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ECONOMIC DEPRESSION AND LACK OF EDUCATION

In spite of an increased understanding of the abilities of persons labeled mentally retarded, and the positive outcomes seen by professionals, the institutions continued to grow in size and number. One reason for this growth was the inability of many families to meet the financial needs of their sons or daughters with disabilities; the lack of educational services contributed. The Great Depression placed a financial strain on all Americans, particularly those individuals and families with special needs.

During the 1920s and 1930s, special education classes were offered primarily in large cities. Many families sent their children to institutions because they believed that only there they would receive training. Lack of community services and negative attitudes about persons with disabilities resulted in an increased demand for institutional placement.

Weaving 1932