ADAPT Goes to the White House to Ask President Trump to Ban Torture Devices on Disabled Children and Adults

From ADAPT, March 12, 2018

ADAPT activists brave the cold to take their message to President Trump

The national disability rights organization ADAPT is entering the fourth day of a vigil outside the home of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director Scott Gottlieb’s home. The FDA has been sitting on regulations for two years that would end the institution’s use of the electrified aversive to punishment intellectually disabled children, youths and adults. Today we are at the White House to ask President Trump to step in and help put an end to the use of electro shock devices that are used at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is the only place in the US that still uses this inhumane treatment.

The group of about 50 activists has weathered frigid temperatures to convince Gottlieb to end the use of electro shock devices at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts. Their protest has earned a mix of encouragement and complaints from Gottlieb’s neighbors who have donated to the cause in some cases and called the police in others. What they have not encountered is Gottlieb who refuses to engage them and seems content to allow the continued abuse of disabled people. “I do not understand how he can stand by and do nothing, while every day more disabled people are tortured,” said ADAPT organizer Anita Cameron.

No Eloectroshock logo

This is not a new issue for the organization that led the fight to save Medicaid last summer. ADAPT visited the JRC in 2016 and last spring at the FDA which they tried and speak to Gottlieb but instead were met with 88 arrests. “We have tried time and again to get them to do the right thing and they refuse to do anything,” said Dawn Russell “They have had these regulations done for two years now. We are not going to let them put this off any longer! There is no way they would tolerate these horrors being perpetrated against nondisabled people.”

The group says they are going to stay until Gottlieb takes action. “We will not be ignored; we are in this fight for members of our community who are being treated in the most inhumane ways imaginable,” said Mike Oxford, an organizer of Kansas ADAPT. We should be able to count on our government to protect all disabled Americans from torture. This shouldn’t be something we have to fight for!”

For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their nondisabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at, on social media with the National ADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter, and under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow the fight against the JRC shock device at and #StopTheShock.

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