Voice of the National Federation of the Blind


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



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

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

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

News items should be sent to the Editor

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


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

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

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

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708






by Kenneth Jernigan

by Kenneth Jernigan

by Ralf Hotchkiss


by Donald C. Capps

by Kenneth Jernigan




by Jim Doherty

by Donn Pearlman

by Laura Herman


by Mel Relyea

by Beryl Sauce

by Clarence E. Collins

by Beverly Stephen


by John Zuska




Manuel Urena, assistant director in charge of Orientation at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, is leaving that agency to direct the program of special education for blind children in the District of Columbia. He will head a department of fifteen teachers and two administrators.

Mr. Urena is a man who has consistently demonstrated his knowledge, understanding and executive abilities in the fields of rehabilitation and education of handicapped persons. The blind children in the District of Columbia are most fortunate for Mr. Urena is a man of intense dedication to his work. He brings to his position a belief in the abilities of the blind and a strong determination to assist those under his tutelage to achieve their own individual success.

It would be difficult to find a person with better qualifications. Mr. Urena holds life-time teaching credentials from the University of California and has had over a decade of employment at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Hundreds of blind persons are now leading independent and productive lives as a result of the teaching, training, and incentive received under his direction. To this experience, he and his wife, Patricia, bring a verve for life which cannot help but affect those with whom they come in contact.

His appointment is a tribute to the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind of the District of Columbia. Since the fall of 1970, the D. C. chapter has taken the leadership in the effort to improve the education of blind children. A vigorous campaign, led by Gale Conard, brought action. The result was the appointment of an Advisory Committee on which the affiliate is represented with consequent improvement in the educational prospects for blind children in the District. This latest appointment is another example of what organizational power can achieve.

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It is that time of year again-time to plan for next summer's NFB Convention! Each Convention has been getting bigger and better, and New York in 1973 will be no exception. As you know, in Chicago this year we had 1253 people at the banquet and over 1500 people attended the sessions. New York will have to work hard to do better, but we are sure they will. Read the following and you will see why:

The Convention will be held in New York City at the Statler-Hilton Hotel during the first part of July. Most of the delegates will probably arrive on Saturday, June 30. Registration will begin on Sunday morning, July 1. By Sunday afternoon the Resolutions Committee and a variety of other activities will be in full swing. The Executive Committee meeting (open to everybody) will occur on Monday morning. All States should be represented. In fact, Monday should be regarded as a full-fledged business day of the Convention, and the various division and committee meetings should be attended by all.

The first general business session will begin on Tuesday morning, July 3. The banquet will occur on Thursday evening, July 5, and tours will occur Wednesday afternoon, July 4. The Convention will adjourn at 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, July 6.


The Statler Hilton is an excellent hotel. Its restaurants, meeting rooms, and other accommodations measure up to the standards we have come to expect at our Conventions. It is located in the heart of New York City, just across the street from Madison Square Garden and a very short walk from the Empire State Building. Macy's and Gimbel's are close by. The Pennsylvania Station and many fine restaurants are immediately at hand.

Even so, the rates are extremely attractive. Unbelievable though it is for such an hotel and for New York City, single rooms will be $8.00 and doubles and twins will be $12.00. Rollaway for a third person in a room will be $5.00.


The banquet will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, July 5, and the menu will be good. The Statler Hilton is famous for its cuisine. This will be a memorable occasion.


As veteran NFB Convention goers know, one afternoon is always set aside for a tour to a place of interest in the vicinity of the Convention City. Final arrangements have not been made. However, it would appear that in New York City, the problem will be deciding which of its many attractions to visit.


Again in 1973 there will be door prizes galore. Don't be late for sessions, and don't leave the meeting room. The prizes will be worth winning. Here is a reminder to State and local affiliates: We ask that you please help us by securing as many worthwhile door prizes as possible for the drawings. We again recommend that door prizes be worth twenty-five dollars or more. You will recall that at Chicago many of the door prizes were worth quite a bit more, such as tape recorders, typewriters, and a magnificent chiming clock. Then there were those $100 bills at the start of each morning session and at the banquet. It is a good idea to get started now. All door prizes should be sent to Professor Peter Roidl, Route 2, Box 169, Youngsville, New York 12791.

New York is an interesting city, unexcelled as a convention site. Not only is it the home of two major league baseball teams but it has some of the world's finest stores and restaurants, and the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Please do not wait to write for your hotel reservations. We always have problems because so many of our delegates do not make reservations until late in the Spring. This will be our greatest Convention. Get those reservations in now!

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by Kenneth Jernigan

In the June, 1972, Monitor an article appeared entitled "On the Barricades in Florida." It was a report on circumstances leading up to our court battle to protect the rights of the vending stand operators working on Cape Kennedy--and thereby, the rights of all vending stand operators throughout the country.

Monitor readers will remember that Cape Kennedy operators were being "urged" by State rehab agency officials to make "voluntary donations" to the recreation fund of the space workers and that the Federation was on the barricades to try to remedy the situation. I am pleased to report to you that our efforts have been rewarded with total victory. As part of the court order dismissing the case, the Florida agency issued a directive prohibiting the kind of practice which led to the suit. No longer will vending stand operators in that State be required to "donate" large amounts of their income to recreation funds or other activities.

Once again the influence and value of the organized blind movement are underscored. Once again the relevance and importance of the Federation to the individual blind persons are brought clearly into focus. The Florida vending stand case has important implications for every blind person in the country. Wherever the rights of blind persons are threatened, wherever opportunity is denied, wherever exclusion occurs--there the Federation will be, on the barricades.

In the following paragraphs the stipulations dismissal, the court order, and the resulting policy statement issued by the Florida agency are reprinted. I also thought Monitor readers might like to see an exchange of letters which I had with Mr. John Twiname, Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Services Office in the Department of HEW. These letters give emphasis to the problem of making government responsive to the needs of the citizen.

The Florida vending stand case has significance not only for stand operators throughout the country but for all blind people, regardless of their situation. It shows the value of self organization. It indicates what we must do to solve our problems. It answers conclusively the question, "Why the National Federation of the Blind?"






E.C. CRAWFORD, as Director of the
Vending Stand Section, a sub-bureau
of the Bureau of Blind Services, et al.



Comes now the parties by and through their undersigned attorneys and respectfully moves the Court for an order dismissing the above styled cause on the grounds that the relief sought by the Plaintiff has been granted via a directive issued by the Defendant, Emmett, S. Roberts, Secretary, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, a copy being attached hereto, and the parties have therefore amicably disposed of the subject matter of this suit.

Louis C. Corbin
Attorney for Plaintiff
137 East Forsyth Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

James G. Mahorner
General Counsel for Defendants
State of Florida Department of Health
and Rehabilitative Services
IBM Office Building
660 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, Florida 32304






E. C. CRAWFORD, as Director of the
Vending Stand Section, a sub-bureau
of the Bureau of Blind Services, et al.,


This matter having come before the Court on joint stipulation of dismissal by the parties it is ordered that the above styled cause be and the same is hereby dismissed with prejudice.

DONE AND ORDERED IN Chambers this____ day of____, 1972.

Circuit Judge



Directive No.: 5.0                                                                                           Effective Date: July 15, 1972



Sec.-01 PURPOSE:

The purpose of this directive is to establish a uniform policy regarding solicitation of contributions from blind vending stand operators.

Sec-02 POLICY:

A. There shall be no approach of any kind whatsoever to any blind person working in the Vending Stand Program by any employee or agent of the Bureau of Blind Services, including any blind person working in the Vending Stand Program, regarding contributions to the NASA Exchange Counsel or to any other organization, group or fund of any kind except for standard practices such as asking State employees if they would consider contributing to the United Fund or participating in Group Insurance.

B. There shall be no action taken by the Bureau of Blind Services, its agents or employees, including blind persons working in the Vending Stand Program, adverse to the interest of any blind person working in the Vending Stand Program because of his refusal to contribute to any organization, group or fund, including, but not limited to, the NASA Exchange Counsel, United Fund, and Group Insurance, nor shall any such refusal be considered in any manner by Bureau of Blind Services with regard to any action adverse to the interests of any blind person working in the Vending Stand Program, including, but not limited to, transfer and termination.




September 22, 1972

Mr. John D. Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Service
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, D. C. 20201

Dear John:

This will respond to your letter of September 13, 1972, concerning the Florida vending stand case. What occurred in this situation illustrates the problem blind people (perhaps, most persons) have in dealing with government.

You state quite correctly that the Florida agency responded affirmatively, but the chronology and the implications are not, in my opinion, as your letter would imply. A letter is sent to you. Quite understandably it does not reach you at all but goes to Dr. Newman, a man responsible to you. He, in turn, sends it to the Office for the Blind, the people who would logically deal with any problem affecting blind persons. Of course, our Florida people could have begun by contacting the Office for the Blind themselves. The reason they did not but chose to contact you instead may have significance.

In any case the usual generalized letter was received, apparently over the signature of a person who had neither written nor read it. At the time the letter was written no assurances at all had been secured from the Florida agency, nor had they given (so far as any of us can tell) any explanation of their unethical, if not illegal conduct. There is fairly clear and convincing evidence that the Florida agency has repeatedly for the past several years pressured the vending stand operators on Cape Kennedy into handing over a sizable portion of their income to the recreation fund of the space workers.

Even assuming that the Florida agency would now promise not to do it again, one would think that the federal Social and Rehabilitation Service would want to give some kind of reprimand--as an example to others or even as an empty gesture if for no other reason. However, all of this goes unmentioned.

The letter from your subordinate was of no practical help at all in settling the case. It was only after newspaper publicity and the commencement of a lawsuit that the Florida agency yielded, Even so, you now write me that: "Our office for the Blind and Visually Handicapped followed up on this case and made sure that the Florida agency policy would protect any operator not making 'voluntary contributions' to the Employees Association."

Not only as a practical political matter but as a philosophical question I ask you this: In view of the Florida vending stand case what, in the name of all that is reasonable, can a blind person (or even a strong organization of blind persons) do to get fair play and justice from the government? Must we take to the streets with violence? Is it necessary to burn buildings or go through the streets in mobs shouting obscenities? We want to work within the system, but we also want the people who run the system to be compelled to abide by the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law.

The head of the Florida rehabilitation agency is a prominent member of the Council of Administrators of State Agencies for the Blind. He can cause problems to the people in your office, and vice versa. He is well dressed, well spoken, and well versed in the intricacies of governmental operations. He has resources at his disposal and influence.

The blind operators, on the other hand, have none of these. They have only themselves and the National Federation of the Blind to rely on. When they are asked to "volunteer" to "donate" large chunks of their income to a recreation fund for federal employees, what are they to do? In a similar situation what would you do (assuming that you did not have federal civil service protection or a great many contacts or a good deal of financial backing or an extensive knowledge of your rights)? What would you do if a man in authority called you in and said to you (not in writing and, of course, off the record), "Wouldn't you like to 'donate'?" What would the head of the Florida agency do?

The dilemma is real, and it is not pleasant. If the Florida vending stand operators had submitted meekly (as they did for many months), then they would have lost their income and their self-respect. They could even be brought to praise the people and the system that took their money.

If, on the other hand, they should decide to resist (as some of them finally did), then what? They are said to be troublemakers and malcontents. They are "jeopardizing" the program which benefits them, "biting the hand that feeds them," being ungrateful, and "rocking the boat."

Following this same line of thought, what am I as a state director of programs for the blind to do when it comes to my attention that blind persons are being deprived of their rights and the laws (both state and federal) are being violated? For that matter, what is any conscientious state director to do? He knows that the course of popularity and safety lies in saying nothing-"tending to his own business." He knows that there are ways he can be punished if he takes a stand. Every incentive is to play it safe, ride the fence.

In the same vein, what is a responsible organization of the blind to do? Specifically, what is the National Federation to do? If we speak out for the rights of the blind and the enforcement of the law (as we did in the Florida vending stand case), then we are accused of being "militant," "radical," and "unreasonable." Regardless of how courteously or correctly we behave, we cannot expect the Florida agency officials to think well of us.

Then we turn to the federal agency, the entity charged by Congress with seeing that the states abide by the law and do justly in their dealings with the blind. And then what? We are right back where we started.

This is why the blind have organized. We have had no alternative. This is why the National Federation of the Blind grows and flourishes. This is why (come hell or high water) we intend to continue on our course.

Regardless of the cost, and regardless of who likes or dislikes it, we are simply no longer willing to submit meekly to whatever is handed out. That day is gone forever.

In light of my comments you may wonder why I have written you at all. I have done so because (both at our convention this summer and later in your office) you demonstrated sensitivity and concern. You showed real interest and did not react with the usual garden variety resentment when problems were presented. You kept your cool and remained friendly. I don't think it was an act. I think you meant it.

Whatever you do with my letter, I hope that you will not refer it for answer to Dr. Newman or the Office for the Blind-although, of course, I do not object to your showing it to them. The Florida vending stand case is behind us, and I'm not asking that you do anything else about it. I simply want you to give thought to my question as to what the blind person can do to get from government fair consideration of his problems. It is a question worth considering, and answering.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind


September 18, 1972

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

Dear Ken:

I have just returned from vacation, and have now had an opportunity to follow up on the situation regarding the Florida Vending Stand Operators at the NASA Space Center.

You recall that you put me on the spot during the Chicago meeting, asking me to remember the letter I had sent that was not supportive of the operators. I have the file now, and the reason I could not recall this case is because it was never handled by me. A letter was addressed to "The Administrator" in April by Mr. Corbin, the attorney for one of the operators, but the letter was forwarded to Dr. Newman of the Rehabilitation Services Administration for handling.

Our Office for the Blind and Visually Handicapped followed up on this case and made sure that the Florida agency policy would protect any operator not making "voluntary contributions" to the Employees Association. My understanding is that the agency responded in the affirmative to the licensed operator and his attorney's request for a specific letter articulating their policy.

I have asked to be kept informed on any other developments.

Sincerely yours,

John D. Twiname

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by Kenneth Jernigan

Recently at the convention of one of our State affiliates I had occasion to sit in on a meeting of the constitution committee. The organization was revising its constitution and was using the NFB Constitution as a guide line. This reminded me that a number of years ago we drew up a suggested model constitution for State affiliates, which received fairly wide circulation.

In the past few years in our organizing efforts a new "Model Constitution" for State affiliates has evolved. I promised the affiliate constitution committee that we would publish the new "Model" in The Monitor. This article is by way of keeping that promise.

In general there are two kinds of constitutions used by our State affiliates: 1) The one most commonly used contemplates a State organization with local chapters and members-at-large. At State conventions all members of local chapters and all members-at-large are eligible to vote, hold office, etc. This type of constitution would seem to be best for all except the very large affiliates, those having ten or fifteen chapters or more. 2) Some States have a system whereby each local chapter has voting delegates at the State convention. In addition, the State affiliate often has members-at-large, who have voting delegates at the convention.

Under this system, each chapter may have one or two voting delegates, or there may be one voting delegate for every ten (or some other number) members in a chapter. The only problem with this system is that it encourages the chapters to pad their membership rolls or to be slow about removing names of people who no longer wish to belong. The delegates-at-large are sometimes selected in the following manner: The president of the State affiliate (or someone designated by him) invites every blind person to send nominations for delegate-at-large until a certain cutoff date. The seven names receiving the most nominations may be put on a ballot and sent to all known blind in the State (or to all members-at-large). Write-in candidates are permitted. The four names receiving the most votes are considered delegates-at-large. Their function is to represent the members-at-large throughout the State, or the blind not affiliated with any local chapter or otherwise with the organization. This, of course, is only one of the many methods which may be used to establish a delegate system, and other numbers may be substituted for those I have used in describing the procedure.

The National Federation of the Blind of California, for instance, uses a variant of this system. (The NFB of California is the State affiliate of the NFB). The latest NFB of California constitution which I have reads in part:


All members of the local groups affiliated with the NFB of California are members of the NFB of California and of the National Federation of the Blind, and have the right to present motions, speak on the floor of the NFB of California, serve on NFB of California Committees, and hold NFB of California office; provided that no person shall become or remain a member of the NFB of California or any of its affiliates, who is a member of an organization of the blind which attacks, undermines, or attempts to divide the NFB of California or the National Federation of the Blind, as determined by the NFB of California convention.

Voting shall be done by delegates and not by individual members as such, If any member who is not a delegate shall be elected as an NFB of California officer or a member of the Executive Committee of the NFB of California, he shall by such election become a delegate-at-large for his term of office. A delegate from an affiliated organization, if selected as an officer of this NFB of California, may vote as the delegate from the affiliated organization or as an officer. The purpose of this provision is to prevent an affiliate from being deprived of the number of votes to which it is entitled.

Any blind person who is not within reasonable traveling distance of the meeting place of an NFB of California affiliate and is not eligible for membership in a statewide affiliate or any sighted person may become a member-at-large, with the same rights and duties as other members. Determinations concerning reasonable traveling distance will be made by the President, based on the policies established by the Executive Committee,

The bylaws of the NFB of California provide in implementation of this article:

ARTICLE I--DELEGATES. Section 1. Affiliated Organizations of the Blind. Each of the affiliated organizations of the blind provided for in Article IX of the Constitution shall be entitled to two votes on any matter. An affiliated organization of the blind may have two delegates, or both of its votes may be cast by one delegate. Every other delegate shall have one vote on any matter.

As I have said, the constitutions which provide for delegates to the State convention are the exceptions, not the rule. Moreover, the trend is increasingly toward the other system. This is a matter which each State affiliate must decide for itself in light of its own geography, size of membership, and local preferences. The only requirements are that the State affiliate be a truly representative, democratic organization of the blind and that it abide by the provisions of the NFB Constitution and by the policy decisions adopted by the national organization.

Here is the full text of the latest revision of the proposed "Model Constitution" for State affiliates:



The name of this organization shall be NFB of [name of State].


The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the general welfare of the blind of [name of State] and the nation and to cooperate with the National Federation of the Blind in its various activities.


Section One. Active Members.

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Active membership shall be of two classifications: active members who are affiliated with local chapters, and active members who are not affiliated with local chapters.

1. All active members of local chapters shall automatically become active members of this organization, with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

2. Any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become an active member of this organization by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at a convention or by action of the board of directors.

Section Two. Associate Members.

Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization either by the convention or the board of directors. Associate member shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they may not vote, hold office, or serve on the board of directors. Associate members shall not pay dues.

Section Three. Expulsion.

Any member may be expelled for misconduct or neglect of duty by a two-thirds vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business session of the organization.


Any organized group desiring to become a local chapter of the [name of State organization] shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the president of the [name of State organization] a copy of its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When the [name of State organization], either in convention assembled or by action of its board of directors shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the local chapter a certificate of acceptance. Annually, on or before January 1, each local chapter shall provide to the secretary of the [name of State organization] a current list of its members and their addresses. At the same time, each local treasurer shall forward to the State treasurer the State dues for each member in the chapter. As new members enter local chapters, their names and addresses shall be sent without delay to the secretary of the State organization and their State dues shall be sent without delay to the treasurer of the State organization. No group shall be accepted as a chapter and no group shall remain a chapter unless at least a majority of its voting members are blind. The president, the vice-president (or vice-presidents) and at least a majority of the executive committee or board of directors of the local chapter must be blind. The president of the [name of State organization] shall be an ex officio member of each local chapter.


There shall be elected at the regular annual convention during each even numbered year, a president, a first vice-president, a second vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the convention at which they are elected and qualified Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the person receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped from the list of nominees and a second ballot shall be taken. This procedure shall continue until one of the nominees has received a majority vote from the active members present and voting. The president and the vice-presidents must be blind. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with his office.


The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the five constitutional officers and four additional members, two of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during even numbered years and two of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during odd numbered years. At the meeting at which this constitution is adopted, two of the four directors shall be elected for one-year terms and the remaining two shall be elected for two-year terms. The four directors shall be elected in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers. The board shall meet at the call of the president or on written call signed by any three of the board members. The board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least five members of the board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone or mail ballot on any question.


Section One. Annual Conventions.

This organization shall hold an annual convention, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the membership or, if this is not possible, by the board of directors. At least fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any annual convention.

Section Two. Special Meetings.

The president of the organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he, or a majority of the board of directors, deems such action to be necessary, but at such special meeting at least fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business and written notice must have been sent to the membership at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting.


The president may appoint such committees as he or the organization deems necessary.


The [name of State organization] shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the President of the National Federation of the Blind annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the constitution of the [name of State organization] and of all amendments to the constitution shall also be sent to the President of the National Federation of the Blind.


The organization shall elect each year at least one delegate and at least one alternate delegate to attend the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. No person shall be elected as delegate or alternate delegate unless he is an active member in good standing. To the extent of the resources of the organization, the expenses of delegates and alternate delegates to Conventions of the National Federation of the Blind shall be paid.


The dues of the organization shall be $ 1.00 per year payable in advance. In accordance with Article IV of the constitution, local chapters shall pay the State dues of their members. Members who are not affiliated with a local chapter shall pay their dues before or during the time of the annual convention. A lifetime membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his dues.


The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer with the approval of the president. The treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of the organization shall be discharged by check issued on written order of the president, and signed by the treasurer.


In the event of dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind.


This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active members present and voting provided the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing and read at a previous business session.

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by Ralf Hotchkiss

[Editor's Note: Reprinted by courtesy of the Center for Concerned Engineering, Washington, D. C. Following is testimony before the Subcommittee on the Handicapped Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, on H.R. 8395 by Ralf Hotchkiss, Director Center for Concerned Engineering]

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee--I appreciate your invitation to appear here today to discuss some of the provisions contained in H.R. 8395. The Center for Concerned Engineering is particularly interested in those portions of the bill which concern sheltered workshops and the biomedical engineering research program.

First, we would like to discuss sheltered workshops and the part that these workshops play in the rehabilitation process of disabled individuals. Rehabilitation agencies rely strongly on these workshops to do evaluation and training. In 1967, over $13 million went to sheltered workshops from state agencies for training and evaluation programs. The number of workshops in the United States has more than doubled in the last five years. In 1967 there were 838 workshops serving 35,460 clients at the time they reported to the Department of Labor. Today there are approximately 1800 workshops serving 75,000 clients. We feel that these facilities are failing in their services to handicapped people.

In 1967, Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz, in a report to Congress made the following appraisal of the sheltered workshop situation: ". . . the clients of workshops are limited in their abilities to produce . . . they are limited by the frequently obsolete methods of organization and production of the workshop. To measure the 'worth' of a handicapped client by this 'productivity' while making him work with outmoded equipment, or on jobs long ago automated, or with modern equipment which is not adapted to the individual's needs is to foredoom the great majority of handicapped clients to subminimum wages. The workshop system of remuneration is comparable to that which would exist today if cigar manufacturing workers were obliged to roll cigars by hand but be remunerated on a comparative basis with productivity of the cigar factory worker in a modern plant."

Not only is the machinery used in sheltered workshops often outmoded and unadapted, but physical conditions in sheltered workshops are often very poor. In our on-going study of sheltered workshops, we have visited workshops which were inaccessible to people in wheelchairs without help from others, in some instances, even the bathrooms were unusable. Additionally, such things as telephones, vending machines, and drinking fountains were beyond the reach of those in wheelchairs.

Facilities which are unusable by the unaided handicapped person reinforce--or in the case of the newly disabled--create feelings of non-self sufficiency and even helplessness which in most cases are more disabling than the disabilities themselves. Further repressing any feeling of worth and independence are low wages, which are kept well below the subsistence level, even though the workers output is often very high. Any worker who believes what he is told can see that he will never earn more than welfare, and since earning causes a reduction in welfare, it does not make much financial difference whether he works at all. A better standard of living, a feeling of doing his real share, or even the barest self sufficiency appear not to be his God-given right. The only remaining motive for work is shame at doing nothing. This certainly is not rehabilitation.

The Department of Labor certifies workshops on wage and hour standards. Physical conditions of the workshop, such as health and safety requirements, are not contingencies for certification, except for some few workshops (50 to 75 out of 1800) covered by the Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Law. On the other hand, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare requires that the workshops meet certain standards, not covered by Labor, before grants can be given. Therefore, one agency of the government (Labor) certifies as rehabilitation facilities places which another agency (HEW) refuses to certify for grants because they are substandard. The refusal of the grant, however, is nothing more than that-the workshops can continue to operate under Labor certification.

Another important problem is that both Labor and HEW do not have sufficient money or manpower to adequately check facilities which they accredit. The checks are infrequent, spotty and inadequate in depth. In the case of Labor, the workshops must submit reports annually, but according to the Wage and Hour Division, checks on these reports are usually made only on specific complaint. As a result, as long as reports are sent in, renewal of certification is essentially an automatic procedure.

HEW, in making evaluations for training grants, makes on-site visits. Often a grant is given with recommendations that certain changes be made in the workshop. However, the only follow-up is that local agencies are "encouraged" to follow through. However, it is not necessary for the local agency to do this or to report back to the Federal office. Therefore, even when grants are given to workshops, it is with a recommendation and hope that changes will be made, but no specific requirement is made for change.

Workshops obtain special certificates for training or evaluation programs. Training programs were defined in the 1967 Federal regulations covering sheltered workshops as: "(1) one of not more than 12 months' duration and (2) designed to develop the patterns of behavior which will help a client adjust to a work environment, or to teach the skills and knowledge related to a specific occupational objective of a job family." The regulations were revised in 1968, adding an exception to the 12 months' limitation by providing for longer periods in unusual circumstances. An evaluation program is defined as one which uses work experience to determine a client's potential. The evaluation program is limited to six months, although longer periods may be authorized in unusual circumstances.

Criteria considered in determining the advisability of issuing special certificates for training or evaluation programs, according to the 1967 Federal regulations, are that there be: "(1) competent instruction or supervision; (2) a written curriculum and plan of procedure designed to obtain the objectives of the programs; (3) written records made at periodic intervals of not more than three months, showing progress of individual clients; and (4) in the case of a training program, a progression of wage rate increases as the trainee advances through steps of the program."

These criteria are from the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 525, which apply to the Department of Labor. Studies done by HEW at workshops which applied for grants were not governed by these regulations, but they cite instances where these criteria were not met. Even though these workshops were found to be lacking in areas required by Labor regulations, they were given grants. In those cases where a grant was denied, the workshops continued to operate even though they did not meet Department of Labor specifications. The following quotes are recommendations by HEW for change in the workshop programs-recommendations which have not been followed up.

"It is difficult to determine where work adjustment begins and ends and how it is differentiated from evaluation activities. Facility staff should describe and document more carefully the factors it is normally trying to adjust with individual clients." (May 1969)

"Consideration should be given the form used in assessing the performance and progress of hourly rated employees in the extended employment workshop. Each employee should be rated at least every six months in such a fashion that staff can clearly determine the production level of the client in relation to the prevailing wage in industry for the job he is engaged in and related to the productive level of a non-handicapped worker." (May 1969)

"In all of the service programs, the facilities should document its operating procedures, in order to insure consistent application of program aspects to clients, and to maintain program consistency. . ." (May 1968)

". . . it does not meet certain criteria. . . of the standards, since it is not paying wages comparable to wages paid employees engaged in covered employment." (May 1968)

"A fundamental weakness exists in the work adjustment program because clients are not receiving wages for productive work. This makes it difficult to develop proper motivation and to assess certain other industrial type characteristics." (May 1968)

"Not enough staff to develop strong services in evaluation and work adjustment." (April 1968)

"Evaluation program needs structure. More testing should be done. Additional staff, in view of large numbers of clients served, will be needed to give attention to testing." (May 1968)

"During the past year RSA has made 35 on site surveys in workshops all over the country. A common problem is lack of structure of the evaluation services and failure to create a climate for constant experimentation." (April 1968)

If rehabilitation agencies are to continue to use sheltered workshops as part of the rehabilitation process, it is obvious that existing legislation must be more strictly enforced and that the efforts of the Department of Labor and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare must be consolidated. The present methods are inadequate, to say the least, and the ones who suffer the consequences are the disabled consumers.

The Rehabilitation process cannot effectively take place in the sheltered workshop because workshops must take in income to support themselves. In order to do this they must keep disabled individuals working in their shops when their abilities are good enough for them to succeed in competitive employment. They also cannot employ to any large extent severely disabled workers because these workers cannot produce enough income for the workshop. Sheltered workshops in their present form are imprisoning those who, with a little more effort from the rehabilitation agency, would be placed in meaningful jobs. The rehabilitation agencies are dumping many able people in sheltered workshops instead of training them adequately for real jobs-or worse yet, the very limited facilities of sheltered workshops are used for terminal training-training which can only demonstrate that the individual is beyond help and thus should be dropped from further rehabilitation services.

We would suggest that this Act be amended to require that, rather than utilizing sheltered workshops for evaluation and training, state rehabilitation agencies should supervise the work evaluation directly and that training should be done in accredited public and private vocational training schools which are properly equipped to train people for jobs in the real world.

The funds authorized for the biomedical engineering research program and independent biomedical engineering projects could guarantee the development of many devices which people need to allow them to live a free and productive life. In addition, however, a way of making the devices available to the public is needed. Thousands of ingenious devices are now recorded in the patent office and technical literature-devices which will effectively negate certain aspects of people's disabilities. But because only a few dozen or hundred people need the devices for the jobs they do, private companies cannot afford to stock and sell these devices. Funds are needed to subsidize the formation of a public depot which would stock or have made all devices which have been shown to be of significant value but which are unprofitable to private industry. These devices could then be provided at reasonable cost to the individuals who need them.

The availability of these devices would also help tremendously with the development of new devices, as would the establishment of a National Information and Resource Center as specified in the Act. At present there is no way to completely assess the state of the art, so much development work just covers old ground. Most innovations come from the users, and since the manufacturers cannot or will not help, the ideas are now forgotten.

The information center, if properly organized would provide very down-to-earth services which would affect all handicapped people in their everyday life. Solutions to problems, particularly those which cannot be exploited commercially, should be solicited from users and catalogued like patents in the Patent Office. Then biomedical engineers could very quickly find out where to start. More important, the technical consultation service mentioned in the Act could and should provide information to individuals who cannot find or retain their job, housing, or transportation without it.

We are sure that the research, development, and information services provided by the Act will be a taxpayers' bargain when measured in terms of the earning capacity they will produce. But earning capacity is worthless if commensurate jobs are not provided-and this is precisely what will happen. Groups [of the disabled] have found that many corporations and public institutions systematically require applicants to meet medical qualifications completely unrelated to job performance.

If this legislation is to achieve its goals of more satisfying and independent lives for America's disabled and less dependence upon public aid, then Congress must pass concurrent bills prohibiting discrimination on the basis of handicap, or, more to the point, on the basis of any factors not directly related to the task at hand.

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Dear Ben:

As usual, you blew it. Just like the Revolution, you bungled; and the enemy (in this case the NFB) found you out. Your "confidential" report to the ACB officers was reprinted verbatim in the September Monitor.

Fortunately, the Monitor did not editorialize on what you said, or our shame and embarrassment might have been even greater than they were. If one reads between the lines of your report, it is clear (clear, that is, to anyone with the slightest grain of intelligence) that our ACB is more shadow than substance. Do we really want the whole world to know that we spent the time at our banquet listening to a representative from Walt Disney? Admittedly some of our behavior smacks more of the ridiculous than the sublime, but Walt Disney at the banquet? And another thing, the damaging revelations you made about our voting system and the so-called "national organizations" which serve as affiliates and fronts for ACB bordered on treason. The ACB officers know, without your telling them, how things are, and that a handful of states can control the voting at our conventions because of our weighted system of representation. Did you have to say in writing that only six students came to our "national" student meeting and fewer than ten teachers showed up for the "national" meeting of that group? Then there is the disgraceful passage in your report which reads: "Norman Robinson is a black attorney/politician from Chicago, who was nominated from the floor. His supporters urged that the ACB be the first organization of the blind to include a black man on their directing board."

Ben, can't you ever get anything right? Don't you know that the National Federation of the Blind has had a black man (Ned Graham of Maryland) on its board for several years and that, until Al Smith's death, it had two black board members at the same time? Don't you know that more than one NFB State president has been black and that there is a policy of complete integration in the NFB? Of course, the NFB has never made any great to do about this matter since the people in question were elected because of their qualifications and not their color. But, Ben, what kind of spy are you anyway? Can't you ever learn any of those things on your own? You dwell on the fact that Mr. Bray of the Library of Congress is going to use public funds to reproduce the publication of one of the ACB divisions. At the same time our honored and esteemed colleague, Durward McDaniel, is pushing a law suit against the NFB president, alleging that the Iowa Commission for the Blind is using its resources to promote the activities of the NFB. Of course, Mr. McDaniel and the plaintiffs in the law suit have not been foolish enough to claim that the Iowa Commission is publishing anything for the NFB. They have stuck to generalities and name calling. Even so, did you have to beat people over the head with our lack of issues and our inconsistencies?

There are lots more contradictions in your report, and don't think for one minute the NFB members won't figure that all out. They're a pretty sharp bunch, not docile and unquestioning like our members.

And one other thing: Don't you dare let people know that Reese Robrahn was defeated by a landslide of several hundred percent this summer in his primary election bid to become a district judge. I am not sure, but I think he may still have some time left on his term as probate judge. If you don't go mouthing off about it, even our own ACB members may never know.

Ben, if you let this letter fall into the hands of the NFB, it will be too bad for you! This is all I've got to say. Your sloppy bungling cost me my neck in the Revolution, and I think it's time you learned a lesson. Just keep in mind that no noose is good noose.

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by Donald C. Capps

The Sheraton-Columbia Inn was the site of the 16th annual State convention of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, Inc. More that 150 persons attended the highly successful meeting held August 25, 26, and 27. The first session of the convention featured addresses by Dr. R. Archie Ellis, Executive Director of the Department of Social Service, and Mr. N. F. Walker, Superintendent of the South Carolina School for the Deaf & Blind. A special employment panel featured five blind persons employed in different fields including a Social Security representative, a businessman, a medical secretary, a Westinghouse employee and a vocational rehabilitation counselor. A special luncheon was held at the Aurora Center of the Blind which featured an address by Dr. Fred L. Crawford, Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. The highlight of the convention was the Saturday evening banquet which was addressed by State Representative F. Hall Yarborough. Representative Yarborough was the chief author of the Model White Cane Law which was passed by the 1972 General Assembly. Several honor and service awards were presented during the evening. Two new chapters located in Greenville and Orangeburg received their charters. The State organization now has seven chapters.

A special memorial service was conducted by Dr. John K. Durst, President of the Southern Baptist Religious Education Association in memory of Dr. Samuel Miller Lawton, distinguished founder of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind. It will be remembered that Dr. Lawton passed away unexpectedly in November of 1971. The convention was pleased to learn that Miss Suzanne Bridges, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina will head up a student division. NFB radio spot announcements were played for the delegates, many of whom had already heard the announcements on various radio stations throughout the State. Plans for the 1973 NFB Convention were discussed and a report given by NFB First Vice President, Donald Capps, including the chartering of a bus or buses. South Carolina enjoyed its most successful legislative year since the passage of the Commission Bill six years ago. The convention enthusiastically received the legislative report which related the passage of the Model White Cane Law, the appropriation of an additional $70,000 for blind aid, the passage of a blind products bill and the appropriation of $35,000 to be used in conjunction with private and federal matching funds to erect an orientation and adjustment center. The business session featured highly favorable reports by committee chairmen including a resolution expressing the feeling that the South Carolina Commission for the Blind should not in any way support NAC.

Officers elected to a two year term are: President, Donald Capps of Columbia; first vice president, Lois Boltin Tucker, of Columbia; second vice president, Robert L. Oglesby, Spartanburg; secretary, Mrs. Mildred Kirkland, Charleston; treasurer, MacDonald Hancock, Columbia. New Board members elected for a three year term include Morgan Tyler from Greenville, Jack Drawdy of Orangeburg, along with Anderson C. Bishop and Tommy Ingle of Columbia. This year's convention was by far and away the best convention to date. Door prizes valued at several hundred dollars including approximately $200 in cash created considerable excitement and enthusiasm. The 1973 convention will be held in Greenville.

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by Kenneth Jernigan

Federationists will remember that I was appointed last winter by Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Elliot Richardson to be one of a newly created seventeen-member National Advisory Committee on Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. The committee was charged with the responsibility of dealing with all programs affecting the blind sponsored by HEW. Professor James Nyman and I were the only Federationists asked to serve. Judge Reese Robrahn and Miss Betty Jones (both of the ACB) were also appointed--equal representation for the two organizations despite the fact that the ACB has only a fraction of the membership we possess and that its representative character and independence are seriously in question.

Also appointed to the committee were a number of blind persons not affiliated with any organization (so-called "independents") and representatives of agencies doing work with the blind. To round out the group a number of sighted persons (a social worker, an ophthalmologist, etc.) were asked to serve.

The first meeting was held in March. Because I had been asked by our Iowa Board of Regents to interview the final candidates for Superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, I was unable to attend. Over the years we have had so many problems with the school in our State that it seemed unwise to decline to participate in this phase of the selection process for the superintendent, even though it meant missing the first meeting of the National Advisory Committee. I called Dr. Newman, head of the Federal Rehabilitation Services, and Dr. MacFarland, head of the Office for the Blind, and both agreed that my decision made sense.

Professor Nyman attended the meeting, and his report of it (together with the complete list of the members) appeared in the July, 1972 Monitor. In that report he expressed reservations and concern regarding the committee. As you will see, his fears were more than justified.

The second meeting of the committee was held on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, at the HEW building in Washington. The meeting lasted from nine in the morning until after four both days. Dr. MacFarland, head of the Office for the Blind, was present during almost all of the sessions, as were other HEW staff members. George Magers, one of Dr. MacFarland's subordinates, sat in one corner and made low-voiced comments into a tape recorder as the basis for preparing a summary of the proceedings.

As one of the first items Monday morning, the committee went into executive sessions--that is, Dr. MacFarland and the other HEW members left the room. I requested that the subject of NAC be put on the agenda. In view of the fact that Peter Salmon of the Industrial Home for the Blind in New York is not only chairman of the National Advisory Committee but has recently succeeded to the presidency of NAC, my request was not very well received. It may or may not be a commentary on the makeup of the committee that many of them were totally unfamiliar with NAC and the issues surrounding it.

Dr. Salmon seemed very much agitated. He said that it had been agreed at the first meeting of the committee in March that the committee would not be "politicized," that is, that we would try to stay away from controversial or partisan issues and try to avoid making the committee a forum for advancing individual organizational positions. I said that, since NAC was receiving close to $100,000 a year from HEW, it seemed to me it was a proper topic for discussion. After a good deal of heated talk it was agreed that it was proper to consider any project receiving HEW funds.

Then followed a discussion as to whether we could discuss NAC without permission from HEW. There was a good deal of talk about the fact that we were an "advisory" committee and, perhaps, could only "advise." I pressed as hard as I could on this matter, pointing out that the committee had been held out to the public as a means of getting real input to HEW from consumers and organizations. I said that if we could only discuss such matters as we were told to discuss by HEW, much of the purpose for having a committee at all would be lost.

I was then told that since I had not asked prior to the meeting to have NAC included on the agenda, it would probably not be possible in any case. I replied that I was only making the request and that I hoped that it would be done if time permitted. In this connection we ran ahead of the schedule and would have had plenty of time during the two-day meeting for the NAC discussion, but it was not permitted. I gave print copies of our NAC material to those who expressed interest.

During our Monday morning executive session (and several times later) the question was raised as to whether the meetings of the National Advisory Committee should be open to interested members of the public. Professor Nyman and I urged that this be the policy, as did several others; and there was pretty much of a general agreement that this should be the case. I don't wish to leave the impression that HEW officials resisted the concept. In fact, Mr. Twiname, SRS administrator, reacted quite positively, and so did most of the others present. I am not sure that the matter would have been brought up or given much consideration if Jim Nyman and I had not pressed it, but we did and it was.

The problem with the entire two-day session was one of perspective. More than once I had the feeling that Dr. MacFarland and others felt that they would like to concentrate on the "important" things, the "real" and "central" issues affecting the blind and that the things I wanted to talk about were distractive and peripheral. I think they were sincere in this feeling and not just trying to be unpleasant. The problem is that I felt the same way about what they wanted to discuss. Under such circumstances it is difficult, indeed, to have any meaningful meeting of the minds, regardless of how well disposed one may be.

The committee spent a great deal of time, for instance, discussing "A national short-term training program, major issues and priorities with the development of a five-year plan." It took another sizable chunk of time to discuss "Development of a research strategy with guidelines for a priority plan to be followed over the next five-year period." Then, there was discussion of the need for more staff members for the Office for the Blind in HEW. In fact, this was regarded as a real priority matter, having significance and importance. Another segment of the agenda was devoted to "development and expansion of volunteer programs." And there was lengthy discussion of the new rehab legislation being considered by Congress, as well as talk about prevention of blindness.

Admittedly such questions as the number of staff members working for the Office of the Blind, the research plans and strategies of HEW, and the development of volunteer programs have significance; but they are not the central issues confronting the blind today, not the topics which should occupy the time of a "National Advisory Committee," meeting for a two-day session twice a year. Even the new rehab legislation (great though its affects may be on the lives of many of the blind) should not have received prime focus. As I told the Committee: Dr. Newman has said (and I certainly agree with him) that the new rehab legislation is a cinch to pass, whether in the dying days of this Congress or in the first days of the next. At this stage there is little which the National Advisory Committee can do to alter or reconcile the Senate or House versions. In other words, I think it was important for the committee to be informed of whatever the HEW officals knew about the status and provisions of the new legislation but that the discussion should have been subordinated to other more immediate issues, issues upon which committee opinion might have some effect.

In fact, the agenda devoted an hour and fifteen minutes to the topic: "Define major issues to be dealt with by the Office for the Blind during the next few years." Of all the "major issues" nobody thought to include "The scope and nature of consumer participation in policy and programs affecting the blind." I told the committee that as far as I was concerned this was the most important single issue facing blind people today. I think the committee did not agree with me.

This topic and NAC became interrelated in a spirited discussion which occurred Tuesday afternoon. I was urging that NAC be considered, if not at this meeting of the Committee then at the next. Betty Jones, one of the two ACB representatives, moved that NAC not be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. I asked for a roll call vote. This was refused. A voice vote was taken, and I cannot be sure who voted which way. However, I know that Jim Nyman and I were the only two who voted to put NAC on the agenda. I believe that quite a number abstained.

I pointed out to the group that, if the committee could not be used as a vehicle for trying to remedy the NAC situation, then other means would have to be used. I said that we of the Federation were in the process of trying to spark a Congressional investigation and that we would work in every way possible to try to do something about NAC.

Jim Nyman and I also talked to the committee about what constitutes "consumer representation." As I see it, there are four possible notions about this matter.

1. Federationists will remember that Dr. Melvin Glasser of the NAC Board put forward the novel theory that a consumer is any potential user of the service. Therefore, since any sighted person may become blind and thus a user of the services, Dr. Glasser (sighted) is as much a consumer, or consumer representative, as the blindest among us. A novel theory. As far as I am concerned, a false theory--not even good sophistry.

2. An individual blind person (even though not a member of a large representative organization of the blind) may be regarded as a consumer representative. After all, he is blind himself and would presumably know the problems and feelings of a blind person. The trouble with this theory is that such a blind person may be totally uninformed about mainstream issues and developments (witness the lack of information about NAC by some of the members of the National Advisory Committee). Also, such a blind person may have been picked by the agency so that they can get exactly the advice they want and can have the appearance of consumer support. Regardless of how he performs on the committee, such a blind person is not responsible to any constituency. He cannot be recalled or replaced by rank and file blind people. In other words, whatever else he may be, he is not a consumer representative.

3. A person may be regarded as a consumer representative if he is blind himself and a member of a representative organization of the blind but not selected by the organization to speak for it. In short, the agency may select someone of its own choosing. The problem with this theory is that even though the blind person is a member of a consumer organization, the agency can still maneuver to get any opinion and any appearance which it wants. The person selected may not represent the majority thinking in the organization at all. In fact, he could conceivably be a minority of one. Consider what would happen if a foreign country could decide which Americans would be picked as ambassadors to represent the United States. We might have even stranger foreign policy than we now have.

4. A consumer representative must be blind himself, a member of a large representative organization of the blind, and selected by that organization to speak for it. This, in my opinion, is the only way real consumer representation can be obtained. It is true that not every blind person belongs to an organization of the blind, but almost all blind persons are eligible to join. The alternative to having an organization of the blind speak for the blind is to have individuals (representing only themselves) do it. As I told the committee, the National Federation of the Blind speaks for all blind persons-whether they like it or not and, for that matter, whether the National Federation of the Blind likes it or not. Legislation cannot be passed for one blind person and not another. Publicity campaigns, court actions, and administrative decisions affect all blind persons. Policies are freely debated in meetings, and votes are taken. This is the only way representative government can effectively function.

In any case, whatever a consumer representative may be, it was voted not to put NAC on the agenda for the next meeting. There were objections when I said that I intended to make public what had happened. Someone reminded me that at the first meeting there had been a "gentlemen's agreement" about not publicizing or politicizing. (Jim Nyman had a different memory as to what had been agreed on at that first meeting and did not recall any mutual pledge of secrecy.) Anyway, I told the committee that I had no intention of remaining silent and that they had better remove me from the committee forthwith if they were not willing for me to remain a member and publicize the happenings, for I intended to do it. They then suggested that no public statement should be made until the official minutes were available. This I declined to accept. Finally, it was suggested that, at least, we leave personalities out of it, not mentioning who had made motions or particular comments. This, too, I declined to accept. I think it is significant that the ACB representative made the motion to prevent the discussion of NAC and I think people have the right to know.

On this note the meeting ended. Afterwards I talked privately with Mr. Twiname and found him as friendly and congenial as he was at our Chicago Convention. I urged him to look carefully into the HEW funding of NAC, and he promised that he would. In fact, we reviewed the entire NAC problem-its closed meetings, its undemocratic procedures, its unrepresentative character, and the rest. After his investigation, Mr. Twiname may or may not agree with all of our points; but at least he listened, was congenial, and kept his cool.

Reflecting on the committee meeting, I would say this: It is not pleasant to be in the minority, and one does not like to have to insist on discussing matters which others in the room would rather avoid. Regardless of how good tempered or reasonable one tries to be, he tends to be viewed with hostility in such circumstances. As I say, it is not pleasant, but there is simply no alternative. Certain things have to be said.

I told the National Advisory Committee that I intended to make a report to the Federation concerning the meeting. This article is by way of coming through on that promise. As soon as there are further developments, another report will be forthcoming.

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The NFB in Computer Science, NFBCS, held a seminar and meeting the two afternoons prior to the NFB Convention in Chicago. The seminar consisted of three major areas--employment, aids and appliances, and techniques of persons employed in the field of data processing.

The Director of Data Processing for the State of Iowa, Verne Tanner, spoke to the group about employment practices and how one should handle interviews. He took part in a lively and open discussion with all present. Mr. Tanner has been an employer of blind persons for a number of years and he has also been active in getting other employers to hire qualified blind people.

The material presented about aids and appliances included the Optacon, MIT Braillemboss, Tri-Formation BD3 Braille paper tape machine, and two devices under development that produce Braille from letters recorded on magnetic tape. The last three items are especially interesting to programmers because of their adaptability to use with a computer.

The second annual meeting of the NFBCS featured the adoption of a constitution, election of officers and the acceptance speech by the new president. The officers that were elected this year to serve two year terms are: Bob Ray, Iowa, president; D. Curtis Willoughby, Iowa, vice-president; Mrs. Jackie Cumings, Ohio, secretary-treasurer; Glen Fishbeck and Ivan Rolloffs, Minnesota, board members.

The organization welcomes new membership and several projects are currently under consideration. For more information contact the president: Bob Ray, 671 32nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.

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[Reprinted by courtesy of the Gettysburg (Pa.) Times.]

A blind biology student who graduated from Gettysburg College has been accepted by Temple University Medical School to study to become a psychiatrist. David W. Hartman, 23, Havertown, Pennsylvania, a Phi Beta Kappa, is the first sightless student to be accepted into a medical program in this country in about a century.

"I wouldn't want to go to medical school just to prove I could do it. I want to go to medical school to be a psychiatrist for the handicapped. I am, of course, very excited. My love for biology and the desire to be a psychiatrist outweight everything else. You've got to understand the handicapped before there is any psychological impact," he said.

Hartman has been blind since he was 8 years old. He is concerned with the acceptance of blindness whether it is in doing academic work or getting a job. A blind person can go through college and get straight A's, but he won't be happy, nor will his life be satisfying, unless he accepts the fact he is blind, according to Dave's philosophy.

The thought of being a doctor first came to Dave when he was in junior high school. When he advanced to Haverford High School, he and his mother visited a dean at one of the Philadelphia medical schools.

In recalling the interview, Dave said: "He spent an hour enumerating the impossibilities. I was completely shocked and extremely dissappointed. However, the session had little effect on my ambition. It didn't really change my determination. Why? I don't know."

Hartman's academic career at Gettysburg College shows his flair for taking the hard route. He enrolled in tougher chemistry and physics courses, and he took the laboratories from which he could have been excused as a blind man. At the end of his junior year, he was .23 of a point shy of a perfect "A" average. He's been on the Dean's list since he entered Gettysburg.

"I was quite shocked when he told me he wanted to major in biology," said Dr. A. Ralph Cavaliere, associate professor of biology. Cavaliere also admitted he tried to talk Hartman into majoring in English, or psychology, or sociology.

Dr. Allen C. Schroeder, assistant professor of biology, reacted similarly, "Oh, my God, a blind kid," was his immediate response. "As soon as we saw he was willing and able to do it, we were willing to spend all that time."

"Dave is looking forward sincerely to helping people. He's not interested in the adulation. I think he feels he can really help people," Schroeder added.

"He is a perfect example of determination, coupled with a pretty good intellect," said Dr. Alex T. Rowland, chairman of the chemistry department. "Nobody gives this guy anything."

Hartman credits people like Schroeder, Cavaliere, and Rowland for his "making it." "I feel that the profs here have done an incredible thing. Several really incredible students put out a lot of time too," Hartman said, adding, "This is not a one man effort. I think Temple should be recognized for its acceptance of the challenge."

Schroeder and Cavaliere pointed out that no special letters were written, and no pressures were applied to gain his acceptance at Temple--one of the 10 medical schools to which he applied. Several had granted him the rare privelege of an interview; all, but Temple, eventually rejected him. "We accepted him because he's the person he is," said Dr. M. Prince Brigham, assistant dean at the Temple medical school. "He presented himself in such a manner that he has an excellent record as a scholar. We wanted to give him the opportunity he seeks. Neither one of us has any romantic ideas about how he's going to get through here. This is something we felt we could accomplish at Temple in terms of the faculty and David," Brigham added.

While taking the most difficult academic route, Hartman also took on many extracurricular activities during his student days. He had been active in Sigma Chi fraternity. He started a mental health committee which evolved into a major Chapel Council-sponsored-student volunteer program with the local sheltered workshop. He also spearheaded a drive that eventually raised $1,500 for the Pakistani refugees and another for the World University Service.

Hartman's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Hartman, Havertown, both Gettysburg alumni, were leary in the beginning that he might be extending himself. "They let it grow in me. My mother prepared me for failure which was important in getting me through this year. My father . . . when we were filling out applications for medical schools in December, he had me accepted already. They're both amazing parents."

Another key person in David Hartman's life is his financee, Cheri Walker from Spring Lakes Heights, N.J., a junior psychology major at Gettysburg. He hopes she will pursue graduate study in child psychology and education after they're married in a year.

His sister, Miss Barbara A. Hartman, a headstart teacher in Wilmington, De., is also a big influence in his life. "She's been hard on me. She's always been forcing me to be a person."

Soon after he lost his sight 15 years ago, his paternal grandparents had given David a braille watch. He was home from the hospital and the family was entertaining company when his mother asked him to show the watch to the guests. "I had settled into my great routine of getting people to do things for me," Hartman said facetiously. "So, I told my sister, 'it's up on the bureau. Could you go up and get it for me?' "

At that point, Barbara Hartman uttered what her brother considers to be the "greatest lines" in his life: "No, you get it." And, he did.

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[President's Note: Please see that this matter is brought to the attention of your local chapter as soon as possible. You will observe that our efforts with respect to NAC are paying off with Congressional inquiries to HEW officials. I urge that the constituents of Senators Humphrey, Hart, and Hartke and of Congressman Burton and Congressman Bingham make contact to express appreciation for the efforts which they have made. I urge that all other state and local affiliates contact their Congressmen and Senators to urge immediate action. Pass resolutions, and organize letterwriting campaigns. Make personal contacts while your Congressmen and Senators are at home campaigning. Have your friends and relatives get in touch with them. This is the time for a massive effort.

Some of the Congressmen and Senators have written to Mr. Twiname, but for the most part their letters have been mild inquiries. We need action, and we need it now.

Perhaps some of you have received letters from your Congressmen or Senators indicating action on their part to help us. If so, you have not informed me, and I hope you will. Again I say that we must have action from the rank and file members of the Federation throughout the country, and we must have it now, and massively.]


Washington, D C. 20510

August 29, 1972

Mr. John D. Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Services
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Twiname:

Since coming to the Senate, I have become increasingly concerned with the plight of blind persons in this country and I have worked very closely with representatives of the National Federation of the Blind to remedy this plight by solutions contained in Federal enactments.

Over the years, I have learned to place much reliance upon the opinions expressed by members of the National Federation of the Blind for they truly seem to have an excellent awareness of the problems encountered by blind persons.

Therefore, when I learned that the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC), created and operating as a result of Federal money provided by your agency, is vigorously opposed by the National Federation of the Blind, I was greatly disturbed.

I would like to know the basis that your agency used to fund an accrediting agency in the field of the blind which, I am informed, totally ignores the views of the largest organization of blind persons in the Nation.

I had thought that the "maximum feasible participation of beneficiaries of programs intended for their benefit" provision contained in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, so firmly established client participation that it could no longer be ignored or disregarded, certainly, in programs receiving Federal financial support.

I utterly fail to understand why Federal money should be used to finance an agency such as NAC which so vitally affects the lives of blind persons, yet, which so arbitrarily and arrogantly disregards the views of the organized blind.

I have been told that the attitude of the officials toward the National Federation of the Blind is not mere indifference, but rather is active antagonism. No other construction can be inferred from an episode which has been reported to me. At a meeting of the board of directors of NAC, a request of a group of blind people to attend and observe the meeting was angrily refused, and even when this group designated two of their number to represent them at the meeting, this request, too, was firmly rejected.

Greatly astonished and much troubled at learning of the above, I checked into the history of the NAC and was told that, from the very beginning, the views and opinions of the blind of the Nation as expressed by the National Federation of the Blind have been given only token recognition.

Your prompt and personal attention to my request for information would be greatly appreciated.


Vance Hartke
United States Senator

August 29, 1972

Mr. John Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Services
U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20201

Dear Mr. Twiname:

As a member of the California Legislature, I became acquainted with the National Federation of the Blind.

I found the purposes of this organization to be highly commendable, soundly sensible and worthy of my approval.

Some of the elected leaders of the National Federation of the Blind are my closest friends.

Some of the finest accomplishments I have achieved as a state legislator and as a Congressman have resulted from recommendations made to me by the National Federation of the Blind, that have been achieved by the representatives of this organization and me working very closely together.

You can judge from the foregoing of my excellent opinion of the National Federation of the Blind and thus understand the degree of my amazement when I learned of the sorry situation that exists with the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC)--that this organization, created solely for the purpose of improving programs and services to the blind, of helping and benefiting blind people, has acted from the very start in derogation of blind people; that the National Federation of the Blind was allowed to play only an insignificant role in the initial formation of NAC, with few if any of its recommendations incorporated into the evaluative standards as criteria for determining the adequacy and quality of services provided to the blind; that even though the National Federation of the Blind is the largest organization of the blind in the nation, it was given only one membership on the NAC governing body, the Board of Directors, a board of thirty-four members.

And I understand at a recent meeting of the NAC Board of Directors, the blind were arbitrarily excluded even though a group of them had requested admission only as observers.

After learning all this and more, you can imagine my anger and amazement when I was told that NAC is being financially supported by substantial amounts of Federal funds.

I consider this NAC business an outrage, one more indignity perpetrated upon the blind by agencies and professional persons supposedly serving the blind.

I shall anticipate a thorough and prompt explanation of the issues I have raised in this letter.


Member of Congress




August 29, 1972

Mr. John Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Services
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Twiname:

Will you kindly inform me on what basis your agency gives financial support to the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC)?

It is my understanding that NAC was established to formulate standards to be met by organizations serving the blind and to accredit such organizations which satisfactorily meet these standards.

Yet it is reported to me that from its inception to the present, the blind, themselves, have been allowed to participate in NAC only to an insignificant degree.

Any policy of ignoring the blind themselves would exclude the most potentially fruitful resource for giving value and meaning to NAC, and would make the actions, evaluations and activities of NAC of doubtful merit.

It has always made sense to me that the people to be served by an agency designed to satisfy their unique and specialized needs--such as the blind--should be an important factor in program initiation and planning, in all aspects of agency administration and operation.

In recent years, this "client participation" doctrine has found increasing acceptance in the social welfare field, but apparently professionals engaged in work for the blind have failed to keep pace with their colleagues and have not adopted a policy of client involvement except to a very minor extent.

The National Federation of the Blind has supplied me with documentation of this most regrettable situation. I would not favor continuing to use Federal money to maintain an organization practicing discrimination against the blind--against the very people it is in business to serve.

Your comments on this situation will be very much appreciated.


Philip A. Hart

cc: Mr. John F. Nagle
National Federation of the Blind
1346 Connecticut Avenue, N. W.
Suite 212
Washington, D. C. 20036




August 29, 1972

Mr. John D. Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Service
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Washington, D. C. 20201

Dear Mr. Twiname:

It has been brought to my attention that a serious question has been raised by the National Federation of the Blind (N.F.B.) as to whether the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (N.A.C.), in its organizational structure and policies, provides adequate recognition to the interests and concerns of blind persons. At issue is the recommendation by the N.F.B. that there should be adequate provision for the direct involvement of blind Americans in the decision-making processes of the N.A.C. on the services of which these persons are consumers, and that greater recognition must be given by the N.A.C. to its responsibilities as an advocate of the interests of the blind in carrying out its functions of establishing standards and accrediting agencies providing services for the blind.

Throughout my public service I have had frequent and helpful contact with officers of the N.F.B. in working on issues of mutual concern. Therefore, I am seriously concerned by allegations that the N.A.C, whose operations are in part financed by grants administered by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, has been unresponsive to the concerns raised by the N.F.B. I am aware that there is a spectrum of positions on these issues among national organizations representing the blind, and I believe this indicates the advisability of providing a continuing forum for their adequate and open consideration.

I will appreciate your advising me of measures taken by the Social and Rehabilitation Service to address concerns that blind and visually impaired persons be able to have adequate participation in decision-making processes on services and programs directly affecting their needs and interests and receiving federal assistance, and on how these measures are being applied to the operations of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped.


Hubert H. Humphrey



House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515

August 30, 1972

Mr. John Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Services
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Twiname:

Several of my constituents who are blind and active members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) have brought to my attention some disturbing policies and practices of the National Accreditation Council of Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC).

Briefly, I have received documented reports that NAC sponsors and supporters have permitted only the most limited participation and involvement in NAC by blind people, and that NAC has systematically discriminated against the very community it is designated to serve--the blind.

In particular, for example, I note that the NFB, the largest organizational spokesman for the blind, was only allowed one seat on the thirty-four member Board of Directors of NAC. At a recent Board of Directors meeting in New York, blind people who sought permission to sit in on the meeting simply to listen were refused. When Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, President of the NFB and a member of the NAC Board, protested, he was apparently treated rudely by other Board Members.

It would seem to me that, particularly in this time of long-overdue participation by client peoples in the social services groups that affect their lives, it would seem appropriate that blind people should share more fully in decision making by agencies like NAC, and that the deliberations of such bodies should be conducted openly.

In view of the Federal funds which are allocated to the support of the National Accreditation Council, I will appreciate receiving your assessment of the apparently rather undemocratic and exclusionary actions of this organization with regard to blind people, and your views on appropriate remedies.


Jonathan B. Bingham



House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515

September 2, 1972

Mr. John Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Services
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Washington, D. C. 20201

Dear Mr. Twiname:

I am a great admirer of our blind citizens, and I am especially proud of the blind members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

I have attended conventions and meetings of the NFB affiliate in Hawaii and through such attendance and in other ways I have become acquainted with many of my blind constituents who are Federation members.

I rely upon these people and the national and Washington leaders of the NFB to keep me informed on all matters affecting the blind and their welfare.

And so I learned about the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) and that blind people are not adequately represented in its policy decisions and activities.

I am advised that from its earliest formative stage until the present, the members of the NFB have been denied any substantial part in NAC--in the formulation and development of standards to be met by agencies providing services to the blind; that the NFB has been allowed only one membership on the Board of Directors of NAC which consists of thirty-four members; and that blind people are excluded from meetings of the NAC Board of Directors.

This raises the question of whether Federal funds to support the NAC are justified.

Why should federal money be used to maintain and support a private organization that appears prejudiced against the blind it is supposed to be serving, and that seems discriminatory against the blind? I would appreciate your comments on this matter.

Thank you for your assistance.

Very truly yours,

Member of Congress

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by Jim Doherty
Beatrice Campbell is now President of the National Federation of the Blind of District of Columbia. But two years ago, she didn't even know there was an NFB.

The August, 1971, Monitor carried a story entitled "Research Center Directed by Blind Woman," which sketches some of the activities of this busy lady's life. Bee was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Washington, D. C., where she began writing in high school. Her professional career includes a stint as "Features and Children's" Editor for the Washington Tribune, editing book and poetry columns for the Afro-American Newspapers, the Associated Negro Press and other papers, as well as specialized book reviews for the New York Times. She also found time to publish two books of original verse, three anthologies of works by black poets and an instructional pamphlet for beginning writers. In 1947 Bee took a job with the Veterans' Administration, retiring after twelve years on disability. Then, in 1965, responding to a need that she and other black writers had long experienced, she came out of retirement to establish the Negro Bibliographic and Research Center and still serves as its director and chief editor.

Bee began to lose her sight in 1967. Five years and several operations later, her eye condition is still deteriorating. Her fears and uncertainties about life as a blind person ended when she heard some Federationists on a local radio talk show. As soon as she joined the D.C. affiliate, we could see that the organized blind movement was sure to benefit from the creative energy she brings into every activity she enters. The high regard we all have for Bee Campbell is evidenced by the fact that we soon elected her to our advisory board and then, at our '72 Convention, chose her as president for the coming year.

The Washington, D.C. affiliate came into being in September, 1960, when fourteen Federationists formed the nucleus of the Capital Chapter of the NFB. Membership grew slowly at first. One charter member recalls that a regular monthly meeting would often attract no more than six or seven people. The first major activity undertaken by the Capital Chapter was the 1965 National Convention, NFB's Silver Jubilee, highlighted by the banquet attended by 103 Senators and Congressmen. The past few years have seen the affiliate grow tremendously, both in membership and in scope of action. In November, 1971, the old Capital Chapter became the National Federation of the Blind of the District of Columbia.

A White Cane Law for the District (now well on its way through Congress), an adequate education for the City's blind children and adults and a more active community relations campaign are the principal current projects. Under Beatrice Campbell's leadership, we look forward to progress on all fronts.

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by Donn Pearlman

[Editor's Note: Recently the Columbia Broadcasting System broadcast a feature by Donn Pearlman over CBS' Coast-to-coast radio network. Following is the text:]

The National Federation of the Blind--the country's largest organization devoted to problems of the blind is working for equality between sighted and non-sighted members of society. Federation First Vice-President Don Capps of Columbia, South Carolina, feels that blind persons are becoming more self-sufficient than ever, but he says there is a long way to go.

"Our needs consist of better understanding and more acceptance by our sighted society, in that blind people are essentially normal with the exception of loss of physical sight. We have the same attitudes, the same aspirations, the same desire to be a good citizen, to work and to compete and to have our own homes, our own jobs, and raise our own families."

Capps explains that blind persons seek no special favors; they just want to be able to use certain tools that will help them be self-sufficient.

"While aids and equipment are important in the life of a blind person, more important is his training, his getting an education, and then convincing the public that blind people can do the job, if they have an opportunity. We think in the NFB that the average blind person can do the average job in the average place of business with proper training and opportunity."

During the recent National Federation of the Blind annual Convention held in Chicago, the fifteen hundred delegates showed how just a few aids could enable them to get around. The Convention was held in the Palmer House, and Hotel general manager Ronald Hughes explains what his staff did.

"About four or five days before they arrived we put Braille right next to each of the buttons on each of our elevators. In addition to that, we also put the guest room number in Braille on each door in the hotel so that any guest can go along the corridor and find his room."

Hughes also reported that hotel staff members went out of their way to assist the blind guests and Girl Scout volunteers were also used, calling out the floor numbers at elevator banks in the hotel.

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by Laura Herman

The Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of New York State, Inc., met on Friday evening, September 1, 1972. As this was an open board meeting, there were over 40 persons in attendance many of whom participated in the discussions. NFB President Kenneth Jernigan and Mrs. Mary Ellen Anderson were presented to the board and received a very enthusiastic welcome from all present.

At the same time, the Red Room was the scene of true hospitality where old friends met, new friendships formed and refreshments were plentiful. Hats off to Rita Chernow, Convention Director, and to the Concordia Chapter for providing one of the finest evenings of hospitality which the members of our state affiliate have experienced. Throughout the entire convention, Rita Chernow with her box of door-prizes was a familiar and welcome sight.

After a welcoming address given by Mrs. Eunice Fioritto, member of the mayor's advisory commission for the physically handicapped, President Jernigan discussed the progress made by the blind movement on a national level and reiterated his determination to fight the ACB law-suit. If there was any question as to how the New York State affiliate stood regarding this matter, it was answered in one loud voice by the assembled federationists who pledged to support President Jernigan in every way possible! New York is NFB all the way! A resolution was passed unanimously to establish a William S. Dwyer Memorial Fund.

The Saturday afternoon session was devoted to a panel discussion with speakers from the New York City Board of Education. Mr. Alex Chavich, first blind teacher to receive his tenure in the New York City School System represented the New York City Board of Education; the Jewish Braille Institute of America; and the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. A spirited and informative question and answer period followed.

Many Federationists spent an enjoyable Saturday evening at Radio City Music Hall where they saw the performance "Last of the Red Hot Lovers."

As the New York State Affiliate will host the 1 973 NFB Convention to be held at the Statler Hilton Hotel in New York City, a meeting to make plans was held with President Jernigan. As Dr. Jernigan related the duties and responsibilities of a host affiliate, enthusiasm among those present mounted. Many committees were appointed, and if the success of a convention could be measured by the enthusiasm of the workers, this should be a top-notch convention.

Committee reports and election of a second vice-president were the order of the day for the Sunday morning session. Dr. Patrick Peppe was elected to the office of second vice-president. He was also appointed legislative chairman of the New York affiliate.

A discussion was held regarding the role of the blind at the next NAC Board Meeting. It was decided that the blind should go in great numbers and demand entrance into the NAC board meeting. President Jernigan cautioned the blind to be orderly but insistent upon the right to observe at the board meeting of NAC. The prospect of this confrontation with NAC was one of the highlights of the convention.

The Blind and Government Agencies was the panel discussion scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Participants were: Mrs. Eunice Fioritto from the Commission on Human Rights; Mr. Kelley from the Civil Service Commission; and Mr. Katz from the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. Mrs. Fioritto urged persons having complaints to make them to the Commission on Human Rights, since only six complaints had been made to her during this past year. She also encouraged all blind persons to take an active part in helping to bring about a better understanding of the needs of the blind. Mr. Kelly assured all civil service applicants that they would be hired solely on test marks. Mr. Katz prefaced his talk by stating that he was at the convention because Mr. Stephens was not able to be there; that he would read only what Mr. Stephens had written for him and that he really didn't know much about the subject because he works in a different department. This was proven by his inability or unwillingness to answer all questions directed to him.

Over 148 Federationists and their friends attended the banquet. Alex Chavich had the distinction of serving as toast-master at the largest banquet this organization has ever held. The highlight of the evening was President Jernigan's address. The President left no doubt in the minds of those present as to what had to be done. They must go and seek out all the blind, tell them that they, too, have the right to live as first-class citizens with dignity and respect, and bring them into the NFB Movement where they too can join us on the barricades!

The Monday morning session included committee reports, reports from the various local affiliates on their activities and resolutions. A resolution was passed to change the name of the state paper from the Eyecatcher to the Blind New Yorker. The convention sites for 1973 and 1974 are Binghamton and Buffalo respectively. Preliminary plans for the 1973 NFB Convention were discussed with great enthusiasm. There is no doubt that the New York affiliate will work in complete accord to make this the greatest convention ever.

The convention was adjourned in an atmosphere of complete unity, leaving no doubt that New York is on the move! Watch out world! Here we come!

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As of March 1972 there were 87,847 recipients of Aid to the Blind with an average monthly grant of $107.40. The United States had 2,015,443 recipients of Old Age Assistance with an average grant of $78.05 and 1,107,672 recipients of Aid to the Disabled with an average grant of $102.30. There were 10,928,946 recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children with an average grant of $53.98.

As of April 1, 1970 the United States had an estimated total population of 204,265,000 with an estimated rate of blindness of 2.14 per 1,000 population. It had an estimated total blind population of 437,000. There are 34,300 new cases of blindness each year. With 437,000 blind persons in the country, this means that only about 20 percent receive Aid to the Blind. Obviously, this is an indicator of rather tough eligibility requirements in many of the States, some having quite restrictive responsibility of relatives provisions.

Of the fifty States, thirty do not now have any provision for recoveries, liens, and assignments against the property of the recipient of Aid to the Blind for the assistance given, or make any claim against his estate for the amount of aid granted. However, some twenty States still persist in this practice, so reminiscent of the Old Elizabethan Poor Laws of mediaeval England. The usual provision is to the effect that the total amount of assistance paid to a needy blind person constitutes a lien on the estate of the recipient and all property he may have or later acquire is subject to lien provisions. Usually the lien is not enforced against real property used as a home by the surviving spouse until his death. Unfortunately, statistics are not available on the number of States which still require the children of older blind persons to contribute to their needs.

As to property limitations in Aid to the Blind, in thirty-eight of the fifty States property used as a home is not counted irrespective of its value. In the twelve remaining states, the limitation on the value of a home varies from $2,500 in one State, $3,000 in three States, $4,500 in two States, $5,000 in two States, $6,000 in one State, $8,000 in two States, and $10,000 in one State. With respect to property not used as a home, forty-one States do not permit the ownership of any real property except the home. If such real property is yielding an income, two States permit up to $1,000 in value, two up to $5,000, one up to $8,000 and four States place no limitation on the amount of such real property provided it is producing income for the recipient. With respect to personal property, that is, cash, securities and cash surrender value of insurance, again this varies widely among the States. Four of them permit the ownership of no cash or other liquid assets at all, requiring complete destitution. Twelve States permit an amount of from $150 to $500. Twenty-two States set limits from $500 to $1,000, and only twelve States place their limitations on personal property between $1,000 and $1,500.

The Federal Government pays anywhere from 50 percent to 83 percent of all Aid to the Blind costs, depending upon the per capita wealth of each State under the variable grant formula.

For the fiscal year 1971 a total of 10,194 blind persons were rehabilitated by those agencies having separate units for the rehabilitation services for the blind. Unfortunately, statistics are not available as to what percentage of the total "rehabilitated" actually represent placement in competitive industry and what percentages represent placement in sheltered workshops, vending stands, "social adjustment," or homemakers.

For the fiscal year 1971 the United States had 3,142 vending stands, 881 of which were in Federal locations and 2,261 in non-Federal locations. There were 3,452 blind operators and the annual average net earnings per operator were $6,516. Some 33 States levy a "set aside" fee on their blind operators and 13 do not.

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by Mel Relyea

On February 16, 1972, House Bill 2363 was introduced in the House of Representatives in Arizona by Colonel McAllister, Director of Arizona Industries for the Blind. This bill passed through two committees in the House and was forwarded to the Senate with a do-pass recommendation within one week.

The blind of Arizona became aware of the full significance and dangers of this bill due to the alertness of Dan Duffy, president of the Zenith Club of the Blind in Phoenix. Upon examination of this bill, the blind discovered that the handicapped were to be included as employees at the Arizona Industries for the Blind. It was further noted that there was to be no ratio established for the hiring of the blind or any other physically handicapped. It repealed the existing seventy five percent ratio of blind workers to be employed.

Prominent people in Arizona were to constitute a practically permanent committee to direct all activities of the Arizona Industries for the Blind. With almost no exception, the members of this committee would be entirely unfamiliar with the unique problems of blind workers.

It was contended that HB 2363 was to conform with the already adopted Federal Wagner-O'Day Act. This could not be further from the truth as the Wagner-O'Day Act is primarily concerned with non-profit organizations of the blind and "severely" physically handicapped. Under this act the Arizona Industries for the Blind would definitely not be a non-profit organization as the full intent of HB 2363 was to establish Arizona Industries for the Blind as a self-maintained profit-making industry.

It was further noted that HB 2363 merely grouped together the blind and physically handicapped in one lump. HB 2363 went so far as to eliminate the phrase "severely handicapped" and substituted only "handicapped". The Arizona Industries for the Blind would thereafter be known as the "Arizona Industries for the Blind and Other Physically Handicapped".

Under the guidance of Dan Duffy, who was joined in his efforts by James Carlock, president of the NFB of Arizona; John VanLandingham, president of the Arizona Council of the Blind; Bertram Stone, president of the Maricopa County Club of the Blind; and Maragaret Bluhm, president of Arizona Association of Workers with the Blind, THE BLIND OF ARIZONA RALLIED.

Joint meetings of the blind were held to outline plans of attack. As a result, hundreds of phone calls were made and about a hundred letters were sent to the members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Many blind people attended sessions of this committee and many spoke outright against this bill.

In a final attempt to secure passage, Colonel McAllister submitted a so called "spontaneous" resolution signed by some workers of Arizona Industries for the Blind. This resulted in aiding our efforts.

Even though this bill was introduced by Colonel McAllister and supported by the Department of Public Welfare, the combined efforts of a united front by the blind succeeded in defeating this obviously detrimental piece of legislation.

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by Beryl Sauce

[Editor's Note: The following is reprinted from the Shopper's Weekly of Morgan City, La. The author attended the organizational meeting of the NFB of Louisiana. She stayed on and decided she would like to become a member, which she did. She got the NFB philosophy right away. ]

"The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it, but rather what he becomes by it," so said a wise philosopher of yesteryear.

In the light of these appropriate words--with your indulgence--I should like to lay some well-earned congratulatory words on a fine man, who has worked long and hard to make his dream a reality. It seems that Mr. Harvey Webb--notably through much effort on his part--helped organize a Louisiana Chapter of the NFB, becoming President of this group at a recent organizational meeting. Additional congratulations go out to his lovely "First Lady", Adele, who is obviously an invaluable helpmate and an indispensible source of encouragement to Harvey. There's no question about it, these two individuals make a great team!

On the subject of this fine organization, did you know that "The ultimate goal of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality?"

According to NFB National President, Kenneth Jernigan, who has been totally blind since birth, "There are two opposing concepts of the nature of blindness at large in the world. One of them holds that blindness is a nuisance, and the other that it is a disaster."

Having attended the State Organizational Meeting of the NFB recently in our Capital City, observing-first hand-these fine people in action, it was obvious to me that they regard their blindness as nothing more than a "physical nuisance." The pity of it all is that we, who are in possession of full physical sight, are in many ways really the ones who are "blind" to their plight-blindly seeing their "nuisance" as a "disaster"!

If I may, allow me to pursue this point further. It had come to pass not long ago, that one particular letter, written to a nationally famous lady advice columnist read as follows:

Dear A.L.-"I lost my sight when I was eight and I have a wife and three children. It is very hard for a blind man to make a living because nobody wants to hire me. So I do the next best thing. I sit on the corner with a cup and sell pencils. We have moved to several different cities and have done all right. In this town, two policemen have told me that begging is against the law and to get moving. Why should there be a law against a man trying to make a living. My wife is writing this for me and we need a fast answer so please hurry. Signed--Tough Luck."

The famous lady columnist's reply was as follows: "No one needs to beg in America. There are countless 'Welfare Organizations' who will help you. Write to the American Foundation for the Blind . . ."

Now, for anyone to suggest that a person, who wants to make a living and who is sound mentally and physically, go on "welfare," just because he is blind is incongruous-to say the least! Besides, haven't the welfare rolls swelled far enough out of proportion in this country, in recent times? The endless list of those on welfare is long enough now, without adding more names-especially names of those who desire to help themselves.

In yesteryear, blind people had no choice, and were usually relegated to positions of "immobility and dependency." But in this modern day, blindness is indeed a "horse of another color", for many of the blind in this country are successful farmers, lawyers, scientists, laborers, teachers, mechanics, engineers and businessmen. Indeed, I must admit that after seeing these remarkable people in action at the state meeting, one cannot help but think that there is hardly anything they could not do--if they but put their minds to it! Unlike many of us--who possess full eyesight-these happy, smiling, extremely intelligent blind folks apparently do not have time to feel sorry for themselves, and herein lies the prime ingredient of success in life--in anybody's life!

People, more learned than any of us, have maintained that life is merely a matter of "accepting the impossible, doing without the indispensible, and bearing the intolerable," and even though sight comes naturally to many of us, while for others, a curtain of darkness is forever drawn shut, we have much more than we realize in common. Anyone, with even one grain of maturity, will readily admit that there is no touching or seeing the most beautiful things in life, for such things can only be felt in the heart.

When we get right down to it, people are really not so different after all, for--in their own individual way--everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle!

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by Clarence E. Collins

The third annual convention of the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind was held this year, at the Hilton Inn in Greensboro, September 15-17. As early as Friday morning, members began pouring into the hotel even though the preconvention activities did not start until Friday evening.

For the most part, Friday evening was taken up with divisional groups meeting in the rooms of the leaders, but one meeting of all the presidents of the various chapters met in the President's suite, where Dr. Jernigan talked to us for a while on our responsibilities as the leaders of our groups.

Saturday morning at 9:30 the gavel fell on the first official meeting of the convention. The panel discussion of the chapters was interesting and also revealing. Dr. Jernigan sat at the head table and helped the president by asking some pertinent questions as we went along. Later in the morning we heard an interesting paper by Mrs. Fay Humphries, Public Relations Director from the North Carolina State Commission and another read by Mrs. Marion Leith from the North and South Carolina Regional Library for the Blind and Handicapped. An interesting talk by John Ed Davis, past Governor of the Lions Club, set forth some of the activities of the club in the interest of the blind in this State. A report on the National Convention in Chicago was given and then a talk by a member who had had training at the Iowa Center for the Blind. The resolutions and some amendments were read just before adjourning for lunch.

Ed J. Edgerton, Chief of the Solicitation Licensing Section of North Carolina talked about the work of his division. Clarence Collins asked why, since we must have licenses to solicit funds, such complicated application blanks had to be filled out. Mr. Edgerton apologized and said that simpler forms were being made. The convention heard from representatives of the gubernatorial candidates.

The report on the activities of the NCFB Credit Union in North Carolina was presented by Ed Phillips, its president. He stated that the Credit Union was healthy and had money to lend to anybody who wanted it. Dr. Jernigan, NFB President, spoke about the internal affairs of the NFB, and the phenomenal growth of the organization. His address was followed by a question and answer session which lasted until the afternoon adjournment.

As always, the banquet, which was attended by one hundred seventy members and guests, was the highlight of the convention. More than a dozen members of the North Carolina State Commission for the Blind were on hand to hear Dr. Jernigan's banquet address. He put aside his prepared remarks and spoke from his heart. It was a deeply moving speech, and it went to the hearts of all who heard him. After the banquet, a fellowship dance lasted until the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday morning was taken up with the business affairs of the organization and one important amendment to the constitution changed our name from the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind to the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina.

This was election year, and due to the state of his health, Clarence Collins would not accept nomination for president. An entirely new slate of officers was elected: President, Hazel Staley, Charlotte; first vice-president, I. C. Collins, Raleigh; second vice-president, Mrs. Robert Jones, Raleigh; secretary, Mrs. D. E. Conder, Charlotte; treasurer, George Best, Charlotte. Three positions were filled on the executive board. 1973 NFB Convention delegate is Mrs. Hazel Staley and alternate delegate is Mrs. D. E. Conder of Charlotte. Our next convention will be held in Raleigh September 14 and 15, 1973.

Retiring president, Clarence E. Collins, was presented with a beautiful plaque, honoring him for his organizational work and faithful service to our organization during the past three years. His wife, Helen, was honored by a standing ovation for her untiring service, standing by his side as a helper in the cause.

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by Beverly Stephen

[Reprinted by courtesy of the San Francisco (California) Chronicle. Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co., 1972.]

"If humans didn't have brains, they'd forget all about these things," said Skipper Doody, a 13-year old blind boy who sometimes gets frustrated learning computer programming at the Lawrence Hall of Science on the UC-Berkeley campus. And when humans haven't had eyesight, they have often had to forget about many activities that were commonplace in the seeing world. Happily there is a trend toward opening up all parts of the world for the blind.

Two projects at the Lawrence Hall are currently working on making the world of science accessible to blind elementary school children. The Computer Education Project is developing a computer programming curriculum for partially sighted and totally blind students, while Adapting Science Materials for the Blind (ASMB) is providing experience-centered science instruction.

"As a culture, we're simply becoming more aware of people with special problems," said ASMB Director Herbert D. Thier, citing the example of new sidewalks being built with ramps for wheelchairs. Thier believes there is a definite "trend to integrate the blind into 'normal' society, and says this was made possible by technological advances--like the easy-to-operate cassette tape recorder." . . .

Now well into the second year of the project, however, Thier is convinced that the advantages outweigh the problems. "The blind child's not disabled; he just can't see is the way Thier expresses his feelings. “We're not trying to build a world for the blind child, but to help him be a part of the regular classroom. We want to make it possible for the blind child to do what other children do to operate in a normal environment.

"Of all the people who are legally blind, three-fourths have partial sight," Thier pointed out, "but what they do with their sight seems to be related to their feelings. You can help a partially sighted person to see more or you can teach him to be blind. For example, it's easier to make print big than to teach somebody braille." And that's exactly what part of the adaptation consists of. Student manuals orginally produced for the Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS), sequential physical and life science units, which essentially turn the elementary classroom into a laboratory, have been translated into braille and reproduced in large type as well. In the braille version, illustrations are in relief so the student can feel the picture of a fish or a baseball bat.

Adapting materials presented far more problems than the texts. Blind children had no way of finding the fish in an aquarium, for example. So a special double aquarium was built. The inner aquarium has holes in the bottom and can be lifted up and drained so the child can then find the fish in the small amount of water remaining in the corners. Adapting physical science materials was even more difficult in some cases because things have to be contained--kept within a certain "touch space." Metal thermometers, for example, are used instead of liquid ones and the indicators are marked with braille. Experiments where color is important have been changed so texture is the distinguishing factor.

The basic idea is for children to learn to gather and rely on evidence and develop self-confidence in their own judgements when thinking about scientific concepts. Concrete physical experiences are in many ways more important for the visually handicapped child who often must rely solely on somebody else's word about what the world is like.

This is certainly not the first time blind students have been taught science. But in the past, the trend has been to translate the textbooks into braille after they have been in general use for a few years, according to Thier. Consequently, the materials tended to be a bit behind the times. The SCIS materials, on the other hand, are only now in their first year of full commercial production so the adaptation of the materials for the blind is occurring simultaneously with the introduction of the materials in the "normal" classroom.

"The adaptation project was possible only because the SCIS materials already existed," Thier pointed out. "It would be difficult to obtain sufficient funds to develop a program exclusively for blind students," he said. (There are approximately 20,000 blind school-aged children in the United States.)

Adapting Science Matierials for the Blind is funded by a Title III, ESEA grant from the State of California. It is currently being tested in the California School for the Blind in Berkeley, the Proctor School in Castro Valley and the Frances Blend School in Los Angeles.

The Computer Education Project's experience with blind children is still in the beginning stages. A few weeks ago three partially sighted children and one totally blind boy from the California School for the Blind began attending tutorial computer programming classes on Saturdays at the Lawrence Hall. Not only will these children learn how to program, they will also teach their teachers how best to adapt the computers to the needs of the blind.

It may sound a bit esoteric for young children--whether sighted or not--to be programming computers, but project director Hesh Wiener believes computers are going to be commonplace when these children are grown. Knowing computerese--in this case, the children are taught the basic language--will provide access to information not otherwise available, Wiener said. Also he believes that "if the kids take computers for granted, they will think of new things to do with them. The future is really in their imaginations."

But why the particular interest in teaching blind children to use the computers? "It's a matter of opening a door for them to a world that already exists for sighted kids," Wiener said. ... "I don't think teaching blind kids is that much different from teaching other kids except for the equipment," Wiener said. "But teaching blind kids is something people usually don't worry about very much." . . .

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[Editor's Note: The following testimony by the NFB before the Subcommittee on Aviation of the U. S. Senate is printed because it spells out clearly the reasons why the National Federation of the Blind opposes the "two-for-one" plane fare scheme.]

Mr. Chairman, when the National Federation of the Blind met for its twenty-fourth annual national Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1964 with more than 600 blind men and women in attendance from all parts of the nation, the following resolution was considered and approved by the Resolutions Committee, it was thoroughly discussed and debated on the Convention floor during a business session and was approved overwhelmingly by the voting delegates:

WHEREAS, certain measures have been introduced in Congress to allow airlines to provide transportation to a blind person and his sighted guide for only one fare; and

WHEREAS, these measures were considered in public hearings conducted by the Subcommittee on Transportation and Aeronautics of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, and in such public hearings were supported by representatives of organizations and agencies for the blind; and

WHEREAS, airlines provide adquately, both in airports and on planes, for the safe and convenient travel of blind persons travelling alone, thus making it unnecessary that they be accompanied by a sighted companion; and

WHEREAS, since the "two for one" plane fare proposals are not justified by necessity, and therefore amount to proposals to grant blind persons special and privileged status based upon the existence of blindness and not upon need; and

WHEREAS, such legislation would serve to perpetuate the stereotype concept of blind people as helpless and dependent and thus such proposals are detrimental to the best interests of blind people; and

WHEREAS, since the National Federation of the Blind has as its cornerstone objective the repudiation and discrediting of such discriminatory and disadvantageous concepts, and has only sought since its founding, and does only seek now, equal and fair treatment for blind persons when such treatment is denied to them by law, practice, or circumstances, and therefore the "two-for-one" plane fare proposals are contrary to the purposes and philosophy of the organized blind, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled, this 3rd day of July, 1964, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona

That this organization condemns and rejects the "two for one" plane fare proposals now pending before Congress, and deplores their endorsement and support in Congressional hearings by representatives of organizations and agencies for the blind, and it orders and directs its officers and staff to oppose such proposals by the presentation of testimony in Congressional hearings and all other ways possible and feasible.

Mr. Chairman, it is in furtherance of the spirit of this resolution and the expressed policy of the National Federation of the Blind that I am appearing here, today, in opposition to S. 1303, and similar bills that would grant blind persons and other physically handicapped persons "bargain price" fare concessions on airlines.

Representative of every background, activity and area of the nation, the members of the National Federation of the Blind are rank and file Americans, a cross-section of America's adult population.

By our individual example and organized efforts, we of the organized blind movement seek to translate shared hopes and agreed-upon objectives into improved conditions and equalized opportunities in the lives of all blind persons.

When functioning in the National Federation of the Blind, when going to and from conventions or when carrying out particular duties and assignments for our organization, when travelling for jobs or travelling just for pleasure, many of our blind members travel by air and they travel alone. And they travel safely and conveniently because of the fine quality of help provided by the airlines to blind persons travelling alone, or provided to any handicapped person travelling alone, or provided to any air passenger who might be in need of special consideration and help.

All of the major airlines and some of the smaller ones have designated personnel--ground hostesses, passenger service representatives, and others with similar titles--whose sole function is to aid and assist the air traveller with travel problems that could occur from airport to airport, from point of origin to point of destination, many of our blind members can vouch for the constant courtesy and always willing help given to them as they fly about the nation, blind and alone. Because of this experience, no blind person needs to be fearful of solitary air travel.

Nor does a blind person who travels by plane, alone, ever need to feel dependent upon airline benevolence for the special help he receives, for such help is given as an established right of the passenger, it is given as his due as a fare-paying traveller. I, a totally blind person, can speak with much authority about the kind and quality of assistance provided by airlines to passengers having need of special help, for, during the course of a year, I travel many thousands of miles in my job for the Federation, and I always travel alone. And I always travel without worry or difficulty, thanks to the always available and courteously given assistance of airline personnel, and this is so, whether the help is given by personnel specially designated for passenger problems that one finds at the large airports, or by the passenger agent on the counter at smaller airports.

In the fall of 1 970, I had the opportunity of learning the extent to which assistance is given by airlines to the wheelchair travelling passenger. In July, I fell and broke several bones in my knee. Finally, after weeks of traction, my leg was in a cast--encased from toe to hip and I was mobile again--by the use of a collapsible wheelchair.

One function of my work for the Federation is to attend meetings and conventions of our state and local organizations, and, because no passenger problem seems to daunt the airlines, I was able to fly about the country on the "convention circuit" that fall, even though I was operating in and from a wheelchair. Wheeled to the foot of the plane's steps by an airline employee, I would be transferred from my wheelchair to an "invalid chair", strapped in, two airline men would carry me aboard, and, arrived at my destination, I would be carried off, and my own chair would be waiting for me at the foot of the plane's stairs, and all this would be performed pleasantly, willingly, without complaint, as though it were all in the usual day's work when you work for an airline.

In support of the legislation to grant blind and other handicapped persons free or reduced transportation on airlines, it is argued that blind persons for the past 30 years have been allowed to travel with a sighted guide for one fare on railroads and buses. And, it is contended, the proposed measures would only extend this existing concession to airlines, they would not create something new and different.

But, Mr. Chairman, there is no analogy here, for the railroads and buslines provide no specially assigned personnel to aid and assist all-alone blind and other handicapped travellers, while the airlines do have such personnel. The blind person travelling alone on a train or a bus must rely for help on the thoughtfulness and voluntarily given aid of rail or bus employees. He must depend upon help given from kindness, but on the airlines, the lone blind traveller can expect and will receive help rightfully his by specific policy of the airlines.

Of course, it is true, Mr. Chairman, that however considerate and helpful airline people may be toward their blind and otherwise handicapped travelling passengers, some of these passengers do and will need the assistance of guides and companions once they leave the airport, since they are unable to manage unaided and alone. We of the National Federation of the Blind think, however, such after-leaving-airport-problems are not and should not be made the problems or the responsibilities of the airlines.

To require airlines which already provide maximum help to blind travellers to grant free or reduced rate transportation is to burden the airlines with unjustified expense, and would seem to us of the National Federation of the Blind most unfair and unreasonable treatment for the airlines.

Mr. Chairman, we oppose the free or reduced plane transportation bills for another reason, a philosophic reason that is most realistic in the lives of blind men and women. These bills assume that blind people cannot travel alone, that they cannot manage alone. We believe, enactment of this proposed legislation would only serve to reinforce and strengthen this assumption. This is a most erroneous assumption, for many blind people can and do travel alone, they can and do manage alone.

But if the free or reduced rate air transportation proposals receive Congressional approval, airline personnel will, no doubt, adopt a practice too often encountered by blind persons in their dealings with rail and bus companies. Ticket agents and other employees for these companies far too often seem to believe that since guides for blind persons may travel on their facilities for free or at reduced rates, this means that blind persons need and must have a sighted guide when they travel. The result of this too frequently encountered practice is that a blind person, able and wanting to travel alone on a train or a bus, is refused the sale of a ticket. And he is told: "The special two-for-one fares for the blind mean you must have a sighted guide any time you travel, you just can't travel without one!" And the lone blind traveller is often denied the chance to purchase a train or bus ticket because of this completely wrong understanding of the purpose of the ticket concession for the blind. But wrong or not, it is firmly believed by many train and bus employees and acted upon by them as though it were true, oftentimes, to the great inconvenience and embarrassment of blind people who are not allowed the freedom to travel alone.

These bills also assume that to be blind is to be innately dependent, to be naturally helpless and to require the constant companionship of a sighted person. This assumption, too, is most erroneous. Today, thousands of blind men and women are functioning self-sufficiently and independently. They are adept in the skills and techniques of blindness. They are well-educated, hold positions of trust and responsibility, with the various levels of government, in the professions, and in business and industry. Many a blind person earns an excellent living, competing successfully without sight. Many blind persons are citizens of acknowledged value, participating fully in community activities, contributing to the strength and stability and enrichment of the nation.

Mr. Chairman, today's blind people are a total refutation of the stereotyped blind person of the past-helpless, hopeless, fumbling, stumbling, begging for the charity of others-the plane fare concession to the blind legislation would give renewed vitality to this stereotype. That is why this legislation is rejected by the overwhelming majority of blind people!

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, blind people do not need or want charity, they want and demand opportunity! The need and demand of the great mass of blind Americans is not for special subsidies that perpetuate second-class lives, but equal opportunity into all fields of employment that will enable them to pay full fare for whatever they want and choose to do in their lives.

Free or reduced plane fares may be a temptation to some blind persons who have grown to accept inferiority of status and have been defeated into dependency, but to the overwhelming majority of blind persons, men and women who have learned to have a new belief in themselves, men and women who have earned a pride from their accomplishments, free or reduced plane rides are a temptation easily resisted, for these people, such an offered benevolence would only lead them back into captivity when complete freedom is their attainable goal and possibility.

For these reasons, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, the National Federation of the Blind urges you to reject the free or reduced plane transportation bills for the blind and handicapped.

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by John Zuska

[Editor's Note: John Zuska is an employee in the Berkeley office.]


for each person you will need :

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tb. granulated sugar
1 egg, separated
3 Tb. brandy, coffee liqueur, coffee, orange juice, or other suitable liquid

Separate eggs and beat the sugar and the egg yolks together until they are quite thick, about three minutes. Melt chocolate and liquor or liquid in the top of a double boiler under which the water is not quite simmering; stir constantly until melted. Remove the chocolate from heat and stir in yolk and sugar mixture. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold them into the chocolate-liquor-yolk-sugar mixture. Chill in serving dishes for one hour. This recipe is a time-saving version of the longer French recipe for Chocolate Mousse.

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Charging that the Illinois Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has failed to deal effectively with problems of the blind, Congressman Roman Pucinski (of Illinois) said he will seek an investigation of how the DVR utilizes Federal funds it receives. Pucinski said "There are far too many blind individuals who, having been trained by the DVR for a variety of professional and technical jobs, end up working in a vending stand, a darkroom, at a telephone sales job, or as a medical transcriber." In Illinois, Pucinski said, the major problems confronting the blind stem from employment discrimination. He said the DVR seems to place too much emphasis on training and too little emphasis on placement. The Chicago congressman said he believes there is need for extensive reform in the DVR's placement programs and in employment discrimination and is asking the General Accounting Office to investigate just how the DVR spends the huge grants of Federal funds it receives for rehabilitation.


The NFB of Louisiana has begun the publication of an attractive Newsletter, giving helpful information to its members and friends concerning the affiliate's activities.


At its July Convention the National Federation of the Blind launched a program for the senior blind. A great deal of interest was shown at the Convention and many requests were received for the new brochure, "Wider Horizons for the Senior Blind." This brochure will help concentrate various areas of interest and should help chapters organize interest groups. For copies of NFB's latest brochure write to National Federation of the Blind, Carolyn Helmer, Senior Blind Chairman, 1051 N. Harper, Apt. 4, Los Angeles, CA 90046.


About 2,200 students currently are enrolled from 49 States and 61 countries in the Hadley Correspondence School for the Blind. More than 100 students are taking courses for high school credit and about 50 are enrolled on the college level through a program coordinated with several universities. The rest of the students are enrolled for non-credit courses.


The Hawaii Federation of the Blind has inaugurated the publication of the HFB Newsletter. The NFB President, Kenneth Jernigan, sent the following message to the new publication: "Greetings to all of you from the National Office. President Thomson and Editor Toyama have asked me to make some comments for this initial issue of your bulletin; and, of course, I am pleased to do it. It is an important occasion in the life of a state affiliate when it launches a bulletin-one that should be noted with proper ceremony. The very fact of such a launching is clear proof of growth and vigor. Certainly no one can deny that the Hawaii Federation of the Blind possesses these qualities. The Hawaii delegation at the National Convention is always characterized by enthusiasm and determination. I saw the same characteristics in great abundance when I visited you in 1968. That visit was one of the most pleasant I have ever had with any state affiliate. Your hospitality and friendliness were unforgettable. Of equal importance, your planning for the future and your determination to get things done were just as impressive. Hawaii is, indeed, an affiliate of which all of us throughout the Federation are justly proud.

"Everywhere in the nation the National Federation of the Blind is on the move. We are determined to create in the land a proper notion of blindness--to replace the old myths and stereotypes with a new image. Hawaii marches in the front ranks of this revolution, and its leaders are among the most respected in our movement. In the years ahead our battle will be difficult and our struggles demanding, but our accomplishments will be correspondingly great-providing, which I am sure will be the case, we keep our faith and our determination. May the Hawaii Federation of the Blind grow ever stronger, and may this first issue of your bulletin be only an indication of the progress ahead."


HEW's Rehabilitation Services Administration has just published a Braille edition of the "Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor's Handbook for Social Security Disability Applicants." The Braille Handbook is for use by rehabilitation counselors who are themselves blind. More than 35,000 blind people and 20,000 of their dependents receive more than $50 million a year in social security benefits.


Recent amendments to Pennsylvania's Blind Pension Law increased the monthly pension from $75 to $85; increased real and personal property holdings from $5,000 to $7,500; restricted assessments of real estate to no more than 30 percent of the market value and prohibited any reassessment for the purpose of the blind pension; excluded from income consideration any raises in Social Security payments made after January 1, 1971; and increased the ceiling on earnings to $3,000.


Approximately 100 persons attended the Piedmont Federation of the Blind Charter Day, held at the Hamilton Baptist Church in Hamilton, Virginia. There were chapter representatives from the whole state. John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, was the main speaker. In spite of the fact that John had his back to the pulpit and could not smoke his pipe, he gave a down-to-earth talk which was much appreciated by the group, most of whom were from the farming community.


Early in the legislative session, the blind of Arizona were alerted to the fact of the possibility of the creation of an Economic Security Department, one of those "umbrella" affairs. All organizations of the blind presented a solid front in a concentrated effort to secure the adoption of Senate Bill 1007. This bill established statutory protection for the Division of Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired. It also guaranteed the staffing of qualified full-time personnel to implement the services and functions. Fortunately, the blind were successful in obtaining the enactment of their bill prior to the introduction and passage of the "umbrella" legislation.


The first recorded issue of "Historic Preservation," the National Trust for Historic Preservation's quarterly journal, has been made. Each issue of the magazine will be recorded under the Library of Congress' Talking Books Program. As the title indicates, the magazine is devoted to all aspects of historic preservation. For example, the January-March issue contains, among other subjects, articles on the Brandy wine Museum; the major forces threatening our townscape and landscape; the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; and American quilts.


The Greater Lawrence Association of the Blind (Massachusetts) gave a check for a door prize at the Chicago Convention in memory of its former sighted secretary, Mrs. Janet S. Cadogan, who did a great deal for the Greater Lawrence Association. The White House had sent her the following letter of appreciation: "Dear Mrs. Cadogan: Your outstanding voluntary efforts on behalf of blind people in your community have come to my attention recently. I understand that you continue to devote many hours of your time to helping in countless ways those handicapped people. Your efforts are indeed a splendid example to others and I welcome this opportunity to commend you on your deep humanitarian concern. With best wishes for the future, Sincerely, Richard Nixon."


Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (New Jersey) introduced in the Senate a bill which would improve communication and education services to the handicapped. The bill would authorize the U. S. Commissioner of Education to acquire and distribute teletype machines of a type designed specifically for use by deaf persons. The bill also authorizes the distribution of sensory and communication devices to agencies offering education to handicapped persons other than the deaf. In addition, the measure authorizes a new program of grants and contracts for continuing, adult, and higher education opportunities for the handicapped.


The U. S. Post Office, and its successor, the U. S. Postal Service, are "plugging" hard for their zip code system. Basically the zip code is a five digit numeric code system that identifies each post office and delivery unit in the country. The first digit identifies one of ten geographical areas; the second and third digits, together with the first, identify a major post office or sectional center through which mail is routed for delivery; and the fourth and fifth digits represent the delivery unit. Zip Code should be placed two spaces after the State name. A list of 2-letter State abbreviations has been authorized for use in connection with the Zip Code. These abbreviations are coming into increasing usage and it is urged that everyone become familiar with them. They are as follows:

Alaska……….. AK                                                      
Alabama ……….. AL                                                 
Arizona ……….. AZ                                                   
Arkansas ……….. AR                                                
California……….. CA                                                
Canal Zone……….. CZ                                              
Colorado……….. CO                                                 
Connecticut………..  CT                                           
Delaware………..  DE                                                
District of Columbia………..  DC         
Florida………..  FL                                                     
Georgia………..  GA                                                  
Guam………..  GU
Hawaii………..  HI
Idaho………..  ID
Illinois………..  IL
Indiana………..  IN
Iowa………..  IA
Kansas………..  KS
Kentucky………..  KY
Louisiana………..  LA
Maine……….. ME
Maryland………..  MD
Massachusetts………..  MA
Michigan………..  MI                                                
Minnesota………..  MN                                            
Mississippi………..  MS                                             
Missouri………..  MO                                               
Montana………..  MT                                                
Nebraska………..  NE                                                
Nevada………..  NV                                                   
New Hampshire………..  NH                                    
New Jersey………..  NJ                                             
New Mexico………..  NM                                                             
New York………..  NY                                                
North Carolina………..  NC                                      
North Dakota………..  ND                                        
Ohio………..  OH                                                       
Oklahoma………..  OK                                              
Oregon………..  OR
Pennsylvania………..  PA
Puerto Rico………..  PR
Rhode Island………..  RI
South Carolina………..  SC
South Dakota………..  SD
Tennessee………..  TN
Texas………..  TX
Utah………..  UT
Vermont………..  VT
Virginia………..  VA
Virgin Islands………..  VI
Washington………..  WA
West Virginia………..  WV
Wisconsin………..  WI
Wyoming………..  WY


Whenever Social Security Benefits are increased (15% in 1970, 10% in 1971 and 20% in 1972) there is a problem which exists in almost all the States, i.e., when Social Security grants are increased, then the Aid to Blind grants are decreased in like amount for those receiving both types of benefits. The only way around this at the State level, short of a Congressional amendment to the Social Security Act itself, would be for a given State to estimate just how much money it would receive because a Social Security increase would decrease its expenditures for aid, and then raise the grants by that amount. This is precisely what the California Legislature did in August in anticipation of the 20% Social Security increase on October 1st. It raised the grants of all recipients of the adult aids by $12 a month, effective October 1st. About half of these recipients are also receiving benefits under Social Security, but the increase was spread across the board to all of them, which seemed equitable to the Legislature. Fortunately, this measure was signed by the Governor. Another State, Florida, increased adult welfare payments by 15% effective October 1st to keep 7,240 blind, aged, and disabled recipients from being forced off the rolls by the 20% Social Security increase. Alas, most of the States will simply reduce their aid grants by the amount of the increase in Social Security benefits and pocket the "windfall" at the expense of their neediest citizens.


Sam Sitt, first vice-president of the NFB of Florida, reminds all interested persons that the second annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida will be held the week-end of November 17 to 19, 1972 at the Robert Meyer Hotel, one of the finest in Jacksonville. An exciting and informative program has been planned. There will also be interesting exhibits. Registration will start on Friday from 4 to 8. The banquet will feature a speaker from the National Office of the NFB. For additional information about the details of the Convention, write to Mr. James Bowen, Convention Committee Chairman, NFB of Florida, P. O. Box 545, Jacksonville, Fla. 32201.


[The following is reprinted from the Grand Haven (Michigan) Tribune.] A unique event, "Swing-A-Thon," to benefit the Ottawa County Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, was planned by Elliott Street teenagers Tim Roberts, Dick and Mim Wentzloff, Jeanette Konczyk and George Vernon. They thought up the idea, did all the organizing, obtained sponsors, and received permission. Up to thirty teenagers kept the swings of Elliott Street School swinging for 48 hours. Sponsors pledged 10 to 25 cents for each hour that one of the teens was swinging, and the pledges were mailed or brought to the Security First Bank. The public was asked to watch the teenagers, who presented a check for $218 to Floyd Sommers, of the Ottawa County Chapter, NFB of Michigan at the conclusion of the event.


The American Blind Bowling Association, Inc., held its twenty-fifth national blind bowling tournament and convention Memorial Day weekend, 1972, at the Ben Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the use of a sprawling 116 lane bowling center outside of Philadelphia. Eight hundred fifty blind bowlers were registered as well as several hundred more sighted or auxiliary bowlers (competing in their own tournament events). The tourney featured a number of unusually high game scores for blind bowlers (such as 226 and others in the area of 210). Five hundred bowlers attended the banquet at which Mr. Billy Welu was the featured speaker. In addition to being one of the greatest professional bowlers of all time, he is the consultant and analyst who comments upon bowling during the ABC network telecasts. Officers elected were: Chuck F. Morgenstern, president; LeRoy Saunders, first vice-president; Cliff Menning, second vice-president; Richard Perzentka, secretary-treasurer; and Mrs. Roberta Looney, national tournament director. If you would like to find out more about bowling and the blind, let the president know via inkprint, Braille, or tape. There is informational material available in all those forms. Write to: Chuck F. Morgenstern, President ABBA, 506 Orchard Drive, Whitehall, Pa. 18052.


Are you aware of the fact that there is a professional Braille typing service which will prepare Braille material for you for a fee comparable to that charged by standard professional secretarial services for the sighted?
THE BRAILLE SERVICE is staffed with experienced, professional certified Braillists, who will Braille your material accurately and quickly.

THE BRAILLE SERVICE is not in competition with voluntary Braille organizations. It charges for speed and accuracy and will produce what you want when you want it.

THE BRAILLE SERVICE charges by the Braille page, plus cost of materials. The charge is comparable to charges made by professional secretarial services. Proofreading is available on an optional basis for an entire project or specific parts, for a small added charge. Because of the accuracy of the work of the braille service, proofreading is not ordinarily suggested.

If you are looking for speed, accuracy, prompt delivery and efficiency contact:

Mrs. Joan B. Rose, Director
59 York Street
Lexington, Massachusetts 02173
Telephone: (617) 862-0372

Two staunch, long-time Federationists have left the movement the poorer because of their passing. Everett Foulkrod, husband of Federationist Dorothea Foulkrod who served for many years as president of our Virginia affiliate, died on August 23. Eva Gilbert, who attended almost all national Conventions for many years, passed away on September 20. These faithful spirits will be missed by all of us. We join Federationists in Virginia and Massachusetts in mourning their passing.

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