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Interested in disability history? Check out what happened Today in AT History!


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  • Ralph Teeter - American blind inventor, is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. He was best known for inventing cruise control.
  • The Japanese ASL Signers Society is formed by a group of Deaf and Hearing people who went to United States of America (U.S.A) to study for higher education and learned American Sign Language (ASL).[1]
  • January 17 - The 4th Winter Paralympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria. The Games were not held at the Olympic venue in Calgary, Canada due to financial and recruiting difficulties. This was the first time that the USSR competed. Sit-skiing was also introduced.[2]
  • September 13 - The Fair Housing Act, originally passed in 1968 as part of the Civil Rights Act and prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of race, religion, etc., is amended on to also cover disability. The Act mandates equal housing opportunities for people with disabilities and makes it unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing.[3][4]
  • October 15 - The 8th Paralympic Games, previously occuring as a separate event, are held for the first time in 24 years in conjunction with the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.
  • December 16 - The movie "Rain Man" is released. It is a movie about a man and his autistic savant brother, and for many audiences, was a first introduction to some of the issues surrounding autism.[5]


  1. "Background and History of JASS." Japanese ASL Signers Society. June 20, 2004. Accessed on March 10, 2008.
  3. "A Guide to Disability Rights Laws." U.S. Department of Justice. September, 2005. Accessed on February 4, 2008.
  4. "History of Fair Housing in America." Access Washington. Accessed on February 4, 2008.
  5. Rain Man. The Internet Movie Database. Accessed April 2, 2008.