Disability History Links

The Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance is pleased to present the following catalogue of existing resources focusing on disability history particularly related to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The first two links are the only sites that present themselves as museums, either virtual or brick-and-mortar:

Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum promotes understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by recovering, chronicling, and interpreting their stories.

Museum of disABILITY History -
The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum's exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.


The remaining links address various aspects of the history of intellectual and developmental disability.


Parallels In Time: A History of Developmental Disabilities
Parallels In Time is a history of society's attitudes and treatment of persons with Developmental Disabilities.

Parallels in Time II: 1950-2005
Parallels In Time is a history of society's attitudes and treatment of persons with Developmental Disabilities. This is part II.

Disability Social History Project
Disability civil rights movement, other important events and people with disabilities in history, and the representation of disabled people in the mass media throughout time at the Disability Social History Project.

The Disability History Association
The Disability History Association Website

Disability History Week - Legislation

Disability History Week - Home

Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project
Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project is a library of primary documents from the early 19th century until the present which allows researchers to explore the experiences of people with disabilities in the United States in a cross-disability, interdiscplinary, intergenerational mode. Postcards, photographs, government documents, letters, magazine articles, books, real audio with contemporary interviews, excerpts of old radio shows and films--all included, and nothing else like this exists on the net.

The DRM WebWatcher: History of Disability
A Disability Resources Monthly guide to the best online resources about the history of disability.

Disability History / Disability Culture / Family Village

Disability History: Timeline
Provided by
National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth

Office of History - Virtual Exhibits
The Office of History, National Institutes of Health exists to advance historical understanding of biomedical research within the NIH and the world. Through preserving records of significant NIH achievements, innovative exhibits, educational programs, and training researchers from multiple disciplines, the Office of History explores the past to enhance present understanding of the health sciences and the NIH.

Museum Collections on display | n m h m
The various collections on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C. Historical, Anatomical, Neuroanatomical and other archives.

The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement - University of California, Berkeley

Mental Retardation - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Disability History

The Centurion : Ability Exhibit breaks down stereotypes
The Centurion is the student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

Tools For Change Catalog : Disability History Exhibit | Advocating Change Together (ACT)

NEMA | Children's Museums & Exhibitions PAGs Workshops

Boston Children's Museum : Exhibits: access/ABILITY

LICM - Galleries

Labyrinth of Living Exhibits < Experience & Learning < The Arts Catalyst
Labyrinth of Living Exhibits, the first in a series of Specimens to Superhumans events curated by The Arts Catalyst and Shape, considers issues around the historical representation of disabled people within medical contexts. 12 May 2011 at Hunterian Museum, London. Visitors will be invited to explore the Hunterian's collections where they will find four 'living exhibits', erformances by disabled artists commissioned expressly to create respond to the museum's permanent collection.

The Disability Rights Movement

Flickr: The Disability History Pool
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you take with a cameraphone.

Leadership in the History of the Developmental Disabilities Movement

Action for Access - Changing Perceptions of Disability in American Life

The Willard Suitcase Exhibit Online

A People's History of the Independent Living Movement | Independent Living Institute

The University of Toledo - Disability History

Access Living: The Disability History Exhibit

UKDHM - Home

Disability History Week - Home

IT'S OUR STORY Answers from America's Disability Activists
Pull all your project information together in one place and stay connected with your project team. Includes a project blog, a place for to-do items, team profile pages, a file storage area, and more!