DECEMBER ISSUE 1963
PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN BROTHERHOOD FOR THE BLIND
A CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
2652 SHASTA ROAD BERKELEY 8, CALIF.
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, California.
Editor: Floyd W. Matson
Executive Secretary: Anthony Mannino, 205 South Western Avenue, Room 206, Los Angeles 4, California.
VOLUME III NO. 12 DECEMBER 1963
THE KENNEDY BILL: MEMORIAL TO A PRESIDENT
WELFARE CRACKDOWN THREAT IN NEW JERSEY
By Robert H. Owens
NEW ALABAMA AID LAW WINS PRAISE
DEATH CLAIMS TWO ACTIVE WORKERS
THE WHITE CANE
By Henry Bartleson
"THE HELPLESS BLIND:" DR. CLAIRE OWENS
By John F. Nagle
THE MAIL BOX: A PIONEERING IDEA
EMPLOYER PANEL AIDS HANDICAPPED
MEET THE BLIND WHO LEAD THE BLIND
RESOLUTION FOR NATHAN NADLEMAN
HOW TO WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN
PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ISSUES 1963 STATEMENT
BROTHERS ... & OTHERS
Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
"Organizations of blind persons exist today in many cities and communities throughout the country...formed by the blind to advance their own welfare and common interests. These organizations provide to our blind citizens the opportunity of collective self-expression. ... It is important that these views be expressed freely and without interference. It is important that these views be heard and considered by persons charged with responsibility for determining and carrying out our programs for the blind."
So spoke a distinguished member of the United States Senate on June 27, 1957, in the course of introducing a bill which has since become a byword among blind Americans. The speaker was the Honorable John F. Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts. The bill was S. 2411, "A Bill to Protect the Right of the Blind to Self-Expression Through Organizations of the Blind.”
The appearance of the Kennedy-Baring bill (introduced in the House by Congressman Walter S. Baring of Nevada) marked a milestone in the history of the organized blind movement. Although the measure was not passed by Congress, its influence has been far-reaching. It was the subject of extensive public hearings in 1959 by a sub-committee of the House Committee on Education and Labor, at which the case for the right of blind people to organize, to speak, and to be heard was presented in graphic and compelling testimony by leaders of the National Federation of the Blind and other groups.
The national Kennedy bill was also the progenitor of a number of "little Kennedy bills" on the state level, of which several have been successfully enacted into law. Moreover, the movement for such protective legislation within the states is still very much alive throughout the country.
The bill which Senator John F. Kennedy introduced into Congress contained two simple requirements: It required the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, to the fullest extent practicable, to consult and advise with authorized representatives of organizations of the blind in the formulation, administration and execution of programs for the aid and rehabilitation of the blind. Secondly, it forbade agencies administering blind programs supported by federal funds to exert official influence against the right of the blind to join organizations of the blind and required the Secretary of H.E.W. to enforce this prohibition.
The Kennedy bill was thus squarely in the tradition of democratic legislation designed to activate and implement the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution but often withheld in practice--specifically, the rights of expression and association. The bill was also an eloquent testament to the political philosophy of its author--a philosophy of civil and human rights, of fair play and equal opportunity, which later came to govern the decisive actions of the Kennedy Administration.
Americans will remember John Fitzgerald Kennedy for numerous accomplishments and for many qualities of mind and character. Blind Americans will remember him for all of these, and for one thing more: his eloquent and stalwart defense of their right as citizens to organize for self-expression and self-advancement.
Text of Kennedy Speech
Following is the full text of the speech delivered by Senator John F. Kennedy in the United States Senate, June 27, 1957, as printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, 85th Congress, First Session.
"Mr. President, I introduce, for reference to the appropriate committee, a bill to protect the right of blind persons to self-expression through organizations of the blind. I wish to make a statement in connection with the introduction of this bill and ask unanimous consent that the bill be printed in the body of the RECORD as a part of my remarks.
"Organizations of blind persons exist today in many cities and communities throughout the country. Some of these organizations are community groups, some are alumni groups, some are trade and professional groups, some are associations of vending-stand operators, some are organizations of workshop employees. In most of our States today, organizations of the blind within the State have formed one or more statewide organizations. Forty-three of these statewide organizations of the blind are now federated into a single nationwide organization, the National Federation of the Blind.
"Organizations of this kind have been formed by the blind to advance their own welfare and common interests. These organizations provide to our blind citizens the opportunity for collective self-expression. Through these organizations, these citizens are able to formulate democratically and voice effectively their views on the programs that our National Government and our State governments are financing for their aid and rehabilitation. It is important that these views be expressed freely and without interference. It is important that these views be heard and considered by persons charged with responsibility for determining and carrying out our programs for the blind.
"In some communities this freedom that each of our blind citizens should have to join, or not to join, organizations of the blind has been prejudiced by a few professional workers in programs for the blind who have allowed their personal views to be expressed in official action for or against particular organizations of the blind. Administrators and workers in welfare programs for the blind possess unusual power to control the lives and influence the conduct of their clients. It is important that our blind citizens be protected against any exercise of this kind of influence or authority to interfere with their freedom of self-expression through organizations of the blind.
"The bill I am introducing would do two things. First, it would direct that, to the fullest extent practicable, the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare shall consult and advise with representatives of organizations of the blind in his formulation and administration of programs for the blind and shall take such steps as may be appropriate to encourage State agencies to do likewise in their formulation and administration of the programs for the blind to which Federal funds are contributed.
"Second, the bill would require that no Federal officer or employee concerned with the administration of programs for the blind shall exert the influence of his office against the right of blind persons to join organizations of the blind; and would require that the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare shall adopt regulations, and condition grants to State and other programs for the blind on terms, so that officers and employees in those programs to which Federal funds are contributed will refrain from exerting the influence of their office against organizations of the blind.
"The bill would leave the enforcement of these policies to the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and to the States.
"It is my hope that the problems dealt with in this bill will be made the subject of hearings before the appropriate committee as early as possible and that effective legislation may be enacted without delay."
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By Robert H. Owens
(Editor's note: Mr. Owens is an officer of the Associated Blind of New Jersey and editor of THE ASSOCIATED BLIND LEADER, from which the following article is reprinted.)
In Alameda County, California, early this year, a raiding party of welfare workers swooped in on some of their clients one morning. The purported purpose of the raid was to obtain evidence of cheating.
A blind caseworker refused to be a part of the action: "It would seem that the only possible theory upon which these raids could be carried out is that recipients of public assistance are something less than citizens of the United States, or even human beings," he said.
"The carrying out of a policy of this kind would be much more appropriate for zoo keepers...," he added.
The caseworker was fired.
Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind, and an authority on constitutional law, denounced the raid as "destructive of human dignity, civil rights and the purposes of public welfare."
He called the raids "creeping infiltration of the law of welfare by the law of crimes."
Nearly 3,000 miles east of Alameda County, the sun recently rose on new signs of the infiltration of the law of welfare by the law of crimes.
In Trenton, City Councilman Carmen J. Armenti proposed that welfare clients be fingerprinted and photographed ("mugged") by police.
And the police, according to an off-the-record poll by a newspaper reporter, favor the idea "to a man." "The cops do not see relief clients as helpless and starving. ..." wrote the reporter.
"They see the perpetration of slums through welfare." "They see crimes growing out of the slums."
One policeman called welfare a "bureaucratic monster," the reporter said. The policemen admit, however, that things would be worse without welfare, the poll-taker disclosed.
Mrs. Helen Huggins, Trenton Welfare Director, rejected the councilman's idea. So did Mayor Arthur J. Holland.
Councilman Armenti is apparently determined to see his plan adopted, however. He said if Trenton officials are against it, he will take the plan to the State Welfare Bureau.
Dr. tenBroek has said infiltration by the law of crimes would replace rehabilitation with retaliation and convert public welfare into "private warfare against the unfortunate."
The validity of the Doctor's observation is being underscored today in Trenton--where the Armenti, Holland-Huggins disagreement has already been labeled a "Welfare War."
In an editorial, November 15, THE TRENTONIAN called Armenti's mug-print idea "an extravagant notion."
"Mr. Armenti's notion that it (welfare cheating) is a great problem seems to rest on nothing more than a strong personal impression," the editorial said.
"...The first principle in this field, it seems to us, is to provide for the true interests of the persons on welfare," THE TRENTONIAN said.
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Alabama's progressive new aid-to-the-blind law--known as Act 574--gained congressional attention on December 6 through favorable remarks by Senator Lister Hill of Alabama published in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.
Senator Hill inserted into the record the full text of the state legislation together with a detailed evaluation by John F. Nagle, whom he described as "the able chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind.”
The Alabama lawmaker pointed out that "this new legislation that was approved without a dissenting vote will promote self-care, enlarge the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulate the blind to greater efforts in rendering themselves self-supporting."
Nagle, in his analysis of the new state law, pointed out that the act has two objectives. First, it seeks to maximize the employment potential of needy blind persons; and, secondly, it provides that all blind people in need, whatever their prospects for employment or rehabilitation, "shall be allowed to live dignified, decent lives.”
The full text of Nagle's evaluation of the Alabama aid-to-the-blind law, as printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, follows.
Evaluation and Analysis of Alabama's New Aid-to-the-Blind Law (Act 574) by John F. Nagle, Chief, Washington Office, National Federation of the Blind
Since the very beginning of the organized blind movement in 1940, sightless men and women from all parts of the Nation and representative of all strata of American life, experience, and activity, have been working together in the National Federation of the Blind to improve conditions and equalize opportunities for all the blind of America--for all the blind of the world.
These goals are now much closer to realization for the blind of the State of Alabama.
The recent session of the Alabama Legislature adopted, without a dissenting vote, a new aid-to-the-blind law which, because of its enlightened provisions, and because of the progressive philosophy it embodies, will make it possible for the blind of that State to achieve a far greater measure of fulfillment in their lives than was previously available to them--than is presently available to the blind in most of the other States.
The adoption of Act 574 places Alabama in the very forefront among the States for its demonstrated concern for the uniquely different difficulties and problems of blind men and women, as they strive to live and function competitively and cooperatively in a sighted world.
This fine accomplishment, this exemplary piece of sensibly humanitarian and soundly economic legislation was the achievement of the blind of Alabama themselves, working together in the Alabama Federation of the Blind, greatly aided by the National Federation of the Blind of which the Alabama group is an affiliate.
Act 574 has two objectives--its provisions are directed toward aiding needy blind Alabamians with an employment potential to realize, to the fullest extent possible, fulfillment of this potential.
It also provides throughout its provisions that blind people in need--whether they have a rehabilitation possibility or not, whether they are on aid for 3 months or all of their lives--it provides that they shall be allowed to live dignified, decent lives.
In short, Act 574 does not punish or penalize blind Alabamians because they are in need, but it does help them by providing an adequate means of abating their need; it does not harass or humiliate them with outmoded and antiquated social and economic concepts and practices of poor relief, but it does provide a means of stimulating, encouraging, and helping them to work their way from reliance upon relief and dependence upon others to self-reliance and dependence upon themselves.
Recognizing that publicly provided assistance to blind persons in need must do much more than satisfy the basic bodily needs of these people for food, clothing, and shelter, the purpose clause of Alabama's aid-to-the-blind law declares that it is intended, not only to "relieve blind persons from the distress of poverty," but, it continues, it is intended "to promote self-care, to enlarge the economic opportunities of the blind, and to stimulate the blind to greater efforts in striving to render themselves self-supporting.”
In furtherance of these clearly and emphatically stated restorative and rehabilitative objectives, Act 574 provides a floor of financial security to its blind citizens in need of public help by establishing the amount of $70 as the amount presumed to be needed each month by recipients of aid to the blind--but it also specifies that this amount shall not be a ceiling on aid granted, that blind persons having special needs beyond this amount, shall have their special needs met and provided for in addition to the $70 grant.
It is the belief of the National Federation of the Blind that you cannot pauperize a blind person in need of public help, you cannot strip such a person naked of all he possesses, and then expect him to rebuild his life under adverse conditions.
To pauperize and stigmatize a blind person in need of public help, to take from him all he possesses, is just not depriving him of the only material assets he has and which he will need in his struggle to return to normal, economic self-sufficiency, even more damaging, it deprives him of self-pride, it deprives him of hope; it crushes the spirit, it degrades and demeans him so that he will no longer have the heart and spirit to strive to achieve self-dependence and self-support, for all effort will seem purposeless and futile, only static, passive survival will seem left to him.
The new Alabama aid-to-the-blind law recognizes all of this by allowing an applicant for, or recipient of, assistance to retain a home of whatever value so long as it is occupied by the blind person, to retain income-producing property of $5,000 in value so long as the income derived is used to assist in the support of such blind person, and it allows him to retain personal property in the amount of $1,200 "as a reserve for future contingencies."
Then finally, Alabama's Act 574 strikes down and removes from the law and from the lives of needly blind persons two of the unfortunate inheritances from the punitive Elizabethan Poor Laws--it prohibits the imposition of liens for aid or hospital or medical care furnished to blind persons in need, and it outlaws the responsible relative concept in the State's program of public assistance to sightless Alabamians.
All of the provisions of Act 574 indicate Alabama's determination to carry out the congressionally designated purposes of the Federal-State welfare programs, which were first enacted in the social security amendments of 1956, then reinforced and broadened in the public welfare amendments of 1962--for the congressionally declared purposes require, and so does Alabama's new aid-to-the-blind law, not only that public assistance to the blind shall provide support adequate to meet all basic bodily needs, but blind persons in need and dependent shall be assisted and encouraged to care for themselves, to support themselves, and the ties of the blind person with his family shall be strengthened.
All members of the National Federation of the Blind are proud of the accomplishment of the organized blind of Alabama in securing adoption of Act 574, its new aid-to-the-blind law--for we have found from experience in such matters that gains which are won for the blind of one State make easier the obtaining of gains and improvements for the blind in other States; increased opportunities secured for the blind of one State help to equalize opportunities for the blind of the entire Nation.
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Two prominent figures in work with the blind--Robert Moore of Waterloo, Iowa, and Henry Bartleson of Seattle--died from heart attacks in the last weeks of 1963.
Moore, rehabilitation counselor for the Iowa Commission for the Blind, suffered a fatal attack at his home December 20, according to word received from William Klontz, president of the Iowa Association of the Blind. Although unwell for some time, Moore had remained active in his work to the end. He had attended a staff Christmas party in Des Moines only the day before.
The 48-year-old rehabilitation expert had been affiliated with the Iowa Commission for 19 years, having started his public service career in 1944. He became head of the Waterloo office of the Commission in 1959. A graduate of the Nebraska School for the Blind, Moore was a member of the Lions Club and had willed his eyes to the Eye Bank supported by the Lions. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and a 15-year-old son, Nathan.
Henry Ivar Bartleson, 61, whose death came on November 14, was a member of the executive board of the Washington State Association of the Blind and chairman of the committee for the WHITE CANE MAGAZINE, published by the W.S.A.B. He was an active member of the local King County White Cane Association.
In addition to his work for the blind, Bartleson was active in the Great Books Association and other study groups, according to an obituary article published in THE WHITE CANE'S December issue. Born in Lake Mills, Iowa, he moved to Seattle from Spokane 19 years ago. He retired in 1956, when he became blind following an illness. He is survived by his wife, Ruby, three grown children and several grandchildren.
Writing in the editorial column of December's THE WHITE CANE, Managing Editor Helen B. Anthony penned the following tribute to her departed co-worker:
"Henry Bartleson helped plan this issue...and the next, for we plan weeks ahead. He had the long view and his general plan extended for years into the near future. He wanted this magazine to be of 'quality’. He wanted it to give a self-respecting image of the blind to themselves and to the public.
"In his personal relations, if only a brief phrase must be used, he was a 'Christian gentleman’ in all that this conveys.
"He was dedicated to the cause of the blind. Becoming blind in maturity, he is said to have spent a year soul-searching and adjusting to his new role. Then he took advantage of enforced leisure to study the great philosophers and to do creative things. After which, knowing himself, he did his best to help his fellow (blind) men. He had a vision of blind men and women, forgetting their differences and personal frustrations, uniting to make a better world for the children. ...
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By Henry Bartleson
(Editor's note: Henry Bartleson, blind leader of the Washington Association, wrote the following article last spring for the benefit of sighted fellow-members of his writing class. The article was published in the December issue of THE WHITE CANE, and is here reprinted with the expectation that its author would be pleased to gain a wider audience of both blind and sighted readers for his informative account.)
There is a familiar picture from ancient times showing the poet Homer walking from place to place, a lyre strapped to his back. He is being led by the hand by a small boy--for Homer was blind. Sophocles pictured the exiled and blinded king Oedipus being led by his faithful daughter for twenty years about the borders of his former kingdom--a beggar, ragged, stubborn and unhappy. In Biblical and medieval times, the blind were pictured as wandering aimlessly about, crying for pity and bread, or crawling out of some ditch into which they had just fallen.
Today, in this age of enlightenment, a great deal has been done to make the lot of the blind a much happier one. Men have applied themselves with dedication, ingenuity and understanding to the needs of the blind.
A century and a half ago, a young Frenchman named Louis Braille evolved a system of raised dots that could be read by the sense of touch. This system is a marvel of orderliness, ingenuity and good judgment that excites the admiration of all who use it. Oddly, only about one-third of the blind have learned to use Braille.
The commonplace typewriter has given the blind another opportunity to lead a fuller life. Also, a simple system has been devised for them to dial a telephone accurately.
The tape recorder and the record player contribute much to this fuller life.
The Library of Congress has set up a wealth of good books which are known as Talking Books. The finest of voices have been selected to put these works on records, often giving them an extra dimension of which the sighted reader is quite unaware. Without charge, the Postal Department distributes these books to the blind.
To form an Association is as American as ham and eggs, so the blind have organizations where they can point with pride, view with alarm, make and second motions, and in general have as much fun as their sighted fellow Americans.
But the greatest boon of all is mobility. A few prefer the sheltered life of their homes, but most will venture forth alone to work or play, with either a dog guide or a white cane as protection and companion.
The dog guide is universally admired by all who watch him work. Here he most truly earns his title as man's best friend. He is a privileged sort of character; he rides buses and trains, and may go into libraries, restaurants, and many places where no other canine, no matter what his pedigree, may enter. He is well-mannered, and naturally, his blind master has a deep affection for him; yet there must be a certain amount of stern discipline in their relationship.
Buff, a friend of ours who lived in a small town near Seattle, lost his sight quite suddenly. It was determined that he should have a Seeing Eye Dog. He was sent to San Francisco to go through a period of intensive training with Laddie, the dog that had been chosen for him. Under the watchful eye of a skillful trainer, man and dog were worked together. They traveled the hills of San Francisco, riding the trolleys and cable cars and generally gaining travel experience as a team. Finally came the day when they were judged to be safe travelers, and the happy pair boarded the train for home.
A few months later, Buff and his faithful Laddie paid a visit to Seattle. A dog guide works in a harness. When the harness is put on, the dog knows at once that he is strictly a working animal, with no fooling tolerated. A leash is also fastened about his neck, of the type that is known as a "choke chain." If the dog makes a mistake, a jerk of this chain serves to bring him up short and back to his task. If a particularly sharp rebuke is needed, Buff will jerk the chain and say, "Phooey!" in disgust. This is the extreme sign of displeasure.
Buff and Laddie had worked their way to a bus stop and were patiently waiting for their trolley. The day was fine, so they did not mind that they had some time to spare. A lady observed them with a critical gaze. The dog was nice, the harness okey, but the choke chain roused her ire and she lost no time in telling Buff what she thought of him.
"You should be ashamed of yourself!" she admonished. "Don't you know that a nice wide collar would be a lot better than that cruel chain?"
Buff is an easy-going sort, with a soft western drawl, but now his ire, too, was aroused.
"Listen, lady," he began, wagging his finger at from whence the voice came, "this dog has been trained by people who really know dogs and they say that a chain is much more comfortable than a collar 'cause the hair mats down under the collar. If these people say the chain is best, that's what the dog is going to wear!"
As he talked, Buff became more eloquent. He told the lady what he thought of people giving advice when they didn't know too much about the subject in the first place, and was going great guns with his tonguelashing when an amused bystander tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, Bud," confided the grinning stranger, "that lady that spoke to you--she's two blocks up the street."
The most popular guidance system for the blind is the long white cane. The cane is white because the blind want the public to know that they are blind and to treat them accordingly. They are not seeking sympathy or special privileges, but they do want understanding that there are many things of which they are not aware. For instance, a waitress behind the coffee counter speaks to a blind man but he may not answer, as too often he has answered when someone else was being spoken to. The white cane tells the waitress that the man is neither stupid nor rude--just cautious. This is one of the examples of why the white cane is a comfort to its user.
The long white cane is a recent development. It came into being at the close of World War II. The Veterans’ Administration was searching for a more satisfactory method of cane travel for its war-blinded soldiers. It was noted that those who used a cane of conventional length soon developed what is known as "blind man's stoop.” In reaching out to feel his way, the blind man would tend to hunch over.
The answer was astounding in its simplicity. A cane about sixteen inches longer would let him feel his way, walking erect and with a certain amount of gracefulness.
Another development was what is known as the "rhythm method" of cane travel. The cane is held in either hand at the center of the body, at about belt-buckle level. As he walks, the user swings the cane from side to side, sweeping a path as near to shoulder-wide as possible. As he swings his right foot forward, he swings the cane to the left. As his right foot strikes the ground, the cane taps the ground on the left side of the path he is sweeping. This tells him that all is well and it is safe to take a step with the left foot, since the cane has found no pitfall. Then, as the left foot takes its step, the cane swings to the right, searching to feel if all is well for the next step. In this way, a step is never taken until a tap of the cane has first probed the ground to find that all is well.
This method may sound slow and tedious, but with use it soon becomes almost automatic. The user learns to have confidence in his cane. For him it will find the unexpected stairway, the tricycle left in his path, the curbs as he crosses the street.
And of course, as he travels, the blind man listens to the sound of traffic to give him a sense of direction. Steady traffic he likes, but spotty traffic is not so good. In Suburbia, he even uses the song of birds--who sing on both sides of the road, but seldom over the roadway--to help him choose a safe zone for walking.
The technical boys might be startled by some of these statements, but this is how a blind man sees it, and that is how it really
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At 88 years of age, Dr. Claire Estelle Owens of Exeter, Nebraska is in the 43rd year of her third career--that of a busy osteopath. What is more she scoffs at any mention of retirement, according to a feature story published recently in the Omaha WORLD-HERALD.
"Glowing in her wake are enviable records as a music teacher and politician. She spent 19 years as the first public school music teacher at Exeter, Geneva, and Fairmont. A Democrat, she was elected twice to serve in the old two-house Legislature from Fillmore County in 1931 and 1933," the newspaper reported.
Totally blind since the age of eight, Dr. Owens found "an inner talent" for music while attending the old School for the Blind at Nebraska City. Upon graduation she was said to have become the first blind teacher in the nation to teach in a public school.
In 1917 she decided to become a doctor of osteopathy, graduating three years later from the Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy.
"Later she began a crusade, finally realized only two years ago, to get the School for the Blind under the State Department of Education 'instead of under the stigma of being lumped with such state institutions as the penitentiary,'" according to her article.
At her present four-score-and-eight, Dr. Owens was said to have two favorite hobbies: playing the piano each week at the Congregational Church Sunday School, and traveling to distant places. She has visited 44 states and Canada, and recently returned from a rail and airplane trip to the national osteopath convention in New Orleans.
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By John F. Nagle
(Editor's note: Following is a report on the state of Congressional legislation for the blind prepared by Mr. Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office of the National Federation of the Blind, and released in December by the N.F.B. as a legislative bulletin.)
The Congressional season now rapidly drawing to a close is already famous as a time of indecision--both on legislation affecting the nation as a whole and on bills affecting the blind in particular. Despite the general atmosphere of inaction, however, our hopes have not all been deferred. Two measures of direct importance to the blind have been signed into law (S. 1576 and H.R. 7544), and at least two others carry favorable prospects for passage if we act now to express our vigorous support.
S. 1576, involving the expansion of educational facilities for blind children, was signed into law by the President on October 31. The act also establishes a three-year program of research and demonstration projects in the education of disabled youngsters. You will recall that the N.F.B. unanimously adopted a resolution in support of this measure at our Philadelphia convention; we also testified twice before Senate and House committees in favor of the bill.
H.R. 7544, the bill designed to improve maternal and child health and crippled children's programs under the Children's Bureau, was signed into law on October 24. This legislation holds out the possibility of substantially increased federal support for state programs in prevention of blindness--specifically of great value in alleviating the burden of medical expenses for visually handicapped children. The National Federation gave full support to this legislation, in company with the American Foundation for the Blind and other agencies.
H.R. 8363--Amendments to the Internal Revenue Act for 1963--was passed by the House of Representatives and is presently before the Senate Finance Committee. Two Senators have introduced similar measures to amend this tax bill by providing an additional exemption to any taxpayer with a dependent who is blind: S. 2227 by Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana, and S. 640 by Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota. Federationists should write immediately to Senator Harry F. Byrd, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and to the members of the Committee (listed at the end of this bulletin), as well as their own senators. Their letters should urge that H.R. 8363 be amended to include the exemption for taxpayers with blind dependents as contained in S. 2227 and S. 640.
The measure which is of widest importance to blind Americans--the "King-Hartke bill"--still awaits action in both houses of Congress. Introduced in the House last spring as H.R. 6245 by Congressman Cecil R. King of California, and presented to the upper chamber in September by Senator Vance Hartke (S. 2181), the bill is designed to amend titles X and XVI of the Social Security Act to "more effectively encourage and assist blind individuals to achieve rehabilitation and restoration to a normal, full and fruitful life." (Details of the King bill have been described in earlier bulletins and in a Washington Report by John Nagle published in THE BLIND AMERICAN, September, 1963.)
If your senators appear on the following list of Hartke bill co-sponsors, you may help the bill's chances greatly by writing to them in appreciation of their support, explaining how urgently important this legislation is to the blind. Address each senator in care of Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D.C. The co-sponsors are: Mrs. Margaret C. Smith (Maine); E.L. Bartlett and E. Gruening (Alaska); H. Scott and J. Clark (Pa.); R. Yarborough (Tex.); Mrs. Maurine Neuberger and W. Morse (Oreg.); L. Metcalf (Mont.); F. Moss (Utah); H. Humphrey and E. McCarthy (Minn.); J. Randolph (W. Va.); S. Young (Ohio); D. Inouye (Hawaii); B. Bayh (Ind.); H. Williams (N. J.); J. Eastland (Miss.); D. Brewster (Md.); A. Ribicoff (Conn.); W.G. Magnuson (Wash.).
Another proposal still pending before both houses, with fair chance of favorable action, involves amendments to the postal laws extending the free mailing privilege to tape-recorded letters, along with other special devices and equipment for use by the blind. The amendments are being introduced by Representative Donald Rumsfeld of Illinois (H.R. 8695) and Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois (S. 2183).
Following are the members of the Senate Committee on Finance, who should be addressed in care of the Senate Office Building, Washington, 25, D.C.:
H.F. Byrd, Chairman (Va.); R.B. Long (La.); G.A. Smathers (Fla.); C. P. Anderson (N. Mex.); P.H. Douglas and E.M. Dirksen (111.); A. Gore (Tenn.); H.E. Talmadge (Ga.); E.I. McCarthy (Minn.); A. Ribicoff (Conn.); J. J. Williams (Del.); F. Carlson (Kans.); W.F. Bennett (Utah); C.T. Curtis (Nebr.); T.B. Morton (Ky.); V. Hartke (Ind.), and J.W. Fulbright (Ark.).
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(Editor's note: The following letter from the president of the Progressive Blind of Missouri, George A. Rittgers, to the president of the National Federation of the Blind, Russell Kletzing, describes a successful vending stand project which should be of interest to blind persons and organizations everywhere.)
Russell Kletzing, President
National Federation of the Blind
2341 Cortez Lane
With the support that the National Federation of the Blind has given us in the Kansas City post office cafeteria problem, I think that my detailing of events is necessitated by the drastic change which has taken place in this situation.
Over the years, the cafeteria gradually changed from a feasible operation for blind persons to one geared for sighted personnel. About a year ago, Ted Bland, the postmaster, conceived a unique and pioneering idea. As time passed, through John Nordyke, the cafeteria general manager, the representative of the employees' committees, and myself as representing the blind, details for a Randolph-Shepard type of stand were worked out, under the direct supervision of John Nordyke.
On the 22nd of July the stand came into being, with three blind persons employed. Now the stand is operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, employing four blind persons full time and one on a part-time basis.
Providing desirable goods and services for the convenience and welfare of postal employees, this stand also provides desirable employment for blind persons in an atmosphere of friendliness and cooperation, which for many years was lacking.
It now appears that it was not the blind, but the personnel of the Missouri state agency for the blind that were in disfavor with the employees' committee and the employees. If in other states there are any state agencies in disfavor with Federal employees, might not this pioneering idea of Mr. Bland's be of advantage in providing goods and services to Federal employees and creating jobs for blind people?
While the blind took a reduction in over one thousand dollars a year in salary when the cafeteria was removed from the jurisdiction of the state agency, I feel that Mr. Bland, Mr. Nordyke, and the employees' representatives will rectify this when justified.
I would urge the National Federation of the Blind to try to expand this pioneering idea of Mr. Bland's in other areas. As matters stand at this time, a spirit of good will and cooperation pervades the atmosphere.
I cannot commend Mr. Bland's efforts too highly for the time and thought he must have given the stand, as well as the employees' representatives and John Nordyke, cafeteria manager, for establishing a vending stand for the blind adjacent to the mailing area in the Kansas City post office.
George A. Rittgers, President
The Progressive Blind of
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One of the hardest working retired persons in the country must be Ray Booth, of the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.
He is chairman of their employer-applicant panel which was established in 1961.
The mission of Mr. Booth's subcommittee is to explore and open additional opportunities for employment of the handicapped through an exchange of information between persons seeking a job and employers seeking good workers.
This face-to-face kind of program is used in other parts of the Keystone State and, as in Pittsburgh, has led to handicapped placements--including some of the most difficult cases.
Mr. Booth is beginning his third year as chairman of this subcommittee, which is embarked on a new series of monthly sessions designed to facilitate placements.
Since the inception of the program 15 panel meetings have taken place--the first was January 8, 1962--and 47 different individual employers have participated, representing a varied cross section of business, industry, and the professions. They represent retailing, manufacturing, engineering, dairy, public relations, hospital work, restaurant work, laundry work, banking, health insurance, mail-order work, trade associations, and employer associations. Of the employers who have served, 18 have served on two panels.
Mr. Booth, who retired in 1957 as secretary-manager of the Tri-State Industrial Association, Inc., condenses background material on the handicapped applicants who are scheduled to personally appear before an employer panel hearing, and arranges for the meeting place and also obtains the employers who attend.
The applicants are prescreened groups ready for placement, selected by counselors of the Pennsylvania State Employment Service.
Over the years Mr. Booth utilized the service of his association and its monthly bulletin to publicize the Pittsburgh committee's activities in behalf of the handicapped and to encourage employers to hire the handicapped.
He is a recognized and effective salesman for employment of the handicapped. His explanation of the purpose of the employer-applicant panels has won him nearly 100 percent acceptance from persons invited to serve on the panel. Often, panel members have volunteered to serve on his future panels and they welcome the opportunity.
What has this subcommittee accomplished? In calendar year 1962, 36 disabled applicants were interviewed. Panel members placed two directly. Four were placed by the Pennsylvania State Employment Service and four others secured jobs elsewhere acting on suggestions advanced by panel members.
The results of Mr. Booth's subcommittee have also:
1) Provided a new lease on life and renewed hope to applicants who may have been turned down on a number of previous applications for employment.
2) Changed the attitude of the applicants and provided new motivation.
3) Provided employers a firsthand view of the hire-the-handicapped program.
For his work over the past years on the employer-applicant panel subcommittee and his many other contributions to the Pennsylvania program, Booth was cited by the President's Committee and the Pennsylvania Governor's Committee. The award was presented by Lt. Governor Raymond P. Shafer at the 11th Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Governor's Committee in Pittsburgh on September 11.
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(Editor's note: Two new members were added to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind at the organization's 1963 convention at Philadelphia: Dr. Jacob Freid and Mr. Lyle von Erichsen. In accordance with our policy of acquainting our readers with outstanding personalities in the movement of the organized blind, we are reprinting herewith the biographies of Dr. Freid and Mr. von Erichsen from the N.F.B. publication, WHO ARE THE BLIND WHO LEAD THE BLIND? [revised edition, October, 1963].)
Long known to Federationists throughout the country as an aggressive champion of the cause of the organized blind, Dr. Jacob Freid was chosen by the N.F.B. at its 1963 convention to join the national board of directors. During the same convention he was also honored as recipient of the Newel Perry Award, presented by the Federation for distinguished service in the field of work with the blind.
Himself without sight in one eye as the result of a detached retina, Dr. Freid has sufficient remaining vision to read and travel independently with corrective lenses. Following his graduation in 1937 from the College of the City of New York, where he was also an Honor Fellow, he went on to earn a Master's degree in sociology from Columbia University in 1938, and later returned to the same institution to receive a Ph.D. in sociology in 1956.
During the second World War, he was head of the Moscow desk of the Office of War Information and the United States State Department, acting as information liaison between our embassy in Moscow and our State Department in Washington. The work of his desk was considered by Averell Harriman, then U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, to be the most successful operation conducted by our nation in its wartime relations with the Soviet Union.
Following the war he accepted an executive position with the American Jewish Congress, which he subsequently left in 1952 to become Executive Director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America. During the same period he taught sociology at Rutgers University, where his courses included a class on "Social Welfare Agencies: Problems, Standards, Community Relations." For the past several years he has been Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the New School for Social Research, New York City, and is presently also Chairman of the Faculty--the highest elective post at an institution of learning which numbers among its faculty some of the nation's most distinguished social scientists.
Dr. Freid is the author of numerous published writings in social science and public welfare, the latest of which is a comprehensive study of Jewish life and history entitled JEWS IN THE MODERN WORLD. Published in 1962, the work has already been hailed by scholars as a classic of social science and "a remarkable treasure-house of information and profoundly perceptive insight into the Jewish condition of our time.”
In presenting the Newel Perry Award to Dr. Freid, N.F.B. President Russell Kletzing summed up the character of his contribution in the following words:
"Dr. Freid has been much more than a guest at each of our conventions since . He has been a very active participant, an inspired speaker, a wise confidant, and a steadfast friend. Above all he has thrown himself and his considerable energies into the thick of our struggles--both without and within the Federation. When the Kennedy Bill, the Federation's right to organize measure, came before a committee of Congress for public hearings in 1959, and when we were in desperate need of supporting voices to counteract the phalanx of powerful agencies arrayed against us, it was Jacob Freid who braved the wrath of agency interests to fly down to Washington and speak forcefully on behalf of the right of blind people to organize on their own. This was no mere act of courtesy. It was an act of courage, determination and devotion, for Jacob Freid is himself an 'agency man. ' These are the qualities, coupled with rare intelligence and insight, which he has consistently and conspicuously displayed in the direction of his own agency: The Jewish Braille Institute of America.
"As the executive director of the Institute and the brilliant editor of its well-known journal, the JEWISH BRAILLE REVIEW, Dr. Freid has long been in the forefront of those enlightened forces in the field of welfare who recognize their function as that of working with the blind rather than merely for them--or against them. His attitude is part and parcel of a larger philosophy. He is a liberal in the true liberating sense: a fighter for every cause of social justice, however 'lost' it may seem; a foe of prejudice and intolerance, wherever they rear their ugly heads; a spokesman for the deprived against the depraved, and for the underdog against the overlord. In short, he is not just a friend of the blind: he is a friend to man.”
A prominent leader of the organized blind in the state of Washington since 1920, Lyle von Erichsen was elected to the National Federation's board of directors in 1963 in recognition of his multiple talents as an aggressive organizer, successful attorney and foundation administrator.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1900, young Lyle moved with his family to Spokane at the age of six--and one year later fell victim to scarlet fever, with resulting loss of sight. He entered the School for the Blind at Vancouver, Washington, in 1907, continuing through the eighth grade, when he transferred to the Vancouver public school. After graduating from high school in 1919. Lyle enrolled at the University of Washington and received his B.A. degree in 1922. Ambitious for a career in law, he went east the same year to Harvard Law School at Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating three years later and shortly thereafter gaining admission to the Bar of the State of Washington. He has remained in general law practice since October, 1925, and has steadily built up a flourishing business. His wife, Fern, whom he married in 1929, died in April, 1963.
In 1920, while still a college student, von Erichsen took the lead in forming the local organization for the blind in Spokane, the Eastern Washington Association of the Blind, now called the Spokane County Association for the Blind. He has been president of the Spokane group for approximately 30 of its 43 years of existence, and helped to bring about its affiliation with the Washington State Association in 1944.
Presently serving his second term as vice president of the state association, von Erichsen was president for five years and has also served the organization as treasurer. Calling upon his legal knowledge and experience, he drafted the legislation which in 1937 first provided for state assistance to the blind of Washington and also made provision for the establishment of training centers. A four-time delegate of the W.S.A.B. to conventions of the National Federation, von Erichsen was a member of the public assistance advisory committee of the state Division for the Blind from 1937 until his voluntary resignation two years ago.
Von Erichsen is the founder of the Spokane Foundation for the Blind, Inc., and has been its president since its birth in 1940. The foundation, which he describes as in effect a holding company for the Spokane County Association for the blind, owns all of the property devoted to the blind in the locality--such as a summer cottage at Newman Lake, several buses for transportation of the blind and a large sinking fund for use in local activities.
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(Editor's note: Following is a resolution eulogizing the late Nathan Nadleman, veteran leader of the organized blind in Massachusetts. The statement was approved unanimously by the Associated Blind of Massachusetts at its recent convention.)
WHEREAS, on Friday, October 4, 1963, Nathan Nadleman passed from this earth to his eternal reward, cutting short a life that was still endowed with an insatiable desire for productive work and achievement, and
WHEREAS, he expended himself for a number of years without regard for his own personal interests and general well-being, and
WHEREAS, these self-sacrificial efforts were made in behalf of the A.B.M. and the N.F.B. toward promoting the social and economic welfare of the blind, and
WHEREAS, in the performance of his many duties as corresponding secretary, state White Cane Week chairman, and treasurer of the Boston Chapter (these offices being held simultaneously), he called upon his mental and physical resources to the utmost, never satisfied with his work unless it was faultlessly well-done, and
WHEREAS, he was an ill man for a longer time than any of us knew, but still continued unrelentingly to keep pace with his many overtaxing duties, never sparing himself, and
WHEREAS, this true spirit of zealous dedication is no longer with us, and realizing what a great loss his going will mean to the blind of Massachusetts and even beyond,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, in convention assembled in Springfield, Massachusetts, this sixth day of October, 1963, extend to their departed brother, hoping that in some mysterious way this message may reach him, conveying their deep feeling of loss, sorrow, and gratitude for his long and tireless service to the blind; and their prayers that God, in His infinite love and mercy, may take Nathan Nadleman into His kingdom where he may reside and enjoy rest and peace for all eternity.
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(Editor's note: The following article is condensed from the B.V.A. NEWS, bimonthly publication of the Blinded Veterans Association of America.)
Writing to your congressman can help--but it can hurt, too. An offensive letter is far worse than no letter at all. A letter with incorrect information, full of overstated complaints, is not going to impress the lawmaker.
A former Congressman, Frank Ikard, of Texas, now vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, in a recent article gave some tips on writing to congressmen. They can be summarized briefly as follows:
1. Know your congressman.
2. Know your subject. Have your facts straight.
3. Be brief and courteous. Stick to one subject.
4. Keep the letter simple and personal. Show by facts and figures how you, yourself, will be affected. Don't use form letters.
5. Write when the bill is still pending in committee--not after it has passed.
6. Don't be afraid that you are imposing on your congressman by writing. It is when the letters from his constituents fall off that he begins to feel uneasy.
7. When the congressman has voted in line with your views, write him a thank-you note. After every key vote a congressman is deluged with mail from displeased constituents. Those who agree with him seldom express approval.
8. Letters can be addressed to your lawmaker in care of House of Representatives or Senate, Washington, D.C. They will get it.
9. When writing to a congressman or senator or a committee of either house, use your own language. Do not write what someone else did. But, write now, before it is too late.
The ideal letter writer lies somewhere between the man who once wrote a 96-page letter to a member of the House and the woman whose letter to Senator Harry F. Byrd (D., Va.) read in its entirety, "Dear Senator: I'm against it.”
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(Editor's note: Each year the Associate Members of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped--consisting of Cabinet Members and the heads of the Administrative agencies chiefly concerned--releases a Joint Statement affirming the goals of the Committee and noting the developments of the past year. Here is the group's statement for 1963.)
The Associate Members of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped recognize the outstanding performance records which qualified handicapped workers are making as important contributions to the national welfare and economic progress of our country. These workers include those with physical handicaps, those who have recovered from mental or emotional illness, and those mentally retarded individuals who are trained for many kinds of jobs.
As we observe National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, we note again the steady gains that have been made in rehabilitation and in employment of the handicapped--gains which in substantial measure are contributing toward the achievement of the highest goals we all wish for our country.
Today, as demands for goods and services have continued to increase year by year, the growth and vitality of our nation call for the best utilization of our trained manpower. A significant part of that resource is the reservoir of qualified handicapped workers who have proved themselves to be safe, reliable, productive, and punctual workers. Through their vocational rehabilitation, and educational training, these workers have prepared themselves for important roles in the economy. During the past decade and a half the handicapped by their performance on the job have demonstrated the truth of the slogan, "Hire the handicapped--it's good business."
The Associate Members reaffirm the policy that these handicapped persons deserve equal consideration with the able bodied for any position for which they are qualified. To pass them over without consideration would be completely alien to our American way of life, which gives the individual the right to the opportunity to choose his role in life, according to his abilities.
We urge business, industry and labor to continue to further advance the program so that all job applicants will be selected on the basis of ability. We pledge that the Federal Government shall continue to play a leading role in this program of hiring the handicapped at all levels.
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Kentucky Leader Ill. Harold Reagan, veteran leader of the organized blind in Kentucky and member of the executive committee of the National Federation of the Blind, is recovering in a Louisville hospital from a broken leg sustained when he was struck by an automobile December 6, according to word received from Robert Whitehead, president of the Kentucky Federation of the Blind. "Harold is doing nicely and carrying on his work from his hospital bed," Bob adds.
In other Kentucky news, the Bluegrass Chapter of the State Federation recently held its annual elections, choosing Mrs. Elizabeth Capp of Lexington to lead the group during the coming year. Other successful and well-attended chapter meetings have been held by the Louisville Association of the Blind and by the Henderson County Council of the Blind, President Whitehead reports.
Blind American in France. The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Miss Lynda Bardis, a blind Californian presently studying in France under a scholarship made possible by the California Council of the Blind. Her letter, addressed to James McGinnis, Council president, has been published in the December, 1963, issue of THE COUNCIL BULLETIN.
"I'm sure you're interested to know how a blind person gets along here in France. ... Well, the first thing I can say is that if you require more or less level and even sidewalks, streets that cross each other at right angles, cars that slow down when they see you standing directly in front of them, and any logical and sane order whatsoever to the layout of things, don't count on getting around by yourself in France. Pau [a city] is like a maze, with fascinating little winding streets cutting into each other at any angle and at any point in the block, with scaffoldings, tricycles, and tables of meat on the sidewalks and with swarms of people scurrying in every direction into and out of every doorway.
"I have taken the coward's way out and go with friends to the places I want to go. ... Actually, it was quite a shock to realize that drivers could see from a block away that we were there, and couldn't care less whether there was room to drive or not. But the people with whom I have had contact are really wonderful. All my teachers, the people who run the dorm, the people in the restaurant, all of them are so warm and willing to do any little thing that they think might make me more comfortable or make things easier for me. ... Actually, it isn't much different here. People are the same all over, and it's so wonderful having this opportunity to get to know them.”
Massachusetts Legislator To Run. Gregory B. Khachadoorian, blind attorney from Arlington, Massachusetts, will be campaigning next fall for his fourth consecutive two-year term in the state House of Representatives, according to a letter received from Mrs. Stella A. Babigian, a member of the Boston Chapter of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts. Her communication adds that Khachadoorian has been appointed chairman of the Republican State Committee. He was named by the governor in 1962 to the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts State Division for the Blind.
Another Peace Corps Applicant. Michael Yale, blind student at the University of California's Berkeley campus, hopes to be the fourth blind volunteer to serve in the Peace Corps, according to a feature article published in the OAKLAND TRIBUNE, December 8, 1963. The 19-year-old junior, a journalism major, also hopes to go on to a law degree, the newspaper reported.
"The routine of campus life he and his guide dog Archie handle in the same matter-of-fact way they embarked upon a 27-day bus tour of the country last summer. He and Archie did the entire tourist bit--climbed the Washington Monument, swam in the Great Salt Lake and Lake Michigan, had a wee-hour gabfest in a Greenwich Village coffee house."
Blinded by an explosion at the age of five, young Yale was encouraged on advice of his physician to learn to do things for himself. "As a result of that advice, and a generous portion of native gumption on the youth's part, the result is a well-rounded young man who has behind him several years' service to charity as a benefit pianist, has won medals for debating and public speaking, dabbles in poetry, plays bridge, bowls, cooks his own breakfast, and cruises around the U.C. campus on a layout that he's learned by heart, without the traditional white cane carried by blind persons," the article said.
African Student at Hadley. Jason Mutugi, leader of the blind in Kenya, was a visitor recently at the Hadley Correspondence School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois, according to HADLEY HIGHLIGHTS, a quarterly publication of the school. The 29-year-old Mutugi, who received much of his advanced education through the Hadley School's tuition-free correspondence courses, represents a blind population of 70,000 people, of whom 25,000 are children under 15.
"Injured by a stone at the age of seven, Jason was carried by his mother for three days through the jungle in search of medical aid," the journal reported. "Help was reached too late to save his sight. When twelve, he enrolled in the newly-founded Salvation Army Institute for the Blind at Thika, Kenya.”
For five years, starting in 1954, Mutugi took courses in English offered by Hadley, which permitted him to continue with teacher training rather than halting his education and returning to his tribe.
"After two years' teacher training in Thika, he was certified by his government to teach the blind. Prior to his teaching, Jason demonstrated the patience needed for his future work--he transcribed the New Testament into Swahili braille. This job, done by hand, took two years to accomplish," the article pointed out.
During these years of study and work, Jason founded the Kenya Union of the Blind. With some of his blind friends he also organized and collected braille books to start Kenya's first braille library. More recently he has completed studies at the Royal Commonwealth Society of the Blind in London and is now studying field work methods at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Toronto.
Lawmaker's Tribute to tenBroek. At a recent San Francisco luncheon held in honor of Assemblyman Phillip Burton, Chairman of the California Assembly Committee on Social Welfare, the state lawmaker paid oratorical tribute to Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind and former chairman of the State Board of Social Welfare. As reported by the California Council of the Blind BULLETIN, Assemblyman Burton revealed that late in the last session of the 1963 legislature, he had explained to Dr. tenBroek that he (Burton) could assure the enactment of Assembly Bill 59--providing numerous substantial benefits to the aged, blind, disabled and needy children--only if Dr. tenBroek would consent to enactment of the bill which would transfer the Social Welfare Board's functions to the Director of Social Welfare. Without hesitation, according to the BULLETIN, Dr. tenBroek decided in favor of the benefits for the welfare recipients. Their welfare was paramount to the jurisdiction of the Board.
Help Wanted. Pauline Gomez, the energetic president of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind, has sent out a call to alumni of the Oakland (California) Orientation Center for further assistance in promoting such a center for New Mexico. She reports that tremendous opposition to the project is now developing from the agencies for the blind in her state. An interim study was nevertheless authorized by the New Mexico legislature under chairmanship of Senator Tibo Chavez. Pauline has asked that as many as possible of those who have been students at the Oakland Center write letters to Senator Chavez explaining how the Center has benefited them. Letters should be addressed to: Senator Tibo J. Chavez, P.O. Box 544, Belen, New Mexico.
Rehab Courses from Hadley. The rehabilitation department of the Hadley Correspondence School for the Blind is increasing its program in the development of new rehabilitation courses, according to an announcement from the Winnetka, Illinois, school. Working closely with schools, agencies and training centers for the blind throughout the country, the Hadley School is providing specific training programs and pre-vocational information which should lead to actual on-the-job training and increased employment opportunities for blind persons.
The basic course of the Hadley rehab department is "Introduction to Rehabilitation," developed by Dr. Herbert Rusalem of Hunter College and the Industrial Home for the Blind in Brooklyn. Available in braille and recorded form, the course reportedly serves two purposes: it provides blind persons with understanding and information regarding services, resources, and agencies available to them; and it provides the motivation to learn braille. Several teacher-training centers are said to be considering the use of this and other Hadley courses in their scholastic program.
A.F.D.C. Aid Dangerously Low. The public assistance program of aid to families with dependent children (A.F.D.C.) reaches only a fraction of the Nation's impoverished families, according to an article in the November issue of Welfare in Review, monthly periodical of the Welfare Administration.
The article, "A.F.D.C. in Review: 1936-1963," was written by Ellen J. Perkins, Chief of the Dividion of Program Statistics and Analysis, in the Bureau of Family Services. It discusses trends in the program since its authorization under the Social Security Act of 1935.
Mrs. Perkins estimates that not more than 1 in every 6 impoverished children (a term covering an estimated 17-23 million youngsters in families with incomes so low that they must choose between adequate diet and another necessity, but cannot afford both) was reached by A.F.D.C. in December, 1962. At that time, there were 885,000 needy families with 2,700,000 children receiving assistance. The A.F.D.C. program was reaching about half of the poor families headed by women.
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