Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rud Turnbull - Private action and public policy over 41 years

via Patricia E Bauer:

Distinguished Professor in special education and life span studies, Rud Turnbull has written this guest commentary, titled "One family's expression of gratitude and hope, for Patricia E Bauer's disability news and commentary blog. Professor Turnbull is also co-founder and co-director of the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas. He can be contacted at Rud@ku.edu.

Here is an excerpt:

One family’s expression of gratitude and hope

Guest commentary by Rud Turnbull

Now that the nation’s economy is in a recession and government funding of disability programs is problematic, and in light of the comments during the recent presidential campaigns about community organizing and disability policy, it seems appropriate to offer an historical perspective about families, their members with a disability, private action, and public policy.

First, the future of any child with a disability born in this decade is promising largely because of the private action –- the community organizing — that parents of children with disabilities began more than 50 years ago.

Second, it is inconceivable that parents and people with disabilities will ever find respite from creating new or better services and advocating for progressive public policy. To discount that fact is to disrespect, in the most profound of ways, the efforts of advocates past, present, and future.

I know that to be so because our son Jay has intellectual disability, autism, and bi-polar disorder, and because my wife Ann and I have been community organizers for all of his 41 years.

The complete text is here ...