JUNE 6, 1956
NEW YORK—I paid a visit last week to the Institute for the Crippled and Disabled on First Ave. and 21st St., New York. Situated in a very fine plant, the institute seeks to fit crippled and disabled persons to take jobs.
It is not a hospital. In fact, there are no beds for patients. But there is every conceivable kind of medical treatment and therapy available. The institute evidently is not trying just to teach a man or woman a skill by which he or she can earn a living but, if possible, to improve the victim's physical condition.
I was impressed by the things made in the various workshops and the variety of occupations in which training is offered to the handicapped.
These people become adept in precision work of various kinds, such as the making of optical instruments. They do fine leather work, and a desk pad they gave me is a very good example of what they are able to accomplish. They become good at silver work and in making costume jewelry. They gave me one of the pins they made which shows how skilled they can become.
It is an interesting institute but not so much so from a medical point of view as from a vocational one.
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On Saturday evening I spoke at the commencement exercises of the Horace Mann School in New York. This school has an interesting history, having been started by Columbia University. It is exclusively for boys and has a high scholastic rating. Nearly all of the boys there go on to college and most of them enter the professions. More than 100 boys were graduated and, as they came up to get their diplomas, I watched them with great interest. They seemed to me a promising group, with not one that we need worry about. They will make good, I am sure, in their chosen professions.
These boys have been trained to feel that service to their country and to their fellow men is an essential part of living and I think they will fulfill their obligations.
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On Sunday I returned from the country on an afternoon train so that I might attend the first anniversary party of a group organized in Dr. Rusk's hospital for the rehabilitation of crippled people.
Dr. Camille K. Cayley is the head of the group, which is called "Courage, Inc." Members gathered on the lawn in front of the hospital for a couple of hours of entertainment and some refreshments at 6 o'clock.
One of the nurses, a girl from South America, sang delightfully for the audience as a part of a very interesting program. Dr. Rusk himself was there, and I was delighted to have an opportunity to see and talk with him for a few minutes.
This institute has a number of foreign students, and I was glad to see some of them. I think they get a great deal out of the time they spend there and go back home better equipped to develop this kind of treatment, which is much needed in some of the countries from which they come.