The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed revolutionary changes in philosophy, values, and attitudes toward and rights of persons with developmental disabilities. The period of 1950 to 2000 can be characterized as being devoted to securing the civil rights of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The movement—a collaboration of parents, professionals, and self-advocates—has emphasized acceptance of people as people in their own right with whatever limitations are part of that disability. The emphasis on securing rights occurred in a context that, for the most part, discounted efforts regarding search for treatment that would ameliorate a disability as evidence of a lack of acceptance of the person with a disability.
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