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 On the Outside


on the outside - Extraordinary People in Search of Ordinary Lives


In the early 1980's, spurred by two major lawsuits, West Virginia began moving people with developmental disabilities from state institutions to homes in the community.

In 1994, a half-dozen writers traveled the state to interview people who had been deinstitutionalized. Where were they now? What did they remember about their years in institutions? How were they faring on the outside?

The writers talked with twenty-four people, twelve of whom agreed to have their stories featured in a book, photo exhibit, and three plays. The people are as diverse as any cross-section of American society. What they have in common is the label of disability and some of its consequences. Their stories are filled with the rich wisdom of experience and valuable lessons about justice.




Photo Exhibit


This project was made possible through the efforts and funding of the WV Developmental Disabilities Council and the WV Humanities Council.

West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council




West Virginia Humanities Council