Anne Henry (Part 3)

Anne Henry of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, worked with Luther Granquist on the Welsch Case

Getting Children out of Institutions

(Run time 1:49)

One thing that was very important in the Welsch litigation that I think sort of, in a microcosm, allowed a lot of other things to fall into place and that is the focus on children and getting kids out of institutions, and really trying as a population to look at that group and say that we've got to stop the pipeline in, in order to really make a difference. And this idea was really brought to us by a couple of the experts that came through the institutions in preparation for our trial in 1980.

And we pondered the advice they had given us and decided that yes, that was a very, very good idea. For a couple of reasons: a, they told us that kids were often favored by staff in institutions and it made it more bearable to work there, because you were taking in this child and working on it. But 2, a lot of the kids that were in the institutions, had much more significant disabilities.

And if, in fact, we could get these kids out, either back to their families or into some small home-like setting with needed services, we would have taken away the argument that we've got to have the institutions for one population because of their serious physical disabilities, or the other population because of their behavioral problems.

Having successfully gotten the kids out really demonstrated anyone can live in the community. This is possible to do.