Special Education Historical Timeline

Timeline created by elenalein
In History
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    The Brown v. Board of Education supreme court decision was a landmark case that ended segregation and the “separate but equal” policy for schools in the United States. While the fight for equality in schools is far from over, this was an important first step. The decision also was important for students with disabilities, as they were often being educated in a separate setting that are also unequal. https://www.naacpldf.org/case-issue/landmark-brown-v-board-education/
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson and became law in 1965. It was part of his “War on Poverty” and provided federal funding for schools. Part of the funding was authorized for resources for special education program. It also created the Title 1 program to provide additional resources to the students with the highest needs. https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/programs/education/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-of-1965/
  • Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children Vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children Vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was a class action lawsuit that had been filed due to the fact act 14 developmentally disabled children were denied access to public education. As a result of this case, children up until the age of 21 cannot be denied access to a public education, regardless of their disability. https://disabilityjustice.org/right-to-education/
  • Mills v. Board of Education

    The Mills v. Board of Education was a law suit that was based on the fact that 7 students had been denied public education based on various mental, behavioral, physical or emotional disabilities. The court ruled that no children could be denied a public education. The court also ruled that a lack of sufficient funding is not an excuse to not provide an education for students with disabilities. https://disabilityjustice.org/right-to-education/
  • Section 504

    The Section 504 was part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public or private, that receive federal financial assistance. The federal government is allowed to take away funds from program that violate this law. Under this law children can be evaluated and given special plans to support their learning. https://www.ncld.org/get-involved/learn-the-law/adaaa-section-504
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act

    The Education for All Handicapped Children Act requires all schools that accept federal funds to provide equal access to education for all students, even students with disabilities. Under this act, parents are given more rights to make decision about their child's education. It also helped to ensure that disabled students would be in the least restrictive environment and interact with all students. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/94/s6/summary
  • Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley

    This case was an interpretation of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This case involved a deaf student whose parents requested a sing language interpreter. The school found no need for her to have an interpreter as she has other accommodations. The court ruled that the school did not have to provide one. This ruling set a precedent of schools only having to provide a certain level of support to disabled students. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2004/12/03/15idea_web.html
  • Handicapped Children’s Protection Act

    The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act was an expansion of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This act required the federal government to provide schools with funding to meet the needs of their students with disabilities. In addition, it granted parents the ability to participate in the IEP process. Also, if they believe the IEP does not the meet the needs of their student they have a right to a hearing.
  • Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (PL 99-457)

    The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendment expanded upon the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act that had been passed in 1975. The amendment allocated new funds for special needs children from birth on. The old act did not encompass children that young. This was an important step in prioritizing early intervention for children and families, as early intervention leads to the best outcomes. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/ei-history/
  • Americans with Disability Act

    The Americans with Disability Act offers protection for people with disabilities in many areas of life including including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Its overall goal is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as people without disabilities. The Act is divided into 5 different title that protect 5 different areas of life. https://adata.org/factsheet/ADA-overview
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act ensures that a free public education along with special education services will be available to all students with disabilities. This act has an increased focus on early identification and intervention. Under Part C fo the act, there are services available for children from birth to 2 and children. Under part B, children ages 3-21 are eligible for services. https://sites.ed.gov/idea/about-idea/
  • No Child Left Behind Act

    The No Child Left Behind Act addressed public education on a wide scale, particularly for low-income students. This act also had many implications for students with disabilities. NCLB mandated an increase in accountability and high stakes testing. As a result, students with disabilities were often not given appropriate assessments that inaccurately measured their performance. http://www.ldonline.org/article/11846/
  • Individual with Disabilities Act Reauthorization

    In 2004, the Individual with Disabilities Act was reauthorized with hopes of improving the quality of education for students with disabilities. For example, there is a focus on ensuring that special education teachers are highly qualified. There are also changes to the identification process to ensure that it is appropriate and timely. Lastly, there are also changes to the IEP process. http://www.ldonline.org/article/11201/
  • Every Student Succeeds Act

    The Every Student Succeeds Act was authorized as a recommitment for promote equity in schools for all students. It allows stated to have more freedom to decide how to measure student achievement for special education students. It also helps parents to have more of a say in their child's special education plan. That is important to help ensure that every students' needs are being met in the school environment.
  • Webliography

    For more detailed information and resources on disabilities use the following link: