Thursday, July 22, 2010

Virginia Institution Expansion Sparks Debate

CHESAPEAKE, VA. -- On a barren tract that backs up to Interstate 64, past a street sign that says "Dead End," sits the entrance to a home that no parent would eagerly choose for a son or daughter.
The Southeastern Virginia Training Center houses some of the state's most profoundly disabled people, those who for decades had no option but to live in institutions.
Across the country, states have been closing such places for years, moving people with mental disabilities into community homes and out of the institutions that defined care of the developmentally disabled for much of the 20th century.
Yet the training centers, seen by some families as the only alternative for loved ones who have known little else, endure in Virginia, one of 11 states that have yet to close any of their institutions.

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