End The Waiting List History

The Waiting List is not just a recent problem.  We began this debate nearly 60 years ago as we worked to move people into community settings.  However, despite significant strides, we have left many Nebraskans without access to the vital care that they need.  Here are some of the many steps that have occurred in that time period.

  • 1850 – 1950
    • Institutional care began in Beatrice
      • Nebraska Institution for Feeble-Minded Youth, Beatrice State Home
    • Forced sterilization: no consent required
  • 1950 – 1960
    • Greater Omaha Association for Retarded Children (GOARC) founded
    • Nebraska Association for Retarded Children (NebARC) founded
  • 1960 – 1970
    • Governor Morrison created Interagency Committee on Mental Retardation (same happening at the national level)
    • Legislature established the Office of Mental Retardation within Department of Health
    • Lee Terry of KETV Channel 7 Documentary series on Beatrice State Home (Out of the Darkness)
    • Legislature passed 14 laws to provide for creation, funding & coordination of community-based programs throughout the state
  • 1970 – 1980
    • Eastern Nebraska Community Office of Retardation (ENCOR), first regional community services agency, formed by four county governments
    • Pilot Parents Program in Omaha by GOARC
    • Horacek v. Exon lawsuit
    • People First movement began
    • Individual Program Plan (IPP) process began
    • PL 94-142—Education for All Handicapped Children Act (later became IDEA)
  • 1980 – 1990
    • Home & community-based waiver services for children with mental retardation & their families approved for Nebraska
  • 1990 – 2000
    • ARC began quality review teams
    • Governor Nelson’s Blueprint for Action addressed the waiting list
  • 2000 – 2010
    • Waiting list grows
    • Conditions at Beatrice State Developmental Center are brought to light
    • Changes to services delivery
  • 2010 – present
    • Introduction of Managed Care
    • Establishment of Enable Savings Accounts
    • Historic Budget Cuts, Cuts to Transition Services, and various cuts to Medicaid lead to new struggles that have forced many to reconsider institutions
  • 2020
    • End the Waiting List

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