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Including EveryoneCreating Music Classrooms Where All Children Learn$

Judith A. Jellison

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199358762

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199358762.001.0001

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(p.143) Appendix A Historical Timeline

(p.143) Appendix A Historical Timeline

Including Everyone
Oxford University Press

Selected Federal Laws, Programs, Actions, and Events Pertinent to Inclusion Philosophy and Practices

  • 1642, The Massachusetts School of Law of 1642 gives community leaders1647 the authority to ensure that children would learn to read and understand religious principles and the law of the land, and the 1647 law requires townships of fifty or more households to hire a teacher for their children.

  • 1700s The concept of educating persons with disabilities is introduced by physician Benjamin Rush, who would be designated the “Father of American Psychiatry” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1965. Among his contributions are reforms for the care of people with mental illness at the Pennsylvania Hospital and as a teacher at the medical school of the College of Philadelphia.

    The singing school movement and singing schools begin with itinerant singing teachers (masters) who teach for a fee. This movement will last well into the late nineteenth century.

  • 1776 Articles of Confederation (the first Constitution of the United States) formally unites the thirteen colonies under one government with articles concerning representation, taxation, and the disposition of lands. Submitted to the Second Continental Congress (1776), adopted (1777), and ratified by the thirteen states (1781). It will be in effect until the Constitution becomes the law of the land in 1789. (p.144)

    Declaration of Independence, drafted in writing by Thomas Jefferson, is officially adopted by the Second Continental Congress, July 4, and is signed by almost all members by August 2. The Declaration justifies a break with Britain and includes statements regarding the necessity for government to have consent of its people and the responsibility of government to its people. The second paragraph begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  • 1779 The first plan for a state-supported school system is proposed by Thomas Jefferson to educate the poor; the plan is rejected because of the refusal of well-to-do citizens to pay taxes to educate the poor.

  • 1783 End of the American Revolution, a rebellion against acts of Britain imposed on. the thirteen colonies and a war for the rights of the individual and for the establishment of a democratic government.

    Formation of philanthropic societies to protect mainstream values held at the time against marginal societal groups; societies would lead to the development of public schools and segregated rehabilitative institutions, training institutions, and schools for people with disabilities. Early schools and training institutions are structured similarly to asylums in Europe. Segregated institutions of persons with disabilities will continue to grow in number and size during the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century.

    Samuel Gridley Howe advocates for educational programs for children with disabilities and not simply social assistance and control under the organizational structure of asylums where they reside.

  • 1787 George Washington is elected president of the Constitutional Convention, meeting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. State delegates adopt the document known as the Constitution of the United States. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, would be added in 1791 to provide additional rights to individuals beyond the seven articles, and the last amendment would be added in 1971, for a total of twenty-seven.

    Northwest Ordinance authorizes land grants for the establishment of educational institutions. (p.145)

  • 1789 The first-known publication in America, author anonymous, on the relationship of music to health and healing appears as an article in the Columbian Magazine. The article is entitled “Music Physically Considered.” Dissertations on the topic of music in therapy are written by Edwin Atlee and Samuel Mathews, students of physician Benjamin Rush.

  • 1806 Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard’s book describing the use of music to develop auditory discrimination skills with a child found in the wilderness is published. The book is called The Wild Boy of Aveyron.

  • 1817 One of the first special programs of education for persons with disabilities is established by Thomas Gallaudet at the American Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb in Connecticut.

  • 1829 The New England Asylum for the Education of the Blind is established in Massachusetts.

  • 1838 Lowell Mason, church musician and music teacher, persuades the School Committee in Boston to include music as a regular subject in the curriculum, justified on the basis of its intellectual, moral, and physical benefits for children.

  • 1841 Dorthea Dix advocates for the separation of people with disabilities from others who reside in penitentiaries and poorhouses. Her efforts helped lead to the establishment of state institutions in the United States.

  • 1846 The Experimental School for Teaching and Training Idiotic Children is established in Massachusetts.

  • 1847 American Annals of the Deaf is first published. William Wolcott Turner and David Ely Bartlett will advocate for music education for persons with hearing impairments in an article published in the Annuals in 1848.

  • 1848 Horace Mann, secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, argues for a public school system and presents his twelfth annual report with cardinal principles of public school education to the board. His reports are the first documents to urge standardization of schools through purpose, curriculum, libraries, training of teachers, and so on.

  • 1849 The Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth is established around this time as a result of the efforts of humanitarian Samuel Howe, director of the Perkins School for the Blind. 1849 The Massachusetts Supreme Court rules that segregated schools are permissible under the state’s constitution. (p.146)

  • 1852 The Massachusetts Compulsory Attendance Act is the first compulsory school attendance act and requires children between ages eight and fourteen to attend school during at least twelve weeks, six weeks to be consecutive.

  • 1852–1918 Compulsory schooling is legislated in all states by 1918. The government appropriates funding for the growth of public “common schools” for most children to attend. Segregation continues, with separate schools and institutions for African Americans, American Indians, and students with visible and significant disabilities. Separate schools are established for students who are blind or deaf or who have physical disabilities; students with developmental disabilities reside in large state hospitals. By 1905, most states have at least one residential institution for children and adults with disabilities.

  • 1855 Kentucky sets up a printing house for people who are blind; this will eventually become the American Printing House for the Blind.

  • 1857 The US Supreme Court upholds slavery in Dred Scott v. Sandford. The decision is regarded as significant among the causes of the American Civil War.

  • 1861–1865 The American Civil War

  • 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect.

  • 1865 The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution is adopted, abolishing slavery in the United States.

  • 1866 The Civil Rights Act of 1866 grants citizenship to freed slaves, passes over President Andrew Johnson’s veto, and is the first of several Civil Rights Acts.

    John Langdon Down publishes the first clinical description for what is now known as Down Syndrome.

  • 1867 The Department of Education Act authorizes the establishment of the US Department of Education. 1868 The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution requires due process and equal protection of the laws. Section 1 grants citizenship to all persons born in the United States and further states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

  • 1869 First named Little’s Disease, the British surgeon William Little changes the name to cerebral paralysis, now cerebral palsy. (p.147)

  • 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution grants the right to vote to all citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

  • 1875 Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which bans racial discrimination in public accommodations.

  • 1883 The Supreme Court strikes down the Civil Rights Act of 1875; discrimination in public accommodations is deemed constitutional.

  • 1896 The Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decrees that racial segregation is constitutional, leading to the phrase “separate but equal.”

  • 1900–1930 The eugenics movement encourages public acceptance of segregation, special classes, tracking, and even sterilization.

    Separate classes within schools are taught by special education teachers; general education and special education teachers are perceived to be different in training and in interest; separate administrative models support segregated, parallel teaching environments, curricula, and instructional models. Enrollment in special classes increases dramatically as children with disabilities are identified. Special classes will remain the preferred system well into the 1960s.

  • 1906 Eugen Blueler identifies behaviors he defines as autistic. Leo Kanner will identify the syndrome of autism in 1943.

  • 1907 The Music Supervisors Conference is founded, now known as the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

  • 1909 The first in a series of conferences hosted by Presidents of the United States (conferences currently called White House Conferences on Children and Youth), the White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children under Theodore Roosevelt opposes the institutionalization of dependent and neglected children.

  • 1910–1930 The movement of children from institutions to separate classes in public schools increases, and separate special education classes are the social norm. Rapid increases in placements in schools leads to increased services, state appropriations, and, in 1930, the largest federal conference on the welfare of children.

  • 1913 The American Association of Social Workers is formed, and by 1920, social work will be a well-established profession.

  • 1918 The Soldier Rehabilitation Act, also known as the Smith-Sears Veterans Rehabilitation Act of 1918, is the first legislation to provide vocational rehabilitation as a means to assist veterans with disabilities to return to daily living and employment. The Smith-Fess Citizens Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1920 will provide vocational rehabilitation assistance to nonveterans with disabilities. (p.148)

  • 1920 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is founded. Among the founding members is Helen Keller (1880–1968).

    Helen Keller forms the American Foundation for the Blind.

  • 1924–1979 The eugenics movement brings forced sterilization to more than sixty thousand individuals. The Supreme Court decision in Buck v. Bell (1927) upholds Virginia’s 1924 sterilization law. More than thirty-three states participate in the sterilization of individuals thought to be undesirable.

  • 1928–1929 Willem van de Wall, musician, scholar, and professor of music education at Louisiana State University, advocates for a music curriculum for all children, including those with disabilities. His articles and books (including Music in Institutions in 1936 and Music in Hospitals in 1946) will provide a foundation for music therapy theory, practice, and training.

  • 1930 By this time, legislation has passed in sixteen states for the preparation of special education teachers; most are certification programs consisting of supplementary training beyond the elementary degree. The enthusiasm for the teacher preparation and the quality of services seen during the 1920s begins to decline. Apathy is attributed in part to the economic conditions of the Great Depression. Conditions in special education classrooms are reported to be deplorable, and stigmatization and social rejection of children with disabilities increase.

    President Herbert Hoover calls for a White House Conference on Child Health and Protection. The largest conference on child welfare to date, it results in the Children’s Charter, speaking to the therapeutic and educational needs of exceptional children for the first time. 1931–1936 Advancements take place in production and distribution of braille reading materials and textbooks through the National Institute for the Blind and the American Printing House for the Blind.

  • 1932 When Frankin Roosevelt is elected President of the United States, he and his advisors hide his disability; he contracted polio in 1921.

  • 1935 The Social Security Act is passed and makes grants available for states to assist children and adults with disabilities.

  • 1944 Michigan State University is the first university to offer a music therapy degree program.

  • 1947 Mendéz, et al. v. Westminster School District of Orange County upholds that segregated schooling for Mexican American and Mexican students in California is unconstitutional and (p.149) establishes an important precedent for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

  • 1950 The National Association for Retarded Children (now called the Arc) is founded. Advocacy groups of the association will challenge restrictions of segregated institutions, schools, and classrooms during the 1950s and 1960s.

    The National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT) is founded. When NAMT merges with a younger organization in 1998, the name of the organization will be changed to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

  • 1954 In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court holds in Brown v. Board of Education that separate schools are “inherently unequal,” thus overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and the “separate but equal” doctrine.

  • 1957 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik. Responses from local, state, and federal US governments focus policy and educational practices on school reform and basic skills—reading, writing, and mathematics.

  • 1958 The Captioned Films Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-905) and the amended act in 1961 (P.L. 87-715) support the production and distribution of accessible films.

  • 1959 The Training of Professional Personnel Act of 1959 (P.L. 85-926) provides grants to prepare teachers of children with intellectual disabilities.

  • 1960s Egalitarianism and humanism are fervent in the actions of organizations and individuals fighting against discrimination of blacks, women, Latinos, and persons with disabilities. With the deep questioning of the mistreatment of groups of citizens by the public along with state and federal agencies, some of the injustices are addressed, and slowly, positive changes are seen in policies and financial support. In part, the actions of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Hubert Humphrey (both who had a family member with an intellectual disability) lead to federal and state assistance to expand special education services and humanitarian support, actions that are continued during the Lyndon Johnson administration.

  • 1961 The Teachers of the Deaf Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-276) provides grants to prepare teachers of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • 1962 President Kennedy appoints a twenty-six-member panel to examine issues and solutions related to people with intellectual (p.150) disabilities. The report and recommendations from the Panel on Mental Retardation signal the beginning of a series of actions by the federal government with programs in the areas of disabilities, civil rights, and education.

  • 1963 The first bilingual education program in public schools is offered through a grant from the Ford Foundation.

    Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta found the United Farm Workers (UFW) in Delano, California. The social justice movement gains momentum for farm workers in the United States. The grape boycott lasts five years and calls international attention to the plight of Mexican American workers.

    President Kennedy forms the Division of Handicapped Children and Youth, the first government agency dedicated to the education of children with disabilities and gifted children. (Services are currently provided by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, OSERS, and the Office of Special Education Programs, OSEP, which administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA.)

    The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963 (P.L. 88-164) provides early assistance for persons with intellectual disabilities and, when amended, is renamed the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act).

    Samuel A. Kirk introduces the term learning disabilities.

  • 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-352) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Funding is provided for in-service programs for assisting instructional staff at schools to solve issues related to desegregation.

  • 1965 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-10) provides the first authorized federal grants for elementary and secondary school programs for children of low-income families; resources, textbooks, instructional materials; educational centers and services; and educational research and research training.

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-110) is passed, and its language loosely follows the language of the Fifteenth Amendment prohibiting the denial or abridgment of the right to vote based on literacy tests.

    Willowbrook State School, the largest institution in the United States houses over 6,000 children with disabilities. After his visit, Senator Robert F. Kennedy describes it as a “snake pit.” The (p.151) deinstitutionalization movement and negative public opinion about state schools leads to its closing, but not until 1987.

  • 1966 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-750) provides the first federal grant program for children and youths with disabilities. It is repealed with the passage of the first Education of the Handicapped Act of 1970.

  • 1965–1966 The National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act (P.L. 89-313) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf Act (P.L. 89-694) provide for operations for a postsecondary education and technical training of individuals who are deaf and authorize the establishment and operation, by Gallaudet College, of a model secondary school.

  • 1967 The Tanglewood Symposium, a MENC-sponsored event, results in the publication of the Tanglewood Declaration. Among the agreed-upon statements from participants from a wide range of disciplines is the call for a “greater emphasis on helping the individual student fulfill his needs, goals, and potentials” and music education as a means to assist children with social problems and children in the “inner city” or “other areas with culturally deprived individuals.”

  • 1968 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1968 (P.L. 90-247) authorize grants to states for programs for children with disabilities, model centers for deaf blind children, recruitment of personnel, and bilingual education.

    The Handicapped Children’s Early Education Assistance Act (P.L. 90-538) authorizes preschool and early-education programs for children with disabilities.

    Latino students in Los Angeles engage in walkouts protesting discriminatory actions and unequal treatment in schools.

    The Supreme Court orders states to dismantle segregated school systems, “root and branch.”

  • 1969 The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1969 prohibits state governments from assuming jurisdiction over lands owned by American Indians (Native American lands) and extends American Indians the same rights held by whites since the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

  • 1970 The Education of the Handicapped Act (P.L. 91-230), the first of the EHA acts, includes a grant program to stimulate states to develop special education resources and prepare special education teachers.

  • 1971 The Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court upholds busing of students to achieve integration, and establishes magnet schools. (p.152)

  • 1972 Pennsylvania Assn. for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a class action law suit, establishes rights of all children labeled as mentally retarded to a free and appropriate education.

    Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, a class action law suit, establishes rights of all children labeled as having a disability (in this case, children labeled as having behavioral problems, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or hyperactivity represent interests of similar children in D.C. schools) to a free and appropriate education to meet the individual needs of children, regardless of the severity of the disability.

    Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program that receives federal financial assistance.

  • 1973 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112), a civil rights act, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities under any program or activities receiving federal financial assistance. It is the first federal act to make discrimination against individuals with disabilities illegal and contributes to the beginning of the disabilities rights movement. Although passed in 1973, it will not be implemented officially until 1977, following pressure from activist and advocacy groups. It will be amended in 1992 (P.L. 102-469).

  • 1974 The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380) is passed. FERPA gives parents and eligible children the right to review and copy educational records, to have records explained, and to request that records be changed if they believe they are in error; records may not be destroyed by any agency if they are requested to be reviewed by eligible parents and children.

    The Education of the Handicapped Children Act Amendments (P.L. 93-330) substantially increases aid for states that began with EHA 1970. States are required to establish a timetable to show when children with disabilities would achieve full educational opportunities in schools, in addition to other procedural safeguards. Within a year, EHA will be amended again, resulting in the landmark Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-142).

    People First, the first national organization for self-advocacy is founded.

  • 1975 The Education of All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) provides for a free appropriate education (FAPE) in the least (p.153) restrictive environment (LRE) for all children with disabilities (ages three through twenty-one). The law requires an individualized education program (IEP), nondiscriminatory testing, and due process procedures.

    TASH is established as the first organization advocating for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs—those most vulnerable to segregation abuse, neglect and institutionalization.

    The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-642) provides for increased participation of American Indians in the establishment and conduct of their educational programs and services.

  • 1983 The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1983 (P.L. 98-199) creates parent training and information centers through federal funding and expands financial initiatives for transition services and to expand services for children from birth to three years of age.

    A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Education Reform is published. The report, one of the first in a series from governmental commissions, criticizes the poor quality of American education. The arts are identified as important to personal, educational, and occupational goals.

  • 1986 The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986 (P.L. 99-457) (Early Intervention Amendments), Part B of IDEA, requires all states electing to participate (all did) to begin serving children by age three by October 1991. Part H develops a program for infants, toddlers, and families. An individualized family service plan (IFSP) is required for each child served.

    The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-372) allows parents of children with disabilities to collect attorney’s fees in cases brought under the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) and provides that the EHA does not preempt other laws, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  • 1987 The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 1987 (P.L. 100-146) authorize grants to support planning, coordination, and delivery of services to people with developmental disabilities. They provide for the establishment of university-affiliated facilities (UAFs) to address the needs of persons with developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities councils coordinate and integrate the provision of services in the least restrictive environment. Additional amendments in 1990, (p.154) 1994, and 2000 will strengthen provisions to promote independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community given adequate support.

  • 1988 The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (P.L. 100-407), the Tech Act, authorizes funding that permits states to develop programs and systems for assistive technology (e.g., motorized wheelchairs, computer systems for communication) and technological assistance to facilitate independence. Assistive technology (AT) can be included as a related service in the IEP.

  • 1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act (P.L. 101-336), ADA, extends provisions of Section 504 to include access and reasonable accommodation in employment and services to private and public sectors, including transportation and telecommunications.

    The EHA is reauthorized and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-476); includes many provisions from earlier laws. IDEA defines AT devices and services and makes them available as part of the IEP; it requires transition plans for employment or postsecondary education.

  • 1990–1991 The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act (P.L. 101-392 and P.L. 102-103) requires individuals with disabilities to have equal access to recruitment, enrollment, and placement activities in vocational education and equal access to a full range of vocational education programs available to other students. This law is closely interwoven with IDEA for youth who receive special education and related services. Students’ IEPs are to provide educational goals and programs leading to work in a technologically advanced society.

  • 1992 The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992 (P.L. 102-469) strengthens the 1973 Act by increasing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be actively involved in their vocational rehabilitation program by exercising choice related to the selection of their employment goals, services, and service providers.

  • 1997 With the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-17), IDEA amendments strengthen the principles of the 1975 law by emphasizing postschool outcomes and including the following: participation in general education and the regular classroom as documented on the IEP; regular education teacher added to the IEP team; age for transition plan no later than fourteen with process to begin no later than age sixteen; assessment of academic progress through state and district assessment programs with AT provisions for assessment and instruction; inclusion of provisions (p.155) for homeless children with disabilities; discipline of students addressed.

    The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) publishes its 1997 Arts Report Card showing an overall poor performance of eighth-grade students in the area of music—creativity, responding, and performance. Low percentages of participation are seen for school ensembles. An assessment will be conducted in 2008 at a smaller scale, but few meaningful comparisons can be made; ensemble participation will remain low.

  • 1998 The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-394) replaces the original 1988 Tech Act and addresses further the AT needs of individuals with disabilities with increasing focus on policy changes, the removal of systemic barriers that impede the acquisition and use of AT devices, and advocacy.

    An amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires the federal government to purchase and deploy new instructional technology and other electronic products that are accessible or compatible with AT used by people with disabilities.

  • 2000 The Development Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-402) provides for adult community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance focusing not only on independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion (prior law) but also on self-determination (new law) in culturally competent programs. Among the provisions regarding access to community-based living options, child care, and transportation is access to and use of recreational, leisure, and social opportunities in the most integrated settings in order to enrich participation in community life.

    The Children’s Health Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-310) contains provisions for federal research into several specific disabilities and provisions for pediatric research initiatives at the National Institutes of Health.

    Vision 2020: The Housewright Symposium on the Future of Music Education is published. Based on the model of the Tanglewood Symposium of 1967, this project results in the Housewright Declaration, which includes a statement that “All persons, regardless of age, cultural heritage, ability, venue, or financial circumstances deserve to participate fully in the best music experiences possible.”

  • 2001 The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) results in comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary (p.156) Education Act of 1965, with focus on testing, accountability, parental choice, and early reading. NCLB is subject to reauthorization which may result in amendments.

    Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, Arab Americans and others of Middle Eastern descent experience increasing discrimination in the United States.

  • 2004 The Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446), still known as IDEA, emphasizes access to general education and experiences with typical children in regular classrooms and nonacademic activities; emphasis is on qualified personnel and inclusion of students in state and local assessments.

  • 2005 Rosa Parks dies at the age of ninety-two. Parks was the catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, and her ill treatment—being jailed for refusing to give up her seat to a white rider—helped point to the injustices of discrimination.

  • 2006 The Combating Autism Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-416) authorizes almost $1 billion through 2011 in federal funding for autism-related research, early detection, and intervention. Reauthorized in 2011 for three years and renamed Autism CARES, on August 8, 2014, President Obama signs the bipartisan bill authorizing $1.3 billion over the next five years.

    The American Association on Mental Retardation changes its name to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). Although intellectual disability is the preferred term, AAIDD points to the important fact that intellectual disability and mental retardation definitions should be considered synonymous, since mental retardation continues to be used in some laws and public policy to determine eligibility for state and federal programs.

  • 2008 The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), originally enacted in 1990, continues to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. The ADAAA (still known as ADA) also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. Amendments make major changes to the way the definition of disability was interpreted in the past and apply to both the ADA and the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  • 2010 Rosa’s Law (P.L. 111-256) officially changes language in federal laws from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” and an “individual with an intellectual disability.” Signed into law (p.157) by President Barack Obama, it is named after Rosa Marcellino, a young girl who attended school in Maryland and whose parents challenged her school’s labeling of their daughter. They worked to pass state legislation to that effect, and after passage at the state level, Senator Barbara Mikulski introduced the same bill at the federal level.

  • 2013–2014 The Keeping All Students Safe Act is introduced in the House in May 2013 (H.R.1893) and in the Senate (S.2036) in February, 2014. If passed by Congress, the law would establish the first federal standards to protect students from misuse of physical restraint and seclusion of student in schools and ensure the safety of everyone in the classroom. To read more about the bill, see the website for TASH at tash.org, and track the latest developments of this and other bills at the website for the Congress, congress.gov.

  • 2014 In a court decision involving a person with an intellectual disability, the US Supreme Court ends their use of the term “mental retardation.” After Rosa’s Law altering language in federal documents, the Supreme Court is the last major national institution to adopt language that self-advocates and organizations have been urging for decades.

Note: Find updates about laws at the website for the US Department of Education, www.ed.gov, and the government’s official web portal, www.usa.gov (p.158)