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Two Roads Diverged: Creating Enviable Lives for Individuals with Disabilities and their Familiespresented by Ann Turnbull, Ed.D and Rud Turnbull, JD, Ll.M

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 12-2 pm, at the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Auditorium of the UNC School of Social Work, Chapel Hill, NC  (catered meet-and-greet reception at 11:15 am) SLIDES  — HANDOUTS

Description: Borrowing from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” Ann and Rud will use their family story with a focus on their son, Jay, to emphasize how families can divert from the segregation road to the inclusion road. They will describe a group solution-finding process that they used, Group Action Planning, which involves forming reliable alliances to generate energy and joy in creating supports for inclusive living. They will bring Group Action Planning alive through video clips of their family and reliable allies.

TurnbullsBios:  Rud and Ann Turnbull are Emerti Distinguished Professors in the Department of Special Education and Co-founders/Co-directors of the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas. They are co-authors of two leading textbooks in the field of special education – Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools and Families, Professionals, and Exceptionality: Positive Outcomes Through Partnerships and Trust. Their combined publication record includes approximately 45 books, 425 articles, and 100 chapters.

—In 1999, both were selected as two of 36 individuals who have “changed the course of history in the 20th century” for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are the parents of three children, one of whom, Jay (1967-2009), experienced multiple disabilities, and yet had an “enviable life” of equality of opportunity, independent living, full participation, and partial economic self-sufficiency. They say, “Jay was our best professor.”


  • To distinguish between the “road to inclusion” and the “road to segregation” in terms of the short-term and long-term implications.
  • To develop a vision for an “enviable life” for an individual with intensive support needs and the individual’s family.
  • To identify the five key elements of Group Action Planning.
  • To illustrate what it means to “be in the dignity business.”

CEUs: 2 clock hours (.2 CEUs)

The UNC School of Social Work is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.