Mental Retardation &
Developmental Disabilities
blue bullettAn American History of Mental Retardation
A time-line of events relevant to people with mental retardation/developmental disabilities. 1800 | 1870 | 1900 | 1950

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Movies involving issues of mental retardation, mental health, institutionalization, and disabilities.

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A selection of links organized by topic which readers may find useful. 

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Topics of this web site are listed alphabetically to make navigation simple.

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Commentaries written by the author and readers of this web site.

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An opportunity for an open discussion with others who are interested in mental retardation & developmental disability issues.

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Recent News:

  • March 22, 2000:  The Family Opportunity Act of 2000 (S. 2274) is read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.  The goal of the bill is to, "amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide families and disabled children with the opportunity to purchase coverage under the medicaid program for such children."
  • Dec 17, 1999:  The Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999  (Pub. L. 106-170) is signed into law.  Summary of Law:  "To amend the Social Security Act to expand the availability of health care coverage for working individuals with disabilities, to establish a Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program in the Social Security Administration to provide such individuals with meaningful opportunities to work, and for other purposes."
  • Oct. 27, 1999: The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1999 (S. 1809) is introduced.  The bill is intended to, " to improve service systems for individuals with developmental disabilities, and for other purposes".
  • June 22, 1999:  U.S. Supreme Court rules in three cases that individuals whose disabilities are correctable by medications or devices may not be protected by the ADA.
    • Sutton et. al v. United Air Lines, Inc. (No. 97-1943).  Twin sisters who were nearsighted had uncorrected visual acuity of 20/200 or worse.  With corrective measures their vision was near 20/20.  United Air Lines, Inc. rejected their applications because they did not meet their minimum requirement of uncorrected visual acuity of 20/100 or better.  The court held that they were not protected as disabled under the ADA because they could correct their vision.
    • Albertson's, Inc. v. Kirkingburg (No. 98-591).  The Department of Transportation required that commercial truck drivers have corrected distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye and distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40.  Kirkenburg, who had uncorrectable 20/200 vision in one eye was erroneously given a commercial driver's license.  In 1992 he was told that he would have to obtain a waiver from the DOT to keep his license.  Kirkenburg did obtain the waiver however Albertson's, Inc. fired him.  The court decided that his impaired vision in the one eye did not limit a major life activity and he was not protected by the ADA.
    • Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (No. 97-1992).  Murphy was hired as a truck driver.  When it was discovered that he would not be eligible for a Department of Transportation health certification due to high blood pressure he was fired.  Since his blood pressure was controlled by medication the court found that the blood pressure did not limit a major life activity and he was not protected by the ADA.
  • June 22, 1999:  U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case of Olmstead v. L.C. (No. 98-536) that, "under Title II of the ADA, States are required to provide community-based treatment for persons with mental disabilities when the State‚Äôs treatment professionals determine that such placement is appropriate, the affected persons do not oppose such treatment, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental disabilities."

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Last updates to site: September 16, 2000

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