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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.

Students And Staff Thank Volunteer For Help In Classroom Over The Years
June 30, 2003

TACOMA, WASHINGTON--For the past seven years Dennis Robertson has helped teach children at Tillicum Elementary School how to read.

At the same time he has taught them that people with disabilities "are just like them".

Robertson, who has cerebral palsy, has volunteered at the school an estimated 8,600 hours over 1,240 days -- roughly 20 to 30 hours per week.

The 47-year-old uses a wheelchair and a computerized voice to speak to the students and help them with their lessons.

Last week, students and staff thanked Robertson for his contribution at a special awards ceremony.

"I think it's great," the modest volunteer told the Tacoma News Tribune through his speech synthesizer. "I don't know if I should be honored like this."

Related article:
"Volunteer teaches writing, tolerance" (Tacoma News Tribune)


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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.