The lives of tens of thousands of citizens were shaped and impacted by the existence of the state's institutions for people with intellectual, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities. Yet the story of the rise, fall, reform, and closing of these places has never been told.
As a result, people cannot locate records, those who with to know about their loved ones have no story from which to begin to understand their lives, graves remain unmarked an unaccounted for, and those with stories to tell have been forced into silence. The places where these institutions once existed have fallen into ruin, and worse.
Nobody sees these issues more acutely every day than the organizations who have come together to ensure the passage of H.2009 and S.1257. Collectively, our organizations represent hundreds of thousands of citizens across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts
Arc of Massachusetts
Belchertown State School Friends Association
Belchertown Community Alliance
Belchertown Historic Commission
Brisa Builders Corporation
Boston Center for Independent Living
Center for Public Representation
Community Options of Belchertown
Disability Law Center
Disability Policy Consortium
Harvard Law School Project on Disability
Human Services Research Institute
The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University
Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc.
Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
Metrowest Center for Independent Living
Wild Ivy Social Justice Project and The Protection & Advocacy Council of the Disability Law Center