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October 15, 1976
Ms. Judy Heumann
I very much enjoyed meeting with you during your visit to Washington in September. For your information, I have enclosed the bills I've introduced and the statements I've made concerning the handicapped. There are about 45 cosponsors for the bill amending the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and I will certainly be working on this bill in the next session of Congress.
I am particularly interested in the idea we discussed then concerning the possibility of establishing community or university based centers designed to meet the special needs of the handicapped. My original thought was to have universities serve as the bases for these centers, largely because I was thinking of catering to students who might want to study at universities but were unable to because of the physical limitations of most campuses. I do not know how many students this would actually involve; my instinctive feeling is that if programs like the Berkeley Disabled Students Program were available at 10 universities throughout the country, for example, there would be individuals who would take advantage of them. What would need to be determined is what services such programs would provide. For example, would their aim be to enable handicapped students to go to these certain universities to pursue established courses of study, with the assurance that facilities would be available to meet their special needs? Or, would their aim be to provide individual and specialized courses of study, such as vocational rehabilitation programs? In the latter case, a significant curriculum expansion would be mandatory.
I found very interesting your ideas on establishing community based centers as opposed to university based centers. My main questions again would be what services these centers would provide and who they would serve. Is the CIL, for example, limited in who it serves? Does it provide academic courses of study or is its emphasis on vocational rehabilitation programs? Further, is there any connection between the Center and the Berkeley Disabled Students Program?
It would of course be ideal to reach as many people as possible and to
― 2 ―provide the broadest possible range of vocational and academic programs. I am very interested in having your ideas about the feasibility of setting up regionally located university centers and/or numerous community centers that could or could not be regionally based. As I mentioned to you during our meeting, I am interested in developing legislation that would provide Federal grant money to help establish these programs.
Thank you for the additional names of individuals and programs already providing specialized services for the handicapped. I am writing to each of them and will certainly keep in touch with you as I evaluate the responses I receive.
Thanks also for your time and assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best.
Edward I. KochEIK:sp
cc: Ms. Elizabeth Bacon
Mr. Edward Roberts
Mr. Russell E. O'Connell
Mr. Lex Frieden
Dr. Donald Galvin
Ms. Eleanor Gallay
Mr. Donald Lorce