AUGUST ISSUE 1964
VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.
Published monthly in braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind, President Russell Kletzing, 2341 Cortez Lane, Sacramento 25, California.
Inkprint edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California.
Acting Editor: Jacobus tenBroek
Assistant Editor: Floyd W. Matson 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California.
News items and changes of address should be sent to the Editor.
THE REVIVAL OF THE BRAILLE MONITOR
NFB CONVENTION ROUNDUP
THOUGH BLIND, A MAN OF VISION
THE PARLIAMENT OF MAN . . . THE FEDERATION OF THE WORLD
By Jacobus tenBroek
NFB RESOLUTIONS RE WCWB
NEWEL PERRY AWARD PRESENTATION
The revival of the BRAILLE MONITOR comes in the nick of time. The last issue was published in December, 1960. The suspension was caused by the dearth of finances which resulted from the internal warfare of the Federation. During the spring of 1961 the American Brotherhood for the Blind received a handsome bequest. The Brotherhood, therefore, was able to take over where the MONITOR had left off. In August, 1961 the Brotherhood began the publication of the BLIND AMERICAN, in form and content the replacement of the MONITOR. These and other heavy drains on the treasury of the Brotherhood, alas, are now exhausting its reserves. It had already reduced to a quarterly issue and will now suspend altogether. The announcement of President Kletzing at the NFB Phoenix convention that the income of the Federation would now permit the revival of the BRAILLE MONITOR thus could not have come at a more opportune moment.
The anouncement is important in more than a fiscal sense. As the MONITOR suspended at the peak of dissension within the Federation, so it revives with the restoration of harmony, good feeling and mutual understanding. May the MONITOR and these attributes of the Federation continue to reign together.
The MONITOR, braille and inkprint, will automatically be sent to all those who are on the BLIND AMERICAN mailing list. In addition it will be sent to the more than one hundred who are on the BLIND AMERICAN braille waiting list.
As was our practice in earlier days, separate Federation bulletins will now be held to an absolute minimum. Instead their contents will be published in the BRAILLE MONITOR. In a short time all those on the Federation bulletin list who are not receiving the braille edition of the MONITOR will receive a letter asking whether they wish to be placed upon the list for the inkprint edition.
I will serve as acting editor of the MONITOR. Floyd Matson will be assistant editor. It is hoped, at least by me, that the tenure of the acting editor will be short and his assignment temporary.
The Federation has created a national committee of correspondents consisting of at least one member from each state. The committeemen will send news of local personalities and developments of interest to NFB readers. This committee has been in operation for a year and has been doing a fine job. Its existence however should not in any way discourage the rest of our readers from sending in appropriate items and feature stories. If these are not published as separate articles with a credit line, they will at least be reflected within the Monitor Miniatures.Articles which are not signed or the source of which is not indicated are the work of one or the other or both of the editors.
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By Jacobus tenBroek
People began arriving on Saturday; a good number were on hand by Sunday, and we practically required an auditorium for the executive committee meeting on Monday. This was true though the official sessions of the 1964 NFB convention held in Phoenix, Arizona, ran from Tuesday through Friday, June 30 through July 3. The hotel reported that almost nobody checked out on Friday night after the convention, preferring to linger through Saturday for visits about the community and a last day with old friends. From the first small gatherings on Saturday and the larger ones on Sunday, a buzz of excitement and cordiality was obvious to the most casual observer. The atmosphere from beginning to end was delightfully harmonious. We shall here report the content of the convention, though we cannot transmit the spirit.
Program-wise, in addition to a number of substantial and significant papers and panels, we had a whole day of presentations from fifteen visitors representing eight foreign countries. A world organization of the blind was almost invariably an expressed hope and recurrent theme.
A vital element in the success of the convention consisted of the convention arrangements and social activities. The first were worked out on the national level under the expert hand of Ken Jernigan as convention chairman and at the state level by the able and indefatigable efforts of the host affiliate, the Arizona Federation of the Blind. Plans were set on foot many months before the convention and executed in detail to the pleasure and satisfaction of delegates and guests. The evening of fun and frolic at Legend City, the Disneyland of the Southwest, was enjoyed by young and old, native and foreigner alike.
The large number of telegrams and letters received from congressmen, senators, and prominent administration officials were more than formal messages and greetings: they demonstrated the recognition given the organization and acknowledged its activities and accomplishments. Messages were received from Speaker of the House John McCormack (Massachusetts); Majority Leader of the House, Carl Albert (Oklahoma); and Congressman Walter S. Baring (Nevada); from Senators Mike Mansfield (Montana), Majority Leader; Everett Dirksen (Illinois), Minority Leader; Jennings Randolph (West Virginia); Vance Hartke (Indiana); Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota); Wallace Bennett (Utah); Howard Cannon (Nevada); Ed Mechem (New Mexico); Peter Dominick (Colorado); Joseph Clark (Pennsylvania); Alan Bible (Nevada); Clair Engle (California); Eugene McCarthy (Minnesota); from W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary of Labor; Stewart L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior; and from George Meany, President AFL-CIO. President Lyndon B. Johnson wired as follows: "I am pleased to send hearty greetings to all who participate in the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Handicapped men and women have long demonstrated their worth to our society as productive members of the labor force and as valued contributors to community life. My best wishes for a fruitful meeting and for continued success in helping the blind help themselves, "
In recognition of the job done by President Kletzing and the other officers, the 36-nnan nominating committee under the chairmanship of Bob Whitehead of Kentucky recommended and the convention unanimously endorsed the re-election of the entire slate of officers for another two-year term: President--Russell Kletzing, California; First Vice President--Kenneth Jernigan, Iowa; Second Vice President- -Donald Capps, South Carolina; Secretary--Eulasee Hardenbergh, Alabama; Treasurer--Franklin VanVliet, New Hampshire. Audrey Bascom Tait, Nevada, William Hogan, Connecticut, and Perry Sundquist, California, were returned to the executive committee, and James Fall of Arizona was elected to fill the seat vacated by Stanley Oliver of Michigan, In addition, the convention unanimously confirmed the action taken by the executive committee in reappointing to the board of directors Dr. Isabelle Grant, Dr, Jacob Freid, and Lyle von Erichsen,
1966 Convention City
A brisk contest developed over the 1966 convention city, Minnesota, sponsoring the Twin Cities, was first in the field, having begun a campaign following the meeting of the United Blind of Minnesota on the weekend of June 6. Delegates were buttonholed, banners and emblems displayed. Kentucky put Louisville in the field during the roll call on the first day of the convention. Later California submitted the City of Los Angeles. On the vote the Twin Cities were eliminated first, and Louisville prevailed over Los Angeles by one vote. So the 1966 convention city is Louisville, Kentucky. By convention action, Washington
D.C. was reconfirmed for 1965, at the Mayflower Hotel, July 6 to July 9.
Federationism in Action
The ongoing activities and policies of the Federation were reflected in a series of reports made by officers of the Federation and state affiliates. Collectively these reveal Federationism in thought and action and tell a story of organizational methods, trials, and progress.
Russell Kletzing's presidential report was divided into two parts: one, delivered on the first day, informally recapitulated the steps taken in carrying out the programs of the organization and conducting its work week by week; the other, a formal statement delivered on the last day, reviewing principal policies of the organization and constituting in effect a message on the state of the union. Six major topics were discussed: (1) the goal of proper education and effective orientation of blind people; (2) the aim of educating and informing the wider public with respect to the abilities and potential of the blind; (3) the theme of public assistance- -of aid to the blind under social security--involving its redirection along the paths of rehabilitation and vocational opportunity; (4) the goal of full employment of all adult blind persons of productive age, and normal competitive employment; (5) the challenge of our relationships with the agencies, both public and private; (6) the principle of organized, concerted activity of blind people, by blind people, for blind people. In view of the character and importance of this address, it will be published in full in the next issue of the BRAILLE MONITOR.
Six reports by leaders of state affiliates told of the encounter of the organized blind with a full range of problems and recounted successes and failures.
The story of the effort to improve public assistance in Alabama was told by Rogers Smith, The effort has been capped with remarkable success. The blind aid grant in Alabama was below both the national average for the blind and state payments to the aged. Under new legislation there has been a fourteen-dollar increase in average payments and a provision for special needs. The legislation drafted by the officers of the N. F. B. and lobbied through the Alabama legislature by Rogers Smith as chairman of the legislative committee of the Alabama Federation and by other Alabamans, was enacted over the opposition of state and national welfare officials.
The organized blind of New Mexico have been seeking to establish an orientation center for the blind of that state. The efforts are not yet crowned with success, but progress has been made, again over the opposition of state officials. Legislative hearings have been heldreports prepared and considered and interest by the Governor stimulated. These events were described by Pauline Gomez, president of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind.
In South Carolina the battle of the blind on many fronts has continued. Additional federal funds have been secured for state blind aid recipients and the set-aside in the vending stand program has been abolished--two solid achievements related by Don Capps on behalf of the South Carolina Aurora Club.
The account of his organization's relationship with a private agency in his state was presented by Manuel Rubin of Massachusetts, The private agency has received a federal grant of $140, 000 for a project intended to teach social agencies in Greater Boston how to incorporate the blind within agencies granting general health and welfare services. The project is thus aimed to prove a theory long disproved by the experience of the blind, namely, that the blind can be served as well when lumped and scrambled with other groups as they can when separately provided for by persons who understand their particular problems.
Nancy Smalley and Beverly Gladden of California described the current campaign of the California Council of the Blind to open up the public schools in Los Angeles County to blind teachers; the great legislative accomplishments in abolishing length of residence and bringing about other improvements in provisions with respect to public assistance; and the disastrous administrative changes in the welfare department and in the establishment of a new department of rehabilitation.
Increasingly, blind persons are being excluded from the profession of chiropractic by reason of the refusal of the chiropractic schools to admit them for training. This refusal is based in part on the increasing professionalization of chiropractic which as in all fields seems to begin with attempts to exclude the blind. It is also based on
the view of some school officials that blind persons cannot perform all of the techniques used in the practice of chiropractic and cannot secure full advantage of training because of increased emphasis on visual aids. In an attempt to reverse this trend and to reopen the chiropractic profession to qualified blind persons, Kenneth Jernigan, director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and the blind chiropractors of Iowa held a meeting in Des Moines June 21 to organize a campaign. Press releases were issued, the national chiropractic school accrediting agency contacted, and a representative sent to a meeting of the chiropractic association held in Denver beginning June 28. These developments were fully reported upon by Kenneth Jernigan at the NFB convention and culminated in the adoption of a resolution directing the officers of the Federation to request the national chiropractic accreditation committee to establish standards prohibiting discriminatory admission policies. If need be, the officers were directed to attempt to secure federal legislation. Some years ago California, by popular referendum, adopted legislation forbidding chiropractic schools in that state to exclude qualified blind persons from training and certification.
John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office, presented another of his comprehensive and sprightly accounts of Washington activities. He reported upon his numerous appearances before Congressional committees, his dealings with administrative agencies and tribunals, the state of the common legislative front with the AAWB, the BVA, and the Foundation, and his service to the various state affiliates. He focused attention particularly upon the Federation's effort to secure minimum wage legislation for workers in sheltered shops which, despite overwhelming opposition by shop managers and agencies operating shops, has made truly significant progress in the House.
Kenneth Jernigan's report as chairman of the subcommittee on budget and finance showed a significant improvement in Federation income and the likelihood of stabilization at present levels. In his White Cane Week report, John Taylor said that sixteen states had participated with a net increment to the Federation of somewhat under $10, 000 including $2, 500 from a national direct mailing. Massachusetts led the list with a Federation share of $1, 600; California was second with $1, 500.
Panels and Speeches
Two lively panels and ten speeches on assorted topics added to the substance and diversity of the program. One of the panels, that on Medicare, was chaired by John Taylor with his usual aplomb. Perry Sundquist, in a careful analysis, demonstrated the need for social insurance medical and hospital care programs and the inadequacy of the Kerr-Mills Act, especially with respect to needy blind people. Dr. W. R. Brown, Regional Medical Consultant, Department of HEW, largely confined his appearance to the presentation of statistical data. Dr. D. Dermont Melick, past president of the Maricopa County Medical Society, Arizona, made a spirited defense of the position of the American Medical Association. He was roundly peppered with questions and comments from the audience. The sentiments of the Federation were later embodied in a resolution fully supporting the medicare program and proposing to enlarge it.
The other panel, that on the relationship of public assistance and rehabilitation to employment, was chaired by Professor tenBroek, and produced a pyrotechnique display over client freedom of choice in the rehabilitation program and the character of services in rehabilitation and public assistance. M. W. Holdship, State Director, Vocational Rehabilitation in Arizona, stoutly defended the standard rehabilitation position of his agency. He was caught in a withering crossfire between Professor tenBroek and Kenneth Jernigan and virtually inundated by audience reaction. Mrs. Christina F. Small, Director, Division of Family Services, Department of Public Welfare, Arizona, defended the propriety of placing non-vocational rehabilitation services in the welfare department. John Ruiz, Chief, Bureau of Services to the Blind, Division of Welfare, Nevada, took a middle ground.
The speeches were characterized by variety of topic and treatment. John L. Granger of the Alabama Institute of the Deaf and Blind spoke about the sheltered shops without delving into controversial issues. Ralph W. Middleton, totally blind, discussed his work as a computer programmer at the U. S. Naval Ordinance Test Station,
China Lake, California. Clifford E. Jensen, president of the Colorado Federation of the Blind, outlined public relations methods of getting our blind organizational story across and described the preparation of his state's brochure. George Buchanan, Assistant to the Vice President of the Air Transport Association, convincingly presented the range of special services offered by the airlines to travelers of all sorts including the blind. Lou Rives, Chief of the Division of Services for the Blind in O. V.R. , dwelt upon current developments and opportunities in rehabilitation and employment. Anita O'Shea, past president of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, offered some interesting thoughts on better state conventions. James Garfield, secretary, California Council of the Blind described his radio program "A Blind Man Looks at You" broadcast over a Los Angeles station for the past fifteen years. Tim Seward, Administrative Assistant to Congressman Baring and a long-time friend of the blind, gave some helpful hints on the ways in which constituents might influence their congressmen. Assistant Attorney General Vanlandingham, a graduate of the Kansas State School for the Blind and Washburn Law School, spoke of his twenty years at the Bar and in public office in Arizona and his current campaign for the Attorney Generalship of the state. Al Bendich, a sighted attorney from Berkeley, California, analyzed the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution in connection with night raids on welfare recipients. He concluded that such night raids violate the Constitution when conducted without a search warrant issued on probablecause. He therefore held illegal the action of the welfare department in Alameda County, California, in firing Benny Parrish, a blind social worker, for refusing to go on a night raid. He is serving as Parrish's attorney in a law suit that is about to enter the appellate courts. The Alameda County Court sustained the dismissal action. Bendich is serving without fee, but contributions to meet court costs and other expenses may be sent to the Benny Parrish Constitutional Rights Fund, P. O. Box 264, Berkeley, California.
Committee and Group Meetings
Following its usual practice, the executive committee met both before and after the convention to confirm convention arrangements and wind up details. Both meetings were open to the public and were widely attended by delegates and visitors. Two other large committee meetings were held on Wednesday afternoon- -the membership committee, chaired by Stanley Oliver, Michigan, which discussed methods of bringing new people into the Federation and expressed great interest in developing a short brochure describing the Federation and its activities; and the committee of correspondants, chaired by Professor tenBroek, California, which organized methods of increasing the flow of information to the BLIND AMERICAN and the BRAILLE MONITOR. Two other groups, under the wing of the Federation, were also convened: the Vending Stand Operators, under the chairmanship of Maxine Pugh, Nebraska, and the Blind Teachers, chaired by Dr. Grant. A well-attended, nonsectarian devotional was held each morning for forty-five minutes before the opening session under the dual chairmanship of Franklin VanVliet and Don Capps.
Many of the policies of the NFB were newly determined or expressly reaffirmed in resolutions, passed in the regular business sessions of the organization. Copies of these resolutions may be secured by writing to the Sacramento headquarters of the NFB. A summary is included elsewhere in this issue.
The World Picture and a World Federation of the Blind
Mark Thursday, July 7, 1964 on your calendar. It was an outstanding day in one of the best NFB conventions in years. But it was far more than that. It was the culmination of a great deal of preparatory work, a day of substance and accomplishment in itself, and a day that contained undoubted implications for the future in terms of the welfare of the blind of the world.
On that day fifteen international visitors from eight countries gathered with the blind of America in convention assembled in Phoenix, Arizona. The visitors arrived after the NFB two years earlier at its Detroit convention had adopted a resolution sponsoring the creation of a world federation of the blind, after Isabelle Grant had spent several years in world travel particularly in the Far East and in Pakistan, after years of experience with the inadequacies of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, after a series of events of an undemocratic, inequitable, and exclusionary character by the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, after world-wide distribution of Professor tenBroek's "Whither the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind?" delivered at the 1963 NFB convention analyzing the inadequacies of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind and reviewing the need for world organization of the blind themselves, and after world-wide correspondence by NFB officers. The visitors came to Phoenix with varying points of view on programs for the blind, from countries with widely divergent needs of the blind, and in different stages of readiness for world organization of the blind. To a man, however, they recognized the need for organization of the blind themselves on a world basis, the necessary major features of such an organization, the common aspirations of the blind everywhere for independence and integration, the common goals to be achieved by organization, and the common functions to be performed.
For the entire day of Thursday, July 2, the international visitors presented, one by one, the history and conditions of the blind in their respective countries, such programs as exist to aid them and the degree, if any, of self organization. Mark their names well; many of them you will hear often in the future: India with its more than two million blind, only a handful of whom have opportunity commensurate with their capacities, and where an organization of the blind already exists--represented by Dr. Rajendra T. Vyas, Development Officer, Blind Men's Association, Bombay, and Mr. SureshC. Ahuja, Executive Officer, National Association for the Blind, Bombay, Malaysia, newly sprung into nationhood, and with it a small organization of blind people in Kuala Lumpur, created in the face of incredible difficulty-represented by Mr. Lee Ah Kow, President of the Selangor Society of the Blind. South Korea, still in chaos and poverty, where the hope of the blind and their self-organization have hardly yet emerged--represented by Miss Hee Yong Yang, Secretary and Proofreader, Braille Library, Seoul, and Won Chan Lowe, sighted Executive Secretary, Advisory Committee, International Aid to the Blind, Seoul. Pakistan, bursting into life under the impact of Isabelle Grant's indomitable personality and the keen potential of its own blind people--represented by Dr. Fatima Shah, of the Pakistan Association of the Blind, Pakistan, whose travels to the convention are an odyssey in their own right. Japan, with its centuries of blind organization, their limited integration into the common callings of the community, and their virtual monopoly on massage and physiotherapy--represented by Dr. Tokisuke Kusajima, Zeshigoya Branch, Tokyo University of Education, sighted. Ceylon, where agencies for the blind are associated with earlier English colonialism, where the blind have organized themselves and enjoy extraordinary fortune in their leadership and where the masses of the blind still must find their way out of isolation and rejection--represented by Mr. Rienzi Alagiyawanna, President, Ceylon Association of the Blind, Principal, Siviraja School for the Deaf and Blind, Mahawewa, Ceylon. Australia, which is much more comparable to the United States than the other countries mentioned, what with its common language, common background, similar constitutional government, and relatively advanced stage of blind organization--represented by Mr. Hugh Jeffrey, President, Australia Guild of Business and Professional Blind, Chairman, Australian Federation of Organisations of the Blind, Victoria, and Timothy Fuery, member Executive Council, Queensland Musical, Literary and Self -Aid Society for the Blind.
At the end of the morning session Dr. Jacob Freid summarized, pulled together the common strands, and wove them into a pattern of history. Marilyn Brandt, returning to this country after fifteen months of Peace Corps work in the Dominican Republic, spoke about the condition of the blind in that country. Some, who could not come, sent papers -- B. P. Chanda, Principal, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, The Blind Boys' Academy, West Bengali, India (paper read by Alfred Gil, California);
Mr. Jagdish Patel, Blind Men's Association, Ahmedabad, India (paper read by Victor Johnson, Missouri); S. T. Dajani, Principal, 'Ala-ya School for the Blind, Jordan (paper read by Clarice Arnold, Maryland); Rogerio Lagman, President, General Assembly of the Blind, Inc. , Philippines (paper read by Vernon Butler, D.C.); and Miss Lucy Ching of the Blind Welfare Center, Hong Kong (paper read by Rosamond Kritchley, Massachusetts). With unerring appropriateness, indeed with a certain inevitability, Isabelle Grant concluded the day of the World View with her own unique brand of Scotch wit and inspiration.
The banquet Thursday evening was planned as a capstone to the day- long international program. Presided over by Kenneth Jernigan as master of ceremonies, and with central roles played by President Kletzing, Dr. Grant and Dr.tenBroek, it fulfilled its function admirably. The ceremonies and speeches were moving in spirit, exalted in aspiration, profound in content. The Newel Perry Award, the highest honor which the blind of the Federation can bestow, was conferred on Dr. Grant in an elegant speech by President Kletzing for her distinguished contribution to the blind of the world. Dr. Grant responded in kind. In his address Professor tenBroek analyzed and reformulated the concept of self-organization among the blind, dwelt upon its feasibility as a universal principle though its evolution in this country had in part been shaped by peculiarly American conditions, and put the full force of his leadership behind the creation of a world federation of the blind.
Following the banquet, as the night grew late, the international visitors and leaders of the NFB met to lay the cornerstone of the world organization. Some of the visitors lacked authority from their organizations to act. Others had secured direction before leaving home. Then and there, an organization was formed. As to those who were authorized, it constituted an incipient world organization of the blind. As to some of those not authorized, it constituted a committee of which they were personal members. As to some others, it constituted a concrete proposal which they would refer to their organizations for action. Professor tenBroek was chosen as interim chairman. The meeting adjourned in the wee hours of the morning of July 3 with the under- standing and firm resolve that the members would meet in New York further to advance the work. All present departed with a sense of common cause and of history.
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(From the Kansas City Times, July 6, 1964.)
Rienzi Alagiyawanna, 48, of Colombo, Ceylon, is pleased with his first trip around the world and his first visit to America,
For the 140 children who attend the Siviraja School for the Blind in Colombo, of which he is principal; for the 10, 000 blind persons of Ceylon, and for the more than 14 million persons throughout the world who, like himself, are also blind, he seeks independence, education and dignity.
And so Alagiyawanna, who is president of the Ceylon Federation of the Blind, undertook correspondence six months ago with Dr, Jacobus tenBroek of Berkeley, Calif. , president emeritus of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and discussed with him the possibility of establishing a World Federation of the Blind (WFB).
"Under the leadership of Dr. tenBroek, the World Federation of the Blind became a reality last week at the annual NFB convention in Phoenix, Ariz. , " Alagiyawanna said yesterday. He is a house guest this week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Rittgers, who also are blind. Rittgers is president of the Progressive Blind of Missouri, Inc., the Missouri chapter of the NFB.
"Progressive blind persons throughout the world will be able to attack their problems more aggressively when the WFB becomes organized on a worldwide scale, " Alagiyawanna said. "Blind persons in Ceylon, in the United States--everywhere--face the same major problem: educational and employment opportunities so that they may live as individuals, not as charitable wards of the state."
Alagiyawanna speaks English fluently. He was educated at a Catholic French missionary college in Ceylon and teaches English and Sinhalese, the native language of Ceylon, in his school.
"About 3, 000 of the blind persons of Ceylon are of school age, but there are facilities for only a third of them," Alagiyawanna said. "That third will be able to live, not well, but at least independently. The remainder will be burdens on their families all their lives.
"In my own school we could teach twice as many students. But why bring in more students when we have only two dozen Braille books in the Sinhalese language," he said. "Each teacher must painstakingly make his own books by hand."
Alagiyawanna said he believed federations of the blind in many underdeveloped countries also were unable to educate most of their blind.
"I am very impressed by the way many schools in this country integrate blind children into regular schools," Alagiyawanna said. "If we could do that in Ceylon, we would not have to provide expensive resident schools such as mine."
Alagiyawanna will attend the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind July 30 to August 12, in New York. The high point of the trip will be his arrival in West Berlin, where he plans to marry a German nurse whom he met there in 1957 while attending a training college for teachers of the blind.
"A blind person must learn everything by doing things for himself, " Alagiyawanna said. "We have no wheat in Ceylon and I ate my first wheat cakes this morning on the train. Tomorrow I am going to a grain elevator and learn how it operates.
"I also want to learn how an automatic washing machine works," he said with a smile, "so I am going to wash my own clothes in one."
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By Professor Jacobus tenBroek
(An Address delivered at the Banquet of the Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, Phoenix, Arizona, July 2, 1964.)
One score and four years ago, a little group of willful men from fewer than thirteen states met in a convention hall in Pennsylvania in order to form a more perfect union. If you find an historic analogy in that, so be it.
The union we formed on that distant day in Wilkes-Barre was far from perfect. It is imperfect still. But it has met the test of time and turmoil, trouble and tribulation; it has not perished from the earth.
The National Federation of the Blind is still standing--but it is not standing still. It is on the move once more, as it was in its first years of wrath and rebellion--more united than ever and more confident of its power, stronger in its faith and richer by its experience--an older movement and a wiser one, now revitalized and recharged by an astonishing vision, an idea even more fantastic than that which lured the handful of founders to the Pennsylvania cradle of federationism.
The vision which moves us now is nothing less than the image of world federation. I propose to you tonight that a new and grand objective be added to our established goals and purposes: namely, the inauguration of a World Federation of the Blind.
And why not? Our own National Federation has blazed the trail and shown the way. We have demonstrated what blind men and women can do in freedom and in concert, through independence and interdependence. We have proved, in the fires of battle, our right to organize, to speak for ourselves, and to be heard. We have established beyond gainsaying our capacity to take the leadership in our own cause. We have slowly and steadily won recognition in the halls of government, in the agencies of welfare, and in the public mind. Through our deeds and programs, by argument and example, in action and philosophy, we have earned respect for ourselves and our fellow blind, the respect of free men and of equals.
All this, and more, federationism has done for blind Americans, All this it can do for others. It is time that we shared these fruits of struggle and victory with our brothers in other lands. Let the word go out from this convention that we of the National Federation stand ready to lend our efforts and energies to the building of world unity among the blind. Let the liberating principle of federation--the spirit of democratic association and collective self-direction--catch fire among the blind people of Asia, of Europe, of Africa, of Latin America, as it caught fire and blazed forth in the hearts of blind American twenty years ago, and still sustains them by its warmth.
What is this peculiar potent spirit which we call federationism? What are its explosive ingredients? What does it have to offer to the blind of all nations which they do not have and cannot obtain from their governments, their private agencies and public corporations?
Federationism is many things to many men. First of all it is an indispensable means of collective self-expression, a megaphone through which the blind may speak their minds and voice their demands--and be assured of a hearing.
Federationism is a source of comradeship, the symbol of a common bond, an invitation to commingling and communion--in a word, to brotherhood among the blind.
Federationism is a tool of political and social action, an anvil on which to hammer out the programs and policies, projects and platforms, that will advance the mutual welfare and security of the blind as a group.
Federationism is the expression of competence and confidence, the sophisticated construction of able men and women- -not a retreat for the lost and foundered. It is a home of the brave and a landmark of the free.
Federationism is the synonym of independence--the antonym of custodialism and dependency. It is the blind leading themselves, standing on their own feet, walking in their own paths at their own pace by their own command. It is the restoration of pride, the bestowal of dignity and the achievement of identity.
Federationism is an agency of orientation--a school for the sightless--an incomparable method of personal rehabilitation and adjustment to the unpopular condition of being blind.
Federationism is a dedication--a commitment of the mind and heart, an act of faith and an adventure of the spirit, which issues a call to greatness and a summons to service on the part of all who volunteer to enter its ranks.
Federationism is a spearhead of revolution, bespeaking a rising tide of expectation on the part of the once "helpless blind"--a blunt repudiation of time-dishonored stereotypes and an organized demand for the conferral of rights too long withheld and hopes too long deferred.
These are some--by no means all--of the features and faces of federationism which are a familiar part of the experience of organized blind Americans. There is nothing about them that is exclusive to Americans or prohibited to others. They are not contraband but common currency. They are as universal as the claims of democracy. Federationism, like blindness, is no respecter of persons or peoples. For purposes of democratic self-organization among us there is neither black nor white, Jew nor Greek, Christian nor Brahman--they are all one within the universal community of the blind.
Nevertheless it would be untrue to the facts, and unfair to the delegates here tonight, to deny that there have been unique and distinctive elements in the organizational experience of American Federationists through the past quarter century. What we have wrought in this land can be paralleled elsewhere. It may even be improved upon. It can never be exactly duplicated.
What we have built in our National Federation is a monument to the character of blind Americans who refuse to "lie down and play blind, " who are imbued with the old-fashioned pioneer virtues of self reliance and rugged individuality. It is well that they have been. For against these handicapped Americans and their dream of federation have been ranged the powerful forces of a smothering, mothering custodialism which exhibits what I pointed to twenty-four years ago as the peculiar tyranny of kindness. The blind in our democratic country have rarely been the victims of deliberate malevolence; but they have uniformly been the victims of organized benevolence suffocating the will to break out of traditional blind alleys into the competitive mainstream of community life. One of the greatest and most irrational handicaps we have faced on our journey into freedom has been the massive opposition to our vital aims of welfare agencies and bureaus supposedly dedicated to the service of the blind. This tragic paradox springs from the peculiar history of charity organization and social welfare in America and ancestral England- -a history remarkable for its philanthropy and humane concern, but remarkable also for its furious resistance to the claims of the impoverished and disabled to the normal rights of opportunity and equality.
If our organizational history has had special liabilities, it has also had assets not likely to be encountered in other lands and cultures. The most important of these, of course, is the heritage of democracy itself. Our movement of federationism could not have occurred, let along have prospered, in a civilization less deeply committed to the great values of personal freedom, economic opportunity and social equality. Indeed we can only hold these truths to be self-evident, and these rights unalienable, because previous generations of Americans have fought to make them so. We blind Americans stand on our own feet; but we also stand on the shoulders of our forefathers. We have been blessed with a climate of tolerance and a tradition of civility. We address a society ravaged by misinformation but susceptible to change. Not all of the world's blind populations can feel a similar assurance .
But there is a compensating factor in this special achievement of American and European democracy, which the flourishing movement of the National Federation reflects. It has not only changed the map of the world; it has also radically altered its states of mind and ways of life. It is, I am sure, no news to you that the nonwestern world is now well embarked upon that twofold revolution which we ourselves undertook at least a century ago: the social revolution of industrialization and the political revolution of democracy. In this exportation and distribution of the fruits of our great accomplishment--including our concepts of public welfare and social security--we Federationists are obliged to take an active role of guidance and counsel. We are obligated as Americans, and we are obligated as blind persons. We owe it not only to the blind of less favored lands, we owe it also to ourselves, to complete the mission of collective self-liberation--the revolutionary movement of federationism--which the National Federation has so effectively begun.
I have listed a few of the assets and liabilities of our American experiment in federationism. It goes without saying that these will be different for other nations, both for those which have some history of organization among the blind and those which do not. And they Will be different in another and greater way for a world federation in which the efforts of the blind of all nations are joined.
Let us recognize that for some countries, notably the newly developing nations of Asia and Africa, the assets may even appear invisible and the liabilities overpowering. But that should not dismay us--for that is exactly how they first appear in the life of every newly blinded person. And that, I may add, is how they first appear in the career of every fledgling organization of the blind.
That is how they must have appeared to the blind people of Pakistan as recently as 1958- -before a frail and not very young Scotswoman named Isabelle Grant arrived to start a social revolution. Today there is a flourishing independent federation of the blind in Pakistan- -whose assets already outnumber its liabilities, and whose courage and hope far outweigh its handicaps.
Let us grant the full measure of differences among the blind peoples of the world--differences of cultural pattern and tradition, of education and literacy and language, of governmental responsibility and responsiveness, of industrial development and job opportunity. Let us assess these differences and difficulties in all their immensity.
And having done so, let us weigh against them the common needs and mutual aspirations which link the blind of all the nations. But let us not stop at listing our needs--let us post our demands. Let us formulate and proclaim a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Blind People--and then let us work together to put it across throughout the world. That is a purpose which alone overrides all the differences among us--and that is a purpose which will one day vanquish them.
In formulating our Universal Declaration of Rights, we could do worse than begin with the grand design of our own American movement--the three great goals which are engraved upon the seal of the National Federation, and in the hearts of all Federationists . They are: Security, Opportunity, Equality. Until those objectives have become realities in the daily lives of blind men and women everywhere in the world, our task will remain unfinished and our mission un-accomplished.
These three goals are of course not identical, although they are related. Nor do they have the same order of priority or urgency in all parts of the world. In many lands, where poverty is the norm and industry is the exception, the goal of Security alone is such a far-off divine event that Opportunity and Equality must seem pure fancy. In still other lands the order of priority may be reversed: for many blind Europeans it is not Security but Opportunity which has yet to come knocking.
Once again our own special experience is instructive. For in the course of our national history- -from the Declaration of Independence to the Social Security Act and beyond to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education--these three great themes have had a curiously shifting and alternating career. At first it was Opportunity which held the center of attention, during the halcyon days of free land and open frontiers. In that period of our national adolescence, the goal of Securitywas commonly regarded as the cry of cowards and the enemy of adventure. But then the frontiers closed down; the free land trickled away from the public domain, and finally, as a capping blow, the great depression struck the nation. Security suddenly took on both urgency and respectability--and an historic act of federal legislation was passed to give it public sanction.
Few Americans today of either party would wish to undo the welfare programs of social security. Their basic purpose of providing a floor of protection against the accidents of fortune and misfortune has become a permanent part of the American creed. But we know now--as we have always known--that the goal of Security, once affirmed and accomplished, is not enough. Man cannot live by charitable bread alone; he demands the right to earn his own daily bread. He is not content to be cared for and supported by custodians; the free man demands the opportunity for self-care and self-support. In the year 1956, when precisely these rights were written into the purposes of public assistance, the Social Security Act revolutionized itself. It became in principle, though not yet in administration, a Social Opportunity Act. Since that date it has embodied the recognition of society that the goal of security is only fulfilled in opportunity, and that opportunity in turn is a hope deferred until it is grounded on a firm foundation of security.
And now, in the 1960's, we are confirming another self-evident truth: that even these grand objectives of security and opportunity together are not enough to meet the needs of free men. For the age we are entering is an Age of Equality. Everywhere in our land, with all deliberate speed (sometimes with more deliberation than speed), the barriers to equal treatment, equal protection and equal access are falling. Not only are they falling as between the races; they are falling as between the rich and poor and they are falling as between the sighted and the sightless. We who are blind are caught up in a broader social movement aimed at erasing all arbitrary divisions, arbitrary discriminations and arbitrary distinctions between man and man wherever they exist. Let me amend that statement; we are not "caught up" in this movement toward equality; we are in its front ranks. For the blind know as few others can the high personal costs of inequality; their lives are lived in the shadow of its stigma--and in the shelter of its blind alleys.
But today the blind are emerging from the shadows; and they are emerging in force. By the strength of their own organization, by the power of their collective will, blind Federationists are rewriting the terms of their contract with society. In their union there is strength--and in their strength is a renewal of self-confidence and a rehabilitation of pride, Federationism not only aims at Equality: it creates it.
A few years before the outbreak of World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared prophetically that his generation of Americans had a rendez-vous with destiny. They did indeed. They kept that rendez-vous--and all mankind is thankful that they arrived on time for the appointment. I am convinced that this generation of blind Americans now has a rendez-vous with destiny: that we are the advance guard of a movement destined in time to transform the lives and fortunes of the blind people of the world. That transformation will not be accomplished in the first year, or in the first decade, or even in the first generation. But, in the well-remembered words of another President, let us begin. Let us reason together--to compare our experiences, to pool our resources and to combine our strengths. Let us act together, to build our common foundations and to erect our platforms. Let us march together, against the ubiquitous foes of ignorance and folly, prejudice and pride, which stand across our paths the world over.
Above all, let us begin.
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(Editor's Note: A total of seventeen resolutions were adopted by the NFB at the Phoenix convention. Some of them break new ground; some restate and apply policies already established; still others are in the nature of reaffirmations; all are summarized below. Complete texts may be obtained from Federation headquarters in Sacramento)
64-01. The NFB reaffirms its sponsorship. of minimum wage legislation covering the sheltered shops and expresses appreciation by name to those who have furthered such legislation in the Congress,
64-02. The NFB reaffirms the minimum presumed need principle in public assistance programs.
64-03. The NFB reaffirms its condemnation of state relatives' responsibility laws and points to the recent decision of the California Supreme Court holding one such law unconstitutional.
64-04. The NFB endorses the medicare proposal presently before Congress and directs its officers to seek an expansion of it to provide medical and hospital care to those covered by disability insurance.
64-05. The NFB directs its officers to take steps, including introduction of federal legislation and appeals to the chiropractic accreditation board, to bring to an end discrimination against blind persons in admissions to chiropractic schools and to the practice of the profession.
64-06. The NFB instructs its delegate to the WCWB to do all in his power to gain greater representation for the blind themselves in the World Council and to induce that body to terminate its undemocratic practices.
64-07. The NFB urges the WCWB to assume its responsibility to the blind of the world, that it dedicate itself to meaningful programs, and that it manifest its faith and genuine acceptance of the blind by immediately promoting the adoption of a declaration of universal rights for the blind.
64-08. The NFB commends Robert S. Bray, Division for the Blind, Library of Congress, for his leadership in stimulating advances and for his concern in upgrading library services to the blind. The NFB supports continued progress and improvements by the Division for the Blind, Library of Congress, and specifically recommends greater emphasis on production of the classics, basic books (as starred in the Standard Catalog for Public Libraries) and practical books (such as the secretary's handbook and like material).
64-09. The NFB expresses its opposition to pending legislation permitting a blind person a sighted guide to travel on commercial airlines for one fare in view of the provision by the airlines of all necessary services for the convenient and safe travel of blind persons.
64-10. The NFB recommends that its president appoint a Memorial Committee to plan and conduct memorial services for departed members as a part of our annual conventions.
64-11. The NFB directs its officers to seek a change in existing federal departmental regulations which would make the vending stand preference of the Randolph-Sheppard Act applicable also to vending machines.
64-12. The NFB expresses its opposition to adding self-care and independent living services to the vocational rehabilitation program, believing that that program should be confined to the vocational training of handicapped persons and their placement in self-supporting occupations and competitive callings, not in sheltered shops.
64-13. The NFB desires to maintain the integrity of the Federal Books for the Blind program and directs its officers to combine their efforts with those of the National Association of the Physically-Handicapped to establish a separate federal program of books for otherhandicapped groups.
64-14, The NFB directs its officers by legislation and other- wise to secure for sheltered shop workers the rights of union organization and collective bargaining.
64-15. The NFB condemns the use of sheltered shops as job-conditioning, job-training, and rehabilitation facilities or as playing any role in the rehabilitation process. In the rehabilitation and training of disabled persons emphasis should be placed upon methods alternative to the sheltered shop such as on-the-job training in competitive non-sheltered employment, the use of vocational schools, apprenticeship training programs, tutorials, and regular educational institutions .
64-16. The NFB calls upon the Secretary of Labor to expand the size of the Advisory Committee on Sheltered Workshops by naming at least ten additional members to said committee, such ten members to be selected from membership organizations of disabled people and persons who are recommended by organizations of disabled people.
64-17. The NFB urges all of its affiliates and all agencies working for the general welfare of the blind to seek uniform laws asserting the rights of a blind person accompanied by a guide dog specially trained for that purpose to be entitled to use all forms of public transportation and to gain admittance to all types of public
accommodations in each and every state in the nation.
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(Editor's Note: The Assembly of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, meeting in New York July 29-August 11, will have to face a rising tide of dissatisfaction and criticism, coming from many quarters of the globe and relating to many subjects. Some inkling of the grounds of complaint can be gathered from the subjects of proposed amendments to the constitution: composition of the executive committee; tenure of the president; relative number of representatives from the various regions; representation of the blind themselves. This seems an appropriate time to publish the two resolutions adopted at the NFB Phoenix convention dealing with the WCWB.)
Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind, an organization of the blind which has been the major force behind programs enhancing the educational, economic and employment opportunities of blind people of the United States, has from its inception felt the fierce opposition of agencies for the blind which have preferred to treat blind people much in the manner of colonial subjects to serve their own vested interests rather than following a truly professional policy of working with blind people for the solution of blind people's problems; and Whereas, these same agencies for the blind have formed an international organization known as the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind and has with similarly minded agencies from other countries dominated this organization and sought to diminish the role played by organizations of the blind, having in fact Illegally deprived the National Federation of its rightful position on the Executive Committee of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind; and
Whereas, under the domination of these agencies the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind has in the many years of its existence failed to do anything substantially towards the identification and solution of the economic and social deprivation of the millions of blind people in the world, but rather has used the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind to serve their own needs being primarily preoccupied with administrative trivia and problems; and
Whereas, the majority of the world's fourteen million blind people live in newly developing countries who have recently thrown off the custodialism of colonialism and have entered into an era of enthusiastic and nationalistic progress since their independence; and
Whereas, the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind by its very history, structure and perpetuation of custodialism cannot and has not utilized the energies of the peoples of these new nations to solve overwhelming problems of poverty and despair and social ostracism; and
Whereas, it has been the experience of the National Federation of the Blind that blind people are the best agents in the solution of their problems; now therefore
Be is resolved that the National Federation of the Blind in convention assembled on this 3rd day of July, 1964 in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, instructs its delegate to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind to seek an end to the undemocratic practices in the organization and seek to gain for the blind people of the world a greater voice in this world council of agencies; and
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be distributed throughout the world.
Adopted July 3, 1964
Whereas, today blind persons in the United States and some other countries are proving their innate capacities for employment and for full integration into society; and
Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind, since its founding in 1940, has been instrumental in developing effective programs for the education, rehabilitation, and general welfare of the blind and awakening public awareness and acceptance of the new image of blind people a public understanding of the fact that the blind are capable, responsible citizens rather than the old, outmoded concept of the blind as mendicants, indigents, and incompetents; and
Whereas, the significant gains made by the National Federation of the Blind have been impeded by many agencies for the blind which still foster programs characterized by this outmoded conception of blindness; and
Whereas, many of these agencies with repugnant attitudes about the blind dominate the policies and posture of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind; and
Whereas, the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind is in the position for exercising leadership in developing effective programs for the blind and securing the rights of the blind throughout the world as first-class citizens; and
Whereas, the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind has failed to meet its responsibility to millions of blind men and women throughout the world by its refusal to give organizations of the blind representation in its deliberations, committees, counsels and administration and has accomplished this through flagrant abuse of its control of organization procedures, by such practices as secret and closed meetings and the absence of accurate minutes; now therefore
Be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind in convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona that this organization deplores the current structure of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, its denial of membership and representation to organizations of the blind, its failure to encourage self organization of the blind throughout the world, and its violation of democratic procedures; and
Be it further resolved that the National Federation of the Blind urges the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind to assume its responsibility to the blind of the world, that it dedicate itself to meaningful programs, and that it manifest its faith and genuine acceptance of the blind by immediately promoting the adoption of a declaration of universal rights for the blind; and
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be distributed throughout the world.
Adopted July 3, 1964
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(Editor's Note; These words of presentation were selected by President Russell Kletzing in making the Newel Perry Award to Dr. Isabelle Grant at the NFB Phoenix convention. They are graceful in themselves and assess the biography and work of a remarkable woman.)
The Newel Perry Award represents the highest honor which the organized blind of the National Federation can bestow. It is our "Croix de Guerre" conferred annually upon a single individual who has served in the front ranks of our embattled cause with particular valor and distinction. The roster of past recipients of the Newel Perry Award bears out that design: it is an honor roll of distinguished men from a wide variety of vocations and locations- -from private industry and public ad- ministration, from education and social welfare, from both houses of Congress, and from every section of the country.
But that roster, for all its splendor, has hitherto been marred by one conspicuous flaw. It has included distinguished men but no distinguished women. For an organization committee to equality and opposed to discrimination, this is a serious blot on our escutcheon. I am happy to announce that it is now to be corrected.
But that is not the only precedent which our ceremony this evening represents. Previous Newel Perry Award winners have all been United States citizens, whose work has primarily benefited blind Americans. The lady whom we honor tonight holds a dual citizenship: she too is a citizen of the United States, but she is also a citizen of the world. Her primary allegiance is to all the blind people of the earth--regardless of nationality, race, color, or condition of servitude.
You have guessed her name. The recipient of the Newel Perry Award for 1964 is Dr. Isabelle Grant.
If we of the National Federation honor Isabelle tonight, it is because she has been doing us honor for many years. To blind people everywhere she has become the gracious and dynamic symbol of federationism--of voluntary self-organization and self-advancement. We have long since dubbed Isabelle our "Ambassador without Portfolio"--and indeed she needs no portfolio, since she carries the message and spirit of our movement in her heart and expresses it in her work.
Isabelle Grant is of course more than that--more than our ambassador and chief missionary overseas. In her own right she is a leader of the blind, a skillful educator, a tireless promoter, and an astonishing example of the triumph of mind and will over physical limitation. Everyone here knows of her fabled travels around the world, accompanied only by her faithful, understanding and sustaining companion, a white cane named "Oscar. " And we all know what these travels have been like: not the leisurely excursion of a tourist but the hard road of the crusader--seeking not ease but hardship, and concentrating in particular upon those newly emerging, poverty-stricken lands whose teeming populations of blind people are both the largest and neediest in the world.
Nor do I need to dwell at length upon the social miracles achieved by Dr. Grant over the past six years for the blind of Pakistan. She has inspired them with faith, a faith once undreamed of, in their powers and their collective future. She has stimulated their voluntary organization and worked with them to build a strong foundation of federationism. She has pushed, prodded and pestered the government of Pakistan into sponsoring a full-fledged revolution in its attitudes surrounding the education of blind children and the training of teachers for them.
To this great pioneering work Isabelle has brought the best of credentials--for her life has been synonymous with education. She was educated herself in the schools of Scotland and the universities of Glasgow and Southern California (where she received her doctorate)--and she has ever since continued her education in the school of hard experience. A teacher and vice principal in the los Angeles public schools for upwards of a generation, she retired some years ago only to commence a new and more ambitious career--that of the education and advancement of the blind. She has long been a leader both in the California Council and in the National Federation. She has organized and guided blind teachers through workshops and seminars, and has taken active part in a host of international conferences on education of the blind.
But no list of specifics can convey the full scope of this gentle-woman's teaching. By her deeds, by her words, and by her enlightening example, Dr. Grant has truly educated us all.
Isabelle, your students of the National Federation of the Blind salute you--and herewith present to you, as a token of our appreciation and admiration, the Newel Perry Award for 1964.
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The following item about Dr. Freid is excerpted from a spring issue of THE GROWL, a publication of the Des Moines Lions Club: "None will complain about the speaker whom Ken Jernigan provided when Lieutenant Governor Mooty had to cancel his appearance. . . . We have never been treated to a more brilliant tour de force than the swift-moving and witty, but incisive, analysis of the American presidency provided by Dr. Jacob Freid, Chairman of the Department of Political Science in the Senior College of the New School for Social Research, New York City--perhaps the nation's leading center of adult education, founded by such renowned scholars as Harold Laski and Charles Beard. Dr. Freid was in Des Moines wearing quite a different hat as Executive Director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America and as a central figure in the workshop for tapists and braillists held last Thursday and Friday by the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Himself only partly sighted, Dr. Freid used the words of Job in paying tribute to Lions as 'eyes to the blind. '"
Lon E. Alsup, director of the Texas State Commission for the Blind for 22 years, will retire at the end of August, 1964, according to an announcement in THE NEW OUTLOOK FOR THE BLIND. Blind from birth, Alsup graduated from the Texas School for the Blind in 1918 and pursued a career as an independent businessman for several years before winning election to the Texas legislature. During his first term he co-sponsored the bill which created the State Commission for the Blind. Alsup remained a member of the legislature until 1941, after which he became associated with the Commission as executive secretary-director. . . . "Physical Education and Recreation for Visually Handicapped Children and Youth" is the title of a summer school workshop held from August 3 to 14 under sponsorship of Michigan State University, American Association of Instructors of the Blind, and the Michigan School for the Blind. The workshop featured a variety of recreational activities for students in addition to the work- shop clinics. . . . San Francisco (California) now has nearly 1, 700 handicapped men and women completely qualified for jobs but who are barred because of employer resistance to their handicaps. A report, financed by a $3, 000 grant from the San Francisco Foundation, was based on an exhaustive three -month survey that also showed: (1) The competitively employable handicapped stay jobless at least 32 percent longer than persons with no handicaps; (2) The direct tax cost of maintaining a 25-person sample of handicapped, jobless men and women totaled $3,403 a month, not counting unemployment benefit payments or relief; (3) Persons with disabled limbs or neuropsychiatric histories comprised 39 percent of 575 sample cases studied. (From THE SPOKESMAN, July 1964.) . . . The Twenty- fifth Anniversary Convention of the United Blind of Minnesota was held on the weekend of June 6 in Minneapolis. John Nagle participated in panels, offered legislative advice and delivered the banquet speech. The new officers are Carl Larson, president; Lorraine Arvidson, secretary; board members Bertha Bernsdorf, Frank Stifter, Ethel Rood, and Alma Stifter. . . . Roanoke, Va. June 24 (AP). Carolyn Scott, totally blind, is a speech therapist at Camp East Seal in Craig County. Thirty handicapped children go daily to Carolyn's classroom for help in overcoming speech impediments. . . . June 14 was National Blind Golfer's Day at the Fall River (Mass.) Country Club. Best of the four blind golfers over the difficult FRCC layout was big Bill Oilman of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, director of the Maine Institute for the Blind and for 13 years vice president of the U.S. Blind Golfers' Association. Bill played the nine holes in 57. Miss C. L. Corbin, 4705 W, Harrison Street, Chicago 60644, writes that The Chicago Area Committee of the Blind would like to hear from any blind person interested in improving the Public Assistance Law of Illinois. Since Illinois went under title XVI, blind aid has markedly deteriorated.
August 5-8 are the dates, San Antonio is the city for the Nineteenth Annual Convention of the Blinded Veterans Association. The Federated Blind of North Dakota held their annual convention in Fargo June 6 and 7. The new officers are: Lorge Gotto, president; Dr. R.J. Bjornseth, first vice president; Arthur Strom, second vice president. Carried over were Melvin Ekberg, secretary and Francis Sears, treasurer. . . , Recordings for the Blind estimates that there are 2,000 blind students attending colleges and universities throughout the United States. (WASHINGTON POST, May 21, 1964.) . . . The Blind Authors and Musicians Union of Paris, France, announces the release of a classical record, 33 rpm. , 12 inch (Homere Records). On one side is Haydn's Toy Symphony and on the other Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik . The record may be purchased from the Union at 26 rue de Charenton, Paris 12®. , . . Federation clubs might take a lesson in fund raising from the Columbia Chapter of the South Carolina Aurora Club. In their Eleventh Annual Bar-B-Que Benefit Supper they sold 1, 900 plates at a net gain to the club of $1,388. 20. (From the PALMETTO AURORAN, May 1964. )
Braille Math Tables Free to Blind. Science for the Blind, of Haverford, Pennsylvania, sends an announcement of special interest to advanced students of mathematics, both academic and professional: "In an effort to assist blind people interested in science we will supply, free of charge, a loose leaf book entitled BRAILLE NOTATIONS AND TABLES. This book contains such data as tables of four-place logorithms, trigonometric functions, hyperbolic and exponential relations, a table of integrals, atomic element tables, etc. The math code used is a hybrid made up partly of Taylor, Nemeth, and Benhann. As additional material is prepared, sheets are sent to those who have requested the book so that the new material may be added in the proper place." Send requests to Science for the Blind, Haverford, Pa. . . . A general science monthly is published by Science for the Blind for children or those with little scientific background. It may be borrowed by regular NFB listeners at a cost of $10.00 per year.
Alice Parkinson, blind medical secretary of Highland Park, California, was recently the subject of a feature story in the LOS ANGELES TIMES. She works part-time for a private doctor and part-time for the San Gabriel Community Hospital. Transcribing from voice recordings about 20 reports a day--from complicated descriptions of surgery to patients' histories and physical examinations. . . . The Iowa Association of the Blind held its annual convention at Vinton on the weekend of June 6. Neal Butler was elected the new president; Mrs. Ethel Latham, first vice president; Mrs. Mabel Nading, second vice president; William Klontz, secretary; and Mrs. H. E. Stutters, treasurer. Professor tenBroek delivered the banquet address and attended throughout the convention.
"Since the second World War, 3,000 blind people have been re- habilitated and employed," says a NEW OUTLOOK report on Yugoslavia, "85. 8% work in open professions, i.e., industry, various organizations, and as telephone operators; as physiotherapists; as typists, teachers in schools for the blind and regular schools and universities, and in other callings. 9% perform handicraft jobs in their homes, while only 5.2% are employed in workshops for the blind." . . . The Curtis Circulation Company of Philadelphia has offered to train seriously disabled persons to become telephone salespeople--with one of the stipulations being that they do not mention their handicaps on the telephone. . . . Authoritative scientific information concerning the nation's space program is contained in SELECTIONS FROM NASSAU FACTS now in regional libraries. Included are articles on Mariner, Ranger, Explorer and other satellites. . . . The Eastern Conference of Home Teachers will meet in New York City at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel from October 4 through 7, 1964. . . . STARTING AND MANAGING A SMALL BUSINESS OF YOUR OWN published by the Small Business Administration is available on tape from the Library of Congress or can be purchased for $2.43 from the American Foundation for the Blind.
A gavel from House Speaker John W. McCormack was presented recently to Mrs. Edna Charette, retired president of the Associated Blind of Greater Fall River, Rhode Island, according to a news story published in the Rhode Island JOURNAL-BULLETIN. . . . Some 300 pairs of eyeglasses were packed and shipped to Pakistan last spring by the Greenfield-Athol Association of the Blind, a chapter of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts. . . . Two new monographs are now available from the American Foundation for the Blind Research Series. ABSTRACT FUNCTIONING IN THE BLIND, by Edmund Joseph Rubin, Ph.D., ($.90) comparing the abilities of the congenitally or early blind with those who become blind later in life, RESISTANCE TO CATARACT SURGERY, by Irving Miller, D.S.W., ($1.50) discusses the inhibitions that occur in those who resist surgical treatment which may restore vision.
For eminence attained as an "able teacher, scholar, humanitarian, and superb public servant" Parsons College, Iowa, recently conferred an honorary doctor of laws-L.L.D.--degree on Professor tenBroek. Just two weeks earlier the California Social Workers Organization had honored Professor tenBroek with an Achievement Award for significant contribution to social welfare.
The sudden passing of May Pelsor on the train returning from the NFB convention in the presence of the other members of the Kansas City delegation greatly shocked all present. May was 63 and an employee of the Kansas City Association for the Blind. Our guest from Ceylon, Rienzi Alagiyawanna, who was traveling to Kansas City with the delegation, wrote: "The silent way in which she passed away deeply moved all of us, and made me specially thoughtful of the oblivion that lies in store, and the urgency of selfless action in the immediate present.
The California State School for the Blind in Berkeley has announced the retirement of its renowned superintendent Dr. Berthold Lowenfeld, effective as of September 1, 1964. Dr. Lowerfeld came to the California school in 1949 already having achieved distinction in the education of the blind. From 1922 to 1938 he served as a teacher of blind children and educational administrator in Austria. When the Nazis occupied Austria in 1938, American friends enabled him to come to the United States where he was soon appointed Director of Educational Research at the AFB and instructur at Teachers' College, Columbia University. Among his many books and articles is Our Blind Children--Growing and Learning With Them, which has been described as "A God-send for the ophthalmologist as well as a Bible for parents." Dr. Lowenfeld retires early, at the age of 62, in order to devote himself more fully to research and writing. . . . Dr. Everett Wilcox has been appointed the next superintendent of the California school. Wilcox has been superintendent of the Illinois Braille and Sight Saving School for the past two years, has been working with blind children since 1939 and has his doctorate of education in special education from the University of Oregon.
The Progressive Blind of Missouri are establishing a fund to purchase braille duplicating equipment and a supply of paper for the blind of Ceylon. The target is $1,000. Contributions may be sent direct to the Fund for the Blind of Ceylon, Lynwood, State Bank, Kansas City, Missouri. . . . Thursday, July 2, 1964, the U.S. Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, announced it is financing, by a $77,000 contract, a 30- month project by San Francisco State College to improve the teaching of braille. Some 400 blind or nearly blind children will be selected from various schools throughout the country to participate in the project. They will be divided into four groups, each using one of the four major methods of learning braille. Once the best method is agreed upon, a new text- book will be prepared by project staff members for use by teachers of the blind. The researchers hope that the project also will shed some light on whether the age at which a child's sight became impaired has any bearing on ability to learn braille.
July 2, 1964, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze today announced the appointment of two new members of the National Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation. They are Don W. Russell of Little Rock, Ark., Director of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Service and Aaron Solomon of Somerville, Mass. , President of Ace Electronics, Inc. , who last year was named Employer of the Year by the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. The National Advisory Council, established by statute in 1954, is an advisory body to the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, which administers a national program of grants for research and demonstration in the problems of rehabilitating physically or mentally handicapped people.
As we go to press, news reaches us of the untimely and tragic death by a coronary of Norman Hamer of Lawrence, Mass. Norm was first vice president of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, a longtime Federationist and the operator of a very successful telephone answering service. He is survived by his wife Bernice (Bunny) and his three-year-old son Alan. This is the third death in the past year among the ABM leadership. Nate Nadelman died in October and Newt Ottone in May.
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