“Open your mouth for the dumb (that is, mute), for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Note- Without specifically endorsing all the methods and the entire messages of the following efforts, which are not Orthodox Church-based, one can appreciate the fact of their practice of the exhortation mentioned above.
People with disabilities would prefer, like everyone else, to live at home than in an institution. And through the activist organization ADAPT some people with disabilities and their families are struggling- publically- for the means to do this, against governmental structures and unions which, for various reasons, prefer the status quo of institutionalization. Here is their website: http://www.adapt.org/ and some articles from the site http://www.adapt.org/articles.htm
And of course, the struggle to live at home is not the only struggles some persons with disabilities are facing in our society. There is the much more basic struggle to simply live, when some, including the decisonmakers, would weigh their quality of life, and, as though they were God, and find it wanting. And so there is an organization, with its ultra-blunt name, NOT DEAD YET. Here is their blog: http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/
Another resource for the times one needs to “enter the fray” for oneself or one’s loved ones is http://www.stevegoldada.com/ This is the site of Steve Gold, an advocate (lawyer) for people with disabilities. He has done an extensive of research which he shares on his website. Here is an example, on the abuse of drugs- by the providers– in nursing homes: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=250×2888 And here is another article from the Democratic Underground (NOTE- I am registered as an Independent), though originally from Not Dead Yet, on “What the Disability Rights Movement Wants:” http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=250×3004