|1963 - Child and Maternal Health Act (Public Law 88-156)|
This was the first federal Act on Child and Maternal Health. It focused on finding a cure for mental retardation. Many of its ideas came from the President's Panel on Mental Retardation. John F. Kennedy formed this group soon after he was elected.
|1963 - Mental Retardation Facilities and Construction Act (Public Law 88-164)|
The first federal law directed to help people with developmental disabilites. Its focus was on finding a "cure" for "mental retardation" and it created university centers to work on this.
|1965- Title XIX - Social Security Act (Medicaid - Public Law 89-97)|
The first program that gave states money to help fund services for people with disabilities. Changes in Medicaid policies have continually changed the way services are delivered.
|1969 - California's Lanterman Act|
This law established that Californians with disabilities had a right to services in the community. It created the network of Regional Centers that are still active today.
|1972- PARC v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania|
In this court case, parents asked that their children with disabilities receive the same education as do all children. This classic case is a forerunner for the Education of All Handicapped Children Act.
|1973- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 93-112)|
Section 504 was only a few words added to the Rehabilitation Act as it was being re-authorized. It said any program that received federal funding must be accessible to people with disabilities.
|1974 - Wyatt v. Stickney|
An early, state level court decision in Alabama establishing that persons with "mental retardation" who lived in institutions had a right to treatment and services.
|1975 - Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (Public Law 94-103)|
These amendments to the DD Act introduced the Protection and Advocacy system. It also added a section called the "Rights of the Developmentally Disabled."
|1975- Education of All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law.94-142)-now the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)|
This law said all children and youth with disabilities had the right to go to public schools, and receive an education that matched their abilities.
|1989 - Penry v. Lynaugh|
The first time the United States Supreme Court clearly said people with "mental retardation” could not receive the death penalty.
|1990 - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, Public Law 101-336)|
This law said people with disabilities have the same civil rights as do all Americans. With the ADA, it became illegal to leave people with disabilities out of things like getting a job, using businesses and services, and using public transportation.
|1998 - Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 105-220)|
This ammendment to the Rehabilitation Act said all electronic media created by the United States Government must be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes websites and computer programs.
|1999 - Olmstead v. L.C. (The Olmstead decision)|
In this landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, the court said people with disabilities have the right to live in the community. This meant that all states needed to help people leave institutions.
|2002 - The Commonwealth of Virginia apologizes for forced sterilizations|
This is a piece of Virginia legislation. The Governor apologized for Virginia's sterilizing over 8000 women, only because they had disabilities. Within a year, three more states also apologized.
|2006 - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)|
A treaty in which the United Nations (UN) said people with disabilities have the same human rights as everyone else. Until then the UN mostly saw people with disabilities only as deserving of help from others.
|2010 - Rosa's Law|
This law changed the words "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" in all US government documents. It also said the words "mentally retarded" were to be changed to the person-first language of "an individual with an intellectual disability."
|2010-Minnesota Apology Bill|
This Minnesota state legislation gave people with disabilities an apology for the terrible things that had happened in state institutions.
|2011 - Colorado pardons Joe Arridy|
In 1939, Joe Arridy was executed for two murders he did not commit. Mr. Arridy had a significant intellectual disability and in 2011 received a "Posthumous Pardon" from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.
|2012- Lane v. Kitzhaber|
This U.S. District Court decision said the state of Oregon could not segregate people with disabilities in sheltered workshops.