History of Special Education

By Stacia
  • Law Mandating Compulsory Education

    Rhode Island passed a law mandating compulsory education for all children. Compulsory education is education in which children are required by law to receive and for governments to provide.
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    History of Special Education

    It’s unbelievable to think that the norm in the public education just 40 years ago was to place students with disabilities in separate classrooms that separated them from the rest of the student body and failed to support their specific learning needs. However, changes made by the first law, P. 94-142, known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, since then is indicative of the power of public policy to benefit those who may be unable to adequately speak for themselves.
  • Association of Instructors for the Blind

    The school for the Deaf and the School for the Blind offer comprehensive educational programs for hearing impaired and visually impaired students.
  • Beattie v. Board of Education

    Special needs students were expelled from school due to facial abnormalities and drooling. The students mental capacities were fine, but teachers and fellow students were nauseated by this student physical conditions.
  • Council for Exceptional Children

    The Council for Exceptional Children is the first advocacy group for children with disabilities. The CEC is one of the largest special education advocacy groups. The main objective of this group is to ensure that children with special needs receive FAPE.
  • Cuyahoga Council for Retarded Citizens

    A Parental Advocacy Group composed of five mothers of children with mental retardation who came to Cuyahoga, Ohio to protest their children’s exclusion from public schools. This lead to the establishment of a special class for the children, even though the parents sponsored it.
  • Classification of Autism

    The classification of Autism was introduced by Dr. Leo Lanner of John Hopkins University.
  • National Association for Retarded Citizens

    The National Association for Retarded Citizens came about. NARC was formed by 23 individual advocacy groups that had the same belief so they came together as one. During the passing of IDEA, the NARC consisted of over 200,000 members. NARC helped with litigation and making sure that all parts of the judicial process were met.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the Brown v. Board of Education case that it was unconstitutional for educational institutions to segregate children by race. A landmark court case that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson “Separate is not equal” case. This court case brought attention to black v. white’s in school and special need students v. general education students. This case encouraged the formation of many advocacy groups to inform the public of need of special education programs.
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson as part of the “War on Poverty.” ESEA not only called for equal access to education for all students, but also federal funding for both primary and secondary education for students disadvantaged by poverty.
  • PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    In the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania sided in favor of students with intellectual and learning disabilities in state-run institutions. PARC v. Penn called for students with disabilities to be placed in publicly funded school settings that met their individual educational needs, based on a proper and thorough evaluation.
  • Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia

    In the Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia students classified as “exceptional” – including those with mental and learning disabilities and behavioral issues. This ruling made it unlawful for the D.C. Board of Education to deny these individuals access to publicly funded educational opportunities.
  • Congressional Investigation

    In the wave of the PARC and Mills ruling, [AR1] Congress set out to uncover how many children with special education needs were being underserved. The Bureau of Education for the Handicapped found that there were 8 million children requiring special education services. Of this total, 3.9 million students adequately had their educational needs met, 2.5 million were receiving a substandard education and 1.75 million weren’t in school.
  • Section 504

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act allows protection from discrimination of special needs and disabilities. Tis law is considered the first law giving protection to students with special needs. This law includes FAPE and LRE. Students are eligible when they have either a physical or mental disability that inhibits their learning experience.
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act

    President Gerald Ford signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, otherwise known as Public Law 94-142. This law required all states that accepted money from the federal government were required to provide equal access to education for children with disabilities, in addition to providing them with one free meal per day. States had the responsibility to ensure compliance under the law within all of their public school systems.
  • Public Law 99-457

    Public Law 99-457 was an amendment to the All Handicapped Children Act, which mandated that individual states provide services to families of children born with disabilities from the time they are born. Previously, these services were not available until a child reached the age of three
  • Board of Ed. of HHCD V. Rowley

    A landmark case that designed the Rowley Two-Part test in determining whether FAPE is being met according to a student IEP. The two part test consists of questions asking if the school fulfilled the procedures of IDEA and “is the IEP developed through the procedures of the act”. If these two questions are answered correctly, then FAPE and IDEA have been met.
  • Handicapped Children’s Protection Act

    President Reagan signed the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act, a law that gave parents of children with disabilities more say in the development of their child’s Individual Education Plan, or IEP.
  • Public Law 101-476

    Public Law 101-476 called for significant changes to Public Law 94-142, or the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Traumatic brain injury and autism were added as new disability categories. Additionally, Congress mandated that as a part of a student’s IEP, an individual transition plan, or ITP, must be developed to help the student transition to post-secondary life.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

    The Education for all Handicapped Children’s Act became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. President Clinton later reauthorized IDEA with several key amendments that emphasized providing all students with access to the same curriculum, additionally, states were given the authority to expand the “developmental delay” definition from birth through five years of age to also include students between the ages of six and nine.
  • No Child Left Behind Act

    No Child Left Behind was signed into law by President George W. Bush. This law states that all students should be proficient in math and reading by 2014. This law had some states asking to not be part of it. Some schools have been caught falsifying scores while others took it seriously and reported if they were not proficient.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)

    Congress amended IDEA calling for early intervention for students, greater accountability and improved educational outcomes, and raised the standards for instructors who teach special education classes. It also required states to demand that local school districts shift up to 15 percent of their special education funds toward general education if it were determined that a disproportionate number of students from minority groups were placed in special education for reasons other than disability