Press Release – ADAPT Calls for Azar to Stop the Torture on Disabled Americans


For More Information:
Cal Montgomery: (312) 813-6816
Mike Oxford: (785) 224-3865
Janine Bertram: (503) 915-5247
Marilee Adamski-Smith: (715) 204-4152

WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: Protest at home of Secretary Alex Azar
WHERE: 7430 Washington Blvd, Indianapolis, IN
WHEN: Sunday, June 10, 2018

ADAPT Calls for Azar to Stop the Torture on Disabled Americans

06/10/2018 – Indianapolis, IN More than 50 protesters from across the United States are gathered at the home of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to demand he immediately release regulations banning what the protestors say is a form of torture.

In April 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts cause both physical pain and psychological suffering when used as designed, and pose an unacceptable risk to the public that could not be mitigated. The FDA then proposed a set of finalized regulations that would ban this practice but have yet to sign off on them. “They have been sitting on these regulations for more than two years,” said Philadelphia ADAPT organizer German Parodi, “and they can stop this atrocity now with the stroke of a pen.”

“It happens every day to both children and adults,” said Anita Cameron, an organizer from the Rochester ADAPT chapter. “They are mostly people with developmental disabilities and mostly people of color.” Cameron shares the story of Andre McCollins, a black teenager from New York. McCollins was shocked 31 times over a 7 hour period for not taking off his coat. “Andre has never recovered from that torture. Every day that this continues, Americans are being hurt and Alex Azar is allowing it to happen.”

“People end up in places like the JRC, getting shocked, because they lack the support services to live in the community,” said Cal Montgomery, who organizes with Chicago ADAPT. “I was lucky, my parents could easily have put me in JRC when I was a young adult but they didn’t. I have known many people who are successfully supported by Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) instead of being shocked in a place like JRC. We need more HCBS, not shock and torture.”

For decades, ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their non-disabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at, on social media with the National ADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter, and under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow the fight against the JRC shock device at and #StopTheShock.