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Changes in Perception: Mental Retardation Examined

  • 500

    Very Early Evidence

    Very Early Evidence
    7,000 B.C.
    Epirical practitioners treated patients for mental illness by the process of "trephination"- the removal of small circular sections of cranial bones to expel demons.
  • Jan 1, 1000


    Any type of "defective person" became a popular source of household amusement or entertainment. There were special markets were one might purchase indivduals with mental or physical impairments.
  • Jan 1, 1497

    Idiots Confined

    Idiots Confined
    Idiots were not only to be kept hidden, but confined by their friends and family. When means failed them, then only did municipal authorities intervene, though they occasionally assisted the families with sums of money.
  • Herded Like Cattle

    Herded Like Cattle
    The Hotel Dieu was ordered by the King to tend all mentally ill and idiot people. The patients were herded together in rooms crowded with miserable beds in which they were put without distinction of disease.
  • First Hospital

    First Hospital
    First Hospital in Philiadelphia spearates a section for people with mental retardation and people with mental illness.
  • Residential Service

    Residential Service
    American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, in Hartford, CT, began to provide the first recognized residential service inteded specifcally for people with mental retardation in the US. *The building is now the American School for the Deaf.
  • Dorthea Dix

    Dorthea Dix
    Dorthea Dix was a teacher, nurse, humanitarian, and social reformer for the mentally ill. She founded the Trenton New Jersey State Hospital to allow for better care and respect for patients with mental illness.
  • Eugenic Sterilization

    Eugenic Sterilization
    Indiana becomes the first state to enact a eugenic sterilization law--for "confirmed idiots, imbeciles and rapists"--in state institutions. The law spreads like wildfire and is enacted in 24 other states.
  • Compulsory Sterilization

    Compulsory Sterilization
    The Supreme Court rules in Buck v. Bell that the compulsory sterilization of mental defectives is constitutional. Justice Oliver Wendell Homes wrote, "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuting their kind...Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
  • Social Security Act

    Social Security Act
    President Frankiln D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, establishing a program of permanent assistance to adults with disabilities.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS
    347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873
    The Civil Rights Act is passed. The act helps end discrimination against African Americans in the workplace and schools, but does not make any provision for people with disabilities.
  • Education of Mentally Retarded Children Act

    Education of Mentally Retarded Children Act
    The Education of Mentally Retarded Children Act did not provide funding directly to schools for educating students with disabiltities, but it assisted colleges and universities in training teachers for students with mental retardation. It was expanded in 1963 to include teachers specializing in other disabilties as well.
  • Special Olympics

    Special Olympics
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver founds the Special Olympics in 1962 to provide athletic training and competition for persons with intellectual disabilties. The first International Special Olympics Games are held in Chicago, IL in 1968.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 makes it illegal for federal agencies, public universities, and other public institutions receiving any federal funds to discriminate on the basis of disability.
  • The Education for Handicapped Children Act of 1975

    The Education for Handicapped Children Act of 1975
    Now called the Individuals with Disabiltiies Education Act (IDEA), the Act guarantees a free, appropriate, public education for all children with disabilties in the least restrictive environment.
  • Life Goes On

    Life Goes On
    Television's first drama series built around a mentally challenged character, "Life Goes On" chronicles the experiences for a family who has a son with Down's Syndrome, Corky, as he is mainstreamed into high school after extensive time in special education.
  • Americans with Disabilties Act

    Americans with Disabilties Act
    The American with Disabiltities Act (ADA) is signed into law by President George W. Bush. The ADA is considered the most important civil rights law since Title 504 and has cross-disabiltity support.
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    The NCLB Act is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It mandates that all students are expected to meet or exceed state standards in reading and math by 2014. Students with special needs are not exempt from the rigorous testing and must also meet or exceed the standards.
  • IDEA changes

    IDEA changes
    U.S. Department of Education announced the release of the final regulations for (Part B) public school children from age 3 to 21 in 2006. And (Part C) The early intervention program for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families
  • Transitioning

    Since the IDEA addition in 2006, high school students with Intellectual Disabilities are allowed to stay in school to learn life skills required to become more independent in the community.
  • Gleeful Acceptance

    Gleeful Acceptance
    Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that features high school students from every stereotype. There are four characters featured on the show with Down's Syndrome, one being Laren Potter, who plays Sue's assistant, Becky Jackson.
  • Intellectual Disability

    Intellectual Disability
    Rosa's Law: The term 'Mental Retardation' is replaced with 'Intellectual Disabiltiy' in the Listing of Impairments uner the Social Security Act, and throughout Congress, government agencies, and various public and private organizations. The conversions will occur immediately after June 30, 2013.
    78 FR 46499
  • Present Day

    Present Day
    People with Intellectual Disabilities are now accepted in the workplace and are contributing members of society.