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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.

Kathie Snow Interview

Kathie Snow

Kathie Snow is an author, public speaker, trainer, and consultant. Her interest in disability issues was born in 1987 with the birth of her son, Benjamin, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at four months.

Ben and Kathie Snow

Before that, she had no knowledge or experience in the disability field. Like most parents, she was bewildered and somewhat frightened; and, like most parents, she eagerly entered the world of disability services and interventions. She listened to what doctors recommended, she went along with all of the therapies.

She was convinced that if some was good, then more was better. Home became a therapy clinic. The professionals told her what a great mom she was (presumably because she was doing what they told her to do!!!)…but then, when she started saying "no" to "more therapy," she became a non-compliant parent.

When Benjamin was three, Kathie participated in the Texas Partners in Policymaking program. That experience was life changing. She learned many valuable life lessons, especially from the self advocates. She discovered that families could enjoy regular lives. She didn't want a "special" life anymore for her family; she just wanted an ordinary life. When Benjamin was six, he decided he didn't want his life consumed with therapies anymore and called it quits.

The third edition of Kathie's book, Disability is Natural, Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities, has just recently been released.

Diagnosis Does Not Define a Person
Think Positively and Dream for Your Children
Listen to the Voices of the Real Experts
"Enough Therapy, I Quit." Getting Out of the Disability World
Fallacy of Medical Model and Developmental Model
Inclusion is Natural, Segregation is Artificial
Prejudice in Society and the Benefits of Inclusion
Entering College
Preparation for Postsecondary Education
The Downside of Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Adult Life and Living
Getting in Shape Like Everyone Else
Family Swimming vs. Water Therapy
Speak About People First Language
Minority Groups and Owning the Language
What Has Been the Impact of Partners in Policymaking®?
Know Your History
People With Disabilities as Leaders
The 21st Century is Here
The Challenge of Services vs. Inclusion
I Was Born Included

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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.