The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves

Monitor Headquarters 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

Published monthly in braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind, President: Russell Kletzing, 2341 Cortez Lane, Sacramento, California 95825

Inkprint edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

Acting Editor: Jacobus tenBroek
Assistant Editor: Floyd W, Matson
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

News items and changes of address should be sent to the Editor.


By Perry Sundquist

By John A. Eckert

By John Nagle







By Stanley G. Spaide


By Dr. Jacob Freid

By Bessie Fowler

By John Nagle


By John Dengel



By An Unknown Nevadan


By Murray C. O'Connor

By Berthold Lowenfeld, Ph.D.

By Don Capps


By Homer Nowatski





By Mary E. Switzer





By Perry Sundquist
Chief, Division for the Blind, California Department of Social Welfare

The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 (Pub Law 89-117) contains several provisions of interest to persons in the low-income brackets. Following are some of these provisions:

1. Rent Supplements. The Housing Administrator is authorized to make rent supplement payments to the owners of certain private housing in order to help make the housing available to low-income individuals and families. To be eligible for the benefit of rent supplements, a tenant's income cannot exceed the maximum amount that Federal law permits to be established in the area for occupancy of federally aided low-rent public housing. In addition, the tenant must either be elderly, be physically handicapped, have been displaced by governmental action, come from substandard housing, or been an occupant of a dwelling damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster after April 1, 1965.

The rent supplement payments for any dwelling unit cannot exceed the amount by which the fair market rental for the unit exceeds one-fourth of the tenant's income.

2. House Owners Eligible for Rent Supplement Payments . Rent supplement payments can be made to non-profit, limited dividend, or cooperative house owners who provide housing financed with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration under its market-interest rate mortgage insurance program for low-or moderate-income families,

3. FHA Low-Or Moderate-Income Program. FHA's special mortgage insurance program for housing for low-and moderate-income families (including the below market interest rate rental housing program) is continued until October 1, 1969. The interest rate ceiling on the below-market interest rate mortgages is reduced to 3% (immediately prior to this change, the rate was 4%).

4. Additional Low-Rent Public Housing Units. Contracts are authorized for federal annual contributions to approximately 240,000 additional units of low-rent public housing over the next four years.

5. More Private Housing for Low-Rent Public Housing Use . More use of the private housing supply for low-rent public housing is made possible for two provisions of the Act. Under the first provision, the formula for federal assistance to low-rent public housing is revised to make it more flexible and suitable for providing low-rent housing through the purchase, purchase and rehabilitation, or leasing of existing private housing. Under the second provision, a local housing authority can use up to 10% of the units in a privately owned structure for low-rent public housing under a contract with the owner. The rentals and charges to be paid by the tenants are like those in other public housing,

6. Direct Loans for Housing for the Elderly or Handicapped. The limit on appropriations for federal loans for housing for the elderly or handicapped is increased from $350 million to $500 million. The interest rate on the loans is reduced to a maximum of 3% (immediately prior to this change, the rate was 4%).

7. Rehabilitation Grants to Home Owners in Urban Renewal Areas. Grants can be made by local public agencies to the owner-occupants of homes in urban renewal areas to enable the home owner to make repairs to his home. The grants will be financed from urban renewal grants to the local public agencies. If the home owner's income does not exceed $3,000 a year, the grant may be in an amount up to $1,500 or the cost of the repairs, whichever is less. If the income exceeds $3,000 a
year, the grant cannot exceed that portion of the cost of repairs which cannot be paid for with a loan which could be amortized along with the borrower's other monthly house expense, with 25% of his monthly income.

For detailed information, interested persons should contact the local office of the Federal Housing Administration.

Back to Contents


By John A. Eckert
Social Caseworker, San Diego, California

In the April 1965 Braille Monitor, I read the article entitled "Bats and Blindness Research". It was a fairly accurate report except that it did state that the ultrasonic aid is available commercially to the blind. This does not happen to be the case and probably won't be for at least another year. The present trials being conducted in the use of the ultrasonic aid are strictly experimental field trials being engaged in by 13 countries throughout the world and sponsored by organizations interested in the problem of travel for the blind. When the field trials are completed by the various organizations involved, the reports will be sent to Ultra Electronics Limited of London, England. From the information in these reports, certain requirements may take place in the ultrasonic aid before it is put into mass production.

The present device is the size of a two cell flashlight and has an external nine volt battery supply and an earphone both of which are attached to the device by insulated cords. It has already been suggested by myself and other users that this battery supply be incorporated in the housing of the aid itself and a remote control receiving device for picking up the echo signals be separate from the radar scope thus eliminating the need for external wires. The present device also uses a monoral receiver system which makes use of only one of the traveler's ears. The final production model is likely to incorporate a binoral receiver system using both of the traveler's ears to pick up signals.

I am aware these technical problems exist because I happen to be a subject involved in the experimental field trials in the San Diego area. As a social caseworker for the Blind Bureau of the San Diego County Department of Public Welfare, I corresponded with Dr. Leslie Kay in England early this year and proposed that I be considered as a participant in the ultrasonic aid field trials. I further proposed that the experimental psychology department of San Diego State College might supervise the trials and that the local Lions Club might provide the funds. By approaching both of these organizations, 1 was able to acquire their cooperation; as a result, I was accepted by Dr. Kay as a participant.

I have been in correspondence with Mr. Fred Gissoni of the Kentucky Vocational Rehabilitation Services and we have exchanged thinking and ideas on the field trials being conducted. Mr. Gissoni, who is a blind counselor, apparently used his sonic aid in all of his traveling and in addition acts as an instructor to several of the VRS clients. He has been using the device for at least six months and is very enthusiastic as regards to it being a most practical travel aid. I have only been using the device since mid-June of this year and still have a good deal to learn regarding its potential. When I first took the gadget in my hand and listened to the sounds through the ear-piece, I thought to myself "This is a fine gadget to play with, but". Today, I am able to travel unexplored routes in my outside environment and pick up such objects as telephone poles, street marker signs, automobiles, hedge, weeds, trees, clotheslines, obstructions on the sidewalk, and fire hydrants.

More recently, I have been able to successfully pick up a curb on the opposite side of a street which I walked across and follow the radar "beeps" to the curb and accurately estimate when I am one step from it.

The biggest drawback with the sonic aid to date, (and I believe Mr. Gissoni would agree), is that its signal describing a down curb or a hole in the terrain being traveled is so subtle that it usually evades interpretation by the traveler. Subtly seems to be built into most of the descriptive signals and therefore it requires a high degree of concentration, good physical and emotional health and constant practice in the use of the aid in order to realize its fullest potential as a safe traveling aid. 1 think it is accurate to state that the average blind person would require approximately six months of training before he could use this device as a dependable and safe travel aid. This time would vary according to the amount of time people could spend in using the aid daily and on their level of motivation associated with their belief in the aid and their determination to use it.

I have formerly used a walking cane and I have used a guide dog for the past 8 1/2 years so that I feel I am in a position to judge the value of the sonic aid as first to the use of these other methods of travel. I feel that there are persons who will continue to use walking canes and guide dogs because they will better meet their physical, emotional and mental needs. I do feel, however, that any professional blind person who is willing to put out the "sweat" to become proficient in using the sonic aid will find that it gives them a high degree of mobility and a more complete mental knowledge of size and shape and description of objects that occupy the environment through which they travel.

The sonic aid has a "language" of its own and once that language is mastered by the user, he may travel safely, rapidly and be more knowledgeable of the environment through which he travels than through the use of either the walking cane or the guide dog.

I hope that this additional information regarding the sonic aid will be of interest to the Monitor readers and I welcome detailed inquiries.

Back to Contents


By John Nagle

All ten chapters of the Empire State Association of the Blind were represented at the tenth annual convention held at the Utica Hotel, Utica, New York, September 3 to 6.

Dominic DeJohn, President of the New York organized blind told of the wonderful Washington NFB convention, and described his activities as President during the previous year. The Resolutions Committee Chairman, Alice Phillips, reported on eight Committee-approved resolutions, dealing with employment, education, library services, and organizational matters, and all were adopted by the convention.

Anthony Parise, Chairman of the Vending Stand Committee, told how a court injunction had been obtained against the New York Commission for the Blind to protect a blind operator of a vending stand when his seniority in the state program was being disregarded by the administering state agency. Burt Wylaz gave a report on a camp site he had investigated in furtherance of the organization's interest in establishing a summer camp for blind children. Bill Dwyer reported on state legislative efforts, and John Nagle talked briefly about legislative developments in Washington, and organized a drive which resulted in the sending of almost 100 telegrams to Senator Jacob Javits in support of the Vocational Rehabilitation Amending bill (H.R. 8310).

Other committee reports were given at the convention, a panel discussion on independent travel and mobility was conducted, a "brunch" -- scheduled for Sunday morning, was attended by 70 Federationists -- and 103 Federationists and their friends were present at the convention banquet.

The following were elected for two-year terms of office: Dominic Dejohn, President; William Dwyer, First Vice-President; Anthony Parise, Second Vice-President; Dorothea Vogel, Treasurer; Marion Burke, Secretary.

Dominic Dejohn was named New York delegate to the 1966 Kentucky convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and Bill Dwyer was elected alternate delegate. Buffalo was confirmed as the site of the '66 ESAB convention, and Glen Falls was chosen as the '67 convention city.

Back to Contents


On September 2, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Charles R. Simpson was sworn into the office of Judge of the Federal Tax Court by the Honorable Tom Clark, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Simpson is blind, and has the distinction of receiving a presidential appointment with Senate confirmation.

Present at the swearing-in ceremony were President Lyndon B. Johnson, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Judge Simpson's family and personal friends, and some 75 blind men and women who have achieved high positions in the nation's life and activities.

The National Federation of the Blind was represented at the ceremony by its Washington Office Chief, John Nagle.

Following are remarks by President Johnson and by Judge Simpson.

President Johnson:

"There are few appointments that I have made in my term of office since I became President that have really given me as much inner satisfaction as this appointment. The reason for that, I think, is that it has given so much satisfaction to other people also.

"Soon after I announced my intention to nominate Jim Simpson to the Tax Court, I received a great number of letters from all throughout this country.

"Some of them were from his colleagues in the Internal Revenue Service; some of them from those who had worked with him professionally through the years. But a great many were from men and women throughout all of America who find themselves, like Jim Simpson, suffering from disabling handicaps.

"Now most of the professional letters did not even refer to Jim's handicap. They didn't mention it. Instead, they spoke of a man whose brilliance of mind and whose fairness of judgment made him the natural and, I would say almost the inevitable choice for elevation to this high court. From the letter of Sheldon Cohen, the brilliant young Commissioner of Internal Revenue, one who did not know Jim Simpson would have learned nothing about his sightless eyes. The letter didn't mention it. But what Sheldon Cohen, the Commissioner said -- and what all of his colleagues said -- was that great ability and deep integrity had finally been recognized in a highly deserved appointment.

"The other letter writers expressed their appreciation of the fact that here in this America of ours, it was possible for a man that is crippled by fate to rise to one of the most responsible positions in the powerful government of the United States, not because of his misfortune, but in spite of his misfortune. And I share their satisfaction, and I rejoice in the example that Jim Simpson has provided for all those in this nation and elsewhere -- the blind, the deaf, the crippled, those who cannot talk, and those who cannot hear -- who aspire to conquer their disadvantages and to fulfill the promise of life.

"Judge Simpson's career is illustrious by any standards. His academic marks at the University of Illinois Law School were the highest there in 25 years. He has taught at Harvard Law School. He has served in the Illinois General Assembly, and he was until today Director of Legislation and Regulations in the Office of General Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.

"His preparation for this new task is beyond dispute. His courage is an inspiration -- not only to the handicapped -- but to every American, including the President of the United States. His colleagues and millions of disabled people proudly salute him. He did not apply for this job, he didn't even know he was being considered. He was appointed for one reason and one only -- men whose judgments I rely on, including my own, knew him to be the best equipped man that we could find in the fifty states to occupy this high office.

"So it is with great pride that we welcome you here today to participate in recognizing some of the unusual achievements of this good and modest man, and it is with great pride that we in the Goverment welcome him to the Tax Court of the United States of America."

Judge Simpson: "Mr. President, and my other many good friends:

"Mr. President, by Justice Clark administering me this oath, I will make your employment statistics look better -- since last night I have been unemployed.

"Recently I was questioned as to whether I would choose a legal career if I had the opportunity to make the choice again. My answer was a firm yet. The twists and turns of life have led me not only into law, but into specializing and to tax law. And I have found stimulating the challenge presented by the necessity of resolving the problems with which we are confronted.

"Moreover, 1 find a sense of satisfaction in realizing that we are developing a system of tax law which collects more than a hundred billion dollars a year and which, thereby, makes possible the programs for social improvement. Heretofore, I have been engaged in the development of the law through legislation or through administrative interpretation.

Now I turn to its development through judicial interpretation.

"I approach this new work with the belief that it is the responsibility of the Court to interpret the law so as to carry out the purpose of the law makers, but to do this with intelligence.

"As I understand the purposes of the Tax Court, they are to provide an economical means whereby a taxpayer can secure an adjudication of his tax liability by a court which is knowledgeable in our tax system and which is fair and independent.

"Mr. President, I assure you that I will do my utmost to aid in the accomplishment of these objectives. Thank you very much."

Back to Contents


(Editor's note: This account of the employment of the war-blinded as typists and telephone operators in Germany is reprinted here as published in translation in Der Kriegsblinde, the organ of the Association of the Warblinded. The Association of the Warblinded of Germany is an affiliate of the International Federation of the Blind.)

Nearly 500 blinded veterans in the German Federal Republic are busy as telephone operators. They work in big telephone central stations of the (Western) German mail authorities, railway, at private and public offices, parliaments and governmental offices, as well as in big and little private enterprises.

The (telephone) exchange apparatus handled by war-blinded operators differ from the normal apparatus only by the touchable markings instead of the luminary signals which are given, whenever a telephone line is engaged. The acustic signal is the same with both the workmanships.

The war-blinded telephone operators use at their work braille script sheets or braille script shorthand machines by means of which they write down demands, inquiries, orders, telephone numbers and similar things. In the very last time there been used for this also in several cases miniature magnetophone apparatus. On account of their reliability and quick adaptability and comprehensiveness are the war-blinded telephone operators in a high favour at any sort of employers in the German Federal Republic.

Back to Contents


The Gem State Blind held their 30th Annual Convention in Boise, Idaho from September 9 to 12th. Some 75 blind persons attended, representing each of the three Chapters of the State organization, along with a contingent from Utah who were charter members of the organization.

The Executive Committee met Thursday afternoon and evening, and the entire business session took place on Friday. The By-Laws were amended to provide (1) that members must be at least 16 years of age; (2) removal of the restriction which limited the holding of any office for more than three consecutive terms; and (3) the establishment of a Finance and Ways & Means Standing Committee. The following Officers were installed for two-year terms: Mrs. Uldine Thelander of Boise, President; Mrs. Ellen Mae Shannon of Boise, Vice-President; Mrs. Keith Patterson of Boise, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Bonnie Huston of Caldwell, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Robert F. Alexander of Boise, Treasurer; Dennis Hall of Rigby, Chaplain.

Perry Sundquist, member of the Executive Committee of the NFB, was the guest of the Gem State Blind and delivered the banquet address on "Aid to the Blind - A Look Ahead". He also appeared on two TV programs and one radio program, explaining the philosophy of the NFB and its Idaho affiliate. In addition, he discussed in detail the provisions of the 1965 Amendments to the Social Security Act.

Saturday was the annual 'outing in the country' with a wonderful picnic lunch served at the picturesque Givens' Hot Springs, followed by a buffet dinner and program at the Boise Hotel. Sunday morning featured a Cookout Breakfast in the Anne Morrison Park, hosted by the Lions Club of Boise.

The Convention laid plans for a long-range fund-raising program in order to support its extensive legislative program and its membership drive.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune, August 26, 1965)

Harry Cordellos completed a typical -- "normal" his superiors call it -- on-the-job internship as a recreation counselor for the city recreation department yesterday.

He did all the things any recreation counselor does.

He assisted with a children's creative arts workshop, a program of arts and crafts, music, dance, drama and cooking.

He took the Junior Explorers Club -- very active fifth and sixth graders -- on woodsy excursions. He played games, took hikes, sang songs, yelled yells and toasted marshmallows around the campfire.

He even umpired a kickball game.

What makes this all most remarkable -- and probably historic -- is that Harry Cordellos is blind.

Cordellos, 27, of 827 - 47th Avenue, San Francisco, is a senior in recreation at California State College at Hayward.

A requirement for the recreation degree is the summer-long internship. It didn't worry Harry Cordellos to think that he would be the first blind student anywhere to do field work in recreation.

"If there's any feasible way to do it, I'll find it," Cordellos said.

His determination stemmed from a desire to enter recreation work with newly blind adults -- who too often only sit and vegetate.

Cordellos, 27, tested nearly the first time he was alone with his group of children at the Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center.

"They told me all the things they could get away with behind my back, so to speak," he recalls, "But they didn't try them."

Rather, he found that once the children became interested and involved in an activity, his blindness was all but forgotten.

"Everything went beautifully, with one possible exception," reported Cordellos. "That was the day I sat on a butterfly--a freshly shellacked, sticky mosaic one.

"But the artist forgave me. We had some good laughs over it. And I've learned to be more careful where I sit."

Jim Battersby, head director of the Arroyo Center where Cordellos did his internship, relates "excellent rapport between Harry and the kids -- they like Harry for himself.

"I think the experiment was tremendous. It surprised us. We tend to sell handicapped people short until we give them a chance to show what they can do.

"We learned as much as Harry," Battersby says. "From the outset we made it clear that it had to work out. If Harry proved to be a burden rather than an asset, we'd be very frank about it and call it off."

"Everyone was willing to give me a chance to show what I can do, and this is what the blind need," Cordellos says appreciatively.

"Perhaps umpiring that kickball game was carrying this a bit far -- but I survived."

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the Santa Fe New Mexican, August 12, 1965)

Dick Bryant, president of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind, today announced the establishment of the Tony Moya Legal Memorial Fund, in memory of Moya, blind snack- shop operator, who died in an Albuquerque hospital Aug. 3, after being hit by a car on St. Francis Drive.

Moya, 61, past president of La Luz chaper of the Federation, and operator of the snack shop in the new Post Office Building, apparently never regained consciousness after he was struck by a car as he attempted to cross the St. Francis-Hickox intersection Aug. 2.

The Fund, administered by the Federation, will provide legal counsel to blind persons, promote employment opportunities for the blind and better programs through legislation.

Federation member Mj. Edward Oakley of Santa Fe , originator of the idea, made the first donation. All friends of Moya or other persons interested in the welfare of the blind in New Mexico, may contribute by sending their donations to Dick Bryant, President of the Federation, at 136 Rio Seco. All checks should be made payable to the Tony Moya Legal Memorial Fund.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the New Beacon July 1965)

(Editor's note. The newly elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of Great Britain, Duncan Watson, is a successful, youthful, blind attorney, employed in the British equivalent of our Defense Department. I had a most pleasant luncheon with him in London a year ago at the Black Angus Steak House, a luncheon at which we both enjoyed the hospitality of John Wilson, Executive Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind.)

In the past 15 years, the agricultural labour force in England and Wales has shrunk by 100,000 to about 475,000 people; the numbers in Scotland have fallen dramatically from 97,500 in 1935 and 88,000 in 1950 to a present figure of 68,400. Mechanisation and intensive farming methods, and the urban drift, have made their mark. Farm employees now make up 2% of the British labour force. Over this same period the number of blind people in agricultural and horticultural jobs has remained fairly stable. In terms of the total employed blind population of England and Wales, the proportion of those working on the land was 4% in 1951, 4% in 1955, 3.7% in 1960 and 3.3% at the last count in 1963. The figures for Scotland are somewhat lower: thirty years ago, of 1,688 employed blind people, 63 (3.6%) were in farming; today the percentage is only 2.45 (27 agricultural and horticultural workers, including poultry farmers, out of 1,104 blind employees). In detail, 330 English and Welsh blind people were working on the land at the end of 1963, of whom 119 were farmers, farm managers, market gardeners or farm workers, 67 were gardeners or groundsmen, and 144 had jobs in animal husbandry (including poultry raising).

Back to Contents


By Stanley G. Spaide

The South Jersey Association of the Blind and the Camden County Association Workers for the Blind have completed their merger of the two clubs and have formed the Camden Blind Association.

The former two clubs were members of the State Council of New Jersey Organizations of the Blind a NFB member.

The new organization will be taken in as a member of the State organization in October at the State convention in Asbury Park, October 23-24.

At the organization's first official meeting, the following officers and trustees were elected: President, Stanley G. Spaide, Audubon; Vice President, Lewis V. Palmer, Camden; Comptroller, Newton Jaquillard, Camden; Betty Sites, Secretary, Pennsauken; Conrad Balkie, Treasurer, Merchantville. Trustees: Elizabeth Griffiths, Ethel Palmer, Jack Haggerty and John Del Duke all of Camden and William Sites of Pennsauken.

Mr. Spaide announced that the construction of their new building will start early in October and should be available in December. From all indications of the blue prints, we will have one of the finest recreational buildings in the State.

It is our goal to offer the blind of Southern Jersey the inspiration to become members of an organized blind group.

Back to Contents


The highlights of the Kentucky Federation of the Blind held at the Kentucky Hotel in Louisville, September 17 and 18 were: the designation of President R. E. Whitehead as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the state; the banquet address of Donald Capps, 2nd Vice President of the NFB; and the presence of Mrs. Thelma Stovall, the Secretary of State; and the report of Mr. Edwards of the Social Security Administration, on "The Blind Under Social Security."

This highly successful convention also heard reports on the work of the Governor's Commission on Physically Handicapped, the 25th Anniversary Convention of the NFB, affiliate chapters, resolutions, legislation, and finances.

The following persons were elected or re-elected to office: President R. E. Whitehead; 1st Vice President, Margaret Bourne; 2nd Vice President, John Steel; 3rd Vice President, Lloyd Whitmer; Recording Secretary, Mae Budesheim; Corresponding Secretary, Eloise Becker; Treasurer, Harold Reagan; Legislative Chairman, Pat Vice; Finance Chairman, Glen Shoulders.

Back to Contents


By Dr. Jacob Freid

(Reprinted from the Jewish Braille Review September 1965)

It is now almost fifteen years since I attended my first national convention dealing with work for the blind. It was a pleasant hail fellow affair. It replenished my fund of stories and reminded me of the boys back home in Zenith as depicted by the acerb pen of Sinclair Lewis in Babbitt. A good time was had by all and I met the Establishment in work for the blind. As for any cerebral exercise, however, I could have remained in bed. While virtuous somnambulism was its own reward in the convention meetings, it left a void at its ending. The people were good and well-meaning, many were dedicated, but there was no vital guiding philosophy or social action program coinciding with the equal rights struggle of the Negro but adapted to the unique requirements of the blind for the attainment of their proper civil rights goals also.

There was little understanding of the researches, findings and recommendations of scholars in the field of prejudice, discrimination and attitudes as set forth by men such as Gordon Allport, Otto Klineberg and Kurt Lewin with whom I had worked. There was thorough ignorance and blank stares when I mentioned the pioneering and exciting legal trailblazing of the Commission on Law and Social Action of the American Jewish Congress which had won victories outlawing discrimination in education, public accommodations, housing and employment, and had trained a whole corps of NAACP lawyers to take up the cudgels for the Negro.

I would leave the convention sad and frustrated in my search for acute, perceptive, knowledgeable leadership with a mature philosophy-grounded upon Jeffersonian equalitarian and libertarian principles, and with a vital program to implement them for achieving normality and equality of opportunity for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for the blind of America and the world.

Gradually I learned of the National Federation of the Blind. I requested its literature. I recall that when it arrived I opened the envelope somewhat like the blind man going to an interview with a personnel director for a job which he was certain would vanish with the first look of the interviewer at his blind applicant. One of the great moments of life is coming upon a sudden revelation. Poetically this is expressed in John Keats' immortal paean to the thrill of discovery, "On Looking Into Chapman's Homer." This material was alive, filled with intellectually probing analysis, cerebration and ideas of, by and for the blind. Like the Israelites in their wilderness hunger, I too devoured this sudden appearance of manna from heaven. From that moment I have identified myself with the aims, hopes, the objectives, the struggles of the NFB for a better world for the blind by the efforts of the blind themselves through their own selected spokesman.

I haven't missed an NFB meeting since. Like others I suffered through the searing years of schism and internecine strife. But this year in Washington, the end of its first quarter century was an exhilerating experience.

The roster of those members of Congress and the government who addressed the convention included Speaker of the House John McCormack. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senator Robert Kennedy, etc., etc. The banquet was the most impressive and successful exhibit of mass lobbying I have ever witnessed in the nation's capitol. Scores of Congressmen from the House and Senate sat entranced by the brilliant address of NFB's founder with its overview of the past, its struggles, heartaches and accomplishments and its moving call to meet the challenges of today and to grasp the promises of the future for the blind. John Nagle, the nonpareil legislative one-man army of the NFB who puts on his warpaint daily to go up to the Hill to do battle for the blind did himself proud in helping to pull off this mass attendance coup. But even more, the blind demonstrated their capacity for leadership and the ability to be completely competent masters of their own destiny.

I was even privileged to moderate an international panel of blind leaders in work for the blind in Germany, Ecuador, England and Saudi Arabia. This itself was a remarkable event--a Jew chairing with a German and a Saudi Arabian. What a message for sighted mankind in Thermonuclear world--of the brotherhood of the blind transcending all barriers of enmity, nation's creeds, races.

The NFB stands today at the apogee of its influence. I left Washington impressed by the excellent leadership of its officers and convention delegates. The way ahead is hard, but like the Negro "We too Shall Overcome."

On my trip back to New York 1 thought back on the mark-time years, the era of benevolent paternalism and custodialism. Those were the days of the slow, subtle, melancholy wasting away of youthful hopes and adult talents among the blind as the years were literally caned and broomed away by the case card workers and the handout pensioneers of the agencies. The twilight zone existence of the blind had a Kafkaesque frustration and a rueful sadness marked by futility and conformity --
break out of the lockstep and the agency penalty was severe and swift -- removal from the file.

It is the glory of man that among their number can be found an occasion "a man for all seasons. " Such a man founded the NFB in 1940. The task faced was a severe one--a conflict between the Emersonian spirit and principle of self-reliance and the wardship spirit and principle of paternalism -- bless the Squire and his relations, and keep us in our proper stations. Had not Aristotle said that some were born to be slaves and others masters? Did not the South's champions, John C. Calhoun,
Preston Brooks and Alexander Stephens reiterate Aristotle's and Calvin's arguments in behalf of slavery? Free the slaves? Allow them to be masters of their own destiny and they would starve to death. Does not Verwoerd and the Afrikaan policy of Apartheid require segregation and apartness, benevolent paternalism of the Bantus in their Bantustans, but with all decision-making power rested in the White Man in Pretoria.

It was Lincoln who pointed out at Gettysburg that "our forefathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." It took another four score years less three for the NFB to come into being and to write a second Emancipation Proclamation -- this time for the blind to become part of and to share the benefits of equality of the American experiment and its ideals. The struggle between the Calvinist and Jefferson-Lincoln-Emerson spirit has appeared and reappeared throughout our history. The enemies of the NFB were not agencies or heads of agencies injured by our organization. These enemies were men who recognized that the National Federation did not share and was a living reproach to the imperious power of the agency for the blind over the blind. The very brilliance of its advocates and officers made them uncomfortable.

I am trying to gather together the various recollections of Washington. I think of the wheels within wheels convolutions of the infinitely complicated efforts of the past to open the pathways through the mountain passes to normality and integration for the blind -- the gropings, the puzzlements, the aspiration, the heartaches. Robert Browning's poem "Rabbi Ben Ezra" says the aspiring is even greater than the achieving. Shakespeare said "let thy reach exceed thy grasp else what's a heaven for." For twenty-five years we have aspired and possibly overreached. The tunnel has been long, dark, frustrating -- but we have traversed its hardest part and overcome its strongest obstacles. At the end is the light of a new day and a new world when all men who were created equal shall achieve their birthright of equal opportunity dependent on their own talents and merits and ability to go into battle to fight the good fight in their own behalf.

Back to Contents


By Bessie Fowler

At the Michigan convention, held in Benton Harbor September 17-19. emphasis was on organizational and legislative problems. Charters were presented to Dr. George Prescott for the Detroit Chapter and to Mrs. Don Eagle for the Pontiac Chapter which has been reactivated after several years of inactivity. Mildred Hamby was appointed Membership Chairman and is to name a member in each area as assistant. A committee was named to seek to unify the three blind organizations of Michigan with respect to the furthering of legislative objectives.

State Senator Charles Zollar reported on legislation recently enacted affecting the blind and otherwise disabled: A bill reducing the residence requirement to one year for public assistance; a bill raising tax exemptions on real property; a bill giving preference to blind persons in the operation of vending stands in state buildings; and the provision of ramps rather than steps in 11 state buildings under construction.

The meetings were chaired by the President, Mrs. Merton S. Gooder. Master of ceremonies at the banquet was E. Q. Miller, teacher of Psychology in Adult Education, Wayne State University. Sanford Allerton delivered the banquet address reporting in glowing and enthusiastic terms on the Z5th Anniversary Convention of the NFB held in Washington, D.C. At other times during the convention reports and talks were delivered by E. Q. Miller, Evelyn Weckerly, blind teacher in the public schools, and the Mayor of St. Josephs.

Mildred Hamby presented the Council with a check for $300 which she had raised at a Madison Heights Fair assisted by many of her sighted friends as well as some of the members of the South Oakland Chapter.

Braille copies of the Nevada Aid Laws, supplied by the NFB, were distributed for study by all chapters.

A decision was reached to hold meetings twice a year hereafter. The next meeting will be in Battle Creek next April.

Back to Contents


By John Nagle

Minimum Wages

On August 18, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted out a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (H.R. 10518). It did not contain the provisions of the Federation-sponsored and supported Dent bill (H.R. 8093).

Minimum wage protection is extended to 7.9 million new workers by H.R. 10518, but again, the 40,000 handicapped workers employed in the Nation's privately operated sheltered workshops have been disregarded in their plight, and their plea to Congress for a statutory floor beneath their wages has again been disregarded.

Workers already guaranteed, by federal law, a minimum hourly wage of $1.25, are granted a raise to a $1.75 hourly minimum by 1968, while the hourly wage of the new workers given minimum wage protection by the bill will rise to the $1.75 hourly minimum in 1970.

In cruel and graphic contrast to the House Committee's apparent conviction that the present $1.25 hourly minimum wage rate was insufficient to enable physically fit workers to meet today's rapidly rising living costs, are the figures of the Department of Labor, indicating just how subminimum are the wages paid handicapped workers employed in sheltered workshops.

As of February 1, 1965, according to the federal Department of Labor, 720 sheltered workshops were authorized to pay their handicapped employees subminimum wages.

There were 167 shops allowed to pay 25 cents an hour or less, including 8 shops which were permitted to pay at a 5-cent hourly wage rate; 149 permits for 25 cents up to 49 cents an hour were issued; 225, subminimum certificates for 50 cents up to 74 cents an hour; 149 for 75 cents up to 99 cents an hour; and 30 for $1.00 an hour and over.

Surely the foregoing figures are more than enough to demonstrate the great and overwhelming need for congressional enactment of federal minimum wage protection for handicapped men and women who work in sheltered workshops.

The Senate Labor Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over minimum wage legislation, will consider, in executive session, the latest Fair Labor Standards Act amending bill, after House action, and Senator Wayne Morse, Oregon, will endeavor to persuade his Subcommittee colleagues to adopt our minimum wage bill (S. 2210) as an amendment to H.R. 10518.

It is most urgently important, therefore, that Federationists, their families and friends, send letters in support of S. 2210 to the Labor Subcommittee members listed below.

The Dent bill lost in the House because it was buried beneath an avalanche of opposition letters and telegrams. This must not happen in the Senate.

Letters and telegrams supporting S. 2210, the NFB-Morse bill, should be sent to the members of the Subcommittee on Labor, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Members are: Pat McNamara, Mighigan (Chairman); Wayne Morse, Oregon; Jennings Randolph, West Virginia; Claiborne Pell, Rhode Island; Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin; Robert Kennedy, New York; Jacob Javits, New York; Winsston Prouty, Vermont; and Paul Fannin, Arizona.

Special Education

Signed by President Johnson on August 4, P.L. 89-105 contains provisions extending and expanding existing federally-financed programs of specialized training for teachers of handicapped children, including blind children and children who are multiply disabled.

Also continued and broadened by the new law were programs of research and demonstration--to permit the investigation and development of new devices and techniques required to provide impaired children with better educational opportunities.

Demonstration projects will be authorized under the new law to test the results learned from research in the special education field.

P.L. 89-105 is a substitute for P.L. 88-164, which would have expired June 30, 1966.

The original measure, which provided federal financing for the training of teachers of handicapped children, became well known to Federationists attending the 1963 NFB-Philadelphia convention, as S. 1576.

A resolution in support of this bill received unanimous convention endorsement, and the Federation presented testimony in support of S. 1576 before congressional committees in both the Houses of Representatives and the Senate.

The Federation gave its endorsement and vigorous approval to the new special education measure, and joined in the testimony of the American Foundation for the Blind, presented by Irvin P. Schloss, its Washington representative, in approving the extension and expansion of the federally-financed special education for handicapped children programs.

The Older Americans Act

In recognition of the national need to provide help to the ever-increasing number of men and women disadvantaged by the social and economic dislocations and difficulties resulting from advancing years, the 89th Congress adopted, and President Johnson signed into law, the Older Americans Act (P.L. 89-73).

This new law establishes the Administration on Aging in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, to coordinate departmental activities and programs relating to problems of elderly people.

The new Aging agency is a high-level successor to the former Office on Aging, housed in the Public Welfare Administration.

Since more than one-half of the estimated 400,000 blind persons in the United States are believed to be over the age of 60, state and community plans, projects, and programs dealing with problems of aged people are of much interest and concern to the organized blind.

Accelerated activity in this field should follow upon passage of the Older Americans Act.

Federationists should try to have a part in such activities.

Helping to solve the difficulties of older Americans is a responsibility of all Americans.

Helping to solve the difficulties of elderly Americans who are blind is especially a responsibility of organized blind Americans.

Back to Contents


To forego a meal on White Cane Safety Day October 15, and give the money saved by this sacrifice to the blind of the world through the IFB -- was adopted as a project by the organized blind of the Nation's Capitol at their membership meeting, held September 14, in the John Philip Sousa Hall, Washington Post Building.

Reminding the members of the resolution (65-07) unanimously adopted at the recent Washington convention of the NFB, Tom Bickford said that since the blind of America had benefited so much from the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, it was our responsibility to do all possible to strengthen the International Federation of the Blind.

"Only in this way, " declared Bickford, "will the blind of other nations secure for themselves the rights and opportunities presently available to the blind of America."

Others at the D.C. meeting spoke enthusiastically in support of the Bickford proposal, and it was adopted without a dissent. Bickford was named by President Vernon Butler as Chairman of the "Miss-a-Meal" project.

At the suggestion of George Egleston, it was decided that persons beyond the circle of members, families, and friends, would be invited to join in the Federation project, and Tom Bickford and George Egleston were instructed to appear on local radio and TV stations, to invite the public to participate in contributing the cost of a meal, so that the blind of foreign nations might be helped to ameliorate their conditions through their membership in the IFB -- the worldwide organized blind movement.

Bickford distributed two envelopes to each member at the D.C. meeting, and explained that one evelope was intended for the member's contribution, the other, to be given to a friend.

Chairman Bickford's name and address will go on the face of the envelope, and the following statement, in braille and print, appears on the reverse side:

"Since opportunities for the blind have been opened in the U.S.A. by strong, active organizations of the blind, I herewith offer the cost of one meal to help blind people in other countries through the International Federation of the Blind."

Elections were also held at the D.C. meeting, and the following persons were elected to a one-year term of office: Vernon Butler, President; George Reed, Vice-President; Katherine McNabb, Treasurer; Mildred Mosley, Recording Secretary; Virginia Nagle, Corresponding Secretary; and, as members of the Executive Committee, Hilda Daugherty and Anna Whitson.

Back to Contents


By John Dengel

(Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune September 13, 1965)

CONCORD -- More than 900 persons -- including several patients in recent months in Alameda County -- have received eye transplants through the help of a "ham" radio network.

The service was started three years ago when University of Iowa specialists were unable to locate transplant tissue and a young patient unnecessarily became totally blind.

Later the medical men found out the tissue had been available that day in San Diego.

The Eye Bank Amateur Radio Network now has 150 members throughout North America who meet by shortwave daily.

The system works like this: When an emergency corneal transplant operation is required the doctor contacts one of the network hams. Banks having surplus tissue also are to report to the network.

In a typical broadcast the control station will ask: "Are there any emergencies?" A station in Denver might reply: "The bank here needs an eye for an operation."

Control then asks each local operator to check his bank and provide the Denver eye-bank telephone number to be called collect. In minutes the Denver emergency is known to the other banks. Airlines fly the tissue free.

The network is proud to claim it has always managed to have an eye delivered within 24 hours of a call.

Donors are always needed for the program. Separate wills should be made for eye donations. The eye has to be taken within a few hours of death and transplanted within 48 hours. Probating of conventional wills takes much too long.

The U.S. has 18,000 persons who will need corneal transplants, but available corneas amount to only one-tenth of that figure.

Lions Clubs, which long have been involved in sight conservation projects, are providing stickers which potential donors may place on drivers licenses.

Mrs. Beth Clark, of 129 The Trees Drive, is assistant manager of the network's North and West regions which include Alaska and Hawaii. Her husband, Arthur, or a retired Alamo grocer, O. O. Peterson, pinch-hit when Beth is not home.

In Newark in Alameda County a network member is Sally Pench, of 6639 Normandy Drive.

The amateur radio operators seldom know for whom the eyes are intended. Probably the recipient also is unaware of the donor program or the activity which comes to his aid. But doubtless he thinks:

"Unknown friend, here's looking at you."

Back to Contents


Ray Dinsmore, member of the NFB's national executive committee and an active Federationist for many years, has been appointed by the Governor of Indiana to represent the Indiana Council of the Blind on a newly created advisory committee to the state agency for the blind.

The eleven-man advisory committee was established by the state legislature last spring with two-year appointees to be selected from several fields of endeavor: two from the field of industrial production; one each from industrial research and development; rehabilitation; community planning; social service; the medical profession; the optometric profession; sales and distribution; a selectee recommended by the Association of "Workers for the Blind, and one recommended by the Indiana Council of the Blind.

John Richardson, a blind vending stand operator, has been named to the committee as representative of the Indiana Association of Workers for the Blind. The newly formed advisory group will hold its first meeting October 28.

The legislature's enactment of the bill creating the state advisory committee was one of several strong advances -- among them the complete elimination of relatives' responsibility -- chalked up by the organized blind of Indiana during the 1965 legislative session. Effective teamwork between the Indiana Council of the Blind and the state AAWB led by Richardson has been credited by Ray Dinsmore for the general success of the legislative campaign.

In addition to the striking down of the archaic "responsible relatives " law, the Indiana Council also gained an additional $1,000 exemption of real property to blind aid recipients (raising the total amount exempted to $2,000). Another ne-w law lowers the residence requirement for blind assistance from three years to one year. Another breakthrough takes the form of a statute providing that no lien can be filed against the estate of a blind recipient who has been off the rolls for more than five

The Indiana blind organization also helped to secure a new state minimum-wage law denying exemption to the state agency for the blind, thus assuring a minimum wage scale to sightless workers in the state-operated sheltered shop. Finally, the Council was successful in persuading the state Welfare Commissioner to avoid pressing for enactment of Title XVI, which would result in merging welfare programs for the blind with those of the aged and disabled.

Back to Contents


(Editor's note: This account of the fifth Catholic Congress of the Blind held in Versailles July 15-17, 1965 is taken from das Wahren Lichtes sent to us by Dr. Horst Geissler and translated for us by Mrs. S. Levine. Dr. Geissler tells us that 850 persons from eleven countries and three continents attended.)

The fundamental idea of the International Blind Congress in Paris-Versailles was: The dignity of the blind person. Besides representatives from all parts of France, Germany was represented by 140 participants, also Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg, England, Canada, and Tunisia. The mixed international audience could follow all the speeches over the simultaneous installation like that of the U.N. through which their work together was substantially simplified.

The theme of the congress as Prince Broglie, the President of the Blind Crusade, pointedout in his opening speech, has many strata, which was confirmed by the heavy work schedule. As we will discuss various speeches in the next issue of Wahren Lichtes (True Light), only the foundation of the congress is presented here.

P. Boury, the Secretary General of the Blind Crusade, spoke enlighteningly about the handicap which the blind period of his life brought with it and how he had to compensate for it by increased energy, bearing, and dignity every day. The help from the ranks of those who can see, must also for the dignity of the individual, correspond to helping him help himself, and above all it must aim towards the development of the intellectual personality so that the individual may really be incorporated into society.

Then the editor of Lux Vera, Siegfried Domeisen, representing the Dr. Gebhard Katst spoke on the Dignity of the Blind. He began his speech with the sentence: The dignity of the blind person does not rest in his external achievements, rather its foundation is the proper religious personality. The incorporation of the blind into working society is not primarily an economic matter, but an ethical task. The mark of great people is that they place smaller demands on others than upon themselves.
Therefore of primary importance is not placing excessive demands, but rather working along. The esteem of the blind depends upon their bearing. Through this the thankfulness and also the good external appearance of the individual gains great significance. Also the care of his intellectual and religious life is important to the dignity of the blind person. For he who abandons his ties with God, loses his support in his struggle for existence and sinks into intellectual blindness, and lacks freedom and dignity. In order to be a true Christian one must be a true person. Thus dying after virtue and holiness is the best way for a person to gain dignity.

Professor Chersoni (Italy) in his speech about the professional dignity of the blind person emphasized: The blind do not want any privileges which they do not deserve. They have recently proved themselves outstanding in many new positions in industry and in the household where they knew how to adapt themselves very well. In this way they themselves through their professional work added much to their dignity.

In the discussion which followed P. Svoboda made reference to the possibilities of work for the blind within the church. As at the last congress there was still discussion about priests and orders, then one could now make reference to the deacon. The blind servant of spiritual welfare has a future. He who is considering professional work should not forget the church. Here also, the harvest is large, but the workers are very few.

The forenoon of the second day of the congress was marked by the speeches of the German representatives. Heinz Tolzmann in his speech spoke about the "Dignity of the Blind Person in his Private Life", of the importance of the manner in which the individual bears his fate; because he can in this way, more than other people, be a glowing example of how one can manage in life under altered circumstances. Everyone must make his contribution to this through corresponding virtuous performance. The government also has the duty to guarantee a life in dignity, as is exemplarily regulated by the Federal Social Welfare Laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The director of the blind student institute of Marburg, Dr. Horst Geisler, than spoke about the intellectual dignity of people. The dignity of a person may be supplied through his personality, and personality is a characteristic of people. But the individual is a person because he is called by God and because he is a conversation partner of God. Therefore a person can not earn his dignity; he can only conduct himself appropriately to his dignity. Therefore the individual must also be treated corresponding to his dignity. Frequently there is a danger that the individual be treated as an object. The tasks of charity often mislead one to develop a theory of how one can best help the needy. Jesus himself valued, and accordingly taught his disciples, that the dignity of children, beggars, and the poor, who could not defend themselves, be respected. Also in the economic sphere the questions about the use of the blind are too one sided. He is viewed as an object like where the ideal value of the blind person is questioned. The dignity of the blind person is there-fore jeopardized everywhere where the individual is viewed only as an object and is not recognized as a subject. Therefore, the dignity of a person is based upon his being respected as a subject, or expressed religiously, as a child of God. In the discussion which followed, the dependence upon the companion and the patience there with demanded was spoken of, at which P. Svoboda referred to the sensitivity of several
blind people, through which much is taken as worse than it actually is. The external behavior of many who can see has through self defense in the fight of competition become dull and hard. All the more reason why we as Christians should respect the sensitivity and cordiality of blind existence and the deep and genuine currents of our hearts. We have, in our time, to proclaim a picture of humanity with genuine values and great dignity. True personality is always individual. The church today
is fighting for decisive and verifiable Christianity. Our dignity does not depend upon the good or bad behavior of people, but rather on your own conscience, your own dignity as a child of God.

Finally Mr. Wulf (Holland) spoke about the dignity of the blind person within his family and P. Boury summed up the results of the congress in a series of suggestions and wishes, which we will present in the next issue.

The cultural frame of the program was also very impressive. The German group combined the congress with a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Three days in Lourdes stood under the rule of grace (mercy) and prayer. The participation in the processions and divine service were once in a life time experiences. Even in Paris on the day of our arrival we were conducted to the Castle of Versailles, and on Friday afternoon we took a tour around the city in twelve buses, the high point of which was the placing of a wreath on the grave of Yves Mollats, the founder of the Blind Crusade, and the celebrated mass by his Excellence Veuillot in the Sacra-Coeur at Montmartre. It was to be taken from the conversations of individual participants this day left valuable experiences and impressions behind. For this reason thanks, in the name of all, go particularly to P. Svoboda and Miss Wolfle, the organizers. We are rightfully, and happily anticipating the sixth international congress which will take place in 1967 in Assisi-Rome.

Back to Contents


By An Unknown Nevadan

Optimism pervaded every moment of the convention of the Nevada Federation of the Blind in Reno on September 24-26. The "New look" was evident in the address delivered by Mervin Flander, newly appointed supervisor of the newly established Division of Services for the Blind. Merv, a former Iowa District Attorney and a product of the Iowa Orientation Center, revealed plans for expanded and revitalized services to rehabilitate Nevada's blind and promised full cooperation with the Nevada Federation. He assumed his new duties only a week before the convention.

National Federation President Russ Kletzing delivered a stirring banquet address which incisively differentiated between preferential treatment and equalizing treatment in programs for the blind. He also discussed national legislation and participated in every phase of the convention.

The convention program featured a host of distinguished speakers with Governor Grant Sawyer heading the list. Also participating were the Mayor of Reno, Mr. Hugo Quilici; the Mayor of Sparks, Mr. Chet Christensen; the County Commissioner of Washoe County; and several members of the Nevada legislature.

Feature addresses were delivered by Walter Shite, Director of Health and Welfare; and Rehabilitation Counsellors, James Osmond and John Tair.

Among the resolutions passed by the convention were those providing for re-establishment of an advisory committee to meet with the agencies administering programs affecting the blind. Other resolutions urged that state officials provide for a pass of the increased Federal contributions for aid to the blind and increased social security benefits, including the retroactive payments.

Audrey Tait was re-elected president and was elected delegate to the Louisville convention. Other officers elected are Carl Clontz, first Vice President; Cleo Fellers, second Vice President; Jim Ellis, Secretary; and Board Members: James Lee Washington, Jean Savage, Carl Clontz, and Peggy Stevenson. Carl Clontz was also elected alternate delegate for Louisville.

Back to Contents


Annual Meeting, Nevada Federation of the Blind
El Cortez Hotel
Reno, Nevada
September 24, 1965 - 1:30 p.m.

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Annual Convention of the Nevada Federation of the Blind. This is especially true because of the close working and personal relationship we have experienced over the years.

Since its embryonic stages, the Nevada Federation of the Blind has grown in size and in stature and now represents a substantial majority of the blind of Nevada. It is a mature organization which approaches its problems and the problems and needs of the blind with wisdom and dignity.

The Blind of Nevada, through the Federation, have joined with the blind of the nation in a campaign to achieve security, equality and opportunity for the blind.

This crusade seeks public acceptance and recognition of the blind for what they are -- competent, normal individuals with all of the graces and all of the faults, all of the strengths and all of the weaknesses of other individuals. It seeks education, training, and opportunity for the blind in the belief that with proper education and training and with the opportunity of employment, the blind can, and will become useful, productive and contributing members of society, limited only by those individual limitations common to all human beings. If anyone questions the wisdom and accuracy of this belief, he need only look around him to find blind individuals who are successful nuclear physicists, judges, college professors, telephone switchboard operators, chiropractors, farmers, industrial machine operators, cooks, homemakers, merchants and businessmen. Such individuals supply the proof and it is not enough to say that they are the exception and not the rule.

This crusade also seeks equality of treatment, equality of wages and equality of opportunity and asks only that the blind individual have a chance to prove himself instead of being treated differently, paid a different wage and deprived of the opportunity of employment.

An ever increasing number of the blind and sighted alike are accepting and adopting the view that blindness is only a nuisance and an inconvenience, rather than a handicap. The real handicap of blindness is that of public attitude for, like other public attitudes, the ancient, stereotyped attitude toward blindness still persists in our modern space age. It is even now being taught in our schools where textbooks, some of them fresh from the presses, contain unsupported statements to the effect that
the blind are particularly suited for and adept in the hand crafts such as rug weaving, broom making and the like. The blind themselves have been the victims of this type of teaching and have accepted, often without objection, sub-standard employment with sub-standard wages, as well as sub-standard education and training, even poverty.

So long as that ancient stereotype continues as the predominating attitude, the State of Nevada and the nation as a whole will be deprived of the full contribution of a great human resource.

We can be grateful that the State of Nevada has recognized the potential of the human resources of the blind and has taken some progressive steps, with the vigorous support of the Nevada Federation, to improve the lot of the blind. Witness, for example, the Nevada Aid to the Blind Laws which are heralded across the nation as a model code and also the recent legislation establishing the Division of Services to the Blind as a separate and distinct division of the Department of Health and Welfare. Both pieces of legislation recognize that the lot of the blind is in need of improvement and that the blind may have special needs which can best be served through specialized programs and services administered by a staff devoting its entire attention to those programs and services.

Let us not be complacent with the progress that has been made. We cannot rest on our laurels until we have reached and can maintain the point where there is no longer a need for aid to these blind persons with a capacity for education, training and employment. The blind of Nevada and of many other states believe that they
have a right to organize and to speak for themselves. I, too, believe, that no one knows the problems and needs of the blind better than the blind themselves; and 1 also believe in the right of the blind to organize and to make their problems and needs known. We may not always agree upon the solution for those problems and needs. However, we should always be able to discuss them without rancor in an honest effort to find the best possible solution.

I further believe the newly established Division of Services to the Blind and its newly appointed Supervisor, Mervin J. Flander, working in close cooperation with the blind, will continue to make progress toward the goals I have mentioned.

The hope of the future is that the State of Nevada will have a full, well-rounded and productive program of services to the blind. Such a program will benefit the entire state and the nation because every blind person placed in self-supporting, competitive employment will become a contribuitng member of society and a contributor as a taxpayer.

I commend you upon your past achievements and 1 wish you a very successful and productive convention.

Back to Contents


By Murray C. O'Connor

The convention opened with a reception Friday evening August 13, 1965 in the McLure Hotel, Wheeling, West Virginia, convention headquarters

A brief breakfast board meeting was held next morning, and the actual calling to order was done by President Charles Monfradi of Wheeling, at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 14th. After the address of welcome by Wheeling's mayor, and the response by Miss Dorothy Schultz, president of the host affiliate, our Constitution Revision Committee gave a very fine report and the new constitution was adopted.

Immediately after lunch, we were given a couple of talks by Messrs. Jack MacHood, business manager of the new Rehabilitation Center at Institute, W. Va., and by Terrence Clarke, Mobility Training Institute, W. Va. at 'the' center.

We then heard reports from our various affiliates on their activities: Fund-raising, etc., which were very interesting.

At the banquet Dr. Forrest Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Corporate Relations of Wheeling Steel Corporation, discussed giving of oneself. The title of his talk was "Three Words and Another." Mr. Clarence C. White of Huntington was then honored as first president of the West Virginia Federation which was founded twelve years ago and as his acceptance speech, he gave an account of the founding thereof which was very well received. Dancing followed the banquet and the evening was very much enjoyed by all.

Sunday morning we were treated to an explantion of the new Medicare Bill under Social Security, by Edgar E. Poe, of the Social Security Administration who had talked to us at previous conventions.

The afternoon session was devoted to resolutions, followed by selection of the next convention city: namely, Clarksburg.

The following persons were elected or re-elected: Charles Monfradi, President, 40 Prospect Ave., Wheeling; Guy Parks, First Vice President, 120 S. Chestnut St., Clarksburg; W. Alva Huffman, Second Vice President, 1207A., Johnson Road, Charleston; Mrs. Evelyn Milhorn, Financial Secretary, 517 N. Wabash Street, Wheeling; E. Sid Allan, Treasurer, 1001 - 7th St., Huntington; Roy Hoffman, Chaplain, Falling Rock; and Murray C. O'Connor, Secretary, 101 - 13th St., Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Back to Contents


By Berthold Lowenfeld, Ph.D.

(Editor's note. This address was delivered by Dr. Lowenfeld at the meeting of the Assembly of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind held in New York, August 1964. After many years of distinguished service as superintendent of the California State School for the Blind in Berkeley, Dr. Lowenfeld retired from that position last year. He is currently doing research and teaching part time in the Special Education Program at San Francisco State College.)

Differences in people, whether they are of race, religion or an identifiable sensory loss, have their social impact. This is particularly the case if the individual belongs to a minority group, distinguishable from the majority by definite characteristics. How a given society reacts to a given minority depends upon circumstances which prevail on either side. Among these circumstances on the part of society are such factors as cultural status, governmental social philosophy, general enlightenment of the populace, and affluence; on the part of the individual, the origin and history of his group, the ease with which he can be identified as its member, and either real or assumed characteristics of the group.

Blindness is a sensory loss which can be recognized in most individuals with comparative ease, either by the way they appear or by the way they act. It is therefore not surprising that certain generally prevailing attitudes toward the blind can be determined in any given society.

In reviewing the way society has regarded and treated the blind during the history of the Western world, we can distinguish three phases. The blind were treated as liabilities, as wards, and as members in successive historical stages.

In the early days of mankind, when struggle for survival brought individuals together to form a tribe, any member who could not fully contribute to the subsistence and defense of the group was a liability and, consequently, subject to elimination. From Roman and Greek history we know that blind children were left to the mercy of the elements. They were either set in the mountains as was the case in old Sparta, or put into a basket and placed in the current of the Tiber River, as was the case in Rome. A few of those who became blind later in life were regarded with veneration and awe, such as Homer and Tiresias. But even Plato had no use for the weak ones in his ideal state. Thus, all that was left for the blind was to eke out the meagerest of existence by begging on the streets. For many centuries the blind were held in this status, and historical writings provide ample evidence of its wide spread and long duration.

A decisive change was brought about with the growth of the mono-theistic religions. The blind were given the right to live and beyond that, the right to be protected. The early church considered them as its special wards and throughout the middle ages they, together with children and the aged, were considered preferred receivers of charity. It is interesting to note that these three groups are still singled out as special categories in the framework of social legislation in the United States and in other countries. At the end of this second period, an increasing number of blind individuals proved to themselves and to their contemporaries that they were capable of outstanding achievements, and this aroused the attention and devotion of those who were to become the pioneer educators of the blind.

The third historical phase, that of the integration of the blind into society, began with the establishment of educational facilities for blind children. Since then many changes have occurred which justify our contention that we live in a period in which the integration of the blind into society is, although gradually, becoming a reality.

I would like to offer to you a few facts which can be cited as proof of this historical interpretation. Since I have personally witnessed most of the changes which took place in work for the blind in the western world and particularly in the United States over the last 40 years, I can do this in a somewhat autobiographical manner. In these four decades or so, the world as a whole has indeed seen great changes; the aftermath of the First World War, the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Atomic Age, and now the Age of Automation. During these years events in work for the blind have taken place in the United States which are, in my opinion, no less revolutionary.

Let me first discuss the rise of public school education for blind children in the United States. After the first years of growth of classes of blind children in public schools in the early 1900's, the enrollment levelled off and remained proportionally the same for many years. It amounted to no more than ten to fifteen percent of the total blind school age population as registered with the American Printing House for the Blind. From 1952 on, the enrollment in public school programs showed a steady increase until in 1962, 58% of all registered blind children were enrolled in such programs. In fact, the largest share of the increase due to retrolental fibroplasia appears to have been absorbed by the public school programs in which attendance of blind children multiplied ten times, enrollment in residential schools for the blind rose from 5,108 in 1952 to 7,040 in 1962. The reasons for this shift I have discussed in my article;2 "History and Development of Specialized Education for the Blind", and, therefore, I will mention here only the three factors which I consider most responsible for it. (1) The increasing integration of the blind into society; (2) the American high regard for public school education, and (3) the recognition of the importance of family life for the individual child.

There are other changes which also point in the direction of integration. Residential schools for the blind have turned from more or less 'closed' schools to more or less 'open' schools, thus following the trends which characterize changes in the public school education. Personnel in these schools, particularly the teachers, are required in many States to be professionally trained and certified in their area of specialization. Administratively most schools function now under State Departments of Education and are thus an integral part of the public school systems of their States. Public school programs for blind children also have undergone considerable changes. They have developed from so-called braille classes which were segregated into resource programs and itinerant teacher provisions. In these the blind child is placed in the regular classroom and receives supportive assistance, given to him and his teacher by an instructor especially trained in the education of the blind. Programs for the education of teachers of the blind were, until some decades ago, conducted almost exclusively by a few residentail schools for the blind. At present they are a part of the teacher education offered by public and private Colleges and Universities within their regular course programs.

In the field of work with the adult blind, the following developments are significant for the trend toward integration. Vocational Rehabilitation and its underlying philosophy, has undergone perhaps the greatest change. When I came into work for the blind in the early 1920's the prevailing practice was to assume that the 'blind' could do certain types of work and these were generally taught in schools and workshops for the blind. Compare this with our present-day approach which asks and tests for the individual blind person's aptitudes and interests, provides training in the kind of work for which he is best suited, no matter whether any blind person has done it before, and assists him in being placed in the field for which he has been successfully trained. This complete change in approach has resulted in an increased influx of blind people into industry, private enterprise, and the professions. The legal framework for this advance in the United States was provided by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, particularly in its 1954 Amendments, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration has used it boldly and imaginatively to build up strong programs serving all disabled citizens.

Social legislation, for which the Federal government assumed responsibility only in 1935, has secured a modicum of subsistence for most blind people in need of it and provided the starting means for the personal and economic rehabilitation of many. The Federal assumption of responsibility for the public assistance programs has contributed to a general rise in the standards of public assistance and to a greater uniformity of these services in all States from which the blind derived particular advantage. It is obvious that economic security is a precondition for successful integration into society.

About half a century ago, most agencies for the blind conducted as an integral part of their services a home for the blind, sometimes two, one for men and for women. This continued the European practice by which blind children would enter the residential school and upon graduation transfer from it to another building where handicrafts would keep them productively occupied until they became too old to work and were moved to still another building -- on the same grounds -- for the aged blind. This gave blind persons a kind of 'cradle to grave' (or 'womb to tomb') security, but it also isolated them completely from the community, apparently to the satisfaction of the then prevailing attitudes. Almost none of the American residential schools followed this practice but many adult agencies provided homes for the blind, often in connection with their workshops. If we survey the field now, we find very few of these institutions in the United States and their demise is deplored by few if any. It is in line with the increasing integration of the blind into society.

Many consider the limitation in mobility as one of the most serious effects of blindness. At a time when blind people were confined to residential schools, to special workshops, and generally to a life-space restricted by the concepts of the seeing world concerning the effects of blindness, there was no great need for mobility. True, there always existed some individual blind people who overcame the societal restrictions and acquired mobility and other skills, but this was done apart from the generally prevailing confinement of the blind to a restricted life-space. In our days when many blind children go to public schools, blind students attend colleges, blind people are trained for and pursue many kinds of work and take part in all phases of communal life, there is an urgent need to develop their mobility potential to its fullest. It was not by chance only that Dr. R. Hoover and his associates developed the longcane technique in connection with the rehabilitation of warblinded service personnel. Here was a group of young and potentially fully active individuals who needed mobility as an essential prerequisite for their return to normal life. Mobility skills and mobility training techniques have been refined and systematized so that they constitute now a special field of instruction for which training facilities are available at two colleges in the United States. Mobility training is rapidly becoming a part of the rehabilitation of all blind people in the United States. It promotes their integration into the normal stream of life.

There are other facts which could be mentioned in support of our thesis that we live in the period of integration of the blind into society because this trend permeates most of the activities in our field.

But let us not be over-optimistic -- we are only on the way to integration and there are some potent factors which must be overcome before full integration can be achieved. They are largely in the area of socio-psychological interaction and we find them to be the same as or very similar to those working against integration of other minority groups. Cowman stated in his book, The War Blind in American Social Structure, that one must recognize that the blind person holds a marginal position in society and 'presents an unusual stimulus to uninitiated others, a stimulus which may arouse feelings of threat, conflict and fundamental impotence'. Since it is human nature to avoid negative stimuli, seeing people may tend to avoid those who are blind or show reluctance to meet them in a closer personal relationship. The same avoidance reaction may also be caused by an unwillingness to enter into a situation of social contact where the partner's reactions are less predictable than those usually encountered. This, I believe, is the case when a clerk or waiter turns toward the seeing companion of the blind person and asks him about the latter's wishes. It is not so much a lack of recognition of the blind person's capability to take care of himself, but rather the avoidance of a situation which the individual feels less competent to handle.

Wright, in her excellent book: Physical Disability -- A Psychological Approach points out that a physical disability puts a person into an inferior status position'. 'She states: 'The stereotype of a person with a disability typically describes one who has suffered a great misfortune and whose life is consequently disturbed, distorted, and damaged forever.' I do not need to cite to you examples for this attitude which is daily incurred by the blind and those who work with them. The stereotypes about physically disabled persons in general are, in the case of the blind, strongly supported by a process of early conditioning which presents the blind, in fairy tales and folklore, as helpless beggars and uses them for moralizing purposes as examples of an underprivileged group which lives only by the good deeds of others. The commonly accepted connotations of the word 'blind' itself, as in 'blind fury', 'blind alley', etc., also reinforce negative attitudes. In addition, religious influences and naive concepts of justice as well as superstitions explain blindness as retribution for sins committed by parents or ancestors, or put the responsibility for his blindness on the blind person himself. Psychoanalytically oriented theories stress the importance of sight in the psychosexual development of the individual and equate loss of sight with castration, referring also to the Oedipus legend.

Since we are talking about attitudes, I would like to discuss with you two points of view among those who work with the blind, both, in my opinion, extreme and unrealistic. On the one hand, there are people who feel that they must describe their concept of blindness by enumerating and detailing all the possible losses it can generate. True, blindness is a severe loss which seriously affects the cognitive, social and economic functions of any individual. But what good does it serve to depict the blind in such a way that the blind person can hardly recognize himself, lost in all these losses, and that the seeing are led to conclude that there is either no or only rarely a chance for their full rehabilitation. On the other hand, there are those who claim that blindness is just a nuisance or inconvenience. Surely, blindness is more than that since both terms imply that you can get rid of it if it annoys you. Statements of this kind, if they are made by professional workers in the field, inevitably cast serious doubt on their realism and are taken for wishful thinking only. While the loss appraisal leads one to believe that, in the face of such overwhelming losses, nothing really effective can be done, the nuisance appraisal evokes the question why, in the face of such a rosy evaluation, anything should be done. I want to warn of both appraisals, since they prevent a recognition of the actual status and needs of the individual blind person. In my opinion, they do far more harm than good, though they may be temporarily captivating.

As a result of all these influences, the majority group tends to have preconceived ideas about the capacities and other personal characteristics of blind people. Collectively, they are inclined to separate them from the majority and to provide for them those services which they think are good for them and needed by them. This approach dominated the early charitable agencies for the blind, and there are unfortunately too many of them which have not yet shed it. One of the most encouraging facts in this situation is that blind persons themselves have assumed increasing leadership in guiding their own destinies. This is expressed by the important role which organizations of the blind are playing in promoting legislation on behalf of the blind and determining the direction of work for the blind in general. It also shows up in the ever-growing number of executives and employees of public and private agencies serving the blind who are themselves usually visually handicapped. As an example, international and national conventions in our field were dominated in the past largely by sighted representatives while in the more recent decades blind persons themselves have assumed leadership and greater responsibilities.

The social position of the blind has great similarity to that of other minority groups, as pointed out by many writers. Although there are factors in the socio-psychological position of the blind, which go beyond the simile with minority groups, there is good evidence by research that negative attitudes toward the blind have a significant correlation with anti-minority and anti-Negro attitudes and also with 'authoritarian personality'.5 It stands to reason, then, that any efforts directed toward reducing anti-minority and authoritarian attitudes will also have a salutary effect upon the position of the blind in society and will improve their outlook for full integration. This, indeed, is the challenge of our time in the United States.

What has been pointed out so far pertains largely to the social impact of blindness in the Western World, particularly the United States. I would like to digress from this for a moment to call your attention to the unique status of the blind as an emergent group in some of the developing countries of Africa and Asia. In many of these countries, the 'ward' position of the blind as we know it from Western culture is either greatly abbreviated or skipped entirely. This is exemplified by the way in which efforts are made to provide education for blind children in some parts of of the developing world. Residential schools are in many of these countries non-existent or serve only an infinitesimal number of those who need an education. Many of these blind children who had no opportunities for gaining an education are now placed in regular public schools and provided with the special help they need. Similarly the adult blind of some of these countries are not hampered by traditions of charitable institutions which would tend to keep them in a 'ward' position, but are integrating in their societies, contriubuting their individual skills to the economic and social life of their communities.

What Goethe, Germany's greatest poet, said about 150 years ago when the United States was one of the developing countries, may very well be applied to those of today:

'Amerika, du hast es besser' America, you fare much better

Als unser Kontinent, das alte. Than this old continent of ours.

Hast keine verfallens SchltJsser No basalt rocks your land enfetter

Und keine Basalte. No ruined towers.

Dich st'drt nicht im Innern, Your mind feels no troubles

Zu lebendiger Zeit, When time is for life

Unnutzes Errinnern From useless past struggles

Und vergeblicher Streit. 'And fruitless old strife.'

In conclusion, let me ask the question, why it is of practical importance to recognize that we live in the age of integration of the blind into society? If we accept this interpretation of our historical place in work for the blind, we not only gain an objective for our efforts but also a criterion for what is desirable and undesirable in work for the blind. "Institutions and services for blind individuals, unimpeded by further handicaps, which separate the blind and keep them separated are regressive. Even though they may be temporarily beneficial to a blind individual, they are undesirable and inimical to the interest of the blind. Institutions and services which aim at the integration of the blind and instill in them the spirit of independence and strengthen those qualities and skills which will enable them to take their rightful place as members of their society are progressive, desirable and in the best interest of the blind.6

With this set as a goal, our efforts can combine with those of others who are struggling for their rightful place and move us on toward the fulfilment of an age-old ideal.

1. French, Richard S., From Homer to Helen Keller. New York, American Foundation for the Blind, 1932, 31-57.

2. Lowenfeld, Berthold, "History and Development of Specialized Education for the Blind". The New Outlook for the Blind. 1956, 401-408.

3. Cowman, Alan G., The War Blind in American Social Structure. New York American Foundation for the Blind, 1957, XV.

4. Wright, Beatrice A., Physical Disability - A Psychological Approach. New York; Harper & Brothers, 1960, 17.

5. Cowen, E. L., Underberg, R. P. , and Verrillo, R. T., "The Development and Testing of an Attitude to Blindness Scale", Journal of Social Psychology, 1958, 297-304.

6. Lowenfeld, Berthold, "Cooperation in Work for the Blind, Here and Abroad". Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Convention of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, 1950, 19-20.

Back to Contents


By Don Capps

We have just concluded a most successful convention. A total of 130 persons attended the convention banquet. The theme of the convention dealt with our efforts to establish a State Commission for the Blind. Several members of a Legislative Committee investigating the problems of the blind were present.

Principal speakers included the NFB Secretary, Eulasee Hardenburgh. Dr. Fred L. Crawford of the New York Lighthouse for the Blind, who has been highly instrumental in our efforts to secure a State Commission for the Blind, and Speaker Protem of the House of Representatives, Mr. Rex L. Carter.

The Donald C. Capps Award, established by Ways and Means for the Blind of Augusta, Ga. was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Morrison,

Back to Contents


"Blind persons throughout South Carolina have lost faith in our state Welfare Department, " according to the president of the statewide Aurora Club of the Blind. Donald C. Capps, who is also second vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind, charged in a recent issue of the PALMETTO AURORAN that the state agency controlling blind welfare programs has for years failed to make use of funds earmarked for those programs and has avoided meeting the most obvious needs of
its clients.

"There are records to prove that during the past five years the state director of welfare either turned back to the state or diverted for other purposes nearly $200,000 of funds which the state had appropriated for cash assistance to the needy blind," Capps said. "The records further show that some of these funds were used to grant salary increases to welfare employees."

The South Carolina blind leader asserted that the department's failure to pass on the earmarked funds means that "three times that amount, or about $600,000, of federal matching funds were lost to the needy blind. We feel certain that a further probe into the records would show that in prior years the Welfare Department had a similar record of depriving needy blind people of state and federal funds."

In a striking illustration of the department's inaction and indifference, Capps pointed to an incident which occurred last May when the Aurora Club contacted an official of the local Jewish Community Center to enlist his aid in finding a position for one of its members. "This official was extremely indignant, informing us that for three weeks we had been promising to contact him concerning the operation of the Center's concession stand. Immediately we realized that the official had confused us with the Welfare Department; and when we explained this his attitude promptly changed. Since this official was conviced that the Welfare Department was not going to contact him, he offered the concession rights to the Aurora Club -- and in one week's time the stand was in operation, providing a supplementary income to a blind lady who very badly needed the extra income."

Capps added that as a result of the state agency's failure to find jobs for trained and qualified blind persons, "for several years now many of our Cedar Springs graduates have found it necessary to leave S.C. in search of greater opportunities." He declared that the disillusionment of blind Carolinians "has culminated over a period of years through the discovery by blind leaders of wholesale wrongdoing and their futile efforts to negotiate certain desperately needed benefits.

"On each occasion our pleas fell on deaf ears -- so that we had no choice but to sponsor legislation which has forced the granting of benefits which could have been peacefully and gracefully granted by the Welfare Department," he said.

"As a highly respected Auroran recently put it, the Aurora Club is the only protectorate the blind people of the state have. The only choice left to them is to strive for a state agency which will not shortchange the blind."

Capps observed that the blind of the state were becoming increasingly disenchanted with the "glossy rhetoric of Welfare Department officials at blind meetings where the real story is not given. Never is there any mention of blind aid recipients being deprived of thousands of dollars of funds to which they are rightfully and legally entitled. Not one word can be heard concerning the opposition of welfare officials to vending stand operators receiving all their net earnings in order to bring their income more in line with the average of southern states. To the uninformed these glowing reports may have meaning -- but to those who know the documented facts such reports are not merely empty but deceitful," he said.

Back to Contents


by Homer Nowatski

Mr. Emil O. Arndt, after an illness of several weeks, died at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Illinois, Thursday morning, September 9, 1965. He is survived by four sisters, his wife Carol, daughter Karen, and son Philip.

Emil was born in Hewitt, Wisconsin, June 7, 1902, son of Albert and Bertha Busjion Arndt. He graduated from the then Wisconsin School for the Blind, Janesville. He worked in private industry for a number of years, and then at the Milwaukee Workshop for the Blind as a unit supervisor. From 1942 to 1946 he was employed as a Placement Counselor for the Wisconsin Division for Adult Blind, Milwaukee. Mr. Arndt served as President of the Badger Association for the Blind which operates a home for the blind in Milwaukee. From 1940 to 1961, he was Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind. From 1946 to 1947 he worked for private industry in Chicago.

In July of 1947, he and his family moved to Springfield where he took a position with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation as Placement Counselor for the Blind. He remained in this position until 1960, when he was appointed Business Enterprise Consultant with the Division. Mr. Arndt was a member of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, the National Rehabilitation Association, the Illinois Rehabilitation Association, local, state, and national organizations of the blind. He served as Treasurer, and at his death was President of the Mary Bryant Home Association, which operates a home for blind men and women in Springfield.
He was an active member of the Springfield 25 Club, a group of businessmen dedicated to aiding the expansion and development of the Mary Bryant Home. He was a Board member and active worker for the Jerome Methodist Church.

Last rites were held at the Staab Funeral Home and burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Reverend Mr. Thomas Swantner conducted the services. At this time, it is most difficult for me, a close friend and associate, to put feelings into written words. I draw my strength from others, Emil's many friends and associates. Reverend Swantner in his message said, "Emil was a 'Good Man;' that he lived as an example for all of us; his influence will be with us for years to come." In October, 1964, Emil was given the Mary McCann Award by the Illinois Federation of the Blind, which is inscribed, "For unselfish and thoughtful consideration to the problems of the blind citizens of Illinois, to the end that they may live a full and useful life in their community."

Those of us who worked with and were associated with Emil through the years were buoyed up by his sense of humor and love of fun. On the other hand, we all admired his sense of responsibility and concern for others. Few employees of a public agency have gained the respect and love of the people he worked so hard to serve. Emil saw worth and possibilities for success in each individual, no matter how limited the potentials seemed to others, and regardless of the economic and personal status. He succeeded in helping many such people, when often the rest of us had decided the task impossible. The many tangible and personal expressions of respect for Emil and sympathy for the family attest to his good influence and fine work which will live on to add to "Good Men's Immortality."

Our expressions of sympathy and sharing in their loss go out to Carol and the children.

Back to Contents


Many of the data of Emil's biography are contained in Homer Nowatski's account. I shall add only a few other facts and mention some personal remembrances. The formal record is very unrevealing of the man and of the event.

Emil Arndt participated in the founding of the NFB at Wilkes-Barre. Moreover he occupied an important post in that organization for the succeeding 21 years. He discharged the duties of his office in a steady and a competent way. In the first few years there were few duties to discharge for he was the treasurer of an organization without money.

I first met Emil on the train to Wilkes-Barre. He was at that time President of the Badger State Advancement Association of the Blind, an organization of the blind which then did and still operates a home for the blind in Milwaukee. On that same train were Mary McCann, Ed Collins, Frank Hall and Lucille DeBeer. There was naturally a good deal of talk about the meeting to which we were travelling. Who would be there? What did the Pennsylvanians who had issued invitations to it have in mind? What were the interests of the various out-of-staters? Should we attempt to move past informal cooperation on a limited number of objectives activated through stages to the immediate establishment of a formal structure with general powers and broad purposes? For Emil, choice among the alternatives was easy. With very little argument and no doctrinal qualms, he was ready for the great undertaking.

At Wilkes-Barre Emil showed the same simple and direct approach. His role and his bearing were casual and easy-going. They were never disinterested and never negative. He had no concern about the details of the constitution or its draftsmanship. Protracted discussion or debate were not his long suit: "Let's lay down the main lines and get the show on the road".

Traveling with Emil from Chicago to Wilkes-Barre and spending two days with him there, I had ample opportunity to see him in action and become acquainted with his personality. I saw in him then those traits which he continued to display during the following years; friendliness, good nature, informality, practicality, responsibility, a simple faith in the essential decency and competence of people, including the blind.

The others saw those qualities in him, too. We elected him treasurer, an office to which he was continuously re-elected each two years thereafter through the election of I960. As a result of the internecine warfare he retired from that office in 1961 and surrendered his active role in the Federation at the same time.

For better or for worse Emil was not an intellectual. His mind was not speculative or reflective. Philosophical or doctrinal discourse he could live without. He was not a man of books -- neither writing nor reading them. He was not a formulator of platforms nor an inventor of new programs. He was also not really a very political being. He never formed or led a faction. He did not apply himself to rounding up the votes. When the time came for political arm-twisting, he was somewhere else. Emil was not so much above the battle as beside it. The acceptance of him as treasurer was complete. It was a rare year when anybody ran against him for the office.

By the same token Emil was a generous man. Over the years I never knew him to be carping, vindictive, mean or small. He took things in stride and was rarely apprehensive or disturbed. He knew that difficulties would pass and that time would take care of most things.

He believed in men. He had faith in us and in himself. He knew our cause would triumph.

Emil was a reliable treasurer. He was a steadfast friend, a warm and cordial co-worker, a decent, responsible, and socially conscious human being.

Back to Contents


In any history of the blind of the United States and their welfare, 1940 is bound to be an important date. Historians may very well disagree about the reason for that importance, depending on their vantage point and orientation. By any measure of significance, however, the founding of an organization of the blind which became truly national in scope, which provided an instrumentality for the self-expression of the blind themselves, which flourished at least a quarter of a century, which had a noticeable impact on programs for the blind, public and private, and on the lives of thousands of blind persons, will have to be reported, analyzed and explained if not explained away.

Those of us who were at Wilkes-Barre had the historical luck to be in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing.

What of the men of Wilkes-Barre today and in the intervening time? We have already spoken of Emil Arndt. What of the rest? Twenty-five years later is a suitable time to call the roll.

Was their attendance at Wilkes-Barre an augury of a future national role? All of the men of Wilkes-Barre at that time were leaders of organizations of the blind in their own states. Most continued in those roles until removed by death or disability. Two of them remain as state leaders today: Frank Rennard and Evelyn Burlingame Pickens.

Frank Rennard joined the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind in 1935, was president from 1939 to 1943, and is now completing another two-year term. Evelyn Rose (later to be Mrs. Burlingame) was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Federation in 1931 and has remained with it until today when she is currently completing a term as treasurer.

Gayle Burlingame died in 1945. Until that time he had continued as the principal figure in the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind of which he had been principal founder in 1931. He played a very significant role in the NFB, especially during its first two years. M. David Treatman, close collaborator of Gayle Burlingame, co-founder of the Pennsylvania Federation in 1931, continued a role of leadership after Gayle Burlingame's death down to the time of his own death in 1955. He attended NFB conventions during the 1940's. Of the three other Pennsylvanians who were present at the founding in Wilkes-Barrer Robert Brown died in 1965 after 15 years of retirement. He was elected 1st vice president at Wilkes-Barre but ceased to be active in the organization after his term was completed; Harold Alexander is still alive at 87 living on his farm in Cadiz.

The delegates from Illinois were Mary McCann and Ed Collins. Mary McCann was elected secretary at Wilkes-Barre, left the office within a few months and soon lost contact with the NFB though she continued active in her state organization. She died in the 1950's. Ed Collins served a couple of terms as second vice president of the NFB in the mid-40's, attended national conventions down through 1951, in the meantime holding various offices in his state organization, including that of the presidency of the Illinois Federation.

Glenn Hoffman of Ohio, who was the principal figure in the Mutual Federation of the Blind of Cleveland, continued in that role and as a leader of the Ohio Council of the Blind down into the 1960's. He served two terms on the Executive Committee of the NFB and regularly attended national conventions. In 1959 he retired from his position in the Ohio State Rehabilitation and Vending Stand Program.

Back to Contents


(Editor's note. The following is reprinted from FOB NEWS (Prevention of Blindness), Summer, 1965.)

New York, N.Y. - The National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, Inc. has urged that eye examinations for glaucoma, a blinding eye disease involving increased intraocular pressure, begin at age 35 rather than 40 years.

The Society said its suggestion for earlier examinations is based on investigations indicating that glaucoma may be found "not infrequently" among persons in their 30's, and on the improvement in scientific knowledge and diagnostic equipment for glaucoma.

In a special statement within the health agency's annual report for 1964, the Society's Committee on Glaucoma, comprised of 15 eminent U.S. ophthalmologists, recommended that 35 years be set as the starting age for all public glaucoma screening programs.

Glauconna, the second greatest cause of blindness in the United States, accounts for nearly 14 percent of all loss of sight. Often referred to as the 'sneak thief of sight," glaucoma in its most common form can destroy vision slowly and painlessly without arousing any obvious warning signs in the victim. Blindness from glaucoma is irreversible.

The National Society has previously estimated that more than 1,375,000 Americans over 40 years have glaucoma, and that half of these are not aware of it. The disease is found to strike about two percent of adults over 40, the Society said. It had previously listed 40 as the critical age for adults to begin having eye examinations for glaucoma.

Back to Contents


(Editor's note. The Blinded Veterans Association held its annual convention at the Statler Hilton Hotel, New York City, July 12-17, 1965.)

The following men were installed to serve as officers for the coming year:

James F.C. Hyde, Jr., Washington, D.C., National President

Irvin P. Schloss, Washington, D.C., National Vice President

Simon Gerbush, Brooklyn, New York, National Secretary

Kenneth C. Clark, Miami, Florida, National Treasurer

James H. Butler, Miami Springs, Florida, National Sergeant at Arms

Reverend Thomas J. Carroll, Newton, Massachusetts, National Chaplain

Mr. Hyde is currently with the Bureau of the Budget in the Executive Offices of the President as Assistant Chief of the Office of Legislative Reference.

He was blinded in World War II at Anzio and was retired from the U. S. Army in 1944 with the rank of Major.

Re-elected National Vice President of the Blinded Veterans Association is Irvin P. Schloss of Washington, D.C. Blinded in World War II in France, Mr. Schloss is currently the Legislative Analyst and Washington Representative of the American Foundation for the Blind, Inc. He has served several terms on the Association's Board of Directors and has been elected to the offices of National Treasurer and National Secretary. Mr. Schloss also served as Executive Director.

The delegates voted to hold the 1966 Annual Convention in Miami, Florida with the Florida Regional Group as Hosts.

The following resolutions were adopted among others. Resolution No. 3.

That the Blinded Veterans Association urges all Administrative and legislative measures be taken to prevent automatic vending machines from thwarting the Congressional intent embodied in the Randolph-Shepperd Act of 1936.

This Resolution was unanimously adopted.

Resolution No. 4.

That the Blinded Veterans Association hereby urges the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration and other responsible Federal and State officials to adopt and enforce vending stand employment policies and procedures which, in keeping with the true spirit and intent of the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, will assure highest priority to those individuals totally deprived of sight.

This Resolution was unanimously adopted.

Resolution No. 9.

That the Blinded Veterans Association supports enactment of legislation permitting the air carriers to grant "two for one" privileges the same as is now extended by the railroad and bus lines.

This Resolution was adopted.

As of July 30, 1965, the Blinded Veterans Association membership totals 1,134 members in good standing.

Back to Contents


By Mary E. Switzer

(Editor's note. At the dedication of new rehabilitation research and training center, Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Center, Johnstown, Pa., June 11, 1965, Miss Mary E. Switzer, Commissioner of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare made the following remarks which were published in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - APPENDIX, June 30, 1965.)

These centers in cooperation with universities throughout the country, are needed to help overcome the acute shortage of rehabilitation personnel knowledgeable in clinical research and training.

Congress recognized this need in 1962 by making the first appropriation for establishment of research and training centers. Since the VRA has allocated a total of about $9.5 million to 14 centers, including $4 million in 1965.

The first 10 centers established were medically oriented: New York University, Minnesota, Washington, Baylor, Western Reserve, Emory, Tufts, Temple, George Washington, Colorado. The training program includes training of all types of graduate or undergraduate students working in any of the medical or medically allied and other professions in rehabilitation.

There are two mental retardation centers -- one at the University of Wisconsin, the other at the University of Texas. The research and training conducted by these centers are essentially the same as those in the medically oriented centers, except that they are directed to specific problems of the mentally retarded.

That leaves two vocational rehabilitation centers -- one at Hot Springs -- University of Arkansas, and this one in Johnstown, affiliated with University of Pittsburgh.

The training is for graduate or undergraduate students and professionals working in any of the rehabilitation professions.

Back to Contents


Clifford Jensen, president of the Colorado Federation of the Blind and a ten-year veteran of the organized blind movement in Colorado, died recently in Denver, Colorado. Death was due to a stroke, the result of damage to his vascular system caused by severe diabetes from which he had suffered from age 13. He was 43 years old last August and is survived by his wife Marie and four children, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 12 to 21.

Again as a result of his diabetes Cliff went blind 10 1/2 years ago. His adjustment was rapid and constructive. Within a year he had joined the Denver Area Association, the local affiliate of the Colorado Federation of the Blind. Almost from the beginning he assumed a role of leadership. At the time of his death he was nearing the end of a second 2-year term as president of the Colorado Federation, a four-year period during which his devoted, sighted wife, Marie, has been corresponding secretary. Prior to his election to the presidency, Cliff served two terms on the Board of Directors. At the end he was starting his third 1-year stint as
president of the Denver Area Association of the Blind.

Cliff's first NFB convention was Santa Fe in 1959 which he attended in an unofficial capacity. Thereafter, either as a delegate or as alternate, he attended all NFB conventions, including the 25th Anniversary Convention in Washington this year.

Cliff was active in the Skyline Lions' Club of Denver and headed up its Sight Saving Committee. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Optometric Center.

The first vice president of the Colorado Federation at the time of Cliff's death was Sam Matzner of Colorado Springs. He requested to be permitted to step aside and joined in a movement to ask Ray McGeorge to act as interim president and chairman of the forthcoming state convention to be held on October 30 (not on November 6 as reported in the September issue of the BRAILLE MONITOR).

At the time he went blind Cliff was a laboratory machinist at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. 1 first became acquainted with him in the consideration as to whether he should seek to retain his job and in the successful effort he made to do so. He remained in the post during the ensuing ten years -- designing and making precision instruments and equipment used for teaching and research at the Medical Center in Denver. At the Colorado Federation convention a year ago Cliff displayed a device which he and a group of associates had developed and which he was then trying to get Rehab to sponsor. The device is a photo-
electric mechanism which enables blind people to read glass-covered gauges. It translates the light and moving needle into sound. The particular purpose the inventors had in mind was to enable blind people to do automobile tune -up work, but it can also be used in any situation in which it is necessary to read a gauge.

I feel very fortunate to have been in Denver so recently -- at the end of July -- and to have had dinner with the Jensens. That was a very warm, cordial, and merry affair. Cliff was in fine fettle. He probed Dick Wilson about the "speak-in", quizzed me at length about my role in the student activities at Berkeley, and discussed problems of the Colorado Federation. He was alert, interested, obviously enjoyed himself, concerned about others and the organized movement. He was particularly
happy at the restoration of strength and tranquility in the Federation.

For me this will be a fine way to remember Cliff. That is not a substitute for his presence, but it's the best we can do for the friends who have gone.

Back to Contents


From Welfare In Review, August 1965, aid to the blind recipients and payments to recipients in May 1965: Number of recipients - 95,387. Total amount of payments to recipients - $8,244.36. Average per month - $86.43.

Another recent death was that of Hub Cochrane who for many years was an employee of Utah Services for the Blind, working under the supervision of its head, Don Perry.

From Performance, September 1965, retirement has claimed one of the most colorful enthusiastic, and effective workers for employment of the handicapped in the Washington area. He is Arthur "Carl" Murr, who recently retired from the Medical Division at the U. S. Civil Service Commission, and has since moved to Florida. In 1955, he was named Vocational Rehabilitation Officer at the U.S. Civil Service Commission where he noted that one of the greatest drawbacks to Federal employment of the handicapped was the lack of any person responsible for the handicapped in each Federal agency or even a focal point where the handicapped
could apply and receive consideration. Frequently cited is the coordinator program which Mr, Murr originated as one of the most significant developments in the history of the Commission.

PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Scranton signed into Pennsylvania law two legislative bills to increase aid to the blind. One measure establishes a new federal- state blind pension program which is separate from the present state setup. This will allow the state to take maximum advantage of federal funds and increase the $70 a month maximum payment now authorized for grants to the needy blind. The other measure establishes a state blind pension program which will continue payments to those who do not qualify under the federal-state plan and increase such payments from $70 to $75 a month, according to the publication FROM THE STATE CAPITALS, October 1965.

On assuming his role as editor of the VFB NEWSLETTER (Virginia) James Nelson laid down the following guidelines: In assuming the position of editor of the VFB NEWSLETTER, your editor has a definite feeling of personal inadequacy for such an important function but yet recognizes the vital necessity of having a medium, such as the VFB NEWSLETTER, to periodically stress to VFB members and friends and to the general public the Federation philosophy that each blind person is
a separate individual and should have the right to succeed or fail, to be a saint or sinner, to be cheerful or grumpy, to be a scientist or a beggar; that the blind themselves (not the professional, ill-informed social worker) should take the lead in the solution of their problems, with the cooperation and assistance of sighted persons; that concepts in the public mind inimical to the blind should be countered by proper information and education; that Federationists and an informed public should persistently wage a vigorous campaign for the passage of legislation that would better enable the blind to live usefully and productively and elimination and defeat of measures that are narrow and restrictive that would not achieve wholesome objectives.

From The Michigan Council of the Blind Bulletin, Summer 1965: Following two years of political struggle between two rival agencies for the blind in Detroit, The Blind Service Center and the Metropolitan Society for the Blind, have now merged. The merged groups will bear the Metropolitan Society name and is being represented by eleven members taken from each Board of Directors. The M. S. B. in naming all blind members dropped all blind Trustees. The B.S.C. named three blind trustees. Bob Mahoney, John Luxon and Elmer Kapp. Raymond Wuenschel, former B.S.C. Director has been offered a staff job, reportedly at $10,000 a year, and at this writing it is not known whether this has been accepted. McAlister Upshaw continues as the M.S.B. Director. A number of blind people have criticized the M. S. B. as weak in realistic planning and demonstrable accomplishments, and very strong in paper shuffling and duplication of already adequate services. What is clearly obvious to many is that the coalition with Mac Upshaw consisting of the A. F. B. and the A. A. W. B. "Professional" has won out in a grueling tussle. The whole temor of their position while clothed in other words has been directed against the aggressive personality of Mr. Ray Wuenschel, whose connection in this area of back stage politics has been slight. It is interesting to note that the top spokesman for the American Foundation of the Blind and the A. A. W. B. appeared in opposition to Senator Kennedy's "Right to Organize Bill" which would have given blind people the privilege of being consulted when Federal money was to be spent for rehabilitation. There obviously is such a thing as having a job, power and prestige stake in continued dependency of the blind.

OHIO: Govenor Rhodes signed into Ohio law a measure designed to simplify the state's six public assistance programs and consolidate them for administration at the county level under state supervision. County welfare departments will be authorized to administer the six programs, which are aid for the aged, blind, disabled, dependent children, dependent children of unemployed and poor relief. The measure, effective next July 1, abolishes 28 city relief authorities and transfers their work to the county welfare departments. State Welfare Director Denver White said the new law will reduce the number of welfare offices in the state by 117. Under
the measure, counties will be required to pay about 6 per cent of the cost, the state 44 per cent and the federal government 50 per cent of the assistance programs. Provisions are also contained in the new law to enable the state to take full advantage of the federal medicare law. In another development, the Ohio Senate's commerce-labor committee said in a report to the legislature that adults on public assistance rolls should be required to attend training programs to break through the state's hard core of unemployment, according to the publication FROM THE STATE CAPITALS, September 1965.

From Rienzi Alagiyawanna in Ceylon, First Vice President of the International Federation of the Blind: "During the holidays I was busy organizing an agricultural rehabilitation centre for the partially blind. We intend to transform forty acres of forest into paddy fields. I am very anxious to make this experiment a success, since it will open up new avenues of rural employment for the blind. Last month, I was elected president of the All Ceylon Union of Teachers of Special Schools, and the work of this society is occupying so much of my time, that I cannot keep up-to-date with my correspondence. Anyway I am always ready to help the cause of the I. F. B. and I hope you will make use of my readiness to serve.'

Dr. L. Leon Reid, previously Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburg, has been appointed Director of the Greater Pittsburg Guild for the Blind.

Josef G. Cauffman, a featured speaker at our Philadelphia Convention, has retired after 20 years as principal of the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. His successor is David W. Olson, who was previously Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Blind.

Another retirement announced recently is that of Mrs. Ida Moore Theus, who has been principal of the Louisiana State School for Blind Negroes for the last 42 years. She built it from a tiny establishment to an accredited elementary and high school with a faculty of 29 and a student body of 130.

Yet another summer retirement was that of Francis B. lerardi as Managing Director of the National Braille Press, publisher of the Weekly News and other magazines.

From "down under", the Queensland Braille Writing Association monthly reports: "Mr. T.M. Fuery is making an appeal on behalf of the Pakistan Association of the Blind for donations of unwanted braille slates and frames or other equipment, which could be used to educate blind children." Tim made a sparkling impression on Federationsists during his feature talk on World Day at our Phoenix Convention. "The Queensland School for the Blind has adopted an aboriginal name: 'Narbethonge, ' which means a happy or cheerful place." The workshop in Brisbane has "recommended manufacture of shark meshing nets for the Department of Harbour and Marine in readiness for the next summer season." Another job handled by the workshop is collating the literature which the chest clinic issues to householders in connection with the compulsory health survey. In Australia, blind cricket teams compete fiercely for honors. The terms of this ancient sport sound strange but interesting to American ears. "Brisbane was the mecca for all interstate blind cricketeers, for the 7th interstate blind cricket carnival. The states of Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland were represented. Victoria and New South Wales qualified to play the final. Victoria defeated New South Wales out-right in the final two-day match, thus retained the David Blythe Shield and the George Smith Memorial Trophy. Ivan Molloy of Victoria won a number of trophies for his fine bowling and all-around play. In the match against Queensland, he achieved the "hat trick. " Ray Brooke of New South Wales, a totally blind player, won trophies for his batting. . . . The Governor of Queensland, Sir Henry Abel Smith, officially opened the carnival.

From "In Touch", published by the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales: In the Gwembe Valley in Zambia, Africa, a recent outbreak of measles affected more than 760 people seriously, resulting in 60 deaths. It also resulted in the blinding or partially blinding of 13 children. The research team which investigated this incident reported that "it was noted that the custom among the people of knocking out the upper incisor and canine teeth continues, at least among the girls and women. This is said to be done so that they may look something like their beloved cattle."

Olga Skorokhodova, famous Russian deaf-blind authoress and scientist, has celebrated her fiftieth birthday. She holds the title of Candidate of Educational Sciences and is a technical assistant at the Institute of Defectology in Moscow. In addition to her well known book "How 1 Perceive and Imagine the World Around Me," she has published a long article entitled "Has The Influence of My Life Experience Changed My Perceptions and Concepts?"

Dr. Fatima Shah, Second Vice President of the IFB, was featured in the cover story of Panorama, a magazine published by the United States Information Service to promote American-Pakistani relations.

The Federal Service Entrance Examination is again open to college graduates or those who will graduate from college this year. Examinations are given every few weeks, until April 19, 1966. From the list established by this examination, many blind people have been appointed to a wide range of government jobs.

The Jewish Braille Review reports that Hans H.M. Cohen, 128 Walm Lane, N. W. 2, London 1, England, is anxious to get in touch with all blind Americans who play chess for the purpose of establishing a United States Braille Chess Players Association as a branch of the International Blind Chess Association. The International Blind Chess Association conducts tournanrients and arranges chess matches between players by correspondence. Contact Mr. Cohen or Dr. Jacob Fried, Editor of the Jewish Braille Review, 48 E. 74th Street, New York, New York 10021.

From The New Beacon, July 1965: In the past 15 years, the agricultural labour force in England and Wales has shrunk by 100,000 to about 475,000 people; the numbers in Scotland have fallen dramatically from 97,500 in 1935 and 88,000 in 1950 to a present figure of 68,400. Mechanisation and intensive farming methods, and the urban drift, have made their mark. Farm employees now make up 2% of the British labour force. Over this same period the number of blind people in agricultural and horticultural jobs has remained fairly stable. In terms of the total employed blind population of England and Wales, the proportion of those working on the land was 4% in 1951, 4% in 1955, 3.7% in I960 and 3.3% at the last count in 1963. The figures for Scotland are somewhat lower: thirty years ago, of 1,688 employed blind people, 63 (3.6%) were in farming; today the percentage is only 2.45 (27 agricultural and horticultural workers, including poultry farmers, out of 1,104 blind employees). In detail, 330 English and Welsh blind people were working on the land at the end of 1963, of whom 119 were farmers, farm managers, market gardeners or farm workers, 67 were gardeners or groundsmen, and 144 had jobs in animal husbandry (including poultry raising).

The Iowa Commission for the Blind secured the contract to take over the cafeterias in the Iowa State Office Building and the State Capitol Building on October 1. Neil Butler, president of the Iowa Association will manage both of them for the present Mr. Mervin Flander, formerly of Waverly, Iowa, was appointed Director of Services for the Blind in Nevada. He took over his duties on Sept. 20. Mr. Flander was County Attorney in Bremer County, Iowa, when he lost his sight. . . .Mark
Metz, of Marshalltown, Iowa, a long-time member of the Iowa Association of the Blind, died on Friday, Aug. 14, The immediate cause of death was a blood clot on the lung, but he had previously submitted to major surgery.

Work has started on some capital improvements at the Center in Des Moines. A new heating plant is being installed, and the entire building will be air-conditioned. Also the shelving space for the library will be doubled. Money for this work was appropriated by the recent legislature. . . .Leo Hlubek who operates the stand in the county courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa, was struck by a car Friday evening, July 10 and was confined to the hospital in Iowa City for over a month. His wife, who is
sighted, was with him at the time, and he was also carrying a white cane. He has not been able to return to work at this writing. The sad part of it is that the hit-and-run driver who ran him down has never been found. . . . .Iowa will start its candy sale early in November. Our W.C.W. chairman, Jan Omvig of Des Moines, is chairman of this drive.

Back to Contents


(Editor's Note: On October 7, 1965, with John Nagle by his side. President Johnson issued a proclamation declaring October 15 to be White Cane Safety Day. This is the second year running for such a proclamation. Last year Congress by joint resolution initiated and sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind authorized the President so to designate October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day.

Within twenty-four hours of the public ceremony the NFB had multilithed and was distributing copies of the proclamation and of the remarks made by President Johnson at the time of the signing. All affiliates of the NFB had earlier been urged to secure proclamations from governors and mayors and to give notice to the mass media and interested agencies and organizations. Now with the circulation of the proclamation, state and chapter affiliates were urged to redouble their efforts. In view of the number of blind persons who were the victims of automobile accidents during the year, even though they were carrying white canes, the necessity to educate the public as to the significance of the white cane has become a matter of the greatest urgency. For reports about the death of Tony Moya and Charles Bird, and the injury of Tom Mendozo see BRAILLE MONITOR for September and July, 1965.

The White Cane Safety Day Proclamation is herewith set forth in full as are the remarks made by the President at the signing ceremony.)




On the streets and highways of our nation, the white cane instantly identifies the blind person, proudly coming and going on his own, but highly dependent for safety upon the courtesy and consideration of others. To make our people more fully aware of the significance of the white cane, and of the need for motorists to exercise caution and courtesy when approaching persons carrying a white cane, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved October 6, 1964 (78 Stat. 1003), has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1965, as White Cane Safety Day.

I urge civic and service organizations, schools, public bodies, and the media of public information in every community to join in observing White Cane Safety Day with activities which will promote greater awareness of the meaning of the white cane, and thus contribute to the safety of our blind citizens.

I call upon all our citizens to join individually in this effort, that blind persons in our society may continue to enjoy a high degree of independence.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have here unto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed. DONE at the City of Washington this seventh day of October in the

year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the (SEAL) one hundred and ninetieth.


By the President:

George W. Ball

Acting Secretary of State



The blind poet Milton once asked, "Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?" And he answered, "They also serve who only stand and wait."

Today, America's blind citizens -- nearly a half-million of them -- still wait. But now they wait for us. It is no longer the physical condition of blindness that rules their fate. It is our attitude toward that condition.

Too many blind people are condemned to a life of frustration because we have been unwilling to accept the fact that they can do more. Today we know from experience that blind people can master such diverse occupations as teaching, sales, computer work, public relations, journalism, and law. Only last month I had the pleasure of appointing a blind man to the Federal bench. And yet, too many of these people are making brooms and wicker furniture because no one has given them a chance to do anything else.

We must move forward in this area. We must understand that blind people want to live normal, productive lives -- and that they have the ability to do so.

Today, we proclaim October 15 as "White Cane Day." In so doing, we hope to remind the American people that the blind are dependent on them. Let us respond as the kind and compassionate people that we are.

When we see a blind person on the street, let us be courteous and helpful. Let us give him the right of way. If we are on foot, let us speak to him and offer our assistance at crossings.

And above all, let us light the world of our blind citizens with opportunity. The white cane is not a symbol of uselessness; it is a symbol of determination. But it is up to us to open the way.

The blind need no longer "stand and wait" to serve. They are merely awaiting our call.

Back to Contents