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Disability Advocacy Network Of Eastern Ontario


Historical Perspective

To understand the present, and the slow pace of change in respecting the rights of individuals with a developmental disability, we must look to the past. The horror and heart-aches of institutionalization linger and must not be forgotten as we move along the Journey to Belonging – the latest government reform initiative.

The following articles, reports and studies provide some perspectives on why that journey is taking so long. There have been many studies, task forces, modernization initiatives over the past 20 years. DANEO will continue to gather this material and present it on these pages.

Williston, Walter B. A report to the Honourable A.B.R. Lawrence, Minister of Health on Present Arrangements for the Care and Supervision of Mentally Retarded Persons in Ontario. 1971 Viewed on July 7, 2022.

Brown, Ivan and John P. Radford. 2015 “The growth and decline of institutions for people with developmental disabilities in Ontario: 1876-2009” Journal on Developmental Disabilities, v. 21, no. 2, 2015. pp. 7-27. <>

Truths of Institutionalization Past and Present : A collection of voices sharing the truths of institutionalization from the 1800s to present day. A project sponsored

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