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: Kenneth Jernigan, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309.

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

EDITOR: Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue, Sacramento, California, 95822. Associate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California, 94708.

News items should be sent to the Editor.

Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California, 94708.

If you or a friend wish to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, a District of Columbia non-profit corporation, the sum of $_____ (or, “_____ percent of my net estate", or "the following stocks and bonds:_____ ") to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons and to be held and administered by direction of its Executive Committee."

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the Berkeley Office for other suggested forms.


by Kenneth Jernigan




by Mabel Nading and Kenneth Shedenhelm


by Jim Omvig


by Martha Bjornseth

by William Taaffe



by Nellie Hargrove

by Wendy Ross

by James T. Walsh

by Rhodes Johnston









Carolina was fine in 1969. People, Purpose, and Program—such were the potent ingredients which made the 1969 NFB convention such a smashing success. NFB convention goers are famous for working hard and playing hard and this year was no exception. The President's Report, the Banquet Address, the Governor's Reception, and the admission of four new affiliates were the high points of interest.


More than 1000 persons attended convention sessions and 770 registered, making this the biggest in NFB history. The banquet alone attracted 684 enthusiastic Federationists and friends and a host of distinguished guests including the Lt. Governor of South Carolina and Congressman James A. Burke of Massachusetts.

Just prior to the opening of the regular session of business on Tuesday morning, July 1, Victor Johnson of Missouri presented the President with a gavel and block made by Beryl Masters of Kansas City, Missouri. It was well used throughout the convention.

The President was in for another surprise presentation. Just before the adjournment of the afternoon session on Thursday, presentation of a plaque was made to President Jernigan by Neil Butler, President of the Iowa Association of the Blind. The plaque inscription reads: "The Honorable Robert D. Ray, Governor, State of Iowa, on June 16, 1969 used this pen to sign three bills of far reaching importance to the blind .... Presented at 1969 National Federation of the Blind Convention to Dr. Kenneth Jernigan in recognition of his outstanding leadership in programs with the blind and the organized blind movement." The print edition carries a picture of the Governor using that pen to sign the bills into law.

Flags presented to the National Federation of the Blind by NFB Treasurer Franklin VanVliet and his wife, Gertrude, at the fall Executive Committee meeting, were formally accepted by the Convention in a motion from the floor. The flags—one United States, the other NFB—are three feet by five feet and are suitably mounted on stands. Each flag is hand appliqued. The NFB banner carries our emblem and the words of our motto "Security, Equality, Opportunity", and, in larger letters "National Federation of the Blind", in bright blue on a gold background. They stood on either side of the platform throughout the convention.

On Tuesday morning the National Federation of the Blind received a surprise gift—a bust of Professor tenBroek suitably mounted on a lovely wooden pedestal. The bronze was cast by Barry Chavis who drives the bus for the Aurora Club Center. It remained for the rest of the day just below the speaker's rostrum, looking out over the convention hall.

The Host Affiliates, local and state, are to be congratulated on the hospitality offered and the planning that must have gone into making a convention of this size run smoothly. Carolinian's saw that every plane and bus was met by volunteers wearing ten gallon white hats and blue NFB identification tags. People and baggage were moved in special buses and facilitated getting to the right place immeasurably. The white-hatted volunteers were in service at the hotels throughout the convention aided by boy and girl Scouts. Publicity in all its many facets was handled most efficiently by Onnie Barham.

More than 250 prizes, including over $1000 in cash, were won by the enthralled delegates during the course of the convention. The Master of Prizes, Manuel Urena, performed his duties with his usual skill. Highpoint of the drawings occurred at the Thursday evening banquet when the South Carolina affiliate gave a $500 stereo set. The basket containing the cards was spun by Manuel Urena, Lt. Governor West pulled the card, and it was read by Congressman Burke. It was won by Edna Fillinger of Ohio, who seemed to be the prize prize winner of the Convention, having drawn at least three. More than $1000 of other prizes were dispensed at the Banquet, the next door prize drawn at the Banquet was an electric ice cream freezer and the announcement was greeted by enthusiastic applause.


President's Report

The highlight of the Convention was the President's Report on Tuesday afternoon. It set forth a total commitment to the purposes of the NFB through solid achievements during the past year. It reported on significant progress in programs, communications, funding, and facilities.

During an hour-long presentation on Thursday afternoon, the President discussed the four new affiliates which were added to the National Federation of the Blind roster during the year, making a grand total of forty-one. He then presented each new affiliate president to the Convention. The Illinois Congress of the Blind was represented by its First Vice President Don Roberts. Its president, Rami Rabby, who had been hospitalized, arrived in time to accept the Illinois Congress' charter at the Banquet. Joe Spence spoke for the Delaware Federation of the Blind; Jim Couts for the Kansas Sunflower Federation of the Blind; and Nellie Hargrove for the National Federation of the Blind in Tennessee. Each president voiced the hopes and programs for his group working within the National Federation of the Blind and reported surprising growth in membership and activities.

An impressive series of victories before the courts and administrative agencies was racked up: The Federation participated as amicus curiae in the United States Supreme Court decision voiding all state durational residence requirements for aid applicants. It carried to successful conclusions two vending stand operators' cases. One, the New Hampshire Beckwith case [see the Braille Monitor for May, June, and September 1968] which restored the operator to his stand, a more lucrative business, and reimbursed lost income. The other, the Virden vending stand case in Minnesota, which will significantly affect the standing of all operators in their relationship with administrators the country over. The Weckerly case, involving tenure for a blind teacher in Michigan, has now moved from administrative victory to court contest. Another blind teacher is also receiving similar help from the NFB.

A vigorous campaign has been waged to pass the disability insurance bill which would place in the pockets of blind persons $180 million dollars a year. It would provide every blind person who has a minimum of six quarters of social security covered work with disability benefits under the social insurance sections of the Social Security Act, irrespective of other income. To date, twenty-four bulletins have been issued by the President on this campaign alone to state and chapter presidents. Congressman James A. Burke introduced the original bill and 143 colleagues are now cosponsors. The recently introduced Senate version already has 54 cosponsors. Since all money bills must originate in the House, the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee is the key to success. Thus far, eleven of the twenty-five members have cosponsored our bill.

The National Federation of the Blind has been instrumental in establishing a common front of agencies of and for the blind in support of its own version of amendments to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act [set out elsewhere in this issue] which provides for improved administration and establishes an appeals procedure.

The President reported that the House of Representatives of the State of Hawaii has formally requested the National Federation of the Blind to conduct a survey and evaluation of all programs for the blind in the Aloha State and submit recommendations to the Legislature early next year.

Since January of this year, more than $75,000 has been added to the NFB's reserves, which the Convention this year unanimously renamed the Jacobus tenBroek Endowment Fund. This fund is now approaching the $200,000 mark. Of the original $500,000 purchase price for FEDCO Corporation, only $150,000 remains outstanding. The NFB became a member of the Conference of Nonprofit Organizations (CONO), an organization of groups with similar fundraising problems, such as the Disabled American Veterans. Kenneth Jernigan serves as its President. Continued membership of the NFB in CONO was left by action of the Convention to the discretion of the President.

During the past year, communications on all levels have been stepped up at an ever-increasing pace. The talking book Monitor was inaugurated and this newest version is rapidly becoming the most popular edition. Sixty-two Presidential Releases covering significant facets of organization work were issued to state and chapter presidents during the first six months of 1969. To handle this upsurge in the workload, the Berkeley Office was automated. It became necessary for the President to establish offices in Des Moines. The Washington Office was also relocated in larger and better quarters.

Several states have requested and have received grants to further organizational activity, establish newsletters and other similar projects.

Rigorous review of the NFB constitution is planned for the coming year. The Executive Committee will act as the Constitutional Revision Committee.

The President fully discussed the problems arising from special interest group divisions within the Federation. He indicated that he hoped that, except for the Student Division, interest groups would remain on an informal basis so that the emphasis would be on overall NFB policies and programs thus avoiding any possibility of fragmentation of effort.

The President pointed out that the NFB has been in the business of dissent for a long time. Where it can work constructively with other organizations of the blind it will continue to do so but will decline to engage in fraternal warfare. The National Convention is the supreme legislative authority and its decisions are the directives for action for all Federationists, officers and members alike. With respect to the functions of the Executive, the President said: "I believe that I was elected President for the purpose of providing active leadership. In other words, I believe you elected me to lead and this is exactly what I intend to do—lead. To the best of my ability I shall carry out Convention policies and directives. When no Convention policy or directive has been established and when there is not time to discuss the matter with other Federation officers or leaders, I shall act (whenever I believe such to be necessary) in accordance with what I think you would want me to do. Of course, if I make the wrong decision too many times, I am sure that you will exercise your democratic right of finding a new leader. In the meantime, I shall not be timid and the Federation shall not atrophy for lack of action. I believe you elected me to be President of an activist movement and not merely to preside over the organized chaos of a giant debating society.

With respect to plans for the future, it is anticipated that a special greeting card mailing will be initiated; that proceedings of the national conventions probably will be made available on discs starting with the 1968 meeting; that new affiliates will seek membership shortly; and that, as an overview, perhaps the past year has been the greatest in NFB history. When it was moved that the President's report be accepted, he told the membership that they should not regard the motion as a mere formality, that he would interpret a yes vote as an endorsement of the course he had outlined and a directive to proceed full steam ahead.

The Convention unanimously accepted the report of the President with a standing ovation.

Perspectives from the Berkeley Office

The President's Report was immediately followed by that of the Associate Editor and manager of the Berkeley Office, Hazel tenBroek. She said, in part:

"I am overwhelmed by your warm reception. We all know to whom it rightly belongs. It belongs to him whose image stands before you. An inkling of the impact of the many aspects of that personality with its great mind, its noble spirit, and its gentle heart, is frequently evidenced. It is quite evident that his spirit moves among and through each of us here assembled by the very reason of our presence. It is evident in the surging activity of many blind people who before were willing to let him and a few others carry the burden for them. It is evident in the decision of college and school administrators willing to hire blind teachers because they knew him and, consequently, had concluded that blindness was not necessarily a cloud upon the intellect. It is evident in the courts of the nation where his writing and his teaching has affected bench and bar alike. It is evident in the countless decisions of those courts affecting countless persons who never knew or heard of him, in cases dealing with such diverse subjects as adoptions, torts, and civil rights, encompassing Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court outlawing duration of residence requirements for welfare applicants.

This occasion is for me momentous in other ways—it marks my first appearance in the role of staff member of the National Federation of the Blind, and it marks the occasion of my first attempt to make a more or less formal presentation. Certainly my position is one in which Freud would have reveled. For having been midwife at the birth of the organization, and having exercised all the prerogatives of nurse in tending it with loving care, I now stand as its employee—and am receiving as good as I gave on all counts. In some ways, consequently, the switch to staff member has come without too much difficulty. There was simply a change in emphasis of ongoing endeavor, working with a President whose Federation philosophy and goals are at one with those of his beloved predecessor. And he has become an ideal Chief. He supplies us with enough work to keep us out of mischief—most of the time—gives us the best of tools with which to do it, and administers our labors with an abundance of understanding, sweetened with large doses of patience.

Staff members, as John Nagle can testify, know nothing about the forty-hour week. Daughter Anna Carolotta likes to tell how she put in her requisition properly filled out in multiple copies some weeks in advance of her twenty-first birthday last April so that I could spend the day with her. But keeping up with a vigorous, imaginative President requires considerable effort on the part of staffers."

Mrs. tenBroek then detailed some areas of activity of the Berkeley Office. During the first five and a half months of 1969, the office sent out 45,715 pieces of mail, consisting of Presidential Releases, legislative releases, requests, form letters, and inkprint Monitors, though the latter accounted for only one third. As an example of what is involved, the releases alone required the addressing of 27,500 envelopes. Copy for all editions of the Monitor is prepared in the Berkeley Office from material supplied by the Editor and the President. Both editors do some of the writing. Total pages for the inkprint edition in the 1968-69 volume were 2,217,500. Preparation time has been cut in half by the new IBM equipment with great savings in manpower and material, thus freeing staff and machines to work on the releases and other publications. The mailing list is now upwards of 10,000.

The problem of keeping the mailing list not only up to date but accurate was recounted. A plea was made to all present to do everything they could about not only sending in changes in a timely manner but to check into the accuracy of names and addresses listed. It now costs the Federation too much postage, time, and manpower in dealing with inaccuracies.

Requests for information and materials are handled as quickly as the limits of available information, time, and manpower allow. Many state and local groups are beginning to use the resources of the Berkeley Office in their organization work. The office stands ready to assist in any way possible in the expanding, forward movement of the NFB.

Committee Reports

The first major event of the Convention occurred on Monday morning with the meeting of the Executive Committee. As in the past, the meeting was open to all who cared to attend, and many did. In fact, the tone of the Convention was set by the enthusiasm and spirit of the hundreds who came. Convention arrangements were discussed and there was a general review of the year's activities. Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant, Dr. Jacob Freid, and James Gashel, President of the Student Division were renominated for one-year terms as Board Members.

Three important reports of standing committees dealing with the financial condition of the Federation were presented to the Convention on Friday afternoon, July 4. Anthony G. Mannino, National White Cane Chairman indicated continuing progress and participation by the state affiliates in this area of Federation activity. A stimulating feature was the report of the Chairman of the Jacobus tenBroek Endowment Fund, Lawrence Marcelino. As the Fund creeps toward the $200,000 mark, just so does the financial stability of the Federation move toward a more solid basis. Perry Sundquist gave his usual thorough report for the Sub-Committee on Budget and Finance, and the figures presented told not only of the organization's rise financially but of its ability to bring more services to blind persons everywhere in helping all reach the goal of security, equality, and opportunity.


Manuel Urena served as chairman of a hard-working committee whose other members were Al Gil, James Omvig, Ned Graham, Alfonso Smith, Susan Ford, and Francis Flanagan. Some 18 resolutions were adopted by the 1969 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Full texts of these resolutions will be found either at the end of this volume, or as an appendix to it.

Group Meetings

State White Cane chairmen met on Tuesday, July 1 during the noon break to plan action for next year. The Correspondents Committee met on June 30 with the Editor and Associate Editor to explore improvments in communication between the national and state organizations and to discuss the work of the Monitor. The blind teacher's group met on Tuesday evening, July 1, reviewed its contributions to the organized blind movement and debated its future. An election of officers for one year terms brought Ramona Walhof of Idaho into service as Chairman, Robert Acosta of California as Vice Chairman, and Evelyn Weckerly of Michigan as Secretary. At a meeting on Monday evening, June 30, which served as a preliminary to the after-the-convention Student Division Seminar that group elected the following officers to serve for two years: James Gashel of Iowa, President; Gerald Neufeld, California, First Vice President; Paul Kay, New York, Second Vice President; Dennis Byrum, Michigan, Secretary; and Shirley Lansing, Iowa, Treasurer. The Student Division Seminar held on Saturday, July 5, attracted almost 100 participants. Highlights were panel discussions on Blind Student Needs and Services to Meet Them; Iowa's Program for the Education of Blind Children; Employment for the Professionally Trained Blind; Prospects and Possibilities for the Blind in the Teaching Profession; and Summer Employment for Blind Students.

Among the other groups which met informally were the blind chiropractors and the blind merchants. The latter group elected for one year terms James Ryan of Minnesota as Chairman, Sylvester Nemmers of Iowa as Vice Chairman, Neil Butler of Iowa as Secretary and Milford Force of New Jersey as Treasurer.



Sheltered Workshops and the National Labor Relations Board were dealt with by James Omvig blind NLRB attorney on Tuesday afternoon. After reviewing cases familiar to most readers of the Monitor [See the Braille Monitor for April 1960, January 1969] and summarizing the problems involved in the statutory setup of the agency and its jurisdiction, Mr. Omvig concluded that "public attitudes in general regarding blindness have been changed a good deal-largely through the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind. And, for that matter, there have been changes in the NFB itself. It is stronger and more affluent than it has ever been. Its voice is being heard in many areas where it was not heard . . . and it is more prepared than ever before to enter into new areas of conflict to promote the interest of the blind throughout the country. . . . [T]he time is right for the Federation to actively seek the support of organized labor. Sheltered shop employees ought to be organized so that they can have the chance to improve themselves through the strength of a single voice. Organized labor has a responsibility in this area and would, I think, face up to it with the proper inducement and education. It is only through self-organization and collective bargaining that sheltered shop employees will ever realize their fair share of our nation's vast resources . . . . Let us have no more decisions by the NLRB or by any other agency, Federal or State, which say that persons who work in sheltered workshops are unemployable elsewhere because they are physically, mentally, emotionally or socially disabled. Rather let us present the true story with such force that the next NLRB decisions state that persons employed in sheltered workshops have the right to organize because they are in fact employees . . . ." The force of these remarks was emphasized by the next speaker, Lawrence T. Smedley, Assistant Director of the Department of Social Security, AFL-CIO, whose subject dealt with the right of sheltered shop workers to participate in Unions. Those directly affected in workshop programs, he said, must be free to have a part with management in the planning and implementation of programs, thus bringing economic democracy to the workers and, further, these rights should be guaranteed by law. He pointed out the fact well known to Federationists that low wages and poor working and living conditions can damage a disabled person as certainly as disease. He concluded by saying that "it is our desire to join with other organizations like the National Federation of the Blind in order to maximize the efforts of all of us who work in behalf of the goal to provide all of those who labor in sheltered workshops those rights and working conditions essential to dignity and self-respect." With some prodding from the President, Mr. Smedley pledged support of his organization to those workers in sheltered shops who are driven to use the strike to improve wage and working conditions.

After recounting the year's growth, James Gashel, President of the NFB Student Division spelled out the need of young people for the NFB and why the NFB needs young people. They need each other in the pursuit of solutions to common problems and common goals—the achievement of security, opportunity, and equality for all the blind.

Thursday morning, July 3, was devoted to education and rehabilitation. A panel discussion reviewed the struggle that the blind of the State of South Carolina had undergone to obtain the law establishing their commission and the fight waged to secure the appointment of its Director, Fred Crawford. It demonstrated how the blind of the state and its Commission Director can work as a team and indicated the enormous forward strides they had taken together. Participants were NFB First Vice President, Donald C. Capps, who served as panel chairman, with members Lois V. Boltin, President; John Raybourne, Second Vice President; Robert L. Oglesby, Secretary; and Marshall Tucker, Treasurer of the South Carolina Aurora Club. N. F. Walker, Superintendent of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind who outlined its current programs, followed. The Director of the Commission for the Blind, Fred Crawford, presented the problems, programs, and accomplishments of his agency via a tape presentation.

Charles Galozzi, Assistant Chief of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, reported on innovations and improvements in library services. He indicated that an advisory group of blind readers would be appointed and invited the NFB to designate one of its members.

The morning program was rounded out by John Taylor, Assistant Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, who ably dealt with "Rehabilitation of the Blind—The Federal Act: the Cans and Can'ts". Mr. Taylor recalled that the Federal Rehabilitation Act was first passed in 1920 and was substantially amended in 1943 in order to provide more effective services to blind persons. For the past twenty-nine years the NFB has played a major role in influencing the favorable development of the provisions of the Act. He talked specifically about what state agencies can and cannot do under the Federal Act and advised the state affiliates to know and exercise their rights with respect to rehabilitation.

In his Friday morning presentation, Edward Rose, Director of Programs for the Handicapped of the United States Civil Service, discussed the position of blind workers in the federal service. He regretted that during 1968 only 1.64 percent of all new employees hired by the federal government were handicapped, instead of the 10 percent it should have been. The hope is that an experimental training project being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service will result in the employment of between 75 and 100 blind persons in the next three years as counselors in the Service.

The next speaker was William W. Thompson, Vending Stand Coordinator of the District of Columbia Vocational Rehabilitation Service. He discussed the automated vending stand and its effect upon blind operators. Mr. Thompson pointed out that automation has increased the income of operators substantially.

George Magers, Assistant Chief of the United States Division of Services for the Blind, led off the afternoon program, with a discussion of new careers for blind persons. He suggested that we must plan for the training and placement of blind persons geared to new opportunities afforded by such programs as Medicaid and Medicare; that the promising field of teaching of sighted children in public schools should be enlarged along with filling positions such as teacher and school aids. Mr. Magers pointed out that more than 2500 blind students will be registered in 450 colleges and universities this fall.

Dr. Edwin R. Lewinson, Professor of American History at Seton Hall University, New York, then recounted his experiences with discrimination in housing, which Monitor readers will recall were fully recounted in the March 1969 issue.

Legislation in the 91st Congress

On Thursday, July 3, John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, gave his usual fine rundown of the battery of Congressional proposals being sponsored by the Federation. He emphasized the necessity for state and local affiliates to put pressure on their Representatives in Congress in the big push to pass the disability insurance bill. John detailed our efforts in the Senate where the disability insurance bill was recently introduced. As he read the names and states of the 100 United States Senators and listed those who were cosponsors of our disability insurance bill, the correlation between sponsorship and state affiliation with the NFB was discerably high. There are few cosponsors in states which have no NFB affiliate. Attention was drawn to the effect of organization, especially in view of certain other groups who talk about representing blind people and who claim to work for the best interests of the blind.

The Banquet

Thursday evening's Banquet activities were certainly an explosion of enthusiasm. The President's Address was an invitation to Federationists to join him at the barricades. The thunderous ovation which greeted the end of the speech, was affirmation that the overflow crowd of 684 diners had heard and were ready to follow their leader. Lt. Governor John C. West of South Carolina, stated that he would join the Federation at the barricades and added that he had never heard a more stimulating and persuasive address. This sentiment was echoed by Congressman James A. Burke, recipient of the National Federation's Newel Perry Award. [The President's Address and the Newel Perry Presentation are printed elsewhere in this issue.] The Award has not been conferred since 1966 and this year's recipient has served the blind well in his sponsorship and fight for passage of the disability insurance for the blind bill. Four charters to new affiliates—Tennessee, Illinois, Kansas and Delaware—were presented by the President. NFB Rickard Scholarship awards for the coming year were announced by NFB Secretary Russell Kletzing who serves as chairman of the scholarship committee. Our First Vice President, Donald C. Capps of South Carolina, revealed yet another talent as he turned in a superb job as master of ceremonies.

Federationism Around the World

Friday morning, July 4, was largely given over to our international relations. Rienzi Alagiyawanna, President of the International Federation of the Blind, came from Ceylon and delivered a rousing speech. He spoke of the greatness of the mission of the NFB and its substantial contributions toward making the IFB a force for spreading unity and equality for the blind in every corner of the world. He invited the membership to attend the very First Annual Convention of the International Federation of the Blind to be held this fall in Colombo, Ceylon. The cry: "From Columbia to Columbo" went round the convention. There will be thirty national affiliates representing the independent blind of the world, free of agency control and custodialism, in attendance. Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant, NFB Board Member and Ambassador of Good Will Overseas, spoke briefly of her work. And Russell Kletzing, NFB Secretary and IFB Treasurer outlined the IFB convention program: Discussions will center around education of blind children; development of economic opportunities for the blind; and the white cane as a means of independent travel throughout the world. Mr. Kletzing has served as NFB delegate to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind. The NFB holds one of the six seats allotted to the United States. During the last three or four years, discussion, initiated by the NFB, has been going on for a redistribution of those six seats. Originally two seats were assigned to the American Foundation for the Blind, two to the American Association of Workers for the Blind, one to the American Association of Instructors of the Blind, and one to the National Federation of the Blind. As a result of the discussions referred to above, one of the seats belonging to the AFB and one belonging to the AAWB have now been redistributed and representatives of the Blinded Veterans Association and the American Council of the Blind are seated in the delegation from this country.

NFB President Jernigan reaffirmed the support of this organization for the work of the IFB and to prove his point conducted an impromptu fundraising campaign on the spot. This resulted in cash and pledges from affiliates and individuals which amount to over $6,000. The new Tennessee affiliate evoked admiration and rousing cheers from the Convention as well as demonstrating its enthusiasm and vitality by leading the way with a pledge to attempt to raise from its membership $500 for the International Federation. This incited a spirited giving contest among Iowa, California, and Alaska. The delegations from those three states pledged to go home and try to raise more than $1,000 from each of their respective states.

Also on that morning's program was Dr. D. E. Foohey of the Planning Division of the Canadian Development Board who spoke of his own experience with the problems of discrimination and bureaucracy in Canada concerned primarily with the struggle he had to secure answers from the foreign language school maintained by the Canadian Civil Service as to his required participation. They maintained that though required, he was ineligible because of his blindness. He and the Convention agreed that it was a fight that had to be fought—and won.


This being the off year, elections were limited to four positions on the Executive Committee. Ray Dinsmore of Indiana and Perry Sundquist of California were reelected to two year terms. Two new members were chosen, also for two year terms: Mrs. Nellie Hargrove of Tennessee, and Alfonso Smith of Ohio. Mrs. Hargrove is president of the new affiliate, the National Federation of the Blind in Tennessee. She attended the Tennessee School for the Blind. She is now a housewife and also is employed by the Tennessee Department of Public Works. Al Smith is president of the Ohio Council of the Blind and is, as well, a supervisor in the Youngstown Society for the Blind. Both new members of the Executive Committee are zealous Federationists.


Minnesota will be the site of the 1970 NFB Convention and Texas will host the 1971 Convention. In a spirited contest which, however, went only one round of votes, Hawaii won over New York as the site for 1972.


In a gesture typical of fabled southern hospitality. Governor and Mrs. Robert E. McNair hosted a reception for NFB conventioners at the Governor's Mansion. In the receiving line with the State's First Family, were President and Mrs. Kenneth Jernigan, First Vice President and Mrs. Donald Capps, all the other elected officers and board members of the Federation and their spouses along with Lois Bokin, President of the Host Affiliate, and McDonald Hancock, President of the local affiliate and the state organization's legislative chairman, Kay Morrison. Mrs. McNair graciously provided refreshments in the lovely old mansion and many enjoyed seeing and eating from the famous china and silver service. A number of other lovely ladies were on hand to serve as guides and to answer the visitor's questions. Convention history was again made since this reception is the first of its kind.

The Convention tour to Charleston filled the air-conditioned buses to overflowing. One man even rode the steps of the bus. Convention tourists took in historic locations such as Boone Hall Plantation, Dock Street Theatre, and Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The travelers then sampled food at several of Charleston's famous restaurants before returning to Columbia in the small hours the following morning.

On Friday evening, after the final adjournment of the Convention, a hurriedly arranged, last-minute trip to Liberty Tree was well-attended, to everyone's surprise. Especially surprised were the drivers of the three buses (including one owned by the S. C. Aurora Club) who took an overflow crowd of 130 delegates to the huge open-air amphitheater ten miles out of Columbia. There they witnessed a presentation of The Liberty Tree, an historical presentation depicting South Carolina's significant part in the American Revolution.

The Hospitality Room was a popular gathering place. Parties, dancing, and good fellowship abounded at this convention, as they usually do, but perhaps the huge number present made it seem more joyous than ever.


Let it be said at the outset, that Carolina's warm (to put it mildly) weather may have dampened skins but had no effect whatever upon Convention spirits.

Hawaii's successful campaign for the '72 Convention was aided and abetted by the state's most famous products—pineapple and leis—which were dispensed freely to all. An electric cooler, donated by the State of Hawaii, transported free of charge by United and Delta Airlines, kept the pineapple juice donated by Dole, well chilled, to everyone's delight.

Al Gil of California, Jim Omvig of New York, and the Manuel Urena's started for the Convention together from Des Moines. They had difficulty leaving, because Manuel's mother who had come to baby sit with April, kept cooking food for the trip. The burritos she prepared later saved the travelers time, however, since they didn't have to stop for meals.

Peaches given out the first couple of days at the registration table were perhaps the most popular item.

After a hard first day at the registration tables, a group had gathered for a little relaxation in Jim Valliant's room. So many of them sat on his bed that a bolt sheared off and Jim's perspective remained slanted during the rest of the stay in South Carolina.

Overheard for the "Believe It Or Not" Column-Sighted Person No. 1 to Sighted Person No. 2 while peering into the meeting room looking for a certain blind person: "It is very hard to find people in that meeting room." Sighted Person No. 2: "That's right, especially since all blind people look alike."

Malfunctioning transformers caused the lights to flicker in such a manner that many of the sighted participants thought they were about to become legitimate members of the NFB.

Quantities of Bing cherries supplied by the President were gratefully consumed by visitor's to his suite.

George Drummond of Virginia, Ken Hopkins and Bob Ritchie of Idaho, and others helped with banquet arrangements. As soon as the room was set up Lois Boltin, her sisters, and Mrs. Barwick, along with Betty Capps came in and put out the numerous favors which included souvenir spoons, flowers, and other decorations.

Four non-affiliated states were represented at the Convention—Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and South Dakota.

Dr. Isabelle Grant's birthday was properly remembered by a thunderous "Happy Birthday" sung by a thousand conventioners. Warren Toyama presented her with a lei accompanied by the usual kiss. Later she was wearing a beautiful corsage, and Colorado supplied a birthday cake.

Bernie Gerchen, NFB's fundraising "Wizard of St. Louis" graciously gave up his motel room for Rienzi Alagiyawanna whose hotel reservation was lost in the mails. When Rienzi was moved into quarters in the convention hotel, Bernie became the only conventioneer with two rooms, four beds, and two swimming pools.

A swinging jam session with Jim Omvig, piano, Paul Kay, clarinet, both of New York, and Bill Laack of St. Paul, organ, brought a group of midnight dancers to the hospitality room.

The perfectly delicious cookies served in the Host Affiliate's Suite were all homemade.

A student division meeting involuntarily included in its audio system the blind merchants' association meeting in another part of the folding-wall divided ballroom. Electrical engineer, Curt Willoughby managed to uncross the wires.

The revolving restaurant atop the S. C. U's new women's dormitory, swallowed up Manuel Urena's white cane. The cane slipped into a small space between the moving floor and the stationery walls. The floor of the restaurant had to be raised the next day in order to retrieve it a) so that it wouldn't bolix up the works, and b) so that Manuel could "see" again.

Better late than never, six conventioners registered on the last day.

Jim Carlock, President of the Arizona affiliate, who alleges that he has never been late to a convention session, slipped out to buy a banquet ticket and missed a $100 prize.

A final outing on Saturday night after the convention took the President and Mrs. Jernigan, First Vice President Don Capps and his wife Betty, Tony Mannino, Muz Marcelino, Perry Sundquist, Hazel tenBroek, Curtis and Doris Willoughby, and Lloyd Rassmussen to the Captain's Table. There they all gorged themselves on delicious sea food. Lloyd who graduated from Iowa State just before the convention as an electrical engineer did so with two job offers in addition to his diploma in his hands.

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by Kenneth Jernigan

We are accustomed, in our day, to talk and hear about revolutions: revolutions past and revolutions present; revolutions violent and revolutions nonviolent; revolutions political, economic, technological, racial, social, cultural, and generational. They are of many varieties, these revolutions; but they have at least one thing in common—namely, their historical reality. Either they happened in the past, or they have happened in our own time.

I wish to speak to you, however, about a revolution that has just begun to happen—a revolution of the future as well as of the present. This revolution is one that should have run its course already; and it is one that will, irresistibly, come to fruition and make good its promise in the years ahead. Moreover, it is a revolution which I intend to stir, foment, and agitate; and I hope to solicit your active support in fanning the flames. In fact, if we can get enough people to join us on the barricades, we will not only have set the revolution on its course, but we will have won it.

For the revolution that has just begun to happen is a revolution in the public mind—in the minds of us all—a revolution in our attitudes and assumptions, our deepest premises and prejudices, concerning blindness. It is a revolution to replace old outlooks with new insights.

In a world of many revolutions—of constant novelty and change, of experiment and originality, of new thoughts and fresh ideas—in such a world it is astonishing that we can still be ruled, in any sphere, by superstitions that date to the caveman and images more appropriate to the ice age than the space age. Yet that is still in simple fact the state of our thinking (and, therefore, of our teaching, planning, and programming) about the blind.

This is not to say that there has been no progress. On the contrary, the revolution is well begun; it is on the right track; and it is steadily gathering force and gaining ground. Ever since the National Federation of the Blind came on the scene a generation ago, bringing with it the nerve of independence and the shock of recognition, there has been a shaking of the foundations throughout the field of work with the blind—and in the world beyond. But in view of the immensity of the task before us—even in its preliminary phase of ground-breaking, mind-clearing, and institutional renewal—it is clear that the revolution has barely been launched. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is not yet the beginning of the end; it is not even the end of the beginning; but it is the beginning of the beginning. Our revolution is under way. It cannot now be stopped or pacified until it has achieved its goal of overthrowing the graven image which looms as a stumbling block in the path of the blind—that image of their nature and limitations which is graven in stone upon the public mind, stamped upon the yellowing pages of the statute books, and nestled in the dusty comers of custodial institutions.

What then are the outlines and features of this graven image? First, it is an image of helplessness—not just of visual disability but of total inability. Second, it is an image of abnormality—not just loss of sight but loss of mental and emotional stability. (The blind man, in short, is thought to be not just affected in the eyes but touched in the head.) Third, it is a "broken image"—an image of impairment, of imbalance, and disharmony rather than of wholeness and symmetry—an image that calls attention to what is missing rather than what is present, to lacks and losses rather than strengths and talents. Helplessness, abnormality, incompleteness: these are the essential ingredients of a bitter and explosive brew—thoroughly aged and definitely sour—which flows like bile through the veins and capillaries of the body politic.

It is no surprise to find the old stereotype, the graven image of blindness, surviving among the ignorant and innocent. It is another matter to find it flourishing in the gardens of supposed enlightenment and knowledge, among the very people who pride themselves upon their liberal minds and generous hearts—such people, for instance, as those who run the Peace Corps and the VISTA program of the War on Poverty. I would remind you that the poverty program came into existence proclaiming itself to be in the very forefront of progressive thought and modem sophistication. It talked, and talks, of such advanced ideas as "maximum feasible participation" on the part of its clients, the poor. It will be well to bear in mind those protestations and pretensions, in light of the tale I am about to unfold.

Listen now to a true adventure, or misadventure, involving both the Peace Corps and VISTA, which occurred to one of our own active members of the National Federation of the Blind, a leader in her state affiliate. Let me say first that this woman, besides her prominent role in the Federation, has made her living as a physical fitness instructor for fifteen years, has served two terms as president of a state-wide public speaking group, and during a recent political campaign covered some fifty precincts by herself, much of the time on foot.

Now on with the story. It began with her application to join the Peace Corps as a Volunteer—an application which was turned down, two years after its submission, on the ground that a blind person could not conceivably get along alone in a foreign country (this despite the fact which was duly noted in her application, that she had twice wandered the length and breadth of Mexico unaccompanied). The Peace Corps asked no further questions, made no other inquiry, sought no additional data. She was blind; that was enough to bury the application and kill the dream.

Then came VISTA—which launched a recruiting drive in her home town. Again she applied. Her references were promptly investigated; a physical examination followed, and soon there came a two-page telegram stating, "You are considered for immediate placement . . . Wire us collect . . . Phone us collect." She wired that she was instantly available, and sat back to await further instructions. It was a long wait. Nearly a full year later she received a lengthy questionnaire from VISTA—one which is so remarkable in its method and assumptions that it deserves detailed attention.

Under the heading of "Mobility", the questionnaire sets forth the following queries: "Do you use a wheel chair?" ("No," she replied.) "How far can you wheel?" (Not more than ten miles between coffee breaks", was her answer.)

Can you move alone from wheel chair to car? Can you move alone from wheel chair to bed? Can you move alone from wheel chair to seat? Can you move alone from wheel chair to bath? Can you move alone from wheel chair to toilet? Do you use crutches?" (Her answers were: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes—and no.)

"Do you climb steps?" (Yes.)

"Do you use public transportation?" (Yes.)

"Do you open and close doors in getting around?" (Yes.)

"To what extent can you get around in ice, snow, rain, mud, heat, and other weather conditions?" (She answered: "To any extent necessary.")

All of this appeared on the form under the heading of "Mobility". The second category of questions bore the title "Self Care", and included the following: "Have you ever lived alone, away from home before?" (Answer: "Yes: my home is where I make it; I have lived alone for thirty years.")

Then: "Are you able to live alone?" "Would you prefer to live alone?' "Do you dress yourself alone?" "Do you handle your own toileting?" "Can you prepare your own meals?" "Do you feed yourself?" (To this last, instead of merely repeating her standard "yes" answer, our Federationist replied: "I have never suffered from malnutrition from inability to find my mouth.")

The questions continue: "Do you go around unaccompanied to work?" "Do you go around unaccompanied to meetings?" "Do you go around unaccompanied to shop?" And then this: "What daily living situations are difficult for you to handle?" (Her answer: "Dealing with people who ask questions like these.")

Nestled among the forest of questions, by the way—lest it be supposed that our Federationist had somehow received the wrong application form—was this: "Do you use a seeing eye dog?" She answered "No".

Under the heading of "Special Care", the question was asked: "What physical therapy will you continue while in VISTA service?" (Her reply was: "Swimming, judo and weight-lifting, if possible—they are not essential.")

Under the category "Use of Special Services", there were three questions—to which the respondent made three answers befitting a true Federationist. The dialogue went as follows:

Question: "Have you received physical therapy?" Answer: "During some fifteen years of instructing others in physical fitness, I have had to take much of my own advice."

Question: "Have you received speech therapy?" Answer: "I have been vice-president and program director of Republican Speakerettes, a public speaking group."

Question: "What contacts have you had with your Vocational Rehabilitation Division, or State Department of Education?" (Please explain in detail.) Answer: "Poor: it would seem that I remain un-rehabilitated."

Thus ended the encounter of the blind Federationist with the forward-looking, people-serving, modern-minded agencies of VISTA and the Peace Corps. Of course she never heard again from VISTA. If she had, and if somehow she had been accepted as a "Volunteer in Service to America", her response would have been predictable; for in her letter to me, she concluded the narrative of her misadventure with this sentence: "Of course all this is merely a matter of curiosity, since I no longer have the slightest interest in VISTA or anything remotely connected with it."

What then of "maximum feasible participation" in the Poverty Program? Here is an agency, self-proclaimed as the most progressive in the land, dedicated to ending prejudice and bringing equality, dignity, and full participation to all who are socially deprived or disadvantaged. What "vistas" does it open for the blind? How much respect does it confer upon the vigorous and enterprising blind applicant? The answer is self-evident. The questionnaire speaks grossly for itself—and I think all of us read and reject its message loud and clear. In only one small corner, tucked away at the very end of the three-page document, is there any effort to determine the skills or abilities of the candidate. That effort is contained in a single question—one out of a total of thirty-eight!

It is not as if the Peace Corps or VISTA had never had experience with a blind applicant since in a few scattered instances blind persons have actually been accepted for service both here and abroad-service well-performed, incidentally, by all accounts and records. It is, rather, that these successes were apparently dismissed as isolated instances, and that the image of the helpless, hopeless blind man remained intact with all of its defeatist presumptions and insulting implications.

So much, then, for the new and modern agencies of social conscience and enlightenment. Let us turn to the older, more experienced institutions of public service. Can it be that the blind fare better here? Is the graven image of the helpless blind man more, or is it less, apparent among such stalwart public institutions as, for example, the city fire department?

For an insight into this question, consider an incident which occurred recently in a midwestern city of moderate size. In that city is a rooming house in which there happen to reside, among others, a number of persons who are blind. One day the owner of the rooming house was startled to observe a number of firemen on her front lawn in the act, apparently, of putting up a large illuminated sign of some kind. Asked what they were doing, and why, the men replied that they were, indeed, installing a sign—one that bore the single luminous letter "I". That letter, they told the landlady, stands for "invalid", and therefore would serve to notify all and sundry that the rooming house harbored invalids—an item of information presumably of value in case of fire or other disaster, since "invalids" (in this case, blind people) are helpless and would need assistance in time of peril. Moreover, said the firemen, when they had finished installing the sign on the lawn, they intended to come inside and affix smaller signs, also bearing the luminous letter "I", upon the doors of each and every one of the blind tenants.

(It is not clear, incidentally, whether the insignia on the doors, and at the entrance of the rooming house, were to be scarlet letters. But surely they would carry much the same stigma, contempt, and condemnation as the famous scarlet letter—"A" for adultery—which was forcibly worn by the ill-fated Hester Prynne of Hawthorne's novel.)

Understandably, the landlady was distressed at the prospect of an illuminated sign at the front of her house, advertising the presence of "invalids" within. She called upon the firemen to cease and desist; and eventually, after some threat and bluster, these public servants did back down. But only part way. They still insisted upon fastening the "I" signs on the doors of the rooms occupied by blind tenants. Indeed, they gained the reluctant permission of the landlady to do so; and the conspicuous little plaques with the single glittering letter would doubtless be there today, were it not for the staunch resistance of the blind tenants—who showed themselves ready to stand in the doorway if necessary in order to protect their rooms and their characters from being thus marked and maligned.

I am pleased to report that the blind residents won the day, and preserved their integrity unmarked, but it is noteworthy that the firemen gave way not because they were converted or persuaded—not because they saw the error of their ways—but only because they were effectively resisted. No doubt the fire chief and his minions in that city (as in many others) still believe that blindness is equivalent to helplessness, and that blind persons are immobilized incompetents, unable to fend for themselves in the event of fire, crisis, or calamity.

This story again illustrates the tendency, as common among public officials as among the public at large, to attribute incompetence (both physical and mental) to persons who are blind. To the firemen in question the blind person is literally a dead weight, a burden to be carried like a piece of furniture from the scene of danger. To the Peace Corps and the Poverty Program, he is at best chair-borne and at worst bed-ridden.

If these two sets of public institutions, national and municipal, are thus dominated by the graven image of blindness, where can we turn for more realistic, reasonable, and respectable assumptions? Surely, one might suppose, there is at least one safe place, one institution secure from prejudice and ignorance, and immunized against the subtle poisons of condescension and contempt—namely, the institutions and agencies actually concerned with the education and rehabilitation of blind persons and with the dissemination of the facts about blindness to the public. There at least, it would seem certain, we should find a new image of the blind man and of his true needs and abilities—one that does not strain at gnats or suffer foolishness gladly, one that rises above the trivial and superficial in order to concentrate upon the paramount problems that block the way to full equality and independence for all blind people.

Let us see. Here is a promising professional publication, produced by the Institute of Blind Rehabilitation of Western Michigan University, at Kalamazoo, in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Do we find, here, the sense of importance and the urgency of commitment that are lacking elsewhere, along with recognition of the intellectual and physical capability—the plain normality—of the blind person?

The title of this exhaustive ten-page treatise is Techniques for Eating—A Guide for Blind persons.1 These are the opening words of the preface: "After a cursory glance at the title of this manual, many people would dismiss it as relatively unimportant, or surely as something that does not present problems to blind persons. Nothing could be further from the truth." Methinks the authors do protest too much; as the Biblical admonition has it, the wicked flee when no man pursueth. For at the very outset the tone is so defensive as to suggest a lack of confidence in the topic.

However that may be, the next words betray a striking lack of belief in the general capacities of blind persons; for it develops that these authors are not addressing the blind person at all, but rather the people around him (families, counselors, guides, and other nursemaids) who are there to take care of him and be responsible to him.

"This manual does not pretend to have all the solutions to the problems presented to the blind individual when eating. At best, it is only intended to serve as guidelines for those who will be working with the blind individual in this specific area. It should be helpful to families or rehabilitation personnel who are in direct contact with the blind individual. Above all, it must be remembered that the acquisition of these skills and techniques require constant practice under close supervision ...." (I must interrupt here to say—as an old-time grammarian—that the subject-verb disagreement in the foregoing sentence comes from the treatise, not from me!)

What are these intricate "skills and techniques" which require such constant practice under such close supervision? The table of contents tells us, under the general heading of "Techniques:"

"To Approach Table
Exploration of Place Setting
Orientation to Contents of Plate
To Cut Meat With Fork
To Cut Meat With Knife . . .
To Butter Bread or Roll . . .
To Pour Salt and/or Pepper
To Put Sugar Into Beverage . . .
To Pour Cream . . .
To Pass Foods . . . (and)
To Eat on Tray."

Here are some examples of the intricacy and complexity of the problems dealt with in this scientific exposition by the authors—both of them, as we are told, experts in education and rehabilitation of the blind:

"During the course of eating, it is advisable to bend the trunk forward, bringing the face above the plate, should something fall from the fork . . .

"In the process of eating, foods may be picked up by the 'stab' method which involves inserting the tines of the fork into the food and lifting. This is used for such solids as string beans, fruit salad, etc.; or foods may be picked up by the 'scoop' method, which involves dipping the forward part of the fork down into the food, leveling the fork, and then bringing it up."

"In situations where it is difficult to pick up the food, a 'pusher' may be used. This might be a piece of bread or roll, or another utensil such as a spoon or a knife, which holds the food in position to be picked up with the fork."

Now for some concrete techniques, skills, and scientific methods:

"To approach table: (1) Place one hand on back of chair; (2) With free hand, scan arms and/or seat of chair to ascertain shape and whether or not the chair is occupied." (One wonders, in the context of all this frivolous nonsense, whether the authors would also advocate, should the chair be occupied, scanning the occupant to ascertain shape.)

Under the heading "Exploration of place setting," we find the following:

"To locate plate, with flexed arms and curled fingers, lift hands to top edge of table and move gently toward center of table until contact is made." And a little later on: "With arms flexed, and fingers curled, follow right edge of plate, and extending arm and fingers gradually, angle to the right to locate tea cup and/or glass."

Here is an especially complicated maneuver, apparently modeled after jungle-warfare instructions in an army field manual:

"Using edge of plate as point of reference, approach contents of plate from above with tines of fork in perpendicular position. Insert fork into food at positions of 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and 3 o'clock, identifying food by texture and/or taste. (Fork maybe brought to mouth as desired.)"

In the detailed discussion of how "to butter bread or roll," consisting of seven steps or operational phases, there is one I find particularly fascinating. It is "Number 4. Break the roll."

Let me quote just three more specific techniques which appear in the course of these illuminating instructions:

"To eat pie, begin at the tip and, either stabbing or scooping, work toward the back of the pie."

"To take a roll or cookie, locate edge of plate and gently move in to find item." And finally:

"Sensation of hot and cold indicates where hot and cold foods are located." I was glad to learn that; aren't you?

Something of the condescension of this pompous parade of the obvious and the trivial may be observed in the quotation which serves as frontispiece to the publication. It is attributed to Emil Javal, and reads as follows: "Meals being for the blind, the pleasantest moments of life, it is very important for him to train himself to eat properly, so that he may feel in a position to accept an invitation out."

Now, why are meals "the pleasantest moments of life" for the blind? Can it be because (as some people appear to believe) the blind, in their helpless condition, knowing themselves to be incompetent and irrelevant if not quite immaterial, can have few joys other than eating? "What is a man," asked Hamlet, "if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.'

And what about that crack about being in "a position to accept an invitation out." Out of what—the almshouse? Solitary confinement? Why must the blind person wait for "an invitation out", unless he is in truth not capable of sallying forth on his own or of "inviting people in?" Such an archaic attitude might have been suitable in, say, 1905; but we are far removed today from the conditions of social isolation and enforced idleness which this quotation conjures up. The real value of the quotation is the very opposite of that intended by the authors of this tiresome treatise on table topography, this god-awful guide to gracious gourmandering, this moronic manual on meal-time mastication, this oddball odyssey for outlandish oenologists, this poor man's primer on polite pantry protocol and perpendicular pie-pushing. The frontispiece quotation, and indeed the whole sad tract, is graphically illustrative of the demeaning and dispiriting image of blindness and the blind which still controls the thoughts of far too many agency professionals, and so controls the lives of the blind.

And what does all of this mean? What is the significance of these acts and attitudes on the part of government officials and workers with the blind? It is not merely that these several isolated incidents occurred. It is not even that they are symptomatic of a broader pattern of thought and deed, and therefore not isolated at all. It is rather that they bespeak the dominant theme of public and official opinion which everywhere characterizes the image of blindness.

That is the dark and threatening significance of the events which I have laid before you. But such events as these, however common, however destructive, no longer stand alone. Of still greater significance is the positive fact that we have come to recognize these sordid myths and misconceptions for the lies which they are; that we have organized; that we have mobilized ourselves into a powerful movement to change the total landscape of the country of the blind; that we have not only won friends and influenced people in our cause but have won battles and influenced the course of public policy.

It is significant, too, that more and more professionals in the field of work with the blind—in the private agencies, in government, in the foundations and universities—are receiving our message and rallying to our cause. It is significant that more and more blind persons are employed, in better and better careers. It is significant, most of all, that despite the heritage of old outlooks, despite the deep hold of the graven image upon their minds, the general public is beginning to show itself ready to listen, to learn, and to understand.

The challenge is ours, and the time is now. Our revolution will not wait, and it will succeed—but only if we take the lead and take the risks. It is for us to persuade, to participate, to persevere—and to prevail—and prevail we will!

The words of Abraham Lincoln, spoken a hundred years ago, are no less applicable to us today: "We cannot escape history. No personal significance or insignificance will spare one or another of us. This fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility."

The time is now, and the challenge is real. I ask you, with all that the question implies: will you join me on the barricades?


1. Techniques for Eating: A Guide for Blind Persons. Prepared by Lloyd C. Widerberg and Ruth Kaarlela. Published by School of Graduate Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001.

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Like the Nobel Peace Prize, the Newel Perry Award is granted only as often as distinguished accomplishment merits it. It is given to those who have made outstanding contributions toward the progress and independence of the blind. It is, therefore, a great honor and pleasure to present this award, last bestowed in 1966, to the Honorable James A. Burke, renowned statesman and Congressman from Massachusetts.

Nationally recognized as a leader in the Democratic Party, Congressman Burke has been acclaimed by Democrats and Republicans alike as one of the ablest members of the House of Representatives. He has been elected and reelected from the Eleventh District of Massachusetts since 1958. He is a legislator of the highest calibre, guided always by principle rather than expediency, with the courage, the independence and the determination to fight for his beliefs.

We of the National Federation of the Blind have much cause to know and appreciate Congressman Burke's qualities. All Federationists have become familiar with his name as he has labored in the 91st Congress to secure enactment of our long-time supported bill to liberalize Federal disability insurance for the blind. Congressman Burke is a staunch supporter of the Federation's cornerstone concept: he shares with us the belief that the blind have the same right as others to band together for the purpose of striving toward economic independence and social equality. He supports our conviction that the blind themselves should chiefly determine the direction of programs designed to assist them. His support is evidenced by his vigorous efforts to transform disability insurance under the Social Security system into an insurance against the economic disadvantages of blindness inherent in a predominantly sighted society.

Tonight we of the National Federation of the Blind honor Congressman Burke for his legislative labors on our behalf, and though this labor has been great, we honor him for much more: we honor Congressman Burke for his attitude toward us and our aspirations, for his understanding us and our aspirations, for his understanding of our goals and our objectives.

Congressman Burke is not like so many who wish us well, promise us much, and then promptly forget us; who profess deep sympathy for our problems, and then act with cavalier indifference toward them. He is much more than a willing but remote friend; he is a member of our crusade, a coworker who joins with us in our struggle to gain independence and dignity. He joins with us to change dreams into reality, and he asserts with us that all men, whether blind or sighted, have the right and the need to function to their fullest capacities.

Congressman Burke, this is why we honor you tonight. We want you to know—we want all to know—that we thank you for joining with us in our cause. We thank you for the strength you have added to our movement. Above all, we thank and honor you for your understanding and recognition of our goal: the complete integration of the blind into society on equal terms with others.

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In a Convention which was notable for its unity of purpose and absence of contention, a lively hour was spent on the last day, Friday, deciding which of the songs submitted to the committee, ably chaired by Tom Bickford, would be the official NFB number. Committee members who engaged with Mr. Bickford in what turned out to be an arduous if pleasing task were: Marion McDonald, Billie Ruth Schlank, Ned Graham, Myrna Schmidt, Evelyn Weckerly, Jim Tanner, and Harold Carter.

Four songs were presented to the Convention: The Battle Song of the N.F.B., submitted by Josephine Huff of Arizona and Floyd Field of New York, set to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic; We Shall March Together, with words and music by James Omvig; The United N.F.B. whose words were written by Marcia Mendelson of New York and sung to the Marines' Marching Song; and A Federation Song with words attributed to the College Students Association of Iowa City set to the tune of America the Beautiful.

A very animated contest, necessitating a number of roll call votes, took place. The song finally chosen was the one by Josephine Huff and Floyd Field. The words to that song, incidentally, were written on the way home after the 1967 NFB Convention in Los Angeles and provided the impetus for the song contest.

The words of all are reproduced below, and in the case of Jim Omvig's, which by the way was the runner-up, the music as well. It is hoped that Federationists will learn them all so that they may be sung at Federation gatherings from time to time. All the songs reproduced below are subject to copyright laws.


Copyright Josephine Huff and Floyd S. Field 1969
Tune: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Blind eyes have seen the vision of the Federation way;
New White Cane legislation brings the dawn of a new day;
Right of the Blind to organize is truly here to stay;
  Our Cause goes marching on


Glory, Glory Federation;
Glory, Glory Federation;
Glory, Glory Federation;
Our Cause goes marching on.

We have seen it in the actions of four hundred chapters strong;
Good Leadership and courage have righted many wrong;
Let's aid NFB's program and join in it's Battle Song;
Our Cause goes marching on


tenBroek has sounded trumpet which shall never sound retreat;
We have sifted out the hearts of Blind before our Judgment Seat;
Oh be swfit all Blind to answer and be jubilant your feet;
  Our Cause goes marching on


To aid the Blinds' long struggle we have formed the N.F.B.;
To free them from their bondage of workshop and agency;
To give a hand to all the Blind wherever they may be;
  Our Cause goes marching on


Glory, Glory Federation,
Glory, Glory Federation
Glory, Glory Federation,
Our Cause goes marching on.


Lyrics and Music
Copyright Jim Omvig 1969

We shall march together to gain Equality
Through our common effort we’ll gain Opportunity.
When we reach our goal of Security brave effort we’ll applaud.
We shall march together “Within the Grace of God”.


Copyright Marcia Mendelson 1969
Tune: Marines' Marching Song

From the city of Los Angeles to the shores of old New York;
We will strive to win our battles with our action, brains and talk;
First to fight for right to organize and to keep our spirit free;
We are proud to claim the title of United N.F.B.

We will overcome our obstacles. We are fighters for our cause.
Legislation is our watchword, and we work without a pause.
As a body we will mobilize to achieve equality;
For we are the proudest members of United N.F.B.


Copyright College Students Association of Iowa City 1969
Tune: America the Beautiful

The dismal past when condescending pity held us fast
Shall be replaced by independent dignity, at last.
Oh, NFB, oh, NFB, thy goals shall ever be
Security, equality and opportunity.

With firm determination we go forward as one mind.
The Federation spirit says: "The blind shall lead the blind."
Oh, NFB, oh, NFB, thy goals shall ever be
Security, equality and opportunity.

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Total victory has come in New Hampshire. Alfred Beckwith has been unconditionally restored to his, vending stand business with full compensation for lost earnings, once again proving the value of vigorous action by the organized blind in their own behalf.

Credit for forcing the State of New Hampshire to follow the letter and spirit of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act belongs to the NFB and its attorneys, but above all, to Beckwith himself, for his courage in refusing to buckle under the heavy weight of paternalistic bureaucracy and officialdom.

Beckwith's victory climaxes an historic direct confrontation between a blind vending stand operator and the administering state agencies. Although the Monitor issues of May, June and September 1968 detailed the earlier developments, the great significance of the case merits a recounting:

Alfred Beckwith, the President of the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind, had been an independent and successful vending stand operator for more than seven years in the New Hampshire capital city of Concord. In late 1967 he was transferred to the snack bar in the basement area of the State House, near the watchful eye of the State Director of Blind Services.

A few months later, officials moved eleven vending machines from the hallway opposite the snack bar to an adjacent room. Beckwith naturally objected, since the machines would be less profitable if they were less handy to the snack bar customers.

On March 29th, 1968 State Welfare Director George E. Murphy sent Beckwith a letter claiming Beckwith was "obstructive, resistive and uncooperative", and "firing" him from his vending stand post for insubordination. All this without a public hearing, and despite the fact that Beckwith was merely licensed by a state agency and was by no stretch of the imagination a state employee! Certainly not an employee of Murphy's!

Compounding the situation was the fact that neither Beckwith nor other New Hampshire vending stand operators had ever been given copies of state regulations, written agreements, licenses, or copies of permits under which they operate . . . even though this is required by federal law and regulations.

When Beckwith's Concord attorney, Charles Sheridan Jr., supported by the NFB and its attorneys, noted these fine legal points, the State Division of Welfare replied that Beckwith was still "fired", but if he insisted, might be given a hearing.

The hearing was set for April 24th, and apparently recognizing the illegality of the "firing", Welfare Director Murphy sent Beckwith a letter reinstating him in the snack bar, but adding: "I wish to inform you I do not withdraw my charges as I deem your behavior totally unacceptable."

Meanwhile, the state had replaced Beckwith with a sighted snack bar manager, again in complete disregard of the federal rules and regulations and the purposes of the vending stand program.

Although Beckwith was not a welfare applicant, the hearing was scheduled before the Appeals Board of the Advisory Commission on Health and Welfare, a group which acts on welfare appeals.

By the time of the hearing, the State had added three new charges to the original charge of insubordination against Beckwith including mismanagement, using the press to discredit the Welfare Division, and exploiting blindness and exploiting public opinion by circulating petitions. The Board ultimately threw out these additional charges.

But Beckwith and his attorneys were in for more surprises. On the second day of the two-day hearing they learned, for the first time, that the Appeals Board was operating under a so-called new set of regulations, copies of which had not been previously furnished to Beckwith and his attorneys!

Furthermore, these rules failed to define insubordination or any of the other charges against Beckwith. Yet, in a decision dated April 25th 1968 and forwarded to Beckwith more than a week later, the Board recommended that the Director of Welfare "terminate Mr. Alfred Beckwith for insubordination."

Beckwith had his hearing, but it was hardly the fair hearing to which he was entitled, and his license was terminated as of May 10th.

Beckwith and the NFB vigorously took the offensive. They filed a petition in Superior Court for a Writ of Mandamus, charging that Beckwith's license was terminated without a fair and proper hearing, that the New Hampshire Director of the Department of Health and Welfare acted without authority and contrary to applicable law, and that the Welfare Director withheld funds which—by law—should have been distributed to Beckwith. The petition asked the State to restore Beckwith's license, account for the money earned at the snack bar since the termination of the license, and account for all the money withheld from him previously.

On July 3rd, 1968 the State Attorney General filed an answer to the petition, and—lo and behold—had another surprise for Beckwith and his attorneys: the state alleged that the old rules were applicable, rather than the so-called new rules used in the hearing before the Appeals Board!

The State formally denied that the law requires that Beckwith receive a license and copies of the rules, regulations and permits under which the snack bar exists. A denial, even though these requirements are clearly stated in the federal law and regulations. And finally, the State alleged that Beckwith was an employee of the Welfare Division, subject to being fired, hired and supervised. This allegation was made despite the fact that there had been no deductions for Social Security, pension plan or tax deductions, and no civil service status—as would have been the case had Beckwith been a bona fide state employee.

Now Beckwith and the Federation moved into high gear—they examined the records and files of the Welfare Division and the Director of Blind Services. In view of the information obtained, the Attorney General apparently had second thoughts about a protracted legal proceeding, and on March 12th, 1969 entered into discussions with Beckwith and his attorney to establish a basis for a fair settlement.

Obviously recognizing the weakness of his case and his untenable position, the Attorney General indicated the State would restore Beckwith's license, place him in a new and better facility, and compensate him for lost income and previously withheld funds . . . while Beckwith only had to agree to sign and abide by the state's rules and regulations—which, of course, he had never objected to in the first place, but had only been trying to obtain. It was also revealed that the State Bureau of Blind Services had issued new vending stand regulations, more consistent with federal laws, and these would apparently now be available to the blind operators.

Beckwith and his attorney held a nationwide telephone conference with representatives of the NFB, and since the legal points on his behalf had been established, they agreed to the settlement in a spirit of cooperation.

Thus, from a legal standpoint, Beckwith won all of the contested points in an out-of-court settlement without the bitterness that often results from legal proceedings. He did this by courageously and firmly insisting upon his rights.

From a practical standpoint, in late March he took over the operation of the State Highway Cafeteria with a higher income potential . . . he now has a written license and operating agreement which spell out his rights, duties and obligations . . . he has been reimbursed for lost income . . . and his name has been cleared.

From a broader standpoint, the State of New Hampshire has been forced to reexamine its laws regarding vending stands, has issued more suitable regulations, has gained a greater respect for the rights of vending stand operators, and has been compelled to recognize that the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act's principal purpose is to produce independent, self-sufficient operators.

The vending stands in the Granite State will no longer be run on a charitable basis with the operators regarded as mere "employees".

And not incidentally, the Bureau of Blind services has a new Vending Stand Supervisor who appears eager to work closely with the operators within the law. This already has resulted in a new spirit of cooperation.

Beckwith and the Federation have blazed a trail which, if necessary, can make the way easier for others. Above all, they have shown that the goal of Equality, Opportunity and Security for all the blind can be achieved not only as a general proposition, but also in specific instances where rights are infringed.

Let all who wondered, over a year ago when the battle was first joined, whether it was really wise for an individual to assert his rights in the face of the power and might of a state agency, read clearly the message which is written in this story.

Let the blind of the nation renew their faith in the power of self-organization and the effectiveness of united action.

Finally, let all who would custodialize or abridge the rights of the blind take heed. The days of passive acquiescence are gone, and the Beckwith case should serve as a vivid reminder to all who think otherwise.

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by Mabel Nading and Kenneth Shedenhelm

Several new individual members and one new affiliated chapter were among the 198 registrants who attended the 1969 I.A.B. Convention in Vinton, Iowa which was called to order on Friday, May 30, and officially adjourned late Saturday afternoon. Those attending the Convention heard interesting accounts of I.A.B. fundraising activities, the I.A.B. Credit Union, legislation, the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, insurance discrimination, chiropractic discrimination, and the Commission for the Blind, among others. Yet, it would seem that the Resolution Committee created the most interest, obtained the most publicity, and fostered the most concrete step to alter public attitudes toward the blind.

The outgoing Executive Committee met on Friday before the first general assembly and the new committee met on Sunday to wind up activities.

On Saturday afternoon there was a panel discussion of recent surveys made concerning the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and the work of the Special Education Co-ordinating Committee set up by the Board of Regents. Mr. Urena was chairman of this panel composed of three Association members and Dr. Brimm of the University of Northern Iowa, one of the committee who had made a survey of the school last summer. At the beginning of this section of the program Pamella Buckler read the report made by the University Association on the surveys previously made concerning the school. This exhaustive and critical report by the University Association was adopted by the assembly and made a part of the official records of the IAB.

Dr. Jernigan reported on the activities and plans of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and he was ably assisted by Mrs. Grannis, Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Urena who reported for their specific departments.

Mr. Urena and Loren Schmitt were the resolutions committee and we passed one extremely important resolution—to repeal the special income tax exemption granted to blind people on their slate income tax. We considered a resolution to go on record as opposing the Viet Nam war but decided to spend our energies fighting for or against things affecting us as blind people. As the result of the report made by the University Association and its adoption by the general assembly, the Executive Committee passed a resolution that the IAB be one of the organizations consulted by the Board of Regents regarding policies and administrative changes at IBSSS.

Mr. Nemmers and Mr. Taylor gave the legislative report for the state and Dr. Jernigan gave the national legislative report. In the state we have had a fabulously successful year. All of our bills passed except the one setting up non-operating drivers' licenses to be used by blind people for identification purposes.

Mr. Nemmers and Mr. Valliant gave the report of the IAB Credit Union. We are in excellent shape.

Mr. Urena reported on insurance discrimination. Things are looking somewhat better in this area.

Mr. Phil Parks reported for the White Cane Committee. Our candy sale this year was a great success as we raised over ten thousand dollars. Mr. Parks and his committee, Mr. Phelps and Mr. Urena, recommend that we begin the candy sale the middle of October this year and the general assembly agreed to do this.

This year we adopted a Code of Affiliate Standards effectively tying together our local, state and national organizations mto a united front, all working together for our common cause. Mr. Urena and James Gashel were the committee that worked out this Code and it was adopted as our official policy.

One new chapter, the Dubuque Association of the Blind, led by its very active president, Don Gagne, became affiliated with the IAB.

The following people were elected to two year terms on the Board of Directors: Fred Kinne, John Taylor, James Tanner, and Don Gagne. Don Morris was elected to complete the term of Judy Young who resigned. President Neil Butler was elected delegate to the NFB convention with Sylvester Nemmers as alternate delegate.

Mrs. Schroeder was in charge of door prizes and she livened things up with these every once in a while during the convention. Mrs. Balderston won the big prize, a chiming clock.

Mike and Steve Barber and Pat Schaaf ran the snack bar when we were not in session and on Friday night a very good barbershop quartet entertained us in the recreation area.

There was a meeting of the Association of Alumni of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. This group was organized shortly after last year's convention. Many new members joined this year but we did not apply for affiliation with the IAB.

With all this important work accomplished, the highlight of our convention was our annual banquet held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Saturday night. Dr. Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, was our principal speaker, stimulating us to a rededication to our common philosophy and goals. The following awards were presented by the IAB this year: Gene Collins won the Palmer Award, a twenty-five dollar bond which we plan to increase to fifty dollars next year. James Gashel won the Dr. H. F. Schluntz College Student Award of one hundred dollars. Mr. Ode Selind of Northwestern Bell Telephone Company won the Altig Award. Senator David Stanley of Muscatine and Representative Nathan Sorg of Marion addressed us at the banquet and Representative James Wells of Cedar Rapids was in attendance.

It was a great convention climaxing a great year. Yet, as Mr. Neil Butler, I.A.B. President, so accurately stated, "We cannot languish in yesterday's success; on the contrary, we must look ahead toward the future." The blind of Iowa are determined to labor until they have obtained full equality and independence. Realizing that independence is the twin of responsibility, the IAB is more than willing to cast aside special treatment in the hope that educational obstacles will be destroyed, that prejudices and discriminations will be decimated, and that absolute equality will be granted.

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[Editor's Note: The Governor of Illinois recently issued a White Cane Week Proclamation: the text follows. Rami Rabby, President of the Illinois Congress of the Blind, was called from the Governor's office and told to be at his office the following day for the signing of the proclamation. The next morning Rami was up early and went to Springfield, the capital of Illinois for the 10:30 meeting. Upon his arrival the secretary informed him that the Governor was in his Chicago office that day and it was there that he was expecting Rami. Rami sped back to the airport but arrived in Chicago at 11:05, just too late for the meeting. However, he did reschedule the meeting for the following week, so all's well that ends well.]

The Illinois Congress of the Blind, state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, has requested that the period of May 15 through May 21, 1969, be set aside as White Cane Week, and

The Illinois Congress of the Blind is an organization of blind persons dedicated to the achievement of greater opportunity, equality and security for the blind of Illinois through legislation and public education, and

It is in the best interests of all Illinois' citizens to help insure that blind persons shall not be refused employment in the public sector merely on the grounds of blindness, if they are otherwise qualified, and

This set aside occasion will be used to focus the attention of all our citizens on the blind among us as independent, fully contributing citizens of this state,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Richard B. Ogilvie, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim that the period of May 15 through May 21, 1969, shall be WHITE CANE WEEK in Illinois, to further call attention to the symbolism of the White Cane as it relates to blindness, and to bring home the message of this set aside period all the more strongly.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Illinois to be affixed.

Done at the Capitol, in the City of Springfield, this
fifth day of May, in the Year of Our Lord one
thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, and of the
State of Illinois the one hundred and fifty-first.

Richard B. Ogilvie

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by Jim Omvig

"Since all the good Federationists in our state are not always able to attend our state and national conventions, perhaps we ought to take a convention to them. If we were to do so, it would also provide the opportunity for friends of the Federation, for persons particularly interested in the affairs of the blind, and for members of the general public to observe first-hand what the blind as an organized group are doing, as well as what we intend to do in the future to achieve independence, equality and self-fulfillment."

These thoughts (or thoughts very much like them) were considered by Mr. Al Smith, enthusiastic and highly respected President of the Ohio Council of the Blind, and the officers and members of that organization who work with him. They considered; and they took action.

The action they took was this: a decision to hold four area seminars—one in each geographic quarter of the State. The seminars were to be held on four successive Saturdays, beginning on April 26 and running through May 17. The idea was that by holding seminars in various sections of the state, no one would have to travel a great distance in order to attend. Further, the seminars were to be one-day affairs, so that the cost to those in attendance would not be prohibitive. There would be no hotel bill to pay, and only a noon luncheon to purchase away from home.

When President Kenneth Jernigan was contacted to determine what kind of support the NFB would be willing to lend to this experiment, he responded with quick phone calls to Bob Whitehead, veteran Federationist and President of the Kentucky Federation of the Blind, to John Nagle and to me, to find out whether we would be willing to go to Ohio. We all indicated that we would. He asked Bob and me to attend the first and last meetings, and asked John to attend the two in the middle. (Bob and I later discussed the possibility that our President believes that it takes the two of us to make one John Nagle. After we reviewed John's record, we decided that the President is probably right.)

The first seminar—the Northeastern regional—was held in Cleveland on Saturday, April 26. Bob and I traveled to Cleveland the day before so that we could meet with Al Smith and the officers of the OCB and of the local affiliate which was sponsoring the seminar, to get acquainted and to make plans for the following day. We spent several enjoyable hours on Friday night discussing Federationism in general and the seminars in particular.

However, the real business of the weekend got under way at 9:00 Saturday morning. Sixtv-four persons attended the meeting, and four Northeastern Ohio affiliates were represented: the host affiliate, the Mutual Federation of the Blind of Cleveland; the Youngstown Council of the Blind and the Mahoning Valley Association of the Blind, both of Youngstown; and the Lorain County Council of the Blind, of Lorain. In addition, there was representation from a club which is soon to be an affiliate, the Omega Council of the Blind of East Cleveland.

Al Smith kicked off the meeting with a hearty welcome to all and some observations about the change that has taken place in recent years in the affairs of the blind-change brought about by the efforts of the Federation, whether it be on a Local, State or National level.

The first guest speaker was Mr. Joe Sullivan, a counselor for the Cleveland District of the Ohio State Services for the Blind. He pointed out that during the past year, Ohio had 110 students in colleges and universities. He said that a real problem in Ohio has been the State's difficulty in locating places for the blind to be trained after they have "adjusted" to their blindness.

Dr. Norman Yoder, a Staff Development Research Worker with the Cleveland Society for the Blind, made an interesting presentation. He pointed out that in general agencies for the blind are not as effective as they might be, both in rehabilitation and placement. He suggested that the agency which is going to do a good job must look ahead to see what the job market will be like in the future—that is, which jobs will be eliminated through automation and the like, and which areas will continue to develop and grow. He pointed out that the blind must be trained in those areas which demonstrate they will continue to exist.

The morning session was rounded out by Bob Whitehead and me. We spent a good deal of time in discussing the Federation in general and what it is doing in particular. We stressed the need for unity and the attitude of oneness on the part of all of us, rather than the feeling of we—our own local organization—and they—the remainder of the local organizations or the national organization. We also pretty thoroughly covered the Federation's legislative program for the 91st Congress and there was a lively discussion, particularly about the Disability Insurance bill.

The afternoon session was devoted to Ohio's legislative report and a panel on employment for the blind. The legislative report was presented by Clyde Ross, past president of the OCB. Ohio appears to have an ambitious legislative program, and is having some success. It is also experiencing some difficulties which are common to all of us. For example, it needs a Commission for the Blind very badly and is having difficulty in securing one.

Three persons participated on the panel dealing with careers for the blind: Nick Decaprio, a teacher in the Cleveland Heights Public School System; Victor Leonza, an instructor at John Carol University in Ohio; and Robert Steyer, a vending stand operator and president of the Cleveland Snackbar Association. The thrust of what these men had to say was, that given the opportunity they were able to perform successfully in their respective positions on a competitive basis with their sighted fellows. Their success stories gave inspiration to those who attended the meeting.

I believe the seminar to have been a tremendous success. It gave, on a somewhat lesser level, the inspirational shot-in-the-arm we all receive in a larger dose by attending a state convention, or the near overdose one is likely to receive by attending the national convention. That is the inspiration and stimulation which are so necessary to carry on our fight all the rest of the year.

Perhaps the seminar's success is best summed up by the remark of one woman who spoke with me after the meeting had adjourned. She said, "I have never been to a state or national convention, and I think this is just wonderful."

The fourth and final seminar—the Northwest Regional—was held in Fostoria on Saturday, May 17. Again Bob Whitehead and I traveled to Ohio on Friday to meet with Al Smith and other planners of the seminar.

Sixty persons attended the Saturday meeting. There was representation from four Northwest Ohio affiliates: the host affiliate, the Hancock County Council of the Blind of Fostoria; the Toledo Council of the Blind, from Toledo; the Mansfield Council of the Blind, from Mansfield; and the Starlight Club, of Lima. Al Smith opened the meeting. He talked of the aims of the Federation and the Ohio Council, and pointed out that we can achieve our goals if we "have heart."

The first speaker of the morning was Mr. Vaughn Williams of the Continental Casualty Insurance Company. He had been contacted by the Toledo Council about the possibility of purchasing group insurance for the membership. Williams said that Continental has done a good deal of research and has concluded that there is no basis in fact for charging blind persons at rates higher than those charged to the general public. Therefore, in the very near future, Continental will begin offering group insurance—a type offered to membership associations—at the same rates charged to other associations.

Bob Whitehead spoke of the "chain" with four links: the individual; the local organization; the state organization; and the national organization. He pointed out that each link has its own importance in the total scheme.

After the luncheon break I discussed the Federation and what it is doing, both in the Congress and in the courts. The discussion which followed was primarily aimed at the Disability Insurance bill, but there was also considerable time spent on the Federation's attitudes generally, and other legislation and court cases.

Clyde Ross followed with his legislative report.

The afternoon session was concluded with a panel on careers for the blind. Mr. Dewey Cummings made the first presentation. Dewey is a Rehabilitation Counselor in Ohio, and is also President of the Toledo Council of the Blind. He is an obvious bright spot in the future of the Ohio Council. Dewey went to college with the intention of becoming a teacher, but accepted employment with the State Services for the Blind when he was unable to find a teaching job in the area where he wanted to settle. From all indications, he is doing a fine job.

Dewey's wife, Jackie, also gave her story. She is a computer programmer in the Data Processing Department of the City of Toledo. She related how she had had numerous interviews and the discouraging rejections which so often follow when a blind person is attempting to find employment. Finally, however, she was offered and subsequently accepted employment with the City of Toledo. She is doing very well.

As if I had not already been heard from enough on my presentation of the Federation story and my remarks following other presentations, I was called upon to talk about my position as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. I placed particular emphasis upon the type of rehabilitation services I had received from the Iowa Orientation and Adjustment Center and the tremendous motivation which can be experienced by a student when the attitude of the agency is "do it," rather than "you can't do it."

This seminar, too, I consider to have been highly successful, and, as I see it, the entire experiment was a complete success. The Federation spirit in Ohio is strong and will surely gain in strength under the leadership of Al Smith and those who work so closely with him. It is through such action, and through the effort which must be expanded to carry out such action, that the blind of Ohio as well as those all across the country will more quickly realize the right to live in the world as ordinary citizens. Hats off to you, Ohio, for attempting an experiment and for making it work so well.

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Senator Jennings Randolph's Statement
[From the Congressional Record, June 20, 1969]

S. 2461 - Introduction of a bill to amend the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which operates successfully for blind people—amendments offered to strengthen program.

Mr. RANDOLPH. Mr. President, 33 years ago today. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Randolph-Sheppard Act. This measure, authored by Senator Morris Sheppard and myself, established the program granting preference to blind persons in the operation of vending facilities in Federal buildings.

It was a privilege as a Member of the House of Representatives to sponsor with Senator Sheppard this legislation to provide the opportunity for blind men and women to become self-supporting, taxpaying citizens while demonstrating to the public that individuals with this handicap can be capable and productive workers. The Randolph-Sheppard Act was later broadened to cover stands on Federal property. I recall the pioneering work for the blind of many persons, in and out of Government, including Leonard P. Robinson, who first brought the vending-stand concept to my attention.

Congress authorized the program. Blind persons themselves did the rest. They have worked diligently as small business enterpreneurs serving Government employees and the public in snack bars and other types of vending facilities. In the late thirties, when employment opportunities for blind persons were severely limited and the public equated blindness with helplessness and the beggar on the street corner, these blind concessionaires contributed greatly to changing that image of helplessness into one of ability. Their demonstrations of ability facilitated the acceptance of all types of handicapped workers by industry and influenced the establishment of public policy to provide training and job opportunities for our handicapped citizens.

Since 1936, the vending stand program has grown, until now there are nearly 3,300 blind persons in the overall effort. On Federal property, there were 836 stands employing 972 blind persons at the end of the last fiscal year. In addition, the State agencies for the blind and State vocational rehabilitation agencies which license blind stand operators have opened employment opportunities for blind concessionaires in State and municipal buildings, as well as in non-governmental buildings. There are 2,084 stands employing 2,287 blind persons on non-Federal installations. During fiscal year 1968, these concessions operated by blind persons did a gross business of $78,966,880. The average income of the blind operators was $5,580.

It is gratifying to have participated in establishing this program, which makes it possible for blind people to know the dignity and self-worth which comes from earning their own way. It is understandably a source of satisfaction for me that the law is known as the Randolph-Sheppard Act for the Blind.

But, as we know, the passage of time brings changes; and laws establishing programs to serve people must be periodically revised in accordance with changing needs. Since its enactment in 1936, the Vending Stand Act has been amended only once—18 years later in 1954, when improvements to it were included in the Vocational Rehabilitation Amendments of 1954. Now, 15 years later, there is need for additional improvements. Today, I am introducing a bill to affect those changes.

This bill would change the term "vending stand" to "vending facility" to more accurately cover the wide variety of concessions operated on Federal property by blind persons. It also defines a vending facility to include various types of concessions, including vending machines. Since the assignment of vending machine income has adversely affected blind vending stand operators in some instances, the bill tightens the procedure for making this assignment.

Present law requires licensed blind operators to be at least 21 years of age. My bill would make it possible for the State licensing agency to license responsible and capable blind men and women who are under 21. Such individuals are now actually employed in vending stands but, because of the restrictive language, they are designated as trainees until they are 21.

The bill authorizes food, beverages, and other items—as may be determined by the State licensing agency—to be prepared on the premises, as in fact, is presently being done in many locations. It also eliminates the 1-year residence requirement as a prerequisite for licensing of blind concessionaires, an archaic provision already eliminated from the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

An important new provision is the requirement for inclusion of sites for vending facility locations in the design, construction, or substantial alteration of Federal buildings or those leased by Federal agencies. This provision will help to assure growth of employment opportunities for persons while providing a valuable service to employees and the public. The requirement for consultation between the officials of the agency controlling property, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the State licensing agency will insure installation of the proper facility, if one is justified on the basis of potential business.

The fair hearing mechanism for aggrieved licensed blind operators now in the law is expanded to include an arbitration procedure if there is a dispute which cannot be settled otherwise. There is also a provision for arbitration of disputes between agencies controlling Federal property and State licensing agencies. In addition, a blind person or State licensing agency is authorized to seek judicial review of any agency action if they are adversely affected by that action.

Mr. President, these are the major provisions of my measure. If enacted into law, the bill will bring present law into conformance with accepted practice in the vending stand program and effect additional needed improvements. I ask unanimous consent that a section-by-section analysis be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of my remarks.

The need for improvements in the Randolph-Sheppard Act was called to my attention by representatives of organizations of blind persons, and organizations of workers who serve blind persons in every State. Its provisions were carefully arrived at and agreed on after several conferences. The organizations giving active support are the major national organizations of and for the blind—the American Association of Workers for the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, Blinded Veterans Association, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, and National Federation of the Blind. Their cooperation in working together to solve problems and meet changing needs is an excellent example of cooperation between consumers of service and providers of service.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the section-by-section analysis of my amendments and the most recent summary of the vending stand program be printed in the RECORD.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill will be received and appropriately referred; and, without objection, the material will be printed in the RECORD.

The bill (S. 2461) to amend the Randolph-Sheppard Act for the blind so as to make certain improvements therein and for other purposes, introduced by Mr. RANDOLPH, was received, read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.

The material, presented by Mr. RANDOLPH, follows:

Section-By-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title. This section provides that the Act may be cited as the "Randolph-Sheppard Act for the Blind Amendments of 1969."

Section 2. Preference for Vending Facilities on Federal Property. This section amends Section 1 of the Act of June 20, 1936, as amended, under which preference is granted to blind persons licensed by state agencies designated in the Act to operate vending facilities on Federal property. It provides for exclusive assignment of vending machine income in order to assure, achieve, and protect the preference granted. Inconvenience of departments and agencies of the Federal government is eliminated as a criterion for the establishment of a vending facility; however, such a facility would not be authorized if the interests of the United States would be adversely affected thereby.

Section 3. Concession Vending Surveys. This section amends Section 2(a)(1) of the Act by changing the term "concession-stand" to "concession vending".

Section 4. Vending Facility. This section substitutes the term "vending facility" or "vending facilities" for "vending stand(s)" or "stand(s)" throughout the Act in order to reflect the broader variety of concessions in the program.

Section 5. Age Requirements; Articles and Services Available. This section amends Section 2(a)(4) of the Act to eliminate the requirement that a licensed blind operator must be at least 21 years of age. It also alters language in the same section of the Act to broaden the types of articles and services available in vending facilities to accord with current actual practice.

Section 6. Deletion of Limitations. This section amends Section 2(b) of the Act to eliminate the unnecessary one year residence requirement before blind persons can become licensed operators. It also eliminates archaic wording contrary to rehabilitation principles referring to blindness as an infirmity.

Section 7. Provision of Locations. This section adds a new subsection (d) to Section 2 of the Act, providing for inclusion after January 1, 1970, of sites for vending facilities operated by blind persons, after consultation with the state licensing agency, in the design, construction, or substantial renovation or alteration of public buildings for use by the Federal government. Similar provisions cover public buildings rented or leased by the Federal Government. The new subsection also requires agencies controlling Federal property to consult with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (or his designee) and the state licensing agency to insure inclusion of suitable vending facility sites unless it is determined that the number of persons using the building will not justify operation of a vending facility.

Section 8. Arbitration Between Operators and Licensing Agencies. This section amends Section 3(6) of the Act to expand fair hearing procedures for aggrieved licensed blind operators to include binding arbitration. It provides that the arbiters shall consist of one person named by the head of the state licensing agency, one person named by the licensed blind operator, and a third person selected by the two.

Section 9. Definitions. This section amends Section 6(b) of the Act to substitute the current legal definition of blindness for the obsolete terminology presently in the Act. It also adds a new subsection to Section 6 of the Act defining the term "vending facility" to cover the broad variety of concessions presently in use in the program, including automatic vending machines.

Section 10. Arbitration Between Agencies. This section redesignates Section 8 of the Act as Section 9 and establishes a new Section 8 providing for arbitration of disputes between a state licensing agency and an agency controlling Federal property. It provides that the three arbiters shall consist of a person designated by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; one person designated by the head of the agency controlling Federal property over which the dispute has arisen; and a third person selected by the two who is not an employee of the departments concerned. It also provides that all decisions of the arbitration board shall be published.

Section 11. Judicial Review. This section adds a new Section 10 to the Act providing for judicial review in the event a blind person or state licensing agency suffers a legal wrong or is adversely affected or aggrieved by the action of an agency.

Section 12. Effective Date. This section provides for an effective date of January 1, 1970, for the amendments made by the bill.


S. 2461
June 20, 1969

Mr. Randolph introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.


To amend the Randolph-Sheppard Act for the blind so as to make certain improvements therein, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That this Act may be cited as the "Randolph-Sheppard Act for the Blind Amendments of 1969."


Sec. 2. Section 1 of the Act entitled "An Act to authorize the operations of stands in Federal buildings by blind persons, to enlarge the economic opportunities of the blind, and for other purposes," approved June 20, 1936 (20 U.S.C. 107), is amended to read as follows:

Section 1. For the purpose of providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting, blind persons licensed under the provisions of this Act shall be authorized to operate vending facilities on any Federal or other property. In authorizing the operation of vending facilities on Federal property, preference shall be given, so far as feasible, to blind persons licensed by a State agency as provided in this Act; and the head of each department or agency in control of the maintenance, operation, and protection of Federal property shall, after consultation with the Secretary and with the approval of the President, prescribe regulations designed to assure such preference (including exclusive assignment of vending machine income to achieve and protect such preference) for such licensed blind persons without adversely affecting the interests of the United States."


Sec.3. Section 2(a)(1) of such Act of June 20, 1936 (20 U.S.C. 107a), is amended to read as follows:

"(1) Make surveys of concession vending opportunities for blind persons on Federal and other property in the United States;"


Sec.4. Such Act of June 20, 1936, is further amended to strike the words "vending stand(s)" and "stand(s)" wherever they appear and inserting in lieu thereof the words "vending facility(ies)".


Sec.5. Section 2(a)(4) of such Act of June 20, 1936, is amended by (1) striking out "and at least twenty-one years of age" and (2) striking out "articles dispensed automatically or in containers or wrapping in which they are placed before receipt by the vending stand, and such other articles" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "foods, beverages, and other such articles or services dispensed automatically or manually and prepared on or off the premises in accordance with all applicable health laws, as determined by the State licensing agency:".


Sec.6. Section 2(b) of such Act of June 20, 1936, is amended by (1) striking out "and have resided for at least one year in the State in which such stand is located" and (2) striking out "but are able, in spite of such infirmity, to operate such stands."


Sec.7. Section 2 of such Act is further amended by adding a new subsection (d) at the end thereof:

"(d) In the design, construction, or substantial alteration or renovation of each public building after January 1, 1970, for use by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States, there shall be included, after consultation with the State licensing agency, a satisfactory site or sites with space and electrical and plumbing outlets and other necessary requirements suitable for the location and operation of a vending facility or facilities by a blind person or persons. No space shall be rented, leased, or otherwise acquired for use by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States after January 1, 1970, unless such space includes, after consultation with the State licensing agency, a satisfactory site or sites with space and electrical and plumbing outlets and other necessary requirements suitable for the location and operation of a vending facility or facilities by a blind person or persons. All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States shall consult with the Secretary (or his designee) and the State licensing agency in the design, construction, or substantial alteration or renovation of each public building used by them, and in the renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring of space for their use, to insure that the requirements set forth in this subsection are satisfied. This subsection shall not apply when the Secretary (or his designee) and the State licensing agency determine that the number of people using the property is insufficient to support a vending facility."


Sec.8. Section 3(6) of such Act (20 U.S.C. 107b) is amended by substituting a comma for the period at the end thereof and adding the following new wording: "including binding arbitration by three persons consisting of one person designated by the head of the State licensing agency, one person designated by the licensed blind operator, and a third person selected by the two."


Sec.9. (a) Section 6(b) of such Act (20 U.S.C. 107e) is amended to read as follows:

"(b) The term 'blind person' means a person whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200, in the better eye with correcting lenses or whose visual acuity, if better than 20/200, is accompanied by a limit to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees."

(b) Section 6 of such Act is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

"(f) The term 'vending facility' includes, but is not limited to, automatic vending machines, cafeterias, snackbars, cart service, shelters, counters, and such other appropriate auxiliary equipment (as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe) as are necessary for the sale of the articles or services referred to in section 2(a)(4), which are, or may be operated by blind licensees."


Sec.10. Such Act is further amended by redesignating section 8 (20 U.S.C. 107f) as section 9 and by inserting the following new section after section 7:

"Sec.8. (a)An arbitration board of three persons consisting of one person designated by the Secretary who shall serve as chairman, one person designated by the head of the Federal department or agency controlling Federal property over which a dispute arises, and a third person selected by the two who is not an employee of the departments concerned shall hear appeals as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

"(b) If, in the opinion of a State licensing agency designated by the Secretary under this Act, any department or agency in control of the maintenance, operation, and protection of Federal property is failing to comply with the provisions of this Act, or any regulations issued thereunder, it may appeal to the board. The board shall, after notice and hearing, render its decision which shall be binding. If the board finds and determines that the acts or practices of any such department or agency are in violation of this Act, or the regulations issued thereunder, the head of the affected department or agency shall promptly cause such acts or practices to be terminated, and shall take such other action as may be necessary to carry out the decision of the board. All decisions of the board shall be published."


Sec. 11 Such Act is further amended by adding the following new section:

"Sec. 10. Notwithstanding other provisions of this Act, any blind person or State licensing agency suffering legal wrong because of any agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by such action within the meaning of this Act or other relevant statutes, shall be entitled to and shall have standing for judicial review thereof."


Sec.12. The amendments made by this Act shall become effective January 1, 1970.

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Rami Rabby, President of the Illinois Congress of the Blind, spent ten years in residential schools for the blind. In 1966 he graduated from Oxford University and was awarded a management traineeship in personnel by the Ford Motor Company of Britain. In the fall of 1967 he was granted a fellowship by the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business to come to the United States and study for a Master's degree in business administration. Rami completed his studies this summer and, armed with these impressive credentials, went job hunting for a position in American industry. He has just accepted a position with a management consulting firm, headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and with branch offices in various cities across the country.

The company, Hewitt Associates, has a very high reputation in its field which is consulting in manpower and organization planning. Rami's initial assignment will be to draw up a statement of policy for the firm, specifying the new services which the firm will be prepared to render in the area of manpower planning, and laying down the procedures it will follow in rendering these services. Once that has been done. Rami's actual consulting work will begin. The position involves extensive travel.

During the past year Rami has had contacts with some 130 American companies and, as far as is known, the private sector is very much uncharted by blind university graduates. Consulting naturally involved frequent and extensive contact with the corporate managerial establishment, and Rami hopes that one very important by-product of his work will be the efforts he hopes to make to persuade personnel directors to have a more open-minded and enlightened attitude toward blind job applicants. Congratulations, Rami, and the best to you in your new venture!

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by Martha Bjornseth

The Federated Blind of North Dakota met in convention, June 7-8, at the Gardner Hotel in Fargo. In deference to a colleague and long-time Federationist, the opening session of the convention was delayed while the members, en masse, attended the funeral services of Mr. Arthur L. Strom, of Fargo, second-vice president of the organization. Dr. Isabelle Grant, main speaker of the convention, kindly acquiesced to the necessary program changes, and, herself, attended the services as the representative of the NFB.

During the afternoon session, which opened at 1:30, President L. E. Gotto presented a number of interesting speakers: Sister Hellen Mary, of the local Volunteer Bureau, outlined the types of services available to the blind, and other handicapped people in the area. James Fine, newly appointed Director of Vocational Rehabilitation, discussed some upcoming changes in the department for the blind and an increase in personnel. Mr. Truman Wold, newspaper publisher, took note of the very real contribution blind people can and do make to our present-day society and "because of their greater insight regarding the social problems of our time, may actually be leading the way to better solutions."

The entire Sunday morning session was reserved for Dr. Isabelle Grant who discussed the progress of Federationism on state, national and international levels. Specifically, her advice was sought on such vital facets of organization work as recruitment of members and possible NFB financial aid to small, struggling affiliates. The convention unanimously approved a resolution seeking such NFB funds.

The final session concluded with routine business details and the election of officers. Theodore Johnson of New Rockford was chosen second-vice president to fill out the unexpired term of Arthur Strom. Dr. Curtis Saunders of Devils Lake and Elsie Teigland of Fargo were re-elected to their respective offices of secretary and treasurer. Dr. Saunders was named NFB delegate to represent North Dakota at the national convention in South Carolina.

Saturday evening was banquet time, the fun-time of the convention with Ada E. Mark in charge of arrangements. The organization paid special tribute to Elsie Teigland "for her selfless devotion to the cause of the blind and her many years of faithful service in all areas where sight is required." A brief musical interlude preceded the address of Dr. Isabelle Grant, main speaker of the evening at her charming best. She took her captivated audience to Africa and other far-away places visited in her exciting travels.

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by William Taaffe

[Editor's Note: The following article was written by a blind reader of the Braille Monitor in New Zealand.]

It is now some thirty years since Social Security was introduced into this country. Since then a lot of people have received much help from the advantages of this Act of Parliament. Though from time to time the regulations have been altered, the act still gives mostly the same benefits. All of the people in this country are covered by it.

All public hospital treatment is free and, except in a very special situation, no payment is required for treatment. Private hospitals may receive some assistance with the payments made by the individual who pays for private care. At one time doctors were paid only by the government but now, because of the fact that some persons were making improper use of the provisions, a small fee is now charged the patient. Those who are blind and those who are invalids do not have to pay the fee.

Grants are paid to the blind and to those who are unable to work. A blind person receiving a grant does not have any limitation placed on his earnings. Funeral and other extra grants are paid by the hospital boards of each district.

The government is quite strict in seeing that no drugs are wasted and that persons take not more than required of a drug. The list of drugs which are covered by the Social Security Act is constantly changed.

Obviously, the liberal provisions of the Act have not deterred blind persons of this country from working. Each day one will find many persons going to work and making their living at different trades. Many persons work at two jobs.

New Zealanders are very proud of their Social Security Act which was the first enacted among the nations of the British Commonwealth. The citizens of this country do a hard day's work and, for the most part, are pleased to pay the little amount to support the legislation. The benefits of the Act are available to all, without reference to race or color or creed.

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Like Lincoln, I was born in a log cabin. Only I was born in Poplar, Cass County, Minnesota, a tiny town which no longer exists. It was one hundred and twenty miles northwest of St. Paul, and as the family always said, twenty miles from nowhere. My parents had come from Pennsylvania and returned there when I was eight months old. At a very early age it was discovered that I was very nearsighted, a condition which hampered my education to a great extent. My father was transferred to Richmond by the company with which he was connected. The Kline Motor Car Company, in 1912. At that time I had to stop going to school due to poor eyesight and doctors' orders.

In the year 1933, I entered the hospital for an eye operation, and haven't seen anything since. The Virginia Commission for the Blind gave me some training such as basket weaving, etc. They also gave me a braille alphabet, and, with the help of my husband, I learned it. I eagerly got a book and was heartbroken when I couldn't read it. So I took the book to the Commission to see what was wrong with it or me. Then I was told that I had to learn contractions, and they gave me a book which had them. From there on, I was on my own. I now read grade 2 and some grade 3 braille. I have a Perkins' brailler which I use to my own satisfaction. I have been married twice and have a daughter who teaches school in Alexandria, Virginia. I do my own housework and have a ninety-one year old mother, who is a cripple, living with me. We live on the fifteenth floor of a high rise apartment which overlooks historic James River and the Richmond skyline. We are all very happy here.

With the diligent help of John Taylor, who was then Chief of the Washington office, Jimmy Nelson, my husband Everette and I, founded the Richmond Area Federation of the Blind on November 16, 1957. I served in the capacity of president for four years. On June 14, 1958, in the Hotel Richmond, we held a one-day constitutional convention, and the Virginia Federation of the Blind came into being.

The VFB now has six affiliates. The Richmond Area Federation of the Blind has Miss Lydia Stuples as its president. Its major project is giving a $100 grant to any member for the preservation or restoration of vision which requires an operation. It also furnishes prescription glasses to sighted people who cannot afford them. The Portsmouth Federation of the Blind in Alexandria, with Mr. A. J. Pettit as president, has been tremendously busy during the past year preparing to host the 1969 VFB convention. The Winchester Association of the Blind in Winchester has Miss Frances Ebert as president. They hold three-hour meetings twice a month at which time they work on their projects. The Skyline Federation of the Blind in Harrison, with Mr. Eugene Nesselrodt as president, sells homemade food to raise money for the affiliate. The Hampton Roads Federation of the Blind, which Mr. Ralph Shelman serves as president, is composed of students from the School for the Blind in Hampton and Hampton Institute. Our smallest affiliate, the Tidewater Federation of the Blind in Portsmouth, with Mr. Rufus Benton as president, sees the great need of a Federation in their area, and are constantly struggling to improve it.

At the last General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, through the efforts of the VFB, the lien law was repealed by both the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, it was vetoed by Governor Godwin. We, however, have been very successful with our White Cane Safety Day project.

We make three "Mobility Awards" to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind each year for the three most outstanding students in this field.

Virginia's blind are enthusiastic Federationists.

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[Editor's Note: The American Council of the Blind makes a proposal to give a tax exemption to employers who hire the blind. The material is set out for our readers. Please see Resolution 69-07 for Convention action.]

May 26, 1969
Subject: Tax Credit for Employers Hiring the Blind—
Proposed Legislation

This organization has interested a member of Congress in introducing a bill based on the attached draft. We are interested in having your thoughts and reactions to this proposed legislation to be shared with the congressional sponsor in advance of the introduction.

Will you direct your comments to the Council's National Representative, and he will transmit them to me and to the sponsor? We would, of course, like very much to have your support and acquiescence for the introduction and passage of this new approach to solving employment problems of blind persons. This legislative approach has not been tried by government, and we believe that it can be effectively tested out with this small pilot group with a disability which is objectively and medically measurable.

The underlying theory behind this proposed legislation is to provide an inducement to overcome employer reluctance and thereby to give a potential blind worker an opportunity to prove what he can do with the cost of that opportunity thereby being shared by the government. This is not intended to subsidize for any lack of production on the part of a blind worker. We believe in the productive ability of blind workers, and we would expect such workers to be competitively productive as a condition to their retaining such employment after the two-year period had expired. The definition of blindness is that used in the Internal Revenue Code for the additional income tax exemption for such persons.

While we hope the tax credit provided in this draft legislation will be sufficient to induce potential employers to hire blind workers, you will note the safeguards to avoid abuse by employers: 1) The amount of tax credit is limited. 2) The number of blue card employees who can be counted is limited. 3) The employee must be tried out for at least six months in order to claim any credit. 4) The wages paid must be the minimum or prevailing wages, and the set minimum wages allowed by Section 14 of the Fair Labor Standards Act are excluded. 5) Blue card employees cannot be substituted for regular employees. 6) Provision is made to avoid abuse of the system by a blue card employee. 7) The effective time for joining a union by a blue card employee is delayed until he becomes a permanent, full time employee. (This is not designed to interfere with the functioning of collective bargaining contracts but solely for the purpose of giving this special arrangement a fair chance to succeed.)

Obviously, the government would be underwriting the cost of inducing such work opportunities for blind workers through the tax credit method, and we believe that this can be a valuable supplement to the government financed training and placement programs already available for blind and other handicapped workers. The tax credit method has the unique quality of directly affecting the actual employment opportunity.

May we hear from you soon?


To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to provide a tax credit for employers who employ the blind.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That (a) subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (relating to credits against tax) is amended by redesignating section 40 as section 41 and by inserting after section 39 the following new section:

"Sec.40. Employment of the Blind.

"(a) General Rule.—There shall be allowed, as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter, the amount determined under subpart C of this part.

"(b) Regulations.—The Secretary or his delegate shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section and subpart C."

(b) Such part IV is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subpart:

"Subpart C—Rules for Computing Credit for Employment of the Blind

"Sec.51. Amount of credit.
"Sec.52. Issuance of blue cards.

"Sec.51. Amount of Credit

"(a) Determination of Amount.—

"(i) General Rule.—The amount of the credit allowed by section 40 for the taxable year shall be equal to the taxpayer's qualified employment expenses (as defined in subsection (b)) for such year.

"(2) Limitation Based on Amount of Tax.—

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the credit allowed by section 40 for the taxable year shall not exceed—

"(A) so much of the liability for tax as does not exceed $25,000, plus

"(B) 50 percent of so much of the liability for tax for the taxable year as exceeds $25,000.

"(3) Liability for Tax.—For purposes of paragraph (2), the liability for tax for the taxable year shall be the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year, reduced by the sum of the credits allowed under—

"(A) section 33 (relating to foreign tax credit),

"(B) section 35 (relating to partially tax-exempt interest),

"(C) section 37 (relating to retirement income), and

"(D) section 38 (relating to investment in certain depreciable property).

"(4) Other Rules Made Applicable—For purposes of determining the amount of the credit allowable under section 40, the rules established by the second sentence of section 46(a)(3), by paragraphs (4) and (5) of section 46(a), and by section 46(d) shall apply.

"(b) Qualified Employment Expenses.—

"(1) In General.—For purposes of this subpart, the term 'qualified employment expenses' means, with respect to any taxable year, the aggregate of the applicable percentage of expenses paid or incurred by the taxpayer during that year with respect to the compensation of blue card employees.

"(2) Applicable Percentage.—For purposes of paragraph (1), the applicable percentage of any expense shall be determined under the following table:

"If the employer pays or incurs the expense when he has employed percentage the individual— The applicable percentage is—
3 months or less 100
More than 3 months but not more than 9 months 75
More than 9 months but not more than 15 months 50
More than 15 months but not more than 2 years 25

"(3) Expenses Taken into Account.—For purposes of this subpart, the expenses taken into account with respect to the compensation of an individual are only those expenses—

"(A) for wages or other compensation, or

"(B) for fringe benefits of the kind required to be taken into account under section l(b)of the Act of March 31, 1931, as amended (40 U.S.C. 276a; Davis-Bacon Act),

for such an individual which are attributable to a trade or business carried on by the employer and deductible under this chapter.

"(c) Limitations.—

"(1) Individual Must Be Retained for at least 6 Months.—No credit shall be allowed under section 40 with respect to any individual unless such individual is employed by the taxpayer, as a blue card employee, for a period or periods aggregating at least 6 months.

"(2) Individual Must Receive Higher of Minimum Wage or Prevailing Wage.—No credit shall be allowed under section 40 with respect to any individual unless such individual, throughout his period or periods of employment by the taxpayer as a blue card employee and prior to the payment or incurring of the expense in question, has been paid wages not less than whichever of the following is the greater—

"(A) the minimum wage which would be applicable to the employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 if section 6 of such Act applied to the employee and he was not exempt under section 13 thereof (and section 14 of such Act shall not apply to authorize sub-minimum wages), or

"(B) the prevailing wage for his occupation in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor (but adjusted to reflect fringe benefits in the manner required by section 1(b) of the Act of March 31, 1931, as amended (40 U.S.C. 27a; Davis-Bacon Act)).

"(3) Maximum Number of Blue Card Employees Taken into Account.—The maximum number of blue card employees whom the taxpayer may take into account at any one time shall be determined in accordance with the following table:

"If the total number of employees is— The number of blue card employees taken into account shall not exceed the following percentage of such total number:
10 or fewer 50
More than 10 but not more than 100 25
More than 9 months but not more than 15 months 15

"(4) Employer May Not Substitute Blue Card Employees for Existing Employees.—No credit shall be allowed to an employer under section 40 for the taxable year if the Secretary of Labor determines that during such year, or during the immediately preceding taxable year, he has dismissed existing employees for the purpose of obtaining a credit under section 40 or for the purpose of increasing the amount of such credit.

"(d) Carryback and Carryover of Unused Credits.—If the amount of the credit determined under subsection (a) (1) for any taxable year exceeds the limitation provided by subsection (a) (2) for such taxable year (hereinafter m this subsection referred to as 'unused credit year'), such excess shall be—

"(1) an employment credit carryback to each of the 3 taxable years preceding the unused credit year, and

"(2) an employment credit carryover to each of the 7 taxable years following the unused credit year, and shall be added to the amount allowable as a credit by section 40 for such years, except that such excess may be a carryback only to a taxable year ending after the date of the enactment of this subpart. All provisions of this title which determine the operation of the carryback and carryover of the investment credit shall apply for determining the operation of the carryback and carryover of the employment credit.

"Sec.52.Issuance of Blue Cards.

"(a) In General.—The Secretary of Labor shall, through the system of State employment agencies, or through such other local agencies as he designates, issue a blue card (or other similar identifying document) to each individual who is blind as defined in section 151(d)(3).

"(b) Safeguards.—The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to insure—

"(1) that no holder of a blue card will use such card (A) for periods of employment aggregating more than 2 years, or (B) for a series of short-term employment with a series of employers, and

"(2) that a blue card employee who voluntarily leaves employment two times shall be placed at the bottom of the list of the referral agency.

"(c) Exemption from Mandatory Labor Union Membership—The first proviso of section 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(a)(3)), and any agreement entered into thereunder, shall not apply to any blue card employee until he has become a permanent, full-time employee.

"(d) Blue Card Employee, Etc.—For purposes of this subpart—

"(1) The term 'blue card' includes any similar identifying document issued for purposes of this subpart.

"(2) The term 'blue card employee' means any employee who holds a blue card which is then valid for use as provided in this subpart."

(c) (1) The table of sections for subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 is amended by striking out the last line and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"Sec.40. Employment of the Blind."
"Sec.41. Overpayments."

(2) The table of subparts for such part IV is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Subpart C. Rules for computing credit for employment of the blind."

Sec. 2. The amendments made by the first section of this Act shall apply to taxable years ending after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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by Nellie Hargrove

Even though we are the youngest affiliate in NFB we aren't, by any means the slowest. At the ripe old age of sixteen days, we have accepted two local chapters, had a lengthy and very fruitful board meeting with the state board of directors, and started the ground work on a fundraising drive. We have also started a vigorous campaign to push for support of H.R. 3782.

In Nashville, on June 21, an enthusiastic group gathered at The Andrew Jackson Hotel for the purpose of forming a local chapter. State affiliate president, Nellie Hargrove, presided over the 6:00 p.m. meeting. Mrs. Hargrove presented a constitution which had been written by her with the help of J. Marshall Warren. The constitution was adopted as read. The group, numbering fifty, then elected a slate of officers; and, a fine slate they were. Mr. J. Marshall Warren, a man well-known to Federationists all over the country, was elected president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter. Lilman Easters was elected first vice president; Johnson Bradshaw, second vice president; Marie Roberts, secretary; and Willette Marshall, treasurer. There were also six board members: Yvonne Beasely, Beatrice Nixon, Bill Cole, Vernon Phillips, David Gower, and Mildred Hamby. After the election of officers, Mrs. Hargrove turned the chair over to the new chapter president. The group immediately began discussion of how, as a group, they could help the state affiliate in its membership drive, legislative programs, and fundraising. It was a wonderful evening, filled with spirit and dignified enthusiasm.

On Sunday, June 23, the board of directors of National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee met in Memphis for their first official meeting; and all board members were present. There was also a lot of spirit in this meeting and a great deal was accomplished. Among other things, the board passed a resolution to be sent by "night letter" to all of Tennessee's congressmen who have not cosponsored H.R. 3782. The board also passed a motion to direct the president to pursue every avenue open to her to aid in the passage of H.R. 3782. (It was obvious to this president that the board of directors was telling her to keep busy.) In that meeting suggestions were made to the president about committees; and the board passed a motion allowing the president to proceed as soon as possible with a fundraising drive. We discussed fundraising and agreed to try the sale of automobile stickers, since that had not been used by blind groups in this state before.

The president from the Middle Tennessee chapter made application for acceptance to the board; presenting his constitution, a list of the names and addresses of chapter members, and payment of state dues to the state treasurer. The chapter was accepted; but that was just a beginning. To the complete surprise of a number of the board members, the president of the Memphis Federation of the Blind submitted an application for acceptance, presented a constitution, a list of members, and state dues. This chapter was, of course, accepted also; and HURRAY! we had two chapters. This president came away from that board meeting fully aware that she could never slow down in the movement, because the board was anxious to see Tennessee pull out in front very soon. So, the president came home from the board meeting (10:00 p.m.) and got on the phone to start the ground work for some of the programs the board had suggested.

We will list the elected officers of the Memphis Chapter in our next report. There was not enough time to get everything together for this report and get it off before we left for the convention in Columbia.

Tennessee will have a delegate to the student division this year. His name is Randell Beasly, a very personable young man who is a student at Treveca Nazarine College.

In the future you may expect very brief reports from this affiliate because we are going to be St) busy trying to pass other states in membership and other programs, that we won't want to spend too much valuable time on reporting.

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by Wendy Ross

[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted courtesy of the Chicago (Illinois) Tribune.]

Camille Myers is a wife and homemaker, the mother of two active youngsters, a student enrolled in a college correspondence course, and chairman for a woman's organization.

Mrs. Myers also is blind. She doesn't consider her accomplishments at all out of the ordinary, however. It is the dependent blind person she finds remarkable. "The blind man who has the gall to stand on the corner with a tin cup in his hand only enforces the stereotyped view the public has of blind people as a whole," she says. "He is detrimental to the rest of us who are trying to be normal, active, independent people."

As chairman of the women's division of the Illinois Congress of the Blind, Mrs. Myers represents a group of people determined to demonstrate their ability to be just that-normal, active, independent. "Obviously, blindness is a visual handicap that cannot be overlooked," Mrs. Myers says. "One cannot see a painting or drive a car. But these things are not so important." What are important to her and to the other members of the Congress are the same things important to the sighted: how to be well-groomed, attractive women, capable of running a home, rearing a family, filling a professional position, continuing an education.

In that same independent spirit, the women's division has initiated a self-help program. Two projects are underway, and others are under consideration. "There are state agencies which offer daily living courses, and for many blind persons these are a valuable service," Mrs. Myers explains. "But many of the day-to-day situations a woman encounters do not require such intensive training-some of them could be solved over a cup of coffee." The women have adopted that "over-the-coffee-cup" approach as their means of solving problems, but their casualness does not mean lack of purpose.

One of the projects is a seminar in fashion which will be presented by Patricia Stevens, Inc., 22 W. Madison Street. "A blind woman is interested in fashion—what is a becoming skirt length, how one properly applies makeup, which hair style is most attractive for her," says Mrs. Myers. Patricia Stevens was one of several charm schools, beauty culture schools, and department stores the women contacted with varying results. Details are still to be worked out, but "we hope that eventually we can develop a larger program," says Mrs. Myers.

Another project involves easing work in the kitchen. The women have written to 13 manufacturers of convenience foods, asking their cooperation in a venture to compile a manual of package mix directions in Braille. "We asked the manufacturers for a list of the directions for the foods they package. We'll do the transcription. Then, a homemaker who buys a mix can attach the directions to the corresponding box with a rubber band, and the sheet will serve a dual purpose: as a label and as directions."

At last report, four firms had responded: Kosto Products, Inc., a division of National Bakers Services, Inc., 2625 Gardner Road, Broadview, provided copies of directions which the women already have transcribed; and Chelsea Milling Company, Chelsea, Michigan, which sent their recipes—and a check for $100. General Foods Company, White Plains, New York, and the National Biscuit Company, New York, also have sent product lists.

The women plan to advertise their collection in magazines and newspapers and to sell it at cost. Contributions will be used to help defray expenses.

There are other improvements the women would like to see. Among them: a telephone number blind women can call to receive information about sale merchandise; a system to let blind people know what foods are stocked on supermarket shelves; better informed sales personnel to assist blind shoppers.

"So many people approach us as if we were 12 or 13 years old, as if being blind automatically means being mentally deficient," she says. A visit to the Myers home on the north side will disprove that theory. Mrs. Myers, blind since birth, studies English in a correspondence course offered by Loyola University through the Hadley School for the Blind. Her husband, John, blind since he was 6, is a graduate in psychology from DePaul University and commutes by public transportation to his job as a liaison worker between the Cook County Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Board of Education.

"Our children also lead quite normal lives," says Mrs. Myers. "In child rearing, so many things are instinctive—a mother just seems to know what to do, and it seldom takes sight to do it." The children, young as they are, realize their parents cannot see, but this has "posed no particular problems as yet," says Mrs. Myers. "Keith, who is 3, says 'Mom's eyes are broken, but her ears are fine!'" And they are. As Mrs. Myers talked, she suddenly broke off to call to her year-old son, "Kevin, come here, and let me tie your shoe!" She had heard the shoelaces trailing on the floor.

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by James T. Walsh

On May 17th, the Liberty Chapter of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind, held a seminar. The following are some personal observations regarding that Seminar made by a member of Liberty Chapter.

The topic under discussion was, "The Socio-Economic Future of the Blind". Guest speakers at the Seminar were: John Nagle, who is Chief of the Washington Office of the NFB; Joseph Braun, who is the Executive Director of "The Working Blind", a private agency of the city of Philadelphia; Fred C. Lindberg, who is Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of the Visually and Physically Handicapped of the State of Pennsylvania; and Dr. John Crandel, who is a professor of Special Education at Temple University, himself legally blind. The panel discussion was moderated by Robert Lambert, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of Liberty Chapter.

Dr. Crandel, visually impaired himself, stressed the personal growth and development of the blind individual and his participation in charitable and community affairs as a way blind people can achieve the ultimate in their socio-economic future. For this listener, Crandel seemed to soft peddle the role of such organizations as that of the NFB.

Lindberg discussed the structural changes within his bureau which is being regionalized as is the rest of Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare. He assured us that he had a deep interest in the welfare of the blind and that his door would always be open to hear any problems. Braun described the scope of his agency and how, with a new and bigger facility and a new and bigger budget, services to the blind will be extended in the seventies.

John Nagle, God bless him, "tells it like it is". For me, he addressed his remarks more directly to the question at hand. He stated that the same battles of the blind must be fought again and again and again. He cited examples to support his contentions. He stated further that the only way in which these battles can be continually carried on is through the collective effort of all the blind such as an organization like the NFB.

Generally speaking, Liberty Chapter feels that our first effort of this type was a smashing success. We have bigger and better plans for the future.

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by Rhodes Johnston

[Editor's Note: The following is reprinted from the Nashville (Tennessee) Tennessean.]

A sixty-six year old blind woman spends one third of her $984 annual income for "substandard" housing, but the Nashville Housing Authority, says she is not eligible to live in public housing. The woman, Mrs. Mary Reams, received a terse, two-sentence answer to her application to the Housing Authority for public housing. "We are sorry to inform you that your application for public housing has been declared ineligible. If you care to call I will be glad to inform you of our reason for making this determination," Mrs. Angeline Baxter, tenant selection supervisor, said in the letter.

Gerald Gimre, NHA executive director, board member Gayle Gupton, and Mrs. Baxter declined to predict what would happen to Mrs. Reams when the authority buys the apartments she lives in from Robin Realty and tears them down. William H. Robin, whose mother owns the complex said he did not intend to do any work on the apartments because "the Housing Authority is going to buy them in a few weeks."

Mrs. Elsie R. Oliver, county director of the State Department of Public Welfare, said that Mrs. Reams receives $82 per month, all she is entitled to under the law. Asked yesterday why Mrs. Reams is ineligible for public housing, Mrs. Baxter declined. Gimre and Gupton said they did not know.

"I'm just looking for a place to rest," said Mrs. Reams, when asked about her application to the housing authority. She pays $27.25 per month to Robin Realty for an unpainted, two-room, apartment with outdoor plumbing, at 1215 Stevens Street, which NHA classifies as substandard. "When it snowed I had more in the front room than I did on the porch," she said smiling.

Robin said he did not think the rented apartments in the complex were "in such bad shape." The apartments on either side of the one occupied by Mrs. Reams and the twenty-one year old girl who takes care of her, are vacant-the walls are falling down. Her apartment has an outdoor faucet and toilet—the toilet does not work. It is heated by a coal stove and a fireplace in the kitchen—Mrs. Reams pays for the coal. There is a picture of her dead son graduating from Army cook school in the front room.

"Eighty-two dollars a month is dreadfully low," the welfare director said. "We hope the legislature will make additional money available to our department. Mrs. Reams is lucky her rent is so low," she added, explaining that many slum landlords receive more than $50 per month for their property.

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[Editor's Note: A study pertaining to wage payments to handicapped clients in sheltered workshops was recently completed by the Office of Research and Legislative Analysis of the Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions. This study was requested by the Congress and the summary follows.]

In response to a directive in section 605 of the 1966 amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act, a study was submitted to the Congress in September 1967 on wage payments to handicapped clients in sheltered workshops. The amendments establish a wage floor of 50 percent of the statutory minimum wage for all such workers except the more severely handicapped. The 1967 study indicated that the 70-cent floor rate which became effective on February 1, 1967 did not significantly affect the overall wage structure for handicapped workers in sheltered workshops. This 1968 follow-up study measures the effects on employment and wages of both the initial 70-cent rate and the subsequent 80-cent floor rate which became effective on February 1, 1968.

This study discloses that the total number of handicapped clients in sheltered workshops has continued to grow. By March 1968 it had reached 39,524, about 2,300 more than in October 1967 and about 5,000 above the 1965-66 level. However, the proportion of regular clients—those to whom the 70-cent and 80-cent minimum rates became applicable—dropped while clients classified as trainees and exceptions (including clients in work activities centers) increased. As of March 1968, 37 percent of the 39,524 handicapped clients were regular clients subject to an 80-cent floor rate, some 7 percent were classified as individual exceptions subject to a floor rate of 40 cents and 56 percent were not subject to any minimum wage—20 percent who were trainees and 36 percent who were clients of work activities centers. Although a precise minimum wage is not applicable, the employees are required to be paid at rates commensurate with rates paid to nonhandicapped workers.

Of the six different types of workshops serving various disability groups, general workshops and shops for the mentally retarded employed the most clients. From October 1967 to March 1968 the largest numerical increases in employment were in these shops, although shops for the mentally ill also reported a significant increase.

The number of work activities centers increased from 444 in October 1967 to 468 in March 1968, and employment rose by 9 percent—from 12,979 to 14,125. Over 70 percent of the clients of work activities centers were employed in centers for the mentally retarded.

The 1968 study revealed that a substantial proportion of the clients employed in both the 1967 and 1968 survey periods did not get wage increases commensurate with the amounts contemplated by the 1966 FLSA amendments and that even for most "regular" clients the achievement of a statutory minimum wage does not appear realistic without some assistance. In October 1967, roughly one-half of all clients earned less than the applicable 70-cent floor rate for regular clients. In March 1968 over half the clients earned less than the new floor rate of 80 cents. In relation to the statutory minimum, seven out of eight clients earned less than $1.40 in October 1967 and less than $1.60 in March 1968.

Average hourly earnings for all clients increased from 72 cents in October 1967 to 76 cents in March 1968-an overall increase of 6 percent or 4 cents an hour.

The study this year traced developments for individual clients by identifying nearly 26,000 clients who were employed in sheltered workshops in both October 1967 and March 1968. For these clients, average hourly earnings rose from 73 to 81 cents an hour, an increase of 11 percent. Earnings of matched regular clients rose by 8 percent, from $1.20 to $1.30, as compared with the 15 percent increase required in the floor rate. However, those classified as trainees, individual exceptions, and work activities center clients received increases of close to or in excess of 15 percent—22, 13, and 16 percent respectively. Rates for these groups were 61 cents, 69 cents and 36 cents, respectively, in March 1968.

Despite an increase in the average hourly earnings, about 30 percent of the 26,000 clients failed to share in these increases. Sixteen percent got no increase at all and 14 percent suffered a loss in earnings. Only about 9,000 clients got increases in excess of 10 cents an hour. In terms of percentage increases only about two-fifths of all the matched clients received increases of 15 percent or more. The increases or decreases may reflect, in part, fluctuations in piece work earnings growing out of changes in the kind of work being performed.

Over the longer run, earnings of all sheltered workshop clients have risen 10 percent between the 1965-66 pre-amendment period and March 1968, from 69 cents to 76 cents. During this same period the statutory minimum increased from $1.25 to $1.60, or 28 percent.

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The Public Relations Committee is one of the most active committees of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind and the Chairman, Victor Gonzales, is one of the most capable and active members of the Federation. A few years ago the West Virginia Federation of the Blind started meeting quarterly with representatives from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. These quarterly meetings consisted of a discussion of a wide range of problems and were three to four hours in duration. It became obvious to participants of the meetings that representatives from other state agencies rendering services to the blind should be present. The evolution has continued until at the present time the meetings have both morning and afternoon sessions and in addition to members of the West Virginia Federation and the DVR there are respresentatives in attendance from: the Department of Welfare, State Board of Education—Division of Special Education, West Virginia School for the Blind, West Virginia Library Commission, The West Virginia Society for the Blind and Severely Disabled and the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. Incidentally, as a result of their participation in these quarterly meetings Victor Gonzalez and Robert L. Hunt, State President, were recently appointed by the State Board of Education as consultants to the DVR.

In the most recent meeting on May 20, 1969 there was a discussion on the significance of the Model White Cane Law to the Blind of West Virginia and the implementation of the Special Education Act and the Structural Barriers Act which were passed during a recent session of the state legislature. The day's activities were rounded out by a discussion of recently organized workshops, proposals made by a committee on rehabilitation services and appropriation requests of special interest to the blind which will be acted upon by the state legislature in 1970.

Federationists who attend these meetings must be well versed and knowledgeable on a variety of topics in order to make contributions to the discussions. To aid in these discussions in the most recent meeting was John Nagle of the NFB Washington office. Mr. Nagle made substantial contributions in several areas commensurate with his ability and broad experience. Mr. Nagle was warmly received by all present and extended a cordial invitation to return and participate in future meetings.

It has been found that the day long meetings with representatives from all agencies prodding services to the blind to be superior to meetings with DVR alone. These meetings have brought about better communications among the state agencies and in turn has provided better services with greater dispatch to the blind of West Virginia. Since there is no Commission for the Blind in this state these quarterly conferences are an improvisation.

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[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted from the Sacramento (California) Union.]

The Rev. Dan Lambert has a rapport with patients at Bret Harte Hospital that most other hospital chaplains would not have. He is blind. "You can't measure what he gives patients," said Elizabeth Allen, assistant director of nurses. "His strength rubs off on them."

The soft-spoken, thirty-one year old minister tries to meet patients on the day they are admitted. He works closely with patients in the rehabilitation center. "A lot of times we start a long ways from religion," he said. "I just let the relationship shape itself."

Born in Stockton, he moved with his family at the age of six to Sonora where, four years later, he suffered the eye injury that resulted in his loss of sight. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and received a bachelor's degree in philosophy. Initially hired on a part-time basis at Bret Harte five years ago, Lambert subsequently attended Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley and received a bachelor of divinity degree. He has had six years of pastoral experience, serving as pastor of churches in Oklahoma and in California.

Dr. Kazou Orimo, hospital medical director, said that chaplain plays an important role in the overall plan of treatment. "Many patients feel at rock bottom and the only strength they can draw on is religion," he said.

An avid outdoorsman, Lambert goes hiking and fishing in the Sierra with Orimo. Another of his hobbies is digging up old bottles. At the hospital's last variety show, the chaplain twanged a guitar and sang cowboy songs. He also plays the banjo and mandolin. How does he feel about his handicap? "I consider it more of a nuisance than anything else," he said.

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[From a Letter to the Editor]

The following is an open appeal of readers' opinions. A need exists which can be met if enough speak out in favor of a proposed new service.

How many times have you heard someone complain about a lack of opportunities in your home town and resolve to go to California or New York to look for work? How many gainfully employed people have you known or heard of who quit one job to take another, often in a completely different field? Next consider—how many in those two groups were visually handicapped?

With more and more of us trying to break the molds and live our lives as normally or abnormally as anyone else, shouldn't there be some way to make this kind of nation-wide, interest-wide job hunting as possible for us as it is for others? If we can show that the demand is there, such a service may soon be available.

A group of blind persons in the Washington, D.C. area is laying the groundwork for a placement agency geared specifically to the problems and abilities of the visually handicapped. This will not be a substitute for existing state and local vocational rehabilitation agencies. The purpose is to fill in the gap in the placement spectrum to reopen opportunities for "closed" cases; to spread the field of search to more states and occupational possibilities. But before we can go very far with the plans, we need to get some idea of the extent of the demand.

If you have feelings of any strength for or against such a service, I would like to hear from you. Any form of correspondence—Braille, print, tape, or phone—will be welcome. All will be acknowledged. Address: Mr. Gale Conard, 1629 Columbia Road N.W., Apt. 711, Washington, D.C. 20009. Telephone: Area code 202, 667-2747.

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Because of limited storage space, it is necessary to clear the shelves of last year's Monitors. The volume began with the July issue 1968 and ended with the June issue, 1969. The supplies listed below will be held until September 15 when the excess will be otherwise disposed.

Talking Book Discs: All issues except November 1968 are in abundant supply. The five vending stand articles from that issue, however, are available on a separate record.

Braille: The following issues are in stock—October and November 1968, and February, March, April, May, and June.

Inkprint: All issues of the 1968-69 volume are available.

This would be a good time to decide whether or not your chapter or state organization would like to build its library of Monitors so that all could find a ready reference to important papers and events which involve either local, or state organizations which make up the National Federation of the Blind as well as those of the NFB itself.

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The U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare recently approved the first license in this country to produce a German measles (rubella) vaccine. Protection offered by the vaccine promises to be long-lasting. Primary emphasis on its use will be placed on immunizing school-age children who account for approximately 75 percent of rubella cases. These children, in turn, expose women of childbearing age to the virus. Rubella virus infection, if contracted by women in early months of pregnancy, can cause fatal abortions or a multiplicity of birth defects including cataracts, deafness, heart disease, and mental retardation. More than 50,000 fetal deaths or birth deformities resulted from rubella infection during an epidemic of the disease in the United States in 1964 and 1965. Because major outbreaks of the disease tend to occur in seven year cycles, medical scientists believe a significant upswing in German measles cases will occur late in 1970 or early in 1971. It is devoutly to be hoped that use of the vaccine will be sufficiently widespread to head off another virulent epidemic.

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A palatial, new home on Humboldt North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, with large triple glass front doors, high pile gold colored carpeting throughout, a Spanish motif in the spacious living room, and an Italian atmosphere in the dining-room with a crystal ceiling chandelier that outstrips Versailles—that's Lorraine and Jack Arvidson's new home. The housewarming party with the United Blind of Minnesota and Dr. Isabelle Grant in attendance was fun, discussion and Africa all rolled into that one delectable evening. Congratulations, Lorraine and Jack, and loads of good health to enjoy your brand new venture in living! Remember, we'll all be in Minneapolis next year.

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Olympic Airways, 647-649 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022 announces a special tour group program which has been designed for persons who are blind and visually handicapped. The tours are to Israel and the Holy land. The cost is $745 per person, all-inclusive, and the tour takes fourteen days. There are six scheduled departures, the first beginning October 19th of this year.

* * * * * *

Joseph Spence, President; Otis Herring, Board Member; both of the Delaware Federation of the Blind and John Nagle, Washington Office Chief of the National Federation of the Blind, were guests on "It's Your Nickel", an interview program followed by phone calls from listeners on radio station WILM, Wilmington, Delaware, recently. The program lasted an hour and a half.

* * * * * *

In a seven-to-one decision, the United States Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that permit those suing for debt collection to garnish workers' wages without a hearing. The landmark decision, which found that the laws violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, grew out of a Wisconsin case. But about twenty other states have laws similar to the Wisconsin statute, permitting part of an employee's pay to be frozen merely upon an allegation that the supposed debtor owes money.

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An Englishman who is deaf recently sought a reduction in his annual radio and television license fee which now costs $14.50, since he claimed he shouldn't be charged for what he couldn't hear. A court was sympathetic but rules that the law was clear; only blind persons are allowed a $3.00 a year reduction for what they can't see.

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Miss Lucy Ching, Hong Kong's first blind Civil Servant, was presented at the closing session of the Pan Pacific Rehabilitation Conference with an Award as Hong Kong's disabled person of the year. Miss Ching is in charge of the Tsan Yuk Blind Welfare Centre in Western District. She is the first blind person in Hong Kong to hold such a position and has a staff of four sighted workers. Miss Ching interveiws all new registrants to find out how they may best be helped. Examples of her success in solving their problems are the more than one hundred former members of the club who are now employed throughout Hong Kong. Many Federationists will remember Lucy from the 1964 meeting.

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Over one thousand blind men and women bowlers from all over the country participated this summer in the American Blind Bowling Association's National Tournament in New York City. The competition lasted four days.

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The Potomac Federation of the Blind recently held its 11th annual banquet in Alexandria, Virginia. William Pettit was elected President to serve for the forthcoming year. John Nagle of the NFB staff installed the officers.

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Dr. Jules Stein, chairman of the Board of the Music Corporation of America, received the Humanitarian Award from Variety Clubs International. Stein left the practice of ophthalmology in the late 1920's and became active in the entertainment industry. In 1960 he returned to medical research as chairman of Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. Stein was given the award because of his "unselfish and continuous services in the field of diseases of the eye and the prevention and treatment of blindness". Former recipients of this Award include Dr. Jonas Salk, Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Sir Winston Churchill.

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President Nixon recently presented awards and high praise to two blind college seniors, graduating at the top of their classes. They were winners of $500 scholarships given by Recording for the Blind, Inc. Receiving the awards were James Selby of Metairie, Louisiana, a magna cum laude graduate of Tulane University, and David Mischel of Hartford, Connecticut, graduating from Trinity College.

* * * * * *

Elden Lovland, First Vice President of the Sunflower Federation of the Blind of Kansas, received a permanent appointment with General Services Administration as a carpenter, probably the first blind man that G.S.A. ever had in that capacity. In five months he has done a little of everything from cabinet work to helping find leaks in the roof. Congratulations, Elden!

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A student chapter of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind, comprising both high-school and college students, was officially inaugurated last May with the following officers elected: President, Walter Nakamura; Vice President, Ronnette Nakaima; Secretary, Patricia Devlin; Treasurer, Gail Tanabe. Advisors for the student chapter are Julia Toyama and Valerie Marino, both active leaders of the Hawaii Federation.

* * * * * *

The blind have no difficulty in crossing one busy intersection in Sendai City, 180 miles north of Tokyo, Japan. The city council has installed one-meter-high poles on the sidewalk at the intersection that tell the blind when to walk and when not to. It seems the pole vibrates when traffic signals at the intersection turn green.

* * * * * *

Diana Jones, blind sophomore at Boone County High School in Kentucky, received the first Kentucky Colonel Commission in Braille. Governor Louie B. Nunn, who issued the Commission, is now trying to secure a college scholarship for Miss Johns when she graduates from high school.

* * * * * *

Mrs. Mabel Greer, a long-time member of the Omaha Association of the Blind, recently passed away. She served on the board of trustees and on the Nebraska Council of Workers for the Blind and attended many NFB conventions.

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At the meeting of the Connecticut Federation of the Blind, which was held in Bridgeport, the following officers were elected: President, Francis Flanagan of Bridgeport; Vice-President, Jack Walden of Norwalk; Treasurer, A. J. (Pat) Sylvester of Wethersfield; and Secretary, Harriet Axelson of Hartford. Franklin VanVliet, Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind, attended and helped plan for the first statewide seminar to be held at Southern Connecticut College in the fall.

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Blind persons in the New York City Metropolitan Area are encouraged to join the Topical Club which specializes in subjects of cultural, intellectual, and social significance. The club meets on the last Friday of each month from October to May at the Lighthouse, 111 East 59th Street, New York, New York. Meetings consist of a short business session, a featured speaker, and a follow-up discussion period. Speakers in the past represented Vista Volunteers, CBS Radio, Telephone Pioneers, the United Nations, and the League of Women Voters. Although the Club uses the Lighthouse as a meeting place, it is run independently of that agency. Those interested in joining should contact the President, Richard Barhold, 104-28 42nd Avenue, Corona, Long Island, New York.

* * * * * *

Those who attended the 1962 Convention of the NFB in Detroit will recall that one of the featured speakers was Dr. Louis Cantoni, Professor of Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation at Wayne State University. Professor Cantoni has just had published a first book of poems. With Joy I Called to You. Dr. Cantoni's poems have appeared in national and international quarterlies and in anthologies. He is the author or editor of several books and monographs and has published over a hundred articles in education, psychology, and philosophy journals.

* * * * * *

Information for the Blind answers telephone and mail requests in regard to problems of the blind and visually handicapped. Sponsored by the Junior League of Los Angeles, California, the center has information about the various services available. No counseling is given. Those seeking information should write the Center at 6333 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, California 90036.

* * * * * *

Governor Ronald Reagan of California is supporting several bills pending in the Legislature which would tighten welfare provisions. He advocates placing a lien on the estate of any Californian who receives public assistance. He also is calling for a reduction in aid payments for married couples receiving public assistance. While other states are abolishing such outmoded provisions as lien laws, the Governor of California would turn the clock back if he has his way. His very restrictive proposals are being fought by the California Council of the Blind and other interested groups.

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The Twin Vision Publishing Division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind has done it again! Just off the press is its Anthology of Great Documents, Volume I. This publication, which combines print and Braille so that blind and sighted can read together, has as its cover piece The Great Seal of the United States. Contents consist of Jefferson's First Inaugural, the Monroe Doctrine, Lincoln's House Divided Speech, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address. Introductions and raised illustrations were prepared by Jean Scott Neel.

* * * * * *

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that stronger hazard warnings will be required in the labeling and promotion of the antibiotic streptomycin. The additional warnings will emphasize possible damage to nerve and kidney tissue. Streptomycin is widely used for treating tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and certain other infections. The drug can cause hearing and eye damage, among other adverse effects, the FDA says.

* * * * * *

The Arkansas State Welfare Department will probably be able to increase its grants to all welfare categories this year because of an anticipated surplus at the end of the fiscal year. The possible increases would amount to $10 a month for families with dependent children and $5 a month for the aged, blind and disabled.

* * * * * *

The Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress has recently included Music Journal magazine in its collection of talking book records for its readers. The magazine features articles written by eminent musicologists, composers, and conductors, of interest to both student and layman. Also included are reviews of books and records (classical, folk, and opera) and news of concerts and music festivals.

* * * * * *

The U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare states that a recent nationwide survey indicates that one-fourth of all disabled persons interviewed reported that they had not received rehabilitation services—nor did they know where to seek such help. It is estimated that there are at least 5 million disabled Americans who may be eligible for rehabilitation services. Other findings of the survey include: about one-third of those interviewed who had disabilities had not received special therapy or vocational training; nearly half of those interviewed in homes where there was no disabled person favored institutionalizing a mentally retarded young man capable of performing simple tasks; and over a third favored institutionalizing a blind young man, and more than a fifth favored institutional care for a youth crippled by a birth defect. We still have a long way to go in public education.

* * * * * *

The New Jersey Blind Men's Association reports that Mr. George E. Burck, treasurer of the association, was recently notified of his reappointment to membership on the Board of Managers of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and the State Board of Public Welfare. These appointments were made by the State Board of Control of Institutions and Agencies, with the approval of Governor Hughes. This is Mr. Burck's fourth three-year appointment to the Commission for the Blind, and his seventh one-year term on the Board of Public Welfare as a representative of the Commission for the Blind. Mr. Burck was the first blind man to be named on the Commission's Board of Managers after passage of the law making membership of two blind persons on this Board mandatory.

* * * * * *

The Nebraska Association of Workers for the Blind met on June 6, 7, and 8 at the School for the Visually Impaired. Election results were as follows: President, Mrs. Anita Regler of Nebraska City; Vice President, Don Pulman of Lincoln; Secretary, Bill Jannsen of Lincoln; and Treasurer, Einar Nielson, Nebraska City.

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WHEREAS, the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind adopted a Resolution on the 30th day of November, 1968, directing the officers of the Federation to execute such documents and perform such acts as might be necessary to help form and acquire membership in the Conference of Non-Profit Organizations (CONO), a Missouri corporation, for a period of one year, said year to end October 21, 1969; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind further resolved that the Federation make to CONO an initial contribution not to exceed $5,000.00; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind further resolved that the President of the Federation should review and investigate the activities of CONO and report thereon to the Executive Committee and the membership at the 1969 National Federation of the Blind Convention with a recommendation concerning further membership in CONO; and

WHEREAS, it is still not possible, based on the initial investigations of the President of the National Federation of the Blind and the initial activities of CONO, to make a definitive determination concerning the value to the National Federation of the Blind of continued membership in CONO; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 1st day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that the President be authorized at his discretion, if he finds in the circumstances that such would seem advisable, to arrange for continued membership in CONO by the Federation, with payment of dues, participation in meetings and other appropriate actions.



WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind through the worldwide distribution of the Braille Monitor and through an extensive correspondence with blind people abroad, has sought to encourage education of blind persons wherever and whenever possible; and

WHEREAS, constant requests are being received for Brailled textbooks and literature in all fields; and

WHEREAS, other countries have made it possible to lend their books to students overseas on request; and

WHEREAS, the sending of school textbooks by the National Federation of the Blind, though satisfactory as far as it goes, is not meeting by a long measure the present requests for books; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization use its good offices to approach the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, toward the ends that 1) a plan be inaugurated by which blind students in foreign countries may borrow Brailled books from the Library of Congress, the responsibility for the return of these books to be assumed by organizations of blind people; and 2) Brailled books discarded by the Library of Congress as obsolescent, particularly in the field of literature, be given to the National Federation of the Blind for distribution to blind persons as the organization sees fit.



WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has successfully promoted on a world wide basis the interests of fellow blind with limited educational opportunities; and

WHEREAS, typewriting skills arc an essential part of the education of blind persons for purposes of communication with sighted people; and

WHEREAS, Braille skills to the exclusion of other media of communication leave the blind person inadequately trained for vocational pursuits; and

WHEREAS, Braillewriters and other devices are recognized by the International Postal authorities as necessary "appliances for the blind"; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization use its good offices with the International Postal Authorities to persuade that organization to include typewriters under the existing category of "appliances for the blind" allowing them to be transported free by surface mail to foreign countries.



WHEREAS, in 1934 the Federal Books for the Blind program administered by the Library of Congress was expanded to provide recorded books to blind people; and

WHEREAS, this recorded books program increased and developed until more than 100,000 blind persons became users of this uniquely necessary service; and

WHEREAS, recently Congress amended the Books for the Blind Law to include physically disabled persons unable to read or use conventionally printed matter, and this action had the vigorous and generous support of the National Federation of the Blind even though a potential danger was recognized at the time, that the blind might be ultimately disadvantaged by this action; and

WHEREAS, recent experience has demonstrated that the potential danger has become a real disadvantage as the Books for the Blind program is being adapted and changed for the benefit of non-blind readers so that where formerly Braille labels appeared on the top side of the record, now print appears on the top side while the Braille has been relegated to thereverse side of the record, all to the confusion of long-time blind recorded book users; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind fears that this may be only the first of many disadvantageous changes to be made to the program originally established for the sole benefit of blind people; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization condemns and protests against this unreasonable and thoughtless alteration in the processing of the talking books records and demands that the Library of Congress continue to regard the paramount need of blind people for the recorded book library service; and be it further

RESOLVED that this organization orders and directs its officers to take all actions necessary to protect the right of blind people to receive recorded book service without detrimental change in such program.



WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act was adopted by Congress in 1936 for the purpose of providing trained and qualified blind persons with an opportunity to earn a decent, dignified living for themselves and their families; and

WHEREAS, this Act has served as an excellent means of demonstrating to the public and the private sector of industry the capabilities of blind persons therefore enhancing opportunities for the blind in private business; and

WHEREAS, over the past 33 years the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand program has increasingly failed to fulfill its fine goal and high purpose, until those blind persons already employed in the program are threatened with the gradual extinction of their livelihood, and the entire vending stand program is threatened and jeopardized with ultimate termination; and

WHEREAS, in recognition that firm and concerted action was urgently needed to protect existing employment opportunities under the vending stand program for ambitious, independence-seeking blind persons, representatives of organizations of and for the blind, including the National Federation of the Blind, met and agreed upon proposed changes in the Randolph-Sheppard Federal Vending Stand Law; and

WHEREAS, Senator Jennings Randolph, "father" of the Federal Vending Stand Law that bears his name and constant and consistent champion of the cause of the blind and the right of blind people to equality of opportunity in all aspects of our society, has introduced these proposed changes to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, as a bill, S. 2461, in the United States Senate; and

WHEREAS, S. 2461 would assure exclusive assignment of vending machine income to blind vending stand operators, broaden the types of articles and services available in vending facilities, eliminate the one-year residence requirement m the vending stand program, provide for the inclusion in any Federally occupied building or facility of sites for the location of vending stands, provide arbitration mechanisms to resolve disputes between blind vending stand operators and state licensing agencies, and between Federal departments and agencies, and state licensing agencies, broaden the definition of vending stand, authorize judicial review when a blind person or licensing agency is dissatisfied by actions taken in connection with the vending stand program; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization vigorously and unequivocally endorses and supports S. 2461 and orders and directs its officers to take all steps necessary to secure its enactment into Federal law; and be it further

RESOLVED that all members of the National Federation of the Blind commend and thank Senator Randolph for his sponsorship and support of S. 2461 and for his many years of unstinting service to advance and improve the welfare and opportunities of blind Americans.



WHEREAS, the Federal-State Vocational Rehabilitation program was established and is maintained "for the purpose (of) . . , rehabilitating handicapped individuals so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment to the extent of their capabilities, thereby increasing their social and economic well-being, but also the productive capacity of the nation . . ." and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind believes that this Congressional declaration of purpose should mean that disabled persons seeking aid and assistance from vocational rehabilitation agencies are given encouragement toward improving their lot in life, and axe given all of the help they need to fulfill aroused ambitions and stimulated expectations, that they are given a full and fair choice in the careers they will pursue, the kind of training they will receive, and the place where such training is to be obtained, and are given total cooperation and help in securing employment in the field of their choice and qualification; and

WHEREAS, it is the experience of blind people in far too many instances that vocational rehabilitation agencies do not encourage ambition, but discourage it; they do not allow disabled clients a choice in the careers they would pursue, but impose agency determinations upon them, compelling them to accept jobs rather than affording them professional education and training—jobs that are stereotyped as "jobs the blind can do"; and

WHEREAS, the vocational rehabilitation agencies far too often fail utterly to act as proponents of their disabled clients and champions of their cause, but instead urge them and require them to accept menial status and stereotyped positions, and instead urge them and obstruct them and compel them to accept tradition-established and time-sanctified inferiority of employment and dependent and restrictive condition as their normal way of life; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization orders and directs its officers to develop and prepare a bill amending the Vocational Rehabilitation Act in all ways deemed necessary that the Federal-State vocational rehabilitation program may function as a force for hope and help in the lives of disabled persons, rather than continue as a cause of frustration, failure and despair; and be it further

RESOLVED that said officers are ordered and directed to so act in leadership of the National Federation of the Blind that such vocational rehabilitation amending bill will be approved and adopted by the Congress of the United States.



WHEREAS, consideration is now being given by a number of individuals to proposed federal legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Service statute to give tax credits to employers who hire blind workers to be designated as "blue card" employees; and

WHEREAS, the idea of government subsidy for employers who hire the blind or otherwise handicapped may have possible benefits for the employers, the proposed bill has none for the employees in question; and

WHEREAS, the designation of the blind as "blue card" employees would tend to further denigrate their position by making them a special class; and

WHEREAS, this special class would tend to include the trained and the untrained, the able and the not so able, in a kind of fourth class citizenship; and

WHEREAS, the proposed legislation makes no provision and provides no incentive for the employer, or anyone else, to supply training for the subsidized employees; and

WHEREAS, this proposed legislation makes no provision to enable the blind to retain or obtain further employment but tends to freeze them into a mold and limit their opportunities to those few jobs open to "blue card" employees, thus tending to convert all American industry into a giant sheltered workshop; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind believes that the nly way for blind people to achieve equality is for them to be allowed to take the same risks and have the same opportunities as the sighted; and

WHEREAS, the real need, if employment for the blind is to be achieved, is not for sheltered employment but for adequate and imaginative rehabilitation, thorough technical and vocational training, apprenticeship programs, and a massive campaign of public education giving recognition to the fact of the innate normality of the blind and their capacity to compete on equal terms in industry and the professions if prejudice and discrimination can be eliminated; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that we oppose any legislation which would set the blind apart as a special class for employment purposes by giving tax credit to those who hire them and that, instead, we call on appropriate state and federal agencies to move with vigor and imagination to make their rehabilitation programs for the blind truly meaningful and effective, thus making tax credits and other sheltered work devices unnecessary; and be it further

RESOLVED that Federation officers, officials and committees are hereby instructed and directed to take whatever action may be necessary to give effect to the substance and spirit of this resolution.



WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has previously by resolution in Convention assembled established an Endowment Fund and authorized the deposit in such fund of various donations, bequests and other moneys received by the Federation; and

WHEREAS, due to wise and efficient management, and the receipt of several substantial bequests, the Endowment Fund of the National Federation of the Blind has prospered and become an important program of the National Federation of the Blind; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind be hereby directed and authorized, upon the recommendation of the President, to ordain and establish the terms, conditions and restrictions under and by which the funds and assets of the Endowment Fund of the National Federation of the Blind shall be held and administered; and be it further

RESOLVED that the appropriate officers of this corporation are directed and authorized to execute such documents and do such things as shall be necessary to ensure the perpetuation of the terms, conditions, and restrictions of the Endowment Fund as so established by the Executive Committee.



WHEREAS, under the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act blind persons are given priority for the operation of vending stands in Federal buildings; and

WHEREAS, it has been noted that canteens in Veterans Administration hospitals and military post exchanges are not being operated by blind people; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of blind persons are presently successfully operating complex cafeterias in federal, state and private buildings comparable to canteens in Veterans Administration hospitals and military post exchanges; and

WHEREAS, there are 166 Veterans Administration hospitals in the country, and many more military post exchanges, each of which serves its patients and/or employees by providing a canteen, operations with the potential for providing hundreds of jobs for blind persons throughout the country; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization instructs its officers to inquire into the cause of this seeming inconsistency between the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and existing governmental policies.



WHEREAS, there is discrimination against blind people in both private and government employment, and

WHEREAS, private employers often believe that blind people, even when properly trained, cannot be competent employees and will not allow them the opportunity for gainful employment, and

WHEREAS, discrimination exists in state and local government employment, two illustrative examples being: 1) the widespread requirement of counties requiring their social workers to have drivers licenses; and 2) the absence of blind secretaries and dictaphone operators in many departments of rehabilitation; and

WHEREAS, in most cases of discrimination against blind people in employment, there are currently now laws which a blind person can utilize in court to gain his rights to employment; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization instructs its officers to seek legislation to end this employment discrimination by bringing the blind under the jurisdiction of the Fair Employment Practices Commission laws.



WHEREAS, it is essential that the blind youth of America (particularly students) be informed of the purposes and activities of the National Federation of the Blind and be encouraged and enabled to participate to the full in the movement by attending conventions and meetings, serving on committees, participating in organizing campaigns, and taking part in similar activities, as set forth in the 1968 convention policy enunciated in Resolution 68-06; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that the President shall, to the extent he deems such action feasible within the limits of funds available and other needs of the Federation, authorize expenditures from the general funds of the Federation to promote the purposes and objectives of Resolution 68-06-namely the encouragement of participation in our movement by the blind youth of the Nation, particularly students.



WHEREAS, pursuant to the 1968 Convention policy enunciated in Resolution 68-06, the National Federation of the Blind has faithfully conducted a sustained effort to enlarge the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund; and

WHEREAS, despite this effort, contributions to the Fund have not yet amounted to $6,000.00—therefore not earning sufficient interest to implement meaningfully the purposes for which the fund was established; and

WHEREAS, by liquidating this special Fund and transferring its assets to the National Federation of the Blind Endowment Fund the Federation could appropriately honor the memory of its beloved Founder, who assiduously worked to establish an Endowment Fund in order to secure the future of the Federation for all times; and

WHEREAS, the Federation could best commemorate the name of its beloved Founder by designating the National Federation of the Blind Endowment Fund as the Jacobus tenBroek Endowment Fund, the proceeds from which would be used to finance the overall work of the Federation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that the assets of the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund be placed in the National Federation of the Blind Endowment Fund, which shall henceforth be known as the Jacobus tenBroek Endowment Fund, the proceeds from which shall be used to promote the overall purposes of the Federation.



WHEREAS, in the past several years many workshops have been built throughout the Nation and presently still others are being planned and built; and

WHEREAS, workers in these workshops are employed under intolerable conditions and indeed are denied almost all of the rights which are extended to other workers throughout our Nation, including the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the right to organize and bargain collectively; and

WHEREAS, it is conceivable that some additional workshops might serve a useful purpose for certain severely disabled classes of multiply handicapped persons if such workshops were operated under quite different conditions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this Federation emphasize the deplorable and inhuman conditions imposed upon workers in sheltered workshops and further, that the Federation call upon the Federal Government to cease and desist giving financial assistance towards the planning and construction of sheltered workshops at least until such time as the Federal Government decisively cancels all Federal Certificates of Exemption and issues no more; at least until such time as employees of sheltered workshops are paid at least the prevailing Federal minimum wage, and at least until their right to organize and bargain collectively is recognized and respected; and be it further

RESOLVED that this Federation instructs its officers to take all reasonable and necessary steps to secure the objectives set forth in this Resolution.



WHEREAS, a considerable number of blind and otherwise handicapped persons are employed throughout the country in sheltered workshops; and

WHEREAS, these employees are almost always paid at rates less than those which are necessary to provide an acceptable standard of living, and are subjected to substandard working conditions; and

WHEREAS, employees of sheltered workshops currently do not have the right to engage in self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining so that they could use their collective power to secure higher wages and better working conditions; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the National Federation of the Blind to promote the interests of all blind persons to the end that they shall have a standard of living equal to that of society generally; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to this stated policy, the National Federation of the Blind is attempting to secure the right of sheltered workshop employees to organize, both through federal legislation by seeking an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act which would specifically bring sheltered workshops under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board, and by attempting to convince the National Labor Relations Board, in the exercise of its discretion, to take jurisdiction over sheltered workshops; and

WHEREAS, the avowed purposes and interests of organized labor are commensurate with those of the National Federation of the Blind to the extent that their aims are to aid and assist underprivileged and underpaid workers so that their standard of living may be increased to a level which will permit them to live comfortably; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 3rd day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization directs its officers to take such steps as it deems reasonable and proper to secure the aid and support of organized labor to assist the National Federation to secure protection by the National Labor Relations Board for sheltered workshop employees, so that these employees shall have the right to engage in self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining over wages, hours and working conditions.



WHEREAS, the efforts of blind persons to achieve economic equality are manifested in the increasing numbers of blind students currently pursuing programs of study in a wide variety of academic disciplines at both the graduate and undergraduate levels of colleges and universities; and

WHEREAS, other students are required to complete successfully an examination in their particular fields of study in order to obtain admission to a graduate college; and

WHEREAS, the Educational Testing Service (which determines the content and administration of these examinations) in most instances neither provides these tests in Braille nor permits the use of a reader, thus effectively preventing blind students from taking the tests; and

WHEREAS, we, the organized blind, seek only the opportunity to compete on equal terms with our sighted peers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this organization instructs its officers to take appropriate action to inform the Educational Testing Service of our" position on this matter and attempt to secure alteration of its present restrictive policies.



WHEREAS, the purpose of rehabilitation service—and indeed the sole justification for its existence—is to assist the blind and other disabled to achieve personal, economic, and social independence, and to help open the way for the blind and other disabled to become a part of society, sharing fully and equally in its responsibilities and rewards; and

WHEREAS, rehabilitation services in some states have adopted policies which achieve results precisely opposite to those outlined above: For example, in the State of Illinois, blind and disabled students must meet different and additional requirements from those expected of other students. The Rehabilitation Service conducts special tests, coordinates with the Housing Division at the University for all disabled students, thus preventing the disabled student from living where and with whom he wishes and in other ways custodializes the lives of those persons whom it is supposed to be assisting towards independence; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this Federation deprecates these practices and urgently insists that they be abandoned everywhere by all agencies and especially rehabilitation agencies; and be it further

RESOLVED that this convention instructs its officers to investigate in particular the situation at the University of Illinois and take whatever action seems appropriate to that situation.



WHEREAS, there is a national campaign sponsored by traditional and influential agencies for the blind to secure public service announcements depicting the blind as incompetent and pitiable objects of charity; and

WHEREAS, this campaign in many ways has been injurious to blind men and women throughout the Country; and

WHEREAS, the broadcast media have always been generous in their efforts to assist the blind; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1969, in the City of Columbia, South Carolina, that this Federation instructs its officers to explore with the broadcast media the possibility of a stepped-up campaign of public service spots truly depicting the capacities of the blind.



WHEREAS, increasing numbers of blind persons, particularly young professional blind, are entering the Federal Civil Service; and

WHEREAS, many of these positions, though offering opportunity for advancement and ultimately a comfortable income, require that the beginner start at a salary level barely commensurate with minimal standards of adequacy and decency; and

WHEREAS, in these fields of employment considerable reading is frequently if not universally required as a condition of the blind person's success; and

WHEREAS, under the provisions of Public Law 614 of the 86th Congress a blind person's reader is deemed to be an employee of the Federal Government for all purposes except for remuneration; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by this National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled in Columbia, South Carolina, this 4th day of July, 1969, that the Federation instructs its officers to explore the feasibility of securing amendments to Public Law 614 which would;

1. Make funds available for paying readers for blind recruits in the Federal Civil Service for a reasonable period of time; and
2. Which would not require Federal agencies to include such readers for purposes of agency personnel ceilings.

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