Tuesday, November 29, 2016

'A Matter of Dignity' wins 2016 disability reporting award

A Minneapolis Star Tribune investigation into how hundreds of adults with developmental disabilities are segregated and neglected in a Minnesota system of sheltered workshops has won first prize in the 2016 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence on Reporting on Disability.

A Matter of Dignity tells the story of adults who spend their days collecting trash for $2 an hour and who have been sent against their will to live in remote, dangerous group homes that are described as prison-like.

Reporter Chris Serres accepted the award of $5,000 at the Cronkite School last night.

One of the judges, Jennifer Longdon, said the series was chosen for "its exhaustive chronicling of the experience of adults with disabilities in Minnesota, from the indignities of sheltered workshops to the hopeless years-long wait for vital services that never arrive. These memorable stories were masterfully told while preserving the dignity of the individuals profiled."

The Schneider Award is the only journalism awards competition devoted exclusively to disability reporting. It's administered at the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


I am so afraid of my son's future. Until our world values people with differences (including ability, especially of the intellectual kind), these types of abusive practices are going to continue on as 'normal'.

I fear the world is going BACKWARDS in our evolution of tolerance, acceptance and celebration of people who are considered 'other'. The more 'dog eat dog' we become, the less we care about the most vulnerable.

I realize I have nothing useful to say, except to communicate my despair about the news relayed by this sad article.