JANUARY — 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.




by Manuel Urena

by Jim Omvig

by Donald C. Capps

by Suzanna Higgins

by Robert Acosta


by Jo Werne


by John Nagle


by Debra Opdycke

by John Knall

by Betty Burnside

by Hazel tenBroek







Washington, D.C. 20540

October 15, 1971

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Your letter of August 25 and enclosures pertaining to the services of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress contain examples of errors, delays, and misunderstandings, along with allegations of instances of indifference, neglect, or inappropriate attitude on the part of some staff members. As I told you in my letter of August 12, I share your incredulity about Mr. Hahn's failure to communicate to you his inability to attend and participate in the Houston meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in July. I do not condone behavior of this kind, and I reassure you that there will be no reoccurrence of such an incident.

I have carefully studied and investigated each of the twelve items of criticism outlined in your letter along with the accompanying documents.

I address myself to the twelve items of criticism in the order in which you have presented them.

Items (1) and (2) refer to excerpts from two letters from Mr. Ed Potter of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and to a letter from Mr. L. K. Bowersox from Fayette, Iowa, who have complained that Mr. Bray and his Division do not respond to letters. Examination of the correspondence record shows that more than 100,000 incoming pieces of mail are acted on or answered in a year. During fiscal year 1971 there has been a 10 percent increase in incoming mail, and a 15 percent increase in outgoing mail. In the processing of this massive volume of correspondence, it is unfortunate and regrettable that some slips have occurred that have resulted in complaints as registered by Mr. Potter and Mr. Bowersox. On the other hand, the great volume of letters received from readers, regional libraries, and cooperating agencies indicating appreciation and satisfaction is impressive. Nevertheless, I have asked that the Division's mail handling procedures be reviewed and improved.

Item (3) refers to the complaint that copies of the braille edition of the booklet Your Federal Income Tax for 1970 were not received by the Iowa Library until the day after the filing deadline. Investigation shows that the letter sent out by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped dated December 15, 1970, which announced that the booklet will be available on request from the National Collections," was based on information known to the Division at that time. Because of the changes being made in the regulations and format, the Internal Revenue Service did not have printed copy ready until December 14, 1970. IRS contracted directly with the American Printing House for the Blind for the braille edition which was delivered late in January 1971. Copies were then distributed by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. A telephone check with several regional librarians reveals that they received their braille copies well before the filing date. The regional libraries in Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, for example, received the forms in February. There is no explanation as to why the copies sent to Iowa did not reach their destination until April 16, as they were all processed at the same time.

Item (4) concerns the non-receipt of 10 additional copies of the 1971 braille edition of the American and National League Baseball Schedules requested by telephone. This complaint has been investigated with Mr. Donald J. Weber, Assistant Head of National Collections of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Mr. Weber reports that he remembers receiving only one telephone call request for additional copies, in response to his letter of May 6, 1971, and that it came from the Iowa Library. He immediately addressed two boxes of schedules (containing 14 each) to the Iowa requestor. The boxes were placed in the mail tubs in the Field Services Section of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for pick up by a U. S. mail truck. In view of this report, we can only surmise that they may have been lost in the mails. Mr. Weber indicates that he was not subsequently advised that these materials had not been received by the requestor. Almost 2,000 copies of these schedules were distributed to libraries, residential schools for the blind, and individual blind readers.

Items (5), (6), and (7) deal with the criticism from the head of the Philadelphia Library for the Blind. His letter to the librarian in Iowa states that LC has lost the 1968 September, October, and November issues of Playboy magazine on tape, and that the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has not supplied a single library with an issue for those three months. I have been informed that these three issues had been missing, but have now been found on the shelves in another collection. It is suspected that they were received during a major shift of tape recorded books and tape masters, and inadvertently put in the wrong place. Our records show that subsequent tape issues which have been received, have been duplicated and sent to the regional libraries which have requested them. I am instructing the Division staff that there should be prompt follow-up on materials to be received, and that the receiving and checklist procedures be tightened in order to insure a better operation in this area of the work.

The Philadelphia regional librarian in his "Memo to Agencies and Patrons" interested in the LC Cassette Machine Program, uses the words "lack of planning," and criticizes LC for announcing it verbally to Associations, and not informing or involving the regional libraries in the planning. His document entitled "Results of Cassette Questionnaire" points to problems in communication and coordination in LC's planning with the regional libraries. At the same time, he does state that a number of the regional libraries polled by his questionnaire were more understanding and not as critical of the handling of this new program as he was, and indicated an awareness that the size and scope of an innovative program of this kind would necessarily bring problems that could and should be worked out together. The only answer that we can give to these charges is that the tape cassette pilot program was announced in letters written by the Division Chief on July 26, 1968, and July 29, 1969, which were sent to all regional libraries. (See attachments I and II.) Subsequent communications from him on the development of the program are too numerous to attach here. Our files hold copies of 17 letters sent to all libraries following the July 29, 1969, letter, through December 30, 1970. Mr. Bray also spoke about the program during the Conference of Regional Librarians in December 1968. It was publicized in the DBPH Newsletter of February 1969, and in the LC Information Bulletin of March 20, 1969, both of which are widely circulated publications. (See attachments III and IV.) The tabulation of a survey completed in June 1969 indicated an overwhelming acceptance by the 1,000 readers involved in the pilot project. As a result, plans were made to continue the program and extend it to the regional libraries. The announcement of plans made in July 1969 may have given the regional librarians too little time to prepare for the new service. In spite of the problems, the cassette activity has become so widely accepted that it is impossible to satisfy completely the demands generated by it at this time.

Item (8), which points to the difficulties that the South Carolina Agency for the Blind faced in its attempts to secure library service, as described in Mr. Fred Crawford's correspondence, was an unfortunate misunderstanding of the library's position on the organizational structure needed to provide good library service. I am happy to confirm your understanding that the South Carolina situation has been resolved.

Item (9), the statement entitled "Comments Concerning DBPH, Library of Congress, August 1971," submitted by the Librarian of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, refers to several exhibits.

Exhibit 1, "Philosophical Implications of Book Selection for the Blind," an article published by Florence Grannis in the Wilson Library Bulletin in December 1968, cites among other things the great need to work toward a much broader selection of materials for the blind reader, materials that will supply the vocational and professional needs. The article also specifically states: "Bob Bray has consistently worked to upgrade the Division for the Blind of the Library of Congress and all of the Regional Libraries."

Exhibit 2, also on book selection published in Catholic Library World in April 1969, emphasizes the fact that "the principles of book selection are the same for the blind as for the sighted."

I wish to assure you that the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress still subscribes to the principles so eloquently stated by Florence Grannis, and that the Library will continue to work to upgrade the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and all of the regional libraries.

The foregoing is attested to by Exhibit 3, another Florence Grannis article headed "Books for the Blind Sweep the Best Seller List," published by The Braille Monitor, March 1970, which announced that "all but five of the New York Times Book Review best sellers for January 18, 1970, are being issued as talking books."

Exhibit 4, on the other hand, has been introduced to show a change in policy, that only two out of 20 best sellers published in the August 1, 1971, issue of Book World were being made available as books for the blind as of August 20, 1971. Investigation shows that the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped had ordered 17 of the 20 titles listed as of August 1971. (See attachment V.) Order dates are written on the right hand side of the list. Please note that copyright was refused on The Sensuous Man, which I believe was one of the "way out" (a term used by Mrs. Grannis) titles recommended by Florence Grannis in her article entitled "What Should a Library for the Blind Be?"

Exhibit 5, a May 14, 1969, letter from Marcia K. Finseth, regional librarian for the blind at the Seattle Public Library, is cited to illustrate criticisms made by Florence Grannis, and Wynn Hunnicut, librarian of the Georgia Library for the Blind, about the function of the Book Selection Committee, and to what extent its recommendations are considered by the Library. As you know, the Committee is appointed to serve for a calendar year. Early in the year, the Committee is asked to submit its recommendations by mail to the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Selection Office. These recommendations come into this office in the month of May on slips as sent in by the Chairman. Recommendations are discussed with the Committee members at the American Library Association Conference held in either June or July so that the Library of Congress may have the benefit of Committee thinking. This year, for example, about one fourth of the titles recommended for production in one of the media had already been ordered as obvious choices by the Selection Office. Some, of course, were not ordered either because they were limited by the availability of funds, or because they had to be balanced against other demands from the total readership. The remaining recommendations are being considered for production as soon as feasible. Titles recommended by the Committee are not intentionally or arbitrarily ignored. You can be sure that the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has been advised to continue using the Book Selection Committee and to give every reasonable consideration to its recommendations.

Exhibits 6, 7, 8, and 9, deal with clerical errors made in the assignment of talking book numbers, missing book cards, catalog card errors, lack of records, and failures to communicate cancellation of items. We cannot deny that such errors do occur, and that they have to be corrected as soon as they have been reported and discovered. Efforts have been made to correct them as soon as possible. It is inevitable that a processing operation as large as this one will result in some errors. The human element is always involved. Regardless, the Library will do all in its power to reduce such errors to the lowest possible number.

In her "Comments Concerning the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped," Florence Grannis also has complained about the quality of the book catalogs, talking book machines, and the need to maintain a union list of all hand-transcribed, non-text materials in the United States.

She has compared the current book catalogs with those issued from 1934-1948, which she described as scholarly and comprehensive. We are sorry that she feels that the current catalogs "are sloppy, incomplete, error-ridden, and misleading—an embarrassment." Since this is the first time that I have heard them so described, I am asking for an evaluation of them by the Library's Publication Officer and from other users. I know that efforts have been made to make them attractive, practical, and usable tools for all readers.

The unfavorable comments about the talking book machines can only be answered by facts garnered from a national survey of readers who received new talking book machines. This survey covered the period of January 1970 through August 1971. Of the 2,257 replies received, only 299 reported problems ranging from minor inconvenience to some failures to function; and 186 offered suggestions for improvements. Many of those suggestions will be incorporated in future models.

The results of a local survey conducted by the regional librarian of Rhode Island (which were reported to us on July 16, 1971) showed that of the 83 readers who responded, none reported failure of the machines to function although 10 found the lid latch was inconvenient to use.

The foregoing shows that the Library has continually reviewed machine experience with the objective being the improvement of such equipment.

As for the union list or central catalog of hand-transcribed, non-text materials in the United States, I am informed that it has not been abandoned, although a shortage of staff has necessitated a temporary postponement of filing. Plans are being made for resuming this work as staff is made available. The continuance of a union catalog of this type is predicated on assurance that all the participating libraries are willing to lend the materials listed. I am told that the library of the Iowa Commission for the Blind has announced that it will not lend hand-transcribed materials to blind persons outside the State. If this is so, there would be no point in listing them in a union catalog of material available nationwide.

Item (10) refers to the article published in the November 1969 The Braille Monitor, entitled "Federal Interference in Oklahoma Backfires." It reviews a jurisdictional dispute between two State agencies as to which agency was to give library service to the blind and physically handicapped of that State. When this problem was brought to my attention in the summer of 1969, I met with the concerned parties to bring about a speedy resolution of the situation.

Item (11) presents the article entitled "What Should a Library for the Blind Be?" by Florence Grannis, which has now appeared in the October 1971 issue of The Braille Monitor. Many of the points pertaining to good service made in this article are well taken; however, it must be stated here that I cannot agree with all the statements made, particularly statements that would have people believe that the Library of Congress operates on the premise that books cannot last more than five years, and that it wastes money to reproduce books that should be in good condition in each library, thus depriving readers of the "way out" books. In the network of the 50 regional libraries which the Library of Congress services, the reissuing of some of the talking books (particularly the classics and standard works, which do wear out from constant use) is necessary because of actual demand from a majority of libraries. The Library must look to the interests of all its readers. It does not intend to slight any of its clientele.

I refer you to the reader interest survey made by Nelson Associates, Inc., whose findings were presented to the regional librarians in their 1968 conference. This survey report stated among other things that our readers emerge in two major groups. "One, the much larger of the two, is made up of older persons who are less likely to use tapes or read braille, less likely to be employed or be students, and who generally do not care for works of science fiction, sex, or violence, and such items as instructional materials and special interest magazines. The other group is made up of younger adults and includes students. This group is more likely to use tapes, read braille, and be employed, and it is generally more interested in intellectual and sensational materials." We therefore are attempting to look to the needs of both of these groups. (See attachment VI.)

I also wish to make clear that this Library does not subscribe to the idea that blind people cannot be expected to behave as responsible citizens.

Item (12) adds your personal testimony. You report that Mr. Bray is customarily arrogant and rude in dealing with you, that he does not answer your phone calls, and that you have witnessed him treat others in the same manner. You also state that you "recently talked with Mr. Gerald Buttars, librarian in Utah, that he indicated that Mr. Bray never responds to letters or phone calls from him, and that the service he receives is bad, etc." These charges are difficult to understand, especially since I personally received an unsolicited telephone call from Mr. Buttars only last week. He called specifically to advise me that he had not made the statements you have attributed to him. Be that as it may, I have carefully considered all you have reported. It has given me the occasion to review these matters thoroughly with Mr. Bray.

The National Program which Mr. Bray directs is a great one. He and his staff have and will continue to dedicate themselves to it in the best possible manner. During the past several years, both the number and scope of books and periodicals which are available for blind readers have been substantially increased and the distribution of these reading materials have been improved through the establishment of additional State and local service collections. The program is circulating over 8,000,000 items a year to more than 250,000 blind and physically handicapped individuals through 50 cooperating regional libraries and an equal number of sub-regional libraries. (See attachment VII for a tabulation that will give some indication of the efforts to improve and enlarge the service.)

This Federally authorized and funded program must continue to attempt to satisfy the needs of all eligible citizens. In working toward this objective the Library shall seek the cooperation, comments, and suggestions from all readers and cooperating agencies. I thank you for bringing to my attention those matters that have been of concern to you and to the Federation.

Sincerely yours,

L. Quincy Mumford
Librarian of Congress


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

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Washington, D. C. 20542
July 26, 1968

Reference Department
1291 Taylor Street, N. W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

Cassette Book Pilot-Program

This Division is initiating a pilot-program to determine the ways in which a light-weight, portable cassette tape recorder/reproducer can be used to increase access to books and periodicals by the blind and physically handicapped. Our own assessment of this problem indicates that there are a number of persons who do not read simply because:

  1. The present talking book reproducer is not easily portable.
  2. The reproducer requires a source of alternating current.
  3. The reproducer cannot be operated by readers with certain handicaps.
Three different types of the new "Norelco Design" cassette will be provided to readers, selected by you, to participate in this pilot program.

Each Regional Librarian will receive one machine of each model for their own use. An allotment of 25 machines for selected readers will be set aside for each library. To assist us in selecting the best type of machine for your reader, please note after each name and address, the person's age, sex, and type of disability or specific "handling problem." If a Regional Librarian does not nominate his quota of 25, the available machines will be distributed to those other libraries which indicate a capability to have them tested. It will be the responsibility of the library to obtain volunteer assistance where necessary in demonstrating the operation of the cassette recorders to members of the test group.

We anticipate that there may be problems in the operation and maintenance of this new recorder, and it is this type of information which will assist us in evaluating the suitability of the various machine types used. Therefore, any maintenance or operational problems which you encounter should be reported. Such reporting should be simple and accomplished on a monthly basis. Address such information to the attention of:

All machines have a service warranty for one year. Serious defects should not be repaired in the field. The machine should be returned to the above address for evaluation and repair.

The cassette book pilot-program will begin September 15, 1968; however, machines will be distributed as soon as your list of nominees is received.

Attached to this letter is a list of cassette book (CB) titles and the availability date for each group of 50 titles. Readers should be asked to order these and only these books directly from:

Please note that these titles will be grouped according to a number written in the left-hand margin. That is, all titles marked with number one will appear in the first group.

A special Cassette Book Topics will be mailed to you and to the readers you nominate; and will contain information concerning the test together with a listing of all books which will be made available during the project.

Since performance of the various machines is one of the values sought by this program, it may be anticipated that machines which do not perform well will be withdrawn from service. So that your nominees can receive their machines, and the list of titles before September 15, it is requested that your nomination list be forwarded to the Library of Congress no later than August 23, 1968.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.


Robert S. Bray, Chief

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Washington, D. C. 20542
July 29, 1969

Reference Department
1291 Taylor Street, N. W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

Dear Regional Librarian:

We have ordered a supply of General Electric tape cassette player/recorders for distribution later this year. A brief description is enclosed.

You will receive ____ units to fill requests which come directly to your library. We are sending some cassette players to residential schools for the blind and machine lending agencies; and to selected rehabilitation centers, Veterans Administration Hospitals, United Cerebral Palsy Centers, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society Chapters. Therefore, you should not consider them as possible recipients from your supply.

You will also receive catalogs and a few copies of books recorded in tape cassettes. You will be the sole source in the area served by your library for new books recorded in cassettes, no matter where readers may have obtained their cassette players. Additional details will be sent to you before the players and cassettes are actually distributed.

Please bear in mind that it will probably be several months before cassette players or cassette books are available. Meanwhile, consider the Reference Circular on "Spoken Word Tape Cassettes."


Robert S. Bray, Chief


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No. 31 February 1969

During one open discussion period, the problem of soundsheet survival was raised. Mr. Bray pointed out that the Talking Book Topics' recorded soundsheet can be played even if it has been folded. One delegate urged regional librarians to appeal to their local postmasters for help in the prevention of folded magazines. Concerning the pilot program for cassette tapes, Ralph Garretson, Assistant Technical Officer of DBPH, said that cassettes, in the long run, are less expensive than talking books, because they are erasable and reusable. Mr. Bray added that though cassettes have great potential, the division is not yet ready to evaluate the experimental cassette study presently in progress. Mr. Garretson demonstrated the new AE(5A) talking book machine, an experimental speed control device, and various cassette machines.

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LC Information Bulletin,
Vol. 28, No. 12, March 20, 1969

Informal Study of Cassette Use. The Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress is conducting an informal 6-month study of the use of portable cassette players by blind and handicapped readers. Tape-players have been provided to 1,000 readers across the country, and a limited number of books recorded on cassette tapes are now being circulated to these readers from the Division's National Collections for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Titles for the cassette tapes were selected from existing "talking-book" titles for adults with emphasis on their appeal to the mobile individual who might wish to carry his reading matter with him. Such use has been limited before now by weight and bulkiness of talking books on discs and tapes and of the machines on which they are played.

Each cassette tape holds an amount of recorded time equal to a 10-inch disc recorded at 16-2/3 rpm—about 40 minutes of playing time on each side of a disc. These tapes are being circulated in disc containers into which inserts have been placed which will hold six individual cassettes. The 150 titles selected for this pilot study are short selections, able to fit in one container: the size of the standard container has not been reduced, but its weight is considerably less.

So far, response has been excellent, and readers have been eager to let the division know of the good points of a cassette machine as well as of any problems they have had. A questionnaire now being developed will aid in coordinating results and in determining reader likes and dislikes. Reader responses and suggestions will help in determining the future place of the cassette book in the Library's national talking-book program.

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United Press International correspondents in 30 U. S. cities file weekly reports, exclusive to Book World, which are used as the basis for this list

  TB 3890 1 The Passions of the Mind, by Irving Stone 17 TB 2/71
  TB 3941 2 The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty 6 TB 3/71
  TB 4054 3 The Other, by Thomas Tryon 5 TB 6/71
  TB 3699 4 QB VII, by Leon Uris 33 TB 12/70
  TB 4085 5 Penmarric, by Susan Howatch 8 TB 8/71
  CB 347 6 The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath 10 CB 7/71
  TB 3781 7 The New Centurions, by Joseph Wambaugh 24 TB 1/71
  ___ 8 The Drifters, by James A. Michener 4 ___
  TB 4053 9 On Instructions of My Government, by Pierre Salinger 2 TB 6/71
  TB 4037 10 The Shadow of the Lynx, by Victoria Holt 2 TB 6/71
  CB 335 1 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown 18 CB 7/71
  TB 3928 2 The Female Eunuch, by Germaine Greer 9 TB 3/71
  ___ 3 The Sensuous Man, by "M" 21 copyright refused
8/6/71 TB 3722 4 Future Shock, by Alvin Toffler 41 TB 1/71
  TB 3968 5 Boss, by Mike Royko 14 TB 5/71
  TB 4091 6 America, Inc., by Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen 3 TB 8/71
  ___ 7 Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945, by Barbara W. Tuchman 20 ___
  TB 3885 8 The European Discovery of America, by Samuel Eliot Morison 11 TB 2/71
7/28/71 TB 3638 9 The Greening of America, by Charles A. Reich 34 TB 12/70
  ___ 10 The Grandees, by Stephen Birmingham 13 8/71

BOOK WORLD August 1, 1971

Compiled August 20, 1971

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No. 31 February 1969


Florence Grannis, Iowa Regional Librarian, handed out her essay on book selection and then summed up her philosophy. Book selection must be based on the principle that blind readers have the same tastes as sighted readers and want the same books as the sighted. Also, the collection must be selected not only for present clientele but for potential clientele as well. Mrs. Grannis emphasized the importance of diversity in a collection.

Mary Jack Wintle, DBPH Assistant Chief for Acquisitions, stated that the division considers itself similar to a small public library, serving a cross-section of people. Keeping in mind that the reading tastes of blind or physically handicapped readers are similar to the normal population, the division bases its selections on books reviews and on recommendations from readers, advisory groups, and regional librarians. Also affecting book selection is an awareness that public money is supporting the entire program and a concern for the limited number of books that can be ordered with available funds.

Bruce Maclachlan of Nelson Associates, Inc., presented to the delegates some of the findings of the reader-interest survey. Mr. Maclachlan emphasized his belief that the sample of questionnaires used from the survey was representative of the entire readership served by the division. He said that the most important finding of the survey was a substantiation of an already widely held opinion: most readers of division materials are over fifty years of age. He went to another important finding: only about 3 or 4 per cent of the division's readership is not visually handicapped. Mr. Maclachlan concluded by saying that a picture of two major groups emerges. One, the much larger of the two, is made up of older persons who are less likely to use tapes or read braille, less likely to be employed or to be students, and who generally do not care for works of science fiction, sex, or violence and such items as instructional materials and special interest magazines. The other group is made up of younger adults and includes students. This group is more likely to use tapes, read braille, and be employed. And, it is generally more interested in intellectual and sensational materials.

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A Statistical Tabulation

  FY 1965 FY 1971
Appropriation $2,459,000 $7,671,000
Funds available for braille materials $ 275,000 $ 688,700
Staff of DBPH 41
(10 blind)
(18 blind, 4 physically handicapped)
Number of Readers, Total 103,000 254,000
 Number of Braille Readers 14,150 21,220
Circulation, Total 3,876,000 8,383,000
 Braille Circulation 422,780 528,400
Regional Libraries 32 48*
Talking Book Titles 486 726
Talking Book Magazines 11 23
Talking Book Machines 10,000 20,500
Braille Book Titles 275 275
Number of copies per title 65 72
Braille Magazines 6 21
Number of book titles of volunteer produced braille for DBPH 420 448
Cassette Books 0 350
Cassette Machines 0 14,000
Cost of Program per Reader $24 $30

*Two additional regional libraries were established after July 1, 1971

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[Letter from Kenneth Jernigan to L. Q. Mumford]

October 21, 1971

Mr. L. Quincy Mumford
Librarian of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20540

Dear Mr. Mumford:

I have your letter of October 15, 1971, and I am not sure that any constructive result can be achieved by my attempting to deal with your answers to my comments item by item. The problem we face is much broader than that, and it is quite simple. There are obviously difficulties involving the operation of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Many of these difficulties revolve around the personality and conduct of Mr. Robert Bray, Chief of the Division. Some probably do not involve Mr. Bray personally, being much more generic in nature.

Pursuant to the resolution calling attention to the inadequacies of the Division which was adopted by the National Federation of the Blind this summer in Houston you asked me to document the problems. It is not easy to document tone and behavioral pattern, but I did so to the best of my ability. It seems to me that in your answer you have taken an essentially defensive tone and have failed to come to grips with the substantive issues raised. This is not a matter which will simply go away if we write nice letters to each other. Instead, it is likely to become bigger. The blind of the nation are going to persist until satisfactory solutions are found. We hope that you share this determination and will work with us cooperatively.

Let me give you one example of the feeling of incompleteness which I have with your letter of October 15. You say regarding my testimony concerning Mr. Bray: "You report that Mr. Bray is customarily arrogant and rude in dealing with you, that he does not answer your phone calls, and that you have witnessed him treat others in the same manner. You also state that you 'recently talked with Mr. Gerald Buttars, librarian in Utah, that he indicated that Mr. Bray never responds to letters or phone calls from him, and that the service he receives is bad, etc.' These charges are difficult to understand, especially since I personally received an unsolicited telephone call from Mr. Buttars only last week. He called specifically to advise me that he had not made the statements you have attributed to him."

I had to read your remarks more than once to believe you really meant them. Since I did not send Mr. Buttars a copy of my letter to you and since he would have had no way of knowing that I had said anything to you at all unless some member of the Library of Congress told him, how could his telephone call have possibly been "unsolicited"? Examine your own statement, and I think you will see what I mean. What happened in connection with Mr. Buttars would seem to be fairly obvious. Somebody called him (it might not be too difficult to guess who did it), and then he made an "unsolicited" phone call to you denying that he had made the statements.

The facts are these. Mr. Buttars did, indeed, say exactly what I said he said. He did so in the presence of a witness and later made similar comments to another person. If anybody cares to pursue the matter, I daresay that under cross-examination and oath the truth could be determined. I believe Mr. Buttars is an honest man and that he would not deny saying what he said.

Regardless of all of this, I tell you again that Mr. Bray will not answer or take phone calls from me, that he is customarily rude and arrogant, and that I have witnessed him treat others in the same manner. This has nothing to do with the incident involving Mr. Buttars and can hardly be answered in that way.

More to the point, the remedy is not, it seems to me, to be found in proving whether Mr. Buttars did or did not say a given thing on a certain day or whether it can be proved that Mr. Bray refused fifteen or only fourteen phone calls. The question is not whether I can make an imposing case or you can make a skillful reply. The things I have told you about my personal contact with Mr. Bray are true, and they have been told you in the hope that a remedy will be found since others indicate that my experience is also theirs, constituting a pattern.

With respect to Mr. Bray's conduct, I sent you written statements from the Director of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind saying that Mr. Bray did not respond to communications. You replied that this situation is now corrected. Nevertheless the situation existed and establishes the pattern of Mr. Bray's conduct. I now enclose a letter from the Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind expressing dissatisfaction with the policies and attitudes of Mr. Bray's Division. Again, perhaps an explanation can be found and everything smoothed over, but the pattern is still the pattern.

Having said all of this, I now ask you once again to review the substantive issues which have been raised and to help find workable solutions to the problem. What we all seek is better library service for the blind of the nation in an atmosphere of reasonable friendliness and congeniality.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

cc: Senator B. Everett Jordan
Senator Jennings Randolph
Congressman Wayne L. Hays
Iowa Congressional Delegation
Mr. Gerald Buttars

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[Letter from Kenneth Hopkins to Kenneth Jernigan]

Kenneth N. Hopkins, Director

October 12, 1971

Kenneth Jernigan, Director
Iowa Commission for the Blind
4th and Keosauqua Way
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

This is in response to your request that each state develop information concerning the amount of work available to proofreaders from the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Miss Emma Johnson of Gooding, Idaho has been proofreading for the Library of Congress for many years and holds a Class A. Proofreading Certificate. Proofreading is Miss Johnson's only source of income other than her savings and she is not working as much as she would like. During this year, for instance, she has had work only twice and has earned approximately $180.00. Although early in the year she took some time from her proofreading activities for personal reasons, she still indicates that she could have easily completed twice as much work. She has the ability to proofread 40-50 pages a day. Some simple arithmetic shows that if she could have worked full time from May 1st through September, using only 20 work days per month for 5 months, she could have earned at a bare minimum $400.00 at $.10 per page.

Miss Johnson further does not agree with the Library of Congress policy that she request work each time she completes a prior assignment. This, to her, is a waste of time as she cannot work during this time between completing one book and starting the next. Further, Miss Johnson wishes the Library of Congress would accept her reports of work completed in braille or in print instead of requiring all reports to be typed.

Mrs. Ramona Walhof has written to you concerning the difficulties with the Library of Congress in becoming a proofreader. For a complete Idaho report, there is a copy attached.

In developing the information about proofreaders in Idaho, we at the same time developed a substantial list of persons who expressed an interest in becoming proofreaders if at all possible. Some of the persons on the attached list are currently working full time and see proofreading as an opportunity to earn some additional income. A majority of the people on the list, however, are housewives or retired and would like to earn substantial income working full time as proofreaders. Incidentally, the Idaho Commission for the Blind has never received a request from the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped indicating that proofreaders were in demand.

I believe that the policies of the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which establish a seemingly inpenetrable process in becoming certified as a proofreader, impose limitations on income of the proofreader through the cumbersome process of requesting work and reporting on work completed and which now deny income to blind persons by using sighted proofreaders add up to a blatant statement of the belief that the blind are irresponsible and incompetent. It is indeed tragic that in an age when libraries espouse the principle that their services can and have improved the lives of all people, the National Library serving the blind adopts policies which can only mean that the blind of this nation solely because of blindness, do not share with their sighted neighbors the ability and capacity for improvement.

Since it is broadly recognized and demonstrated daily throughout the country that we, the blind have not only the capacity and ability to improve our lives and participate fully in our own communities, I believe we must object to the existing policies and their negative effect upon the lives of patrons of the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and work to establish policies based on principles which positively affect the lives of the blind of the nation.


Kenneth N. Hopkins

[Attached to this letter were the letter of Ramona Walhof of Boise, Idaho, to Kenneth Jernigan, September 29, 1971, published in the article "The Blind Are Certified—The Sighted Get Letters," The Braille Monitor, December, 1971, and a list of twenty-eight persons who have expressed an interest in becoming proofreaders as well as a person who is proofreading and a person who has attempted to become a proofreader.]

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A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind was held in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 26 and 27, 1971. All members of the Committee except Lawrence Marcelino and Donald C. Capps arrived in time to be the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Jernigan at a Thanksgiving Day feast. The Jernigans also had as their guests the Secretary of State of Iowa and his wife. The main course at the feast was a twenty-five-pound fresh turkey and a two-year old Tennessee country ham. All the "fixings" were there too-hot hors d'oeuvres, Urena style, including whale meat; cornbread dressing and gravy; candied mashed sweet potatoes and peaches; fried okra; cream-style corn; asparagus zucchini with water chestnuts; New Hampshire cranberry relish; fresh fruit salad; hot biscuits; NFB corn bread; relishes; pumpkin-cheese-mince meat pie; and Maryland after-dinner candies. Prior to the dinner the members of the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance prepared a proposed budget for the calendar year 1972.

The Executive Committee convened at 9:00 Friday morning and continued to 6:00 in the evening, and reconvened for an all-day Saturday session. All members were present except Don Capps who was prevented from attending because of the illness of his wife Betty.

The session Friday opened with a minute of silence in tribute to Bill Dwyer of New York who died while a member of the Committee. Discussion then followed concerning details of a possible national insurance program for NFB members, chiefly at the start for the older members. The President was authorized to enter into a contract if satisfactory arrangements can be made. The finances of the organization were then discussed in detail by the members with a review of all fundraising efforts. In spite of the current state of the general economy, the NFB's financial situation is extremely healthy and the largest budget in its history was adopted for the calendar year 1972.

The President then gave a detailed report of the operations of FEDCO, a subsidiary of the NFB whose Board of Directors is composed of the Officers of the National Federation of the Blind. It was reported that the FEDCO Board had voted unanimously to close out the Nu-Mode plastics business and make investments elsewhere. It was the sense of the Executive Committee that this was the proper action to take.

Because of the phenomenal growth of the organization it has been necessary to lease additional space in the Des Moines Office and members of the Committee inspected the new space which has been obtained at very favorable rates.

The publication of The Braille Monitor was then reviewed with respect to its costs and its growth. The very pleasant problems have been created because of the growth of the Monitor's mailing lists. More than 11,000 issues are now being produced each month and some 1,700 new readers have been added in the first nine months of 1971. The NFB is in the course of preparing hard cover bound volumes of the print edition of the magazine for each of the years from 1957 to 1970, the entire set being available for sale at a cost of $175. Thereafter, each year's volume will be sold for $15. Tests were then made for the members of the Committee on the disc edition, using the present 16 2/3 rpm's and the same material played on an 8 and 1/3 record. Because of the superior quality of the 16 2/3 speed, and the fact that the record can be played on commercial record players, it was decided to continue at this speed at least for the time being.

Two NFB films are available for use by affiliates. Also a taped recording of the 1970 Convention can be purchased for $20 and the 1971 Convention proceedings on discs for $15 a set. As Federationists know, a Christmas record was made and distributed to every radio station in the country. A new record has been cut containing the President's addresses on Local Organizations of the Blind and Hostility and Progress, and these can be obtained from the Des Moines Office.

The Committee then discussed the improvements needed in the service to blind readers and regional libraries of the Library of Congress and plans made for future actions to be taken to achieve these goals.

The increasing volume of work being imposed on the President of the NFB was discussed in detail by the members of the Executive Committee. This led naturally to a consideration of the kinds of problems which the State and local organizations should handle and those which should be handled by the national office. It was agreed that on matters of discrimination and other problems involving individuals, the local chapters and then the State affiliates should cope first. On any legal cases or matters of general concern, the national office should be advised so that it could lend assistance when and if needed.

The NFB's counsel then discussed current legal cases in which the organization has been actively involved. The Mary Jane Keener case was reviewed as well as the Loren Schmitt case—both terminating in complete victories. Possible future legal actions were discussed, including that involving the hassle over the names of organizations in Missouri and several vending stand cases. All members of the Committee realized that when one legal victory is won in any State, it helps blind persons in all states.

The work of the several affiliated divisions and standing committees of the organization were reviewed. It was determined that, since most blind persons are fifty-five years of age or older, a committee should be established to give specific attention to their problems. Plans were also discussed concerning the organizing of new State affiliates and the strengthening of some existing ones.

The Committee took pleasurable note that there has been a marked trend among our State affiliates to identify themselves more closely with the NFB. It all started in 1969 with the formation of "The National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee." From there it rapidly caught on. At this writing some twenty-four affiliates have changed their names to the National Federation of the Blind (name of State). Following are the States which have made this change: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas. This signals a recognition of the fact that the Federation is a united, cohesive, national entity. It was felt by the Committee that every affiliate which follows this trend will benefit tremendously, as well as adding strength to the movement.

It was pointed out that the 1972 national Convention will be held in Chicago and the 1973 Convention in New York—with very favorable room rates for both, $8 for singles and $12 for doubles. However, with inflation taking its toll during the past decade, it is becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate for future hotels with these rates. It will soon become a question of rates versus places. While the matter will be referred to the next Convention, the Executive Committee felt that rates should be the prime consideration in choosing Convention sites.

John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington office, concluded the sessions with a run-down on current legislative developments. The Postal Employees Unions will continue their bitter opposition to any measure which would make inroads on their "take" from vending machines and will strongly oppose the feature in the Randolph-Sheppard Amendments which would assure blind operators the profits from all coin machines. We will have to mount our own campaign, pointing out to members of the Congress that it is a question of fringe benefits for well-paid Federal employees as against job opportunities for blind persons.

H. R. 1, the welfare reform measure, is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee, having passed the House last June, and Mr. Nagle felt that we have a chance for some substantial gains in our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. An amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would forbid discrimination on grounds of blindness by any college or university in its admission policies and we are now seeking to secure another amendment to this Act which would prohibit discrimination on the grounds of blindness in employment. Another legislative effort is an attempt to secure a provision that persons could not be denied the right to serve on Federal juries on the grounds of physical impairment. The Manpower Training and Development program for the hard-core unemployed is pending extension and it is hoped that the measure can carry a section providing economic opportunites for the blind. Finally, we are trying to amend the National Labor Relations Act to include under its provisions sheltered shop employees.

As the members of the Executive Committee wended their way to the Des Moines airport during the course of Sunday morning and afternoon, their hearts were gladdened by a sense of renewed commitment to the movement even though a snow storm was raging at the time. Certain it is that the leadership of the National Federation of the Blind will continue to press forward on all of its many fronts in behalf of the welfare of blind persons everywhere.

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by Manuel Urena

The weekend of September 24, 1971, will be long remembered by the delegates who attended the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind convention at the Penn Harris Hotel in Harrisburg. From any standpoint it was one of the most successful gatherings the organized blind in that State have ever had. In terms of attendance, finances, and new and enthusiastic recruitment, the convention marked a new departure.

Business of the 1971 gathering began early on Friday afternoon, September 24. The resolutions committee endorsed two notable resolutions that were later adopted unanimously. The first of these established a policy that would make it impossible for one person to hold a position of responsibility in the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind while at the same time holding a similar position in an organization which advocates measures opposite to those of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind. Another resolution laid down the policy for solicitation of funds from the general public. Friday evening was devoted exclusively to a widely attended executive board meeting. During the session of the executive board, a thorough hearing was given to a proposed budget and other significant plans for the ensuing year.

Saturday and Sunday the delegates took up reorganizational business, including the seminar, legislative matters, proposed staff, and other internal affairs. In addition, the convention heard from acting director Ralph Beistline, Bureau of Visually and Physically Handicapped; the new fundraiser, Harold Greenspun; and Mrs. Louella Murray, liaison with the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. The main points of interest in the business session were the elections. The results were as follows: President, Mae Davidow; first vice-president. Jack Schumacher, Holidaysburg; second vice-president, Oliver Kaufman, Erie; third vice-president, Robert Morganstern, Pittsburgh; secretary, William Murray, York; treasurer, Edward Pickens, Harrisburg; editor We the Blind, Dorothy Digirolamo, Philadelphia; chaplain, Rev. Tom Hopson, Washington; counsel, Robert Schumack; and board members, William Corey, Phillipsburg, Kenneth Jones, Allentown, Nathan Jones, Philadelphia.

The highlight of the convention was, of course, the Saturday night banquet. Probably the most outstanding feature about the banquet was the large attendance. Approximately 208 delegates and their friends enjoyed themselves thoroughly and heard the featured banquet address by Manuel Urena, an executive board member of the National Federation of the Blind. He gave the delegates a thoughtful talk concerning the evils of bureaucracy and the growing number of experts in the work for the blind. All in all, the delegates can look back on the 1971 convention as a turning point in the history of the organized blind in Pennsylvania. If the plans continue to develop along the lines indicated for this year, the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind can look forward to increased financial resources, which will in turn provide the organization with the political muscle necessary to bring about changes in services for the Blind of that State.

Pennsylvania plans to join the ever increasing number of states to charter busses to take delegates to the National Convention. There was considerable enthusiasm expressed during the meetings to look into the possibilities of a Pennsylvania bus. Let us hope the delegates from Pennsylvania manage to fill several busses for the Chicago gathering.

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by Jim Omvig

On the weekend of November 13th and 14th, 1971, a new milestone was reached in the history of the National Federation of the Blind. On that weekend, a large and enthusiastic number of blind persons from 11 states, as well as from the District of Columbia, converged on Des Moines, Iowa, for a series of meetings which culminated in the formal establishment of a new NFB division—the Sheltered Shop Employees Division, National Federation of the Blind.

Prior to the decision to establish a new division, we first had to answer the fundamental question as to whether there is any real need for such a division at all, since we are fully aware that our Federation has always fought hard for the rights of all blind persons in this country, whether they be employed in sheltered workshops, in other areas of employment, or not employed at all. Along this same line, we also recognize that, as we form more and more divisions of the NFB, we must never lose sight of the fact that our members first of all must be concerned with the overall problems of the organized blind movement and, only secondarily, must limit themselves to the solution of specific individualized problems. Only if all blind persons in this country work together in one cohesive unit, can we expect to continue at our present rate of outstanding achievement.

Despite these considerations, however, the consensus of those in attendance was that there is, in fact, a real need for a sheltered shop employees division. For some time it has been clear that one of our real problems in the Federation is that most of our members who are interested in the problems of sheltered shop employment have simply not had the opportunity to become fully familiar with certain basic laws and policies which govern the whole sheltered employment structure. As a result of this lack of information and knowledge, many of those interested in sheltered employment have been unable to improve things for themselves. Therefore, we see the new sheltered shop employees division as being a vehicle through which this sorely needed information can be obtained and disseminated. Once we have gained all of the knowledge concerning the facts, the laws and the policies regarding sheltered employment, then we will be in a far better position to go about the business of improving what are generally recognized as nearly intolerable conditions. And we see this new organization not only as a disseminator of information, but also as a provider of technical know-how, support and motivation to those persons who are interested in employment conditions in sheltered workshops.

Therefore we voted to formally organize a division of the NFB and we adopted a constitution. Generally our purpose will be to promote the social and economic wellbeing of sheltered shop employees, as well as the general effort aimed at improving the lives of all blind persons. Membership will be open to persons currently employed in sheltered workshops, to those formerly so employed, and to other interested persons. The national dues will be $1.00 annually.

As we grow in membership and strength, we can forsee the day when some of our state affiliates will wish to establish sheltered shop employee divisions and, at sometime in the future, it is likely that some local chapters would be established.

The following officers were elected to serve until we meet in Chicago at our forthcoming national Convention: President, Ysidro Urena, 1623 P Street, Sacramento, California 95814; first vice-president, Louie Vinson, 3823 Nettleton Street, Houston, Texas 77004; second vice-president, Jim Stewart, 6118 Eby, Merrian, Kansas 66202; secretary, Frieda Wolff, 2395 Valentine Avenue, Bronx, New York 10458; and treasurer, Jim Omvig, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

We decided that our first major undertaking will be to present a dynamic and informative program at our division's meeting in Chicago. As we said, one of our most basic problems has been the lack of accurate and meaningful information. We plan to begin immediately to rectify this situation. We hope to provide answers to such basic questions as:

Do sheltered shop employees now have a right to organize?

Can we arouse national organized labor's interest in our cause?

What are the minimum health and safety standards required by federal and state laws for sheltered shops?

Although there is no legal requirement that sheltered shops provide for workmen's compensation and unemployment insurance for their employees, could shops provide these things on a voluntary basis if they were to choose to do so?

Do shop employees have a right to know whether or not they are employed under a special certificate of exemption from the wages and hours division of the Labor Department?

If a particular employee is employed under a special certificate of exemption, does he have a right to know what is contained in his individual exemption?

We are beginning now to plan to provide information on these specific questions and also on other questions which may arise as we proceed with our planning. In addition, the constitution which we have drafted will need to be ratified by the entire membership. Finally, there will be an election of officers for the next two years.

It is our hope that as many good federationists as possible will plan to attend our meeting on Monday afternoon, July 3, 1972. We urge you to join with us in our effort to find solutions to the problems of sheltered workshop employment.

For those interested in joining our division immediately, please send $1.00 to me at my Des Moines address, listed above. We will plan to see you in Chicago.

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by Donald C. Capps

[Reprinted from the Palmetto Auroran, publication of the Aurora (South Carolina) Club of the Blind.]

For more than forty years, Ways and Means for the Blind, Inc., of Augusta, Georgia, has been the most unique institution throughout America in providing assistance to the blind. This statement is supported by the records of this private institution which verify that for more than four decades literally thousands of blind Americans have directly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of all types of assistance including cash grants and blind appliances. Today, after such a long and distinguished history this proud institution now finds itself in a real dilemma. Because of a recent law passed by Congress, the Internal Revenue Service may well rule that Ways and Means is a taxable institution. Taxation will not be levied because of how funds are used, but as a result of Ways and Means earning their own funds from rental investments, etc. This possible ruling by IRS seriously threatens the widespread assistance to the blind by Ways and Means. In recent years Congress has been concerned over the indiscreet use of funds in private foundations, especially in the field of political activity and certain other causes. In its zeal to crack down on private foundations using their funds other than for benevolent and philanthropic purposes, Congress unfortunately failed to exercise sufficient caution so as to avoid making the law applicable to institutions such as Ways and Means for the Blind, which uses all of its funds for the blind. This would seem to be a case of Congress in its haste passing a law which makes the innocent suffer with the not so innocent. It is unfair and unreasonable to believe that Congress ever intended to interfere with or hamper any valid program of service to the blind. But unless this law is changed it now appears that the assistance normally provided by Ways and Means will be substantially curtailed.

Ways and Means for the Blind was established during the depression way back in 1929, being founded by a blind South Carolinian, Mr. Hubert E. Smith. His sole purpose in establishing Ways and Means was to be of every possible service to his fellow blind. Having served as its president from the beginning to the present time, Mr. Smith renounced the use of substantial earnings for personal gain, preferring instead to use the profits for the blind. He could have lived a life of luxury as Ways and Means was highly successful financially, but unlike the average individual he chose only to set aside a modest amount annually for the necessities of life. This practice is what made Ways and Means for the Blind the most unique institution in America serving the blind. No other private institution in the country can match Ways and Means in the amount of direct help. Unlike many agencies, Ways and Means has not had huge amounts drained away in administrative cost. Indeed the institution has paid no one for administration. Some forty years ago Ways and Means pioneered in the field of rehabilitation for the blind by establishing a work shop. Many blind persons were trained in this shop with clients enrolled from as many as eleven States.

Throughout the years Ways and Means developed a diversified program of direct assistance. One of the most beneficial programs involves substantial cash grants for the express purpose of blind people purchasing their own homes. Today many blind couples either own or are presently purchasing their homes because of receiving the down payment from Ways and Means. Other blind persons have been granted interest-free loans for a business venture. Better education for the blind has been encouraged and stimulated by Ways and Means which established various awards at many schools for the blind throughout the country. Appliances and supplies of all types, including tape recorders, radios, white canes, Braille paper, Braille watches and clocks, etc., have been furnished to many groups and individuals throughout the country and in many foreign lands. While the blind have been the primary recipients of assistance, others have also known the kindness of this unusual institution. On at least one occasion a church was given outright a tract of land. Many organizations of the blind have benefitted by the helping hand of Ways and Means.

As far back as 1956 Ways and Means purchased a typewriter for the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind which was in its infancy at that time. In 1959 Ways and Means presented a one-thousand-dollar bond to the National Federation of the Blind at its national Convention in Santa Fe, and in all $4,000. In 1961 Ways and Means made an expenditure of $1100 to furnish the Smith Memorial Office in the brand new Aurora Center of the Blind. Today the expanded Aurora Center of the Blind has a much larger Smith Memorial Office which stands as a living memorial to Mr. Hubert H. Smith, father of the president of Ways and Means. The tape library of the Aurora Center is sponsored by Ways and Means and several other tape libraries for the blind throughout the country are supported by Ways and Means. And while these and other services have been going out from Ways and Means for the Blind for more than forty years, the Smith home has always been open to many a blind person. Can it really be that a sizeable portion of the earnings of Ways and Means for the Blind, formerly used to assist the blind will now be diverted for taxes? Will many blind people be the victims of this unfair IRS ruling? The answer would seem to be "yes" unless something is done to change the law. Blind people from throughout America will want to come to the rescue of Ways and Means. It would seem that the best way to assist Ways and Means would be to write directly to your congressman. Congress is responsive to inequities of this type and a letter from you to your congressman can do more than anything else to alter this well-meaning law. The blind now have an opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude for the good work done by Ways and Means for so many years. All you need to do in writing is to address the letter to the name of your congressman, Member of Congress, Washington, D. C., and your letter will be safely received. Don't delay, do it now!

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by Suzanne Higgins

"May God's blessings be upon this convention," Rev. Leroy W. Simonds, pastor of the Goffstown, New Hampshire United Methodist Church, said in his Invocation that opened the 14th annual convention of the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind at Manchester, New Hampshire, September 25, 1971, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

A letter of resignation from State secretary Hollis Little was read and regretfully accepted. State president William Higgins then appointed a nominating committee to present names for a board member for a three-year term, and to fill the unexpired term of secretary.

Reports of the secretary, treasurer, and presidents of the Gate City Chapter, Nashua, and the Merrimack Valley Chapter, of Concord and Manchester, were read and accepted. The State president reported on the year's activity and growth, and as State delegate, Mr. Higgins presented a most interesting account of the National Federation of the Blind Convention held at Houston, Texas, in July 1971.

A resolution was read proposing to change the present name of the organization to be known henceforth as the National Federation of the Blind of New Hampshire. This resolution was accepted and passed.

Miss Virginia Karam was elected to fill the unexpired term of secretary, and Mr, Francis LaMontagne was elected as a board member for three years.

Alfred Beckwith, past State president; Franklin VanVliet, NFB Treasurer; and attorney John Nagle, NFB representative from Washington, D. C., were members of a panel reacting on "Aims and Goals for the Present and Decade Ahead of the NHFB."

Resolutions on vending stands and workshops were presented by attorney Nagle and were passed.

Marshall Cobleigh, Speaker of the House, opened the afternoon session by bringing greetings from Governor Walter R. Peterson. We were very honored to have U. S. Senator Thomas Mclntyre address the convention. New Hampshire State Representative Chris Spiro, who sponsored the Model White Cane Bill, which was passed into law in June 1971, and John Nagle presented a discussion on legislation.

"Training, Placement, and Employment," was the topic of a panel led by Ben Adams, rehabilitation counselor, New Hampshire Services to the Blind; Joe Czarniski, employment security, Manchester; William McGuire, IRS representative, Portsmouth; and Mr. Stephen Buckley, counselor, Conant High School, Jaffrey, one of the founders and first State president of the NHFB. A good question and answer period followed.

A very informative talk on the Social Security Disability was given by Mr. Nagle, followed by much discussion.

To add interest and suspense to the meeting, gift drawings were scattered throughout the day.

The registrar's records showed that guests from State affiliate chapters of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were in attendance. There were over fifty members present, and three very well-behaved canines came with their masters.

The afternoon session concluded with the selection of Nashua as the 1973 convention site.

The evening invocation at the banquet was given by Rev. Father Tancrede, pastor, St. Augustin Parish, Manchester. More than one hundred members and guests were entertained musically by Danny Malloy, a partially-sighted piano tuner by trade, and his quartet, and a delicious dinner was served.

President Higgins as master of ceremonies, welcomed members and introduced the honored guests, who were: Ben Adams, state employment security, Portsmouth; State Senator Laurie Lamontagne, Berlin; State Senator William McCarthy; State Representative Chris Spiro; Mayor Charles Stanton; Jerome Bellerose, Lions Club representative; and Reverend Leroy Simonds, all from Manchester.

In honor of their 25th wedding anniversary, an attractively decorated money tree, card, and corsages were presented to Mr. and Mrs. Franklin VanVliet. Their faces showed their surprise and appreciation for the thoughtfulness of the occasion.

A copy of the Model White Cane Law, signed by his Excellency Walter Peterson, was presented by Representative Spiro to President Higgins.

The Henry VanVliet Award, given annually, was presented to two recipients, Joseph Lacerte and Representative Chris Spiro, for their meritorious service.

The keynote speaker, John Nagle, expressed his appreciation for the invitation to revisit New Hampshire and hoped to see even more progress in improving the conditions for equalized opportunity for the blind people of New Hampshire and in strengthening the Federation here.

He went on to say that the blind people refuse to be coerced into accepting less than equal opportunity for equal rights. They have earned the right and demand the right for full recognition of acceptance. He concluded by urging us to strengthen and support our Federation.

The president closed the convention by extending an invitation to attend the 1972 convention in Concord, New Hampshire.

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by Robert Acosta

Those people who blandly state that the organized blind should strive to work with and through the various public and private agencies for the blind because we are all trying to accomplish the same ends, I would ask to read the following narrative. After doing so, they must conclude as I do that there are still too many State agencies for the blind which are openly hostile to the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, despite the fact that we represent the largest blind consumer group in this nation.

When elected president of the newly formed Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind at the NFB Convention in Houston, Texas, I pledged to do everything in my power to inform all of the blind teachers in this nation about this organization.

The major purpose of the Division is a three-fold one. First, we meet to share those experiences which will help us to be stronger teachers both academically and professionally. Second, we seek to educate school administrators to the fact that blindness in a teacher need not be an insurmountable handicap. Third, we intend to sponsor progressive national and state legislation on behalf of the blind teachers of this country. There are too many States which continue to ignore the fact that we are being discriminated against, not because we lack the ability or the qualifications to teach, but solely due to the fact that we happen to be blind. Such legislation will be drafted and passed through the strenuous efforts of the National Federation of the Blind.

I believe that it is appropriate at this time to point out that the Federation has never attacked any other organization of and for the blind unless they have forced us to do so by their antagonism towards us. We believe that our good work speaks for itself. It is with this belief in mind that we went about our work of informing blind teachers and would-be educators about the National Federation of the Blind.

Within a few weeks after my election I was winging my way to Syracuse, New York, to speak to some one hundred thirty-two blind students at a pre-college orientation program sponsored jointly by the State Department of Rehabilitation and Syracuse University. I came in good will, not to coerce, but to inform these young people about the advantages of joining the Teachers Division of the NFB, and was greeted with outright hostility from the very beginning by the counsellors who were supervising the program.

After some effort and in spite of much lack of cooperation on the part of the agency officials, I was able to gather about fifteen blind youngsters in the dormitory lounge in order to inform them of the many services provided by the National Federation of the Blind. With regard to the teaching profession, I told them that it was in 1968 that the Federation, working through its great New York affiliate the Empire State Association of the Blind, was able to pass a special act of legislature which allowed New York City to hire well qualified blind teachers. I believe that these students were truly beginning to listen to me, for they were starting to ask some very intelligent questions about the NFB. Just at that time, the counsellor who was present, a Mr. Len Shaw, began to harrass me and to undermine my efforts. He pointed out that there was no need for the organized blind in this State because of the great work done by the Department of Rehabilitation. When I informed the students that there were some fifty-eight blind teachers working in New York State, he declared that I was wrong, that there were three hundred blind teachers now employed in New York. Then he abruptly got up and insisted that many of the students leave with him. In spite of his efforts, some individuals did stay to give our cause a fair hearing. I believe that these few who stayed will be future Federationists.

The next day I stationed myself near the dormitory elevator so that I could meet with and talk to those students whom I could not reach the night before. While I was handing out literature and engaging in fervent discussions with these youngsters about the Federation, the Program Director, a Miss Ronnie Gilligan, approached me to say in a very loud voice that I was not welcome at the University because she did not believe in the goals of my organization. As you could well imagine, this put quite a damper on my organizational efforts. As one of the students later told me, "I don't want to get in trouble with the Director." Never mind that it is illegal for an employee of a State agency for the blind to thwart the organizational efforts of the organized blind, and never mind that I found these officials to be quite uncooperative and insulting to me. Even more tragically, they were trying to convince the one hundred thirty-two blind students enrolled in this program that things were so good in New York that there was no need for an organized blind movement. Yet, just a few weeks later, President Jernigan received a letter from a young college student who, by the way, was attending the University of Syracuse. In this letter, the young man was bemoaning the fact that the special needs grant for blind college students was being greatly reduced. This, in spite of the fact that the rehabilitation counsellors at the summer orientation program assured their students that everything is coming roses in New York State.

Next, we turn to our organizational efforts in Illinois. As Monitor readers will recall, early this summer, I responded to an invitation by Dr. Edith Spees of Southern Illinois University to participate in a Statewide blind teachers conference to be held at the end of June at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois. In my response to her kind invitation, I had to decline because it came to my attention that one of the sponsoring groups was the Illinois affiliate of the American Council of the Blind. As Federationists all know, the American Council has not only sought to undermine the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, but even worse in my opinion, they have engaged in personal attacks upon President Kenneth Jernigan, even to the extent of trying to have him removed as the director of the finest State agency for the blind in this country, the Iowa Commission for the Blind. With this in mind, I could not take part in this proposed conference.

In talking with Dr. Spees over the telephone, she stated that I should understand that this was to be a non-partisan conference. Although she was sorry that I could not attend, she did appreciate the fact that it was a matter of principle. She promised at that time to forward me a copy of the list of blind teachers in the State of Illinois. I thought that our conversation ended on a very friendly note. Later in the summer, after again corresponding with her requesting the promised list, I received a rather curt letter from her stating that she had sent my letter to Mr. Floyd Cargill, the State Director of Services for the Visually Handicapped. She concluded her letter by asking me to join the American Council's Teachers Division because all of the blind should work together. I have not yet heard from Mr. Cargill, let alone received the list.

Recently, a membership application and cover letter has come into our hands for the teachers organization of the American Council of the Blind in the State of Illinois. In reviewing their constitution, I found many things wrong with it, the most glaring point being that just eight members represent a quorum. I also noticed that the stationery and the return address was that of the Department of Rehabilitation.

I'm certain that it is most clear to our readers that the State agency for the blind in Illinois has taken the side of the American Council and hence is working against the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind. I believe that the State agency is placing all of its resources behind the American Council's new teachers organization, which, by the way, was formed at the supposedly non-partisan teachers conference at Southern Illinois University.

What would the Teachers Division of the NFB expect from the State agency? All we want is the list of blind teachers which they have compiled. We do not need or want the use of Rehab stationery. Never shall the Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind be a "front group" for any public or private agency. Give us the list, and we shall finish the job.

As the readers of The Monitor can see, the first few months of the Teachers Division have been stormy ones. We have chosen to take our stand because the Federation shall never flinch in the face of outright opposition by State agencies for the blind. We will be reasonable when possible, but fight we will. We know that there are good agencies for the blind, and we welcome their support. But to those agencies who would stand in our way and prevent us from being heard, agencies like the ones in New York and Illinois, I say to you that the Federation is unstoppable. For we will organize in spite of your efforts to prevent us from doing so.

One might conclude that the picture is indeed a bleak one for the Teachers Division, but this is certainly not the case. We have and are receiving more and more support each day from blind educators who want to join the Federation. We are convincing them to join our organization, not by attacking the other group and not through any collusion with Rehab; they are joining the Division and hence the Federation because they realize that the National Federation of the Blind does not speak for the blind, but is the blind speaking for themselves.

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On November 6 and 7 a group of dedicated and determined blind persons gathered at the Fremont Hotel in downtown Las Vegas to attend the annual convention of the Nevada Federation of the Blind.

The group was welcomed by the mayors of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. Then what has got to be the highlight of the convention followed. First, Roger Trounday, the newly-appointed Director of the State Department of Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation spoke. He said he was fully aware of the deep differences between the Federation and the State Services for the Blind Division, and more specifically, the Director of that Division. He expressed the desire that there would be cooperation in the future between the Federation and the Division and hoped that never again would he witness the blind fighting the blind before the Legislature in Carson City since the cause of the blind was hurt badly by such occurrences.

When Mr. Trounday finished his plea for cooperation, several Federationists in the audience forcefully pointed out that there was no instance of the blind fighting the blind but rather of the organized blind fighting what they believed to be an inadequate agency and its Supervisor.

Next came a panel discussion chaired by John Tait and consisting of four blind Federationists each of whom testified to his or her unfortunate experiences with the Division of Services to the Blind. One was a thirty-six-year-old graduate student who stated that the Division had placed roadblocks in his path for the past three years in his effort to secure advanced degrees to prepare himself for the profession of social work administration.

Another panelist was a twenty-seven-year-old woman who had been trained as a secretary and then left alone in her quest for employment. A third recounted the "run-a-round" he had received from the Division after having received vending stand training. The fourth panelist described in detail the refusal of the Division to provide him with cane travel training and necessary equipment in his effort to establish himself as a masseur.

The Director of the Department of Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation remained throughout the presentation of the panelists. A further confrontation then occurred between him and spokesmen for the organized blind of Nevada. The convention then adopted unanimously two resolutions—one pointing out the specific inadequacies of the Division of Services to the Blind and the other highly critical of the Division's administration of the vending stand program.

Nearly one hundred persons attended the banquet, including several members of the Nevada Legislature. The festivities were ably conducted by the venerable K. O. Knudson. Perry Sundquist, representing the National Federation of the Blind, gave the banquet address. He detailed the problem areas which were found in the administration of Nevada's services for the blind by the NFB's Evaluation in 1970. He then discussed the legislative program of the NFB in the 92nd Congress.

On the second day of the convention a constitutional amendment was adopted which prohibits voting by proxy. After a thorough discussion the members voted unanimously to change the name of the organization from the Nevada Federation of the Blind to the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada.

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: president, Audrey Tait, Las Vegas; first vice-president, K. O. Knudson, Las Vegas; second vice-president, Tommie Lee, Reno; secretary, John Tait, Las Vegas; treasurer, Glenda Leake, Las Vegas; chaplain, Paul Quick, Las Vegas; board members: Cleo Fellers, Las Vegas; Carl Clontz, Hawthorne; Jean Savage, Reno; and Ella Council, Las Vegas.

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by Jo Werne

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Miami (Florida) Herald.]

Joan Carlson's long, slender fingers glide skillfully over the dozens of dials and switches on the components of her ham radio station. They stop, make a choice. A dial turned one direction might bring in the voice of a fellow ham in Detroit. Turned another and she might get Yugoslavia. With a lightning-fast touch, Joan's fingers tap out a message in Morse Code on an automatic key. Thirty words per minute carry through the air waves in a staccato voice.

Oblivious to those around her, Joan becomes engrossed in a conversation that is just a series of beeps to the layman. But to Joan they are thoughts and ideas and companionship from people she's never met, except on the air. In ham slang, she has "a good fist"—a talent for ham radio operation. And, WB4GHD, as her call letters identify her, has an advanced license to prove it. She is, also, totally blind since her birth twenty-one years ago. Her blindness does not seem to be a handicap to her, but rather just a minor annoyance that requires some adjustment.

One adjustment in her ham radio hobby is the method of keeping a log, "Most hams have just one big book, but I have stacks and stacks because I use Braille paper," Joan explained, showing a pile of thick Braille paper covered with raised dots. "When I contact someone, I use my Braille writer to record his call letters, the power running at the time, frequency, the location and time of conversation." She has memorized the call letters of more than two hundred contacts, most of whom have sent her their cards which cover the walls of her station. Joan's station tucked in a hall in her parents' North Miami home contains $2,000 worth of equipment neatly arranged on two shelves.

The components were collected slowly, a piece at a time, enabling Joan to thoroughly learn one phase of the operation before moving on to another. The only concession made to her blindness is a tiny strip of Braille tape on some of the dials to let her know how many degrees to turn the knob. Several of Joan's radio contacts are blind like herself, although her sightlessness isn't something she usually brings up "until I know the person fairly well." Some of her radio friends were classmates at the School for the Blind in St. Augustine which she attended twelve years. Now scattered about the State, the school chums had been introduced to Morse Code and ham radio operation by a math teacher.

Being a ham also brought Joan romance. While attending Miami-Dade Junior College the past two years, Joan became active in a Carol City radio club where she met Steve Miles, twenty-four, an amateur ham. They plan to marry as soon as Steve graduates from the University of Florida where he is majoring in electrical engineering. "Last year while I was in Gainesville, Joan and I had a 'date' every night at eight o'clock via the radio," said Steve. "It's a great way to communicate and much cheaper than making a long distance call."

Joan's father, Ernest Carlson, a mechanical inspector for Eastern Airlines, shares her interest in the station. He built the station and constructed two large antennas. "But when it comes to sending, Joan is the expert," said Mrs. Carlson, who jokingly complains that the "beep-beep" of the Morse Code "drives me up the wall" when Joan decides to contact Europe at 3 a.m. sometimes.

Joan, who was blinded when too much oxygen was pumped into her incubator, has a twin sister, Jane, who has perfect sight. Jane is now Mrs. Gene Murphy and lives just a couple blocks away from the Carlsons. There is also a younger sister, Sharon, nineteen, who is a dental assistant. A May graduate of Miami-Dade, Joan plans to go to Orlando in September to study computer programming. Although she is looking forward to entering the field of computers, it is a compromise. "What I'd really love to be is a meteorologist," she confided, "but there would be problems with reading the maps."

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Governor Edgar Whitcomb of Indiana has appointed Mr. Bashir Ahmed Masoodi of Gary to the Indiana Rehabilitation Services Board. The seven-member board was created by the 1971 Indiana General Assembly to coordinate and direct services to blind, handicapped and disabled Hoosiers. The Indiana Agency for the Blind, till recently under the State Board of Health will become a division of the new board.

Mr. Masoodi was born in the famous Valley of Kashmir, now a part of India. He received his early education at Church Mission High School in Kashmir and graduated from the University of Kashmir. He received a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Delhi.

Around this time his sight started giving him trouble. The prognosis of his condition being not too optimistic, he entered the work for the blind. He received a Master of Science degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York under a scholarship from New York Institute for the Education of the Blind, New York. He was an instructor of multi-handicapped blind children at the Institute until 1961.

That year he moved to Gary, Indiana as a resource coordinator for visually impaired students with the Community and Public Schools Corporation of Gary. Mr. Masoodi is the first legally blind person to receive a life credential to teach in the public schools of the State of Indiana (see Braille Monitor, June 1967). He is also Program Director at Highbrook Lodge of the Cleveland Society for the Blind in Chardon, Ohio.

Mr. Masoodi has taken additional graduate work at Adelphi University, Garden City, New York and Indiana University Northwest Campus, where he taught courses in Special Education and Rehabilitation.

Bashir Masoodi is a member of the Indiana Board of Directors (Indiana Council of the Blind-Board of Directors), the NFB affiliate in that State. He is a staunch Federationist and credits Dr. Jacobus tenBroek as being one of the greatest inspiring persons in his life. He is also a member of the American Federation of Teachers-AFL-CIO, Association for Education of the Visually Handicapped, World Federation of Instructors of the Exceptional and International Council for Exceptional Children.

In addition to Bashir Masoodi, Ronald Workman is the other blind member of the Indiana Rehabilitation Services Board. Mr. Workman, of Goshen, Indiana was elected vice chairman of the board at its first meeting.

The General Assembly of Indiana in its recent session had passed a resolution asking the American Foundation for the Blind to make a study of services to blind Hoosiers. At present Indiana is last among the States and the territories of the U. S. in providing services to blind and handicapped persons. At the suggestion of Mr. Masoodi, the Rehabilitation Services Board has decided to invite the National Federation of the Blind also to take part in the study. The Board has also decided to hold its meetings in various parts of the State to hear the views of interested individuals, including the consumers of its services.

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by John Nagle

[Editor's Note: Following is the statement of John F. Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office of the National Federation of the Blind, submitted to Subcommittee 5 of the Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, in Public Hearings re bills related to the selection of jurors in Federal Courts, November 11, 1971.]

Mr. Chairman, as you consider measures affecting the selection of jurors in Federal courts, we ask that you examine the policy of automatically excluding persons who are blind simply because they are blind from jury service with a view toward changing this policy.

Today, Mr. Chairman, thousands of blind men and women are each day demonstrating the almost limitless capabilities of persons without sight to function competently, competitively, and successfully in our sight-structured society. They are demonstrating the capabilities of the blind person by actual on-the-job functioning, by actually earning a living in the usual professions and occupations of the community, by actually participating in the burdens and responsibilities of full and active community membership.

But in spite of all this, Mr. Chairman, misconceptions about blindness still are too generally accepted, today, as they were a thousand years ago, and the condition of blindness is still equated with utter and complete helplessness. Blind persons continue to be excluded from the unrestricted enjoyment of all the rights, privileges, and obligations which are theirs as Americans and which are neither diminished or lost to them by reason of their loss of sight.

One such derivative of American citizenship is that one may be the judge of his peers in the courts of the land. Blind persons are often being denied the opportunity to serve on a jury in the Federal courts. They are denied this opportunity which is a right and responsibility of all Americans as Americans.

Section 1865 of title 28 of the United States Code provides that the chief judge of a District Court shall determine whether a prospective juror is unqualified for or entitled to exemption or excuse from jury service. Under sub-division (b) of this section, in making such determination, a person is considered qualified to serve on a grand or petit jury in the district court unless he "(4) is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory service. . . ."

Too often, Mr, Chairman, the above words "is incapable by reason of . . . physical infirmity . . ." are construed by Federal judges as the sole basis for excluding blind persons from participating as citizens in the judicial process by denying them the right to serve as jurors.

I would remind you that the English-American jury system is grounded upon the fundamental democratic assumption that rank and file citizens possess the intelligence, judgement, and experience to judge the facts in the lives of their fellows when such facts are in dispute and resolution of such disputes are brought before the courts for solution. It is the wisdom of the random citizen upon which our jury trials are premised. Too often, Federal district court judges give credence to false notions and act upon the misconception that intelligence can only be brought to bear upon facts if one has sight, that only with sight can one exercise judgement, only by the possession of sight can one gain wisdom and experience to qualify a person to function in concert with others as judges of evidence in Federal courts.

Too often, Federal court judges will only accept vision as though it were man's solitary learning and observing faculty and totally disregard hearing as an alternative method by which facts and intelligence are merged, giving a reliable foundation for judgement, opinions, and evaluations. The blind man, with his developed hearing ability, may judge the demeanor of a witness through his voice—enunciation, emphasis, tone, manner of speaking—with as much, if not greater, accuracy, than can the sighted man, untrained to observe and evaluate from observation, uneducated and unskilled in the use of his sight.

Too often, Federal court judges diqualify a blind person from jury service because "how will he be able to see and judge the exhibits which are offered as evidence?" How can a blind person observe and evaluate written documents, X-rays, photographs, moving pictures, diagrams, hand-writing, enlarged fingerprints, how can he function where identification of a person is an issue?

In each of these instances, the answer to the seemingly unanswerable question is a very obvious and simple one. No lawyer of any competence will offer a diagram or photograph or any other physical exhibit as evidence in a trial and just rely upon the ability of the jury to comprehend and accept his view of the evidence. He will discuss the exhibit and explain its implications for his client. He will verbally draw pictures of the exhibit that the jury may better understand, and the blind juror who has learned to observe from hearing, the blind juror who has developed his ability to understand through hearing which others gain an understanding of by sight—the blind juror will be better informed about the exhibit under discussion. The sighted juror has learned only to look and learns little or nothing from such looking, the sighted juror relies entirely upon his sight and learns little or nothing from the explanations of counsel for he has not learned to listen either.

Then, of course, the able attorney will call upon witnesses who will orally give testimony to support his expositions of the exhibits which he offers as evidence. And the views of counsel as to the meaning and weight of certain physical evidence will be orally tested through cross-examination and contrary witnesses of opposing counsel. In short, Mr. Chairman, the very nature of the adversary trial which translates physical exhibits into spoken words serve to bring exhibits offered in evidence within the comprehension of the blind juror and his judgements, based upon listening, are far more sound than are those of the sighted juror who looks but does not see, who listens but does not hear.

No, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, the National Federation of the Blind does not argue that blind persons are superior to sighted jurors—but only argues that they are equal to them. We do not argue that blind persons should serve as jurors in every and any case which comes before the Federal district courts. We only ask that the present exclusionary policy be reversed, that instead of assuming a blind person is unfit to serve on a jury in every case, that there be a presumption of his qualification to serve.

In furtherance of this, we offer for your consideration an amendment to Section 1865 (b)(4) so that it would then read:

"(4) is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity to render satisfactory service. LOSS OF SIGHT IN ITSELF AND OF ITSELF SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A PHYSICAL INFIRMITY EXCLUDING A PERSON FROM JURY SERVICE."

This proposal as enacted law would assure blind persons an increased possibility of participation in the Federal judicial system. Nor would it deprive a Federal judge from disqualifying a blind person from jury service in any case, which, in his unbiased judgement, blindness would reasonably amount to an unsurmountable obstacle to functioning fully as a juror. Nor would lawyers be compelled to accept a blind juror, but could promptly and properly exclude him by the exercise of a preemptory challenge or a challenge for cause.

Gentlemen, there may be those who regard jury service as an onerous and inconvenient intrustion into their private and daily activities and will do all possible to gain exemption from the courtroom call to duty. But to the blind of this nation, all aspects of citizenship are prized and valued goals that have for too long been denied to us. For too long, we have been Americans without rights that are guaranteed to all. For too long, we have been excluded not only from the privileges available and assured to all Americans, but we have been excluded from the burdens and duties and responsibilities of full and first-class citizenship—and we have protested against our exclusion from such burdens, duties, and responsiblities with a determination for equality no less forceful than our assertion that we share alike with all others in the rights, privileges, and opportunities of our American inheritance.

We ask that you approve our proposed amendment that we may share with our sighted fellows, to the extent that is reasonable and sensible, in the Federal judicial process, that we may share with them and function with them as judges of our peers.

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I am the second child among six. Having reached the age of twenty, I seem to have inherited some of the rugged individuality, the carefree fun-loving spirit, and the wish to do well that are so characteristic of the atmosphere in my home.

I have been legally blind since my birth, and for all practical purposes totally blind for the past fourteen years. My third eye operation happened when I was six, and when it was over I was blind. I was resentful, bitter, and scared. I had determined that blindness was an irreparable tragic blow to my being. Henceforth, I would spend much time doing nothing except sitting alone and becoming more bitter. I was doing rather well; I had collected almost as much dust as the knick-knacks on our book shelf. Then my mother decided that it was time for a change of scenery and literally dragged me outside to "play." My first lesson about the proper attitude concerning blindness wasn't much fun, but it was taught to me in the form of a good time on a swing set.

The State residential school endured my presence for five years. I then moved on to school in my former home town of Boone, Iowa. After my graduation, I spent a year receiving training at the adult orientation center of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. In the fall of 1970, I enrolled at the University of Notre Dame where I am now a sophomore.

In addition to school, my educational experiences have been those of a curious American. My hobbies have included such varied projects as mechanics, cooking, reading, and singing. I like to swim, shoot pool, water ski, play cards, and skate both on wheels and on ice. What I have known of winter sports has delighted me, and, of course, one of my most engaging present pastimes is girl-watching.

I was introduced to the National Federation of the Blind during my sojourn at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Under the tutelage of Kenneth Jernigan, the President of the Federation and the Director of the Commission, I began to understand the organized blind movement. We had several discussions about blindness and the blind, and as it happened I inevitably lost the debate, but I did grow to recognize the need for organization. Incidentally, I consider it a feather in my cap to have won a bet with Mr. Jernigan.

The Student Division was organized at the 1967 Convention. At that organizational meeting there were about thirty people. At the past 1971 Convention the Student Division meeting was attended by about one hundred fifty interested persons. We have grown in membership, and are growing still, both in numbers and in activities. There are now ten student or young peoples' divisions across the nation, with the prospect of two more within the year. Thus far in 1970 Student Division representatives have been seeking new members in New Mexico, Minnesota, Texas, Montana, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and Iowa. The St. Cloud discrimination in which first vice-president Mary Hartle figured so prominently has now been brought to a successful close, and the Division's Secretary Curtis Chong is presently negotiating with officials on the University of Hawaii Campus because the blind students attending that school have no place where they may study after four-thirty. In a manner somewhat similar to that in which Loren Schmitt was treated by the rehab center on the University of Illinois campus the officials of the rehab center on the University of Hawaii campus are ordering and arranging the lives of the blind students.

In an effort to make these rehabilitation centers effective, the Student Division has requested and been granted permission to do a survey of the program on the Illinois campus. This survey is one of the most immediate future concerns of the Division. We plan to continue organizational proselytizing, and wherever possible we will give advice or help to any student desiring it. (In this connection the student handbooks—revised—are available from either myself or Jim Gashel, the immediate past president of the Student Division.)

As we understand it, the first duty of a division is to the organization of which it is a part, and as such the Student Division will work in whatever way we can to make the NFB greater movement. We plan to do some survey work, book surveys, or commentaries on television programs, but the place of a division is not to lead, but to advise, provide a forum for learning, train its members in this business of organization, and fill the ranks of the larger group on the battlefield. We are an entity in one sense only. We are not a division of the NFB, but a division IN the NFB. We stand together with all our colleagues in the movement.

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by Debra Opdycke

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Trenton (New Jersey) Sunday Times Advertiser.]

Mrs. Tharon Adams, Terri to her friends, is a typist-transcriber at United Progress Inc. (UPI), Trenton's anti-poverty agency. That may not sound too impressive, but add to it the fact that Mrs. Adams is blind, and the feeling changes.

Mrs. Adams has been blind for twelve years, but her blindness wasn't sudden. Eye trouble had plagued Mrs. Adams ever since she was nineteen when she was hit in the eye with a softball. "I suffered a detached retina but no one knew about it because my eye was so swollen. By the time doctors found out, it had healed and reattached itself," she explains.

"Some years later, I jumped from a ladder and re-detached it and a short time later, I fell down the subway steps in New York and detached the other retina. I also had glaucoma, and since the two are antagonistic to each other, I had an idea of the prognosis," she continues. . . .

Mrs. Adams' three daughters have grown up with their mother's gradual blindness and then her total blindness. She says they adjusted to it because it has always been present in their lives. "I think my husband took it pretty hard and sometimes I think it hurt him more than me. But he has always bolstered and encouraged me to go on," she says.

John E. Adams is a chemical technician at U. S. Steel. He met his wife while he was in the service stationed in New York during World War II. . . .

A former rhetoric and algebra major at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, Mrs. Adams decided to go back to work when all her children were married and had left home. But she found the going rough.

"I found people indifferent in their attitudes towards hiring a blind person," she explains. "I tried many of the local department stores (many of which have since moved out of Trenton), and some other private firms and some employment offices and the State employment office. They all seemed to have the 'Don't-call-us-we'll-call-you' attitude.

"It was very discouraging. No one even wanted to give me a chance," she continued. She had gone through training at The Lighthouse in New York City, a training center for the blind. She received training in typing and transcribing and also traveling with a cane. "I didn't want a seeing-eye dog because I don't really like dogs."

She had also taken tests with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and was found to have an aptitude for computer programming training or training as a medical secretary. "The Commission wanted to send me for computer programming training in Maryland for a year, but I didn't want to be away from my family for that long. So I looked for a job in this area."

None seemed to be around until she went to UPI six months ago. She has been there ever since. Executive Director Albert "Bo" Robinson hired her and says "It's good to have her on board. She's a good worker."

"When I first came here, although I wasn't aware of it until sometime later, my co-workers would follow me down the hall to make sure that I didn't bump into anything or didn't go into the wrong office. They were very patient with me and for that, I'm very grateful," she says.

Mrs. Adams follows a normal schedule. She gets up in the morning at 7:30, "I like an extra half hour," and does all the normal things any housewife does in the morning. Her husband or friends drive her to work and also pick her up at the end of the day.

She has no extra gadgets or conveniences in the house or at work. "One thing I will have to get though is a Braille watch. I'm aware of the passage of time by certain routine things that happen every day, but at night or early in the morning, I can only guess at the time." . . .

Mrs. Adams has no real hobbies "because I'm so busy with my job and my home and my friends that I really don't have the time." She goes shopping with her husband or friends for her clothes and "usually when I feel the garment, I'll know whether it's what I want or not. I like to keep my styles simple and neatly tailored.". . .

As for the future, Mrs. Adams will stay at UPI. She talks of maybe someday going to night school and would maybe like to try her hand at social work or becoming a medical secretary. "But right now I'm happy here. I was given a chance."

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by John Knall

The Silver Anniversary Convention of the Ohio Council of the Blind was held on October 22 through 25, 1971, at the Commodore Perry Motor Inn in Toledo. The executive board met on Friday evening and on Saturday morning. They had another meeting on Sunday evening after the banquet.

After the usual opening ceremonies we were welcomed by Mrs. Helen Johnson, chairman of the convention committee of the host affiliate, the Toledo Federation of the Blind. She introduced the Honorable Harry Kesler, Mayor of Toledo, who also made us welcome. We were welcomed by Ben Snyder of the Toledo Lions. She then introduced the OCB president, Ray Creech, and presented him with his gavel. The other officers were introduced—vice president, Tom Matthews, Jr.; secretary, John Knall; and treasurer, Ivan Garwood.

Roll call showed that twenty-two of the twenty-four affiliates were present. Two new affiliates were installed this year. The Capital City Council of the Blind from Columbus and the Lucas County Federation of the Blind from Toledo.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Lancelot Thompson, vice-president of the University of Toledo, who spoke on the theme of the convention, "Unity, a new era for the blind." Next we heard from an ophthalmologist, Dr. Richard Torchia. He told us about the new techniques in eye surgery and eye research. A question period followed.

Last year the constitution committee was instructed to prepare quite a number of OCB constitutional changes. They prepared nine amendments for the consideration of the convention. At this time an amendment having to do with the establishing of a nominating committee was discussed and tabled. Another amendment was considered which forbade members of the Ohio Council of the Blind from membership in the American Council of the Blind or any of its divisions. This amendment was adopted.

Jim Omvig, representing the NFB, told us of national legislative activities, discrimination battles, court cases, problems with some of the sheltered shops, and all the things the National Federation is doing and attempting to do.

After this we heard six affiliate reports. It is customary at the OCB conventions to read three-minute affiliate reports scattered throughout the convention. The Ohio Council has three divisions which have affiliate status. The Student Division, the Members-at-Large, and the Ohio Blind Vendors. They each held meetings in the early evening. The OBV had a dinner meeting followed by a business meeting. At nine o'clock there was a dance in the main ball room of the hotel and everyone had a good time.

Sunday morning there were memorial and church services for those who cared to attend. The general session followed with the roll call and the treasurer's report by Ivan Garwood. The executive secretary, Mrs. Edna Fillinger, read her audited 1970 financial report. Copies of both reports were distributed to each affiliate. The secretary, John Knall read the minutes of the executive board, and one of the rulings—concerning the rate per mile for car travel—was returned by the convention to the board.

Next we heard from Al Williamson, a planning specialist from the Baltimore office of the Social Security Administration. He explained House Bill 1 to us, both the provisions and the administration. A question and answer period followed. The afternoon session began with a panel discussion, with panelists State Representative Casey Jones; Donald Morrow, director of the welfare department of Lucas County, a blind man; and Jim Omvig. Mr. Jones told us how a bill is passed through the State Legislature, through both houses and to the Governor's desk. On hearing this we wondered how any bills are ever passed. Donald Morrow told us of our rights as welfare recipients and aid to the blind clients. Questions and discussion followed.

The report of the constitution committee followed with John Knall as chairman. The committee reviewed six affiliate constitutions checking for sixteen specific points which OCB affiliate constitutions must contain. This committee also extracts from the executive board minutes and convention minutes all motions or resolutions which make policy decisions. Article I, Section 1 of our constitution was amended as follows: "The name of this organization shall be the Ohio Council of the Blind, but, henceforth, it shall do business under the trade name of 'the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio'." This amendment was adopted enthusiastically.

The Silver Anniversary Banquet was opened with the invocation by the right Reverend Monsignor A.J. Doyle. Homer Jackson, convention co-chairman, introduced the toastmaster. Judge Robert Franklin. Robert Eschbach made the OCB awards. The first went to Stanley Doran, a staff member of Pilot Dogs as the blind person of most service to the blind of Ohio. The next award went to Miss Ruth Garwood as the sighted person of most service to the blind of Ohio. The affiliate award was presented to Miss Mary Ann Smith, president of the Toledo Federation of the Blind, the most active and innovative chapter in the OCB. Two runners-up for this award were Mentioned—the Hancock County Association of the Blind and the Queen City League of the Sightless.

Dewey Cummings made awards on behalf of the Toledo Federation. The first was to Dr. George Herman, Vice Provost of Bowling Green University, for accepting blind students on campus without any special consideration or privileges because of their blindness. There are currently thirteen blind students enrolled in the University. The next award was to Father Phil Rapp, district governor of Lions International, for their contribution to eye research and prevention of blindness, and for general support of the blind of the Toledo area. The Toledo Federation had our NFB charter framed and it was presented to our president, Ray Creech. Mrs. Jackie Cummings sang a few popular songs for us. As the highlight of the banquet Jim Omvig delivered a very inspiring and informative address.

At the Monday session the minutes of the executive board meetings were read and the convention adopted a motion to approve the actions of the board at all three meetings. Then we heard NFB delegate reports from Edna Fillinger and Ray Creech. Tom Matthews, chairman of the membership committee reported on the possibility of a new affiliate in the Marietta area. He told of the work involved in organizing the Capital City Council and the Lucas County Federation.

Ray Creech in his presidential report reviewed his activities in the past year. Mrs. Rita Bresler was selected by the executive board as executive secretary. This officer traditionally conducts the election of officers. The results of this election were as follows: President, Mrs. Edna Fillinger, Cleveland; first vice-president, Tom Matthews, Akron; second vice-president, Ray Creech, Dayton; secretary, Mrs. Shirley Stowe, Niles; and treasurer, Ivan Garwood, North Baltimore. Charles Burton was elected to a one-year term on the executive committee and John Knall and J. Dewey Cummings were elected to two-year terms on the executive committee. NFB Convention delegates are Edna Fillinger and Mrs. Helen Johnson. Alternate delegates are Larry Liston and Tom Matthews. The officers were installed by William Dressell. The 1972 convention will be held in Akron and the 1973 convention in Dayton. The report of the finance committee, Edna Fillinger, chairman, was read and accepted. Thus ended the Silver Anniversary convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.

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by Betty Burnside

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

Recent publicity in various news media has broadened the base of persons in the general population who know at least some facts concerning public assistance under Federally aided programs. Although they may not remember the exact figures, large numbers of people have read that there were over twelve million public assistance recipients in November 1970, almost seven million of them children, and that the annual cost of maintenance payments is currently more than nine billion dollars. But the roster of recipients includes many more than these few facts.

What are the people like who for a period of time in their lives need financial help? To some extent their characteristics are delimited by the programs under which they are served. One of these characteristics is age. There are four different types of Federally aided public assistance:

Three-fourths of all recipients receive aid to families with dependent children, a program designed for the purpose of encouraging care of dependent children in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. States furnish financial assistance and rehabilitation and other services to help the parents or relatives to attain or retain capability for the maximum self-support and personal independence consistent with the maintenance of continuing parental care and protection. Contrary to the popular stereotype of a large household overflowing with children, the average AFDC family consists of just four persons—a mother and three children. Close to three-fourths of all AFDC recipients are children, with a median age of nine years. Most of these children are under age eighteen; one-third are under age six. The few (less than three percent) aged eighteen to twenty are eligible for AFDC because they are regularly attending school or a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit them for gainful employment. The average AFDC mother is fairly young (median age thirty-two years). There is a father in the home of less than one-fifth of all AFDC families, and most of these men are either incapacitated or unemployed. The average incapacitated father is considerably older (median age forty-nine years) than one who is unemployed (thirty-five years).

In terms of numbers of recipients (seventeen percent of the total), the second largest program is old-age assistance, designed to help needy individuals who are sixty-five years of age or older. The median age of OAA recipients is seventy-seven years; over one-third are eighty and over. The longer life expectancy of women is probably one of the factors accounting for the fact that over two-thirds of OAA recipients are female. However, the prevalence of females in the population of OAA recipients is much greater than in the U. S. population aged sixty-five and over, in which fifty-five percent are women.

The third largest program is aid to the permanently and totally disabled (seven and one-half percent of all recipients). Under this program, financial assistance is given to needy disabled persons eighteen years of age or older, and States are encouraged to furnish rehabilitation and other services to help such individuals attain or retain capability for self-support or self-care. The median age of APTD recipients is fifty-five years, and just over half of all recipients are women.

The fourth program, and by far the smallest (less than one percent of all recipients), is aid to the blind, that is, needy persons who meet the specific definition of blindness, in terms of ophthalmic measurement, of the State in which they live. In addition to money payments, States are encouraged, when practicable, to furnish rehabilitation and other services to help such individuals attain or retain capability for self-support or self-care. There is no age limitation in this program, and although there are AB recipients under eighteen and over eighty-five years old, the median age is sixty-one years.

Time on assistance. Contrary to the popular myth of successive generations on welfare, most recipients receive assistance for only a very limited period of time. The average for AFDC families is just under twenty-three months; for APTD recipients, a little over two and one-half years. Together, these two types of recipients account for more than eight in ten of all persons who receive Federally aided public assistance. The average recipient of OAA and AB has required welfare for help for a period of about six years, indicating that for many persons old age and blindness are relatively greater handicaps than other conditions which lead to dependence.

Place of residence. Public assistance recipients are primarily urban dwellers. Over eight in ten of AFDC families now live in an urbanized area, as do about two in three of the recipients of OAA, APTD, and AB. Thus, the overall concentration of welfare recipients in urban areas is similar to that of the general population (in 1970, seventy-three and five-tenths percent), and for AFDC alone, is considerably higher.

Race. The majority of welfare recipients are white (fifty-eight percent), and most of the remainder are black. Less than two percent are American Indians. The racial distribution varies considerably, however, among the various categories of public assistance. The proportions of black and white families on AFDC are nearly equal, whereas three in four recipients of old-age assistance are white, as are about two in three recipients of AB and APTD. About one in seven AFDC families is of Latin American birth or ancestry, with Puerto Rican and Mexican lineage predominating.

Marital status. Considerably more than half of all adult welfare recipients are not presently married. A deceased spouse is most common among recipients of old-age assistance (fifty-four percent), as would be expected because of their placement in the life cycle relative to the other groups. The incidence of divorce or separation is highest among AFDC families (twenty-seven percent), for whom marital breakup ranks on a par with birth out of wedlock as an immediate cause of dependency on welfare. Although the parents are presently married in about forty percent of all AFDC families, both parents are in the home in only eighteen percent. In most AFDC families (ninety-two percent), the mother is in the home with the dependent children. Spinsterhood or bachelorhood is found most often among recipients of APTD (thirty-seven percent), and it is possible that many of these persons did not marry because of their physical disabilities.

Education. The considerable variation in the educational level of adult public assistance recipients is related in part to differences in age. In general, younger adults in the United States have completed more grades of school than older adults. Among AFDC mothers—the youngest group of adult recipients—there are proportionately more high school graduates (eighteen percent) than for any other group. The median number of grades of school completed by AFDC mothers (ten) is close to the median of ten and eight-tenths grades for all females in the United States aged fourteen years and over. About half of all mothers have attended high school, compared with considerably less than one-fifth of OAA, APTD, and AB recipients. Among these latter groups of aged, disabled, and blind persons, well over half do not even have an eighth grade education. About one in ten recipients of AB have attended a school for the blind and/or have had special home teaching.

Employment. The fact than an individual needs public assistance is indicative of a lack of current lucrative employment or other income. In addition, old age, disability, lack of job skills, and child care responsibilities often act as barriers to employment for persons having these characteristics. As might be expected, therefore, the rate of current employment among public assistance recipients is quite low. About one in eight AFDC mothers is employed either full or part time; less than one percent of all AFDC children work for pay. The Social Security Act precludes AFDC payments to families with fathers in the home who have full-time jobs; most fathers receiving AFDC are disabled or unemployed. About eight percent of AB recipients and three percent of OAA recipients are currently employed, with employment rates higher for males than for females. Notwithstanding a dearth of current employment, the majority of unemployed adult recipients have worked at some time in the past, with past employment rates much higher for males than for females. There is, in addition, a sizable minority of adult recipients who have never worked for pay, including nearly one-fourth of AFDC mothers.

Low occupational level is often a correlate of welfare dependency. Illustrative of this relationship are the usual occupations reported for recipients of public assistance, with the exception of blind persons, for whom data are not available. Over half of the men had been employed as laborers, and the occupation most frequently reported for women was that of service worker.

Thus, the employment potential of most of the welfare population is very small—the recipients of OAA, APTD, and AB, and the AFDC children. One-eighth of the AFDC adults are incapacitated. All of the unemployed fathers receiving AFDC would presumably accept jobs, but they are relatively small in number. The largest group with employment potential are the AFDC mothers who are not incapacitated. Many of these women, however, presently have no marketable skills or no one to care for their children should they be able to find work. The Work Incentive program, designed to break the cycle of poverty for people on public assistance, is as yet reaching only a small group of the AFDC mothers. Although the WIN program is expanding rapidly, its present resources are too limited to serve all employable adults on public assistance.

Health conditions and mobility. At least one disabling condition per recipient is indicated by the titles of the programs for aid to the blind and aid to the permanently and totally disabled, but many AB and APTD recipients have additional health problems. Close to half of all persons receiving AB have some type of chronic mental or physical condition other than blindness. Over half of all APTD recipients have more than one major impairment. Among old-age assistance recipients, a considerable variety of chronic health conditions have been self-reported. For example, over half suffer from arthritis or rheumatism; four in ten have high blood pressure; three in ten have heart trouble. Predictably, health problems are not as prevalent among AFDC recipients, although about one in seven of the AFDC mothers and one in eight AFDC fathers are physically or mentally incapacitated. There has been no similar overall evaluation of the health of AFDC children, but some physical or mental impairments have been identified such as emotional or other nervous disorders (affecting six percent of the children), mental retardation (four percent), speech defect (three percent), orthopedic impairment (three percent).

Notwithstanding the problems of age and disability, a large majority of the recipients of OAA and AB (eighty-two percent) and of APTD (sixty-nine percent) are sufficiently mobile so as not to be confined to the home. Only about one in ten persons receiving OAA or APTD needs help in getting around outside the home, but help from another person or a guide dog is needed by over four in ten blind recipients. The extent of disability severe enough to require confinement to bed or a chair is quite limited, affecting only eleven percent of APTD recipients and about eight percent of persons receiving OAA and AB.

Vocational rehabilitation. Given a sizable population of public assistance recipients with varying combinations of physical, economic, and social disabilities, how many have been reached by the vocational rehabilitation agency? Proportions of those known to have received services are: AB recipients, twenty-nine percent; APTD, eighteen percent; AFDC (One or more members, mostly mothers and fathers), twelve percent.

Although OAA recipients are not excluded from the program of vocational rehabilitation, only a few are referred because of the limitations imposed by age.

Because the target groups for vocational rehabilitation consist primarily of AB and APTD recipients and AFDC adults, it should be helpful to summarize some relevant characteristics associated with each group:

* AB recipients. Aside from persons receiving OAA, this is the oldest group of recipients, with a median age of sixty-one years. Only one in four is under fifty years of age. Their educational level is low; over half of the recipients have not completed the eighth grade. About six in ten have had some work experience; only eight percent are currently employed. For many recipients of AB, legal blindness is accompanied by other health problems such as a chronic physical or mental condition and/or another type of impairment.

* APTD recipients. Only one in three of these persons is under age fifty; the median age is fifty-five years. Their educational level is the lowest for any group of recipients in that almost two in three have not completed the eighth grade in school. Presumably none are currently employed, although two in three have worked at some time in the past. The extent of disability is indicated by several factors: over half have a secondary impairment; the median length of time for a primary impairment is thirteen years; one in three is confined to the home.

* AFDC adults Together, these persons are the youngest group and have the highest educational level among all adult recipients. The median age for AFDC mothers is thirty-two years (and almost six in ten are under age thirty-five); for unemployed fathers it is thirty-five years; for incapacitated fathers, forty-nine years. About half of AFDC mothers have attended high school (eighteen percent are graduates), as have four in ten unemployed fathers. Only one-fifth of incapacitated fathers have attended high school. AFDC mothers have the highest employment rate among recipients, with thirteen percent working full or part time. An additional seven percent are either enrolled or awaiting enrollment in the Work Incentive program. About half of all AFDC mothers and almost all AFDC fathers have had previous work experience. One-eighth of AFDC adult recipients are physically or mentally incapacitated.

The above summary describes the clients that vocational rehabilitation counselors are encountering and will encounter in future cases involving public assistance recipients. There is, obviously, no typical recipient of public assistance. The client who seeks aid from the vocational rehabilitation agency may be young or old, a grade school dropout or a high school graduate, ablebodied or incapacitated. The conclusion is inescapable that for counselors there is a tremendous challenge in the potential for rehabilitation among the large numbers of persons presently receiving public assistance.

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by Hazel tenBroek

[This recipe has been popular for a good many years with teenagers and college presidents. For the teenagers add plenty of garlic French bread. For the teenagers over twenty-one serve red wine, especially Pinot Noir. This recipe can serve as a base for your own variations.]


2 lbs lean ground lamb
2 cups uncooked rice
3 packages dried onion soup
5 cups boiling water

Cut or form lamb into patties. Brown lightly. Pour off excess fat. Put into large dutch oven or casserole. Dissolve soup in boiled water. Pour over lamb and bring again to the boil. Add rice, bring to boil again. Cover and bake in a 400-degree oven for about forty minutes or until rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Serves six.

Serve with raw cabbage, pickled beet, and blue cheese salad (use beet juice for dressing). Frozen raspberries and plain cake complete the menu.

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On November 20 and 21 loyal Federationists from all over Arizona gathered at Kingman for the 25th annual convention of the Arizona Federation of the Blind. All sessions were ably presided over by James Carlock, President. The Flagstaff area was welcomed as a new chapter of the Federation.

One of the most hopeful things about the convention was that it was attended by a very large proportion of young people—fully half of the delegates were in their twenties. The group determined that in the legislative session to begin in January, 1972, the major push would be the enactment of the Model White Cane Law, which was lost last session only because the Legislature suddenly adjourned the session.

Dr. Richard W. Bleecker, director of the Division of the Visually Handicapped, was present at all sessions along with members of his staff. Dr. Bleecker reported in detail on the work of the DRVI, including rehabilitation of blind persons during the fiscal year 1971. Of the fifty rehabilitations, one was placed in a sheltered workshop, two in vending stands, three in self-employment, sixteen as homemakers, and twenty-eight in competitive employment.

One of the most refreshing things about the session was the full participation of the director of the DRVI and members of his top staff. There was obviously a close and warm relationship between the Federation and the State agency, built up over the years and based on mutual respect and cooperation. The give-and-take of questions and answers between agency representatives and Federationists was uninhibited but, showing through at all times was a pervading sense of good will on both sides. It was obvious throughout the convention that the goals of the Federation and the State agency were closely identified, to the advantage of all the blind of Arizona. To illustrate this, Dr. Bleecker stated with some pride that his agency was among the first of the official organizations to become licensed by the National Accreditation Council. This "good housekeeping" seal of approval was not at all impressive to the assembled delegates who made it clear that this was a doubtful distinction. Dr. Bleecker readily and good naturedly admitted that, being an avid reader of The Braille Monitor, he understood the position of the NFB on NAC.

Throughout the course of the sessions appropriate letters from the President of the NFB were read. The convention voted unanimously to change its name from the Arizona Federation of the Blind to the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona. Another issue adopted was to the effect that the State affiliates join the NFB at the barricades in fighting for real improvements in the services of the Library of Congress to blind readers.

Yet another significant action was to inaugurate on a regular basis the publication of a newsletter.

The banquet address was given by Perry Sundquist, representing the National Federation of the Blind, who pointed out present weaknesses in the State's Aid to the Blind program and the fragmentation of services. He offered specific solutions to the problems of the aid law and proposed amendments to it. Mr. Sundquist also urged a Commission for the Blind as the best means of assuring a separate statutory agency for all services for the blind in Arizona, particularly in view of the contemplated creation of a State super-agency.

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: James Carlock, president, Phoenix; Dan Duffy, first vice-president, Tempe; Walter Cone, second vice-president, Scottsdale; Catherine Hurley, secretary, Prescott; Adonis Johnson, treasurer, Flagstaff. New directors elected were Merle Relyea, Phoenix and Dave Matson, Tucson.

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Illinois is among those States which have adopted the Model White Cane Law in its entirety, including the section which requires the governor to issue a proclamation for the observance of White Cane Safety Day on October 15. For three years the current Governor of Illinois has issued such a proclamation.

In September of 1971, the NFB affiliate in Illinois—the Illinois Congress of the Blind—sent a letter to the Governor to remind him of the upcoming date. If the Governor had so wished, that letter could have served as his proclamation. It said in part: "the annual proclamation of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day (a practice followed by every President of the United States since 1964) is designed to bring to the surface of the public's consciousness a fact which is, unfortunately, often ignored and forgotten, namely, that the lack of physical sight in the blind in no way implies lack of insight, lack of intelligence and imagination, lack of emotional maturity or lack of physical agility. Moreover, through the use of such substitute tools as the white cane and the Braille system, blind persons are capable of living fully productive lives and taking part in the economic and social activities of their communities, as independent and self-fulfilling equals.

"Your proclamation of White Cane Safety Day will help instil in the public's mind this image of the blind and, as a result, help open up new opportunities in employment and education for all the blind of Illinois."

However, the Governor of Illinois chose to ignore the clear language of the White Cane Law as well as the letter from our affiliate. Instead, he gave a brief nod of recognition of his duty at the beginning and end and then turned the proclamation into an insult. In language bordering on the ludicrous, he praised the work of the Polish Legion of American Veterans: "Observance of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day is authorized by the Congress of the United States and the State of Illinois. In addition, Illinois law requires motor vehicle drivers to exercise more than usual caution when approaching a pedestrian carrying a white cane or accompanied by a guide dog, and penalizes anyone who denies blind persons the right to use public facilities.

Much aid is given the blind by the Illinois Department of the Polish Legion of American Veterans. The PLAV Aid to Schools for the Blind and Partially Seeing, the State organization's principal program, is geared to promote American patriotism among blind and partially blind youth, to whom the Legion and its Ladies Auxiliary annually award scholarships on a competitive basis.

The program includes monetary assistance in purchasing Braille typewriters and other equipment for sight saving institutions and schools with special classes for students with sight problems. Lodge and auxiliary members present a specially designed United States flag with raised stars and stripes to schools they visit and to scholarship winners.

"THEREFORE I, Richard B. Ogilvie, Governor of the State of Illinois, proclaim October 15, 1971, WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY and October 1971 PLAV AID TO SCHOOLS FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SEEING MONTH in Illinois. I commend and congratulate the Veterans and their Auxiliary on their splendid patriotic program and urge Illinoisans to be particularly considerate of the safety of all disabled persons."

Now, we do not object to the Governor's issuing a proclamation calling attention to the good intentions toward the blind of the Polish Veterans. But the White Cane Proclamation designed to emphasize the independence of the blind is hardly the proper instrument for a political pat on the back for a sighted group. The whole idea of the Proclamation to point up the capacities of the blind to carry their own weight in the world is vitiated by pointing up the need the Polish group sees to "promote" patriotism among the blind. The implication is clear.

One is tempted by such blatant political bad taste to think that perhaps the Governor of Illinois got up on the wrong side of the bed the day he wrote his White Cane Safety Day Proclamation and never quite got things straight the rest of the day. He became so completely tangled up that he confused poles with canes and vice versa. Now we all know that white canes are most noteworthy as the symbol of independence of the blind, not for the support they give, whereas poles are best known for the support they render, and it is not clear how much they do to foster independence.

But, then, one should not indulge in such temptations, so we will not. However, the National Federation of the Blind condemns the Governor of Illinois for turning the White Cane Law into a bad Polish joke.

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The 1971 convention of the New Jersey Council of the Blind was held on the weekend of Friday, October 29, in the Empress Motel in Asbury Park. This fourteenth convention was probably one of the best attended, most informative, interesting and enjoyable conventions in the Council's history.

The convention opened on Friday night with a hospitality get together which was attended by approximately seventy-five persons. All seemed to have a most enjoyable time, and it afforded all those who participated an opportunity to meet old friends and make new acquaintances.

At the opening session on Saturday morning one hundred two people had already registered. The meeting started promptly at the scheduled time of 10:30, and after the usual ceremonies each of the twelve chapters represented gave reports of their activities for the year. It was noted that the chapters gave much more meaningful reports this year, that most of the chapters have become more involved in legislative matters, and that all the chapters had made real efforts to recruit members, and that most had met with success in this endeavor. The morning session was concluded with the report of the president. This report indicated that there had been some progress made in the Council's legislative efforts during the year, but that there were still some obstacles to overcome before some of the most important sections of the Model White Cane Law are enacted.

The afternoon session was most important and informative. Speakers included Senator Richard Stout, State Senator from Monmouth County; Irving Engleman, director of the Division of Public Welfare of the State; Joseph Kohn, director of the Commission for the Blind; Irving Kruger, chief of the Commission's Vocational Rehabilitation Department; and Manuel Urena, Executive Board member of the National Federation of the Blind. All of these speakers gave informative presentations, and most were followed by excellent questioning periods. The afternoon session concluded with the adoption of seven resolutions and a detailed review of the steps taken in the past two years to have the "equal opportunity" section of the Model White Cane Law enacted. This review was given by President Burck.

At the banquet on Saturday night one hundred thirty-five people were in attendance. The principal speaker was Manuel Urena, whose speech was most inspiring. George Burck was the master of ceremonies of the evening.

Sunday morning's meeting was highlighted by the reelection by acclamation of George Burck as president of the Council. The meeting closed with unanimous approval of Asbury Park as the site of the 1972 convention.

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Date: 16 VII 71
From: Hazel tenBroek
To: Kenneth Jernigan
Re: Off the top of my head: Are the "blind" about to disappear?

It would be interesting to check into the history of the use of the term "visually handicapped" by the agencies. During the last decade, agencies, private and public, have successfully implanted in the public mind the idea that there are differences among those with low, intermediate, and high partial vision and the totally blind. Further they have fostered the notion that there are differences among the totals, that is, the congenitally as against the adventitiously blinded.

The agencies have been working hard at this division for some time. They have "discovered" differences, they say, in psychology, learning ability, social adaptation and reactions—you know the long list. Having discovered these differences, the agencies then went about the business of "documenting" them through "empirical" studies. Of course they found differences because of all the myriad differences—physical, social, psychological—which exist among individuals and which affect their reactions to any given experience. Since they started, not with an intellectual or philosophical inquiry but with pre-packaged "conclusions," it was not hard to build a sizeable amount of "evidence" to substantiate the conclusions they sought.

We know that most of the "advances" advocated, as well illustrated by NAC, are designed to enhance the image of the agencies, not that of the blind. As long as these "professionals" are more concerned with the kinds of facilities in which programs are housed rather than the quality of the programs themselves; as long as staff is hired on the basis of degrees no matter how lacking the content, this will be so. All without a word or thought as to the lack of purpose and philosophy about their blind clients that is so patent and so potent.

The harm to blind people and to the organized blind movement from the exercise of this kind of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-scientific force, backed by a good deal of very real money with all that that implies of the ability to purchase research, advertising, and influence, is almost too much to comprehend. Having started on this line of division as a means of building staff, influence, and revenue, where does it lead; and where does it stop?

Agency effort to convince those with any vision at all that they are not blind and that, consequently, they need not learn the skills necessary to function efficiently as blind persons has had some success. Braille, for instance, is characterized as cumbersome and slow and is being phased out. People with any vision must "think" sighted and use devices to "see" even though the physical effort of doing so may leave no energy for constructive activity.

The current drive to step up the removal of the word "blind" from program titles and institutional designations has some insidious implications—intentional or not. If the totally blind are separated from the "seeing-blind," that will add to the stigma already attached by the public to the word "blind." Given the present agency attitude about the difficulties and differences of adjusting to life between the "hard-of-seeing" and the totals, will it affect the feeling of adequacy among our people who come under agency influence? Will the totally blind find it more difficult to obtain educational opportunities and find placement in employment whether on their own or with assistance? Are the totally blind about to be completely buried by the "visually handicapped," as the blind generally are now at the bottom of the heap of the general class of "physically handicapped?" How does this trend affect now, and how will it in the future, our organization?

Certainly the ninth of July will be celebrated in our history as the day you delivered a staggering blow to these dangerous developments. Having worked with you all these years, how could they so underestimate your intelligence and your leadership capacity; to say nothing of underestimating the caliber of our members? In their relationship to the organized blind, they have been not only talking to themselves but practicing a good deal of self-deception.

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The California State Assembly approved by a vote of forty-nine to zero a bill to require Braille markings on floor buttons in new elevators installed in public buildings.

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It is reported that blindness resulting from diabetes can be prevented in some cases by a xenon light treatment. Diabetic retinopathy is the third leading cause of blindness in this country. Many eye specialists have wondered whether the xenon treatment, which was first tried in 1963, may not do more harm than good. The results of a study completed at the University of Chicago indicate that the treatment is worth its risks in patients who have been properly selected. The xenon light is used to destroy the oxygen-deprived tissues, thereby turning off the formation of more new blood vessels.

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The Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois announces a new publication Contact—a convenient, inkprint, pocket-sized chart which includes helpful hints on guiding a deaf-blind friend, the One-Hand Manual Alphabet (illustrated), the International Standard Manual Alphabet and the International Morse Code. The publication is free and can be secured by writing the Hadley School, 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093.

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The Greater Lawrence Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts this summer honored those industries and firms who have employed blind persons. The chapter presented engraved plaques to show its appreciation and in the hope that yet other businessmen might be moved to consider employing blind persons in their companies.

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Another organization of the blind has become an integral part of an ever growing NFB family. In October a group of blind citizens in the Gainesville, Florida area voted to join our Florida affiliate and will be known as the Gainesville chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida. NFB First Vice-president Don Capps and his wife, Betty, were on hand to represent the national organization and to assist in the organizational activities. Also present were Sam Sitt, president of the Florida affiliate, and his wife, Gertrude, who participated in the successful meeting. Jon E. McMillian was elected president of the new chapter. He is a teacher of blind children in the Sunland Training Center at Gainesville. Welcome aboard, Gainesville chapter!

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The NFB of Iowa Bulletin reports that in recent weeks a number of blind Iowans have entered the labor market for the first time and others have entered different and better jobs. Despite the current abundance of teachers, ten blind lowans entered new jobs in September. This group of new teachers is the largest aggregation of blind persons entering the profession in Iowa's history, or in the history of any other state, for that matter. Among the jobs represented are: teacher-librarian, industrial arts teacher, junior college teacher, and director of special education. In addition to junior college, these blind teachers work at both the elementary and secondary levels. Other blind Iowans who have recently entered the labor market include a computer programmer in the Data Processing Division of the State Comptroller's Office; a power plant operator in the State Capitol complex; an x-ray darkroom technician; a hospital employee; a State School employee; an electrical engineer for a firm of consulting engineers; and an automotive mechanic. Although general economic and labor market conditions have made jobs hard to find, blind Iowans are among those who are at the right place at the right time with the necessary skills.

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The public relations committee of the Missouri affiliate of the NFB planned and directed a section for NFB in the American Royal Parade held in October in Kansas City. The National Federation banner with the NFB motto was carried in the front of the section. Directly behind was the float, a large truck decorated in blue and gold and displaying numerous blind persons engaged in tasks and activities which many of the public might not have realized were possible, such as cooking, running a machine, typing, reading Braille, playing cards, music, etc. Behind the float was a young woman twirling a baton, followed by a mobility group carrying the banner reading "Blindness is not desperate loneliness."

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a one-year residency requirement for welfare recipients in the State would be unconstitutional. The opinion said a residency requirement would violate the "equal protection" provisions of the U. S. constitution. A welfare reform bill which includes a one-year residency requirement was pending in the legislature. The high court cited a 1968 U. S. Supreme Court decision striking down residency requirements in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. The U. S. Supreme Court rules such restrictions constituted "invidious discrimination." The case, Shapiro v. Thompson, involved a nineteen-year-old unwed, pregnant, Dorchester mother who moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and was denied welfare benefits under that State's residency restriction. The court reasoned such residency requirements violated the basic constitutional right to travel "through the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement." It was ruled that a state may not try to fence out indigents, even those seeking higher welfare benefits.

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In November a sixth chapter of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind was established in Greenville. The president of the new chapter is Mrs. Montye Bolt who is employed as a service representative with the Social Security Administration. The organizational meeting was held with some twenty persons in attendance.

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Dr. Samuel M. Lawton, 71, chairman of the board of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, died suddenly in North Carolina. A Baptist minister and founder of the Aurora Club of the Blind in South Carolina, Dr. Lawton was recently retired professor in the general studies division of the University of South Carolina. All of the blind of South Carolina have experienced a great loss.

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A bill that would require an estimated 29,000 Ohio welfare recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children to register for work every two weeks or risk the loss of benefits was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives and sent to the State Senate. The State administration agreed not to oppose the bill after a section was added requiring that the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare approval be given to the plan before it would take effect. A spokesman for the State Department of Welfare said such approval had been granted in New York, Illinois, and California.

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A fifty-member State-wide committee has begun work to survey job opportunities for Iowa's blind citizens. The committee was named by Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Mr. Jernigan told the committee the attitude of the public toward blindness has changed considerably in the last ten years and blind persons probably have broader job opportunities because of that. The committee decided its first task will be to get employers to agree to a survey of jobs to determine which tasks blind persons could fill.

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Mary Hartle of the Student Division of the NFB writes: "Young Federationists across the country have taken up the Federation cause and Hawaii's students are no exception. Under the superb leadership of its president, Curtis Chong, the student chapter of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind is forging ahead to meet new challenges. The Kokua program at the University of Hawaii continues to thrust new challenges on them. This program provides reader service, tutorial services, and transcription service. These are valid services which need to be rendered. However, they ought to be provided by the State agency. This program also helps with registration procedures, selection of professors who have positive attitudes toward the blind, and other matters which should be handled by each individual student. This program is paternalistic in its attitudes toward the blind and it stifles their initiative to be independent. Paternalistic programs like Kokua blind students can do without."

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Our Virginia observer reports that John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, is really with it these days, as the younger generation says. He attended the Alexandria, Virginia, chapter picnic the other day and was wearing "hot pants." He was puffing away at his pipe and not paying any attention to where the ashes dropped. He just happened to be sitting in a very dry part of the yard, and the grass caught on fire and smoke began to roll round John's chair. A friend spotted the smoke and rescued him before he really had a hot seat.

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BPH recordings, Inc., Box 9975, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20015, is planning to bring out its new instrumentation for the blind. The audible VU Meter is designed for monitoring audio levels with professional accuracy. Using this device, the BPH recording people feel that it would be entirely practicable for a trained blind individual to perform well and earn his living in recording studio, tape duplicating, and broadcast station work as an audio technician.

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Sherry Carter writing in the Nashville Tennessean describes the adventures of Hugh James who is totally blind and who believes that "blind people can do things other than stand on corners with a cup." James is currently an auto mechanic who rebuilds starters and generators. He was raised on a farm in rural Mississippi and attended the Tennessee School for the Blind. Leaving school to find out "what the world was all about," James traveled in several southern states. He met all types of people and "they weren't all fair to me when I wanted work. You see, people who went to the school for the blind just weren't supposed to be all there—and just to be honest about it, I had to prove something for my people every time I asked for a job." James and other blind people were fired from jobs in a battery factory because "the insurance company was afraid we wouldn't be able to tell where our mouths were and put our hands in our mouths after handling the lead in the batteries." He has worked as a concession stand attendant, counted tomato plants, counted bolts, sawed blocks of wood, peddled typewriters door-to-door, sold cars, and repaired automobiles.

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Jane E. Brody writing in The New York Times reports that an Israeli research team has found that a common food preservative, sodium nitrite, can produce seemingly permanent epileptic-like changes in the brain activity of rats that regularly consume it in their diets. The team also found that the chemical in very high doses produced the result of excessive deaths and poor growth and development among the offspring of pregnant rats. A member of the team cautioned against assuming that human beings would be similarly affected. He said the question is whether sodium nitrite and a closely related preservative, sodium nitrate, should continue to be added to foods. The two chemicals are primarily used in commercially prepared sausages, frankfurters, corned beef and other cured meats. In addition to their preserving effect, they impart a pink color to the meat. About a third of the meat consumed in the United States is cured or treated. Israel is particularly concerned about the effects of prolonged exposure to nitrates and nitrites because reclaimed waste water, which it expects to have to use for human consumption, is high in nitrate content.

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An Associated Press story in the New York Times reports that Richard Armil has invented an electronic magnifier that enables the nearly blind to read small print. The magnifier consists of a television monitor, a camera with a zoom lens and a high intensity light. It is used on a closed circuit television system. Printed material can be magnified twenty times. The magnifiers are furnished on a prescription basis. The Michigan Rehabilitation Division has promised to provide the machine for those nearly blind persons who need it in their work. Students, including those doing graduate work in universities, now use the machine to replace volunteer readers.

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Rocky River, Ohio, citizens do not think they are served the less because two prominent civil servants are blind. F. Robert Wiesenberger, who is construction payroll supervisor for the W. S. Tyler Company, is president of the City Council and in his third term of office. Milton D. Holmes is observing his eleventh anniversary as judge of the Municipal Court which handles both civil and criminal cases.

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Lee McCall writes in the Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune about Margery Pugh, a talented fifteen-year-old student at Pine View School. Margery is described by her father as "a normal kid who can't see." "I didn't realize I was blind for a long time," explained Margery. "And when my parents told me that others could see and I couldn't, it still never occurred to me that it was a real handicap." Margery's major interest is music. She recently won first place in her class in a State piano contest for the third year in a row. She also plays guitar and is interested in every kind of music from the classics to jazz. She has always attended public school and feels very strongly that blind students should go to school with the sighted. Margery would like to go into social work, "I'd like to convince other blind people that being blind is not such a handicap." "One of my teachers refused to let me take physical ed. She was too careful. She babied and protected me. This is the last thing a blind child wants. But neither do they want people to assume that we have supernatural senses. We are mostly like everybody else." Her counselor points out, "A blind teacher once said, 'Sight is of the mind and he who has a mind has sight.' On the basis of that quote, Margery Pugh certainly has sight."

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