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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.

Disability and Nationalism

Bengt Nirje: I have sometimes looked back and I have failed experience for handicapped. The [Inaudible] is physical disability. That physical disability is nationalism. Try to be a refugee in a [Inaudible] camp. Try to immigrate if you are blind or have a son or daughter with cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome. That kind of fanatic nationalism is a physical disability.

The other disability is blindness and that is fanatical religion where people don't realize that people might have seen the same light or similar light and deny people with disabilities to share it.

The third disability is deafness and that is political, ideological deafness. When you don't hear what you say about the same things. And you don't want to listen to or allow people to be listened to. And that is from a disability. Then you can be deaf and blind. You can [Inaudible]and then you get [Inaudible] and [Inaudible]. Only horrors and terrors.

But then we have one common [Inaudible] deep down and that's stupidity. And that we all share in all different degrees and different ways and different areas. Life has taught me that the mentally handicapped have suffered far more from the stupidity of others than from that of their own.

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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.