On the timeline below the ADA milestones are indicated on the left, and the Rutgers milestones are indicated with (R.U.) at the end of each title on the right.
1766 - Queen's College founded (R.U.)
On November 10, William Franklin, the last Colonial governor of New Jersey and Benjamin Franklin’s illegitimate son, signs the charter that brings Queen’s College into existence. Established to train young men for the ministry in the Dutch Reformed Church, the new college is named in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg, consort of King George III.
1809 - Cornerstone to the first building is laid - Old Queens (R.U.)
On April 27, the cornerstone of the first building—Old Queens—is laid by President Ira Condict. Considered by experts as one of the nation’s finest examples of Federal period architecture, the building will take 14 years and more than twice its projected budget to complete.
1815 - Tommas H. Gallaudet departs for Europe to seek methods to teach the deaf
1822 - American School for the Deaf adds vocational training to curriculum
1845 - First fraternity organized. (R.U.)
The first Greek letter fraternity at Rutgers, Delta Phi, is founded. Both Delta Phi and Zeta Psi, Rutgers’ second fraternity, are labeled subversive by the faculty and are outlawed. The fraternities go underground and become secret societies.
1868- 14th Amendment is passed, providing equal protection of laws and due process
1869 - First intercollegiate football gamed played, Rutgers vs Princeton. (R.U.)
On November 6, Rutgers defeats Princeton, six “runs” to four, in the first intercollegiate football game ever played. Instead of wearing uniforms, the players stripped off their hats, coats, and vests and bound their suspenders around the waistbands of their trousers. For headgear, the Rutgers team wound their scarlet scarves into turbans atop their heads.
1901 - Philadephia, PA starts special education classes.
1918 - New Jersey College for Women opens. (R.U.)
The New Jersey College for Women—now Douglass Residential College—opens. Two curricula are offered: liberal arts and home economics. The college’s entire library consists of about a dozen books stacked on the registrar’s desk.
1919 - Paul Robeson gives valedictorian address. (R.U.)
Paul Robeson, the only African American in his class and the third in Rutgers’ history, gives the valedictorian address at commencement. Hailed as perhaps the greatest college football player of his time, he had been hazed so unmercifully his freshman year that he lost several fingernails because his own teammates purposely stomped his hands during pileups.
1919 - Easter Seals Precursor Founded
Edgar Allen, a businessman in Elyria, Ohio, founds the Ohio Society for Crippled Children, which becomes the national Easter Seals organization. It serves as a model for many of today's charitable organizations—in its methods and, some activists say, in its exclusion of people from the community being helped.
1921 – The College of Agriculture, later renamed in honor of George H. Cook, opens. (R.U.)
1927 - Iron Lung Invented
In 1927 Philip Drinker and Louis Shaw develop the iron lung, a chamber that provides artificial respiration for polio patients being treated for respiratory muscle paralysis.
1932 - First disabled president of the USA
Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the 32nd president of the United States and is re-elected for an unprecedented four terms before dying in office in April 1945. In August 1921, while vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Roosevelt contracted an illness, believed to be polio, which resulted in total and permanent paralysis from the waist down. After becoming President, he helps found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes). His leadership in this organization is one reason he is commemorated on the dime.
1945 - Veteran enrollment grows in post-war era. (R.U.)
With the end of World War II, President Clothier announces that the university “will accommodate all qualified veterans...for whom it is possible to provide.” The influx of GIs swells enrollment from 750 in September 1945 to 4,200 in September 1947 and sets the stage for an explosive expansion in facilities.
1946 – Rutgers University and the University of Newark merge. Rutgers University-Newark
is now a leading world-class urban research and teaching institution. (R.U.)
1948- The General Assembly of the United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1950 – Rutgers merges with the College of South Jersey and its School of Law to create the Camden Campus
. Today, thier law school, nationally ranked, includes a state-of-the-art moot courtroom. (R.U.)
1952- Two Rutgers oarsmen win Olympic gold in Helsinki. (R.U.)
1963 - Ed Roberts initially rejected by U.C. Berkeley
Ed Roberts, a young man with polio, enrolls at the University of California, Berkeley. After his admission is rejected, he fights to get the decision overturned, ultimately succeeding. Instead of a dormitory room, he lives in a converted wing of the Cowell Hospital, which can accommodate his 800 pound iron lung.
1967 -- National Theatre of the Deaf is founded.
1967 -- In 1967, the School of Law earned autonomy from Newark’s law school. (R.U.)
1968 - First Special Olympics
Eunice Kennedy Shriver founds the Special Olympics in 1962 to provide athletic training and competition for persons with intellectual disabilities. The organization grows into an international program enabling more than one million young people and adults to participate in 23 Olympic-type sports events each year. The first International Special Olympics Games are held in Chicago, Illinois in 1968.
1970 - Ed Roberts forms campus quads advocacy group.
"Ed Roberts, ""father of the independent living movement,"" contracts polio in 1953. In 1970, he and and his peers at Cowell (UC Berkeley Health Center) formed a group called the Rolling Quads. The Rolling Quads form the Disabled Students' Program on the U.C. Berkeley campus.
He says ""I'm tired of well meaning noncripples with their stereotypes of what I can and cannot do directing my life and my future. I want cripples to direct their own programs and to be able to train other cripples to direct new programs. This is the start of something big -- cripple power. """
1972 - Section 504 (Public Law 92-603)
It was the first U.S. federal civil rights protection for people with disabilities. It took effect in May 1977. Because it was successfully implemented over the next several years, it helped to pave the way for the Virginians with Disabilities Act in 1985 and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
1975 - The United Nations adopts a Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons.
1975 - Rehabilitation Act passes
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed. Sections 501, 503 and 504 prohibited discrimination in federal programs and services and all other programs or services receiving federal funds. Key language in the Rehabilitation Act, found in Section 504, states “No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States, shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
1978 - ADAPT founded
American Disabled for Public Transit (ADAPT) was founded. It held a transit bus hostage in Denver, Colorado. A yearlong civil disobedience campaign followed to force the Denver Transit Authority to purchase wheelchair lift-equipped buses
1984 - George Murray becomes the first wheelchair athlete to be featured on the Wheaties cereal box
1989- Rutgers is inivited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities. (R.U.)
1990 - Americans With Disabilites Act becomes law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by George W. Bush. The Act provided comprehensive civil rights protection for people with disabilities. Closely modeled after the Civil Rights Act and Section 504, the law was the most sweeping disability rights legislation in history. It mandated that local, state and federal governments and programs be accessible, that businesses with more than 15 employees make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled workers and that public accommodations such as restaurants and stores make “reasonable modifications” to ensure access for disabled members of the public. The act also mandated access in public transportation, communication, and in other areas of public life.
2004 - First Disability Pride parade
A coalition of disability rights advocates and organizations holds the first Disability Pride Parade. Organizers expect 500-600 people to attend the event, which is designed to "change the way people think about and define disability, to break down and end the internalized shame among people with disabilities, and to promote the belief in society that disability is a natural and beautiful part of life." Almost 2,000 attend.
2007 - The United Nations adopts the convention on the Rights of Persons
2007- A centralized Office of Disability Services is established to serve the New Brunswick Campus (R.U.)
2012 - Rutgers joins Big Ten Conference and Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). (R.U.)
By unanimous vote of its Council of Presidents/Chancellors, the Big Ten Conference accepts Rutgers as its newest member in November. The storied conference, comprising leading research-intensive flagship universities such as Ohio State, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin, is noted for its deep commitment to balancing excellence in academics and athletics. Coupled with the Big Ten move, Rutgers is invited to join the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the nation’s premier consortium of top-tier research institutions.
2013- The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updates Title I of the ADA
2013 - On July 1, the university establishes Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
, a multi-location academic, health, and patient services division comprising nine units from the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, three Rutgers units, and two joint university entities. (R.U.)
A History of the Disability Rights Movement, www.dipity.com/itvs/A-history-of-the-Disability-Rights-Movement
Nick Romanenko, 2007 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey