Updated: Thursday, 28 May 2009, 3:38 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 12:45 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - New York is leading the nation in moving the developmentally disabled out of institutions and into the community.
"Cradle of Hope" shows how lives can be turned around when individuals are empowered to reach their highest levels of achievement.
The piece focuses on the twelve men of Carpenter's Hand, a program that teaches life skills as well as carpentry. The men build cradles for unwed mothers in the Buffalo area. "Cradle of Hope" also explains why the state has moved away from institutionalization, the "one size fits all" approach to caring for the developmentally disabled.
One segment features past abuses at certain institutions, including the notorious Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.
Reporter Rich Newberg also takes a second look at the case of
Augie Bartholomay, a mentally retarded man who was locked away in a
shower room at the Craig Developmental Center south east of
Buffalo. Rich's reports on Augie were presented to a U.S. Senate
sub committee investigating institutional abuse in the mid 1980's.
Excerpts were aired on two major television networks. Another segment takes the viewer to Ukraine, where conditions in orphanages for disabled children are as horrendous as they were at Willowbrook.
Videographer Tom Vetter made the journey to Ukraine with Carpenter's Hand founder Dave Bowen, who is hoping to start a cradle-building program in these orphanages to generate enough money to save the children from starvation.
Mr. Vetter also entered a Ukrainian mental institution unannounced, recording people wasting away in what used to be a prisoner of war camp. Some of the disabled orphans often end up in places like this because the government doesn't have the resources to give them proper care. Some of the men of Carpenter's Hand have reached a stage in their development where they can reach out to people in institutions and offer them hands of friendship.
As Mr. Newberg points out in his closing statement: "Each cradle is a symbol of what we're all capable of achieving, when our talents are nurtured and we are accepted for who we are..." Mr. Newberg also wrote the melody and most of the lyrics for "Let Me Cradle Your Dreams," the final lullaby played during closing credits.
Producers: Rich Newberg, Tom Vetter
Executive Producer: Chris Musial
Aired: December 25, 2000
Gabriel Award - News and Information Program
Gold World Medal - The New York Festivals Television Programming and Promotion Awards - Public Affairs Program
New York Emmy Nomination - Societal Concerns Programming
New York Emmy Nomination - Writer: Documentary (Rich Newberg)
New York Emmy Nomination - Editor: Documentary (Tom Vetter)
New York Emmy Nomination - Research (Rich Newberg, Tom Vetter, Chris Musial)
New York Broadcasters Association - Best Documentary
Telly Award (Bronze) - Finalist - Documentary/Finalist - Public Affairs Program
The Communicator Awards - Crystal Award of Excellence - Public Affairs Program
Honorable Mention - Writing (Rich Newberg), Award of Distinction - Editing (Tom Vetter), Honorable Mention - Original Music - Lullaby: "Let Me Cradle Your Dreams" (Rich Newberg)
The Videographer Awards - Award of Excellence - Documentary, Award of Excellence, Videography (Tom Vetter)