Moments in Disability History 1
"The Birth of the Parent Movement"
Beginning in the late 1940s and through the 1970s, there was a reawakening of hope and possibilities for persons with disabilities. In the fall of 1950, ninety persons from across the country came together in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to participate in the first national parent conference. Minnesota Governor Luther Youngdahl was the featured speaker.
Governor Youngdahl, a pioneer of the humane concept of care, was one of the first public officials to speak about the rights of people with disabilities and nondiscrimination. Parent organizations went on and filed lawsuits to force states to recognize the civil and legal rights of their children.
Laws were passed to enforce these rights, services were established and delivery systems were required to provide appropriate services to children and adults with disabilities. The disability rights and nondiscrimination movement was given birth.
Audio: Governor Youngdahl
The full text of Governor Youngdahl's 1950 speech on "The Retarded Child" and other related speeches.
Article: "Parents of Retarded Held Not to Blame" by Geri Hoffner