The Danger of Silence

There is little doubt silence has played a significant role in enabling the the denial of civil rights to, not just brain injury survivors, but all people with disabilities.

Rarely does main stream media so much as lift its pen to speak out on the dysfunction and, yes, moral corruption, that, to focus on the group I currently pay closest attention to, people who live with brain injuries.

The troubling silence of the main stream media is, sadly, not surprising, and perhaps that will change in the near future. What is far more troubling is the number of voices from within the world of brain injury that remain unheard. Voices on both the advocacy and provider front.

Yes, there are survivors and family members who remain silent, but I can tell you their silence is, more often than not, driven by fear of very real threats.

And the excuses for the silence boggle the mind! Take the fact Timothy J. Feeney continues to misrepresent his credentials to brain injury survivors, children with disabilities, their families and more. Someone I like and respect recently said, while referencing the contract the New York State’s Department of Health essentially handed Feeney despite knowing of his deceit, “Well the contract doesn’t require” he have a masters degree and PhD, as if somehow this fact negates the need for any advocate or advocacy group worth an iota of merit to confront that fact the man misrepresents himself to vulnerable human beings.

Then, of course, you have the NY State Department of Health who has not only handed the reins back to Feeney but has taken steps to undermine the rights of brain injury survivors in Medicaid Fair Hearings has been met with silence in some advocacy quarters as well.

There is no excuse for silence when people are being denied their civil rights. My patience with some who remain silent is beginning to run out.



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