Voice of the National Federation of the Blind

MAY 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 Kenneth Jernigan

by Pauline Gomez

by Anita M. O'Shea


by Jeff Garberson

by Perry Sundquist

by Dr. Floyd W. Matson

by Kenneth Jernigan



by Don Hunter

by John F. Nagle



by Norine Coffin

by Maureen McNerney

by Dr. Isabella L.D. Grant

by Perry Sundquist


by Ramona Ennis


by Donald C. Capps




by Kenneth Jernigan

During the mid-1960's the blind of the nation talked a good deal about COMSTAC and its successor agency, NAC. The fact that we have not done much talking about the subject lately does not mean that it is a dead issue or that we have lost interest. Quite the contrary.

In fact, the time would now seem right for taking determined action. Accordingly, one of the major topics for discussion at this year's NFB Convention in Houston will be NAC. Discussion (at least within the organized blind movement) is usually the prelude to action. Such is the case in the present instance.

Accordingly, I invite you to review the following correspondence. It is self-explanatory, and it is an important part of the background which you should have for the Houston discussion. This is one more of the many reasons why every blind person who can possibly do so should plan to come to Houston. If we intend to have anything to say about our own destinies we must be about it. We must be informed, and we must be where the action is:


February 26, 1971

Mr. Kenneth Jernigan, Director
Iowa Commission for the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Ken:

Your invitation for mc to speak before the National Federation meeting in Houston, Texas, July 9, 1971, is one I very much appreciate. Under the terms of the original invitation, I planned to accept with the provision that you would permit the nomination by me of a substitute in case this sensitive bronchial problem or other health factor so dictated. (My doctors say I must yield to some of their urgings.)

When I talked to you by telephone on Wednesday afternoon, indicating my tentative acceptance, you introduced a new condition, as is your right, that instead of the program on which I was to speak being my speech alone followed by a question-answer-comment period of a few minutes, chaired by you, you now plan to speak yourself, either before or after my talk, in opposition to the NAC program and procedures. Again, this is your right. But I believe I have no right to place upon a possible substitute the responsibility for engaging in a debate rather than delivering a speech. As a one-time University debating coach, I know something of the difference in techniques required. Nor do I believe the National Federation is a proper forum for two members of the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped to engage in such a debate.

I knew of course of your personal position for you have always made that clear, and I would have expected some comments from you as President of the Federation. I see, however, in the revised format for the two speeches that they would not be regarded as anything but a debate and I do not believe this to be appropriate. This in no way, explicitly or implicitly, means I object to differences of opinion. COMSTAC could never have attained the status it reached, nor NAC either for that matter, without men and women of goodwill understanding each other despite their differences and jointly striving to improve services for the blind through agencies created for such services and individuals prepared to perform them. (Accreditation is regarded in many areas as the surest process toward improvement.)

It does not bother me that methods may be different, or opinions vary. My declining largely on the basis of the possible necessity for a substitute does not preclude your obtaining directly someone else to represent NAC rather than my nominating someone since you requested a veto privilege over our nomination, if necessary, and I understand that desire.

While I personally feel two Board members should express their differences in Board meetings rather than before another group, I do not make such a decision for my fellow members. There are several who are better qualified than I, a volunteer in services to the blind, to examine the issues and defend the general principles on which COMSTAC and NAC have been based.

One other new factor, but not a controlling one, has been considered by me in reaching a decision. Mrs. Brandon had planned to accompany me to Texas, and visit friends in Austin, our former home. We would make the trip by automobile, thus sharing a vacation. Normally, she does not fly. Now I find a change of dates here would force me to make a quick trip to Houston.

I wish you well and assure you of my continued appreciation for your valuable service to NAC. A "hair shirt" never hurt any good program!

Sincerely yours,

Arthur L. Brandon, President
National Accreditation Council

Ken--I've been in a jam on schedule, night meetings, etc., and trying to get away for four days, which explains my writing rather than telephoning--Art B.


March 4, 1971

Mr. Arthur L. Brandon, President
National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
Alderson-Broaddus College
Philippi, West Virginia 26416

Dear Arthur:

I have your letter declining to appear on the program at the National Federation of the Blind Convention to talk about NAC, and I am sorry that you take the position you do. It seems to me that you do not stale the case factually. I introduced no "new condition" in my conversation with you on Wednesday, February 24, nor did I ask you to engage in a "debate."

Originally I called to say to you that the National Federation of the Blind as an organization and I as an individual were deeply concerned with NAC and its performance. I told you that the Federation intended to discuss the entire matter at this year's Convention and that I thought NAC had some obligation to make a presentation to the largest group of consumers of its services in the nation, if those consumers invited it to do so. I asked you to speak at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, July 9, and told you you could have as much time as you liked. I told you that you would receive a respectful hearing, regardless of what you might say. I further said to you that there would be questions from the audience, some of them probably hostile, but that there would be no discourtesy to you as a person.

I did not say to you that 1 would or would not speak on the subject of the National Accreditation Council before you spoke. Frankly I can not see that this changes the desirability of your coming or the obligation of NAC to talk to over 1,000 consumers of its services if they ask it to do so. As 1 thought about the program, it occurred to me that I should set forth what I knew of NAC and had seen firsthand of its operation. I had no intention of doing this in my capacity as a NAC Board member, debating you as another NAC Board member, but in my capacity as President of the National Federation of the Blind (the nation's largest organization of blind persons) and in my capacity as a blind person.

You say that you were formerly a university debating coach. However, I would not have expected you to resort to the "tricks" of debate technique in writing your letter. Yet, you say to me that you personally feel that two Board members should express their differences in Board meetings. Under the circumstances, how can this be done? When we talked by telephone, you admitted that the NAC Board would not seriously engage (or permit me to engage) in any discussion concerning the basics of its makeup and existence. We both agreed that the Board did not recognize that there was any problem at all and that it was not interested in exploring the matter. We also know that my position on the Board is nothing but "tokenism" of the most blatant form. The organized blind feel that they have a right to at least an equal voice in determining the standards of services affecting them. I represent that view. Overwhelmingly the NAC Board does not believe this. Regardless of which opinion is correct, the organized blind have the right to discuss the matter, and it seems to me that NAC has some obligation to participate in that discussion, if asked to do so.

Can you feature, for instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture blandly refusing (on the theory that a debate might ensue) to appear before the nation's largest organization of farmers to discuss problems? Can you seriously believe that any other group holding itself out as a setter of standards in any field would refuse to send a representative to talk with a nationwide organization of consumers? The fact that you, acting in your capacity as President of NAC, feel that you can do so is one of the strongest proofs of the truth of what the blind have said about the character of NAC.

Let me further set the record straight. You say, "Accreditation is regarded in many areas as the surest process toward improvement." The quarrel which we the organized blind have with NAC is not with accreditation. Proper accreditation can be a constructive and worthwhile means of improving services. Certainly we do not object to improvements in our field. What we object to is the undemocratic character of NAC, the way it was originally established, its present makeup, and the role which it is now attempting to establish for itself. The point should not be obscured by implying that we are opposed to accreditation.

Let me say one thing more: In the context one of your statements is more than a little interesting. You say, "A 'hair shirt' never hurt any good program!" It will be extremely hard to put NAC in the posture of the abused martyr. It is always hard to put the ultraconservative establishment in such a light. Silks and fine raiment NAC may have, but a "hair shirt"--no!

Having said all of this, I now formally and officially issue to the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped an invitation to have a representative appear and speak for thirty minutes (or as much of that time as he cares to use) at the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas, at 11:00 A.M. on Friday morning, July 9, 1971. I shall be speaking concerning the National Accreditation Council prior to eleven o'clock, and a question period will follow the remarks of the NAC representative, should NAC see fit to have a representative present. In any case a full discussion of NAC will occur, with widespread follow up publicity in The Braille Monitor, including the response of NAC to the invitation to appear.

I fully recognize that the view of the National Federation of the Blind concerning NAC is not the only view which may be held on this subject, but I feel that it is fitting and proper in a democratic society to have a full and free discussion of divergent opinions. In view of the tens of thousands of Federal tax dollars which have been spent to establish and support NAC I would think that NAC's obligation to appear and discuss its functions at the meeting of a national consumer organization of citizens would be strongly underlined. Some 1,500 blind people will be present at the NFB Convention. They will represent approximately 40,000 members in almost 500 State and local chapters throughout the nation. This will be the largest gathering of blind people to be held in this country (or probably anywhere else in the world) this year. Surely the National Accreditation Council will not wish to decline to appear and discuss the nature and relevance of its function in such circumstances. I ask that you please send me an official response to this letter. I tell you that I shall not hesitate to make public the contents of that response or this letter.

I hope this situation will not lead to personal rancor or unpleasantness. There is certainly no need for it to do so. However, I feel quite strongly that groups and individuals with differing points of view have a right to be heard. The future well being of hundreds of thousands of blind people may well be affected by what happens to NAC in the next few years. I urge you not to decline this invitation to send a representative.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind


March 16, 1971

Mr. J. Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
Iowa State Commission for the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Kenneth:

Please pardon the delay in writing to you. I was back to my Lewisburg business for a few days, then tied up in meetings here for several days.

Your invitation for the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped to send a representative to speak on July 9, 1971, in Houston before the meeting of the National Federation of the Blind is appreciated. On behalf of the Council, I accept with pleasure.

If my doctor and my schedule will permit, I plan to speak myself. If not, I shall arrange for some one to substitute for me, and he will be informed of the nature of the program and your own participation, as you explain in your letter of March 4. His identity will be known to you in advance. Also, I hope the Council's executive director, Mr. Alexander Handel, will attend. He could answer technical questions about the Council's operations better than I or other Board representatives. I'll send a copy of this letter to Alex or telephone him when he is available with the hope he can plan to be present on July 9 in Houston. Conceivably, he could be the speaker.

I'll appreciate your having proper single room reservations made for two NAC representatives. If I am the one, I will plan to arrive Thursday afternoon, July 8. I'll keep you informed near the time.

One matter in your letter confuses me. I have no recollection of your having asked me for permission for you to make a statement or take positions (other than in the normal discussion) against NAC, its programs or operations in a Board discussion. Of course I recognize you and others have not always agreed with the majority, but with few exceptions all final actions have been with unanimous vote. You have spoken freely, as have others, without inhibitions from the chair. And if you know of any instance when I have not been fair in allowing discussion so long as the members of the Board wished, I'll welcome your documenting it.

Apparently, however, you feel you have not had the opportunity to say what you wish, and this I regret. In my earlier letter I stated that Board differences (on policies and practices) should be discussed in Board meetings, not in some other forum. I still feel that way.

In my speech before the Federation I do not intend to oppose its goals. I shall deal with NAC's program and plans, not the Federation's, and if I cannot be present I shall suggest that my substitute follow this procedure, though of course he will have freedom to speak as he may elect. And most certainly, we welcome the cooperation of the Federation as well as its just criticisms, adverse or favorable.

You have been kind in inviting me or a NAC representative to speak before the Federation. Now I wish to invite you at a Board meeting of NAC to make whatever statement you wish, and subject yourself to questions and comments by fellow Board members on the position you take. Actually, as a Board member, you have, and have always had that privilege or right.

I shall ask Mr. Handel to try to arrange the Fort Lauderdale program so that if Board members can stay over on Sunday morning. May 2, we will include your presentation at the Board's annual meeting, if you agree. If the agenda--full for May 1--cannot be adjusted for Sunday, then at the New York meeting in December we will include your special presentation, if you so elect, and give Board members the opportunity to discuss it.

I fear we may not have fully understood each other in our two telephone conversations, for I never intended to state or imply that the Board would not listen to you in opposition to the NAC program. I have never known a Board to be more courteous, more objective, or more willing than NAC's to hear all points of view and weigh these in arriving at judgments. But you may have a different notion, and if so your acceptance of the invitation I extend will enable us to correct this situation.

The Board may not agree with you but I know the members respect your concern for blind persons and your dedication to improved services for them. There is no disagreement on the matter of blind persons helping determine the standards of service affecting them. Differences of how exist in many activities, and this incidentally is the rather broad interpretation I meant for "hair shirt." Strength can be built from differences by men and women of good will. I hope that by having a NAC respresentative speak at the Federation meeting and by your presentation to the NAC Board we may help develop a better understanding. In any event, I am your friend and wish you well.

Sincerely yours,

Arthur L. Brandon


March 19, 1971

Mr. J. Kenneth Jernigan
Iowa Commission for the Blind
524 4th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Ken:

Since writing to you on March 16 accepting your invitation for the NAC to send a representative speaker to the meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Houston on July 9 and also extending to you an invitation to make a presentation on matters of your concern about NAC to that Council's Board of Directors, I have been in communication by phone with Alex Handel, Executive Director.

He informed me, as I feared, that our agenda for the Fort Lauderdale meeting on May 1 appears crowded already, that he would be pleased indeed to develop the agenda further in order to provide an opportunity for you to speak as you might desire, and of course for members to respond as they might wish. This probably will mean a Sunday morning meeting but since we were running late on Saturday, we do not anticipate many departures anyway, so a Sunday session may be feasible. Alex raised one important question: "How much time will Ken wish and what do you estimate would be the time Board members might require for response and for Ken's further elaborations?" I have concluded that the best thing to do is to let you tell us how much time you believe you will need if you accept and I will add one hour for discussion. This of course could be adjusted as you and the other Board members might wish.

We would hope you could inform us soon in order that board members may be notified promptly so that any who had not arranged to stay over to plan now to do so. I am not certain, Alex may already have moved in this direction. Of course, if you elect to postpone the suggested presentation until December, we could discuss various aspects of it when we meet together in Fort Lauderdale.

Sincerely yours,

Arthur L. Brandon, President
National Accreditation Council


March 25, 1971

Mr. Arthur L. Brandon, President
National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
Alderson-Broaddus College
Philippi, West Virginia 26416

Dear Arthur:

This will reply to your letters of March 16 and March 19. I am delighted that NAC will send a representative to speak to the members of the National Federation of the Blind at Houston. As soon as you know who the NAC representative will be, I should appreciate being informed.

In your letter of March 16 you state:

"One matter in your letter confuses me. I have no recollection of your having asked me for permission for you to make a statement or take positions (other than in the normal discussion) against NAC, its programs or operations in a Board discussion. Of course I recognize you and others have not always agreed with the majority, but with few exceptions all final actions have been with unanimous vote. You have spoken freely, as have others, without inhibitions from the chair. And if you know of any instance when I have not been fair in allowing discussion so long as the members of the Board wished, I'll welcome your documenting it.

"Apparently, however, you feel you have not had the opportunity to say what you wish, and this I regret. In my earlier letter I stated that Board differences (on policies and practices) should be discussed in Board meetings, not in some other forum. I still feel that way."

This language by you illustrates, so far as I’m concerned, the problem we face. You have not denied me the right to speak at a Board meeting, and it is true that most of the things we have voted on (although not all) have carried unanimously. The quarrel is not with the technicalities of parliamentary procedure or the vote on some individual policy. Rather, it is the very nature and make-up of NAC itself, the relevance of its very structure and entity.

These things, as you well know, are matters the Board has indicated it did not really care to discuss. I remember, for instance, a Board meeting some time ago in New York at which I undertook to talk about such things briefly. There were several comments to the effect that I should limit myself to discussions concerning particular policies and procedures of NAC in its accreditation function. In view of the make-up of the Board and of its attitude on the matter I saw no point in trying to go further.

You continue to talk about "differences among Board members" and "discussing such matters in the Board." If a Board is not truly representative or if there are serious questions as to its validity as constituted, is it really reasonable to ask that questions concerning these matters be kept within the Board itself? I think not, and I think the consumers who are affected by the actions of such a Board certainly have the right to discuss the topic in their own forum and at their own time. Further, I believe that respresentatives of such a Board have some moral obligation to appear for discussion with those consumers.

Your letters indicate that you share this belief, for which the National Federation of the Blind is grateful. I think the consumer organization has a corresponding responsibility to appear before the NAC Board to state its views, if asked to do so. In fact, I think that (in the circumstances) the invitation should have been issued long ago in view of the knowledge which NAC had of the feelings of the consumer group. As long ago as 1965 (when COMSTAC was still in existence) Dr. tenBroek, who was then President of the NFB, was denied the right to appear and make a presentation.

Be all of this as it may, I am pleased that you have asked me to make a presentation to the NAC Board. I accept with pleasure. I shall be happy to respond to any questions or comments made by Board members, and I shall be happy to listen to any counter presentation which they may care to make. I would, of course, expect only the right to an equal opportunity to be heard.

I can understand that the May 1 agenda will not permit of such a discussion in view of the short notice. The morning of May 2 is not possible since I Jim committed to attend another meeting at that time, the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind. In fact, some of the other NAC Board members will also be attending that meeting. Therefore, I would ask that you arrange time at the December NAC Board meeting for my presentation. I request forty-five minutes for formal presentation and a brief amount of time for response to counter comments.

Again let me say to you how much I appreciate your acceptance of my imitation to attend the NFB Convention and your invitation to me to talk to the NAC Board members on the matters I have raised. I think this represents real progress and a most constructive turn of events. Far from lessening my personal regard for you, this exchange of letters has increased it. I am sure that our friendship will continue and grow in the future.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

P.S. You asked that I make room reservations for NAC representatives at the NFB Convention. I would suggest that you handle this matter directly with the Hotel. Otherwise, a great deal of extra correspondence will be occasioned. They will want to know who will occupy the rooms, and I will need to write to you or whomever, etc. If you will simply write to the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston and indicate that the rooms are wanted in connection with the NFB Convention, they will be happy to take care of the matter at Convention rates. KJ

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by Pauline Gomez

Dear Educators and Friends:

At last blind teachers, nation wide, will be able to rocket to greater equality and opportunity from the secure launching pad of the National Federation of the Blind. A meeting of seven blind teachers assembled in Des Moines, Iowa determined this. For almost a decade, blind teachers have been meeting during NFB Conventions, without purpose of program, but with individual aspirations to latch on to our parent organization for more practical and realistic objectives.

After a temporary governing committee deliberated seriously on this subject, the Teacher's Division of the National Federation of the Blind was organized on February 13, 1971 with a constitution and a treasury.

Active membership in the Teachers' Division requires membership in NFB, but associate members arc also welcomed. Please send your annual dues of one dollar with your name, address, teacher classification and the name of the State affiliate to which you belong to: Pauline Gomez, 329 E. Buena Vista Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

We have already set out to pursue the goals of our new organization which are: 1) To break ground in new States where there are no blind teachers employed; 2) To help with State seminars where blind teachers are already on the job; 3) To publish on tape or in Braille, the National Education Association Journal; 4) To use The Braille Monitor to keep teachers informed on job placement; 5) To publish a booklet on techniques used by blind teachers; and 6) To plan and carry forth our annual conferences at our National Federation of the Blind Conventions.

The blind teachers' nation-wide conference will be our first, and, hopefully, a spectacular one. We will meet from one o'clock to five o'clock on Monday, July 4, at the NFB Convention in Houston, the time set for all NFB trade and professional groups. The first hour will be reserved for official business including election of officers, a concise report on blind teacher legislation and surveys in each State. The Texas hour will follow with a great panel of speakers on job placement involving Texas school administrators on the State and local level, and other placement personnel from Texas colleges and universities and the State's department for the blind, topped with one or two dynamic blind classroom teachers. The hour of three will be most informative on the subject of Special Education dealing with job opportunities in this field. At three-forty-five, the conference will break into interest groups in workshop fashion with moderators representing kindergarten, elementary, junior and high school levels. It is advisable that you write your idea or technique that you wish to share, or the quesions you would like to have answered in order to make the best use of the time scheduled. Summarized workshop reports will be presented at four-thirty.

Our table located at the registration area of the Convention will contain interesting materials for blind teachers. A social hour is tentatively planned for Sunday evening, July 3. Let's initiate our new organization with a record-breaking attendance of blind teachers.

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by Anita M. O'Shea

Dear Colleague:

Have you heard the news?

A new organization of blind secretaries and transcribers has been formed, under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind.

On January 9th, a constitutional meeting was held in Des Moines; a constitution was adopted, a seminar planned to immediately precede the Houston Convention, services to members outlined, and an election of officers held.

The Constitution is in the process of being printed at this time. President Jernigan has agreed to finance the Brailling of this document, which will probably be completed and ready for distribution around the first of May.

The Houston seminar will consist of two parts: first, there will be a business meeting of all members of the National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers, during which an election of officers to two-year terms will be carried out and plans made for the ensuing year. The second and larger part of the seminar program will include three individual speakers (one from IBM regarding MT/ST equipment, etc., and two placement specialists with contrasting methods and results), and a panel of our own members who will discuss the problems of obtaining and holding secretarial jobs, in competition with their sighted counterparts. Relating to the seminar, but not directly involved in it, will be a rather extensive display of transcribing equipment from the major manufacturers. This exhibit probably will be maintained from Sunday to Friday of Convention week.

Some of the services referred to above include the Brailling of the 1970 or 1971 Drug Supplement of the PHYSICIAN'S DESK REFERENCE, Harbeck's Glossary (a systemic breakdown of medical terms, drugs, surgical instruments, etc.); and the preparation and Brailling of a bibliography which will list existing Braille references for all types of secretarial work as well as the places where additional supplementary information can be obtained.

The temporary officers elected in Des Moines are as follows:

Miss Anita M. O'Shea
1029 Elm Street
West Springfield, Mass. 01089

Guy Sullivan
67-33 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing, New York 13367

Mrs. Tina Lou Walton
3520 Jackson Street
Ogden, Utah 84403

Mrs. Cindy Patterson
927 Clinton Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50313

Garold McGill
2423 Crescent Avenue
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805

We are now in the process of building our membership. If you have members who are engaged in secretarial work, they can become active members of the NABST simply by sending their names, addresses, and their one-dollar dues to Cindy Patterson or any other officer or member of our organization. Obviously, they should indicate that they hold membership in the Federation and state the affiliate to which they belong. If you know or hear of blind persons engaged in this field who would be interested in joining the NABST without active membership in the NFB, they can acquire associate membership in the same way as a current NFB member would, but they should state their preference for associate membership in making application.

We anticipate having a substantial membership roll by the time of our Houston Convention, and we urge you to assist us in reaching our objective by publicizing our existence in your area. As you know the NFB Convention will be held at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston. Our seminar will occur at the Shamrock from 1:00 to 5:00 on Monday afternoon, July 5.

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The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has issued its regulations in the Federal Register (Vo. 35, No. 230) setting forth the requirements governing services to recipients of Aid to the Blind, Old Age Assistance, and Aid to the Disabled required of the States if they are to claim seventy-five percent Federal funds for the costs of services. Pertinent provisions are:

1. A State plan must describe the services available to applicants and recipients;

2. There must be established an advisory committee on the aged, blind, and disabled at the State level and at the local levels to advise the policy-setting officials and have adequate opportunity for meaningful participation in policy development and administration, including recipient participation. These committees shall include recipients of aid or services or their representatives who shall constitute at least one-third of the membership;

3. There must be a maximum utilization of other public and voluntary agencies;

4. All of the services in the State plan must be available, accessible, and provided with reasonable promptness to all eligible persons needing the services;

5. Eligible individuals must be free to determine whether to accept or reject services from the agency:

6. There must be provision for a fair hearing under which applicants or recipients can appeal denial of or exclusion from a service program, or failure to take account of recipient choice of a service;

7. There must be a State staff with authority and responsibility for the direction and development and supervision of the adult services program;

8. The function of arranging or providing services to individuals should, to the maximum extent feasible, be performed by persons other than those who determine eligibility for financial aid;

9. Services must include:

(a) Protective services;

(b) Services to enable persons to remain in or return to their homes or communities;

(c) Services to meet health needs;

(d) Self-support services for the handicapped;

(e) Homemaker services (by April 1, 1974);

(f) Special services for the blind (by April 1, 1974).

Special services for the blind means services related to age, presence of other disabilities and amount of residual vision. Such services may include assistance in securing mobility training, personal care, home management, and communication skills; also arrangements for talking book machines and obtaining special aids and appliances to solve or reduce problems arising from blindness as well as help in securing safety items, particularly those necessary to assure safe housing and prevent accidents. Arrangement for educational counseling to assure appropriate classroom placement and, when timely, guidance from a school and/or rehabilitation program to prepare for a vocation are essential for the young blind to reach their full potential. Additionally, services may include referral of parents of blind children to agencies with special counseling competence in this field.

10. In addition to the foregoing mandatory services, provision is made for a wide variety of optional services.

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by Jeff Garberson

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Livermore (California) Herald-News.]

Jim Willows, age thirty-nine, is blind. He wasn't always. An electrical engineer at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, before 1960 his eyes were as good as most.

But late in 1970 he lost a battle with uveitis, an eye disease that was complicated by cataracts and hemorrhaging.

He lost that battle, but he's won the rest since then.

Overcoming, at age twenty-nine, the terrible frustration of feeling his sight slip away, he successfully underwent orientation at a center for the blind in Oakland.

There, he met a blind girl named Barbara--they were married in 1962, and now live at 3966 Yale Way, Livermore.

Also, in 1962, he returned to the Rad Lab. His department, he says gratefully, had kept a place open for him.

He taught himself computer programming, helped organize the U. S. Braille Chess Association (he won a nationwide postal tournament) and got active in a local housing project for the elderly.

"He's overcome his handicap quite admirably," says his boss at LRL, Waldo Magnuson, in a classic understatement.

Partly through the help of a handful of Rad Lab associates, but largely through his own perseverance and courage, he's become a valuable member of the special projects division of the Electronics Engineering Department.

Although technically a "reliability engineer" responsible for making sure electronics systems work right, "in practice I'm doing computer programming full time."

Smiling, he calls himself "the world's only blind draftsman." As part of his job, he writes computer programs to direct precision metal cutting and panel-punching operations.

It used to be done manually. Draftsmen painstakingly produced pencil-and-paper drawings of the object to be cut, and technicians used the drawings as tracers to keep cutting machines on the mark.

Now, through Willows' programs, it's handled automatically, cutting down on time, cost and error. The new technique also saves draftsmen from the "dog work" of making the drawings, Willows says.

His basic job is to write "applications programs" for the department--programs that direct a computer to do a specific job, such as electronic circuit design or panel-punching.

He does his job well. Magnuson calls him "enthusiastic," "competent" and "talented," and speaks of his "flair for mathematics and logical thinking."

But it wasn't an easy matter for Willows to get where he is. To begin with, he had only a bachelor's degree in physics and knew nothing about programming when he rejoined the Lab in 1962.

But as a reliability engineer, it occurred to him computers might be useful in his work. So he taught himself Fortran, a common computer language.

More recently, he taught himself APT (automatically programmed tools), a machine language helpful in applications programming.

"Programming in general lends itself extremely well" to use by the blind, he feels. In fact, he has lectured at Bay Area vocational centers to urge other sightless people to try it.

A blind man may even have an advantage. Programming is "a very imaginative field" which may come easily to someone "used to orienting himself in a field where he can't see," he says.

Much of his success can be traced to the cooperation of Lab associates and to the encouragement management gave him when his sight first began to fail.

These people were "so good about giving me a chance," he recalls. "They assured me they would have a job for me" despite the handicap.

When he got into computer programming, Hans Bruijnes of the Computation Division realized he'd have major difficulties in operating machines designed for sighted people. So he directed that a special conversion system be set up to translate numbers and letters into Braille.

Gary Anderson, now no longer at the Lab, developed the new conversion system and Nancy Storch worked it into a useful program.

Dave Rogers, head of teletype maintenance, and Sam Nakano, a mechanical engineer, converted conventional teletypes in the Lab's giant "Octopus" computer network into machines Willows can operate by touch.

The results were so successful they've been adapted for use at a Palo Alto laboratory and are under study by programmers in Washington, D.C. for possible broader use by the handicapped, says Willows.

Outside the Lab, Willows took up chess again after a long lay-off. Three years ago, he helped start the nationwide Braille Chess Association, which today has the same basic rating system as conventional chess.

Besides "little, local, over-the-board Braille tournaments" with special chessmen (the tops of the white men are shaved off, and every other square on the board is raised), the association conducts postal tournaments by Braille postcard.

Ten years ago, Willows says, he tried "blindfold" chess and "was terrible at it." Today, after years of living in a dark world, he finds he can "play a better game" if he does it entirely in his head.

When he gets new moves in a tournament by postcard he doesn't bother to set the board up. "The position just pops into my mind," he explains.

Two years ago, he placed third in the national Braille postal tournament. Last year, he won.

He reads a lot, he says, using "talking books" recorded by the Library of Congress.

But the thing that's "close to my heart" is the Interfaith Housing, Inc., a non-profit corporation designed to provide housing for the elderly.

He's been First Presbyterian Church representative to that for four years, he says, and is now vice president.

On a $900,000 FHA loan, with interest subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Interfaith is building a 54-unit development called Hillcrest Gardens for senior citizens at the corner of Hillcrest Avenue and California Way in Livermore.

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by Perry Sundquist

The State of Iowa has recently published the Annual Report of its Commission for the Blind, entitled MOVING UP. Significant excerpts from that Report follow.

Meaningful jobs are the cornerstone of economic and social equality for the blind as they move up from social dependence to self-support. The wide range of jobs now being competently performed by blind Iowans assures an excellent base for employer acceptance, and the continuing growth of job placements gives a bright prospect for future years. The Commission provides the training needed for blind Iowans to enter employment and the job placement contacts for newly acquired skills to be put to use. Blind persons, like sighted persons, have varying abilities, capacities, and interests. Some move up either to self-support or support of a family. Others become competent housewives. Still others are capable of only partial self-support. Each moves up to his full capacity.

During fiscal 1970 blind food service managers and vending stand operators increased gross income by over $100,000 to a new high of $954,343. Also the number of locations throughout Iowa increased to thirty. Average net earnings per operator were $5,256 per year. The Commission is continuing its efforts to modernize and upgrade these operations to provide even better service to customers and greater profits to the blind.

It is respectable to be blind. This simple fact is not as well known or as accepted as it should be--among blind persons as well as the general public. For a blind person to move up to his full potential, he must learn not to sell himself short. At the Orientation and Adjustment Center of the Commission students learn a variety of skills and techniques. Most of all, they learn the respectability of blindness. As Kenneth Jernigan, the Commission's Director, said recently when speaking to Federal civil service coordinators for the employment of the disabled:

"Blindness has no more importance than any of a hundred other characteristics and the average blind person is able to perform the average job in the average career or calling, provided (and it is a large proviso) he is given training and opportunity.

"Often when I have advanced this proposition, I have been met with the response, 'But you can't look at it that way. Just consider what you might have done if you had been sighted and still had all the other capacities you now possess.'

"Not so, I reply. We do not compete against what we might have been, but only against other people as they are, with their combinations of strengths and weaknesses, handicaps and limitations. If we are going down that track, why not ask me what I might have done if I had been born with Rockefeller's money, the brains of Einstein, the physique of the young Joe Louis, and the persuasive abilities of Franklin Roosevelt? (And do I need to remind anyone, in passing, that FDR was severely handicapped physically?) I wonder if anyone ever said to him:

"'Mr. President, just consider what you might have done if you had not had polio!'

"Others have said to me, 'But I formerly had my sight, so I know what I am missing.'

"To which one might reply, 'And I was formerly twenty, so I know what I am missing.' Our characteristics are constantly changing, and we are forever acquiring new experiences, limitations, and assets. We do not compete against what we formerly were but against other people as they now are."

At the Commission's Orientation and Adjustment Center in Des Moines blind persons come to know individually and collectively the many vocations and opportunities that are possible, rather than believing the challenge to be impossible. Also the student learns the many alternative techniques for doing those things which he would do with sight if he had normal vision. It will be observed that these are alternative, not substitute techniques, for the word substitute connotes inferiority, and the alternative techniques employed by the blind person need not be inferior to visual techniques. In fact, some are superior. Of course, some are inferior, and some are equal.

The Orientation and Adjustment Center staff not only develop new techniques and improve old ones; they also teach the hundreds of proved ones to new students. It would be impossible for a single individual to devise or think of all these on his own. By attending the Center, the student can quickly learn long cane travel. Braille, typing, the use of the abacus, wood and metal work, personal grooming and hair styling, cooking and shopping techniques, and other skills. As the student learns the combination of alternative techniques and positive attitudes, he soon realizes that with proper training and with proper opportunity blindness can be reduced to the level of a mere nuisance instead of the shattering tragedy which it has always been thought to be. After graduation the blind person moves up to advanced educational or vocational study in regular schools, to on-the-job training, to new employment, or back to the job he held before blindness.

Sighted people often take the printed word for granted, since it is so readily available from a multitude of sources. For blind persons, however, the library of the Commission is almost the exclusive reading resource. Through the Commission's library blind Iowans receive the bulk of the world's great literature, popular magazines, and needed textbooks in media of their choice; talking books on record, tape, Braille, cassette tape, and large type. In making this material available, the Iowa library for the blind assists in removing obstruction and hindrances to better education, better job opportunities, and a better life for blind individuals. That this service is appreciated and utilized is evidenced by the steady increase in circulation during the ten years the library has been in operation. From that first day in 1960 the library has seen an increase of more than four hundred percent in the number of books read. The wisdom, humor, and pleasure of the printed page are now enjoyed by many blind and visually handicapped Iowans.

Also, the library of the Commission now functions as an Instructional Materials Center. This means that it serves all of Iowa in making available to the visually handicapped, by either securing or producing through volunteers, the educational materials, aids, and devices which they need to pursue their education. It was during October of 1969 that the library sent out its 1,000,000th book to the blind of Iowa--in scarcely ten years. The Braille and tape books constantly being produced by Iowa's volunteer Braillists and tapists, added to the regular collection, make Iowa's library for the blind the largest in the world. By combining the educational and instructional use of this massive and important resource with the training and job placement already described, the blind of Iowa are better equipped to move up to positions of responsibility--opportunity, security, and equality.

The program of the Iowa Commission for the Blind would not be complete without many other individuals and groups, such as Tactile Aids for the Blind, a statewide volunteer group headquartered in Des Moines, which manufactures educational aids and appliances for the blind. Especially the blind themselves, organized to form the Iowa Association of the Blind, work and consult with the Commission continuously to aid its staff in setting proper goals, teaching effective techniques, and opening economic and vocational opportunities.

The forward movement of Iowa's blind citizens is truly a joint effort of the Legislature, the executive branch of government, service clubs, volunteer groups, and the public to cement into the traditions of our State the potentialities of the blind in their moving up.

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by Dr. Floyd W. Matson

[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted by courtesy of the Honolulu (Hawaii) Advertiser Dr. Matson is Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and has long been a gallant ally in the cause of Federationism.]

Most of those who suffer from prejudice--in the classic forms of discrimination, segregation, and exclusion from opportunity--are plainly the victims of hostility and suspicion. But not all. A notable exception is the blind population--half a million people in the U.S. today--whose peculiar social plight stems not from rejection but from overprotection.

The problem of the blind is not to keep from being harassed and hated; it is to avoid being smothered with services and killed by kindness.

Just as there is a "culture of poverty" (demonstrated some years ^o by Oscar Lewis) which operates to hold the poor down and keep them out, so is there a "culture of blindness" which confines its victims behind a wall of sheltering institutions and a network of blind alleys.

In a recent book with the sharply pertinent title THE MAKING OF BLIND MEN, sociologist Robert A. Scott penetrated this facade of helping hands to document the extent to which the handicap of blindness is a result not of physical disability but of dependent roles and custodial traditions imposed by a well-meaning society.

Within the past decade or two, significant steps have been taken nationally to emancipate blind people from the maternal grip of social agencies which dominate their lives and livelihoods through a vast proliferation of aids and services.

Leading the struggle has been the National Federation of the Blind, an organization of blind people themselves (as distinct from agencies for the blind), which has succeeded in legislating various incentives toward getting blind persons off welfare and into employment--out of sheltered workshops and other forms of economic dependency into normal competitive occupations. In short, the twin goals of the movement are independence and integration.

But, democratic and progressive as the effort is, it remains an uphill fight. Leaders of independent blind organizations still find themselves opposed and threatened by the caretaker agencies; efforts by enterprising blind individuals to succeed on their own are often subtly blocked or sabotaged.

A case in point, strongly suggestive of retaliation and bad faith, is occurring right now here in Hawaii, where a group of blind persons who have owned and successfully operated the newsstand concession at Honolulu International Airport for the past eight years were ousted from their business (as of January 1) as the result of a regressive decision by the Department of Transportation to return the newsstand to the status of a nonprofit program under the sister Department of Social Services.

A prime factor in this curious decision--by which the State stands to lose the $52,000 annual rent paid by the concessioners while depriving six blind stockholders of their means of livelihood--is that one of the blind group, Warren Toyama, also happens to be president of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind and an outspoken critic of State welfare and rehabilitation programs.

Another factor is that the decision contradicts the announced objective of vocational rehabilitation policy to assist blind clients in achieving independence and self-support--a policy expressly affirmed by the Department of Transportation in a 1964 letter written for Director Fujio Matsuda by then Deputy Director Kaipo Kauka:

"Please be assured that the Department of Transportation is sympathetic with the attempt of State Vendors to create an independent and financially successful organization for a group of visually handicapped persons, and we will do everything possible within the law to assist you."

One ostensible reason lately advanced for the abandonment of this proper objective is that the newsstand owners have allegedly failed to hire a sufficient quota of blind or handicapped workers (at present four out of twelve stand employees are blind). But the concessioners (blind themselves), while maintaining their readiness to employ qualified blind persons on the rare occasions when the agency has been able to produce them, point to the following communication from William Lo of the Department of Social Services (March 17, 1969) in support of their claim that no such requirement exists:

"This letter of instruction is to permit you to hire non-blind, non-handicapped persons retroactively to October 15, 1968. We do this in view of ... the lack of trained blind or handicapped persons suitable to you ..."

Moreover, the blind enterprisers argue that the sudden insistence on their quota hiring of handicapped workers is clearly discriminatory--in view of such contrary examples as the cafeteria in the downtown Board of Health building, operated under the DSS' Business Enterprise Program, in which the owner is blind but all the employees are non-handicapped.

The impression of bad faith on the part of the State agencies is reinforced by a late (December 22) offer to the blind concessioners by Kunji Sagara, DSS administrator of blind programs, calling for the "retention of your present employees'' under the new dispensation--without reference to their lack of physical handicaps.

The blind owners of the airport newsstand, whose current contract terminated abruptly on New Year's Eve, seek no charity and ask no special favors of the State administrators--but only the chance to bid competitively against other blind merchants in accordance with the State law, as they did in 1968, for the right once again to operate their business as a free and private enterprise.

This should have been, and could still be, a different commentary. The account of the blind-owned and blind-operated newsstand at Honolulu Airport deserves to be featured as a success story--not recorded as a case history in the petty politics of bureaucratic government.

Governor Burns, are you listening?

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by Kenneth Jernigan

Last year in Minneapolis I called attention to the trend, now sweeping the country, to throw all services to the blind into large "umbrella" departments of government. It is being done in the name of "efficiency," "bringing responsibility out of chaos," "giving more effective services," "providing help to the whole person," and similar high-sounding terminology. As I pointed out then (and as the blind throughout the country can testify), the truth would seem to be something else.

In several States the separate agency for the blind has now been abolished and its functions assumed by the large umbrella agency. I have talked at length with blind persons in those States, and in no single instance have I found a belief that the services were better than--or, for that matter, even as good as--they were before the "umbrella" came to keep away the rain. (I will not take the time or space here to review the broad picture and the emerging patterns. Instead, I invite Monitor readers to review the article in last July's issue entitled "The Separate Agency for the Blind--Why and Where.")

Delaware, of course, is one of the unhappy victims of this bold new experiment in governmental improvement. In the January, 1971 Monitor we dealt with the Delaware situation at length in an article entitled "Decision in Delaware." In the February Monitor we followed up with an article called "Delaware Federation's New Role."

It was not long before there were indications that officials of Delaware's new umbrella agency (one might almost call them "umbrella keepers," thus placing them ahead of the former "lighthouse keepers") were keeping close tabs on what we were writing and of what the blind of their State were doing. There were unmistakable signs that the "umbrella keepers" were unhappy. What else would one expect?

Then, under date of March 2, 1971, came the following letter from The News-Journal Company of Wilmington, Delaware to the Monitor editor:

Dear Mr. Sundquist:

The News-Journal Company has received copies of The Braille Monitor for January and February 1971 that include material, attributed and unattributed, alleged to come from the pages of the Evening Journal and written by Charles P. Wilson, our social services writer.

I am particularly disturbed by the February issue which gives the impression that an article was written for your magazine by Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson assures me he gave no permission, nor was he asked for such permission, for a story to appear under his by-line. To the best of my knowledge no permission was asked of The News-Journal Company to reprint or excerpt from his series of articles.

Furthermore, an "editor's note" gives the impression that the charges you made in your January issue about the Commission for the Blind were, in effect, made by Mr. Wilson and that the February article was a follow-up on those charges.

The News-Journal papers do not object to being quoted, as long as the quotes are correct and attributed, nor do we object to articles being reprinted, provided our permission has been obtained and the reprint makes clear where excisions have been made.

I must ask that in the next issue of publication following the receipt of this letter you state plainly under the signature of the editor that no permission was asked of our papers to reprint the article, that Mr. Wilson did not write for your magazine the article "Delaware Federation's New Role," that conclusions drawn in the January article and in the February editor's note were your own and not those of Mr. Wilson and the Evening Journal, and that Mr. Wilson's series on services to the blind was an effort by him and these papers to report objectively on the status of programs for the blind in Delaware.

Please send me a copy of the issue containing these explanations.


Harry F. Themal,
Assistant to the Executive Editor


It is true that we neglected to get approval to reprint the article which appeared in our February issue. This is something which we always try to do, but in the present instance there was a mix-up. Having said this, I must go on to remark that I can find little else of merit in The News-Journal letter.

To begin with, one is moved to wonder how the January and February issues of The Monitor came to the attention of the News-Journal at all. It would be presumptuous of us to suggest that the Delaware "umbrella" is so big that it can even reach out to cover a newspaper. We do not so suggest. However, one does wonder how The Monitor reaches such strange destinations.

Then, there is the matter of the content of The News-Journal letter. We are told that the Editor's Note preceding our February Monitor article "gives the impression that the charges you made in your January issue about the Commission for the Blind were, in effect, made by Mr. Wilson and that the February article was a followup on those charges." To this we reply that we believe any literate person would not draw such conclusions and that we are sure that the editors of The News-Journal are not illiterate. Even if they were (or are), surely this is no fault of ours and should not be tallied up against us.

Perhaps the most remarkable portion of The News-Journal letter is the one which reads: "I must ask that in the next issue of publication following receipt of this letter you state plainly under signature of the editor that .... Mr. Wilson did not write for your magazine the article "Delaware Federation's New Role," ....and that Mr. Wilson's series on services to the blind was an effort by him and these papers to report objectively on the status of programs for the blind in Delaware." Indeed, Mr. Wilson did not write our February article (or, for that matter, our January article). Not only do we admit this but we insist upon it. We never made any implication or statement that he did. Further, we certainly will not state that Mr. Wilson's series of articles "was an effort by him and these papers to report objectively on the status of programs for the blind in Delaware." We have no way of knowing what Mr. Wilson's motives were, nor do we have any means of knowing what the papers which carry his column are trying to achieve. Finally, we will not respond to The News-Journal letter over the signature of The Monitor editor. This piece by the NFB President will have to do.

We believe that our January and February articles were substantially accurate, and we urge Monitor readers to review those articles and draw their own conclusions. Further, we believe The News-Journal letter underlines and emphasizes the problems faced by the blind of Delaware. Perhaps the old song is right after all: If the umbrella could be turned upside down, perhaps it would rain pennies from Heaven.

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Chicken, cooked and diced      5 cups

Celery, chopped                3 cups

Onion, chopped                 1 1/2 cups

Chicken broth                  6 cups

Flour, all-purpose             6 tablespoons

Water chestnuts, sliced        2 small cans

Almonds, blanched & chopped    1 cup

Chinese noodles (dry)          6 cups

Boil chicken in water until tender. Remove from broth and reduce broth to 6 cups. Thicken the broth with flour, which has been mixed with a little of the liquid to prevent lumping. Cook until thick. Mix all other ingredients and put in a greased casserole, then pour the thickened broth over all. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F.) for 1 1/2 hours.

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[Reprinted from the Rehabilitation Record, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.]

That the blind may see and the deaf may hear might be the title of a research project funded by the newly created National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. The center has contracted for the development of an instrument (called a tactile annunciator) that will act as doorbell, telephone alert, and fire alarm for its deaf-blind clients. But from its very inception, the center's accent has been on service to people. Research and training components are aimed at furthering and bettering the life style of its clients.

On June 24, 1969, the Industrial Home for the Blind (IHB) and SRS signed an interim agreement to develop the National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. On June 27, the regional program for the deaf-blind--known as the Anne Sullivan Macy Service (IHB's service arm to the deaf-blind)--was terminated, and its staff became the nucleus of the National Center, with Dr. Peter J. Salmon as its director. On November 12, the final agreement was signed creating the new center.

The transfer of staff from the Anne Sullivan Macy Service allowed the center to produce immediate service for its clients while attending to the urgent business of finding temporary quarters and searching for a permanent site for the center, the recruitment of new staff, and the solidifying of administrative procedures. The temporary quarters were found and altered, and the new center occupied them early this year. The headquarters are at 105 Fifth Avenue, New Hyde Park, N.Y. Also, the permanent site for the center has been chosen. It will be located at Sands Point, Long Island, N.Y., which was formerly a Naval installation.

The service-to-clients component of the center is designed to be all-encompassing. It consists of initial assessment of physical and psychosocial functioning, diagnostic service, evaluation, training, a broad range of medical, surgical, psychiatric, and corrective treatment needed to enhance rehabilitation potential, the supportive functions of casework, counseling, mobility, ophthalmological, otological, and audiological rehabilitation, and training in communication, social interaction, homemaking, industrial arts, and physical fitness.

The center will provide transportation and residence for the clients when they are required and will also provide transportation and short-term residence for family and close friends when rehabilitation needs are served by that means. Recreational and social activities will also be scheduled for clients while at the center.

In the total rehabilitation framework, attention will be given to referrals for further education or vocational placement, direct placement from the center, where feasible, and long-term followup services. The total services will include the distribution of publications in both Braille and large-type to keep clients current with events shaping the world around them.

The center's first quarter report states that sixty-five persons received one or more services at the center. Of this number, fifty-six clients were transferred from IHB's regional rehabilitation service and the remaining nine were new clients referred directly to the center.

The research and training components of the center will accrue through affiliations with institutions of higher education and will stress improved and expanded service to deaf-blind clients. Some of the research areas anticipated for examination are: expansion and improvement of case-finding methods, exploration of causes of deaf-blindness and methods for reducing or eliminating them, and studies of language development, learning, and vocational adjustment.

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by Don Hunter

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Henderson (Nevada) Home News.)

Every morning at 5:45, a time when most of us, including me, are still snoozing in bed, Jim Pugh, who lives in Henderson, becomes part of a national amateur radio network, dedicated to helping make blind people, or those with eye injuries, get a chance to see again. Jim is the only person in Nevada presently performing this service.

Jim is a part of the Eye Emergency Network, an organization containing people all over the nation, ham radio operators who check in every day at 5:45 in the morning and 4:45 in the afternoon, on the forty meter band, so that whenever a corneal transplant is available, this news can be transmitted over the entire nation, so that donor and recipient can be matched.

The cornea, which is the transparent part at the front of the eye, is thus the part of the eye most susceptible to injury. If it becomes scarred, or damaged in any way, the sight in that eye may be impaired. A way to overcome this is to transplant an undamaged cornea from someone recently deceased. However, the transplant must be performed within twelve hours, as the corneas do not last beyond that time. And that is where Jim, and people like him, come into the picture.

Let us lake a hypothetical case. Suppose someone were brought into Rose de Lima here who had died in an accident, but his eyes were not damaged, if the family of this person released the eyes for donation, the doctors there would notify Jim. At the next check-in, Jim would inform those taking part in the Eye Emergency Network that a pair of corneas was available. The demand always exceeds the supply so there is never any difficulty in using them.

Let us assume that Jim was informed by one of the three ham radio operators in Denver that the corneas were needed there. Jim would direct them to contact Rose de Lima here, so that immediate shipment by air mail special delivery would be made.

How many ham radio operators are thus involved? Jim was supplied with a list; there are forty-three people on it, in twenty-seven major cities. Jim informed me that the number is growing constantly.

Jim told me that people who want to donate their eyes for this purpose can sign an affidavit, or notify their doctor so that he would know. Of course, permission can also be granted by the relatives of the deceased person. I long ago told my wife that if anything happened to me, that any part of my body could be donated. (That makes me feel like a walking spare part factory!)

So tomorrow morning, while most of you readers are still in bed, at 5:45 Jim will be checking in again on the forty meter band, with his call sign WA7CZT, to see what services he can perform. You can do your part to serve people by making sure that your doctor and relatives know about your willingness to donate corneas, so that other people may see!

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by John F. Nagle

Does the person who is blind in America have the same right to live fully and productively in America and the same rights recognized, and possessed, and exercised by his sighted fellow citizens?

Does the blind American have the same right to nurture ambitions and to dream dreams and the chance to achieve their fulfillment from developed abilities and determined and expended effort?

Does the blind American receive a cordial and cooperative welcome when he abandons the empty security of myths and misconceptions and ventures into the sighted community, asking only for acceptance and judgment on demonstrated worth; when he seeks to enter the employments engaged in by his sighted fellows; when he wishes only to live normally and function as others function, sharing alike with them the privileges, opportunities, and rights; assuming with them alike the burdens and responsibilities of normal, every-day living?

Does the blind American receive aggressively active and encouragingly affirmative support and assistance from those agencies and associations, both public and private, established and maintained at great expense for the sole purpose of benefiting him, for the sole purpose of supporting and assisting him to realize his aspirations and to live a valued life?

And what of the blind, themselves--what have we done to help ourselves--what of the organized blind, the National Federation of the Blind--what is our attitude toward blindness and the problems of blindness, what is our approach to blind people and the problems of blind people?

Today, there is much turmoil and turbulence in America. Groups and classes and common-purposed segments of the people are proclaiming and protesting, marching and demonstrating, speech-making and flag-waving--and they are insisting and urging and demanding. And a long-ago rejected concept has been given new vitality as they assert that society owes them a living, that they're entitled, that they, too, have rights and must be compensated for the lost years of denial. The justifications for these contentions vary according to the biases and pre-judgments in each man's life but even then, to many, the justifications are of doubtful merit.

Since 1940, the blind of America have been organized and through the National Federation of the Blind, we have developed our philosophy and formulated our goals--and made known our demands.

And though there have been those who have ridiculed our philosophy, who have questioned the wisdom of our goals, and ignored or denounced our demands, still, there is no identifiable group in this nation, today, which speaks with sounder social sense or which seeks and strives toward more sensible economic ends than do we of the National Federation of the Blind.

The blind are excluded from participation in the normal world by the encircling walls of misconceptions and misinformation about blindness, the false notions about blind people that have been sanctified as truths because of their antiquity, which establish loss of sight as the greatest of all possible calamities, that stereotype blind people as utterly helpless, totally dependent, and completely incompetent. Because these erroneous judgments are accepted, today, as they were a thousand years ago, no blind person is expected, today, to be anything or to do anything to help himself. No blind person is expected to work, to strive to support himself and his family, or to share the responsibilities and burdens of community membership. And no word of criticism or condemnation is heard of the blind person who does nothing and is nothing, for this is just what is expected of him.

The overwhelming majority of blind Americans reject the false notions and misbeliefs of the past and we refute them with our accomplishments as blind people. We reject the calamity concept of blindness, for we know from our experience of living as blind people that this just was not so in our own lives. We denounce the standardized personification of the blind person, for as blind people we know from our own lives that blindness occurs at random, that blind people are rank and file people, a cross-section of the population. We are individuals without sight as others are individuals with sight. Like our sighted fellows, we have hopes and want to realize them, we have plans and want to fulfill them, we have talents and abilities and want to use them for our own gain and for the gain of the nation. These are the real truths about blindness to the overwhelming majority of blind Americans. These are the facts about blind people that we have learned as blind people.

And because we accept and live these truths; because we know these facts for they are realities in our own lives; because we, blind people, refuse to take the easy but demeaning way of resignation and defeat into an excluded and segregated blind world, but possess the will and the courage to take the hard and trouble-filled but satisfying way into a competitive and interdependent sighted world; because of these reasons that are fulfilled dreams and achieved ambitions in the lives of thousands and thousands of blind Americans, we have earned the right and we demand the right to a full recognition and acceptance that our rights are equal to those and the same as those of our sighted fellows--and we will not accept less!

Scorned and shunted from the mainstream of normal living to the sidelines of community life; condemned and punished as fiend-possessed, or tolerated as oddities; acclaimed as geniuses with abilities and competencies far beyond the fact, or deprecated and relegated to minor roles and insignificant occupations and activities when our talents and aptitudes merit far, far more; victims of discrimination and objects of prejudicial policies and practices; stifled and suppressed by self-appointed guardians, or seduced and betrayed into captivity by those who give much needed help in return for the total surrender of our right to choose--the list of our complaints and grievances as blind people is endless, but the causes for these complaints and grievances must end!

Passive, apathetic, accepting, resigned, defeated and despairing--for centuries, we, blind people, were a lost and forlorn lot. But that day has gone into the unhappy history of social ignorance, community indifference, and organized and unresponsible benevolence. Yes, that day has long gone for us who are blind.

We no longer beg, we demand! We no longer humbly seek crumbs that we may survive; we demand opportunity according to our merit that we may live and prosper as we choose to live and deserve to prosper from our efforts. No, we blind people no longer plead in whining tones and beseeching manner for the charity coins contemptuously thrown in a tin cup.

Let the sighted know this! Let the sighted understand that the blind beggar of yesterday is an employed teacher or practicing lawyer or skilled typist or successful vending stand operator of today. Let the sighted understand that the blind of this nation are no longer a meek and humble people, grateful for the occasional kindnesses of a usually indifferent sighted world. We, blind people, we who are members of the organized blind movement, have learned to have a just pride in ourselves, we have learned to have an appreciation of our competencies. We no longer accept condescension with a smile, paternalism with thanks, and charity with gratitude. We reject pity. Pity is for those who need it, and we do not need it.

We demand! We demand the right to succeed or fail as the sighted have this right, without false notions as obstacles and misinformation as barriers to assure our failure, without special and preferential help to assure our success. We of the Federation no longer accept needless hindrances because we are blind, nor do we seek preferred status because we are blind.

We demand! We demand equality of opportunity to the extent that it is available to others.

We demand! We demand fair and just treatment as it is established by custom and every-day practice, as it is required by constitutional provisions and codes of law and equity.

We demand! No, we no longer ask or insist or even urge. We demand!

Some say we are militant, we of the National Federation of the Blind, as though it were an evil thing to assert a claim to a recognition of one's rights. Some describe us as agitators, as though it were wrong to assert a claim to dignity of person, as though it were wrong to assert a claim for a fair chance for choice as to the course and content of one's life. Some charge us with trouble-making, and we would remind them that the trouble we cause is that we wish to live and win and lose as free men--and they would deny us this and they do deny us this. And they would and they do keep us in the discrimination and ignorance-walled prison of inferiority and dependency.

We of the organized blind movement are constantly striving to tear down these prison walls of repression and denial. We are constantly contending against the disregarding or the diminishing of human rights and the citizenship rights of all blind Americans just because and only because we have lost the physical ability to see. And if this is militancy, if to do battle for these most fundamental foundations of individual integrity and American birthright is to be militant, then we, Federationists, are militant and we accept the title with pride!

The National Federation of the Blind demands that publicly and privately provided programs of services intended to help and benefit blind people are of a kind and caliber and quantity to really help and benefit us. If to do this, if to demand high standards of intelligent, understanding and competent performance of those who would serve us in our needs resulting from blindness; if to do this is to merit the term "agitator," then we accept the term gladly and triumphantly as a proof of finally achieved and hard-won recognition. For we, blind people, well remember the days and years and centuries of our defenselessness and despair when we did not and dared not agitate and demand a recognition of our rights, but we took that which was offered to us with humble gratitude, when we lived with the always present fear that to question might certainly cost us the little that we had.

We, the National Federation of the Blind, refuse to live any longer with prejudice, discrimination, and denial as the normal and expected and accepted and acceptable way as our way of life, blind, in a sighted world. If to do this, if to oppose unjust and unreasonable restrictions that needlessly clutter up our path and frustrate or foreclose our every effort is to be a trouble-maker; if to do this, if to object to unsupportable and unjustifiable generalizations about blindness and blind people that are impassable barricades and spirit-crushing burdens in our lives; if to do this is to create trouble and earn the name "trouble-maker," and if what we do is entitled to the name "trouble-making," then let all know this: It is a joy finally to have earned, to have deserved these commendatory descriptions after so many blind lifetimes of passivity and patience, after so many blind lifetimes of myth-manufactured misery and avoidable despair.

We, blind people, are determined to solve our problems that are the result of blindness, that are the result of society's attitudes toward blindness. We will wait no longer for others to solve our problems for us. We have waited too long and they have remained unsolved too long. Sighted society has failed us too often and rewarded our expectations and our trust with unfulfilled promises, and aroused hopes have too often been buried in depths of disappointments and despair.

No, we blind people, will wait no longer while others decide the choices in our lives and the course of our lives. We will determine our own destiny. We will make our own choices. The course our lives take will be our exercised responsibility. Just as with our sighted fellows, we may fail from foreseeable folly--but this is only normal living and it is our right to have the chance to succeed or fail from our own decisions and determinations.

We, the blind of America, are the involuntary actors in a drama that future historians may regard as an unbelievable social farce, but which we, blind people, because it concerns us and our lives, know to be a most believable tragedy. And the farcial-tragedy is this: In this nation, today, no body of physically different persons other than the blind is supposedly served by more public and private agencies, associations, institutions, lighthouses, foundations, and societies.

No body of physically different persons other than the blind is supposedly helped to solve and cope with the difficulties of their impairment by more persons, professional and otherwise--administrators and administrative personnel, home teachers and vocational rehabilitation counselors, social case workers and social adjustment specialists, special education teachers and mobility instructors, sheltered shop supervisors and blind-made products promoters and sellers, et cetera, et cetera, and additional et cetera to infinity. And no body of physically different persons other than the blind has more money spent in their name and supposedly for their sole assistance and benefit.

A couple of years ago, when arguments were being developed in support of the National Eye Institute Bill, it was estimated that at least one billion dollars annually is spent for blindness and in the name of the blind of the United States. Yet, and this is the ironic tragedy, as one talks with blind people and reads letters from blind people and hears and reads of the experiences of blind people, one is appalled at the great discrepancy between what is said to be done and how little is really done, how much special help and specialized assistance is said to be available and the insignificance of the results achieved, how needs continue unmet, hopes unrealized, ambitions and aspirations unfulfilled.

Talk to the blind, themselves! Listen to the tragedy of the educated unemployed or underemployed, learn of talents unused, abilities untrained, of pleas for help refused, hear about the incompetent professionals, of agency indifference or misdirected zealousness. As the life story of blind person after blind person unfolds a pattern of philosophy and practice emerges that clearly explains the mystery of so much special and skilled help available to help the blind successfully cope with the conditions of blindness and yet, how relatively little is accomplished by this help.

Far too often, far too generally, agency and association for the blind employees just do not believe that blind people can successfully achieve normal, worthwhile lives, and so their efforts and activities and their plans and programs are directed toward preparing their blind clients to accept and to live limited, restricted, sheltered, non-competitive-with-the-sighted, dependent lives.

Pervaded by a lack of belief in the capability of the blind to function in open society, agency and association for the blind employees think and work within segregated horizons, their goals are comfortable custodialism and willingly accepted inferiority of status and second-class lives and second-class accomplishments. And as a corollary to this philosophic non-belief of agencies for the blind in the attainable potentialities of the blind for normal, self-dependent living, those who speak and act for such agencies speak the language of negatives and their actions are of negation.

They speak to blind people and tell them what they cannot do because they are blind people--and the list is without end. They tell blind people what they cannot do as blind people, and since they speak with the authority of professional position and agency prestige, they are believed by far too many blind people who are convinced there's no sense to even try--when, if they try, who could say what wonders they might accomplish? Unimaginative, security-seeking for their clients, agency for the blind people and programs far too often are tailored to fit blind people into well-worn niches of "what everybody knows blind people can do because they've already done it!" Fearful of risking their professional reputations, far too many agency for the blind employees avoid possible failures in their blind caseload by propelling their clients into stereotyped lives and stagnation employments, when, perhaps, many of their clients could achieve more, could live more constructive and satisfying lives.

So because agencies for the blind lack a belief in the substantial normality of their clients, and because this permeates their services programs and staff relationships with clients, blind people consider these agencies which were intended only to help them as an antagonistic force to be contended with, as an unfriendly force that hinders and hampers them, that seeks, not to help them, but to capture and control them. Far too often, agencies for the blind are considered by the blind they are supposed to serve as an enemy and not an ally, to be feared and voided, not to be relied upon and sought out.

And the life stories that blind people tell give ample justification for these views. Because agency for the blind case service personnel so often deal negatively with their blind clients, preventing them from venturing into untried paths, prohibiting them from trying to do what the blind clients believe they can do--the blind consider agency for the blind people as one more prejudicial and discriminatory force with which they must contend as they strive to rise above their tradition-established place in life.

In 1968, when the National Federation of the Blind held its national Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, a blind vending stand operator from New Hampshire told how, when he objected to the mistreatment he had received from the manager of the building where his stand was located, the head of blind services chastised him for such improper behavior and removed him from his stand and his livelihood. Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind and Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, said: "In Iowa, when a vending stand operator has trouble with the manager of his building, we don't fight with the vending stand operator, we fight with the manager of the building!" And this is the way we, blind people, believe it always ought to be, with the blind agency worker a confirmed and active partisan of his blind client.

Surely this is not asking too much, that an organization which exists only to forward the interests and concerns of blind people does just this? Should not agencies for the blind always and constantly be advocates in support of their blind clients, standing shoulder to shoulder with them, confronting all opposition forces with them? Should not agency for the blind people be so vigorously and so obviously on the side of their blind clients that the clients will know that they do not have to contend alone? Of course this does not mean that the blind person is entitled to unqualified support and at all times and under all circumstances. It only means that agency for the blind people should have a deep and firmly-rooted prejudice, a well-established bias, in favor of the blind persons they have been hired to serve.

Is this asking too much? Is it too much to ask that the blind agency employee should always, and routinely, and automatically give the benefit of the doubt to his blind client? We, blind people, not only ask this, we demand this partisanship from those who claim to serve us. We believe the blind should always feel confident that blind agency workers are their friends and allies, their fiercest champions and staunchest supporters. We demand this, we, blind people, and less than this is unacceptable to us!

Since its very beginning as an organization, the National Federation of the Blind has consistently and continuously asserted that agencies for the blind should exemplify a firm, intelligently directed belief in blind people, a soundly-sensible but visionary-based belief in the capability of blind people to live normally and to work competitively in the sighted world.

We believe that agency for the blind personnel should so completely believe in the ability of their blind clients to function successfully as blind people though surrounded by sight that their blind clients will learn from them and gain from them a belief in themselves. We believe agency for the blind people should deal affirmatively with their blind clients, helping them to achieve, not hindering them from achieving, acting always so fervently in furthering the cause and concerns of their blind clients that their blind clients are stimulated and encouraged and motivated to try to do many impossible things--often times, only to discover that they were not impossible at all, only to discover they can and do achieve goals they once thought to be far beyond their ability of attainment.

We of the National Federation of the Blind do not believe that these standards as required agency for the blind philosophy and personnel performance are unreasonable, and we believe our demand that they be accepted and adopted and implemented in policy, program, and practice is also reasonable and is a demand to be listened to and heeded. Individually weak and timid and ineffective, we, blind Americans, have gained courage by associating together in the organized blind movement. Ignored when we sought redress of our grievances as individuals, we have achieved consequential and substantial results when, united by the common cause of all blind people, we have worked to reduce the disadvantages of sightlessness in a sight-based society. And as we have gained improved living standards and bettered livelihood opportunities for all blind people, for other blind people, we have gained benefits for ourselves.

Understanding that the discriminatory experience of one blind person must be the call to do battle by all blind people, the National Federation of the Blind challenges all prejudicial practices, we espouse all unequal opportunity crises of all blind people. This Federation and this democratic doctrine, that the plight of one must be the concern of all, was the teaching and the legacy of Jacobus tenBroek, founder and philosopher of the National Federation of the Blind, spokesman of the hopes and hurts of every blind man and for all blind men--here in this nation and the blind men of every nation. Joined, in 1940, by a few other blind men who shared his great and glorious vision of a better future for all blind people achieved through the unified efforts of the blind, themselves. Jacobus tenBroek launched the organized blind movement, the National Federation of the Blind. This blind people's organization, always acting with reasonableness and responsibility, has become the voice of all blind Americans; it has become the force for hope and help in the lives of all blind Americans.

As a voice, we thunderously proclaim the cause and assert the rights of all who are blind. As a force for hope, we attack all obstacles, we challenge every barrier, we mount every barricade that would deny or deprecate any blind person or all blind persons. As a force for help, we have changed many attitudes, policies, and laws and we are working to change more, that equal treatment and just and fair opportunity may be available to those who are blind and have the will and the courage to aspire for a better life than that which would be theirs without such endeavoring.

Does the person who is blind in America have the same right to live in America as our sighted fellow citizens? Every blind American knows the answer to this question from his own life, and the answer is no! But every blind American also knows this: That as we blind people have learned to speak for ourselves, we have been listened to and we have gained benefits and opened up opportunities for all of us, for all blind people.

As we have learned to work together in the furtherance of commonly-shared concerns and commonly-held goals, we have advanced the cause of all blind people, of each one of us.

As we in the organized blind movement have learned to abandon the resignation and patience of the past, as we have learned to assert our rights and to make known our needs and our demands, we have achieved results for each one of us, here, for all blind people everywhere.

And we, Federationists, shall persist and persist and persist until our goals are reached, until our needs are fully met, until our demands are commonplace realities in the lives of all blind people, until we share equally with the sighted a right to the same rights, blind.

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The president of the New Jersey Council of the Blind is George E. Burck, who was born in Newark, New Jersey and attended public schools in that city. He started school as a sighted student but was almost immediately transferred to the "blind class" of the Newark public school system. After learning Braille and the use of all the other special aids required for the education of blind children, he proceeded through the regular elementary and high school classes.

Upon completion of his public school education, George Burck entered the labor market. For the next twenty-one years, despite his visual impairment and our national depression, he worked steadily as a shipping clerk, inventory control supervisor, purchasing assistant and traffic manager. Following this successful career in industry, he operated a busy cafeteria in a large industrial plant for the next six years.

During all these years, starting in 1928, he devoted all of his spare time as an active worker in the ranks of the organized blind. This was in addition to taking evening college courses in accounting, social science and traffic management in order to help himself in his employment and in his work with the organized blind in New Jersey. He was married in 1945.

In 1955, because of his wide experience in the business world and in work with and for the blind, he was offered and accepted the position of Executive Secretary of the New Jersey Blind Men's Association, Inc. He has held this position since that time. His duties in this position include: public relations, directing the operation and all activities of a summer camp for blind men, supervision of all office procedures for the association, bulletin editor, fundraising and extensive legislative work.

In 1960 he was appointed to the Board of Managers of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. In 1970 he was elected president of this seven-member policy making board. In 1964, (when it was established) he was appointed to the State Board of Public Welfare, and has served on this body continuously since that time. At the 1959 and 1960 NFB Conventions, George Burck served as Chairman of the Nominations Committee. He was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Federation at the Miami Convention in 1960.

He was one of the founders of the New Jersey Chapter of the AAWB in 1968, and now serves on its board of trustees. A Lion for fifteen years, George is past president of the Middletown Township Lions Club and is at present bulletin editor of the club. He has also served on the District and State Sight Conservation and Blind Work Committees of Lions International.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind was formed in 1942. The initial effort toward the organization of the various local groups, which had been established throughout the State, was made by the New Jersey Blind Men's Association. George Burck was one of the leaders in this effort. As a result, he was elected as the Council's first president. He has served in that capacity for more than ten years during various intervals.

Just prior to the time that the Council was founded, the New Jersey Blind Men's Association had been accepted as that State's affiliate of the National Federation. It was the intent of the founders of the New Jersey Council to have this larger organization apply for affiliation in the NFB. The Blind Men's group favored this. However, the smaller local groups, which had been hesitant in joining the State organization in fear of losing their autonomy, defeated an effort to apply for membership in the NFB. As a result, it was not until 1958, after the National Federation had mandated that New Jersey be more widely represented in the NFB, and after careful persuasion by the leaders of the New Jersey Council in order to avoid a split in the State organization, that the New Jersey Council of the Blind became the New Jersey affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind has been most successful in its legislative programs at the State level. Through its efforts there have been many administrative reforms in the programs administered by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. This includes an annual meeting between representatives of all the organizations of the blind and the Board and supervisory staff of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. These meetings have created a much more cooperative relationship with the State agency than had existed previously.

In the beginning of 1970, with the help of John Nagle, "White Cane" legislation was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. Part of this legislation has already passed both houses of our legislature. The legislative committee of the Council is reasonably optimistic that the balance of the legislation will become law in 1971. Every effort will be made to accomplish this. The Council is also planning to introduce legislation which will improve the present Vending Stand Law.

Also in 1970, the Council was successful in having fourteen of New Jersey's fifteen Congressmen introduce companion legislation to H.R. 3872. The Council will continue its efforts to have this legislation enacted, and will support all other Federal legislation for the benefit of all blind people of our nation.

During the 1969-70 year, the Council added three chapters to its rolls. One of the main goals for the coming year is to substantially increase the individual membership in all the chapters. Work has already begun on this project. Increased efforts will be made to achieve our legislative goals, and every effort will be made to improve our fundraising endeavors.

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[Reprinted from the UCI Review, University of California, Irvine.]

One laid his white cane under the table and the other instructed his dog to sit in the comer. Otherwise, there was little apparent difference from any other UC Irvine students who are competent in the use of computers.

After pushing a few buttons and dialing a phone, John Halverson was ready to tie into a program on a time-sharing computer located in another room in the Computer Science Building. When the computer responded to his questions, the answers came in Braille. Halverson, and his friend Michael Hingson are blind.

Halverson, a senior from Redwood City majoring in economics, and Hingson, a junior from Palmdale majoring in physics, were using computers without the benefit of Braille last year but they had to call for assistance from sighted persons to learn the machine's responses to their questions. They decided that what was needed was a Braille terminal which would "translate" what the machine was replying so they could work entirely on their own.

They carried their idea to Ernestine Ransom, assistant dean of students, special services, who in turn contacted Dr. Julian Feldman, assistant chancellor for computing. The result was the installation of the special terminal this fall.

The Braille terminal at UCI is believed to be the first connected in such a way that it can be used to communicate with any computer.

Richard Rubinstein, a doctoral student who is supervising the work, said that elsewhere translation into Braille requires special provision on the time-sharing computer. At UCI a mini-computer is used to perform the translation into Braille at the receiving end so that a person using it may communicate with any available time-sharing computer.

Rusinstein spent last summer perfecting the mini-computer "translator" that, when attached to a Braille teletype printer, allows blind students to "talk" directly to UCI's large Sigma 7 computer, or any other computer which might be available by telephone line.

When the computer "talks back" to blind students, the mini-computer translates the signals to the teletype which has been fitted with a special cylinder to print out in Braille. Braille caps on the keyboard allow the blind students to activate the machine.

Instead of typewritten words, numbers and symbols on the page, raised, colorless dots appear at the rate of three characters per second. Other Braille terminals have been developed for use with specific computer programs, but Rubinstein believes his is the first that allows access to all computer programs.

Rubinstein said UCI will provide the tape which instructs the Mirco 811 desk top computer to do the translating to any school wanting it. With the program, a mini-computer and a converted teletype printer, blind students are able to "talk" with virtually any computer, anywhere.

The mini-computer which is at the heart of the process was purchased for less than $5,000 and may be used for other purposes when not in use by the blind students. Rubinstein's summer project was supported in part from a Carnegie Foundation grant. The Cal Tech graduate in engineering is working toward an advanced degree in social Sciences at UCI.

Seven other students on campus are partially visually handicapped. Like Halverson and Hingson, all carry full academic programs, varying from the social sciences to the fine arts. The library has a private study room set aside for their use. The room is equipped with a Braille writer, a large-print typewriter and a "talking book" machine which plays records of books. A tape recorder is being purchased with funds given by the Associated Students. Books in Braille are borrowed from the Braille Institute in Los Angeles.

The visually handicapped students need to hire readers for some of their academic work. Financial assistance is provided by the State but supplementary funds are needed. Some of the gap in resources has been filled by contributions from the Associated Students and the University Office of Student Affairs, but more aid is needed.

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by Norine Coffin

[Reprinted from the Eyecatcher, publication of the Empire State Association of the Blind.]

Our name, THE UNITED BLIND, is a new one among the affiliates of the Empire State Association of the Blind; but many of its members are old friends to all of you. We finalized our organization, with the exception of getting our charter, in October 1970. The union of two groups of blind people was now firm. A former affiliate of the Empire State Association of the Blind, the Syracuse Chapter and a group of about thirty blind people, having found that they had a similar philosophy and goals were now one organization. Quite appropriately we chose the name of The United Blind because it signifies our oneness of purpose.

As a new member of the Empire State Association of the Blind, perhaps we should define our boundaries and our goals. Our membership is drawn from Onondaga County at this time but as we grow in numbers we shall be including blind people from parts of the surrounding counties where they are not already members of another Empire State Association of the Blind affiliate. Our principle goal which is in reality inclusive of all other goals is self-determination by the blind of the services and policies which will best promote their social, cultural and economic welfare.

It is our philosopyy to have every blind person, regardless of membership in The United Blind, exercise his right to have the services he feels he needs to move toward his own destiny.

A second and almost as important a part of our philosophy is to use every means at our command to achieve our goals through cooperation with the present local agency for the blind, the Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind.

We have already taken some action toward this desired cooperation. We gave the agency reports on our first few meetings. They had requested these reports and we felt this was our opportunity to let the agency know what suggestions we had for enhancing their services to the blind, and our dissatisfaction with some changes that had been made. As a second step in cooperation we invited the Director of the agency, Mr. Milton Rosenbloom, to tell us about the services of the agency. This seemed necessary to us because very few blind people knew what they were. We have had written communication with the board of directors of the agency as well as face to face dialogue with them in order to increase the understanding between us.

We are sure there is speculation why a group of thirty blind people were meeting. The year 1970 was the end of a decade of changes in the types of services to the blind in this county, changes in staff personnel of the agency, development of a program which the agency considered "integration" and a change in the physical structure of the agency. These changes involve "integrating" the workshop for the blind with several other handicapped workshops into a new agency called the Consolidated Workshop. During this decade the only blind member of the staff was retired and neither that position nor any other position on the staff has yet been filled by a blind person, although there have been many new staff members employed. Among the new staff have been several social workers and a rehabilitation teacher.

Soon after our first meeting, we learned that the Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind was considering a Community Chest plan to put some eight Community Chest agencies in an "umbrella" agency. This consolidated agency would be composed of seven health agencies, including the Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, Alcoholics Anonymous, the adult retarded group and our agency for the blind. The agency board has heard the voice of some of the blind of the county through a letter we sent to them stating our strong opposition to this consolidation. We based our opposition on several well-considered points; such as (1) we believe the blind would not have adequate service for their particular needs in this integrated agency; (2) the agency for the blind would lose its identity as such, and it would be more difficult for the blind to find the help they needed. No decision has been made by the agency board since they are uniting for clarification on several points.

In June a committee from our group and one from the board of directors of the agency met to talk over our goals and their attitudes about them. The board learned about our goals but we heard few words concerning their attitudes and philosophy.

Mr. Rosenbloom has said that his image of the future local agency for the blind is one of a referral agency only. The blind will at that time make use of the facilities of other community resources. These words were followed with action. Some groups of blind men and women who were meeting at the agency headquarters for arts and crafts, social and recreational activities were transferred to the Salvation Army, Golden Age Group.

Here there were similar activities but they were geared for sighted, senior citizens. Some of the blind liked the new set-up; but many more found themselves unable either to accept the new conditions or to be accepted by the new groups. However they had only two options; they could either stay at home or make the best of their new setting.

The quotation from the Syracuse Post-Standard for December 8, 1970 that follows, indicated quite adequately the philosophy of the agency for the blind and its board of directors.

"The Lighthouse, the Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind, a year and a half ago made a big move. The move not only involved a change of address from 425 James Street to 373 Spencer Street, but a change in approach to the help that the agency can give the blind.

"The Lighthouse is just that--a way to guide the blind, not to lead them. To that end, the agency has assumed the philosophy that the blind should live regular lives and not be segregated in groups of blind persons. So, the older adult programs which the Lighthouse formerly had on James Street were moved to the Golden Age Center of the Salvation Army, where the blind can take part in the activity for sighted persons of the Golden Age Center."

"Regular" lives for the blind? when regular people make their own decisions and do not have to feel about themselves as charges of a board of directors.

This so-called "integration" was soon followed by the sale of the building which the agency owned and had occupied for a quarter of a century. When the sale was made there appeared to be a serious intention by the board to replace this old building with a more modem one. It was when the agency rented office space only, on the second floor of a spaghetti sauce factory, located in an old industrial area of the city, that the blind began to realize that the agency's services were being decimated. This new location is not easily accessible for pedestrians and there is no near-by bus service. Because of these conditions the agency is remote to the independent blind person who travels alone with a cane or a guide dog. The entrance and the stairs to the second floor also present problems to the blind if they should go there.

One blind man remarked about the difficulties in getting there, and had this reply from one of the board members: "Why should a blind person want to come here? There is nothing here for them."

These changes together with several others were alarming enough to bring us together to talk about our situation and form some plan to prevent further decimation of services and the final elimination of an agency for the blind in this area. Our plans also include efforts to have a more complete program for the blind according to their decisions about their welfare. Since all of the decisions about the changes in policy and services of the present agency have been made solely by its board, the blind have never been able to make any important decision about their own welfare. It is quite true that there have been one or two blind persons on the board for about twenty-five years, but they had not been elected to speak for the blind. It seems they were mostly window-dressing.

We feel that the attitude and the resulting actions of the agency and its board have not moved far from the philosophy of people involved in "charitable" work for the "unfortunate" at the turn of the century. These unfortunates and underprivileged were their "charges" and had to be "looked after." They were thought to be incapable of thinking and deciding for themselves about their own welfare. If this philosophy is not basic still in most people involved in agency boards and staffs, why must we struggle so hard to acheive our own destiny?

We asked that the bylaws of the board of the Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind be amended to make it mandatory so that membership of the board would be composed of fifty percent blind persons. The blind board members would be nominated by the blind of the county, not necessarily The United Blind, and the board would retain its rightful privilege of choosing and electing from the list of nominations.

The president of the board agreed to let us know by early fall what had been the decision of the board in this matter. There have been no responses to that meeting in any way. Our next step will no doubt be to ask for a second meeting with their committee at which time we shall want to know why this change cannot be effected, and the answers given to a few more important questions.

As the United Blind has discussed and planned for the self-determination of the blind we have become aware that a well rounded program of services for the blind needs not only the expertise of a professional staff similar to the present agency, but it also needs the knowledge the blind have of their own problems, capacities for rehabilitation, and use of skills, techniques, and disciplines necessary for normal life in a community.

Since the fulfillment of our objectives may be several years away we shall need advice and moral support from those blind people who are in sympathy with our determination to reach our goal.

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by Maureen McNerney

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal]

Linda Meadors has come a long way since she first began picking out tunes on a piano at the age of three. She's sung and played at churches and benefits in the Louisville area, appeared as a regular performer for five years on WHAS-TV's "Hi Varieties," and performed at the US Pavilion at the New York World's Fair.

Last April her first record, "You're Gonna Be Sorry," was released by Mercury Records and climbed to the seventy-third spot on national country music charts. Her second record, "I'm Proud to Be a Woman," was released in September but Miss Meadors hasn't heard how it is doing nationally. She is pleased, though, that the record was played on local stations and notes that it reached number eight at WINN, a Louisville country music radio station.

Although Miss Meadors is blind, she prefers to avoid any mention of her blindness in relation to her professional career. "I want people to know me as Linda Meadors, that girl who sings, and not Linda Meadors, that blind girl who sings," she said. When the recording company sends her a new song, she learns the music by listening to a tape. She uses a Braille writer to transcribe the lyrics....

Miss Meadors, who was graduated from the Kentucky School for the Blind, credits her rising career to a series of backstage meetings. It began seven years ago when she went to the Lincoln Jamboree at Hodgenville. "I just wanted to go and listen," Miss Meadors recalled. "At intermission I went backstage to meet and talk with the different singers. I told the master of ceremonies that I sang, and he asked to hear me. He invited me back the next week and asked me if I would like to play piano in the band regularly." She accepted and stayed with the band for more than a year, appearing with the Lincoln Jamboree every Saturday night at Hodgenville and traveling throughout Kentucky for special shows.

Miss Meadors, who will say only that she's in her "early twenties," got her big break when she went to Nashville to appear on the Stonemans' country music television program "two or three years ago. The show was televised nationally and the Stonemans told me that they had gotten more response when I was a guest than for anyone who had appeared on their show," Miss Meadors said.

Another backstage visit resulted in a further boost for Miss Meadors' career. When country singing star Jerry Lee Lewis appeared at Convention Center in 1969, Miss Meadors went backstage to meet him. In the course of their conversation, she told Lewis that she, too, was a country singer, and he asked her to sing for him. She believes that it was from this meeting that she was offered a year's contract with option from Mercury Records, the same label on which Lewis records. "I have heard that he was the one who helped me get the contract," said Miss Meadors, who signed with the company last November. "I'm really grateful to Jerry Lee."

Since signing with the record company, Miss Meadors has made publicity appearances in Tennessee, West Virginia and Arkansas. In September she taped the Porter Wagoner Show, which hasn't been seen in Louisville yet. Miss Meadors, a native of Jeffersonville who now lives with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Meadors, in Louisville's Crescent Hill area, has found that recording sessions are fun. "When I go to a recording session," she said, "I play the song and sing for the backup musicians and singers. We may go over it two or three times before cutting the tape. I wouldn't call it gruelling work. We have quite a ball."

Miss Meadors, who has never had a piano or voice lesson, said she will always remember cutting her first record. "When I first heard it I cried," she said. "I was so thrilled and happy. It was what I had always wanted to do." Although Miss Meadors doesn't know when she'll cut a new record, she wants eventually to do an album of gospel music.

The first song she picked out on the piano when she was three was "Jesus Loves Me." Neither of her parents is musically inclined and Miss Meadors said that her talent is "God's gift to me." The family attends Clifton Heights Christian Church. But as with most country music singers. Miss Meadors said her biggest goal is to appear with the Grand Ole Opry.

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by Dr. Isabelle L.D. Grant

In South Africa and in Rhodesia I was unhappy, uncomfortable, afraid--afraid that I might be misquoted, and wrong impressions given of my opinion regarding the social and political aspects of the country'. I have nothing in common with segregation of people, and apartheid is to me inhuman, does not face facts, and is absolutely discriminatory. I tried to see the South African point of view, and decided that surely other ways could be worked out to include the black man in his own country than banishing him to reservations, enclaves, to complete social ostracism and separatism. Living, teaching, shopping, entertaining, worshipping with black people in my country, I felt uncomfortable in the segregated holier-than-thou attitude in the church, in the post office, in the airport, in the blind school, above all. The majority of pupils in the blind school, I was told, were Africans of Dutch descent and many of the Dutch Reformed Church faith, with a few of British background. But where were the Bantu blind, I asked. Where might I go to observe their program of education, if indeed there was one. I was politely informed that if I wanted to see the Bantu blind, I would have to get a permit from the Government, and that would take several weeks. Then I might go with a police officer on each side of me. I did not try to go--then, I turned down invitations for interviews with the press, for I certainly could not have controlled my feelings. It was the Christmas holiday season, so schools were closed, and I did not want to visit empty classrooms. One or two bright spots began to appear,--a Braille library, a center with some native blind women learning housework and handwork, but they too were on holiday.

If I found the program for the blind sterile, I did not find the country itself sterile. South Africa is rich, very rich with its gold and diamond mines, its lush vegetation, its fruit, its highly European educational program for all children, its colleges and universities, but where were the Bantus, or Zulus, or any of the colored people,--that is those of mixed parentage? But a way did open, and in the northern part of the nation I was able to visit with blind Bantus. Some, too few, but at least the start was there, were working in factories; girls packing batteries, and others taking training in a newly established workshop which I felt had a sizable potential. Shall I ever forget the pride in that Bantu's voice as he showed me the screw he had just turned on the heavy machine, and told me in his own language which I did not understand how he made the thread and then cut the groove on the head of the screw? A girl who spoke English taught me how to heat the plastic wrapper and place it around the battery, sticking the ends together. She packed several hundred per day. I was slow, and she laughed.

Why should one be afraid of these people? Was it because the whites are outnumbered by the blacks? Isn't there such a thing as education to help people understand one another and learn to live alongside one another? It takes time, but we have that time, if we start now. If not, it might be too late, and black men will rise up and ask for equality, security and opportunity. I tried in vain to find out if there were any blind Bantus in any of the five new universities administered and attended by the black population. To be blind and black in South Africa is no joke.

The picture shows one little ray of hope however, in spite of the absolute domination of the mid-Victorian custodial agency for the blind, with its fine buildings, offices and centers in Pretoria and Johannesburg, manned by and large by sighted persons, who seem to know more about blindness than the blind themselves. There are a few blind men and women who know they can do better; who know that blind workers should have a voice in their own affairs, and who even in their workshops smart at their low rates of pay, and inadequacy of material with which to work, as well as selection of jobs on which they can work. A still smaller number are on their own, physiotherapists, telephonists, and the hope of the future lies in the courage of these to break down the barriers of custodialism for their fellow blind.

So frustrated and impatient with those around me who only spoke Afrikans, with a word of English thrown in on my behalf, I had no recourse but to walk, talk and drive, drink tea and eat crumpets and scones with second and third generation British South Africans. It took me back about half a century in my own life, for it was totally unlike the England and Scotland of today. The conservatism and the Toryism of my childhood I relived. It was safe and comfy. Or was it? They had what I call a South African interpretation of the world, one that wanted to hear only what it wanted to hear, soporific playing down the controversial, and logically justifying their own point of view. Television was conspicuous by its absence, for as I was told, the 'telly' had ruined the English housewife in her daily chores, not to speak of the damage done to the education of the British schoolboy through his viewing of his 'telly.'

There were television sets in Rhodesia. It seemed to me that Rhodesians with their swimming pools--Salisbury has an extraordinary number of private and public tanks-are apt to take life more easily and have fun. The social atmosphere of absolute segregation hurt me. The smugness of so many Rhodesians and their rationalization and justification of their stand, hurt too. There was no place for equality of human beings, equality of opportunity--educational, social, or political. But why disturb complacency, if that is what they want? The segregation even reached into the church--it was the Presbyterian Church I attended, and I'm pretty sure that John Knox would not have approved this differentiation on the basis of blackness, and he was not blind! But all is not lost. There is a splendid start to an integrated program of education of blind children under the auspices of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. The blind children go into sighted schools with the assistance of specially trained teachers. When necessary to leave their homes, the children are housed in hostels for the school term, returning home for vacation. Parents are consulted and advised of the program.

There was another beam of hope on the Rhodesian horizon. A young blind African came to me, perhaps by chance, I don't know, and there was no point in finding out. He wanted to know what blind people in other lands are doing. Do they work? Are they beggars? He knew there was a future for blind persons, for he himself with his little education had been able to hold a small job as interpreter of his people to others in the welfare field who could not speak the language of his fellow Africans, who could not decipher their names, and who needed help in understanding the story of the aches, pains, and troubles of the natives. This was John's self-imposed and tidily remunerated job. How could his fellow blind get more education? What could he do? His voice was deliberate and earnest, not a bit indicative of his bare twenty years. Nothing is impossible, said John, if I just know how to go about it. He has started. His letters now ask for copies of the constitution, for educational materials, for simple equipment to pass out, for letters of encouragement, of friendship, for now he knows he is part of a greater movement than he had ever dreamt of. At twenty, this is what a fellow needs, black or white, blind or sighted.

But I ran afoul of the authorities once again, for my itinerary now pointed to Zambia. As Zambia was not friendly to Rhodesia and vice versa, I was told I could not enter Zambia; so the authorities on their own initiative routed me the way they wanted me to go, not the way I wanted to go. That was very disturbing, for I found it necessary to change the ticket back to my original plan when I went into Malawi.

And all the time there rang in my ears the old refrain, from Robbie Burns, "when man to man the world o'er, shall brithers be for a' that."

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by Perry Sundquist

On March 3, 1971, Governor Ronald Reagan of California sent his welfare reform message to the Legislature, consisting of some one hundred eighty pages with about seventy separate points. The Governor is now engaged in trying to get his fellow governors in other States to adopt his plan. Pertinent points insofar as Aid to the Blind are concerned (as well as Old Age Assistance and Aid to the Disabled) may be briefly summarized.

An automated system of payments for the adult aids with the State paying all grants and administration costs, shared equally with the Federal Government will be instituted. At present the counties participate financially in the costs of aid and pay one-half of administration costs.

A flat grant. All of the individual needs for a majority of recipients which occur over the year would be averaged, income deducted, and the grant thus determined. All special needs of an individual would be abolished except the one-time emergency needs which would be financed half by the counties and half by the Federal Government. This would replace the present individual determination of need.

Recipients would be required to use up to seventy-five percent of their allowable cash reserves to pay for any unexpected emergency needs. Currently they can have up to $1,500 in cash, securities, and cash surrender value of insurance and remain eligible.

Eligibility determination would be separated from grant determination so that all types of income and no special needs would be counted in determining eligibility and, if found eligible, all types of income would be counted. At present eighty-five dollars a month of earned income, plus one-half of all income in excess of eighty-five dollars a month, plus eleven dollars and fifty cents a month of income from any source, are disregarded.

All assistance given to a recipient, such as a Federal housing subsidy and food stamps, would be counted as income. At present these are not counted as income in kind and thus do not affect the amount of the grant.

There would be a prohibition against mailing any welfare checks out of the State of California. All aliens would have to prove that they are in California (and the United States) legally and that they intend to live permanently in California. Now a recipient may live in another State for temporary purposes or even in a foreign country.

Only those exemptions of income and property would be allowed as are required to be disregarded by the Federal Government. Now up to $11.50 a month of income from any source is permitted to be disregarded and a person may own property in any amount provided it is yielding an income with which to help the recipient meet his needs, in addition to owning his own home.

The ownership of all real property, except one's own home, would be prohibited.

The value of an automobile owned by the recipient would be determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles' formula rather than by the "quick sale" price. A person can own a car, if needed for transportation, with a market value of up to $1,500.

There would be an over-all limit on the value of all personal property, including home furnishings and jewelry--everything--of $1,200. Now personal effects and household furniture are not counted.

There would be a "more realistic" relatives' contribution scale whereby children would be required to contribute more to their parents receiving aid. Currently there is a prohibition against requiring relatives to contribute in Aid to the Blind and there is a very liberal scale in Old Age Assistance.

Liens up to $12,000 would be placed against the homes of recipients so that, after the first $20,000 value of the home when sold or inherited, the State would collect. All liens and recoveries are now forbidden by law.

Records of public assistance recipients would be made available to all public authorities and the facts of suspected fraud cases would be given to the press. The State would be permitted to cross-check Social Security numbers with State Franchise Tax and Federal Internal Revenue records to insure that the income status of the recipient conforms to the facts he provided in his application for aid. Presently all records pertaining to recipients are required to be held confidential.

The penalties for the fraudulent claiming or receipt of aid would be made the same as criminal penalties which apply to theft of any other funds. At present recovery in a civil suit is first attempted under the law and, if that fails, fraud is punishable only as a misdemeanor.

All social services would be reduced to the level absolutely required by the Federal Government. Presently there is a wide range of helpful services which can be performed for recipients.

Insofar as Medi-Cal (or medicaid) is concerned, recipients of aid would be required to pay one dollar for each visit to a doctor or dentist, one dollar for each drug prescription, and three dollars a day for hospital or nursing home care. Currently there are no charges for these services to recipients.

If these "reforms" are achieved, a half century of progress in Aid to the Blind in California would be wiped out.

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[Reprinted from the Virginia Federation of the Blind's Newsletter, Ruth Drummond, Editor.]

No one needs to be told what a PR man is, or what a group is trying to do when they talk about projecting an "image." This is the age of public relations, and every publicity chairman is now considered a public relations expert. Today he holds down one of the most important and biggest jobs in NFB chapters.

Any publicity chairman who takes his job seriously will want to consider the few following responsibilities:

First, the bulletins, brief notices sent out regularly to all members to remind them of upcoming activities. Next comes the notice sent to the local newspaper about scheduled meetings and announcing special functions sponsored by your chapter. Newspaper stories help to bring the National Federation of the Blind to the attention of prospective members as well as the community at large.

Finally, the alert and aggressive publicity chairman (and every good public relations expert should be aggressive) figures out ways to get mention of the National Federation of the Blind and its members on local radio stations--even, given a real news break to handle (such as conventions) on a local TV program perhaps. Each of these channels of publicity contributes toward forming the "image" or concept of the NFB in the minds of the members and other citizens in the community.

Organization news usually goes in the women's section of the newspaper. There, on the society page, your chapter's publicity must compete with the news of dozens of other organizations, stories of engagements, and wedding and detailed reports of the social doings of the town's prominent citizens.

You have to be very conscious of space limitations indeed. Federation announcements will be treated strictly as news. The notice of an up-coming meeting may rate only two or three inches. To ensure getting even this much in, however, you should observe the following procedures: learn the name of the woman's editor who handles the club news and direct your stories to her. Better still, drop by the newspaper office in person to deliver the news and introduce yourself as the publicity chairman.

Find out deadlines. Type all stories, editors hate to struggle through handwritten notes. Some editors even refuse to accept handwritten stories.

Use plain business paper rather than personal stationery. In the upper left hand corner type your name and under it the name of your chapter. On the third line put your own address, and on the fourth line your phone number where you can be reached if some detail of the story requires checking later. The newspaper also prefers to write headlines.

The story should be double spaced on one side of the page only. Important facts first. Keep sentences short and to the point, but readable. Check spelling of names. This is a journalistic must! Don't refer continually to the same people in your stories. Have different chairmen make announcements.

Occasionally your chapter will invite a guest speaker who has an individual and distinguished background and qualifications. In this case submit a photograph of the speaker, an 8 x 10 glossy print if available. Many times the newspaper will send a photographer to cover the event.

Opportunities for the publicity chairman are wide open. He is pretty much his own boss and he can do as little or as much as he feels inclined to do. The results of his efforts are immediately visible. Every story usually brings an appreciative response.

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by Ramona Ennis

[The Associate Editor regrets the error in the March edition of The Monitor when Dick Nelsen was identified as president of the Nebraska Federation--instead of the Arkansas Federation.]

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, March 16, 1892, Richard was the youngest in a family of seven. His family made the move from Worcester to New Bedford, giving him an opportunity to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As a boy Mr. Nelsen was fond of fishing and boating. When the opportunity presented itself, he signed on board a tramp steamer.

At the age of seventeen he enlisted in the Army. He traveled widely and at one time he was stationed in the Panama Canal. He received his discharge at Camp Pike in 1918. Choosing to remain in Arkansas, he met and married Gladys Scantlin.

Obtaining employment in the position of salesman for the Crane Company, he remained with the company for thirty-one years.

When a cataract operation failed to prevent blindness doctors attempted an unsuccessful corneal transplant. During his convalescence Mr. Nelsen was visited by Dr. Ray Penix and Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Salter of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind. Their attitude and outlook so impressed Mr. Nelsen they were successful in convincing him that he had a place in the Arkansas Federation of the Blind.

Entering the organization at a time of great internal strife Richard Nelsen was instrumental in maintaining its solidarity.

Serving his "apprenticeship" as president of the Little Rock chapter, he was in a position to step in as the new leader when he was needed. While president of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind he was responsible for the organization of a Credit Union and sponsored many successful drives.

On January 30, 1971, Mr. Nelsen died leaving many friends, those helped by this kind man during his lifetime. For many years Mr. Richard Nelsen was a mainstay, a guiding force in the Arkansas Federation of the Blind, and his loss is keenly felt. Men of great ability do not often come along but we of the Arkansas Federation of the Blind were fortunate to have known such a man-Richard Nelsen.

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[Reprinted with permission from The Maine Teacher.]

There is only one negotiations committee chairman in Maine who will lead his team to final agreement on a 38-page contract without ever once looking at it. He is Donald Mailloux of Belfast and he has never looked at the contract for the simple reason that he is blind.

"We were working to get teachers the difference between a substitute's pay and their own salary if they have to be out of school," he said. "You'll find that under item 14C." The reporter slipped on bifocals before picking up the contract proposal of the SAD 34 Teachers Association. It seemed best to ask the question flat out--"How in the world do you remember the separate items in 38 type-written pages?"

The question got a laugh and a flat-out answer. "Because I have to remember. I can't look it up." Mr. Mailloux has a system for reinforcing his greatly sharpened power of concentration. He becomes familiar with the items when the package is being developed and gives special attention to areas of probable controversy.

On the day of negotiations sessions, the seven-man team meets at 4 p.m. at the Mailloux home, has supper, and reviews the issues. "We go over what we've accomplished, talk about the last meeting, note the areas of difference with the Board, and try to figure out the possibilities." They discuss changes in contract language and all this time Mr. Mailloux is storing details in a mind trained to remember.

The sociable get-together over supper also saves time on caucuses, Mr. Mailloux said. The committee is well briefed when it goes out to meet the Board representatives. At the table he may sometimes ask the team member on his right to read the article under discussion, "but I don't have to do it very often."

Mr. Mailloux acts as spokesman without seeing the faces of negotiators on the other side of the table. Some of the members of his team have told him this may be an advantage.

"They told me one night there were mouths dropping open all along the table, but I kept plowing right ahead and got out some things that probably needed to be said."

On the other hand, he is aware of a changing atmosphere and tension. "Maybe it's time to put on the coffee pot," he said, "or call a caucus until things cool down."

Mr. Mailloux was still in the middle of negotiations when he discussed the proposals. He was holding on some tough bargaining positions and aiming at improvements in last year's contract. He gave credit to the outstanding team at SAD 34--Mrs. Gwendolyn Stratton, a member of the MTA Executive Committee; Donald Berry, president of the local association; Mrs. Frances Armington, and Mrs. Carol Bisbee. Alternates Mrs. Margaret Clements and Mrs. Marietta Packard attend all sessions and he counts them as part of the team.

“We have all grade levels represented," he said. "Elementary teachers have plenty of problems and they need to make their voice heard. The Board will pay more attention, too, if they realize they are hearing from the total association and not just from a bunch at the high school."

Mr. Mailloux and his wife Lucy are themselves a part of the "bunch" at Belfast Area High School where they teach science. Mrs. Mailloux makes her own special contribution by providing things like fish chowder and Anadama bread for the prenegotiation suppers. Both the Maillouxs have kept busy schedules while fighting a medical battle to preserve a small and dwindling degree of vision. Mr. Mailloux has been a member of Representative Assembly, chairman of the MTA Academic Recognition and Scholarship Committee, and managed the State Principals Association ski program. He still makes visits to a medical center in Massachusetts while remaining cheerfully realistic about his chances for regaining some sight.

The Maillouxs visited Japan last summer after the San Francisco convention of the NEA and stayed with the same family that had welcomed their son as an American Field Service student. They are looking forward to a return visit from an older daughter of the family, who is now studying in Germany.

The Maillouxs don't find all this overwhelming. Their philosophy is very simple--you just do what has to be done and right now the challenge is at the negotiations table.

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by Donald C. Capps

Governor Robert E. McNair was honored by the blind of South Carolina at a testimonial dinner held on Saturday evening, January 9th. The highly impressive event was sponsored jointly by the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, and the Association of the Blind of South Carolina. Some one hundred thirty persons from throughout South Carolina attended the prestigious banquet held in the banquet hall of the newly expanded Aurora Center of the Blind. Many feel that this was probably the most meaningful occasion to be experienced in South Carolina in work with and for the blind. Aurora State president, Donald C. Capps, who served as Master of Ceremonies, put it this way.

During the past six years, 1965-1971, there has been unparalleled progress in work with and for the blind in South Carolina. This much needed progress could not have been possible without the dedicated efforts and cooperation of many persons and groups. However, there is one South Carolinian without whose understanding and cooperation this unprecedented progress could not have been possible. We refer to none other than the Chief Executive of South Carolina, Governor Robert E McNair. Tonight blind persons from throughout South Carolina and in all walks of life have assembled here at the Aurora Center of the Blind to honor and pay tribute to Governor McNair. Our journey to progress really had its beginning at our State convention in 1964 at which time Governor McNair was our banquet speaker. During the next six years Governor McNair signed into law several different bills which have had a dramatic impact upon work for the blind in this State. In order to successfully compete, blind persons must have proper training and opportunity. In 1966 Governor McNair signed into law an act creating the South Carolina Commission for the Blind which is now providing this training and opportunity which will be clearly demonstrated tonight.

The latest bill benefiting the blind was signed into law by Governor McNair in May. This bill authorized the transfer of five acres of land to the Commission for the purpose of further rehabilitation of the blind. No State in the country has experienced more wholesome changes in work for the blind than the State of South Carolina. We are especially proud of this progress which, as many of you know, was not gained easily. While we, the blind, are extremely pleased that our house is now in order with all groups working harmoniously to serve the best interest of the blind, this has not always been the case which made progress unusually difficult. Throughout the difficult times, however, Governor McNair demonstrated a keen understanding and insight into the true situation. Without this understanding and insight we would not have enjoyed and realized the progress we have made in recent years. It was necessary for bills to be signed and proper people to be appointed to State boards all of which was accomplished by Governor McNair. While the blind of South Carolina are grateful to Governor McNair for his friendship and assistance, the nation's blind also hold him in high esteem as it was he who hosted our national Convention at the Governor's mansion with a memorable reception. And so we, the blind, have come tonight to honor the man who not only has used his high office to advance the cause of the blind but has personally extended many acts of kindness to the visually handicapped.

Throughout the evening the large gathering heard from various leaders from the field of work for the blind. Mr. Allan Mustard, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Aurora Center of the Blind and Senior Vice-President of South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, welcomed other members of the Advisory Board and told of his group's interest in the Aurora Center facility as well as their desire to assist with all programs of service to the blind.

Marshall Tucker, president of the Association of the Blind of South Carolina, told of the early work done on behalf of the blind by the Association as early as 1920 by establishing a sheltered workshop. Aurora's distinguished founder, Dr. Sam M. Lawton, told the group of the work done by the Aurora organization during the early part of its existence. Miss Lois Boltin, first vice-president of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, described the activities and progress of the State organization in furthering the economic well-being of the State's blind beginning in 1956 when it affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind. The newest program of services to the blind was established in 1966 with the creation of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. After describing the growth and progress of the Commission, Dr. Fred L. Crawford, Executive Director of the Commission then introduced several clients who had benefited from services provided by the agency. Mr. Avery Johnson, graduate of Allen University of Columbia, expressed appreciation for the assistance rendered him by the Commission during his college work and later for placing him with the Babcock Center where he is serving as a guidance counselor. Tommie Ingle then gave a highly moving account of the ups and downs in his life and his eventual success because of the understanding and assistance of the Commission. Tommie is employed in a twenty million dollar industrial plant at the Westinghouse Nuclear and Fuel Division in Columbia. James Peterson is presently enrolled as a student at the Commission's training center and is preparing himself to be a computer programmer. Young Mr. Peterson pleased the group with his grateful manner and high spirit of enthusiasm and hope. The Commission also administers the program of prevention of blindness. One of the many hundreds of South Carolinians to regain precious sight from medical treatment and surgery was Mr. Harold Traynham who expressed his deep appreciation for his sight restoration. By this time admiration was overflowing throughout the beautifully decorated hall in the State colors of blue and white with floral arrangements of red carnations. However, there was more to come.

Miss Melissa Goff, a high school student attending the public schools of Sumter, was then introduced by Dr. Crawford. The attractive teen-ager highly pleased the audience with the following poem which she authored.


Robert McNair, a man far-seeing
Brought the Commission into being.
Like other foundations of its kind
It had its purpose to serve the blind.
The hundreds of sightless within this State
This organization accommodates.
The services rendered are very diverse
And taken without a toll on the purse.
Library services, tools for learning,
Job training and placement, aids for earning,
Career day with plans for our future employment,
Camp with its programs of use and enjoyment,
The freest of these is of no great surprise,
Vocational Counselors seek to advise.
During this Governor's administration
Through his support of legislation
Was separately formed this organization.
And though he may prosper on Capitol Hill,
Some will remember his urging us still
Which when accosted, sorted, and signed.
Established this agency serving the blind.

It was noted that Melissa's poem as well as other stirring presentations brought tears to Governor McNair's eyes as he heard and witnessed the outstanding progress made in the field of work with the blind during his six-year administration. The evening's activities were climaxed with a special presentation by Aurora State president, Donald C. Capps, who stated the following:

Governor McNair, in a few days you will be leaving the high office of Governor However, you will not be leaving the hearts and minds of blind people and those who work with the blind as they will continue to remember the fine progress made in work with the blind during your administration as evidenced tonight. It is with genuine gratitude that I, on behalf of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, and the Association of the Blind, present to you this beautiful sterling silver bowl appropriately inscribed, "Governor Robert E. McNair. In Appreciation of Outstanding Service Rendered to the Blind, 1965-1971."

Governor McNair responded as follows:

To Don and all of you. I was seated earlier trying to think of what I might say because I have become accustomed to having somebody prepare remarks, write letters, sign them for me and it's reached such a point 'til I signed a personal note to a very warm friend the other day and when I saw him he said, "Why don't you sign your own letters?" He had been so accustomed to seeing it signed otherwise that perhaps it would have been much better had I been able to come to Charleston because since then I have been asked so many times, "What's the highlight, what's the thing that has made you feel the best during your administration?" and I've had to pause and reflect and sort of talk about so many things but had this meeting been held earlier or had I been able to come to Charleston, I could say the most inspiring thing that has come at perhaps one of the most appropriate times has been this meeting here this evening.

There is so much you could say I share Dr. Sam's and your real comfort in finding the Aurora Club, the Association and the Commission meeting together in one room. I know I haven't climbed a hickory tree. Dr. Sam. I'm sure on some occasions, in the early days, we thought we were standing under it after somebody had just shaken it. But there are so many people here who have really been responsible for what has happened 'til I really respond for them because it's much easier to simply approve and to affix a signature and to work with, than it is to provide the kind of courageous leadership that you had through the years. I hope Hyman Rubin will take back to the General Assembly these words that have come tonight because they deserve the credit for the foresight and the wisdom for establishing a program such as this in making it possible. And I am sure grateful to Bob Freeman and those from the city for their cooperation. But even more importantly, to the concerned people such as Allan Mustard, Bill Travis, Dave Baker and I am aware of all that he has done and his many contributions and personal interest. Just as a few who represent so many who contributed so much. But even more than that--to the blind--because never in my experience have I seen more people with more determination to accomplish something for themselves than this group and if I had to single out perhaps the thing that has made us all feel best it would be those programs which have made it possible for people to live with themselves with great pride in their own accomplishments, the rehabilitative programs, the adult education programs, all of the training programs and rehabilitative programs, all of these things that I am beginning to become even more aware of So tonight I very humbly say we have been satisfied on Arsenal Hill and lest anybody misunderstand, I always said we had no plans to live on any other hill except the sand hill out at Spring Valley. But we are grateful to all of you and particularly to those who have spoken as beneficiaries of the program of this Commission. But there are so many people that really have created an interest on my part. I was sitting there thinking back to my first experiences as a boy growing up as a neighbor to Anderson Bishop down in Hell Hole Swamp and we were the closest neighbors to each other, about a quarter of a mile apart And then as one who drank coffee as a page boy and then since 1950 as a member of the General Assembly and in other positions in State government, with Catherine Morrison, and from then on to the experiences with so many such as Don, Dr. Sam and Lois, and Marshall and so on throughout this room, the many and the many who are not here, who only ask for an opportunity to do something for themselves. I deeply appreciate it and I share this tribute with all of the people that have ever served in the General Assembly and all the people of South Carolina because I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

This memorable event then came to an appropriate conclusion with the singing of the State's official song, "Carolina" written by Timrod. It was beautifully sung by Aurorans Lois Boltin, Shirley Owens, Billy Potter and Marshall Tucker, accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Donna Swygert. Immediately following the singing of "Carolina" Governor McNair made his way to the main entrance and graciously shook hands with each and every person who had come to be a part of this memorable event.

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George W. Nix, blind lawyer in Southern California, died recently at the age of 77. Nix achieved renown for his skill in conducting special classes for young lawyers to enable them to pass the tough bar examinations. Among Nix's students were President Richard Nixon, former Chief Justice Phil Gibson of the California Supreme Court, and the late California Governor Goodwin J. Knight.


Here we go again with yet another move in a State to bring in the umbrella-type super agency. A bill proposing a major overhaul of Arizona's welfare program, including creation of a super "human resources" agency, was recently introduced in the Arizona Legislature with support from Governor Williams. The bill, which resulted from the March, 1970 recommendations of a Governor's task force, would amalgamate or "swallow up" eight State agencies including the State Employment Commission, the Department of Public Welfare, the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Veterans' Services Commission, the Office of Economic Opportunity, State Apprenticeship Council, State Indian Affairs Commission, and the State Office of Manpower Planning.


A suit by New York City against the Federal and State governments seeking to have mandated welfare costs declared unconstitutional was personally filed in Federal Court by Mayor John Lindsay himself. At present Federal and State laws require New York City to pay $549 million to welfare recipients in the current fiscal year, and to pay $600 million next year. New York City contends that it is protected from Federal and State mandates on expenditures for welfare by an 1819 decision in the case of McCullough v. Maryland, in which Chief Justice Marshall held that "the power to tax involves the power to destroy." The City also contends that since there is no rational basis for requiring New York City taxpayers to be burdened by higher welfare costs than those imposed on residents of counties with few welfare recipients, the State is depriving the City taxpayers of equal protection of the law, in violation of the Federal and State constitutions. The case will probably be heard by a three-judge Federal Court and several States and other cities have already indicated that they might join in New York City's action.


Clifford Stocker, who had served as Oregon's Commission for the Blind administrator for the past 17 years, was killed recently in an automobile accident. Leslie J. Swope, a retired Army officer, becomes acting administrator. Swope, age 48, has been with the Commission since April, 1970 as fiscal officer.


Amana Refrigeration, Inc. has introduced the first microwave oven designed for use by the blind. The new unit is equipped with special Braille controls and an audible signal device when the food in the oven is cooked. The company, located in Amana, Iowa, also provides a complete cookbook in Braille for use in connection with the microwave oven.

Every person covered by the supplementary medical insurance part of Medicare (Part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act), received a notice with his March Social Security check that the basic premium for this medical insurance will go up thirty cents a month beginning July, 1971, to a total of $5.60 a month. The increase is to cover the higher costs of medical care and the greater use of medical services. The Government pays an equal amount each month for every person covered. Thus the total cost is now $11.20 a month. In addition, many persons feel it wise and even essential to carry private insurance to supplement Medicare. The cost of one of the leading insurers is Blue Cross-Blue Shield and its charge for its Supplement to Medicare is now $8 a month. Thus the total premium is $19.20 a month. The cost of reasonable medical insurance coverage is thus skyrocketing and indicates the necessity for some sort of national health insurance.


Early in February a new chapter of the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind was formed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The new affiliate is called the Golden Triangle Chapter. It was organized with twelve charter members, with the immediate goal of over one hundred active members. The following officers were elected: A. Buford Caudle, president; L. E. Hollifield, Jr., vice-president; Mrs. Charles W. Brooks, secretary; and George Starling, treasurer. Already the new chapter is hard at work contacting the news media as a means of swelling its membership ranks. You're on your way, Winston-Salem. Good luck!


"The Care of Old People-Designing the Humane Environment" will be the theme of the Institute of Gerontology's 24th Annual Conference on Aging, to be held June 7-9 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The conference will assess American attitudes toward the care of old people. The topics to be discussed include the roles of nursing homes, homes for the aged, and mental institutions; alternatives to institutional care; financing care of the old; legal problems facing people in their old age; the priority issues confronting public and private organizations; and responsibility for developing the humane environment.


A $2.5 million grant to build the Nation's first training and research center for deaf-blind people, plus an award of twenty-five acres of surplus government property, will go to the Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, N.Y. from the Federal Government. The Center will demonstrate new ways of providing special, intensive services for rehabilitating deaf-blind people.


The Nevada Senate Committee on Health and Welfare recently sponsored a bill to tie the State's Aid to the Blind grant to the cost-of-living increases. A second bill of the committee prohibits coercion of the aged, blind, or disabled into joining any organization. It looks as though the Nevada Federation of the Blind is already quite busy in Carson City.


The Tri-Met board of directors of Portland, Oregon recently voted to issue Honored Citizen cards to the legally blind which would permit them to ride Tri-Met buses at ten cents less than the regular fare.


Good news from Colorado! Ray McGeorge, president of the Denver Area Chapter of the Colorado Federation, recently underwent successful eye surgery. Ray must now give up his presidency since he is no longer blind, but will remain a valued member of the Executive Committee. And this isn't such good news--we hear that the Workshop for the Blind in Denver has fourteen civil service employees supervising the work of sixteen blind employees. The blind workers are reportedly being paid only one-half of the minimum wage.


The Gem State (Idaho) Blind's Newsletter reports that history was made in Idaho during the first week in January when a known blind person sat on a jury. It was not accomplished without some resistance, however. Both the clerk of the court and two city judges suggested that there might be some embarassment involved because of possible hurt feelings of the blind juror. Retreat under such a weak attack was unacceptable and the blind juror persisted. A blind man on the jury was not challenged by either of the opposing attorneys.


The Illinois Congress of the Blind reports that a group of ten blind pioneers founded the Rockford Congress of the Blind, the Illinois affiliate's third downstate chapter.


In 1967 the Congress amended the Social Security Act to require all States to increase their standard of assistance in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program to reflect the increase in the cost of living. Even though the States were required to make this adjustment not later than July of 1969, at least four States--Arizona, California, Indiana and Nebraska--refused to comply. The States of Arizona, Indiana and Nebraska have been given notice by the Department of HEW that they are out of conformity with Federal law and funds will be withheld unless they conform Action insofar as California is concerned is still pending. After HEW's hearing in which it held that California was, indeed, out of conformity. Governor Reagan ordered his Department of Social Welfare to increase the AFDC grants by the required percentage and then to actually pay only about seventy percent of the established need. This, of course, is a sheer gimmick but one which HEW has long sanctioned- It is called a "ratable reduction." However, the California Welfare and Institutions Code sets forth a scale of maximum allowances and the courts held that Governor Reagan exceeded his legal authority. He must now go to the State Supreme Court for its decision and, if adverse, then to the Legislature on an emergency basis to make the required change in order to prevent the loss to the State of $640 million in Federal aid. The AFDC program serves an estimated 1.5 million needy Californians, most of them children.


As we go to press information has arrived which informs us that Clarence Collins, president of the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind had major surgery on March 29. We do not have the details, but join with all his friends to wish him a speedy recovery.


We are now sending out in Braille, inkprint, and on record, approximately 10,000 copies of THE MONITOR each month. It costs us approximately $125,000 per year to do this. THE MONITOR is, by far, the largest single item in the NFB budget. THE MONITOR is also the most important means of communication available to the blind of the nation. We do not make any charge for THE MONITOR and we have no intention of doing so. However, money is hard to come by and the continued financing of THE MONITOR is a major item. From the above figures it will be clear that it costs about $12.50 per year to publish and distribute each individual subscription to THE MONITOR. If readers or affiliates are in a financial position to do so and care to contribute toward the publication of THE MONITOR, donations will be gratefully received. Checks should be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind and sent to Franklin VanVliet, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, 207 Fisherville Road, Penacook, New Hampshire 03301.

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