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Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

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Final lecture for Spring 2010

April 2010

Photo: Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger and Dr. Guy Caruso (of the Institute on Disabilities)April 21, 2010 - The Disability Studies Lecture Series welcomed its final lecturer of the Spring 2010 semester, Wolf Wolfensberger, Professor Emeritus, Syracuse University, on April 21, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Student Center on Temple's main campus. A German native who immigrated to the United States at the age of 16, Dr. Wolfensberger has influenced disability policy and practice in the United States through his scholarly work and development of Social Role Valorisation. Much of Dr. Wolfensberger's work has been concerned with human service systems, especially in relation to people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

His lecture entitled "The Dilemma of Doing Human Services for Pay" sought to bring to consciousness the dilemmas inherit in a system where needy people are served by organized agencies that pay people to serve, raising a number of troubling problems, such as conflicts of interest. He also addressed how paid human services workers can face the dilemmas in their own lives, and "validate" their paid human service.

Audience members raved about Dr. Wolfensberger's presentation: "Wonderful to have someone with such stature come to Temple;" "As a non-traditional, 32 year-old student with professional experience in the field of Social Services (I was a TSS), I heard a fresh perspective on a few different facets of this field. Its exciting and empowering to me and I look forward to bettering the field in my capacity;" "Thank you for opportunity to hear Wolfensberger! Should be on any professional's "list of 50" who's-who in his field.

Dr. Wolfensberger has authored and co-authored more than 40 books—most notably "Changing Patterns in Residential Services for the Mentally Retarded," "The Principle of Normalization," "PASS and PASSING"—and has written more than 250 chapters and articles. He is the originator of Citizen Advocacy and Social Role Valorization and was selected by representatives of seven major mental retardation organizations as one of the 35 individual making the greatest impact on people with mental retardation worldwide in the 20th century.

More information about this lecture and others in the series and for information about the fall 2010 series

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