I believe it's important that as a community we never forget about the existence of the Fairview Educational Center in Salem. As the budget in our state shrinks, and decisions are made in the Legislature regarding where cuts are made, they shouldn't be made at the expense of people with developmental disabilities. It's not like these folks haven't suffered enough already.
I made 4 or 5 visits to Fairview over the years. My purpose in going there was to meet people who were preparing to leave the institution to live in the community. I absolutely hated going to that place. It smelled of human waste, it was dark and cold (no matter what season), and I didn't experience the people working there as friendly or compassionate. I think they saw my presence as a threat to their state paid jobs.
On one such visit in the early 90's I recall an abusive situation that I reported. I was in an area where people were working, if that's what you would call it. Actually, the folks with disabilities were doing some menial task as they sat at tables. One of the staff in charge noticed that someone (a male) had urinated in his pants as he sat at the table working. The staff person told one of his coworkers what had happened in front of everyone in the room, and asked them to get a pair of pants along with underpants.
When the staff person came back to the table with the clothes, he took the underpants and put them over the head of the man who had urinated. He then stood him up and walked him toward a changing area. I couldn't believe what I saw! The other staff people thought this was funny and laughed as the two walked across the room. I left in disgust. When I got back to Portland I called the Office of Investigations and Trainings to report what I'd seen. I'm not sure what happened to the staff person, as OIT keeps their findings secret, but my hope was that they were fired.
Fairview was a bad place. I'm glad it's closed. Now, if we can only find the key to keeping people safe in the community, the world will be a better place for these folks.