JULY ISSUE -- 1959
INK PRINT EDITION
VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.
THE BRAILLE MONITOR
Published monthly in Braille and distributed free to the blind by the American Brotherhood for the Blind, 257 South Spring Street, Los Angeles 12, California.
Ink-print edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California. Subscription rate--$3.00 per year.
EDITOR: GEORGE CARD, 605 South Few Street, Madison, Wisconsin.
News items should be addressed to the Editor. Changes of address and subscriptions should be sent to the Berkeley headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Elliott Subcommittee Grabs the Reins
A Little Journey Westward
Two Weeks To Go
From the Missouri Monthly Report
New York Legislation
A Theory of Initial Reactions to Blindness
Applying for Tax-Exempt Status
Utah Convention Jesse Anderson
How People Are Recruited, Examined, and Appointed in the Competitive Civil Service
Paul Revere Rides Again
Another Prison Project
From Our Readers
Here and There
During the last two weeks of May the House Subcommittee on Special Education, under the chairmanship of Representative Carl Elliott of Alabama held six executive sessions, but failed to report out either H. R. 14 or any of the other sixty "Right to Organize" bills which had been considered during the March 9-16 hearings. On May 22, however, it announced that it would itself conduct a study of "rehabilitation of the physically and mentally handicapped and special education". The Subcommittee plans to employ its own staff and conduct an independent investigation of existing programs. During the March hearings nearly all of the agency spokesmen who appeared against the Kennedy-Baring bill strongly recommended the creation of a study commission to survey the entire field of services to the blind and to bring in recommendations. All of us who appeared in support of H.R. 14 were asked whether we favored such a study commission. Without exception we stated that we felt there was a definite need for a thorough and sweeping investigation of services to the blind, including both public and private agencies, but that we believed the value of such a study would be largely nullified if the commission's membership were heavily weighted with agency personnel--as proposed by the American Foundation for the Blind and its allies. We pointed out that such an agency-oriented commission could hardly be expected to bring in a completely unbiased and objective report. By its decision to take over the investigation as a Subcommittee project, it seems evident that Congressman Elliott and his five colleagues have definitely decided to reject all of the agency-sponsored study commission proposals and are determined to get at the real facts.
The May 22nd announcement states that the Subcommittee will also broaden the investigation so as to cover services to all of the physically and mentally handicapped.
While it is gratifying to learn that the study may be an objective one rather than a whitewash, there is at the same time good reason to fear that the broadening of its scope may so dilute and water down the project that only a rather superficial examination will be possible. The blind will once more find themselves a tiny minority, when regarded as a part of the total group of handicapped people. As such, it would not be realistic to expect that their program will receive the close scrutiny, nor be subjected to the intensive research that would be indispensable to the sort of exhaustive survey which is needed.
On May 29th Chairman Elliott announced that the study would be directed by Dr. Merle E. Frampton, Professor of Education at Hunter College, New York City, and Director of the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. This choice may prove to be an unfortunate one. It would seem that, if the study is to be a truly objective one, someone might have been chosen who had not previously voiced so many prejudgments in his public statements. Dr. Frampton, while he is undoubtedly knowledgeable, has frequently and publicly proclaimed his predilections and antipathies. It is certainly to be hoped that he will be able to put these aside, at least temporarily.
In view of the May 22nd announcement, we must also face up to the possibility that the Subcommittee may very well postpone any recommendation with respect to our "Right to Organize" bills until its own investigation has been completed--which will probably mean a delay until the next session.
back to contents
This year Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa all scheduled their annual conventions on the same week-end, June 6-7. I am a member of all four and I take my membership seriously but with no helicopter at my disposal I had to make a choice this time. Fortunately the MOB convention held its first session on Thursday evening so Darlene and I drove to the Twin Cities and attended. We received a heartwarming welcome. We have many old friends in this group. Mrs. Eleanor Harrison, who is retiring this year after a distinguished four-year period in the presidency, graciously relinquished the chair to a committee chairman and came to sit beside us.
The MOB is one of the most solid and Federation-minded groups in the whole country. Its members like to have fun but they take their state and national organizations very seriously. Most of the old, reliable, active members were on hand but I was particularly impressed by two whom I had not previously met, or at least did not remember having met. Ruth Lundquist, editor of the Minnesota Bulletin, is certainly a most competent and self-assured young lady, who knows what she wants and where she wants to go. Louie Heltzer, who had been elected as voting delegate for the Santa Fe convention, has a lot of drive, personality and know-how. He is also president of the state vending stand operators' organization. I learned afterward that Ben Ystenes, 1099 East Rose Street, St. Paul 6, was elected president at a later session.
We left our car in Minneapolis and took a Northern Pacific train the next morning for Bismarck. At Fargo we picked up a large delegation of NDAB members and in their company the rest of the trip was very pleasant. This was President Darrell Kline's first experience in the chair and he did very well. Melvin Ekberg and George Geisler were elected to the board of directors and the former was also chosen delegate to the NFB national convention. Mr. Geisler and his bride, both of whom teach at the State School for the Blind, were on their honeymoon. The convention was a sort of celebration of the great victory which the NDAB secured in having its residential school removed from the tiny, almost inaccessible hamlet of Bathgate, to the thriving little city of Grand Forks. Superintendent Herbert Jeffrey described the building plans in considerable detail and his audience listened eagerly. One of the most interesting persons I encountered was a new member, a Dr. Orr of Bismarck. He became blind several years ago but regained about 14 percent vision in one eye. He has resumed practice now and is doing well, in spite of many obstacles placed in his path by his former colleagues. There is some factional trouble in the NDAB, as in most of our state organizations, but the meetings at this year's convention were almost peaceful--at times.
The membership of both these far northern NFB affiliates is made up largely of stalwart, independent, highly individualistic men and women of Scandinavian descent. Their loss of sight has in no way affected these admirable racial characteristics.
I could not, of course, get to Vinton this year, but I am told that it was a highly successful meeting. A highlight was an address by D. W. Overbeay, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who compared the present situation of the blind people of Iowa with that which existed fourteen months ago. He paid a glowing tribute to the dynamic and imaginative leadership provided by Kenneth Jernigan since he became executive director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. The convention adopted strong resolutions supporting the Kennedy-Baring and the King bills. President Harold Reeves, Tom Jantzen and Hubert Smock were chosen delegates to Santa Fe. The reliable and energetic Bill Klontz became chairman of the legislative committee.
I have received no report as yet from the South Dakota convention but hope that it will be forthcoming in time for the next issue.
back to contents
I rather expect that a number of people who have neglected to send in any sort of a contribution to the Louis Braille Memorial Museum Fund will seek Darlene or me out at Santa Fe.
Wisconsin, $165.50; California, $124.63; New Jersey, $78; Texas, $75.58; Minnesota, $66; Massachusetts, $63; Virginia, $60; Missouri, $51; Iowa, $41.11; Connecticut, $34; North Dakota, $32.50; South Carolina, $31.20; Wyoming, $26.50; Ohio, $26; Georgia, $25; Oregon, $20; West Virginia, $17; Vermont, $16.25; Rhode Island, $15; District of Columbia, $13.50; North Carolina, $13; Colorado, $13; Illinois, $13; Tennessee, $12; Pennsylvania, $11.25; Nevada, $11; Alabama, $10; New York, $9; Michigan, $8; Arkansas, $7; Nebraska, $6; Florida, $6; Kansas, $6; Idaho, $5.75; Montana, $4; Indiana, $2; Arizona, $1.50; New Mexico, $1; New Hampshire, $1; Oklahoma, $1, and Washington, $1. Total--$1124.27. Of the 46 NFB states, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, South Dakota and Utah are missing.
back to contents
"...I had the great pleasure of attending the dedication of the Springfield Service Club's new center for the blind on May 2nd. This center represents the fulfillment of the club's long cherished dream and the dedication was a real celebration. The Joplin Service Club sent nearly thirty members to join in the festivities, so I had a most welcome chance to address and visit many friends whom I had not seen since our September convention.
"The Ozark Association, the Allied Workers of the Blind and RITE have reported that their candy drives were more successful this year than in 1958. It was gratifying, too, to hear that the Hannibal Association has launched a candy sale for the first time and it is doing encouragingly well.
"...The Legislature has adjourned for this year. The recent session dealt kindly with us in the matter of our pension raise and the more liberal exempt earnings ceiling, but... our bid for an increase of the real estate tax that finances the state pension fund did not succeed....
"In order to expedite its work, the MFB organizing committee requested the services of Mr. Paul Kirton of the NFB staff in trying his hand at forming chapters in the counties where we have been making little progress. Our request was promptly granted. Accordingly, that young, enthusiastic magician went to Moberly, Missouri on May 18th and invited me to join him there and help conduct a meeting on May 24th. We had a fine meeting and were delighted to see the founding of the Randolph County Association of the Blind.... Although we had anticipated with pleasure the prospect of Paul's assistance, this first week's work convinced me that we had greatly underestimated his value. He knows his job, puts his whole heart into the performance of it, and has an amazing understanding of the art of working with people. Expect more news soon. For this expert assistance the Missouri Federation is merely paying the travel and maintenance expense for Paul. His salary comes from the National Federation...."
back to contents
The Empire State Association of the Blind sponsored two major pieces of legislation this year. One of these would have provided for the elimination of the legal responsibility of relatives of blind recipients of public assistance. It died in committee. The second bill would have provided that blind people, otherwise qualified to teach in public schools, should not be denied a teaching license. A last minute amendment, submitted without the knowledge of the ESAB, watered this down by limiting its application to those institutions and classes in which only the blind are taught. The bill passed both houses but, even in this emasculated form, it was vetoed by Governor Rockefeller--undoubtedly at the behest of the Department of Education. It had been supported by the New York Federation of Workers for the Blind, the Metropolitan Council of Agencies for the Blind and the Blind Professionals Association, but the bigwigs at the head of the state's public school system are irreconcilably opposed to the hiring of blind teachers. The governor's veto message, in which he functioned as their Charlie McCarthy, pointed out that blind teachers are not now barred from the public school system, but it failed to recognize the fact that the same result is accomplished by barring blind applicants from admission to teacher-training schools.
Several other measures, which the ESAB did not introduce but 5 which it actively supported, were enacted into law. One of these transferred the authority for stand operation from the Department of Purchases to the State Commission for the Blind, making it mandatory upon the Commission to install blind-operated stands on all property owned, controlled or leased by the state, wherever the installation of such stands is deemed to be practicable. It also provides that individual operators may purchase their stands whenever the Commission feels that an individual operator is competent to manage his stand independently. The new law forbids the charging of rent to blind operators in public buildings and gives such operators the profits from vending machines which may be installed in buildings where a stand is operated by a blind person.
Another bill which became law will assure counties of state reimbursement for the expense of special education afforded handicapped children, including blind children.
Ray Dinsmore writes: "The various chapters throughout the state of New York cooperated wholeheartedly with the Legislative Committee. Though we encountered some setbacks, we did gain some ground and feel we have a better chance next year for further gains."
back to contents
Mary K. Baumann, psychologist and co-director of the Personnel Research and Guidance Center, Philadelphia, presented a paper entitled "The Initial Psychological Reaction to Blindness" at the convention of the Eastern Conference of Home Teachers of the Blind at Richmond, Virginia last October, which was reprinted in the May New Outlook. Her central thesis is that the degree to which a newly blinded adult can successfully adjust to his changed situation is determined by how well he is able to reconcile his self-concept with the concept of "a blind person" which he held before he himself became blind. His concept of "a blind person" will have been shaped by whatever he has observed or heard or read.
She discusses first the reactions of those clients who, as sighted persons, had formed mental images of the typical "blind person" in terms of the traditional stereotype. These individuals can find no similarity between their self-concepts and their concept of "a blind person". Perhaps the most frequent reaction here is the attempt to deny the visual loss. "Where the loss is not complete, the individual may refuse to discuss his problems with an agency for the blind, may refuse offers of assistance, such as readers, may even continue to drive a car, despite extreme danger to himself and others...." In such cases, the concept of blindness is one of such utter hopelessness and dependence, or otherwise so unacceptable, that even the lowest and most menial job as a "seeing person" seems preferable to the attainment of a successful career through frank admission of the visual defect and the adoption of those communication and travel techniques which--while almost indispensable to the achievement of success--are thought to brand one who uses them with the "stigma" of partial blindness. "Of such people it would be possible to say that their concept of themselves as sighted people is more important than the concept of themselves as successful people."
"The denial in the case of the person who is totally blind, or nearly so, will probably take the form of insisting that his sight will be restored and, consequently, that it will not be necessary for him to learn to live as a blind person. In this, unfortunately, many well-meaning persons, including some members of the medical profession, frequently encourage the individual. In some cases he goes from one physician or hospital to another in the vain hope that one will be able to help him; and often he continues to do this, and his family continues to take him, even though reputable physicians have repeatedly said that no restoration of sight is possible....
"There are other cases where the two concepts have enough similarity so that the individual can quickly make at least some movement toward adjustment. Happiest of all is the situation where the newly blinded individual has had fortunate experience with blind people and knows rather realistically what he is likely to be able to do as a blind person. We see this type of easy acceptance of the concept of himself as a blind person in cases where there have been other successful blind members of the family, or where the individual, before losing his sight, had friends who were well-adjusted blind people. When he himself experiences visual loss, he sees himself as like those he has loved and admired. And he does not fear he will lose the love and admiration of people around him.... His picture of himself as a blind person is a picture with which he can live comfortably."
With respect to cases where the initial reaction is one of denial or evasion, Mrs. Baumann writes: "...We must start by trying to change their concepts of blind people. We do this by our own example, by telling them what blind people are doing and how they are doing it, and by introducing them to well-adjusted blind people."
I think Mrs. Baumann is eminently correct in her analysis of the cause of unfortunate reactions to the onset of blindness. I believe also that the treatment she recommends--designed to alter and render more realistic the newly-blinded person's concept of blindness--is a sound one. The last item she has prescribed above, ("to introduce them to well-adjusted blind people"), is, in my opinion, the most effective in the long run.
How best can this be done? The better type of adjustment center, such as the one in Oakland, California, undoubtedly supplies at least a partial answer. But for various reasons only a small fraction of newly-blinded people find it possible to attend one of these. How should the others be put in touch with well-adjusted blind people I do not believe that the typical spoon-fed, cake-and-ice cream group which is found being waited upon and entertained by agency personnel or by an organization of do-gooder ladies, provides much of a solution. Very few independent, self-reliant blind people attend such functions. I sug gest that the finest place in the world for these people to go is to meetings of the organized blind. I have in mind, of course, local chapters of the National Federation of the Blind. Here they will meet those who can do them the most good. Here they will not be coddled but will receive a warm and enthusiastic welcome. There will be no patronizing condescension. They will find themselves accepted by, and on an absolutely equal footing with those who have found the answers and can show them the ropes.
I believe that at the present time I probably know more Federationists personally than any other individual in our national organization. From this knowledge I can state unequivocally that the overwhelming majority of our members have come into this movement, not with any hope or expectation of personal gain, but so as to be able more effectively to help their less fortunate fellow blind. They are, therefore, especially willing, anxious and eager to extend the hand of fellowship, friendship and comradeship to the newly-blinded person. The majority of us have experienced all the trauma and frustration that he is going through now and we are consequently able to give him what he most needs--including, usually before very long, active work assignments in the furtherance of our program. When he reaches this stage--effective participation--his self-respect and self-esteem will have been largely restored to him.
May I make one last point. These people cannot be expected to find us, nor will very many agencies refer them to us. Each one of us must consider himself a committee of one, charged with the duty of actively seeking out the newly-blinded person, following up every lead. When we find him we must take the initiative and call upon him personally. It is sometimes possible, and nearly always helpful, if we can find mutual friends or acquaintances who can help us make the first contact. But if these are not to be found, we must barge in anyway. Sometimes the family will be hostile at first and sometimes the newly-blinded person may shrink from meeting strangers, but we must not be easily discouraged. Once we have established personal rapport the next step is, of course, to persuade, coax, or if necessary, browbeat or bulldoze him--whatever is required to get him to a meeting of our club.
back to contents
Any state or local NFB organization which is engaged in, or contemplates becoming engaged in fund-raising through public solicitations should apply for a tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A tax-exempt status granted under this section will permit an individual contributor to deduct the amount of his gift when filing his income tax return. Request form 1023 in order to apply under this section. The tax-exempt status which can be obtained under section 501 (c) (4) is much more restricted and considerably less advantageous.
In completing form 1023, it is well to handle with some care the answer to the question as to whether or not your organization carries on legislative activities. Simply state that your organization is interested in legislation which affects the blind, but that the major aims and objectives of your program do not involve substantial expenditures to influence legislation. Those who wish to do so may send their completed forms to John Taylor, 1908 Que Street, North West, Washington, 9, D.C., and John will advise you if, in his opinion, there should be a change of wording before the completed form is submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. Application form 1023 is somewhat more complicated than that required under other sections but its advantages far out-weigh any additional effort required to complete it. It should never be filled out hurriedly and, in some cases, should be submitted either to the NFB Washington office, (address above), or discussed with your local representative of the Internal Revenue Service before being sent in.
back to contents
by Jesse Anderson
The annual convention of the Utah Association for the Blind was held at the Murray B. Allen Center for the Blind in Salt Lake City, Saturday, May 23. President Nichol welcomed everyone and then introduced Donald W. Perry, executive secretary of the Utah Commission for the Blind, who gave an interesting resume of the activities of the Commission during the past year. He noted considerable progress in the new eye care and prevention of blindness program. The next speaker was Marvin Smith, supervisor of Services to the Blind in the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. He stated that the Department had an active caseload of 200 during the past year and he was gratified with this because he pointed out that in other states a vocational counselor handles an average caseload of 50 clients. Some of us were disturbed because, if this average is correct, Utah should have at least four counselors. At present Mr. Smith's work is mostly supervisory and the only other rehabilitation worker is Ralph Cracroft, who supervises the vending stand program. Another matter which was not brought out in the talk was the fact that many of the persons being rehabilitated are not legally blind, although they have impaired vision. Mr. Smith stated that 15 vending stand operators made a total profit of $29,000 during the year. Mr. J. Fred Whitney, the new consultant for the eye care program, described the services which will be available in the new clinic which is now being set up in the Salt Lake Blind Center. This clinic will serve persons with low vision and with glaucoma. He also spoke of the need for a mobile eye clinic to help serve the rural and isolated areas of Utah. Some blind students have been discouraged from entering the teaching field, especially by the University of Utah. It has recommended that an applicant state that he intends to teach only in a school for the blind. Many of us feel that this would militate against prospective blind teachers who apply for work in a public school. As a member of the NFB Board, I was asked by President Nichol to give a brief report on Federation activities. I stated that, though the organization is experiencing a great deal of internal strife, I felt it was strong enough to ride out the storm and that it would emerge stronger and more virile than ever. I described the hearings in Washington, D.C., and mentioned the high caliber of the witnesses who appeared in behalf of the Federation. New officers elected were: Robert Crook, Providence, first vice-president, and Norman McDonald, Salina, second vice-president.
back to contents
In an article entitled "Anachronism" in the February issue of the Braille Monitor, the following sentence appeared, "It has been reported that even the modern, much-praised subcontract workshop in Seattle has barred employment counselors from its premises."
The editor of the Washington State White Cane has taken violent exception to this statement. I may say that, if every report and news item received from the 45 state affiliates outside Wisconsin were to be checked, double-checked and verified by affidavit, it would require the services of a much larger staff than the one-man editorial organization now in charge of the Monitor. The sentence which has aroused so much indignation began with the words "It has been reported". The report, incidentally, came to me from a highly reliable source--one in which I have complete confidence. Further inquiry and investigation has elicited the following:
Several years ago the state placement counselor did complain that he had been forbidden to enter the shop and talk to clients who were employed there. It now develops that he was barred because he insisted on holding long conversations with certain individuals during work hours--such conversations sometimes lasting up to two hours and seriously interfering with shop activities. This counselor has since been transferred to another area and his successors have been able to work out with the shop management a most satisfactory arrangement. It is now reported that the shop management is giving every possible cooperation to state employment counselors.
back to contents
(Editor's Note: The United States Civil Service Commission has just issued a report to the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, entitled "How People are Recruited, Examined, and Appointed in the Competitive Civil Service". Chapter 8 deals with the physically handicapped. Since this report illustrates a far more liberal and open-minded attitude than was in existence prior to the beginning of the long struggle which the NFB has carried on during the last decade and a half to open Federal Civil Service to qualified blind applicants, excerpts from it should prove of considerable interest to Monitor readers.)
"The Commission has endorsed and furthered the placement of the physically handicapped in the Federal Government in two important ways:
"1. Setting physical standards. The Commission has established realistic standards which permit and encourage qualified physically handicapped persons to compete for Federal employment, as contrasted with unrealistically high physical standards which discouraged and hampered the physically handicapped in their efforts to find work.
"2. Promoting placement policy. The Commission has engaged in promotion of the policy of hiring the handicapped....
"In actual practice the physically handicapped may be considered in two groups. One group with disabilities, (such as loss of arm, hand, or leg; loss of an eye; or partial loss of hearing; or with such conditions as arrested pulmonary tuberculosis, certain heart defects, and diabetes), do not represent any real problem. There is, however, resistance to hiring from a second group, such as the totally blind, totally deaf, epileptics, former mental and nervous cases and wheel-chair cases. The reason for the above division in placement experience is due chiefly to the following factors:
"Applicants with the disabilities named in the first group, as a rule, are acceptable in public opinion and it is rather easy to define their capabilities through job analysis.... On the contrary, those in the second group do not have full public acceptance except in very limited categories. Their work potentials are more difficult to define, yet it is well known that there are certain clear-cut and Worth-while contributions they can make to the work force.
"Unusual placements of those with serious handicaps receive attention for brief periods, but aside from being good temporary publicity, they have little intrinsic value in the overall problem.... To illustrate, the placement of a blind chemist is spectacular but doesn't open the doors of employment to many applicants because there are very few blind persons who have this kind of special training and the number of openings for them is definitely limited. Opening of the examination for telephone operators to the blind, however, which the Commission did recently after long research and study, has potentialities for furnishing a job for numbers of the totally blind and is actually of much wider significance than more spectacular individual placements.
"...Because there is no generally accepted definition of physical handicap, each employer formulates his own in reporting placement activity. This prevents direct comparison of placement reports. The Commission has been using a definition much stricter than many. Its count covers only nine major static impairments: amputation; deformities of hip, shoulder, or spine; blindness in one eye; total blindness; industrial blindness; serious hearing defects; deafness including absence of speech; organic heart disease; and pulmonary tuberculosis. This definition gives forceful significance to the placement figure.
"The Commission has four major programs related to placement of the handicapped: medical standards, agency co-ordinators, educational and guidance, and testing.
"The medical standards as set up by the Commission are the minimal physical standards which it feels are required to do the whole job without hazard to self or others.... To date over 15,000 separate positions have been analyzed for physical requirements. The Commission has published the results of its job analysis in 'Guides to the Placement of the Physically Handicapped' to assist agencies in proper placement. It has also recently published a pamphlet entitled 'Selective Placement' which... is for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C., for 30 cents....
"Through the Co-ordinator Program the Commission has set up contact points in each government agency and bureau to insure the proper consideration of the handicapped....
"...The Commission uses special tests for examining the physically handicapped. The Commission sees to it that the examination does not... include tasks which the handicapped cannot perform.... Special tests are developed to permit handicapped competitors to demonstrate their abilities. For example, tests are made for blind competitors so that they can demonstrate competence which they may have by using other job-related abilities than sight. In a test of ability to use the eyes and hands in co-ordination a sighted applicant moves his hand rapidly to mark an answer sheet, according to a list of answer positions which he can see. In a test for blind applicants, the applicant moves his hand rapidly to remove pins from a board which he can feel, according to orally presented answer positions, thus demonstrating the ability to do the same task. In a test of ability to distinguish the differences in form, the usual examinee selects by sight the one picture which is different from others in each question. In a corresponding test for blind applicants, the examinee finds by touch one plastic form that is different from others in each item.
"Handicapped workers are often required to use abilities in addition to those required of the non-handicapped. In packing operations, for example, the blind worker may need good memory for each detail of completed operations, whereas the sighted worker can check past operations rapidly by sight. Thus, a memory test could be required of a blind applicant and not of a sighted one. The blind worker may need ability to visualize how things fit together, while a sighted worker can use trial and error. Thus, different abilities are needed to accomplish the same task....
"...Special instructional material on 'Tests for Blind Competitors for Trades and Industrial Jobs in the Federal Service' has been prepared for the guidance of examiners who select test material for the particular examining program at hand....
"To make really proper use of examinations for the handicapped, it is necessary to co-ordinate the Commission's efforts with those of rehabilitation agencies. These organizations can help identify jobs suitable for the handicapped..."
back to contents
The Braille Monitor enthusiastically welcomes the advent of the newest state publication, The Paul Revere, now being issued as a quarterly magazine by the Associated Blind of Massachusetts. The ABM was by far the largest of the few NFB affiliates which, up to this time, has had nothing in the way of a statewide publication. The last two state presidents had planned to get something along this line started but such plans had to be sidetracked for various reasons.
If the first issue is a fair sample of what is to come, this sprightly little magazine will prove to have been well worth waiting for. Miss Eva Gilbert of Worcester (who has been one of the Braille Monitor's most faithful contributors of news items) is editor of The Paul Revere. Rosamond Critchley is co-editor. Miss Anita O'Shea, state president, who has unusual literary ability and a pungent and incisive style, will be a steady contributor. All chapters and all individual members are urged to contribute articles and news items.
One item in the present issue should be of great interest throughout the whole Federation. All of us have had endless difficulty in compiling lists of the names and addresses of blind people in our respective areas. We have had almost no cooperation at all from our state agencies--who use the convenient excuse that furnishing us such information would violate confidentiality. We try to point out to them that we do not want to know whether a given blind individual is on public assistance or has received rehabilitation services--all we want are names and addresses. Thus far, however, we have got exactly nowhere and have been compelled to waste badly needed money and endless time in trying to locate those we seek to help.
John Mungovan, director of the Massachusetts state agency, has demonstrated once again that the NFB made no mistake when it conferred upon him at New Orleans the highest honor we can bestow on anyone--the Newel Perry award. Judge for yourself !--
"On January 28th, a special meeting was held in the office of the Director of the Massachusetts Division of the Blind. Representatives from all the bonafide organizations of and for the blind in this state were invited to attend, including the President of the ABM. The purpose of the conference was to formulate a policy, acceptable to all, which would give to specific groups for specific reasons access to the addressograph plates belonging to the Division without divulging the more personal data on the Division's clients which is contained in the Registry. The participants in this discussion agreed that it would be proper for Mr. Mungovan to allow the heads of certain agencies and organizations whom he knows to be responsible, to use the Division's plates and equipment when they have a legitimate need to contact the people listed on the Register.... It was deemed a wasteful duplication for all these agencies and organizations to set up registries using addressograph equipment when all the material is available at the Division's headquarters.
"To guarantee the security of personal and confidential information on the blind registrants, Father Carroll suggested that each of these groups (including his own) be required to sign a statement each year, promising to keep all information thus received strictly confidential. This was acceptable to all present. In accordance with long-established policy and consistent with existing laws, all other requests for Registry information will be decided individually by the Director."
The present issue contains numerous items of interest to Massachusetts and New England, but there is one other which, because of the contrast it presents to what we are used to elsewhere, is deserving of national publicity.
For many years the Greater Springfield Chapter has been devoting most of its energies to the acquisition of sufficient funds to enable it to build its own Chapter House. The city of Springfield has sold it a suitable plot of land for one dollar. At a recent meeting of the West Springfield Lions, King Lion Bill Girotti put the entire membership to work stuffing 1,500 bags of bulbs, and announced that the entire proceeds of this drive would be donated to the GSAB Chapter House Building Fund. Many of us have felt something less than ecstatic approval of light bulb sales conducted by certain Lions Clubs because the accompanying publicity has so often been devoted to the theme, "Buy our bulbs and help us bring light into a world of darkness". Many of us have felt that all talk about "darkness and light" tends to reinforce the traditional stereotypes which our organization is trying to eradicate. In this particular instance, however, the financial benefit which our fine Greater Springfield Chapter derives will at least partially compensate for the unfavorable publicity, and perhaps this Lions group may even find it possible to sell its bulbs without using such a damaging emotional appeal. The Lions Clubs of the Springfield area have been tremendously helpful to Newt Ottone's group ever since it was first organized. From the very beginning they have transported members to the monthly meetings and, in most instances, have remained for the entire meeting.
back to contents
From The Presidio, published monthly by and for the men of the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison:
"Each morning, five days a week, a denim-clad prisoner is hard at work giving a little above and beyond the call of duty so that he may finish the day's duties by noon and tackle what is to him a much more important job during the afternoon. The job! Recording college textbooks for the blind. Every day another prisoner walks a little faster, works a little harder, until at last he has a couple of hours free time in which he sets up a tape-recording machine and for two hours or so talks into a microphone, using as a script the latest copy of the Braille Monitor. Seven other prisoners go to work each day mentally juggling their duties in order to be free when their turn at the Braillewriter arrives so that they can complete their daily correspondence lessons in Braille and forward the machine to the next student. They will soon be Brailling textbooks for students and books of general interest for the rest of Iowa's Braille readers. These nine inmates thus form what the institution and the Iowa Commission for the Blind hope will be an ever-expanding force of helpers....
"The effect this program is having on the inmate-participants is, to say the least, astounding. One case involves a prisoner who, for quite a few years, has been considered a 'hardrock'. Nothing seemed to hold his interest for any length of time. He had held almost every job in the institution but nothing worked out. As for the prison school, he declared he wouldn't have been caught dead in the building. Since taking up Brailling he has become so engrossed in the project that, as Mr. Hilpert, the Educational Director puts it, 'You can't keep him out of the building.' By helping others this prisoner has finally learned to help himself--which is the biggest step in preparation for release that any inmate can take.
"Another case involves a young prisoner now engaged in recording textbooks via a Sound-scribing machine for a blind student at college. The inmate in question has been a would-be 'big- shot' most of his life, never having found anything he cared to work at more than a few months at a time. Since he started recording textbooks he has developed an interest in all phases of recording and hopes eventually to secure a position as a radio announcer. Here too, is a person who, through helping others, has learned to help himself.
"The work of the prisoners is presently handicapped by a lack of equipment. Only one Sound-scribing machine is available for prisoner use and it belongs to the student for whom the work is being performed. This, of course, limits the number of inmates who can participate in this program. Two Braillewriters are currently being rotated among the seven student transcribers.
"Considerable interest has been aroused among outside groups in the work of the prisoners in this field and several local organizations are campaigning for funds to bolster the equipment shortage. In Fort Madison the Lions Club and Business and Professional Women's Club are cooperating in obtaining additional Braille writing machines. Neither the Iowa Commission for the Blind nor the Prison have appropriations necessary to finance this program.
"This is truly all-around rehabilitation--the prisoners, in aiding the rehabilitation of others, are having a hand in their own rehabilitation."
back to contents
"Dear George and Darlene: ... I see in the April Monitor Supplement that there seems to be quite a bit of trouble in the Federation these days. From what I can gather, not knowing the personalities involved, it seems to be somewhat like the experiences we had in the National League of the Blind about twenty years ago. We weathered that storm and I feel sure the Federation will do so too. It is always a great pity that organizations like ours reach a point of development when they have to spend a deal of time in fighting internal struggles.... The League has celebrated its Diamond Jubilee this year. Sixty years of existence and struggle.... We have much that we can be proud of in the history of the League, but always these days there is a big query in my mind as to the future. We have achieved so much that it is difficult to make the younger blind people realize how difficult things used to be and how easy it would be to slip back into those days if we do not maintain our strength.... Yours sincerely," T. J. Parker, 80 Windsor Avenue, Hillingdon, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
"Dear Mr. George: Greetings in the lovely Name of Yahshua.
"I really enjoy reading the Braille Monitor. Thank you for your commendable act in publishing 'The Case Against Aluminum'.... Money-making goes ahead of life and health sometimes in our country.
"I fully endorse the wonderful work being done by you folks. The Kennedy-Baring bill is a very good thing. The blind should have the right to speak and be heard. This is in harmony with the Bible and the U.S. Constitution....
"Professor tenBroek is doing a wonderful work. His courage, and that of you and some others is to be admired.
"We can expect many of the public to be ignorant, misinformed or uninformed concerning blind people and blindness. But when agencies or people engaged in work for the blind have these attitudes it is pitiful.... When those who are better informed, or should be, take their stand against the blind, it is wicked. Literature on the subject is a good thing. The American Foundation's pamphlets are helpful and I distribute many of them. But it is a pity and a shame that an agency which does so much good in some ways takes such a hostile attitude toward the organized blind, or at least one of its big men, the editor of its publication, does.
"I meet many well-meaning people who just do not know how to deal with the blind. Some resent being told about these things by a blind person, even in a tactful way....
"Some day there will be no more blindness just as there will be no more of a lot of other things, but as long as we have it these situations must be dealt with.
"'The Invisible Prison' is a wonderful article. Some do not realize that they have prejudice about the blind and blindness.... Help which we do not need or want is forced on us and help we do need we often cannot get. Some compassionate but misunderstanding people think we are unappreciative and unkind when we try to explain these things or when we refuse in a kindly manner some act which we do not need, or do not need at a particular time....
"I hope the Kennedy Bill and the King Bill pass, and that soon the minimum grant will be in effect in all states. The residence requirement laws should be abolished everywhere...." Sister Anna S. Krieter, Phoenix, Arizona.
"Dear Mr. Card: ...In the May issue there was a letter in 'From Our Readers' upon which I wish to comment. The writer stated that he has never read anything about free transportation for the blind. I imagine there are several cities which provide free transportation for the blind--Detroit is one of them. The writer also commented that often it is necessary for a blind person to take a bus for a few blocks whereas a sighted person could walk. Am I the odd ball? I find that I walk a few blocks when sighted people might ride....
"I ride to work in a car pool with five other people, all of whom are sighted. I certainly pay each driver. I offered to drive but you know how sighted people are--they think the blind can't do anything! Sincerely," Matilda Svoboda, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
"Dear George Card: Enclosed you will find a check from our chapter as a contribution to the Louis Braille Memorial Museum.... The Braille Monitor is a piece of literature which we look forward to receiving each month. Its contents are getting better each month. Especially would we like to comment on the article from the minister in the May issue; we sympathize with him as the same, or nearly the same situation occurred in our own lives.... Miss Uldine Gartin, our president, just returned from San Rafael, California, where she received a new guide dog--Cracker.... Frank and Mary Collins are the proud parents of a baby girl, Lois Marie, who weighs eight pounds and three ounces. She arrived on May 18. They now have two boy's and two girls. A second issue of the Gem State News Record will be circulated among its readers in the next few weeks. At present it is being transcribed on Talking Book records. A new fund-raising project has been begun in our chapter, that of collecting trading stamps and redeeming them by purchasing equipment for our chapter.... Sincerely," Marie Walker, Boise, Idaho.
"Dear George: No words of mine could add anything of value to what has already been said about Louis Braille and what he has done for all of us blind in the world, so I will simply send my check.... We were able to get one bill into law at Salem, to eliminate discrimination against blind teachers. We met with a stunning defeat with our Aid to the Blind bill, for the second time. I was so disappointed, especially because of the hard work Dr. tenBroek and Perry Sundquist put in on it. I spent 37 days at the State House. Well, I hope we do better in 1961, but it's hard to think of the 400 or 500 blind who will have to starve along as second-class citizens for the next two years. Sincerely," Stan Pier, Portland, Oregon.
"Dear George: Enclosed you will find my contribution to the Louis Braille Memorial Museum Fund.... I can remember as a very small boy my parents telling me what little they knew about Louis Braille and how it was because of him that I was going to have a chance to learn to read and write like the other boys and girls with whom I played.... I can recall both of them explaining the system to people who would visit the house (they both took the trouble to learn it so they could write letters to me while I was in school) and how they took such great pride in having me read aloud for them. All the things that life has given me, I owe in one way or another to Louis Braille.... We have a little new member of the family, who came to us on Washington's birthday.... Yours fraternally," Clarence Briggs, Wilmington, Vermont.
"Dear Sir: ...The Braille Monitor is a very fine magazine. I read it from cover to cover. It enables me, as well as the rest of the blind in the U.S., to keep up with what is going on of vital interest to us all, as blind people. I am convinced that, if it were not for the National Federation, our condition would be just as bad as it was way back in the olden days. I hope that the Federation will always be a strong organization. In unity there is power and from what I have read I am sure that the NFB leadership has been all that we could wish. I sincerely hope that the internal struggle will be ended at the New Mexico convention.
"As editor of the Monitor you are doing a fine job. If this were not so you would not be receiving all the fine letters that you do. I enjoy reading them.... Keep up the good work. Sincerely yours," John L. Standish, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
back to contents
The current newsletter of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind states that arrangements have been largely completed for the Rome meeting of the Assembly--July 20-30. The full Assembly of the WCWB meets every five years, the last general sessions having been held in Paris in 1954. The executive committee will meet two days prior to the opening of the general sessions. The newsletter announces that three more countries--Czechoslovakia, Israel, and Pakistan--have been welcomed as full members of the WCWB. One other item of some interest is the reporting of a new law in Austria which requires employers to assign at least five percent of available jobs to handicapped workers. Double credit is given for blind employees. Failure to comply subjects the employer to a special tax.
On May 16 the Rhode Island Federation of the Blind held its twelfth anniversary banquet. John Taylor, of the NFB Washington office, was a principal speaker. Alaric Nichols, president of the Vermont Council, who was also on hand, reports that the affair was a most gratifying success. Albert Piccolo of Newport applied for membership in the organization and stated that he would try to organize a chapter in the Newport area.
The May issue of the New Outlook contains an announcement that that publication will be issued on Talking Book records, beginning with the September issue. The subscription price will be $5.00 a year. The recorded edition of Talking Book Topics will be discontinued after June.
On May 21 Mr. Ben Durham was elected president of the Dallas chapter of the Lone Star State Federation of the Blind. His address is 8711 Santa Clara Drive.
In the course of a recent hearing on the Pennsylvania Federation's "Little Kennedy bill", the director of the Pennsylvania agency, Mr. Norman Yoder--unable to refute the well documented charges which the PFB had submitted to the legislative committee--resorted to the usual tactics of an embarrassed bureaucrat. He concluded his evasive testimony with these words: "The Pennsylvania Federation is a part of a destructive, nationwide assault upon the constructive work being done by dedicated rehab people." Those who attended our Louisville convention in 1954 will remember Mr. Yoder as one of our guest speakers.
From the Washington State White Cane: "Death came to Wilfred W. Thrower, well known officer and member of the Washington State Association of the Blind and loyal supporter of The White Cane, at noon on March 19th. In his passing the cause of the organized blind... lost one of its most ardent advocates and tireless workers. Wilfred was secretary and past legislative chairman of the Washington Blind; a past president of the Occupational Research Club for the Blind; a past president of the Social Center for the Blind in Seattle; and a member of the Washington State Bar Association.... Those of us who counted Wilfred as our friend will always remember him for his enthusiastic interest in and earnest work in behalf of the progressive advancement of the cause of blind people everywhere." May I add that this sad news brings home to me a deep sense of personal loss, for the friendship of Wilfred Thrower was one which I treasured.
The annual convention of the Gem State Blind, (Idaho), will be held in Twin Falls, August 21-23, at the Rogerson Hotel. Those wishing to attend should write to Mrs. Vonda Winsky, 451 5th Avenue East, Twin Falls, Idaho.
During the recent session of its legislature, New Mexico joined the growing number of states which permit a blind voter to be assisted by any person of his choice.
The Western Conference of Home Teachers of the Adult Blind will convene in Seattle at the Roosevelt Hotel, September 16, 17 and 18.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Talking Book is being celebrated this year. Special emphasis was placed on this matter during the week of April 12 through 18. During this anniversary year every possible means is being used to make the nation aware of these books A new building, soon to be completed on the campus of the Washington State School for the Blind, will be an imposing, highly functional, million dollar structure that will house virtually all of the educational activities of the school, from kindergarten through high school; it will be ready for occupancy in the fall of 1959. On May 30 and 31 alumni of the school will assemble for a dedicatory ceremony. It will be named Irwin Hall, in memory of the school's first graduate, the late Dr. Robert B. Irwin.
On June 20 the Stand Operators Association of the District of Columbia will honor Mr. Leonard Robinson for his part in securing passage of the original Randolph-Sheppard Act with a testimonial dinner at the Ambassador Hotel. John Taylor has accepted an invitation to attend.
During the first two weekends of April, the California Council of the Blind sponsored two-day, four-session legislative seminars in Los Angeles and Berkeley. The consensus of those attending was that these gatherings were most enlightening and that additional special meetings of this type should continue to be held in other California population centers. A different chairman presided over each of the four sessions and a panel of well informed members with lobbying experience led the discussions. President Kletzing pointed out that legislation is only one of many Council activities which can be studied by this method.
Wyoming news: Darlene McGraw reports the completion of a highly successful candy sale during White Cane Week. The Wyoming Association of the Blind sustained an irreparable loss with the sudden death of its vice-president, Mr. Sylvester Shimitz. Miss Clara Laing has been appointed to his former office. Mrs. Marie Maris has become secretary-treasurer because Mr. Alan O'Kelley plans to attend school in Washington during the next two years. The organization will have a regular newsletter, beginning in June. The annual convention will be held at the Plains Hotel, Cheyenne, October 24th.
The Rhode Island Federation of the Blind, in its first legislative attempt, succeeded in having a bill passed which will exempt from taxation the first $3,000 of real property owned by a blind citizen. Strangely enough its other bill, to permit a blind voter to be assisted by a person of his choice, was defeated in the Senate after having passed the House. There have been recent election frauds in Rhode Island and apparently the Senators were fearful of making any change to liberalize the voting law. Elena Landi writes: "We will probably have a distinction even in defeat--just about the only state not having such a provision.
John Taylor has been officially invited by William W. Thompson, executive director of the Blinded Veterans Association, to attend the national convention to be held in Miami Beach, Florida, August 4-8. He has been invited to participate in the Association's convention program as a member of a panel which discusses "The Role of the BVA in the Years to Come". From the letter of invitation addressed to Dr. tenBroek: "In order to plan intelligently for the future, we believe we need to have the thinking of others working in the same area and to create an opportunity for an interchange of such thinking respecting broad policy and philosophy." The NFB president replied: "Dear Mr. Thompson: I have your letter regarding John Taylor's appearance at your Blinded Veterans Association convention and participation in a panel. The National Federation of the Blind will be most happy to join in these arrangements. Cordially yours," Dr. Jacobus tenBroek. In response to an invitation to himself, coming from Dr. Robert A. Bottenberg, president of the Blinded Veterans Association, Dr. tenBroek wrote: "May I acknowledge your kind invitation to attend the fourteenth annual convention of the Blinded Veterans Association. I shall most certainly do everything in my power to be present. So far as I am concerned, no stone shall be left unturned in seeking harmonious and collaborative relations between the blinded veterans and other blind men and women of the country. As of this moment, however, I cannot firmly say that I will be able to make it. Some untangling in my schedule will be required. Cordially yours," Dr. Jacobus tenBroek.
Ways and Means for the Blind, Inc., 334 Masonic Building, Augusta, Georgia, is willing to supply a tape-recorded Braille Monitor to owners of tape recorders who do not read Braille and who cannot get the Monitor read to them by others. If you qualify and desire this service, write to the above address. Your issue, of course, may reach you several months late. Ways and Means for the Blind is not interested in hearing from people who merely prefer a recorded edition, or who are just too lazy to read the Braille edition.
On May 22 the Denver chapter elected the following officers: Ray McGeorge, president; Henry Taylor, first vice-president; A. A. Clyde, second vice-president; Mary Gish, secretary; Georgia Cox, treasurer; and four board members: Clifford Jensen, Gifford Ernest, Russell Richards and Mike Murin.
From the Capitol Hill Lions Tales: "The approach to any important issue is bolstered intensely by vigorous and intelligent debate prior to the resolving of the question involved--let us not, however, confuse this with the activities of rump factions who are unwilling to abandon their stand in the face of due majority process. The stubborn resistance of an individual or a minority group of individuals toward the smooth functioning of an ably run organization must, of necessity, lay the groundwork for the ultimate disintegration of that unit. It would then appear that a reasonable conclusion might be drawn wherein the opinions and desires of all members are accorded their proper hearing, with the proponents of all these divergent ideas maintaining the gracious decorum to effectively spike their own guns when it is apparent that the day is lost."
Mr. Marvin E. Larson has been named director of the Kansas Department of Social Welfare, succeeding Mr. Frank Long, who died recently.
On June 2, representatives of the American Foundation, Brooklyn Industrial Home for the Blind, American Association of Workers for the Blind, Blinded Veterans Association, and the NFB (John Taylor) met for a luncheon conference with two key Congressmen to discuss liberalizing amendments to the disability insurance and disability freeze provisions of Title II of the Federal Social Security Law. The organizations represented are in complete agreement as to the nature, scope and desirability of these amendments.
Mr. Walter D. Sullins has been appointed acting director of the 25 New Mexico Department of Public Welfare, succeeding Robert E, Pritchett, who recently resigned.
From the American Journal of Ophthalmology: "In 1956 medical research in the United States entered a new era. In June of that year Congress established a new national policy; that henceforth the United States would try to conquer disease through research, whatever the cost. In 1958... the appropriation was 29.9 million dollars for the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and of this, 17 percent, or approximately five million dollars, was allocated to ophthalmic research. This amount was far in excess of what had been requested and reflected congressional concern.... Research in ophthalmology in years past has been most productive in eliminating many blinding diseases. The antibiotics, the steroids, and the autonomic drugs have markedly modified the clinical practice of ophthalmology during the past two decades. The majority of these advances were made outside of ophthalmic laboratories, but they could never have been applied to blinding diseases if it were not for the existence of ophthalmically oriented laboratories in which these advances could be studied and applied.... In cancer and heart research the pattern of career investigators has been well established--scientists of proven ability and high potential are assured of support for life to carry out scientific studies without the requirement of earning a livelihood by teaching, administrative or clinical practice, with research merely an avocation. As yet there is no such support for investigators in ophthalmology...."
On May 27th the Albany chapter of the ESAB elected the following officers: William Dwyer, president; Carl Zutty, vice-president; Jim Stephens, secretary-treasurer and Helen Stephens, recording secretary.
Paul Kirton has now returned from his organizing activities in Missouri, having helped to form two new groups which will apply for chapter status at the October convention of the MFB. The president of the Randolph County Federation of the Blind is Mr. Woodrow Stroup, of Higbee, Missouri. The president of the second group, in Calloway County, (which has not yet adopted a name), is Mr. Willis Hill, Route 5, Fulton, Missouri.
The Michigan Council of the Blind proudly announces the formation of a brand new chapter affiliate in Grand Haven. Its president is Mr. Charles LeMieux, 100 South Water Street, Grand Haven, Michigan.
The Braille Monitor will be very grateful to receive the names and addresses of any legally blind licensed real estate brokers of whom its readers may know. Also the names and addresses of any blind registered nurses and of any schools which will accept applications from blind persons wishing to receive training as nurses.
No single individual has had as much to do with the enactment of state white cane traffic laws as has Bill Taylor of Media, Pennsylvania. Through the years he has carried on an enormous correspondence and made innumerable trips at his own expense. He has drafted legislation; he has stimulated, coaxed, cajoled and bullied organizations of the blind, Lions clubs and state legislatures. The adoption of a white cane law by Alaska on April 13, 1959, has completed Bill's great project. Alaska was the 49th state to enter the Union and the 50th state to enact a white cane traffic law.
From the Recording for the Blind Newsletter: "The statistics for the past three years are an impressive record of expansion in our service to the blind. In 1956 2,344 books were requested, 407 were recorded; in 1957 2,625 requested, 529 recorded; in 1958 3,544 requested, 2,282 recorded. In 1959 we expect to more than double the 1958 figure. In fact, at the current rate, we shall be producing about 6,000 this year.... Union Carbide Corporation gave to National Headquarters a handsome present of nearly two tons of green vinyl sheets-enough to make 157,000 of our 7-inch discs, or nearly a year's supply.
From the Washington, D.C., Post and Times Herald, via the New York Eyecatcher: "The public is blind when it makes some of its gifts to help the blind. It has poured millions of dollars into national organizations to buy guide dogs which the majority of the blind cannot use.... Seeing Eye, Inc., is so prosperous that it has ten million dollars in securities and its income averaged one million dollars more than it spent each year for four recent years. Another, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Inc., is reported by the National Information Bureau to have spent 40 percent of its 1957 income on fund-raising and public education and 21 percent on the training of the blind. A few are alleged frauds. The New York attorney-general's office last month accused Buddies, Inc., of dissipating all but $3,200 of the $28,000 reportedly raised since 1956 to provide dogs for blind children.... Only a handful of the blind either want or can use a dog.... A study to determine the number of blind persons who could use dog guides was recently completed by the New York School of Social Work. Its findings prompted Seeing Eye to notify all members that they need not renew memberships by sending contributions for 1959.... But other guide dog institutions show no inclination to stop solicitations. And they continue to multiply. At last count there were twelve of them...."
From the New York Eyecatcher: "... Early in April President Roidl spent some time in Niagara Falls and he reports that Lora Herman is well on her way toward the formation of a new and more progressive chapter.... Sylvia Burton has been working to lay the groundwork for a chapter in Elmira. Our enthusiastic, attractive Sylvia obtained the cooperation of the Elmira Lions Club, which gave a dinner for the blind people of that area. She enlisted the services of a very busy John Taylor, who spoke at the dinner meeting about the NFB and NFB philosophy.... Our fiscal year has been changed. It is now January 1 through December 31.... The Buffalo chapter has once again shown its fine spirit and sincere interest in the ESAB. It is my pleasure to report that this chapter has contributed $100 to our sadly depleted state treasury.... The Mid-Hudson Valley chapter is proud to announce that its variety show, held in Cornwall on April 18, was a big success.... The Alumni reunion will be held at the Batavia school June 19-21...."
Our North Dakota affiliate, besides securing an additional $100,000 for the construction of the new state residential school at Grand Forks, (the original appropriation had been only $450,000), registered a second legislative triumph. Hereafter the first $6,000 of the assessed valuation of the homes of blind people will not be taxed.
I am very happy to report that Charles Lane, blind lawyer of Kingsport, Tennessee, who was a member of the NFB survey teams in both West Virginia and New Hampshire, has received an appointment by the Air Force as a GS-5 Law Clerk. John Taylor writes: "Charlie has worked very hard to obtain this position--in fact, he probably contacted more than fifty departmental and bureau co-ordinators on employment of the physically handicapped, and he ran down a number of promising leads, in addition to the one which has paid off. For the first six months his duties and assignments will be quite flexible and he will be given what appears to be a full opportunity to demonstrate his ability to function efficiently on a rather high level. At the end of that time his job will probably be re-evaluated and, if his performance has been quite good, he will probably be up-graded. In any event, this is the best thing which has come along for him and he will go into a department where there are terrific opportunities for advancement."
The former Miss Helen Lukian, state secretary of the Illinois Federation of the Blind, has now become Mrs. Brice Huddleston. Her address is 2249 South Tenth Street, Springfield, Illinois. Best wishes from the Braille Monitor.
Recent Massachusetts marriages: May 16, George Gean Lorantos, (editor, Weekly News ), and Mary Catherine O'Connor; May 23, Gregory B. Khachadoorian and Mary T. Naylor.
Mrs. Charles Black of South Boston, and Miss Stella A. Babigian of Boston, are the ABM delegates to the Massachusetts Council of Organizations for the Blind.
John Taylor accompanied Mr. Earl Wilcox of South Austin, Illinois, to the convention of the Illinois Lions Clubs held at French Lick, Indiana, June 7. Both spoke before the Blind Activities Committee and this Committee later presented to the plenary session a resolution strongly endorsing the Kennedy-Baring bill and urging member clubs to give it all-out support. It was unanimously adopted. Mr. Wilcox, a blind attorney and a very active Lion, took a leading part in NFB affairs during our early years, and is still deeply interested in our progress.
Inquiries concerning any phase of Braille switchboard operation or other switchboards specially equipped for use by the blind should be directed to John N. Taylor, 1908 Que Street North West, Washington 9, D.C. , and not to the American Telephone and Telegraph Co.
There is an expanding need for trained professional personnel to work in the field of rehabilitation counseling. In order to help meet this growing need, the Guidance Department of the Los Angeles State College is planning to develop a two-year graduate program in this field. Those majoring in psychology, social work, special education or related subjects may be particularly interested and should write to Dean James B. Enochs, Los Angeles State College.
From the Virginia Newsletter: "Members who had the privilege of attending our 1959 convention at Alexandria are still thinking and talking about their happy and profitable experience.... Especially would we like to congratulate our VFB president for his outstanding work preceding and during the convention.... The Richmond chapter gleefully reports a most lucrative Mother's Day sale of Deran candy.... It is with much regret that we inform you of the serious illness of Mr. Everett Foulkrod.... The Shenandoah Federation of the Blind held its first anniversary meeting May 29, preceded by a dinner at the Patrick Henry Hotel, and its members were delighted to welcome five visitors from the Potomac Federation of the Blind, including Peggy Mattingly, Milton Perry, Raymond Plogger and the state president, Robert McDonald, accompanied by his wife, Marion.... In May came the first anniversary of the Potomac chapter, and what a bumper crop of new members we harvested! Our membership is now thirty-three.... John Taylor, of the NFB staff, and a member of this chapter, was called to Memphis, Tennessee, on May 21st, because of the death of his father. Our kindest thoughts and sympathies are with you, John.... Roland Fenwick, Staunton, was elected president of the Alumni Association of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind on April 25.... Some of the recent new recruits to the VFB are: from Washington, D. C., Miss Sarah Catching, George and Ruth Drummond, Miss Margaret Mattingly, Charles and Katherine McNabb, and Robert Merchant; and from Richmond, Mrs. Charlotte Dix, Mrs. Hazel Carter and Mrs. Geraldine Swineford."
back to top