IV. The Rise of the Institutions 1800 - 1950 B. 1850 - 1880: Make the Deviant Undeviant
 Previous Page  To Menu


With proper training, it was believed, many persons with disabilities could be educated to return to the community and lead productive lives. Optimism for the early "training schools," the increasing awareness of the numbers of persons with disabilities, and reformers such as Dorothea Dix, resulted in an increase in the number of institutions. At this time, the underlying belief was that through proper education and humanitarian means, we could "make the deviant undeviant" – we could change them to fit better into the world.

Boy's Class PA 1886
Boys' classroom at the Pennsylvania Training
School for Feeble-Minded Children, 1866