Pain and Shock in America: Politics, Advocacy, and the Controversial Treatment of People with Disabilities
Jan Nisbet, With Contributions by Nancy R. WeissCloth: $40.00
|Cloth ISBN 13:|
|E-book ISBN 13:|
For more than twenty years, professionals in the field of disability studies have engaged in debates over the use of aversive interventions (such as electric shock) like the ones used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. Advocates and lawyers have filed complaints and lawsuits to both use them and ban them, scientists have written hundreds of articles for and against them, and people with disabilities have lost their lives and, some would say, lived their lives because of them. There are families who believe deeply in the need to use aversives to control their children’s behavior. There are others who believe the techniques used are torture. All of these families have children who have been excluded from numerous educational and treatment programs because of their behaviors. For most of the families, placement at the Judge Rotenberg Center is the last resort.
This book is a historical case study of the Judge Rotenberg Center, named after the judge who ruled in favor of keeping its doors open to use aversive interventions. It chronicles and analyzes the events and people involved for over forty years that contributed to the inability of the state of Massachusetts to stop the use of electric shock, and other severe forms of punishment on children and adults with disabilities. It is a long story, sad and tragic, complex, filled with intrigue and questions about society and its ability to protect and support its most vulnerable citizens.
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Jan Nisbet Ph.D. is professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire. Prior to retiring in 2020, she served for ten years as the Senior Vice Provost for Research. Before assuming that position, she was the founding Director of the Institute on Disability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1982. Dr. Nisbet has published extensively in the field of disabilities, served on several on organizational, editorial and advisory boards, and has presented nationally and internationally. She has been principal investigator on many state and nationally funded projects related to children and adults with disabilities. She is the recipient of UNH’s Excellence in Research Award and the Alumni Association’s Award for Excellence in Public Service, and the Pettee Medal.
Nancy Weiss is a faculty member and the Director of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware.