AACL is appalled at NDP's commitment to keep the Michener Centre open

EDMONTON, Sept. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL) is appalled at the NDP's gross error in judgment in calling for individuals with developmental disabilities to once again be removed from their families and communities to be hidden away in the dark recesses of institutions.   

NDP Leadership Candidate David Eggen stated this week he is "committed to keeping Michener open" and continuing institutionalization.  The NDP imagine a future for individuals with developmental disabilities based on centuries' old practices, a legacy of abuse and degradation. 

"In an obvious ploy to bait a PC Party leadership candidate, the NDP are prepared to sacrifice the lives of our sons and daughters and sew fear in our hearts while playing politics," stated Robin Acton, AACL President and the parent of an adult daughter with developmental disabilities.  "Words cannot express my disgust at my daughter being used as a pawn in the NDP leadership race." 

The abuse associated with institutionalization across populations (e.g., Aboriginal children, unwed mothers, orphans, people with disabilities) is well documented throughout the world.  This abuse, ranging from surgical experimentation to assaults, forced sterilization and early deaths, has not receded from recent memory yet the NDP is prepared to retraumatize survivors and resurrect this nightmare.  International associations of individuals with developmental disabilities, their families and experts representing almost every country and millions of people with developmental disabilities have called for the end of institutionalization based on decades of research and practice.  The NDP has supported every UN Convention on Human Rights but in their rejection of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the right to live in community enshrined therein, the NDP is demonstrating that in its view individuals with developmental disabilities are not equally human or entitled to social justice.  

Bruce Uditsky, AACL CEO and the parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities commented, "The NDP leadership is now devoid of common decency and morality.  Will the NDP next call for the re-establishment of residential schools arguing this is needed as Aboriginal children have died in care?"

Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families must never again face the spectre of banishment to the backwards of institutions.  We need leaders with the vision to create an Alberta where every individual with developmental disabilities is welcomed and included in community.

About Alberta Association for Community Living:

AACL is a family-governed, registered charity supporting thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families across Alberta for nearly 60 years.

SOURCE Alberta Association for Community Living

For further information: Bruce Uditsky, CEO - Alberta Association for Community Living, Cell: 780-940-4269, Email: buditsky@aacl.org