In the three decades since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the City of Rapid City has been committed to addressing issues and barriers affecting residents with disabilities in our community. This is a long-standing commitment of City leaders as well as the mission of the Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, which has worked to educate and inform the public on disability issues since the committee's formation in 1975.
It is hard to believe people with disabilities had limited rights until 1990. In fact, it was not until November of 1975 that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed. This act ensured all children would receive an education and be provided special education and related services. The history of rights for people with disabilities in the big picture is fairly new. Because of the life expectancy of people with disabilities, many of the pioneers have passed on. The teachers that broke these barriers are no longer with us. The following is a biography of the first teacher to teach children in a public school in West Milwaukee in 1962.