VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves.
Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708
Published monthly in braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind. President: 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.
Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
BIG BROTHER ON THE ILLINOIS CAMPUS
by Ed Sheppard
POPULATION EXPLOSION AMONG THE BLIND
FIRST EVER D.C. CONVENTION
HOW TO KILL A CHAPTER
MARCHING BACKWARD AGAIN?
TOUCH OF THE ARTIST
by J. Campbell Bruce
WATER SKIING IS FOR BLIND PEOPLE, TOO
by Keith Takahashi
THE WAY IS CLEAR
by Sally Hammond
THE MODEL WHITE CANE LAW--COMMENT AND ANALYSIS
YOUTH SPEAKS TO EXPERTS
by Alco Canfield
MEET OUR STATE PRESIDENT--ALFRED A. BECKWITH
AND OUR STATE AFFILIATE--NEW HAMPSHIRE
CHURCH HONORS BLIND MINISTER
by W.A. Reed, Jr.
THIS IS TWIN VISION
BLINDNESS NO HANDICAP TO DOCTOR
by Jack Sirard
THE MIND HAS A THOUSAND EYES
by Dave Hough
BLINDNESS HIS NEW FIGHT
by Arthur R. Vinsel
AURORA CENTER LAUNCHES EXPANSION PROGRAM
by Donald C. Capps
HOWARD BROWN RICKARD SCHOLARSHIP
SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS FOR THE BLIND IN THE STATE OF HAWAII, PART ONE
The time has come for all good Federationists to begin looking for their suitcases. Our Minnesota Affiliates--the Minnesota Organization of the Blind and the United Blind of Minnesota--are hard at work.
The Chairman of Convention Arrangements (who is also our able President) has done his usual unusual job with hotel prices. Singles are $7.50, doubles $10, and twins $11, and the Hotel Leamington has 500 rooms. [Don't complain about those prices. Those of you who attend professional and fraternal conventions and conferences know that $15 for a single is considered a good price these days and banquet tickets at $12 are not uncommon.] The room reservations have been coming in early. Have you got yours? The owner of the Washington, D.C. Senators baseball team also owns the host hotel.
Our Minnesota people report that prizes are being gathered. Has your affiliate made plans for its contribution? Remember, gifts should be something to cherish and the suggested bottom price is $25. Send your prize gifts to the chairman of the prize committee, Mrs. Bertha Bernsdorf, 3549 Kyle Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55422
The most important event of the Convention, our annual banquet, is scheduled for Sunday evening, July 5. Everyone should be comfortable in a hall able to accommodate 1200 diners at round tables Tickets are going at $5.75.
A marathon Coffee Klatsch will be featured in the Minnesota Headquarters suite and a late evening night club style setup is planned. Convention goers are being offered a choice of two attractions, scheduled at the same time. One is a theater party to be held at the Old Log Theater near famed Lake Minnetonka. It will feature a live performance by a cast of five players. Tickets, which include transportation to and from the hotel, are $3.50 each. The other event is a Mississippi River boat ride which goes through several locks. The vessel which will carry 250 passengers will be completed at about the time of the convention and tickets will be $3.50 including necessary transportation. The Minnesota Organization of the Blind is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year and will mark the occasion during the Convention with an open house at the Home which is maintained not only as a residence for some of its members but as a place for organizational activities.
Seven major airlines serve the Twin Cities airport. The hotel is about a twenty minute ride and can be reached by airport limousine for $1.50. Cabs are more expensive unless one manages to share a ride with others.
The area which comprises the Twin Cities is quite metropolitan, and the state one of legend, as the Chamber of Commerce is happy to tell. The name Minneapolis is a combination of the Indian word "minne," meaning water, and the Greek word "polis," meaning city--apt for a city whose limits contain 22 natural lakes. Close by is the site of the Minnehaha Falls, which the "Song of Hiawatha" made famous. It is a city which abounds in museums, orchestras, baseball, and a number of water sports, to say nothing of restaurants and theaters. A number of historic buildings and monuments are located within the city limits. General Mills provides tours of its Betty Crocker Kitchens.
The State of Minnesota with its 10,000 lakes is a natural vacation area. Camping or not, resorts for all sorts of outdoor and water activities are available. The fabulous North Shore has been proclaimed the second most scenic drive in the United States and it features modern conveniences, modern motels and hotels, fine restaurants, well-maintained picnic areas and campgrounds, and a modern highway. From the North Shore's craggy cliffs one can see huge ore carriers and ocean ships traveling the shipping lanes of the big lake and one can visit picturesque lakeshore villages and historic towns. If one does not want to travel along Lake Superior the Hiawatha Pioneer tour along the Mississippi River Valley is an alternative. Altogether a delightful state in which to spend a convention or even a vacation.
Back to Contents
by Ed Sheppard
1984 is still 14 years off, but Big Brother is already well established on the University of Illinois campus. Although Big Brother is the personification of an all-pervading bureaucracy in George Orwell's novel, "1984", to the blind he has for many ages appeared in the form of the repugnant custodial attitude, "We know what's best for you."
A blind college student from Iowa, Loren Schmitt, has courageously faced and successfully fought against this attitude during the past year. Loren's story deserves telling if only because his experiences can serve as a guiding light for those who find themselves in similar situations.
Loren, a 24-year-old native of Iowa City, was first in his graduating class at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. After learning the alternative techniques of blindness at the Orientation Center of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, he attended Iowa State University and was graduated from the University of Iowa, where he majored in labor relations.
Loren's general competence and capability is evidenced by his summer employment--one season as a counselor at a camp for crippled children and adults, and another at the Iowa regional library for the blind, where he transported and shelved books.
Desirous of a graduate degree in labor relations, he sought admission to the University of Illinois' Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations.
On April 7th, 1969, the Institute informed Loren that his application for admission "has been carefully examined by our Committee on Admissions. The Committee is recommending to the Graduate College that you be admitted to the University as a candidate for a Master of Arts degree in labor and industrial relations beginning in September, 1969."
So far, so good.
But Loren's application had noted that he is blind, and this set some of the all-too-familiar wheels in motion.
On May 2nd the University's Office of Admissions and Records wrote Loren a brief letter: "Since you indicate that you have a physical handicap, and in accordance with our policy, it will be necessary for you to clear with the rehabilitation center before final action is taken on your application. Therefore, we are asking the Student Rehabilitation Center to send you the necessary information for this purpose."
Loren also received a longer letter from Mr. Joseph F. Konitzki, the assistant director of the university's Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services:
Dear Mr. Schmitt:
The Office of Admissions has referred you to our Division to complete the processing of your application to the University of Illinois. Since your application makes reference to a physical disability, your admission to the University is not only dependent upon academic acceptance from the Office of Admissions but is also dependent upon clearance from the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services. This procedure will in no way jeopardize your consideration for admission. It does give us an opportunity to assess your needs as a prospective student before final admission is granted and before matriculation.
We are sending materials under separate cover which describe the services and facilities of the Rehabilitation-Education Center. If you will refer to page five (STEPS FOR ADMISSION) of the descriptive literature, you will find directives you should follow in completing your application for admission to the University through our Division.
All or part of the various services offered by this Divison are used by students with all causes and manifestations of physical disability, from the student with a minor ambulatory problem to the student with severe paralysis, permanently confined to a wheelchair; from the partially sighted student in need of large print materials to the totally blind student in need of Brailled materials, tapes and readers. You will note that our services include assistance with registration, transportation arrangements, scheduling of classes to account for proper time and distances, and physical therapy. Additional opportunities and services are referred to in our literature.
The student with a disability, whether using all or part of our services, lives in the regular residence halls with the regular student body and attends regular classes. In matters of housing we coordinate with the Housing Division in the student's behalf.
We expect you to review our literature carefully and respond to our steps for admission. When you know that the items in our steps for admission are acounted for, we expect you to write to us to arrange an appointment date for the required interview and physical evaluation.
Very truly yours,
Joseph F. Konitzki
Then came a seven-page informational publication on the Rehabilitation-Education Center, starting with the general statement that:
The University of Illinois Rehabilitation-Education Program and Rehabilitation-Education Center make it possible for properly qualified individuals with severe, permanent, physical disabilities to pursue a higher education and to benefit from all related experiences which are so much a part of a college education and common to all other students. In providing for the general welfare of disabled students the Program coordinates all facilities, services, and functions for the realization of each individual's vocational objective without the neglect of his physical, emotional and social development. The Program is concerned with all components of the broad scheme of rehabilitation, attaching equal significance to administration, policy, facilities, teaching, counseling, therapies, adapted sports and recreation, transportation, safety, legal aspects, finance, public orientation and education.
After noting that all of the university buildings are accessible to students in wheelchairs and listing the eleven departments of the division, the publication launched into a description of the various services that are available. Some are gems. Admission services include "preadmission counseling and evaluation, the collation of psychometric materials, medical materials, school history, and where necessary, the collation of special case materials. These are supplemented by special tests administered by the Center and by physical and functional evaluations in determining the readiness of a student to begin his work at the University of Illinois."
(Note: Merriam-Webster defines "psychometric" as the "psychological theory or technique of mental measurement.")
This paragraph on admissions makes one wonder whether the division is dealing with students, or with patients.
Another service described is "Orientation," which supplements the normal orientation procedures undergone by all of the university's students. This includes instruction "in the techniques of study habits, on the planning of efficient use of time and on methods of handling personal and medical problems."
Having received his degree from the University of Iowa, we can assume that Loren has acquired good study habits and the efficient use of his time! We can also assume that even a freshman entering the University of Illinois must have acquired these good habits, or else how could he have achieved high enough grades in high school to qualify for admission? In any case, the handicapped freshman should not be presumed to have poorer study habits than the non-handicapped. If the university wishes to establish a program to assist those with poor study habits, then it should help all who have poor study habits (the handicapped and the non-handicapped alike) not just the handicapped, regardless of their habits.
Another gem of a service is "physical therapy," although it did not apply to Loren, since it is required only of freshmen and sophomores. The physical therapy includes "special exercise, instruction in self care, functional skills, specific skills, and re-education on an individually supervised basis."
Evidently, none of the services is to be taken lightly. "Counseling," for example, "includes personal, academic and paramedical counseling and preadmission counseling which is very intense and comprehensive and in many cases extends over two and three years."
A full page of the publication is devoted to the "Psychometric Report." This deals with a list of tests which is "our minimum battery with which we asses an applicant's readiness to pursue advanced academic study."
One of the required tests is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. (WAIS):
For this instrument we definitely want the full psychological assessment of the applicant rather than the bare reporting of intelligence quotients and/or sub-test scores. In this regard the psychologist administering the WAIS should also report any clinical evidence derived from the administration of other test instruments and devices that he normally uses, such as Rorshach, TAT, etc. We do not want to stress that the WAIS together with the individual assessment of the applicant is a minimum requirement.
It should be remembered that this deals merely with students wishing to attend a university, not with would-be astronauts aspiring to a landing on Mars.
It is not surprising that Loren wrote the following letter to Mr. Konitzki on June 24th, 1969:
Dear Mr. Konitzki:
I am in receipt of your letter regarding my admission to the University of Illinois. I must say I found your letter surprising, since I had requested no assistance from the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services. Several of your statements are cause for concern.
You say, "Since your application makes reference to a physical disability, your admission to the University is not only dependent upon academic acceptance from the Office of Admissions, but is also dependent upon clearance from the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services." This would appear to suggest that my admission is contingent on acceptance by your Division. I seriously question the wisdom of a policy which singles out physically disabled people and requires of us additional tests, interviews, and evaluations. In reference to your policy you state, "It does give us an opportunity to assess your needs as a prospective student before final admission is granted, and before matriculation." Believing as I do that disabled people are normal individuals, I believe we need no special help in asserting our needs. You note, "In matters of housing, we coordinate with the housing division in the student's behalf." This seems to imply not that there is a shortage of accommodations, but rather that such consideration is deemed necessary for disabled students. In my case, special consideration regarding room assignment is neither needed nor desired. In closing you assert, "When you know that the items in our steps for admission are accounted for, we expect you to write to us to arrange an appointment date for the required interview and physical evaluation." Once again, the relationship of a disabled student to your Division is apparently compulsory.
Your letter and the accompanying literature raise several questions:
A. Is the admission of disabled students to the University of Illinois conditioned on acceptance of your services, and if so, why?
B. Does a disabled student have the option of using some of your services and not others?
C. Are the psychological tests, to which your literature refers, required of all students, or only those who are physically disabled? If the latter is the case how is this justified?
If you find my letter offensive, be assured that this is not my intent. I respond in this way because I am convinced that blind people are capable of making their own arrangements and seeking out needed services.
Yours very truly,
Loren O. Schmitt
Mr. Konitzki did not waste any time in replying. Under date of June 27, 1969 he wrote:
Dear Mr. Schmitt:
We were pleased to receive your letter of June 24, and assure you we did not consider it offensive. In fact, your letter conveys an assertiveness more of which we would like to see among many blind students and other students with disabilities we see each year. You would be surprised to know that far too many physically disabled applicants to the University, including graduate students, do not know what they want to do here, nor have many been as accomplished or perhaps as organized as you appear to be. Having been in the business of facilitating the college student with severe physical disability for 21 years, our experiences indicate that far too many applicants have established records based on concessions and solictiousness. In many of these cases the undergraduate and/or high school transcript are not always the most valid bases on which to plan vocationally and/or academically. Our procedure (steps for admission, interview and in the case of the wheelchair student, physical evaluation) is designed not only to facilitate the qualified college student in a normal setting with appropriate services, but also to realistically advise and counsel those people who are not undergraduate or graduate caliber but who have been led to believe otherwise.
We too are concerned and do something about fostering independence. With reference to assessing an applicant's needs, we are concerned about the ability of the individual to function effectively as he is faced with the rigors of college study. In the case of the severely paralyzed wheelchair student, we are concerned about his ability to independently push himself about, shower, dress, toilet, etc. If we feel the individual, upon visitation, has the potential to do more than he is doing, we make every effort to outline a program by which these things can be accomplished if the individual wishes to live independently in the regular residence halls with all other students. Our emphasis is aimed at encouraging as much independence as possible so that the individual learns to function effectively whether it be on this campus or in later life once his degree is earned. In the case of the blind student our concern is whether the individual has effectively learned the skills of the blind. This being the large campus that it is it is very important for the blind student to be an effective traveler in addition to being able to handle braille, typing, braille writing, etc--all those things which from your manner of expression I would expect you to be handling very well. Nevertheless, as noted in the previous paragraph, you would be amazed to learn the number of these people who have not effectively learned these skills which we are convinced need to be critically assessed in order to determine whether an individual is ready to take on a competitive academic program and will function effectively once the degree is earned and the job won. Obviously, many of these things are more critically lacking in the incoming freshman than the graduate student. Nevertheless, our Division is charged with the responsibility by the Office of Admissions and Board of Trustees to determine who is ready to compete here, and in the case of those who are not ready suggest ways in which perhaps eventually they could be.
With respect to housing, as emphasized in all of our literature all students with or without physical disabilities live in the regular residence halls. Shower and other facilities in the residence halls, as well as on campus, have been designed so that the individual permanently confined to a wheelchair can carry out his activities of daily living independently. Obviously, in the case of the blind student, this kind of facilitation is not that critical. However, the Housing Division is most aware of the fact that we routinely see applicants desirous of attending the University of Illinois and are very much aware of the fact that often, for many reasons, the credentials for the disabled student may be processed late and the possibility always exists that housing may be filled. We simply have prearranged with housing that a certain number of spaces be saved each year so that we may assign appropriate spaces should an applicant apply late. Again, the campus being as large as it is, there are certain areas of housing, depending on college and curriculum, that are more advantageous to some students over others. In many cases when University Housing is filled, students may be forced to live some distance from campus, away from bus routes, which may result in costly cab fare or other unconveniences depending on the travel ability of the individual.
The justification of the pyschometric test battery is simply explained that we have dealt with hundreds of physically disabled students, cerebral palsy, blind, spinal cord injury, etc, and have found all of these to be searching for vocational-career direction as they plan their futures, whether coming from high school or from college. Many, as is true in the case of many able-bodied people as well, are not certain of what they can do, are not certain about strengths and weaknesses, interests and aptitudes, and over and over again pose a question of what can I do in light of the physical disability which exists. As noted earlier, not as many people are as fortunate as you, perhaps, to know precisely what they wish to do and what abilities they bring to the task of finding out. When we send materials to applicants, whether they be blind or spinal cord injury, graduate or undergraduate, we have no knowledge of who they are and what skills they posses, to what extent they are mature, self-directing, etc. Since we are involved with all levels of students, all colleges and curricula, it is most helpful to our Supervisor of Counseling to have test profiles as well as growth and development indices on all students, the most successful and the unsuccessful, those with direction and accomplishment and those lacking it. Therefore, in the few instances when these test results are not directly helpful to the applicant, they are most helpful to us and to many other physically disabled students in the future. We will be glad to make an exception in your case and agree that it will not be necessary for you to respond to the psychometric requirement before you visit us. We would be very happy to administer minimum testing. We may be in a better position to reduce the testing considerably if we had in our possession transcripts from your previous college work. Also, if you have had some psychometric testing done in the past (you will notice that most of our test requirements are vocationally oriented as it relates to college preparation) we would be glad to have this on hand at the time of your visit rather than resort to our testing alone.
I trust this has been somewhat helpful. Rest assured, our facilitation and programing exists not because we look at the disabled as abnormal. We are most keenly aware, however, of the fact that far too often their treatment has been either one of over solictiousness or being penalized for conditions which only result in their having to go about doing things differently.
Very truly yours,
Joseph F. Konitzki
What it boils down to is, "You're pretty competent (and besides, you may cause me trouble) so you won't have to take some of the tests." But this leads to a broader question--if the requirements are not necessary for this particular student, what about similar students who came before him, and those who will follow?
Nevertheless, Loren's protests apparently created some ripples at the University of Illinois. On August 26th the director of the university's Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, Melvin Rothbaum, wrote the following letter:
Dear Mr. Schmitt:
We have just been advised by the Graduate College that a problem has arisen in relation to your admittance to the University. Under rules established by the Board of Trustees, it is necessary for all applications from persons with physical disabilities such as yours to be reviewed by the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services. We are informed that you have objected to this procedure on the grounds that you are not asking for any special assistance or consideration.
We have discussed the matter with the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services and believe that there may be some misunderstanding of the role of their Center and the procedures involved. Students like yourself are under no obligation to use any of the facilities of the Center nor are there any constraints on where you live or the conditions under which you go about your daily life. The chief reason, apart from the desire to assist students with disabilities, is that the University is a leader in the nation in this area and gets far more applications than it can accept. From time to time problems arise out of these applications which make it necessary to take precautions in the interest of the University as well as of the individuals involved.
In your case we expect no problems of any kind and admission to be routine. Nonetheless the following steps are necessary:
1. To submit the special registration form sent you by the Rehabilitation-Education Center. Another copy is enclosed.
2. If your blindness has existed since birth, it is sufficient to note this fact on the form, with cause unknown. If it occurred later, a statement from any recognized medical source or agency as to the nature of the disability and the cause is desired.
3. All new students, regardless of any question of disability, must take a physical examination before completion of registration. The necessary medical forms are sent to the student after he receives his permit to enter from the Admissions Office. He can then take the examination from his home physician if he prefers.
4. Finally, the Center will administer to you the Graduate Record Exam in special form after your arrival. When we wrote to you last March about the exam, we did not know that this could be done here.
May I emphasize that we at the Institute have no doubts about your abilities in relation to our program and look forward to your joining us. We regret that the Center's special procedures are required in your case, but we do not believe that you will find them onerous in any sense.
I would urge you also to take advantage of some of the excellent services provided by the Center. For example, on September 2, the Center starts an orientation program for blind students in which, among other things, special maps describing the campus are made available, there is a tour of the library, and information is provided about braille facilities. Such an orientation would save you a great deal of time because this is a very large and complex campus. If you are not able to attend this orientation program, you can undoubtedly get similar assistance later.
It is regretable that this matter was not brought to our attention earlier. We hope that you will take the necessary steps as soon as possible because registration starts on September 11 and the permit to enter must be received from the Graduate College prior to registration.
Under date of September 4th, 1969, Loren replied to Dr. Rothbaum:
Dear Dr. Rothbaum:
I am in receipt of your letter of August 26.and I feel in somewhat of a dilemma concerning the whole matter of my admission to the University of Illinois. On the one hand I very much want to come and feel that you are only attempting to follow policy established by the University. Also, I do not want to be arbitrary or unreasonable.
On the other hand, I feel that there is a limit beyond which principle should not be sacrificed to expediency. In this connection I would like for you to see my letter of June 24 to Mr. Konitzki and his reply dated June 27. It seems to me that it is one thing for the University to wish to offer assistance to students with a "physical disability," but it is quite another for the University to require that the prospective student accept such "services" whether he wants them or not. In other words, if I choose to come to the University and accept my chances in open competition with other students, I feel that I should not have to meet extra or additional requirements in doing so. The very fact of having to meet such requirements constitutes, it seems to me, unreasonable and detrimental classification--that is, discriminatory treatment. The fact that the University may not regard the treatment as discriminatory is irrelevant since most people who engage in discriminatory action do not regard their behavior as anything other than reasonable procedure.
In your letter of August 26 you say: "We regret that the Center's special procedures are required in your case, but we do not believe that you will find them onerous in any sense." As you can see, I do not feel that these comments deal with the principal question at issue.
In other words, to use a rather fanciful example, let us suppose that the University should decide that all blind students must submit (as a condition precedent to admission to the graduate school) a copy of the marriage license of their parents. It might be argued that blind students already have some problems and that the added factor of illegitimacy (in those instances where such was the case) would cause added academic and emotional complications--complications of which University officials should be aware in order to "help" the student. Let us suppose that a blind student objects to this requirement. A University official might respond that the requirement will not take much time or be "onerous." It is only a matter of a few minutes to show the copy of the marriage license, and this is all that will be asked. I must tell you that I would strenuously object to this requirement, not because of my legitimacy but because only blind students were asked to comply with it.
As I said at the outset, I do not wish to be arbitrary or unreasonable. Therefore, I would say this: I am now receiving services from the Rehabilitation Division of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. This has been the case for several years. Before entering undergraduate work, I spent several months in orientation training at the Commission's Rehabilitation Center. While there I became proficient in independent travel and other techniques of blindness. I went through undergraduate work under the sponsorship of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and I propose to continue my relationship with them while I am in graduate school. It seems to me that it would only confuse matters to become involved with the rehabilitation programs and procedures of another state or of the University of Illinois. I believe that since my life is the one involved I should have the right to make this decision and to succeed or fail according to my own merit. I hope that this will appear reasonable to you and the other University officials involved. The association which I seek with the University of Illinois is academic, not rehabilitative.
Even so, I am willing to complete the special registration form and, in fact, herewith enclose it. Also, I am willing to submit to the special interview required by the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services. Finally, I agree to take the special graduate record examination administered by the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services even though I have been advised by the Educational Testing Service that no special requirements are approved for administration of this test to blind students.
Let me add one final thing: I have consulted with an attorney concerning this matter and am informed by him that these special procedures (when required as a condition of admission to the graduate school to your University) may not be in accordance with the law and may be a violation of my Constitutional rights as a citizen. Therefore, I submit to these procedures with the understanding that I may wish to explore the legal ramifications involved. I submit because I feel that I must--that is, if I wish to pursue my education at your University.
With a carbon copy of this letter I am transmitting the special registration form to Mr. Konitzki so that my admission to the graduate school for the fall semester may be facilitated. Since time is now a critical factor, I shall appreciate being advised immediately of my next step. My home telephone number is Area Code 319,338-0114.
Yours very truly,
Loren O. Schmitt
P.S. I observe that the special registration form requires a snapshot. I do not have one at present, but I could bring it with me when I come for the interview.
Loren's prolonged negotiations with the University of Illinois obviously had a double effect. He reports that when he was interviewed by Mr. Konitzki and a vocational counselor for the blind, "They sought to impress upon me my good fortune in being accepted at all after the 'belligerent' nature of my correspondence. They told me I did not really understand their services, and that if I understood them I would feel differently... they told me repeatedly that my attitudes (particularly those concerning blindness) are bad, and that I must learn that one cannot go through life 'threatening people' as I had done in my letters to them."
Loren said he consented to take the travel test because he needed a clearance slip from the University's Rehabilitation-Education Center before he could register at the school. But because of his protests, the travel test and the interview were the only items required of him over and above the university's normal admission requirements. He was excused from taking all of the formal tests.
Nevertheless, the custodial atmosphere lingers. Loren reports that the Rehabilitation Center attempted to persuade him to change cafeterias. "I eat with the other fellows from my residence hall at a place about three blocks away, but the Rehabilitation Center tried to arrange my meals at a cafeteria across the street from my dorm, so I wouldn't have to walk so far."
Or take the case of another blind student, as related by Loren: "She told me that she asked a travel instructor how to get to one of the buildings. He ended up by not telling her where it is, and simply told her she should take the bus that carries disabled students. She said she finally got directions from another student."
Referring to the University's Rehabilitation-Education Center and its effect on the lives of the physically handicapped students, Loren summed it up this way: "They mean well, but there just isn't anything they're not involved in."
As is so often the case with custodialism--the blind man's Big Brother--the intentions are good, but the road still leads to hell.
No one can argue against the need for certain aids and services for the physically handicapped. But there are those who stress disabilities rather than abilities, and would figuratively take a man who can walk with crutches and place him in a wheelchair, because "It'll be easier for the poor fellow, and he'll be more comfortable that way."
Loren Schmitt is a man well versed in the alternative techniques of blindness and completely able to care for himself. Yet, one of the nation's largest institutions of higher learning had to be confronted with the possibility of legal action before it consented to deal with him on a more nearly normal basis.
But while Loren Schmitt won a battle at the University of Illinois, the overall picture is not good. For in recent years there has been increasing talk among the "we-know-what's-best-for-you" rehabilitators of designating certain universities as regional centers of learning for the physically handicapped. We can assume such regional centers would feature all the fol-de-rol encountered by Loren, and undoubtedly the University of Illinois would be one of the leaders!
The organized blind have been fighting hard to free themselves from the stifling blanket of custodialism. Needless to say, if we and others were to be consigned to regional institutions of learning, it would be a giant step backward.
The organized blind must make the "custodians of our welfare" at the University of Illinois and elsewhere realize that two basic criteria must be met when offering services: Are they beneficial, and are they wanted?
Big Brother would not be so big on the Illinois campus if the Rehabilitation-Education staff would examine the philosophy behind a simple statement on an application for admission that was submitted to the University of Iowa in 1965. The application was submitted by Loren Schmitt. In the space marked "physical disability" he wrote: "I am blind, but this does not require special treatment."
[All spelling, punctuation, and grammatical usage are as they appear in the letters.]
Back to Contents
Denver, Colorado 80203
February 7, 1970
Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Dear Dr. Jernigan:
Oops! Will someone turn off the statistics machine? Either that or we've had a terrific population explosion, according to the January issue of True magazine, where the very back of the book yielded this little quote:
Question: What percentage of the 8.5 million people on welfare can be called employable?
Answer: Children under 18 make up 50% of the 8.5 million people on welfare, while the blind account for 40%. This leaves only 10% that can be called employable. Nearly all of the country's 22 million poor are already regularly employed.
Don't tell the Government, but according to my ten-toe computer that would seem to leave some 3.4 million blind welfare recipients unable to work--to say nothing of many times that number who can and do work, or live by other means. Let's see, here in Colorado about one out of every 16 blind persons draws Aid to the Blind and, if that's typical, our nation's total blind population should be something like--well, the Denver Area Association of the Blind is holding Yoga classes for its members, so we're a bit twisted, but we'll all come out looking and feeling like a million.
Anyway, let's not disillusion the editors of True magazine who are probably quite happy in the thought that their Talking Book edition reaches so many millions and millions and millions of readers. Nor should we disparage statistics. After all, it took statistics to show that Yale graduates have 1.3 children, while Vassar graduates have 1.7 children, thus proving that women have more children than men.
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Most MONITOR readers have attended or at least read about statewide conventions of NFB affiliates. A smaller number have actually seen the national convention come to their city. But the Capital Chapter, the NFB affiliate in Washington, D.C, is doing things in somewhat reverse order. In 1965, Washington hosted the Silver Anniversary convention of the National Federation. Now, in 1970, it is planning its first local convention.
Eight hundred thousand people live in the District of Columbia. It is estimated that there may be as many as three thousand blind people in the city. The Capital Chapter, however, has an active membership of less than forty, but has been growing rapidly in recent months. Though small, the chapter is an active one. For example, it recently won a definitive ruling from local YMCA directors prohibiting discrimination against blind persons in "Y" activities or place of lodging. In another field, the chapter maintains a speakers bureau, providing informative programs for such groups as the Optimists, Lions Clubs, and church groups.
The convention to be held Saturday, May 16 at the Ambassador Hotel is aimed at two major needs: To inform blind persons and those who work with them about the services and agencies that exist for their benefit and to acquaint the population generally with the Federation and its work.
After the invocation and welcome by Chapter President, Virginia Nagle. NFB President Kenneth Jernigan and District Mayor Walter Washington, the real work begins. Representatives of such organizations as the Columbia Lighthouse, the Lions Eye Bank, the Federal Civil Service Commission, the District Public School's Division of Special Education and others, will tell the assembly what their agencies have to offer the blind and answer questions from the floor. The closing session in the afternoon is designed as an open forum, bearing the intriguing title "What's on Your Mind." Local Vice President Tom Bickford will join Ken Jernigan and John Nagle in discussing anything of interest to anyone present--anything pertaining to the Federation or blindness, that is. Mr. Jernigan appears again in the evening as the banquet speaker.
The Capital Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has been in the National Federation since 1960. If this first area-wide convention is a success, the effort will be repeated. Though primarily structured for Washington area residents, the convention is open to anyone interested who can get to Washington on Saturday, May 16. For further information, you may write to: Capital Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, 1346 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 212, Washington, D.C. 20036; or call Virginia Nagle at area code 301, 652-3569.
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Every chapter has at least a few assassins within its ranks trying to do it in for a variety of reasons. If you have a grudge against "the way things are going" in your association and want to stop it "before it's too late," here's a simple plan of guerilla warfare for you to follow:
1. Stay away from meetings.
2. If you do come, find fault.
3. Decline office or appointment to a committee.
4. Get sore if you aren't nominated or appointed.
5. After you are named, don't attend board or committee meetings.
6. If you get to one, in spite of your better judgement, clam up until it's over--then sound off on how things really should have been done.
7. Do no work if you can help it. When the Old Reliables pitch in, accuse them of being a clique.
8. Oppose all banquets, parties, and shindigs as being a waste of members' money.
9. If everything is strictly business, complain that the meetings are dull and the officers are a bunch of sticks.
10. Never accept a place at the head table.
11. If you aren't asked to sit there, threaten to resign because you "aren't appreciated."
12. Don't rush to pay your dues. Let the directors sweat; after all, they wrote the budget.
13 Read mail from headquarters only now and then; don't reply if you can help it.
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[Editor's Note: Readers of the May, 1968 issue of The Braille Monitor will recall an article entitled "Beckwith 'Supervised' Out of Vending Stand," telling how New Hampshire was marching firmly backward in its administration of the vending stand program. Subsequently, through the efforts (legal and otherwise) of the National Federation of the Blind, the State agency backed down and reinstated Al Beckwith (President of the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind) in a better location. However, from the following correspondence it would appear that New Hampshire has resumed its backward march.]
January 6, 1970
Mr. Franklin VanVliet, Treasurer
National Federation of the Blind
207 Fisherville Road
Penacook, New Hampshire 03301
The two letters from Carl Camp are absolutely astonishing. If, as I understand it, Mr. Clatanoff is sighted and is now being made manager of the stand, I do not see how this can legally be done. Further, the entire procedure for dealing with Fletcher seems to be a ruse to evade the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. Apparently, Fletcher has been in "training'" at the stand for a year and is to continue in that status. I never heard of any individual who required more than two or three months of stand training at the outside, assuming that he had the potential ever to handle the job. The specific list of duties would seem to make it clear that Mr. Camp does not believe a blind person can really manage a snack bar operation--supervise preparation of hot foods, storage, etc.
In other words I think there has been a clear violation of the federal rules and regulations and that such has been the case for the past few months. I think that you should have the attorney make contact with the state agency to ask for a "fair hearing."
Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
December 29, 1969
Mr. Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
You will find enclosed copies of the letters which I discussed with you earlier this morning on the phone pertaining to Tom Fletcher of the State House Snack Bar in Concord. Your remarks on the enclosed would be greatly appreciated after you have had time to peruse same. Meanwhile, we will pursue with all haste actions which will hopefully resolve the situation through our attorneys Sheridan and Spellman.
It would seem to me foolhardy on behalf of Camp to engage in such activity as is indicated in the enclosed letters, since he has already lost through legal action in the Beckwith case. How many times does it have to occur before some people acquire any sense and respect for a well-meaning program?
Very cordially yours,
Franklin VanVliet, Treasurer
c.c. Hugh Koford
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE
Bureau of Blind Services
December 15, 1969
Mr. Thomas Fletcher
State House Snack Bar
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Dear Mr. Fletcher:
As the first year of your employment at the State House Snack Bar draws to a close, I wish to comment on your progress and your on-the-job training for Vending Stand Operator.
You have become aware, I am sure, that the operation of the Snack Bar is a strenuous and demanding job, involving a long work day and a constant attention to the complex and manifold duties which are inherent in its operation.
Your record of attendance, your attention to duty and your courteous service has been excellent. You have made satisfactory progress in record keeping and rendering of reports. There still exists a need for continued on-the-job training and for additional experience in the areas of food service, control of merchandise and in the pricing and portion control of food and beverages.
In order to expand your training and to increase its effectiveness in the areas mentioned, and to clearly set forth your responsibilities. I am making some organizational changes in the operation of the Snack Bar and establishing several new procedures to become effective at once.
The Vending Stand Coordinator, Mr. Walter Clatanoff, becomes the Manager of the Snack Bar in addition to his other duties. Your designation as "Acting Manager" previously assigned to you is therefore no longer necessary and is now withdrawn. You will be under the direct supervision of Mr. Clatanoff and will perform the duties and training which he assigns or delegates to you. Specific duties, a majority of which are already assigned to you, are listed below. You will work in close cooperation and harmony with the Food Service Supervisor (currently Mrs. Tavello) who is responsible for the operation of the kitchen including menu planning and food preparation. Your training must include a first hand knowledge of food service operations and it is important therefore, that you work closely with the Food Service Supervisor. Other Snack Bar employees will be under the supervision of the Food Service Supervisor unless otherwise assigned by the Manager.
The following specific duties are assigned to you:
a. Report to stand at 7 a.m. and open stand for business at 7:30 a.m.
b. Make over-the-counter sales of candy, confectionery, tobacco items, sundries and dispense cold beverages.
c. Make the necessary amount of coffee in the electric coffee urn and the Cory coffee machine (when required) including daily cleaning of urns and equipment.
d. Insure operation of the hot chocolate machine, including daily cleaning of equipment.
e. Transmit orders for food to the kitchen and deliver filled orders to the customers at the counter.
f. Supervise the customer self-service line for sandwiches, pastries, coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, daily products, juices, ice cream and insure that adequate stocks are maintained and necessary accessories (milk, cream, saccharin, cups, utensils, napkins) are provided.
g. Be responsible for the cash box (customer self-service honor system), the cash drawer, and have accountability for all funds: safeguard all funds (except the change fund) by placing them in the custody of the State Treasurer's Office prior to the closing hour.
h. Supervise operation of the coin-operated coca-cola, pepsi and cigarette vending machines including restocking and daily collection of income.
i. Purchase all merchandise except meats, fresh produce, and other sandwich and hot food ingredients, from authorized vendors or dealers.
j. Maintain the newspaper rack including counting papers, placing on racks, and insuring return for credit of all unsold papers.
k. Check in all merchandise purchased by you, store same properly in stock room or in snack bar, and pay all vendors in cash upon delivery.
l. Keep store room clean and orderly.
m. Keep counter clean at all times and observe all sanitary standards.
n. Enter appropriate entries each day in weekly operating report and submit to Vending Stands Coordinator no later than Tuesday each week.
o. Enter you "time in" and "time out" daily on weekly payroll report (all other employees will do same) and submit report to vending stands coordinator no later than 9:00 a.m. each Tuesday.
p. Close the stand at 5:00 p.m. daily, insure that all equipment utilized by you is cleaned, clean counter area, secure all merchandise, and lock store room, snack bar door, ice cream chest, milk (and juice) cold cabinet.
Very truly yours,
Carl Camp, ACSW
cc: Mr. George Murphy, Director, Division of Welfare
Bureau of Blind Services
August 1, 1969
Mrs. Dorothy Tavello
12 McKee Drive
Green Acres Trailer Court
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Dear Mrs. Tavello:
This letter is to confirm the offer of employment and the conditions thereto which were previously made verbally to you by the Bureau of Blind Services, Division of Welfare, State of New Hampshire, represented by Mr. Walter G. Clatanoff, Vending Stands Coordinator.
Your employment will be with the Vending Stand Program for the Blind at the State House Snack Bar, State House Basement, Concord, NH in the position of Food Service Supervisor, starting August 4, 1969. Specific duties of your position are listed below.
It is understood that you will be employed at the State House Snack Bar for a minimum of two calendar months, and that you will be free at the end of that time to accept employment at other locations of the Vending Stand Program for the Blind or other employment.
Your position at the State House Snack Bar is on an equal level with the blind Acting Manager, currently Mr. Thomas Fletcher. Your immediate supervisor will be the Vending Stands Coordinator, Mr. Walter G. Clatanoff, who is also Mr. Fletcher's immediate supervisor. One or more female workers who are engaged in food preparation and counter service will be your subordinates. The position requires you to work in close harmony and cooperation with the Acting Manager.
Your salary will be at the rate of $2.00 per hour with a minimum of fifty hours per week guaranteed and the privilege of requesting a lesser number of hours, but not below 40 hours per week. Payment will be by check no later than Wednesday of the preceding week of work. Any required overtime work will be at the regular hourly rate.
Working hours will normally be from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with time off for a half-hour lunch period and the customary coffee and rest breaks. Deviations from the normal working hours to meet special requirements of the stand will be subject to the approval of the Vending Stand Coordinator.
Food consumed by you at the stand will be at the expense of the stand. In accordance with the Vending Stand Program Policy you are entitled to two weeks vacation with pay annually as a full time employee with over four years' service. You will also be paid for all State Holidays when the stand is closed. Blue Cross-Blue Shield medical coverage if desired by you will be entirely at your expense, but at the group offering cost extended to State employees.
The position of Food Service Supervisor requires the exercise of initiative, ingenuity and creativity. Specific duties include:
a. Menu planning.
b. Supervision of hot food preparation and sandwich making including portion control. (Your active participation will be required frequently.)
c. Supervision of coffee making and preparation of other beverages.
d. Supervision of the storage of all food products.
e. Establishment of procedures for the efficient and expeditious serving of hot food, sandwiches, snacks and beverages.
f. Maintenance of cleanliness and observance of all health and sanitation requirements.
g. Assisting the Acting Manager by making recommendations for improvements, when appropriate, in the areas of sales promotion, merchandise display, publicity, purchase of stock, and handling of cash.
Please advise me of your acceptance of this offer of employment.
It is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Vending Stand Program for the Blind and I am sure that the operation of the State House Snack Bar will show marked improvement and benefit greatly from your demonstrated ability and expert guidance.
Carl Camp, ACSW
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by J. Campbell Bruce
[Reprinted from the San Francisco (California) Chronicle. Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co., 1970.]
It happened at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, where, as at any other museum, touching is a form of sacrilege.
While several people watched curiously, this man with dark glasses leaned over the rail and ran his fingers over a bust, emitting an occasional "Ahhhh!"
His hands went to the rail and, though he still looked at the bronze head, he read aloud the inscription in front of the pedestal: "Bust of Balzac, Arms Crossed... Auguste Rodin... bronze, 11 1/2 inches..."
Then, as if he'd just remembered something, his fingertips searched the side of Balzac's head and he asked a striking blonde, quite earnestly: "Is he deaf?" "Not that I know of," she said. "Why?" "No ears." "They're hidden. Balzac had a shock of hair." "Oh, I see." He didn't, not actually. He was George Shearing, the celebrated blind pianist, and this was something alien to an exhibit of art treasures for the blind.
It also provides a new museum experience for those who can see and care to look: they too can feel, and no guard will come running.
The exhibit is itself a masterwork of the California Arts Commission and comprises some 30 pieces on loan from major California galleries and valued in excess of $500,000 and offering a tactile view of sculptural art from 1200 B.C. to the present.
Billed as the "world's first traveling exhibition" of its kind (there's a permanent one somewhere in North Carolina), it will remain at the de Young until February 22, then tour the State under the direction of Dianne Sachko of the Arts Commission.
Capitol Records donated 10,000 talking-book records, on which the actress, Irene Dunne, describes the exhibit. They will be given to the blind visitors.
Its sponsors hope the exhibit will give the sighted "new perceptions of major art works through the sense of touch," but, of course, the main idea is to put the blind in touch with art.
Shearing later told just what, and how much, this meant to the blind. His fingertips explored the smooth lines of a Salome carved out of a redwood burl.
"Somebody could describe to me forever the smoothness of this redwood," he said, "but not until I could feel it myself would I get my own degree of perceptivity."
And so it was that he could say in all naturalness: "I'd like to look at that bust of Balzac again."
Oh, yes, how could the blind Shearing read that inscription about the Rodin bust? Easily, with his fingertips...
The art works stand on a narrow, waist-high platform winding about the gallery, and along the edge runs a walnut rail, and on the inside of this rail, opposite each piece with its inscription, is a second inscription--in braille.
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by Keith Takahashi
[Reprinted from the San Gabriel Valley (California) Tribune]
To the blind person, movement even around his own home is one of subconscious confinement as he avoids bumping into objects.
"All their lives they have had to be careful of everything they do," says Donald Hull.
Then suddenly, a blind youngster experiences the exhilaration of motion, sound, mastery of a new skill and a feeling of independence as he skims along a lake on water skis.
"There they are, going twenty miles per hour and free as a bird," says Hull.
To Hull, his wife Lorraine and members of the South El Monte Rotary Club, working with blind youngsters has been a heart-warming experience.
It is also an experience which they hope to share with other organizations throughout the country. The South El Monte businessman is in charge of the club's project of drawing up lesson plans for teaching the blind how to water ski.
When completed, the club plans to have the lessons published in booklet form and available to organizations--especially water skiing clubs.
The inspiration for teaching the blind to water ski came through Hull's association with Art Speer, an El Monte florist who lost his sight several years ago.
Out of curiosity, Hull began skiing blindfolded to see if it was possible to teach the blind how to handle themselves on skis. He immediately learned how much a person without sight depends on his other senses.
A skier who can see thinks nothing of aligning himself visually with the boat.
But blindfolded, "I felt things I never felt before," says Hull. A speeding boat throws off twin wakes and a stream of bubbles. "You can follow the bubbles and know exactly where they are in relation to the boat."
This summer, Hull and his wife and Rotarians worked with three blind girls. Lessons began on dry land, progressed to the swimming pool and finally to the Colorado River area.
At the close of each training session the girls recorded their observations. From these records, plus his own experience, Hull and the Rotarians are developing their lesson plans.
For years, the Hulls have been teaching adults and youngsters how to water ski. "It has been a hobby of ours to teach people how to water ski," explains Hull.
The girls have learned how to take care of themselves in the water. "We teach these kids so they can go skiing with anybody," Hull says.
"It is important to think of the blind skier not as something exceptional, but as a person learning to ski, who can't," notes Beth Hiseler, a nineteen-year-old Stanford University coed.
Beth of 233 Cameron Way in San Gabriel, comments, "I am delighted that another active sport is open to me and other blind people."
Sixteen-year-old twins Voni and Vicki Voss of 2413 Hoyt Avenue, South El Monte, are also graduates of the Rotarian's class.
Regarding training Voni remarks, "there is no reason why a blind skier can't compete with a sighted skier right from the start--actually the only time I think sight helps is when you're looking for your ropes."
Once a person without sight is in the water "the blind skier is no different than anyone else," Voni says.
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by Sally Hammond
[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted from the New York (N.Y.) Post. The subject of the story, Mr. Sam Wolff, is President of the New York City Triboro Chapter of the Empire State Association of the Blind.]
Sam Wolff refuses to settle for jobs for the blind that do not make them financially self-sufficient. He'd like to see them "completely rehabilitated," not just kept busy. "If they know Braille and have good mobility," says Wolff, 30, who was blinded by glaucoma at 12, "we feel they've overcome their handicap and are ready for equal employment at an equal salary."
But since he knows it would be cruel to prepare the blind for jobs that won't be offered them, he has set up a special employment agency.
Attacking psychological obstacles on the side of both sighted employer and unsighted applicant, Wolff's year-old agency, CHOOSE, Inc., researches new kinds of jobs feasible for blind people and persuades corporations, unions, professional schools to give them a chance. And he counsels and encourages blind job-seekers.
Soft-voiced, warm, a man who communicates easily on first meeting, Wolff has produced impressive results, having placed 30 blind people in good-paying, responsible jobs in the past year.
Wearing a pin-striped business suit brightened by a psychedelic tie, Wolff, rather short and balding, sat back in an office chair at his compact 11 Park Place headquarters and quoted Freud.
He recalled that in Freud's view the two most important things for any human were "to be able to work and to love," and that to him this meant a blind person must be able to "marry and pay his family's bills"--a possibility only if he enters the "economic mainstream."
But what thwarts this entry, Wolff said, is that "the average person feels an apprehension, a nervousness toward the blind because they're different. It's a fear that's been culturally passed on through the ages by what Jung calls 'the collective unconscious.'"
On the other hand, the blind also have "an overpowering fear of themselves." he said, adding thoughtfully, "Here, we try to erase that fear."
Typical of Wolff's blind applicants is the man who came to CHOOSE last fall after eighteen years as a newsstand vendor on 34th Street. He'd qualified for work with the Department of Social Services but had been kept waiting two years. Wolff, in three months, won him a job as a caseworker.
Recalling his own "rehabilitation", Wolff said he learned Braille and "mobility" at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. Son of a food import broker, he'd been blind in one eye since birth and been declared legally blind while attending PS 64 in The Bronx.
While studying psychology at CCNY (he graduated with honors, is now deep in a Ph.D.), Wolff worked part time for his father, calling on customers and selling imported foods over the phone.
Later he counselled high school dropouts and their parents as program director for the Harlem Education Program and worked two years at the Bowery Mission giving vigorous outdoor therapy to alcoholics.
Gaining confidence when seemingly hopeless cases responded, he got the idea for CHOOSE. After early infusions on his savings, it now operates on contributions. Today, with three paid employees and six volunteers, he hopes for a federal grant.
In February, 1968, Wolff married Bonnie Joy, a twenty-three-year-old medical technician (she isn't blind) who shares his dream and has decorated his office with French Impressionist prints. Settled in Brooklyn Heights, he commutes easily to work by subway, alone, in twelve minutes.
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Over the years the National Federation of the Blind has sought to bring the safety of the white cane to the blind of all America. The white cane has gradually become a symbolic staff of independence for the blind, enabling them to walk around freely and confidently--to walk by a faith justified, not only by training and by public good will, but by law.
"A white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration for the blind on our streets and highways. To make our people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane, and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it, Congress, by a joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. Now, therefore, I, Lyndon, B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1964, as White Cane Safety Day."
That ringing Presidential proclamation marked the climax of an historic campaign by the organized blind to gain recognition by the States and the Nation of the rights of blind pedestrians. It was in 1930 that the first State law was passed requiring motorists to stop when a blind person crossed the street with a white cane. Today white cane laws are on the books of every State in the Union--providing blind persons a legal status in traffic.
In 1966 Professor Jacobus tenBroek, the late President of the National Federation of the Blind, analyzed white cane laws in detail and published his definitive work on the subject in a paper entitled "The Right to Live in the World: the Disabled in the Law of Torts." Based on this analysis of existing law, Professor tenBroek and Russell Kletzing (an experienced legal practitioner who is blind) developed a Model White Cane Law. It has since been introduced in the Legislatures of more than half of the States and has been adopted in whole or in part in at least thirteen States.
The following six States have adopted the Model White Cane Law as proposed: New Mexico (1967); Iowa (1967); California (1968); Indiana (1969); Kansas (1969); and Washington (1969). Idaho (1969) has the Model White Cane Law minus the clause providing for a proclamation. Illinois (1969) has the law with the contributory negligence savings clause implied. Maryland (1969) has the law without the contributory negligence savings clause. Minnesota (1969) has the law without the contributory negligence savings clause. Nevada (1969) has the salient provisions of the Model Law in slightly different language and somewhat scattered among existing sections of its code. North Dakota (1967) has the law except that the non-discrimination clauses are limited to those using guide dogs. West Virginia (1969) has the Model Law without the contributory negligence savings clause.
The National Federation of the Blind views this achievement, and rightly so, as a veritable civil rights bill for the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled. The Model White Cane Law makes it the policy of the State that these persons shall be encouraged and enabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State. Calling for the cessation of discrimination on the grounds of disability, the law declares that the blind and disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of public streets, sidewalks, conveyances, and public facilities and places of public accommodation.
In this statute the State calls upon the general citizenry to expect to see blind and disabled persons abroad in the community going to and from the places of their work and/or recreation, and to take all necessary precautions to, secure their safety. Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to totally or partially blind persons carrying a predominantly white cane or using a guide dog, and the driver of any vehicle approaching such pedestrian who fails to yield the right-of-way or to take all reasonably necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian is guilty of a misdemeanor.
One of the most significant features of the Model White Cane Law is the provision which declares that it shall be the policy of the State that blind persons, visually handicapped, and otherwise disabled persons shall be employed in the service of the State and its political subdivisions, in the public schools and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied. Despite various "Hire the Handicapped" campaigns, blind and disabled persons continue to have difficulty in procuring meaningful employment. The enactment of the new law will encourage employers to modernize and make more equitable their hiring practices.
In addition to advocating the enactment of the new law protecting the blind and securing their acceptance as full-fledged citizens participating in the social and economic life of their community, the National Federation of the blind has sought in other ways to increase public recognition of the values symbolized by the white cane. In 1947 it established the third week in May as a period for special concentration of efforts to educate the public concerning the hopes and aspirations of the blind and to ask their support. During White Cane Week, thousands of envelopes are mailed across the land enclosing a pamphlet emphasizing the ability of the blind to be independent.
Although the use of the term "White Cane" in the title to this proposed state legislation suggests this measure deals only with motor vehicle traffic problems of the street-crossing blind person, in actual fact the bill is this and far, far more. The Model White Cane Law is, as has been said, a "Bill of Rights", not just for blind men and women or for less severely visually impaired persons; it is a "Bill of Rights" for all physically impaired Americans including the blind and visually impaired.
Yet as a "Bill of Rights" for all disabled persons, the Model White Cane Law actually creates no new or novel rights or privileges for these people. Rather, it asserts that all physically impaired Americans already possess the same rights and privileges guaranteed by constitutional provision and statutory edict to physically fit Americans, to all Americans, whatever their visual acuity, whatever their physical condition.
The Model White Cane Law declares that which already exists in the law, but is far too often ignored or disregarded--that a blind person, a legless or armless or deaf person, has the same right to live in the world, to work and travel and function in all ways just as the physically fit live and work and travel and function, free from myth-based limitations or unreasoned and unreasonable attitudes and practices that diminish or deny such disabled persons rights innately his as a human person and as an American citizen.
The Model White Cane Law is necessary as enacted state legislation because blind and physically disabled persons so often experience public policies and public practices that refuse to acknowledge their rights, that deny them the chance to share fully in the privileges rightfully theirs as persons and citizens and not lost or lessened to them by reason of their physical impairment.
"For blind persons everywhere," as Professor tenBroek once said, "the white cane is not a badge of difference--but a token of their equality and integration. And for those who know its history and associations, the white cane is also something more; it is the tangible expression not only of mobility, but of a movement."
Following is the text of the Model White Cane Law, strengthened with respect to housing by the addition of section 7, and a section-by-section analysis which may prove helpful to those NFB Affiliates which plan to seek enactment of this statute in their States:
MODEL WHITE CANE LAW
1: It is the policy of this State 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 and to engage in remunerative employment.
(This section is a declaration of public policy and is often important in legal determinations. It recognizes and proclaims the right of all blind and physically disabled citizens of the state to share fully and equally in all of the rights, privileges, and opportunities available in the state to all other citizens. This section also makes conclusively clear that it is the policy of the state that blind and physically disabled persons are to be encouraged and enabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state; that they are to be encouraged and enabled to work and engage in all of the professions and business and industrial employments in the state.)
2(a): The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places.
(This provision asserts the right of blind and physically disabled persons to travel upon the streets and highways, to enter into and to use, just as the physically fit enter into and use, all public buildings, public facilities and any and all public places, without needless restraints and unjustified restrictions. For instance, refusal to admit a guide dog in a crowded public place would be an unreasonable denial. This section also puts the general public on notice that the blind and disabled are to be expected in public places.)
2(b): The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other 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, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
(This provision asserts the right of blind and physically disabled persons to unrestricted use of all forms of public transportation, to all manner of lodging accommodations, and to any and all public facilities and activities to which the public is invited. This, like Section 2(a) includes a notice to the general public that blind and disabled persons are to be expected in public places.)
2(c): 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) without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog; provided that he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.
(This provision requires that a guide dog be admitted wherever the blind master would be entitled to admission as a member of the public. But this unrestricted admissibility of a guide dog is coupled with a liability on the dog's owner for any damage caused by such dog. This provision not only prohibits any obvious and direct restraint upon the admissibility of a guide dog, but it also prohibits any hidden or indirect restraint upon such admissibility by specifically prohibiting the imposition of an extra charge because of the presence of the accompanying guide dog.)
3: The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian; provided that a totally or partially blind pedestrian not carrying such a cane or using a guide dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in section 2, shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons, and the failure of a totally or partially blind pedestrian to carry such a cane or to use a guide dog in any such places, accommodations or conveyances shall not be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.
(This section establishes reasonable safety standards of conduct that must be followed by drivers of motor vehicles with reference to blind pedestrians. It also provides a general terminology descriptive of the cane a blind person might carry. This is made necessary since some courts might hold that a cane of a different than white color or a cane without a red tip or with a red tip different in inches from statutory provision fails to meet the requirements of the law, and by such reasoning, the protection of the law has been denied and withheld from some blind pedestrians. This provision also eliminates the automatic "contributory negligence" doctrine that has punished the blind in their pursuit of independent lives and self-dependent travel upon the streets and roadways. The "contributory negligence" doctrine which is outlawed by this provision of the Model White Cane Law, developed thus: That since the law (state white cane law) specifies certain standards of motor vehicle operation when a driver sees a person with a white cane, or a guide dog, as protection to such pedestrian, that the blind traveller without a white cane or guide dog gives the driver no indication, no notice of his visual impairment Therefore, such person cannot claim the protection of the law when he fails to give such notice--and has by his caneless and/or dogless state removed himself from the protection of the law. However, deaf people are not held automatically guilty of contributory negligence because they carry no symbol of their deafness. Careless pedestrians do not have to give notice of their habitual "jay-walking" tendencies. Even drunkards who are struck while crossing the street are held contributorily negligent in a lawsuit only if this can be proven by evidence to support such contention. Consequently, a blind person without a cane or a guide dog should not be held punishable by such lack of cane or dog unless evidence can be produced to prove that this lack of a symbol indicating blindness did, in fact, contribute to the accident to the blind pedestrian. This provision not only eliminates the punitive contributory negligence rule for the caneless or guide-dogless blind pedestrian, but it also eliminates this rule and prohibits its use against the blind person (without cane or dog) in his use of all public places, accommodations or conveyances.)
Any person or persons, firm or corporation, or the agent of any person or persons, firm or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in section 2 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind or otherwise disabled person under section 2 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(This section is the "teeth" in the Model White Cane Law! This provision declares that any person or business concern shall be guilty of a crime if blind or physically disabled persons are discriminated against or prejudiced in any way in their use of public transportation, public accommodations, or any other public facility or public activity by reason of the actions or inactions of such person or business concern.)
5: Each year, the Governor shall take suitable public notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day. He shall issue a proclamation in which:
(a) he comments upon the significance of the white cane;
(b) he calls upon the citizens of the State to observe the provisions of the White Cane Law and to take precautions necessary to the safety of the disabled;
(c) he reminds the citizens of the State of the policies with respect to the disabled herein declared and urges the citizens to cooperate in giving effect to them;
(d) he emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community and to keep safe and functional for the disabled the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement and resort, and other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to disabled persons upon appropriate occasions.
(On October 6, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law House Joint Resolution 753 (P.L. 88-628: 78 Stat. 1003) which requires that each year the President of the United States shall proclaim October 15, "White Cane Safety Day." The National Federation of the blind sponsored H.J. Res. 753 and worked for its enactment into Federal law in order that we of the organized blind might have the help of the first citizen of the nation in our continuing campaign to educate the general public about the real nature of blindness and to enlighten all Americans about the competencies and capabilities of trained and properly oriented blind people. This section of the Model White Cane Law would do at state level what the White Cane Safety Day resolution achieved at the national level--it would make the governor, the first citizen of the state, once each year a special pleader and advocate for the goals of federationism for the blind of the state. In addition to its educational value, the proclamation constitutes another form of public notice of the rights of the blind and disabled. The "each year" requirement in this provision would eliminate the need to request the issuance of a White Cane Safety Day Proclamation annually, for the provision would make annual issuance automatic.)
6: It is the policy of this State that the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled shall be employed in the State Service, the service of the political subdivisions of the State, in the public schools, and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.
(At present when a blind person or a legless person in a wheelchair applies to a school board for a position as a teacher, the burden is upon the job applicant to convince the members of the school board that he can perform all of the duties as teacher, even though he is physically impaired. Many such applicants have found that no matter what answers they may give, however sensible and conclusive the evidence of professional qualification and personal capabilities may be presented, school boards and other public agency potential employers of blind and physically disabled persons far too often persist in saying "We don't believe you can do the job!" At present, also, the burden of proof of proving ability to do a job applied for rests entirely upon the blind and physically impaired candidate for public agency employment. Section 6 of the Model White Cane Law would completely reverse and shift this burden of proof. It would require not just that blind or physically disabled persons prove their ability to do the job applied for, but the agency administrator or personnel director would have to show "... that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved." This provision as state law should at least serve to give a greater number of blind and physically disabled persons the chance to demonstrate, by actual on-the-job doing, their ability to do state, county or city jobs which they seek to fill.)
7(a):Blind persons, visually handicapped persons, and other physically disabled persons shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
7(b):"Housing accommodations" means any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, but shall not include any accommodations, included within sub-section (a) or any single family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.
7(c):Nothing in this section shall require any person renting, leasing, or providing for compensation real property to modify his property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a blind person, visually handicapped person, or other physically disabled person than for a person who is not physically disabled.
7(d):Every totally or partially blind person who has a guide dog, or who obtains a guide dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section, and he shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such guide dog but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such a guide dog.
(This is the "Open Accommodations" section of the Model White Cane Law. Under it, a blind person or other physically unpaired person wishing to rent or lease a place to live, may not be denied or discriminated against because of his blindness or physical disability. This provision against discrimination in obtaining a home also expressly provides that a blind person who has a guide dog may not be refused because he has such guide dog--may not be refused even though dogs or other pets are not usually allowed.)
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by Alco Canfield
[Editor's Note: The following is reprinted from The White Cane, publication of the Washington State Association of the Blind.]
The needs of blind youth are those of all youth. They include the need for acceptance, the need for equal opportunity, and the need for independence. Though much progress has been made, ignorance, misunderstanding, and intolerance prevent the realization of these goals.
When I speak of acceptance, I define it as the recognition of the uniqueness of each human being. The pedestal of inspiration as well as the pit of helplessness can seriously obstruct this acceptance. In certain volunteer projects in which I have been engaged, some persons have wanted to publicize my activity because of my blindness. Perhaps some benefits can be gained from this kind of publicity, but more often than not, a super-image is created and is added to the great host of misconceptions which already exist.
Several years ago, two blind students had a great deal of difficulty enrolling in the physical education classes at the University of Washington. These courses are required of all incoming Freshmen. After a great deal of persistence, they were admitted, and successfully completed the three required quarters. Because of their efforts, I had no difficulty taking P.E. I was informed at the time, however, that there was a waiver of this requirement for blind students. At the present time there is no waiver, but "adapted classes." Now, why should there be "adapted classes?" We can certainly take swimming, ice skating, and other courses right along with sighted students. This kind of adaptation and any kind of discrimination--isolation because of blindness--helps to perpetuate all of the old stereotypes which should have died a long time ago. The understanding that blindness is a characteristic and not an overwhelming limitation, will lead to greater acceptance.
The need for equality of opportunity is also important for all youth. Recently I have talked with many blind students who have been denied equal opportunity in housing and employment because of blindness. Through the efforts of State Services for the Blind, I obtained part-time employment as a keypunch operator. Subsequently, I have worked as a secretary at the King County Courthouse. Others have not been so fortunate.
Let me illustrate with a few examples: Last summer a student from Olympia came to Seattle to work. She was denied lodging at the Evangeline Hotel. The reason for this refusal? No one was there to read her mail. Another girl with whom I talked said, "I was refused an apartment last spring because of four steps by which it was reached." She also noted that, "I was refused a job at a jewelry store because there were stairs and the lady did not think I could handle gift wrapping."
Another college student told me that he worked one summer in a sheltered workshop for Work Opportunities, Inc. His wage was $.12 1/2 an hour. He later got a raise and made $.13 an hour.
A girl in Olympia who is visually handicapped was paid a lower starting wage than sighted clerk stenographers. The understanding was that her wage would be raised to the standard amount when she proved herself. She has now worked there eighteen months which would seem to indicate that she had proved herself. Her wage still remains the same, though she is trying to change this.
Perhaps the problem of part-time employment could be lessened by a training program in Seattle. Many students here are good typists, and only need to know a few basic essentials such as the correct form for business letters, how to work with stencils, how to arrange carbon paper, etc. Sighted workers can learn the format by looking at a typed page. This option is not open to us. Courses that make us familiar with fundamental secretarial skills might create more opportunities for summer employment.
Another very important need of youth is the need for independence. In order for us to be fully independent, we need mobility training in order to travel with ease and safety just about anywhere. The students with whom I spoke felt that mobility should begin much earlier than their junior and senior years in high school.
I have tried to outline briefly some of the problems facing blind youth. It is always easier to point out problems than to suggest solutions. Earlier mobility instruction and a program to train people for summer employment are only two possible answers to the needs.
The basic solution to many of these difficulties is a fundamental change in attitude toward blind people. The opinion that we are completely helpless or extraordinarily gifted must be eliminated. We are human, no more, no less. Organized action against discrimination, education by literature and discussion, and time are needed to bring about alteration of outlook. When the basic attitude changes, many of the problems will be resolved and no one will be speaking to you about the needs of blind youth, for our needs will be inseparable from those of all young people.
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I was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, July 27, 1918. My childhood was not unlike millions of other youngsters, except that I can remember even as a small boy that I could not play games with the other kids after dark because I just couldn't see where I was going. I didn't seem to be affected in the daytime, and played as much as any child.
I received my education from schools in Lebanon and West Lebanon, graduating from West Lebanon High School in 1937. I then worked at several jobs, filling station attendant, jack hammer operator, mill hand, section hand on a railroad, and construction worker.
In 1939, through the cooperation of the Department of Education State of New Hampshire, I was able to attend a school for massage in Massachusetts. After graduating I returned to West Lebanon to look for work in my new field. I was now twenty-one and my sight had started to decline, but not at an alarming rate, in fact I was to hold a driver's license for the next six years, but only drove by day.
Sometime in 1940 I went to work in Providence, Rhode Island, at a health club, where I stayed until the war broke out in 1942, at which time two things happened, first the owner went bankrupt, then the health club type of business was not considered essential to the war effort. So I went back home and went to work in a machine shop, becoming a turret lathe operator. After a general layoff, I worked for a furniture store, becoming a linoleum salesman, and a washing machine repairman. In 1950 I went back to the machine industry learning to operate the universal turrets, and also becoming a cylindrical grinder operator. The last layoff was in 1957, and although when business picked up I was offered a job, I didn't go back because my sight had declined to the point where I could not do my previous work. The company was very kind to me, in fact I think they suspected that I bluffed my way through the physicals in the first place and they offered me a minor job which I didn't accept.
In 1958, my parents, my children and myself moved to a small farm where we really enjoyed life. I still had enough sight to cut my own hay with a little help. We kept a cow, and had our own vegetables and berries. At this time I was receiving Social Security for myself and my children. My father was and is today blind, but he did his share and more, in fact he did the milking.
Now comes a tale to tell:
In December of 1960 I was visited by the Supervisor of the Division of Blind Services who explained that there was an opening at the State House Snack Bar in Concord, due to the death of the operator there. I was not very eager to go, not that I didn't want to further myself, and be self-sustaining, but I had three small children in school and I wanted to see to their upbringing.
The Supervisor informed that I could possibly make sixty dollars a week or better. Now this certainly wouldn't move a family to another city or support them properly. My father needed me, my mother was not in good health, and I should be with my children. The Supervisor then informed me that if I didn't accept, he could very well see to it that I would lose what income (Social Security) I was receiving. So I went to work in Concord.
The rest is history; how I was summarily dismissed through the efforts of this same man, now called the Bureau Chief, and how with the help of the NFB I fought for ten months, until I was reinstated by order of the Attorney General, with a settlement.
I became a member of the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind in 1963, becoming its President in 1966, my second term will expire in September of this year.
That organization had its beginnings in 1954 when a small group of people met to discuss the blind and their problems. Out of these get-togethers the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind was founded. Mr. Stephen Buckley, now of Milford, New Hampshire, became the first president, and gave it up in 1956 only because of a tight schedule as he was attending the University of New Hampshire.
The Merrimack Valley Chapter was the first chapter, to be followed by the White Mountain Chapter in 1957, and the Gate City Chapter in 1967. The charter of affiliation was presented to Mr. Buckley at the National Federation of the Blind Convention in San Francisco in 1956.
The NHFB has been a sort of up and down movement, because of several things, not uncommon to others states. First, of course, there is a geographical problem in which it is very hard to get real good attendance at meetings. This, and other problems such as losing sight of the real goal of the movement, led to the losing of the White Mountain Chapter soon after our State Convention up in Berlin in 1965.
The two remaining chapters have a total membership of over two hundred. We do have staunch supporters. One of the greatest lacks, if that is the word, is the inability to gain more and especially younger members, the time and means to spread out into other areas of the state to form new chapters, and the general education of the public of our philosophy, and indeed the forced subservience of our blind because of feared intimidation.
This past year we organized our first fundraising campaign which we plan to continue every year in the months of November and December. While we were beset with late shipments, and didn't really get started until almost December, we will be in the black, and I think for the first year this is a good start. In the process of the campaign, we found many more contacts for next year.
Our convention this year will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, in September, and we have found that a two day convention is necessary to get everything done. We have only one way to go, onward and upward.
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by W. A. Reed, Jr.
[Reprinted from the Nashville (Tennessee) Tennessean]
A minister, whose blindness has been no handicap in the founding and expansion of a church and guidance of its congregation since 1940, will be honored as the church celebrates its Homecoming Day.
Elder R.C. Maloy of the Alameda Christian Church will be honored by the presence of many persons who remember his first ministry in Nashville at the Gay-Lea Christian Church, two hundred members of Alameda Street Church and others who have seen him on Nashville streets since 1921.
Maloy was born and reared here. Finishing the School for the Blind in 1916, he attended Knoxville College and was ordained to the ministry by the late Elder Preston Taylor, a church founder, banker and businessman of early Nashville years.
The minister has served Vine Street Christian in Knoxville as pastor, and in 1923, came to the pastorate of Gay-Lea Christian Church here. He served there sixteen years. In April, 1940, he organized Alameda in the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Simmons. Later, in 1950, the sanctuary of the church was built at a cost of $12,000. This year, an educational building was added to the church campus at a cost of $19,000.
The National Christian Missionary' Convention gave Maloy a service pin for fifty years in 1966. He was chairman of the Tennessee Christian Convention in 1935 and 1936; chairman of the state church department from 1957-58 and evangelist for state work during 1965.
Maloy will give the first sermon at 11 a.m. Later, at 1 p.m. the congregation and visitors will participate in a dinner on the church grounds. The Rev. Jerome I. Wright, assistant pastor of the First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, will deliver a homecoming message at 3 p.m.
General board chairman of Alameda Street Christian Church is Robert Drummond. Walter Thomas is chairman of the congregation. The homecoming exercises have been planned under a short theme. It is--"We've Come This Far By Faith."
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Twin Vision is the publishing division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind and is located at 18440 Topham Street, Tarzana, California 91356. The American Brotherhood founded its Twin Vision publishing office in 1962.
A blind child must learn to live in a sighted world. In order to do this he must share every possible aspect of the sighted world. He must not be isolated from it, he must above all, like any sighted child, be given the opportunity to share his activities with those around him. Like any sighted child, a blind child loves a storybook. He is fortunate that Braille makes it possible for him to read. But reading Braille is a lonely undertaking, and the blind child, like the sighted child, needs the warm, close relationships that come with sharing his reading adventures with his parents, brothers and sisters, or friends.
Twin Vision books were created to meet this need. A simple but unique technique of combining identical text in print and Braille on pages facing each other allows Twin Vision books to be read by blind and sighted together. Thus the blind child and his sighted parents can read beloved children's stories together. Moreover, the blind parent must not be denied the privilege of reading storybooks with his sighted children. With Twin Vision books, the eyes of the sighted and the hand of the blind see together.
Like a sighted child, the blind child loves a picture book. In fact, without adequate illustrations, a blind child has had to guess at the shape of a tree, a bird, a building, or countless other things beyond the reach of his hands. A unique method of producing raised illustrations that are meaningful to the blind has been developed by Twin Vision. These illustrations are produced in durable plastic which can be bound into books along with sheets of print and Braille. "The Shape of Things" Series consists of original books written and illustrated especially for blind children.
Parents and educators alike have hailed Twin Vision books as a great advancement in the education and psychological growth of blind children, and of sighted children with blind parents. Twin Vision books are distributed free of charge throughout the United States to state schools for the blind, regional Braille libraries of the Library of Congress, blind children and blind parents through the Twin Vision Lending Library, institutions serving the blind, and schools and libraries in many foreign countries.
The Twin Vision publishing office also provides other material to meet other needs. Its "Hot Line to Deaf-Blind” is a Braille newspaper published twice a month and sent free to deaf-blind individuals and to libraries serving them throughout the United States. Those who cannot watch television, listen to the radio or read newspapers have enthusiastically hailed "Hot Line" as their only current news source.
In an effort to enable blind persons to become more aware of American traditions, Braille copies of great American documents are published and distributed. Braille calendars are also distributed without charge to all blind persons requesting them.
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by Jack Sirard
[Editor's Note: The following story appeared in the Burbank (California) Daily Review.]
Contrary to popular opinion, blind persons aren't helpless. Given the opportunity, they can perform just as well as a sighted individual. Some can do the extraordinary like teaching school or becoming a doctor of chiropractic. Dr. J. Ray Penix has done both. Dr. Penix, who has been blind since the age of twelve, is assisted by his wife, Arda, who also is a chiropractor. Their office is at 428 E. Olive and their home is conveniently located next door.
"I was born in a small town. Lead Hills, in the Arkansas Ozarks," he said. Penix was near-sighted at birth but his problem wasn't discovered until he was six years old. "Since it took a full day by buggy to get to the optometrist, I didn't get my first pair of glasses until I was seven," Penix added. The glasses helped for a time, but by the age of twelve a retinal detachment in one eye and glaucoma in the other caused the inevitable blindness.
Penix attended the Arkansas State School for the Blind from the fourth through the twelfth grades. Prior to that he received his education at home because the sight he did have wasn't good enough to sustain him for an entire day at public schools. Upon graduation from high school Penix entered the University of Arkansas where four years later he was to become the university's first blind graduate. He majored in music and received two minors in education and English.
"The only way I could learn my lessons was to employ fellow students to read them to me and try to memorize as much as possible," Penix said. He added he couldn't afford to cut classes and goof-off as many students did. "Many loafed during the school year and then crammed during final week. But I couldn't do that so I studied at a steady pace throughout the year and could relax during finals week and watch them sweat," he said.
Penix taught in public schools in Arkansas following his graduation from college, but after seeing teachers fired when new politicians came into office, he decided to seek a more secure position. "A friend of mine, who was blind, was a chiropractor and he seemed to be doing all right for himself so I thought if others could do this then I could too," Penix said. Penix soon was licensed in Arkansas as a chiropractor. Penix and his wife left their native Arkansas in 1963 for California. "Since it's very hard for a doctor to start a practice in a new community, I went to work as a teacher at the school for the blind in Escondido. There were so many preschool blind children that braille teachers were needed. "When the cause of many of the cases of blindness were discovered and the number of blind reduced I returned to chiropractics," he said. Dr. Penix holds a lifetime teaching credential in California and could return to teaching if he decided to.
Before resuming his practice he attended the Ratledge School of Chiropractic and the Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles. Upon taking the California State Licensing examination, Dr. Penix scored the highest grade of the ninety-seven persons who took the test. On the practical examination, testing what a doctor can do, Dr. Penix received the highest score ever recorded.
In the twenty years he has been a doctor, Penix has continued to go back to school to increase his knowledge of his profession. "I have found that while each school teaches the same basic concepts, each has its own variations in techniques. By learning a variety of ways of treatment I have become a better doctor because some people respond better to different treatments."
Dr. Penix points with pride to his profession and the satisfaction he obtains from curing his patients. "The most important thing for a chiropractor is the sense of touch so being blind doesn't handicap me. Sight doesn't help one bit when feeling to realign a vertabrae or to relieve pressure from nerve trunks. The only problem I do encounter is reading the X-ray but my wife does that," he said. In fact, before she became a chiropractor herself in 1965, she served as her husband's X-ray technician. The two doctors work as a team with Arda doing the interviewing, and case history and Ray doing the manipulating and adjusting because of his superior strength and speed.
Besides his work, he is active in the Burbank-Glendale area of the California Council of the Blind. For the past three years he has served as president of the organization. "I do what I can to improve the lot of the masses. I want to prove that blind persons aren't helpless and can do the job if they are given an opportunity," he said.
The doctor is also an active member of the Burbank Host Lions Club, the Burbank Central Baptist Church and the Verdugo Hills Chiropractic Society. He is also affiliated with county, state and national chiropractic organizations.
"I'm fortunate to have a roof over my head and food on the table. Throughout my life the people I've come in contact with believed I wasn't handicapped and have given me the opportunity to prove myself," he said.
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by Dave Hough
[Reprinted from The Stars and Stripes]
Tachikawa AB, Japan--Nyal McConoughey clutched the phone and, turning toward it with eyes sightless since 1954, said, "I can see as well as anybody." Then, without looking, the forty-nine-year-old administrative assistant for community relations at Tachikawa--the only totally blind U.S. federal employee in Japan--started to dial.
"You know," he said, "I used to do this until I realized it made people uneasy. I've found half of being blind is learning to act normal so those watching won't feel uncomfortable. Now I make a point to look at the phone before dialing."
He put the receiver down. "I interviewed a girl for a job once. She saw my dark glasses and relaxed, slouched down in her chair and propped her head against the wall. I saw it. She didn't get the job."
On McConoughey's wall there's a placard. It reads: "The mind has a thousand eyes with which to understand the meaning of a challenge or the clasp of a hand."
McConoughey's hand shot out in the direction of a new voice in the office. He didn't just shake the hand, which belonged to a prospective English teacher interested in one of McConoughey's community relations programs. He held it, felt it, learned it. After the hands were separated and the voice gone, McConoughey sat back and smiled. "Of course I can see," he said.
Challenges? To McConoughey, the greatest problems in being blind are the lack of mobility and the inability to read. "That's why the Tachikawa Council for the Betterment of the Japanese Blind started a talking book library," he said.
The Council, organized by McConoughey in 1960, began by distributing braille typewriters, "then shifted to the talking books," he said. "Braille is necessary to take notes and label things but recordings are much more practical for books. Nothing like this had been done in Japan before so we had to start from scratch by designing a tape recorder. We either gave away or sold at cost five hundred, just to get enough into circulation to make people aware of their potential."
He says this resulted in other progress. "Now the Japanese government lets talking book tapes go postage free. They've knocked the tax off recorders, and I believe they're going to start contributing in some way to the price. Also the police have made white canes available free. There are problems though. The canes, for example, are too short for probing and there aren't any schools to teach the blind to use them."
He fingered a braille shorthand machine on his desk. "I'd like to start a clinic here in Japan," he said. "There is no reason why the blind can't be productive." McConoughey stopped. "No. Prejudices," he said. "Prejudices all too often prevent us from overcoming our handicaps. It's particularly difficult in Japan. Traditionally the blind have been restricted to playing the koto (a classical stringed instrument), learning kyu (the ancient Chinese cure-all art of burning medicine on the skin), or becoming a masseur."
But McConoughey added that some Japanese such as Kazuo Homo, have overcome the barriers. "He founded the Japanese Braille Library and has probably done more for the blind in this country than anybody else."
Using the desk to support his six-foot frame, McConoughey stood up. It wasn't far from this place that fifteen years ago he suffered detached retina of both eyes while driving to work. "It was a freak," he said. "I didn't even realize what was happening. I got to the gate and couldn't see the guard. He had to bang on the side of my car to get me to stop. By the end of the day I was totally blind, yet to this day doctors don't know what caused it."
He was working as a Department of the Air Force civilian then. "I was married, had a family and a house," he said. "I returned to the States for surgery. It didn't help. Then I fought with the Air Force to get my old job back. They wouldn't even consider it." In 1957, McConoughey finally returned--on trial. "Before I came back," he recalled, "I went to a state-run rehabilitation center in Ohio. They refused to accept me because I wouldn't promise to stay there and become their ward."
McConoughey reached for his cane and turned to leave. "I understand they've tried the first human eye transplant," he said. "It wasn't successful but firsts rarely are. You know, we're making a photo album at home. Someday I'm going to see it. I mean really see it."
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by Arthur R. Vinsel
[Reprinted from the Costa Mesa (California) Daily Pilot]
Lying is a sin, but he was only fourteen when the boy destined for the ministry fibbed his way into the U.S. Marines and was shot up on Iwo Jima, while his sophomore class buddies studied colored pins in war maps back at home.
Returning to the states, he later enrolled in a Bible college and served five more years--at combat with sin in the Baptist service of the Lord--then became a policeman, dedicated to the laws of man.
James N. Henry, forty, is in college again and fighting again, now the victim of an enemy whose origin and method of attack is a mystery. One night in 1966 he noticed difficulty in focusing his binoculars while watching so-called Living Pictures in the famed Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts, but it was not a mechanical malfunction. Three months later, Henry was blind, a victim of optic neuritis, confined to a terrifying new world in which damaged nerve endings created grotesque, LSD-like distortion of light and images.
"At first I was really fouled up," he says. "When your eyes are first going, you see weird faces and strange lights coming at you, caused as the little nerve endings atrophy," says Henry. "When you've always been in good physical shape and very active, it makes it even more psychologically terrifying," added the husky veteran who put in eight years in two separate Marine Corps enlistments.
New Year's Day of 1967 finally found him disabled and he began a series of stints in Veterans' Administration hospitals, training centers for the handicapped and Services for the Blind, Inc., Santa Ana.
"It takes quite a while to learn," says Henry, who now attends Chapman College in Orange, recording classroom discussions to be rewritten later in Braille and supplemented by textbook recordings. He maintains a B average after completing his lower division courses at Orange Coast College and expects to graduate in June, 1970 continuing on for master's degree or plunging right into social work.
A new career is always a challenge for Henry, once a fundamentalist Baptist minister. then a Wyoming Highway Patrolman, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Police Department juvenile bureau officer, Marine Corps criminal intelligence specialist, and welding supply house manager.
Optical experts say his blindness could have been due to a virus, but they do not know the fairly rare disease's true cause, and say it is worse in his case than for most victims.
"I can see light and darkness with my left eye and occasionally I can tell images, but most of the time it's nothing," he says.
"Some days I get up and think 'Wow', it's getting better, and the next day I'm just like I was before," he continues.
"I've always been in pretty good physical condition--that hurt a lot," says Henry who goes dancing with his second wife, Kay, Saturday nights at the Moose Lodge in Santa Ana.
"I don't even bump into people too much," adds the big, friendly man. "This is the start of the third year I've been blind," he says, "I even learned how to play blind golf at the Veterans' Service Center in Palo Alto."
Then a subtle drop could be heard in his tone, up to that point the enthusiastic conversation of a man preparing for a career in helping other people with other kinds of handicaps: "But I just don't get as much of a kick out of golf anymore."
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by Donald C. Capps
A highly enthusiastic membership of the Columbia Aurora Club of the Blind attended an exciting kickoff banquet at the Aurora Center on Saturday evening, January 10, which officially launched the campaign for the expansion and building program of the Center. It was just ten years ago, in November, 1960, when the first kickoff luncheon was held which led to the erection of the present Aurora Center building. However, because of a steady increase in Aurora activities, programs and membership, including full-time operation of the Center since October, 1968, the present Aurora Center facility has become inadequate. The program of the kickoff banquet on Saturday evening, January 10, has to be ranked among top Aurora successes. There was an outpouring of enthusiastic support and excitement as plans for the expansion of the Center were unveiled. Donald Capps, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Aurora Center, served as master of ceremonies at the banquet, and selected from the Center's tape library the tape of the dedication of the Center nine years ago, and played the song, "Bless This House" so beautifully done by Lois Boltin accompanied at the organ by Marshall Tucker. This beautiful selection, which brought back so many pleasant memories, very aptly describes the blessings the Aurora Center has enjoyed. Plans call for the addition of 1180 square feet which, together with the present structure, will give the Aurora Center floor space of just over 3400 square feet. The new addition is estimated to cost approximately $15,000.
During the kickoff banquet, the group heard from the enthusiastic team captains who have accepted primary, but certainly not exclusive responsibility for guiding the new building program to a successful conclusion. The team captains are: Mrs. Catherine Morrison, Dr. Fred L. Crawford, W.F. Young, McDonald Hancock, Francis M. Stanton, Vertis Rheuark, Marshall Tucker, Jim Coleman, Billy Potter, and Donald Capps, who will serve as chairman. As the team captains spoke in glowing terms of their complete approval of the building program, their vocal support was matched by their financial support with generous personal pledges. Soon they were joined by many other Aurorans who made generous pledges of financial support. The tremendous response was unprecedented and was a moving demonstration of love and devotion to an organization which has had its share of loyal membership support. The following is a list of those who have made pledges: Marshall Tucker, Dr. Fred L. Crawford, Billy Potter, McDonald Hancock, Catherine Morrison, Donald Capps, Jessie Swygert, Edsel Doyle, Irene Hudson, J.C. Hall, Mildred Griser, Isabell Prentiss, Charles Simmons, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Goodman, Mr. and Mrs. Vertis Rheuark, and Mr. and Mrs. Sloan McManus.
Before the evening's festivities were concluded, funds in excess of $4000 had been received or pledged. In addition to contributions and pledges by Aurorans, a check of $200 was received from Hubert H. Smith, II, son of Mr. Hubert E. Smith, founder and president of Ways and Means for the Blind, Inc., Augusta, Georgia, whose request is that this contribution be used in connection with the expansion of the Smith Memorial office which is in loving memory of Mr. Hubert H. Smith, grandfather of Hubert H. Smith, II, and father of Hubert E. Smith. The contribution was also made in appreciation of the outstanding service rendered the Aurora Center by Mr. Allan Mustard who is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Aurora Center and the Executive Vice-President of S.C. Electric and Gas Company, which is also the employer of Mr. Hubert H. Smith, II. This $4000 plus also includes a pledge equal to 15 per cent of the total cost of the expansion program, but the name of the benefactor will not be made public until a later date. The present campaign is more or less of a private nature restricted to the membership with a public campaign slated for late spring. All Aurorans are given brochures which describe in detail the expansion program and are to be used in their private solicitations. In appreciation and recognition of unselfish Auroran support upon completion, the expanded Aurora Center will feature what has been designated as the "Aurora Hall of Fame". It will consist of a plaque some five feet square which will have a background of felt and framed in gold, and the names of all Aurorans who either contribute $50 or raise $50 for the building program will appear on this plaque in raised bronze letters. It is hoped that every Auroran throughout the state will qualify for the Aurora Hall of Fame which will furnish a lifetime of deserved recognition for those making the sacrificial effort.
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NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
4604 Briarwood Drive
Sacramento, California 95821
Nature of Scholarship
The Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship, administered by the National Federation of the Blind, is to be awarded each year to legally blind university students studying for a professional degree as specified below. Scholarships may vary from $250 to $1,250 per year. Payments will be made, one-half at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, or one-third at the beginning of each of three quarters.
This scholarship was established by a bequest of Thomas E. Rickard in honor of his father, Howard Brown Rickard.
Who is Eligible
Any legally blind university student in the professions of law, medicine, engineering, architecture, and the natural sciences, including undergraduates in these fields.
How to Apply
Fill out completely the attached application and mail to Russell Kletzing, Chairman, Rickard Scholarship Committee, National Federation of the Blind, 4604 Briarwood Drive. Sacramento, California 95821, by June 1.
HOWARD BROWN RICKARD SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
Applicant's Full Name___________________________________________________________Age_____Sex___
Street _____________________________________________ Phone _______________________
City _______________________ State ____________ Zip Code_____________
(Permanent) Street_______________________________________________________________ Phone_____________
City _______________________ State ____________ Zip Code_____________
High School Attended______________________________________________________City________________
College Now Attending_____________________________________________________City________________
Number of Units Completed by End of Present Term__________________________________________________
Colleges Previously Attended: (Indicate the year you attended college and total number of units completed at each college.)
List name and amount of any scholarships you have received or are receiving:
Attach the following:
1. Transcripts from all colleges attended. (If you are entering college, attach high school transcript.)
2. A statement in 250 words of your reason for applying for this scholarship and how it will assist you to achieve a professional goal including, if you wish, information about your financial situation.
Make sure all spaces are filled in and mail application by June 1 to:
Russell Kletzing, Chairman
Rickard Scholarship Committee
National Federation of the Blind
4604 Briarwood Drive
Sacramento, California 95821
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The AAWB Western Region Conference will be held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, California from September 25 to 27, 1970. Participants will include professional and volunteer workers for the visually handicapped in the Western United States and Canada. Beginning with 1970, the national conventions of the American Association of Workers for the Blind will be held once every two years. In the intervening years, conferences will be held on a regional basis with the aim of fostering more frequent and meaningful exchange of ideas amongst educators and rehabilitation workers concerned with the visually handicapped person.
Our faithful correspondent from the Progressive Blind of Missouri, Gwen Rittgers, reminds all that that organization's Annual Convention will be held at the Aladdin Hotel in Kansas City from April 3 through April 5, 1970.
A Harvard University opthalmologist recently stated that between 5 and 10 million people, most of them inhabitants of underdeveloped nations, are totally or partially blind from diseases of the cornea caused by bacterial or viral infections, fungi, chemical burns or other injuries. But whatever the direct cause, the basic reason for the resulting blindness is "enzyme action." That is to say, when the surface layer of the cornea is damaged by any cause, the injured cells begin releasing the enzymes that "digest" the cornea itself, causing small ulcers. These ulcers, if not stopped, will spread and eventually perforate the cornea, causing blindness or greatly obscured vision.
A recent report by the California Assembly Committee on Health and Welfare charged that the State's welfare policies help perpetuate the poverty cycle. The Committee was particularly critical of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program which it described as woefully inadequate to meet the food requirements of the poor. There is mounting evidence that hundreds of thousands of California children live in families with incomes so low that maintaining an adequate diet is at best precarious and all too often impossible. The Committee recommended an increase in maximum AFDC grants to meet every child's minimum nutrition needs through a combination of welfare aid and food stamps.
Harold Reagan of the Kentucky Federation of the Blind reports that Bob Whitehead, the organization's President, recently suffered a very severe heart attack. All of us wish for Bob the best in this, one of his greatest battles.
Lyle Neff, Recording Secretary of the Colorado Federation of the Blind assures us that blind persons do have fun at winter sports. Carl Coleman, President of the Colorado Springs Council, and his family spent four days at the Conklin Ranch above Kremmling, Colorado. Carl started the New Year in rather a novel fashion. He rode a ski-doo behind one ridden by Jack Conklin. Jack went ahead some fifty yards and Carl stood in the stirrups of the second ski-doo, head above the windshield, without any head covering, so that he could judge by hearing Jack's motor above the noise of his own motor. Away they went, over the ridge, around the feed yards, down across the hay meadow, across the reservoir, a distance of several miles at a speed of about thirty miles per hour. Carl, who is totally blind, recommends this sport which offers a lot of challenge.
Active Handicapped is the name of a new bi-monthly magazine being launched by Roy I. Smith. The magazine plans to cover every handicapped area including the blind, deaf, and retarded. The founder was in a deep-sea diving accident eight years ago that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Today he has regained feeling down to his waist. Although he is confined to a wheel chair, he has managed a successful fiber glass business. The Active Handicapped Magazine is published at 528 Aurora Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana.
The U.S. Office of Education announced that a National Center for Education Research and Development in Early Education of Handicapped Children has been established at the University of Oregon, Eugene. At the Oregon Center, researchers will take a new tack in defining, diagnosing, and teaching handicapped children. Initially, the research will involve youngsters aged 4 to 6 with hearing, visual, mental, or language deficiencies, or behavior problems. Later efforts will be aimed at younger children.
Some federally-financed lawyers believe their increasing courtroom successes on behalf of the poor has brought on attacks from community business and political leaders and created friction with their legal brethren. But the federal authorities are continuing to back the program despite opposition on the local level. These lawyers challenge government agencies, laws, businesses and charities, when such individuals and agencies allegedly discriminate against the poor who otherwise couldn't afford legal representation. This Legal Service Program of the Office of Economic Opportunity recently survived a rough test in Congress. The Senate passed an amendment, offered by Senator George Murphy of California, which would give any governor the power to veto any legal service program in his own State. The House refused to go along and the program remained in the control of the Federal Government.
Tapes for the Blind, Inc., of 12007 S. Paramount Boulevard, Downey, California is sponsored by the Downey Lions Club. These magnetic tapes of high quality are being used in a variety of applications. Typical uses include education, skills development, entertainment, and correspondence.
America's first eye bank was founded 30 years ago in Daly City, California and has since been instrumental in providing sight to thousands in this country and Canada. One of the original founders of the eye bank, G.H.K. Hanson, still works for the organization. The Dawn Society Eye Bank files now contain the names and "pledges" of more than 7,300 persons who want to donate their eyes upon death to the Dawn Society. Between the Dawn Society and the University of California Medical Center there are some 50,000 eyes pledged, and it is estimated that there are double that number of people waiting to receive them.
The General Secretary of the Kerala Federation of the Blind, India, reports that Mr. E.V. Joseph, Welfare Officer for the Handicapped of Kerala State, is going to Canada on an extended trip. He will be away undergoing a training course in Administration and Rehabilitation at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Toronto, and the Iowa Commission for the Blind, Des Moines. Funds to underwrite the trip are made available by Lions Clubs in Canada and the American Brotherhood for the Blind. Mr. Joseph was the founder and first President of the Kerala Federation of the Blind.
A Massachusetts state legislative study commission recently recommended that the State Welfare Department increase monthly welfare budgets by $20, and establish a 10-year, $100 million program to provide 100,000 new housing units for elderly and low-income families. The commission pointed out that since welfare families are now living in substandard private housing, the public is really maintaining slums with its welfare dollars.
A 10 per cent cost-of-living increase in public assistance benefits was recommended by Governor Rockefeller of New York in his annual message to the New York State Legislature. "The State Board of Social Welfare," he said, "has recommended a 10 per cent cost-of-living increase in public assistance to assure that assistance payments continue to provide an adequate basis of support for individuals and families in need. The Board has also recommended the establishment of state-wide standards of public assistance. I support these recommendations and will submit budgetary and legislative proposals to carry them out."
A blind woman who said her guide dog was ordered out of a restaurant in Oklahoma City filed a $110,000 damage suit. She said she entered the restaurant, ordered food, and then sat in a booth. Her guide dog was with her and someone ordered her and her dog out of the cafe. She alleges that the humiliation aggravated a pre-existing nervous condition.
In Alicante, Spain four special traffic lights for blind persons have been put in operation and officals say they are the first in the world. The lights, which flash the usual red, yellow and green for the sighted, are equipped with a carillon which emits music three seconds after the green light goes on. The first audio traffic lights have been set up in the area of the local headquarters of the National Blind People's Association.
Retired industrialist J. Winston Johns of Charlottesville, Virginia has been blind for 17 years. He recently made a $300,000 grant to the College of William and Mary for the collection of materials on colonial history. Johns, 81-year-old retired president of a Pittsburgh coal company, recently chartered the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation which will promote interest and education in Virginia history.
James R. Single, a Bethesda, Maryland computer research specialist who has been blind since he was 15, has been selected as one of the ten outstanding young men for 1969 by the national Jaycees. Single is chief of the heuristics laboratory in the Division of Computer Research and Technology of the National Institutes of Health. The Jaycees said that Single, 35, "refused to allow the permanent loss of his sight to act as a serious handicap" and went on to receive his bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees with near-perfect grades. Single's research in computer science has gained world renowned recognition in its field. Single lives with his wife and five children in Bethesda.
The Hadley School for the Blind, Winnetka, Illinois, is now accepting enrollments for a new and unique home study course called First Aid Without Fear. Based on a specially written textbook the course is unique because it is the first ever designed to teach first aid by mail to students who are blind. The fourteen lessons are offered in Braille and on tape. Instead of using visual cues in diagnosis and treatment as most texts do, the Hadley lessons teach the student how 'lie .senses of touch, smell, hearing, and foresight can be substitutes for eyesight. From sunstroke to frostbite, from hiccoughs to heart attack, the text covers a wide variety of topics including bums, wounds, bites, poisonings, fractures, and shock. The mouth-to-mouth method of artificial respiration is presented. Other sections deal with fire
prevention, home safety, and first aid equipment.
Clyde E. Ross, long time leader in the organized blind movement in Ohio, passed away suddenly on January 16, 1970. At the time of his death Clyde was President of the Summit County Society of the Blind and a member of the Ohio Commission for the Blind. He had been President of the Ohio Council of the Blind for 14 years and at one time was Second Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind.
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Conducted and prepared
By a team of specialists of the
National Federation of the blind
At the request of the
House of Representatives of the
Hawaii State Legislature
Submitted February 15, 1970
INTRODUCTION: SCOPE AND METHOD OF THE SURVEY
I. AID TO THE BLIND
2. The Statutes
3. Social and Statistical Data
4. Rules and Regulations
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
II. MODEL WHITE CANE LAW
III. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION OF BLIND PERSONS
3. The Statutes
4. The State Plan
5. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Operation
6. The Vending Stand Program
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
IV. EDUCATION OF THE BLIND
2. School for the Deaf and Blind
3. Program of Special Education
4. Kokua: University Student Service
5. Teacher Training
V. LIBRARY SERVICES FOR THE BLIND
1. Library for the Blind
2. Talking Book Service
3. Transcribing Services Unit
VI. PROPOSAL: A COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND
I. Proposed Amendments to Aid to the Blind
II. Model White Cane Law
III. Proposed Amendment on Teacher Training
IV. Eye of the Pacific Guide Dogs, Inc.
February 15, 1970
The Honorable Tadao Beppu
Speaker, House of Representatives
Hawaii State Legislature
Dear Mr. Speaker:
May I respectfully submit herewith the report of the National Federation of the Blind upon the programs for the blind in the State of Hawaii.
The present report is the product of a comprehensive survey of Hawaii's public programs serving the blind, as conducted by the National Federation of the Blind upon the invitation and request of the House of Representatives of the Hawaii State Legislature, by House Resolution 258 approved on May 23, 1969.
Our work has been greatly facilitated by the wholehearted cooperation and assistance received from your office, from other legislators, from key personnel of various agencies administering programs for the blind in Hawaii, and from civic leaders and private citizens too numerous to mention. Particular appreciation should be expressed for the cooperation of the following: Mr. Howard Miyake, House Majority Leader and Chairman of the Policy Committee of the House of Representatives; Mr. Emilio Alcon, Chairman of the Public Institutions Committee of the House of Representatives; Mr. William G. Among, Director of Social Services; Dr. Walter B. Quisenberry, Director of Health; and Mr. Ralph Kiyosaki, Superintendent of Education.
The five members of the Survey Team, who worked together in Hawaii from November 9 to November 23, 1969, especially wish me to extend their appreciation to you for the generous provision of office facilities and equipment in the State Capitol during the period of their investigations. The members of the Survey Team are: Chairman, Mr. Perry Sundquist, Editor of The Braille Monitor and formerly Chief of the Division for the Blind of the California Department of Welfare; Dr. Floyd Matson, Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii; Mr. John Taylor, Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations at the Iowa Commission for the Blind; Mr. Kenneth Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind; and Mrs. Florence Grannis, Assistant Director in Charge of Library and Social Services at the Iowa Commission for the Blind.
The Survey Team has brought to the study professional qualifications and expert knowledge of programming for the blind. They also have brought intimate personal experience with blindness and a reflection of the commitments and convictions of the organized blind movement as manifested in the National Federation of the Blind.
On May 23, 1969, the House of Representatives of the Hawaii State Legislature enacted House Resolution 258 requesting the National Federation of the Blind to conduct a comprehensive study of Hawaii's programs for the blind. The resolution noted the facts that the NFB. "a nonprofit private organization comprised of blind members, is organized to promote programs for the best interests for all the blind," and that "an adequate program is essential for the needs and welfare of our blind citizens."
A Survey Team of five members--all highly qualified by professional competence--was subsequently appointed by Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, and the study was commenced in the fall with the preliminary gathering of documents and materials in the State by the Team's resident member. The other four members of the Survey Team arrived in Hawaii to carry out the study during the two weeks between November 9 and November 23, 1969. The members are:
Chairman: Mr. Perry Sundquist, of Sacramento, California, whose career in welfare and educational programs serving the blind spans more than thirty years, much of that time as Chief of the Division for the Blind of California's Department of Social Welfare. He is presently Editor of The Braille Monitor, one of the nation's most influential publications in the field of blindness.
Dr. Floyd Matson, of Honolulu, Hawaii, a Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and a noted scholar in the field of work with the blind. He is the author of numerous articles and monographs on problems of blindness and co-author of the book HOPE DEFERRED: PUBLIC WELFARE AND THE BLIND. Dr. Matson is a consulting editor for three national professional journals and is currently serving as President of the American Association for Humanistic Psychology.
Mr. John Taylor, of Des Moines, Iowa, Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind. His experience spans more than twenty years in programs for the blind including teaching, administration, rehabilitation and consultative work.
Mr. Kenneth Hopkins, of Boise, Idaho, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind. His pioneering work and innovative techniques in the establishment of the Idaho Commission have gained him national recognition as one of the most effective young state administrators in the field today.
Mrs. Florence Grannis, of Des Moines, Iowa, Assistant Director in Charge of Library and Social Services at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Generally recognized as the outstanding authority in library work for the blind today, she has served as Chairman of the Roundtable on Services to the Blind of the American Library Association and as President of the Library and Publishing Section of the American Association of Workers for the Blind. A prolific author in the areas of library and educational services, Mrs. Grannis is presently Chairman of the National Book Selection Committee, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
The major programs and services for the blind in the State of Hawaii today are broadly subsumed within the areas of public assistance (Aid to the Blind), vocational rehabilitation, education and library services for the blind. With regard to these and other public programs, the survey drew upon all available sources of information. The basic statutory provisions were studied which provide the legal foundations for the programs of economic aid, vocational rehabilitation, vending stands, and related activities. The administrative rules and regulations, public assistance and rehabilitation plan material as approved by the Federal Government, staff memoranda and other staff communications, correspondence between State and Federal officials, minutes of various boards and agencies, and numerous Department of Social Services statistical, fiscal and general reports were all reviewed. Program directors and other key administrative personnel were interviewed. Meetings and conversations were held with parents of blind children, vocational rehabilitation clients, recipients of Aid to the Blind, blind college and high school students, vending stand operators, members and leaders of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind, and many other individuals in the community.
The case records of all blind aid recipients and of blind vocational rehabilitation clients were read, including denied and discontinued cases. The case record yielded the social background of each client, the caseworker's evaluation of his circumstances and needs, the services extended to him, and the agency plans, if any, for medical, social and economic rehabilitation. Blind persons receiving state services, and those to whom such services had been denied or from whom they had been withdrawn, were interviewed as to the scope and nature of services actually received by them, their needs, resources, plans and hopes for rehabilitation and self-support, and their attitudes towards administrative officials and caseworkers. Thus it was possible to measure the manual and plan materials against the statutes, the operational administration against the formal materials, and the aids and services actually received against the needs of the blind.
This survey report is not limited to a description of existing programs for the blind in Hawaii; it is also an evaluation of their quality and effectiveness, as measured by appropriate professional and philosophical standards. Those standards are embodied in the persons of the Survey Team members--one of whom is totally blind, two of whom are partially blind, and all of whom are veteran participant-observers of the nation-wide movement of the organized blind. It is that movement, institutionalized in the National Federation of the Blind, which provides the basis for the philosophic orientation underlying the present study. The National Federation of the Blind, founded in 1940, is an organization of the blind themselves with affiliated statewide groups of blind people in 41 states and the District of Columbia--among them the Hawaii Federation of the Blind. From the outset the NFB has been committed to the proposition that the blind are normal individuals who cannot see; that their major handicaps are social rather than physical, and that with proper opportunity and, preparation they are capable of full equality, integration and participation in the affairs and careers of their society. It is from this conviction--confirmed and validated by the experience of the past thirty years--that the fundamental criteria for the evaluation of policies and programs serving the blind of Hawaii have developed.
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Any evaluation of a program of public assistance for the blind can only be made in terms of the modern approaches to the nature and problems of blindness.
Blindness is both a physical disability and a social and economic handicap. The physical disability is lack of sight, and the things which it bars one from doing--until through stimulation and training the blind person himself overcomes in a large measure this physical limitation. The social and economic handicap of blindness stems from the attitude of others toward the blind--the idea of total disability which has survived from ancient times. Eyesight is too often confused with ability. As a result, blind men and women have often been excluded from the main channels of life and livelihood. This stereotype of regarding all blind persons as individuals lacking normal abilities often results in an attitude of defeatism on the part of the blind person himself. This is a real problem with which all must deal. When one is blind, only eyesight is gone: all else remains.
It is a plain fact that "the blind" are persons, normal human beings, endowed with the ordinary range of aptitudes and appetites, wits and wants, excellences and eccentricities. The blind are neither especially condemned nor especially commended by nature, neither mentally deficient nor divinely gifted with second sight to replace the first. They are individuals. All they have in common that other human beings do not have is that they cannot see.
Rehabilitation in its broad and perhaps truest sense may be defined as the restoration of the individual to the fullest possible measure of health, usefulness, and satisfaction. To attain this goal, Aid to the Blind must be so geared in its administration as to assist blind men and women to achieve physical, social and economic adjustments thus reducing dependency and enriching the lives of these needy persons through full integration into society.
In order to assist blind persons to decrease dependency through the administration of an Aid to the Blind program, the individual recipient must be actively encouraged in his inward growth--and to that extent, and proportionately, outward dependency will be decreased. A sound public assistance program for the blind must be geared to the provision of security, opportunity, and hope.
In essence there are three steps in the process: First, there must be imparted to the applicant or recipient of Aid to the blind a feeling of safety stemming from his knowledge that there is basic support, that there exists a reasonably adequate amount of money with which to purchase the bare necessities of life--but also, and equally important, that this aid is received without impairment of the dignity of the individual, that he is accepted as a person and is respected as such. This awareness will impart a feeling of belonging, acceptance, and self-respect. It is security. Second, in the actual administration of Aid to the Blind, steps should be taken to assure the applicant/recipient an opportunity for self-development; a chance to be busy, to earn a livelihood, to walk around the block alone, to go to a gathering and be treated as just another human being--in short, the chance to experience the thrill of normal living. This is opportunity. Third, it is vitally important to help the individual come to the realization that his efforts will result in the reward of greater independence. This is hope.
Only by gearing the administration of Aid to the Blind to such ends can the self-care and self-support goals written into title X of the Social Security Act in 1956, and the service amendments of 1962, find adequate implementation. In the words of a distinguished scholar in this field:
It will mean that public assistance for the blind has finally emerged from the medieval heritage of the poor laws--with their niggardly philosophy of the means test, the enforcement of relatives' responsibility, and individual need individually determined--into the modern atmosphere appropriate to a free and prosperous society; a climate in which the needs of dignity and decency, of economic independence and social interdependence, are recognized alongside the primeval need of shelter and subsistence. The outmoded philosophy of aid was the product of an economy of scarcity, and reflected a pessimistic and despairing view of the capacities of the handicapped and needy; the new philosophy is the product of our economy of abundance, and reflects the confident view of the world's most powerful and productive Nation that all of its citizens should be guaranteed a fair opportunity to prove their worth and make their way--in short, to attain the goals of self-care and self-support.1
In this survey of public assistance for the blind, an attempt has been made to effectuate a realistic appraisal of the actual operation of the program, as established within the legal framework of both the Revised Statutes of Hawaii and the Social Services Manual of the Department of Social Services. The program has been evaluated in the light of modern concepts as to the nature and problems of blindness, and a study of the case record of every person receiving Aid to the blind in the State of Hawaii.
This report on the public assistance program for the blind will, almost inevitably, stress those areas needing improvement--since the primary purpose is to be of some assistance to the State of Hawaii in its desire to further the welfare of its needy blind citizens. In fairness to those devoted men and women who are the employees of the Department of Social Services, it must be pointed out that they are doing an outstanding job when one considers such formidable handicaps as the markedly restrictive regulations under which they labor. This study would not have been possible without the constructive help afforded by the Department of Social Services, Special appreciation is due to Mr. William G. Among, Director of the Department, and to Mr. Edwin Tam, Administrator of the Division of Public Welfare, both of whom gave generously of their time and made available most of the material upon which this report is based.
1. The late Professor Jacobus tenBroek of the University of California.
2. The Statutes
The Revised Statutes of Hawaii, Chapter 346, which governs the granting of public assistance, is minimal in detail--one might even say skeletal--and offers little guidance and few ground rules to the administrators of the programs.
Section 346-1 defines public assistance as money payments to or for the benefit of persons whom the department (of Social Services) has determined to be without sufficient means of support to maintain a minimum standard of living compatible with decency and health, including payments to or on behalf of such persons for medical care.
The Director of the department appoints the administrators for the City and County of Honolulu and the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
While Section 346-33 provides that assistance payments are inalienable by any assignment, sale, attachment, execution or otherwise. Section 346-37 provides that if a recipient dies leaving an estate, the department may file a claim against the estate for the amount of aid granted.
Section 346-54 provides that a blind person shall be eligible who is in need and has not sufficient income or other resources to provide a subsistence compatible with decency and health. Finally, Section 347-3 states that the department shall administer work with and for the blind, including the registry of the blind, vocational guidance, training, and placement in employment; and other services, including the conduct of activities for sight conservation and prevention of blindness.
Hawaii elected to adopt the combined categories of Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, and Aid to the Disabled effective October 1, 1962. The fact that the State has been under the provisions of title XVI of the Social Security Act accounts to some extent for the insufficient statutory base provided for the granting of Aid to the Blind.
3. Social and Statistical Data
Much insight into the actual operation of programs of public assistance can be gained through a study of the actual case records which reflect pertinent information as to the day-to-day operation of the programs and precisely how they affect the welfare of applicants and recipients of aid. During the course of this study every one of the case records of current recipients was studied.
As of November, 1969, there were 960 blind persons on the official register which must be maintained by the Division of Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind of the department, although actual reporting of blindness itself is not mandatory.
Hawaii had an estimated total population of 747,000 as of July 1, 1967, with an estimated total blind population of 3.98 per 1,000 of the general population, the highest rate in the Nation, according to Ralph Hurlin's work on the prevalence of blindness.1 The United States average was only 2.14 per 1,000 of the general population. It is estimated that there are 150 new cases of blindness each year in the State.
1. Ralph G. Hurlin, ESTIMATED PREVALENCE OF BLINDNESS IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN INDIVIDUAL STATES, 1960.
As of September, 1969, there were just 66 persons receiving Aid to the Blind in the Islands. Oahu had 53 recipients, Hawaii 5, Maui 4, and Kauai 4. The average grant for September was $117.05, with 50 percent of the cost being paid by the State and 50 percent by the Federal Government. In the United States as a whole some 20 percent of the estimated total blind population is receiving Aid to the Blind, yet in Hawaii we find only 66 recipients! If Ralph Hurlin's estimates of the prevalence of blindness are accepted, it would mean a total blind population in the State of 2,950. Just a little over 2 percent of this total blind population are recipients of aid. On the other hand, the agency for the blind in Hawaii estimates the total blind population of the State is about 1,200. Probably the total number of blind persons in the State lies somewhere between the high figure of Hurlin and the low figure of the agency, or about 2,000. This would mean that the dependency rate, that is, those receiving public assistance, would be only a trifle over 3 percent of the total blind population.
Among the 66 recipients of Aid to the Blind, there were almost twice as many males as females. Only 8 of the 66 were under the age of 40, 12 between 40 and 50, and 46 (or more than two-thirds) were over 50 years of age.
Some 15 of the recipients were single, 22 were widowed or separated, and 29 married. About one-third of the recipients were totally blind, and two-thirds had some residual vision. Disease of one kind or another accounted for practically all of the cases of blindness, and the vast majority of recipients had been blind for more than 10 years.
The level of educational attainment among the recipients was quite low--more than one-third having less than an eighth-grade education--many without any formal education at all. Only about one-fourth had attended grades 8 to 12
Self-support had been achieved prior to the onset of blindness by more than two-thirds of the recipients. Less than one-third had no work record, and these were mostly women.
Only 4 recipients received a grant of aid of less than $25; 10 had a grant of between $25 and $45; 20 had a grant of between $45 and $90 and 32 or almost half had a grant of aid in excess of $90.
Comparison of the average grant of Aid to the Blind in Hawaii with that of the Pacific Coast States on the mainland is interesting. The monthly average grant in Hawaii for May, 1969, was $111.30, while the average payments in Hawaii's sister States along the Pacific Coast were: California, $146.25; Oregon, $95.25; and Washington, $88.15. While Hawaii ranks number seven from the top in the amount of the average Aid to the Blind grant among the states, it must be pointed out that the cost of living is higher in the State than in any other state in the Union, with the possible exception of Alaska.
4. Rules and Regulations
The Manual of Policies and Procedures contains detailed rules and regulations of the Department of Social Services which govern the actual administration of each of the categorical aids, including Aid to the Blind. There are several specific provisions in this Manual which merit comment insofar as they govern the administration of Aid to the Blind.
There is a complete integration of Aid to the Blind with all other categories of public assistance for adults--in budgeting procedures, in rules and regulations, and in the actual administration. This rather complete lumping of the 66 recipients of Aid to the Blind with 2,000 recipients of Old Age Assistance and 1,600 recipients of Aid to the Disabled means that the needs of blind persons are largely lost sight of, making it virtually impossible to carry out adequately the objectives of promoting self-care and self-support as set forth in titles X and XVI of the Social Security Act.
A blind person's needs are as broad as the effects of his blindness. Only when there is an opportunity in the administration of Aid to the Blind to deal with these needs separately can self-care and self-support be advanced significantly. The immediate and long-range social and economic gains which would result from gearing the administration of Aid to the Blind to the reduction of physical, social and economic dependency would far exceed any economies effected in administrative costs, and certainly outweigh any considerations with respect to ease of administration.
The Department's Manual provides (sec. 3311) that the following basic requirements shall be provided recipients: food, shelter, utilities, household supplies, personal essentials, educational supplies, transportation, laundry and dry cleaning, and clothing. Special needs (sec. 3312) are listed as special food requirements, transportation, moving expenses, special educational requirements, household equipment, laundry and dry cleaning, insurance, telephone, medical care, housekeeper service, out-of-home care, fees and other costs, educational and community activities.
However, the maximum allowances for the meeting of these basic and special needs are so low as to practically deny the opportunity to meet many of them. For instance, the food allowance for an adult living alone, including utilities, is only $64 a month in a locale where food costs are extremely high. Rent, excluding utilities, for one person is set at $53 a month (sec. 3322.1) in an area where high rentals have blossomed into a crisis causing state-wide concern for the average wage-earner, not to mention the recipient of public assistance. The maximum for clothing (sec. 3324.1) is only $25 for a full twelve-month period.
All savings, as soon as they become available, shall be considered as a resource, that is, must be used up entirely (sec. 3359). And in determining the mandatory exemption of $85 a month plus 50 percent over that amount as required by the Social Security Act, only non-personal work expenses are deducted from gross income in arriving at net income--that is, the cost of tools, special uniforms and other such items. No provision is made for expenses while away from home, such as lunches and transportation, (sec. 3372)
One of the most restrictive provisions is the relatives' responsibility scale as set forth in section 3381. The adult child must give the parent half of all income he has over $300 if he has only himself as a dependent; half of all over $400 if he has a wife to support, and half of all over $450 if he has a wife and child to support.
Insofar as property is concerned (sec. 3392) real property used as a home can be retained provided its appraisal value is $25,000 or less and other real property can be retained if its appraised value is $225 or less. There is absolutely no provision for the retention of any liquid assets at all, that is, cash, securities, or cash surrender value of insurance. Hawaii is probably the only State in the Union with such a restrictive provision.
Even more striking than the inadequacy of the average grant of aid in Hawaii is the small percentage of blind persons receiving any aid payment at all. If the figure of 1,200 as estimated by Ho'opono for the total number of blind persons in Hawaii is accepted, then about 5 percent of the blind are receiving aid payments. If the figure of 2,950 as estimated by Ralph Hurlin is taken as more nearly correct for the total blind population, then the recipient rate is about 2 percent. Whether the recipient rate is 5 percent or 2 percent, there are abviously many blind persons in Hawaii--the figure would certainly run to several hundred--who are desperately in need of public assistance and who are not receiving it. We know this from the small number of employed blind persons and from the general destitution which everywhere exists among the unemployed blind. We know it also from the fact that approximately 20 percent of the total blind population of the United States receives Aid to the Blind.
What is the reason for the low recipient rate in Hawaii? In our opinion, the low recipient rate in the State can only be accounted for by the present restrictive provisions governing the administration of the Aid to the Blind program. More specifically, the inadequate coverage of Aid to the Blind can be attributed largely to four factors: l)the rigid budgetary method of determining the grant; 2)the requirement that every dollar of resources must first be spent and complete indigency thus attained before aid will be granted; 3)the harsh and deterrent nature of the provisions governing responsibility of relatives; 4)the integration of the blind caseload with other groups of aid recipients such as the aged and the disabled, thus preventing special attention to the peculiar needs of the blind.
First, many items of decent and healthful living are omitted from the budget entirely. Inadequate allowances are made for many of the items included in the budget. It is only in the most rudimentary sense that it can be said that the necessities of life are provided.
Second, eligibility for assistance depends on absolute destitution. Applicants and recipients of Aid to the Blind must be penniless and without resources. They are not allowed to have cash reserves of whatever small amount, nor are they allowed to have any other resources in the form of some personal property reserves. A blind person must first divest himself, if he is to be eligible for aid, of every dollar he possessed for future contingencies--even being required to impair any small life insurance policy by draining the full cash surrender value off for daily existence.
Third, an older blind man or woman is severely deterred from applying for aid if he or she has any children, by virtue of the harsh provisions of the responsibility of relatives procedure.
Fourth, there is a complete scrambling of Aid to the Blind with all other categories of public assistance, especially with Old Age Assistance and Aid to the Disabled. Hence, the peculiar and categorical needs of blind persons are just not met.
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
The 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act, strengthened by the addition of the Service Amendments of 1962, added the goals of self-care and self-support to the list of purposes served by the public assistance program. With the addition of these constructive elements, Congress brought about a basic change in the character of public assistance, and registered its recognition that the human need of the blind individual to find his place as an active and contributing member of society is no less important than his animal need for food and shelter. In fact, man does not live by bread alone--unless there is no bread. The person who is in dire need of bread, or who is extremely deprived of any of his physiological needs, will not generally be concerned by the fact that he is not realizing his full potential. In other words, we cannot expect individuals to be motivated to achieve, to be more self-confident, to be independent, or to realize their full potential so long as their needs for physical well-being, safety and acceptance are not satisfied.
Rehabilitation and self-support for the "rehabilitable" are, indeed, inseparably connected with basic moral, social and political tenets of our system--with individualism, with self-reliance, with initiative, with the dignity and worth of the human person, with equality of opportunity, both economic and social, and with full rights of participation in the normal activities of the community.
After thirty-four years of experience under the Social Security Act, the Nation has learned much concerning both the disabilities and capabilities of our nearly 450,000 sightless citizens. At the outset, the Social Security Act of 1935 and its categorical aid programs addressed themselves to the immediate problems of poverty in a time of depression. The addition of title X, dealing with the blind, came almost as an after-thought in the deliberations of Congress, and was patterned closely after the provisions of title I, dealing with the aged. Thus, the numerous and profound differences between these two groups of recipients were glossed over in the original formulation and early administration of the Act. Most of the states followed this pattern
Gradually, however, it has come to be recognized that the needs arising from blindness are not the same as those arising from old age. The paramount distinction is in the fact that most of the aged are beyond the productive years of life, whereas many of the blind still have their lives and careers before them. Their need is not for relief alone but for return to normal life--for the "hand up" which will enable them to achieve the goal of self-support.
Furthermore, the public assistance program for the blind will increasingly draw its clientele from the ranks of those in the productive years of life. As the Old Age and Survivor's Disability and Health Insurance program expands its coverage and improves its benefits, the number of aged blind persons eligible for Aid to the Blind correspondingly diminishes. The addition of disability insurance alone was a new factor contributing to the same result.
In short, the category of blind men and women who are to receive primary benefit from the public assistance program is now increasingly composed of those who deserve and demand the opportunity to be useful and productive citizens, making an active contribution to the welfare of their families, their communities and their State and Nation. Because public assistance provisions designed for depression and oriented toward old age were inadequate to meet these purposes, the self-support and self-care clauses were made an integral part of the Nation's program of Aid to the Blind.
As a result of the study of the important facets of the administration of Aid to the Blind in Hawaii, evaluated in terms of the needs of the State's sightless citizens and against the background of developments in the Nation during the past quarter of a century, the Survey Team offers the following conclusions and recommendations:
1. The only effective way of preventing Aid to the Blind from continuing to be scrambled with Old Age Assistance and Aid to the Disabled, and thus losing its different objectives through the sheer weight of numbers of the two larger programs, is to make provision for the transfer of the administration of Aid to the Blind from the Department of Social Services and to place it in an independent agency concerned with rendering other services to the blind, preferably a Hawaii Comission for the Blind, This would provide an administrative structure which would assure the continual recognition of the special needs and requirements of blind recipients; it would promote an understanding on the part of the social workers and their supervisors of the creation and utilization of resources which would contribute to the attainment of self-care and self-support by blind recipients; and it would make possible formulation of rules and regulations which relate directly to the needs of Aid to the Blind--rather than to those of Old Age Assistance or of Aid to the Disabled.
It may be objected that, since Hawaii is a so-called title XVI State, it is not possible to remove Aid to the Blind from the other adult categories and to place its administration in a separate agency of State Government. However, section 204 of Public Law 90-577, enacted in 1968, makes specific provision for such a transfer in the following language:
Notwithstanding any other Federal law which provides that a single state agency or multi-member board or commission must be established or designated to administer or supervise the administration of any grant-in-aid program, the head of the Federal department or agency administering such program may, upon request of the Governor or other appropriate executive or legislative authority of the State responsible for determining or revising the organizational structure of the State government, waive the single State agency or multi-member board or commission provision upon adequate showing that such provision prevents the establishment of the most effective and efficient organizational arrangements within the State government and approve other State administrative structure or arrangements; provided, That the head of the Federal department or agency determines that the objectives of the Federal statute authorizing the grant-in-aid program will not be endangered by the use of such other State structure or arrangements.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE ADMINISTRATION OF AID TO THE BLIND BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO AN INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF STATE GOVERNMENT ADMINISTERING OTHER STATE SERVICES FOR THE BLIND, PREFERABLY A COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND.
2. The basic needs for the very necessities of life on the part of most recipients of Aid to the Blind are not being fully met, let alone special needs incident to blindness. The unusually low number of recipients of Aid to the Blind in Hawaii means that even the present legal provision requiring a subsistence compatible with decency and health is not being carried out for the hundreds who are not now recipients but require help. However, the basic problem goes deeper than that. In order to really minimize the harsh effects of the means test and to promote the purposes of personal rehabilitation and self-support, Aid to the Blind should be granted on the basis of equal minimum payments to all blind recipients, to be specified by State law and to be employed as a floor of protection against dependency. Thus the minimum would be derived from the demonstrated needs of the group of recipients rather than from the demonstrated needs of the individual. The special circumstances of the individual would be taken into consideration for grants above the minimum amount. Through the device of the fixed minimum grant the dignity and integrity of the recipient, as well as his right to privacy, are safeguarded; he is no longer subjected to the individualized investigations and discretionary judgments of the social worker, but is regarded as a member of a class entitled to be treated in a manner prescribed by law.
The purpose of such a provision is to replace in part the present onerous system of budgeting each recipient individually on the basis of individual need individually determined. The inescapable tendency of the present practice is toward the gradual assumption of control by social workers over the personal affairs and very lives of the blind. No aspect of the existing law is more oppressive to the recipient or less conducive to his self-direction and self-reliance than this intricate and wasteful system, in which every penny of income must be analyzed and investigated and every resource meticulously assessed before the amount of each month's payment can be determined. The immediate and obvious consequence is that the client soon loses control of his supposedly free consumption choice; less obvious but still more crucial is his gradual loss of self-management and of the indispensable sense of self-control. Under such conditions the personal qualities most essential to the achievement of independence are soon undermined and destroyed and the needy blind citizen fails to have even his minimal basic needs for subsistence met.
The principle of equal minimum payments to all blind recipients, with the provision of a floor of security and a positive stimulus to self-help and independence, helps to counteract the harshest features of the individualized means test: reduces administrative costs and simplifies procedures; and, most vital of all, preserves and promotes the moral and psychological well-being of blind recipients and stimulates them toward greater efforts in the direction of independence and self-support.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE REVISED STATUTES OF HAWAII BE AMENDED TO SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF EACH PERSON CLAIMING AID TO THE BLIND SHALL BE PRESUMED AND DEEMED TO BE NOT LESS THAN $150 PER MONTH; AND IF THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF ANY RECIPIENT EXCEED THAT FIGURE. HE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A PAYMENT SUFFICIENT TO MEET HIS PARTICULAR NEEDS UNLESS HE HAS NON-EXEMPT INCOME SUFFICIENT TO MEET THEM. (See Appendix I. 1a)
3. The purpose declaration of the 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act includes this statement: "To promote the well-being of the Nation by encouraging the States to place greater emphasis on helping to strengthen family life and helping needy families and individuals attain the maximum economic and personal independence of which they are capable." Thus, alongside the goals of self-support and self-care, the aim of helping to strengthen family life is made a specific purpose of the public assistance program. In contrast to this objective, the effect of enforcing relatives' responsibility--a concept which is itself a holdover from the medieval poor laws--has been to humiliate and demoralize individual recipients and their families alike. While the returns from such enforcement have never been financially significant in reducing expenditures under the program, such enforcement has plainly worked injustice and hardship both upon the aging parents passing out of the productive years of life and their children who are already burdened with the costs of bringing up their own families, Indeed, the general consequence of the practice has been to spread, rather than to relieve, poverty--while at the same time disrupting family ties, replacing mutual affection with bitterness, and retarding the development of the healthy family relations which are declared to be a major purpose of the public assistance programs.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE REVISED STATUTES OF HAWAII BE AMENDED TO SPECIFICALLY FORBID THE PRACTICE OF HOLDING RELATIVES LIABLE FOR EITHER THE FULL OR THE PARTIAL SUPPORT OF NEEDY RELATIVES. (See Appendix I, 1b)
4. The retention of modest amounts of property by the blind recipient is a vital factor in encouraging commercial and professional plans for self-support and creating self-confidence and self-reliance despite the barriers to opportunity which exist for the blind in our society. The instruments and materials of a workshop, the books and equipment of the lawyer and teacher and doctor, the merchandise of a commercial enterprise, the animals, tools and machinery of an agricultural venture--none of these may presently be retained under the law, but all represent potential means in the hands of the sightless individual in his struggle to carry out an independent career. In short, to permit blind recipients of public assistance to retain and enjoy modest amounts of property while remaining eligible for aid is to preserve a basis of rehabilitation and of self-care. Since Hawaii's costs for Aid to the Blind are shared equally by the Federal Government, the recipient should be able to retain up to the maximum of resources permitted by the Federal Government. This would identify the need of the blind person for rehabilitation and self-support as a basic need.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE REVISED STATUTES OF HAWAII BE AMENDED TO SPECIFICALLY PERMIT THE RETENTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY IN THE FORM OF RESERVES EQUAL TO THAT AMOUNT WHICH IS REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED BY FEDERAL LAWS OR REGULATIONS. (See Appendix I, 1c)
5. For any State to require the encumbering of the small amounts of property held by some recipients deprives these individuals of any ability to use their own resources for self-care and self-support. It is not possible to help the blind person to return to productive and useful living if his very future is to be mortgaged or his property is to be taken from him merely because he receives assistance in time of need.
Liens or recovery provisions on the homes of needy blind persons bring in a nominal amount of revenue to the State treasury. Also, the necessity to give a lien on a small piece of property, or to face the certainty of recovery action after death, raises such a fear in the mind of the older blind person that often he refuses to apply for public assistance and remains in dire need. As any person, sighted or blind, grows older he develops an increasingly deep fear of losing any modest home he may possess.
Of the fifty States, thirty-one do not now have any provision for recoveries, liens, and assignments against the property of the recipient of Aid to the Blind for the assistance given, or make any claim against his estate for the amount of aid granted. The lien and recovery provisions are reminiscent of the old Elizabethan Poor Laws, and are out of keeping with modern concepts.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE REVISED STATUTES OF HAWAII BE AMENDED TO SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT THE TAKING OF LIENS OR ACTION FOR RECOVERY OF PROPERTY FOR AID GRANTED TO RECIPIENTS OF AID TO THE BLIND. (See Appendix I, 1d)
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Over the years, the National Federation of the Blind has sought to bring the safety of the white cane to the blind of all America.
A white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration for the blind on our streets and highways. To make our people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane, and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it, Congress, by a joint resolution approved October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. Now, therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1964, as White Cane Safety Day.
That ringing Presidential proclamation marked the climax of an historic campaign by the organized blind to gain recognition by the States and the Nation of the rights of blind pedestrians. It was in 1930 that the first State law was passed, requiring motorists to stop when a blind person crossed the street with a white cane. Today the white cane laws are on the books of every State in the Union--providing blind persons a legal status in traffic.
Several years ago, Professor Jacobus tenBroek and Russell Kletzing conceived and drafted a Model White Cane Law. At the behest of the organized blind, many State Legislatures have since adopted this law. The National Federation of the Blind views this achievement, and rightly so, as a veritable civil rights bill for the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled. The Model White Cane Law makes it the policy of the State that these persons shall be encouraged and enabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State. Calling for the cessation of discrimination on the grounds of disability, the law declares that the blind and disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of public streets, sidewalks, conveyances, public facilities and places of public accomodation.
In this statute, the State calls upon the general citizenry to expect to see blind and disabled persons abroad in the community, going to and from the places of their work and/or recreation, and to take all necessary precautions to secure their safety. Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to totally or partially blind persons carrying a predominantly white cane or using a guide dog, and the driver of any vehicle approaching such pedestrian who fails to yield the right-of-way or to take all reasonably necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian is guilty of a misdemeanor.
One of the most significant features of the Model White Cane Law is the provision which declares that it shall be the policy of the State that blind persons, visually handicapped, and otherwise disabled persons shall be employed in the service of the State and its political subdivisions, in the public schools and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied. Despite various "Hire the Handicapped" campaigns, blind and disabled persons continue to have difficulty in procuring meaningful employment. The enactment of the new law will encourage employers to modernize and make equitable their hiring practices.
In addition to advocating the enactment of the new law protecting the blind and securing their acceptance as full-fledged citizens participating in the social and economic life of their community, the National Federation of the Blind has sought in other ways to increase public recognition of the values symbolized by the white cane. In 1947 it established the third week in May as a period for special concentration of efforts to educate the public concerning the hopes and aspirations of the blind and to ask their support. During White Cane Week thousands of envelopes are mailed across the land enclosing a pamphlet emphasizing the ability of the blind to be independent.
"For blind people everywhere," as Professor tenBroek once said, "The white cane is not a badge of difference--but a token of their equality and integration. And for those who know its history and associations, the white cane is also something more; it is the tangible expression not only of mobility, but of a movement."
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII ENACT INTO LAW THE MODEL WHITE CANE LAW. (See Appendix II)
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Adequate vocational rehabilitation of the blind is not merely physical or visual restoration; it is much more. The overwhelming majority of Hawaii's blind citizens will remain blind for the rest of their lives, and the fundamental purpose of Vocational Rehabilitation is that of assisting them to secure remunerative employment in positions which are personally and emotionally satisfying, as well as positions which provide for maximum utilization of their abilities and capacities. To achieve this objective, counseling, guidance, physical restoration, training and placement are essential elements; but, boldness, imagination and resourcefulness on the part of rehabilitation personnel are no less essential. To assist blind individuals in achieving full effectiveness, counseling and training must encompass development of the specialized skill and techniques used by blind persons in doing, without sight or with very little sight, the basic things for which normal sight is utilized by those who possess it. Adequacy as a blind person can be achieved most promptly and completely through exposure to positive attitudes toward blindness, and to intensive training and experience in the skills and techniques utilized by other successful blind persons. It is the responsibility of Vocational Rehabilitation personnel to assist in developing motivation and employment opportunities. It is necessary that the community resources be mobilized in developing a favorable climate for employment of the blind, and that the blind, themselves, play an active, if not a leading, role in this process.
The conclusions and recommendations which are contained in this report regarding vocational rehabilitation of Hawaii's blind citizens, would not have been possible were it not for the active cooperation of key staff members of the Division of Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind and the House of Representatives. For their full cooperation and assistance, the Survey Team is especially indebted to Mr. Tadao Beppu, Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. William G. Among. Director, Department of Social Services, Mr. Kuniji Sagara, Administrator, Division of Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind, and Mrs. Elizabeth Morrison, Administrator, Services for the Blind Branch.
The Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act was passed by the National Congress in 1920. It underwent substantial amending in 1943, 1954, 1965, and 1968. Although the result of these amendments was a number of technical changes, their total effect has been to greatly expand the scope and quality of rehabilitation services, the number and groups of disabled persons to be served and to increase the Federal share of expenditures for rehabilitation services. In fiscal year 1970 (July 1, 1969-June 30, 1970), approximately $436 million will be available as grant-in-aid funds to the states to carry out the vocational rehabilitation program, and the states earn Federal funding by providing from state or local funds 20 percent of the cost while the Federal Government provides 80 percent of the cost within the limitations of the Appropriations Act.
In 1965, Congress amended the Social Security Act to make available to state rehabilitation programs social security trust fund monies to pay 100 percent of the cost of rehabilitation services provided to selected recipients of social security disability cash benefits. During fiscal 1970 approximately $22 million will be available from this source, and state matching funds are not required.
In 1936 the National Congress adopted the Randolph-Sheppard Act which affords a preference to blind persons in the operation of vending stands and snack bars on "Federal and other property The Randolph-Sheppard Act was amended and strengthened in 1954, and further amendments are pending before the United States Congress. Substantial funding for the Randolph-Sheppard program for the blind is available to state rehabilitation programs through the Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended. The Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended and the Randolph-Sheppard Act as amended are administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
Under the foregoing Federal acts, the states are afforded considerable latitude in the type and administrative structure of rehabilitation programs which it is their option to establish. In recognition of the different and unique needs of blind persons for rehabilitation services, approximately three-fourths of the states have established specialized rehabilitation agencies to serve blind persons and these agencies are entirely separate from those providing rehabilitation services to other disabled persons. The Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration also has established a Division of Services for the Blind to provide specialized assistance in the rehabilitation of this disability group. Those states which do not have two separate and distinct rehabilitation programs (one to provide services to the blind and the other to provide services to the other disability groups) have established specialized administrative units to assist blind citizens in achieving vocational rehabilitation. Employer misconceptions about the nature of blindness as well as other problems involved in successfully and adequately rehabilitating blind persons have long demonstrated the need for specialized staff, services, and techniques if maximum rehabilitation of this disability group is to be achieved.
In 1935, Hawaii took its first step to inaugurate a program of services to the adult blind when the Territorial Legislature appropriated the sum of $20,000 for the 1935-37 biennium to establish a "Bureau of Sight Conservation and Work with the Blind." In 1936, Mrs. Grace C. Hamman was appointed to initiate and direct this new program. The new program grew steadily from its inception, and by 1951 it had acquired a substantial staff and an operating budget of $133,000 for that year. By this time some vocational rehabilitation services were being provided, a vending stand program for the blind under the Randolph-Sheppard Act had been inaugurated, a sheltered workshop for the blind was in operation and numerous social casework services were being provided to blind Hawaiians.
In recognition of the fact that its services to Hawaii's blind citizens were far from adequate, the Bureau in the summer of 1951--with funds from District 50 of Lions International and the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation--inaugurated a six-week summer training program which included 24 blind persons. In 1952, utilizing facilities borrowed from one of Honolulu's public high schools, the Bureau conducted an eight-week summer program which provided training to 28 persons. The 1953 Territorial Legislature recognized the need to improve programming for the blind and appropriated funds to continue these summer training sessions through 1955.
In 1955, Hawaii's Department of Public Works made a small building available to the Bureau, and an extremely limited year-round training program for Hawaii's blind citizens was inaugurated and continued through 1962. The activities conducted in this facility were restricted primarily to crafts, braille and mobility. The 1955 Legislature appropriated $150,000 and this amount, augmented by the $20,000 donated by Hawaii Lions, was used to acquire land and prepare an architectural plan for a permanent year-round training facility for the blind. In October of 1962 the present facility at 1901 Bachelot Street, in Honolulu, was completed and named Ho'opono. In Hawaiian, "Ho'opono" means "to make things right."
In 1959 Hawaii attained statehood and substantial government reorganization occurred. The program for the blind which had been independent of other programs was involved in this reorganization. The Public Welfare Division absorbed the program for the blind, and virtually all of its program identity was lost through reassignment of personnel and dispersal of services and activities among several branches of that division. With the completion of the Ho'opono facility late in 1962, some of the personnel in the earlier program for the blind were assigned to Ho'opono under the administration of the Oahu County Branch of the Division of Public Welfare. Services to blind persons on other islands were administered through the respective county departments of public welfare, and all blind applicants for services, whether on Oahu or the other islands, were required to follow the same procedure as that prescribed for applicants of public welfare. This procedure was unnecessary and very distasteful to the blind themselves.
As a result of legislative reorganization, the Ho'opono facility was removed from the Oahu County Department of the Division of public Welfare and elevated to a branch of the Hawaii State Division of Public Welfare in 1965. With this action, services to the blind on Oahu, other than aid to the needy blind, were to be provided with use of the staff and facilities at Ho'opono. Blind persons on the neighboring islands were to continue receiving services through the respective county departments of welfare.
Early in 1967, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (a separate program providing rehabilitation services to all disability groups other than the blind) was transferred from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Services by executive order. The 1967 Legislature recommended and authorized staff positions to improve and strengthen the State's program of services to the blind. In June of that year, by executive order, Hawaii's services to the blind, other than aid to the needy blind, were transferred to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, itself a part of the Department of Social Services. Blind persons living on Oahu have since received rehabilitation and related services through the staff and facilities at Ho'opono. Blind persons living on the neighboring islands have since received vocational rehabilitation and related services through district offices of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation rather than the county departments of welfare. The staff serving blind persons on the neighboring islands is responsible to their respective branch administrators. The facility at Ho'opono may be used on a per-case basis in providing training to blind persons residing on neighboring islands when and if that training is recommended and approved by a responsible branch office of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. In effect, Hawaii now has a centralized program on Oahu under the overall supervision of a branch administrator, whereas on the neighboring islands rehabilitation services are provided by staff who are not responsible to the Services for the Blind Branch Administrator on Oahu.
3. The Statutes
The legal basis for the Hawaii Rehabilitation Program is found in Revised Laws of Hawaii, Title 20, Chapters 347 and 348.
Chapter 347-3 provides that the Department of Social Services shall administer work with and for the blind, including the registry of the blind, vocational guidance, training, and placement in employment, and other services, including the conduct of activities for sight conservation and the prevention of blindness.
Chapter 347-4 authorizes the Department of Social Services to provide vocational rehabilitation for blind and visually handicapped persons and defines vocational rehabilitation services to include guidance, counseling, physical restoration, training, maintenance during training, transportation to and from training, and other transportation, prosthetic devices, placement, and any other service or benefit for the vocational rehabilitation of blind or visually handicapped persons.
Chapter 347-5 authorizes the Department of Social Services, as the agency of the State for the assistance of blind or visually handicapped persons, to do all things which will enable the State and the blind and the visually handicapped in the State to have the benefits of all Federal laws for the benefit of blind and visually handicapped persons.
Chapter 347-6 requires the Department of Social Services to maintain a complete register of blind residents of the State which shall describe the condition, causes of blindness, capacity for education and industrial training, and such other facts as may seem to it to be of value regarding each blind person, together with recommendations for rehabilitation and relief.
The Department is also required to register persons whose eyesight is seriously defective or who are likely to become visually handicapped or blind, and take such measures in cooperation with other authorities, as it deems advisable for the prevention of blindness or conservation of eyesight, and in appropriate cases provide for or secure the vocational guidance of persons having seriously defective sight.
Chapter 347-7 requires the Department of Social Services to cause to be maintained one or more agencies for employment information and industrial aid, the object of which shall be to aid the blind and visually handicapped persons in finding employment and shall provide instruction for such persons in trades and occupations which may be followed in their homes, and shall assist such persons in whatever manner in disposing of the products of their home industry.
Chapter 347-8 authorizes the Department of Social Services to employ blind and visually handicapped persons in workshops or in their homes and to furnish them materials, machinery, necessary supervision and other help and facilities. This paragraph also provides that such persons shall not be considered as state employees but shall be eligible for workmen's compensation, the cost of which shall be borne by the state insurance fund. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to prevent such persons from being covered by title 11 of the Social Security Act.
Chapter 347-9 authorizes the Department of Social Services to provide home teacher services to blind and visually handicapped persons, promote visits among them and circulate reading materials to them.
Chapter 347-10 authorizes the Department of Social Services in the conduct of its sight conservation program to accept donations, which shall be deposited in the state treasury. The Department of Social Services, in consultation and cooperation with the Department of Health, shall make investigation of the causes of blindness, learn what proportion of the cases are preventible, and inaugurate and cooperate in any such preventive measures as may seem advisable for the State. They or either of them may arrange for eye examinations and may provide or secure medical and surgical treatment.
Chapter 347-11 provides for confidentiality of records.
Chapter 347-12 requires that the Department of Budget and Finance maintain a blind shop revolving and handicraft fund for use of the Department of Social Services in providing workshop or home employment for blind persons. All receipts from such employment shall be deposited in this fund.
Chapter 348-1 provides that vocational rehabilitation services shall be provided to residents throughout the State and the vocational rehabilitation plan prepared in conformance with the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended and adopted pursuant to this chapter, shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State.
Chapter 348-2 defines a series of terms relevant to vocational rehabilitation services, and those most relevant to services to blind persons are summarized as follows:
(1) The term "handicapped individual" means an individual who is under a physical or mental disability which constitutes a substantial handicap to employment, but which is of such a nature that appropriate vocational rehabilitation services may reasonably be expected to render him able to engage in a remunerative occupation.
(2) The term "remunerative occupation" includes employment as an employee or self-employed, practice of a profession, homemaking, or farm or family work for which payment is in kind rather than cash, sheltered employment and home industry or other homebound work of a remunerative nature.
(3) The term "vocational rehabilitation services" means:
(A) Diagnostic and related services (including transportation) incidental to the determination of whether an individual is a handicapped individual, and if so, his eligibility for, and the nature and scope of other vocational rehabilitation services to be provided; and
(B) The following services provided eligible handicapped individuals needing the services:
(iv) Maintenance during vocational rehabilitation;
(v) Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies (including equipment and initial stocks and supplies for vending stands), books, and training materials:
(vi) Transportation (other than provided as diagnostic and related services);
(vii) Physical restoration.
(4) The term "physical restoration" includes:
(A) Corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially modify a physical or mental condition which is stable or slowly progressive and constitutes a substantial handicap to employment, but is of such a nature that the correction or modification may reasonably be expected to eliminate or substantially reduce the handicap within a reasonable length of time; and includes psychiatric treatment, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech or hearing therapy, treatment of medical complications, and emergencies which are associated with or arise out of physical restoration services or are inherent in the condition under treatment, and other medical services related to rehabilitation.
(B) Necessary hospitalization (either in-patient or out-patient), nursing or rest home care, in connection with surgery or treatment in connection with physical restoration.
(C) Prosthetic devices essential to obtaining or retaining employment.
(5) The term "prosthetic appliance" means any appliance designed to support or take the place of a part of the body, or to increase the acuity of a sensory organ.
(6) The term "maintenance" means the provision of money to cover the handicapped individual's necessary living expenses and health maintenance essential to achieving his vocational rehabilitation.
(7) The term "vocational rehabilitation" means making an individual able, or increasing his ability to engage in a remunerative occupation through providing him needed vocational rehabilitation services.
(8) The term "workshop" means a place where any manufacture or handiwork is carried on and which is operated for the primary purpose of providing remunerative employment to severely handicapped individuals who cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market.
Chapter 348-3 provides that, except as may be otherwise provided with respect to the blind, the Department of Social Services shall be the sole state agency to supervise and administer vocational rehabilitation services authorized by this chapter under the state plan formulated in conformance with the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended and administered pursuant to this chapter.
Chapter 348-4 authorizes the Department of Social Services:
(1) To establish public or non-profit rehabilitation facilities and workshops.
(2) To use state appropriations and donations for vocational rehabilitation whenever Federal funds are available to the state under the various sections of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended for: extension and improvement of vocational rehabilitation services, for projects for research, demonstrations, training and traineeships and for planning for and initiating expansion of vocational rehabilitation services.
(3) The Department of Social Services is also authorized to accept Federal and other funds and use them for vocational rehabilitation services subject to such restrictions as may be imposed by the donor and are not inconsistent with this chapter.
Chapter 348-5 provides that vocational rehabilitation services shall be available to any civil employee of the United States disabled while in the performance of his duty, on the same terms and conditions as apply to other persons.
Chapter 348-6 authorizes the Department of Social Services:
(1) To promulgate rules and regulations with respect to methods of administration, use of medical and other records of individuals who have been provided vocational rehabilitation services, and the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards, including provisions relating to the tenure, appointment, and qualification of personnel;
(2) To adopt rules and regulations with respect to the establishment and maintenance of minimum standards governing the facilities and personnel utilized in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, and the order to be followed in selecting those to whom vocational rehabilitation services are to be provided in situations where such services cannot be provided all eligible physically handicapped people.
Chapter 348-7 authorizes the Department of Social Services:
(1) To cooperate with and utilize the services of the state agency administering the public assistance program, the Federal Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (Department of Health. Education and Welfare), and other Federal, state, city, county, local public and private agencies providing services relating to vocational rehabilitation, and with the state system of public employment offices in the State, and shall make maximum feasible utilization of the job placement and employment counseling services and other services and facilities of such offices.
(2) To enter into contractural arrangements with the Federal Bureau of Old—Age and Survivors Insurance (Department of Health, Education and Welfare) with respect to certifications of disability and performance of other services, and with other authorized public agencies for performance of services related to vocational rehabilitation.
(3) To contract with schools, hospitals, and other agencies, and with doctors, nurses, technicians, and other persons, for training, physical restoration, transportation, and other vocational rehabilitation services.
Chapter 102-14, Revised Laws of Hawaii, contains provisions similar to those enacted in many other states and patterned after the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, as amended. For the purpose of providing blind or visually handicapped persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind or visually handicapped persons, and stimulating them to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting, Section 102-14 requires state and county authorities responsible for the management of public buildings to authorize blind or visually handicapped persons to maintain and operate stands and machines for the vending of newspapers, periodicals, confections, tobacco products, and such other articles as may be approved by the responsible authorities in any state and county building where such vending stands and machines may be properly and satisfactorily operated by blind or visually handicapped persons. It also requires that in authorizing the maintenance and operation of vending stands and machines in state and county buildings, preference shall be given, so far as feasible, to blind or visually handicapped persons and the state and county authorities responsible for the management of public buildings shall prescribe rules and regulations, in accordance with Chapter 91, designed to assure such preference for blind or visually handicapped persons.
Finally, this section further provides that any permit granted may be terminated whenever the custodian in question is satisfied that the stand is not being operated in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
4. The State Plan
The major characteristics and detailed provisions of organization, policy, and administration are set forth in the Hawaii Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation, which has been approved by the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration. More detailed explanations of some of these provisions as well as a series of policy and procedure memoranda and medical fee schedules have been set forth in two additional volumes. The State Plan and the two additional volumes will be considered in a body. All are implementations and explanations of the State Plan.
Vocational Rehabilitation is a Federal grant-in-aid program. Federal financial participation is based on a variable grant formula. As a result of this formula, Hawaii receives a major portion of its rehabilitation funds from the Federal Government. Federal financial participation is conditioned upon state compliance with Federal legislation and with regulations and policies developed by the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.
The Hawaii Plan designates the Department of Social Services as the sole state agency to administer the vocational rehabilitation program, including services for the blind. The Department of Social Services is headed by a Director, who is responsible to the Governor of the State.
The Department is organized into offices and divisions. The offices are administrative services, personnel, research and statistics, and program evaluation. The divisions are paroles and pardons, housing, corrections, public welfare, and vocational rehabilitation.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Division is concerned primarily with vocational rehabilitation and other rehabilitation of disabled individuals, and is responsible for the vocational rehabilitation program in the Department.
The heads of the various offices and divisions are responsible to the Director of the Department.
The Director is responsible for the administration of the Department.
The personnel office manages the personnel program of the Department, including the provision of such services as recruitment, classification, employee relations, employee training and development, personnel transactions, and maintenance of personnel records.
The administrative services office provides internal management, budgeting, accounting, purchasing, and other housekeeping services for the Department.
The research and statistics office performs program research and statistical analysis functions for the Department.
The program evaluation office evaluates and reports on execution of programs.
The Public Welfare Division provides social services to individuals and families to maintain self care and support including medical care and financial assistance.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Division administers the vocational rehabilitation program in the State as provided in the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act, including the rehabilitation of beneficiaries of disability insurance benefits, services to the blind and visually handicapped, and disability determination under the Social Security Act.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Division is organized into branches, and the sub-units of the branches are designated as sections and units. The organizational units and their functions are as follows:
The Administration office is the office of the Administrator of the Division and is responsible for administering on a statewide basis the vocational rehabilitation program, disability determination, and services to the blind
The office of consultant staff services is responsible to the Administrator for establishing policies, standards, and procedures relating to medical consultation and services, rehabilitation facilities and workshops, vocational rehabilitation services including extended evaluation and rehabilitation of disability insurance beneficiaries, staff development, disability determination, and other services to the blind.
The vocational rehabilitation branch is responsible to the Division's Administrator for supervision of the vocational rehabilitation program including rehabilitation services to beneficiaries of disability insurance on the Island of Oahu. The branch is divided into four sections as follows:
Waikiki Section provides vocational rehabilitation services to handicapped persons other than the blind and the mentally retarded residing within designated areas on Oahu.
Ewa Section provides vocational rehabilitation services to handicapped persons other than the blind and mentally retarded residing within a designated area on Oahu.
Work Training Section provides vocational rehabilitation services to all mentally retarded persons on Oahu.
Independent Living Section provides vocational rehabilitation services to all severely physically disabled persons, other than the blind and mentally retarded on Oahu. In addition this section provides diagnostic and restorative services to persons sent to Oahu from the Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai district offices, and from Guam.
Disability Determination Branch is responsible to the Division's Administrator for making determination of disability of applicants for disability insurance benefit under an agreement with the Social Security Administration.
Rehabilitation services for the blind and visually handicapped branch is responsible to the Division's Administrator for the administering of vocational and other rehabilitation services to blind and visually handicapped persons, including beneficiaries of disability insurance on Oahu and through the district offices on Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. Its services include:
a. Vocational rehabilitation
b. Operation of an adjustment center and sheltered workshop called Ho'opono
c. Low vision clinic
d. Home Industries
e. Vending stands and small business enterprise
f. Sight conservation.
Section 2.6 of the State Plan provides that a key member of the Division staff will be the State Medical Consultant who is responsible for development of the Division's policies regarding medical affairs including examinations, determination of the adequacy of physical restoration services and consultation with members of the Division staff regarding the determination of eligibility and the appropriateness of individual rehabilitation plans for disabled persons. The State Medical Consultant will be assisted by physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery in Hawaii who will work with the disability determination unit and counselors in the branch and district offices. Adequate medical consultation will be available on all medical aspects of the vocational rehabilitation program. Section 2.9a of the State Plan provides that the Division has established and will maintain cooperative relationships with the following:
(1) Bureau of Employees' Compensation of the Department of Labor.
(2) Social Security Administration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
(3) Public Welfare Division of the State Department of Social Services
(4) Division of Workmen's Compensation of the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
(5) State Employment Service of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Section 2.9b provides that there is a written agreement between the Division and the State Employment Service providing for reciprocal referral services, exchange of reports of service, joint service programs, continuous liaison, and maximum utilization of job placement and employment counseling services and other services and facilities available through the state employment service. In addition, the Division has established and will maintain cooperative relationships with other public and private agencies.
One problem in following the "State Plan Guide" too closely can be illustrated by Section 2.9d of the Hawaii State Plan. Although the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind administers rehabilitation services for the blind, Section 2 9d reads as follows:
The Division will establish reciprocal referral services with the State agency administering vocational rehabilitation services for the blind, utilizing each other's services and facilities to the extent practicable and feasible; jointly plan activities which will improve services to handicapped individuals in the State; and otherwise cooperate in the interest of providing more effective services.
Apparently this paragraph was not deleted from the State Plan when the two programs were merged on July 1 of 1967
In addition to Section 1, General Provisions, and Section 2, Administrative Organization, the Hawaii State Plan contains the following sections which outline in a broad general way the Division's policies and procedures.
Section 3, Personnel Administration
Section 4, Fiscal Administration
Section 5, Reports
Section 6, Scope of Agency Program
Section 7, Casefinding and Intake
Section 8, Determination of Rehabilitation Potential and Eligibility
Section 9, Case Study and Diagnosis
Section 10, Rehabilitation Plans for the Individual
Section 11, Order of Selection for Services
Section 12, Counseling
Section 13, Client Resources
Section 14, Case Recording
Section 15, Confidential Information
Section 16, Standards for Facilities
Section 17, Standards for Personnel Providing Services
Section 18, Rates of Payment
Section 19, Authorization of Services
Section 20, Services to Individuals
Section 21, Small Business Enterprises Including Vending Stands
Section 22, Establishment of Workshops
Section 23, Establishment of Rehabilitation Facilities
Section 24, Hearings on Applicant's Appeals
Section 25, Civil Rights, Statement of Compliance
Section 26, Services to Disability Beneficiaries
Although the sections of the State Plan outlined in the foregoing paragraph contain considerable detail relevant to the rehabilitation of blind persons, five sections in particular warrant specific comment in order to understand the overall procedure in providing rehabilitation services to blind persons.
1. Section 6 provides that the following rehabilitation services will be furnished to each individual deemed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and found by the diagnostic study to require such services: counseling, physical restoration, training, books, and training materials (including tools), maintenance during rehabilitation, placement, tools, equipment, initial stocks and supplies, transportation, occupational licenses, reader services for the blind, interpreter services for the deaf and other goods and services. The Division will request Federal financial participation for all expenditures relating to the operation of the Division that are in conformity with the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Law and the regulations.
2. Section 7 provides that the Division will accept referrals from individuals, public and/or private agencies through telephone, letter, personal contact or other means and the Division will locate and interview handicapped persons in all districts of the State. The Division through its various offices will provide expeditious and equitable handling of referrals and applications through prompt contact with each applicant, and will report to referral agencies.
3. Section 13 of the State Plan provides that the Division will give full consideration to any benefit available to the handicapped individual by way of pension, compensation or insurance to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of any vocational rehabilitation services provided to the individual except diagnostic and related services (including transportation), counseling, training, reader services for the blind, interpreter services for the deaf and placement. This section further provides that no economic needs test will be applied as a condition for furnishing vocational rehabilitation services.
4. Section 21 of the Hawaii State Plan contains the vocational rehabilitation agency's general provisions for the conduct of a vending stand and small business enterprises program for the blind and severely disabled under the continuing supervision of the State Rehabilitation Agency. The Department of Social Services is designated as the State licensing agency for the vending stand program for the blind under the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act as amended. This section of the State Plan also describes the factors which will be considered in establishing a vending stand or a small business enterprise; it provides that the State licensing agency will provide management and supervision adequate to assist each operator in conducting the vending stand or small business enterprise in the most productive and efficient manner, and that Federal financial participation will be claimed in the cost of these management services. Section 21 further provides that the Department of Social Services will be the sole licensing agency for blind persons operating vending stands on Federal and other property, that the blind operators of such vending stands will submit reports to the Department from time to time, and that each operator of a vending stand or a small business will receive the proceeds of the operation, less operating costs.
This section of the State Plan is further augmented by Rule 9 "Rules and Regulations for Vending Stand Program for the Blind on Federal and Other Property," and "Policies and Procedures Governing the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind and Visually Handicapped." The Rules and Regulations have been issued pursuant to Federal regulations implementing the Randolph-Sheppard Act and those regulations require that a copy of the State Agency's rules and regulations be made available to each operator of a vending stand along with an agreement between the licensing agency and the operator and that the operator understands both as evidenced by his signature. Hawaii's Rules and Regulations were approved and published in August of 1967.
At the time the Rules and Regulations were prepared and published, apparently there was some misunderstanding or confusion regarding the merger of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Services for the Blind Branch. The Rules and Regulations provide as follows in Part A. Definitions: "5. 'Commission for the Blind' means the Rehabilitation Services Branch for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, Public Welfare Division, Department of Social Services, which provides services exclusively for the blind and other visually handicapped individuals."
The State Rules and Regulations define vending stand equipment to include the following in Part A, Definitions: "16. 'Equipment' means (a). Shelter, counters, shelving, display and wall cases, refrigerating apparatus and other appropriate equipment purchased with vocational rehabilitation funds for the purpose of establishing blind and visually handicapped persons in gainful employment; (b). Cafeteria or snack bar facilities for the dispensing of food stuffs and beverages; and (c). Manual or coin-operated automatic vending machines."
Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations provides in accordance with Federal regulations that opportunity for fair hearing will be afforded to each operator or his representative or next of kin if he is dissatisfied with any action arising from the question or administration of the Business Enterprise Program. The Rules and Regulations require that request for a fair hearing shall be submitted in writing to the Director of the Department of Social Services and that the dissatisfied operator shall have the right to be represented at the hearing by counsel or other representative. The dissatisfied operator shall have adequate time to prepare and present his case, and the right to cross-examine witnesses. The hearing shall be before the Director of the Department of Social Services or his designated agent, and the authority to make the final decision based upon the record of the hearing shall be vested in the Department, and the verbatim transcript of the testimony and exhibits, or an official report containing the substance of what transpired at the hearing, together with all papers and reports filed in the proceedings, and the hearing officer's recommendation, shall constitute the exclusive record for the decision and shall be made available to the operator at any reasonable time.
The "Policies and Procedures Governing the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind and Visually Handicapped" is similar in many respects to the agency's Rules and Regulations discussed above, and it is the document, rather than the Rules and Regulations, which vending stand operators are required to sign. It also contains the agreement between the agency and the operator and a waiver of liability agreement. Aside from the fact that these two documents do not agree on all points, confusion arises by virtue of the existence of both. The Policies and Procedures document describes very broadly the powers and authority of the Department of Social Services but very narrowly defines the rights and opportunities of vending stand operators. This point can be illustrated by the following: "7. Causes for which an operator may be transferred, removed, demoted or suspended as operator of a vending stand by the Department shall be based on the following reasons: a. For contraction of any infections or contagious diseases." To further illustrate the severe restrictions imposed upon vending stand operators, the Department requires that each operator sign a waiver of liability. That waiver reads in part as follows: "... the undersigned hereby agrees to enter the said premises at his own risk while enjoying the accorded privilege in the same premises and to assume all risk of injuries and property damage or loss which the undersigned may sustain while in occupation of the aforementioned premises, or while in and about the same, whether such injuries, property damage, or loss are due to the negligence of the Grantors, their employees, agents, or visitors or otherwise: and the undersigned, on behalf of himself and his legal representatives, agrees to indemnify and hold free and harmless the Grantors from and against any and all expense to which they may be put in connection with or arising out of such injuries, possible damage, or loss."
5. Section 24 of the Hawaii State Plan provides that an applicant for or recipient of vocational rehabilitation services who is dissatisfied with any decision of the Division with regard to the furnishing or denial of services may file a request for review and redetermination of that decision. Such review shall be made by the Director of the Division.
If an applicant for or recipient of services is not satisfied with the administrative review he may request a fair hearing based on a denial of services or a failure of the Division to provide services with reasonable promptness. All applicants for services are required to be advised of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing the individual, and his representative if he desires to have one, shall have an adequate opportunity for cross-examination and to present evidence in his behalf. Insofar as possible the hearing shall be held before an official or officials of the Division who have not taken part in the action under consideration and authority to make the final decision based on the record of the hearing is vested in the Director of the Department of Social Services. Although the State Plan provides that authority to make the final decision in a fair hearing shall be vested in the Board of Education, this authority was transferred to the Director of Social Services by the executive reorganization order.
The verbatim transcript of the testimony and exhibits, or an official report containing the substance of what transpired at the hearing, together with all papers and reports filed in the proceedings, and the hearing officer's recommendation, shall constitute the exclusive record for decision and shall be available to the individual at any reasonable time.
The decision shall set forth the issue, principle, and relevant facts brought out at the hearing, the pertinent provisions in law and in agency policy, and the reasoning that led to the decision. The individual shall be forwarded a copy of the decision or shall be advised in writing of the content.
In summary, the Federal Act and Regulations, the State Statutes, the State Plan and related materials set out in rather voluminous form a myriad of requirements and procedures. For blind and visually handicapped applicants for rehabilitation services, these procedures are summarized below.
Any public or private agency or any individual can refer a potentially disabled person to vocational rehabilitation through letter, telephone or personal contact by providing the individual's name, address, date of birth and nature of disability. This basic information then constitutes a referral for services. A person with a disability may also refer himself. As soon as a signed application has been secured by the rehabilitation agency, the agency will secure in the case of a blind or visually handicapped person a general physical examination report and an eye examination report (specialty examination). If either of these examination reports indicates the need for further specialty examinations, these will also be secured as a part of developing a complete picture of the individual's disability and general health. When the medical data has been appraised by the medical consultant and the rehabilitation staff, the agency is then in a position to determine the individual's eligibility for rehabilitation services.
In order to be eligible for rehabilitation services, three basic conditions must be met by a person who is blind or visually impaired: (1) there must be a qualifying visual impairment; (2) the visual impairment must constitute a vocational handicap; and (3) there should be a reasonable expectation that vocational rehabilitation services will render the individual fit to engage in a gainful occupation. If the rehabilitation agency cannot determine that the third criterion of eligibility has been met at the time, the individual may be accepted for a period of extended evaluation to determine his rehabilitation potential. In the case of blind persons the period of extended evaluation may not exceed eighteen months in duration.
When it has been determined that an applicant for rehabilitation services has met the three basic criteria, the rehabilitation counselor executes a Certificate of Eligibility and the individual is then ready for planning toward provision of rehabilitation services. If one or more of the basic criterion of eligibility has not been met and if the individual has not been accepted for a period of extended evaluation, the case is closed from applicant status and a Certificate of Ineligibility is executed which documents the reasons for a determination of ineligibility.
When an individual is accepted for vocational rehabilitation services, it is the joint responsibility of the individual and the rehabilitation counselor to develop an individual rehabilitation plan which outlines the vocational objective, the services needed to achieve that objective, and the sources of these services. When the plan has been developed by the counselor and the eligible disabled person it is then submitted to the counselor's supervisor for approval. The plan outlines the services needed, the cost of the services and the period of time in which they will be provided. If and when it becomes necessary to revise an individual rehabilitation plan, it is the joint responsibility of the counselor and the individual with the disability to develop such a revision.
When the services outlined in the individual rehabilitation plan have been provided, the disabled individual should be ready for employment, and it is the responsibility of the agency to assist in every way possible in securing employment commensurate with the individual's talents and desires. In helping to place a disabled individual the rehabilitation counselor may utilize the services of the State Employment Service, but he has a primary responsibility for placement under the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act. This responsibility cannot be delegated to any other agency.
When a blind or visually handicapped individual has been adequately trained and assisted to secure satisfactory employment, the case is closed as "rehabilitated." If it is determined that the individual cannot be rehabilitated, the case may be closed "not rehabilitated."
5. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Operation
Hawaii's total average per capita expenditure for vocational rehabilitation during fiscal year 1968 (July 1, 1967-June 30, 1968) was $2.02 of which $1.51 was provided from Federal funds and $.52 was provided from State funds. During the same fiscal year the total Federal expenditures for vocational rehabilitation services in Hawaii under Section 2 of the Act, the Basic Support Program, came to $1,111,801. To match this amount for the basic support program, Hawaii provided in State funds $381,519. Total expenditures in the State for vocational rehabilitation services were $1,493,320. In addition, Hawaii received approximately $15,000 from the Social Security Disability Trust Fund Program for the rehabilitation of selected disability beneficiaries.
Although precise comparable data are not yet available for fiscal year 1969, it is estimated that Hawaii received $1,520,345 in Federal funds for the basic support program and that this required State matching funds in the amount of $506,782. The sum of these figures $2,027,127, should have been available to the State for provision of vocational rehabilitation services to eligible disabled people. In addition it is estimated that Hawaii received approximately $32,000 from the Social Security Disability Trust Fund Program for the rehabilitation of selected disability beneficiaries. During the current year, fiscal year 1970, Hawaii should have for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services approximately $2,282,000,
NOTE: The departments proposed a budget of $2,432,552 for the basic support program during the current year, but some reduction in available Federal funds is anticipated at this time In addition, Hawaii will receive approximately $52,000 from the Social Security Disability Trust Fund Program for the rehabilitation of selected disability beneficiaries. Effective July 1, 1969, Federal financial participation in the basic support program increased from 75 percent to 80 percent within the limits of the Federal appropriation, and the maintenance-of-effort stipulation in the Act requires that a state may not reduce its effort without penalty.
During fiscal year 1968, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind had in its caseload a total of 1714 individuals who applied for services, of whom 160 were blind or visually impaired. Of these, 1138 were officially accepted for vocational rehabilitation services, including 104 who were blind or visually impaired. A total of 190 applicants for services were not accepted for various reasons of whom 19 were blind or visually impaired.
During the same year, the Division's caseload of persons officially accepted for rehabilitation services totaled 2754, of whom 250 were blind or visually impaired; rehabilitated a total of 565 perons, of whom 42 were blind or visually impaired; and closed the cases of 318 persons not rehabilitated for various reasons, of whom 21 were blind or visually impaired.
During fiscal year 1969 the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind had in its caseload a total of 2114 individuals who applied for services of whom 191 were blind or visually impaired. Of these 1175 wore officially accepted for vocational rehabilitation services including 112 who were blind or visually impaired. A total of 257 applicants for services were not accepted for various reasons of whom 22 were blind or visually impaired.
During 1969 the Division's caseload of persons officially accepted for rehabilitation services totaled 3103, of whom 299 were blind or visually impaired; rehabilitated a total of 644 persons of whom 37 were blind or visually impaired; and closed the cases of 350 persons not rehabilitated for various reasons of whom 15 were blind or visually impaired.
In the preparation of this report, the Survey Team has not attempted to evaluate Hawaii's entire vocational rehabilitation program. Rather, its efforts have been confined to those aspects of the program which either directly or indirectly have a bearing on the State's success in rehabilitating its blind citizens. In addition to reviewing the Statutes, the State Plan and related policy and procedure materials, and talking with members of the staff, members of the Survey Team visited the facilities at Ho'opono and studied a series of recommendations submitted by other persons who have appraised Hawaii's services to the blind. The Survey Team also conducted an intensive review of 140 cases of blind and visually handicapped persons selected from the Division's caseload. Thirty-seven case records of persons closed rehabilitated in fiscal year 1969 were studied and data compiled concerning them. Fifteen cases of persons who had been accepted for services but were closed not rehabilitated were also reviewed. Finally, the Survey Team reviewed the case records of 88 other individuals who had formally applied for rehabilitation services or who had been referred for rehabilitation services, but who were not accepted for services.
Using the customarily accepted ophthalmic definition of legal blindness (central visual acuity in the better eye with best correction, 20/200 or less, or a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees), the cases were classified as "blind" and "not blind." Of the 37 cases closed rehabilitated in fiscal year 1969, 18 were blind and 19 were not blind. The occupations at the time of closure for the blind were as follows: five vending stand operators; three homemakers; and one each: vending stand clerk, truck mechanic helper, faculty member (university), piano technician, employment interviewer, sheltered workshop operator, groundskeeper (helper), chair spring assembler, x-ray developing machine operator, and cook. For the not blind there were: one each: unpaid family worker, cement mason, manager technical service, groundskeeper. laborer (stores), farm hand (fruit), tree planter, accounting clerk, utility man, office machines serviceman, housekeeper (houseman), homemaker, utility worker, pest control man, charwoman, automotive mechanic, surveyor assistant (rodman), counselor, and painter (artist) scenic.
At the time of closure the blind rehabilitants had weekly earnings as follows: no earnings, 3; less than $25, 2; $26 to $50, 2; $51 to $75, 4; $76 to $100, 3; $101 to $150, 2; $151 to $200, 2; and for the not blind earnings were: no earnings 2; less than $25, 1; $26 to $50, 1;$51 to $75, 4; $76 to $100, 6; $101 to $150, 5; and $151 to $200, none.
Of the 18 blind rehabilitants, 9 were female and 9 were male, while of the 19 who were not blind, 3 were female and 16 were male.
At the time they were accepted for rehabilitation services, 12 of the 18 blind rehabilitants had no earnings while 13 of the 19 not blind had no earnings. For the primary source of support at the time of acceptance for the blind: 11, family and friends; 3, current earnings; and one each public assistance; social security disability benefits; public insurance, survivors or retirement benefits; and private insurance or retirement; while for the not blind: 5, family and friends; 4, current earnings; 3, workemen's compensation; 3, public insurance, survivors or retirement benefits; 2, public assistance; and one each general assistance and social security disability insurance benefits.
For years of school completed at the time of acceptance for services, 5 of the blind and 4 of the not blind had completed eight years of school or less; more than eight years but less than 13 years of schooling, blind, 9, not blind, 11; thirteen or more years of schooling, blind 4 and not blind 4.
The age at time of acceptance for services was: under 20 years: blind, 3, not blind, 3; 21-35 years, blind, 2, not blind 7; 36-50 years, blind, 7, not blind, 4; 51-65 years, blind, 5, not blind, 3; over 65 years, blind, none, not blind, 1.
For source of referral to the vocational rehabilitation agency, 6 of the blind and 7 of the not blind were self-referred and the remainder in each group was referred by various sources. The blind had somewhat fewer dependents than the not blind.
Of the fifteen persons who had been accepted for vocational rehabilitation services but whose cases were closed "not rehabilitated," 8 were blind and 7 were not blind, and of the 88 persons whose cases were closed prior to acceptance for services, 34 were blind and 54 were not blind.
The Services for the Blind Branch of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is headed by the Branch Administrator and divided into four functional units: sight conservation and low vision clinic, personal adjustment, counseling, and employment. Although there is functional overlapping among the four units each will be discussed separately in the following paragraphs. The Branch employs five persons in clerical and stenographic positions and 19 persons in supervisory and other professional capacities, including the Branch Administrator. Three additional counselors working in the Divisions’ District offices on Hawaii, Maui and Kauai also have part time responsibility in working with blind and visually handicapped persons.
The sight conservation and low vision clinic services are under the overall direction of a sight conservation specialist who is assisted on a part time basis by an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. Sight conservation services constitute an important element in an agency's program to provide to the general public and blind or partially blind individuals a realistic concept of blindness or visual impairment. In the conduct of sight conservation activities it is essential that a positive attitude toward blindness is manifested rather than stress being placed on the tragedy of loss of sight. The sight conservation program can be helpful in the development of visual screening programs for school children to detect visual impairments, but it must be conducted in such a way as to avoid instilling fear in those who are blind or who are losing their sight.
The low vision clinic provides a needed service to a small number of individuals with visual impairments but who are not totally blind. In prescribing vision aids it is important that these, like any other prosthetic device, be evaluated in terms of their contributions to vocational success rather than merely upon an improvement of visual acuity in a relatively strict sense. In other words, prescription of low vision aids should be considered in the light of their contributions to the individual's increased functional use of eyesight in performing the tasks which are important to him. Accordingly, a low vision aids program needs the assistance not only of an ophthalmologist and an optometrist, but also of an individual with a strong vocational orientation and direct job-market experience. This latter element is not present to a sufficient degree in Hawaii's low vision clinic, and the sight conservation program can also benefit substantially through development of a more realistic concept of what persons who are blind can do successfully and efficiently without sight or with very limited sight.
The adjustment section located at Ho'opono is under the direction of one supervisor and has the following staff members: two orientation/mobility teachers; one group social worker; one manual arts teacher, one occupational therapist; one rehabilitation teacher (home economics). The adjustment section has relatively adequate classroom facilities at Ho'opono but no dormitory facilities are available on the premises. In its totality this section provides instruction in mobility skills, manual arts, home economics, braille and typing, and arts and crafts.
In philosophy and function, this section requires substantial upgrading if it is to meet the real needs of Hawaii's blind citizens. The designation "manual arts instructor" is indicative of a traditional concept of the nature of blindness and of what blind persons can do. A more realistic title would be "industrial arts teacher," if this title were truly implemented by practice. Successful and safe operation of power-driven machines of the type used in business and industry present no real problem for training blind persons. Instruction in these activities serves an important role in helping the blind individual to assess his capacities and understand that blindness is not the limiting, restricting condition he thought it to be.
Similar comments are appropriate for other aspects of the adjustment section program. It tends strongly to mirror the traditional concepts and limitations of blindness rather than uproot them. It tends to foster acceptance of limitations which need not exist and would not exist if the program were more foward-looking.
The entire adjustment section program is geared to a slow pace of activities. Scheduling of students is often on an occasional or part-time basis which fails to take advantage of the opportunities to conduct some of the activities on a group basis. Experience in other adjustment and orientation center programs demonstrates that a staff the size of that provided by Hawaii should be more productive in meeting the real needs of blind citizens for intensive specialized training in a myriad of skills and techniques utilized by blind persons to do without sight or with very little sight the things for which normal eyesight is used by those who possess it.
The counseling section is headed by a supervisor and is staffed by two social workers, two rehabilitation counselors and one rehabilitation teacher (home teacher). In addition, three other counselors working out of district offices on Hawaii, Maui and Kauai spend a portion of their time working with blind or visually handicapped clients. At the time the Survey Team was in Hawaii, one of the two counseling positions was vacant. Through interviews with branch staff and especially through the case review process, the Survey Team became aware of a strong social services flavor in this unit and throughout the branch. It is worthy of note that this section has as many social workers as rehabilitation counselors and that the initial case contact and interviewing is conducted by social workers rather than rehabilitation counselors. To provide immediate vocational rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired persons who need them requires prompt action on the part of the agency. In most instances the individual is unemployed and his economic circumstances are severe. He has an immediate need for positive, aggressive action toward re-entry into the labor force.
In its review of case records, for example, the Survey Team found instances in which applicants for rehabilitation services hoped to secure training and job placement but were compelled to undergo social casework counseling and an exploration of their family relationships. One individual who applied for services and requested piano lessons to upgrade his music skills and assistance in job placement was denied help because, so the case record reported, he refused to accept other agency services. In the case of married clients of the agency, it is customary for the agency interviewer to secure educational and work history data on the spouse in much the same way that it is acquired for the client. From the case records reviewed, it is the usual practice that rehabilitation clients must undergo a social casework evaluation before they can be referred to a rehabilitation counselor.
The review of case records also made the Survey Team aware of other practices which are not in common use in the more effective rehabilitation agencies serving blind persons. Most clients are expected to come to Ho'opono for interviews and counseling as well as other services. If the client does not come to the office it is customary that he receive a telephone call or that a letter be mailed to him suggesting that he do so if he desires services. Since some persons are not accessible by telephone, and since some blind persons are not able to read their mail or get someone to read it for them, failure to respond to such an inquiry should result in an agency contact with the person at his place of residence.
When it has been determined by the rehabilitation counselor that a rehabilitation client is ready for employment, he is referred to the State Employment Service for placement. A review of case records indicates very little counselor effort toward direct job placement. Because of a lack of employer understanding regarding the jobs which competent blind persons can perform successfully and competitively, and because placement personnel in the State Employment Service in Hawaii lack sufficiently specialized background in work with blind persons, there is a strong need for sustained aggressive job placement activities. It is frequently helpful to register the blind person who is ready for employment with the State Employment Service, but the vocational rehabilitation agency has a primary responsibility for job placement, and it cannot delegate this responsibility to any other agency.
In the instance of one individual whose case record was reviewed by the Survey Team, the rehabilitation counselor offered the blind client assignment to a vending stand which paid less than $75.00 per month. When the blind person declined to accept this assignment the case was closed with a notation that services had been refused. In an effective vocational rehabilitation program there should be intensive exploration of other job interests for employment opportunities, and the counselor should be at least as aware as the client of the fact that $75.00 per month or less is far below any minimum standard of living--indeed, well below the poverty level.
For vocational training of blind and visually handicapped clients, the case record review disclosed a primary reliance upon the University of Hawaii and a few special programs such as those conducted under the Manpower Training and Development Act. Some of these programs are not suited to the needs of many blind persons and others do not fulfill the blind individual's vocational aspirations.
The employment section is headed by a supervisor, and in addition is staffed by a sheltered workshop manager, a sheltered workshop foreman, and a home industry supervisor. The employment section includes two areas of activity, the sheltered workshop operated at Ho'opono; and the vending stand program operated under the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act as amended.
The sheltered workshop provides terminal employment to a very small number of blind or visually impaired persons and to some other persons who have no visual disability. The sheltered workshop is too small to be even relatively efficient; most of its equipment is obsolete, and most of its products are obsolescent. It occupies space at Ho'opono which could be used more productively for other purposes. The branch administrator and other members of the staff seem to be aware of most of the problems inherent in continuing to operate the sheltered workshop, and the Survey Team was advised that plans are under way to phase it out. In that fortunate event, however, plans must be made to re-train those blind persons now working in the shop for better jobs preferably in the competitive labor market. Since employees in the sheltered shop are not subject to the wage and hour provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, their pay is relatively low, and re-training and job placement more conducive to earning a livelihood should be well within the realm of probability.
At the time the Survey Team was in Hawaii, a very limited home industries program was being operated in conjunction with the sheltered workshop. Some of the products under exploration for home production were being produced in the sheltered workshop both as a means of employment and for purposes of exploration. For those blind persons who have one or more additional disabilities, home industries or sheltered employment can afford an opportunity for income, but that income will remain largely supplemental in nature.
The supervisor of the employment section is concerned in the performance of his duties primarily with the vending stand and small business enterprise program. He is responsible for training new operators and inservice training of current operators of vending stands as well as upgrading existing vending stands and development of new vending stand locations, day-to-day supervision of the program and equipment maintenance.
6. The Vending Stand Program
For fiscal year 1969 (July 1, 1968-June 30, 1969), the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation reported to the Federal Government (Rehabilitation Services Administration report form VR:B-1) gross sales of $1,021,187 and a total of 30 vending stands in operation at the close of the year located as follows: on Federal property, 5: other public property, 22; private property, 3. The Division also reported net earnings during the year for all stands totaling $147,167.
In a review of the vending stand program during the year, total earnings were tabulated from agency records of receipts and disbursements as follows: less than $1000 per year, 4 vending stands; more than $1000 but less than $2000 per year, 6; $2000-$3000, 1; $3000-$4000, 6; $4000-$5000, 3; $6000-$7000, 4; more than $7000 per year, 3. In its Federal report on the vending stand program, the Division included data on one large vending operation which is not directly a part of its program. The inclusion of that data inflated gross sales and net earnings tremendously--in fact, they were more than doubled. In fiscal year 1969, 6 or more than 33 percent of the 18 blind persons closed rehabilitated found employment in the vending stand program for the blind, but it is apparent from the net annual earnings of many of the vending stands that the program requires substantial improvement.
Only one of the vending stands sells hot and cold beverages manually prepared on the premises and only one sells foods prepared on the premises. At many other locations, vending machines dispensing hot and cold beverages as well as foods have been placed by private concessionaires who pay a small commission to the blind vending stand operator. When the vending stand supervisor finds it desirable to negotiate for placement of vending machines by concessionaires in a vending stand, current practices provide that he secure proposals from two or more concessionaires and submit them for review and approval to the Director of Social Services. This procedure results in substantial delays in providing the needed service, and deprives the vending stand supervisor of the flexibility required to develop a program which is concerned not only with the amount of commission paid to the blind vending stand operator but with the quality of equipment and the quality of services. Aside from a general upgrading of the vending stand program, two specific avenues are open which would provide a substantial increase in earnings. First, manually prepared and served hot and cold beverages are very appealing to customers, are easily handled, are often more appetizing and yield a greater return. Second, where it is not possible or practical to prepare and serve beverages manually, the agency should consider purchasing vending machines and training the blind vending stand managers in their use and function. Both approaches are being pursued aggressively by other states in their vending stand programs, and the results have been very satisfying. One very compelling need of the vending stand program is for increased funds with which to buy equipment to improve existing stands and to establish new ones. The program should move aggressively into food preparation and service; and the vending stand personnel will need training compatible with the increased scope of responsibility. In its policies and procedures document, and in correspondence, the Division often describes the vending stand program as a government-subsidized enterprise.
The Ho'opono facility has been equipped with a small vending stand which is used for training purposes, although its volume of sales and variety of merchandise is not sufficient to provide a really meaningful experience. Ho'opono also has been equipped with a cafeteria, but operation of this cafeteria has been assigned to Lanakila Crafts, located adjacent to Ho'opono; and students and staff at Ho'opono as well as Lanakila personnel patronize the cafeteria. The incongruity of this arrangement, with its implication of incompetence of the blind in such operations, is obvious and astonishing.
If the vending stand program is to be expanded by the development of more and better vending stand locations, by inclusion of manually prepared and served foods and beverages and by improved operator competency and effectiveness, it will require more staff time than currencly committed to it. Finally, among agency personnel there exists confusion regarding the vending stand program and means of making it effective. For example, counselors on the other islands who are in more direct contact with the vending stands located there are often not aware of the fact that Federal financial participation is available for the purchase of new equipment based on the needs of the vending stand itself, but rather they believe that a re-determination of eligibility of the operator is required as a prerequisite to furnishing needed equipment. This tends to result in attempting to rehabilitate a vending stand operator over and over as means of providing equipment needed by the vending stand.
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
The Survey Team commends the citizens of Hawaii who, acting through the State government, have made substantial efforts to meet the vocational rehabilitation and other employment needs of the State's blind citizens. These efforts are manifested in the amount of money appropriated for rehabilitation purposes, the acquisition of land and establishment of the Ho'opono facility, the number of staff positions established to serve blind persons, the enactment of legislation establishing vending stand opportunities for the blind in public buildings, and a variety of other legislative provisions designed to improve and expand opportunities for blind citizens. With an annual budget of approximately $500,000, the Services for the Blind Branch does in a peripheral way touch the lives of approximately 700 blind persons each year. The Branch is providing social services and recreational services, and is engaging in many other activities which, although they may be helpful, do not meet the basic needs of Hawaii's blind citizens for adequate and immediate intensive and specialized counseling, training and job placement. The training opportunities provided lack variety, depth and specialization. The job placement efforts are inadequate because they lack positive purpose, coupled, as it should be, with special skills and knowledge of the occupations and professions in which thousands of blind persons are already working successfully throughout the nation.
Finally, there exists a need to develop an improved working relationship with Hawaii's Civil Service System to provide for better and more equal testing, certification and placement of blind persons in the public service including placement in Hawaii's Services for the Blind Program. Hawaii's Services for the Blind Branch, which has responsibility for the vocational rehabilitation of blind persons including their job placement, itself employs no blind persons on its staff. When this matter was discussed with division staff, the Survey Team was advised that there were no blind persons qualified for these jobs in Hawaii. On the face of it, that is a highly dubious assertion; however, even if it were true it would serve only to point up the inadequacy of vocational training and educational efforts which fail to prepare blind persons for such obvious and available occupations.
The staff of the Services for the Blind Branch of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is made up of many persons who are academically well qualified and possess a basic commitment to the provision of meaningful rehabilitation services. However, housed administratively as it is in a social services environment, substantially oriented philosophically to prevention of blindness and amelioration of the condition of those persons whose blindness cannot be prevented--and substantially lacking a forward-looking realistic attitude toward blindness itself--the efforts of the staff have metonly with partial success. It is unrealistic to expect a staff to "sell its products," in this case capable well-trained blind persons, to other employers when the agency itself will not buy these products for its own staff. What Hawaii needs in its services for the blind program is not more of the same old thing, but instead a new sense of purpose and a new acceptance of the fact that the average blind person who has reasonable expertise in the special skills, methods and attitudes appropriate to blindness, along with adequate vocational training and opportunity for competitive employment, can perform well in a very wide variety of occupations and professions. There is no real shortage of jobs which blind persons can perform competitively, but vocational competence by itself will result only in frustration and failure unless there is an aggresive program to acquaint prospective employers with the facts and persuade them to give a blind employee a chance to fail or succeed on his individual merits.
The real test of social thought and public planning for a state's blind citizens is whether it meets or defers meeting their basic needs; whether it presupposes the normality and equality of persons who are blind, or presumes their abnormality and inferiority; whether it recognizes both their right and competence to govern their own lives, or seeks to impose a protective custody and perpetuate a dependent status; whether it creates opportunity and encourages access to normal competitive pursuits, or erects artificial handicaps and arbitrary barriers; and finally, whether it provides public service as the right due to citizens or as the charity bounty due to wards and indigents.
For the purpose of assisting the State of Hawaii in the establishment of an excellent rehabilitation program for the blind, and in recognition of the substantial efforts already being made by the State, the Survey Team makes the following specific recommendations:
1. SINCE THE POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS, STAFF COMPETENCIES, AND EVEN MANY REHABILITATION SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE BEST AGENCIES FOR THE BLIND DIFFER SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THOSE NEEDED BY REHABILITATION AGENCIES SERVING OTHER DISABILITY GROUPS, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT HAWAII'S SERVICES FOR THE BLIND PROGRAM BE SEPARATED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND RECONSTITUTED AS THE HAWAII COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND WITH A THREE-TO-FIVE MEMBER COMMISSION BOARD APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR AND CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE. (SEE BELOW, VI. PROPOSAL: A COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND.) SPECIFICALLY, THE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND SHOULD ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR REDIRECTION OF THE HO'OPONO FACILITY, PROVISION OF REHABILITATION SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT AND SUPERVISION OF THE VENDING STAND PROGRAM, PROVISION OF COUNSELING AND OTHER SERVICES RELATED TO PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL BLIND CHILDREN, AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF TALKING BOOK MACHINES AND PROVISION OF LIBRARY SERVICES. THE HAWAII COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND SHOULD REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE GOVERNOR AND TO THE LEGISLATURE AND SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE AS WELL TO THE BLIND CITIZENS OF HAWAII FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES.
2. THE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND SHOULD PROVIDE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES ONLY TO THOSE PERSONS WHO ARE BLIND, OR WHOSE CENTRAL VISUAL ACUITY IS LESS THAN 20/100 OR A COORESPONDING REDUCTION IN THE VISUAL FIELD OR WHOSE VISUAL DEFECT IS SO DEFECTIVE THAT THE VISUAL IMPAIRMENT WILL SOON MEET ONE OF THE FIRST TWO CRITERIA. CITIZENS WHOSE VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IS LESS SEVERE SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE SERVED BY THE DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, AND A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT BY THE TWO AGENCIES SHOULD BE DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR RECIPROCAL REFERRALS AND RECIPROCITY IN OTHER SERVICES WHENEVER APPROPRIATE. THIS RECOMMENDATION WOULD REQUIRE THE COMMISSION TO CONCENTRATE ITS EFFORTS ON THE REHABILITATION OF THOSE PERSONS WITH SUBSTANTIAL VISUAL DEFECTS, AND IT SHOULD REPORT SEPARATELY ON THOSE WHO ARE BLIND AND THOSE WHO HAVE SUBSTANTIAL EYE DEFECTS.
3. THE SHELTERED WORKSHOP AT HO'OPONO SHOULD BE PHASED OUT AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, AND THE SPACE OCCUPIED BY IT REDEVELOPED AS A PART OF A REVAMPED, MORE EFFECTIVE ORIENTATION AND ADJUSTMENT CENTER FOR THE BLIND. IN ALL PROBABILITY, ADDITIONAL SPACE WHICH WOULD BE AVAILABLE CAN BE DEVELOPED INTO DORMITORY FACILITIES TO HOUSE STUDENTS NEEDING INTENSIVE AND SPECIALIZED TRAINING IN THE SKILLS, METHODS AND ATTITUDES OF BLINDNESS. FOR MANY SUCH STUDENTS, SEPARATION FROM THE FAMILY ENVIRONMENT IS AN ADDITIONAL ADVANTAGE OF THE DORMITORY ARRANGEMENT.
4. THE PERSONAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM AT HO'OPONO SHOULD BE REORGANIZED AND REDEVELOPED TO MEET REALISTICALLY THE NEEDS OF BLIND PERSONS FOR SPECIAL TRAINING IN THE METHODS, TECHNIQUES AND ATTITUDES OF BLINDNESS, AND SHOULD BE ESSENTIALLY PRE-VOCATIONAL IN NATURE. THE ORIENTATION AND ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM SHOULD INCLUDE A STEPPED-UP MOBILITY TRAINING PROGRAM, TRAINING IN BRAILLE READING AND WRITING AND IN TYPING, INDUSTRIAL ARTS, HOME ECONOMICS AND RELATED SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES WHERE APPROPRIATE AND TO THE EXTENT NEEDED BY EACH INDIVIDUAL.
5. AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, THE ARRANGEMENT WITH LANAKILA CRAFTS FOR OPERATION OF THE HO'OPONO CAFETERIA SHOULD BE TERMINATED, AND THE CAFETERIA AND TRAINING VENDING STAND SHOULD BE MERGED INTO A SINGLE UNIT ASSIGNED TO A BLIND PERSON AND INCLUDED IN THE COMMISSION'S VENDING STAND PROGRAM FOR THE BLIND. THE MERGED UNIT SHOULD PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT FOR A BLIND PERSON IN THE VENDING STAND PROGRAM, MEET THE MEAL AND SNACK NEEDS OF STUDENTS AND STAFF AT HO'OPONO AND LANAKILA CRAFTS AND PROVIDE A BADLY NEEDED TRAINING FACILITY FOR NEW VENDING STAND OPERATORS.
6. A SECOND POSITION, ASSISTANT VENDING STAND SUPERVISOR, SHOULD BE CREATED AND FILLED BY A PERSON KNOWLEDGEABLE IN FOOD SERVICE AND RELATED ACTIVITIES, AND A SUBSTANTIAL UPGRADING AND EXPANSION OF THE VENDING STAND PROGRAM FOR THE BLIND SHOULD COMMENCE. ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW AND MORE PRODUCTIVE STAND LOCATIONS AND THE CLOSING OF THE MANY MARGINAL STANDS WHICH FAIL TO PRODUCE A LIVING WAGE. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS OBJECTIVE, SOME OF THE FUNDING NOW ALLOCATED FOR OTHER PURPOSES WITHIN THE EXISTING PROGRAM SHOULD BE DIRECTED TOWARD VENDING STAND IMPROVEMENT AND PROGRAM EXPANSION.
7. IN RECRUITING STAFF FOR THE HAWAII COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND, A PREFERENCE SHOULD BE AFFORDED BLIND PERSONS WHO ARE OTHERWISE QUALIFIED. SUCH A POLICY WILL INTRODUCE MUCH-NEEDED FRESH TALENT AND NEW PERSPECTIVE TO ADMINISTRATION AND OPERATION OF THE PROGRAM, AS WELL AS DEMONSTRATE THE CONFIDENCE OF THE COMMISSION IN THE ABILITIES AND CAPACITIES OF BLIND PERSONS.
8. THE COMMISSION SHOULD ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR CASE FINDING, CASE PROCESSING, AND THE PROVISION OF ALL NEEDED REHABILITATION SERVICES, AND REHABILITATION COUNSELORS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN ALL FACETS OF THE REHABILITATION PROGRAM FROM CASE FINDING TO JOB PLACEMENT AND FOLLOW-UP TO DETERMINE THAT THE PLACEMENT IS SUCCESSFUL AND SATISFACTORY.
9. THE HAWAII COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND SHOULD ASSUME PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR PLACEMENT OF REHABILITATION CLIENTS, INCLUDING DEVELOPMENT ON THE PART OF ITS STAFF OF SPECIAL SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES IN THIS AREA--EMBRACING FREQUENT CONTACTS WITH PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS AND JOB ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE WHICH JOBS ARE SUITABLE FOR THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT OF A GIVEN BLIND PERSON.
10. THE COMMISSION SHOULD CONSIDER THE ADVISABILITY OF TRANSFERRING SOME OF ITS VISUAL SCREENING AND PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS ACTIVITIES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, WHICH ADMINISTERS THE CRIPPLED CHILDREN'S SERVICES. IF A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER CAN BE DEVELOPED, IT SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT PROVIDING FOR REFERRAL TO THE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND OF ALL PERSONS WHO MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR COMMISSION SERVICES.
11. AFTER PROVIDING FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OF COMPLAINTS BY APPLICANTS AND/OR RECIPIENTS OF REHABILITATION SERVICES, THE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND SHOULD ESTABLISH A MEANINGFUL FAIR HEARINGS PROCEDURE. IF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW HAS NOT RESOLVED THE PROBLEM WHICH CAUSED THE COMPLAINT, A THREE-MEMBER HEARING BOARD SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED WITH ONE MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMISSION, ONE APPOINTED BY THE AGGRIEVED PERSON AND THE THIRD APPOINTED BY THE FIRST TWO. THE HEARING BOARD SHOULD HEAR THE CASE AND RENDER A DECISION COMPATIBLE WITH STATE LAW AND AGENCY POLICIES BUT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT FULLY THE VOCATIONAL NEEDS OF THE AGGRIEVED INDIVIDUAL.
With these changes and corrections to existing practices, it is believed that Hawaii's programs for vocational rehabilitation, orientation and opportunity for its blind citizens will take their place in the forefront of modern public programming in this area of primary importance to the welfare and well-being of the visually handicapped.
[TO BE CONCLUDED]
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