IV. The Rise of the Institutions 1800 - 1950 A. Understanding and Progress
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"Hell is paved with good intentions."
– Samuel Johnson


Living conditions for persons with disabilities in the early 19th century were harsh, especially in industrial areas. Persons who lived in poverty, whether it was due to being widowed, orphaned, alcoholic, or because of physical or mental disabilities, often were put into poorhouses, or almshouses. Wealthier parents tended to keep their children with disabilities at home.

The 1800s


A common practice in the early 19th century was "warning out" individuals with disabilities and others considered deviant. Warning out was informing an unwanted newcomer that he or she was not welcome in their town. "Passing on" was another popular practice. This entailed loading persons onto a cart and dropping them off in the next town.