Bengt Nirje on Normalization
Produced by David Goode / The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Produced in 1993.
Bengt Nirje: The process of being an adult was the revolutionary thing, the second revolutionary thing with the principle of normalization. Because long far up in the '60s and the '70s, they were still looked upon as children or [Inaudible] or as dependent. And if you talked about their right to independence, their right to self-determination, people get very upset and say that's not possible that's [Inaudible]. But to become adult is a much more difficult process for people with disabilities than for others. And that's what it made it so important to create adult education opportunities after school, not immediately after school. That would be a couple years, so you were out there and got new motivation for learning new things in an adult way
Because being adult means making decisions and taking the consequences. That's what all of you found out when you were adults, when you took the main decisions on your life on what to do. And that's no different for people with disabilities. They have that feeling of respect. And that's part of the services to adults, that's a sign of work, vocational training and work, which, of course, is of primary importance.