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 Kenneth Jernigan

by Ramona Walhof

by Kenneth Jernigan

by James Doherty

by Susan Ford

by Ysidro Urena


by Kenneth Jernigan


by Ron Pettichord




by Ramona Walhof



by Eileen Wilson


by Tom McDougall



by Xena Johnson




By Kenneth Jernigan

A number of things have occurred since our Columbia convention, and this article is by way of bringing you up to date. In the first place those of you who attended the convention will remember that we discussed the possibility of having our FEDCO Corporation buy a plastics company so as to broaden and diversify our fund raising activities. I am sorry to have to tell you that we were not able to make this purchase. Bernie Gerchen and his associate sold the company for a figure in excess of $2,000,000.00 to a large furniture manufacturer. We knew, of course, that we could only make the purchase if the offer from the furniture manufacturer was not acceptable. It was, and we didn't.

This is not the end of the diversification idea, however. In FEDCO we own a solvent, going, business concern; and we should find ways to insure our future by broadening our base of operations. As matters now stand, almost all of our fund raising depends upon our mail campaigns. It was the clearly expressed will of the convention that the officers and Executive Committee try to find some good opportunities for diversifying our fund raising and insuring our future income. I am now actively exploring other possibilities to accomplish this purpose.

In late July we suffered a most unfortunate reverse in the courts of Michigan. The judge ruled against us in the Weckerly case, reversing the earlier action of the State Tenure Commission, which was in our favor. I am sure that 1 need not tell you that we are now appealing to a higher court. If there is any way to do so, we are going to win the Weckerly case. I do not yet have the full details of the judge's decision and the reasoning upon which it was based. As soon as possible we will prepare a full article on this matter to appear in the Monitor.

I am sure that almost every state and chapter president is familiar with the Weckerly case, but for those of you who are not, Evelyn Weckerly is the president of our Michigan affiliate. She is also a very capable blind teacher, having taught for the past few years in a regular elementary school in Michigan. In 1968 she was the victim of real discrimination and was dismissed from her position without just cause. The Federation successfully appealed to the State Tenure Commission, and Evelyn was reinstated. As I have already said, the courts have now reversed this decision and we are appealing.

I have not sent you a disability insurance bulletin for quite some time, but this does not mean that there has been no action. At the present writing we have 68 co-sponsors in the Senate—more than two-thirds! When Social Security amendments are acted upon, I think we are a cinch to get the bill through the Senate again. John Nagle and I are hopeful that we will pick up at least two or three more Senate sponsors.

In the House we are still moving forward but there is much yet to do. My last disability insurance bulletin was sent to you on June 19. At that time we had 138 co-sponsors in the House. As of today (August 8) we have 148. I have repeatedly said to you that we are going to win this battle but that we must work untiringly to do it. Therefore, I urge you once again to send letters and make contacts. We must keep this up until we are successful. As soon as I can get around to it, I will send you a new ranking of the states. In the meantime these are the new co-sponsors in the House.

No. 139 H.R. 12273 Congressman Patsy Mink, Hawaii
No. 140 H.R. 12275 Congressman William T. Murphy, Illinois
No. 141 H.R. 12334 Congressman Howard W. Robison, New York
No. 142 H.R. 12463 Congressman John L. McMillan, S. Carolina
No. 143 H.R. 12469 Congressman Jackson E. Betts, Ohio
No. 144 H.R. 12659 Congressman L. Mendell Rivers, S. Carolina
No. 145 H.R. 12801 Congressman Lawrence J. Hogan, Maryland
No. 146 H.R. 12914 Congressman Emilio Q. Daddario, Connecticut
No. 147 H.R. 13117 Congressman Shirley Chisholm, New York
No. 148 H.R. 13135 Congressman G. William Whitehurst, Virginia

A few days ago I was contacted by a sighted businessman (not a member of our organization) who asked me to give him an up to date list of our state presidents. He said that he had an older list given him by one of our members. I told him I would want to know a good deal more about him and his purposes before complying with his request. He said that he would write me. I mention this matter only to say that I think we should be very careful about giving out our mailing lists.

Speaking of mailing lists, brings me to the matter of the bulletins and releases I have been sending you during the past year. In a few instances local presidents have indicated that they felt the releases were unimportant and a waste of time. They have made comments to the effect that they have not had time to read the mountain of material they were receiving from the office of the President and have asked whether the Federation had nothing better to do with its money. I have uniformly resisted the tendency to tell these people that there was no other way by which they could be informed as to what was going on in the movement throughout the country—a movement in which they were supposedly a local leader. I have also resisted the temptation to tell them that regardless of what their personal views might be, I questioned their right to deprive their chapter members of the news contained in the releases.

As I say, such negative reactions have been scarce and have come from only a tiny fraction of the chapter presidents. Overwhelmingly at the Columbia convention the response to the President's releases was enthusiastically positive. Many people asked me if I could not send these releases to the entire membership. I told them that I could not. The amount of money and man power involved to undertake such a gigantic task would be staggering. Besides, every chapter has access to the Presidential releases through its local president. I urged the people who attended the Convention to go home and insist that their chapter president keep them informed. I know that many chapter presidents read excerpts from the releases at chapter meetings. In some instances the local chapter sets aside a given time and makes a reader available so that all members may hear what is sent from the national President's office. These releases (dealing, as they do, with all sorts of activities and events) furnish the best possible basis for real and meaningful participation in the movement by all of its rank and file members.

John Nagle; Don Capps; Hugh Koford, our attorney; and I had an appointment to talk with the Internal Revenue people in Washington on Monday, July 21, concerning our tax problems. In the meantime, however, Apollo 11 got under way, and President Nixon gave federal employees the day off. This caused a shift in schedule, and John, Hugh, Don and I had our appointment on Tuesday.

We were greatly helped by our supporters in Congress. Senator Jack Miller of Iowa, a long time friend of mine, met us in the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue at a quarter of ten on Tuesday morning. We talked with the Commissioner for over half an hour and acquainted him thoroughly with our purposes and objectives. Senator Miller then went with us to see the people on the technical staff who are reviewing our case. We talked with them from 10:20 A.M. until 12:15 P.M. We then went to see Senator Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, who said that he would do all he could to help us, including the sending of a letter to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. We then talked with Don's local representative, Republican Congressman Albert Watson of Columbia, South Carolina. Again, Congressman Watson offered valuable assistance. In reviewing the meeting all of us felt that our chances in the Internal Revenue matter are most encouraging and that our mailings will not be ruled as subject to tax. The outcome of this case will mean a great deal, of course, to the future of our organization.

As some of you know, my mother had a severe heart attack during the Columbia convention. She seemed to be somewhat improved and had been allowed to come home from the hospital. On Wednesday night, July 30, she was suddenly stricken again and died shortly after being taken to the hospital. I had been scheduled to attend the convention of the Washington State Association of the Blind and was on my way. In fact, I received the news while sitting on a train in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I got off the train, spent the rest of the night in Saint Paul and took a plane for Tennessee the following morning. My mother was buried on Friday, August 1.

Manuel Urena attended the Washington convention in my place. Organizing teams had been working in the state to try to expand and strengthen the affiliate for the week prior to the convention, and I gather that their efforts were quite successful. A number of students and other young people came into the movement.

August will be a busy month. We will be bringing a new North Carolina affiliate into being, and a large organizing team will be going to the state of Michigan to work on strengthening and expanding our affiliate there. I will be attending the climax of this organizational effort in Michigan, which will be the state convention in Lansing on the Labor Day weekend.

In fact, this fall promises to be the usual hurried round of activity for me. As it now stands, every weekend from Labor Day through the first weekend in December is filled, most of them with attendance at state conventions. Therefore, I will be seeing most of you personally this fall on the convention circuit.

The Federation is continuing its progress and expansion at a most gratifying rate. As you will see from the Monitor, we have a variety of bills now introduced into Congress—on workshops, vending stands, etc. Our Monitor mailing lists continue to grow and grow. New affiliates are now in the planning stages and old affiliates are being strengthened. We are stronger than we have ever been, and we are getting more so every day. As I have said to you so many times in the past few months, the Federation is on the move, and nothing is going to stop or slow its progress. I shall be writing to you again as new developments occur.

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One of the winners of the 1969 Migel Medal, an award for work related to blindness given by the American Foundation for the Blind, was John F. Nagle, chief, Washington office, of the National Federation of the Blind.

The Migel Medal, which is traditionally presented on Foundation Day, this year October 23, is awarded annually by the American Foundation for the Blind to two persons, one professional and one volunteer for outstanding service to the blind. The Medal, named after the Foundation's first president, the late M. C. Migel, was first presented in 1937.

In the words of the Awards Committee, Mr. Nagle, winner in the professional category, has been chosen to receive the 1969 Migel Medal "in recognition of [his] significant and uncompromising interest in the improvement of the lives of those who are blind."

For the last ten years, Mr. Nagle has spent a good deal of his time on Capitol Hill and has been responsible for shaping much of the constructive legislation affecting the welfare of the blind.

Federationists everywhere rejoice with John Nagle and his lovely wife, Virginia, at this well-merited recognition of his labors in behalf of the work of the National Federation of the Blind. Let us tell briefly of that work in John's own words:

"The National Federation of the Blind is a nation-wide federated organization, operating on three functioning levels—local, state, and national. Because blindness knows no class or race or geographical or cultural or educational or economic distinctions, but occurs at random in rank and file America, the members of the National Federation of the Blind are rank and file Americans, sharing in common only the physical impairment of blindness. And it is this 'sharing in common...the physical impairment of blindness' that is the bond that unites us. It is the adverse attitude of a sight-based society toward blindness that compels us to come together.

"The National Federation of the Blind is a force accumulating for the past thirty years, to bring equality of participation in normal social living and fair and just consideration for livelihood opportunities to all blind people. We demand the right to succeed or fail as our sighted fellows have this right, without false notions as obstacles and misconceptions as barriers to guarantee our failure, without special and preferential help to guarantee our success.

"We who are already Federationists offer all other blind people the opportunity to share with us, to join with us, to work with us, for the benefit and betterment of all blind people, including themselves. We offer a philosophy of life to the blind man who must live in a sighted world. That loss of sight is only a physical loss, that in all other ways, the man who is without sight is identical to the man with sight. We offer the blind man a belief in himself as a blind man, that given adequate training in the alternative skills and techniques of blindness, the blind man can function successfully in this sight-structured world, he can work constructively and gainfully in our sight-geared economy.

"Because we of the Federation have learned in the Federation to believe in ourselves, to have confidence in our ability to achieve normal lives, by example, we offer self-belief to the blind men and women who come into our midst—to the newly blind, frightened, confused, hopeless; to the long-time blind, who have lost heart and hope, who accept defeat and dependency and despair as their established lot in life.

"We offer these new members our belief in them, our confidence in them, and because we believe in them and treat them as none have done since their blindness occurred, as we show our confidence in them by assigning them chapter jobs to do—as we do this, very soon, many of these new members begin to believe in themselves, they learn to have confidence in themselves. And because they believe in themselves, they begin to rebuild their shattered lives upon this firm Federation-given foundation.

"The National Federation of the Blind is an entity so vital, so alive to the needs and aspirations of all blind people, that there is a place within its ranks for all blind people, whatever then needs, whatever their aspirations. The NFB is a force, a living force in the lives of blind people, because it is the lives of blind people merged into a singleness of purpose and a oneness of goal—Join with us in our crusade, for if you are a blind man, it is your crusade, too.

"For the National Federation of the Blind has worked for the improvement of the lot and lives of all blind people since its founding in 1940. And during the many intervening years, we have worked on all fronts in our society, and our accomplishments have been so many and so far-reaching in effect, that no blind child or blind adult living today or in the future will be untouched by the gains the Federation has secured for them, the helps and benefits we in the Federation have fought for that they might be available to them.

"If you are a recipient of Aid to the Blind, you are less needy, today, and your monthly checks have grown increasingly larger, because the National Federation of the Blind has worked in Congress after Congress to raise the Federal dollar share in such payments. If you are a recipient of Aid to the Blind and you are also employed, a portion of your earnings is exempt from meeting your basic needs because the Federation was able to get the rehabilitative earnings exemptions concept incorporated into Federal welfare law.

"If you receive disability insurance payments, we worked for the establishment within the Social Security system, of a social insurance program providing benefit payments to reduce the disastrous economic consequences of physical impairment. If you receive disability insurance payments and you're under the age of fifty, the National Federation of the Blind worked to remove the fifty-year-of-age requirement in the Federal Disability Insurance program. If you became blind before the age of thirty one, or after the age of fifty five, and have qualified for disability insurance payments because of these special provisions in the Federal law, the Federation put them there.

"And when, as we believe it will, the ninety-first Congress enacts H.R. 3782—S. 2518 into Federal law, allowing a blind person who has worked for a year and one-half any time since 1936 under Social Security, to draw disability insurance payments regardless of his earnings, it will be because the National Federation of the Blind worked diligently and strenuously for ten long years to obtain the adoption of this most important of all for blind people legislation.

"If you have been helped by Medicaid, if you're over the age of sixty five and have been benefited by Medicare, the Federation worked for Congressional approval of these two measures. And when Congress extends Medicare to include disability insurance beneficiaries, it will be because we of the organized blind have for years argued for this extension.

"If you are employed in a sheltered workshop working on production, you cannot now be paid less than eighty cents an hour, because the National Federation of the Blind was able to secure amendments to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act establishing a statutory floor beneath your hourly wages. And when the right of handicapped workers in sheltered workshops to organize and bargain collectively with shop management has finally been recognized by Congressional enactment and protected by Federal law, it will be because the National Federation of the Blind believed that these workers should have the same rights and protection available to them that are available to all other workers—and we will work in Washington until our belief is changed into Federal law.

"If you have a blind child, if you, yourself, were a blind child in recent years, the Federation has worked to improve the educational opportunities of all disabled children, including blind children.

"If you are a blind person employed by Federal or State Civil Service, the National Federation of the Blind fought for years in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the Courts, to open up this field of employment for you.

"If, as a blind person, you have been penalized by prejudice and denied equal opportunity by unjust discrimination because you are blind and only because you are blind, if you are constantly being victimized by misconceptions about blindness and refused a fair consideration of your merits as an individual because you are a blind person, the National Federation of the Blind obtained passage of a Congressional requirement that each year the President of the United States must proclaim October 15, White Cane Safety Day, and this annual Presidential Proclamation serves as a most important public education effort, to abate ignorance about blindness and misjudgments about blind people.

"If you are a blind person and music is your occupation or your hobby. The National Federation of the Blind secured establishment of the music scores library for the blind, in the Library of Congress.

"If you are an employable blind person and have been aided by the vocational rehabilitation program in your state, the Federation secured the elimination of the 'means' test as a Federal requirement in such program, we were able to force retention of 'employment' as the objective to be served by such program, and we are responsible for such improvements and beneficial features in vocational rehabilitation programs.

"If you are a blind vending stand operator, the National Federation of the Blind obtained amendments to the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which gave you a legal right to the profits of your stand, except for specified 'set-aside' charges to be used for only statutorially designated purposes.

"And when, as we believe it will, the ninety-first Congress adopts S. 2461, another measure to amend the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which was developed cooperatively by those in the blind field with the National Federation of the Blind, a major force for provisions protecting the rights of the vending stand operator, enhancing his livelihood opportunities, and greatly increasing the possibilities for the employment of many additional blind persons in the vending stand program— when the ninety-first Congress passes S. 2461 and it becomes Federal law, one more Federation goal will be on the statute books.

"These and other Federal laws and changed official positions could be cited as accomplishments of the organized blind movement in its dealings with Congress and the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. And many state affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind could recite successes achieved in their states so far reaching in their effect that they have totally transformed publicly-provided services to blind people in their states.

"Sometimes, whether at the national or the state level, we of the Federation have worked alone and gained successes alone. Sometimes, we have worked with others who shared our views and aspirations. But whether we have worked alone or with others, whether we have worked on the national or state level, we have secured alterations in public law and public policy, in the public attitude and practice, so basic and fundamental of nature and so broad in scope that we have touched the lives of all blind people of today and of tomorrow in this nation.

"We refused to accept life as we found it, and we mounted a revolution that we might gain a better life for all blind people—and since you've known this better chance, we urge you now to join the Federation revolution. We urge you younger blind people to join with us in the organized blind movement, assume an active role and a share in the responsibilities in our blind people's revolution. Work with us in the Federation that a greater portion of unfinished business may yet get done. Join with us, work with us in the National Federation of the Blind, that you may help to build upon the beginnings, we who are older have made."

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by Kenneth Jernigan

On Sunday, August 24, 1969, the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind became the forty second slate affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. The formation of this new affiliate came as the climax to several months of hard work and sustained effort by blind persons throughout the state and by Don and Betty Capps and John Taylor.

As I reported at our Columbia convention this summer, a preliminary meeting was held in North Carolina in June with blind persons present from several parts of the state. It was clear at that time that a North Carolina affiliate would soon be formed and that it would be a good one.

In July and again in August Don and Betty Capps made trips into the state to do preliminary work, and Clarence Collins and others carried on an intensive organizing effort. August 24 was the payoff. An all day meeting was held at the O'Henry Hotel in Greensboro and the new affiliate officially came into being with seventy three charter members. A Constitution was adopted and officers and board members were elected.

The leadership of our new affiliate contains some of the most prominent blind people in the stale of North Carolina.

Clarence Collins, Route 11, Box 155, Charlotte, North Carolina, was elected President. Clarence is no stranger in Federation circles, having attended seven NFB conventions, including this year's in Columbia. A substantial businessman, he has been in the hardware and mattress business for some forty years. He and his wife, Helen, have three children and six grandchildren. In Clarence Collins we have a first rate President, one who will provide solid and constructive leadership for the blind of his state.

The First Vice-President is Harry Troop of China Grove. A native of Kansas, he has been living in North Carolina for the past fifteen years. A blinded World War II veteran, he received his B.A. degree from Friends University in Kansas and later earned his Master's degree at Kansas State. Presently, he operates a concession in a large department store. He is married and has a fourteen-year-old daughter.

The Second Vice-President is Bob Nehren of Raleigh. He is a native of South Dakota, but has been living in North Carolina for several years. After attending high school and college in South Dakota, he served for ten years in the United States Navy. He is a graduate of the Police Academy of Maryland and is currently engaged in the manufacture of furniture. He is married and has a four-year-old daughter.

Mrs. Jo Ann Moore of Charlotte is the Secretary. She graduated from the North Carolina School for the Blind and later earned a degree in Social Studies at East Carolina University, as well as a degree from Duke University. She is employed as a transcriptionist in the X-ray Department at Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte.

Mrs. Thelma Flynn of Raleigh will serve as Treasurer. A graduate of Whiteville High School, she has been a professional seamstress. She is now employed as hostess for the Raleigh Lions Clinic Workshop.

John Irvin Brannan of Greensboro was elected to a two year Board position. He is employed by the Greensboro Industries for the Blind. The other two year Board position will be filled by Adam Pell of Charlotte, who is a darkroom film processor, having been in this work for some nineteen years. Ralph Caskey of Greensboro and Mrs. Hazel Staley of Charlotte were elected to one year terms on the Board. Mr. Caskey is a graduate of the North Carolina School for the Blind and a graduate of Guilford College. He is a self-employed piano technician and is Vice-President of the Piano Technican's Guild of Greensboro. Mrs. Staley received her A.B. degree from Flora McDonald College and later did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is employed as a social worker with the Mecklenburg County Association for the Blind. She is married and has an eighteen-year-old son at the University of North Carolina. President Collins was elected delegate to the 1970 Convention at Minneapolis, and First Vice-President Troop was elected alternate delegate.

August 24 was a great day for the blind of North Carolina and for the blind of the nation. The NFB's momentum continues, and other affiliates will undoubtedly be coming soon. Hail to the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind and to the spirit which it represents!

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by Ramona Walhof

For more than twenty years the National Federation of the Blind has been working to improve teaching opportunities for the blind in all parts of the country. The NFB has helped teachers fight battles in the courts from California to New York. Several states have run surveys of teaching opportunities and made recommendations for improvements, and these recommendations have received follow up work. Federation Presidents and other officers have talked with superintendents, with teacher training institutions, with teacher certification agencies. The Federation is still working at local, state and national levels to assist blind teachers where such assistance is needed. Through the years, the efforts of the NFB have produced results. I need not list all the achievements made, for they are familiar to most Federationists. Let it suffice to say that blind teachers are employed in public, private and residential schools in most states in the country today. California has the highest number of employed blind teachers with approximately eighty five.

There is still a great deal of work to be done to insure that all qualified teachers are considered for employment fairly; to insure that colleges extend the same opportunities to the blind who apply for teacher training that they extend to sighted applicants, to inform school boards, as well as superintendents, that blind teachers need not be restricted to certain areas of the curriculum and that they should not be limited to team teaching and working with teachers' aids. All these problems are still being faced by blind teachers. The Federation is aware of these problems and is still helping blind teachers. Last year blind teachers in both Michigan and Alaska received advice and assistance from the NFB. Several years ago, as blind teachers within the NFB began to increase in number, Dr. Isabelle Grant and others felt it would be desirable for them to meet at an annual luncheon at the time of the NFB convention. Dr. Grant organized this luncheon, which soon became a popular tradition among people interested in the teaching profession.

Happily, the number of teachers within the Federation is growing fast. At the 1969 Convention blind teachers debated two questions: "Can we, as a group of blind teachers within the NFB, contribute significantly to the goals of the NFB, namely in the teaching profession?" and "What kind of meetings do we as teachers in the NFB want to hold?" And this discussion produced some conclusions.

On Tuesday evening, July 1, blind teachers met and decided to call themselves the Blind Teachers' Seminar of the NFB. The group decided that a loose structure would meet its needs. Three officers were elected: Chairman, Ramona Walhof; Vice Chairman, Bob Acosta; Secretary, Evelyn Weckerly. It was decided that teachers should hold an annual evening meeting some time during the NFB Convention, at which time blind teachers will have the opportunity to exchange information and experiences. This group of teachers further agreed that, since the NFB has developed much skill and a fine reputation for representing the blind, then any blind teacher having problems in securing a job, etc., can best be helped by the NFB itself, not by a group of blind teachers within or outside of the Federation.

Therefore, the Blind Teachers' Seminar has determined on the following course of activity for the coming year.

It seemed to be the concensus among teachers that some means should be devised to allow teachers in a given field to get in touch with one another to discuss techniques used. Therefore, the Chairman will make a list of blind teachers known to us. We are asking all blind teachers to send us the following information: name; current address; field in which individual has experience; major field of interest in teaching; levels for which individual is certified. Send this information to Ramona Walhof, 1418 North Seventeenth Street, Boise, Idaho 83702. Then, if any teacher would like to contact some other blind teachers, he can write to the same address for their names.

The Blind Teachers' Seminar plans to make an intensive effort to see that articles regarding the blind in the teaching profession are printed in national publications for educators. Therefore, articles regarding blind teachers should be sent to Ramona Walhof, so that this work can be advanced. (Of course, such articles should also be sent to the Editor of the Braille Monitor.)

The Blind Teachers' Seminar of the NFB is merely an interest group. The annual meeting will give blind teachers an opportunity to compare notes on their problems and successes. Blind teachers have been promised the continued support and assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, and they will certainly take advantage of the offer when help is needed.

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by Kenneth Jernigan

There was a time in rehabilitation when the goal and the purpose were obvious—to help blind or other disabled individuals get training and employment. There was a time when the aim of public assistance was equally uncomplicated—to give cash to the needy. Such simplicity has faded into the land of yesterday and is now barely a memory.

Today in rehabilitation there are so many conferences and there is so much concern about "professional" status that the disabled individual is often very nearly forgotten. Federal grants can be secured to do "research" on almost any kind of subject you could imagine—some of it useful; more of it not. Much of the "research" is carried on by questionnaires, and it is a rare day when the agency administrator (at least, this agency administrator) does not get at least three or four to fill out. The pressure to respond to these questionnaires is truly astonishing. It often comes from the very federal officials who should be concerned with the day to day realities of rehabilitation instead of the questionable game of chasing after shadows.

In all fairness it must, of course, be added that this sort of pompous play-acting is not restricted to rehabilitation or public assistance. It is, unfortunately, symptomatic of the times in which we live. The word "research" is sacrosanct, and anything so labeled is not to be questioned or handled lightly. In nuclear weapons and space flights, we see irrefutable evidence of the value of science, and so it has become fashionable for every human activity (foolish or profound) to be couched in scientific jargon. Thus, social workers and rehabilitation counselors do not get together for a meeting; they have a "workshop." They do not convene for a discussion or to exchange ideas. Instead, they have a "laboratory session" and develop "research instruments"—in other words, questionnaires.

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing at least a small blow struck for sanity in the midst of the great rush to grab federal grants and achieve "professionalism." A university prof was conducting some "research." He asked a rehabilitation counselor of my acquaintance to fill out a questionnaire. When the counselor did not respond, the prof persisted. Ultimately the prof suggested that if the counselor did not respond, other steps would be taken to get the information. Contrary to the usual pattern, the counselor did not meekly submit but called the prof to accounts. I hope you will find the exchange of letters as interesting and amusing as I did. Underneath the comedy is an issue of considerable importance. Having deleted nothing but the names and places, I give you the correspondence as it occurred:

From the rehab counselor

February 28, 19–


I have just received and read your letter and card which I herewith return not filled out. I might respond to it by simply telling you to go to the devil for your impertinence, but I won't. By what right do you annoy people who work in this field with your insistence that they fill out your questionnaires with data that they may well regard as unimportant or none of your business even if it were. You have a perfect right to request any individual to assist you in an investigation, but you do not have a right to badger and press, cajole and wheedle, and make a general nuisance of yourself. In fact, if more people occupied themselves actually doing work in this field instead of conducting "important investigations," the world might be a deal better off. Since you are apparently incapable of understanding either courtesy or subtlety, this will bluntly inform you that I do not wish to receive any further questionnaires or material from you.

Incidentally, you state in a snide fashion in your last letter that you can find out the information about me in other ways if I don't respond. To which I reply, sic 'em!



From the Prof

March 9, 19–


Your response of February 28 gives us sufficient information for us to make some explanation regarding the few people who have refused to cooperate with our study. I do hope that your hostility and companion arrogance are directed towards doing something for your client rather than against him. I am very much intrigued by your statement, "In fact, if more people occupied themselves actually doing work in this field—the world might be a deal better off." The fact is that we are desperately trying to find out what people like you do that is making blind persons that much better off and have a devilish time trying to find out exactly what is occurring since one of our tasks is to make the field and your work in it attractive to new recruits. The unwillingness or inability of a profession in the field of service to open itself to the worthwhileness of its many tasks raises a number of suspicions about the field and questions the worthwhileness of the work being done in it.

I must say that you were very successful in telling me off and this should give you a boost to your morale as you begin your daily work in rehabilitation.

Sincerely yours,


From the rehab counselor

March 23, 19–


I have read your letter of March 9 with a great deal of interest. It provides considerable insight into your character and personality.

Your reaction of hostility falls within the normal range and is quite understandable. However, you were apparently unable (even though actuated by the honest emotion of anger) to free yourself from some of the meaningless jargon which has come to be associated with your line of work in recent years. It is true that you did not use the terms multidisciplinary, ongoing, conceptual framework, or interpersonal relationship; but you did very nearly as well.

Implicit in your statement concerning my "hostility and companion arrogance" is an assumption which I would like to question. Let us review the facts. You send me a questionnaire, and I do not fill it out and return it to you. I am not rude to you or unkind. I simply do not fill out your questionnaire. You then send me another questionnaire, and yet another. I still do not respond. If you have the right to send me an uninvited questionnaire, surely I have the right to decide whether I can afford the time to fill it out—and, indeed, whether the project in question merits the effort. As a matter of fact, if this were not the case, I might find myself spending most of the working hours of many of my days filling out questionnaires. Many graduate students find it necessary to write term papers, dissertations, and theses. Each, of course, believes (or, at least, must profess to believe) that his particular project is of vital importance. Also, many professors in the present climate of "publish or perish," find it expedient to write a great many books, monographs, and articles. This, quite naturally, leads to a great deal of "research." Thus, the ever increasing stream of questionnaires, each one of which will take 'only a little of your time."

Let us return now to your conduct in the present instance. Finally, after finding that I would not respond to your questionnaire, you sent me a letter demanding that I fill out a shorter questionnaire, "merely a postal card." Further, you implied a threat if I did not comply. I hope that you will not be dishonest enough to deny this by pointing to your nice and civilized words. You said, in very genteel language, that you were certain that I would rather give you the information than have you get it some other way. Again I say, please be honest and examine the implications.

At this stage I wrote you a letter telling you that I thought your action was impertinent—not arrogant, but impertinent. The two words have different connotations. I thought it might do you good to have your little bubble of self-importance pricked, to take an honest look at your priggish and ill mannered conduct. The letter which I received from you in reply succeeded in being arrogant. (Incidentally, your accusations concerning me are most revealing in the context.)

Now let me return to the implicit assumption in your letter which I mentioned earlier and the question which I would like to raise. Are you really so hypnotized by your own performance as to believe that there can absolutely be no question as to the validity and importance of the "research" you are doing? Is it an absolute certainty that anyone who fails to cooperate with you and spend his time filling out your questionnaires is wrong, is opposed to progress, is guilty of aberrant behavior? Your letter would seem to be written from this premise. Does it not occur to you that there might be even the slightest possibility that what you are doing is of little or no value? Even more, does it not occur to you that each individual in this field should have the same right as you to determine which projects are valid, which merit attention?

If you are truly interested in objectivity and fact, I challenge you to make me an answer to this letter, not based upon emotion or condescension but on rational argument. I shall be interested to see if you wish to reply at all.



From the Prof

March 29, 19–


Rational discussion, by all means. It is always preferable to name-calling.

Your letter brings up two important philosophical questions about research concerning human beings. 1) Is it invasion of privacy and therefore impertinent? 2) Does the respondent have the right to refuse to participate? The simple answer is, of course, "yes" to both questions. But this will leave the social sciences, if not the biological sciences, without the ability to study the human condition at all. Had this been accepted in the past, there would doubtless be no such agency as the Vocational Rehabilitation Association today.

Assuming that you accept the usefulness of some research, you must agree that the social scientist is obligated to find some way to handle the difficulties mentioned. Invasion of privacy is avoided by the pledge of confidentiality. When responses are anonymous and grouped together for analysis, NO INDIVIDUAL'S private affairs are made known to any unauthorized person. Doctors and Rehabilitation Counselors invade privacy too, as part of their jobs, and only the pledge of confidentiality protects the client. Incidentally, this was the reason for our post-card request. We did not feel it proper to let anyone in authority know who among their staff failed to answer the questionnaire, on the remote possibility that non-cooperation might injure a person's standing in some way. (Unfortunately we failed to realize that being busy was not the sole reason some eighty out of one thousand persons in our sample did not respond, but that some were actively hostile, and might therefore misinterpret our letter in terms of their own feelings.)

The social scientist handles the unquestioned right of the individual to refuse by attempting to show the value of participation, so that refusal will not be based on ignorance of the facts or fear. Accordingly, in our first covering letter we tried to explain the value of our research in light of the crisis of personnel faced by the rehabilitation field, both in terms of training and recruitment...We assumed that our respondents would realize the importance of knowledge of this kind and would wish to cooperate, but we also knew that people are very human and can forget, misplace, or postpone. Therefore we sent two reminders. When all but two hundred and fifty of our sample of one thousand had responded, we telephoned the remainder, in order to be able to answer in person any questions anyone might have about the research and its meaning. At that time we felt that you comprehended the value of this study, for you agreed to have us send you a duplicate questionnaire for completion.

It is now apparent that we were mistaken. You have set yourself up as a judge of the importance of our research and found it wanting. One could not argue with your conclusion if it were based on a full analysis of the evidence. Although it is now too late to respond to our questionnaire, we would be willing to share with you our first two working papers and subsequent ones as they appear, if you are indeed really interested in a cool evaluation of this work. Incidentally, your snap judgment is understandable in geographic terms—we note you are from Iowa, which has apparently been flooded with questionnaires in recent years. For the record, our research is not for the purpose of a term paper, thesis or dissertation. It is a major research project;...both the VRA and ourselves hope that it will reveal facts of great significance in the finding and the training of the thousands of rehabilitation counselors forecast as needed in the future to carry out the mandate of recent legislation. Disagree if you wish, by all means, but on the basis of full knowledge.

Meantime let us consider the comedy of life. This interchange has doubtless cost you more time, energy and aggravation than filling out our questionnaire in the first place.



From the rehab counselor

May 12, 19–


This will reply to your letter of March 29 which I found most interesting and which seems to me to require comment in a number of areas. You make the point that your questionnaire and your letter are, indeed, an invasion of privacy but that this is necessary in order for you to do your work and that it is comparable to the invasion of privacy engaged in by the rehabilitation counselor or the doctor. I believe your comparison to be erroneous. The difference is this: The individual citizen asks the doctor and the rehabilitation counselor to invade his privacy. He does so because he wishes a personal service which he cannot otherwise get. Your case is different. Even assuming for the moment the value of your research, the individual whose privacy is being invaded is not likely to receive the slightest benefit from it—unless, of course, you resort to the sophistry of the indirect benefit gained by the total society, of which he is a member.

Actually, you are carrying out a project which seems to you to be important. (One should always feel this way about projects he carries out; otherwise he should drop them. As the lingo has it, his projects should strengthen his ego.) When you ask others to help you, it seems to me that they are not morally obligated to do so and that you are being arrogant and presumptuous when you take the position that they are.

This brings me to another matter, perhaps the real reason that I felt moved to write you in the beginning. Your letter is shot through with a patronizing condescension which would be pathetic or laughable if it were not symptomatic of a trend which is becoming all too prevalent in our society, and on the part of the very people who ought to be providing leadership in a more constructive manner. Let me quote to you your own language:

"The social scientist handles the unquestioned right of the individual to refuse by attempting to show the value of participation, so that refusal will not be based on ignorance of the facts or fear...accordingly in our first letter we tried to explain the value of our research.. we assumed that our respondents would realize the importance...we also knew that people are very human...we felt you comprehended the value of this study...your snap judgment is understandable...our research is not for the purpose of a term paper, thesis or dissertation. It is a major research project..."

Is one really able to determine whether his work constitutes "major research?" When you say that you felt I "comprehended" the value and importance of your work, you beg the question and load the deck. You begin by assuming that your work is important and then go on to leave open for discussion only the question of whether I comprehend.

Now let us take up another point. You say that one does not have the right to make a judgment concerning your research—that is, whether he will answer your questionnaire—unless he has analyzed it fully and acquainted himself with its content. Consider, is this reasonable? If I took the time to analyze, even superficially, the content and implications of all the research (or even a substantial part of it) represented by the questionnaires I am asked to complete, I would have time for little else. It would take much more time to do the analysis than to fill out the questionnaire. My primary job is to give service to a group of people. As a courtesy, because I am interested, or because I believe (based on whatever facts or none except the name of the project) that it merits attention, I may choose to fill out a questionnaire or help you conduct a given piece of research. You have a perfect right to send me a questionnaire, but you have no right to press or insist. You are asking a favor and you should conduct yourself accordingly.

In some ways the most significant part of your letter (the one containing the most dangerous and condescending implications) is the sentence which reads: "Unfortunately we failed to realize that being busy was not the sole reason some eighty out of one thousand persons in our sample did not respond, but that some were actively hostile, and might therefore misinterpret our letter in terms of their own feelings." What a loaded sentence! It implies that your research is unquestionably important, that there can be absolutely no doubt that it merits attention from all right thinking people, and that anyone who dismisses it or calls you to task for your pressure and persistence has a psychological problem—is "hostile." The word "hostile" is one of the most loaded terms in the modern arsenal of the new psychological jargon. Take the time to ask yourself whether this is not true. If you had said, "did not wish to bother with us," "recognized that our work might not merit his time," or even "might not care to participate," then what a different slant your sentence would have had. It is the old story of the sentence which may be said three ways: "I am firm; you are stubborn: he is pigheaded." The same sentence, but oh what a difference in connotation!

Let me deal now with one final point—namely, the concluding part of your letter which reads: "Meantime, let us consider the comedy of life. This interchange has doubtless cost you more time, energy and aggravation than filling out our questionnaire in the first place."

Once again you missed the point. This correspondence has cost me no aggravation whatever, and I have been glad to devote to it both time and energy. Why? Because I think it is important, far more important than any possible results that might come from your research.

I believe that certain trends in our society are unwholesome and that an effort should be made to change them. Your actions and attitudes, it seems to me, are a good place to begin. The essential question which we have been discussing is, in my judgment, far more basic than any piece of research which you are ever likely to conduct.

If you care to do so and if you are willing to accept the challenge, I would be pleased to have your reactions.



From the rehab counselor

September 15, 19–


Under date of May 12, I replied to your letter of March 29, raising certain basic questions concerning the research you are doing and the methodology you are following. You have not yet responded, and I hope that this does not mean that you are withdrawing from the field.

I must tell you that I am engaging in research of my own and that our exchange of correspondence will form the basis of an article shortly to be published. If you have said the last word on the subject we have been discussing, then your case must, of course, stand as it is. However, I should think that under the circumstances you might like to answer the points raised in my last letter.

It may be that the research which you are conducting is of vital importance, but surely the questions which we have discussed in our dialogue are of at least equal importance. If I do not hear from you fairly soon, I shall assume that you have said all that you care to say on your side of the question, and I shall put my article into final form.



From the Prof

September 21, 19–


Our correspondence of last spring discussed two issues which arise in research involving human beings: the individual's right to privacy and his right not to participate. We both concurred in these principles, I believe, and any differences between us concerned the appropriate criteria for a prospective participant's conclusions about the guarantees of confidentiality and the importance of a particular research effort.

Your letter of September 15, therefore, is quite surprising. Apparently you do not propose to honor the confidentiality of our interchange, nor to give me the right of decision on participating in your research. Until such time as you satisfy me as to the scientific purpose and worth of your study, you do not have my permission to use, refer to, or quote our previous correspondence, in whole or in part.


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by James Doherty

The Work-Study Program provides federal grants to colleges and universities, enabling them to employ students who could not make it without working. The jobs can be either on or off campus. If you are in need of readers, this may be a good source.

On Campus: A Work-Study job on campus must be one for which the university would normally pay with its own funds. Therefore, if your school has paid for readers before, it can again with Work-Study money. If it has never paid readers, a cooperative administration can simply create a new job description or expand an old one to include reading. The federal office in charge of grants has said that it will cooperate with the school in every way.

Off Campus: A university can arrange jobs for Work-Study participants off campus with public or private nonprofit agencies. If you attend school in your home state, the reader could simply be assigned to work for the VR agency. In or out of your home state, the arrangement could be made with a local agency for the blind, any nonprofit service agency willing to cooperate or with the local NFB chapter.

The federal grant pays eighty percent of the cost of a Work-Study job. The university or nonprofit agency pays the remaining twenty percent. You can speed up arrangements by doing as much of the preliminary groundwork as you can. This means checking with the student Financial Aid office as to whether the school has ever paid readers, contacting potential off-campus sponsors, determining the probable cost to the school or nonprofit agency —in short, presenting as complete a plan as possible to those who must make the final decisions. Obtaining readers through this program may require more effort than usual in some cases, but if it solves a problem, it's worth it.

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by Susan Ford

The twenty-fourth annual Montana Association for the Blind convention was held on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman during the weekend of July eleven, twelve and thirteen. On the afternoon of the eleventh, registration and an MAB Board meeting were held. Friday evening the first session of the convention was held. In this session, welcoming speeches were given, and a discussion of the beginnings and progress of the MAB was presented. During the Saturday morning session numerous reports were presented.

The major event of the morning was an address by representatives from the Department of Public Welfare. Theodore Carkulis, administrator of the Department of Public Welfare, discussed some essentials of the Department with us; then he discussed proposed changes within the Department. Emil Honka, Director of the Division of Visual Services, was introduced. Mr. Honka dealt more specifically with his division of the Welfare Department functions. We were given an opportunity to ask questions after the speeches.

The first item on the afternoon agenda was an address by Mr. John Taylor, representative from the National Federation of the Blind. Mr. Taylor discussed several topics with us. He spent some time in discussing the Model White Cane Law with us, as we hoped to pass a resolution which would pave the way for its introduction into our next Legislature. Several other items of interest to Federationists were discussed by Mr. Taylor.

As the afternoon progressed, we heard the results of the survey done by the Bozeman Chapter, "Outlook for Blind Teachers in Montana". These results seemed to demonstrate that blind teachers could expect to be employed in the state with little trouble. These results have not proven entirely accurate, though one blind teacher has now been employed for the 1969-1970 school year.

Nine resolutions were introduced into this year's convention. Six of these were passed, one was tabled, one was withdrawn and later passed in the form of a motion, and one was not passed. Perhaps the most important resolutions to be enacted concerned themselves with proposed legislation. One of these will initiate an attempt to pass the Model White Cane Law in Montana. Another will erase the loopholes in the Montana voting law so that election judges have no trouble in understanding it. Another resolution made it possible for one person from each of the MAB chapters to attend Board meetings at MAB expense.

Our annual banquet was held on Saturday evening. There were approximately ninety persons there. Door prizes were given away during the banquet just as they were during the rest of the convention. John Taylor was our speaker during the banquet. This speech, too, was geared toward several topics of importance to all Federationists.

Perhaps the main event of the Sunday morning session was the announcement of the results of the election of officers. Four officers were up for election this year. Our new President is John Ford of Bozeman; Keith Denton of Lakeside remains First Vice President; the Western district is now represented on the Board of Directors by William Kost of Missoula; and Delos Kelley of Billings will again represent the Eastern district.

The last item on the agenda was a report from each of the local chapters. There are eight chapters of the MAB. Their reports demonstrated that several of the chapters are actively moving forward. A few need some stimulation which the organization hopes to be able to give.

As a whole, the convention was a real success. Three new chapters have received charters in the past year and we are hopeful that this affiliate of the NFB will continue to grow and to become more vital in the national blind movement.

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by Ysidro Urena

Blind and other handicapped workers at the three centers of the California Industries for the Blind—Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego— cast their votes for union representation in an election held under the auspices of the California State Continuation Service on July 22, 23, and 24 respectively. One hundred and thirty one of the one hundred and fifty three workers voting chose to authorize the Union of State Employees Local 411 AFL-CIO to negotiate with the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the purpose of developing an improved standard of working conditions. The "Memorandum of Understanding" which will result from these negotiations, will set forth requirements for working conditions that correspond to those which prevail in the community at large. The "Memorandum of Understanding" is to be a written document binding on both parties.

Elections of this kind are usually secret. In order to avoid the necessity of a sighted middleman to mark the ballots for the workers, the Conciliation service adopted a special method of voting. Each voter was given a marble and a die. He placed the appropriate object into a container to indicate his choice. High enthusiasm for the election was apparent when most of the workers voted during the first hour of the three-hour voting period set aside for the purpose at each shop. The workers were extremely pleased by the opportunity for self-determination. They felt for the first time like first class citizens whose judgment was elicited and respected. They now anticipate the full and fair representation toward which they have been aiming for so many years.

Prior to 1963, the California Council of the Blind was the sole representative of the workers of CIB, working principally in the area of legislation and the status of the workers in relation to existing labor laws. Up to that time there had been no significant wage increases for at least fifteen years; there was no sick leave, health insurance contribution plan, or paid holidays. Products manufactured in other states were brought in and sold through the California plants causing workers to be laid off.

In April of 1963, the workers of the Berkeley plant joined Local 411 and immediately struck for and gained increased wages for their broom shop. Stimulated by this success, workers in other plants quickly sought union affiliation. The workers, now articulate through their organization, began to outline their grievances and initiate negotiations on them. From that time on the union and the council worked jointly—supporting and complementing each other in efforts to achieve improved working conditions and fringe benefits. Progress was slow due to the opposition first, of the Department of Education, and later of the Department of Rehabilitation. But progress was steady due to the efforts of the workers through the union assisted by the Council.

In 1963, jurisdiction over CIB was removed from the Department of Education and placed in the Department of Rehabilitation. Shop management, however, remained largely in the hands of the same personnel. Consequently, no immediate changes were effected and the problems of the workers grew. A major deterrent to progress was the intent and effort of the department to transform CIB into a training facility and convert the workers to clients. The continued belief of the department that CIB could be used effectively as a place of job preparation, work adjustment, and work evaluation has constituted a major barrier to the workers' goal of becoming self-supporting. To grant conditions and benefits similar to those enjoyed by most average employees would be to concede that CIB is primarily a source of remunerative employment and not of training.

Despite the conflict of roles, the workers realized several improvements for themselves. By mid-1964 a few wage increases were given and a rather rudimentary holiday plan was established. In 1965 vacation pay regulations were liberalized. The next two years were years of frustration culminating in a strike in November 1967. The eventual results of that move were the adoption of a health insurance contribution by the department and a four per cent wage increase and a six day sick leave allotment.

On the surface the record looks impressive. It should be pointed out, however, that after each of the above improvements was acquired, the department issued policies which altered or eliminated in part the measures verbally agreed upon by management and the union.

The workers of CIB fervently hope that 1969 will mark a significant turning point in relation to the Department of Rehabilitation. The "Memorandum of Understanding" should provide both parties a basis upon which to work bilaterally toward the elimination of the sheltered workshop status and the achievement of economic independence for the blind and other handicapped workers. CIB workers are convinced that these goals can only be attained through formal labor negotiations and have, therefore, taken the giant step forward of voting to be officially represented by Local 411.

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[Editor's Note: Recently Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana introduced Senate bill 2518 in the United States Senate, with sixty eight fellow Senators as co-sponsors. The Senate bill is identical to Congressman Burke's H.R. 3782. Senator Hartke's statement, printed in the Congressional Record in support of this NFB-sponsored Disability Insurance for the Blind measure, follows:]

Mr. HARTKE. Mr. President, since becoming a member of the United States Senate, I have introduced many measures to aid blind people in their valiant struggle to achieve a normal life, and no actions I have taken since becoming a Member of this distinguished body have given me greater satisfaction than knowing that some of my measures are now Federal law, and beneficially affecting the lives of our sightless fellow citizens.

Mr. President, today I am again introducing a bill to liberalize the provisions of the Federal disability insurance law for blind persons.

The two proposals contained in my measure are identical to two of the three proposals of S. 1681, which I introduced in the 90th Congress in association with the co-sponsorship of a majority of my colleagues.

S. 1681 was approved by the Senate Committee on Finance when that committee was considering the then pending social security amending bill. When conferees met on H.R. 12080, in the fall of 1967, they adopted one provision of S. 1681, establishing the generally accepted definition of blindness—20/200, and so forth—as the standard for visual loss under the disability insurance program.

Now, Mr. President, today, I am introducing the two remaining provisions of S. 1681, with the hope that this Congress will transform them into Federal law.

In summary, this bill would:

First, reduce from twenty of the last forty to six anytime earned the number of quarters, a blind person must be employed in social security-covered work to qualify for disability benefit payments.

Under existing law, a disabled applicant must work for five of the last ten years in social security- covered work to be eligible for disability payments.

Second, the "earnings" test in disability insurance would be entirely eliminated for blind persons applying for or receiving disability insurance payments.

Under existing law, any appreciable earnings—$140 monthly—disqualifies disabled persons from receiving or continuing to receive disability insurance payments.

For a more detailed consideration of my bill, Mr. President, for a fuller exposition of the issues this bill raises and the arguments in support of its proposals, I ask unanimous consent to print in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks the text of the bill, followed by an explanatory fact sheet.

Let me add here one final point of legislative history and prospect. This eminently worthy measure was approved by the Senate in three previous sessions but was lost in conference committee owing to insufficient support in the House of Representatives. This year, however, thanks to extraordinary efforts on the part of my good friend John Nagle, chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind, no fewer than one hundred thirty one identical bills have been introduced in the other body, including ten by members of the Committee on Ways and Means.

I believe, therefore, Mr. President, that the many supporters in this Chamber of improved disability insurance for the blind can look forward with real confidence to a successful conclusion to this long struggle on behalf of our sightless fellow citizens.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill will be received and appropriately referred; and, without objection, the bill and the fact sheet will be printed in the Record.

The bill (S. 2518) to amend title II of the Social Security Act so as to liberalize the conditions governing the eligibility of blind persons to receive disability insurance benefits thereunder, introduced by Mr. Hartke, for himself and other Senators, was received, read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Finance, and ordered to be printed in the Record.

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by Kenneth Jernigan

Monitor readers wall remember (see August, 1969, issue) that the Federation at its Columbia convention this year passed two resolutions concerning the Library of Congress. One of these (69-02) called on the Library of Congress to work out arrangements for lending Braille books to blind persons overseas. It reads:


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 fourth 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, towards 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.

Resolution 69-04 also deals with a policy of the Library of Congress.


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 the reverse side of the record, all to the confusion of long-time recorded book users; and

WHEREAS, The National Federation of the Blind fears that this may be the first of many disadvantageous changes to be made in 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 fourth 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.

Upon returning home from the convention, I transmitted these resolutions to Mr. Robert Bray, Chief, Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, 20540. Mr. Bray responded under date of July 29 as follows:

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Thank you for your letter of July 14 transmitting two resolutions concerning this Division.

Resolution 69-02

We are willing to try to work out a plan for lending Braille books to blind students in foreign countries on a reciprocal, inter-library loan basis. We have already been doing this in the past on a limited basis, but with rather unfortunate experience. Our books rarely come back. If the National Federation of the Blind were willing to accept responsibility, through your library in Des Moines, for the safe return of Braille books, we could try it for a year to see how it works out. We will be glad to send disgarded Braille books and magazines to the National Federation of the Blind for distribution as it sees fit.

Resolution 69-04

Enclosed is a copy of an announcement which will appear in the September issue of Talking Book Topics.

Very truly yours,

Robert S. Bray, Chief

Talking Book Topics In Brief Article for September. 1969. Issue

Many talking-book magazines have recently had their even-numbered sides labeled in braille and their odd-numbered sides in print. This has been a cause of concern to many readers. Henceforth, the labels will be in braille on the odd-numbered sides, and in print on the even-numbered sides, as before. All sides will be numbered in large print.


As far as I am concerned, two things follow from Mr. Bray's letter: 1) here is one more substantiation of the fact that the resolutions passed at our conventions are of importance, that attention is paid to them and that they do have an effect on Public policy; 2) we must now set about determining how much responsibility we wish to assume in response to Mr. Bray's proposal concerning books for the overseas blind. Mr. Bray has shown a willingness to work with us on this matter to formulate a plan.

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An adventure in fund raising in Tennessee has turned out to be a big success. Affiliate president, Nellie Hargrove, reports that the sale of auto stickers has far surpassed the expectations of the members of the Board of Directors. The original plan was to keep the stickers on sale for a few weeks; but they are selling so well that the sale has been continued until the middle of October. "The Blue Sticker," as it has come to be known, has sold surprisingly well to tourists visiting in the Nashville area. Sales in Memphis have gone extremely well. In some areas, Boy Scout groups have sold large quantities of stickers. Each member of the Tennessee Affiliate was required to sell at least ten stickers. Many members have sold as many as two hundred. The stickers were bought for five cents each and are being sold for fifty cents each. Nellie's husband. Bob, originally brought the idea of selling auto stickers into the affiliate. Nellie and her daughter, Elaine, designed the sticker; so it has been a sort of family project, one which has been of great financial benefit to the organization in Tennessee.

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the NFB of Tennessee met in called session on August 2. A report on the convention in Columbia, South Carolina was given by State President Nellie Hargrove, Johnson Bradshaw, and Randell Beasley, who was a delegate to the Student Division. Randell's report was very interesting to the local group, since a number of the members were not aware that the NFB had a Student Division.

A number of visitors from another Tennessee organization of the blind were present to hear a report on NFB of Tennessee proposed legislation for a Commission of the Blind. This report was given by Nellie Hargrove and Johnson Bradshaw, who is Chairman of the Legislative Committee.

A total of twenty-one new members were introduced to the Chapter. The membership growth in Tennessee is still on the up-swing. Speaking of Tennessee membership, Memphis Chapter President, Gordon Stephens, reports his membership continues to increase.

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by Ron Pettichord

[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted from the La Grande (Oregon) Observer.]

Glen Muilenburg is one blind man who never has to worry about time on his hands.

Muilenburg, along with two sons, a daughter and a wife, runs a 117 acre farm five miles southeast of La Grande. He is now approaching the end of his sixth year of total blindness. The last thing the forty-eight year old farmer refuses to do, however, is to use his handicap as an excuse for giving up. Despite the fact that both his eyes have been removed by surgery, he still insists on leading a normal, productive life.

Muilenburg keeps busy by milking two cows twice a day, mending fence, working in the fields bucking hay, making minor repairs on farm equipment and even occasionally climbing high up in a tree to trim it. Muilenburg simply shrugs his shoulders and explains he's been working all his life— and he's not about to give up being useful as long as he can help it.

Like most blind people, he has a fear of not being able to pull his share of the load. But he also realizes that fear and apathy are the most dangerous enemies a person can have. 'It's too easy to say I can't do it," says Muilenburg, who counts himself lucky because despite all the problems his blindness has brought, "I've got it made," he declares. "Because I've seen, it makes it so much easier."

Even though Muilenburg can't see, he points out, he can still picture clearly in his mind the farm and the rising mountains that encircle the valley where it sits. That knowledge—that he at least knows what he can no longer see looks like—gives him confidence and peace of mind.

That, and the fact that he's living on the farm where he's spent all his life, has made his "adjustment" to blindness easier. Unlike many handicapped persons, Muilenburg considers himself "completely adjusted" to his handicap. "That shakes up a lot of people," he indicates, "but it's true. I never think of myself as being blind." One of the biggest fears he had, he says, was that being blind was going to make his life boring. He no longer worries about that, however. "Each day seems a little shorter than the last," he asserts. The problem now is finding time to do all he wants to do.

During the winter months, when his wife is at work and the kids are all in school, the five-foot-eight inch farmer has the place all to himself for most of the day. "A lot of people get all befuddled over me running around here by myself," Muilenburg laughs. But that's only because most people have a lot of misconceptions about blind people, he insists.

Muilenburg admits that the dozen or so steers he feeds every so often on the farm could easily crush him to death if they panicked, but he expresses no fear that wall ever happen. He has a good farm dog, he explains, that makes sure the huge animals stay their distance. He also has a worn, weathered shovel handle which he uses to guide him as he does his chores.

Only last March, Muilenburg completed four months of intensive training at St. Paul's Rehabilitation Center for the Blind. What he picked up there was a variety of shop and woodwork training, plus an ability to read braille and use a braille typewriter. He is only the third person from Oregon to attend the school, which holds three sessions a year for classes ranging in size from twelve to fifteen students.

Muilenburg, at present is not drawing any Social Security, despite the fact that he's one hundred percent disabled. He refuses to pay the price. "They want me to sit down and take it easy," he says. "They want to make me inactive, but if I became inactive, my lifespan would drop. And I'd like to be around to haunt people for a little longer." He would also like to be around to serve as a bridge of understanding.

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The Nixon Welfare Plan was long and widely heralded by the White House as a dramatic new approach to public welfare. In fact, Robert Finch, Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare went so far as to label the scheme the most sweeping reform since the Elizabethan Poor Laws of 1597 and 1602. On August 11, 1969 the President sent to the Congress his message on welfare reform. It proved nothing so much as the proverbial mountain laboring to produce a mouse.

Stripped of its elaborate and labored rhetoric, the President's plan embodies the following proposals:

1. Eliminate the present Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) and substitute for it a Family Assistance Program to be administered by the Federal government. It would provide a "floor" of $1,600 a year (for a family of four) to all families who are in need and have children, with $60 a month of earned income exempt. It would include the so-called "working poor". After the first $720 a year of earnings, aid would be reduced fifty cents for each dollar earned until the family of four had earned $3,920 when assistance would be terminated. It must be noted that this plan for a sliding scale of exempt earnings was pioneered through the Congress almost ten years ago by the National Federation of the Blind for recipients of aid to the blind. All persons who choose to accept these Family Assistance payments will be required to register for work or job training and to accept that work or training. The only exception to this work requirement would be mothers of pre-school children. There is planned a major expansion of job training and day care facilities to implement the program.

2. Continue the present State-Federal programs for the aged (OAA), the blind (AB), and the disabled (ATD), with uniform Federal payment minimums of $65 a month.

3. States continue their financial participation in both the Family Assistance Program and the adult aids (OAS, AB, and ATD). Under the Family Assistance Program the Federal basic payment will be less than the present combined Federal and State payments in thirty states. These States will be required to maintain the current level of benefits, but in no case will a State be required to spend more than ninety percent of the present cost. The Federal government wall not only provide the "floor" but it will assume ten percent of the costs of benefits now being paid by the States as their part of welfare costs. In the other twenty States the new minimum payment would exceed the average benefit payment now being made. For five years every State would be required to spend at least half of what it is now spending on welfare, to supplement the Federal base.

In the adult categories of aid, the minimum payment of $65 a month would include $50 from Federal funds and Federal sharing in payments above that amount up to half of the next $15 and one-fourth of anything additional. It should be noted that at present forty-three States pay an average grant of aid to the blind of higher than $65—most of them considerably higher— and only seven States pay less than $65. The present average aid to the blind payment for the nation as a whole is $94.25.

4. For the single adult who is not handicapped or aged, or for the married couple without children, the new system would not apply. Food stamps would continue to be available up to $300 per year per person. However, food stamps would no longer be available for persons under the Family Assistance Program.

5. The Family Assistance Program would be administered by the Social Security Administration and the Federal payment would be based on a certification of income by the applicant, and administration would be on an automated basis. The States would be given the option of having the Federal government handle the payment of the State supplemental benefits on a reimbursable basis so that a single check could be sent to the recipient.

6. Separate Presidential messages on manpower training and revenue-sharing with the States were also sent to the Congress as integral parts of the "welfare package." Briefly, to make vocational training more available and attractive, the Nixon plan calls for the creation of 150,000 new Federal job-training slots (raising the total to more than one million), and the payment of $30 a month in stipends for those who enroll. Some 450,000 additional openings would be created in new or expanded day-care centers for the care of children of mothers who are in training or working. Tied in with the Nixon Plan is a scheme whereby the Federal government would share a small portion of its revenues with the States, initially only $500 million. Few strings would be attached to this revenue-sharing scheme, and the present grants-in-aid programs for particular purposes would presumably continue.

Even though Mr. Nixon has surrounded his welfare proposals with large amounts of conservative rhetoric, it is significant that a man who has been denouncing the "welfare state" for some twenty years now admits that stark poverty is intolerable in a nation of abundance. The President's proposals are concerned primarily with the AFDC program. The costs of that program have been rising alarmingly for the past several years, increasing from $1 billion dollars in 1960 to an estimated $3.3 billion in 1969, for the 6.5 million persons now under the program. The new plan would force people to work—that is, if they could be trained and jobs found for them. It would allow those with low-level jobs to continue to receive some support and would make all poor families—not just those without fathers—eligible. It would set a "floor" to relief, albeit at a distressingly low figure. While Mr. Nixon thus emphasizes training and work for the poor (two-thirds of whom have an eighth grade education or less and a large percentage with physical, emotional or mental problems), he makes no proposal for government employment of those who can't get jobs in private industry.

Certainly the complete separation of AFDC from the other programs of public assistance is an unmixed blessing for recipients of Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, Aid to the Totally Disabled —allowing these adult aids to move forward in program development without the millstone of AFDC around their necks. For many years now AFDC has drawn the heat of public attack on welfare as the alleged instigator of fraud, dependence and indolence, while little criticism is directed at the other categories of public assistance. Nevertheless, those other categories have suffered grievously because of the widespread bitterness directed at the AFDC program.

The biggest flaw in the President's proposals is the forced labor concept because it is based on the false notion that most persons will be able to attain economic independence through jobs in competitive industry. The government must be the employer of last resort for most of these individuals. On the other hand, it is in Mr. Nixon's favor that he frankly recognizes that what clients of public assistance need is cash, not social work services.

For many years there has been mounting dissatisfaction over rising caseloads and costs. As an antidote, welfare administrators produced the 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act, incorporating provisions for self-support and self-care. The Federal government began sharing with the States the costs of providing services to further self-support and self-care of recipients of aid. While the 1956 Amendments thus added constructive elements and a positive approach to the administration of public assistance, most of the States were slow in implementing the new emphasis. The Federal government sought to supply motivation six years later with the 1962 Amendments which greatly increased the ratio of Federal financial participation in the costs of services. This was done, however, by over-selling the Congress, promising that the increased outlay of Federal funds for services and research projects would result in reduced caseloads. However, by 1969 —seven years after increased Federal funds were brought into play to encourage the decreasing of economic dependency through "services" and "research" —such was not the case.

On the contrary, all categories of public assistance except Aid to the Blind continued to increase in numbers and in cost, particularly Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Realizing that public welfare administrators had failed to fulfill their bright promises of 1956 and 1962, the Congress of 1967 placed responsibility for job training and placement of recipients of public assistance in the hands of the Labor Department.

Between 1967 and 1969 public welfare administrators, in a last desperate effort, reorganized their staffs into two groups, those providing services and those concerned with income-maintainance. This artificial division will not achieve the goal of markedly reducing dependency and completely loses sight of the fact that the greatest single service is to provide the needy recipient with a reasonably adequate amount of cash with which to purchase the necessities of life. This is largely why Mr. Nixon today feels obliged to move rapidly away from social services to a "floor" to relief and a concentration on vocational training and job placement outside of the welfare field.

It is estimated that the new ' welfare package" will cost an additional $4 billion a year. This is about equal to today's total Federal public assistance cost. However, $8 billion a year does not seem like an unreasonable sum when one considers that this country spent $24 billions to put a man on the moon, or that for the last fiscal year alone the American people spent some $29 billions in Viet Nam. Surely this wealthy nation can well afford to treat its nine million recipients of public assistance and the six million "working poor" far more generously than it does at present.

In addressing itself to the alleviation of poverty in this country, the Nixon Administration has taken only a few mincing steps toward the solution of the problem when what was desperately needed were giant strides. However, thus far all we have is a Presidential speech on welfare outlining some proposals. We can all hope that these proposals wall be changed radically and for the better when the Congress gets through with them.

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[Editor's Note: Readers of the June, 1969 issue of the Monitor will recall the story of Anthony Cruz under the title of "Blind Man Sues for Teaching Job". The following story, appearing in the Lighthouse News, publication of the New York Association for the Blind, certainly indicates a move in the right direction by the New York City Board of Education.)

A major breakthrough in the employment of blind teachers in New York City public schools was seen in the certification of seven blind teachers by the New York City Board of Education for the first time in its history, according to Wesley D. Sprague, Executive Director of the Lighthouse.

Certification of the seven resulted from a specialized study made by John McCarthy, a member of the New York City Board of Examiners. He was able to convince the Board of Education that a blind applicant qualified to teach should not be denied the opportunity solely because of blindness.

He recommended that the initial interview to verify an applicant's teaching qualifications be followed by a second interview to be conducted by a committee of three persons who would observe the prospective blind teacher in a classroom setting for one hour. This would arm the committee with the proof it required of a blind teacher's ability to meet classroom situations.

McCarthy's study led him to a two-day regional institute at the Lighthouse to plan blind teacher employment. Six blind teachers appeared in a panel discussion to talk about their methods and techniques, and revealed their outstanding capabilities as teachers.

In making his study, McCarthy worked with William F. Gallagher, Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Lighthouse, and project director, who is also chairman of a teacher placement committee serving the State Federation of workers for the Blind; Morton Kleinman, Assistant Director for Rehabilitation New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped; and Irving Friedman, Secretary, Governor's Committee for Employ the Handicapped.

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[Kentucky Edition, Post and Times-Star, June 30, 1969]

Being mayor of a city is a tough job in itself. For Bruce Thomas there is another handicap that few, if any, U.S. mayors have. Thomas is blind. But he has a knowledge of this city of 55,000 in Summit County that is hard to match. "I've walked it often and without a seeing eye dog," the Mayor said.

"The sound of traffic is my guide. I listen to cars and can tell which way traffic is going. I've formed a mental picture of the community. People may have to use maps over and over again to remember places. I go there once and I remember because I have to," he said. He can tell you not only streets, but where every water and sewer line is in the city. "I used to be on city council committees and when there was excavation going on, I'd go there and make sure it was being done right. Measure the pipe and things like that."

"If there was a job I didn't like, I could find lots of problems. Not in this one. I love it," said the Mayor. He says the job is made easier because he is blessed with a good cabinet and a dependable secretary. "I've always depended on myself, though," Mayor Thomas said. "And it's been awful hard at times."

Thomas became mayor last November when Mayor Delbert Ackerman died. Thomas was president of the council at the time. He had been a councilman twelve years. Thomas, who is sixty and a Democrat, says his secretary reads him letters from residents, council legislation and other communications. On his desk in Cuyahoga City Hall is a typewriter and braille cards neatly laid out with necessary city information. These contain facts and figures on the city, cabinet officers, telephone extension numbers and other data. In his desk, he has a large supply of file cards and the braille puncher to write down notes. He types his own letters and even writes out his own personal checks.

Thomas was blinded at three when he toddled into an open fireplace at his farm home in Tennessee.

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by Ramona Walhof

The Washington State Association of the Blind held its annual Convention on August 31 in Yakima, land of sunshine and center of the fruit-growing country for which Washington is so famous. Washingtonians and visitors felt the Convention was a great success—some fine officers were elected; attendance increased over last year's; a young people's group was formed within the WSAB; the Board of Trustees voted to give this new group one hundred dollars to get started.

At the request of President Tom Gronning, the NFB sent representatives into Washington prior to the Convention to help build membership. Shirley Lansing, Treasurer of the NFB Student Division, Loren Schmitt, recent graduate of the University of Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Schlank of Brentwood, Maryland (Alan Schlank is a former Washingtonian), Kenneth Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, and Chuck and Ramona Walhof also of Boise, Idaho all spent some time working in this endeavor. The team contacted new prospective members; it contacted old members for new names; it encouraged attendance at the Yakima Convention, and it tried to inform prospective members about the WSAB and the NFB.

The organizers began working in Seattle on Friday, July 25. From there they branched out to Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, and Spokane. Some new people contacted joined on the spot. Some subscribed to the Braille Monitor and the Washington White Cane. Several were able to go to Yakima for the Convention.

There was a meeting of blind college students and other interested young people in Seattle on Thursday, July 31. At this time there were many questions and some discussion of the formation of a young people's organization within the WSAB. A result of this meeting was the scheduling of another meeting for Sunday, August 3 with the stated purpose of forming such an organization.

A very enthusiastic group came to the Roosevelt Hotel in Seattle for the Sunday meeting. Officers elected are as follows: President, Bob Sellers, 916 South Washington, Apartment 3, Olympia, Washington; Vice President, Karl Jarvis, student at the University of Washington in Seattle; Secretary, Alco Canfield, student at the University of Washington in Seattle; Treasurer, Berl Colley of Olympia. Bob and Berl have recently completed a course in data processing and are now working in this field. The attitude of this group was, "Let's get to work!" The group decided that they could be most effective in Washington if they required each of their members to also join the local organization in his or her part of the State. At the Board of Trustees' meeting on Friday evening, one hundred dollars had been voted to this group which certainly will help it to move forward at a rapid rate.

Meanwhile, back at the Yakima Convention...

Mr. Jernigan had planned and wished to attend the Convention, and the WSAB had scheduled his weekend full of discussions, meetings, and speeches. However, his participation was prevented by a death in his family. Although the absence of Mr. Jernigan was keenly felt, he sent Manuel Urena who, in spite of the very short notice, took an active and valuable role in Convention activities.

Friday at noon members of the WSAB and Mr. Urena met with the local Lions who are eager to assist the blind. Mr. Urena spoke to the group, and the tone for the Convention was set—eagerness to strengthen the organization and for its cooperation with other groups in Washington.

Later Friday afternoon Mr. Urena again stepped to the microphone, this time to conduct a seminar on activities of local affiliates of the NFB. He made suggestions about and gave examples of what can be done by local groups, ways to become effective in the community, and ways to bring in new members. This seminar provided stimulus for a year of growth and activity. It was well attended, and most of the people present participated with pertinent questions and comments.

That evening there was an open Board meeting, at which time affairs of the year were reviewed and made ready to be turned over to the new officers to be elected on Sunday.

August 2, Saturday, began with a welcome to the city of Yakima by the Mayor, James Larson and the presentation of the Yakima flag to the WSAB President. Also featured on the morning's program was Mr. Byron Berhow, Superintendent of the Washington School for the Blind and Deaf, who reported on the year there. This summer was the first time the School has been able to offer a summer program to blind children enrolled in public schools across the State. Committee chairmen and chapter presidents also reported on the year's activities.

The afternoon session began with Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Urena speaking on Federal laws and regulations regarding rehabilitation, what the NFB can do to improve various services to the blind, and library services. Mr. Hopkins stressed that much Federal law is permissive, thus allowing State agencies to make many administrative policies. To find out whether a policy is that of a particular agency or of law, one must look at the State Plan which should always be available on request. Interest of the audience in these matters was so great that the President feared he could never get through the rest of the afternoon's business. But he was able to give Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Urena another twenty minutes before the close of the meeting.

The Chinook Motel and Tower served a fine banquet meal Saturday evening. Mrs. George Hefner was the Mistress of Ceremonies, and Manuel Urena was the main speaker. He delivered an inspiring and scholarly address on "Colonialism and the Blind." Musical entertainment concluded the evening.

But the Convention was far from over. President Gronning began the Sunday meeting with a report on the NFB Columbia Convention which he attended as the WSAB delegate. And then the election! The following people deserve high congratulations as the new officers. Once again the WSAB has found capable leadership. President, Cecil L. Phillips, West 2920 Rowan Ave., Spokane, 99208, who is a piano technician; Vice President, Charles (Chuck) Ferer, public school teacher from Aberdeen, Washington; reelected as Secretary is Nadyne Lessard, music teacher at the School for the Blind in Vancouver; and reelected as Treasurer is Mrs. Nellie Couch, housewife from Olympia. Legislative Chairman is again Wesley Osborne of Tacoma, Organization Chairman Sam McGee of Lake Stevens, Ways and Means Chairman Earl Madding of Seattle, Public Relations Chairman is Harold Robinson of Spokane, and Welfare Chairman is Robert Kepler also of Spokane. The new President is automatically the delegate to the Minneapolis NFB Convention, and Wes Osborne was elected alternate delegate. Again, congratulations to these officers!

Besides the organizing team, visitors from Oregon were present for the Convention, and several came from Idaho who had not been involved in earlier activities.

It was a fine Convention, and the WSAB looks forward to a fine year.

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[New York Times, Friday, August 8, 1969]

[Editor's Note: The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled that no person could be denied aid and services because he had not lived in a state a legislatively determined length of time—the well-known residence laws. (See "Residence Laws Outlawed—Victory for NFB", Monitor, June, 1969.) This was a great victory for the poor and disadvantaged, long harassed and hounded from one community to another as the city, county, and state governments sought and fought to have some one, preferably a relative, support them. A new device has come out of legislatures still trying to avoid the states' responsibility to care for the poor. The following news summary of a New York case should warn state and local blind groups to be alert to this possibility in their states and every effort should be made to defeat such measures.]

A temporary restraining order was signed in Supreme Court here Wednesday prohibiting the State Department of Social Service from withholding welfare payments to two women said to have violated the state's new residency requirements.

The law declares that welfare applicants who have been in the state less than a year will be presumed to have come here expressly to receive welfare aid unless they can prove they had an offer of employment at the time of their arrival. Such people, the statute says, will be denied aid.

In April, shortly after the law was passed, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a Connecticut residency requirement, casting the New York law in doubt.

A challenge to the state law is pending in Federal Court, Rochester.

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[Editor's Note: The U. S. Civil Service Commission has issued the following bulletin.]

1. The enactment of Public Law 87-614 (now section 3102 of title five, United States Code) in 1962 established excellent means through which Federal agencies can employ reading assistants for blind employees.

2. Under this law. Federal agencies are authorized to employ reading assistants without compensation. A reading assistant may serve as a volunteer, or may be paid by the blind employee from his own funds, or may be paid by a nonprofit organization. Also, as stated in chapter 930, subchapter 6 of the Federal Personnel Manual, this law excepts reading assistants from the normal civil service selection and appointment procedures.

3. Another breakthrough for the blind occurred about the same time when the Rehabilitation Services Administration established a policy that vocational rehabilitation funds can be used to pay for the employment of reading assistants. This policy permits State divisions of vocational rehabilitation to pay for the services of reading assistants for their blind clients during the initial phase of their employment—usually for a period of six to twelve months. Several States have taken advantage of this ruling, thereby insuring the entrance of blind persons into the world of work who might not otherwise have the opportunity to show their talents.

4. In some instances, Federal agencies have made effective use of the hiring authorities in section 3102. Recent examples of Federal blind employees who have used reading assistants are given below showing the grade levels at which they were appointed:

Personnel Staffing Specialist, GS-7. Interviews applicants and employees, rotates as an Intern. Reading assistant used four hours a week for initial twelve months.
Tax law specialist, GS-7. Case work involving research, analysis, and writing. Reading assistant used continuously twenty hours a week since appointment in 1968.
Education Specialist, GS-7. Designs, evaluates, implements educational counseling and guidance programs. Reading assistant used continuously twenty hours a week since appointment in 1966.
Attorney, GS-9. Legal research in working up cases for hearings and appeals. Reading assistant forty hours a week for initial six months.

5. Generally, however, employing opportunities have tended to consider most blind applicants ineligible because of their inability to read print, even though they might be highly qualified for the job they are seeking. This is particularly true in the entry level positions in the administrative, professional, and technical career fields where reading is a necessary part of the job.

6. It is urged that all Federal appointing officers become familiar with the employment authority for reading assistants, to seek and offer job opportunities to blind persons, and to work closely with State vocational rehabilitation agencies in obtaining the services of reading assistants. The blind person, aided as necessary by a reading assistant, can be a valuable human resource and can contribute substantially to the work of Government.

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by Eileen Wilson

The Sunflower Federation of Kansas and the Progressive Blind of Missouri sponsored a dinner-dance in the Grand Ballroom of the Town House Hotel in Kansas City, Kansas on Saturday, August 9, for the visually impaired young people in the greater Kansas City area.

At least fifty invitations were mailed, local newspapers and radio stations carried announcements of the coming event, and, of course, many telephone lines were kept busy.

The tables were graced with candle holders, souvenirs of the candle-lighting ceremony in memory of Dr. Jacobus tenBroek at the 1968 NFB Convention in Des Moines.

Roy Zuvers of the Progressive Blind was Master of Ceremonies. He is a computer programmer for the United States Department of Agriculture.

Miss Jo Talliaferro of Shawnee, Kansas led the group in a lively songfest. Jo is a 1969 graduate of Shawnee Mission East high school and will leave soon for Nuremburg, Germany where she will be an exchange student this year. Jo is one of the few blind persons who has the privilege of participating in the student exchange program and she will be the overseas correspondent for her high school paper during the scholastic year abroad.

Glenn Sterling and three students of the Iowa Commission of the Blind accompanied Manual Urena who was the main after-dinner speaker. Manuel gave us the history of the Iowa Commission of the Blind and an outline of its program. He also spoke in detail of the wide range of employment opportunities for the visually handicapped, confirming his remarks with specific examples of continued success.

Jana Lee Sims of the Progressive Blind was moderator of the question and answer session following Manuel's narrative. Jana Lee is a history major at M.U.K.C. and will receive her Master's degree in January, 1970.

During intermission, John Drago, a senior at the Kansas School for the Visually Handicapped, entertained the group with a portion of his routine comedy act. He spins humorous yams and gives excellent improvisations.

In addition to the thirty four young people in attendance, there were sixty eight members from the two state affiliates. The cooperation between the Kansas and the Missouri members is very gratifying and they seldom miss a chance to get together.

The coordinating chairman, Pauline Saltir, along with all the members of the two states participating in this activity, are hopeful that many of the young people who attended the dinner-dance will recognize the value of the organized blind and will become active members of the Federation.

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

"Fiat Lux" (Let there be Light). This is the motto that motivates approximately thirty men confined at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville. These men, volunteers all, give of their skills and free time producing educational material for the blind and partially sighted. The "Blind Project", as it is commonly called, is beginning its ninth year of operation.

Beginning with a borrowed tape recorder and a large print typewriter, the Project has become one of the largest volunteer transcribing organizations in the nation. Their record is an impressive one. From 1960 to the present they have recorded some 39,725,000 feet of magnetic tape, (approximately 17,500 reels, involving about 85,000 hours of recording). Over a million and a half feet has been recorded in the first three months of 1969.

A great percentage of the tapes are provided to the Project by the Department of Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind, who in turn distribute the tape to the students. On the whole, the Project provides services throughout the nation, if not internationally. Some recordings are sent to the Philippines, others to Canada.

Large print books are sent to the Iowa Commission for the Blind to be reproduced and sent to libraries all over the country. Numerous large print volumes are sent to hospitals and schools throughout the State of California. Additional books in large print and in braille are sent to the Library of Congress, Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped through the efforts of the volunteers of Vacaville. They have earned recognition all over the United States in publications and through the news media.

Presently the project offers four basic services to the visually handicapped. They are recording, large print typing, braille transcription, and teaching both blind and sighted persons braille. In the large print typing section, the Project has completed almost two hundred volumes in large print for the partially sighted, such books as dictionaries, medical books, history books, language books, the Holy Bible (alone comprising thirty volumes!), and many others.

Under the dedicated, but unobtrusive guidance, of institution correctional officers, the Project is a smoothly functioning autonomous operation. All of the administrative details, as well as the recording, brailling and typing are inmate performed. To the credit of the men it must be noted that the finances necessary to the continued performance of the Project are in large part voluntary donations of the inmates of the institution and other interested parties.

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by Tom McDougall

[Editor's Note: The following story appeared in the Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph-Herald.]

The blind are leading the blind in Dubuque and, contrary to the old maxim, they aren't stumbling.

The city's sightless citizens recently banded together into a new organization known as the Dubuque Association for the Blind, a self-help organization dedicated to following the motto "Help the Blind Help Themselves." Its members range in age from a nine year old boy to senior citizens whose blindness came with old age. Both men and women belong, slightly more than half being men. They have only one characteristic in common: Their vision is either totally gone or so bad that for tax purposes they are legally blind. (A few members who do have good eyesight joined the group to help relatives who are blind).

It all began last December when about eight blind Dubuquers gathered at a union hall to draw up a Constitution. Since then the association has moved to the Washington Opportunity Center, 1159 White Street, for its main meetings. The fledgling group is still a small one, but it has grown to twenty-four strong and hopes to grow much more as its feathers dry. Its bylaws do not bar the nonblind from joining, but they emphatically insist that the president must be blind. Thus they avoid a pitfall common for the blind—letting the sighted do their work for them. Its first activity was a sale of Trappestine candy in which it shattered the expectations of all but those who led it by netting almost a thousand dollars, enough to start it off on a firm financial footing.

Now it is starting to make some noise with the City Council. Twice association members have groped their way upstairs in City Hall to present petitions to the council—one asking that certain traffic signals be changed to give blind pedestrians a chance and the other asking the council to clamp down on the door-to-door salesmen who falsely pretend their products are sold to help the handicapped.

The man at the head of it all is its president, Donald Gagne, a thirty-nine year old father of three who claims to be a direct descendent of Julien Dubuque. Gagne has internal cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital disease with symptons of tunnel vision, near sightedness and steadily deteriorating vision. The upshot is that he is losing what little vision he does have. That doesn't bother Gagne. He's a workingman through and through and he's a born fighter to boot. So he continues to hold down a job with the Dubuque Packing Company after eleven years of constantly deteriorating eyesight, and he still works at remodeling the interior of his home. He can't see his work, but he can feel it, and the workmanship thus produced is entirely adequate.

Gagne's job is in the calf cooler at the packinghouse, a highly unlikely place for a blind man to be. The work consists of tying knots and sorting carcasses by size and grade as they swing along over head rails to him. He does both jobs by feel instead of sight. The room is wet, cold and slippery and it is full of hoses to trip over and flying carcasses to knock a man over. Gagne admits he has tripped on occasion but not as often as have many of the sighted men. "Just because a guy can't see doesn't mean he CAN’T fall down," he says. "But I will say this: Blind people are a lot more stable on their feet than others. You've got to keep your mind on what you're doing when you're blind."

Small things become a challenge. To find his way out of the packinghouse after work, for instance, Gagne must walk in a path directly following the overhead lights.

Put tools in the hands of a blind man and most people will shudder. But Gagne works with tools up to and including power saws that are identical to those used by the sighted. His only aids are a braille ruler and a little measuring gadget known as a "roto-matic." With nothing more than these special aids he has panelled the inside of part of his home. In a project completed at the Iowa School for the Blind, he also has built an office-sized, seven-drawer wooden desk, a finely fitted piece of furniture that this ten-thumbed writer wouldn't tackle if he had x-ray vision.

Gagne boldly claims that a blind man can do anything a seeing man can do if he is just given a chance. He admits later, however, that some jobs—driving and the like—are impossible. But his point is that the blind can learn to see with their hands and their ears and by doing so can become useful members of society. "The real problem with blindness is not the loss of eyesight," he says. "It is the massive discrimination and misunderstanding that exist...Most places are just not educated enough to give the blind man a chance."

Individuals, too, can do more to hamper the blind than to help them he says. Instead of helping them to help themselves many people coddle and patronize them, leading them further into the illusion that they can do nothing for themselves. Gagne claims for instance that a blind person should not be helped across the street unless he has become disoriented or has asked for help. He can make it himself.

And with surprising skill the blind do make it themselves. A blind man equipped with one of the long, thin, touch-sensitive fiberglass white canes that in recent years have replaced the old wooden canes can feel objects on the street well before he reaches them, and he can memorize landmarks by their feel to learn his way around. He can tell without eyes whether a traffic light is green or red simply by listening: If he hears traffic whizzing by in the same direction as he is walking he knows the light is green. If he hears traffic crossing his path he knows it is red and so he waits.

Tricks like these were taught to Gagne at the school run by the Iowa Association [Commission] for the Blind in Des Moines. The school's aim is both to build up the student's self-confidence and to teach him the elements of survival without vision. It's a tough course, but if Gagne is any example its students come back ready to tackle anything.

Gagne and men like him are proof that the blind can fend for themselves. Others like him are Dave Tanner, who works full-time as a window assembler at Caradco ; Merle Lyons, who runs the snack shop at the Post Office; Mary Zoutte, health director at the YMCA, or Dick Stickel, an A. Y. McDonald employee.

But there are others—especially the elderly—who instead of adjusting themselves to the handicap sink into despondency. It is these people above all others whom the association would like to reach. To help in this area the association has planned various forms of recreation. It encourages card games with decks inscribed both in braille and in standard writing so the blind can play with anyone. The association also has arranged bowling games in which the blind can bowl with a reasonable degree of accuracy, aligning their aim by touching a specially built rail.

Gagne envisions miniature golf, toboggonning and water skiing in the future—all of which are done successfully at the Des Moines school for the blind. The association hopes to see to it that each member obtains and learns to use the two most essential communication tools a blind man can have—a typewriter and a tape recorder. It also plans to sponsor revenue-producing chartered bus trips to the Iowa Association for the Blind in Des Moines. Gagne has no idea how many blind people there are in Dubuque, and he is still trying to locate more of them.

Those interested in joining can telephone 588-4743, the number assigned to the association's temporary headquarters in his home at 1214 Jackson Street.

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by Kathryn Thompson

[Editor's Note: This is yet another installment in the monthly series which introduces our readers to State Presidents and State affiliates.]

According to my mother, with the temperature outside at thirty below zero, I was born in a log room with an adobe lean-to which, with its bare wooden floor, served as the kitchen. The date was December 21, 1908 and the place was Orangeville, Utah; a small farming community in the central eastern part of the state. My father was an immigrant from Sweden and a pioneer to the area. I grew to young womanhood in that home and in circumstances which would now be considered poverty conditions. A home-woven rag carpet underlaid with straw covered the floor in the log room with factory nailed to the ceiling and then the entire room calcimined for color and cleanliness. We carried our water from some distance in wagon and sled. The bed ticking was regularly filled with fresh straw to make a soft bed and in summer we lived and slept outdoors most of the time, rushing in, bed and all, when it stormed. We didn't feel poor at all. There was a great deal of love and religious faith in our family. We all worked together in the house and on the farm and we all had regular chores to do. I helped milk the cows, feed the stock and often tramped hay on the load or rode the derrick horse as well as many outside and inside tasks.

When I was almost eight years of age, together with two older sisters, and later on in years, a brother as well; I travelled thirty miles by wagon—fall and Christmas—and the remaining one hundred and eighty by steam train, to attend the School for the Blind in Ogden for four of our family had a congenital cataract condition. This left our parents alone during the nine long months of the school year and they never did leave Orangeville until I graduated from high school in 1928 when we moved to Salt Lake City. I progressed satisfactorily through school. In my junior year, finding that a language, not available at the school, would help to make my college requirements, I took Spanish for two years at the Ogden High School along with two other girls. It was a thrill to me to find that I could there compete creditably with my sighted peers and in spite of the limited contacts I gained social confidence as well.

Upon graduation, fired with the desire to attend the University of Utah, I went to Mosiah Hall, then Director for the Rehabilitation of the state, and asked for sponsorship. He did not feel that I was a good risk and told me so. I was bitterly disappointed. However, it turned out that my invalid parents needed my care—my mother suffering a series of strokes and my father suffering with cancer and four years after my graduation, they both died within the same year. These were the hard depression years and we knew struggle.

In the meantime, Murray B. Allen, himself totally blind, first a student and then a teacher at the state school for the blind, on his own began some work with the adult blind—traveling throughout the state during summer vacations. Finally he obtained increasing appropriations from the Legislature to enlarge the service. A "Reading Room for the Blind" had been extending very limited services since 1908 at the Salt Lake Public Library but there had not been a state agency. Through FERA and WPA Depression Emergency Projects, Mr. Allen was able to form a staff of some six "Home Teachers" in 1934 and I was one of these chosen from his former students at the school. Through training on the job, staff conferences, training conventions and educational leave, I was able to earn my "Home Teachers' Certificate" from the American Association of Workers for the Blind and build a background of college work to add to my working experience.

I was married to Leonard Thompson, who, now for many years has been my driver, reader, and righthand man. We have traveled many thousands of miles together, covering most counties of the state and contacting and serving many hundreds of blind people. The only time I wasn't on the job was from 1942 to 1951 for my daughter was born in 1943 and spent her early years with her mother.

As soon as I left school, I became interested in the Association of the Blind. When the charters were issued in 1936, I was vice president on the state board and chairman of the charter committee so it became my pleasure to deliver the charters to the chapters. Later, in 1944-45 I was president of the Provo Chapter since moving to this area in 1941. I have served as secretary as well in earlier times. I was elected president of our Utah State Association of the Blind at our annual convention in May, 1968, and feel deeply the responsibility of serving in this capacity as I follow many fine officers of the organization who served well in meeting the needs and challenges of their own times. Actually I have known and appreciated all of them.


The Utah State Association of the Blind is almost half a century old. It was organized July 6, 1920, with James Jacobs its first president. Jim Jacobs and William Nichol were the first two who envisioned an organization. Mr. Nichol was the third president and held that same position in 1928 when an article on the history of the Association appeared in the Utah Eagle, a monthly publication of the School for the Blind in Ogden. Among other historical articles in that March issue especially devoted to the adult blind, this one was written by President Nichol. The organizers were professional people; teachers, store keepers, factory and shop workers. Mr. Nichol stated their objectives simply as "for the social and economic uplift of the blind of Utah." In 1923 the Association was incorporated and Mr. Reader, an attorney from Ogden, drew up the necessary papers. Recently we have had to take further action on this. Among the objectives cited, our present Articles of Incorporation give the following: to organize the blind of Utah into local chapters, to serve as a medium to express the will of the blind in matters to do with their welfare and interest, to foster legislation and other activities beneficial to the blind, to hold property and to do anything deemed to be necessary and proper in accordance with our objectives.

I would like to mention some of the accomplishments through the years of our organization: In library work we have constantly urged more publications in braille, talking books, on tape and in large print of the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints to which church so many of our blind belong. Our Utah State Library press serves the entire world in the loaning of these books. We have constantly worked for all services to the blind of the state to be under one agency which they now are although in turn, our Division for Services to the Visually Handicapped is under Rehabilitation and so not a separate commission now. We have sponsored and have voting laws which allow the blind to take whomsoever he chooses into the voting booth with him to assist him in marking his ballot. In 1948 we sponsored and had passed a property tax exemption law which saves the blind property owner up to one hundred and fifty dollars on his taxes. We sponsored and obtained a complete separation of the Utah State School for the Deaf and for the Blind. The School for the Blind moved into quarters on its new campus last winter. This past winter we were able to interest and have passed by the Legislature two important bills, now signed into law by Governor Rampton and described in a previous issue by Jesse Anderson, Chairman of the Legislative Committee. Though he devoted twenty-three days to guiding these bills through the Legislature, all committee members gave full time and much effort to their success. We were so fortunate as to have Donald Perry always staunchly supporting us in an advisory capacity and also, on the committee, to have chosen as a member, Victor Spencer, a prominent attorney whose help and interpretations were so important to success.

I will merely mention the two new laws: The "Equal Rights of the Blind" law, which is the "Model White Cane Law" with minor changes; and secondly, the "Additional Assistance to the Blind" law which places a floor of one hundred dollars per month on Welfare Assistance in Utah. We must continue to follow through and support both of these to see that they are fully implemented.

From our beginning, talented members have offered their services to help finance our USAB. Mr. Nichol in his afore mentioned article, gives detailed information on such money raising concerts and presentations given in such places as the Hotel Utah Ball Room, the Assembly Hall on the Tabernacle Block. Tessie Jones was a very popular president of the State Association. She is also a very talented and outstanding musician and, for a number of years, as a teacher under the State Services for the Blind, has taught and conducted an excellent group of blind singers and musicians. Through the years, this group from Salt Lake and Ogden has given proceeds from concerts to worthwhile projects for the blind and presently they are being sponsored by our Association. Some readers may remember their appearance at the NFB convention in Kansas City. Last year this group presented a very financially successful "Evening of Music" in Salt Lake City to a very enthusiastic audience. This June, three such lovely evenings were presented to delighted audiences. They were presented n Salt Lake, Ogden, and Provo and sponsored by the respective chapters and, after expenses, all proceeds went to the state organization to help out with projects for the coming year. One of these projects, by the way, is a seminar on employment of the blind in Utah for which we were given a mandate in our May convention.

Each year we hold an interchapter party and our pretty, hardworking vice president is chairman of this party at which we raise money for the state also. We have five chapters. Four are very active, holding meetings and socials often but the southern chapter will need much help to again be active. The chapters entertain one another during the year and the State Board, consisting of the president, vice president, secretary and the treasurer, and in addition to these the president or a representative is also a member of the board of directors. We will meet with our chapter boards this winter.

We affiliated with the NFB in 1957 and are proud of our membership. We come home from NFB conventions renewed in our enthusiasm and purpose. To be able to reach with and through the NFB common goals is a strength all the blind of the nation need. We, in Utah, are proud of our state and may we have wisdom in serving our needs as the Federation has shown wisdom in its leadership and service. Let us all continue to move ahead with indomitable purpose to serve the blind everywhere.

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[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted with permission from Panorama, Chicago Daily News, April 26, 1969.]

Between the "big movers and shakers" and the little "men on the street" there is a middle level of people, neither famous nor completely obscure, who get much of the work done. A remarkable member of that group is William Young, who for the last sixteen years has been the guiding father of the Ickes-Prairie-Archer Community Action Council, a South Side neighborhood group, and who was honored with a testamonial dinner at the Drake School Auditorium attended by over four hundred friends from all stations of life.

Young admits to being "plumb worn out" by the affair—understandable not because he's seventy-one and blind and lame in one arm, but because since coming here from Detroit after the war he has: 1) founded the Council, 2) set up a neighborhood Little League baseball team, 3) established several Boy Scout troops, 4) been instrumental in getting the city to build Drake Elementary School, 2722 South King Drive, and 5) recently got the Public Library to establish branch units inside housing developments.

A retired weaver and leather worker, Young resents the term "public housing": "These are homes for ninety percent of the people who live in them. But, as soon as they move in, they're stigmatized for living in a project."

Known and respected at City Hall (he hung around the building for twenty-five days to get action on the Drake School), he says: "You've got to persuade the system—you can't force it. The city cooperates on most things but you've got to keep the pressure on them. The police are all right around here but you can take most of the precinct captains ..."

What worries him most is the children: "Most of them run wild, like geese. I've set up a room in the basement where I help them with their homework, because the parents, well. ..recently a mother looked at her little girl's report card and said 'Honey, this is just fine.' She had the card upside down. I just don't know what will happen when I'm gone."

The banquet showed that William Young should make a difference even then.

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by Xena Johnson

Perry Sundquist, Editor of the Braille Monitor, called the Correspondents from the various states to order at the appointed hour, 3:00 p.m. Monday June 30 at the Wade Hampton Hotel, Columbia, South Carolina, to discuss as he stated, "wherein we have succeeded and wherein we have failed during the past year since we last met." He announced that the Associate Editor, Hazel tenBroek, was present to participate in the discussions. He opened his remarks by saying the motto on the cover of the Braille Monitor states "The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind—it is the blind speaking for themselves," and continued by stating the Monitor is an activist magazine seeking security, equality and opportunity for all blind persons. Mrs. Owen Rittgers of Missouri arose to compliment Perry Sundquist as Editor and his Associate Editor. She did state also that she would suggest that, if possible, the magazine carry more "Personals" —news from the various states about the doings of people. Perry replied that he only hears regularly from a very few states , some others do report their elections and contribute to what we know as Monitor Miniatures. Mrs. tenBroek stated this has always been the problem—getting news of interest about people. The editors can not know if the states do not appoint someone who will report what is going on within each state—that thus far she has never been able to make more of this department than what comes as reports or is gleaned from state news letters and publications. The NFB Monitor subscribes to a clipping service which does supply some little material but at best this requires a great deal of reading, discarding and finally requesting permission to re-publish items of interest. The Monitor never prints another publication's articles without permission.

Mrs. tenBroek particularly stressed the importance of each state rganization sending in its changes of officers after yearly elections, particularly to send in correct spelling of names, correct street addresses, town or city with Zipcode. The Berkeley office has many sources of information but it will help the Berkeley office immensely if the correct information is submitted by the proper person in the various states in the first place. It saves the office time to have the lists correct and it will save the Federation money which it costs on returned missent mailings and it will save the recipient inconvenience and delay if only the correct information is supplied in the first place. When persons move, please see that the Berkeley office is notified of correct changed addresses as it takes from six weeks to sometimes much longer to get the mailing lists corrected. In notifying the office always state the type of Monitor you are receiving.

Dorothy Digiralomo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the assistant editor of the Pennsylvania publication, "We, the Blind" asked how to generate interest among members. She feels the state magazine is not always read and wonders what ideas others may have to suggest to create more interest. Some one suggested to the Pennsylvania editor that if she tried not sending out the magazine, she would find out in a hurry a lot of complaint should it not arrive promptly!

There are now forty-one state affiliates with over eight thousand Monitor readers. The NFB spends more on this one item than any other single item in its budget and that is because it is the best means of spreading the "gospel" of Federationism. Mr. Dijohn of New York stated he not only reads and gets much benefit from the Monitor but he reads "We, the Blind" and any and all state publications he can get and he feels every state should publish either a newsletter or a magazine, if not able to afford it monthly, then quarterly. It was stated or suggested that since funds are so meager in some states such states might subsidize the Braille Monitor and occasionally have a state report. Mr. Paul Flynn of Maryland, editor of the Braille Spectator suggested it might be a good idea to send a "subscription" of the Braille Monitor to all graduates of schools for the blind or that each state send its state publication to each graduate. Mr. Sundquist stated that the Braille Monitor is for FREE. Later, the point was made that many persons, and some persons regularly, send in contributions to the Braille Monitor Fund for any of its various editions and this is quite acceptable. The Colorado representative stated the Braille Monitor, in her opinion, is our biggest asset and she had just sent in a huge list of names. Some one stated he was appointed to be correspondent but felt he was not capable of writing well enough and wondered if the editors would correct errors in spelling, punctuation as well as grammatical errors. The person was assured this is done to a certain degree in order for final copy to be in good shape before publishing. Inquiry was made as to when material must be in the editor's hands. The editors stated that since final copy is sent to be brailled, printed, and made into talking book, six weeks before final distribution time, material must be in eight weeks before distribution time to allow to prepare for it. For example, material for the April issue had to be in by the sixth of February to give time for editorial planning and other work; preparation of the final copy could then begin about the twentieth of February and copy mailed off to the producers of the various editions during the first week in March.

To the question where to send Monitor material, it was stated that Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Ave., Sacramento, California 95822, is Editor and in this capacity, Mr. Sundquist determines what will be published. He sends final draft to Mrs. tenBroek who processes and prepares the many perfect copies necessary for final distribution. However, should the President, Dr. Jernigan, feel something is of sufficient importance to ask it to be included at the last minute, Mrs. tenBroek confers with Mr. Sundquist and cuts what has to be cut to keep within limits of number of pages allowed for final publication.

In talking about sending in news, it was stated that some people feel timid or feel embarrassed in sending in items particularly if it included the writer. Mr. Sundquist stated correspondents should not feel that such news is not of interest to others, for it is, and hoped writers would send in all news. It was suggested a little humor might help build or help hold interest and Mr. Sundquist stated humor for humor's sake was not the idea but a humorous experience of a blind person would be acceptable. The subject of news about students per se was discussed and the Editor stated, corroborated by Mrs. tenBroek, that the Braille Monitor is not a magazine for particular divisions, not for certain groups, is not a cook book, is not a humor magazine but is a publication for all blind people with articles of interest about all classifications since most blind people have a common interest. Emphasis was again placed on each state having one person responsible for sending something regularly to the Editor and when other members have items of interest or clippings from local newspapers, send them to the Editor and let him decide what is newsworthy.

In closing, George Rittgers, Missouri, asked the group to show their appreciation by a round of applause for both the Editor and the Associate Editor.

Heads were counted, and some forty five people were in attendance; in some cases there were more than one from a state so that it was felt some states were not represented. However, it was felt these short yearly meetings are worthwhile and surely should encourage the editors and inspire various correspondents and others who cooperate to make our publication such a very fine magazine which all look forward to getting each month.

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[Editor's Note: The Empire State Association of the Blind has been successful in passing The Model White Cane Law through three sessions of its State Assembly and during the last legislative session passed it through both Houses only to have Governor Rockefeller veto the act. His "Memorandum" of disapproval, which is reproduced below, was based on misapprehensions so unsubstantial that the NFB felt constrained to point out the error of his ways in a letter, also reproduced below.]


The bill would repeal section 40-h of the Civil Rights Law entitled, "Discrimination Against Sightless Persons Accompanied by Seeing Eye Dogs" and replace it with a new section 40-h, similarly entitled, which would guarantee to the blind, the visually handicapped and physically disabled the same right as the able bodied to use public ways, public buildings and facilities, common and other carriers, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places open to the general public. The bill would also provide that persons accompanied by a dog guide shall not be charged for admission of the dog. Failure on the part of any person to comply with the provisions of the bill would constitute a violation.

While the objective of the bill, to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State, is one with which I am in full accord, the bill would in certain ways mark a step backward from the State's leadership position in this area.

The new section would delete the hard-won right of a blind person to be accompanied by his guide dog in hotels, common carriers and places of public accommodation, amusement or resort. By merely providing that no charge shall be made for admission of a guide dog to such places, the bill would permit any such place to refuse entrance to seeing eye dogs. As many blind persons in the State are wholly reliant on their dogs for guidance, the statutory extension of the additional rights contained in this bill without a guarantee that they can be accompanied by their dogs would be an empty gesture.

For that reason, I am constrained to withhold my approval of the bill. In considering new legislation for introduction next year, the sponsors should also give consideration to the numerous drafting deficiencies in the bill.

The bill is disapproved.



12 September 1969

The Honorable Nelson A. Rockefeller
Governor of the State of New York
State Capitol
Eagle State and Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12224

Dear Sir:

The blind have long been aware, and have been admiring, of your work over the years in behalf of the disadvantaged and the disabled. It is, therefore, with a special sense of regret and disappointment that we note that you vetoed the White Cane Act recently passed by the Legislature in your state. This is especially so since it was done under a misapprehension of what the proposed act would do to the guide dog sections in existing New York statutes. The fact of the matter is that the Act as passed would have strengthened rather than weakened those sections.

The Model White Cane Law is the result of thorough study and research by highly qualified, trained lawyers who happen to be blind. That it is not the work of amateurs can be seen from the substantiating article which is enclosed entitled "The Right to Live in the World: The Disabled in the Law of Torts" which appeared in 54 California Law Review 841-920 (May, 1966).

Paragraph three of your veto "Memorandum" says: "The new section would delete the hard-won right of a blind person to be accompanied by his guide dog in hotels, common carriers and places of public accommodation, amusement or resort."

A careful reading of the Model White Cane Law would have shown that, far from deleting the places a guide dog is allowed, there is a considerable extension of the list. Section 2(c) says: "Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in section 2(b)" — "common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats or any public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited,....'

The phrase which follows—"without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog"—means exactly what it says. Presupposing the right of all persons to use common carriers and to be in the public places listed in section 2(b), the words are designed to remove special obstacles which might interfere with the right when exercised by blind persons using guide dogs. Put another way, "without being required" means to be "free from" the requirement of having to pay for exercising a right. The adverbial phrase under discussion could have been put at the beginning of section 2(c) so that it would read "Without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog, every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in section 2(b)."

However, whether the phrase comes first or last, it is difficult to perceive under what theory of statutory construction the words as used in the proposed law could imply the opposite reading and produce the effect set forth in the Memorandum, namely, that the words would "permit any such facility to refuse entrance to seeing eye dogs". Such a construction would, at the very least, be inconsistent with the language used.

Section 3 of the Model Law adds additional safeguards to users of guide dogs who, under existing New York laws, might be construed to be guilty of contributory negligence merely by being on the public streets.

As you point out, the Legislative intent as expressed in the preamble of the proposed act—"to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State"—is in accord with your grave concern to advance the good of all the people in your great State. It is to be hoped, therefore, that if the measure should again be set before you by a future Legislature, you will liberate those the law is intended to benefit from the unfair burdens they now carry under existing New York cases and statutes.

Most respectfully yours,

Hazel tenBroek
Associate Editor

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President Jernigan writes: As Federationists know, we recently brought into being a new affiliate, the National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee. This new affiliate has many active and enterprising members, one of whom is Mr. Johnny R. Robb, 2511 Capers Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, 37212. Mr. Robb has been engaged in photo finishing for quite a number of years. He was, incidentally, a student of mine in former days. Mr. Robb has recently contacted me to say that he is now in the process of launching his own photo finishing business. Music City Photo Service, P.O. Box 12-266, Nashville, Tennessee, and that he would like to work through blind vending stand operators. He says that in each twelve exposure role there can be as much as $1.30 profit for the vending stand operator, depending upon a number of factors. The vending stand operator would let his customers know that he handles film developing. He would send his films to Mr. Robb who would process them and return them to him. Any member of the NFB may send him their film and he will give them a discount. At least, this is the way I understand the matter. If you are interested in pursuing this matter, you should write to Mr. Robb for further details.

* * * * * *

The National Society for the Prevention of Blindness estimates that 1,700,000 Americans over the age of thirty five may have glaucoma and half of them do not know it! Glaucoma may result in blindness unless detected early and treated continuously.

* * * * * *

The California State Department of Social Welfare has issued a Special Edition of its bi-monthly publication, California Welfare, the contents being devoted exclusively to the fiftieth anniversary of Aid to the Blind in California. The text of the original law of fifty years ago is given; the Model White Cane Law of civil rights; significant changes in the law over the years; a biography of Perry Sundquist, who was Chief of the Division for twenty seven years; and a biography of the present Chief, Nick Groesbeck; highlights in the life of Dr. Newel Perry, the architect of Aid to the Blind in the State; a summary of the achievements of Professor Jacobus tenBroek, who was the principal builder of the program; and the present eligibility requirements for Aid to the Blind. This Anniversary Issue of California Welfare is a fitting commemoration of fifty years of program development by the State's Aid to the Blind program.

* * * * * *

Tom Gronning, young at eighty, has decided to retire from state leadership of the WSAB. He served for ten years on the Board of Trustees, one term as Vice President, and two terms as President. He, expressed great confidence in the future for the organized blind movement.

He said, "I want to thank all the officers and members for their assistance and cooperation during my years in office. I appreciate also the efforts of our editor, who helped gather names and arrange meetings that culminated in our growing organizational efforts.

* * * * * *

The Senate Finance Committee is conducting staff studies and public hearings on both Medicare and Medicaid. Senator Russell B. Long, Chairman, said: "Today, we are quite capable of identifying and pinpointing major areas of concern—including widespread abuse, and fraud, as well as lax administration. It almost appears as if everyone involved in Medicare wants to make that extra buck at the expense of the taxpayer and the millions of older people on Medicare...It is past time for the Committee to determine whether these run-away programs can be brought under control. Firm reins are needed to keep Medicare and Medicaid in check."

* * * * * *

Recently the Associated Blind of Massachusetts presented a concert in Boston featuring George Shearing and his orchestra. The ABM took the occasion to recognize the contributions of John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office of the NFB, in promoting the social and economic welfare of the blind. This public acknowledgement took the form of an appropriate award to John.

* * * * * *

The John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida is interested in helping the handicapped by hiring them. It is playing an important role in hiring the blind at Cape Kennedy, thus setting a fine example for other employers throughout the country.

* * * * * *

Babies once doomed to blindness because they were born with cataracts are now having their sight restored through surgery. Cataracts are being removed soon after birth by a method known as aspiration which sucks the lens clean. The cataracts form frequently when women contract German measles during pregnancy.

* * * * * *

New York City has inaugurated a half-fare transit plan for its elderly citizens, those persons sixty five years of age and older who do not work full time. The plan will be available on weekends and holidays and on business days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and after 7 p.m. The rider with the special pass will simply pay a dime on city busses, instead of the regular twenty cents. For riders on the subway with the pass, the charge will be twenty cents for a roundtrip, instead of the forty cents. Of the one million New Yorkers sixty five years of age and older, it is expected that the half-fare plan will benefit some 330,000.

* * * * * *

Of the estimated 400,000 blind persons in this country, it is believed that under 2,000 use guide dogs—less than one-half of one percent.

* * * * * *

In 1936, when the Social Security Act was first operative, the average monthly payment in the United States per recipient of Aid to the Blind was S26.10 a month. Some thirty three years later the average had risen to $94.25. During this time the Federal share in all public assistance payments rose from 13.4 percent to 54.0 percent. State funds decreased from 51.4 percent to 33.5 percent and local funds fell from 35.2 percent to 12.5 percent. The inflationary spiral of the last thirty three years accounts largely for the increase in the average monthly payment. It is significant that the average monthly share of the States and local governmental units has decreased so sharply and the Federal share has risen correspondingly. Most students of the subject feel that this trend in financing will inevitably culminate, sooner or later, in a total shift of administration of the programs from State and local levels to the Federal Government.

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The Gem State Blind of Idaho had thirty four in attendance at the NFB convention in Columbia which, if you consider the population and distance, probably is the highest for the country. Some of the members now live in Utah and a few of these were on the bus that made that long journey. Judging by the enthusiasm at the present time, Idaho expects to equal its own record next year at Minneapolis. This same spirit spills over into an all-out effort to increase membership through the creation of new chapters. The Panhandle Chapter of the Gem State Blind has been organized recently and is on its way!

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Governor Peterson of Delaware signed into law a measure which will provide for continuation of some assistance in the form of Aid to Families with Dependent Children for up to eighteen months after a recipient takes a job. Under the new plan AFDC payments would be reduced twenty five percent in the first three months of employment, another twenty five percent in the next three months, and ten percent each three months thereafter until the eighteen months end.

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Mrs. Josephine Huff of Globe, Arizona (co-author with Floyd Field of the official NFB song) displayed unusual fortitude in going to the National Convention at Columbia, South Carolina by car and bus at the "young" age of eighty five! Unfortunately, she was confined to bed with an arthritic knee during the entire course of the Convention but her burning interest in the NFB Song Contest was rewarded when her song was selected.

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Some nineteen blind students received special instruction in a six-weeks college orientation program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. They were trained to use a cane to travel throughout the campus, learned to take notes, transcribe study materials and how to obtain services of readers. Student activities are held in conjunction with sighted students.

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Paul Newman, Counselor for the Montana Department of Public Welfare, writes: "I read a notice in the July, 1969 Braille Monitor indicating that Dorothy Dunn was the first totally blind person who landed a teaching position in the State of Montana. As a blind person who taught in the public schools of Montana for four years, I must take exception to this statement. I was the second totally blind person employed as a teacher at the elementary level in this state. So far as I know, the first blind person who taught in a public school in Montana was hired in 1956. I entered the profession in 1959. In addition, there are two blind instructors teaching at the college level in this state. I have known Miss Dunn for a number of years, and I express my congratulations to her and join with other blind people throughout the state and the country in wishing her the greatest success."

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Henry Negrete, President of the Capitol Chapter of the California Council of the Blind, and his gracious wife Carolyn hosted an "open house" affair in July. The occasion marked the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Capitol Chapter in Sacramento. More than eighty members and friends of the Chapter attended, enjoyed the large swimming pool in the shady back yard, and feasted on a veritable smorgasbord of delicious foods.

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The United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare has released data indicating that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1968, there was an average for the country of 5.37 blind persons rehabilitated per 100,000 of the total population by agencies serving just the blind in the rehabilitation field. However, it is significant that of all those who were enabled to achieve economic rehabilitation, 8.6 were placed in sheltered workshops, 8.2 percent were in vending stands, and 29 percent were "homeworkers". In other words, of the total number blind persons claimed to have been rehabilitated, a whopping 45.8 percent were not placed in competitive employment at all!

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The "Safe and Sane" Fourth of July movement was launched sixty years ago, after an American Medical Association report listed two hundred fifteen Americans killed in 1909 from fireworks and over five thousand injured. The deaths and injuries from fireworks have been drastically reduced over the intervening years, due primarily to prohibitive state legislation. Some twenty six States now have laws banning the sale and uncontrolled use of fireworks. Even so, reports pour in after every Fourth of July of young eyes damaged or blinded from fireworks in those twenty six States, bought through the mail, from illicit dealers, or obtained from well-meaning friends or relatives.

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A new publication outlines the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. These two programs pay medical bills for some twenty million Americans. It tells whose medical bills they pay, what services they cover, where the money comes from, and how they work together. Color is used throughout the thirty two-page pamphlet, green for Medicaid (Federal-State medical assistance for certain groups of needy and low-income people) and blue for Medicare (Federal hospital and medical insurance for almost everybody sixty five years of age or older. "Medicaid - Medicare, Which is Which?" is available from the Social and Rehabilitation Service, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D. C. 20201.

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The Van Nuys (California) News reports that: "Graduation from a ten-week canine obedience class and winning for her mistress the junior handler trophy in the Panorama City Park dog training class is a proud accomplishment for any dog. It was doubly so for Muffin, nine-month-old poodle, handled by Karen Zimmerman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard A. Zimmerman. Muffin, for practical purposes, is blind. Her left eye is able to distinguish shadowy objects. The right has a complete cataract which will necessitate surgery. The operation, Karen has been told, offers a possible seventy five percent recovery. Muffin's plight was not revealed until after her graduation from the class conducted by Tim Haeg, trainer for the obedience class. The veterinarian who cares for the affectionate animal advised Karen that without training Muffin might have been uncontrollable because of visual frustration. Entering the competition as a normal seeing dog, Muffin scored 173 of a possible 200 points to win first place and a certificate of merit in her class. Included in her performance was walking heel (on leash, off leash), long sit, long down and recall. As the family pet and an honor graduate, Muffin has completed her formal education.

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