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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.

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.

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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.