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Senator Hill. We are certainly happy to know that. I do want to thank you and express our appreciation, Mr. Salmon, for your splendid statement. Mr. Salmon. Thank you.
Senator Hill. Thank you very much. Is Mr. Walker here, or someone representing him? Mr. Walker is the vice president of the American Association of Workers for the Blind.
STATEMENT OF HULEN C. WALKER, VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
ASSOCIATION OF WORKERS FOR THE BLIND
Mr. WALKER. Yes, sir, Senator. I am substituting also. Senator Hill. All right. We are happy to have you. Mr. WALKER. I am not going to take but just a minute of your time. Senator Hill. Could you give your name for the record ? Mr. WALKER. Hulen Č. Walker Yesterday I filed with the clerk a statement prepared by the chairman of the legislative committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, Dr. Francis J. Cummings, who happens to be engaged in New York today, and could not appear. But he asked me, as vice president, to appear and answer any questions, if I could, that you might have to ask; and also to file with
you, as a part of his statement, this same bill, H. R. 8530 by Mrs. Church, which Mr. Salmon has already made a part of his testimony.
I would like to include this as Dr. Cummings' statement, or as a part of his statement, because it has been endorsed by the American Association of Workers for the Blind.
There are 2 or 3 technical amendments pointed out in Dr. Cummings' statement we feel should be included to protect the interests of the blind in S. 2759. Also I would like to state that we have already testified before the House on the House version, 2758, which is now H. R. 8149 before you.
We urge that insofar as possible a certain portion of the funds for rehabilitation centers and nursing homes be set aside for the blind; and if possible we think that in the rehabilitation-facilities provision some wording or language should be carried where regional facilities might serve the blind better than maybe one in each State.
In other wcrds, the number of blind people is smaller than the number of the overall severely disabled, and we would not require as many centers. However, we do feel that a certain type of facility must be established for the blind—a rehabilitation facility because of the special needs and problems, and the special solutions to those problems.
Therefore, if some language in the bill could be worked out by which several States could apply and secure funds for a regional facility, we think it would be well. Also we think, as I said, in the technical amendments if some provisions could be worked out for the actually setting up more in detail of the services to the blind on the Federal level as well as out to the States--in other words, one section We have cited in S. 2759 says “may” and we think it should be "shall be" set aside for the blind. 'We think that would be helpful. In other words, it would read that certain funds shall be handled by agencies for the blind in the States, rather than may be handled by the State commissions for the blind.
Also, we want to go on record as favoring the formula for financing which is set forth in Senator Potter's bill which is also before you, rather than the formula set forth in 2759.
I believe, Senator, since it is almost lunch time that is about all I have to say. If you have any questions that I can answer I will be happy to attempt to do so. Also I want to say that Dr. Cummings was very sorry he could not be here today, but I hope I have not let him down too much.
Senator GOLDWATER. Mr. Walker, you have done a superb job, and I am certain Mr. ('ummings could not have improved on it. I want to thank you for coming down here and giving us the advantage of your thoughts.
Senator Hill, do you have any questions?
Senator Hu. No questions except to join you, Mr. Chairman, in expressing our appreciation to Mr. Walker for coming and giving us the very fine statement he brought us.
Mr. WALKER. Thank you.
Senator GOLDWATER. Thank you very much. Your statement will be made a part of the record.
(The prepared statement of Francis J. Cummings is as follows:) STATEMENT by Francis J. CUMMINGS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE DELAWARE
COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF WORKERS FOR THE BLIND
My name is Francis J. Cummings. I am executive secretary of the Delaware Commission for the Blind and chairman of the legislative committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind. The opinions expressed in this statement represent the views of the legislative committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, which committee is empowered to act for the association as a whole.
We respectfully request that S. 2758 be slightly amended by earmarking for the blind 20 percent of whatever sums may be appropriated by the ('ongress for nonprofit rehabilitation centers. This percentage is based on the experience of those of us in rehabilitation work with the blind, all of whom have found that the cost of operating a rehabilitation center for the blind is considerably higher than the cost of operating a rehabilitation center for a general group of handicappell, some less severely impaired. The percentage is further in line with present costs of rehabilitating the blind throughout the country as compared with present costs of rehabilitating the handicapped in a general caseload exclusive of the blind. We believe that legislative earmarking is preferable to administrative allocation because administrative personnel change from time to time, and views on the relative importance of various phases of rehabilitation change accordingly. We who have our hearts and our lives dedicated to the uplifting of the rehabilitable blind believe that our experience, not the chance views of some future administrator, might be a better page of the inportance of our part of the rehabilitation task.
The legislative committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind wishes to commend very highly Senator Smith and his coworkers for the generally excellent piece of legislation they have prepared, but respectfully suggests the following amendments which will make the bill more equitable where the blind are concerned.
Poth section 2 (c) (p. 4) and section 3 (d) (p. 7) wonld be fairer to the blind were they to read : "In the case of any State for which there is a separate State agency administering or supervising the administration of the part of a State plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for the blind, the allotment under this section to any State in which there are separate agencies shall be divided in the same proportion as the grants to the State under this act for expenditures during the fiscal year ending June 301 1974, were divided between such agencies: provided that not less than 20 percent of the Federal funds allotted under this section shall be available for vocational rehabilitation of the blind.”
The present wording of the bill would deal a fatal blow to the rehabilitation of the blind everywhere in the country. Our task is already a very difficult one, though a very rewarding one. Blind people made taxpayers instead of tax consumers represent an economic as well as a humanitarian achievement.
Section 5 (a) (1) (p. 9, line 5), change the word “may” to “shall". We believe this is the intent of the bill anyway, inasmuch as "shall" is used elsewhere in the bill in a similar statement. Again we wish to have the value of our efforts on behalf of the blind safeguarded against the changing views of changing personnel.
The committee respectfully requests that certain minor changes be made in section 10 (a) (7) to safeguard the rights of blind people under existing Federal legislation. As we suggest it, the amended section would read as follows:
"The acquisition of vending stands or other equipment and initial stocks and supplies for use by the blind and of equipment and initial stocks and supplies for use by the blind and other sererely disabled persons in any other type of small business, the operation of which will be improved through management and supervision by the State agency or a nonprofit private agency acting as its nominee; and providing that no existing rights or privileges granted to the blind under other Federal acts shall be abrogated; and"
The Committee wishes to commend Senator Potter for S. 3039 which represents a more satisfactory allotment of Federal funds for vocational rehabilitation than is found in section 2 of S. 2759. It does not seem desirable to withhold funds from States doing a thorough job of rehabilitation and transfer them to other States who have shown less enthusiasm and/or competency in this vital area of service. According to charts released by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, this unhappy condition would result from the financing formula suggested in S. 2759.
Congress has always shown itself sympathetic and understanding where the problems of blindness are concerned. We wish to commend our representatives for the support they have given us in our very difficult but deeply satisfying task of helping blind people achiere self-reliance, self-support, self-respect. No achiereme could be more heart-warming unless it be that of restoring blind people again to the world of the seeing, which, too, is a vital part of our rehabilitation programs.
Senator GOLDWATER. The committee will stand in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 12 o'clock noon, the committee adjourned until 10 a. m. the following day, Wednesday, April 7, 1954.)
PRESIDENT'S HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS AND
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to recess, in room P-63 of the Capitol, Senator William A. Purtell (chairman of subcommittee) presiding
Present: Senators Purtell and Lehman. Also present: Senator Matthew M. Neely; Roy E. James, staff director; Melvin W. Sneed and William G. Reidy, professional staff members.
Senator PURTELL. The hearing of the subcommittee will come to order.
Our first witness will be Dr. Charles S. Wise, director, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, George Washington University Hospital.
Do you have a prepared statement, and is it your intention to read the complete statement or do you wish to summarize it and have the complete statement made a part of the record ? STATEMENT OF DR. CHARLES S. WISE, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Dr. Wiss. I would like to extemporize, if I could.
Senator PURTELL. The complete statement will become a part of the record.
(The prepared statement of Dr. Wise is as follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT FROM CHARLES S. WISE, M. D., PROFESSOR OF PHYSICAL
MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
I should like to thank the committee for the privilege of testifying at the public hearings on the President's health recommendations on vocational rehabilitation contained in S. 2758, H. R. 8149, S. 2759, and other bills related to this subject. My own opinion can best be expressed from three different points of view, First, as a medical educator actively engaged in the teaching of physical medicine and rehabilitation to medical students and graduate physicians. Second, as a practicing physician, director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the George Washington University Hospital. Third, as a prirate citizen residing in the District of Columbia, acquainted with the relationships of the local office of Vocational Rehabilitation to our community needs.