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.
JULY 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)
( July, 1960)
Open Letter to Eye Specialists Draws Enthusiastic Response
by Floyd Matson
North Central States Seminar
Maine Council President Dies Suddenly
Henry Rush: Passing of a Staunch Federationist
District of Columbia Committee Bans Blind Teachers
by Floyd Matson
Progress in Massachusetts
Three More Letters from Dr. Grant
New Threat to Oregon Workshop Program
by Russell Kletzing
New Mexico Convention
by Pauline Gomez
A Vital Oregon Decision on Sheltered Workshops
by John Nagle
From Our Readers
Here and There
by Floyd Matson
A highly favorable response from all parts of the country has followed the distribution by the NFB of an "open letter" to eye specialists entitled "When Your Best Efforts Fail," written for the Federation by Robert L. Rottman. Mr. Rottman, a resource teacher and educational consultant of the blind in the Solano County (California) public schools, gave informed and candid advice to eye specialists on their vital role in the adjustment of newly blind patients when medical and surgical efforts have failed in the preservation of sight.
Circulated last March to over 3,800 ophthalmologists throughout the country, "When Your Best Efforts Fail" has drawn repeated requests for copies and for further information, along with enthusiastic comments, from eye doctors in various states. Typical of the reaction was the observation of a doctor in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who wrote that the Rottman letter "is appropriate, needed, clear, forceful, and exceedingly well written."
One doctor in St. Louis, Missouri, wrote to request an additional 30 copies of the article with the stipulation that he wanted them for the directors of a local society concerned with the blind. The head of the Division of Ophthalmology at a midwestern University Medical Center asked for a dozen copies of Mr. Rottman's "very thought-provoking message" to present to his residents in ophthalmology. Another doctor in Wenatchee, Washington, sought 50 to 100 copies to distribute to his own patients. Numerous other physicians were sufficiently impressed to write letters commending the author and the NFB for their wide distribution of the straight-talking "open letter."
One immediate and heartening effect of the letter has been to stimulate interest among ophthalmologists in improving programs of adjustment and rehabilitation of the newly blind. Thus a Texas physician wrote: "I was very interested in the points which he [Rottman] brought up and I would appreciate it if you would send me a list of schools or other institutions where such a program as this letter suggests could be obtained for my patients. ... If there are no facilities available locally, could you let me know how I might go about getting something like this organized in this community?" Similar communications from other areas reflected an awakening interest and sense of responsibility on the part of eye specialists for the problems of adjustment faced by those of their patients who suffer loss of sight.
In his open letter to eye doctors, Mr. Rottman wrote that, "Although your work is directed and your life dedicated to the preservation of sight, the time will come more than once during your career when you will face the unpleasant fact of certain and irremediable blindness in a patient of yours. It is at such a time, when the vast store of scientific knowledge and healing skill which you command have not sufficed to stem the loss of sight, that you have, for that patient, the greatest service yet to render." The eight-page letter which followed represented a distillation of "the collective experience of the independent, self-sufficient blind persons who make up" the National Federation, focusing upon "a discussion of the nature of blindness, of the achievements of the blind, and of specific aspects of the doctor-patient relationship which significantly influence adjustment to blindness."
In order to overcome "both the physical nuisance of blindness itself and the effects of public misconceptions about it, "the letter declared, the newly blind patient needs to acquire three things:" (1) a complete acceptance of his blindness, (2) an unshakable confidence in the ability of the blind, and of himself as a blind person, to live a normal life and to support himself in competitive employment during his productive years, and (3) a thorough mastery of the basic special tools and skills, including braille and cane travel, which will enable him to operate normally without vision in a sighted world."
Mr. Rottman emphasized that "it is terribly, vitally important that your patient be informed at the earliest possible moment and in the most absolute and unequivocal terms... that he is blind, about to become blind, or in danger of going blind in the future, and that his blindness is or will be permanent and irremediable. It is not half so cruel to state the truth quickly and positively, nor one-tenth so damaging to the personality or the psyche of the average patient, as it is to prolong the anxiety-ridden months of unresolved doubt and fear and wondering, or to leave room for lingering, idling, fruitless hopes of regaining sight."
"It is your humanitarian responsibility, if not your professional duty and your moral obligation, to tell your newly blind patient in no uncertain terms that blindness is not the end for him, that thousands of blind persons like him, many of them also newly blind, have learned to operate with complete independence, to achieve on a basis of complete equality, and to live completely normal, productive, happy lives in our predominantly sighted society," Mr. Rottman wrote.
"You must steel yourself to avoid pity, apology, or the implication of inferiority because vision is gone. Your patient will face those soon enough and often enough when he leaves your office. You must train yourself not to offer half-hearted hope, the prospect of an 'almost normal' existence and of second-class citizenship. You must convince yourself, so that you can convince your patient, that blindness is not a tragedy, not an incapacitating affliction, not a bar to anything that makes life worth living, but a purely physical nuisance, already overcome by thousands, and capable of being overcome by anyone. You must guard against imposing restrictions of any kind, other than those made absolutely necessary by some eye pathology, lest you reinforce the erroneous but widespread belief that blindness in itself necessarily limits movement or activity."
The open letter to eye specialists continued: "Above all you must cite the achievements of the blind today: the students, the scholars, the teachers, the scientists, the lawyers, the businessmen, the skilled mechanics and craftsmen, the nurses, secretaries, and housewives who offer living proof that the hope you offer is not a vain palliative, that opportunities for successful achievement without sight are as numerous as the categories of human activity. And whether your patient be a child in school, an able-bodied worker in his full productive years, or a faltering nonagenarian, you must urge without cease the goals of self-respect, self-sufficiency, and activity normal to his station in life."
(Copies of "When Your Best Efforts Fail" are available on request to NFB Headquarters, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California.)
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The Minnesota Organization of Blind, as a part of its fortieth birthday celebration, invited all its neighbor states to come and join in. Thirteen came from Wisconsin, five from North Dakota, two each from Michigan, South Dakota, Washington and Montana, and one each from California, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. Iowa was unable to send delegates because its own convention came on the same dates.
Saturday, June 4, was entirely given over to a series of panel discussions. The first was on "Public Relations," of which I was chairman, and on which I was jointed by LaVerne Roberts, blind attorney from Lansing, Michigan, Dean Sumner, South Dakota president and district attorney from Watertown, South Dakota, and Matt Schmidt, manager of the Badger Home for the Blind, Milwaukee. Dr. tenBroek moderated the second panel, devoted to "Legislation." He was assisted by Dr. Kanun, professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Francis Brennan, president of the Minnesota Council of the Blind, Clarence Tirpster, Services for the Blind, Minnesota Department of Public Welfare, and Leo Mosier, a member of the state legislature. The final panel had as its subject "Rehabilitation and Employment" and was chaired by Don Hunder, president of the Alumni Association of the Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving School. Other members were Dr. tenBroek, Paul Kirton, C. Stanley Potter, director of Minnesota Services to the Blind, and Lester Loken, rehabilitation counselor from western Wisconsin.
The Saturday evening banquet was a smashing success, with 210 present. Senator Hubert Humphrey, Congressman Dr. Walter Judd and many others appeared on the program and Dr. tenBroek delivered the address of the evening, entitled, "The Blind--A Case of Mistaken Identity." In my opinion it is the best thing he has done since "Within the Grace of God." I shall not review it here because I hope to publish it as soon as Monitor space will permit. Congressman Judd said, "In all my life I have never heard a more--I can only call it beautiful--address, nor one more carefully thought out and eloquently pronounced. Please send me a copy--in English, not Braille! I want to put it in the Congressional Record."
Those who planned this fortieth anniversary program and who saw to it that their plans were carried out to the last detail--Eleanor Harrison, Archie Ericson, Phil Houghtelin, Ben Ystenes, and the others--are deserving of an enormous amount of credit. It is to be hoped that this is only the first in a long series of regional seminars to be held in the north central states.
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The following letter has just been received:
"It is with deep regret that I inform you of the untimely death of our first president of the Maine Council of the Blind, Mr. Frank C. Baker. Frank suffered a heart attack immediately after our monthly meeting on May 10th and passed away on May 13th. His death was a shock to our community, to the Council and to his friends. I would like you to know what Frank meant to us and to the Federation. The service which he did in the organization of our Maine group, and the goals which he had projected for us, gave us an inspiration. We who have worked along with Frank hope to continue with his ideas, projects and good work. We trust that continued assistance will be given to us by the national office. I have succeeded him in office." Joseph C. Cobb, 10 Prospect Street, Augusta, Maine.
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The National Federation, along with innumerable of his blind friends across the country, has sustained a severe loss with the passing last month of Henry Rush, longtime member and leader of the Arizona Association of the Blind. Mr. Rush, an attorney who made his home in Prescott, Arizona, died on June 7 following a heart attack. His illness had been further complicated by his grief over the recent death of his close friend and companion, Mrs. Jessie Griswold.
A member of the Arizona state legislature for several terms, Henry Rush was a staunch and dedicated member of the organized blind movement in his state who regularly attended state conventions, served on the Association's executive committee and worked hard and constructively on its legislative committee. He was frequently the delegate of the Arizona Association to our national conventions, and his most recent activity was an appearance on behalf of the Arizona affiliate at the San Francisco workshop of the Elliott Committee in March, 1960. Even then Mr. Rush was busily planning for the fall convention of the Arizona Association, scheduled to be held this year in his home town of Prescott.
The plan to hold the state convention in Prescott will still be put in effect--with the difference only that it will now be a memorial meeting in honor of the long membership and valuable service of Henry Rush.
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by Floyd Matson
An official report opposing the employment of blind teachers in District of Columbia public schools--and incidentally displaying virtually all the stereotypes and superstitions concerning blindness that still survive from the middle ages--has been completed under the direction of Dr. Carl Hansen, District of Columbia Superintendent of Schools. The negative report is the work of six school officials (one sighted teacher of the blind and five staff officers) appointed by Dr. Hansen following his rejection of a blind applicant for a teaching position, Mrs. Bettye Powell Krause of Washington.
(Readers of the Braille Monitor will remember our article in the November, 1959, issue, "Blind Teachers in District of Columbia,' which reported the adoption by the District of Columbia Association of Workers for the Blind of a strongly worded resolution condemning the archaic regulations which still bar blind teachers in the District and citing the rejection of Mrs. Krause solely on the basis of blindness. It seems clear that this resolution, supported by the Virginia Federation of the Blind and accompanied by numerous individual letters, provided the stimulus for the appointment of the official committee and its subsequent report.)
Declaring that "it would not at this time be in the best interest of the pupils to alter our present practice so as to permit the employment of blind persons as teachers"--either for regular classes or for instruction of blind pupils-- the committee was content to support its argument with a list of sweeping and undocumented assertions whose general character is typified by the following: "It is essential for teachers to be cognizant of current events in the news, politics, science and industry if the pupil is to receive the best instruction. The blind cannot hope to keep abreast of all essential current news." Again: "Teaching requires real skill, and to be skillful one needs all his physical and mental faculties."
As these bland expressions of prejudice suggest all too obviously, the report of the committee of six shows no evidence of a serious effort to gather factual information or summon expert witnesses. Despite the increasing, and eminently successful, employment of blind teachers in public schools and colleges throughout the country, the superintendent's committee studiously avoided any reference to evidence more substantial than its own unverified preconceptions and subjective biases. A few additional quotations will suffice to demonstrate the quality of the argument:
"It is inconceivable that a person who is blind could prepare the report cards of children, the rollbooks and the numerous reports that teachers are called on to make." "The care and safety of pupils is a responsibility of every classroom teacher. This function could not be performed adequately by a blind person." "For a teacher to be successful and make proper homework assignments, reference must be made to the textbooks and the materials they contain. It is essential that much use of the blackboard be made, and while this might be possible for a blind person to do, it certainly could not be as effective as if done by a seeing person." "All of the reasons assigned above would apply to a teacher of blind children, and in addition, it should be borne in mind that blind children should be trained to take their places in a 'seeing' world. They need contact with persons who can see so that they will have the benefit of the most skillful instruction." The committee concluded: "For these reasons we are recommending against any changes in the present well-established practice of employing only those who have sufficient sight to pass the physical examination given by the District of Columbia Health Department."
No more convincing refutation could be made of the numerous misconceptions and prejudicial utterances contained in the above report than the testimony of Miss Onvia Ticer, a totally blind teacher of sighted children in the San Leandro (California) public school system, presented before the House Subcommittee on Special Education (the Elliott Committee) in March of last year. In view of its importance in the Washington school controversy, and in view of the recurrence around the country of issues here raised, Miss Ticer's testimony is set out at length:
"...The people who think that there is some magic or mysterious technique involved in my work simply do not understand how teaching is done and how control is maintained in a classroom. Discipline is a quality of the personality of the teacher, not of her visual acuity. Let us take the case of a sighted teacher who has a group of children under her supervision in her classroom. She can never, at any one time, 'see' every child at the same time, and still do any teaching. Many times her back is to the children--when writing on the board or working with an individual child. Does she not, at such times, depend upon the responsibility within those children, and their respect for her and the group, to use self-control in that situation?
"A blind teacher, like any other, must be able to establish a strong rapport with the children in her class. I spend much more time now, at the beginning of each year, in developing this rapport with the group, and working out little techniques of student responsibility. The teacher must not only instill respect for herself but must also make the children feel that they are respected by her, and that she has confidence in their ability to handle their behavior in the classroom. They must be taught, also, to respect each other. As a rule they are eager to be called upon to perform little special jobs, involving a sense of responsibility. They come to feel it a privilege and an honor to be given such assignments. Of course, I have children who do unacceptable things in the classroom, but now it is the group which brings pressure on them before I do....
"The first day in the classroom sets the tempo for the entire year. I have materials so well arranged that things go smoothly from the beginning. Every minute of the day is completely planned so that there is no opportunity for laxness, on my part or on theirs. I can truthfully say that, since I became blind, I have had classes better able to control themselves than any I had as a sighted teacher.
"I use blackboard demonstrations constantly. I keep my left hand in the place where I start the sentence or problem, and try to come back to the proper place. The blackboard monitor (weekly job responsibility) erases the unneeded things on the board to keep me from writing over them. Sometimes I have a child put work on the board, but not very often. Maps are used extensively. I have some which have raised portions for mountainous areas. Pictures I describe, and perhaps let some child point out the specific part which I wish to show. As I have previewed nearly all of the movies which I show in the classroom, I am able to point out things for them to observe, and things to remember. When I narrate a film, a child taps my desk as a signal of a change in sequence. I am able to operate the school movie projector--all except getting it in focus--and any child can tell me when that is right.
"When standardized tests have to be given, I have the directions in Braille and am able to give them myself. To be able to place the children a good distance apart, I take them to the multi-purpose room. An assistant holds a stop watch for me so the timing can be done with precise accuracy. This can be done by a supervisor who has some available time, or by an upper grade student.
"How do I grade papers? There is a high school two blocks away. I contacted its chapter of the Future Teachers of America. The teacher who sponsored the group thought it would be a wonderful training opportunity for some of the junior and senior future teachers to read for me in the afternoon. It gets my work done and it is excellent training for the girls. They regard it as a privilege.
"Like the rest of the teachers, I have other duties than those in the classroom. In place of the one-week playground duty, I take two weeks of supervising the cafeteria, where more than 200 children eat their lunch every day. We have a 20-minute lunch period, so in a little over 15 minutes these children must eat and be ready to leave. The first day that I took cafeteria duty after I was totally blind I heard a commotion and could tell that some of them were throwing their bag lunches back and forth. I asked a student that I could rely on to go to tell the ones involved that I wanted to see them when the period was over. Those very students now constitute my corps of assistants. One of them helps with traffic control, another goes up and down the aisles pushing chairs in and seeing that things are straight. The others sit at my table or close by and run errands for me and help as spotters. I now have the reputation of having one of the most orderly cafeterias in the school.
"Blindness is not preventing me from doing a good job as a teacher. The school administration is satisfied with my work and only recently several parents requested that their children be permitted to be in my classroom next year..."
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The April issue of Listen (Boston) quotes a recent statement by Director John F. Mungovan: "Since the passage of the Reorganization Act of 1951, the changes which have taken place in the Massachusetts Division of the Blind have been almost staggering. In 1951 the field staff of the Division consisted of 16 persons; today there are 42. Today each caseworker carries only 135 cases, as compared with 300 in 1951.... The amount of service given to each incividual is almost quadrupled.... Both the medical care program and the vocational rehabilitation services have been added to the Division's responsibility since 1951. Social workers have available to them a case work seminar which meets in the Division offices on a bi-weekly basis.... The number of pupils receiving home teaching service has more than doubled since 1951. ... A whole series of glaucoma detection clinics has been promoted by the Division, largely with the help of Lions Clubs.... Our vending stands, all independently operated by the blind persons who manage them, are models of efficiency both in operation and in design. Counseling service to pre-school blind children has been an addition to the Division service since 1951. Four of the old workshops have been relocated in better buildings within the past 9 years. Business machines for payroll, bookkeeping, maintenance of the register of the blind and for sound dictation and transcription of case notes by the caseworkers have brought a modern look as well as an increase in efficiency.... The offices of the Division now occupy 6,000 square feet of a modern office building, as compared to six dingy rooms in 1951. Blind persons coming to the office are now interviewed in the privacy of one of five interviewing rooms instead of being interviewed in a corridor.... Our entire staff has a high morale and an intense devotion to the task of bringing the best possible services to the blind of the Commonwealth."
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"Manila, Philippines, May 10: It was a real thrill to get my mail on arrival here yesterday.... Manila is muggy, hot, sticky, clammy--and everything except comfortable. It was the same in Saigon and Bangkok, but Singapore was superb. I had a perfectly delightful time there and in Malaya, where I spent a week with Fred and Grace Wong. Fred you met in Rome. He is the young and very capable rehabilitation and placement officer of the Gurney Training School for the Blind in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. I went a bit further south in Malaya to visit the School for the Blind in Jahore. Singapore is cosmopolitan to the nth degree, every tongue imaginable. I even ran up against some fellow-Scots there! There's money to be made in Singapore, and they don't mind working for it! I was with that delightful lady, Elizabeth Soo Mei Choy, who very recently made a lecture tour through Canada and the States. She is at present principal of the Singapore School for the Blind. Even the Bangkok Wat did not stop me! I took that trip in the midst of a broiling, scorching heat wave, and I climbed those hundreds of steps right to the top! Some of the steps were scarcely two inches wide, due to the erosion of the soft sand-stone, so I got a young student guide whose French and mine mixed well together. I think I got more out of it than the rest of the American tourists, for they had only each other to talk to! I think my guide traced with my fingers all of the elephants, lions, and nine-headed serpents on every frieze around the walls--at least those we could reach! It was really fun. I won't tell you in this short note of the Vietnamese wedding, where I ate the most exotic foods imaginable--such as chicken and fish-stomach soup.
"Here in Manila I am enjoying the company and hospitality of Major Bridges. If anyone understands the problems of the Far East, Major Bridges does. It is a real privilege to discuss with him some of my experiences and their interpretation. The situation in Manila, I feel, is not very favorable to the best interests of the blind. That, of course, is not in the hands of Major Bridges. The blind, the deaf, and the mentally retarded are all under the same jurisdiction. The blind are segregated in a sheltered workshop, and that is considered the answer. ... I am meeting with a group of Philippine teachers this week to talk over their problems. My ticket reads Australia for next week! There I hope to see Leah Wilson, whom you met in Rome. She is teaching in the blind School....
"I had a most interesting letter from Bill Taylor, Jr., regarding the sending of Braille magazines, books, etc., abroad. This happens to be one of my 'projects' for the very near future. I have in mind a plan for each of us who receives Braille periodicals to select some blind individual in the Orient and to pass them on to him regularly. I have plenty of names of people I have met in my travels who are hoping for just such an arrangement.
"I also had a letter from Abed Rubboh Budair. He is making good use of his tape recorder. ..."
"Sydney, Australia, May 23: Can you imagine the thrill I got when Tim Fuery asked me if I wanted to hear from George Card? He has several recordings from you, and we went through them with intense interest. Tim is up on all the NFB news--and told me about John Taylor's change in plans, about Paul Kirton and John Nagle, so I felt as if the year's gap had been adequately filled, and that I could now exist until I reach home next month. Tim Fuery knows where we should be going and knows how to get there. The situation in Brisbane is promising; many blind people have jobs in open industry. Agencies and volunteer groups are 'serving' only when and where needed. The same cannot be said for New South Wales, where it seems everything is in the hands of a very powerful agency--which has an extensive fundraising setup and almost blocks out the organized blind....
"I plan to go from here to Melbourne, then to New Zealand, where I shall see Cyril and Mrs. White. I have a date with Sir Clutha Mackenzie on June 1. After that I shall spend a couple of weeks, I think, in Hawaii--then home.'"
"Melbourne, Australia, May 27: Australia's welcome has been big and warm. We have much in common with the people here. I attended a meeting of the New South Wales Association of Blind Citizens the other evening. This is a vital, active, forward-looking organization of blind persons, of whom some 35 were present at the meeting. I was asked to tell about some of our activities at the national, state and local levels--a tall order--but the lively discussion and stimulating question period that followed made of the two and a half hour session a happy and rich experience for all of us. They have no means test! They know us lots better than we know them--thanks, of course, to the Braille Monitor. They send greetings to the Miami convention.
"This has been the most stimulating year in all of my long life!" Isabelle.
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by Russell Kletzing
A new and critical threat to Oregon's advanced program of sheltered workshops for the blind has recently emerged in the form of a report by a "special committee on shop operations" chaired by Charles F. Feike, director of the state's vocational rehabilitation division.
That the committee report bears implications for sheltered workshops in other states than Oregon is indicated by the facts that Chairman Feike is also president of the National Rehabilitation Association and that his committee based its findings largely upon a preliminary report by Edward L. Chouinard, regional representative of the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Submitted in late April, the Feike Committee report immediately drew the vigorous opposition of Clifford A. Stocker, administrator of the Oregon Commission for the Blind, and resulted in a May public meeting of the Oregon Commission, in which the dispute over the jurisdiction and character of workshops was openly aired.
Among the recommendations of the Feike Committee were proposals to abolish the long-existing preference accorded to the blind by opening workshops to persons of all physical handicaps; to abandon the model Oregon system of paying shop employees according to the wage scale prevalent in private industry for similar production; and to maintain the exemption of sheltered workshops from the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
No less disastrous in its potential consequences was the Feike Committee's recommendation that the sheltered shops be made a part of the state's vocational rehabilitation program and broadened to include not only vocational training but such medical and nonvocational services as "personal adjustment," "diagnosis and work evaluation" and "prevocational adjustment." The latter recommendation plainly reflects the intention of the committee's chairman, as head of the state vocational rehabilitation division, to subordinate both rehabilitation and special employment programs for the blind to the authority of an all-embracing general rehabilitation program.
Readers of the Braille Monitor will recall the report by Stanhope Pier in our May issue detailing the earlier Feike proposal for a Department of Rehabilitation to administer all categories of work for all handicapped persons in Oregon without regard for the particular needs of the blind. The purport of the latest report by the Feike-chaired special committee should be read in the light of that ambitious project.
Further proposals of the special workshop committee included curtailing the use of blind salesmen for workshop products, in order to "discourage the obvious possibility of abuse of sympathy motivation on the part of customers"; de-emphasis of the permanent employment function of the shops, and corresponding stress upon "evaluation of work habits" and "research" geared to rehabilitation.
In a forceful report replying to the Feike Committee, Administrator Stocker in mid-May set forth a point-by-point rebuttal of the committee's recommendations. With reference to the proposed abandonment of the workshop's competitive wage scale, he asserted that "to do otherwise would be to penalize [workshop employees] because of their blindness, for their products are equal in quality even though it may take longer to construct the product. To pay them less for the construction of a product equal in quality than a sighted person receives for construction of the same product in similar industry can be nothing more nor less than a discriminatory action against a person because of his blindness."
In answer to the committee's opposition to sales of shop products by blind persons, Stocker noted that "there is no evidence in fact in either the Chouinard Report or otherwise to support the contention that door-to-door sales by blind people either provokes 'sympathy motivation' on the part of the customers or that the sales are actually attempted on a sympathy basis. Any feeling that such be the case is only supposition and it would be unfair to both the vendor and the purchaser for the commission to establish a firm policy that might restrict the free exercise of this long-recognized American system of free enterprise." Noting that the committee made no mention of also restricting sighted salesmen of blind-made products, the Oregon administrator pointed out that "experiences in neighboring states and here in Portland have demonstrated that a far greater amount of exploitation of the customer in the name of the blind has taken place by sighted door-to-door salesmen selling blind-made articles than ever has been demonstrated by blind door-to-door salesmen selling the same articles. It would appear, therefore, that this policy would in effect be discriminatory against blind people."
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by Pauline Gomez (Condensed)
The fifth annual convention of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind was held at the Hilton Hotel in Albuquerque, May 29. Forty members answered roll call. Ninety two had previously paid their membership dues. We were privileged to have John Taylor of Iowa as our guest and advisor throughout the day. His motivating interest in the Federation was contagious. He was an inspiring banquet speaker that evening. Mr. and Mrs. G.E. Landon of Santa Fe, the parents of a blind child, became new members and instantly began active participation in the proceedings.... Mr. Atherton, formerly of the Illinois Federation, also joined. Many resolutions were adopted; one of them committed the organization to work strenuously for the appointment of a blind member on the State Board of Public Welfare. Others appropriated $25 to Good Cheer Magazine for the Deaf-Blind, $50 to the Braille Monitor, and $50 to the NFB Endowment Fund. A description of the Iowa program, old and new, written by Kenneth Jernigan, had been transcribed onto tape and was played. The following officers were elected: President, Pauline Gomez, 329 East Buena Vista, Santa Fe; first vice president, Seraphin Griego; second vice president, Tony Garcia; third vice president, Ernest Wallard; treasurer, Norma Landon, and recording secretary, Rosalia Chavez. They were installed by Mr. Taylor.
In her acceptance address, Pauline Gomez outlined her plans--growth of membership and organization of local chapters, more information to members, the expansion of the vending stand program, a program for the education of the parents of blind children, encouragement of a travel training program at the New Mexico School for the Blind, and a general educational program directed toward the sighted public.
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by John Nagle
Evidence of bubbling activity and decision-making in the field of sheltered workshops continues to grow. The Braille Monitor has recently reported on such significant developments as the majority opinion of the NLRB defining workshop activity as rehabilitation and refusing to assert collective-bargaining jurisdiction over shop disputes; the finding of a Pennsylvania district court that sheltered employment does not constitute "substantial gainful activity" and therefore does not debar workshop employees from disability insurance benefits; and the report of the House subcommittee on social security administration stating similarly that "it should be a rare case" in which sheltered workers are to be considered ineligible for payments under the disability program.
The latest event to occur on this newly activated front was a decision by Oregon Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton on May 9, 1960, holding blind sheltered shop workers of that state eligible for unemployment compensation. His official opinion, submitted in reply to a query by Clifford A. Stocker, administrator of the State Commission for the Blind, was "that workers employed in the workshops of the Oregon Industries for the Blind are entitled to draw unemployment compensation benefits if laid off through no fault of their own and providing they are otherwise qualified under the Department of Employment Law."
This affirmative decision by the Attorney General of Oregon came on the heels of last year's sweeping action by the legislature of the neighboring state of California, which declared that the workers in its own sheltered shops are not "inmates of a state institution or employed to be relieved from unemployment but are employees of the state," and accordingly extended to them the benefits of unemployment compensation insurance, unemployment compensation disability insurance, workmen's compensation, and Old Age and Survivors Insurance. Sheltered shop workers in Washington and Wisconsin have been eligible for unemployment compensation for some years.
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"When I read 'Proudly We Fail' I felt that I must write something which has been on my mind for some time. It seems to me that those who seek to custodialize, protect, entertain and speak for us have laid down a 5-point commandment for us to obey--and this is it: do nothing, say nothing, have nothing, know nothing, be nothing." W.H. Workman, Edinburg, Illinois.
"Could something like this be put into the Monitor--space permitting? Affiliates and chapters are urged to write to their Congressmen asking them to inquire what if any action is being taken by the President's Committee on the Employment of the Physically Handicapped to familiarize the driving public with the meaning of the white cane and the provisions of the White Cane Laws. You might call to your Congressman's attention the fact that the ability to travel independently is an essential prerequisite to a blind person's holding a job and that for him to go to and from his place of employment he invariably must cross streets and encounter traffic. From this it follows that public education to increase the effectiveness of the White Cane Laws is extremely relevant to the Committee's work of furthering employment of the blind. Heretofore, scarcely anything along this line appears to have been done by the Committee's staff, but, if enough inquiring letters come from Congressmen, it is quite conceivable that prompt and effective action will be taken. As a long-term project, we can hope to interest both the President's Committee and the Governors' Committees in lending their financial support and powerful influence to publicizing the employability of the blind.
Incidentally, and this is illustrative of the sort of help these Committees might give us, I have in my pocket letters of introduction to the National Safety Council from the Pennsylvania Governor's Committee." Bill Taylor, Media, Pennsylvania.
"I am currently employed as a teacher in the public schools of the city of Costa Mesa, California. This is my second year and I shall probably be returning to my present position for the third year. I teach a regular sixth grade class and assume all the responsibilities of a teaching position in this area, such as yard duty. Administrative cooperation has been very good. Fellow teachers have shown helpful and friendly acceptance. Parent response and cooperation so far has been very good. My rapport and cooperation with the students also are most satisfactory. I am totally blind and obtained my teaching credential and job after becoming completely blind. If there is anything further that I might do, please feel free to contact me. I would be glad to furnish letters, for example, to prospective applicants." Donald E. Ericksen, 2259 Placentia, Costa Mesa, California.
"...I haven't been working since March 21. I was laid off, along with about 50 other blind employees of the Cleveland Industrial Shop for the Blind. There probably won't be any work until about September. Here we are, all ready, willing and able to put in a good day's work, and no work in sight! As I turned on the radio last week someone said, 'I can't think of anything worse than "blindness." ' How I wanted to write to tell him there was something worse--being blind without any employment! ...I just can't see this working now and then. Blind people don't get by on their good looks. In my spare time I have been reading 'Workshop for the Disabled,' which I sent for from Washington. What a laugh! It speaks of 'employment,' 'full independence,' 'learning skills,' 'relearning of work habits,' 'a piece-work contract system at the highest union rates for similar industrial operations,' and 'clients assured full value for effort.' If only such claims were true! ...Every one I know who has seen the two films issued by the Cleveland agency tells me that the public is given the impression that the blind are well taken care of.... I have decided to join the local chapter of the NFB. There are many more who plan to join. My first meeting is next month. I am sure I shall learn something each meeting....", Cleveland, Ohio.
"...Yesterday the April issue of the Monitor arrived at last and I found it quite exciting as usual. I took a special interest in the article 'Proudly We Fail.' My ears will always preserve a special place for the echo of Mrs. Gladden's paradox--before a blind person can succeed, he must fail. ...I wrote to Dr. Grant two weeks ago and I hope she got my letter." Abed Rubboh Budair, Damascus, U.A. R.
"The new policies that were and are being instituted by the Jewish Guild for the Blind are not conducive to the best interests of the blind. It was our belief that the Guild was established as a haven for the blind. First, the Textile Department was abandoned, depriving 30 people of their jobs; this was followed by the dismantlement of the Doll Department, affecting about 20; now, the saddest situation of all--the dissolution of the Metal Shop. These workers are old and have no other place to turn to for employment.... Suddenly the Guild seems to be in existence for the benefit of the sighted, for great numbers of these people are engaged at topnotch salaries. ..." Julius Goldberg, Brooklyn, New York.
"...In the first place, let me assure you that I thoroughly enjoy the Braille Monitor--as the enclosed check will attest. I appreciate the information as to what is being done in Federation circles throughout the country. I therefore hope that such criticism as I offer will be accepted as meant constructively." (After proposing that the Braille edition be put on a $3 a year subscription basis and that the inkprint edition seek paid advertising, and after expressing his personal disapprobation of the greeting card program, the writer continues): "I would like to congratulate the chapter whose activities were described a few months ago under the heading 'A Good Chapter Report.' I have been not a little irked by nine-tenths of the convention reports which, so far as information is concerned, could well be summarized about this way-- 'A convention was held by. A good time was had by all. Officers were elected.'... Since Monitor space is at such a premium it occurs to me that one thing which could well be eliminated would be the personal bouquets in the 'Letters from Readers.' I know that these complimentary remarks about the Monitor are very pleasant for you to read and are well-deserved, but it seems the space could better be devoted to more informative material. Dr. tenBroek's article in the April issue has me confused. I thought it was a Federation objective to have the sheltered workshops used for rehabilitation and training, but Dr. tenBroek is annoyed because NLRB found this shop to be just that. He seems to doubt the training and placement claims of the agency, but surely the petitioners were given a chance to refute these claims if they were not true. Of course we would like to see these shops subject to both the Labor Relations Act and the Fair Trade Practices Act but it seems this can only be if they are places of bona fide commercial employment. Are we not asking that the sheltered workshops be simultaneously both flesh and fowl as well as good red herring? ..." Ned Freeman, President, Atlanta, Georgia, Chapter.
"...I am given to understand that almost every state in your country has a white cane law. May I ask you to please let me have copies of such laws at your earliest convenience.... Our Club has manufactured white canes for the blind and has also started distribution directly, as well as through the National Association for the Blind. Whereas it has been comparatively easy to instruct the blind in the use of the cane, it has been difficult to acquaint and educate the public to show respect and consideration to a person carrying one. This is the position despite demonstrations at important city junctions at peak traffic hours, posters on railway stations and other public transports such as trams, and buses and a fairly wide distribution of leaflets in different vernaculars. In order to make the white cane really effective and safe for its users, we now propose to have some legislative enactment to bring to bear the pressure of the law. ..." E. M. Cassinath, Secretary, Lions Club of Bombay, India.
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From the Blind Advocate (United Kingdom): "...Talking Book records are now being sold to the general public by Paris shops, and one shop is doing good business by running a Talking Book rental library. ... It is stated by Moscow Radio that a Soviet scientist has invented 'spectacles' to enable blind people to 'see' through their skin. These spectacles, worn on the forehead, are based on the ability of the human skin to react to light. The broadcast said that they not only helped the blind person to re-orient himself, but to see individual objects in the sunlight. Tests are now being made to discover means of increasing the skin's sensitivity to light. ... It is claimed that thousands of Africans in the Transvaal and Giskel districts will be saved from blindness if the South African Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness succeeds in obtaining the services of a full-time ophthalmic surgeon from overseas. In the past the Bureau has only been able to make use of ophthalmic surgeons in private practice, who volunteer for short field tours. On a single 10-day tour, however, up to 100 persons have had their sight restored. One of the main causes of blindness among the population of these districts is cataract."
Mr. Graeme Edwards, totally blind, in addition to being a well-known radio news commentator in Australia, is rated as a regular senior reporter on the Melbourne Herald.
Delegates from a dozen or more Lions Clubs were guests of the Badger Association of the Blind at an "appreciation banquet" in Milwaukee on June 7. Arthur Colby delivered the address of the evening, pointing out those areas in which the activities of Lions Clubs have been of real and substantial benefit to the blind and also indicating that certain other activities have been decidedly less helpful. It was announced that notices have now been received by all District Governors alerting them to the thirtieth anniversary celebration next October of the introduction of the white cane to identify blind pedestrians and the enactment of the first White Cane Traffic Law.
The Montana Observer reports that a second eye bank has been established in that state--the Knights Templar Eye Foundation of Great Falls. Bill Farmer, 437 Rimrock Road, Billings, is the new president of the Yellowstone chapter. Also: "Mrs. Jessie Marsh (active member of the MAB) is the author of a children's book entitled, 'Fuzzy Little Green Worm,' published by the Bethany Press of St. Louis, which tells of the metamorphosis of a green worm into a beautiful butterfly. Good sales are reported, particularly from the California Southland, where the first consignments have been sold out. Already completed is the manuscript of another children's book, which deals with the experience of a chipmunk in the Montana earthquake of last fall." And again, "Oscar Osborne, blind operator of a popcorn and confection vending stand in Billings, returned from Minneapolis with a new tailor-made leg with which he is very well satisfied." (Note: One of Oscar's best-selling items is a caramel-corn confection which he makes up like a taffy apple or a giant lollipop, and which he calls "Candy Corn-on-the-Cob.")
From the Canton (Ohio) Repository: "The drive to collect funds for construction of an addition to the Canton Philomatheon Society for the Blind home exceeded its $150,000 goal by $10,500. That was announced at a victory luncheon Monday noon at Mergus Restaurant by Charles Coltrin, chairman of the building fund. Fifty community leaders attended the affair. Construction of the addition is already under way and is expected to be completed in October. Mr. Coltrin said the excess funds would be used as working capital to furnish a workshop in the addition. He added that three local firms already have furnished projects for the blind to work on, thereby making the building productive and said a countywide effort would be made to find additional companies willing to cooperate in such a program. The Timken Foundation furnished $75,000 on a matching fund basis. The Timken Roller Bearing Company employs 12 blind workers. Also speaking at the luncheon was Harry H. Stiller, one of the founders of the society and its president for many years, for whom the second floor of the addition will be named...." (Editor's note: The Philomatheon Society is the Canton chapter of the Ohio Council of the Blind and now has over 100 members. Since its founding it has been very active in obtaining employment for its members. A spokesman told the victory luncheon that there had not been a blind beggar on the streets of Canton for 18 years. The new workshop is interested in hearing from blind inventors who have a product which it can manufacture. Write to President George Bonsky, 2810 West Tuscarawas Street.
A telegram from Birmingham contains the sad news of the passing of Will Johnson on May 20. Mr. Johnson was the founder of the Birmingham chapter, which was the original NFB affiliate in Alabama. He practiced law in his native city and until the last 3 or 4 years was the official Alabama delegate to all national conventions.
When you send me clippings which you believe contain items of general interest to Monitor readers, please supply the name and date of the newspaper from which the item is taken.
From the News Bulletin of the National Medical Foundation for Eye Care: "The use of contact lenses, even when properly fitted, is always accompanied by an element of risk to the health of the eyes. Contact lenses are helpful to certain individuals for occupational reasons but physicians have a clear duty to make certain that anyone considering their use will reach his decision in full awareness of the risks involved.... The name of Delta Gamma has become synonymous with prevention of blindness and work with the blind since 1936. Almost every collegiate and alumnae group of the sorority contributes each year, either through financial assistance or volunteer service--or both--in its own community. Personal services to individuals--entertainment, transportation, reading, sales of blind-made articles--have created behind-the-scenes stories warm and human.... Pledges to Eye Banks increased from 2,200 in 1956 to 43,000 in 1959. Among 500 patients operated for cataracts, ages 25-94, more than 93 percent had post-operative acuity of 20/60 or better."
On May 1 Dr. tenBroek announced that there had been sufficient improvement in the NFB treasury balance so that Paul Kirton could be reinstated to the staff on a permanent basis.
Dates have been announced for the Indiana and Ohio 1960 conventions. The former, Hotel Severin, Indianapolis, October 7-9; the latter, Barr Hotel, Lima, October 14-16.
A new chapter of the Pennsylvania Federation was organized in Erie on April 24. Officers: President, Algot Persons, 238 West 20th Street; first vice president, Mike Smith; second vice president, James Hurley; secretary, Miss Autumn B. Blakely; treasurer, Harry Rydewski. Frank Lugiano writes: "All of our PFB chapters (now 17) are experiencing a much better year than ever before, strengthening their local positions. Most of our chapters are using the Blind Artists for fundraising--which helps the artist and also the local chapter. Our PFB convention will be held in Allentown at the Americus Hotel, September 16-17."
Paul (Boomer) Anderson, a former construction worker, is learning braille, typing and travel at the new Iowa Orientation Center in Des Moines and plans to become an auctioneer. Perhaps this is an occupation which qualified blind people have overlooked.
The latest braille cookbook, "Cooking Without Looking," by Mrs. Esther Tipps, home economics teacher at the Texas School for the Blind, is now on the shelves of regional libraries. Copies may also be purchased from the APH for $5.20--the first 250 for $4.20.
From Listen (Boston): "A 'first' in American operatic circles has been scored with the appearance of a blind baritone, John di Francesco, of Berkeley, California, in the title role of 'Rigoletto.' He had been a protege of the late Ezio Pinza. A New York critic described him as a lyric baritone of great warmth and resonance. His performance won him a cheering ovation at the end of the opera. ... A newly practiced evacuation drill is credited with saving the lives of the 300 blind pupils at the Overbrook School for the Blind when a 5-alarm fire and explosion destroyed the 61-year-old main building of the Philadelphia school.... The letters IHB, which have officially stood for 'Industrial Home for the Blind,' will gradually take on a new meaning, according to an editorial in the April issue of the organization's publication, The Reporter. Although clinging to its familiar title for corporate purposes, IHB will increasingly refer to itself as the 'Institute for Helping the Blind.' Peter J. Salmon points out that the forward step is 'one of emphasis rather than change.' This is not the first time that the Brooklyn agency has taken action in regard to its public image. Six years ago it pioneered among agencies discarding light symbols after recognition of the damage which the 'darkness and light' concept can do to blind persons.... William H. McCarthy, a former director of the Massachusetts Division of the Blind, died on March 25.... When fire broke out in the home of a nine-year-old blind girl, Susan Betz, San Leandro, California, and the smoke was so thick that her sighted mother and brother were unable to see their way way out of the burning house, she led them to safety.... OVR is sponsoring optical aids clinics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, and John J. McCook Memorial Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut.... Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic Symphony, has been elected to the board of directors of the Louis Braille Foundation for Blind Musicians, Inc. ... In New York City alone there are now 18 schools where blind children learn braille and other special techniques in resource classes but get their basic education in regular classrooms with sighted children. The 11 elementary 3 junior high and 4 senior high schools have an enrollment of approximately 150 blind children. ... It is reported that the new school for the blind in Meru, East Africa, had great difficulty in persuading parents that their blind children would not be killed and their bodies used to concoct magic potions.... Genevieve Caulfield, the Virginia-born blind pioneer in education of the blind of Thailand, has been in the United States recently in connection with the publication of her life story, 'The Kingdom Within.' 'I wanted to make sure the publishers didn't come out with some title like "Out of Darkness into Light," ' she stated."
Mary E. Switzer, of Health, Education and Welfare, has written to the United States Information Agency, in part as follows: "Recently interest has been expressed in having available through the resources of your agency braille material for the use of blind persons.... The American Friends Service Committee, the National Federation of the Blind and the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind have expressed their interest in having braille publications in the USIA libraries.... While it may not be possible to begin with supplying a great many libraries, would it not be possible to begin by making braille publications available in selected libraries abroad?"
The editor of the Illinois Federation Newsletter, Mr. Robert McMullen of Chicago became an assistant state's attorney for Cook County on May 2.
From the Washington (D.C.) Evening Star: "At the age of 65, when many persons are ending their business careers, Charles J. Ellett of Cohoes, New York, is embarking on a new one, undaunted by blindness. Mr. Ellett recently passed an examination to become a licensed insurance agent. He studies from braille textbooks and completed his course at Siena College, Albany. He mastered braille after losing his sight at the age of 60."
From the Weekly News: " 'Eyes' for the Blind: A device which helps blind people 'see' objects has been engineered by the St. Charles (Illinois) Scientific Company. The Synthetic Sighter, a 2-part electronic scanning device, is made up of a lightweight 'finder' strapped to the hand of the blind person and battery-powered control unit that fits into a pocket or purse. A light beam from the finder lens 'reads' the size, depth and height of any obstacle and activates 224 tiny plungers within the finder. The plungers tap the user's palm (as fast as 5 times a second), painting dot by dot a 'crude halftone' of the object ahead. Cost: about $500, including training."
From Viewpoint (United Kingdom): "We feel deeply the loss of one of the great workers in our cause, Mr. Edward Evans. He was one of the founders of the Association of Teachers of the Blind, and later its chairman, chairman of the College of Teachers of the Blind, composer of the manual alphabet for the deaf-blind used in this country, deputy secretary of the RNIB, and member of Parliament since 1945. He played an influential part in the drafting of those parts of the National Assistance Act of 1948 which relate to blind persons. ..." John Wilson, retiring president of the NFB, writes: "In the past five years I do not recall a single instance in which the Federation suffered from the slightest inhibition in commenting on the policy or activities of any organization for the blind." The executive council reported: "Noise is the most serious problem which we blind people have to contend with in getting about the streets--indeed, unless noise can be speedily reduced, it bids fair to undermine the independence we have so recently and so painfully won for ourselves. It should be welcome news, therefore, that we are to affiliate with the Noise Abatement Society. There could be no class of people who would have more to gain from its success.... The Federation's request for representation on the board of the Guide Dog Association has met with a flat negative."
"An organization that stands still and rests on its laurels is stagnant and, even worse, on the road to ultimate decadence."--Anita O'Shea, in the Paul Revere (Massachusetts). The same issue contains a discussion of a proposal to place decals--"which glow in the dark so they may be sighted quickly in the spotlights of fire trucks--on the doors of houses where handicapped people live and also near the bedroom windows of the dwellings of persons who might find it difficult to leave quickly in case of fire or other emergency." Barbara Leavitt, Brockton, comments: "The decals on our homes would be a hindrance rather than an asset. Unscrupulous people could take advantage of us by stealing our checks from our mailboxes or forcing their way in, knowing that we cannot defend ourselves. Having our names listed at the nearest fire station would be enough. ..." "President Anita O'Shea has been appointed chairman of the city of Spring-field's observance of Helen Keller Day, June 26, by Mayor O'Connor.... The new Westfield chapter house was opened for business on April 15 and had its official dedication on May 5."
Mr. Lee Iverson has been appointed superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School to succeed D.W. Overbeay on August 1. Mr. Iverson has been principal of the School for the Deaf and Blind in Florida since 1954. He was formerly a teacher in the Iowa School.
When the Bank of England announced a few months ago that future issues of banknotes would be uniform in size, there was a storm of protest from both the organized blind, (civilian and veteran), and from the agencies. High-level conferences ensued and the final result was a reconsideration of the move. Where we in the United States must fold our various banknote denominations differently, or resort to some other device, the blind of Britain have no such problem.
From the Michigan Eye Opener: "The utilization of the facilities of the Michigan School for the Blind at Lansing for adult blind people during the summer, beginning in 1961, has been formally approved by the State Board of Education. This program can serve several groups, those who need refresher information, those who will be more employable as a result of what is offered, the recently blinded, various combinations of these and other groups and purposes.... The Detroit chapter of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association... replaces the Detroit Council for the Handicapped, which for 20 years was a special interest group of the Council of Social Agencies.... There are many jobs in a dental office that blind people are capable of handling efficiently--developing X-rays, answering the telephone and taking messages, cleaning instruments, cleaning drill burrs, and many other things.... Willard W. Perrine, 58, of Lansing, died recently. He was chief employment counselor for the Division of Services for the Blind and had placed hundreds of blind persons in positions of competitive employment in central and western Michigan during the past 17 years."
In April our good friend, Hiram Chappell, rural specialist in OVR, received the Superior Service and Oveta Culp Hobby Awards, which consist of an engraved certificate and $200, "for pioneering and developing, through selfless devotion, imagination, and painstaking execution, a national program for the rehabilitation of blind people in agricultural pursuits."
The Blinded Veterans Association will hold its annual convention at the Somerset Hotel, Boston, August 3-6. Dr. tenBroek was invited to participate but was obliged to decline because he has agreed to teach during the second session of the summer school at the University of California, which begins on August 1.
Blind secretaries and typists may be interested to learn that the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville 6, Kentucky, now has for sale braille and large-print copies of a manual containing much specialized information for their use and called "Letter Perfect," issued by the Dictaphone Corporation.
A clipping sent me by Antone Santos, president of the Rhode Island Federation, reads in part as follows: "Organization is essential for putting the blind on equal footing with the rest of society, Ettore Rosati, supervisor of education for the blind in the State Department of Education, said last night. Mr. Rosati was one of several speakers who addressed members of the Rhode Island Federation of the Blind at their annual dinner in the Crown Hotel. William E. Powers, blind Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, related some some highlights in the history of the 13-year-old organization. Other speakers, including William Hogan, president of the Connecticut Federation, stressed the progress being made by the blind in the fields of education and employment. Governor Del Sesto sent greetings to the 100 in attendance."
New addresses: Jewish Braille Institute of America, Inc., 48 East 74th Street, New York 21, New York; John Milton Society, 475 Riverside Drive, New York 27, New York.
The Overseas News column of the current issue of The New Beacon features two outstanding blind citizens of Belgium. Monsieur Eugene Dehogne represents no less than 45 insurance companies. Monsieur Maurice Firket, a blind barrister, in addition to an active practice, teaches constitutional law and administration in the police training schools at Liege and Vervis.
From the Trenton (New Jersey) Evening Times: "Salesmen and solicitors fraudulently representing themselves as agents for blind and handicapped persons are active again, Attorney General Furman warned today. He described their activities as 'one of the meanest rackets imaginable.' Furman said the State Commission for the Blind, which has a legitimate program for sale of articles made by the blind, has been besieged with complaints from irate victims of unauthorized peddlers. ... If the householder does not make a purchase, contributions are encouraged. ..."
The recorded edition of Newsweek has been changed from 33-1/3 to 16-2/3 rpm, requiring only two records instead of four.
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