“The Heights: An Oral History” will explore the history of Prince Edward Heights, a former institution for people with intellectual disabilities.
This six-part 99.3 COUNTY FM series will be launched in October 2020 and will finally share the story of the Heights, recording the facility in PEC history.
The idea for this unique project was introduced by Suzanne Pasternak, a gifted storyteller who has spent over 33 years collecting oral histories from across Eastern Ontario, including the Islands and St. Lawrence River.
In 1971 an abandoned WWII Royal Airforce Bombing and Gunnery School in Picton became the unlikely community home for people with intellectual disabilities, staff members and their families from all over Ontario. Prince Edward Heights was established during the Community Living Movement, which was spearheaded by the families of people with intellectual disabilities seeking a more fulfilling livelihood for community home residents.
Advocates of the Community Living Movement argued that people with intellectual disabilities have a right to participate in community life and that with government support and funding, a sense of community could be fostered between people with intellectual disabilities and the residents of the larger community. This funding saw residents of the Heights to attend family dinners outside of their community home or attend workshops and life programs.
Despite the Heights being a significant part of Prince Edward County’s history, the stories of the facility and the people who both lived there and interacted with its residents has seldom been told.
As part of our aim to tell as many stories as possible, we ask that any former residents of the Heights, their families or former staff with a story to tell reach out to us.
Please contact our of Executive Producer of the series Suzanne Pasternak at firstname.lastname@example.org; or via the radio station Info@993countyfm.ca or 613-476-2229
Original press release: Click here for more information.