Historically, there were no services or educational options available for individuals with developmental disabilities. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established a panel of professionals from many fields who would focus on bettering the service options available for those with disabilities. A year after being established, the panel of professionals delivered a report with over 100 recommendations including research, preventative health measures and educational support.
Since then, Ohio has had a strong tradition of providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities. During the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s this tradition led parents, advocates and other local individuals to develop schools in their communities that would allow for educational options, sheltered workshops and other opportunities for those with developmental disabilities.
Today our system, in both Ohio and the United States in general, is at a crossroad as expectations of and for individuals with developmental disabilities rightfully increases. Individuals with developmental disabilities now, more than ever, want the opportunity to be more active and fully participate in all aspects of their community.