This paper approves that there can be no doubt that special education has followed its own long and winding road in terms of the services that are offered and the process that takes place. From the days in which those with disabilities were either left to be a burden on their families without a place in the world, to being housed at the expense of others in state institutions, to being allowed to pursue an almost mainstream education alongside their peers, special education has gone from being seen as a social stigma to almost commonplace.
This paper makes a conclusion that above all else, a huge debt of thanks and gratitude is owed to the pioneers of special education. To those such as Thomas Gallaudet, who believed that the deaf should not have to grow up in a silent world with no words to sustain them. To John Fisher and Samuel Gridley Howe, who were unwilling to accept that the world of darkness for the blind was the only world they should know. To the politicians and forward-thinkers, the philosophers and the reformers, to everyone who felt that education for all should be the norm, and not an unacceptable, unattainable goal. To those that worked endlessly to make others notice the plight of those left at the mercy of the state, called insane or “not right” because of disability. No matter what laws are passed, no matter what legislation is put in place and what education is received today because of it, without the people of history and their way of thinking, it would not exist at all. ...Show more