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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.

Ann Turnbull

The Real Beneficiaries of Research Grant Funds

Research and scholarly writings that aren't translated into classrooms and work environments – “academic obtuseness” - don’t benefit “the Jay’s of the world.” The knowledge produced must be usable by the individuals who most need it.

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When you live the 24/7 reality of providing support, then you don't have much patience for a lot of academic obtuseness. When I say "obtuseness," I mean, maybe not as relevant and as applied to real life as it could be. So a lot that goes – I'm all for scholarship, and I think I've written 34 books and have about 350 journal articles.

So I've done the scholarship, but so much of the scholarship doesn't get translated into those classrooms and into those early intervention visits and into those work environments. And so having Jay made me much more eager to have work... benefit the people on whose backs it was funded. And by that, I mean, so many people get these, you know, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars of grant funds, but sometimes the grant funds end up with publications for the faculty member but not benefits for the Jays of the world.

But yet, it was the Jays of the world on whose backs that grant was promoted. You know, the rationale was written about how much the needs of people with disabilities were driving this. So I think it's made me so much more... so eager to make sure that the knowledge that is produced gets translated, and gets used by the people who need it the most.

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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.