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 Florence Grannis


by Marjorie Boyd

by Nicholas von Hoffman





by E. U. Parker


by Shirley Lebowitz



Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)



Florence Grannis

[Editor's Note: Mrs. Grannis is Assistant Director in Charge of Library and Social Services, Iowa Commission for the Blind, Des Moines, Iowa.]

Robert S. Bray, Chief, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, has retired from his position after massive surgery. The National Federation of the Blind and Mr. Bray have not always been in agreement, particularly on certain philosophical issues but, under Mr. Bray's administration, the Division has made great strides. Let us consider some of these.

When he became chief of the Division in 1957, its annual budget was slightly over one million dollars; now it is almost nine million. At that time only 33 1/3 rpm talking books were produced. His administration saw the advent of both 16 and 8 rpm talking books. He was instrumental in the development of the open reel magnetic tape program, and later cassettes and cassette machines Talking book machines improved considerably under his aegis: lightweight machines, variable speeds, remote controls, rechargeable batteries, machines with removable lids. The quality of the Braille Book Review and Talking Book Topics has greatly improved, and the sound sheet inserts in the Talking Book Topics give a new dimension to the publication and a new independence to its users. While we have some serious reservations about the throw-away disc books (paper-thin, very inexpensive disc books designed for one reading and discard)--the blind person's paperback--they do show a spirit of venturesomeness.

Mr. Bray was instrumental in getting the Telephone Pioneer program underway, whereby telephone people repair talking book machines and perform other services in relation to the activities of the libraries. Bob Bray has indeed been technology-minded and has promoted technological advances at every opportunity.

From 196 titles of talking books produced in 1957, the Division has advanced to 700 titles scheduled to be produced in 1973; 140 press Braille titles were produced under Library of Congress contract in 1957, 300 press Braille titles are scheduled to be produced under Library of Congress contract in 1973. During this period, too, there was a tremendous increase in the number of magazines:

                                  1957           1973
Braille                         1                  23
Talking Book             1                  26

Not only did the number of magazines available to library users greatly increase, but the system of having the magazines mailed directly to those desiring them made better service for the readers and freed the staffs of regional libraries for more productive activities.

During his tenure of administration Bob Bray repeatedly and variously demonstrated that he was expansion-and service-oriented, and one of the manifestations of this was the procurement of magazines and books in foreign languages, especially Spanish. Another was the enlargement of the music section of the Division.

There were 28 regional libraries in 1956 and now there are 51. The number of borrowers served by the Library of Congress through the regional libraries was 58,000 in 1957, with over 300,000 now being served. The change of law so that more visually handicapped people and many other physically handicapped could be served was passed by Congress during Mr. Bray's administration. This step was (and still is, for that matter) extremely controversial. Whether it has strengthened the program or watered down services for the blind is hotly debated. Regardless of all this, note must be taken of the change of the law in any meaningful summary of Mr. Bray's administration. Along this same line, Mr. Bray has promoted (and with some success), the concept of sub-regional libraries. The Federation has objected to this move, feeling that it encourages the regional library not to be a good one and that in general it leads to inferior library service for the blind. Again, this facet of Mr. Bray's term of office must be mentioned as part of the total picture.

The Division moved from most inadequate quarters to spacious and attractive ones. There were about 22 people employed in the Division when Bob Bray took over. Now there are 99.

In all the time the regional libraries existed before he came (1931-1957), there were only two meetings of the regional librarians. Since his coming, there have been six. Bob Bray is technically oriented, and he is also public relations oriented. He has visited all the regional libraries, some of them many times. He has spoken over and over to groups and individuals all over the nation so that all may know of the services available from libraries for the blind and physically handicapped.

Here we have a monument of no mean structure, Regardless of philosophical differences and past battles, we wish Mr. Bray well.

Back to Contents


[Editor's Note: When the Cleveland Society for the Blind dictated to the vendors how much of their incomes they should pledge to the United Torch Services campaign little did the Society imagine that its wishes would not be implicitly obeyed--as in Christmases past. But the vendors had had enough of such paternalistic custodialism which told them how and when and for what to spend their hard-earned money. Readers of the December 1972 and January 1973 issues of The Monitor have the background documents and correspondence, including the appeal for aid to our National Offices. Some of the vendors filed suit against the Society to protect their constitutional rights. A Complaint was filed on behalf of eighteen snack bar operators in the United States District Court on December 15, 1972. On that date the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association met and unanimously adopted the following resolution: "That the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association join as a complainant in the action filed by eighteen snack bar managers against the State Rehabilitation Commission, the Cleveland Society for the Blind and Mr. Cleo B. Dolan Executive Director." There are now thirty-nine complainants and the vendors stand as a solid, united group in this suit. The original Complaint was therefore amended and filed with the court on December 29, 1972. It is reproduced in full below.

The filing of the original suit made the headlines in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a daily with one of the largest circulations in the country, and in the Cleveland Press. The controversy, as they view it, is also set out below.]



IRVIN FILLINGER                                        )                     JUDGE KRUPANSKY
18801 Ferncliffe Avenue                           )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          ) 

and                                                                ) 

ROBERT STEYER                                         )
1296 St. Charles Avenue                           )                     FILED
Lakewood, Ohio                                         )                     Dec 29 1 13 PM '72

and                                                                )                     CLERK U.S. DISTRICT COURT
                                                                                             NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
ANTHONY FABEC                                        )                       
901 Rudyard Road                                      )                    AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY
Cleveland, Ohio                                           )                    RELIEF, INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, DAMAGES,                                                                                            
                                                                                             AND OTHER EQUITABLE RELIEF
and                                                                )                    (Trial By Jury Is Requested)                            

ROBERT EATON                                          )
11107 Detroit Avenue                               )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )           

and                                                                ) 

ROBERT DEUBLE                                        )
6270 Randolph Road                                 )
Bedford Heights, Ohio                              )

and                                                                ) 

RICHARD TINSLEY                                      )
19729 Parkmount Avenue                        )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

MELVIN FALKE                                           ) 
1327 St. Charles Avenue                           )
Lakewood, Ohio                                         )

and                                                                ) 

JACK VAN UUM                                          )
27100 Normandy Road                             )
Bay Village, Ohio                                        )

and                                                                ) 

FRANK KORACIN                                         )
1320 South Green Road                            )
South Euclid, Ohio                                      )

and                                                                ) 

JOHN KNALL                                                )
13813 Clifton Boulevard                           )
Lakewood, Ohio                                         )

and                                                                ) 

ROBERT McCOLLOCH                               )          
1353 Mathews Avenue                             )
Lakewood, Ohio                                         )

and                                                                ) 

DOROTHY SEAMAN                                    )
12060 Lake Avenue                                    )
Lakewood, Ohio                                         )

and                                                                ) 

WILLIAM GILMORE                                    )
855 Ansel Road                                           )
Cleveland, Ohio                                           )

and                                                                ) 

JOSEPH TURCHAN                                     )
4488 West 170th Street                           )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

PETER TURCHAN                                       )
18206 Westport Avenue                          )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

GEORGE TEGYO                                         )
4474 West 144th Street                           )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

GLADYS HARVILLE                                     )
1027 East 140th Street                            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

TOM PALMER                                            )
11031 Detroit Avenue                              )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )


and                                                                ) 

THE CLEVELAND SNACK BAR                   )
PERSONNEL ASSOCIATION,                      )
an unincorporated association                )
c/o Robert Steyer, President                    )
1296 St. Charles Avenue                            )
Lakewood, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

HAROLD URICK                                           )
86 Keewaydin Drive                                    )
Timberlake, Ohio                                         )

and                                                                )          

CARL TUCKER                                              )
5796 Portage                                              )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

MARJORIE HOWARD                                 )
2761 Wildflower Drive                              )
Rocky River, Ohio                                       )

and                                                                ) 

ARTHUR DAVIS                                            )
3489 Tullamore                                           )
University Heights, Ohio                            )

and                                                                ) 

RUTH DAVIS                                                )
3489 Tullamore                                          )
University Heights, Ohio                           )

and                                                                ) 

ANDREW CUPACH                                     )
3487 West 120th Street                           )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

PAUL GROSSWALD                                     )
6808 Day Drive                                            )
Parma, Ohio                                                 )

and                                                                ) 

DONALD AEH                                              )
3826 West 117th Street                            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

JEAN ALLEN                                                 )
4665 West 149th Street                            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

PAUL BUNN                                                )
10208 Adelaide Avenue                            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

JOHN WARZYCKI                                        )
4127 Marvin Avenue                                  )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                                ) 

WARREN GORE                                          )
Belmont Hotel                                           )
3844 Euclid Avenue                                   )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

ROBERT BOYD                                          )
1162 Bender Avenue                               )
East Cleveland, Ohio                               )

and                                                              ) 

ROBERT JESCHELNIG                               )
375 East 322nd Street                             )
Willowick, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

HOWARD ANDERSON                               )
1623 Maple Road                                      )
Cleveland Heights, Ohio                           )

and                                                               ) 

PETE FAERBER                                            )
16516 Endora Avenue                              )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

and                                                               ) 

PAUL MORGAN                                         )
3894 Parkdale Road                                 )
Cleveland Heights, Ohio                          )

and                                                               ) 

ARTHUR BURNSIDE                                  )
13726 Elsetta Avenue                               )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                               ) 

WALTER BASSETT                                      )
2824 Forest Lane                                       )
Willoughby Hills, Ohio                               )

and                                                               ) 

MARY WURSTER                                        )
6312 State Road                                         )
Parma, Ohio                                                )

and                                                               ) 

CHARLES BURTON                                     )
7607 Sagamore Avenue                            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )


New Party Plaintiffs,                                 )

vs                                                                  ) 

BLIND, c/o Alfred M. Rankin                    )
(Statutory Agent)                                        )
1100 National City Bank Building            )
Cleveland, Ohio                                          )

and                                                               ) 

c/o The Attorney General of the            )
State of Ohio                                              )
Office of the Attorney General               )
State House Annex                                     )
Columbus, Ohio 43215                              )

and                                                               ) 

CLEO B. DOLAN, Individually and           )
as Executive Director of The                   )
Cleveland Society For The Blind             )
1909 East 101st Street                             )
Cleveland, Ohio                                         )

Defendants.                                                )

Plaintiffs file this Amended Complaint to include New Party Plaintiffs as a matter of course before service of responsive pleading to the original Complaint.


1. Plaintiffs are all blind persons licensed to operate vending stands throughout the Cleveland, Ohio area within the meaning of and subject to the provisions of U.S.C. Title 20, Section 107 et. seq., known as the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act which has as its express purposes providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting.

2. Specifically, the plaintiffs herein are lawfully engaged as operators of vending stands at the following locations, to-wit:

Irvin Fillinger--County Administration Building;
Robert Steyer--County Administration Building;
Anthony Fabec--City Hall;
Robert Eaton--Cleveland Psychiatric Institute, 1708 Aiken, basement;
Robert Deuble--Bingham Building;
Richard Tinsley--County Court House;
Melvin Falke--County Court House;
Jack Van Uum--Cleveland Public Utilities Building;
Frank Koracin--New Federal Building;
John Knall--The Illuminating Building Annex;
Robert McCullough--County Welfare Building; 220 St. Clair Avenue, West;
Dorothy Seaman--Child Welfare Building-Family and Children's Services;
William Gilmore--Cleveland Clinic;
Joseph Turchan--Anchor Industries;
Peter Turchan--Community Services Building;
George Tegyo--Credit Bureau of Cleveland ;
Gladys Harville--Precision Metalsmiths, 1801 East 200th Street;
Tom Palmer--Bingham Building;
Harold Urick--Police Station;
Carl Tucker--City Jail;
Marjorie Howard--Land Title;
Arthur Davis--Vending Complex--New Federal Building;
Ruth Davis--Metro General Hospital;
Andrew Cupach--Vending Complex-New Federal Building;
Paul Grosswald--Criminal Court Building;
Donald Aeh--City Jail;
Jean Allen--Police Station;
Paul Bunn--Flomar Building;
John Warzycki--Cleveland Clinic;
Warren Gore--Ohio Machinery;
Robert Boyd--Old Federal Building;
Robert Jeschelnig--Cleveland Clinic;
Howard Anderson--Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine;
Pete Faerber--Metropolitan General Hospital;
Paul Morgan--Cleveland Illuminating Building;
Arthur Burnside--Juvenile Court;
Walter Bassett--City Hall Cafeteria;
Mary Wurster--Revco Warehouse;
Charles Burton--Parma Medical Building;

3. Plaintiff Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association is an unincorporated association made up of individuals who engage in the operation of vending stands which come within the purview of the allegations of this Amended Complaint, and the members of the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association have a direct interest in the outcome of this litigation. Moreover, many of the plaintiffs herein are members of that association. At the regular business meeting of the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association held on December 15, 1972, the following resolution was moved, seconded and unanimously adopted by the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association as follows, to-wit:

"That the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association join as a complainant in the action filed by eighteen snack bar managers against the State Rehabilitation Commission the Cleveland Society for the Blind and Mr. Cleo B. Dolan Executive Director."

4. Defendant Rehabilitation Services Commission is the State licensing agency for the State of Ohio pursuant to the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and is established pursuant to the provisions of Ohio Revised Code Sections 3304.11 et. seq.

5. Defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind is the local agency to which defendant Rehabilitation Services Commission has delegated certain of its legal responsibilities for the licensing activities of the vending stands operated by the plaintiffs herein, and defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind m conjunction with defendant Rehabilitation Services Commission effectively exercises the authority for the licensing procedures pursuant to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and the promulgated rules and regulations relative thereto of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

6. Defendant Cleo B, Dolan is at all times herein mentioned the Executive Director of The Cleveland Society For The Blind and is the individual responsible for the exercise of authority of defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind with respect to the licensing of the vending stands in question, and at all times herein mentioned, along with the administrators in charge of the operations of defendant Rehabilitation Services Commission was acting under color of statutes, ordinances, regulations, customs, and usages of the State of Ohio, and specifically Ohio Revised Code Sections 3304.11 et. seq. as aforementioned.

7. This Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to U.S.C. Title 28, Section 1331, U.S.C. Title 28, Sections 2201, 2202, and U.S.C. Title 42, Section 1983, all of which appears from the allegations set forth herein. Moreover, this action arises under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution which guarantee to all citizens, including these plaintiffs, due process of law and equal protection of the laws. Actions of these defendants were done in knowing and willful violations of the law, in bad faith, and with the specific intent of violating the federal statutory and constitutional rights of these plaintiffs.

8. Pursuant to the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and the laws, rules and regulations of the State of Ohio promulgated under that act, defendants may set aside from the proceeds of the operation of plaintiffs' vending stands only to the extent necessary and for the limited purposes of maintenance and replacement of equipment, purchase of new equipment, and management services. Moreover, the amounts set aside must be reasonable. In fact, and notwithstanding the express provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, defendants have for many years up to and including the present time knowingly and illegally taken from these blind plaintiffs unreasonable and excessive sums of money from the proceeds of the operation of their vending stands, proceeds earned by the diligent and industrious labor of these blind plaintiffs, said unreasonable and excessive sums of money having been taken by these defendants for purposes other than those permitted by the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, as aforesaid. Plaintiffs approximate at this time on the basis of information and belief that the sums illegally taken from them by defendants over the years and continuing at the present time amount to about One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00).

9. The willful misconduct of these defendants in violation of the law, as aforesaid, additionally constitute violations of the rights of these plaintiffs to due process of law and equal protection of the laws insofar as such misconduct arbitrarily, capriciously, and invidiously deprives these plaintiffs of their right to work and earn a living and unlawfully
discriminates against these plaintiffs by virtue of their handicap of blindness.


1. Plaintiffs by this reference incorporate all of the allegations of the First Claim as though those allegations were fully set forth herein at this point.

2. Plaintiffs say that defendants, willfully acting individually and in concert, have additionally violated the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act by requiring that these plaintiffs sign and thereby unlawfully coercing these plaintiffs to sign an "Agreement Between An Operator Of A Business Enterprise And The Cleveland Society For The Blind" (attached hereto and incorporated by this reference as Exhibit "A"), which "Agreement" is a condition of a license to operate a vending stand, and which is substantially contrary to the provisions and intent of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, contrary to public policy, and contrary to their rights as American citizens to due process of law and equal protection of the laws. Such violations are particularly evidenced by the following unlawful provision, to-wit:

"7. In the event of a breach of any of the terms or conditions hereof, or of any of the policies, rules or regulations of the Society by the Operator as they now exist or may hereafter be modified, or in the event of delinquency in payment as called for by Paragraph 8(b) hereof, all rights of the Operator hereunder shall cease at the option of the Society and without notice to the Operator; in such event, the Society is authorized to enter upon said business enterprise and take complete charge thereof and to evict the Operator therefrom, using such force as may be necessary to accomplish same, and in doing so, the Society and its agents and employees shall not be deemed to be guilty of any tort whatsoever, nor shall the Society nor any of its agents or employees be liable in damages or otherwise to the Operator in accomplishing such eviction, same being hereby expressly released by the Operator. In the event of such a dispossession, the Operator shall be entitled to a hearing by the Society at the Operator's request."

Moreover, such illegality is further evidenced by the following provision, to-wit:

"8. It is mutually agreed that:

(a) As a part of the consideration for this Agreement, the Operator will pay to the Society monthly an amount equal to eight per cent of the gross monthly sales of the business enterprise."


1. Plaintiffs by this reference incorporate all of the allegations of the First and Second Claims as if those allegations were fully set forth herein at this point.

2. Plaintiffs say that defendants willfully and knowingly acting individually and in concert have additionally violated the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and plaintiffs' rights as American citizens to due process of law and equal protection of the laws by subjecting these plaintiffs to dismissal for the following causes, as promulgated to plaintiffs by these defendants, to-wit:

"Snack bar personnel may be dismissed for the following causes: Dishonesty. Habitual discourtesy and poor customer relations. Appearing for work under the influence of alcohol. Use of alcohol while on snack bar duty. Conducting gambling activities at a snack bar. Trafficking in unauthorized merchandise. Instigating unfavorable public relations between the grantors and the administrative staff of the Food Service Division. Repeated violations of the Operators Agreement, and the rules and regulations contained in this Manual.


Together with these procedures, the snack bar manager should: Be courteous and well mannered at all times. Limit conversation with each customer and avoid topics of a debatable nature. Discourage customer loitering at the location, particularly if the bulk of the patronage is derived from employee population, and the grantor of the space is their employer. Conduct all business on a cash basis. Do not extend credit to customers. Do not take money from the cash drawer for the purpose of loaning same to a customer.
4. 1. 17.7 Snack bar management or subordinate personnel may not borrow money from the cash drawer for personal use.


Physical fitness and personal hygiene are inseparable. The following serves as a guide to all managers and subordinate snack bar personnel. Have an annual physical checkup. Obtain dental care at least semi-annually. Assure yourself of a balanced diet. Obtain adequate rest commensurate with the hours to be worked at a snack bar. When ill remain at home for treatment. Bathe daily. Shampoo frequently. Clean hands and fingernails regularly. Use appropriate deodorants. Wear clean underclothing and uniforms. Wear comfortable shoes. Males must shave daily and are expected barbershops routinely, [sic] Female employees must wear hairnets by law in the food industry.


4.1.13 Dress Options

The following clothing options provide the dress regulations for the snack bar program: Males--white shirts; bow ties; staypress trousers or slacks, ranging from dark to medium dark. The alternative to the white shirt and bowtie is a clerk's jacket (high buttoned), or a clerk's jacket with white shirt and tie. Again, trousers as prescribed above. In locations where summer heat is extreme, it is permissible to wear short sleeve shirts with bowties. The acceptable dress for female personnel is conservative, pastel one-piece dresses or smocks, or similar styling when available and appropriate. They may also wear dark skirts and white blouses."

3. Plaintiffs say that the licensing provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act neither permit nor authorize these defendants to promulgate and enforce at pain of dismissal as part of a limited licensing authority such demeaning and degrading rules of physical fitness, dress, and personal hygiene, or such patronizing, custodial, and paternalistic procedures for doing business, enforceable by dismissal for their so-called repeated violations. Plaintiffs say that these rules and regulations are unconstitutionally vague, and violate their right to due process of law, and further violate their right to equal protection of the laws by unlawfully discriminating against them solely by virtue of their handicap of blindness. Plaintiffs say that they neither need nor require such enforceable rules and regulations, which are unnecessary for their own effective and independent operation of their businesses, and which are plainly contrary to the express purpose of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act of stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting. Plaintiffs say that such rules and regulations are and have been unlawfully coercive and intimidating and do in fact have that effect on them by their existence and operation. Plaintiffs further say that the unlawful exercise of authority by defendants includes the discriminatory and unfair limitation of their incomes by defendants arrogating to themselves the power to divide the income of particular operators with other operators and employees, and by transferring operators from one location to another, without obtaining the voluntary consent of the operator in question, and generally by exercising authority over the lives and work of these plaintiffs wholly inconsistent with the intent of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and the right of these plaintiffs to operate with dignity as independent businessmen and businesswomen with a license to engage in their vending stand business, and the rights, prerogatives, responsibilities, and obligations of independent businessmen and businesswomen engaged in the field of commerce.


1. Plaintiffs by this reference incorporate all of the allegations of the First, Second and Third Claims as if those allegations were fully set forth herein at this point.

2. Plaintiffs say that defendants willfully, knowingly, and in violation of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and of their rights as American citizens to due process of law and equal protection of the laws, have wrongfully retained portions of rebates and continue at present to do so from the purchase of the merchandise which they retail in their vending stands. Plaintiffs say that they are legally entitled to the full amounts of these rebates, and that the taking of these rebates from them by these defendants is wrongful and unlawful as aforesaid.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray for judgment against defendants as follows:

1. For declarations of this Court that these defendants are now and have been violating plaintiffs' rights pursuant to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and pursuant to the United States Constitution by:

(a) Illegally taking plaintiffs' funds earned from the operation of their vending stands;

(b) Illegally promulgating and enforcing against plaintiffs rules and regulations relative to the operation of their vending stands;

(c) Wrongfully coercing plaintiffs into signing an illegal "Agreement" as a condition to obtaining a license to operate their vending stands;

(d) Illegally taking from plaintiffs portions of rebates from the sale of their merchandise.

2. For orders and judgments of this Court that defendants be permanently enjoined from engaging in the aforementioned illegal misconduct;

3. For an order that the defendants render a full, complete, and accurate accounting to plaintiffs for the sums of money which defendants have unlawfully taken from the proceeds of the operation of the businesses of these blind plaintiffs and that such wrongfully taken sums be held in constructive trust for the benefit of these blind plaintiffs, and all those other persons similarly so situated;

4. For damages pursuant to the preceding paragraph against these defendants, and for all other persons similarly situated, in the sum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00);

5. For compensatory damages against defendant Cleo B. Dolan in the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00);

6. For their costs in this action;

7. For such other relief as to the Court may seem just and equitable in the premises.

Sindell, Sindell, Bourne, Markus
Stem & Spero
1400 Leader Building
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Attorneys for Plaintiffs and
New Party Plaintiffs

Signed by all forty complainants.





THIS AGREEMENT made this_______ day of_______, 19____, between THE CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND, herein called "the Society," and__________ whose address is_________ , herein referred to as the Operator.


The Society has arranged with_________________ for the right of placing a blind person as operator of a business enterprise to be located on premises at_____, and the Operator, who is a blind person, wishes to occupy same and conduct a business enterprise there.

NOW, THEREFORE, the parties mutually agree as follows:

1. The Society agrees, subject to the terms and conditions herein described, to grant to the Operator and the Operator accepts the job of conducting a____________ in said location upon the understanding that such job shall remain personal only to the Operator named in this Agreement; same may be terminated at any time by the Society or by the Operator, upon thirty (30) days notice in writing to the Society or as otherwise provided herein.

2. This Agreement shall be subject to the policies, rules and regulations of the Society as they now exist or may be modified hereafter, which the Operator recognizes and agrees to abide by.

3. The merchandise to be offered for sale shall be restricted to the types of articles listed on the license which is at all times to be kept on display at the business enterprise.

4. The Society agrees:

(a) To attempt to provide and maintain suitable equipment and accessories, as well as to provide supervision and assistance to the Operator as further described in the Society's policies, rules and regulations; and

(b) To attempt to work out any arrangements necessary or convenient to enable the Operator to provide a stock of merchandise and supplies.

5. The Operator agrees:

(a) To make only cash sales;

(b) To deposit promptly in a bank any excessive amounts of cash receipts;

(c) To keep daily detailed records of purchases, sales, miscellaneous expenditures and cash, as well as monthly inventory records, and submit reports to the Society at such time and in such form and manner as the Society may require;

(d) To refrain from purchasing or constructing any equipment, accessories or fixtures without written approval of the Society in advance;

(e) To give no special favor to any one article of merchandise over another and to accept no consideration from any supplier for giving preference to its line of merchandise;

(f) To take no action in derogation of the Society's title to the equipment and accessories, it being understood that the Society shall have and retain the complete title thereto; and

(g) To make no sale or other disposition of the privilege to conduct this business enterprise: in the event of the Operator's withdrawal from the business enterprise for any reason whatsoever, or if his death or a lengthy illness should occur while this Agreement is in force, the Society may take possession of the business enterprise and its inventory and assets immediately. In such event:

(1) A list of the equipment and accessories owned by the Society shall be made;

(2) A statement shall be prepared listing any amounts due the Society, including any unpaid balance of moneys loaned to the Operator, any monthly percentage amounts due the Society, charges for equipment and accessories not otherwise accounted for or for damages thereto (excepting ordinary wear and tear); and

(3) A settlement shall be made as soon as convenient for any net amount due the Society.

6. The Operator further agrees:

(a) To devote his full time and attention to said business enterprise and during established business hours daily and on Sunday when necessary to be on duty, and to accept no other outside employment, to persevere in the undertaking, to apply his best energies to the work, and not to abandon the enterprise without due written notice to and consent by the Society-in the event that illness prevents the Operator from working, he will see that notice is given to the Society at once so that the Society may attempt to arrange for the enterprise to remain in operation;

(b) To make arrangements with the Society in advance for any vacation or other leave;

(c) To employ a permanent assistant only with the approval of the Society;

(d) To conduct himself and the business enterprise at all times in an orderly, clean and businesslike manner, taking proper care of all equipment and accessories; and

(e) To notify the Society immediately of any attempt to dispossess him or obtain a lien or legal process upon any of the assets or income.

7. In the event of a breach of any of the terms or conditions hereof, or of any of the policies, rules or regulations of the Society by the Operator as they now exist or may hereafter be modified, or in the event of delinquency in payment as called for by Paragraph 8(b) hereof, all rights of the Operator hereunder shall cease at the option of the Society and without notice to the Operator; in such event, the Society is authorized to enter upon said business enterprise and take complete charge thereof and to evict the Operator therefrom, using such force as may be necessary to accomplish same, and in doing so, the Society and its agents and employees shall not be deemed to be guilty of any tort whatsoever, nor shall the Society nor any of its agents or employees be liable in damages or otherwise to the Operator in accomplishing such eviction, same being hereby expressly released by the Operator. In the event of such a dispossession, the Operator shall be entitled to a hearing by the Society at the Operator's request.

8. It is mutually agreed that:

(a) As a part of the consideration for this Agreement, the Operator will pay to the Society monthly an amount equal to_____ per cent of the gross monthly sales of the business enterprise.

(b) As soon after the close of each calendar month as possible, the Society will invoice the Operator for the monthly amount due the Society. The terms of the invoice shall be net and due on presentation.

(c) Expenses paid by the Society, such as repairs, replacement and maintenance of equipment and accessories will not be charged to the Operator unless caused by his negligence.

(d) The Operator will permit access to the business enterprise by any authorized representative of the Society at any time.

(e) This Agreement becomes effective immediately and shall continue in force as long as the arrangement made by the Society with_____________ continues in force or until termination hereof by any of the means described in this Agreement or otherwise.

9. The Operator further agrees to assume all risk of injuries which he may sustain on said premises and in said business enterprise, whether due to the negligence of__________, its employees, agents or visitors, or the

Society, its agents or employees, or otherwise, and the Operator agrees to indemnify the Society, its agents and employees from all expense in connection with or arising out of any such injuries.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed as of the date first mentioned.


Cleveland Society for the Blind



This instrument has been read, and explained to the Operator at the time of his signing before us.  

Witness ______________________________

Witness ______________________________


Thomas S. Andrzejewski

[Reprinted with permission of Cleveland Plain Dealer December 16, 1972.]

Eighteen blind persons, all operators of vending stands of the Cleveland Society for the Blind, accused the society yesterday of illegally taking more than one million dollars from vendors' revenues.

In a lawsuit filed in U. S. District Court here, the eighteen alleged that "unreasonable and excessive sums of money" have been taken in recent years for purposes other than those provided in the federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act.

Named as defendants were the society, its executive director, Cleo B. Dolan, and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, which is the licensing agency for blind vendors.

The lawsuit, filed by lawyer Steven A. Sindell, also charged that the defendants are violating operators' constitutional rights with binding contracts that include rules regarding hygiene and behavior.

It claims that the Society for the Blind requires vendors to turn over eight percent of their gross sales, while the Randolph-Sheppard Act requires only three percent, and that the society also takes rebates from volume purchases of snacks and sundries.

The Randolph-Sheppard Act provides for the licensing of blind persons to operate snack bars in public buildings. There are forty-four such stands in Greater Cleveland, with sixty-nine operators.

"In fact, and notwithstanding the expressed provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, the defendants have for many years. . . knowingly and illegally taken from these blind plaintiffs unreasonable and excessive sums of money," according to the complaint.

Dolan said the Society for the Blind uses the extra money to provide fringe benefits for operators, such as life insurance and hospitalization.

He added that the society has been subsidizing the operators, who earn from $6,500 to $18,000 a year if they work full time.

"Other snack bars in the state do not get these services," he said. "They've got a real good thing going for them. I don't know why they're complaining."

Dolan said that for the last three days, the society's books were being audited by the state auditor's office, in addition to a regular annual audit by a private accounting firm.

The suit contends that the society can only take money for maintenance, purchase of new equipment and management services, according to the federal law.

"The money we take is all used for their own services," Dolan said. "Every dime of it goes for their own services and fringe benefits."

The suit said the rules for hygiene and behavior are "demeaning and degrading" and that a violation of them is cause for a vendor to lose his license.

The rules require, among other things, that vendors limit conversations with customers, discourage customers from loitering at the stands, that they bathe daily, obtain dental care twice a year, shampoo frequently, eat a balanced diet and "obtain adequate rest commensurate with the hours to be worked at the snack bar."

Similar suits have been successful in other states, most recently in Florida at Cape Kennedy.


[Reprinted with permission of Cleveland Press December 16, 1972]

The executive director of the Cleveland Society for the Blind today defended the Society's policy of taking eight percent of the gross sales from operators of Society-sponsored refreshment stands.

"We know we have a good program, one of the best in the country, and the revenue we generate is necessary to maintain that standard," said Cleo B. Dolan, executive director of the Society.

The program was challenged yesterday in Federal Court when eighteen of the Society's sixty-nine vendors filed suit contending the Society takes "excessive sums" of money from vendors' revenues.

The operators also contend that operating guidelines regarding personal hygiene and behavior are demeaning and violate the constitutional rights of the operators.

The suit, filed by attorney Steven A. Sindell, claims the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act requires only three percent be taken from stand operators.

There are 44 stands located in various public buildings in the Cleveland Area The average income for the operators last year was $9200, with seventeen of the sixty-nine operators making between $12,000 and $17,000.

Regarding the eight percent, Dolan said the money is required to provide services to members of the Cleveland program which are not provided to vendors in other programs. Among the services are updating and modernizing of the stands, banking, bookkeeping and general supervision.

Dolan said that part of the cost of fringe benefits such as workman's compensation, unemployment compensation, group life insurance and major medical insurance were covered by the eight percent.

The suit contends that taking money for anything other than maintenance, purchase of new equipment and supervision is in violation of federal law.

Cited among the allegedly demeaning rules were regulations stipulating that vendors bathe twice daily, obtain dental care at least twice a year, eat a balanced diet and shampoo frequently.

"A blind person has to be almost overly cautious, so we set these guidelines," explained Dolan.

Back to Contents


Marjorie Boyd

[Reprinted from The Washington Monthly December 1972, Copyright The Washington Monthly Co., 1150 Connecticut Ave., N. W., Washington, D. C. 20036.]

The subject of our tale is the Blind Vendors Program, which installs the little stands from which blind people sell candies and newspapers in post offices and other government buildings. Amid the desert of wrecked and overblown government plans, this program has been one small oasis, a tiny but heartening reminder that sometimes government can actually do some good.

The Blind Vendors Program began in 1936--no wild experiment, but a careful copy of a successful Canadian project. The thinking behind it was simple: since someone is going to sell candies and newspapers to the captive audience in government buildings, the selling might as well be done by someone the government wants to help. By letting blind people do the selling, the government could not only help them earn their own livings, but it could also demonstrate to private employers that blind people were employable.

In its thirty-six years of operation, the program has directly employed many thousands of blind people and indirectly encouraged industries to hire countless thousands of others. More remarkable still is its economy of operation. Since the program runs on the energy of the blind and supports its clients with money earned in free enterprise, it has cost almost nothing in public funds. "It is," one congressman said, "a government program that has really worked."

We think of the blind vendors at Christmas time, because their program is coming to an end. While money keeps going to highway projects and armaments, this one, successful, government program is being dismantled. The agents of its change are government employees-whose tactics and power lend ominous significance to a story that would otherwise be merely pathetic.


The bureaucrats would just as soon not mow down the blind, but the little blind stands happen to block the way to something they want. What the civil servants are after is money to finance "employee recreation associations." These groups keep the bureaucracy humming by financing entertainments ranging from bowling leagues to office picnics. Such activities require money, of course, to pay for flowers for sick employees, wedding gifts, and other supplies.

There was a time when the employees had to pay for these things themselves. But then, several years ago, they discovered another source of money: vending machines, whose proceeds could go straight into the clubhouse treasury. The machines had the regrettable by-product of driving the blind people out of business, but then, no plan is ever perfect. With every passing year the employees see their skill rewarded as the vendors' stands are dismantled and the rows of gleaming machines are trucked in.

The bureaucrats' designs are brought home to the vendors in varied ways, as Bill Cheeseman of San Francisco discovered. For sixteen years Cheeseman has supported himself as a blind vendor; recently, he has run a snack bar at the U. S. Mint. Early this year, Cheeseman, like every other small businessman in California, had to raise some prices a few cents because of an increase in state sales tax. On May 25, nine disgruntled Mint workers picketed Cheeseman's stand, carrying placards reading "Price Increases Unfair" and "Do Not Patronize This Snack Bar." They paraded back and forth until another employee came up and reproached them. Cheeseman could hear the shouts that followed and the sounds of scuffling around him, but of course, he could neither see the men nor read their signs. He stood there until the security police entered and ended the demonstration.

Later, when someone told him what had happened, he said, "They thought I should absorb the sales tax increase? How could I do that? They know my prices are at a rock bottom. I buy Danish rolls for 15 cents and sell them for 16. Why do they feel they have some right to the money I work so hard for?"

Cheeseman's introduction to the bureaucratic squeeze was noisier than most, but the same point has been made to other blind vendors. The technique varies with the setting:

The easiest technique is keeping blind vendors from finding their way into new federal buildings. When a giant post office building was opened in Houston several years ago, the postmaster refused to let a single blind person set up shop inside, even though four blind vendors had run stands in the old building for years. This tactic has been used all over the country--at a post office in Des Moines; in an Internal Revenue Service building in Covington, Kentucky; and in federal office buildings in Arlington, Virginia, and Sacramento, California.

Where the government is not planning a new building, the employees may try to force the vendors out. The preferred method is to rig the competition. For example, coffee, is a big item for the blind vendors. Even when they must compete with machines the vendors usually win, since most people prefer coffee brewed in a large urn to the tasteless stuff that squirts from the machines. To reduce the vendors' edge, the building superintendent can simply forbid the blind man to sell coffee. Similarly, if business at the employee cafeteria flags, the superintendent can ban all sandwiches, donuts, etc., from the stands. This ploy has put many of the vendors out of business and has made inroads against others. This technique's recorded successes include a post office in San Antonio; an Atomic Energy Commission installation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; a U. S. Customs office in Philadelphia; and a post office in Birmingham, Alabama.

If the blind vendor, with more grit than perception, keeps his stand open anyway, trying to earn a living from the few mints and postcards he can still sell, the employees may turn to a more creative technique. This involves putting vending machines in the most prominent parts of the building and moving the blind vendor to a closet, little-traveled hall, or back porch. In Baltimore one stand was moved to a comer on the third floor, and in an Oklahoma City post office, the vendor was put behind closed doors in a side corridor. These relocations have a predictable effect on sales volume.

A more direct approach--extorting kickbacks--is usually rejected as declasse because of its Mob overtones. This is not always a sufficient deterrent. At the Kennedy Space Center, eleven blind vendors found themselves confronted with protection demands from the employees. They were asked to sign papers turning over ten percent of their incomes to the employees' recreation association. The money was needed, the civil servants explained, to pay for upkeep on an elaborate swimming, tennis, and picnic complex they had built at the Center. The blind men, not exactly the main beneficiaries of the sports center, all capitulated-except for one, James Parkman.

Parkman soon understood that if he did not sign, his stand would be wheeled off to some obscure location and his income might disappear. Parkman's family was particularly vulnerable at the time, as they were still opening bills from recent medical troubles, but Parkman and his wife decided to stand up to the threats. They called a lawyer, who assured them they were right, and then filed a complaint. In a perceptive flash, the bureaucrats realized how the case might look once the press got hold of it. They caved in and signed a promise that none of the vendors would be harassed or asked for payoffs.

Parkman was unusual in his resistance. Why had the others given in? "Fear. They were afraid. You have no idea how hard it is for a blind person to find a job," Parkman explained. "I had a different background from the average blind man. I went to a regular school instead of a blind school and grew up competing with people who could see."

All of these tactics work against one of the few New Deal programs which is still doing what it was supposed to. The Blind Vendors legislation was sponsored in 1936 by Congressman Jennings Randolph of West Virginia. Now seventy years old and his state's senior senator, Randolph was then a young newcomer to Congress. He had taken up the cause of the blind as a Lions Club member back home, and he brought the issue with him to Washington.

Randolph's proposal that blind men and women run stands in federal buildings appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt, no stranger to working with physical handicaps. Once, when asked to explain his resilience during war and depression, he said, "I spent two years flat on my back trying to wiggle my big toe; after that, everything else has seemed easy." With Roosevelt's support, the bill moved quickly to passage.

Over the next few decades the program grew steadily. After the war, more than three thousand blind vendors were operating in federal buildings; by the sixties they were earning average incomes of six thousand dollars per year. Private industries took blind vendors into their buildings, as did state and city governments. When vending machines first appeared, blind men were trained to service them, using special, braille-coded equipment. In some western states, entire cafeterias were run by blind men and women.

Operating costs are low. Initially, some state and federal money goes to train the vendors and to equip their stands. But as the stands become self-supporting, the vendors turn a share of their profits over to a revolving fund to set up new vending stands. Considering that each blind vendor represents a person removed from the welfare rolls, the program actually may have saved the government money.


Meanwhile, not everyone was delighted with the spread of the stands. With even their slight introduction to the workings of government, the blind people should have expected one kind of trouble from the civil servants: the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome. Federal bureaucrats are stashed in Washington, miles from the people who actually have to live with the rules they make. If the bureaucrats cut comers or indulge in whims without realizing the effect on their far-flung clients, they may be understood, if not forgiven.

The blind could be forgiven for thinking they had this problem licked. Since they were sitting in the very halls and cafeterias the bureaucrats stalked through, the vendors thought, they could hardly be overlooked. If they started to suffer from some administrative decision, what better display case could they find to call attention to their troubles?

As it turned out, the blind people had only figured out half the problem. They were visible, all right, but they'd forgotten that the bureaucrats could still ignore them. And so, when the blind vendors heard the first patter of tramping feet as bureaucrats ran over them, they learned in particularly grotesque form one moral of modern government: civil servants watch out for themselves first.

If any of them had been able to see movies like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the blind people would have known that their predicament was not unique. They had pointed out the treasure lode, but they were bowled over by claim-jumpers who rushed in to grab a share. If the blind vendor had never set up shop, federal employees might not have recognized the lucrative potential of vending machines. But with the vendors' example before them, the employees just couldn't resist.

The coalition that formed to edge out the vendors was made up of federal workers and their union representatives, the supervisors who dealt with the employees and liked to avoid conflicts, and the enthusiasts of dancing clubs and sports leagues. The workers were attracted not only by the size of the jackpot (each vendor they could eliminate represented a potential six thousand dollars), but by its delightful freedom from strings. Since the vending-machine funds would be classified as "non-appropriated" money, the General Accounting Office (GAO) would not be able to check on their use.


The civil servants' quick grasp of the non-appropriated funds' potential was a happy legacy of our military traditions. Many of the bureaucrats had spent time in the Army, where they observed the wondrous workings of the PXs and Officers' Clubs. These operations were bathed in the fertile broth of non-appropriated funds, and they spawned a whole system of personal enrichment, hidden luxury expenses, and good-natured graft. The system was always defended as "necessary to boost morale," and the bureaucrats were ready to apply the same uplift to the home front.

Still, the bureaucrats faced a few obstacles. One was that they had no right to the money from the machines. When vending machines are put into a federal building, their take legally belongs to the building's owners--the U. S. government and the taxpayers. The Comptroller General made this clear in 1952, when he said, "funds derived from the installation and operation of vending machines on government-owned or controlled property are required to be deposited into the Treasury of the United States."

Moreover, installing the vending machines over the dismantled stands of blind vendors would mean stopping a successful, long-running program which still had congressional support.

The blind might well have deemed themselves safe behind such obstacles. If the Executive departments would not intervene, slapping down their employees for taking public money, then Congress would surely rally to take care of its blind constituents. None of this worried the civil servants. They knew what they had on their side.

One advantage was the nature of their enemy. Blindness understandably produces few rebellious or demanding personalities. So, when the vendors were squeezed out, not many complained. In this they were like other silent punching bags of the federal bureaucracy-the elderly, for example--who learn not to make noise. Now and then a story appeared in the press, or an occasional vendor wrote to Senator Randolph. But that was all. For their part, the bureaucrats avoided qualms by viewing the vendors not as handicapped human beings, but as obstacles to their cut-rate theatre tickets and office parties.

The most troublesome obstacle--the raw illegality of what they were doing--was mastered only by the employees' bone-deep instinct for the way government works. If there is one cause that the government will predictably concede, it is the fight to save federal money. Knowing this, the employees could ignore the Comptroller General's tedious reminders that the vending-machine money belonged to the public A few of the duller, less experienced employee groups actually asked permission to use the funds, and were of course turned down. This taught them a lesson: they stopped asking. Eventually this live-and-let-live spirit infected even the Comptroller General, who gave up his complaints as "useless and ineffectual."1

With the blind submitting and the GAO giving up, the employees settled down to consolidate their gains. They set up straight business fronts, calling themselves "corporations" and filing non-profit corporation income-tax returns. The returns are on file at the Internal Revenue Service, and they reveal some interesting figures. In 1970, for example, the Department of Agriculture's employees' association in Washington had gross receipts of $1,863,980.99, and the State Department group took in $810,959.00. The regional offices followed the Washington example: at an FAA installation in Oklahoma City, the employees reported $133,896.58 for 1970.

Depending on how you look at it, this money comes either from the taxpayers' pockets or from the blind vendors'. Since the blind were there before the vending machines, they have suffered the most immediate harm. In the last fifteen years, while governments have laid concrete and marble into the earth at an unprecedented rate, the number of blind vendor stands has at best held constant. For each new stand that has opened another has closed because of rigged competition or poor location. A sharper measure of the problem is the waiting list of blind people eager to run stands. There are now four to five thousand of them, waiting for vending locations that have been preempted by machines.


In classic eleventh-hour fashion, Congress seemed ready to come to the vendors' rescue in 1970. And, in more classic congressional fashion, they failed to come through. Ready to pick up the blind people's cause in Congress were two quite different men: Jennings Randolph, now chairman of the Senate subcommittee on handicapped workers, and his House counterpart. Congressman John Brademas of Indiana. The two are a study in contrasts.

A stout, seventy-year-old Southern gentleman, Randolph came to the Senate in 1958 and chairs the Public Works Committee. Formerly a small-town newspaper editor and an orator of local renown, Randolph is still an old-fashioned, spellbinding platform speaker--one of the best practioners of that vanishing art left in the Senate.

There is speculation that Randolph is more than he seems--speculation fueled by his comments at the funeral home the night Drew Pearson died. Since this was a day of general rejoicing on Capitol Hill, Randolph's presence surprised the assembled mourners, who stared in amazement when he said in his sonorous voice, "I have lost a dear friend."

Representatives of the blind had long relied on Randolph's support, ever since the Lions Club days. But would this traditional old political survivor provoke the anger of millions of organized government workers merely to defend a few thousand blind people? Maybe Brademas would be a better hope.

Young, handsome, brilliant, John Brademas is Super-congressman. A magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard, and a Rhodes scholar, he left his job as professor of political science at Notre Dame to serve as Adlai Stevenson's executive assistant in the 1956 campaign. Soon thereafter he came to the House, where he was known not just as a posturing liberal, but as an effective legislator.

But it was Randolph who made the first move. Increasing complaints from the vendors, pleas from the national blind people's groups, and the alarming statistics convinced him that he had to do something to keep his program from being wrecked. His answer was to introduce a bill to hamstring the bureaucrats. It required that any vending-machine profit that didn't go straight to the Treasury would have to be spent for the Blind Vendors' Program.

Randolph held hearings on the bill in June, 1 970. After listening to testimony from the blind men and finding no spokesmen for the other side, Randolph guided the bill through the committee and the full Senate. It passed on September 28 without opposition or debate, and moved to the House, There, Brademas found things slightly more complicated.
Randolph had caught the bureaucrats napping, and they weren't about to make the same mistake in the House. At hearings in December, 1970, the virulent response by the employee associations startled Brademas ("There must be some real money involved here," he said, getting the picture. "I haven't seen people get so excited about anything of this sort.") and slowed down the bill.

The most fascinating part of Brademas' hearings was the display bureaucrats made of their oft-frustrated ingenuity. They defended their vending-machine racket with tactics ranging from melodrama to bare-knuckled threats.

Government employees make up a bloc which dwarfs the Jews, the farm vote, assorted minorities, and other traditional groups. Federal employees, with their families and retired comrades, constitute a disciplined force of nine million voters. State, county, and municipal employees add up to thirteen million more, without even counting their relatives. Each witness made it a point to remind Brademas of this.

The bureaucrats also demonstrated their logical legerdemain in giving economic and moral justifications for vending machines. The unstated economic reasons center on savings for the unions: because the recreational favors are financed by union dues in private industry, the vending machines have helped government unions keep their dues quite low. The American Postal Workers and the American Federation of Government Employees charge their members about twenty dollars each year--compared to seventy-two dollars for the Retail Clerks and one hundred three dollars for the United Auto Workers. (Grateful government employees have shown their thanks by voting generous salaries and expense accounts to their leaders. John Griner of the American Federation of Government Employees made $77,237 in 1970.)

The union men also offered creative reasoning to show that their use of the money was legal. How so? Because it had gone on for a long time; because it raised morale; because government employees have been underpaid in the past; and because the employees are the ones who put their dimes into the machines in the first place. This Marxian logic intrigued Brademas and made him comment that although he was a patron of the House Restaurant, he did not feel entitled to a share of the profits.


The hearings ended in confusion, amid an organized avalanche of letters from employees. These letters provide a disquieting comment on what years in the civil service do to powers of reasoning and compassion.

A postal employee in Erie, Pennsylvania, wrote:

It is sinful to deprive the employees and their families of these funds.

From an Indiana civil servant:

We are solidly against passage of this bill which would kill free enterprise and completely stop our welfare funds.

From a group of workers in Salem, Oregon:

If this money is taken from us, it would mean taking a collection on the workroom floor every time the need arises and needless to say, people do get tired of continually making donations.

From a California postal clerk:

In Los Angeles we were able to give a check in the amount of $5.05 to each and every employee just before Thanksgiving last week. That would buy a turkey for the Holiday.

From a group of employees in Minneapolis:

Vending machines are the sole revenue for our welfare fund, which provides among other things, scholarships, flowers and visitation for the sick, lounge facilities, sports programs, recreational equipment, social events such as the post office picnic and employee recognition. We do not deny the blind are a worthy group but believe it grossly unfair to rob one group of their rights to benefit another.

Given their choice, most politicians would stay miles away from claims like this. But such is the power of the unions that they extracted testimonial letters from several congressmen. One from California's Richard Hannah, said that the bill "strikes me as being grossly unfair to those non-blind persons now in possession of such concessions and dependent on the income so derived."

The unions' mail campaign and pressure destroyed any chance of moving the bill through the House. Brademas never pushed it through the committee, and it died with the session.

Randolph was more tenacious, however, and he introduced the same bill when the new Congress began. His hearings, from September to December, 1971, were much the same old show, with a few new highlights:

After Randolph asked Francis Filbey, president of the Postal Workers, whether the program was legal, Filbey said, "I have some doubts in my mind concerning the legality. . . . I do not necessarily cherish or appreciate the fact that I have to be here today and make this kind of testimony."

Randolph treated himself to a burst of stump oratory on behalf of the vendors, pointing out that they have none of the benefits that cushion the bureaucrats-no pensions, no vacations, no insurance, no sick leave. When a vendor is sick, he must find someone to nm the stand and pay him from his own pocket.

In perhaps his most remarkable achievement, Randolph produced one federal employee, Vincent Connery of the National Association of Internal Revenue Employees, to defend the blind vendors. "To talk about scholarship funds or flu shots or whatever and deprive people who suffer severe disability from employment is just abominable in my judgement," he said.

After a time, it began to look like Randolph and Connery against the world. Randolph was ready to move the bill through the Senate once more, but Brademas sent over warnings early in 1972 that his committee "could not touch the bill in an election year" because of "too much political pressure."

Brademas' formal explanation is that "we are still trying to obtain accurate information on just how much revenue we are talking about. We can't pre-judge the situation." It has, after all, been two years since Brademas asked for the figures. A staff member gave a more plausible explanation for the delay:

The pressure was terrible. Nobody over here can stand up to the government unions and open this can of worms. Randolph could do it. We just can't do that over here in the House. . . . Our members have tough races every two years. But Randolph could run against Jesus Christ in West Virginia and beat him.

Randolph has moved ahead gingerly without Brademas. He raised the storm flag by asking the GAO to audit all concessions on federal property, but he knows the associations will not willingly turn their records over. If they refuse? "If they don't give me the information, why I'll use the. . . subpoena." That is still a long way off, and Randolph has spent his career avoiding such extreme acts. For the time being, the bureaucrats' lobbying has won. Two years after Randolph first introduced his bill, nothing has changed. The blind vendors are slowly losing income and a bona fide Endangered Species-an effective government program--is being wiped out.


This story would be literally unbelievable were it not for the special bureaucratic setting that produced it. Ever since Thomas Jefferson lamented of public employees, "Few die and none resign," Americans have collected a sizeable list of grievances against bureaucracies: they are wasteful, slow, lazy, inefficient, unimaginative. But most of the critics have taken Jefferson's half-amused tone, as if speaking of a mischievous or clumsy child. Whatever harm the bureaucracy does is usually excused as the unfortunate side effect of well-intentioned bumbling. Despite the blemishes, the civil service and its employees are still assumed to have some concern with the public interest.

The blind vendor case makes that assumption seem fanciful. Here the citizen may gape in amazement as a bureaucracy evolves from a small, paper-shuffling outfit to an enormous, organized force, moving with irresistible momentum to divert money into its own pockets and to resist all threats of control. How could this happen?

As individuals, civil servants are rarely monsters or menaces. They are average men and women, devoted to family and community; they have interests, passions, hobbies, even sensitivities. But when they organize into the mass known as The Bureaucracy, a frightening change takes place. They work in large, dreary cocoons where pettiness, boredom, and confusion predominate. Few visible results emerge from their work. They face little reward for achievement and little punishment for sloth. Inevitably, the civil servant discovers that whatever creativity or enthusiasm he brought to the job is withering away.

As long as he remains in the job, the bureaucrat faces strange, divided loyalties. Privately he may have bitter words for the sterile life of government service, but in public he can only resent his profession's notoriety as the butt of political rhetoric. Bristling at public resentment, disappointed by the vacuum of his own work, he elevates the importance of the only rewards he has; his comfortable salary and generous benefits. These are his only badges of honor. When politicians, press, and the public ridicule these badges or try to take them away, the bureaucrat becomes even more defensive and suspicious. At heart, the problem is the same one I. F. Stone pointed out: "More important than evil men is the tremendous power of corrupting institutions that trap ordinary men."

Latest census figures show that one out of seven American workers is a government employee. Without overdramatizing, there may be a chilling harbinger for the public at large in the bureaucrats' treatment of the blind vendors. Consider the indications: the public work force grows steadily in size, through recession and boom, as though directed by some inner force; the Brookings Institution has reported that government wages have been rising faster than general wages for several years now; vacation and sick-leave schemes provide for many weeks of annual leave, which the employees often sell back to the government for more money; loosely administered funds pay cash rewards for "excellent" service to ridiculously large numbers of employees. It is easy to understand why the suburban counties next to the Nation's Capitol-Montgomery and Fairfax--are the top two names on the list of the country's richest fifty counties. The government unions are already an awesome political force, and they are trying to become more so by getting the Hatch Act repealed and thereby turning every federal office into a potential political headquarters.

If there is a Christmas moral in this tale of government employees taking pennies from the blind, it may be that the bureaucrats' self-absorption is even more dangerous that Scrooge's, since there seems to be no one to play the role of Marley's ghost and confront them.


1. Even law-enforcement agencies took the same light-hearted attitude to the GAO rules. In 1952 the FBI Recreation Association wrote the Comptroller General asking whether it could use vending-machine money. He replied no, saying that the money was "required to be deposited into the Treasury of the United States." The ruling was never questioned, but neither was it enforced. In 1970, while J. Edgar Hoover was still in charge, the FBI took in $58,971.02 from the machines.

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Nicholas von Hoffman

[Reprinted from The Washington Post, December 11, 1972.]

A new power group is crowbarring its way into dominance in Washington. Union leaders and government officials say this new outfit is as nasty and selfish as has ever tried to scrape the gold leaf off the Capitol dome.

The threat comes from the blind people in the lobbies of federal government buildings who sell papers, chewing gum, coffee, hot soup and hot dogs.

The blind are there thanks to a 1936 law which gives them a preference in owning and operating the concessions. The federal government in cooperation with the states trains the blind to manage their small businesses and grubstakes them to a start by providing them with stands and such.

It doesn't cost the taxpayer any money, however, since a certain percentage of what the blind make is set aside to pay for this assistance. (See "Stealing from the Blind" by Marjorie Boyd, in the December issue of The Washington Monthly for an excellent account of this whole affair.) Indeed this may be the only welfare program which requires no appropriated funds from Congress.

Marjorie Boyd says that the Department of Agriculture employees' association in Washington alone had gross receipts of nearly two million dollars for one year; the State Department had nearly one million dollars. Representative John Brademas (D.-Ind.), who has been working on getting a law passed to protect the blind from these predatory civil servants, says he's found it impossible to learn how many millions of dollars are being pocketed in the innumerable federal installations across the country.

The national totals are studiously left uncomputed although the big national government employees' unions are fighting the blind for every last nickel, "We've had welfare funds for 30 to 35 years so this has created a problem for us with the blind trying to take over total control," says Patrick J. Nilan, the visionary legislative director of the American Postal Workers Union. "They want the whole thing so we've had to fight them legislatively. . . We don't agree that they should get the income from the machines in work areas where they're not allowed to go and the public can't go either. . . Our members feel if these guys (the blind) are coming in and taking over the operation well throw the damn machines out. If they insist on everything, they'll get nothing. We'll boycott their stands in the lobbies."

So why should the blind get any better treatment than the public in general? Smash the Christmas packages. Ignore people who dare to come into the post office to buy a stamp. Don't deliver the Christmas cards till after Epiphany. And don't let the sightless Mafia take over.

It is comforting to note that the representative of the National Association of Internal Revenue Employees sided with the blind. Appearing before a committee chaired by Senator Jennings Randolph (D.-W. Va.) who introduced the original 1936 legislation, the IRS man said, "To talk about scholarship funds or flu shots or whatever (else the employees spend this money on) and deprive people who suffer severe disability from employment is just abominable in my judgement."

But not in the judgement of Carl Sadler, the legislative director of the American Federation of Government Employees, who says, "We don't want them to have carte-blanche authority to have a topsy-turvy change. . . It doesn't make sense to give some group lock, stock and barrel. We met with the blind, but it was futile. They wouldn't concede anything."

But don't get Mr. Sadler wrong. He'll tell ya, "We don't belong to the President's Committee for the Handicapped for nothin'."

But it's not just the unions that are fighting blind greed. Although there are only about nine hundred stands operated by blind people on federal property. General Services Administration, the agency that runs federal real estate, is trying to restrict the items they can sell because the GSA says it's competing with the concessionaires who run the cafeterias in government buildings.

Rich Vawter, the GSA public information officer, protests, "The inference we're trying to cut the blind out is simply ridiculous. We try to provide well-balanced meals to federal employees to keep up morale, but you can't make money on carrots and peas. You do on coffee and doughnuts (the kinds of items the GSA is pressuring the blind to stop selling), but it has nothing to do with trying to screw the blind."

So kick a cripple for Christmas.

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Nature of Scholarship

The Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship, administered by the National Federation of the Blind, is to be awarded each year to legally blind university students studying for a professional degree as specified below. Scholarships vary from year to year as to number and amount. Payments will be made, one-half at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, or one-third at the beginning of each of three quarters.

This scholarship was established by a bequest of Thomas E. Rickard in honor of his father, Howard Brown Rickard.

Who is Eligible

Any legally blind university student in the professions of Law, Medicine, Engineering, Architecture, and the Natural Sciences, including undergraduates in these fields, is eligible to apply.

While anyone may apply for the award, in order to be considered he must:

a) be sponsored by the State affiliate where he is going to school or in the State where he makes his home, and if there be no such affiliate he must secure sponsorship in a manner deemed appropriate by the chairman of the scholarship committee.

b) attend the NFB Convention at which the scholarship is to be awarded.

How to Apply

Fill out completely the attached application and mail to the Reverend Howard May, Chairman, Rickard Scholarship Committee, R. F. D. 1, West Willington, Connecticut 06279, by May 1, 1973.


Applicant's Full Name________________________________ Age_____ Sex_____


__________________________________________________ Phone__________
City                                                     State                          Zip Code

Home Address______________________________________________________
(Permanent)                                              Street

City                                                     State                          Zip Code

High School Attended_______________________________ City__________

College Now Attending______________________________ City__________

Number of Units Completed by End of Present Term________________________
Colleges Previously Attended: (Indicate the year you attended college and total number of units completed at each college.)



Major Subject__________________________________________________________

List name and amount of any scholarships you have received or are receiving:


Attach the following:

1. Transcripts from all colleges attended (If you are entering college, attach high school transcript.)

2. A statement of 250 words of your reason for applying for this scholarship and how it will assist you to achieve a professional goal including, if you wish, information about your financial situation. Please include information about your visual acuity indicating whether you are partially or totally blind.

3. Recommendation of sponsoring NFB affiliate.

_____________________           ______________________________________
Date                                                 Signature

Make sure all spaces are filled in and mail application by May 1, 1973 to:

Reverend Howard May, Chairman
Rickard Scholarship Committee
R. F. D 1
West Willington, Connecticut 06279

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John Twiname, Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, will soon leave that post. The organized blind are sorry to see him go, for he had developed an interest in our problems and a willingness to listen unusual in administrators in recent administrations. At our national Convention in Chicago in July, 1972, he publicly pledged an "open door" policy whenever we had problems to discuss. He received prolonged cheers and applause when he declared: "I think perhaps it is best for both of us that we take advantage of and continue this dialogue on other occasions. . . . There are so many other questions I would like to hear your views on. I think that your input will make a difference in the question of research and demonstration, for example, because we are in the position of trying to develop plans and strategies of what is really needed. You know what is needed, and, therefore, I would like to hear from you and not just the people who do the research. ... In short, I want to say that we cannot substitute for you but we really would like to join you at the barricades in a partnership, and I think together we can touch the conscience of this country, we can tap the skills of our society and we can turn on the American ingenuity to forge the creative kind of justice that will give all men and women, blind and sighted, a real opportunity to reach their life's potential in this country. It's a pleasure to join you in that work."

In the Nixon reshuffling for the second term, Edward Newman, Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services will also leave. In a letter to the NFB President he says:

December 22, 1972

Dear Ken:

As you may know, I have submitted my resignation to Secretary Richardson, and he has accepted it, effective December 31, 1972. The Secretary has asked me to delay my departure in order that I might assist him with the special assignment regarding proposals for Department of Services Reform.

As my term as Commissioner draws to a close, there are many things I would like to say. Let me summarize my thoughts in this way:

I want to thank you and the members of your organization who have worked so hard on behalf of the Nation's handicapped citizens. Because of your support, we have been able to develop a momentum which I am confident will grow toward our common goals of helping handicapped people everywhere achieve their highest level of independence.

This will be my last opportunity as Commissioner to communicate with you. May I offer my best wishes for this holiday season and for the year to come. Please accept my personal gratitude for your past support and friendship.

With every good wish,

Sincerely yours,

Edward Newman

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[Editor's Note: Royal W. Kramer, Federationist from Pennsylvania and his sighted wife rode by bus from Allentown to Philadelphia. Each paid the full price of a round trip ticket. The busline agent sold travel insurance to sighted Mrs. Kramer but would not sell any to blind Mr. Kramer. Mr. Kramer dispatched a letter of inquiry to the Travelers Insurance Company. What happened after that is set out in the correspondence below.

Here is another reply to the question "Why the National Federation of the Blind,"]


October 5, 1972

Mr. Royal W. Kramer
528 Gordon Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Kramer:

I am pleased to respond to your letter of September 25 regarding The Travelers Accident Ticket Policy.

You have indicated that the ticket agent at the Allentown bus terminal refused to sell you a policy inasmuch as you are blind. This agent was following our underwriting rules regarding these policies. This policy may not be issued to a person who is blind or who has sustained the loss of either hand or foot; a person planning a trip to a country where a state of armed conflict or war exists; a person planning to engage in skiing or orther hazardous sport or in hazardous work; a professional athlete, unless the applicant understands that injuries sustained while participating as a professional in athletics are not covered.

This type of policy is sold without any underwriting and the premium charged contemplates an average risk. From an underwriting standpoint, the above activities and physical conditions generate greater losses than those generated by the average traveler.

Very truly yours
Norman E. Novotny
Assistant Secretary
Regulatory Affairs


October 24, 1972

Mr. Norman E. Novotny
Assistant Secretary
Regulatory Affairs
The Travelers Insurance Company
One Tower Square
Hartford, Connecticut 061 15

Dear Mr. Novotny:

Your letter of October 5, 1972, to Mr. Royal Kramer has been referred to me in my capacity as President of the National Federation of the Blind. In your letter to Mr. Kramer you say that your insurance cannot be sold to blind persons or a variety of other groups.
You go on to say:

"This type of policy is sold without any underwriting and the premium charged contemplates an average risk. From an underwriting standpoint, the above activities and physical conditions generate greater losses than those generated by the average traveler." It seems to me that the policy of your company may constitute discrimination-unless, that is, you possess statistics or underwriting data not known to me. Discrimination, as I understand it, means unreasonable and detrimental classification. If a hotel refuses to rent a room to a Jew on the basis of Jewishness, that constitutes discrimination since being a Jew has nothing to do with desirability as a hotel guest. On the other hand, if that same hotel refuses to rent a room to a drunk man on the grounds that he is creating a disturbance, no discrimination is involved. This is so because being obnoxiously drunk has something to do with the question under consideration. In other words the classification is reasonable.

We of the National Federation of the Blind are not seeking special privileges for the blind but only fair treatment. If your belief that blind persons have more accidents or constitute a greater risk than sighted persons is based upon valid evidence, we have no complaint coming and would not want you to issue insurance to us on equal terms with others. However, if your belief is just that (a belief), then your policy would seem to be discriminatory and subject to legal action, assuming that we cannot persuade you to change the policy.

Even if you have great goodwill toward the blind and are very sincere in your belief, the situation is not altered. The people who practice discrimination and are guilty of prejudice usually believe they are right. They are often extremely sincere.

Based upon our experience as blind people and upon the knowledge we have of the everyday lives of blind people, we think that blind people do not die younger or have more accidents than sighted people similarly situated. However, this should not be a matter of opinion, either yours or ours. It should be a matter of fact. As I say, you may possess data not available to us. I doubt this since many insurance companies now write policies on blind people at standard rates.

Please let me hear from you concerning this matter and the basis on which your determination was made. We feel that action must be taken to see that justice prevails in the present instance and in others which may arise concerning your company.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind


December 12, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Your letter of October 24, 1972, to Mr. Norman E. Novotny, was referred to me.

In your letter to Mr. Novotny you question our underwriting policy with respect to blind persons. Although we issue the majority of our policy forms to blind persons, for many years we have not permitted the sale of policy form ATP and similar trip ticket coverages to blind applicants. This rule presumably was based on the thought that the physical condition of blindness might lead to a greater chance for injury than that anticipated in the premium charges for the policy.

I have not been able to uncover the statistical basis for the original decision to prohibit sale of this policy to blind persons, nor have I been able to uncover current statistical information supporting such a rule. Therefore, I have authorized the removal of the prohibition against the sale of these trip ticket policies to blind applicants.

Thank you for calling this matter to our attention.


Robert A. Meredith


December 12, 1972

Mr. Royal W. Kramer
528 Gordon Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Kramer:

Your letter of September 25, 1972 to The Travelers Insurance Company and the letter from Mr. Jernigan of the National Federation of the Blind, dated October 24, 1972 were referred to me.

The ticket agent at the Allentown Bus Terminal was correct in refusing to sell you an ATP policy. The underwriting rules for this coverage have for many years prohibited its sale to blind persons. This rule presumably was based on the thought that the physical condition of blindness might lead to a greater chance for injury than that anticipated in the premium charges for the policy.

I have not been able to uncover the statistical basis for the original decision to prohibit sale of this policy to blind persons, nor have I been able to uncover current statistical information supporting such a rule. Therefore, I have authorized the removal of the prohibition against the sale of these trip ticket policies to blind applicants.

Thank you for calling this matter to our attention. May I apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. I hope that The Travelers will be able to serve you in the future.


Robert A. Meredith

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Federationism moved to a new phase on December 10 and 11, 1972, with a demonstration against NAC as its Board met. Picketing for the rights of the blind or to improve wages and working conditions is not new in the NFB. But the kind of demonstration that took place at the Prince George Hotel in New York City marks the first time that the organized blind movement brought its case directly to the people against a large, rich, and influential agency for the blind.

Pushed vigorously by actions of NFB President Kenneth Jernigan, [See The Monitor for August, November, December, 1972, and January, 1973] NAC was moved to invite a number of organizations of the blind to send "observers" to its December Board meeting.

The National Federation of the Blind, The New York Lobby for the Blind, and some local organizations sent representatives. Since the ACB is in accord with and supports NAC activities, it has a representative on the NAC Board and apparently did not wish to see the
status quo disturbed.

John Taylor and Patrick Peppe attended the meetings as official NFB observers. But Federationists from as far away as California, Texas, and Idaho, joined with NFB members from States on the East Coast in walking the picket line at the Prince George Hotel. One hundred fifty signs were stapled to four-foot laths. Groups of blind people picketed at both entrances to the Prince George Hotel and at the four corners surrounding it--28th Street and Fifth Avenue, 27th and Fifth Avenue, 27th and Madison Avenue and 28th and Madison Avenue. Some even ventured down the nearest subway to talk with people.

NFB pickets, armed with the placards decrying discrimination against the blind, also distributed 10,000 copies of the following statement to passersby:


The Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) is now holding its semi-annual meeting in the Hotel Prince George.

Almost half of NAC's annual expenses--about $75,000--are paid from federal funds, and this organization has already received more than one-half million dollars from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare--your tax dollars and mine.

NAC seeks to accredit and set standards for agencies serving the blind. But despite its dependence on public funds, it consistently denies consumers of services for the blind any meaningful representation. Of the thirty-four member NAC Board of Directors, only six are blind, but by and large they represent agencies for the blind, rather than blind consumers.
Thus we, the blind, the very people who are most affected by these services, have no say in matters that vitally concern our well-being and lives.

It is significant that a high percentage of NAC-accredited agencies serving the blind are generally considered by the blind consumers of those services as among the worst in the field. It is significant that NAC accredits many sheltered workshops which pay sub-minimum wages and deny their workers collective bargaining rights and normal grievance procedures.

These are but a few of the reasons why we feel we must have a proportional voice in NAC, why tax-supported NAC must grant the maximum consumer representation mandated in other federal programs. Because of its refusal to grant more than the merest token representation to the consumer, NAC is unfair, undemocratic, and unrepresentative.

We seek to reconstitute NAC into an organization that will be truly responsive to the needs of blind consumers. In fact, we seek from NAC recognition of the principle that a sizeable number of its Board should be consumer representatives--that is, selected by a representative organization of the blind and subject to recall by it. NAC must alter its
criteria for evaluating agencies serving the blind. In other words, NAC's standards must be relevant to the real needs of the blind people served by those agencies.

The National Federation of the Blind is the oldest and by far the largest national organization of the blind in the country. It has state and local affiliates throughout the nation. It speaks for tens of thousands of blind consumers, but it has been denied any meaningful representation in NAC.

We the blind need your help. Contact the press and your Congressman to reform NAC.


The press was fully informed and watchful. So was the NAC staff. It tried to defend NAC's actions and The New York Times for December 12 reported: "A spokesman for the council agreed that there was discrimination in employment, but he said that his organization's only function was to give accreditation to agencies. He said: "We have nothing to do with the actual service work." This incredible statement gives strength to the NFB contention that NAC's standards are aimed at staff and facilities as ends in themselves. What happens to the client receiving the services or the kinds of services he receives are mere unimportant by-products in the development of "professionalism."

The Federationists who stood on this barricade were moved to report their reactions to President Jernigan. Shirley Lebowitz, NFB Executive Committee member from Connecticut wrote:

"It seems obvious that NAC is still not willing to listen to us as the blind consumers of the services of agencies designed to meet our needs, or as taxpayers who fund this organization. During their meeting our demonstration was mentioned and it was stated that we had a right to our opinions and that this was democracy. The attitude seems to be 'let them walk, but don't let them talk.' The reports of our silent observers indicate that NAC has no intention of changing its ways. What could have been gained by having Mr. Todd Handel, the son of their executive director, eavesdropping at the door of our meeting room and then sitting in on our news conference? . . . Our demonstration was orderly and I felt that we scored some points with 'the man on the street' and the TV and radio audience. . . . The barricades must be kept on the front line. I am convinced that we must continue to demand meaningful representation on the NAC board. . . . When will they ever start listening to the blind?"



Robert Acosta

When our President called upon the various State affiliates to send representatives to picket the NAC meeting which was to take place at the Prince George Hotel in New York City on December 10 and 11, 1972, NFB of California president Anthony Mannino sent a delegation of two: Robert Acosta, second vice-president of the NFB of California, and Donald Brown who serves on the executive committee.

On November 22, 1972, Dr. Jernigan received a letter of invitation inviting him to send two observers from the National Federation of the Blind who would be allowed to sit in on the two-day NAC meeting. Our representatives were Mr. John Taylor of Iowa and Dr. Patrick Peppe of New York City. This magnanimous gesture of NAC in allowing us to send two observers was in an effort to quell the brewing revolution of blind Americans against such undemocratic and unresponsive organizations as their own. It would be fitting to note at this time that other much smaller organizations claiming to represent the blind were also permitted to have two observers in attendance.

Although NAC stubbornly clung to its provincial stand which is "We know what is best for the blind," all of the efforts of the numerous blind people who were peacefully demonstrating on the streets around the hotel were by no means in vain. As Dr. Jacob Freid commented both at the beginning and at the conclusion of this momentous occasion, "Those of you who are here are making history and will always be remembered in the annals of the organized blind movement." He further commented, "Future generations of blind Americans will thank you for your efforts on their behalf." It was with this great feeling of pride that we blind Americans took to the streets in order to educate the public regarding the undemocratic nature of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped. For two days, waving our picket signs and handing out our leaflets explaining our stand against NAC, we took our message to the good people of New York. We did indeed make an impression upon New York, not to mention the NAC Board.

Representatives of the NFB were interviewed by three television stations, but our greatest moment occurred in the form of a two-hour interview by the staff of the New York Times, the leading newspaper in the country.

There were also many zany moments which threaded their way through our serious effort. After improperly hammering in a staple onto one of our picket signs, they threatened to replace me with a sighted guy. I believe that James Bond readers would take much heart at the way Don Morris, our chairman, discovered a spy in one of our strategy meetings. The spy was none other than Todd Handel, the son of the Executive Director of NAC, Alexander Handel. Our spy asserted that he was acting on his own accord, but he did admit that his father had placed him on the payroll for the duration of the weekend meeting. Everytime I ran into NFB Treasurer Franklin VanVliet, he handed me another thousand leaflets for distribution Both Don Brown and I tried to avoid him, but he always seemed to find us.

I must inform you of our efforts to contact a NAC Board member who resides in California. Upon reaching him at the hotel by telephone, we requested an interview with him so that we as blind consumers could speak with him about NAC. He stated that NAC was not his primary function and that he really didn't know much about the field of work for the blind. He then referred us to Mr. Alexander Handel. At this time, I would like to strongly encourage all of our great affiliates to urge their members to contact the NAC Board members who live in their states. (See August 1972 Monitor for the list of NAC Board members). We should invite them to our meetings and ask them to truly begin to listen to the wants and aspirations of blind consumers.

Finally, I would like to say that it was with great pride and humility that I tried to properly represent the thousands of blind people, not only in California, but across this nation. Both Don Brown and I did everything in our power to advance the cause of the Federation. We both urge all of you to keep the pressure on by asking your congressman to investigate the activities of NAC. NAC representatives have stated that by 1976 any agency which does not ask for accreditation by NAC will no longer receive Federal funds.

I would conclude by saying that it was a great thrill to again take to the barricades alongside the greatest warrior of us all. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, our national President. This is a time of decision for the blind of this nation. Either we submit meekly to the dictates of NAC or we decide to take our stand and fight for our right to determine our own destiny in America. In this struggle for survival always bear in mind the motto of the Federation: The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves.


Jonathan May, new Federationist from Connecticut:

As I have never been a demonstrator before, I find it a bit hard to compare our NFB protest against NAC with my conception of thousands of people filling the streets as in the anti-war movement. We were a small group, we were a determined lot, and I feel we made a definite impression on NAC and on a number of New Yorkers.

Although the barricades seemed thin in manpower in the raw wind of New York streets, when there were reporters around, or a TV crew, or at noon lunch hour, a group of marching NFBers were in full view and going strong. I am told New Yorkers are very news hungry people, and with the nature of our demonstration, we sure provided something for the appetite of many pedestrians who took plenty of leaflets. I answered a number of questions from people who were interested in what the NFB was trying to do and what was wrong with NAC. Although it is hard to tell how many pedestrians would comprehend the real issues expressed in our NFB leaflets, I think we did present a new image of blind persons to a number of sighted people. Instead of a few silent blind persons on a street corner with a "Lighthouse" collection canister, New Yorkers saw a disciplined, vocal group of mobile blind people, speaking for themselves, telling what they were doing and why.

Our demonstration did attract the press both Sunday and Monday. It does take considerable skill and hard work to erode the stereotyped image of the blind in the minds of many journalists. Monday afternoon, Roger Petersen from D. C. and Adrienne Asch of the Metropolitan NFB cornered some reporters from Challenge, a progressive newspaper, and when one of their reporters held my sign while I handed out more leaflets, I figured we had some new converts. I don't think the NAC people were able to counter the impact of our demonstration.

There was a mixture of both irritation and amusement as Alexander Handel's son, Todd, followed some Federationists around Uke a lost puppy dog. Miss New of NAC tried to present NAC's story to some reporters, but she was outgunned. On Fifth Avenue, she said, "But you really don't understand NAC," to which Roger Petersen quipped, "But you really don't understand the blind." Then off we went in a phalanx down Fifth Avenue for shots by photographers.

The demonstration was a great experience for me personally. It was a real opportunity to meet Federationists from all over the country: those who I had heard of and read about, and those who were new to the NFB as I am. I learned a lot about the NFB in other states, talking with Pat Peppe on coordination of white cane legislation among states, talking with Bob Acosta about teaching and NFB battles in California. I learned more about problems in sheltered shops and about abuses in the Cleveland Society. There was real fellowship and a sense of purpose among Federationists at the Prince George Hotel. Mixed with the cold and fatigue was an electric sense of excitement. There was tension and anxiety as the leaflets failed to show on Saturday afternoon, plus the problems of trying to pull in more demonstrators, Franklin VanVliet led the hammer brigade and rooms resounded with the noise of our placard assembling operation. Federationists in the rooms felt our "workshop" could be accredited because we weren't being paid any wages at all. Others wondered what people would think of our operation as we did not have a five year study culminating in a "Step By Step Guide For Assembling Signs." I understand that the NAC Board did not radically alter its philosophy but plans a study of consumer representation. It sounds like bureaucratic lethargy to me, but NAC should be feeling some heat.


Our official representatives report that, unlike the treatment accorded our President, they were received very courteously and even cordially. This NAC meeting ran true to form--it started late, extended the break for lunch, and adjourned early.

Our main interest, consumer participation, brought some of NAC's attitudes to the surface. NAC contends that since it only accredits agencies, NAC itself is not directly involved with decisions about or services to clients, and therefore client participation should not be in NAC but in the agencies who serve the blind.

Blind clients at accredited agencies will be glad to hear that the standards adopted by NAC really do not affect them at all--only the agency which serves them.

Boards of education set standards for curricula, buildings, and other functions of school districts--Do the members of the NAC Board contend that the decisions of school boards do not affect students who attend those schools?

School boards are elected and are responsible to their constituents. True the children, minors, do not have direct representation. Do the members of NAC contend that they stand in loco parentis [in place of parents] for these clients who are blind and are therefore unable to achieve the status of adults?

There are those who stand so far above the action that they mistake the clouds for the smoke of battle and so must conceive its events and conclusions on their own. So NAC. It busily designs standards, studies, and programs to improve its image of proper professionalism, but never mind the services or the clients.

In order to discover who these clients of agencies are, and whether agencies should have client advisory committees the NAC Board proposes to fund--if it can find a donor--a two-year, $90,000 project. Preliminary conferences and consultations would precede the actual study in order to come up with a proper "design." To aid in the discovery a motion was adopted to consult with clients who had received services to learn if the services had been satisfactory. One wonders how--and which--clients they are going to find. Why all the bother--Why don't they make a third of their board members of the organized blind--and save $90,000 and two years?

In line with his usual support of the blind and their aspirations Jacob Freid, Executive Director of the Jewish Braille Institute did yeoman work and made his facilities available for our use and participated in the press conference held on Monday. He wrote the following "Editor's Letter" for publication in the Institute's Jewish Braille Review.



Dr. Jacob Freid

Four of the readers of this magazine are members of the Executive Board of the Jewish Braille Institute of America which publishes this Jewish Braille Review. One of the four, Dr. Edwin Lewinson, Professor of American History at Seton Hall University is Vice-President of this agency. The others are Rami Rabby, founder of the NFB of Illinois and a distinguished industrial relations consultant; Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Detroit and the brilliant inventor of the Nemeth Braille Mathematics Code; and Dr. Jacob Twersky, Professor of History of the City University of New York and author. . .

I state the above because of a conversation I had at the annual convention of the New York State Federation of Workers for the Blind with members of our foremost agencies for the blind here in New York City concerning blind members on their boards. The answer was that there were none. This of course is prima facie evidence of the fact that our agencies are for, rather than of and by the blind. And this is the crux of the consumer problem in this work--the status of the blind in their relations with those who serve the blind and also set the standards for those who serve the blind.

Before equal status for the properly educated and trained blind can be achieved in the outside world it must be achieved in the inside world of the blind itself. Equality, like charity, begins at home, and equality is impossible without the liberty to attain it.

As for liberty, it is the courage to resist and the right to act so as to achieve the fullest potential to be what you are capable of being in a free society. But no society can be free that dictates the conditions that determine the direction of people's lives without their democratic participation in that determination. Else what we have is not democracy but tyranny; not a democracy of equal and free men, but of despots and helots, tyrants and slaves, autocrats and serfs. ... In such a society the watchword is Tennyson's yours "not to reason why" yours "but to do and die."

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison, the political philosophers of the Founding Fathers understood this against the background of history. To insure the conditions of freedom they and their compeers structured a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to guarantee the liberty of themselves and their posterity. That is why the right to be governed by representatives of their choice is a sine qua non of democracy. Then to make certain that the choices would be intelligent freedom of thought and conscience, the right to be informed through a free press and open communication were guaranteed in the Constitution so that the people would have the facts necessary to make a proper judgement on their selection of those who would represent them.

Since hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, dictators in a free society pay sham homage to democracy while poisoning the atmosphere so that democracy asphyxiates. The only way such a flim-flam can be pulled off is through secrecy: secret meetings and secret decisions in which the subjects have neither a say nor a role. Such secrecy shuts off the citizen's access to his decision-making role in the institutions that concern his life. This is a complete denial of the democratic process itself. Regulatory agencies often meet behind closed doors and taboo public hearings. If the meetings are secret then the prima facie presumption is that there is something that needs to be hidden from public scrutiny. What are the board members who hold such meetings hiding? What necessitates holding sessions in secret? What is it that can't be told? Is the setting of standards for the blind none of the business of the organized blind?

Doing the business of setting standards and making accreditation decisions in secret severs the link of accountability and participation between those who determine standards and grade performance and those for whose benefit ostensibly the standards are set.

Information is power, and secrecy is an instrument to keep that power out of the hands of the people. As John Gardner of Common Cause said: "What the people don't know they can't object to."

With secret decisions, secretly arrived at, the blind public is cut off from the thought processes and inside influences and log-rolling that determined the actions taken. Even the time and place of the meeting is a secret itself.

Of course any self-respecting group will challenge such a situation which relegates them to non-participants who have the right to applaud what others decide about them. A basic tenet of the democratic faith is the belief in equality of opportunity. The object has been to free the individual from discriminations of race, class or in this specific case, loss of sight, so that he can rise in society on his own merits.

By denying equal participation to the blind in determining standards for organizations working with the blind, we have the non-sequitur situation of hypocritically saying we are for the equality that in effect we are denying to the people striving for that equality. Judge them not by what they say but what they do. If NAC will not give an equal voice to the blind then it should be replaced by a standard-setting council that will give the blind such a voice. All else is a sham, a disgrace, and a bamboozle use of federal funds.


Congressional support and interest remain undiminished, and the desperate scrambling by NAC officials would indicate the effect is being felt. The following letters from Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri and Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida are typical of what is happening.


December 7, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Thank you very much for your recent letter and copies of your letter to Senator Pastore and Mr. Twiname's letter.

I am most concerned about the problems of NAC, and I shall be interested in the independent review of NAC which Mr. Twiname states he has initiated. I have written to Mr. Twiname expressing my interest and asking that he keep me advised as to the findings of the review. Perhaps further steps will need to be taken. If so, you may be sure of my willingness to investigate further.

With best wishes.

Very truly yours,

Thomas F. Eagleton
United States Senator



December 4, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Thank you for your recent letter advising me of your continued concern with the provision of Federal support for the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). I have given careful consideration to the points you have raised and would agree that this matter warrants further examination beyond the assurances of Mr. Twiname. The lack of involvement of the blind in NAC decision-making is a most serious matter.

In an effort to be of assistance, I have contacted Secretary Elliot L. Richardson to advise of my concern with this situation and my interest in a more thorough evaluation of NAC. I am hopeful the Secretary will give this matter his most careful consideration and will be pleased to advise you of his response as soon as it is received.

I appreciate this opportunity to be of service and look forward to writing you again in the near future.

With warmest regards, I am

Lawton Chiles


Having earlier offered to meet with the NFB to discuss consumer participation [see January 1973 Monitor] NAC president Peter Salmon apparently had second thoughts at the turn of events and tried to backpeddle.

For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped

December 5, 1972

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

Dear Ken:

Thank you for your letter of November 29, 1972. We shall be looking forward to having Mr. John Taylor and Dr. Patrick Peppe as our guests throughout the Board meeting.

In my letter of November 22 you will recall that I stated:

"Since the time available for consideration of any one item on a full Board agenda is quite limited, we suggest that, following your observers' opportunity to hear the presentation, you might wish to discuss the scope and structure of the proposed project at a meeting set up for that purpose. If so, we should be happy to arrange such a meeting."

Since the proposed project, like all NAC standard development, is to formulate and codify standards for use in the accreditation program for agencies providing direct services, we expect that this would be the focus of our meeting rather than as expressed in your letter.

Mr. Gerald Topitzer, our Research Associate who is developing the project proposal, would be glad to meet with your representatives even earlier than January if that is possible. He suggests any afternoon in the week of December 18. If that is not convenient, he suggests the afternoon of either January 3rd, 4th, or 5th.

We have no travel budget for the project since it is in the proposal stage at this time. We therefore hope that two or three of your representatives might be able to meet with Mr. Topitzer at our offices here.

We appreciate your offer of cooperation and we look forward to working with you.

Peter J. Salmon


December 12, 1972

Dr. Peter J. Salmon, President
National Accreditation Council
for Agencies Serving the Blind
and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10016

Dear Peter:

I have your letter of December 5, 1972, and I find it rather strange. You quite rightly quote from your letter of November 22, 1972, as follows:

Since the time available for consideration of any one item on a full Board agenda is quite limited, we suggest that, following your observers' opportunity to hear the presentation, you might wish to discuss the scope and structure of the proposed project at a meeting set up for that purpose. If so, we should be happy to arrange such a meeting.

From this language I quite naturally, it seems to me, assumed that NAC was willing to discuss with the National Federation of the Blind the question of consumer participation and that a special conference for that purpose would be called, In your letters of November 22 and December 5 you make it clear that a special meeting will be set up for the purpose of discussing participation with us if we wish to get together with you. I remind you that your own language is: "If so, we should be happy to arrange such a meeting." This certainly implies that the meeting is not already a surefire thing but that it will be arranged if we desire. Surely this is not a misreading or a twisting of what you said.

Further, what is it that we have been discussing with NAC all these years? It is consumer participation-and not just consumer participation for other agencies serving the blind-but consumer participation in the determination of the policies of NAC itself. Therefore, when you wrote to me in your capacity as NAC President to say that you would arrange (if we wished it) a meeting to discuss consumer participation, was it not (in the context of all that has occurred) reasonable for me to assume that you meant consumer participation in NAC?

It seems to me that your letter of December 5 is needlessly (but not deliberately, I hope) vague. What we of the organized blind movement want (and intend to have if we can get it) IS meaningful consumer participation in NAC and real reform of NAC: so that NAC is responsible in its behavior, constructive in its performance, and responsive to the wants and needs of the blind. I thought we had made this clear to you and that you were expressing some willingness (at long last) to talk to us about the matter, but now I wonder.

In the first place you tell me that a Mr. Topitzer (some sort of research associate, presumably) will meet with our representatives. You go on to say that you do not have money to send him to Chicago but that he will be glad to receive us at NAC's offices if we wish to come. I ask you: Is this posture reasonable, or calculated to bring good results?

We have not asked you to meet at our headquarters in Des Moines or at our Washington office, nor would it seem appropriate for us to meet at your offices in New York or at the headquarters of the American Foundation for the Blind. Some neutral ground would seem more fitting. We do not wish to become embroiled in the question of whether the table at which we sit is round, oval, or square. We do not wish to engage in the intricacies of double-talk and game playing. We do not wish to discuss policy matters with "research associates" or others who are unable to act at a policy level.

Therefore, let me try again to give you a clear response to your letter of November 22. We propose a meeting to be held in Chicago to discuss consumer participation in NAC and other agencies. We ask that this meeting be held as soon as possible and that the NAC representatives be Board members, people who can discuss policy meaningfully. Despite the fact that you have a budget of several hundred thousand dollars per year (much of it federal tax money), you imply that you cannot afford to send representatives to Chicago to meet with us. I have talked with a number of individual blind people (some of them drawing public assistance), who feel that a meeting of the type I have described is important. If you really cannot afford the money to send one or two of your principal people to Chicago to talk with us, these individual blind people have indicated to me that you can be assured that they will make up enough money among themselves to pay reasonable costs for your representatives to come to Chicago.

NAC either is or is not interested in talking to the organized blind about the issues we have raised. Top level NAC officials either will or will not meet with us for such a discussion. These are surely reasonably clear-cut issues. Therefore, I request once again that you follow through on your letter of November 22 and that a meeting be arranged in Chicago for the purposes indicated.

The National Federation of the Blind herewith offers to provide a comfortable meeting room and to make arrangements for accommodations. If, however, you are not agreeable to this, then the Federation would be willing to have a representative work with a NAC representative to make such arrangements. If this is still not agreeable, then we would be willing to work with you to see whether we could agree on a third party (sufficiently neutral and acceptable to all concerned) to make such arrangements. In any case I now ask you whether NAC will or will not do these things.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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E. U. Parker


Dr. Milton L. Baxter, Governor's Executive Assistant in charge of Education and Training started the Saturday (December 2, 1972) session off with a bang. He first discussed some of Mississippi's Governmental problems, emphasizing that the State, one of the poorest in the union, was being operated by one hundred twelve agencies. Dr. Baxter believes that efficiency can be increased and money saved by substantially reducing this number. He mentioned several ways in which expenses could be cut. He began to get the attention of his audience when he pointed out that the Services for the Blind were scattered into several different departments. He then pointed out that Mississippi had a higher percentage of blind people per population than anyone except Hawaii and the District of Columbia. When he began to propose solutions for the problems of the blind, some in his audience began to suspect that he must be an old line NFB member. He certainly expressed a portion of the Federation philosophy when he discussed more education and more special training for the blind. He further felt that the blind could and should be much more productive (and make much more money) if they were placed in better jobs. His three primary ideas were: (1) The blind must be trained to understand the attitude of the rest of the people so they could do more themselves to fit into the social and economic life of the community. (2) He felt that much improvement could be made in employment of the blind through minor modifications in jobs. (3) He finally said that the eventual solution of employment and acceptance of blind people by society depended on educating the blind and the sighted side by side from childhood.


Lt. Governor William F. Winter was scheduled for a 10:35 appearance. He telephoned that he would be delayed, and arrived just in time for lunch. Though a little late arriving, he (one of Mississippi's better orator's) elicited applause from his enthusiastic audience several times. He said that the concept that the blind are wards of the state must go, and that state government must be more responsive to the specialized needs of the blind.

Both Dr. Baxter and Lt. Governor Winter emphasized that it was necessary that special interest groups organize. They pointed out that the blind knew their needs and problems better than anyone else and should join and support the organized blind movement as there is simply no other way in our complex society today that anyone's needs can be called to the attention of government effectively. Lt. Governor Winter particularly emphasized that government, even on the state level was becoming big business. He said, "I understand that the blind of Mississippi have only organized this year. You people in this audience are to be congratulated on taking the first step. Let me urge you to support this worthy organization and make it an effective instrument to accomplish the worthy goals that you have set for yourself."


Dr. Robert L. Robinson, Commissioner State Department of Public Welfare, brought those present up to date on the changes in the Social Security law (HR-1) as they apply to the blind and visually handicapped.


Jim Omvig took the Lt. Governor's appointed time and brought the audience up to date on the activities of the National office. He described the latest development of the McDaniel group in their attack on the Iowa Commission and the NFB.


The National Federation Representative shared the platform with the Lt. Governor at the luncheon. He said that more and better paying jobs was an essential factor in advancing the cause of the blind. He even told the group how it was being done. Much Federation philosophy was apparent in his talk.


Jim Omvig made his final appearance for the day on the afternoon program. No, this time he only introduced NFB's well known president. President Jernigan gave a stem address on "Why I am a Federationist." This writer will not describe the speech, but strongly recommends that anyone who is having a convention or chapter meeting insist on borrowing the tape from the Des Moines office. You will not be sorry.


Breland Collier, a local member and an employee of Internal Revenue Service chaired an informative panel on employment opportunities. The star of this panel, other than Breland, was Bill Spigner, Counselor of the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo, Mississippi--where sixteen of the last thirty-two trainees have been placed in industrial jobs paying minimum wage or better. This is well above the average for Mississippi.


Hugh Barlow, NFB member and vending stand operator, chaired a panel on frustrations. This writer had to be absent for a few minutes so didn't learn what Hugh was frustrated about. Melba Barlow, wife of said Hugh, says that his frustrations are legion.

Clay Knighten, another local NFB member and medical transcriber talked about frustrations in finding employment and frustrations in dealing with the Division for the Blind in Mississippi.

Harvey Webb, president of NFB of Louisiana, described the frustrations of organizing a new state chapter. He made the subject very interesting even though Mississippi Federationists already knew a little about the subject.


The day was wound up in a regular business meeting in the filling of two positions on the Board of Directors. These two positions were filled by two outstanding men who will be a real asset to the Board. Sanford Keith of Jackson and Clifford Boyd of Laurel.

A great time was had by all.

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The fifteenth annual convention of the New Jersey Council of the Blind was held October 27-29, 1972 at the luxurious Empress Motel in Asbury Park, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with its golden sands, boardwalk, and many pavilions. Reservations zoomed in well in advance for the biggest and best convention the Council ever had.

At the Friday night hospitality hour, the weather outside was frightful, but the spirit inside was delightful. The arrival of the first vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind, Donald Capps, and his charming wife, added extra cheer to our gala event.

Saturday morning, we were greeted by a fleet of local Boy Scouts and Junior Women's Volunteers, to guide and assist the blind.

The opening session started promptly at 10:30 a.m., called to order by our president, George Burck. An invocation was given by the Reverend John Minola, and, immediately following, there was a warm welcome from Mayor Joseph Mattice of Asbury Park. It was fascinating to sit back and listen to the excellent yearly reports of the affiliated chapters and organizations on the progress and achievements, membership build-up, activities, and games, made by real good membership unity.

Our afternoon panelists were welcomed with enthusiasm and excellent attendance. A sound program given by the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company was unique with its unusual music, dating back to the first phonographs, along with animal and bird calls, which were narrated by a company representative. This was followed by a tax lesson from the New Jersey Tax Care Service Bureau, which proved beneficial, especially when we learned that they had a few blind people in their employ.

Mrs. Connie Mills, Supervisor of Volunteer Service for the Blind, attached to the New Jersey State Commission for the Blind, gave an explanatory talk on the latest services rendered to blind people in New Jersey--for better transportation, for shopping, visits to the doctor, and reading mail.

The banquet and dance were fully enjoyed by all. The guest speaker was Donald Capps of the NFB. Joseph Kohn, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Commission for the Blind, and his wife, were also present. Milford Force, co-chairman of the convention along with Mildred Piechata, was toastmaster. Door prizes were given out throughout the convention.

On Sunday, at 10:00 a.m., Council business went on as usual, with reports from the president, George Burck; minutes of the previous meeting; treasurer's report; and election of officers. Officers elected were George Burck, president; Milford Force, first vice-president; Martin Friedman, second vice-president; Mildred Tremple, secretary; and Raymond Taliaferro, treasurer.

Twelve resolutions were adopted by the convention, covering a wide variety of issues. There were resolutions proposing that the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired be removed from the umbrella Division of Public Welfare and be given divisional status within the Department of Institutions and Agencies; and that the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Visually Handicapped be required to have two blind persons on its advisory board. Two resolutions condemned threats to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand program which are seen in the Minority Business Concessions program and the "Postique" vending machines being introduced by the U. S. Postal Service. There was a resolution pledging to work to stop circulation of the American Foundation for the Blind's Step by Step Guide to Personal Management by Blind Persons. Other resolutions opposed the new Directory Assistance charge imposed by the phone company, supported tax relief for blind home owners, the expansion of public transportation, and the development of alternate techniques (as authorized in legislation

pending before the U. S. Congress). Other nationally directed resolutions opposed Senate bill 3446 authorizing Small-Business-Administration interest loans to sheltered shops since this would tend to alter the character of the shops from training facilities to permanent employers; called for the provisions of the national Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be extended to the blind; and resolved that participants in the pending White House Conference on the Handicapped be handicapped persons representing either themselves or organizations of handicapped persons.

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Shirley Lebowitz

[Editor's Note: This dish was named when Muzzy Marcelino last visited Connecticut.]


2 large eggplants
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 egg
1 can of Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Peel eggplant and cut into large chunks. Boil until tender, drain, and mash. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9" x 15" pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until browned on top.

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A charge that the takeover of welfare administration by the State in Massachusetts resulted in chaos because of improper preparation was made by U. S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Elliot L. Richardson. He said not enough was done to prepare for the transition of the welfare program because the State had no adequate data-processing system until this year. Richardson, a former Massachusetts Attorney General, said that if the Federal Government takes over the administration of welfare from the States (which it is scheduled to do now under the provisions of the 1 972 Amendments to the Social Security Act), there would be none of the problems that occurred in Massachusetts.

Controversial new welfare eligibility requirements involved in a New Jersey State-financed program to aid the "working poor" were upheld by a three-judge Federal Court in Trenton. Governor Cahill cut back the State's program last year after he was warned that its costs were growing to the point where his administration was faced with a major budget deficit. The program was created to help people who were not poor enough to qualify for assistance under Federal welfare programs but who, nevertheless, did need help. One cutback was to restrict aid for parents who were unmarried. The new rules were challenged by a number of welfare organizations and anti-poverty programs on the grounds that they discriminated against blacks in general, as well as unwed parents and their children. Although conceding the rules did "work more heavily against blacks than whites," the court rejected plaintiffs' arguments and said the State-imposed inequities were
constitutionally justified.

The Month's News, published by the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois, states: "Steve Benson reported on a symposium he attended in Chicago sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind on the subject of attitudes toward blindness. At the opening dinner session, the sighted professionals present were required to blindfold themselves and play at being the blind half of the sighted-blind relationship. As you can imagine, a good time was had by all, although one cannot help but wonder if those same professionals would have bubbled over with enthusiasm had they been required to suffer the real effects of society's attitudes toward blindness, namely, unemployment, under-employment, exclusion from the housing and accommodation of one's choice, segregation of recreational facilities, to mention but a few. Yet, this ludicrously irrelevant display of professional gimmickry at the opening dinner might have been forgiven if the idle and playful atmosphere of the dinner session had not overflowed into the subsequent "workshop" sessions, which, after two days, concluded with no well-defined and philosophically sound action program which the Foundation might follow. Instead, the American Foundation for the Blind continues, in its radio and television spots, to reinforce prejudicial public attitudes toward the blind by depicting blindness as an unmitigated and catastrophic affliction, a Living death, which only the superblind can survive."

Also from Illinois comes word of the fourth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois which was held in Rockford, Illinois in August. Elected as officers of the affiliate were: John Myers of Chicago, president; Norman Bolton of Rockford, first vice-president; Robert Greenberg of Chicago, second vice-president; Camille Myers of Chicago, secretary; David Carroll of Lansing, treasurer; and as board members: Gloria Cusenza of Chicago, Michael Cramer of Chicago, Rami Rabby of Evanston, and Richard Glover of Rockford.

From the Newsletter, publication of the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped, we take the following: "Old Age Around the World. A one-year study of the aged around the world discovered: Scandinavia offers cradle-to-grave security with numerous fringe benefits. Denmark gives the elderly good pensions for which they paid during work years, plus a number of free services. In Vienna, a gerontocracy where the aged represent thirty-six per cent of the population, forty-five-year-olds actually gray their hair to gain status. Italy is unique in the custom of the mother taking charge over family affairs. Older parents still are consulted on such major choices as a new mate or a job. In Japan, 'senior citizens' would be translated into 'most honorable superior.' The older one gets, the deeper the bows from one's subordinates."

From the newsletter of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind comes this news:

"Daniel Kealoha, a totally blind vending stand operator, submitted the winning entry in the 'Name-A-Paper' contest. The Hawaii Federation of the Blind Newsletter is now named The Probe. Danny wins two steak dinners at the Beef & Grog Restaurant in Waikiki for his winning entry. Congratulations, Dan."

Jim and Arlene Gashel one recent Sunday gave a "Monitor Meal" for some friends, including the NFB President and his wife, Mr.& Mrs. Kenneth Jernigan. The menu consisted of dishes whose recipes had been published in The Monitor: Sacramento casserole, lamb and rice casserole, broccoli lima bake, corn bread, fruit salad, and Tennessee dessert.

Copies of a new and expanded edition of the Medicare leaflet, "How to Claim Medical Insurance Benefits,” are available upon request from the local Social Security office. This is particularly timely since now, under the 1972 Amendments to the Social Security Act, beneficiaries of disability insurance can be covered with Medicare even though they are
under sixty-five years of age, after they have received disability benefits for twenty-four consecutive months.

The Seeing Eye has trained its six-thousandth dog guide, according to the school's quarterly publication, The Seeing Eye Guide. Established in 1929, the Seeing Eye, Morristown, New Jersey, is the country's oldest dog guide school. More than 3,600 blind men and women have received one or more dogs during the forty-three years of its existence.

The effect of the Allied Services Act--a proposed milestone in the social welfare field--is being pretested by twenty social-services demonstration projects. The total cost of the twenty HEW projects will be $3,270,587, contributed by the Social and Rehabilitation Service, the Health Services, Mental Health Administration, the Office of Education, and the Office of Child Development. In the background of the demonstration projects is the knowledge that people who need to overcome dependency or avoid institutionalization frequently receive fragmented help rather than the range of coordinated services they require. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has more than two hundred separate health, education, and welfare programs, many of which operate through State and local governments. The Department is seeking to increase the coordinated delivery of these services at the local level, an objective that the Act also promotes. In a special message to the Congress last May urging passage of the Allied Services Act, President Nixon said that it would correct the situation whereby "a compassionate government unwittingly created a bureaucratic jungle that baffles and shortchanges many citizens in need."

William B. (Bowie) Taylor of Vernon, Texas died on October 19, 1972, survived by his widow Gladys. Bowie worked at several jobs but was never too busy at earning his livelihood that he could not help others either monetarily or spiritually. He and Gladys were married in 1949 and cast their lot with the organized blind movement. In 1957 Bowie and Gladys were instrumental in organizing the Houston Council of the Blind which at that time was associated with the now-defunct Lone Star Federation of the Blind. The Lone Star Federation evolved into the Blue Bonnet Federation of the Blind and in 1971 became the NFB of Texas. The Houston Council survived the many wars and Bowie was a guiding and moving force in keeping the Council intact and active in the organized blind movement and in the National Federation of the Blind. Bowie is gone, but he will not be forgotten because the NFB of Texas in convention in November, 1972 voted to create a William B. Taylor Memorial Building Fund. His influence in the organized blind movement will be felt for many years to come.

In speaking to members of the NFB of Kansas recently, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, President of the NFB, said that blind persons are beginning to dare to stand up for their rights as normal human beings--in the courts and in other ways. He told of several lawsuits the NFB is bringing to assist blind persons. President Jernigan said an old proverb is appropriate in viewing the potential of blind persons: "Treat a man like what he can become and that's what gives him the confidence to develop."

Vincent Reed of Linglestown, Pennsylvania, a Monitor reader, writes that it was with great excitement he read about the forthcoming National Convention being held in New York. He is totally blind and his wife is sighted. Eight years ago he bought a Braille visitors guide book from the New York Association of the Blind which he believes to be an invaluable book to have for those who plan to visit New York City. From this guide he carefully chose two or three places to visit each day. "Without a doubt, the highlight of our visit was the boat ride around Manhattan Island. Each point of interest is explained in detail. This gives the ferry boat trip around the island a mental picture and concept of the entire city."

Geer Wilcox, newly re-elected president of the NFB of Michigan, writes that he and his wife Kerry now have a little girl, born in September. "We call her Kate," writes the new father. And, halfway around the globe, Warren and Julia Toyama of the Hawaii Federation of the Blind recently adopted a six-month-old baby girl from Japan. Her name is Joy Nami. And finally, Hazel tenBroek acquired her fifth grandchild early in December when daughter Anna Carlotta was delivered of her second son, Norman.

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