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In 1991 a panel of 178 experts in the field of mental retardation, using a Delphi technique, identified Wolf Wolfensberger's 1972 book The Principle of Normalization in Human Services as the most important "classic" work in mental retardation, of a possible 11,300 articles and books published in the field over roughly 50 years (Heller et al., 1991).  Most professionals in the field of human services have heard of the principle of normalization or have, at least, some idea of what it suggests.  However, their views concerning normalization are often based on misunderstandings rather than on an actual reading of basic normalization literature (Wolfensberger, 1980).

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