NOVEMBER 8, 1956
NEW YORK—On the morning of October 30 the wife of the head of the University of Wichita, Mrs. H.F. Corbin, took me to the Institute of Logopedics in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Martin F. Palmer are the heads of this project, which was started in 1934 in the University of Wichita under President W.M. Jardine.
This is a most remarkable institute, designed to help children and adults handicapped by speech and hearing. In fact, anyone who for any reason cannot communicate through language is welcome. It is the largest residential institution of its kind in the world.
There are 160 individual apartments where children can live under the care of expertly trained house mothers and no house mother has more than three children to care for. Also, parents may come with their handicapped children and live in one of these cottages.
A vital part of the layout is a central administration and clinic building, where may be found the latest equipment. Cooperation with the municipal University of Wichita is at its best.
There are 40 acres of ground, so the children can play as if they were at home and still get expert training. In 1955 there were 1,566 cases undergoing habilitation, 611 were dismissed improved, and 1,771 were examined. Thirty-two states and seven foreign countries are represented by those who are there for treatment. Wichita was chosen for this project because it is geographically in the center of our country, but the institute provides field services in Maryland, in Bedford, N.Y., and many other cities in Kansas.
This corrective center is organized as a nonprofit corporation and chartered under the laws of the State of Kansas. Only one out of every 10 cases treated by the institute in 1955 paid the full cost of service. The organization depends on support from charitable gifts from individuals, organizations, chests, and other special sources. Management is governed by a voluntary board of trustees elected by members of the corporation.
There is a tremendous number of volunteers who are really trained to do special jobs, but there also are a great many students in training from many parts of the world and they do a great deal of research which is valuable to the whole country.
I was very glad to have the opportunity to visit this institution and only wish I could have spent more time. But I had promised to meet with the students and faculty members for an hour later in the morning and so I had to tear myself away from the inspection tour.