Included in Society

TitleIncluded in Society
Publication TypeBook
EditorFreyhoff, Geert, Camilla Parker, Magali Coué, and Nancy Greig
ISBN2 930415 60 6, paperback
Full Text

This publication is a result of the project "Included in Society" aiming at analyzing the conditions in and prevalence of large residential institutions for disabled people in Europe. The participating organizations and universities collected information on the living conditions in large residential institutions in 25 European counties. This is the basis for policy recommendations addressing the need for more community-based services for disabled people. Ake Johansson spent 32 years of his life in a residential institution for people with intellectual disabilities in Sweden. He reports: "What happens to people who live like this? They become passive and to be passive entails not knowing what is going on around them and not caring about it. You take the day as it comes and you do not wonder why everything is the way it is. Everyone around you behaves the same way: they all walk around in a sort of lethargy that becomes somnambular. You do not even have to care about your own clothes. Everything is decided for you. Eventually this environment comes to represent safety. That which is new or different causes fear. As a result, no one causes any problems: no one starts to shout, wanting to leave. Th will to leave is broken down; it does not exist any more. There is no room for real life inside such walls; this is why it is not to be found there either. You do not live, you exist."

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