MARCH ISSUE - 1959
INK PRINT EDITION
VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.
THE BRAILLE MONITOR
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
Inkprint 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.
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National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
THE BRAILLE MONITOR
MAINE BECOMES FORTY-SIXTH NFB AFFILIATE
THIRTY-TWO CO-SPONSORS IN SENATE; FORTY-TWO JOIN BARING IN HOUSE
BLIND WELFARE IN AUSTRALIA
By D. B. Hunter
ANOTHER FEDERATIONIST RECEIVES COMMUNITY RECOGNITION
By John Taylor
THE BIG PUSH
CLOSED MICROPHONE EXAMINATIONS
ARIZONA BLIND MOURN BENEFACTRESS
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION RECEIVES HIGH HONOR FOR SERVICE TO HANDICAPPED
ANOTHER STATE SURVEY
HERMAN KLINE QUITS IN COLORADO
NEW YORK AFFILIATE GIRDS FOR REAL LEGISLATIVE BATTLE
HADLEY SCHOOL ACCREDITED
THE PLUS FACTOR
By Josef G. Cauffman
TALKING BOOKS MAY BE SHRUNK
ARKANSAS NEWS RELEASE
TO OUTLAW STATE RESIDENCE LAWS
BLIND TEACHERS EMPLOYMENT BUREAU
ALL ABOUT NEWEST NFB STAFF MEMBER
LITTLE RUTHIE ENDS BLIND COUPLE'S WORRY OVER BECOMING PARENTS
NEW ENGLAND SEMINAR
By Alaric G. Nichols
THE HELPLESS BLIND
FROM OUR READERS
THIRTEEN TO ONE
MORE ABOUT THE SANTA FE CONVENTION
By Joe A. Salazar
PROGRESS REPORT ON LOUIS BRAILLE MEMORIAL FUND
By Florence Lee Jones Cahlan
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IS A RIGHT
BREAKDOWN OF 1957 OVR CLOSURES
HERE AND THERE
NEW KENNEDY STATEMENT
On Monday evening, February 9, at the home of Mr. Frank C. Baker in Augusta, the Maine Council of the Blind was formally organized. It immediately applied to become the Maine affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. This action was taken after the adoption of a constitution and after a reading and thorough discussion of the NFB Affiliate Standards. The following officers were elected, all from Augusta: Mr. Frank C. Baker, President; Mr. Joseph C. Cobb, Vice-President; Mrs. Joseph B. Kahili, Secretary and Mr. John J. McGreevy, Treasurer.
A great deal of credit is due to two ardent, young New Hampshire Federationists, Franklin Van Vliet and Edward Vachon, who were present at the organization meeting. This was the second trip they had made into the northernmost of the New England states within a period of a few weeks.
It is expected that the Maine Council of the Blind will soon have at least two additional chapters. A group is already in existence in Bangor, whose leader has been an All-Story and Monitor reader for years and expressed enthusiasm for the NFB when I visited her two years ago. The third chapter will undoubtedly be organized in Portland and quite possibly one or two others may follow.
Organization of the blind people of Maine is not a simple or easy job. The population is relatively sparse and there are few cities which would ordinarily be considered large enough for chapters. Another obstacle has been the existence of a moribund organization of the blind, the membership of which is composed mostly of employees of the sheltered workshop in Portland, which, so far as I have been able to learn, has done absolutely nothing of a constructive nature. It seems to be controlled by a very small group, which has been either too timid or too lethargic to do anything except mark time for lo these many years. In some way this organization accumulated a treasury which is reported to amount to something over $20,000 but the money has been allowed to remain idle and when I first approached some of the Board members to discuss possible affiliation, I am certain they were deeply suspicious that the NFB might try to get its hands on their precious treasury. Recently another Portland organization, controlled by sighted do-gooders, has reportedly entered into some sort of a one-sided arrangement, under the terms of which they may be able to milk the treasury of the workshop organization.
In the past four years Charles Little, of Boston, has made one organizing trip into Maine and I have made three. Mr. Little was there without a car but he made a heroic attempt to see as many Portlanders as he possibly could and succeeded in establishing cordial relationships with a number of them. On my first and third trips my time was too limited to accomplish much of anything. The other time I fell violently ill. I have kept up a more or less continuous correspondence with Maine people but it took the drive and enthusiasm of Van Vliet and Vachon, with the active aid of Mr. Baker, to bring about actual organization of the 46th state affiliate.
Frank C. Baker, the newly-elected President, has not been blind so very long but he has quickly grasped the fact that only through their own organizations can the blind hope for real and substantial progress. He is no longer a young man in the matter of chronological age, but within him the vital spirit of youth is still definitely there. He has courage, energy and imagination and he has vision, in its most important sense. Above all he has that rare and illusive quality which we call leadership.
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As we reach our deadline, (February 16), developments bearing on our "Right of the Blind to Organize" legislation are coming thick and fast.
Congressman Walter Baring introduced H. R. 14 at the very beginning of the present session. Last month we reported that 20 other Congressmen had introduced parallel bills. That number has now more than doubled. 42 of Congressman Baring's colleagues have now lined up with him--and there are additions almost every day. Those who have been added since the last report are: Clement J. Zablocki, Wisconsin; H. R. 2813; Alvin M. Bentley, Michigan, H. R. 2730; Roland V. Libonati, Illinois, H. R. 2897; John H. Dent, Pennsylvania, H. R. 2993; George Huddleston, Jr., Alabama, H. R. 3017; John L. McMillan, South Carolina, H. R. 3032; Chester E. Merrow, New Hampshire, H. R. 3040; Morgan M. Moulder, Missouri, H. R. 3047; George M. Grant, Alabama, H. R. 3172; Albert H. Quie, Minnesota, H. R. 3198; Chat Holifield, California, H. R. 3309; Dean P. Taylor, New York, H. R. 3376; Arch A. Moore, Jr., West Virginia, H. R. 3491; Edward H. Rees, Kansas, H. R. 3498; Elmer J. Holland, Pennsylvania, H. R. 373 1 ; Charles A. Vanik, Ohio, H. R. 3768; J. Ernest Wharton, New York, H. R. 3772; Ben F. Jensen, Iowa, H. R. 3862; Henry Dixon, Utah, H. R. 4354; Milton W. Glenn, New Jersey, H. R. 4366; Edward F. Hebert, Louisiana, H. R. 4371; and George M. Wallhauser, New Jersey, H. R. 4416.
The Sub-Committee to which these measures have been assigned has been organized and Congressman Elliott, of Alabama, is again its Chairman. Other members of this Sub-Committee are Edith Green, Oregon; Dominick V. Daniels, New Jersey; Robert N. Giaimo, Connecticut; Stuyvesant Wainwright, New York and John A. Lafore, Jr. Pennsylvania.
Senator John F. Kennedy delayed introduction of the Senate bill in order to give other Senators an opportunity to become co-sponsors. Latest word from John Taylor indicates that the Senate bill was formally introduced February 17. We had hoped that several of Senator Kennedy's colleagues would see fit to co-sponsor this all- important piece of legislation but we have been amazed, thrilled and delighted by the number who have actually come forward to do so. The Elliott Sub-Committee hearings on the Kennedy-Baring Bill are scheduled to commence on Monday, March 9.
This did not, of course, happen by itself. The highest praise is due our two Johns and a volunteer third member of the unit, Mr. Henry Kruse, of Chatham, New Jersey. This small but formidable flying column laid seige to the Senate Office Building and did its best to interview every Senator, or his Executive Assistant. The opposition was on the job, too, but was out maneuvered and outclassed.
Here is the glorious Roll of Honor: E. L. Bartlett and Ernest Gruening, Alaska; Gordon Allott and John A. Carroll, Colorado; Hubert H. Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy, Minnesota; Alan Bible and Howard W. Cannon, Nevada; Wayne Morse and Richard L. Neuberger, Oregon; Joseph S. Clark and Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania; Theodore Francis Green and John O. Pastore, Rhode Island; Warren G. Magnuson and Henry M. Jackson, Washington; Robert C. Byrd and Jennings Randolph, West Virginia; George D. Aiken, Vermont; Styles Bridges, New Hampshire; Paul H. Douglas, Illinois; Clair Engle, California; Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., Missouri; William Langer, North Dakota; Russell B. Long, Louisiana; Mike Mansfield, Montana; Frank E. Moss, Utah; William Proxmire, Wisconsin; George A. Smathers, Florida; Ralph Yarborough, Texas; and Estes Kefauver, Tennessee.
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by D. B. Hunter
(Condensed from the New Beacon, December, 1958)
In the past fifteen years blind people in Australia, and particularly in the state of New South Wales, have moved from relatively sheltered employment into most branches of industry, commerce and the professions. This revolutionary change has won for blind people a completely new life and has helped them immeasurably as members of the community. Blind people are now accepted as citizens and take their places in every day life.... The work of the government placement service has been very successful, and the blind people whom it has trained and for whom it has found jobs have fitted smoothly into their chosen occupations....
The recognition of the importance of the blind to the community goes back to the early days of World War II, when Australia's security was threatened by the Japanese. As war in the Pacific developed, cane, rattan and other raw materials used in the sheltered workshops became scarce. The workshops at that time were almost the only source of employment for the blind. The threat of unemployment to the blind developed at a time when general industry was acutely short of man-power because of the huge overnight growth of the armed services. Recognizing the tremendous potential value of this reliable work force of blind people, the agencies operating the sheltered workshops approached the wartime Director of Manpower, who had the responsibility of employing the nation's work force to the best advantage. He was urged to place selected blind people in certain positions. Reluctantly he agreed to a trial and allocated two men to a large radio factory which was engaged in urgent defense work.
Within a week the factory was asking for more blind people and in a short time there was a flood of requests from other industries.
In the war years the blind people placed in factories acquired splendid reputations and held their positions in the post-war years. Today, throughout Australia blind men and women are engaged in work associated with valves, radios, cog adjustments, nut and bolt adjustments, packing and packaging, labeling, sewing, machine stamping, and other process work. Other avenues of employment are telephone switchboard work, braille shorthand and typing, physiotherapy, social work, various types of hospital work, and handiwork such as rug making, string bag making and machine knitting.
Two cases come to mind of blind ex-servicemen who have risen above their difficulties. One, who was both blinded and deafened as a result of a bomb in New Guinea, learned ceramics. He established his own kiln and his perseverance, courage and patience were rewarded with the substantial business which he developed. The quality of his work quickly became known and he now has a wide outlet for his products through Sydney's leading stores. The other man, another bomb victim, was blinded and lost his hands. Before the war he had been a woodworker and despite his injuries decided to return to that trade. Special tools, fitted to gauntlets, were designed for him. He is now doing a first-class job as a carpenter on a big national defense project.
Hundreds of stories could be told of blind people usefully employed. A blind girl has won quite a reputation as a radio actress. Another blind girl produces first-rate radio scripts. A blind man doing an outstanding job in radio is an expert on the acoustics of halls, and has an unexcelled knowledge of this very technical subject, which is so important in radio transmission. Another of the many success stories is that of the establishment of a now prosperous Venetian blind factory by a team of blinded ex-servicemen from World War I. From the handling of the raw materials to the painting of the finished product, every stage in the construction of these high quality Venetian blinds is carried out by blind men. A World War I blinded veteran has won a worldwide reputation as a cattle breeder. Other blind men have operated successfully as commercial growers of flowers and berries, while still others have made careers for themselves in the sheep-farming industry, stringing tennis rackets, and, in at least one case, as the manager of a dry-cleaning depot. For good measure, there is actually a race horse trainer in New South Wales who is totally blind. All these occupations are in addition to the traditional fields of employment for the blind in dance bands, basket work, brush making, piano tuning and operating newsstands.
Blind people are encouraged to develop wide cultural and sporting backgrounds. Cricket and bowls for both men and women are played in organized competition and in friendly matches against teams of sighted players, as well as against other blind aggregations. Other popular sports include golf, swimming, hiking and field games. Dancing of all kinds is encouraged....
The Australian government does not subscribe to the old theory that security destroys incentive in the civilian blind, any more than it has in the case of those blinded in the service of their country. Each blind person over sixteen is entitled to draw a handicap allowance of 4 pounds, seven shillings and sixpense ($13.25) weekly. This money is not regarded as any special concession or favor to the blind but rather as a compensation for the unavoidable extra expenses which accompany blindness. It is entirely free from the means test. In addition, and for the same reason, blind people are entitled to free medical services. The government also provides free transport on government- owned trains, trams and busses....
In all phases of blind welfare, emphasis is placed on making the blind person feel that he is normal, and to that end his free association with the sighted is encouraged in every possible way.
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by John Taylor
Dave Krause, a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Federation of the Blind and a long time loyal and active worker in the National Federation, was appointed by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia on January 22, 1959, to be a member of the District of Columbia Commissioners Committee for the Employment of the Physically Handicapped. Dave becomes the first blind person to serve on this Committee, which is the District of Columbia's counterpart of the Governor's Committee for Employment of the Physically Handicapped now in existence in most of the 49 states. Before moving to Washington a little more than a year ago to accept a position as Regulations Analyst with the Department of Occupations and Professions, District of Columbia Government, Dave was living in St. Louis and was an active leader in the Missouri Federation of the Blind.
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As most Braille Monitor readers will recall, many of the basic legislative reforms for which the NFB has been battling at the national level for almost a score of years were incorporated during the 85th Congress in a bill introduced by Congressman Cecil R. King of California. This bill has been reintroduced by the same sponsor and its number in the 86th Congress is H. R. 1923. This should be an easier number to remember because it is like a date and most of us are old enough to have some personal association with the year 1923.
This time the National Federation does not expect to be fighting single-handed. As announced in previous issues, we are to be joined in our vigorous advocacy of this legislation by the representatives of the American Foundation for the Blind, the American Association of Workers for the Blind and the Blinded Veterans Association. We warmly and enthusiastically welcome the cooperation and help of these organizations. We now have one area of complete agreement. On this piece of legislation, at least, our lawmakers will not be confused by what must seem to them a hard to explain division in the ranks of those who claim to be working for the best interests of the blind.
If the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives decides to consider legislation of this type (and it is confidently expected in most quarters that it will so decide) you will receive notice, through the Braille Monitor or special legislative bulletins, or both. All who believe in the principles for which our national organization exists should then be ready to spring into action--to make Congress aware, in no uncertain terms, how important and urgent we believe the King Bill to be and how strongly we desire and demand the enactment of its provisions into the law of the land.
THE BARE PROVISIONS
In its January, 1958, issue, the Braille Monitor carried a fairly detailed analysis of this piece of legislation. Because we have added so many hundreds of new readers since then, and because none of us have infallible memories, and because of the extreme importance of the bill, it seems well at this time to review its contents briefly.
Section 1 of the bill makes it permissible before June 30, 1961, and mandatory after that date, for the States to disregard, in determining need, the first $1,000 of net earned income, plus one-half of such income in excess of $1,000, plus not less than $3,000 of assessed valuation (less all encumbrances) of real and personal property. It further permits before, and requires after June 30, 1961, that the States disregard, in the case of an individual who has an approved plan for achieving self-support, such additional amounts of other income and resources as may be necessary for the fulfillment of the plan. This section does four things.
(1) It disregards earned income without diminution of aid up to $1,000 per year. This principle has already been recognized in the law by the $50 per month (or $600 per year) earned income exemption. This bill raises it to $1,000 per year.
(2) It further extends this principle by exempting one-half of the earnings in excess of $1,000. For example, if a recipient's sub-sistence needs were budgeted at $900 per year and he had an earned income of $2,000 per year, the first $1,000 of such earned income would be disregarded altogether and one-half of the second $1,000. He would thus be considered as having only $500 of earned income to apply to the meeting of his subsistence needs, leaving an unmet need of $400 which would be met by payments.
(3) It would require the States to disregard not less than $3,000 of real and personal property, assessed valuation less encumbrances. This is not as large an amount as some states now exempt but it must be remembered that it is a minimum which the State must permit.
(4) It extends the principle to its logically ultimate conclusion by requiring the States to disregard all income and resources whatsoever which are necessary for the fulfillment of an approved plan for achieving self-support. Thus it would be an end to the demoralizing and uneconomic practice of requiring that all income and resources be exhausted in meeting subsistence requirements. Instead, they could be used in the furtherance of the plan to attain ultimate complete independence from the need for assistance. It is hardly possible to overestimate the importance of this to one trying to gain a precarious foothold in the business or professional world where it is necessary to build up stock, equipment, tools of trade, office furnishings, capital reserves and the like. The right to acquire and retain adequate amounts of capital for these purposes can most certainly spell the difference between success and failure.
Section 2 of the bill adds three requirements which the State plan must meet: The first requires equal minimum payments to all recipients of aid to the blind. This would tend to place a floor under aid payments, below which they could not go--a sort of presumption that the need is at least so much. The amount of such minimum payment is left up to the individual State.
The second requirement abolishes the obnoxious responsibility of relatives concept and forbids any State to take it into consideration.
The third requirement forbids any imposition of a lien or any requirement of reimbursement for aid received. This would cut away the last lingering vestiges of the old "dole" concept of aid to the blind and complete its transformation into a true instrument of support and rehabilitation.
Section 3 changes the matching formula so as to require the Federal government to pay $30 of the first $35 paid to an individual and from 50 to 65 percent of the amount from $35 to $75. This is really a long overdue recognition of the rising cost of living in relation to aid to the blind.
THE LOGIC OF THE BILL
Originally, public assistance was conceived of as enabling elderly people and the blind to live out their lives in relative freedom from want. From the first, it was apparent that such a program was completely inappropriate to meet the needs of the blind, many of whom were in the productive years of life and needed not to be maintained in a static existence--but to be assisted in gaining or regaining full participation in the economic life of the community. As Congressman King so clearly points out in his statement introducing the bill, this inadequacy is becoming more accentuated with the passage of time because the older people are being transferred more and more to the OASI system and the recent inauguration of disability insurance will take even more of the older and economically static group off public assistance, leaving mostly the younger blind with many years of potentially useful life before them. The logical bases for the provisions of this bill have already been recognized and established by law. The principle that aid to the blind should be and is an aid to rehabilitation, and that as such it should encourage rather than throttle initiative and independence, finally gained recognition by Congress in the $50 per month income exemption of 1950. The King Bill is merely a reasonable extension of this principle. Congress gave further legal support to this principle in 1956 when it changed the purpose clause of Title X so as to include self-support and self-care as one of the objectives of aid to the blind. The King Bill is merely an attempt to implement and carry out this declared purpose of the Congress.
This bill is worth all the effort we can put into work for its adoption. It is well within the realm of the attainable. The many years of work by the Federation have prepared the ground and Congress has already recognized its underlying principles. Not only in terms of human values, but in the long run even in terms of fiscal values--it is good economy to trade aid for jobs.
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The current issue of the Virginia Newsletter contains the following: "For some time three types of shorthand have been used in court proceedings, hearings, etc.--the pencil, the shorthand machine and the stenomask. Until recently blind persons have not been admitted to examinations for positions as shorthand reporters. Several competent blind people, however, have been doing this work in situations not controlled by Federal Civil Service, through the use of the stenomask. A stenomask is a closed microphone mask into which the reporter talks and records verbatim the proceedings. This is later typed into a complete transcript. The shorthand reporter examination has now been divided into two sections--one for shorthand, the other for closed microphone reporters. Blind people are now eligible for the closed microphone examination, but it will be a separate register from the shorthand reporter register.
"You should have closed microphone experience before applying for the examination. If you wish to be placed on a register--without which you cannot secure Civil Service employment--write to the Civil Service Commission, Washington, D.C. For closed microphone reporter examination, request Announcement No. 177. You will be sent the announcement with form 5000-AB. Fill this out, put the word 'blind' beside the name of your city, and return it. You will be notified when and where to take the examination."
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From the Arizona White Cane Journal: "The blind of this state suffered a great loss when, on November 23rd, Mrs. Jessie E. Griswold died in a Prescott hospital. Mrs. Griswold worked with and for the blind the past eighteen years, beginning at the age of seventy. At that time there were no home teachers, no organizations of the blind, and the rehabilitation program was pitifully inadequate.
"In 1940 Mrs. Griswold met a blind man on a street car in Phoenix and engaged in conversation with him, learning something of the obstacles confronting the blind. She went to see James Miles, blind operator of the vending stand in the Maricopa County Courthouse, and learned a lot more. She resolved to do everything she could to bring about a change.
"Mrs. Griswold became acquainted with scores of blind people in the Phoenix area. She left her home and moved into town in order more effectively to carry on her new work. She learned Braille and taught many to read by touch. She obtained Talking Book machines for a large number and made numerous calls, visiting with blind persons of all ages and in all walks of life....
"In 1945 she moved to Prescott. Knowing the blind should have their own local and state organizations, Mrs. Griswold played an important part in the formation of a club of the blind there in 1946 and in the formation of the Arizona Association of the Blind in the same year. Later the name of the local club was changed to the Jessie Griswold Club of the Blind in recognition of her outstanding service."
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The Monitor is now forced to tell you that the Post Office has finally issued a very restrictive interpretation of section 138. 321 (b). The language of the section is highly ambiguous. In one place it appears to say that Braille and recordings (disc or tape) can be sent through the mail free, if intended solely for the use of the blind and if there is no advertising. In another place the language indicates that such free mailing is restricted to Braille pages of books or magazines, when sent from one individual to another. Libraries, agencies and organizations can still send all such material without mailing costs but the new restrictive interpretation denies this privilege to individuals for Braille letters and recordings. Tapes can be sent at the third-class rate if marked "Sound Recordings for the Blind" in the upper right-hand corner.
The official announcement reads: "Only books, or pages thereof, in raised characters, whether prepared by hand or printed, when furnished by any person to a blind person without cost to such blind person, may be mailed free of postage, provided such matter contains no advertising. Letters written in point print or raised characters or on sound reproduction records mailed by blind individuals are subject to the third-class rate of postage or 3 cents for the first two ounces and 11/2 cents for each additional ounce. The same rate of postage is applicable to tape recordings between blind individuals."
This is unhappy news and will be especially unwelcome to tape enthusiasts, but at least we now know where we stand. During the past several months each Post Office has made its own interpretation of section 138. 321 (b) and the result has been most confusing.
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The Distinguished Service Award, highest honor conferred by the President's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped, was presented to the U. S. Civil Service Commission at the annual banquet of the American Federation of Government Employees. The Distinguished Service Award is a handsome bronze and polished mahogany plaque, suitably inscribed and bearing the signature of the President of the United States. The award is based upon the co-operative activity conducted by the Civil Service Commission with the President's Committee. In recent years the Commission has taken an active interest in protecting the rights of physically handicapped employees in the Federal establishment.
One of the most important accomplishments in this regard was the creation, in 1957, of the Federal Co-ordinator Program, under which over 1300 co-ordinators have been named to serve in Federal departments and agencies, both in Washington and through-out Federal offices in the respective states. These co-ordinators are responsible for organizing the program for employment of physically handicapped workers in departments, agencies, bureaus and field offices. For the first time, as a result of this program, handicapped workers have strong advocates throughout the Federal structure. These co-ordinators have the full cooperation of top executives in the Federal Government and have been largely instrumental in providing more equal job opportunities for handicapped workers since the inception of the program in March, 1957.
Since 1942, more than 165,000 workers with physical disabilities have joined the work force in the Federal establishment. Prior to the inauguration of the co-ordinator system, many physically disabled workers found great difficulty in obtaining employment interviews in Federal departments and agencies. This has been materially eliminated by the inception of the co-ordinator program.
The program has been so successful in the Federal establishment that the District of Columbia has patterned a similar program for its many departments. Pennsylvania has also taken similar action in designating co-ordinators in departments, boards and commissions.
It is suggested that all NFB state affiliates urge their respective state agencies to follow the lead of Pennsylvania in establishing co-ordinator programs at the state level.
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As reported previously, an NFB Survey Team conducted an investigation of all services to the blind in West Virginia at the request of the Governor of that state during the latter part of the fall of 1958. This team was made up of John Taylor, John Nagle, Paul Kirton, Perry Sundquist, Isabelle Grant, Charles Lane (of King sport, Tenn.) and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Capps (of Columbia, S. C.). The survey report has been in the hands of the West Virginia Governor for some weeks now, undergoing study by him, but will not be analyzed here until he has had an opportunity to release it.
The writing of the West Virginia report had not been completed when a request came from the Governor of New Hampshire for a similar survey. It is being conducted as we go to press. Those participating are: Taylor, Nagle, Kirton, Lane and Henry Kruse (Chatham, N.J.). An interesting feature of the New Hampshire investigation has been the strong language of the opinion issued by the Attorney General of that state when asked by the Governor if the Department of Welfare had the right to withhold confidential records from the inspection of the survey team. A part of this opinion follows:
"We are of the opinion that the Department of Public Welfare must make the above information and material available to this survey team, which is to conduct its study at the express request of the Governor. It is the prerogative of the Chief Executive to review programs being administered by the Executive Departments at any time in order that he may be informed as to the workings of such programs and be in a position to intelligently recommend legislation for suggested improvements. This is clearly a purpose 'directly connected with the administration of assistance' and, accordingly, those records of the Department of Public Welfare which would otherwise be confidential may be examined for such purpose. We further see no reason why the Governor cannot undertake this study through the services of a private organization such as the National Federation of the Blind.... We have reviewed the Federal Social Security Act and find nothing therein by which the Federal grant would be affected by disclosure of this material in the above manner for the above purposes."
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From the Denver Post, January 23, 1959: Herman Kline resigned Friday as Director of the State Division of Rehabilitation for the Blind. Governor Steve McNichols said he had given no thought yet to a successor. Kline's resignation takes effect January 31. Kline, 66, has held the $7,500-a-year post since May, 1955. He was a State Representative from Denver in the 31st General Assembly during the 1930's. ..."
This news was received by the members of the Colorado Federation of the Blind with satisfaction and relief. During the time when Kline needed the support of the organized blind in order to consolidate his own position, he indulged in extravagant praise of both the Colorado Federation and the NFB. He made a great show of cooperation with the NFB Survey Team when it came to Colorado in the late spring of 1955. He made innumerable promises of future cooperation to the state organization. But as soon as he had obtained the desired headline publicity and felt that he no longer needed the support of the organized blind, he changed his tone abruptly. As a matter of fact he turned on both the state and local organization with a tigerish ferocity. His hysterical tirades became a regular feature of the professional gatherings he attended and he carried his vindictiveness so far as to make at least one special trip into Texas for the purpose of doing all he could to prevent the organization of an NFB affiliate in that state. His career as an administrator in Colorado was a stormy one, with frequent resignations of members of his staff and sudden firings of others. Kline had spent many years in the army and had become unshakably convinced that the methods of the drill sergeant ought to work equally well in a civilian situation.
It is devoutly to be hoped that his successor will be a very different sort of person. Our Colorado affiliate believes that any change at all is bound to be for the better.
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The Empire State Association of the Blind adopted a comprehensive resolution last October, couched in ringing terms, and is now preparing to go all out for its implementation in Albany. The essential portions of that resolution follow:
WHEREAS, only some 4, 200 blind individuals are receiving public assistance in the State of New York, a number constituting only about 16 percent of the known blind population of the State; and
WHEREAS, even at the peak of wartime employment the most optimistic claims asserted that only approximately 11 percent were employed in all kinds of industry including sheltered employment; and
WHEREAS, the number of aid recipients in New York is meager indeed when compared to the number in many other states, based on the per capita figures of the states involved; and
WHEREAS, this condition exists, not because of a greater degree of wealth on the part of the blind of New York as compared to the blind people in other states, but because the present public assistance program in the state, both in its statutory provisions and in its administrative policies, constitutes one of the most rigorous applications of the means test in the nation, requiring as it does that eligibility for aid to the blind must be conditioned upon absolute destitution and the consumption or transfer to the state of all assets or resources; and
WHEREAS, it is becoming more and more recognized by thoughtful people everywhere that it should be the proper function of public assistance to aid, encourage and stimulate recipients to become independent and self-supporting; and
WHEREAS, the public assistance program in this state frustrates initiative, discourages independence and stifles industry, thus defeating the principle and proper aim of public assistance for the blind; and
WHEREAS, it is decidedly in the interest of sound public economy, to say nothing of humanitarian considerations, to encourage as many blind people as possible to escape from permanent dependence and become useful and productive members of their communities, thus becoming taxpayers rather than tax consumers; and
WHEREAS, the present aid to the blind statutes and regulations are vestiges of an outmoded and barbarous attitude toward the blind citizens of the state and are unworthy of the wealthiest and one of the most enlightened and benevolent states of the union:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED... THAT we earnestly petition the State Legislature to adopt the following corrective measures to eliminate the most glaring inequities in the Public Assistance Law of the state and pledge ourselves and direct our officers and Legislative Committee to work for their adoption to the fullest extent possible:
(1) Removal of the rigid and rigorous requirements for eligibility for aid to the blind so as to permit the retention by recipients of sufficient income and resources to enable them to strive for and attain ultimate self-support.
(2) Modification or elimination of the provisions compelling relatives to support or contribute to the support of blind citizens, as these provisions are disruptive of family harmony and place the blind person in the intolerable position of forced dependence upon the members of his family.
(3) Abolition of the provisions compelling the recipient or his estate or relatives to reimburse the state for aid granted, which aid should be treated as assistance granted to help members of society through a time of hardship and emergency rather than as a personal debt to be enforced with all possible harshness.
(4) Creation of a system which will take full advantage of the self-care and self-support provisions of the 1956 amendments to the Social Security Act and protect blind persons in their privacy, dignity and independence through a statutory presumption of a basic minimum need for a fixed monthly amount of aid.
5) Adoption of statutory provisions guaranteeing to the blind a right to a fair and impartial hearing of grievances, including ultimate recourse to the courts.
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From the New Outlook for the Blind, January, 1959: "The Hadley School for the Blind, Winnetka, 111., has been accredited by the National Home-Study Council, Washington, D.C., which has set quality standards for home-study schools since 1926.... Only schools which offer an educationally sound and up-to-date curriculum, possess a competent faculty, maintain constructive, helpful relationships with their students, and are financially responsible are so accredited....
"The Hadley School has offered a curriculum of home-study courses for the blind since 1922. All textbooks and instructions are in Braille, or recorded and all courses are offered without charge. The present student enrollment is over 1300--in every state of the United States and in over forty other countries. The curriculum span is from fifth grade to college. By a special arrangement with the University of Chicago, selected college courses from the curriculum of the University's Home-Study Department are offered in Braille through the Hadley School...."
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By Josef G. Cauffman
(Ed. Note: Mr. Cauffman is principal of the Overbrook School for the Blind, Philadelphia, Pa. Part of this article appeared in We the Blind, published by our Pennsylvania affiliate. Mr. Cauffman very kindly expanded it for the Braille Monitor.)
The primary aim of special education, as anyone engaged in the field knows, is to equip students to lead normal lives and prepare themselves to fit into modern society. Yet the simple acquisition of an academic education does not even remotely achieve that goal, for it is the plus factors which enable students without sight to participate in modern community activities and enrich their personal lives through experiences.
To enumerate all of the plus factors would exhaust our space. To name a few: Music, for it feeds the life of the spirit and is the language of the heart. Instrumental ensemble, piano, organ, chorus--all make for community acceptance. Home Economics--for it trains the girl to be a housewife--gives her a knowledge of foods, clothing, crafts, home making--makes her efficient. Industrial Arts for the boys enables them to choose a vocation which may lead to complete or partial self-support--general shop, industrial arts, vocational arts, prepare them for definite trade or shop employment. A complete Medical and Dietetic Service should be provided, for the blind are often frail in health, and difficult to train in proper eating habits. Doctors, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, dietitians, psychologists, and many clinicians are required to provide health service which helps the child to grow strong and vigorous. Physical Education for all, swimming, bowling, track, wrestling, playground experience, some competition in athletics--all provide him with typical American Experiences. Business education and stand training , a social life full and rich, dancing, games, concerts, parties--must also be part and parcel of his social development .
To furnish the experiences that provide the plus factors in special education is very expensive. There must be much equipment, especially adapted for the blind which, because of the small demand costs a great deal. Teachers and instructors who are not only specialists in special education, but in the special subject which they teach, are an absolute necessity. It is not a cheap program and, in better schools where these plus factors are considered essential, the per capita cost per child for ten months will run from $2200 to $2700 or more. A program predicated on any other basic concept, however, does not discharge the school's obligation to the student.
It is fatuous to claim that a day class, supplemented by the home, can provide a comparable education. After many years in this field of special endeavor I cannot recall very many homes with the means to supply the plus in their child's education. The burden of blindness is a heavy cross on the average family, which takes its child from doctor to doctor and surgeon to surgeon, following the rainbow of sight restoration.
Very little beyond the necessities can be provided in the vast majority of homes. Once past adolescence the child cannot take the time to secure the opportunities that assure him a competent social life. Only schools can, therefore, meet the complete needs of the whole child, in my opinion, and only the modern residential school is completely equipped and prepared to do the job satisfactorily.
Important as are the three R's, no blind person can hope to be a typical American who has not had a background equivalent to that of those who possess all five senses. The plus factors in education today are not only a recognized part of all education--they are an absolute necessity for the handicapped.
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From Washington Daily News, (D.C.), January 12, 1959:
"A tiny record player, that uses 7-inch 8 1/3 RPM records which play more than four times as long as the current 33 1/3 RPM microgroove records, is being tested for the Library of Congress' 'talking books' program for 60,000 blind subscribers.
"The big hope, Robert S. Bray, chief of the Division for the Blind, said is that the new system will cut costs, so talking books can be increased 10-fold. And the Post Office Department, which now mails the bulky 33 1/3 records and 27-pound phonographs free, under law, will reap a bonus in lower handling costs.
"The new machine, which will cost no more than the present $35 model, weighs three pounds. Its tone arm is so light that dragging the needle across the record doesn't damage the grooves. 'We may even have to add weight, if the machine is too easily knocked over,' Mr. Bray said. A firm called 'Recordings for the Blind, Inc.', has been hired to build 15 of the machines and test them with blind readers.
"'They'll find out, for instance, whether we'll have to provide breaks in a record that a blind person could find,' Mr. Bray said. 'One side plays over two hours instead of the present 25 minutes, and that may be too long for one sitting.'
"Here is how the new records would reduce talking book size: the King James 'Bible' takes 170 10-inch discs, could be done on 34 of the new type; 'Gone With the Wind' takes 72 12-inch discs, only 18 new ones, and 'War and Peace' takes 120 12-inch discs, about 24 of the new type.
"The Library has used the 33 's for 25 years, though they didn't go on the commercial market until 10 years ago, when microgroove LP's, which had higher fidelity, were developed. The Library chose the 8 1/3 speed because it can cheaply convert its 33 1/3 machines to it during the changeover period, realizing further savings.
'"The new 'eights' won't reproduce the higher fidelity sound required for, say, a symphony orchestra', Mr. Bray said. 'But we won't have any trouble reproducing the narrower range of the human voice.' "
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Little Rock, Ark., Jan. 28: Dr. Frank Palmer was re-elected President of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind Credit Union on Sunday, Jan. 25, at the annual membership meeting held at the LaFayette Hotel in Little Rock. Dr. Palmer is the president of the Morrilton Chapter of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind. Other officers elected were: Ed Schultz, North Little Rock, 1st Vice-President; Dr. Ray Penix, Little Rock, 2nd Vice-President; Mrs. Kate L. Cooney, Little Rock, Treasurer; Mrs. Claire P. Schultz, North Little Rock, Secretary. Miss Judy Meade and Mrs. Christine Taylor, Little Rock, and Garner Chapman, Jacksonville, were elected as the Supervisory Committee. O. J. Butler, Mrs. Arda Penix and Dick Nelsen, all of Little Rock, were named to the three-man Credit Committee. Guests at the meeting were Jim Davis, Manager of the Arkansas Credit League and Marshall Warner, treasurer of the Credit League.
The Credit Union was organized by the Arkansas Federation of the Blind for the purpose of making loans available to members of the Federation and to encourage thrift and saving on the part of the members. Membership in the Credit Union is open to all members of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind, and their families. All deposits made by the members of the Federation are insured, as well as the loans made by the Credit Union. Members are also covered by an insurance policy which pays beneficiaries an amount equal to the amount of their savings. Headquarters of the Credit Union is at 115 West 12th Street, Little Rock.
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The National Federation of the Blind has taken a very definite stand in opposition to the restrictive residence requirements imposed by most states as a condition of eligibility for aid to the blind. It has been felt that these residence laws very seriously impair the freedom of movement of blind people everywhere. Freedom of movement, as President tenBroek has so forcefully pointed out, is a constitutional guarantee which these restrictive laws are, in effect, abrogating.
Reciprocal agreements between various states have helped only a little. Persuading any one state legislature to repeal its own residence law, while nearly all the other states retain theirs, is a tremendously difficult task. The state by state approach, therefore, is not a promising one. If all such statutes could be outlawed by a single Act of Congress, we would have the ideal solution.
Congressman Walter Baring has introduced, at the beginning of this session, H. R. 30, which would have this greatly to be desired result. It is short and to the point:
"BE IT ENACTED... That subsection (b) of section 1002 of the Social Security Act is amended to read as follows:
" '(b) The Secretary shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that he shall not approve any plan which imposes as a condition of eligibility for aid to the blind under the plan --
" '(1) Any residence requirement; or
" '(2) Any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.' "
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There is, of course, no such thing in existence today. Those of our number who are qualified to teach register in regular employment agencies but rarely receive any consideration. In a few states--notably California and Ohio--we are making real progress in placing blind teachers in public schools. A few weeks ago Kenneth Jernigan, partly to prove to himself and to his staff that it could be done, went out and personally got a teaching job in a public school for an Iowa blind man who had been relegated to the scrap heap by the former head of the Commission for the Blind and had been rejected out of hand by every school authority he had approached on his own. In far too many states there is still official discrimination, by statute or administrative ruling. And everywhere there is a terrific sales job to be done when it comes to convincing skeptical or uninformed superintendents and Boards of Education.'
In the office of the Braille Monitor we have a file containing the names and addresses and, in most cases, copies of the credentials of a number of well-qualified blind would-be teachers. Some of them have had years of experience as sighted teachers but have lost their sight and with it their jobs. Others are eager youngsters, recent graduates who have completed all the required courses and have received their certificates to teach. They are desperately anxious for a chance to prove their competency. Most of them are languishing in enforced, frustrated, soul-corroding idleness--denied this opportunity wherever they apply.
A few months ago there was an opening for a resource teacher in Tampa, Fla. The superintendent was perfectly willing to employ a blind teacher but did not know where to find one. He finally sent one of his sighted teachers to a distant city for special training. We only learned of this situation after it was too late. In a western city a blind teacher applied for a similar post and would have been accepted but for the intervention of a rehabilitation counselor, himself blind. After he threw in the monkey wrench a sighted teacher was hired instead.
It seems entirely possible that similar situations could arise almost anywhere. We have people on our list who are qualified for any teaching position from kindergarten through university. This is a plea addressed to all Monitor readers to be on the alert for possible openings in their own areas. If you learn of any such, write to the Monitor Editor, or wire or telephone collect. This is also an invitation to prospective blind teachers to register with us. We may not be able to do anything but we will certainly give it a hard try.
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(Extension of remarks of Hon. Edward P. Boland, of Massachusetts, in the House of Representatives, Jan. 29, 1959.)
"Mr. Speaker, I would like to call to the attention of my colleagues that one of my constituents and a good friend, Attorney John F. Nagle, of Springfield, Mass., has joined the National Federation of the Blind here in Washington as its national legal representative. Mr. Nagle is blind himself, having lost his sight at age 12 when a seventh grade student. Despite this hadicap he demonstrated courage and initiative and completed his education at the famous Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., the American International College in Springfield, and Northeastern University Law School, also in Springfield. Under leave to extend my remarks, I would like to have printed in the Record a news story from the Springfield Union of November 24, 1958, concerning Attorney Nagle":
"John F. Nagle, blind lawyer, Sunday announced acceptance of an executive position with the National Federation of the Blind in Washington, D.C. He is leaving Springfield immediately and will begin his new duties December 16. As national legal representative of the blind association, Nagle will promote the interests of the blind before Congress and various government agencies, will help with drafting legislation, will appear as counsel for blind persons in social- security and civil-service cases and will travel widely in the eastern part of the United States to help state blind associations with problems of organization and legislation.
"The National Federation of the Blind has a membership of 40,000 blind members. It promotes and initiates legislation at federal and state levels, conducts surveys of blind services in various states at the request of the state authorities and wages a ceaseless battle against discrimination against blind people in terms of job opportunities. Nagle, who currently makes his home at 34 Myrtle Street, has a law office at 182 State Street. He travels unaided, with a cane, between these two points twice daily.
"Work with the organized blind is not a new thing for Nagle. He has long been active in this work. He is currently President of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts and Chairman of the Executive Committee, and was general chairman of the national organization's last convention, held in Boston last July. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Division of the Blind, to which he was appointed in February, 1958 by Governor Foster Furcolo.
"His other community activities are numerous. He is a member of the Springfield-Lions Club and Chairman of its Sight Conservation and Blind Committee. He is active in the United World Federalists, holding posts as member of the board of directors, chairman of its speakers' bureau, chairman of the study group committee, and legal counsel for the New England branch of the organizations, as well as being much in demand as a speaker on world federalism. In the local Unitarian Church he is a member of the standing committee charged with running local church affairs and a teacher in the church school, as well as being active in other committees. For six years he was legal adviser for the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
"He is also a member of the Blind Professional Association of America, the Civil Liberties Union, the Adult Educational Council, the Hampden County Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
"He attended the Perkins School for the Blind, Boston University, American International College, and Northeastern University Law School, Springfield division. He holds two college degrees, one in law, and has been admitted to practice at the Massachusetts bar, the Federal bar, and the Department of Justice, Bureau of Naturalization and Immigration. While at Boston University he was a member of the varsity debating team. During World War II, he took special training in assembling and machine operation at Springfield Trade School. He was employed on the night shift at the U.S. Armory and practiced law in the daytime.
"In May of this year he married Miss Virginia Clarke, of Worcester, also totally blind, and at that time President of the Associated Blind of Worcester.
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From the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis.--(Ed. Note: "The prospect of parenthood held a special terror for Gene and Mary Erwin; they are blind. How could they care for a healthy, active child? Now, 3 1/2 years later, they know. Little Ruthie taught them."):
Dayton, Ohio--"Life for Ruthie Erwin is much the same as for any other 3 1/2-year-old girl. She loves her dolls and picture storybooks. She can raise the usual kind of little girl mischief, and at Grandma's house she does things she'd never dream of doing at home.
"In some ways, though, Ruthie's life is different. At an age when most little girls upset furniture around the house, Ruthie is meticulously careful to keep order. And no matter how absorbed she is in her games, or how energetically she plays them, she's careful always to stay within earshot of her parents. She knows they're blind, and she knows how much her help is needed.
"Because of Ruthie's understanding, the terrible worries that Gene and Mary Erwin had before Ruthie's birth are nearly all gone now. The Erwins had wondered how they would keep track of Ruthie when she began to walk; how they'd feed her, dress her, care for her. The answer: by listening.
" 'When she's talking or playing with her toys, we know she's all right,' Mrs. Erwin said. 'But when she's quiet, we go looking for her. We know she's into something. Ruthie always has seemed to understand about us--that we're different from other people, and she doesn't have any complexes about us.'
"Every bit of furniture is kept in a set place at the Erwin home. When Ruthie first began to move things her parents explained their situation to her. Now, if someone else moves something, she tells them to put it back in its place.
" 'We were worried before Ruthie came,' said her father, who operates a concession stand at the County Courthouse. 'Now I don't know what we'd do without her. She makes the home.
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By Alaric G. Nichols
(Ed. Note: For some time there has been discussion of a periodic regional meeting of some sort in New England, where the present five NFB affiliates are close together geographically and pretty much in harmony ideologically. The energetic young leader of the Vermont Council of the Blind--whose by-line appears above--has been actively promoting this idea. The meeting described below was something of an experiment and appears to have been quite successful.)
As planned, the New England Conference of Affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind was held in Springfield, Mass., January 24. About forty members were present. I acted as chairman and Miss Elena Landi, of Providence, R.I., accepted the duties of recording secretary.
I began by explaining the purpose for the meeting, namely, to exchange ideas and information for our mutual gain.
Franklin VanVliet, president of the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind, led a discussion on legislative matters. During this discussion lien laws and voting laws were gone into at some length. Many of those present took part, both asking and answering questions. A number of excellent points were developed. I think everyone left the meeting much better informed as to these laws.
Miss Anita O'Shea, president of the Massachusetts affiliate, led a discussion, "How to Stimulate Interest Among the Blind in Their Own Affairs and in Their Own Organizations". This was supposed to have been the topic but it evolved into a discussion of ways and means of raising funds. In spite of the fact that the participants would not stick to the subject, Anita handled the situation very well. Many useful and worthwhile ideas were put forward. John Taylor contributed much to both discussions.
Everyone seemed to think that this type of seminar meeting was very much worthwhile and many expressed the hope that they would be held from time to time in the future. I feel that it was even more successful than we had anticipated. We learned a lot that will help us in planning for another meeting of this type. One afternoon, however, is not enough time. We will certainly have to plan for all-day meetings. The whole conference was tape-recorded and most of the affiliates have purchased copies.
Frank Baker, of Maine, was unable to attend but asked me to send him a copy of the minutes. He also asked me to send him a copy of our Vermont constitution for guidance in writing one for the proposed affiliate in Maine.
At the end of the meeting it was decided to continue these seminars on an annual basis. I was elected chairman by acclamation (railroaded, I think) and Miss Landi was elected secretary. Further plans will have to be made later.
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According to the latest available issue of the U. S. publication, "Characteristics of State Public Assistance Plans", (1957), the following states do not subject the property of any of the four categories of public assistance recipients to liens in order to recover payments made during the lifetime of the recipients: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
The following states enforce real property liens against recipients of old age assistance but not against the property of blind recipients: Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.
One state, Colorado, apparently has a real estate lien law applying to the blind but not to the aged.
In at least half a dozen of the remaining states, NFB affiliates are attempting this year through legislation to remove real property lien provisions which apply to recipients of blind assistance.
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From Progress, a publication of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company:
"A 26-year-old blind teacher with a brilliant mind and outstanding courage has become an inspiration for science and mathematics students at Mendocino Union High School. Now in his third year as an instructor, Robert S. Slauson has achieved an excellent record in his dedicated career of helping young men and women.
" ...Bob Slauson fills a busy schedule in the 10-year-old school, located high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific and the town of Mendocino. With an ever-present smile, he teaches six classes, including two periods of eighth grade mathematics, one each of physics, geometry, beginning algebra and advanced algebra. In addition he is adviser for the local 4-H Club and a co-adviser of the school's Science Club. His out-of- school activities include operating his own ham radio station, K6IIY, playing the piano in two different orchestra groups, abalone fishing and settling himself in a home he and his wife, Louise, have just purchased.
"William J. Larkin, school principal, attests to the manner in which Slauson has succeeded as a teacher. 'Bob has an unusual mind, which has permitted him not only to master science and mathematics but also to get those none-too-easy subjects across to the students. His other senses are very keen and he has handled every type of experiment in physics and chemistry, even including those involving color.' According to Larkin, his young associate has no more than the usual disciplinary problems and he is able to identify all students from the sound of their voices within two days after they first enter his classes.
"In a small school, such as Mendocino, with its 175 students, faculty members must perform a variety of assignments. In this regard Slauson has carried his full load of teaching and extracurricular activities, including supervising games in the gym....
".. The unusual classroom technique adopted by Slauson is beneficial to both students and teacher. One student is designated to take the roll and another advises the teacher when volunteers raise their hands for class participation. Problems are put on the black-board by the students, who thus learn by demonstrating. ..."
From the New Beacon : "Two years ago Eric Lewis, who used to be a draftsman, went to work milling compression blades in the Rolls-Royce Blade Shop at Nightingale Road, Derby. He was referred to this work because he had lost his sight. In just over 12 months he has set up what maybe a record--250,000 blades, with no scrap. The total of 250,000 includes many different types of blades. To produce them he has used various types of jigs and has mastered about 14 different operations on his Sundstrang milling machine."
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"Dear Sir: I had the privilege of reading the December issue of the Braille Monitor. I would like to receive this wonderful magazine each month. I wonder if it would be possible to send me a copy of the January issue. The Braille Monitor is a magazine all blind people should read because it contains so much information of interest to them. Thank you for brightening up my reading corner with your magazine." H. Louise Spaid, Oil City, Pa.
"Dear Mr. Card: The enclosed check in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) is sent to the Braille Monitor as a contribution from our Association. We appreciate so very much having this fine magazine with the wealth of news and information it contains! Your excellent work as editor is also deeply appreciated! The contribution is tangible evidence of our gratitude and thanks. Very best wishes to you and your co-workers on the magazine. Sincerely, " Associated Blind of Greater Boston, Annie A. Hamilton, Treasurer, Medford, Mass.
"Dear George: ...Having started again contacting the Senators and Representatives about the Kennedy Bill and corresponding with all those interested in it, my fighting spirit has again been aroused. I like this kind of work and I intend to make another attempt to resurrect our chapter. We need it here worse than a lot of people know....
"Just the fact that we had a chapter forced the Albany Association for the Blind to take immediate action to better the lot of the blind people working in the shop. All of us in this area are convinced that the Federation was a godsend to our part of the state. Prior to our organizing, the Association was dormant, In less than one year after the Federation started here the Association finally acquired a new building. This had been needed and promised for years but nothing was done about it. In addition, long overdue reforms were instituted--fifteen days sick leave, paid holidays, hospitalization and other fringe benefits. Some few claim that these things would have come anyway but most of us are certain that action came through fear of the exposure which might come as a result of the organization of the independent blind people of this area.... Sincerely yours," William S. Dwyer, Rensselaer, N. Y.
"Dear Editor: Thank you immeasurably for the great thrilling surprise which you gave me at the publication of my humble letter to the excellent President of the NFB, Dr. tenBroek, in the October issue of this magazine. In fact, when that letter had been written, I never dreamed that it would ever attain such an honour. Even more wonderful and significant to me, it had never crossed my mind at that time, that that letter would be a cause of my introduction to numerous warmhearted, kind and generous friends to whom I beg you to convey my profoundest gratitude, as well as my deepest respect and appreciation.
"The unspeakable feeling of obligation towards these afore-mentioned generous ladies and gentlemen is not due to their material contributions alone, but equally, for the faith and hope which their kindness stabilized and revived within me, a faith in the human fraternity and a hope in its future and mine. This last invaluable contribution bolsters my cogent reasons in considering these friends and their help more than I can ever be able to reward or repay or to forget.
"Now, before closing, allow me to ask you, trusting in your kindness, to tell those of the readers who have read that letter of mine that I am very thankful. In case any of them may care to know, I am now receiving my training at the Law School in the University of Damascus with the help of a scholarship granted to me by the U.N.R.W.A. Thank God and kind people, I have emerged from my adventure safe, successful and resolved to go on struggling for existence on hope that I may do something for myself and for many thousands like me. And here, may I end this letter by an eternal and genuine thank you to Dr. tenBroek and Mr. Card whom I have so many reasons to respect, appreciate and love. Very respectfully yours," Abed Rubboh Budair, Damascus, Syria.
"Dear George: My wife and I read The Braille Monitor faithfully each month and we enjoy the very provocative articles contained therein. Here is an incident which occurred recently in the Buffalo area which we feel would be of some interest to your readers.
"Due to the untimely death of the switchboard operator at the Association for the Blind in Buffalo it was necessary to find a suitable replacement for her. On the following day a polio victim was hired to fill this vacancy. While it is not to be denied that polio is a severe handicap, I cannot help but feel that the primary purpose of the Association for the Blind should be to see that persons who are visually handicapped are given the first consideration. Sincerely yours," Daniel Lazich, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
"Dear Mr. Card: Please find enclosed my two dollars as my contribution toward the Louis Braille Memorial. I wish I could afford much more because it is a glorious project. Very cordially yours," Ethel Mahaney, Denver, Colo.
"My dear Mr. Card: I read with interest your little article about the Louis Braille Memorial. I think it is a wonderful thing, and I do indeed want to have a small share in it. The Braille system has meant everything to me since I was a little girl.
"I have been enjoying the Monitor ever since it came out. I was pleasantly surprised to find Mary Walton's name in this last issue. I have seen it in other magazines, too. I met her several years ago, while visiting a friend in Eldorado.
"One of my big problems is voice perception, and I am sure other blind people have it too. I wonder if that could be discussed to any great advantage in the magazine. Just an idea.
"With all good wishes for the success of the Memorial, I remain very cordially yours," Dorothy Hanna, South Gate, Calif.
Dear Mr. Card: ... It seems that every organization has its small town Napoleons, and half-pint Caesars who imagine that everything would be hunky-dory if they could just only supplant the top command.... Cordially your s," Wilbur Sheron, Marion, Ind.
"Dear George: This year for the first time we are going to participate in White Cane Week. We know that White Cane Week has been successful in other states so with our fingers crossed we are embarking on this campaign hoping for the best....
"As you know, the past few months have been stormy ones for us here....For a while we were all very discouraged but decided to hang on. I am happy to say at long last things are going smoothly. Our interest in the NFB and our desire to improve conditions of the blind here keep us going. On our present Board we have very capable people. I know that you had some correspondence with Elena Landi, our corresponding secretary. Getting her membership was one of our biggest accomplishments last year. She is a very conscientious and a very devoted worker; she should go a long way in the Federation, providing we can all stick together here. I think in time she may become a prominent person in the NFB.
"Our new president, Carl King, I feel is a very capable person and will do a good job. We should accomplish a lot this year. News of our progress will be flashed to you so it may be shared with others through the Monitor.
"...We can be thankful that you are still in the NFB organization helping out wherever and whenever you can. A man of your experience and understanding of the problems of the blind is indispensable in an organization such as ours.
"Recently a blind friend and I started a telephone answering service here. It has been keeping us somewhat busy as you might expect. This was one of the reasons why I refused a second term as president of this affiliate. However, I have remained on the Board and am doing as much work as time will allow....Sincerely," Raymond Grover, Jr., Providence, R.I.
"Dear George: Today I found my Braille Monitor and as usual I read it from cover to cover. I could not be left out when it comes to making a contribution to the Louis Braille Memorial Fund as braille has always been a part of me. It has been my only means of reading other than the few books I have read on the Talking Book machine.
Indeed, it is a privilege to send my personal check of five dollars to you to be contributed to this worthy project. I have now worked as a home teacher, proofreader and caseworker for more than twelve years and on many occasions I have been accused of teaching braille to folks whether they wanted it or not....Braille has been a source of information, entertainment and education and I feel that, had it not been for Louis Braille, I would have missed so many things that have made my life worthwhile. It is my hope that many contributions will come in and I join you in hoping that your office is snowed under with mail containing contributions, be they large or small. Cordially yours," Ray Parsons, Dexter, Missouri.
"Dear Mr. Card: Enclosed you will find a check for five dollars as my gift to the Louis Braille Fund. I wish it could be more. For years I have read Braille and have derived such pleasure. Nights when I can't sleep I have a book nearby. I have often thought what a wonderful idea Braille really is! The Talking Book can never take the place of Braille. I love both but, if I had to give up one or the other, it would certainly not be Braille... I also want to say that I read the Monitor every month and enjoy it so very much. With the best of wishes to you and your work, I am most sincerely, "Mrs. DeVere King, Washington, D.C.
"My dear Mr. Card: Enclosed you will find my contribution to the Louis Braille Memorial Fund. My only regret is that, instead of $5, I could not send five million dollars, for this great and noble work. On this, as well as with most things that you and the NFB stand for, I find myself in full agreement. I hope that you are simply swamped with contributions. It is only right that we sightless who have gained so much by the Louis Braille system should be the ones who contribute. It's our right and we should do as much as we can.
"I'd also like to take this opportunity of adding my voice to the other deaf-blind people who have expressed appreciation to you and to the NFB and to the Madison, Wis. Lions Club, for your sponsorship of Skylark. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing." Boyd C. Wolfe, Jr., Columbus 4, Ohio.
"Dear George: I am writing this letter to express my appreciation to the National Federation of the Blind for assisting me in obtaining my disability insurance claim.
"I had tuned pianos for 40 years and was able to buy my own home and lay away some money for emergencies. I developed high blood pressure, the doctors being unable to bring it down sufficiently, the result being I had a stroke and practically no use of my arms. It also affected my speech to a great extent.
"In January, 1958, I applied for my disability insurance through the regular channels and was turned down because I was still able to tune a piano once in a while. Having money in the bank, I was not eligible for blind assistance. My wife, being blind, was not able to obtain work, so the only thing left for me to do was to spend my savings for us to live on hoping that something could be done.
"I took my case to Mr. Jack Swager, President of the Omaha Association of the Blind, an affiliate of the National Federation. After giving him all the information including a report from my doctor, he advised me to re-apply for my disability insurance, which I did. He immediately got in touch with Mr. John Taylor. After several weeks Mr. Taylor informed me that my case had been reconsidered, that my disability insurance claim had been allowed, and that I would receive my first check in December--which I did.
"I just wanted to tell you, George, about my experience and the help the National Federation gave me....I am sure there are other blind persons that need this kind of help and could receive it if they would only give their local and national organizations a chance to help them with their problems....Sincerely," Leo Hawley, Omaha, Nebraska.
"Dear Mr. Card: Please accept the enclosed check for ten dollars from a very grateful and staunch partisan of Braille. May I also congratulate you on the really splendid job you are doing in editing the Braille Monitor, which I read faithfully and with great interest and pleasure. Cordially yours," Samuel J. Konefsky, Princeton, New Jersey.
"Dear George: ...I have moved again! I have a very large and attractive room on the second floor of a nice home in a beautiful section of town. When I first came here I had to do a selling job for the blind again. The lady was afraid I would fall downstairs and they have no insurance to cover it--you know the story! ...Sincerely and fraternally," Jim Templeton, Los Angeles, California.
"Dear Mr. Card: ... As I have frequently said, reading the Monitor, onto tape is not a chore for me. I do not feel that I am doing anything out of the ordinary. In truth, I am doing myself more of a favor by reading the magazine than those to whom I read it. Before starting to read it, I was one of those who was completely blase in my attitudes toward the organized blind movement. I had been sucked in more than I cared to admit by the usual statements which are calculated to be an opiate to the blind. Where I had had to fight, I was content to fight alone, (and there have been some pretty tough fights which I have won, although coming out a bit battle-scarred). With the reading of the Monitor, there came an awakening--an awareness of not only the importance of the organized blind movement, but the power, and more important, the philosophy of this movement. In short, the favor has been done me. My eyes are now opened, and as time passes, I have become more and more dedicated to the movement of the organized blind, and have learned to value and respect my insignificant position in the organization. Would that I could do more than merely read the Monitor to a favored few on tape....Very sincerely yours," Harold E. Carter, Springfield, Illinois.
"Dear George: ... It seems to me that the Monitor is really chronicling the history of the blind in these vital, expanding years, when blind people are coming into their own principally through the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind....Sincerely and fraternally," James W. Templeton, Los Angeles, California.
"Dear Mr. Card: After reading your article entitled 'Debt of Honor' in the Braille Monitor, I am sure my feelings are the same as many of our fellow Federationists. We would indeed be cheated if we could not express our personal feelings in this effort. I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity. I am happy to enclose a postal money order for $5.00 as my contribution in this worthy project. Sincerely yours," Sylvia Burton, Elmira, New York.
"Dear Sir: Will you please find enclosed two dollars, which is a small token of my gratitude to the memory of the great Louis Braille. I am proud and happy that I have been given the opportunity to participate in this great project. Cordially yours," A. Wendell Ball, Madison, West Virginia.
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From the Wisconsin State Journal:
"Being legally blind is a requisite for mighty few jobs. Yet it is all but a necessity for the professional workers of the Services to the Blind Section of the Wisconsin Department of Public Welfare. Blind themselves, they come to the side of the newly-blinded person, bringing him or her reassurance at a time of trouble. They aid in rehabilitation, then go on to help in finding a job for the blind person. And the employer, asked to find a job for the blind person, gains assurance in the self-reliance of the sightless person working for the state. It tells him that the person he may hire can display the same self-reliance.
"The group of 14 professional workers for the section travel all parts of the state, making their way through strange cities and unfamiliar streets as they go about their jobs. Ten of them are totally blind, three have limited sight, and only one is sighted! All but the one are 'legally blind'....
"The man who works on placement in all areas of the state except Milwaukee is Carl Williams, of the Green Bay regional office. 'I make the contact, as a rule, with the employer,' says Williams. 'He may say, "how will the person you recommend find his way around this plant, or do the job we want him to do?" That's when it helps to be totally blind myself. I say, "All right, how did I find my way here?" And I may take over and do the job he wants done, to show that it is possible for a blind person.'...
"Latest figures compiled by the agency show that there are 3,885 adult blind persons in Wisconsin, 920 of whom are totally blind. Some 845 blind persons, or one out of five, are employed in useful occupations. ..."
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By Joe A. Salazar
It is becoming increasingly evident that the 1959 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will enjoy a capacity attendance. The reservation chairman estimates that well over three hundred people have already arranged for reservations. We wish to encourage the membership in general to attend the coming national convention, which may very well be the most crucial and most momentous assembly in our organization's history.
A system has been set up by which, it is hoped, all those persons planning to attend the convention will be registered several weeks in advance. All presidents of affiliates are being mailed a number of registration cards to be distributed among those people who will be delegates to the convention, and to all others wishing to attend. Everyone is urged to comply fully with the directions printed on the card. The purposes of this pre-convention registration are: to save time and prevent confusion, and to compile a useful directory for the convention. It is planned to have this directory both in inkprint and in Braille. The advantages of such a directory are certainly numerous, and worth the slight inconvenience of filling out your card and mailing it. If you are in doubt about any phase of this registration system, write to Miss Ramona Salazar, Route, 1, Box 210-G, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A transportation system is being planned by which delegates may be taken to any part of the city they wish to visit, and for those people who may not wish to walk from their hotels to the place of meeting. Tours are also being proposed which will take the delegates by bus to the surrounding Indian villages and other places of attraction.
In the way of entertainment, it is possible that the delegates may have an opportunity to observe Indian dances, or dance to the music of a genuine Mexican orchestra, or attend a concert of serious music and maybe even an opera performance. Opera in Santa Fe is performed in a beautiful amphitheater by a professional opera company. Their repertoire in past seasons has been delightfully varied.
There is seldom any parking problem in Santa Fe and, as for air conditioning, that is as fantastic and amusing as the proverbial sale of iceboxes to Eskimos.
The October issue of the Braille Monitor carried the Santa Fe hotel rates and the dates of the convention, but it seems that a lot of people overlooked this news item, so we repeat: the convention dates are Friday, June 26, 10:00 A.M. to Monday, June 29, 9:00 P.M.
The following are the five hotels reserved for the NFB convention along with their respective rates: LaFonda (headquarters), a truly elegant hotel occupying nearly an entire city block, of Spanish and Indian architecture--single room, $8.00, double, $11.00; Desert Inn, slightly more than a block away from LaFonda, the most luxurious hotel in Santa Fe--single room, $9.00, double, $12.00, suites for party of four, $4.50 per person, and suites for party of six, $4.20 per person; La Posada Inn, about two blocks away from LaFonda, an old Spanish type building really capturing the atmosphere of old Santa Fe, single rooms, $7.00, doubles, $10.00 and suites for three and four, $5.00 per person; De Vargas, one block away from La Fonda, singles with bath, $4.00 to $5.00, doubles with bath, $5. 00 to $6.00, singles without bath, $2.50 to $3.50, doubles without bath, $4.00 to $5.00, twin bed rooms with bath, $7.00, and cot in dormitory of ten, $1.50 per person; and El Fidel, two blocks from LaFonda, singles with bath, $3.50, doubles with bath, $5.00, singles without bath, $2.50, doubles without bath, $3.50, twin beds with bath, $6. 00 and large room with two double beds, $9.00. Write directly to the hotel of your choice for your reservations and send a carbon copy of your letter to Miss Rosalea Chaves, Reservations Chairman, 311 Guadalupe Street, Apartment 9, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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You will note in the "Letters from Our Readers" column that a number of people express the confident hope that we will be "snowed under" or "buried" or that there will be a "veritable avalanche" of NFB contributions. Although the issue of the Monitor which contains the announcement of this project has been in your hands for more than three weeks, I regret to have to tell you that the results so far have been pitifully meager. What response there has been has come exclusively from rank-and-file members--at least half of whom have written that they are struggling along on public assistance grants but are still managing to send something because they want to be a part of this move- ment, at any sacrifice. The utterly amazing thing is that not a single national officer, member of the Executive Committee, staff member, state president or chapter president has yet been heard from. I may possibly be in error on this last--for changes in chapter presidents are not well reported.
I cannot bring myself to believe that we are so callous and indifferent, or that we care so little for the prestige of our national organization. The list will be kept open until about July 1 but please do not wait until the last minute. Let's get that avalanche on its way!
Here is the first report--such as it is--by states: Wisconsin: $54.00; California: $19.00; Missouri: $11.00; New Jersey: $11.00; District of Columbia: $10.00; Ohio: $6.00; Pennsylvania: $5.25; New York: $5.00; Florida: $5.00; Arkansas: $5.00; West Virginia: $2.00; Colorado: $2.00; Iowa: $1.00; Kansas: $1.00; New Mexico: $1.00; Rhode Island: $1.00; Oklahoma: $1.00; Tennessee: $1.00; Texas: $1.00; Washington: $1.00 and Arizona: $. 50. Total: $143. 75.
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By Florence Lee Jones Cahlan
(Editor's Note: The following excerpt is from an article which appeared in the January, 1959, Nevada News Bulletin. After reviewing the development of Southern Nevada from the time when it was only a barren desert to the present day--the mushrooming of Las Vegas into a world famous resort, the coming of the Hoover Dam to contain the destructive torrent of the Colorado River, the growth of the magnesium industry, the installation of the great Nellis Air Force Base and the immensely important experiments carried out on Frenchman Flats--the author goes on:)
All these are a part of the history and the heritage of the area. To only a few has come the privilege of watching a less spectacular development, but one none the less thrilling, because it has involved human lives. Where there was utter and complete despair, there now is hope; where there was sadness and gloom, there now is joy; where there was financial want, there now is security; where there was loneliness, there now is friendship; where there was idleness, there now is industry; and where there was silence, there now is laughter.
Those who have watched, and not only watched but advised, helped and encouraged, have been members of the Service League. Those who have undergone the great change from neglected and sad people to industrious happy workers are the members of the Southern Nevada Sightless, [Las Vegas chapter of the Nevada Federation.]
Two of the people who started this evolution must never be forgotten. They are the late Marion Keele, who, sightless himself, gave so freely and unselfishly of his frail strength and great heart to the betterment of the condition of others who were blind, and Mrs. Robert Dula, Sr., of Las Vegas, who came to me requesting help from the Service League.
One of the most memorable experiences of my entire life was that first meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Keele, when I sat in the midst of the blind and listened to Mr. Keele's plea on their behalf. The half-dozen others were so unaccustomed to the idea that anything could or would be done for them that they sat mute and only answered direct questions by a simple "yes" or "no".
Now, when I visit the Service League building and enter the Blind Craft Shop, I am reminded each time of that first meeting, because of the great contrast I see in that room. The sightless are laughing and talking; they are working at rug-making looms, using sewing machines, making dolls, or merely walking around the room without guidance.
Progress can be measured in many things material, but to me this is one of the greatest demonstrations of progress which is of the living spirit. Here, although without sight, are people who are alive in every way. Here is satisfaction in accomplishment.
Here is Mrs. Effie Keele... carrying on the work which her late husband started.... Here is Mrs. Audrey Bascom, carrying on the burden of leadership which Mr. Keele prepared her to accept through the years that he visited her and brought hope into her life, where only discouragement had dwelt as her sight faded. Here is Jimmie Washington. I remember that he used to sit with his hands folded on his cane, doing absolutely nothing.... We gave him an oppotunity to find within himself the spirit and the desire to learn. Now he is one of the best weavers in the group; he is learning to read Braille from his able teacher, Jim Ellis, and he is learning a difficult new skill, the caning of chairs....
The Service League was able to assist in getting legislation passed by the Nevada State Legislature so that the blind might benefit under the Social Security law. It was my privilege to work with Mr. Keele and the president of the National Federation of the Blind on the bill which was adopted and later acclaimed as one of the finest in force in any state....
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John L. Daygee, Supervisor, Bureau for the Blind, San Diego County Department of Public Welfare, speaking before the October semi-annual convention of the California Council of the Blind, said, in part:
"One thing we urgently need now--and it won't cost any money--is the promotion of healthy attitudes toward public assistance. Although the concept is not universally accepted, I believe that public assistance is a right. It is not charity, not a gift, not help given out of pity. I wish I could get on the rooftops and shout this. I believe all human beings, simply because they are human beings, have a right to have certain basic needs met and that these needs should be met without impairing dignity or self-respect. It's as simple as that. The idea of 'worthy' does not even enter into it. All human beings have 'worth'."
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Federal office of Vocational Rehabilitation claims that it rehabilitated 4,005 blind persons during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1957. Following is the breakdown:
Professional, total 206--Accountants and auditors, 3; actors and actresses, 1; authors, editors and reporters, 6; clergymen,18; county agents and farm demonstrators, 2; college professors and instructors, 2; electrical engineers, 2; lawyers and judges,16; librarians,1; musicians and teachers of music, 47; social and welfare workers, 32; teachers, primary, secondary, vocational, schools for the handicapped, etc., 60; trained nurses, 2; natural scientists, 4; social scientists, 3; and others, 7.
Semiprofessional, total, 66--draftsmen 2; laboratory technicians and assistants,12; medical service occupations, 30; photographers,1; athletes, sports instructors and sports officials, 3; radio operators, 6; technicians, except laboratory, 4; and others, 5.
Managerial and official, total, 477--hotel and restaurant managers, 25; retail managers, 89; wholesale managers, 3; advertising agents, 3; vending stand operators, 329; managers and superintendents, buildings, 2; purchasing agents and buyers, 1; ship captains, mates, pilots and engineers, 1, and others, 24.
Clerical and kindred, total, 282--bookkeepers and cashiers, except bank, 2; checkers, 2; clerks, general office, hotel, insurance, printing, etc., 39; vending stand clerks, 52; general industry clerks,14; messengers, errand boys, office boys and girls,14; office machine operators, 8; physicians' and dentists' assistants and attendants, 1; secretaries, 9; shipping and receiving clerks,13; technical clerks, 4; stenographers and typists, 84; statistical clerks and compilers,1; stock clerks, 21; telephone operators, 14; and others, 4.
Service occupations, domestic, total, 181--day workers,12; launderers, private family,14; housekeepers, private family, 32; housemen and yardmen, 32; cooks, domestic, 4; maids, general 44; nursemaids and baby sitters, 42; and miscellaneous servants, private family, 3.
Service occupations, personal, total 167--bartenders, 2; bellmen and related occupations, 2; boarding-house and lodging-house keepers, 8; maids and housemen, hotels, restaurants, etc., 3; house-keepers, stewards and hostesses, 5; cooks, except private family, 12; waiters and waitresses, except private family, 20; ship stewards, 1; kitchen workers in hotels, restaurants, railroads, steamships, etc., 55; barbers, beauticians and manicurists, 4; bootblacks, 5; nurses aides, practical nurses, etc., 14; attendants, recreation and amusement, 8; attendants, hospitals and other institutions, 25; attendants, professional and personal service, 2; and ushers,1.
Service occupations, protective, total 11--guards and watchmen, except crossing, 10; and sheriffs and bailiffs, 1.
Service occupations, building, total, 118--charwomen and cleaners, 3; janitors and sextons, 81; porters, 20; elevator operators,12; and others, 2.
Agricultural, fishery and forestry, total 395--general farmers,120; cotton, dairy, fruit, livestock, poultry, and truck farmers, 98; farm hands,120; fruit and vegetable graders and packers, 2; irrigation occupations,1; farm managers and foremen, 4; nursery operators and flower growers, 2; nursery and landscaping laborers, 8; gardeners and groundskeepers in parks and cemeteries,15; hatcherymen,1; cotton ginners, 2; fishermen and oystermen, 5; fishing occupations, other, 5; and other agricultural occupations,12.
Skilled, total 261--occupations in processing of dairy products,1; textile weavers, 8; dressmakers and seamstresses, 10; other occupations in manufacture of textiles,1; cabinetmakers, 4; upholsterers, 3; other occupations in manufacture of furniture and in wood--working, 22; pressmen and plate printers,1; other printing and publishing occupations,1; occupations in production of rubber goods,1; shoemakers and shoe repairmen, not in factory,1; other occupations in manufacturing of leather goods, 5; machinists, 5; machine shops and related occupations, 5; blacksmiths, forgemen and hammer-men,1; occupations in mechanical treatment of metals,1; occupations in fabrication of metal products, 2; inter-industry metalworking occupations, 3; electricians, 5; other workers in manufacturing of radios, electrical machinery, etc.,16; skilled workshop operators, 29; piano and organ tuners, 24; occupations in manufacturing of miscellaneous products,10; miners and mining-machine operators, 2; construction machinery operators, 2; brick and stone masons and tile setters, 4; carpenters,16; cement and concrete finishers,1; painters, construction and maintenance,1; plumbers, gas fitters and steam fitters, 2; linemen and servicemen for telegraph, telephone and power, etc., 2; transportation occupations, 3; laundry workers, 3; glaziers, 2; mechanics and repairmen, airplane, railroad and motor vehicle, 30; photographic process workers, 21; foremen, manufacture and construction, 6; and others, 7.
Semiskilled, total 708--occupations in production of bakery, dairy, meat and other food products, 12; occupations in manufacture of tobacco products, 5; dressmakers and seamstresses, 5; occupations in production of textiles and textile products, 62; lumbermen, raftsmen, woodchoppers and sawmill occupations, 11; upholsterers, 2; workers in manufacturing of furniture and other woodworking occupations, 48; workers in production of rubber goods, 8; shoemakers and repairmen, not in factory,1; workers in manufacture of boots and shoes, 5; workers in production of leather and leather products,14; workers in production of clay products, 3; occupations in manufacture of clocks, watches, jewelry, etc., 4; filers, grinders, buffers, and polishers, (metal), 3; machine shop workers, 21; foundry occupations,1; structural and ornamental metal workers,1; workers in other metalworking occupations, 17; electricians,1; workers in manufacture of electrical equipment, 7; occupations in manufacture of transportation equipment, 9; semiskilled workshop operators, 279; workers in manufacturing of miscellaneous products, 26; painters, except construction and maintenance,1; dyers, 2; miners and mining machine operators,1; painters in construction and maintenance, 4; other workers in construction occupations, 8; routemen, 3; chauffeurs and drivers of motor vehicles, 9; laundry workers, 7; occupations in trades and services, 2; attendants, service stations and parking lots,11; public service workers, 4; packing, labeling, filling, etc., 34; firemen, other than process firemen,1; engineers, stationary, 2; inspectors, 4; mechanics and repairmen, motor vehicle, etc.,13; tool sharpeners and dressers, 5; photographic process occupations, 23; surveying chainmen, rodmen and axmen, 2; warehousing, storekeeping, 6; apprentices to carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other trades, 11; and other miscellaneous occupations, 12.
Unskilled, total 312--laborers in: production of food products, 27; production of tobacco products, 3; production of textiles and fabricated textile products, 21; production of lumber and lumber products, 21; production of paper and paper products, 3; printing and publishing, 5; production of chemical products, 3; production of petroleum products, 1; production of boots, shoes, and leather goods, 4; production of glass, clay and cement products, 7; manufacture of clocks, watches, etc., 2; machine shops,17; manufacturing of electrical equipment, 24; manufacturing of transportation equipment,11; manufacturing of miscellaneous products, 6; miscellaneous manufacturing and assembly occupations, 39; construction work, 37; transportation occupation, 6; trade and service utilities and public service occupations, 27; packing, filling, labeling, and marking, 22; oiling of machinery,1; repair shops,1; transportation equipment occupations, greasers and washers, 3; photographic process occupations, 2; warehousing and storekeeping occupations, 10; and miscellaneous occupations, 15.
Family workers and housewives, total 576.
Not reported, 1.
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The Editor of the New Beacon is authority for the statement that it has now become standard policy in Great Britain that no government employee who becomes blind shall be retired until after the Ministry of Labor has made a thorough investigation of his case, to determine whether or not he can be retrained, either to continue in his former job or to be placed in some other government job where sight is not absolutely indispensable.
Telegram received on January 20 from West Virginia's new Senator, Robert C. Byrd: "Dear Mr. Card: Am co-sponsoring with Senator Kennedy a bill to protect rights of blind to self-expression through organizations of the blind."
Other than the Central Region, which covers the Washington, D.C. area, the 7th U.S. Civil Service Regional Office, (Chicago), is the first to issue new announcements for telephone switchboard operators admitting blind persons.
The Michigan Council of the Blind has at last been accorded a seat on the advisory committee to the Michigan agency charged with services to the blind. This constitutes a long-overdue official recognition of the important status which our Michigan affiliate has achieved. The very able Stanley Oliver will be the Council's representative.
The 1959 convention of the Western Conference of Teachers of the Adult Blind will be held in Seattle, Washington on September 16, 17 and 18.
From The Seeing Eye Guide, December, 1958: "Mr. James Carey, President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Seeing Eye, announced on September 30 that a grant of $30,000 had been made by The Seeing Eye to the Retina Foundation of Boston. The grant assures the Retina Foundation of funds needed to begin construction of a new one million dollar center for research relating to many causes of blindness.... 'The public has been generous in its support of The Seeing Eye,' Mr. Carey stated, 'but we realize that the concept of a blind person guided by an educated dog frequently appears more dramatic in the public's mind than does research in blindness, and in other important problems related to the rehabilitation of blind people--through employment, for example.'... "
A team of six American physicians left November 19 for a 30-day survey of neurology in the Soviet Union under sponsorship of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness.
From the American Medical Association Washington Letter, December 12, 1958: "The Democratic Advisory Council... recommended to Congress the elimination of age limitation (50 years) on disability insurance payments as a 'disabled person is disabled whether he is 25, 40 or 50 years old'. Also it would have benefits increased 20 percent within the next three or four years, widows' benefits boosted, and the earnings ceiling for OASI taxes moved up from $4, 800 to $7,200 within two years. ..."
The Jewish Blind Society of Great Britain has begun issuing a tape-recorded magazine. It will appear at six-week intervals.
From the New Beacon's "Foreign News": "From Los Angeles comes word of an appeal for pets for blind children made by the Foundation for the Junior Blind. A 'Please Stop' SOS was sent out after well-wishers had offered 2,345 rabbits, 1,818 ducks, 697 chickens, 351 guinea pigs, 216 white mice, 66 hamsters, 18 opossums, 54 turtles and two baby boa constrictors."
At a meeting of the Executive Council of the Blind Professional Association of America, held in New York City on December 13, it was agreed that a meeting of the general membership be called for the first Saturday in April and that at this meeting the question of dissolution of the organization be seriously considered.
Irving MacArthur of Rochester, New York, sends us the following, which appeared in the Rochester Democrat Chronicle: "A blind city court judge from Dunkirk was among five recipients of State Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Awards....Judge Janowski was honored for 'guiding the way to a better understanding of the problems, needs and capabilities of the blind'. He has worked with the Sight Conservation Committee of the Lions Club and helped establish an Eye Bank at Brooks Memorial Hospital. He has worked as a member of the Southwestern Tier Association for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind. He is a Director of the County Crippled Children's Society. His work as City Court judge has been particularly successful in lowering traffic violations, settling matrimonial problems and handling problems of minorities. ..."
From the Virginia Newsletter: "Mr. Brewster Snow, Secretary-Treasurer of the state AFL-CIO, attended the January 5th meeting of the Richmond Chapter and not only delivered the principal address but joined the chapter, as did also Mr. J. A. Garnett, former Field Representative of the AFL-CIO, who accompanied him. John Taylor was also able to be present at this meeting. Mr. Snow spoke of the failure of the state government to serve the blind adequately. He cited examples of how federal funds are liberally made available to Virginia and the persistent disinclination of state officials to match these funds. Mr. Snow asserted categorically that this sad state of affairs and other dismal conditions in the state will not be rectified until control of the state government by machine politicians is brought to an end. He said that the cardinal duty of such organizations as the AFL-CIO and the Virginia Federation of the Blind is to make an all-out effort to elect concerned and qualified persons to office. John Taylor pointed out that very often the AFL-CIO and the NFB support the same federal legislation and appear together before Congressional committees."
From the Iowa Newsletter: "William Hahle, who resigned as Legislative Chairman when he was appointed to the Commission for the Blind, has been succeeded by Dr. H. F. Schluntz, former state president. Other members of the committee are Fred Kinne, of Eagle Grove, and William Klontz, of Waterloo. On November 13 the entire committee met with the State Board of Social Welfare. There appeared to be a spirit of cooperation between the two groups and it was decided that we would whole-heartedly back the budget requests of the Welfare Board. We believe that, if these funds are granted, the medical program will be strengthened and it will be possible to adjust the budgets of those receiving welfare grants to fit the present cost of living.... On December 12th Gene Nading was elected President of the Des Moines Association of the Blind.... On the same date Lelia Klontz was elected President of the Black Hawk County Association of the Blind....Mr. Ralph Beardsley, who has operated the stand in the Sioux City Post Office for many years, has been forced to retire after suffering a severe physical breakdown. Miss Karen Clawson, of Otho, Iowa, will take over this stand....Our secretary, Charles Wood, has secured a position as teacher in the public school at Coralville, Iowa. Mr. Wood is thought to be the first blind person ever to receive a teaching contract in the Iowa public school system. Many of his needed books are being put into Braille by the transcription service in Des Moines....Since our last report in October, Vivian Shearer has taken the place of Nel Amos in the home industries work at the offices of the Commission for the Blind. Mrs. Glenn, of Des Moines, has been secured as Stand Supervisor, and James Valient has been added to the staff. Remodeling work has been completed, giving considerably more space for Commission activities and providing a conference room where small groups can hold meetings."
The Michigan Eye Opener reports that membership in the Muskegon and South Oakland County Chapters of the Michigan Council has increased so rapidly that both have been compelled to seek new meeting quarters.
During the 1959 session of their state legislatures, several of our affiliates are seeking amendments designed to permit a blind person to designate the person of his choice to mark his ballot or operate the voting machine. The NFB national office has sent out a tabulation of state laws defining the rights of blind voters to all presidents of state and local affiliates. This should be of great help in convincing legislators that blind persons should have the right to have a person of their choice aid them in marking ballots. The tabulation shows that 34 of the 49 states already have such a provision, although some of them restrict the choice to close relatives. With the possible exception of partially blind voters, affidavits of blindness, visual examination reports and oaths of blindness should be eliminated from the statutes when legislation is being prepared.
On December 1, Mrs. Edna Mullikin succeeded Mr. R.W. Stroud as Director of the Phoenix Center for the Blind.
From the Nevada News Bulletin: "On the afternoon of January 15, the officers and board members of the Nevada Federation of the Blind, accompanied by Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, president of the National Federation of the Blind, met with Governor Sawyer and his staff in his office in Carson City for the purpose of discussing our Federation's legislative recommendations. During this meeting the Governor expressed a real interest in the needs of the blind and ways and means for expanded services in our behalf. He also expressed a willingness and desire to cooperate with our state and national organizations." "George Magers has been appointed chairman of our 1959 state convention, which will be held at Reno. "... "With the resignation of Gar Orcutt, Audrey Bascom has been appointed to complete the three-year term on the State Advisory Committee to Services to the Blind."
From the AFB Technical Bulletin No. 4: "... The question of 'What of 16 2/3 rpm? 'and, for that matter, 'What of 8 1/3 rpm?' can only be answered by the adoption of one or the other by the Library of Congress. Obviously, neither can or should be adopted until the Library has carried out the thorough field testing which any major departure from a standard so long established necessitates " (Experiments conducted in AFB laboratories on one type of disc designed for 8 1/3 rpm indicate that, because of the extremely fine and shallow grooves, recordings become worn and noisy much sooner than on discs designed for 16 2/3 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm recordings. It is pointed out, however, that this applies only to the one type tested and is by no means conclusive with respect to all types of 8 1/3 rpm recordings.)
From a Kansas City newspaper:--"Several men tried in vain Thursday night to rescue James Thomas, 41, who was overcome by smoke from a small fire in his third floor hotel room. The rescuers were driven back by smoke. Then Marion Goodpaster, 30, another tenant in the hotel, entered the room and crawled toward the groaning man. He got hold of Thomas' belt and dragged him to the door, where he was helped by other tenants. Goodpaster is blind. ..."
The Minnesota Council of the Blind has been authorized to take the steps necessary to create a credit union for members of the organized blind movement in that state. This action was taken at a meeting of the MOB on December 6, at which Jenny Lien and Louis Heltzer were elected as delegates to the Santa Fe convention.
From the Visually Handicapped Views:"... The October meeting of the Fingertips Club was held on the 11th at the home of Agnes Zachte....The president asked for a report from the Constitution Committee. The chairman of the committee stated that since the only two members of his committee were presently not speaking to each other, there had been no progress. ..."
Senators Jackson, Murray, Hill, Humphrey, Mansfield, Beall, Neuberger, Magnuson, Hennings, Carroll and McNamara introduced, on January 21, S. 619, which, among other things, provides that transportation expenses incurred by blind persons traveling to and from work shall be deductible with respect to Federal income taxes. It also gives the $600 exemption, now enjoyed by the blind, to other classes of severely handicapped taxpayers.
Bill Scrimgeour, of Miami, Florida, former president of the Miami Chapter, and one of the two Florida-Boston hitchhikers to the 1958 NFB convention, is now planning an even more ambitious trip--which will take him eventually to Santa Fe for the 1959 convention. He proposes to head north from Florida along much the same route he used last summer, then swing west all the way to the North Pacific coast, then south to the Mexican border, then east to Santa Fe, and after the convention, southeast to the Gulf Coast and finally back to his starting point. He will be accompanied this time only by his faithful guide dog. He hopes to obtain many speaking engagements along the way. He plans to charge a modest fee for these appearances and thus finance his trip. It could certainly be a thrilling adventure--the only thing that bothers me is how he can maintain a sufficiently rigid schedule so that he can be on hand at the right places and at the right times to fill his speaking engagements.
From the Missouri Monthly Report: "... On January 8, bills sponsored by the State Department of Welfare were introduced into both the House and Senate of the Missouri Legislature.... They provided for monthly grants of $65.00 and a $2,400.00 ceiling on 'exempt earnings'...." "Another recent incorporation is that of the Pony Express Club of St. Joseph, at no cost. This organization cleared over $300.00 selling candy at Christmas time; in fact, it conducts a continuous candy sale. ..."
From The Blind Advocate: "A new, fully equipped boys 'national school and training center for blind males, the only one of its kind in Ireland, will be built in Dublin next year at a cost of 20,000 pounds. It will replace the century-old existing school. ..." "The Minister of Health has now received complaints from the Welfare Committee of the Association of Municipal Corporations that the Prison Commissioners are 'poaching' Government contracts normally carried out by workshops for the blind." ... "The Management committee of the Northampton workshops for the blind are considering the introduction of injection moulding of plastics. Experiments are being carried on in the manufacture of brushes filled with plastic monofilament. It is hoped to produce road brooms filled with this material which, although expensive, lasted four times as long as brushes filled with natural fibers." ... "A machine made by the Zeiss Company of Germany is now in use in the Moorfields Eye Hospital. It produces a needle of light six times brighter than the sun and provides a new form of treatment for eye tumors and detachments of the retina. ..."
From the CCB Outlook: "Reporter Audrey Down of the Vancouver Sun volunteered to have her eyes bandaged for a week to find out what it is like to be blind. 'I have risked my life in stunts such as riding in a balloon, climbing mountains and training wild horses,' she wrote, 'but no adventure held so many misgivings as this trip into darkness.' ...When the adhesive was pressed home, her first sensation was one of panic; then profound boredom. But she stuck to it and after a time began to realize that things might not be so bad after all in the 'world of darkness'. She forced herself to travel about the city alone, on foot and on busses, and her success in this hazardous exploit gave her a well-deserved sense of triumphant achievement."... "The incidence of glaucoma is much higher than was supposed. Recently it has been found that about two in every 100 persons over age 40 have the disease, often unknown to themselves. So much glaucoma has been neglected that the disease accounts for 12 percent of all blindness. The main reason for this is that the common chronic form of glaucoma has no early symptoms. Unless the disease is picked up early by a medical eye specialist (ophthalmologist) by means of tests, the glaucoma is usually not diagnosed until the patient seeks advice because of failing vision.... Since the disease can best be checked by early diagnosis and treatment before symptoms are noticeable, it is advisable that everyone over 40 should have a complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist frequently, some authorities say every two years. ..."
Mrs. Edith Garrett, of Nampa, Idaho, Treasurer of the Gem State Blind and also Treasurer of its Western Chapter, has been visiting her daughter in Janesville, Wisconsin, and took occasion to call at the Monitor office one day last week. She is returning to Idaho in about a month.
From the New York Eyecatcher: "Victor Roty, pioneer member of the Buffalo Chapter, has been hospitalized with a perforated ulcer but is on the gain." ..."The Christmas candy sale in Buffalo this year is expected to run about 6,500 pounds." ... "With the retirement of Ed Lemke, Albert Wylaz, the Rochester Chapter President, received a well-deserved promotion. Ed and Hazel Lemke plan to travel a good deal during the first years of their retirement. The former Wylaz stand in the General Hospital has been taken over by Harold Hubbart."... "Don Hills received the best Christmas present ever: A sizeable increase in pay and an advancement to Floor Supervisor. The successful fitting of a contact lens has improved Don's vision a great deal and the fact that his new lens fell into his bowl of hot soup the first time he wore it has brought him a good bit of ribbing."... "The Rochester arid Brooklyn Chapters have contributed $25 each to the state treasury for legislative purposes."..."Norma Wagner now represents the E.S.A.B. on the Central Trades and Labor Council. This is one more step toward recognition of the organized blind."... "The Brooklyn Chapter has been very successful in selling the ceramic ashtrays supplied by Sightless Enterprises of Canton, Ohio. These ashtrays are red or green with two designs--a white cane on one and a guide dog on the other--and with both Braille and print alphabets on the rim."
From The New Outlook for the Blind: "Richard Kinney, deaf-blind teacher, has been elected Assistant Director of the Hadley School for the Blind, Winnetka, 111., by the Board of Trustees.... He was commended both for his work as a teacher and for his public relations activities, which have helped to make the school nationally known and have promoted wider support from Lions Clubs. "...
"Voyle C. Scurlock, Director of the Oklahoma Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, has been elected President of the Executive Committee of the Council of State Directors of Vocational Rehabilitation. Mr. Scurlock, a former President of the National Rehabilitation Association, succeeds retiring President, Harry Simmons, of Tampa, Fla."
"Don't swing that cane so hard! There is an ankle in that shoe; The runner in that nylon hose may well be charged to you."--Washington State White Cane.
Last minute flash!--Berkeley, Calif., Feb.16: "Robert W. Campbell, who was re-elected President of the California Council of the Blind only last October, (by an extremely close vote and after a rather bitter contest), has resigned! He is automatically succeeded by Russell Kletzing, of Sacramento, 1st Vice-President."
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(Ed. Note--The following was received after this issue of the Braille Monitor had been completed but is so important that we are including it in this place. It should probably have been a part of the article entitled, "Thirty-Two Co-sponsors in Senate; Forty-Two Join Baring in House".)
Senator Kennedy (D.-Mass.) today announced he would introduce on behalf of himself and 32 other Senators, "a bill to protect the right of blind persons to organize, to express themselves freely on matters affecting them and to be consulted in connection with programs aimed at solving their problems. ..."
The organizations of the blind have long contended that they have been denied the right to promote their own viewpoints in dealing with many professional and government agencies which are responsible for programs on behalf of the blind. The bill would protect these rights.
"The bill has two sections. Section 1 directs the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, to the extent practical, to consult with blinded persons in the formulation and execution of programs for the blind and to encourage state agencies to do likewise."
"The second section bars any officer or agency using Federal funds from exerting any influence on blinded persons with respect to their joining organizations of the blind."
Senator Kennedy pointed out: "This bill is designed simply to prevent the thoughtless, needless and unjust rejection of the views of the blind and their organizations when policies vitally affecting them are formulated. It will result, I am confident, in better programs for the blind and a greater sense of participation by those whom these programs are designed to serve."
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