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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.

Bengt Nirje on Normalization

Produced by David Goode / The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Produced in 1993.

Ethics: The Foundation of the Principles of Normalization

Bengt Nirje: During the war and afterward there was much concern with human rights. Concerned with the establishment of the United Nations and this concept. We had young students who took very eager part in the development and in the discussion of those things. I tried later to develop the point of view I have on ethics in this [Inaudible] organization through the principle of normalization because it says you act right. You are apt to act more right than wrong if you, etc., when it comes down to principle.

Now, ethics can also be harder than you think, why to think, and ways to think, and if thinking comes true and if it makes sense and if it's logical. Ethics has more to do with how to act. And why to act. Is this good. Is the action good and [Inaudible]. Is it good in itself, or is it good in its consequence? And that is the question. Do I act? It has nothing to do with morals. I don't like morals. Morals are something we use to say somebody else is wrong and because from our point of view we don't like it and so. And the other person can say exactly the same thing back. So those are opinions and they're valued less because they really base on the personal opinions of [Inaudible] and are not interesting. With ethics, we get into questions that is the, do I act right? Do we act right? With regard to other approaches in the same circumstances. And that's what ethics is about and how I look at it. [Inaudible] and that is a concern for me.

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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.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001MNSCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.