Join the Heinz History Center and the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium for a film screening, panel discussion, and reception and learn about the history of people with intellectual disability.
Watch the original one-hour documentary, “i go home,” and listen as those involved in the disability rights movement share their struggles, triumphs, and hopes for the future. Immediately following the screening, join members of the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium for a panel discussion and light reception.
This program is supported by the Pennsylvania Developmental Disability Council, Bell Socialization Services, Excentia, and The Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability
The Senator John Heinz History Center is committed to providing exhibits, programs, and public spaces that are inclusive and accessible for all visitors. For complete accessibility details, visit our accessibility landing page. Please contact Caroline Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-454-6373 if additional accommodations are needed.
About the “i go home” Film
Imagine living somewhere you didn’t choose. Being told you can’t love – or leave. For decades that was reality for people with intellectual disability. For years, children with intellectual disability were not allowed in public schools. Parents were told to send their children with intellectual disability away to institutions – that it was best for the child, the family and the community. It was not until the late 1960s that a television expose shed light on what was happening inside the walls of institutions. It was that knowledge that fueled parents and the public to ignite change. It’s a history that must be remembered… a story that must be told. “i go home,” a one-hour original documentary on the history of people with intellectual disability tells that story. Watch as those involved in the disability rights movement share their personal histories, memories and hopes for the future. Produced by WITF Public Media of Central Pennsylvania, “i go home” focuses on Pennhurst State School and Hospital, originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, to examine the struggles and triumphs for people with intellectual disability from the early 19th century to the present day – a struggle that continues.
About the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium
The Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium was established in 2015 to preserve and honor the historic struggle of Western Pennsylvanians with disabilities to attain human and civil rights. The Consortium educates the public about disability history in order to improve community access, participation and equal opportunity, and to ensure disability rights through existing and new policies and laws. Over the last five decades, landmark federal laws have been enacted to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Prior to the groundswell of advocacy for such laws in the 1960s and 1970s, people with disabilities were routinely excluded from the mainstream of community life and equal opportunity. Many thousands were institutionalized, subjected to mistreatment, and denied appropriate education. The Consortium reflects efforts across Pennsylvania and the nation to use history to educate the larger community about ongoing advocacy for equal opportunity, full participation, and humane policies and laws. The struggle by and for people with disabilities to attain human and civil rights has only recently been recognized as part of American history. In many locations — including Western Pennsylvania — the dramatic changes that have occurred have not been sufficiently documented, preserved or shared. Attention to do so is growing, along with the understanding that history can be an effective tool to create more inclusive communities. Western Pennsylvania is home to a significant amount of disability history. The region has a strong record of grassroots advocacy to ensure public education, transportation, and other services, and to end the segregation of people with disabilities in the region’s state-run institutions. The Consortium takes the lead on preserving and sharing that history. We welcome the participation of individuals and organizations that share this interest.