THE BRAILLE MONITOR

Voice of the
National Federation of the Blind

JANUARY -1973

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

 

THE BRAILLE MONITOR

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

THE BRAILLE MONITOR
JANUARY, 1973

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PARTIAL VICTORY IN THE NAC BATTLE--AND THE BEAT GOES ON
by Kenneth Jernigan

NFB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS

LETTER FROM A REHAB CLIENT--SERVICE OR SERVITUDE
by Kenneth Jernigan

THE NO NAME NEWS

DISASTER AVERTED IN VENDING STAND PROGRAM--GSA BACKS DOWN

MORE ON THE CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND

ROUNDUP OF STATE CONVENTIONS

CALIFORNIA
by Robert Acosta

COLORADO
by John W. Bear

CONNECTICUT
by Shirley Lebowitz

IDAHO

INDIANA
by Robert Lancaster and Jean Wagner

MARYLAND
by John T. McCraw

MASSACHUSETTS
by Rosamond M. Critchley

NEVADA
by John Tait

OHIO
by Shirley Stowe

PENNSYLVANIA
by Charles Lichtenwalner

WEST VIRGINIA
by Ed McDonald

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
by Harvey Webb

MONITOR MINIATURES

 

PARTIAL VICTORY IN THE NAC BATTLE--AND THE BEAT GOES ON

by
Kenneth Jernigan

At the Chicago Convention last summer I gave you a report on the activities of NAC during the preceding twelve months, and we determined to do our utmost to reform it or kill it. Much has happened since that time, and our efforts have begun to bear fruit.

As you know, we asked Mr. Twiname at the Convention to investigate NAC to see whether HEW could justify continuing to give it Federal grants. Under date of July 31, 1972, I followed up with a letter to him formally stating our position and calling for action. I also sent every member of Congress a complete set of documentation concerning NAC along with a cover letter. In the meantime Federationists and their friends throughout the country began to swing into action by making contacts with their Congressmen and
Senators. The letters reprinted in the November, 1972 Monitor show just how effective the campaign has been. Members of Congress have been asking questions and demanding explanations. They are continuing to do so.

Apparently HEW developed a standardized letter defending NAC. With only slight variations it has been sent to many Congressmen and Senators, sometimes over Mr. Twiname's name and sometimes over the name of one or another of his subordinates. In order that you may see the line HEW is taking I am reprinting (following this article) Mr. Twiname's letter to Senator Pastore dated October 27, 1972. It is typical. I am also reprinting the follow-up letter which I wrote to Senator Pastore commenting on Mr. Twiname's remarks. Copies of these letters have now been sent to every member of Congress.

I should go back a bit to comment on the NAC Board meeting which was held June 24, 1972, at Miami Beach. I did not attend that meeting, but I was a member of the NAC Board at the time it was held. It was not until our July Convention in Chicago that I gave any indication that I was no longer part of NAC. Accordingly, by all rules that usually govern civilized behavior and parliamentary procedure, I should have been sent an official copy of
the Minutes of the June 24 meeting.

Such was not the case. I had to secure the Minutes by circuitous means, but I got them. Even though they're full of the usual wordiness and trivia which characterizes NAC proceedings, they are worth studying. They are printed later in this issue of The Monitor. In view of the shallow reasoning and shameful admissions I suppose one could hardly blame the NAC officials for trying to withhold their Minutes.

Of particular interest is a passage which appears in the Minutes in the Report of the Long Range Planning Committee and which reads as follows:

2. Do we have a definition of "consumer" to guide us in achieving the goals relating to increased consumer participation? Answer: Yes, such definition was developed by the committee. It includes not only blind persons and potentially blind persons but the agencies and professionals who utilize NAC's standards, and the general public that supports services for the blind and therefore is a kind of "consumer" of NAC's standards. The goals in the plan refer to development of standards for consumer participation in local agencies for the blind and visually handicapped. However, NAC, as a matter of policy, operates in accordance with its own standards.

There is so much that one could say about this garbled double talk and foolish sophistry that it is hard to know where to begin. Should one, for instance, start by questioning the bizarre definition of a "consumer" or would it be better simply to let it all pass with the remark "Good golly. Miss Molly!"

Also of interest is the part of the Minutes dealing with appeals from decisions of the Commission on Accreditation by agencies which have been denied accreditation. In the talk about "swearing witnesses" and similar matters, the usual NAC arrogance and notions of self-importance manifest themselves. After all, NAC is not a court or an official body, just a private group appointed some years ago by the American Foundation for the Blind.

From the very beginning of my association with NAC, I have been struck by one thing. Over and over one cannot help drawing a parallel with George Orwell's 1984. The passage on open meetings and "admission of observers" which appears in the NAC Minutes can only be described in the Orwellian terms of "double think" and "new speak." There is simply no other way. How else, for instance, could one interpret the following:

The committee members noted five points which led them to conclude that NAC Board meetings should not be open to general observers.

The committee further recommended a general policy of openness for NAC.

The Board meetings should not be open to general observers, so NAC has thereby adopted a policy of "openness." These amazing statements are followed by this:

Judge Robrahn stated that he agreed with the recommendations and that he would be prepared to vote favorably on the report.

It was ever thus with the American Council of the Blind.

The real trouble with NAC is that it seems to be totally unable to accept the fact that blind persons are responsible human beings and that they are citizens. It talks of permitting people to make special appearances before the Board if they have "valid business" to discuss [see NAC Minutes]. But who is to determine what is "valid?" Presumably the NAC Board. This is what the razzle-dazzle was about in the beginning. As the song says, "When will they ever learn?"

The rest of the comments on "admission of observers" are of about the same caliber. We are reprinting the entire set of these incredible Minutes so that you can see whether quotations have been taken out of context. Let every blind person and every friend of the blind read carefully and well and ponder the significance.

It was no easy task to learn the time and the place of the December, 1972, NAC Board meeting. Probably it had something to do with NAC's "openness." The letters of inquiry from the Congressmen doubtless helped. Typical is the following from Congressman Phillip Burton of California dated September 15, 1972:

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515

September 15, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Twiname:

In my letter of August 29, 1972, I asked you why Federal funds were being used to finance the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC), when it acts so prejudicially against blind persons and excludes them from its meetings and deliberations.

I have given further thought to this deplorable situation and am now considering having a member of my staff attend future meetings of the NAC Board of Directors, that is, unless a Congressman's assistant would also be excluded from such meetings.

Will you please advise me as soon as possible, the place and date of the next meeting of the NAC Board? Will you also see that I am notified of the place and time of all future NAC Board meetings?

Your prompt attention to this request would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

/s/
PHILLIP BURTON
Member of Congress

--------------

Dr. Peter Salmon, new president of NAC, responded to Congressman Burton under date of October 16, 1972:

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COUNCIL
For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N. Y. 10016

October 16, 1972

Honorable Phillip Burton
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Burton:

Mr. John Twiname has been kind enough to forward to us your letter about the National Accreditation Council which we have just received. We appreciate your interest in our work and your desire to have more first-hand information about it.

Accordingly, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Council, I am happy to extend an invitation to you to attend the next meeting of the Board which will be held in New York City starting with dinner on the evening of Sunday, December 10, 1972, and continuing with a full day business session on Monday the 11th. If you would prefer to have your assistant attend in your place, we should be pleased to extend an invitation to the person you designate. Details of the time and place will be provided to you as soon as they are determined.

In order to make your attendance at our Board meeting as helpful to you as possible, we hope you will let us know what matters you wish to raise with the Board so we may schedule ample time on the agenda.

Since the Council was the concept of a group of blind and sighted persons, we naturally share your concern that the voices of the blind should be heard. We do not have a quota for the number of blind persons on the Board; at present, as you will see from the enclosed annotated list, six of the thirty-one Board members are blind. Of the six, three are members of the Executive Committee. Blind persons also have been and are involved at all stages of the development and revisions of the standards that the Council administers.

Because of our common concerns, I should like very much to have an opportunity to give you or your assistant information about the Council in detail and in depth. I realize that you may be quite busy between now and November 7 but I hope it may be possible for you to meet with one or two members of our Board and me soon after that date. I'll take the liberty of calling your office regarding an appointment.

Incidentally, Norman Lourie of our Board tells me that he is sorry he did not know of your interest in NAC when he met with you last week. He would have been happy to have answered any questions you might have had at that time.

I enclose materials about NAC that may be helpful to you and I look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future.

All good wishes.

Sincerely,

/s/
Peter J. Salmon

cc: San Francisco office; Mr. Twiname

--------------

Also helpful was an inquiry as to the time and place of the NAC meeting from Dr. Jacob Freid, director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America. When I talked with Dr. Freid, he indicated he would do all he could to help, and he did.

Even NAC has a breaking point somewhere. Under date of November 22, 1972, I received the following letter from Dr. Peter Salmon:

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COUNCIL
For Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped
79 Madison Avenue New York, N. Y. 10016

November 22, 1972

Mr. Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
218 Randolph Hotel
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Ken:

The Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped will hold its semiannual meeting on Sunday evening, December 10, 1972, and Monday, December 11, in New York City.

You are cordially invited to send an observer, or, if you wish, two observers (the size of the meeting rooms does not permit us to invite a large number of guests) to attend this meeting. The Sunday evening session will be an informal dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Georgian Room, main floor. Hotel Prince George, 14 East 28th Street. Your representatives would be our guests at this session. The second session will be held starting at 9 a.m. Monday in the Williamsburg Room of the hotel, on the second floor.

The agenda will include an interim report on plans for the scope and structure of a project to formulate standards for consumer participation in agency policies, program development and service delivery. We believe that this interim report may be of interest to you and we hope it will provide a basis for future comments and suggestions from your representatives. 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.

Board discussion of the project plan is expected to begin about 10 a.m. However, we should be pleased to have your observers come at 9 a.m. and remain throughout the meeting if they desire. We also invite them to be our guests at the sandwich luncheon which will be served between the morning and afternoon sessions. Adjournment will be not later than 3:30 p.m.

We hope it will be possible for the representatives of your organization to attend this meeting as observers. In order to help us in our planning we should appreciate knowing whether we may expect one representative or two and whether we may expect them for dinner and for luncheon.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
/s/
Peter J. Salmon

-------------

This, of course, represented a major breakthrough. Apparently we will have observers after all. However, we must not lose perspective. It is not merely the admission of "observers" which we have been seeking but meaningful reform of the whole NAC structure and concept. Accordingly, I replied to Dr. Salmon under date of November 29, 1972 as follows:

November 29, 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:

This will reply to and thank you for your letter of November 22, 1972, inviting the organized blind movement to send two observers to the NAC meeting to be held in New York City December 10-11. We accept your invitation, and our observers will plan to be present for the dinner meeting on Sunday evening and the entire session on Monday. We are
interested in the total range of NAC's activities, not merely the matter of consumer participation.

The two observers will be: Mr. John Taylor and Dr. Patrick Peppe. Mr. Taylor is a former president of the National Federation of the Blind and one of the leaders of the organized blind movement. He is Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Dr. Peppe is one of the leaders of the blind in New York State and has made valuable contributions to the movement at the national level. He is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York.

The National Federation of the Blind feels that your letter officially inviting us to send observers to the NAC meeting is a breakthrough. We are only sorry that it required so much Congressional and other correspondence and action to achieve this modest result and that it involved such acrimony. Be that as it may, we feel that this action by you as NAC President constitutes a positive step. We now officially say to NAC that we would like to have observers present at all future meetings, and we hope there will be no problem with this request.

As you know, we the blind have a number of concerns regarding NAC. We feel that a sizeable number of the Board members should be consumer representatives. By this we do not mean blind persons selected by NAC--persons who may or may not represent constituencies. We mean persons who are chosen by large representative organizations of the blind to speak for them. In fact, we seek from NAC recognition of the principle that a consumer representative must truly represent consumers--that is, be elected by them, subject to recall by them, and responsible to them.

Further, we seek a reexamination of NAC's policy of "voluntary" accreditation. It is our opinion (and we believe the documentation supports it) that NAC acts to compel agencies and organizations to undergo its accreditation process or face reprisals. We believe this is wrong, especially in view of the fact that the standards established by NAC do not truly reflect good service or good performance.

Finally, we believe that NAC must alter its criteria for evaluating agencies. It should take into account the actual impact of the agency on the lives of its clients and its effectiveness in meeting its goals. It should certainly not accredit a sheltered shop, for instance, which pays sub-minimum wages or denies its workers the rights of collective bargaining and normal grievance procedures.

Of course, NAC has only succeeded in getting a minority of the agencies in the field to apply for accreditation to the present time. However, the regrettable fact is that a high percentage of those which have been accredited are generally considered by the blind as among the worst in the field. This certainly indicates something about the standards and the method of accreditation.

NAC should recognize that it is a social action group, whether it will or no, and that its very failure to deal with certain issues is a type of social action.

In short, while we applaud your positive step of inviting the organized blind to have two observers at your meeting, we wish to make it clear that our desire to reform NAC is undiminished. We feel that NAC must be truly responsive to the needs of consumers and that it must bring its practices into conformity with the realities of present day situations concerning the blind. We shall continue to press for these reforms until we have achieved them, but we shall also hope and seek to cooperate with you in every way possible to bring real improvement to the field of services to the blind.

In your November 22 letter you say that you would be happy to arrange a meeting with representatives of the National Federation of the Blind to discuss the nature and scope of consumer participation, presumably with respect to NAC itself, as well as agencies for the blind in general. The Federation officially accepts this offer and asks you to suggest a time for such discussion. We would propose that the meeting be held in Chicago sometime shortly after the first of the year but would be willing to consider alternative proposals as to time and place.

Thank you for writing to me. I shall wait to hear from you further.

Very truly yours,
/s/
Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

------------

It remains to be seen how our observers will be treated and what will be required to achieve further progress. One thing is certain: We will not stop until we have reached the goal. Further, we will have powerful allies to help us. In this connection consider the following letter from Congressman Carl Perkins of Kentucky, dated November 21, 1972:

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Committee on Education and Labor
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

November 21, 1972

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

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

Thank you for your letters regarding the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped. I am concerned as you are that the NAC become more representative of those it is designed to serve. When the 93rd Congress begins, you can be sure that I will cooperate with all of the Members of Congress who wish to take some specific action in order to correct this unfortunate situation.

Sincerely,
/s/
Carl D. Perkins
Chairman

------------

The struggle against NAC which lies ahead of us will be difficult and sometimes unpleasant, but we can and will prevail. The stakes are too high to permit any other alternative. We as blind people have had a taste of freedom, and we like it. We have also had a belly full of second-class citizenship and meek submission to the custody of repressive agencies. Those who think otherwise have only themselves to blame for the consequences. The warning has been clearly given.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE

Oct. 27, 1972

Honorable John O. Pastore
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Senator Pastore:

As you know from Secretary Richardson's reply (dated August 16) to your letter of August 3, he has asked us to give you a report of the current status of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). Please accept my apology for the delay in getting this response to you.

Since the inception of NAC, the Social and Rehabilitation Service has been one of the sponsors of this effort to increase the quality of services to blind persons throughout the nation. Including the current grant, our agency has provided financial assistance in the total amount of $566,000 spread over the past five years, matched by an equal amount from other resources. Like other accrediting efforts in the field of education and health, required financial assistance through our agency will decrease until NAC is self-supporting through private resources and fees from membership and accreditation. The overall plan for an accrediting base for public and private agencies, rehabilitation facilities and schools serving blind persons began with the establishment of standards for the different phases of work for the blind.

Following the initial stages of development, an organization was officially established for the purpose of serving as the accrediting agency applying the standards previously mentioned. It should be emphasized that accreditation is a voluntary process. Detailed methods and procedures for self-evaluation, on-site review, and other pertinent information regarding accreditation procedures are contained in the brochure entitled "The Why/What/How of Accreditation in Services to the Blind and Visually Handicapped," copy enclosed. NAC is continually adding new facets to these methods and procedures.

In 1971, NAC became the first accrediting body in the field of special education to receive official recognition from the U. S. Commissioner of Education and to be included in the Commissioner's listing of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies. This decision was made following an exhaustive review of NAC's standards and methods. Under a current contract the Commissioner of the Office of Education has authorized Brookings Institution to evaluate the 45 national accrediting groups used by the Office of Education. NAC, of course, is included in this study. The 44 schools and agencies now accredited headed by highly respected leaders in the field provide services for at least 75,000 blind children and adults.

Mr. Jernigan raised the point that there is not enough consumer representation on the NAC Board of Directors. Of the current 31 members, 6 are blind. Mr. Jernigan feels that since most of these individuals are administrators of agencies serving the blind, they do not speak for the rank-and-file interests of the blind. The remaining 25 members represent a wide variety of expertise in education, business, labor, ophthalmology, and other technical experience encompassing areas of knowledge, which are essential for reviewing large multifaceted organizations. Nevertheless, the NAC Board recognizes the need for greater consumer representation. From our inquiry, we learned that NAC has been studying the problem in order to develop a membership distribution that will include a larger number of consumers without creating an imbalance on the Board.

The second major issue dealt with in the August publication of The Braille Monitor, concerned the presence of observers at Board meetings. This question was considered at the NAC board meeting last June. The following is a verbatim quote from a resolution adopted by the Board:

". . . That, although the Board meetings are not open for general observance by non-Board members, every reasonable consideration be given to requests for special purpose appearances at or presentations to meetings of the Directors of the National Accreditation Council."

From the foregoing it seems clear that arrangements can be made for observers and for discussion of pertinent issues by non-Board members.

We appreciate Mr. Jernigan's concern and are grateful for the work done by the National Federation of the Blind on behalf of blind persons throughout the country. The Social and Rehabilitation Service will continue to monitor, through periodic site visits, the activities of NAC as it does those of all grantees. In addition, I am initiating an independent review of those issues raised by Mr. Jernigan in order to satisfy any doubts that NAC continues to be worthy of HEW support.

Sincerely yours,

John D. Twiname
Administrator

------------

November 3, 1972

The Honorable John O. Pastore
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Senator Pastore:

Mr. John Twiname, Administrator, Social and Rehabilitation Service, has been kind enough to send me a copy of his letter to you of October 27, 1972; and I would like to make some comments about it. Mr. Twiname has shown not only a willingness to talk with representatives of the National Federation of the Blind about problems but a positive interest in doing so. He has been uniformly courteous and considerate.

However, in the matter of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) he is in a tough spot, one in which I suspect he feels some dilemma. NAC came into being before he assumed his present duties. HEW has now put almost $600,000 into its operation. Mr. Twiname probably never heard of NAC (or, if so, only casually) until last July. Now he finds that serious charges are being made against it.

As a just and honorable man but also one who wants to avoid trouble and get along peaceably in the world, what is he to do? If he admits that the charges are true (and I assure you they are), then he is also compelled to admit that over a half million dollars of federal money has been worse than wasted. It has been used to hurt the very people it was supposedly appropriated to help. Further, he will then be pushed toward taking remedial action. This will cause unhappiness in high places and lead to unpleasantness. It will raise many embarrassing questions.

On the other hand, if he evades or covers up, then his conscience (for I am truly convinced he has one) will trouble him, especially in the wee hours of the morning and at other times when he is alone-not only that, but we the blind of the nation will do what we can to reform or eliminate NAC. This will inevitably cause Mr. Twiname trouble. I sympathize with Mr. Twiname's dilemma, and I would not willingly cause him pain or problem. However, some of the statements in his letter cannot go unanswered, and NAC cannot be permitted to continue to ride roughshod over the blind, regardless of how powerful its members may be or how respectable its credentials.

In his October 27 letter Mr. Twiname says, concerning accreditation by NAC: "It should be emphasized that accreditation is a voluntary process." I tell you that this statement is simply not in accord with the facts. The documentation which I sent to you and other members of Congress last summer will prove the truth of my statement. Mr. Twiname has not tried to answer the claims made in that documentation--for a good reason; he can't. Technically the accreditation is voluntary. Actually it is blatantly and increasingly imposed. This would not be so bad if the standards were reasonable and if they were really anything like a consensus in the field. Mr. Twiname has told you that accreditation is voluntary. I have told you that it is not. It should not be difficult to determine the facts.

In his October 27 letter' Mr. Twiname says: "In 1971, NAC became the first accrediting body in the field of special education to receive official recognition from the U. S. Commissioner of Education and to be included in the Commissioner's listing of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies. This decision was made following an exhaustive review of NAC's standards and methods." I sat in the NAC Board meetings and heard the talk as to how the influence could be brought to bear to achieve this recognition. I do not dispute the fact that the recognition was achieved, but I do dispute the implication as to how it was achieved and what it signifies. An inquiry into the matter and a review of the documentation which I sent to you and other members of Congress would certainly shed light on the subject.

In his October 27 letter Mr. Twiname says that six of the thirty-one NAC Board members are blind. He uses this to show that NAC has consumer representation and goes on to say that NAC is "studying" increased consumer participation. The truth is that the blind representation on NAC is tokenism. The NAC Board was undemocratically selected to begin with, and it is a self-perpetuating Board. From the beginning it has been made clear that any blind person on the Board was there in a private capacity and not as the representative of any group or organization. This point has been emphasized so very much and so very often that I believe that even the NAC leaders will not deny it. In truth and in fact the blind as a group have no meaningful voice in NAC, even though it makes vital decisions concerning their lives and even though they have repeatedly sought such voice.

In his October 27 letter Mr. Twiname deals with the issue of NAC's closed Board meetings. Despite the documentation which I presented to him, he says to you: ". . . it seems clear that arrangements can be made for observers and for discussion of pertinent issues by non-Board members." Some might say that this statement by Mr. Twiname is nothing short of astounding. What the blind want (and what they intend to have if they can get it) is not complicated double-talk from NAC about "special appearances and presentations" but the right to have observers at NAC Board meetings. This request would not seem difficult to understand, unreasonable, or mysterious. At the same time NAC is talking about how open it wants to be and that Mr. Twiname is making his reassuring statements, the blind are having trouble even learning the place and details of the next NAC meeting.

In July and again in September I officially asked Mr. Twiname to get and let me know the details of the time and place of the next NAC meeting. I frankly told him that I intended to tell other representatives of the organized blind and that blind people would be present to seek admission as observers. They sought such admission at the December, 1971, NAC meeting, and they were refused admittance. This was done despite the fact that they only asked to have two observers sit in the meeting and that they promised that the observers would not say a single word or create a disturbance of any kind. NAC responded by keeping a staff member outside the door during the entire day to watch over the blind and bar them from entrance. Federal money was used to finance a meeting from which taxpaying citizens (citizens directly affected by the actions being taken) were excluded. This is not right, and it is not reasonable.

I have commented on Mr. Twiname's letter in the hope that you and other members of Congress will not permit the NAC situation to continue unchanged. NAC has influential Board members; it has federal money; and it has prestige. But it does not have right or justice or the support of the blind. Mr. Twiname says he is making an independent study of NAC. I hope that he will not take the easy way out, that he will not gloss over or simply turn away and pretend that he does not see. I hope that the members of Congress will not let federal money continue to be used to hurt the very blind people it is appropriated to help.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind
cc: Mr. John Twiname

------------

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

MINUTES

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

June 24, 1972
Miami Beach, Florida

Present: Arthur L. Brandon, presiding             Richard E. Hoover, M.D.
Jack W. Birch                                                       Joseph Jaworski
Robert S. Bray                                                      Douglas C. MacFarland
Kenneth W. Bryan                                               Richard H. Migel
Robert M. Buckley                                              Morton Pepper
Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell                                    Daniel D. Robinson
Mrs. Claire W. Carlson                                       Reese H. Robrahn
J. Kenneth Cozier                                                Peter J. Salmon
John W. Ferree, M.D.                                         Geraldine T. Scholl
Donald W. Flynn                                                  Frederick G. Storey
Robert C. Goodpasture                                      Warren Thompson
Huntington Harris                                                McAllister Upshaw
James G. Haughton, M.D.                                  J. Max Woolly

Staff: Douglas E. Inkster, Huesten Collingwood, Anne L. New

The meeting was called to order by the president at 9:20 a.m.

Financial Report

Mr. Robinson as treasurer reminded the Board that budgets on three levels had been approved by the Board in December 1971 for the year 1972. The third, or minimum operating budget, of $276,000 requires that $24,500 should be raised in addition to funds already pledged or expected. However, the Board should bear in mind that its fund-raising goal for 1972 is about $100,000 more.

Expenditures for the first five months of 1972 amounted to $94,624.29 or less than 5/12ths of the minimum operating budget.

It was moved by Dr. Ferree, seconded by Mr. Thompson that the financial report be accepted.

CARRIED

Report of the Program Support Committee

Mr. Pepper, chairman of the committee, summarized the report given to the Annual Meeting the day before. The report stressed the establishment of a bequest program to provide long-range basic support for NAC and announced plans to develop a National Leadership Committee to interpret the values of accreditation and to obtain broader financial support for NAC. Mr. Pepper also announced the appointment of Anthony Kohut as staff associate
for development.

Mr. Cozier inquired as to whether the Program Support Committee has a fund-raising plan and also whether a mail campaign was planned for approaching corporations.

Mr. Pepper replied that the committee does have a plan and that the approach to corporations is primarily through personal contact--visits to executives in charge of corporate donations and luncheons such as that held in New York in October. All contacts will, of course, be followed up in writing.

It was moved by Mr. Pepper, seconded by Mr. Robinson, that the report of the Program Support Committee be accepted.

CARRIED

Report of the Long Range Planning Committee

Mr. Robinson, co-chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee, reviewed the material which had been sent in advance to all Board members. Since all members received copies, it will not be summarized here.

The following questions were raised in connection with the plan:

1. Won't the proportion of time spent on maintaining accreditation increase more than is shown on the chart which accompanied the plan?

Answer: Yes, eventually, when NAC reaches a period in which a large number of reaccreditations will come due in any one year. This should show up more after 1977.

2. Do we have a definition of "consumer" to guide us in achieving the goals relating to increased consumer participation?

Answer: Yes, such definition was developed by the committee. It includes not only blind persons and potentially blind persons but the agencies and professionals who utilize NAC's standards, and the general public that supports services for the blind and therefore is a kind of "consumer" of NAC's standards. The goals in the plan refer to development of standards for consumer participation in local agencies for the blind and visually handicapped. However, NAC, as a matter of policy, operates in accordance
with its own standards.

It was moved by Mr. Goodpasture, seconded by Mr. Jaworski, that the report of the Long Range Planning Committee be adopted with commendation of the committee for an outstanding job.

CARRIED

Mr. Goodpasture further stated that he felt the Long Range Plan is the most important document for the future of NAC since the adoption of the COMSTAC Report.

Mr. Robinson noted that any plan is a planning process, not a fixed framework. It provides flexibility because it enables the agency to look ahead and make adjustments. In order to be effective there must be a way to update the plan regularly. This might be accomplished through staff work and the regular meeting of the Executive Committee and Board.

Mrs. Carlson stated that she felt regular review of the Long Range Plan should be definitely assigned to some committee. Dr. Haughton concurred and suggested that the same committee should be continued with provision for gradual change of membership to provide for continuity. Dr. Salmon suggested that the committee be continued and that provision for this be made.

It was moved by Dr. Haughton, seconded by Messrs. Storey and Goodpasture, that a Committee for Long Range Planning be made one of NAC's standing committees, to consist of nine persons, three appointed for one year, three for two years, and three for three years at the beginning in order to provide for orderly rotation. Thereafter appointments would be for three-year terms.

CARRIED

Mr. Goodpasture commented that he felt the approach of the Long Range Plan could be helpful to many agencies in the field that do no real planning.

Mr. Migel pointed out that the whole report could not and need not be made available but that it should be edited for public consumption and printed.

Following discussion it was moved by Mrs. Carlson, seconded by Mr. Goodpasture, that the Long Range Plan be edited and published in shortened form for broader use by NAC and the field.

CARRIED

Input for future revision of the plan was suggested by Dr. Haughton as follows:

As time goes on, some agencies in the field will be experimenting with new programs under federal grants which require evaluation of the programs. NAC might consider developing a capability to evaluate such programs in agencies for the blind and visually handicapped. Thus agencies could write into their programs that they will utilize the NAC evaluative process. If such a service were available from NAC it would avoid the cost of many agencies setting up evaluation programs which they have little experience in designing or operating. NAC might need more staff to guide such evaluations and this might be funded in various ways.

Mr. Cozier asked whether staff had been able to check on the number of people served by agencies currently accredited. Mr. Robinson responded that staff had conducted a survey which revealed that agencies and schools accredited as of December 31, 1971 served about 50,000 people and if prevention of blindness screenings were included, about 75,000. Mr. Cozier expressed the opinion that these numbers are impressive and that we should continue to get this information.

Report of ad hoc Committee on Extension of NAC's Accreditation Program Beyond the U. S. A.

The chairman of this committee. Dr. MacFarland, stated that the question had been raised when three Canadian agencies applied for accreditation. One completed a self-study and was reviewed by an on-site team. The agency understood, however, that the NAC Board would consider the question of extra-U. S. accreditation and that approval of such accreditation was not assured. In the case of a negative Board decision, the agency would receive a letter stating that as of that date, the agency had been found in compliance with NAC standards but this letter was not to be construed as having the force of accreditation or as being valid for any period of time.

The committee considered the following factors:

  1. Engaging in accreditation of agencies of other nations might adversely affect NAC's ability to raise funds since many foundations are prohibited by their charters from giving to organizations that operate internationally.
  2. NAC has a challenging job to do in the U. S., requiring a great deal of staff time.
  3. NAC might find itself in a situation where it would be under great pressure to dilute or change standards because of differing national conditions.
  4. In particular, in Canada a school or agency accredited in one year might change its operations and status because of political changes and this in turn could create an embarrassing situation for NAC.

The committee suggested that NAC should not at this time accredit agencies of other nations but that it should recognize that the U. S. Government does conduct many educational programs overseas. Therefore the committee recommended that the NAC Bylaws be changed as follows:

RESOLVED that the first sentence of Section 3, of Article III of the Bylaws, as presently stated, be revoked, and in its place and stead said sentence shall provide: Any corporation, trust, unincorporated association or governmental organization which provides services for blind or visually handicapped persons within United States, its territories and possessions or such legal entities of the United States providing such services outside the United States which is accredited by the corporation, pursuant to procedures prescribed by the Board of Directors by resolution, shall upon being so accredited, be entitled to and shall become a member by payment of the initial fees and dues set by the Board.

It was moved by Dr. MacFarland, seconded by Mr. Pepper that this change in the Bylaws should be made.

CARRIED

Mr. Cozier asked if there were some way in which the matter of accrediting organizations of other nations might be brought to the World Council of the Blind. Dr. Salmon responded that this could be done by bringing the matter to Robert Barnett who is chairman of the American delegation to the World Council. It would be appropriate to write Mr. Barnett; this, Dr. Salmon said, he would do.

Report of the Commission on Accreditation

Dr. Birch noted that the annual meeting on June 23, 1972, had discussed two major items of concern to the Commission:

  1. The nature of possible levels of accreditation.
  2. The confidentiality, if any, related to the length of time for which accreditation is granted, the lifting of accreditation, etc.

Dr. Birch further stated that the Commission is prepared to ask staff to prepare a paper to provide the basis for Board discussion and possible decision at the December, 1972 Board meeting. It was agreed that staff will do this, including presentation of possible alternative approaches.

Dr. Birch expressed his thanks and appreciation to all Commission members.

He called attention to the Proposed Changes in the Policies and Procedures of the Commission on Accreditation which had been mailed to the Board with covering memorandum on June 15. The changes would expand and clarify the section on what constitutes an agency eligible to apply for NAC accreditation.

It was moved by Dr. Birch, seconded by Mr. Storey, that the Proposed Changes in the Policies and Procedures of the Commission on Accreditation be adopted.

CARRIED

It was then moved by Dr. Birch, seconded by Dr. Scholl, that the Board approve the report of the Commission on Accreditation made to the Annual Meeting.

CARRIED

The list of agencies accredited since the last annual meeting is as follows:

*Department for the Visually Handicapped, Arizona State School for the Deaf and the Blind, Tucson

*Community Services for the Blind, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia

*Services for the Blind Branch, Hawaii Department of Social Services and Housing, Honolulu

Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, State Department of Social Welfare, Topeka, Kansas

Kansas City Association for the Blind, Missouri

Royal Maid, Inc., Hazlehurst, Mississippi

*St. Joseph's School for the Blind, Jersey City, New Jersey

The Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, New York

Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind, New York

*The Governor Morehead School, Raleigh, North Carolina

Of these, the five marked with an asterisk were accredited in 1972.

Ten Minute Intermission

Report of the Commission on Standards

The Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Woolly, noted with pleasure that many aspects of the Long Range Plan involved the work of the Commission. He expressed the hope that priorities for standards development will be further refined by the Commission and the Long Range Planning Committee.

In discussion, Dr. Woolly pointed out that upgrading of the present standards must be given high priority, as is indicated in the plan.

It was moved by Dr. Woolly, seconded by Mr. Robinson that the Commission's report made to the Annual Meeting on June 23 be accepted.

CARRIED

Report of the ad hoc Committee to Study Admission of Observers to Board Meetings of NAC

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Mr. Upshaw, recalled that the committee had been appointed following a request in December, 1971, by a group wishing to observe the December Board Meeting. The committee included: Dr. Birch, Mrs. Carlson, Mr. Cozier, Mr. Jaworski, Dr. Glasser, with Dr. Inkster, staff.

Mr. Upshaw expressed the committee's appreciation of Dr. Inkster's securing information from 11 national agencies regarding their policies on admitting observers to their board meetings. None of the agencies that were queried do admit general observers.

The committee members noted five points which led them to conclude that NAC Board meetings should not be open to general observers.

The committee further recommended a general policy of openness for NAC (see below).

Judge Robrahn stated that he agreed with the recommendations and that he would be prepared to vote favorably on the report.

It was moved by Mr. Upshaw, seconded by Messrs. Harris and Buckley, that the report be accepted.

Mr. Robinson proposed an amendment: that the motion be put in the form of a resolution. This was seconded by Mr. Pepper and accepted by Mr. Upshaw.

Mr. Pepper then proposed an additional amendment, seconded by Dr. Scholl and accepted by Mr. Upshaw, that a sixth point be added to the report, noting that the approved Board minutes are available for inspection by members of the Council during regular business hours.

Upon a vote, the motion as amended was

CARRIED

The amended motion, in the form of a resolution, follows:

Whereas, the National Accreditation Council's primary constituency is made up of those agencies which are fully participating members of the Council; and

Whereas, annual meetings of the Council are open; and

Whereas, the National Accreditation Council maintains a permanent staff, which includes among its responsibilities that of affording a channel to the Board for all responsible communications from individuals or groups who have valid business to transact with the Board; and

Whereas, officers and members of the Board are widely dispersed in the nation, and direct access to them is easy for any communication validly related to the function of the National Accreditation Council; and

Whereas, staff and Board, alike, are expected to transmit communications related to or affecting the business of the National Accreditation Council; and

Whereas, the approved Board minutes are available for inspection by members of the Council during regular business hours,

Now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Board of the National Accreditation Council hereby adopts a general policy of openness which encourages input by individuals or groups who have a determinable interest in the welfare of blind persons as it may be affected by the National Accreditation Council, and further

That, although the Board meetings are not open for general observance by non-Board members, every reasonable consideration be given to requests for special purpose appearances at or presentations to meetings of the Directors of the National Accreditation Council.

Report of the ad hoc Committee on Procedures Governing Appeals from Decisions of the Commission on Accreditation

Mr. Upshaw noted that the membership of this committee was the same as that of the committee on admission of observers to Board meetings.

He reported that the committee had a third draft of proposed procedures but was awaiting word from NAC's legal counsel, to whom the draft had been submitted, before presenting it to the Board, therefore only an interim report would be presented.

Mr. Upshaw summarized the points covered. The entire report, as requested by the committee, will be mailed to the Board prior to the next Board Meeting, so members may have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with it. Details are therefore not included in these minutes.

Dr. Haughton inquired if procedures provide for a verbatim transcript of hearings. Mr. Upshaw stated that the procedures would so provide.

Dr. Haughton and Mr. Jaworski further recommended that witnesses be sworn.

Mrs. Carlson recalled that the original question about review procedures had to do with whether an appeal should come to the Board eventually.

Mr. Upshaw replied that at present the appeal would go to a review committee appointed by the Board but not to the Board itself.

In the following discussion it was urged that the report of the committee go to the Board giving members perhaps 30 days to object to any part, since it is the Board against which action will be brought if any legal action is brought.

Several members of the Board expressed their willingness to delegate this responsibility to an appointed committee and to accept any consequences that might ensue. Mr. Upshaw stated that this had been a matter discussed in detail by the committee.

Mr. Goodpasture suggested that the proposed proceedings provide a longer time, perhaps 60 rather than 30 days for an agency to file a formal statement of its intent to appeal.

No action on the report was taken, pending submission of the final report at the December, 1972, Board meeting.

Report of the Personnel Committee

Mr. Thompson, chairman, reported that the committee had reviewed the secretarial salary schedule and, in line with the executive director's suggestion, recommended a 6th step, so that secretaries and professional staff would each have six steps in each category.

The committee also recommended that staff study the secretarial categories and prepare a revised schedule of categories for the next meeting of the committee.

The committee recommended acceptance of the executive director's proposal that "In any given year not more than half and no more than ten days of unused vacation may be accrued or carried over to the following year." This will become item 2.2.3.3 in the Personnel Manual.

In the absence of the executive director, who has authority to grant merit raises at his discretion without committee prior approval, the committee recommended a merit increase for Mrs. Anne Allis effective July 1, 1972.

It was moved by Mr. Thompson, seconded by Mr. Bryan, that the report of the Personnel Committee be accepted.

CARRIED

Report of the Awards Committee

Dr. Hoover, chairman, stated that the committee had considered two matters:

  1. What progress has been made in obtaining a suitable token of recognition for persons who have rendered outstanding volunteer service to NAC? and
  2. Is the NAC Award in its present form the best and most appropriate for stimulating creative contributions to the improvement of services to the blind and visually impaired?

Regarding item one, it was reported to the committee that a model for a paperweight embodying the NAC insignia will soon be completed. Several previous attempts were not acceptable. The model will be a ceramic piece mounted on a wooden block to which a plate with identifying inscription can be attached. The committee has requested that photographs of the new model be circulated to all of its members for final approval. Upon acceptance, duplicates can be available very quickly. It will be inexpensive.

Concerning item two, the committee made the following recommendations:

  1. A NAC Award for outstanding contribution(s) to the improvement of services to the blind and visually impaired should be continued.
  2. The Award, as already provided for in the current rules, need not be given if a suitable candidate is not identified.
  3. The present form of the Award, a sculpture by Steuben Glass, need not of necessity be continued in perpetuity.
  4. Nominators should receive further definition and examples of categories of individuals who could qualify for the Award. Nominations received have revealed a narrowness of categorical possibilities in the minds of those making nominations. The introduction to the present form should be revised to explain and expand the philosophy and scope of the Award and a covering letter to highlight the new emphasis should be sent out with the revised forms.

    For instance, the committee pointedly noted the young engineers now working on reading machines, mobility aids, telephone adaptors and other devices; directors and sponsors of eye banks; research and training in speed reading (braille and print); political leaders, citizens and professional people using innovative methods, seeking constructive legislation and providing leadership to improve services to the blind and visually impaired. The committee recommended the encouragement and recognition of the promising young innovator, inventor and investigator as well as the distinguished achiever. Such broadening should encompass candidates with potential as well as productivity and increase the vigorous growth of a dynamic Council.

  5. The committee also recommended that the qualifications for the Award be reviewed annually (by the committee, for ratification by the Board) to insure consideration of such inspirational concepts as possible subsidies, scholarships, grants or other forms of support to encourage volunteers, professionals, students and degree candidates to produce reports, theses, research data and hardware relating directly and perhaps also indirectly to improved services in the field.
  6. The committee recommended that the revised nominating forms be sent out as usual in July of this year, optimistic about a more comprehensive basis of response.

It was moved by Dr. Hoover, seconded by Dr. Ferree, that the report of the Awards Committee be accepted.

CARRIED

In discussion it was explained that if the award were to be used to encourage the preparation of theses or other types of work, the Award itself might be in a different form-not the Steuben sculpture but a subsidy or other type of award.

Dr. Inkster noted that the executive director had been concerned that there should be an evaluation of the usefulness of the Award. Mr. Brandon responded that such an evaluation had been the essential purpose of the committee's meeting and that the results of the evaluation were reflected in the recommendations in the committee's report.

Report of ad hoc Committee for a Gift to the Executive Director

Mr. Buckley, chairman, reported that an imaginative arrangement of flowers and other objects had been ordered and had been sent to Mr. Handel in the hospital with a card saying "From the Board of Directors of NAC."

Expression of Appreciation

Mr. Brandon expressed the thanks of the Board to Mr. Cozier for being the host of the Board reception on Thursday evening. On behalf of the Board he extended best wishes for the speedy recovery of Mrs. Cozier who had for the first time been unable to attend a NAC annual meeting.

Time and Place of Next Annual Meeting

Mr. Cozier extended a cordial invitation to the Board to hold the next annual meeting in Cleveland in connection with the biennial national meeting of the American Association of Workers for the Blind.

It was moved by Dr. Haughton, seconded by Mrs. Carlson that the invitation be accepted.

CARRIED

The president stated that a subcommittee will be appointed to determine the exact dates and schedule of the meeting with reference to the AAWB dates.

Time and Place of Winter, 1972, Board Meeting

Following discussion it was the consensus that the December Board meeting should be held not later than December 1 1 and that mutually acceptable dates for the Board meeting and Commission on Accreditation meeting (to precede the Board meeting) should be worked out by staff and cleared by mail. (Note: The Commission has set December 4 as its meeting date.)

Institute on Confidentiality

Mr. Collingwood outlined the program of the institute which was to begin that afternoon and invited all Board members to participate. Mr. Collingwood was thanked by the president for all his work in managing the smooth running of the various NAC meetings.

Resolution on Retiring Board Members

Mrs. Campbell, secretary of the Board, read resolutions of appreciation of the Board service of Dr. Homer P. Rainey and Mr. Kenneth W. Bryan. The resolutions were approved by the Board for transmittal.

Resolution on Retiring President

Dr. Salmon assumed the chair and Mr. Brandon was asked to leave the room temporarily.

Dr. Salmon proposed that, upon leaving office, Mr. Brandon should be designated President Emeritus, as NAC's first president who had guided the organization through its formative years. The proposal was unanimously accepted by acclamation.

A resolution to accompany the Board's gift to Mr. Brandon (to be presented at the Awards Dinner) was read by the secretary and unanimously approved.

Mr. Brandon was recalled to the room and resumed the chair.

Report of the Nominations Committee

Dr. MacFarland, on behalf of the Nominations Committee consisting of Dr. Ferree, Mr. Flynn, Dr. Salmon, Mr. Storey and Mr. Upshaw, paid tribute to Mr. Brandon's leadership. He then presented the following nominations for officers for terms of one year or until their successors should be elected: Peter J. Salmon, president; Daniel D. Robinson, vice president; J. Kenneth Cozier, vice president; Frederick G. Storey, vice president; Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell, secretary; Mrs. Claire W. Carlson, treasurer.

Also for one year terms as members at large of the Executive Committee together with the officers: John W. Ferree, Richard E. Hoover, Morton Pepper and McAllister Upshaw.

Dr. MacFarland moved the election of the entire slate.

CARRIED

Mr. Brandon turned the gavel over to Dr. Salmon who took the chair.

Establishment of Arthur L. Brandon Fund

Mr. Pepper reported that a number of Board members had felt that it would be appropriate for the Board to establish the Arthur L. Brandon Fund, which would not be an endowment but a living fund devoted to carrying on the revision and development of standards for improving services to blind and visually handicapped men, women, and children-the work that Mr. Brandon had pioneered in COMSTAC and brought to a healthy state of growth in NAC.

Mr. Pepper stated that Mr. Brandon's consent to the establishment of such a fund had now been obtained.

It was moved by Mr. Pepper, seconded by Mr. Goodpasture that the Board establish the Arthur L. Brandon Fund to support the work of NAC.

CARRIED

Mr. Brandon thanked the Board for this recognition and for the many years of cooperation and fellowship which he had experienced as president of NAC.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Mrs. Edwin D. Campbell
Secretary

July 24, 1972
Jg 60

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NFB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS

A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind was held in Des Moines, Iowa on November 24, 25, and 26, 1972. All members of the Committee except Lawrence Marcelino arrived in time to be the guests of the Jernigans at a Thanksgiving Day feast. Also present as their guests were several spouses of Committee members as well as the Secretary of State of Iowa, his wife, and two sons. And what a dinner it was! The traditional roast turkey with dressing and gravy headed the list, quickly followed by Tennessee ham, baked ribs and sauerkraut, smoked pork (prepared by the Secretary of State), mashed sweet potatoes with friendly fruit, dilled green beans, corn, a very special spinach, fresh fruit salad, pickles, olives, artichokes, celery, VanVliet cranberry sauce, hot biscuits and corn bread, pumpkin cheese cake pie, mincemeat bars, chocolate cocoanut balls, ice cream, coffee and tea. Prior to the dinner (they never could have made it after eating all of that fine food), the members of the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance prepared a proposed budget for the calendar year 1973.

The Executive Committee convened at 1:00 Friday afternoon and continued to well past 6:00 in the evening, and reconvened on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a wind-up session Sunday morning. All Executive Committee members were present.

The Friday afternoon session opened with the President giving a broad overview of the NFB's growth and activities during the past year. During the past eighteen months the organization has taken up the cudgels on many fronts in behalf of blind men and women everywhere--with such diverse groups as the Florida agency for the blind, the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, NAC, the Minneapolis Society for the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, the Social and Rehabilitation Services of the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Cleveland Society for the Blind, the National Industries for the Blind, and last (and probably least), the American Council of the Blind. The NFB is now at a critical stage in the organized blind movement in which we have seen it emerge as the dominant voice of the blind everywhere. One of the instruments is the manner in which The Braille Monitor is increasingly shaping the outlook and actions of agencies for the blind as well as expressing the aspirations of blind persons themselves.

Our attorney reported that recently some nine bequests from deceased persons in as many States have been received. Nevertheless, the Executive Committee was fully conscious of the fact that we must continue to grapple with rising expenditures. Our economy has been effected by shifting from the 16 and 2/3 speed to the 8 and 1/3 speed for the recorded version of The Monitor.

Members of the Committee inspected the remodeling of the organization's Des Moines office on the first three floors of the Randolph Hotel, with some 12,000 square feet of space, including 12,000 linear feet of shelving. While this has now been completed, the increasing demand for more space will require some remodeling of the Berkeley office.

It was the consensus of the Committee members that, whenever possible, State affiliates should assume the financial responsibility for sending delegates to the National Conventions as well as defraying the expenses of representatives of the National Office to their own conventions. In the meantime, other ways to effect economies are being studied.

The President went into detail regarding the in-depth public information campaign which the NFB has been pursuing during the past two years. This has, of course, added a whole new dimension to our efforts to help blind persons in every part of the country. The numerous interviews with Federationists which were taped last summer in Chicago are now developing into an exciting new series of public service radio programs. This new series is called "The Pioneers." It will consist of four records with five five-minute programs on each side of each record. Thus, the series should contain forty programs. It is hoped to have this available soon. Enough copies will be made so that State affiliates and local chapters can contact their radio stations. The National Office is now working on a new series of public service announcements of the sixty-second, thirty-second, and ten-second variety. Every radio station in each State should receive and use the material as it becomes available. This is the way to spread the word of Federationism, and it can only be done by the local members.

The President then gave the members of the Committee a run-down on pending efforts of the NFB to improve the lot of the blind in the legal arena--to help the vending stand operators in Ohio by preventing forced contributions" to the United Torch Service campaign and other alleged abuses of the agency; to protect the constitutional rights of blind persons in connection with their ouster from the Board of Directors or membership in a society for the blind in Minnesota; to try and win back tenured status for two blind teachers, one in Michigan and the other in Ohio; to secure for a blind man in the State of Washington the right to serve as a juror; to have aid restored to a large number of children who have blind fathers in Minnesota; and finally, the Iowa lawsuit in which the American Council of the Blind has mounted an all-out attack on the NFB.

An encouraging growth in the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Endowment Fund was noted. The Friday afternoon session ended with the adoption of a proposed budget for 1973.

Saturday's session opened with an authorization by the Committee to the President to prepare an agenda for the New York Convention in 1973. This was followed by a detailed discussion of the composition of committees and other Convention arrangements including a plan whereby the time and energy of the President might be saved for other activities by having certain individuals with expertise in social welfare, rehabilitation, legislation, and possibly other areas of competence made available for consultation to Convention goers with specific problems.

The Office for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of HEW plans a short-term training project and asked for consumer participation in this activity. Accordingly, it requested the NFB to name at least five of its members, from which the Division would select two. The Office for the Blind also plans to have two representatives from the American Council of the Blind, one from the Blinded Veterans Association, as well as other blind individuals who are not affiliated with any organization. This proposal set off a lengthy discussion, ending with the approval of naming five NFB candidates but with the distinct understanding that HEW would be notified that in the future the NFB would have to insist that any conferences be attended by persons of the organization's own choosing and that the NFB be given representation in proportion to its total membership.

The balance of Saturday's session and the first part of the concluding session Sunday morning were devoted to lengthy and detailed planning on the legislation which the NFB would sponsor in the 93rd Congress which opened on January 3, 1973 and will run for two years. Following is the legislative program:

  1. Top priority will be given to the passage of our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. This measure passed the Senate for the fifth time in 1972. However, the major part of it did not survive in the Senate-House Conference, but some of it did. We gained a liberalized coverage which should mean that a great many more blind persons will now be eligible for disability insurance. To put it another way, the Bureau of the Budget estimates that our gains this past year will be worth thirty million dollars a year to the nation's blind. However, we must not rest until we get the whole package, and this could well happen in the 93rd Congress because of new support from within the House Ways and Means Committee itself.
  2. An attempt will be made to eliminate the two-year waiting period before disability insurance beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare coverage.
  3. The President vetoed both the 1972 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act and the Older Americans Act. These bills contained some bad features, but they also contained a great deal of good such as a civil rights provision and provision for a long list of special services for older handicapped persons. Congress will probably pass both these measures again early this year and the NFB will lend its support.
  4. We will again try to secure a minimum wage, collective bargaining rights, and unemployment compensation for sheltered shop workers.
  5. As far as Randolph-Sheppard amendments are concerned, the NFB will again support the positive proposals that died in 1972 in the Senate-House Conference Committee. It should also be noted that Congress has requested the General Accounting Office to make a study of the uses made by associations of government employees of funds received from vending machines and taken from blind vendors. The results of this study may be not only revealing but helpful in our attempt to solve this vexing problem.
  6. Efforts will be made to broaden the Reader Assistance Bill whereby blind persons employed by the Federal Government could pay to hire not only secretarial assistance but also help in reading, writing, driving, and other supporting assistance.
  7. Amendments will be offered to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to prohibit discrimination against the hiring of teachers because of blindness.
  8. An attempt will be made to amend the Manpower Training and Development Act to provide for actual employment instead of just training and to prohibit discrimination against blind persons.
  9. It was decided to seek amendments to the 1972 Amendments to the Social Security Act (H.R. 1) to provide for the same automatic cost-of-living increase now in the Social Security and Disability Benefits sections of the Act, as well as to increase from $20 to $40 a month the amount of exempt income to be disregarded from any source in computing public assistance grants.
  10. A bill will be sponsored to prohibit discrimination against blind persons in any type of housing where Federal funds are involved.
  11. An attempt will be made to amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against blind persons.
  12. At present managers of Federal buildings are encouraging the establishment of small businesses in their premises, by Presidential Order. An effort will be made, by Joint Resolution of the Congress or otherwise, to have the blind included along with racial minorities. In addition, efforts will be made to authorize the Small Business Administration to finance, probably with interest-free loans, blind persons who wish to go into business as well as to give them other assistance in getting started. In this connection it must be noted that the original Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 provided for a monopoly business for the blind by authorizing vending stands in Federal buildings. Now, however, the new General Service Administration's regulations would limit blind persons to dry stands. This, along with "postiques" in Federal post offices and the minority business scheme have encroached greatly on the original vending stand program and every effort will be made to resist further encroachments.

Pervading the entire three-day meeting of the Executive Committee was a sense not only of unity but of dedication to Federationism. Professor Jacobus tenBroek, the Founder and long-time President of the NFB, has been dead for almost five years. The organization is now twice as strong as then. We face greater challenges and greater risks than ever before. Every person in attendance at this action-packed meeting, noting the unprecedented progress made by the NFB during the past five years, had the feeling that we were repaying Professor tenBroek for his long and dedicated efforts in the blind movement. "We have kept the faith. Chick, we have kept the faith!"

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LETTER FROM A REHAB CLIENT-SERVICE OR SERVITUDE

by
Kenneth Jernigan

A great many letters come to me from blind people throughout the country. Some of them tell stories of hope and some of despair. Some tell of progressive rehabilitation agencies, which provide both real services and real understanding. Others tell of high-handedness and attempted custodialism.

One of the most graphic illustrations I have ever seen of this latter type came to me recently. In fact, it is so classic in detail that I thought Monitor readers should have the opportunity to see it. Every blind person in the country and every self-respecting agency employee (blind or sighted) should ponder its implications. Not only does it tell of the paternalism and arrogance of a particular rehabilitation counselor but it points up the new spirit which is uniting and sustaining the blind. We are simply no longer willing to be second-class citizens (whether in great things or small), and that determination is beginning to permeate the daily lives and actions of us all.

In fairness I should say that I doubted that the rehabilitation counselor's attitude as depicted in this letter is shared by his supervisor, the State director. I say this because the director in question has demonstrated a great deal of understanding and cooperation in his dealings with the organized blind. In any case, I share with you the following letter-as a critique and a symbol of the changing climate in work with the blind, the outmoded beliefs of some agency employees, and the spirit of independence of the new generation of the blind:

November 21, 1972

To the Director-State Services for the Blind

Dear Mr. [Blank]:

I would like to explain a situation that has developed in one of your regional offices. Before any explanation, I should introduce myself to you. My name is [Blank]. I am a blind diabetic who lost his vision over six years ago. I am thirty-five years old, married to a wonderful woman, and have two charming children. You and I have met unofficially a couple of times. Since losing my vision, I have been funded by State Services for the Blind to go to college, and more recently, graduate school. I graduated from [Blank] College in 1971 with a degree in psychology and sociology, and will complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling this fall quarter, 1972.

This Masters program requires two student internships as part of the requirements for graduation. For the student's second internship, efforts are made to place him in an agency or job position where he will hopefully be hired. Dependent upon the actual hiring of the individual are several factors. Among these are the ability of the student to meet the goals in a counseling situation, the effectiveness of his counseling ability with the client, the ability to fill out the necessary forms used in the agency, the ability to maintain a workable filing and record system, planning and placement skill, knowledge of referral procedures, the ability to maintain a good working relationship with fellow staff members, general creativity and ingenuity--in essence, any and all skills or abilities necessary to be an effective, productive vocational rehabilitation counselor.

As of September 6, 1972, I was assigned to an agency that would test my own ability to be such an effective, productive counselor. As might be anticipated, the staff at this agency were hesitant to accept a blind trainee. Any fears on the part of the staff were soon determined to be unfounded by their own admission.

I make note of my rapid acceptance into this agency for a very important reason. As we are both so painfully aware, acceptance of a blind individual is not always forthcoming. I diligently directed my energies toward proving to this agency that I would be a most effective and competent vocational rehabilitation counselor, in spite of my blindness. I
belabor this point to bring to your attention that it was I who succeeded in dispelling any doubts regarding my competency in the area of vocational rehabilitation counseling.

Through countless inquiries on my part, and numerous discussions with heads of staff, I learned of an opening that may develop this spring or summer in this agency for a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

As I stated earlier in this letter, I shall complete my Masters this fall, 1972. I could see two alternatives facing me--one being to continue my education while waiting for this job opportunity to present itself, thus further enhancing my knowledge in the field of counseling, and also giving me another degree as a specialist. This program would run until the first part of summer. My second alternative would be to volunteer my services to this aforementioned agency, thus keeping my "foot in the door," and gaining more experience.

Last week, on November 13, 1972, I was contacted by one of your rehabilitation counselors in [Blank]. He informed me that he would not fund me for any further education, but that he would fund me for an on-the-job training program in this agency in essentially the same position I now hold. After having worked in this agency for the last three months and knowing some of the internal matters regarding this suggestion, I suggested to [the counselor] that I would have to consider and, more importantly, explore the feasibility of the only alternative he suggested. Knowing the tenuousness of the job market, the freeze imposed by our governor, and the cutting off of funds by Mr. Nixon for several programs, I considered his suggestion and stated to him that I would inform him of my findings. I would also get a reading from the various heads of staff concerning their feelings regarding my continuing my present position while not being a bona fide staff member. I implored [the counselor] to let me do the groundwork; for such is the nature of a rehabilitated individual, that it is not necessary for someone else to make inquiries for him, thus implanting in the minds of these various departmental heads the idea that he is not capable or competent enough to carry through this matter on his own cognizance.

Yesterday, November 20, 1972, I began making inquiries regarding the feasibility of my working as an on-the-job trainee. Much to my astonishment and chagrin, I learned that [the counselor] totally dismissed my urgings and blithely followed his own inclinations by seeking out and discussing this matter with one of the department heads of this agency.

Now I ask you, is this action allowing independence; is this allowing initiative, motivation or self-determination on the part of the blind individual? When the counselor completely dismisses the client's knowledge and expertise, thus treating this writer as a second-class citizen, unable to use his own resources, and places him in a subservient role, it is quite obvious that such a counselor is oblivious to the very nature of vocational rehabilitation.

At the first opportunity this morning, November 21, 1972, I contacted [the counselor] at his office. When I inquired about his reasons for disregarding my wishes, he told me it was "none of my business." In startled amazement, I further inquired what he meant by that, whereupon he stated that he didn't have to answer to me, and he would do whatever he pleased regarding me. Totally stunned by this remark, I asked if he was not aware that by his actions, he would be jeopardizing any and all progress that I had made in building my reputation as an independent blind individual. He then shouted to me over the telephone that he would come and go as he pleased and that if he wanted to go out to the agency and see anyone, he "damn well would." This reprehensible behavior continued, until at last, he shouted "goodby" and hung up on me, while I sat in stunned silence.

Is this the respect a client receives from an inquiring phone call? Are the client's wishes of so little consequence? Let me put it to you straight, Mr. [Blank]. Your agency has invested thousands of dollars in aiding me in my quest to become an independent, self-reliant blind individual. The disrespect that [the counselor] displayed in this situation can only contribute to the animosity which he previously initiated when he disregarded my input on the matter.

As the situation now stands, [the counselor's] contemptible actions lead me to request that he no longer handle my case; and if no one in the [Blank] agency has the competency to handle similar situations, that you appoint a caseworker who is more emphatic, more genuine, more experienced, and more competent to pick up my case.

I realize that you are aware that your agency is close to a "twenty-six" on me, i.e. a closure. I also realize the burden of finding another caseworker for such a short period of time might seem impractical. However, as you can see by the tone of this letter, [the counselor's] childish behavior will not be tolerated by me. I submit to you this letter stating my feelings. I shall send a copy of this letter to [the counselor], State Services for the Blind. I also intend to submit this letter to Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, Des Moines, Iowa.

I feel that the type of temperament displayed by [the counselor] should be brought to the attention of individuals who do display warmth, empathy, and genuineness, so that self-determination and independence no longer be denied to the blind individual or any other person with a disability.

Respectfully,

[Blank]

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THE NO NAME NEWS

[Editor's Note: The National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi has just published The No Name News. For conciseness, brevity, clarity of statement, and forcefulness this bulletin is truly impressive and follows:]

The No Name News

You start thinking up a name and a regular editor also. I agree with the complaints so many of you have made-that we need some regular way to keep the membership informed of what is happening. Perhaps those who say "we are not doing anything" have a point, but here is a run-down on the important things we have done and a little about what we plan to do:

1. Started the first organization of the blind in Mississippi, January 15, 1972.

2. Passed the Model White Cane Law.

3. Had the largest meeting of blind people that any of us know about in Mississippi on May 27, 1972.

4. Had the Governor there and heard him say that he would consider this organization his board of directors in the field of the blind.

5. Had eleven people -go to the National Convention July 1-8, 1972.

6. Had one of our members, Kenneth Reed, elected second vice president of the sheltered workshop group.

7. Have cleared up one case, though it was unintentional, of job discrimination.

8. Have been instrumental in securing more than one job for blind persons.

9. Have raised more than $1500.

10. Have signed up approximately 170 members and we could go on, if space permitted, with many more accomplishments.

We plan, besides our December convention, many things in the next few months. A legislative committee plans to sponsor at least two bills in the next session.

One of the problems involved is that the officers feel there is a right and a wrong way to do anything. The blind in Mississippi have a bank full of goodwill with practically every official in Mississippi, and I believe with a large majority of the public. We certainly want to be careful and not spend this goodwill on foolish things. It is our publicly stated opinion whenever possible to work with those who serve the blind and not fight with them. The circumstances that we, the blind, find ourselves in in Mississippi developed over a long period of time-twenty years or more. Regardless of the goodwill of our officials and of the public, we still have a tremendous education job to do. We even have to educate ourselves. I certainly do not believe that anyone would want us to go off half-cocked and damage the reputation of the blind and of the services for the blind, as for example, certain members and employees of ACB did in Iowa.

TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT:

1. Through our president, all members of NFB have been invited to attend the meeting of the Mississippi Association of Workers for the Blind at LeFleurs Restaurant beginning at one o'clock October 19, 1972. This invitation was given by Mr. John Granger, their president. There is no charge for the afternoon session but anyone desiring to attend their
banquet that evening will register and pay $5.00 before 1:00 p.m.

I hope we get this out to you in time, if you want to attend. The reason for the delay is that though the invitation was dated September 30 and stamped and received at the president's place of employment October 3, it was not given to Mr. Beasley until October 13, 1972. Sad to say the envelope had been opened.

2. The Board of Directors of NFB of Mississippi will meet at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, October 21, at the club house of Battlefield Park in Jackson. Though this is strictly a business meeting of the Directors, any of you who desire are invited to attend.

There is a lot of business to be transacted including a report from the legislative committee and planning the December meeting.

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DISASTER AVERTED IN VENDING STAND PROGRAM--GSA BACKS DOWN

[Editor's Note: The President sent the following letter to State and chapter presidents on November 30, 1972.]

I am writing this letter to bring you up to date on what could have been a real disaster for the vending stand program throughout the country, but joint action on the part of almost every group in the field and many members of the Congress headed it off. In fact, here is an instance where the agencies doing work with the blind and the blind themselves joined forces in an effective manner.

On October 5, 1972, the Federal Register carried proposed regulations by the General Services Administration drastically curtailing the operation of vending stands by the blind on Federal property. GSA said that vending stands were competing with cafeterias operated in Federal buildings and causing them to lose money. Along with this letter I am sending you the pertinent matter from the Federal Register.

Jim Ryan, head of the blind merchants of the NFB, and I began contacting Congressmen and Senators as did other Federationists. Under date of November 3, 1972, I sent a letter (copy attached) to John F. Galuardi, Acting Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration, objecting to the proposed new GSA policy.

This morning I was called by a newspaperman in Washington and informed that yesterday's Federal Register (November 29, 1972) carried a notice that GSA had rescinded its proposed regulations. For the moment, then, the disaster has been averted, but we can expect further attempts (not only from GSA but from other quarters) to erode the vending stand program.

This underscores again the need for all of us to work actively as members of the organized blind movement. It also underscores the results we can achieve. If we want to expand our power and keep our independence, we must do the job ourselves. This is the reason for the National Federation of the Blind.

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November 3, 1972

Mr. John F. Galuardi, Acting Commissioner
Public Buildings Service
General Services Administration
Washington, D. C. 20405

Dear Mr. Galuardi:

In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, General Services Administration published notice of a proposed revision of regulations (41 CFR 101-19.2--Vending Stands Operated by Blind Persons.) As President of the National Federation of the Blind, I am submitting this letter in duplicate with the request that it be considered as an objection to the proposed changes involving the assignment of vending machine income, the approval of vending stand permits, the vending stand items to be sold, and other matters related to these areas of the vending stand program. The National Federation of the Blind is not opposed to technical changes in the regulations nor to changes in the Civil Rights provisions.

General Services Administration proposes to issue new regulations restricting opportunities for blind persons to operate vending stands in GSA controlled buildings under the Randolph-Sheppard Act for the purpose of providing additional support to cafeterias in GSA controlled buildings. It is recognized that in recent years costs have risen in food service operations primarily because of increased costs of labor and cost of items to be sold. Every reasonable effort should be made to operate cafeterias in government buildings as efficiently as practicable, but it is also reasonable to pass on higher costs of labor and food to government employees, who are consumers. Congress has recognized the rising cost of living and has reflected that recognition in pay raises for federal employees. The National Federation of the Blind believes there can be no justification for curtailing the vending stand program for the blind and thus employment opportunities for the blind in order to sell federal employees foods and beverages at costs which do not reflect the rising cost of living.

We have searched the proposed changes in regulations to determine whether GSA proposes to reduce the share of vending machine receipts allocated to employee welfare funds, but we have found no such indication. When it enacted the Randolph-Sheppard Act, and in subsequent consideration of amendments to that Act, the Congress repeatedly manifested a desire to strengthen and expand the vending stand program for the blind. The proposed regulation changes to which we object are contrary to the declared congressional intent.

Since we support expansion of the vending stand program for the blind in federal buildings in order to provide more employment opportunities for blind persons, we are strongly opposed to the recommended changes. Moreover, we support changes in the regulations which could expand vending stand opportunities for the blind on federal property.

Surely a slight increase in the cost of foods and beverages in federal building cafeterias does not materially affect employee morale or adversely affect the interest of the United States. It is in keeping with rises in other sectors of our economy and has been recognized by Congress and reflected in pay raises.

This letter is being written as an official expression of the position of the National Federation of the Blind, the largest organization of blind people in the United States. We have almost 50,000 members, with affiliated organizations in most of the states and members at large in the remainder. We are deeply concerned at GSA's attempted weakening of the vending stand program and ask that our objections be given serious consideration. We request your written comments concerning the matter we have raised.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

[Reprinted from Federal Register, Vol. 37, No. 194--Thursday, October 5, 1972.]

Public Buildings Service
[41 CFR Part 101-19]
VENDING STANDS OPERATED BY BLIND PERSONS

Competition with Cafeterias

Notice is hereby given in accordance with the administrative procedure provisions in 5 U.S.C. 553 that pursuant to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (63 Stat. 377) as amended, and the Randolph-Sheppard Act (40 Stat. 1559, as amended by 68 Stat. 663, 20 U.S.C. 107), the General Services Administration is considering an amendment of 41 CFR 101-19.2--Vending Stands Operated by Blind Persons.

Due to increasing costs of operating cafeterias and restaurants for Federal employees and the limited hours of service (basically the noon meal and coffee breaks), the majority of cafeterias have been experiencing serious financial problems and are unable to meet the objectives of high quality food, served efficiently, in clean, attractive, and pleasant surroundings at reasonable prices. The accomplishment of these objectives is necessary if the Government is to employ and retain the number and type of employees required for conducting its business in a satisfactory manner. Detailed studies have demonstrated that vending stands and machines which provide food and beverages in competition with a cafeteria facility cause higher prices, limited menu selections, inferior food quality, smaller portion sizes, and reduced efficiency in the cafeterias. These amendments are designed to remedy this situation by decreasing the competition with the cafeterias, while recognizing the preference traditionally afforded to blind persons by the General Services Administration.

This revision involves substantive changes to clarify the policy of the General Services Administration with respect to competition with cafeterias by vending stands and machines operated by blind persons.

Any person who wishes to submit written data, views, or objections pertaining to the proposed amendments may do so by filing them in duplicate with the General Services Administration (P), Washington, D.C. 20405, within 60 calendar days following publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

Dated: September 27, 1972.

JOHN F. GALUARDI,
Acting Commissioner,
Public Buildings Service.

As proposed, the amended regulation would read as follows:

This regulation provides for: (1) Recognizing the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as the approving authority for regulations related to the operation of vending stands and machines; (2) setting forth revised policy in extending preference to blind persons in the operation of vending stands and machines; (3) clarifying the requirement of approval of the lessor before installing vending facilities on leased property; (4) recognizing the Director, Concessions Division, Central Office, in lieu of the Chief, Buildings Management Division, Region 3, as the approval authority for applications to operate vending stands and machines and other matters in General Services Administration Region 3;(5) including sex as a prohibited form of discrimination; (6) correcting the citation to the regulations of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and (7) minor editorial changes.

The table of contents for Part 101-19 is amended as follows:

101-19.201 Vending stand policy.

Subpart 101-19.2--Vending Stands Operated by Blind Persons

1. Section 101-19.200 is revised as follows:

Section 101-19.200 Scope of subpart.

(a) This subpart contains the regulations ensuring the granting of preference to blind persons licensed under the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act (40 Stat. 1559, as amended by 68 Stat. 633, 20 U.S.C. 107) for the operation of vending stands and machines. They are issued after consultation with and approval by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (36 F.R.13749).

(b) The regulations in this subpart shall apply to Federal property owned, leased, or occupied by the United States over which the General Services Administration has control of the maintenance, operation, and protection, except space used by the United States Postal Service as workrooms, swing rooms, and locker rooms. Vending stands and machines in these rooms are governed by regulations issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

2. Section 101-19.201 is revised as follows:

Section 101-19.201 Vending stand policy.

(a) Blind persons licensed by State licensing agencies designated by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act shall be given preference in the operation of vending stands and/or machines on any General Services Administration controlled property in which vending stands and/or machines may be properly and satisfactorily operated by such persons without unduly inconveniencing the General Services Administration or adversely affecting the interests of the United States.

(b) It is the policy of the General Services Administration to see that Federal employees, who have a limited lunch period of usually 30 minutes, are provided high quality and convenient basic food service, such as a cafeteria or restaurant, under sanitary and healthful conditions, in clean, attractive and pleasant surroundings at the most reasonable prices possible. When this service is required and provided (i.e., it is not readily and suitably available from privately operated commercial sources in reasonable walking distance to the employee's building), the operation of a vending stand or machines which sell food or beverages in the building may adversely affect the quality of the basic food service provided therein. When this situation is found to exist, the application to establish these machines may be denied or the items authorized for sale may be restricted. In large buildings with substantial employee population, operators of vending stands may be authorized to sell food
and beverage items when their sale is economically justified. In smaller buildings where cafeteria or restaurant service is not economically justified, food and beverage items may be authorized for sale by vending stands or machines.

(c) Vending machines or the income therefrom assigned to blind operators shall include only those machines which would be in reasonable proximity to a vending stand and that would otherwise be in direct competition with that stand. When cafeteria or restaurant service is not feasible, machines may be authorized in any appropriate location with the income assigned to a blind operator.

3. Section 101-19.203 is revised as follows:

Section 101-19.203 Leased property.

If stands and/or vending machines are contemplated on leased property, the approval of the lessor shall be obtained prior to the issuance of a permit when the lessor or another tenant of the lessor on the property already has in operation a restaurant or other food service facility in a part of the property not included in the lease and when a vending facility operated by a blind person would be in direct and substantial competition with the restaurant or other food service facility.

4. Section 101-19.204 is revised as follows:

Section 101-19.204 Application for permits.

Applications shall be made in writing on the proper form and submitted to the appropriate Buildings Manager. The applications shall be approved by the Director, Buildings Management Division, in the regional offices, except for those involving Region 3 transactions. Region 3 applications shall be approved by the Director, Concessions Division, in the GSA Central Office. (See Section 101-20.48 for GSA regional offices.)

5. Section 101-19.205 is amended as follows:

Section 101-19.205 Terms of permit.

(a) * * *

(1) Prescribe such procedures as are necessary to ensure that in the selection of operators and employees for vending stands there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin.

(2) Take the necessary action (i) to ensure that operators of vending stands do not discriminate by segregation or in any other way against any person or persons because of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin in furnishing, or by refusing to furnish, to such person or persons the use of any vending stand facility, including any and all services, privileges, accommodations, and activities provided thereby and (ii) to ensure compliance by such operators with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the regulations of the General Services Administration issued pursuant thereto which are set forth in Subpart 101-6.2 and specifically made applicable to the provision of free space and utilities by GSA for vending stands operated by blind persons under section 1 of the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. 107) and Section 101-6.217(k).

 

(e) Items sold at vending stands operated by the blind may consist of newspapers, periodicals, publications, pre-packaged confections, tobacco products, articles dispensed automatically or in containers or in wrappings in which they are placed before receipt by the vendor, and such other articles as may be determined by the State licensing agency to be suitable for a particular location and approved by the Director, Buildings Management Division, or the Director, Concessions Division. Periodicals and publications which have been judicially determined to be patently offensive and appealing to prurient interest shall not be sold.

(f) Vending facilities shall be operated in compliance with applicable local and State health, sanitation, and building codes ordinances and such standards as may be prescribed by the Director, Buildings Management Division or by the Director, Concessions Division.

(g) Installation, modification, relocation, removal, and renovation of vending facilities shall be subject to the prior approval and supervision of the Director, Buildings Management Division or the Director, Concessions Division. Costs of relocations initiated by the State licensing agency shall be paid for by the State licensing agency. Cost of relocations initiated by the Director, Buildings Management Division, or the Director, Concessions Division, shall be borne by the General Services Administration.

6. Section 101-19.206(a) is amended as follows:

Section 101-19.206 Protection from competition.

(a) All income from vending machines except the income from vending machines which may be assigned by contract or agreement with others shall be offered to the State licensing agency operating a vending stand or stands on the same property. Such income shall be made available to the licensing agency only for assignment to operators of vending stands on the property (limited to income from those machines which would be in reasonable proximity to a vending stand and would otherwise be in direct competition with that stand) (see Section 101.19.201(c)) and, for program-wide purposes for which set-aside funds may be used, in accordance with section 3(3) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. 107(3)), and the regulations of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (45 CFR 409.8), namely:

 

7. Section 101-1 9.207(a) is revised as follows:

Section 101-19.207 Enforcement procedures.

(a) The authorization for the establishment of a vending stand, the regulations and standards of the General Services Administration, of the State licensing agency, and of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (45 CFR 409) shall regulate the operation of vending stands and machines.

 

(Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 40 Stat. 1559 as amended by 68 Stat. 663, 20 U.S.C. 107)

[FR Doc. 72-17073 Filed 10-4-72; 8:53 am]

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MORE ON THE CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND

In the December issue of The Monitor we alerted you to the high-handed actions of the Cleveland Society for the Blind with respect to the vending stand program it operates. Apparently the problems extend far beyond the mere matter of trying to compel the stand operators to "donate" to the United Torch campaign fund. It would now appear that operators may be buying from companies which make rebates to the agency, which rebates are not being passed on to the operators. There are also a variety of other questionable matters about the overall operation of the program.

Mr. Dolan, the executive director of the Cleveland Society, apparently feels that unless you call the money you take from the operators a "set aside," then it is not a set aside. To which one can only say: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. In other words, if operators are required to
buy from a company and that company makes a rebate to the agency instead of the operator, or if the operators are required to pay or contribute or "donate" or "share costs" (or whatever else you may wish to call it), then it still looks like a set aside, walks like a set aside, acts like a set aside, quacks like a set aside and probably is a set aside. The Federal rules are very clear as to what may be taken from the earnings of operators for set aside purposes.

Under date of October 17, 1972, Mr. Harry Cotton (an official of the Cleveland Society vending stand program) sent a memo to operators, telling them that there would be an increase in their service charges amounting to about five-sixths of one per cent. Not only did Mr. Cotton refrain from calling this an increase in the "set aside" but he also said it was not even an increase in the service charge. His very own words are these: "This is not an increase in the service charge but only a realignment of actual costs for the snack bar, the same as theft insurance is a cost." One has to wonder whether the reference to theft insurance was a Freudian slip. Be that as it may, Mr. Cotton's memo is reprinted following this article so that you may read it all in context.

Under date of November 10, 1972, Mr. Dolan wrote to Mr. Denver White, administrator of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, attacking the Federation and explaining that he had no apologies to make. Under date of November 16, 1972, the NFB President wrote to Mr. Twiname commenting on Mr. Dolan's letter to Mr. White. Under date of November 27, 1972, the Cleveland Snack Bar operators wrote to Mr. Denver White, commenting on Mr. Dolan's letter. Under date of November 28, 1972, Mrs. Edna Fillinger, president of the NFB of Ohio, wrote to Miss Doris Barcomb, director of the Bureau of Services for the Blind. (These letters are reprinted below.)

Working with the State affiliate and the Cleveland Snack Bar operators, the NFB has engaged legal counsel. We intend to see this matter through to the finish, just as with NAC. Incidentally, it might be well to mention in passing that the Cleveland Society is one of those agencies NAC has accredited--not surprising, really.

The NFB President's call to Federationists to join him on the barricades has not been empty rhetoric. This is the time, and this is the battle-whether it calls itself the Cleveland Society, NAC, or something else. The future is ours. All that is required is for us to stand together, show courage, fight for our rights, and refuse to be divided or diverted from our purpose.

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October 17, 1972

TO: All Operators
FROM: Harry Cotton

As you may know during the past several years, the Cleveland Society for the Blind has been moving in the direction of complete functional budgeting. Under this arrangement, the Food Service Division in 1973 will have to complete its involvement in this phase. We will be responsible for ten percent of all administrative costs of the agency including such things as the Executive Directors salary and fringe benefits. We will be responsible for a larger percentage of the total agencies budget due to an additional square footage that we will gain in the new building. We will have additional janitorial costs, security costs, telephone costs, as well as the new increase in social security costs under the new federal law. Keeping all of these items in mind, we must then add normal salary increments for our staff. These items combined amount to an estimated $35,000 increase in costs for 1973.

In order to offset some of this functional budgeting must be carried through to the operators. It is not equitable for the agency to pay for costs of relief operators who are in fact employees of the operators. At the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on October 11th, we reached the following accord: All costs relative to relief operators will now be paid on a pro rata share by the operators. These costs are for orientations, vacations, both salary and fringe benefits, as well as 50 percent of Jim Goodwins' salary for handling all operator chores, assignments, payroll, etc. Based on an estimated $2,250,000 gross sales in 1973, this figure will amount to $18,496.89. Dividing this figure into the gross sales estimated, we find a charge of .822 percent of one cent out of each dollar or about 5/6 of a cent. This item will appear as an expense item somewhere after your gross profit on your statement.

The only other charge that will be made will be the addition of the cost of fringe benefits for each hour that you use a relief operator. We estimate that this figure will be about 16 cents.

Hopefully, if we increase our number of stands and increase our gross sales in 1974, this figure of .822 may be reduced to some extent.

This is not an increase in the service charge but only a realignment of actual costs for the snack bar, the same as theft insurance is a cost.

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SIGHT CENTER The Cleveland Society For The Blind
1909 East 101st Street Cleveland, Ohio 44106 791-8118

November 10, 1972

Mr. Denver L. White, Administrator
State of Ohio
Rehabilitation Services Commission
4656 Heaton Road
Columbus, Ohio 43229

In re: Federation of the Blind complaint called to your attention

Dear Denver:

We welcome the opportunity to share with you the situation arising from The Federation of the Blind's correspondence pertaining to their charges that the Society was violating the Randolph-Sheppard Act and our approach, etc. in attempting to encourage the Snack Bar Managers to participate in the United Torch Campaign. However, frankly we would prefer, at our first opportunity, to give you a more detailed verbal report, as we would rather not record, in this communication, some of our observations and some of the concerns and developments nationally in the field of services to blind persons.

Nevertheless, may we mention that we were very amused by the devious manner in which the "Federation" extracted statements from our various communications and supposed "hear say" statements or possible imaginary judgments and other negative innuendoes, for the apparent attempt to present a distorted impression of our request in encouraging consideration for this group's participation in the United Torch Services Campaign. Obviously we question on what basis of actual facts or truths they were able to make some of their statements. In fact, one of the Snack Bar Managers confided with us about his concern over the attitude of a couple of his co-workers, who are active in the Federation. This operator reported that from the information he obtained from setting in on the meetings where this subject was discussed by a few of the operators, he received no impressions of the exaggerated type inference or the hostile reactions that were reported by the "Federation". He further attributed part of the possible erroneous remarks to a couple of the Snack Bar Managers who are "over reactionaries".

We are enclosing photo copies of three communications that we had with the Snack Bar Managers regarding the United Torch Services Campaign. Namely, the memo directed to them dated September 5th when we again apprised them of the justification for participating in the United Torch Services; a photo copy of their response dated September 22nd; and our reply dated October 6th. You will note that we made several references to a seminar, at which time this subject would be discussed in great detail with the managers, and why we were hopeful they would wish to become involved in this campaign, in the same manner as the program staff, Board of Trustee members and other interested responsible citizens. It is our belief that the written summary briefly supplemented our previous earlier verbal review to them and the reasons why we hoped that they would assist in helping the agency and the community in behalf of those who need or take advantage of the agency's programs.

We are pleased to report that the Society did meet its modest goal of $6,000. with the assistance of approximately 150 plus contributors. Also, the United Torch Services made their projected goal, so we considered the campaign a successful endeavor on the part of all concerned.

In reviewing the "Federation's" letter of October 18, we wonder where they obtained any impression that personal contributions from the Snack Bar Managers for the United Torch Services were in any way related to "set aside funds". Their gifts to the United Torch has nothing to do with, or relation to these funds. This was strictly a request for consideration of pledges from their own resources. On the third paragraph of page 1 of the "Federation's" letter, they inferred that the operators were told that they "must contribute" or face the consequences. This certainly is the "Federation's" interpretation and not ours, as again, is evident from the written communication. In addition, never has there been any such statement made or contemplated from the Society's administration. In fact, we have had no further verbal or written communication with this group on this subject beyond those referred to in our communications. Nor have we made any additional comments to anyone about their contribution or the apparent attitude of a few disgruntled individuals who seemingly "want everything and give little in return". If anyone has any such proof or implied reports of this type, we would welcome such information. We suppose it is possible someone might have a guilt complex or a big imagination, but this is their problem.

There are several other false, implied negative statements, misquotes and inferrences that we see no merit or value in commenting on, since the remarks are so ridiculous and distorted. For example, the third paragraph on page 4 of the "Federation's" letter, the first line quotes-supposedly from our memorandum "the people I have talked with tell me they got the message". There is nothing in the communication of which we are aware that makes any such statement-we assume this is an interpretation of our comments contained in the last paragraph on page 2 of our memo dated October 6, 1972, or maybe this was intended as a remark from one of the Federation members?

We certainly concur that those who are directly associated with the Society should participate in the United Torch campaign to a modest amount or to the degree possible, as we have all greatly benefitted and our livelihood is dependent upon this organization. Let us cite for your information, how the Snack Bar managers and to the significant degree that they benefit from being under the "general umbrella" of the United Torch Services.

They receive the following coverage through this organization:

I. SPECIAL FRINGE BENEFITS:

A. Blue Cross-Blue Shield:

  Cost Cost to Group Saving
Stand Operators 21 Family Plan $51.08 65.46 14.38
13 Single 20.13 27.76 7.63
Relief Operators 4 Family Plan 51.08 64.46 14.38
1 Single 20.13 27.76 7.63

B. Major Medical - for all members of the family living in the home, under 21 years of age. (80% of all medical expenses beyond that covered by BC and BS up to $15,000. in any given three year period. The premium would be totally prohibitive, if they could get it, under an individual plan).

Stand Operators 12 Family Plan $ 2.40
10 Single 2.40
Relief Operators 1 Family Plan 2.40
1 Single 1.10

C. Group Life Insurance - up to twice their last years' gross earnings: Each worker receives $1000 at no cost and pays 50 cents per thousand for all additional amounts--with balance of premium assumed from administrative cost. This benefit has afforded their (Snack Bar Managers) estates a total of $50,000 in the last several months.

D. Group Annuity Insurance - for those who wish to participate through the agency's plan.

E. Retirement Plan Coverage Pending - (one available to all workers in the United Torch agencies in the U.S.

II. PURPOSE OF SERVICE CHARGE: (How this income is used for major services offered for the Snack Bar Mgr's benefit)

A. Payment of Social Security cost for operators and relief workers.

B. Supervision—including training, consultation, banking, accounting functions--(keeping all records, paying all bills and other duties related to the operation of this program,) arrangements for scheduling relief operators, etc.

C. Depreciation and repair--for those snack bars that are not state owned, (better than one-half of the stands are owned by the Society).

D. Absorbing cost of manager's first week of vacation

E. Other--sometimes subsidy for commissary (kitchen where nearly all food is prepared and processed for the Snack Bars; overhead cost, etc.

In addition to these numerous benefits that the Snack Bar Managers enjoy in Cleveland, and to the best of our knowledge, is not the case in any other similar vending stand programs throughout the country--many of the operators from time to time, take advantage of the Society's other on-going programs, (which are primarily supported from the United Torch Services), including casework services, loans, salary advances, etc. Certainly they also greatly benefit through the many contacts that our Board of Trustees and others identified with the agency have in the community in the locating of potential good snack bars and other resources that directly benefit them. For example, through such contacts the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. makes available to the Food Service Division for the benefit of the Snack Bar programs and employees, the total income enjoyed from numerous vending machines located in their buildings throughout the Cleveland area. In one specific location where we have a Snack Bar, two of the operators realize about one-half of their $9,000 per year income from the vending machines in their building, for which they have no responsibility in managing, and these two men have their Snack Bar open only three hours, five days per week.

You will note that at least seventeen of the full-time managers will earn from $12,000. - $17,000. in 1972, not including the dollar value of their many fringe benefits. These are additional reasons why we believe that these workers are very fortunate to be part of a United Torch Services agency. Also, some of our justification for believing that they should want to share at least in a minimal way in the United Torch Campaign, as the majority did within the guidelines of our suggestions. Regardless how anyone wants to rationalize to the contrary, the Snack Bar Managers have many advantages they otherwise would not enjoy at the same advantageous level, especially fringe benefits and total income, were they not associated with an organization such as this.

In summary, we make no apology for the manner in which we manage our agency, or desire to encourage minimal participation in the United Torch Services, or how we attempt to assist the Snack Bar Managers to the greatest degree possible.

It is our belief we are reasonably familiar with the legal aspects of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and law in general. In addition to my personal legal academic exposures at Franklin University, even though I have never practiced law or applied for the Ohio Bar Examination; and as former State Director of Services for the Blind, plus fourteen years as the Executive Director of this agency, not to mention the assistance of several other staff persons like Dr. Norman Yoder who administered the Pennsylvania Vending Stand Program for fifteen years, who are most knowledgable of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and its intent, we feel certain we are in no way in violation of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and its intent. However, if anyone has any specific information to the contrary, we certainly would like to be made aware of same so that we can review programs accordingly.

We hope that the above information is helpful to you in understanding the communication which has come to our office and if further explanation or information is desired, please do not hesitate to request same.

Yours very truly,

Cleo B. Dolan,
Executive Director

 

CBD:c
Copies of this letter will be shared with:
Mr. John D. Twiname
Dr. Douglas MacFarland
Miss Doris Barcomb
Mr. Harry L. Jackson
Members of the Food Service Advisory Committee
of the Board of Trustees
National Federation of the Blind

------------

November 16, 1972

Mr. John D. Twiname, Administrator
Social and Rehabilitation Service
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
HEW South Building
Room 5006
Washington, D. C. 20201

Dear Mr. Twiname:

Under date of October 18, 1972, 1 sent you a letter concerning the actions of Mr. Cleo Dolan, Executive Director of the Cleveland Society for the Blind- In that letter I asked that you make an investigation and give me an official statement of your conclusions. I have now received a copy of a letter dated November 10, 1972, from Mr. Dolan to Mr. Denver White, Administrator, State of Ohio, Rehabilitation Services Commission. Presumably the letter was sent to me by Mr. Dolan, I think I have probably never seen a document as arrogant and defensive. It completely fails to deal with the charges made and only succeeds in giving emphasis to them.

Mr. Dolan seems to be outraged that anyone would dare question his behavior. Almost all of what he says is taken up with name calling, innuendo, and resentment. Repeatedly he puts the word Federation in quotes, presumably questioning whether we actually exist. We do. He also seems to imply a threat (or, at least, some secret and mysterious knowledge of great import concerning us) when he says in his first paragraph:

"We welcome the opportunity to share with you the situation arising from The Federation of the Blind's correspondence pertaining to their charges that the Society was violating the Randolph-Sheppard Act and our approach, etc. in attempting to encourage the Snack Bar Managers to participate in the United Torch Campaign. However, frankly we would prefer, at our first opportunity, to give you a more detailed verbal report, as we would rather not record, in this communication, some of our observations and some of the concerns and developments nationally in the field of services to blind persons."

Apparently Mr. Dolan has some difficulty in writing letters without making threats. Since he could (and probably did) pick up the 'phone and talk with Mr. White before writing his letter, why would he need to say in his letter that there were things he would want to tell Mr. White verbally and not put into writing? The implications are obvious. This is the same kind of tactic he used with the vending stand operators. We do not intimidate easily, and Mr. Dolan would do well to recognize that the days of custodialism are gone forever.

Mr. Dolan begins his second paragraph by saying this: ". . . we were very amused by the devious manner in which the 'Federation' extracted statements from our various communications and supposed 'hear say' statements or possible imaginary judgments and other negative innuendoes, for the apparent attempt to present a distorted impression of our request in encouraging consideration for this group's participation in the United Torch Services Campaign."

Mr. Dolan's letter exhibits many emotions, but none of them would seem to be amusement. His declarations are not convincing when he says that he has been quoted out of context, that there are "distortions," that it is all "possible imaginary judgments," that it is "hearsay," or that it is just "negative innuendo." Likewise, he does not help his case by calling the operators "over reactionaries."

In fact, it seems to me that Mr. Dolan's entire letter is an attempt to obscure and confuse a fairly clear-cut situation. There is no mystery about where we got our evidence or whether that evidence is factual. We got it from Mr. Dolan's own letters, which I sent you with my letter of October 18, 1972. Mr. Dolan says that he wants to know what all of this has to do with the Randolph-Sheppard Act. Well, the question is not difficult to answer, I will tell him. The federal law is very clear concerning the purposes for which money may be withheld (or "set aside") from the earnings of operators. The taking (or the causing to be taken) of any other money from the earnings of operators is a violation of the law.

The courts look to substance, not just to terminology. If I go into a bank and "suggest" to the cashier that he make a donation to some purpose that I have in mind and if I have a weapon which I display along with my "request," the courts will not look kindly upon my defense if it is based upon an argument that I was only "suggesting guidelines" for his giving.

Mr. Dolan's memos to the vending stand operators speak for themselves. They were not "suggestions," containing "guidelines" for giving. It is hard to see how they can be read in any other way than as "orders," from a man with the power to make those "orders" stick or mete out punishment to any who resist it. If this is a correct interpretation and if the agency tried to compel operators to "donate," then this is an illegal "set aside" (regardless of what it is called); and it is a violation of the Randolph-Sheppard Act.

Mr. Dolan spends much time in his letter telling of the benefits vending stand operators receive from the United Fund. All of this may be true, but it has nothing to do with the matter. It is also true that the sun rises in the East, that the Gulf of Mexico is a large body of water, and that eggs are a good source of protein--again, totally irrelevant to what we are discussing.

Likewise, Mr. Dolan's training as a lawyer and the expertise of his staff members do not excuse his conduct. In fact, they make it even less understandable.

The entire question of the administration of the vending stand program by the Cleveland Society for the Blind and whether the Society is complying with the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act is one which deserves attention. The "set aside" which the Society takes is certainly sizeable. In addition, a memo (copy attached) from Mr. Harry Cotton to the operators, dated October 17, 1972, makes it doubtful that all the money being withheld is being counted in the "set aside." Mr. Cotton tells the operators that they must pay an additional five-sixths of one percent of their gross earnings but that it is not an increase in the "service charge." His very words are: "This is not an increase in the service charge but only a realignment of actual costs for the snack bar, the same as theft insurance is a cost." Maybe so. But all the operators know is that some more money is being withheld. All the talk about "functional budgeting," the increased square footage in the building, and "increments" for staff salaries really does not help. Just the opposite. It sounds a lot like a "set aside" to me. Further, some of the operators tell me (this is probably what Mr. Dolan will call "hearsay" from "over reactionaries") that other questionable deductions have been made in the past--listed as "depreciation of equipment," etc. Again, if money is taken from an operator for "depreciation" by the agency, is it not really part of the "set aside?" Does it really matter if you call it by some other name? With respect to "set asides" the Randolph-Sheppard Act is very clear, and I would assume that a state agency, or its nominee, will not be permitted by the federal government to violate the law if the facts are called to the attention of the proper officials. I would further assume that some duty exists to investigate reasonable charges.

If Mr. Dolan takes any reprisal whatever (direct or indirect) against the operators because these questions have been raised, we will go to the public and the courts to seek justice if we cannot find it through administrative channels. Likewise, the same remedies will be sought for violations of the "set aside" provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act if administrative relief cannot be found.

Of course, I do not consider Mr. Dolan's letter to Mr. White as a response to my October 18 letter to you, and I am sure that you would not wish me to consider it as such. The National Federation of the Blind is awaiting your response to our official request that you investigate and give us a statement of your findings. As I have said before we appreciate the manner in which you have dealt with us, and we believe you will do what you can to insure a fair and just administration of the federal laws. I hope that we may hear from you soon.

Cordially,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

KJ/skl

--------------

Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association
Office of the Secretary
1648 Lincoln Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

November 27, 1972

Denver L. White, Administrator
State of Ohio
Rehabilitation Services Commission
4656 Heaton Road
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Dear Mr. White:

Recently the members of our association and all snack bar managers and operators in Cleveland received from Mr. C. B. Dolan, Executive Director of the Cleveland Society for the Blind, a package of correspondence through the mail concerning a complaint apparently filed by the National Federation of the Blind about the Cleveland Society for the Blind's approach in trying to acquire contributions for the United Torch Drive. Among this correspondence was a letter from you to Mr. Dolan and his response to you. Upon evaluating this correspondence we feel that our membership cannot sit idly by without questioning some of the statements made in Mr. Dolan's letter as he makes some statements therein which would imply, we feel, that some of our members were "over reactionary, over imaginative, subject to spreading hearsay information and generally negative.'' Mr. Dolan implies in his letter that this whole matter was caused by one or two members, according to the information he has heard from one of our members who sat in on the meetings. He infers also that these were ''over reactionary members of the NFB."

If you will take time to read our letter to Mr. Dolan which he sent to you, dated September 22, you will find that in that letter we apprised Mr. Dolan of the fact that over half the members of the snack bar membership were there and that the request that the membership of the association correspond with him on the subject was unanimous. ... We do not consider this as being just one or two over reactionaries nor do we consider that we were being negative in our approach. If the National Federation found parts of Mr. Dolan's Memos seemingly high-handed and dictatorial they certainly were not alone. We willingly join in their complaint.

We note that in Mr. Dolan's letter to you he was "very amused by the devious manner" in which the National Federation extracted statements from his correspondence of September 5 and October 6. You will note, however, that the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association for some reason extracted some of the same statements from his memo long before the Federation knew about it. We do not wonder why. We feel that Mr. Dolan's statements were straightforward and high-handed--in the nature of orders. He suggests, however, that they were merely an encouragement. We cannot conceive, however, how you can consider a statement such as "That any gifts less than one half of one percent of the total earnings of a worker would not be an acceptable pledge," as being merely encouragement. In point of fact we find nothing in the September 5 memo that can be considered as merely requesting, encouraging or asking. Rather we find this memo to be completely demanding. We so advised Mr. Dolan in our letter of September 22 and we suggested that perhaps we had misjudged and misinterpreted his intentions. You will note that he is extremely positive in his communique of October 6th in telling us that we were not mistaken and that we did not misread his memo.

It may be that Mr. Dolan is out of touch with our thinking if he can find the statements extracted amusing and if he is willing to presume that conversations with one snack bar manager about what went on at a meeting gives him a complete and correct picture of the situation. It should appear to Mr. Dolan and anyone else that one disturbed stand operator obviously is not in sympathy with a group as a whole or there would not have been any correspondence on this subject.

Mr. Dolan comments that the agency went over the top in its request and therefore the drive was a complete success and that he had not discussed the matter further with anyone else nor had there been any further communication on the subject.

On these points we must admit that Mr. Dolan is completely correct. From his standpoint there can be no doubt that the drive was a success. However, from the standpoint of those on the other end who felt demeaned and dictated to, we question the statement. As to not having discussed this subject with anyone else or having had no further communication on the subject, there is no dispute. If one reads Mr. Dolan's letter of the 6th, it pretty well lets one know that any further discussion or communication would be an absolute waste of time. If there is anything stand operators are not, they are not time wasters. One thing that seems apparent to us throughout all of these communications is the constant reminder and, it seems to be, complaint by Mr. Dolan as to our high income. In every communication he has sent out he dwells at length on this subject. While we do not question that we are well off and readily admit same, we wonder what it has to do with the subject at hand whether one makes fifty dollars a week or five hundred dollars a week. Giving is based on the merit of the situation, on the man's personal feeling and on one's personal condition and not on the dollars he may or may not have. It is his responsibility to determine. Mr. Dolan constantly tells us of the services we receive from the United Torch Drive and he tells everyone else. We have been aware, however, of the services we receive and the costs we pay to receive them. We have been aware of the amount of money we make and the amount of money others make. It seems to us that constant dwelling on this subject constitutes a threat because it seems to say that if you don't like it, remember, you might not have it tomorrow.

In this package of communications to us he had what we consider to be the poor judgement of sending every stand operator a copy of the donations and the income of every other stand manager for last year and the contributions and projected income for this year. Why this was done we have not the vaguest notion, unless possibly to create resentment between those of our managers who make less towards those who make more or to try to cheapen us by implying our contributions were not sufficient. Certainly this information is nobody's business and has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in point. We can only point out that such a breach of confidence created a deeper resentment on the part of the snack bar managers and a feeling that this was one of the rewards? or punishments for not having done as we were told.

Another point which disturbs us greatly and which we may or may not be judging correctly, is that on the fifteenth of October, nine days after his last communication to us, at a food service advisory committee meeting we were informed of a need for increased funds because of operational costs, and a projection thereof. On the seventeenth of October we received a bulletin, a copy of which you will find herein attached, spelling out the needs for the increase and the amount required and advising us that as of January first there would be a five-sixths of one per cent charge added for expenses. We have recently received a lengthy letter from Mr. Dolan informing us of the agency's current needs and that five-sixths of one per cent may perhaps, in point of fact, not go into effect. However, it states that as of January first something must go into effect and it leaves a definite implication that that something will be more than five-sixths of one per cent.

We do not doubt that perhaps there are cost problems and we would like to believe that all of this had nothing whatsoever to do with our attitude toward the United Torch Drive. We would like to believe that audacity in daring to question the approach toward us in the memo of September 5 had nothing whatsoever to do with it. We would like to believe that this sort of approach would never occur again and that no one questioned our right to give as we see fit or to speak out as we see fit. We would like to believe all of this but if we take simple dates of September 5, September 22, October 5, October 15, October 17 and put them all together and inspect their contents we are afraid that that is asking too much.

We may be naive but not that much. We may all be "over reactionary": If believing that one can have the right to speak out against someone else's approach to an issue, if believing that a man has the right to give what ever amount he wishes to any cause, if believing that we have the right to be treated with dignity and respect as equals is being "over reactionary," then we must admit that we are. We would have to tell Mr. Dolan that that confidante of his who attended our meetings is wrong in only one respect: he said there were only two "over reactionary" people among us. The number is far greater.

In conclusion may we merely add one more comment. We wonder just a little why HEW, Mr. Twiname, and you in your apparent investigation of this subject here in Cleveland did not feel it appropriate to contact some of the snack bar managers or the association officers who are empowered to speak for them? It seems to us that there are two sides to an
investigation and that communication with one side only fails to help reach proper impartial conclusions. We sincerely hope that such communications would have been forthcoming and that we are premature in presuming that we would not have been contacted.

Hoping that this will give you some knowledge and insight into the feelings of the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association and all the managers here in Cleveland on this issue, we remain,

Sincerely yours,
/s/
President
/s/
Vice-President
/s/
Secretary
/s/
Treasurer

Copies to: Cleo B. Dolan, John D. Twiname, Kenneth Jernigan

----------------

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF OHIO

18801 Ferncliffe Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44135
November 28, 1972

Miss Doris Barcomb, Director
Bureau of Services for the Blind
4656 Heaton Road
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Dear Miss Barcomb;

On Saturday November 25th the Executive Committee voted to approve and support actions taken by the National Federation of the Blind on behalf of the vending facility managers, assistant managers and relief managers employed through the Cleveland Society for the Blind.

We realize that the Bureau has been in much turmoil because of the processes of its vast expansion. However, we feel that the Bureau should be able to make a thorough investigation of the situation concerning the supervision and management of the Cleveland Society for the Blind's Food Service Division. By this we expect all records to be examined not just the ones they want you to examine. As the Licensing Agency the Bureau has the authority and obligation to scrutinize the working of your Nominee Agency.

We hope that the Bureau will honor its responsibility to the vendors employed through the Cleveland Society for the Blind.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Edna Fillinger
President

Back to Contents

ROUNDUP OF STATE CONVENTIONS

CALIFORNIA CONVENTION

by
Robert Acosta

The Fall convention of the National Federation of the Blind of California was held during the weekend of October 20, 21, and 22, at the U. S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. If you lived in the San Fernando Valley and parts south, your journey to the convention was aboard a chartered bus provided free of charge by Teamsters Local 306. Because of the generosity of the Teamsters, forty-three blind Californians were able to attend the convention.

Besides the interesting sessions of the convention, there were also several meetings which concerned themselves with the vital committee work for the State organization. These meetings were scheduled one after another during the evening since so many members were interested in attending more than one. The Committee on Employment Assistance met and Donald Brown conducted the work of the committee. There were many fine ideas about how to fully achieve the overall goal of the CEA, which is to provide employment opportunities for the blind of California. Of special interest was the discussion of the San Diego Job Bank which is headed by Donald Queen. Because of Don's persistence, the CEA was able to place a blind individual this past summer.

An organizational meeting of the newly formed Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind of California was ably chaired by Donald Brown. Those in attendance ratified a constitution and elected their officers who will serve for a two-year term. The first president of this fledgling organization is Dr. Ronald Miller who is a Professor of History at Pepperdine University. The vice-president is Donald Brown who is a social studies instructor at Dale Junior High School in Anaheim. Miss Frances Thiesen, a teacher of the deaf-blind was elected secretary, and Mrs. Francine Finn was chosen treasurer. One left with the feeling that the State Teachers Division will indeed make its mark in the years to come To demonstrate his enthusiasm for this new organization, Robert Acosta, the president of the NFB Teachers Division, presented the officers with a check for $200.

Robert Acosta, the chairman of the program on fundraising began by saying: "Fundraising is the lifeblood of any sound organization." During this hour-long meeting. President Anthony Mannino outlined the major fundraising efforts of the State headquarters which included the importance of the variety shows and the need for all of the chapters to engage vigorously in the annual candy sale. He also discussed the White Cane Mail campaign. There were also many outstanding fundraising ideas from those in the audience.

The Credentials Committee, chaired so well by Mrs. LaVyrl Johnson, was responsible for the task of certifying those delegates present at the convention. Needless to say, Mrs. Johnson gave an outstanding credentials report.

The Resolutions Committee has the arduous assignment of listening to those resolutions presented to them either by individuals or by chapters. Then, the committee attempts to place these resolutions in their proper perspective. Those who serve on this committee generally have some kind of an expertise regarding laws concerning the blind. Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcelino did an outstanding job of conducting this meeting, and certainly, no one can say that Muzzy prevented anyone from speaking his mind. We shall discuss those resolutions which were adopted by the convention proper later in this report.

Promptly at 7:30 a.m., President Mannino gaveled the Executive Committee breakfast meeting to order. Through bloodshot ears, this reporter heard our great president doggedly move through his agenda. Two chapters were unanimously recommended for affiliation to the convention. They were the Central Valley Chapter under the leadership of Joe Tiner, and the other new affiliate was the statewide Student Division whose president is Rob Turner. Needless to say, both these dynamic affiliates were unanimously admitted by the convention.

After the adoption of the Credentials Committee report by the convention, we heard a most interesting discussion concerning the employment opportunities for the blind in the computer programming profession. Making the presentation was Dr. Ray Stewart, manager of the Man Power Program within the Systems Development Corporation. In 1966 this company began training blind persons as computer programmers. Dr. Stewart discussed the instructional program of the students at SDC. Assisting Dr. Stewart was Donald Walker, himself a blind computer programmer with the San Diego Gas and Electric Company. Both these gentlemen discussed the computer programming profession in a language which even your reporter-who is completely lacking in any mechanical knowledge--could understand.

Frank Ryan, the chief of training, Orientation and Mobility Program, California State University at Los Angeles, spoke to us on the history of the mobility and orientation programs in this country. His comments ranged from a discussion of the history of the white cane to the new research projects undergoing testing which are expected to greatly improve mobility for the blind.

Louis Lee who is chief of the Division for the Blind in the State Department of Social Welfare spoke to us about the new changes in the Division. He stated that when the blind recipients of a given county number two hundred fifty a Bureau for the Blind will be established.

We then adjourned to either of the two luncheons which were scheduled for Saturday. As always, there was an enthusiastic following at the California School for the Blind luncheon under the chairmanship of President Alfred Gil of the CSB Alumni Association. The newly formed Teachers Division held its first luncheon and it was a resounding success. At this meeting were the representatives of the San Diego School System as well as those from surrounding districts in the area. We came away from this luncheon with a good feeling and belief that these school districts were now going to truly consider the hiring of well qualified blind teachers. Donald Queen announced that the 13th Annual Blind Teachers Conference would take place on Saturday March 10, 1973, at the U. S. Grant Hotel in San Diego.

Robert Hawkins, special assistant to the Director of Services for the Blind of the Department of Rehabilitation gave us an excellent presentation regarding his hopes of improving services to the blind at the afternoon session. Mr. Hawkins currently serves as the temporary program manager whose major task is to direct the services to the blind. The highlight of his speech was the naming of a seven-person advisory committee to the Department of Rehabilitation. The sole function of this newly formed committee is to deal with the needs of the blind. We were all delighted to learn that our State President Anthony Mannino and Hazel tenBroek were named to the Committee, along with Bonifacio Yturbide, blind attorney who has carried a number of our cases to successful outcomes.

Although Mr. Hawkins was a tough act to follow, our own Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant was more than equal to the challenge. Dr. Grant discussed with us her future hopes for the blind of the world. She believes that the International Federation of the Blind is the only vehicle which can bring salvation for some thirty million blind people. Dr. Grant concluded by encouraging us to contribute as generously as possible to the Miss-a-Meal Program of the IFB.

A project sponsored by the Educational Organization of the Blind was then presented to the convention. With the full cooperation of the Los Angeles City School System, the chapter is in the process of developing those guidelines which will insure that blind youngsters will receive an adequate education. The panel specifically discussed their minimum standards for mobility as well as for the teaching of communication skills for blind children. It is the hope of the Educational Organization that this pilot program will be accepted throughout the State of California. Douglas Boughton, the instructional consultant for the blind of the Los Angeles City School System, a member of the panel, was most enthusiastic about this project. President Gail Cowart, as well as all of the members of the Educational Organization of the Blind, should be commended for undertaking this worthy endeavor.

At the conclusion of our afternoon session, we proceeded to the various special interest meetings of the National Federation of the Blind of California. The Sheltered Shop Workers meeting was ably conducted by Sid Urena. Sid is the national president of the Sheltered Shop Workers. Marie Hatanaka conducted the meeting of the blind secretaries and transcribers. Miss Hatanaka is the national treasurer of the NFB NABST.

Rob Turner chaired the meeting of the Student Division. Under Rob's dynamic leadership, this reporter predicts that this division will be one of our most exciting and effective special interest groups. As President Turner commented: "My major goal is to have the Student Division make a generous contribution to our Newel Perry Scholarship Fund." Rob also stressed the need for blind students to not merely concern themselves with their own special interest, but to work for all of the blind.

The featured speaker at the convention banquet was Senator Jack Schrade of San Diego. All who heard his words came away with the realization that Senator Schrade was a true friend of the blind.

Another highlight, and yet a sad moment for those who know and love her, was the presentation of a watch from the National Federation of the Blind of California to Mrs. Virginia Standiford who, for so many years, has given unselfishly of herself in order to improve conditions for the blind of California. Virginia has always been our "Rock of Gibraltar" behind the scenes and she has been of great assistance to our president as well as to the rest of us who have come to know her. Virginia, your work on behalf of the blind shall never be forgotten.

Alfred Gil, the chairman of the Newel Perry Scholarship Committee, then presented our student recipients with their cash grants which totaled upwards of six thousand dollars. Some two hundred twenty-nine persons attended this gala banquet and a good time was had by all. Lest we forget to mention it, President Mannino presented new charters to those chapters who have changed their names to include the NFB of California.

In the wee small hours of Sunday morning--7:30 a.m.--the Orientation Alumni Association held its breakfast meeting. Mrs. Beth Cassidy was elected to the presidency of this outstanding organization.

The report of the Resolutions Committee to the convention saw the passage of many fine resolutions. They ranged from pledging to assist the State Library to increase its staffing, to a strong anti-discrimination resolution on behalf of blind teachers. A most active committee was our Library Committee under the leadership of Mrs. Melba Galloway. One of the Committee's intentions is to try to provide toll-free telephone service for the blind users of the State Library. Another forthright resolution which was adopted by the convention was our pledge to try to obtain an exemption for the blind with regard to the use of the directory assistance provided by the telephone companies. As many of our readers know, the telephone companies are considering the charging of eight cents per call to directory assistance. It is believed that we will be able to free the blind of California of such an unfair expense.

President Anthony Mannino's report to the convention was filled with optimism. As in any organization, there is a very small minority who would like to believe we are stagnating. But if they truly listened to our president's report, they bad to realize that Tony and the National Federation of the Blind of California have done an outstanding job in the past few years. Due to our president's able leadership and business know-how, the California Industries for the Blind is now recovering from its almost disastrous setback when the State of California decided to close the shops down. Tony and his Board of Directors are now able to see that "light at the end of the tunnel." President Mannino has also gotten many young blind people involved in leadership positions within the Federation. Tony is preparing many future leaders who will some day be given the most responsible task of guiding the destinies of the blind of California.

After our chapter president's luncheon, which was most capably chaired by Donald Queen, the president of the Silver Gate Chapter in San Diego, the delegates at the convention showed their appreciation of the great work of Anthony Mannino by unanimously electing him to another two-year term as the leader of the organized blind in California. Many organizations which claim to speak for the blind select their "blind persons of the year"; those of us in the Federation unanimously believe that Tony is our blind man of this year and we hope for many years to come.

Lawrence Marcelino was also unanimously elected to the position of first vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind of California. President Tony echoed all of our sentiments when he commented that Muzzy is and always shall be the strong right arm of the National Federation of the Blind of California.

Other officers elected to two-year terms were Robert Acosta as second vice-president; Jerrold Drake as secretary; and Charles Smalley as treasurer. Four members of the Executive Committee were chosen by the delegates: Alfred Gil, Allen Jenkins, Mrs. Sybil Ereaux, and Donald Brown.

Perry Sundquist then presented us with a concise report on our national legislative efforts during this past year. The Field Representative of the NFBC, Sid Urena, then discussed our efforts to pass needed State legislation on behalf of the blind of California. In short, considering the austerity programs both in Washington and in Sacramento, the organized blind did very well in the field of legislation and this is because of the great job done by our workers who were right on the scene, and also because of the thousands of Federationists who wrote letters and did their own personal lobbying on our behalf.

A new committee set up at this convention is our statewide Public Relations Committee under the co-chairmanship of David Weddle and Harry Steinmetz.

All of us left this convention with a great feeling of unity and with a renewed desire to double our efforts on behalf of the blind of California.

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COLORADO CONVENTION

by
John W. Bear

The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, formerly Colorado Federation of the Blind, held its annual convention at the Holiday Inn in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Saturday and Sunday November 11-12, 1972. Two busy days began when President Lyle Neff called the convention to order shortly before 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning. President Lyle Neff is to be commended for an excellent job of chairing the convention, in spite of innumerable changes in his original program and what he felt was his own lack of experience.

Mr. Manuel Urena, formerly of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, had been scheduled as the main speaker but became ill. Although not asked until about 9:00 p.m. the previous Thursday, Perry Sundquist, editor of The Braille Monitor, came to Colorado from California and gave two excellent talks as well as assisting in other activities. Other speakers included Dr. H. A. Fonkin, ophthalmologist; Mr. James Shubert, administrator of the Colorado Library Services of the Blind and Physically Handicapped; Mrs. Marie Stauter, chairman of our legislative committee; and Mr. Ray McGeorge, chairman of the NFB of Denver overseas book committee. Mr. McGeorge pointed out that the cost of mailing these books, for example, between July 1 and November 1, 1972, over three thousand books at a cost of nearly one thousand dollars was becoming a heavy burden for the NFB of Denver. Mrs. Ruth Ashby, president of the NFB of Denver, has suggested an appeal to all affiliates of the NFB for help, especially since the already high cost makes it nearly impossible to send much-needed Braille books and writing supplies and materials for teaching arithmetic.

Most of the delegates recovered sufficiently from an excellent banquet dinner and dance Saturday night and attended Sunday morning's session. The resolutions committee presented four resolutions concerning the resistance of Denver Public Schools to the employment of blind teachers; that the NFB of Colorado would donate $200 for the overseas Braille book program; the plans of the Colorado Library for the Blind to move Braille books to Salt Lake City, Utah; and the National Accreditation Council, all of which were approved by the delegates.

Miss Judy Miller was elected as correspondence secretary to fill a vacancy created by a resignation.

Some of the highlights of the affiliate presidents' reports were: Denver, completion of the Red Cross First Aid Classes, the Braille Book Bank, part of the college student materials of the National Braille Association to be located in the NFB of Denver's building at 901 East 17th Avenue, Denver, and shipment of Braille books to underdeveloped countries; Colorado Springs, one of its members who is black and who is one of the top students at her university has raised her family and is competing with some four thousand younger students; Grand Junction, some of its members being certified as lay counselors and in related professions in work with drug and alcohol abuse and mental health; Fort Collins, extensive outdoor activities and musical projects; and Greeley, its efforts to enroll as members students in the special education classes at Northern Colorado University.

The delegates voted unanimously to change the name to National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. The convention ended shortly after noon, but the rest of the day was taken up with our efforts to get home through a typical Rocky Mountain Eastern Slope snowstorm which started suddenly about 10 o'clock but by afternoon had made a slushy, slick mess out of most highways and streets.

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CONNECTICUT CONVENTION

by
Shirley Lebowitz

On Saturday morning, October 28, 1972, the members of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut convened for the first time since the organizational and reconstitutional meeting held in December of 1971. The meeting was held at the Oak Hill School for the Blind, Hartford, Connecticut.

Conventioners arrived early for the general business session which was called to order by Reverend Howard E. May, Jr., president of our State affiliate. Reports of the chapters were given by: Fred Bergen, president, Danbury Area Association of the Blind; Frank Meunier, president of the newly formed Greater Hartford Chapter which has tripled in membership in ten months of existence. The twelve members of the State affiliate who had attended the national Convention in Chicago were once again reminded of the fabulous week at the Palmer House Hotel when I gave the Convention report. It is my hope that many others were inspired to attend the next national Convention in New York City in 1973. President May gave a report on the activities of our State affiliate since the time of its reorganization. He reported that our membership had more than doubled and that one of our goals would be to add at least three more chapters to our family. He spoke about the impact the "new" National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut was having upon the only agency in this State designed to meet our needs. (See The Braille Monitor, May, 1972; July, 1972) Since March, 1972, we are now exercising our right to observe meetings of the Board of Directors of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. It took some convincing on our part to gain entrance into these board meetings.

There was indication of a strong sense of unity when resolutions were adopted expressing our concern for the elderly blind and the conditions of public transportation in the State of Connecticut. Two resolutions concerning the lack of consumer representation on the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council and the Board of Directors of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind were passed. We also passed resolutions committing ourselves to seek enactment of the Model White Cane Law in the Nutmeg State and to assist in every way with fundraising for our State affiliate.

Officers were elected as follows: Reverend Howard E. May, Jr., West Willington, president; Mrs. Shirley Lebowitz, West Hartford, first vice-president; Ben Snow, Hartford, second vice-president; Mrs. Dorothy Campbell, Newtown, secretary; Mrs. Theresa Calusine, Bloomfield, treasurer. Directors: Mr. Jonathan May, South Glastonbury; Mrs. Helen
Brennan, Danbury; Miss Lynn Golden, Darien; Mrs. Marjorie Heath, New London. The State affiliate certainly broadened its base.

During the luncheon, Shirley and Ed Lebowitz presented President May with a gavel significantly engraved, "December 4, 1971." A wooden ballot box was presented by Mary Brunoli and Ben Snow who acted as chairmen for the day's activities. In the exhibit area, there was a large amount of literature available in print. Braille, and talking book distributed by our National Headquarters. The display by the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped was a popular one. There was an opportunity to meet Miss Mary Tincovich, library director and her assistant, Miss Janice Noviafky, who were delighted to make the acquaintance of some of the readers they serve.

Two messages from Governor Thomas J. Meskill's office gave the afternoon session a good start on a note of optimism. Although our Governor could not be with us, he was represented by Mr. Stuart Smith who brought us two very important messages. The first was that Governor Meskill would like to meet with the leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut; the second was that he would like to proclaim a National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut Week so that the citizens of our State could become more aware of our organization and what we are doing with and for the blind in the community.

President May reminded everyone of the cooperation of Governor Meskill in meeting with him, Jonathan May, and me two weeks previous when the first Connecticut White Cane Safety Day Proclamation was signed. The Connecticut Braille Association, which gives meaningful service to the blind of our State, was represented by Mrs. Augusta Apter who is one of their very active Braillists. Mrs. Apter gave a fine run-down of the services which the Connecticut Braille Association provides in the production of Braille and large print materials.

Full discussion and participation concerning the Model White Cane Law highlighted the afternoon session. The NFB of Connecticut is giving top priority to its passage in the coming session of the General Assembly. The Civil Rights section was discussed by Mr. John Taylor, our NFB representative. The discussion on employment was led by Mr. Raymond Madigan, Rehabilitation Counselor and Mr. George Precourt, representing the Lions committee for the employment of the blind. Mr. Edgar G. Carroll of the Hartford Housing Authority discussed housing. Mobility, as it related to the Model White Cane Law, was discussed by Mr. Burt Moylan, supervisor of the Mobility Department of the Board of Education and Service for the Blind. Four discussion groups were formed into the above mentioned categories. Discussions were lively and stimulating and the participation was very good.

Summaries were given by: Frank Meunier, civil rights; Shirley Lebowitz, mobility; Roger Blouin, employment; Phyllis Snow and Dot Campbell, housing. As legislative chairman, I was pleased to hear a firm commitment made by all in support of our Model White Cane Law.

There were two outstanding speakers at our banquet--U.S. Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. and Mr. John Taylor. Senator Weicker expressed the view that what we want is not so special, but only what as Americans we deserve to have. He promised to do all he could to break the barriers of discrimination and stated that our Model White Cane Law was very reasonable. After a day of most serious deliberation, it was refreshing to hear the laughter evoked by Senator Weicker's entertaining anecdotes. Senator Weicker visited and spoke with each and every guest at the banquet. John Taylor, in his speech, complimented the NFB of Connecticut on its vitalization, growth, stimulation and energy manifested by our State affiliate. He summed up the history of the NFB, where the NFB is at present, and the future of the organized blind movement. Mary Brunoli and Ben Snow were given a vote of thanks for handling the convention arrangements.

We came away knowing, as a team, the goals we set for ourselves will be accomplished and that the blind of Connecticut will enjoy a better way of life because of our existence.

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IDAHO CONVENTION

The 37th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho was held at the Westbank Motel in Idaho Falls on August 11, 12, and 13, 1972. The convention was hosted by our Eastern Chapter in beautiful surroundings, just a few yards from the white water cataract which gives the city its name.

The convention was gaveled to order on Saturday morning at 9:00 by President Ruth Shove. The business of the convention, however, began Friday night with the meetings of the Executive, the Legislative, and the Resolutions Committees. The activities of these committees set the stage for discussion and action by the convention on matters of national and State concern.

Reviewing the relationship of NAC to our organization and recognizing the importance and immediacy of action to restructure NAC to the end that it is more responsive to blind persons throughout the country, the convention passed a strong resolution which opposed accreditation by any agency in Idaho serving blind persons and called upon our congressional delegation to support the organized blind movement on this issue. We fully expect the active involvement of our Senators and Congressmen in changing or destroying NAC.

In our efforts to achieve greater recognition for our organization, substantial planning went into the statewide distribution of NFB Public Service Announcements. Already we have been successful in this endeavor. Many radio and television stations are using our Public Service Announcements and doing so with chapter identification. Of greatest concern to the convention was the attack upon Mr. Jernigan and the members of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind. Recognizing that this attack was in fact an attack upon each of us and our organization, emotions ran high in our resolve to win the suit. Other items of national concern--legislative and other activities--were discussed and Idaho will continue to work for the achievement of our goals.

Of equal importance are many issues confronting blind persons of Idaho at the State level. This November Idaho's Governor sought a constitutional amendment limiting the number of State agencies to twenty. Reorganization has been a threat to the Commission since 1968, only a year after it was created. We have resisted envelopment of the Commission in a super-agency thus far, and resolve to continue.

The National Federation of the Blind of Idaho took action supporting the Commission's budgetary request, seeking the establishment of a Little Randolph-Sheppard Law, including the blind and physically handicapped under Idaho's civil rights laws, assuring representation of our organization on the Board of the Commission by the appointment of our President, Ruth Shove, to the position being vacated by Uldine The lander and formally expressing our appreciation for the work of Mrs. Thelander at the time of her retirement.

This year we are seeking the establishment of library services in Idaho by requesting the Legislature to establish and fund a Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped as a part of the Idaho Commission for the Blind. Our action packed convention, upon a report of the activities of the School for the Deaf and the Blind by Mr. Ed Reay, resolved to continue our work to improve the education of blind children in Idaho. As a traditional part of the convention's activities, Director Kenneth Hopkins reported on activities of the Idaho Commission for the Blind for the past year, discussing the progress being made in the number of blind Idahoans entering competitive employment, the status of the remodeling of the new Commission building, and the expansion of services contemplated once remodeling is finished.

The banquet Saturday night was indeed a highlight of the convention. The banquet address, delivered by Mr. John Taylor, representing the National office of the Federation, was well-received by members and legislative guests alike. Mr. Taylor's participation throughout the convention lent good advice and humor along with current information of the activities of the Federation.

The National Federation of the Blind of Idaho, under the leadership of our President, Ruth Shove, and Kenneth Hopkins, our National Executive Committeeman in residence, is on the move. And finally, as one must note about a hard-working, action-packed convention, a good time was had by all.

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INDIANA CONVENTION

by
Robert Lancaster and Jean Wagner

On the weekend of October 6th through the 8th, Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge, Indianapolis, was the scene of the nineteenth annual convention of the Indiana Council of the Blind.

The meeting of the Board of Directors was called to order by President Robert F. Lancaster at 7:30 Friday evening. A very informative and enlightening report of the Governor's Conference on the Handicapped was given by President Lancaster, who attended as the Council's representative. Registration and Hoosier hospitality, supplied by the host affiliate, Marion County Council of the Blind, were also on Friday evening's agenda.

With welcoming ceremonies, an abundance of door prizes and the roll call of the seven chapters present, the Saturday morning session was under way. The highlight of the morning was a speech by Walter A. Penrod, executive director of the Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services Board. This is an "Umbrella type" board, now in its second year, of existence in the State of Indiana. Mr. Penrod spoke of what he termed the "R & R" factor-responsibilities as well as rights of the handicapped. He discussed plans to update and expand services to the blind in Indiana and expressed the desire of the board to establish more and better lines of communication with the Indiana Council of the Blind. The next item was the report of the legislative committee, by its chairman, Richard Reed of Frankfort.

The afternoon session began with the introduction of Miss Julie McGrath, from the Indiana Department of Welfare. Mr. Raymond Handley, director of the Indiana Agency for the Blind, again offered the Indiana Council of the Blind his pledge of cooperation during the coming year. Mr. Handley was followed by Miss Elizabeth Wishard, from the Indiana State Library, who related the history and current services of the division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Our president's report included reports of the Governor's Conference for the Handicapped, the national Convention in Chicago, tentative plans to charter a bus to New York for the 1973 National Convention, and further State plans for the ensuing year. We were then favored by remarks from Mr. John Taylor, Assistant Director in charge of field operations of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. The high spot of the convention was the lovely banquet on Saturday evening, at which Mr. Taylor gave a very strong and forceful speech which gave us all much food for thought.

The busy Sunday morning session was opened by the Secretary's and Treasurer's reports by Mrs. Russell Getz and Mrs. Laurel Raub respectively.

Marc Maurer, vice-president of the Indiana Council of the Blind and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee gave an impressive report of current fundraising campaigns in progress, adding the admonition that "since we are making money--we should spend it."

Lafayette will be the site of the 1973 State convention with the North Central Council of the Blind, Frankfort, as the host chapter.

Russell Getz of Goshen, immediate past president of the Indiana Council of the Blind, and chairman of the Public Relations and Education Committee, stressed the serious need for greater communications between the State organizations and its chapters.

The resolutions committee chaired by Mr. Getz, presented three resolutions to the floor--opposing the State's practice of cutting back Aid to the Blind grants when recipients' social security is increased; pertaining to the name of the Indiana Council of the Blind being changed to Indiana Federation of the Blind; repudiation of NAC. After much spirited debate the resolution dealing with the name change was overwhelmingly rejected. The others were adopted.

Among those present at the convention was Mr. John Janssens of South Bend, the founding father of the Indiana Council of the Blind. But everyone was saddened by the absence of Ray Dinsmore, long time stalwart Federationist in Indiana, who has been seriously ill.

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MARYLAND CONVENTION

by
John T. McCraw

On October 27th, 28th and 29th, more than one hundred white canes unerringly invaded the Fort Cumberland Hotel in Cumberland, Maryland, the Queen City, located high up in the Allegheny Mountains. This gregarious gathering marked the auspicious occurrence of the sixth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

The gang was comfortably ensconced in eighty rooms at the hotel. The banquet room and meeting room were amply commodious and the dining room oozed gustatory delights.

After a brief open board meeting on Friday evening, as well as after the banquet on Saturday evening, person to person hospitality, considerably boosted by a free keg of beer was copiously indulged in by all.

Following the invocation on Saturday morning, Ned L. Graham, the convention chairman, called for welcoming remarks from the State president, John McCraw, who in turn introduced the president of the Greater Cumberland chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, Albert Gregory; the Mayor of Cumberland, Thomas F. Conlon; and that man among men, representing the National Office, Perry Sundquist, Editor of The Braille Monitor, from Sacramento, California.

From ten-thirty a.m. until twelve noon, a panel discussion. Services to the Blind in Maryland, moderated by Willie J. Thompson (Greater Baltimore chapter of the NFB of Maryland), participated in by representatives from the Maryland School for the Blind; Services to the Blind, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; and the State Department of Education, Division of Special Education for the Blind, claimed the enthralled and at times, vociferous attention of the consumers present. As usual, the agencies presented consummate reports, bravely substantiated by recondite statistical ambiguities, demonstratively (so it was insisted) telling us, the consumers of services to the blind, how thoroughly we are being served. Then came the "give and take" question and answer segment of the discussion, and, though some of the members were not so eloquent as the representatives of the agencies, they, notwithstanding, propounded questions which the dispensers of the services found difficult to handle comfortably while staying within the boundaries of honesty.

After a two-hour lunch break, we had comprehensively presented and well received reports from James (we love him) Murray, Director, State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Baltimore, Maryland and George Stevens, Bureau of Disability Insurance, Social Security Administration, Woodlawn, Maryland, and a panel discussion presented by the Maryland Workshops for the Blind.

It should be noted here that a unique rapport exists between the Maryland Workshops for the Blind and the organized blind movement in Maryland, as exemplified by the passing of a resolution listing the achievements of the Maryland Workshops (improvement of labor-management relations; work along with the NFBM, to gain unemployment compensation for workers in the shops; provision of retirement and insurance benefits for the workers; and efforts to locate blind workers in general industry). The resolution
commends the Maryland Workshops for "their progressive policies" and urges that they "continue ever more vigorously to advance the welfare of blind people. . . ."

The ever popular feature "What's On Your Mind," wherein Perry Sundquist, John Nagle and John McCraw held forth, culminated a quantitatively as well as qualitatively provocatively informative day.

After ingesting food for body, Perry Sundquist served a bountiful portion of food for thought, pointing out the hazards that too often impede the progress of the unwary blind. The magnitude of our love for this man from the West was manifested by the throng giving him not one, but two standing ovations.

Following Perry's speech, Ned Graham, president of the Greater Baltimore chapter of the NFB of Maryland, presented scholarships in the amount of $150 each to Yvette Jones and Nancy Jaslow, graduates of the Maryland School for the Blind, who have matriculated to the Prince George Community College School of Nursing and the University of Maryland--Baltimore Campus, School of Social Sciences, respectively. These scholarships are awarded annually from the Milton E. Branch, Sr. Scholarship Fund, honoring Milton E. Branch, Sr., member of the Greater Baltimore chapter, who dedicated thirty-four years to the public school system of Baltimore City, as a pre-eminent teacher and principal. A resolution was presented and unanimously passed, commending Florence Squires of the Eastern Shore chapter of the NFB of Maryland for her diligent dedication in single-handedly raising $557 which she presented to the treasury of the State affiliate.

Sunday morning a workshop "Public Relations and the National Federation of the Blind," chaired by Janiece Petersen and participated in by Milton E. Branch and William Snyder, highly successful public relations man in the city of Baltimore, was thoughtfully worked up and delivered.

Ned Graham and John Nagle quite competently held forth in re the legislative state of the State and the state of the Nation.

Winding up the best of all of our six conventions, the unavoidable business meeting was held, two additional resolutions were acted upon, elections were held, officers installed by Perry Sundquist and verbal accolades were heaped upon Georgia and Floyd Myers for their indispensable efforts in collecting in excess of seventy door prizes and all those other necessary details relevant to a successful convention.

Newly elected officers are: president--John T. McCraw, Baltimore; first vice-president--Wesley Williams, Silver Springs; second vice-president--Dorothy Hall, Princess Anne; secretary--Doris Samuels, Baltimore; treasurer--Georgia Myers, Cumberland; Convention delegate--John T. McCraw, Baltimore, and alternate Convention delegate--Albert Gregory, Cumberland.

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MASSACHUSETTS CONVENTION

by
Rosamond M. Critchley

The nineteenth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, Inc., was held at the Colonial Hilton Inn, Pittsfield, the weekend of October 7-8. This marked our Federation's first penetration into the heart of the Berkshires, where no chapter is located. The convention was hosted by the State organization. A number of local blind people attended at least part of it, and it is our hope that enough interest was generated so that some day a chapter may be organized there.

As always, people began to gather on Friday, the 6th, some to attend preliminary meetings that night, others just to get settled early and do some socializing. The official opening of the convention came Saturday morning, with the Invocation by our corresponding secretary, the Reverend Walter Woitasek, followed with a welcome by Mayor Donald Butler of Pittsfield and greetings from our president, Armand Lefebvre. After the roll call of chapters and the president's report, Mrs. Gisela Titman, librarian of the regional library at Perkins School for the Blind, presented a forthright and most informative talk, which provoked some searching questions. This was followed by a fascinating demonstration of ARTS 1--the Audio Research Time Sharing computer program operated jointly by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Protestant Guild for the Blind.

After the usual luncheon for speakers and constitutional officers, we were brought up to date on what's new in mobility aids. Fred Silver of the Thomas Carroll Rehabilitation Center (formerly the Catholic Guild for All the Blind) talked on the latest in cane techniques; Peter F. Campbell of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, on guide dogs; while George F. Dalrymple, Mike Lichstein and Lindsay Russell showed us some of the latest developments in electronic sensory devices. Benjamin F. Smith, Director of Perkins School for the Blind, updated us on what is happening in these days of rapid change in the field of education. For a discussion of discrimination and the Model White Cane Law, Philip Pofcher, eminent blind attorney, and State Senator Andrea Nuciforo were on hand with pertinent remarks. A panel on the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind was moderated by Lester W. Stott, Supervisor of Volunteer Services, and presented John F. Hobin on vocational rehabilitation, and Miss Christine McLoughlin on medical assistance. As always, both this and the Sunday session also afforded opportunity for the various chapters to report on what they had accomplished during the past year.

The banquet Saturday night was preceded by the usual cocktail hour. A charter was presented to our newest chapter, the National Federation of the Blind of the Andovers, and was accepted by its president, Mrs. Minetta Scott. Recipient of the annual Dr. Jacobus tenBroek Award was the Greater Springfield Association of the Blind. Before presenting the plaque, the president called for a moment of silence in memory of this year's Award Chairman, Eva Gilbert, who had passed away on September 20th. Our guest speaker, Kenneth Hopkins of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, gave a stirring talk on the general topic of Federationism, which was enthusiastically received Before proceeding to the dance, Anita O'Shea's revised version of the NFB's song was sung by all, with Rosamond Critchley at the piano. Then our president favored us with two selections from a new record album in which he is featured as soloist.

Sunday morning's session opened with the annual memorial service for deceased members, conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Wilham Burke. John Ferguson of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind reported on the development of legislation to govern administration of Aid to the Blind, a comprehensive report on federal legislation was given by John Nagle, and a report on the NFB Convention in Chicago by Anita O'Shea.

Following a luncheon for chapter presidents, reports and resolutions covered much of the Sunday afternoon session. An amendment to the constitution was adopted, liberalizing the terms for admission of new chapters. Resolutions covered the following subjects: thanks to State legislators who have helped us through a most successful year; a memorial tribute to Eva Gilbert; censure of Paragon Tours for not permitting one of our blind members to take a tour accompanied by her guide dog; disqualification of membership in the NFBM for anyone belonging to the ACB; commendation to Raymond A, Tardie and the East Bridge water Lions Club for promoting an annual bowling tournament for the Wind; to set up a committee to talk with the staff of the regional library at Perkins, about mutual problems; deploring the abuse of the free mailing privileges available to the blind; commendation to employers who hire blind persons, and a provision that one such employer be honored at each NFBM Convention banquet; to pledge our full support to Perkins in these times of uncertainty in the field of education.

Installed as chapter representatives to serve for the next two years on the Executive Committee were: Minetta Scott, Andover; Catherine Black, Boston; Ruth Goodwin, Brockton; Edna Feijo, Fall River; Richard Clark, Greenfield-Athol; ArthuE Corbeil, Holyoke; Freeman Downing, Lawrence; Junita Cassady, Springfield; Lester Stott, Watertown; and Raoul Goguen, Worcester. Constitutional officers will be elected at the 1973 convention which will be held at thd High Point Inn, Chicopee.

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NEVADA CONVENTION

by
John Tait

Our convention was held at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 13th through the 15th and was chaired by President Audrey Tait. The convention focused upon the two central problems of Nevada's blind citizens. Firstly, the total failure of Nevada's Division of Services to the Blind to develop a meaningful program of social and vocational
rehabilitation services to Nevada's blind and the consequent waste of human and economic resources.

Secondly, the inadequacy of Nevada's Aid to the Blind grants and the necessity for Nevada's Aid to the Blind program to be modified so as to keep pace with the mounting cost of living.

Our approach to the first problem was to sit down in a round table type discussion between interested members and Mr. Roger Trounsday, director of the Department of Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation. Together we explored areas of mutual concern which will be considered at the upcoming session of the Nevada Legislature. Many of those present took advantage of the opportunity to detail the reasons for their demand for an immediate and total revamping of Nevada's Division of Services to the Blind. The general consensus was that Mr. Trounsday was not unsympathetic. Further, during the course of the convention, Mr. Carl Clontz spoke on rural blind and their problems in receiving aid from State Services to the Blind. Mr. James Waggoner spoke on problems and failures of Nevada's vending stand program. Mr. John Tait spoke on Southern Nevada Sightless--problems with State Services to the Blind. Mrs. Ella Council described the rehabilitative achievements of the Blind Center's ceramic program which has been totally rejected by the State Services to the Blind. It is planned that a tape recording of these discussions will be sent to Governor O'Callaghan.

Although virtually everyone participated, the two leaders of the convention discussion were Mr. George Miller, administrator of the Nevada Welfare Division and Perry Sundquist, Executive Board member of the National Federation of the Blind and chief of California's Bureau of Services to the Blind for twenty-seven years. Mr. Miller described the rehabilitative as well as the economic assistance programs of the Welfare Division. To the surprise of some and the delight of all, he stated that an increase in Aid to the Blind grants is long overdue and gave assurance of the readiness of his department to provide background information upon request.

Using the National Federation of the Blind's Survey of Nevada, Mr. Sundquist gave a full and concise statement of the ills of Nevada's Aid to the Blind program as the Federation sees them. A productive dialogue ensued in which there were clarification of objectives and resolutions of misunderstandings.

It was concluded that it will be up to the Governor and the Democratic Legislature to provide the needed money for the Aid to the Blind program as well as to resolve the mess in State Services to the Blind.

Mr. Miller has made it very clear that he will be more than happy to disburse any additional funds appropriated for Aid to the Blind by the Legislature.

The remainder of the formal program was devoted to speakers who provided the members with information of use and importance to them. They included Mr. Edward Cox, Administrator of the Las Vegas Social Security Office; Mr. Perry Sundquist on National Federation of the Blind legislation; Mr. Oscar Ford, Director of the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; Mr. Dan Martin, Senior Citizen Resource Center; Dr. Maurice Pearlman, Ophthalmologist and Mr. Marvin Mitchell, VISTA volunteer.

Our banquet was well attended and included many friends from the Legislature. Father Ward of St. Jude's Ranch gave the invocation. Mr. K. O. Knudson performed excellently as Master of Ceremonies. The principal speaker, Mr. Perry Sundquist eloquently described the history and purposes of the National Federation of the Blind.

Several very important resolutions were passed. They included:

1. A resolution finalizing the changing of the name of the Nevada Federation of the Blind to the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada.

2. A resolution calling for a complete change in supervision of the State Services to the Blind.

3. A resolution calling for the removal of the position of Supervisor of State Services to the Blind from the classified State Service which would make the position dependent upon the pleasure of the Governor.

4. A resolution calling for the establishment of an advisory committee to the State Division of Services to the Blind.

5. A resolution calling for an increase in the average Aid to the Blind grant and a provision in the law to provide cost of living increases in Aid to the Blind grants.

State employee salaries have gone up sixty-two and one half percent since 1962, while Aid to the Blind grants have barely fluctuated. The average Aid to the Blind grant is $23 less than the average grant to Old Age Assistance recipients. Is this fair?

The officers elected for the coming year are: President, Audrey Tait; first vice-president, K. O. Knudson; second vice-president, Jimmy Washington; treasurer, Jim Waggoner; secretary, John Tait; chaplain, Paul Quick; board members: Cari Clontz, Waldo Kemer, Cleo Fellers, and Ella Council.

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OHIO CONVENTION

by
Shirley Stowe

The 26th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio was held at the Akron Tower Motor Inn in Akron. The executive board met on Thursday afternoon and evening, October 12th. The general convention officially began Friday afternoon, October 13th at 1:30 p.m. sharp. The invocation was given by Reverend Andrew Pankov, followed by the singing of the National Anthem, the pledge of allegiance to the American flag and the presentation of colors.

Mr. Jack D. Darrah, a member of the Summit County Society of the Blind, and also a member of the Akron Lions Club, was the capable and congenial convention chairman. At the outset of the convention Mr. Darrah was presented with a lighter as a token for his tremendous job of handling the convention.

We were welcomed by the Honorable Mr. John Ballard, Mayor of Akron. We were further welcomed by Mr. Thomas Williams, president of the Brotherhood of the Blind, and Mr. Chester Hale, president of the Summit County Society of the Blind, host affiliate for this convention. Chairman Jack Darrah introduced the president of the NFB-0, Mrs. Edna Fillinger.

Throughout the sessions, many door prizes were won. There were also affiliate reports given by each chapter present. The theme of the convention was: "Forward With the Blind On the March."

We then had the roll call of delegates which indicated that we had twenty-one affiliates represented out of the twenty-four.

We listened to the keynote speaker, Don W. Overbeay, superintendent of the State School for the Blind, who spoke on trends in the education of the visually handicapped. He also enlarged upon teacher preparation. At the close of Mr. Overbeay's address, our president informed us of SB 550, a bill presently in the Ohio Senate which deals with discrimination and hiring in State jobs. It also includes the hiring of visually handicapped
teachers.

Dr. Edward Purnell from Lakeside Hospital, Cleveland spoke of new innovations and treatments of diabetic retinology. Dr. Purnell informed us of a new procedure in treating a detached retina. A very informative question and answer period followed. We heard the reports of our two delegates who attended the NFB Convention, Mrs. Helen Johnson, the alternate delegate, and our president, Mrs. Edna Fillinger who is automatically first delegate. We also listened to a report by Mrs. Jackie Cumming who attended the Computer Science Division meetings.

From time to time during the convention, John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office made many profitable contributions through his legal advice. He spoke on the legislation of the National Federation. Many interesting questions were asked.

Special interest groups which had met on Friday morning held second sessions in the evening. They were the Ohio Blind Vendors, Student Chapter of the NFB-0. Members-at-large, and the Alumni of the State School for the Blind.

The Saturday morning session began with a prayer offered by Brother John Soehnal. The first segment of this session was devoted to officers' reports. Ivan Garwood gave the treasurer's report which was accepted as read. The executive secretary, Mrs. Rita Bresler, gave her audited financial statement for 1971 This report too, was accepted as read.

We then listened to Steve Loudon, Ohio field representative of Social Security. He was accompanied by Mr. Frederick, manager of the Wooster Social Security Office. Mr. Loudon presented the eligibility requirements for blind persons to qualify for disability benefits. He also spoke on the important role that the disability insurance plays in the social security program. An informative question and answer period followed.

Mrs. Shirley Stowe, secretary, reported on the NFB-0 executive board meeting which took place prior to the convention on Thursday afternoon and evening, October 12th. These minutes were accepted as read. Mrs. Edna Fillinger gave her presidential report.

Saturday afternoon's session began with a panel discussion dealing with legislation on the State and local level. The panelists were: Oliver Ocasek, State Senator of the 27th District of Summit County, Miss Doris Barcomb, director of the Bureau of Services for the Blind, and John Nagle. Since Miss Barcomb was from the Bureau of Services for the Blind, two of the resolutions prepared by our Resolutions Committee were adopted at this time. Resolution 72-03 was adopted to force the Rehabilitation Services Commission to hold open meetings in various parts of the State and also to publicize these meetings at least thirty days prior to the meeting in all major newspapers throughout Ohio. Resolution 72-07 in reference to the Rehabilitation Services Commission considering nominees from the blind movement itself for membership on the advisory committee of the Rehabilitation Services Commission Miss Barcomb made favorable remarks on both of these resolutions. Many questions were asked of our panelists.

Miss Jean Chambers of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind told of the activities of the West Virginia Federation and she informed us of their fundraising projects.

The 26th annual banquet was held Saturday evening in the grand ballroom of the hotel. The highlight of the evening was the dinner speaker, John Nagle, who delivered a very inspiring and informative address in furtherance of the convention theme: "Forward With the Blind On the March." The next item on the program was the presentation of the awards by Robert Eschbach, chairman of the awards committee. The first award was presented to Donald Overbeay, superintendent of the State School for the Blind, chosen as the sighted person of the year who has been of the most service to the blind of Ohio. The next award went to the recipient of the Al Smith memorial award, Denis Wyant from Dayton. The affiliate award was won by the Philomatheon Society of Canton. Their president, Mr. Art Leading received the gavel and also a certificate denoting their achievements for the year. Those affiliates that received honorable mention were the Youngstown -Council, the White Cane Club of Springfield, and the Dayton Council.

At 9:00 Sunday morning the memorial and church services were held. The general session started at 10:00 a.m. The report of the constitution committee was given by John Knall, chairman. He reported that there were four constitutional amendments. Next was the report of the Finance Committee by the chairman, Rose Enos. The next item of business was the consideration of the resolutions. Miss Marie Shaffer is chairman of this committee. 72-01 deals with the denial of a number of blind people their rights to enter a restaurant accompanied by a guide dog. 72-02 concerns those blind recipients of both Social Security benefits and Federal-State public assistance benefits. 72-04 deals with the Ohio Blind Vendors obtaining a Vending Facilities Act to complement the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act enabling them to secure more locations. 72-05 refers to the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act of 1936, which was set up to provide meaningful employment to blind individuals and other disabled groups and programs serving the blind. 72-06 requests the Ohio Department of Public Welfare to prepare its budget for the next biennium with provision for the absolute maximum use of funds for Federal-State matching funds for all things allowable under the Federal-State matching formula provisions and also that the director of the Ohio Department of Public Welfare simultaneously submit a copy of its biennial budget to the NFB-0, 72-08 urges thorough screening and preparation of candidates to be considered by the nominating committee of the NFB for membership on the Executive Board at the national level. 72-09 requests the State Board of Education and the superintendent of the State School for the Blind to provide necessary special classroom instruction and curriculum for this multihandicapped group. 72-10 the NFB-O to support the Alumni Association and to assist them whenever possible. All ten of our Resolutions were adopted.

Rose Enos gave the sustaining membership committee report. We heard the report of the Membership Committee given by Thomas Matthews. There were seven members-at-large admitted at our convention and groundwork is being laid for forming new affiliates in various areas of Ohio. Robert Eschbach gave the human relations report.

We are trying to make a practice of setting up our State conventions four years in advance. Our convention will be held in Dayton in 1973, in Canton in 1974, in Columbus in 1975, and in Cleveland in 1976.

Our final item was the election of officers with the following results: President, Mrs. Edna Fillinger, Cleveland; first vice-president, Thomas Matthews, Akron; second vice-president, Dewey Cummings, Toledo; secretary, Mrs. Shirley Stowe, Niles; and treasurer, Ivan Garwood, North Baltimore.

Our president Edna Fillinger is automatically our first delegate to the National Convention and our alternate delegate is Thomas Matthews.

Our newly elected officers were installed by Jack Darrah.

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PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION

by
Charles Lichtenwalner

The thirty-seventh annual State convention of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Philadelphia, on October 6, 7 and 8, starting with an open meeting of the Executive Board on Friday evening October 6. On Saturday morning, October 7, the convention was called to order by our president, Dr. Mae Davidow, following which we were welcomed by the Mayor's representative, Deputy Commissioner Lawrence J. Devlin, who presented the president with a replica of the Liberty Bell, crack and all. Convention chairman, Lillian Bersh Bell extended greetings and Donald Capps, First Vice-President of the National Federation of the Blind, addressed the group. James Barrall, president of the Lehigh Valley Federation of the Blind, offered a brief eulogy to the late Senator John Van Sant.

Jack Schumaker reported on the 1972 National Convention held in Chicago in July, which was attended by fifty-three Pennsylvania Federationists. We were happy to learn that our president was reelected to the Executive Board of NFB, and that NFB contributed three hundred dollars to the Luzerne County Federation of the Blind whose office in Wilkes-Barre suffered serious damage during the June flood.

The regional reports followed. William Corey, representing the Western Region, reported that his group is giving consideration to the problems of the older blind citizen. William Murray, Central Region, spoke about the problems facing the Home for Blind Women in Philadelphia. Speaking for Southeast Region, Dorothy Digirolamo covered a report on the services provided by the Free Library for the Blind in that region, Mrs. Mary K. Bauman's pioneering of psychological testing for the blind, and pressing transportation needs in the area. Vicki Mero, Northeast Region, reported that Leroy Price had talked to the chapters about the proposed bylaws. Western, Southeast, and Northeast all played host to John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office, NFB; while Central Region's guest speaker was Franklin VanVliet, Treasurer of NFB.

Richard Masciarella spoke about insurance, reminding us that the blind are still considered high risk by insurance companies, and stressing disability among the sighted as well as the blind.

Concluding the morning session. Jack Schumacher, chairman of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee, offered some preliminary remarks about the work which he and his fellow committee members, Duke Andrews and Leroy Price (plus the president as ex officio member) had done on the proposed bylaws. Before the lunch recess the document was read in its entirety, with the understanding that each section would be discussed from the floor in the afternoon.

The afternoon was devoted to a thorough appraisal of the bylaws. Due to illness, Leroy Price was not present, but Duke Andrews spoke to us about the arduous preparation involved. Jack Schumacher, the chairman, then reviewed each article, section by section. The first point of controversy was the proposal to change the name of the organization to National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania. This was put to a motion and defeated. Much discussion followed on the role of the associate member, and then another point of controversy came under scrutiny: The proposed changes in the Executive Board. At this time it was agreed that the proposed bylaws be sent back to the committee. The members of the committee then resigned. The president will appoint a new committee which will be able to make use of any groundwork already laid.

On Saturday evening, the Pennsylvania Ballroom glittered with a distinguished array of guests from the political firmament, the leading star being the Honorable Sarah A. Anderson, Chairman of the Health & Welfare Committee of our State Legislature, and a concerned friend of the Wind throughout her eighteen years of service in the Assembly. As a token of our appreciation, the president presented Mrs. Anderson with a Certificate of Merit. A second presentation, in the form of a charter, went to our youngest chapter, Owen Wister Chapter. Our guest speaker, Donald Capps, concluded the formal program. His speech emphasized opportunity and equality as they affect the blind. After the tumult of the day, it was good to hear the relaxing voice of our M. C. Stanley Plawa, and to join in the "community sing" led by Catherine Deraco.

On Sunday morning, October 8, the final meeting of the convention was called to order by the President, followed by reading of the minutes of the 1971 convention by the secretary and a summary of the treasurer's report. Next the president gave her report, mentioning the attainment of several of our goals including the employing of an administrative secretary and the purchasing of equipment for brailling. More correspondence will be brailled in the future. William Corey presented a comprehensive Finance & Budget Committee report, and the budget for fiscal year was approved.

Regarding legislation, it was stated that there is a willing spirit among the legislators in Harrisburg towards our bill to raise the ceiling on income, but just when they will take action remains to be discovered. Frank Lugiano, our ex-president and champion of legislation in behalf of the blind, reminded us that we must contact our legislators; otherwise our spokesmen cannot help us.

Bill Murray spoke of a problem that has developed relating to the education of blind children. It appears that parents of blind children may no longer choose the type of school they want their children to attend. A subcommittee consisting of Bill Murray, Kenneth Jones and Robert Morgenstern was appointed to look into this.

A commission for the blind remains contingent upon the research project, attempts to finance which are currently under way.

Upon a motion, one hundred dollars was contributed to Miss-A-Meal to help our blind brothers overseas. Proceeds from the sale of the NFB picture, referred to earlier, also go to this worthy cause.

For the Liaison Committee, Louella Murray had good news pertaining to the Home for Blind Women in Philadelphia. Also, Tom Mortimer has left no stone unturned in his research into sheltered shops including a number in Europe.

Membership Chairman Nello Digirolamo was pleased to report an increase in PFB membership as a result of the excellent cooperation of his committee.

Speaking for Public Relations, Lillian Bell stressed the importance of presenting a united front and not publicizing our differences.

We the Blind Editor Dorothy Digirolamo said that one of our goals is to have one large publication a year, in addition to our bi-monthly newsletter.

Under necrology, William Murray read the names of all the departed members over the past year.

At 12:00 noon, the 1972 convention of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind became history.

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WEST VIRGINIA CONVENTION

by
Ed McDonald

The nineteenth annual convention of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind was held August 11-13, 1972 at the Up-Towner Inn, Parkersburg, West Virginia.

The primary focus of the convention in this election year was politics, and the highlight of the weekend's activities came on Sunday morning with an appearance by West Virginia's Governor Arch A. Moore. During his remarks Governor Moore requested that State Federation President Robert L. Hunt appoint six members of the Federation to serve on a task force designed to conduct an extensive study of the State's services to the blind. Moore further requested that upon completion of the study, the task force draw up a list of what it believes to be needed improvements in such services. These recommendations are to be submitted to the Governor in early January 1973, at which time they will be brought before the West Virginia Legislature as the Governor's proposed legislative program for the blind of the Mountain State. Moore promised that State funds will be available to aid the task force in its study and that he and his administration will fully support any recommendations which the task force proposes.

President Hunt will serve as chairman of the task force. The other members whom he appointed are Victor Gonzalez, Anmoore; William Radcliffe, Parkersburg; E. Sid Alien, Huntington; Kelton Roten, Huntington; and Miss Jean A. Chambers, Morgantown.

Earlier in his remarks to the convention, Governor Moore announced his plans to direct State Welfare commissioner Edwin Flowers to put into effect two measures directly related to the Blind. The first would provide funds making available free telephone service to all blind persons in the State now receiving welfare assistance. The second measure would make available an allowance to any blind welfare recipient who used a dog guide, enabling him to maintain the dog. Moore said he expected Commissioner Flowers to put both measures into operation within the week following the convention.

Governor Moore, a Republican, will face Democrat John D. Rockefeller, IV, in his bid for re-election this fall. Rockefeller, who currently serves as West Virginia's Secretary of State, was unable to attend the convention; however, Ralph Bean, Jr., a representative of the Rockefeller campaign, was on hand during the Saturday afternoon convention session. In his remarks, Bean discussed the need for politicians to listen to and become aware of the needs and feelings of minority groups such as the blind before attempting to enact measures in their behalf.

The Saturday night banquet featured an address by Delegate Billy Brown Burke, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates. In addition to extending cordial greetings to members of the Federation, Burke voiced high praise for the work being done at the West Virginia School for the Blind at Romney. He announced that in this year's budget for the school, the Legislature had included an appropriation for the construction of new dormitory facilities.

John Nagle, Chief of the Washington office of the NFB, was on hand throughout the entire convention. Nagle spoke during the Saturday afternoon session concerning the legislative goals and accomplishments of the NFB. He also delivered an informative and inspiring banquet address based on the philosophy of the Federation.

Two panel discussions also headlined the Saturday convention session. Both featured representatives of State agencies which offer various services to the blind.

The members of the first panel were Frederick Glazier, Executive Secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission; Mrs. Dollie Rapking, Director of the West Virginia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; John Yankey, Assistant Director of the State Department of Welfare; and Dr. John Southard, representing the West Virginia Department of Education. The chairman of the panel was Victor Gonzalez, WVFB legislative chairman.

The second panel was composed of representatives from the West Virginia Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. They included T. S. Funk, director of the division; Joseph Lobuts, chief of Services for the Blind; and James Burk, supervisor for the Blind and Severely Disabled.

Another interesting aspect of the convention program was a demonstration of the Optacon, the recent electronic development enabling tactual reading of printed material. Dr. Robert Stillwell, chairman of the Department of Modern Languages at West Virginia University and member of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind, described the operation of the device and read several passages from a college textbook to demonstrate its practical application. There followed a discussion of the possibilities of offering training in the use of the Optacon through a program under the West Virginia Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

During the banquet ceremonies two scholarship awards were presented to two blind students of the Mountain State. This year's C. C. Cerone Award went to Miss Sharon Poole, and the Jacobus tenBroek Award went to Rodney Valentine. Both recipients are 1972 graduates of Parkersburg High School and both plan to enter college this fall.

The 1972 "Federationist of the Year" Award went to E. Sid Allen of Huntington. Allen is successfully employed in the real estate and telephone answering business, and has been active in the West Virginia Federation for many years. In addition to having served ten years as treasurer of the organization, he has served as chairman of the White Cane Fund-raising Committee, a member of the WVFB Legislative and Public Relations Committees, a member of the West Virginia Society for the Blind and Severely Disabled, and currently as a member of a committee to re-evaluate the State's vending stand program.

The WVFB 1972 Yearbook was dedicated to Guy Parks of Clarksburg. Parks was one of the first employees at the Industrial Blind Enterprises of Stonewood, West Virginia, a position which he held until his retirement in 1971. Parks has been a member of the Executive Board of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind for several years, having served as first vice-president, second vice-president, and as president for ten months following the death of president Charles Monfradi in October, 1966.

The following officers were elected to serve during the coming year: President, Robert L. Hunt, Buckhannon; first vice-president, Jack W. Sprinkle, Arlington; second vice-president. Miss Jean A. Chambers, Morgantown; secretary, Paul A. Hughes, Wheeling; financial secretary, Mrs. Evelyn Milhom, Wheeling; treasurer, E. Sid Allen, Huntington; chaplain, Harry Highland, Parkersburg.

The WVFB was honored to have as a guest of the convention Mrs. Edna Fillinger, president of the NFB of Ohio. Mrs. Fillinger addressed the convention on Saturday morning, informing it of successes and difficulties experienced by the Ohio affiliate. She extended an invitation to President Hunt to attend the Ohio convention in October. Mr. and Mrs. Gale of Philadelphia were also made welcome and participated in the convention. They were guests of Mr. O'Connor.

Some one hundred forty-three persons registered for this year's convention, and one hundred sixty-one persons attended the banquet. The members voted to hold their 1973 convention in Wheeling, West Virginia, where the local affiliate will be observing its twenty-fifth anniversary.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH

by
Harvey Webb

[Editor's Note: Harvey Webb, president of the NFB of Louisiana-one of the most active affiliates in the NFB-is going to pass everyone up on the organizational front, if not in the kitchen.]

 

HARVEY'S HASH

In matters pertaining to the kitchen, I am about as useful as a milk-bucket under a bull.
Therefore, when I come up with a recipe, you know it is going to be a simple one.

One can each:

hot tamales
corned beef
chili (without beans)

Empty all three cans into a saucepan, heat, and serve.

By the way, it's a good idea to remove shucks, or wrappings from tamales, and cut them into bite-sized pieces-the tamales, not the shucks.

Serve with apple-carrot-raisin salad, kind words, and Alka-seltzer.

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MONITOR MINIATURES

The New York Telephone Company has recently filed a petition with the Public Service Commission seeking to charge six cents per number requested for Directory Assistance. In its petition the company stipulates that no charge would be made by the Directory Assistance Operator for calls from handicapped persons who have been certified to the telephone company by a registered physician as being unable to use telephone directories. In cases involving visually handicapped persons, the telephone company, in lieu of a physician's certificate, may rely on a certificate of the New York State Commission for the Visually Handicapped.

The Federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare announces that the number of persons rehabilitated under the Federal-State program of vocational rehabilitation rose to record proportions in Fiscal Year 1972, exceeding the 300,000 mark for the first time. For the twelve months ending June 30, 1972, State agencies report having closed 326,138 persons as rehabilitated. The greatest gain over the previous year was made by Texas, followed by Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, and California. Included in the total were 15.7 percent of persons who were public assistance recipients at some time during the vocational rehabilitation process.

Charles McCullough, blind since 1947 and a staunch NFB member, has won an award in the "People Make Quality" program at the Louisville, Kentucky, Works of the International Harvester Company. McCullough, who is a packer in the shipping department, was selected from approximately two hundred hourly employees. McCullough's foreman says the blind worker is first class in all ways. He has been with International Harvester since
1950.

A Federal District Court in San Francisco upheld the legality of a health care experiment under which one-third of California's 2.2 million welfare recipients pay part of their medical expenses. The Court rejected a challenge to U. S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Elliot Richardson's approval of the medicaid co-payment plan-the only experiment of its kind in the nation. Under the plan, recipients pay a one dollar charge for each doctor visit and fifty cents for each prescription, with a three dollar monthly maximum. To permit the State to implement the experiment, the U. S. granted California a waiver of certain requirements concerning a welfare recipient's ability to share costs under medicaid. The ruling said that the program was designed to test the feasibility of co-payment on a limited scale before it is incorporated into mandatory requirements for all State plans. The States of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and New York are thinking of proposing similar waivers for their recipients, to permit the co-payment plan.

In an attempt to eliminate a deficit, the North Dakota State Social Services Board ordered large cuts in assistance grants and medical service payments. Cuts amounting to five percent were made in assistance grants in all public assistance programs.

The Braille Quarterly announces that Ring Around the Pops is a quarterly published in Braille during the months of January, April, July, and October of each year featuring articles about and interviews with many current and past rock and folk music performers. Artists included in this section so far have been the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Glen Campbell. There is also a section on newly-released albums which are described briefly. Anyone desiring further information should write to Braille Quarterly, 113 Kennedy Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40206.

The President's Cost of Living Council has inaugurated a "Rent Watch" program consisting of a nation-wide survey of rent practices in senior citizens' housing to assure that landlords are complying with economic stabilization regulations. When twenty-eight million persons received a twenty percent increase in Social Security payments, the "Rent Watch" program aimed to prevent the landlords from increasing rents to the elderly. The Internal Revenue Service will carry out the program and any violations should be reported directly to the nearest IRS office.

Five blind persons, armed with training manuals written in Braille, have been hired by the Internal Revenue Service in Florida. They answer telephoned questions about taxes in various IRS offices in the State and are classified as taxpayers service representatives.

Mary Hartle of the NFB Student Division writes us as follows: "The NFB of Michigan refuses to be left out. It, too, wants to join the ever-growing number of States that have student divisions by establishing its own. At its annual convention our Michigan affiliate voted to establish a student division. Prior to the adoption of the resolution a discussion was held on the topic 'Student Concerns.' The trend toward establishing student divisions in States continues. Some others now existing include California, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington. (If there are others, let Mary know.) We hope students are saving their pennies so they can come to the New York Convention this coming summer. We'd like to see a large representation of students at the Convention and at the NFB Student Division meeting."

The Twin Vision Publishing Division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind has just published another in its series of Great Documents, this entitled "American Holidays." American holidays honor people and events having a unique impact upon our country's development. It is appropriate that we examine the significance of our holidays, for they mark milestones of our national history. Like the others in the series, this new volume has raised illustrations and texts in both Braille and print.

The Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 announces three tuition-free home-study courses of special value to current or prospective university students. The courses are: Modified Grade Three Braille; Using the Abacus; and College Typewriting. Each course fosters skill, confidence, and independence in a vital area of
university activity-and lifetime activity following graduation.

Recently the Pine Bluff organization became the third local chapter of the NFB of Arkansas. The organized blind movement can now look forward to strong and enthusiastic support and active participation in the Pine Bluff area of the State.

Linda Filson, 25, blind since birth, is one of three tour guides employed by the Pacific Telephone Company in Los Angeles. She has been a guide for the company for over a year, leading groups of visitors through the twelve-story building explaining everything as she goes. Linda says, "I don't consider my lack of sight a handicap in my job."

Mr. Raymond Rokita, one of our members in Michigan, recently became employed as a darkroom technician at the Veterans' Hospital in Ann Arbor. It is gratifying to know that Federal Civil Service opportunities continue to increase for blind persons. The experience and good work of Mr. Rokita should help open the way for other blind persons in Federal employment.

The Iowa Commission for the Blind has need of Braille proofreaders who hold A certificates, especially those able to cope with foreign languages, music, and math. Rates fifteen cents per page plus thirty-five cents for recopying. Cannot guarantee any specific amount of work. If interested, contact Mrs. Florence Grannis, Iowa Commission for the Blind, Fourth and Keosauqua, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, Area Code 515-283-2601.

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