The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves


N. F. B. Headquarters 2652
Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.






Published monthly in Braille and distributed free to the blind by the American Brotherhood for the Blind,
257 South Spring Street, Los Angeles 12, California.


Ink-print edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind,
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California. Subscription rate --$3. 00 per year.


EDITOR: GEORGE CARD, 605 South Few Street, Madison, Wisconsin.


News items should be addressed to the Editor. Changes of address and subscriptions should be sent to the Berkeley headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind.


Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010
with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)



(September 1958)



by Jacobus tenBroek

Exempt- Income Hike is Blocked by HEW

NFB Resolution (58-02) on King Bill

NFB Resolution (58-04) on Senator Long

AAWB Spokesman Supports King Bill

NFB Testimony and Resolutions on Disability Insurance

HEW Secretary Opposes Missouri-Pennsylvania Plans

NFB Resolution (58-01) on Curtis Bill

by Russell Kletzing

Georgia Federation Holds Annual Convention

Report of W. Va. Federation of the Blind Convention

Renowned Blind Personnel Consultant Visits America

Four More Blind Teachers Gain Employment in the Public Schools

Blind Chemist Receives Superior Service Award

Sundquist Praises NFB Convention

by David Krause

Agenda for Board Meeting


The Travails of a Fund Raiser

The Helpless Blind

Important Civil Service Employment Opportunities

Here and There

Schedule of Fall Conventions




During the week of July 28th the House of Representatives adopted Amendments to the Social Security Act. These Amendments were prepared by the Ways and Means Committee following extended public hearings. The Senate adopted these Amendments on August 16th with a number of modifications. The House concurred in the Senate changes on August 19th.

At this writing, the Social Security Amendments of 1958 await Presidential action. The nature of that action is speculative. Secretary Folsom, before the Ways and Means Committee of the House, strongly opposed any Social Security Act Amendments this year. Secretary Fleming, before the Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Minority Leader Knowland, on the Senate floor, indicated that a Presidential Veto would be recommended unless there were drastic modifications in the Public Assistance changes made by the House. Specifically for the purpose of minimizing these Administration objections, the Senate Finance Committee recommended and the Senate adopted a number of modifications in the House Bill.

As finally enacted by both houses of Congress the changes in the Social Security Act are of considerable importance. A summary of those most closely affecting the blind is herewith presented.

Amendments to the Public Assistance provisions of the Social Security Act

1. The effective date of the new public assistance provisions will be October 1, 1958.

2. The Federal matching formula to public assistance medical care program adopted by Congress in 1956 is combined with the matching formula for other public assistance payments. At present these two formulas are not only separate but quite different.

3. The combination of the two formulas will result in fixing the Federal matching ceiling at $65.00.

4. Public assistance payments will hereafter be matched by the Federal Government not on a basis of payments to individuals but on a basis of the average payment to the entire case load. This is the principle currently in effect for the medical care program. Hereafter it will apply to all public assistance payments. This change in the formula is of primary importance to the States making average payments above the Federal ceiling.

5. As at present the Federal Government will supply four fifths of the first $30.00. Beyond that point, however, there will be a change. The Federal Government will supply from 50 percent to 65 percent of the average payments between $30 and $65. Those States with a per capita income equal to the national average per capita income or above will receive 50 percent. For those States with a per capita income less than the national average, the Federal percentage will range from 50 percent to 65 percent, according to the extent which the State falls below the national average.

6. States will hereafter be permitted to determine for themselves whether to supply cash grants to individuals with which to pay for medical expenses or to make direct payments to the vendors of medical care, or both.

7. An advisory council is established to study the proper relationship between the public assistance programs and the social insurances and the proper role of the Federal Government in the matching formula. The council is required to report its findings and recommendations by January 1, 1960. The council is to be appointed by the Secretary of A. G. W. before January, 1959 and is to consist of the Commissioner of Social Security as chairman and of twelve other persons who shall, to the extent possible, represent employers and employees in equal numbers, persons concerned with administration or financing of the State and Federal programs, other persons with special knowledge, experience, or qualifications with respect to the program, and the public.

8. The cut-off date for Missouri and Pennsylvania is extended from June 30, 1959 to June 30, 1961. At the suggestion of the NFB both the reports of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee omit any intimation that the extension is made in order to provide additional time for Missouri and Pennsylvania to get in line with Federal requirements.

Our affiliates in all of the States will want to be active to see that the new Federal money is passed on to the blind recipients. You should start by talking to your Welfare Department. If it is unwilling to pass on the increase, or says that it cannot do so without legislation, then you should prepare a Bill and be on hand when your legislature next opens its doors.

Those few States which already have an automatic pass-on provision in their State laws are, of course, now at a great advantage. All of our affiliates should attempt to secure an automatic pass-on provision in their State laws.

You may be aided in this campaign by the following quotation from the House Committee report. "The committee considered the possibility of including in the bill language to require the States to use the additional funds made possible under the bill for additional assistance, or for the money to revert to the Federal Treasury, but your committee has not been able to find such a provision that would operate equitably. Your committee believes, however, that the States should make available to the needy as promptly as possible the additional Federal funds made available under this bill."

Improvements in disability protection

1. Provision for monthly benefits for dependents of disability insurance beneficiaries. The present law provides monthly benefits for disabled workers who have reached the age of 50, but no provision is made for their dependents. The proposed benefits for dependents of disabled workers would parallel those now provided for dependents of retired workers.

2. Elimination of the disability benefits offset provision, which now requires that the monthly social security benefits payable to disabled workers be reduced by the amount of any periodic benefit payable to an individual on account of disability under certain other Federal programs or under State Workmen's Compensation laws.

3. Retroactivity for applications for disability benefits and the disability freeze. Under this provision disability benefits, like old-age insurance benefits, may be payable retroactively for as many as 12 months before the month in which the worker applies for them. The provision would thus avoid the penalizing of disabled workers who are slow in filing applications for benefits. The Bill provides for a three-year postponement of the deadline (presently June 30, 1958) for filing fully retroactive disability freeze applications. Under present law, applications for the disability insurance freeze that were filed before July 1, 1958, were fully retroactive--to the actual beginning date of the individual's disability in most instances--thus enabling applicants to preserve their rights under the program even though they had been disabled for a number of years. In the case of applications for the freeze that are filed after June 30, 1958, however, an applicant's period of disability cannot be determined to have begun more than 1 year before the date his application is filed. As a consequence, persons with longstanding disabilities whose applications are filed after June 30, 1958, are likely to be ineligible for the disability freeze and thus are exposed to loss of all protection under the program.

The House Bill would postpone through June 30, 1961, the June 30, 1958 deadline for filing applications for the disability freeze that are fully retroactive. As a result of this change, it is estimated that about 30,000 additional disabled workers could, upon filing application, become immediately eligible for disability insurance benefits; and an additional 10,000 could become immediately eligible for a disability freeze.

The House Bill would also provide that in the case of applications for the freeze that are filed after June 30, 1961, an applicant's period of disability cannot be determined to have begun more than 18 months before application is filed.

4. Modification of work requirement for eligibility for disability protection. Under present law, to qualify for disability insurance benefits a disabled worker must meet three requirements insofar as his work under the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program is concerned. He must be fully insured; he must be currently insured, which means that he must have at least 6 quarters of coverage (about 1-1/2 years of work) in the period of 13 calendar quarters ending with the quarter in which he became disabled; and he must have a total of 20 quarters of coverage (about 5 years of work) out of the 40 calendar quarters ending with the quarter in which he became disabled. At present the work requirements for a disability freeze differ from those for monthly disability insurance benefits in that fully insured status is not required for the freeze.

The House Bill would delete the provisions of present law which require that a worker be currently insured in order to be eligible for disability benefits or for the disability freeze and would make the work requirements for disability-insurance benefits and the disability freeze alike by adding fully insured status as a requirement for eligibility for the disability freeze.

Improvements in old-age, survivors, and disability insurance

1. Benefit payments are increased by about 7 percent. The minimum increase in the benefit of a worker who retired at or after age 65 would be $3.00. The average increase for workers now retired would be about $4.75, effective January 1, 1959.

2. The Dollar ceiling on the total of benefits payable to a family is raised from $200 to $254, which is equivalent to twice the maximum retirement benefit payable.

3. The total annual earnings on which benefits are to be computed is raised from $4,200 to $4,800, effective January 1, 1959.

4. The law is changed to provide that a person whose earnings exceed $1,200 in a year will not lose a benefit under the retirement test for any month in which he has earned wages of $100 or less, rather than $80 or less as under present law.

5. The tax rates now scheduled in the law are increased by one-fourth of 1 percent each for employees and employers, and three-eighths of 1 per cent for the self-employed, above the rates now scheduled, and the scheduled increases in the rates would take place every 3 years instead of every 5 years. The revised schedule would be as follows:


  Employers Employees Self-Employed
1969 and thereafter

back to contents



Proposals in Congress for increased amounts of exempt income by blind recipients of public assistance, as incorporated especially in the King bill (H. R. 8131), have once again fallen short of enactment despite increasing bi-partisan support in both houses.

One prominent reason for the rejection of H. R. 8131 and similar bills was the continuing opposition of the Federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Indirectly expressed in the testimony of HEW Secretary Folsom before the House Ways and Means Committee, in which he categorically rejected all proposals for change in the existing program, the Department's opposition was explicitly set forth in a letter of June 16 from Secretary Folsom to Ways and Means chairman Mills.

Strongly recommending against enactment of the proposal for additional exemptions of earned income under blind aid, the Secretary in his letter based his stand primarily on the claim that the proposal "would, in effect, result in a pension for the blind largely financed by Federal funds." The opposite, however, is true. If a pension be understood in its true meaning of a fixed and permanent payment, the present means-test system of aid--which prohibits all but insignificant earnings and thus perpetuates poverty--much more closely approximates a pension than the proposed policy of incentive exemptions which would reward initiative, gradually lower aid payments as earnings increase, and stimulate blind recipients to become completely free of public assistance.

The Secretary's letter declares further that "An essential characteristic of public assistance programs is that need be determined on an individual basis, taking income and resources into account... The exemption of more income.... is inconsistent with the nature of the public assistance program as supplementary to the individual's resources and income and would increase pressures for exemption of income in the other public assistance titles." Leaving aside the last comment, which is entirely irrelevant to the merits of exempt-income proposals with respect to the blind, this statement displays a conspicuous disregard for the principle already established by Congress in the $50-per-month exemption of earned income. It also demonstrates an equal disregard for the enunciated policy of Congress in incorporating self-support and self-care within the public assistance program as among the needs of blind recipients for which income and resources are to be taken into account. If the needs to be met by the public assistance program are not merely those of bare survival but also of rehabilitation of the blind into normal life and livelihood, then it is clearly consistent with the law that the income and resources of blind recipients be utilized in the effort to achieve these ends.

That the Federal administrators simply do not share the view of Congress that blind people can and should be helped to become useful and productive members of the community is suggested by the flat and unqualified assertion of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare that "The majority of blind persons have no earnings or hope of earnings." No doubt, under the harsh system of means-test aid so jealously guarded by the Federal Administration, blind persons are permitted virtually no earnings or hope of earnings. But it is precisely the recognition that this condition is an effect, rather than a cause, of the public assistance program that has led to demands both in and out of Congress that the interpretation of individual need be modified so as to render feasible the goals of rehabilitation and self-support for blind persons receiving aid. It is noteworthy--and surely deplorable--that the very Department of the Federal Government which is responsible for the administration of a comprehensive program of vocational rehabilitation of the physically handicapped, as well as the programs of public assistance, should hold the contemptuous belief that the majority of sightless persons are beyond hope of personal and economic independence.

back to contents



WHEREAS, the Congress in 1950 established the policy of gearing aid to the blind to the encouragement of recipients to strive for rehabilitation and self-support by exempting from consideration the first $50 per month of earned income in determining need; and

WHEREAS, the Congress made this policy even more explicit in the 1956 amendments to the Social Security Act by expressly declaring the attainment of self-support and self-care to be objectives of said Act; and

WHEREAS, H. R. 8131, now pending in Congress proposes that all blind recipients of public assistance be given incentive by granting them increased exemptions of earned income up to $1000 per year, and that incentive to gain complete economic independence be retained by gradually reducing aid payments to them through the device of taking into consideration only 50% of each earned dollar above $1000 per year; and

WHEREAS, the bill provides that every aid to the blind recipient shall be entitled to possess at least the assessed valuation of $3000 in real and personal property; and additional possessions of real and personal property may be approved for individuals whose individual plans for attaining self-support may require their use; and

WHEREAS, further implementing the self-support purpose, the bill prohibits any public assistance agency from requiring blind recipients to subject their property to liens or to transfer title to their property to these agencies as a condition of receiving aid; and

WHEREAS, the bill also requires that the legal responsibility to contribute to the support of recipients be entirely disregarded in determining eligibility; and

WHEREAS, H. R. 8131 further provides for equal minimum payments to all eligible blind individuals in any State; and

WHEREAS, to provide more adequate assistance payments to the blind, H. R. 8131 raises from $60 to $75 the matching ceiling on Federal financial participation, and provides that the Federal government will pay 6/7 of the first $35 of average monthly payments to recipients instead of 4/5 of the first $30 paid on the average as provided in current law; and

WHEREAS, adoption of the amendments proposed in H. R. 8131 would not only provide more adequate relief from the distress of poverty among needy blind persons, but would also mean that the rehabilitation approach would be placed at the core of the nation's public assistance program for the blind; and

WHEREAS, such a program would eliminate some of the worst features of the discredited means test, the demoralizing effects of which have been attested to by witness after witness before the House Ways and Means Committee in its recent hearings on Social Security legislation;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind, in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts this 6th day of July, 1958

THAT, this Convention declares and directs that it shall be the continued policy of the National Federation of the Blind to give whole-hearted support to all of the provisions of H. R. 8131, and the officers and directors of the National Federation of the Blind are instructed to do all things possible to obtain approval of the Congress of the Revisions of Title X of the Social Security Act which are set forth in H. R. 8131; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this Convention again express to Cecil R. King of California the deep appreciation of all the organizations affiliated in the National Federation of the Blind for his insight into the true nature of the needs and problems of the blind and for his continued efforts to secure enlightened improvements in public welfare programs for the blind.

The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 6, 1958.

back to contents



WHEREAS, on May 28, 1958 Senator Russell Long of Louisiana and others sought enactment of a provision which would enable the states more adequately to provide financial assistance for needy persons by increasing the federal financial share in public assistance grants by $7.50 in a total grant of $70 or more; and

WHEREAS, increase in public assistance payments at least partly to offset the sharply increased costs of living is urgently needed to maintain recipients of public assistance on even the barest level of subsistence; and

WHEREAS, Senator Long has for years taken the leadership in the struggle for increased grants of public assistance to needy individuals;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts this 6th day of July, 1958

THAT, this Convention extend its warm commendation and appreciation to Senator Long and others for their continued efforts in behalf of this nation's needy citizens.

The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 6, 1958.

back to contents



Support for the provisions of the King bill--calling for increased exemptions of income and property, a fixed minimum grant, and abolition of relatives' responsibility in aid to the blind--was expressed last June in testimony submitted to the Kouse Ways and Means Committee by George E. Keane, chairman of the legislative committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind. The statement was not delivered by Mr. Keane in person but was submitted in written form to the committee during its hearings on Social Security amendments.

The testimony marked a distinct advance in the thinking of the AAWB, which in the past has shown outright opposition to abolition of the means test and related principles looking toward independence and self-support for the blind.

It is regrettable that the AAWB statement suggests no equivalent change in the traditional claim of the organization that it "speaks for the blind," although it is not a blind people's organization elected by the blind to represent them but an association of social workers serving the blind. "We of the American Association of Workers for the Blind," reads the statement with apparent modesty, "cannot speak for other handicapped persons than blind ones...." This is not quite correct; the AAWB has equally as much right to speak for other handicapped persons as it does for blind ones!

One other questionable feature of the Keane testimony is the assertion that title X, dealing with the blind, "has been implemented in every State, and with the exception of two has been working extraordinarily well." If the present program has worked so extraordinarily well, it is difficult to understand why the King bill or any other modifications should be needed. Moreover, in the "two states" where it has assertedly not worked well-- i.e., Pennsylvania and Missouri--the reason is that the states concerned have adopted separate programs of their own which incorporate many of the constructive provisions of the King bill.

Despite these doubtful aspects, the AAWB testimony is more nearly consistent with the philosophy of the organized blind than has often been the case; it shows remarkable progress on the part of the Association, and its endorsement of the Federation-sponsored measure, H. R. 0131, is heartily to be welcomed. Referring specifically to the King bill, the statement declares that "The comprehensive and sweeping changes suggested by Mr. King, we believe, would serve as a spring-board from which a significant number of blind persons might move into self-supporting programs, either of self-employment or placement through established rehabilitation services."

With reference to disability benefits under title II, the AAWB statement also proposes (1 ) "a floor.... of at least $1,200 a year of exempted earnings before the benefits under the OASI disability provisions are discontinued," and (2) elimination of the age limitation (presently 50 years) as a condition of eligibility for disability benefits.

On the latter point, the statement observes: "We can see no logical reason whatever, either in terms of rehabilitation or of the nation's economy, for setting the arbitrary age of 50 years as the time for this benefit to become operative.... Blindness, after all, is no less a disability at 21 than it is at 50 years of age; and, in fact, its impact on the very young may be far more severe than on those who have had some opportunity to develop assets and security for themselves."

back to contents



In his statement submitted on behalf of the National Federation to the Senate Finance Committee hearings on Social Security Amendments early in August, President tenBroek gave attention to proposed changes in the disability insurance system and placed in the record three resolutions adopted by the National Federation at its 1958 convention. The following is a portion of his testimony:

"We wish to commend the House Ways and Means Committee for the improvements in the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance system which it has incorporated into H. R. 13549, and to express our support particularly for the new provisions for disability protection, including benefits for dependents of disability insurance beneficiaries, elimination of the disability benefits offset provision, retroactivity for applications for disability benefits and the disability freeze, and modifications in the work requirements for eligibility for disability protection.

"We submit, however, that there are still other areas of inequity in the protection against disability which require the attention of Congress. Three of these in particular are of immediate urgency: (1) the need for provision of disability benefits to blind persons with a minimum of six quarters of coverage under the disability insurance system, without regard to their earnings after establishment of eligibility and the commencement of benefits; (2) the need for elimination of the 50-year age limitation in order to provide true social insurance for all disabled workers regardless of age; and (3) the need for a more realistic definition of disability under the current program and for a drastic reduction in the coverage requirements establishing minimum qualifications for eligibility to receive disability benefits.

"With your permission, we should like to incorporate in the record three resolutions dealing with the above matters which were unanimously approved by the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., on July 7, 1958."


WHEREAS, there is a great need for a liberalization of the definition of disability applied to applicants for disability benefits under the current disability insurance program and for a drastic reduction in the coverage requirements establishing minimum qualifications for eligibility to receive disability benefits; and

WHEREAS, there should be included in the disability definition the wholly rational and realistic provision that an individual with a medically determinable disability shall, in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, be deemed to be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity if, solely by reason of having such an impairment he is unable, as a practical matter, to obtain employment; and

WHEREAS, provision should be made to enable individuals with a medically determinable disability and a demonstrable inability to find employment because of the existence of the disability to become eligible for disability insurance benefits if they have six or less calendar quarters of coverage under the disability insurance system;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts, this 7th day of July, 1958

THAT, this Convention finds and declares these changes to be in the best interests not only of blind persons but of all physically handicapped individuals; and that the officers of this organization and its affiliates are urged to press for legislation to carry out the liberalized definition of disability and a reduction in the period of coverage required.


WHEREAS, the disability insurance provisions of the Social Security Act initiated by Congress in 1956 deny disability benefits to otherwise eligible persons who have not attained the age of 50 years; and

WHEREAS, restriction of benefits to persons who have reached age 50, but who have not yet attained the age of 65, confines the disability insurance program to characteristics better resembling an early retirement system than a provision for social insurance against the hazards of disability which may be faced by people of any age; and

WHEREAS, a minimum age provision is indefensible in a disability insurance program when it deprives individuals under the minimum age of benefits even though they may have made, over their working lives, contribution to the Disability Trust Fund far in excess of the minimum needed to qualify for benefits; and

WHEREAS, it is now generally recognized that the requirements for eligibility for disability payments are far too restrictive and, therefore, the Disability Trust Fund has accumulated a large surplus;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts this 7th day of July, 1958

THAT, this Convention strongly endorses the elimination of the 50 year age limitation in order to make the program fulfill its original intent to provide true social insurance for disabled workers.


WHEREAS, there is urgent need that individuals with severe impairment of eyesight who have been medically determined to be blind should be eligible for disability insurance benefits if such individuals have a minimum of six quarters of coverage under the disability insurance system of the Social Security Act; and

WHEREAS, benefits should be due and payable to such disabled individuals who are blind without regard to the level of earnings which individuals receiving such benefits are able to achieve at any time following the establishment of eligibility and the commencement of benefits; and

WHEREAS, such a system would provide to the blind a basic protection from the threat of poverty and deprivation while at the same time the system would enable and encourage recipients of benefits to make their way in the world as productive and useful human beings;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts, this 7th day of July, 1958

THAT, it is the conviction of this Convention that the loss of financial security which in our time is still the gravest accompaniment of blindness and the greatest impediment to the attainment of full and rewarding lives by our fellow blind, would in very significant measure be removed by a system which would provide disability benefits to blind persons who have a minimum of six quarters of coverage under the disability insurance system and without regard to the level of earnings achieved after the establishment of eligibility and the commencement of benefits.

The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 7, 1958.

back to contents



The bitter and unyielding opposition of officials of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the dual blind-aid programs of Missouri and Pennsylvania was given its most recent expression in mid-June in a letter from the Department Secretary to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during the committee's hearings on the 1958 Social Security Amendments.

The letter sought not only to forestall any permanent solution of the Missouri-Pennsylvania problem but even to prevent a further two-year extension of the expiration date on the programs from June 30, 1959, to June 30, 1961.

The letter dealt explicitly with proposals contained in H. R. 12269, introduced by Representative Thomas B. Curtis of Missouri, and similar bills, aimed at preserving to the states their right to provide improved welfare programs for the blind financed wholly from state funds while continuing to receive federal contributions for those recipients eligible under the more rigid federal requirements. The proposed legislation would permit Missouri and Pennsylvania to retain their distinctive aid programs and allow other states to adopt similar programs if they should choose to do so.

As in the past, the central argument advanced by the Secretary of HEW for his resistance to this solution of the problem is that the proposed legislation in effect provides a permanent federal subsidy to the federally ineligible state programs. Because this contention is so remarkable as to seem unbelievable on its face, it may be well to quote the exact language of the Secretary's letter.

If the solution incorporated in the Curtis bill were to be enacted, the letter states, "the Federal Government would be in effect, subsidizing the supporting pension programs for the blind on a permanent basis in the States that now have such, or in any State that subsequently wishes to establish one. The subsidy and support comes about because the only way State pension programs for the blind can be maintained along-side of, or as an adjunct to, an aid to the blind program under title X, without a considerable expenditure of State funds, is by diverting for Federal financial participation those cases in their pension programs which meet the income-and-resources requirement under the Federal Act."

The remarkable aspect of this argument is the blithe contention that the Federal Government is "subsidizing and supporting" state programs when in actual fact the federal contribution is limited strictly to those cases which are eligible under the federal Act. Not a single additional penny is paid out by the federal government than would be the case if the state had no other program of its own. Not even the Department of HEW, it should be noted, is able to maintain that the federal government bears any part of the actual cost of the separate Missouri and Pennsylvania state programs. What is argued, rather, is that without federal participation in the federally eligible cases the state would perforce need to spend more money on its blind program--and that accordingly, in this peculiar sense, the federal government is indirectly "supporting" the independent and distinctive activities of the State. It should be immediately clear that, by this logic, the federal government is equally "supporting" all state programs and services, in every field of activity, whenever it contributes to one such program through joint federal-state agreement.

The attitude of the HEW officials in this case, as in others related to public assistance, is in sharp contrast to that of the House Ways and Means Committee as set forth in the committee's report accompanying H. R. 13549, the 1958 Social Security Amendments Bill. The latter report consistently emphasizes the desirability of leaving to the states, as opposed to the federal government, broad latitude of discretion and choice in the implementation of the public assistance provisions of the bill. Thus the committee report states, for example, that by one of its proposed changes a state may decide the extent to which it wishes to pay for medical care by giving the recipient money to pay for his own care or by making a payment in his behalf to the vendor of medical care. Similarly, another provision of the proposed amendments "would enable the States to increase the payments to individuals receiving aid as needed or to give assistance to additional needy people." In other words, the State's right to exercise its choice in the administration of its public assistance programs is given deliberate and unmistakable emphasis. Yet, under the federal policy with respect to the Missouri-Pennsylvania plans, this same right of choice and option is categorically refused by the federal administrators--even where a state is supporting a program entirely from its own funds and without federal contribution.

This fundamental question aside, the Secretary's letter wholly misconceives the nature of the Missouri and Pennsylvania programs and mis-states the purpose of the proposed federal legislation. The latter, it is said, "would make it possible for the states to provide, either under one program or as two programs, assistance to needy and non-needy blind individuals...." This is simply not the case--unless the class of "needy" blind is restricted to those whose earnings are no more than $50 per month. Both Missouri and Pennsylvania set maximums on the earnings of a recipient that may be exempted from consideration ($175 in Missouri, $148.33 in Pennsylvania)--maximums which, while more liberal than that allowed under the Federal Act, still rest upon a definition of need entirely consistent with modern welfare conceptions of decency and health. One is forced to the conclusion either that the Department of HEW is misinformed about the basis of the Missouri-Pennsylvania plans or that it still adheres to the medieval definition of need as synonymous with total destitution.

Moreover, the position of the federal officials is flatly contradictory of the self-support and self-care provisions written into the 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act. If self-support and self-care are recognized as needs to be met by the public assistance program, and earnings and other income are accordingly devoted to meeting them, then these provisions of the separate Missouri and Pennsylvania plans are clearly within the overall plan of public assistance approved by Congress through the 1956 Amendments. Thus it might reasonably be contended that these state plans are themselves in conformity with the Act. The solution proposed, however, does not insist upon that. It simply provides that the states should be allowed to support such programs entirely from their own resources.

The Secretary in his letter also draws an incorrect inference regarding the purpose of the Curtis bill and other legislation to provide a permanent solution to the Missouri-Pennsylvania problem. "In enacting the Social Security Act," he writes, "the Congress adopted the principle that the Federal Government would support aid to the blind as a program of assistance to the needy blind administered by the States. Congress decided against giving any support to blind pension programs. The public assistance titles of the Social Security Act are not based on a pension philosophy. We believe that is sound and should not be altered." The inference plainly is that the proposed solution calls for a change of this policy, by asking Congress to give support to pension programs and to ignore considerations of need. But none of these inferential charges is true! Congress is not asked to give support to the state programs, but on the contrary is requested to leave them alone. The state programs do not ignore considerations of need. The proposed legislation does not contemplate or seek any alteration whatsoever in the established Federal policy of public assistance. Once more it is necessary to conclude either that the Department of HEW has been seriously misinformed about the state programs or that it has chosen for reasons of its own to disregard their actual provisions.

back to contents



WHEREAS, Representative Thomas B. Curtis of Missouri has introduced into Congress H. R. 12269, providing that state plans for aid to the blind shall be approved if they meet all other federal requirements, even though the state also provides out of its own funds additional assistance based on a more liberal concept of need than that permitted under the Federal standards; and

WHEREAS, under H. R. 12269 and similar bills, the states would be permitted in determining need: 1) to disregard amounts of income in excess of the $50 per month of earned income permitted under the Federal law; and (or) 2) to disregard property owned by a recipient in excess of that permitted by Federal Standards; and (or) 3) to pay to all eligible persons a flat monthly grant; and

WHEREAS, under this legislation, the Federal government would be required to contribute only to the same extent as would be the case if the Federal requirements were strictly adhered to; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of this legislation would enable states to experiment with new methods and new concepts oriented toward total rehabilitation and the integration of our blind citizens into the economic, social and cultural life of the nation; and

WHEREAS, this legislation would bring Federal public assistance policy into conformity with the growing Congressional and general emphasis on rehabilitation of the disabled as embodied in the 1950 amendment exempting $50 per month of earned income from consideration in determining need and by the 1956 amendments making self-support and self-care explicit objectives of the Social Security Act; and

WHEREAS, the state of California has for many years had a more liberal state financed program of aid to the partially self-supporting blind which has not prevented the Federal Social Security Administration from contributing to the regular aid to the blind program and which has resulted in encouraging and enabling blind recipients to achieve self-support; and

WHEREAS, the state of Colorado has an old age assistance program which provides for eligibility at age 60 instead of age 65 as required by the Federal standards, the program being financed solely by the state with respect to recipients between the ages of 60 and 65, which program has been approved by the Federal administrators; and

WHEREAS, the assumption by the Federal Social Security Administration of the Authority to dictate to the states with respect to the expenditure of state funds is a wholly unwarranted interference with the rights of the states; and

WHEREAS, the passage of H.R. 12269 or similar bills could not possibly cost the Federal government one cent of additional expenditures and would in fact result in a saving to the Federal Government by enabling a substantial number of blind aid recipients to achieve self-support and so to become free of the necessity of seeking public assistance; and

WHEREAS, unless this action is taken now, the states of Missouri and Pennsylvania will be faced with a choice of either abandoning their more liberal state programs or being cut off from Federal funds by June 30, 1959, at which time the provisional and temporary approval accorded the programs of these states expires;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled, that it unqualifiedly endorses H. R. 12269, earnestly urges the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives to report it for favorable action and calls upon the Congress to enact it into law during this session.

The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 6, 1958.

back to contents



By Russell Kletzing

Last March, Manuel Urena applied for a job as Employment Security Trainee. Urena is a graduate student at the University of California in Berkeley. The job is the beginning professional position in the California State Department of Employment and pays $358 a month. Urena was refused permission to take the written examination because he is blind. His appeal was heard before the State Personnel Board on August 9.

In California, blind persons are allowed to compete on an equal basis for many civil service jobs in state agencies doing work for the blind. In some cases the laws provide that blind people shall have an equal opportunity, and in some work, such as rehabilitation of the blind, blind people have demonstrated their superiority to such an extent that they fill nearly all of the placement positions.

The situation is quite different in competitive positions not involving work for the blind. I know of only two blind people holding such state positions in California. I believe that most other states follow the pattern of California, and in some of them blind people are barred even from work for the blind.

Competitive civil service in state employment represents a large and untapped area for employment of the blind. It offers mainly clerical and professional jobs with a high degree of security. As in the case of Federal Civil Service, these jobs will not be opened up without a concerted, positive effort on the part of the organized blind o f each state.

The efforts of our California Council of the Blind began under the leadership of Dr. Newel Perry with the support and passage of a law. It is a good law, and it is worthy of study by every state affiliate. It is contained in section 19701 of the Government Code, which reads:

"A person shall not be discriminated against under this Part because of total or partial blindness unless normal eyesight is absolutely indispensable to do the physical acts to be performed." This is as strong a law as can be enacted, since it forbids discrimination unless eyesight is absolutely indispensable . Its enactment was a beginning, but it did not prove to be enough.

Before coming back to the Urena case, let me tell you about three earlier cases that we handled successfully. If he meets the minimum qualifications, an applicant for a state job in California first takes a written examination. If he passes the written test, he has an interview with a three-member board where he is rated on experience and personality factors in relation to other applicants. If he passes both the written and the oral parts of the examination, he next goes onto the eligible list. Applicants are certified to vacancies from this list, working from the top down. At any stage of the proceedings, an adverse ruling may be appealed to the Personnel Board. With this brief outline, let us look at the cases.

In the first of these cases, I was the applicant as well as the attorney; as a matter of fact, it was my first case of any kind after finishing law school. The position was Junior Budget Analyst. (Of course, this was not the so-called "Kletzing case" discussed in What Is the National Federation of the Blind, for that involved a federal rather than a state position.)

The job was in the entrance class for the preparation of budgets in the State Department of Finance. There had been no difficulty in arranging to take the examination with a reader, and I passed both the written and the oral, but fairly well down on the list. Later, however, my name was removed from the list. The job involved review of budgets, statistical work, preparation of graphs and tables, and inspection of state property. The argument was that a blind man could not do these things. We argued that, with a reader paid for by the blind employee, he could do all of them. It certainly had not been shown that sight was absolutely indispensable as required by the law. Only on the job could a blind or a sighted man really prove that he could do it successfully. The decision of the staff was appealed to the State Personnel Board. The hearing was held in December, 1949. The statement I presented was prepared in close collaboration with Dr. tenBroek, and the late blind Assemblyman Ernest Crowley appeared with me in support of the appeal. A few weeks later the Board ruled in our favor. In the mean-time I had started work as an attorney for the Federal Government.

The next case was that of Ralph Walters, also a Berkeley graduate student. Early in 1956, he was denied admission to the written examination for Correctional Classification Officer I, although he met all the qualifications. This again was the beginning job, with work being in a prison or other correctional institution. The duties consist of interviewing the inmates, examining their records, and making recommendations as to the type of institution in which they should be confined and the like.

In preliminary contacts with the staff of the Personnel Board, we learned that the objection to the blind man taking the test came from the Department of Corrections, and if we could convince the people there the Personnel Board would go along. We therefore arranged an appointment with the Director of Corrections.

The Corrections people made three arguments. First, they said that the job required reading that a blind man obviously could not do. Walters offered to pay his own reader. Second, the records are confidential and cannot be taken home to read. We pointed out that arrangements could be made to do the reading at the institution. Third, they argued that the job would be dangerous for one who could not see the convicts. We pointed out that discipline is a matter primarily of personality, not of observation, citing the examples of blind teachers in the public schools.

We then proposed a compromise solution which the Director of Corrections and the staff of the Personnel Board accepted. Walters would take the written examination and, if successful, he would try out the job with a reader for a few days. The trial would be before the oral interview.

As it turned out, Walters did not pass the written examination. The blind certainly have the right to fail, and like sighted people will sometimes exercise it! The story has a happy ending, however, for Walters went on to get a teaching credential, and this Fall he will start a teaching job in a public school at a salary of better than $5000 a year.

Although we had passed a law and won cases, there were still virtually no blind people in state jobs except in work for the blind. We in the California Council inaugurated a program to convince the Personnel Board that it should have an active program for placing and recruiting blind workers. We gained the support of a legislative interim committee that was interested in reducing the public assistance rolls. We pointed out that blind people did not even apply for beginning state jobs, either because they expected rejection or because they did not know about the openings. We in the Council agreed to get information to blind people if the Board would work on educating its staff and other state agencies. The State should be a positive rather than a negative example to private industry in employing blind workers.

These discussions culminated in the introduction of a bill that would have established a position on the staff of the Personnel Board to promote employment of handicapped workers by the State. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass in the 1957 legislative session. The Personnel Board's staff has taken the position that it will do nothing until such a position is established. It would be far better to have such legislation limited to employment of the blind so that, as so often happens, they will not be overlooked while handicapped workers with simpler problems of employer education are placed. This phase of our work represents an unfinished chapter.

The third case arose during the 1957 legislative session when the State Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation had a driver's license requirement added for the general Rehabilitation Officer job. Those holding such jobs place handicapped workers other than the blind. A series of conferences failed to sway the inflexible attitude of the Rehabilitation chief. Of course the requirement of a driver's license would bar blind applicants from competing for general rehab jobs. The attitude that the blind cannot perform these general, competitive jobs would indicate a limited understanding of blindness that is inconsistent with maximum rehabilitation effort. We pointed to blind employees performing exactly the same kind of work in rehabilitation for the blind; sight could not be absolutely indispensable.

When discussion failed, we asked for a hearing before the State Personnel Board which was to be held last December. Apparently, as the hearing date approached, Rehab became convinced that it would lose. Also the Personnel Board staff took an enlightened view of the situation, and must have urged Rehab to compromise. The case was settled by- eliminating the driver's license requirement. The Personnel Board staff would handle cases on an individual basis in consultation with the Council, and keeping in mind that sight must be shown to be absolutely-indispensable.

Returning to the Urena case, he was denied examination for a job in the Department of Employment. It is a counter job for processing applicants for employment or unemployment insurance. Only a minute or two can be spent on each case. Again it was the agency rather than the Board that was responsible for the action against Urena. Its main arguments are that even with a reader, a blind person cannot do the high-speed job as effectively as a sighted employee and that a reader would be prohibited by the confidentiality requirement. We relied on the absolutely indispensable requirement, on demonstrating that Urena can do certain typical tasks such as typing entries on a printed form, and that confidentiality does not preclude a reader. So as to eliminate the case-by-case contest, we asked the Board to establish a policy that all blind applicants for professional and clerical positions shall be admitted to written examinations if otherwise qualified. The decision of the Personnel Board may be forthcoming in a few weeks--or only after several months.

Based on our California experience, what kind of program appears best calculated to open up competitive state employment to the blind?

First, legislation should be sought barring discrimination against the blind in the strongest terms.

Second, blind people should be encouraged to apply for all state jobs for which they can qualify. If they are rejected, a strong argument for the legislation is available.

Third, in case of rejection, the case should be taken up with the state agency that will be the employer in an effort to win it over. If this fails, an appeal should be taken. The blind applicant, with proper legal assistance, must play a large part in the negotiations of the appeal if they are to be successful. If the administrative appeal fails, resort should be had to the courts in a strong case.

Fourth, coincident with these activities the cooperation of the state personnel agency should be sought in establishing a positive program for the employment of the blind by the state. The establishment of a policy of automatic admission to written tests should be sought. If the personnel agency does not cooperate, additional legislation or legislative resolutions are in order.

We are only in the middle of a program such as this in California. If these steps can be carried to completion in California or any other state, I believe that an important field can be opened up for the employment of blind workers.

back to contents



The Third Convention of the Georgia Federation of the Blind was held at the Georgian Hotel in Atlanta on August 2-3. With this convention the Georgia Federation really came of age. Its first and second conventions had been held at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in connection with the meeting of the alumnae association and had been for only one day each. This year the convention was a two-day meeting held in an Atlanta hotel. Approximately 150 members attended, and a new chapter was accepted. This makes the fifth chapter for our Georgia affiliate--which now has local organizations in Atlanta, Macon, Bainbridge, Griffin and Augusta. The Augusta chapter is the new affiliate.

Kenneth Jernigan, 2nd Vice President of the NFB, and David Krause were on hand for the convention. At the banquet on August 2, Mr. Jernigan delivered an address entitled, "The Organized Blind Movement in Perspective." He traced the historical developments of organizations for and of the blind, and discussed the future of the Federation.

At a special luncheon on August 3, David Krause talked about NFB philosophy. Both his address and that of Ken Jernigan were enthusiastically received.

Walter McDonald did his usual job of superb chairmanship of the meeting. He was re-elected President by acclamation. Other officers elected were:

Gerald Pye, Macon, Georgia, 1st Vice-President;
John W. Love, Ringgold, Georgia, 2nd Vice-President;
Roy R. Bradley, Washington, Georgia, 3rd Vice-President;
Larry Carpenter, Washington, Georgia, Secretary; and
Mary Sue Phillips, Atlanta, Georgia, Treasurer.

Elected to the Board were:

Jack Cato, Atlanta, Georgia;
Oliver Mixon, Augusta, Georgia; and
Jerry Pye, Macon, Georgia.

The by-laws were amended to provide for a two-year term for the officers and a three-year term for the Board members.

Other speakers included were Mr. Beverley Gaines, Head of Georgia's Rehabilitation Program, and other officials of the Rehabilitation Program and Welfare Department. Lt. Gov. Ernest Vandiver spoke at a special luncheon on August 2.

A total of four resolutions criticizing discrimination and inaction by the Georgia State Vocational Rehabilitation Division and the State Department of Welfare were unanimously approved by the convention. President McDonald, in presenting a resolution calling on the rehabilitation division to hire more blind workers at better salaries, pointed out that only three of 18 counselors in the state rehabilitation program are blind persons. He indicated their salaries range from $4,100 to $4,700 per year with "very little travel expenses," while sighted counselors receive pay as high as $6,780. Declaring that the three blind persons hold the title of "placement specialist" but are actually doing the same work as the "counselors," the GFB president stated that in his opinion all 18 of the workers should be blind persons.

"The entire spirit and purpose of rehabilitation for the blind is negated and undermined by this apparent lack of faith in the abilities and potentialities of the blind," the resolution stated. It called on rehabilitation officials to "re-examine their actions and to adopt a policy in keeping with the true spirit of rehabilitation."

Other resolutions adopted by the Federation delegates asked:

1. That the State rehabilitation division eliminate or reduce the percentage deduction from vending stand operators ranging from two to 11 percent. The resolution states that the purpose of the program is "not to pay the salaries of public officials."

2. That the policy of hiring sighted persons to operate some of the vending stands be discontinued.

3. That no sighted workers be employed in the state's factory for the blind on jobs which can be done by blind workers, and that "at least a minimum wage as prescribed by law be paid...." This resolution pointed out that 94 of 226 workers are sighted, although the state subsidized the factory in an amount over $100,000 for the sole purpose of employing the blind.

back to contents




The annual Convention of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind, Inc. was held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, Clarksburg, W.Va. A Board of Directors meeting was held at a Breakfast at the Hotel at 9:00 A.M.

Following the opening session of the Convention, a motor caravan escorted Dr. tenBroek from the Clarksburg Airport. Among other guests at the convention were John Taylor, Executive Secretary of the NFB and Frank Lugiano, President of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind.

The Banquet was held at 6:30 P. M. with our National President as the first speaker who thrilled all present with his eloquent speech. This was the first time West Virginia has been honored with his presence. Another first for us this year was our next speaker, Cecil Underwood, Governor of West Virginia, this being the first time a Governor has appeared before our convention.

Following the banquet, a dance was held.

A Memorial Program was held on Sunday morning, conducted by our able Chaplain, Charles Bumgartner.

The final business session was held and election of officers occurred Sunday afternoon. The following officers were elected:

President--C. ChrisCerone, Wheeling
1st Vice President--Clifford Bohrer, Martinsburg
2nd Vice President--Charles Bumgartner, Parkersburg
Secretary--Mabel Griffith, Wheeling
Treasurer--Arthur Chapman, Charleston
Financial Secretary--Alton Slater, Charleston
Chaplain--Mrs. Martha Slater, Charleston
Delegate to National Convention--C.Chris Cerone
Alternate Delegate--Charles Ellis, Charleston

back to contents



A distinguished European blind man visited President tenBroek at his office at the University of California, Berkeley, last month. He is Dr. Leo G. Fuchs, who is in this country as a British representative on a mission for the European Productivity Agency. Dr. Fuchs has earned singular educational distinction. He has a Ph. D. in History from Marburg University, a Ph. D. in Economics from Vienna and an M. A, in Psychology from London University. He took three Teacher's Diplomas in Austria; one for elementary education, one for senior education and one for the education of the blind.

From 1923 to 1938 Dr. Fuchs was a teacher in a private institution for the blind in Vienna, which accepted Jewish blind children from all European countries where they could not get education because they were Jews. In 1938 he fled to England to escape the Nazis. In 1943 he started to work in British industry as a training instructor, and the next year accepted a position with Phillips Electrical Industries as a training officer. One of his duties was to study the employability of the blind in radio manufacturing organizations. The training methods which Dr. Fuchs developed for the blind he later applied on a broad scale to the sighted. Phillips Electrical Industries in England now employs 46 blind persons, the greatest number of any company in Britain. In addition to his industrial career, Dr. Fuchs is a professor in Social Psychology and Personnel Management part-time at the University of London Extension Department and with three technical colleges in the London area.

back to contents



Three additional blind persons have recently secured teaching positions in the California public school system. The three are: Ralph Walters, who has received an appointment as a teacher of social sciences at a Shasta County California high school; Mrs. Dolores Allado, appointed as teacher of English in a public school at Napa; and Don Ericksen, who has just been named to teach the sixth grade at the Rea School in Costa Mesa.

Another Californian, Dr. Barton Cooper, who obtained his Ph.D. degree in Philosophy from the University of California in June, 1957, has secured a full-time position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

An outstanding example of the imagination and initiative displayed by numerous individual Federationists in this continuing campaign to open up teaching opportunities for qualified blind persons in the public schools is to be seen in the dramatic demonstration staged by Jack Polston, well-known member of the California Council and the National Federation, on behalf of his friend, Don Ericksen. The following account is taken from a front-page story which appeared (under a three-column headline and picture) in the Costa Mesa (California) Globe-Herald on July 18:

Some doubt has been thrown on the accuracy of the usual derogatory adage about the 'blind leading the blind.'

In fact, Costa Mesa school trustees Wednesday night seemed generally convinced the blind might be capable of leading the sighted quite effectively.

Jack Polston, 33, of 326 East 22nd Street, Costa Mesa, appeared before the board to urge the hiring of a friend who had applied for a job as a teacher.

Polston is an electrician. He is blind.

His friend, Don Ericksen, 35, Arlington, is a teacher. He is blind.

Ericksen has submitted his application for a teaching job in the seventh and eighth grades in Costa Mesa. He was educated in Garden Grove High School, La Sierra College, Riverside Junior College and the University of Redlands.

Polston, as articulate as he was spirited, wanted to convince the board a blind person could be as good--and sometimes a better--teacher than those with sight. He had a recording of a meeting of a blind teachers' association in which the participants were telling others how they handled their job.

'I'm not just asking you to hire my friend as a teacher,' Polston said. 'If this man is qualified on all the grounds you would expect of a sighted person I want you to hire him. Just give him a hearing.'

'He's doing a great job, a better job than some teachers we now have--but I'm biased.'

The Recording was illuminating. A woman teacher in San Leandro told of how her children were taught in a different manner, thus learning different values. She said the children helped her to her chair, didn't say, It's over there,' but took her to it and said, 'Here it is.'

'The child must tell me verbally what he is thinking,' she said. 'I can't assume what he's thinking. In arithmetic they must tell me where they place the numbers when they do their work. If they can put it into words I know they understand it. And they've learned long division faster than ever before.' She explained that 'by verbalizing it the children make the learning more of a mental process.' In physical education classes the children watch her signals with her cane. 'I assume that they are people and can watch me. I reserve my whistle for the animals,' she said.

She pointed out the children soon learn to answer 'yes' and 'no' rather than shaking their heads. 'They know I have a healthy respect for them and they return it. They get a sense of responsibility and consider it a privilege to help me. It's a form of punishment if I don't let them help me. They feel left out. The children don't regard me as peculiar or different and I find I have not had the difficulty I had as a sighted teacher.'

The blind teacher said she never had umpired a game 'although I consider blindness one of the qualifications of a good umpire.'

Also on the recording a male teacher from Temple City said he tried to 'teach the class to discipline itself rather than vice versa.'

Polston explained that blind teachers simply hire readers to prepare for their classes and to grade papers. Polston said Ericksen was all these things and more. "I'd like to have him considered on the grounds of his teaching ability. I'm an electrician and people have been reluctant to give me a job. They wonder how I can do my work. I know he's running up against the same kind of blank wall I have.'

Trustees told Polston the seventh and eighth grade positions were filled at Rea School. It was pointed out Rea School Principal Jack Puffinbarger had interviewed Ericksen and recommended he be considered for a fifth or sixth grade teaching position. Polston, who met Ericksen while both were undergoing training at a state school for the blind in Oakland, said his friend didn't want to teach the lower grades.

'Maybe if he took a job in our system for a year in a lower grade he could step into the higher grades when our new junior high opens next year,' said Trustee Al Ogden.

Superintendent Carl Boswell pointed out no decision had yet been reached on Ericksen's application.

'I think a teacher like this is what our seventh and eighth grades need,' said Mrs. Don Stevens, 162 22nd Street, Costa Mesa, who identified herself as an 'interested mother.'

Don Ericksen spoke for himself on the application in the hands of the Superintendent: 'I like teaching because it provides me with a challenge I must work to meet.'

'The game is not over,' said Board President Selim Franklin.

back to contents



Dr. William G. Bickford, outstanding blind chemist and Federation member of Metairie, Louisiana, has been honored with the Award for Superior Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for his "pioneering research" in the field of chemistry.

Dr. William G. Bickford, outstanding blind chemist and Federa- tion member of Metairie, Louisiana, has been honored with the Award for Superior Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for his "pioneering research" in the field of chemistry.

Dr. Bickford, who is associated with the Federal Department of Agriculture, lost his sight well along in his professional career but clearly has not permitted blindness to interfere either with his work or with his participation in the cause of the organized blind. Now a member of the Louisiana Federation of the Blind, he first learned of the National Federation and its achievements in reading advance announcements of the 1957 convention at New Orleans. He decided to attend the convention, and immediately thereafter became one of us through membership in our Louisiana affiliate.

The warm congratulations of all Federationists go to Dr. Bickford for his achievement in receiving the Superior Service Award and for the personal example of accomplishment he has set for all of us.

back to contents



The following is a report on the Boston convention of the Federation delivered to the California State Social Welfare Board on July 25 by Perry Sundquist, Chief of the Division for the Blind of the State Department of Social Welfare:

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Board:

It was my privilege earlier this month to attend the National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind and the Director of the Department has suggested that you might be interested in a brief report of the Convention.

There were about 800 persons attending the Convention in Boston from July 4 to 7, including official delegations from 45 States and representatives from all 48 States, speaking directly in behalf of some 40,000 blind men and women of this country. Here at Boston the people's movement convened to thrash out some of the more major current problems confronting the blind. Some of these problems were:

The Right-to-Organize Bills pending in Congress--introduced by Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts and Congressman Baring of Nevada, and by 60 of Congressman Baring's colleagues in the House. These measures are necessary to implement basic constitutional guarantees, since blind persons have repeatedly been discouraged, sometimes not too gently, from joining organizations of their own choosing. It is a sad commentary on the activities and views of some agencies for the blind in this country that these measures should be necessary.

The King Bill which would make certain desirable liberalizing amendments to Title X of the Social Security Act.

The Curtis Bill which would allow States to establish wholly state-financed programs of Aid to the Blind with more generous grants and exemptions than the Federal authorities now permit.

In addition to the foregoing concerns, springing from the urgent desire of blind men and women throughout the nation to secure solid implementation of not only the self-support and self-care provisions of the Social Security Act, but also to overcome the ancient stereotypes as to blindness, the Convention was continuously occupied along the whole front of enlarging the economic opportunities available to blind persons.

The conduct of this large Convention was the most democratic I have ever observed. While the Chairman, through his own skill and understanding, would not permit the work of the Convention to become bogged down in any maze of parliamentary maneuver, every person present had his innate right to an expression of his views safeguarded, and the entire authority of the whole movement flowed directly from the Delegates on the floor of the Convention.

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek was re-elected President of the Federation and at the end of his current term he will have completed twenty years as both the active executive and President of the National Federation of the Blind. I think it is only fair to advise you, Members of the Board, that Dr. tenBroek is not only the active leader of this movement--in a very real sense it has been his dynamic personality and great interest which have caused the Federation in eighteen short years to sweep across the land to become the one voice of the blind speaking for all the blind of this country. In all probability the founding and phenomenal growth of this grass-roots movement will be the most significant event of the 20th century in the long and, at times, painful history of the blind. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

back to contents




(This is the eleventh in a series of articles written for a St. Louis newspaper by Jack and Alma Murphey and David Krause. David Krause is the author of this installment.)

Television, radio, newspaper and magazines are constantly spelling out the evils and the unfairness of racial and religious prejudice. And because the majority of Americans believe in fair play, slow but sure progress is being made in breaking down the barriers imposed by these prejudices. It is of a different type of prejudice that I would like to speak in this article.

I refer to the prejudice against blind people that still survives today. I know that the typical reaction to this statement is the reply that "This is ridiculous! I am an average member of the sighted public and I certainly have no prejudice against blind people. Why, in fact, it is quite the opposite. I feel the very deepest sympathy for blind people. I think they should all have good pensions and be taken care of." It is just because so very few people believe there is such a prejudice, and almost no one will admit that he himself is guilty--that what we are up against here is even more difficult to combat than racial or religious prejudice. "Prejudice," as Webster defines it, is "the pre-judging of people or things without factual information on which to base such judgement." Certainly blind people are confronted with this day in and day out.

When one of us tries to rent a place to live, he is frequently told that he cannot rent a particular room or apartment because the landlord is afraid he might get hurt or that he might burn down the property while cooking or tending the furnace.

When he tries to get a job he finds this prejudice cropping up time and time again. The majority of employers in this country will not even consider hiring a blind person. This despite the demonstrable fact that any plant or office employing fifty people or more has at least one job in its operation where sight is not indispensable and which a competent blind person can perform as well as one who has sight. Employers who have hired blind workers frankly and willingly endorse the caliber of their work, their loyalty to the firm, their dependability on the job, and their rather special talent for building high moral among their fellow workers.

Most of us, at one time or another, have entered restaurants or bars as customers, only to be greeted with "We don't need anything today." The assumption being, of course, that if we are blind we must be selling something or begging.

These are all examples of situations which nearly all blind people must face and deal with, and they are the result of prejudice in its most baffling, frustrating and damaging form. These are examples of pre-judging without factual knowledge on which to base such judgments. Those who are governed by this particular form of prejudice refuse to consider blind people as individuals. Their attitudes and their conduct continue to be based on stereotyped concepts. They are unwilling or unable to think in terms of the abilities and disabilities, the likes and dislikes, the talents and dispositions of individual blind people.

This sort of prejudice cannot be stamped out by legislation. Only a full-fledged, continuous campaign of public education, aimed at bringing about a more realistic understanding of the problems of blindness and blind people, can some day put an end to this type of prejudice. The blind themselves, individually and through their organizations, must assume and continue to bear the main responsibility for this campaign. It must be directed primarily towards the sighted, but it must reach also those among our own people who have themselves come to accept the stereotype because they have heard so often that they are all alike in their helplessness and dependency. No part of our program, at the local, the state, or the national level, is quite so vital as this educational campaign. It is the only method by which we can eradicate a prejudice which is the cause of the real handicap of blindness--a handicap which, in its social and economic consequences, is just as real, just as damaging, and just as unfair as the economic and social handicaps caused by racial or religious prejudices.

back to contents



Occasionally I have heard questions raised as to the real importance of meetings of state Boards of Directors--whether there was really anything important for them to do and whether the expense of meetings between conventions was justified. Especially in newly organized states, Board members themselves seem to be in some doubt as to what they are to talk about when they do meet. I have just received a copy of the agenda to be followed at a meeting of the Board of Directors of our Washington State affiliate, to be held on July 30. I do not recommend that all state organizations prepare a Board meeting agenda on the gigantic scale of this one, but I think this Washington agenda may contain some suggestions and stimulating ideas and is therefore of sufficiently general interest to be worth publishing here. Take a long breath and here we go!

Financial Policy and Practices. Planning for largely increased income. Annual budgeting: Annual officer appropriations, Officer reports and refunds, Regular meetings, Fixed activities, Special activities, Publishing financial statements. Treasury procedures: Forwarding checks to secretary for mailing. Secretarial records: Classified expenditures for internal revenue and for NFB reporting. Auditing: Officers responsible, Al? committee records included, Publication or distribution. Direct assistance to locals: Aiding specific projects, General sharing with all locals, Sharing according to income area, State trust fund for locals, Controlling spending of public funds. Donations: Guide dogs for the blind, The Braille Monitor, NFB endowment fund. WSAB Endowment Fund. WSAB activities funds: Western Washington summer camp, Home for the aging blind, Rural home visitor, Research projects, Low vision aids clinic, Others.

Meetings. Conventions: Business or propaganda, Three or four days, Time of year—before or after NFB, Officer reports and nominations. Board meetings: One or two days, Time for conferences among members and between state and local officers, Speakers and demonstrations. Regular executive committee meetings: General planning, Specific administrative problems, Confidential discussion. Standing committees: State-wide meetings, Supervision of local committees. State-wide president meetings. State-wide secretary meetings. Clinical seminars.

Membership and Voting. O. R. C. B. amendment. Representing non-member blind. Individual W.S.A.B. membership: Voting by number of members--Unit rule, Individual, Proxies, Non-local members voting. Absentee balloting: Convention, Board, Polling board by mail. Convention elections: Roll call; Secret ballot--Pencil markings, Machine, Shaped objects. Convention motions, seconds, and voting: Meaning of Bylaws Art. VII Section 6, Motion and second by voters only, Voice permitted to all.

General Procedures. Local reporting to enable servicing. Uniform fiscal and election periods. NFB delegate a board member, NFB officer at conventions. Notice of new business: To come before the convention--To all delegates, to all locals; To come before the board--To all locals, To all board members; Amount of time; By whom given; What kinds of business. Long or short minutes. Distribution of minutes: To board members, To presidents or secretaries. Obser- vance of convention resolutions: Written reports, W.C.W. materials orders through state chairman, Officer records and files.

Activities. Direct assistance to blind generally: Appliances and services, Home visiting, By local committees, By paid employee, Salary or expenses. Programming for the aging blind: Research, Special committee, Participation in general committees, Home for. Summer camp: Western Washington, Expanded use of existing one. Educational films. Others.

back to contents



The name of the second-president of the Virginia Federation of the Blind was incorrectly spelled in the July Monitor. The name is William Wirtz.

Mr. Robert Graves, of Lakeland, Florida, has announced his candidacy for the lower house of the Florida Legislature, and not for Congress, as was incorrectly stated in our July issue.

back to contents



For a glimpse into the personality of the Federation's fund raiser, Mr. Bernard Gerchen, here is an excerpt from one of his recent letters to our president:

"With a sense of resignation and a complete lack of joy and enthusiasm I agree to meet with you in the hot, humid and sticky city of St. Louis on the banks of the ugly and muddy Mississippi River. You have stated that a meeting is neccessary and I agree, it is in you to do this thing (in St. Louis!) and I comply but how long, oh Lord, will I be subjected to meetings in such places!

"I respectfully direct your attention, oh noble president, to my willingness and ability to meet and work in charming, cool and delightful San Francisco and Oakland--with fond and warm memories of your gracious home and such gilded palaces as Ernie's, Trader Vic's and the Mark Hopkins Hotel, I feel that it is a very real imposition upon ray time and good nature to have meetings in my own home town. All right! It is your request and my duty and I will abide with the issue. We will all meet in 95 degree and 80 percent humidity in this foul pest-hole that laughingly passes for a city of civilized human beings. In the event that we all end up with malaria as a result of meeting in this swamp you and you alone must stand responsible before God and man....

"In the unlikely event that my mental distress softens your iron resolution and granite heart and you decide to call the meeting in San Francisco, I would appreciate having at least twenty minutes advance warning so that I can get out to the airport! If we must meet in St. Louis you will be happy to know that I have recently laid in a fresh supply of salt tablets and atabrine...."

back to contents



From the C. C. B. Outlook: "Dr. Guggi, one of the best-known rheumatologists in Vienna if not in all Austria, is completely blind. One day 30 years ago, when Dr. Guggi was practicing medicine in his native Styria, in southern Austria, his car was crushed in an accident. The doctor escaped with his life, but both his optic nerves had been damaged, and he left the hospital completely blind ....

"Despite his blindness, he went back to work. He took up medical massage, studied in Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and London, and on his return to Vienna opened an office for the practice of electro-therapy and medical massage. Thanks to the examination of numerous patients and to considerable laboratory research, he developed a personal technique of rheumatotherapy.... Dr. Guggi's hands 'see' on a patient's body what sighted persons and even instruments are often unable to discover.

"Neither his blindness nor his 66 years prevent Dr. Guggi from playing the piano, skating in winter or mountain climbing in summer. Accompanied by his wife, his daughter, or various friends, he has climbed a number of summits in the nine-thousand-foot category, and that makes him particularly proud."

The All Florida Weekly Magazine in its June 8 issue told the story of "A Man with Courage to Spare"--32 year-old Robert J. Kirk of Hollywood, Florida, who is the successful proprietor of a pet shop despite the loss first of his sight and more recently of both legs. Reports the writer: "I watched him with admiration as he maneuvered his wheel chair out of the back room through the doorway and into his neat-as-a-pin shop. One minute he was waiting on a customer, next he was signing for goods delivered.... Before I could catch my breath, he was back behind the counter at the other end of the store, putting away his stock. When that was finished, he began sweeping the floor. First, he wielded his long broom brush from his wheel chair and then got down on his knees to scoop up the dirt. He grinned broadly at my gasp of amazement. 'When I want something done, I up and do it myself,' he said."

In another article on August 3, the All Florida Weekly Magazine featured the success story of Carmen Bruno, owner and operator of 37 Bruno's Candies, a new and modern confectionary near Fort Pierce, Florida. After losing his vision through glaucoma in the 1930's Mr. Bruno was subsequently stricken with an arterial infection which confined him to his bed for several months. Instead of giving up in despair, the article reports, Mr. Bruno "used those days of physical inactivity to exercise his mind. While Mrs. Bruno struggled with the (family) business, Carmen learned Braille--and it opened a whole new field for him. He studied business, English and French, and learned to type....

"In 1952 (the Brunos) opened a small road-side Candy shop north of Fort Pierce. In less than three years, they had increased their staff by four seasonal workers and opened a branch in a downtown store. Two years ago they moved into an ultra-modern glass-front store with an attractive display room that might well be the envy of any city confectioner. More than 50 kinds of candy are produced in the air-conditioned kitchens...."

back to contents



An amendment to announcement No. 55 Local which will admit blind persons for the first time to positions as telephone switchboard operators in the federal service will be released shortly by the U. S. Civil Service Commission. This important development is the result of more than 2-1/2 years of joint effort and research by the National Federation of the Blind and the U. S. Civil Service Commission. The amended announcement will admit blind persons to the classification on both one and two-position boards equipped with the Braille attachment. At the present time, only the Braille attachment has been approved rather than the light-detecting device which has been the subject of some experimentation.

A minimum of one year of experience on a switchboard equipped with a Braille attachment will be necessary for admission to the examination. The available positions will be GS-2, $3,255 per annum, and GS-3, $3,495 per annum. After increments the maximum salary for these positions will be GS-2, $3,825, and GS-3, $4,065. A recent survey revealed the existence of more than 550 such positions under the operation of General Services Administration and certain other agencies of the federal government, but exclusive of military installations, installations operated by the Veterans Administration, Metropolitan Washington and certain other federal activities.

For full details concerning the next examination in your locality for the position of telephone switchboard operators, contact the nearest Civil Service Regional Office. Once eligibility on a civil service register has been established, you are urged to seek the assistance of the individuals who have been designated as Coordinators for the Employment of the Physically Handicapped by the various federal agencies.

The Braille attachment for telephone switchboards is now available and can be installed within two weeks after placement of such a request. For full details concerning the availability of this equipment, please contact the company providing local service, or the Washington Office of the National Federation of the Blind, 1908 Que Street, N. W., Washington 9, D. C.

This significant stride forward on the part of the federal government can well be the forerunner of similar action by state, county, and municipal governments throughout the Nation. It is not unrealistic to expect that through prompt and effective action in this direction literally thousands of switchboard positions can be opened to blind men and women.

back to contents



Dr. Samuel Konefsky, blind assistant professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, New York, and author of three well-known books on the Supreme Court, was a summer visitor to the Pacific Coast, dividing his time equally among the libraries of the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of California at Los Angeles. One of the founders and former president of the Blind Professional Association of America, Dr. Konefsky has completed a year at the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies and is returning there this Fall for an additional year. One of his books, "The Legacy of Holmes and Brandeis," has recently been transcribed into Braille by the Library of Congress. His other works are: "Chief Justice Stone and the Supreme Court," and "The Constitutional World of Mr. Justice Frankfurter."

Dr. Kingsley Price, associate professor of Philosophy and Education at Johns Hopkins University, a distinguished author and lecturer who is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, will be in Berkeley, California, on sabbatical leave during the Fall of this year.

Miss Mary Eunice French, retired Home Teacher, died in Esmond, Rhode Island, in April, at the age of 86. Miss French, one of the first two Home Teachers in the U. S., retired in 1946 after 42 years of service. She was president ten times of the Eastern Conference of Home Teachers for the Blind, and for more than 20 years was corresponding secretary of the Perkins Alumni Association.

The World Council for the Welfare of the Blind now estimates that there are 9,497,704 blind people throughout the world. The figure is based on an average percentage of 358 blind persons to each 100,000 of general population. The blind population assumed to be living in rural areas: 7,033,716. The blind population possibly able to be actively employed: 3,637,011. The blind population possibly able to be employed in rural work: 2, 138,772. Some countries count only those who are totally blind, and some only those who have one or two percent vision. If all countries used the U. S. measuring stick, the world total would probably be nearer 14 or 15 million.

John Wilson, Executive Director of the British Commonwealth Society for the Blind, estimates that there are at least 660,000 blind children in the world, of whom 500,000 probably live in rural areas. He believes it unlikely that more than six percent of them (40,000) are being trained.

The Minnesota Bulletin, Braille magazine of the Minnesota Organization of the Blind, is just entering its 24th year of uninterrupted publication. It has maintained a consistently high standard, and we congratulate our Minnesota people on having and keeping this fine Braille journal.

From The Gadfly (a publication of The Great Books Foundation): "Recording for the Blind, Inc., a non-profit organization which provides free educational service to blind persons throughout the United States, has since 1954 had some records of the first five years Great Books readings available for the blind.... By the end of 1958, they will have completed the full sets (of the complete six years of reading lists). Thus blind persons this Fall may join any Great Books group in any of the first six years of the program and be assured availability of the full set of recorded readings....

"The Foundation hopes that the availability of these recorded readings will inspire group members and leaders to seek to bring blind persons in their communities into the groups.... For further information on the readings, write to Recording for the Blind, Inc., 745 Fifth Avenue, New York 22, New York."

From the Florida News-Journal: "In Daytona Beach, Florida, recently opened is the world's first Museum of Art for the Blind. Here for the blind to study, handle and 'see' are museum certified reproductions of the priceless sculptures from world-famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre, the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art....

'Although the museum is open to everyone, it is planned for the convenience of the blind. The pieces of sculpture are placed at easy handling height, bolted in place so they will not topple over. The white cans of the blind may be hooked over the raised rail which outlines the outer edge of the long stands on which the figures are placed. The history of each figure is written in Braille.

"Selection and arrangement of the figures has been carefully planned to aid the blind in the recognition of the different materials from which the sculpture was formed; to help in correlating the different ages and cultures, and to simplify comparisons between the realistic and abstract forms of art." The newspaper story states that the museum was the inspiration of Henry Saltzman, artist and instructor of Daytona Beach, and is sponsored by the local chapter of B'nai B'rith.

More than 130 blind Chinese have left Red China and taken up residence in the next-door Portugese colony of Macao during the past few months, according to a news dispatch in the Berkeley, California, Gazette. The refugees reportedly indicated that the Reds had banned begging and obstructed their practice of the traditional blind trades of massage, fortune-telling and street singing--while doing nothing to find them other employment. Balked until recently in their efforts to get exit visas, the blind Chinese were abruptly granted "one-way exits" in April and told to leave the country. Evidently, the refugees were said to have complained, there is no place for the blind in Red China's socialist "Leap Forward Movement."

The Braille Monitor salutes the Canadian National Institute for the Blind on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. In a glowing tribute to its Director (who has served uninterruptedly since 1920), Mrs. Sadie Bending, President of the Canadian Council of the Blind and Editor of the CCB Outlook, says in part: "Space does not allow an elaboration of the many and valuable services extended to Canada's blind. But the story is fascinating. All of it has been made possible through the dedication and resourcefulness of Lieutenant-Colonel Edwin Albert Baker, M. C., O. B. E., (Croix de Guerre), B. So., LL. D., and his co-workers,... His was the pioneer task of training and rehabilitating, not only war veterans, but all of the nation's sightless...."

The Canadian Council of the Blind will hold its 14th annual convention at the Walper Hotel, Kitchener, Ontario, August 18-21. This organization has just added its 65th local affiliate.

From the June Ziegler: "Jansen Noyes, Jr., partner in the firm of Hemphill, Noyes and Company, New York investment house, was elected President of the American Foundation for the Blind on April 16, to succeed the late William Ziegler, Jr. Mr. Noyes has been treasurer of the American Foundation for more than eleven years; is vice-president of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and is secretary-treasurer of National Industries for the Blind."

From the Eyecatcher (New York): "Victor Roty, of Buffalo, has been elected second vice president of the American Blind Bowling Association.... The Tri-Boro chapter (metropolitan area) realized a net profit of about $300 on its spring dance.... Pete Roidl, Wilbur Webb and Albert Wylaz have each been re-elected president of their respective chapters--Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester."

From a Member in Texas: "I am a member of the Houston chapter of NFB and have been receiving the ink print copy of the Braille Monitor . It is not convenient to get someone to always read to me so I got down to work and learned to read grade two braille. By being able to read the Monitor in braille, I can keep up to the minute on the news of my organization.

"Please send me the Braille Monitor in braille from now on instead of the ink print copy.

"Thanking you in advance for this change, I beg to remain...'

Organizing Pays Off: Stanhope Pier, permanent member and chairman of the legislative committee of the Oregon Council of the Blind, and Charlcie Woodward, (better known as Woodie), also a member of the Oregon Council, were married August 12th. Stan and Charlcie discovered each other while organizing the Yamhill County Chapter of O.C.B., the ninth and most recent chapter of the Oregon Council.

All bachelors (men and women) should take note and throw themselves into Federation organization work with more ardor! Congratulations Stan and Woodie! The Piers will live at 1431 S. W. Park Avenue, Portland.

"BLIND SET EXAMPLE IN ZEAL AND ABILITY:" From The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, July 8, 1958, by Robert A. Wilkin, Staff Writer of the Christian Science Monitor.

"The annual national convention of the National Federation of the Blind, held this year in Boston's Hotel Somerset, may long stand as a bright example of how a convention should be run.

"It began within minutes of the scheduled starting time on Friday morning, adjourned at 5 p.m. 'on the nose' on Monday. In between, a vast amount of resolutions and orders pertaining to the more enlightened integration of this minority into society was discussed and voted upon.

"Who make up the National Federation of the Blind? The 700 delegates and friends convening over the long Fourth of July holiday represent just about the same cross section of American activities as any other 700 persons. At the convention were farmers, nuclear physicists, lawyers, factory workers, craftsmen, independent businessmen, housewives and schoolteachers."

California leads all states in the number of free sporting and fishing licenses issued to blind anglers, according to midseason figures released by the California State Fish and Game Commission. The number for 1958, as of July 30, was 395. Figures from the other eight states which grant free licenses under a variety of limitations indicate that California is leading the other states numerically by a rough estimate of nearly 300 percent. The issuance of free licenses in the state was first proposed by 78-year-old Joseph Stephens of Paradise, California, a member of the Butte County Council of the Blind, which initiated the action. The licenses are issued upon application accompanied by an affidavit certifying blindness. (We are indebted to Roy Goodwin of the Butte County Council for this information.)

Miss Pecola L. Husband writes from Chicago: "A new club, 'The Crusader,' has been organized for the spiritual uplift, intellectual and social development, and economic liberation of the Negro blind of the state of Illinois. Our meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month. The club is interested in hearing from as many blind Negro citizens as is humanly possible. For further particulars please contact Miss Pecola Husband, 1543 South Avers Avenue, Chicago 23, or by telephone at: Lawndale 2-1065."

From Albert Wylaz, Rochester, New York: "On July 6 at Boston's Somerset Hotel, a meeting of stand operators was held at which it was decided to form a Merchants Association in affiliation with the NFB. This association was subsequently recognized by the parent organization. The temporary chairman of the new group is Mr. Glen Hoffmann, 4154-104 Street, Cleveland, Ohio, and I am secretary. Since our immediate problem is membership, I hope that all interested NFB stand operators will contact me: Albert Wylaz, Central YMCA, Rochester, New York."

President tenBroek's 1957 convention banquet address, "The Cross of Blindness," already reprinted in Vital Speeches, September 15, 1957, has now received an additional accolade. It is to be included in a book of essays to be published shortly by Harcourt, Brace and Co., for use primarily as a college textbook. President tenBroek's address was selected, according to one of the editors, as "a model of persuasive discourse."

Excerpts from the Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, 85th Congress on Social Security-Legislation;

Mr. King. "Mr. Chairman, I do not believe there is a gentleman in our great State that enjoys a greater esteem than does Dr. tenBroek. As members of the committee know, he has appeared here before, and I believe you will agree that no one has presented a more understanding and precise statement than he has on past occasions in behalf of the country's blind citizens.

"I am sorry, Doctor, that you had to come back again on virtually the same chore upon which you previously appeared, but one of these days we will get going on this meritorious measure."

Dr. tenBroek. "I will be back as many times as necessary, sir...

Mr. Reed. "I would like to say just a word. I cannot recall a time when any witness before this committee has made a deeper impression on me than you have made in your splendid and inspiring presentation.

"I thank you very much."

Dr. tenBroek. "Thank you, sir."

Mr. Forand. "If there are no further questions, Doctor...."

Mr. King. "I would like to concur in every word that Mr. Reed has said."

Mr. Forand. "We thank you, Doctor. You have made a very fine presentation. You have not only pointed up the shortcomings of existing law, but also have recommended remedies to those shortcomings.

"For that, we thank you."

Dr. tenBroek. "Thank you, sir."

The Wyoming Association of the Blind held its annual White Cane Week drive April 27th through May 4th. Since this is just a State Association, no chapters, we tried to distribute candy as much as we could to the parts where members were interested enough to sell and work hard. Cheyenne came through on top with 64 cases of which the President of the State affiliate sold 40. Laramie sold seven cases, which ran next. Medicine Bow, Torrington, Gillette, Casper, Laramie, and Cheyenne are the cities participating in this drive. (Moorcroft was another small town in the series.) We sold in the large buildings and many clubs here in Cheyenne. We did very little house-to-house selling. We have sold out. We sell much better doing it that way. We sold day and night; just whenever we could get into a certain place to sell. Our profits were good, and we sent a portion of these profits into the National White Cane Committee. We have had much success with selling these boxes of assorted chocolates, wrapped for Mother's Day purposes, and at one dollar per box. Many ask us months before we begin to sell it if we are going to have the candy to sell again this year.

Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Adult Blind was held this year at the regular place on Casper Mountain. It was held from July 5 to July 18. Many crafts were taught and much recreation went on too. The Wyoming Association for the Blind held its July meeting at Casper Mountain on July 13. We had had no financial participation in this summer school before, so we voted to give a generous donation to this cause since most of the blind of this State benefit from it.

back to contents



Date Organization City Hotel
Aug. 22-24
Gem State Blind
Twin Falls, Idaho
Hotel Rogerson
Aug. 30-31
Tennessee Federation of the Blind
Nashville, Tenn.
A. Jackson Hotel
Sept. 4-6
Washington State Association of the Blind
Everett, Wash.
Monte Christo Hotel
Sept 13-14
Oregon Council of the Blind
Portland, Ore.
Washington Hotel
Sept. 18-20
Nevada Federation of the Blind
Las Vegas, Nev.
Elwell Hotel
Sept . 19-20
Kentucky Federation of the BLind
Louisville, Ky.
Kentucky Hotel
Sept. 26-28
Kansas Association for the Blind
Wichita, Kan.
Sept. 27-28
Missouri Federation of the Blind
St. Louis, Mo.
Melbourne Hotel
Sept. 27-28
North Carolina Federation of the Blind
Asheville, N. C.
George Vanderbilt Hotel
September 27
Associated Blind of Massachusetts
Northampton, Mass.
Hotel Northampton and Wigging Tavern
Oct. 3-5
Indiana Council of the Blind
Terre Haute, Ind.
Terre Houte House
Oct. 4-5
Louisiana Federation of the Blind
New Orleans, La.
Oct. 11
Colorado Federation of the Blind
Denver, Colorado
Oct. 18-19
New Jersey Council of Organiza- tions of the Blind
Trenton, N. J.
Stacy Trent Hotel
Oct. 18-19
Empire State Association of the Blind
Rochester, N. Y.
Hotel Powers
Oct. 18-19
Ohio Council of the Blind
Canton, Ohio
Oct. 25
Wyoming Association of the Blind
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Oct. 25-26
Arizona State Association of the Blind
Yuma, Arizona
Oct. 30 - Nov. 1
California Council of the Blind
Los Angeles, Cal.
Alexandria Hotel
Nov. 8 - 10
Alabama Federation of the Blind Mobile
Mobile, Ala.
Battle House Hotel

back to top