"In the first half of the century, eugenicist ideas, along with charitable initiatives, led to increased institutionalisation or sterilisation of disabled people. In 37 states in the USA, born-deaf women and anyone with an IQ (Intelligence Quotient measured on a biased test) under the age of 70 were sterilised in the 1920s and 1930s. Seventeen states still had these laws on the statute book in the 1980s.
The UK Mental Deficiency Act of 1913 firmly categorised disabled people, as follows:
Idiots - persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness of such a degree that they are unable to guard themselves against common physical dangers.
Imbeciles - persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness which, though not amounting to idiocy, is yet so pronounced that they are incapable of managing themselves and their affairs or, in the case of children, of being taught to do so.
Feeble minded - persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness which, though not amounting to imbecility, is yet so pronounced that they require care, supervision and control for their own protection or for the protection of others. Or, in the case of children, that they appear to be permanently incapable by reason of such defectiveness of receiving proper benefit from the instruction in ordinary school.
Moral defective - persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness, coupled with strong vicious or criminal propensities and who require care, supervision and control for the protection of others.
50,000 children with communication and physical impairments, and more than 500,000 adults were incarcerated in institutions in the first half of the 20th century (many were released in the 1980s). Children with significant learning difficulties were deemed ineducable and those with less significant learning difficulty went to educationally sub-normal schools until 1973."
Information Found: http://www.bfi.org.uk/education/teaching/disability/thinking/#c21
The 20th century was a time for idealism to progress in Eugenics, and develop ways of depressing people who were labelled "defective", much like how one might label broken machinery. Not much had changed in creating an inferiority in certain people, it had only developed into how to manage, sterilise and devalue the differences in people. It has been quite startling to discover the past supporters of the British Eugenics Society, Winston Churchill, H.G. Wells and D.H. Lawrence. Churchill was recorded in the Hansard as saying, "The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feebleminded classes, coupled with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a race danger. I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed." Even though Churchill has been documented as having a lisp and suffering from depression.
Winston Churchill, supporter of the British Eugenics Society.