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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.

Media Forum

Interview: Dan Reed

The most important issue facing people with disabilities is, believe it or not, awareness building in the community. The community so often can think the people are disabled, they can't do anything, they can't really contribute, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

People with disabilities work in the community, they volunteer. And I think that that is just a major awareness building that the media could do through stories and really show, "Wow, I had no idea."

I work with people with disabilities every day, and I probably hear "Wow, I had no idea," about four to five times a week.

People with disabilities are so underemployed or unemployed and underappreciated, and it's time to let them join the rest of society and really contribute and be part of the fabric. I think the most important thing that the media should keep in mind is these people are exceptional and that they're not exceptional at all.

They're just like you and me. They just want a chance. They all have a story, and they all have dreams and interests just like the rest of us.

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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.