Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons

November 11, 1950

Report Outline
Rehabilitation and the Nation's Interests
Development of Rehabilitation Programs
Concepts and Methods of Rehabilitation
Remedies for Rehabilitation Shortcomings

Rehabilitation and the Nation's Interests

Disabled Persons as Source of Industrial Manpower

Need to increase the nation's production to meet defense requirements at a time when unemployment is at the lowest point in two years is leading to renewed consideration of the handicapped as a manpower resource. R. C. Goodwin, director of the newly created Office of Defense Manpower, warned in September that manpower “may again become a major problem.” Suggesting that employers would be wise to fill job vacancies with draft-exempt handicapped persons, he stated that about half a million disabled men and women are now looking for work.

It has been estimated that between one and two million other persons, at present kept out of the labor force by disabilities, could be rehabilitated for successful employment. Bernard Baruch has observed that “perhaps three per cent are so badly disabled that little can be done for them” but “the rest, it is believed, can be rehabilitated to where they are able to perform useful work if they receive proper treatment.” Reporting a bill to enlarge treatment and training facilities under the present federal-state rehabilitation program, the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee recommended expansion of the program as “a substantial contribution to our mobilization effort.”

Work Capacities of the Handicapped

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company urged industry in August to undertake manpower surveys to avoid severe strains in expansion. It reminded employers that the disabled formed an important manpower resource in World War II. No information is available on the total number of disabled persons employed during the war, but it is known that public employment service placements of the handicapped rose from 28,000 in 1940 to 300,000 in 1945. Between 1940 and 1950 local employment offices made almost two million placements of handicapped persons.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Disabled Persons
Apr. 23, 2010  Caring for Veterans
Dec. 20, 1996  Implementing the Disabilities Act
Dec. 27, 1991  The Disabilities Act
Mar. 16, 1984  New Opportunities for the Disabled
Jul. 24, 1981  Mainstreaming: Handicapped Children in the Classroom
Nov. 22, 1974  Rights of the Handicapped
Nov. 11, 1950  Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons
People with Disabilities