Bill Bronston and Friends: Perspectives to Challenge Power
Produced by Dr. David Goode
Produced in 2005
Bill Bronston MD: So what Richie says is really fundamental. You can't go against the big power without friends and without comrades, without community. The only way that the Willowbrook… The only way that we were able to beat them with… the teachers were not… 35 of them were together. That's a lot of people. You'd think you had a little army there. Snuffed them just like that [snap] because they didn't have a larger analysis. They didn't connect the inside with the outside.
And what had to happen, I mean what began to happen was that a lot of education had to be poured into the community through people like Gunnar Dybwad, who was the head of the National Association of Retarded Citizens coming in. My teacher, Richard Koch, who was a pediatrician that trained me at Children's Hospital in LA. I would bring them in. They're unassailable. They'd come in. They'd give a talk in the community, hit the community organizations, you know. All of a sudden, it's all legit. It's on the front page of the newspaper.
The [Inaudible] comes to town and says, "Here's the way it is with how it ought to be." And by the way, they went to Willowbrook and got, you know, what's that? And so you begin to build a sense of courage and confidence in the community. But remember, I said also, what…Mark just said. The fundamental model is inimical to our success.
The way in which funding in the United States is set up by law, Title nineteen Medicaid money requires out of home placement to deal with those things that can only be properly solved in home. Families have to be strengthened. Investment has to be made into mom and dad and brother and sister. Without that fundamental investment, unless you create a priority condition that says in home support at any price is better than anything out of home, you're violating what we consider, what we call, you know, the principle of using the "least restrictive alternative" by which you all hear about in normalization. That does not exist.