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.



By Russell Kletzing

By Dr. Isabella Grant



By Stanley Oliver



By Russell Kletzing






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



By Russell Kletzing

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

Last year the nation was presented with "a new welfare program which dramatically shifts the emphasis in public assistance"--away from the old goals of support and relief to an "all-out effort at social rehabilitation," aimed at "restoring needy persons to self-sufficiency and independence." The name of this all-out effort is "the SERVICES program."

Those are not my words. They are the words of an official state bulletin which has just gone into effect in California. That bulletin of the welfare department proclaims a four-year plan for retooling public assistance, including aid to the blind, along lines of the so-called "services program." The California bulletin is worth studying--for it is the prototype of 49 others already issued or still to come. No state is likely to resist the pressure to get on board this national bandwagon--if only because the federal administration has upped its matching funds from 50 to 75 percent of the cost of its new battery of social services. Any state which turns them down loses this coveted extra money--as well as being threatened with nonconformity and the loss of its remaining federal funds.

Let me give you a closer look at this ballyhooed bulletin, and the glittering package of welfare services which it advertises--seemingly almost free of charge to the state. Does the gift come with strings attached? Are the contents as they are described on the label?

The answer to the last question is emphatically no. The advertising is false and misleading. The most glaring falsehood of all is that the new services program marks a "dramatic shift" in the direction of independence and self-sufficiency. The statement is false on two counts: first, because the services program does not move toward those goals but away from them--toward the very different goals embodied in casework services. And the claim is false, second, because the purposes of independence and self-support have been right there in the federal program ever since 1956. Nothing has been added to those goals in all the years since--least of all by the welfare program enacted last year.

The stress upon services in welfare emphasizes more than casework: it also glorifies the caseworker. According to the state bulletin, everything is arranged to meet the worker's needs and to suit his or her convenience. Training programs for welfare personnel are expanded and liberalized. Agency facilities and methods are modernized and streamlined. Salaries and working conditions are improved, and opportunities for special studies, reports and experiments by agency staff are vastly broadened. After all this, who can doubt that the caseworker will emerge from the program of services as a well-adjusted, productive and happy person?

But whatever became of the client? Reading this bulletin and others like it, one is tempted to regard the blind, aged or disabled client as the forgotten man of welfare--more likely to be found in the Bureau of Missing Persons than in the bureau of public assistance. However, there is an indication that California's welfare authorities are aware of this discrepancy; for tucked in between lengthy paragraphs on the new powers and responsibilities of the agency is a one-sentence paragraph headed: "Rights of Clients." Let me read it to you: "Persons coming to the county welfare department for help have a right to the use of the agency's resources in a way which best enables them to find acceptable solutions to their own problems, or which best protects their welfare when they are themselves incapable of or are otherwise unable to act on their own behalf."

That is the complete statement of the "Rights of Clients." The only right which emerges from it is the "right" to accept the services offered by the agency. Where is the right to reject those services--or the right to accept some and decline others, without loss of the aid grant? Where is the right of confidentiality? The right of privacy? The right of immunity from unwarranted searches and seizures by roaming bands of county agents? Where is the right of discretion and of free consumption choice in the expenditure of the cash grant? Where is the right of fair hearing and appeal from adverse decisions; the right to be regarded as a client and a citizen, rather than as a patient or a criminal? There should certainly be a section on the rights of clients in such a document as this--devoted as it is to newly expanded services and responsibilities. But there is none; there is only the lonely sentence, ludicrously mistitled "Rights of Clients," which says that clients have a right to take what is given them--and moreover that they have a "right" to be told what is good for them when they are incapable of acting in their own interest. Of course that latter part of the sentence does not apply to all clients--only to the incompetent ones among them, such as (presumably) those who are too old, those who are too young, those who are too disabled, and those who are too blind.

In the new welfare program of "Services Unlimited," then, the mighty presence of the caseworker is matched by the conspicuous absence of the client. Nor should this phenomenon surprise us; for who can forget the struggle of the organized blind over the past generation--a struggle waged against the powerful agencies, both public and private, controlling their welfare--a struggle for a measure of freedom and a degree of expression. We might even detect in this vexed relationship of client and caseworker the operation of a kind of natural law. Since such laws generally have names, perhaps we might call it "Kletzing's Law." This law holds that the greater the power in the hands of the caseworker, the less the power in the hands of the client. The more he is directed, the less he will be self-directing. The more he is serviced, the less he is able to serve himself. It has been noted before that the tendency of casework is not only to take responsibility for the "whole” client, but to take "whole" responsibility for him. Put more bluntly, the temptation is to do everything for the client--leaving him nothing to do for himself. In the field of welfare, surely, the old axiom holds: custodial power corrupts, and absolute custodial power corrupts absolutely. This is the historic trap of custodialism; and this is the future threat of unlimited services.

This is not, of course, to begrudge the social worker the status and stature which this profession deserves, and which has all too rarely been granted in the past. Indeed, the hope for enlightened welfare programs rests largely on the hope for enlightened workers and administrators; and this in turn depends upon the incentives of decent salary and superior training. In that sense, we may welcome the glorification of the American caseworker--but not where it carries with it the rationalization of inadequate practices and spurious claims.

Not all of the California welfare bulletin, let me hasten to point out, is quite as bad as its miniscule section on the "rights of clients." There is rather more than a sentence--indeed there is a whole section--given over to "economic services." This section displays, however timidly and tentatively, a recognition of the deep economic and social problems that underly dependency in the majority of needy cases. And there is also a section on "community planning" that suggests an awareness of some of the difficulties in the client's environment which, while not of his own doing, often lead to his undoing.

The recognition of these barriers of exclusion and discrimination is there; but it is little more than a gesture. There is no inclination to grapple with the larger and tougher problems that lie outside the needy person; the inclination, as always, is to concentrate on the problems that are inside him. For these are the problems which the services of social casework are capable of dealing with. It is easier, after all, to change the client than it is to change the community. It is simpler to teach a blind man how to apply for a job than it is to teach the employer how to give it to him. It is more practical to show the client how to spend or save his money than to show him how and where to earn it.

For this is the real problem of the blind client--the problem of how to break through the sight barrier: that great wall of ignorance and superstition, of myth piled on myth, concerning the nature of blindness and the capacities of those who are blind. This is the iron curtain which separates the country of the blind from the land of the free. This is the obstacle course which every blind person must traverse in order to get from here to equality. And the fuel which he requires to make the trip cannot be obtained at a welfare service station. What he needs is not service with a smile, but opportunity--with incentives.

It is not my purpose here to disparage the social services which have come to loom so large in the welfare programs of the states and the nation. My purpose is only to place them in proper perspective, to cut them down to size by slicing off the layers of pure baloney in which they have been wrapped. The basic services of orientation and counseling have been with us for a generation. They have been, and they are, effective in assisting many blind persons to achieve more adequate adjustment (physical, social and economic), thus reducing the degree of their dependency. It is desirable that these services should be maintained and strengthened, as they will be through increased federal participation in their costs.

Grant all that. Grant to the services program all that it can claim for itself and for its clients--in the way of mounting morale, mobility, and maximum mental maturity. When all of the services have been given and received--the tests taken, the lessons learned, the interviews interviewed--when the process is complete and the blind client steps forth from the agency, confident and competent, schooled and serviced--ready, willing and able--the essential problem is still there to meet him at the door, as ominous and urgent as ever. That problem is the handicap that far outweighs all others: the economic handicap of blindness. It is not to be solved by casework on someone else's part--but only by remunerative work on his part. It is to be met not by services but by incentives; not by orientation but by opportunity. When it is not met, or is met inadequately, no amount of personal and social services can compensate for the failure. And when it is met--when the blind person is securely on the job, self-supporting and independent--few of those personal services are any longer needed.

The role of services in welfare aid to the blind is important but secondary to the overriding objectives of expanding opportunity and maximizing incentives to the attainment of self-support. This has always been the emphasis of the National Federation of the Blind--the heart of our philosophy and our legislative program. Let me list for you some items which five years ago were part of our program and are today incorporated in the Social Security Act--items which help to make of public assistance an instrument of opportunity and a path to self-sufficiency.

First, the amount of the federal contribution of matching funds to the states for Aid to the Blind has been increased by nine dollars per month. However, while this increase has been passed on to aid recipients in many states, in others it has been withheld from the blind in whole or in part. Only through continued effective action by our affiliates can we hope to implement the intention of Congress to benefit the recipient, not the state treasury, through this increased contribution.

Second, the principle of exempt earnings has been firmly and irrevocably established in federal law. Every state must now allow a blind aid recipient to keep the first $85 he earns without reducing his aid grant. For earnings of more than $85 per month, the grant is reduced by 50 cents for each dollar earned by the recipient until full self-support is reached. This is perhaps the most important amendment made to the public assistance program since its adoption in 1935. By establishing a definite financial incentive to achieve self-support, it goes a long way towards realizing the twin goals of independence and economic integration.

Third, federal law has been changed to give permanent protection to the Missouri and Pennsylvania programs which allow aid to the blind largely without reference to a means test. These states are setting a precedent and a pattern for a constructive grant program for the blind; and it is vital that such programs be safeguarded and extended. The Federation's current legislative program seeks to allow other states as well to follow this example without the loss of federal funds.

Fourth, a major step toward making public assistance a positive force for rehabilitation was achieved by amending federal law to provide that real and personal property and other resources needed for a program of self-support could be disregarded for a one-year period for blind recipients. Since the one-year limitation is arbitrary and unrelated to the objective to be obtained, the NFB is now seeking to have that time limit removed.

Finally, it should be remembered that the "great leap forward" in public welfare occurred, not in 1962 with the passage of the services program, but in 1956 with the Federation-sponsored amendment of the purpose clauses adding self-support and self-care to the goals of public assistance. Those affirmative objectives, however, have never been fully implemented or recognized in the programs of the federal administration--despite the lip service piously and persistently given to them. Today, indeed, they are more precarious than ever--cast in jeopardy by many of the very tendencies that find expression in the fetish of personal and social services. Let us review the most threatening of these developments.

The most obvious threat is that suggested in the famous and frightening phrase of the federal administration in announcing the new welfare program: "services instead of support." The provision of services, however valuable in themselves, cannot be permitted to obscure the primary concern of public welfare--that is, to provide a reasonably adequate grant of assistance to the needy blind recipient with which to purchase the necessities of life. The average grant across the country is today approximately $70--woefully inadequate to meet ordinary and elemental needs in our modern society. Clearly, what is required in welfare for the blind is not less support but more and better support; not less relief but more adequate and constructive forms of relief.

Another threat to the proper objectives of public assistance appears in the language of the California bulletin, and of the federal communications on which it is based. It is the language of blurred boundaries and scrambled categories--part of an effort to erase distinctions and obliterate the separate identities of established client groups. Thus it is not the needy blind who are being served, but "handicapped adults in need of protection." It is not the aged as a group, or the disabled in their turn, but "adults with potentials for self-care," to which the new services are addressed. This blatant disregard of the special needs incident to blindness, or to old age, or to permanent and total disability, bespeaks a plot to wipe out the existing separate categories in favor of the catchall system of the infamous Title XVI. Such a retrogressive effort to intermix aid to the blind with that to other groups of disadvantaged persons must be vigorously fought wherever it turns up--and it has done so nowhere more glaringly than in the description of "services" by the California welfare department and the federal administration.

The profoundest peril of all to be found in the new accent on services is that the amount of the aid payment may be made contingent upon the blind client's acceptance of the whole battery of these services. Above all we of the organized blind must be on guard against this implicit threat to the very concept of public assistance. The acceptance of an available service must depend on only one thing--the voluntary willingness of the client to receive the service without any strings whatever attached to his grant of aid.

There is, let us admit, a germ of truth in the fervent declaration of the California bulletin that the new program of welfare services "dramatically shifts the emphasis in public assistance." Indeed it does--but in a direction exactly opposite to that indicated. Far from moving toward all-out efforts at economic and social rehabilitation--far from restoring needy persons to self-sufficiency and independence--the growing obsession with casework services of personal adjustment and orientation, of individual counseling and therapy, marks a dramatic shift away from these affirmative social goals and a potentially tragic departure from the intent and spirit of modern public welfare.

The ultimate end of public assistance, for blind persons in the productive years, is just that: and end to public assistance. The goal is not to perpetuate dependency but to eliminate it--not merely to help people in distress but to help them out of it. And the way to do this is not to put these disadvantaged people through a thousand-mile checkup at a service station. The way to do it is to give life and substance to the high purposes written into the welfare law of the land seven years ago: to carve out paths to self-sufficiency and self-support, and to blaze new trails for blind Americans to the time-honored democratic goals of independence and equality.

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By Dr. Isabelle Grant

(Editor's note: Dr. Grant, a member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind, has gained worldwide fame as the unofficial ambassador of the organized blind in the United States. She has spent more than two years among the grievously impoverished and undereducated blind people of Pakistan. Her present report describes one of the most promising results of this secular "missionary" work; the independent self-organization of the blind of Pakistan. For another view of developments in the same country, see "An Open Letter from Pakistan," elsewhere in this issue.)

Scarcely three years ago, a group of four blind Pakistanis sat on the porch of the small hostel in Lahore, where I was staying. They discussed freely in very understandable English the plight of blind persons in their country, the poverty to which blind persons were subjected, the absolute defeatism which characterized their thinking, and the deplorable lack of opportunity for work for any of them except the handful that caned chairs in a local sheltered workshop.

Thousands and thousands throughout the country have nothing more elevating to do than beg--for they have to eat. One of the young men on the verandah said he "wanted" to be a physiotherapist. He had read about one in the BRAILLE MONITOR. He is still at the stage of "wanting." Another of the group showed at that time all the earmarks of leadership, of willingness to do something about the fate of his fellow-blind, if only he could know what to do.

Another of these men was in the workshop with some 30 years of chair-caning behind him; he wondered why young, inexperienced sighted men who knew nothing about blindness and were uninterested in what is called blind welfare, occupied positions superior to his, with no hope of his ever moving up. For he was blind. That was the reason for his being retained at the lowest echelon, while the sighted young man, interested only in the "job," was handed the promotions, the increase of salary, and the prestige. One had self-respect thrust upon him--and the other had his drained from him.

The only answer was to make known their plight, to speak out, to let their own voices be heard. Thus was born the Pakistan Association of the Blind. The NFB convention in Philadelphia was indeed vastly different in many ways, but like in spirit. The PAB convention was held on Sunday, September 22, 1963, in the Barket Ali Islamia Building, Sherenwala Gate--an old building in the economically poorer quarter of the City of Lahore.

The meeting was convened at 2:00 P.M. by the President, Mr. Bakhar Shah, who called upon the General Secretary, Mr. Ishfaq Siddiqi, to take charge as program chairman. The first item of business was the reading and adoption of five resolutions, already passed by the Executive Committee, and now presented for approval to the "General Body." The resolutions covered pleas for education of blind children, suggested plans for employment, improvement and extension of training centers for post-school age blind persons, urging parents of blind children to seek education for their children and to grant to these children their rights as children.

Each one of the topics bespoke the cruel situation, the hopeless captivity to which the majority of their fellow-blind are subjected. At the convention their voice was heard, and their desires voted upon by each person present. Blind persons came from Rawalpindi, almost 200 miles away; from Bahawalpur, almost 400 miles distant, and from intervening towns and villages. All hundred of them came at their own expense, journeying many weary hours in the dusty, hot, heavily congest third-class compartments of the trains.

Each person from out of the city, and many of the city dwellers as well, had his chance to address the conclave from the floor. No one seemed to become tired--neither speaker nor listener. Repetition could not be avoided, but the freshness of the individual viewpoint lent variation to the speeches. The convention, I understand, closed at 11:30 P.M. I was able to hold out only until 7:30 P.M. I was also aware of the fact that a woman travelling alone at night in this part of the world is courting trouble. All speeches were in Urdu, and likewise all questions, comments, and remarks. Tea was due to be served at four P.M. But the electric current refused to function, so tea came at six. I am sure I was the only one upset by this delay, for the speeches went on undisturbed, in spite of the oppressive heat and humidity. The whole place was in darkness, but that did not disturb even the sighted assistant--who, with a candle to help him, showed me to the door when I felt I had to leave.

The piece de resistance among the speeches was that of the President, Mr. Bakar Shah. His fifty-minute oration was listened to with dignity, solemnity, and genuine warmth of applause. Afraid to risk my somewhat academic Urdu, I ventured my remarks in English, calling on the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Siddiqi, to interpret. My reference to the NFB, to greetings from the organized blind of my country, and my report on the Foreign Aid Fund inaugurated by the NFB were kindly received; and I am instructed to extend to all of you their thanks and appreciation.

My thoughts went back to our type of delegate representation, to the orderly and logical arrangement of our programs. At this stage, these simply don't fit into the environment here. The "polish" will come in due time. But the sincerity of purpose was obvious, as was the satisfaction of being able to speak out for themselves, of feeling their own importance--of feeling that after all they counted. Much was said respectfully, and sincerely, regarding agencies for the blind in Pakistan, of the facility with which these organizations collect money from the public in the name of the blind, of the inadequate representation of the organized blind on these organizations--all of it spoken with a complete lack of bitterness, with sincerity, and with fervent offers of cooperation and friendship. It was a truly inspiring symposium.

It is difficult to realize that the fact of illiteracy, of not being able to read or write, does not affect a free flow of oratory. It is also difficult to realize that reading material is simply not available, when we in other countries take for granted our books on science, politics, psychology, history--on every subject we can think of--our talking books, our tapes, and the inkprint books that can be read to us. The little information that a small minority received in school is passed on by word of mouth, vicariously. In a gigantic problem of this nature, one can only begin at the beginning and attempt to see that the next generation is provided with education--and let time take care of the rest. That beginning, miserably small though it is, has now been made.

Convention PAB was a far, far cry from convention NFB at Philadelphia. NFB members are wonderfully aware of existing conditions elsewhere--for example in Pakistan--and the Pakistani blind stretch out the hand of gratitude and friendship to their more fortunate American fellow-blind. They are now calling for a world federation of the blind where their voices may be heard, so that the world over the door of opportunity may be opened to all, and the door of education opened to blind children.

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Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, for the last 13 years a member of the California State Social Welfare Board and for the last three years its chairman, resigned from his position on October 10.

The announcement of Dr. tenBroek's resignation was made in Washington, D.C., by California Governor Edmund G. Brown. The Governor said he accepted the resignation "only on the understanding that Professor tenBroek would be available for appointment to some other position where the state can benefit from his rare qualities." The nature of the new appointment was not specified.

Professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. tenBroek was the founder of the National Federation of the Blind and its president for 21 years until 1961. He has been president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind since 1945.

Dr. tenBroek was first appointed to the State Social Welfare Board in 1950 by Governor Earl Warren (now Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court). He was subsequently reappointed three times; was unanimously elected chairman by his fellow board members in 1960, and re-elected in 1961 and 1962.

Among the many prominent public officials and welfare authorities who have recognized Dr. tenBroek's leadership and contribution in this field is Chief Justice Warren. Referring to "his immeasurable contribution and fine achievements in social welfare," Warren has said that "we are all deeply indebted to Dr. tenBroek's imagination and courage which has meant so much to the progress of our welfare programs."

Dr. Charles I. Schottland, former United States Commissioner of Social Security and presently dean of Brandeis University's graduate school of social welfare, has observed of Dr. tenBroek that he "occupies a permanent place among the pioneers of the social welfare field," adding: "I can personally testify to the fact that many advances nationally and in the State of California were the direct results of his vision, leadership, and penetrating and critical analysis of the situation."

A similar tribute to Dr. tenBroek's "deep influence on social welfare thinking" has been expressed by Ruth Chance, director of the Rosenberg Foundation, who singles out his "great quality as a human being" as "the essential fact against which his other remarkable gifts gain their special stature."

Dr, tenBroek's speeches and writings in the field of welfare have received numerous expressions of appreciation from officials of the National Urban League and its city affiliates across the country; and have been the subject of frequent praise from scholars in social welfare such as Dean Milton Chernin of the University of California's School of Social Welfare, who has written of his "extraordinary contributions" as "an outstanding public welfare official."

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The Phoenix Club of the Blind was host to the 14th annual convention of the Arizona Federation of the Blind held at the Porterhouse Motel October 19-20, 1963, James Fall was re-elected as president, and other officers chosen were: first vice-president, Margaret Pekarek; second vice-president, Mrs. Ewald Smith; secretary, Mrs. Maria Baumann, and treasurer, Gordon Perrine.

Convention highlights included three panel discussions on economic problems and goals of the blind, two of which were moderated by state legislators. An important member of two panels was Kenneth Jernigan, NFB first vice-president and director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, who also gave the major banquet address.

Alabama Federation of the Blind

Calvin Wooten was elected to the presidency of the Alabama Federation at its annual convention held at Anniston, October 18-20. In one of the AFB's most successful meetings of recent years, members were informed of the highly significant liberalization of the state's blind aid program which was enacted this year by the Legislature.

Other officers named to key posts were: Rogers Smith, first vice-president; Eleanor Hardenberg, second vice-president; Barney Abbott, secretary, and Burlie Dutton, treasurer.

Associated Blind of Massachusetts

The convention of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, held in Springfield the first weekend in October featured the theme of public relations, NFB president, Russell Kletzing, was the banquet speaker on the subject "From Here to Equality." He reviewed the dangers that are becoming evident in the services program now being installed under new federal laws. Another feature of the convention was the panel discussion on the responsibilities of the individual blind person in public relations. Their president, Manuel Rubin, was re-elected for another term of office,

Colorado Federation of the Blind

The Colorado convention, held in Denver on the last weekend in October, also took as its theme the subject of public relations. The program included discussion of Social Security benefits by Paul Wooden of the Social Security office and a panel discussion on the Responsibilities of Blind Persons in Public Relations.

Russell Kletzing, president of the National Federation of the Blind, spoke at the Saturday night banquet attended by more than 100 persons. The Federation voted a $50.00 grant to THE BLIND AMERICAN and presented a $100.00 grant to the Denver Optometric Center, which furnishes free optometric service for those who are in need. Cliff Jensen was re-elected president and was elected as the delegate to the Phoenix convention.

California Council of the Blind

The Fall 1963 convention of the California Council of the Blind was held October 18-20 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, with the major emphasis of talks and discussions focused upon the recent substantial reorganization of state welfare services. Featured speaker at the convention banquet was Assemblyman Phillip Burton of San Francisco, who presented an inspiring talk on progress in social welfare. Another important event was an address by Russell Kletzing, president of the National Federation, who spoke on the subject: "From Here to Equality." Other prominent speakers included Perry Sundquist, chief of the state's division for the blind; Martin J. Logan of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Larry Tate, field representative of the Social Security Administration.

Nevada Federation of the Blind

Mrs. Audrey Bascom was unanimously re-elected president at the annual convention of the Nevada Federation of the Blind held in Ely, Nevada, October 11-13. Major banquet speaker, and an active participant throughout the sessions, was Perry Sundquist, head of California's aid-to-the-blind program and a former president of the National Federation of the Blind.

The convention approved a resolution calling for the removal of the Bureau of Services to the Blind from the jurisdiction of the social welfare agency and placing it directly under authority of the new state Agency of Health and Welfare.

New Hampshire Federation of the Blind

The sixth annual convention of the New Hampshire organized blind met on October 5 in the Junior High School auditorium at Nashua. The convention opened with the election of Alfred Beckwith to fill an executive committee vacancy caused by the death of John Jordan. The National Federation's Washington representative, John F. Nagle, spoke thoughtfully on the subject of sheltered workshops, and later in the day delivered the main address at the convention banquet.

The purpose and future of public welfare was the subject of a spirited panel discussion featuring Nagle along with Charles E. Murphy, state welfare director; Alfred A. Beckwith, a vending stand operator, and Stephen Buckley, a high school counselor. In other action, the convention selected Portsmouth as the site of its 1964 meeting.

Ohio Council of the Blind

Toledo was the site of the 17th annual convention of the Ohio Council of the Blind, with 21 affiliates officially represented during the three-day sessions beginning October 18. The chief banquet speaker was retiring president Clyde E. Ross, who has led the state group for the past 14 years. Replacing him as president will be George Bonsky, of Canton. Other officers newly elected are: first vice-president, William Wells, Columbus; second vice-president, Alfonso Smith, Youngstown; recording secretary, Mrs. Mary Eiche, Lima; treasurer, Mrs. Ruth Brust, Mansfield, and executive secretary, William Dressel, Cincinnati.

South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind

The organized blind of the Aurora Club held an impressive two-day convention on the weekend of September 28 and 29, at the Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia. Some 140 persons attended the climactic banquet to hear a stirring address by Kenneth Jernigan, the NFB's first vice-president and director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. The Donald C. Capps Award for outstanding contributions by a blind person to his fellow-blind was presented to Marshall Tucker, Aurora board member. Mr. Tucker also was elected to serve out the one-year unexpired term of state secretary, with Mrs. Sue Moore of Charleston and Mrs. Fair Gallman of Spartanburg being elected to the board of directors. The convention was highlighted by several speeches on the part of prominent individuals in the fields of education, employment and social welfare.

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By Stanley Oliver

(Editor's note: The author is a member of the board of the Michigan Council of the Blind and editor of its magazine, THE EYE-OPENER. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind.)

In the next few months, Michigan will undergo a reorganization of some 125 state agencies, boards, commissions and institutions which in conformity with the newly adopted constitution will be dressed down to a little over a score. Petition has been made by the Michigan Council of the Blind to be heard at an appropriate level of government with respect to the present state Division of Services for the Blind.

The federal record currently shows Michigan as the 50th state in per capita claims for rehabilitation funds. Despite this remarkable departmental economy, the director annually processes a piece of whimsical fiction in the form of the annual report. A few years ago, when inquiry was made of the Detroit area office vocational counsellor for a very general account of placement activity, this was bluntly declined. When inquiry was made of the director, this also brought forth no information.

On the request finally of Representative Mahoney, a hearing was held before a joint Senate and House committee, specifically on state licensing of sales agencies in blind products; and during this hearing a direct request was made of the state director of the Department of Social Welfare. The freeze on information was then eased, and in a few days those of us who are blind and with an interest in the matter had opportunity to examine 57 program closure titles covering a 17-month period for the Detroit metropolitan area.

It became at once apparent why even the most innocuous data was being denied. Some of the exotic program closures which came to light included the following: A considerable number of door-to-door salesmen--at a time when one of the blind jobbers was offering a $25 premium to any blind salesman who could come up with a new recruit to add to his crew organization, with this jobber handling all "training" of such people. A number of women were listed as "homemakers," and this was never clearly explained; it was our conclusion that this term denoted a blind woman who became married, and during this process was somehow in contact with the rehabilitation office.

Baby sitter, parakeet breeder, canary salesman, were among titles that aroused speculation. One of the empty titles listed as a rehabilitation closure was that of a blind man well known to many of us, as a "vending machine operator." He was placed in charge of a dozen Kleenex machines located in about a dozen sites, driven around by his sighted wife in their car. After a six-week service stint he was able to amass the grand profit of sixty cents, or ten cents a week. His program closure appears as blandly among the 57 as any other.

It is obvious how an agency cabal can effect hoaxes and keep them hidden from scrutiny by those with a concern in real rehabilitation and real earning opportunities. Some two years ago this writer, at a scheduled meeting of the advisory board to the state agency, proposed that the duties of such a board could best be effected by a carefully detailed review of the departmental budget before this was processed up to the welfare department and eventually to the Legislature. The thought that organizations of blind people, among others, would have opportunity to consider services, staff, and funds, and then bring back recommendations to a meeting of this advisory board, left the director speechless. ... The director was so impressed by the value of this meeting that it slipped his mind to call another for two years.

The so-called advisory board had been used by the director as a meaningless forum on the meager activities that he would occasionally tackle. Of about 35 vending stands, approximately nine operators receive supplementary welfare help. A decision was made some years ago exempted the latter from set aside taxes. The 1961 survey of the American Foundation covering primarily Detroit pointed out gross shortcomings, among which were unqualified staff members. One of the AFB's conclusions was that the heavy industrialization should account for a few hundred real jobs, whereas perhaps twelve blind men are now employed in the auto and related industrial trades.

When an agency exists primarily for the benefit of its staff, it is important that its true record be made as public as possible. An agency which is never above playing footsie with minority elements in the blind population in order to keep a facade of moral virtue merits condemnation. It is quite possible to have a job stake, a prestige stake, or a power stake in the continued dependency of blind men and women.

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(Editor's note: The following editorial by Helen B. Anthony first appeared in the October, 1963, issue of THE WHITE CANE, official magazine of the Washington State Association of the Blind, Inc., an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. Mrs. Anthony is the magazine's managing editor.)

Here is a little story, reproduced on TV's "Day in Court."
The editorializing is your editor's.

A well-dressed mature-looking woman sat in a city bus. She hated Negroes, blind persons and dogs.

A well-dressed young man entered the bus. He was dark-skinned, he was blind, he had a dog guide.

Someone directed him to a seat beside the woman. He did not know if this was the only empty one or not, because he could not see.

The woman protested to the driver that she was afraid of dogs. She demanded that the man with the dog get off the bus.

The driver explained that both man and dog were entitled to ride the bus, but, upon her insistence, he asked the man to muzzle the dog.

Now, the dog was not used to a muzzle; he had been taught to function without a muzzle. Nevertheless, a muzzle was attached to his harness and the blind man muzzled the dog.

The woman kept complaining about the man sitting next to her. Her voice was very angry and the dog was very unhappy. He fretted the muzzle off.

The woman kicked the dog. The dog bit the woman.

The blind man was taken to court. He was a musician on the way to perform at a radio station. By the delay he missed his engagement for which he was to have been paid a professional fee.

The judge represented Justice.

God or Nature or Fate had decreed that the young man was non-white at birth ... decreed that through no will of his own he had become blind ... that the dog guide was trained to protect his master.

God or Nature or Fate had decreed that this woman, by accident of birth, was white and, by good fortune, had retained her sight. It was not decreed, however, that this would give her the right to lord it over non-whites, blind persons or faithful dogs. The judge found for the defendant, costs to the plaintiff.

The woman's parting shot was: "Do I have to take all this, just because he's BLIND!"

The moral of this is that people can be quite nasty creatures even though they may be white, sighted and, by the grace of God or Nature or Fate, bearing the semblance of a human being.

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By Ishfaq Siddiqi

(Editor's note: Mr. Siddiqi is General Secretary of the Pakistan Association of the Blind--whose recent convention is described in a separate article above by Dr. Isabelle Grant. Himself blind, Mr. Siddiqi won a gold medal last year for his sales achievements as an insurance agent for a Pakistan firm. His article was written expressly for THE BLIND AMERICAN.)

Dear Sir:

I am sure that our blind American friends would like to know and understand the struggle of the blind Pakistanis which has culminated in the establishment of the Pakistan Association of the Blind--in order for us to go ahead with unity, with faith in the justness of our cause and the achievement of our ultimate goal of complete integration into society.

We are highly appreciative of and indebted to that esteemed lady, Dr. Isabelle L.D. Grant, who woke us from age-old slumber and infused an unforeseen vigour amongst the blind here through her indefatigable zeal and fervor. But for her ceaseless efforts the establishment of the Pakistan Association would have been nothing more than a dream.

The PAB was established on the principle that blind people themselves must unite and assume leadership in solving their problems--and that they, as citizens of Pakistan, are entitled to speak through their own representative organization.

The Pakistan Association of the Blind believes that: (a) Blind people are essentially normal people. Blindness is not a psychological or mental handicap but it is merely a physical nuisance, (b) All criminations based upon the false assumption that blind people are somehow different from the sighted people must be abolished and equality of opportunities must be made available to the blind, (c) Because of their personal experience with blindness blind people are best qualified to lead the way in solving their own problems, (d) The general public, agencies, associations and institutions should be made aware of those problems and should be asked to participate in their solution. It is on these fundamentals that the Pakistan Association of the Blind predicates its philosophy.

In a bid to strike at the very roots of the appalling conditions of the blind, we have undertaken on a humble scale the following programs:

1. An evening education centre for the adult blind--to cast aside the thick folds of illiteracy and ignorance, and to change their outlook on life,

2. Facilities for learning typewriting, in order to make blind persons communicable with the sighted members of society.

3. Provision of free reader service to blind students.

Definite plans are in hand to start a library and an information bureau. Besides this we are constantly endeavoring to increase the amount and variety of occupations for the blind, and to ensure that blind workers receive fair rates of remuneration.

We are grateful to our blind American friends for the assistance and help which has been and is made available to us for the implementation of our programs; and we earnestly hope that a greater flow of equipment, books, periodicals and paper will be maintained.

We bow our heads to Dr, Jacobus tenBroek, the greatest blind person of this century, in appreciation of his valuable contribution to the welfare of blind Americans in particular and to the blind people the world over in general. May he live long and guide the destiny of the blind.

With best wishes and sincere regards to all blind Americans from the blind Pakistanis.

Yours faithfully,

Ishfaq Siddiqi,
General Secretary
Pakistan Association of the Blind
(West Wing) Lahore

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By Russell Kletzing

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

Within a few weeks, two of the staunchest Federationists have been taken by death--John Cooley and Nathan Nadelman. Both were of the hard-working, soft-spoken type that make up the backbone of every vigorous organization.

John Cooley was a resident of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and served for several terms as president of the Spartanburg Chapter of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind. He had also served as first vice-president of the state organization and was its secretary at the time of his death. His chairmanship of several of the state White Cane Week drives contributed to its financial stability. He is, however, best known in South Carolina for his authorship of the pamphlet "What Is The South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind." Circulation of this pamphlet to the members of the Legislature is credited with making possible many of the legislative successes that have been scored by the Club. John was also a member of the delegation to the national convention on many occasions and he will be remembered by the many Federationists who made his acquaintance there.

On the eve of the annual convention of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts that he loved so dearly, Nathan Nadelman was also taken by death. Nathan's record for hard work was unexcelled by any Federationist. No task was too large or too small for him to tackle. He had served with distinction as the corresponding secretary of the ABM, and was slated to be chairman of its resolutions committee at the convention. He had also been chairman of its White Cane Week fund raising activities in prior years. Utilizing the talent of Charles Little, the resolutions committee of the ABM drafted, and the convention adopted, a stirring, heartfelt resolution of tribute to Nathan and sympathy for his family.

Both of these lost Federationists will be sorely missed in their state organizations and in national activities.

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Among the highlights of recent legislative activity affecting the blind within the states are the following developments:

In Illinois, state services for the visually handicapped have been revised, with a new section added to the program authorizing the conduct of community service programs for the visually handicapped apart from those provided in the residential training institute.

Connecticut has seen the passage of a bill to prohibit any denial of access to any public mode of transportation or public place of accommodation to a blind person accompanied by a guide dog.

Missouri has increased maximum payments for blind-aid recipients to $75 per month. At the same time, a bill which would have extended the vendor plan for medical care to the needy blind was not acted on by a committee of the Legislature.

The Oregon Legislature lined up with the federal law in ruling that the earnings of blind recipients up to $85 plus half of additional earnings are to be disregarded in determining need. But the state's lawmakers defeated other bills which would have deleted relative responsibility and ended residence requirements for the needy blind.

An appropriation has been authorized in Vermont providing for the position of Educational Counselor for the Blind in order to facilitate individual plans for each visually handicapped child.

In Ohio and North Dakota, additional income and resources exemptions have been approved for blind clients in compliance with federal requirements. On the other hand, Wyoming has failed to pass legislation which would increase the amount of exempt income for recipients of aid to the blind.

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By R.L. Thompson

(Editor's note: The following report on the 1963 convention of the American Council of the Blind is reprinted from the September issue of the FLORIDA WHITE CANE BULLETIN, a quarterly publication of the Florida Federation of the Blind. Mr. Thompson is president of the Florida Federation and a member of the American Council of the Blind.)

I left Tuesday, July 16 and returned home Tuesday, July 23. Herthel Dunnigan was the only other FFB member able to attend. About 82 registered at the convention in Chicago. About 60 attended the Saturday evening banquet. Colonel Baker of Canada spoke at the banquet, and Herthel and I agree that his appearance and talk was the most inspiring event of the convention. Most of the speakers were from agencies such as the American Foundation, Vocational Rehabilitation Service or from some state agency for or of the blind. They were very sincere and earnest, but most repeated the same phrases and things we all hear each time speeches are heard from these sources. Illinois is now employing a Coordinator of Services for the Blind, and Mr. Dickinson in charge of this work spoke to us. The purpose is to cut down on duplication of services to the blind and to direct expenditures of funds and efforts to areas of needed services.

Jerry Knowler received the first Ambassador Award. She is a speech therapist from Kansas and is blind. She thanked us for the award and later in the convention was elected to the ACB Publications Board.

A number of leaders among the blind were there: Clyde Ross of Ohio, Durward McDaniel of Oklahoma, Alma and Jack Murphy of Missouri, George Card of Wisconsin. Outstanding persons such as our Al Drake, Marie Boring of North Carolina and George Howeiler of Oregon were not able to be at the convention.

In 1964 the convention is to be in Rochester, New York, where Mary Jane Hills lives. She was present at the convention and recommended shifting the convention out of New York City where it was scheduled because of the high cost there. The convention voted to hold the meeting in 1965 in Louisville, Kentucky. ...

There were ten Constitution and By-Laws changes presented, and several were accepted. Our suggestions were not accepted. Too many people fear we will lose agency people who are members, and agency people who are members want to hold elective office. One concession was made, though. The type of employment and the employer of a person seeking office will have to be announced to the convention by the chair or nominating committee.

Eleven resolutions concerning ACB position on needed national legislation were presented and accepted. I think the organization is doing very well considering it is only two years old. I would say that this year's convention was about the same as that in St. Louis except that the Illinois people did not swell the numbers by attending, and the Missouri people did last year. I appreciated the opportunity to attend, and will have more comments at the time of our next board meeting.

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(Editor's note: The following article is reprinted in condensed form from the October, 1963, issue of PERFORMANCE: THE STORY OF THE HANDICAPPED, a monthly publication of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.)

Outside the walls of Washington's Radio Station WRC, where Ed Walker is a popular radio voice heard by hundreds of thousands, very few listeners realize that he has been totally blind since birth.

Little wonder that Ed is always being called upon to participate in gatherings and goings-on around Washington. Since his first WRC show in 1955; when a critic referred to him as "the most refreshing new radio personality to be uncovered in Washington this year," Ed Walker's wealth of talent has attracted a large and faithful audience.

Currently his broadcast day consists of two 2-hour shows, "Man About Music" in the mornings and "Time for Music" in the afternoons. His working day stretches out to about 9 hours, however, as he translates weather, news, and commercial announcements into Braille notes, and plans his next day's shows.

The Braille typewriter is standard equipment near his microphone and is in constant use while the records are spinning. Close by is a precision clock with touchable dials that enables him to keep up a split-second schedule in unison with his engineer. And also within reach is a telephone--his only intimate contact with the world outside his heavy glass studio.

One would imagine that mike fright would be a natural reaction in such a situation: The realization that one is alone in a radio booth, speaking glibly and conversationally from Braille notes, saying things that will be heard by thousands. And all around, darkness. Added to this is the compulsion in a highly competitive business to be good; in fact, better than the next. For WRC is expected to be a standard bearer; it is one of five stations throughout the country which is owned and operated by the National Broadcasting Company.

Only once can Ed Walker remember being momentarily unnerved by the enormous significance of his position. That was in the Fall of 1955 when he first moved over to NBC from a suburban local station. Just before his first words he heard the three notes of the musical chime which is the network's audible symbol. The sound seemed to swell into a crescendo of excitement and triumph and he had to work fast to untie his vocal chords to meet his engineer's signal.

And the National Broadcasting Company has been happy with Ed Walker. "Sure, they took a chance," Ed admits; "but I guess I've proved myself." He likes the fact that he receives no special consideration, even though he has to work longer hours than the other musicastors, translating all his copy into his Braille notebook. "I'm just as liable for criticism as anyone else," he states seriously; then, with a chuckle, adds, "and I sure get my share of it."

One gathers the impression that Ed Walker, his blindness notwithstanding, is a very perceptive person.

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Owens Heads Trenton Group. Robert H. Owens was elected to a fourth consecutive term as president of the Trenton Association of the Blind at the group's October meeting. Other officers chosen were: vice president, Mrs. Marie Sullivan; recording secretary, Mrs. Mildred Tremple; treasurer, Norbert Cifelli, and corresponding secretary, Mrs. James Longbine. President Owens is a founder and officer of the Associated Blind of New Jersey, and a former secretary-treasurer of New Jersey Organizations of the Blind.

Blind Kentuckian Appointed. David Eugene Murrell, 26-year-old blind Kentuckian, was recently appointed assistant attorney general for the state shortly after his graduation from law school and admission to legal practice, according to an Associated Press dispatch published in the OAKLAND (California) TRIBUNE.

The article stated that Murrell's desire to complete law school had been motivated by his understanding of how difficult it is for blind persons to get ahead. "In the past, there has been no middle class for the blind. They're either at the top or the bottom. And to a great extent, that's true today," he was quoted as declaring. Murrell was said to have landed his present appointment by virtue of being the "best-qualified applicant" available for the post.

Boston Blind Group Featured. The numerous activities of the Associated Blind of Greater Boston, parent chapter of the statewide Associated Blind of Massachusetts, were prominently featured in an article published by the BOSTON SUNDAY HERALD (October 20, 1963). Noting that during October the nation's blind were marking the 33rd anniversary of the White Cane, "their symbol of independence in a sighted world, " the newspaper cited several of the programs and services offered to the blind by the Boston group--"such as their aid last week in keeping an elderly and blind South End woman in the rest home she had lived in for 25 years.

"Or the woman who came in recently and asked Charles W. Little [legislative chairman of the state ABM] if he would write a letter in braille to a blind student in Brazil. He was happy to oblige," the article said.

"To some, blindness is a definite handicap, but to Edward Connelly, second vice president of ABGB, it can provoke a laugh. Connelly, a cook employed by the state, said he was on the job for six months before his boss realized he was legally blind. He has but a tiny fraction of normal sight," the newspaper reported.


Virginia Chapter Holds Election. The Winchester Association of the Blind, a chapter of the Virginia Federation, held its annual election in midsummer, with the following officers named: president, Mrs. Robert Taggart; vice president. Grant Affleck; treasurer. Miss Frances Ebert; recording secretary, Mrs. Lester Elliott, and corresponding secretary, Mrs. Carl W. Lundmark. ... At its meeting on September 25, the Winchester chapter heard informative talks from four representatives of the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped, who emphasized state programs of vocational rehabilitation and home teacher training.


Maryland White Cane Campaign. A proclamation by Maryland Governor Tawes naming October 15 as "White Cane Safety Day" in the state stimulated a concerted drive by the Maryland Council of the Blind to gain maximum publicity for the event. The Council's White Cane Committee contacted the mayor of Baltimore, who agreed to proclaim the date as official White Cane Safety Day in the city as well. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clarice Arnold, president of the Maryland Council, along with other officers and members contacted newspapers, radio and TV stations with requests for publicity concerning the event and the blind generally. Mrs. Arnold reports that the response of the media was gratifying during the weeks immediately preceding the official day.


Father Forster Receives Missal. Father Keith Forster, O.F.M. blind Franciscan ordained two years ago at Mission Santa Barbara, now is the possessor of a Roman Missal in braille. It is a gift from the Braille Service Guild of Los Angeles. The Latin missal, consisting of more than 2OO plastic pages, took a month to transcribe and proofread after it had been requested by Father Forster through the Catholic Guild of the Blind of Los Angeles. An active participant in the transaction was Anthony Mannino, Catholic Guild leader and executive secretary of the American Brotherhood for the Blind.


News from North Dakota. Our correspondent in the upper of the two Dakotas, Melvin Ekberg, writes from Fargo that a national convention of masseurs was held there during the summer with Milfred Bakke, president of the Federated Blind of North Dakota, in charge of arrangements. "He must have done a good job, too, according to reports. Four of our members are masseurs, three of them blind; and they were all in attendance at the meeting," Mr. Ekberg notes.


New Officers in Omaha. Edward Collins and Henry Vetter were chosen vice-president and second vice-president, respectively, by the Omaha Association of the Blind at a special election held last summer to fill two vacancies in the Association's leadership. One vacancy was occasioned by the illness and subsequent death of Delton Boyer, former second vice-president; the other arose when Ralph Ferguson resigned his vice-presidency in order to move to Des Moines to enter training at the famed Iowa Center, ... Our loyal correspondent for the Nebraska Federation of the Blind, Maxine Pugh, has also advised us that students at the state school for the visually handicapped went to school this Fall to brand new classrooms--a welcome addition to the institution which balances the recent construction of a new school dormitory.


AAIB Workshop Set. The American Association of Instructors of the Blind science workshop is planning a regional meeting November 8 and 9 in St. Louis, Missouri, at the same time that the National Science Teachers Association will be holding its own regional meeting there. The Missouri School for the Blind has offered to accommodate the people attending this special regional workshop at very reasonable rates, according to an announcement of the AAIB.


Sister Benigna Honored. Fordham University has bestowed an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon Sister M. Benigna, O.P., for her work with blind children. She has been teaching and advising in the field for nearly 60 years, according to an item in THE NEW OUTLOOK FOR THE BLIND. In 1904 she was instrumental in the establishment of New York's first Catholic school for the blind, which later became the Lavelle School for the Blind.


Transportation Tribulations. The following is an excerpt from an editorial article by Marcia J. Gentzler, editor of HANDICAPTION, a regular publication of the Federation of the Handicapped, with headquarters in New Orleans. The article appeared in the journal's October, 1963, issue.

"For over 30 years, transportation has been supplied to some of our blind going to and from their place of employment. Until seven years ago the police were doing it, and then the City of New Orleans signed a contract with a taxi company to handle it.

"In May the City Council decided to cancel out, and let the Welfare Department take over. The Department says the blind should transport themselves, which in a city of this size is very nearly impossible for some. ...

"In order that these workers may continue working, the Blind Men's Business Association, Inc., formed a transportation committee, composed of sighted citizens, to try to solve their dilemma. Through contributions and a rodeo... transportation is being supplied, but this is not the answer to the problem. It still lies with politicians who make pre-election promises and then conveniently forget them, once they are in office."


Charge Misuse of Welfare Funds. The Oklahoma League of Senior Citizens has demanded an investigation of the Department of H.E.W. "to find out why federal funds earmarked for Oklahoma's aged, blind and disabled are being 'shortchanged' by officials," according to a report in the SENIOR CITIZENS SENTINEL, a monthly newspaper published by the National League of Senior Citizens.

"The State League, formerly the Oklahoma Welfare Federation, leveled the charge during its statewide convention, while simultaneously calling for sweeping changes to liberalize and bring up to date the state's backward social welfare laws which lag far behind many other states," the newspaper reported.

The League's convention was said to have adopted a resolution declaring that federal and state funds intended for welfare purposes have been "co-mingled" in the Oklahoma Welfare fund and "diverted for other state purposes contrary to federal law."

Dr. F.G. Conley, League chairman, was quoted as declaring: "It would appear that State Director Lloyd E. Rader does not advise the State Legislature as to the availability of federal benefits under the Public Assistance Act."


Inventor's Idea Holds Water. Jules Martin of Honolulu, an active participant in Hawaii's organized blind movement, is the inventor of a unique emergency water system, according to an item in the Honolulu ADVERTISER. The idea reportedly came to him five years ago when he heard a Civil Defense program stressing the importance of keeping containers of fresh water in homes for emergency use.

He began thinking of how fresh water might be made available automatically for those unlikely to plan ahead, and last July was issued a patent for an emergency tank attachable in any building having a regular water system, the article said. The tank is hitched right into the system, in such a way that the water not only passes through the tank but is completely revolved in the process, assuring constant freshness. If the water line should break or water become shut off, the tank automatically closes itself, sealing fresh water inside.

Martin, blinded in 1934 in a mine explosion, presently is helping train seeing-eye dogs for a firm called Eyes of the Pacific.

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