The History of Special Education

  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    This court case declared segregation on the basis of race to be unconstitutional. This led to a better understanding that all people, regardless of race, gender or disability, have a right to public education. Integration into public schools was introduced as a result of this court case and ensured that a diverse group of students learned together. Brown vs. Board
  • Association for Children with Learning Disabilities

    Association for Children with Learning Disabilities
    A group of parents and professionals convened at a conference and Chicago, sharing the recognition of dire needs for services for their children that did not yet exist. The ACLD was created, driven by these parents and adults with learning disabilities. This organization accomplished great steps forward for children with learning disabilities, such as incorporating a working definition of learning disabilities within Federal law.
    LDA
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    This was a primary education law which originated with President Lyndon Johnson. The purpose of this act was to close the achievement gap between children who live in poverty and their more advantaged peers. and ESEA also was intended to provide additional resources for vulnerable students. This was the basis upon which early special education legislated was drafted. ESEA Act of 1965
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1966

    (PL 89-750) This established the first federal grant program for the education of children and youth with disabilities at the local school level. The Bureau of Education of the Handicapped was established as was the National Advisory Council, which is now called the National Council on Disability.
    ESEA Amendments of 1966
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1967

    (PL 90-247) This legislation established programs that increased and supported the growth and improvement of special education services. Included in this legislation was the Bilingual Education Act, which provided federal aid to local schools to help address the needs of students with limited English speaking ability. These amendments also led to distribution of educational media to support individuals with disabilities.
    ESEA Amendments of 1967
  • Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    PARC sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of a state law denying education to students considered too burdensome to integrate into the classroom. This was significant to changing national laws regarding excluding students with mental disabilities from attending schools along with other children or in special programs based on their needs. This paved the way for increasing equal rights in education to children with disabilities.
    PARC
  • Mills v. District of Columbia Board of Education

    Mills v. District of Columbia Board of Education
    This case started after the District of Columbia public schools refused to enroll some students and expelled others because of their disability. The court rules that these students must be given a public education even if the students are unable to pay for the cost of the education. All children are entitled to free public education and training appropriate to their learning capacities. Mills Court Case
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    (PL 93-112) This act, also known as Section 504, prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance. It set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
    FERPA gives parents access to their child's education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended, and some control over the disclosure of information from the records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she turns 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. FERPA
  • Education Amendments of 1974

    Education Amendments of 1974
    Signed by President Gerald Ford, these amendments cleared the way for increased Federal spending for education of handicapped children. Education Amendments of 1974
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142)

    Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142)
    This legislation ensures a free and appropriate public education for all children with disabilities, regardless of the nature or the severity of the child's disability. This act required all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one free meal a day for children with disabilities. Public schools were also required to evaluate handicapped children and create an educational plan with parent input.
    EHA
  • Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley

    Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley
    Landing in US Supreme Court, the court ruled that students who qualify for special education services must have access to public school programs that meet their needs. The programs must be supported by services that help students to benefit from instruction. This established standards for other courts to follow when deciding what's free and appropriate public education. Hudson v. Rowley
  • Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986

    This expanded EHA by mandating service for preschoolers and established the Part H program (the Handicapped Infants and Toddlers Program) to assist states in developing comprehensive, multidisciplinary and statewide systems of early intervention services for infants.
    EHA 1986
  • Honig vs. Doe

    Honig vs. Doe
    This court case ruled that a California school board violated the Education for All Handicapped Children Act when it indefinitely suspended a student for violent and disruptive behavior that was related to his disability. The court also affirmed that the state must provide services directly when local school boards fail to do so.
    Honig v. Doe
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (PL 101-336)

    Americans with Disabilities Act (PL 101-336)
    This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The purpose was to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. ADA
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    IDEA replaced the Education of Handicapped Act. IDEA promoted the involvement of the family and sought to offer a wide range of services and specialists to support a child in a least restrictive environment. The new terminology sought to focus on the individual rather than the condition.
    IDEA
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997

    The re-authorization of IDEA was a chance to review, strengthen and improve IDEA to better educate children with disabilities. This amendment called for students with disabilities to be included in state and district-wide assessments. Teachers became required to be members of the IEP team. The child find requirement stated that state educational agencies are obligated to identify suspected children with disabilities. IDEA 1997
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
    NCLB was a US Act that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It included Title I provisions applying to disadvantaged students and provided funding for extra educational assistance for students in return for improvements in their academic progress. The major focus was to close student achievement gaps by providing fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. NCLB
  • IDEA Improvement Act OF 2004

    IDEA Improvement Act OF 2004
    The improvement of IDEA defined the purpose of special education. It clarifies Congress' intended outcome for each child with a disability- students must be provided with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that prepares them for their future. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to youth with disabilities.
    IDEA
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008

    Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008
    This amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other disability nondiscrimination laws. The definition of "disability" was revised to encompass more impairments that may substantially limit a major life activity. ADA Amendments of 2008
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
    Signed by President Barack Obama, this campaign promises funding, including 12.2 billion in funding to IDEA special education. ARRA
  • Every Student Succeeds Act

    Every Student Succeeds Act
    ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind, and set new mandates on expectations and requirements for students with disabilities. Most students with disabilities will be required to take the same assessments and be held to the same standards as other students. ESSA requires states to develop and implement plans on how to combat and attempt to reduce bullying incidents on campuses, and more specifically bullying incidents directed toward students with disabilities.
    ESSA