Stop Shocking People with Disabilities #StoptheShock and Pass H​.​225 in MA

Stop Shocking People with Disabilities #StoptheShock and Pass H​.​225 in MA

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MASS Advocates Standing Strong (MASS) started this petition to Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Senator Adam Gomez and

MASS Advocates Standing Strong is asking you to sign the petition to have  Massachusetts legislators pass the bill H.225.

Video: MASS Advocates Standing Strong board read a letter to ask legislators to pass the bill.
Video Link:

Learn more about MASS Advocates Standing Strong and #Stoptheshock: 

Background information: 

Since the 1990s, The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA has been using the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED) to shock students with disabilities for punishment. The device was exclusively developed for the JRC center. A method that they say is “treatment”. This is not true at all. Even the center’s founder, Matthew Israel said “it has to hurt enough” to modify behavior. 

The GED devices are given as aversive therapy to students in the form of 2 second electric shocks through a remote control. Quoted online, the shocks are very painful and can cause burns. A reporter said it felt like a bee sting, others say the shocks felt more painful. Imagine being given shocks multiple times a day, for doing anything outside your behavior plan. Many students are shocked for being non-compliant, which is as simple as standing up when they are not supposed to. For many students, they have been shocked for many years, and have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The devices are only used by the Judge Rotenberg Center. It was deemed a torture device by the UN. It is illegal to use the devices on animals, neurotypical children and adults, but not for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD).

The FDA finally banned the devices in 2020, after years of activists fighting against the use of GED devices and JRC. BUT, in July 2021, a Federal Appeals court overturned the FDA ban citing the FDA had no right to regulate a medical practice.

The bill H.225, introduced by Danielle Gregoire, would prohibit an institution funded by MA to administer any procedure that would cause obvious physical harm, such as electric shock, as a form of punishment. The bill also states that no such program can give any form of physical punishment that is prohibited by law, or would be prohibited if used on a person without a disability. 

Who is the petition for: 

Appeal to Massachusetts legislators to pass the bill.  

We at Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong, an organization based in MA that is run by the board and for self-advocates with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (IDD), created this petition because we strongly believe in banning the GED device and other forms of painful punishment. We have developed a letter and video in protest against the device and ask all of you to help sign the petition to appeal to legislators to pass the bill. Passing the bill would be the next step in the fight against the GED Devices and Judge Rotenberg Center. 

About Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong: MASS was founded in 1998 by a group of self-advocates with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (IDD).  The group has been recognized for various legislative initiatives.  We advocated for the change of the name DMR (Department of Mental Retardation) to Department of Developmental Services in 2009. In 2014, MASS testified at the Massachusetts state house to help pass Real Lives Bill. We continue to advocate for human rights issues and we need your support!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!