In the peak of the 1970s, there were masses of children with exceptionalities that received poor, unsuitable or no ESE services from the public school system and another vast amount of children were barred from school completely. Numerous states had regulations that explicitly rejected certain children, for example, children who were deaf or blind, children with emotional or behavioral issues, and children who were "feeble-minded". (Keogh, 2007) In 1960, a momentous decision was handed down that was founded in the attempt to end discrimination in the school districts against African Americans. In that decision, Brown v Board of Education, the nation was ordered to stop treating African Americans differently than others were treated. (Myhill, 2008) Little did the nation know that significant decision would impact not only the education of African Americans but it would have a historic impact on the way special education students were to be educated in American public schools.
For the average student with average or above average abilities that has always meant constructing a groundwork for success, but until a decision called IDEA was implemented children with special education needs were given a substandard education that had no hope of leading to success. IDEA was one of the most important decisions that have ever been made in the United States school system. This decision was prompted by the suit of one student who wanted to attend a school that was considered a school and not a "special school". The student resided in Topeka, Kansas and the case traveled all the way to the United States Supreme Court before being determined as unconstitutional to discriminate based on the fact that every student in this nation is to be considered equally (Gargiulo, 2012). Once the decision in the Brown case was decided it was only a matter of time until the special education population reaped the benefits of the decision as well.