The Arc US  also acknowledged that many children with severe and profound disabilities lived in residential institutions, where they had to same right to education under P. L. 94-142. State education agencies were required to assume at least general supervision of the educational programs within institutions. Those educational programs had to be provided in the least restrictive environment.

In 1977, The Arc US recognized that it would take some time for the guarantees of P. L. 94-142 to be implemented in institutions. In 1981, The United States General Accounting Office soon realized that the implementation of P. L. 94-142 in the community would take some time.

Adults and children interacting Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D

Shifting the Focus from Placements to
Teaching Strategies and Life Outcomes

Two conferences in 1975 and 1976 signaled a major shift in the approach to people with more severe and profound disabilities. In 1975, The Arc US, through a grant from the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped, conducted a conference called "Educating the 24-Hour Retarded Child". In 1976, the Council for Exceptional Children published Hey Don't Forget About Me, the report of a conference about "education's investment" in people with severe, profound and multiple [disabilities].

Both conference reports presented some key concepts that would begin to help create a vision of a life of involvement and integration for children many thought required segregation. The focus turned to teaching functional and age appropriate skills.