The History of Special Education in America

By hw3317
  • Term "Special Education" introduced

    Introduced by Alexander Graham Bell introduced the term. Having had his wife and mother being deaf, he viewed being deaf as something that should be corrected. Unfortunately his form of "special education" came in the form of not allowing students in schools to use sign language.
  • First IQ test was published

    Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon created the first intelligence test as a way to identify children who needed special education services. It was translated into English and was administered for the first time in the US at Stanford University in 1916.
  • The terms "mentally retarded" and "gifted" introduced

    These terms were introduced in professional literature and have continued to evolve in education practices.
  • The Council for Exceptional Children founded

    The group was founded by a group of students attending Teachers College at Columbia University. Their goals were to unite teachers, emphasize the importance of education for children with disabilities and to establish professional standards for special education educators.
  • Characteristics of children with Autism iand Asbergers identified

    Leo Kanner, a physician at Johns Hopkins University coined the term when he noticed that eleven of his patients had similar characteristics. Around the same time, Hans Asperger, who was a pediatrician in Germany, researched and coined the term "Asperger Syndrom" for a milder form of autism.
  • American Association on Mental Deficiency first convention

    This was one of the first special needs advocacy groups in America.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    US Supreme Court found that segregated public schools (racially) are unequal. This was a major building block for the integration of students with special needs.
  • National Defense of Education Act Passed

    Made it mandatory for the federal government to fund education. This lends itself to the Free and Appropriate Education principle of IDEA.
  • Funding for training teachers who education students who are deaf

    President John Kennedy approved funding for teachers who are training to education children who were deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Education of the Handicapped Act Passed

    Established grant programs for districts to include services and programs to disabled children
  • U.S. Schools educated only one in five children with disabilities

  • Head Start Amendments

    President Richard Nixon signed amendments to the Head Start Law that originally stated that there was an open door policy for all children who met the economic requirements to attend Head Start Programs. The amendments required a level of 10% enrollment to be reserved for children with special needs. This increased the likelihood of early intervention for children.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed

  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act

    Required local education authorities to provide for IEPs and LREs for all disabled children
  • IDEA signed into law

    President Gerald Ford signed IDEA into law. Focused singularly on children with disabilities, it required all schools and districts recieving federal dollars to provide students with disabilities with a "free and appropriate education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independant living."
  • Board of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central v. Rowley

    First decision in a special education case by the US Supreme Court. The decision defined "Free and Appropriate Education."
  • Burlington School Committee v. Mass Board of Edu.

    This US Supreme Court decision clarified safeguards, parent roles in educational decision making, tuition for private placement and a child's placement during a dispute over FAPE.
  • College level training for teachers of students with disabilites began

    The Massachusetts Institution for the Feeble-Minded at Waltham and Elwyn Institute in Pennsylvania opened and began training teachers of students with disabilities.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    George H.W. Bush signed this law, which was formally named the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. The bill added Autism and Traumatic Brain Injury to disability categories. Transition planning was added, stating that a transition plan must be implemented by the student's 16th birthday. Also, related services were added to include social work services and rehabilitative counseling.
  • Florence County School District Four v. Shannon Carter

    This US Supreme Court Decision stated that if a public school fails to provide an appropriate education and the child recieves an appropriate education in a private placement, the parents of the child are entitled to reimbursement for the education of the child.
  • Early Head Start Funding

    President Bill Clinton approved funding for services for pregnant women, infants and toddlers. This furthered the likelihood of early intervention in children with special needs.
  • IDEA Amendments

    President Bill Clinton signed Amendments that included:
    -ADD and ADHD should be included under OHI
    -Clarification of IEP terminology
    -Specified areas of "developmental delay" as:
    *cognative, physical including vision and hearing, communication, social or emotional, and adaptive.
    -Continued federal dollars for early intervention services in preschools.
  • No Child Left Behind Act Signed into law

    The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) includes incentives to reward schools showing progress for students with disabilities and other measures to fix or provide students with alternative options than schools not meeting the needs of the disabled population.[51] The law is written so that the scores of students with IEPs and 504 plans are counted just as other students' scores are counted.
  • IDEA Improvement Act

    President George W. Bush signed this law to ensure that all children have a Free and Appropriate Education. The law also attempted to align IDEA and NCLB. Services for highly mobile and homeless childre were included as well as modifications for students in private school settings.
  • Term "mental retardation" replaced with "intellectual disability"

    President Barack Obama signed legislation replacing the term in all governmental acts and writings. This addresses issues of labeling in schools, as the term has become derogetory for students with intellectual disabilities (or cognative disabilities, as we call them in Ohio.)