Audiobook version has launched! Please see info below.

20 Bridge Road Unit 40, Florence, MA 01062, US

Ed Orzechowski

Ed Orzechowski

Ed OrzechowskiEd OrzechowskiEd Orzechowski

"You'll like it here."

The Audiobook is now available!


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Judge, 27th AnnualWriter's Digest Self-Published Book Awards:

Graphic descriptions of the abuse suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to be looking out for [patients’] welfare. Disturbing, gritty, realistic, and precise. Portrays [Donald’s] human spirit and determination to resist being crushed and tossed aside as if his life didn’t matter.


This book is a cautionary tale for advocates and caregivers, as the first-hand accounts and memories are lost to death. Very soon, the only link we will have to the lessons of the past will be works like You’ll like it here. As direct care evolves, it is my hope that Ed's work and writings will help caregivers avoid repeating the sins of the past.   --David Vitkus

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Print and E-Book available online at:

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E-book

In Stores at:

    Collective Copies

​​71 South Pleasant Street

​ Amherst MA 01002

              and

      93 Main Street

 ​Florence MA 01062

Broadside Bookshop

247 Main Street  

​Northampton MA 01060

Reviews

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Writer's Digest

Graphic descriptions of the abuse suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to be looking out for [patients’] welfare. Disturbing, gritty, realistic, and precise. Portrays [Donald’s] human spirit and determination to resist being crushed and tossed aside as if his life didn’t matter.

About the Author





Ed Orzechowski is a retired high school English teacher, freelance writer, and radio news reporter. He and his wife Gail are longtime advocates for individuals with developmental disabilities. They reside in Northampton, Massachusetts.









Media Coverage

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Daily Hampshire Gazette Letter to the Editor: Belchertown patients deserve respectful, lasting memorial

Video Links

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PBS: Connecting Point Interview with Donald and Ed

Titticut Follies, 1967 documentary by Frederick Wiseman about Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts

"They Need Love, They Get Angry, They Bleed" WTIC TV documentary

Purgatory: Historical Analysis of Belchertown State School, Northampton Community TV, by Jeromie Whalen--includes interview with Donald Vitkus

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The COFAR Voice January 2020

The COFAR Voice January 2020


https://cofar1.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/voice_january-2020.pdf


Ed Orzechowski receives Ricci honor 

Ed Orzechowski, a former COFAR vice president, accepted the 2019 Dr. Benjamin Ricci Commemorative Award in March 2019, and called for the establishment of a “lasting memorial” at the former Belchertown State School. 

The annual Ricci award celebration recognizes the accomplishments of individuals served by the Department of Developmental Ser vices, and the dedication of caregivers and advocates.

 

Orzechowski authored “You’ll Like it Here,” a gripping book published in 2016 about the life of Donald Vitkus, a one-time resident of the former Belchertown State School. 


Orzechowski’s book chronicled Vitkus’s childhood in the 1950s at Belchertown, which was then notori- ous for its inhumane and unsanitary conditions. The book also described Vitkus’s battle throughout the rest of his life to come to terms with his past at Belchertown. Vitkus, who died in January 2018, received the Ricci award posthumously that year. 


In calling for the establishment of a “lasting memorial” at the former state school, Orzechowski proposed the establishment of a museum on the grounds, and a memorial, a place for archives, and photos and exhibits. 

In addition to serving for many years on COFAR’s Board, Orzechowski was president of the Advocacy Network, a former advocacy organization for the developmentally disabled in western Massachusetts. The Ricci award is named for Ben Ricci, the original plaintiff in the landmark federal class action lawsuit, Ricci v. Okin, which brought about upgrades in care at Belchertown and other Massachusetts facilities. 

The Bill Newman Show, WHMP Radio, Northampton MA

How "You'll Like It Here" Came to Be, The Daily Hampshire Gazette

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Author of the Month, The Conz Street Chronical, Northampton Senior Center

Whole Children (Pathlight), Hadley MA

Book Launch, Florence Civic Center, Florence MA

"They Need Love, They Get Angry, They Bleed" WTIC TV documentary

Purgatory: Historical Analysis of Belchertown State School, Northampton Community TV, by Jeromie Whalen

Contact Us

Contact Info

Ed Orzechowski

20 Bridge Road Unit 40, Florence, MA 01062, US

(413) 262-5875