The Ladd School Historical Society is a private organization dedicated to researching and recording the history of the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center; formerly a residential and custodial institution for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Exeter, Rhode Island.
The undertaking of the Ladd School Historical Society is based on over twenty years of painstaking work. Though our source material spans from the turn of the 20th century to modern times, our research focuses on the pre-war era; a time when developmental disability was called feeble-mindedness, and the institution's residents were referred to as inmates.
Some may object to openly discussing and analyzing certain key events, linguistic norms, and once-prevailing social mores in the Ladd School's early history. However, such information is not intended to reflect the character or constitution of any existing organization or any person, living or dead; it is only a matter of historical fact. And though such facts are not always presented dispassionately, they are nonetheless true.
By exploring even the most unpleasant parts of this history, we believe its trials and transgressions will therefore not have caused suffering in vain but serve to fascinate and inspire new generations with knowledge in the hope of informing a more compassionate society.