Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Inclusion vs. Institutional Problems

As the advocacy movement evolved, it became clear to the parents and advocates that inclusion in the community was the best possible result for people with disabilities. In institutions, away from their families and their community, abuse and neglect were rampant. The documents contained in this exhibit show not only the benefits of inclusion, but also the abuses and issues at various state and private institutions.

Usability Note: Documents can be enlarged by clicking on the document and pressing “ctrl +” on your keyboard.

disability, advocacy, Pennsylvania, History, People with Disabilities, archives, archive, disability, advocacy, Pennsylvania, History, People with Disabilities, archives, archive,

Reaching Out: Community Advocacy Efforts

One of the greatest assets of the Disability Advocacy Movement is the support of the community; specifically the families of the institutionalized and journalists who took the story to heart. These exhibits explore the outreach that the Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (ACC PARC), Journalists, and Parents used to achieve the goal of securing rights for people with disabilities.

Usability Note: Documents can be enlarged by clicking on the document and pressing “ctrl +” on your keyboard.

disability, advocacy, Pennsylvania, History, People with Disabilities, archives, archive,

Government & Law

In 1972, after a visit to Western State School and Hospital, Robert Nelkin said, "Recently much legal action has been initiated on behalf of inmates.  It has been successful.  Now five states have filed right to treatment suits for the institutionalized retarded.  They are successful.  It seems like our only hopeful action" (Report on Visit to Western State School and Hospital, 3).  Relatively early in the disability advocacy movement, families and advocates realized that without legislation and legal action at the state and even national level, the lives of Pennsylvania's disabled citizens would not be improved in any meaningful way.  These exhibits chronicle some of the most significant government interventions, legal battles and pieces of legislation introduced on behalf of institutionalized individuals. 

Usability Note: Documents can be enlarged by clicking on the document and pressing “ctrl +” on your keyboard.

disability, advocacy, Pennsylvania, History, People with Disabilities, archives, archive, disability, advocacy, Pennsylvania, History, People with Disabilities, archives, archive,