Physical and health disabilities have always existed yet have been treated differently across civilizations, cultures, and settings. Students with physical disabilities were initially educated in institutions that could provide a centralized place for equipment and treatment. The first of these institutions was the Industrial School for Crippled and Deformed Children in Boston, established in 1890. Beginning in the 1900s public schools for “crippled children” were established but were self-contained, typically housed in a separate facility or classroom, and did not allow children to interact with their peers without physical disabilities. Through advocacy, legislation, shifts in attitudes, and advances in medical practices, more inclusive settings became available for all children, including those with physical and health needs.

Today, federal laws protect individuals and outline the ...

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