As I have observed, I note that too many things, too many restrictions of freedom are done for administrative convenience, or just because regulations have been developed that must be followed. These regulations were perhaps developed to protect people but what they end up doing is really, really isolating people. I am involved in the lives of perhaps 50 intellectually disabled adults to a greater or lesser degree on a weekly basis. I can tell you that those who fall under the auspices of state regulations are experiencing isolation and restrictions on basic freedomes as a direct result of governmental regulations that are supposedly there to protect them. In reality, those regulations, although they may provide some protection, regulate people right out of normalcy and right into loneliness and isolation. I used to want to blame uncaring people for not spending time with those who live in institutions, however, I now want to blame social workers, group home regulators, and those who develop restrictive legislation.
The mindset of the supposed helpers is so strange. It is almost assumed that if you want to spend time with a disabled person you are up to no good or that you have some ulterior motive. The system claims to advocate for regular but in reality it is an agent itself of discrimination. I have seen this with a variety of state agencies who claim to be advocates but in reality are controllers. It is as if they want power over intellectually disabled individuals like some benign despots. They also will villify you if you don't agree with them. However, should you want services to be more normalized or for them to spend more money, they will fight you tooth and nail, particularly if it entails they loosing the stranglehold of their power. This tells me what they are really all about. If something is the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do and we figure out how to pay for it. Agencies will argue about whether something is really necessary, unless someone else is paying for it, then they become "advocates." In California, I have seen this between Regional centers and the public schools and the Dept. of Rehabilitation and the Social Security Administration.
The agencies advocate for supports leading to a regular life for an individual if they are supports that someone else will have to pay for, but will fight hard against what is best for a person with a disability if they themselves have to pay for it. In short, they are hypocrites.
I don't know what I need to do next, but I need to do something. I can't be the only one who cares about these issues, who is frustrated by lives regulated by administrative convenience by people who are more interested in their regulations being kept than people living rich lives, filled with friends who are NOT PAID TO BE WITH THEM and experiences. I know and have known so many parents who have been frustrated and spitting mad at the system that supposedly exists to support them and their disabled family member. The answer is obviously not some notion of total openness where anything goes, however, the answer is also not to provide the lives of prison inmates to wonderful people who simply have an intellectual disability.