chapter  9
38 Pages

Children with Disabilities: The Long and Winding Road to a Free and Appropriate Public Education

Between the mid-1960s and 1975, parent advocates, state legislatures, the federal courts, and the U.S. Congress outlined the fi rst comprehensive initiative for the educational rights for children with disabilities to fi nally obtain a free and appropriate education in the public schools with the least restrictive environment. This occurred in the midst of the civil rights movement and was also a civil rights issue that was signifi cantly ignored. Strategically adopting the tactics of other civil rights movements, advocates for children with disabilities turned to the judicial system to garner their own endowed civil rights (Martin, Martin, & Terman, 1996).