Bengt Nirje on Normalization
Produced by David Goode / The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Produced in 1993.
Bengt Nirje: Because we have lots of lists of human rights. We have 27 European rights. I don't know how many American human rights you have. But we don't have a Bill of Rights. But is one thing, what is the human right? To live? And to be, to have equal right to life. Equal when you are born. We will talk about before. When you are born and the right to live with others.
To have a need for human value is identical with the idea that we all have the same basic human rights. If all human beings of the same value is to say that all human beings have the same human rights, the same right to have them respected, and that no human being in this aspect is superior to anyone else. All human beings have exactly the same right to an existence worthy of human beings. In your life where you can realize yourself, express yourself, and live in dignity and freedom.
Equality just means that all human beings have the same rights and the effort to realize their own specific human potential. The concept of human value deals with the dignity of the human being and demonstrates the demand that each and everyone that be granted the right to obtain and maintain human dignity. And this is the basis of equality. Equality is only interesting because we are all different. That we are all different that makes for the dynamics of the concept of equality. Whether we are men or women, with respect to your race, religion, disabilities [Inaudible]. And that is the important point. So that goes for profoundly and multiply handicapped persons as well as [Inaudible]. The basic human right is the same.