Press Release – Disability Activists Demand FDA to Finalize Torture Ban


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WHO: Chicago ADAPT
WHAT: Disability Activists Demand FDA Finalize Torture Ban
WHERE: 225 N. Michigan Avenue.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 12pm

Disability Rights Group ADAPT Sends Strong Message: “Finish the Job FDA”

04/24/19 – Disability rights activists from Chicago ADAPT will gather at 225 N Michigan, 1 block south of Chicago’s regional Health and Human Services office, in a simultaneous protest with activists in other states organized by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, to demand an end to the use of contingent electric shock devices to control disabled people held at a facility in Canton, Massachusetts.

Following hearings held 5 years ago today, in April 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that home-made shock devices being 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. “Disability advocates have been fighting this for decades,” said Chicago ADAPT organizer Lyndsay Sullivan, “and we were promised it would end this year. We are still waiting.”

The initial hearing followed a trial in which JRC defended its decision to strap Andre McCollins, then 18 years old, to a board and shock him 31 times over a period of 7 hours, after he refused to take his coat off. “The shocks are excruciating,” said Anja Herrman. “I’m a teenager myself. I do not want this to be a country where people are treated this way.”

“People don’t end up in places like JRC getting shocked because they can’t live in the community, and it doesn’t happen because they can’t be supported nonviolently,” said Michael Grice. “This happens because adequate services are not provided in their communities. And that’s not acceptable.”

For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their nondisabled neighbors.

ADAPT’s history, the issues we are fighting for and our activities can be followed on our web site at, our ADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter – look for #ADAPTandRESIST.

You can also follow the fight against the JRC shock device at, #StopTheShock, and #WeAreStillWaiting.