The Voiceless Are Heard

The Voiceless Are HeardThe work across the country by advocacy groups, families, federal, state, and local governments was beginning to dramatically shift the landscape for people with developmental disabilities. Children with developmental disabilities were moving into the public school system, and a self-advocacy movement was beginning to develop.

In 1976, while the operating budget for the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities had grown to $103.1 million, with $77.4 of that spent on institutional care, the amount of people served by Ohio’s county boards grew to 20,722.

Amended Substitute House Bill 455, Ohio’s “Education for All Handicapped Children Act,” was approved by Gov. James Rhodes in May of 1976. This legislation mandated that school-age programs be chartered by the State Department of Education. Other services remained under the rules and regulations of the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Citizen Advisory Boards in developmental centers and a Joint Mental Health and Mental Retardation Advisory and Review Commission was established by Ohio House Bill 1215.

Ohio CBDD began providing services for infants and toddlers and their families based on current research, this would not be included in IDEA until 1986.

Photo Source: Alaska Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education