Betty Anglin was ‘ahead of her time’
It is with regret and sadness that Community Living Ontario, along with families, service-providers and others in the community living movement across Canada mark the recent death of Betty Anglin.
As a parent, employee, and volunteer Betty had a long-standing relationship with provincial and national community living associations, as well as Community Living Toronto.
“Betty was ahead of her time.
“She shaped many professional careers by presenting a parent’s perspective. Those who knew Betty, know she was feisty, gutsy and definitely one of a kind, but also extremely kind.”
Anglin is likely best known for leading the charge to reform institutions for people who have an intellectual disability.
In 1959, Anglin and her husband Gerry arranged a tour with columnist Pierre Berton of the Ontario Hospital School in Orillia (later named the Huronia Regional Centre).
His resulting column on the deplorable conditions in ancient overcrowded buildings created a furor when it appeared in the Toronto Star. The then-minister of Health and Long-Term Care, while not admitting to Berton's charges, began to reform the institution and repair the sinking floors, cracked plaster, crowded wards and dripping pipes in the 70-year-old dormitories designed for 40 beds and accommodating 100 or more.
Focusing the public eye on the Ontario Hospital School in Orillia is credited with launching the journey to find "better solutions" and bring to a close the long history of institutionalizing people who have a disability.
Anglin also founded and edited the CAMR quarterly journal geared towards families.
She was co-author along with June Braaten of a detailed account of the first 25 years of Community Living Ontario’s history titled “Twenty-five Years of Growing Together.”