In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act-Public Law 94-142-entitled children with disabilities to an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment." This was generally interpreted to mean "inclusion" in local public schools. While some deaf students flourished, others felt isolated and frustrated. Few students would encounter deaf teachers or adults in school who could serve as counselors or mentors. Programs in public schools designed specifically for deaf students continue to grow, but for many children, they are the only deaf students in their class.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the paper with people. They are in the Rose Garden at the White House.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Act, June 8, 1965, at a White House ceremony. The need for improved technical education for deaf students prompted the founding of NTID, which is on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Female teacher and mother teaches her female child with the book.

As her teacher reads a story, this deaf preschool child watches and listens through an FM amplification system. The child's mother participates to learn communication strategies during the individual lesson.

Thomas Claggett Elementary School
Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland

Black female teacher is with her Black Deaf male child in classroom.

This deaf student from a public school in Prince George's County, Maryland, is signing and speaking with his teacher. Through an FM amplification system he uses his residual hearing to listen as much as possible. The teacher, who is wearing a microphone, is trained to work with deaf students. Several communication options are offered in the county's program for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Thomas Claggett Elementary School
Prince George's County Public School, Maryland

Photographer: Jim Sherwood