Timeline of Special Education and Perspectives

By ecaward
  • Charles Michel de l’Epée

    Charles Michel de l’Epée
    Charles Michel de l’Epée creates the Institut pour sourds, or Institute for the Deaf in Paris. One of his students, Laurent Clerc would go on to found the first Deaf school in the United states with Gallaudet.
  • Period: to

    1800's

    Highlights:
    - The American School for the Deaf is founded
    - The first college degrees are given to students with disabilities
  • Jean Marc Gaspard Itard

    Jean Marc Gaspard Itard
    Jean Marc Gaspard Itard was a physician and one of the earliest proponents of education for children who were disabled. He, through intensitive education, taught a Aveyron (found in the woods) to communicate as well as perform basic daily care tasks.
  • American School for the Deaf

    American School for the Deaf
    The American School for the Deaf was founded in 1817 in Hartford, Conneticut by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. It was one of the first publically funded schools for students with disabilities in the United States, and one of the first schools to teach students American Sign Language.
  • Braille Code Published

    Louis Braille publishes the Braille Code for the education of Blind students and gives a standarized means of communication for Blind individuals
  • Eduard Seguin

    Eduard Seguin
    Edward Seguin, who worked with Itard, introduced the physiological method to the United States after moving to Boston in the 1850's. He proposed that mental disability was the product of a degredation of the central nervous system, and that with help they could develop self-care and self-reliance.
  • Gallaudet University founded

    Gallaudet University founded
    Formerly the Columbia Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, it was established by Amos Kendall, and later lead by its later namesake, Thomas Gallaudet. It conferred the first Bachelor's degrees to students with Deaf and Blind disablities in the United States. FUN FACT: Gallaudet University is a bilinugal private college. The official languages of the college are both ASL and English.
  • First Public Class for the Deaf

    The first public class available to Deaf children is established in Boston
  • Elizabeth Farrell

    Elizabeth Farrell
    Elizabeth Farrell pioneered the idea of special classrooms - not special schools - to reintegrate children with disabiities into mainstream schools. She is arguably the pioneer of modern ideas of integration of students with exceptionalities into mainstream education settings, and proposed the idea of exceptional students as individuals, and that they should not be defined by their disability.
  • Period: to

    Early to Mid 1900's

  • Maria Montessori

    Maria Montessori
    Maria Montessori first started working with children with mild disabilities in 1901. Her education philosophy, which heavily relies on sensorial education, is still used today in Montessori schools around the world.
  • Stanford-Binet Scale of Intelligence

    The Stanford-Binet Scale provided a means of adaptively testing intellectual abiity in individuals. It was and is used to assess a variety of different types of intelligences, including spatial, visual, verbal and quantitative reasoning skills.
  • Council for Exceptional Children Founded

    Council for Exceptional Children Founded
    The organization that would soon become the modern day CEC is founded in New York City. Elizabeth Farrell is elected as its president.
  • National Association of Down Syndrome Founded

    National Association of Down Syndrome Founded
    Founded by Kathryn McGee, whose daughter Tricia has Down Syndrome.
  • JFK's Panel on Mental Retardation

    JFK's Panel on Mental Retardation
    John F. Kenney, who had a personal connection to the education and advocacy for individuals with disabilities, creates his Panel on Mental Retardation. At this panel, JFK urged movement away from institutionalization of individuals with disabilities, as well as promoted expansion and better specialized education for students wtih disabilities.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    This law outlawed discrimination based on racial, ethnic, national and religious grounds as well as against women. This law paved the way for the ADA, and the protection and fight for rights by and of those with disabilities in education, as well as in employment and in access to facilities such as K-12 schools.
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    Enacted during Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency as part of his "War on Poverty" it was one of the most expansive federal education reform bills to date. It was the first federal act that provided a grant program specifically for students wtih disabilities.
  • Mills v. Board of Education

    A U.S. District Court case where it was ruled that schools could not deny services to children with disabilities simply due to budget constraints.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits the discrimination of individuals wtih disabilities in programs that receive federal funding, and within federal agencies. It follows and expands on the discrimination prohibitions set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 of the Act extended civil rights to individuals with disabilities, including provisions for students receiving special education services, such as accomidations for specific educatio needs.
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act

    The predecessor to IDEA, EHA provided that all children with disabilities have access to a free public education, and a free meal a day in all schoosl that receive federal funding from the United States government. It also required that all students receive evaluations and education plans to meet their educational needs.
  • Individuals with Disabliities Education Act Passed

    An amendment of the EHA, IDEA provides more provisions and educational rights for individual students with disablities. It also provides for more extensive transitional services for transitioning young adults leaving the K-12 public education system, and focuses less on the disabilities an individual has, and more on the individual themselves.
  • Rosa's Law

    Officially changed the use of "mental retardation" in US law to "intellectual disablity."
  • Assistive Technology Act of 2004

    This act states that, unlike previous acts, states were now required to provide direct access to assistive technology to students and individuals with disabilities, particualrly in schools. Previously, states were only required to have programs available for individuals with disabilities to access - not specifically provide the direct technology to them.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    An expansion on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this Act signed into law by George Bush Sr., gives broader rights to individuals with disabilities, specifically access to faciltiies through accomidiations related to transportation. This provided better access to school facilities for children with physical disabilities, as well as prevents discrimination of individuals on the basis of disability.