The first special class in the United States for students with disabilities was established in 1896 in Rhode Island.
1905- Dr. Alfred Binet
Dr. Alfred Binet identified the terms, "slow," and, "retarded," by the use of an intellignece test he created with others (IQ test) to identify the the abilities of children with developmental disabilities.
1911- Henry H. Goddard
Henry H. Goddard and his constituents developed definition of intelligence which can be found at the following link: http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/goddard.shtml
He determined the cause of mental deficiency to be hereditary.
1923- Increase of students in special education classes
By 1923, approximately 34,000 students in the United States were enrolled in special education classes.
1960's- Federal government involvement
President John F. Kennedy spurs fthe beginning of federal government interest in the population of the developmentally delayed due to his sister, Rosemary ,having a developmental delay and living most of her life in an instittution in Wisconsin.
1970- Parents become advocates
In the 1970's, parents began advocating for public school education for children with disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act
http://idea.ed.gov/In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were signed.
See links for additional information: http://www.ada.gov/