50 Years - Opening Doors, Transforming Lives

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Timeline

How quickly the world has changed for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 50 years. Families, community organizations, researchers, clinicians, staff, students, educators, public policy makers - all have worked together to create change. We will create an even better future together over the next 50 years. The VKC Timeline places VKC milestones within the context of the national disabilities rights movement.

1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

View list of center directors


1975 — Public Law 94-142 Education of All Handicapped Children Act was passed by Congress; it is extended today as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.

Photo of Jon Kaas in research lab

July 1979 — Peabody College merged with Vanderbilt University, making possible expansion of the Center’s interdisciplinary research, in particular neuroscience research.

Blue text = federal legislative landmarks

VISIT A DECADE: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


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