Institutions: the Old, The New, and What We Should Do

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) believes an institution is any facility or program where people do not have control over their lives. A facility or program can mean a private or public institution, nursing home, groups home, foster care home, day treatment program, or sheltered workshop. SABE puts pressure on state governments to close down institutions and better support individuals who live in institutions. In 1990, SABE began educating policymakers, professionals, parents and others who live in our communities about the horrors of living in institutions.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network made this toolkit to explain the history and policy of institutions.

Institutions: the Old, The New, and What We Should Do, focuses on the history of institutions from the 19th century to today. It describes what we can do to make community living possible for everyone. This toolkit answers important questions like:

  • What is an institution? What is living in the community?
  • When did institutions get made, and what were they like?
  • What rules and laws help us live in the community?
  • Why is living in the community better than living in institutions?
  • What are new institutions like? How are they different from the old institutions? How are they the same?

The Easy Read Edition uses pictures along with large text, and has more white space.

There is also a Plain Language Version. It uses words without pictures.

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