Reflection Paper: History Of People With Disabilities In Northwest Ohio

1659 words - 7 pages

History is vibrant' changing as the history-keepers adjust. The turn may modify and the scope inflates to integrate people and events that were marginalized at one time. A promising story is at the central part of а new exhibit about people who live with disabilities. From Institutions to Independence: A History of People with Disabilities in Northwest Ohio' is in the Canaday Gallery through Feb. 27 in the Carlson Library at the University of Toledo.The story we have recorded of the lives of people with disability is а story of life lived on the margins. For people with disability' their history is largely а history of silence. The lives of people with disability have not only been constructed as 'Other'' but frequently as 'the Other' of 'the Other'. People with disability are marginalized even by those who are themselves marginalized.'Their history must finally become а part of our collective memory. It would be difficult to imagine our nation's history told today without а discussion of the role of African-Americans' women' Native Americans' or immigrants. For the same reason' we need to know about the historical experience of disabled people'' writes Barbara Floyd' director of the Canaday Center' in the 133-page catalog that accompanies this interesting show-and-tell.Highlights of local history-The Toledo State Hospital was the first state-supported mental health facility in the country' built in 1888 along the more home-like cottage system.-Helen Keller and her teacher' Anne Sullivan' visited Toledo in 1925 during their campaign to raise money for the American Federation for the Blind.-The Toledo Rotary was one of the nation's first Rotary clubs to designate the care of disabled children as one of its major service projects beginning about 1917. Local Rotary members were instrumental in founding societies for disabled children at the Ohio' national' and international levels.-In 1945' Toledoan Josina Lott organized the first non-institutionalized sheltered workshop for adults who had developmental disabilities.-Bittersweet Farms' founded in 1983 by Bettye Ruth Kay' was the first residential home and cooperative farm for autistic adults in the United States' patterned after а successful British cooperative.Related exhibit events-Wednesday at 3 p.m.: Deaf Hearing Boy: A Life in Northwest Ohio' а talk by author Robert H. Miller in the Canaday Center. Mr. Miller grew up as the hearing child of deaf parents in Toledo and Defiance.-Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.: Humanitarianism Through Institutionalization: The Medical Treatment of Ohio's Insane in the 19th Century' will be discussed by Deborah Marinski of Ohio University Southern. It is based upon her dissertation from the University of Toledo's history department. In the Canaday Center.-Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.: My Black Bird Has Flown Away: The Life of Hugh Gregory Gallagher' an original one-man play starring Jeremy Lawrence. Written by Carlton Spitzer' the play is about...

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