Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

Decent Essays
The life of an individual born with developmental disabilities 50 years ago differs greatly from an individual born today. A lot of progress has been made in the field of mental health over the past half decade. Many new or revised acts have improved the attitude towards individuals with disabilities and the aid that is available to them.
President John F. Kennedy can be credited with bringing the topic of mental health in front of Congress. In early 1963, Kennedy proposed a legislative package with objectives that revolved around intellectual disabilities. Congress included some of his recommendations in the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments of 1963 and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963.
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This act also widened the group of which individuals would be covered under the law. In 1975, the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act defined developmental disability to include specific conditions that are apparent in an individual prior to the age of 18. In 1978, Congress raised this age to 22. Congress also began the transition from specific conditions to a more general approach, with the definition of a developmental disability being “severe, chronic disability…attributable to a physical or mental impairment…likely to continue
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