Dogged Determination: An Anthology of the 1957 Law Requiring Education for Handicapped Children in Minnesota's Public Schools -- A First in the Nation

Funder: Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Historical Society, Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants

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Wrote and published the book, Dogged Determination: An Anthology of the 1957 Law Requiring Education for Handicapped Children in Minnesota's Public Schools -- A First in the Nation.

In 1957, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive law requiring special education in Minnesota's public schools for those considered educable - one of the first in the nation.

Evelyn Deno (1911-2005), a University of Minnesota professor, collected stories from those who were involved in drafting and implementing the 1957 law, but she passed away before it could be published. The book is named after her dogged determination to create public school services for children with disabilities and her tenacity to complete the anthology.

The University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration received Minnesota Cultural and Heritage grants to publish Deno's work. Norena Hale organized and condensed Deno's stories while Gretchen Bratvold provided developmental editing to create a publishable manuscript.

Part I provides a succinct history of how children with disabilities were at first institutionalized and then gradually educated in public schools in Minnesota. Part II shares the stories from those involved in getting the law passed. And Part III summarizes through first hand accounts about how the 1957 law provided for the creation of a special education section in the Department of Education, for teacher training programs, and for individualized specialized services in the public schools.

Areas of work: Self-advocacy, Self-determination and self-direction

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