live in an institution.” We must offer and support ALL, high-quality levels of care for people with I/DD.

  • Connie Howard

    Well said Tami. I am so proud to have you as an advocate for my son and the untold number of others who are born with Disabilities. I applaud you for you bringing this very important issue to the forefront. the general public and our elected officials can get a glimpse of the devastating effects it has and will continue to have on this very fragile population.

  • Keenan Wellar

    The call for true person-centred planning (rather than planning that is actually based on choices preferred by systems and agencies that are supposed to be helping deliver an included life in the community but are instead streaming people into what works best for their own financial and operational needs) is wonderful, but the rest of this article is very confusing to me.

    Group homes are simply small institutions, that is why they have the same types of dangers/outcomes as mass institutions. That is why none of us who work in this field would actually accept for ourselves the conditions of living in a group home, or spending our days in a day program or sheltered workshop. That is the source of the 50 years or so of advocacy to help people have a life in the community, not a life in systems.

    Safety comes from being a real part of communities with unpaid reciprocal relationships with people who care about you, and it’s part of the role of the paid network of supports to help make that happen. It’s about having a place to live where the key to the front door belongs to YOU not to an agency. It’s about having a real job and/or other real things to do alongside other people who are not exclusively people with the same labels as you have.

    There is confusion about the intended OUTCOME of supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities. It’s not about one “setting” or another. It’s about getting the support required to have a real life.

    I invite readers to visit http://liveworkplay.ca/socialchange/ and http://presentations.liveworkplay.ca to learn about concepts like social capital that can help inform this discussion in ways that are completely and inexplicably missing from this article. To say that we should reinvigorate segregated systems to deal with the failure to support success in the community is a frightening idea. Why not look instead at how success is being achieved with community-based solutions and make sure that this is broadly replicated?

    I’ve just come back from attending APSE in California and The Summit in Wenatchee (Washington State) and this is the current powerful trend in the sector – person-centred community-based support works, but we need to learn HOW to deliver it in order to successfully shift from what we know (how to run institutional settings) to what we don’t know (how to help people have a life and probably more importantly how to help the community to be welcoming and inclusive).

    We do need to take segregation off the menu. But we also need to understand how to go about it. Failure to do that job well does not mean people with intellectual disabilities should be re-condemned to an institutional lifestyle. It’s not their mistake.

  • Jan Fortney

    This is a very well done article for the history of the deinstitutional issue. Thank you for writing this. I will be sharing this with my Legislators before our state’s fall session.
    Thanks again!

  • Don Putnam

    I hope the NPQ link to this article remains true and active for a long, long time. I plan to share the article link with a broad list of friends, family, and legislators. Seldom do I read such an eloquently written article that honestly portrays both history and the current tragedy in such vivid and accurate language. My congratulations to the author and to NPQ for publishing it.

  • Hugo Dwyer

    Thank you for publishing this article. It is one of the most comprehensive essays I have read on this subject.
    One more thing to note is that there are major differences between ICF and Non-ICF homes in terms of inspection, safety, and reporting of incidents. The ICF/IID homes are held to a much higher standard. While incidents in ICF’s are to be reported to government oversight agencies, many of the incidents that happen in group homes are reported only to the company/organization that operates the home, leaving it to their discretion as to whether the incident merits reporting to other agencies or the local police.
    The trend in building new group homes and community settings by private providers has been to build non-ICF facilities, thus cutting costs and avoiding these higher standards of safety and care.

  • JRB

    The race to close specialized programs, especially for people with severe disabilities, is truly bizarre. Federally-funded advocates claiming to represent people with disabilities are the biggest cheerleaders for states looking for any and all ways to reduce their responsibility to serve people with disabilities. When people with disabilities and their families don’t agree, they are ignored or ridiculed for their opinions and choices. This article goes a long way in explaining the importance of maintaining a wide range of residential and service options for people with disabilities, including institutional care for those who need it.

  • Bob Brown

    Finally an intelligent discussion on the issue. Well done. Thank you for not buying into the current pablum of the Gruppendenken!