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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.
The ADA Legacy Project

Moments in Disability History 1

"The Birth of the Parent Movement"

Beginning in the late 1940s and through the 1970s, there was a reawakening of hope and possibilities for persons with disabilities. In the fall of 1950, ninety persons from across the country came together in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to participate in the first national parent conference. Minnesota Governor Luther Youngdahl was the featured speaker.

Governor Youngdahl, a pioneer of the humane concept of care, was one of the first public officials to speak about the rights of people with disabilities and nondiscrimination. Parent organizations went on and filed lawsuits to force states to recognize the civil and legal rights of their children.

Gov. Youngdahl
Gov. Youngdahl

Laws were passed to enforce these rights, services were established and delivery systems were required to provide appropriate services to children and adults with disabilities. The disability rights and nondiscrimination movement was given birth.

Audio: Governor Youngdahl
(NOTE: The voice here is not the voice of Governor Youngdahl, but an actor hired to record the Governor's speech.)

The full text of Governor Youngdahl's 1950 speech on "The Retarded Child" and other related speeches.

Article: "Parents of Retarded Held Not to Blame" by Geri Hoffner
Minneapolis Tribune Staff Writer, September 30, 1950
NOTE: This newspaper article was found in a scrapbook and uses language that is now outdated and considered offensive. The language is retained here because it is historical.

"Pioneering Parents": Gunnar and Rosemary Dybwad speak about the origins of the parent movement and early leaders.

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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.