1971 — MR 71: Entering the Era of Human Ecology
Eucational placement, legal rights, lead poisoning, and the special needs of Indian people and of the Pacific region.
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
An increased understanding of the factors that shape human development is now emerging as the result of the new thrust of human ecology—man's interaction with his total environment.
The explosion of knowledge in the social and biological sciences as well as the physical sciences has opened our minds to the interrelationship of all aspects of life. The pattern of development for each individual, formed by the warp and woof of his environment and inheritance, is just now becoming discernible. And we are just now becoming capable of changing the pattern. Since human development occurs in an open system, not a closed, predetermined, static one, it is therefore open to change.
Using what he is endowed with genetically, man is in constant and creative interaction with the forces of his environment, beginning the moment he is conceived. It is this dynamic exchange that determines what each individual becomes, mentally, physically and emotionally.
There are few individuals who so reflect both genetic and environmental influences as the over six million mentally retarded people in the United States. Elements of the environment not only affect their lives, but often are the agents that cause them to be retarded.
If our current and accelerating knowledge of human development were incorporated into all phases of education, health care, city planning, architecture, politics, economics, religion and all other systems that affect the quality of life, our society could then be oriented to the human dimension. The incidence and socio-economic burden of mental retardation would decline significantly; the quality of life for all of society would be uplifted.
Emphasizing human ecology, this report recognizes mental retardation as a part of an interlocking and pathological network of problems weighing heavily on a great mass of humanity.
We have attempted to bring to your attention, and to the attention of the Nation, some significant and recent findings on these matters, with the hope that knowledge can lead to action.
- MR 71: Entering the Era of Human Ecology (2.62 MB)