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My Contribution to Class (since I sadly will not be there)'s picture

The two things I wanted to focus on for my contribution to our class discussion are how Good Kings, Bad Kings portrays what life is like for the children in the ILLC and how the video, "In My Home" portrays what life is like for disabled people when they decide not to be institutionalized. In Good Kings, Bad Kings the reader gets a glimpse into what life is like for disabled people in institutions like the ILLC and how often those who are admitted there fall through the cracks. Earlier in the book we see how Mia was sexually assaulted and how it took much too long for them to figure it out and offer her support. We also see how Joanne reflects on how rape happens in most, if not all of these institutions and that it is no one person's fault for not figuring it out, but it is everyone's fault. Later in the novel, specifically in the portion, we were assigned to read for Tuesday's class, we see how violence is a huge problem in the ILLC. We see how abusive the employees who work there are despite the fact that their entire role is to support and help the disabled people living there. Unfortunately in many institutions including the ILLC, that is not the case, as we see in Yessenia Lopez's chapter starting on page 206. In this chapter, we see how abusive Louie is to Pierre when he assumes Pierre is disobeying the rules of when to eat lunch. Rather than talking calmly about it or asking Pierre, Louie acts with violence and throws Pierre down to the ground. Pierre then retaliates by stabbing him with his pencil and then Louie once again acts with extreme violence and breaks Pierre's jaw. Earlier we find out that Louie was supposed to be a prison guard but couldn't make it because he was too creepy and violent, so instead, they decided to let him be someone in charge of disabled people. This segment of the book exemplifies just how bad, problematic, and dangerous these institutions are. They hire violent people to take care of those institutionalized which puts them at a huge risk. People have just accepted this and turned a blind eye towards this problem, but in my opinion, it is a huge problem that needs to be addressed and changed so that the violence and abuse will stop.

In contrast to my paragraph above, I really enjoyed hearing about how being able to choose not to be institutionalized has been such a positive for many people with disabilities. Instead of being institutionalized, they are able to live a life where they make decisions about where they want to live, how they want to decorate their homes, and what they want to do in everyday life. Hearing their first-hand experiences of life out of an institution was so interesting and insightful. I think the video was very powerful and should be shown to parents of disabled children as well as institutions for people with disabilities before choices are made about whether or not to send a disabled person to an institution. Hearing the people in the video reflect on how freeing, and fun it is to live their own lives without needing to be institutionalized just shows how horrible these institutions really are, and how horrible the system has been to those with disabilities. Often times disabled people do not get to make the decision of whether or not they will be institutionalized which is completely unjust because it is their life and they should have the right to decide for themselves how they wish to live their life.

I hope you guys have a great class discussion and a great Thanksgiving break! See you all next week :)