Miriam Karlins (Part 1)

Former Official of the Dept. of Public Welfare, who worked with Medical Director, David Vail, to eliminate dehumanizing practices in State Institutions

Discharge Planning

(Run time 1:17)

There were so many things that were done during that period of time that lend themselves to taking away the dehumanizing effect, but it was also at the time that we were starting to deinstitutionalize, and a lot of what we did had to do with discharge planning.

We tried to include the volunteers in the discharge plans so that there was some continuity when they left with the people that they had befriended while they were in the hospital. We tried, where we could, to show them where they were going to be going, so that it wasn't such a complete...

Many of these people had grown up in the hospital. The hospital environment was all they knew. And you couldn't just throw them out to the community. They weren't prepared.

And so little by little we began to introduce them to the society at large and prepare them for that kind of move. We were able to do a great many things to aid in the deinstitutionalization; and other things were going on at the time, which helped a lot.

The whole approach on... especially with regard to developmentally disabled clients, clients with that kind of a disability...the whole idea of normalization had come into the picture.