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“Lest We Forget: The Existence of the Back Ward” An Online ISRVA Study Session
November 2, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
In the 1960s and the 1970s, reformers and revolutionaries exposed the abuse of people with impairments of the body and the mind in state hospitals and state schools. Their work began with the publication of photos and the broadcast of videos, but it did not end there. For fifty years, they wrote about legally sanctioned human abuse in state institutions. In many ways, these reformers stood by, with and for some of the most deeply marginalized people in western societies, and made people visible as full, worthy human beings to the rest of the world. Matthew Brennan came into a service role well after the reformation days of such impactful change agents as Wolf Wolfensberger, Gunner Dybwad, and Burton Blatt, and yet their work impacted him greatly. He will present on the legacy of the institutions where people with disability were segregated en mass, and the role of reformers in shaping his own perspectives. Matthew serves as the administrator of Family Lives, a Massachusetts human service agency that works to implement of Social Role Valorization and will present the lessons that he has learned from reading the writings of these reformers and revolutionaries.