A History of Educating Children with Disabilities in America

Updated: Jun 22

It is not often you see a young man with such a passion for inclusive education. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Miles Kredich, a teenager with a twin brother who has autism. Watch this short (8 minute) documentary that gives a history of special education and gives a great case for inclusive education.

Video Transcript

Look around America today. Our public schools are embracing diversity.

There are students of different ethnicities, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different religions, and different abilities.

Students with disabilities are being educated more effectively than ever before, and are being included in their schools and communities because of relatively recent legislation.

Even today's TV shows, such as Glee, are reflecting the culture of inclusion in our schools.

But it wasn't always this way, and we still have a ways to go.

How did we get to this point, and how can we progress?

This is Educate-able: A History of Educating Children with Disabilities in America.

Before the 1800's, children with developmental disabilities had no legal right to an education and were often kept at home, or were sent to institutions.

But in 1817, a man named William Gallaudet created the first special education school, and many more other schools followed.