International Disability Rights News Service
Your quick, once-a-day look at disability rights, self-determination
and the movement toward full community inclusion around the world.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Year V, Edition 938

Today's front section features 7 news and information items, each preceded by a number (#) symbol.
Click on the"Below the Fold" link at the bottom of this section for 37 more news items.

"Death with dignity implies that people like me can be dignified only when we're dead."

--Alison Davis, who is urging the States of Guernsey in the Channel Islands to vote against legalizing euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses and disabilities (Fourth story)



New Hampshire Council Shifts Funds From Nursing Homes To In-Home Supports

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 20, 2004

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--As the populations of nursing homes decline and more people are choosing to live in their own homes, New Hampshire's Executive Council has decided to shift money from the nursing home budget to cover in-home care.

The Union Leader reported that the state had 4,900 residents at county-run facilities last year, but the number has dropped by about 40 so far this year. At the same time, 1,980 people are receiving nursing care in their own homes, which is nearly 50 more than the state had budgeted to serve.

On Thursday, the five-member Council, which has authority and responsibility -- together with the Governor -- over administration of state affairs, agreed to transfer $800,000 from the account for county nursing home residents. Councilors said they support the trend toward community-based services, but are worried that transferring unspent money might affect taxpayers and county governments responsible for nursing home costs.

James P. Fredyma, controller of finance for the state Department of Health and Human Services, told the paper that the cost of nursing home services for one person is nearly four times that of in-home care. The money being transferred was left over from the $181 million budgeted this year for nursing homes and would not affect county government.

"We've got to move on this," said Executive Councilor Raymond Burton.

Two Councilors voted against the measure.

The shift in New Hampshire's nursing home population follows an international trend toward in-home services for seniors and people with disabilities.



Deaf Passengers Get Compensation And Apology Over Incident

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 20, 2004

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND--John Lennon said all you need is love.

But what happened last October at Liverpool's John Lennon airport may have had little to do with love -- or respect.

A pilot for an Easyjet flight from Liverpool to Amsterdam told a group of 11 deaf passengers to get off the plane.

The pilot thought the group were "special needs" passengers -- persons with intellectual disabilities -- who would need assistants to help them escape the plane in case of emergency.

The passengers, all members of the Merseyside Society for Deaf People, complained, saying they found the experience humiliating.

On Thursday, Easyjet gave each passenger £500 (about $894 US) and several free flights on the low-fare, no-frills airline.

Easyjet also apologized to the group, admitting what the pilot did was a mistake. A company spokesperson said the captain made the decision based on rules which state that the flight crew must be able to evacuate the plane within 90 seconds in the event of an emergency.

Along with the compensation, the company has asked the Merseyside Society for Deaf People to help train its staff on disability issues.



Romney Administration Considers Apologies For Fernald Six

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 20, 2004

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS--The administration of Governor Mitt Romney said Thursday that it is considering whether to apologize and correct the records of six men who claim that they were inappropriately confined at Fernald Developmental Center after being labeled "morons".

Gerald J. Morrissey Jr., the commissioner of the state Department of Mental Retardation, said he would consider adding a page to the men's state files, along with the files of hundreds of others who were "wrongly" institutionalized across the state, explaining that they had been victims of "one of the saddest chapters in Massachusetts history", the Boston Globe reported.

Morrissey said it was too early for him to respond to the group's demands, including their request to have a task force study what they should be paid for years of free labor at the former Walter E. Fernald School for the Feebleminded from the 1940s into the 1960s. In recent years it has come to light that many of those housed at the institution were forced to work with little or no pay.

"It was devastating enough to lose out on a normal childhood and suffer the abuse that occurred in that place," said Fred Boyce, who was at Fernald for 12 years beginning in 1949 at age 6. "But to know that the state officially considers you a moron just continues the pain."

The men are blaming an intelligence test that led to them being incorrectly labeled "feeble-minded" and confined at state facilities designed to house people with mental retardation. Many were placed there because they were runaways or had trouble in their own homes or foster homes.

Details about the mistreatment of former Fernald residents have been revealed in the recently-released book "The State Boys Rebellion" by Michael D'Antonio.

Founded in 1848, Fernald Developmental Center is the oldest institution housing people with developmental disabilities in the Western Hemisphere. Romney's recent attempts to close the aging facility have met with resistance from institution employees, and family members of those housed there.

While the men claim that they "should not have been" placed at the institutions because of the flawed IQ test, many disability rights and community living advocates have argued that nobody should have been placed at the institutions -- regardless of their IQ scores or labels.

David White-Lief, the lawyer who is representing the men, said he was encouraged by the Romney administration's response to their petition. "I'm confident I will be able to work with the governor's office and get something for these guys," he said.

"Fernald Developmental Center -- Oldest Institution In the Americas" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)



"You Must Not Accept Killing"

May 20, 2004

GUERNSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS--The following six paragraphs are excerpts from a story in the Guernsey Press about Alison Davis, who recently urged lawmakers to vote against legalizing euthanasia:

Many years ago, doctors had not expected her [Davis] to live for much longer and she tried to commit suicide several times.

"Had euthanasia been legal, I would have requested it," said Ms. Davis, 49, who lives in Dorset.

She said that under the criteria proposed in Guernsey -- terminally ill or permanently disabled people who request it -- she would have qualified.

"I would not be here now. It's quite terrifying how easy it would have been."

"Death with dignity implies that people like me can be dignified only when we're dead."

"We have to get away from the feeling that that needing help is undignified and help people to live with dignity until they die naturally."

Entire article:
'You must not accept killing' (The Guernsey Press)



OSHU Center on Self-Determination

The Center on Self-Determination identifies, develops and shares approaches that promote the self-determination of people with disabilities and ongoing health conditions.

The Center is staffed by experts in disability and health issues, research and training. We work closely with consumer groups, organizations, schools and agencies to develop model programs and public policies that support self-determination. We also produce materials and conduct training for professionals and community organizations.


# EXPRESS EXTRA!!! From the Inclusion Daily Express Archives (One year ago):


Advocate Emerges After Years Of Self-Imposed Exile

May 20, 2003

CATSKILL, NEW YORK--Sunday's Daily Freeman featured an article about Judy Grzyb, a 55-year-old woman who recently came out of a 40-year self-imposed exile.

Grzyb was diagnosed with mental retardation when she was 4 years of age and placed into a "special" classroom.

"Back in them days in special class, they just threw you in there and forgot about you," Grzyb explained.

When she was 16, her mother took her out of school. Grzyb then stayed mostly in her home, until a year and a half ago.

It turns out that what experts believed to be mental retardation was, in fact, a panic disorder.

With medication and therapy, Grzyb is rejoining social life, going back to school, and advocating for the rights of people with mental illness.

Entire article:
"Woman removes her 'retarded' label" (Daily Freeman)


Check in with other Inclusion Daily Express readers:


Have Google look for specific words or phrases in Inclusion Daily Express editions going back to December 1999:


Click here for the rest of today's disability-related news:


Tell your friends and colleagues about Inclusion Daily Express!

Inclusion Daily Express

© Copyright 2004 Inonit Publishing. Please do not reprint, post or forward without permission.
Reprint guidelines:

Inonit Publishing
3231 W. Boone Ave., # 711, Spokane, Washington 99201 USA
Phone: 509-326-5811
Dave Reynolds, Editor