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ERIC Number: ED456601
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
The Genius of the Principle of Normalization.
O'Brien, John
This paper discusses the genius of the principle of normalization in the development of better services for socially devalued people. It argues that the definition of normalization sets a direction for learning-through-action which is clear and convincing, as well as indefinite and conditional, and rests on a deep appreciation of the everyday workings of the powers of social devaluation. In addition, some methods for teaching its application give learners the experience of stepping outside the certainties of everyday human service work, into a role that can be the seed-bed for a new understanding of the situations of people with disabilities. The paper considers the powers of social devaluation and paths to reform. It concludes that failure to appreciate either the power of social devaluation or the promise of working hard to continually expand what is possible, blunts the principle of normalization's effectiveness as a guide for the creation of better services and feeds the widespread temptation to approach deep and enduring ethical issues with superficial and transient techniques. It argues that only by forming and sustaining heart-to-heart alliances with devalued people can people concerned about improving services walk the complementary paths of detachment and creation toward a somewhat more just and inclusive community. (Contains 15 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.
Authoring Institution: Responsive Systems Associates, Lithonia, GA.