Disabilities Throughout History

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by vefriend
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
World History

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Disabilities Throughout History

"As to the exposure and rearing of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live"Aristotle (384-322)

"all people defective in any way, who look or behave or function differently than the rest of society should be identified and eleminated. Only those who are "normal", those who can make the greatest contribution to society would survive."Thomas Malthus 1793Clergy and Economist

"three generations of imbeciles is enough"In 1927 Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes approved sterilization of people deemed to be "imbeciles"

"Babies born mongoloid should immediately be institutionalized. If the infant merely exists at a level that is hardly human, it is much better for the other children and the parents to have him cared for elsewhere.Dr. Benjamin Spock 1946Infant and Childcare Expert

Christianity brought some change.In 787 A.D., Datheus, Archbishop of Milan, founded the first asylum for abandoned children. In 1215, the Shrine at Gheel Belgium was dedicated to the care of the mentally afflicted. Conditions in these type facilities were poor at best.

Disabilities Throughout History

Often victims of taunting and abuse, people with abnormalalities were locked in cages, or starved and abandoned. Some villages even paid passing ships to take them away, on what were called "ships of fools". These were like traveling "freak shows" that people would pay to see. After the sailors had no use for them, they would be abandoned at another port, left to care for themselves or die. Asylums, colonies and poor houses housed them in later years.

Changing Laws:Queen Elizabeth 1563-1601Her "Elizabethan Poor Laws" started shifting the providing of basic care of the disabled to the governmentPublic Law 85-926provided funding for colleges training personnel in teaching children with IDDElementary and Secondary Education ACT 1965subsidized direct services for the disabled in public schoolsPublic Law 89-313 1967provided Title 1 funding for disabled children

Public Law 94-142 1975Education for All Handicapped Children Actprovide for a free and appropriate education for all children (FAPE)Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004established quality personnel, IEP standards and transition planning

Changes in Terminolgy: feeble-mindedidiotmoronimbecile retardedhandicappedexceptional

We've Come a Long Way Baby

Jamie Brewer is an actress in the series American Horror Story. She served on the ARC Governmental Affairs Committe, arguing before senators to have the use of the word "retarded" removed from legislation. She has Down Syndrome.

A Different World

Madeline Stuart has Down Syndrome, but that hasn't kept her from reaching her dream of becoming a model.


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