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.




by John Nagle


by Manuel Urena



by Ian McCausland


by Nan Wiley



by Roger Petersen

KEEP THE TEACHERS HAPPY- -Big Brother's Watching You



by Russell Kletzing

by Kenneth Jernigan


Letter from Mike Sofka

by Floyd Matson




by Barbara Tiritilli


by Dr. Horst Geissler

WHEN MAY RECIPIENTS SUE? --OPINION OF THE SUPREME COURT- Court Asks New Hearing on Welfare Opinion of the United States Supreme Court



by Peter Kihss









Alabama Association of the Blind (Mrs.) Eulasee S, Hardenburgh 2315 Avenue F, Ensley Birmingham, 35218 Homemaker

Alaska Federation of the Blind Kelly Smith Box 1516 1303 H Street Anchorage, 99501 Masseur and Wholesaler

Arizona Federation of the Blind James R. Carlock 3302 E. Van Buren Phoenix, 85008 Vending Stand Operator

Arkansas Federation of the Blind Richard (Dick) Nelsen 4516 Kenyon Street Little Rock, 72205 Retired Salesman

California Council of the Blind Anthony (Tony) Mannino 205 So. Western Ave., Rm. 201 Los Angeles, 90004 Retired Businessman

Colorado Federation of the Blind (Mrs.) Ruth Ashby 208 Majestic Bldg. Denver, 80202 Sewing Maching Operator-Colo. Ind. f/t Blind

Connecticut Federation of the Blind Francis Flanagan 35 Albion Street Bridgeport, 06605 Retired

District of Columbia Capitol Chapter of NFB Thomas Bickford 2714 Ordway NW, Apt. 1 Washington, 20008 Tape Editor Library of Congress

Hawaii Federation of the Blind Warren M. Toyama 1270 Elm St., Apt. #8 Honolulu, 96822 Pres.& Gen. Mgr. State Vendors, Inc.

Idaho Gem State Blind, Inc. (Mrs.) Uldine G. Thelander 1629 Manitou Ave. Boise, 83706 Homemaker and Retired Teacher

Indiana Council of the Blind Russell Getz 321 No. Main St. Goshen, 46526 Factory Worker

Iowa Association of the Blind Neil Butler 3725 Center St. Des Moines, 50312 Manager, State Office Bldg. Cafeteria

Kentucky Federation of the Blind Robert E. Whitehead 40 University Place Louisville, 40206 Owner, Food Service

Maine Council of the Blind (Miss) Natalie D. Matthews 13 Adams Street Newport, 04953 Homemaker Civic Leader

Maryland Free State Federation o/t Blind Albert M. Balducci Box 1084 Baltimore, 21203 Employee, Nat'l Brewery

Massachusetts Associated Blind of Eugene E. Sibley 231 Conway St. Greenfield, 01301 Retired

Michigan Council of the Blind Mary Louise Gooder 577 College St. S. E. Grand Rapids, 49503 Homemaker

Minnesota Organization of the Blind James Schleppegrell 3950 - 42nd Ave. So. Minneapolis, 55406 Serviceman, Western Electric

Minnesota United Blind of Carl E. Larson 2827 Humboldt, N. Minneapolis, 55411Electric Assembly Worker

Missouri Progressive Blind Ethel (Tiny) Beedle 342 Myrtle Ave. Kansas City, 64124 Vending Stand Operator, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Montana Association for the Blind Tony Persha P. O. Box 713 Red Lodge, 59068 Retired

Nebraska Association of the Blind Jack Swager 6603 S. 23rd St. Omaha, 68107 Businessman

Nevada Federation of the Blind (Mrs.) Jean Savage 725 University Terrace Reno, 89503 Resource Teacher Washoe County School District

New Hampshire Federation of the Blind Alfred A. Beckwith 14 McKee Drive Concord, 03301 Manager, State House Snack Bar

New Jersey Council of Organizations o/t Blind Myles J. Crosby, Sr. 32 E. Englewood Ave. Englewood, 07631 Photographic Darkroom Technician

New Mexico Federation of the Blind Sam Chavez P. O. Box 14-A Chimayo, 87522 Retired Court Reporter

New York Empire State Association o/t Blind Dominic C. DeJohn 1072 Bergen Street Brooklyn, 11216 Administrator /Director Blind Industrial Workers

North Dakota Federated Blind Lorge Gotto 1418 - 4th Ave. S. Fargo, 58102 Retired

Ohio Council of the Blind Alfonso Smith 2020 Jacobs Road Youngstown, 44505 Broom Shop Supervisor

Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind Frank Lugiano 20 N. Washington Wilkes -Barre, 18701 Merchant

Rhode Island Council of the Blind Joseph Silveira P.O. Box 633 Newport, 02840 Quality Control Inspector Avica Corp.

South Carolina Aurora Club o/t Blind (Miss) Lois V. Boltin 1413 Pickens Street 1 Carrillon Apartments Columbia, 29201 PBX Switchboard Operator, Seibels, Bruce &; Co.

Texas Blue Bonnet State Federation o/t Blind Don Steelman 4302 Marathon Austin, 78756 Student

Utah Association for the Blind Merlin J. Peterson 2264 Madison Ave. Ogden, 84401 Music Teacher, Utah School f/t Deaf-Blind

Virginia Federation of the Blind Robert W. McDonald 17 W. Cedar St. Alexandria, 22301 Cook, Safeway Stores, Inc.

Washington State Association of the Blind Tom Gronning 5126 - 20th Ave. So. Seattle, 98108 Retired

West Virginia Federation of the Blind, Inc. Robert L. Hunt 89 Camden Avenue Buckhannon, 26201 Assoc. Professor, History, W. Va. Wesleyan College

Wyoming Association of the Blind Jack L. Shields 340 E. College Ave. Sheridan, 82801 Piano Tuner and Musician

Student Division NFB Division of Students James Gashel 808 - 15th St. , N. E. Mason City, Iowa 50401 Student

Back to Contents


by John Nagle

Although the Vietnam war, fiscal and big city problems, and civil rights are expected to dominate the attention of the members of the Second Session of the 90th Congress, efforts will be made legislatively to resolve longstanding difficulties confronting physically disabled men and women and other socially and economically disadvantaged people.

Since the Congress enacted a major Social Security bill last year, containing sweeping changes in the federal programs of retirement, disability insurance, public assistance, medicare and medicaid, it is not expected to consider these again this year--that is, it is not expected to do so unless a move to correct some of the inequities of the '67 Social Security Amendments develops the strength to force such further consideration.

The National League of Senior Citizens and the Old Folks Lobby are expected to try again this year to persuade the House Ways and Means Committee to schedule public hearings on H. R. 335, introduced in the House by Congressman Philip Burton, California. H. R. 335, described as a bill to establish a national program of guaranteed minimum income for the aged, blind, and disabled, would assure to such persons a monthly check sufficient to bring total income up to the level of the federal minimum wage provided for in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Since the Burton bill proposal would make financial assistance available to blind persons
without the means test and the other retrogressive features of existing aid to the blind programs and would achieve other goals long sought by the Federation, we shall continue our support of this measure. Should House hearings be held a Federation representative will appear to give supporting testimony.

Even though general Social Security hearings are unlikely to be held again this year, we shall try to get our disability insurance bill through Congress just the same. If enough blind people are able to convince enough congressmen to introduce bills identical to H. R. 3064, then Congressman Cecil R. King, sponsor of H. R. 3064, will be asked by the Federation to try to secure House Ways and Means Committee consideration of the disability for the blind bill for a second time in the 90th Congress. Federationists will recall that this proposal liberalizes disability insurance for the blind by allowing them to draw benefits if they've worked six quarters in Social Security-covered employment regardless of their current earnings.

Last year the Senate adopted S. 222, a bill intended to eliminate architectural barriers in newly constructed federal buildings, in order that such structures might be more readily accessible to and usable by physically handicapped persons. During the conning months of this congressional session, the National Federation of the Blind will join with other interested organizations in the handicapped field to try to get this measure through the House.

An enacted National Eye Institute bill will be one of the objectives of the National Federation of the Blind, working in cooperation with Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. , and the various ophthalmologically-oriented associations which presented supporting testimony for this measure in public hearings conducted by the House Public Health Subcommittee last year.

Since the Secretary's report on sheltered workshops offered little or no hope to handicapped workers for administratively ordered improvements in wages and working conditions in such facilities, the Federation will arrange for the introduction of new minimum wage bills in both the House and Senate. The Federation will also press for public hearings by the House Special Labor Subcommittee on H. R. 9995, introduced by Congressman James O'Hara, Michigan. This bill would amend the
National Labor Relations Act to assure handicapped employees in sheltered workshops recognition and protection of their right to organize and bargain collectively with shop management for improvements in wages and working conditions.

Late in 1967, a bill to prohibit discrimination in employment because of age became P. L. 90-2 02 by action of President Johnson. This new law may serve as a model for redrafting the NFB-initiated bill of rights for the disabled. Congressional recognition that discrimination in employment by reason of age will serve as a precedent to help secure congressional acceptance of a measure outlawing discriminations based upon physical disability.

We drafted our bill of rights for the disabled in the fall of 1966. Gaining support for it in Congress has been a slow process. It provides national protection for the rights enumerated in the model white cane law which fall within the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal government.

Appropriation authorizations will expire June 30 of this year for some of the activities conducted under the federal-state Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Public hearings will have to be held early in the session in both chambers of the Congress on bills to amend the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. When such hearings are held, the Federation will again try to obtain committee and congressional approval of our bill, H. R. 7396, introduced in the House of Representatives by Philip Burton, California, to prohibit the means test for any vocational rehabilitation service.

The foregoing are but a few selected areas which will produce legislative bulletins and calls for supporting telegrams and letters from Federationists during the coming months of the Second Session of the 90th Congress. The extent to which the attention of congressmen and senators can be diverted to consider the difficulties and concerns of disabled people will depend much upon the response of Federationists to appeals for support in Washington from "back home. "

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from The New York Times, Jan. 15, 1968)

WASHINGTON--The Supreme Court has agreed to decide if states can constitutionally deny welfare benefits to poor people who have recently migrated from other states.

Forty states and the District of Columbia have residency requirements that deny welfare benefits to dependent children until their parents have been residents for at least a year.

These rules are designed to prevent states with high benefits from attracting large numbers of welfare recipients from states with low benefits. Welfare officials in the states with residency requirements say their welfare costs will soar if newly arrived poor people are permitted to go immediately on welfare.

In a brief order the Supreme Court agreed to review a 2-to-1 ruling of a special three -judge Federal District Court in Hartford that declared Connecticut's one -year residency requirement to be unconstitutional.

The decision, handed down last June, was the first of a series of Federal court decisions that held invalid the residency requirements of Delaware, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

All these cases are now being appealed and are expected to be resolved by the decision in the Connecticut case.

In the Connecticut case the lower court ruled that the residency requirement "has a chilling effect on the right to travel. " Also, the court said, the one -year waiting period discriminates against certain poor people because it does not apply to persons who come to Connecticut to take a job or who have some financial resources there.

The case involved Vivian Thompson, a 19 -year old unwed mother of two children, who moved to Hartford from Massachusetts to live with her mother. The children were denied aid to dependent children benefits under the one -year residency rule.

In his appeal, Harold M. Mulvey, the Attorney General of Connecticut, said that the state's welfare payments were the fourth highest in the nation. He argued that if all residency requirements were eliminated, there would be an influx of welfare clients and Connecticut would be penalized for having established high welfare standards.

Mr. Mulvey also said that Congress had approved the idea of local residency requirements. The Federal welfare law, he noted, permits United States contributions to state welfare programs that do not impose waiting periods of more than one year.

The ten states that do not have residency requirements are New York, Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Back to Contents


by Manuel Urena

The members of the Iowa Association of the Blind are enthusiastically preparing for the NFB convention to be held in Des Moines in July. It is hoped that a record number of the blind of the nation will attend the convention and otherwise assist in its success.

The drawing of prizes initiated at the Phoenix convention in 1964 and expanded in Washington, Louisville, and Los Angeles will be an even greater extravaganza in Des Moines. The Iowans, of course, collect prizes from individuals and businesses. However, in keeping with the tradition established in 1966 in Louisville, we are calling on each state affiliate to provide at least one prize. As in past years, we would hope that each affiliate would provide a prize of real value and if possible representative of the state. Prizes should be of relatively small bulk in proportion to their worth so as to facilitate easy transportation on the homeward journey. In 1967 in Los Angeles, the California affiliate gave a beautiful cherry chiming clock valued at upwards of $250. Other contributions from affiliates were: a tape recorder, typewriters, appliances. Many of the affiliates gave prizes valued at $50
and upwards and we hope to have prizes in this range.

Each prize should be clearly labeled with a description of the item and the name of the affiliate so that appropriate recognition may be given at the time of the drawing.

In recent years I have worked at NFB conventions as chairman of the Resolutions Committee. For the 1968 convention I have also been pressed into service as the chairman of the committee to solicit and receive prizes from the affiliates. I hope to have as much help in making this job a success as I have had in the work of the Resolutions Committee.

See you in Des Moines, and let's start those prizes rolling in. Send all prizes to me at 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from CEB Gazette, Dec. 1967)

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued Consumer Bulletin No. 1, "Pitfalls to Watch for in Mail Order Insurance Policies." This bulletin is the result of an extensive investigation of alleged misleading and deceptive practices in the mail order insurance business.

The bulletin warns against offers aimed at veterans indicating that the policy offered has been endorsed or approved by the United States Government and is offered at government rates; offers to parents of servicemen implying that the insurance is being made available by the U.S. Government; accident and health policies that appear to offer wide coverage but actually are very limited in coverage; so-called "medicare' policies that attempt to imply that the insurance is offered or approved
by the United States Government; and policies that appear to offer extremely low premiums.

Back to Contents


[Editor's Note: For those who wish to know something about the occupations of the blind and about California's Orientation Center for the Blind, we are herewith re-publishing from the Orientation Center Bulletin a list of the professions and callings entered by graduates of the Center. You will notice at once the great variety of jobs successfully fulfilled by qualified blind people. You will also notice the extent to which blind people attending the Orientation Center become occupationally qualified as well as oriented in the common problems of the blind.]

36 Teachers (22 were credentialed after leaving OCB)
27 are public school teachers --kindergarten to college level
3 in adult schools
4 in centers for the adult blind
2 are teaching in foreign countries
3 Attorneys (all three passed the bar after leaving OCB)
5 Social welfare workers
1 Employment counselor with state employment office
2 U.S. Office of Social Security Trainees
1 Doctor, now with psychiatric division of a state hospital
1 Chiropractor
7 Medical transcribers
1 Dictaphone-transcriber in U.S. Immigration Office
3 Insurance brokers
1 Office manager for a construction firm
1 Administrator of a center for the blind
1 Public relations man
2 Rehabilitation counselors for the blind (out-of-state)
2 Teacher -counselors for the adult blind
1 Stock investor
1 Supervising chemist
1 Journeyman electrician
1 Electronics engineer
1 Radio disc jockey-engineer
2 Computer programmers (2 more have completed training)
1 Electronics technician
1 Electronics assembler
1 Proof-reader, Tape Division, Library of Congress
1 Truck dispatcher
2 PBX switchboard operators
3 Out-board and small motor repairmen
3 Salesmen: real estate, vacuum cleaner, janitorial supplies
1 Equipment repairman (out-of-state)
1 House mother to college girls
1 Lathe operator for 7 years (he and his wife are now caring for foster children)
9 Dark-room technicians 1 Logger
2 Piano technicians 1 Rancher
3 Professional musicians 1 Ranch hand
2 Masseurs 1 Waiter
1 Printer 1 Wake -up service
1 Boat builder
20 Self-employed: pheasant raiser, wood shops, bicycle shop, liquor store, manufacturer of picture frames, tailor.
22 Vending stand, snack bar and cafeteria managers
8 Sheltered workshop for blind workers
40 Housewives and homemakers
75 College students
6 In training programs (5 medical transcribers, 1 court reporter)

Back to Contents


by Ian McCausland

(Reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 2, 1968)

Lusaka: The trademark of the remote Luapula Valley in this Central African country of Zambia is incurably blind children.

How many are stricken is difficult to ascertain. Surveys in the sparsely populated area--about half the size of California--have revealed an incidence as high as 3235 per 100,000 among children, one of the highest blindness rates in the world.

Of these blind children, it is believed that nine of every ten lost their sight before the age of 10.

Lack of vitamin A is the main cause; medicines prepared by witch doctors a major one.

But above all is a lack of knowledge among the inhabitants of the Valley of the Blind of why they are afflicted and how it can be avoided.

Superstition and fear of evil spells have a tremendous effect on these simple people, feelings which drive the villagers to consult witch doctors.

The potions, prepared under filthy conditions, are generally acidic, though some are abrasive.

One "remedy" is called Kameme. A section of root is bored out, the afflicted child urinates into it--and it is then used as eye drops. Another, named Mpirimpiri, involves the crushing of bitingly hot peppers with a little water. The mixture is used as an agonizing eyewash.

Though government departments and missions run clinics, much of the treatment is curative--though often there can be no cure--not preventive.

Mercy teams operating in the area run their own form of campaign against the inbred reluctance of villagers to consult them. Clinics and simple operations are held in the middle of villages so that the inhabitants can watch what goes on. While these demonstrations are helpful, the greatest opponent--lack of vitamins--continues.

The people live on a poor diet of cassava and fish. But the fish liver, which does contain vitamin A, is thrown away. Additionally, African tradition is that the man of the family eats first, taking his fill of the relish served with the cassava porridge. His wife eats next, and then the children in descending order of age. This results in the youngest child getting little more than porridge.

With milk and meat being nonexistent in the tsetse fly-ridden valley, the child's resistance to illness is low. When measles strikes, as it often does, blindness often follows.

Despite planned spending of $386, 000 by the government over the next four years, a great deal more needs to be done.

More doctors, hospitals and clinics are required, better foods are needed and, more than anything else, education to understand the benefits these will bring.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 4, 1968)

A blind hippie businessman appealed for help in finding his guide dog which was stolen.

Jeng Sealund of San Francisco said his dog is Kenny, a golden retriever whom he obtained five years ago from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Sealund, 26, who has been blind since birth, opened a health food store. Far Fetched Foods, next door to his home at 1915 Page Street, six months ago.

"I don't think it was an enemy who stole Kenny," said Sealund. "Although someone must have let him out of the back yard. It could just have been a vandal.

"Kenny's really too damned lazy to jump fences."

The dog, which is six years old and is valued at $3500, stands about three feet tall and has a long reddish coat.

Kenny ran away on another occasion, and was found in Pacifica. "Maybe he just doesn't dig the Haight-Ashbury and the hippies," said Sealund, who was wearing a leather vest and purple corduroy pants.

Whoever finds Kenny and returns him has a great reward awaiting him.

"One hundred pounds," said Sealund, "of brown rice."

Back to Contents


by Nan Wiley

(Reprinted from Chicago Daily News, Jan. 10, 1968)

Dear Nan:

Have you ever heard of oven pancakes? I would like to know how to do them because I hate standing at the range doing skillet after skillet till my family gets filled up. And what's more I don't like to eat alone.

Marybeth Jones

A blind lady told me about these years ago. Aided by her compensating sense of smell and touch she could make pancakes this way safely.

You stir up a batter using two cups of a mix, the way it tells you on the package, or an equal amount of your own recipe. Oil a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan good and proper, pour in all the batter at once so it is even, slide into a preheated 42 5 oven. When the all-in-one oblong is lightly browned on top, it is done. Takes about 15 minutes.

Just to make sure you might give it the center test. Cut into squares to serve. I can't say these are exactly like regular hot cakes you would fry, but they are very light, more cake like, not a bit greasy. It is an easy way to have a whole lot of piping -hot cakes all at once.

Any time you have a "mob scene" breakfast you can do more than one pan at a time, but the one on the lower rack will brown faster. You can keep extra cakes warm by turning off the oven, leaving the door ajar.

Teen-agers can have a ball making these oven deals for after-the- game fillups, and there won't be nearly as much kitchen mess. Just for a change you might like to add a few thin apple slices. Not too many or the pan won't hold the amount and don't chop the fruit or they may make soggy cakes. A little canned whole grain corn does fine, too, but it must be very well drained.

One of those large electric griddles you can plug in right at the table would be another solution for you. That way you can cook, eat, be sociable with the family all at once.

Back to Contents


(An HEW Release)

Improved methods of restoring disabled persons will be developed by a "creative rehabilitation laboratory" in Bowling Green, Ohio, under a five-year project approved by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

The experimental office, which has received a first-year Federal grant of $116, 362, has objectives of improving rehabilitation counseling techniques in areas ranging from the administration of the office to job placement, according to RSA Commissioner Joseph Hunt.

The new laboratory will function as a district office of the Ohio Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, directed by Ralph E. Dyke, which developed the project jointly with the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program at Bowling Green State University. It will be staffed by a supervisor and two rehabilitation counselors.

The study to provide handicapped persons with faster and better services from State rehabilitation agencies will involve case load management, time and motion, office systems, forms, cost analysis, worker analysis, filing and retrieval systems, job placement, and communications.

An advisory committee connected with the innovation project will have representatives from rehabilitation, medicine, psychology, sociology, research, business, labor, and communications.

"The number of physically and emotionally disabled people in this country now number in the millions," said Mr. Hunt. "We need more projects which are not afraid to try new things. This clearing house for new ideas should not only benefit Ohio but help the entire rehabilitation community to develop a creative approach in solving the problems of our human workload. "

Back to Contents


The Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship, administered by the National Federation of the Blind, is given to legally blind university students working towards professional degrees (graduate and undergraduate) in law, medicine, engineering, architecture, and the natural sciences. The scholarship, established through a bequest of Thomas E. Rickard in honor of his father, Howard Brown Rickard, carries payments which vary from $250. 00 to $1, 250 per year. Applications for the coming academic year 1968-69 should be filed by June 1, 1968. Forms may be obtained from the National Federation of the Blind, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708. In 1966-67, four scholarships totaling $1, 450 were awarded. In 1967, one scholarship in the amount of $250. 00 was awarded.

Back to Contents


by Roger Petersen

Last month the BRAILLE MONITOR contained an article reprinted from the New Outlook for the Blind ("The Process of Vocational Development--Implications for Counseling Male Blind College Students" by Dr. Paul Sevransky) along with my critical reply. At a meeting of the Student Division Executive Committee on January 6, 1968, the general feeling was expressed that my challenging the article on behalf of the Student Division had been a good idea and that further action ought to be taken, since the ideas expressed in the article, if allowed to go unchallenged, might have very direct undesirable effects on Student Division members. It was decided that students from all over the United States should be made aware of the article and encouraged to write letters to the New Outlook urging that my letter be published in full and/or stating their own views about the article. The hope was also expressed that letters would also be sent from agencies whose philosophy of rehabilitation is more progressive than that stated in the article. Reread the article and write your views to: Editor, New Outlook for the Blind , 15 West 16th, N.Y., N. Y. 10011.

There were other important developments at the Executive Committee meeting. It was reported that student organizations are being formed all over North America, including a national organization in Canada, and several state, provincial and local organizations. While the Student Division is not an organization made up of local chapters, we heartily encourage these organizations and intend to work very closely with them, assisting them in their local projects and requesting their assistance on our national ones.

The Handbook for College Students, prepared by a Student Division Committee under the chairmanship of Judy Young, may be available by the time you read this. It is hoped that inkprint, braille and recorded editions can be produced. Various subjects of interest to blind college students are discussed, including the student's relationship with the college, the rehabilitation agency and the regional library. The Handbook also includes several useful appendices listing regional libraries, braille presses, etc. Requests for the Handbook should be addressed to the Student Division Secretary, Miss Ramona Willoughby, c/o Iowa Commission for the Blind, 4th and Keosauqua Way, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

Plans are well underway for the Student Division meeting and the Student Seminar to be held this summer in Des Moines. The Student Division meeting will be held during the NFB convention, although the exact time is not yet known. The Student Seminar is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Featured will be a panel discussion on individual cases of discrimination pertaining to education and professional employment and another on associated student organizations. The Seminar will take the entire day and will include a luncheon and an evening cook-out. Everyone interested is urged to attend. We would like to see all states represented.

Back to Contents

KEEP THE TEACHERS HAPPY Big Brother's Watching You

(Reprinted from Orientation Center Newsletter, Jan. 1968)

The Orientation Center is in danger. Unless we alumni unite, OCB and its philosophy of independence will be destroyed. Despite its outstanding success of over 50% of its graduates being employed and despite the fact that five out of six students currently enter schools with training programs upon leaving the Center, the present administration of the Department of Rehabilitation is seeking to change it and have begun doing so.

The Orientation Center was originally conceived and established through the efforts of a group of blind people. These blind people had faced and overcome the common problems of blindness. Because it was established by blind people and not agency people, it was in effect a declaration of war against the out-dated agency custodialism. This custodialism, like its nineteenth century counterpart, colonialism, was based on the belief in the innate physical and psychological inferiority of blind people and their need for protection and guidance.

The California Council of the Blind first introduced the plan for the Orientation Center in 1949. The bill was introduced by a blind man, Ernest Crowley, then Dean of the Legislature. The Council officers and members made numerous appearances before legislative committees. The Center was established in 1952 under the administration of a blind man. With the encouragement of Doctor Stoltz of the Department of Education, the Council's philosophy concerning the ability of blind people was carried out. Since blind people are normal people the restrictions and regulations of correctional and mental institutions and the medical, paramedical and psychological emphasis of the more recent Rehabilitation Center for those who suffer from alcoholism, sociopathic and personality-trait disorders were not appropriate. The slightest appearance of custodialism was discouraged. Students were encouraged to come and go as they pleased and arranged their own social and recreational activities in the Center and the community. As far as possible, students selected their course of study. By learning and using the skills needed by blind people in daily living and on the job, they learned what a blind person can do. Through the give and take of free and open discussion with faculty and students, the problems of public misunderstanding and discrimination were discussed and means of dealing with and changing the status quo were explored.

What is happening to the Center? Under the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Orientation Center is being changed from a learning place to an information-gathering agency for rehabilitation counselors. Our OCB alumni president, Dorothy Datter, protested the establishment of a four-week evaluation program at OCB. The DVR administration promised that this would be a limited program taking only a small part of the staff's time. What was not told, however, was that for some time a detailed evaluation program for all students has been in effect. Every faculty member and counselor now prepares a detailed evaluation on each student leaving the Center. It includes a report on social activities on and off campus, attitudes and performance in class. Since there has been a staff member on the premises 24 hours a day for many months, it appears that every student will have to give up his right of privacy to secure his right to equal opportunity in society.

The students now can candidly state their attitude towards the staff as "keep the teachers happy." They are fully aware of the evaluation which will be sent to their rehabilitation counselors. The Center is becoming a place for the selection of the elect for training and relegating the damned to eternal welfare.

This writer was amazed and shocked to find that adult men and women of all ages have to report to the dormitory counselor when they leave the premises after six o'clock on the most trivial errands. This is surely a step back to the asylum. Students will never have any confidence in their own capacities if they are treated as children or senile and feeble adults .

I was also sorry to see the school being run more like a junior high school than a center for adults. It appears that opinions are held and programs and plans conducted only with the advice and consent of the rehabilitation counselor. The philosophy can be said to be "keep the teachers happy" for big brother may be watching you.

Back to Contents


At a special Christmas luncheon held December 21 at the Forest Lake Country Club in Columbia, South Carolina, Donald C. Capps was honored by Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company for twenty years of faithful and outstanding service. Mr. Edwin F. Averyt, founder and president of Colonial Life, made the presentation to Don.

A Certificate of Award, with gifts consisting of a $500.00 check and a combination lapel, tie -tack pin were given to Capps during the special presentation. The attractive pin is in the form of the Colonial Minute-man, which is the company's emblem. The 10 K. gold pin also contains four diamonds, with each diamond representing a five-year service period. A larger diamond will be added to the pin at the expiration of twenty-five years of service. Capps was praised by President Averyt for his many years of service to Colonial Life.

The following represents some of Mr. Averyt's comments to the more than two hundred guests present:

"Donald started to work with Colonial, in the Claims Department, on April 15, 1947, at the age of 18. He has now had nearly 21 years of continuous service --all in claims work.

He is a native of Mullins, South Carolina, as is his lovely wife, Betty Rogers Capps, who grew up next door, and we are glad to have her with us today as our honored guest. They were married two years after Don came to Colonial, and they now have two fine children--a son, Craig, age 12, and a daughter, Beth, age 9. They are members of Kilbourne Park Baptist Church.

Don has done a superior and faithful job for Colonial, despite the vision handicap which he has overcome in remarkable fashion, and which he has never allowed to circumscribe his life, family and community activities, or efficiency in performance of his very responsible job.

We are extremely proud of Don Capps and of the tremendous contribution which he has made in this state, and over the whole country, toward the progress and betterment of his fellowman. Those of us here at Colonial take unto ourselves reflected glory in this exceptional man."

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from Rehabilitation Record , Nov-Dec. 1967)

Apparently nobody ever told Woodrow Foskey of East Dublin, Ga. , that blindness was a limiting condition. At least it would seem that way, for this remarkable man, who was born totally blind, never let his blindness interfere with his living a fully productive life. As a child, he attended regular school. His folks read his lessons to him. Whether it was on the working end of a cross-cut saw or rafting wood down river, Woodrow saw the job and did it.

He is now East Dublin's city jailer. In this capacity, Foskey, age 53, cares for the prisoners, operates the police radio, takes messages, dispatches police bulletins, and even raises and lowers the American flag; In obtaining his present job, Foskey's vocational rehabilitation counselor arranged for a tape recorder to aid him in taking the many calls that come into the station.

How is he doing? Well, according to Police Chief Ed Tanner, "Woodrow can do more things better than some people with sight... he does so well, sometimes I think surely he must be able to see...."

Back to Contents


by Russell Kletzing (Reprinted from the California Council Bulletin, Jan-Feb. 1968)

"Blind people are taking their rightful place in a working society at a much faster pace than ever before and in a wide variety of occupations. The dramatic record of clients of the Department of Rehabilitation last year is one example.

"Four hundred and fifty-one blind and near blind people were rehabilitated into employment as opposed to only one hundred and fifty-five the year the Department was established in 1963."

This is a quotation from an address delivered by James Shumway, Assistant Administrator, California Health and Welfare Agency, at the California Council of the Blind banquet, October 1967, in Los Angeles.

Here are the facts about the rehabilitation figures for California for

1966-67. Of the 451 "blind and near blind" claimed as rehabilitated, only 278 were legally blind. Of these, 97 were in the classification "homemaker, one was an unpaid family worker and 15 were placed in sheltered workshops. This means that the actual number claimed for competitive employment was only 165.

It was apparent that the talk delivered by Mr. Shumway at our Los Angeles convention had been written by the staff of the Department of Rehabilitation. Lest any doubt remain, a letter addressed to Mr. Shumway concerning the statistics in his speech was answered by the Department, over the signature of Robert Howard, director. It is customary for the Departments to write speeches for agency executives, but it is not customary for them to present misleading figures, at least not without fully informing the executive. We wonder if Mr. Shumway knew that his figure of 451, when analyzed, amounted to only 165 legally blind people placed in competitive employment, only 10 more than the 155 he cited for the year the Department was created.

Not that we have any objection to the Department serving people with physical impairments who are not legally blind; quite the contrary, we approve. What we are objecting to is the slippery, deceptive use of figures --comparing in the same sentence figures for legally blind for 1963 with figures that include a group that is not legally blind, constituting more than one third of the total. Of the legally blind themselves, more than a third became homemakers or unpaid family workers. Perhaps these people benefited from the services they received, but they certainly did not receive "vocational rehabilitation. " Again a comparison was made with figures for an earlier year, which included a smaller percentage of this non-vocational group.

Actually, the figures we have been able to obtain indicate that rehabilitations in competitive employment increased from 128 in 1965-66 to 165 in 1966-67. This is a modest but worthwhile increase of 37 placements. We would applaud honest reporting of such a small but desirable gain. We decry the attempt to hoodwink the California Council of the Blind and Mr. James Shumway.

Back to Contents


by Kenneth Jernigan

This has been a busy fall for me, what with my usual office work, plans for the upcoming NFB Convention, and a good deal of travel in behalf of the Federation. Feeling the way I do about flying, the travel has been by automobile when I could make it that way, by train when I couldn't, and by plane when no other choice was available.

In this latter category was the trip to the NFB Board Meeting the last weekend in September. The air was smooth and the plane ride was easy, but I was not. It was a rush meeting, called on relatively short notice, and in view of Dr. tenBroek's illness it was certainly not a happy occasion. However, a good deal was accomplished, not the least of which was the completion of the purchase of FEDCO.

The next weekend (October 7) saw me on the other side of the continent, in Maryland. The train schedules weren't too bad, so this was the mode of travel. I was privileged to attend the first annual convention of our expanded and reorganized Maryland affiliate, the Free State Federation of the Blind. It was really a good one, and I predict that we will see great things from Maryland in the years to come. Those of us in the older affiliates could well hope to emulate the enthusiasm and the drive which were demonstrated. Al Balducci, Ned Graham, John McCraw, and a host of others really did themselves proud.

My return to Iowa was more in the nature of a brief stop than anything else, since Jim Valliant and I headed out for Fargo, North Dakota, the following Thursday, October 12. We drove, and it was a most pleasant trip --although one might argue, if they chose, that we actually flew. It wasn't awfully early when we started, but we made more than 500 miles before bedtime.

It was good to renew contact with Rudolph and Martha Bjornseth, Lorge Gotto, Ada March, and all of the other North Dakotans. It was also good to see Curtis Saunders again. As those who were present at Los Angeles will remember, he was North Dakota's delegate to the NFB Convention. He made many friends and impressed all who met him. He is a successful young chiropractor from Devil's Lake.

A half hour TV interview had been arranged for me shortly after noon on Friday and it offered a good opportunity to propagandize for the cause. It was the counterpart of one of the radio talk shows and apparently has quite a large viewing audience in the Fargo area. Two local television personalities did the interviewing and kept it lively.

That night the Bjornseths, James Valliant and I had dinner together and talked about old times and plans for the future. It seemed hardly-possible that six years had gone by since the Kansas City convention and the days of the internal conflict. It was an extremely pleasant evening and a time for renewing warm friendships.

The convention occurred on Saturday and was a good one. The North Dakota affiliate is relatively small but rock solid in its loyalty to our movement and is an affiliate of which to be proud. With young leadership such as that of Curtis Saunders it is bound to grow in years to come.

In mid-November I hit the Federation trail again. The weekend before Thanksgiving, Anna Katherine and I left Iowa to drive to South Carolina to work on plans for the 1969 convention to be held in Columbia. We drove through Kentucky and Tennessee and took out one day to visit with Anna Katherine's parents and another to visit with mine. In fact, we persuaded my mother and dad to go with us to Columbia. While we were in South Carolina, we stayed at the home of Don and Betty Capps, and they are wonderful hosts. Don had a full schedule arranged for me, and he kept me working at it.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Anna Katherine and I visited the newly organized Commission for the Blind. As Federationists know, it came into being as a result of the reorganization of programs for the blind which our South Carolina affiliate successfully pushed through their state legislature in 1966. Fred Crawford, the energetic director of the of the Commission appointed late last year, is really doing a good job. He works very closely with Don and the other members of our affiliate and is vigorously developing a first-rate program. He has two floors of a building and the nucleus of an excellent staff. Anna Katherine and I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon looking over the facilities, talking with Fred, and visiting with the staff. It is an encouraging thing to see the cooperation and enthusiasm which exist at the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. How different from a few years ago. What a stirring testimonial to the good work of the Aurora Club, our South Carolina affiliate.

After an excellent supper (of which all concerned ate too much) we went to the Aurora Center to discuss plans for the 1969 convention. The members of the affiliate turned out en masse and Lois Bolton did her usual fine job of presiding. We discussed the '69 convention in detail, and I can assure you the South Carolinians will make it a good one. They have the enthusiasm and the know how, and they also have the manpower.

On Thanksgiving Day, Don and I talked about NFB matters and also took a little time off to play. To work up an appetite for Betty's dinner we went (perhaps I should say skipped, trotted, and ran) to a nearby park; and Federationists might have been somewhat surprised and considerably-amused to have seen the first vice president and the second vice president sitting on opposite ends of a seesaw, going up and down and trying to bounce each other off. These same two people could also have been observed riding a merry-go-round, climbing bars, and riding in relatively small swings. Such is the life of a traveling vice president.

Betty's dinner did not disappoint out appetites. In fact, the turkey and trimmings were superb, including the nine-layer cake. It was a full but contented group that started back toward Tennessee and Iowa.

The most recent chapter in the vice presidential travel occurred early in December. On Wednesday, December 6, a carload of Federationists from Iowa headed for Texas to help reorganize and reconstitute the affiliate there. Besides James Valliant and the vice president, the car contained Manuel Urena--who as all Federationists know, has been National Resolutions Committee Chairman for the past number of years. It also contained Mike Barber and Don Morris, two students at our Orientation Center in Des Moines. Mike is a recent high school graduate and Don is a customer service representative for the telephone company, who has just lost his sight and who plans to return to his job after training. I will say nothing of the speed at which we traveled except this: Des Moines is approximately 1000 miles from Austin, our destination. We left Des Moines somewhat after eight o'clock on Wednesday morning and went to bed late that night in Austin.

For the past few years our Texas affiliate, the Lone Star Federation, has been comparatively inactive. The purpose of our trip was to reconstitute an active affiliate and to help supply impetus for a new drive to enlist new members and revitalize the movement in Texas. On Thursday we each took different tasks and went to work. Quite a group of very fine, mature, intelligent college students were contacted in the Austin area as well as a number of other blind individuals. The work continued on Friday with delegations arriving from Houston and Dallas. I held a meeting with the college students on Friday right and talked with as many other individuals and groups as possible. On Saturday morning a delegation from San Antonio arrived, including Marcus Roberson, the long-time president of the Lone Star Federation. At ten o'clock on Saturday morning we went into formal convention session. It was decided to adopt a new constitution, reconstitute the affiliate under a new name and make a completely fresh organizational start. It was one of the most enthusiastic and determined conventions I have ever attended, and I think its potential and promise for the future are tremendous. The organization is the Blue Bonnet State Federation of the Blind. Marcus Roberson, who played an extremely active and constructive part in the convention, suggested this name and it received overwhelming endorsement.

The new constitution was adopted before adjournment for lunch. As the afternoon progressed we discussed legislative matters and talked of the objectives and specific future plans of the organization.

The real promise and potential of the affiliate are indicated by the caliber of the officers and board of directors elected late in the afternoon. The board consists of nine people and is undoubtedly one of the youngest (perhaps the very youngest) in our entire movement. Don Steelman of Austin was elected president and delegate to the Des Moines convention. He is a twenty-one year old political science major and combines the qualities of maturity and enthusiasm. The first vice president is Glen Crosby of Houston. He holds a responsible position in the Community Development Section of the Harris County Poverty Program. Again, he is young, enthusiastic, and articulate. John Sledd of Houston was elected second vice president. John is a long-time member of our movement and a man of real stability and judgment. Bonnie Cross, a college student from Austin, was elected secretary. She is intelligent and enthusiastic. The treasurer is Leo Carnline of Houston. He works for the Parks Division of the Houston City Government, and brings both youth and enthusiasm to the board. In addition to the five officers, four directors were elected: J W. Maples of San Antonio (President of the Credit Union), C. C. Sloan of Houston, Paul Richardson of Dallas, and Gary Patterson of Austin.

When the afternoon session adjourned, the board met to discuss future action and committees were appointed. Plans are under way to organize Fort Worth and a number of other Texas cities. We concluded the day's program with a banquet and much good fellowship.

Next year's convention of the Blue Bonnet State Federation will be held in Austin in October. The Houston delegation played a leading part in the organization of the new affiliate. In fact, one of the real pleasures of the meeting for me was the conversations and renewal of friendship with Bowie and Gladys Taylor and Cecil and Ida Belle Sparks. For many years the Sparks and the Taylors, as Federationists know, have been staunch members and supporters of the NFB in Texas. I also had the opportunity to have two telephone conversations with Tom Moody, a longtime Federationist

The trip home required two days and was largely uneventful except that all four tires on the vice president's car went bad somewhere in Oklahoma and required replacing. Such are the perils of the road.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the Newark News, Nov. 10, 1967)

The Ansley Dissertation Award, the highest honor a student in the Graduate School of Columbia University can receive, has been presented to Dr. John Gwaltney, a blind Negro anthropologist who was born in Orange and received his B. A. degree from Upsala College in East Orange.

Dr. Gwaltney, who received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia this year, earned the award for his doctoral dissertation on "Role of Expectation of Blindness in a Oaxaca Village. " The study examines the social consequences of a certain blinding disease on natives of the Pueblo village of San Pedro Yoloz in southeastern Mexico.

The recipient has been blind since the age of two months. He carried out his research on the cultural effects of blindness while living with the people of San Pedro Yoloz in 1963-4 under the sponsorship of Dr. Margaret Mead, adjunct professor of anthropology at Columbia.

He is now an assistant professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Cortland where he lives at 15 Graham Ave. with his wife Judith and two children, Karen, 10, and Peter, 8.

The Ansley Award was established in 1951 by the Columbia University Press in honor of its late editor, Dr. Clarke Fisher Ansley,

Back to Contents


(Letter from Mike Sofka)

Our present legal definition of blindness has been causing confusion among the sighted for years and much of this confusion has now developed into actual hostility against the kind and number of benefits that are available not to the totally blind or those who can only see light and shadows, but by the 85 per cent with varing degrees of vision that come under the present definition. This resentment is not only showing up among donors and legislators but it has actually reached the point of hostility among some of those who are actively interested in helping the other severely handicapped. The fact that some agencies and organizations have substituted the words, "visually handicapped" for the word "blind" in their titles or added those words to read "blind and visually handicapped, " are adding more mud to those muddy waters.

Those of us who fall within the 15 per cent group whose kind of blindness is the only kind understood by donors, legislators and the general public, have carried the 85 per cent on our backs so-to-speak and have often received the poorer share of the fruits of blindness, not from the 85 percenters but from the administrators of blind programs.

Most of the guilty can be found among those involved in job and business placement programs. One can usually find them following the line of least resistance when filling job or placement quotas and thus forcing many employable 15 percenters onto relief rolls, into sheltered sweatshops or into a combination of both.

Visually handicapped can mean anyone who is sighted but must use glasses. A sighted associate and I were discussing visual problems of a fairly good partial we both knew. My associate would not agree with me that our friend was blind but only that he was visually handicapped. So I wonder just how well we 15 percenters will be served by an agency for the visually handicapped?

I also wonder if there wouldn't be more happiness among all concerned if "blind and partially blind" were used?

Back to Contents


by Floyd Matson

The most comprehensive- -and possibly the first- -official account of the condition of blind people in the Soviet Union to appear in English has been published under the title V. Q. S. : The All-Russia Society for the Blind (Moscow, 1967),

The slender volume, authored by B. Zimin, chairman of the Central Board of the All-Russia Society, devotes brief chapters to such topics as welfare and social security, education, vocational training, industrial and rural employment, recreation, the history and composition of the movement, and its relationship to the political and communal structure of Soviet society.

Founded in 1925, eight years after the Communist October Revolution, the All-Russia Society is described as a "voluntary and independent public body" whose aims are "rehabilitation of the blind, improvements in their social welfare, and advance in their social outlook, education and vocational training, to enable them to take partin the building of Communist Society. " Total membership is reportedly 163. 8 thousand blind persons over the age of 14, of whom more than half (56 percent) possess under four percent vision and the remainder retain up to eight percent vision.

The general tone of optimism and satisfaction which pervades the volume is suggested by the author's concluding statement: "Today we may say with confidence that the Soviet Union has fully solved the problems of the material security, employment, education and welfare of the blind. Along with all Soviet people, the blind citizens of the USSR live a full-blooded and creative life. "

Although the total number of blind people in Russia is nowhere specified in the report, it is said to be approximately one-third less than before the Revolution- -hence about 200, 000 totally blind and 400, 000 persons with vision of 10 percent or less. It is likely, however, that these figures are highly conservative, if not grossly misleading.

In terms of ages, the blind population is broken down by the author as follows: "aged up to 7 years, 0. 2 percent; 7 to 16 years, 2. 6 percent; over 60 years, 33.1 percent." The productive-age group, between 16 and 60, thus would appear to contain slightly over 64 percent of the total blind population. Since these figures almost reverse the percentages reported in most other Western countries--where the over-60 age group generally dominates the statistics- -further serious doubt is cast upon the accuracy of the official Soviet estimates.

Despite emphasis on the training and placement of blind persons in general industry, the report of the All-Russian Society indicates that the vast majority of working blind people are employed in sheltered shops. "At the end of 1966 there were 76, 500 blind people working somehwere in the Russian Federation, " the report states. "The breakdown was as follows: 53 thousand people working at the Society's enterprises or organizations; 13,800 people working at state factories and offices; 9,100 people working in collective and state farms; 600 people attending higher and secondary special educational establishments."

The outspoken official preference for sheltered shopwork is bluntly expressed in the observation that "V.O.S.'s experience shows that the best form of employment for the blind is offered by the Society's training-production centres where the blind have all that is necessary for good work, cultural advancement, everyday needs, environmental sanitation and personal hygiene."

Moreover, segregation of the blind in work situations extends beyond the special workshops: "They are also well off at state factories where, by agreement with management, they are given jobs in groups, in the same bay or the same department."

Even more striking from an American or Western European stand-point--which emphasizes social integration and interaction of the blind in all phases of life- -is the apparent fact that all or most blind persons in the Soviet Union reside in special housing, and even in special communities or subcommunities, set aside for them. The discussion of this kibbutz-like arrangement is worth quoting at some length:

"[ T]he Society builds as many as 50,000 square metres of floor area in modern blocks of flats annually. In other words, as many as 6,000 Society members, including their families, and other employees of the Society's training-production centres and factories move to new flats every year. The flats are built close to the centres and factories, so that the blind experience no additional difficulty in getting to and from work.

"Next to the blocks of flats are usually built kindergartens, creches, shops, canteens and community centres. Such a layout of housing estates greatly simplifies life for the blind. It is made still easier by provision of special household appliances, such as sock-menders, thread-pullers, vegetable-choppers, fish-cleaners, dosators for liquids and loose substances, collapsible sticks, tape measures, braille writing devices and typewriters, special clocks and watches, tape recorders, transistor radios, and many other things without which a blind man would find himself in a tough spot."

Vocational training for the blind is carried out both in work rehabilitation schools and in the sheltered institutions known as training-production centers- -the first specializing in elementary orientation and adjustment activities, and the second in specific job training. "Some 7 to 7. 5 thousand blind people get basic or advanced training in the Society's training- production centres, " the report states. "Today we may say with confidence that no other country of the world practices the instruction of the blind in mass industrial trades on a scale as wide as it is in the Soviet Union. The blind successfully learn their trades and work as assembly fitters, cold-press operators, drillers, lathe operators, milling-machine operators, and also in a variety of occupations at box-making, knitting, wood- working. . .brush-making, etc."

The All-Russia Society publication points out that the major growth and modernization of the blind training-production centers has taken place within the past decade or so with the result that "all the former trades of the blind, such as the making of bast, brush and rope products, woven-twig chairs or baskets, etc., have all gone into the past. . . . The prevailing types of products now are electrical appliances, radio components, lighting fittings, machines and instruments , and machine-made containers. The few rope and felt-boot shops that have survived are now fully mechanized."

The pervasive Soviet atmosphere of political organization and ideological propaganda appears to be no less present in these factories for the blind: "The employees at each of the Society's factories live a full-blooded, eventful life. There as at any state-run works, one will find a trade union, a Communist Party and a YCL organization, a primary cell of the Society for the Blind, a cell uniting inventors and rationalizers, public councils for production management, and other public bodies and committees. The workers' production meetings play a leading part in the factory's activity.

"Each factory," the report adds blandly, "is a participant in the All-Russia socialist emulation and at each factory there are advance workers competing for the fulfillment of the production plan ahead of time. " With respect to workload and speedup procedures, at least, it would seem that blind persons have achieved equality with other citizens of the USSR.

Welfare provisions for the blind, described as "an all-embracing system of social security," have long been established in the Soviet Union "based on the principles of socialist humanism and democratism." An old-age pension is granted to blind men at 50 if they have a work record of 15 years, and to blind women at 40 with a ten-year work record. "Blind people are also entitled to a disability pension on a par with other people[ without need for a work record] if the disability has been caused by a work accident or an occupational disease." Some 84 percent of the Russian blind are said to be receiving one or another form of state pension.

Other developments of general interest in the official report of the All-Russia Society include;

--Blind people attending technical schools or higher educational establishments draw state allowances 50 percent higher than for other students;

--The Society operates a guide-dog school, opened six years ago, which annually trains 110 to 120 dogs for free use by blind persons;

--The All-Russia Society itself, formerly subsidized by the national government, became self-supporting in 1951 as a result of its extensive factory system and today spends 20 million rubles a year on new construction and improvements;

--The All Russia Society, with subordinate groups in each of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union, elects all its officers through a system of regional and national congresses ("The principle of collective leadership guarantees that all problems are solved objectively");

--The key membership group of the Society is the "primary cell, " with a membership limited to 100 to 200, which appears to combine the functions of a social circle and a case work agency;

--About 4, 000 blind persons in the Soviet Union are classified as "intellectuals, " and further subdivided as follows: "174 are faculty members at colleges and universities; 283 people are lecturers at special secondary educational establishments; over 400 people are secondary school teachers, more than a thousand are musicians, singers, leaders of music circles and choirs. . .and many blind people work as lawyers, barristers, authors, etc."

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune, Dec. 26, 1967)

A special pay evaluation committee has awarded interim wage increases to blind and otherwise handicapped workers at state-operated California Industries for the Blind centers in Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Represented by Local 411 of the AFL-CIO Union of State Employees, the workers went on strike against the centers for six days in November. They demanded a 4. 9 per cent wage hike and other benefits.

The strike settlement called for submission of the pay question to a three-member panel composed of representatives of the union, the State Department of Rehabilitation and a neutral expert, Maurice I. Gershenson of Berkeley, former director of the State Division of Labor Statistics and Research.

The panel agreed upon a 10-cent hourly raise for employees on hourly rates and a five per cent increase for those on piece rates, retroactive to Nov. 1. The matress shop in Los Angeles and the mop shop in San Diego, where prevailing pay rates were higher than in private operations, were excepted from the raises.

Criteria were recommended also for setting and adjusting wage rates at the centers in the future, together with a review at least once a year. These include comparisons with pay scales in private shops where similar work is performed.

The centers employ about 250 persons.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents , Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan. 8. 1968)

This coming year will mark one-third of a century since social security became the law of the land.

Because of social security, tens of millions of Americans have been able to stand straighter and taller--unafraid of their future.

Social security has become so important to our lives, it is hard to remember that when it was first proposed it was bitterly attacked- -much as Medicare was attacked and condemned before it came into being 2 1/2 years ago.

Today, for the second time in 30 months, I am signing into law a measure that will further strengthen and broaden the Social Security System. Measured in dollars of insurance benefits, the bill enacted into law today is the greatest stride forward since social security was launched in 1935.

In March, 24 million Americans will receive increased benefits of at least 13 percent. In the years to come, as the 78 million American earners now covered by social

--For a retired couple, maximum benefits will rise from $207 to $234 and ultimately to $323 per month.

--Minimum benefits for security become eligible, they will gain even greater benefits. an individual will be increased from $44 to $55 a month.

--Outside earnings can total $140 a month with no reduction in benefits.

--65, 000 disabled widows and 175, 000 children will receive benefits for the first time.

--Medicare benefits are expanded to include additional days of hospitalization.

Combined, the social security amendments of 1965 and 1967 bring an average dollar increase of 23 percent. Medicare protection amounts on the average to an additional 12 percent. This makes total increases of 35 percent in the past 30 months.

When the benefit checks go out next March, 1 million more people will be lifted above the poverty line. This means that 9 million people will have risen above the poverty line since the beginning of 1964,

Social security benefits are not limited to the poor. They go to widows, orphans, and the disabled who without them would be reduced to poverty. They relieve an awful burden from the young who would otherwise have to divert income from the education of their children to take care of their parents.

Franklin Roosevelt's vision of social insurance has stood the test of the changing times. I wish I could say the same for our Nation's welfare system.

The welfare system today pleases no one. It is criticized by liberals and conservatives, by the poor and the wealthy, by social workers and politicians, by whites and by Negroes in every area of the Nation.

My recommendations to the Congress this year sought to make basic changes in the system.

Some of these recommendations were adopted. They include a work incentive program, incentives for earning, day care for children, child and maternal health services, and family planning services. I believe these changes will have a good effect.

Other of my recommendations were not adopted by the Congress. In their place, the Congress substituted certain severe restrictions.

I am directing Secretary Gardner to work with State governments so that compassionate safeguards are established to protect deserving mothers and needy children.

The welfare system in America is outmoded and in need of a major change.

I am announcing today the appointment of a Commission on Income Maintenance Programs to look into all aspects of existing welfare and related programs and to make just and equitable recommendations for constructive improvements, wherever needed and indicated. We must examine any and every plan, however unconventional, which could promise a constructive advance in meeting the income needs of all the American people.

That Commission of distinguished Americans will be chaired by Ben W. Heineman, chairman of the board, Chicago and Northwestern Railroads. Its membership will include Messrs. Thomas J, Watson, Jr., chairman of the board, IBM Corp. , Donald C. Burnham, president, Westinghouse Electric Corp. , James W. Aston, president, Republic National Bank, Dallas, Texas, Asa T. Spaulding, recently retired president, North Carolina Mutual Life Co. , Durham, N.C., Henry S. Rowen, president, Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Calif. , George E. Reedy, Jr. , president, Struthers Research and Development Corp. , Washington, D.C., Anna Rosenberg Hoffman, public and industrial relations consultant. New York City, Julian Samora, professor of sociology, University of Notre Dame, Robert M. Solow, professor of economics, MIT, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, partner, law firm Bell, Hunt, Hart and Brown, and David Sullivan, general president, Building Service Employees International Union, New York.

Over the last third of a century in America we have proved that people who earn their living can make their lives better and more secure if they divert part of their incomes to protect themselves from the twists of fortune that face all men. Our challenge for the coming years is to see if we can extend that same human insurance and human dignity to persons who are not able to buy their own protection. Our challenge is to save children.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from The News, VanNuys, Calif. Jan. 7, 1968)

"Eating raw meat, particularly raw hamburger, may lead to certain infectious diseases," said a physician at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Dr. G. Richard O'Connor, associate director, Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology says: "We are particularly concerned with congenital toxoplasmosis, an eye disease which affects newborn infants.

"We think there is a possibility that the mothers may transmit the disease to their infants. When the disease occurs, we find that the one thing many of these mothers have in common is that they have eaten raw meat sometime early in their pregnancy," he said.

Dr. O'Connor reports that toxoplasmosis is caused by a tiny parasite which is found in many animals used for meat production.

He feels that mothers-to-be should not eat raw meat, especially during the early months of pregnancy, and that perhaps the same restriction should apply to raw eggs.

Back to Contents


by Barbara Tiritilli

(Reprinted from Chicago's American, Dec. 22, 1967)

Through human touch, the blind-deaf will be taught to see and hear and live free from isolation in a world where everybody takes the gifts of sight and sound for granted.

Through a special correspondence course available through the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, the blind-deaf will be taught through touch methods to communicate well enough to handle the problems of daily living and to work.

Details of the new program were described by Dr. Richard Kinney, associate director of the school and Miss Geraldine Lawhorn, an instructor. Dr. Kinney and Miss Lawhorn both are blind and deaf. Both are living proof that the double-handicap can be mastered.

Their new-found lives and achievement and the course which has been nearly one year in planning, is a kind of gift they said they want to share with as many of the nation's blind-deaf people they can reach.

Both talked with reporters at a press conference through a Tella-touch machine, a smaller than portable size typewriter without paper on which we typed questions which registered in braille.

The blind-deaf got the message faster than any reporter there could type. They read up to 60 words per minute, Dr. Kinney said.

Twenty five blind-deaf students from throughout the country have enrolled for the new course at Hadley, the only school of its kind with a total enrollment of 2, 000 blind students, Dr. Kinney said.

Helping the blind-deaf to "see" and "hear" is based on one, simple, idea which most people gifted with sight and sound from birth often find difficult. Simple, human touch. You just reach out and touch somebody and it changes his whole life.

There are seven basic methods for reaching the blind-deaf person, Miss Lawhorn said. If the blind-deaf person can learn these, he "can talk with anyone." He can use the phone, go out shopping, hold down a job, and lead as close to a. normal life as possible.

Among the methods are the shaping of individual, large letters of the alphabet into the palm of the hand, spelling out each word.

There is also a specially designed glove worn by the blind-deaf person. The glove bears the alphabet and numbers positioned on each finger and the blind-deaf person has memorized the positions. You touch each letter, spelling out words, and he understands.

Assuming the blind-deaf person already knows braille, he can learn the touch system in less than three months. The course is free of charge, but Hadley school needs money to expand its work. Dr. Kinney said. The school is supported by private donations and is operating this year at a deficit of $50,000 he said.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune, Jan. 18, 1968)

Gov. Raymond P. Shafer said today the reported LSD-sun blinding of six college students was a hoax fabricated by a blind state official who became "emotionally involved" over use of the drug by children.

The official. Dr. Norman Yoder, was immediately suspended from his $20,000-a-year job as state commissioner of the blind. Yoder said he was "sick" and would enter a hospital.

His hoax fooled state officials from the governor on down and made front pages from coast to coast.

The true story was smoked out after Shafer, who had told a news conference he was reasonably sure the story was true, ordered an investigation by the State Justice Department.

Shafer-- slightly apologetic- -announced that he personally went to Yoder's office with State Atty. Gen. William C. Sennett and demanded documentary evidence on the blindings.

"Dr. Yoder stated the whole thing was a fabrication," Shafer said. "He is distraught. . .he stated he is sick and wants to be admitted to a hospital. He apparently attended a lecture on the use of LSD by children and became concerned and emotionally involved."

Yoder's fantasy took shape when he told a reporter in Washington that six western Pennsylvania college students were totally and permanently blinded 18 months ago when they stared at the sun for 6 to 8 hours while under the influence of LSD, a hallucinogenic drug.

Yoder refused to give names.

So skillful was the duplicity that Shafer said he himself knew the name of the college where the "blindings" took place but that he was not going to identify it.

Back to Contents


by Dr. Horst Geissler

Vice President, Deutsche Blindenstudienanstalt Marburgh/Lahn, West Germany

On order of the Schahanschah Aryamehr, the first "week of the blind" was celebrated in Iran from November 22nd to 29th, 1967. The National Iranian Society for the Guidance and Protection of the Blind invited me to attend the celebrations. Thus, I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of several leading personalities and institutions of the blind in Iran. I found an encouraging understanding of the problems of the blind and some remarkable progress in recent years in the development of a good blind welfare program.

I was particularly impressed by the personality of Dr. Khazaeli, president of the National Iranian Society for the Guidance and Protection of the Blind. He lost his sight as a child and has become a highly educated man and succeeded in social and professional activities in spite of all difficulties.

The National Iranian Society for the Guidance and Protection of the Blind may be regarded as an organization of the blind though a number of sighted friends are members of it. We may consider it, in fact, the Union of the Iranian Blind.

Dr. Khazaeli is the author of a number of books, runs several evening schools and colleges for sighted students, and is a member of the Iranian Parliament. He maintains on his own account a school for blind adults in Teheran, where the blind receive basic rehabilitation and vocational training, free of cost. At present, there are training facilities for blind craftsmen, musicians, telephone operators, stenotypists, and physiotherapists.

I also visited the Reza Pahlevi School for the Blind situated on the periphery of Teheran, where blind children are instructed according to modern principles of blind education, and the Braille press of the publishing house Kayan in Teheran.

According to an estimate of UNESCO, the number of blind persons amounts to 150,000 of a total population of 28 million. The existing seven schools for the blind are not sufficient to secure a regular education for all blind children of the country.

But the greatest problem they face in Iran is to find employment for the blind. There is still very much to be done for the rehabilitation of the Iranian blind, and it is our duty to help our friends by word and deed, a humanitarian task reaching beyond all national borders. I tried to help the Iranian blind in their efforts by my visit and suggestions, and in return, they offered me their friendship and great hospitality, for which I am deeply grateful.

Back to Contents



(Reprinted from S. F. Examiner, Dec. 18, 1968)

The U.S. Supreme Court today ordered the Federal District court here to hold new hearings in the challenge of three Sonoma County women to the state's three month waiting period for welfare in cases of separation from or desertion of the father.

A three-judge court here had dismissed the case because, it ruled, the three women had not used all the state appeals channels open to them, on June 29.

The higher court, in an unsigned order, noted that one of the purposes of recent civil rights legislation was to "provide a remedy in the Federal Courts supplementary to any remedy the state might have."

The three women, Mrs. Betty Damico, Mrs. Elsie Lenwell, and Mrs. Diane Fields, noted in their appeal that welfare is immediately available to women who file for divorce.

They said that they would have to wait many months before all state legal channels had been exhausted.


December 19, 1967

Appellants, welfare claimants under California Welfare and Institutions Code §§11250, 11254, and regulation C-161. 20 thereunder, sought damages^ a declaratory judgment of unconstitutionality, and temporary and permanent injunctive relief in this suit under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S. C. §1983, 28 U.S. C. §1343. Their complaint alleges that the statute and regulation are discriminatory and that the appellees, in administering them and in applying them to appellants, deprived appellants of equal rights secured by the United States Constitution. The three judge District Court dismissed the complaint solely because "it appear [ed] to the Court that all of the plaintiffs [had] failed to exhaust adequate administrative remedies, " This was error. In McNeese v. Board of Education, 373 U.S. 668, noting that one of the purposes underlying the Civil Rights Act was "to provide a remedy in the federal courts supplementary to any remedy any state might have." id. , at 672, we held that "relief under the Civil Rights Act may not be defeated because relief was not first sought under state law which provided [an administrative] remedy, "id. , at 671. See Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 180-183. We intimate no view upon the merits of appellants' allegations nor upon the other grounds not passed upon by the District Court.

The judgment of the District Court for the Northern District of California is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Mr. Justice Harlan, dissenting.

California's Aid to Families with Dependent Children program provides welfare assistance to mothers and children rendered destitute through desertion by or separation from the father of the children. The law requires that, unless a suit for divorce has been filed, the desertion or separation be of at least three months' duration before AFDC aid will be granted.

Appellants were informed by a social worker that, no suit for divorce having been filed, they could not receive AFDC aid before the end of the three-month period; they then brought this suit for a declaration that the three-month requirement violated the Federal Constitution. The District Court, without reaching the question whether it should "abstain" pending appropriate state proceedings for relief, and without reaching the merits, dismissed on the ground that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust "adequate administrative remedies."

This Court, without plenary consideration and without stating its reasons, now reverses the District Court's dismissal, citing McNeese V. Board of Education, ante, p. 1. In McNeese, the Court held that Negro students, seeking relief from alleged school racial segregation, did not have to pursue and exhaust certain administrative remedies available under state law before bringing their federal action. Although I did not at the time and do not now fully understand the prevailing opinion in McNeese, the net result of the case as I see it was that the right to assert, in a federal court, that state officials had acted in a manner depriving the plaintiff of clear constitution[al] rights could not be delayed by the interposition of intentionally or unintentionally inadequate state remedies for the alleged discrimination.

If that is a correct description of the exhaustion problem in McNeese, it bears little relation to the exhaustion question here. State AFDC relief was created pursuant to the provisions of the federal Social Security Act, 49 Stat. 627, 42 U.S. C. §601 et seq. The Federal Government pays the major share of the cost of state aid, see 42 U.S.C. § 603, and in return closely supervises both how it shall be administered and what remedies shall be available to those who have complaints about its operation. Each State receiving federal assistance (which includes California) must formulate and submit to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, for his approval, a plan of operation of its AFDC program. 42 U.S.C. §602. In particular, the plan must provide "that aid to families with dependent children shall be furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligible individuals, " 42 U.S.C. §602 (a)(9), and must "provide for granting a fair hearing before the State agency [whose creation is required by a separate provision, 42 U.S.C. §602 (a)(3)] to any individuals whose claim for aid to families with dependent children is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness." 42 U.S.C. §602 (a)(4). The California plan approved by the Secretary apparently includes both California's three-month requirement and California's hearing procedure.

The Court simply ignores the highly successful federal-state working relationship created by Congress in this area. The right of these appellants to receive AFDC funds involves not only questions of state law, but also the propriety of that law under federal statutory law. For the determination of these questions Congress has specified a state forum in the first instance. Today's holding, made without benefit of briefs and oral argument and on a skimpy record, that 42 U.S.C. §1983 may be used to bypass 42 U.S.C. §602 is a disservice to both of these important statutes.

I would affirm the judgment below.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from CEB Gazette, December, 1967)

On December 1st, San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation obtained a temporary restraining order from District Judge Alfonso Zirpoli enjoining the State Department of Social Welfare from refusing to grant plaintiff's request for restoration and continuation of OAS until a hearing can be held. The complaint requests declaratory relief and a hearing on a preliminary and permanent injunction before a three judge federal court. On December 20th, the judge granted the motion for a three judge court and ruled that the action was properly maintainable as a class action applicable to all OAS recipients in the State of California. The pleadings allege that California statutes authorizing termination of OAS recipient benefits without a prior hearing are unconstitutional and violate federal laws in that they deprive plaintiff of due process of law and a "fair hearing" within the meaning of the Social Security Act.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the N. Y. Post, Jan. 1968)

ALBANY--Relief clients and applicants were given the right to appeal any decision by local welfare agencies that they consider unfair to their rights.

That right was extended by about 170,000 persons now on the relief rolls by the State Board of Social Welfare.

Before this ruling, appeals were confined to those persons receiving assistance from such federal categories as Aid to Dependent Children.

The new policy, covering all categories of relief--local, state and federal- -was adopted by the state board after a six-month study of home relief appeals.

To make the new policy effective. Social Welfare Commissioner Jones said that the new rules:

Require that information on the right of appeal be given to all those whose rights are affected.

Clarify procedures to be followed when a home relief recipient or applicant requests a hearing.

Shorten the time between a request for a hearing and its actual conduct in cases when payments have been dropped or suspended.

Decisions in the appeal cases will be made by the commissioner and issued as promptly as "feasible."

Back to Contents


by Peter Kihss

(Reprinted from The New York Times, Jan. 16, 1968)

John de J. Pemberton, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the Baldwin Foundation was a break from the union's 49-year-old tradition, having been given tax-deductible status by the Internal Revenue Service March 27, 1967.

So far, the foundation has received $300,000 from the Field, New World, Norman and New York Foundations, among others. Offices have been set up at 156 Fifth Avenue at 20th Street, and in Chicago, Delano, Calif., New Orleans, Jackson, Miss. , and Atlanta. A dozen staff attorneys have been retained.

Members of the board of overseers include former Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois; Thomas K. Finletter, former Secretary of the Air Force; J. Kenneth Galbraith, the economist; Archibald Macleish, the poet; and Dean Louis H. Pollak, of Yale Law School.

Efforts thus far include a Detroit suit against a public housing regulation that can evict a woman for having a child, even if legitimate.

Other fields include legal services for migrant farm workers, rights of children in juvenile courts and persons in mental institutions, discrimination in southern justice, unconstitutional use of Federal funds and definition of Selective Service rights.

Back to Contents


by Peter Kihss

(Reprinted from The New York Times, Jan. 16, 1968)

A foundation is trying to knock out city and state welfare regulations that strip welfare recipients of three types of assets to recover welfare payments given to them.

The move is being made by the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The state's Social Service Law calls for taking over real estate and insurance assets and any awards for injuries, Martin Garbus, the foundation's director-counsel, explained.

In addition, a foundation brief in Federal Court said that the law--which says administrators "may" act to recover property to repay aid given "during the preceding 10 years"--discourages relief recipients from moving toward self-support.

James J. Graham of the New York University Project on Social Welfare Law, the co-author of the brief with Mr. Garbus, said the state-wide total of recoveries from welfare recipients, past and present, amounted to $5.6-million in 1966, when the yearly total welfare expenditure was $1.2-billion. New York City recovered $2.3-million of this, he said, while salaries of lawyers and other costs of litigation here amounted to 23 per cent of the recovery.

The pending suit is in the names of five present and past welfare recipients. Geraldine Snell, a Brooklyn mother of four, has been studying on scholarships since 1965 to become a teacher and earns $32 a week as a part-time clerk; she applied for dependent children aid last Feb. 10 and was ordered to turn over her $900 interest in a cooperative apartment.

Juan Malave, an $86-a-week Bronx worker with a wife and eight children, went on relief last March when injured in an accident; his injury award was $400, and the city denamded $420. 29 to cover aid given to him.

A third plaintiff, Helen Marley, is a 68-year-old chamber maid with wages of $30 a week and Social Security benefits of $86 a month. She received $4,000 in home relief from 1945 to 1954 while undergoing cancer operations but has not been on relief since. The city is taking a $48 5 insurance policy from her that became paid up last year.

The Roger Baldwin Foundation suit contends the state laws deter applicants, frustrate injury awards, impair opportunities to become self-supporting and discriminate against relief recipients. It asserts no such repayment is required under public school, college scholarship, free-milk and other programs.

Mr. Garbus and Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., an overseer of the foundation, said the New York case was one of a series by which the fund is, in effect, seeking to build up a "bill of rights" for welfare recipients.

Mr. Schlesinger, the Pulitzer Prize historian, said "the privacy, freedom and dignity of the welfare recipient ought to be as much a part of the program as the transfer of benefits."

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from the S. F. Chronicle, Dec. 14, 1967)

A Federal judge in San Francisco asked for a constitutional probe into the State Welfare Department practice of withholding payments to welfare recipients they previously overpaid.

And the case revealed that the State, by attempting to save $187,000 a year, may lose millions in Federal aid.

Judge Albert C. Wollenberg issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Alameda County Welfare Department from cutting welfare payments to two families until a three-judge Federal court can determine the constitutionality of the practice.

In the case of one family, Mable Stallworth and her six children, the department ordered her monthly payment cut from $238 to $61.

The Welfare Department said that an overpayment had been made earlier this year.

The department rules state such overpayment must be deducted from the next payment, as soon as the overpayment is discovered.

That same rule was revoked last July 1 by the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare, on the grounds that a family's need had been set by the department and it should not be reduced because of a previous overpayment.

The State Welfare Department has asked the Federal agency if it may wait until next July 1, hoping the State Legislature will override the Finance Department.

[Editor's Note: The Federal Regulation plus the explanation supplied in the Federal Handbook are as follows:]

Availability of Income and Resources

In some States, policy has been in effect whereby income and resources, not actually available, have been assumed to be available to applicants and recipients, and have been considered so as to reduce the amount of assistance and thus the total amount actually available for meeting the essentials of living. To meet this inequity, a requirement is being added, to become effective July 1, 1967, for all new cases, and for all other cases as they come up for redetermination of eligibility thereafter.

Under this requirement a State must differentiate between resources that can be counted on because they are available for current use on a regular basis and those found not to be available for the individual's use in meeting subsistence needs as defined in the State's standard. This means taking into consideration, in determining need and amount of payment, all current income from all sources, such as earnings, OASDI monthly benefits, contributions, etc., actually available to meet the individual's needs on a regular basis (except as required or permitted to be disregarded or set aside under the various titles of the Social Security Act or other Federal law) and in contrast, omitting from consideration in determining need and amount of payment any income or resources merely assumed to be possessed by the individual.

Thus, income must not be considered where it is not, in fact, currently available to the needy individual; e.g., support payments ordered by the court but which are not, in fact, made; contributions which relatives have been determined able to make but which are not, in fact, made; and income from employment assumed to be available in the community when, in fact, the individual is not working.

For cases in which income or resources are initially available, but are then discontinued, e. g. , cases in which a payment under a court order, or contributions, continue for several months and then cease, assistance payments will need to be adjusted promptly to reflect this change in circumstances.

Assistance payments must be based on need in the light of currently available income and resources. Current payments cannot be reduced because of prior overpayments, if the recipient no longer has the income available, which occasioned the overpayment. Examples: Unreported income several months ago which is no longer available as well as agency overpayments.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from CEB Gazette, Jan. 1968)

California's welfare code and manual deny AFDC benefits to a mother who has been deserted by her husband for three months following the desertion, unless she files for divorce first. California Rural Legal Assistance, Salinas, brought individual and class actions for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages against the State of California, State Department of Social Welfare and its director and Monterey County Department of Public Welfare and its director to challenge this rule. Plaintiff Jenish alleges that she is a Catholic and does not wish to divorce her husband, who deserted her, for religious and moral reasons.

The points and authorities in support of the petition allege that (1) the challenged sections abridge plaintiff's religious freedom in that they discriminate against Catholics; (2) divorce or deprivation interferes with the plaintiff's constitutional right to maintain a marital relationship; (3) conclusive presumptions not based on incontrovertible facts are repugnant to due process; (4) the command to divorce or accept deprivation is barbaric and disruptive. Federal District Judge Oliver Carter granted a temporary restraining order on January 2, 1968, and agreed to impanel a three-judge federal court to decide the constitutionality issue.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from CEB Gazette, Jan. 1968)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down three different types of vagrancy statutes on constitutional grounds. The first punished persons in public places at nighttime who failed to "give a satisfactory account of themselves. " The court reasoned that if police suspicion coupled with failure to explain satisfactorily could constitute a crime it would leave excessive discretion m the hands of the police. The statute was held to be too vague. The second statute punished those "without visible means of support." The court struck this down on similar due process grounds, taking judicial note of the fact that this type of statute was used only for drunks and for suspected criminals whom the police could not reasonably arrest on other grounds. The third statute punished those who are "known" felons "acting in suspicious manner" in certain specified places. The court found this statute overly broad.

Back to Contents


(Reprinted from The New York Times, Jan. 20. 1968)

Alabama's chief welfare officer said today that his agency had signed a new qualified agreement with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ruben King, Alabama's Commissioner of Pensions and Security, made the announcement.

The Supreme Court refused earlier this week to review a lower Federal Court ruling that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare had the authority to cut off Alabama's Federal welfare funds.

John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, said on Jan. 12, 1967 that Alabama welfare aid would be halted because of the "failure of long efforts" to get Alabama to agree to end discrimination in the administration of welfare funds.

The Federal funds total $96-million a year, or 80 per cent of the welfare money paid out in Alabama.

The Federal agency insisted that the state enforce nondiscrimination regulations for doctors and private clinics that treated welfare patients- - such as the elimination of separate waiting rooms.

The state contended that it had no such authority.

Mr. King said that under the new agreement Alabama doctors and institutions must certify to the state that their services were in full compliance with the civil rights act before they would be paid by the state agency for treating welfare clients.

However, Mr. King put conditions on the state's role in seeking to end discrimination. He said that "nothing in the statement of compliance shall obligate the state to more than try, persuade, negotiate, or act in good faith in accordance with the language" of the Federal Court.

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has not announced whether it regards the conditions as acceptable.

Back to Contents


Edward H. Huber, 46, 2410 Pierce Street, a blind man with a white cane suffered back and left hip injuries Monday afternoon, Dec. 18th, when struck by a car while crossing Pierce Street at 25th Street, police said.

The man was taken to the nearby medical clinic at 2417 Pierce Street, where he was examined and treated by a doctor.

Police listed the driver of the car as Denis R, Keil, 17, 2500 Jones St. , who was issued a court summons for failure to yield right-of-way to a blind person in a crosswalk,

Mr. Huber is the second blind man to be struck by a car here in recent months. The Rev. Norman Tarbox was hit by a car as he and his guide dog were crossing the intersection of 5th and Pierce Streets on Oct. 20th. The Rev. Mr. Tarbox was hospitalized at St. Luke's Medical Center East with injuries he suffered in the mishap.

(from Sioux City Journal, Dec. 19, 1967)

California Rural Legal Assistance, Santa Maria, reports that one of its Mexican-American clients who purchased a religious book received the following letter from "Catholic Accounts" of Charlotte, North Carolina:

Dear Friend: Your contract is now in my office to be approved for Civil Action, I looked at the note attached by the Credit Department--! hesitated, 'there must be some mistake, ' I thought. Anyone who would buy a religious book certainly will pay for it. 'I must give this person one more chance. ' How much of this life is luck we do not know, but who would want to carry on his mind and heart the burden of an unpaid debt for a religious book? Who would want to pass out of this life owing such a debt?

CRLA, Santa Maria, replied, proving that the bill had in fact been paid, stating:

The implications of your collection letter are such as to create the impression that if she does not pay for a religious book and if she were to die while owing such a bill, sanctions could be imposed upon her in the Hereafter by an eternal Judge with whom sellers of religious books have special influence.

In its latest letter to Catholic Accounts CRLA has demanded a clear statement that its client owes nothing and stated "Surely you would not want to depart this world leaving Mrs. Flores suffering unallayed fears of the sanctions, both civil and religious, with which you once threatened her. . . "

Jack Gladden, long-time member of the California Council of the Blind and successful vending stand operator, died suddenly of a heart attack on December 9, 1967.

Larry M. Talbut of Marshfield, Mo., has been appointed Superintendent of the Missouri School of the Blind.

Word has been received of the birth of a daughter, April, on Thursday, November 30th, to Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Urena. Mr. Urena is a member of the staff of the Orientation Center for the Blind in Des Moines, Iowa.

Arthur Colby of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1928 graduate of the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped, has accepted a teaching position in the field of music at Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

From Gar old McGill: The Fort Wayne Council of the Blind, an NFB affiliate, held its annual banquet on January 13, 1968 at the Hobby Ranch House in Fort Wayne. Mr. Kenneth Jernigan was the featured speaker of the evening. About 40 persons attended the affair. Mr. Jernigan talked with many of the blind people before and after the banquet about the problems affecting them and made suggestions for improvement in states, such as Indiana, where rehabilitation policies are so bad.

Society band leader Phil Bennett has been named "Musician of the Year" by the Associated Blind. Bennett, who's in the Social Register, has been blind since birth. He plays 12 instruments and sings in five languages.

George Ferguson, veteran and progressive leader of the handicapped of Ashtabula, Ohio, his many friends throughout the nation will be glad to know, is at least partially back in harness after six months recuperation from a severe heart attack.

The Progressive Blind of Missouri will hold its annual convention April 26-28 at the Alladin Hotel in Kansas City.

Here is a hint for your blind "readers."

When I became blind, it was obvious that I would not become a fast braille reader, partly because I am still learning it and partly because my finger sensitivity is not quite as sharp as it might be. It's adequate, but I am a bit slow.

I find that a light sanding is helpful to my fingers, a trick picked up from reading about safe-crackers before I became blind. --Esther Hammil.

(From "Hints from Heloise, " by Heloise Kansas City Star, Jan. 11, 1968

From David Swerdlow: Interested in creative self-expression through live drama? Then why not join THE ELBEE AUDIO PLAYERS in its 1968 season of dramatic reading productions for the community, sighted as well as blind. This independent troupe of blind, amateur, repertory Players is the first of its kind in the country. We invite blind and partially sighted men and women living in the New York City area to participate with us in this exciting program of full-length dramatic reading productions of major plays.

REQUIREMENTS: You should be a good braille or inkprint reader. (No memorizing of lines necessary); have a strong interest in the performing arts; must be able to travel independently.

REHEARSALS: Usually one evening a week.

PERFORMANCES: Weekday and weekend evenings (twice or three times a month) at temples, churches and community centers. For further information write or call: David Swerdlow, 621 West End Ave., New York City 10024, TR 4-5704.

The boy steered and gave directions. The man worked the pedals and gear shift.

No one dreamed up this one. It appeared in an article on highway safety by O.D. Shipley, then Pennsylvania's Commissioner of Traffic.

Pennsylvania has since taken steps to make such happenings far less likely to happen again.

But don't go away.

In Kansas, 136 legally blind people were found to be holding valid driving licenses. Kansas has since found ways to guard against this bit of madness, (From Good Housekeeping Magazine, May, 1967)

John Kenneth Dupress, 45, director of the Center for Sensory Aids Evaluation and Development' at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died December 29 at Beth Israel Hospital.

Mr. Dupress, who lost his sight and right arm in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, suffered an apparent heart-attack at his Boston home, 191 Westland Ave.

He was an authority on devices to aid the blind and deaf-blind and was a leader in applying modern engineering to development of such devices.

On October 27, 1967, the Mississippi Valley Association of the Blind was organized in Davenport, Iowa. This organization is to be a chapter of the Iowa Association of the Blind.

Officers elected were as follows: Lewis C. Mirfield, Jr., president; Betty Farrar, vice president; Ken Cellman, treasurer; Wayne Douglas, secretary; Judy Young, legislative chairman.

Immediately after organizing they engaged in a most successful White Cane Candy sale. They are now anticipating having a booth at the local Fair this summer to better educate the public to the capabilities of the blind.

Sioux City officers elected for the conning year beginning in September, 1967, were: President, Mr. Ferd Koskovich; Vice President, Laura Johnson; Secretary, Marjorie James; and Treasurer, Mrs. Ann Gruber.

At the annual meeting of the Iowa Center Alumni Association, D. Curtis Willoughby was elected president for the coming year. Since the death of Kenneth Russell, who was their first president, the Alumni has raised a memorial fund. This fund, with some additions by the miembers present, was taken and invested in a beautiful piano for the Center as a memorial to Mr. Russell.

Back to Contents