On the Shoulders of Giants. Reflections on Great Leaders of Our Time: Burton Blatt, Gunnar Dybwad and Wolf Wolfensberger

Description:   The period from the late 1960s to the late 1970s was a tumultuous era in the field of developmental disabilities.  Long-standing practices-specifically, institutionalization-came under increased attack.  Institutional conditions were exposed in the media and challenged in the courts.  This was not the first time in American history that institutions for people with developmental and psychiatric disabilities had been subjected to public criticism.  The history of institutions has been a seemingly endless cycle of exposes and reforms.  What made the criticisms of institutions in the 1960s and 70s different from earlier eras is that this questioned institutionalization itself.  New concepts were developed that called for all people with disabilities to be served in the community.  This webinar reviewed the history of attempts to reform institutions and examined how a small group of leaders in the 1960s and 70s helped to start a movement to end the institutionalization and segregation of people with developmental disabilities.  The webinar focused on the contributions of three leaders, in particular: Burton Blatt, Gunnar Dybwad, and Wolf Wolfensberger.  It also discussed the lessons for today that can be learned from this history.

Steve Taylor – Revolutionary Leader from Mark Friedman on Vimeo.