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

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

Editor: Floyd W. Matson

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






By Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant




By Stanley Oliver






By James McGinnis

(Editor's Note: Mr. McGinnis. is president of the California Council of the Blind. His article is reprinted by permission from the February, 1964 issue of THE COUNCIL BULLETIN.)

Last year the imposing structure of public welfare administration in California was abruptly and deliberately torn down--in order to be as hastily rebuilt along radically different lines.

All of the powers which had been vested in the State Social Welfare Board--those of making policies and regulations, hearing appeals of aggrieved clients, and maintaining merit system standards—were stripped away and handed over to the Director of the Department of Social Welfare. By this sweeping action the Board was converted overnight into a completely powerless unit within the Department, its functions reduced to those of advising and studying whatever matters might be brought before it by the Welfare Director.

The demolition of the State Welfare Board took place officially on September 20, 1963. Enough time has now gone by to warrant provisional answers to the obvious questions. What new procedures have been devised by Welfare Director J. F. Wedemeyer to take the place of the old ones? Has he safeguarded the public right to know--the right of the people to be informed about public policies and regulations, as well as their right to speak and be heard in the making of those regulations? Has the Director instituted any shields or protections against the arbitrary exercise of administrative power under the sweeping authority now granted his department?

Now that the old Board is gone, as Californians have known it--and with it all of its protections for clients and public alike--what has been done to develop an adequate review process? Following his appearance before a hearing officer, does the welfare client's case simply disappear forever from public view down the long corridors of departmental bureaucracy?

To what extent, finally, has the Social Welfare Board geared itself to perform the new function it is now assigned?

The answers to many of these questions may be found in certain events of recent months--in particular the inaugural meeting of the new Social Welfare Board in November, and the first welfare planning conference held in October by the Welfare Department.

These two events are curiously related--for certain of the powers formerly exercised by the Board are ostensibly to be transferred to the quarterly planning conference. The old Board, let it be remembered, was responsible and responsive to popular attitudes, needs and views; in its regular meetings up and down the state it provided an open forum to which all interested groups and persons might come not as observers merely but as participants. The old Board not only did the job of hearing and conferring, it also carried on the task of planning and deciding--in plain terms, it acted, in the full view of a participating public.

Now the old Board, emasculated and immobilized, is out of the picture. Much official rhetoric has been devoted since to celebrating the equivalent virtues of the planning conference—with special emphasis on the broad spectrum of community groups and interests who will participate, and hence also upon the wide-ranging discussion of welfare issues which supposedly will characterize these meetings.

Unfortunately the reality is far from matching the rhetoric. On the basis of the first quarterly planning conference--and indeed on the basis of the department's own statement in an official circular letter--that glowing picture of a statewide "town meeting" is a myth and a delusion. The planning is to be done not during the "planning" conference but long before it--and not at the grass roots but at the apex of the bureaucratic pyramid. The participants in the planning conference are a carefully pruned and chosen group--chiefly a gathering of reliable administrators and technicians. Only those who receive invitations may come and participate. Not only are the invited public and voluntary associations limited to a winnowed few; even the Department's own subordinate echelons in the counties and elsewhere are to be restricted in participation and invitation. Two or three officials of statewide county associations will be regulars; beyond that, says the Department, "Depending on the subject matter, participation will be invited from other state and local agencies, organizations and associations and individuals."

The plain facts of the first quarterly planning conference are that it was controlled from start to finish by the reigning state officials; that where group discussions strayed off course into areas of controversy they were quickly steered back into line; that only token representation was made of the numerous and diverse community groups most concerned in welfare, while against them was ranged a solid phalanx of chorusing adminstrators and technicians.

The Department's purpose in these quarterly non-planning conferences, it would seem, is not to place its ear to the ground but to press it against a dependable sounding-board of yes-men.

Nor is the situation improved with respect to the Department's plans for public hearings and consultations. "Consultation," reads the official statement, "will be widely sought through such arrangements as committees of state and county staff members or other qualified persons." Once again, quite aside from the conspicuous absence of the public from such consultation, even the official county representation is to be carefully screened.

Formal hearings by the Welfare Department also follow the tightly controlled pattern of the planning conference: thus "final staff drafting and committee or consultant work will have to be completed at least two and a half months prior to the effective date and one month before the public hearing." It is promised that these agenda matters "will be circulated in advance of hearings among all interested persons and groups"--but in fact this has not been the case.

The real nature of the Welfare Department's projected public hearings is divulged in a statement remarkable for its candor--which makes plain that these sessions will be nothing more than convenient occasions for the passive submission of formal opinions which might as profitably be sent through the mail:

"Future public hearings will be, in some respects, unlike the usual previous meetings of the State Social Welfare Board which combined hearings and Board actions. The formal hearings will probably attract smaller public audiences, consisting chiefly of official representatives or organizations who wish to enter into the formal record their views on the proposed regulations. By contrast with the present system, the Director will take all testimony offered under submission and will not announce his decision until after he has studied this testimony, made his own evaluation and weighed the various views in relationship to his responsibility under the law."

So much for the public hearings--which might better be labeled nonhearings since they are characterized by nothing so much as disinterest, inattention, and inaction.

As for appeals and review procedures, the Department makes this notable declaration: "All procedures in this area will remain essentially the same as they have been. The only substantive difference will be the shift in the final decision from the Board to the Director." But, of course, the appeal procedures are not essentially the same--but essentially different. Under the old Board, these sessions were wide open a free-swinging affairs, in which policy decisions could be freely discussed and staff actions were sharply and critically reviewed by a fairly impartial and independent Board. With the dismantling of the Board, all that is ended. How serious and substantial a "review" can be expected when the Welfare Department is empowered to review its own errors and delinquencies? What is the reality of an "appeal" when there is no longer any shred of independence to the body which sits to hear it?

No less revealing of the shape of welfare to come was the first meeting of the newly reconstructed Social Welfare Board, staged in the Governor's Council Room on November 6. Governor Brown himself appeared to present his charge to the Board--summarized in the urging that it "help to make the poor more visible." Unfortunately the Governor did not specify how the Board itself, shrunken in stature and throttled in voice, might become either more visible or more audible.

The vexing problem of the new Board's identity was pointed up at the meeting by the election of Jerome N. Sampson, a political associate of the Welfare Director, to the position of Executive Secretary of the Board. After Director Wedemeyer had proposed this nomination, the official minutes of the meeting record the following pertinent exchange:

"Senator Sturgeon asked if Mr. Sampson would also represent the Department as legislative representative and voiced the feeling that the Board's executive should be as independent as possible of the Department. Mr. Wedemeyer responded by indicating that the question seemed based on the last legislative session when the Department and the Welfare Study Commission (whose executive secretary served in this dual capacity) had the same broad legislative program. He indicated that he did not necessarily envisage an identical situation in future sessions and would look to his Legislative Coordinator to handle departmental positions which were not those of the Board. He also said he wanted the Executive Secretary of the Board to be fully responsive to its activities and wishes, but reiterated the fact that the Board was a part of the Department--albeit one with specific critical functions to be exercised toward the entire welfare operation."

What this means, freely translated, in that the Board and its executive should be as critical and independent of the Department as possible, while remaining totally and abjectly dependent upon it.

It remained for the new chairman of the Social Welfare Board, Percy H. Steele, Jr., to undertake the task of focusing and projecting the Board's new image. "Our role," he said in accepting the Governor's charge, "is that of students and commentators on the essential social issues of our-time." And he went on to let the cup of more substantial powers pass from him. "To those who mourn the passing of the old Board and its rule-making power," said Chairman Steele, "I offer no consolation. California does not need us for that job. She does need us, however, for our present task...Jack, we pledge our help whenever needed."

It would be difficult to be more revealing, not to say plaintive, than that. The Board's good offices of study and comment are available "whenever needed" or called upon. Its main occupation evidently is to listen in eager obedience for the sound of the master's voice.

But what of the claim that the Board in its new definition will have the rule of "students and commentators" on the essential social issues? With its real powers of decision and action cut away it can obviously aspire to no higher role; but even a study group, established to counsel and advise on grace issues of public welfare, must have some qualifications for the job. What are the credentials of the new Board for this serious and scholarly pursuit? Has the reorganization and reshuffling of personnel reflected this new intention?

The answer is unfortunately in the negative. This is no group of professional and academic experts, selected for proven competence and authority. The preponderant majority of the Board members are devoid of these characteristics; indeed five of the seven members were originally chosen, under the old regime, as representatives of special community interests and viewpoints--not as qualified "students and commentators" with independent expertise or authority. Most notably is this true with respect to the new Executive Secretary, the real kingpin of the Board. Is he an eminent social scientist, a professor of welfare, or a social commentator of high standing? He is none of these things; he is instead a politician of local reputation.

Thus the Social Welfare Board, in its new public image, emerges in fact not as a potent instrument of study and independent commentary--but as the passive tool of administrative convenience. Shorn of any real power of action or decision, it is ill-equipped even to conduct the academic exercise of advice and counsel--except as en echo solemnly and feebly giving back whatever answers are demanded of it.

Four months after the death and transfiguration of California's public welfare administration, it is apparent that the new broom has not swept clean--but instead is sweeping much that is dirty under the rug. The genuine powers and public protections which once were embodied in the State Social Welfare Board have not been adequately replaced in other equally responsible hands. For the most part they have gone under the rug and down the drain. Nothing constructive has been done; but much that was constructive has been undone. Neither the clients of welfare nor the wider public which supports it are adequately brought into official deliberations and decisions; neither is permitted a meaningful exercise of its right to know, its right to speak, and its right to be heard. And neither is protected by review and appeals procedures against the tyrannical abuse of an administrative power which--in the vast and growing domain of welfare--often amounts to the power of life and death.

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Vigorous endorsement of plans for an orientation center for the blind in New Mexico was presented to a state legislative committee in January by leaders of the National Federation of the Blind and the New Mexico Federation of the Blind.

Russell Kletzing, president of the N.F.B., and Miss Pauline Gomez, head of the state federation, joined in sharp criticism of existing sheltered workshop training facilities and urged that New Mexico follow the lead of other states which have established modern centers for rehabilitation and orientation of blind persons.

Their views were clearly shared by Senator Tibo Chavez, chairman of the legislative committee, who announced that his committee has asked the American Foundation for the Blind to study present facilities for the blind, with special emphasis on the need for changes in rehabilitation. "It appears to the committee at this stage that not enough is being done to reach enough people in rehabilitation," Senator Chavez commented. "Not enough people are being reached."

He said that his committee would give serious consideration to the proposal vigorously forwarded by the New Mexico Federation for an orientation center offering pre -occupational instruction along lines of such successful centers as that in Oakland, California.

Two representatives of the American Foundation for the Blind--Charles Brown, field consultant, and Arthur Voorhees, program specialist in vocational and rehabilitation services--already are in the state making preliminary inquiries in connection with the Foundation's study, according to an article in the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. They have visited the state school for the visually handicapped in Alamogordo and toured offices of the state welfare department in Albuquerque.

Testifying before the state legislative committee, N.F.B. President Kletzing pointed out that an orientation center for the blind could be established in New Mexico at an initial cost of $100,000, with the federal government bearing 75 percent of the expense. He said the center could have a capacity of 15 to 20 students at a time, with an average stay of about six months. Thirty to 40 students could be trained annually, he said.

Kletzing strongly criticized sheltered workshops and said blind persons should be trained to hold regular jobs in business and industry. He declared the key function of an orientation center is shaping the attitude of the blind person toward greater self-confidence and desire to hold a competitive job. He noted that actual vocational training can be accomplished by vocational schools, institutes and other facilities.

Miss Gomez also scored the inadequacy of sheltered training programs and stressed the urgency of a modern orientation center. She said blind persons employed in sheltered workshops in the state are paid only 50 to 60 cents an hour--half of the federal minimum wage--and that there are frequent lay-offs. "State workshops are often called training centers. Where are the blind that they have trained?" she asked.

Senator Chavez noted that a total of about 50 blind persons are being trained in the state at the present time. By contrast H. J. Hebbeln, the welfare department's director of services for the blind, estimated that about 1,000 of the total of more than 2,000 visually handicapped persons in New Mexico could be trained to some degree.

Mark Shoesmith, manager of the Alamagordo training center, told the committee his center is severly handicapped because of lack of funds. He indicated that raw materials for manufacture of products cannot be bought in large quantities for this reason, emphasizing "We must be competitive with our products."

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Late last year the second of two epoch-making three-month seminars for teachers of blind children was concluded in Pakistan. Inspired and directed from the outset by Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant--famed blind educator who is fast becoming a legend in her lifetime--the comprehensive seminars represented the fruit of several years of research and preparation for what amounts to a quiet revolution in the treatment of blind Asians, as well as in popular and official attitudes toward them.

The ambitious scope of this pioneering educational effort, vigorously carried forward by a growing army of Pakistani teachers and workers under Dr. Grant’s tutelage, is revealed and documented in a Handbook for Teachers and Parents of Blind Children in Pakistan--a detailed report on the second seminar compiled by Dr. Grant. The newly printed Handbook, over 90 pages in length, consists of 20 short chapters by seminar participants on specific problems in the education of blind youth--among them such titles as "Tactual Reading in Urdu and English," "Experiment in Integration by a Blind Teacher," and "Islamic Teachings Pertaining to Blindness."

Completion of the fall seminar, along with publication of the Handbook, has constituted an event of national significance in Pakistan. Writing of these developments in a recent letter, Dr. Grant reported: "The first copy of this Handbook was presented at a public gathering to the Minister for Education, Begum Saleem Khan herself. She came to the Convocation of the Seminar for teacher-training I have just concluded, and presented the diplomas herself. ...

"The Convocation itself was most impressive. It was held in the Moslem Model School where the Seminar was held. The principal, Mr. Azia, went all out for a celebration because the Minister herself was to be there. The school compound was lit up with different colors of electric bulbs, I was told, and the place was all cleaned up and parts even whitewashed. The school band ushered the Minister into the compound when her car appeared. She too was greatly impressed. The program opened with the recitation from the Holy Koran. Then I had a little blind boy from the integrated class which I started (and incidentally which I am financing) play the National Anthem on his mouth organ. This impressed the Minister and the audience of about 100 educators very much.

"Then, at the introductions, the first person I presented was the father of the boy and his mother. This was a new idea in a country which bows to the V.I.P. and brushes aside the real V. I. P. The valedictorian was also an innovation. I said it would be better not to choose the oldest member of the group to give the valedictory. This was unheard of. I suggested we choose the youngest, a teacher of 21, who in my opinion had made more progress in self-growth than anyone in the class.

"Well, to suggest that he should do it was like a bombshell--and when I gave the reasons, they still could not break away from tradition. Gradually they came to see that there were other and perhaps better ways of doing things than just the old ways; and I of course referred to the whole subject of the education of their blind children. Well, the young man--who had worn a tie for the first time in his life that evening--gave a marvelous speech, simple and straightforward, saying that as a young man, a Pakistani, with all of his career in front of him, he now dedicated his life to the teaching of his fellow blind Pakistanis."

In the article that follows, reprinted from the Handbook for Teachers and Parents of Blind Children in Pakistan, Dr. Grant discusses the peculiar background and characteristics of the situation in which the blind population of one emerging Asian country find themselves today.

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By Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant

With the joint approval and sponsorship of the Office of Educational Exchange, Department of State, U.S.A., The United States Educational Foundation for Pakistan and the Department of Education, West Pakistan, Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant came to Pakistan in September, 1962 with the purpose of assisting in a programme for the education of blind children. Dr. Grant has been associated with this field of work for the last sixteen years in California, U.S.A.

From a study made three years ago, and from information gathered through a preliminary study in September, 1962, it was found that there were six residential schools, which blind children were attending throughout West and East Pakistan; the Ida Rieu Poor Welfare Society School in Karachi, the Kindeel School in Rawalpindi, the Government School for the Blind in Behawalpur, the Rotary School for the Blind in Dacca, and the Islamia School for the Blind sometimes called the Hospital School, also in Dacca, and the Sunrise School for the Blind in Lahore. Besides these there were institutes for blind persons attended by older adolescents and blind adults, usually with sheltered workshops attached.

In Lahore, there is the Government Institute for the Blind; in Karachi the Adult Blind Centre. There is also in Lahore the Blind Welfare Association, West Pakistan, with eye clinic and rehabilitation centre, and in Hyderabad, an institute for the blind. Several projects have been recently established, an Institute for the Blind in Peshawar, another in Quetta, and four residential schools in East Pakistan, one in Chittagong, one in Khulna, one in Raj Shahi and one in Dacca. It must be noted that these institutes are not primarily schools for the education of blind children, from six to sixteen. They are essentially vocational training centres. Seven blind children are attending the Pasrur Girls' Middle School, these blind children being integrated in the regular classes with the sighted pupils when their proficiency in braille reading and writing warrants.

The number of blind children attending any education institution in both wings is considerably less than two hundred, a very small number indeed, considering the thousands, perhaps one lakh of blind children of school-going age from five to sixteen or eighteen, throughout the two wings. To include visually handicapped children that is children with an impairment which renders them unable to use ordinary print text books, would be to double or perhaps treble that number.

It was found that all these schools were the residential type with hostel arrangements, providing food and clothing for the children. Chair-caning and basketry were included in the curriculum of practically every school, even with very young children. The academic subject in general received some attention, with braille reading and Holy Koran being taught in every school. Typewriting as a means of communication with sighted persons received little or no stress. Because of the lack of textbooks in braille, little attempt was made to follow the curriculum of education given to sighted children in the regular schools.

Many of the teachers, themselves blind, had received what education they had from the same schools in which they were now teaching. Their programme of instruction had consisted mainly of Urdu, Holy Koran, braille code, some English, and chair-caning. Only a very few teachers held a valid teaching credential, a Junior or Senior Vernacular, a Certificate of Teaching, or a higher degree. There is no doubt, however, that the trend is towards trying to find certificated teachers for these schools, to give the blind children at least equal opportunities of instruction with sighted children.

The realization of this teacher scarcity, together with the inadequacy of the training of the present teachers, were decisive factors in the search for first things first. One cannot educate children, blind or sighted, without teachers. Dr. Grant attended the conference in Hannover, Germany, August, 1962 on Education of Blind Youth in the Emergent Countries, and the Malaya Conference Kuala Lampur, May, 1963, where the great need for more and better teachers for blind children in developing countries was emphasized. The consensus of deliberations during the conferences pointed out the need for broader schemes to provide for more education for many more of the world's blind children than are at present receiving education. Where Government funds are limited for this purpose, the opening of integrated or open schemes of education in the regular schools, with the aid of special or resource teachers, was recommended.

Following this preliminary study, it was decided that the immediate need was for teachers specially trained in this phase of education. Two seminars have been held with a total of thirty-three certificated teachers as participants. The syllabus of work covered in the three months period was comprehensive and far-reaching. In the second seminar sessions were held six days per week, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Field trips with preliminary discussion and follow-up evaluations formed a significant part of the work. Study trips were made to the integrated class in Pasrur, to the Kindeel Blind School in Rawalpindi, to the Sunrise School for the Blind, Lahore, to the Rehabilitation Centre of the Blind Welfare Association, and to the Centre of the Pakistan Association of the Blind.

A series of lectures on the Structure and Hygiene of the Eye, on the Causes and Incidence of Blindness in Pakistan, on Vision Screening, and kindred topics, was delivered by a local ophthalmologist.

Practice teaching and demonstration lessons were conducted in the Joan Mac Donald School, Lahore, where a resource class under a participant from the first seminar is now organized. Procedures in Counseling and Guidance with blind children were a vital part of the programme and were conducted in Urdu. Equipment, though limited, consisted of educational toys, braille slates and styluses, braille machines, cubarithms, abacus, Taylor slates, braille maps, tracing wheels, typewriter, braille rulers, tapemeasures, watches, and the like with a generous supply of braille books in English and a few in Urdu. Local libraries were consulted, and a good bibliography was completed, including the Hannover and the Malaya materials, and personal copies of textbooks and reports.

In broad terms, the syllabus covered such topics as social, psychological, educational, vocational, and economic implications of blindness in Pakistan; cultural attitudes towards blindness; comparative study of schemes of education for blind youth, methodology, reading and writing of Urdu and English braille, observation, practice teaching, and study of aids and other equipment. Periodic and final examinations were given on the successive units of work. A diploma was granted on the fulfilment of the course requirements.

With these thirty-three participants from the two seminars, teachers-in-waiting, qualified to initiate and conduct a programme of education in keeping with the needs of their individual communities, the way is now clear, with the co-operation and assistance of the Government, through its representatives, the Directors, and the Inspectors, to make beginnings where no scheme at the moment exists, to enlarge where one does exist, and to extend and enrich the existing programmes in the residential schools. It is imperative that a training course in the education of blind children be inaugurated in local training colleges and normal schools.

We await the GO signal. We teachers are ready.

Bring us the blind children!

But in the situation which exists at present, recruitment of blind children into education is one of the most delicate problems. In Pakistan, the pattern of the family with a blind child is to hide the child from the view of even the closest relatives, regarding that child as evidence of guilt, sin, and punishment. This attitude obtains in middle and upper class families, with the result that people consider that blindness occurs only in the economically poor families. Investigation shows this not to be the case. Multiple blindness is found in many middle and upper class families, where hereditary eye diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, macular degeneration, have blinded several members of the same family. Trachoma is also not the monopoly of the economically poorer classes, for personal and social hygiene and sanitation leave much to be desired.

Blind children are difficult to recruit for any programme of education, when they are the source of income for the family. Education is far from the minds of the illiterate parents of blind children, who in the first place cannot conceive of a blind child's being educated and in the second place are infesting streets, trains, buses, mosques, with their gainfully occupied, but hapless children.

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A Superior Court in Alameda County, California, has ruled against the appeal by Benny Parrish, blind Oakland social worker who was discharged for insubordination by the county welfare department a year ago as a result of his refusal to take part in surprise mass raids on the homes of recipients of Aid to Needy Children. (See THE BLIND AMERICAN, January 1963.)

The adverse court decision, handed down in December, came after extended litigation which began when Parrish unsuccessfully appealed his dismissal to the Alameda County Civil Service Commission. He then sought a review of this decision in the Superior Court. Appeal of his case to a higher court is now planned. His position has won wide support among professional groups such as the California Social Workers Organization and the bay area chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Blind Americans have had a twofold interest in the Parrish case: first because Parrish is himself blind, but second (and more importantly) because of the ominous precedent for all categories of welfare aid recipients set by the mass visitations upon recipients of A.D.C. Something of the character of that threat was recently summarized in a mimeographed statement, "Background and Issues in Parrish Versus Alameda County," released by the Parrish Constitutional Rights Fund, an ad hoc group organized to gain financial support for Parrish's court appeals.

The statement points out that the issue originated in an edict by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in November, 1962, ordering the county welfare director to carry out surprise early-morning calls on homes of the needy families. "The purpose was to discover fraud, in particular the presence of an unreported man in the home. The plan included surprise visits to randomly selected families not suspected of fraud as well as suspected families." The unannounced raids were carried out, as scheduled, on the morning of January 13, 1963.

"According to plan, the social worker was to gain entry, not by force but by reliance upon previously established relationships. Upon entry, he was expected to gain the admission of a second employee, stationed at the back entrance with instructions to watch for persons fleeing by door or window. The two employees were then to search rooms, closets, beds and under beds. The plan contemplated using half the staff on the first 'Operation Weekend’ and the other half on a second one. Mr. Benny Parrish was assigned to the first and refused to participate on professional and constitutional grounds. Two social workers resigned rather than follow the instructions. Many others are said to have participated reluctantly."

According to the Parrish defense fund statement, the main legal issues in the court appeal are these: "The random raids violated the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and comparable provision of the State Constitution in that they denied recipients of Aid to Needy Children subject to such random raids (1) the equal protection of the laws, (2) the right to due process, and (3) freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

"The random raids were based on an assumption of guilt, treated A.N.C. clients as 'second-class citizens,' subjected them to dragnet procedures, and was a bill of attainder. Mr. Parrish's dismissal violated his constitutional right not to engage in an unconstitutional act, bearing potential penalties. ...

"Social workers have an interest in obtaining a judicial decision that may clarify the distinction between social work investigation and fraud investigation and safeguard it. Public employees have an interest in having the scope of duties and responsibilites undertaken in employment contracts respected. All citizens have an interest in the protection of their constitutional rights. We should be particularly concerned for those whose need for public aid may lead them to admit searchers without warrants when persons not so situated would refuse them entry."

The Parrish Constitutional Rights Fund has as its chief purpose the raising of funds to aid Parrish's legal defense. Its statement has been widely distributed across the nation to schools and organizations in the field of welfare.

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Anthony Mannino, executive secretary of the American Brotherhood for the Blind and president of Active Blind, Inc., of Los Angeles, was recently named by the Sertoma Club of Westwood Village as its 1963 "Service to Mankind Award" winner.

Long active in organizations of the blind, Mannino lost his sight early in life and subsequently was production manager and superintendent of an Eastern manufacturing firm for 17 years before deciding to move to the west coast.

In Los Angeles he attended the Braille Institute to learn braille, and there joined a group of blind writers in workshop sessions--his first systematic personal contact with other blind people.

Mannino joined and became president of the Los Angeles County Club of Adult Blind, now known as Active Blind, Inc. A member and leader in the California Council of the Blind, he has devoted much of his time to promoting its services and generally advancing the cause of the organized blind.

He is a member of the Los Angeles Braille Institute's Advisory Committee on Blindness as well as of the Advisory Committee of the Los Angeles Junior League's Information Center for the Blind.

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The Empire State Association of the Blind has again become an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, according to an announcement by Russell Kletzing, president of the N.F.B.

The reaffiliation was completed by the New York blind group at its 1963 convention last fall, and subsequently approved by the National Federation's executive committee without a dissenting vote.

In a letter to Dominic Dejohn, president of the Empire State Association, Kletzing expressed the gratification of the N.F.B. and noted that "the executive committee members, along with others I have spoken to, have indicated considerable pleasure at this development. We welcome your strong support in the legislative and other work of the Federation."

At its fall convention the E . S. A. B. reelected Dejohn, whose home is in Brooklyn, to another term as president. Other officers are: first vice president, Albert Wylaz; second vice president, Anthony Parise; treasurer, Dorothea Vogel; secretary, Marion Burke.

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By Stanley Oliver

(Editor's Note: Mr. Oliver, a veteran leader in the ranks of the organized blind both nationally and in Michigan, is well known to readers of THE BLIND AMERICAN as an active and welcome contributor to these pages.)

Nearly 100 blind members of the Michigan Council of the Blind, along with Lions Club officers and other sighted friends, gathered on December 10 at the Canadian Legion Hall in Ferndale for an early Christmas celebration climaxed with a vigorous address by Michigan Congressman Alvin Bentley.

T. Fred Lawton, composer of Michigan's popular "Varsity" song, read some of his wise and humorous poetry to the great delight of the audience. Mrs. Hamby, president of the South Oakland County chapter of the Michigan Council, greeted the group and turned over MC duties to Mrs. Bessy Fowler.

Congressman Bentley flew in from Washington, D. C. to attend the affair. The congressman, one of Michigan's leading industrialists, has been for many years a leading personality in Republican party circles, and is active in the administration of Governor Romney.

"Blind people in my state," observed Mr. Bentley, "should not be worried about their status under the new state constitution." In this the speaker made clear that from his knowledge the current state agency, the Division of Services for the Blind, would continue and perhaps even be enlarged in its work. (Since Mr. Bentley's remarks, the director of social welfare, Mr. Bernie Houston, has expressed himself as looking to vigorous expansion of this department and has requested the addition of five new stall people, relying on Governor Romney's intention to expand all state services as influential with the legislature.)

"The real need of blind people in Michigan," stated Mr. Bentley, "is to acquaint their legislators with their problems in order to get the serious consideration of our lawmakers." The speaker recalled his own strong espousal of the Kennedy-Baring Bill some four years ago, introduced by the late John F. Kennedy, then a senator. The bill, which received week-long hearings before the House sub-committee on Labor and Education, would have established rights for the blind in the field of self-determination and self-expression. Mr. Bentley felt, from the weight of available evidence, that "first-class citizenship" was being substantially denied many blind people in the fields of rehabilitation and assistance.

"Three factors are needed," according to Mr. Bentley, "for a blind person to achieve economic self-sufficiency. These are, first and foremost, courage; secondly, ability--much of this can be evoked with good rehabilitation services--and lastly, an opportunity to become a useful and meriting productive member of society." Quoting from research figures, Mr. Bentley noted that whereas in a specified period some 51 Michigan blind wage-earners paid $335.00 in taxes, during the same time if they had been on assistance they would have cost the state some $850.00.

Voluntary associations of blind people, in the view of the speaker, serve a useful function in the building and maintenance of good morale and especially in the dissemination of practical know-how. He warned his blind listeners about the political activity of some powerful agency groups who have historically "interpreted" for the blind, who act at times to discourage and discredit voluntary associations of blind people. Mr. Bentley states flatly that he is "in the picture to stay" with regard to assisting blind people in achieving their legitimate rights within the framework of our society.

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Some five million visitors are expected to be drawn to Arizona during 1964--by virtue of a rare combination of scenery, sunshine, clear air and warm, dry climate. Among them will be several hundred delegates to the 1964 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, meeting at Phoenix's Westward Ho Hotel from June 30 through July 3. (For convention details, see THE BLIND AMERICAN, November, 1963.)

Activities for tourists in Phoenix and adjacent areas of the state are as varied as they are numerous. In one day you can tour a gold mine, ride among blooming cacti or go skiing. Alternatively, you may enjoy swank nightspots or a desert barbecue, go sailing or hunting for wild game.

Only 14 percent privately owned, Arizona is a massive public playground. It boasts two national parks, 15 national monuments, no less than seven national forests. There are 19 Indian reservations covering almost 20 million acres for 110,000 Indians of 14 different tribes.

Within Phoenix itself there are many interesting places to go and things to do. Southwest culture is preserved in an old Spanish-style former private residence on a quiet street--the Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Arts. Its rooms and landscaped interior courtyard contain artifacts of many Indian cultures: Hohokam bowls, Apache and Pima basketry, Navaho rugs and silver, and Hopi katchina dolls.

The Phoenix Art Museum contains a million dollars' worth of great art works, including representative sculptures. The Phoenix Symphony brings in distinguished soloists for its concerts. The Little and Musical Theatres present play series, plus a Shakespeare festival. The Sombrero Playhouse features top Hollywood stars during its winter play season.

Nearby are the massive Japanese flower gardens adjacent to South Mountain Park; the pre-planned community of Carefree to the north, and Taliesin West, the late Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural school and foundation in Paradise Valley.

West of Flagstaff on U.S. 66 is the main road north to that fantastic natural wonder, the Grand Canyon. Within this National Park are plant species representative of 1,000 miles of earth latitude (mid-Mexico to Canada). East of Flagstaff is Petrified Forest National Park, where fallen giants have turned to many-colored stone. Nearby is the Painted Desert.

Northwest of Flagstaff the 10-million-acre reservation of the Navajo Indians completely surrounds the smaller Hopi reservation with its ancient villages.

Southwest of Phoenix 120 miles is Tucson, Arizona's second-largest city, which still holds much of its original Old Spanish charm. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, in the Tucson Mountains, presents a living record of the desert. Most species of desert animals, birds and plants are shown in their natural habitat. A unique under-ground tunnel with windows in the earth lets visitors view animals in their subterranean homes. Children enjoy playing in a pit with desert tortoises.

Nearby is Old Tucson, a false-front western town where movies are often made and which regularly features stagecoach rides, gun battles and bank holdups. Due south of Tucson 65 miles is Nogales, Mexico, where visitors can shop for Mexican crafts, visit cantinas and cheer matadors in the Plaza de Toros. Seventy miles southeast of Tucson is notorious Tombstone with its Boothill cemetery, the OK Corral and the Bird Cage Theatre.

All this and more--plus a great convention--awaits vacationing Federationists who hit the Arizona trail come summer.

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(Editor's Note: Following is a statement on employment of the handicapped approved in September, 1963, by the Council on Occupational Health of the American Medical Association. The statement supplements an earlier resolution on the same subject approved in 1962 by the A.M.A.'s House of Delegates. Its express purpose is to "place the American Medical Association squarely in support of the principle of employment of the handicapped" as well as to indicate specific ways of implementing that objective.)

To further implement the efforts of the American Medical Association, and other groups, in disseminating knowledge to employers and to the general public concerning this problem, the Council presents the following material.

Employers have not, as yet, fully recognized the presence of a large reservoir of unused manpower, which has a very valuable contribution to make. Comprehensive and documented studies of the performance of the handicapped have repeatedly shown excellent job performance, as well as less absenteeism and better safety records than in comparable groups of able-bodied workers. In most circumstances, such employment does not lead to increased workmen's compensation costs. Factual material can do much to correct the many misconceptions and rumors surrounding this entire subject. There is, therefore, a continuing need to disseminate these facts as widely as possible.

The principle of evaluating ability, rather than disability, of a potential employee deserves continued emphasis. The phrase "an equal opportunity employer" should not relate solely to race or creed, but also should apply to those who have some physical or mental impairment. Strict placement requirements are unavoidable for certain jobs, but if the type of work permits, the handicapped individual should receive equal consideration with any other worker.

The handicapped have a strong motivation to succeed. In any group of workers, some individuals can be expected to be poorly motivated, but many studies suggest that there are fewer of these in the handicapped group because of the challenges they face in competing for employment.

The efforts of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped in developing medical criteria for employment of specific groups, encouraging improvements in architectural design of buildings, stimulating rehabilitative procedures, and in promoting an educational campaign to industrial management and the public, merit our support and commendation.

Legislative changes in workmen's compensation acts, which penalize the individual with physical or mental impairment by placing additional roadblocks in the path of self-sustaining opportunity and employment, are objectionable and should be opposed by all interested groups.

Present trends in manufacturing indicate progressively less need for physical labor, particularly in the unskilled or semi-skilled groups. Physical impairments, therefore, will have decreasing importance, and concurrently the importance of brain power will increase. Many so-called "handicapped" already have needed skills, or have the potential to develop them as readily as the non-handicapped. Employers are encouraged to recognize and utilize these facts in their future plans.

Successful employment of the handicapped involves:

1. Proper medical evaluation of the physical and mental condition of the applicant;

2. Evaluation of the applicant's physical and intellectual capacity for work;

3. Proper job placement, in which the employee can utilize his maximum functions and skills, without affecting adversely his own health or exposing his fellow workers to increased hazards. (This requires cooperation between administrative personnel and the medical department.)

4. Periodic re-evaluation of the employee's health status to protect his capabilities for continuing satisfactory employment.

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Love Rekindled. "To those who rejoice in belated romance," writes our Colorado Correspondent, Mrs. Ethel Mahaney, "this story should be of interest." (Uneditor's Note: We agree. Herewith our correspondent's report from the scene, unedited.)

"Many of the blind friends of Mrs. Ruth Jesmer and Mr. Vern Ashby were not a little surprised when Ruth and Vern were quietly married last November 29, after almost fifty years of separation. What some of them didn't know, however, is that Ruth and Vern became teenage sweethearts while they were both attending the School for the Blind in Colorado Springs. After leaving school they just sort of drifted apart, each marrying someone else.

"Ruth, who lived for a number of years in Kremmling, Colorado, moved to Denver last September and got herself settled into a comfortable apartment. Two weeks later she accepted an invitation to dinner at the home of a friend. By some strange coincidence, Vern chanced to drop in that evening also. Right then and there the romance was renewed, and in two months' time they were married.

"They are now settled in a charming new home which Vern purchased before they were married. It was open house on New Year's Eve at the Ashby's, 139 South Julian Street, and many friends dropped in to offer congratulations and to wish them many years of happiness together.

"The new bride was elected alternate delegate to the N.F.B. Phoenix convention at our own state convention in October, and her husband will accompany her to the national meeting."


Missouri Blind Convene. The second annual convention of the Progressive Blind of Missouri, Inc., was held at the Aladdin Hotel in Kansas City, November 15-17. According to information received from Mrs. Gwen Rittgers, the following officers were elected: president, George Rittgers; vice president, Mrs. Tiny Beedle; recording secretary, Mrs. Bobbie Brashier; treasurer, Mrs. May Pelsor; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Gwen Rittgers. Board members are Mrs. Doris Miller; Earley E. Busby, John Nordyke, and the Rev. George Jenkins.

Fifty-five members attended the Saturday evening convention banquet at which Postmaster Ted C. Bland was principal speaker and Attorney General Mike Combs, a sighted member of the club, acted as master of ceremonies. President Rittgers presented the Dr. Jacobus tenBroek Award for 1963 to William H. Crowe, executive director of the Kansas City Association for the Blind, for his efforts in establishing a braille library in the Kansas City area.


More on Colorado. In our last roundup of state conventions (October issue), due to limitations both of space and information, short shrift was had by all. Especially slighted in the shrifting process was the annual convention of the Colorado Federation of the Blind, held October 26 in Denver. Here is the roster of elected officers which we were unable then to pass on to readers: president, Cliff Jensen (re-elected); first vice president, Sam Matzner; second vice president, Ray McGeorge; corresponding secretary, Marie Jensen (re-elected); treasurer, Georgia Coxe; recording secretary, Ethel Mahaney. George Newell was re-elected to the board of directors, while Ruth Jesmer and Rena Brunswig were newly chosen board members.


And There Was Light. The foregoing is the title of a new autobiography by a remarkable French Resistance leader, Jacques Lusseyran. Blinded accidentally at the age of eight, the author was shipped off to Buchenwald concentration camp eleven years later as a leader of the French Underground. Describing his first-person narrative in the Book-of-the-Month Club NEWS, Elsbeth Couch writes: "Those who lose courage easily might do well to read this intense and often moving book, which tells of the first twenty years in the life of the author. ... His story offers two great adventures: that of a blind boy finding the light within himself, and that of a blind adolescent becoming a guide to others in the Resistance.

"In tune with the author, one senses how it may be possible to see noise and hear sights, and to achieve an almost mystical sense of union with the universe. One begins to understand deep friendships that almost break the barrier of individuality, and the intoxication, comradship, fear and faith that were the Resistance. ... Here is a man who always regarded himself as a forceful agent, never as a victim. Whoever waits for hope and meaning in life to come from outside should read his book."


New Braille Binder Invented. A new mechanical process for binding braille books has been invented by a librarian at the Jewish Guild for the Blind, according to a release by the nonsectarian New York City Guild. The inventor is Bernard M. Krebs, whose binder is expected to make it possible for any braille transcribing group to do its own permanent or temporary binding at a very minimal cost. Books of 35, 70, or 105 pages may be bound and the binder reopened and re-used, the Guild reports.

From the original hand-transcribed copy of a braille page, plastic copies are made by machine. The Krebs binder, soon to be manufactured by the American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky, reportedly will permit copies to be bound in quantity for use in schools or libraries where blind students must keep up with their sighted classmates.


Merle E. Frampton Wins Honor. Dr. Merle E. Frampton, principal of the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind, has been awarded the National Order of Merit of the Republic of Paraguay. Dr. Frampton, who has addressed National Federation of the Blind conventions and is well-known for his contributions to Congressional and Administrative studies of welfare and rehabilitation practices affecting the blind, has assisted South American countries for more than 25 years in building schools and training teachers for the physically handicapped. He received the award in a presentation last September by Dr. Raul Sapena Pastor, Paraguay's minister of foreign affairs.


Award to Gwen Rittgers. Mrs. Gwen Rittgers, recently retired staff director of the Kansas City Association for the Blind's Education and Recreation Center, was the recipient recently of the first annual plaque of the Kansas City Association in honor of her notable work and devotion to the cause of blind people. The wife of George Rittgers, president of the Progressive Blind of Missouri, Gwen was given the award at a surprise party at which her friends also presented her with funds to purchase a redwood picnic table for her new patio. Active in the proceedings was Earley E. Busby, newly appointed director of the Association's Center. Mrs. Rittgers, who had resigned her post in favor of marital responsibilities, will continue as a volunteer teacher with braille transcribing groups.


New Book by B.A.’s Editor. Floyd W. Matson, editor of THE BLIND AMERICAN, is the author of a forthcoming book entitled The Broken Image: Man, Science and Society. Scheduled for publication in mid-March, Dr. Matson's study is a critical examination of various theories of human nature and behavior current in the social sciences. Already chosen as a March selection by The Book Find Club, The Broken Image will be published by George Braziller, Inc., 215 Park Avenue South, New York 3, New York.


Trachoma Conquest Seen. A new vaccine that reportedly prevents trachoma in most cases, promising an important step towards ridding mankind of the blinding disease, has been developed by Harvard scientists and physicians, according to a recent report published in the Seattle POST-INTELLIGENCER. Dr. John C. Snyder, dean of the Harvard University School of Public Health, was quoted as observing that "According to the estimates of the World Health Organization more than 500 million people in various parts of the world are afflicted with trachoma. In certain areas more than 90 percent of the population are involved."

Trachoma was said to have been prevented in about 80 percent of the children in an area of Saudi Arabia where the new vaccine was tested. Cause of trachoma, a rapidly developing infection of the eyes, is the trachoma virus, of which two varieties have been identified. The Harvard scientists made a vaccine from killed viruses of both varieties. It was noted that trachoma is still rampant in some parts of the U.S., and that American travelers abroad should be vaccinated against the disease which is even more common elsewhere in the world.


New Travel Guide for Blind. The Guida-Phone, an instrument substituting sound for sight, has been developed by a blind inventor of Syracuse, New York, as a travel aid for the sightless, according to an item appearing in the FLORIDA WHITE CANE BULLETIN, official publication of the Florida Federation of the Blind. Holding the Guida-Phone before him, a blind person is said to hear through an earphone noises that betray the presence of objects and even the character of pavements.

The inventor, John B. Kennon, is a motion-picture projectionist who lost his sight eight years ago as a result of an accident. He reportedly began experimenting with old hearing aids provided by Charles E. Wright, proprietor of a hearing-aid service in Syracuse. The two have since gone into partnership in development of the invention.

The Guida-Phone, which is said to resemble a pocket camera with an ear plug, "converts" light into sound. It has an optical unit with several lenses, an amplifier and a light-sensitive unit made up of solar cells. Light reflected from a rough surface such as a sidewalk creates a sound described as "grainy," while a smooth and shiny surface makes a very low rumble or hum.


A.P.W.A. Director Resigns. Miss Loula Friend Dunn, director of the American Public Welfare Association since 1949, resigned her position last November. In a letter to A. P. W. A. President Guy R. Justis, Miss Dunn said in part: "It is my plan to continue to use my years of experience and whatever competence I have in the best interest of public welfare. Implicit in this decision is the desire to support the principles and objectives of A.P.W.A. This, however, I hope to do without the heavy pressures of administrative demands, both in terms of time and travel. But wherever I am, and whatever I do in future, you may be assured of my commitment to the advancement and improvement of this organization."


Blind Therapist Honored . A blind physical therapist at the Lebanon Veterans Administration Hospital of Pennsylvania, Raymond T. Frey, is among the 71 American man nominated by their colleges for the Silver Anniversary Ail-American Award of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, reports a news item in THE NEW OUTLOOK. Nominee of the Lebanon Valley College, Frey had been a football and basketball star prior to losing his sight during a military training mission in 1943. While recovering he decided to enter rehabilitation work and subsequently helped more than 700 blinded veterans of World War II. He has also been awarded a citation for meritorious service in assisting employment of the physically handicapped.


N.Y. Commission Official Dies. Dr. David F. Gillette, board chairman of the New York State Commission for the Blind, died at Syracuse, New York, last September. A diplomate of the American Board of Opthalmology, he was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and held wide memberships in opthalmological societies.


More Glasses for Pakistan. Seventy pairs of glasses have already been shipped to Pakistan as a result of a new drive launched by the Worcester Chapter of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, according to information from Miss Rosamond M. Critchley. Many of the discarded spectacles are coming in through the efforts of individual members, and radio publicity has brought a surprisingly generous response from the public.

New officers of the Worcester group, elected in December, were formally installed on January 7 at a chapter meeting. The elected leaders are: president, Mrs. Dorothy Bailey; first vice president, William H. Burke; second vice president, Miss Aline Daignault; recording secretary, Miss Rosamond Critchley; corresponding secretary, Miss Eva Gilbert; financial secretary, Raoul J. Goguen; treasurer, Edward B. Murphy; sergeant-at-arms, Robert Frost; members-at-large, William Lytle and Mrs. Lillian Rich.


Jersey Blind Confer. Representatives of 11 organizations of the blind in New Jersey met with officials of the State Commission for the Blind January 15 to discuss common problems. Norbert Cifelli, chairman of the board of Associated Blind of New Jersey, attended the parley along with Myles Crosby, president of the State Council of N.J. Organizations of the Blind, and representatives of other groups.

As reported by the ASSOCIATED BLIND LEADER, "The meeting, promised the organizations since November, 1962, when the blind were seeking legislation to protect them against alleged interference with their rights to organize, was called by the commission some 14 months after the meeting was suggested by Governor Hughes."

Organizations represented at the meeting also included the Trenton Association of the Blind, the N.J. Foundation for the Blind, the Light Brigade, Progressive Social Club for the Blind, N.J. Recreation for the Blind, Union County Association of the Blind, North Jersey Association of the Blind, Hudson County Association of the Blind, N.J. Blind Men's Association, and the Middlesex County Association of the Blind.

The State Commission was represented at the meeting by George F. Meyer, executive director, and his staff of five department heads, plus George E. Burck, member of the commission's board of managers. Burck was appointed to the board by former Governor Robert Mayner after enactment of a law requiring that at least two members of the policy-making panel be blind.

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