Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislative Council, Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped:

An Inventory of Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped Public Hearing Audiotapes at the Texas State Archives, 1970



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. Legislative Council. Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped.
Title: Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped public hearing audiotapes
Dates: 1970
Abstract: In 1969, the Texas Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped was formed (Senate Concurrent Resolution 31, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session) to conduct a comprehensive study of services and rehabilitative programs for Texans with disabilities, with a focus on vocational needs. The study addressed the federal requirement for continued statewide studies of the needs of people with disabilities in order for Texas to continue to receive federal funds in support of state vocational rehabilitation programs. Records of the committee consist of six audiotape recordings of three public hearings held by the committee's citizens advisory commission on November 5 and December 3-4, 1970. According to the label of an empty audiotape box, additional hearings were held in El Paso on November 16-17, 1970. "Handicapped" was the term commonly used at the time for people with disabilities. The audiotapes have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
Quantity: 0.18 cubic ft. (6 tape reels)
Language: These materials are in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Agency History

Following the first national efforts to provide vocational education and rehabilitation to soldiers with disabilities returning from World War I, the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program was created in 1920 to address the needs of U.S. civilians with disabilities (Smith-Fess Act, also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act, Public Law 66-236, 66th Congress). The Act appropriated $12,500 and enabled the Texas State Department of Education (incorporated into the Texas Education Agency in 1949) to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Federal vocational rehabilitation was expanded in 1943 by legislation known as Public Law 78-113 (78th Congress), which broadened the scope of rehabilitative services for people with physical impairments by extending services to people with mental disabilities and expanding services to include physical restoration, maintenance, transportation, and occupational tools and licenses. In 1954, the Disability Determination Division was created in the Texas Education Agency to evaluate disability claims under Title II, Social Security Disability Insurance.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1965 (Public Law 89-333, HR 8310, 89th Congress) eliminated economic need as a prerequisite for vocational rehabilitation services and created funding for expanded services and for statewide planning for vocational rehabilitation. In Texas, the vocational rehabilitation planning study was undertaken by the Texas Education Agency, fulfilling an order made by Governor John Connally in March 1966. The study's final report in 1968 contained a recommended comprehensive plan for development of Texas vocational rehabilitation services. Some 2,500 Texans voluntarily participated in the study, and the report specified 156 recommendations for improvements in services for people with disabilities, a portion of which called for new legislation that was successfully passed.

In 1969, to address the requirement for continued statewide studies of the needs of people with disabilities in order to continue to receive federal funds in support of state vocational rehabilitation programs, the Texas Legislative Council was asked to conduct a comprehensive study of services and rehabilitative programs for Texans with disabilities, with a focus on vocational needs (Senate Concurrent Resolution 31, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session). The Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped was to receive assistance in the study from a citizens advisory commission of at least 14 members, of whom two were to be state representatives appointed by the speaker of the house and two were to be senators appointed by the lieutenant governor. The remaining ten members were to be appointed by the council chair and include:

  • at least two persons from industry representing small and large businesses;
  • one representative of organized labor;
  • one person from a private organization primarily concerned with providing services to people with visual impairments;
  • one person from a private organization primarily concerned with providing services to people with non-visual impairments;
  • one executive from a statewide or national organization involved in education, training, and employment placement of people with disabilities;
  • one representative of elementary and secondary education;
  • one representative of higher education;
  • one person with disabilities who has had a successful business or professional experience; and
  • one distinguished citizen recognized for concern and contributions toward rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

Representatives from the federal government were invited by the council to participate in the study as consultants and advisors. All state agencies providing services and assistance to people with disabilities were to provide information and staff assistance to the study upon request as ex officio members. Hearings were held in November and December 1970 during the 61st Legislative Interim and may have begun in 1969 and continued into 1971. The council was to report its findings and recommendations to the regular session of the 62nd Legislature.

Legislative members of the study committee were Senators Barbara Jordan and David Ratliff and Representatives Jack Blanton, Delwin Jones, and J.E. Ward. Senator Jordan served as citizens advisory commission chair and Representative Blanton as vice chair. Senator Criss Cole served as a director of the study committee. Senators Jack Hightower and W.E. (Pete) Snelson and Representative Paul Moreno served as citizens advisory commission members.

The study was implemented and funded through an interagency contract between the Legislative Council and the State Commission for the Blind, extending through August 31, 1971. The study committee made a preliminary report and recommendations, which were unanimously adopted by the council and transmitted to the 62nd Legislature. Senate Concurrent Resolution 30, 62nd Legislature, Regular Session, was passed to allow the study committee to function through the duration of the contract.

(Sources include: the enabling legislation, available at the Texas Legislative Reference Library website, accessed May 24, 2017; Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth. "Texas Rehabilitation Commission," Handbook of Texas Online; and the records themselves.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

In 1969, the Texas Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped was formed (Senate Concurrent Resolution 31, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session) to conduct a comprehensive study of services and rehabilitative programs for Texans with disabilities, with a focus on vocational needs. The study addressed the federal requirement for continued statewide studies of the needs of people with disabilities in order for Texas to continue to receive federal funds in support of state vocational rehabilitation programs. Records of the committee consist of six audiotape recordings of three public hearings held by the committee's citizens advisory commission on November 5 and December 3-4, 1970. According to the label of an empty audiotape box, additional hearings were held in El Paso on November 16-17, 1970. "Handicapped" was the term commonly used at the time for people with disabilities.

While Senator Barbara Jordan served as chair of the citizens advisory commission, she was present only at the December 3 hearing included in these records. The November 5 hearing was presided over by vice chair Representative Jack Blanton, while the December 4 hearing was chaired by Senator Criss Cole. Commission members present were identified at the beginning of the hearing. Not all commission member names are clearly audible in those introductions. Members included Gene Freeland, Dallas AFL-CIO Council; Lawrence Melton, head of Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped; John W. Dixon; Bill Henderson; Mrs. Joseph W. Schuh, executive director, Dallas Council on Alcoholism; Bob Blaze, executive director, Goodwill, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, psychologist at Houston State School and in private practice, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; and Bill Corrigan, Texas Rehabilitation Commission.

Witnesses who testified before the commission represented state agencies and state-funded and private organizations with programs providing rehabilitative and vocational services to people with disabilities, community colleges with vocational training programs for people with disabilities, and hospitals and foundations concerned with specific conditions such as arthritis, epilepsy, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and congenital disabilities. Among the witnesses were those representing the Texas Commission for the Blind, Texas State Building Commission, Texas Affiliate of the American Heart Association, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation of America, Harris County Center for the Retarded, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Texas Children's Hospital, Lee College, and San Jacinto College. The last witness of the last public hearing recording of these records is Dr. William Spencer, founder of the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), Texas Medical Center, and a nationally recognized pioneer in rehabilitation, often referred to as the "Father of Modern Rehabilitation." His testimony details deficiencies in provision of services to people with disabilities in Texas and at the federal level and offers his recommendations for improvement, including a permanent state oversight agency to examine the needs of people with disabilities, advance state funding of programs for people with disabilities, and an internal study to evaluate state programs for services to people with disabilities.

Other major subjects discussed at the hearings include eliminating structural barriers encountered by people with disabilities in public structures; education for the public, employers, and medical professionals concerning various disabling conditions and the rehabilitative needs of people with those disabilities; vocational opportunities provided by private and state- or federally-funded programs and organizations; rehabilitation and vocational services provided by the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Texas Employment Commission; genetic counseling and diagnostic and rehabilitation services provided by children's hospitals; gaps in government services and health care insurance for children with disabilities and their families; and community college vocational training programs.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


Arrangement of the Records

These audio recordings are arranged in chronological order.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Due to the fragility of the audiotapes, the digital copies must be used instead of the original tapes. Researchers wishing to access the original tape reels must contact Archives staff. Access may be granted if the researcher wants to view the physical tape and its container.

Restrictions on Use

The use of legislatively produced audio or visual materials in political advertising is prohibited (Texas Government Code, Section 306.005). In addition, commercial use of legislatively produced audio or visual material is limited (Texas Government Code, Section 306.006).

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Cole, Criss, 1918-1985.
Jordan, Barbara, 1936-1996.
Spencer, William A. (William Albert), 1922-2009.
Corporate Names:
American Heart Association. Texas Affiliate, Inc.
Arthritis Foundation. Texas Gulf Coast Chapter.
Epilepsy Foundation of America.
Harris County Center for the Retarded.
Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (Houston, Tex.)
Lee College (Baytown, Tex.)
M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute.
San Jacinto College.
Texas Children's Hospital.
Texas Medical Center.
Subjects (Organizations):
Texas Commission for the Blind.
Texas Employment Commission.
Texas Rehabilitation Commission.
Texas. State Building Commission.
Subjects:
Barrier-free design--Law and legislation--Texas.
Blind--Rehabilitation--Texas.
Blind--Services for--Texas.
Deaf--Services for--Texas.
Developmentally disabled--Texas.
Hearing impaired--Services for--Texas.
Occupational training--Texas.
People with disabilities--Texas.
Supervision of vocational rehabilitation.
Vocational rehabilitation--Texas--Planning.
Document Types:
Tape reels--Texas.
Functions:
Advocating opportunities for people with disabilities in Texas.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Commission for the Blind records, 1932-2003, undated, 19.75 cubic ft. [Restricted]
Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing records, 1972-2004, 2 cubic ft.
Texas Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities meeting files, 1980-2005, 24.75 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid available for these unprocessed records. Call numbers are 2009/117-1 thru 23, 2009/118-1 and 2, and 1998/183-1 thru 4.]
Texas Council on Vocational Education records, 1969-1993, 1.25 cubic ft.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services minutes and agenda, 2005-2016, 0.75 cubic ft. and about 9.16 MB (41 files) [There is no finding aid available for these unprocessed records. Call numbers are 2006/039, 2013/039, 2014/051, and 2017/116.]
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services policies and procedures, 2005-2011, bulk 2005, 6.25 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid available for these unprocessed records. Call numbers are 2009/127-1 thru 4 and 2011/028-1 thru 5.]
Texas Department of Health, Bureau of State Health Planning and Resource Development records, 1945-1979, 52 cubic ft.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, 1971-1998, 2002-2006, 2 cubic ft.
Texas General Services Commission meeting records, 1979-2002, 2.22 cubic ft.
Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities public relations materials, Texas Governor Rick Perry records, 1995-2014, bulk 2001-2014, 8.61 MB (94 files) [Restricted]
Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities records, Texas Governor George W. Bush records, 1984-2001, undated, bulk 1995-2000, 6.46 cubic ft. [Restricted]
Texas Rehabilitation Commission records, 1969-1996, 8.72 cubic ft.
Texas State Board of Control records, 1854, 1885-1890, 1909-1979, undated, bulk 1935-1953, 103.47 cubic ft. [Restricted. See series Minutes and meeting files]
Texas Workforce Commission meeting files, 1936-2012, 25.4 cubic ft.
Publications
Beaumont Region V Coordinating Committee (Tex.) Texas statewide plan for vocational rehabilitation: Beaumont Region V Coordinating Committee report. The Committee, [1968].
Meyer, Judy. Accessibility of Texas higher education to the mobility impaired: a survey of facilities and services. University of Houston, 1973.
Texas Rehabilitation Commission. State plan for vocational rehabilitation services. Texas Rehabilitation Commission, editions from 1975/1976 through 2008/2009.
Texas Legislative Reference Library
Texas. Legislature. Legislative Council. Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped. Minutes, joint meeting of the Study Committee and Citizens Advisory Commission on Programs for the Handicapped. Texas Legislative Council, 1971-1972.
Texas. Legislature. Legislative Council. Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped. New laws of interest to Study on Programs for the Handicapped, 63rd Legislature, regular session, 1973. Texas Legislative Council, 1973.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped public hearing audiotapes. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1987/076

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas House of Representatives Committee Coordinator on January 13, 1987.

Processing Information

Rebecca Romanchuk, May 2017

Other Formats for the Records

The audio recordings described in this finding aid have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/legislature/leg-council/committee-programs-handicapped/‎.


Detailed Description of the Records

Legislative Council Study Committee on Programs for the Handicapped public hearing audiotapes, 1970,
0.18 cubic ft. (6 tape reels)

Box Audio
1987/076-1 36 Public hearing, November 5, 1970
[running time: 1:18:32]
[Commission members present: Representative Jack Blanton, vice chair; Gene Freeland, Dallas AFL-CIO Council; Senator Criss Cole; Floyd Johnson (staff); Representative Delwin Jones; Lawrence Melton, head of Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped; John W. Dixon; Bill Henderson; members not present: Senator Barbara Jordan, commission chair; Mrs. Joseph W. Schuh, executive director, Dallas Council on Alcoholism.]
[Witnesses: Bill Elkins, Elkins Institute board chairman and Texas Rehabilitation Association president; Doug Lawson, Texas State Building Commission administrative assistant, and Senator Criss Cole, presenting award to Elkins for barrier-free architecture; and Tom Morrison, United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Dallas director.]
[Subject: Eliminating structural barriers encountered by people with disabilities in public structures (Senate Bill 111, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session) and non-public structures.]
Box Audio
1987/076-2 1 Public hearing, December 3, 1970 [part 1]
[running time: 1:38:00; recording cut off at 1:34:36]
[Note: Music can be heard in parts of this recording, probably as a result of the tape not being fully erased before reuse.]
[Commission members present: Senator Barbara Jordan, chair; Bob Blaze, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, Houston; Representative Delwin Jones, Lubbock; (inaudible first name) Bozner, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; two women from Austin (names inaudible).]
[Witnesses: Dr. Norris, member of Board of Directors, Houston Chapter, Arthritis Foundation; Dr. Earl Brewer, Texas Rheumatism Association; Fred Ross, regional manager, Epilepsy Foundation of America; Frank Borreca, executive director, Harris County Center for the Retarded.]
[Subjects: Education for the public and employers concerning arthritis and epilepsy, and rehabilitative and vocational services for people with arthritis, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities.]
3 Public hearing, December 3, 1970 [part 2]
[running time: 1:35:57]
[Note: Music can be heard in parts of this recording, probably as a result of the tape not being fully erased before reuse.]
[Commission members present: Senator Barbara Jordan, chair; Bob Blaze, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, Houston; Representative Delwin Jones, Lubbock; (inaudible first name) Bozner, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; two women from Austin (names inaudible).]
[Witnesses: Dr. Robert C. Hickey, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute; Tom Williford, director of Marbridge House of Houston; Mrs. Tom Williford, director of the Marbridge Community Living Center; Bill Lufburrow, executive director, Goodwill Industries, Houston.]
[Subjects: Rehabilitation needs for cancer patients, education for medical professionals in rehabilitative support for cancer patients, rehabilitative and vocational services for people with intellectual disabilities, and vocational opportunities provided to people with disabilities by Goodwill Industries.]
4 Public hearing, December 4, 1970 [part 1]
[running time: 1:36:50]
[Note: Music can be heard in parts of this recording, probably as a result of the tape not being fully erased before reuse.]
[Commission members present: Senator Criss Cole, chair; Bill Henderson, executive director, (organization name inaudible); Bob Blaze, executive director, Goodwill, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, psychologist at Houston State School and in private practice, Houston; (first name inaudible) Munn, counselor, (inaudible high school name), Saline; Senator Criss Cole; (inaudible first name) Bozner, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, University of Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; woman (name inaudible), Bill Corrigan, Texas Rehabilitation Commission.]
[Witnesses: Dr. Richard Benton, director of the Vocational REACT (rehabilitation, evaluation, adjustment, counseling, and training) Center, University of Texas Medical Branch; Dr. John R. Derrick and Dr. Sidney Schnur, president and president-elect of the Texas Heart Association; Charles Funk, Region IV director, Case and Rehabilitation Division, Texas Rehabilitation Commission (TRC).]
[Subjects: Vocational REACT Center services, cardiovascular disease and stroke rehabilitation, Texas Heart Association Stroke Club, and an overview of TRC services.]
5 Public hearing, December 4, 1970 [part 2]
[running time: 1:35:27]
[Note: Audio quality is poor until 1:28. Music can be heard in parts of this recording, probably as a result of the tape not being fully erased before reuse.]
[Commission members present: Senator Criss Cole, chair; Bill Henderson, executive director, (organization name inaudible); Bob Blaze, executive director, Goodwill, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, psychologist at Houston State School and in private practice, Houston; (first name inaudible) Munn, counselor, (inaudible high school name), Saline; Senator Criss Cole; (inaudible first name) Bozner, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, University of Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; woman (name inaudible), Bill Corrigan, Texas Rehabilitation Commission.]
[Witnesses: Bill Williams, Texas Employment Commission (TEC) handicapped and older worker program; Mr. Page, rehabilitation teaching in the district office, Model Cities Program area, Texas Commission for the Blind; Mr. Connor, Texas Commission for the Blind; Dr. Shelly Liss, specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, director of Rosewood Rehabilitation Center, Houston; John Creighton, associate administrator, Texas Children's Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, and Texas Heart Institute, representing Dr. Martin; Dr. Gloria Cochran and Dr. Winston Cochran, Child Development Clinic, Texas Children's Hospital.]
[Subjects: Overview of TEC services to handicapped workers, including a job bank; rehabilitation teaching for the blind; rehabilitation and vocational services available at medical rehabilitation facilities; genetic counseling and diagnostic and rehabilitation services available at children's hospitals; and gaps in government services and health care insurance for children with disabilities and their families.]
6 Public hearing, December 4, 1970 [part 3]
[running time: 51:33]
[Note: Music can be heard in parts of this recording, probably as a result of the tape not being fully erased before reuse.]
[Commission members present: Senator Criss Cole, chair; Bill Henderson, executive director, (organization name inaudible); Bob Blaze, executive director, Goodwill, San Antonio; Carolyn Mercer, psychologist at Houston State School and in private practice, Houston; (first name inaudible) Munn, counselor, (inaudible high school name), Saline; Senator Criss Cole; (inaudible first name) Bozner, Houston; Dr. Joe Champagne, University of Houston; Jack Hunnicutt, Houston; woman (name inaudible), Bill Corrigan, Texas Rehabilitation Commission.]
[Witnesses: John McCormick, coordinator of special projects, Lee College; Thomas Lim, San Jacinto College; Dr. William Spencer, founder of The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), Texas Medical Center.]
[Subjects: Handicapped vocational training program at Lee College, San Jacinto College vocational training program for the blind, and deficiencies in provision of services to the handicapped in Texas and at the federal level and recommendations for improvement, including a permanent state oversight agency to examine the needs of the handicapped, advance state funding of programs for the handicapped, and an internal study to evaluate state programs for handicapped services. Senator Cole ends the meeting, saying the head committee will meet in Austin between January 1 and 12 to prepare a preliminary report to the Legislature, and that afterward the committee will continue hearings to gather material to formalize its final report.]