JULY - 1972

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


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

EDITOR: Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue Sacramento, California 95822

Associate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

News items should be sent to the Editor

Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

If you or a friend wish to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, a District of Columbia non-profit corporation, the sum of $____ (or,” ____  percent of my net estate", or "the following stocks and bonds:____”) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons and to be held and administered by direction of its Executive Committee."

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the Berkeley Office for other suggested forms.

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708


JULY 1972




by Tom Dwyer

by Bruce La Rose




by James Nyman  









by Jim Doherty



by Ronald L. Miller

by Lloyd B. Walton

by Ruth Ryon

by Jim Doherty



by Alice E. Hopkins

by Gail M. Cowart

by Ed Briggs

by Mel Relyea

by Haig Keropian

by Jack Rivers


by Pauline Gomez

by Florence Grannis



June 15, 1972

Dear Colleagues:

Today members of the Iowa affiliate of the American Council of the Blind filed a court action against me and the members of the Board of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, alleging misuse of State and Federal funds--particularly, the diversion of those funds to the uses of the National Federation of the Blind and its affiliates and to private uses. They brought this action in the name of the blind as a class, even though they have very few members and can certainly not be said to represent the Wind of the State.

The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa issued a statement late this afternoon expressing outrage and indignation at the action of this small handful of bitter dissidents. The NFB of Iowa has chapters throughout the State and more than seven hundred active members; whereas the Iowa Council of the Blind has almost no active members at all. From what I can hear, Durward McDaniel (the Washington representative of the American Council of the Blind) was in Des Moines this morning to participate in the filing of the suit.

When I was contacted by the news media this afternoon, I told them that the ACB affiliate in Iowa was largely composed of a small group of people who (in many instances) had experienced personal failures and were venting their frustration upon me and the Commission. I also said that Mr. McDaniel had once been a member of the Board of the National Federation of the Blind but that he had been expelled from membership a number of years ago and, one would assume, might be understandably hostile toward the organized blind movement and its leader. I further stated that the charges were vague and that they were untrue. I concluded with comments to this effect: "All we of the Commission for the Blind have been doing is try to create opportunities and provide services for the blind, and we intend to continue doing so."

For your information I am enclosing a copy of the papers which were served on me, the statement issued by Sylvester Nemmers, the statement issued by the Board of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, an article appearing in The Des Moines Register for June 16, and an article appearing in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on the same date. You will note from the Gazette article that the Governor of Iowa made a strong statement in support of the Commission and of me personally. There have been numerous other expressions of support from throughout the State.

It is not difficult to understand what the American Council and its leaders are trying to accomplish. It seems to me that they are resentful and jealous of the progress we of the organized blind movement are making and that they are willing to hurt blind people and damage programs for the blind in order to vent their anger. Although this sort of thing is not pleasant, we certainly will not hesitate to deal properly with these people in the courts.

This attempt at destruction and vilification should give pause to any members of the Federation who have felt that dual membership in ACB and NFB is proper or possible or that we should try to work together with ACB in areas where our goals coincide. At the national level we have at times in the past tried to coordinate efforts on legislative and administrative matters, but surely we should think a long time before ever working again with Mr. McDaniel in view of his behavior in the present instance. The indignation and outrage which have been demonstrated by Federation members who have learned of the present ACB action are difficult to express.

It may be that the members of the ACB believe that we will be embarrassed by their law suit and their wild charges and that we will not wish to publicize what they are doing. If so, they will soon learn how mistaken they are! It may be that they think this action of theirs will slow our momentum and divert us from our goals. Let them think again! It may be that they believe their action will remove the spotlight from their lack of program and accomplishment and their constant negativism. They are wrong! We will publicize their disgraceful behavior and their irresponsible charges to the high heavens. We will do our best to see that every blind person in the nation knows every detail. Let them try to hide their shame if they can. Through letters, through The Monitor, and the public media we will expose what they have done and we will be stronger for it.

What responsible organization would try to destroy programs for the blind in an entire State and the reputation and good name of program officials simply out of hatred and vengeance!

In any case, I send you this material for your consideration and will inform you of details as they develop. It is well for us to know the character and nature of the people who oppose our programs and policies.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind



1972 JUN 15 AM 10 47
Frank W. Leonhardt
Clerk District Court]


HAROLD E. CARTER; LYLE G. WILLIAMS;                        NO. 76007

Plaintiffs for themselves and as representatives of a class,


and ELWYN HEMKEN, MRS. WAYNE                                                   ORIGINAL NOTICE




Iowa Commission for the Blind,
524 4th Street,
Des Moines, Iowa

Blairsburg, Iowa

R.F.D. No. 1
Charles City, Iowa

815 Forest Avenue
Fort Dodge, Iowa

Served on Kenneth Jernigan at 12:40 PM on June 15, 1972.


1972 JUN 15 AM 10 47
Frank W. Leonhardt
Clerk District Court]


STEVEN CEGLAR; LOUISE CEGLAR;                                                      NO. 76007

Plaintiffs for themselves and as representatives of a class.

                                                                                                                          PETITION IN EQUITY




YOU are hereby notified that there is now on file in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of the State of Iowa in and for Polk County, Iowa, the Petition in Equity of the above-named Plaintiffs, a copy of which is attached hereto and by this reference made a part hereof.


YOU are hereby also notified to appear and defend thereto before said Court, which Court is located at Fifth and Court Streets in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa within twenty (20) days after the service of this Original Notice upon you and unless you so appear and defend, your default will be entered of record and judgment rendered against you for the relief as prayed for in the aforesaid Petition in Equity.


By /s/ Lawrence LeToumeau
917 Savings and Loan Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50209
Telephone: 283-0196

Plaintiffs state:

1. They file this Petition in their own behalf, and as representatives of a class, the members of which are so numerous it is impracticable to bring them all into Court.

2. A common question of law and fact exists affecting the rights of members of the class, and a common relief is sought.

3. The class consists of those people entitled to the services provided in Chapter 93, Code of Iowa, 1971.

4. Defendant Jernigan is the Director referred to in Section 93.3, Code of Iowa, 1971.

5. Defendants Hemken, Bonnell and Johnson are the Commissioners referred to in Section 93.1, Code of Iowa, 1971.

6. Defendants have converted funds and other resources of the Iowa Commission for the Blind to uses and purposes not provided in Chapter 93, Code of Iowa, 1971, or otherwise authorized in law, including, but not limited to:

(a) Promotional activities for the National Federation of the Blind, a private association, and its affiliates.

(b) The private business and other interests of officials and employees of the Iowa Commission for the Blind.

7. The funds and other resources referred to in Paragraph 6, supra, include those allocated to the Commission by the State of Iowa and, also, appropriated and allocated by the United States.

8. As a result of the actions of Defendants stated in Paragraph 6, supra, members of the Plaintiffs' class are deprived of services to which they are entitled by Chapter 93, supra.

9. Unless restrained, Defendants will continue to wrongfully convert and misuse the resources of the Iowa Commission for the Blind thereby depriving members of Plaintiffs' class the full benefits of Chapter 93, supra, causing members of Plaintiffs class irreparable harm.

10. Plaintiffs' class has no other speedy and adequate remedy at law.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for an Order permanently enjoining and restraining Defendants from converting and misusing the resources and funds of the Iowa Commission for the Blind for unlawful purposes, and that costs be assessed to Defendants.


By /s/ Dan Johnston
917 Savings & Loan Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Telephone: 283-0196

Of Counsel
Durwood K. McDaniel
20 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
Telephone: (202) 628-3185


STATE OF IOWA                                                                      SS.

We, Harold E. Carter and Lyle G. Williams, being first duly sworn upon oath, depose and state that we are the Plaintiffs in the above entitled cause; that we have read and are familiar with the foregoing Petition and that the statements and allegations therein contained are true and correct as we verily believe.

Harold E. Carter

Lyle G. Williams

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public in and for the State of Iowa this 15th day of June, 1972.

Notary Public
In and for the State of Iowa


June 15, 1971


The President of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, Sylvester Nemmers, released the following statement today upon learning of the lawsuit filed in Polk County District Court by certain members of the Iowa Council of the Blind against the members of the Iowa Commission for the Blind:

The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa is outraged at the action commenced today in Polk County District Court alleging misuse of state and federal funds by the Iowa Commission for the Blind by members of the Iowa Council of the Blind. Although the action purports to be a class action on behalf of the blind of Iowa, it is patently not so. On the contrary, the alleged representatives of "the class" comprise only a minute portion of the blind of Iowa. The small group of dissidents calling itself the Iowa Council of the Blind meets behind closed doors and rarely, if ever, musters together more than 40 or 50 individuals. The out of state attorney associated with the action, Mr. Durward K. McDaniel, is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind who was expelled from that organization more than ten years ago.

The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa having a membership of over 700 is truly representative of the blind of Iowa. It has worked closely with the Iowa Commission for the Blind and its Director, Kenneth Jernigan, and believes that programs available for the blind in Iowa are second to none in the nation. A statewide meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa held over the Memorial Day weekend was attended by Governor Robert D. Ray; Senator Jack Miller; Secretary of State, Melvin Synhorst; Auditor of State, Lloyd Smith; President of the Board of Regents, Stanley Redeker; and several members of the legislature (both democrat and republican).

Any "class action" on behalf of the blind of Iowa which does not take into account the views of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, is a mockery of the term. The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa suggests that today's vicious attack on the Commission for the Blind and its Director, Kenneth Jernigan, is simply one more of a long series of false, malicious, and politically motivated attempts to impugn the character and excellent reputation of the Commission for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind.


Friday morning
June 16, 1972


Sue Blind Unit's Chief, Aides; Claim Fund Misuse
by Stephen M. Johnson

A lawsuit filed in Polk County District Court Thursday accuses the director of the state Commission for the Blind and three of its commissioners of diverting public funds for their own private purposes.

The suit, filed in Polk County District Court, names Kenneth Jernigan of Des Moines, director of the commission, and Commissioners Elwyn Hemken of Blairsburg, Mrs. Wayne Bonnell of Fort Dodge and Mrs. Herbert Johnson of Charles City as defendants.

The suit was filed by 18 blind Iowans as a "class action" on behalf of the state's estimated 6,000 blind people.

In the suit, Jernigan and the three commissioners are charged with converting funds and other resources of the Iowa Commission for the Blind to unauthorized purposes.

Specifically, Jernigan and the commissioners are accused of using state funds for promotional activities for the National Federation of the Blind, a private association.

In addition, the suit alleges that officials and employes of the commission have been spending public money for "their private businesses and other interests."

The suit says that because public funds are being diverted from authorized purposes, blind persons in Iowa are being deprived of services to which they are entitled by law.

The commission, established in 1926, is supposed to offer services to the blind so they can receive necessary training and opportunity to become independent, self-sufficient citizens.

The commission operates a vocational rehabilitation program, a library for the blind and other activities designed to assist blind persons.

The suit filed here Wednesday asks for a court order permanently to enjoin and restrain Jernigan and the commissioners from "wrongfully converting and misusing the resources of the commission," thereby depriving blind persons in Iowa of the services to which they are entitled.

The suit was filed by Des Moines attorney Dan Johnston and by a Washington, D.C., attorney, Durwood K. McDaniel, who is blind.


Friday, June 16, 1972


'Outraged' By Suit, Says Blind Federation Head

Des Moines (AP). The National Federation of the Blind in Iowa says it is "outraged" at a law suit in Polk county district court charging the Iowa commission for the blind and its director, Kenneth Jernigan, with misusing public funds.

The suit was filed Thursday by 18 blind Iowans.

The plaintiffs say they are being deprived of funds to which they are entitled.

But Sylvester Nemmers, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, says the people who filed the suit "comprise only a minute portion of the blind of Iowa" and branded them "a small group of dissidents."

Gov. Robert Ray told newsmen Friday he has "greatest confidence" in the commission and Jernigan, but if anyone feels anything improper is being done, the suit "is a good way to clear the air."

"These things are unfortunate but in the long run, they may strengthen the
Commission," the governor said.

Ray said the commission is composed of "very competent and dedicated individuals. I have watched what Ken Jernigan has produced over the years and I feel we have one of the finest commissions for the blind in the country.

"Basically, Ken Jernigan's and the commission's accomplishments are tremendous."

Durward K. McDaniel, a Washington, D. C., attorney for the American Council of the Blind who is representing the defendants [this is an error; McDaniel represents the plaintiffs] said the law suit was filed after an investigation of more than a year into the commission's activities.

Jernigan, who is national president of the National Federation of the Blind, said McDaniel "is a former member of the National Federation of the Blind who was expelled a number of years ago."

"Since then he has felt unhappy toward me personally, and toward the organized blind movement in the country."

He [Mr. Jernigan] said the Iowa Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the American Council, "is a small organization with very few blind people, unhappy at not having been successful at one venture or another, and they seem to be venting their frustration on me and the commission."

The plaintiffs are members of the Iowa Council, he said.

"We feel we have very substantial evidence to support our allegations," said McDaniel.

Jernigan Denial

Jernigan, however, denied any wrong doing and predicted the charges will be disproved. He said he had seen the papers filed in court and "I do not believe they are the truth. All I have done is to do everything possible to help the blind."

The law suit charged that the commission and Jernigan "have converted funds and other resources of the Iowa commission for the blind" to uses not authorized by state law.

It said these have included use of state and federal funds for "promotional activities" of the National Federation of the Blind and its affiliates, and for "private business and other interests" of commission officials and employes. Named defendants along with Jernigan were the three members of the commission-Mrs. Wayne Bonnell of Fort Dodge, Elwyn Hemken of Blairsburg and Thelma Johnson of Charles City.

No Basis

In Charles City, Mrs. Johnson said she knows of no basis for the charges.

"The purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is to support the cause of the blind and our purpose is the same," she said. "But they (the federation) have never received any financial help from the commission.

"We go over the budget every month and I have never seen any item that went to the National Federation.

"The staff of the commission works at least 40 hours a week, and if they want to go beyond this and work for the National Federation on their own time, that's fine."



TELEPHONE (515) 283-2601                           June 16, 1972


The Iowa Commission for the Blind met in Des Moines today and issued the following statement: "The three Board members of the Commission resent and deplore the attack upon their personal reputation and character and upon the reputation and character of the Director of the Commission embodied in the charges made in the lawsuit filed yesterday by a small unrepresentative group of dissident blind persons. It is the feeling of the members of the Commission that these charges are inspired by politically motivated out-of-state interests and that they represent another attempt by a discredited and embittered minority to damage blind people and their programs. The charge that we have misused state and federal funds is not only nonsense but vicious nonsense. Such charges were belligerently made by the same little group in 1970. They kept demanding an audit. They got one. In fact, we are audited by State Auditor Lloyd Smith every year. Since 1970 he has repeatedly and publicly stated that he wished other state agencies spent their funds as carefully and as wisely. Mr. Smith is not noted for handling either state funds or the truth lightly.

"The most regrettable part of this whole business is the hurt and damage it does to programs for the blind and to blind people. The programs of the Iowa Commission for the Blind are internationally known and speak for themselves. The programs of the National Federation of the Blind are equally well-known and constructive and have been of great benefit to the blind of Iowa, as well as to the rest of the nation. We of the Commission support fully the actions of our Director, and we feel pride in the services we are giving the blind of Iowa and in our good relationship with the National Federation of the Blind, which is representative of the blind citizens of our state. Anyone who wishes to impugn our actions or good name should be prepared to defend himself in court."

Elwyn Hemken, Chairman
Mrs. Wayne Bonnell, Member
Mrs. Herbert Johnson, Member

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[Editor's Note: The crisp, exhilarating winds of change have been blowing across Connecticut ever since the NFB of Connecticut was reorganized and revitalized early last December. Now there is a powerful voice of the blind speaking for the blind in the Nutmeg State. The principal leaders are the Rev. Howard E. May, Jr., the president of the affiliate, and Mrs. Shirley Lebowitz, the second vice president. The first of the following stories is reprinted by courtesy of the Hartford (Conn.) Times and the other material is reprinted by courtesy of Compass Comment of Mystic (Conn.)]

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By Tom Dwyer

The Connecticut chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has claimed that two state agencies may have conspired to keep a blind person from a job as a rehabilitation counselor for other blind persons.

One of the departments charged with "collusion" is the agency designed to serve blind persons' needs--the Board of Education and the Services for the Blind. The other is the state Personnel Department.

In a letter to the heads of the two state units the Rev. Howard E. May, Jr., president of the Connecticut chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, says:

"There may have been collusion between the Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the Division of Personnel Services, whereby all blind candidates were rejected before the tests were given."

Rev. May also says in the letter, "Moreover, it comes to our attention that a certain young man was promised this position as long ago as September, 1971, by the man in your agency responsible for hiring and filling that position."

Four of the five blind applicants, who allegedly were told they could not take the test, hold masters degrees and all but one have several years experience either teaching in schools or in welfare counseling, Rev. May said in the letter.

He said the five applicants were told they lacked experience for the job. This "seems incredible," he wrote.

William Patton, director of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, when asked about the charges, denied that there was any "collusion" on the part of the two state departments. He added that the position had not been filled yet. Other inquiries he referred to Personnel Commissioner Edward Simpson. Simpson was not available for comment.

Shortly after Patton's statement, Rev. May said he received a telephone call from Patton promising an investigation into the matter before the position was filled.

Rev. May sent his letters Feb. 24 and said prior to the telephone call last night, he had only received a brief acknowledgement of his letter from Patton. "That acknowledgement said essentially nothing," Rev. May asserted.

Following Patton's call to him, Rev. May said he was temporarily satisfied. "We'll wait and see now if it does work out the way we want."

The procedure for filling the vacant spot should be started anew, Rev. May said. Simpson should explain why blind candidates were told they could not qualify to take the test, he added.

Both Rev. May and Mrs. Shirley Lebowitz of West Hartford, another officer in the state chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, noted that four of the five current state rehabilitation counselors are blind persons. A rehabilitation counselor interviews, trains, counsels and seeks jobs for blind persons in the state.

The Civil Service test for the job was scheduled to be given Feb. 26, but Patton could not confirm whether it had been administered that date or who took the test. Rev. May said he believed that it was given, despite his organization's protests and that no blind person took the test.

Back to contents


by Bruce La Rose

A deliberate policy of State discrimination against the blind in hiring policies was charged by Alfred Pietrowski of Norwich, president of the Blind Association for Progressive Action (BAPA). In a letter to Norwich State Representative Thomas Sweeney, Pietrowski leveled the following charges against the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the State Personnel Department:

The exam for a new Rehabilitation Counselor was rigged so that a blind counselor could not be appointed by the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Blind candidates were systemically eliminated, by being declared ineligible to take exams due to insufficient experience. This was done by collusion between State Board of Education for the Blind and State Personnel Department.

Pietrowski's detailed charges are a part of a new aggressive attitude on the part of blind residents of the state. In addition to the charge of discrimination, BAPA has accused the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind of a "paternalistic attitude" towards the blind. Details of the charges, spelled out in the letter to Sweeney, are as follows: During the summer of 1971, an announcement was made by the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind that a new counselor position would be requested.

In September, 1971, Dan Smith, a social worker employed at a New Haven area rehabilitation center, stated that he had been offered this counseling position by William Duncan, the chief of the Rehabilitation Division of the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Smith's statement was made in the presence of Marvin Burr, Raymond Madigan, and Karl Tarkowski. Smith also said that he had told Duncan that he was not sure whether or not he wanted the position. He had just bought a home in the New Haven area and did not want to move to Hartford. According to Smith, Duncan offered him a choice of three territories--the Greater Hartford area, the Greater New Haven area or college students.

In October, this entire situation was discussed with the executive director. . . . The administrator's attitude seemed to be that this matter was of no concern to the counselors. Since there are several qualified blind persons looking for this type of employment, the counselors felt that this was a matter for their concern. The executive director further stated that no driver-aide position had been requested and that he did not intend to ask for one. The absence of a driver-aide position would make it impossible for a blind person to handle this position.

From October until January, this situation was discussed several times with the supervisor and the rehabilitation chief. From these discussions, it seemed apparent that they had no intention of seriously considering a blind person for this position.

On January 12, 1972, the State Personnel Department announced the rehabilitation counseling opening. Applications for this opening had to be received by the Personnel Department on or before February 3, 1972.

Six blind persons applied for this position. In the professional opinion of the counselors, five of the six applicants were fully qualified. (Several, in fact, had qualifications above those required for the executive director's position in the same agency.) All six blind applicants were rejected by the Personnel Department prior to the examination which was scheduled for February 26, 1972.

Several of the blind applicants contacted the Personnel Department to find out why their applications had been rejected. Jack Soares contacted the Personnel Department and was told by a technician there that Mr. Duncan from the Board of Education and Services for the Blind had reviewed all of the applications and had recommended that several people be rejected, including Mr. Soares.

The National Federation of the Blind became aware of this matter and, after Rev. May had completed a thorough investigation, a letter of protest was sent to the executive director of the agency for the blind and to the commissioner of the State Personnel Department. The president of the Blind Association for Progressive Action spoke with Rev. May. State Representative Sweeney was contacted and given the above information.

On Thursday, February 24, 1972, Representative Sweeney telephoned Miss Markham in the State Personnel Department and inquired as to whether or not the State Personnel Department had discriminated against the blind applicants.

Immediately after Representative Sweeney's call to the Personnel Department, one of the six blind applicants, Mrs. Gordon from the Storrs area, received a telephone call from a woman in the Personnel Department. Mrs. Gordon was told that her application had just been reviewed and that she would be qualified to take the examination if she would slant her application differently. Mrs. Gordon stated that she did not know how to slant an application. The lady in the Personnel Department offered to assist her.

Several other blind people who had applied for the position were made aware that the Personnel Department had coached Mrs. Gordon, They promptly telephoned the Personnel Department and asked for a review of their applications, along with necessary coaching so as to qualify to take the exam on the following Saturday Miss Markham of the Personnel Department was very unpleasant to those persons who telephoned. She telephoned Mr. Duncan and explained this to him.

Pietrowski goes on to say that a meeting was called regarding the above situation:

Those persons present at the one o'clock meeting on Friday included the executive director, the rehabilitation chief, the rehabilitation supervisor, Raymond Madigan and Marvin Burr. The director stated that the accusation of discrimination made by the state representative against the Personnel Department was "an extremely serious matter" He further stated that he was certain that the Personnel Department had not discriminated against the blind applicants because he had personally made arrangements for a sighted reader to read the examination to one of the blind applicants When asked by one of the counselors, he stated that he had made these arrangements on the previous day. The director was told, during this meeting, that a technician in the Personnel Department had told one of the blind applicants that he, the blind applicant, would have been qualified for the exam but that when Mr. Duncan, from the agency for the blind, reviewed the applications, he had been rejected Once again the director's attitude seemed to be that this kind of situation was of no concern to the rehabilitation counselor. A lengthy statement was made by the director regarding the obligation of loyalty that the professional staff should have for the administration. Burr stated that he would continue to answer questions from blind people, or other people in responsible positions, openly and honestly and that if the administration wished him to do otherwise, this position should be made known as clearly as possible. During this meeting, the rehabilitation chief read a lengthy statement which he said had been received by telephone from Grace Markham of the State Personnel Department. This report contained the names of the blind people who had applied for the position along with questions they had asked her and the answers which she had given them. Duncan also stated that he had received several calls from Miss Markham during that week and that he had just completed his third discussion of the day with her.

The examination was given as scheduled on Saturday, February 26, 1972.

Pietrowski claimed none of the six applicants took the exam.

Raymond Madigan, of Old Mystic, a Rehabilitation Counselor with the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind and a veteran of 25 years of working with the blind, confirmed the fact that the meetings which Pietrowski had indicated, did in fact take place.

The State Board of Education and Services for the Blind was established in 1893. This agency is made up of four divisions, which are encompassed in a central office located at 170 Ridge Road, Wethersfield, Connecticut. The agency serves approximately 5,000 legally blind and approximately 9,000 visually impaired persons in the state.

A person is legally blind if central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, in laymen's terms, an object seen at 20 feet by a person with 20/20 vision would appear to be 200 feet away for a legally blind person. To handle the 14,000 visually impaired persons are approximately 75 full-time employees.

Overseeing the agency is a Board of Directors. "The Board of Education and Services for the Blind is administered by a Director who is appointed by and responsible to the Board. The Board consists of the Governor and Chief Justice as ex-officio members (or their appointed representatives) and six other members appointed by the Governor for four-year overlapping terms." The Board receives no salary.

March 16th may have been a turning point for the blind of Connecticut. For the first time since 1893, a group of interested blind people met at 170 Ridge Road, Wethersfield, for the purpose of attending a scheduled Board of Directors meeting to learn what progress has been made in the investigation of alleged "Job Bias". The group included two people. Rev. May and Shirley Lebowitz from the National Federation of the Blind, Connecticut Chapter and three people, Al Pietrowski, David Bates, and Jim Sajkowicz from the newly formed Blind Association for Progressive Action  (BAPA).

A few minutes before 2 P.M. the directors were informed there was a group interested in attending the Directors meeting.

A few moments after 2 P.M., this group was ushered into the meeting room and introduced themselves to three of a possible eight members of the Board. Since there was not a quorum present an informal discussion was held. Justice Louis Shapiro, Chairman of the Board of Directors inquired as to what was the purpose of the group's attendance. It was stated that the purpose was to help cement relations between Board of Directors and blind of the state.

Questions were asked by Pietrowski, May and Reporters.

Question--Is every meeting of the Board of Directors held in executive session?

Justice Shapiro--Since I have been chairman, which has been about two years it has been the policy of the Board to meet four times a year in executive session...

Question by Justice Shapiro--Do you want an informal forum say an hour before the regularly scheduled Board meeting in which you can present your ideas to the Board or do you want to sit in on the Executive Session of the Board?

Federation and BAPA--An informal session before the regular Board meeting where we could speak to the Board members would be helpful. But if it were possible we would like to sit in and listen without interfering while the Board meeting is in session. Seeing that Public Act 499 states that the minutes of the Board meeting will be made available for public inspection within 48 hours, we thought it would not be unreasonable to observe such meetings. . . .

Justice Shapiro, after reading Public Act 499, did not know what the exact interpretation was and stated "If you wish to sit in on Executive Session a determination must be made by the Attorney General." Justice Shapiro further stated he would try to get this determination from the Attorney General before the next Board meeting. Since there was no quorum for this present meeting, he would try to schedule the next meeting within 30 days.

Question--Do you know what progress has been made on the investigation of possible or alleged "Job Bias" or "foul play" by some state agencies, particularly this agency?

Justice Shapiro--Mr. Patton, what do you know about this?

Mr. Patton (Director of the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind)--It is on the agenda for today's meeting, do you care to discuss it judge?

Justice Shapiro--Perhaps we had better hold that, subject to the ruling of the Attorney General.

In an interview with Mr. William Patton it was asked if reporters could speak to William Duncan. Mr. Patton said he would be able to handle any question which might be asked about the agency. He was asked and answered several questions on background information on the agency. Mr. Patton handed out several brochures which he said would probably answer any additional questions about the agency. Patton said "In regards to problems of the rehabilitated blind, there is a Julius Morris in New Britain, who could give one much on the subject for he was a World War II Winded veteran."

Question--Would it be possible to see the minutes of past meetings of the Board of Directors?

Mr. Patton--No. I am sorry but I have instructions from my superior not to show the minutes to anyone until the Attorney General makes his ruling.

Mr. Patton said this even though Public Act 499 states:

"The votes of each member of any such body shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours, excluding any Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, and shall also be recorded in the minutes of the session at which taken, which (records) minutes shall be available for public inspection at all reasonable times."

Question--Do you know of any meetings that had been called which could not make a quorum?

Mr. Patton--To my knowledge since I have been here, yesterday was the first time.

Question--Has there ever been a meeting with full attendance?

Mr. Patton--(He thumbed through the minutes and responded) Yes.

Julius Morris, a State Representative, interviewed in his office in New Britain discussed the problems which he encountered being blind and becoming an attorney and legislator in Connecticut. Asked about possible "Job Bias" against the blind or collusion between state agencies, he stated that as far as he was concerned there was no "collusion" between agencies. However he said he had a notarized statement in his possession, which he claims told of William Duncan, involving himself in alleged consultation with the State Personnel Department over confidential job applications. Morris stated "that he was handling this statement strictly in a mechanical sense."

Duncan in his "Statement of facts" said:

"After it was certain that the Agency was securing the position of Rehabilitation Counselor, I called Mr. Dan Smith and told him that I expected the examination to be announced shortly and that I thought he was the type of counselor that we are looking for to perform the difficult task of rehabilitating the blind... In no manner did I promise him the position.

"Sometime after the examination was announced, I received a call from a technician in the Personnel Department stating that he was concerned about the small number of applications being received and that many of these appeared unqualified according to the job specifications, and that he had tentatively rejected some of them. He asked if I would mind giving my opinion as to the qualifications being outlined on the applications. I agreed, as I understood that it is a customary practice of the Personnel Department to seek advice from qualified staff in the Agency where the position is to be filled. In reviewing the applicant's experience, the Personnel Technician and I referred to the job specifications several times and based upon my own knowledge of vocational rehabilitation, I gave my opinion as to whether the experience would qualify or not….

It was also my understanding that all applications which are rejected by the technicians are reviewed on a higher level; and all rejected applicants may apply through the Personnel Department for a formal grievance hearing if they wish to use it."

Rev. Howard May said in a recent interview, "There are two, possibly three, of the rejected applicants who are going to appeal to the State Personnel Department" When asked about the board members and their failure to appear for the scheduled Board of Directors meeting on Thursday the 1 6th of March, he said, "We were told by Patton that because of a new type of mailing system they (the missing members) did not receive the notice sent out a week in advance. We are checking into the matter and it is possible that the Board members were never notified."

There are still many unanswered questions and at this time not enough of them have been answered to complete this puzzle says Pietrowski. These incidents alone are a violation of supposed standard procedure in filing for any state job openings. In ordinary circumstances when a job is open, the department with the opening notifies Personnel, after which there is no other communication concerning the position. Therefore, anyone in the department having the opening would have no just means of recommending or rejecting any applications; it would be strictly a matter for Personnel, whose employees are the supposed authorities on qualifications needed for all applicants for state jobs.

Mr. Pietrowski stated further: "We as blind people, believe it is our right, as well as our responsibility, to make the fullest possible contribution of our abilities and energies, in whatever way we can, to the world around us. An agency which is supposed to be working in our behalf should at least give us that chance."

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Editor, the Compass,

In your March 23, 1972 issue, you gave a full and detailed account of the situation which came about when blind people applied for a position as rehabilitation counselor for blind clients.

If discrimination against the blind applicants were the only question raised, that should have brought about an investigation. If the only question raised were that of a possible violation of the guide lines set down by the Merit System, that should have brought about a full investigation. If collusion between the Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the Personnel Division were the only question raised, that should have brought about a full and immediate investigation by the directors of these two agencies.

Since all of these questions were raised, I believe the blind community of this state and the Connecticut taxpayers deserve nothing less than a complete investigation of all these points.

Could it be just a coincidence that the first time the public comes to attend a Board of Directors meeting of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind is also the first time there are not enough members present to make a quorum? Could it be just a coincidence that the meeting notices were not delivered by the U. S. Post Office to the sighted board members and only the blind board members received them?

I believe that the blind of this state should exercise their right to sit in on board meetings of the only agency in Connecticut which was designated to meet their needs. That right to know is spelled out in Public Act 499. The decisions made by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind have far-reaching effects on the lives and livelihoods of the blind and their families.

The organization I represent has pledged itself to bring about improvements in the quality of life for all the blind. It is not our intention to build barriers between the agency and the blind, but rather to remove them.

Thank you for helping to bring this matter to the attention of the public.

Very truly yours,
Shirley Lebowitz
Public Relations Director
National Federation of the Blind of
Connecticut, Inc.

96 Iroquois Rd.
West Hartford, Ct.
March 24, 1972

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Charges of State discrimination against the blind were denied by the director of the State Personnel Department following an order by the office of Governor Thomas Meskill for a complete review of the charges.

The order for the investigation was announced by the Governor's aide, John Doyle, on Monday morning. The investigation followed charges made public in the Compass Comment of March 23, that the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the State Personnel Department were discriminating against the blind of Connecticut in filing job openings. Reached at his office Monday afternoon State Personnel Department Director, Edward H. Simpson said he, "found no discrimination by his department." Simpson added that a letter detailing the Department's investigation had been sent to a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, whom he refused to identify. Norwich State Representative Thomas Sweeney, had earlier demanded the investigation. Rep. Sweeney, who has been under treatment for an injury for the past week, could not be reached for comment.

While a few of the principals in the case were willing to comment, William Patton, Director of the State board of Education and Service for the Blind said, "The allegations are just not true."

These allegations, which were first made by Alfred Pietrowski of Norwich, president of the Blind Association for Progressive Action, included three main charges: That the State examination for a new counselor for the blind was rigged; that blind candidates were systemically eliminated from taking the examination; and that there was collusion between the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind and State Personnel Department.

Miss Grace Markham, a supervisor for the State Personnel Department admitted that the Department sent to the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind the application for the position of counselor but said, "We asked him (William Duncan) to review them as is customary." She refused to comment further saying, "Mr. Simpson has all the facts."

William Duncan, the chief of the Rehabilitation section of the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind would only say he believed there was "a misunderstanding of the facts."

Asked to comment on the investigation Mr. Pietrowski said, "We will continue to press for a full and complete review of this case. We do not believe that a thorough investigation could have been completed in so short a time. We believe our original charges would be substantiated by a complete investigation."

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Years ago, by accident not design, the state struck a sort of bargain with the blind: we will provide you with security in exchange for your independence. It is the kind of bargain the blind are no longer agreeable to.

There are two major issues involved in the controversy between the blind of the State of Connecticut and the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind. The first is the specific case of whether or not the Board, with the aid of the State Personnel Department set out to deliberately exclude qualified blind persons from competing for the position of counselor for the blind. The second involves the right of the blind to have a voice in making the decisions which will affect their future.

Because it has been felt for years that the blind are more susceptible to the wiles of mankind than other minority groups, the state has always maintained a special kind of relationship with the blind. Unfortunately, this relationship has been more paternalistic than partnership in nature. It is this attitude of 'father knows best' that is at the heart of the two issues now confronting the State of Connecticut. The charge that the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind deliberately set out to exclude qualified blind persons from taking the examination for the position of counselor for the blind is a serious one that deserves a full and open hearing. To pretend that the Director of the State Personnel Department, which is involved in the charge, can conduct this investigation with impartiality, is beyond reason. The governor should immediately appoint an impartial panel, with powers of subpoena, to fully investigate the charges.

Beyond the specific case, which first was detailed in last week's Compass Comment, the time has come for a complete change in the relationship between the State of Connecticut and the blind of Connecticut. The State must understand that there is a new generation of blind, a generation who do not think that the loss of their independence is a good price to pay for security. The blind of today's generation want to take their rightful place in the mainstream of society, contributing their talents and abilities towards creating a better society. All they ask is the chance to prove their worth. This is the challenge the State must meet.

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by James Nyman

On October 7, 1971, Secretary Richardson of HEW authorized the creation of a seventeen member national advisory committee on services to the blind and visually handicapped. Members were to be drawn from organizations of and for the blind and are expected to advise the Secretary and make recommendations on services in this area. First meeting of the committee took place in Washington, DC, on March 7 and 8, 1972.

Federationists may recall that it was just barely two years ago that a decision was taken by the Secretary of HEW to amalgamate the services of the Department for various handicapped groups into a "special populations" division, thereby eliminating separate administrative structures dealing with services to the blind and visually handicapped. In face of widespread opposition, this decision was rescinded and Secretary Richardson further agreed to establish the advisory committee. The Committee is charged with the responsibility of advising the Secretary and the Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service on "1) needs and gaps in services; 2) changing service delivery patterns; 3) special personnel training requirements; 4) trends in adjustment and prevocational training; 5) effective patterns for work evaluation and employment; 6) trends in operation of business enterprises, e.g., Randolph Sheppard vending stand programs; 7) inter- and intra-departmental relationships in the provision of comprehensive services to the blind and visually handicapped; 8) effective patterns in research utilization; 9) innovative techniques for integrating services programs; and 10) needs for legislation."

The first meeting of the Committee heard from a host of officials from different facets of its responsibility. Of necessity, the initial meeting was chiefly informational and orientational, descriptions of existing programs and administrative structures, with their interrelations, being presented in sessions that ran from nine until four-thirty on each of the two days. Some provision was made in the tightly arranged schedule of presentations for discussion from the committee members. This discussion was occasionally lively, but more often reflected the frustation and confusion of members laboring under the burden of information and orientation.

Membership of the committee was to be drawn from the "field of services for the blind and visually handicapped; State and local government; institutions of higher education; voluntary agencies; organizations of and for the blind and consumers." Peter J. Salmon (well known to readers of The Monitor for his articles on services to the deaf-blind) was appointed chairman of the committee by the Secretary of HEW. Other members of the committee were drawn from AAWB, American Foundation, National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind as well as others. A list of the members follows with their affiliation.

L. H. Autry, Deputy Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, Arkansas, and president of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind; Voris G. Bailey, psychologist at the Kansas School for the Visually Handicapped; Dr. Stanley N. Clark, ophthalmologist from Provo, Utah; John S. Crowley, president, American Foundation for the Blind; Carl J. Davis, head of the Department of Psychology and Guidance at Perkins School for the Blind and president of the Association for Education of the Visually Handicapped; J. Michael Freeman, described as a "consumer." (Michael Freeman is from Vancouver, Washington, a graduate of Reed College and now a graduate student in physics at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces.); Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and president of the National Federation of the Blind--in case Monitor readers did not recognize him!; Mrs. Arminda Johnson, Director of Volunteer Programs, Board of Directors, Recording for the Blind, Colorado chapter; Miss Betty Ann Jones, described as a "consumer". Miss Jones is also legislative chairman for the New York affiliate of the American Council. She is employed as a secretary and associated with the visually impaired secretaries organization of ACB; Mrs. Leah K. Manning, Director, Indian Social Service Program in Carson City, Nevada; Lewis P. Myers, also described as a "consumer," he is a retired businessman from Madison, Wisconsin; Professor James S. Nyman, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Nyman is a long-time NFB member, currently secretary of the Alamo chapter of the NFB of Texas and chairman of the legislative committee and delegate to the Chicago NFB convention; Mrs. Myroslava Oryshkewych, Cleveland Society for the Blind; Miss Barbara E. Richards, Director, Medical Social Services, San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton, California; Judge Reese H. Robrahn, president, American Council of the Blind; Dr. Peter J. Salmon, administrative vice-president, Industrial Home for the Blind (Brooklyn) and representing AAWB, serving as chairman; Robert F. Wiensenberger, blind member of the city council of Rocky River, Ohio, employed by an elevator company and a member of a small association of privately employed and professional blind persons in the Cleveland area.

In the midst of all the information and orientation the committee received in its first meeting, one thing failed to come through as clearly as might have been wished--what role is the committee expected to play in the formulation of policies and programs for the blind and the visually handicapped. Representation on the committee is diversified, but, on any breakdown, somewhat less than half the members represent blind organizations and persons speaking on behalf of the blind. The remainder are professional agency personnel whose advice must necessarily reflect their professional qualifications and institutional affiliation. Secretary Richardson stated that the formation of the committee was "one of the most important moves forward in the field of work for the blind in many years." We hope he may be right, but it needs some work to make this aspiration a reality. Kenneth Jernigan and James Nyman will exert whatever energies they have toward making this National Advisory Committee on Services to the Blind and Visually Handicapped a meaningful instrumentality for representing the interests of the blind to the Secretary of HEW.

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[Editor's Note: The following letter has been received from H. G. "Jim" Bums, blind Associate Professor of Psychology at Los Angeles (California) City College and a long-time member of the Active Blind, formerly the Los Angeles County Club of Adult Blind where he has served diligently for a great many years as Corresponding Secretary.]

Mrs. Florence Grannis, Librarian at Iowa Commission for the Blind, has expressed both a sound philosophy and a high hope concerning library services for the blind. In the January, 1972 Braille Monitor, excerpting the DBPH News, and in earlier Monitor articles, Mrs. Grannis voiced the egalitarian sentiment that the blind are normal readers with the normally wide range of interests found among the sighted. Therefore, a library for the blind should serve its clientele as any public library does, either with the books wanted or advice as to their availability.

But what have courageous sentiments and reason to do with service from the DBPH in the Library of Congress? Very little it appears. The only connection with reason or fact and the service of DBPH is the double reality that limited money restricts the number of available titles and that the reading tastes of the majority over 50 years of age will be catered to primarily. But Mrs. Grannis holds a professional librarian's view surely not unfamiliar to the library staff of DBPH that there is a moral obligation to provide whatever reading clientele you serve with the books which it requires, and to do so with reasonable despatch or to communicate quickly and courteously when delay is unavoidable. In my personal experience as a borrower of Braille I have found the DBPH in the Library of Congress hardly ever complies with normal library practice requirements. If Mrs. Grannis's hopes are to become realities, readers should be able to secure at least one reference in nearly anything from sewing to semantics, mysteries to music histories. And, with 72 copies per Braille title and 275 Braille titles registered by the Library of Congress, readers should get them within a very few weeks after request.

I used to think the problem was money. But appropriations tripled for DBPH between 1965 and 1971, according to the statistical tabulation on page 34 of the January, 1972, Braille Monitor. Then I thought the problem was not enough people to do the shipping and the office work. But personnel more than doubled (87 employees of whom 1 8 are blind) by 1971. Perhaps insufficient personnel is still the difficulty, since one must in all honesty note that readers more than doubled from 1965 to 1971, jumping from about 103,000 to 254,000. And yet, a noisome canker of suspicion is forming in my mind from all the correspondence in recent Monitors that our problem with the DBPH lies less in available personnel and more in personalities. Whether it is indifference, overwork or rising resentment that the blind have joined their organizations in loud public complaint, I cannot say specifically. But whenever a title appears in the Braille Book Review as available from the Library of Congress, I adopt the expressions of the disappointed consumer who thought an advertisement meant what it said. "Forget it, man, No way!"

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May 2, 1972

Iowa State Comm. for the Blind
4th & Keosaqua Way
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Attention - Mrs. Florence Grannis

Dear Mrs. Grannis:

Am writing you to request a book to transcribe into Braille. I have Brailled for the Library of Congress since 1965, but lately it's a long wait between assignments from them.

So perhaps you can use my help. Sorry that I have no talent for special format such as music, math or other text book work, only "straight Braille."

If I may state a preference, it is for Non-Fiction. Please--no dirty books.

It also occurs to me that your Title Page would read differently from that of the Library's. So I would need that information from you.

May I hear from you?

Very truly yours,

Emily Reddy (Mrs. Richard)
140 Russell Avenue
Rochester, New York 14611

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Re: Mr. Robert Bray
April 25, 1972

Saturday, April 22, it was my privilege to serve as moderator of a panel on Services to the Blind at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia. Since the delegates came from within the state, the emphasis of the panel primarily concerned services for the blind in Virginia. In order to explain the Braille Distribution Program and to discuss the Sub-regional Library Plan, Mr. Robert S. Bray, Chief, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, was invited to participate on the panel.

As moderator of the panel, in the introductory remarks, I stated how happy we were to have Mr. Bray with us. Additionally, I indicated that the delegates were eager to hear about the Braille Distribution Program within the state and in general about any late developments within the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. Immediately upon taking the floor, Mr. Bray commenced to make thinly veiled remarks concerning the library of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the national administration of the Federation. One of his earliest remarks was in summarizing the statements of the previous speaker concerning the role of Braille instruction in the new Virginia Rehabilitation Center. An accurate paraphrase of his remarks would be that even in that Valhalla in Iowa, according to their own figures, there was a sharp decline in Braille borrowers. Shortly thereafter, in response to a question from the floor, Mr. Bray remarked that he had played an important role in establishing the Iowa library. "The published correspondence did not reflect it. They have been rather careless with my correspondence." There were several other instances where Mr. Bray talked about the Valhalla in Iowa and took occasion to indicate his displeasure with the "unfair treatment his Division has received from the organized blind." It was my impression that he seemed annoyed with the failure of many blind to endorse enthusiastically the sub-regional library scheme.

It is my view that many of Mr. Bray's gratuitous remarks were extraneous and served no useful purpose. Many of the delegates remarked to me later that they had been surprised concerning the discourtesy displayed by Mr. Bray. It would certainly be fair to say that his comments concerning the Iowa library were inappropriate and hostile. Moreover, the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia Convention was not the proper forum to discuss his discontentment with the national administration of the Federation.

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May 4, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Mumford:

I had hoped not to have to trouble you again with matters concerning Mr. Robert Bray and his Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. However, as you will see from the enclosed memorandum, Mr. Bray took a recent occasion to make a public attack upon the Iowa Library for the Blind and the leadership of the National Federation of the Blind. It is, perhaps, natural that Mr. Bray should feel resentment (a human enough trait) that some of the problems concerning his Division were brought to your attention several months ago, but his actions illustrate the very thing I was talking to you about. He customarily seems to be rude and hostile, and he particularly appears to resent the organized blind movement and the fact that it has dared contact you concerning his behavior.

I have evidence from more than one person who attended the convention of the Virginia affiliate of the Federation that Mr. Bray made repeated attacks upon me personally, the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind. I now officially call this behavior to your attention and ask that steps be taken to prevent a recurrence of it. If Mr. Bray chooses to have personal hatreds or to harbor resentments, this is his own business, but I do not believe that he has the right (publicly and in his official capacity as a representative of the Library of Congress) to attack consumer groups and regional libraries. I would appreciate having your reaction to this letter and Mr. Bray's behavior. In order to expedite matters I am sending Mr. Bray a copy of my letter and Mr. Urena's memorandum.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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Washington, D.C. 20540

May 22, 1972

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

I wish to acknowledge your letter of May 4.

It is no doubt impossible for either of us to judge the events at the recent meeting of the Virginia affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, since we were not present. A tape recording of the session on library service does not convey the same impression as that contained in Mr. Urena's report to you or in your letter. References to the library of the Iowa Commission for the Blind were quite numerous before Mr. Bray spoke, and his references to it were quite logical and were certainly not critical. The word "Valhalla" was used, but not in a derogatory sense. At no point on the recording did I find any references to the Federation or to you.

The matter of sub-regional libraries is one on which opinion is divided, and I am sure the Federation's opinions have been noted. In this connection, one of the blind speakers at the Virginia meeting, while expressing doubt as to the desirability of the sub-regional library, did admit that he was using one of these to good advantage. As I believe I have mentioned in earlier correspondence, most of the problems with which readers are concerned must be tackled by effective action at the State level. The discussions at the Virginia meeting brought this out quite clearly.

Sincerely yours,

L. Quincy Mumford
Librarian of Congress

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May 30, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Mumford:

This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of May 22 in answer to mine of May 4 concerning the behavior of Mr. Bray at the recent convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia. As you say, neither of us was there, so it is difficult for us to make accurate judgements of the tone and tenor of what occurred. I have the word of Mr. Urena and a number of other Federationists. You have the word of Mr. Bray, and you have apparently listened to a tape of the proceedings (which, I assume, was prepared by Mr. Bray). I have not had the benefit of hearing that tape, and I now request that you send me a copy of it. This seems only fair since I shared Mr. Urena's memo with you.

Despite all the talk about "sub-regional libraries" and whether they are good or bad (which, I believe, is not the issue), you admit that Mr. Bray used the term Valhalla, presumably in connection with the Iowa program. It is hard to see how this could be done appropriately or without snideness. The very word carries connotations of sarcasm when used in connection with a program or institution. However, I would like to judge for myself when I hear the tape and will hope the tape is not edited or altered in the slightest.

It does seem difficult for us to arrive at a meeting of the minds in some of these matters; yet, I believe we may be making progress. I thank you for responding to my letter and for giving me your reactions. I shall look forward to receiving the tape.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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A so-called new approach to services for welfare recipients has been proposed officially by HEW's Social and Rehabilitation Service. Proposed regulations, now printed in the Federal Register, will require States to administer social services and cash assistance payments programs separately and independently. Once again the Federal administrators say that social services provide forms of help that are vital to most recipients in overcoming barriers to personal and family stability and independence--thus helping people leave welfare rolls.

Social services are provided by State and local government with the Federal government paying 75 percent of costs. They include such services as homemaker help, day care enabling poor mothers to work, family counseling, and referral for medical help, rehabilitation or job training, and other necessary functions.

Undoubtedly some social services are helpful to some recipients. However, it is equally true that such services do not appreciably decrease the welfare rolls, the chief argument used by Federal and State administrators in their behalf. More than fifteen years ago there was mounting dissatisfaction in State legislative bodies and in the Congress over mounting caseloads and costs and the lack of any imaginative approaches by the administrators. These factors combined to lead to the 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act, incorporating provisions for services in the welfare programs. The Federal government began at that time sharing with the States the financial costs of providing services to allegedly further self-support of recipients of aid.

While the 1956 Amendments added new elements to the administration of public assistance, most of the States were slow in implementing the new emphasis. The Federal government sought to supply motivation six years later with the 1962 Amendments which greatly increased the ratio of Federal financial participation in the costs of services. This was done, however, by over-selling the Congress, promising that the increased outlay of Federal funds for services and research projects would result in reduced caseloads. However, by 1972--ten years after increased Federal funds were brought into play to encourage the decreasing of dependency through "services" and "research" such was not the case. On the contrary, all categories of public assistance except Aid to the Blind have experienced a dramatic increase in both numbers and costs, particularly Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Aid to the Disabled. Realizing that public welfare administrators had failed to fulfill their bright promises of 1956 and 1962, the Congress in 1967 placed responsibility for job training and placement of recipients of public assistance in the hands of the Labor Department.

Between 1967 and 1972 public welfare administrators, in a last desperate effort, reorganized their staffs into two groups, those providing services and those concerned with income-maintenance. This artificial division has not achieved the goal of reducing dependency and completely loses sight of the fact that the greatest single service is to provide the needy recipient with a reasonably adequate amount of cash with which to purchase the necessities of life. This is largely why the country today is moving rapidly away from public welfare grants and administration of public assistance toward some sort of guaranteed income.

In spite of this dismal history of the failure of services to decrease caseloads and costs, we now find the Federal government requiring a mandatory separation of services from eligibility determination. This has become the latest addition to a depressingly long line of still-born "breakthroughs" in welfare reform.

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by Jim Doherty

On March 15, the National Federation of the Blind of the District of Columbia took the first big step toward passage of a White Cane Law for Washington, D. C. A House District subcommittee unanimously approved a bill which is essentially the same as the Model White Cane Law.

Washington is like no other place in the country. It has a City Council and a "Mayor" (officially his title is Commissioner), but neither has much authority unless Congress decides to grant it. The NFB affiliate in the District, then called the Capital Chapter, first tried going through the City Council to obtain a White Cane Law. Almost two years ago, the Council passed a resolution declaring its support for the goals of such a law. This resolution, along with the Model White Cane Law and John Nagle's detailed explanation of it, then went to the Corporation Counsel, the Mayor's legal advisor. That office reviews every bit of legislation that comes up for consideration by the city government.

At that point, it seemed just a matter of time before the City Council would take action; so we waited, patiently at first, then more and more impatiently. Nothing. We therefore decided to seek congressional action, though we knew that the many steps involved might take several months.

To begin any legislative process, you first look for a sponsor. We knew ours would have to be a member of either the House or Senate Committees on District Affairs, but which one to approach? The answer came somewhat unexpectedly, when Sonny Beech, a member of the Potomac Federation, and his guide dog ran into trouble renting an apartment in Alexandria, Virginia. Sonny called his Congressman, Joel T. Broyhill, who was glad to help--and who happens to be an influential member of the House District Committee. Tom Bickford, legislative chairman for the NFB of D. C. was well aware of that fact and quickly got a copy of the Model White Cane Law to Mr. Broyhill.

Not long after this, John Nagle received a call from a member of the Congressman's staff who said the bill had been introduced and would soon be scheduled for hearings before the appropriate subcommittee. While we waited, six of us prepared testimony. Our president, Gale Conard, prepared an opening statement. George Reed was to speak on equal access to public accommodations. I would then talk about the traffic section, Roger Petersen about employment, and John Jackson about housing, in that order. Tom would then summarize the reasons for and purposes of a White Cane Law.

At that same time, Tom addressed to all of you a "Dear Colleagues" letter, asking you to contact your Congressmen and urge them to support our bill, H. R. 11032. Your response was beautiful. Mr. Broyhill's staff reported receiving copies of several letters, as well as calls from many other members of Congress, seeking information and voicing support.

The subcommittee to which our bill was assigned is chaired by Congressman William Stuckey of Georgia. It is responsible for District-related legislation concerning public health, welfare, housing, and youth affairs. With such a range of responsibilities, it is understandable that its calendar would be crowded. Finally, though, we were given the date, March 15.

Ahead of us on the day's agenda was a bill dealing with the establishment of a national museum of firefighting. So it was 11:00 before we got started. Gale's opening statement drew many comments from the Congressmen present indicating both their understanding of the problems we face and their admiration for our efforts to solve them through legislation. Chairman Stuckey suggested that, if time permitted, he was willing to have the panel go into session and vote out the bill before lunch. George Reed was next on the list to testify, and it was obvious when he had finished that the bill was destined to pass with no difficulty. One of George's anecdotes was quoted next day in the Washington Post. Gale's statement that with the White Cane Law we seek no special privilege but simply the "rights so casually accepted and so freely exercised by the sighted and physically fit" was also quoted. In addition, a local television station, whose cameras whirred repeatedly throughout the hearing, aired part of Gale's testimony on its 10:00 pm newscast. When I had finished my remarks on the vehicle section of the bill, we could see that the Congressmen were anxious to get to work. Having checked with Roger and John, Tom informed the Chairman that the balance of the testimony would be submitted in written form to conserve time.

We had to leave while the Subcommittee deliberated. Not knowing how long this might take, most of us left for lunch or to return to work. We should have stayed as Tom did; for, in a very few minutes. Congressmen Broyhill and Stuckey came out with the the news that the bill had been unanimously passed.

This is, of course, just the first step. We still have to go through the full District Committee of the House, the House itself and then the Senate. It's a long process, but with your letters and our persistence, we should be able to tell you in Chicago that, at last, Washington, D. C. has a White Cane Law.

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[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted by courtesy of the ASSOCIATED PRESS. It constitutes eloquent testimony that blind persons can serve as jurors in our courts, the widespread misunderstanding to the contrary notwithstanding.]

Justice is said to be blind. But one judge attending the annual convention of the North American Judges Association doesn't think so. He is blind.

Judge August R. Jankowski, a city court judge in Dunkirk, N, Y., says he "sees" the evidence and facts of a case clearly and he carefully checks the law in the case. "I see the defendant by hearing him speak," Judge Jankowski said in an interview. "His manner of speaking, inflection of his voice, ability to express himself, accent and many other things 'show' me better than sight could, the person who stands before my bench."

Judge Jankowski was blinded by a shotgun blast in a hunting accident when he was 18. "I made up my mind that blindness would not change my life," he said. The citizens of Dunkirk donated funds for Judge Jankowski to attend school, and, he says, the most important thing they gave him was the "courage to perform as if the accident had never happened."

He won his juris doctor degree from the Syracuse College of Law in 1948, and practiced law for two years before being elected to city court. He recently won a fourth term to the seat, the only judge in Dunkirk, a town of 35,000 people.

"I find no problem," he said, "even in examining photographs or exhibits. If the exhibit is a knife or gun, I can feel it. "If it is a chart or a picture, I rely on arguments by counsel about whether it should be admitted as evidence and if necessary, my court personnel explain or describe the exhibit or the defendant to me." Judge Jankowski says that half the time, he doesn't remember that he is blind. "I have accepted it, conquered it and don't hesitate to talk about it, because any handicap, under those terms, can be turned into an asset," he added.

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In November, 1970, I became a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, with many doubts and a few reservations. At the age of six years I had begun eleven years of "education" at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, a custodial, regimented, typically medieval school for the blind. After graduation, I became a "client" of the then Florida Council for the Blind, our State agency, which never ceased to remind me, both by inference and sometimes directly, of my obligations to them. With these experiences behind me, it is logical that I would be hesitant to join any organization connected with blindness. What could a few organized blind people hope to accomplish in the face of a well established bureaucracy? Why did this organization feel that it could succeed where other organizations of the blind had failed in the past? These and many other questions have been answered during my past eighteen months with the NFB.

I attended Stetson University for one year and the University of Florida for three years which was a refreshing, illuminating and probably a life-saving experience for me. I am now married and have three children, James age ten, Michelle age nine, and Michael age seven. I work as a medical secretary at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville Florida, and in my leisure time I attend church, am president of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, secretary of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, Jacksonville chapter, vice president of San Jose Elementary School PTA, a first grade room mother, and am active in the Pine Forest School's Parent-Teacher organization where my husband is president. Somehow I always find time to be with my family and, of necessity, I am a homemaker.

The National Federation of the Blind of Florida was reborn in November 1970, largely due to the efforts of Mrs. Mary Ellen Anderson and Mr. Donald Capps who, despite many obstacles and much discouragement, managed to bring together four small chapters into convention at Orlando, Florida. We now have five chapters and by the end of the year hopefully should have seven. Although our number is still small (approximately 150 members) our people are dedicated, hard-working members who live the NFB philosophy and are proud to support its objectives. Our executive board is indicative of such people: first vice president Sam Sitt, North Miami Beach, retired and "father" of our organization; second vice-president Dr. Fareed Haj, Miami, educator in the public schools and editor of our state paper; secretary Ms. Shirley Corbin, Jacksonville, legal secretary; treasurer Louis Corbin, Jacksonville, attorney and candidate for county judge; Ms. Bette French, Orlando, housewife; Jim Evrard, Gainesville, student interning in guidance counseling; Malachi Troup, Miami, who recently received a master's degree and is seeking employment in the field of social work; and Eddie Morits, Jacksonville, student in pre-law at Florida Junior College.

Our primary accomplishment in the first year was the passage of the Model White Cane Law and a subsequent, state-wide public relations campaign to inform the people of Florida of the existence of the law and of the protections therein. We have also been involved in several fundraising campaigns and membership drives. We are currently supporting one of our members, a vending stand operator at Cape Kennedy Space Center, in a law suit against the Florida Bureau of Blind Services.

For many years now a wall of hopelessness and dependency has been skillfully constructed around the blind persons of Florida by our State agency and workers for the blind. Slowly we have begun to chisel away at this wall and those people are beginning to question, to expect answers, and to demand a better life. Until this wall has completely crumbled, until dependency is replaced by responsibility, complacency by concern, and despair by hope, and until every blind citizen of Florida is a "first-class" citizen, our work will not be completed nor our dreams fullfilled.

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by Ronald L. Miller

The Twelfth Annual Blind Teachers Conference was held on May 6, 1972 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Despite its close proximity to the famous park of fantasy and fun, the Conference continued the precedent of professionalism and its varied program was informative and interesting to the seventy assembled present and future blind teachers and guests. An additional ingredient, which added considerably to the Conference, was the excellent luncheon served by the Disneyland Hotel staff.

It was the intention of the Conference co-chairmen--R. Donald Brown, teacher at Dale Junior High School in Anaheim and Dr. Ronald L. Miller, assistant professor at Pepperdine University at Los Angeles--to base the program on the topic "The Challenge of the '70's." Brown and Miller felt the teacher, blind and sighted, must begin adjusting and adapting to the needs of the emerging modem educational system. For those who cannot change the way will be difficult, if not impossible. For the blind teacher, in particular, the future is bleak indeed without innovative change. Closely allied with the emphasis for constructive change, the concept of unity and organization was woven throughout the fabric of the program.

In his keynote address, "The Changing Role of the Teacher," Dr. Bernard Kravitz, Chairman of the Department of Teacher Education at Cal State at Fullerton, pointed the Conference in the right direction. Dr. Kravitz noted that accelerated pace and thrust of life because of the knowledge explosion and technological advances have undermined society's traditional values and institutions. The teacher, therefore, because of his important position, must be ready to adapt to meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's children.

There is a greater emphasis, according to Dr. Kravitz, on choices in the public school curricula now. A variety of programs exist, and within these varied programs, there are smaller units and groupings to give a more individualized learning experience.

Other aspects of the changing role of the teacher are his use of all instructional resources, flexible classroom organization, the use of paraprofessionals, and computer complexes to facilitate and reinforce learning. In the adoption of such methods and techniques, Dr. Kravitz forsees the teacher as a manager or facilitator. The emphasis will be on "how to learn" and how to encourage responsible decision making.

In conclusion, Dr. Kravitz noted that change brings forth uncertainty and insecurity, but the change for the teacher should be an exciting challenge. In many respects, the second speaker, Mr. Noe Lopez, addressed himself directly to Dr. Kravitz's remarks. Mr. Lopez teaches English and Social Studies to multi-handicapped students at the Speech and Language Development Center in Anaheim, which is a private institution providing some of the services that public school districts have not seen fit or have been unable to establish.

He noted that, because of the wide range of abilities and degree of handicaps, the instruction by necessity must be individualized. As an example, one student may be working on algebra problems, while it is a major task for another to accomplish a simple chore like hanging up his coat. Mr. Lopez indicated that it was extremely essential to find techniques which meet the needs of the students. Fortunately, he had a teaching aide, who helped in presenting this individualized instruction. Individualized instruction, classroom flexibility, use of a variety of resources and teaching aids, and parent cooperation are all methods Mr. Lopez uses in his teaching.

Mr. William N. Northrop, legislative analyst for Assemblyman Kenneth Cory of Garden Grove spoke on the trends in educational legislation. The California State Supreme Court's decision, Serrano v. Priest, has invalidated the use of property tax as the sole base for school financing. "Because this tax results in widely disparate revenues, it violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment," said Mr. Northrop.

Following Mr. Northrop's address, a panel of administrators gathered to discuss the interviewing process and problems. Co-chairman Don Brown acted as moderator and the panel members were: Mrs. Mary Gardner Condon, Teacher Placement Supervisor, Cal State at Fullerton; Mr. C. Warren Bratcher, Principal of Dale Junior High School in Anaheim; and Mr. Mike Hill, principal of Wilson Elementary School in Costa Mesa. The panel was asked to address itself to techniques and methods that blind teacher applicants might use, what is the general impact upon the interviewer and how the blind candidate can counteract it. All three panel members are acquainted with and have worked with blind teachers.

In general the panel agreed that the blind applicant has to contend with the myths and misconceptions that many administrators hold about the blind. Because the interview process is subjective, the blind candidate, like his sighted colleague, must come across strong and communicate freely with the administrator. The applicant must be ready to deal with questions about discipline and the methods he will use to maintain it as well as bring forth some of his innovative ideas to enhance the learning process. One question which was not totally resolved was, "Should the applicant inform the interviewer prior to the interview that he is blind?" The discussion indicated that there is validity in both opinions. Most administrators have applicants fill out applications beforehand and in California nearly every district required one to list his "physical defects" or something similar. The panel concluded that each interview should be approached individually. In that way the blind candidate may determine the circumstances.

There were numerous other questions from the audience which the panel candidly discussed. All were agreed in answering one question, "Should an agency, like vocational rehabilitation, contact the administrator prior to the blind applicant's interview?" They felt that the administrator guards his prerogatives closely and would resent interference. Further, the integrity and qualifications of the blind applicant might be undermined by such an action. In all, the panel discussion was an enlightening and useful segment of the program. Its results should be helpful to all blind teachers seeking employment in the future.

The final speaker of the morning was Mr. Robert Acosta, who is a teacher at Chatsworth High School and is president of the Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind. Mr. Acosta reviewed the progress made in passage of legislation which has offered the blind teacher equal opportunity in the State. He noted that the Teachers Division of the NFB, which was formed on February 13, 1971, is attempting to organize and unite the present and future blind teachers in the nation. The Teachers Division is already providing numerous services to its members. An elementary resource class curriculum guide has been developed and others are in the works for secondary and residential schools. Numerous articles of importance as well as a newsletter are sent to the members also. Mr. Acosta hopes that there will be more state and regional blind teachers conferences, like the one in California. New York teachers have planned one for June and the midwest teachers hope to convene their first conference in Iowa in the fall. The highlight of the year for the Teacher's Division will be its conference held in conjunction with the NFB Convention in Chicago in July.

The greatest concern, according to Mr. Acosta, is the lack of involvement by the blind teachers in the organized blind movement. He stated that unless the blind teachers unite, they will find it increasingly difficult to compete for jobs.

The first speaker after the luncheon was Mr. Allen G. Coltharp of the Division of Special Education in the State Department of Education. Mr. Coltharp stated that, with the increased competition and other factors, blind teachers may find it difficult to find equal employment. It will be necessary, he stated, for the blind teacher to communicate openly and freely in seeking employment and to be as creative as possible.

Noting that the blind are a minority, Mr. Coltharp indicated that the blind should receive the same treatment in employment as other minority groups. The primary factor for hiring a blind teacher should be his ability to teach, not his blindness. The problem is that many administrators hold to the general public attitude of blindness. It is incumbent upon the blind teacher to educate the administrator. Conversely, no blind teacher should feel he should be employed solely because he is blind Mr. Coltharp outlined the services available to visually handicapped students and teachers within the Division of Special Education, The Clearing House Depository for the Physically Handicapped aids all levels of public education within the state to obtain texts and supplementary materials in special media for the visually handicapped. A new section called the Master Tape Unit duplicates texts and supplementary books on cassettes and open-face reels for the blind teacher's use.

In summary, Mr. Coltharp reiterated the concern of the State Department of Education for the continued success of blind teachers in the state. Further, he told the assembled blind teachers to respond to the challenge by communicating and demonstrating to others, "That you are, indeed, as capable as your sighted colleagues."

Complementing Mr. Coltharp's address on the concern and programs at the state level was Miss Evelyn Ericson. As Coordinator for the Education of the Physically Handicapped in the Orange County Department of Education, Miss Ericson detailed the scope of her agency's programs. The programs include a pre-school class for blind children between three and five years of age. There are the usual elementary and secondary resource classes within the country. Two mobility instructors also work through her department. There is a possibility of establishing some form of service for the community college student, who, although usually quite independent, is in need of some direction.

The afternoon panel was composed of blind teachers who addressed their concern to methods and techniques in the classroom. The panel members were: Mrs. Onvia Tilhnghast, Grant Elementary School, San Lorenzo; Miss Sharon Gold, Branch School, Edwards; Miss Vera Gurrola, English and Spanish teacher at Belvedere Junior High School in East Los Angeles; and Mr. Morris Heath, Civics teacher at Palo Verde High School in Blythe.

In general, the panel members summarized their approaches by noting that mobility, communication, classroom flexibility and organization were key factors for successful teaching. Discipline, Miss Gold states, is no problem when the lessons are organized and presented in an interesting manner. Miss Gurrola and Mr. Heath both noted their different problems with discipline. Miss Gurrola who teaches both Spanish speaking foreign born students and English speaking Mexican Americans, remarked that she had little discipline problem with her students until they had become "Americanized." Mr. Heath said that at the senior high level the group pressure does, not always work. Basically, all members agreed, the blind teacher must know how to excite the student's interest in learning. Additionally, the teacher's personality and mutual respect and rapport which he develops with the students are also key factors to success.

Many questions were asked of the panel members and one overlying theme was noted throughout--each blind teacher must adapt whatever methods and techniques meet his individual needs. The panel brought forth a variety of answers, which the inexperienced teacher might find useful in his future teaching. Panels on methods and techniques have always been beneficial to those in attendance at the conferences and this panel was no exception.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Mr. William Schmidt, who is the principal of the Oak Avenue Intermediate School in Temple City. Although there have been blind administrators in the community and four year college levels, Mr. Schmidt is one of the first blind administrators at the secondary or elementary levels. He had been a full-time teacher in the Temple City district for the past seventeen years, prior to his acceptance of the principalship.

In his closing comments co-chairman Ron Miller stated that it is incumbent upon all blind teachers to support one another. The challenge of the 70's for the blind teacher is to adjust and adapt to the modern educational needs. If he does not, he will no longer be competitive and he will also lose the hard won gains of the past and the present.

Co-chairman Don Brown offered his thanks to the speakers, panel members and those in attendance. Mr. Brown asked for questions, comments or criticisms from the floor. One person remarked that "This is the best conference I've been to." On that high point Mr. Brown closed the discussion and concluded, the Twelfth Annual Blind Teachers Conference.

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by Lloyd B. Walton

[Editor's Note: This story is reprinted by courtesy of the Indianapolis (Ind.) Star. It concerns Ray Dinsmore, long-time Federationist and former member of the National Executive Committee of the NFB who has carried the banner of Federationism high both in New York and Indiana.]

When the pilot of the Staten Island Ferry suddenly threw the boat into reverse, 4,000 persons were sent careening, their screams rising above the cry of the fog horns.

Among them was Ray Dinsmore, leader of the Dinsmore Trio, who landed on the floor along with his accordion and saxophone players.

Quickly voices spread the news that the emergency shudder and plunge by the ferry had avoided a collision with the German luxury liner Europa. Hearing this, the Dinsmore Trio began to play, averting panic with a musical tranquilizer.

But the trio hadn't seen the near-miss, the hurtling bodies, the physical signs of beginning panic. They all were blind.

The music Dinsmore chose to play wasn't a chance selection. Even then (the mid-30's) he had long been a student of the effect of music on human emotions and could quiet a group or work them into a frenzy with the proper tempo.

"When I was playing for a PAL (Police Athletic League) Club dance in New York, I tried a couple of experiments on how music affects people," Dinsmore recalls. "We were playing two sessions a night in Harlem and one night I played mostly waltzes at the first session. The last half I cut loose with the Big Apple and plenty of swing--the kids nearly went wild. They almost tore the place apart as they were leaving.

"Then the next night we reversed our style--played waltzes for the last session. You've never seen a more orderly group of kids leaving a dance."

Dinsmore says this musical impact is seen every year at jazz festivals when spectators get worked up by the music and riot.

The blind musician now is 70 but still plays occasionally for private parties and entertains patients at Central State Hospital every Christmas. He also is active with the Indiana Council of the Blind and with the School for Adult Blind and Visually Handicapped.

Dinsmore and his wife Thelma, who also is blind, reside on Eastside Indianapolis, living an exciting and satisfying life despite sightlessness.

Dinsmore dislikes being considered "different" because of his visual handicap. He laughingly tells of the time he and a blind friend were in a restaurant. When the friend left, a man at the next table asked Dinsmore: "Is he blind?" When told yes, the man said: "That's the first time I've ever been close to one of them."

When Dinsmore was a child at Elwood, Indiana, his father, a roofing contractor, took a job at the World's Fair at St. Louis. The Dinsmores moved next door to an orphans' home and were stricken in a pink-eye epidemic.

"We didn't know the medicine prescribed had to be diluted," Dinsmore relates. "My right eye was burned out completely. I was totally blind for three years--then by some miracle partial sight returned to my left eye." He now has about 10 percent vision.

Dinsmore's folks knew nothing of schools for the blind until they moved to Ohio where Ray was enrolled in the State school. He was graduated from the Indiana School for the Blind in 1923. The school at that time was at North and Pennsylvania streets in Indianapolis where the World War Memorial now stands.

During World War I, Dinsmore helped support his family by working as a Western Union messenger boy at South Bend. It's the only city I know where a blind man could do this," he recalls. "The town is laid out like a checkerboard. All the house numbers are the same on all streets--you could depend on it. After you found the street, all you had to do was count the houses from the comer to find the right address."

Ray and Thelma met at school in 1915 and were married in 1924. Dinsmore's job as a hand sander at Emmerich Furniture Company enabled them to save a bit of money and they were buying a rooming house on North Capitol Avenue. Things were looking bright for them--then came the Depression and they lost everything but their competitive spirit.

"I could play the guitar a little," Dinsmore says. "So I joined up with a combo and we played smokers as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But I didn't care much for it because I was on the road all the time and away from my family."

Despite the Depression, illicit drinking spots flourished in the larger cities because of Prohibition--and they were hiring entertainers. "Someone tipped me off where I could get a pretty good deal playing the speakeasies in New York," says Dinsmore. "I got together with an accordion and a sax player and found it very lucrative. I was able to move my wife and kids to New York."

A fringe benefit of speakeasy playing was the number of side jobs generated--private receptions, weddings and small night clubs. But this bubble burst with the repeal of Prohibition.

"We then got the concession of the Staten Island Ferry until it was decided there would be no more entertainment on the ferry boats," Dinsmore says.

By this time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's alphabetical programs were in full swing and Dinsmore aimed for a spot in the Federal Arts project of WPA. He assembled an eight-piece orchestra--all Wind. Some of the musicians had gone to school with Dinsmore in Indianapolis.

"Our audition was successful," Dinsmore says. "I was probably the worst musician of the group but I had charge of things--formulating programs and making arrangements." The group played a dance program two years on the New York municipal radio station--25 minutes, four days a week.

"We had a popular program and some people thought we should advertise that we were blind," Dinsmore relates. "But we didn't want to appeal to sympathy and pity." He says leading an orchestra of blind musicians isn't as difficult as it might seem--they just have to practice more than usual and get their timing perfect. Arrangements were built around popular recording versions--"No fancy stuff," Dinsmore says.

The musician is particularly proud of the PAL Club and settlement house entertaining the group did: University Settlement in Manhattan--one of the pet charities of Eleanor Roosevelt, Grand Street and Henry Street settlements, the latter a former hangout of banjo-eyed Eddie Cantor.

"There were anywhere from 300 to 900 children a night that we played for," recalls Dinsmore. "And I was real pleased when a police sergeant told me that on dance nights the police force could transfer three patrolmen to other duty and that they saved thousands of dollars in vandalism on those nights."

One of Dinsmore's more vivid memories is of the time he nearly went on an ocean voyage--nearly broke. "We were playing a farewell party on the Queen Mary and didn't hear the 'All ashore' call," he chuckles. "Champagne was flowing pretty well and I was kind of woozy--but as I looked out a porthole I could detect the lights of the city moving past." That broke up the party for Dinsmore.

The orchestra was dropped off at Sandy Hook where their ocean pilot also was picked up. "They told us never to come aboard again," laughs Dinsmore. "And I was so glad they did let us off. I only had three dollars in my pocket."

In the fall of 1939, Dinsmore "hung up his guitar" professionally and joined the Co-operative Agency for the Blind at Brooklyn, doing social service work. Two years later the agency's business manager left and Dinsmore managed the organization until he and Thelma returned to Indianapolis in 1960.

While in the Brooklyn post Dinsmore was a representative to the Greater New York Council of Agencies for the Blind and became well acquainted with Helen Keller, who attended many of their meetings. Dinsmore tells how impressive it was when Miss Keller, deaf as well as blind, stood with her hand on a large table and picked up much of what was being said through the vibrations. "She was an inspiration to many of us," he says.

Dinsmore was one of the early members of the National Federation of the Blind. "Organized charity groups were doing too much exploiting of the blind," he declares. "We thought we were in a better position to tell our own story." Last July, after eight years of service, Dinsmore resigned from the executive board of the organization, which operates in 47 states.

When the Dinsmores returned to Indianapolis (their children both are married and preferred to remain in New York), Ray opened a chair caning shop on 19th Street. "I was getting all the department store work and a lot of private work until I had a heart attack," he says. "The doctor said I had to give it up."

Both Ray and Thelma enjoy traveling though they admit they've slowed down some in recent years. Until a few years ago, Thelma had a German Shepherd seeing-eye dog, Cheeta ("It was supposed to be Chiquita, but got shortened.") which accompanied them wherever they went. As Cheeta was getting old and infirm, she had to be put to sleep.

"I'll never forget a plane trip we took," Dinsmore says. "When Thelma got up and walked to the rear of the plane, Cheeta got up in Thelma's seat and put her paws and head over the back of the seat. The man in the next seat had been drinking too much and when he saw Cheeta he let out a yell--thought it was a wolf." Dinsmore says the man didn't take another drink the rest of the trip--and may have sworn off completely.

The Dinsmores enjoy sitting in their comfortable apartment reminiscing but refuse to let the past take them over. They keep current with best-seller literature through the Talking Books library for the blind--books on records. "We just drive the library crazy keeping us supplied with books we want to read," Mrs. Dinsmore says.

Dinsmore was on the original Talking Book committee--the first books were produced by the WPA. "One fear most people have of losing their sight is of not being able to read," he says. "But Talking Books have just about anything they want.

"The first books they put out were the Pollyanna, pantywaist type," he continues. "But we wanted the hell-raising kind. We wanted best sellers.". . .

There are 8,000 to 9,000 blind persons in Indiana, Dinsmore says. "We people who were in school 50 years ago can see a big difference in what is available for the blind now," he says. "Rehabilitation programs. Training. Our aim is to try to make the blind self-supporting and self-sufficient."

The Dinsmores are setting a good example.

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by Ruth Ryon

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Monrovia (Calif.) Daily News-Post.]

How many times have you heard that the blind sometimes see what others can't? That's partially true of six Pasadena City College students who run an educational community radio station in the Western San Gabriel Valley.

One of the students, Michael Brady, is totally blind. Another, Jerry DeLaunay, is practically blind. As for the rest? They can see well. In fact, they can see better than most because they share an insight with Brady and DeLaunay on the function of radio.

"Why not have a public service radio station which serves the local community, broadcasting items of interest to the local community like news of city council and planning commission meetings?" DeLaunay, a president of the station, asked. The students asked themselves that question a couple of years ago and agreed that it was a good idea: in fact, a revolutionary idea in terms of radio.

"It seems as if there's a total void in this type of programming on the college and commercial stations," DeLaunay said. He credits John Ballard, station manager with originating the concept. "We believe each community is a separate unit from the next city. Each has its own identity," Ballard explained. "We want to know how we can best bring to each the news on local problems and programs."

They are searching: trying new ideas and discarding those which don't work. Those which don't work are those the public, not necessarily the students, dislike. "After all, the public owns the airways," DeLaunay said. "We're here for one purpose: to serve the public."

To do that, the students offer a variety of programs on their station, called DSA (DeLaunay-Stover Associates): 830 on the AM dial. There is "Public Service Monday," a show which has featured excerpts from speeches by Winston Churchill and recordings from the Golden Age of Radio. "We started airing old radio shows a year ago," DeLaunay said. "Now the commercial stations are doing it."

Another DSA program is "The Bird Show" with Evan Bridwell who presents, according to DeLaunay, "oldie rock 'n rolls." And there is a classical music show called "Music of the Masters" with Brady as the announcer. Another musical program is "The Worst Show on Radio: The John (Minteer) and Jerry (DeLaunay) Show," which features popular recordings. And there is Ballard's program, featuring rock records from his personal collection which includes 400 albums and 600 singles. The program is called "The Sloop John B. Show."

Besides airing these, DSA periodically broadcasts public service announcements and local news. "If something special happens in the community, we'll sign on if we can," DeLaunay said. That is difficult  on a moment's notice, he explained, since they are all students and live in various communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

The station is located in Monrovia now, in the home of DeLaunay's parents: 437 Stedman Place. But DSA was not always situated there.

It began in Temple City. In 1966, DeLaunay and two friends, David Stover of Glendale and Steve Amnoff of El Monte, used walkie-talkies to transmit from DeLaunay's garage. "We played anything we could get our hands on," DeLaunay admitted. "It was terrible. Even we try to forget it." Amnoff dropped out, and Stover moved to Porterville. But the station continued. In fact, Stover is still associated with DSA, operating at a distance as one of the station's two presidents.

In 1968, DSA went on AM. Since then, the station has used 90 milliwatts of power, which is less than one-tenth of a watt, so the broadcasting radius is about half a mile. "It doesn't even go half a mile right now," DeLaunay said, "because they are cutting down the trees in our yard, and one fell on our transmitter."

DeLaunay moved the station to Monrovia only recently. He and his associates are still in the process of setting up, but DSA is on the air about two hours a day (3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays). There are two studios, again located in a garage. One studio has two walls lined with carefully-tended equipment, including short wave radios, a tape recorder and a broadcasting unit. Upstairs, in a loft built of unfinished wooden planks, is the other studio which has another broadcasting unit, recording equipment and a 400-record library.

Here, Ginny DeKruif, DSA secretary, records the station's activities in a log according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, even though the rules do not apply to DSA because of its low wattage. DSA observes these and other FCC rules carefully, because its operators hope to increase the wattage and maybe go professional someday. "We hope for 100 watts," DeLaunay said. "That's enough power to cover most of the San Gabriel Valley. But for the next three years, five or ten more watts is all we want."

Just as they want to expand their programming by developing more community-oriented shows, they also want to increase the area they serve: a dual goal which is difficult to achieve. But it's not impossible, say these young optimists. None of them is older than 21, and 'they've already turned a couple of walkie-talkies into their own community radio station. They don't all have 20-20 vision, but every one of them sees a bright future for DSA.

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by Jim Doherty

May, in Washington D. C., has come to mean demonstrations: for Law Day, against the war, in favor of a military victory in Vietnam, etc. On May 6 of this year, the National Federation of the Blind of the District of Columbia demonstrated too, in a most positive way, showing the community that its blind citizens are both concerned about their problems and capable of doing something about them.

The one-day convention opened with an invocation by one of our newest members, the Rev. Floyd A. Rivers, Associate Minister of the First Baptist Church, Fairmont Heights, Maryland. The first item on the business agenda was a report by outgoing President Gale Conard on the past year's activities. When he took office, Gale set two goals for the affiliate to work toward: a better education for Washington's blind children and a White Cane Law for the city. Substantial progress can be seen in both areas.

After trying unsuccessfully to get the D. C. City Council to work on the White Cane Law, we went to Congress with it. We testified at hearings conducted by a subcommittee of the House District Affairs Committee on March 15. Since then, the bill has moved without opposition through the full Committee and the House of Representatives. Senate action is expected soon, so we may have a White Cane Law in the Nation's Capital before the national NFB Convention.

Improving the school system in a city so steeped in bureaucracy will be difficult, but it is possible. Largely through Gale's individual efforts, effective hues of communication have been established with the Special Education Division of the D. C. schools. The new chief of that division, Dr. John Johnson, and some of his staff share the NFB philosophy on integrated education. Dr. Johnson's own report to the convention later in the day drew an enthusiastic response.

Besides the White Cane Law testimony, the NFB of D. C. went before two other congressional committees to give our views on next year's D. C. budget. We stressed the need for more money in special education and vocational rehabilitation and pointed out certain weaknesses in the city's administration of these services. Gale reported that the interest shown by some Senators and Congressmen caused something akin to panic in the VR offices. As a result, communication with that department appears to be improving.

When Gale had finished his report, Roger Petersen chaired a panel on transportation. The group included representatives from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, which regulates buses in the area, the local bus company, the taxi industry and the Metro Authority, which is building Washington's subway system. Each reviewed the points covered in previous meetings with NFB members and told what his organization was doing to improve transportation services for the blind. The presentation was followed by a veritable barrage of questions, criticisms, and comments from the audience. The Executive Director of the Transit Commission, who seems genuinely interested in working with us, announced that the ideas presented to him by Roger and his NFB transportation committee are to be included in a $3-million study of mass transportation which the Washington area Council of Governments is undertaking. The gentleman's closing comment was quite significant: "Without an organization like the Federation," he said," most of these problems would never have occurred to us."

Highlighting the afternoon was a discussion on services to the adult blind chaired by Jim Gashel of the Iowa Commission, NFB representative. Some of the exchanges between the audience and officials from Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Columbia Lighthouse indicated that this session could easily have occupied the whole day.

Jim Gashel's banquet speech, in which he beautifully illustrated contrasting philosophies on blindness and the blind, was a fitting climax for the day. In the discussions and reports we had heard, a great divergence in philosophy was all too obvious. To deal with the problems presented by this situation, the NFB of D. C. elected a group of experienced leaders.

Beatrice Murphy Campbell, Director and Editor of the Negro Bibliographic and Research Center, is our new president. The Monitor carried a story on Bea in August, 1971. Orlo Nichols, an actuary with the Social Security Administration, is first vice president. Virginia Nagle remains as second vice president. Mary Nichols, Orlo's wife, continues in her post as corresponding secretary, as does Kitty McNabb, our Treasurer. Virginia Bickford, wife of Tom and mother of Ann Elizabeth, is our recording secretary. The newest Bickford, by the way, is also the youngest Federationist in the world. Born April 8, Ann Elizabeth was voted in as a member, dues paid and all, at the age of four hours. George Reed, a long-time Federationist and leader among stand operators, was elected to a second term as board member. The remaining members of the new board are Gale Conard, immediate past president of the affiliate, and Ken Reed, a program assistant with the Department of Labor and chairman of our local committee on employment.

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[The following editorial is reprinted by courtesy of the San Luis Obispo (California) Telegram-Tribune.]

For the handicapped person--the blind, the disabled--there are special education programs, many of them financed by the tax paying public. But what good are these programs if a handicapped person can't get a job after he is trained?

When Ronald Lee Miller was 19, he was in the Marine Corps. On his way home during Christmas leave he was in an automobile accident which blinded him. After several years of treatment and rehabilitation in veterans' hospitals he began his higher education. Today he has a doctor's degree in history from the University of Southern California.

Before receiving his doctorate, he taught history and English at Turlock High School. His school superintendent there reports that Dr. Miller was "the finest thing that happened here." He added that Dr. Miller was an excellent teacher and an inspiration to the students. While at Turlock High, Dr. Miller memorized the 37-acre campus and traveled it with only the aid of an aluminum cane. The superintendent says Dr. Miller knew every student in his six classes by voice, that he maintained control and that he always had new ways of stimulating the interest of the students in the subject.

Yet Dr. Miller has been refused consideration for a vacant instructor's post at Shasta College in Redding because he is blind. This admission comes from the college president, Dr. Gilbert Collyer, and from the head of the college history department, Dr. Paul Chiles. Hired to fill the vacancy was a man who has neither a master's degree nor a doctorate and is not yet fully credentialed. But he can see.

One reason given by the college officials for eliminating Dr. Miller because of his blindness was that the instructor would be teaching a course in which there is emphasis on audio-visual materials. Dr. Miller reports that in his classes (he's teaching part-time now at Pepperdine College in Los Angeles) he routinely uses motion pictures as teaching tools. He also has had training in the use of audio-visual materials as a requirement for obtaining his teaching credential.

Capping the whole sorry story is Dr. Chiles' admission that there were about 200 applicants for the vacancy, but that Dr. Miller's application "stood out" from the others because of his excellent qualifications. Yet he wasn't even given a trial period.

If Dr. Miller's case is typical of what happens when a trained and well-educated handicapped person seeks employment, all of us should examine our personal consciences and our professional attitudes.

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The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia held its 14th annual convention at the Monticello Hotel in Charlottesville the weekend of April 21-23. Many of the members arrived early in order to register on Friday evening and attend the hospitality hour and enjoy the fun and special entertainment planned by the Blue Ridge Federation of the Blind, the host chapter.

The convention officially got underway Saturday morning promptly at 9:00 a.m. Following the invocation, the convention was welcomed by the Honorable Mitchell Van Yahres, Mayor of Charlottesville. First order of business was the successful adoption of two amendments to the Constitution, one changing the name of the group to the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia and the other to elect only six officers, thus allowing each chapter to elect one board member to represent them on the State board. Chapter reports given by the five affiliates show they are all meeting regularly, are active, and all reported a substantial membership gain.

Mrs. Nancy Hoover was moderator for a panel about Employment Opportunities for the Blind. Panelists were: Mrs. Nora Beavers, industrial worker; William Sullivan, assistant manager, Virginia Workshop for the Blind, Mrs. Catherine Davenport, cafeteria worker, and Orlo Nichols, actuary. Speakers during the afternoon session were: John Fiorino, director, Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, and Leroy Saunders, superintendent, Workshop for the Blind. Sidney Frank, representative of the Bankers Life and Casualty Company gave a report of the program of the Bankers Life Federation-Association in Virginia.

Robert S. Bray, chief. Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress; Robert Baylor, librarian, Virginia State Library for the Blind; Frederick W. Boots, department head, Sub-Regional Library, Alexandria; and Alan Schlank, a reader, were members of a panel moderated by Manuel Urena, NFB Executive Committee Member, which discussed the Library Services for the Blind in Virginia.

The DAR chapter in Charlottesville presented to the organization an American Flag made especially for the blind. It is made of stripes of velvet and grosgrain ribbon and plastic stars. The difference in texture of the materials tells the blind person which stripes are red and white. It was voted to use this flag at all future meetings.

The Saturday evening banquet, always the highlight of the convention was attended by 135 delegates and friends to hear the speaker of the evening, Manuel Urena, director of the Rehabilitation Center, Iowa Commission for the Blind.

Mrs. Helen D. Bradford received the charter for the newest Virginia affiliate, the Piedmont Federation of the Blind in Hamilton. Charter certificates were also given the other chapters under the new name of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia.

This year began the presentation of the Jacobus tenBroek Award. This award will be presented to a person or an organization in recognition of outstanding service for the blind in Virginia. The first recipients to receive this award were the Harrisonburg 4-H Clubs and the Thomas Jefferson Lions Club of Charlottesville for their services to the chapters in their cities, and Senator Leroy S. Bendheim from Alexandria who introduced the Model White Cane Law in the Virginia General Assembly and through his continued efforts saw its passage at this session. Senator Bendheim was unable to attend the banquet and will be presented his certificate at the annual banquet of the Potomac Chapter in Alexandria.

During the banquet President McDonald received the following telegram from Governor Linwood Holton of Virginia which reads: "Senate Bill 36 is an important statement of the rights of the blind and otherwise disabled persons. Its passage by the General Assembly is a significant step in the recognition of human rights in Virginia. I assure you of my full support for the principles enunciated in this bill."

The Sunday morning devotional service was well attended by the membership and they enjoyed the special music and the inspiring message by a guest minister.

Election of officers followed with Robert McDonald being re-elected president; Nancy Hoover, first vice president; Amy Barnes, second vice president; Marion McDonald, recording secretary; Jimmy Nelson, corresponding secretary; and James Copeland, treasurer.

President Robert McDonald of Alexandria was elected delegate and Mrs. Nancy Hoover from Harrisonburg, alternate delegate to the NFB convention in Chicago.

Next year's Virginia convention will be in Winchester and Alexandria was chosen as the convention city for 1974.

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by Alice E. Hopkins

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Louisville (Kentucky) Times.]

She has logged more than 500 hours of hospital volunteer work. She goes with a Volunteers of America group every Sunday morning to take part in a religious service at the County Jail and to talk with women inmates about their problems. She holds a part-time job and does her own housework. She is Mrs. Charles McCullough--and she is blind.

At SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, where Marie McCullough is an active member of the hospital auxiliary as well as a volunteer worker, the director of volunteer services, Mrs. Barbara Spoerl, describes her as "absolutely remarkable--just fantastic! And everyone loves Marie. On Wednesday when she comes, it looks Uke Grand Central Station in here. Everyone--staff members and all--flocks in to talk to her."

Along with her genuine desire to help people, Mrs. McCullough has another motive: "We (the blind) would like to change the 'picture' of the blind as a figure standing on a downtown street corner. We are individuals, each with a personality. We love to be a part of the community and would like to educate the public. The more we get to mingle (through participation in volunteer programs) with other groups the better chance we have to educate. I appreciate SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital because it gave me an opportunity as an individual, to help people."

Her volunteer help includes surgical courtesy service (gives information to families about patients who have undergone surgery); collating mimeographed material; affixing identification stamps to paperbacks, magazines and other library material that circulates among the patients; and helping make picture postcard puzzles that are distributed to patients. Despite her considerable contribution, she was reluctant to be singled out for recognition. "The others work so hard. They're fine people--you won't find truer people anywhere than those volunteers," she insisted.

Mrs. McCullough, who has been blind since birth, came from Hazard, Kentucky, to attend the Kentucky School for the Blind, and stayed on after finishing her schooling. She talked herself into a job (filling boxes) with Klarer of Kentucky, Inc., and worked for the company 20 years before quitting in 1958. For the past four years she has worked part-time for a Dixie Highway florist (Mills & Young), making frames for corsages. She spends one day a week in the shop, then brings home materials to work with.

Her husband, who lost his eyesight in childhood, works as a packer for International Harvester Co. The McCulloughs have been married for 23 years. He lends a hand with the housework--outside window-washing, for example--and does most of the marketing, with transportation furnished by his brother. Marie truly enjoys cooking, using recipes printed in Braille. She uses an electric range, which she finds easier to operate than a gas stove. "All you have to do is push buttons."

At one end of the McCulloughs' comfortable living room stands a handsome stereo player, which provides endless pleasure for Marie. At the opposite end of the room is a television set. They listen regularly to their favorite programs. Mrs. McCullough, a sports enthusiast, is a rabid fan of both the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Colonels basketball teams. She listens to broadcasting of all their games and is not above doing her share of armchair coaching. Next to basketball she likes baseball. The high point of a trip to Houston last year, where she attended a convention of the National Federation of the Blind, was going to the Astrodome for a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros. The event ranked even a bit above another thrill--that of being allowed to touch Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's space suit at the NASA Space Center. Travel itself is exciting to Marie McCullough. "I can feel the places I visit--they feel different." She looks forward to her first trip to New York when the National Federation meets there next year.

Reading occupies much of Mrs. McCullough's spare time. She subscribes to two magazines in Braille (Reader's Digest and Today's Health) and borrows books--either recorded or in Braille--from the Kentucky Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Frankfort. She prefers to read Braille rather than listen to the "talking books" on records or tapes. "There is some talk of doing away with Braille altogether (because of tapes and talking books)," she said. "I hope they never do that. It would be a mistake, because it (reading) is one thing you can do for yourself--not have everything done for you."

Much as Mrs. McCullough likes to get out and go places, she finds herself somewhat restricted nowadays. . . .

"I used to go out and hop on a bus and go anywhere I wanted. But buses are hard to find nowadays." To get to the hospital she is dependent upon lifts from her fellow volunteer workers. The cheerful, outgoing lady says she never wants to "dwell on" her handicap in conversation. "People don't want to hear about others' ailments. Besides, many have problems of their own." Maybe so. But how many cope as well?

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by Gail M. Cowart

The Spring Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of California was held at the Sacramento Inn, Sacramento, California on May 19, 20, and 21, 1972; 186 paid registrations indicate that an approximate total of 300 attended. Door prizes in the amount of $15 each were won by eight happy people.

On Friday evening, preparatory meetings took place which dealt with credentials of all delegates, fundraising, and resolutions to be considered by the convention assembled in general sessions. President Anthony G. Mannino announced that we sold 16,000 cans of Almond Roca in 1971, and our largest fundraising event for that year, the variety show, netted a profit of $30,000.

The first general session on Saturday morning heard Robert W. Hall, Fire Prevention Engineer, State Agriculture and Services Agency, whose address was entitled "Are the Blind Ambulatory?" Mr. Hall discussed legislation which classifies all blind people as non-ambulatory. He pointed out that these laws are directed towards structures, not people and they are meant for the protection of people. The majority of the membership voiced their disapproval, pointing out that this was a negative trend which could prove to be detrimental to blind persons.

One of the highlights of the convention was speaker Robert C. Carleson, Director, State Department of Social Welfare. He began with a brief historical outline of the National Federation of the Blind of California, (formerly the California Council of the Blind) and California's Aid to the Blind program. He will do all in his power to keep Aid to the Blind a separate category as he believes this is one vital step to the blind person's achieving independence. Mr. Carleson received a round of applause when he stated "the blind have been an excellent example to other disabled persons."

On Saturday afternoon Robert Howard, Director, State Department of Rehabilitation, reported that a Program Manager will be appointed to oversee the rehabilitation program for the blind. An advisory committee of seven persons will also be appointed and he promised to consult with our organization regarding all appointments.

Lynda Bardis, chairman of the Committee on Employment Assistance, began with an entertaining presentation of a tape recording of spot radio announcements concerning the employability of blind persons. The membership was also advised that speaker kits are available.

Saturday's closing speaker was Robert Melody, Administrator, Business Enterprise Program, who gave a brief progress report. He pointed out that California is still number one in the nation in gross sales and number of facilities. Mr. Melody told the group that there are 120 new facilities planned within the next 30 months which, he said, will mean new jobs for blind persons.

Saturday's schedule included a number of other events. The first was the Executive Committee Breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Fifty-nine hardy souls turned out at that early hour, making the meeting one of the largest to date. Also well attended were two luncheons, the Orientation Center Alumni with 42 and the California School for the Blind Alumni with 31. The Chapter President's luncheon on Sunday drew 70 people.

The banquet which brought to a close Saturday's activities, crowded available facilities with 172 diners. Many standees came to hear the evening's speaker and enjoy the other scheduled and unscheduled program events. Master of Ceremonies Tom Long, president of the Capitol Chapter, introduced Hugh S. Koford, NFBC legal counselor and immediate past president of the California Republican Assembly. His speech, laced with his ready wit, dealt with the serious business of how our members can improve our programs by contacting and working with their legislators. We are pleased to report that at the banquet, donations for the Newel Perry Scholarship Fund from chapters and individuals totaled $3,153 and in the process the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Endowment Fund garnered $375.

On Sunday, Charles Smalley, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, presented nine resolutions dealing with everything from internal problems to legislation, which were adopted by the committee and the convention.

The convention then heard a number of speakers. Ed Grant of California Industries for the Blind, Inc., described their new programs. He discussed the various operations within the shops and the goals they hope to achieve. Mrs. Daphne Kester, Librarian, State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, reported on present services within the State. She was most receptive to the group's suggestions and we look to improved relations and better service.

Four chapter charters were granted. Two new ones went to the Delta Beta Omega Chapter from Long Beach; the Yolo County Chapter, NFBC; two to reconstituted chapters in Los Angeles county, the South Bay Chapter, NFBC; and the Westside Chapter, NFBC.

Perry Sundquist gave an overview of proposed national legislation affecting the blind and Sid Urena reviewed the current status of bills in the Legislature. Both urged the membership to continue writing letters to their legislators.

The results of the election for delegates to the 1972 NFB Convention were a unanimous vote for Anthony Mannino as delegate, and Charles Smalley will serve as alternate.

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by Ed Briggs

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch.]

Frank S. Penland, principal at Robious Junior High School in Chesterfield County, strolled down a long hallway in the school and cast a greeting to a student he knows. To the casual viewer such a greeting would be common. For Penland, it's not an easy thing. He's blind.

Penland, who was named recently to the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped, has also been included in the 1971 volume published by the national Jaycees, entitled "Outstanding Young Men in America."

Four years ago, he was told by doctors that he had retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that restricts the field of view until total blindness occurs. Penland's vision has been restricted to a 15-degree arc from his right eye for about a year.

In a conversation recently, he said, "I think the biggest fear of blindness to someone who has been told he is going blind is the fear of the unknown. When I was first told I was going blind, I saw myself as a 28-year-old man sitting in a chair completely blind."

Since then, Penland had determined the educational needs of Robious School and followed their inclusion during construction. He organized the Meadowbrook Lions Club and assisted in the organization of a civic association.

Penland can no longer drive a car and must use his white cane when he ventures out at night. At school, he prefers to enter the stage of the auditorium through a back entrance rather than down a carpeted staircase because of the inability to discern each step in the lighting that is peculiar to the auditorium. Sometimes, when he places a pen on his desktop, he must scan the desk with the narrow arc of vision to retrieve it. At home, he must sit across the room from a television set to see just half of the screen.

Penland's handicap has forced him to develop some advantages over the fully sighted person. Although he can read regular correspondence, he has mastered the use of Braille.

He hears many things the sighted person would filter out. When speaking to a large group, he speaks extemporaneously, without notes, which he would not be able to see. "I read once that when a person goes blind, he must die as a sighted person and begin to live as a blind person," he said.

Penaland has not slowed his activity since becoming legally blind. As one of two blind members of the Commission for the Visually Handicapped, he caused the commission to sponsor a program to provide identification cards for the blind. Penland had found that after relinquishing his driver's license, he had lost a means of identification for cashing a check. "When you go to a store, they see that your license is not valid and there you are: A second-class citizen," he said. Currently, up to 400 out of the state's 12,000 blind persons have the new identification cards.

A person who attacks new projects with great zeal, Penland also has taken the cause of the blind person across the state. Last year, he traveled about 2,500 miles on speaking engagements before Lions clubs.

Penland said that one of his greatest feelings of accomplishment came two years ago, when his son, Andy, asked him to speak to his first grade class on what life is for a blind person.

He said, "Fathers of two other children in the class who were a fireman and a policeman had spoken and Andy wanted me to speak as a blind person. . . . He was very proud of the fact that his father could do things others couldn't do."

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by Mel Relyea

The National Federation of the Blind of Arizona held its convention in Flagstaff on May 20 and 21 hosted by the Coconino Mobilization of the Blind Chapter. President James Carlock presided. After the invocation and the Mayor's welcome, NFB Representative Kenneth Hopkins addressed the assembly. All chapter reports showed progress in membership and legislative efforts. Since our last convention was held in November, the existing slate of officers was unanimously reinstated until the next convention.

The president's message outlined concentrated efforts in legislation. Two bills, favorable to the blind, have been passed and one bill, detrimental to blind interests, was defeated. He outlined plans for a concentrated drive in the Tucson area in hopes of adding another chapter. A panel composed of Department of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired representatives Fred Brick, Elaine Baldridge and John Buell, discussed Total Rehabilitation Efforts and Agency Services for Blind College Students. A question and answer period followed.

Manny Cajero from the Department of Public Welfare spoke on Aid to the Blind and answered questions from the floor. Fred Brick gave the fiscal year's report for the Department of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired. Maurice Mayfield disclosed current developments and advances in the vending stand program. He was followed by Ed House who gave an address on the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Department of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired. Lion Orville Gauthier gave a very interesting talk on services and functions of the Arizona Eye Bank.

The banquet speaker was Kenneth Hopkins who highlighted the true meaning of Federationism.

The Sunday session consisted of a lengthy discussion on the Arizona Industries for the Blind and resolutions were presented. The following resolutions were unanimously adopted: 72-01 which directs the officers to obtain a non-drivers license for blind Arizona residents; 72-02 which deals with methods to improve conditions and relations at the Arizona Industries for the Blind; 72-03 which requests the Department of Public Welfare to establish a branch office of the Department of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired in Northern Arizona, preferably in Flagstaff; 72-04 which commends the Arizona Lions Eye Bank and grants a $20 donation to them; and 72-05 which expresses our gratitude to the Coconino Mobilization of the Blind chapter for hosting the convention.

Our next convention will be held in April or May of 1973 in Tucson.

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by Haig Keropian

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Van Nuys (California) News.]

Reaching out to the blind and deaf-blind in some 60 countries throughout the world is the helping hand of Twin Vision--a highly motivated group of Valley volunteers which has just received its fourth George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

This latest tribute to Twin Vision, which is helping the blind, as well as those deprived of both sight and hearing, to lead active and productive lives, was one of the highlights of the organization's 1972 awards banquet.

The impressive collection of citations, awards and other significant honors in the Twin Vision facilities at 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, includes those from high levels of government.

This includes special citations from President Richard M. Nixon, which were presented two years ago to two of the Volunteer leaders of Twin Vision--Rocky Spicer, who has served as editor of Hot Line (for the deaf-blind) for seven years, and Jean Scott Neel, designer of Twin Vision books since 1962.

An educational affiliate of the American Brotherhood for the Blind, Twin Vision was awarded its fourth George Washington Honor Medal for the "Great Americans in the Hall of Fame," which was published in conjunction with the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University.

Similar to the format of all other Twin Vision publications, this book features raised illustrations and the text in both Braille and print.

The organization's three other medals from Freedoms Foundation were awarded in 1969, 1970 and 1971 for the Twin Vision "Anthology of Great Documents"--including Lincoln's "House Divided" speech, "Emancipation Proclamation" and "Gettysburg Address," and the "Monroe Doctrine."

Medal number four was presented by Mrs. Elton Cherry, member of awards presentation committee of Los Angeles Women's Division of Freedoms Foundation. And it was accepted by Anthony Mannino, executive-secretary of the American Brotherhood for the Blind.

Mannino also was the recipient of a Twin Vision Certificate of Service for his inspirational and invaluable assistance to the Valley organization since its inception in 1962.

Tributes to Mannino were paid by Jean Dyon Norris, director of Twin Vision. Mrs. Norris has been cited on numerous occasions herself for the direction and guidance she has given to Twin Vision during its decade of service.

Norman A. Schumow, governor of District 4-L1 of Lions International, accepted a certificate citing the district for its "generous donations of production and equipment."

Also commended were Mr. and Mrs. Callender for their generous contributions toward the advancement of the Twin Vision programs. In 1962, they donated some 10,000 books to the organization and they have donated thousands of additional books during the past 10 years.

Mrs. Norris paid tribute to the dedicated efforts of Mrs. Hazel tenBroek, widow of Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, blind professor at the University of California at Berkeley. At the time of his death, Dr. tenBroek was the president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind.

The vital service given by the Hot Line to the deaf-blind in 50 states, as well as in many foreign countries, was stressed by Mrs. Norris, who attributed the publication's growth to Spicer.

A certificate also was presented to Spicer's wife Jay, for her nine years of service to Twin Vision--including her efforts which resulted in the establishment of a library, as well as her part in the organization of the Twin Vision Action Committee.

Other recipients of Twin Vision certificates for noteworthy service to the blind include the Lions Clubs of Northwest Glendale, Tarzana, Toluca Lake and Woodland Hills. The Twin Vision Transcribers' Guild, the Twin Vision lending library, the 24-member Burbank Transcribers group; members of Chapter 6 of the Wives of Los Angeles Police Officers, and the Eta Rho chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha.

In addition, awards were presented to members of the group referred to as "the girls in the Back Room," and all members of the secretarial staff.

Also commended were Sylvia Gruber and Kathy Shawl, instructors in the Twin Vision Braille transcribing class; Betty Herron, blind Laubach tutor, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Novack, John Leonard, Richard McNamara, Charles Shawl, Robert Vera and Mrs. Neel.

Master of ceremonies at the awards banquet was Lawrence Marcelino, second vice president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind, and the invocation was given by Dr. William S. Findley, pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Dona Johnson was cited for her efforts as program chairman.

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by Jack Rivers

The National Federation of the Blind of Alabama held their First Annual Convention on April 15, 1972. This chapter was reorganized in May 1971. Since that time there has been a concerted effort on the part of the members of the original chapter and new members and leaders to increase membership and to revitalize the State organization. I am confident that I express the views of all of those who attended the convention of April 15th, in that there was a spirit of cooperation and enthusiasm expressed by all.

The convention of the NFB of Alabama was held at the Holiday Inn Civic Center in the heart of Birmingham. At the opening session, our members and guests were welcomed by Bob Olsen, executive secretary to the Mayor of Birmingham. In addition, Mrs. J. W. Teal of the Barrett Public School in Birmingham, spoke on the progress being made in integrating blind children into the public school system. She also expressed her appreciation for the financial support which the Magic City Chapter of the NFB of Alabama had contributed to these efforts. Following Mrs. Teal, Crawford Pike, librarian of the Library for the Blind in Alabama gave an informative talk on the expansive plans now being considered by the State Legislature for this area. Presiding over the morning session was Mr. Jack Rivers, who is currently serving as president of the NFB of Alabama. Mr. Rivers gave a short speech in which he welcomed Donald C. Capps, First Vice-President of the National Federation of the Blind, and his wife Betty. In his speech, Mr. Rivers expressed his gratitude for the help Mr. Capps has given to the State organization.

During the afternoon session, the NFB of Alabama held their annual elections, presided over by Joe Horsley, president of the Magic City Chapter, and elected a secretary, two board members, a State chaplain, and the delegate and alternate delegate to attend the NFB Convention in Chicago. Also, due to the resignation of the elected president of the NFB of Alabama in 1971, it was necessary to hold the election for another second vice-president. Miss Kathryn Bonner was elected to that office and will also serve as alternate delegate to the National Convention. Jack Rivers, president of the NFB of Alabama, was elected delegate; Mrs. J. W. Teal was elected secretary; John E. Holstun was elected State chaplain; and the two board members elected were Charlie Johnson of Birmingham, and Mrs. Cornelia Johnson of Mobile. After short speeches by the newly elected officers, Mr. Capps gave an informal talk on the current events and new happenings in the national organization.

The convention concluded with an evening banquet attended by sixty members and guests, featuring Mr. Donald C. Capps as guest speaker. Mr. Capps spoke on the role and importance of good leadership. Mr. Kenneth Jernigan and his background was the example Mr. Capps spoke of in his inspiring and informative talk. After dinner, there was professional entertainment by members and guests associated with the State organization.

I have recently received a letter from Mr. Bob Olson, executive secretary to the Mayor of Birmingham, in which he stated that he was "very impressed by the enthusiasm that was present that day." This is only one of numerous responses which have been received. I point this one out because Mr. Olson's comments are indicative of the expressions of so many members and guests who attended the convention. There is a personal sense of gratitude and achievement which those of us who have been involved with the NFB of Alabama feel, but perhaps cannot adequately express. While it is not possible to mention all those who contributed their time, effort, and experience in planning a successful convention, there is a special debt of gratitude owed to those dedicated members of the Magic City Chapter of the NFB of Alabama, the Host-Chapter for the State convention, and in particular, to Mrs. Burlie Dutton, program director of the convention.

In conclusion, on behalf of the NFB of Alabama, we give our sincere thanks to Mr. Don Capps for his help and advice during the past year and his inspiring speech at the convention.

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[Editor's Note: Recently the President of the United States sent a special message to the Congress on welfare, which was printed in the Congressional Record. Following is the President's message:]

To the Congress of the United States:

The American welfare system is a national disgrace.

Thirty-one months ago, I first proposed to the Congress my plan for total reform of that system.

Since that time, the welfare situation has continued to worsen, and sweeping changes have become even more imperative.

There can be absolutely no excuse for delaying those changes any further.
The present system must be reformed.

Its shocking inequities continue to drain incentive from the many poor who work but who see some families making as much or more on welfare.

Its widely varying, discriminatory benefits continue to force needy families, millions of children, and the needy aged, blind and disabled into a web of inefficient rules and economic contradictions.

Its vast costs have continued to escalate, undermining State and local governments and threatening to erode taxpayer support for a welfare system of any kind.

The present system continues to contribute to the breakup of poor famines, rather than reenforcing the role of the family in our national life. The welfare life-style continues to dehumanize those who are caught in it, and threatens now to create yet another "welfare generation."


This year must be the year in which we raze the ramshackle welfare system, patched up so many times in the past but still basically unchanged since it was first enacted as emergency legislation in the mid-1930's. In its place, we must build a new system, taking a new direction. We must create an environment that will draw forth and support--rather than smother--the innate ambitions and personal obligations of all needy Americans.

Last December, the Congress did pass transitional legislation which took parts of my welfare reform package--certain of the workfare provisions for job training and work requirements for all employable welfare recipients--and applied them to the present system of welfare. These actions will become effective later this year.

Acceptance of those workfare provisions by the Congress was a step in the right direction, as I said when I signed the measure. But it is still part of the patchwork approach. Now something far better than a patchwork approach is required if the needy are to receive rational assistance, if waste and inefficiency are to be abolished, and if America's work incentive-job reward system is to be placed within the reach of every citizen.

We should never forget that it is precisely this system that has enabled us to develop the highest standard of living--with the most widely shared advantages--in the history of the world. We should continue to rely on it as we drive to close the final gaps between economic promise and economic reality.

On June 22 of last year the House of Representatives, for the second time, passed by a wide majority omnibus legislation which would implement my overall welfare reform. This legislation is now being closely scrutinized by the Senate Finance Committee, whose able Chairman, Senator Long, has assured me that the committee will report H.R.1 to the Senate floor as soon as possible. H.R.1 continues to have my full support, and I hope that it will be enacted into law this year in the basic form approved by the House of Representatives.

We need reform this year so that, instead of pouring billions more into a system universally recognized as a failure, we can make a new start.

We must not forget that H.R.1 contains basic reforms in social security and medical benefits, as well as welfare reform.

These benefits, by themselves, are pathbreaking in scope and impact--including a further 5-percent benefit increase in social security, the automatic adjustment of social security benefits in the future to make them inflation proof, and a host of additional reforms discussed in my recent message to the Congress on older Americans. As I said in that message, even one more year of delay in the passage of H.R.1 would cost older Americans some $5 1/2 billion in annual benefits.

H.R.1 clearly lies at the heart of economic progress of millions of Americans in 1972--and into the future. It is the most important single piece of social legislation to come before the Congress in several decades. I strongly urge the Congress to pass it as soon as possible this year. No legislation should have a higher priority.


When I first presented my welfare reform proposal to the Congress on August 11, 1969, I declared that “America's welfare system is a failure that grows worse every day."

Nine hundred and fifty eight days have passed since that message and that comment. The welfare landscape today is a greater fiscal and ethical wasteland than ever:

---Injustice and inequities are widespread: There are glaring differences between welfare benefits paid in various parts of the country--they can range from $60 a month to $326 a month for a woman with three children, depending on in which State she happens to live. Moreover, too many Americans can get more money by going on welfare than by going to work. There is no real requirement that a recipient seek, much less accept, a job.

---The basic immorality of the system still prevails: In most States welfare still offers a man a bounty to desert his family.

---Incentive continues to be penalized: A man working hard for low wages can see neighboring families on welfare that are better off than his own family.

---Millions of children suffer: They are forced to live in degrading and deplorable conditions because the present system precludes their families from any benefits.

---Waste continues unabated: State quality control surveys indicate that as many as one in twenty welfare recipients may actually be ineligible for benefits, and that inaccurate payments are being given to as many as one case in every four--a potential annual waste of more than $500 million.

---Administration remains a quagmire of red tape: There are 1,152 separate State and local welfare jurisdictions, with separate eligibility determinations and administrative procedures--making program integrity a virtual impossibility.

What we have in short, is a crazy quilt of injustice and contradiction that has developed in bits and pieces over the years with little serious thought of basic reform. I believe that H.R.1 is the best and most comprehensive answer yet devised to meet this challenge.


The present welfare system is not only morally bankrupt--but is a significant factor in driving the States toward fiscal bankruptcy.

Since I first proposed reform in 1969, the costs of maintaining the present system have mounted at an alarming rate. Each day of delay means further costs--without any offsetting benefits. For example:

---Welfare costs have skyrocketed from $6.2 billion in 1969 to an estimated $9.4 billion in 1971, a 51 percent increase in just two years.

---The overall welfare caseload has risen from 9.6 million people in 1969 to 13.5 million today. It has been estimated that if no changes are made, 17.3 million people will be on welfare in 1974, an 80 percent rise in just five years.

What we have on our hands is nothing less than a social and political time bomb. And, in a development of concern to all of us, the patience and support of the American public for welfare programs has been slipping dangerously. Those who are truly needy are becoming scapegoats in the eyes of taxpayers understandably angered about waste and inconsistency.

What we are seeking is an end to the need for public support for people who are essentially employable, but have not been able to work for reasons beyond their control, just will not work, or will not even make themselves available for work-related training--and this is what H.R.1 would cure.

We also need to establish a nationally uniform system of efficient aid for totally needy families and the old and infirm--and H.R.1 would achieve that goal, too.


My program, as embodied in H.R.1, would place a floor beneath the income of all American families not able to adequately support themselves. Its payments would vary, according to family size and resources, from a minimum of $1,600 to a maximum of $3,600. The basic benefit for a family of four with no other income would be $2,400.

Employable adult members of such families would have to register with the Department of Labor in its Opportunities for Families Program for manpower services, work training and employment availability before any benefits were paid to such persons. Exceptions would include mothers of children younger than 6, and mothers whose husbands were either working or registered for work.

Families without employable adult members would not be subject to registration requirements but would receive the same basic benefits under the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Family Assistance Program.

For the first time in our history, national wage supplements would be paid to the working poor on a proportionate sliding scale designed to spur, rather than kill, the incentive to start working and keep on earning.

Eligible persons would be able to keep the first $720 earned during the year without reduction in their supplements. As job income rose beyond that, supplements would be reduced by two-thirds of job income until a cut-off point were reached and the recipient had attained a degree of self-sufficiency.

A family of four thus could earn $720 and receive a benefit of $2,400--for a total income of $3,120. When such a family's earnings reached $3,600, it still would be eligible for a supplement of $480 for a total income of $4,080.

When such a family reached earnings of $4,320 it would move completely out of the Federal assistance program.

Under the terms of H.R.1, the Opportunities for Families program, the Family Assistance Plan and programs for the needy, aged, blind and disabled would be totally financed by the Federal Government--thereby providing much-needed financial relief for the States, which now share welfare costs.

In several respects, the proposed payments to the working poor constitute the basic conceptual foundation of my new approach.

These payments would encourage those who are working to keep on working, rather than sliding into welfare dependency. And they would motivate welfare recipients to start work.

We must hit head-on the cruel fallacy that any income, no matter how low, is sufficient for an American family merely because that money comes from full-time work.

We must establish the more humane and relevant principle that the total income of each American family must reach a certain minimum standard.

Another foundation of my approach is the strong work requirement and the provisions which would help implement that requirement, including child care benefits, manpower services, job training and job locating, and a program of 200,000 transitional public service jobs.

Recipients, with very few exceptions, would have to register for training and accept jobs which were offered, or benefits would be terminated for that recipient.

An entirely separate new Federal program would be established for needy aged, blind and disabled individuals and couples. While no work requirements would be included, of course, those who could work would be provided with strong incentives for doing so.

The current State payments to such individuals and couples, varying widely across the Nation, would be replaced by a Federal benefit of $130 a month for an aged, blind, or disabled individual, rising to $150 in two steps. For a couple in these categories, $195 a month would be provided rising to $200. Such benefits now can be as low as $70 a month for an individual and $97 a month for a couple.

In all, some $2 billion in new money would go directly into the hands of the aged, blind and disabled in the first full year.


Those who receive welfare, while they are the most visible victims, are not the only ones who suffer because of the myriad confusions and contradictions of the present welfare mess. The taxpayers are victims as well, for they are paying for a program that not only fails to accomplish its objectives, but is virtually impossible to administer.

Welfare administration is woefully outmoded in this country, with its 1,152 separate State and local welfare jurisdictions. Although virtually all have the same basic programs--Aid to the Blind, Aid to the Disabled, Aid to the Aged, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children--each operates with its own eligibility determination and administrative methods.

In the administrative area, especially, there is nearly an incomprehensible variety of management philosophies, operating policies and methods, and personnel arrangements. Only 20 percent of these jurisdictions have automated management techniques.

Under such conditions, it is not surprising that there are major management problems which exacerbate the skyrocketing costs and add to the growing public concern about welfare. Moreover, because of current open end financing arrangements. States and localities have what amounts to a blank check on the Federal treasury for this activity.

Thousands of dedicated people are doing their best to operate this ponderous machinery. But this system has been patched and repaired too many times. The frustration of current State program managers has resulted in very substantial support among Governors and State welfare administrators for Federal administration of the benefit payments function.

In recent months we have documented the failings of the current system, including the absence of cross-checks of records in adjacent areas, inadequate verification of income and benefits from a variety of benefit programs, and rapid turnover of personnel.

While decentralized management is highly desirable in many fields and is indeed central to my philosophy of government, I believe that many of these problems in welfare administration can best be solved by using a national automated payments system, which would produce economies and considerably increase both equity of treatment and tightened administration.

Such a unified system--partially modeled on the Social Security system--would reduce errors and provide greater controls for fraud and duplicate payments.

H.R.1 would require each recipient to have a social security number for identification to prevent duplicate benefits and to facilitate the receiving of recipient income information from such sources as the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Veterans Administration, and other units.

National administration and standards would also ensure equitable treatment for individuals: they would no longer be subject to conflicting rules in different areas, to delays caused by back-ups, and to the confusing tangle of red tape.

Under such a system, States and counties would be freed to concentrate on social services to recipients, making use of their closer understanding of the needs of local residents.


Because we want a better system--not just a new one--welfare reform will cost more in the early years and cover more needy people.

Against the increased initial costs of my proposals in H.R.1, however, we must weigh the unknown future costs--both human and fiscal--if the present chaotic system, with its present soaring growth rates, is continued. The new system contained in H.R.1 would be far less costly in the long run--both in terms of dollars and in terms of people.

Historians of the future no doubt will focus on America's 200th birthday--and the years leading up to that significant anniversary--as one important point for measuring the progress of our Republic.

They will find, of course, that over 200 years America's mastery of the industrial revolution, its bountiful economic system, its military might and its technological triumphs helped to make it preeminent in the family of nations.

They will rightfully highlight our moon landings, our deep space probes, our satellite communications, our electronic innovations, and our extraordinary gross national product.

Penetrating observers, however, will also ask other questions:

What did all of this mean to the average American?

What was the quality of the daily life and the basic spirit of all the American people in the 1970's?

How, in particular, did our great Nation provide for those citizens who--through no fault of their own--were unable from time to time to provide for themselves and their families?

I believe that the program contained in H.R.1 will stand us in good stead when such historical evaluations are considered, for this is a program which has grown out of a fundamental concern for our least fortunate citizens.

The enactment of H.R.1 would demonstrate both our concern for what is responsible and our concern for what is compassionate.

THE WHITE HOUSE, March 27, 1972.

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by Pauline Gomez

The National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico held its 17th annual convention in Albuquerque, at the Hotel Hilton, May 27 and 28. The vitality and interest shown by the well represented delegation marked a new era in its history.

After an evening of committee meetings, and a hearty welcome by Harry Kenney, chairman of the Albuquerque city commission, the convention got underway. The morning agenda consisted of reports from the president and the treasurer, and an active discussion on membership and fundraising drives, counseled by Perry Sundquist, NFB representative.

The Saturday afternoon session was most informative; with a panel reviewing services for the blind chaired by the chief of that department, Harold Bruce. Another panel covered the subject, the Blind on the Job, chaired by Oliver Ortiz, assistant administrator of services for the blind. Don Edwards, superintendent of the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped, gave a report on the academic program and the future objectives of the school. During the last hour of this session we made important changes in the somewhat out-dated bylaws, one being the extension of the term of office for the State board from one year to two years; and we elected our slate of officers. The following officers were elected: President, Barbara Innis, Albuquerque; first vice-president, Pauline Gomez, Santa Fe; second vice-president, Brian Banister, Roswell; secretary, Helen Matison, Albuquerque; treasurer, Ruth Ihnot, Espanola; and Chapter Representatives: Colleen Clausen, Albuquerque; Steven Sandoval, Santa Fe; Charlie Maes, Alamogordo; George Largent, Roswell; and Allan Matison, Las Cruces.

Highlights of our banquet Saturday evening were: the presiding of our new president, Barbara, the introduction of our honored guest, former Governor David Cargo, the reading of The Model White Cane Law, signed by David Cargo, the installation of officers, the presentation of charters, and the quaint narration of the Federation Story by Perry Sundquist.

The enthusiasm of the delegation during the Sunday morning session continued at its peak. After an informal gathering over coffee and doughnuts, the meeting was called to order. A most complete and productive panel set the stage for action in the improvement of our present library services for the blind in New Mexico. Florence Grannis, Librarian for the Iowa Commission for the Blind, was the principal speaker, with the following persons coordinating their reports: Noell Ross, part time consultant for Books for the Blind, a division of the New Mexico Library; Dorothy Rosen, on the board of the New Mexico Library; and Nancy Watson, head of the Braille Transcribers Service, in Albuquerque.

Before final adjournment at high noon on Sunday, we adopted our platform of new objectives for the year. We agreed to strengthen our present library services, to recommend the establishment of a revolving fund to meet the immediate needs of maintenance and reader services for blind college students, to go on record as seriously interested in the program to be used in the new orientation facility for the blind, and to recommend closer communications between services for the blind, and recipients of services.

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by Mrs. Florence Grannis


2 1/2 scant cups oatmeal

1/4 cup butter, melted (I use butter-flavored Wesson oil and save myself the work and mess of melting butter)

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup dairy sour cream

Mix ingredients together. Form into walnut-sized balls of dough and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 30 minutes in a pre-heated 375° oven.

They are good for everybody and are satisfying to the diabetic, without giving much sugar. If you have an opportunity to substitute steel-cut oats or coarse-grained wheat for about 1/2 cup of the oatmeal, the oatcakes are even better.

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Some time ago an historic conference was held at the Maryland Workshop for the Blind in Baltimore. It dealt with management and labor relations at the workshop. Representatives of both the National Federation of the Blind and the NFB of Maryland met with management. A retirement plan for the workers was substantially agreed upon; a quarterly financial report to the vending stand operators was secured with other efforts to increase communication between them and management; an agreement was reached whereby both the NFB of Maryland and the workshop management would seek legislative approval of a plan for unemployment compensation for blind and physically handicapped workers; finally, a committee consisting of five members of the work force and representatives of management was established and will meet on an on-going basis to discuss problems of management-labor relationships.


It looks like any other shiny paper until you write on it, firmly, with a ball point pen. Then, with a swipe of the fingertips, the printing raises to greet you. What you have is ELAN (embossed letters and numbers) of "sight in the fingertips." The paper made of polyethylene, was developed for other reasons by scientists, but it was discovered as a boon to the blind about a year and a half ago by Mrs. Ruth Barr, an occupational therapist at McMillan Hospital who works primarily with the newly blind.

With ELAN, a blind person does not have to know Braille to read or write. . . . It allows the blind person to "see" a simply drawn picture by feeling it. It can be used by young children to learn phonics. It can be used by elderly people who lose their sight late in life, when learning Braille might be too great a task for them. It means the blind person can communicate in writing with persons who don't know Braille. (Reprinted by courtesy of the St. Louis (Missouri) Globe Democrat.]


Mrs. Jean Ridenour, public relations director of the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois was the recipient of the Publicity Club of Chicago's Golden Trumpet Award for her achievements in public relations and publicity.


Marc Maurer, president of the NFB Student Division, reports that there is now a three-man committee working in South Bend, Indiana, for the placement of blind people. Thus far three potential placements of blind persons have been developed in that city.


The Illinois Congress of the Blind says that the ICB was asked to attend a meeting of rehabilitation counselors and supervisory personnel to review services to the blind and to determine which services need improvement and which should be eliminated as unnecessary. The ICB presented a written outline criticising placement and training services offered by DVR and making positive suggestions as to how these services might be improved. Special placement counselors for the blind in the Chicago area are needed and the agency head stated that an experimental program will be instituted with one placement counselor for the blind in the Chicago area and a second for the rest of the State. As to psychological testing, all at the conference agreed with ICB that this area has been over-emphasized by the agencies in the past and that only interest tests and other related tests required by the agency will be given to blind clients.


Congresswoman Louise Day Hicks of Massachusetts introduced with thirty-two co-sponsors H. R. 12457, which would provide the Secretary of HEW with the authority to make grants to States and local communities to pay for the costs of eye examinations to detect glaucoma for the elderly, those sixty-five years of age and older. Mrs. Hicks noted that glaucoma is easy to detect and may be successfully arrested and controlled if treated in time.


The secretary of the Buffalo chapter of the New York affiliate recently wrote the American Foundation for the Blind that, in the chapter's opinion, the Foundation's recently published book entitled "Step by Step Guide to Personal Management for Blind Persons" is an insult to the intelligence of Wind persons and the book should be taken out of circulation.


For the purpose of determining eligibility for Federal assistance, the U. S. Commissioner of Education publishes in the Federal Register from time to time additions to the nationally recognized accrediting agencies which he determines to be reliable authority as to the quality of training offered by educational institutions or programs. Recently the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped was added to the list to cover schools for the blind. Alas and alack! This would seem to be yet another sad case of accreditors being accredited.


It is reported that the first book ever published for the blind was the Gospel of St. Mark, published in 1833 by the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind in Philadelphia. It was printed in embossed Roman letters, upper and lower case. The first talking book for the blind was a collection of eight phonograph records of patriotic documents issued in July, 1934, by the American Foundation for the Blind.


The U. S. Department of HEW reports from time to time on the reasons for discontinuing money payments to recipients of public assistance. In a recent and fairly typical quarterly report it was indicated that insofar as Aid to the Blind is concerned, the principal reasons for such discontinuances were: receipt or increase in Social Security and related programs, (in other words, economic reasons), 21 percent; no longer meets eligibility requirements other than need, 14.7 percent; and because of death, 26.6 percent.


Most persons in the industrial nations of the world have scarcely ever heard of the dread eye disease, trachoma, because it has all but been eliminated. However, the World Health Council reports that in the less-developed countries between 400 million and 500 million persons suffer from trachoma. It is caused by a microbe and in some cases, if left untreated, can cause decreased vision or even total blindness. Trachoma responds readily to repeated use of specific drugs. The problem exists, however, because of generally poor health situations in so many parts of the world.


There are now some six States which have a "floor" to relief or a minimum grant of Aid to the Blind. These are: Alabama, $70 a month minimum; California, $165 a month minimum and $215 maximum; Iowa, $140 a month minimum; Massachusetts, $200 a month minimum and maximum; Missouri, about $80 under the so-called blind pension received by 525 recipients--Missouri's Aid to Blind average payment to 3,949 recipients is $91.46, however the blind pension has more liberal property and income exemptions than does Aid to the Blind; Nevada, $100 a month minimum; Oregon, $110 a month minimum; and Pennsylvania, about $80 a month minimum under the blind pension received by 7,391 recipients--Pennsylvania's Aid to Blind average payment to 7,334 recipients is $117.38, however, the blind pension has more liberal property and income exemptions than Aid to the Blind.


They not only welcome letters written in Braille, but they'll send Braille replies, according to a recent announcement of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, Maryland. The Social Security headquarters is the first Federal executive agency to purchase equipment to handle Braille correspondence. Braille letters are transcribed and answered by a blind typist.


The Kansas City (Kansas) Kansan reports that a bill that will put sheltered workshops for the blind in Kansas City and in Topeka "back on their feet" unanimously passed the Kansas House of Representatives. State Representative Fred W. Rosenau spearheaded support for the measure in the House; it had been introduced in the Senate by Senator Lester C. Arvin where it was also passed. The bill calls for public schools to buy the products of sheltered workshops. Richard J. Edlund, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas lobbied for the bill. Edlund said a State law directs the State to buy the shops' products, but Kansas has been buying only about ten percent of the articles. The Federal government had been buying the products but had cut down its orders. The measure will insure full employment at the shops, Edlund predicted.


From the Stockton, California Record, Bill Hoffman, age 75, does not let almost total blindness, age, or deafness get in the way of a good workout--jogging, bicycling, and excercising. Hoffman discovered the value of daily exercise as a remedy for the partial paralysis with which he was left several years ago by an operation. Now only a little numbness in a toe and a finger are all that remain. Despite deafness and diminishing sight--the result of glaucoma--Bill is in good health. He shares his exercise with Lassie, a guide dog which he trained himself.


Skiing offers challenge enough for sighted adventurers who attempt it, but for blind persons there are many problems in skiing not faced by the sighted. Mark A. Blier, an American International College freshman, is blind, but the handicap will not prohibit him from participating in AIC's winter skiing program at Mt. Tom. Ski classes there are being offered for credit during the school's intersession. Sometimes a sighted person leads the blind skiers with bells attached to his ski poles. "It is all in listening to where you're going," Blier noted. The sport, he says, gives him a sense of excitement. Blier is often guided by the sound of his instructor's voice. "Conversation" is Blier's favorite means of following his lead skier down the slope. He talks with his instructor as they ski down the slope. (From the Holyoke, Massachusetts, Transcript-Telegram.)

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