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Prior to 1970, Congress passed other legislation that reflected a growing recognition of disability issues, and efforts were begun to address and respond to some of these issues:

1970 The Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments of 1970 were passed. This legislation gave states broad responsibility for planning and implementing comprehensive services for people with severe disabilities, and authorized the creation of a Developmental Disabilities Council in each state to plan and coordinate activities.
1971 Amendments to Title XIX of the Social Security Act authorized Medicaid reimbursements for intermediate care facility (ICF) services. Services were defined as those services designed to meet the needs of individuals "...who do not require the degree of care and treatment which a hospital or skilled nursing facility is designed to provide, but who because of their mental or physical condition require care and services (above the level of room and board) which can be made available to them only through institutional facilities...." These amendments also authorized public institutions to be certified as intermediate care facilities under certain conditions, thus making services provided in a public institution mediate care facilities under certain conditions, thus making services provided in a public institution eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
 1972 The Social Security Act of 1972 authorized a consolidated, federally administered cash benefits program for needy individuals and couples who are aged, blind, or have a disability. This program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), established a basic federal income support level for eligible individuals. Children with disabilities under the age of 18, including children who are blind, were eligible for benefits provided their disabilities were comparable in severity to adult recipients.
1973 The Rehabilitation Act was completely rewritten with stronger emphasis on providing rehabilitation services to people with severe disabilities. Section 504 of the Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in all federally assisted programs and activities. Sections 501 and 503 protect people with disabilities from employment discrimination by federal agencies or federal contractors.
1974 The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 established the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Block grants were a major source of federal aid to urban areas. Funds could be used for architectural barrier removal and the construction of accessible public facilities. Each urban area was required to prepare a Housing Assistance Plan that reflected the needs of people with disabilities within that area.
1975

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act mandated that educational systems provide "a free appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive setting" for all eligible children with disabilities. The Act required that an individualized education program (IEP) be developed, annual goals and short-term objectives identified, and specific special education and related services described.

Part B of the Act was expanded to provide federal financial assistance to states and local education agencies so they could meet their obligations.

Since 1986, the Act has included a formula grant program (Part H) to assist states to develop a statewide network of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities. Part C awards grants or cooperative agreements to strengthen and coordinate education, training, and related services for youth with disabilities to assist in the transition process to post-secondary education, vocational training, competitive employment, continuing education, independent and community living or adult services. In 1990, this legislation was retitled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

1975

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act mandated that educational systems provide "a free appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive setting" for all eligible children with disabilities. The Act required that an individualized education program (IEP) be developed, annual goals and short-term objectives identified, and specific special education and related services described.

Part B of the Act was expanded to provide federal financial assistance to states and local education agencies so they could meet their obligations.

Since 1986, the Act has included a formula grant program (Part H) to assist states to develop a statewide network of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities. Part C awards grants or cooperative agreements to strengthen and coordinate education, training, and related services for youth with disabilities to assist in the transition process to post-secondary education, vocational training, competitive employment, continuing education, independent and community living or adult services. In 1990, this legislation was retitled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).