The future is exciting-frightening-and demanding! As social and eco nomic change accelerates at an ever-increasing rate, we look with awe and wonder at the way in which unanticipated events impact on our lives and change the way we live. We are also frightened about how well we will adapt to the demands of a world that may be structured quite differently from the familiar environment of today. If we are to handle our own futures with some degree of skill and adap tiveness, we need to begin planning today for the dawn of the next century. Otherwise, we may find that events have overrun our capacity to cope. Those of us in the social and helping sectors of the economy have a responsibility for the future welfare of persons who are less able to look out for their own needs or to protect themselves from the vagaries of economic fluctuations or major dislocations in the social fabric of the land. The President's Committee on Mental Retardation is proud of its deci sion to look at the year 2000 and its impact on the mentally retarded. Our goals were straightforward-to understand how unfolding events can affect the lives of the mentally retarded, for good or ill, a generation from now.
Introduction: Mental Retardation and Futures Research.- Perspectives on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation.- The Nature of Mental Retardation.- Futurists and Their Methodologies.- Views of the Future.- 1 Mental Retardation and the Future: A Conceptual Approach.- 2 Living and Working in the Year 2000: Some Implications for Mental Retardation Policy.- 3 The Impact of Technological Advances on the Lives of Mentally Retarded Persons in the Year 2000.- 4 The Postindustrial Society and Mental Retardation.- 5 Mental Retardation: Toward a Different Kind of Future.- 6 Mental Retardation Management: Manifestation of and Mandate for Human Survival.- Overview.- 7 The Year 2000 and Mental Retardation: An Interpretation and Critique.
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