Ed Skarnulis Interviews Rosemary and Gunnar Dybwad

"Is there an initiative to engage internationally?"

Produced in 1987 (Run time 3:06)

Ed Skarnulis: Is there an initiative here in the United States – and either one of you can respond to this – to engage us in international work? I understand that TASH is getting involved in that sort of thing. The Association for Retarded Citizens U.S. at one time was very actively involved in that sort of work. Are they still involved? What's...

Dr. Gunnar Dybwad: They're a little bit involved, and, interestingly, see I can respond to it more easily than my wife because the activity was in her name. It was the Rosemary Dybwad Scholarships, which were given over many years.

This has been reduced very much in volume, but very recently, somebody from the state of Maryland, where they had a mental retardation trust, which is an organization that tries to help parents, older parents, to plan for the future of their children.

Somebody from there with funds from the Rosemary Dybwad Scholarship went to New Zealand for this very specific and only person to look at the New Zealand system of trust and to bring back this knowledge and to see how we can utilize it.

So there is still a lot of need but very limited opportunities. As you know at the moment in our country, we are very suspicious of international work, unfortunately.

To my great regret, we have left the UNESCO and from our experience over many years, UNESCO, the United Nations Education and Culture Organization, has done outstanding work, particularly in the field of special education, and we never had a word of politics in it.

But so there is a lot of opportunity and I hope that there will be some ways to send people over not on happy holiday trips but on some carefully planned trips. I have begged the president's panel in 1961 to send along or hire abroad some audiovisual people who would make a record of what went on. This was not done.

But I think if you on these trips arrange more carefully that you get documentation back so it doesn't remain the experience of a single individual but what he has seen can be made available to broader audience, I think for very limited investments, we can get some very useful returns.

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