Many self-advocates spent time living in our state institutions for people with developmental disabilities. Some spent decades institutionalized because it was the "right thing to do" in those days. Now we have more community services available and those who at one time, could only live in that type of restrictive environment now flourish in community settings. We continue to advocate for the funding to improve and increase supports in the community. Self-advocates share what they view as the difference between living in the community versus living in an RHC (Residential Habilitation Center).
Special thanks to Jim Corey of WISE for his editing and uploading to You Tube of these powerful videos. Thanks also to all the self-advocates for sharing their stories and their feelings to help others understand how precious our lives are in our communities that so many of us take for granted.
• Ramon lived at Interlake and his care provider knew him there and in the community.
• Dale also lived at Interlake and communicates with gestures.
• Ricky’s mom shares what life was like for him in an institution and now.
• Diane adamantly does not want to live in an institution.
• Dorothee lived at Rainier and now lives and works in the community.
• Toby lived at Fircrest and has significant disabilities, but loves people.
• Jeff owns his own community business called Doc Destruction.
• Bill and Corina Fale, husband and wife, both live and work in their community.
• Sharon speaks through her communication device about her time in an institution and life now in the community.
• Alan, Sharon’s husband, also speaks through a communication device and even sings!
• Steven tells you why job coaching is important.
• KOMO channel 4 did a story that includes Steven.
• John lives in the community, his mom shares the many activities he’s involved in.
• Colleen thinks institutions are “icky”, she and her job coach talk about her business.
• Allen’s dad talks about his significant behaviors and how living in the community has helped him.
• Sherri has challenging medical issues but loves living in the community.
• Kerry has significant medical problems and loves living in the community.
• Sam talks about community versus the institution.
• Matt has significant medical problems and lives successfully in the community.
• Mary needs one-to-one care which has been provided in the community since 2005.
• Though George has never lived in an institution, he has friends who have told him how bad it was.
• Jean has lived in an institution and didn’t like it. She loves living on her own in a community where she has lots of friends and many people know her.
• Mike was institutionalized at 3 years old and told his family was dead, yet Mike, who is now in his 60s, talks to his mom every day.
• Robert lived at Rainier and loves the freedom he has now as he helps advocate for other people with disabilities.
As people are offered the choice to leave the RHC and move to the community, we follow some of them to see how the experience is going:
Watch a YouTube video of Christy successfully transitioning into the community.
Watch a YouTube video of Brandi successfully transitioning into the community.
Watch a YouTube video of Emilia successfully transitioning into the community.
Watch a YouTube video of Neil successfully transitioning into the community.
Watch a YouTube video of Stephanie successfully transitioning into the community.
Watch the Community of Full Participation Video (Parts 1 and 2).