Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) commends Secretary Ted Dallas on his announcement to close Hamburg State Center and the Civil Section of Norristown State Hospital. Hamburg State Center is one of five (5) remaining state run institutions for persons with developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania. Norristown State Hospital is one of six (6) remaining civil units.
The closure announcement today is the result of decades of movement away from institutional living in Pennsylvania. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sought to end the isolation and segregation of persons with disabilities. Court decisions have affirmed the right to move and live in the community. For decades, our Commonwealth has demonstrated that state operated institutions can close and individuals can be moved to the community safely. Today’s announcement affirms the Department of Human Services commitment to offer community-based living for people with disabilities.
DRP’s mission is to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation.