Analysis of the timelines below can help students to locate important events in Disability History in a larger historical framework. Timelines also offer opportunities to explore the impacts of activism, policy, and social change. Disability History timelines work best when students are also gaining contextual background knowledge about larger social forces and events. Thus these particular timelines are recommended for grades 6-12.
Scan Multiple Timelines
- Which events are familiar?
- Which events are most important in the history of people with disabilities?
- How do events focused on different groups reflect larger societal changes?
- YO! - Youth Organizing - Shows advocacy and policy developments in disability rights from 1815 forward. Opens as a PDF.
- Disability Rights Timeline - From the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.
- History of Developmental Disabilities - Focused on the history of developmental disabilities. Begins 1500 BCE and ever more detailed toward today. Presents timeline as a set of narratives. Created by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.
- Accessibility.com - Timeline of Disability Rights in the United States.
- National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled - Details the history of this vital service of the Library of Congress from 1931 forward. Screen cap of the page is below.
- UMass Amherst - A Brief History of Disability Rights in the United States with video by Lawrence Carter-Long.
- U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy - Disability & Employment - Commemorating 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act.