The New York Legislature Approved More Than People With Disabilities Essay

1386 WordsDec 4, 20166 Pages
Willowbrook was designed in 1958 as an idea to build a school for the developmentally disabled. The New York legislature approved more than 5 million dollars to purchase 375 acres of land in the Northern part of Staten Island. Thirty building were erected completely surrounded by woods. When it was finished in 1941 the World War II was ending and veterans were just returning home. Veterans Administration took over the building to care for their wounded. The temporary name was Halloran General Hospital. It wasn’t until 1951 that Willowbrook opened its doors as “Willowbrook State School for people with disabilities.” Within the first 4 years Willowbrook surpassed its capacity of 2,950 by housing about 3,600 residents. Parents during that time were pressured by society, doctors, and even the court system to place their children who did not meet society’s standards of “normal.” By 1965 Willowbrook housed over 6,000 residents. This institution had the highest population in all of New Your State of disabled people along with the highest population of African Americans and Puerto Ricans. More than 200,000 people with disabilities nation wide were dumped into different institutions. The first legislative social reform gave families no other choices. The Federal Government did not provide any assistance to help keep their children stay home. Willowbrook became a dumping ground for the developmentally disabled where they were subjected to deplorable conditions, abuse and even

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