The rehabilitation of seriously handicapped military personnel becomes increasingly important as more and more of our troops engage in combat. Among the most formidable disabling conditions encountered in soldiers are blindness, deafness, amputations of the extremities, paralysis following nerve injuries, and facial disfigurement. In this paper I shall discuss only the Army program for rehabilitating personnel with loss of sight and impairment of hearing.
In Surgeon General's Office Circular Letter No. 162, issued last September, it was pointed out that the particular emotional problems of the newly blinded and deafened and their need for assistance in learning how to live without sight or hearing create a need for specialized rehabilitation.1 A discussion of these disabilities will illustrate the Army's basic philosophy of management of handicapped military personnel.
Misinformation about blindness and deafness as a military problem is being circulated at this time. There have been rumors to the effect
HILLMAN CC. THE ARMY REHABILITATION PROGRAM FOR THE BLIND AND THE DEAFENED. JAMA. 1944;125(5):321–323. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850230001001