Survivors of Huronia: Dialogue on Disability Rights
Former residents of Huronia, who have experienced severe violations of their rights, will speak about their lives and advocacy work to advance disability justice. From 1876 until 2009, the Huronia Regional Centre was the largest residential facility for people with intellectual disabilities in Canada.
After the panel discussion and a public question-and-answer session, Wilfrid Laurier University faculty member Katherine Rossiter and Jennifer Rinaldi from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology will be discussing their new book, Punishing Conditions: Institutional Violence and Disability.
Rossiter said it is important to have a conversation about disability and institutionalization on a national level.“To speak about experiences of institutionalization practices in this forum means we are slowly developing public recognition about some of the gross violations of human rights faced by people with disabilities,” she said.
This event will feature members of the Recounting Huronia research team and representatives from the Huronia Speakers Bureau – all people who survived institutionalization at the centre – as well as researchers who will be reflecting on arts-based and empirical findings from their research.
“Often people with disabilities are spoken for or spoken about, so I think it is critical that people who have survived institutionalization who have disabilities are given space to tell their own stories in their own words and in their own way,” said Rossiter.