On Tuesday, Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Bérubé
published an op-ed in USA Today,
titled “Don’t Let My Son Plunge Off the ‘Disability Cliff’ When I’m Gone.”
In it, Bérubé, the father of a young man with an intellectual disability, describes the devastating loss of services youths with disabilities face when they leave their K-12 years. He describes his family’s efforts to find an adult life that works for his son Jamie. Bérubé also describes his family’s concerns about Jamie’s future once heand his wife are gone. The family has planned a life for Jamie that includes some days in a sheltered workshop at subminimum wage
, plusmore integrated activities on others. Clearly, they have invested a great deal of effort into finding ways to give him a life he enjoys and intend to continue doing so. Someday, however, Jamie will leave home, and when he does, his … Continue Reading ››
Every few weeks, or at least with mind-boggling rapidity, a publication decides it has hit upon a great new idea to solve housing support issues for disabled adults, including those with mental health disabilities. They run a piece about nature-based farmstead “communities” of disabled people and staff who support them, and the “therapeutic” values of said farmsteads. They describe them often as a positive alternative to institutions, but these settings fail to qualify as alternatives to institutions. They are
The idea that nature-based, isolated settings benefit mental health is popular today.
For context, I define nature-based care as “sending disabled people off to rural areas to be in the quiet aura of the country so that their mental health and/or other disabilities heal,” also historically known as “institutionalization,” regardless of whether the people wanted to go there.The articles and their authors fail to mention that these farmsteads are institutions that segregate … Continue Reading ››