Special Education Today:
An Unfinished History
Based on: Special Education for Today’s Teachers: An Introduction,
by Rosenberg, Westling, and McLeskey (second edition)
Chapter 2 Questions
• What is the social history of special education?
• What are the major components of IDEA?
• How do Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) assist
students with special needs?
• What are relevant characteristics of NCLB?
History of Special Education
• Teachers / Schools / Organizations
• Eugenics / Institutionalization
1950 – 1972
• Civil Rights Movement
1972 – Present
• Access to Education
Then and Now
• Most children with
disabilities are educated in
their neighborhood school in
general education classrooms.
• Employment rates of
individuals with disabilities
• The number of first-year
college students with
disabilities has more than
• No guarantee of free
appropriate public education.
• Approximately 1 million
children between 7-17 were
not enrolled in school.
• Schools educated only 1 in 5
children with disabilities
• Many states excluded
students with certain
• Institutions “housed”
individuals with disabilities.
• Free Appropriate Public Education
• Least Restrictive Environment
• Individualized Education Plan
• Nondiscriminatory Assessment
• Parent Participation
• Procedural Safeguards
Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA)
Special Education Related Legislation
• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - Protects
individuals with disabilities from discrimination.
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) -
Broadens the agencies and businesses that must
• Neither law provides for an individualized
educational program that meets child's unique
needs and provides educational benefit.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)*
• Accountability for Results
• Evidence-Based Teaching
• Highly Qualified Teachers
*Every Student Succeeds Act