The Path of Access: Exploring the Vacillating Histories of Individuals with Physical and Developmental Disabilities in the United States

  • Eric Shyman Dowling College Department of Special Education


The social and educational history of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities in the United States has been an underrepresented area of importance in the historical and philosophical discourse of education. However, when examined closely, these two groups of individuals share both common plights and important developments across time. Discussion of such a topic is important as knowing the history of a people is imperative to maintaining social progress and benefit for that people. This paper will examine the social and educational histories of individuals with physical and development disabilities in the United States, as well as explore the corresponding political and legislative practices in the United States.