Special Education in History

A brief timeline on special education in the United States

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1800s

Disabled people:


  • viewed as unhealthy, defective, deviant
  • treated as objects of fear and pity
Institutions were built by state and local admin agencies
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1945

The end of WWII and kick off period for Sp. Ed. rights movement
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1947

American Association on Mental Deficiency held first convention

1950s

United Cerebral Palsy Association

Muscular Distrophy Association

John F. Kennedy's Panel on Mental Retardation

1960s

School access for disabled children increased at state and local levels

1970

U.S. schools only educated 1 out of every 5 disabled children

Many schools excluded children with major disabilities altogether

1975

Congress approved the Education for All Handicapped Children Act

Individual Education Programs were introduced

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1983

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was extended to include parent training and information centers

1986

Early intervention programs for infants and preschoolers were added to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act

2004

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
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Terminology

Idiot, Imbecile, Moron ==> Mentally Retarded, Disabled ==> Individuals with Mental Retardation, Differently Abled
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