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In the words of Wolf Wolfensberger:
This history of institutions provides descriptive data, historical quotations, and ideological insights into how institutions have traditionally treated persons labeled “retarded.” It is not a book about people with mental retardation or disabilities but a book about our society and how institutions create disabilities
In this [book] I will attempt to define the nature of various models which appear to underlie the design, location, and operation of residential facilities for the mentally retarded. I will then trace the historical evolution of various models that have been and are most prominent in the United States. In both tasks, I will rely heavily on original quotations, because I found that statements out of the past often have more direct impact than any attempts to rephrase or summarize them.
by Wolf Wolfensberger (1975)