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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

Enhance Social Justice, Keep Your Passion, Pursue Dignity

In this segment, Ann shares words of advice – “gold nuggets” – for professionals and advocates in the field. Enhancing social justice requires that we enhance ourselves as well.

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Something my father used to tell me, which was, "It takes an awful lot of knowledge to make a little bit of wisdom." [laughing] And I have found that really to be true. And one of the things that is a benefit of having been in the field for 50 years is to learn some gold nuggets. And some of the gold nuggets that I try to pass along are to really be in touch with your values and your passion, and to not stray from that, and to not water that down and to refurbish yourself, because we can all end up burned out. In the midst of trying to enhance social justice, we have to enhance our own well-being.

So I try to pass along to people to keep your passion, never lose your sense of outrage when things are wrong, work consistently for trusting partnerships, to go the extra mile for others and others will go the extra mile for you, to take care of yourself in the process, to breathe and to experience joy and to know at the end of the day, if you ask yourself in your situations, "Is what I'm doing leading to dignity for people with disabilities and their families?" That's a gauge that can help you stay on the right track.

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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.