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


1990 — Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990, which took effect July 26, 1992, and prohibited discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Photo from the reading clinic program

1994 — Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic established.

Photo of the first art show

Oct. 1994 — Arts and Disabilities exhibits founded to showcase the creativity of children and adults with disabilities.

Photo of Annette Eskind, founding chair of the Nicholas Hobbs Society

Oct. 20, 1994 — The inaugural meeting was held of the Kennedy Center Leadership Council led by Annette Eskind, founding chair. The Nicholas Hobbs Donor Society was established.

Photo of the Henderson Training Series Program

1996 — Britt Henderson Training Series for Educators founded to promote research-based practices to improve education for students with diverse learning needs.

1997 — Established of the Tennessee Disability Information and Referral Office as partnership with the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, which evolved into Tennessee Disability Pathfinder.

1998 — First Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Grants awarded through gifts of Nicholas Hobbs Donor Society members.

Photo of the TRIAD program

1998 — Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) founded.

1999 — Founding of the Vanderbilt Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) interprofessional training program for graduate and postgraduate students enrolled in academic programs in a variety of health-related fields

Blue text = federal legislative landmarks

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


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