The History of Special Education & How Far We’ve Come

Understanding the History of Special Education in 2021

In 2021, it may be hard to believe the complicated history of special education. In fact, before the early 20th century, special education didn’t exist. Before any legislation stating that students with developmental disabilities required schooling, parents of children with any disability were left to home-school them without proper training.

The History of Special Education

While the early 20th century saw many compulsory education laws set nationwide, special needs students were often excluded from public schools. This left many special needs students to either be educated at home or left without any form of education. It wasn’t until 1933 that groups of parents of children with special needs created advocacy groups to improve the educational disparities for people with disabilities.

After several years of limbo, The Civil Rights Movement and the 1954 Brown vs. The Board of Education decision paved the way for students with disabilities to receive educational protection. But it wasn’t until 1975 when Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This law was created to ensure that all children, including children with disabilities, would receive an education. This landmark legislation required schools to provide students with disabilities, including physical handicaps and developmental disabilities, a comprehensive education.

This law was then reauthorized in 1990 and 1997 and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Thanks to this reauthorization, students with special needs were now granted access to classroom accommodations with professionally trained educators to provide special education schooling.

The Deron School’s Role in Special Education History

Our founders Ronald and Diane Alter realized that existing educational programs in the public sector were not meeting the needs of multiply disabled children. This led to the founding of The Deron School in 1967. The Alters aimed to create a specialized schooling approach with a wide array of resources and programs to help students with disabilities discover talents, cultivate strengths, conquer challenges, and become active members of their community.

Choose The Deron School

Since 1967, The Deron School has offered a state-approved private school program and services tailored to your child’s needs. If you believe that your child would benefit from our wide array of resources and services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our leadership team with any admission inquiries.

Check out the 2021-2022 Alliance Parent Advocacy Series
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