1970 — The President’s Committee on Mental Retardation
The Decisive Decade
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
We see the decade of the '70s as one in which decisive progress can be made in overcoming mental retardation and its causes. Exciting work being done in a score of fields and at every level of national life is intensifying toward real achievement in this so-long neglected area. Research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences has discovered many causes of this mind muffling condition. Ways have been found to prevent some of these causes, and we are on the threshold of discovery of other preventive measures. It now seems probable that at least one major cause of retardation could be dramatically diminished by assuring all Americans a basically adequate diet. And the effects of the mental retardation that cannot yet be prevented can be reduced in many cases through education and training programs begun in early childhood.
These discoveries can be translated into practical programs and service delivery systems. Much of the base for making up-to-date, effective programs available to the mentally retarded has been established. Each state has a comprehensive plan for the development and improvement of services for the retarded. A framework for school services for the retarded is established. The Federal Government supports essential research, training and innovative assistance programs. Fundamental reform in the multi-million-dollar-a-year field of residential services for the severely retarded is beginning. Agencies and citizens generally are making the journey from old attitudes of pity and revulsion to a view of the retarded individual as a human being with dignity and potential. Increasingly, programs focus on helping the retarded person participate as fully as he can in the community's life and work. This report, Mr. President, our second to you, will comment on several areas of most significant progress and most critical need in mental retardation. We ask your help in commending this report to key individuals in public and private agencies and organizations whose action can bring about the advances now.