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INA Building, Parkway Center
MEND has come a long way in a short time.
Each step taken can mean cost savings for you,
Insurance Company of North America
The INA MEND Institute at Human Resources Center is not a dream for tomorrow but a reality for the problems of today. Established by a unique contractual arrangement between one of the oldest and largest multiple-line insurance companies in the United States, Insurance Company of North America, and Human Resources Center, one of the nation's leading educational research and industrial workshop centers, the INA MEND Institute was conceived to create programs of research and education through which the disabled, the retarded, the disadvantaged, indeed all our citizens, might achieve their right to dignity and respect.
In a time when the sound of violence seems to gain greatest attention, there is another sound; a quiet, pleading call to those who seek help and encouragement and the opportunity to become productive, contributing citizens. The INA MEND Institute was developed to give meaningful, relevant answers to those of our fellow citizens who are so often overlooked in this age of social revolution.
Through the Institute's programs of research, the horizons of understanding about the handicapped and his potential place in our society will be broadened. New frontiers in our knowledge of modern methods of preventing loss will be developed. The traditional limiting boundaries of vocational opportunities of the retarded, the educationally deprived, the culturally disadvantaged will be set aside. Today we cannot suppose that some men have a right to be in this world and others no right at all. Each man has his worth ... that part of the divinity we call life in each man must be precious and priceless to us all.
The concept of the INA MEND Institute could not have been established one hundred years ago, or even ten years ago. But now, as the result of our association between two great modern institutions, it is a moving, dynamic force which is changing the lives of individuals and the philosophies of institutions. As Victor Hugo once stated, "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come". This is our time and we must act.
The INA MEND Institute at Human Resources Center is concerned with four major areas of activity: research, vocational evaluation, library services and seminars.
The research activities are conducted by specialists who are jointly affiliated with the INA MEND Institute and universities, hospitals and research centers in the area. Among the research projects currently under study are the following: 1. The relation between industrial stress and physiological
changes in the disabled and normal workers. 2. The intrinsic nature of attention and its possible
relationship to safety in the normal and disabled worker. 3. The geometry of the work station and its relation to fatigue
and productivity in the disabled and normal worker. 4. A study of the correlative value of worker skills
and task requirement in predicting vocational success
in the retarded worker. Vocational evaluative services include surveys and evaluation of the vocational potential of the disabled person in relation to his employability and rehabilitation.
Library services are being offered on a national basis to specialists and others related to the field of rehabilitation and include use of the Institute Research Library and its bibliography and reprint service all under the direction of a professional librarian.
The seminar program is a national educational service which offers to selected groups an opportunity for specialized information and educational programs related to the area of their interest. The seminars include guest lecturers, panels, films, slides, case presentations and comprehensive reviews of research and training findings by educational and research rehabilitation specialists.
The INA MEND Institute maintains its own laboratories with a research engineering workshop, computer facility, research library and Seminar Hall, all of which are housed at Human Resources Center,
The operations and policies of the INA MEND Institute are directed by a coordinated committee consisting of executives of INA and research specialists and consultants of the Human Resources Center. Director of the Institute is Henry Viscardi, Jr., president and founder of Human Resources Center.
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Henry Viscardi, Jr., founder and President of the Human Resources Center, is the Director of the INA MEND Institute.
Born legless at a time when the disabled were generally confined to institutions, Henry Viscardi broke through the chains of prejudice and on his own ments attained a noted position in the world of business. After World War II he left private industry to develop the first unit of Human Resources Center, Abilities Inc., a nonprofit work center with a population of over 450 severely disabled and mentally retarded adults who, by normal standards, are unemployable. Soon thereafter he founded a research and training unit and Human Resources School, completing the Center's structure.
An advisor to three presidents, a counsellor to federal and state agencies, national organizations and professional societies, an internationally known lecturer and educator, Henry Viscardi, Jr., has been the creative force behind the development of the Human Resources Center as a model to guide others. Viscardi, the author of six books, has substituted hope for despair and ability for disability. As Director of the INA MEND Institute he is overseeing this new partnership in progress for the benefit of mankind.
In 1952, an experiment was begun. Abilities Inc., the first unit of Human Resources Center, was founded in a rented garage in Hempstead, Long Island, Four severely disabled adults, who between them had but five usable arms and one usable leg, were the nucleus. Today Abilities Inc. has a disabled and mentally retarded work population of some 450 handicapped adults who would be considered unemployable by normal standards.
Abilities Inc. is a nonprofit industrial and clerical work center, emphasizing electronic assembly, packaging, glass engraving, banking services, data processing and computer technology. These diverse work operations carried on by severely disabled workers serve as a living laboratory in which the vocational potential of the handicapped citizen can be demonstrated and evaluated.
The impact which Abilities has had on our nation and the world of business has been significant. Hiring practices and personnel policies have been modified because of what Abilities has learned and taught others. Research in bio-engineering and equipment modification has been stimulated by the industrial studies at Abilities. The low absentee rate and high productivity which characterize the disabled Abilities' worker have led to profound evaluative studies on the nature of worker motivation.
Throughout the world there are some fifty workshops based on the Abilities Inc. concept including some in nations behind the iron curtain. Abilities Inc. has opened new vistas to the employer and the handicapped.
| ABILITIES INC.