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is a small part of the blind in our city-has been borne by the community fund, which makes an appropriation of funds for the maintenance and payment of the income to the blind on the basis of their earnings.

As I said, they manufacture brooms and some other household articles.

Another added group of blind go out and sell these articles from door to door, the brooms, the doormats, and the other household articles. That budget of the community fund has been increasing from year to year until it has become quite a burden.

Now you come to the economic problem : These 40 or 50 blind who were employed in this broom factory have from time to tiine had a sense of a lack of earning power; in other words, the committee fund was not sponsoring a commercial firm there; they were trying to put these people on their feet, but they ran into the same problem that industry runs into, your costs keep going up, and unless you create more and more sales you cannot make ends meet.

I note here with some interest all the guaranties you make, and one of those is in the field of sales—beginning on page 15.

Mr. BELSLEY. That is not a guaranty; it is an effort.

Mr. WIER. I hope that you can do it because that has been the problem. As a matter of fact, about 5 years ago the community fund which was attempting to do something in a very limited way found itself with a strike on its hands by the blind in this factory because the amount of work and the amount of income supplemented to some degree with your Federal aid to the blind was not enough to sustain them, and so they took that course of action. They started picketing the community for their inability to properly finance and properly pay them, and the first thing you know they had organized a union.

The problem revolved principally around the fact that they did not have the outlets, the sales, to make it possible to remunerate those 40 or 50 blind, some men and some women, a proper amount of income.

As I follow you, on pages 14 and 15, you have the solution to that problem, at least in your presentation. Do you have my picture ?

Mr. BELSLEY. That is correct. I do not know that we can say we have "the" solution, and I underline the "the," but we feel that we do have a considerable improvement here and a program that can be a real basis for meeting some of the very difficulties you have mentioned.

The Federal Government, of course, does not share in the operating expenses of workshops.

Mr. WIER. You almost say that here.

Mr. BELSLEY. We say on page 14 grants-in-aid for the alteration of existing buildings to adapt them to workshop purposes.

Mr. WIER. Then go right on through pages 14 and 15.

Mr. BELSLEY. Home-bound we put in a different category than the workshop; quite a different category. We are unable to get those people out of their homes into a workshop.

Mr. WIER. The problem is the same.

Mr. BELSLEY. It is more severe in many cases; much more severe. It is on the home-bound problem that we make an effort to aid those people beyond what is proposed elsewhere-instructing them in designing what they are producing and how to go about marketing it.

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Mr. WIER. Our municipality, like 500 more cities of similar size, has this problem of relief. On the rolls of relief a good percentage of illness and disability is in the picture. Under your proposed program here I notice, if it is carried through, you will probably give the city of Minneapolis some relief in this respect. All persons on relief are entitled to and are given medical care, and having no resources, of course they are sent to our municipal hospital, where many are there for a considerable time, which is quite a burden on the hospital.

I see here in your paper it is your intention to make it possible so that those people will not have to be shifted onto public expense, or a municipal cost.

Mr. BELSLEY. This bill would considerably relieve, though not abolish, that situation. Certain proposals have been made in connection with the public assistance bill that is now being considered by the Ways and Means Committee for public assistance to the severely handicapped, which is something quite separate from the vocational rehabilitation aspect of it, but there is no doubt that these provisions in H, R. 5577 would contribute to the relief of that situation.

Mr. WIER. We want to thank you for your informative presentation.

Mr. KELLEY. We have with us our colleague, Mr. Potter, of Michigan. We should be glad to hear you at this time, Mr. Potter.



Mr. POTTER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my statement is very brief. I do wish to commend you and the committee for holding hearings on the several bills that you have before you and I wish particularly to commend the chairman for his work in behalf of the physically handicapped; not only his present efforts but his efforts in the past. I knew of Mr. Kelley's work long before I came to Congress.

After my discharge from the Armed Services in July 1946, I was employed by the Retraining and Employment Administration, headed by General Erskine. In connection with my employment, I became rather intimately acquainted with the work being done for the handicapped people of our Nation. I might add that I came to have great respect for the sincerity, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm of the people who work in behalf of our handicapped. The employees of the StateFederal programs of vocational rehabilitation, the Veterans' Administration, and the private rehabilitation agencies are due the gratitude of all of us for their effective service, often with totally inadequate financial reward.

Despite the great progress that programs for the handicapped have made during recent years, I am of the definite opinion that additional legislation is needed if we are to fulfill our total responsibilities to the handicapped. Let me emphasize that what we do for our handicapped we really do for our Nation, since every rehabilitated citizen adds strength to the economic and social fiber of our Nation. I was, therefore, glad to be one of the sponsors of H. R. 5370, which is now before this committee.

Without going into great detail, this bill will encourage the development of programs for the home-bound disabled, the blind, and other severely disabled. It will encourage the establishment of badly needed rehabilitation centers and workshops for the severely disabled. It will make possible additional research in this important field and will assist in the training of personnel for work with the disabled. These purposes are accomplished by providing for Federal participation in financing these activities, following in general the financial pattern already established for rehabilitation, that is, Federal reimbursement for 100 percent of administration and guidance and 50 percent of other services to clients.

This additional legislation is designed to fit into Public Law 113, the present legal basis for the rehabilitation program. States may or may not add the additional services, as their needs require.

The whole program is, of course, to be administered by the Federal Security Agency, the only logical place, in my judgment, for a program with educational, welfare, and health implications. I understand that

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another bill that would create an inde. pendent commission to administer programs for the handicapped. At the risk of repetition, I must say that I do not see any advantage to be gained from a change in administration.

These are the only comments I shall make at this time. I am at the service of the committee, if I can be of service. I appreciate the committee hearing my statement.

Mr. KELLEY. Are there any questions?

Mr. WIER. I wanted to ask this question, Mr. Chairman. In the State of Michigan I understand you have a fairly good organization.

Mr. POTTER. They have a very good organization; yes, sir.

Mr. WIER. And I think that is true of quite a few States. What you are seeking to do is to coordinate under some administration a furtherance or expansion of the program in the field of rehabilitation and training, medical attention, and so forth?

Mr. POTTER. That is right. The Federal Security Agency is set up for that purpose. The President has recommended that these services be included in a department, with which recommendation I am in full accord. I think they should stick together.

Mr. KELLEY. If there are no other questions, thank you for your statement, Mr. Potter. Mr. POTTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. .




Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, as president of the International Association of Machinists, I consider it both a privilege and a responsibility to appear before your committee in the interest of the citizens of our Nation who are physically handicapped. I trust that my remarks will in some measure contribute toward favorable congressional action on H. R. 3095 and the 13 similar legislative proposals which have been introduced, all dealing with the urgency for improved and extended Federal services for our physically handicapped.

Since its birth in 1888, our association has been enthusiastically interested in all matters which are a part of good citizenship, and we are proud of the fact that we, in the interest of public welfare, have pioneered and participated in many activities outside the narrow orbit

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of usual union policy. Among them is the first Federal Vocational Training Act, which was sponsored and militantly campaigned for 30 years ago by the late Arthur J. Holder, a former vice president of our association. The Federal-State rehabilitation program function

ing today has developed to a great extent from the efforts of Mr. Holder and other able assistants, assigned from the American Federation of Labor by the late Samuel Gompers.

Notwithstanding the advancement that has been brought about in rehabilitation work in the past 30 years, we are convinced that we have reached a period when far-reaching corrections must be made in order to adequately meet the present rehabilitation and employment needs, of our millions of physically handicapped persons.

One of the most glaring defects in our present rehabilitation efforts is the absence of a top guiding force for the administration of our work in this large and ever-increasing field. As reasonable men, we can readily see that great amounts of Federal funds are now being wasted because our rehabilitation program is being administered through 30 different Federal sources.

The many Federal agencies assigned to work in the interest of the physically handicapped have been too lacking in facilities, personnel, and authority to do more than merely scratch the surface of this problem which directly involves the welfare of more than 28,000,000 of our people.

It is time to take stock, and make an intelligent change in operating policy. Logically, the first step must be to place all Federal agencies having primary relations with the handicapped, under one head. Rehabilitation is in most cases, a long-drawn-out process, and it is unsound to require the individual undergoing it, to have to be dealt with by several different agencies, if the job can be done, and done more efficiently, by one agency,

H. R. 3095 proposes a Federal commission on services for the physically handicapped to which the functions of the present office of Vocational Rehabilitation would be transferred. The proposed commission would simply implement the Federal-State vocational rehabilitation system which has been established since June 2, 1920, and the suggested changes in the present laws are solely for the purpose of improving that system and making it capable of adequately meeting the needs of our millions of handicapped. We are firmly convinced that the establishment of a Federal commission as proposed in H. R. 3095 would afford a far better base of operations than anything we have had before. Most important it would serve to simplify the work of rehabilitation and would give the handicapped a fuller understanding of the services that Congress has provided.

The association I have the privilege to represent is tremendously interested in the work of rehabilitating the handicapped. As American workers we believe that everything possible should be done to afford the handicapped an opportunity to overcome their physical difficulties and become a productive part of our working force on equal terms with other workers.

Perhaps, we in the machinists' union with over 12,000 labor agreements in the United States and Canada, are more conscious of the needs of the handicapped than most organizations. Our contractual interest in such a large number of industrial establishments and the fact that we have in our membership one of the highest incidence of disability due to disease and injury on the job, has brought us face to face with the real problems confronting the handicapped. It is natural, therefore, that we want and will continue to fight for improved methods of restoring our handicapped workers to useful and remunerative living.

We heartily endorse those provisions of the bill before your committee, which would provide education, training, and vocational guidance to persons handicapped by physical or mental disabilities. We believe it is highly important that these citizens be given full-employment opportunities wherever possible.

We are fully aware that the physical conditions of approximately 25 percent—or 7,000,000—of our handicapped are too seriously impaired to respond to treatment or rehabilitation. H. R. 3095 which is before this committee would provide $60 per month for these unfortunate cases, in each State in which an approved plan is in effect in accordance with section 402. While this amount would be inadequate in many cases it would be a mighty step in the right direction. We are confident that many of those now found to be unfeasible for rehabilitation, can, with proper treatment and training, be helped to a point where they will be able to do something useful even though they may not be able to go out into the world of competitive employment.

In closing I wish to reiterate our wholehearted endorsement of H. R. 3095 and we urge you and your committee, Mr. Chairman, to report favorably on this bill which would greatly aid in the work of restoring the physically handicapped to useful living. Its enactment would be the means of properly distributing the Federal funds appropriated to carry out the Federal-State plan to assist the handicapped. It would bring hope and the possibility of employment security to millions, and would add greatly to our national welfare.

Mr. BAILEY. In discussing H. R. 3095, and particularly the pension provision, the amount of $60 a month, would you advise that be made à general distribution to all the physically handicapped, or would you confine it to those who would be on the pale of rehabilitation?

Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, we believe as a starter the pension of $60, if provided for those who are presently in such condition they cannot be rehabilitated, would be a first step, definitely, in the right direction.

Mr. BAILEY. The point that I was making was this: Unless you did confine it to that particular group, you would be paying pensions to people that you are already carrying the entire load of rehabilitation for.

Mr. WALKER. We believe that those who can be rehabilitated to the point where they can earn their own living would be much better, and the pension should be provided for those not capable of earning their own living

Mr. Chairman, if I may be permitted, I would like to add this one thought which came to me as I sat in the committee room this morning. We are very much concerned with regard to the pending legislation. There is great need for it, and we certainly do not want to see it bogged down due to any so-called jurisdictional dispute as to who may administer it, because we in labor know something about jurisdictional disputes. I merely inject that thought after listening to the presentation here before your committee this morning.

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