ERIC Number: ED344360
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Communitarian Perspective: Thoughts on the Future for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Turnbull, H. Rutherford, III
This paper identifies three different historical perspectives about citizens with developmental disabilities and their relationships to their fellow citizens and to state and federal governments. These perspectives are compared and contrasted as a basis for thinking about the future. A chart illustrates the perspectives of a distant past, a more recent past, and the present. For example, the perspective on individuals with disabilities has moved from a person possessed, to a person as a mechanism, to a person of the whole. Intervention efforts have moved from a hopelessness to intervene, to rehabilitating the person, to a dual focus on the person and the environment. The dominant political, legal, and economic values of America--liberty, equality, and community--are discussed, and the problems with individualistic utilitarianism when applied to individuals with disabilities are outlined. The paper proposes thinking about people's lives in a "communitarian" way, focusing on the interdependence of people and their duties to a common good. The roles of policymakers in the field of developmental disabilities in addressing the issues of interdependency are discussed, with recommendations in 13 categories including: generic agencies' roles, informal support, family-focused action, supported employment, financial sustenance, special education, quality assurances, self-advocacy, monitoring and protection, governmental structure, courts and judicial administration, research, and prevention. (19 references) (JDD)
Descriptors: Community Development, Community Programs, Community Role, Developmental Disabilities, Futures (of Society), Government Role, History, Humanism, Individualism, Needs Assessment, Normalization (Handicapped), Public Policy, Rehabilitation, Social Development, Social Integration, Social Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: North Carolina Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Raleigh.
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Beach Center on Families and Disability.
Note: Paper presented to the North Carolina Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.