|The siren loudspeaker and the security camera (actual photo)|
One little neighborhood illustrates that phenomenon. There, a hostel for children with autism aged 13 to 26 has been riling some neighbors since it opened five years ago.
Keying the cars of hostel employees, yelling at visiting parents and other traditional modes of harassment kept those neighbors busy for a while. But then they grew restless and came up with this novel idea: a loudspeaker installed on a neighboring roof that incessantly blares a siren whenever the residents are in their yard.
To lend a hand, an accomplice periodically sets off an alarm from his home. The hostel residents are extremely distressed by this abuse as they are hypersensitive to sounds.
And for good measure, a security camera positioned by the neighbor beside his loudspeaker has been filming the youths.
For years, the regional council and police tossed the ball of responsibility at one another leaving the residents and their families with no legal recourse. All attempts at rapprochement undertaken by the operators of the hostel and its residents have been rebuffed by the neighbors.
"What is happening... is simply shocking. I can’t manage to comprehend it. These children are angels who do not nothing bad to anybody. Apparently there are some who are concerned that their property value will drop because of their proximity to a hostel for the autistic..." (A parent of one of the hostel residents)Now the police have finally intervened.
But the regional authority in its official response has exhibited the same creativity as those thugs. After a perfunctory note of "regret that the neighbors and the hostel children, both blameless, have become victims" and a boast that the authority has "done a lot to integrate people with special needs", they give this clincher:
"...The presence of the hostel diminishes the quality of life in the community because it is a business in a residential zone."Clearly there's still plenty of work out there for disability activists.