Attitude, Litigation, Legislation

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Attitude, Legislation, and Litigation Special education has come a long way since the 1950’s. Prior to the inception of the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) students with disabilities were lucky to get an education and if they did it was usually due to their parents’ home schooling them and if they were lucky enough not to have been institutionalized. Children with disabilities were looked at as lesser beings and were treated as a dirty secret or an embarrassment by society quite often. These children were denied educational opportunities that would have provided them with the skills to lead productive and rewarding lives. The National Association for Retarded Children was founded in the 1950’s and wanted to ensure that people or children with disabilities were provided with adequate medical care, social services and education (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011). Through the decades attitudes, legislation and litigation have changed for the better where special needs children are concerned. Attitudes regarding special needs children have evolved and changed in a positive direction in 1961 when President Kennedy created the Presidents Panel on Mental Retardation (The History of Special Education in the United States, 2013). Because of this panel states were given aid for educating students with disabilities. Following this in 1965 President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into effect which also garnered more funding for special education (The History of Special Education in the United States, 2013). Special needs children’s rights have been insured with many different litigations and laws. An increase in research in regards to disabilities that affect children has been brought about because of the increased awareness and understanding of children with disabilities (Hardman, Drew,
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