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RESEARCH RECOMMEND DATIO~-S OF THE SECOND CONFERENCE ON PROBLEMS OF THE DEAF AND HARD OF :ElEARINTG INTRODUCTION THE FIRST CONFERENCE At the annual meeting of the Division of Anthropology and Psy- chology, on May ~3 and ~4, ~927, the Committee on Tactual Interpreta- tion of Oral Speech and Vocal Control by the Deaf presented its report and asked to be discharged. This committee had been appointed in ~924 to supervise an investigation into, the possibilities of communicating to the deaf by means of vibrational stimulations which had been com- menced the previous year under the auspices of the Division, but with which the Division was to have no further connection after July I, ~9~7. The discussion in the Division of the possibilities of obtaining signifi- cant results in such investigations led to the consideration of the advisa- bility of a survey of the research needs and opportunities in the whole field of the care and training of the deaf, in order that further research might be efficiently and economically directed. The Division voted: That the Chairman take steps to call a group conference on the possible organization of a research institution on matters in con- nection with the deaf. In pursuance with this action of the Division, the Council sought funds for the holding of a Conference on the Problems of the Deaf, and obtained (October, ~927) a grant of $2000 from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial for that purpose. The Chairman of the Division then proceeded with the organization of the Conference, with the advice and assistance of various persons, among whom Dr. Percival Hall, President of Gallaudet College, Dr. Harris Taylor, Principal of the New York Institution for the Improved Instruction of the Deaf, and Miss Josephine Timberlake, Superintendent of the Volta Bureau, were especially helpful. The scope of the Conference was enlarged to include the problems of the hard of hearing, as well as those of the deaf. A list of members (see Appendix A) was inherited to represent institutions for the deaf, organizations of workers with the deaf, organizations for the hard of
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~ Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing hearing, and the fields of physics, psychology, physiology, anatomy, orology, and medicine; and a program of discussion was planned. The Conference was not designed to be comprehensively representative, but to provide a small gathering competent to consider the situation then existent. The Conference was held in Washington, D. C., January no and As, ~9~8, in the Board Room of the National Academy of Sciences, with Dr. Knight Dunlap, Chairman of the Division of Anthropology and Psychology, presiding. Dr. Vernon Kellogg, Permanent Secretary of the National Research Council, welcomed the Novembers and extended the Council's commendation of the purpose of the Conference. As a basis for the discussions, papers were presented by R. H. Gault, T. C. Forrester, Harvey Fletcher, S. R. Guild, Bessie N. Leonard, R. Pintner, Gordon Berry and C. W. Richardson. The minutes of this Conference have been issued in mimeographed form, and a limited number of copies are still available. In the discussions following the papers, the Conference reached the conclusion that scientifically grounded information concerning the basal problems pertaining to the deaf and the hard of hearing was sadly lacking, and that a determined effort to enlarge scientific knowledge in these fields was imperative. The following resolution was adopted: Through two days, this Conference, consisting of representatives from the fields of Psychology, Anthropology, Physiology, Otology and Laryngology, Physics, Education of the Deaf, Educational Psychology, and the organizations of the Hard of Hearing, have listened to reports of activities in these several fields, relating to the general problem of deafness, treating of the discovery, describe tion, classification, pathology, treatment and prevention of deafness, and of the education and social and economic welfare of deafened children and adults. We feel individually and as a committee that much of value has been derived from the reports and from the discussions which have followed. Especially do we feel that effort should be made to conserve the results of the Conference, not only by publication of the proceedings of the Conference, but by the development of some plan whereby cooperative effort may be fostered for the solution of some of the problems presented, and to the end that a program of research may be developed and facilitated. A. We therefore recommend that a committee of not more than seven be appointed by the National Research Council in the Division of Anthropology and Psychology, whose duties shall be:
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Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing `~ I. To digest and make available the materials resulting from the Conference. 2. To find and list research which is in hand and provided for. 3. To formulate a coherent program of fundamental research bearing upon the problems of the deaf and the hard of hearing. 4. To suggest the best methods and agencies for carrying out this work. B. We recommend for the careful consideration of the Com- mittee, the following apparent needs: I. The investigation of the usefulness of instruments now sold or proposed for use in the education of the deafened children; such as: auditors, amplifying sets? the Osiso, the teletactor, and audiometers. 2. The study and development of methods of measuring in the deaf and hard of hearing: a. Intelligence. b. Mechanical, motor and other special abilities. c. Achievement in education. d. Ability to speak. e. Ability to read the lips. 3. The study of curricula of schools for the deaf, to determine what actually is taught, and to discuss what should be taught. 4. The establishment of an experimental nursery school for very young deaf children. 5. The study of the emotional adjustment of the deaf and the hard of hearing. 6. The study of the problems of the training of teachers for the deaf. The development of methods of rating the usefulness of mechanical and electrical hearing devices. 8. The study of fundamental problems of audition. 9. The study of hard of hearing children relative to their discovery, management and education. THE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING The Executive Committee of the Division approved the action recom- mended by the First Conference; and the National Research Council, on nomination from the Division, appointed a committee of six members,
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4 Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing with Dr. Rudolph Pintner as Chairman. The Laura Spelman Rocke- feller Memorial made available additional funds for the work of the Committee, and for the holding of a second conference, and the Con~- mittee began its work with little delay. At the first meeting of the Committee, March lo, ~928, it was decided to form a group of sub- committees to which should lye entrusted the primary work of discover- ing research problems in specific parts of the general field, and which should report their findings to the Committee. The Committee and its subcommittees continued their labors into the Fall of ~9~8, concluding on December ~5, when the Committee placed in the hands of the Chairman of the Division the collected recommenda- tions of the subcommittees, to be integrated into a program of research recommendations for presentation to the Second Conference. (For list of Novembers of the Council Committee and Subcommittees see Appendix C.) THE SECOND CONF=ENCE The Second Conference convened in Washington, D. C., on February ~ and 2, ~929, in the Lecture Room of the National Academy of Sciences, with the list of members as given in Appendix B. Dr. Knight Dunlap, Chairman of the Division of Anthropology and Psy- chology, presided. After certain routine announcements, the Chairman presented to the Conference Mr. Charles G. Dawes, Vice-President of the United States, who' spoke, in part, as follows: " Ladies and Gentlemen: As the official listener of the United States in the chair of the Vice-President, I do not know whether I am pre- pared to give encouragement at all to anything done to cure deafness. As a matter of fact, I sometimes wish I were a deaf man myself. " As is usual with most of my public appearances, I am not prepared to speak upon the subject which is uppermost in your mind; but, as I understand it, this is a part of the National Research Council; and I want to say that I am here because of the name National Research Council and what it means to us. " The National Research Council is a good illustration of what the authoritative mobilization of talent can do in this country. This great Council has established a position of leadership in the minds of the people interested in any great progressive enterprise in this country. You are interested in the advancement of a great cause in your particular department of science We wish you well." The Chairman then introduced Dr. Albert L. Barrows, Assistant Secretary of the National Research Council, who welcomed the Con- ference and sketched the history of the Council's interest in the problems of auditory deficiency as follows:
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Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 5 "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Conference: I greatly regret that Dr. Kellogg, who is the permanent Secretary, as you know, of the National Research Council, is out of the city at this time, and on that account unable to extend to you himself the greetings of the Council. If Dr. Kellogg were here he would certainly wish to address you and to welcome you personally on this occasion. In his absence, however, may I assure you still of the great interest which the National Research Council has in the problems to which you are to give attention today and tomorrow; and I assure you also of your welcome here for the purposes of these discussions. " The importance of the problems concerning aural mechanism and function has been impressed upon the National Research Council for a good many years. In fact, the concern of the Council in this problem goes back to the first year of the organization of the Council, during the War, when a committee was appointed to study the relation of a portion of the inner ear to the sense of balance in the human body, with respect to aviation. This interest still continues in the Council, through the maintenance of a special committee on this subject. " The interest of the Council in the problems of the deaf and hard of hearing began in ~g24 and ~25, through a survey of schools for the deaf, and with preliminary studies on the physical causes of deafness. Since the Conference on problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing which was held here a year ago, much work has beers accomplished in defining and in outlining the things which ought to be done in the course of a study of the occurrence of deafness and of the essential bases on which the education and the social adjustment of the deaf must be founded. " The progress which has been made in these studies has been most gratifying. The range of the problems which these deliberations of the past year have brought forward is extensive, and their very extent is convincing and indicative as to the fundamental value of the assistance which these studies of these problems can contribute, in the improvement of educational methods in this field. A thorough knowledge of the situa- tion, gained through surveys or other reports and summarizations such as recommended by a number of your committees here, or as have al- ready been commenced, is certainly prerequisite to progress toward a solution of these problems. " It is confidently expected that this Conference will still further clarify the approach to a solution of these problems. " On behalf of the National Research Council, may I again assure you of your welcome to this Conference and of the gratification which the
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6 Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing National Research Council has in being able to join with you in the consideration of these very important problems. " I thank you." Committees of the Conference on various aspects of the report to be presented were announced by the Chairman (Appendix D), with the suggestion that proposals for amending the research recommenda- tions in the report be referred to these committees with or without instructions in case such proposals should need consideration or formu- lation for resubmission to the Conference. The Chairman then called upon Dr. Pintner, Chairman of the Division's Committee on Research for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to present the Committee's report to the Conference for its consideration. This report, the body of which contained the Committee's research recom- mendations to the Conference, was prefaced as follows: The Committee on Research for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, appointed by the National Research Council in the Division of Anthropology and Psychology in compliance with the request of the first Conference on Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, herewith submits its report to the Second Conference. Although the substance of this report is in the main the work of the ten subcommittees, the Committee has of necessity somewhat reformulated the conclusions of the subcommittees, in order that these may appear in a unified form. It is just and fitting therefore, that the Committee should assume responsibility, while assigning the maximal credit to the subcommittees. It appears to the Committee that there is urgent need for re- search over a wide range of problems of auditory deficiency. These problems occur over the range of educational and social processes; extend into the domain of legal and economic conditions; and bear upon the development and adjustment of the auditorily deficient individual, from the point of view of his personal interests? as well as that of his value to society. It is to be emphasized, however, that lying beneath these general problems there are many problems of a detailed and scientific nature, the solutions of which are essential to the attack upon the others. In the carrying out of the research covered by this program, there will be fundamentally necessary the efforts of the physicist, the psychologist, the physiologist and the neurologist in order that facts may be uncovered and methods developed for the more sociological part of the work. It is to be emphasized, moreover,
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Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 7 that this labor, in its full extent, is Herculean in its proportions, requiring a considerable period of time, large sums of money, and the fullest cooperation of scientists with the educators of the deaf and hypacousic. The research recommendations of the Committee were presented section by section, and were discussed in detail during the first day and the greater part of the second day of the Conference. Certain minor alterations, and certain other alterations capable of ready formu- lation were currently made; and certain other points were referred to the appropriate committees of the Conference, after discussion had made plain the general type of reformulations or revisions desired. On the afternoon of the second day, the research recommendations were again taken up section by section, in connection with the reports of the Conference committees, were put into final form as printed in the second part of this Circular and were unanimously adopted. In closing the business session, the Chairman spoke as follows: " On behalf of the National Research Council, I express to the mem- bers of the Conference on Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing our great appreciation of the work done by the Conference, and to the committees our congratulations upon the results which have been achieved." On motion of Dr. Anderson it was: Voted, That the Conference express its appreciation of the many courtesies extended by the National Research Council during the meeting of the Conference, and empower the Chairman to express to them and to the donors of the funds which made the Conference possible, its sincere appreciation. The Conference concluded with a banquet in the evening, at which the members were addressed by Dr. Hugh S. Cumming, Surgeon Gen- eral of the United States Public Health Service, as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen: It is. not to be expected that any one not having special knowledge in some branch of the large subject of deaf- ness could contribute any very specific suggestions of value to this meeting. Since I make no claims to being proficient in all of the special- ties of medicine or of otology in particular, I shall confine my remarks to some generalizations on the place which deafness occupies in the general subject of public health. " It is the ultimate object of public health to help to release the citi- zenry from the mental and physical handicaps which beset them, and to hasten the day when a sound mind in a sound body shall be the assured
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3 Problems of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing birthright of all. While this is an ambitious objective, the progress already made by an activity which historically speaking is still in its infancy, is our encouragement to redouble our efforts in the sure hope of further conquests. " I shall not refer to the now familiar statements regarding the de- creasing death rates, and the practical banishment of most of the great - pestilential diseases from civilized countries, further than to call atten- tion to the fact that the progress here represented has been chiefly due to researches in the communicable diseases of parasitic origin. This group is the one which thus far has received the most intensive atten- tion, and the progress made has encouraged us to hope that the solution of the problems offered by those communicable diseases which still re- sist, will only be a matter of time-and hard work. " This brings us near to the subject of deafness, because this condi- tion, aside from its hereditary aspects, is associated in great part with some form of communicable infection. True enough, there remain the subjects of nutrition and of the poisons whose influence on deafness may prove ultimately to be of importance. Again the interplay of these factors, nutrition, poisoning of various kinds, and infection, has not yet been sufficiently investigated, to enable us to say with assurance which is primary and which secondary. " Public health endeavor, as you are aware, has its chief concern with prevention as contrasted with cure or relief, without in the least dis- paraging the importance of the latter. This attitude leads its interest to concentrate upon causes, the removal of which would prevent the un- favorable condition. Nevertheless, due to the imperfection of present day knowledge, it is often the duty of health agencies to obviate, if they can, the secondary results of infections which they have not learned how to prevent. As an example I may cite infantile paralysis, the spread of which cannot yet be efficiently controlled by any means com- patible with the inevitable contacts of modern life, but the crippling effects of which can to an extent be prevented by prompt and wise treatment. " Our first line of defense against deafness must at present be found principally in the control of those infectious diseases with which cer- tain of its types are associated. The responsibility for this falls chiefly upon health organizations, and, as has been indicated, it is known that such agencies are able significantly to limit the spread of some infec- tions and with advancing knowledge will presumably be able to exert a more effectual control. The more recent work on scarlet fever, for example, holds promise of the ultimate significant reduction of this disease, conspicuous for its orological complications. But these health
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Problems of the Deaf and Hard: of Hearing 9 organizations, where they exist, are all too frequently deterred from giving full service to their populations by the limitation of funds and facilities. Moreover, we must remember that a large portion of our rural population, which is still nearly one-half of the total, is utterly devoid of health service. I feel that in our preoccupation with the dire results of deafness and the salvage of those so handicapped, we should not lose sight of this first line of defense, and of the need for supporting both its research and its control activities. " Even the second line of defense has intimate public health relations. If salvage and restoration is to be most effectual it must be under- taken at as early a stage as possible. The first recognition of deafness must often be left to the visiting health nurse, and to the health physi- cian in the schools and clinics, whose duty it is to secure proper medical attention for those afflicted. " Therefore, while we should with unabated zeal work for the re- habilitation of those who are already handicapped, we should not forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and should see to it that all agencies which may be employed to head off, in some mea- sure, this stream of affliction at its source, are given the recognition and the means to exert their potential influence, and by research to devise improved methods." Following General Cumming's address, the following unscheduled appreciation was presented by Dr. Gordon Berry: This closes a year in which we have been identified with the National Research Council in its consideration of the Problems off the Deaf. We have already formally expressed our apprecia- tion of this privilege and of the Council's generosity in our behalf. We wish to add an informal word of appreciation of our Chairman, Dr. Dunlap, and of our Secretary, Mrs. Britten, whose sympathy with our aims and ideals, whose understanding of our occasional differences, whose generosity with our errors, have com- bined to make our labors in this Conference both happy and profi- table. We hope we have contributed materially to the cause of the deaf and the deafened, but we feel that this has been made possi- ble only through the kindly guidance and scientific vision of our leader. We now leave our hypacousic child in his tender anthropological care with the assurance that thus will it have its best chance of survival. May it grow to a sturdy and useful manhood, a brilliant psychological exponent of the gracious arts of finger spelling and lip reading.
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