Before Public Law 94-142-Before 1975Many individuals with disabilities were housed in state residential institutions. Children living with their families were sent to special schools, rarely received a high school diploma and rarely attended college.
Public Law 94-142
1975Congress passed Public Law 94-142 (Education of All Handicapped Children Act), which supported the education of children with physical disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The purpose of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act was:
- “To assure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education which included special education and related services designed to meet their ‘unique needs’”
- "To assure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected"
- "To assist States and localities to provide for the education of all children with disabilities"
- "To assess and assure the effectiveness of efforts to educate all children with disabilities"
Ten years after US law mandated the education of children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, schools still resisted.
1986Amendments mandated that states provide programs and services from birth
1990Amendment changed the name to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
1997Amendments supported initiatives for services from high school to adult living