Bengt Nirje on Normalization
Produced by David Goode / The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Produced in 1993.
Changing Social Conditions and Institutions
Bengt Nirje: So this is what the development has come to, there has been a lot of development, and that is not because of the principle. That is because so many social conditions. It's because of so much new knowhow in psychology, in pedagogy, in social training, in administration, learning from old mistakes and learning what can be done. And that has created… and the change in the economical conditions in the '60s and the '70s. And the more the conditions grow and the more people were able, the more impossible institution conditions became. That's why we revolt. I didn't broke this place up.
Social conditions are the pressures. [Inaudible] impossible to do so. Now we can say that we know that institutions only make the mentally handicapped more stupid than they needed to be. That they made the staff retarded, professionally retarded because they didn't relate their work to what really the effects of their work. Because it disappeared in this joint. The work is only in… comes into fruit in the social context of the community that I can see the result of the work and the value of the learning, of the service provider.
That created for development, for staff development and [Inaudible]. And it makes, of course, idiots out of appropriation committees and people that collect money and put it into monuments. That is still not useful for anything else, for anything, especially not the mentally handicapped.