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Disability History Exhibit

Panels are available as both PDF images and Accessible HTML

PDF Images - Panel Content - Timeline


Guide to using this HTML version of the panel display:

  1. Images were not always clearly labeled in the original print version and so alt tags in this version are as descriptive as possible given the information available.
  2. The color coding provided for the print display is explicitly labled in this HTML version:
  • Blue indicates disability from a moral viewpoint
  • Brown indicates disability from a medical viewpoint
  • Green indicates disability from a minority, or social, viewpoint
  • Gray Line indicates a connection to a different time in history

Please note that not every event falls easily into one category; these color codes are used to indicate trends in how disability has been viewed over time.

Panel 1 - Disability has always been, and will likely always be, a part of the human condition.

Panel 2 - Religion has played an important role in providing basic services and shaping attitudes toward people with disabilities.

Panel 3 - Persons with disabilities are treated as social problems and public burdens.

Panel 4 - Disability becomes a medical issue requiring the services of trained professionals.

Panel 5 - A gradual understanding of science leads to new and often painful treatments for persons with disabilities.

Panel 6 - Social reform and new ideas in education offer opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Panel 7 - The commitment to education and the quality of services decline with the increasing demand for institutional placement.

Panel 8 - The quality of services for persons with disabilities further declines with a growing suspicion of all people who are different.

Panel 9 - Persons with developmental disabilities are made scapegoats for many of society's problems.

Panel 10 - Persons with disabilities - over 200,000 - are the first victims of the holocaust.

Panel 11 - Services slowly become available to persons with physical disabilities; many with developmental disabilities are largely forgotten and abandoned in institutions.

Panel 12 - Parents assert their leadership and begin to organize on behalf of children with disabilities.

Panel 13 - Advocacy by parents leads to increased funding, better community services, and larger institutions.

Panel 14 - Influenced by the civil and human rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, people with disabilities begin to fight for their rights.

Panel 15 - Disability is no longer limited to moral or medical definitions; it is now viewed by many as a social construct.

Panel 16 - People with disabilities face new opportunities and threats as America's largest minority.

Panel 17 - Persons with developmental disabilities advocate for themselves and others with disabilties, proclaiming "we are people first!"

Panel 18 - Thousands of self-advocates across the world speak for themselves and fight for social change.

Panel 19 - Activitsts remember the past and work to ensure that crimes and mistakes are not repeated.

Panel 20 - Naming and claiming who we are, where we come from, and where we want to go.

Panel 21 - Disability is an art. Disability is a unique way of life.