These two roads, however, were not evenly traveled. By far the majority of resources went to the institutions, not to community alternatives. This two track approach was the dominant strategy for two decades and delayed the development of community alternatives.
Some of the key concepts and strategies of the 1960s had meanings which were quite different than today's. For instance, the major meaning of "community alternatives" in the context of the President's Panel's recommendations was smaller institutions in more urban settings.
The proposed change for institutions was to develop "small, residential units having 500 beds, accessible to or in urban areas, and combined residential and day care units should gradually replace large institutions isolated from the centers of population. Special efforts should be made to return the institution to the community."
There were no expectations and little contract with the outside world for children with developmental disabilities in institutions.