Friday, May 7, 2010

This is the Real Reason We are Supporting the Central Park Challenge

During tough economic times, people with disabilities are traditionally the group that is hit the hardest. For hundreds of thousands of people across the United States, this could ultimately spell a human rights disaster. This isn't far-reaching hysteria. Incarceration, abuse and degradation are within the living memory of many people with developmental disabilities. For some, it's still happening.

At YAI's International Conference last week, three former "patients" at Willowbrook, the notorious institution on Staten Island, presented art to Geraldo Rivera as a thank-you for exposing the horrors that they lived with every single day.

Today, the Staten Island Real-Time News published an interview with the three Willowbrook survivors, David, Barbara and Franklin (who all now reside in YAI community-based residences), including their recollections of their days in the institution.

If you were a patient in Building 5, you risked burning to death in the shower. Or being tossed from your cold, metal bed onto the even colder floor in the middle of the night. And forget about warm meals - if you were fed at all. Read the full story.

Returning to conditions like this is not an option. Form a Central Park Challenge Team or support YAI with a donation today.

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