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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

Everyday Schools, Everyday Work Settings, Everyday Community Programs

A much stronger emphasis needs to be placed on inclusion “from the earliest ages.” Families have a much greater vision for inclusion than professionals do. We need to put “separate” behind us and work hard to achieve “everyday” in school, work, and community.

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I would love to see a much stronger emphasis on inclusion from the earliest ages, you know, starting in preschool. And one of the papers that my husband and I have just written that will be in one of the next issues of a journal of one of the professional organizations is really calling on every professional to have a one-to-one advocacy relationship with a child with a significant disability and that child's family and supporting that child to move from more segregated settings to more inclusive settings.

I've been involved over the last several years with many families whose visions for inclusion are far greater and grander than the professional visions for inclusion. And I see how hard these families have to push, and how much they have to advocate for their child to have opportunities that other children just have naturally.

And so I would love to really work toward not having people shut away in separate settings and separate classrooms, but providing the support within the fabric of everyday schools and everyday community programs and everyday work settings for people with disabilities to thrive, for that to be the rule rather than the exception.

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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.