Voice of the National Federation of the Blind

AUGUST - 1972


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


AUGUST, 1972


by Kenneth Jernigan


by Patrick Peppe and Adrienne Asch

December 6, 1971

February 18, 1972

February 22, 1972


April 6, 1972


May 1, 1971

The following material is reprinted from The Braille Monitor, September, 1971.

The President's Address


by Kenneth Jernigan

by Arthur L. Brandon





by Kenneth Jernigan

"December 7, 1941," said Franklin Roosevelt, is a day that will live in infamy." To the blind of this country December 7, 1971, is also a day that will live in infamy. It was then that the Board of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped NAC met at the Prince George Hotel in New York City and finally and irrevocably showed, for all the world to see what kind of organization NAC really is.

Members of the organized blind movement will remember the appearance of the NAC representatives at our convention in Houston last July. Mr. Arthur Brandon, President of NAC, and Mr. Alexander Handel, Executive Director of the organization, spoke to us about NAC's purpose and objectives. Although we were in profound disagreement with the way NAC is structured, its methods of operation, and its basic premises, we treated its representatives with courtesy and respect. There were no personal attacks and no aspersions.

Prior to our Houston convention Mr. Brandon had first accepted the invitation to come and then, when he realized questions would be asked and a discussion would occur, changed his mind on the grounds that he did not wish to engage in debate. After it was pointed out to him that NAC had received hundreds of thousands of tax dollars and thus had some responsibility to appear and give an accounting to the largest group of consumers of its services in the nation, Mr. Brandon again changed his mind and once more agreed to come--but only subsequent to considerable publicity. Obviously, he felt embarrassed and ill at ease at having to appear at our convention.

At this stage (apparently judging me by himself and, therefore feeling that I, too, would find a confrontation embarrassing) Mr. Brandon asked me as NFB President to present the views of the organized blind at the December, 1971, NAC Board meeting. He assured me that I would be given courteous treatment and heard with respect. Of course, NAC's exaggerated view of its power to inspire awe is not shared by the Federation, and the prospect was not at all embarrassing. Rather, the invitation should have come when NAC was first established. As Federationists know, I accepted the invitation.

Under date of July 13, 1971, Mr. Brandon wrote to me in a tone and manner that showed he had learned nothing from our convention. He seemed to be saying, "We have all had an opportunity to vent our feelings. Now let's settle back into the old rut of 'NAC-as-usual.'"

Under date of July 20, 1971, I replied to Mr. Brandon, attempting once again to penetrate his bubble of complacency. I said to him in part:

The tone of your letter (especially that part which says 'as we look ahead we must search for ways of working together effectively') indicates a conception of what occurred at Houston and of the attitudes and intentions of the blind not, in my opinion, in accord with the facts. At Houston we did not simply have a friendly little debate which allowed people to 'blow off steam.' We did not meet before that audience of a thousand people simply to exchange ideas and go back home to business as usual.

What that audience was telling you, and what I have been trying to tell NAC for several years is simply this: The blind of this Nation are not going to allow all of their service programs to come under one uniform system of control with the tune called by the American Foundation for the Blind and the accompaniment played by HEW. The blind are not opposed to reasonable and proper accreditation--far from it. The blind do not oppose good agencies, government or private, which are doing good work. However, the Federation does not believe that NAC is properly constituted, that its standards are reasonable, that it is responsive to the aspirations and desires of consumers, or that it is a positive factor as now structured in the field of work with the blind.

Mr. Brandon made no response to my letter, and I prepared to go to New York in December. Under date of November 29, 1971, Dr. Patrick Peppe and Adrienne Asch, members of one of the local New York City affiliates of the Federation, wrote to Mr. Alexander Handel, Executive Director of NAC, to ask that they and other interested blind persons be permitted to attend the December 7 NAC meeting as observers. Their letter was courteous and respectful. It made no demands or threats; it only requested. The full text of the letter reads:

Dear Mr. Handel:

As consumers of services of agencies serving the blind, we would like to be present at the December 7 meeting of NAC. Since NAC was established to be the accrediting authority for agency service, our lives are vitally affected by its deliberations and actions. Therefore, we ask that we and others-both the organized blind and the unaffiliated but concerned consumers of services-be permitted to observe this meeting to learn more about the current policies and plans of your organization.

We would appreciate hearing from you by letter as soon as possible. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Yours truly,

Adrienne Asch, Secretary

Patrick V. Peppe, Member, Executive Committee, The Metropolitan Federation of the Blind/Affiliate: The National Federation of the Blind.

Mr. Handel wasted no time in replying. His letter dated December 1, 1971, could serve as a model for insult and condescension. It should be read and re-read by every self-respecting blind person in the land. Its lesson should be learned well and never forgotten. It should be remembered whenever and wherever blind people meet--in private homes or in public gatherings, for business or for recreation.

Mr. Handel wrote to Dr. Peppe and Miss Asch as if they had been small children or mental cripples. He suggested that since the December 7 meeting was to be a "working business session" rather than a meeting at which provision could be made for observers, perhaps Dr. Peppe and Miss Asch might like to meet with him privately at some mutually convenient time so that they could make comments and ask questions. He said that he was "pleased to know" of their interest in NAC, that he would be "glad" to add their names to the mailing list. He said that he would "look forward to hearing" from them and hoped they would telephone him at their convenience. Finally, in a P.S., he explained that the annual meeting of NAC was open to members and invited them to join up.

Lest you think I exaggerate, here is the entire text of Mr. Handel's letter:

Dear Miss Asch and Mr. Peppe:

We are pleased to know of your interest in the work of the National Accreditation
Council and we shall be happy to provide you with information about our current policies and plans. If you would like to have your names added to the list of persons who regularly receive our newsletter and other materials, we should be glad to do so.

Meanwhile, since the meeting to which you refer is a working business session of our Board rather than a session at which provision can be made for observers, I should like to suggest if you wish to know more about our program that you meet with me at some other mutually agreeable time.

As you know, our standards are available in braille and recorded. We welcome your comments and suggestions on all or any of these standards. By meeting where a mutual exchange is possible you would be in a position to raise questions and express your views regarding the matters which, as you indicate, are of vital concern to blind persons.

Please telephone for an appointment at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,

Alexander F. Handel

P. S. The Annual Meeting of NAC is open to its affiliated members. Such affiliation is available to the National Federation of the Blind and is also open to local and state organizations of the blind. (See leaflet)

Dr. Peppe, Miss Asch, and other blind people in New York City then went to the press. When a reporter called NAC headquarters, Miss Anne New NAC staff member revealed more than she realized. She was quoted in the press as follows: "You don't necessarily put a majority of TB patients on the board of a tuberculosis hospital. We know what the patient wants--to be treated as a human being and not some sort of cripple. We stress this in our standards again and again."

If Miss New does not understand why we as blind people object to her statement and she probably doesn't, she makes our point for us. If Mr. Handel does not understand why we find his letter insulting, condescending, and unresponsive and, again, he probably doesn't, then he only underscores what we have been saying for years. How could anything better illustrate NAC's total isolation from reality, its complete irrelevance!

It was in this atmosphere and with this background that I went to the Prince George Hotel in New York City late in the afternoon of December 6, 1971. The first event was a cocktail party held in Mr. Brandon's suite. I was met at the door with an air of hostility and resentment.

I think it is pertinent here to call attention once again to the structure of NAC, as well as to the usual format and tenor of its meetings. The American Foundation for the Blind and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare are, of course, firmly in control. Officials of both have membership on the NAC Board; and the Executive Director, Mr. Handel, is a former Foundation employee. In addition, several other selected agency leaders have membership. To add respectability, people of prestige from outside of the field of work with the blind have been placed on the Board--public officials, business executives, university deans, labor leaders, etc. These are people of goodwill and integrity, but they are not knowledgeable concerning the problems of blindness. Obviously they take their tone and orientation from the American Foundation for the Blind and its hard core inner circle.

The atmosphere of the NAC Board meetings is invariably snobbish and pretentious--almost pathetically so. The civic and business leaders on the Board are made to feel that they have been asked to join an exclusive "private club," a body of national prestige. There is a good deal of socializing and no sense at all of involvement with the "gut" issues facing the blind. There is much gracious, high-toned exchange of compliment and some very businesslike talk about finances. There is considerable discussion about "professionalism" and the maintenance of high standards in work with the blind; but if these people were asked to sit down for serious conversation with a blind welfare recipient or sheltered shop employee or college student or secretary or working man or housewife, they would react with outrage and indignation--if they did not die first of shock, which seems more likely. Here are a group of people who hold themselves out to the public as the setters of standards and the givers or witholders of accreditation but who will not deign to mix with or listen to consumers. In fact, as you will shortly see they even deny unbelievable though that is that the blind are consumers.

Under the circumstances it is not surprising that I was greeted with hostility and resentment when I entered Mr. Brandon's suite Very shortly I was engaged in conversation with Mr Joseph Jaworski, a lawyer from Houston, Texas. Mr. Jaworski, whose father is a top official of the American Bar Association, was recently added to the NAC Board. The reason is fairly obvious. He is a person who evidences no background in or understanding of the problems of blindness but who seems to have many opinions on the subject. He spoke somewhat as follows:

I have read all of this material about NAC which you sent to the Board members, but tell me: What's the real complaint?

I replied that the real complaint was just what we had said--namely, that NAC had been conceived and structured undemocratically. I told him that since the primary function of NAC was to make decisions concerning the lives of blind people the blind themselves should have a major voice in determining what those decisions would be--and not just individual blind persons, but elected representatives of constituencies. I told him that the blind representation on NAC was only tokenism (six out of thirty-four) and that even the tokenism was largely window dressing since four of the six represented only their agencies or themselves and, by no stretch of the imagination, constituencies of blind people.

He responded in this manner: "There are black people in the city of Houston, and they do not have a majority or equal representation on the city council. Yet, the city council governs them and makes decisions about their lives."

"Yes," I told him, "but the primary purpose of the Houston City Council is not to make decisions concerning blacks, or even the blacks of Houston. Its primary purpose is to make decisions about the people of Houston (of whatever color); and, in the proper democratic tradition, the people of Houston control it entirely. This is all we are asking of NAC--that the people who are primarily concerned with and affected by its decisions have a major voice in its operation."

Mr. Jaworski did not seem to understand the distinction, nor did two or three others who were listening in. The rest of the cocktail party passed without event, as did the dinner which followed.

After dinner the Board began its first business session. The question arose as to what should occur if an agency applied to NAC for accreditation and if the accreditation should be denied. Should the agency have a right to appeal to the entire NAC Board, or should the decision of the subcommittee called the Commission on Accreditation be final? I suggested that the NAC Board holds itself out to the public as the accrediting body and, therefore, that it cannot properly delegate final accrediting authority to a subcommittee.

At this stage Mr. Fred Storey, a sighted theatre owner from Atlanta, took the floor and said: "I think we ought to follow the example of other accrediting bodies in this matter. Since Mr. Jernigan seems to know so much about it why doesn't he tell us what other groups do?"

I responded that I didn't know what policy other accrediting groups followed. To which Mr. Storey replied: "Then, why don't you be quiet and keep your mouth shut!"

I did not answer in kind but simply told him that as long as I continued to be a member of the Board, I would decide when and on what questions I would speak. In fairness let it be said here that not all of the Board members approved of Mr. Storey's boorish behavior. Two or three of them came to me privately afterward and expressed apology and regret. However, not one of them stood up in the meeting to call him to task or say a single word of protest; and the Chairman, Mr. Brandon, expressed no disapproval.

After the meeting I went to the front of the room and reminded Mr. Brandon of his promise of courteous treatment and of how he had received no personal abuse but only respect at our Houston convention. His tone was one of petulant fury. He said: "Some of the Board members feel that you have been abusive to them." He went on to say: "I was never treated so discourteously in my life as at your Houston convention."

"Mr. Brandon," I said, "can you really say that the Federation or I personally did not treat you and Mr. Handel with personal courtesy and respect?"

"Well, no," he said, "but you inflamed the audience with your speech. Besides, I don't have to listen to you, and I can't control how NAC Board members treat you when they disapprove of your conduct."

At this, I told Mr. Brandon that I now released him from all of his promises of courtesy and fair treatment and that I would publicize his behavior and that of the Board for all to see, which I am now doing. As I walked back through the room, I was accosted by Mr. Storey. He was furiously and childishly belligerent. "I'm Fred Storey," he said, "and I just want to be sure that you know that I'm the one who told you to shut up."

"Look, my friend," I replied--

"I'm not your friend," he said. To which I could only answer: "I believe that's the truth." He went on: "You hide behind words like courtesy and fair play. Your real purpose is to create dissension and trouble. You have no business on this Board. You are not one of us." This is what he said. I leave it to all who attended the Houston convention or who care to listen to the recordings to determine whether we treated the NAC representatives with respect. I also leave Mr. Storey's loutish behavior to stand as its own commentary, on himself and on NAC.

The next morning the NAC Board assembled as usual, behind closed doors. About a dozen local blind persons representing the organized blind of the area appeared and sought admission as observers. The request was denied. Apparently fearing to leave these blind people unwatched, NAC stationed a staff member outside of the door to remain with them throughout the day. A delegation of four Board members left the meeting to talk with them. It brought back the news that the group would be content if only two of their number could be admitted as observers, pledging to cause no disturbance or say a single word.

I offered a motion to admit the observers. Although the discussion that followed was somewhat characterized by the petty hostility and ill temper of the night before, the substantive question at issue received attention. Dr. Melvin Glasser, Director of the Social Security Department of the United Auto Workers Union, said that NAC was only exercising the usual prerogative of any corporation to hold its board meetings behind closed doors. "What about your own organization, the Federation!" he said. "Its board meetings are not open. I couldn't come and attend."

"Ah, but you could!" I told him. "Come on. We would be glad to have you. Our board meetings are open to all, members and nonmembers alike."

My motion was defeated with only six yes votes and twenty no votes. It may be interesting to note that four of the six yes votes were by blind people, and one of the remaining two was by a black man. In other words two-thirds of the blind members of the Board even the agency representatives could not bring themselves to vote no, and the black representative of the Urban League also stood to be counted, though he said not a word in defense of the motion and must, therefore, share in the shame of NAC's sorry behavior. In any case the blind were excluded, and the NAC staff member stood guard over them throughout the day. As the NAC minutes admitted, "It should be noted that the demonstrators were peaceful and courteous."

With respect to the matter of closed meetings and secret conduct of affairs, NAC is almost paranoid in its behavior. As a NAC Board member I had great difficulty in even getting a list of the names and addresses of the other members. Finally, under date of May 1, 1971, I received the list; but its form was interesting. On the top line of the first page printed in capitals, presumably for emphasis was the word "confidential." Admittedly one might not be proud to have people know he was associated with NAC; but why, in the name of all that is reasonable, should the very names of the NAC Board members be kept secret?

Late in the morning I was asked to present the statement which Mr. Brandon had earlier invited me to give. Federationists are too familiar with my views to need them repeated here. They were presented in detail at the Houston convention and in the September, 1971, Braille Monitor.

Company unions serve many purposes. In this connection, the arrangement of the NAC agenda is interesting. Immediately following my presentation Judge Reese Robrahn, President of the American Council of the blind delivered a statement in general he defended NAC and said that while it had some weaknesses and imperfections, ACB supports it since ACB is a "constructive" organization. In an apparent attack upon the NFB for its criticism of NAC and its criticism of some of the so-called "professional" literature about blindness issued by the federal government and the American Foundation for the Blind, Judge Robrahn said: "Anyone with normal intelligence can dissect and distort any standard, sentence or paragraph. This, however, cannot be considered a validation of the attack on a standard, sentence or paragraph."

Judge Robrahn, by implication defended NAC for not denying accreditation to sheltered shops paying less than the minimum wage to blind workers. Under the circumstances this is not surprising. It dovetails with the fact, which the ACB has failed to publicize, that Mr. Durward McDaniel ACB Washington representative now serves as a member of the Board of National Industries for the Blind, the infamous organization that controls merchandise orders from the federal government to the sheltered shops. Of course, Judge Robrahn also failed to mention the appearance of Mr. McDaniel in Minnesota last year with the support of agency officials to organize an ACB affiliate when the Federation in that state was fighting for the rights of collective bargaining for the workers in the sheltered shop of the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. Many of the blind of the state felt that the ACB affiliate was being organized as a company union, fostered by the shop management to divide the workers, break their resistance, and confuse the public.

In this same vein Mississippi agency officials told Federation organizing teams early in 1972 that they would not give lists of names of blind persons to the NFB but that they would give them to the ACB. Later, when the small Mississippi affiliate of the ACB was established, the reports of pressure for membership by agency officials were graphic and widespread.

Judge Robrahn attempted to leave the impression that the ACB is large, growing fast, and about to approach the size of the NFB. The facts, of course, are something else again. Affiliated organizations on paper are not necessarily organizations of actuality or substance.

After Judge Robrahn's presentation there was considerable reaction by the members of the Board, particularly to my remarks. Of special interest were the comments of Dr. Melvin Glasser, the United Auto Workers representative. He said that NAC was not properly a social action group but a standard setting body. I tried to point out to him that NAC could not avoid engaging in social action. By accrediting and giving its stamp of approval to a sheltered shop which pays fifty cents or less per hour to blind workers, NAC helps perpetuate the system. If its standards for determining which shops should be accredited do not take into account the wages of the workers, then those standards are irrelevant; and they constitute a form of social action, keeping the blind down and keeping them out.

What an irony that one should have to explain such matters to a representative of organized labor! Have the unions really become so management oriented and so out of touch with ordinary people! Obviously Dr. Glasser did not stand at the gates of Ford and General Motors in the 1930s and see the hired thugs beat the workers who tried to organize and improve their condition. Neither did I, but I sat in the NAC meetings of the 1970s and watched the performance of Melvin Glasser. It is a long way from the factory gates of the thirties to the suave manner and condescending behavior of Dr. Glasser in New York, but his shame is none the less for the distance. Those early working men and women who fought and bled to establish his union, who sometimes risked their very lives for the concept of minimum wages and the right to organize, must stir in their troubled graves at the prospect of such behavior by a representative of the UAW.

Dr. Glasser also advanced a novel theory about what a "consumer" really is. He said that, as with hospitals, so with the blind. Consumers of the services of hospitals are not just the "patients" but all of the potential "patients"--therefore, everybody. Thus, the consumers in the field of work with the blind are not merely those who are now blind but also those who may become blind--in other words, everybody. Therefore, he (Dr. Glasser) is as much a consumer and has as much right to representation as you or I. Not only would it appear that the representatives of organized labor support sweatshops and management, but they've also become sophists it would seem.

I wonder how Dr. Glasser would like a dose of his own sophistry. Let us consider his union, for instance. Most people in the country are potential workers in the auto industry. Therefore, they should be eligible for membership in the UAW. They should be able to vote and hold office. After all, it is not only the actual workers but the potential workers as well who must be considered. Even the children will be potential workers someday, and certainly the senior citizens were potential workers once. So the entire American population has equal rights in the UAW False reasoning? You bet!

Next Mr. Robert Goodpasture, former head of National Industries for the Blind, took the floor. He made a very strongly worded attack upon me and said that he would move to censure me if a mechanism were available but that, since it was not, he would content himself with his statement. He was particularly incensed that I had made public the vote concerning the link-up between NAC and National Industries for the Blind. Well he might wish to keep that agreement secret in view of its disgraceful implications. I told him that I had never pledged to keep NAC's actions secret and that I had no intention of doing so, now or in the future. I told him that I felt the blind had a right to know what NAC was doing and to have a voice in it.

Then i moved to have his remarks printed verbatim in the NAC minute He and several other Board members seemed surprised at this motion and said "What! Do you want what he said printed!"

"Yes," I replied. "His comments make my point better than anything I could say. Let them be printed for all to read."

As you will see, the entire text of the NAC minutes is being reproduced in the MONITOR.

Most of the rest of the day was taken up with the usual trivia which characterizes NAC.

It might be worth noting that Mr. Robert Bamett, Director of the American Foundation for the Blind, came back to the meeting after lunch with this comment: "The people outside say that one reason they don't like us is because we have accredited a local New York agency which is anathema to them. Well--I guess we'll just have to change our standards." He said this with a snicker and a smirk as if to dismiss the demonstrators as kooks and nonentities. He might have done better to listen to them.

Their feelings of disgust for him and what he stands for were at least as great as his for them. As one of them later remarked: "The blacks may have their Uncle Toms, but we have our Uncle Bobs.” In mid-afternoon I left feeling that NAC was a total loss--that if anything were to be accomplished, it must be by confrontation, and not in the conference room. We are now left with two questions. What do we do next, and where do we go from here? It is to these questions that we must address ourselves.

In the first place Mr. Storey and Mr. Goodpasture are right. I have no business on the NAC Board. Mr. Storey told me: "You are not one of us!" No, thank God, I am not; and I hope I never will be. I do not see how any blind person or any true friend of the blind can keep his sense of honor and self-respect and serve on the NAC Board. Therefore, I am no longer a member of NAC. I do not ask them to accept a resignation or to recognize the fact that I have quit. I simply take this occasion and this means of letting the world know that I am not part of NAC and that I do not want my name associated with it. We will now see if they add to their other faults the bad taste and boorish behavior of trying to expel me after the fact. Let them. We can give their petty action if they choose to take it suitable publicity.

Next we must consider NAC's presumptuous behavior in thinking it can hold closed meetings. First we tried reason and persuasion. These were spumed. The blind were not even allowed to have two silent observers in the room. NAC will regret the day. We will now adopt different tactics. NAC will probably try to conceal the time and place of future meetings, (just as it writes "confidential" on the list of the names of its Board members), but we will track them down. Wherever they go and whenever they meet, we the blind will go to the doors and demand admission--not only the local blind but as many of us as possible from throughout the country. We will recruit our sighted friends and supporters to swell the numbers, and we will not take no for an answer. Whatever is required to make NAC responsive to the needs and problems of the blind, we will do. I have never participated in a demonstration in my life, but enough is enough. This is the time to stand and be counted.

We will send material concerning NAC to federal officials and to every member of the Congress of the United States. Our local and state affiliates and members must follow up with personal contacts and letters. Further, the blind of each state must demand that their state and local agencies not seek accreditation from NAC. If such accreditation is sought, delegations of the blind must call on the governor and go to the press. If an agency has already achieved accreditation, we must demand that the accreditation be repudiated. The blind of each locality must assume responsibility for informing their legislators, governors, public officials, and news media of the threat which NAC poses. When NAC representatives are asked to appear on programs, we must protest and demand equal time.

In short, we must treat NAC like the evil which it is. We must make it behave decently or strangle the life out of it. We must reform it or destroy it. We must have at least equal representation on its board and make it truly serve the blind, or we must kill it. It is that simple. NAC absolutely must not be allowed to take control of the lives of the blind of this country, regardless of the costs or the consequences. If we permit it, we deserve what we get. If we submit meekly while we still have the power to fight, then we are slaves, and justly so.

But, of course, we will not submit, and we will not fail. The right is on our side, and the urge to be free sustains us. December 7, 1971, is a day that will live in infamy, but the stain of that infamy will be cleansed. The shame of that day will be erased. I ask you to think carefully about what I have said. Then, if you will, come and join me on the barricades.

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United Press International

Wire Release

[Following is the second in a series of four stories sent out by UPI on December 6 and 7 concerning a demonstration by blind persons outside the locked doors of the hotel room in which the Board of the National Accreditation Council was holding a meeting.]

December 7, 1971. by Larry Sutter.

A group composed mostly of blind persons plan to demonstrate at the Prince George Hotel today, seeking admission to a semi-annual meeting of the National Accreditation Council of Agencies Serving the Blind. (NAC).

Myma Schmidt of Fort Lee, New Jersey, President of the Metropolitan Federation of the Blind, said its twenty members want more blind persons on the NAC 35 member Board which sets standards for agencies serving the blind in the nation She said Monday that her group's written request for admission was refused last week

"The implication behind NAC's refusal to allow participation by the blind," she said, "is that blind people are either incapable of or not desired in the conduct of their own lives. This to us, as blind people, is a totally unacceptable situation." The NAC has five blind members among its trustees.

Miss Anne New, NAC Community Affairs Director, maintained that the 20-member Metropolitan Federation's contention isn't justified

You don't necessarily put a majority of TB patients on the Board of tuberculosis hospital.” she said. We know what the patient wants to be treated as a human being and not some sort of cripple. We stress this in our standards again and again."

Miss New said that Kenneth Jernigan of Iowa, President of the National Federation of the Blind, with which the Metropolitan chapter is affiliated, has been invited to deliver a lengthy statement at the Board meeting.

MFB Secretary, Adrienne Asch of the Bronx, replied in an interview; "the major agencies don't reflect the wishes of blind people."

Dr. Patrick V. Peppe, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Herbert Lehman College said the NAC standards are not responsive to the three main problems of the blind jobs, education, and housing.

Miss New said the Board members are chosen "because they have special knowledge and competence in our field of operations .... They are not supposed to be representative of a given constituency of the blind or anyone else.”

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by Patrick Peppe and Adrienne Asch

In reading the correspondence between President Jernigan and NAC President Arthur Brandon which occurred prior to the 1971 NFB convention held at Houston, [see Braille Monitor, September 1971], we noted that a semi-annual business meeting of the NAC Board of Directors would be held in New York on December 7, and that Mr. Jernigan would at that time present his objections to NAC's structure and functions.

The newly-formed Metropolitan Federation of the Blind of New York City decided to write to Alexander Handel, Executive Director of NAC, to request that blind persons be admitted as observers to NAC's meeting. Of the many criticisms that have been leveled at NAC none appeared to us more salient than the unrepresentative and elitist character of that organization. Mr. Handel's reply was polite, but negative. He stated that since this was a business meeting" of the Board, outside observers could not be present. Instead he assured us that he would be glad to talk with us in private. For us, however, such a suggestion constituted an unacceptable alternative since we could think of no reason why any NAC meeting, whatever its purpose, should be carried on beyond the view of all those who would be affected by its deliberations.

Thus it was that we resolved to appear at the Prince George Hotel on the morning of December 7, 1971 to protest the closed character of the meeting and reassert our right to observe it.

In an effort to involve as many blind people and sighted sympathizers as possible, we contacted the other three NFB chapters in New York City. Thermoformed announcements of the NAC meeting and the planned action were distributed at two agencies and three universities where there were a significant number of blind students; 'phone calls were made to blind people and friends who might be interested; and TV, radio, and the press were informed about what was to happen. On the evening of December 6 the first of four UPI stories about the demonstration went out over the wires.

About five minutes after our arrival at the hotel, a reporter from a popular New York City radio news station arrived to interview us and a NAC representative. Our group was then composed of twelve persons, and more were to join us later on.

We all went up to the meeting room at 9:30 and were greeted by a man whom NAC had posted outside the locked door. To our request to be admitted to the meeting, he responded that he had been charged with the responsibility of seeing to it that we remained outside. The Board had decided in an informal caucus the night before, we were told, that no observers should be present lest the meeting be disrupted.

(It should be noted here that Mr. Jernigan, a member of the Board, says that he was unaware of such an "informal caucus" to bar observers. Therefore, if any such "informal caucus" occurred, it was, as one might put it, "selective." Apparently NAC is consistent in its secrecy and its own unique sense of truthfulness, democracy and fair play.

We reiterated that we only wanted to observe the proceedings, not to demand the floor or interrupt the progress of NAC's deliberations. After another refusal, one of our members suggested that perhaps NAC might agree to having just two observers inside. The NAC door guard replied that he would carry this message to the Board for its consideration.

During this discussion and the following hour, reporters from two television stations extensively interviewed members of our group and NAC's Community Affairs Director. Unfortunately--whether because of other important news of the day the Indo-Pakistan War was at its height, whether officials of NAC and The American Foundation for the Blind were able to use influence with the media, or for some other reason--neither station gave us coverage on their news shows. The reporters, however, showed themselves to be sympathetic and asked intelligent questions, which gave us a full opportunity to explain why NAC's structure and activities were important to us. We fared better with radio than TV. Our earlier interviews were broadcast several times that afternoon.

After a wait of about forty-five minutes, the door to the NAC meeting opened again; and five board members appeared, informing us that they had been selected to discuss with us whatever we had on our minds and that a committee would be appointed in the manner characteristic of such bodies, composed of board members, to "study" the question of holding future meetings open to observers.

This small accomplishment was hardly gratifying. Since the purpose of our coming was not to "discuss" anything but to observe what business-as-usual was like, a predictably useless altercation followed. It was something of a mystery to us why NAC would disrupt its proceedings by releasing five of its members for no apparent purpose other than to placate us, supposedly.

At this time, and throughout the day, NAC representatives handed out a curious kind of double-talk concerning representation by blind persons on NAC's Board and committees. On the one hand, they staunchly asserted that their Board represented no constituency (see the statement by Miss Anne New in the UPI story), that members were selected on the basis of their professional competence, and that the Board of an accreditation agency which serves "the whole community" had to be composed of people from all sectors of the community. Blind persons were not a necessary part of that Board any more than were TB patients on the boards of TB hospitals. After all, the Board, made up of dedicated professionals, knew what we wanted, just as the doctor knew that TB patients wanted good treatment.

The second line in NAC's double-talk ran as follows: There already are seven blind persons on the Board, some of whom are professionals in work for the blind. Moreover, one of these persons, Mr. Jernigan, represents your organization and your views. Therefore, further observation and participation by you is not necessary.

No one bought this pack of contradictions. Members responded by pointing out that, in fact, hospital boards and community action programs throughout the nation more and more were being composed of a majority of consumers or potential consumers of services Secondly, we pointed out that NAC had itself stated that Mr. Jernigan had been selected for its Board not because he represented a constituency of blind people, but rather on the basis of his merits as an experienced professional in work for the blind. Mr. Jernigan had, in fact, rejected such threadbare "representation" as now existed on NAC's Board as "tokenism" and useless, since NAC felt no commitment to reflect the views of any constituency which might have chosen him as their spokesman.

Members of our group remained outside NAC's doors until the meeting ended at 5 o'clock. The time was well spent, for we were able to draw several important conclusions from our experience that day.

First, NAC's handling of the entire situation showed that it would rather disrupt its own meeting than throw it open to observation by blind persons. The organization is clearly very jealous of its prerogative of secrecy, which is but one method for maintaining its power and control over the blind. NAC is openly unsympathetic to the notion that blind people themselves might want to make crucial decisions concerning the agencies (including NAC) which affect our lives, and that our own involvement is ultimately more important than deliberations by professionals, no matter how knowledgeable or dedicated.

Given these facts, we feel forced to the conclusion that the only strategy which offers a hope of bringing about a change in NAC's orientation is organized pressure by the blind, coupled with the threat of unfavorable publicity before the sighted public. Although only a small group was present to protest the NAC meeting on December 7, we were able to secure both sympathetic coverage by the press and NAC's promise to consider ending the closed door policy in the future. Of course, this is only the barest beginning. To extract more significant concessions, the most important of which is the full participation of the blind in the making and application of NAC standards, proportionately more militant action must be taken.

At the same time, we would like to suggest that the NFB consider at its next national convention what mechanisms would be most appropriate to provide for the effective representation of the blind on NAC's Board. This was the question most frequently raised by NAC officials in their discussions with us. Such mechanisms, of course, while they merit serious consideration, should not be hard to find since NAC could hardly be more unrepresentative of the blind than it now is.

The right of any group to effective representation in a democratic society is indisputable. But our demands upon NAC are not only based on theory they find support also in the experience of many groups in our country. More and more it is being recognized that any group that does not participate fully in the decisions vital to it is putting its own wellbeing in jeopardy It was in response to just this feeling on the part of Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and poor people in general that the Congress provided for community participation in the Economic Opportunity Act and the Great Society programs. The same feeling is widespread among students and consumer organizations. They, like us, have come to understand why professional expertise," however useful, is not a prerequisite, much less a substitute for self-determination.

The National Federation of the Blind must continue the struggle to secure for all blind people full recognition of their right to control their own destinies.

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For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10016 (212) 683-8581


December 6-7, 1971, Prince George Hotel, New York, New York

Dinner Meeting of the Board of Directors                                                                                December 6, 1971

The president, Mr. Brandon, convened the meeting at 6:45 P.M.

Board members present: Arthur L. Brandon, Peter J. Salmon, J. Kenneth Cozier, Frederick G. Storey, Mrs. Edwin D, Campbell, Daniel D. Robinson, M. Robert Bamett, Jack W. Birch, Robert S. Bray, Kenneth W. Bryan, Robert M. Buckley, Mrs. Claire W. Carlson, John W. Ferree, M.D., Donald W.
Flynn, Melvin A. Glasser, Robert C. Goodpasture, Richard E. Hoover, M.D., Joseph Jaworski, Kenneth Jernigan, Norman V. Lourie, Douglas C. MacFarland, Richard J. Migel, Morton Pepper, Hon. Reese H.
Robrahn, Miss Geraldine T. Scholl, Henry A. Talbert, Warren Thompson, McAllister Upshaw, J. M. Woolly. Some Board members were absent because of illness and sent regrets.

Staff Present: Alexander F. Handel, Douglas Inkster part, Huesten Collingwood, Anne New (part), Belle Wiggins

Special Guests: Several spouses and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sheldon.

The meeting opened with Mr. Brandon expressing sorrow at the death of our Board member, Mary Switzer. The Lord's Prayer was sung by Dr. Salmon and the following resolution was put forward by him:

RESOLVED, that the members of the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped express their profound sorrow at the death of their fellow Board member, Mary Elizabeth Switzer on Saturday, October 16, 1971.

The resolution was seconded and passed.

New members of the Board Mr. Migel and Dr. Birch were introduced; guests of Board members, and new staff members were welcomed.

Dr. Birch, chairman of the Commission on Accreditation, reported the action taken on new applications.* He also announced that the Commission on Accreditation would seek to have the Board approve two changes in the By-laws; one pertaining to the question of appeals by agencies to the Commission on Accreditation's decision made by the Commission, and the other to accrediting agencies outside the United States, its territories and possessions. Following some discussion, a motion was made to give full consideration to these matters at the Board of Directors meeting scheduled for the following day.

The motion was seconded and passed.

Mr. Brandon reported that he and Mr. Handel had accepted Mr. Jernigan's invitation to attend the annual meeting held by the National Federation of the Blind in Houston, Texas in July for the purpose of speaking concerning the program of NAC. Prior to Mr. Brandon's speech, Mr. Jernigan made an extensive attack on the National Accreditation Council Mr. Brandon said that while the meeting was an unpleasant experience in view of the attack, he felt, nevertheless, that the differences between NAC and NFB could be resolved. He expressed encouragement that a few NFB members had told him of their confidence in NAC. He made the point that we must be concerned with availability of high quality services for all blind persons, not only the blind persons who are members of organizations.

Executive Director's Report presented by Mr. Handel

Mr. Handel announced that the United States Office of Education had listed NAC as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. The criteria which had to be met in order to achieve this recognition were reviewed. The list of nationally recognized accrediting associations and agencies includes the regional accrediting bodies in the field of lighter education, the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, etc. NAC is now one of the 31 "National Specialized Accrediting Associations" recognized by USOE the first to be recognized in the field of elementary and secondary education and the first in the field of special education. For this breakthrough, NAC is specially indebted to Dr. Jack Birch, Dr. Ewald B. Nyquist, Prof Feme Roberts, Dr. Gerry Scholl, Charles Sheldon and Dr. Max Woolly.


*Details given at a later point in the Minutes.


As further evidence of increased awareness of NAC it was mentioned that:

1. The Council of Education for the Deaf has contacted NAC for help in developing standards and procedures for accreditation. Dr. Birch has agreed to act as NAC's consultant.

2. the State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies identified NAC as one of two accrediting agencies in the field of rehabilitation. The National Rehabilitation Association endorsed this action at their annual meeting in October, 1971.

3. interest in NAC's standards is accelerating Income from publication sales for 1971 was $3,750 or 50% over the expected income from this source.

4. permission was requested to translate the Self-Study and Evaluation Guide for Residential Schools into French.

5. a commercial publishing house has used NAC's standards in the production of reading materials large-type for the blind and visually handicapped.

Mr. Handel reported that the United Way formerly the United Funds and Councils of America and the National Assembly have recently agreed upon the need for a more comprehensive national review process in the health and welfare field and have proposed the formation of a new, independent structure to conduct periodic review of the budget and programs of all national health and welfare organizations and to provide reports on these organizations to local united funds, corporations, foundations, etc. This new independent organization to be developed will replace the National Budget and Consultation Committee. NAC is a member of the latter organization.

Belle Wiggins reported that the design for evaluating NAC's impact is available. At present she is working on two aspects of the research plan to assess NAC's impact: the first aspect involves an analysis of the self-study guides completed by the agencies in order to see whether the guide is helping the agencies to identify weaknesses and strengths and to see whether the agencies' plans for improvement are related to the NAC's standards. Another aspect is the classification of the purchases of the guides and standards according to source. This will give indication of the extent and range of interest in the standards.

During the coming year, analysis of the on-site review teams' recommendations and commendations will begin. Comparisons will be made between the on-site review teams' assessments of the agencies and the agencies' assessments of themselves. The teams' recommendations will also be compared to the action taken on them as reflected in the annual progress reports submitted by the accredited members. The evaluation of NAC will be on-going. As more agencies apply for accreditation, more materials will be available for analysis.

The Board of Directors expressed their appreciation to Charles Sheldon for the excellent service and contributions he made while he was the assistant executive director at the National Accreditation Council. Mr. Sheldon responded warmly and presented some of his observations regarding his experience with NAC. He reaffirmed his faith in the value of NAC's accrediting process as a tool for improving the services provided by the agencies in the field of blindness.

Evening meeting adjourned at 9:30 P.M. to be reconvened the following morning.

Board of Director's Meeting
Meeting reconvened at 9:30 A.M., Tuesday, December 7, 1971

Minutes of the Meeting of May 1 1971 approved.

Report of the Program Support Committee presented by Morton Pepper

The Program Support Committee" authorized its chairman to appoint an ad hoc committee to study the possibility of employing a fund-raising firm to assist in the NAC Support Program. Members of the ad hoc committee noted that no approval of NAC's request for continuing support has been received from either HEW or AFB. Both AFB and HEW expect NAC to raise an increasing proportion of its funds elsewhere regardless of any grant that may be made for the coming year. Without continuation grants, NAC must be able to raise between $200,000 and $300,000 a year exclusive of income from dues and fees. Even if continuation grants were approved by HEW and AFB for 1972, an additional $100,000 must be raised.

The ad hoc committee reviewed information from five outside fund-raising firms. The committee estimated that a minimum cost of outside counsel and required NAC staff; travel and supporting services would come to at least $50,000 a year.

After further study, it recommended that NAC not seek outside fund-raising counsel at this time but strengthen its in-house program. Reasons for this recommendation are: 1) NAC's fund-raising goals are small as such goals go, 2) expense of outside counsel is great in proportion to NAC's fund-raising goals.

The Program Support Committee endorsed the recommendations of the ad hoc committee.

To strengthen NAC's in-house fund-raising program, the Program Support Committee recommended that NAC's present staff be augmented by a full time staff person plus clerical and other supporting services.

It further recommended that the "minimum adequate" budget of $315,100 be adopted as the "working" budget for 1972. The "minimum adequate" budget, in addition to funds for this expanded support program includes funds for strengthening relationships with regional accrediting associations. However, it does not include the $55,000 needed to develop standards in one of the priority areas identified by the Commission on Standards. The Committee recommended therefore, that a "target budget" of $370,000 be adopted and used in all fund-raising efforts and communications. Obtaining such funds will permit the development of a set of standards in one of the areas where standards are lacking. Action on budgets taken at a later point in the meeting

Luncheon for corporation executives

Mr. Pepper reported that the National Accreditation Council together with two other accrediting organizations, Child Welfare League of America and Family Service Association of America sponsored a luncheon for corporation executives at the Princeton Club in Manhattan. The purpose of the luncheon was to make these executives aware of accreditation in the field of social services. The occasion itself was useful and thought of as educational rather than fund-raising. It is planned to repeat such occasions with other executives.

Mr. Pepper announced that NAC had recently received its first direct grant of $2,000 from the U.S. Steel Foundation.

Acceptance of the report on the Program Support Committee was approved.

Demonstration by representatives of the local affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and the Lobby for the Blind

Twelve persons from the local affiliate of the NFB and the Lobby for the Blind gathered outside the meeting room of the Board of Directors in order to seek admission to the meeting. They explained that admission was sought on the grounds that decisions made by the Board affected blind persons and therefore their meetings should be opened to all concerned. After discussion between the demonstrators and NAC staff, the demonstrators asked to have two persons from their group attend as silent observers. A motion was made and seconded to admit the two silent observers to the board meeting.

After discussion the motion was defeated, six in favor, twenty against.

A motion was made to establish a committee to study the matter of admitting observers to board meetings and report their recommendations to the Board.

The motion was seconded and passed.*

The president then asked four Board members to explain the Board's decision to the demonstrators. It should be noted that the demonstrators were peaceful and courteous. They remained in the corridor until the meeting was adjourned and Miss Anne New of the staff conversed with the demonstrators and also with the news media.

* Before the meeting adjourned, Mr. Brandon asked the following to serve: Mr. Upshaw, Chairman, Dr. Birch, Mrs. Carlson, Mr. Cozier, Dr. Glasser and Mr. Jaworski


Report on the Finance Committee presented by Daniel D. Robinson

It was reported that expenditures for the year 1971 will amount to $231,000. The income for the year will match the expenditures and perhaps exceed them by as much as 2% or 3%.

Budget for 1972 presented by Daniel D. Robinson

The status quo budget or austerity budget for 1972 expenditures is estimated at $247,000. If the cost of strengthening the in-house fund-raising effort by adding one full time assistant and typist plus overhead, etc. is included, added expenditure of $29,000 results. Thirty nine thousand dollars more is needed to work on Joint Accreditation Project.** The total of these three figures is equal to $315,200 or the "minimum adequate" budget. As mentioned earlier, this is exclusive of the $55,000 needed to develop standards for an area for which we do not already have standards. The "target" budget of approximately $370,000 includes this item.

The estimated income for 1972 is $241,500 Continuation grants from RSA and AFB are included; excluded are reserve income items from sales of guides and standards and interest amounting to $7,000.

Moved that the minimum adequate budget of $315,200 be approved as a working budget for 1972 with the understanding that NAC draw on its reserve funds in the event it isn't able to raise the difference between its estimated income and the above figure. (It is understood that funds for working on joint accreditation procedures will not be spent until additional funding from other sources is secured.)

Motion was seconded and passed.

Moved that a target budget for 1972 amounting to $372,000 be adopted with the understanding that no expense over the $315,200 will be permitted unless additional funds are raised.

Motion was seconded and passed.

NOTE: Copies of the budgets referred to above were distributed to all those present.

Perspectives of the President of the National Federation of the Blind presented by Kenneth Jernigan.

In correspondence with the President of NAC last spring, Mr. Kenneth Jernigan, a Board member, had held that his points of view had not been fully heard or known by fellow board members. He was notified in advance that he would be given time at the December Board meeting to explain in some detail his position regarding NAC.

** The purpose of this project is to develop formal reciprocity agreements between the regional accrediting bodies in education and NAC.


Mr. Jernigan reviewed the organization structure of the National Federation of the Blind. He noted that NFB is comprised of local chapters which in turn comprise state affiliates. The state affiliates in turn, comprise the national board. Any member of the local chapters may speak on the floor, run for office, serve on committees, etc. Each state affiliate is entitled to one vote which is determined by members of the state's delegation. Mr. Jernigan stated that NFB's membership is the nation's largest of blind persons.

Mr. Jernigan made the following Statements: (not direct quotations)

1. NFB is founded on the belief that blindness can be reduced to a nuisance level if proper training is provided.

2. Blind people face problems similar to those faced by Negroes; i.e. the problems of discrimination.

3. Although individual blind persons who were agency officials were involved in the establishment and development of COMSTAC, the blind as a group were not consulted--thus, the consumers of services had no part in developing the standards to govern the agencies providing services.

4. The influence of AFB and federal rehabilitation officials in the Dept. of HEW was too great in the development of COMSTAC. NAC's independence is questioned since their funds largely derive from these two sources.

5. Agencies are being pressured to seek accreditation.

6. NAC is unconcerned with minimum wages for blind workers, right to collective bargaining, or grievance committees in workshops.

7. NAC is totally irrelevant to the needs of the blind as it is now constituted.

8. NAC's board should have greater representation of the organized blind through the National Federation of the Blind, American Council of the Blind, and Blinded Veterans Association.

The reader is referred to the September, 1971 issue of the Braille Monitor for a detailed description of Mr. Jernigan's points of view. The issue also carried Mr. Brandon's address at the NFB Houston meeting and some of the discussion comments in which he, Mr. Handel and Mr. Jernigan participated

Perspectives of the President of the American Council of the Blind presented by Hon Reese H. Robrahn

Although Judge Robrahn had made no public or private criticism of NAC's total program, he had some concerns about a few specific items. He was invited to examine NAC from the point of view of the American Council of the Blind.

Judge Robrahn explained that the American Council of the Blind is a little over ten years old, having split off from the National Federation of the Blind. It is growing rapidly, he said. It has 36 affiliates representing 32 different states. All affiliates certify their voting members by name and address annually. Members can vote individually. In addition, an affiliate is entitled to one vote for every 25 members. Judge Robrahn made the following statements: (Not direct quotations)

1. Anyone with normal intelligence can dissect and distort any standard, sentence or paragraph. This, however, cannot be considered a validation of the attack on a standard, sentence or paragraph.

2. Issues such as a blind student being denied admission to a college or a blind person who did not get a job because of blindness are not matters that fall within the scope of NAC's functions. (Mr. Jernigan had used such examples in his comments.)

3. The American Council of the Blind believes that NAC's activities and aims are reasonably valid.

4 where the ACB disagrees with NAC it will try to settle differences constructively ACB's approach is not to destroy those who do not agree with it but to create change through discussion and persuasion.

5. ACB believes it is unfortunate that consumer involvement was not greater in NAC, in evolvement of standards and in agencies providing services to the blind.

6. ACB believes that some agencies have been accredited because of the prestige of their heads and urges that procedures be estabhshed which prevent this kind of result.

7. The greatest hope for providing real solutions to problems of blind people is through the joint efforts of the consumers, professionals in the field of blindness, and educators; and their identity with problems of all other individuals striving toward the betterment of the total community.

Judge Robrahn closed his talk with a renewal of the American Council of the Blind's support for the National Accreditation Council.

Discussion of consumer participation and reaction to Mr. Jernigan's statements

It was apparent that both Mr. Jernigan and Judge Robrahn believe that NAC's Board of Directors should include greater representation of blind consumers. Dr. Ferree felt that Board members should be selected on the basis of their competency and their potential contribution.

Dr. Melvin Glasser reacted to Mr. Jernigan's spoken and written statements by making a number of points including the following: (not direct quotes)

1. AFB should be praised rather than criticized for its role in support of NAC which may constructively alter services to the blind.

2. Standards and professional input are essential to the development of quality programs.

3. A distinction needs to be made between a social action body and a standard setting body. NAC was not created to engage in social action activities; it was set up to develop standards and to encourage their implementation. The social action role is NFB's and ACB's which is a different role than NAC's. The NFB and ACB should join those who see the needs of the Blind in the perspective of the society and fight for comprehensive health care, welfare reform, housing, etc. for all Americans.

4. Consumers are actual and potential users of services. In the case of the blind, consumers are those already handicapped and those who may be.

5. In defining consumer participation the prevailing view in the health services field and in community organization suggests that all major segments of the community to be served should be represented--racial, ethnic, economic, etc. This view has been developed because both governmental and voluntary agencies are considered to be organizations supported by and serving all the people.

Mr. Goodpasture called attention to acts against NAC by Mr, Jernigan, as the AFB president and to his writings which he believes are incompatible with the latter's role as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Goodpasture then presented the following statement:

Mr. Chairman:
I have listened carefully to the recorded proceedings of the National Federation of the Blind's 1971 Convention, and I have read the printed version with equal care. I have particularly noted the statements and writings of Kenneth Jernigan, a member of this Board, and I am personally shocked by his comments, attitudes and actions. As a consequence, and after listening to him today, I feel compelled to express my views.

There is no need Mr. Chairman to further debate regarding differences of philosophy between NAC and Mr. Jernigan. Instead, the purpose of my remarks is to call attention to a number of overt acts by Mr. Jernigan which I believe are incompatible with his role on this Board.

Mr. Jernigan has publicly stated that he does not believe in NAC or in what NAC is doing  on the contrary he told the members of NFB that "what NAC is doing is harmful." He predicted that NAC "would become a vehicle for blackmail" and during the recent convention speech he repeatedly interjected the word "blackmail" in references to the activities of our organization.

Mr. Chairman I unequivocally object to a Board member suggesting "political and court action and mass demonstrations" against this Board. I cannot remain silent when a Board member makes public the casting of individual votes by this Board as Mr. Jernigan did when he described the 26 to 1 vote in favor of the NAC/NIB/General Council Statement of Understanding. I repudiate Mr. Jernigan's statement that NAC "reinforces and helps to continue the myth that blindness means inferiority."

If NAC had a formal process for censure, that would be my recommendation. In the absence of such a process I can only read into the Minutes this strongly-felt point of view.

Interim Report, Long Range Planning Committee presented by Daniel D. Robinson

The long range planning committee is composed of Board members, one of whom is on the Commission on Accreditation and another who is on the Commission on Standards, and non-board members. The committee met twice, once in July and once in September. It focused on the factors in the changing world around us that will affect NAC in terms of its long range goals, how they should be achieved and the cost involved in achievement efforts.

It has developed twelve basic assumptions concerning the environment (society) and asked how this affects NAC's role. After the committee considers the assumptions and their program implications, it will report the outcome of their work to the Board of Directors.
Motion made to accept interim report.

Motion was seconded and passed.

Report of the Commission on Accreditation presented by Jack W. Birch

The following agencies were accredited on December 6, 1971.  

Blind Work Association, Inc., Binghamton, New York
Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, New York
Kansas City Association for the Blind, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas Services for the Blind & Visually Handicapped, Topeka, Kansas
Royal Maid, Inc. Hazelhurst, Mississippi
Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind, Inc., Syracuse, New York

This brings the total number of accredited agencies to 39.

Dr. Birch reported that a long established agency located in Canada is in the process of completing a self-study using NAC's instruments. It has applied for accreditation. NAC's articles of incorporation do not limit it to work in the U.S. However, the present By-laws permit membership of accredited agencies providing services for the blind or visually handicapped only if agencies are within the United States, its territories or possessions. The Commission on Accreditation proposed that the first sentence of Section 3, Article III of the By-laws be revoked and replaced by the following: "Any corporation, trust, unincorporated association of governmental organization which provides services for blind or visually handicapped persons which is accredited by the corporation, pursuant to procedures prescribed by the Board of Directors by resolution, shall upon being so accredited, be entitled to and shall become a member by payment of the initial fees and dues set by the Board." This change omits reference to location of agency and thus makes it possible to accredit agencies outside the United States, its territories and possessions.

Mr. Migel pointed out that many foundations are prohibited by charter to give funds if they are spent outside the United States. He felt that a change in the By-laws might cut NAC off from some potential funding sources.

Judge Robrahn stated that in view of NAC's shortage of funds, money should not be spent to accredit agencies outside the U. S. He further noted his belief that on-site teams may be misled in conducting a review of an agency located in another country because of a lack of familiarity with the situation in the country.

Dr. Birch explained the intention behind the motion. The aim of the motion is to provide all agencies with an opportunity to make use of the standards should they wish to do so. Such means should be provided either through a change in the By-laws or an alternative. Dr. Birch withdrew his original motion for a change in the By-laws in favor of the following motion:

Motion to refer this change in By-laws to a committee for further study, the committee to be selected from both the Commission on Accreditation and the Board, and further that the Canadian agency be informed in writing that NAC does not presently have the structure which would enable it to accredit an agency in Canada.

Motion seconded and passed.


Thus far, no agency has made an appeal with respect to initial accreditation, maintenance of accredited status or reaccreditation. Our policies and procedures state that an agency may appeal the decision of the Commission within 30 days after the date of the Commission's notice of its action. The appeal shall be submitted in accordance with procedures to be developed by the Council. As it now stands, our policies and procedures on the subject are: "When an appeal is filed on admissible grounds, the Board of Directors of the Council shall appoint an Appeal Committee of not fewer than three qualified persons, none of whom served as members of either the on-site review team or the Commission on Accreditation which rendered the decision involved."

The following motion to handle the situation in between meetings of the Board of Directors was made: the president be empowered to appoint three members to consider appeals between Board meetings.

Motion was seconded and passed.

Several members of the Board expressed the opinion that the final decision on any appeal must rest with the Board of Directors and cannot be delegated to the Commission on Accreditation. The present policies and procedures for handling appeals leaves the final appeal decision to the Commission, and do not include a description of the process after an appeal is made.

A motion was made to appoint a committee to study appeal procedures and determine if the final decision on any appeal should rest with the Board of Directors and draft the policies and procedures to be followed during the appeal process.

Motion seconded and passed.

Report of the Commission on Standards presented by J. Max Woolly

The last meeting of the Commission on Standards was held July 22, in Richmond, Virginia. It was reported that NAC received a continuation grant from the Office of Education to implement new standards for production of reading materials. A braille edition of the Standards for Production of Reading Materials was published by the Library of Congress. The COMSTAC Report is now out of print in braille and records.

The Commission on Standards identified some of the major areas for which NAC does not have standards. The first level of priority for the development of standards was assigned to: Low Vision Optical Aids, Services to Blind Infants and Pre-School Children; Business Enterprises; and Consumer Participation. The second level of priority was assigned to the development of standards for Prevention of Blindness; the Use of Paraprofessionals, and Students "Rights" in Residential Schools. The Commission recommended that all standards be subjected to a complete, comprehensive review by the end of 1975 with publication of revised standards in 1976.

Motion was made to accept the report.

Motion was seconded and passed.

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting

The minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on September 15, 1971 were approved.

Report of the Awards Committee presented by Richard E.Hoover, M.D.

The Awards Committee considered 1 7 nominations for the NAC Award. The Chairman on behalf of the committee recommended that Dr. Berthold Lowenfeld be selected to receive the 1972 NAC Award.

Motion was seconded and passed.  

It was also recommended that a program giving recognition to persons who have rendered exceptional service to NAC be established with the following procedures:

1. staff should make documented recommendations of persons to receive the recognition these persons could include persons from on-site review teams, members of Commissions and other volunteers;

2. the Awards Committee would review the recommendations and make recommendations to the Board at the Board's next meeting

3. recognition awards should not be made at the same time or place as the NAC award

4. The recognition award should be a paper weight made by the blind, especially designed for this purpose and that staff be empowered to proceed with the development and selection of such a design.

The above recommendation in the form of a motion was seconded and passed.

A motion was made to present the following persons with the recognition award. For service on on-site review teams:

Lee A. Iverson, Director, Division of Education & Rehabilitation Services, Department of Children & Family Services Springfield, 111.

Joseph Kohn, Executive Director, New Jersey State Commission for the Blind

William O. McGill, Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind

McAllister Upshaw, Executive Director, Greater Detroit Society for the Blind

Douglas Inkster, Assistant Executive Director of NAC, for services rendered prior to his appointment to his position at NAC

For special volunteer services at NAC headquarters since January, 1969 Miss Jane Sommerich

The motion was seconded and passed.

Plans for Annual Meeting--Alexander F Handel

The executive committee had previously given tentative approval to plans to hold the NAC annual meeting in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the Association for the Education of the Visually Handicapped. The AEVH will meet in Miami from June 25, 1972 through June 29, 1972. The rationale for this decision is that NAC would like to obtain maximum attendance of educators from residential schools for the blind for its planned symposium-workshop on confidentiality of student records in the residential school. Confidentiality encompasses both the rights of privacy of students and their families with respect to information on them entrusted to the schools and the rights of parents and students to access to student records. A second reason for meeting in conjunction with AEHV is that it would enable representatives of accredited schools to attend without increasing additional travel costs.

The Russell Sage Foundation has recently developed guidelines for the maintenance, collection and dissemination of pupil records. The principles behind the guidelines apply to our standards on confidentiality. These guidelines will be used as a working paper for the symposium-workshop.

NAC sees the symposium-workshop as a beginning step in the process of its planned revision of standards of confidentiality. NAC has approached the Russell Sage Foundation for a grant of approximately $3,000 to cover the costs of the symposium-workshop. Present plans for this conference are contingent on availability of funds.

Our plans, as of now, call for holding NAC's annual meeting on June 23 and 24 in Miami just prior to the AEVH meetings and scheduling the symposium-workshop to begin the afternoon of June 24 and end by mid-day of June 25.

Tentative plans were approved.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 P.M

Respectfully submitted,

/s/Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell

February 4, 1972


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February 18, 1972

Mr. Alexander F. Handel, Executive Director
National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10016

Dear Alex:

Although NAC met early in December, I still have not received the Minutes of the meeting. I would like to make inquiry as to when the Minutes will be sent.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind


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For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10016 (212) 683-8581


February 22, 1972

Mr. Kenneth Jernigan
National Federation of the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Ken:

It appears that your letter of February 18 inquiring regarding the availability of minutes crossed our envelope which was sent on February 16th. Please note that the minutes were mailed third class so there may be a few days' delay. If you don't receive them by the end of this week we would be happy to send you another copy via first class mail.


Alexander F. Handel


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For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10016 (212) 683-8581

February 24, 1972

To: Members of the Board of Directors

From: Morton Pepper, Chairman, Program Support Committee

Re: Your suggestions for a chairman of an NAC National Leadership Council

In carrying out the desire of the Board to strengthen NAC's fund-raising and to encourage more agencies to seek accreditation, the Program Support Committee suggested and the Executive Committee has approved the organization of a supplementary group of volunteers who would be known as the National Leadership Council.

Many organizations similar to NAC have found that they need a larger constituency to interpret their programs and to obtain support for them. It seems clear that NAC, with a professional staff of six and a Board of 33, could benefit from additional volunteer participation. The plan for a National Leadership Council is intended to meet the need to build broader understanding and support.

The purpose and activities of the NLC are described below. When you have read them, please use the enclosed form and envelope to give us your suggestions for persons who might be considered for chairman. We should also welcome additional suggestions for other persons who might be invited to be members of the NLC.


1. To provide additional leadership to supplement the Board in moving agencies and schools toward accreditation by interpreting the importance of accreditation.

2. To supplement the Board in raising funds for the support of NAC's work.

3. To provide a base for recruiting personnel to serve on the Board of Directors of NAC.


1. Members would serve as spokesmen for NAC and accreditation.

2. They would raise funds by mail or in person or assist others to raise funds.

Examples of 1.: Members might represent NAC at regional or national meetings or occasions at which they would bring greetings be recognized, but not otherwise as a rule, participate in the program on behalf of NAC

Members might sign letters to those they know, or by whom they would be known, pointing out what accreditation does and suggesting that, when approached for support by an agency for the blind, they inquire as to whether the agency is accredited.

Examples of 2.: The same letters mentioned above might also ask for support of NAC.

Members might sign direct fund-raising appeals to individuals and provide suggestions of persons to be written to.

Members might provide introductions to foundations, corporations, individuals and, on authorization from headquarters, might make solicitations or presentations on behalf of NAC.

Members might sign appeals.


Most important member of the Leadership Council is the chairman.

He or she should be recruited first. The chairman should be a person of national prominence whose name will be quickly recognized by many and will attract others.

Candidates for chairman and for the Leadership Council in general may be found among board members or former board members of agencies for the blind, persons with special interest in problems of blindness, persons with special concern for quality controls and high standards of service in health and welfare.

 Your Nomination for Chairman

The program Support Committee needs your nominations for chairman as soon as possible so they may be considered at an early March meeting.

Please note that we need not only the person's name but also information on how you could help us to recruit your nominee either directly or through another contact.

Thank you.


To: Morton Pepper
Chairman, Program Support Committee
National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped

I suggest the following for consideration as chairman of the National Leadership Council:


I could help recruit by __________________________________________________________


I could help recruit by __________________________________________________________


I could help recruit by _________________________________________________________

                                                                                 (Your name - please print)

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For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 1 0016 (212) 683-8581


Thursday, April 6, 1972

Polly Thomson Room
American Foundation for the Blind

Arthur L. Brandon, Chairman
Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell
J. Kenneth Cozier
John W. Ferree
Morton Pepper
Daniel D. Robinson
Peter J. Salmon
Frederick G. Storey
McAllister Upshaw

Alexander F. Handel
Anne L. New

The meeting was called to order at 11:20 a.m. by the chairman, who expressed his pleasure at meeting, after more than a year, in the Polly Thomson Room of the American Foundation for the Blind which has had such a long and happy relationship with NAC. He noted that this had come about because the Board Room of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, which has also been most helpful, was not available on this date.

Report of the Executive Director - Mr. Handel

Sales of Publications

Mr. Handel reported that the sale and distribution of all NAC's publications has been extensive. Currently, the 3,000 first printing of Standards for Production of Reading Matierials is almost sold out and a second printing is on the press. The Library of Congress is purchasing 1,500 copies to distribute to all its certified braillists. Based on past sales, it appears that many local volunteer braille groups have purchased copies also.

Prices of publications have been raised and a new price list printed. This should enable the price of publications to cover the cost of handling and mailing as well as cost of reprinting where that has been necessary.


It is expected that seven on-site visits will be completed by June. Self-studies in process number 49. There may be others of which we are not aware.

Mr. Handel described in some detail the operation of the accreditation process in the case of an agency that was expected to appeal an interim opinion by both the staff and Commission on Accreditation. The opinion was that the agency would not qualify for accreditation.

Mr. Handel explained that if a self-study report indicates an agency will probably not qualify, staff so informs the agency, so that the agency may be encouraged to work on improvements and be spared the expense of an on-site review.

In the instance he described considerable correspondence ensued. However, the agency has now withdrawn its application and the situation now appears to have been resolved satisfactorily.

Role of Consumers

Mr. Handel reported that staff is preparing a proposal for the development of standards for consumer participation in agency policy-making, program development, and service delivery This win require special funding.

The ad hoc committee set up by the Board of Directors to review the role of consumers in
NAC will have a report for the Board in June.

In the discussion on consumer participation the need for clear understanding of the various types of consumers was pointed out. Dr Salmon noted that the new National Advisory Committee on Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped of the Social and Rehabilitation Service, HEW, includes a number of blind and visually handicapped persons but not on any basis of proportional representation

The Executive Committee noted with pleasure that Dr Salmon had been invited and agreed to serve as chairman of this new committee.

Plans for Annual Meeting - Mr Handel

Mr Handel reported that, because the Board had extended the period in which the Annual Meeting can be held, it is possible to take advantage of the occasion of the biennial meeting of the Association for Education of the Visually Handicapped to draw participants to NAC's annual meeting. The NAC meeting is planned for the weekend just preceding the AEVH meeting.

The publication by Russell Sage of an inquiry into the confidentiality of student records provided material for a NAC-sponsored workshop which will be held at this time. Since AEVH has identified confidentiality of records as one of its two main interests this year, AEVH members should be interested in coming early to attend the NAC workshop. Attendance, however, will be by invitation since it is essential that participants review a set of "working papers" that will be mailed in advance of the workshop About 100-120 are expected.

The Schedule for the Annual Meeting, Board Meeting, and workshop is as follows:

Friday, June 23, 1972
2:00-4:30 p.m.            First session of Annual Meeting Business Meeting
5:00-6:00 p.m.            President's reception

No evening session on Friday

Saturday, June 24, 1972
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.                    Board Meeting
2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.                      First session of the Workshop
5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.                     Second session of Annual Meeting

Reception and Awards Dinner

Sunday, June 25, 1972
9:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon                  Final session of Workshop

It was moved by Mr. Storey, seconded by Mr. Upshaw that this schedule be approved.

Mr. Cozier expressed his desire to underwrite the cost of the president's reception. His offer was accepted with many thanks.

The Executive Committee further discussed the staff time involved in planning and running an Annual Meeting which will attract an attendance of potential accreditees as well as accredited members. The Articles of Incorporation call for an annual meeting but it might be desirable to make it a simple business meeting if opportunities including funds for a good program do not seem to be available.

Mrs. Campbell suggested that consideration be given to asking a group of accredited agencies, where there is such a group in an area, to plan the Annual Meeting. This could carry forward the Board's idea of holding the Annual Meeting in various parts of the country in order to attract persons who should involve their agencies in accreditation Mrs. Campbell cited the Boston area as one in which a good program on low vision aid services might be arranged. Mr. Flynn, of Providence, had expressed interest in the idea. The Perkins School might be interested. Such meetings would have the advantage of attracting local boards as well as the staff that attends professional meetings and would not tie NAC's meeting into any other.

In the discussion the possibility of an annual meeting every two years, with regional meetings in intervening years, was suggested; also the possibility of holding the 1973 meeting in Cleveland in conjunction with the AAWB biennial.

Mr. Brandon suggested that ideas for future Annual Meetings might be presented to the Board at its June meeting.

Report of the Long-Range Planning Committee - Mr. Robinson

Mr. Robinson noted that the report had been sent in advance to all members of the Executive Committee. It is the culmination of the work of the ad hoc committee appointed at last spring's Board Meeting.

A major question raised last spring had been whether the tentative plan submitted at that time had taken into consideration the situation in which NAC would be operating (the "environment"). The Long Range Planning Committee had undertaken to identify the environmental elements that could  affect NAC and to develop a proposed plan in the light of NAC's goals and objectives and the environment.

Mr. Robinson stressed that environmental assumptions in the plan are not necessarily what the committee feels would be desirable but what the committee feels will be the situation in which NAC must function.

In the light of these assumptions the committee had selected the priorities for NAC that seemed to be most urgent.

The Executive Committee suggested that the foreword to the proposed plan should make clear that the environmental assumptions are not statements of what is considered desirable.

Mr. Robinson further noted that, because it identifies the budget for basic on-going operations and separates these basic operations from desirable, but not on-going work such as standards revision, the plan shows the viability of NAC's basic operations. It also makes it possible to show the cost of maintaining accreditation and this helps us to show the role that accredited agencies can play in supporting accreditation through their fees.

He pointed out that the plan, if adopted, must be reviewed, revised and updated each year. The organization is not locked into a five-year plan; it has a basis on which to make more effective use of its time and funds.

Following discussion of the goal of a minimum average of 25 new accreditations a year for the next five years, it was agreed that the word "minimum" should be dropped. Also the report or its oral interpretation should make clear that "average" does not imply that the number of accreditations will be 25 each year. This is a goal. There may be about 20 accreditations in 1 972 and more in later years.

A question was raised as to whether NAC has any data on the number of people served by accredited agencies and the scope of accredited agencies. It was stated that a review of agency annual reports and the reports of on-site review teams indicates that accredited agencies are serving about 70,000 individuals a year and if prevention-of-blindness screening are included, the number is about 100,000. Also the number of separate facilities offered by agencies is about 2 1/2 times the number of agencies.

No attempt will be made to present this material to anyone in tabular form, but it may provide the basis for a statement in the forthcoming annual report. Some effort has also been made to determine the number and variety of services offered by agencies. Mr. Handel stated that valid operating figures for the field as a whole have never been obtained because agencies keep records in so many different ways.

Mr. Cozier inquired if it would be possible to ask accredited agencies and schools directly how many individuals they served in the past year. Mr. Handel stated that it would be. Staff will endeavor to do this.

It was agreed that a brief foreword should be added to the statement of objectives. The foreword should indicate what is involved in accreditation, including the newness of the concept as applied to services for the blind, the need to encourage agencies to qualify, the wide variation in size and scope of agencies and schools that have been accredited. It should make clear that the number of agencies that have been accredited is not the whole story. The foreword should also state positively the benefits of the self-study and on-site review.

Also, the definition of a man-day should be placed at the beginning of the detailed presentation of the plan rather than at the end.

It was further pointed out that iii transmitting the proposed plan to the Board, the Executive Committee might call attention to Assumption 6 which refers to increasing integration of services for the blind into broader service units and suggest that it might be appropriate for the Board to adopt a policy position on this trend, if it so desired.

It was moved by Mr. Storey, seconded by Mr. Cozier, that the proposed Long Range Plan, with modifications noted above, should be endorsed and transmitted to the Board with the recommendation that it be approved.

Staff was requested to send the Board the full Long Range Plan material, with changes as noted, and to request that Board members send in questions and comments in writing in advance to facilitate discussion and action in the limited time available at the Board meeting.

Grandfather Clause (Discussion based on memorandum sent to Executive Committee)

Mr. Handel pointed out that some agencies are using the Grandfater Clause in NAC personnel standards as a basis for employing staff members who do not meet standards and who have not had long experience which would justify making an exception for them under the Grandfather Clause.

The Executive Committee expressed the opinion that the clause should cover only persons who have a bona fide "long" record of employment in a specific capacity. In order to make this clear, the last sentence of the clause would be changed and an additional sentence added to read as follows:

 The continuing participation of such highly experienced persons is not ruled out in the National Accreditation Council standards, but it is expected that as of September 1, 1972, the standards for qualifications of personnel as they appear in THE COMSTAC REPORT which reflect the currently accepted professional levels are to be implemented in the hiring of new personnel so that substantial progress can be assured. However a person who has been employed in his specialized capacity in an agency or school for the blind for five years prior to September 1, 1972 who transfers his services to another agency will continue to be covered under the Grandfather Clause.

Definition of an Agency (Discussion based on memorandum sent to Executive Committee)

Material presented to the Executive Committee by Mr. Handel noted that an ad hoc committee had been estabhshed to study criteria for identifying what is a separate agency for accreditation purposes. However, the committee has not yet met and meanwhile the Commission on Accreditation is faced with having to make a decision on an application.

Mr. Robinson observed that the Long Range Planning Committee had given high priority to the development of an adequate definition of an accreditable unit. This is especially important in view of the tendency to move services for the blind into "umbrella" agencies. A good working definition by NAC could strengthen these units for the blind and help them to retain the clear-cut identity needed to do their job effectively.

The executive Committee agreed that since the Board will be considering the Long Range Plan, which embodies this priority, the Commission on Accreditation might wish to further consider the matter of revising the definition of an accreditable agency. If reconsideration is not possible before the Board meeting, members of the Commission should be aware that the matter will come up and should be prepared to speak to it if they wish.

Extension of NAC Service to Canada

Mr. Handel reported that a Canadian agency has applied for accreditation and that staff has worked with it, even though warning it that current bylaws exclude accreditation of non-U.S. agencies.

The Board had previously authorized the appointment of an ad hoc committee to review the entire matter. This committee has not yet been convened. It was suggested that the committee might consider whether NAC should develop a new kind of title or phrase to indicate that non-U.S. agencies meet standards or that they are affiliated in some way with NAC.

It was the sense of the Executive Committee that any action should await the report of the ad hoc committee.

Financial Report - Mr. Robinson

The Treasurer noted that NAC's two basic sources of revenue are continuing their support this year. Spending is at the rate of about $250,000 a year which is well within the authorized budget. If expected contribution renewals, and a grant from a foundation which has expressed considerable interest, are obtained, NAC will avoid any need to go into its reserves in order to meet authorized expenses.

Mr. Robinson requested the Executive Committee to authorize the opening of a savings account at the Franklin Federal Savings and Loan Association.

It was moved by Dr. Ferree, seconded by Mr. Storey that authorization be given.

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell

April 26, 1972
45 am

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Recently we received a list of the agencies NAC alleges it has accredited through December 31, 1971. An examination of the list is not only revealing but perhaps exposing. For a long time the blind have been saying that some of the very worst and most unprogressive agencies in the nation have been accredited by NAC and that there is a good deal of axe grinding, back scratching, and attempted pressure-facts always angrily denied by NAC. Examine the following list, and judge for yourself.

In the first place it will be noted that most of the agencies accredited fall into three categories: 1 residential schools for the blind, at least some of which are regarded as less than adequate by many of the blind; 2 sheltered workshops, many of which are at constant war with the blind and have a reputation among the blind for exploitation and repression; and 3 agencies represented by membership on the self-appointed NAC board that did the accrediting. Ah, for objectivity, honesty, and fair treatment of the consumer! Here is the list:



1. Division of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired


Little Rock

2. Arkansas School for the Blind
(so far as we know, a good school. It is regrettable that it would associate itself with such company and feel it necessary to seek NAC accreditation.)

3. Arkansas Enterprises for the Blind, Inc.


4. Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind

(This sheltered facility is certainly not regarded by the blind of the Washington, D.C., area as being a leader in helping the blind and is often in conflict with the blind.)



5. The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind

(Because of its subminimum wages, its repressive tactics, and its failure to meet with representatives of the blind in good faith, this sheltered shop has been picketed by the blind of the area and has been the subject of constant controversy. If it can be accredited as a charter member of NAC--with all which that implies in the way of blessing and approval--one does not have to look far to see what kind of group NAC is and what a threat it poses to the blind.)


6. The Hadley School for the Blind

(So far as we know, a good institution doing constructive work--respected by most of the blind. How unfortunate that it would lend its name to such a list and such an organization as NAC.)



7. Evansville Association for the Blind.



8. Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School

(The School has had anything but a good reputation among the overwhelming bulk of its graduates in recent years. Many state officials expressed dissatisfaction with it, including the Governor and members of the Board of Regents--its governing body.)



9. Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped



10. Shreveport Association for the Blind



11 .Division of Eye Care



12. The Maryland School for the Blind

13. The Maryland Workshop for the Blind



14. Massachusetts Association for the Blind

(An organization which has been in various conflicts with organized consumer groups.)


15. Perkins School for the Blind



16. Greater Detroit Society for the Blind

(McAllister Upshaw was one of the original members of COMSTAC and is still a member of its board. His agency has been accredited.)


Michigan School for the Blind



18. The Minneapolis Society for the Blind, Inc.

(This sheltered workshop has been repeatedly picketed by blind persons trying to get representation in policy making matters and a hearing for grievances. There were widespread charges that it fostered attempts to help the ACB start the equivalent of a company union to divide the blind of the state when publicity about its operations began to cause problems and it seemed that the blind were making inroads in their attempt to organize the workers. There are now charges by the blind that the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Society has, without notice, expelled blind members of the Society to insure control. Picketing of the homes of board members and of the Society itself has been a constant thing in recent months.

Yet, NAC accredits the Minneapolis Society for the Blind and says it is not engaging in social action or pressure tactics.)



19. Royal Maid, Inc. (workshop)


Kansas City

20. Kansas City Association for the Blind (workshop)



21. Blind Work Association, Inc.

New York City

22. The Industrial Home for the Blind

(Dr. Peter Salmon, a long time leader of this institution is also one of the leaders of NAC, as he was of COMSTAC. His agency is now accredited.)

23. The New York Association for the Blind, Inc.

(Again, this organization is regarded by many of the blind as not constructive or helpful. Its sheltered workshop policies have, to say the least, not been in accord with what is generally regarded as good labor-management relations.)



24. Lions Club Industries for the Blind, Inc.



25. Cincinnati Association for the Blind

25. The Cleveland Society for the Blind

(Mr. Kenneth Cozier, a blind businessman, is one of the controlling forces in this organization, which runs a sheltered workshop. He is also a member of the self-appointed NAC Board. His agency has been accredited.)


27. Ohio State School for the Blind

(So far as we know, a good school. Again, it is regrettable that it would associate itself with such company and feel it necessary to seek NAC accreditation.)



28. Oklahoma School for the Blind



29. Oregon State School for the Blind



30. Pittsburgh Branch
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, Inc.



31. Rhode Island Association for the Blind

(An organization not highly regarded by many blind of the state.)



32. Tennessee School for the Blind

(So far as we know, a good school. Again, it is regrettable that it would associate itself with such company and feel it necessary to seek NAC accreditation.)



33. Dallas County Association for the Blind

34. Dallas Services for Blind Children


35. Lighthouse for the Blind of Houston

(Federationists who attended the Houston convention will remember the Lighthouse.)



36. Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped



37. The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

These thirty-seven agencies are listed by NAC as being accredited as of December 31 1971. The fact that we have made no comment concerning a given agency does not necessarily mean that no comment was deserved--whether good or bad. The purpose is to show the pattern. The blind who are not at localities of the agencies involved must judge for themselves.

Even some of the NAC Board members have expressed concern at some of the accreditations which have been made. One continues to wonder whether a self-respecting agency can conscientiously seek NAC accreditation and, once having received it continue to function without repudiating it. One also wonders how long the blind at the grass roots level will tolerate what NAC is doing once the facts are generally and fully known. They will be known.

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NAC Board of Directors - May 1 1971

Supplementary Identification*
Mr. M. Robert Barnett
Executive Director
American Foundation for the Blind, Inc.
15 West 16th Street
New York, N.Y. 10011

Dr. Jack W. Birch
Associate Dean, School of Education
University of Pittsburgh
2704 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213

Mr. Arthur L. Brandon                                    
Consultant on educational
c/o Alderson-Broaddus College
Phillippi, W. Va. 26416
administration; permanent home
address: College Park, R.D.I,
Lewisburg, Pa. 17837

Mr. Robert S. Bray
Chief, Div. for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20542

Mr. Kenneth W. Bryan
Asst. General Manager
San Francisco Dept. of Social Services
585 Bush Street
San Francisco, Calif. 94108

Mr. Robert M. Buckley                                   
Advertising and public relations
Vice President
Wesley Day & Company, Inc.
601 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell                                
Civic Leader
River Road
Carlisle, Mass. 01741

Mrs. Claire W. Carlson                                    
Engineer and legal consultant; Claire W. Carlson firm name, this address
230 Park Avenue                                                
New York, N.Y. 10017

Mr. J. Kenneth Cozier
Retired Executive Director of National Society for the Prevention of Blindness
Cozier Corporation
5031 Mayfield Rd. Suite 131
Cleveland, Ohio 44124

John W. Ferree, M.D.
55 Grandview Avenue
Pleasantville, N.Y. 10570

Mr. Donald W. Flynn
Asst. Vice President
Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank
15 Westminster Street
Providence, R.I. 02903

Dr. Melvin A. Glasser Director, Social Security Dept.
United Auto Workers of America
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Mich. 48214

Mr. Robert C. Goodpasture
Business executive
Castleton, Vt. 05735

Mr. Huntington Harris
Business executive
Director, Quadri-Science, Inc.
Leesburg, Va. 22075

James G. Haughton, M.D.
Executive Director
Health & Hospitals Governing
Commission of Cook County
1900 West Polk Street
Chicago, III. 60612

Richard E. Hoover, M.D.
14 West Mt. Vernon Place
Baltimore, Md. 21201

Mr. Joseph Jaworski
Bracewell & Patterson
Attorneys at Law
First City National Bank Bldg.
Houston, Texas 77002

Mr. Kenneth Jernigan
President, National Federation of the Blind  
Iowa Commission for the Blind
Fourth & Keosauqua Sts.
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Mr. Norman V. Lourie
Deputy Secretary for Research and Development Program
Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare
Harrisburg, Pa, 17120

Dr. Douglas C. MacFarland
Acting Director, Office of the Blind and Visually Handicapped
Rehabilitation Services Administration
Dept. of Health, Education & Welfare
Washington, D.C. 20201

Mr. John R. May
Executive Director
San Francisco Foundation
425 California Street
San Francisco, Calif. 94104

Mr. Richard H. Migel
Civic leader
Greenbraes Farm, Box 565
Monroe, N.Y. 10950

Mr. Ewald B. Nyquist
President of the University of New York
Commissioner of Education
State of New York
Albany, N.Y. 12224

Mr. Morton Pepper
Pepper and Pepper
Attorneys at Law
55 Liberty Street
New York, N.Y. 10005

Dr. Homer P. Rainey
Professor Emeritus of Higher
Education, University of Colorado
2700 University Heights
Boulder, Colo. 80302

Mr. Daniel D. Robinson, C.P.A.
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
345 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022

Hon. Reese H. Robrahn
President, American Council for the Blind, Inc.; Judge, Shawnee County Magistrate Court
329 Woodbury Lane
Topeka, Kansas 66606

Dr. Peter J. Salmon
Administrative Vice President
Industrial Home for the Blind
57 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201

Dr. Geraldine T. Scholl
Professor in Special Education
School of Education, U. of Michigan
1400 Country Club Road
Ann Arbor, Mich. 48105

Mr. Frederick G. Storey
Storey Theatres, Inc.
1819 Peachtree St., N.E.
Atlanta, Ga. 30309

Mr. Henry A. Talbert
Western Regional Office
National Urban League, Inc.
4055 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, Calif. 90005

Mr. Warren Thompson
Asst. Regional Director
Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare
Room 9017, Federal Bldg.
1961 Stout Street
Denver, Colo. 80202

Mr. McAllister Upshaw
Executive Director, Metropolitan Society for the Blind, Detroit
10125 West Outer Drive
Detroit, Mich. 48223

Dr. J.M. Woolly
Arkansas School for the Blind
2600 West Markham
Little Rock, Ark. 72203

*Requested by Board-provided where needed as a supplement to title or address

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