Full text: The Department of Labor and Industry

The Bureau of Rehabilitation was ereated for the 
purpose of rehabilitating, or rendering, physically 
handicapped persons fit to engage in remunerative 
Pennsylvania, as a Commonwealth, recognized in 
1919 the necessity for restoring to useful productive 
activity and self-supporting efforts, so far as pos- 
sible, the vietims of the thousands of accidents oe- 
curring annually in its industries. That realization 
followed the efforts of all nations, engaged in the great war, to ac- 
complish similar results for the battle and disease victims of national 
hostilities. The wounded and disabled eivilians in industry exceed, in 
any great industrial community, over a period of years, the numbers 
from such community disabled in armed conflict. That condition is 
particularly true of Pennsylvania with its coal mines, great iron and 
steel mills, and extensive transportation lines. 
““Rehabilitation’’ was chosen as the title of the bureau created in 
the Department of Labor and Industry during the legislative session 
of 1919, following the enactment, in 1915, of workmen’s compensation 
legislation, for the benefit of industrial accident victims. 
The Bureau of Rehabilitation was not ereated to dole charity or 
relief payments to disabled persons; it was not intended to attempt 
to restore to occupational activity, aged or helpless persons requiring 
sustodial care, blind or deaf persons under the care of any State or 
semi-State institutions, epilepties, feeble-minded persons, or any per- 
son not susceptible, physically and mentally to occupational rehabilita- 
tion. Consequently, the legislative intent of the Act was plain. The 
Bureau of Rehabilitation is to confine its efforts toward restoring to 
useful occupations persons physically handicapped, whose handicaps, 
however, are not so severe as to render them incapable of performing 
suitable, if specialized, tasks. 
The purpose of the legislation, although evidently humanitarian, 
was primarily economic. It was to coordinate under State auspices 
the many similar efforts toward rehabilitation by individual disabled 
persons, relief organizations, employers and employes. 
An Act of Congress, which became effective June 2, 1920, by ap- 
proval of the President, recognized rehabilitation as a national issue, 
and granted Federal aid to the States in total amount of $1,000,000 
a year, such portion going to each State as the population of such 
State compared with the total population of the whole country, with 
the further proviso that the States must formally accept such Federal 
funds and expend for the same purpose an amount equal to that ex- 
pended from Federal funds. Pennsylvania accepted the Federal co- 
operation by legislation in 1921. 
William S. Crozier 
The legislation in Pennsylvania, for the restoration of its disabled 
»itizens to useful activity, empowers the Bureau of Rehabilitation of 
the Department of Labor and Industry: 

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