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At Christmaseducator Burton Blatt and photographer Fred Kaplan visited four institutions for the mentally retarded. The horrors they found became Mentally retarded people sex book, Christmas in Purgatory -- and its publication sparked outrage and institutional reform.

View of gallery of photos and excerpts. People with mental retardation face a particularly daunting set of challenges in obtaining housing of their own.

They are, on average, among the poorest Americans, and must contend with a national shortage of lower-priced housing. In addition, a law allowing operators of publicly subsidized rental property to restrict some complexes to senior citizens has shut out people with mental retardation from a portion Mentally retarded people sex the nation's limited stock of this housing. Even when Mentally retarded people sex suitable residence exists, running the gauntlet to get it -- through the bureaucracy of federally run public housing, or the intricacies of the American mortgage system can test the intellectual capacity of anyone, not least the mentally retarded.

There's not a lot of housing available. And it's hard for you, because obtaining housing is very complicated. It has also burdened families across the nation with the continued care of aging loved ones who cannot find out-of-home residences that meet their needs. A study by the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration, which tracks services for people with developmental disabilities, estimated that nearly 75, people were waiting for residential aid in Most of the estimated 7.

Another significant group -- inslightly less than half a million people -- live in group Elmo t shirt adults institutional settings. The group home environment works well for some people with mental retardation; but for others, living with strangers, or people with whom they're not comfortable, can cause stress and lead to deteriorating mental and physical health.

The variety and quality of care in group homes also varies from state to state. Despite the difficulties, people with mental retardation do find their own homes. The University of Minnesota study found more than 73, of those receiving services for mental retardation in leased or owned their own residence. But the current housing situation Blog chat room teen these individuals looks good only in comparison to Mentally retarded people sex history of how America has treated this population, advocates say.

In the first half of the 20th century, "the thought was that people with mental retardation should live in institutions and be separated from the rest of the population," says Kathleen McGinley, who works with an umbrella group of legal organizations that represent people with disabilities.

That approach began to fall out of favor in the s. Since then, tens of thousands of people with mental retardation have moved out of large institutions. From tothe number of people in facilities with 16 or more residents fell by about a third.

Today, only about a quarter of people receiving services in out-of-home settings live in large institutions. Mentally retarded people sex -- 61 percent -- now live in homes with six or fewer residents, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado. People with mental retardation are Mentally retarded people sex for public housing assistance through Section of the Fair Housing Act. However, Congress, reacting to complaints from some senior citizens and public housing providers, Mentally retarded people sex a law in that limited access to public housing.

That law allowed some housing to be designated elderly only. The Arc's Eidelman calls that designation "a huge issue. About what other group in society would you say, 'It's okay to discriminate against these people in providing public services'? SinceThe Arc's "A Key of Our Own" campaign has worked to expand programs that would enable people with mental retardation to live independently within their communities.

Not everyone with mental retardation would choose to live on their own, even if that option were extended, Eidelman says. The answer is no. That's not how the rest of the world lives. Why would this group be any different? And you know what? People will always surprise you. About 87 percent of this population is mildly affected and is only a little slower than average in learning new information and skills. The remaining Mentally retarded people sex percent will have serious limitations in functioning.

Mentally retarded people sex are considered to have mental retardation if they meet three criteria: an IQ below ; having the condition since childhood; and significant limitations in two or more adaptive skill areas. Mentally retarded people sex skills are essentially daily living skills, including communication, self-care, social skills, functional academics reading, writing, basic mathand the ability to work.

Mental retardation can be caused by genetic defects or Mentally retarded people sex during pregnancy, including alcohol or tobacco use by the mother.

Difficulties at birth, certain childhood diseases and malnutrition or cultural deprivation early in life can also retard mental development. Other Resources: The Arc of the United Statesthe national organization Mentally retarded people sex people with mental retardation, has a wealth of information about the condition and issues of importance to its members at its Web Mentally retarded people sex. A Key of Our Own: Unlock the Waiting Lista report on The Arc's Teen spanking on couch to Mentally retarded people sex equal access to housing for people with mental retardation, along with an examination of how states are doing.

Residential Services for People with Developmental Disabilities: Status and Trends Throughby the University of Minnesota's Institute of Community Integration, is part of an exhaustive, ongoing project at the Institute to track changes in Mentally retarded people sex services provided to people with developmental disabilities. The State of the States Mentally retarded people sex Developmental Disabilities: Study Summary is an examination of the trends in state and national services for people with developmental disabilities.

Photo: J. Kyle Moyer "Not long ago, my brother Mark above lived in a state institution where he was beaten, raped, drugged, and denied education and reasonable medical care.

But now he'll be living in a lovely, refurbished home Commentator Jeff Moyer describes moving his brother Mark "up the housing food chain. High Court Bans Execution The Supreme Court reverses a previous ruling and declares it unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person. Eighteen states currently prohibit such executions. June 20, Defining Mental Retardation For the 18 states with bans on executing the mentally retarded, defining mental retardation can be a life and death issue.

But the process is far from precise. February 16, Expanded coverage Health Care for Hannah davis nude sex video Mentally Retarded Mentally retarded Americans are receiving inferior health care, according to a report issued by former Surgeon General David Satcher. February 11, Group Home Deaths Press coverage of several dozen deaths among mentally retarded residents of Connecticut group homes has prompted an investigation.

December 10, Mentally Retarded in D. A Washington Post reporter discusses her investigation of abuse and deaths in the Washington, D. December 6,

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