The lives of people with disabilities have been changed over the past thirty years for several reasons including deinstitutionalisation, which I will be discussing. There are several factors that have influenced these changes including human rights and the management of services and resources.
As we have learnt, prior to the 1970's, people with a disability were basically forced to live in institutions, where they were managed and treated for the whole of their lives. There was no such thing as socializing with the outer community, working, visiting people, and all the other things those living outside institutions could do, for they were considered as not being able to face the 'real' world. As shown in the movie called Rain Man, institutions were seen to be there to 'protect' those with a disability.
My interviewee, whom I will name Anna, works as a nurse at Kew Residential Services. She explains the story of a girl who was taken to the institute soon after she was born.
The reason being was because after her birth, she would constantly cry. Without any proper medical tests or procedures, the doctors concluded that this baby had a disability, and was encouraged to be taken to the Kew institute. As this girl grew older, she came to realize that she did not have a disability. Although some of her actions may have been strange for a person without a disability, she grew up around different types of people, and to her this was normal. She was basically taught to be disabled. After a period of about twenty years, she began to realize that she did not have a disability. She would ask several difficult questions, and finally, after such a long time, the doctors realized that she did not in fact have a disability.