D.C. – After too
long of a wait, The Arc celebrates a victory in our seemingly never-ending fight
to underscore the value and human dignity of the lives of people with disabilities.
After years in limbo, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it
will finally ban the use of the electric shock device that has inflicted
painful abuse on residents of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) in
Canton, Massachusetts for decades. JRC is an institution for children and
adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health
By the FDA’s
own count, as many as 50 JRC residents wear the shock device. Staff members use
remote controls to administer shocks for perceived misbehavior. JRC uses the
barbaric and inhumane practice, despite substantial evidence that the shocks
are painful and traumatizing to residents.
“The Arc and
The Arc of Massachusetts, alongside several disability rights organizations and
empowered self-advocates across the country, fought for decades to ‘stop the
shock’ and to end abusive and cruel practices masquerading as ‘behavioral
treatments.’ People with disabilities deserve to live free from fear and
torture. The FDA’s decision, years in the making, to ban the use of the
electric shock device is a hard-fought victory and a testament to what is
possible when disability advocates fight their hardest for change and for the
civil rights of people with disabilities. We hope the ban is a significant step
in ending the use all aversive procedures on people with disabilities, who
deserve to be supported with dignity,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.
The post The Arc, Allies, and Self-Advocates Finally ‘Stop the Shock” appeared first on The Arc.