1. 1971 – United Nations Declaration on the “Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons” adopted. Providing the same rights given to other…

  2. 1972 – Wyatt v. Stickney, a suit brought against Alabama’s Commissioner of Mental Health, was a class action complaint initiated…

  3. 1971 – National Center for Law and the Handicapped established at the University of Notre Dame. The center was the…

  4. 1971 – Pennsylvania Association of Retarded Children (PARC) v. State of Pennsylvania: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of…

  5. 1971 – Mental Patients Liberation Project founded in New York City. This organization was formed based on the view that…

  6. 1971 – Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 Amended to expand the criteria for attending sheltered workshops beyond blindness, to…

  7. 1971 – One of the first community residences in NYS is established in the City of Buffalo by the group…

  8. 1970 – Urban Mass Transportation Act established by U.S. Congress providing adequate and equal access to mass public transportation for…

  9. 1970 – Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University founded by Burton Blatt and Wolf Wolfensberger. The center was designed…

  10. 1970 – Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University founded by Burton Blatt and Wolf Wolfensberger. The center was designed…

  11. 1970 – Judy Heumann founds “Disabled in Action” (DIA) in New York City as a “civil rights” organization for people…

  12. 1970 – Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) formed to “plan, monitor, evaluate and advocate on behalf of developmentally disabled people,…

  13. 1970 – Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments adopted by U.S. Congress. The first legal definition of developmental disabilities…

  14. 1970s – Rockefeller campaigns for re-election. He promised improvements in the field of mental health with new programs for care…

  15. 1970s – Rockefeller campaigns for re-election. He promised improvements in the field of mental health with new programs for care…

  16. 1970s – Nelson Rockefeller campaigns for re-election. He promised improvements in the field of mental health with new programs for…

  17. 1970s New York – The 1970s were marked by continued pressure from advocacy groups upon New York State government to…

  18. 1966 – NYS Legislation amends Section 4707 of the Education Law allowing the State to subsidize private schools within and…

  19. 1966 – Organization for Accessible Buildings founded in Rochester, NY by a group of young, disabled high school students who…

  20. 1966 – President’s Committee on Mental Retardation established by President Johnson. The central tenet of the Committee is prevention which…

  21. 1966 – NY State Hostel Program initiated. Hostels were homes in the community with “house parents” who lived with the…

  22. 1967 – The Tragedy and Hope of Retarded Children, by Dr.Burton Blatt with Charles Mangel, featured in the October issue…

  23. Normalization Bengt Nirje: – Normalization means…A normal rhythm of the day. You get out of bed in the morning, even…

  24. 1968 – The NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) established by the NYS Office of Mental Retardation…

  25. 1968 – Architectural Barriers Act adopted by U.S. Congress. The act required most buildings and facilities designed, built, altered or…

  26. 1969 – Richard M. Nixon becomes President (1969-1974).

  27. 1969 – Dr. Bengt Nirje publishes the concept of “normalization” in the 1969 President’s Report on Mental Retardation. This concept…

  28. 1965 – Vocational Rehabilitation Amendment of 1965 expanded services to reach a broader population by authorizing the federal government to…

  29. 1965 – Immigration restrictions on the “feeble-minded”: U.S. Congress reverses the 1924 immigration policies which restricted admission of families with…

  30. 1965 – Medicare and Medicaid programs are established by the Social Security Amendments of 1965. The amendments create federally funded…

  31. 1965 – Christmas in Purgatory: A Photographic Essay on Mental Retardation by Burton Blatt and Fred Kaplan documents and illustrates…

  32. 1965 – New York State Senator Robert Kennedy and a television crew visit Willowbrook State School in Staten Island NY.…

  33. 1963-1966 – Outbreak of hepatitis among children at Willowbrook State School, leads to medical testing performed on healthy children. These…

  34. 1963-1966 – Outbreak of hepatitis among children at Willowbrook State School, leads to medical testing performed on healthy children. These…

  35. 1963 – Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes president (1963-1969).

  36. 1963 – November 22: President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

  37. 1963 – The “MillsRibicoff” Bill amends the Social Security Act to assist states and communities in preventing and combating mental…

  38. 1963 – October 31: The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Centers Construction Act was signed by President Kennedy, providing…

  39. 1963 – De-institutionalization and community services for people with mental disabilities moves another step forward when President Kennedy calls on…

  40. 1963 – Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Fund (MHFIF) bill submitted by Rockefeller and passed by the legislature to fund the…

  41. 1961 – President Kennedy establishes the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation. By evaluating the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities…

  42. 1961 – American National Standard Institute, Inc. (ANSI) publishes “American Standard Specifications for Making Buildings Accessible to and Usable by…

  43. 1961 -19, but the facility wouldn’t receive patients until 1963.

  44. 1961 – American Council of the Blind established in Washington DC to provide proper support, care and services to all…

  45. 1961 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy becomes President of the United States (1961-1963).

  46. Overcrowding

    26 February 2014

    Overcrowding – Overcrowding in state institutions leads to the expansion of other state facilities. New York State took over 5…

  47. Rome State Custodial Asylum – The de-institutionalization campaign for people with developmental disabilities begins. The goal was to move individuals…

  48. 1960s – The de-institutionalization campaign for people with developmental disabilities begins. The goal was to move individuals from large institutions…

  49. Social Security Amendments of 1960 U.S. Congress removes the provision limiting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to workers over age…

  50. 1960s New York DisAbility History Timeline Nelson A. Rockefeller begins first of four terms as governor of the State of…

  51. 1982 – Doctors in Bloomington, Indiana had advised the parents of a disabled newborn baby to reject a life saving…

  52. 1965 – Medicare and Medicaid are established under the Social Security Amendments. Medicaid established health insurance for Americans considered disabled.

  53. 1963 – The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Center Construction Act was passed. John F. Kennedy signed the bill…

  54. 1963 – A new polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin. His form of the vaccine was taken orally…

  55. 1961 – Dr. Robert Guthrie’s PKU (phenylketonuria) newborn screening test is ready to be implemented. PKU is a heredity disease…

  56. 1953 – Medical experiments are conducted on 100 boys at the Fernald School in Waverly, Massachusetts. The boys were subjected…

  57. 1952 – Dr. Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine that went through massive testing in the United States and Canada…

  58. 1943 – The classification of autism was introduced by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University. Kanner used the term…

  59. 1941 – Rosemary Kennedy is lobotomized and two years later sent to the St. Coletta School in Jefferson, Wisconsin. She…

  60. 1927 Iron Lung – The first Iron Lung was invented by Harvard medical researchers Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw.…

  61. 1927 – Franklin Roosevelt helps to establish the Warm Springs Foundation for the rehabilitation of polio patients in Warm Springs,…

  62. 1927 – Buck v. Bell is heard in the Supreme Court of the United States. The court rules in favor…

  63. 1921 – Franklin Roosevelt contracts polio. Elected President of the United States in 1932, Roosevelt tried to hide his disability.

  64. 1915 – Dr. Harry Haiselden allows a disabled newborn to perish and promotes this as a way to reduce the…

  65. 1913 – Mental examinations for immigrants are proposed to the United States Congress. Henry Goddard administers the tests on Ellis…

  66. 1907 – Indiana passes the first eugenic sterilization law.

  67. 1883 – The term “eugenics” is coined by Sir Francis Galton.

  68. 1869 – The first wheelchair patent was registered with the United States patent office. This image shows an early 20th…

  69. 1866 – Johnathan Langdon Down publishes the first clinical description of what is later known as Down syndrome.

  70. 1860 – Cerebral Palsy was first classified by the British surgeon William Little. It was first named Little’s Disease but…

  71. 1838 – Jean Etienne Esquirol publishes Des Maladies Mentales. Esquirol was the first to distinguish between mental illness and mental…

  72. 1821 – The Bloomingdale Asylum opened in 1821 devoted to the care of the mentally insane. The asylum used moral…

  73. 1812 – Dr. Benjamin Rush, considered the “father of American psychiatry,” writes his Observations and Inquiries upon the Diseases of…

  74. 1801 – Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the “Wild Boy of Aveyron.” Itard, whose career…

  75. 1801 – Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the “Wild Boy of Aveyron.” Itard, whose career…

  76. 1773 – Virginia establishes the first hospital solely for the treatment of “idiots, lunatics and other people of unsound mind.”

  77. 1751 – The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, is the first hospital to create a…

  78. 1745 – Phillipe Pinel, a doctor at La Bicetre, a Paris asylum, unchains the mental patients at the institution. The…

  79. 1494 – Malleus Maleficarum, or translated “The Hammer of the Witches,” is a witch hunting manual which discusses seizures as…

  80. 400 B.C. – Hippocrates, the Greek physician, wrote the first work on epilepsy disputing that the disorder was a curse…

  81. 1990 – The American with Disabilities Act was a wide-sweeping civil rights legislation giving protections to individuals with disabilities. Equal…

  82. 1981 – 1981 was the International Year of Disabled Persons with ceremonies before the United Nations General Assembly. Governments world-wide…

  83. 1976 – An amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1972 requiring the provision of services for physically disabled college…

  84. 1973 – The passage of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act is a large victory for the disability rights movement. The discrimination…

  85. – Construction of curb cuts for wheelchair users is federally funded with the passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act.

  86. 1972 – Wolf Wolfensberger introduces the idea of “normalization” to a larger American audience in his influential work The Principle…

  87. 1970s – The concept of deinstitutionalization was popular during this decade. A focus on the eventual return to the community…

  88. 1968 – The first International Special Olympics Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago. The International Olympic Committee officially…

  89. 1963 – President Kennedy addresses Congress for the reduction of the number of persons confined to residential institutions. He asks…

  90. 1952 – Angel Unaware, written by Dale Evans Rogers, is published with the royalties going to the National Association for…

  91. 1950 – The National Association for Retarded Citizens was established in 1950. The organization has influenced legislation and public perception…

  92. 1975 – The Willowbrook Consent Decree is signed by New York Governor Hugh Carey, which commits New York State to…

  93. 1945 – National Employ the Handicapped Week is created and signed by President Harry Truman as Public Law 176. The…

  94. 1938 – The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis with the help…

  95. 1924 – The Immigration Restriction Act was considered to be driven by the eugenic agenda. Harry Laughlin, superintendent of the…

  96. 1910 – The Eugenics Record Office was opened in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The concept of eugenics was first…

  97. "Idiot's Club" postcards

    24 February 2014

    1909 – “Idiot’s Club” postcards as well as others were popular gags in pre-politically correct society. The use of humor…

  98. 1908 – Clifford Beers publishes his autobiographical “A Mind that Found Itself” which would start the mental health movement in…

  99. 1887 – Anne Sullivan was hired to teach Helen Keller in 1887. It was in this same year that Helen…

  100. 1845 – As a result of the social movement led by Dorothea Dix, the first asylum for the mentally ill…

  101.  1840-1940 – During this one-hundred year span, the freak show was a prominent form of entertainment. Dime museums, the circus…

  102. 1840 – P.T. Barnum purchased the American Museum and began to exhibit “freaks” as a form of entertainment. The freak…

  103. The Salem Witch Trials

    24 February 2014

    1692 – The Salem Witch Trials resulted in the hanging of 19 witches, both male and female. It has been…

  104. 1601 – Elizabethan Poor Laws were passed from 1583 to 1601 in order to aid the deserving poor, orphaned and…

  105.  1494 – Malleus Maleficarum, or translated “The Hammer of the Witches,” is a witch hunting manual which discusses seizures as…

  106. The court fool

    24 February 2014

    15th CenturyThe court fool was a part of the medieval and renaissance court society. Some jesters were disabled either physically…

  107.   1958 – “Cavalcade of Stars” celebrity fundraiser for the Shield of David, Institute for Retarded Children. Celebrities included Dick…

  108.   1960s – Johnny Carson at the Celebrity Parade for Cerebral Palsy. As television became more available to the public…

  109. 1960 – Kingston Trio album for March of Dimes public awareness. Popular musicians were also part of the effort to…

  110. 1965 – Senator Robert F. Kennedy visits Willowbrook State School and labeled the deplorable conditions a “snake pit.” His visit…

  111. 1965-66 – “Mental Retardation Campaign” public service announcements from the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation with personal appeals from Lyndon…

  112.   1965-66 – “Mental Retardation Campaign” public service announcements from the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation with personal appeals from…

  113. The first Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy is aired on television. The telethon has helped to raise…

  114.   1968 – Henry Fonda in a United Cerebral Palsy awareness and fund raising advertisement with the poster child Kenny…

  115. 1970 – The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped begins to publish a braille version of Playboy…

  116. Beetle Bailey comic book

    06 February 2014

      1970 – Beetle Bailey comic book, a complimentary copy to promote awareness for the Cerebral Palsy Association.

  117.   1971 – Barbara Streisand as the National Association for Retarded Children National Chairman.

  118.   1972 – Sonny and Cher at the height of their fame are named Cerebral Palsy National Celebrity Chairmen. Further…

  119.   1972 – “The National Tattler” newspaper with a cover story titled “Testers Inject Retarded Children has Hepatitis,” about an…

  120.   1972 – Geraldo Rivera does an expose on the Willowbrook State School that leads to an immediate federal inquiry.…

  121.   1980 – John Ritter in a fund raising advertisement for the Cerebral Palsy telethon in association with Miller Beer.…

  122.   1981 – Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  123.   1981 – Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  124. 1981 – Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  125.   1981 – Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  126. 1982 – “The disABILITY Rag” magazine for and by the disabled community was first published in 1980. This magazine is…

  127. "Kids Like These" movie

    05 February 2014

    1988 – “Kids Like These” movie is made for television starring Tyne Daly.

  128. Rain Man

    05 February 2014

      1988 – “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise about the relationship of an autistic savant and his…

  129. 1990 – Mouth magazine publishes its first issue. The bi-monthly magazine considers itself the voice of the disability nation.

  130. Bedlam 1946

    05 February 2014

    1946 – Bedlam 1946 a photo essay from Life magazine that exposes the abuses at American mental hospitals written by…

  131. Moron Gulch

    05 February 2014

    1940s – “Moron Gulch” cartoon depicting “backwoods-men” of several mental capacities.

  132. Little Moron

    05 February 2014

    1940s (1943) – “Little Moron” books become popular with their “jokes” at the expense of the Little Moron and his…

  133. Wizard of Oz

    05 February 2014

     1939 – The “Wizard of Oz” opens in theaters with a large cast of “munchkins.”

  134. The March of Dimes

    05 February 2014

    1938 – The March of Dimes is created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help fight polio. The organization started…

  135. Tomorrow's Children

    05 February 2014

    1934 – The film “Tomorrow’s Children” is released. The movie had a eugenic plot that centered on a family of…

  136. Freaks

    05 February 2014

    1932 – Tod Browning releases the film “Freaks” with a cast of disabled performers. The movie opened to criticism for…

  137. 1868 – “The Prisoner’s Hidden Life” or “Insane Asylums Unveiled,” was an expose on the insane asylum system written by…

  138.  1866 – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine prints an article on Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asulum. Blackwell’s Island, in New York City’s…

  1. The Christian Register

    05 December 2013

    “The Christian Register” runs an uplifting story about deaf, dumb, and blind girl anmed Julia Brace who lived at the…

  2.  Blind Tom (1849-1908) plays his first public performance and became a media sensation even gaining high praise from Mark Twain.…

  3. 1866 – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine prints an article on Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum. Blackwell’s Island, in New York City’s…

[similetimeline]