Kate Gainer, part 07 of 10: “We Don’t Belong in Institutions”
Well, as other people have said it is very
important that people understand that people with disability don’t belong in institutions.
That as society grows older they will understand that more and more, but it is really hard
for people to get the idea that it is not natural…it shouldn’t be expected that
at some point in your life you leave your home and live in a nursing home or a nursing
facility I should say…is not a home. I’ve had to fight that battle even with my family.
I had an aunt that chose to go into a nursing home because she couldn’t…or she thought
she couldn’t receive the services she needed in the community. And she didn’t have that
significant a disability. I had and one time I came across this cousin at her doctor’s
office and we were talking and she said, “Kate, I’m so glad to see you.” And I said, “I’m
glad to see you too.” And she said, “No really I’m glad to see you because I thought
that you would be in an institution by now.” Now, A) she was underestimating me; B) She
was underestimating my immediate family to think that they would ever put me in an institution.
Another thing I want people…I want African Americans to hear is that the disability is
a struggle. It is very similar to the black struggle. And that as people with disability
our issues are their issues. They seem to fail to understand that. I’ve had to continually
explain that fact and that is one of the hardest things to understand when African Americans
question our use of civil disobedience. I am one of those people that is very proud
to say that I have been to jail. I’ve spent two days in jail in Orlando.