Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Lost In A Desert World

Creator: Roland Johnson (author)
Date: 1994
Source: Available at selected libraries

Previous Page   Next Page   All Pages 

Page 17:


What inspired people ax me to come -- because they thought that I had something to offer to them. They thought that I was a special person, that went out and did all this. I went to Wisconsin all by myself. They axed me to come and speak and I spoke and they said, "Gee, you talk like a very professional person. I never heard nobody talk as well as you talk." And it 'mazed me.


I would say, "Get people out of institutions. Make sure that people can get their rights. Stand up for the client; stand up for people's rights. Make sure that they get all that they can to better the system. And make sure that does not take place in other places -- CLA's and group homes -- because I been a victim to abuses in places."


I always had something to say. Whatever was on my mind, I would say it.


I would say, "Well, you can't treat clients like this. They have to be treated just. . .equal. They must be treated with fair and dignity. And you can't not have somebody tell them what to do. They have their rights, the clients have their rights too, like other people have, like you." And I kept saying that until I got it through to them. And it was very strong but I said it. And they heard. Even with the County of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. I did that with Steve -Steve Eidelman, Deputy Secretary for Mental Retardation for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- K.W.-, made him understand that these the things you have to listen to. These the things you have to understand with clients. To make you aware of what the clients needs and what the clients want.


Well I have had this idea for a long, long time that I have seen people that mental retardation being treated awful in day programs and in group homes, in CLA's and boarding homes, where people been taken advantage of them. And they was not being treated fairly, the clients. I think they was being taken advantage. And that's how I got that; I think that's where I picked that up.


I think people with disabilities is being treated bad because the system, in itself, do not know how to treat people with disabilities with respect. In order to receive respect you have to give it and not take it. I mean treating people mean. . ."You got to go to bed; you got to go here; you have to come in a certain time, have to be in the house, in the apartment, a certain time. If you not tome in, I'm going to call the police; I'ma send the police after you." I think it's to scare you; I think that get people frightened that they're being watched by the system. And that's not respect at all.


I think if it was worked right, I think the client would be a better; there would not be a lot of people being in psychiatric wards and being put back in institutions. I think if they was treated fairly and people sat down and talked to them in a nice way, they would not have this. I think the system would work good, if had better staff that would understand people they work and serve with them and not to abuse them and hold them down and tell them that they can't do this, they can't do that. If they want friends to come to see, girlfriends, they'll allow to have them. And that's not given to them. Staff would say, "Nope, can't have this; can't have this here. It's our program; you can't do it." So, that's what I mean by that. And that's what happens in these programs. I've been treated that way. And other people's been treated that way in the system. And this is true.


I don't think they are bad people; it was just how they're been trained. And if they was staff had been trained better, maybe they would have a better understanding with the clients and who they work with. I think things would work out smooth, if they was trained better.


I would tell them the same thing I'm telling now: that you can't treat clients cruelty; you can't treat clients nasty. If you treat the clients nasty, quite sure, the clients are going to treat you nasty. And if you want to treat them fair and nice, then the clients will treat you nice. I don't mean that every system in the system is going to work; I'm not saying that there are clients are hard to handle. And you have to use some kind of resources. But not holding down clients and putting them in places that they don't need to be put in. I feel that's very. . .not right. It's not right. No, it's not right. The reason I say that is, it's the same way had been treated in an institution. If a person comes out of an institution, they say, "Well, this is my house. And if this is going to be my house, then I should run it like I should run it and not someone telling me what to do and how to do it." But some people don't have that authorities to say that, tell the staff, "This is my home. You working with me but you only come in and help me. You can't tell me what to do in my place where I stay and sleep." And that has been happening in a lot of them. Where I have been myself, been in that situation.


And sometimes I treat staff, if they didn't treat me well, I would treated them nasty. Not very nasty, but I would get upset. "Because you didn't treat me right, so I'll treat you. . .That's the way you want to be treated. I'll show you how I can act out. And if you don't not support me, I don't want you." So that's how I think the system is getting a little better.

Previous Page   Next Page

Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22    All Pages