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human & civil rights | social services

"Where's Molly?", A Story About Institutionalization Of People With DD

The Fairview Training Center was once known as the "Oregon State Institution
for the Feeble-Minded." It was established in 1908 and housed thousands of
residents with disabilities for close to a century. During that time, these
residents suffered from inadequate staffing, poor training, serious health
hazards, restraints, forced sterilization, rape, torture and neglect.
Many of the residents were brought to the Center as small children and lived their
entire lives in the confines of this prison masking as a hospital.

Molly Daly was one of these residents. The 2007 documentary, "Where's
Molly?" is one tale of a person unwanted and neglected by society simply
because she was differently-abled. It's the story of the history of Fairview
told through one brother's search to find his sister who was sent to the
Center as a small child. Portland Anti-Imperialists are proud to show this
documentary at the Red and Black Café on December 8th at 7 pm.

The federal government intervened in Fairview in 1986 and ruled that it was a
violation of civil rights. It ordered it closed and, by 2000, the last of the
Fairview residents had been transitioned to community housing. While this
documentary tells the story of a dark part of Oregon's past, it is not
without its parallels today. Funding for people with disabilities is being
scrutinized and thousands of people that need financial assistance in order to
provide the basic essentials may have to do without soon. Measure 66 and 67
would tax the rich (single taxpayers earning more than $125,000 or joint
taxpayers earning more than $250,000) as well as big businesses (that bring in
more than $500,000 in Oregon sales) in order to continue to support education
and the disabled. However, it's being mislabeled as a bill that would
skyrocket taxes and squash the small business man.

Please join us for a viewing of this documentary on December 8th at 7pm at the
Red and Black Café (400 SE 12th). This showing is free but donations are
always accepted. This is also a safer space and the safer space policy is in
effect. Please respect your fellow persons.

Former Employees of Fairview 03.Dec.2009 06:34

open publishnik

I've heard that there are quite a few former Fairview employees living in the Portland area. It would be interesting to hear from people that worked at the facility while it was open. If you can't make it to the video showing, maybe you can share your experiences here. The DD community is so rarely discussed on IMC and it is so important to understand the struggles of others, that I would love to hear first hand accounts from both former employees and/or former inmates.
Thanks for showing this video and opening up this dialogue.


dd mama

actually one of the biggest issues with molly, fairview and such settings was/ is the disconnect between family members. Whenever family loses connection with each other, and one of them is disabled or unable to advocate for themselves, they often become victims.
but you see it is still happening. When DD individuals are taken over by a custodian or guardian who doesn't let family members visit, etc. When the State caseworkers or county services refuse to let family know what's happening with their child or loved one. You see there is something called "confidentiality" that is touted as "protecting the client" however, it can't do that when it means the interested family members have no information about their loved one. Not even , are they still alive? are they ok? are they sick? are they being treated well, can we visit and where are they?
Family cares about its own far better than nonfamily, in most cases. It serves no good to REFUSE to talk about the vulnerable individual's circumstances, with those who can help or who might make a difference. In fact, it ends up killing probably more than it could ever help. Confidentiality in this case, is a death sentence and a means of isolating the DD person from needed support, and covering up whatever's happening. It's a fake excuse for them to just treat them as numbers and not have to deal with the ones who care, who might not like the conditions of their loved one's life. It might interfere with agency body counts for program funding, who knows why they want this secrecy and silencing of truth about the disabled.
how do i know? my own daughter , a beautiful and sweet DD individual, died in such a circumstane, and NOT in Fairview, she never lived there. Nothing has changed, it only happened about 2 years ago.
THE DD POPULATION MAY NOT BE IN FAIRVIEW, BUT THEY HAVE DISAPPEARED FROM THOSE WHO LOVE THEM IN MANY CASES ANYWAY. Into the gulag that is Oregon's system and the legal guardianships where no one can find them or visit them but their exploitative captors.
One of the biggest obstacles to proper handling of these many many cases is the fact that things are decided in court systems, and the poor but able family members have no money for attorneys. Legal Aid is not helpful and in my experience, neither is the Advocacy Center. SO THE DD ADULTS JUST DISAPPEAR.