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A Quarter-Century of Normalization and Social Role Valorization

Robert J. Flynn
Raymond Lemay

Part 7: Personal Impact of Normalization and Social Role Valorization

27. The impact of Normalization and Social Role Valorization on my life

Peter Park et Beth French

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In 1960, about 10 years before the philosophy of Normalization was developed, I moved to Oxford Regional Centre. I was 21 years old. I had lived at home with my family until then, going to high school, having regular friends, getting into regular trouble, learning how to drive, and all those typical things. My parents and some friends were advised by the doctors that my epilepsy would be better controlled in the institution, so there I went.

What hit me first, and what I remember most, was the regimentation. It was a lot worse than what I imagined the army would be like. There were about 7,000 people existing there at that time, in 1960.I can’t say living, we existed. At the time, we were called inmates. We spent all our time on wards or in “cottages.” The only activity was listening to the radio that the staff controlled. They picked the station and the volume. They thought we should listen to childish programs. I slept in a room with 14 other people I certainly wasn’t related to. I...


National Coordinator, People First of Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada

Executive Director, Brockville and district Association for Community Involvement, Brockville, ON, Canada

© Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa | University of Ottawa Press, 1999

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