Page images
[ocr errors]

You said that your tuition income was $178,000? Dr. Elstad. Yes; that is right. Mr. THORNBERRY. How much more does the Federal Government appropriate?

Dr. Elstad. Our request is for $130,000 this coming fall, and we estimate that we will take in $178,000 in tuition. Mr. THORNBERRY. That does not include the library? Dr. Elstad. No. The deaf have raised $100,000 for the library. It is our feeling that if Congress knew that the deaf themselves have raised $100,000 that they would throw in the other $240,000.

Mr. THORNBERRY. I think we ought to get somebody from the Bureau of the Budget Committee to go out there.

I asked you about the women's dormitory. The majority of the buildings are how old, Doctor? I am sure they were built long before 1917.

Dr. ELSTAD. The buildings are from 50 to 60 years old. Our gymnasium was built about 1875. We patterned that after the one at Harvard. It has to take care of the health program of 262 young men and women, plus the children in Kendall School, and it is just impossible to do so adequately. Members of the Middle States Association came down, and they say you have to have funds in an institution as well as physical improvements.

Mr. THORNBERRY. You referred a minute ago to tuition income, Doctor. Is it not true, generally, that people who are deaf and the children, particularly, that come to your school as students have come from families who cannot afford the cost of higher education ?

Dr. ELSTAD. Yes; that is very true.
There are very few of them who can pay the full tuition.

We say that it costs us approximately $1,600 per student. We give an $800 scholarship, which leaves the children $800 to pay. In the case of the vocational rehabilitation agencies in the various States they usually take care of $250, leaving $550 for the parents to pay.

We try to get them to pay as much as possible, and if they can pay, all well and good. If they cannot pay any of it, we still enroll the student. We get a lump sum from Congress to make up

the difference, but we never turn a student away because of lack of funds.

Mr. THORNBERRY. I think that is a point that is not generally understood either. I know at home I have been working with 2 or 3 deaf students to help them obtain admission. I will say this to the doctor, that last year while he was trying to get all he could, I was a little concerned that he was almost too anxious to obtain all he could.

Dr. ELSTAD. Yes.
Mr. HESELTON. What was your appropriation this year?
Dr. ELSTAD. $430,000.
Mr. HESELTON. How much did you get from Congress?

Dr. Elstad. $410,000, and they put it up $20,000. We were the only group in the Department that got a raise, and we were impressed with that.

Mr. THORNBERRY. Now, I want to ask 1 or 2 other questions about this

, and I think, perhaps, the committee would be interested in it. You said you were executive officer of the Columbia Institute for the Deaf. In that connection, explain just a little about the training school for teachers.


Dr. Elstad. In 1881 Dr. Gallaudet asked Congress to appropriate a small sum for the establishment of a teacher-training course for teachers of the deaf, college graduates. It has been training from 7 to 15 teachers, and since 1891 we have Holland and Spain in that also, and Thailand started the first school for the deaf 2 years ago with one of our graduates. India and Spain have also. Bolivia sent students up and they started a school for the deaf. So it has an international aspect, too. Then, of course, we train the deaf teachers of the deaf.

There are 500 deaf teachers of the deaf in the country today and practically all of them are graduates of our college.

There are, frankly, some who believe that the deaf should not teach the deaf, that it should be done by them at the lower levels, but at the high-school level children should be educated solely by speech and lipreading. That is the Bell school of thought. They believe it should be all oral and that the sign language should not be used. The other group, the Gallaudet group, believe you should use every method, manual or oral, that will bring results. I think that is being disputed to some extent. I think and I hope it will be.

Mr. THORNBERRY. Explain about the Kendall School to the committee.

Dr. ELSTAD. We have at Gallaudet College Kendall School, which was established in 1857. It was established for District of Columbia deaf children of preschool age up to, say, high-school age.

We write a contract with the District of Columbia each year to educate their deaf children.

We have 55 children from the District and about 30 in the Kendall School from outside the District.

It is of great value to us to have that school because of this graduate department where we have these teachers in training who use that school as a practice school for their teacher training, and we think it is a very good school.

The new buildings we have are in the Kendall School. Congress gave us $131,000 to build a unit for colored children, and that is the only new unit we have. The college itself has not gotten anything in the way of new buildings since 1917, but these little children have the new building which was built this last year.

So we have 33 colored deaf children there who used to go to Maryland to get their education.

We took them up on our campus last fall for the first time, and then we have some white children.

It is the only campus in the United States where you can get an education from preschool age up to postgraduate college work all on one campus.

Mr. WILLIAMS. Doctor, getting away from the medical aspect of deainess just a minute and getting around to its sociological aspect, I have had quite a bit of experience in observing the activities of the deaf down in Mississippi.

I have found that among the deaf practically everything revolves around the deaf school in Mississippi, including not only the children but the old folks and everybody else.

Is not the school, so far as the deaf are concerned, the focal point of their society?


Dr. ELSTAD. Yes. The deaf have been criticized because they are clannish, but people who criticize them do not realize the handicap of deafness. You enjoy yourself much more when you are with those who understand you, and the deaf understand each other.

As a group of 200,000 people, they are self-respecting, self-supporting people. They have a national fraternal society of the deaf which has been in existence for 50 years.

They could not buy insurance, so they established their own insurance company, and it has been successful. That was the NAD, National Association of the Deaf.

As I say, the State school for the deaf is usually the center of interest and activity in each State. The alumni associations of these various schools are the same way.

Mr. WILLIAMS. I have one more observation, Doctor, and I think you will probably be able to substantiate this. Is not the crime rate among the deaf people practically zero? Dr. ELSTAD. It is very low.

Mr. WILLIAMS. They seem to have a very intense devotion to honesty, personal pride, and integrity.

Dr. ELSTAD. You are perfectly right. Recently there was a misquote in a newspaper here in Washington, that deafness was going to bar a person from driving his car. I wrote to Mr. Keneipp and he wrote back immediately and said, "The deaf have the best record of driving in this city of any group," so that did not work. That was a misquote. Mr. CARLYLE. Mr. Chairman? Mr. HESELTON. Mr. Carlyle.

Mr. CARLYLE. Doctor, in industry, where have you found that the deaf find the best opportunities?

Dr. Elstad. I would say in printing there was the most money, and most of them go into that. There is linotype operation and presswork. I would say that is the best.

Dr. HARDY. Actually, in broader terms, sir, in the whole range of hearing disorders—that is, with a lesser disorder than the deaf group Dr. Elstad has been talking about—there are relatively few limits that should be exerted in industry except those which involve exposure to an undue amount of noise. Relatively few.

Dr. Elstad. That is right. Civil service lists thousands of jobs they can hold. They are doing very well. Mr. THORNBERRY. Will you excuse me, Mr. Carylyle? Mr. CARLYLE. Yes.

Mr. THORNBERRY. The greatest need for people who are deaf is an opportunity for training? Dr. Elstad. That is right.

Mr. THORNBERRY. That is all that bothers the deaf. So many of them do not have the opportunity to receive training that will enable them to do things.

Dr. ELSTAD. That is true. Mr. THORNBERRY. As I will say again, if you will excuse a personal reference, I grew up among the deaf. My mother and father were deaf and were educated in a school for the deaf, and have taught there, and I grew up with them.

Given a necessary amount of training, it is almost possible for them to do anything. As you say, there is no special exception made for the deaf, even though we have made exceptions for the blind, in the social security and tax laws and otherwise. There is no place where there is a special exemption for the deaf.

Mr. HESELTON. Any further questions?
Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HESELTON. Mr. Roberts.

Mr. ROBERTS. Doctor, I have had the pleasure of visiting the college out there, and I think it was one of the best deals I have ever had in Washington. I was out there at one of the graduation exercises. Do you have any hospital facilities for the students out there?

Dr. Elstad. No. When I came there 8 years ago we did not even have a nurse,

but we have a nurse now; and we have a hospital room in the men's dormitory and 1 in the girl's dormitory and in 2 of the smaller dormitories we have 1 room set aside. If there is an illness, they have to go to a hospital in the city.

We have now an insurance policy that covers both sickness and health; that they all have, that they all take advantage of.

Mr. ROBERTS. Is that premium paid by the student?

Dr. Elstad. If he can. Vocational rehabilitation pays it in some States. It is 100 percent.

Mr. ROBERTS. Separating the administrative expense from the expense of food and the textbooks and equipment, about what would your average spending on each student there in the school be?

Dr. ELSTAD. Well, as I said awhile ago, it costs us around $1,600 for the whole expense, the per capita cost. I would say about $1,100 of that would be for teaching. About $500 or $600 would be for maintenance, I would say. I cannot give you the exact figures.

Mr. ROBERTS. Does the $1,600 figure include everything?
Dr. ELSTAD. Everything.

Dr. Elstad. That is rather low, compared with the country in general. I think on the average per capita cost some of them go as high as $2,200, such as in the State of Illinois.

Mr. ROBERTS. It would not include clothes, of course?
Dr. ELSTAD. No. We give nothing for that.
Mr. ROBERTS. That is part of the student's expense?
Dr. ELSTAD. Yes.

Mr. ROBERTS. I have a fine school for the deaf in my district in Alabama, the Alabama School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Dr. ELSTAD. True.
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not know whether you know about that.
Dr. Elstad. I know Dr. Ryan.

Mr. Roberts. Do practically all of the States and Territories have schools for the deaf?

Dr. ELSTAD. Every State, with the exception of Delaware, New Hampshire, and Nevada, has a State residential school like Alabama has. Those States will send them to the neighboring State and pay the full cost there.

Mr. ROBERTS. Most of those schools teach through senior-high school?

Dr. Elstad. No; they do not. They go through about the 10th year. That is why our college, for instance, has 5 years. It has a preparatory

We are

year which bridges the gap between what that school does and what is done in the freshman class. We have a 5-year course.

Mr. ROBERTS. You maintain, I assume, very close liaison with the schools in the various States, do you not?

Dr. ELSTAD. We do. Mr. ROBERTS. Do you have any kind of a part of the year set aside where representatives come here and go over these problems, or is that mostly through the deaf associations?

Dr. ELSTAD. No. That is done usually from the administration office in that school with their school. Two years ago we had an institute where we invited students from the various schools to come, with the idea of looking the place over. We had 90 students who came from 30 States for a week. We put them up for a week. They paid their transportation. It was a very fine experiment. It was hard to find sleeping space for them. We were surprised to get so many.

The standards in the various schools are not the same. trying to see if something can be done about that. We take the State certification, usually.

For instance, Alabama would certify nine students as qualified. We would take them on the certification. Now our examination is an examination of exclusion, because we cannot take more than a few, so we have to have some way of keeping them out. That is the way it is done, by examination.

Mr. ROBERTS. What type of academic degree do you confer?

Mr. Elstad. B. A., B. S., and occasionally they can come back for an extra year's work.

For instance, this year we enrolled a girl who was a graduate of Augustana College, Rock Island. She is a deaf girl from Augustana College, Rock Island. She wants to teach the deaf physical education. She cannot get a teaching position unless she has education credit, which she did not get. She is coming to us for a year to take our education course for the year, and she is going to work her way through by helping us with physical education. She will go out at the end of the year with her credits that she needs and she can get her position as the physical education teacher in a school for the deaf.

Mr. ROBERTS. At most of the State institutions-I know of one at Talladega, Ala.—they conduct various forms of enterprise, such as sewing and that sort of business, for people who are not necessarily in the school. The people who are deaf come in there and make these things and then put them on the market. That is done at Talladega by both the deaf and the blind. Is any of that type of work done there at Gallaudet, or is it strictly academic!

Dr. ELSTAD. It is strictly academic, but as we expand, our offerings are going to have to be more diversified. For instance, there will be drafting and business courses. There is a demand for that now. We have hard enough times getting the staff to teach the college courses, without branching out. That is coming.

Mr. ROBERTS. In other words, you do have in mind that the trade school feature will be developed ?

Dr. ELSTAD. That is right.

Mr. ROBERTS. For those who do not prefer to go through the academic part. If they want to learn a trade, that will be possible?

« PreviousContinue »