FEBRUARY 1, 1960
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—A few days ago I saw a short film made by the American Hearing Society. It is called "The Glass Wall," and in a brief half hour you are shown a number of the problems that go hand in hand with the loss of hearing.
Many people who lose their hearing hate to acknowledge it to themselves and therefore deny it to everybody, including friends, employers and family, with results that are often disastrous. Many children, not knowing what is the matter with them, fail to understand what goes on in their schools, and even in their play with other children find themselves shut out and laughed at. After showing some of the difficult situations that arise because the "glass wall" that shuts you off from other people is closing in, the film examines the programs for rehabilitation that are available in many communities across the country. It demonstrates the sympathetic understanding that awaits the reluctant as well as eager in the all-important first step through "the barrier."
All kinds of aid are available for children and for grown-ups if only they can become aware that loss of hearing is nothing strange and that many people have the same difficulties. Even if they cannot go on doing the same kind of work they have done before, they can still be useful members of society, developing some new way in which to earn a livelihood and keep their interests and their usefulness. This film, designed for showings at schools and community organizations, should give the answers to anxious parents, to young people and to older people who face the loss of hearing for one reason or another.
On Thursday night I went to the Roosevelt Day Dinner given by the New York Americans for Democratic Action. As usual I had many guests from foreign countries at my table and enjoyed them very much. Mr. Dore Schary was a remarkable master of ceremonies. He and Mrs. Marshall Field should be proud of the way in which they planned the dinner and carried it out. In spite of a number of short speeches and two major ones, we left the hall at 11 p.m.
I had the pleasure of presenting the ADA citation to Adlai Stevenson, praising him for his foresight in his campaign four years ago when he asked that we negotiate to ban nuclear tests.
The Republican standard bearer in the coming Presidential campaign called it "treasonable nonsense" at that time, but it has become part of his own party's program. He will probably be praising the work that his party has begun to do and, with his usual facility, he will forget that he ever opposed it or that Adlai Stevenson advocated it in the campaign four years ago and was given a citation because of his foresight. Mr. Nixon never has anything but hindsight.