Transcript of Briefing Paper for President Gerald R. Fords Meeting with the Presidents Committee on Mental Retardation
THE PRESIDENT HAS SEEN
THE WHITE HOUSE
MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE ON MENTAL RETARDATION
Friday, October 11, 1974
2:00 p.m. (20 minutes) Cabinet Room
FROM: KEN COLE
This meeting was requested by the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation, by one of its members, Mr. Robert A. Collier, and also by its former Vice Chairman, Congressman Clair Burgener. You will receive a report of their activities from the Committee and you will have the opportunity to endorse the Committee’s goals.
II. BACKGROUND, PARTICIPANTS, AND PRESS PLAN
A. Background: Secretary Weinberger will open the session and introduce the group to you. Brief reports will then follow from several Committee members on major activities, including efforts to enlist the cooperation of all Federal agencies, and to ensure legal rights for the mentally retarded. You may then wish to make some remarks.
The President’s Committee on Mental Retardation is a continuing advisory committee of 21 citizens appointed by the President. Members also include the Secretaries of HEW, HUD, and Labor; the Attorney General; and the Directors of OEO and ACTION. This Committee has been working quite hard in spearheading a campaign to achieve the national goals set in 1971: To reduce by 50 percent the incidence of mental retardation by the year 2000 and to return to the community 1/3 of the retarded in State institutions. This meeting with you will close out the Committee’s two-day quarterly meeting in Washington.
HANDWRITING: Report filed Oversize Attachment
B. Participants: Secretary Weinberger
Attorney General Saxbe
Acting OEO Director Gallegos
ACTION Director Balzano
Sixteen citizen members of the Committee, ex-officio members, and HEW staff (list at Tab A)
Special Guest: Representative Clair Burgener (former Committee Vice Chairman and parent of mentally retarded child)
C. Press Plan: Picture session; Presidential statement to be released (statement at Tab B).
III. TALKING POINTS
- Thank you Secretary Weinberger, as well as all the other Members of the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation. I very much appreciate your coming here today and giving me this report on your activities.
- Now, I want to tell you – and the Press Office will be releasing a statement by me on this – that this Administration will by committed to the two major national goals of this group: To reduce by 50 percent the incidence of mental retardation by the year 2000 and to return to the community 1/3 of the retarded in State institutions.
- I can assure you that the Federal Government will do all it can to help our mentally retarded citizens become productive members of society. We’ll work to improve housing and employment opportunities, to see that legal rights are recognized, and to encourage research to continue.
- But you and I both know, the Government can only do so much to help the mentally retarded live happy and productive lives. Most of the work has to come from the American people in local communities. This Committee has done a great job in working with people all over the country. I’ll be counting on you to continue your fine work for me.