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Developmental Disabilities Council

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Delaware's History of Disability

  • Partners
  • Media
  • Photos & Articles
  • Historical Documents
  • Oral Transcripts

Collaborative Partners

The Delaware Disability History Project would not be possible without the help and participation of our community partners:

A special thank you to Temple University for helping provide guidance to our Council on the best way to capture the history of disability in Delaware.

Committee Members

  • Developmental Disabilities Council
    Pat Maichle, Stefanie Lancaster, Kristin Harvey, & Emmanuel Jenkins
  • Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens
    Wendy Strauss
  • State Council for Persons with Disabilities
    Jamie Wolfe and John McNeal
  • Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Deb Veenema
  • Autism Delaware
    Annalisa Ekbladh
    Daniese McMullin-Powell
  • Delaware People First
    Barbara and Bill Monaghan
  • Delaware Historical Society
    Katie McDade
  • United Cerebral Pulsy
    Monica Edgar
  • Advocate
    Billie Travolini
  • Advocate
    Ellen Coulston
  • The ARC of Delaware
    Linda Cox
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    Chuck Tarver
  • Delaware Department of Agriculture
    Faith Kuehn
  • Down Syndrome Association of Delaware


The Delaware Way

The Delaware Way - Pat Maichle

Larry Mendte sits with Pat Maichle Senior Administrator of the Delaware Developmental Disability Council to discuss the history in Delaware of how people with disabilities have been treated.

Claws and Wings

Claws and Wings

The Developmental Disabilities Council is honored to present "Claws and Wings", a collection of personal oral histories as shared by twenty-two unique and extraordinary Delaware disability advocates.

The Gang of 19

We Will Ride! The Gang of 19

Some of the foundational protests that ignited the disability rights movement took place on July 5-6, 1978, just around the corner from the Denver Public Library at Colfax and Broadway. Men and women of the Atlantis community, known as "The Gang of 19," threw themselves in front of buses in an attempt to convey their disenfranchisement.

Photos and Articles

ADA Act Wilmington

Oral History Project

The oral history project examines the dark history and progress of disability rights in Delaware.

Delaware Online Link

State's History of Lobotomies Preserved at Georgetown Mental Institution

While the lobotomies in 1964 represent one day of the institution's almost 100-year-old history, the procedure was one of the many practices performed at the institution that are now considered to be cruel and ineffective.

Historical Documents


What we know so far: Created by Delaware Tech interns, Carmen, Nicole and Anita. Thank you for your work.