The medical establishment has played a pivotal role in the lives of individuals who have disabilities. In antiquity, individuals with “differences” were viewed with curiosity and superstition, seen as harbingers of evil or as a connection to the divine, and were pitied, and/or persecuted. As scientific and medical knowledge advanced, the medical community began to classify and concoct cures or treatments to lessen or eliminate the disabling conditions. Medical researchers seeking to prevent or treat disabilities often viewed the large groups of institutionalized individuals as prime candidates for medical experimentation. These individuals often had no voice in their participation in the research. Here are some key events in the history of disability and the medical community.