It was 40 years ago, at the end of June 1967, that deinstitutionalization of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities began as a national phenomenon in the United States. In June 1967, the annual census of state institutions then conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) indicated that there were 194,650 residents of state institutions for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That was the highest total in history. This NIMH survey of “mental hospitals” for the same period identified an additional 33,850 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities among the residents of public psychiatric facilities. After 1967, the total U.S. population for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in state institutions began to decrease. Figure 1 shows, in 10-year intervals, this decrease over the 40 years of state institutionalization depopulation, from 1967 to 2007. In June 2007, the number of state...

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