Special Education History

By dmedley
  • Valentin Hauy establishes the Institution des Jeunes Avenugles in paris

    This institution for the blind is the first school of education of blind children. One of Hauy's students is Louis Braille, who eventually developed his communication system using raised letters.
  • Beginning of the Education of Behavioral Disorders

    Philip Pinel discards the belief that mental illness is caused by demonic possession. Instead, he finds it is a result of excessive exposure to social and psychological stress, and to some degree, heredity and physiological damage
  • Beginning of Special Education: Jean-Marc Gaspard ltard and Special Education

    Gaspard Itard becomes the first physician to suggest that educational interventions can improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
  • State funds ward for the insane

    Dr. Benjamin Rush protests the inhuman accomodation and treatment of patients at Pennsylvania Hospital and receives state funding for the first ward for the insane.
  • The first US school for deaf students is established

    Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founds the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • The first chartered school for blind children opens in the US

  • The first residential program for individuals with mental retardation is established

    In Switzerland, Physician Johann Guggenbuhl establishes Abendberg, the first residential habilitation program for individuals with mental retardation.
  • The Association of Medical Superintendents of Institutions is initiated.

    This organization is now called the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Edourad Seguin brings special education to the US

    Seguin, a student of Itard, publishes the first special education treatise addressing the needs of children with disabilities.
  • Cerebral palsy is first described by William Little, an English surgeon

  • The first university for the deaf is founded

    The United States Congress establishes the Columbia Institution of the Deaf and Blind.
  • The American Association of Mental Retardation (AAMR) begins

  • Congress passes legislation to promote educational programs for students who are blind

  • Schools and hospitals open dedicated to serving children with physical disabilities

  • First special class for mental retardation in US opens in Providence, RI

  • First attempts to integrate blind students into local public schools in Illinois

  • Helen Keller writes autobiography "The Story of My Life"

  • First training school for special education opens in New Jersey

  • Maria Montessori opens first school in Rome, Italy

  • The Juvenile Psychopathic Institute in Chicago opens

  • The first Speech and Hearing Clinic opens in Chicago

  • Institutions for individuals with mental retardation are present in most states

  • Speech and language services begin in public schools in New York

  • Leta Hollingworth coins the term gifted

  • The Soldiers' Rehabilitation Act is passed

  • Alfred Binet develops the first screening tests for exceptional children in France

  • Cleveland begins special classes for students who are gifted

  • The Citizens Vocational Rehabilitation Act is passed

  • Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger describe characteristics of Autism

  • Samuel Orton, a neurologist, describes dyslexia

  • Following an Act of Congress, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is established

  • The American Association for Gifted Children is established

  • Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education

    The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in this case that school segregation is unjust and that public schools should immediately desegregated.
  • Educating students with disabilities is still NOT mandated by federal or state law. However, creation of the Bureau signified that a change was on the horizon.

    Congress adds Title VI to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 creating a Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (this bureau today is called the Office of Special Education Programs or OSEP).
  • The courts take the position that children with disabilities have an equal right to access education as their non-disabled peers. Although there is no existing federal law that mandates this stance, some students begin going to school as a result of these

    Two significant supreme court decisions [PARC v. Pennsylvania (1972) and Mills v. D.C. Board of Education (1972)] apply the equal protection argument to students with disabilities.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is enacted into statute. This national law protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability.

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is enacted into statute. This national law protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability.
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is enacted.

    Parents are allowed to have access to all personally identifiable information collected, maintained, or used by a school district regarding their child.
  • The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) is enacted. This was also known as P.L. 94-142. Today we know this law as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

    Before 1975, children with disabilities were mostly denied an education solely on the basis of their disabilities. EAHCA, along with some key supreme court cases, mandated all school districts to educate students with disabilities.
  • The final federal regulations of EAHCA are released.

    The final federal regulations are enacted at the start of the 1977-1978 school year and provide a set of rules in which school districts must adhere to when providing an education to students with disabilities.
  • The EAHCA is amended with the addition of the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act.

    This amendment makes clear that students and parents have rights under EAHCA (now IDEA) and Section 504.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is enacted.

    ADA adopts the Section 504 regulations as part of the ADA statute. In turn, numerous “504 Plans” for individual students start to become more common place in school districts.
  • The EAHCA is amended and is now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

    This amendment calls for many changes to the old law. One of the biggest was the addition of transition services for students with disabilities. School Districts were now required to look at outcomes and assisting students with disabilities in transitioning from high school to postsecondary life
  • IDEA reauthorized

    This amendment calls for students with disabilities to be included in on state and district-wide assessments. Also, Regular Education Teachers are now required to be a member of the IEP team.
  • No Child Left Behind is enacted.

    This law calls for all students, including students with disabilities, to be proficient in math and reading by the year 2014.
  • IDEA reauthorized

    There are several changes from the 1997 reauthorization. The biggest changes call for more accountability at the state and local levels, as more data on outcomes is required. Another notable change involves school districts providing adequate instruction and intervention for students to help keep them out of special education.
  • Most recent reauthorization of IDEA