The History of Special Education

Included in this timeline are court cases, cultural changes, and legislation that affect the creation and evolution of special education. What changes in our society and government made special education into what we know of today?

Created by Ashley Pittman for SPED 6706 at the University of West Georgia. Course Instructor is Dr. B

1947-10-01 14:43:29

Willowbrook State School

Willowbrook State School was a state-supported institution for children with intellectual disabilities located in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City from the 1930s until 1987. The school was designed for 4,000, but by 1965 it had a population of 6,000. At the time it was the biggest state-run institution for the mentally handicapped in the United States. Conditions and questionable medical practices and experiments prompted Sen. Robert Kennedy to call it a "snake pit."

1954-05-17 00:00:00

Brown v. Board of Education

Due to the outcome of this U.S. Sepreme Court case, segregation on the basis of race violated equal educational opportunity. This case led the way to a growing understanding that all people, regardless of race, gender, or disability, have a right to public education.

1959-12-16 15:50:51

A Video Timeline

Uploaded by characteristicsofebd (aka Brendan) on Feb 7, 2010

1963-02-05 00:00:00

John F. Kennedy's "National Plan to Combat Mental Retardation"

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy gathered a distinguished panel of experts to develop "A National Plan to Combat Mental Retardation." Kennedy made a speech to the Congress of the United States in 1963, where he announced the findings and asked for support for new resources to address the needs of people with mental retardation and mental illness: the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Act, which granted $265 million in federal aid over five years to support programs for the mentally retarded, and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act, which granted $330 million over five years for new buildings to serve disabled citizens.

1963-10-23 00:00:00

John F. Kennedy's Bills Become Law

The Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Act, which granted $265 million in federal aid over five years to support programs for the mentally retarded, and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act, which granted $330 million over five years for new buildings to serve disabled citizens were signed into law this day by John F. Kennedy.

1963-10-31 17:27:32

Mental Retardation Facilities Construction Act of 1963

(P.L. 88-164) This act authorized federal support for the construction of mental retardation research centers, university-affiliated training facilities, and community service facilities for children and adults with mental retardation. This act was passed as part of John F. Kennedy's "New Frontier."

1963-12-16 08:49:17

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (A Beginning)

(P.L. 88-204) President Lyndon B. Johnson creates the Elementary and Secondary Education Bill that will later become law.

1964-07-02 03:52:40

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

This law, signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools. It was the beginning of equal rights for all in education.

1965-04-09 20:43:39

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)

(P. L. 89-10) This law provided a comprehensive plan for readdressing the inequality of educational opportunity for economically underprivileged children. It became the basis upon which early special education legislation was drafted.

1965-06-01 00:00:00

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1965

(P. L. 89-313) Authorized grants to state institutions and state operated schools devoted to the education of children with disabilities. It was the first Federal grant program specifically targeted for children and youth with disabilities.

1966-04-11 17:27:32

The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1966

(P.L. 89-750) This law amended the Title VI of P.L. 89-10 and established the first federal grant program for the education of children and youth with disabilities at the local school level, rather than at state-operated schools or institutions. It established the Bureau of Education of the Handicapped (BEH) and the National Advisory Council (now called the National Council on Disability).

1966-04-19 20:43:39

Library Services and Construction Act Amendments of 1966

(P.L. 89-511) The amendment to the already existing Library Services and Construction Act authorized assistance for students with physical or mental disabilities who were in residential schools operated or substantially supported by the state. Also Part B of Title IV of the Act made federal funds available to state agencies for library services for individuals who were certified by a responsible authority as unable to read or to use conventional printed materials as a result of physical limitations. Such services could be provided through public or nonprofit library agencies or organizations.

1967-01-02 20:43:39

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1967

(P.L. 90-247) This was the final federal special education legislation of the 1960s. It established a set of programs that supplemented and supported the expansion and improvement of special education services. This amendment also included the Bilingual Education Act (or Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) which became the first piece of United States federal legislation regarding minority language speakers. The act offered federal aid to local school districts to help them address the needs of students with limited English speaking ability. Its purpose was to provide school districts with federal funds to establish educational programs for students with limited English speaking ability. The amentments also gave school districts the opportunity to provide bilingual education programs without violating segregation laws. These programs later became known as discretionary services. This set of amendments also expanded the instructional media program to provide for the production and distribution of educational media for the use of individuals with all types of disabling conditions (not just deafness), their parents, actual or potential employers, and other persons directly involved in working on behalf of persons with disabilities.

1968-01-02 20:43:39

Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1968

This set of amendments modified existing programs, authorized support of regional centers for education of handicapped children, model centers and services for deaf and blind children, recruitment of personnel and dissemination of information on education of the handicapped; technical assistance in education to rural areas; support of dropout prevention projects; and support of bilingual education programs. This set of amendments also changed the ESEA of 1967 Title VI to Title VII.

1969-05-25 03:26:05

The Elementary and Secondary Education Extension

(Public Law 91-230) This extention authorized comprehensive planning and evaluation grants to state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) and provided for the establishment of a National Commission on School Finance.

1970-05-25 20:43:39

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1970

(P. L. 91-230) This set of amendments included Title VI, the Education of the Handicapped Act. These amendments stablished a core grant program for local education agencies, now known as part B, and it authorized a number of discretionary programs.

1970-06-05 03:26:05

The Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments of 1970

(P.L. 91-517) The amendments to the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction law already in place included broad responsibilities for a state planning and advisory council to plan and implement a comprehensive program of services for persons with developmental disabilities. In addition, the legislation authorized grants to support interdisciplinary training in institutions of higher education of personnel providing services to persons with developmental disabilities (currently known as university affiliated programs).

1972-03-05 11:35:26

Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

This state case brought against the state of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) established the right of children with mental retardation to a public education in the state of Pennsylvania. Cases such as this began to lay the legal groundwork for later federal legislation granting equal rights in education to all children with disabilities. Results of the case established that each child be offered an education appropriate to his or her learning capacities—and established a clear preference for the least restrictive placement for each child. Under a consent decree, the state agreed to provide full access to a free public education to children with mental retardation up to age 21.

1972-08-01 11:35:26

Mills v. District of Columbia Board of Education

This case against the District of Columbia declared that students with disabilities must be given a public education, and that financial limits were not an important point in providing education to these students.

1973-05-22 16:44:28

The Family Educational Rights Act of 1973

Parents are allowed to have access to all personally identifiable information collected, maintained, or used by a school district regarding their child.

1973-09-25 11:35:26

The (Vocational) Rehabilitation Act of 1973

(P.L. 93-112) The (Vocational) Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) states that any recipient of federal financial assistance (including state and local educational agencies) must end discrimination in the offering of its services to persons with disabilities. Most educators and family members were unaware that this law applied to public schools when it was enacted.

1974-06-10 11:35:26

Christmas In Purgatory: A Photographic Essay On Mental Retardation

This book, written/created by Burton Blatt and Fred Kaplan in 1974, was an effort to change and expose living conditions (housed in institutions) of the disabled in the United States. Written as the result of the authors’ tour of five state-supported institutions for the mentally retarded in four “eastern-states,” the book contained a series of inhuman images captured by Kaplan, using a hidden camera, with accompanying narrative by Blatt.

1975-01-04 03:31:05

The Community Services Act

(P.L. 93-644) This act stipulated that 10% of children enrolled in the Head Start program must be children with disabilities. The Head Start program provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

1975-01-26 11:35:26

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act

(P.L. 94-103)

1975-06-07 03:31:05

The Education Amendments of 1974

(P. L. 93-380) This amendment created two separate, but related laws. One was the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1974, which was the first to mention an appropriate education for all children with disabilities. The second law, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, gave parents and students over the age of 18 the right to examine records kept in the student's personal file.

1975-11-19 11:35:26

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act

(P.L. 94-142) This act, created by President Gerald Ford, was designed to mandate a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities in a state, regardless of the nature or severity of the child's disability (Part B of the Education of the Handicapped Act). This act is now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). All students with disabilities must have an individual education plan (IEP), a free and appropriate public edeucation, and be served in the least restrictive environment.

1977-08-15 16:11:48

Final release of details for the Education for All Hanicapped Children Act

Final details and regulations are released that delineate and provide a set of rules that school districts must follow when providing an education for students with disabilities.

1978-06-23 12:23:39

Howard S. v. Friendswood Independent School District

The first lawsuit under Section 504 produced the second federal court decision in the country.

1982-06-28 03:51:02

Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley

This is the first special education case to land in the U.S. Supreme Court. The court rulted that the students who qualify for special education services must have access to public school programs that meet their needs, and that the programs must be supported by services that enable students to benefit from instruction. This ruling gave lower courts standards to follow when deciding what adds up to free and appropriate public education.

1984-01-01 11:35:26

The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments

(Public Law 98-199) The law added the Architectural Barrier amendment and clarified participation of handicapped children in private schools. It also reauthorized the discretionary programs, established services to facilitate school to work transition through research and demonstration projects; established parent training and information centers; and provided funding for demonstration projects and research in early intervention and early childhood special education.

1984-07-05 12:23:39

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro

1986-02-22 11:35:26

Education of the Deaf Act of 1986

(P.L. 99-371) Title II of the Act extends the statutory authority of the National Training Institute for the Deaf (a residential facility for postsecondary technical training and education for individuals who are deaf in order to prepare them for successful employment). A Commission on Education of the Deaf was established under Title III of the Act. The Commission consists of 12 members that study the quality of infant and early childhood programs, as well as elementary, secondary, postsecondary, adult, and continuing education programs for individuals who are deaf. The Commission makes Recommendations to the President and Congress for improving current programs and practices.

1986-05-22 11:35:26

The Handicapped Children's Protection Act

(P.L. 99-372) This act overturned a Supreme Court decision and authorizes courts to award reasonable attorneys fees to parents who prevail in due process proceedings and court actions under part B of the Education of the Handicapped Act. Additionally, this act provided that the Education of the Handicapped Act does not preempt existing legislation such as the Rehabilitation Act.

1986-05-29 12:23:39

Alamo Heights Independent School District v. State Board of Education

This court case held that, if absence of summer education/services would place the previous year's gains in jeopardy, then services must be offered. In this case, the school was ordered to provide summer services for the student.

1986-07-19 11:35:26

The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986

(P.L. 99-506) This set of act amendments clarifies that supported employment is a viable outcome of vocational rehabilitation and specified that states must plan for individuals making the transition from school to work.

1986-10-09 05:22:52

Larry P. v. Wilson Riles

IQ tests cannot be used to determine whether or not African American students should be classified as mentally retarded due to the racial and cultural bias of the assessment. Furthermore, no IQ test can be used on these students to test for any disability.

1986-11-29 11:35:26

The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986

(P. L. 99-457) Mandated services for preschoolers and established the Part H program (the Handicapped Infants and Toddlers Program) to assist states in the development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and statewide system of early intervention services for infants. (P.L. 99-457) These amendments to the original act include a new grant program for states to develop an early intervention system for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and provide greater incentives for states to provide preschool programs for children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 5. Part H, specifically, provides services to infants and toddlers, from birth to age two, who meet at least one of the three criteria: the child (1) is experiencing developmental delay in cognitive, physical, communication, social/emotional, or adaptive development, (2) has been diagnosed with a physical or metal condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay, or (3) is at risk of having developmental delays if early intervention services are not provided. States are required to provide funding for the first two categories, but have the option to use federal funding for the third.

1987-04-13 14:17:29

Garland Independent School District v. Wilks

For the benefit of the student, the court upheld the right of the student to attend school in extended day. The school system must provide these services and take on most, if not all, of the costs.

1988-03-25 11:35:26

Augustus F. Hawkins-Robert T. Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments of 1988

(Public Law 100-50) This set of amendments reauthorized through 1993 major elementary and secondary education programs including: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Bilingual Education, Math-Science Education, Magnet Schools, Impact Aid, Indian Education, Adult Education, and other smaller education programs.

1989-06-12 12:23:39

Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education

This court case included a student with Down's Syndrom that was denied by the school system placement in the regular education classroom because of his disability.

1990-07-19 11:35:26

The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990

(P. L. 101-476) Renamed the law the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it reauthorized and expanded the discretionary programs, mandated transition services, defined assistive technology devices and services, and added autism and traumatic brain injury to the list of categories of children and youth eligible for special education and related services.

1990-07-26 09:54:12

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. In this law, disability is defined as, "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." Rules and regulations for students with disabilities start to become more commonplace in school districts.

1990-10-30 00:00:00

Individuals with Disabilities Act

(P.L. 101-476) Formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, this act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21 in cases that involve 14 specified categories of disability (Ex. traumatic brain injury and autisim). Supplemental funding for state and local programs were afforded by this act.

1992-05-24 15:50:44

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1992

(P.L. 102-119) These amendments primarily addressed the Part H (Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities) Program

1993-06-09 06:34:46

Doe v. Withers

This case emphasized the very real meaning of the law. Teacher, even general education teacher, must make a good faith effort to accomodate a student Individual Learning Plan if at all possible and provide required accommodations for students with disabilities when necessary.

1993-06-28 06:34:46

Oberti v. Board of Education of Clementon School District

The case was resolved in favor of integrated versus segregated placement and established a principle of portability; that is, " if a desirable service currently provided in a segregated setting can feasiblely be delivered in an integrated setting, it would be inappropriate, under PL 94-142, to provide the service in a segregated environment."

1994-01-24 12:23:39

Sacramento City Unified School District, Board of Education v. Rachel H.

1997-03-05 11:35:26

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997

(P. L. 105-17) The reauthorization of IDEA was viewed as an opportunity to review, strengthen, and improve IDEA to better educate children with disabilities and enable them to achieve a quality education. Congress sought to achieve this by: strengthening the role of parents; ensuring access to the general curriculum and reforms; focusing on teaching and learning while reducing unnecessary paper work requirements; assisting educational agencies in addressing the costs of improving special education and related services to children with disabilities; giving increased attention to racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity to prevent inappropriate identification and mislabeling; ensuring schools are safe and conducive to learning; and encouraging parents and educators to work out their differences by using non adversarial means. This amendment calls for students with disabilities to be included in state and district-wide assessments. Additionally, teachers are now required to be members of the IEP team.

2001-10-03 00:00:00

President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education (PCESE)

President George Bush established a Commission on Excellence in Special Education to collect information and study issues related to Federal, State, and local special education programs with the goal of recommending policies for improving the education performance of students with disabilities.

2002-01-05 11:35:26

No Child left Behind Act of 2001

(Public Law 107-110) One of the main components of the modern day educational system, this act was signed into law in 2002. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state. All students, including students with disabilities, are to be proficient in math and reading by the year 2014.

The History of Special Education

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