My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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EN ROUTE TO LONDON—In this country retarded children, I believe, need more government help than is now available. It is very difficult to find a place to care for a retarded child unless you have a fairly sizeable income, yet many of this group can be helped if the means to do so are supplied.

Eleven years ago a handful of parents formed the Association for the Help of Retarded Children, Inc., adopting the slogan "Retarded Children Can Be Helped." Those first parents started with little more than a prayer in their hearts. But they managed to do a great deal in the intervening years and now they have facilities for research, as well as diagnosis and treatment clinics at two New York hospitals. They have scouting troops, a camping program, social activities for young adults, a training center and a sheltered workshop, an occupation day center and, most important of all, parent education and guidance. Today there are specially trained teachers to work with these children, special schools and classes, and a day care center for the pre-trainable children.

The association's eleventh annual campaign for contributions will start on October 11 and continue throughout November. They need the help of everyone who can be made to understand the value there is in giving care and training to retarded children so that they may develop to the fullest and be as little of a burden as possible for society.

It seems to me highly unreasonable that Federal employees are not included in social security. A bill has been introduced by Rep.. Teller, HR 3083, which would extend coverage to Federal employees. But the government has always successfully opposed the bill on the grounds that it would require the government to contribute just as any other employer would contribute and this should not be asked of the government because of its contribution to civil service retirement.

The employees themselves have suggested that social security coverage be granted under a self-employment plan whereby employees would contribute more and the government would not be required to make any contribution. This seems to me to wipe out whatever excuse there was for government objection, and I cannot imagine that the government can go on denying its Federal employees the right to be covered by social security.

In a previous column I wrote about the Indians' interest in the Kinzua Dam project. The Seneca Indians have consistently opposed the taking of their land for this project. According to information from the Interior Department, the Indians contend that a project developed by Dr. Arthur E. Morgan, a well-known engineer formerly with TVA, is the solution and a much better alternative. The department writes: "We concur in the recital in H. J. Res. 703 that the United States should avoid the taking of this Indian land unless there is no reasonable alternative. If a feasible alternative can be found which is acceptable to Congress and would not involve a taking of the Seneca lands, it would certainly have our wholehearted endorsement and support."

This is encouraging and I hope it will be settled to the satisfaction of all concerned—except perhaps the engineers who originally recommended taking the Indian lands.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • London (England, United Kingdom) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 22, 1960

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.