The Evolution of Special Education in the United States

Timeline created by ecast212
In History
  • 1954 Brown v Board of Education

    1954 Brown v Board of Education
    The Civil Rights Movement/Advocacy Plan: Extended equal protection under the law to minorities, paved the way for similar gains for those with disabilities. Parents, who had begun forming special education advocacy groups as early as 1933, became the prime movers in the struggle to improve educational opportunities for their children.
  • 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    This was not a law to educate students with disabilities, but it was a grant to state schools and institutions to create programs to educate students with disabilities.
  • 1971 Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children

    1971 Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children
    In the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) sided in favor of students with intellectual and learning disabilities. PARC v. Penn called for students with disabilities to be placed in publicly funded school settings that met their individual educational needs, based on a proper and thorough evaluation.
  • 1973 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

    1973 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    Protected individuals with disabilities from discrimination in programs which receive federal funds - this included all public schools. Section 504 requires that public schools provide accommodations as necessary to ensure that any student with a disability is able to participate and benefit from a free appropriate public education. Schools are responsible for developing plans to ensure children with disabilities have access to education under Section 504.
  • 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA)

    1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA)
    Following the Civil Rights Movement and Advocacy Plan, which gave children with disabilities specific legal rights to an education. Before this law was passed, many children with disabilities were not excluded from attending public schools. They were to remain at home, or be institutionalized. A provision stated that students with disabilities should be placed in least restrictive environment (LRE) in order to allow the maximum possible opportunity to interact with non-disabled peers.
  • 1975 Least Restrictive Environment

    1975 Least Restrictive Environment
    Students with an IEP must also be in as many regular education classrooms (mainstream), which may require paraprofessionals and aids. This allows all students to become social without restrictions.
  • 1986 Handicapped Children’s Protection Act

    1986 Handicapped Children’s Protection Act
    In 1986 President Reagan signed the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act, a law that gave parents of children with disabilities more say in the development of their child’s Individual Education Plan, or IEP.
  • 1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

    1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    The EHA was reformulated as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA elaborated on the inclusion of children with disabilities into regular classes and also focused on the rights of parents to be involved in the education decisions affecting their children. IDEA required that an Individualized Education Program (IEP) be designed with parental approval to meet the needs of every child with a disability.
  • 1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    After IDEA and decades of campaigning and lobbying, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed. This ensured the equal treatment and equal access of people with disabilities to employment opportunities and to public accommodations. The ADA was intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • 1997 IDEA Reauthorized

    1997 IDEA Reauthorized
    IDEA was reauthorized in 1997, which emphasized academic outcomes for students with disabilities. This involved raising expectations for students, supporting students who follow the general curriculum, supporting parents, and helping states determine appropriate outcomes. With the focus on outcomes, school-to-work transition planning gained new importance.
  • 2000 Inclusive Education

    2000 Inclusive Education
    It has become more accepted in the education community since 2000 and the reauthorization of IDEA that special education and related services should be designed to meet students’ unique needs. Students with disabilities should have access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom. Special education students are no longer being secluded and are rather being included in “mainstream” classrooms. https://www.edutopia.org/article/creating-inclusive-classroom
  • 2004 Response to Intervention (RTI)

    2004 Response to Intervention (RTI)
    RTI is the use of scientific, research-based intervention. It was started in general education before students were allowed to receive special education services. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTvYjufpTUk