Talk on self-advocacy slated at Arc offices in Ellicott City

Carabello is to speak at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow

October 23, 2003

Bernard Carabello, who was labeled developmentally disabled and institutionalized for 18 years, will discuss "Why and How to Become a True Self-Advocate" at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The talk, a free program sponsored by the Arc of Howard County, will be at held the Arc's headquarters, 11735 Homewood Road, Ellicott City.

Carabello, who has cerebral palsy, will discuss his experience as a resident of Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, N.Y., the institution for the developmentally disabled that became notorious through neglect and mistreatment of its residents and was eventually closed as a result of a 1972 class action suit.

Jessica Pearsall, parent of two children with developmental disabilities and chairwoman of the Arc's Education and Youth Issues Committee, described hearing Carabello speak as a life-changing experience.

"He overcame obstacles of prejudice and physical barriers to be able to live a full life," she said. "In the disability-advocacy world, he's one of our biggest heroes."

Carabello will speak again Sunday at Rosenbloom Owings Mills Jewish Community Center, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills.

Information: Cathy Heitt, 410-730-0638, Ext. 242.

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