Voice of the National Federation of the Blind

APRIL 1971

The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves.


Published monthly in inkprint. Braille, and on talking book discs
Distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind
President: Kenneth Jernigan, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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.

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708


by Mary Ellen Anderson

by Gladys M. Taylor

by James Gashel

by John Hordines

by Perry Sundquist



by Michael Levy

by Al Fisher

by Phil Parks

by Donald C. Capps



by Don Wiley

by Columbus Smith


by Gertrude Vail Vliet

by John F. Nagle

by Richard C. Allen



by Robert E. Bradley

by George Trapp

by Michael Mahoney

by Dr. Gertrude Berger




by Mary Ellen Anderson

Prominent signs all over Nebraska display with pride the words, WE ARE NUMBER ONE. The reference, of course, is to Nebraska University's recent victorious football season. These signs have come to symbolize something entirely different to the blind of the State, who on January 30, 1971, established the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, thereby earning the number one position on the 1971 NFB scoreboard of organizational victory.

Late in 1970 President Jernigan had met with Jack Swager, president of our Nebraska affiliate, the Omaha Association of the Blind, and with other blind Nebraskans, exploring plans for statewide expansion.

Following that preliminary planning, Arlene Gashel (wife of NFB Student Division president, James Gashel) and I drove to Omaha on January 8, to finalize arrangements for a full-fledged organizational drive later in the month. Our host, Jack Swager, treated us to a delightful dinner that evening and later arranged for us to meet with other leaders of the Omaha Association of the Blind.

Soon we had established the framework for the expansion. The goal: a vigorous, effective, statewide affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. The vehicle: a constitutional convention to be held in Omaha, January 30, 1971, and to be conducted by NFB President, Kenneth Jernigan. The team: members of the Omaha Association of the Blind, other interested blind Nebraskans, Mrs. Melvon Ireland of Lincoln, Susan and John Ford of Montana, Jim Omvig and Mark Hieftje of Des Moines, Arlene Gashel, and myself. The scope: new chapters in Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte, and the Omaha metropolitan area, members at large throughout the State.

The following morning Arlene and I negotiated convention arrangements with the Hotel Fontenelle, deposited a trunkload of Braille and talking book Federation literature into Jack Swager's safekeeping, and headed west for Lincoln. Before leaving Nebraska on Tuesday, January 12, we had collected a long list of Monitor additions, many commitments for the January 30 meeting, and several members at large.

On January 19, Arlene and I returned to Nebraska, soon to be joined by the rest of the team. Beginning in Lincoln, I worked my way west to Grand Island, while Arlene established headquarters at the Fontenelle in Omaha. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Omvig arrived in Omaha Friday night and worked through the weekend. On Sunday, John Ford, president of the Montana Association of the Blind, and his wife Susan arrived, as did Mark Heiftje of Des Moines.

Early Monday morning the team dispersed throughout the State. Susan and John set off to North Platte. Arlene and Mark journeyed to Fremont, while I manned the Omaha headquarters. The middle of the week found Susan, John, and me in Lincoln, with Arlene and Mark back at headquarters. It was about this time also, that I began paying close attention to my speedometer, having some fear of renewing my acquaintance with the radar officer I had met while driving from Grand Island to Omaha.

Everywhere we went the story was the same. Blind Nebraskans stood ready, willing and able to accept the responsibility and the challenge of joining the organized blind movement. Soon a host of them were actively involved in the effort. Commitments to attend the organizational meeting mounted steadily.

Leaders from Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte, and Omaha were on hand at the Fontenelle to meet with President Jernigan when he arrived on Friday evening. Incidentally, you'll be happy to learn that the President arrived without being required to make his customary stop for replacement of burned-out tires.

Early Saturday morning contingents of blind persons began gathering for an eventful and productive day. Shortly after 10:00 a.m. Dr. Jernigan called the convention to order. Broad discussion throughout the morning session brought the purposes and goals of the Federation into sharp focus. In a spirited debate prior to the luncheon break, the group elected to call itself the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska.

During the action-packed afternoon session, two local chapters (Lincoln and Tri-County) were established, a constitution adopted, and officers and board members elected.

Dick Parker of Omaha was elected president. A barber before losing his sight about five years ago as a result of diabetes, Dick has since been employed as a machinist and is currently seeking employment in that area. A true Federationist who hadn't yet heard of the Federation is the best way I know how to describe his overall philosophy. A lovely wife, three children, ages eight, six, and six months, wood working, and citizen's band radio fill Dick's spare time.

First vice president is John Smith of Lincoln. John, a Monitor reader for many years, is a Rehabilitation Services Consultant with Nebraska Services for the Visually Impaired. A graduate of Louisiana State University, John has done graduate work at Southern Illinois University and at the University of Minnesota.

Second vice president, Jack Swager, veteran President of the Omaha Association of the Blind needs little introduction. Jack is self employed as the operator of Nebraska Blind Products.

Mrs. Melvon Ireland of Lincoln was elected secretary. The only sighted member of the board, Mrs. Ireland is by no means new to the Federation. As a matter of fact, three members of her family are currently officers in other State affiliates: son, Curtis Willoughby, first vice president of the Iowa Association of the Blind; son-in-law John Ford, president of the Montana Association of the Blind; and son-in-law. Chuck Walhof, first vice president Gem State Blind, Idaho. Additionally, daughter Ramona Walhof is past chairman of the NFB Teacher's Division and a former officer of the Student Division. Mrs. Ireland's husband, Melvon, is a minister in the United Methodist Church.

Treasurer, Dick Gulizia, of Omaha is a teacher of modern problems at Holy Name High School and is completing residence requirements for his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska. Dick and his wife have two sons and a daughter, age eight, seven, and four.

Board member Dick Zlab of Omaha is an assembler for Western Electric, and a former member of the Colorado Federation of the Blind. Stan Yank of Omaha was elected to fill the second board position Stan is employed as Personnel Director for Douglas County Social Services. A graduate of the University of Nebraska with graduate work m sociology, Stan is vice chairman of the Mayor's Committee on Hiring the Handicapped, a board member of the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and a Chapter One board member of the Nebraska Welfare Association. Third board member is Ralph Doud of Grand Island, president of the NFB of Nebraska's new Central Chapter. Before retirement, Ralph was employed by the Omaha World Herald. Larry Wallace, president of the North Platte Chapter, was elected to the final board position. Larry is a vending stand operator and an active Jaycee.

The National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska begins its existence with one hundred ninety-eight members and five chapters. Immediate attention will be given to removal of the lien law, passage of the Model White Cane Law, and enactment of a little Randolph-Sheppard bill. A big undertaking for a new affiliate, but then, this is a big new affiliate. And remember, these guys have all those NUMBER ONE signs to live up to. My bet is that they'll do it!



by Gladys M. Taylor

With the 1971 NFB Convention just around the corner the Blue Bonnet State Federation of the Blind has planned three tours of interest to Federationists in Houston. One is a visit to NASA's manned spacecraft center where a space suit, a space capsule, and possibly the control room will be available for inspection. A second tour--Houston's Astrodome--will include as many features of this famous sports arena as can be covered in an afternoon's walking. A third tour is planned to the Houston Lighthouse for the Blind. Tickets for the tours to NASA and the Astrodome will cost three dollars and fifty cents each and the tour to the Lighthouse for the Blind will be free. Tours will be Wednesday, July 7, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. Busses will leave from the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The tours will be followed by a Texas-style barbecue. Entertainment for the evening will include a free dance which will begin at 8:30 p.m. and music will be supplied by the Hi-Toppers. Wednesday afternoon and evening will be a day to remember!

The traditional Convention banquet will be held Thursday evening and the tables will be decorated both with yellow roses and blue bonnets. There will be two souvenirs for those who attend the banquet.

The hospitality room will be open Sunday afternoon, July 4, and will be prepared to offer everyone a big Texas welcome.



by James Gashel

When the National Federation of the Blind convenes in Houston this summer, the NFB Student Division will mark its fourth year of existence. Each of the annual meetings held thus far has featured a wide variety of important topics in the general area of student affairs. Panelists and speakers on the program have dealt with topics ranging from techniques of organizing, to projects for student organization; from rehabilitation services available to blind students, to library services; from employment opportunities for persons in the professions to education of blind children; not to mention discrimination on the college campus and a host of others. Students who have attended these meetings report that they have found them to be stimulating and valuable for planning on the local or State level.

Perhaps the foremost objective of the NFB Student Division is that of attracting young people into the organized blind movement. During the past four or five years, this idea has really caught on m our local chapters and State affiliates, as indicated by the formation of student chapters across the country. This is a healthy and desirable trend, and the NFB Student Division is anxious to foster its continuation until the day comes when every State can boast that its blind students are full-fledged members and active supporters of the National Federation of the Blind on all levels.

In this connection, this year has, without question, been our greatest yet. By Convention time in Houston, we are looking forward to presenting several new student chapters at our annual meeting. First of these, Minnesota, was organized on January 30, 1971. Quite sometime ago I was contacted by members of the Minnesota Organization of Blind to lend a hand in the formation of the student chapter. At this request, the NFB Student Division swung into action with resources and manpower, but the job couldn't have been done without the able leadership of the blind students in Minnesota and the cooperation of the leaders of the MOB. The culmination of our organizing efforts came in late January, when Dave Dawson and Dave Wholers, both University of Iowa students, joined Mary Hartle and others in Minnesota to make personal contacts with students. As has been the case with NFB organizing generally, this technique really paid off. At the peak of our organizing meeting there were perhaps as many as thirty people on hand. The officers of the newly formed organization, called the Minnesota Organization of Blind Student Division, are young and very bright. The president, Mary Hartle, is a freshman at St. Benedict's College and one of the most enthusiastic Federationists around Hats off to the MOB Student Division!

Similar organizing is currently going forward in several other States. Students who are already active in the movement are locating others who are not, and student organizing teams will be dispatched as soon as things appear ready. As you can tell, the student movement is growing in the Federation and we want to make every State a part of it. As president of the NFB Student Division, I would like to work with the leaders of each State affiliate for purposes of planning student organizing in the immediate future.

Also, as we have done in past years, the Student Division is planning a stimulating program for the Houston Convention I am anxious to have some reaction from Federationists throughout the country regarding possible items to include on the agenda. Already plans are being made, but undoubtedly there are many suggestions well worth consideration and inclusion on the program. I am anxious to hear from Federationists across the land on both matters--student organizing and program agenda. You can write to me at: 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

Incidentally, taped copies of the 1969 and 1970 student meetings are currently available along with NFB STUDENT HANDBOOK, 1970 edition, and a tape containing excerpts of the 1970 College Day Program at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. This latter tape has not been circulated or publicized until now. It includes bits of information generally applicable to students in any State, and it also gives one a taste of the services provided by the Iowa Commission Included on this tape are discussions on rehabilitation services and library services. Each of these materials may be ordered by writing to me at the above address. You may purchase tape copies at the rate of two dollars a reel or borrow them free of charge.

In conclusion, let me just say, the momentum of student organizing is accelerating; let's keep it going! Come on, students, let's organize and make this year's student program at the NFB Convention the largest and greatest one yet! The student meeting will be held at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon, July 5.



by John Hordines

The Harvard Agricultural and Rural Group for the Blind plans to begin an experimental project in horticulture, floriculture, nursery operation and the raising of worms for bait. We hope to begin our project this coming spring. We have purchased land at Harvard, New York, in Delaware County, on State Route No. 30. Harvard lies one hundred forty miles northwest of New York City. State Route No. 30 begins at the well-known State Route No. 17, just six miles southwest of Harvard.

According to the U. S. Department of HEW, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, there are about 50,000 blind individuals who live in rural areas of this country. Perhaps 20,000 of these rural blind could be taught to earn their livelihood in Specialty Fanning if they had the opportunity to acquire special training and on-the-job supervision. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has sponsored a number of research projects in agriculture and related rural work. In 1955, a program of training in Agriculture and Nursery
Operation was established at the Georgia Academy for the Blind. Some forty-five trainees who were enrolled in the course were able, after the project was completed, to go into the greenhouse business for themselves; others were employed in one capacity or another by nurseries.

Over the past half-century, quite a few blind individuals have been very successful farmers in many parts of this nation. Some have been blind from birth, or lost their sight so long ago they but dimly remember the world of light, color, form, or shape. Some of these men and women are doing their own milking; are good enough judges of cattle to enter judging contests at the County Fairs and come off with honors. Some cull their own poultry. Many of these individuals are accomplished in the small but necessary crafts of farming such as carpentry, electric wiring, and repair, plumbing, metal and blacksmith work. Several individuals are farm managers with all the record-keeping that management involves. Others can even plow a straight furrow!

Farming is another way of life in which the blind can find themselves. However, agriculture is not the solution of all the problems of the blind. The 500,000 blind men and women in the United States, as a group, make up a cross-section of the American people. For those who love the outdoors and nature and who are able to adapt, for those who are industrious, this life will be difficult but rewarding.

At this writing, the Harvard Agricultural Group would like your opinions and suggestions. We need the opinions of the general public in order to make this program a reality.

Please direct correspondence to John Hordines, 212 Pennyfield Avenue, Bronx,
New York 10465. Home telephone is (Code 212)TA2-8024.



HORTICULTURE. The art of cultivating and managing a vegetable garden

FLORICULTURE. The growing and cultivating of plants and flowers native to this area, such as gladioluses, dahlias, and tulips.

NURSERY. The cultivation and setting of trees and shrubs that the public desires and people want.

WORM RAISING FOR BAIT. Sullivan, Schoharie and Delaware Counties have the finest fishing in the East. The nearby New York City Reservoirs, and the
Willowemoc, Beaverkill and Delaware Rivers are nationally known for their fishing. All fishermen use some bait.

ROADSIDE STAND. We plan to set up a roadside stand selling grown products, garden needs, lawn furniture, and garden ornaments.

APPLICANTS. High school graduates or individuals over twenty-one years of age.


Half a century ago, it was pretty well taken for granted that any blind person who was ambitious enough, or needy enough, to want to make a living would do it in one of two ways--either by tuning pianos or by begging on the street.

That day is past. Now the world is beginning to realize that occupational possibilities for blind people are about the same as for anybody else--those who have the ability and training can enter almost any vocation they choose. Therefore, we plan to give them this opportunity--to train the blind in agriculture.



by Perry Sundquist

The district Court of the State of Nevada recently handed down a decision in the case of Henry West (Pat West) v. Nevada State Welfare Board. Pat West is a blind student at the University of Nevada with the plan of securing a Master's degree in social work. Pat has a wife and four minor children. Effective January 1, 1970 Pat's Aid to Blind grant was cut from two hundred twenty-nine dollars a month to ten dollars a month on the ground that his entire Disability Insurance payment of one hundred-eight dollars and ninety cents a month was deductible from his assistance grant. Pat appealed the decision to the Nevada State Welfare Board and the appeal was denied in February, so Pat went to court.

The National Federation of the Blind sent a representative to Nevada to confer on the legal issues involved with Pat, his attorney, officials of the Nevada Federation of the Blind, and to attend the hearing held by the State Welfare Board. In March, 1970 the NFB released to the Governor of Nevada its "Evaluation of Programs for the Blind in the State of Nevada" which, among other things, was highly critical of the present level of administration of Aid to the Blind in that State. Apropos of the Pat West case and other blind persons similarly situated, the Evaluation points out as follows:

Section 426.430 (of the Nevada Revised Statutes) provides that amounts of net earnings or other income and resources as now are or hereafter may be permitted or required to be disregarded under Federal law or regulations shall be exempted by the State of Nevada. Title X, Section 1002, of the Social Security Act provides that a State must for a period of up to twelve months, and may for a period of thirty-six months, disregard such amounts of other income and resources in the case of an individual who has a plan for achieving self-support approved by the State agency, as may be necessary for the fulfillment of such plan. This same section (1002 of title X) also provides that a State may disregard seven dollars and fifty cents a month of income from any source. This means income from any source. If a person's only income is from earnings, it means that ninety-two dollars and fifty cents a month may (and in the case of Nevada, must) be disregarded because of Section 426.430.

A careful review of the Resources Determination Chapter of Nevada's Administrative Manual reveals no mention whatsoever of the exemption of other income and resources in the case of a blind recipient with a plan for self-support, not even for twelve months as required by title X of the Social Security Act, let alone for thirty-six months as required by Section 426.430 of Nevada's Aid to the Blind law. This would seem to place the State of Nevada out of conformity with provisions of the Federal Social Security Act and could well jeopardize Federal funds. Section 2-03-063-0 of the Administrative Manual provides that only the first eighty-five dollars a month of earned income, plus one-half of all such income over eighty-five dollars be exempt Section 2-03-063-0 provides for the exemption of only five dollars a month of income from any source, not the seven dollars and fifty cents authorized by Federal law and thus required by virtue of the provisions of Section 426.430.

The State of Nevada is planning to appeal the District Court's decision to the State Supreme Court. The NFB will do all it can to assist in having the appeal rejected, since the real issue is whether the Supreme Court will, by denying the State's request for a review, implement the provisions in title X of the Social Security Act to the effect that personal resources, such as income and property, needed in a plan for self-support shall be exempted altogether.

This important amendment was first achieved by the NFB in 1962 but the exemption was limited to a twelve-month period. In 1964 the NFB succeeded in extending the limit to three years (the one-year limit being mandatory on the States and the additional two years being optional with the States) However, in the case of Nevada, the three-year limitation is mandatory because of the provisions of NRS Section 426.430 requiring that amounts of net earnings or other income and resources as now are or hereafter may be permitted or required to be disregarded under Federal law or regulations shall be exempted by the State of Nevada.

The District Court's decision is indeed a signal victory and is the first known legal test of the NFB's amendments to title X of the Social Security Act.






State Welfare
Administrator et al


This cause coming regularly for trial before the Court, the Petitioner appearing in person and being represented by his attorney, B. MAHLON BROWN III, ESQ., of the Clark County Legal Aid Society, and the Respondents appearing by and through their attorney, NORMAN H. SAMUELSON, Deputy Attorney General, Counsel to Welfare Division; and after hearing the evidence and considering all and singular the law and the premises, the Court finds as follows:


1. That the Petitioner is a resident of the City of Las Vegas, County of Clark, State of Nevada and has been since 1963.

2. That the Respondents, the Nevada State Welfare Board, is the body responsible for all policy making duties, powers, purposes and responsibilities of public welfare, and that George E. Miller is the Executive Officer who administers all activities and services of public welfare for the Welfare Division of the Department of Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation.

3. That on or about September 1, 1965, the Petitioner, HENRY A. WEST, was declared by the Respondents, eligible to receive funds under the Aid to Blind Program administered by the Nevada State Welfare Department.

4. That on or about December 18, 1969, Petitioner was informed by an agent of the Welfare Division that his Aid to Blind Grant was to be cut from $229.00 a month to $ 10.00 a month. Such reduction to take effect as of January 1, 1970, and that the reason for this reduction was "New Budgetary Policy Pro-rating Shelter with ADC Companion Case."

5. That as a result of this regulation the Petitioner saw fit to inform the
Respondents that he was not in agreement with their decision and requested a fair hearing to review his case. A hearing was held January 22, 1970.

6. That on February 18, 1970, Petitioner received from the Respondent, GEORGE E. MILLER, the decision of the Fair Hearing Panel denying Petitioner's appeal.

7. The Petitioner correctly sought relief in the District Court in that he had exhausted his administrative remedies in accordance with N.R.S. 426.450.

8. That this Court has jurisdiction as to the subject matter of this action.


The Court, as conclusions of law finds:

1. That the Court has jurisdiction as to the subject matter of this action;

2. The Provisions of N.R.S. 426.010 to 426.500 inclusive are to be administered separate and apart from other programs administered by the Respondents and that all rules and regulations relating to Aid to the Blind should be promulgated and construed separate and apart from other rules and regulations made by Respondents.

3. That the Respondent, GEORGE E. MILLER, has continued to improperly combine and construe his policy of administering Aid to the Blind Programs in conjunction with and coordination with other Welfare Division programs. That the Respondents have illegally chosen to substitute provisions of the Welfare Division Manual in place of explicit directions to the contrary provided for in NRS 426.010 to 426.500 inclusive.

4. That the Respondents have failed to live up to their responsibility of acquiring the maximum amount of assistance for an Aid to Blind recipient.

5. That the Respondents have in the issuance of a departmental warrant to the Petitioner made improper reference to indigency and/or public charge in
contradiction to NRS 426.030.

6. That the Respondents have failed to abide by the dictates of title 10, Section 1002 (a) (8) (B) of the 1935 Social Security Act, as amended, in that they have failed to disregard any amounts whatsoever that the Petitioner received from the Social Security Administration while he was pursuing a training program aimed at achieving self-support.

7. That no attempt has been made by the Respondents to meet the individual and special needs of the Petitioner and his family as directed by NRS 426.010 to 426.500 inclusive.


NOW, THEREFORE, The Court, by virtue of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law hereinabove recited, does hereby order, adjudge:

1. That the action of Respondents in reducing Petitioner's grant be hereby dissolved with the further instructions that this be remanded back to the Welfare Division for the purpose of reinstating Petitioner's grant to $229.00 per month.

2. That all the issues raised at the Fair Hearing of January 22, 1970, are hereby resolved in Petitioner's favor including those issues raised by way of Petitioner's Complaint.

3. That the provisions of title 10, Section 1002 (a) (8) (B) of the 1935 Social Security Act as amended be hereby acknowledged and enforced, that is, that the Welfare Department totally disregard all amounts Petitioner has and will receive from the Social Security Administration while he was and is pursuing a training program aimed at achieving self support in accordance with the provisions of the Act and that all monies owing Petitioner under this Act be paid retroactively to the Petitioner.

DATED THIS 25th day of August, 1970


109 South Thud Street
Las Vegas, Nevada
Attorney for Petitioner



Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas. The NFB Convention in Houston is no exception. Our meeting, scheduled for July 5 through 9 at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel is shaping up as our biggest and our best.

Everyone also knows that the drawing for prizes during sessions is a fun-feature growing in popularity each year. In keeping with the location, prizes this year should be better and more numerous than ever. Bernie Gerchen has again promised some of those large green bills. Don't be late to sessions if you hope for one of those. People who never won prizes before won some last year. Certainly affiliates should meet the challenge and donate the kinds of prizes they would like to receive. Prizes should be worth at least twenty-five dollars.

Blue Bonnet Federation member Lou Vinson is State prize chairman Send your prizes to him at 3823 Nettleton Street, Houston, Texas 77004. If you get it done soon, you will have nothing more to do for the Convention except to make your hotel reservations, and save your money for the good times to be had when we all get together.



This is one of those letters to bring you up to date on various recent events:

In the first place I must tell you that our snowmobile race did not occur after all. The Utah promoters decided at the last minute that the time was not sufficient to allow them to secure enough sponsors to make the race worthwhile. They have expressed a wish to work with us for a race next year, and I see no reason why we should not do it. We will have sufficient time, and we already have the details ironed out.

As you know, we have been giving scholarships each year for quite some time. These scholarships are given pursuant to the will of a former member in honor of his father. Thus, we have the Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship Fund.

As we have gained experience with the program, certain problems have become apparent. In the first place the scholarships have not been large enough to give the kind of help which is needed in these days of rising costs and continuous inflation. In the second place the recipients of the scholarships never seem to show up at NFB Conventions, and very often are not even members of our movement. Even more to the point, most of them do not bother to participate in the movement even after receiving scholarships from it. If they should attend a National Convention, this would probably all be changed.

The earnings from the fund will permit us to disburse $1200 this year. I have talked with Allen Jenkins, chairman of the Scholarship Committee, and we have agreed to try a new approach. This year we will give one scholarship. It will amount to $1200. The recipient will be required to come to the NFB Convention to receive the check.

Further, we would now like to involve State and local affiliates in the selection process. Specifically, State and local affiliates are invited to recommend applicants. Also any person who wishes to apply for a scholarship on his own, will be asked (if he is in an area of an affiliate) to contact that affiliate for a recommendation. A $1200 scholarship can be important to a student and it should not be given or received lightly. Therefore, I hope that all of you will give consideration to this matter and participate in the scholarship program. Application blanks for the scholarship or further information about the program can be secured from the scholarship chairman, and communications should be sent to him, Mr. Allen Jenkins, Chairman Scholarship Committee, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, CA 94708.

Those of you who receive The Monitor in Braille are aware that we have been having an increasing timelag problem. The January talking book and inkprint editions reached readers, for instance, shortly before the December Braille edition arrived. This is not unusual. We are finding that the Braille edition is usually more than a month behind the talking book and inkprint editions.

We have contacted the people at the Clovernook Printing House to see what can be done. They indicate that they do not have sufficient presses to keep up with their volume and that they continue to try to find a source from which to buy presses. This would seem to indicate that the best long-range solution to the problem is for the NFB to purchase presses and establish its own printing house. With the money we now spend in brailling The Monitor and other materials, plus what the affiliates might like to purchase from the National Office in the way of newsletters or other Braille items, we could probably break even on costs from the very beginning. In addition we could do braining for other groups as time permitted and probably be ahead of the game. We could certainly speed up the production of the Braille edition of The Monitor and get it to readers on time. This fits in with the thought which the Executive Committee had last fall of securing our own NFB building.

Accordingly, I am pushing forward as rapidly as I can to explore both propositions: 1) How can we establish our own Braille press? What will it cost, how many people will be required to run it, and how much space will be needed, how soon could we get it established, etc.? 2) What kind of building can we get for what price, and how soon? These are matters which I will be discussing with the members of the Executive Committee as I get more information and that I will be bringing to all of you as soon as possible.

Although we have the normal complement of problems throughout the country, things seem to be going extremely well with the NFB. We are growing at a most gratifying rate, and the enthusiasm and sense of purpose are increasing apace. I shall be sending you another letter of this type as soon as there are new things to report. In the meantime I hope that you and your members are making plans to come to Houston.



by Michael Levy

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press]

Several years ago, while walking on the boardwalk of a resort nearby home, my father and I were approached by a bum, who asked for eight cents, hoping to get more Noticing me, he inquired of my father, "B-l-i-n-d?" I explained that I could spell, and should have said "q-u-i-t-e." That's an example of people thinking that a handicap disables someone completely.

Above all, a handicapped person is a human being; his "disability" is secondary. When people ask about my blindness, they often begin with "I hope you don't mind my asking, but..." --as if it were something I'd rather not discuss. Handicapped people have lived with their "disability," and most of the time it isn't depressing or exciting. I even sometimes get bored, because I've told the same story so often.

One of my gym teachers used to kid me constantly about being blind. According to him, I was only pretending, and got good marks by looking at other people's papers during tests. Once, when my brother and I were practicing a piano duet jazz medley for Asbury Park High's annual student varieties program, the teacher said, "Aw, look at the blind boy playing piano, isn't that sweet?" I begged "Mr. Rey, please stop" because I was laughing so hard that I couldn't keep playing. You can see that a handicap isn't that tragic after all.

A positive attitude is important when you meet a blind person. Here are some other tips that can help. Unless he recognizes your voice, identify yourself to him. (Ever tried conversing with an anonymous person you're supposed to know?) When walking, especially in narrow or crowded areas, let him take your elbow. Tell him when you're leaving, so he's not left talking to air (that's also fun).

Blind people can't appreciate things like a billboard or cloud formations unless someone describes them, so the more you can describe, the better. My parents point out many things to me, and although I'm not interested in them all, I learn a lot. In Israel, friends would fill in where the guide left off--it happens naturally if you, yourself, are interested in what you are seeing. Reading provides thousands of valuable, and understandable, visual descriptions for me.

Though we miss many sights, the world is not dull for us. In the Negev, as everyone marveled at the sunrise during a long, steep climb, an advisor asked if it was worth it for me. Just climbing with everybody else made it worthwhile; but there were many nonvisual thrills. In a few hours, the chill had changed to heat so fierce that we had to stop every few minutes for drinks from our canteens. In the absolute silence at the top, the sun blazed with an intensity that can be duplicated here only with a reflector.

Since their non-visual senses provide all the information they get, blind people use them more than sighted people. However, these senses are not more acute, in the same way that a dog's are. Have you ever noticed, while listening for a car horn or footsteps, how many other tiny sounds you responded to, simply because you were paying attention to them?

Through Braille books, talking books and tapes, I have access to a large amount of literature. If I am in immediate need of a book not available in any of these forms, the New Jersey Commission for the Blind provides me with a reader. The Jewish Braille Institute of America supplies a Bible, prayer books, and other Judaic material.

In fifth grade, I learned to walk to school with a cane. As my needs increased, so did my "territory," and now that I'm in New York, attending the Combined Program of Columbia's School of General Studies and the Jewish Theological Seminary, I hope to travel extensively.

So you see, the handicapped are human. Are they treated that way? Not by most people.

We receive plenty of well-meaning pity. It's amusing, if I accidentally step on a beach blanket, to hear, "Hey you, what do you think you're ... oh I'm sorry ... I didn't know . . ." Sitting together on a bus, a blind friend and I suddenly realized no one was talking. We figured they were all staring at us.

Handicapped people are different, but they shouldn't be wondered at and fussed over. Frequently we're not accorded the dignity that all human beings deserve. When treated as helpless and innocent, it's hard to get a true picture of yourself, and frightening to see yourself as others see you.

I'd be dishonest, however, if I didn't admit that sometimes I need help, in which case I ask for it. Don't be insulted, however, if your offer to help someone is declined--we like to do all we can by ourselves.

It's a wonderful experience to be helped by people who, nevertheless, treat me like anyone else. I've gained many friendships through people I met when I needed assistance. One morning during the USY (United Synagogue Youth) Chicago National Convention, I asked the crowd in the elevator who was on the way to services. I am very close friends now with the girl who then assisted me.

If you become friends with a handicapped person, don't picture your relationship in terms of how much he owes you because of your help. Once, when I argued with a friend and criticized him, he retorted, "Do you think that I wanted to wait for you at lunch? Do you think I wanted to do this or that for you?" --giving the impression of constantly but grudgingly assisting me. Though things straightened out later, I was hurt and shaken then, and I told him that I really didn't need him at all.

Handicapped people feel accepted as humans when they associate with others. Through participation in wrestling, student varieties, chorus, the school paper, and two honor societies, as well as working in class with teachers and classmates, I destroyed their preconceived notions about blindness.

By the end of my sophomore year, everybody knew that I could look forward to more than begging or making brooms, but I didn't have many friends. This changed when I joined USY, because, for the first time, I was really talking to people. As chapter president, my most challenging and meaningful activity, I communicated with individuals as an individual, and that's how stereotypes are truly destroyed.

Society as a whole is rejecting the blindness stereotype. "Butterflies Are Free" is a conscious effort to do this. The pun in "Alice's Restaurant" about "American blind justice" came naturally, and strongly indicates the widening gap between sightlessness and sentimentality. The few that would be offended aren't in an "Alice's Restaurant" crowd, anyway.

Sometimes, I must admit, I do feel cheated; but the only way to get through is to keep on pushing. It is easier, now, with the dignity, optimism, and discipline which I find in Judaism. But handicapped people are not better or stronger than anyone else because they overcome their obstacles--they have no choice.

Besides, there's ten times as much humor as frustration. I once let a man help me cross the street--and then found out that he was drunk! For some reason, religious fanatics believe that I'm more vulnerable to conversion.

At a bus stop, a completely strange woman informed me that she composed songs, and wanted to discuss it for a while. When my mobility teacher, who was watching me use my cane, told her that I had to meet "my wife" in ten minutes, she just faded away.

The biggest break, aside from the six hundred dollars extra exemption on income taxes, is that I don't have to worry about the draft. If the Viet Cong landed on the West Coast, maybe I would be a Red Cross assistant. When I registered, I was going to say how I really wanted to be a soldier, but I thought the men who really had to go would feel bad. I also thought of telling them they could have put me behind enemy lines, so it wouldn't matter what direction I fired in!

The funny thing is that I got applications from West Point, Annapolis, and the Coast Guard, because I scored well on National Merit tests. Oh well, I always wanted to join the Air Force, anyway...



by Al Fisher

[Reprinted from the White Cane, publication of the Washington State Association of the Blind. Mr. Fisher is Editor of that magazine.]

The primary concern of the Washington State Association of the Blind is to seek that which is most suitable, most necessary and best for blind persons. Our objectives can be met if those agencies responsible for administering programs for the blind, truly serve the blind; when the services that are provided are of the kind, quality, and quantity which truly meet the needs of blind people, and are so acknowledged by the blind themselves. You know--the proof of the pudding.

We are convinced that progress for the blind will continue to be slow and halting under the present system, where State Services for the Blind is locked into a vast, and as far as the blind are concerned, a virtually impenetrable bureaucracy, much less what could be the situation if services are parcelled out piecemeal to other over-all agencies, as seems to be the trend in present governmental reorganization programs.

We believe all publicly financed services for the blind should be combined in one, separate agency, under complete control of a Commission, whose members are appointed directly by the Governor, and which includes persons with a direct relationship to, and who are fully informed about the needs of blind people through the organized blind movement in this State--the Washington State Association of the Blind. Structured in this manner considerable improvement in quality and quantity of meaningful services to blind people could be realized because:

1. Bureaucratic obstructions and alibis could be eliminated. The voice of the blind could be heard and heeded. Administrative decisions would be made by persons with greater knowledge of the problems and whose primary concern is to provide for the needs of blind people, instead of--and this is particularly true in budgetary matters--by those with little if any real knowledge of the problems and whose primary concern is something else entirely.

2. The kind of specialized and comprehensive help needed by blind people to function in a sighted world can best be accomplished by a single agency where all the separate kinds of services can be merged into the most effective program for each blind person. A blind person then needs go to only one place for specialized help, confident that all available services will be considered in formulating plans to meet his or her particular needs.

3. Budgetary requirements and performance of such a separate agency would be open and completely understandable to the Legislature, instead of being buried under a mountain of budgetary requests for other programs. Responsibility can then be pinpointed. Development of programs and budgets can then be more easily observed and influenced by the blind themselves.

What we are talking about and what is involved is the quality of life for blind people. To a degree this is also true for the sighted world, because, as long as all the misunderstandings and misconceptions about blindness exist, no one can be truly free. It is a sickness that is bound to affect the quality of life for everyone.

As progress is made toward solving the problems of blindness and the blind are accorded the opportunity they seek to become full and equal participants in the life of our communities, State, and Nation, and sighted people can witness this participation, then all these false ideas and notions about blindness will vanish in thin air because there will no longer be any basis for them.



by Phillip Parks

Across the nation, in our local Federation chapters, it has become a tradition to hold annual Christmas parties for the membership. For many years the Des Moines Association of the Blind has followed this practice, having a gift exchange, some singing of Christmas carols, and other joyous festivities. This year, however, the Des Moines Association of the Blind Christmas party took on a new dimension and a new spirit as the blind of Des Moines demonstrated their willingness and ability to share their blessings with others.

On Saturday evening, December 12, one hundred seven children were treated to a Christmas party and dinner prepared and sponsored by the Des Moines Association of the Blind. These children included the members of three girl scout troops from Des Moines' Model Cities Area, blind children who attend Des Moines public schools as well as the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, and the children of Association members. The event was held in the newly remodeled assembly room at the Iowa Commission for the Blind headquarters and the menu consisted of turkey and all the trimmings. The festivities started with a reading of the Christmas story from the Bible by NFB President Kenneth Jernigan, followed by Christmas carolling. The highlight of the evening, for the young ones, occurred when jolly old Saint Nick emerged from a specially constructed fireplace to dispatch Christmas gifts and bags of holiday candy and fruit. Santa Claus was played by Pat Bedard, a Des Moines Association of the Blind member, bedecked in the traditional Santa Claus suit and beard and carrying a long white cane. It made no difference to the youngsters that Santa was blind. Perhaps they, along with the public at large, are beginning to see the blind in a new light Des Moines Association of the Blind President, Phil Parks, said that this year's Christmas party was the best one yet for several reasons. First, the idea of the blind giving something to others helps to reverse the old concept of blind people always taking from society "This year we proved," Parks said, "that we are capable of assuming our responsibility for full participation in community affairs." Secondly, this type of activity helps to draw Association members together in a common effort, using the talents and abilities of each person volunteering to help.

Third, this step forward in the Christmas party fulfills a need that the blind have in common with all men--the need to give and to share the fruits of their labor with others. Finally, the girl scouts, the members of the Des Moines Association of the Blind, and their families had one heck of a lot of fun, and that's important at Christmas.

To add to the festivities, the children were taken to the party in a bus chartered by the Des Moines Association of the Blind, and immediately upon Santa's disappearance up the chimney, they boarded the bus for a trip around the city to view Christmas decorations and to sing carols. For most of the young guests, the party ended much too early, but they did get home in time to see pictures of the event on the television news. This was certainly an evening to remember for the Girl Scouts and for the members of the Des Moines Association of the Blind, who during the past year have taken increasing pride in their ability to make real contributions to the community.

Along with the Christmas party, the Des Moines Association of the Blind has given bags of fruit to the residents of the Polk County Home, donated equipment to the Central Iowa Community Blood Bank, and made a financial contribution to the Des Moines Science Center. To support these ventures, the organization had a public steak fry, managed and operated by blind members, and is planning a mid-winter chili supper. These latter endeavors not only add to the treasury but also educate the public about the normal abilities of the blind. Taken together these activities are having a tremendous impact in terms of substantial opportunities for blind persons.



by Donald C. Capps

[Editor's Note: The following speech was given by Aurora State President, Donald C. Capps, at a regular meeting of the Forest Acres Rotary Club this past October.]

All of you here today and I have something in common. All of you are Rotarians and so am I. Of all the civic or service organizations in the country today, I believe the Rotary Club or Rotary International is the best service organization in the country. I consider it a great privilege to be a Rotarian.

All of you and I are alike in other ways as well. All of you are successfully employed in your business or profession and so am I. All of you are active in your respective churches and so am I. All of you are vitally interested in our city, community, State, and Nation and so am I. While you and I are alike in all these ways there is one real significant difference between you and me--all of you are sighted and I am blind and this is what I am going to talk to you about today. It might be appropriately stated that I shall talk about the "image of blindness."

If I were to ask each of you to give a definition of blindness I suspect all of you would promptly reply that blindness is the loss of physical sight and as far as this goes it would be correct. However, if you will refer to the dictionary you will find that the word blind has many definitions, possibly as many as fifteen or twenty. As a result of the multiple definitions the word blind or blindness takes on many different meanings and therefore is subject to many connotations. I suggest that when you return to your office or business that you get the dictionary and look up the word "blind." While the dictionary states that blind means the loss of physical sight it also lists many other usages of the word blind or of blindness. For example, it refers to the blind wall, a blind door, blind flying, a blind copy, a blind alley, but it does not stop there, however, as there are still other usages. The dictionary refers to the "blind stupor" and "insensible," but it goes even further than this. Other definitions are "without thought, judgment, or good sense." There are still other meanings and connotations of the word blind but I believe you now have a general idea as to the point I am attempting to get across.

Is it any wonder that there are still many highly intelligent people, much less those who are not so intelligent, who still shy away from using the word blind when in the presence of a blind person. The reason for this is very obvious as the average individual inherently wishes to avoid offending the person who happens to be blind in the thought that the use of the word blind or blindness will in some way connote inferiority or stigmatize a blind person. Nothing could be further from the truth as the average blind person uses the word blind freely and does not attach any inferior meaning to the word. Obviously, the many definitions of blindness which I have talked about and a lack of public education are responsible for this common practice among the general public. Blind people are "glad to see you" and fully recognize that they are indeed blind. Therefore, when you are in the presence of blind people do not necessarily avoid the use of the term blind or see as it is not necessary to substitute the words sightless for blindness. To put it another way, if you do not have any hair on your head, I think of you as being bald-headed not hairless. By the way, I don't know how many of you gentlemen here today are "bald-headed" and therefore, no offense, please. Many misconceptions of blindness stem from the different meanings and usages of the word blind and very often blind people are on the short end of these misconceptions and prejudices.

Frequently, I am asked what caused my blindness and people seem to be curious about the cause of various physical impairments including blindness, lameness, amputation, etc. My blindness is due to congenital glaucoma. In lay terms this is a condition of the eye where there is improper drainage causing tension to build up in the eye resulting in irrevocable damage to the optical nerve and subsequent blindness. It is a treacherous disease, the kind that sneaks up on a person, but if the condition is discovered and treated early it can be arrested and the remaining sight salvaged. There are different types of glaucoma. It is generally associated with an aging process but where it is due to a congenital condition, such as my case, the condition is more difficult to treat and control. As a blind person who has made reasonable adjustment to blindness, naturally, I am interested in the image of blindness. Stereotypes of blindness are still common as there are still those among us who look upon blindness as a total disaster rather than a physical impairment which must be worked upon, developing other techniques to compensate for blindness. Many of us who are blind are now doing all we can to eradicate many of the long standing stereotypes of blindness by public speaking, publication, the news media, and by personal examples of independent living. Perhaps we have been somewhat late in embarking upon a public relations program but I believe we are now in high gear.

There are approximately 9,000 legally blind persons residing in South Carolina. This number is equivalent to the approximate population of the city of Camden. Legal blindness means ninety percent loss of sight. Now let me give you a brief history of work with the blind and how it is structured in South Carolina. The first organized work on behalf of the blind began in the middle of the nineteenth century as the School for the Deaf and Blind was established at Cedar Springs near Spartanburg in 1849. This institution was founded by the Walker family which still heads this fine educational program. However, in contemporary education about fifty percent of blind children are now attending our public schools. Fifty years ago in 1920 a sheltered workshop was established in Columbia and for fifty years or until recently, provided sheltered type employment for some blind persons. This workshop was operated under the auspices of the Association of the Blind of South Carolina but in keeping with a shift in emphasis of placing blind persons in competitive employment this workshop was recently terminated and the property has now been deeded to the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, the State agency.

In 1944, Dr. Samuel M. Lawton, noted minister, educator and lecturer, founded the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind. The purpose of this organization is to advance the social, spiritual, and economic life of the blind with the blind themselves leading the way. The Aurora organization during the past decade has been in the forefront in bringing about many wholesome changes resulting in a better way of life for the State's blind. Many of these improvements have come through legislation including creation of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. The beautiful Aurora Center facility is another notable accomplishment of the Aurora organization. All of you here today will agree that the philosophy of an individual or an organization or business is vitally important. The Aurora organization and the South Carolina Commission for the Blind believe that with the proper training and opportunity the average blind person can do the average job in the average place of business. Let me repeat this as it is important. With proper training and opportunity the average blind person can do the average job in the average place of business.

If there is anyone among us who doubts this let me prove my point by telling you of some of the jobs blind South Carolinians are handling in an excellent manner I have been speaking of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind and you might be interested to know that a legally blind person, Dr. Fred L. Crawford, is the Executive Director of this fine State agency. While there are many fine State agency directors in South Carolina, I seriously doubt that there is any single agency director in our State who has better credentials and does a better job than Dr. Crawford, a native South Carolinian Dr. Crawford is a graduate of our School for the Blind, a graduate of the University's Law School, and holds many other academic degrees including a Master's and Ph.D. in vocational rehabilitation from New York University. One of the most capable persons in our judicial system happens to be a blind South Carolinian, Wesley W. Waites, Jr., who serves as a magistrate in West Columbia Also a practicing attorney, Mr. Waites is held in high esteem by his associates One of our city's finest business executives is totally blind. Fourteen years ago Mr. Jack Hoffman lost his sight m a tragic automobile accident but despite this set-back Mr. Hoffman serves as general manager of the large Columbia Supply Company. As you know this is not a fly-by-night outfit as this firm did nearly $5,000,000 worth of business last year. Several blind persons are successfully employed in our schools and colleges Dr. George Hallman is on the faculty of Columbia College serving as an instructor in the Department of Special Education. Perhaps some of you have had the occasion to telephone Seibels Bruce Insurance Company. The person who received your call and answered in a very polite and clear voice is none other than a totally blind person, Miss Lois Boltin. With the use of special equipment Lois operates a large and busy switchboard and on top of that serves as receptionist for Seibels Bruce. Officials of the company will tell you that she is the finest switchboard operator and receptionist the company has ever had. Total blindness has not kept Lois from doing a fabulous job in an important position for Seibels Bruce, for as you know every time she receives a call she is acting as an ambassador of good will for the company and is extending the hand of service. The voice of any company is terribly important. In the sales field, not many have done better than Billy Fisher as an insurance salesman for New York Life Insurance Company. Billy has won many awards for his excellent selling as blindness hasn't slowed him down. Blind South Carolinians are also making substantial contributions in the State's industrial growth and development, Tommie Ingle is successfully employed with the Westinghouse Nuclear and Fuel Division which manufactures cylinders for public utilities such as South Carolina Electric and Gas Company Blind South Carolinians are also working successfully as typists and Dictaphone transcribers. Padgett McKenzie has made an excellent record with the South Carolina Mental Health Commission as a Dictaphone transcriber Padgett is totally blind.

These blind persons and others like them are living proof that with proper training and opportunity blind persons can do the job. Our philosophy is that blindness need not be a disaster but may only be a physical nuisance as it is a nuisance to me to have to depend upon someone to ride with to these meetings rather than driving my own car, but then I do work and make the payments on my own car. It is also a little bother and perhaps a little nuisance to go through the serving line at these weekly meetings but I love to eat and obviously the nuisance is warranted. I believe that in recent years there have been notable improvements in public attitudes in many different areas. This holds true for blindness as unquestionably public attitudes concerning blindness are much better today than they were a decade ago. However, there is still room for considerable improvement Helen Keller, who probably would have grown up to be an average American housewife had she been born sighted, whereas, she became world-renowned as a result of overcoming the multiple handicap of deafness and blindness, once stated "It isn't blindness but the attitude of the sighted public toward blindness which is the heaviest burden to bear." To be sure, Helen Keller was correct in this observation. If only the general public would realize that blind persons represent a cross section of the nation's population and should be looked upon as individuals with varying aptitudes and talents, the image of blindness would noticeably improve.

Continued generalization about blind persons is harmful, so I urge you to recognize the individuality of the blind individual and accept him for what he may be or what he may not be. Frequently I am asked "What is the greatest need of the blind?" While the needs of the nation's half million blind persons are varied and many, if I had to summarize the greatest need in one word I believe it would be "understanding." I say this because I believe greater understanding by the sighted public of the real needs of the blind would eliminate some of these basic needs which exist primarily in the economic field. In other words, I believe greater understanding would result in greater "equality, security, and opportunity" for the blind. I have joined thousands of other blind persons throughout our great land in working with you, the sighted public, in solving some of our problems. To help us along on this journey I have brought with me about one hundred copies of what we refer to as "Ten Simple Rules of Courtesies to the Blind." You may get a copy of this at the speakers table.

Finally, as a Rotarian, I have enough insight to know that Rotary is over at two p.m. and one does not need sight to know this. With the hour of two p.m. rapidly approaching let me leave you with this final thought, "None is so blind as those who will not see."



Decatur, Georgia

Braille Monitor

It is more than gratifying to learn that the National Federation of the Blind is on record as being opposed to the two for one airplane fare for blind people. It is difficult and somewhat inconsistent to support favored legislation for blind people on the one hand and present them as self-reliant, independent, and responsible citizens of the nation on the other. Once the appropriate training, tools, and equipment are available to blind people, we must enter the arena and win or lose out of the paucity or abundance of our native and acquired abilities. There is always a gap between our professions and our performances and too many of us shy away from the realities required of us at the point of performance.

I have been on the scene for some sixty years, and the conditions which I am seeing today are vastly improved as compared with those which 1 encountered at the outset of my career. As conditons of approval and employment improve, the need for special legislation should diminish. Otherwise, we violate ourselves and disillusion our friends. There are still too many among us who see blindness as generating dependency, and every piece of special legislation tends to further strengthen and confirm their position.

The National Federation of the Blind has been a major factor contributing to the improved conditions of acceptance and employment for blind people, and it is gratifying to note your position on the matter of two for one fares for blind people on airplanes.

Very cordially yours,

John W. Lewis



K. O. Knudson, president of the Nevada Federation of the Blind was born in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho April 14, 1894. He was raised on a large wheat farm in northern Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. degree in education.

K. O., as he is commonly called, started his educational career as a school administrator in 1916, then took out two years for service in the First World War. Since 1919 he has been in constant service in education and even now, after his retirement, still does voluntary work in the schools in Nevada

K. O. Knudson has been legally blind since 1947 and has spent the last fifteen years as an active officer with the Nevada Federation of the Blind and The Southern Nevada Sightless.

In 1952 the first State organization was formed. Blind aid was raised from forty dollars to seventy-five dollars. Two years' residence was required. In 1955 the blind aid was raised from seventy-five dollars to ninety dollars. In 1956 the National Federation of the Blind made a survey in Nevada. In 1957 a Bureau of Services for the Blind under Welfare was organized. In 1958 the Nevada Federation of the Blind made a survey around the State and found many new blind people. They secured attendance in Nevada schools for all blind children. In 1959 the blind aid was raised to one hundred dollars. The Nevada Legislature passed the Vending Stand Law that blind people had preference as operators in all political sub-divisions of Nevada such as Federal buildings. In 1965 the Bureau of Services for the Blind was moved from a subdivision under Welfare to a Division of Services for the Blind under the Department of Health and Welfare.

The principal fundraising source of the Nevada Federation of the Blind is the White Cane letter which we send out in May every year. Each chapter takes care of its own circulation and then contributes a certain share to the treasury of the Nevada Federation of the Blind. Each chapter also contributes from each of their projects voluntarily when the State organization needs help. The only real security the State has is the one-dollar membership fee collected.

Nevada has chapters at Las Vegas, Reno, and Ely with a prospect for a new chapter at Hawthorne.

Southern Nevada Sightless, a chapter of the Nevada Federation of the Blind in Las Vegas, maintains a large center of activity for all blind people in Southern Nevada. The buildings were provided by the Lions Clubs on property of the City of Las Vegas at 1001 North Bruce Street.

Northern Nevada Association of the Blind does not have a work center but provides wonderful service for the blind people in Northern Nevada at the Community Civic Center.

Eastern Nevada Chapter at Ely performed wonderful community service for several years but is temporarily dormant waiting for new leaders.

Central Nevada blind people at Hawthorne are ready to start an activity as soon as arrangements can be completed.

Our total membership in Nevada numbers approximately two hundred.



by Don Wiley

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Telephone Engineer & Management]

Remember the blind "whistler" whose imitations of multi-freq tones enabled him to place free long distance calls? [See The Braille Monitor for May, 1969.]

He had been caught by a General Tel operator when she became suspicious of a call passing through her switchboard, and happened to listen in, hearing the caller explain how a friend had placed the call for him for free. The friend turned out to be Joe Engressia, a blind student at the University of South Florida majoring in mathematics.

Upon investigation, the school threatened dismissal, the telephone company considered prosecution and the FBI investigated to see if any Federal statutes had been violated. As it turned out, however, the FBI reported no case, General Tel saw no profit in prosecuting and even the University found a little mercy.

Now science is investigating Joe. According to the Florida Times Union, a $5000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to the University's Department of Psychology will enable Dr. Harold L. Hawkins, assistant professor of psychology, to investigate just how Joe does it.

At first glance it appears simple enough--Joe simply whistles the correct sequence of tones into the mouthpiece and the equipment reacts accordingly. But, the big question is, said Dr. Hawkins, how does Joe remember a frequency so that he can reproduce it later? And, secondly, how does he remember the sequence for each long distance station?

Some preliminary investigation in the laboratory found that Joe could reproduce the exact tones of an oscillator at intervals ranging anywhere from two seconds to two weeks. He made no errors whatsoever, even at the two-week interval. He never forgot a particular frequency he was told to remember, and he never gave back a frequency that was measurably different from the original.

In testing other persons to see how they compare, Dr. Hawkins found that the average man begins to make mistakes in reproducing a tone in only two seconds. In a few minutes, he is totally confused and couldn't tell any more about the given tone other than it was a high, medium or low one.

Joe was also tested against musicians professing to have perfect pitch. These musicians were found to be better at the test than the average person, but were much closer to the inaccuracy of an ordinary man than to the perfect accuracy of Joe.

But the main point is how he does it, not only his accuracy, added Dr. Hawkins. The mechanism or process by which he remembers and is able to recall the exact same frequency after long periods of time is of interest to psychologists because it sets Joe apart from what other mortals are capable of doing, yet it may be an inherent but undeveloped trait common to all.

At this stage in the experiments, it is believed that Joe's nonverbal feats of memory involve symbolic encoding similar to the way other people remember words and how to put them together in speech.

Well, anyhow, for those small companies with budget problems or for those needing some emergency multi-freq equipment, we'd like to recommend someone.



by Columbus Smith

[Reprinted through the courtesy of the Colorado Springs (Colorado) Sun.]

There are two hundred and sixteen blind in Colorado Springs. Many are wasting their lives in sightless desperation: some because of broken promises, and some because no promises have been made.

A single overworked vocational counselor drives down from Denver on Thursdays to do what one man can, in a single day, for two hundred sixteen people who long to be useful members of their community. Even the Colorado Springs based Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind is without vocational training for the blind.

Carl E. Coleman is a thirty-year-old blind person who got fed-up with the State after he was promised both college and advanced auto transmission training, but received neither. Right now, he is seeking a Federal loan to keep alive El Paso Blind Crafts, Inc., which sells brooms, aprons, and other blind-made products door to door. He started the company, which employs fourteen full and part-time employees, in August, with a Small Business Administration loan.

"A lot of blind people have come to us for employment," said Carl, who estimates that there are twenty to twenty-five capable blind persons in town who desperately need jobs. The State says there are only three blind people in Colorado Springs ready for placement in jobs. "It's awfully difficult for a blind person to find a job here. There is a lot of discrimination, and even the employers don't realize they are doing it," Carl continued.

On this point James E. McCoy--Colorado's once-a-week blind job counselor for the Springs--agrees. He sadly admitted to having encountered "downright refusals" from main local employers "not willing to bend."

Pueblo, with two hundred and fourteen blind, has had a full-time five-day-a-week job counselor for two years according to State officials. McCoy, who also services parts of Denver, Arapaho County and Douglas County, spoke in Denver of his one-day trips to Colorado Springs, "I feel so doggone frustrated I can't get the job done. I have just scratched the surface down there.

"When I was asked to take over that territory five or six years ago, the understanding was I would only be down there a year, and then they would have someone for the Springs full time," said McCoy. "It has been obvious to the staff up here (Denver) for some time, that having a full time counselor in Colorado Springs is a necessity--not just a need."

To blind Joan Fulwider, it is obvious the State isn't going to help her. "They said they would send me to college, but it would take a few months to process me. Well, that was in 1963, and each time I asked them about it they would have a different excuse. I'm trying to find out just what I am capable of doing," said Joan, who is now twenty-nine.

Roger and Jo Ann Beatty live in Colorado Springs with her parents. They came from Denver after "Roger was begging people for a job, and we were living in a house with roaches." They have a six-months-old daughter. Roger became jobless when he left what he considered a dead-end job as film developer with a letter of recommendation from the Denver firm. He hoped the State would help him find another job, but they wouldn't return his telephone calls.

"I wanted something where I could work myself up," said Roger, whose father-in-law took him around to a dozen local businesses who all refused to give him a trial. He is now making between thirty and forty dollars a week, working as a door-to-door salesman for Blind Crafts. Jo Anne, also blind, is working as a waitress and cashier at the Memorial Coffee Shop. Her mother, a former Memorial employee, got her a job which she is happy to have. "The only reason I'm working, is because I knew somebody," she said.

The elderly and the suddenly blind have gotten no State help in adjusting to their blindness since the home counselor here quit last December. "I wanted to learn to type," said one attractive middle-age woman. She also wanted to learn to travel alone--a rudimentary skill to the blind--but she is afraid to leave her home alone. "I haven't had any teaching since December, 1969."

Dr. Armin G. Turechek, superintendent of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, said he isn't teaching vocations to the blind, because the State hasn't--despite much prodding--told him what jobs to train them for. "We're not doing nearly the job we could if we just had the information ... I would like to do more to beef up our vocational training part." At present the blind receive only a tool familiarization course. They get no assembly line training. Asked how many of the blind high school graduates have jobs when they leave the school, Dr. Turechek said, "None of them really."

The State director of all handicapped rehabilitation programs. Dr. Parnell McLaughlin, said, "They do need more services than we are capable of giving." Since July first of this year, money has been available for a full time counselor in Colorado Springs, but State administrators say they have not been able to find anyone for the job. Charles G. Ritter, supervisor of rehabilitation for the blind in Denver, said he asked some of his Denver staff workers if they would like to move to Colorado Springs to take over the full time job. He got no takers. "You know, some of them own homes here in Denver," he said.



[Editor's Note: Recently the Iowa Association of the Blind published a bulletin for distribution to the general public. Its philosophy is so sound that the text is reproduced below.]

The Iowa Association of the Blind (IAB), an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, is a State-wide, non-profit, educational organization composed of and run by blind Iowans. It was created for the purpose of promoting the economic and social well-being of Iowa's six thousand blind citizens.

Goals: We seek to gain equality, opportunity and security for every blind Iowan, not only in employment but also in the right to participate fully in community affairs. We hope to see the day when each blind Iowan will have the opportunity to earn his living at the kind of job in which he is interested and for which he is qualified.

In this connection it must be recognized that we who are blind are not all alike: we are individuals with widely varying interests, skills, backgrounds, experiences, and social and economic goals.

What is blindness, and what can blind people do? Blindness is the physical loss of sight, nothing more. The individual who loses his eyesight does not also lose his physical ability, mental capacity, emotional stability, or desire to support himself and participate in the affairs of his community. In short, the blind person is the same unique human being he would have been with sight.

This physical loss of sight need not in any way be crippling or defeating. Alternative techniques are readily available to the blind person so that without sight he can perform the same functions which he would otherwise have performed with sight. Blindness, in short, is a physical nuisance.

Viewed in this light the disability of blindness is not a handicap. This is not to say, however, that blindness presents no problems. A very real problem is found, not in the loss of sight itself, but rather in the general public attitudes about blindness. That is, the concept of blindness shared by most members of our society, blind as well as sighted, is that he who is blind is physically helpless and must be forever dependent upon others to care for him.

This general lack of understanding about blindness and blind people has led to a virtual segregation of the blind. In addition, the doors to competitive employment have been substantially closed to blind persons. We wish to make it clear that these conditions exist, not because people dislike or are hostile to blind individuals, but rather because of the general lack of understanding about blindness. This, then, is the very reason why the National Federation of the Blind and our own IAB were formed. We who are blind must take the lead in developing new and constructive attitudes about blindness and in communicating these new concepts to the general public.

So far as employment is concerned, given the proper training and opportunity, the average blind person can perform the average job in the average community, and he can do it as well as his sighted neighbor. The key here is "training" and "opportunity"; training, because to compete successfully we must be qualified; and opportunity, because no matter how qualified the blind individual might be he must have a chance to prove himself in actual employment.

Some of the jobs blind Iowans are successfully performing at this time include: teaching sighted children in the public schools; teaching in colleges and universities; electrical engineering; computer programming; the law; farming; selling insurance; insurance underwriting; machine operation in industry; cafeteria and small business management; and many other "average jobs" in "average communities."

Activities: We speak to civic or church groups to inform the general public about blindness. We see to it that stories concerning successfully employed blind Iowans are reported in the news media. We provide non-partisan educational materials to lawmakers at all levels of government so they will have all the available facts to make sound, well-reasoned judgments on proposed laws which would affect the blind. We go to court, if necessary, to secure and protect the rights of blind Iowans. Finally, we advise and counsel with the agencies established to serve blind Iowans so their services can be accurately geared to the real needs of their blind consumers.

Accomplishments: We have secured passage of the MODEL WHITE CANE LAW (The Bill of Rights of the Blind) by the Iowa Legislature. We have secured passage of legislation which permits qualified blind Iowans to operate cafeterias and vending stands on State property. This program serves both as a very real employment opportunity for blind Iowans, and as a demonstration to the public of the capabilities of blind persons. We have also secured improved voting laws for the blind so the blind individual may take a person of his choice with him into the voting booth.

In the past ten years, as increasing numbers of blind Iowans have become competitively employed, the number of blind welfare recipients has dropped by one-third--tax consumers becoming tax payers. Yet, we also recognize that not every blind person can be employed competitively and, therefore, we have worked hard to see to it that Iowa's Aid to the Blind program ranks among the top aid programs in the country.

How is the IAB funded? Our own members contribute a great deal, but this is not enough. Therefore, each year we hold our "White Cane Candy Sale" on a State-wide basis. Profits are used throughout the year to carry on our programs and activities.

You can help! If you know of a blind person who is not connected with the IAB, have him contact us. When we are involved in legislation, support us by contacting your own legislators. If you are an employer, consider hiring a qualified blind person. Support us financially by participating in our White Cane Candy Sale.

For further information contact Sylvester Nemmers, President, Iowa Association of the Blind, at 670 36th, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.



by Gertrude VanVliet

[Gertrude VanVliet is the lovely wife of NFB Treasurer Franklin Van Vliet.]

This recipe is for two large ten-inch pies. This is the way Franklin likes it because he insisted on a man-sized pie.

6 1/2 cups cooked and sifted pumpkin, not watery, but dry and mealy.

1 quart boiling milk

1 5/6 cups sugar

1 5/6 teaspoonsful of salt

1 teaspoonful of cinnamon

2 eggs

Mix in order given. Beat with beater until smooth in consistency. Line a plate with pie crust, put on a rim and fill with the pumpkin mixture. Bake forty-five to fifty minutes in a four hundred degree oven.

Squash pies are made in the same way.



by John F. Nagle

[Editor's Note: Following is the panel paper presented by Mr. Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, at the Convention of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts.]

First, let me explain my qualifications--or lack of qualifications--to discuss the topic of this panel: I am a lawyer and a lobbyist for blind children, not an educator of them.

I have personal knowledge of residential blind school education for I attended the Perkins School from 1928 to 1934. As a representative of the National Federation of the Blind, I have heard much of educational programs as I have traveled about the country. I have participated in discussions, meetings, and conferences which have formulated all Federal and Federal-State special education programs of the past twelve years, and I have testified on many and various special education proposals in Congressional hearings during those years. I have talked with hundreds and hundreds of blind persons who are the products of blind education of the past fifty years. And finally, it is my business to deal with the difficulties of blind adults whose difficulties are sometimes attributable to inadequate basic education.

Now, to some thoughts on the panel topic.

In the immediate years following World War II, as the visually impaired victims of retrolental fibrolasia began to reach school-entering age, parents of these children became aware that they must send their children considerable distances away from home to residential schools for the blind, and with this awareness, there arose a loud and insistent clamor that was to result in the establishment of resource classes and itinerant programs for blind children education in city and State public school systems. And this trend away from the cloister-like and segregated atmosphere and attitudes of the residential schools for the blind was a good and healthy trend, or rather, it could have been--but too often was not.

Sometimes, local blind education programs were established because it was cheaper for blind children to live at home attending locally tax-supported schools rather than to live most of the year in distant State-tax-supported schools. Sometimes, local blind children education programs were established without a sound philosophic base and without competent guidance or adequately trained-in-blind-skills teachers and without adequate or sufficient writing and instructional tools, devices, and text materials. Sometimes, after initial emotionally-motivated supporting pressures had subsided, local blind education programs became neglected and orphaned in large and complex public school systems.

In each of these instances, blind children education programs were of poor and inferior quality, all to the lifetime detriment and disadvantage of the blind children grown into blind adults. But even so, the local blind education programs with the above and other imperfections, still served a useful purpose--they broke the tradition-granted strangle hold of residential schools with their self-contained blind world over the lives of blind children during their formative years. And this was beneficial, for it brought blind children out from behind the over-protective fences of residential schools into the sighted world where the children ultimately would have to live and work and function when their school years were over.

Blind children, educated in open society and in association with their sighted peers, gained much of normal living habits and practices too often never acquired at all by residential blind school students. But the blind children attending school with sighted children also were given the opportunity of learning early of discriminations and prejudices and denials and exclusions premised solely upon their lack of sight.

What quality of education are blind children now receiving, whether within residential schools or in the hometown school? One indication of the answer may be the comment of an official of a large midwest university who explained that extensive texts are given to blind applicants for admission to their colleges because it has been found so often that certificates of scholastic attainments have too often proven not to represent actual educational achievements. Does this mean that sometimes (and how often?) blind children are given high grades because they are blind children, or because (perhaps?) it's easier to do this (placating parents) than giving the blind children the attention they need?

What of the trends in the education of blind children to de-emphasize the use of Braille, of partially blind children receiving concentrated training in the use of large print or even of regular print? A consequence of the lessened teaching and use of Braille seems to be fewer and ever fewer blind children who become blind adults skilled in Braille ... And this is a lifetime loss, for as there is no substitute in convenience for the use of pencil and paper by the sighted person, there is no suitable alternative to Braille for the blind man. And even when Braille is taught a Braille writer and not a slate is the writing tool, thus the blind adult is deprived of a developed skill in the use of the most portable and most convenient writing instrument available to him.

Training children during their school years to use, to the greatest possible advantage, such sight as they have and may safely use, is certainly a most sensible policy. I remember while attending Perkins, knowing of the requirement that students who could read the finest print still were obliged to learn to read and rely upon finger-read Braille. And I thought then, and I think now, this was and is a foolish requirement.

But parental urgings that a child should use only printed matter in school may not indicate that this is best for the child; it may, instead, indicate--and I have known instances when this was so--a parental desire to avoid the stigma of blindness--"Oh, no!" he says, "My child isn't blind, he's only slightly visually impaired, he reads print!" This proud proclamation may mean the child in question isn't able to read printed matter, shouldn't be reading it, and is not receiving an education because of his reliance upon print that he cannot read. Then there is the partially blind school child who strains and struggles to use large print--his nose to the page, eyes squinting--all to minimize his differences with his sighted classmates.

But there is also a much greater issue suggested by the trend away from Braille and toward increasing use of printed matter m the education of blind children. The child who uses print in school even though severely visually impaired, grows into adulthood with the false illusion that he is a fully sighted person. When such a person applies for a job, employing officials soon smash this illusion, and the print-reading blind man discovers that he is neither accepted as a sighted person nor prepared to function as a blind person!

Finally, a most hopeful trend in the education of blind children was made possible by recent amendments to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act, authorizing vocational rehabilitation counseling and other vocational rehabilitation services for blind children during their secondary education years, thereby making a more intelligent approach to higher education or entry into employment after high school.

As I stated at the beginning, my thoughts are random observations of the kind and quality of basic education being provided to blind children, today. In general, I feel this most essential life preparation is not as good as is needed--and the blind child who must compete as a blind adult with sighted people in a sighted world and in a sight-geared economy will function at a substantial disadvantage even when he receives the best possible educational foundation.

Perhaps another trend is required in the blind child education field-borrowing the word "relevance" from the Negro movement--the educators of blind children should constantly re-examine all aspects of blind children education to make certain it is, in fact, preparing blind children to function competitively and successfully without sight in a completely sight-structured society.



by Richard C. Allen

[Published for the National Citizens Conference by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.]


Law is--or should be--a device for serving basic human needs. And it is never static. When a lawyer says: "This is the law," he is really saying: "This is what I think some court (or this court) would do if presented with this question in the future." Thus, the practice of law, like the practice of astrology (which seems to have come once again into vogue), embodies the art of prediction; and, like astrology, that prediction must be based on the perambulations of shifting--albeit not supernal--forces. In what is to follow, it is the author's hope that when he says: "This is the law," the saying of it will help a little to make it so.

With that by way of introduction, a very basic question will now be posed; one which seems to underly much of what has been, and will be, said here: Do the disabled and disadvantaged have a right--a legally enforceable right-to demand of society that it assist them to become whole? Is there a "right" to welfare, to treatment, to rehabilitation, to vocational training, or to whatever else might help to remove the disadvantage or ameliorate the disability?

It is over that question that many of the verbal battles (including some of the "legal" ones) have been fought. For example, when complaint is made that welfare questionnaires and interviews, "loyalty" oaths, and periodic investigations of eligibility, infringe upon the recipient's privacy, or upon his freedom of speech, or of association, or constitute an unreasonable search, the response (perhaps along with some observations about "free loaders" and "chiselers") will probably be that by becoming an applicant for welfare, the person has voluntarily surrendered his privacy and sanctity of his home; that since welfare is a privilege and not a right, it may be conditioned in whatever way the community thinks best, and anyone who objects to the conditions imposed may avoid them by getting himself off the public dole, but has no legal right to complain.

We began this paper with quotations from Professor Reich of the Yale Law School, (1965) and from the Kerner Commission Report (1968). There is little doubt of their views of the matter. The Kerner Commission stated in no uncertain terms its position that: "A recipient should be able to regard assistance as a right and not as an act of charity." And Reich has declared "... When individuals have insufficient resources to live under conditions of health and decency, society has obligations to provide support, and the individual is entitled to that support as of right." But the views of both Professor Reich and the Kerner Commission have been characterized by some as "extreme"; as extreme perhaps as another oft-quoted document, with its reference to the "unalienability" of certain basic rights, was once regarded. They were lawyers who wrote the Declaration of Independence and they used legal terms. To "alien" something means to transfer or convey it, or to give it away. If a man's right to think and speak and vote and assemble are embraced within the concept of "liberty"; if his home is his property, inviolable, except through warrant based upon probable cause; if his privacy and his dignity as a human being are unassailable concomitants of his right to live and pursue happiness, then they are as well incapable of alienation: by sale, or by deed, or by gift--or by application for welfare benefits or admission to a residential care institution.

It is, in the author's opinion, quite appropriate to talk about the disabled and disadvantaged in terms of "rights." Franklin Roosevelt did--eloquently and explicitly--twenty-five years ago in a State of the Union Message in which he said that this country had evolved an "Economic Bill of Rights" of equal stature to that first great Bill, and that it included:

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment:

The right to a good education ...

The right to a useful and remunerative job [with sufficient income] to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

And all of this "regardless of station, race or creed." And he told the Congress that "America's own rightful place in the world will depend in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens." Four years later, in 1948, the United States and twenty other American Republics, convened at Bogota, Columbia, adopted the American Declaration of the Essential Rights and Duties of Man, affirming that:

All persons are equal before the law without distinctions as to race, sex, language, creed or any other factor ...

Every person has the right to establish a family ... and to receive protection therefore …

Every person has the right to the inviolability of his home …

Every person has the right to social security which will protect him from the consequences of unemployment, old age, and any disabilities arising from causes beyond his control that make it physically or mentally impossible for him to earn a living ...

Every person has the right to be recognized everywhere as a person having rights and obligations, and to enjoy the basic civil rights.

The rights we have been talking about, the rights of the disabled and disadvantaged, spring from basic Constitutional imperatives--for example, the right of one institutionalized for mental illness, or mental retardation, or the disabilities of old age, to control his own property until and unless judicially declared incompetent is not diminished by the fact that he is receiving care in a public institution. Stated or implicit regulations unrelated to the purpose of welfare legislation itself, which serve to deny benefits to persons otherwise within the class for whose benefit the legislation was enacted, or which impose unreasonable burdens upon them, may be struck down.

Another President Roosevelt--a Republican President Roosevelt--once said that: "The object of government is the welfare of its people." A more recent Republican President has declared that welfare:

... should meet the immediate needs of those who cannot help themselves--the poor, the disabled, the aged, and the sick. And it should do this in a way that preserves the dignity of the individual and the integrity of his family ...

and he urged that its purpose must be to:

... do more than help a human body survive; it must help a human spirit revive, to take a proud place in the civilization that measures its humanity in terms of every man's dignity (from a radio speech by Richard M. Nixon, October 28, 1968, excerpted in SRS Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 6, Jan-Feb. 1969)


Reference has been made at several points in this paper to the principle of normalization. It is important in the context of legal rights, embracing as it does the concept that everyone is entitled to a life as close to the normal as is possible. Thus, he is not to be institutionalized merely to serve someone else's convenience; and he is to be accorded all the rights that any other citizen may enjoy, excepting only such rights as have been taken away lawfully, for good reasons, and under fair and appropriate procedures Lake v. Cameron is an application of that concept, as is also the author's enumeration (1969) of the rights of the retarded to:

1. all the rights of citizenship that he is capable of exercising;

2. such protection, assistance and restriction in exercising those rights as is necessary and appropriate in light of his limitations.

3. humane and appropriate care and treatment--preferably in his own home and
community, but if necessary in a residential care institution--with the objective of enabling him to live as fully, as freely, and as self-sufficiently as possible;

4. fundamental fairness-due process of law-in the provision and safeguarding of each of the foregoing.

The last point noted-which may be termed the principle of fairness—requires that in decision-making affecting one's life, liberty or vital interests, the elements of due process will be observed, including: the right to notice, to a fair hearing, to representation by counsel, to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses testifying against one, and to appeal an adverse decision. Nor are these elements requirements only--as they were once thought to be--of criminal cases. The State of Arizona argued recently before the United States Supreme Court that the failure of the Juvenile Court of Gila County to provide notice to Gerald Gault and his parents of the nature of the accusation brought against him; its failure to warn Gerald of his right to remain silent; and its adjudication (ordering Gerald to be confined in the State Industrial School until twenty-one, a period of six years, on a charge, which if brought against an adult, could have resulted in no more than sixty days imprisonment), made on the basis of unsworn, hearsay testimony, without right of cross-examination--all should be deemed of no consequence, since juvenile proceedings are "noncriminal" and the court acts as parens patriae, for the "welfare of the child." The Court, however, reversed (In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 1967), citing its earlier declaration (in Kent v. U.S., 383 U.S. 541, 1966):

There is no place in our system of law for reaching a result of such tremendous consequences without ceremony--without hearing, without effective assistance of counsel, without a statement of reasons…

We do not mean to indicate that the hearing to be held must conform with all of the requirements of a criminal trial or even of the usual administrative hearing; but we do hold that the hearing must measure up to the essentials of due process and fair treatment.

In the author's view, the Court could apply a standard no less rigorous to a proceeding under which one is deprived of his liberty or property on the ground of alleged mental illness, or retardation, or advanced age; or to an administrative determination depriving a family of its only source of income which does not afford them a fair opportunity to oppose the action. Thus, although it has not yet been declared to be "the law," the author believes that established legal principles require that in any such case the due process requirements of notice, right to counsel, a fair hearing, and right of appeal are fully applicable.

And finally, there is the principle of respect for the dignity and worth of the individual. Again, this principle is closely related to the principles of normalization and fairness discussed above. Here, however, emphasis is placed upon one's right to be treated as a human being, and not as an animal or a statistic. Thus, commission of crime does not deprive one of all legal rights--a prisoner, even a felon, has a right that he shall not be punished excessively or cruelly, a right to practice his religion, and a right to reasonable protection from homosexual assault. An inmate of a public institution has a right that he shall not be kept sedated, or unclothed for the convenience of the attendants and a right to reasonable communication and visitation. A welfare recipient has a right that his privacy shall not be invaded by "loyalty" oaths and by intrusive inquiries and investigations bearing no reasonable relationship to a determination of need or to the provision of assistance.



The theme of the Eleventh Annual Conference of Blind Teachers in California--Upgrading Skills--Widening Opportunities--brought emphasis on the master teacher, his problems and prospects.

As the conference participants brought out, the word "master" is used advisedly in speaking of the fully credentialed teacher in California. The teacher must be a master of his subject, and master of relationships with his fellow teachers, staff, and parents. He must as well be a master in public relations with the community. In addition he is expected to teach creatively in a rapidly changing society burgeoning with new knowledge and to grasp from this environment tools and methods to challenge his students.

The master teacher should provide leadership not only in his school but for the people in the community in which he teaches and for whom he should also be a resource for information, educational and otherwise.

For his students, the master teacher should be the prototype of the well-balanced person; one who through self-knowledge is able to deal with his pupils with sensitive understanding.

The blind person desiring to achieve the status of master teacher must, perforce, be well in command of the basic educational training. His dossier, which will follow him throughout his career, should reflect academic excellence and interest in other activities. Those who are asked to write letters of recommendation should, consequently, be chosen with care. The dossier will be reviewed at all job interviews and play an important role.

With 16,000 fewer teaching positions in the State, interviews have a larger impact. The applicant should make an effort to be pleasant, practicing beforehand if necessary. The interviewer will try to discover what capacity the applicant has to make investments in other human beings, other than what he finds in the dossier.

In this connection speaker Robert Acosta, blind teacher at Chatsworth High School, emphasized the importance of not being caught in the "what if" game--what if there is an earthquake; what if there is cheating. The blind teacher doesn't know "what if" but neither do the others. These problems are not exclusive to the blind instructor. Most problems can be handled by being yourself. If you carry a chip on your shoulder, the challenge will be met, especially by the students. Mobility is a very necessary skill. Bob Acosta pointed out, for the blind teacher so that even in such physical things as taking the class to the library or taking part in school activities, one can lead rather than be led. He emphasized that no one is going to love or hate you because of blindness but because of the kind of teacher you are. If you are a good teacher, blindness will be a physical characteristic, and nothing more.

Lynda Bardis, CCB Field Director, who was the luncheon speaker, reviewed the history of the struggle to open the teaching profession for the blind by the California Council of the Blind. That it was and is successful is indicated by the fact that California now has one hundred five blind teachers. Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant reviewed the position of the blind teacher overseas.

Among other school administrators, college professors, and school officials who spoke was Onvia Ticer Tillinghast, blind teacher in the San Lorenzo School District and, along with Dr. Grant, a founder of the Conference.

One hundred and thirty-seven people registered for the one-day meeting and about one hundred and fifty people attended. Each year, the importance of this Conference is emphasized by its growth.



[Reprinted from Ohio Bell Voice and Taxicab Management.]

Bob Bachman is back in the transportation business and he's glad to be there. He's glad to be making a meaningful contribution as an order receiver and dispatcher with the Green-Yellow Cab Company, Inc., in Columbus.

With his new job. Bob has a frequent buzzing in his ears, and he is delighted about it. The buzzing helps him "see" calls as they light up on the Call Director in front of him. Bob lost his sight a few years ago, but he's been able to overcome the misfortune with initiative and resourcefulness.

Bob recalls, "I used to drive a cab for the Green and Yellow Cab Company before I lost my sight, and I worked on the phones to take customers' orders. Sometimes I worked as a dispatcher. That was when we had the old 'call boxes.'

"Later, I drove a Greyhound Bus, owned my own tractor-trailer rig for a while and served as sales manager for an automobile dealer. So, with the exception of a few years, I have been associated with the transportation business ail my life and it's where I feel at home."

Marvin Glassman, who operates the family cab business, keeps two hundred fifty cabs on the move and three shifts of employees working around the clock. He recalls, "When Leonard Cook, switchboard supervisor, Bob and I first talked about him coming back to work for us, none of us had any answers. But Bob knew that I have always had an interest in hiring the handicapped I attended President Nixon's conference last May in Washington, D.C., to learn more about what ideas are being developed.

"So, we called Ohio Bell and started the ball rolling. In a short time Jerry Williams and all the other men involved not only had the answers, but they also had a new system installed and working. I knew that Bob was a good, dependable worker when he was with us before, and I am delighted to have him back on the payroll."

Bob Bachman now runs his job with the help of an "electronic assistant," a small box that sits alongside his call director phone. When the monitoring light activates the system and feeds a tone to his earphone, Bob is alerted that a call is coming on one of the lines on his push-button console. By running the light-sensitive probe up or down the guide strip, he can tell what is happening by the type of signal that he receives over his earphone. If he hears a steady buzz he knows that someone else has already answered that call--that the line is in use. If he receives a fast beep, he knows the call has been put on hold. A slow beep indicates an incoming call, and by pushing that button he can answer the call.

Like a great many other people in the transportation business, Bob has quite an elaborate back-up crew that keeps him in the "driver's seat." His crew starts with Ohio Bell's marketing representative, engineer, plant-staff and installation personnel, and reaches all the way across the country to include men from the Bell Telephone Laboratories, AT&T and Western Electric.

It was discovered that the telephone equipment at the Cab Company is of an ancient vintage, and since relocation plans are in the future, it has not been advisable to modernize. The vast difference in equipment age presented problems. One of the problems was that the light-sensitive probe to be used in this job was designed by Bell Labs to enable a blind attendant to operate a switchboard. But, this installation didn't use a switchboard, so the call director was substituted and the modifications went on from there. To make the call director work, new circuits had to be designed by Bell Labs and AT&T personnel and it required ninety hours of rewiring and circuit modifications by Ohio Bell installers.

Bob Bachman is a man of many talents and interests. Being blind has not decreased his love for fishing . . . and it hasn't kept him from operating his own boat, with the help of a guide. He plays the electric organ and is quick to comment that, "It is strictly for my own enjoyment." His face beams when he talks about his daughter who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and his son who lives in Florida. And, he promptly displays a grandfather's pride as he removes the neatly protected pictures of his seven grandchildren from his wallet.

It is believed that the installation that put Bob back into the transportation business is probably a "first-of-its-kind." Perhaps not as difficult as putting a man on the moon, but for Bob Bachman it is still "one giant step."



by Robert E. Bradley

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Camden (New Jersey) Courier-Post.]

Mrs. Connie Michalewich flew in from Boston hoping for a cup of coffee m a Cherry Hill diner, where she had been refused service almost two weeks ago.

The pleasant-looking registered nurse works with blind retarded children at a hospital in the Boston area. It would have been an expensive cup of coffee, since she could sip coffee at any Boston diner for fifteen cents. But this cup was to mean something to her. Mrs. Michalewich, twenty-seven, is blind. She was refused a seat in Ponzio's Diner, Cherry Hill, because the operator of the diner wouldn't admit her with her guide dog "Wendy."

Upon seeing this, two men came to her aid inside the diner, but wound up being arrested for disturbing the peace when they spoke up for the blind woman, who lives in Waverly, Massachusetts.

The two would-be good Samaritans, Jerry Schwartz and Jerome Weisberg--both of Cherry Hill--stood before Cherry Hill Municipal Court Judge Albert J. Klein to answer the charges.

Nich Fifis, operator of the diner, explained to the judge that he told Mrs. Michalewich "the dog is not allowed in here" when she, her brother, David Copeland, and his wife entered the diner about three p.m. on October 24.

Fifis and his attorney, Michael Kouvatas, were sitting in a booth in the diner when the blind woman and her relatives first entered Ponzio's.

"She told me she could go anywhere with this dog. After I found out she was blind, I consulted my attorney (Kouvatas) to see if it was permitted," Fifis told Judge Klein.

Kouvatas represented his client in court last night. But then he was sworn in as a witness and accused Schwartz and Weisberg of being boisterous and refusing to leave the diner when told to. "They were anxious to be martyrs and heroes," the lawyer maintained.

The blind woman's brother, who lives in Philadelphia, told the jurist that his sister had only had the guide dog for about six months, and could not get around without "Wendy." He testified, "These two men didn't butt in," he stated, "they spoke up for human rights."

Judge Klein called the matter "an unfortunate situation." He said the law provides an exception for blind people and their guide dogs in eating establishments. He dismissed the charges against Schwartz and Weisberg, saying, "The incident, basically, stems from misunderstanding and hot tempers."

Then, Klein turned to Copeland and added: "I agree with you, sir. I think a question of human rights is involved."

Wendy led Mrs. Michalewich out of the courtroom. "If it hadn't happened at all, I would have been much happier," she explained. But she was disappointed. "It's a slap in the face to all humanity."

She further pondered, "Why can't people treat others decently? What they (Schwartz and Weisberg) did for me, they did for everyone. I wish there were a lot more like them."

"It's the first time I've gotten involved, and I feel good about it," Schwartz had earlier said. He didn't seem to have changed his mind now.



by George Trapp

[Reprinted by courtesy of the New Brunswick (New Jersey) Home News.]

James Moynihan is an individualist, yet he is part of a three-man teaching team at Jonas Salk Middle School. He values highly his independence, yet is offered assistance wherever he goes. Although he teaches history, he is unique in this township's school system--James Moynihan is blind.

While that handicap demands he put more time into class preparation than the average teacher, Moynihan and his fellow teachers find it makes little difference in a classroom situation. In fact, Moynihan is dedicated to destroying the stereotyped image of the blind person. "Ignorance about blind people is so great, it's unbelievable," he said. "If he just ties his shoes right, people are amazed."

Blind since birth, Moynihan was educated in special schools and then was graduated from St. Bonaventure's University in Olean, New York, where he also earned his Master's degree in history. But he feels that society creates a paradox when it tells the blind they must be extremely independent to succeed, yet pulls on their sleeve every time they try to cross a street. Moynihan said he usually refuses politely. Often he must bite his lip when unwanted aid is forced on him.

However, he and fellow teachers Gary Sapir and George Scher view the situation differently when the assistance is forthcoming from students at the school. "Youngsters at this age are accused so often of being thoughtless and cruel," Sapir said. "Yet they actually are very protective of Jim and are always helping him get around the school." The school's large cafeteria still presents some problems to Moynihan, but he pretty well memorized the maze of corridors early in the year after several guided tours by Scher.

The twenty-five-year-old teacher said he is able to cover the textbook material by having friends commit it to tape. However, he does not think the specifics are all important, since the emphasis in the middle school is on concepts, not content. Classroom discussions are conducted by a student chairman, and the students help keep order in the classroom by policing each other. The team teaching system also helps, since the three teachers share two classes and often two of them are in a class at the same time.

But Moynihan said he still finds it amusing when a student protests that he had his hand raised for ten minutes without being called on.

An affable, talkative man, Moynihan said he originally planned to be a college professor, but he tired of going to classes and said he felt he was getting bogged down in graduate school. "Many blind people lose the valuable and very important experience of working," he said. "While others may be able to get part-time jobs, a blind student has to devote all his time to studying and he begins to lose touch with the world outside."

He applied to approximately ninety schools, and although his preference was New York City, he finally settled for a Catholic high school in Camden. There was resistance in some places because of his blindness, and he said he ran into some stereotyped notions that he should teach in a school for the blind.

After spending two years at Camden, Moynihan moved to Madison because it was closer to New York City. His sole problem was the lack of public transportation, and he said he has found a positive attitude all around, from schools Superintendent Patrick Torre to the students.

Moynihan is not setting any precedents in his chosen profession, however. There are currently three hundred thirty-four blind teachers in the nation's elementary and secondary schools, and of the 2,000 blind students now in college, seven hundred are preparing for the teaching field.

There are few activities in which the teacher does not participate. He attends sports events when they are broadcast on the radio, is a member of the school system's bowling league and actively participates in all water sports, including skiing.



by Michael Mahoney

[Reprinted by courtesy of the San Francisco (California) Chronicle. Copyright Chronicle Publishing Company, 1970.]

A Richmond organization used rather odd methods to collect donations for Braille Bibles and white canes for blind persons according to civil and criminal charges filed recently.

The youths recruited to work for it were threatened with a gun in order to get them to turn in all the money they collected, and were sometimes subjected to a strip search to make sure they weren't holding out. State officials said.

The organization, International Braille Distributors, Richmond, California was sued in Contra Costa Superior Court by Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch, charging that the funds they collected were "unlawfully diverted from charitable purposes," and asking for a court order restraining them from any further solicitation.

At the same time, Contra Costa District Attorney William O'Malley filed criminal charges against the organization's officers, Wallace Grant, Amos Grant, Conny Grant, and Johnny Grant, charging them with defrauding the youths of their wages.

Wallace Grant and Amos Grant were arrested and Richmond police were searching for Conny Grant and Johnny Grant.

With regard to the civil suit, the Grants must appear before Contra Costa Superior Court Presiding Judge Joseph Genser to show cause why the restraining order should not be made permanent.

According to police, the youths were recruited for after-school work from various schools, particularly Gompers Continuation High School.

They were "trained"--the training usually consisting, among other things, of Wallace Grant's exhibiting a thirty-eight revolver and warning, "If any of you get out of line I'll shoot you"--and then driven to various residential districts around the Bay Area to solicit funds door-to-door, the reports said.

After a first day's work, a youth would be told that his experience actually was "training" and he would get no pay. When he returned on a subsequent day, he was told his services were no longer needed, reports said.

Some youths worked successive days and were paid something, but never the two dollars per hour they had been promised.

According to the lawsuit, a report filed with the State Registrar of Charitable Trusts by International Braille Distributors showed that during 1969 it collected $16,699 in donations but only disbursed $1031 for charitable purposes, the rest going for "expenses."



by Dr. Gertrude Berger*

[Reprinted through courtesy of the author.]

The decade of the seventies will see an increasing number of blind teachers functioning in elementary and secondary classrooms at all levels and in all subjects. A survey conducted in 1968-1969 revealed that three hundred thirty-four blind teachers were then employed in elementary and secondary schools. Moreover, of 1,940 blind students in colleges and universities (September 1968-June 1969), eight hundred thirteen were preparing for teaching.1 As school systems recognize the teaching competencies of visually handicapped persons, legal proceedings are erasing prejudicial impediments.

The notable success which visually handicapped teachers have had in conducting their classrooms presents a challenge for educators. Edward Huntington's investigation, "Administrative Considerations in the Employment of Blind Teachers," found that these teachers were rated as average or above by school personnel in twenty-seven of the thirty-two schools in the study.2 When techniques used by blind teachers are examined, they present examples of teaching methods that are not only unique as compensatory measures but constitute sound pedagogical practices. These practices include the use of student assistants, extensive use of audio-visual equipment, and grouping practices with concomitant effects on discipline in the classroom.

An outstanding feature of the classroom is the extensive use of students to administer their own affairs. Students, coming into a strange classroom, often feel like intruders in a hostile land. Difficult students are tempted to test the limits beyond which they dare not go and still remain part of the organized social group. These students will challenge a blind teacher even as they would a sighted one, and the need for effective discipline and good classroom management is a mandate for all teachers.

The blind teacher, using procedures in which many students are entrusted with the management of classroom affairs, constitutes both a surprise to compliant students and a disarming change to rebellious ones. Students rotate assignments in taking attendance even though the teacher has a Braille seating chart (as well as a typed one for use by substitute teachers) and attendance cards with the students' names in both print and Braille. The class secretary takes charge of the roll call and attendance sheets. In some situations, a student will report the absences in each row to the teacher. The students have responsibilities for housekeeping chores and the distribution of equipment and supplies. When one student goes to the chalkboard and writes his homework assignment, another student reads it aloud.

While blind teachers assume responsibilities for performing all the duties of a regular classroom teacher, such as conducting fire drills, hall and playground duties, they recognize the socialization that occurs when responsibilities are shared between students and teacher. The blind teacher's ability to function independently is augmented by his recognition that shared responsibilities support strong socialization processes.


Blind teachers appear to be in advance of sighted teachers in their frequent use of audio-visual equipment. The equipment is used to supplement textbook work. The tape recorder has proved one of the most useful tools for both the blind and the sighted teachers. Sighted teachers, however, have not explored the various uses of small sets distributed throughout the classroom to the extent that blind teachers have. Use of tapes in such manner enables groups to work in various subjects, at different levels, during the same period of time. One blind teacher suggests that the use of the overhead projector focuses his students' attention far better than the chalkboard. He prepares his transparencies in advance and numbers them in Braille for sequential presentation. A physics teacher, for example, may need to explain a certain concept to the class; for this he and a student may prepare a transparency during the class lesson.


The sound pedagogical principle at work is that the teacher can involve the students in the learning process. The students are being taught in the most meaningful way, with the teacher facilitating the learning. When the blind teacher encourages self-policing activities, he is creating strong ego controls which lead to learning for intrinsic satisfactions rather than extrinsic rewards such as gold stars or grades.

Various studies on techniques of blind teachers reveal a tendency for the blind to move about the room more than a sighted teacher does. The preference of blind teachers for arrangements which encourage group work or study circles enables them to work comfortably with small groups. While grouping has been a recommended practice in many teacher education institutions, there remains a large gap between theory and practice in this regard. Large numbers of classrooms, largely at the secondary level, maintain a traditional row arrangement with the teacher conducting most of the work from the front of the class rather than among the students themselves.

The techniques of the blind teacher which foster grouping promote a socialized classroom which intensifies an existing positive interaction and diminishes antagonism which pupils in some classes display toward each other and especially toward the teacher. There are classrooms which resemble armed camps, with teacher and students barely able to restrain their warlike desires and with everyone on the lookout for the outbreak of hostilities which usually occurs on Friday during the last period.

In Dr. Huntington's survey of responses from two hundred thirty-three school administrators, investigating their reticence to interview or hire blind teachers, the problem of maintaining discipline was a crucial one. If any of these administrators were questioned about educational tasks which they fear new teachers will inadequately perform, their response would quite likely be "the maintenance of discipline." The problem has become so overwhelming that, in many schools, instruction cannot proceed because teachers are unable to challenge students so that they will contribute to a learning atmosphere.

Why then did Dr. Huntington in his study of blind teachers find that of the thirty-two schools in his study, only five reported less than average discipline? The blind teacher appears to employ methods which contribute to a well disciplined classroom. When blind teachers discussed their methods at a recent federally-funded institute, sponsored jointly by the New York Association for the Blind and the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (1969),3 the teachers repeatedly stressed that mutual respect and confidence were engendered in their relations with their students. "The need for respect and confidence" represents a facile formula long promoted in teacher education courses and literature. The problem is translating the formula into relations between a class of students and a teacher.

It is suggested that the goal of mutual respect and confidence which is at the heart of all classroom discipline is promoted in a blind teacher's classroom by the teaching techniques employed. The reciprocal feeling of responsibility which the extensive reliance on student assistants builds is a key in establishing mutual confidence. The teacher needs the students and the students need the teacher, and both attempt to satisfy rather than frustrate each other. The teacher asks his students to perform tasks not because he cannot do them, but because he has confidence that the students are competent and trustworthy. Therefore, since it is their classroom, they can manage the records and the equipment: this leaves the teacher free to teach. The feeling of mutual respect is further fostered and enhanced by the group practices that are employed in the classroom. The teacher trusts students to work as a group and to establish group controls and goals.

The overwhelming conclusion that one reaches from studying the teaching methods of blind teachers is that they are establishing a socialized atmosphere which contributes to discipline and diminishes the need for confrontation. In teaching methods, the blind can well lead the sighted.

*Gertrude Berger, Instructor of Education, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York. This article appeared in Educational Leadership, November, 1970.

1. New York Association for the Blind. Employment of Qualified Blind Teachers in Teaching Positions in the Public School Systems at Both the Elementary and the Secondary Grade Levels, 1969. p. 55.

2. Ibid. p. 44.

3. The author wishes to express her gratitude for the information related to the institute to Mr. Ronald I. Johnston, Vocational Guidance Consultant for the Blind, Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, New York State Department of Social Services.



Those who attended the banquet at the 1969 NFB Convention in Columbia, South Carolina will recall that, at the end of President Jernigan's stirring call to battle, the then Lieutenant Governor John C. West rose and said that he would join Jernigan "at the barricades." Now Mr. West is Governor of South Carolina and he has, indeed, mounted the barricades. In his inaugural speech he pledged to help the State break the "vicious circle of ignorance, illiteracy, and poverty. We pledge to minority groups no special status other than full-fledged responsibility in a government that is totally color-blind."


The annual meeting of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped will be held in Washington, D. C. April 15 and 16. During the first day's afternoon sesssion there will be several concurrent panel discussions, including one on "The Handicapped Speak Up." John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington office, has been invited to be one of the panelists.


The U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare reports that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969 a total of 8,884 blind persons were rehabilitated m those 36 States having separate agencies for the blind. Of the 12 1/2 million dollars spent on total services for individuals, 10.6 percent was spent on diagnostic services, 22.7 percent for physical restoration, 40.8 percent on training, 18.3 percent on maintenance, and 76 percent on other services.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970 9,634 blind persons were rehabilitated, the U S average rate of rehabilitations per 100,000 of the general population being 6.60 HEW still follows the quaint practice of ranking the States based on the number of rehabilitations per 100,000 of the general population. This is the so called "numbers game" but is largely meaningless. It would be much more meaningful if the States were ranked on the basis of the actual number of blind persons placed in competitive employment. For instance, for fiscal year 1967 of 5,632 blind persons allegedly rehabilitated by State agencies, 288 percent were "placed" as homemakers and unpaid family workers and 75 percent were sheltered workshop workers. This makes a whopping 36.3 percent who were not placed in competitive employment at all, not counting the number who were placed in vending stands or food service locations.


Lois H. Mills, President of the Florida Association of the Blind, advised that this affiliate now has a quarterly bulletin which will serve as a continuous line of communication between the state board and the local chapters, as well as containing public relations material which the chapters can circulate among civic and church groups and potential members and supporters. Florida has also established a Committee on Legislation chaired by Mrs. Bette French of Orlando and is planning a state-wide fundraising project. Real progress, Florida!


The U. S. Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a 1967 Federal law that permits persons on welfare to hold jobs and earn some money without losing welfare benefits. The case was brought by a Chicago mother who claimed that the law discriminated against the working poor who have never been on welfare in favor of those who have been receiving public funds. Her challenge to the law's constitutionality was rejected by the highest court. In a second welfare ruling, the Court upheld the power of California to provide higher welfare payments for children cared for in a foster home than those who remain with their parents.


Carl Larson, president of the United Blind of Minnesota, hit upon a novel method of entertaining the one hundred sixty-four members of the organization. He used some of the large choruses in Minneapolis who came without reimbursement. Carl calls his extravaganza "just off Broadway Shows" and fills out the choral numbers with a superb master of ceremonies and a renowned soprano.


Illinois reports that increases in its welfare rolls broke all records in 1970, reaching a total of more than 706,000 persons as compared with 554,040 a year earlier. As a result the State faces a fiscal crisis and must have increased Federal help. Illinois feels that the crisis is due largely to actions of the Federal Government itself and hence it is only just that increased financial help be forthcoming from Washington. The State feels that the causes of the mounting welfare rolls are the state of the national economy, and new Federal regulations requiring that persons be kept on the rolls while they appeal decisions disqualifying them and the requirement that all applicants be placed on the rolls within thirty days, if eligible.


In New York a record $24 billion budget request by the New York City Human Resources Administration, including $2.1 billion for increasing costs of welfare and medicaid programs, was rejected by Mayor Lindsay. He told a news conference that "the City of New York and taxpayers of New York can no longer meet the rising cost of welfare in our City" and asked for a legal study to determine the City's powers to "refuse to pay for increased welfare costs or accept additional welfare cases." The Mayor has directed his legal branch to sue the Federal and State Governments to strike down laws that mandate welfare costs to New York City, and to force the Federal and State Governments to finance all welfare and medicaid programs in the City. Lindsay said, "we are sick to death of having Federal and State law ram down our throats the cost of a program which doesn't work."


Brailled musical scores will be programmed into the language of the computer, according to the Library of Congress. The Library and the American Printing House for the Blind will work jointly in the preparation of the computer-translation programs. The effort will take about three years to complete.


The Observer, publication of the Montana Association for the Blind, points out that the MAB is chiefly concerned with two bills which were introduced into the 1971 session of the Legislature. One bill would allow the issuance of identification cards to non-drivers and would simply mean that the blind and other persons who do not or cannot drive would have a ready and official means of identification. The other is the Model White Cane Law, including the all-important contributory negligence clause.


One of the chief problems with which the White House Conference on the Aging will be concerned is the health problem of those sixty-five years of age and older, constituting about ten percent of the total population or more than 20 million Americans. Chronic disease constitutes the bulk of the serious physical health problems of the elderly. About 15.4 million, or eighty-six percent of the people in this age bracket are estimated to have one or more chronic conditions--such as high blood pressure or diabetes or an impairment representing a decrease or loss of ability to perform certain functions. The older patient requires more frequent hospital admissions, stays longer in the hospital, is the main user of long-term care facilities and home health agencies, consumes more therapeutic drugs and requires more physician time. The lower the economic status of the elderly the more likely they are to suffer from disability due to injury and illness. Forty percent of this group are poor or near poor.


The current issue of the Newsletter of the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped reports on an ominous happening. The Governor's Management Study Report recommends that the Commission and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation should be merged and called the Department of Rehabilitation. The powers of the Commission would be changed from executive to advisory as would those of the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. The Director of Vocational Rehabilitation would be appointed by the Governor. The administrative head of the Commission would be appointed by the Commissioner of Vocational Rehabilitation. Five deputy governors would be established -Deputy Governors of Finance, Education, Human Affairs, Commerce and Resources, and of Transportation and Public Safety. The Commission or the Department of Rehabilitation would come under the Deputy Governor of Human Affairs. Thus one more Commission is in imminent danger of being swallowed up under the "umbrella type" structure of governmental organization. No doubt this scheme will be vigorously opposed by the Virginia Federation of the Blind and, in fact, all Virginians who know and appreciate the importance of maintaining an independent agency to serve the blind.


Free 1971 Braille calendars, with holidays noted, are now available from the American Brotherhood for the Blind. Requests may be sent to Twin Vision Publishing Division, 18440 Topham Street, Tarzana, California 91356.

Mr. Hubert E. Smith is president of Ways and Means for the Blind and recently made a substantial contribution to the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Endowment Fund. This is not the first time that Ways and Means has favored the NFB over the years with financial assistance. And speaking of contributions to the Endowment Fund, we understand that Lawrence "Muzzy" Marcelino is going to try and prevail upon the President of the NFB to permit a roll call at the Houston Convention so that State affiliates can record their gifts to this cause.

The Newsletter, published by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, reports that organizational meeting for its fourth chapter was held in January in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti region. Good work, Michigan!

Mrs. Sidney Geyer of 355 - 8th Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10001, is a long-time member of the Brooklyn Chapter of the Empire State Association of the 'Blind. She has recently opened a travel agency and makes reservations for persons in any part of the country. Those planning to attend the NFB Convention in Houston this coming summer might wish to bear Mrs. Geyer's service in mind.


Lawrence Vest, new vice president of the Northern Indiana Center of the Blind, Inc., recently retired from the Dodge Manufacturing Company of Mishawaka. He first went to work for Dodge in 1943 as a lathe operator, but lost his sight in 1948 after several operations had failed to correct an eye ailment. He went to a private school in Rochester, Michigan, where he obtained his first leader dog. After months of training and adjustment to his disability, Larry returned to Dodge and was assigned to the bearing assembly department, where he has performed effectively at various tasks, including packaging.


The Palmetto Auroran for February reports that the South Carolina Club of the Blind held its first statewide seminar on Saturday, January 30, at the Aurora Center of the Blind. Some forty Aurorans from throughout South Carolina participated in the all-day study course. Group participation and discussion were the order of the day. The primary purpose of the seminar was to study methods of improving Aurora's operation in all aspects.

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