Announcing a new book about
One of the most influential leaders of the service reforms of the 20th century
Wolf Wolfensberger: The Influence of the Person and His Ideas Today
Wolf Wolfensberger was a renowned thinker, teacher, and prolific author in the field of mental handicap. His ideas and writings, such as on advocacy, the principle of normalization and Social Role Valorization, were very influential from the late 1960s until his death in 2011. His 1972 book, The Principle of Normalization in Human Services, was judged in 1991 by a panel of 178 experts in the field of mental retardation to have been the single most influential work in the entire field in a 50-year period. And the panel judged his work on Social Role Valorization to have been the 17th most influential work in that same time period. Two websites are devoted to his work (www.wolfwolfensberger.com & www.socialrolevalorization.com ). In fact, the proliferation of community services, and the emphases on mainstreaming, integration, and inclusion that so many people take for granted today would not exist without his teaching, writing, and advocacy.
This book looks overall at Wolfensberger’s work. The major chapters are: a brief biography; the timelines of his work; a review of his years in Omaha, Nebraska, when community services were first getting started in North America; a review of his years in Canada, spreading the word there about normalization and advocacy and community service planning; the work of the Training Institute that he established at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, when he came there in 1973, and which was the base of operation for his workshops that were given around the world; his teaching on service planning and implementive change agentry; his development of the ideas of normalization and Social Role Valorization, and the assessment of service quality via the PASS and PASSING tools; his study of history and the service lessons that can be learned from it; his religious faith which underlay much of his teaching, especially on personalistic service and on current threats to the very lives of people who are devalued by society; and his continuing legacy. There are also two briefer chapters, one on a service evaluation project conducted by his Training Institute, and one on his archive collection which is now at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Wolfensberger’s ideas are still taught in academic programs in locales in the US, Canada, and elsewhere.
For more information, and to order the book, go to: https://presse.valorsolutions.ca.
Although it is over ten years since his passing, there is still a potentially large readership for any Wolfensberger publications, ranging from people in relatively high-level service planning and decision-making roles, and formulators of human service policy at all levels (from the national down to the local agency), to agency executives and direct service workers. Since at least parts of the book might also be used as a university text.
ISBN – 978-1-989991-07-7
Lemay, R., Caruso, C. & Thomas, S. (Eds.). (2023). Wolf Wolfensberger – The Influence of the Person and His Ideas Today – a Festschrift. Plantagenet, ON: Valor Press.
418 pages – $40CAD
This edition is published by
Valor Press/Presses Valor
P.O. Box 248
Plantagenet, ON, K0B 1L0
+1 (613) 249-8593
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