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FOLLOW-UP OF PLACEMENTS MADE FROM JULY, 1931, THROUGH APRIL, 1953
Milly Invetvedt Moderately lovelvod: Soveroly Involved.
Dr. BROOKS. I might point out that before you came in I believe Senator Lehman made a point about the fact that rehabilitation converted a person from a public charge to a taxpayer. It might interest you to know that all these people that were placed in jobs—these were people who had not had jobs, and 17 of them had never had a job in Their lives-their annual gross earnings were $105,505, as opposed to nothing before, plus being a public liability. I think that is a rather vivid illustration of the value of rehabilitation, and how little it really costs ultimately.
Our reasons for appearing before your committee are twofold: (1) To ask that sufficient money be appropriated to provide for the rehabilitation of the cerebral palsied;
(2) That some sort of provision be included in the law to make sure that each State be required to develop a rehabilitation program not only for those who can be placed in employment within a short period but also for those whose rehabilitation will take a longer period and cost more money.
That has to do with the fact that cerebral palsy is so deep in the reservoir I mentioned a while ago that unless some provision is made a State which has an official who wants to make a showing and feels that numbers who have been rehabilitated is of great significance-and they certainly are- he could certainly show greater numbers for the expenditure of his dollars by concentrating on handicaps that are much more effectively approached than this very severe one.
We are not asking for undue consideration to be given to the serious handicaps, but that a proportionate share should be provided.
I will be happy to answer any questions which you may have. Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you.
Senator GOLDWATER. Doctor, you have answered the questions that I
Senator GOLDWATER. This was from nothing a few years ago. We now have two active hospitals in the capital city.
Dr. Brooks. There is a great deal of activity.
Senator GOLDWATER. Thank you very much for coming, Doctor. We certainly appreciate your taking the time.
The next witness is Mr. Harry Read, executive assistant to James
CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS
We have presented a formal written statement, but I shan't read that. It will be incorporated in the record.
Senator GOLDWATER. It will be, sir. The entire testimony that you have presented will be included in the record and you can proced in any way that you see fit.
(The prepared statement of Mr. Read is as follows):
STATEMENT OF Harry READ, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO JAMES B. CAREY,
SECRETARY-TREASURER, CIO I am appearing before your committee to set forth the views of the Congress of Industrial Organizations on proposed legislation to meet the grave and grow. ing problem of permanent disability among the American people. Joining with me in this statement is Mr. Michael J. Quill, vice president of the CIO and chair. man of the national CIO committee on safety and occupational health. I am the secretary of that same committee and I can assure you that these views of our committee reflect the decisions of our CIO conventions and our 6 million members throughout the country.
The national problem presented by the physically handicapped portion of our population is one that should receive major consideration of the Congress. Esti. mates of physically handicapped persons in the United States range upward from 30 million. This figure, of course, includes a number of persons who may not usually be considered physically handicapped. The truth is, however, that their physical well-being is impaired to some extent, even though they may still be able to carry on their normal functions in the community; and it is possible that even they could perform better through some measure of rehabilitation.
The Congress of Industrial Organizations is primarily concerned with those physically bandicapped citizens who are not, but who should be members of the Nation's labor force. It is against our working population that crippling occupational accidents and diseases fall with the gravest impact. The estimated acrupational accident figures for 1973 may be accepted as typical of the record over the years. This estimate reveals that accidents on the job inflicted close to 2 million injuries which resulted in time lost from the job. Of these 2 million injured persons, close to 90,000 recovered from the accidents with some permanent physical disability which ranged all the way from total disability to some what minor disability. These are losses inflicted directly on the worker on the job.
In accidents off the job, we find that 2,600,000 workers met with accidents out in the community. That gives us a total of 4,600.000 lost-time accident injuries.
The Nation's total accidental injury rate for 19.52 was approximately 10 million. Of that 10 million, about 350,000 recovered with some degree of permanent physical handicap. It is estimated that one-half of those, or 175,000, were workers, wage earners.
Unfortunately, we have no precise figures on how many of those 175,000 permanently handicapped persons require rehabilitation. The degree of injury and its direct effect on the skill of the worker would have to be measured. That measurement is not available. What we do known is that between those that have a slight disability and those who have incurred total disability there is a vast number that is in need of rehabilitation services.
Under this accrual of annual permanent impairment of individuals, we find that the present services afforded by government, Federal and State, were able to rehabilitate in some degree only 64,000 persons last year.
I repeat: 175,000 workers emerged from their accident with some degree of permanent disability and yet, we find that only 64,000 received services. Our question is. What about the other 111.000?
We believe this is a tragic state of affairs, and it now seems that President Eisenhower agrees with us.
In the first place, the loss of earning power arising out of a top skill rendered useless, falls with tremendous impact on the living standard of the worker and his family. His wife and children suffer along with him. That is the per sonal aspect of the problem. Surely, these working people deserve better treatment than they are receiving from government and from private industry.
The social aspect of the problem is even larger. These handicapped persons have by no means lost their potential skill-in other words they retain the intelligence and ability to learn new skills.
Let me assure the committee of one concrete fact which can be accepted as gospel truth. The handicapped American worker does not want to be considered a charity case, he does not want to be given a dole, he does not want to become a recipient of public relief. What he does want is the opportunity to get back to work and earn a living for himself and his family, and to accept his full responsibility as a member of the community.
For the information of the committee, there are employed in American industry today approximately 3 million persons who have some degree of permanent physical handicap. They constitute an important part of the working force.
It is by no means inconceivable, that if we should unfortunately become involved in world war III, we might eventually be almost totally dependent on the work services in the factory and war plants of persons who are permanently physically handicapped. All the men with full physical qualifications might be needed at the fighting fronta
I would like to bring to your attention the resolution adopted by the 15th Constitutional Convention of the CIO at Cleveland last November. That resolution, which presents our views on aid for the physically handicapped should be included in the record of these hearings. It reads as follows:
"Nearly 30 million Americans--men, women and children-suffer from some degree of permanent disability. This year additional hundreds of thousands were born with handicaps or acquired them because of industrial, automobile and other accidents, crippling diseases, and war.
“While about 3 million handicapped citizens are gainfully employed today, an estimated 10 million others could be rehabilitated and usefully employed instead of being forced to remain an economic burden on their families, on their communities and on the Nation. Economic discrimination, social ostracism, and condenscending pity are heaped upon this vast human resource. We must create the rehabilitation services and employment opportunities which are required to restore America's handicapped to useful citizenship, integrate them into the activities of our economic and social life, and give them the dignity which is a birthright of all mankind.
“As the first step, the Federal Government must assume its full responsibility to these citizens of the United States; present inadequate facilities essential to achieve the rehabilitation of millions of handicapped persons must be expanded and improved. Secondly, management and labor must assist aggressively in the process of integrating the physically handicapped into the labor force.
“Unfortunately the facilities of both public and private rehabilitation agencies are so limited that more persons are being permanently disabled each year than we now rehabilitate. A comprehensive and vigorously administered rehabilitation program, nationwide in scope, is a major responsibility of the Federal Government. That Federal program and coordinated State programs, must encompass adequate medical services, special educational aids, income maintenance, vocational training, and employment services.
"Rebabilitation must be closely coordinated with workmen's compensation and disability programs to provide income for the disabled and their families during periods of unemployment and to insure prompt referral of each case to the proper rehabilitation agencies. Rehabilitation services must begin immediately after injury or at the onset of illness. Continuity of treatment must be planned through convalescence. Training in izseful, suitable, and remuneratire vocational skills must follow. Finally, restoration of the individual to employment at his highest attainable skill must be accomplished.
"No program to secure employment of the handicapped can succeed without wider support from management and labor. While some employers have learned the value of the handlicapped as productive workers, too many still discriminate against them. While unions are working diligently to encourage employment ties for the disabled, more needs to be done.
"The Co has steadily continued its efforts to secure the rehabilitation and employment of the handicapped. We have been represented on the President's National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week Committee and have participater actively in its work, as have many CIO representatives who are serving on similar governors' committees in the various States.
"CIO unions have undertaken to enlarge employment opportunities for the handicapped both through special contract provisions and otherwise. Ciocoincils have worked to improve local ordinances and State legislation in behalf of the disabled
"In addition CIO affiliates have supported, both nationally and locally, the efforts of the American Federation of the Physicalls Handicapped to secure increaser opportunities for disabled citizens through both legislative enactment and hy other means.
"The CTO is urging the Federal Government to conduct a census of the handicanned to provide special aids for persons suffering from cerebral palsy. epilepsy, and leprosy, to establish a nationwide system of disability benefits, to allow tax
exemption for the special transportation needs of the handicapped, and to bring
"Now, therefore, be it resolved:
We commend all C10 affiliates for the activities in which they have engaged on behalf of the handicapped citizens of our Nation and urge that the effort of our local unions, industrial union councils, and international unions be expanded to meet this tragic and growing need.
*2. We urge the establishment within the United States Department of Labor of a centralized agency that would bring together the rehabilitation functions that are now scattered among 32 Federal agencies, and give leadership to the rehabilitation services in the respective States.
"3. We urge Congress to establish an adequate Federal grants-in-aid program that would aid the States in their rehabilitation efforts.
"4. We urge all of our affiliates to cooperate fully with the national CIO com mittee on safety and occupational health in this field of activity."
In this connection, as our resolution points out, we believe the Federal Govern ment, through legislation or through investigative facilities which may presently exist, should at once make a bonafide census of the Nation's handicapped to ascertain just what could be done in the field of rehabilitation. We are not suggesting, however, that expansion of rehabilitation services be held in abes. ance until such a census is made. We know that the need is here now. It is all around us. Every person in this room can call to mind from among their friends and acquaintances, persons who are physically handicapped. We know the need is here, and we also know that rehabilitation services available are totally inadequate to deal with the situation. The President of the United States has told you the same thing.
As our convention resolution points out, the facilities of both the public and private rehabilitation agencies are so limited that more persons are being permanently disabled each year than we now rehabilitate. In addition, the reba. bilitation services we have are scattered among a number of national agencies. On the whole, these isolated services work independently of one another. There is little coordination among them. They are not even completely coordinated with the so-called rehabilitation services provided by the various States. These too are inadequate. None of the States is even approximating a decent performance in this field.
Out in the States, we find the same lack of coordination. Agencies which should be working together maintain most remote relationships. Strangely enough, few of them have anything at all to do with the agencies that administer workmen's compensation. There are any number of cases where workers who hare incurred a permanent physical handicap on the job, are presently on the rolls of the compensation agencies. We find in a large number of these cases that the rehabilitation agencies never heard of these persons. It is even more unfortunate that some of them apparently do not want to hear about physically handicapped persons.
We think it is high time to get away from the ivory tower complex which seems to dominate many of the public agencies that are supposed to be dealing with the problems of the physically handicapped. These people live in a world of statistics. We try to take a rational view of statistics. But we believe that statistics should serve only as a measurement of the problem. We do not believe that people should be confused with figures. These physically handicapped persons are not Arabic numerals in our estimation, they are living, breathing bumnan beings with all their hopes and aspirations and problems.
Much more is needed in this situation, howerer, than coordination and comp eration among the various rehabilitation services. A unified rehabilitation service, must in turn, be operated in close conjunction with the workmen's copensation system throughout the country; it must be closely related with the public emplopment services through experienced employment counselors and job-placement experts. After all, the goal we seek is not merely rehabilitatio of the physically handicapped person. We also seek the security of that indiridual and his family while rehabilitation is proceeding, and eventually bis placement in a steady job at his highest attainable skill.
This needed all-out coordination makes it highly important that administration of the entire activity be centered in one agency, and that agency, gentlemen, Is the United States Department of Labor.