In the Press

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September 27, 2021

For many years, people with disabilities and mental illness in Massachusetts were locked away in state institutions to be kept separate from the rest of society.


Now some advocates and families are pushing to create a commission to reckon with the way patients were treated and the abuses they endured.

August 16, 2021

The size of the former state institutions means that their impact can be felt widely today. Thousands of residents, families, and employees are alive and want to understand how their story fits within a broader understanding of disability rights history and American history. But many are confronted with obstacles if they go looking.

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July 1, 2021

Historically, institutions often interred their dead with simple markers. In Massachusetts, researchers are learning about the patients’ lives and the facilities’ fraught legacies.

June 21, 2021

“There seemed to be a real injustice here, and there seemed to be lives crying out to be acknowledged,” said Sen. Michael Barrett, a Lexington Democrat, who crafted the bill and is co-sponsoring it with Rep Sean Garballey, an Arlington Democrat.

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April 21, 2021

"Much of what we think we know about the 27 major institutions that once housed tens of thousands of disabled people is out of context or mythology, tinged by the often acrimonious battles of the reform era that began in the 1970s."