Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Published monthly in Braille and inkprint and distributed free to the blind by the American Brotherhood for the Blind, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, President. National headquarters and editorial offices at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.

Editor: Floyd W. Matson

Executive Secretary: Anthony Mannino, 205 South Western Avenue, Room 206, Los Angeles 4, Calif.






By Russell Kletzing

By Floyd W. Matson





"The two Twin-Vision Books came today. Our whole staff was thrilled by them. This afternoon one of our small readers, a boy of nine, came in with his mother and younger sighted brother. I showed the books to Alan, the blind youngster. I wish you could have had the fun we did watching him read them to the small brother. Well, the books went home with them even if we didn't have them 'processed' for circulation. I don't know who was the most pleased, but we all beamed, I can assure you. What a wonderful idea. Bless you all."

A remarkable new concept in reading which makes it possible for blind and sighted persons to enjoy the same book together is today meeting with an enthusiastic reception on the part of librarians, teachers and blind persons of all ages across the country.

The letter quoted above, from a city librarian for the blind, is representative of a large and ever-increasing volume of mail attesting to the educational value and fascination of this unprecedented service.

Known as "Twin-Vision Books," the educational project was recently introduced under sponsorship of the American Brotherhood for the Blind, which is distributing the specially prepared children's volumes as a free service to regional braille libraries and schools for the blind.

The books themselves represent a wide selection of popular pictured story-books, both classic and modern, designed for all younger age groups. With the cooperation of the publisher, the volumes are first taken apart, interleaved with pages of the identical text in braille, and then rebound in their new form.

"These new Twin- Vision Children's Books," according to Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind, "bridge a gap between the blind and the sighted which had never been adequately crossed before. Each had formerly had his own books, to which the other was barred. Now, for the first time, sighted and sightless are able to share the experience--and enjoyment--of reading together from the same volume."

Originally, Twin Vision Books were created to give the blind parent in particular an opportunity to read to his sighted child. As it turned out, this process was soon working in reverse as well -- with the sighted parent following the blind child as he read. With the enthusiastic greeting of twin-visioned literature by the blind child, a new and rich source of educational material has been made available to him to supplement his instruction in the field of reading.

After only a few months in general circulation these pictured children's books, with their printed pages interleaved with braille pages, have met with great success in braille libraries and in resource classes for blind children, especially in the primary grades. The blind child's desire to read is stimulated by the ability to enjoy the same books which have always been so popular with the sighted child.

The project of Twin Vision Books is the brain-child of Mrs. Jean Dyon Norris of Sherman Oaks, California, who designed, assembled and distributed the first copies and gave the program its present title. Now director of the flourishing project under auspices of the American Brotherhood, Mrs. Norris supervises the activities of an office and plant in Van Nuys, California, equipped with addressograph-multigraph braille duplicators and power binding machinery.

With this equipment, copies of the books can be speedily produced in large numbers. The key to the technique is that braille characters, in cast type, are set into a half-round, channeled segment; this is clamped to the duplicating machine, and paper is fed automatically between the rotating type and a rubber platen, embossing the dots on the paper.

The production process includes special gathering racks, along with holders for books in various stages of development. Binding is accomplished by the use of two separate machines: one designed to punch slotted holes, and another to hold open the plastic comb while holes are placed over the teeth. Both binders are operated automatically or with electric foot-control.

The efficient plant is stacked with boxes containing 10,000 of the most popular of pictured children's books. Volunteer assistance is employed for the laborious processes of taking books apart, interleaving braille pages, sorting type and packing. A vacuum forming machine for plastic has been acquired through the courtesy of Orbit of California, a firm in San Clemente. Experiments are currently underway toward developing simple diagrammatic raised drawings for the interpretation of pictures, together with primary arithmetic demonstrations.

President tenBroek points out that there is a vast potential audience for this unique double-purpose literature. "There are approximately 13,000 blind children in elementary and secondary schools in the United States who could benefit from Twin Vision Books now, and who would continue to use them in the future as parents of sighted children," he notes. "The range of Twin Vision Books also extends to blind grandparents and to other blind persons with young friends."

The manifold possibilities opened up to the blind by the American Brotherhood's project is graphically suggested by the letters of those who have introduced the books in schools, libraries and recreational facilities. For example, the head of one of the Library of Congress's regional libraries for the blind submits this comprehensive report:

"We believe that this project of the American Brotherhood for the Blind is one of the most worth-while and exciting developments in the field of library and educational work for the blind in recent years."

"Not only will we use Twin Vision Books for distribution to sighted parents with blind children and blind parents with sighted children, but we will also use them in our children's recreational program."

Pointing to activities conducted for blind children of the area during summer months by a national sorority, the library official continues: "Our building is the headquarters for this project which includes swimming, library activities , games, etc. The library-phase of the program should be immeasurably enhanced by your Twin Vision Books. We will also use these books in our demonstration and public relations programs throughout the state."

Another librarian, representing the special services division of a state library, points out that in addition to other advantages "now sighted and blind children can enjoy stories together. We have noticed in the past a great gulf between sighted and blind siblings, and feel that this will help their relationship in the home. "

The overwhelming response of blind children themselves, and of their parents, to the introduction of Twin Vision Books is equalled by the excitement of blind mothers and fathers as a result of this new means of participation and shared enjoyment with their seeing children. "If you could send any more of these books, it would mean so much to us as the children just love them and so do the mothers," writes an official of a Catholic school for the blind. And a librarian declares: "They are just wonderful and I know the children and parents are going to be delighted with them. We have so long needed books of this type. . . . We have a summer reading program for the blind and partially sighted children and we have needed something like this for the smaller children and for the blind mothers. Thanks so much for having these made up for us."

"So many of our young patrons," still another librarian writes, "like to have a print copy to go along with their braille book. This enables their parents to read along with them." And from the librarian of the nation's oldest school for the blind comes this accolade: "I would like you to know how very pleased we are with the books. There is no doubt that they will have a very active circulation, for we have had many requests for just this type of material. Blind parents with sighted children as well as sighted parents who want to aid their blind youngsters in simple, enjoyable reading exercises will find it useful."

One other significant group of Twin Vision Book users -- teachers both blind and sighted -- has expressed an equally enthusiastic endorsement of the literature, as this typical letter indicates:

"This project seems to be an answer to my prayer. I am a totally blind kindergarten teacher, and there is a very limited number of story books in braille on the kindergarten level. The nice thing about your transcribing arrangement is that the partially-sighted child would be able to see the pictures."

A superintendent of a state school for the blind writes, after receiving his first few copies, that "my primary teachers are quite enthusiastic about them. One asked if our children could be put on your mailing list, too." And the principal of another school, in almost identical language, observes that "we passed these books on to our primary teachers who are very enthusiastic about using them."

As for the response of the pupils themselves, another school official declares: "I wish that you could have seen how happy our little blind children were when they saw the books. Immediately they wanted to read them."

The new horizons opened for the blind child by Twin Vision Books are suggested by a state school principal: "This arrangement not only enables the parent to follow as his blind child reads braille; but also, in a school such as ours, it has the advantage of permitting the blind child and the partially seeing child to read from the same volume. In a sense, it brings print and braille closer to each other." Still more valuably, perhaps, as another correspondent has stressed, the project brings the children closer together: "It makes [the blind children] feel that they belong because the child who can see can enjoy the book, too."

On the same point, a discerning educator points out that where blind and partially seeing children are together in a class-room, a further value of the Twin Vision Books is that "the interest level is considerably raised and the teacher's job is made much easier."

Beyond their direct use in the schoolroom, the double-duty books have a positive "public-relations" value to the administrator, as one letter attests: "Such a book is also very useful to me, as Principal, to show to parents of pre-school blind children and to other interested adult groups who visit our school."

The affirmative response of readers and administrators has extended beyond the function of Twin Vision Books to the design and format of the volumes themselves. "You surely are to be congratulated," writes one staff director, "On the selections, the transcribing, and the attractiveness of the binding." And another, writing from distant Hawaii, comments that "the books are not only attractive and easy to handle but the subjects are well presented."

Finally, a widespread attitude among those who have already received the new dual-purpose literature -- teachers and students, parents and children, laymen and professionals--is that the American Brotherhood for the Blind has on its hands, not just a Twin Vision Book of fiction, but a true "success story."

"I think," to quote a representative letter from a blind school superintendent, "This is one of the finest ideas that has been forwarded in recent years."



"Senator Muskie. How many vending locations are there?"

"Miss Switzer. I have no idea. Maybe the public buildings people would know, but I have no idea. . . . There should be a record of it somewhere, I think. ..."

"Senator Muskie. We have nowhere any real statistics as to the number of blind who are eligible or the number who are employed and the number who are underemployed, to use your word. I think this would be extremely helpful."

"Miss Switzer. Mr. Rives, do you want to talk to that while I look something up here?"

This exchange between Senator Edmund Muskie of Maineand Miss Mary E. Switzer, director of the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, took place on June 26, 1962, in the course of one-day hearings conducted by a special subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Government Operations. The hearings were centered on a bill (S. 394) introduced by Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia with the support of major national organizations of and for the blind. Its purpose was to provide for the exclusive assignment of income from automatic vending machines to blind operators of vending stands on federal property. In addition the bill would establish an Appeals Board of no fewer than three persons, appointed by the President, empowered to enforce the preferences afforded to blind operators by the Randolph-Sheppard Act.

Protective Measures Urgent. As of late September, three months after the hearings of the Senate subcommittee, the fate of the new vending-stand bill was still uncertain. But one thing was no longer in doubt; that the legislation is urgently needed if blind operators of vending stands in public buildings across the land are to be protected from the unfair and unbeatable competition of automatic food-dispensing machines.

The brief hearings, ably conducted by Senator Muskie with the assistance of Senator Randolph, brought out definite and shocking evidence of the inroads already made upon the Randolph-Sheppard program by the robot vendors where their income is not assigned to the human operators of vending stands.

Testimony before the committee also pointed repeatedly to negligence, indifference, and even outright opposition on the part of responsible federal agencies to the goals of the vending stand program. Thus Irvin P. Schloss, legislative analyst for the American Foundation for the Blind, stressed two worsening conditions as sufficient justification for the proposed legislation:

"First, the program has become static in terms of new stand locations developed on Federal property, even though the nation-wide potential for stand locations has not been approached. Second, income to blind persons operating existing stands is being reduced as a result of the encroachment of automatic vending machines operated in the same buildings for the benefit of Federal employee groups."

In his written statement Schloss presented figures demonstrating that despite "extensive opportunities! for the location of vending stands on federal property only 565 such stands are presently in existence. "From 1958 to 1961, only 35 new stands had been located on Federal property in contrast to 238 new stands in non-Federal locations. During this same period of time, only 57 new operators were placed in stands on Federal property, in contrast to 277 new operators placed in stands in non-Federal locations," he pointed out.

The American Foundation's spokesman expressed the opinion of numerous witnesses before the subcommittee (including several senators) in concluding that "the basic reason for slowdown in developing new stand locations appears to be the unwillingness of the Federal agencies controlling Federal property to allow stands to be installed." He charged further that state licensing agencies, seeking to place blind operators in federal buildings," continually run into the obstacles of outright opposition and prolonged temporizing on the part of Federal property custodians."

In the face of this federal opposition, he maintained, the state agencies responsible for administering the vending-stand programs have been forced to focus their efforts on developing stand locations in state, local governmental and even private buildings. "Is it not reprehensible," asked Schloss, "that the Federal Government should drag its feet to the detriment of blind persons, even though it has the moral and legal obligation to take the leadership in this program?"

Federal Agencies Scored . Similar criticism of the federal administrators was voiced by Senator Karl E. Mundt of South Dakota in a letter declaring his belief that "circumstances have worked to nullify the intent of the Randolph-Sheppard Act." Noting that "with the advent of mechanical vendors, heavy inroads have been made on the income which blind vendors should expect in a public building," Senator Mundt continued: "I trust that the committee will not be deterred in its action by promises from the executive agencies that corrective administrative action will be taken. More than ample time has passed for such action to be suggested ..."

Senator Randolph, the "father" of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and sponsor of the current bill, testified that he had "received many appeals from individuals and organizations -- both governmental and private -- reiterating their concern that the original intent of the act is not being fully complied with and reaffirming the delay and difficulties experienced in efforts to locate vending stands in Federal buildings and on Federal property."

Pointing out that the installation of vending machines blocks opportunities for blind persons to operate vending stands, the West Virginia Senator declared that it is not desirable "to have a blind person in competition with a machine. This is a program in which human beings are at work and in which there was not only the recognition so many years ago of the skills of these persons, but also the humaneness involved ..."

National Federation Credited. Representative Ken Hechler, West Virginia Congressman and sponsor of the House version of the new vending-stand bill (H.R. 10287), cited as authoritative evidence for the measure a 1958 survey conducted in his state by the National Federation of the Blind. The relevant portion of his testimony follows:

"I think it is significant to note that according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of the Blind for the West Virginia State Administration in November, 1958 -- almost 4 years ago -- it was estimated that there were approximately 4,000 blind persons living in the State, Of this number there were 1,087 recipients of aid to the blind. In the conclusions and recommendations in this report it is recommended that --'the vending stand program be expanded by an active, aggressive search for new locations for blind operators interested, willing, and able to staff such vending stands after training.'

"Further, that -- 'as soon as possible, and in conjunction with an expanding program, operators on marginal locations should be transferred to more profitable locations. The guaranteed minimum return levied against the operators of profitable vending stands should be abolished. The three specialists now supervising the vending stand program should devote less time to the day-to-day supervision of existing vending stands and should alter the policy which now provides that the income from vending machines operated in competition with vending stands reverts to the supervising agency.'"

Among those submitting written testimony on behalf of the vending- stand bill was Harold Russell, national service administrator of AM VETS and nationally famous disabled veteran (who will be remembered by many readers as a prominent guest speaker at the 1957 convention of the National Federation of the Blind). Russell's statement struck at "the inaction or noncooperation of responsible officials" and expressed surprise that firm policy had not already been worked out to prevent the encroachment of vending machines upon the livelihoods of blind stand operators.

Citing an agency-by-agency survey of blind stands across the country, Russell asserted that the Department of Defense had been unable to furnish AMVETS any information regarding the number of vending stands on Army, Navy and Air Force properties. This lack of zeal on the part of the vast defense establishment was further borne out, Russell intimated, by his independent finding that a grand total of 43 stands are presently in operation throughout the entire network of defense department. "This does not present a particularly bright picture of implementation of legislation nor compliance with directive," he concluded.

Other organizations submitting oral or written testimony in favor of the vending-stand measure were: National Federation of the Blind, Blinded Veterans Association, American Association of Workers for the Blind, Philadelphia Association for the Blind, Washington Society for the Blind, West Virginia Federation of the Blind, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, and the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.

OVR Director Opposes Bill. The principal opposition to the proposed legislation came, as expected, from the federal administrative agencies primarily responsible for its operation -- the OVR and the General Services Administration. OVR Director Switzer, in lengthy interrogation by Senator Muskie, sought to shift the blame for program failures from the federal to the state level. Admitting that "there are many more people interested in blind stand opportunities than are now in programs for the blind," she maintained that "one factor that has tended to keep down the number of people we might say have expressed an interest in vending stands is the fact that the State licensing agencies are reticent to train people unless they know they can find an employment opportunity for them .... I think the difficulties arise from harassed administrators who feel that something would be less trouble than something else, and if you just have what you might say is quiet and unaggressive leadership, the opportunity passes."

The OVR Director's confessions with regard to administrative apathy and indifference prompted this observation from Senator Muskie: "It would appear, then, that these vending machines may- very often be moved into the locations simply because no effort was made on the part of anybody or in behalf of anybody to establish a vending stand."

The negative testimony of Miss Switzer and of the GSA's spokesman, William A. Schmidt, opposed both of the new provisions incorporated in the bill: the exclusive assignment of vending-machine income to blind operators, and the establishment of a Presidentially-appointed Appeals Board to enforce the requirements of the act.

Admitting that the Randolph-Sheppard program needs "a more satisfactory arrangement to handle situations where there are differences of opinion on establishing a stand or closing one or carrying out preference provisions to protect income," Miss Switzer maintained that efforts were underway to strengthen appeals procedures within the particular agencies involved -- although she did not indicate how conflicts of interest or interpretation between the agencies would be resolved.

Schmidt, representing the GSA, stated the view of his agency toward the proposed creation of a Presidentially-appointed appeals board more succinctly and straightforwardly in a single sentence: "Well, we feel this would tend to dilute our authority in the management of property and assignment of space."

Nagle Testified for NFB. Prominent among the witnesses appearing before the subcommittee was John F. Nagle, chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind. The quality of his presentation, and the close attentiveness of committee members, is suggested by the comments of two senators immediately following the testimony:

"Senator Muskie. Thank you, Mr. Nagle, for your excellent statement. It covers the subject well and thoroughly. I appreciate it. Senator Randolph, do you have any questions?"

"Senator Randolph. No; except that I remember Mr. Nagle as a very competent and successful attorney in New England for a period of 15 years or more. I imagine he would be a difficult opponent in a case. I think he sets forth his case, which, in effect. is our case today. Although I might not subscribe to all the language he has used, the purposes that we hope to achieve are certainly embodied in the thinking of both of us. Especially am I gratified that he mentioned the fact, although I regret it, that there are no vending stands operated by the blind in the Capitol Building of the United States or in either of the Senate or the House Office Buildings here on the Hill."

In his statement Nagle declared that "it has become increasingly apparent that the Randolph-Sheppard Act is not serving the high purposes the Congress intended it to serve." He argued that unless a statutory appeals board such as that proposed by the bill is soon established "the act will continue to be violated by such Federal authorities -- and not only will fewer and fewer stands be established each year, but established stands will be jeopardized and their continued existence threatened."

Noting alternative proposals advanced by the federal agencies for a different appeals board made up of representatives of the various departments and agencies themselves, Nagle asserted: "We reject this solution unequivocally and emphatically. It wouldn't work. It would not at all serve to achieve the objectives we seek to accomplish by our proposal in S. 394.

"Surely the representatives of departments and agencies would represent the interests of their employing departments and agencies," Nagle maintained. "Their decisions would reflect and would be influenced by departmental and agency attitudes and policies.

"Each member of such an administratively created board would be subject to the pressures of employees' organizations within his particular agency, and his determinations would be affected by the views of such organizations. In short, the members of such a board would totally lack the objectivity and detachment required if they are to function properly," he said.

Nagle contended that "not only would an administratively created appeals board be unworkable -- its very existence would be detrimental to the Federal vending stand program." He pointed out that "Congressmen and Senators, receiving complaints about the operation of the vending stand program in their states, would happily refer them to the appeals board procedure -- so, although judicial determination could not be expected from this procedure, its existence would serve effectively to eliminate political pressure as a weapon for securing enforcement of the purposes of the Randolph-Sheppard Act."

The NFB's spokesman drew attention to the fact that, while there must be thousands of Federal buildings in the country as a whole, "after 26 years of operation under Federal law, there are only 656 stands in Federal buildings today." He continued:

"The blind vending stand operator -- making and pouring coffee, selecting called-for articles from a wide diversity of goods available for sale, handing customers the correct change after a sale -- competent and cheerful, efficient and assured -- the blind operator is a living, functioning proof of the competence and capabilities of persons who are without their sight.

"We believe there should be a vending stand operated by a blind person in every Federal building in every city and town in the United States -- not alone to give employment to the blind operators, but because we believe that these people, by demonstrating their own capacities, would also advertise the competence of all blind people, and thereby help to break down the barriers which exclude qualified and capable blind individuals from full and equal participation in the economic life of the nation."



A significant stride in the direction of increasing the number and variety of jobs for blind persons in the Federal Civil Service was taken on August 29, 1962, when President Kennedy signed into law a bill authorizing readers for blind Government employees.

The new law (P.L. 87-614) printed in full below, removes difficulties which previously had been thrown in the way of blind applicants for a large number of positions in the Civil Service. Those obstacles consisted in part of two provisions of law: one forbidding officers and employees to accept volunteer services for the Government; the other providing a penalty for any individual or private organization for such work.

The purpose of the law, as described in the Report of the Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, "is to improve employment opportunities in the Federal service for qualified blind persons. It does this by authorizing departments and agencies to employ reading assistants who will serve without compensation from the Government for such blind persons. The bill provides that such reading assistants, if not on a volunteer basis, can be paid out of the personal funds of the blind employee or by a non-profit organization." Assignment to a blind employee of clerical or secretarial assistance, at the expense of a department, if such assistance is normally provided, will not be affected by the new law.

The National Federation of the Blind joined five other major national organizations and agencies for the blind in the congressional campaign for approval of the reader-assistant bill.

Favorable testimony at the House hearings was presented by the Civil Service Commission and the President's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped, in addition to the organizations and agencies for the blind. "There was," as the House Report tersely put it, "no adverse testimony from any source."

Possible "administrative difficulties" arising from the legal status of the reader-assistant as a federal employee who does not receive federal compensation were the subject of a special meeting in Washington on September 13 bringing together a representative of the National Federation and officials of the key federal agencies responsible for implementing the new legislation. Those attending the meeting were: John F. Nagle, Washington office chief of the NFB; Dr. Melvin Johnson, deputy director of the Medical Division of the U.S. Civil Service Commission; Louis H. Rives, representing the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; Vernon Banta, of the President's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped; and four other officials of the Civil Service Commission -- Carl Murr, Dr. Eugene H. Chapin, Dr. Joseph C. Smith, Lewis B. Vaughan, and Carl R. Calabrese.

The policy to be followed by the Civil Service Commission, with respect to the status of readers for blind employees as well as to the new job opportunities for blind applicants, was indicated by John W. Macy, Jr., chairman of the Civil Service Commission, in a letter of September 13 to the NFB's Washington Representative.

The letter follows:

"Dear Mr. Nagle:

I am sure we are equally delighted that H.R. 11523, authorizing employment without compensation from the Government of readers for blind workers in the Federal service has been signed into law by President Kennedy. The Civil Service Commission was pleased to give its support to this measure.

The act removes certain legal obstacles which in the past have prevented either a blind employee himself or a nonprofit organization from paying for the services of a reader.

Passage of the law should increase employment opportunities for the blind and will enable the Government to use the services of persons who could not otherwise be employed.

Knowing your high interest in this legislation and anticipating certain questions you might raise in regard to the procedures which will be followed in utilizing readers for blind Federal employees, I am pleased to provide the following information:

The procedures under which the blind candidate himself may apply for Federal employment will not be changed. Such an applicant must qualify as before under competitive standards and be certified to an agency for employment. Coordinators for employment of the physically handicapped will continue to make every effort to place blind candidates in positions for which they are qualified.

Once the blind candidate has been accepted for employment in a position which would require him to have a reader, the new law will become a factor. Selection of such a reader, to be paid by the blind employee or by a nonprofit organization, will be a matter to be decided between the blind employee and the employing agency.

Each Federal agency will establish its own procedures for selection of readers. We have every reason to assume that agency administrators will make every effort to approve the reader selected by the blind employee, subject to whatever security requirements must be met.

Use of readers who will be Federal employees but who will not be on the Federal payroll could conceivably cause some administrative problems. Should such problems arise, they will be solved in the agency where the blind employee works, but the Civil Service Commission will be prepared to furnish guidance as needed. We feel that the spirit of the new law will prevail and that the incidence of administrative problems will be kept at a minimum. The potential good which will result from the act should far outweigh any problems which might arise.

Sincerely yours,


John W. Macy, Jr.


Public Law 87-614
87th Congress, H.R. 11523
August 29, 1962

AN ACT 76 Stat. 408.

To authorize the employment without compensation from the Government of readers for blind Government employees, and for other purposes,

BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, That (a) the head of each department is authorized, in his discretion, to employ, without regard to the civil service laws and the Classification Act of 1949, as amended, a reading assistant or assistants for any blind employee of such department, to serve without compensation from such department.

(b) Each such reading assistant may be paid and receive compensation for his services as reading assistant by and from such blind employee or any nonprofit organization, without regard to section 1914 of title 18, United States Code.

(c) For the purposes of this Act, the term--

(1) "department" means--

(A) each executive department of the Federal Government;

(B) each agency or independent establishment in the executive branch of such Government;

(C) each corporation wholly owned or controlled by such Government;

(D) the General Accounting Office;

(E) the Library of Congress; and

(F) the municipal government of the District of Columbia;

(2) "head of each department", with respect to the municipal government of the District of Columbia, means the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia;

(3) "blind employee" means an employee of a department who establishes, to the satisfaction of the appropriate authority of the department concerned and in accordance with regulations of the head of such department, that he has an impairment of sight, either permanent or temporary, which is so severe or disabling that the employment of a reading assistant or assistants for such employee is necessary or desirable to enable such employee properly to perform his work; and

(4) "nonprofit organization" means an organization determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be an organization described in section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 which is exempt from taxation under section 501 (a) of such Code.

(d) This Act shall not be held or considered to prevent or limit in any way the assignment to a blind employee by a department of clerical or secretarial assistance, at the expense of such department and in accordance with laws and regulations currently applicable at the time, if such assistance normally is provided, or authorized to be provided, in such manner in accordance with currently applicable laws and regulations.

Approved August 29, 1962



By Russell Kletzing

(Editor's note: Mr. Kletzing is President of the National Federation of the Blind.)

If you are interested in a Federal job, the first thing you ought to consider is the Federal Service Entrance Examination. A number of blind persons have obtained Federal jobs in just this way. College graduates and those In their senior year of college are eligible. The examination is to be given seven times in the next eight months. An applicant may take any examination.

The Federal Service Entrance Examination is for the starting positions in many Federal jobs. Some of the kinds of jobs that are filled from the eligible list are in the fields of general administration, economics, social sciences, business analysis, and regulation, social security administration, management analysis, personnel management, budget management, housing management, information (including press, publication, and radio), adjudication, geography, and agricultural economics. It is well to take the examination as early as possible, since there is more opportunity for job placement.

A special option is the Management Internship Examination. Only outstanding candidates are selected for this program which involves training at government expense for management positions with high potential. Applications for Management Internships must be filed by January 24, 1963.

Application blanks and additional information can be obtained from the Federal Civil Service Commission, State Employment Service, or your University Placement Service. The standards of Federal agencies in employing blind persons are being slowly but steadily liberalized. The Federal Service Entrance Examination is an opportunity that blind college seniors and graduates cannot afford to overlook.



By Floyd W. Matson

The curious "crusade" against public welfare, which has gathered strength over the past two years within the states and at the nation's capital, has fed on a variety of prejudices and drunk, from many well-springs. As its sources are different, so too are its spokesmen. Although a common stock in trade of the anti-welfare lobbyists is the posture of moral outrage and the language of invective, their personal styles are often as varied and dissimilar as their motives, temperaments and geographical locations.

One of the most distinctive individual styles to be found within this counter-reform movement is that of the Honorable Henry A. Wise, a member of the New York State Senate and chairman of its Committee on Public Welfare. His views on the character and purpose of modern social welfare have found notewrothy expression in a statement presented last May to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee during hearings on the public welfare amendments of 1962.

At the outset the state senator made plain that his case against public welfare is only part of a larger case against democracy itself. "You have heard testimony during these hearings to the effect that a Democracy has an obligation to assure all persons in the nation full opportunity for family life, healthful living, and so on ad nauseam," he said. "In the first place the United States is not a Democracy and never was intended to be."

This passage is even more revealing than its author intended. Not only does it express his fear of the equalitarian spirit of democracy (he prefers the safer and sounder term "republic"), but it betrays an unmistakable contempt for the developing democratic provisions safeguarding "family life, healthful living, and so on ad nauseam." Anyone who can speak of these conspicuous advances in dignity and decency in terms of nausea is, assuredly, no friend of the common welfare or of democracy.

"The second fallacy of the testimony above referred to," Wise went on to say, "is that more and more of our citizens, who should know better, want to make Congress a tool for all their personal desires to do good and to uplift or downgrade everybody to the mediocrity their aims have gone so far already in achieving." And he proceeded further to castigate what he called "these bleeding hearts" with "their starry-eyed dreams."

This is, of course, familiar and well-trodden ground. These old and exhausted epithets continue to be resurrected from their 19th-century graves with every new movement toward expanding the protections of social security and reducing the deprivations of handicap and want. It has always been a striking irony that the term "do-gooder" should become one of reproach; few will deny that the greatest do-gooder of them was the founder of Christianity. Then, too, there was that group of "bleeding-hearts" who devised a constitution to enhance the general welfare and to realize a starry- eyed dream of the pursuit of happiness.

It may be added that a heart that bleeds is at least a heart alive; and that those who are starry-eyed are at least looking upward toward the light. Are they more to be condemned than the "stony-hearts" -- those whose eyes are fastened on the dirt beneath?

There is still more to the state senator's indictment: "We may think slavery has disappeared from America. No, sir. The dogmatic nonsense that has become accepted social welfare doctrine is making slaves of thousands of people today -- slaves in the prison of pauperism. " And again: "Just ask almost any taxi driver, cop, factory worker, stenographer, farmer or other earner what they think of Welfare, the way it is today, with its uniform statewide standards largely ignoring the individual differences and needs of people spending tax money like crazy."

No doubt if the question is put to these wage-earners in that loaded and incoherent form, the answers might be as predicted. But suppose the same question is put another way: "Officer, what do you think of your city government's socialistic pensions and prerequisites for its employees -- that is, of its welfare provisions?" "Cabbie, what do you think of unemployment compensation, disability insurance, old-age benefits, and medicare?" "Mr. Farmer, do you want to be covered by social security and welfare--or would you rather stay out of such a regimented system?"

The answer to these questions too -- no more loaded than the senator's -- are fairly predictable. But let's go on to another charge.

"There has been much talk at these hearings," according to Wise, "about lack of trained social workers -- and rightly so. But what kind of training? Is Congress going to encourage young men and women to attend these schools of social work that preach doctrines that glorify indigence? Deans of some of these schools -- at least one in my own state -- ought to be brought before the House Committee on Un-American Activities."

Here is the technique of the tarbrush, the vague and indiscriminate smear applied with a malevolent hand. What are these "doctrines that glorify indigence"? And where are the schools that preach them? They are, of course, nowhere to be found. Were the senator to attempt to be more specific, he would be forced to present concrete evidence and to make a rational case. But his sweeping and slanderous accusation is the opposite of rational; it directs its appeal not to the minds but to the passions and confusions of a public inadequately informed on the complicated issues of the welfare system.

It would be difficult to find a charge more distant from the mark than this. Far from "preaching doctrines that glorify indigence," the schools of social work are uniformly dedicated to the eradication of indigence and the restoration of self-sufficiency. Public assistance itself, since the enactment of the significant amendments of 1956, has been officially committed to the purposes of self-support and self-care -- in a word, of individual responsibility.

The anti-welfare doctrine which this New York solon would erect in place of our present-day policy is made abundantly clear in the following declaration: "We hear it said that it is undignified and degrading to give vouchers or food orders, or even checks payable jointly to the 'client' and supplier, so that the money will go where it is intended to go. . . . Maybe it's more degrading to spend the cash for liquor and starve the kids than it is to present an order for food, or clothing at the store. In my own area there are third-generation able bodied welfare families. They never worked before 1936, never have worked and never will. They still live in tar paper shacks and sew themselves up in their underwear from Thanksgiving until April Fool's Day. The only difference between now and then is that they buy store whiskey with their welfare money instead of making it themselves, like they used to do. The long term, able bodied reliefer (exclusive of the elderly) should not receive cash, unrestricted."

Note that last sentence carefully. It is addressed directly to the blind. The attacks on welfare which focus on the scandals" of ADC, on the perplexities of unmarried or deserted mothers and of minority-group families in distress, rarely remain there. Their ultimate purpose is not merely to clean up a local or partial mess in some isolated corner of the welfare field; it is to rewrite the boundaries and the laws of the whole field --in terms favorable to Queen Elizabeth the First.

The concerted attack on welfare, by State Senator Wise and his colleagues from the middle ages, has already made serious inroads in both the legislation and administration of the welfare system. It is now up to the friends of welfare to mount and lead the counter-attack.



Reflecting "upon the way in which men of history, despite handicaps, have demonstrated how courageous will and spirit can overcome physical shortcomings," Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin recently rose to call his colleagues' attention to a newspaper article entitled "Handicaps Couldn't Stop the Famous." Historically, the Senator pointed out, progress has been made "not just by great talent freely exercised in favorable climate, but often by individuals physically handicapped but powered by irresistible will and spirit.

"History reveals that adversity more than a luxurious environment often provides the genesis for the creation of great things," Senator Wiley declared.

The article to which he referred, subsequently printed in THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD (June 26, 1962), was published originally in THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL. It pointed, among others, to those historical figures whose careers were not daunted by visual handicap:

"Homer, the first poet of the Western World, was blind, but this was not an insurmountable obstacle in those days when poetry was recited and memorized, not written. The blindness of the English epic poet, John Milton, was a far more grievous matter because he had to consult many books. With much pain and effort, therefore, he trained his unschooled daughters to learn the elements of Greek and Hebrew and to take his dictation. They lost their love for him, to be sure, but the world as a result gained 'Paradise Lost' and 'Samson Agonistes' among other masterpieces."

Two great American historians who carried on their work despite visual impairments were cited by the article: William Prescott and Francis Parkman. "When Prescott was at Harvard, a fellow student flung a hard biscuit across the dining room and Prescott was blinded in one eye and lost part of the vision in the other," the journal recalled. "Nevertheless he carried on through life the vast researches which resulted in his classic accounts of the Spanish conquests in the Americas."

Parkman was said to have suffered a collapse as a result of overwork, with the result that his eyesight failed him and for 10 years he could not read or write, "When a measure of strength returned, he could write no more than a few minutes a day, such were his pains and weakness, and under those conditions he turned out 'The Oregon Trail' and other books on the West."

In another instance, the newspaper pointed to Charles Proteus Steinmetz, who "was a hunchback and his eyesight was poor. His devotion to socialism in his native Germany incurred government wrath and at 24 he settled in America where he became a great inventor of electrical devices."

Among those who brilliantly surmounted severe physical infirmities was the French painter Auguste Renoir, who "wouldn't let a little thing like crippled hands interfere with his painting. For years he endured arthritic agonies which are not at all evident in the happy moods of his impressionistic paintings. Finally he could no longer hold a brush. So he had brushes tied to his hands and developed a splendid new style of broad strokes and vivid colors."



The Progressive Blind of Missouri, Inc., First Annual Convention. The following communication has been received from George A. Rittgers, President, and Gwen Phillips, Recording Secretary, of the newly formed Progressive Blind of Missouri, Inc.

The first convention of the Progressive Blind of Missouri, Inc., will be held at the Missouri Hotel, Jefferson City, Missouri, November 17th and 18th. This convention will be the first as the national affiliate in the state of Missouri since receiving our charter from the National Federation of the Blind at the Detroit convention. The registration fee will be $1 per person. The program will consist of drawing up a permanent constitution, election of officers, legislative program, and other matters of interest to the welfare of the blind. A banquet will be held Saturday evening, and an outstanding figure of the National Federation of the Blind will be the speaker. Anyone who is truly interested in the National Federation of the Blind, its help, and its causes, may attend the convention.


Wyoming Elects Officers. John Eckhardt of Cheyenne was elected president of the Wyoming Association of the Blind (an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind) at its annual convention held in Casper on August 4. Other newly elected officers and board members are: Vice-president, Jack Shields, Sheridan; secretary, Arnold Graber, Casper; treasurer, Frank Sinon, Cheyenne; and board members Beth Latimer, Lander; Arlene Murphy, Laramie; Grace Collins, Torrington, and Howard Petersen, Wheatland (chairman).

In other activity the Wyoming Association passed a constitutional amendment fixing future state convention dates to coincide with the two-week meeting of Casper Mountain Adult School of the Blind, staged usually in July. Information received from Frank A. Allen, W.A.B. past president, notes that Casper Mountain school is conducted annually by the Lions clubs of the state with meals, lodging and transportation free to the blind.


Drug Overcharging Probed. Governor Pat Brown of California recently ordered a full-scale probe into reports of overcharging by- some pharmacists for drugs prescribed for welfare recipients, according to the bulletin FROM THE STATE CAPITALS. According to the governor, reports have indicated the overcharging was accomplished through the substitution of lower-cost drugs for higher-priced name drugs for which prescriptions had been written.

The California Department of Social Welfare, the governor said, became suspicious on learning that more drugs of certain manufacturers were "dispensed" through the state program than had actually been shipped into the state. He indicated that as much as 10 percent of the $12. 5 million spent annually by the state on prescription drugs for welfare clients may be involved in the alleged fraud.


Blindness Prevention Award Given. Miss Edna Woodward of Cincinnati, Ohio, a teacher of partially seeing children for three decades, was the winner recently of the third annual Winifred Hathaway Award of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness.

An instructor in Cincinnati's Schiel School, Miss Woodward was cited by the National Society for her personal achievements in improving education for partially seeing students and for encouragement of professional and public interest, in this special education program.


California Council to Convene. The fall, 1962, convention of the California Council of the Blind will be held in Los Angeles October 19 through 21. Representative Cecil R. King, congressman from California and co-author of the King-Andersen Medicare bill, will be featured speaker at the convention banquet. Convention activities will be centered in the Alexandria Hotel, 210 West 5th Street, Los Angeles.

Catholic Braille Publication. THE CATHOLIC REVIEW, a monthly braille publication published in New York, is available to all Catholic blind persons without cost. The journal is described as a magazine of current topics, including stories, articles on religion, Catholic news in brief, comments upon the news and reprints from other leading Catholic magazines. Persons interested should write to: Reverend Father Joseph O'Connor, S.J., Xavier Society for the Blind, 154 East 23rd Street, New York 10, New York.


Basket Weaving Discontinued. The Lighthouse of the New York Association for the Blind recently announced discontinuation of the crafting of baskets as a method of improving manual dexterity in its workshop operations. Blind trainees in the future reportedly will participate in more modern and satisfying activities, such as working with ceramics, utilizing wood-working machinery, and so on. The decision poses a question: Could the elimination of the ancient basket trade by this prominent agency be a "straw" in the wind?


"Choice Magazine Listening." A new talking-book service to the blind which makes use of up-to-date readings from quality magazines has been announced by the Mertz Foundation, One Prospect Avenue, Port Washington, Long Island, New York. The free service, entitled "Choice Magazine Listening," features a monthly issue of two 12-inch 16 2/3 rpm records containing readings from such periodicals as the ATLANTIC, HARPER'S, THE NEW YORKER and THE SATURDAY REVIEW. The initial offering embraces 12 free issues. Blind persons interested are urged to write directly to the foundation at the above address.


New Tape Player on Market. A new and relatively inexpensive tape player, costing $50, has been made available by "Science for the Blind," Haverford, Pennsylvania. The machine, which plays only, accommodates a reel of any size up to 7 inches at 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 inches per second. The case reportedly measures about 15 inches by 13 inches by 9 inches, and weighs approximately 15 pounds. The player is self-contained, operates on 115 volts 60 cycles, and is said to produce sufficient volume to fill a normal-sized room. Each machine comes with a short written explanation glued to the inside cover, as well as a small reel describing its use in more detail. Orders and correspondence should be addressed to Science for the Blind, Haverford, Pennsylvania.


New Home Study Course. "Independent Living Without Sight and Hearing," a home study course for blind persons facing loss of hearing, is being prepared by the Hadley School for the Blind, Winnetka, Illinois. To be offered in braille, the course will present practical information and proven techniques valuable to the doubly handicapped person. Subjects to be treated include general adjustment, communication methods, voice preservation, recreation, travel, education and training, employment opportunities, available services, and how to win cooperation. Richard Kinney, deaf-blind assistant director of the Hadley School, is supervising preparation of the course in consultation with authorities in. the various fields covered.


Library of Congress Adds Tapes. The Kiplinger magazine, entitled CHANGING TIMES, is now available on magnetic tape from the Division for the Blind of the Library of Congress, Washington 25, D.C. Other periodicals on magnetic tape are: ATLANTIC, CURRENT, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, GALAXY, HARPER'S, KENYON REVIEW, QST, PERSONNEL AND GUIDANCE JOURNAL, and SOCIAL WORK. The Division for the Blind also reports that two new braille magazines, BOY'S LIFE and AMERICAN GIRL, will be provided through the Regional Libraries for the Blind beginning with the October issues.


"Hope" for Sight Saving. Famed comedian Bob Hope was recently named as National Sight-Saving Chairman for 1962, in connection with the September "Sight Saving Month" campaign sponsored by the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness. In an announcement, the Hollywood star noted that "disease, accidents and neglect have already claimed the vision of nearly 400,000 men, women and children in this country. Half of this blindness was needless and preventable." Nationally and through its state divisions, the NSPD is emphasizing the need for early-discovery of vision defects among children, prompt detection of glaucoma and community eye safety programs.


Rehabilitation Figures Hit New High. For the first time in the history of the federal- state vocational rehabilitation program, more than 100,000 handicapped persons were restored to productive employment over the span of a year, according to announcement of the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. The new record was established during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1962. It was pointed out, however, that the 100,000 annual total is only half the national goal of 200,000 rehabilitations per year which has been set by the President.

In a pamphlet released together with the announcement, entitled "One Hundred Thousand VIP'S", the OVR described its program as follows:

"Modern-day rehabilitation through the public program doesn't get done by one person, or by one agency, for that matter. Thousands of people are involved -- rehabilitation counselors, physicians, psychologists, social workers, prosthetics experts, and other professional people; plus rehabilitation centers, work-shops, hospitals, schools, and other special facilities; plus administrators of public and voluntary agencies who know how to work together; plus Congressmen, Senators, State legislators -- yes, and Presidents and Governors -- who believe that rehabilitating the disabled is a good investment in people. Plus another VIP -- the American employer -- the man who made the final rehabilitation decision -- the man who said 'Yes, I will hire this worker if he can do the job'."


Information, Please. The New Jersey Foundation for the Blind would like to know whether there is any magazine in print which is not now available in braille, on tape or record that our readers believe should be reproduced on tape. If you can think of any, the Foundation requests that you print or type the name of the magazine together with your name and address on a postcard only. and mail it to: the Tape Committee, New Jersey Foundation for the Blind, 46 Franklin Street, Newark 2, New Jersey. The organization further asks that this notice be read at club and association meetings in order to reach as many blind persons as may be possible.

Mr. J. Mulenga, a blind teacher in Northern Rhodesia and a reader of the BLIND AMERICAN, writes to us that he would like to have letters from blind persons in other countries. In part, his letter reads: "There are many blind people in my area and you will want to know about them. Most of them have been to schools, both men and women. Some of the blind people who are wise enough run their own business. . . There are at present six schools for the blind in this country and this, at which I am teaching, is one of them. We are four teachers and I am the only blind teacher. . . . There are thirteen blind teachers in this country and one instructor. The number of children at our school always goes from thirty-five to forty, both girls and boys."

Mail will reach Mr. Mulenga at the Chipili Blind School, Chipili, Northern Rhodesia.

Federation of Handicapped Impresses. A recent press tour conducted by the Federation of the Handicapped in New York City has received notable attention both in the press and in Congress. The mid-September event, which stressed the specialized skills developed by the organization in its vocational rehabilitation program, was praised by Representative Thomas B. Curtis of Missouri--a longtime ally of the organized blind as well as of the physically handicapped generally -- in remarks published in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD (September 21, 1962). Congressman Curtis said in part: "The fact is that handicapped people can perform many jobs as well -- and sometimes better -- than those without handicaps. . .As the executive director of the federation said, the handicapped person is a perfectionist and takes pride in his work, which is all too rare these days."

The NEW YORK TIMES, in an article written by John C. Delvin, gave substantial coverage to the work of the New York City federation in providing specialized training for persons with a variety of physical handicaps. The writer observed that "when the first American lands on the moon, there is a strong possibility that he will have found his way with the help of handicapped persons in metropolitan New York."

The basis for this seemingly far-fetched prophecy was said to lie in the fact that "the determination and skill of handicapped persons have made them experts in assembling key units in guidance systems for both missiles and spacecraft" under the federation's training program.

South Carolina Aurorans Meet. The Sixth Annual Convention of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind was held in Spartanburg September 29-30, with some 115 persons in attendance, according to word received from Donald C. Capps, newly elected president of the NFB-affiliated state group.

Among those addressing the opening session were Dr. Arthur B. Rivers, director of the South Carolina Department of Public Welfare; Dr. W. Laurens Walker, superintendent of the state school for the blind, and Sinway Young, president of the South Carolina Labor Council. Following the morning session a tour was conducted for delegates through the state school for the blind at Cedar Spring.

The highlight of the two-day convention was the Saturday evening banquet, featuring a stirring address, "To Be a Federationist," by John F. Nagle, chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind. Mr. Nagle also gave a thorough and informative legislative report during the second day of the convention.

The Aurora Service Award, given annually to the sighted person judged by the organization to have rendered the greatest service to the largest number of blind people, was presented this year to Hyman Rubin, a member of the City Council of Columbia. Mr. Rubin was largely responsible for the deeding by the city of Columbia of a portion of the City Park to the Columbia Chapter of the Aurora Club for construction of an educational and training center.

The Donald C. Capps Award, established by Ways and Means for the Blind of Augusta, Georgia, was presented during the convention banquet to Miss Lois Boltin, well-known Auroran and inspirer of the Club's braille switchboard training program. This citation is given annually to the blind person in the state deemed to have rendered the most outstanding service to others who are blind.

The following officers and board members were elected at the Sunday afternoon business session: President, Donald C. Capps, of Columbia, First Vice President, Mrs. Mildred Kirkland, Charleston; Second Vice President, Mrs. Catherine Morrison, Columbia; Secretary John L. Cooley, Spartanburg; Treasurer, John W. Potter, Columbia; and board members Marshall Tucker, Spartanburg; Mrs. Iola Brown, Spartanburg; Robert L. Oglesby, Anderson; Lois Boltin, Columbia; F. Earl Capps, Columbia; Francis M. Stanton, Bennettsville; James Sims, Columbia; Mrs. Nellie Blocker, Columbia; Mrs. Elizabeth Porter, Charleston; Mrs. Eva Ward, North Charleston; and John Rayburn, Charleston Heights.

Among resolutions adopted by the convention was one calling for abolition of the withholding of reserve and depreciation for vending stand operators. Another resolution pledged the group's support for the legislative program of the National Federation; and still another urged the state director of public welfare to pass on to recipients all federal increases in Aid to the Blind.


Kentucky Federation Convention: Sightless 'Not Helpless': The main barrier to employment of the blind is a public misunderstanding of what sightless people can do, an official of the Iowa State Commission for The Blind said here yesterday.

"Some people think blindness means helplessness," said John N. Taylor, the commission's director of rehabilitation services. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

Taylor, himself sightless, called for development of a new concept of what blindness is. "Given training, a blind person can hold many types of jobs as well as the sighted. He can work in industry, be a typist, secretary, businessman, salesman, or teach school. There are even a small number of blind people in physics and chemistry."

Taylor was here for the annual convention of the Kentucky Federation of The Blind. About 100 delegates attended the two-day meeting in the Kentucky Hotel. It ended last night with a banquet at which Taylor spoke.

A banquet highlight was the presentation by the federation of a Braille watch to its outgoing president, Harold Reagan, 219 Woodbine.

Reagan, who had headed the group since its formation in 1948, received the watch for "outstanding service to the blind" the past year.

In elections yesterday, Robert E. Whitehead, 40 University Place, the group's first vice-president for the past 10 years, was named to succeed Reagan.

Other officers include Mrs. Margaret Bourne, first vice-president, Louisville; John Steele, second vice-president, Henderson ; Mrs. Peggy Peak, third vice-president, Miss Elma Robbert, reco r ding secretary, and Mrs. Eloise Becker, corresponding secretary, all of Louisville, and Miss Florence Denham, treasurer, Frankfort. Reagan and Mrs. Pat Vice, Frankfort, were elected directors.