Friday, November 16, 2007

Mental Disability Rights International

In 2000, my wife and I went to Serbia to do a short documentary for a non-profit organization about the recovery efforts in Kosovo. That's why this story made such an impression on me. The organization Mental Disability Rights International is a good place to start if you want to get involved.
“There were rows upon rows of young people with Down syndrome,” Ms. Ahern said. “These children are mobile and can move around. But they are being left in metal coffins (their cribs) to lie there until the day they die.”


3 comments:

Meredith said...

Hey Tom, I enjoy reading your blog and keep up with it regularly. This post hits so close to home for me, as we are adopting our little one out of an institution in another Eastern European nation where conditions are very similar to those in Serbia. I wanted to let you know about a movement that has started here: http://downbloggers.blogspot.com/2007/11/so-this-is-christmasand-what-have-you.html and also let you know about Reece's Rainbow, www.reecesrainbow.com/waitingchristmasangels.htm where children with Down syndrome are matched with prospective adoptive parents worldwide. Thank you for posting for awareness.
Meredith from Down Syn

God is Great Beauty Salon said...

It breaks my heart reading things like that. Even though I'm aware of it, it conveniently often slips to the back of my mind. Survival instinct I guess - would be too hard to think about it all the time.

Watched a film at work the other day, about the development in the Swedish society's way of looking at, and caring for, people with disabilities. It's scary to think about how bad it was just 20 years ago. At the same time it's promising and positive how far we've come in Sweden today.

People with disabilities have, as all other citizens, the right to their own apartment, a work place and to decide over their own lives. That was not the case 20 years ago, sadly enough.

I'm trying to stay positive and hope that one day the situation in other places in the world will be closer to the situation in Sweden, when it comes to this.

At the same time it's important to never be satisfied. Things can always improve, even in Sweden. I'm far from satisfied.

I'm a bit curious, what's the situation like in the States? What does the law state for people with disabilities? And what's the reality?

Tom said...

Meredith: Thanks for reading and for the links; I wish you the best with your adoption.

GIGBS: I'm glad Sweden recognizes the inherent worth of all people; I'm just starting to learn about the laws here in the States, although I know they are good ones that protect the rights of people with all kinds of disabilities. I've got to do more reading. So much information, so little time. :)