Parallels In Time V. The Reawakening 1950 - 1980 A. 1947 - 1980 The Parent's Movement
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In 1960, the European League of Societies for the Mentally Handicapped was formed and became the Inter-national League of Societies for the Mentally Handicapped (lLSMP) in 1961. The ILSMP, now called Inclusion International, includes representatives of parent groups, professional organizations, and other individuals "anxious to advance the interests of the mentally handicapped without regard to nationality, race, or creed." Inclusion International works to improve the quality of services through the exchange of information and experts among countries.

A growing recognition of the rights of people who are mentally retarded led to further reform and program development at an international level. Many professional organizations adopted a statement of rights but the most significant statement was entitled the "United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons." This declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1975.


Although parents were aware of the needs of their families and their children with disabilities, legislators were not well informed about the conditions of public institutions and the overall quality of life for persons who were mentally retarded. Changes began with the efforts of one parent, Mr. Arthur Trudeau. In 1954, Mr. Trudeau invited his friend and former schoolmate, U. S. Representative John Fogarty, to the Christmas party of the Rhode Island Association for Retarded Children.

Representative Fogarty had become one of the nation's leading health experts in Congress, but knew little about the conditions of persons with disabilities. At this party, parents approached Representative Fogarty and gave him accounts of the lack of services, denial of services, isolation, and segregation. Representative Fogarty listened and promised to help.