JUNE 1967



The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves.

Monitor Headquarters 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 9470

Published monthly in braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind, President: Jacobus tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708.

Inkprint edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind.

Editor: Jacobus tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708.

News items and changes of address should be sent to the Editor.








By Jean Neel

By Catherine G. Callahan






By Lyle Knowles



By Beverly Gladden




By Mike Kooreny





By Dr. Alan D. Wade





Fifty-seven cosponsoring colleagues joined with Senator Vance Hartke, Indiana, in introducing S. 1681, the Federation's Disability Insurance for the Blind bill, in the United States Senate on May 3.

Identical to H.R. 3064, introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year by Congressman Cecil R. King, California, the Hartke bill would make substantial and much needed changes in the federal Disability Insurance law for blind persons.

S. 1681, as federal law, would allow a person, blind in accordance with the generally accepted definition of blindness and having worked for a year and a half in Social Security-covered work, to qualify for Disability Insurance benefit payments so long as he remains disabled by blindness and irrespective of his earnings.

Few bills introduced in the Senate in recent years have had the support given S. 1681.

Represented among the 57 cosponsors of the Hartke measure are Democratic and Republican senators, northern and southern senators, western and eastern senators, liberal and conservative senators.

Also represented among the cosponsors of our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill are eight members of the Senate Finance Committee, who, along with fellow member Senator Hartke, constitute a majority of this important committee.

Since the Finance Committee has jurisdiction over Social Security Amending bills in the Senate, this favorable balance should greatly enhance the possibility of securing full committee approval of our King-Hartke-Federation bill when Social Security matters become the business of the committee.

The broad-based support given S. 1681, support which spans greatly divergent political partisanism and governmental and economic philosophy, is due in part to the work done during the 1965 NFB convention in Washington, when many Federationists visited their senators to urge their active support of our Disability Insurance bill.

Federationists who were in Washington in July of 1965 will recall how, in response to an appeal from Senator Hartke, sightless men and women in attendance at the Mayflower convention went to Capitol Hill and sat in the Senate Galleries. They listened as the Social Security debate droned along for hours on the Senate floor, and many were late for the Federation banquet that night because of their long Senate Gallery vigil.

On July 9, 1965, only minutes after the Washington convention had adjourned, the Senate adopted the Hartke-Disability for the Blind bill amendment by a roll-call vote of 78 to 11.

The Senate had also passed the bill in 1964, when its sponsor was the then senior senator from Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey.

But in 1965 as in 1964, the Senate-passed Disability Insurance for the Blind bill was lost in the House-Senate conference on Social Security matters when vigorous departmental opposition prevailed and the conferees failed to resolve differences on a Social Security bill.

So, we are trying again!

At the conclusion of this bulletin are listed the senators who cosponsored S. 1681, the Hartke-Federation Disability Insurance for the Blind bill in the Senate. If your senator's name appears as a cosponsor, write and thank him for his support of this measure, and urge him to work vigorously for Senate approval of it. If your senator's name is not on the honor list of Hartke cosponsors, write and urge him to give his support to S. 1681 when it is offered on the Senate floor by Senator Hartke.

And above all else, write to Senator Hartke himself and thank him for his continuing championship of our cause in the Senate and particularly for his untiring efforts in behalf of our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill.

Letters sent to senators should be addressed:

Honorable, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510

In the House, the campaign to secure additional introductions of H.R. 3064, the House Disability Insurance for the Blind bill, has proceeded since last month's appeal, with 28 representatives now cosponsoring the bill.

A list of cosponsors appears at the end of this bulletin, and if your congressman has not introduced a bill identical to H.R. 3064, write and ask him to do so. Tell him if he has any questions about the bill to call John Nagle, whose phone number is listed in the Washington directory under "National Federation of the Blind."

Letters sent to your congressman should be addressed: Honorable D.C. 20515, House Office Building, Washington,


Vance Hartke, Ind. (Introducer of bill)


George McGovern, S.D.
Eugene McCarthy, Minn.
Winston Prouty, Vt.
Ralph Yarborough, Tex.
Jennings Randolph, W. Va .
Hiram Fong , Hawaii
Thruston Morton, Ky.
Milton Young, N.D.
Abraham Ribicoff, Conn.
Harrison Williams , N.J.
Henry Jackson, Wash.
Lee Metcalf , Mont.
John Sherman Cooper, Ky.
John L. McClellan, Ark.
Mark Hatfield, Oreg.
Joseph Montoya, N. Mex.
Joseph Tydings , Md.
Ernest Hollings , S.C.
Thomas Dodd , Conn.
Edward Long, Mo.
Everett Dirksen, 111.
Gaylord Nelson, Wis.
Joseph Clark, Pa.
Frank Church, Idaho
Hugh Scott, Pa.
Thomas Mclntyre, N.H.
George Murphy, Calif.
Peter Dominick, Colo.
Strom Thurmond, S.C.
Philip Hart, Mich.
Lister Hill, Ala.
Frank Carlson, Kans.
Ernest Gruening, Alaska
Walter Mondale , Minn.
Wayne Morse, Oreg.
Paul Fannin, Ariz.
Jack Miller, Iowa
James Eastland, Miss.
Caleb Boggs , Del.
Thomas Kuchel, Calif.
Claiborne Pell, R.I.
Warren Magnuson, Wash.
Frank Moss, Utah
Carl Curtis, Neb.
Daniel Inouye , Hawaii
Howard Cannon, Nev.
Alan Bible, Nev.
Gale McGee , Wyo.
Daniel Brewster, Md.
Jacob Javits , N.Y.
Karl Mundt, S. Dak.
Quentin Burdick, N. Dak.
J. William Fulbright, Ark.
Robert Kennedy, N.Y.
Birch Bayh, Ind .
Mrs. Margaret Chase Smith, Me
Norris Cotton, N.H.


Cecil R. King, Calif. (Introducer of bill)

Identical Bills Introduced By

Edward P. Boland, Mass. H. R. 5589
Ancher Nelsen, Min. H. R. 5982
Jerome R. Waldie, Calif. H. R. 6303
E.S. Johnny Walker, N. Mex. H R. 6624
George P. Miller, Calif. H. R. 6943
W.R. Hull, Jr., Mo. H. R. 7231
Frank A. Stubblefield, Ky. H. R. 7257
Torbert H. Macdonald, Mass. H. R. 7292
James J. Howard, N.J. H. R. 7841
Augustus F. Hawkins, Calif. H. R. 7992
Harry Helstoski, N.J. H. R. 7998
Armistead I. Selden, Jr., Ala. H. R. 8075
George H. Fallon, Md. H. R. 8120
Mrs. Margaret M. Heckler, Mass. H. R. 8123
Daniel J. Flood, Pa. H. R. 8328
John J. McFall, Calif. H. R. 8335
Richard L. Ottinger, N. Y. H. R. 8345
Charles M. Teague, Calif. H. R. 8437
Mrs. Edna F. Kelly, N. Y. H. R. 8445
John H. Dent, Pa. H. R. 8514
Tim Lee Carter, Ky. H. R. 8676
John Buchanan, Ala. H. R. 8918
Tom Bavill, Ala. H. R. 9099
Robert Leggett, Calif. H. R. 9191
Bill Nichols, Ala. H. R. 9202
James C. Corman, Calif. H. R. 9540
Walter Baring, Nev. H. R. 9659
George W. Andrews, Ala. H. R. 9818

Back to Contents


The organized blind have long believed that handicapped workers employed in sheltered workshops should have the same opportunity as other workers to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to organize for self-betterment. Sharing this belief, Congressman James G. O'Hara, Michigan, has introduced H. R. 9995 in the House of Representatives at the request of the National Federation of the Blind.

The right of American workers to organize and bargain collectively with management has been recognized by federal law since 1935, when Congress adopted the National Labor Relations Act.

But handicapped workers in sheltered workshops have been denied the protection of this federal law by the National Labor Relations Board when they applied for a recognition of their right to organize in order to improve wages and working conditions.

Handicapped workers in a San Diego, California, sheltered workshop were refused the protection of federal law on the ground that a sheltered shop was not a place of employment, but a rehabilitation facility.

Handicapped workers in the St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind were turned down when they sought Labor Board support of their right to organize. They were turned down not only for the reason given in the San Diego case, but also because it was said they were not really workers at all, but wards of the shop management requiring custodial care and supervision.

Enacted into federal law, H. R. 9995 would nullify these retrogressive decisions of the National Labor Relations Board.

As public law, H. R. 9995 would serve, too, as a congressional declaration that handicapped workers in sheltered workshops have the same right as other industrial workers, and must be given the same opportunity to exercise these rights.

Vociferous and influential opposition can be expected to H. R. 9995. It is therefore most urgently necessary that Federationists, their families, and their friends support this measure with a flood of endorsing letters and telegrams.

You should certainly indicate your thanks to Congressman O'Hara for introducing H. R. 9995. Tell him how necessary this legislation is in our struggle to secure equal rights for disabled men and women who are endeavoring to support themselves and achieve independence in their lives.

You should also write to Honorable Carl Perkins, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, the House committee which has jurisdiction over H.R. 9995. Tell him that you fully support this proposed legislation, that it is greatly needed to help sheltered shop workers improve their conditions of employment, and urge him to schedule committee hearings on H. R. 9995 during the 90th Congress.

You should also write to your own congressman, telling him of your deep interest in H. R. 9995. Ask him to indicate his support of this proposed legislation to both Congressman O'Hara and Congressman Perkins.

Federationists must deluge Congress with telegrams and letters.

Sheltered shop management will surely do this in opposition to its enactment!

Letters and telegrams should be addressed: Honorable, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.


A bill to amend the National Labor Relations Act to secure to physically handicapped workers employed in sheltered workshops the right to organize and bargain collectively and for other purposes.

Be it enacted, etc.

That paragraph (1) of section 2 of the National Labor Relations Act is amended by striking out the "period" at the end thereof, and by adding the following:

"and sheltered workshops."

Section 2. Paragraph (2) of section 2 of the National Labor Relations Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Such term shall also include any private nonprofit organization, association, or agency operating a sheltered workshop. As used in this section, the term 'sheltered workshop' means a place where any manufacture or handiwork is carried on and which is operated for the primary purpose of providing employment for physically handicapped persons. As used in this section, the term 'employment' shall include work on production, job-conditioning, training, and other pre- vocational preparation, for which wages or like compensation is paid."

Section 3. Paragraph (3) of section 2 of the National Labor Relations Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Such term shall also include physically handicapped persons engaged as employees in a sheltered workshop. As used in this section, the term 'employee' shall include workers engaged in production, job-conditioning, training, and in other pre- vocational preparation, for which they are paid wages or like compensation."

Section 4. Section 14 (c) (1) of the National Labor Relations Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"The Board shall not decline to assert jurisdiction over a dispute involving a sheltered workshop (as defined in section 2 (2)) on the ground that assertion of such jurisdiction would not effectuate the policies of this Act."

Back to Contents


Will the proposed Social Security payment increases now before the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee be increases in name only? Such will be the case unless an NFB- supported amendment to Title X of the Social Security Act is passed.

The amendment would exempt all Social Security payment increases added by Congress since January 1, 1966 from consideration when determining a person's public assistance need. Public Assistance is granted to supplement personal and available resources; and Social Security payments are considered an available resource. Thus, many aid recipients have found that when Social Security payments are raised, Public Assistance payments are lowered by a corresponding amount.

Congressional acceptance of the amendment would make exemption of Social Security increases mandatory and binding upon the states, ending the policy dating from 1965 which gives the states the option to decide whether to exempt these increases when deter- mining Public Assistance need. Since 1965 only 16 states have acted favorably on the matter, and several of these later rescinded the action.

An all-out campaign to convince Congress of the necessity of the amendment is under way. Although the wording of the proposed amendment is directed toward the Aid to the Blind title, similar wording could be used for the other welfare titles of the Social Security Act. Copies of the amendment which follows this bulletin should be sent to:

1. Honorable Wilbur D. Mills, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, with a letter urging that wording similar to that of the amendment be included in the Social Security Amendments of 1967 measure now pending before this Committee;

2. Your own congressman, asking him to forward the draft amendment to Chairman Mills with his strong endorsement of its purpose;

3. Honorable Russell B. Long, Chairman, Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, with a letter from you requesting that language similar to that of the proposed amendment be incorporated in this year's Social Security amending bill; and

4. Your own two U.S. senators, urging each of them to pass along the amendment to Chairman Long with a letter indicating their strong endorsement and support.

Letters sent to Chairman Mills and to your congressman should be addressed: Honorable, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Letters to Chairman Long and to your own two U. S senators should be addressed: Honorable, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Prompt action on this matter is most essential to prevent disappointments of the past from being repeated.

Recommended Amendment to the Social Security Amendments of 1967

Section 1002 (a) (8) of Title X of the Social Security Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"(D), shall disregard any amount paid to any individual under Title II of the Social Security Act to the extent that such payment is attributable to any increase in monthly insurance benefits under the Old- Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance System made subsequent to January 1, 1966."

Back to Contents


"I am convinced that there need not be a repetition of the disappointment experienced by too many older Americans in the past, who have eagerly anticipated Social Security increases, only to find that when they were enacted, some other retirement benefit was reduced, leaving them in no better financial circumstances or, worse still, in even more impoverished circumstances." These were the words of Senator Jennings Randolph in his opening statement to his Subcommittee on Employment and Retirement Incomes of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which held open hearings April 23 and 24.

Senior citizens, Chairman Randolph said, "derive their incomes from various sources: from Social Security, from savings, from continued employment, from Old-Age Assistance, from veterans' compensation and pensions, from private pension plans, and from pension systems for Federal, State, and local employees."

He emphasized that the relation between Social Security and other retirement benefits was an important ramification of H. R. 5710, the 1967 Social Security bill now pending in Congress.

Chairman Randolph's sentiments with respect to the aged were echoed by John Nagle with respect to the blind. Testifying before the committee, the NFB spokesman pointed out that Social Security payments—along with contributions from relatives, pensions, insurance, and other forms of fixed, regular income—are presently deducted from Public Assistance grants. A person who has an established need of $80 monthly, and who receives the minimum Social Security payment of $44 will be given a $36 monthly Public Assistance grant.

If this same person's Social Security payment is raised to $70, as the Administration proposes in H. R. 5710, this rise in Social Security will mean only that his Public Assistance grant will be reduced from $36 to $10 a month. "The state and county where the man lives, which provide his Public Assistance support, will be the only beneficiaries of the Congressional generosity, " said Nagle.

The NFB spokesman cited these statistics: As of January 1967 more than half the persons receiving Old-Age Assistance under Title I also received retirement payments under Title II of the Social Security Act. Twenty percent of the needy blind received Disability Insurance payments from Social Security (16, 700 of 83, 500). Fifteen percent of the persons receiving Aid to the Totally and Permanently Disabled also received Social Security-based Disability Insurance payments."

Nagle advanced an NFB proposal that would exempt all Social Security payment increases added by Congress since January 1, 1966 from consideration when determining a person's public assistance need. He pointed out that the income exemption concept was already well-established in federal law, having first been adopted in 1950 to encourage needy but employable blind persons toward self-support. Since that time the earnings exemption in the Aid to the Blind Program has three times been amended and broadened by Congressional action. The earnings exemption mechanism has also been included in other federal-state welfare programs as well as in the Economic Opportunity Act and the Manpower Training and Development Act.

The NFB proposal would make exemption of Social Security increases mandatory upon the states, ending the present policy of optional exemptions which dates from 1965. In that year Congress provided that states might exempt up to $5 monthly from consideration as an available resource in the determination of Public Assistance need.

Also testifying at the subcommittee hearings were Congress- man Donald M. Fraser and two representatives from the National Council of Senior Citizens—William R. Hutton and John W. Edelman.

Back to Contents


(From The Sunday Ramparts, April 23-May 7, 1967)

The wearing of political or "protest" buttons has been banned recently at the California School for the Blind in Berkeley.

Concurrent with the banning of buttons was the firing of three student aides who had worked within the boys dorm, which houses 62 of the 155 students residing on the campus. The boys, who had worked at the school for six months, were officially fired, they said, because "their services were no longer needed."

However, they said staff members told them that the real reason they had been "laid off" was that their "mere presence on the campus inspired rebellion among the students." The three aides had supported the students' "right" to wear the buttons, some peace, anti-war, and political spoof buttons, against the wishes of several of the boys' counselors.

C. W. Patterson, assistant chief of the Division of Special Schools and Services, said that his department had no policy against the wearing of such buttons, as long as they were not obscene. He said it was, especially at times of elections, almost a tradition for the students at the school to wear buttons supporting their candidates. But he stressed that the administrators would certainly want to keep button wearing "in line with good taste."

American Civil Liberties Union Director Ernest Bessig after being interviewed, informed the CSB superintendent, Dr. Everett Wilcox, that the students by all means had the right to wear such buttons and that the school had no real legal ground on which to forbid their liberty.

Correction of the situation seems under way.

The aides fired, part time students at Merritt College, David Selby, Jeff Marchant, and Kenneth Colman, were also informed by the ACLU that they should be able to get their jobs back.

David Selby said he would "certainly like to get my job back. I'm not really concerned with the conflicts with the counselors — though the boys would benefit more if we worked together. It's just the kids that I want to see."

"The general conditions at the school are bad enough, but the situation in the boys' dorm, is retarding in itself to the students," said Jack Trombley, the gymnastic and mobility instructor. The dorm has been nicknamed "the cave" because of its windy, poorly lighted corridors twisting from one wing and floor to another. For the boys that have partial vision there should be fluorescent light, Trombley said.

In some bedrooms there are six to eight beds, providing little or no privacy. There are few toys, phonographs, records, or braille writers — adding to the boredom of the younger, more handicapped students. The library in the school is only accessible to the older children in the evenings and "never seems to have all that we want," one student said. Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest" and Joseph Heller's "Catch — 22" have been requested by the students.

Former director of the Blind Children's Center in Los Angeles, James E. Moxom, has said "that it is estimated that up to 75 percent of blind children are so emotionally disturbed that they will fail to make a good adjustment to life. For many, no school program is suitable and as a result they are confined to mental hospitals for life or remain at home leading a meaningless existence. We believe that with good therapy as many as 50 percent of the blind children in state hospitals could live worthwhile lives." CSB has had a psychologist on the staff for one year. A psychiatrist visits the campus only once a week.

A bill providing for the construction of a new facility for the multiply handicapped, introduced by Assemblyman Robert Monagan went before a hearing committee on mental health recently. Dr. Wilcox said that CSB is doing remarkably well under existing conditions and that despite the additional patience and work required by the teachers and counselors the morale is good.

However at least one resignation is under way. A counselor for four years, Mrs. Watkins said she is leaving mainly because of "working conditions." "The 54-hour week, lack of equipment and funds to help program activities for the children, eventually wear one's endurance thin. We can't even order sets of braille bingo games because of the limited budget. Everything comes from the budget. We receive no public donations. If any toys or radios are given to us they are soon broken or destroyed simply because there are not enough to go around. It's the children that suffer."

Mr. Ronald Cyphers, an instructor of the deaf-blind children, said that understaffing constitutes negligence. Some children have lost hearing aids as they walk unwatched and they have not been missed by staff members for one or two days. There is "little psychiatric help, no neurological exams, no physical therapy. There is one parent who volunteers to take some of the children to a therapy clinic."

"People feel that because they cannot see that the environment does not have to be stimulating — but it is just the opposite. Working conditions reflect on the staff's attitudes and the children can sense their irritability. The way things are here, there is little incentive for pride in one's work." Cyphers said.

Back to Contents


By Jean Neel

The Statler-Hilton Hotel is a city within a city, and if you are reluctant to venture out onto the streets of a strange town, you should be able to find everything you need within its walls. Here are some tips that will help you find your way around this luxurious hotel.


Your taxi or airport limousine will deliver you to the 7th Street Entrance of the Statler-Hilton. The 7th Street Level is the lower floor of the hotel.

To your left as you enter on this level is the Steak House. To your right is a stairway going up to the Main Lobby. Directly ahead of you is the escalator (UP escalator on the right side) this will take you to the Wilshire Level and Main Lobby.

To the right of the escalator is a combined drug store-snack- bar-gift shop. To the left of the escalator is a liquor store, and past the liquor store is a shop where you can purchase candied fruit, nuts, and other goodies.

This brings you to a hallway running across the rear of the 7th Street Level. On the far side of this hallway, from right to left are the Men's Tie Shop, a Snack Bar, and a Sports Apparel Shop. If you turn to your left down this hall, you will come to the underground garage.

Before you come to the garage, still another hallway crosses your path. Turn left down this hallway to elevators going UP to the Main Lobby. Turn right down this hallway to the stairway leading UP to Pool (Ladies' and Men's Lounges off landing half way up). PLEASE NOTE: The management requests guests not to wear swim suits in the Main Lobby. If you wish to swim, please take the elevator to 7th Street Level and walk up this stairway to the Pool.

So--if you've been swimming and want to get back to your room, you must take this stairway down to the 7th Street Level--then walk straight ahead, across the hallway leading to the garage, to the elevators. (The hallway dead-ends here--there 's nowhere to go but UP!)


Let's say you've just come up the escalator from the 7th Street Level. As you step off the escalator, directly ahead of you is the Registration Desk. Here you will also find house phones, mail and information desk, and cashier. The Bell Captain's desk is in the middle of the area you cross to reach the registration desk, and a little to your right as you get off the escalator.

The escalator you have just come up is surrounded by an open well. Don't worry--you won't fall into it--its surrounded by a railing.

To the left of the escalator is the elevator lobby. There are three elevators on each side of this lobby (six elevators in all). The first two elevators (on each side) serve all floors above the Wilshire Level, but if you want to go down to the 7th Street Level you must take the third elevator (on either side). You can catch these "Third Elevators" from any floor. Remember --if you want to go swimming, take a "Third Elevator" from any floor.

All this will be less confusing than it sounds, because you will find braille labels on all elevators which will tell you which elevators go to the 7th Street Level. Floor numbers will be noted in braille just outside the elevator doors, and floor numbers in braille will also be found alongside elevator buttons.

As you walk through the elevator lobby (from the escalator), you will find a mail slot just beyond the "Third Elevator" on your left. The mail slot is located in the same place on all floors.

Keep on walking in the same direction. On your left is the entrance to the Tiger Room--dining, cocktails, entertainment, dancing. Straight ahead, the entrance to the Veranda Room (luncheon, dinner, cocktails). Just to the right of the entrance to the Veranda Room is an entrance to the Garden and Pool.

Now back up about half way between the elevators and all these entrances, and slightly to the right is a wide staircase leading UP to the Ballroom Floor, where the Convention will be held.

Let's get off the escalator again. Walk straight ahead a short distance and turn left. Directly ahead is the wide staircase we've just mentioned. Just before you come to the staircase, turn right. You're in a wide area with a florist shop on your right. Directly ahead of you is an exit onto Wilshire Blvd. To the left of this exit (as you face it) is the stairway you must take DOWN to the 7th Street Level on leaving the swim pool in your teeny-bikini.

Before you come to this stairway, a hallway leads left. As you turn down this hallway, the pool and garden is on your left, with an entry just beyond the turning point. On your right is a dress shop, and at the end of the hall there is a beauty parlor.

You can also turn to the right just before you reach the Wilshire Exit. Here you will find--first, the King's Bar, followed by the various Airline Offices, and on the opposite side of the hall a Gift Shop.

Meanwhile, back to the escalator. This time get off and turn right. Directly ahead of you is a cigar stand. To the left of the cigar stand is a corridor banked on each side by telephone booths.

If, on leaving the escalator, you make a right and then another right around the railing surrounding the escalator well, then go straight ahead, you will come to the Coffee House -- all meals, counter service, tables, booths, cocktails.


There is no escalator to the Ballroom Floor. You can get there by any elevator, or by the wide staircase on the Wilshire Level mentioned above. Let's assume you take the elevator.

Which way you turn when you get off the elevator depends on which side your elevator is on. There's only one way to go--if you go the wrong way you'll soon bump into a wall. That was the wrong way--so live and learn--and go toward the open end of the elevator lobby.

Turn right, pass a row of telephones and take the first turn to the right. Here, on your right, is the Convention Registration Desk. And straight ahead is the Pacific Ballroom, where the Convention will be held. You will receive directions to other meeting rooms at the Registration Desk.

If you come up the wide staircase from the Wilshire Level, make a little jog to the left, then go straight ahead past the Registration Desk to the Pacific Ballroom.

Rest rooms are located on the left side of the hallway leading to the Pacific Ballroom, opposite the Registration Desk (Men's first, Women's closest to Pacific Ballroom). (Bring your dimes—nothing is free at the Statler Hilton except ice cubes.)


The management has allocated a block of rooms for the use of Convention delegates. All room numbers will be labeled in braille on the doors.

By the way, take note of the following in regard to the use of your room telephone. For outside calls dial "9" and then the number. For long distance calls dial "8". For rooms of registered Hotel Guests dial "0" and the Hotel Operator will ring the number for you. In addition you may dial the following: Message Desk - 1; Room Service -2; Bell Captain - 3; Valet - 4; Laundry - 5; Hotel Information - 6; Housekeeper - 7. All other numbers inside the Hotel must be dialed by the Operator, Dial "0".

At one end of the elevators you'll find an ice cube machine that dispenses free ice cubes. An ice bucket will be found in every room. Beside the ice cube machine is a cold drink machine. For 25 cents (in the form of nickels and dimes, or quarters) you can get club soda from the first slot (from front to back), coca cola from the second and third slots, pepsi cola from the fourth slot, and 7-up from the rear slot.


To get the buses that will take you to Disneyland on the special Convention excursion, go out the 7th Street Entrance (the one you entered on your arrival). Turn right, walk to the corner. This is Francisco Street. Turn right, go past the entrance to the Underground Garage. Buses will be lined up at the curb just beyond this driveway.

If you don't want to cross the garage entrance, go out the main exit on the Wilshire Level onto Wilshire Boulevard. Turn left, walk to the corner (Francisco Street). Turn left. Buses will be lined up here.

Note: A resident doctor is on call at all hours at the Statler-Hilton Hotel.

Back to Contents


Catherine G. Callahan

The Nevada Federation of the Blind went to the legislature with seventeen bills this session. A number of these were technical changes in the existing law governing services to the blind. Others, however, were important in relation to improvement of conditions for all the blind in the state.

The technical changes were passed, along with several other significant pieces of legislation. We lost our amendments to the Aid to the Blind law, the Model White Cane Law, and the request for a training center building.

The White Cane Law was lost because of the difficulty of convincing the legislators that there is actually discrimination against the blind in any area. The others were lost because of monetary-considerations.

In Aid to the Blind, we were asking for an increase in the statutory floor from $100 a month to $125 a month, a clause to increase aid in proportion to the cost of living index, and the removal of the two years' residence requirement for eligibility.

At the hearings on these bills, the usual argument was raised on the residence elimination — if we removed the residence requirement, all the blind people in the country would come to our state to get aid. We replied to this argument by pointing out that California has had no significant increase in the blind aid rolls, although it removed its residence requirement four years ago and has a considerably higher basic grant than we do. Thus, if the argument were true, all of our blind aid recipients would have moved to California to get the higher grant.

We were most concerned over the increase in the floor to Aid to the Blind. As reported in the January issue of the Monitor, many recipients have received drastic cuts in their aid grants in the last few months, apparently in an attempt to bring all categories down to a common level. The Welfare Administrator testified at the hearings that federal regulations required the same basic grant, that budgets could not be worked out on an individual basis, and that if our floor were raised, it would raise the basis for the Medically Indigent under Title XIX from his estimate of $3800 to $5000.

We prepared a statement for the legislators giving the sections of our own Aid law and federal regulations which disproved most of these statements. However, they were still worried about the relationship to Title XIX, which was only now being considered in our legislature. They were also very concerned about the costs of Title XIX, although they do not intend to adopt the Medically Indigent portions of it until the next legislature.

We therefore asked Perry Sundquist to send us the formula for the Medically Indigent under Title XIX used in California and then presented this to the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, as it proved the feasibility of our request. He promised to get figures from the administration of the Welfare Division in response. The letter which was finally received from the administrators cleared the way for passage of our bill.

In the meantime, the Ways and Means Committee had voted to postpone indefinitely action on the measure. We had, therefore, to get a two-thirds majority of the committee to vote to reconsider the bill. We did this, and it came out with a "do pass" recommendation. The Speaker of the Assembly had been working closely with us and placed the bill near the top of the file. It was unanimously approved that same afternoon and then declared an emergency measure to be sent immediately to the Senate. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee promised to give it rapid favorable action and present it for vote in the Senate. Instead, however, he allowed it to die in committee. As this happened in the closing days of the legislature, we learned about it too late to be able to work and get it out again.

We will now have to attempt to get the Governor to place it on the agenda for the limited special session which will be held next year.

We believe that the number of bills we introduced was detrimental to our cause because, in the first place, it spread our efforts too thin, and in the second place, it caused a certain amount of confusion in the minds of the legislators, as most of them did not realize the relative importance of the bills and some felt that we should be satisfied as long as we got some of them passed. We hope, however, that through this crushing disappointment we have learned some tactics and techniques that will help us in future efforts.

Among the beneficial measures adopted were one to allow advance payment of maintenance to clients in training, the establishment of a revolving fund to purchase a stock of items used by the blind so as to have them locally available, and one controlling the sale of blind made products and the solicitation of funds for the blind in the state.

Back to Contents


Last month the Monitor published the complete text of the Parrish case opinion, along with an editorial commentary. As the text of the opinion was long and involved and full of legal jargon, we thought a short summary might be in order for this month's issue.

In Parrish v. Civil Service Commission of the County of Alameda, decided in March of this year, the Supreme Court of California held that Benny Max Parrish, a partially blind Alameda County social worker who was discharged for insubordination in 1963, had a right to be reinstated with back pay.

Early morning searches of the dwellings of welfare recipients, known as "operation bedcheck," were initiated by the county welfare department to detect the presence of "unauthorized males" pursuant to a provision of the welfare law which states that the income of an adult male "assuming the role of spouse" to a child's mother shall be considered in computing the amount of payments to needy children. Parrish refused to participate in the searches on the grounds that they were random and hence presumed the guilt of all recipients and that they violated the recipients' right of privacy. As a result of his refusal, Parrish was discharged.

The Supreme Court opinion, delivered by Justice Tobriner, held that the procedure of holding searches was unconstitutional for two independently sufficient reasons. The first reason was that as they were carried out, the searches themselves were unconstitutional. The court ruled that even though the searches were not directly connected with criminal sanctions, they were subject to the Fourth Amendment standards for criminal searches. The county maintained that such standards were met by virtue of the fact that the recipients voluntarily consented to them. However the court rejected this contention on the ground that the requests for consent were made by the recipients' own social workers, who possessed "virtually unlimited power over their livelihood," so that there was a sufficient element of coercion present to render the consent legally ineffective. This being so, the searches invaded the recipients' constitutional right of privacy and the right to be free of unreasonable searches.

The court then went on to a second ground for invalidating the search procedure which would render it unconstitutional even if there was effective consent to the searches. The welfare department sought to withhold aid from recipients who would not consent "to random, exploratory searches of their homes." The recipients have a constitutional right to refuse to submit to such searches, and the court held that it was an unconstitutional condition for the welfare department to require a waiver of that right as a condition for the receipt of welfare payments. A public agency can require a waiver of constitutional rights only if certain tests are met. Here the court said that these tests were not met, primarily because of the blanket and random nature of the searches, which were not restricted to the homes of recipients suspected of fraud. This indicated "so marked a lack of congruence between the scope of the operation and the legitimate goal of reducing welfare fraud as to deprive. . . [the search] procedure of any constitutional justification."

The court then stated that Parrish's knowledge of the nature of the searches provided him with reasonable grounds to believe that they would be unconstitutional, so that his refusal to participate was justified. The opinion concluded by noting that the early morning search procedure had since been abandoned and stated, "It is surely not beyond the competence of the department to conduct appropriate investigations without violence to human dignity and within the confines of the Constitution."

Back to Contents


(From the Springfield, Massachusetts, Daily News)

Anita M. O'Shea, medical secretary at Providence Hospital in Holyoke, Massachusetts and president of the Greater Springfield Association of the Blind, recently received the Springfield Daily News orchid award.

Miss O'Shea, who has been blind since childhood, is a graduate of Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown and has worked untiringly for the Greater Springfield Association for the Blind, the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, and the National Federation of the Blind.

She was one of the incorporators of the Springfield association 12 years ago, has held every office in the organization except treasurer and trustee, and has also served on countless committees.

Miss O'Shea became a member-at-large of the executive board of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts in 1957, and was elected second vice-president the following year. She served as president from 1958 to 1961, instituting liaison committee meetings with what is now the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, inaugurating publication of a quarterly house organ, and attending several New England States gatherings.

She was elected to the National Federation of the Blind executive committee in I960 and was re-elected three times.

Back to Contents


The Administration's Vocational Rehabilitation Act amendments have been introduced in the House as H.R. 8981. Of special interest to Monitor readers is the proposed establishment and operation of a National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

At present the least aided phase of work for handicapped persons is in the field of the deaf-blind. Despite the severity and complexity of this problem, only a few private institutions are presently doing anything of consequence in this field. And except for support of research by the VRA, the federal government is doing nothing.

Under Section 3 of H.R. 8981, government inaction would be remedied. The Secretary would be authorized to enter into an agreement with a public or nonprofit private agency or organization to pay the costs of the establishment and operation, including construction and equipment, of a National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

The Center would provide services, particularly specialized, intensive services for the deaf-blind; provide training for professional and allied personnel working with them; conduct research with respect to their problems and rehabilitation; and help expand and improve services for, and public understanding about, the problems of the deaf-blind. The Secretary would also be authorized to plan for additional regional centers when experience and resources make this possible. A companion proposal dealing with deaf-blind children is under development at the present time.

The bill would also extend and expand authorization of grants to states for vocational rehabilitation services, extend authorization of grants for state-wide planning, and authorize a separate program of grants to the states to provide vocational rehabilitation services to migratory agricultural workers.

The legislation includes a provision forbidding residence requirements in approved state plans for rehabilitation services after July 1, 1969.

Back to Contents


The blind have always understood their claim for equality to cut both ways — equal responsibilities and duties are necessary partners of equal rights and privileges. It was in this spirit that last year's Louisville convention adopted a resolution urging that the blind be allowed to serve in the nation's armed forces.

The Louisville resolution, considered and unanimously approved on July 5, 1966 both by the resolutions committee and by the 700 delegates in business session, said in part:

"Whereas, thousands of young blind men and women throughout the United States yearn to serve in the defnese of our country; and

"Whereas, it has been conclusively demonstrated that blind Americans can acquire a great variety of skills and perform a great variety of tasks, many of which are taught and utilized in the Armed Forces of the United States; and

"Whereas it is proper and just that the blind, who want to participate in the rights and responsibilities of first-class American citizenship be permitted to participate in the responsibility of serving in the Armed Forces of the United States;

"Now be it resolved. . .that this organization urges the government of the United States of America to adopt all measures and policies necessary to the end that blind persons will be permitted to enter the Armed Forces of the United States ... . "

The NFB has long felt that the automatic exclusion of blind persons from military service because of blindness is discriminatory and a denial of full citizenship. Blind men and women are performing competently and successfully in many activities and occupations in civilian life, and they can certainly perform comparable tasks in the military establishment.

To blind people, NFB spokesman Nagle told the House Armed Services Committee on May 3, equality means more than equal participation in the rights, benefits, and privileges of citizenship. It also means equal sharing in the responsibilities, hazards, risks, and inconveniences of citizenship.

Committee members were as enthusiastic about the NFB proposal as their Senate counterparts had earlier been. The prevalent reaction was one of surprise and admiration, as the following transcript indicates:

Mr. Nagle: I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to present these views.

Mr. Philbin: Thank you very much, Mr. Nagle. Your statement was eloquent and brilliant and extraordinary and admirable, and to us, very memorable. It will always be remembered by all those who heard your excellent statement here today.

I am sure the committee is very much impressed with the views you have presented here, so feelingly and so effectively and so impressively. You may be sure that we will take these views — the views you have so well expressed, under very careful consideration when we are deliberating on this bill. We will have your views in mind.

You will know from my past contacts with you that I will do everything possible to bring reality to the suggestions and recommendations you have given to this committee. I am sure that the rest of the committee, all of the committee, will accord more sympathetic consideration to the views you expressed.

I want to express my deep gratitude to you for the fine statement you have made and for the time and trouble and energy you displayed in coming here today to give us this extraordinary, excellent, patriotic statement.

Mr. Bates: Mr. Chairman, I want to say that we have here observed a magnificent performance. I will admit when Mr. Nagle started to read his statement I was very much touched by his presentation. But the longer he read, that feeling turned a lot more to admiration because of the courage and determination which he displayed. Certainly in advocating a cause for people finding themselves in the same position as he does, it is obvious the will to do something worthwhile in life means so much to him.

Mr. Nagle, do you have any idea how many young men of draft age might be in the category to which you refer?

Mr. Nagle: I just don't know that.

Mr. Bates: There aren't any figures available of the number?

Mr. Nagle: No. It is estimated there are about 420,000 blind persons in the country, but I have no knowledge as to a breakdown in terms of age categories.

Mr. Bates: I see. Fine. I want to thank you very much for your magnificent statement.

Mr. Bennett: Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate this fine gentleman on his presentation. I want to say I feel there is a matter which many people don't look at when they look at a person who has a disability. Many people who look at a person who has a disability see only the disability, failing to realize the human body and the human soul and brain and all that goes into an individual are so complex, so full, and so useable by society that to jettison a person into a corner because of age, because of blindness, or because of some specific disability is many times a very sad and wasteful thing.

Actually, it is the problem of youth in our country today — a problem to be needed. It is a problem of the aging in our country today — a necessity to be needed. It is a problem of some of our minority groups in this country today. It is the problem to be needed and to be used. And so I hope we can find an answer along the lines that he has suggested, because it is an inspiring thing that goes to the heart of the problem of everybody who has any kind of disability. That problem being that most of the society thinks they are doing a blessing to the person who has a disability by making it easy for him or saying, "Well, we won't worry about him. He has already been put in the corner."

This man instead comes representing thousands , probably millions of people, asking to be used. They want to be needed. This is certainly an inspiring thing for us to hear.

Mr. Stratton: Mr. Chairman, may I just join in what has already been said in tribute to Mr. Nagle for his statement, and say I was very much impressed by it, and that in fact I wasn't aware that this problem existed.

If I understand it correctly, Mr. Nagle, what you are really urging is that the Department of Defense take a more understanding attitude with regard to the enlistment or commissioning of blind personnel. If I understand it correctly, you are not really suggesting that an individual who may be blind who didn't want to serve be drafted. But what you are suggesting is those who do want to serve should have the opportunity to serve in some position for which they are qualified, whether they are blind or not. Isn't that correct?

Mr. Nagle: I would go further than volunteering, Mr. Stratton. Ours is an argument for equality. It is our belief that you can't contend for equal opportunity, equal privilege, without also arguing, as we are trying to do here today, for sharing an equal responsibility, sharing in the hazards, sharing in the inconveniences. So that we would say that a blind person, 18, 19, 20 years old, and whose number is called in the draft, that he should be considered apart from his blindness. He shouldn't be automatically disqualified as is done now because of his blindness. There should be a consideration given by the Defense Department to using him in various non-combative activities of the military establishment. I don't believe that the blind person should have the choice as to whether he wants to go in or whether he does not want to go in, any more than a sighted person has.

He should be subjected to the same standards. If he is a hardship case because of family responsibilities, he should be deferred, or disqualified. If he is a student and as a student he merits a deferment, he should be deferred because he is a student. He shouldn't be automatically disqualified because of blindness, because, as I say, there are such a vast variety of functions in the military establishment that he could perform competently and successfully just as many are doing in civilian life.

Mr. Stratton: I think, Mr. Nagle, you have a very good point there. Actually, my impression is that in the operation of the draft, if you have anyone who has any kind of a physical handicap or disability, that in general the draft does exempt them or defer them because of the point that a draftee is usually expected to be available for service in any capacity. But maybe we ought to reconsider that.

The point I am getting to, Mr. Nagle, is: Is it a fact that a blind person cannot be inducted into service, even voluntarily, if he would like to serve in some limited capacity?

Mr. Nagle: I know of no instance where a blind person has been accepted in the military end of the Defense Department activities. There are some blind people who are employed in civilian capacities, dicta-phone typists, this sort of thing.

Mr. Stratton: I certainly think that is a very important point. I think quite apart from these draft hearings that the committee ought to seriously consider, Mr. Chairman, recommending that the Department of Defense reconsider its policy and see if something can't be done along the lines suggested by Mr. Nagle and the association he represents.

Mr. Philbin: I fully agree with the gentleman in that matter. The committee will take this under advisement and do everything it can to be helpful, Mr. Nagle.

Mr. Stratton: Thank you very much.

Mr. Pike: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I simply want to join with my colleagues, Mr. Nagle, in paying tribute first to your eloquent statement. It is so really refreshing to hear somebody come in and ask for the privilege not of sharing in rights, but of sharing in duties; not sharing of privileges, but in responsibilities.

We get so much of the other that it is a breath of fresh air to get something like this.

I would like to say further, regardless of the outcome of your plea in accomplishing what you are trying to accomplish with the military service, I think you have accomplished a great deal just being here, because all of the members of the Congress are continually getting letters from constituents who claim that their eyes are so bad that they really shouldn't be drafted in the service, and really they shouldn't have to do this, and they shouldn't have to do that, because they suffer from some physical disability. Actually, we get more of these letters from mothers than we get from the kids themselves.

But, I am going to use your statement — and I think the other members of the Congress and of this committee can use this statement-as an excellent example of how Americans ought to feel on the subject of service to their country, and for this as well as your eloquence I thank you.

Mr. Philbin: Thank you, Mr. Pike.

And thank you again, Mr. Nagle.

Mr. Nagle: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee.

Back to Contents


The Colorado Federation of the Blind is protesting the GSA policy prohibiting blind vending stand operator Bert Johnson from selling coffee, milk, and sandwiches in the new Reclamation Building No. 67. GSA has classified Johnson's stand as "dry," although in the old building he operated a "wet" stand where these items were sold. After two weeks in the new location, Johnson's income has dropped by one-third.

The building cafeteria is over-crowded during the lunch period, and there are no coffee machines in the building. Both employees and Johnson would benefit if coffee, milk, and sandwiches could be sold from the stand.

In a night letter sent to all Colorado senators and congressmen, William E. Wood, Colorado Federation legislative chairman, said: "The Colorado Federation of the Blind believes that the intent of the Randolph-Shephard Act is not being carried out when GSA limits the items to be sold by a blind vending stand operator. We would appreciate your contacting GSA regarding limitations they are imposing on blind-operated vending stands."

Back to Contents

A Report from the Field

By Lyle Knowles

Increasing numbers of individuals who are legally blind are currently entering the area of electronic data processing across the country. Others are being trained for this work.

Having instructed three such individuals who are presently working in the computer field, this writer found a lack of significant feedback from blind programmers who had received computer training and were employed in some phase of the industry.

In an effort to meet this need, a questionnaire of some thirty-seven items was constructed and distributed, to which a total of thirty blind programmers responded. A summary of the results is presented in this paper.

Personal Characteristics

According to the survey, the typical programmer was found to be about thirty years of age. He probably lost his sight between the time of birth and age twenty. Over half of the group was totally blind.

In considering educational attainment, it is interesting to note that ninety percent of the programmers who responded had achieved education at the bachelor's degree level, and more than a third had master's degrees.

An independent character was reflected in the programmers by the fact that twenty-five men preferred cane travel to other methods.

Type of Work

The data indicated that about two-thirds of the group worked in the various areas of business applications, and the other third was involved with scientific-mathematical programming. Almost ninety percent worked over forty hours per week, and seven men reported that they worked more than fifty hours per week.

The salary received was in keeping with current industrial pay scales.

One-third of the group had been working in the industry for over four years. Recently initiated training programs for blind programmers are probably responsible for the majority of the remaining group that reported less than three years experience.

Attitudes toward Work

All programmers responded favorably to a question concerning job satisfaction, and over ninety percent indicated they would elect to enter the programming field if faced with that career choice again. About half of the group felt "very secure" in their jobs, and only five of the thirty men felt less than secure.

Eighteen programmers reported their work load to be "about right." Very few were overloaded or underloaded.

The most preferred type of work included the problem defining and planning of logic phases of programming. Least preferred were key punching and proofreading program cards.

Twenty-five said they felt they were most proficient in the planning of logic phase. The least proficient phase selected was key punching, which was also described as the most difficult.

The areas in which the group would most like to improve were problem defining and debugging of programs.

From problem defining through final documentation, the majority of the group indicated that they used braille. Tape recorded information and handwritten script were used in a few cases. Nineteen of the thirty men used braille output from the computer.

The major shortcomings reported were the lack of available technical material in brailled form, and the lack of communication among blind programmers in the field. Programs have since been initiated to correct both of these problem areas.

Concluding Remarks

Upon examining the results of the survey from a broad view, and considering the comments that were returned with two-thirds of the questionnaires, the responding group must be described as enthusiastic, cooperative, intelligent, and exceedingly resourceful and self-reliant. It is the observation of this writer that many significant contributions to the data processing industry may be expected from this group of men.

It is hoped that the findings reported in this paper may be of interest to training centers, rehabilitation personnel, and other concerned parties. This writer is aware that the small sample investigated may not be precisely representative of the blind computer programmer population at large, but the general patterns reflected by the data might be indicative of broad characteristics and trends existing in the field.

Back to Contents


[Editor's note: Do federal minimum wage increases create joblessness? Star-Beacon, Ohio columnist John Chamberlain cites a poll of 15,000 independent business proprietors showing that 15 percent of those who have recently dropped employees say they did so because of the increased minimum wage passed by Congress. In a letter to the paper, George Ferguson disputes this view, saying that a fair and just wage increases purchasing power and creates a higher standard of living.

This controversy was dramatized early this year when Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries in Washington, D.C. laid off 38 handicapped workers, citing declining retail sales and higher minimum wage requirements. Last month's Monitor reprinted the differing views of the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the NFB as expressed by Russell Kletzing on the subject. The dispute rages on, and following are an editorial by radio station WWDC and a reply by the Capitol Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.]

Broadcast of this editorial by WWDC Vice President Ben Strouse began on March 15, 1967. We welcome comments.

A minimum wage proclaimed by law is commonly viewed as a blessing. In theory such laws prevent the exploitation of the least skilled. But valid as the theory may be in many situations, it stretches the truth to say minimum wage benefits are a universal blessing. Last month new minimum wage rates went into effect. They proved to be no blessing at all for 38 handicapped persons employed at Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries here in Washington.

For many years Goodwill has been serving the community. It trains the handicapped, provides employment, makes possible the development of skills enabling thousands of handicapped individuals to find regular jobs in industry. But not every person admitted to Goodwill's program has been able to acquire skills or to graduate to private employment. The organization's resources were already stretched desperately thin. When the new minimum wage rates went into effect in February, the Directors faced a cruel choice. They could cut expenses or go out of business. The Directors chose to keep the facility alive even though it meant terminating 38 handicapped employees.

Everyone in authority at Goodwill hopes the layoff will be temporary, that the employees will be rehired just as soon as the agency can afford it. Meanwhile, some may wonder about the goodwill of a law which creates new handicaps for the handicapped.

Reply of Tom Bickford for Capitol Chapter, NFB: The WWDC editorial entitled "The Cruel Choice of Goodwill" showed an unawareness of some basic facts which make it clear that the new minimum wage law for handicapped persons was not responsible for Goodwill's recent "layoff" of 38 handicapped workers. In the view of the Capitol Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, the law does not "create new handicaps for the handicapped," but is a decided step forward.

The facts are these:

Prior to the new law, the minimum wage for handicapped employees was $0.95 an hour. Under the new law, this was raised $0.11 to $1.06 an hour.

Thus, we see that to keep these workers employed under the new law would have cost Goodwill at most an additional $656.78 per month.

According to a Labor Department official, average sales at eleven Goodwill stores in the Washington area have recently dropped from $130,000.00 to $95,000.00 per month, a monthly decline of $5,000.00. Beside this sum, the $656.78 that the minimum wage law would have cost seems much too paltry an amount to substantiate Goodwill's claim that the layoff was dictated by a need to cut expenses. This same amount could probably have been recovered by the laying off of only one administrative employee, and this way would have been only 1/38 as heartless — not to mention the multiplier factor that the administrative employee is skilled, able-bodied, and easily able to get another job.

Obviously, a $656.78 savings doesn't go far toward making up for a $35,000 decline in income. A better way to approach a problem of this magnitude, it appears to us, would be improved business practice. We suggest that more realistic pricing of the merchandise which Goodwill sells is a more fitting solution.

Back to Contents


The new Idaho Commission for the Blind, created after a valiant struggle by the Gem State Blind with NFB help, has run into some very-stormy weather.

In its last-minute rush, the legislature failed to appropriate the usual $40,000 a year for services for the blind when it transferred these services from the Department of Public Assistance to the newly created commission.

Instead the chairmen of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee simply wrote a letter to William Child, director of the Department of Public Assistance, asking him to supply the necessary funds out of his total $11 million appropriation. Child, a vigorous opponent of the commission, requested an opinion from Attorney General Allan R. Shepard, who advised the director that he could not transfer funds without a legislative directive.

The services for the blind will expire July 1 unless the situation is cleared up. One solution is for Governor Don W. Samuelson to call the legislature back into special session before that date. Another possible answer is for the governor to appoint the commission immediately and let it set up shop. Child would then have to spend the blind services money in accordance with policies established by the commission.

The governor has until July 1 to appoint the three-member Commission for the Blind, but it is hoped that he will do it as soon as possible so that the commission itself can fight the battle for its funds. The law says the commissioners, one of whom must be blind, will meet once every three months or when necessary and be paid $25 each per day in session plus travel and subsistence expenses.

Still a third solution to the problem is for the governor to allocate part of his $200,000 emergency fund to the program.

Back to Contents


By Beverly Gladden

The spring convention of the California Council of the Blind began on Thursday evening, May 4th, with a cocktail hour and dinner to which all legislators had been invited. About 30 assemblymen and women and senators joined with their constituents in this gala affair held at the Senator Hotel in Sacramento. Speaker of the evening, Professor Jacobus tenBroek spoke of the outstanding welfare program which has evolved over the years in California through legislative achievements and juxtaposed this area of success to our least successful venture — a rehabilitation program which has the unhappy distinction to find itself ranking 54th among all states and territories of the United States in job placement for the blind. The legislators were most moved, however, by the concluding portion of Professor tenBroek's speech which appealed the right of a disabled person to enjoy all the privileges of full citizenship in a democratic society.

All day Friday our blind members moved freely about the state capitol contacting not only their own assemblymen and senators, but also lobbying various committee members regarding Council bills presently before them.

Promptly on Saturday morning, our new president Anthony Mannino let fall his gavel on what was to be one of our finest conventions. The Sacramento Chapter of the Council did an admirable job from beginning to end as host, and the whole atmosphere of the convention was relaxed and genial. The convention continued through Sunday afternoon. The banquet was well attended and Assemblyman Eugene Chappie, speaker of the evening, demonstrated his interest and enthusiasm about helping to rectify the ever-increasing problems in the Department of Rehabilitation. He has introduced legislation, for example, to establish a policy-making and appeal board in this department. Also at the banquet three new chapters were presented charters and officially welcomed into the Council.

Speakers of the convention included Spencer Williams, newly appointed director of the Health and Welfare Agency of California, and the newly appointed rehabilitation director, Robert Howard, neither of whom offered any hope that improvements in rehabilitation for the blind of California would be forthcoming. One of our chapter presidents, Mrs. Lily Craft, discussed a new job opportunity for the blind in sales, and several of our members met with the manager of the company to discuss employment. John E. Devine, placement specialist for handicapped persons, State Personnel Board, spoke of the difficulties encountered in placing handicapped persons in state civil service.

A full report of legislation on the state level was given by Mrs. Beverly Gladden, field director of the Council. This was followed by a full discussion and questions from the floor concerning both particular bills and the general political climate of the legislature. National legislation was discussed fully by Perry Sundquist in his capacity as executive committee member of the NFB.

Highpoints of the convention included a panel discussion, "Role of the Council in Relations with Organizations of the Poor," moderated by Professor Jacobus tenBroek and including as panelists a group of Council members with varying views on this vital subject ranging from participation in such organizations to the view that the Council completely isolate itself from such activities. Panelists were Jerrold Drake, Lawrence Marcelino, Dominic Sposeto, Mrs. Virginia Lewis and James B. Garfield. Professor tenBroek reviewed for us as time permitted recent court cases familiar to Monitor readers which represent milestones in the journey of disabled persons through a world growing more complex day by day.

The president's luncheon on Saturday and the Orientation Center alumni breakfast on Sunday morning were well attended. These events have become traditional at Council conventions along with the California School for the Blind alumni luncheon which was unusually well attended and featured as guest speaker Mrs. Marybelle R. Dole, president of a group composed of parents of multiply-handicapped blind children. This group has been working with the Council on a bill which would provide financing for a state school for multiply-handicapped blind children.

One of the key decisions made by the convention during this session was to begin actively working for the establishment of a Commission for the Blind in California. All services for the blind are suffering under the present system of rehabilitation in California, and the convention was in full agreement with those who concluded that no immediate hope for change is forthcoming. We therefore feel that a Commission for the Blind could offer nothing but improvement of present programs.

Back to Contents


(From the Washington Post, May 4, 1967)

The United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, has administered a salutary spanking to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for penalizing a disabled worker's enterprise.

Under the law, as the Court sees it, John J. Leftwich was entitled to disability benefits because of injuries he suffered while working as a miner. Medical evidence showed him to be "totally and permanently disabled." But HEW denied him disability insurance benefits because he was trying to support his family, despite his injuries, by washing dishes

"The test is not," the Court wrote, "whether Leftwich by will power can stay on his feet another day, but whether. . .he is disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act." The Court seemed to be saying that when crippling injuries have been suffered a man's struggle to carry on under his handicap is to be encouraged instead of being slapped down. We hope this fresh breeze of common sense will be allowed to permeate other segments of the Social Security system.

Back to Contents


Pauline Gomez, former president of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind, has been named Santa Fe's 1967 Woman of the Year by Zonta International of Santa Fe, a service organization of executive and professional women.

Pauline owns and operates the Los Ninos Kindergarten, and her impact on early childhood education in Santa Fe led the New Mexico Department of Education to request her help in compiling a guide book on kindergarten education. Her views and opinions are frequently requested by groups and individuals.

As president of the New Mexico Federation of the Blind for five years, she pushed actively for legislation concerning programs for the blind and helped to organize the La Luz local chapter. She has also been active with girl scout groups and with the music activities in her parish school.

But it was her second term as president of Nell's Service Club that led directly to consideration for the award. The club selected Pauline as its candidate for Woman of the Year, and sent a biography to the Zonta Club, which in turn forwarded the information to a secret panel of judges made up of civic leaders. Pauline was selected in competition with the society editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, the president of the hospital auxiliary, a P.T.A. leader and a dedicated church worker.

She was cited for her "contributions to the welfare of her community" and feted at a luncheon along with the other candidates, past women of the year, and New Mexico's first lady. Bouquets, certificates, and congratulatory expressions were numerous.

Zonta International seeks to promote the status of women by honoring each year a community leader. Our congratulations to Pauline Gomez, Santa Fe's Woman of the Year!

Back to Contents


1. If a totally or partially blind person is unable to find jobs in the community, is this a question of fact about the existence of jobs in the community?

2. Is this fact question the standard by which the question will be answered as to whether the blind or partially blind person is able to engage in substantial gainful activity?

3. Suppose a blind person is capable of doing certain jobs and that there exist such jobs in the community. Suppose further that he is unable to get one of these jobs because of prejudice on account of his blindness. Does he meet the test of inability to engage in substantial gainful activity?

4. Even if there are no jobs of his accustomed ability or for which he is trained, if there are unskilled jobs available, is a blind person to be held to be capable of engaging in substantial gainful activity?

In the Bobeen case, decided in New Mexico, the Federal District answered the first and second of these questions directly and the third by implication, but did not deal with the last. The District Court reversed a decision of the Appeals Council of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare which denied the application of a partially blind claimant, Gene R. Bobeen, for dependent child's benefits under the Social Security Act. The denial was based on the grounds that the extent of Bobeen's loss of sight before his eighteenth birthday was not sufficient to constitute a disability within the meaning of the Act, and that his present visual impairment (his visual acuity is 20/400) does not create an "inability to engage in substantial gainful activity" as required by the Social Security Act.

The Court reversed the Appeals Council on both grounds. As to the existence of the disability, the Court simply reviewed the evidence regarding Bobeen's visual impairment and reinstated the finding of the hearing examiner that Bobeen was disabled prior to his eighteenth birthday.

A much more complicated issue was presented by the question of whether Bobeen could engage in substantial gainful activity. On the basis of testimony regarding the existence of certain jobs which a person with Bobeen's visual impairment could perform, the Appeals Council found that Bobeen could engage in substantial gainful activity. However the Court applied a more rigorous standard and arrived at a different conclusion. The Court held that the mere existence of jobs which Bobeen could perform was an insufficient basis for the Appeals Council's finding. The Court held that it must be shown that such jobs were available in the area where the claimant lived, and that he could actually get them. Thus the Court relied on Bobeen's unsuccessful attempts to find work, and on the testimony of a vocational expert to the effect that jobs within Bobeen's competence were not available to him in Albuquerque, and concluded that Bobeen was unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Therefore the Court reversed the HEW decision and remanded the case to the Appeals Council to determine the amount of benefits due Bobeen.

This decision reflects the attitudes of most Federal Courts to the frequent denials of benefits by HEW on the ground that claimants are able to engage in substantial gainful activity. Generally, HEW regards as sufficient a showing that there exist types of employment in which one with the claimant's disability could engage. The courts, however, will review all the evidence in the HEW record, as is required by the statute and the case interpreting it (e.g. Glenn v. Celebrezze, 241 F. Supp. 365, 1965; Popovich v. Celebrezze , 220 F. Supp. 205, 1963; and Cunningham v. Celebrezze, 214 F. Supp. 619, 1963). The courts will then decide the issue in accordance with two propositions established by the numerous cases interpreting the requirement of "inability to engage in substantial gainful activity." The first is that a mere theoretical ability to engage in substantial gainful activity is not enough if no reasonable opportunity for this is available. (Kerner v. Fleming , 283 F. 2d 916, 1960). And the second is that in reviewing disability determinations, that courts ask, "(1) what can appellant do? and (2) what employment opportunities are available to a man who can do only what claimant can do?" (Hayes v. Celebrezze , 311 F. 2d 648, 659, 1965). On the basis of these propositions, courts will often find that the HEW record contains a showing of theoretical ability only, rather than a showing of employment opportunity presently available to the claimant, and on this ground will reverse the HEW decision.

Back to Contents


By Mike Kooreny

Agencies supposedly working for the betterment of the blind have existed for years, but they have made little difference in the status of the blind. Our social and economic condition remains the same, and we are still forced to find our friends and mates among blind people. Why should these agencies receive tax exemptions when every blind person or wheel-chair victim owning a house or business must pay taxes?

It appears to me that these agencies are composed of personnel incapable of holding any other kind of job. Their warped mentality makes them unable to reason and leaves them without sympathy or love for those they claim to espouse.

From a recent American Foundation column we learn that the agencies do not have the time or money to buy and test samples of things that might be helpful to the blind; but we have read of the $250,000 the Foundation had to establish a committee on standards. Of course, such a project means more jobs for social workers and an additional reason to collect money. Are these agencies only screens behind which selfish interests are operating for their own aggrandizement?

A sheltered shop is not charity just because some social agency is running it. It is a business enterprise hiring the blind, and to call it charity is to defraud the public. If the blind man on the street with pencils or music is a reflection on all blind people, isn't the sheltered shop run by the social agencies the same thing? I would not take action against anyone who has the courage to be on the street as long as these agencies exist.

I was disappointed that no resolution was made at the 1966 convention in keeping with psychologist Greenberg's speech, "Action in an Action World." To wait until the time when all will act together is to do nothing at all. History tells us that everyone was not in favor of a revolution against England.

Action must be taken, and I again ask for volunteers to carry banners or to support a program of exposure by leaflets or both. The most effective time would seem to be before and during the Community Chest drive. I want freedom from these agencies. Will anyone contact me at 1818 - 7th Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404?

Back to Contents


The University Association of the Blind is an organization of blind students attending colleges and universities in Iowa and is an affiliate of the Iowa Association of the Blind. The members of the University Association are studying at graduate and undergraduate levels specializing in areas from mathematics, foreign language, and political science to elementary education and electrical engineering. The goal of the Association is to improve the public image of blindness and to increase the opportunities for blind people to become productive members of society.

The information used in writing this report was elicited from responses to a questionnaire sent to each school district in Iowa. More than four hundred questionnaires were mailed and three hundred fifty were returned. Additional data was obtained from interviews with several educators throughout the State. Discussion with these educators revealed a lack of knowledge concerning blindness and strong reservations regarding the preparation of blind students for the teaching profession.

The purpose of this survey then is: (1) To collect and compile as much information as possible showing the number of blind teachers presently employed, policies of school districts respecting the hiring of the blind, and the general public attitude toward blind people; (2) To analyze such information in an attempt to determine realistically the prospects for blind people in teaching; (3) To grasp the underlying causes for current conditions and how they might be changed if change is needed; and (4) To write a report which will stimulate needed reform calculated to improve vocational opportunities for the blind of Iowa.

This initial section will focus attention upon the first four questions of the survey which primarily elicited factual material:

1 . Does your school district now have in its employ any teachers who are blind?

2. How many blind persons have applied for teaching positions in your school district during the past five years?

3 . In the announcement of teaching vacancies in your school district is there any visual acuity requirement?

4. Is there any rule or regulation in your school district which forbids the employment of a blind person as a teacher?

It is clear by the unanimity of agreement expressed by all participating districts that there are not now nor have there been in the past five years any blind persons teaching in the regular classes at the various levels. The evidence gathered indicated that in the same period, of time there have not been any applications submitted by any blind person for such employment. It is not too far off the mark to speculate that this lack of applications is caused by the unattractive climate. Again referring to the questionnaire, the observation can be made that at the present time school districts' announcements are silent respecting specific visual acuity requirement? or rules and regulations forbidding blind persons teaching. This present situation is encouraging and if it can be preserved augers well for the future. However, these favorable circumstances are not the result of rational judgment where practical experience dictated that blind persons should not be denied access into the profession. Instead, in all probability they result from the educators' failure to anticipate that sightless persons might apply for teaching positions. Recognition of this fact is exceedingly important. In days to come an ever-increasing number of blind students graduating from universities and colleges will seek teaching positions; well-intentioned educators might be provoked to impose arbitrary visual acuity provisions and rules and regulations which would in effect bar the blind from teaching. Needless to say, the Iowa Association of the Blind must constantly be alert to vigorously oppose such discriminatory acts.

A thorough analysis of the returns clearly indicates that there are no concrete barriers to preclude the blind from becoming teachers. But there are other obstacles at work which to all intents and purposes prevent the blind from entering teaching careers. The following section of this report will be devoted to a fuller discussion and explanation of the deep underlying subjective attitudes.

Casting their oppressive shadows from antiquity are the superstitions which conceive the blind to be not only lacking in vision but also afflicted with inferior mentality. Proof that these mythical phantoms reign even in enlightened circles is provided from the statements of these learned educators.

Much commentary in the returns presumed a close correlation between a high degree of visual acuity and the ability to teach successfully. As a result of this correlation administrators naturally expressed an unwillingness to hire blind applicants. To the inquiry "if a duly qualified person should apply for a teaching position in your district, would his blindness, in your opinion, disqualify him from employment?" many school officials answered, "Yes." There were a few others who were somewhat more generous and indicated that in specific areas, or if the applicant was an exceptional individual, they would consider hiring despite his visual problem. When he is given some consideration the blind prospect bears the additional burden of having to be an "exceptional" person who would otherwise be rejected out of hand. One wonders how many sighted prospective teachers would be able to meet such rigorous demands. This psychology encourages the individual with a modicum of residual vision to exaggerate the reliability of his sight. Inevitably this results in a futile attempt to operate, and subsequently pass as, fully sighted. Sooner or later students will become aware of the facade and inescapably, catastrophic consequences will follow. How much better to forego this fraud and to operate as a blind person, and to maintain an unquestioned integrity with students. Adoption of this philosophy will lead to the use of alternative techniques and in all likelihood contribute
to vocational success.

Loss of sight does not in and of itself impair ability. Let these ghosts from the past be buried and adopt the guiding principle that competent qualified blind people have the right and deserve the opportunity to enter the teaching profession irrespective of visual acuity.

Not all of the answers painted an altogether dismal picture. Fortunately, the wall of resistance is neither solid nor impenetrable. Many responses indicate a willingness to hire blind teachers on a restricted basis or under special circumstances. Inevitably, a number of superintendents stated that blind teachers are uniquely suited to instruct blind children. This misconception is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it subtly asserts the blind children are less active and therefore, likely to present fewer disciplinary problems. On the other, it implicitly claims that blind teachers are incapable of handling ordinary classes and therefore should be restricted to working under special conditions with those of their "own kind." This line of thinking is not only false and misleading but extremely dangerous. There is no evidence to support the contention that blind children are better behaved than their sighted peers. Blind teachers working in public schools have already demonstrated their ability to cope with the problems that occur in an ordinary teaching situation. The overriding threat of this plan is that it tends to isolate the blind from the mainstream and impede the movement toward integration.

The special method of team teaching is a common suggestion made by many school officials whereby the blind might teach successfully.

The modern concept of team teaching unquestionably will be advantageous to the blind and sighted alike. However, the idea that the blind are more dependent upon this method than others is a misconception. A careful study of the responses gives the impression that the blind employ this technique to relieve them of responsibility. The subtle implications of this notion are grave. Eliminating this prevailing attitude among today's educators calls for urgent attention. Additionally, the organized blind must keep vigilant in order to prevent the team teaching issue from being utilized as a ploy against hiring the sightless.

A few administrators proposed that blind people be confined to working in classes such as adult education, television teaching, college level courses, and those for gifted children. It must be understood that these classes open new avenues of instruction but no more for the blind than for the sighted. Let the blind of the State be on guard in order to protect against arbitrary limitations which will stifle advancement and curtail their potential. In summary, there is no foundation to support the belief that a blind instructor cannot maintain order and discipline in any teaching situation: the conclusion is the same whether the class be television, adult, college, team teaching, regular, or those exclusively for blind or gifted children. All protestations to the contrary are erroneous and must be laid to rest. It is noteworthy that a significant number of school superintendents indicated a willingness to hire blind applicants at the present time in specific disciplines such as English and history. Without a doubt the present status is severely limited; nevertheless a generation ago these initial advances were mere dreams. The immediate task ahead is to fortify and strengthen these small gains and utilize them for expansion. Nevertheless, the blind must not permit themselves to be easily deceived and lulled into complacency. The sightless of Iowa recognize at best present opportunities are slight and that the outlook is grim.

The incontravertible fact that today a substantial number of visually impaired teachers are successfully employed throughout the country in subjects thought beyond their capabilities such as mathematics, biology, physical education, and foreign language seems to have little or no effect upon the thinking of the educators. Indeed in cases where school administrators possessed knowledge of these teachers, the impact was nil.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the greatest stumbling block barring the blind from gaining equality in the teaching field is the question of discipline. Repeatedly and in a variety of ways school officials expressed serious doubt regarding the ability of a blind instructor to maintain order in a class.

Learned authorities have written volumes seeking to identify the essential elements constituting discipline and respect. During the past one hundred years women have proved beyond a doubt that diminutiveness of frame and lack of strength are not indices of discipline and respect. Similarly, visually disabled individuals when given opportunities have paralleled the experience of women in the profession.

When viewed in its proper light the relationship between visual acuity and the qualities of discipline and respect is not relevant. Indeed, if such were the case sighted instructors would not be plagued by such antics as cribbing, flying objects, and other all-too familiar pranks.

Stripped of all irrelevancies, discipline and respect consist of several basic intangibles. Certainly students are impressed if an instructor possesses superior knowledge in a subject matter. Presentation of the material in a manner that will stimulate and challenge the students ability is most desirable. The impact of a sincere comradeship and esprit de corps between the teacher and his students is of incalculable value. Possession of these qualities not only insures a successful career but creates in the students a desire for emulation. Fortunately, since a cause and effect relationship does not exist between visual acuity and these attributes, the blind have an excellent chance of possessing these characteristics and mastering the techniques.

Today there are more than one hundred blind teachers employed in regular teaching positions throughout the country and their success gives ample testimony to the fact that blindness itself is not a valid criterion for exclusion from the profession. From the available evidence there is no indication of any adverse consequences suffered by pupils who have received instruction from blind teachers. In fact, many students have expressed the opinion that they found the experience to be beneficial and rewarding.

Special consideration must be given to a view expressed in some of the replies. Representative of this attitude is the response indicating automatic disqualification of the sightless unless he or she were an exceptional individual. When fully carried to its logical implications this theory of blindness declares: (1) the average blind man cannot perform the average job in the average place of business; (2) the few blind who succeed possess superhuman talents; and (3) the image of the helpless blind man remains intact. This final conclusion is inescapable since the blind who do succeed are not considered representative of their fellows but conceived as possessing special compensatory gifts. The blind must steadfastly work toward the day when a successful blind person may be looked upon not as an exception, but rather as representative of the general potential of those lacking sight.

Although there is a sizeable number of capable blind instructors working in the field, the climate for acceptance by school officials remains hostile. It is imperative that the organized blind devote the energy to develop the means necessary to establish a more receptive atmosphere.

It should be emphasized that this report does not endorse the position that the only valid criterion for determining that a sightless individual may teach a given subject competently is the presence of other blind persons in the specific field. Quite to the contrary, because the blind are in the process of emerging from a custodial heritage, inevitably many situations will arise in which the blind have never labored. As is the case with the rest of mankind when embarking upon a new venture, there must be pioneers so that others may follow. Every field of endeavor, if it is to keep improving and moving forward, must be predisposed to incorporate new knowledge and concepts. With creativity and imagination educators very likely would find a way to assist rather than to resist the entrance of the blind into the profession.

It is gratifying to note that many of the traditional myths and custodial attitudes about the blind did not receive the endorsement one has come to expect. In all likelihood this development may be attributed to the revolutionary program of services to the blind in Iowa during the last eight years. The energy and dynamism generated by the Iowa Commission for the Blind throughout the State are beginning to bear fruit in many quarters.

While it is true that the blind may take some comfort in recent advances, there can be no doubt that the ultimate goal still lies ahead. Presumably some educators would prefer a sighted teacher with an average mind to a sightless teacher with a superior intellect. The popular belief that blindness is the worst of all the liabilities that prey upon human flesh is totally false and causes irreparable harm. The routine and mechanical aspects of teaching apparently have not been settled to the satisfaction of some school officials. Through the employment of tape recorders, readers, braille, and other alternative devices and techniques, these commonplace chores have not posed insurmountable obstacles.

An alarming number of school officials testified that in many cases they were completely unaware of the accomplishments of the blind in general and in particular in the teaching profession. Several made it clear that they were most anxious to learn about the progress of the blind, and moreover there is a strong possibility that these school administrators could be persuaded to hire blind applicants.

It is evident that dissemination of information is most urgently needed in a variety of ways that doubtless can be carried out simultaneously. Past studies about successful blind teachers such as the study "The Blind in the Teaching Profession," by Kenneth Jernigan, can be procured easily and made available to every school district in the State. It would be worthwhile for the Iowa Association of the Blind to appoint from within the organization a group of qualified blind people to answer any questions of interested school administrators. The Association, from time to time, might sponsor seminars inviting school policy formulators, experts in work for the blind, and visually impaired people holding positions in the field, providing forums where they all can meet and exchange points of view. In order to expedite the development of a more favorable climate, it would prove of incalculable value to acquaint educators with the existing facilities and programs serving the blind of Iowa. Finally, the organized blind must contact State and local teacher associations making it possible for the blind to present their case personally before large assemblies of teachers. Implementation of these and other ideas is well within the capacity of the Iowa Association of the Blind.

What may ultimately prove to be the impassable roadblock along the avenue to progress is the steadfast resistance which is likely to remain after responsible school officials have been informed. In such an eventuality the organized blind of the State must not shrink from initiating stronger measures. If after due course it is discovered the initial measures do not achieve the desired objective, the Iowa Association of the Blind must arm itself for a direct confrontation with those who remain obstinate in their discriminatory practices against the blind. Faced with such a dilemma the blind of Iowa must seek public support and ultimately promote legislation to correct the present intolerable condition.

Judging from a few of the returns the future of the blind in the teaching profession in Iowa is exciting indeed. The horizons are limited only by the ability of the blind to be creative in taking advantage of and building upon the opportunities afforded by a few progressive school officials. The Iowa Association of the Blind must give high priority to the development of programs which will encourage other school administrators to follow the example set by the enlightened minority. In this endeavor the Iowa Association of the Blind must demonstrate a willingness to cooperate with those officials who have a genuine understanding of the organizations' goals.

"This life of man upon earth is a warfare." That statement from the book of Job succinctly puts the case for the blind. Judged as mentally inferior, forbidden equality, and denied employment opportunities, sightless men and women have had to struggle mightily to win a measure of recognition and opportunity. Despite impressive achievements in countless occupations, many of the traditional myths and stereotyped attitudes about the limitations imposed by blindness persist to this day. While it is true that social mores and customs seldom change with rapidity there is ample evidence testifying to the fact that vigorous, positive activity may accelerate the process. The posture of the organized blind must be one of patience and understanding combined with firmness and diligent aggressiveness.

It is the national policy of the United States to wage war against the familiar enemies of mankind, poverty and ignorance. The blind, too, must declare war against arbitrary and capricious barriers which prohibit their access to the main thoroughfares of society. It is hoped that this survey has shed light on the obstacles to be surmounted if the blind are to enter the teaching profession. Unquestionably, a similar situation is in all likelihood reflected in other vocations. In order to hasten the day when the blind will be free to compete for jobs and other opportunities on an equal basis, sightless men and women must declare their own war of enlightenment.

Back to Contents


Mr. Bashir A. Masoodi is the first legally blind person in Indiana to receive a certification to teach in the public schools of Indiana.

Masoodi has been teaching in Gary Public Schools as Resource Teacher of the Blind for the past six years on a provisional permit. The new license is for life. According to the Division of Teacher Certification, this is the first time that a blind person has been granted a permanent life certificate to teach in the public schools of the state.

Masoodi, a graduate of University of Kashmir, in India, received his M.S. in special Education from Hunter College of the City University of New York. He had taught Multiply-Handicapped Blind Children and high school history at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind in New York City before coming to Indiana.

The Indiana regulations concerning certification of teachers require that a candidate for certification be free from communicable diseases, possess good moral character, be in good health, and that he be recommended for certification by the University or the college from which he obtains his education degree. Under present policy the four state universities in Indiana do not recommend blind graduates of their education schools for certification by the state. This policy has prevented many qualified blind persons from teaching in the public schools of the state.

Masoodi, a member of the National Federation of the Blind, was recommended by Hunter College for certification by Indiana as a public school teacher six years ago. The present certification is based partly on that recommendation and partly on the fact that Masoodi's blindness has not prevented him from performing quite satisfactorily as a teacher for the past five years.

Back to Contents


(From The New York Times, May 10, 1967)

New York City Welfare Commissioner Mitchell I. Ginsberg, appearing before a recent hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on poverty, employment and manpower, called for a complete revision of the nation's welfare system, which he said was "bankrupt" as a social institution. He made recommendations for reform, including a new approach to aiding the hard-core poor.

Ginsberg told the subcommittee that "as long as public assistance does not perform its relief function in such a way as to free the poorest of the poor, rather than to lock them in dependency, it has failed as an antipoverty weapon."

In his testimony, the commissioner said the present system could be improved by the following steps:

Using a declaration of need rather than an investigation system to determine eligibility.

Encouraging welfare recipients to get jobs, by allowing them to keep part of their earnings.

Expanding training and employment facilities.

Greatly increasing day-care facilities so mothers can work.

Spreading welfare centers into poor neighborhoods and integrating them with health and educational services run by other agencies.

Seeking the advice and involvement of welfare recipients in running the system.

Commissioner Ginsberg said the city was experimenting with some of these approaches, but called for the substitution of these steps:

Guaranteeing employment, with the government as the "employer of last resort" for all those seeking jobs.

Placing elderly, disabled and blind people under the Social Security system rather than the welfare, to remove the stigma of welfare and to lessen administrative costs.

Giving automatic allowances to families for each child, as is done in several European countries.

Setting up a "residual" public assistance program to aid those now on welfare who would not be helped by the changed system. He estimated this would apply to about 5 per cent of all those on the present rolls.

Providing an expanded public service system for housing, health, day care and education, which would be available regardless of income.

Back to Contents


The St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind strike remains deadlocked as management steadfastly refuses to negotiate with employees over a list of grievances.

Fifty-five Lighthouse employees, who recently joined the Inter- national Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — District 9, are still manning picket lines and receiving $40 a month in strike benefits. The union assumed direction of the strike March 27 in an all-out campaign to win "livable conditions and wages" for the workers.

Union organizer John Jegel told the Monitor that several other unions are sympathizing with the strike by honoring picket lines and requesting companies with which they have contracts not to send work to the Lighthouse.

Support has also come from Real Independence Through Employment, an organization of blind persons working in private industry. The group has asked its Legislative Committee to investigate conditions at the plant, many of which, Jegel said, are in violation of local and state laws.

The striking employees are demanding that management recognize the union as their bargaining agent, reinstate five fired strike leaders, and discuss a list of grievances which includes the hiring and promotion of more sighted than blind workers, filthy and hazardous working conditions, failure of management to honor seniority, inequitable vacation policy, and derogatory remarks about blind people by members of management. The present dispute is an outgrowth of a similar strike at the plant in 1962 when workers also demanded better conditions.

Back to Contents


By Dr. Alan D. Wade

Through the ages poverty has generally been taken for granted as an inevitable component of the human condition. From time to time, however, the phenomenon of poverty has emerged as a specific object of public concern and remedial action. We are in the midst of such a period now. Poverty in America has been rediscovered. In the planning of measures to eliminate it, we would do well to keep in mind that such measures have to do with far more than what the poor are like, but rather with what all of us are like.

Some social workers look with disdain, others with embarrassment, on the "Great Rediscovery." Some say that we have never forsaken the poor, and it is true that some of us never have. Others are deeply affected by the many and insistent criticisms of the profession that have originated within and without its ranks. It has been said that we have forgotten how to communicate with the poor in ways that are helpful; that the poor are a culture apart, who must be helped by others than social workers; that we run "stifling welfare monopolies" that pursue bureaucratic goals separated from human goals; that we have knowingly aided and abetted a process of "welfare colonialism" by which, in the words of one of the profession's most strident critics, social work serves to "get the people adjusted, so they will live in hell and like it too"; and further, that the commitment to social reform and social change that marked social work in its early years has given way to a stagnating preoccupation with the development of techniques and methods that are at best irrelevant, and at worst inimical, to the building of a society that can sustain human life at its best.

The rediscovery of poverty has a special meaning for social work, whose birth, alone among the professions, took place amid the stench of poverty, amid—to use Myrdal's phrase—"the smell arising from the basement of the stately mansion." We are passing through a period of self-criticism during which we often behave as repentant sinners. But the pressures for change all about us do not allow social work—the most self-critical of professions—the luxury of continued immersion in self-flagellation. Instead we must get on with the job. The aim of this paper is to sketch out the nature of that job and to specify some of the conditions necessary for getting it done.

The United States is the first nation in history with the economic base to eliminate absolute poverty, as it has been defined, if it so chooses. That this can be done is a matter of record. That it will be done seems more likely now than perhaps a year ago. In the past few months, discussion concerning the prospects for some sort of federally guaranteed minimum income program has moved out of the groves of academe and has become a matter of public and governmental interest. The National Association of Social Workers at its 1964 Delegate Assembly became the first national professional organization to support the principle of "income as a matter of right, in amounts sufficient to maintain all persons throughout the nation at a uniformly adequate level of living."

The heart of the statement adopted in 1964 is contained in the following two paragraphs:

We stand for the abolition of the means test in the archaic form in which it is applied in state and local administration of public assistance. The means test — a comprehensive examination of means and resources, applicant by applicant, as a basis for financial assistance to millions of people — nullifies the objective of guaranteeing to every individual in our society the right to an adequate and certain income, and does violence to basic human values.

While such efforts [toward expansion of work opportunity on a variety of fronts] are going forward, an adequate standard of living must be provided as a matter of right for all Americans. Current programs of social insurance and public assistance fall short of this goal through their universally inadequate maintenance levels and their restrictive and often punitive eligibility requirements. This organization favors the passage and implementation of federal legislation that would insure (1) income as a matter of right, in amounts sufficient to maintain all persons throughout the nation at a uniformly adequate level of living; and (2) the provision of payments in the most dignified and efficient manner possible.

Organizational complexities, resistance to change on the part of some members, and concern that the statement did not spell out the specific method for achievement of the goal of an adequate income for all Americans led to a delay of more than a year in informing total membership in any Systematic way about the Delegate Assembly's action, incorporating the statement into a revised Goals of Public Social Policy, and taking steps to implement the proposal politically. In November 1965 a subcommittee of the NASW Commission on Social Policy met to seek agreement on specific means for implementing the proposal. Discussion of the Delegate Assembly action and its meaning for the profession got under way in March 1966, with the subject being designated as one of two major ones to be covered at a series of seven regional workshops in the spring of 1966. Further, the issue was one of two major items on the agenda of the NASW Seminar on Social Action in May 1966.

The 1964 Delegate Assembly action placed organized social work, appropriately, in the avant-garde of national leadership opting in favor of twentieth-century programs for twentieth-century human problems Are we "out of it" again because of our delay in organizing for informing the membership and for action? Time will tell, and there may not be much of it left.

Both theoretical and practical bases exist for resistance to the drastic change that the guaranteed income indicates for the existing income maintenance system and for our whole social welfare structure.

It is a commonplace observation that social life changes more rapidly than man's capacity to develop new social arrangements and institutions to cope with it. Myth tends to be more tenacious than reason in explaining and justifying the human condition, especially when deeply meaningful human values are involved. The underlying mythology about the nature of poverty, and hence about current income maintenance programs, has three related parts: (1) the myth of the economic whip or the belief that starvation or its threat is the only real motivating force that keeps the shoulders of the masses to the economic wheel, (2) the myth of the superabundance of available work opportunities, or the belief that anyone who really wants to can find remunerative employment, and (3) the myth of the self-made man, or the belief that all men have the necessary resources, if they will but use them, to compete on even terms for available opportunity.

It is doubtful that many social workers still subscribe in their conscious life, at any rate, to these myths. We are subject, however, to the effect of two more sophisticated notions that affect our capacity to move ahead with confidence toward the development of new approaches to the age-old question of poverty. One of these is the shibboleth that "money is not enough"; the other, closely related, is the widespread belief in the "culture of poverty."

Perhaps most significant about the "money is not enough" argument (enough, that is, to do away with poverty) is that those who use it are never numbered among the poor — they only believe that money is not enough for someone else. The argument appears in a number of forms. It appeared, for example, in the Economic Report of the President for 1964. After pointing out that "conquest of poverty is well within our power," and that "about $11 billion a year would bring all poor families up to the $3,000 income level we have taken to be the minimum for a decent life. . . ," the report adds a disclaimer:

But this "solution" would leave untouched most of the roots of poverty. . .it will be far better, even if more difficult, to equip and to permit the poor of the nation to produce and to earn the additional $11 billion, and more. We can surely afford greater generosity in relief of distress. But the major thrust of our campaign must be against causes rather than symptoms .

The inference is that merely giving people money will not help them deal with their poverty; that because it is moral and personal and cultural in nature poverty cannot be solved by merely providing money. How can this be? Among the poor are a vast range of personality and family types, probably duplicating or even exceeding in number the range among the upper classes. There is only one common factor shared by all the poor — they lack money to bring them up to some socially recognized standard.

In a paper presented recently at a meeting of the Chicago Chapter of NASW, Dr. Ner Littner raised the following questions about the guaranteed income:

What guarantees do we have that the poor individual will be able to use the money sensibly? Some, of course, will. But, I believe that many will not be able to do so. The dilemma in thinking that the availability of money is directly translatable into the abolition of poverty, is the failure to take into account the existence of an unconscious in the person who is poor. Too often, we tend to assume that, because some-one is poor, he is not entitled to have an unconscious.

Dr. Littner's expression of a concern voiced by many reminds one of Herbert J. Muller's observation in his reflections on the nature of man:

Everyone knows these elemental pleasures and pains of the flesh, the beginnings of good and evil, but lofty thinkers tend to slight them. They have often sought a freedom from all bodily desire, under the aegis of disembodied reason or spirit. Gratified by the thought that man cannot live by bread alone, they may forget that man cannot live without it, that untold millions have died for want of it, and that today most of the world's population still have to live without enough of it.

Blinded to an extent by their own membership in an affluent society, social workers have tended to become "lofty thinkers" and to use the most convoluted explanations for the results of simple physical deprivation. Presumably the poor do have an unconscious like everyone else is supposed to possess. But approaching the problem of poverty from the standpoint of the unconscious or from the standpoint of cultural determinants is simply unrelated to what we know — or ought to know — about the human condition.

As Charlotte Towle has put it in her classic Common Human Needs: . . .persistent hunger, fatigue, and bodily suffering may shape the personality to their own ends. It has been said, "Man cannot reason with his ills for they know more than he does."

But Miss Towle spoke as a human being with a deep understanding of other human beings. What scientific evidence is there to buttress her point?

As the result of their key finding that offspring of low socio-economic group families show maximum vulnerability to mental morbidity, the authors of the Midtown Manhattan Study have several suggestions. They point out that the poor have fewer "margins of self-correcting maneuver" left in the face of life exigencies, and that the lack of money offers little room for defensive counteraction. They postulate further that the grim day-to-day grind of poverty or near poverty (thwarts and intensifies) the child's elementary creature needs, retarding thereby normal developments of his impulse modulating mechanisms and furthering an immature and inadequate ego structure.

There is evidence from nutritional studies of one reason for the tendency to indulge in the expensive luxury of psychodynamic explanations when more direct ones would suffice. Norman Jolliffe comments as follows:

. . .various functional changes occur [as the result of prolonged nutritional deprivation]. These functional changes are manifested clinically by symptoms usually placed in the neurasthenic syndrome. They include such common complaints as excessive fatigability, disturbance in sleep, inability to concentrate, "gas," heart consciousness, and various queer bodily sensations. . . . Occurrence [of these symptoms] as a manifestation of tissue depletion of certain nutrients is undoubted.

It can be argued that the major factor differentiating low-income people from middle-income people in terms of life-styles is the income gap—that is, the absence of the means to achieve certain values and goals. Why continue to argue that money is not enough? Let us provide money, and then deal systematically and consciously with the problems that will be left over.

Public assistance programs as they exist now have outlived their usefulness and must be replaced. This statement will fall harshly on the ears of some social workers, since the profession has always had a strong hand in guiding the development of the public welfare programs, and since thousands of dedicated social workers are currently employed in such programs striving hard to bring the best of their professional knowledge into the lives of their clients. But they strive against fierce odds. The odds against attainment of the professed goals of the public assistance programs are heavy for two major reasons: the grossly inadequate levels of public aid payments throughout the nation and the administrative climate generally based on insidious, paranoid, primitive preoccupations stemming from the poor law heritage of "keeping the town's books clean."

Little more needs to be said about grant levels than the following from the 1966 Economic Report of the President:

In addition to the large gaps in coverage under existing public assistance programs, the benefits paid to the eligible poor are very often extremely low. Most persons now receiving assistance do not receive enough to enable them to live at even a minimum subsistence level. For example, the average annual total income of aged public assistance recipients is $970 a person; of blind recipients, $1,110 a person; of disabled recipients, $910 a person; and for families with dependendent children, $1,680 a family (four persons).

Of equal concern to social work, alongside the issue of inadequate grants, are the constant assaults on the human spirit that have become an endemic disease in the administration of public assistance in this nation. As currently administered — and given the assumptions on which it is based there is little hope that changes can be made in time to save it — public assistance simply does not allow for the human use of either clients or employees. There is no need to repeat in detail here the tiresome litany of ills of public assistance — the misuse of the caseworker's time in eligibility determination and constant paper- shuffling, the harassment of relatives for contributions, the systematic destruction of family life through restrictive eligibility requirements, the interminable delays in processing of grants, police state methods of investigation of alleged cheaters, and gradual erosion of the money payment principle.

Federal-state programs of public assistance as currently constituted not only are doomed to fall far short of the task given them by the Social Security Act of "strengthening and maintaining family life." But unless they are quickly replaced or drastically altered in concept and law, their continued operation in the Negro ghettos of the northern cities connotes one more living example of paternalism and white man's justice.

This, too, is a harsh charge. Documentation is not hard to find. The following excerpts from policy statements indicate how far public assistance has traveled along the road to paternalism and worse. The examples speak for themselves.

I have mentioned that we will inaugurate education and training programs to reach recipients wherever they live. This is entirely feasible because if public transportation is lacking, other transportation plans can be made. Here again, the situation of public aid recipients is no different from others who must commute to schools and training programs, or to jobs in other communities. We expect aid recipients to do the same. If jobs cannot be found in their community of residence but are available elsewhere, we will expect them to move — voluntarily or involuntarily.

Other members of society — the teachers, the legal authorities, the social workers — find themselves faced with a growing gap of communication, a steadily increasing "no man's land" between themselves and those they wish to help. . .this group (the welfare recipients) understands less and less of what is expected of it and how it can go about fulfilling its duties and responsibilities, just as those who wish to help them find it more and more difficult to communicate with them and to know how to go about helping them. But at such a point, society can no longer accept the passive role of mere support; it must begin to lead and direct the individual. Society stands in the same relation to them as that of parent to child. . .just as the child is expected to attend classes, so also the "child adult" must be expected to meet his responsibilities to the community. In short, "social uplifting" — even if begun on the adult level — cannot expect to meet with success unless it is combined with a certain amount of social disciplining — just as it is on the pre-adult level.

It is recognized that the client has a right to participate in social activities, including dating. The fact that a mother has dates with a man does not in itself establish that a nonlegal marital union exists. However, the worker shall be alert to and follow up on clues which indicate that the relationship is more than that of dating or courtship, . . .when there is indication that the relationship may be more than that of normal courtship this should be discussed with the client, who should be asked for a true and full account concerning the length of time she has been seeing the man in question, where she usually sees him, the frequency of their dates and where they go.

Public assistance policy, as reflected in part in the above statements, is a curious but frightening amalgam of sixteenth-century efforts to ward off expanding industrialism, nineteenth-century views of the meaning of poverty and human life, and twentieth-century racism and rottenboroughism. Clearly, the revolutionary tenor of our times cannot abide the continuation of large public programs based on a philosophy that brings out the worst rather than the best in both public servants and in those whom they serve.

The recent report of the Advisory Council on Public Welfare marked recognition in an official government document of many of the failures of public assistance noted above. Urging "prompt, decisive action to bring the amounts of public assistance payments throughout this Nation up to a minimum American standard of health and decency," the council further observed:

The time for action is long overdue. This issue must be met without further delay if we are to end the anomaly of Federal subsidization of programs which keep over 7 million American citizens well below the poverty level.

The council's recommendations include (1) the establishment of minimum federal standards of assistance, (2) revision of the current federal matching formulas, (3) basing eligibility factors solely on need, (4) establishment of social services as a matter of right, and (5) strengthening the appeal procedures against agency decisions regarded as unfavorable.

These and other recommendations of the council are indeed sweeping. It must be admitted by even the most enthusiastic supporters of more radical methods for revision of the public income maintenance programs that the recommendations of the council offer another option for eliminating economic poverty as it has been defined. It remains to be seen whether the major changes proposed by the council will be translated into legislative action, and whether these proposals — which just a few short years ago would have been regarded as revolutionary — can be effectively grafted onto a system as thoroughly discredited as the present one.

The question remains: What can be done?

Three key tasks need to be carried on simultaneously by the members of the social work profession, in co-operation with others, if we are to gain control of our future: (1) Continued, powerful pressures from within and outside the current public assistance system must be exerted, in order to bring about its collapse and replacement. (2) Systematic planning efforts must be engaged in by the profession in order to design new forms of work opportunity for social work employees released from their current activities in public welfare, as well as for the vast expansion in the human services that the guaranteed minimum income will provide. (3) A constant process of education and political action must be initiated immediately with reference to the guaranteed income itself.

A strategy for bringing about the actual collapse of the public assistance system is based on the belief that, in the significant respects alluded to above, the system is already crumbling. The gap between its professed goals and the prospect for meeting them through current administrative methods and program assumptions is so vast, and the chances for radical changes within the system so slim, that additional constructive demands upon the system for performance could mark the beginning of the end.

Such demands are already developing. Civil rights groups in northern cities have recently discovered widespread discontent with public assistance programs to be a viable source for the mobilization of the disadvantaged. Organizations of recipients at neighborhood levels are being formed, with the initial goal of obtaining redress for the grievances of individuals. As success is achieved in relation to limited goals, these organizations will become stronger, will develop more sophisticated goals in terms of pressure for changes in rules and legislation and could become a potent political force if they are able to coordinate their activities locally and nationally. Social workers inside and outside the public assistance system can help with this process by providing facts and information about laws and regulations, supporting neighborhood groups in the fair hearing and appeal process, and forcefully bringing inequities to the attention of community welfare councils, and agency board members.

In this process of "constructive destruction" of the public assistance system through massive insistence that it fulfill its professed aims, it should be kept in mind that only about one-fourth of all persons below the poverty line are receiving assistance at the present time. A large-scale campaign of public education informing potentially eligible persons of their right to aid, and backing up their applications with organizational support, could lead to a process of "swamping" the system both financially and administratively. This could lead more rapidly than any other form of action to a wholly new national approach.

The guaranteed income proposal should be embraced, rather than rejected, by social workers currently employed in public assistance. It would free them to become the nucleus for a network of public social services that could respond to the needs of families and individuals outside the ham-stringing requirements of the means test.

But we can and must go further than this. We must engage in a process of systematic planning, based on our already considerable knowledge of the needs of individuals and the community changes and services required to support these needs, and aimed at delineating the kinds of jobs that only human beings can perform in the service of other human beings. How many millions of the aged are wasting away, their essential humanity denied them, in nursing homes, mental hospital back wards, and cheap rooming houses? How many children are without day care and other basic services required for their normal growth and development? How many families require homemaker services and other forms of support and guidance in times of crisis? To what extent can services be extended through the use of persons without full professional training, but who can provide effective help with the strategic aid of consultation from scarce professional personnel?

Since the prospects for meeting potential community need for social services seem dim if total reliance is placed on traditional agency structures and professionally trained persons to do the job, should we not seek new and creative ways for expanding the leverage that our profession can bring to bear on major social problems? We must, in short, take the lead in defining the kinds of human services that are worth paying for services that before the arrival of the abundant society had been regarded as luxuries rather than as necessities.

Finally, while the above efforts are going forward, we must assume the obligation of leadership in promulgating discussion and planning action leading to the passage of guaranteed income legislation. NASW members and chapters must familiarize themselves with the issues involved and must initiate public discussion at a variety of levels. At the national level, the professional association has an obligation to take immediate steps to work with other concerned groups from labor, religion, business, the professions, and civil rights toward the development of a political coalition that can exert responsible pressure toward enactment of bold new income maintenance legislation. While many complex questions must be resolved as to the best means for the provision of "income as a matter of right for all Americans," neither we nor the nation can afford to wait until after the 1967 Delegate Assembly for clarification of means for implementation. The mandate of the 1964 Delegate Assembly is clear enough to define the challenge for immediate action.

It has been here suggested that the rediscovery of poverty presents challenges and opportunities for social work, not the least of which is the need to recognize that the problem to which we must address ourselves is not really poverty itself, but inequality. As Richard Titmuss has suggested, the proper question is not what ought to be done about poverty, but rather, "What are we to do with our wealth?"

Back to Contents



The name of this organization shall be NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND STUDENT DIVISION.


The purpose of this organization shall be to advance the interests and expand the opportunities of blind college students and blind persons in the professions, and to mobilize them for concerted action through the National Federation of the Blind to promote the welfare of blind persons everywhere.


Membership in this organization shall be of two types:

1. Active 2. Associate

Section One: Active Membership. Active membership requires membership in the National Federation of the Blind. Any person who is not a member of the National Federation of the Blind but who is eligible for membership at large in the Federation may apply to this organization for active membership, provided he submits a simultaneous application for membership at large in the Federation.

Section Two: Associate Membership. Any person who is not eligible for active membership in this organization may become an associate member. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of active members except that they shall not vote or hold office.

Section Three: Application for Membership. Membership in this organization shall be conferred upon any person who makes appropriate application and pays dues as determined by the membership.


The officers of this organization shall be:

1 . President

2. First Vice President

3. Second Vice President

4. Secretary

5. Treasurer

Their duties shall be those ordinarily associated with their respective offices.


The officers of this organization shall be elected at the regular meeting during each odd numbered year and shall serve until the close of the meeting at which their successors are elected.


This organization shall have an Executive Committee consisting of the five officers. The Executive Committee shall implement policies established by the membership and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between meetings of the membership. The President may appoint such other committees as he or the membership deems necessary.


Regular meetings of this organization shall be held each year at the time and place of the National Federation of the Blind Convention. Special meetings may be called by the President with the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee. Twenty-five active members must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business.


All affairs of this organization shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Code of Affiliate Standards of the National Federation of the Blind.


This Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the membership by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active members present.

Back to Contents


Thirty-eight blind and brain-damaged children emerged unharmed one minute after an early-morning fire broke out in the auditorium of St. Joseph's School for the Blind in Jersey City. Nuns, staff members, firemen, and neighbors formed a human chain guiding the children to safety. Police have arrested in connection with the fire a 20-year-old girl, a former mental patient who helped at the school under an antipoverty program. (Catholic Standard, Washington, D.C., January 19, 1967.)

Gilbert Ramirez, a 46-year-old blind delegate to the New York Constitutional Convention, has complained that three Liberal Party delegates are trying to have him removed from the large Capitol office he shares with them because they want the space for an exclusive party headquarters. "I don't know why they don't want me in there, 11 said Ramirez. "I won't listen to their conversations." (New York newspaper, April 18, 1967.)

A research team of Johns Hopkins University doctors has expressed the opinion that the discovery of carbamazepine could be "a major advance in the drug therapy for epilepsy." Fifty of 87 epileptic patients treated with the drug benefited in a recent test. (Associated Press.)

George Shearing, blind jazz pianist, was barred from taking his guide dog into a Chicago restaurant recently by a headwaiter who observed "the letter of the law," reports the Associated Press. Shearing recounted that he left the Little Embers restaurant where he had taken two friends for dinner despite the management's offer to keep Leland in the check-room and feed him.

Two summer programs for blind youth will be held June 26 through July 21 in Pittsburgh, State Secretary of Public Welfare Max Rosenn has announced. One program for blind high school graduates will be an "Orientation to College." The other program, intended for young blind teenagers, will deal with "Mobility and Everyday Skills." Both programs are co-sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Pittsburgh and the Office for the Blind of the State Welfare Department. Applications should be sent to Dr. R.F. Ferson, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Bayard Street at Bellefield, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Release.)

Gertrude Duly, a long-time leader of the Pennsylvania blind, died April 9, 1967. Mrs. Duly attended Overbrook School for the Blind and was a Home Teacher for the Pennsylvania Home Teaching Society. She was an officer of the West Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind, and in recent years served as a collection point for the NFB overseas eyeglasses project.

Blind Richmond, Virginia stockbroker James C. Wheat, Jr. was recently elected one of six new governors of the New York Stock Exchange. Wheat, 46, also serves on the Richmond City Council, is president of the Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, is a member of the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped, and has twice been president of the Richmond Boys 1 Club. (Associated Press.)

Neighborhood Legal Services programs financed by the Office of Economic Opportunity won three-fourths of the 4,000 court trials in which they were involved in the last half of 1966, OEO Director Sargent Shriver reported recently. Neighborhood attorneys also obtained reversals of 80 per cent of 200 decisions cutting clients off public assistance in which hearings were held. (OEO Release.)

Boat rides, visits to historical sites, panel discussions, a fashion show, a picnic and a cocktail reception, along with the adoption of resolutions and the election of officers, will highlight the twenty- second annual Blinded Veterans Association convention, set for August 1-5 at the Hotel America in Hartford, Connecticut. (BVA Bulletin.)

A new battery-powered motorized wheel chair for use both on flat terrain and for climbing curbs and stairs has been invented by Dr. Per Udden of the Medical Center in Timra, Sweden. The chair boasts fingertip controls, a top speed of 3-1/2 miles per hour, and a cruising range of 6 to 9 miles. (HEW Release.)

Baltimore Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin proclaimed the week of May 14 through May 20 as "White Cane Safety Week," urging that "all citizens give their support to the visually handicapped by obeying the White Cane Law and lending every assistance to those who are trying so nobly to carry on normal lives despite their handicaps."

Blind Greenfield, Massachusetts businessman Steve Sobieski is hoping to lose his job as operator of the Trail Blazer Snack Bar. Sobieski will soon undergo a cataract operation, which if successful will disqualify him from running the stand, operated by the state Division of the Blind as a business for legally blind persons. (Springfield, Massachusetts newspaper.)

The Vocational Rehabilitation Administration has issued a Spanish-language publication for disabled people which describes the rehabilitation services available through federal-state programs. Copies of "Para Los Impedidos — La Ayuda por Medio de la Rehabilitacion Vocacional" are available from state vocational rehabilitation agencies or from the VRA in Washington, D.C. (HEW Release.)

More than 100 blind, near-blind, and crippled took part in Norway's Fourth Winter Games for the Handicapped which were held at Askim on February 18 and 19 under the auspices of the Industrial Sports Federation, the State Youth and Sports Office, and the Federation of Disabled. (News of Norway.)

Evangelos Georgakakis , 33, who lost his sight and one hand and paralyzed the other in a landmine explosion, taught himself to read braille with his tongue because there is not sufficient feeling in his remaining hand. He recently finished first among 33 young law apprentices who took their final bar examinations in Athens, Greece. (National Enquirer, April 21, 1967.)

A combination print-braille copy of the Declaration of Independence has been created by the Twin Vision Publishing Division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind. Each copy includes a raised illustration depicting the original 13-star U.S. flag of 1777 and the present 50-star flag adopted in 1959. Copies are distributed free upon request to: 18440 Topham Street, Tarzana, California 91356.

Sad news from Minnesota is that Donald Hunder, 45-year-old blind Minneapolis attorney, died suddenly of a heart attack April 20. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, he was secretary of the Minnesota Organization of the Blind, president of the Braille and Sight Saving School Alumni Association, and a member of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Services to the Blind. Surviving are his wife, Lucille, and two brothers, William and Robert. "It was a terrible shock to all of his friends," writes Mrs. Jack Arvidson, secretary of the United Blind of Minnesota. "It is hard for us who are going to the Los Angeles convention to think of being there without him. He had been a delegate since 1961 at Kansas City."

Listen, my friends, that you may all hear
Of writing most strange, peculiar and queer.
'Tis made up of cells. . .not live ones, 'tis true,
And filled in with dots that give you the clue
As to just how to read them,
Whether d, day, or do.

Now some of these signs are real democratic
With, of, the, and, for
With most any words
And e'en to save space
Will jam themselves up in this cellular race.

But then, there are others
His, was, were and be,
And in and enough practice plain snobbery.
"Don't touch us," they cry, and if some clinging vine
As, in, into or by, comes dangling its line. . .
To lean upon them, they prop up with fire,
Hitting dots four or one in their snobberish ire.

And two little low signs
You can't trust no more
Unless chap-er-oned
By dots, one or four.

Use be, con or dis at the start of a word
But ne'er ing or ble--that would be absurd.
Com crawls into come, so bold and so brash,
Yet flees an apostrophe, hyphen or dash.
And numbers will ne'er, without their sign stand
Whether hundred or single or in a large band.

If TH is seen does e with it stay?
Treat ea the same, look for r in the way.
As for suffix or prefix, much havoc they cause
If you contract letters regardless of laws.

There'll be times you can't think,
Go even stark mad.
Then remember, my friend,
This braille is no fad. (From the NBA BULLETIN, "The 'Never, Never Land 1 of Braille.")

Ex-convict Larry Dotson, just released from San Quentin, will begin production in Portland, Oregon of a pocket-sized braille writer he invented and patented while in prison. Dotson plans to sell the machine, which he hopes will make heavier models obsolete, for $15.

President tenBroek delivered a lecture at a conference at the Medical School of the University of Washington on April 14, lunched with the Executive Committee of the Washington State Association of the Blind on April 15, and spoke before a meeting of the King County White Cane Association later that afternoon.

Blind college seniors Paul William Rink, Richard Lawrence Pollock, and John Lundberg Kavanaugh received the $500 1967 Scholastic Achievement Awards of Recording fro the Blind, Inc. at the United Nations recently. Rink will graduate from Loyola University in Chicago, summa cum laude and first in a class of 970 students. Pollock was on the dean's list for seven consecutive semesters at the Stephen F. Austin College at Nacogdoches, Texas. Kavanaugh carried a double major in political science and history and was in an honors program in social thought at Stanford University. (The New York Times.)

A position at a substantial salary in the Department of Music Education at the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped at Alamogordo will be vacated in June, writes G.R. Bobeen. Applications are being received now, and contracts will be signed in the near future.


If all the sleeping folks will wake up, And all the lukewarm folks will fire up, And all the dishonest folks will confess up, And all the discouraged folks will cheer up, And all the depressed folks will look up, And all the estranged folks will make up, And all the gossiping folks will shut up, And all the dry bones will shake up, Then, we can have a Federation.

Mr. and Mrs. Theron L. Budesheim have donated a choir lectern to the Clifton Heights Baptist Church in Louisville in honor of Robert E. and Lillian Whitehead. Mr. Whitehead is president of the Kentucky-affiliate, and Mrs. Budesheim heads the Ashland chapter.

President tenBroek spoke before a seminar in the University of Nevada Sociology Department on April 7 and then met with a gathering of Federationists in Reno that evening.

Any family having a blind child or adult is eligible for a wonderful summer vacation opportunity at Camp Echo Grove at Lakeville, Michigan from July 17-24. The cost for an adult is $10.50, and for a child under 16 the fee is 50 cents. Everything is furnished except towels, washcloths, soap, and the like. The Salvation Army, which operates the camp, requires a physical examination prior to arrival at the camp, and the necessary forms will be sent upon request for reservations. For further information write to Dorothy Eagle, Chairman, Camp Committee, 140 West Howard, Pontiac, Michigan 48058. Reservation requests should be sent to Salvation Army, 78 Peterboro, Detroit, Michigan.

Back to Contents