Excerpt from "My Life and Work"  by Henry Ford and Samuel Crowther 
Project Gutenberg

It would be quite outside the spirit of what we are trying to do, to take on men because they were crippled, pay them a lower wage, and be content with a lower output. That might be directly helping the men but it would not be helping them in the best way. The best way is always the way by which they can be put on a productive par with able-bodied men.

I believe that there is very little occasion for charity in this world--that is, charity in the sense of making gifts. Most certainly business and charity cannot be combined; the purpose of a factory is to produce, and it ill serves the community in general unless it does produce to the utmost of its capacity. We are too ready to assume without investigation that the full possession of faculties is a condition requisite to the best performance of all jobs.

To discover just what was the real situation, I had all of the different jobs in the factory classified to the kind of machine and work--whether the physical labour involved was light, medium, or heavy; whether it were a wet or a dry job, and if not, with what kind of fluid; whether it were clean or dirty; near an oven or a furnace; the condition of the air; whether one or both hands had to be used; whether the employee stood or sat down at his work; whether it was noisy or quiet; whether it required accuracy; whether the light was natural or artificial; the number of pieces that had to be handled per hour; the weight of the material handled; and the description of the strain upon the worker.

It turned out at the time of the inquiry that there were then 7,882 different jobs in the factory. Of these, 949 were classified as heavy work requiring strong, able-bodied, and practically physically perfect men; 3,338 required men of ordinary physical development and strength. The remaining 3,595 jobs were disclosed as requiring no physical exertion and could be performed by the slightest, weakest sort of men. In fact, most of them could be satisfactorily filled by women or older children. The lightest jobs were again classified to discover how many of them required the use of full faculties, and we found that 670 could be filled by legless men, 2,637 by one-legged men, 2 by armless men, 715 by one-armed men, and 10 by blind men.

Therefore, out of 7,882 kinds of jobs, 4,034--although some of them required strength--did not require full physical capacity. That is, developed industry can provide wage work for a higher average of standard men than are ordinarily included in any normal community. If the jobs in any one industry or, say, any one factory, were analyzed as ours have been analyzed, the proportion might be very different, yet I am quite sure that if work is sufficiently subdivided--subdivided to the point of highest economy--there will be no dearth of places in which the physically incapacitated can do a man's job and get a man's wage. It is economically most wasteful to accept crippled men as charges and then to teach them trivial tasks like the weaving of baskets or some other form of unremunerative hand labour, in the hope, not of aiding them to make a living, but of preventing despondency.

When a man is taken on by the Employment Department, the theory is to put him into a job suited to his condition. If he is already at work and he does not seem able to perform the work, or if he does not like his work, he is given a transfer card, which he takes up to the transfer department, and after an examination he is tried out in some other work more suited to his condition or disposition. Those who are below the ordinary physical standards are just as good workers, rightly placed, as those who are above. For instance, a blind man was assigned to the stock department to count bolts and nuts for shipment to branch establishments. Two other able-bodied men were already employed on this work. In two days the foreman sent a note to the transfer department releasing the able-bodied men because the blind man was able to do not only his own work but also the work that had formerly been done by the sound men.

We have experimented with bedridden men--men who were able to sit up. We put black oilcloth covers or aprons over the beds and set the men to work screwing nuts on small bolts. This is a job that has to be done by hand and on which fifteen or twenty men are kept busy in the Magneto Department. The men in the hospital could do it just as well as the men in the shop and they were able to receive their regular wages. In fact, their production was about 20 per cent., I believe, above the usual shop production. No man had to do the work unless he wanted to. But they all wanted to. It kept time from hanging on their hands. They slept and ate better and recovered more rapidly.

No particular consideration has to be given to deaf-and-dumb employees. They do their work one hundred per cent. The tubercular employees--and there are usually about a thousand of them--mostly work in the material salvage department. Those cases which are considered contagious work together in an especially constructed shed. The work of all of them is largely out of doors.

At the time of the last analysis of employed, there were 9,563 sub-standard men. Of these, 123 had crippled or amputated arms, forearms, or hands. One had both hands off. There were 4 totally blind men, 207 blind in one eye, 253 with one eye nearly blind, 37 deaf and dumb, 60 epileptics, 4 with both legs or feet missing, 234 with one foot or leg missing. The others had minor impediments.