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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Interview with Ann Turnbull

Family and Professional Background

In this first segment, Ann Turnbull shares personal background information and noes significant events that influenced her lifelong commitment to family advocacy.

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I grew up in a small town in the South, in West Point, Georgia, and my parents were very devoted civil rights advocates. But I'm very thankful that my family was, and I think that started me on the path of advocacy very early. From that point, I majored in special education in college, started teaching, and I especially wanted to work with children with disabilities.

But in terms of my family life, when my husband and I decided to marry, he had a seven-year-old son with very significant disabilities, who, at that time, was living at a residential school. But when Rud and I married, Jay came home to live with us, and that was another chapter in my life in terms of family advocacy, in seeking opportunities for him to have an education. And so that really started a – from that point on – lifelong commitment to opening school doors, to having appropriate education.

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.