Braille Monitor December 1986
In the November, 1985, issue of the Braille Monitor we carried an article entitled "No Justice for Jackie . . . Yet-But the Battle Has Just Begun." In that article we told the story of Jackie Galloway, a blind woman from Port Townsend, Washington. She went to a local theater with her two daughters and two grandchildren on a Saturday afternoon (to be exact, it was March 9, 1985) to see "Pinocchio"--about as innocent an act as one could hope to find; as American as apple pie.
But that is not how it ended. She was told by the theater owner that she could not come in unless she left her guide dog outside. She was humiliated at the scene which was caused and embarrassed and frightened at the confrontation. Moreover, at that time she was not only not a Federationist but had never heard of the organization. Nevertheless, she knew what was right and stood her ground. Finally, after being badgered and subjected to verbal abuse by the theater owner (a Mr. Wiley), she left in tears.
Contact was made with the Federation, and Jackie Galloway and the organized blind of Washington set out to see that justice was done. We demanded that Mr. Wiley be prosecuted under Washington's White Cane Law. But the public prosecutor (a friend of Mr. Wiley's) wouldn't bring charges. We persisted. It took a demonstration in Port Townsend, an intensified public education campaign, and a lawsuit--but we were determined to have justice. In the November, 1985, Braille Monitor we were compelled to begin with the headline "No Justice for Jackie...Yet."
However, that was a year ago, and as we have so often observed, we have a waay of persisting until we achieve our objective. We can now report: "Justice for Jackie." In the Fall, 1986, Blind Washingtonian (the newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington) Ben Prows writes as follows:
Galloway Case Upholds White Cane Law: Wiley Not So Wiley Anymore
by Ben Prows
Federationists from throughout Washington and Oregon will long remember a protest march held on July 20, 1985. We marched in Port Townsend to protest against the barring of Jackie Galloway and her dog guide Lassie from the Uptown Theater by theater owner Mr. Richard Wiley. We will remember the months of battles to get the county prosecutor to uphold the White Cane Law by bringing charges against Mr. Wiley. We will remember the prosecutor's refusal to do his duty as a public official, forsaking the people and the law for a friend. We will remember the day when Jackie Galloway stood up for her rights as a blind citizen and brought suit in civil court to recover at least some of the damage she suffered as a result of Mr. Wiley's arrogant disregard for the law. We will remember the long months of waiting for a court date, and the disappointment of delays in the trial for one reason or another. We will also remember that Jackie stood up to the town and hung in there despite some criticism and attacks from some sectors of the community.
Most of all, we will remember the day in July, 1986, when Jackie had her trial. The judge directed the jury to find that the White Cane Law had been violated by Mr. Wiley. The jury also found that Mr. Wiley was negligent in his treatment of Mrs. Galloway an awarded Jackie $6,550 in damages. This is a victory not only for Jackie Galloway but for all blind people of this state and throughout the nation. It took an attorney such as Bill Knebes who understood the issue to convince the judge and jury that Jackie Galloway must be treated as a first-class citizen. If Mr. Wiley had gotten away with a violation of the White Cane Law, you can rest assured that other owners of public accommodations would have followed suit.
Jackie Galloway is not only a first class citizen but an example of a first class Federationist. Though there is no chapter in Port Townsend and though there are few blind persons in the town, Jackie hung in there and fought for her rights. She persisted. She won a victory for herself and a victory for the blind.
The NFB provided technical assistance and support to Jackie throughout the ordeal. Scott Lewis, a long-time Federationist from Port Angeles, was instrumental in providing information for Mr. Knebes and keeping in contat with Jackie. Bob Eschbach came to Port Townsend to be an expert witness since he is the national chairman of the Dog Guide Committee and a national Board Member. The testimony that Mr. Eschbach and Mrs. Galloway gave destroyed Mr. Wiley's claim that safety prevented him from letting the dog into the theater.
The Jackie Galloway case again demonstrates the will of the blind to live normal, productive lives as equal partners with their sighted peers.
Jackie Galloway has now discovered the National Federation of the Blind and says that she hopes to be at the state convention in October in Vancouver. The case is just another reason "Why the National Federation of the Blind."
If you or a friend would like to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:
"I give, devise, and bequeath unto National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation the sum of $_____ (or "percent of my net estate" or "The following stocks and bonds: ") to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons."