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Disability History Exhibit

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Panel 1

3500 BC

The Rig-Veda, an ancient sacred poem of India, is said to be the first written record of prosthesis.

1552 BC

An obscure document called the Therapeutic Papyrus of Thebes marks the first recorded reference to mental retardation.

470 – 399 BC

The philosopher Socrates challenges Athenian citizens to consider what constitutes a good quality of life.

355 BC

Aristotle said those "born deaf become senseless and incapable of reason."

335 – 280 BC

The physician Herophilus founds one of the earliest medical schools in Alexandria. He finds connections between brain defects and disability.

6 BC – 30 AD

The life of Jesus Christ.

130 – 200 AD

The Greek physician and scholar Galen recognizes the brain as the central organ of the nervous system and the seat of intellect.

476 – 1000 A.D.

The Dark Ages: a time marked by indifference, neglect, and fear.

Panel 2

787 A.D.

Datheus, archbishop of Milan, founds the first asylum for abandoned infants. "As soon as the child is exposed at the door of the church, it will be received in the hospital and confided to the care of those who will be paid to look after them."

980-1037

The physician Avicenna proposes treatments for meningitis and hydrocephalus and defines levels of intellectual functioning.

1403

St. Mary of Bethlehem (more well known as "Bedlam") begins to receive mental patients in England.

1500

Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) is the first physician to recognize the ability of the Deaf to reason.

1452-1519

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artistic and scientific genius, studies anatomy and the functions of the brain.

1493-1541

Paracelsus distinguishes between mental illness and mental retardation.

1547

Bedlam is declared a hospital exclusively for the insane.

1536-1614

Felix Platter studies "mental alienation," a precursor to psychiatry that includes both mental retardation and mental illness.

1601

Poor Laws are enacted in Elizabethan England.

Panel 3

1620

The first book on teaching sign language to Deaf people, containing a manual alphabet, is published by Juan Pablo DeBonet.

1752

1st Hospital in the American colonies for the treatment of people with mental illness opens in Pennsylvania in a private home. The patients are moved to the Pine Street Hospital in Philadelphia after it opens in 1756.

1758-1828

Franz Joseph Gall, a highly respected brain anatomist, identifies 39 distinct areas of the brain associated with intellectual functions.

1798

A system of marine hospitals is established to care for sailors who are sick or have become disabled.

1755

The first free school for the Deaf opens in Paris by Abbe Charles de L'Epee.

1755

Samuel Heinicke establishes the first oral school for the deaf in the world in Germany.

1760

Thomas Braidwood opens the first school for the Deaf in England.

1768

The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds opens in Williamsburg, VA. Its first patient is Zachariah Mallory of Hanover County, VA.

Panel 4

1776

US Declaration of Independence.

1777

Arnoldi, a German pastor, believes education of the deaf should begin as early as four years.

1782-1840

Jean-Etienne Dominique Esquirol divides mental retardation into two levels: idiocy and imbecility.

1780s

Valentine Hauy develops embossed print and claims that blind persons can be taught.

1784

Abba Silvestri opens the first School for the Deaf in Italy.

1788

U.S. Constitution

1790

In Paris, Pinel Unshackles people with mental illnesses.

1791

The US Bill of Rights is adopted.

1792

The French Revolution recognizes the innate dignity and worth of all human beings.

1797

Maryland Hospital in Baltimore City is establishes as "a hospital for the relief of indigent sick persons, and for the reception and care of lunatics."

1798

A system of marine hospitals is established to care for sailors who are sick or have become disabled.

Panel 5

1799

"Victor, the Wild Child," is discovered in the woods of Averyron, France.

1801

Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard publishes De l'Education d'un Homme Sauvage which describes his efforts to educate Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron.

1805

Rush's Medical Inquiries and Observations is the first modern attempt to explain mental disorders.

1809

Louis Braille is born at Coupvray, near Paris. At three years of age an accident deprives him of his sight, and in 1819 he is sent to the Paris Blind School which was originated by Valentin Hauy.

1815

Thomas H. Gallaudet departs for Europe to seek methods to teach the Deaf.

1816

Laurent Clerc, a Deaf French man, returns to America with Thomas H. Gallaudet.

1817

Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, the first permanent school for the deaf in America, opens in Hartford on April 15.

1822

American School for the Deaf adds vocational training to curriculum.

1824

The Connecticut Retreat for the Insane (later named the Hartford Retreat and now named the Institute for Living) admits its first patients.

1825

Louis Braille learns of a military method of communicating at night through the use of 12 raised dots on paper. In 1829 he simplifies the code to a 6-dot system for use by the blind. Samuel Gridley Howe opens the New England Asylum for the Blind (later named the Perkins School for the Blind) in Boston.

Panel 6

1837

Panic of 1837 - Over 600 banks fail by the end of the year

1838

The Ohio Lunatic Asylum in Columbus admits it's first patients from the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Cincinnati.

1840

Edward Seguin is appointed head teacher of a class of idiot children at the Salpetriere in Paris, France. At this time he starts a private school in his home.

1841

Dorothea Dix advocates to place persons with mental illness in hospitals for treatment.

1842

A school for idiots opens in the Bicetre with Edward Seguin as a teacher.

1842

P.T. Barnum opens the American Museum in New York and exhibits "Freaks."

1843

Edward Seguin is fired from Bicetre, accused of "abominable" practices.

1846

E. F. Backus in New York introduces the 1st legislation to provide for separate treatment for the feeble-minded.

1847

Thomas S. Kirkbride publishes On the Construction, Organization, and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane. Samuel Gridley Howe admits first idiot pupil to his school in South Boston.

1848

Dorothea Dix appeals to the 30th Congress for federal funding of state facilities for persons with mental illness, mental retardation, and epilepsy. Hervey B. Wilbur opens a private school for idiots in Barre, Massachusetts.

Panel 7

1851

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet dies on September 10.

1852

A school for "feebleminded youth" opens in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

1855

A school for "feeble-minded youth" opens in Albany, New York.

1857

A school for "feeble- Minded youth" opens in Columbus, Ohio.

1858

Isaac Kerlin publishes The Mind Unveiled; or, A Brief History of Twenty-two Imbecile Children.

1859

Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

1860

The Braille system is introduced to America and is taught with some success at the St. Louis School for the Blind.

1860s

Facility for the feebleminded opens in Kentucky.

1861

The American Civil War (1861 - 1865) brings 30,000 amputations in the Union Army alone.

1863

Panic of 1857 creates pressure for facilities to keep students in training schools. Population at the Pennsylvania Training School is 175.

1865

New York adopts the "Willard Plan" which includes separate facilities for chronic cases in an attempt to reduce costs.

Panel 8

1866

Edward Seguin publishes Idiocy. The same year, he publicly argues against large institutions. Samuel Gridley Howe speaks against building large institutions in keynote address in Batavia, New York. St. Peter State Hospital (later named the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center) admits its first mental patients in Minnesota.

1866

A National Home for disabled Union soldiers is established.

1867

Horatio Alger publishes Ragged Dick, or Street Life in New York, suggesting that any boy in America can rise to success if he is intelligent.

1868

14th Amendment is passed, providing equal protection of laws and due process.

1869

Francis Galton publishes Hereditary Genius. Facility for the feeble-minded opens on Randall's Island in New York City.

1870 – 1952

Maria Montessori, influenced by Edward Seguin’s teaching methods, becomes a pioneer in teaching children with and without disabilities.

1871

Population at the Pennsylvania Training School reaches 185.

1872

Alexander G. Bell opens speech school for teachers of Deaf students in Boston.

1876

The Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Persons is founded. Edward Seguin is the first president.

Panel 9

1880

The National Association of the Deaf is founded.

1882

Institution in Syracuse, NY opens farms colonies.

1883

Francis Galton, a cousin to Charles Darwin, coins the term "eugenics."

1887

Women admitted to the National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet).

1888

Maryland opens the Asylum and Training School for the Feeble-Minded. late 1880s Pennsylvania adds a "girls" cottage for 80 women of childbearing age.

1889

Laura Bridgman, worldfamous blind student of the Perkins School, dies at age sixty of pneumonia.

1892

Ellis Island opens.

1894

National Deaf-Mute College becomes Gallaudet College

1896

Charles Eliot Norton (Editor of the North American Review) advocates for the "painless destruction" of insane and deficient minds.

1897

Martin Barr discusses benefits of desexualization at the Association for Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble- Minded Persons.

Panel 10

1899

Boston starts special education classes. Teachers are sent to Massachusetts Institution for the Feeble-minded at Waltham and Elwyn Institute in Pennsylvania for training.

1900

Sigmund Freud Publishes The Interpretation of Dreams.

1901

Philadelphia, PA starts special education classes.

1903

U.S. Congress bars immigration of epileptics.

1904

Martin Barr publishes Mental Defectives.

1906

Rome State Custodial Asylum for Unteachable Idiots in New York opens a farm colony (The Brush Colony). Research Department at the Training School at Vineland, NJ is begun. Henry H. Goddard is hired to head the laboratory.

1907

Indiana passes sterilization law.

1909

Gunnar Dybwad, "Grandfather of the Self-Advocacy Movement," is born in Germany. Clifford Beers, a young businessman who had a mental breakdown and recovered, writes about it in A Mind That Found Itself.

1910

k.

Pane

l 11

1911

New Jersey legislature authorizes statewide special education classes and mandates eugenic sterilization for certain categories of adult feeble-minded. Henry H. Goddard publishes The Kallikak Family. Davenport and Florence H. Danielson publish The Hill

Folk.

1913

Wisconsin Legislature authorizes sterilization to stop the breeding of mental defectives.

1915

Operating expenditures at the Rome State Custodial Asylum for Unteachable Idiots for fiscal year equals $228,893 ($12.81 per inmate per month).

1916

Terman revises the Binet test and introduces the term Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

1917

.

1

918

New York's sterilization law is found to be unconstitutional.

1921

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), a non-profit organization recognized as Helen Keller's cause in the United States, is founded.

Panel 12

1924

Congress passes the Immigration Restriction Act.

1926

Arthur H. Estabrook and Ivan E. McDougle publish Mongrel Virginians: The Win Tribe.

1927

Buck v. Bell – Supreme Court Case that permits sterilizations.

1930

Harvey M. Watkin's questionnaire of 317 members of the American Association on Mental Deficiency finds that 80% favor sterilizations

1931

27 states have enacted sterilization laws.

1933

.

Germ

any enacts the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, permiting forced sterilizations for people with perceived genetic disabilities such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, manic depression, deafness, congenital feeblemindedness, Huntingtons' chorea, and blindness.

1934

Third Reich begins sterilization of Germans.

Panel 13

1935

The League for the Physically Handicapped forms to protest discrimination by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

1936

The Children's Benevolent League organizes (later known as the Washington Association for Retarded Children).

1938

The March of Dimes begins treatment centers and fundraising for children and adults with polio.

1939

Dr. Foster Kennedy, head of the Euthanasia Society of America, urges legalizing euthanasia for "born defectives who are doomed to remain defective." Hitler commences Aktion T4 "mercy killing" program of the sick and disabled.

1941

U.S. Congress declares war with Japan and enters into World War II.

1942

The population of Rome State School reaches 3,940, with 1,000 living in colonies.

1945

World War II ends. Nazis had murdered 18-26 million people in death camps. Two thousand paraplegic soldiers survive the Second World War, compared with only 400 from World War I.

Panel 14

19

47

Pa

rents discuss forming a national advocacy organization during an AAMD conference in St. Paul, MN.

1948

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Cerebral Palsy Association is founded.

1950

The National Association for Retarded Children is formed. The Muscular Dystrophy Association is founded.

1953

Ed Roberts, "father of the Independent Living movement," contracts polio.

1964

Ed Roberts enrolls at the University of California, Berkeley.

1965

Robert F. Kennedy attacks the Rome and Willowbrook State Schools in New York for appalling conditions. Civil Rights marches in Selma, Alabama. The Voting Rights Bill becomes law, nullifying local laws and practices that prevent minorities from voting. Malcolm X is assassinated on February 21.

1955

The Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1956

Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas court ruling that "separate but equal" segregated schools violate the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

1957

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is founded to coordinate localized southern efforts to fight for civil rights.

Panel 15

1960

The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is formed in Raleigh, NC by a group of Shaw University students. The Greensboro Sit-Ins begin in February, protesting segregated seating in a Woolworth’s diner. In two months the sit-in movement spreads to 54 cities in 9 states. Thurgood Marshall, national counsel for the NAACP, warns against accepting "token integration."

1963

The march on Washington is the largest civil rights demonstration to date. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers a speech entitled "I Have a Dream."

1967

National Theatre of the Deaf is founded.

1968

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on April 4.

1969

Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children sues their state over poor conditions.

1970

Ed Roberts and his peers at Cowell (UC Berkeley Health Center) form a group called the Rolling Quads. The Rolling Quads form the Disabled Students' Program on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Wyatt vs. Stickney court case in Alabama paves the way for deinstitutionalization across the country.

1971

The United Nations adopts the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons.

1972

Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rules that exclusionary provisions in Pennsylvania's compulsory school attendance laws are unconstitutional. Geraldo Rivera's TV report on the Willowbrook State School and Letchworth Village is aired to millions of viewers.

Panel 16

1972

The New York State Association for Retarded Citizens brings a class action suit against the state of New York, alleging severe violations at the Willowbrook State School and Hospital. Section 504 (Public Law 92-603) is added to the Rehabilitation Act, forbidding employment discrimination against people with developmental disabilities in federally funded programs.

1972

The Center for Independent Living opens in Berkeley, California. England holds a national conference sponsored by the Spastics Society and organized by the Campaign for the Mentally Handica

pped.

197

3

Canada holds its first self-advocacy conference.

1974

Disabled Women's Coalition founded at UC Berkeley by Susan Sygall and Deborah Kaplan. Self-advocates in Oregon and Washington State organize the first U.S. self-advocacy conference. Wyatt v. Aderholt Federal Court rules that Alabama's eugenic sterilization law is unconstitutional.

1975

The United Nations adopts a Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons.

1977

Activists take over the San Francisco offices of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to protest Secretary Joseph Califano's refusal to sign meaningful regulations for Section 504. The action became the longest sit-in of a federal building to date. The historic demonstrations were successful and the 504 regulations were finally signed.

Panel 17

1978

The federal government agrees to fund Independent Living Centers.

1980

Self-advocates in Minneapolis picket their sheltered workshop for a union election.

1980-83

Sears, Roebuck and Co. begins selling decoders for closed captioning for television.

1984

Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act ensures that all polling places must be accessible.

1980s

Group homes become common in communities, providing a "least restrictive environment" for individuals with developmental disabilities.

1985

19 states still have laws permitting the sterilization of persons with mental retardation. Mental Illness Bill of Rights Act expands coverage of Protection and Advocacy to cover mental illness.

Panel 18

1979

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) is founded in Berkeley, California.

1984

George Murray becomes the first wheelchair athlete to be featured on the Wheaties cereal box.

1985

The National Association of Psychiatric Survivors is founded.

1986

Toward Independence is published by the National Council of the Handicapped (now National Council on Disability), recommending creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

1987

The last residents move out of the Pennhurst Institution in Pennsylvania. Across the country people are leaving institutions and moving into their communities.

1987

Marlee Matlin wins an Oscar for her performance in Children of a Lesser God.

1987

The AXIS Dance Troupe is founded in Oakland, California.

Panel 19

1988

"Deaf President Now" protest at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Dr. I. King Jordan, the first Deaf university president, is named.

1988

ADAPT demonstrators take on inaccessible Greyhound buses.

1989

Opening of a memorial museum for the victims of "euthanasia" and "Special Treatment" at a psychiatric hospital in Bernburg, Germany.

1989

Mouth: The Voice of Disability Rights begins publication in Rochester, New York.

1990

ADAPT "Wheels of Justice" action in Washington DC.

1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is signed by President Bush.

1990

The Secretary of Transportation, Sam Skinner, finally issues regulations mandating lifts on buses.

1990

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered is formed during meeting in Estes Park, Colorado.

1990

Wheels of Justice action by ADAPT in Washington, DC.

1990

The Autism National Committee is founded.

Panel 20

1990

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act is amended and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

1991

Jerry's Orphans stages its first annual picket of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.

1991

Federal "Home of your own" initiative begins. After seven years, Sharon Kowalski, a Woman disabled from an accident, is finally able to leave the "protective custody" of a nursing home and live at home with her partner Karen.

1993

Wade Blank, one of the founders of ADAPT, dies trying to save his son from drowning.

1994

The Remembering with Dignity project begins in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the goal of placing names on the numbered graves in Minnesota’s institutions and getting an apology from the state for years of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

1994

Death of Roland Johnson, a nationally recognized advocate for all people with disabilities.

1995

The First International Symposium on Issues of Women with Disabilities is held in Beijing, China in conjunction with the Fourth World Conference on Women.

Panel 21

1995

Sandra Jensen, a member of People First, is denied a heart-lung transplant by the Stanford University School of Medicine because she has Down syndrome. After pressure from disability rights activists, administrators there reverse their decision, and, in January 1996, Jensen becomes the first person with Down syndrome to receive a heart-lung transplant.

1996

Not Dead Yet is formed by disabled advocates to oppose Jack Kevorkian and the proponents of assisted suicide for people with disabilities.

1996

Sen. Robert Dole becomes the first person with a visible disability since Franklin Roosevelt to run for president of the United States. Unlike Roosevelt, he publicly acknowledges the extent of his disability.

1996

Rodonna Freeman, selfadvocate in Minnesota, purchases a home of her own.

1998

The Remembering with Dignity project secures the release of names of people buried anonymously in the Faribault Regional Treatment Center and begins to mark the gravesites with proper headstones. The state of Minnesota refuses to apologize.

1998

Fourth International People First Conference held in Anchorage, Alaska.

1999

The Supreme Court upholds "Most Integrated Setting" requirement in the Olmstead case.

1999

Death of Irving Martin, a national self-advocacy leader from Minnesota.

2000

10th anniversary of the ADA.

2000

Fewer than 50,000 people living in public institutions