New on Disability.Blog:
By Guest Blogger Curt Decker, Executive Director, National Disability Rights Network
“A snake pit.”
That’s how Senator Robert Kennedy described Willowbrook, a state institution for people with developmental disabilities on Staten Island, in 1965. Seven years later, Geraldo Rivera, then a young investigative reporter with ABC News in New York City, smuggled cameras into Willowbrook. For the first time, Americans were able to see the filthy, squalid conditions in which children and adults with developmental disabilities were forced to live, receiving very little services and supports.
These broadcasts galvanized the state’s senior senator, Jacob Javits, to action and the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) network was born.