- Building a facility is something to do for disabled people, when you’re not sure you actually know what to do for them. When there’s a facility for “that” kind of person or condition, people feel like something is being done, the problem isn’t being neglected.
- They look impressive, professional. When they are new, bright, clean, and modern, it makes you feel like you are giving disabled people “the best”.
- You can give them cool names. You can name them after a politician, a philanthropist, or even yourself, especially if you are dead.
- They have definite price tags, so it’s simple, (if not easy), to raise money for them. That is party because donors and supporters find it easy to comprehend what they are supporting. Unless they have direct experience with disability issues, most people would rather give money to build the “Awesome Disabled People Center” than to fund “personal assistance services for X number of people”.
- Facilities are easy to quantify. They have X number of “beds”. They have Y number of “slots”. The project will create over Z new jobs!
- Facilities generate lots of jobs, at all skill levels, even after they are built … administrators, comptrollers, supervisors, direct services staff, cooks, and maintenance staff.
- Facilities are great for “revitalizing" small, struggling towns. Either they refurbish abandoned buildings, or add new, impressive visual landmarks to neighborhoods.
- Facilities grant the illusion of safety, order, and control, which many families of disabled people crave … and probably some disabled people, too, though advocates like me don’t like to think about that.
It's also worth noting that the Fox show is a remake of a Spanish / Catalan TV show called Polseres Vermelles, or "The Red Band Society". I'm hoping to find a way to check out that series, too.
The other problem is that it's almost impossible in traditional journalism to deal with the more complex reasons why otherwise reasonable individuals support models that most people, on some level, feel are at best grossly out of date, and at worst cruel and corrupt.
|Sunmount Developmental Center, Tupper Lake, New York|
"If it would be a deprivation of my liberty to be obliged to live in a particular place, subject to constant monitoring and control, only allowed out with close supervision, and unable to move away without permission even if such an opportunity became available, then it must also be a deprivation of the liberty of a disabled person."
"The fact that my living arrangements are comfortable, and indeed make my life as enjoyable as it could possibly be, should make no difference. A gilded cage is still a cage.”