THE BRAILLE MONITOR
Vol. 45, No. 3 April, 2002
Barbara Pierce, Editor
Published in inkprint, in Braille,
and on cassette by
THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
MARC MAURER, PRESIDENT
1800 Johnson Street
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THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND IS NOT AN ORGANIZATION SPEAKING FOR THE BLIND--IT IS THE BLIND SPEAKING FOR THEMSELVES
Louisville Site of 2002 NFB Convention!
The 2002 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, July 3-9. We will conduct the convention at the Galt House Hotel and the Galt House East Tower, together a first-class convention hotel. The Galt House Hotel, familiarly called the Galt House West, is at 140 N. Forth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. The Galt House East Tower, or Galt House East, is at 141 N. Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. Room rates for this year's convention are excellent: singles, doubles, and twins $57 and triples and quads $63 a night, plus tax. The hotel is accepting reservations now. A $60-per-room deposit is required to make a reservation. Fifty percent of the deposit will be refunded if notice is given to the hotel of a reservation cancellation before May 29, 2002. The other 50 percent is not refundable. For reservations call the hotel at (502) 589‑5200.
Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made to secure these rooms before May 29, 2002, assuming that rooms are still available. After that time the hotel will not hold the block of rooms for the convention. In other words, you should get your reservation in soon.
Our overflow hotel is the Hyatt Regency at 320 W. Jefferson Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, phone (502) 587‑3434.
Those who attended the 1985 convention can testify to the gracious hospitality of the Galt House. This hotel has excellent restaurants, first-rate meeting space, and other top-notch facilities. It is in downtown Louisville, close to the Ohio River and only seven miles from the Louisville Airport.
The 2002 Convention will follow a somewhat different schedule:
Wednesday, July 3 Seminar Day
Thursday, July 4 Registration Day
Friday, July 5 Board Meeting and Division Day
Saturday, July 6 Opening Session
Sunday, July 7 Tour Day
Monday, July 8 Banquet Day
Tuesday, July 9 Business Session
Plan to be in Louisville.
The action of the convention will be there!
Vol. 45, No. 3 April, 2002
The Individual's Role in a Democracy
by Jacobus tenBroek
by Karen Alexander
The 2002 Washington Seminar
Learning Braille as an Adult:
Read Until You Bleed
by Jerry Whittle
Getting Around Downtown Louisville
by Dennis Franklin
Making History in Louisville--Federation Style
by Lora J. Felty
2002 Convention Attractions
NFB Camp Preregistration Form
The Serious Work of Play
NOPBC-Sponsored Activities for Parents and Kids
by Barbara Cheadle
NOPBC 2002 Activities Preregistration
Hearing Enhancement and Spanish Translation
Available At National Convention
Spanish Translators Needed
by D. Curtis Willoughby
Copyright © 2002 National Federation of the Blind
[LEAD PHOTO/CAPTION: February 28, 2002, will go down in Federation history as the day we could officially announce that we have met our goal of raising eighteen million dollars toward building the National Research and Training Institute for the Blind. The National Center staff took time out of another busy day to celebrate this impressive victory. Three sheet cakes are pictured here, each bearing one of the three exciting words, "Eighteen Million Dollars." Now the demanding work of fund raising continues since we have already experienced construction cost overruns. Then, of course, there is the challenge of meeting Institute operating expenses. But Thursday, February 28, was a day to savor our long-anticipated victory. ]
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Jacobus tenBroek]
The Individual's Role in a Democracy
by Jacobus tenBroek
From the Editor: In the process of archiving many of the Federation's historical documents, we recently discovered a tape recording of the following speech which was the last in a series of lectures delivered at East Contra Costa College, probably in December of 1962. At the time Dr. tenBroek was the chairman of the California Social Welfare Board and Professor of Speech at the University of California at Berkeley. The tape is remarkably clear except that the recording system had not been turned on before Dr. tenBroek began speaking. As a result, the first few words are missing. The speech is remarkable for its clarity of thought and delivery. It has nothing to do with blindness, but it certainly demonstrates once again the clarity and elegance of the mind of the man who founded our movement and his deep commitment to equality for all citizens. From the sound of the applause, the audience must have been very large. Here is the speech:
. . . Consideration handed down a landmark decision. That decision was reached in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education. "The Constitution," said the Supreme Court, "forbids segregation in public educational facilities. The schools must be racially integrated." The doctrine of "separate but equal" long held to govern such matters was repudiated. The new rule was to be put into effect by the states, not immediately as would normally have been the case, but, as the phrase goes, "with all deliberate speed," in the light of the local circumstances, educational and administrative.
The decision set off a chain reaction: manifestos were issued, declarations of Constitutional principles were propounded, joint resolutions were passed. In the southern states all branches of the government went into action. The legislatures adopted a packaged program. The mix in the ready-made package contained an assortment of laws for the control and closing of the public schools, for repealing compulsory attendance laws, for the assignment and distribution of pupils, for the revealing of present and past organizational membership by teachers, for the establishment of state sovereignty commissions, and for the frustration or annihilation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] and for state so-called interposition.
Where necessary, state constitutions were amended to sustain these enactments. Governors suited the words to the action and the action to the word. They railed against the Supreme Court. They planted themselves on the Tenth Amendment. They declared their states sovereign and independent. They publicly refused to drink, as they said, from the cup of genocide. Some of them even incited the mob a little. One called out the National Guard to keep nine colored children from attending a white high school. Another erected his person as a physical barrier to the admission of a colored university student.
In reviewing these laws and other actions, the state courts, with some doubts and minor exceptions, lined up with the other state officials rather than with their judicial superiors in Washington. Many old and some new constitutional questions were raised by these reactions in the southern states: is the Supreme Court the final interpreter of the Constitution, or may the states finally determine what powers are reserved to them for themselves? Could the states, following the model of Madison and Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798, constitutionally interpose to nullify what they consider to be flagrant, palpable, and deliberate violations of the Constitution by the federal government?
Is education a matter placed by the Tenth Amendment within the exclusive jurisdiction of the states, or are the clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment applicable? Was the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified at the close of the Civil War with the concurrence of federal troops, which established and protected those legislatures, constitutionally adopted? In the face of its fifth section, authorizing Congress to enforce it by appropriate legislation, could the Supreme Court order it carried into effect in the absence of statutory provision therefor? In the existing state of federal statutes, could the President execute the Court decree himself by the use of federalized National Guardsmen and regulars in the armed forces of the United States? Could a lower federal court properly issue an injunction against virtually the entire state of Mississippi? Was a governor criminally liable for violating it? Do private associations have a constitutional right to organize, to hold confidential their lists of members, and to solicit and conduct litigation in the federal courts for the purpose of establishing the equality of the races?
The events have been spectacular. Given the basic decision in the Brown case, however, the legal and constitutional questions have been less so. Some new constitutional law is emerging. No old constitutional law is being overturned. In this respect the most significant lesson to be learned from the post-decision episodes and arguments is the invincibility of constitutional error. No matter how often the doctrine of state interposition, for example, has been put down in our history, no matter how thoroughly repudiated by Congress, blasted by national executive action, finally disposed of by the courts, and buried by the Civil War itself, still is it disinterred and resurrected to reenact again its inevitable fate and be buried once more.
The flaming controversy to which Brown vs. Board of Education gave rise tends to obscure from the public view rather than to clarify its constitutional significance. Perhaps Brown vs. Board of Education does not match some of the more famous decisions of John Marshall or, say, Justice Mansfield's holding in the Somerset case freeing the slaves in England in 1776. Though it only carried out the original purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, yet that purpose had been subverted and lost sight of in the intervening century, and the Brown decision therefore stands in the same tradition of creativeness with Marshall and Mansfield, and this comparison properly suggests the measure of the Brown decision.
1954 will not stand alone in the annals of the Warren court or in the constitutional history of this century. In April, 1962, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down another landmark decision. This one was reached in the case of Baker vs. Carr. The problem in that case is quite different from Brown vs. Board of Education, and yet in many ways it was quite similar. Apportionment of representation in the state legislatures was held to be a matter within the jurisdiction of the federal courts, and one upon which they would act. The doctrine that this type of controversy was nonjusticiable was repudiated. The representativeness of representatives in the state legislature, therefore, has been made a matter of federal constitutionality. However, in exactly and without necessarily excluding other factors such as geography and the economy, the state legislatures must represent the people. Remarkable disproportionality will no longer be tolerated. The nation will drag the states into the second half of the twentieth century, albeit screaming.
Country life and agricultural activity, sunk to a low estate in society and the economy, cannot maintain their erstwhile representative dominance in the state legislatures by the failure of their representatives to reapportion the legislatures. The industrial, the city, and the suburban masses must be given their due, or at least some part of it.
Neither in the Carr case nor in the Brown do we see the Supreme Court of the United States blazing a trail of social or political progress. Boldly pioneering on the frontiers of democracy is rarely if ever the judicial role. Indeed these two landmark decisions are not at all inconsistent with the theory of the judicial lag--the theory, that is, that the courts confirm progress; they do not create it. Progress in race relations and in adjusting legislative apportionment to the profound reorganization of life and redistribution of the population of the states have long since, as Hamlet said, fallen out of joint with the time, grossly and shockingly so. What was needed was drastic action to bring or make possible progress in these areas to the point where the judges lagging normally behind events could see it without looking backward.
But what branch of the government could take the action? Aye, there was the rub. Congress could not. It was held immobile in the field of race relations by seniority-conferred power on southerners in the committees of the House and by the rules of procedure in the Senate. Likewise immobile were the state legislatures, where the agricultural interests would not, could not indeed be expected to, proceed self-moved to the destruction of their own power and their own strategic position.
With the legislative branches of government hamstrung and impotent, with the executive constitutionally sidelined in the absence of statutory direction and authority, with no issue at stake of nullifying affirmative action taken by coordinate departments of the national government, with the problems being only those of state action and inaction and national corrective power, the Supreme Court was born, or at least grew up, to be the one to set the matter right. The time is still out of joint, but it is less so now.
However, for this occasion our interest in these two cases does not derive from the role of leadership assumed by the court or the factors that stimulated and made that role possible, or even from the importance of these decisions in the life of the nation. Our interest derives from another source, from the constitutional chords that were struck by the court. What were these? What was the constitutional limitation or directive? I have already indicated it was contained in the Fourteenth Amendment. Oddly enough, California was the last state to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, and this occurred only very recently. The Amendment was adopted at the close of the Civil War. It was put into effect in 1868. It was not until 1959, five years after the Brown decision, that California finally signified its approval of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. As we Californians contemplate southern resistance to the Brown decision, we might remind ourselves that racist politics played a considerable part in our original rejection of the Fourteenth Amendment.
What is the great constitutional engine in the Fourteenth Amendment, which served as the propulsive force in the Brown and Carr cases? It is the seminal, the pervasive, the multifaceted, the much-misunderstood, the much espoused, the much-criticized notion of equality. "All men are created equal," proclaimed the Declaration of Independence. All men? well not quite all--not Negro slaves, owned by Jefferson among others, not Indians, not taxed and not part of the community. Not the deprived and down-trodden generally, or at least not just yet. Yet this one phrase and proposition sounded the death knell of slavery. That self-evident truth of Jefferson's Preamble eventually made the whole institution untenable. It became the piercing cry of the abolitionist, who linked it with and gave it primacy over the privileges and immunities of national citizenship and the due process protection of life, liberty, and property. These are the source, the foundation, the content, and the rationale of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment.
So ninety years after the Declaration of Independence Jefferson's self-evident truth finally made its way explicitly into the Constitution. The form was slightly altered. It gave emphasis to the protection element in the concept of equality: due and full protection of all men in their natural rights. "Nor shall any state deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law." Those are the words that were put into the Fourteenth Amendment. Any person? The equal protection of the laws? Well, not quite any person, not quite full protection--not just yet, anyhow. Indians still were not taxed, and by the amendment itself they were not to be counted. Slavery had been abolished. Its badges and indicia, the long social aftermath of a previous condition of servitude, remained to rack the century that lay ahead. The deprived, the destitute, the diseased, the degraded--for moral pestilence and physical pestilence in Milton's phrase "leaped forth into the world like two twins cleaving together." And race prejudice, "that other sturdy pestilence," in Justice Douglas's phrase, formed a third sibling to the other two. These also were not contemplated by the constitutional command or, better, were not reached by its administration.
Today, another ninety years later, after having been for nearly a century lost and forgotten or shamelessly subverted by the separate-but-equal stratagem, equal protection is again emerging from its relative latency to strike down some of these vestiges, to uproot some of these conditions. "No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," chorused all voices on the Supreme Court in unison in school desegregation cases. "No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," said a majority of voices on the Supreme Court in the apportionment-of- representation case. And so no state shall. Any person? The equal protection of the laws? Well, not quite any person, not quite full protection--at least not just yet, anyhow.
Beyond the desegregated schools are the schools still segregated. Beyond them hotels, restaurants, theaters, swimming pools, parks, beaches, transportation facilities, housing, policing, protection, voting, and so on. Beyond these are other instances and institutions of race prejudice aimed at the blacks and those aimed at other colored people, and those aimed at some of the whites. As a part of race prejudice, minority status, and many other social and physical factors as well, there is poverty, and there are the victims of poverty. The task of equality indeed is not now done, in truth is never done.
American political and constitutional assumptions and goals, liberty, the dignity of the human person, the right of private property, security, equality intermingle and overlap. They also are fluid and variable in content. To the extent that they are a living reality in a developing democracy, they are constantly growing, maturing, and changing. Every generation, every decade is a formative period in the constitutional life of the nation. Moreover, emphasis on the various elements has shifted at different periods in our history in the documents which have embodied and expressed the different movements, forces, and times, and among the prominent political writers and speakers.
Equality was the dominant note in the Declaration of Independence. Property assumed relatively a stronger position in the Constitution. During the nineteenth century, when fortune and geography gave the nation military safety and free land and the open frontier gave individuals a sense of economic safety, security was taken for granted, and liberty was elevated to a primary position. "When the traditional foundations of culture crumble," wrote Ralph Henry Gabriel in connection with the impact of the world depression of the 1930's and the hot and cold wars of the 1940's, "when government by law gives way to government by irresponsible force, the preoccupation with liberty as an end in itself is replaced by a new search for security: mental, social, economic, and even physical."
Tension can be endured, indeed can be felt, only so long. Eventually, though men live on the threshold of international doomsday, the less spectacular but nevertheless urgent and pressing social, economic, and humanitarian problems of the nation force their way back into the nation's attention. When that happens, considerations of equality move again to the forefront. In some measure this is the constitutional story of the 1950's and the early 1960's in the United States of America.
Any institution or doctrine of importance and vitality has its foes as well as its friends, its detractors as well as its supporters. Such in any event has been the history of the doctrine of equality. Its contemporary experience too has been of this character. Those with an adversary or only an adverse interest, those who have or fancy they have any advantage in a system of inequality, those with contradictory social philosophies, those who think that the observable differences among men are relevant to this problem: all have been articulate in formulation of their opposition.
Read, for example, these choice passages from a Congressional speech by Frances Wilkinson Pickens delivered way back in 1836 in the course of the debate on the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. Many of you will remember that Pickens was the governor of South Carolina at the time Fort Sumter was fired upon. These sentiments are at one with others heard then and now from white supremacists, who intone their refusal "to drink from the cup of genocide," as they say. "What was the meaning?" inquired Pickens of the author of the Declaration of Independence, "as he spoke the proposition that all men are created equal. Was it meant that all men are created equally strong and of equal size? Surely not. Was it meant that all men were born free? From the days of the child in the bulrushes up to the present day there never was an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes that was born free. Was it meant that all men were born with equal rights and equal destiny? From the time it was declared that the iniquities of some should be visited unto the third and fourth generations," said Pickens, "from the days of Moses and the children of Israel, the history of mankind proclaims that there is an elect and chosen few, made the peculiar receptacles of the favors and blessings of an all-wise and all-pervading providence."
This is the world as we find it," said Pickens, "and it is not for us to war upon destiny." "What then," continued Pickens, "was the meaning? It was intended to declare the abstract truth that all men were born equally entitled to political privileges. Let us look into this as practical legislators. Throw man back into his state of savage existence, proclaim his physical and brutal propensities triumphant and himself lord of the recesses of the wilderness, and then this abstract truth may have some practical bearing. But let him accumulate property, let his intellectual attributes triumph over his brutal nature, make him civilized, and send him forth erect in the image of his maker with the light of reason and benevolence beaming from his countenance. Then his great character is that he becomes a social being. Organize him into society to act with his fellow man and then proclaim the abstract truth that all men are equal as a great and fundamental doctrine to be practically acted upon, and you do nothing more or less than raise his hand against every other man and every other man's hand against him. And, instead of it becoming a doctrine full of light and peace to a world sleeping in darkness and bondage, it becomes a doctrine of universal discord, confusion, and ruin." So says Mr. Pickens.
Intellectuals, in that day as in this, joined the clamor against the doctrine of equality, though perhaps they may have spoken from different motives. Have you seen an essay, for example, by Aldous Huxley entitled, "The Idea of Equality?" It might better have been entitled, "The Very Idea of Equality." In it Mr. Huxley makes some very strong and, as I think, some very strange statements. "That all men are created equal," says Huxley, "is a proposition to which at ordinary times no sane human being has ever given his assent. A man who has to undergo a dangerous operation does not act on the assumption that one doctor is just as good as any other. Editors do not print every contribution that reaches them, and when they require civil servants, even the most democratic governments make a careful selection among their theoretically equal subjects."
Huxley finds the original assumptions of the theory of democracy to be these: "That reason is the same and entire in all men and that all men are naturally equal. To these assumptions are attached several corollaries," says Huxley, "that men are naturally good as well as naturally reasonable, that they are the products of their environment, that they are indefinitely educable, and the main conclusions derivable from these assumptions and corollaries," says Huxley, "are the following: that the state ought to be organized on democratic lines, that the governor should be chosen by universal suffrage, that the opinion of the majority on all subjects is the best opinion, that education should be universal and the same for all citizens."
"The primary assumptions," concludes Huxley, "are almost certainly false. Reason is not the same in all men. Human beings belong to a variety of psychological types, separated one from another by irreducible differences. Men are not the exclusive products of their environment. A century of growing democracy has shown," says Huxley, "that the reform in institutions and the spread of education are by no means necessarily followed by improvements in individual virtue and intelligence. At the same time," says Huxley, "biologists have accumulated an enormous mass of evidence tending to show that physical peculiarities are inherited in a perfectly regular and necessary fashion. Body being indissolubly connected with mind, this evidence would almost be enough in itself to prove that mental peculiarities are similarly heritable. Mental idiosyncracies are inherited in exactly the same way as physical idiosyncracies": so says Mr. Huxley.
The attacks upon the doctrine of equality by Pickens and by Huxley, which are typical of many, if not almost all others, are infected with a common fallacy. They are classic examples of the straw-man technique. If you set up a man of straw instead of a real one and you make him the target of your artillery, you can easily blow him down. Having stripped the doctrine of equality of its essential qualities, having stood up in its place a flimsy substitute without the strengths of the genuine article, the task of demolition is easy enough.
Contrary to Huxley, the doctrine of equality does not claim or assume that one doctor, one applicant for civil service positions, one speech, or one essay is as good as any other. Indeed the speech of Pickens and the essay of Huxley make it quite clear that some are not very good at all. Contrary to Pickens and Huxley, the doctrine of equality does not claim or assume that reason is the same in all men, whether entire or not, or that they are equally or innately reasonable, or that they are equally or innately good and virtuous. Contrary to Huxley, the doctrine of equality does not claim or assume that men are more or less the products of their environment than of their heredity or that they are equally or indefinitely educable or that the opinions of the majority on all subjects are necessarily the best.
The most important fact about the doctrine of equality is that it presupposes that men are not the same, but that they are different, different in knowledge, different in wisdom, different in mental capacity, different in physical attributes, different in motivation, different in environment, different in heredity, different in moral qualities. We must emphasize the similarities among men and disregard the differences.
Let me state in summary and fairly categorical form the three definitions of equality which have evolved in democratic systems and have had particular applications in the United States. These might be captioned 1) the natural-rights definition, 2) the classification definition, and 3) the one-for-one definition--the natural-rights, the classification, the one-for-one. The first, the natural rights, is that contained in the Declaration of Independence, in the Constitutional arguments of the abolitionists, and therefore also in the original purpose of section one of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In the Declaration of Independence and in abolitionist constitutional theory, the concept of equality was integrally linked to four other common elements in western democratic theory: 1) unalienable rights, 2) the institution of government to protect these rights, 3) government by the consent of the governed, and 4) the right of the people to change government when it fails to fulfill its purpose and to change it either by peaceful means or by revolution.
Thus, in the Declaration of Independence and in abolitionist usage and later as underlying the Thirteenth Amendment and as embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment, the clause had almost exclusively a substantive character: protection of men in their fundamental or natural rights was the basic idea. Equality was a modifying condition. The clause was a confirmatory reference to the affirmative duty of government to protect men in their natural rights. This established its absolute and substantive character, though the use of the word "equal" seems to give it a comparative form. Equal denial of protection, that is, no protection at all, is accordingly a denial of equal protection. The requirement of equal protection of the laws in the Fourteenth Amendment cannot be met unless the protection of the laws is given. And to give the protection of the laws to men in their natural rights was the sole purpose in the creation of government.
This being so, the phrase, "No state shall deny," becomes a simple command "each state shall supply," and the whole clause is thus understood to mean, "Each state shall supply the protection of the laws to men in their natural rights, and the protection shall always be equal to all men." It was because the protection of the laws had been denied to some men, the Negro slaves, that the word "equal" was used.
The second definition of equality, the classification definition, contrasts sharply with the natural-rights definition. It is flexible and practical. In a sense it is procedural rather than substantive. It makes no reference to particular rights such as life, liberty, and property, which must be protected by government in all circumstances and at all times and for all people. The contrast here is between general legislation, which applies without qualification to all persons, and special legislation, which applies to a limited class of persons.
Now what groupings and what classifications can be made by the legislature or by the public without violating the requirement of equality? The answer to this question was provided in the famous old San Francisco laundrymen's case, Yick Wo vs. Hopkins. "The equal protection of the laws," said Justice Matthews in that case, "is a pledge of the protection of equal laws. Moreover, though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it is applied and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution."
Class legislation, discriminating against some and favoring others, is prohibited. But legislation which in carrying out a public purpose is limited in its application, if within the sphere of its operation it affects alike all persons similarly situated, is not within the amendment. Thus in the Chinese laundryman case itself, if the purpose of the San Francisco ordinance, in drawing a line of distinction between laundries in wooden buildings and those in brick or stone buildings, had been fire control and prevention (and that in a city plagued by many fires and several times nearly wiped out by conflagration), the purpose would have been constitutional and the application properly related to it.
The purpose, however, was to drive the Chinese out of business. Since most of them operated within wooden buildings, the classification was closely related to the purpose of driving them out of business, but the purpose itself was discriminatory and forbidden. These were unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances material to their rights. The public had proceeded with an evil eye and an unequal hand.
This is the very doctrine applied in Brown vs. Board of Education. The law that shielded the Chinese alien in California in the 1880's at long last in the 1950's came to protect the Negro citizen everywhere in the nation. The law initially developed in a case involving a business or an occupation was held three quarters of a century later to be good enough for education too. "If the purpose in segregating the races in schools is the maintenance of white supremacy and the continued subordination of the Negro," held the Supreme Court of the United States in the Brown case, "the purpose itself is discriminatory and forbidden by the Constitutional command of equality, and this is so, even though the classification might be scrupulously related to the purpose. If the purpose of the public school system is education, then the purpose is desirable and constitutional. But the segregation classification is unrelated to it. Since the public has the same need for an educated citizenry regardless of race, and all children regardless of race have the same need for education and the same potential for benefitting from it, separate educational facilities," concluded the court, "are inherently unequal."
The third definition of equality, the numerical or one-for-one definition is in many ways a particular instance of the classification definition. This definition so far has only emerged in the realm of political participation. Its most common form is the slogan, "One man, one vote." Here universal suffrage is not claimed as an absolute right. Some exclusions from the franchise, for example, are familiar to all of us: aliens, (for me) children, mental defectives, convicted felons, those falling below a minimum standard of literacy and understanding of institutions of government. Certain grounds for exclusion from the ballot have been prohibited by the Constitution itself. "The right of citizens of the United States to vote," says the Fifteenth Amendment, "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." The Nineteenth Amendment added sex to this list of prohibited grounds.
By a state constitutional amendment of 1960 the state of Louisiana excluded these three groups from the ballot: persons who have lived with another in common law marriage within the preceding five years, persons who have given birth to an illegitimate child within the preceding five years, persons who have been proved to be or who have acknowledged themselves to be the fathers of illegitimate children within the preceding five years. (Whether the acknowledgement was within the five years or the birth is not indicated.) The obvious purpose of these provisions is to bar the Negro. As such they violate the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. However, if they were merely non-discriminatory good-character requirements, would they then meet the touchstone of the Constitution? The courts have not yet said the answer, but there would still be equal-protection problems in the provision even if they were not discriminatory against the Negro.
The one-man, one-vote proposition comes down to this. There are few differences among men which may be taken into account when considering their right to participate in the suffrage, and those differences that may be taken into account must be carefully scrutinized for their relevance to the purpose of the suffrage. This in substance was the formula employed by the Supreme Court in the recent case of Baker vs. Carr. Its novelty in that case was its application federally to a state dilution of the right to an equal ballot, which had hitherto been held immune to federal correction. The voter in an agricultural county had a vote which counted far more than the vote of the voter in the urban county. The gross disproportion of representation to voting population was claimed to be arbitrary and capricious and therefore offensive to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. "A citizen's right to a vote free of arbitrary impairment by state actions," said the Supreme Court, "is a right secured by the Constitution of the United States."
Now let me recapitulate briefly. I have pointed to the recent and spectacular re-emergence of equality as a Constitutional and political ideal in America and the violence of the resistance to that trend. I marked the main path of the history of the concept in this country beginning with its primacy in the Declaration of Independence, its transformation by the abolitionists into the principal tenet in the crusade leading to the freeing of the slaves and the extirpation of the institution of human bondage, and its eventual incorporation into the Constitution by way of section one of the Fourteenth Amendment. I have portrayed and commented upon the main lines of intellectual and interested attack upon the concept, and I have detailed the definitions whose application has made it a living reality in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
I should like now in the time remaining, after having thus spoken of constitutional progress, to identify a large field of significant constitutional failure. It may be that this will be the field in which the next great constitutional advance will occur, though as of today I see few signs that this will be the case.
I refer to the general field of poverty and the social and public programs which have been set in motion to relieve its distress and to restore its victims. Strikingly, racial and ethnic minorities are principal occupants of this field. True, they do not dwell there alone. There are Caucasians in great numbers who are socially and economically marginal, who are disabled, sick, aged, unskilled, under-skilled, unemployed, bewildered, confused, and lost. But the incidence of poverty and deprivation is higher by far among the racial and ethnic minorities than among the Caucasian majority. Today one-and-a-quarter million Californians are non-white, about eight percent of the total population. Negroes are the largest and fastest-growing segment. They constitute about 6 percent of the population. About 1 percent are Japanese Americans, and another 1 percent are Chinese or Filipino Americans. About 4 percent of the California population is made up of first- or second-generation Mexican-Americans. Compare these data with the fact that roughly 60 percent of the aid-to-needy-children-program recipients in the state of California is made up of Negro and Mexican-Americans, and you will see immediately that there is an intimate relationship between minority status and deprivation.
Historically the meaning and character of welfare programs in California has been profoundly affected by the size and character of racial minorities in the state. Discrimination against them in governmental welfare programs and, even worse, the perversion of welfare Constitutional and statutory concepts and provisions to control and exclude them have had an immeasurable, but a very great, impact on our welfare ideas and institutions. Enslavement and control of the Indian through the use of the traditional indenture system and vagrancy provisions, in California; exclusion and control of the Chinese through public health, welfare, safety, and morals notions and provisions, in California; attacks upon the present-day aid-to-needy-children program, caring for children--a high percentage of whom are of Mexican-American and Negro parentage with different cultural mores and standards of conduct with respect to sex and marriage, in California: all these have further compounded historical confusion with respect to the purposes of welfare. All these have accustomed Californians to associate welfare with punitive, repressive, discriminatory, and exclusionary goals and instruments, as well as, or side-by-side with, relief and rehabilitation.
Whatever might be said about California in other respects, legally it has never been a melting pot. California has not been a rich amalgam of affirmative elements drawn from the widely varied backgrounds and cultures of the people who have composed the population. That is not to say that the Mexican and the Negro, the native Indian and the Oriental have not left their marks upon our California's legal system. That they have done in abundance. But the marks, however, have been the provisions of exclusion, not of incorporation, the legal manifestations of hostility and discrimination, not the test and affirmation of equality and constitutional principle. In short, Anglo-Saxon precepts and institutions in California did not flexibly yield to or selectively adapt the alien customs and ideas which abounded in their presence. Instead they built a series of protective barriers designed to isolate and keep pure the strain within.
The powers of the Constitution which have been invoked historically to deal with racial minorities and with the poor of all races have been the police powers, not the general welfare powers. The police powers are those that deal with maintaining order, preventing vice and crime, securing safety, and protecting health and morals. When problems of poverty are handled under these police powers of the Constitution, poverty comes to be equated with disease, with immorality, and with disorder. Indeed historically these have proven to be inseparable conditions. The constitutional powers of police have generally been called upon to protect one part of the community against another, the comfortable against the needy.
A classic illustration is to be found in the famous, or rather infamous, case of New York vs. Milne, decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1837. "It is as competent and necessary for a state," said the justices in that case, "to provide precautionary measures against (now listen to this) the moral pestilence of paupers and vagabonds (and possibly convicts) as it is to guard against the physical pestilence which may arise from unsound and infectious articles imported or from a ship the crew of which may be laboring under an infectious disease." Accordingly, the court held valid a New York statute designed to exclude the poor and the unwanted brought to New York from other states or foreign countries. The statute was found to be a regulation of police, not of commerce, and therefore within the power of the state.
So by this doctrine the constitutional power of the states to deal with the poor is the police power to preserve public order and to quarantine contagion, to protect morals, and to maintain safety. And poverty entails constitutional, no less than social, degradation. Financial, physical, and mental well-being are tests of entitlement to constitutional rights. Welfare programs founded in these conceptions and sustained by this power focus on problems of behavior, utilize instruments of coercion and restraint, and are oriented towards keeping the peace and maintaining public order. They are designed to safeguard the health, safety, morals, and well-being of the fortunate in the community, rather than directly to improve the lot of the unfortunate.
"Well," you may say, "this case was decided a long time ago." But these ideas survive to plague us today. You've all heard of Newberg. While California yielded the headlines to Newberg, this was not from lack of the same merit. In word and deed California did not lag far behind Newberg. Blood typing and lie detector testing of aid-to-needy-children mothers about the paternity of their offspring; night raiding, with or without probable cause and constitutional safeguards; night-arresting ANC mothers caught with men in the home: these have been discussed in California more than done, but they have been done with alarming frequency.
In one county the full powers of a municipal court judge and a district attorney were combined to institute criminal non-support charges against aid-to-needy-children mothers--not the fathers--but the mothers, to find them guilty or plead them guilty, to place them on probation and threaten them with jail if thereafter they applied for or received aid to needy children, or if they failed to go to work, no matter what their state of health or the need of the children for their full-time attention. In another county aid-to-needy-children mothers found guilty or pleaded guilty to welfare fraud, because payments were made to them when there was an undisclosed man in the home, were put on probation conditioned on their refraining from having relations with men to whom they were not married. One county district attorney urged sterilization of fathers who create multiple families and show deliberate unwillingness to support them, and of ANC mothers who continue to bear illegitimate children. The same authority even thought that it might be intelligent of the legislators to give some thought to euthanasia.
Discontinuance of aid for illegitimates, jailing the mothers or declaring the home unsuitable and removing the children, punitively withholding aid for six months from mothers found cohabiting, sentencing the children of mothers illegally receiving aid to six months without aid, working wayward fathers during the day and locking them up during the night, legalizing voluntary abortions, providing birth control information to relief recipients: all of these are among milder remedies proposed. Fingerprinting and photographing aid applicants of all categories have also been officially sponsored programs.
Let me give one example somewhat more in detail. Effective March 10, 1960, there appeared this language in the ordinance book of one of our California counties. "The Board of Supervisors do ordain as follows: section one, no person shall resort to any office building or to any room, used or occupied, in connection with or under the same management as any cafe, restaurant, soft drink parlor, liquor establishment or similar business; or to any public park; or to any of the buildings therein; or to any vacant lot; or to any room, rooming house, lodging house, residence, apartment house, hotel, house trailer; or to any street or sidewalk for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with a person to whom she or he is not married."[laughter] I guess that wasn't this county since you don't have many sidewalks out here.[more laughter] The attached sanctions were a $500 fine and six months in jail. Now, as you can see, the coverage of this ordinance is comprehensive.[laughter] All conceivable places in towns, city, and park are on the list of possible locations. In fact, so far as I can see, only the fields and irrigation ditches are not included.[prolonged laughter]
Equally engulfing are the elements of the crime. The city fathers were not content with prohibiting the commission of the act itself. Resorting to the specified places for the purpose of committing the act was made the crime. Nor need the purpose be shared by both parties. An intent in the mind of either of them is sufficient. In this county it almost seems a gleam in the eye of youth, summer or winter, or the lightly turning fancy in the spring is no mere topic of song, jest, or poem. It is a heading on the arrest blotter of the district attorney's office.
Almost needless to say, the application of the ordinance was not so sweeping as its geography and psychology: quite the contrary. Its application was selective and discriminatory. Only the aid-to-needy-children mothers and those found with them knew its penal sanctions. The methods of enforcement were those associated with the law of crimes: investigation on nothing more than suspicion or gossip, detectives operating in teams, night raids, simultaneous approaches to the back and the front of the house, guns conspicuously displayed on hips, securing entry, inmates interrogated at length and notes taken, the entire house searched without any particular care to secure permission, men and sometimes aid-to-needy-children mothers hauled off to jail in the middle of the night. All of this in the presence of the children, to many of whom this must have been a most unhappy experience, if not a traumatic one.
All of this too in the presence of the constitutions of state and nation providing for the rights of individuals, the privacy and security of residents and their persons, houses, papers, and effects. All of this in the presence of the Fourteenth Amendment declaring, "No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Any person? The equal protection of the laws? Well not quite any person, not quite the equal protection of the laws--not just yet anyhow.
Justice Robert Jackson in Edwards vs. California, the 1941 counterpart of the Milne case of a century ago, felt the impulse and found the words to capture the constitutional hopes of the underprivileged. "Does indigence," he asked, "constitute a basis for restricting the freedom of citizens as crime or contagion warrants its restriction? We should say now," he answered and in no uncertain terms, "that a man's mere property status, without more, cannot be used by a state to test, qualify, or limit his rights as a citizen of the United States. Indigence in itself is neither a source of rights nor a basis for denying them. The mere state of being without funds is a neutral fact constitutionally an irrelevance, like race, creed, or color. Such distinctions," he said, "are a short-sighted blow at the security of property itself. For property can have no more dangerous, even if unwitting, enemy than one who would make its possession a pretext for unequal or exclusive civil rights." What is most striking about this statement is not its eloquence, though that is priceless. What is most striking is that it was a minority opinion. It could not command the acquiescence or support of a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The task that lies ahead is to elevate this doctrine from a minority plea to a majority command, to transform it from a promise into a reality. When in addition it is enshrined in the hearts of Americans as well as in the edicts of their government, then will the constitutional law of the land truly be brought to the people of the nation. Thank you.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Karen Alexander under sleepshades during the CCB Christmas-tree-cutting expedition]
by Karen Alexander
From the Editor: Those who have graduated from NFB adult training centers tell lots of funny stories and laugh about their student days. But their small struggles and victories often get lost in all the talk about the important skills landmarks they have passed and the profound philosophical discoveries they have made for themselves. Karen Alexander is currently a student at the Colorado Center for the Blind. She does not yet have the perspective on her experience there that she will acquire when she can look back at the entire experience, but she certainly does have a bird's eye view of and appreciation for the day-to-day challenges facing students in these demanding programs. In the following article she captures the frustrations and exultation of her days at the Colorado Center and the anxiety of her struggle to remain there long enough to acquire all the training she needs. The article is reprinted from the Spring 2002 issue of the Buckeye Bulletin, the publication of the NFB of Ohio. Here it is:
"Karen, your assignment today is to cross Alamo Street and go to the corner of Main and Prince. Get a receipt from the shop there and bring it back to me," said Sumara. I gulped and grinned half-heartedly. Sumara, my orientation and mobility instructor at the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB), an NFB adult rehabilitation training center, was more confident in my travel skills than I. Sensing my nervousness, she firmly encouraged me by saying, "Ah, you can do it!" and dismissed me.
Stunned that my first solo crossing a major street while wearing sleep shades was finally confronting me, I grabbed my cane and stumbled out of her office. I proceeded to the front desk and signed myself out by typing on the Brailler. Gulping my last taste of security, I found the front doors and clacked my way out. It was a nice day for December--a little windy, but the sun kept trying to appear through the clouds. Sunlight can be an important part of orienting oneself while traveling. As I walked along the side street, the sporadic sun rays gave me unenthusiastic warmth and comfort. Telling myself that this wasn't “Mission Impossible” didn't make a difference to my nervousness because I knew I was on travel assignment.
But I knew that being at CCB was therapeutic for me. The program and the staff were helping me to trust myself again. I knew my self-confidence was beginning to return. But even though I had been there for several months, traveling under sleep shades was difficult. There were other students like me who were legally blind. They seemed to take to traveling under sleep shades like ducks to water. It seemed to me I was able to quack like a duck and waddle like a duck, but I dreaded putting my webbed foot in the water, not like a duck. Learning to travel was not easy. It seemed the other student ducklings could waddle to their pools of water and enthusiastically jump in. I on the other hand waddled around the banks of the pond, dreading to get splashed.
But it is the other ducks that make the difference. The students at CCB encourage each other. Not a day goes by that one does not hear the words, "You can do it!" or "Look what you've learned!" When students go from Grade I Braille to Grade II, the staff announce it over the school's P.A. system, and cheers are heard all over the school. Hearing those cheers is part of what changes people and reinforces their confidence. The philosophy classes are run by the staff to challenge the way we view and approach life as blind people. The wisdom taken from articles in the Braille Monitor, from Kernel Book Stories, and from the life experiences of the staff is important to hear. Perspective and wisdom come from those who walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Unfortunately too many wounded blind people can spout NFB philosophy but do not apply it in their lives. They remain unchanged and lost in comfortable prisons that protect their egos and pride. Not that they are arrogant, they are just fearful of taking that step of faith to make life-changing decisions. I truly think that deep in their hearts they do not believe the philosophy will work for them. When meeting these wounded people, I say to myself, "Don't tell the world what NFB philosophy is; show the world by using the philosophy in your life."
It is encouraging to participate in a school run by the blind for the blind. Students see others like themselves successfully living their lives. Those who only talk the talk are missing an amazing opportunity to change and better their lives. Because of CCB staff and students I can say with confidence, "Quack, quack, I will learn to swim like a duck."
Well, that day I fondly remember as facing my Alamo was exactly as successful as the original Alamo. Instead of crossing at the corner of Alamo and Prince, I turned the corner and found another corner. Of course that is the one I crossed. I had traveled a way down the street when I came to the conclusion that I had blown it. I turned around and retraced my steps. I was frustrated and scared.
Cars and trucks were zipping by me, and, as I walked over a bridge, a train passed underneath it. When I am wearing sleep shades, something about the sound of trains and trucks drives me crazy. I decided to sit on the ledge there at the bridge and have a good cry. A man came and asked if he could help me, but I waved him off. I just wanted to calm down. I knew I wasn't in danger. I knew I could retrace my steps. I just hated the feeling of being vulnerable and so awkward in traveling under sleep shades.
I said a little prayer, but my shaken and wounded ego was still reluctant to return. The train had sped by, and there was a lull in the traffic. Coming out of my self-absorption, I heard a beautiful sound: a cane tapping the cement of the sidewalk. I called out, and to my delight it was one of the students from CCB. She gave me a hug and let me cry for a while. I decided to allow myself to be rescued and followed her on her route. When we were close to the school, I heard Sumara calling my name. She was looking for her little wandering duckling. I joked about the incident and said that I had faced my Alamo and lost. Sumara said, "Ah, Karen, you're more than able to cross that street," and walked with me back to the building.
Well you know, she was right. At my next attempt I crossed the street and found the bath and candle shop even though I (heavy sigh) got lost in the parking lot of a bank. A woman kept trying to help me, but I was doggedly determined to find that sidewalk. I straightened myself up and said with pride, "I am a student at the Colorado Center for the Blind and am on a travel assignment. I am all right." After watching me for five minutes, she shouted out in exasperation that the sidewalk was in front of me. Trying to appear dignified, I gladly accepted the information and found the sidewalk. Sometimes it is good to accept help even if it is not looked for. This was definitely a grace-growing experience.
At the shop I purchased some inexpensive scented soaps for Sumara. It was Christmas time and the day before I was to leave for home on school break. I was going to place the gift on her desk to prove triumphantly I had done the assignment. But I met Sumara on my way back and decided to give her the gift right then. When I gave her a description of the parking lot incident, she put it into perspective. She reminded me that it takes time and practice to learn skills. I was too hard on myself and needed to relax. Thinking over what she had said, I waddled after her and wondered how one relaxes when facing the crossing of a busy street under sleep shades.
When the school day was over, I walked to the light rail train and got on. I spotted an empty seat and sat down with a satisfied grunt. My sleep shades were resolutely stored in my backpack, and my long white cane was faithfully beside me. I was thinking of what I needed to get done before going to the airport the next day. My regular stop was Broadway Station, where I would get on the bus to Cherry Creek Tennis and Sailing Club apartments. CCB leases apartments there for students to live in. The complex is huge with gigantic buildings encircling a small lake. In the middle is a fountain that shoots water four stories high. When I first saw them, they reminded me of huge dinosaurs encircling a geyser. I now lovingly call the complex Jurassic Apartments.
While riding the light rail, I relaxed. I thought of the day I had had. Even though my success crossing Alamo had not gone the way I wanted, I had done it. For a first-time solo crossing, it hadn't been that bad an experience. I had crossed a major street while under sleep shades and using a cane, something I never dreamt I could do. What an accomplishment! I began to dream of the things I could accomplish and places I could go.
I remembered my feeling of losing independence as I began to lose my sight--the pity in the voices of the doctors, family, and friends. I knew they cared for me, but I could not imagine life without sight. Most of them probably couldn't either. Eventually my eyesight diminished, and I chose to give up driving. By making that choice, I felt I had given up my freedom. Crossing major streets and going places became frustrating and fear-filled. In the sunlight I couldn't see the streetlights. I was afraid to cross streets that I had known since childhood. I felt like an invalid, worthless to others and myself. Freedom became a memory.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard the announcement that the train was approaching Evans Station. The next stop would be Broadway Station, my stop. I checked to make sure my backpack and cane were ready to grab quickly. I began to make a mental checklist of what I needed in order to finish my Christmas shopping. I wanted to go to Sam's Club when I got back to Ohio to pick up some gifts. I began to plan how to arrange a ride to the store when it suddenly dawned on me that I could go to Sam's Club in Denver. The light-rail train stop after Broadway Station was Alameda Station. I had been told that the commercial complex where Sam's Club was located was near the station.
In fact, the train stopped right behind K-Mart, which was one of the stores in the complex. It was then I decided to go to Sam's Club. I became excited by the thought of trying to do something on my own. I had been to Sam's Club but had not gone by this route. This was an exciting decision. It was like the days when I used to drive a car. I would hear about a store or some place I was interested in visiting. I would get general directions and go by myself to find the spot. I didn't labor over each detail. I knew the major streets in the area and would find the location.
My heart began to beat faster as the light rail approached, stopped, and then left Broadway Station. I had made up my mind. I was going to do it. The train approached and then stopped at Alameda. I got off and looked around, and my heart sank. It seemed I was not exactly behind K-Mart. I was at a station stop, and across the street was a parking lot. But I trusted the information I had and crossed over to the parking lot. To my joy and the health of my heart, on the other side of the parking lot across the street was a building that I knew must be the back of K-Mart. When I got to the street, I heard the sound of traffic to my left. I knew I had found Alameda.
I traveled down to the major intersection. My long white cane was faithfully finding the bumps and curbs. I wasn't afraid. I knew how to cross the street. The training I had received under sleep shades now paid off and gave me confidence to cross a street that I would never have considered crossing before my training. When the parallel traffic took off, I crossed the street. I then hunted for the driveway that would lead me into the complex and eventually to Sam's Club. It was a thrilling moment. I could take care of myself. I could do what I wanted to do on my own. The wind was blowing through my hair, and I felt as if it was a Yorkshire Chocolate Mint moment. I was independent!
I walked through that complex and found Sam's Club, and I was able to purchase some gifts. But I will never forget the thrill of that moment of independence. The crossing of Alamo under sleep shades will never compare to that experience. But the crossing of Alamo gave me the confidence and skills to go by myself to Sam's Club that day.
I am now halfway through my program, and it's been a fight to get the funding needed for my independence training. It seems that those who work at the Ohio Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) do not understand why I need training. They believed that, since I have some sight, I wouldn't need an intensive training program. I was told that I was intelligent, that I could figure out and learn on my own the skills I needed to return to school and then the work force.
When I arrived at CCB, BSVI had committed to paying for two months of training. I had tried to communicate with my counselor my need to complete the full program. I needed to become literate again by learning Braille. I needed to learn alternative techniques and organization and personal skills to deal with the loss of my sight. But most of all I needed to grow in confidence. She didn't respond positively to my point of view.
I am fortunate to have NFB advocates in Ohio who really care about people. Barbara Pierce and Eric Duffy are treasures that we dearly appreciate and love. They work hard. From helping blind parents keep their babies to wrestling with city metro bus drivers who refuse to announce stops, they have made a difference in many people's lives.
I had a staffing at the end of November with my instructors and BSVI counselor. The staffing conference was done using a speakerphone in order for my counselor to participate. It was useful and gratifying for me to hear the comments of the CCB staff regarding my progress. The last two months had been profoundly challenging, and I was deeply thankful for the opportunity to be at the CCB and participate in the adult rehabilitation program. I hoped we were able to communicate to my counselor some part of the progress I had been making, but she did not think I needed the full training program and said she could not justify paying the additional money needed to complete the program.
From the beginning Barbara and Eric had supported and encouraged my choice for independence training. When the two months were almost completed at CCB, they helped convey my desire and need for additional training at CCB to BSVI supervisors. Because of them I gained three more months of training.
The frustration I now face is that the more progress I make, the more clearly I realize the true distance I still need to go. First of all, if I am going to make a success of college courses, I must be fluent in reading and writing Braille. I must be literate in order to complete my undergraduate degree and successfully re-enter the working world. Frankly, though I am making progress, I am not there yet. I believe blind students should be able to take their own notes, not depend on sighted note-takers. I must also have reasonable command of JAWS and the computer programs I will need to do my work. I am not yet quick or confident in any of these areas.
In addition, if I am to travel efficiently to and from campus, around the university, and in my personal circles, I want to master cane travel thoroughly. I now have almost within my grasp the ability to use a cane with a facility that is virtually unknown outside of the community of people trained at NFB centers. I am still some distance from achieving this degree of independence, but it is coming.
I am beginning to understand that the confidence in all areas of my life that I am gaining here at the Center will sustain me wherever I go in future. One of the most important things this program does is to allow me to look my fear of blindness in the face and realize that it does not have to mean the end of my useful life. With the skills I am beginning to master, I can become a productive citizen and create a fruitful life for myself.
I fear it is unlikely that I will ever have another opportunity to be part of a program like this one. Therefore I believe strongly that I need to complete the six-to-nine-month program now, before I have to face the academic demands of college and the challenge of traveling independently around Ohio and wherever else my career leads me.
I am thankful that BSVI has believed in me thus far, but I hope they can understand why I feel compelled to point out my pressing need for full support. The sad truth is that I am now nearing the condition of being half-baked, and like a cake beginning to rise in the oven, I fear that I will fall flat if I am forced to move on to the next stage of my life without full mastery of and confidence in the skills I have begun to learn. I am working as hard as I know how to, but acquiring life-changing skills and attitudes does take time.
I hope my training will allow family, friends, and those who work in the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired to see what can happen to those who complete NFB training programs so that other blind people can have the same opportunity that I have had. I give many thanks to my family, friends, and church who have supported me with their prayers, encouragement, and finances. I thank the BSVI for their financial support. I thank the National Federation of the Blind for its belief in me, and I thank the students and staff at the CCB, who are making a difference in their own lives as well as mine.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Those at the Sunday-afternoon-briefing head table were (left to right) James McCarthy, NFB Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs; Diane McGeorge, President of the NFB of Colorado and coordinator of seminar arrangements; Joanne Wilson, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration; NFB President Marc Maurer; and James Gashel, NFB Director of Governmental Affairs.]
[PHOTO/CAPTION: As usual it was standing room only at the kick-off briefing for the 2002 Washington Seminar.]
The 2002 Washington Seminar
From the Editor: Nearly 500 Federationists gathered in Washington, D.C., beginning Friday, February 1, for the 2002 Washington Seminar of the National Federation of the Blind. The first event of the week was the mid-winter conference sponsored by the National Association of Blind Students. Joanne Wilson, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, keynoted the day-long conference on Saturday, and Ever Lee Hairston, First Vice President of the NFB of New Jersey, spoke at the banquet that evening. As always the conference was inspiring to the students who came from across the country to take part and to get to know other members of NABS.
Sunday saw tours of the National Center for the Blind and several workshops and committee and division meetings. The newest of these was a workshop for those interested in writing their own Individualized Plan for Employment. It was conducted by the National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals.
Late that afternoon the first briefing of the Washington Seminar took place. President Maurer discussed a number of current issues of interest to the gathering. Then Jim Gashel and Jim McCarthy of the NFB's Governmental Affairs Department described and briefly discussed the three legislative issues about which we would be talking to Members of Congress during the week. The fact sheets and legislative memorandum were available in print and on cassette, so participants had been talking about the issues all weekend. Here are the documents that we took to Capitol Hill:
Legislative Agenda of Blind Americans
Priorities for the 107th Congress, Second Session
Public policies and laws affecting blind people have a profound impact throughout our entire society. Most people know someone who is blind, and seventy-five thousand Americans become blind or visually impaired every year. The blind population in the United States is estimated to exceed 1.1 million with several million more classified as visually impaired. In addition, the social and economic consequences of blindness directly touch the lives of each blind person's family members, co-workers, and friends.
Public policies and laws that result from misconceptions or lack of information about blindness are often more limiting than the loss of eyesight itself. This is why we have formed the National Federation of the Blind. The Federation's leaders and the vast majority of its members are blind, but anyone is welcome to join in the effort we are making to win understanding and equality in society.
Our priorities for the second session of the 107th Congress reflect an urgent need for action in three key areas of vital importance to the blind. (For an explanation of these issues, please see the attached fact sheets.)
1. Congress should enact mandated increases in the earnings limit for blind people, under Title II of the Social Security Act, similar to those enacted for seniors in 1996. This proposal would help reduce the harsh work disincentive of the Social Security earnings limit as it now affects blind beneficiaries.
2. Congress should amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to include Medicare coverage for rehabilitation services provided to older blind individuals. This proposal would ensure that older blind Medicare beneficiaries have access to the critical rehabilitation services they need to remain independent and in their homes, rather than being forced into costly long-term care facilities.
3. Congress should pass legislation requiring publishers of elementary and secondary textbooks to provide electronic copies which are capable of producing texts in specialized formats, including Braille. This proposal would provide textbooks simultaneously in print and Braille editions, assuring that no student, blind or sighted, is left behind.
People who are blind are asking for your help to address these priorities in the present session of Congress. By acting in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind, each member of Congress can help build better lives for the blind, both today and in the years ahead. The legislative actions recommended in this memorandum will benefit the blind, but they will also help create a better future for all Americans.
PROMOTING WORK AND FAIRNESS FOR THE BLIND
COMMON-SENSE WORK INCENTIVES FOR BLIND
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFICIARIES
H.R. 498, "Blind Empowerment Act," by Congressman Robert Ehrlich, S. 682, "Blind Persons Earnings Equity Act," by Senator John McCain
To amend title II of the Social Security Act to increase the level of earnings under which no blind individual is determined to have demonstrated an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity for purposes of determining disability.
By increasing the Social Security earnings limit in 1996, Congress provided a powerful incentive for seniors age sixty-five and older to work. Advocates for this change made the case that seniors would continue to work, earn, and pay taxes since they could do so without fearing loss of income from Social Security. Now the need for a higher earnings limit for the blind is even more compelling because of an all-or-nothing penalty for working above it. However, Congress has disregarded this fact in the case of the blind while encouraging seniors to work by removing the earnings limit altogether.
As a result, earnings exceeding $15,600 for a blind person who is age sixty-four or younger cause the complete loss of Social Security benefits until that individual attains age sixty-five. At that point there is no limit on the amount that same individual can earn. This is the inequity that now exists.
Like "retirement age," "blindness" is specifically defined in the Social Security Act and can be readily determined. By contrast "disability" is not precisely defined and is determined on the basis of an "inability to engage in substantial gainful activity," a highly complex and rather subjective determination.
Although blindness is precisely defined, monthly benefits are not paid to all persons who are blind but only to those whose earnings (from work) are below the annually adjusted earnings limit. Personal wealth arising from all sources, except present work, is not counted as earnings and does not affect eligibility. Only work is penalized, and recognition of this fact led to the increased earnings limit for seniors and its eventual elimination. The situation for seniors prior to 1996 is precisely the same for blind people today.
Need to Remove Work Disincentives
An increase in the earnings limit would be cost-beneficial. With a seventy-four-percent unemployment rate, the vast majority of working-age individuals who are blind are already beneficiaries. Providing them with a meaningful work incentive would allow them to become taxpayers as well. Members of Congress supported raising the exempt earnings threshold for seniors, and it is only appropriate that they do the same for blind people of working age. The chance to work, earn, and pay taxes is a constructive and valid goal for senior citizens and blind Americans alike.
Increasing the earnings limit will allow blind people to work without being penalized financially for doing so, providing more than 100,000 blind beneficiaries with a powerful work incentive. At present a blind individual's earnings must not exceed a strict monthly limit of $1,300. When earnings exceed this threshold, the entire sum paid to a primary beneficiary and dependents is abruptly withdrawn after a trial work period. The economic risk resulting for a blind head of household is far greater than any economic benefit derived.
When a blind person finds work, there is absolutely no assurance that earnings will replace the amount of lost disability benefits after taxes and work expenses are paid. Usually they do not. Therefore few beneficiaries can actually afford to attempt substantial work. Those who do often sacrifice income and the security of a monthly check.
Congress should enact mandated increases in the earnings limit for blind people similar to those enacted for seniors in 1996. This proposal would be a step towards equity for blind people and reduce the harsh work disincentive policy now in effect. Under this proposal blind individuals would eventually be able to work and earn up to $30,000 without fearing the loss of benefits.
Legislation for this purpose has been introduced as H.R. 498 by Congressman Robert Ehrlich and S. 682 by Senator John McCain. These bills enjoy broad bipartisan support with 251 members of the House and 30 Senators as cosponsors.
Please support blind Americans by cosponsoring H.R. 498 or S. 682 and request action on this legislation before this session is adjourned.
MEDICARE EQUITY FOR OLDER BLIND PERSONS
H.R. 2674, "The Medicare Coverage Equity Act for the Blind," by Congressman Martin Frost
To amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to permit state rehabilitation agencies serving blind persons age fifty-five and older to be reimbursed by Medicare.
The Medicare program--Title XVIII of the Social Security Act--provides health insurance coverage for people age sixty-five and older and for persons who have received Social Security Disability Insurance cash benefits for at least two years. This program pays for reasonable and necessary services to prevent illness, maintain health, and restore functioning after injury or disease. Part A of Medicare--Hospital Insurance--covers hospital services. Part B--Supplementary Medical Insurance--covers a wide range of outpatient services such as physician's services; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; mental health services; a variety of rehabilitation services; the purchase of durable medical equipment (including wheel chairs); and home health care services. Despite Medicare's coverage of these and many more services, coverage of rehabilitation services for older blind individuals is not included.
Chapter II of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, authorizes grants to designated state vocational rehabilitation agencies to provide independent living rehabilitation services to older persons who are blind and visually impaired. These services include visual screening; independent living skills training, such as orientation and mobility and daily living skills; and other appropriate rehabilitative services needed for older individuals to live independently. This program is currently funded at $25 million for fiscal year 2002. While funding has grown significantly in recent years, the program will only serve approximately five percent of those in need.
Need for Legislation
Costs associated with age-related vision loss are substantial. For example, the Alliance on Aging Research reports that visual impairment is one of the top four reasons why seniors lose their independence, contributing to medical and long-term care costs of $26 billion annually. In addition, the Framingham Eye Study (ongoing) reports that eighteen percent of all hip fractures among seniors can be attributed to age-related vision loss. At $35,000 for treatment and care in each case, the total annual cost attributable to hip fractures due to visual impairment exceeds $2 billion.
Rehabilitation services for older blind persons teach safe travel, daily living skills, and use of adaptive aids and devices. Individuals who receive these services are able to continue living independently in their own homes and communities. This is consistent with the goals of Medicare. By receiving these services covered by Medicare, seniors who become blind can regain self-reliance and self-worth. This will allow them to remain active and valued members of their communities for as long as possible. Without these services older blind individuals often become dependent and isolated.
Recent growth in the appropriation made for the Title VII Chapter II program shows that Congress recognizes a significant need to be met. At $25 million annually, these funds are helping to lay the foundation for a state-administered service delivery system. However, current and future appropriations are not likely to be large enough to pay the entire cost of services for the growing population of seniors who become blind. The solution is to permit state agencies which already serve older blind people to be eligible for reimbursement of direct service costs from Medicare.
Congress should amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to include Medicare coverage for rehabilitation services provided to older individuals who are blind. This proposal is designed to ensure that older blind Medicare beneficiaries have access to critical rehabilitation services. H.R. 2674, introduced by Congressman Martin Frost, would do this. Efforts are underway for similar legislation to be introduced in the Senate. The proposed amendments define rehabilitation services as those services furnished or supervised by a designated state vocational rehabilitation agency to an older blind individual under Chapter II of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act and approved pursuant to regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The state vocational rehabilitation agency or other provider chosen by the beneficiary and supervised by the state would provide services. The term, "older individual who is blind" means "an individual age fifty-five or older whose severe visual impairment makes competitive employment difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible." This is identical to the definition currently in Chapter II of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act.
As with Chapter II of Title VII, only state vocational rehabilitation agencies could receive payment for services provided in this program. This approach uses a well-established and accountable system for the delivery of rehabilitation services to older blind Medicare beneficiaries while also allowing beneficiaries to exercise choice when selecting among service providers. Title XVIII allows hospitals, community rehabilitation centers, home healthcare centers, and other entities enrolled as Medicare service providers to receive payment for services. Under this proposal state vocational rehabilitation agencies could also enroll as Medicare service providers. Once approved by a state Medicare carrier, these agencies could submit claims and receive payment for the rehabilitation services they provide.
Please support blind Americans by cosponsoring H.R. 2674 or its Senate companion, when introduced, and request action on this legislation before this session is adjourned.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Representatives of the Connecticut affiliate visited with Senator Dodd in his office. This picture appears on Senator Dodd's Web site. Left to right are Jim Gashel, NFB of Connecticut President Betty Woodward, Senator Dodd, Junerose Killian, and Gary Allen.]
ACCESS TO INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
LEAVING NO BLIND CHILD BEHIND
In the mid-nineteenth century states established centralized schools for the blind to educate blind and visually impaired students. To support this, Congress authorized the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, to produce educational materials in alternative formats, including Braille. Today APH continues to fulfill this function, receiving annual appropriations for this purpose.
In the 1960's blind children first began to attend schools in their home communities in significant numbers, and today the vast majority do so. As a result Braille, audio, and large-print books must be obtained or created by any local school district having one or more blind children. Converting printed instructional materials into "specialized formats" such as Braille is often time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly, taking six or more months and several thousand dollars to complete. Relying on APH alone cannot fulfill the need. Therefore it is the exception--not the rule--for blind students to have access to required textbooks at the same time as their sighted classmates.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other federal laws clearly establish the policy that individuals with disabilities are entitled to equal treatment in all areas of society. However, the successful implementation of these laws does not occur without clear, specific, and practical standards and systems in place to anticipate accessibility needs. Currently there are no federal laws that create standards to facilitate the production of textbooks in Braille.
Twenty-six states have responded to this need by requiring publishers to provide electronic copies of print editions of textbooks. However, no consistent file format is used among the states, and the electronic copies provided by publishers are frequently not usable for Braille reproduction at all. Therefore inconsistent and often conflicting state requirements place burdensome obligations on publishers without efficiently facilitating more timely production of books in accessible formats. An agreed-upon, uniform electronic file format would reduce the burden to publishers and significantly reduce the cost of creation, while helping to provide materials to blind students at the same time they are provided to others.
Congress should enact the "Instructional Materials Accessibility Act," which has been negotiated by textbook publishers, the National Federation of the Blind, and other affected groups. This legislation will ensure that blind and visually impaired students will not be left behind in having the textbooks they need in a form they can use.
Prepared for introduction in Congress, the draft legislation would:
* require state plans to ensure that students who are blind or visually impaired have access to instructional materials in formats they can use at the same time the materials are provided to students who can see;
* develop a uniform electronic file format for instructional materials prepared by publishers;
* require publishers to produce a copy of each textbook in the uniform electronic file format and furnish it to a National Instructional Materials Access Center for distribution to schools; and
* fund capacity-building initiatives to assist state and local educators in using electronic files supplied by publishers.
Benefits and Cost
The principal benefit of this legislation will be a uniform electronic file format. This will allow rapid creation of textbooks in the desired format for each student, sighted or blind. For students who read Braille, their books can be presented through the use of synthetic speech or stored and read with small computers, which display Braille dots.
Without this legislation local school districts will continue to bear the burden and cost of converting printed books into Braille. However, modern technology can now support shifting much of this responsibility to publishers without placing an undue burden on them. This legislation does not remove the school's responsibility to provide materials but will institute a shared burden between the schools that teach the children and the publishers that create the books. This will be the effect of having a uniform electronic file format and national distribution center.
This shared obligation between school and publisher has been carefully crafted with publishers fully engaged in the effort to create it. The cost anticipated and authorized to operate the National Distribution Center will be $1 million annually, with $5 million needed to fund training and technical assistance programs for local schools. Although publishers have agreed to provide electronic books, nothing can happen without federal legislation to establish procedures and create the Center.
Introduction of the "Instructional Material Accessibility Act" is expected to occur early in the second session of the 107th Congress. Anticipating this, members are being asked to become original cosponsors and to request prompt enactment of this bill.
Please support blind Americans by cosponsoring the "Instructional Materials Accessibility Act" and request action on this legislation before this session is adjourned.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Jerry Whittle speaking from Braille notes]
Learning Braille as an Adult:
Read Until You Bleed
by Jerry Whittle
From the Editor: Jerry Whittle has taught Braille at the Louisiana Center for the Blind for over fifteen years now, and he has learned a lot about his calling. Among other things he knows what works and what doesn't for adults trying to master this invaluable code. In the following article he describes frankly what one has to do to gain reading speed as an adult. Here is what he says:
For the past fifteen years, while teaching Braille at the Louisiana Center for the Blind, I have had the opportunity to work with some excellent Braille readers. Over thirty of them read Braille at rates exceeding three hundred words a minute. The average college student reads print at between two and four hundred words a minute. I also timed two students who read Braille at a rate exceeding five hundred words a minute. All of these students, except one, read Braille using both hands, starting the line with the left hand and finishing it with the right while the left tracks down to the next line. One reader who exceeds three hundred words a minute using only one hand reads in a most unorthodox style. He turns the book so that he can use his entire right index finger to read down the line in the direction of his stomach, quickly snapping the hand up to the next line. All of these excellent Braille readers learn Braille either in preschool or in first grade. None of those exceeding three hundred words a minute learn to read as an adult or even in upper elementary school or high school.
Over the same period I have also timed many Braille readers between two and three hundred words a minute and many more between one hundred and two hundred words a minute. Most of these people use only one hand, are eighteen to twenty years old, or have learned Braille in grammar school.
This recounting of reading rates brings me to the point of this article. During my fifteen years of teaching Braille, I have observed that no student who came to the Center as an adult and did not know Braille previously exceeded eighty words a minute during the six to nine months of training. Several students who did not know Braille when they entered the Center achieved more than sixty words a minute during their training--all excellent achievements; however, most, if not all, of the students who learned Braille at the Center did not increase their reading speed after leaving the program. If anything, many of them lost some of their speed even though most of them vowed to work hard and improve on the foundation they had built at the Center.
Let it be understood that all of these students were diligent and dedicated to improving their Braille literacy, and many of them are quite bright; however, the demands of life after Center training prevented them from increasing their reading rates. Moreover, since most of them needed to read a minimum of thirty-five pages a day in order to increase--about two hours a day of concentrated effort--most of them lost speed.
Thus one can conclude that once a person has achieved a rate of sixty words a minute, he or she must dedicate two hours or more each day to make increases. The problem does not lie in the lack of dedication or enthusiasm or in an unwillingness to work sedulously to accomplish this goal. The problem is that hardly anyone facing the press of life's demands can find the time to read that much each day.
An active social life, the demands of a job or of academics, child-rearing, and many other demands make it virtually impossible to improve the reading rate. This point has not been substantiated from studies but from sixteen years of observation and commiseration with former students who are sometimes exasperated because they cannot seem to improve.
The answer to this problem appears to be finding a way to work on Braille reading in a concentrated way for a prolonged period of time--three to six months. Fortunately, I can make this observation because two of my former students convinced their counselors to sponsor them at the Center for periods of six weeks and three months to do just that. The first student, aged thirty-seven, learned the Braille code at the Center and reached a rate of forty words a minute before graduation.
He went back to work and did not increase his reading rate; in fact, it dropped to twenty-seven words a minute. After convincing his counselor that his ability to read was very important to him in his work, he returned to the Center for six weeks of intensive reading. He started by reading thirty-five pages a day between the hours of eight A.M. and five P.M. with occasional breaks. He continued to read steadily and began to build speed; therefore he increased his reading goals to fifty pages a day. After six weeks he increased his reading rate to sixty-seven words a minute.
Another student, aged twenty-one, had learned Braille in our summer training program at the age of thirteen. She returned to the adult training program at eighteen and increased her reading rate to ninety-two words a minute before graduation. She attended college and maintained a very active social life; thus her reading rate diminished to approximately sixty words a minute. Recognizing how much she needed to increase her speed in order to read aloud fluently, she convinced her counselor to allow her to return to the Center for three months after graduation from college.
She, like the other student, read steadily from eight to five with appropriate breaks, and she read one hundred pages a day at first. She also read at night when she did not complete the one-hundred page goal during class hours. She began to increase steadily, and she increased her page goal to one hundred fifty pages a class day. She maintained a high degree of motivation throughout the three-month period. At the end of three months she had more than doubled her reading rate to one hundred twenty-three words a minute. Incidentally, she reached an ideal reading rate to read aloud, and, for the first time in her life, she read a paper she had prepared in Braille before an audience of over two hundred people--a lifelong dream.
Without a doubt, the answer for someone who has learned Braille as an adult and who has not exceeded sixty to eighty words a minute is to find a way to dedicate three to six months of intense reading in a place where Braille books are readily accessible. One of the advantages of coming back to the Louisiana Center for the Blind is that we have a substantial collection of Braille books on every subject; students are apt to read more if they can find books to their liking. After observing this intensive dedication to reading for a prolonged period, I am convinced that this is the answer for blind people who have learned Braille as adults and who have been frustrated because they cannot find the time or the readily-accesible Braille library to improve reading rates.
Furthermore, the old myth about Braille reading being slow can also be dispelled. No person, Braille or print reader, who has learned to read as an adult can gain high reading rates without prolonged, sustained reading. Like the blind student trying to gain speed as an adult, a print reader will need the same type of regimen to attain adequate literacy skills. In other words, the problem is not the method; it is finding the time in a demanding adult schedule to read the number of pages necessary to go beyond the sixty-word-per-minute plateau.
With research analysis perhaps we can prove scientifically that these conclusions are true and find better strategies to improve Braille literacy for hundreds of adults who have the motivation but find it difficult to budget the time. Literacy is extremely important for every blind person, for it means cultural enrichment, upward mobility, and future employment. With this research analysis, perhaps rehabilitation counselors will be convinced of the importance of extra months of training, concentrating on reading speed for motivated users of Braille who have had the misfortune to learn Braille later in life.
Have you considered leaving a gift to the National Federation of the Blind in your will? By preparing a will now, you can assure that those administering your estate will avoid unnecessary delays, legal complications, and substantial tax costs. A will is a common device used to leave a substantial gift to charity. A gift in your will to the NFB can be of any size and will be used to help blind people. Here are some useful hints in preparing your will:
• Make a list of everything you want to leave (your estate).
• Decide how and to whom you want to leave these assets.
• Consult an attorney (one you know or one we can help you find).
• Make certain you thoroughly understand your will before you sign it.
For more information contact the National Federation of the Blind, Special Gifts, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998, (410) 659-9314, fax (410) 685-5653.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: The skyline of Louisville]
Getting Around Downtown Louisville
by Dennis Franklin
From the Editor: Dennis Franklin is First Vice President of the Kentucky affiliate and a long-time Louisville resident. Here he takes the time to conduct a walking tour of the area around our headquarters hotel. This is what he says:
Getting around downtown Louisville is relatively easy with a few simple directions. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern running either north/south or east/west. Traveling south on Fourth Street from the Galt House, you cross these streets: Main, Market, Jefferson, Liberty, Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Chestnut, and Broadway. Traveling east on any of these streets from Fourth Street, you cross Third, Second, First, Brook, Floyd, and Preston. Traveling west, you cross Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth.
If you were doing all this traveling, what might you see along the way? Let's walk south along the east side of Fourth Street. After we cross Main, we come to a trolley stop, where we could board a trolley going to the Riverfront Wharf, which I will tell you more about later. Continuing south, just before we reach Market Street, we pass Kunz's Restaurant, a longtime favorite for lunch and dinner. Before crossing Market Street, we can turn left and travel one block east, cross Third Street, and arrive at the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Crossing Market Street on the east side of Fourth Street brings us to the Kentucky International Convention Center, which covers that entire block. Crossing Jefferson, we find the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Continuing south across Liberty Street, we pass an office tower and a Dooley's Bagels and come to the entrance of the Galleria. This downtown shopping center lies on both sides of Fourth Street with a glassed-in atrium crossing above the street to connect the two sides. In the Galleria you will find Dillard's Department Store, a card shop, a candy store, and CVS pharmacy. There is also a food court with several choices for your dining pleasure.
Passing through the Galleria and crossing Muhammad Ali Boulevard brings us to the Seelbach Hotel, located on the west side of Fourth Street. Continuing south on the east side of Fourth Street, just before you reach Chestnut Street is a Walgreen's Drug Store. A half block after crossing Chestnut Street, we pass the Palace Theater and then come to the Theater Square area, where several restaurants particularly good for lunch can be found. Beyond Theater Square and before you reach Broadway is the Brown Hotel with its restaurant, the English Grill, where a local favorite, the famous Hot Brown, was created.
Another way to travel Fourth Street is using the Toonerville II Trolley, which is free. It operates on weekdays from 7:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. It travels along Fourth Street from the Galt House to Theater Square, except that on its southward trip it travels along Third Street between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, and on its northward trip it travels along Fifth Street between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Liberty Street. After 10:30 a.m. every other trolley leaving Theater Square circles the Riverfront Wharf instead of going to the Galt House. If you want to go to the Riverfront Wharf, you can board this Trolley at any northbound trolley stop, up to and including Main Street. You can ask the driver if he is going to the Galt House or the Riverfront Wharf, to be sure you are boarding the one you want.
The Belle of Louisville is docked on the wharf at the foot (north end) of Fourth Street. Just east of the Belle is the Star of Louisville, which offers daily dinner cruises. Continuing east, we find Joe's Crab Shack, featuring excellent seafood in a casual atmosphere. Just past Joe's we arrive at the Waterfront Park, a large open space, where festivals or fireworks sometimes take place, but it's always a nice place to take a walk or let the kids enjoy the playground equipment.
As I said earlier, you can reach this area on the trolley or, if you prefer, you can walk. Go to the north end of Fourth Street on the lobby level of the Galt House, go down the steps, and follow the pedestrian walkway, which passes under I-64, and down more steps to the Wharf.
Now let's travel west on Main Street. On the north side, just west of Fifth Street, is the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Continuing across Sixth Street are a couple of blocks of restored nineteenth-century buildings. After crossing Seventh Street and going about a half block further, we come to the Louisville Science Center, which boasts many interactive displays for young and old alike. After crossing both Eighth and Main Streets, we find the Louisville Slugger Museum. Be sure to check out the world's largest bat, located outside this building.
By traveling east on the south side of Main Street, about a half block from Fourth Street, we come to Actors Theater of Louisville. About six blocks farther east, on the north side of Main Street is Slugger Field, the home of the Louisville Riverbats.
You can also reach any of these points of interest on the Main Street Trolley, which is also free and which can be boarded at any trolley stop along Main Street (westbound) or Market Street (eastbound) between Tenth Street and Clay Street. This trolley operates on weekdays from 6:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and weeknights from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. when the Riverbats play at home and on Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Unfortunately we do not yet have schedule information for the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Actors Theater, the IMAX Theater at the Louisville Science Center, or the Riverbats; but we should have the schedules at our information tables during the convention. Y'all come!
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Churchill Downs]
Making History in Louisville--Federation Style
by Lora J. Felty
From the Editor: Lora Felty was a 1992 NFB scholarship winner. She now serves as Secretary of the NFB of Kentucky and President of the affiliate's NAPUB Division. She works as an itinerant VI teacher in Ashland, Kentucky. She clearly knows a good deal about the history of the Bluegrass State. This is what she has to say about the site of the 2002 convention:
As you already know, the 2002 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, July 3 through 9. But before you visit our wonderful city, here are a few interesting historical tidbits that might encourage you to dig below the surface and learn more about Louisville.
First of all, the site of our convention, the Galt House Hotel, has a rich history of its own in the city of Louisville. The original Galt House was established in 1834 on the northeast corner of Second and Main Streets and was Louisville's best-known hostelry during the nineteenth century. This Galt House played host to such notables as Charles Dickens and U.S. Generals Grant and Sherman. Dickens wrote of his stay at the Galt House that he and his companions had been "as handsomely lodged as though we had been in Paris." And it was at the Galt House during the Civil War where Generals Sherman and Grant met to plan the invasion that eventually led to the "March to the Sea." After being host to such historic figures, the first Galt House was destroyed by fire in 1865 and was replaced in 1869 by an even larger and grander Galt House, located at the northeast corner of First and Main. Due to financial difficulties, this hotel closed in 1919. The building was demolished in 1921. Finally the third Galt House, on Fourth Street and River Road, was built in 1973 as a part of the Riverfront Urban Renewal Project. The Galt House East opened in 1984. These two hotels make up our convention site.
Now that you know the history of your outstanding accommodations in our city, let's take a look at the city itself and some of its history. Louisville is currently Kentucky's second largest metropolitan area. It was settled in 1778, prior to Kentucky's statehood in 1792. During George Rogers Clark's exploration of the territory northwest of the Ohio River, Clark and his men were accompanied by a group of Kentucky settlers who traveled down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. The settlers stopped at the Falls of the Ohio, where they intended to make a new life for themselves. So was born the city of Louisville. Its name, bestowed in 1779, honors French King Louis XVI and his support of the American Colonies in their struggles against England.
In the beginning, growth of Louisville was slow, but the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which created an open waterway to the mouth of the Mississippi, was the catalyst for future growth of the area. This would be a natural outlet for the agricultural products of Kentucky. Boats carrying cargo traveled down the Ohio River to Louisville, where they had to be unloaded in order to navigate the falls. Cargo was carried by wagon beyond the falls
and then re-loaded onto the boats.
By 1811 the arrival of the steamboat paved the way for Louisville to prosper further, but with progress came certain civic difficulties. Due to increased river traffic, Louisville became host to numerous rowdy boatmen. Gambling halls and brothels flourished near the waterfront. Finally in 1828 Louisville was granted city status. This allowed the city to establish local government and law enforcement to control the bawdy activities of the thriving riverfront district. The Portland Canal around the falls opened, making circumnavigation of the falls possible.
In the mid-1800's transportation shifted from water to rail. Louisville played an important role in this transition as well. Railways linked Louisville to Kentucky's capital city, Frankfort, and Lexington, both east of Louisville; however, it was the completion of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1859 that connected Louisville with railroads to the Deep South. This link offered new opportunities for transporting goods. It is ironic that only two years later all transportation, both water and rail, was cut off to the South by the Civil War.
Being a border city in a slave state with strong commercial ties to both the North and South made the years of the war difficult ones for Louisville. The city attempted a neutral stance but could not maintain the status quo in the slavery state of Kentucky. Since Union army recruits outnumbered those for the Confederate army three to one, Louisville became a major military supply center, as well as a base of operations for the Union army. Also Louisville was home to nineteen military hospitals, one of which was located at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Amazingly enough, though, Louisville survived the war unscathed and actually prospered after the war.
During the pre-Civil War era the bleak educational opportunities for blind children in Kentucky began to change for the better. At the request of Bryce M. Patton, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe of the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Massachusetts visited Kentucky to demonstrate effective ways to teach blind children. Mr. Patton's brother Otis had been a student of Mr. Howe's. They presented a proposal for a school for blind children to the state legislature, and as a result the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) was established in 1842. KSB was the sixth school for the blind established in the United States and the third publicly funded school.
In its early years the school moved to several locations in the city before arriving at its present location on Frankfort Avenue in East Louisville in 1855. The original KSB building was a prominent city landmark, designed in the Greek Revival architectural style, which boasted a cupola on top. Later, in 1884 a separate school for black children was established on the KSB campus, and in 1954 the two schools were racially integrated. The first Boy Scout Troop for blind youth was established at KSB in 1911 only one year after the beginning of the Boy Scout movement in America. Also in 1945 KSB became the first school in Kentucky to establish a wrestling team, and in 1961 KSB won the first Kentucky Invitational Wrestling Tournament. In 1966 KSB was proud to win the state championship wrestling tournament.
Finally, in 1967, after standing for over 100 years, the original KSB structure was demolished to make way for the modern campus that exists today. However, the cupola that stood atop the original school building has been refurbished. It was dedicated in May of 1999 and now holds a prominent position at the front of the KSB campus.
A further historic development enriching the lives of the blind was the establishment of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in 1858 by trustees of the Kentucky School for the Blind. These men recognized the importance of producing materials locally, and they recognized the need for a central publishing house for embossed materials for use by blind school children. This led the Kentucky General Assembly to establish the American Printing House for the Blind as a private, nonprofit institution. Originally it was located in rooms at the Kentucky School for the Blind, but as the Civil War encroached, the school was commandeered as a Union hospital. This slowed down the growth of the institution; however, private funds kept it going from 1860 to 1865.
In 1879 grants from the U.S. government established the American Printing House for the Blind as the largest producer in the world of educational materials for blind children. In 1932 the official adoption of Braille as the standard embossed code made production of materials more efficient because there was no further need to produce materials in several different codes. Later APH added a recording studio and in 1928 produced the Reader's Digest and in 1959 Newsweek in Talking-Book format. Other items such as writing utensils, math aids, and various educational tools followed.
APH is now located next door to the Kentucky School for the Blind on Frankfort Avenue. Several additions to the facility have been made over the years. One of the most recent additions is the APH Museum, which opened in October of 1994. The museum houses educational materials for the blind and artifacts that span the history of embossed printing.
In addition to the developments regarding education for the blind during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Louisville as a whole underwent substantial growth in commerce and industry. In the twentieth century such companies as General Electric, the Ford Motor Corporation, and United Parcel Service brought further enterprise to Louisville. As the twentieth century drew to a close, the workforce in the city began to shift from blue collar to white collar. Large corporations located their headquarters in Louisville. Some of these include Humana, Inc.; Capital Holding; and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Now that you have a general history of the city as well as the developments in Louisville specific to the blind, it's important to learn a bit about Louisville's most famous tradition. On the first Saturday in May the eyes of the world look to Louisville's Churchill Downs for the world-renowned Run for the Roses, otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby. This is one of the most famous horse races in the world.
Churchill Downs was established by Colonel M. Lewis Clark in 1875, and the first Kentucky Derby was run on May 17 that year. Clark chose the track site three miles from the city center because he could lease this land from his uncles, John and Henry Churchill. In the 1890's a new grandstand was built on the western side of the track. It was encompassed by the imposing twin spires that have come to symbolize the Kentucky Derby, as well as Churchill Downs itself. The twentieth century brought notoriety to Churchill Downs, and the Kentucky Derby grew into "the greatest two minutes in sports."
This is only a glimpse of the city of Louisville's vibrant history. We of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky look forward to hosting you in 2002, when we will continue to make our own history--Federation style.
PHOTO/CAPTION: The exhibit hall is one of the most popular convention attractions. Pictured here are a number of folks checking out the Independent Living Aids display.]
2002 Convention Attractions
From the Editor: Every year's National Convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions Committee and the Board of Directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 2002 Convention, July 3 through 9. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The pre-convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place before convention registration on Thursday, July 4. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place beginning that day.
The Agriculture and Equestrian Interest Group
by Fred Chambers
Growing by leaps and bounds, we are organizing to become an official division of the National Federation of the Blind. You are invited to be at the founding meeting for the Agriculture and Equestrian Division. Come elect officers, snack on local produce, network, share stories, and meet some locals. Kentucky is one of the eighteen states with an AgrAbility Project. You'll hear from advisors and participating farmers. Learn about resources you can tap into to start or expand a career in agriculture's myriad fields. Find out more about AgrAbility by visiting <www.agrabilityusa.org>.
Always a highlight and a bargain, our Louisville agriculture and equestrian tour is on Sunday, July 7, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. We're still finalizing details, but count on horses as a major feature. Our past tours have included horseback riding and touring stables, carriage barns, thoroughbred ranches, urban organic farms, microbreweries, and much more. Send your $20 deposit to President Diane Starrin.
In the event of a sellout, deposits from the unlucky will be refunded. Reservations will be accepted up to Monday, June 17, 2002. Keep reading the Braille Monitor for developments. The total tour price should be under $50. As usual, prices are subject to change. We will try our best to satisfy all respondents. To make your reservations, send a check or money order made out to Starrin Enterprises in the amount of $20 for each tour participant. Be sure to include phone, address, and e-mail address, as well as your particular areas of interest.
President, Rancher, and Riding Instructor
1042 Hawthorne Street
Redding, California 96002
Phone: (530) 223‑9084
Tour Coordinator and Aquaculturist
Phone: (760) 505‑8500
e-mail: <[email protected]>
BLIND, Inc., Karaoke Night
by Joyce Scanlan
This year, at the National Convention in Louisville, don't miss your chance to witness a rare and riveting karaoke performance by none other than vocalist extraordinaire Dr. Marc Maurer! Will he sing country? Broadway? Disco? Swing? Rap? Come find out for yourself on Wednesday, July 3, from 8:00 to midnight, at Karaoke Night! This fun-filled event is hosted by BLIND, Inc., and admission is only $5. There will be door prizes galore, as well as the best karaoke around by Federationists from all over the country--and maybe even a performance by you. Come join us.
Blind Industrial Workers of America
by Ken Staley
The Blind Industrial Workers of America will conduct its business meeting on Friday, July 5, at the 2002 convention.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Kids enjoy a Braille version of the game Twister at the Braille Carnival.]
The Kenneth Jernigan Braille Carnival for Children
Back by Popular Demand
by Melody Lindsey
Once again the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children will host a Braille Carnival for children between the ages of five and twelve. This exciting and entertaining event will take place on Wednesday, July 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
The activities of the Braille Carnival are designed to promote curiosity about Braille and the many fun and creative ways in which it can be used. Both sighted and blind kids will discover fun games and activities. In addition, there will also be activities for children with multiple disabilities.
In order to make this event successful, we need affiliates, chapters, and organizations to sponsor activities at the carnival. If you are interested in doing this, please contact Melody Lindsey, coordinator of the Braille Carnival, at (616) 388‑2686. The deadline for requesting space for an activity is June 17, 2002, or when all spaces are filled.
We can't wait to show you how much fun Braille can be. Don't miss your opportunity to participate in this creative event highlighting the advantages of reading and writing Braille. Come with lots of energy and enthusiasm for working with kids.
Braille Carnival Buddies Needed
by Robin House
Once again the Braille Carnival is coming to the 2002 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky. Plans are already underway to ensure a quality event. But we need your help. The Braille Carnival offers many activities for blind and sighted children to explore while their parents attend meetings. Think about it; wouldn't you prefer to be at the Braille Carnival? We are looking for good people to be role models and buddies for these children from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, July 3.
Braille Carnival buddies are responsible for guiding children through the maze of games and activities at the Braille Carnival. State affiliates and divisions sponsor unique Braille activities for children. Games of chance and skill will challenge children of all ages and their buddies. The purpose of the Braille Carnival is to increase Braille awareness in fun and creative ways.
If you are available and interested in being a buddy to a child or children at the Braille Carnival, please contact Robin House at (314) 524-7308 or by e-mail at <[email protected]>. If you enjoy working with children, this is a great opportunity, rewarding to all participants. More details will be provided to those who reply, including an organizational meeting prior to the Braille Carnival.
The Braille Carnival is sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, a division of the National Federation of the Blind.
Committee on Associates
by Tom Stevens
The Committee on Associates will meet on Friday evening, July 5, to hear how a cotton picker gained upward mobility. The Committee will also consider goals for 2003. Y'all come!
by Jerry Whittle
Newsletter editors and others interested in editing are cordially invited to this meeting. We often discuss the nuts and bolts of editing such as sentence structure, formatting, effective fonts, grammar and punctuation, and graphic design. Everyone with editing responsibilities is encouraged to attend.
by Joseph Naulty
As has been the case during the past several years, the Deaf-Blind Division will conduct both a seminar for those interested in deaf-blind issues and a general business meeting at this year's convention. The seminar will take place Friday evening, July 5, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The business meeting will occur at the same time on Sunday evening, July 7. Election of officers will take place during this meeting, but Joseph Naulty will not be a candidate for President. Please come and help determine the division's leadership for the coming term of service.
Diabetes Action Network Seminar
by Ed Bryant
At the 2002 convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky, our Diabetes Action Network will have its seminar and business meeting on Saturday, July 6, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Our keynote speaker will be podiatrist Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM, whose practice is limited to diabetes and the feet--which is also the subject of his presentation. There will be plenty of time for your questions.
Once again we will have our "Make the President Pay" diabetes quiz game, and I will give a nice donation to the division for each right answer. Our seminar is free and open to the public. Its room location will be posted in the Agenda (which is provided when you register for the convention).
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Andrew Wai of Pennsylvania examines tactile artwork on the wall of the exhibit hall.]
Educators of Blind Children
by Gail Wagner
If you will be attending the National Convention, let's get together and chat. We will have an informal, quick get‑together Thursday, July 4, in the morning to see who is attending and to share stories. Contact Gail Wagner, <[email protected]>, if you plan on coming. At the Galt House Hotel, contact Gail Wagner's room for more details on time and location. Hope to see you there.
Ham Radio Group
by D. Curtis Willoughby
In accord with long‑standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2002 convention will be the Emergency Preparedness Seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call-out. We will also discuss those architectural features of the convention hotels and other information that NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary.
Any Louisville hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA (303) 424‑7373, <[email protected]>.
The Ham Radio Group has a service project to serve the Federation by handling the distribution of the special FM receivers to allow hearing-impaired conventioneers to hear a signal directly from the public address system, which is much easier to understand than the sound that normal hearing aids pick up in a meeting. These same receivers are used to allow Spanish speakers (those who do not understand English fluently) to hear a Spanish translation of the convention and the banquet.
We will take some time at the Emergency Preparedness Seminar to prepare for this project as well. It is important that all Group members willing to help come to the seminar. The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Monday, July 8.
Human Services Division
by Julie Deden
If you work in a human services field or are interested in a career in the area of human services, do not miss the divisional meeting to be held on Friday, July 5, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some of the topics to be discussed will include unusual careers in the profession, professional testing for licensure, administering psychometric tests, finding an internship in graduate school, management principles, and much more. We look forward to seeing you there.
International Braille and Technology Center
Technology Seminars for Everyone
by Curtis Chong, NFB Director of Technology
The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind is pleased to announce that we will sponsor technology-related seminars at the 2002 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. These seminars are designed to appeal to computer users with a wide range of skills and experience. There will be presentations for beginners, intermediate users, and people who really want to delve into highly specific technical issues. The seminars will be held on Wednesday, July 3. In all there will be eight ninety-minute sessions, each of which will be held in one of two rooms. Everyone is welcome.
Here is the tentative schedule. Please remember that the final schedule will appear in your pre-convention agenda, which you will be able to get once you check into the Galt House Hotel.
SESSIONS 1 and 2: 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Configuring Windows for Screen-Access Programs (beginning and intermediate users)
Getting Linux to Talk (advanced and highly technical users)
SESSIONS 3 and 4: 10:30 to noon
Making E-Mail More Speech-Friendly (for beginning users of Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail programs)
The Ins and Outs of Sound Forge and CD Mastering (advanced users)
SESSIONS 5 and 6: 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
A Beginner's Guide to Books On-Line (beginning and intermediate users)
An Internet Adventure (intermediate and advanced users)
SESSIONS 7 and 8: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Braille Translation and Formatting (for serious users of Duxbury for Windows Braille translation software)
NFB-Net Training Seminar (for beginning and intermediate users)
Job Seekers Take Notice
Once again Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB), BLIND, Inc., the Colorado Center for the Blind, the Louisiana Center for the Blind, and JOB employer partners will sponsor the annual Job Fair and JOB seminar at the NFB convention in Louisville. Bring your resume (at least fifteen copies) and job-hunting ideas to the convention and learn how to get the job of your dreams.
Because the opening gavel for the convention is on Saturday, July 6, this year, we have had to change the order of these two events. The Job Fair will be on Wednesday, July 3, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 1:30 p.m. The JOB Seminar will be on tour day, Sunday, July 7, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. Job seekers should dress for success in jackets and ties for men and business suits or dresses for women. Also they should ensure that resumes are current.
This year we are using a new system. BLIND, Inc., has overall responsibility for coordinating the Job Fair and seminar, with specific responsibilities for the Job Fair handled by the Louisiana Center for the Blind and seminar by the Colorado Center for the Blind. Invitations have gone out to employers, and the agenda for the JOB Seminar is under construction.
If you have ideas or suggestions for the seminar, please contact Dick Davis, Assistant Director for Employment Programs at BLIND, Inc. His phone numbers are (612) 872-0100 and (800) 597-9558, or you can e-mail him at <[email protected]>.
Louisiana Center for the Blind Players Present
by Jerry Whittle
The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players present First Step Forward, an original play about a blind minister who works in a homeless shelter in New Orleans. Tickets for both evening performances on Friday evening, July 5, are $5, and all proceeds go to support the summer training program for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
National Association of the Blind
in Communities of Faith
by Robert Parrish
It is hard to believe that another annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind is fast approaching. The leadership of the National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith is hard at work making plans for division activities.
Over the past few years the Communities of Faith Division has held a seminar encouraging blind people to become fully included in their faith communities. At these seminars topics ranging from "getting beyond healing" to "angels of mercy and healing" have been addressed. These seminars have proven to be outstanding as well as informative. The seminar for this year will be no exception.
The topic this year is "Being Empowered and Progressive." We chose this theme because, while blind people are a part of various faith groups and traditions, they often lack the tools and confidence to give service to the community and its activities. Actually, a few days ago a member of this division from West Virginia commented on the fact that many blind people wish to teach Sunday school but lack the skills and tools to do so. The seminar for this year will address such questions as these. Our hope is that blind people from every faith tradition will be more effective and empowered in whatever religious activities they pursue.
Communities of Faith will also be taking leadership in the convention devotionals. As is the case with the seminar, please consult your convention bulletin for times and location. These interfaith devotionals are open to all. I am looking for participants. If you can sing, play, do liturgical dance, preach, chant, or engage in any other worshipful activity, please feel free to call me. My phone number is (919) 250-0998.
I hope that you will all have the best convention yet and hope that you will have the opportunity to be with us during the Communities of Faith activities. See you in Louisville.
The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs
by Marie Cobb
The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs will conduct a seminar on Wednesday, July 3, featuring people who have been successful in their own businesses. We will also have a session on the importance of funding and mentoring during and after the establishment of a new business.
Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m., and the session will start promptly at 9:00 a.m. We will aim at adjourning by 4:00 p.m. We will have some very interesting business owners from whom we have never heard. Some of them have rather unusual occupations.
National Association of Blind Lawyers
by Scott LaBarre
As the Louisville Convention draws near, we in the National Association of Blind Lawyers are preparing to have some great activities in the city that hosts some famous horse race or other. First I would like to invite all of you to join us in Louisville to take part in the largest meeting of blind lawyers and legal professionals held anywhere in the country. The National Association of Blind Lawyers will meet Friday, July 5, 2002, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Galt House in downtown Louisville as part of the sixty-second annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.
We will discuss many exciting topics on that afternoon. Speaking from their expertise, lawyers will give an update on the current status of laws affecting the blind. We will hear reports on various advocacy matters in which the Federation has been involved throughout the last year. We expect that officials from the American Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, and Louisville Bar Association will address the group about what's new and exciting in the organized bar of the nation and of Kentucky. Experienced practitioners will offer strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases.
We will share strategies and techniques about how to secure the best possible job in the legal field. We expect to hear from on-line legal research company representatives, in particular those from West Group, about the latest developments in on-line research and how the blind can access this important research tool. We will have a discussion about the recent challenges being brought against the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, IDEA, and other similar federal laws. We expect to have guest speakers from the United States Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal agencies. This and much, much more will take place at our annual meeting in Louisville.
As NABL President I am also pleased to announce that we will be hosting our fifth annual reception after the NABL meeting for blind lawyers, law students, and legal professionals. This reception will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas. Blind law students will be able to learn how their predecessors did it. Practicing professionals will learn new tips from their colleagues.
With our regular meeting, the mock trial, and the reception, the National Association of Blind Lawyers plans to be busy in Louisville. Make your plans now and join us there.
by Scott LaBarre
The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor the Fifth Annual Mock Trial at the 2002 Convention. This trial will reenact a recent Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two positions. We will relive the Norwegian Cruise Lines case from last year in which two Federationists, Joy and Robert Stigile of California, were told that they had to sign waivers releasing NCL from all liability, have a non-disabled person cruise with them in their cabin, obtain extra insurance, and have a doctor certify that they could travel. Keep in mind that this was supposed to be their honeymoon cruise.
A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. This case was never tried to a jury because the parties negotiated a conclusive settlement, but the mock trial will assume that the case eventually went the whole route. Watch the fireworks go up as your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.
You, the audience, will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be as entertaining and thought-provoking as the past trials. A nominal charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 4, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the convention hotel. Consult the convention agenda for the exact room.
National Association of Blind Merchants
by Kevan Worley
Wednesday afternoon, July 3, at a time and place known only to a few dozen Federation Merchants, a secret assembly line will form at the Galt House Hotel to fill variety grab bags of snacks and candy. Yes, the Snack Pack is back, and conventioneers can purchase them at the Merchants' table beginning Thursday, July 4, in the Exhibit Hall. Get the energy you need and the goodies you like for only $5, and while you're at our table, we will give you a free drink, and you can buy a drawing ticket for the $1000 drawing at the banquet Monday evening, July 8.
The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants will take place Friday afternoon, July 5, at 1:00. Check the convention agenda for location. This year registration for our division meeting will begin approximately thirty minutes after adjournment of the Board of Directors meeting. If you are involved in the Randolph-Sheppard Program or operate a similar business, you won't want to miss this merchants' meeting.
On Sunday, July 7, from 7:00 until 8:30 pm, we invite you to our second annual Randolph-Sheppard Reception. Socialize, network, and learn more about Randolph-Sheppard opportunities. Check the convention agenda for location.
National Association of Blind Musicians
by Linda Mentink
The National Association of Blind Musicians will hold a seminar Wednesday afternoon, July 3. This year we hope to have a conducting workshop.
Plans are not yet final for our annual meeting. It will be Thursday evening, July 4, at 7:00, with an opportunity to renew your membership or join for the first time beginning at 6:30. We will discuss starting a Web page, get an NLS update from Debbie Brown, and conduct elections.
Our annual Showcase of Talent will take place Saturday evening, July 6, beginning at 8:00. If you wish to participate, please follow these guidelines: (1) Sign up by 12:00 noon on the day of the Showcase. (2) Perform one number, no longer than four minutes. (3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, please have it cued up. Do not sing with the artist; you will be cut off while performing. (4) If you need an accompanist, please make arrangements before the Showcase. If you wish to register for the Showcase before the convention, contact Linda Mentink: 1740 Tamarack Lane, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545‑0952; telephone: (608) 752‑8749; e-mail: <[email protected]>.
Membership dues are $5 per year. If you wish to renew your membership or become a member before the convention, please make your check payable to NABM and send it to Bee Hodgkiss, 1117 Marquette, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403.
National Association of Blind Office Professionals
by Lisa Hall
The National Association of Blind Office Professionals will conduct its annual meeting on Wednesday, July 3, at the Galt House Hotel. Please consult your pre‑convention agenda for room location. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.
This year we will conduct election of officers, so please think about whom you would like to elect as your leaders for the coming year. We will have a chance to talk about office issues and other topics. The agenda is on its way to being put together, so now come one and all, and let's have a wonderful time.
Membership dues are $5. If anyone needs more information about our division, please contact Lisa Hall, President, National Association of Blind Office Professionals, 9110 Broadway, Apt. J‑102, San Antonio, Texas 78217, or call her at (210) 829‑4571, leave a voice mail at (210) 228‑5161, or send an e-mail to <[email protected]>. If you have MSN Messenger installed on your computer, you are welcome to add this information to your contact list. My address is <[email protected]>, the same as my real e-mail address. See everyone at the 2002 NFB Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
The National Association of Blind Piano Tuners
by Don Mitchell
The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Piano Tuners will be held on Friday, July 5, at 3:00 p.m. Please consult your convention agenda for room location. Annual dues are $10. If you are unable to attend our meeting, you may send your dues to Connie Ryan, Treasurer, 56 N. Extension Road, Apartment 107, Mesa, Arizona 85201, home phone: (480) 890‑8061, e-mail: <[email protected]>.
The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals
by Shawn Mayo
The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals Division will hold our meeting Saturday, July 6, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This year's program will include tips on grant-writing, discussion of the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, a look into how the workforce centers are affecting rehabilitation, and many more critical issues. Come help guide rehabilitation.
Due to our huge success at the Washington Seminar, the National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals will once again conduct our "Write Your Own IPE" Workshop on Friday, July 5, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Whether you are a student who is writing or amending your IPE, a rehabilitation counselor, or an advocate wanting to inform others back in your state, this seminar is for you! Items covered include history of the Rehabilitation Act, clarification of laws and federal directives, explanations of the rights and responsibilities for both the customer and counselor, plus much more. We will have time to discuss specific concerns. Be sure to bring writing materials.
Please preregister with Shawn Mayo, President, NABRP, by calling (612) 872-0100, or e-mail her at <[email protected]> (Please put IPE in the subject line.) The registration fee of $5 can be paid at the seminar.
Space is limited to twenty-five. If you are unable to preregister, you may register at the time of the seminar and will be able to attend, space permitting.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Shawn Mayo and President Maurer make a bet during the student division meeting.]
National Association of Blind Students
by Angela Wolfe
The National Association of Blind Students will be having our annual student division meeting on Thursday, July 4, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We will also be hosting Monte Carlo Night on Sunday, July 7, from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. This year it will be bigger and better than ever. Come support the students and have fun at the same time.
National Association of Guide Dog Users
by Gigi Firth
As has become traditional, the National Association of Guide Dog Users will hold two meetings: a business meeting and the popular seminars, "A Guide Dog In Your Life." The business meeting will take place from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. Registration will occur from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and the meeting will begin promptly at 7:00. All division officers and board members are up for re‑election this year. The seminar night will be Saturday, July 6, also from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Roughly from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. we will hold a seminar for those interested in learning more about working with guide dogs. From 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. will be the seminar for experienced guide dog handlers. Of course everyone is welcome at both seminars, and it is always helpful for new people to have veteran guide dog users on hand to share their experiences. We are still finalizing details of the meetings, but there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone with an interest in guide dogs. We look forward to a great crowd at both the business meeting and the seminars.
National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
by Nadine Jacobson
It's already time for our National Convention, and that means it's time for our splendid annual NAPUB meeting. For those who are new to the convention, NAPUB stands for the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. The meetings we have each year are full of information, excitement, and enthusiasm.
This year the meeting will be held on Friday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. We will be sharing results of the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest as well as discussing the Unified English Braille Code (UEBC) and many other matters. This is the place to be for people who want to be informed about Braille. We have some new Braille products to talk about and show to all the members. We look forward to seeing all of you there.
If you have any questions about the meeting or if you would like to have time on the agenda, please contact Nadine Jacobson, 5805 Kellogg Avenue, Edina, Minnesota 55424, telephone: (952)927‑7694, e‑mail: <[email protected]>.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Three kids take advantage of the wide range of toys in NFB Camp.]
NFB Camp: It's More than Child's Play
by Carla McQuillan
During convention week children between the ages of six weeks and twelve years are invited to join in the fun and festivities of NFB Camp. NFB Camp offers more than just childcare; it is an opportunity for our blind and sighted children to meet and develop lifelong friendships. Our activity schedule is filled with games, crafts, and special performances designed to entertain, educate, and delight. If you are interested in having your children participate in this year's program, please complete and return the registration form provided. Preregistration with payment on or before June 15, 2002, is mandatory for participation in NFB Camp. Space is limited, and each year some families have to be turned away.
About the Staff: NFB Camp is organized and supervised by Carla McQuillan, the executive director of Main Street Montessori Association, operating two schools, parent-education courses, and a teacher-training program. Carla is the mother of two children, the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind.
Michelle Ros is this year's activities director for NFB Camp. Michelle is a Montessori teacher employed by Main Street Montessori Association. Carla and Michelle will supervise a staff of experienced childcare workers and volunteers.
Activities and Special Events: The children are divided into groups according to age: infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. Each camp room is equipped with a variety of age-appropriate toys, games, and books; and children will enjoy daily art projects. Blind teens will come in to read stories in Braille, and we will sing, dance, and play instruments with blind singer/songwriter Daniel Lamonds. In addition, the school-aged children will make excursions to local attractions of interest. On the final day of NFB Camp we will conduct a big toy sale--brand new toys at bargain prices.
Banquet Night: NFB Camp will provide dinner and activities during the banquet. The cost for banquet activities is $15 per child in addition to other camp fees.
NFB Camp will be open during general convention sessions, division and committee meeting day, and the evening of the banquet. Plenty of teens are always available to babysit during evening and lunchtime meetings. The schedule this year will be as follows:
Wednesday, July 3, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(You are responsible for lunch)
Thursday, July 4, Camp is closed.
Friday, July 5, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(You are responsible for lunch)
Saturday, July 6, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
and 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
(You are responsible for lunch)
Sunday, July 7, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Monday, July 8, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
and 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
(You are responsible for lunch)
Tuesday, July 9, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
and 1:30-5:30 p.m.
(You are responsible for lunch)
These times may vary, depending on the timing of the actual convention sessions. NFB Camp will open thirty minutes before the beginning gavel and close thirty minutes after session recess.
Fees: for the entire Week (not including banquet), first child $80, siblings $60 each. By the day, each child (does not include banquet), $20, banquet, $15 per child.
Please use the NFB Camp preregistration form provided.
NFB CAMP PREREGISTRATION FORM
Completed form and fees must be received on or before June 15, 2002.
City ____________________ State ____ Zip _______ Phone ________
________________________________Date of Birth _________ Age ____
_______________________________ Date of Birth _________ Age ____
_______________________________ Date of Birth _________ Age ____
Include description of any disabilities/allergies we should know about:
Who, other than parents, is allowed to pick up your child?
Per Week: $80 first child; $60 siblings, # of children _____, $ ________
(Does not include banquet)
Per Day:$20 per child per day, # days ____ x $20/child$ ________
(Does not include banquet)
Banquet: $15 per child, # of children _____ x $15 $ _______
Total Due $ ________
Make checks payable to and return forms to National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, 5005 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon 97478, (541) 726-6924
National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong
This year's meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science (NFBCS) will be held on Friday, July 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Computer novices should be forewarned that program items at these meetings tend to be more than a little technical. However, for many of us they are nonetheless quite fascinating. Here is a preliminary list of topics to be discussed at the meeting:
1. A growing number of blind computer programmers are moving into the world of Java. We will therefore feature a panel of blind programmers talking about their experiences creating and testing Java programs.
2. We will hear from Hewlett-Packard and learn about an innovative yet accessible technology it is developing for a blind person using a screen-access program to interact with the control panel of an HP printer. While nothing has been released to the general market yet, some of the testing--done in part with our International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind--looks quite promising.
3. Macromedia, makers of the Flash product (used on many Web sites to display animated pictures) and Dream Weaver (a Web-development tool) will, by the time of our meeting, have some exciting news to share about its efforts to promote accessibility to its software. Heretofore Flash has been an unpleasant word when one considers access by the blind to many Web sites.
4. We should also be hearing from Microsoft, which continues to be a major player in our technological lives. It will, we hope, update us on its continuing efforts to ensure access to the products it develops.
As I say, this is but a preliminary list. Other items will almost certainly be added to the program as the time of the meeting approaches. And remember, this is the year to elect NFBCS officers and Board members.
For more information about NFBCS and its upcoming meeting, contact Curtis Chong, President, National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, phone (410) 659-9314, extension 349, e-mail <[email protected]>.
National Organization of Blind Educators
by Sheila Koenig
The National Organization of Blind Educators seminar offers an excellent opportunity for teachers and would-be teachers to network with blind people who are teaching in a wide range of grades and subjects. Though differences exist in classroom activities, all teachers share some fundamental professional duties. How do we manage student behavior? How do we assess student progress? How do we assert equal footing with our colleagues? During our seminar on Friday afternoon, July 5, you will have the opportunity to discuss the strategies and alternative techniques that enable blind people to be successful teachers. If you are interested in teaching as a career, please join us.
National Organization of the Senior Blind
by Christine Hall
The National Organization of the Senior Blind will hold its annual division meeting on Thursday evening, July 4, from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Please plan to be there at 6:30 because we will be registering people and collecting annual membership dues of $5. We want to get your name and address on our mailing list so you can receive our great newsletter and other announcements and publications as they become available.
We are beginning to put together our agenda, and judging from past experience--if I am not having a senior moment--our meeting will be filled with creative ideas, new information, and lots of fun, including hearing our proposed new theme song. If you have any questions regarding the senior division or the annual division meeting, contact Christine Hall, President, (505) 268‑3895; Ray McGeorge, Vice President, at (303) 321‑4268; or Paul Dressell, Treasurer, at (513)481‑7662.
Public Employees Division
by John Halverson
The Public Employees Division will meet again this year in Louisville. Please check the agenda for time on Friday, July 5, and location. This should prove to be an exciting meeting. Our main speaker is Sandra Williams, the Affirmative Action Officer for the City of Louisville. Sandra Williams happens to be blind.
During last year's convention Federationists working for Social Security met to discuss problems and concerns. As a result letters to regional Social Security Commissioners were written. We will discuss the positive results of our efforts. Finally, blind Social Security employees are being promoted to Claims Representative. We will have a discussion of how these promotions happened.
If you have ideas for additional agenda items and want to contribute to our meeting, please email me at <[email protected]>. See you in Louisville.
Science and Engineering Division
by John Miller
Come participate in the Science and Engineering Division activities at the National Convention in Louisville. Once again our division meeting appears in the convention agenda at a different time from the NFB in Computer Science Meeting so that people may choose to attend both. Our meeting will spotlight how blind people use scientific instrumentation independently. Also come learn about the innovative science careers that division members are pursuing right now.
RSVP for the Science and Engineering Networking Breakfast 7:00 a.m. Saturday, July 6. Contact John Miller for the Networking Breakfast location. To RSVP, contact John Miller by e‑mail: <[email protected]>, phone: (858) 587‑3975, or mail: 8720 Villa La Jolla Drive 118, La Jolla, California 92037.
Social Security Seminar
by James McCarthy
An outreach seminar, "Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know," will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 7. The purpose of this seminar, which will be conducted by the National Federation of the Blind, is to provide information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind, including recent developments such as the Ticket to Work and Expedited Reinstatement. Seminar presenters will be Jim McCarthy, Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and his wife Terri Uttermohlen, also an NFB member and a training and technical assistance liaison employed by Virginia Commonwealth University to provide training and technical assistance to work incentives specialists as part of a nationwide project.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Blind and sighted teens get ready for the scavenger hunt. Left to right, they are Tracy Yeager (VA); Michelle Povinelli (VA); Stephanie Povinelli (VA); Richard Solis (TX); and Thomas Panaro (NJ).]
by Gail Wagner
Attention all teens! This year at convention we will again have our Teen Hospitality Room. This is a great place for all teens ages twelve to eighteen, blind or sighted, to get together, hang out, meet friends, play games, eat, listen to music, and just have
The location will be a suite in the East Tower. It will be open on July 4 in the afternoon, July 5 in the afternoon, July 6 at noon and again in the evening, and July 8 and 9 at the noon hour. While at the convention, contact Gail Wagner's room for more information.
Adults--we need your help to monitor the room while it is open. Please contact Gail Wagner (505) 237‑0544 or e‑mail <[email protected]> if you can volunteer a few hours to chaperon discreetly.
Hope to see you there.
Travel and Tourism Group
by Stephanie Scott
Do you have dreams of traveling to exotic places? Well the Travel and Tourism Group wants to make your dreams a reality. Come meet with like-minded people at the NFB National Convention in Louisville at the Galt House Hotel, Wednesday, July 3, 2002, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. We will discuss the development of a constitution for a division, election of the Board of Directors, and travel destinations. For more information call (404) 759‑5513, or e-mail <[email protected]>.
by Tom Stevens
The NFB Writers Division will meet on Friday afternoon, July 5. We will have another stimulating program. The Division will also present a two‑hour seminar during the afternoon of Wednesday, July 3, on the subject of "Communication: The Cutting Edge for Persuasion and Motivation." We will feature a high‑octane speaker; be alert for further announcements.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: The Ryan family from New Jersey walk down a hall at convention. Left to right they are younger brother James, mother Valerie, Conner using his cane, and father Edward.]
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Kirt Manwaring of Utah explores the open mouth of an alligator while his sister Kelsie watches.]
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Federationists of all ages including the very young enjoy dancing at hospitality night.]
The Serious Work of Play
NOPBC-Sponsored Activities for Parents and Kids
by Barbara Cheadle
From the Editor: One of the most exciting strands of programming at NFB conventions today is the range of opportunities for families of blind children. The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children is planning another extraordinary group of seminars, workshops, discussions, and family activities for Louisville this summer. Here is the rundown as described by division president Barbara Cheadle:
The average person might find this title a little exaggerated. But wildlife experts and early childhood professionals know better. Those lion cubs on television, who look so cute as they ferociously stalk and pounce on Mother's twitching tail, are developing, through play, the skills they will need for life in the wild. How well they learn these skills as they tumble, growl, and play their little cub games may mean the difference one day between a full stomach and starvation.
Although our culture has evolved far beyond the need for children to develop hunting and gathering skills for survival, play continues to be fundamental to the normal physical, emotional, and social development of our species. Serious? You bet it is! Through play children develop strength, muscle control, and dexterity; they learn what they can (and cannot) do with their bodies. Manipulation of toys lays the foundation for the myriad of physical skills needed in everyday life and on the job--skills like zipping a coat, using a hanger, unclogging a drain, using a power drill, unlocking a door, and yes, even typing on a computer keyboard. Playing house gives children a chance to practice the roles they will someday play as moms and dads. Playing with clay, cutting, pasting, and drawing pictures stimulates the imagination and encourages creativity. Outdoor games provide a foundation for good physical health and exercise habits, and team sports teach essential skills in working with others to achieve common goals--a crucial ability in today's business world.
Blind kids need this wide range of play experiences every bit as much as sighted kids. They need to run; crawl; jump; climb; slug, pitch, or bounce a ball; ride a bike; karate punch; and do cartwheels too. Do art, play tug-o-war, climb a rock wall--why not? But that's the rub. Too many times the answer to the question "Why not?" is "No, you can't." More often than not, that "No" is rooted in ignorance, low expectations, overprotection, misconceptions about blindness, or simply--in the face of so many educational needs--not enough time.
Well, the NOPBC will brook no why-not excuses this year at the 2002 NFB Convention. Dr. Ralph Bartley, Superintendent of the Kentucky School for the Blind, has generously offered the full use of the campus (located just minutes from the convention hotel)--including two gyms, a track, art classrooms, and a playground--for a full afternoon (2:00 to 6:00 p.m.) of play for the whole family on Wednesday, July 3.
But like all good recreation events this day will begin with a warm-up activity. Wednesday, July 3, seminar day, will begin with the usual NOPBC seminar general session at 9:00 a.m. (registration at 8:00 a.m.) in the Galt House Hotel. As was the case for the past two years, kids are invited to attend the first forty-five minutes of the general session to hear other blind youth speak about their experiences in sports or arts. At 9:45 a.m. the session will break briefly to allow children and youth ages four and up to depart for the Braille Carnival, also conducted in the hotel in a nearby meeting room.
As soon as that transition is complete, the general session will continue with lively presentations from blind adults, parents, and early childhood teachers about how to include blind and blind multiply-disabled children and youth in the full, rich range of play, recreation, and artistic activities available to their sighted peers. Among our guest speakers will be a representative from the Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) of Louisville. Parents will recognize the VIPS Newsletter as the source of many good articles reprinted in Future Reflections over the years.
At noon the general session and the Braille Carnival will adjourn. Parents will pick up children at the Braille Carnival or child-care (NFB Camp), then gather at the hotel entrance to board buses for the short ride--about two miles--to the Kentucky School for the Blind campus. This is not a field trip for the kids alone. The activities on the campus are for the entire family--all children, including teens, must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
On campus everyone will gather in the cafeteria for a box lunch and to review the afternoon's choices. Activities for the family are divided into four main catagories: Play in Early Childhood, Recreation and Sports, Arts and Crafts, and Cooking Demonstrations.
Play in Early Childhood: Stations, everyone-play stations, that is. Co-sponsored by the Louisville-based Visually Impaired Preschool (VIPS) program, this activity features interactive play stations for parents, babies, and toddlers. Parents will also have the opportunity to discuss early movement and travel with Joe Cutter, noted pediatric O&M specialist. [Note: This is not a childcare program. However, we have arranged for volunteers to provide limited childcare services on campus for babies of parents who wish an hour or two free to enjoy the other afternoon activities with their older children.]
Recreation and Sports: Dads, this is your kind of day. There will be something fun to do for everyone--kids and adults, blind or sighted. Although there will be some lecture opportunities discussing adaptations for P.E., for example, the real emphasis is on doing. Relay races, water fights, tug-o-war, a goal-ball clinic, track events, and maybe even a rock-climbing wall are just some of the many games and activities planned for the day. Oh, and to add to the fun and to create an equal playing field for all, sleepshades (blindfolds) will be provided for everyone. The events will be organized and conducted by blind adults and college students skilled in the various recreational activities. Again this activity requires that children be accompanied by a family member or other responsible adult. Debbie Bacon, a blind woman with extensive experience in organizing youth-enrichment programs for the Society for the Blind in Sacramento, will coordinate the recreation programs with assistance from Kenny Jones, former coach at the Kentucky School for the Blind, and Marla Palmer, NOPBC board member and recreation specialist.
Arts and Crafts: Coordinated by Angela Wolf, President of the National Association of Blind Students, this program is designed to provide a challenging art activity to kids approximately ages six and up. Angela Wolf, herself blind from birth, has directed art programs for blind children at the summer Buddy Program at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Unlike the recreation activities, in this activity we will ask that parents leave their kids under the direction of Angela; her assistant, art teacher Amy Rich; and other volunteers. While the kids are busy doing art, parents can talk about art with blind artists such as sculptor Steve Handschu and participate in a presentation about art and tactile representations of art from Art Education for the Blind.
Cooking Demonstrations: An important component of play at a certain stage in a child's development is playing house. Of course kids and parents have to believe that homemaking skills, such as cooking, are practical and possible for blind people. In these demonstrations blind homemakers (two men and two women) will cook or bake a recipe from scratch while parents and kids watch and ask questions. The best part? Everyone gets to sample the product at the end.
The activities will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude with a wrap-up session back in the cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. Buses will depart for the hotel at 6:00 p.m. Water, drinks, and snacks will be available for children and adults throughout the afternoon. A nurse will also be on duty throughout the afternoon, compliments of the Kentucky School for the Blind. To the greatest extent possible we want to include all children in the recreation and art activities. This means it is crucial that parents preregister for this year's seminar. If your child has special needs and you are not certain whether he or she can participate in the activities of the day, please advise us immediately. To the extent that we have the resources and volunteers to do so, we will provide alternative activities if parents have preregistered and advised us of their child's special needs in advance.
Full as the day has been, it's not over yet. At 8:00 p.m. back at the hotel families can gather to talk and unwind at the NOPBC-sponsored Family Hospitality. Teens can wrap the day up with special discussion groups at 8:30 p.m. (registration at 8:00 p.m.). There will be a discussion group for blind teen women, one for blind teen men, and one for sighted siblings and children (teens) of blind parents. These kids-only--no parents allowed--groups will be led by experienced volunteer youth leaders.
NOPBC Activities Fees:
$15, one adult plus child or children
$25, two adults plus child or children
$35, three adults (e.g., parents and grandparent) plus child or children
$10, one adult
If you preregister and mail payment by June 1, 2002, you can take $5 off your fee for early registration. The fee includes NOPBC membership and all activities associated with the Family Seminar Day on July 3: Braille Carnival, bus transportation, box lunch, snacks, activities at the Kentucky School for the Blind campus, Family Hospitality, and Teen Discussion Groups. It also includes all other NOPBC-sponsored workshops throughout the week. The NOPBC Activities Fee does not include NFB Convention registration, which is $10 per person (adult or child), or NFB Camp fees.
NOPBC Schedule of Events for the rest of the week:
Thursday, July 4
Cane Walk: This session will be repeated twice: 9:00-10:30 a.m. And 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Parents of blind kids of all ages (babies to teens), teachers, and blind kids can get hands-on experience in using a cane in the hotel under the guidance of volunteer instructors from the Louisiana Tech/Louisiana Center for the Blind O&M program and other volunteers. Joe Cutter, pediatric O&M specialist, will provide the demonstration for parents of pre-school children.
2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Teen Activity Room sponsored jointly by NOPBC and Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM).
Friday, July 5
1:00-5:00 p.m. Parent Power: NOPBC Annual Meeting.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Follow-up Discussion Group for Blind Teen Women.
Saturday, July 6
7:00-10:00 p.m. Creating the Perfect IEP: What Does the Law (IDEA) Require? An intensive workshop looking at the requirements of IDEA and how parents may use this information to write the best possible IEP for their child. There will also be some discussion about the IEP and transition planning for older youth.
Sunday, July 7
2:00-6:00 p.m. Walking the Talk: Why Blind Kids Need to Use Canes. Drop-in anytime discussion group for parents, blind kids, and teachers. Joe Cutter, instructor and discussion leader. Videos, literature, cane demonstrations, questions and answers.
2:00-6:00 p.m. Technology in the Classroom. This workshop will be repeated three times: 2:00-3:00, 3:30-4:30, and 5:00-6:00. Braille teachers team up with technology experts to discuss how and when to introduce various technology devices to blind and low-vision students. When should students learn to use an electronic notetaker? Computers? What is the role of low (or old) technology, such as the slate and stylus and Braille writer? When and how should students learn to use tactile graphics? How do students, teachers, and parents decide which device is best for what tasks?
2:00-4:00 p.m. Beginning Braille for Parents. Drop-in anytime and get a free Braille lesson or demonstration. Discuss Braille-instruction problems and solutions. Pick up literature: Braille contraction charts, sample Braille IEP goals, activities to promote Braille from the Braille Is Beautiful program, etc.
2:00-6:00 p.m. Braille Storybook Hour. This activity for blind and sighted youngsters will be repeated three times: 2:00-3:00, 3:30-4:30, and 5:00-6:00 p.m. Modeled after the Maryland Parents of Blind Children program, this storybook hour features a blind Braille reader, multiple copies of print-Braille storybooks for blind and sighted children to follow along in, Braille Buddies (Braille reading teens or adults), and an activity related to the theme of the storybook. The theme? Hats. The story time begins with a discussion of how different people read (print and Braille). Children are encouraged to read along silently or, if not yet readers, find the page numbers and turn the pages. After the story and a discussion about the story, children can look at and try on a whole table-full of different kinds of hats. This is not childcare for the afternoon. However, parents who are attending one of the above NOPBC-sponsored workshops may leave a child for one session with a responsible older sibling or a Braille Buddy, provided enough volunteers are available to assist.
NOPBC 2002 Activities Preregistration
Deadline: Must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2002
Because of the special activities on the campus of the Kentucky School for the Blind, we strongly urge families to preregister. We will take registrations at the door as we have space, but unless you preregister, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to participate in the activities of your choice.
Adult Name (Please include first/last name and indicate relationship, e.g., parent, grandparent, guardian, teacher.)
City, State, Zip
Please list children attending the Braille Carnival (BC), ages 4 and up, and/or the Kentucky School for the Blind activities (all ages) (KSBA).
Vision & any other disabilities
Note: Please note any special needs or accommodations.
Example: Sally Doe. Jan 4, 94. Sally has albinism. Low vision, sensitive to light. Uses sunscreen. Will attend BC and KSBA.
Fee enclosed. Make checks payable to NOPBC.
$15 for one adult plus child/children
$25 for 2 adults plus child/children
$35 for 3 adults (parents plus grandparent or other family member) plus child/children
$10, one adult
$5 off, early registration (mail payment by June 1, 2002)
Full refund available if requested before June 28, 2002, or under special circumstances.
The NOPBC Activities Fee includes NOPBC membership and all activities associated with the Family Seminar Day on July 3: Braille Carnival, bus transportation, box lunch, snacks, activities at the Kentucky School for the Blind campus, Family Hospitality, and Teen Discussion Groups. It also includes all other NOPBC-sponsored workshops throughout the week. The NOPBC Activities Fee does not include NFB Convention registration, which is $10 per person (adult or child), or NFB Camp fees.
Mail Registration and Payment to:
c/o Marla Palmer
442 West Creekview Drive
Centerville, Utah 84014
Barbara Cheadle, President, NOPBC
Day: (410) 659-9314 ext. 360
Evening: (410) 737-2224
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: (410) 685-5653
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Curtis Willoughby staffs the FM equipment table at convention.]
Hearing Enhancement and Spanish Translation
Available At National Convention
Spanish Translators Needed
by D. Curtis Willoughby
From the Editor: Curtis Willoughby is a member of the NFB's Research and Development Committee and head of our Ham Radio Interest Group. Here is his announcement:
Again this year at National Convention we will offer special arrangements for severely hearing-impaired people attending convention sessions and the banquet. This will consist of transmission of the public address system signal over a special short-range radio transmitter for the severely hearing-impaired. A Spanish language service will also be offered to Spanish‑speaking people who cannot easily understand English. The special receivers required for these services will also be provided.
In cooperation with several state affiliates (notably Colorado, Louisiana, Utah, and Virginia), the NFB will provide special receivers for these special transmissions to those needing them. Receiver-lending will be managed by the Ham Radio Group and will be operated from a table just outside the meeting room. A deposit of $25, cash only, will be required of anyone wishing to check out one of the Federation's receivers. The deposit will be returned if the receiver is returned to the check‑out table in good condition by adjournment or within thirty minutes of adjournment of the last convention session. Batteries for the receiver will be provided. Upon request, anyone checking out a Federation receiver will be given a miniature earbud loudspeaker‑type earphone to use with the receiver.
Along with explaining what will be available, it is important that we explain what will not be available. The miniature earbud loudspeaker‑type earphone will be the only kind of earphone offered. No means of connection to a hearing aid will be available from the check‑out table. The receiver does not have a built‑in loudspeaker. The receiver requires a 1/8-inch earphone plug, in case you want to use your own earphone(s), neck loop, adapter cable, etc. You are advised to arrange for such things well ahead of arriving at the convention. While earphones and even neck loops are sometimes available in the exhibit hall, you cannot be certain of getting one there.
Many severely hearing-impaired people already use radio systems that employ FM radio signals to carry the voice from a transmitter held by the person speaking to a receiver in the hearing aid. Many such hearing-aid systems can be tuned to receive the Federation's special transmitters. In this case the hearing-impaired person may simply tune his or her own receiver to receive the Federation's transmitter and will not need to check out a Federation receiver.
The transmitter for the hearing-impaired will be connected to the PA system so that the signals from the head table and the aisle mikes will be transmitted on channel 36 (74.775 MHz narrow band FM). (People must not operate their personal transmitters on channel 36 or on channel 38, because that would interfere with the reception by others.) This means that folks wishing to use their own receivers (rather than checking out one of the Federation's receivers) need to have their personal receivers arranged so that they can switch between their personal channels and channel 36. Some people may need to purchase replacement or additional receivers.
We are publishing this announcement now to allow as much time as possible for those interested to make the necessary arrangements before convention. It is detailed enough so that any audiologist who works with this type of equipment will know exactly what capabilities a person's FM hearing system must have to work with the Federation's system at convention.
Even if you do not use an FM hearing aid, you may be able to purchase a neck loop or an adapter cable to couple the signal from a Federation receiver directly to your hearing aid. Your audiologist should also be able to help you do this.
The service for Spanish speakers will be similar, except that a live Spanish translator will speak over a separate transmitter on channel 38 (75.275 MHz narrow band FM). We do not expect people to bring their own receivers for the Spanish service, unless they are also hearing-impaired and use an FM hearing-aid system.
Norm Gardner from Utah will be coordinating the Spanish language interpreters, and he would appreciate hearing from anyone willing to volunteer to interpret. Please call him prior to convention at (801) 224‑6969, or send him e‑mail at <[email protected]>.
Finally, if other state affiliates or chapters are interested in purchasing this type of equipment for use in state and local meetings, we encourage them to purchase equipment compatible with that which we are using and to allow it to be used in the pool of equipment that the Ham Radio Group administers at national convention. I, Curtis Willoughby, would like to help you choose equipment compatible with that the NFB is using. I may also be able to help you get the good prices the NFB has been getting. You may contact me at (303) 424‑7373 or <[email protected]>.
The Federation is pleased to offer these services to our severely hearing-impaired colleagues and to our Spanish‑speaking colleagues, and we hope and believe that it will again significantly improve their convention experience.
This month's recipes come from members of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts.
Mum's Sweet and Sour Slaw
by Mary Ann Lareau
Mary Ann Lareau is the secretary of the NFB of Massachusetts.
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt (optional)
2/3 cup salad oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 6-ounce can of crushed pineapple
Method: In a small saucepan combine honey, vinegar, and salt. Heat to combine thoroughly. Transfer to small bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Add oil and whisk thoroughly. In a large bowl combined prepared vegetables and toss with dressing. Refrigerate at least three hours before serving. Serves six to eight.
Holiday Recipe – Irish Bread
by Thomas P. Duffy, Jr.
Tom Duffy is a member of the NFB of Massachusetts Board of Directors and editor of the affiliate newsletter. He dug deep into his family recipe files to come up with this favorite for the holiday season or for just about any time. Irish bread is an Irish traditional favorite which is enjoyed today around the world. It can be served at breakfast or with afternoon tea. When served warm, it tastes great with butter. Marmalade or strawberry jam adds an extra touch during the holiday season. It is a very easy item to bake, and people make slight variations from the original. The recipe used here uses oranges, which can be omitted if preferred. Give it a try.
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 stick butter or margarine
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup orange juice plus 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1 cup raisins
(Instead of just 1/2 cup orange juice and the rind, place a whole orange in the blender and add the resulting juice and rind to the ingredients.)
Method: Sift dry ingredients into large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion until mixture looks like corn meal. Add raisins and stir until they no longer stick together. Beat egg, juice, and milk together and add to dry ingredients. Mix well. If the batter is too dry, add a little more milk or juice. Pour batter into well-greased and floured loaf‑pan. Bake at 375 degrees for forty-five to fifty minutes.
Traditionally Irish families bake large numbers of small Irish breads for the holiday season. These are often given to friends and relatives. Just wrap each in foil and place a colorful bow on top. Remember, Irish breads can be frozen and later reheated or toasted in the toaster oven.
Esther's New England Corn Chowder
by Phil and Claire Oliver
The Olivers are long-time members of the Federation. Both are members of the state Board of Directors. This is an old family recipe they would like to share.
6 large potatoes
1 medium onion
1 16-ounce can creamed corn
1 16-ounce can whole corn
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
1-2 tablespoons butter
Method: Peel and cube potatoes. Boil in just enough salted water to cover potatoes. Saute onions in butter until soft, add to potatoes. Cook until water has been reduced to one-half its original volume. Add all corn to mixture. Do not drain corn.
Salt and pepper to taste. Add milk five to ten minutes before serving. Serves six to eight people
Pork Chops with Cumin Rice
by Gloria Evans
Gloria Evans is First Vice President of the NFB of Massachusetts.
3 lean, center-cut pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup each chopped onion and green pepper
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1 cup boiling chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Method: Season chops with salt and pepper. Brown in vegetable oil in skillet 5 minutes on each side over moderate heat. Remove chops from pan and set aside. In a casserole dish place all remaining ingredients. Pour drippings from pan over mixture. Place chops on top and bake at 350 degrees covered for thirty-five minutes. Fluff rice mixture lightly with fork before serving.
by Gloria Evans
1 1/2 boneless whole chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Method: Mix chicken pieces well with all ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Cover and place in refrigerator for two hours. Remove from refrigerator, place in casserole dish, and top with bread crumbs. Place uncovered in 350-degree oven and bake for fifteen minutes. Oblong casserole is best. Serve over cooked rice or noodles. Serves four.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Priscilla Ferris]
by Priscilla A. Ferris
Priscilla Ferris is President of the NFB of Massachusetts. She has submitted recipes to the Monitor as a member of several divisions and hopes that you will now enjoy this very easy but delicious fudge recipe.
18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 13-ounce can of condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Method: Prepare 8-inch pan by lining it with waxed paper, making sure that the paper across the bottom is smooth and that the paper reaches up the sides for removing later. Place morsels and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for two minutes, stirring after one minute. Be sure that all morsels are melted. Remove and add vanilla. Stir to be sure that all ingredients are mixed well. Add the nuts and mix. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set. Lift fudge from pan using the waxed paper edges. Cut into pieces of desired size and enjoy. Any flavored morsel may be substituted, and the nuts are optional.
Jerry Whittle has asked us to carry the following announcement:
Samples 1 and 2 of the Unified English Braille Code (UEBC) are now available for assessment by consumers of Braille. Sample 1, featuring the literary portion of the proposed code changes, was distributed at the NFB convention in Philadelphia last summer. Many people may also have received sample 1 in the mail. If you would like to receive a Braille copy of sample 1 and fill out a questionnaire with your comments about the proposed changes, please contact Kim Charlson, Braille and Talking Book Library, Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472, work phone (617) 972‑7249, e‑mail <[email protected]>.
A Braille copy of Sample 2, featuring the Math and Science changes in the code, may be obtained from Eileen Curran, National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston Massachusetts 02115, work phone (617) 266‑6160, ext. 17; e‑mail: <[email protected]>.
For print copies of both Sample 1 and 2, contact Frances Mary D'Andrea, 100 Peachtree Street, Suite 620, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Phone: (404) 525‑2303, E‑mail: <[email protected]>.
Please be sure to fill out the questionnaire and mail it to the specified address. At the NFB Convention in Louisville, July 2002, special presentations will be made about the proposed changes in the Unified English Braille Code.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
Do you have a Brailler that needs repair? Frank Levine, master mechanic, can get your Brailler up and running. Complete Braille Writer repair services available. Specializing in Perkins Braillers. Reasonable rates, fast turnaround. For more information call Frank Levine (770) 432‑7280, or e-mail <[email protected]>.
Summer Braille Music Intensive for College Students:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians will hold a one‑week course in Braille music and technology at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, for students already studying music in college. Program dates are July 13 to 21, 2002. Topics will include sight reading and learning repertoire from Braille, taking down dictation, and ways to produce theory assignments in print. This is in response to the requests of older students for an opportunity for several hours a day of concentrated study so that they will be able to keep up in classes.
Students should consider this program only if they are already in college or will be starting in the fall of 2002, are fluent readers of Grade II Braille, have some computer experience, have good independence and mobility skills, have had several years of music lessons, and understand the importance of theory and Braille music. Cost of the one‑week intensive is $900; partial scholarships are available. The program is being offered in lieu of the Resource Center's usual Summer Institute for Blind College-Bound Musicians in Connecticut, which will be offered in 2003.
For information about the Summer Intensive for college students, or if you are a younger student or a teacher seeking guidance about resources and preparing for future programs, please contact David Goldstein at (203) 366‑3300, or by e‑mail at <[email protected]>.
Stars and Stripes Pin:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
This wonderful, one-of-a-kind collectible is now available from Christiansen Designs, creator of the world's first line of Braille jewelry, which many have grown to love. In cast brass, this lapel pin is just $15 and can be seen on the <www.braillejewelry.com> Web site. The pin is about one-inch wide and seven-eighths of an inch high. It looks like a waving flag on a flagpole with stars and stripes that can be felt. On the flag are the letters "USA" in Braille. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Questions can be asked and orders placed by calling (802) 295‑2486 or by e-mailing <[email protected]>. If you have a store or are an organization looking for fund-raising opportunities, be sure to ask about selling Christiansen products.
At its January meeting the Seattle Chapter of the NFB of Washington elected new officers for the coming year. They are Josie Armantrout, President; Dan Frye, First Vice President; Bo Donaho, Second Vice President; Renee West, Secretary; Doug Johnson, Treasurer; and Kris Lawrence and Jacob Struiksma, Board Members.
[PHOTO/CAPTION: Michelle Wright]
We received the following sad news from William Harmon, President of the NFB of Nevada:
A great number of you who attended our 1999 National Convention in Atlanta probably remember a presentation given by a delightful young scholarship winner from Las Vegas named Michelle Wright. She talked about her adjustment to blindness and her long struggle with serious health problems. She also described the tremendous obstacles that she had to surmount as she worked to become accustomed to what for her was a completely different way of living. Her presentation was very positive and highly inspiring, and everyone who heard what she had to say that day was moved.
In the course of less than a decade this courageous young woman had to change her college major, her career goals, and her general perspective on life as well as cope with a life-threatening disease. Yet she did what she had to do. At times, when many would have given up and stayed at home depending on the generosity of the social welfare system, Michelle completed her education and began a career as a licensed social worker. She also discovered the National Federation of the Blind and in a very short time made a significant contribution to its ongoing effort to change what it means to be blind. In August of 1998, when some in the Nevada affiliate walked out in anger, Michelle stayed and promised that she would help rebuild the organization. She kept her promise. She served as our state treasurer and worked diligently to recruit new members and to spread the word about our programs and philosophy.
Unfortunately, over the years her health problems became worse: her body rejected the kidney she had received a few years earlier, and she had to endure treatments several times a week while waiting for another kidney. She maintained her work schedule as long as she could and continued to work for the NFB of Nevada. But on the morning of Sunday, December 2, 2001, three days after a fall, she lost her hard-fought battle to stay alive. The National Federation of the Blind of Nevada lost a dedicated fighter for the cause, and I lost a dear friend. We all loved her, and we will miss her. Michelle was deeply devoted to the NFB, and she was proud to tell people that she was a Federationist. May she rest in peace, may her family be comforted, and may all of us carry on with her work.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
Braille 'n Speak 2000, including case and charger, for sale. We seek $600 or best offer. If interested, call Terri Uttermohlen, phone: (410) 433‑3465, or e-mail her at <[email protected]>.
The Resume Workshop:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
TECSO, Inc., developer of educational software for the blind and visually impaired, is launching its newest product, the Resume Workshop, which can generate professional‑quality resumes and cover letters, no matter how new you are to computers.
* Built‑in accessibility using text‑to‑speech narration. Fully interactive and easy‑to‑use tutorial on CD‑ROM.
* Sample resumes and complete walkthrough. Tell Me More feature with contextual information.
* In‑depth discussion tricks.
* Onscreen narrated preview screens.
* Pre‑formatted resume output styles.
* Automated print and export functions.
Place your order now. The cost is $29.95. Contact TECSO, Inc., toll-free in North America: (866) 590‑4218, phone: (514) 590‑4218, e-mail: <[email protected]>, <www.tecso.com>.
Attention Those Interested in Refurbished Computers from the Texas Center for the Physically Impaired:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
During the last several months the Texas Center for the Physically Impaired has received an unusually large number of requests for computers for the blind. We have missed some of our telephone messages, and both training material and computers have become lost or damaged in the mail.
We have also been forced to suspend action on new requests until after July 1, 2002. This will give us a chance to provide a computer for those who are now on the waiting list. When we start accepting requests in July, we will ask for a $100 donation for a Pentium I computer with Windows 98, a demo copy of Window-Eyes, and a computer training tutorial by Dean Martineau.
We regret that we must postpone delivery to those on the list now and cannot accept any new requests until after July 1, but we are preparing and shipping the computers as fast as we can. If anyone on our computer waiting list has not received the training tutorial cassettes or computers that have been shipped, please call so that we can send replacements. Contact Texas Center for the Physically Impaired, Bob Langford, (214) 340-6328. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Free NFB-NEWSLINE Posters:
NFB‑NEWSLINE(®) announces the availability of NFB‑NEWSLINE(r) posters. These colorful posters measure sixteen by twenty inches. The toll‑free number, 1‑888‑882‑1629 is displayed prominently, and there is additional space to add local contact information for NFB‑NEWSLINE.
Please help place these posters at any local agency for the blind, senior citizen center, library for the blind, or anywhere else those who can no longer read newspaper print and who would benefit from this service might learn about it. For more information or to place an order, contact Mrs. Peggy Chong at the National Center for the Blind. Call (410) 659‑9314, ext. 356.
Free Jobline® Posters:
Jobline®, the way to access America's Job Bank using any touch‑tone telephone, announces the availability of Jobline® posters. These colorful posters measure sixteen by twenty inches. The toll‑free number for Jobline®, 1‑800‑414‑5748, is displayed prominently along with the simple instructions for using this service. Jobline® is available to anyone looking for a job.
Please help place these posters throughout your community. Although this program was developed for blind people, it quickly became apparent that anyone seeking employment can benefit from this valuable service. For more information or to place an order, contact Mr. Cobb at the National Center for the Blind. Call (410) 659‑9314, ext. 371.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
I have for sale an American Printing House for the Blind portable, four-track tape recorder, including headphones and plug-in power supply. In addition to regular features, it also has settings for tone, balance, and pitch. Asking $25 plus $5 shipping.
I also have a Captek #1420 Digi-Voice scientific calculator. It serves higher math, engineering, and physics functions. It is fully programmable and can be fully voiced or partially voiced. Hardly used. Original retail $400, now selling for $100.
For more information on these items, contact Dorothy Piel, (201) 599-1860, 287 N. Fairview Avenue, Paramus, New Jersey 07652, e-mail: <[email protected]>.
Italian Dolomite Trek for Women July 27‑August 2, 2002:
Erik Weihenmayer has asked us to carry the following announcement:
World T.E.A.M. Sports invites women of all backgrounds and abilities to join us on this exciting six‑day trek through the Dolomites of northern Italy. We will travel along the Via Ferrate (Iron Route) through the Brenta region, a magnificent range of bold rock towers and spires, splendid cliffs and knife-edged ridges.
The climbing will be challenging but very doable for novices. We encourage able‑bodied and disabled women of all backgrounds and experience to participate. Unfortunately, however, the trails are not wheelchair-accessible.
World T.E.A.M. Sports brings individuals with and without disabilities together to undertake unique athletic events throughout the world to encourage, promote, and develop opportunities in sports for all people. Our team-oriented athletic events coupled with medical and educational outreach programs stimulate the power of learning through participation.
For more information about this amazing opportunity please contact Jenni Gaisbauer at (704) 370‑6070 or <[email protected]>.
New BEP Web Site Launched:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University has created a new Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Web site: <www.blind.msstate.edu/bep/bep.html>. The Web site includes business resources, state program contacts, membership organizations and associations, legislative links, and a marketing video highlighting different types of facilities located throughout the country.
Deep Sea Fishing Club:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
Join the Helen Keller Fishing Club for a day of fishing. The club is now scheduling trips aboard boats for the 2002 season from ports along the North and South Shores of Long Island. This unique club is entering its fifty-fourth season and is known to be the only deep sea fishing club in the United States for men and women who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind.
If you would like to accompany the club for a day of fishing and excitement or want information on becoming a member of the club, contact Walter Bach at Helen Keller Services for the Blind, (718) 522-2122, extension 347, days or evenings.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
I have a one-year-old Braille Blazer for sale for $1400, including shipping. It is in excellent condition, and I have all the instruction manuals and tapes. If you are interested, contact Glenn Levine, member of the San Diego chapter, (760) 839‑2601.
Recipes and Recipe Search Service:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
The Recipe of the Month Club is a new service providing all the recipes you want. For $25 a year you get five recipes a month in the format of your choice‑-Braille, cassette, large print, computer disk, or e-mail. You also get unlimited recipe search and transcription service. Need a recipe in Braille or other format? Let me know, and I'll find it and send it to you. Or send the print copy to me, and I'll transcribe it.
To join, send a check or money order (or Pay Pal credit card through the Internet) for $25 payable to Maureen Pranghofer to Recipe of the Month Club, 4910 Dawnview Terrace, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55422. Any questions: contact me at (763) 522‑2501 or e-mail <[email protected]> or <[email protected]>.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
Braille ‘n Speak 2000 for sale, asking $600.
Fuller Brush products for sale. Book is available on tape. Free gift just for inquiring.
I would also like to know where I could buy 3-by-5-inch cards with six holes and where I could get 3-by-5-inch cards for Rolodex with two holes. Please contact Alice Cresco, (718) 545-1529, (212) 374-8035, or cell: (917) 940-2356.
Candle in the Window:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
Many of us seem to focus almost exclusively on our work, and feel guilty when we think about our play-‑those things we do just because we enjoy them. Candle in the Window, a small national non‑profit organization with the aim of building both individual skills and a sense of community among persons with visual impairments, welcomes blind people with varied experiences to join them at its sixteenth annual conference entitled "The Way We Play: Recreation and Social Interaction of Blind People." We aim to address such questions as what encourages/discourages us from being playful? How can we better interact with sighted people in social situations? How can we develop a more playful spirit? In addition to provocative presentations and stimulating discussions, there will be plenty of time for swimming, hiking, eating, singing, quiet reflection, and just plain hanging out.
The conference will take place from Wednesday, July 24, through the morning of Sunday, July 28, at the Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. The cost is $230 ($15 discount if we receive a $35 non-refundable deposit by June 15); limited scholarships and payment plans are available.
For additional information, contact Peter Altschul at (202) 234‑5234, e‑mail: <[email protected]> Kathy Szinnyey at (502) 895‑0866, e‑mail: <[email protected]> or Jonathan Ice at (319) 298‑2919, e‑mail: <[email protected] >.
The National Association of Blind Students (NABS)
NABS is a division of the National Federation of the Blind. Established in 1967, NABS is an organization of blind high school, college, and graduate students dedicated to securing equality and opportunity for all blind students. Through advocacy and collective action we work to maintain high standards and expectations of education for blind students across the country as we address relevant issues that face us. Such issues include Disabled Students Services offices, relationships between consumers and state rehabilitation agencies, and validation of standardized gateway tests such as the GRE and LSAT.
NABS has a listserv to which we encourage students and parents of blind children to subscribe. Just send a message to <[email protected]>. Leave the subject line blank and write, “subscribe nabs-l” in the body of the message. NABS also offers a semi-annual publication, The Student Slate, which contains articles written by blind students about their experiences because of blindness. We invite students to submit articles.
In addition we meet twice a year—at National Convention and Washington Seminar. At both the annual meeting and seminar we discuss current issues of concern to blind students and hear from fellow Federationists about their success in academia, which often comes with hard work and a sound Federation philosophy. We invite everyone to join us at these meetings. They are not only insightful but full of energy.
The NABS board consists of nine positions. The offices and the people currently serving are as follows: Angela Wolf, President; Jason Ewell, First Vice President; Thomas Phillip, Second Vice President; Kimberly Aguillard, Secretary; Brook Sexton, Treasurer; and Rod Barker, Robin House, Stacy Cervenka, and Allison Hilliker, Board Members.
The Campaign to Change What It Means to Be Blind
Capital Campaign Pledge Intention
City, State, and Zip:
Home Phone: __________________ Work Phone: _______________________
City, State, Zip:
To support the priorities of the Campaign, I (we) pledge the sum of $________.
My (our) pledge will be payable in installments of $ __________ over the next ____ years (we encourage pledges paid over five years), beginning _________, on the following schedule (check one):
__ annually, __ semi-annually, __ quarterly, __ monthly
I (we) have enclosed a down payment of $ ________________
___ Gift of stock: _____________________ shares of _____________
___ My employer will match my gift.
Please list (my) our names in all Campaign Reports and on the Campaign Wall of Honor in the appropriate Giving Circle as follows:
__ I (We) wish to remain anonymous.
Signed: ________________________________ Date: __________________