In mid-October, the federal government published the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda, and the FDA announced their intent to issue a final ban on the electrical shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts.
While ADAPT is pleased with the publishing of the FDA’s announcement, we remain vigilant because the process is still not finished and remind advocates that the final rules banning these devices have not been released. Many of our “Stop the Shock” activists expressed concern that premature celebration would – in fact – undercut our advocacy by mobilizing those who want to maintain the status quo.
Now – more than ever – our community must remain focused on securing release of final rules that ban this device and any device like it which is used to torture people with disabilities. We must continue to press the FDA to move forward as quickly as possible with this ban because – everyday – disabled people are being tortured in the name of “treatment”.
We must also remember that when this device is finally banned, the disabled people who have been tortured will remain locked in a facility under the continued control of the people who tortured them. We must continue the fight to FREE OUR PEOPLE so that no Disabled American is locked away and denied their most basic right to freedom. We must call on Congress to pass the Disability Integration Act during the 116th Congress.
Finally, as a community, we must recognize the power of protest and the important role that direct action plays in our advocacy. It seems unlikely that the FDA would have moved forward without activists – willing to put their bodies on the line – demanding action.