President Johnson Commends VRA Gains In Rehabilitation
Editor's Note: On August 10, 1965, President Johnson made the following statement as he released to the public significant reports on federal-state rehabilitation programs.
August 10, 1965
"I am making public the attached reports from Secretary Celebrezze and Commissioner Switzer so that the public may be fully familiar with the valuable work being done in this country to help our disabled citizens become active and useful citizens.
"I can think of no better example of what this Administration is trying to accomplish for the American people than the federal-state program of vocational rehabilitation.
"However difficult the circumstances, whatever the burdens of poverty, whatever the deficiencies in educational opportunity that exist today, we must and we will find ways to offer full opportunity for a useful and satisfying life for all Americans.
"If we can do this for 135,000 of our people who, along with other problems, face the obstacle of a serious physical or mental handicap, then we can do it for other people as well. That is our goal."
Excerpts from the reports mentioned by the President in his statement above included this comment from Secretary Celebrezze: "I believe you will share my pride in the attached report of the Commissioner of Vocational Rehabilitation, Miss Mary E. Switzer. It shows that the federal-state program of vocational rehabilitation has achieved a new record this year, with about 135,000 disabled men and women rehabilitated into useful work.
"The total of rehabilitations for the past year represents an increase of nearly 13 percent over the previous year. The outlook for the future will be even more promising when the Congress completes action on the Vocational Rehabilitation Amendments passed by the House of Representatives last week and now pending in the Senate."
The report from Miss Mary E. Switzer, Commissioner of Vocational Rehabilitation, HEW, points out that the gain in the number of rehabilitated persons in the past year represents almost 4,000 more disabled persons rehabilitated than the States estimated when they presented their 1965 budget goal figures.
Included in Miss Switzer's report is a table showing the numbers rehabilitated by States. Pennsylvania leads with 12,794 disabled men and women restored to activity and useful work. Others in the top five were New York (9,067), North Carolina (8,545), Georgia (7,221), and Florida (6,153).