VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind-it is the blind speaking for themselves
Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708
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
Assistant Editor: Floyd W. Matson 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708
News items and changes of address should be sent to the Editor.
CECIL KING RETIRES
SPRING CONVENTION BULLETIN
JERNIGAN RECEIVES PRESIDENTIAL AWARD
IF A PERSON MUST BE BLIND
Remarks by Harold Russell
WILBUR COHEN NEW HEW SECRETARY
IDAHO FORMS NEW STUDENT DIVISION
by C.A. Walhof
COMMITTEE ON PURCHASES OF BLIND-MADE PRODUCTS
WIRED BRAIN FOR THE BLIND?
by Effie Alley
NEWS OF ETHIOPIAN BLIND
Letter from Bairu Tafla
BLIND SEE FIRST ART FOR SIGHTLESS
A PICTURE IS STILL WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
by Jean Scott Neel
SCHOOL FOR BLIND BOYCOTT CALLED OFF
EDUCATING THE EDUCATORS
by Loren Schmitt
JIM GASHEL SPEAKS TO TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY IOWA TEACHERS
TRAVELS OF A VICE PRESIDENT--TROPICAL INTERLUDE
by Ralph Blumenthal
THE WELFARE RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE GUARANTEED ANNUAL INCOME
by Ed Spannaus
LOVE IS BLIND--BLIND TEACHER ADOPTS BLIND CHILD
COMPUTERS' NEWS»-SCIENCE FOR THE BLIND
CIB WORKERS VERSUS--THE REHAB GRAB
BLIND OCTOGENARIAN ESSAYIST DONATES PRIZE
BLIND TEACHERS-- "THEIR PROBLEMS AND PROGRESS IN CERTIFICATION AND EMPLOYMENT--Part I
by Sally Jones
MORE BLIND STUDENTS ORGANIZE
BLIND CAP DEPUTY QUALIFIES FOR HIGH ALTITUDE FLIGHTS
KENTUCKY VENDING STAND OPERATORS TURN TO AUTOMATION
BATTLE CREEK BLIND AND LIONS HARMONIZE
by Harold Rowley
The famed author of the "King bills" and congressional champion of the cause of the organized blind--Rep. Cecil R. King of California--has decided not to seek re-election to the national office he has held with distinction for the past 26 years.
His announcement, released in mid-February, noted that he had been considering the move for two years but waited until Medicare had been approved and put in operation. King was the chief sponsor of the far-reaching Medicare legislation for the elderly and its most powerful spokesman in the House of Representatives.
At the age of 70, King is the dean of the California congressional delegation, having been elected originally in 1942 and subsequently reelected 12 times. He was a member of the California Assembly for ten years prior to his shift to the national legislature.
For 15 years. Congressman King has authored bills devised in cooperation with the National Federation of the Blind for a wide variety of welfare and rehabilitation purposes--and was strengthened in his efforts by his position as second-ranking Democratic member of the influential Ways and Means Committee.
But it was in 1960, with the creation of the King-Hartke "double play" combination, that the King bills began to change from futile proposals to enacted public laws. The partnership was with Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana.
The successful formula involved the introduction of identical bills in both houses by King and Hartke, with each urging endorsement of the other's measure in committee and on the floor.
In this way the $50 monthly exemption of earnings on the part of blind aid recipients was liberalized to $85 plus 50 percent of monthly earnings; in turn this policy was broadened to exempt for a one -year period all resources of a blind recipient working under a rehabilitation plan; and finally the exemption of all resources was extended to 36 months --in each case due to the collaboration of the California congressman and the Indiana senator.
Congressman King was also sponsor of the NFB's bill to liberalize the federal disability insurance law for the blind--a persistent proposal which gained partial success last year with adoption of the generally accepted definition of blindness in place of the inadequate medical standard formerly in the law.
Congressman King was honored by the National Federation of the Blind in 1963 as recipient of its Newel Perry Award for "distinguished statesmanship in blind welfare." The certificate stated in part:
"His faith in the blind was and remains the faith that the blind have in themselves; that with opportunity the blind can be normal, productive, independent, and equal citizens."
One of the 70-year-old Congressman's greatest victories came with the passage of the groundbreaking Medicare legislation in the 89th Congress. He had sponsored such bills to provide hospital care for the elderly through social security since 1958, but his proposals always were bottled up in the Ways and Means Committee by his Democratic colleague, Wilbur Mills of Arkansas.
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We have been working hard in Des Moines for a good many months to assure you of a memorable time at the 1968 NFB convention. We are looking forward to having you come, and we will do our best to make the Des Moines convention come up to the high standards of past NFB conventions.
If you haven't yet sent in your reservations, you should do so without delay--TODAY. Reservations should be sent to the Reservations Manager, Hotel Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa 50309—and be sure to mention that you are attending the NFB convention so that you will be entitled to the special rates.
The Hotel Fort Des Moines is located at 10th and Walnut Streets in downtown Des Moines. It is a comfortable, modern, air-conditioned 400 room hotel with three restaurants, a bar and a barbershop on the premises.
When you enter the hotel through the main 10th Street entrance (there's also an entrance on Walnut Street) you will find the lobby on your left and the Hob Nob snack bar on your right. Make a note of the Hob Nob because that's the place in the hotel that serves food 24 hours a day. It seats 24 and serves complete meals and short orders at modest prices.
In addition to hamburgers, Reubens and Denver sandwiches, it has a daily special such as baked hickory-cured Iowa ham with potatoes for around $1.25.
From the 10th Street entrance, if you continue down the hallway past the Hob Nob you will come next to the stairs to the Mezzanine on your right. These steps will take you directly to the area of nearly all of the convention activity.
Past the stairs a few steps you will come to the hotel registration desk on your left--it's just behind a two-foot square pillar. There is a cigar stand on your right--telephones a few steps directly in front of you. A few steps to the right of the cigar stand is the entrance to the Boulevard Cafe. This cafe is open for breakfast and lunch from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM. It serves such things as omelettes, fillet of perch, curried chicken and short orders with prices ranging between $1.00 and $2.00 for a complete meal.
Going back out the Boulevard Cafe and turning right, you will pass by the hotel registration desk on your right. Continuing down that hallway a few steps, you will pass the mail and information area of the hotel desk. As the mail desk ends, if you turn right a few steps, you will find yourself in front of the hotel's two self-service elevators. There are three elevators here but the one on the right is a freight elevator. And you might make a note that the buttons are arranged in two rows on the panel with even-numbered floors on the left and odd-numbered floors on the right. The button for the Lobby has been placed with the even numbered floors on the left.
As you face the elevators, just to your left is the entrance to the third eating place in the hotel. The Steak Ranch. The Steak Ranch is open for luncheon and dinner. Its hours are 11:30 AM until 2:00 PM and 5:00 until 10:00 PM. In the Steak Ranch, the prices on the dinner menu range from $3. 00 for chopped sirloin to $6. 00 for Western T-Bone--which is also the most expensive item on the menu. In addition to a variety of steaks, the menu has such other dinner regulars as lamb chops, shrimp and lobster tail.
The entrance to the Embassy Club is also in the lobby, but it is a private club open to members only.
Our convention registration desk will be located on the Mezzanine and will be open at 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 30.
If you want a change in eating, you can walk to Bishops Cafeteria which is just one block to your left as you come out the Tenth Street entrance, and two and one half blocks to your right on the left side of the street. Bishops, at 711 Locust, is an Iowa institution and serves excellent food at modest prices.
For still more variety in dining you can visit Babe's or Johnny &: Kay's.
Babe's, at 417-6th Avenue, is about a six block walk from the hotel. They have a full range of Italian foods, as well as a comprehensive seafood and steak menu. With the lovely old leaded glass shades and an array of antique glass, you can dine in real comfort. Imported beer, prime ribs, roast beef--whatever your appetite, you can find it at Babe's. Dinners are in the $3.50 to $5.00 range.
Johnny & Kay's is said to be the finest restaurant between Chicago and Denver and you should set aside an evening to take a cab there to eat. With several elegantly decorated dining areas, Johnny & Kay's will serve you a truly magnificent dinner seafood, steaks, flaming desserts--what's your pleasure? If it can be found in Des Moines, Johnny & Kay's will probably have it. Dinners range from $3.50 to about $8.00 plus drinks.
Don't forget your swimsuit. You'll need it for a dip in the Commission's pool.
We have had a committee at work for a number of months gathering prizes from a host of sources, and we have every hope that we have found something that you will yearn to win. We know the prizes are fabulous enough to make all those attending want to be at every session, and to stay in the meeting rooms while the sessions are going on. Just as a for instance, we have an electric typewriter from one firm and a portable dryer from the Maytag Company.
In the State Ballroom on the Mezzanine of the Hotel Fort Des Moines on Thursday, July 4, we will celebrate Independence Day with the banquet at 7:00 PM. The menu is being carefully planned, and we hope it will meet your highest expectations.
MEXICO, MEXICO, MEXICO
But that's not all. Just as the convention ends, the pure fun--the sheer enjoyment begins, for that's the beginning of our Mexican tour. For a price of $296 you get a 5-day trip to Mexico. For details, see the December MONITOR.
--But if you don't want to go to Mexico--stay in Iowa for a while-- or come early. You really shouldn't leave the state without visiting some of the places we are proud of. About two hours drive from Des Moines east on Interstate 80, you will come to the Amana area. Settled over 100 years ago by German immigrants, the Amana colonies were a cooperative society in the heart of America for most of that time. Now, however, the colonies are organized just as any private enterprise would be.
While the Amanas are world famous for their freezers, in Iowa they are famous for their food. Stop for a wonderful family style meal-- heaping platters of pork chops or chicken, huge bowls of steaming mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and imported beer. Top that off with home-made bread and pies and you have a taste treat that comes close to an old fashioned Iowa farm thrasher's dinner. You'll always remember it as a highlight of your Iowa visit.
Also at the Amanas you can tour some of the factories in the area--there is a plant where woolens are loomed, and there are a number of furniture factories which specialize in hand-crafted solid walnut furniture--some pieces they can even copy to order for you.
The Amanas have changed over the past 100 years, but there, in the lovely old brick family homes, you'll still find the old world hospitality that will make this a memorable part of your Iowa visit.
There are a lot of other spots in Iowa that we think are wonderful too. We have parks scattered throughout the state where campers are welcome. At a good many of these parks there are swimming and boating facilities, as well as nature trails and picnic spots. There are also family cabins at some of these parks which rent for $35.00 a week. For more information about these facilities, you can write directly to the State Conservation Commission, East Seventh & Court Streets, Des Moines, Iowa.
Or you might want to visit scenic Northeast Iowa (they call it Little Switzerland) to see the world-famous clock collection at Spillville. Hand carved by the Bily Brothers in the old world tradition, the clocks are something to behold. And while you are in Spillville, you could stop by and visit the home where Dvorak wrote his New World Symphony.
Or perhaps you would like to visit West Branch, Iowa where Herbert Hoover lies buried on a quiet hillside. On a 28-acre park designated a National Historic Site, stands Hoover's birthplace, as well as the Presidential Library with its collection of papers and mementos.
If your tastes run to antiques, we'd be glad to start you on your way to some of Iowa's 200 antique shops--there are 15 or 20 right here in Des Moines.
Or would you prefer to journey down to Southeastern Iowa to the village of Bentonsport on the Keosauqua River? All 50 residents of the community will welcome you to this sleepy little town that was a ghost town only a few years back. Now Bentonsport is partially restored, and you can visit its turn-of -the -century country store and buy all manner of candy and foods. You can also tour the old riverboat inn that has been restored in the Victorian manner. It's a charming bit of Iowa's past that you won't want to miss.
Iowa is also the home of the Maytag Company and there are John Deere and DuPont plants here. A few miles southwest of Des Moines are the beautiful covered bridges of Madison County. And while we are on the subject of Madison County--it is here that the original Delicious apple tree was raised and can still be seen.
Of course, Iowa is probably most famous for its livestock and its corn--field after field--acre after acre--the corn crop stretches away on every side. Iowa has 1/3 of the Grade A farm land in the entire United States.
We hope to make this the most enjoyable and finest NFB convention you have ever experienced. Come early and stay late--we are looking forward to your visit.
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"Iowa's Marvelous Ken Jernigan"--so ran the headlines in bold print on the editorial page of the Des Moines Register of March 14, 1968. The same paper on March 12 printed a large picture and description of Kenneth Jernigan receiving the citation from President Lyndon B. Johnson presented by Harold Russell, Chairman of the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped. And on March 11, the day of the presentation honoring Jernigan, the Des Moines Tribune printed a long article about the award, the presentation and the remarks of Mr. Russell concerning Kenneth Jernigan and his achievements.
And indeed, March 11 was a banner day for the blind of Iowa and the nation. Some 300 persons including Governor Harold Hughes, Mayor Thomas Urban of Des Moines, other elected officials from both parties on state and local levels, the social and civic leaders of the state, and representatives of rehabilitation and education agencies gathered at a luncheon at the Iowa Commission for the Blind Building in Des Moines on that day to recognize and honor the great achievements brought about by their distinguished fellow Iowan in ten short years. They were to find that his accomplishments and his dynamic leadership had earned the special recognition of President Johnson. The press, TV and radio coverage of the event was all-inclusive.
"If a person must be blind, it is better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation or in the world." With this quote Mr. Russell began the delivery of a stirring and enthusiastic description of Mr. Jernigan's accomplishments as director of the most meaningful and productive rehabilitation agency for the blind anywhere in the world. Russell emphasized what changes Jernigan had brought about in Iowa since his appointment as Director of the Commission in 1958.
"Ten years ago," Russell said, "the blind of Iowa had no library services of their own whatsoever;. . . Today Iowa has the largest library for the blind anywhere in the world--. . .
"Ten years ago Iowa held the negative distinction of placing dead last among the states in the vocational rehabilitation of its blind residents. . , Today the rehabilitation programs of the Iowa Commission for the Blind are unsurpassed anywhere. ..."
Russell also pointed out that ten years ago Iowa had no training facility for its adult blind and that now it has an Orientation and Adjustment Center which helps to instill confidence in its students and promotes an entirely new and positive philosophy of blindness which promises to revolutionize rehabilitation concepts. He mentioned that whereas ten years ago the Iowa Commission for the Blind was housed in three small offices it now utilizes a seven story building. Russell noted that from an atmosphere and environment of defeat in 1957, programs for the blind in Iowa have come to have a unified purpose featured in "programs of rehabilitation, library services, vending stands and business enterprises, orientation and adjustment, social services, and numerous other ongoing activities."
The story of the Iowa Commission for the Blind in the past ten years is unquestionably a very dramatic one, and Russell remarked that the story could really be told "simply and directly in a name: that of Kenneth Jernigan--. ..." Mr. Russell concluded his remarks by saying:
"The implications of this model state program of services, not just for the blind but for all disadvantaged people of our nation and of the world, are so momentous that the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, has expressed his personal desire to give recognition and support to the Iowa Commission for the Blind and to its Director."
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Remarks by Harold Russell, Chairman, President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped
Delivered at Luncheon Honoring Kenneth Jernigan in Des Moines, Iowa
March 11, 1968
"If a person must be blind, it is better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation or in the world."
These recent words by an official of the National Federation of the Blind sum up a remarkable story of institutional rebirth and transformation within the space of one decade. It is the story of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and more pertinently of its Director, Kenneth Jernigan.
That narrative is much more than a success story. It is the story of high aspiration magnificently accomplished--of an impossible dream become reality. Let me be specific.
Ten years ago the blind people of Iowa had no library services of their own whatsoever; in order to receive Braille materials or talking books they had to rely upon the meager resources of a neighboring state. Today Iowa has the largest library for the blind anywhere in the world--greater even than that of the National Library of Congress--one universally recognized as the model for the rest of the states and for other countries as well.
Ten years ago Iowa held the negative distinction of placing dead last among the states in the vocational rehabilitation of its blind residents. In 1957 only a handful of blind persons were even claimed as rehabilitated. Today the rehabilitation programs of the Iowa Commission are unsurpassed anywhere--again, a mark for the rest of the nation and the world to shoot at.
Ten years ago Iowa had no training facility whatever for its adult blind, no place where the newly blind could receive encouragement and instruction. Today the Iowa Orientation and Adjustment Center instills confidence and builds hope as a matter of daily routine. It serves as a base for the circulation of new and affirmative ways of thought about blind- ness which are beginning to penetrate the social fabric of the land.
Ten years ago Iowa's program for the blind was housed in three small and dingy rooms in a dilapidated building. Today the Iowa Commission for the Blind occupies all the floors of a modern seven-story building, filling every room with vital productive enterprise--the trademark of the Commission and the heartbeat of its activity.
Ten years ago there was virtually no program at all for the blind in this state--only scattered effort in a climate of defeat. Today the programs of rehabilitation, library services, vending stands and business enterprises, orientation and adjustment, social services, and numerous other ongoing activities of the Iowa Commission mesh together in a smoothly-functioning, well-coordinated totality.
How has this astonishing transformation come about? The answer may be given simply and directly in a name: that of Kenneth Jernigan--who came to Iowa exactly ten years ago to take charge of the state's programs for the blind, and who has raised them from a condition of near-bankruptcy to their present status of national preeminence.
Totally blind himself since childhood, Kenneth Jernigan was already familiar with the stumbling-blocks which society has always placed in the path of the blind--the superstitions and stereotypes which interpret sightlessness as helplessness and which equate lack of sight with lack of sense. He has defied them ever since his graduation from high school in Tennessee, when he first went to work as manager of a furniture store for which he not only operated the business but made all of the furniture as well.
Throughout his subsequent college days, Mr. Jernigan was active in campus affairs, winning election to class office and to various student organizations. In 1948, at the eleven-state Southeastern Conference of Pi Kappa Delta, he won first prize in original oratory and extemporaneous speaking. A year after his graduation from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Jernigan was awarded a Master's degree in English from Peabody College of Nashville; and while at Peabody he was a staff writer with the school paper, co-founder of an independent literary magazine, and member of the Writers' Club. In 1949 he received the Captain Charles W. Browne Award, presented by the American Foundation for the Blind each year to the nation's outstanding blind student.
Following his collegiate career, Kenneth Jernigan was for four years a teacher of English with the Tennessee School for the Blind. He then joined the faculty of the California Orientation Center for the Adult Blind, where he remained for five years before accepting the challenge of the Iowa Commission directorship in 1958.
Two weeks after his arrival in Iowa, the new director gave his first report to the members of the Commission and to the Governor. The note he struck was one of utter candor: "The performance and morale of the agency," he said in part, "are at an unbelievably low level. ... It is no exaggeration to describe the present situation as desperate. The blind of the state are receiving practically no services at all, and they cannot receive any unless there is a complete reorganization of the Commission."
Two weeks later, Director Jernigan wrote as follows to the Governor of Iowa and the Executive Council: "Presently the Commission is accomplishing virtually nothing. . . . If the current situation cannot be improved, the state would do better to spend its money on some more productive program, for it is largely wasting what it is spending on the Commission for the Blind now. With only a little more money and with energetic leadership the Commission can very soon be quite different from what it is today. The present Director believes that he can provide such leadership and is willing to stake his entire future career on that belief. If funds can be found to meet the physical needs of the Commission, . . and if the Director does not produce concrete results in a reasonably short period of time, then he is perfectly willing to be dismissed as Director. In fact . . . he would not wish it any other way."
Kenneth Jernigan was not dismissed. The Governor and the legislature of Iowa-as they have consistently done every year since--endorsed the Director's appeal and moved to meet the physical and financial needs of the revitalized Commission. What is even more significant is that the elective officials of the state also endorsed the new and vastly different philosophy of blindness which Kenneth Jernigan imported into his programs. The difference in that philosophy has made all the difference to the large numbers of blind men and women who have since passed through the training and orientation services of this great Des Moines center. Here are a few examples of how that philosophy has worked:
Within one year after Mr. Jernigan's arrival, the Commission had rehabilitated more than twice as many persons as in the year previous--and virtually all of these were placed in competitive open-industry jobs, as opposed to sheltered employment. One of these rehabilitants became the first blind teacher ever hired in a regular public school classroom in the state. Another became the first blind executive in the history of a major national industrial firm.
The momentum of that first innovative year continued without slackening in the years that followed. Within a typical period of several months in 1965, for example, one graduate of the Iowa Orientation Center and of the state university found employment as an electrical engineer; another Center graduate was employed as a computer programmer; still another secured a position as a telephone operator, and yet another as a newspaper reporter. These people, along with rapidly growing numbers of other blind Iowans, are now making their way in the world as self- supporting citizens, paying taxes and drawing no public assistance.
The measure of Kenneth Jernigan's achievement in his agency position is reflected in the fact that as early as 1960 he received the Newel Perry Award of the National Federation of the Blind, given annually to the person judged to have made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the blind. In 1967 he was presented with the Francis Joseph Campbell Award by the American Library Association in recognition of outstanding contributions to the improvement of library services for the blind.
The widespread interest and attention which the Iowa Commission has received around the world, as well as at home, is graphically revealed by the fact that, in 1964 alone, representatives from no less than 12 foreign nations came to the United States for the express purpose of studying the programs of this model state commission, and similar visits have been made in each year following.
Other states have also been sending their representatives to Iowa in order to learn the secret of the Commission's success. In 1965, Nevada established a new set of programs for the blind under guidance of the Iowa Commission; in 1966, both Massachusetts and South Carolina separated their services for the blind from the welfare departments and established independent commissions on the Iowa model. In 1967 Idaho repeated the formula, and hired a graduate of the Iowa Center as Director. Also in 1967 West Virginia sent its agency director to Iowa to study ways of revising its programs for the blind, California, New York and Kentucky have also sought assistance from Mr. Jernigan and his staff in the development of their state programs.
The spirit of progress has been reinforced by an attitude of courage and refusal to compromise with the independence and quality of the Commission' s program. Just last year, for instance, when it seemed that the Iowa Commission might be submerged within a large catch-all department of government, Director Jernigan spoke out forthrightly. "It would be an irony, indeed," he said in a report to the legislature, "if the other states in the nation (recognizing the advantage and value of the Iowa structure) should establish commissions for the blind modeled on the Iowa pattern just as Iowa was moving backward to adopt what they were becoming progressive enough to abandon. . . . We believe that in reorganization of government changes should be made selectively. . .and that the integrity of efficient programs should not be compromised in the name of so-called improvement--politically attractive and dramatic though this may be. Otherwise what starts as trash burning may end as arson."
It is just such straightforward statements and actions as these which have made possible what one national official has called "the miracle of Des Moines."
The implications of this model state program of services, not just for the blind but for all disadvantaged people of our nation and of the world, are so momentous that the President of the United States, Lyndon B.
Johnson, has expressed his personal desire to give recognition and support to the Iowa Commission for the Blind and to its Director.
Accordingly it gives me great pleasure to present to you, Kenneth Jernigan, on behalf of the President of the United States, this special Presidential Award in recognition of your precedent-setting performance in widening the horizons and advancing the well-being of the blind people of Iowa and the nation.
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(Reprinted from the Oakland Sunday Tribune, March 24, 1968)
Wilbur J. Cohen, President Johnson's nominee to be Welfare Secretary, raised the possibility of tying the nation's welfare system to Some form of payroll tax to bridge American disdain about handouts. . . .
At 54, Cohen can look back over a career of helping to mould these multibillion-dollar programs, starting in 1934 as a researcher for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Commission on Economic Security.
Most heads of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, after being selected largely for political reasons, restrict their comments to generalities, particularly prior to Senate confirmation.
Cohen's intellectualism has become tempered with political reality. His intimate dealings with Congress on landmark legislation have given him. . . the art of getting things done.
Here are his views on welfare:
"We're going to change the welfare system, but it isn't going to be done overnight. "Cohen is a member of a presidential commission studying such controversial proposals as a guaranteed wage or a "negative" income tax for welfare cases.
"This is the crux of the issue: Why. . . should I pay some 35-year-old guy with a wife and two kids to sit on his front porch? You don't mind paying welfare to a 75-year-old disabled guy.
"But it's American--the American-Protestant ethic--to be against giving money for doing nothing. I don't think it is a case of money today--it is the psychological barrier.
"Now, we don't have this feeling about social security. That's because you pay for it through payroll taxes--you're getting something you pay for. Maybe we could expand social security to cover part of welfare and pay more payroll taxes --both the employer and employee.
"We're going to spend $10 billion a year on welfare anyway. So it may be just a matter of how you want to pay for it. Let each generation decide what it wants to pay for its responsibility. "
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by C.A. Walhof
On February 10th, the blind college students of Idaho met in Pocatello, Idaho and formed The University Federation of the Blind. There were fourteen persons present, ten of whom are presently college students. A constitution was adopted that had been patterned after the NFB Student Division Constitution.
Officers elected were: President, Charles Walhof, a senior majoring in Social Science at Boise College; Vice-President, Linda Edwards, a junior majoring in Speech Therapy at Idaho State University; and Elsie Hazeltine, Secretary, a junior majoring in Elementary Education at Boise College.
Further business included a talk by Mr. Kenneth Hopkins, Executive Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, and a brief outline of national legislation by Jan Omvig, who is a home teacher for the Idaho Commission. Financial projects were discussed to raise funds for the students for National Convention expenses.
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(Reprinted from Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 4, Number 10, March 11, 1968)
President Johnson announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. Augustus A. Riemondy, USAF, to be a member of the Committee on Purchases of Blind-Made Products. The Committee was established under authority of the Wagner-O'Day Act of June 25, 1938. The purpose is to provide employment opportunity for visually handicapped workers by making the Federal Government a customer of nonprofitmaking agencies which operate workshops for employment of blind workers.
Membership of the Committee includes representatives of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Defense Supply Agency, the General Services Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior. It also includes a private citizen member. Conferees to the Committee include representatives of the Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, Labor, and Justice.
The program established by the act currently includes more than 60 nonprofit agencies for the blind, comprising 7 workshops in which blind workers are employed. These workshops employed nearly 5,000 blind workers in the fiscal year 1965 and paid them a total of over $6,997,000 in wages.
Brigadier General Riemondy is Director of Supply and Services, Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters United States Air Force. He is a native of Pennsylvania.
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by Effie Alley
(Reprinted from Chicago's American, Feb. 29, 1968)
In the future the blind may see and the deaf may hear through direct stimulation of the brain by means of permanently implanted electrodes, a Northwestern university professor predicted.
Prof. Wendell S.J. Kreig said a light-sensitive cell such as the electric eyes which open doors could be held in the hand or worn on the head to flash patterned signals over wires to the brain's visual centers.
The wires carried through tiny holes drilled in the skull would connect with the permanently implanted electrodes.
K an H-shaped group of light spots were flashed on the apparatus, the blind person would probably see an H in his mind, the researcher said.
By sending a series of letters, words could be transmitted appearing to the blind like news flash signs displayed on billboards. By adjustments in the system he might also be able to see images of things about him, somewhat resembling a coarse-grained half-tone picture.
Also by special wiring in the home, the blind person would be able to "see" the position of doors, windows and other objects, thus getting around quickly and easily.
Similarly, sound waves could be converted into an electric current to stimulate the brain's hearing centers to enable the deaf to hear, Kreig told a physician audience at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
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Letter from Bairu Tafia
Dear Dr. tenBroek:
I am sorry that I have not been able to keep in touch with you for the last six months. Now that I am through with most of my courses, I promise to write you as often as possible. I also hope to see you before I leave for home in September.
I have recently received some information about the blind in Ethiopia which I thought would be of interest to the IFB as well as the NFB. Five out of the six blind students who sat for the university entrance examination in Addis Ababa passed it successfully and are now enrolled at the Haile Selassie I University. The number of blind university enrollees has, therefore, risen to nine. The two students who completed their studies at the School of Law (and about whom I mentioned a little in my speech) are now doing their internship at the high court at the capital. Enclosed herewith is also a piece of information from one of the daily newspapers about the prospective expansion of the blind school located in the vicinity of Addis Ababa.
Would it be possible for you to send the BRAILLE MONITOR to the university students regularly? I am sure they will be delighted to receive this marvelous publication.
A release from the Ethiopian Embassy informs us that His Imperial Majesty visited the Haile Selassie I Merha Ewourran School for the Blind at Sabata and approved a new expansion project which is to start shortly and will cost Eth. $850,000, The project will include a multi-purpose hall, construction of a teachers' training school, two dormitories, expansion of the existing workshop, construction of a new gymnasium and a chapel. At present the school has 117 students and will be able to accommodate 60 more upon completion of the new project.
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(Reprinted from the Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1968)
DUESSELDORF, Germany--Their fingers passed over the projecting contours. After a moment of bewilderment, there was a smile of recognition v/hen they "saw" the object before them: A vase of flowers, a mountain peak shrouded in clouds, and the figure of a woman.
The visitors, mostly elderly people, had come from throughout Germany to "see" the first exhibit of paintings for the sightless.
Staged by the North Rhine Association of the Blind, it is an attempt "to open up a field heretofore reserved for sighted people," said Heinz Keil, chairman of the exhibit.
"After literature, music, and plastic art, painting, too, which seemed an insurmountable obstacle, is now accessible to the blind," he said.
Of the 56,000 sightless in West Germany, 8,000 live in the North Rhine area.
The 37 relief pictures on display in the cultural center, Die Bruecke, were done by Max Bucherer, 84, a Swiss artist, who used such materials as sack cloth, plaster of paris, twine, wire, and nails to produce a plastic effect.
In a self portrait, Bucherer used a walnut for the nose and twine for the rims of his glasses.
All of his works are in color. This, it was explained, is for the benefit of those not born blind and still remembering colors.
Bucherer was inspired by two blind women who visited his workshop near Ascona two years ago. When he saw them touching his plastic paintings to "see" what they portrayed, he conceived the idea of making a display especially for the sightless.
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by Jean Scott Neel
The time will come when the blind reader will expect illustrations with his reading material just as today's sighted reader expects pictures.
There are those who will argue that the blind cannot relate the shape of a real object to its shape when it is more or less flattened on a page in the form of a raised illustration. Our experiences at the Twin Vision Publishing Division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind has been quite to the contrary.
In 1961 we embarked upon a program of research on raised illustrations. The research continues, but meanwhile the result has been "The Shape of Things" series --original books written especially for blind children. The great adventure for the young readers of these books is the enlargement of their experience through the raised illustrations the books contain. We have received countless letters from readers of our "Shape of Things" books asking for more of this kind of illustrated material.
The success of "The Shape of Things" series can be attributed to the careful application of a number of principles that have evolved from our research program. Probably the most important thing we have learned is that the material must be tested on the blind people themselves for whom it is intended--if it is for young children, it must be tested on young children; if it is for retarded children, it must be tested on retarded children, and so on.
One of the pitfalls here is that a way must be found to determine whether a child (or whoever) really understands an illustration when he says he does. Sometimes these children are so anxious to say the thing that will please that one is fooled. To help us with this problem we obtained the assistance of a professor of psychology at one of the local universities. We also consult with educators of blind children.
A blind person must learn to understand a raised illustration, just as he must learn braille. You can't just hand him an unexplained illustration and expect him to know what it is about. For this reason each illustration is always accompanied with at least a brief braille explanation. Because the blind child is so entranced with the illustration itself, we place the braille explanation above it--thus as he reads from the top of the page down, he encounters the braille first; if placed beneath the illustration, the chance is that it will never be read. Even with such explanations it cannot be presumed that a blind child, who has had so little illustrative material in his experience, can always be expected to understand an illustration without some guidance from his teacher or parent--just as he wouldn't be expected to learn algebra or geometry without a helping hand.
As to the illustrations themselves, the most important thing to keep in mind is that they are for blind people. They are not an artistic endeavor to be appreciated by the sighted. Every unnecessary line must be eliminated- the more lines there are, the more confusing the illustration will be to the blind person. It is necessary to show the blind reader what is there- no more, no less. The illustration should not be cute or clever or arty. If an animal, for example, has four legs, the blind person will look for four legs, and expects to find them where four legs usually are found. A giraffe kicking one leg into the air at a strange angle, which may look cute or clever to a sighted person, only confuses a blind person.
Placement of the illustration on the page is important. Assuming that there is braille text (in addition to an explanatory caption) applicable to each illustration, such text should be adjacent to the illustration, so that the blind reader can examine the illustration conveniently as he reads the text. He should not have to turn the pages back and forth to read braille, then examine the accompanying illustration. We find that our readers are so intrigued with the illustrations that it is often difficult to get them to read the text at all. This is a difficulty which should solve itself as illustrations become more widespread.
Abstract or impressionistic illustrations should be avoided. Perhaps an example will help explain this. We once illustrated a carrot. Now a carrot top is a lot of work to illustrate, so we fell back on an "impressionistic" carrot top--a kind of wide, curved blade. Blind persons examining the illustration said, "That doesn't look like a carrot top." The only answer is to produce an illustration of a carrot top that really resembles a carrot top! This is not to say that illustrations must be photographic--they should be accurate, but as simplified as possible without destroying the basic form. In other words, it is not acceptable to imply that a carrot has a top resembling a wide blade of grass.
Size is another important factor. When an illustration becomes larger than the reader can cover with a single hand, we have found that he becomes "lost." Of course it isn't always possible to adhere to this criterion, but it is desirable.
Finally, attention must be paid to small details that might confuse the blind reader. For example, we are now preparing an illustration of the Liberty Bell which will be included in our braille publication of the Constitution of the United States, a part of our Great Documents Series. We must take care that the clapper of the bell does not fall in line with the crack in the bell. If it did, the blind reader might think there was some connection between the clapper and the crack. Such small details are very important.
Perhaps the most heartwarming reactions to raised illustrations have come from retarded children. Here are two examples.
We prepared a simple book called "The Shape of Things--Round" for retarded children at a local school. We had been told that these children were incapable of learning braille. Nevertheless, above each illustration we placed a braille caption. The children were so intrigued--and the incentive being present--that the school began to teach them braille.
In another instance, some raised illustrations were shown to a blind retarded teen-aged boy at a state hospital. He was not--contrary to our view that no blind person should be exposed to an illustration without explanation--given any explanation of what the illustrations were. He was simply asked, "What do you think these are?" Surprisingly, he thought the illustration of a plate was a doughnut, a spoon was an all-day sucker, a glass was a holster--and a cup he recognized immediately. If you think about the relative shapes of these objects, you will see how close he came. And this, mind you, was a retarded boy.
We feel that the field of raised illustrations is limitless, and so far barely touched. The time is indeed at hand for blind readers to demand illustrated reading material. Techniques and equipment for producing such illustrations are available. Every organization working to provide reading material for the blind should expand into the field of illustrations.
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(Reprinted from the Berkeley Gazette, March 23, 1968)
An intermittent boycott of dining room food at the California School for the Blind is over according to Superintendent Everett Wilcox.
Low-keyed complaints over variety in menus and combinations of foods were heard at the school, Dr. Wilcox said.
"They had some good suggestions to make, mostly about shifting combinations and adding variety to the menu," he said. "Some wanted to pour their own syrup on pancakes instead of having it poured for them, " he said. "Another girl suggested diced ham with the scrambled eggs."
He said the complaints stemmed from "boredom with the regular menus," understandable, he added, because of the necessity to serve food cooked in large quantities.
Dr. Wilcox said a corallary problem results when variety foods are introduced to students not familiar with them. "For instance giving a kid a crab salad or avocado salad when he may never have tasted them before," Dr. Wilcox said.
He said about 15 students, mostly junior high school age, met with school staff and the State Dept. of Health nutritionist on the staff. "I hope the problem is solved," Wilcox said.
Enrollment at the campus includes 144 students from kindergarten through high school. The older students attend classes during the day at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland.
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by Loren Schmitt
In the spring of 1966 a qualified blind student applied to the College of Education of the University of Iowa for permission to fulfill her student-teaching requirement. Under most circumstances such an application would be subject only to routine examination. However, in this case officials of the College of Education deemed it necessary to question the applicant--who was Susan Willoughby--at great length concerning her ability to perform competently the routine duties of an elementary teacher. After further consideration and discussion with the organized blind, Miss Willoughby was granted permission to student teach.
In the fall of 1966 another qualified blind student--Judy Young--applied for admission to the College of Education. Judy was also required to appear before a special committee where she was interrogated intensively about common tasks which are successfully being performed by numerous blind teachers throughout the country. After this hearing, the University Association of the Blind intervened with a letter to the editor of the local paper charging the College of Education with unusual and discriminatory treatment. The letter was followed by an article in the university newspaper also protesting the intensive screening process. Very shortly thereafter, the Education Department gave Judy a verbal acceptance of her application and she was told that this would be formally confirmed by mail within a few days. However, two months later she still had not received the acceptance.
Two letters were then sent to the Dean of Education at the university. The first was a personal request from Judy asking that either an acceptance or a reason for the lengthy delay be sent immediately. The second letter was from the University Association of the Blind requesting a statement of policy regarding blind applicants to the College of Education.
Dean Jones' reply to the letter of the University Association illustrates unequivocally his views concerning the ability of blind persons. "Blind students possessing the requisite grade point average and personal characteristics which seem likely to predict teacher success are encouraged to enter teaching in many fields in high school. . . .It is extremely difficult for a person totally lacking visual acuity to succeed in elementary teaching in an undepartmentalized setting. Placement as a teacher's aide, however, is possible.
"Lack of visual acuity can be a handicap in teaching. . . . Often there can be compensation for a lack of visual acuity, and many fields of teaching can be opened to those not fully sighted."
On January 17, 1967, Judy received a letter of formal acceptance from Dean Jones. In this letter he clearly avoided making any statements that might indicate a change of policy on the part of the College of Education concerning blind applicants.
It was subsequently observed that the education department at the University of Iowa had no monopoly on prejudice. Other blind students were experiencing similar difficulties with education departments at colleges throughout the state. Therefore, last fall, the University Association of the Blind sought to enlist the support of one segment of organized educators within the state, the Iowa State Education Association. An attempt by our organization to obtain time on the program of the ISEA convention was unsuccessful. We then prepared a resolution to be introduced at district meetings of the Delegate Assembly, political arm of ISEA, A severely limited form of the resolution was passed by the central district of the Delegate Assembly. The resolution also was passed in its entirety by the East Central District. The resolution called for the support of the ISEA in efforts to obtain the employment of blind persons in the teaching profession on equal terms with the sighted.
One of the provisions of the resolution passed by the district assemblies was that time be allotted at the next Delegate Assembly meeting for representatives of the organised blind to present their case. Much time and effort was required to persuade ISEA officials to permit us a place on the program. Initially, we thought that half an hour would be time enough in which to properly elaborate our position on this matter. Later, we decided that ten minutes might be sufficient. However, the ISEA official informed us of our good fortune in being given five minutes on their program.
On February 2, Jim Gashel addressed the ISEA Delegate Assembly. He expressed preference for the resolution as it was passed by the East Central District and this resolution was approved. Jim's address was favorably received, and if their comments were indicative of their feelings, the ISEA delegates were impressed.
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I wish to begin by expressing the thanks of all the members of the University Association of the Blind to you and your officers for giving us this opportunity to present our resolution and our views. This action is encouraging to us because it offers a ray of hope to blind persons who desire to benefit themselves and the community by teaching. Your willingness to hear us is doubly encouraging because too often our voice is not allowed to be heard and our views are rejected out of hand. Thankfully this will not be the case in the teaching profession, and I appreciate it, and so do the blind of Iowa.
For the past ten years, the blind of this state and the nation have witnessed a steady expansion of the employment opportunities due to the dynamic force of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and its director, Mr. Kenneth Jernigan. At this moment, blind men and women are working as telephone operators, secretaries, machinists, managers of large cafeterias, and other fields too numerous to mention. Yet, two years ago, the University Association of the Blind learned, through a statewide survey, that there were no blind teachers working in the public schools of Iowa even though there were and still are over 100 blind teachers employed on all levels in the public schools of California.
In one sense, our interest in this regrettable situation is sociological. As blind persons, we react strongly when we learn that the blind are being excluded from an important and popular profession--whether the exclusion is intentional or unintentional. We deplore the existence of social discrimination, and like other groups, we seek to end it through securing appropriate legislation and through changing discriminatory attitudes. In the 1967 legislature, the blind won acceptance of a bill, one provision of which makes it illegal to deny a blind person a teaching position because of his blindness. During the past few years, the blind of Iowa have worked closely with the Iowa Lions and other civic organizations in an attempt to destroy the historic stereotype of the helpless and incompetent blind man. Today we are replacing that image with the enlightened view that the blind are contributors to society rather than burdens upon it.
In another sense, our interest is quite immediate. The members of our organization are students, and several are planning to teach. At least one of our members (also a student member of ISEA) will student- teach in the spring and get her degree. Others of our group, including me, expect to do so in a year. In a few months, several of us will be looking for jobs --hopefully we will get them. In all, over one-third of our membership consists of students who plan to teach, and there is every
reason to believe that this proportion will increase if we are successful.
Our objective here it twofold: First, we wish the endorsement of our resolution calling for the employment of the blind on an equal basis with the sighted; and second, we want to create an atmosphere of understanding between blind persons and sighted educators. The first aim has already been met by law but has yet to be accepted in the hearts and minds of far too many teachers and administrators--your support is needed. Our second goal is also still a dream and probably will not be real for some time. The main responsibility here lies with us and our demonstration of competence in the classroom. But our success or failure also depends on you. If you and other sighted teachers believe that the blind are unfit for the teaching profession, the profession will likely be unfit for the blind. If on the other hand, you accept us as equals and co-workers in a cause, we are much more likely to succeed to the mutual benefit of us all--including our students. We think the latter will occur.
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ISEA CENTRAL DISTRICT RESOLUTION ADVOCATING EMPLOYMENT OF THE BLIND IN THE TEACHING PROFESSION
Be it resolved that the ISEA shall urge school superintendents and other responsible school officials to re-examine their positions respecting the employment of blind and/or handicapped teachers and to adopt a more liberal and enlightened policy; and
Be it further resolved that the ISEA take appropriate steps to facilitate admittance of blind and/or handicapped persons into colleges and schools of education throughout the State; and
Be it further resolved, that the ISEA pledges itself to cooperate fully with organizations and agencies seeking to promote entrance of the blind and/or handicapped into the teaching profession; and
Be it further resolved that the Central District of the ISEA recommends that time be allotted at the next ISEA Delegate Assembly so that representatives of the blind and/or handicapped may present their case publicly.
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Kenneth Jernigan, the National Federation's peripatetic first vice-president and roving ambassador, traveled to the farthest outpost of federationism during February for a two-week inspection tour of Hawaii's programs and prospects at the invitation of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind.
Immediately upon his arrival via the S.S. Lurline on February 2, accompanied by his wife Anna Katherine, the NFB leader was taken in tow by Warren Toyama, president of the newly-formed Hawaii affiliate, who had arranged a packed itinerary of meetings and inspections of the island state's major facilities and services for the blind--beginning with a productive luncheon session with local federationists to discuss national Organizational matters and to help plan the forthcoming state convention (see the report on the convention in the March 1968 MONITOR).
On February 5, a guided tour of special education programs for blind public school students--conducted by Mrs. Tsuruyo Shimizu and Mrs. Chinn--took Mr. Jernigan and Warren Toyama to two Honolulu schools where they held a spirited discussion with an alert and well-trained group of youngsters ranging from seventh to twelfth -grade levels.
Somewhat less impressive was a visit the same day to the school for the blind at Diamond Head, where an unexpectedly small number of students (only a dozen in the care of two teachers) are undergoing schooling One problem noted by the visitors was that the state school accommodates both blind and deaf students (a pattern largely terminated in other states), with the deaf pupils much in the majority thus diminishing the attention given to the needs of the smaller group of blind youngsters. Another problem is that the school, while residential in character, is nonresidential in fact for all but two or three of the blind students. Fusao Uchiyama, administrator of special schools and programs, disclosed in discussion that the number of blind students has been steadily declining, except for the multiply handicapped--raising the possibility either that the school for the blind may be phased out of existence or, alternately, that more intensive case -finding efforts should be undertaken to determine whether numbers of blind children remain undetected.
A more constructive feature of the school program, according to Mr. Jernigan, is the efficient coordination of the Diamond Head facility and the public schools under direction of the state Department of Education.
An hour's visit on the same day was devoted to inspection of the state library for the blind in Waikiki, ably directed by Miss Hideko Shimakawa. Both braille and talking books are available for blind readers in comparatively modest numbers, although the service is complicated by the fact that talking book machines are distributed through a separate public agency- -the rehabilitation center.
Probably the most instructive tour of many taken by the Federation vice president was a trip to the state rehabilitation center known to islanders as "Ho'o Pono". The tour was conducted by Mrs. Elizabeth Morrison, administrator of vocational rehabilitation services, and Mrs. Yasuko Takemoto, rehabilitation services coordinator.
Much of the difficulty encountered by the rehabilitation agency was seen to stem from the fact that, in the reshuffling of government departments following the advent of statehood for Hawaii in 1959, services for the blind were placed under the department of social services--specifically, within its division of rehabilitation. The result has been a general fragmentation and submergence of the needs of the blind beneath the weight of a host of general programs geared to others of the physically handicapped.
One of the primary aims of the newly-formed Hawaii Federation of the Blind, accordingly, is likely to be that of separating programs for the blind and giving them some kind of identity and independence--if not in the form of a commission for the blind, then perhaps along lines of a separate division within the rehabilitation agency.
A more immediate problem involved in the organization of rehabilitation services to the blind is that the rehabilitation center and the state's sheltered workshop both function together in the same quarters; hence "the smell of broom corn" permeates the atmosphere in which the blind clients receive vocational training and prevocational guidance. Moreover, the training center is nonresidential--a fact which runs counter to the experience of Iowa, California, and other states affirming the desirability of the clients' residing in the center for the duration of their training.
These difficulties are apparently about to be compounded through the construction of a new wing to the present building, which will include services to the nonblind and unfortunately extend the role of sheltered shop employment, Mr. Jernigan learned.
Having covered the institutional "waterfront" in the space of one day, the NFB vice president shifted gears the following morning in order to meet twice with members of two Lions Club dens. At noon he addressed the downtown Honolulu den--including Hawaii Governor John Burns, an active member who was in attendance on the theme of self-organization by the blind, both nationally and in Hawaii.
In the evening, Mr. Jernigan addressed a lively dinner meeting of the Kuhio Lions Club (of whom Warren Toyama, Hawaii Federation prexy, is a member). Warmed up by an excellent Chinese dinner and a gift of fresh pineapples, the national federationists spoke for more than an hour at the request of the group on the model programs of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. This particular den of Lions turned out to be a highly interested and alert club, already well-educated by Warren Toya ma on the needs and capacities of the blind.
During the first few days of his stay in the islands, Mr. Jernigan was interviewed at length by both Honolulu daily newspapers and appeared on a popular noonday TV show which was widely viewed in the state. One incidental result of his television exposure was a meeting with the well-known Des Moines philanthropist and friend of the disabled, Mr. A. H. Blank and Mrs. Blank, who were visiting the islands.
On another happy occasion which combined pleasure with the serious business of spreading federationism, the national vice president joined fifteen blind college students, mainly University of Hawaii undergraduates, along with local federation members, in a special dinner followed by long and lively discussion of the growing role of college students within the organized blind movement.
Without attempting to cite all of the encounters of the NFB leader with blind persons and officials over the two -week period, at least one additional session should be mentioned: namely, a fruitful meeting with Dr. Hatsuko Kawahara, director of all special education programs for the State Department of Education, and Dr. Harold Kozuma, consultant on services to the blind.
Among the leading spirits of the Hawaii Federation who stood out during the successful state convention and at other times--besides the Hawaiians' resourceful and dedicated president, Warren Toyama--were Roger Dinwiddie, vice president, a highly energetic emigre from Missouri; Valerie Lloyd, whose successful struggles to break into the field of social work have made her keenly aware of the values of organization by the blind; Julia Shimabukuro, one of a very few blind persons to teach in the state's public schools; Maxine Tyau, the gracious treasurer of the Hawaii affiliate; and Toshiyuki Takano, a business associate of Warren Toyama's, who acted generously and cheerfully as program arranger, photographer and "hospitality chairman" through much of the fortnight.
During their Honolulu stay, Mr. and Mrs. Jernigan were the house guests of Professor Floyd Matson, former Berkeley associate of Professor Jacobus tenBroek and now at the University of Hawaii. Between tours and speeches, guest and host worked together on a variety of Federation tasks, including a comprehensive history of the National Federation which Professor Matson is presently preparing,
A memorable tropical interlude--the latest chapter in the peregrinations and perabulations of a vice president--came to a close on Saturday, February 17, with a lei-bedecked and orchestrated farewell aboard the S. S. Lurline. At shipside were many of those in the Hawaii movement whom the Jernigans had met during their visit; and the heartfelt shouts of "aloha" on both sides symbolized the spirit of enthusiasm, solidarity, and hospitality which had marked the entire two weeks.
It is hoped that more "mainland" federationists will have an opportunity to witness the spirit of this newest contingent at the Des Moines convention come July--for quite a few of the Hawaii gang, besides official delegate Warren Toyama, are planning to enliven the proceedings with their ukuleles and "aloha spirit. " Bon voyage!
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by Ralph Blumenthal
(Reprinted from The New York Times, March 10, 1968)
HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN, Vt.--Chris Pepple feels but never sees the wide snowy slopes he conquers on skis. The 17-year -old youth has been blind since birth.
Often he skis with Roy Abrams, a bearded 31-year-old electronics technician who has an artificial right leg and left arm.
Their ski instructor, Jim Gardner, knows what his pupils are up against. He is an amputee.
"Naturally," said Chris, a student at a school for the blind in Hartford, "I had never given any thought to skiing. But now it's one thing to look forward to."
To understand Chris' difficulties, the ski school director, Brue Gavett, and his assistant, Mickey Ryder, blindfolded themselves and tried to ski down the beginners' slope.
"It was terrifying, " Ryder recalls.
About the same time, Gardner, a Massachusetts highway inspector, came here with the idea of starting a ski program for the handicapped, A rugged, 45-year-old wartime paratrooper who lost his right leg in an industrial accident in 1954, Jim had a long period of bitterness before a doctor helped him find the strength to deal with his handicap.
He started taking skiing lessons only three years ago. Applying lessons learned in his case, Gardner adapted ski techniques and equipment to fit the situation of each handicapped pupil.
Chris wears a special wireless headset through which a nearby instructor broadcasts turning directions, or is followed closely by Sue Gould, a 20-year-old instructor and Boston University student majoring in therapy. As he snowplows down the hills, she calls out such directions as : "Ice on your left. . . you're heading for the trees. . . turn right. . . turn left."
Gardner makes a point of not coddling his pupils because, he says, he knows how dangerous feeling sorry for one's self can be. When his pupils make mistakes, he scolds them as any instructor might.
"You panicked again!" he shouted recently at Abrams when he fell.
"I didn't panic," Abrams protested, "I slipped."
"Sure, sure," Jim shot back. "You panicked."
The weekend program has expanded to include six blind students, three amputees, three poliomyelitis victims, three deaf mutes and several cerebral palsy victims, all of whom get free equipment, lift tickets and instruction and, in some cases, free or reduced-rate accommodations.
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By Ed Spannaus
(Reprinted from GAIN, January 1968)
[The following article has been prepared by Ed Spannaus, a recent graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work. Mr. Spannaus is concerned v/ith revising the tax system within a socialist framework, and presents a guaranteed income proposal as one facet of this scheme. Note: Articles and excerpts printed in GAIN do not necessarily represent the opinions of its Editors or the MONITOR.]
In the past year or so there has been much discussion of the guaranteed income. Proposals have come from various and assorted liberals and radicals in social work, in academia, and in government. A second thrust for the guaranteed income has come from the developing movement of welfare recipients, particularly from the leadership of these groups.
However, the advocates of the guaranteed annual income and the leadership of the welfare rights movement have not taken up the question of "who pays?" that is, where is the money coming from? To date, no proposals have been put forth which say that the guaranteed income should be financed elsewhere than from the general revenues. This means that any concessions that are won (if they can in fact be won at all) will be won at the expense of wage-earners, who will see in this the threat of increased taxes and thus reduced real wages.
The most likely prospect, though, is that no form of a guaranteed income will be instituted. This is because of the current situation of the financial and corporate circles behind the government. U.S. financial circles are faced with a developing international investment and monetary-crisis, as a result of twenty years of post-war credit over-expansion. The domestic manifestations of this take the form of inflation and the need to depress real wages and wage equivalents. Rising taxes, "wage-price guidelines" and cut-backs in domestic spending are properly seen in this context; these processes would continue with or without the Vietnam War. If this is the prospect for the coming period, as we believe it is, can we expect any sort of guaranteed income to be granted?
In this article I will first discuss some of the assumptions of many advocates of the guaranteed income. Then I will discuss our view of the U.S. economy and what needs to be done with it. Finally, I will present an alternative proposal for the guaranteed income--a universal guaranteed minimum wage, financed by a business--paid tax.
"Redistribution of the Wealth"? Many proponents of the guaranteed annual income base their proposal on the assumption that the U.S. economy is an economy of abundance and over production, and suggest that the problem is the redistribution of the national wealth. Some would go so far as to argue that the connection between jobs and income is now obsolete, since automation and cybernation are supposed to be eliminating the need for productive workers.
Just how "over-productive" is the U.S. economy? A simple look around us should show us that the economy isn't even beginning to meet the needs of its own people, much less the needs of the world's people, two-thirds of whom, are hungry. With the productive plant operating at 90% of capacity, 35 million Americans are still in poverty by the government's own standards, and that many again are just barely out of "poverty." Our cities are in a deplorable state of decay; our productive plant is in large part obsolete and deteriorated.
Clearly, the problem of the U.S. economy is not over-production. Rather, the economy is characterized by waste, stagnation, and obsolescence. For instance, since 1957, the number of productive workers has declined as a percentage of the labor force. This is not because of a declining need for productive workers, but because of the expansion of employment into the corporate and government bureaucracies. Investment has tended to go into marketing and advertising, into expanding bureaucracies, and into speculative investment at home and abroad.
The wages of such non-productive workers ultimately- must come out of the wealth produced by the productive sector of the economy. The growth of non-productive workers is expressed as the declining productivity of the labor force as a whole, and increases the social cost of everything produced. (Were the U.S. economy rationally re-organized and waste eliminated, we could halve the social cost of everything produced, and thus double the standard of living.)
Socialist Re-industrialization. Any serious attack on the problems of poverty, education, and urban rot would necessarily involve a reindustrialization of the U.S. economy. This would require a reallocation of labor to rebuild our cities, to modernize and automate our transportation system, and almost completely redevelop our productive plant so as to utilize up-to-date production methods and techniques. The tasks are to upgrade labor generally, and to create more productive jobs and more wealth at an expanding rate. This is what is required to meet the needs of our people. Re-distribution of the wealth at this point just means redistribution of the poverty.
Under an economy organized according to capitalist property forms, the owners of capital invest where they can realize the highest rate of return, not where investment is socially needed. Thus, the investor class prefers to invest in mining in Bolivia or South Africa, or in real estate speculation in New York City, rather than in replacing obsolete means of production or in creating more useful jobs.
(What about the "problem" of automation? Automation does not necessarily mean fewer jobs. It can mean fewer hours of labor, hence more leisure time, cheaper commodities, and a higher standard of living. This, of course, depends on how those who own the means of production use automation--to enrich themselves or to benefit society as a whole.)
To redirect investment from speculation and waste into job-creation obviously is not going to be easy. The capital-owning class will fight to maintain its "freedom" to invest in and exploit South Africa or Latin America as opposed to investing in productive jobs at home. But it is essentially for those of us who are struggling for social change to recognize that such a re-arrangement of priorities is the essential basis for a serious attack on the problems of poverty and urban decay. In the long run we shall have to build a political movement based on such programs.
(This is not to suggest an isolationist attitude. The point is that the current mode of investment in the underdeveloped countries is neither in their interest or ours. The net export of capital from Latin America, for example, means that these countries are bled of their material means of existence, economic growth and development. These countries can only develop if their socially-produced wealth stays in their countries and is reinvested.)
Meanwhile, our short-run demands, programs and strategies must be formed within such a perspective. This is not to argue against reforms: although we should accept whatever we can get, we must have the courage and foresight to demand what we and our constituencies need. We propose the following alternate plan for guaranteed income maintenance as a step in this direction.
An Al ternate Proposal. As an alternative to the current guaranteed annual income proposals, we would propose a universal guaranteed minimum wage . This would be paid to all employable persons and heads of families. For persons who are employable but not employed because of a lack of available jobs, this would take the form of unemployment compensation. For those who are outside the labor force because of being unemployable (i.e. mothers, the disabled, the aged, etc.), this would take the form of a guaranteed income. The latter two forms would replace public welfare programs.
What constitutes an adequate level of payment? We must first of all ask what is required to produce and maintain a productive worker with the level of skill (productivity) necessary in this age of automation. The "poverty level" of $3, 000 per year is woefully inadequate to provide the necessary standard of living for today's--and tomorrow's--workers.
If we assume that what one consumes (his standard of living) determines by-and-large what he can produce, then as our society requires more productive, highly skilled workers, we must correspondingly provide a higher standard of living so that families can raise children who will be employable. This standard of living includes adequate, comfortable living space, modern home appliances, study space for children, leisure-time activities, a car in most areas, and so forth.
Therefore, we should demand:
(1) a minimum wage/income of $7,000 per year as the absolute minimum necessary for a family in the atomic age;
(2) a "cost-of-living" escalator provision for all wage-earners and recipients, to keep pace with the cost of living;
(3) free higher education;
(4) free comprehensive medical care.
Financing: Who Pays? We suggested above that question of financing is crucial to any guaranteed income scheme. As socialists, we reject the notion of wages being taxed (hence diminished) to provide revenue for this or any other program. We view wages as a right, the means by which working people provide themselves and their families with their essential material means of existence. Actually, wages of up to $15,000 per year For a family and $7,000 for an individual represent the necessary minimum for a decent standard of living and education in urban areas. For a family this includes the ability to provide children with a college education plus,
which is what will be necessary for today's children to productively contribute to tomorrow's society.
As an alternative to taxing wages, we propose an employer-paid tax. This tax would apply to all corporations, and all other firms subject to present federal employment taxes. (This is in addition to the elimination of such corporate tax loopholes as capital gains and the 27.5% oil depletion allowances.)
The employer-paid tax would be computed on the basis of capital turnover. Those employers with the highest pates of capital turnover with the least real investment (in plant and equipment) would be taxed at the highest rates. Thus the tax would fall heaviest on those with the least investment in productive employment, such as advertising, banks, sales, finance institutions, etc.
(The tax ratio is:
(value added--operatives wages) depreciated fixed investment
"Value added" equals gross sales less the cost of materials and power. "Operatives" do not include executives, administrative and other clerical personnel, and sales personnel. "Depreciated fixed investment" is investment in plant and equipment. This highest ratios--high income and low real investment--would be taxed at the highest rate on a graduated scale.)
Why tax profits instead of wages? Gross profits originating in production, trade, and services, represent the "investment fund" that an advanced industrial society has to improve itself and to provide socially-beneficial services. This is the only source of funds that we have for improving the society without cutting into wages. And it is a more than adequate source.
This tax is based on our assumption that those who own the means of production (money capital or productive plant) have the social responsibility to provide employment for all members of the society. For if they fail to do so, no one else can, except the government. The employer with the highest rate of capital turnover has it within his power to provide jobs. If he chooses to invest his capital elsewhere, let him pay for that privilege.
Such a taxing scheme has two overall objectives: (1) to encourage the production of real wealth (producer and consumer goods), and thus to increase the rate of real economic growth, and (2) to encourage the creation of more productive jobs.
Conclusion . The program which we propose, then, consists of the following:
(1) A guaranteed universal minimum wage of $7,000 for all employable persons, financed by an employer-paid tax.
(2) An equivalent guaranteed income for all unemployable persons.
(3) A cost-of-living provision included in the above.
(4) Free higher education and medical care.
(5) No taxes (sales or income) on incomes up to $7,000 per individual, or $15,000 per family.
A program of this type represents the only realistic approach to the problems of poverty, income maintenance, and the need to abolish our atrocious welfare system. Furthermore, it provides the basis for coalition among sections of the working population. Instead of pitting welfare recipient against worker, "middle-class" workers against the poor, black against white, we must seek to unite these groups to fight for their common interests.
We cannot win what we need by relying on liberals in the government. What is required is the development of an independent political movement. Such a movement, if it is to be a mass movement, can only be built on the basis of programs which are mutually advantageous to all wage-earners and the poor--programs which express their common interests against the interests of the corporate and financial class.
Such a movement of course cannot be built only by welfare recipients. But those active in the welfare rights movement can point out the direction for others.
Many will argue that such a program and strategy are unrealistic. But we should compare this program with those advocated by most guaranteed income supporters. In a period of declining domestic spending by the government, which program and strategy has the potential to build a movement capable of winning?
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(Reprinted from the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Feb. 29, 1968)
PITTSBURGH--Norma Claypool, an unmarried teacher, has an adopted three-year-old daughter, Patti Elaine, a little laughing blonde. Both are blind.
A year ago, when the child came to live permanently with her new family, she had a vocabulary of three words. She crawled with hesitation at an age when other children walk.
But a year of love has wrought an amazing change. The youngster now runs like a tomboy and jabbers incessantly.
"She'll crawl into my lap and say 'Hug me tight, Mommie. Kiss me.' She's a very warm little girl. I can't imagine what it would be like not having her in the house," says Miss Claypool.
She met Patti Elaine in her job as a teacher of handicapped children. After having the child in her home for two brief vacations she decided she would try to adopt her.
Miss Claypool said the procedure went without undue trouble. "As far as I know, " she added, "this is the first time a single woman has been permitted to adopt a child in Pennsylvania."
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by The Blind Workers Guild of California Executive Board
On January 9, 1968, the Department of Rehabilitation issued their "Policy of The California Industries for the Blind."
As of February 1, 1968, the blind and handicapped workers of California Industries for the Blind were branded "clients" of the Department of Rehabilitation of the State of California.
This presumptive act is not only in violation of the laws of the state, but sheer defiance of legislative intent. It is the desire, the duty and the intention of "We the people" so aggrieved to challenge, to contest and to expose this violation, and it is incumbent upon responsible state officials to properly interpret and vigorously enforce the laws.
According to Section 18707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the blind and handicapped workers of California Industries for the Blind are employees of the State of California. Now the Dept. of Rehab is trying to lessen the dignity of the workers by branding them "clients. "
We think that the potential and true purpose of rehabilitation is a grand and coveted concept. Wonderful it is to transform lives from uselessness, frustration and limitation into vital meaningful productiveness, creditable, not only to the recipients, but to society as well. We see it's flowering and fruition in Iowa. Iowa went from the bottom of the roster of states to the top within ten years, while the Dept. of Rehab of California lags far behind, and at present, is wasting time in spiteful retaliatory actions against the workers of CIB because they went out on strike. Their actions are not only cruel and heartless but vitiating to the rehabilitation ideal.
In the L.03 Angeles center of CIB we are frequently and vindictively reminded, "You people went out on strike. Now you can deliver and hew to the line."
Why did we go out on strike? Time and time again representatives of CIB, Union Local 411, and the California Council of the Blind have met with the officials of Rehab and pleaded for more wages for the underpaid workers of CIB. Each time before the legislative committees, the officials of Rehab would argue that there is not enough money in the coffer, or they are not state employees, they are getting what they earn. But the real shock came in midseason 1967. The California Council of the Blind prepared a bill asking for a 4.9% increase in pay for the CIB workers, the same as the Civil Service employees at CIB were getting. The bill-- introduced in the legislature--passed both houses and was sent to the Governor's desk for his signature. It was vetoed. Later, attending a meeting in Los Angeles, the then victorious Rehab officials brazenly boasted that they had asked the Governor not to sign that bill. We were stunned.
The morning of Nov. 1, 1967 with picket signs and tapping canes, the blind and handicapped workers of the three CIB shops took to the streets. Our strike lasted six days. The only agreement we reached with Rehab was our threefold demands of $6.00 towards a health insurance; $.10 increase on hourly wages and 5% increase on piece rates. (After the concilliators adjustments, many of the piece rate jobs were so grossly underrated in the L. A. center, the raise was much more than five percent.) Our third demand was for sick leave. We get one half a day a month or six days a year.
The other claim by Rehab, that we agreed to become a rehabilitation facility, is an unconcionable, unmitigated misrepresentation of the truth.
For years the Dept. of Rehab has been satisfied with its preconception that the blind and handicapped workers of CIB are virtually hopeless. Now galvanized into action by the smell of federal funds, everyone from nine to ninety is to be rehabilitated and put out in private industry. To give impetus to this gigantic miracle. Rehab passed out applications on Feb. 2, 1968. We quote from management's staff: "If the clients do not fill out these applications and sign them in a reasonable period of time, the fur is going to fly." Our questions are: Who's fur? And who is going to make it fly?
In their desperate effort at fortifying their own little hierarchy, the Dept. of Rehab has lost heart and concern for the blind and handicapped worker. They say that they want to make shop facilities and personnel just short of a panacea for the blind and handicapped. They say they want them to be well paid and as many as possible take their places in the taxpaying community--saying all of this while trying to grab the shops from us. Their words and their acts are at variance.
In other fields they send out their non-professional professionals, who have no knowledge of blindness or any other handicap, and apparently have no feeling or rapport for such people as being of the homo sapien species.
Their crass and reckless professionalism is wreaking havoc with the Orientation Center. They have intimidated many of the Business Enterprise vending stand operators. Their meddlesome approach with the home teacher counselors is causing considerable dissatisfaction. These people have taken their places in the tax-paying community and are giving meaningful service to their fellowman. Why are they being harassed by Rehab?
Now on the mandate from Rehab to CIB workers we become "clients' of Rehab "or else." We say to Rehab, "Charity begins at home and then spreads abroad." There are many Rehab employees in as great a need of rehabilitation as the so-called "clients."
Let's examine the local levels for a moment. You have some in management not fitted or suited for their positions. A prime requisite for personnel leadership is the ability to get along with other people. We do not mean a condescending tolerance. Nor the pseudo-charm displayed when visitors are present. We do not mean the bullying, finger -shaking rages some workers are subjected to. We mean genuine concern for people and for the welfare of people. This is sorely lacking among the Rehab personnel in the CIB shops. Now picture this for a bit of compassion: a handicapped worker called to the office to be terminated, on bended knees tearfully begging for a job, a smug and pompous management looked on, savoring every humiliating moment until their sick souls were satiated. The worker was sent home. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? But it happened. Another multiply handicapped worker, unable to work as fast as the others, was terminated with this from management, "We have to have production." The only outlet for this person was his job at CIB. Wasn't the shop set up for the blind and handicapped? But Rehab is so anxious to get their little comedy of Instant Rehabilitation started--where a trainee is brought in the shop, stays a few weeks or months until the subsidy for the training is received, then the trainee suddenly becomes worrisome or unsuited for the work and is sent home or back to his counselors.
It would be far better to place trainees in private industry for on-the-job training or in trade schools with experienced and competent instructors, rather than to build up their hopes and then discourage them.
We have those in management who are ever reminding us of the huge sums they could be making in private industry and of the great sacrifice they made in coming to CIB to help the poor blind and handicapped but we say, "To private industry, betake yourselves." They have taken their posts in CIB under Civil Service protection and guarantee of a kind of semi -retirement. But all we want is guaranteed work, under suitable working conditions, with decent pay and respectable treatment.
They talk liberally around here about federal funds. It seems that the name rehabilitation is the magnet that is attracting large sums from the Federal Government, branding all of the CIB workers "clients", and automatically placing a dollar value upon them. The administration is well aware of the fact that it will be difficult to place the majority of the totally blind. Many are from 40 on and are in declining health, and so, management is using such things as "they cannot work eight hours every day" or "they are too sickly" to terminate them.
The CIB shops are but one section of one division of the Rehab pyramid. Assuredly the majority of the workers are disgusted with broken agreements and unprofessional professionalism. Still, the Rehab hierarchy moves relentlessly on, fashioning for itself a would-be kingdom, all persuasive and all pervasive.
But wait. "Rehabilitators", "Professionals" gird and polish your armor, shine your shields, temper your spears. This contest is in earnest. General Fosche has given us our battle cry somewhat to this effect: "Our left is in retreat; our center is in confusion; our right is in route; our position is excellent: We shall attack."
The Executive Board of the Blind Workers Guild
Howard Porter, President Barney Ginsberg, Vice President Eduall Milner, Shop Steward Juanita Bey, Secretary
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(Reprinted from The Springfield Union, March 8, 1968)
An 81-year-old blind man living at the Springfield Jewish Home for the Aged will donate his $25 first prize for a winning essay to the home's building fund campaign.
Esaakaiy Litvinoff won for a story entitled "Living With the Aged," to appear in "Dialogue," a magazine for the blind, home officials said.
Litvinoff's essay is the second of his writings to win a literary prize. In 1966 he won first prize for a fiction story entitled, "The White Pants."
Litvinoff said he is looking forward to a successful completion of the home's building fund campaign which began last November and donated his prize money to help this goal.
"This is a most unusual gesture and points up the deep affection the residents of the home have for it and their desire to join the thousands of others who are dedicated to building a new home for the aged," Werner, administrator of the home, said.
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by Sally Jones
Instructor, Orientation Center for the Blind, Albany, California
As short a time as twenty-five years ago, the topic of blind teachers in the public schools would have been of little or no interest to educators. Such concepts as prejudice against the handicapped, the stereotype of blindness, the "blind image," the unconscious fear of blindness in every individual would have been enough to deter the most courageous and progressive of administrators from hiring a blind teacher, even if one had been certificated.
While it is true that these concepts, in many areas, still exist today, there are many blind teachers who have been and are being hired in the public schools--a fact which lends great importance to this topic and shows how many of the problems faced by blind teachers have been overcome during the last twenty-five years.
California provides a good example of this dramatic change and leads the nation in the employment of blind teachers in the public schools.1 The latest survey conducted to determine the grade level and location of the visually handicapped teachers in the state shows a total of seventy-five teachers, half of whom are totally blind or have no more than light perception.2 Teaching assignments range from kindergarten through college level. Twenty-seven blind teachers, fifteen of whom are totally blind, are teaching sighted students on the elementary and secondary levels; nineteen are teaching exceptional children (blind, mentally retarded and/or other handicapped) in the public schools; two are consultants in special education; one is teaching blind and/or mentally retarded children in a private school; nine blind teachers are at the residential school for the blind in Berkeley, one of whom is the principal; sixteen are at junior colleges, four-year colleges, or universities--some of these have the full rank of professor; one other fully-credentialed teacher is teaching English in a school for adults.
From this report one would assume that with the teacher shortage in California schools, the employment of thousands of out-of-state teachers3 and the hiring of 998 provisional teachers not yet fully credentialed,4 the fully credentialed blind teacher would have no problem in finding employment. But this is not so. Twenty-five years ago there were no blind teachers in California teaching on the elementary or secondary level in the public schools. There were two, or possibly three, teaching on the college or university level where state teaching credentials were not required.
There have been many road blocks to the employment of blind teachers in the public schools. Prior to 1945 the blind teacher in California was ineligible for a state teaching credential. At that time State Department of Education Form 41-C, Health Standards Required for Applicants for Credential Authorizing Public School Service in California stated, "Any of the defects may be considered reason for denying a candidate a credential. . . Eyes. . . vision in one eye should be better than 20/40 and without evidence of progressive loss of vision."
Behind this legal restriction, I believe, lies a more basic reason for the denial of teaching credentials to the blind. For thousands of years blindness has been considered one of the most severe of handicaps; the blind have been the object of ridicule or pity and excluded from the main stream of society. Unable to move about freely, unable to read and write, the blind individual took on the same attitude about himself as that held by the society in which he lived. The stereotype of blindness emerged. Gordon Allport, defines stereotype as "an exaggerated belief associated with a category. Its function is to justify (rationalize) our conduct in relation to that category. . . . The stereotype operates in such a way as to prevent differentiated thinking about the concept."5
It is understandable that blind persons of superior intellect would shun the workshops set up to employ the blind and try to carve out a niche for themselves where they really could be productive members of society. Intellect, coupled with initiative and drive, have been the forces that made it possible for these individuals to compete with their sighted counterparts on the college and university level. Some developed a strong desire to teach. They had already demonstrated their ability to organize and present subject matter; to move about on their own, be it with a sighted guide, a dog, or a cane; and to think for themselves. Occasionally they were able to obtain part-time work as teaching assistants or tutors and further demonstrated superior ability. Some were able to obtain teaching assignments in the universities where they were best known; others discovered that "A prophet is without honor in his own country" and roamed far and wide in search of employment. As one now well-established blind professor in a large university once remarked, "Name any college or university of any size in the United States and I will tell you that I have had an application on file in their office."
From this beginning other blind students became inspired by the success of the few and worked toward the same goal. Some have made it; some have not; but the number of employed blind teachers has steadily increased. In 1961 W. Alfred McCauley identified seventy-two colleges and universities in the United States which employed blind faculty members.6 Employed blind teachers on the college level in California have doubled since 1961. Other blind teachers have been educated in California and then accepted teaching assignments in other states. Teaching on the college level is one thing; teaching on the elementary or secondary level is something else.
Attitudes Toward Blind Teachers in California
First, the legal restrictions must be removed to make it possible for the blind student to meet all requirements of the State Department of Credentials. Obviously no blind student could pass the health test so long as one of its provisions was that "vision in one eye should be better than 20/40 and without progressive loss of vision."
In 1945 the blind themselves initiated and supported a bill that would strike out this requirement on the health form and the State Legislature amended Section 13124 of the Education Code to read: “No person otherwise qualified shall be denied the right to receive credentials from the State Board of Education on the grounds he is totally or partially blind."
School administrators, for the most part, are much more familiar with the provisions of the health form than they are with all the changes in the Education Code. In 1954 the San Francisco Superintendent of Schools, in answer to a questionnaire,7 "Is there any rule or regulation in your school district which forbids the employment of a blind person as a teacher?" answered, "No, but according to the health standards, the candidate would not qualify for a credential. . . . The Commission for Credentials has set up health standards that are required in connection with the granting of a teaching credential. The following statements are the requirement for eyes and vision."8 Form 41-C was enclosed. This answer came from the Superintendent of Schools for Sacramento County, "Yes, State Credential requirement."9
A more progressive superintendent at Riverside stated, "I will always insist on the very best teacher I can get for our boys and girls and if, in some instances, evidence would indicate that such a teacher is also blind, I would hire him most willingly. "10 A curriculum director in Northern California was a little more cautious when he said, "No--if there is evidence that blind teachers have succeeded in teaching classes of pupils with sight. I cannot answer the question without more information and knowledge of how this has worked if tried elsewhere. "11
The Blind in the Teaching Profession report (1954) goes on to say:
Almost twenty per cent of the county superintendents state categorically that the blind are not eligible for teaching credentials, and another five per cent indicate by their answers a similar ignorance of the law. Almost ten per cent of the city school districts are likewise definite in declaring the blind to be ineligible, and an additional ten per cent, while not saying so directly, indicate the same belief. Not one county or city superintendent in the entire state gives definite evidence of familiarity with the law.12
The same Form 41-C was still in use and unrevised in 1955. Even the State Department of Education was derelict in its duty when it continued to use Form 41-C for ten years after the law was changed. When the matter was brought to their attention by an organization of the blind, a promise was made to delete this section as soon as a new supply of forms was printed.13
In July, 1965, California's Governor signed into law SB 989, a bill to eliminate discrimination against the blind in teacher training, practice teaching, and the hiring of teachers by school personnel or boards of education.
No person otherwise qualified shall be denied the right to receive credentials from the State Board of Education, to receive training for the purpose of becoming a teacher, or to engage in practice teaching in any school, on the grounds he is totally blind; nor shall any school district refuse to engage a teacher on such grounds, provided that such blind teacher is able to carry out the duties of the position for which he applies in the school district.14
National Attitudes and Laws
Federal Law: Public Law 30, enacted March 10, 1949, states:
No teacher certificates shall be granted to any person who has not submitted, upon a blank furnished by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a certificate from a physician legally qualified to practice medicine in this Commonwealth or in any other state or in the district of Columbia, setting forth that said applicant is neither mentally nor physically disqualified. . .from successful performance of the duties of a teacher. . . or to any applicant who has a major physical disability or defect unless such person submits a certificate signed by an official of the college or university from which he was graduated or of an appropriate rehabilitation agency, certifying that in the opinion of such official the applicant, by his work and activities, demonstrated that he is sufficiently adjusted, trained and motivated to perform the duties of a teacher, notwithstanding his impediment.15
Seven years ago a study was conducted by two University of Florida professors to determine the legal aspects, policies, and practices affecting the employment of blind teachers in the United States.16
Questionnaires were sent to all fifty state superintendents. Modified questionnaires along the same line were sent to all state directors of agencies for the blind to help verify and expand the information received from the state superintendents. To the question, "Does your state have restrictive legislation regarding the certification and employment of blind teachers?" forty-five answered in the negative. California and New York not only answered in the negative, but stated emphatically (as part of the law) that a person must not be discriminated against or prohibited from employment because of blindness. Three states (Florida, Ohio, and Indiana) noted that "an incapacitating or impairing defect can be a restricting factor."17
An examination of some of the legislation affecting the certification of blind teachers in other states may have a bearing on the whole problem of blind teacher employment.
In 1960, at the request of the organized blind of the state, Section 3004 of the New York Education Code was amended to include the provision:
No such regulations shall hereafter prohibit, prevent or disqualify any person, who is otherwise qualified, from competing, participating and registering for such an examination nor from obtaining a teacher's certificate or from qualifying for a position as a teacher solely by reason of his or her blindness, nor shall any person who is otherwise qualified be denied enrollment in any teacher training, which provides for certification as a teacher in an institution which conducts classes for blind students, solely by reason of his or her blindness.18
In 1963, the New York City Board of Education turned down the request of a well-qualified teacher for certification to teach in the New York City Schools on the grounds that "defective vision" would prevent him from performing the tasks of a teacher. Section 3004 of the Education Code did not apply to them, they contended, since it curtailed only the power of the State Commissioner of Education who was authorized to set up minimum qualifications for teachers in the public schools of the state; that Section 2573 of the Education Law19 provides that additional or higher qualifications may be prescribed for teachers by the New York City Board of Education and that Section 2554 gave them the exclusive right to determine qualifications for teachers in the New York City school system.
Believing that the grounds for rejection were illegal, and supported by the agencies of the blind of greater New York, the blind teacher brought suit against the New York City Board of Education charging that the discrimination against him because of blindness was in violation of the 1960 provisions of Section 3004 of the Education Law.20 Arguments in support of his position were:21
Petitioner, by order to show cause in this article 78 proceeding, contending he successfully completed all the required examinations, seeks an order directing respondents (1) to certify him eligible for appointment as a regular teacher of vocal music in the city's junior high schools, (2) to grant him a license as a regular teacher for this subject, and (3) to place his name on the list of such eligibles, all of which petitioner further contends respondents have denied him, solely by reason of his blindness. (Said petitioner is duly certified by the commission for the blind of the state department of social welfare, pursuant to section 55, sub-division 3 of the Civil Service Law, as qualified to perform the duties of teacher of vocal music, even though he is classified as legally blind.
Respondents raise no issue as to petitioner's academic, professional and educational requirements. Further, they admit that petitioner has completed and received ratings of passing grade in the written, interview and performance tests. . . . Two members of the medical staff of the respondent board of education "found petitioner 'not fit' to give continuous and effective service as a teacher because of defective vision."22
Judge Frank J. Pino rendered the decision in favor of Chavich on August 21, 1964. He said in part:
Petitioner's application is replete with the expressions of an imposing array of authorities in the area of training and employment of blind persons, which substantiate present day confidence that blind persons can scientificall [sic] acquire required competence in many-fields of endeavor, and particularly in the teaching profession. Evidence is everywhere at hand, and is indeed convincing, that blindness does not necessarily constitute a bar to the ability of qualified and well-trained persons to perform satisfactorily as teachers in the public school system. There is no question therefore that the legislation is reasonable. The Legislature having thus spoken, its mandate must be followed. 23
The New York City Board of Education did not comply with this mandate and appealed the decision to the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division which reversed the decision by a three-to-two split on April 12, 1965. Judge Beldock wrote the opinion in which two other judges concurred. He said in part:
Subdivision 2 of section 2554 of the Education Law gives the New York City Board of Education the exclusive right to determine the qualifications for teachers in the New York City school system. That right is not curtailed by section 3004 of the Education Law, which in express language curtails only the power of the State Commissioner of Education. . . . However, subdivision 9 of section 2573 of the Education Law provides that the New York City Board of Education may prescribe additional or higher qualifications for persons employed as teachers.24
This decision was based on a point of law, but not in its entirety. "Blind" prejudice played an important role. Judge Beldock went on to say:25
(5) The State Commissioner of Education, who is charged with the administration of section 3004 of the Education Law, has interpreted the statute not to apply to teachers in the New York City Schools. In 1963 the Commissioner determined that a person not blind, but not possessing the extent of vision required by the New York City Board of Education, is not entitled to be licensed as a teacher (Matter of Bart, 2 Education Dept. Reports 512). The minority view would require the New York City Board of Education to license not only blind teachers, but also teachers not blind who do not possess the required vision. . . .
That the determination by the Board of Education with respect to vision requirements is reasonable is clear when the multitude of duties of a New York City junior high school teacher is considered, e.g., maintaining discipline in a class of approximately 30 children, aged 12 to 15; preventing them from fighting or from throwing pencils or erasers at each other (of which there have been many instances resulting in tort actions against the Board of Education, involving serious injury to pupils); marking roll books, examinations, or other written work; preventing cheating on examinations; writing on the blackboard; fire drills; going up and down stairs quickly in emergencies; use of textbooks; keeping the room clean; performing other administrative duties during nonteaching periods, etc.
Whether a blind teacher may satisfactorily perform classroom duties in a particular school may not be left for the determination of the school principal or other supervisory official, as the minority opinion suggests. The statute requires the Board of Examiners to determine whether an applicant has the ability to perform satisfactorily in the duties of a teacher. The Board of Education is concerned with the effective performance of duties by a teacher both inside and outside the classroom. Although my sympathies are with this petitioner because of his unfortunate affliction, it is my opinion that the refusal to certify petitioner as eligible for a teaching license was within the power of the Board of Examiners.26
In spite of this shattering blow to the hopes of blind teachers, progress in New York is being made. Since the enactment of the 1960 antidiscrimination legislation, "no less than eleven blind teachers have found employment in New York state elementary and high schools outside New New York, according to information furnished the Braille Monitor by Oscar Friedenshon, director of New York's State Commission for the Blind. Only one blind person teaching in the public schools was hired before the enactment of the legislation. In addition, 'there are fifty-three blind students currently attending college through our Vocational Rehabilitation Services whose objectives are teaching,'" Friedenshon said.27
With further legal recourse at an end, the blind teachers of New York did not accept, without question. Judge Beldock's opinion as final and turned their efforts toward the state legislature. With the assistance of organizations of and for the blind, they campaigned vigorously for passage of a law to amend the state's Education Code 3004 to make its provisions also applicable to New York City. The bill cleared both houses and was signed into law by the governor on March 14, 1967.28
A blind attorney and a member of the Massachusetts Legislature introduced a bill (I960) forbidding discrimination against blind teachers in his state. Pertinent portions of the law are:
The board of education, . . shall grant certificates upon application to teachers, principals, supervisors, directors, superintendents and assistant superintendents who furnish the board with satisfactory proof that they (1) are American Citizens, (2) are in good health. . . (3) are of sound moral character, (4) possess a bachelor's degree. . . or are graduates of a normal school approved by the board, (5) meet such requirements as to courses of study. . .as may be established and put into effect by said board; no applicant shall be disqualified because of his blindness. . . . No school committee shall refuse to elect and contract with a candidate for a teaching position because of such person's blindness.29
Blind teachers in Massachusetts still are finding it difficult to secure positions even in the colleges of the state, and interested persons in the state supported this legislation which was enacted in 1965.
An act relative to the Appointment of Teachers in the Universities and Colleges of the Commonwealth Who Are Blind. Be it enacted, etc., as follows. . .Section 19A. The appointing authority of the University of Massachusetts or of any college or other institution of higher learning of the commonwealth shall not refuse to elect and contract with a candidate for a teaching position because of the blindness of such candidate. Approved March 9, 1965. 30
In reply to the Thomason-Barrett questionnaire,31 Ohio State officials wrote:
Provisional certificates are issued to those who have completed the respective courses prescribed therefore by the state board of education in an institution approved by it for the type of preparation required. The proper administrative official of the institution is required to sign the following statement: "This is to certify that the above-named applicant, in addition to having satisfied all course requirements for the certificate indicated above, is a person of good moral character, free from disqualifying physical defects, and has demonstrated competence in: oral and written English, the field in which he is recommended for certification, and in the required professional laboratory experiences. "32
The Ohio statement of policy goes on to say:
In most cases persons with serious physical handicaps are denied admission to teacher education curricula, unless evidence is furnished that they are employable upon graduation. ... In some of these cases, individuals desire to teach in the public schools. Upon the written request of a school superintendent indicating his intention to employ such a person, a temporary certificate valid for one year is issued. If at the end of that period, the superintendent certifies that the teacher's services have been satisfactory and that the disability does not impair classroom teaching, a four-year provisional certificate is issued and from that time on the teacher follows the same certification routine as all other teachers. The sole purpose of this policy is to protect the physically handicapped by informing him in advance that opportunities for employment in the public schools are quite limited and that he or his sponsors should be reasonably certain of his employment, prior to investing time and money in preparation for very limited opportunities.33
According to the same report, "The employer (board of education or administrator) makes the appointments using his own standards. In practice, there are twelve or fifteen blind persons employed. As far as we can determine, all of those are individuals who lost their vision after first being employed as teachers. "34
The wording of Ohio's statement of policy is an almost insurmountable obstacle to the blind person who wants to teach. First, the student must overcome the objections of the officials of the institution of higher learning and convince them that it is possible for a blind person to teach (this, before his training program has begun), and in addition he must produce "evidence" of employability which could, I suppose, be a written statement from a superintendent that he would be willing to employ the applicant some four or five years hence, after training has been completed and he has passed all requirements of the State Credential Commission.
How many of us who are teaching today would be in the classroom if we had this obstacle to overcome?
Florida, in 1959. amended Section 231.17, Florida Statutes, to read:
To be eligible for a certificate to serve in an administrative or instructional capacity, the applicant. . . shall be free from malignant, communicable, or mental diseases, and from any physical illness, defect, or deformity which would impair or prevent the performance of duties, functions, or responsibilities of a teacher, and shall be of good moral character. ... 35
The same legislature further amended this section of the law to provide that the applicant ". . . shall be recommended for a teaching certificate by the institution of higher learning from which he was graduated."36
In the Florida Teacher Education Advisory Council Statement of Policy37 it is stated:
Strict adherence to the law by the institution, by the Certification Section of the State Department of Education, and by the State Board of Education promises the only resolution to this problem. Anything less than strict adherence to the law will break down the whole chain of selectivity in admission to the teacher education program, will cause confusion in the recommending process within the institution, and will frustrate the certification procedures in the State Department of Education. Beyond all this, the children in the classroom will bear the brunt of the handicapped teacher. 38
Following this line of reasoning, the Florida State Department of Education officials, in 1961, turned down a request for certification of a totally blind teacher on the grounds that blindness would prevent the applicant from performing effectively as an elementary teacher. The applicant appealed this decision to the State Cabinet, and its members directed the State Department to issue her a credential. That fall she began teaching fifth grade in an elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida. Five years later she was still teaching in the same school and was honored as Florida's Outstanding Blind Person of 1966. Her principal spoke highly of her saying, "Her students have a tremendous respect--respect, not pity, for her."39
The use of the word "brunt" in the Florida Teacher Education Advisory Council's statement of policy reveals, I think, the writer's feelings, perhaps horror, of blindness and promotes the concept that blindness is much more than the mere loss of vision.
The Association of Blind Students in Iowa, one-third of whom have chosen teaching as a career,40 is taking an active role in the attempt to eliminate discriminatory practices in the education and hiring of blind teachers. The students are backed by state law which prohibits discrimination in the hiring of the blind".
The blind, the partially blind and the physically disabled shall be employed in the state service, the service of the political subdivisions of the state, the public schools, and all other employment supported in whole or part by public funds, on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work required.41
The Iowa State Education Association passed a resolution advocating the employment of the blind in the teaching profession. The resolution read in part:
Be it resolved that the ISEA shall urge school superintendents and other responsible school officials to reexamine their positions respecting the employment of blind and/or handicapped teachers and to adopt a more liberal and enlightened policy; and
Be it further resolved that the ISEA shall take appropriate steps to facilitate admittance of blind and/ or handicapped persons into colleges and schools of education throughout the state.42
Indiana reports as follows:
The law states that an applicant for certification. . . shall present a certificate that such applicant is "able-bodied, not addicted to drugs or intemperate and free from tuberculosis or syphilis, " as required under Section 286, page 113, School Laws of 1932. Such certificate shall be procured from the physician on the staff or designated by the institute in which the applicant has just received the training on which he is applying for a certificate. 43
The Attorney General of Indiana defined "able-bodied" as "the absence of those palpable and visible defects which evidently incapacitate the person or deprive him or her of sufficient physical ability to perform the ordinary duties of a school teacher. "44
According to the Indiana Agency for the Blind, "no definite policy regarding the employment of blind teachers has been formulated, and in practice no teachers with this defect are employed. " However, "there are two legally blind persons teaching in Indiana public schools. Blind persons have found it to be practically impossible to get employment in the public schools even though they have certificates. For this reason colleges and universities in the state are reluctant to accept blind students for teacher training. However, they still accept a trainee now and then. "45
Seven years have passed since this report was written, and there seems to be little change in policy. The mother of a totally blind student in South Bend, Indiana, writes, "Alyce is a college sophomore, and hoping to declare her major soon in Elementary Education. . . . Her Department Head is not averse to working with her for a degree in elementary education but he feels that her future would be very uncertain and that it is a waste of talent and potential! She has maintained a 3.9 average thus far in college and in addition she has had many varied campus activities and they just think she should go into higher education if its education she wants. Alyce, however, has always tended toward younger children and has had quite a lot of varied experiences with them. . . last summer as an employee at the Children's Hospital for the retarded where she worked with a group of children for eight hours a day all summer. ... I don't believe this is an idealistic goal but something she really is convinced she wants to do."46
"The policy adopted in this state with regard to certification of blind teachers is to permit the state department to approve training qualifications of teachers for the special fields. The rest is the problem of the local school board district and is governed by the policy of the particular school district. "47
In October, 1967, a junior at Western Illinois University wrote, "There has never been a student receive his certification for teaching at this college" and that members of the Education Department "seem to constantly have doubts as to how a class would be handled in keeping order and discipline. "48
In 1959 the Pennsylvania Legislature took similar action to promote opportunities for blind teachers by signing into law HR 236, a bill to provide blind teachers with the certification needed to teach in secondary schools of sighted pupils. The teacher certification statute was amended to provide clearance of the blind applicant either by his college or by his rehabilitation agency. "49
(To be concluded in next month's MONITOR)
1 Proceedings of the Second Conference on Exchange of Ideas and Techniques for Blind Teachers and Student Teachers, Appendix A; a conference held on the University of Southern California campus, Los Angeles, California, December 2, 1961. Note: Of the one hundred twenty blind teachers identified in the above report, thrity-six were in California.
2 "The Road Ahead", Appendix A, Proceedings of the Eight Annual Conference of Blind Teachers , Los Angeles, California, December 2, 1967.
3 "Professionalism and the Blind Teacher," Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference of Blind Teachers , Hayward, California, December 3, 1966, p.l.
4 "998 Provisional Teachers Hired," Action, California Teachers Association, December 16, 1966, p. 1, A report of a speech by Dr. Paul Lawrence, Chief, Division of Higher Education, State Department of Education.
5 Gordon Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, p. 187.
6 W. Alfred McCauley, The Blind Person As A College Teacher, American Foundation for the Blind Publications, Vocational Series, No. 4, 1961.
7 Kenneth Jernigan, The Blind in the Teaching Profession, A Report of the Committee on Teacher Employment of the California Council of the Blind, February, 1955, p. 6.
8 Id at p. 7.
10 Id at p.10.
13 Id at p.7-8.
14 An Act to Amend Section 13125 of the Education Code relating to certificated personnel.
15 Public Law 30, Article XII, Section 1209, March 10, 1949.
16 Bruce Thomason and Albert M. Barrett, Opportunities for Blind Teachers in Public Schools . American Foundation for the Blind Publications, Vocational Series No. 5, October, 1961.
18 Laws of New York , 1960, Chapter 270, Section 1, 3004.
19 New York Education Code 2573, subdivision 9.
20 New York Education Code 2554, subdivision 2.
21 The New York Law Journal, August 21, 1964, Supreme Court, Kings County, New York, Chavich v. Board of Examiners of the Board of Education of the City of New York.
24 Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, Alexander Chavich v. The Board of Examiners of the Board of Education of the City of New York et al., entered September 2, 1964 in Kings County.
27 "The Chavich Case--Outlook for Blind Teachers", The Braille Monitor, August, 1965, p. 50.
28 "Blind Teacher Bill Signed by Governor Rockefeller", The Braille Monitor, April 1967, p. 208.
29 The Braille Monitor, June I960, p. 15.
30 Laws of Massachusetts Acts, 1965, Chapter 132.
31 Thomason and Barrett, Opportunities for Blind Teachers in Public Schools, p. 32.
34 Id. at p. 33.
35 Florida Laws, 1959, Section 231. 17, Education Code.
37 "Teacher Education Advisory Council, A Statement of Policy, " Clear- water, Florida, October 31, 1962. A copy of this statement was enclosed with a letter from Mr. J. T. Kelly, Executive Secretary of the Council, to Mr. R. L. Thompson, Tampa, Florida. Mr. Thompson was a member of the Legislative Sub-Committee on Hiring the Handicapped.
39 AL Erxbeben, Times-Union Education Editor, Lakeland, Florida, "Teacher Here to be Honored as Outstanding Blind Person, " from a reprint in the Florida White Cane Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 3, July, 1966.
40 James Gashel, "Statement to the Delegate Assembly of the Iowa State Education Association, " February 2, 1968.
41 Senate File 608, Section 2 of the 62nd General Assembly, State of Iowa.
42 ISEA Central District Resolution Advocating Employment of the Blind in the Teaching Profession, February, 1968.
43 Thomason and Barrett, Opportunities for Blind Teachers in Public Schools, p. 24.
45 Id. at p. 25.
46 Personal correspondence in file of author, October 27, 1966.
47 Opportunities for Blind Teachers in Public Schools, p. 23.
48 Personal correspondence, dated October 20, 1967.
49 The Braille Monitor, October 1959, p. 14.
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". . . 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 and its affiliates in the Middle Atlantic Region to promote the welfare of all blind persons everywhere. "These were the approved purposes of the Middle Atlantic Federation of Blind Students, organized March 2, 1968 in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.
Roger Petersen, First Vice President of the Student Division, NFB, and John Nagle, Chief of the Federation's Washington Office, explained the nature and goals of the National Federation of the Blind and its Student Division, and then answered questions.
A draft constitution was considered and adopted, and all 19 persons present joined the Middle Atlantic Federation of Blind Students.
Elections were held and the following persons were elected to office: Roger Petersen, President; Paul Flynn, First Vice President; John McCraw, Second Vice President; Nancy Petersen, Secretary; and Milton Branch, Treasurer.
Following floor consideration, it was determined the next meeting of the newly-formed blind student organization would be held on October 13, at the Holiday Inn in Baltimore, Maryland, immediately upon the adjournment of the second annual convention of the Free State Federation of the Blind.
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(Reprinted from the Springfield Union, February 8, 1968)
WESTOVER AFB--A 47-year-old Hartford, Conn, man, a former Coast Guard pilot who was blinded in a 1964 auto crash, received altitude chamber certification here to become what is believed the first visually handicapped person in the world to achieve such rating.
CWO Seymour Wolfe, deputy commander of the West Hartford Civil Air Patrol Squadron, for the first time since World War II, once again qualifies for high altitude flights aboard military aircraft.
As pilot of various amphibious airships during the war he had passed an altitude chamber test in 1942 and by 1946 had logged 3600 hours of flying time. . . .
Wolfe, married and the father of two children, has been active in the CAP for about two years and also serves as information officer and recruiting officer. . . .
Wolfe's pilot "refresher course" at Westover began with morning classes along with 23 other officers and senior enlisted men from the military for a series of lectures on atmospheric conditions at high altitudes; hypoxia, or the lack of sufficient oxygen, and the use of oxygen equipment. While a number of visual aids were involved, Wolfe reported he had no difficulty in understanding the lessons.
Second stage of the course involved a stint in the altitude chamber, a cast-iron shell about seven feet in diameter and fitted with thick glass portholes. Inside, trainees are seated along the walls and can be observed by instructors outside or contacted through an audio linkup. The chamber, which can simulate flight conditions at altitudes of up to 43,000 feet, is the only one in Western New England.
Wolfe disclosed that initially he was worried he might react rapidly and more severely to changes in the atmospheric pressure during the 45-minute test because his other senses had become more acute since his blindness. Inside the chamber the "students" donned oxygen masks which were to be discarded at a command in order to test reactions to hypoxia.
The other students were given clipboards and pencils to take written tests since visual distortion and inability to respond to orders are symptoms of insufficient oxygen. Wolfe, however, was placed behind the control stick of a mechanically controlled model airplane.
The former pilot was given instructions to take off his oxygen mask and make the model ship "dive, " "bank left, " "bank right, " "nose-up" and go through a series of other basic maneuvers. In about a minute and a half it became impossible for him to follow commands. Observers said he had succumbed to hypoxia and he was told to replace his oxygen mask.
Following testing Wolfe said that he had experienced "a chill" during the test and had felt light-headed and a feeling of euphoria. Instructors said his symptoms were no different than those of any of the other "students" but Wolfe had felt sensations more acutely. He was given full high altitude flight rating.
Wolfe said the rating will prove invaluable in continuing his CAP work. Recruiting emphasis will be on youth but backing for the organization is being sought in all quarters.
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(Reprinted from The Braille Cardinal, Feb. 1968)
The Kentucky Enterprises for the Blind has been making great progress in the stand program since they secured services of Bob Lawrence to direct it. Bob is a hard worker and will leave no stones unturned to secure a good stand for a blind person.
The program made a big step forward in 1966 when the extensive automation was used in stands in Covington. Later, Toleman Griffin and Robert Whitehead automated their business enterprises in the Kentucky Baptist Seminary and in the Sneed Building in Louisville. On January 16, 1968, Harold Reagan and Glenn Shoulders began to automate their stands after rejoining the State Program last year. Reagan is very enthusiastic about automation.
The Randolf-Shepard Vending Stand Program has been providing employment opportunities for blind Americans in over twenty-five hundred locations, across the country, for more than thirty years. A few years ago, the rapid advance in the complexity of vending machines hung like a dark cloud over vending locations attended by the blind. Highly sophisticated equipment, serving from soup to ice cream, loomed as a distinct threat to the installation of additional Randolf-Shepard Vending Stands. Subsequent pilot programs in Washington, with the help of grants from the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, are adapting the Vending Stand Program to advances in automation. The feasibility of new full line, versatile and attractive automatic snack bars, operated by the blind, is demonstrated in Washington by ultra-modern stands in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Housing Authority, Tariff Department Commission, Federal Aviation Agency and the Navy Yards.
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by Harold Rowley
Ever since its formation in 1966, the Battle Creek Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the Michigan Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind, has been seeking for new and more original methods of raising funds --methods which would stimulate its own members to work and capture the imagination of the public. Sales? Lotteries?
No, the membership was looking for something that would upgrade fund raising.
Then John Postma came through with an idea at the June 1967 meeting. John, an insurance broker, who is trying to form a national association of blind insurance brokers, suggested that the Council sponsor the Kalamazoo Male Chorus in a concert to be held in Battle Creek, John's daughter's father-in-law is president of the 50-voice chorus, so John had gathered much information which he gave to the group.
This sounded like a great idea. But instantly many questions arose. So many in fact that the Council saw that it would be all but impossible to handle the project on its own. Why not call in another organization for assistance and give them some of the proceeds?
The Cereal City Lions was the Council's choice as a cooperating organization, and Irving Wright was the choice of the Council membership to be the one to sell the idea to the Lions.
When voluble, affable Irv, a darkroom technician in a Battle Creek hospital, first approached the Lions they invited him to their regular Wednesday evening meeting so they could question him further on the subject.
Meanwhile, the Council members kept their fingers crossed and speculated. But Irv reported back that the Lions were all for it--eager, in fact, to cooperate right up to the hilt. Irv had been instructed to offer the Lions a share in the net earnings of the concert; but, nope, the Lions didn't want anything.
So the project was on in earnest. Even with the massive help given by the Lions, the Council still found there was a tremendous amount of work to do.
A hall was rented in a jurior high school: cost--forty dollars. Tickets and programs were printed: $156. 00. The date set for the concert was Feb. 28, 1968, perhaps an unfortunate one since it was also Ash Wednesday when many churches begin Lenten services.
All members of the Council began selling tickets shortly after Christmas; and some, on a special committee made up jointly of Lions and Council members sold advertising contracts to merchants who wanted to run ads on the program. The quarter-page ads sold at ten dollars. Larger ads cost more. The largest spot of all, the back cover, was taken over completely by the Kellogg Cereal Company at $50.00. Twenty-one ads altogether were sold and brought in $290.00.
Another committee, composed of both Council and Lion members, was the publicity committee which succeeded in running free stories on the concert and on future projects of the Battle Creek Council both in news' papers and on two radio stations.
The Lions sent tickets to friends of theirs in the city's two other Lions Clubs as well as to those in other service clubs.
And, as all stories of this kind do, this one includes the sentence: "At last the big night arrived. " The weather was perfect. But the hall, which seats 1024, was only about one-fourth full. However, it is believed that very few ticket purchasers found other engagements for that evening, for ticket sales at one dollar apiece brought in $370.00.
The chorus, whose fee was $150.00, was excellent, singing a repertoire from sacred numbers to CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN from "The Sound of Music."
But, in spite of a few misjudgments and a smaller ticket sale than had been expected, the Battle Creek Council feels that this first attempt in a wholly new field of fund-raising was a success and they're all for doing it again next year.
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The Montana Association for the Blind's 23rd annual convention will be held in Bozeman, July 12, 13, and 14. The Northwest Montana Chapter is in charge of this year's program; and they would welcome your ideas and suggestions for making this our most successful convention ever. Write to Keith E. Denton, Chapter Secretary, Box 22, Lakeside, Montana 59922. It isn't too early to start planning to attend your Association's annual meeting. Perhaps local car pools can be arranged so that transportation expenses can be shared.
(from The Observer, Feb. 1968)
An entire street in suburban Wilmette will be lined with 2,000 fresh green trees as a memorial to the late Circuit Court Magistrate Burton A. Kolman who was blind.
According to Ken W. Purdy, writing in Parade , March 24, 1968, on "Criminal Drivers":
In 30 of the 50 states, there's nothing to prevent a blind man driving; licenses are renewable by mail. In one Midwest state, a check of blind pensioners turned up 136 who had driving licenses. In a Southern state, a man stopped for driving in the middle of the road said that if he didn't straddle the white line he couldn't see where he was going, A man who drove straight into a tree was totally blind: he could not tell light from dark. Apparently the sighted passenger who was directing him had let his attention flag just before the car hit.
From the Ohio Council Bulletin comes the following information about election results in Ohio chapters:
The Starlight Club: Jane Jones, President; Carl Eiche, Vice President; March Eiche, Treasurer; Mrs. Floyd Truesdale, Secretary. Carl Eiche is the OCB Executive Board Member and Marcella Miller is the News Reporter,
The Loraine County Council of the Blind: Margaret McGregor, President; William Tucker, Vice President; Mario Balogh, Secretary-Treasurer. John Chambers is the OCB Executive Board Member.
The Mahoning Valley Association of the Blind: Mary Lou Cahill, President; Pete Waback, Vice President; Shirley Stowe, Secretary; and Jean Simonson, Treasurer.
The Progressive Sightless Club of Licking County: Mrs. Maybelle Crozier, President; Donald Bowers, Vice President; Mrs. Sarah Kelley, Secretary; Lancy L. Kelley, Treasurer. William Davis is the OCB Executive Board Member and Mrs. Betty Bowers is the Delegate.
Neighbors and friends of Brian A. Morkes of Calumet City, Illinois, whose eyes and kidneys gave sight and new life to others after he died, are making sure the 11-year-old lad will not be forgotten.
They are going to build a playground in his memory.
Brian was fatally injured Dec. 23 when he was struck by a car while he was crossing the street near his home.
Dorothy Dunn's mother, Eleanor Piveral, of Montana, writes, 'Dede was chosen together with other students to represent MSU in WHO'S WHO AMONG STUDENTS IN AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. Also, she is now a member of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi, being in the top 20 percent of the senior class. ' Dorothy will have a part in the opera, 'Marriage of Figaro, ' which will be performed at MSU during the spring quarter. Dorothy was not allowed to go to Spokane to try out for opera because of her blindness. Traditionally no blind person has ever appeared in opera in Spokane nor at the Met. (Discrimination is so hard to eliminate; it's so traditional, you know. Ed.)
(from The Observer, March 1968)
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