History of Special Education Laws and Litigation

  • Plessey v. Ferguson

    Famous Supreme Court Case that stated black Americans as "separte but equal". This allowed the creation of separation of public places and facilities leading to unequal quality. This is especially significant in schools as the public education (if any) for blacks was sub-standard.
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    Evoluton of Special Education

  • First Special Ed Class

    US First Public Special Education Class
    1 Jan 1896 Rhode Island opened the first public special education class in the United States.
  • CEC

    CEC is founded
    1 Jul 1922 In the summer of 1922, a group of students attending the Teachers College at Columbia University organized a meeting to discuss ways to promote fellowship among educators as well as a means of exchanging ideas among workers in special education. The students invited Elizabeth Farrell, their professor, to attend this meetingat which the International Council for the Education of Exceptional Childrenwas founded, and later became known as the Council for Exceptional Chil
  • FDR Elected President in a WheelChair

    FDR becomes 32nd president of United States
    4 Mar 1933 The people of the United States elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president. FDR had polio and used a wheelchair. The American public elected a president with a disability.
  • ARC Founded

    The National Association for Retarded CitizensBy Robert Segal, Ph.D
    Several factors appear responsible for the establishment of this organization: (1) widespread exclusion from school of children with IQ’s below 50; (2) an acute lack of community services for retarded persons; (3) long waiting lists for admission to residential institutions; (4) parental dissatisfaction with the conditions in many state institutions; (5) the vision of leaders who believed that
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Famous Supreme Court case that reversed Plessey v. Ferguson that determined separate was not equal and that black students would be allowed to attend school in "white only" schools.
  • Civil Rights Act

    This Act was important because it made it illegal to discriminate against individuals on the basis of prior servitude, race or color.This is important to special education because they used this act as a precedent to say you could not discriminate based on disability either.
  • Mills v. Board of Education of Distric of Columbia

    Mills vs. Board of Education of Disctrict of Columbia
    21 Dec 1971 This case claimed that students with disablities were being excluded from school. This case was important to special education students because it established due process procedures to ensure all students disabled or non-disabled equal protection under the law.
  • IDEA

    Education for All Handicapped Children Act (IDEA: Individuals with Disablitites Education Act)
    15 Jan 1975 All public schools receiving federal funds must now provide equal access for all children with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Americans with Disablities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    26 Jul 1990 Americans with Disbilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination because of a disability. It was designed so that persons with disabilities have equal oppurtunities in five areas. Those were employment, public services, public accomodations,telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions. It was important to special education students because it protected them in the workplace as well as schools.
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