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.
JANUARY ISSUE -1960
THE BRAILLE MONITOR
Published monthly in Braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind, 605 South Few Street, Madison 3, Wisconsin.
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.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Elliott Subcommittee Hearings and New England Workshop--Special Education and Rehabilitation
by John Taylor
Paul Kirton Leaves NFB Staff
The Electronic Tonometer
White Cane Week, 1959
HEW Secretary Denounces Residence Laws
Survey Aftermath in West Virginia
Another Prison Project
A Worthy Project
The Helpless Blind
From Our Readers
Here and There
A New Field
by Stanley Oliver
by John Taylor
In lieu of acting on one of the presidential study connmission bills on problems of the blind last May, the Subcommittee on Special Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor decided to conduct a comprehensive independent study of special education and rehabilitation. The special study is not limited to programs for the blind, but, rather, it encompasses programs of special education and rehabilitation for all disability groups. The special study staff, under the direction of Dr. Merle Frampton, principal of the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind and professor of special education at Hunter College, has virtually completed the first phase of its work which consists of a compilation of all Federal laws and regulations which relate to rehabilitation and special education. In the very near future, the compilation will be printed as a public document.
The second phase of the special study--workshop sessions in connection with subcommittee hearings on a regional basis throughout the country--is already under way. The pattern has now been established and the procedures are rather well-defined. In order to help in the identification of unmet needs in the areas of special education and rehabilitation and to obtain recommendations for Federal legislation, interested individuals and representatives of agencies and organizations are invited to participate in a two-day workshop which is divided on the basis of disability groups. During one of the two days, each workshop group concerns itself with special education while the other day is devoted to rehabilitation. Representatives of the Federation's affiliates are invited to participate on a basis of equality with all other invitees in the workshop sessions on the visually impaired. During the latter part of October, the first workshops were held in New York City followed by two days of subconnmittee hearings. Mary Jane Hills and Ray Dinsmore participated fully and a number of substantial program improvements were recommended.
On December 15th and 16th the second group of workshop sessions was held in New Haven, Connecticut and utilized the facilities of Yale University. It was followed by two full days of public hearings before the Subcommittee on Special Education. The Federation's six New England affiliates were represented by Miss Elena Landi, Miss Anita O'Shea, Frank Baker, Alaric Nichols, Franklin VanVliet, and Henry T. Istas, who represented respectively affiliates in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. William Hogan, who was ill, had designated Henry Istas as the representative of the Connecticut Federation of the Blind. Co-chairmen of the workshop group on the visually impaired were Dr. Edward J. Waterhouse, director, Perkins School for the Blind and Mr. Fred Greehan, supervisor of Rehabilitation, Massachusetts Division of the Blind. This workshop group recommended a wide range of program improvements which are too numerous to summarize here. However, the recommendations included the following changes in Title X of the Social Security Act:
1. Exemption of the first $1200 income per year (not restricted to earned income) in determining the resources of a blind aid recipient.
2. Exemption of 50% of each dollar of earned income in excess of $1200 per year until self-support has been attained.
3. The cash surrender value of a policy or policies of life insurance should be disregarded in computing resources on the first $5000 face value of life insurance.
4. In determining available resources, the value of property utilized as a home should be disregarded.
5. Any other income and resources which are necessary to implement an approved plan for attaining self-support may be retained.
6. For the purpose of encouraging and enabling a greater number of recipients of Aid to the Blind to become self-supporting, all expenditures incurred by a recipient in effecting his plan to become self-supporting, including payments made for the purchase of fixtures and material needed by him, should be deducted from gross income in computing net income, provided that such payments shall not be more than $100 per month.
7. The ceiling on Federal participation in Aid to the Blind grants should be increased from $65 per month to $100 per month on the average paid to all recipients.
8. The workshop group also recommended that each state agency should create a special bureau or division separate from all other divisions, to administer Aid to the Blind.
With respect to Title 11 of the Social Security Act, the workshop group recommended the following changes:
1. Disability benefits should be made available as an absolute right without regard to age, income or employment status related exclusively to the establishment of the disability of blindness within the generally accepted legal definition.
2. That the minimum requirement of coverage be reduced from 20 quarters to 6 quarters in covered employment.
3. That the present provision of compulsory acceptance of rehabilitation be abandoned, but that, instead, O.A.S.I, be encouraged to suggest rehabilitation to all beneficiaries.
4. Disability benefits should be made available to persons who have earned coverage after the onset of blindness on the same basis as that recommended above.
With respect to Public Law 565 and the Randolph-Sheppard Act, the workshop recommended:
1. That the definition of a "vending stand" be expanded to include snack bars and similar merchandising operations.
2. That all income from vending machines on Federal property be assigned to the blind vending stand operator and that vending machines should not be installed in lieu of vending stands.
3. That an appeals system be established to provide for a review of decisions of department heads which denied permission to install a vending stand or unnecessarily limited the items to be sold.
4. That reader service to blind rehabilitation clients be removed from the category of services conditioned upon economic need.
5. That state agencies be pernnitted to pay maintenance to blind rehabilitation clients beyond the current limitation of 30 days after obtaining employment, and
6. That state agencies be permitted to pay rent and other necessary charges in connection with establishing a small-business enterprise for a period of time greater than previously allowed.
The workshop urged that Federal funds be made available to train teachers of blind children and that stipends to blind students include adequate provision for reader service.
Dr. Frampton and his staff are attempting to assure the representation of all points of view. Federation representatives are being given a full opportunity to participate in the workshop sessions and if they desire to do so, to testify before the subcommittee. On Friday morning, December 18th, Henry Istas, in testifying before the subcommittee, commended it for consulting with the blind with respect to program improvements.
Since the scope of the special study is not limited to an evaluation of existing programs but includes the inauguration of new ones, the whole range of the Federation's legislative proposals is up for review. Federationists now have one of the opportunities which they have been seeking, and it is necessary to utilize it fully.
The third workshop will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 25th and 26th, and the participants will be drawn from the 14 southern states. The Subcommittee on Special Education will follow the workshop sessions with two days of public hearings on January 27th and 28th.
After the regional workshops and hearings, a consensus of the total recommendations will provide the framework for long-range program improvements. They deserve the best efforts of everyone.
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Congressman Stuyvesant Wainwright, who is a member of the Elliott Subcommittee on Special Education, and whose home district in the New York metropolitan area contains nnany of the most powerful agencies for the blind, has quite evidently been subjected to a considerable amount of anti-Federation propaganda. He has evinced strong antipathy during the subcommittee hearings on the Kennedy-Baring legislation and continues to manifest a hostile attitude as the regional hearings begin. In a letter which she sent him at the conclusion of the New York sessions, Mary Jane Hills describes the democratic structure of both the NFB and its New York affiliate, and continues:
"During the public hearings of the subconnmittee on October 29, when the reports of the various workshop groups were being presented, you indicated in rather strong terms that you were not in sympathy with the views of organizations such as the Empire State Association of the Blind. Specifically, you said: 'Also, I wanted to make clear, particularly for Dr. Palmer's benefit after his opening statement, that I am not in the least in sympathy with the totalitarian viewpoint of this group....'
"The Empire State Association of the Blind, as well as other affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind, has supported legislation which would require consultation with representatives of organizations of the blind in the formulation, administration and execution of programs for the aid and rehabilitation of the blind, to which Federal funds are contributed. Further, this legislation would prohibit employees of agencies for the blind from exercising undue influence against the right of blind persons to join organizations of the blind. The legislation was not designed to exclude others from participation in the consultative procedures which it would establish nor have we ever requested such denial. We have stated frequently that representatives of organizations of the blind should be included among those to be consulted with respect to program planning. The truth of the matter is that representatives of agencies for the blind are now being consulted but representatives of organizations of the blind are denied participation in these procedures. I find it difficult to understand how you can regard this desire to be consulted as in any way a 'totalitarian viewpoint.'
"I am aware of the fact that it is the custom in many congressional offices that members of the staff answer letters. I am requesting that you answer this inquiry personally.
"In what way or ways do organizations of the blind possess a 'totalitarian viewpoint'? What evidence is there to support this contention? Do you feel that it would be unreasonable to consult with representatives of organizations of the blind in planning the very programs which bear directly upon them?
"I have worked hard in building and improving the Empire State Association of the Blind and I have participated actively in the annual conventions of the National Federation of the Blind. I know first hand the contributions which these organizations have and are making toward improving the opportunities for individual blind persons--I know first hand that these organizations have brought about substantial improvements in programs for the blind, I am convinced that organizations of the blind play an essential role in democratizing and improving federally supported programs for the aid and rehabilitation of the blind."
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Those who have known Paul personally, those who have known of his work in behalf of many state affiliates, those who have heard him speak at state conventions, and even many of those who have only read about him will have noted the above caption with a keen pang of sorrow.
Paul joined the staff in September, 1957. He has spent more than half of this period in field work and on liaison assignments throughout Federationland. He organized no less than 9 brand-new chapters by himself and helped to organize 2 others. He participated actively in both the West Virginia and New Hampshire surveys. He made hundreds of warm friends. The rest of the time he has worked in the Madison office, where he has drafted legislation requested by many state affiliates, carried on extensive research jobs and handled a considerable portion of the correspondence. He has relieved me from reading much required Braille material, for he has the facility which I lack. He has carried on productive negotiations with the national office of CUNA (Credit Union National Association). Of late months he has devoted much time to appearances before the great international unions, in an effort to interest them in extending financial help to the NFB.
Many will regret that the executive committee felt it had to impose a mandatory cut of 25 percent in the Federation's staff and secretariat. The decision was reached not so much because of any present financial emergency as because of the anticipation of extremely heavy program expenses during1960. The Braille Monitor has also suffered a further cut and the amount allocated for administrative costs has been severely slashed.
Paul's services will terminate on December 31. He is anxious to continue in some phase of work for and with the blind but at this writing he has not yet established a desirable connection. He wishes me to tell you that he will still respond to requests for help and counsel from his fellow Federationists insofar as circumstances permit. The Monitor will announce his new address as soon as it is learned and in the meantime will forward all correspondence.
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Below are excerpts from a feature article which appeared recently in a San Francisco newspaper:
"A new instrument which facilitates detection of glaucoma has been developed by University of California scientists. Glaucoma strikes 2% of all adults over the age of 40. Pressure builds up within the eyes and damages the optic nerve. Until now a quick and painless detection instrument has been lacking... The electronic tonometer is pressed gently against the eye and records the pressure. A measurement takes no more than a second, and the instrument causes no pain. It is also extremely accurate. ... It may be operated by persons with a minimum of experience."
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In terms of the allocations by the various states to the national organization of which they are integral parts, here are the final figures:
Michigan (Muskegon chapter), $24.19; Connecticut, $60; Texas, $61.76; Wyoming, $75; Arizona, $95.98; Kansas, $145.05; Colorado, $170.33; Oregon, $200; Nevada, $235; Louisiana, $250; South Carolina, $313.70; Iowa, $317; Alabama, $450.39; Vermont, $484.23; West Virginia, $585.17; Florida, $595.83; Minnesota, $600; Ohio, $675; Tennessee, $826.77; Washington State, $1,000; Missouri, $1,559.83; Massachusetts, $1,680.59; California, $3,025.01, and Wisconsin, $7,895.93. Sub-total, $21,326.76.
Profit on national mailings, $6,153.80. Payment on 1958 delinquent loans, $2,378.71. Grand total, $29,859.27.
Delinquent loans as of January 1,1959, $4,162.62.
Delinquent loans as of December 15, 1959, $5,784.78.
Total net receipts, $24,074.49.
States which have formerly contributed but are missing from this year's list: Oklahoma, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Idaho, Arkansas, and Illinois.
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(The following is an excerpt from an address by Secretary Arthur Flemming, delivered October 27 before the annual meeting of the National Rehabilitation Association at Boston.)
"We must make our welfare programs available to those who are in need, without regard to other extraneous considerations. Residence requirements, for example, are indefensible. Why should a family that is in need be deprived of assistance because they have not lived in a particular community or a particular state for a given period of time? Surely the Federal Government should not permit states to withhold Federal funds for such a reason."
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(Editor's Note: All reports in this section have necessarily been condensed because of the rigid limitation of space which must be observed. There were 60 typewritten pages--double-spaced--in the November manuscript. Budgetary considerations have brought an order to cut future issues to 36 typed pages. The December issue was cut 10 pages by executive order after it had been sent to the printing house.)
by Sandford Allerton
The semi-annual convention of the Michigan Council of the Blind was held in Pontiac, September 26-27. Routine business was kept at a minimum but there were meaty discussions on switchboard operation, legislation, and related problems. Legislation Chairman Stanley Oliver reported in considerable detail. His committee was re-appointed and instructed to press for the same objectives as before. The sale of fruitcakes as a fundraising project for the chapters was presented by John Luxon and approved. Cooperation with other groups was emphasized throughout the discussions. We had two excellent guest speakers at our banquet. Mr. C. LaVerne Roberts, a blind lawyer with considerable private practice and court commissioner in Lansing, gave an informative talk on "Courthouses, Dwelling Houses, and People."
by Gene Motz
The tenth annual convention of tlie Arizona Association of the Blind was held in Miami, October 23-25. It became evident early in the proceedings that our president, Leslie Webb of Yuma, had adopted the Santa Fe "scrambled agenda" technique. The first important item was a report by personnel from the welfare department. They promised to cooperate with us in sponsoring legislation to raise the budgetary schedule for aid to the blind. The only legislative achievement our committee could report for the last session was the increase in the maximum grant from $80 to $90. This committee proposed to seek during the next session a provision to allow blind voters to select their own assistants at the polls, a $2,000 property exemption, and other welfare legislation. A resolution was adopted to withhold pressure for an NFB survey until President Webb has had time to evaluate the promised welfare department effort. We regretted the lack of a good NFB speaker at our banquet but were very grateful for the address of Anthony Jones, a past district governor of the Lions, The Nicholas J. Zieser Award was given to Mrs. Lome Dean of Phoenix. Vacancies in the offices of second vice president and secretary were filled by the election of Charles Davidson of Douglas, and Jerry Fields of Tucson, respectively. President Webb was elected delegate to the Miami convention and Jim Fall of Phoenix, alternate.
by Ray Penix
In announcing our convention (Lafayette Hotel, Little Rock, October 23-25), a local paper used the somewhat startling headline, "3,000 Expected at Convention of Blind"! This resulted from the usual garbling of our statement to a reporter that the blind population of Arkansas is somewhere between 3, 000 and 5,000--but it brought a fire marshal to take safety measures which such a throng in one little hotel would make necessary. We were delighted to have more nearly the expected number at our banquet, 100 odd, to hear Ken Jernigan's stirring speech, "Colonialism and the Blind." That speech, plus the active work of some of our members, brought us 15 new members. Our committee meetings were held Friday night and Saturday morning, and were highlighted by Ken's discussions of fundraising and legislative planning. Organizational business was completed during the Saturday session so that we could devote Sunday to a seminar-type meeting. Alma Murphey addressed the noon luncheon on "The Missouri Pension Plan." She pointed out that a liberal state pension plan for the blind had not deadened initiative. Election results: president, Dr. Ray Penix, 116 West 11th Street, Little Rock; first vice president, A.M. (Chick) Gleason; second vice president, O.J. Butler; secretary, Arda Penix; treasurer, Dick Nelsen; board members: Mrs. Katie Lee Cooney, Mrs. I. M. Routh, and Mrs. Cristene Taylor. President Penix and A.M. Gleason were chosen as delegate and alternate, respectively, to the Miami convention.
by Darleen McGraw
On October 24 the Wyoming Association of the Blind held its second annual convention in Cheyenne. After an 8:30 board meeting, the morning session took up a number of routine business items. The constitution was amended to provide all expenses for interim board meetings. An amendment to knock out the two-term limit for officers was defeated by one vote. President Darleen McGraw and Frank Allen will represent the WAB at Miami. Speakers at the afternoon session included State Senator LeRoy Christinck, who discussed legislative prospects, Dr. Ted Johnston, who spoke on the relation of diabetes to blindness, and H. Smith Shumway, who reported on the work of the state agency for the blind, of which he is the director. Russell Kletzing of Sacramento, California was the banquet speaker and many state legislators and state officers were present.
The only report we have from the Oklahoma convention (October 31-November 1) is a newspaper clipping: "... The group asked for extension of public education services for the handicapped to the preschool blind child. It termed 'inadequate' funds furnished by the state rehabilitation agency for readers for blind college students. The group asked lowering of FHA down payments so persons receiving aid to the blind might be eligible. The convention reaffirmed the Federation's stand that state rehabilitation and employment services for the blind be kept separated from general services to the handicapped." Election results: president. Jack Fisher, 797 East Seminole Place, Tulsa; first vice president, Charles Gillam, Chickasha; second vice president, Dr. Oliver Attebury, Ponca City; secretary, Mrs. Layleth Quail, Enid; treasurer, Mrs. Rilla Levisay, Ponca City, Mr. Durward McDaniel was elected delegate to the next national convention and Mary Lyons, alternate.
by Clarence E. Collins
The NCFB held its convention at Durham, November 14-15. This was the biggest and best convention so far. Things got started on the right track with an inspirational address by Alonzo Squires, "The Key to Success and How to Use It." The proposed new constitution was read and the delegates voted to postpone action for further study. State and national legislative reports followed. Marie Boring, retiring president, reviewed the past year. The final business of the day was a report on the Santa Fe convention by the 3 official delegates. The main speaker at the banquet was Terry Sanford, who is expected to run for Governor. There were many prominent guests present. Mrs. Beatrice Evans reported on the NCFB Credit Union and Mr. Marvin Gatlin spoke on Federationism. The election of officers was held Sunday morning. Results: president, Marvin Gatlin, Staley; first vice president, Edward Miller; second vice president, Miss Fanny Howard; secretary,
by Ufemon Segura
The thirteenth annual convention of the Louisiana Federation of the Blind was held October 2-3 at the P & S Hotel in Shreveport. After a Friday night board meeting, the convention was welcomed Saturday morning by Pharoah Taylor, president of the Shreveport chapter. President Slemmons outlined our progress during the past year and some steps to be taken during the coming year. Committee reports came next, followed by 2 on the Santa Fe convention. In the afternoon session a 3-point legislative program was adopted: (1) Liberalization of our aid to the needy blind program. (2) A $5,000 homestead exemption for blind homeowners. (3) Legislation to guarantee at least the minimum wage payment for all blind persons employed. The high point of the convention was the Saturday evening banquet, M.C.'d by Pharoah Taylor. The following officers were elected for 1-year terms: president, Dr. Gordon Slemmons, 2607 Highland, Shreveport; vice president, Tom Brown, New Orleans; secretary, Mrs. Annie Taylor, Shreveport; treasurer, Mr. Edgar Roy, New Orleans. The 1960 convention will be in Baton Rouge.
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From Topic, published by the New England Telephone and Telegraph Co.:
"Bells ringing, lights flashing, calls coming in on any number of lines, messages to be given and messages taken for clients who may number up to 100 or more--yes. Secretarial Service Board is quite an undertaking for anyone-- let alone a blind person. But there are two in operation in New England--one in Waltham, Massachusetts, and the other in Providence, Rhode Island--run by blind people. This is possible thanks to the ingenuity and devotion of Norman S. McVean of our engineering department. It goes back to the pluck and courage of a young Perkins graduate, Arthur Perry, who set up a telephone answering service in Waltham with another blind lad, Harold Curtis. They started out with 10 lines--each customer's line being equipped with a different toned bell. The state agency for the blind became interested and contacted Customer Equipment Engineer McVean. He developed 2 working models, 1 employing micro-switches and 1 electron tubes. These were put into operation, permitting Perry to expand his board to 80 lines. But even this was not enough and so McVean kept experimenting--with the newest mighty mite--the transistor. Finally the 'jack-finder,' as the users have named it, came into being. Through its use 100 lines can be handled.
"The 5 studs at the left, set in a vertical position reading up, represent the first number of a line. Set horizontally from left to right are 5 rows of studs, each row containing 20 studs grouped in series of 5. These represent the second number of a line and each one is connected to a line lamp on the board and is grounded when its lamp is lit. The studs in each row are also tied to the corresponding stud at the left but cannot feed back into each other. The 3 tiny transistors are tied to the bars and are triggered by any ground that appears on any bar and operate a relay associated with the headset. When he passes a stud associated with a lighted lamp he receives a mild click in his headset signaling he has found the row. Running his fingers across, the click again signals when he comes in contact with the grounded stud. He then plugs into the jack on the secretarial board and answers the call. Messages are taken in Braille, and the time determined from a Braille clock. The memorandum is then filed above the board in the Braille-numbered compartment for the particular client....
"Another chapter was added to the story of McVean's invention when similar equipment was installed for Anthony Salvati and Ray Grover, in Providence, Rhode Island....
"The American Telephone and Telegraph Co. has become interested in this device and recently 2 of their engineers visited McVean and the Waltham and Providence installations. They are now preparing a letter regarding the 'jack-finder' for all operating companies. ..."
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From the Associated Press, September 11: "Whether the State Division of Rehabilitation is doing all it can to help the state's blind was the subject of a debate yesterday before the State Board of Education. Participants were representatives of the National Federation of the Blind and the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. At the request of Governor Underwood, a survey team of the National Federation of the Blind had made a study and evaluation of programs for the blind in West Virginia. The survey report, critical of the Vocational Rehabilitation Division, was released last February. Then Vocational Rehabilitation Director F. Ray Power came out with a detailed analysis-- in effect, his answer. Wednesday both sides were arrayed before the board. Victor Gonzale, Mayor of Anmoore and legislative chairman of the West Virginia Federation, gave his comment on Power's answer. Then Power had another inning in rebuttal. Also appearing were C.C. Cerone of Wheeling, president of the West Virginia Federation, and John Taylor of Washington, who was a member of the survey team. The survey report had recommended that rehabilitation of the blind be separated from rehabilitation of other physically handicapped persons and placed under a separate division. The board was told that 37 states have separate agencies for the blind and visually handicapped. Taylor conceded that, in rehabilitation of handicapped persons in general, Power's division ranks high nationally. But Taylor added that the division's accomplishments with the blind fall 'far short of its achievements in other areas.' He said Power's statistics on the number of blind persons rehabilitated included many who 'were not really blind.' Gonzalez was critical of the division's job placement efforts. He said : '...It is interesting to note that many of the blind persons who have secured employment on their own have better paying jobs than those rehabilitated by the division....' The meeting ended with some tentative moves toward future cooperation. Gonzalez suggested that representatives of Power's division sit down with a committee of the state Federation in quarterly meetings to go over mutual problems. Power said he was willing to meet any time with Federation representatives. ..."
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Wide publicity has been given to corruption and abuses in the sheltered workshops in Georgia--which are known locally as "Factories for the Blind." In August the Georgia Federation adopted a strong resolution, a portion of which is reproduced below. The first two "whereas" clauses recite the provisions of the original law, under which supervision and control were to be in the hands of a Board of Managers. The resolution then continues:
"WHEREAS, the Director of Public Welfare and the successive superintendents placed in charge of the operation of the factories have from the very day of the activation of the factories completely ignored this provision, ...and have persistently failed and refused to confer with this duly appointed Board of Managers, with the result that said Board has never... held an official meeting, and WHEREAS, the factories for the blind are operated at a deficit each year and at the same time pay to the blind workers bare subsistence wages and employ an unreasonably large number of sighted persons... and WHEREAS, this practice has resulted in the employment of 33% of managerial and sighted persons with 67% blind persons and, of the compensation paid out, the ... sighted workers received 57% whereas the blind workers received only 43% and WHEREAS, the original concept and primary purpose and objective ... was and should be the training of the blind men and women of the State in suitable trades, crafts and skills, for employment by and in industry, and WHEREAS, ... the factories for the blind have been operated as places of permanent-terminal employment and ... the workers are considered to be wards of the State, and are reported ... as closures, and WHEREAS, ... the factories for the blind should ... be training and orientation centers ... to the end that blind workers may be absorbed in the growing industry of our State at standard living wages and with all of the protection provided by Social Security and Unemployment Insurance, ....
"NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor, the General Assembly of Georgia and the members of the Governor's Commission on Economy and Reorganization be urged to take such immediate steps as may be necessary to transfer the . ..factories for the blind from the Department of Welfare to the Division of Voca- tional Rehabilitation, . . . with the requirement that said institutions be used essentially and primarily as places of training and preparation for placement in the ever-increasing industrial plants of our State, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Governor Ernest Vandiver be and he is hereby urged and requested to name a suitable Board of Managers in accordance with the requirements of the provisions of the statute creating the factories for the blind."
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The Weekly News reports that the United Prison Association has set up a tape-transcribing unit consisting of 30 prisoners in one of the eastern state prisons. These men were carefully screened for educational background and reading ability and in 2 months they have recorded 180 reels of tape. "At present," writes Mr. Lorantos, "we are in a position where we need requests in order to supply these men with a continual flow of books that blind readers may enjoy and which are not otherwise available. If you have a tape recorder and desire a book on tape, it will be recorded for you immediately if you will send your book and tapes to Mrs. Madeleine Jacobs, c/o National Braille Press, Inc., 88 St. Stephens Street, Boston 15, Massachusetts. You may know a college student who is not aware of this service, and you can pass this information on so that full advantage may be taken of this opportunity."
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Karachi, October 2 - "...During my six weeks here I have been torn between the thought of flying back to civilization as fast as I could and gritting my teeth and telling myself that things do not have to be this way. Beggars and more beggars! Blind ones and sighted ones--and some blind ones who can see!
"Yesterday I called on a very interesting lady of about 40, a physician in her own right, who has been blind only three years--sitting at home, afraid to take the 'first step.' Her country, she said, sees every blinded person as pitiable, hopeless and helpless. 'What should I do?' she asked me. Before we finished our tea and cookies, I had her promise to come with me to the Lions Club meeting, and she came. There I got on my soapbox. I reminded them that only one blind child out of every 700 is receiving even the most rudimentary education, whereas 14% of their sighted children are in schools. Dr. Shah and I were the only two blind persons at the meeting, and I made the most of that point!
"An organization of the blind was a new idea to Dr. Shah. She took to it right away, so we are going to visit two blind men she knows, both of them highly educated. I'll keep you posted.
"I had a nice letter from Abed Budair. I would love to see that youngster take a year's postgraduate course at the American University in Beirut! He should, of course, try to finish his law degree in Damascus first.
"...Families here are enormous, with an average of about 9. Nine little illiterates to start the next generation! Multiply that by the 60 to 70 million families in the nation. "I believe I was able to shock the Lions into some sort of a realization of their responsibility and I was also able to get quite a long article published in one of the leading newspapers--so I won't go back to the good old U.S.A. on the next flight; I'll bide a wee and see what happens.... Cordially," Isabelle Grant.
Dr. Grant's newspaper article concludes as follows: "Please allow me to summarize the points I have made. In the interests of progress, any nation must educate all of the children of all of its people. A nation's greatest riches lie in its youth. Children who happen not to see can be be assets to the community, if given the opportunity for education. Blind children can be educated in their home villages, communities, or cities, thereby preserving the family unit intact. One of the most highly commendable features of Pakistani culture that has come to my attention in this short period is the sacredness of the family unit. The financial outlay in an integrated program is significantly less than that incurred in building and equipping residential schools. But by far the most vital and important consideration is the human factor. Through education alongside his sighted fellow human beings, the blind individual need no longer be an outcast, a third-class citizen, an object of charity to be pitied, tolerated or exploited. He can assume the status of a citizen, a fellow worker, a colleague, and an active participant in his community."
Karachi, November 14 - "...We are getting a breather from the 114 degree heat, ... I have been speaking before many groups, organizations, advanced classes in schools and colleges. A conservative estimate would place my audiences at about 1,000. I have 2 topics, 'The Place of Blind Persons in Society Today,' and 'The Education of Blind Children.' Finally I approached the Directorate of Education with a proposal. I offered my services to aid in the education of their blind children, and urged that the only way I could serve was to start a course in the training of teachers.... Pakistan will never have enough money to build residential schools for its 150,000 educable blind youth. There will have to be teachers in the public school system who are trained to handle blind youngsters along with the sighted ones. Well, the upshot was that I received their permission, and have now a class of between 35 and 40 teachers, social workers, and others, in a 6-week's course on the Education of Blind Youth. The group is very alert and interested. Individual participation in group discussion is excellent. If I can end up the 6 weeks with a core of, say, 20 persons, interested in doing something about their local situation, the effort will not have been in vain. ..." Isabella.
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When Kenneth Jernigan was denied flight insurance at the Des Moines airport, it started a chain reaction. John Taylor wrote vigorous protests to all insurance carriers and got quick results. He received many apologetic replies and several insurers sent out form letters to all airports stating that the blind are not to be considered in the class of handicapped persons who cannot travel alone by air in safety. Airport personnel received definite and explicit instructions to sell flight insurance to all blind travellers who request it. John was also assured that policies purchased through vending machines by blind travellers will be honored in all cases.
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As previously reported the Wisconsin affiliate has adopted as one of its major projects financial help for a brilliant young blind Jordanian, Abed Budair--now in his second year of legal studies at the University of Damascus. Another destitute blind youngster, completing his course this year at the Bethlehem School, has appealed to the NFB for help in continuing his education. The Wisconsin Council feels obligated to see Abed through but we hope that other state affiliates may be willing to extend some financial help to this other boy, who has been thoroughly investigated and found entirely worthy. Leaders and teachers of the blind in this part of the world are desperately needed. Those interested may write to Ishmael Anati, Bethlehem Secondary School, Post Office Box 42, Bethlehem, Jordan.
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On October 28, John Taylor reported to Dr. tenBroek: "Enclosed herewith is a packet of material related to the claim of....for disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act....was a steelworker for more than 20 years prior to becoming totally blind in 1952. Since that time he has worked for a sheltered shop in...County, Pennsylvania, at a wage of $20 per week and now at $23.75 per week, or an average wage of $ .60 per hour. For the type of work which he performed as a steelworker, the current average wage is $3.30 per hour. Thus, he now earns less than 25% of the wages which would have been his if blindness had not occurred. The Social Security Administration denied his claim for disability benefits but the referee, after hearing the case, reversed this decision and granted disability benefits. The Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration upon its own motion reviewed the decision of the referee and, as a result of this review, reversed his decision and again denied...'s claim for disability benefits.
"The Steelworkers Union has initiated a civil action against Arthur S. Flemming in order to reverse the decision of the Appeals Council. When the negotiations currently associated with the steel strike have been settled, efforts will be initiated to expedite the case in the Federal courts.
"The referee's reasoning, and his resulting decision, are matters which each of us should read and study carefully. He has modified the idea of 'inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity' by interpreting it to mean 'inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity' which is competitive. ..."
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Although an automatic transmission is an extremely intricate mechanism, containing some 800 parts, there are at least two blind experts who have mastered it and are now employed as repair specialists. One of these is John Chambers, president of the Lorain County Council of the Blind and a vice president of the Ohio Council of the Blind.
Recently a man came to the garage where John is employed. He was himself a mechanic and owned his own garage, but he was in trouble. He approached the bench where John was working, carrying a portion of a transmission. "The boss told me you might be able to fix this," the man said. "I've worked on it a couple of days. It has me stumped." Chambers took it apart, smiled, put it together. "It's all right now," he said. The man returned to the garage office. "That transmission mechanic really knows his business," he said. "He does that," said the garage manager. "You'd never guess he was blind." "Blind! I don't believe it." "Ask him." The man did. Chambers laughed and explained he had been blind for six years. He might have added that he had been doing this work less than a year and had never seen an automatic transmission before he became blind.
One of those cited by the Blinded Veterans Association for outstanding achievement in 1959 is Major James F.C. Hyde, Jr., who, though totally blind, is capably filling a job, the requirements of which are so exacting that very few with perfect sight could cope with them. What follows is made up of excerpts from the biographical sketch supplied by the BVA:
"In 1944, while in action on the beach at Anzio, Major Hyde was blinded by an exploding hand grenade.... Medical treatment and rehabilitation training were undertaken at Valley Forge Hospital and Avon Old Farms.... He graduated from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in October of that year.... He secured employment in the Bureau of the Budget in the Office of Legislative Reference, which is a part of the Executive Office of the President. He is now legislative analyst, serving as co-ordinator for international and legislative affairs. In this capacity, on behalf of the Executive Office, he reviews bills either referred by Congress to, or initiated by, the executive agencies of the Federal Government. These bills are reviewed by him for conformity to administration policy or to ascertain how they relate to executive agencies' current policies and programs. He specializes in the staff work necessary to develop the military and international aspects of pending legislation. Enrolled bills, after passing Congress, are also reviewed by him before they are sent to the President for consideration. (He composes memoranda to the President for the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, outlining the important aspects of the bill, whether they are in line with policies of the Administration, and formulates recommendations for presidential action,) His secretary reads the legislation aloud to him. From this reading he selects excerpts to which he wishes to refer and records them on discs....
"Major Hyde was married in 1952 and today has three children.... He is presently government placement chairman for the University of Pennsylvania Law School alumni in the District of Columbia. Following his exacting duties with their heavy responsibilities, he devotes a good deal of his leisure hours to reading history, current politics and reviewing material he has recorded during working hours.... One gets the feeling that he sees his disability as an impediment that has motivated him to organize and use his own abilities more wisely. He has an appreciation of the sighted person's concepts in regard to the blind and is in complete mastery of his own life situation."
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"As you know, on the night preceding the NFB convention at Santa Fe, the state presidents of the NFB passed a resolution urging all states to contribute at least $25 a year toward the support of Good Cheer, the national magazine for the deaf-blind. I want to thank publicly those 46 state presidents and to express the gratitude of all of us who have had the conviction through these many years that the NFB was and is the friend of the deaf-blind, just as it is the friend and the only hope of all the blind everywhere. I am only partially deaf-blind, but I do know some of the problems of the deaf-blind and I do know that it is a great source of satisfaction, education and enlightenment to have our own magazines. Good Cheer and Skylark, both of which our NFB helps to support. ... " Boyd C. Wolfe, Jr., Columbus, Ohio.
"...I am one of your deaf-blind readers, so the September issue was of special interest to me. It is heartening to know the deaf-blind are getting some attention. I devoured every word of the article entitled, 'Call for Pioneers.' It was stated that a deaf-blind person can do anything a blind person can, except hear. That is one of the facts I have found most difficult to establish among the people around me. ... I certainly enjoy 'From Our Readers.' I think you do a wonderful job of selecting material and each issue gives me new courage. ..." Clarence Goddard, Holyoke, Colorado.
"...The entire city of Toledo and Northwestern Ohio mourns a great citizen, Clyde Jeakle, member of the executive board and chairman of the finance committee of the Toledo Council of the Blind, who passed away on October 14. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Toledo. At the funeral there were judges, lawyers, city officials, outstanding members of the sports world and many, many ordinary citizens who came to pay their last respects.... No citizen of Toledo ever received greater tribute or respect than did Clyde Jeakle.... The Toledo Council of the Blind had a floral piece representing the broken wheel, indicating that our circle was broken by our missing member." Douglas Valentine, Toledo, Ohio.
"...I am totally deaf, as well as blind, and I greatly enjoyed Dick Kinney's Rome speech and your account of the Rome Assembly. Someone recently suggested a change in the name of our magazine. I disagree. I think the name Braille Monitor is exactly right. I like your 3 regular columns--'From Our Readers,' 'Here and There,' and 'The Helpless Blind'--more than anything else, although the excerpts from state papers are very interesting and your account of national conventions is a real blessing to those of us who are not fortunate enough to be able to attend." Yvonne Eloise Teaford, St. Joseph, Missouri.
"We do not want the Braille Monitor changed to a story magazine. The libraries have hundreds of story magazines and books. I think the Braille Monitor should continue to give the blind news concerning the blind. We should know how the agencies are using the blind to their own advantage. The public assistance program in Illinois is one great mess. They do not want to recognize the law which gives us the first $50 of earned income. It certainly needs the National Federation to come in and try to clean house. Dr. tenBroek has done more to improve the lot of the blind than any other man in history. The blind need a strong man like Dr. tenBroek. He has a big job on his hands. ..." Miss C. L. Corbin, Chicago, Illinois.
"Indeed I feel myself becoming very well acquainted with you through the pages of the Monitor. ... I believe that the Braille Monitor is the greatest single medium for keeping the blind informed, organized and truly posted on their mutual needs. Political, economic and social needs. The Monitor is a truly great unifying instrument. When I finish reading my copy I have others who are eagerly awaiting their turn to read it. Cover to cover so far I have seen no appeal for money to specifically help with the cost of its publication. Please find enclosed my check earmarked for the purpose. George, I am president of the Excelsior Club of Boston. This club has a membership of over 100 blind men and women. ..." Daniel J. Lynch, Watertown, Massachusetts.
"My study of your Federation... has convinced me that we shall never make real progress with recruitment to ours unless we can follow your example by affiliating local groups of blind people here, and creating new ones when necessary.... Here we must, of course, make a clear distinction between groups which are genuinely self-governing and those which are so strictly controlled by local agencies that they are not yet in a position to shape their own destiny.... On the second day of our annual conference I introduced a resolution which was unanimously adopted and which simply says that, with appropriate modifications, the principles of affiliation as practiced in the U.S.A. and other countries offer the best means of producing a Federation which will have a really effective voice in work with the blind in Britain. ..." John Jarvis, London, England.
"We celebrated our Golden Wedding on the 23rd of August with an open house and had around 132 guests, with a very fine letter from Senator Robert C. Byrd, which we appreciated very much. ..." C. C. White, Huntington, West Virginia.
"...Incidentally, I have intended telling you that your coverage of the Santa Fe convention and of the World Council meeting in Rome was simply splendid. As far as I am concerned you are the perfect Monitor editor and I sincerely hope that you will be able to continue in this capacity for many years to come." Donald Capps, Columbia, South Carolina.
"With not quite a month under my belt as president I don't have too much to report but about 3 weeks ago the Rhode Island Federation received an invitation to enter a float in the Knights of Columbus parade, It was something we knew very little about, but we got busy. Our float was entered, despite all kinds of difficulties. We owe many thanks to local people in and out of the organization who literally 'got the show on the road.' The theme of the float was 'employment of the blind.' The idea was carried out prinnarily through posters and banners. There was one live 'character' on the float, Mrs. Martha Goff, one of our most attractive RIFB members, with her guide dog, Viola. All who saw the parade seemed impressed. ... I am currently in the process of contacting appropriate people in the Lions Club to try to interest the Lions in working more actively with the blind in this state and with our organization in particular.... The first meeting of the new board went quite smoothly and all present seemed quite enthusiastic, which would seem to bode well for the future of the organization. A recent change in our constitution makes the term of officers two years. ..." Miss Elena Landi, Providence, Rhode Island.
"On the evening of Saturday, October 24, the Utah Association for the Blind held its annual inter-chapter party. We have 5 chapters, in various parts of the state. Each year toward the end of October these chapters have a bazaar and dance at the Murray B. Allen Center for the Blind, Salt Lake City. The chapters sell food, appliances and other articles by which they are enabled to make a little money for their own use.... As nearly as we could estimate there were 200 people present.... We feel that this party is one of the highlights of our year... Everyone reported it as the best ever. ..." William W. Nichol, Salt Lake City, Utah, (president, UAB).
"I was interested and rather surprised to find one of the questions on a Tennessee Civil Service examination that I took on October 1 was, 'What is the only national organization of blind persons in the U.S.?'
It was a multiple choice question, and the alternative answers were: AFB, AAIB, NFB, AAWB, and Braille Club. The examination was for industrial specialist, and one of the requirements for the position was that the applicant must be blind." F.W. Orrell, Chattanooga; Tennessee.
"...One of the things I would like to thank the Federation for is the Braille Monitor for this magazine conveys to me great knowledge on the welfare of the blind. I am sure every reader values it as I do. I would like you to convey my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Richard Kinney for the message he delivered to the Assembly of the World Council and which the Braille Monitor published... Maybe after getting home to Africa I shall try to send you at least one article. ..." Joshua Mwikwa, Dehra Dun, India.
"...We were very proud and glad to have Paul Kirton at our convention. He was of much help in the meetings and gave many private conferences to people who wanted advice. We are to have a board meeting in St. Louis December 5-6 to get our state Braille publication under way...." Gwenne Phillips, Kansas City, Missouri.
"I am now reading the Braille Monitor and like it more and more. I enjoyed reading about the little misadventure of Gertrude and Sam Sitt, whom I know very well. I have learned many things and I am very happy to be able to keep abreast of what is going on in the blind world. ... I believe every blind person should know of your organization and I am going to do all I can to help. ..." Harry Levin, Brooklyn, New York.
"...I have been very keenly interested in the correspondence regarding the Miami white cane ordinance. Let me emphasize that one of the great benefits of having a white cane law, and of a blind person carrying a white cane, is the legal advantage if there is an accident and a lawsuit. In Michigan it is necessary that one prove that the defendant is guilty of negligence. If a blind person is struck while carrying a white cane or being led by a guide dog, there is a strong presumption of negligence on the part of the defendant. ... I know of two cases where recoveries would have been impossible without this law. Our driver's license examination carries the standard question, 'What is the meaning of the white cane? '..." C. LaVerne Roberts, Lansing, Michigan.
"...In the last two issues of the Monitor considerable space has been given to a discussion of the lack of enforcement of white cane laws and suggested ways to correct this. Perhaps the experience of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts would be of benefit to other affiliates.... As a compromise, the Motor Vehicle Division offered to print as many copies of the law as we wished and to distribute them over the counter to persons obtaining registration plates. They also agreed to make available copies which we would have distributed through insurance companies. This latter situation is important in Massachusetts since there is a compulsory insurance law. The result of the foregoing was the distribution of several hundred thousand copies.... Another method that was suggested but not yet adopted was the inclusion of a question or questions on the white cane law in the instruction book issued to applicant drivers." John F. Nagle, Washington, D.C.
"I certainly enjoy reading the Monitor. ... I was thrilled by the account of Coupvray given by Isabelle Grant. Dr. Grant is a marvelous person and is certainly showing her pluck in touring the world alone for the purpose of helping her fellow blind. ..." Jim Wright, San Francisco, California.
"...I want emphatically to point out that John Nagle made a valuable contribution to our convention and did a useful piece of work both from the national and state viewpoint.... Perhaps I am too cynical, but it does irk me to read again and again the pathetic announcement, made with such simplicity and childlike confidence, that; 'Mr. McQuill, director of our Services for the Blind, emphatically assured us, not only of his willingness but of his eagerness, to consult with our leaders respecting every new policy and program.' ...Our legislative victory this year may prove to have been won at a heavy cost. Frank Liugiano suffered an exhaustion collapse, which we devoutly hope did not injure his heart.... The widespread complaints over the ineffectualness of white cane laws indicates that some drastic action is required in the area of publicity on an intensive and extensive basis.... We need public information and not more legislation. ..." Bill Taylor, Media, Pennsylvania.
"...I am sorry to learn that the size of the Braille Monitor will have to be further curtailed. I think it is a very fine magazine, and I am glad that it has a department in which the readers may express themselves on various topics. I hope that it may not have to be cut down too much for too long..." Patrick Morrissey, Coggon, Iowa.
"...I also look forward to the Monitor each month. I especially enjoy your reports on NFB conventions and WCWB meetings. ... I would hate to see the Monitor go into a part-time 'All-Story' magazine; there is enough information that we should know about to warrant a full-time Monitor . Likewise, I do not agree with the Wisconsin girl who felt that some of the articles should be written in simpler language. Personally, I like to read something once in a while that makes me think...." Austin Berkey, Shipshewana, Indiana.
"...I am enclosing three dollars for more copies of 'Misconceptions.' It is a well written publication. Only yesterday I had the chance to edit an article about the blind and was rather startled to discover that the writer, in an attempt to educate a group about the blind, was creating still more misconceptions. It was more startling because the writer has worked with and for the blind for many years.... I get the Monitor in both Braille and inkprint. I pass on the latter to social workers. I call their attention to certain articles but they usually end up reading the entire issue. ..." Charles W. Thibodo, San Jose, California.
"I have been feeling sorry about the finances connected with the Braille Monitor. I know I'm not the lone mourner in the Monitor's behalf. Yes, we're all sorry but just how sorry really are we anyhow? Personally, I am sorry $2.00 worth. I'm a lot sorrier than that, but that's all I can do about it right now.... What is reailly a big mystery to me is-- just how sorry everybody else is! If everybody who could would measure their sorrow by engravings of--say Abe Lincoln or Alexander Hamilton--it would go a long way toward solving the present emergency. There are no doubt scores or maybe hundreds of happy Monitor readers who are drawing a living wage and who could spare a 25 few dollars.... Most anyone can sacrifice a little, as the writer is doing. Better luck next year." George D. Clink, Brown City, Michigan.
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The New Beacon reports that, prior to the general elections in October, the Manifestos (platforms) of all 3 parties were published in a single Braille volume.
The Kansas City Association for the Blind announces the establishment of a Braille library at its Education Center, 3821 Flora Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. Mrs. Gwenne Phillips and Mrs. Margaret Humphrey will be in charge.
The Lone Star State Federation of the Blind will hold its annual convention on January 23-24 at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio. Federationists and other interested persons from everywhere are cordially invited to attend.
From the San Francisco Chronicle: "Postmaster John F. Fixa assumed the additional job yesterday of watchdog over the literature on sale in his lobby newsstands. Under a directive from Postmaster General Summerfield, Fixa dispatched inspectors to check the stands operated by blind vendors.... They are to report on any reading matter 'of an objectionable, subversive, or controversial nature which may subject the Post Office Department to public criticism.' ...Did he have a personal standard to go by? 'As far as I'm personally concerned, the test as to what is good literature is whether or not I would want my teenage daughter to read it.' (He was referring to a 19-year-old daughter, Sister Mary John Martin, a postulant nun at Dominican Convent.... Lon Sumner, 31-year-old blind vendor, was indignant.... 'Few children buy here,' he said, 'it's not a soda fountain. I think adults are capable of deciding what they should or should not read....' "
The Walter G. Holmes Foundation, 334 Masonic Building, Augusta, Georgia, is prepared to issue its annual gift of 50 Braille slates provided for by the Walter R. McDonald Honor Fund. Those needing a slate should apply directly to the address above named. Unless otherwise stated, the slates are 4-row, 28-cell pocket slates.
From the Paducah Sun-Democrat: "Harry Furnan was honored last night by his grateful friends at Calvary Presbyterian Church. They surprised him with a birthday dinner on the lawn of the church, made him a Duke of Paducah and praised him generally for outstanding service. In 40 years of piano teaching, Harry has helped countless musicians get the right start. ..." (Editor's Note: Harry and I were together in the old Chicago Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital away back in 1918. He tried to teach me to sing bass.)
From the Eyecatcher (New York): "Several members of our Association spent September 26 in Buffalo attending the convention of the New York Federation of Workers for the Blind.... While the various discussions were exceedingly informative, and this was a day well spent, it seemed most peculiar that no motions or resolutions were brought to the floor during the short business meetings. One can't help but wonder how the General Assembly knows the policies set by this group."
Following his appearance at the Missouri convention, Paul Kirton spent three weeks in Kentucky organizing very promising new chapters in the Henderson and Covington areas.
From the Florida White Cane: "The second annual Adult Blind Camp sponsored by the FFB got under way at the May K. Houck Motel in Sarasota on August 24th. Thirty persons had registered by late afternoon of the first day and 19 additional campers arrived Friday and Saturday for the state board meeting on August 29th. Highlights of the one-week session included swimming, a boat tour of Sarasota Bay, a visit to Foreign Cars of Yesterday, afternoon bowling, and a tour through Circus Hall of Fame. Each evening the campers gathered in one of the motel's central courtyards for business, fun and frolic. Earlier the FFB had sponsored a one-week vacation camp for 11 blind children.... Claude Ray is planning an expansion of his worm ranch... Bob Graves resigned his position as a stand operator in late August and is now engaged in radio and television monitoring.... The Tallahassee chapter owns a Braillewriter, which has been loaned to a blind student at Florida State. ... A new group in Clearwater is in the process of applying for affiliation with the FFB."
Bettye Powell (now Mrs. David Krause of Washington, D.C.) has received the "Teacher of the Year" award from the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness. This award goes to the most outstanding teacher of blind children and was in recognition of Bettye's fine work in Reno, Nevada.
From the Washington White Cane: "Dedication of the Irwin Educational Building, combination school, library and auditorium at the School for the Blind, Vancouver, was made on November 7. The building is named for the first graduate of the school for the blind, Robert B. Irwin. It contains 17 classrooms, a music wing housing a music library, 2 studios, a recording studio and 12 soundproof private practice rooms, a home economics section, large centralized library, and auditorium with seating capacity of 300. [Editor's Note: Special features, such as the absence of steps and obstacle-free halls, represent, in my opinion, a serious mistake. These students must live in a sight-oriented world when they leave school. They will have to negotiate steps and obstacles will not be removed for their special convenience.] ...Dr. Frank C. Winter told a meeting of the state medical association that diabetes is rapidly becoming the most important cause of new blindness among adults. He said that researchers at Stanford are studying diabetic rabbits in an effort to learn more about this cause of blindness. 'We can guarantee, however,' he added, 'that no diabetic who is absolutely faithful to his diet and to insulin will go blind. ..." The physicians were told that probably 2% of the adult population of the United States had glaucoma, that in the neighborhood of
1,000,000 persons are losing their sight because of this insidious disease, and that 8,000 children and young people are permanently blind because of retrolental fibroplasia.... Melvin Gallemore, founding editor of this publication, obtained his doctorate in English from the University of Washington last year and has accepted a teaching position in a Kentucky college."
Rosario Epsora of Baltimore has succeeded B.L. Gardiner as president of the Maryland Brotherhood of the Blind.
I was recently appointed to the Governor's Committee on the Employment of the Physically Handicapped and attended my first meeting a few days ago. I learned at least one thing which seems to me very important--the reason why state employment services are so reluctant to handle the placement of handicapped workers. It seems that the amoumt of federal reimbursement received depends upon the number and quality of their placenaents. It is all based on a time study; something like 20 minutes credit for placement of an unskilled worker, 45 minutes credit for a semi-skilled worker, 75 minutes for a placement at the professional level, etc. If the Department of Labor could be persuaded to give weighted credit for the placement of handicapped workers, the situation could change radically.
John Q. Douglass, director of the Bureau of Social Welfare of the Maine Department of Health and Welfare, died suddenly a few weeks ago. From the New Beacon (United Kingdom): "Teachers of the blind have acclaimed the publication of the World Book Encyclopedia in Braille as one of the most important contributions to the education of blind students since the invention of the Braille system. It is a non-profit venture. In Inkprint, the book occupies a little less than 2 feet of shelf space, but a Braille copy, which will be in 156 volumes, totalling 37,750 pages, will require 37 feet of shelving. Miss Marjorie Hooper, Braille editor of the APH, says that it will be the largest project in the history of Braille printing and that, although her organization is the largest Braille publishing house in the world, this job will account for about half their total annual output of Braille books. It is expected to be completed in about two years and the first copies will be available to institutions and libraries which specialize in the education of blind students.
Dr. Morris Margolin, blind physician of Omaha, concludes a prayer (published in We the Blind, Pennsylvania): "Open their eyes that they may see us as we are; individuals of varying capacities and capabilities, deserving neither pity nor admiration, desiring only the chance to demonstrate our abilities, asking only that the way be left open for us to prove ourselves. Thou who has commanded man not to put stumbling blocks in the path of the blind, do Thou teach him also that stumbling blocks may have many guises, and that misdirected charity could well be one of these." In the same issue Rita Drill suggests an additional Beatitude: "'Blessed are they who go around in circles, for they shall be called Big Wheels.' There is a far deeper significance than the sarcasm one first encounters in these words, for they warn that the self-appointed 'expert' who will not heed the experience and wisdom gleaned by those who labor for the same goals creates his own whirlpool of frustrations." And one more quote: "The Over- brook Alumnae and the Over brook Alumni are now one in plan and purpose.... 'What the Constitution Committee has joined together, let no member put asunder!' "
Since more than half of the blind population of the United States consists of the so-called "senior citizens," the legislation which Senator Humphrey has introduced should be of considerable interest: (1) Revision of the federal-state old age assistance programs to lower the age eligibility requirement for women from 65 to 62; allow home ownership free of lien up to $5,000; require that names of recipients be held confidential; permit distribution of surplus food without deduction from aid. (2) Insurance to cover the costs of hospital and nursing home care through the Social Security system, at least 4 months each year. (3) Raise permissible earnings of OASI recipients from $1,200 to $1,800 a year.
From Viewpoint (United Kingdom): "The Chancellor has declined to make the cost of keeping a guide dog a deductible expense on a blind man's tax claim. He said the cost of getting to work isn't allowable against tax, and, in his view, a blind man's dog comes under the getting- to-work rule. A critic stated that this was a fatuous excuse for bureaucratic nonsense.... At the annual conference of Scottish Ophthalmic Opticians in Perthshire it was stated that damage to eyesight caused by increasing radiation in the atmosphere may be one of the major problems which eye specialists will have to face in the future."
Three constitutional amendments were adopted at the Illinois convention last October. (1) The immediate past president shall become a director. (2) A director-at-large is added to the board. (3) Interim membership may be granted by the board until the next convention. A fourth amendment, limiting a president to 2 successive terms, was defeated. The IFB got through only one bill last year--providing a 10% increase in the budget of blind recipients-- but it was vetoed by Governor Stratton.
From the Virginia Newsletter: "Members of the Roanoke chapter have been thrilled by the success of their latest fundraising venture--the sale of purse size perfume atomizers. Starting with an order for 10 dozen, the figure has now risen to 124 dozen." (Other interested chapters can obtain information on this item from the Madison or Washington offices.) The Richmond area chapter has grown from 4 members 2 years ago to 30 at the present time.
Our South Carolina affiliate has published 1,000 copies of a brochure along the general lines of "What Is the National Federation of the Blind?" but concerning the state organization. Copies will be placed in the offices of dentists, doctors, lawyers, etc, and in the reading rooms of various institutions. This was done in Massachusetts some time ago.
The Nevada Newsletter reports that during the 2 weeks between September 27 and October 10 the first training and adjustment course was given to 22 adult blind students at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, The course was sponsored by the Bureau of Services to the Blind and Lions clubs took care of transportation costs. Those attending were enthusiastic and all hope that this will become an annual fixture.
The two bills mentioned in the report of the Alabama convention (November edition) have now been signed into law.
More than 200 of her enthusiastic admirers attended a luncheon in Honolulu early in December at which Miss Eva Smyth--who is working toward the creation of an NFB affiliate in Hawaii--was honored by the Lions as "Woman of the Year."
The Indiana Council of the Blind has begun publishing a Braille edition of its newsletter. From the current issue: "Our congratulations to Tri-County chapter on its first anniversary. The chapter doubled its membership, held a successful raffe and enjoyed a pot-luck picnic in July at the home of Austin Berkey. All this in one year. Its president is Robert Peterson of Goshen."
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By Stanley Oliver
(From the Eye opener, Michigan): "...Last fall the American Foundation looked into the usefulness of an electronic device to aid blind tuners set a piano temperament but decided it was not feasible. In the process, however, it was felt that a rapidly expanding electronic organ field could absorb some skilled and adaptable blind workers. Correspondence was carried on with several makers and one leading firm has agreed to take on a qualified blind person for a 6-month factory training course, moving him from department to department, so that he can develop the necessary techniques for tuning, regulating and repairing. The successful applicant must have a basic knowledge of electronics and piano tuning and be able to get around independently. If you believe you can meet the requirements, address Mr, Albert Asengo, American Foundation for the Blind, 15 West I6th Street, New York, New York.
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