ARC of Philadelphia opposes 'Pennhurst Asylum' attraction
Saturday, September 4th 2010
The Arc of Philadelphia board, members, employees, and the thousands of Philadelphians with intellectual and developmental disabilities that we serve and represent, are outraged at the disgusting attempt to entertain people through the haunted house attraction that is planned for the old Pennhurst site located in East Vincent Township. We urge the Board of Supervisors of East Vincent Township to turn down the request to create a Hallowe'en attraction, "Pennhurst Asylum."
What is to be known as the "Institute of Terror" is a disgraceful attempt to make money at the expense of the hundreds of Philadelphians with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were forced to live at Pennhurst and be segregated from their families and communities.
After many years of struggle and legal action, The Arc was able to first open public schools to children with disabilities, and then to close Pennhurst and bring all of our citizens out to the city they now call home.
The horror known as Pennhurst ended more than 25 years ago. Now some want to bring it all back to life so that they can commercialize the lost lives and years of thousands of people who were warehoused at Pennhurst.
The Arc of Philadelphia is one of the oldest Arcs in the country, having been founded in 1948 by parents who refused to see their loved ones denied a public education and a real home in their own community. The news of this reprehensible and exploitive "Institute of Terror" has spread across the state and nation.
We are working to preserve Pennhurst as a place where we can develop a fitting memorial that will allow people from all over the world to come and remember what our society and government did to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Rather than create a painful "amusement," we have a vision of a place that would be respectful to those who lived and died at Pennhurst. KEN OAKES, Board President
J. BRUCE HULICK, Executive Director
THE ARC OF PHILADELPHIA
This article was published by The Mercury on Saturday, September 4th 2010 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Pennhurst State School galleries on opacity.us unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.