Its latest PR announcement reports that several supporters ran in a marathon to raise yet more cash for the flush Aleh coffers.
This is newsworthy because - as Aleh pointed out - it was the first time that Aleh fundraisers participated towards that end in a foreign marathon.
But it is even more notable because the country which hosted the marathon in its capital, Germany, has been on the road toward de-institutionalization for over a decade.
In other words, Aleh's running fundraisers promoted a system of warehousing people with disabilities in a country that is busy abandoning that very system.
I'd say it's akin to demonstrating in the streets of Israel in support of honor killings in Pakistan, or of female genital mutilation in Somalia or of capital punishment in the United States - all practices illegal or avoided in Israel.
Already in 2007, a scholarly article, "Deinstitutionalization in Intellectual Disabilities" stated that
"In Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Greece the process of deinstitutionalization has recently begun but institutional care is still dominant."That article reviewed studies of people who had been transferred from institutions to small community settings:
"People (250 were included in the study) were living in a variety of settings, from residential care to independent living. There was no relationship between cost and outcomes although people had a better quality of life in the community than they had had in the institutions."A smaller study was reviewed. It involved 30 matched pairs of people with moderate and severe intellectual disability and challenging behaviour. It produced equally encouraging results:
"Consistent with earlier research on deinstutionalization... they increased in adaptive behaviour, choice making and general quality of life."To all you marathoners out there: How about running to improve the quality of life of our people with disabilities - instead of the finances of our largest chain of institutions.