Voice of the National Federation of the Blind


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


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

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

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

News items should be sent to the Editor

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


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

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

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the Berkeley Office for other suggested forms. Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708



by Kenneth Jernigan




by Florence Grannis

by Victor Gonzalez


by Rita Chernow

by Michael Meehan

by Ramona Walhof

by Kay Martin and Joanna Spence

by Florence Grannis

by Loretta Benavidez

by Mary Hartle

by Jeanne Frederick




Des Moines, Iowa, April 16, 1973.

To the NFB Executive Committee, All State and Chapter Presidents:

DEAR COLLEAGUES: April 4, 1973, was truly a great day for the blind of this country. It was then that Congressman James Burke, of Massachusetts, and Congressman Wilbur Mills, of Arkansas, introduced H.R, 6554, the Federation Disability Insurance for the Blind bill.

Under date of April 5, 1973, Congressman Burke sent a letter (copy attached) to all members of the House of Representatives, asking them to join with him in co-sponsoring the bill. In the House of Representatives only twenty-five members may co-sponsor a single bill. Therefore, Congressman Burke will reintroduce the bill as soon as he has twenty-five co-sponsors. As soon as he has twenty-five more, he will introduce the bill again. He will continue to do this as long as he can get additional co-sponsors.

Our letter-writing campaign to Congressman Mills was eminently successful. The time has now come for a concentrated effort to get the Congressmen from your State to join as co-sponsors of the bill with Congressman Burke.

As I have said. Congressman Burke and Congressman Mills led the parade by introducing H.R. 6554 April 4. It is now up to us as to how many co-sponsors we get. With the devoted work which Congressman Burke is doing and the added prestige of the name of Congressman Mills we should be able to pass the Disability Insurance bill this year— that is, if we all work at getting letters from our families, friends, and from all of the blind. Letters should also be sent to the United States Senators from your State. Our bill must pass the Senate as well as the House.

This is the time to let the Congressmen hear from the blind. Study the Disability Insurance material printed in the April Monitor, and pour on the letters and personal contacts. We can do it if we will. Which State will be the first to have one hundred percent co-sponsorship by its


National Federation of the Blind.


Washington, D.C., April 5, 1973.

DEAR COLLEAGUES: On April 4 I introduced H.R. 6554, a bill to amend Title II of the Social Security Act to liberalize the conditions governing eligibility of blind persons to receive disability insurance benefits.

H.R. 6554 would do two things: It would allow a person who is blind as defined in the Social Security Act to qualify for disability insurance payments after working six quarters in Social Security-covered work, and it would allow them to continue to draw disability insurance payments so long as they remain blind, irrespective of their earnings. Under existing law, a person must work five of the ten years prior to the time of applying for disability insurance payments benefits in order to establish eligibility for such benefits. To many blind persons, able to work although blind, but unable to secure work because they are blind—or unable to secure work of long and steady duration because they are blind—my requirement of employment for a year and a half instead of five years in Social Security-covered jobs is much more realistic and reasonable. It is much more realistic when considering the adverse attitudes, the adverse and prejudicial practices which confront the blind when they seek work for which they are qualified, are skilled, and are able to operate successfully with blindness, yet are not hired because of some worn-out notion that they are incompetent, helpless, and unemployable. H.R. 6554 recognizes that a person who tries to function, sightless, in our sight-structured society, functions at an economic disadvantage. The blind person who would function self-dependently, would earn a living, would live responsibly, must not only pay the usual daily living costs which his sighted fellows pay, but he must also pay the extra expenses incurred in hiring sight. By allowing a blind person to draw disability insurance payments so long as he remains blind, irrespective of his earnings, H.R. 6554 would make the disability insurance program a true and effective insurance program for blind people.

I plan to reintroduce this legislation next week and I would be very pleased if you would join me as a co-sponsor. Should you have any questions concerning this bill, or if you decide to join me as a co-sponsor, I hope you will contact Deborah Swartz on X-53215, no later than Thursday, April 12.

With all good wishes, I am


Member of Congress.

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Kenneth Jernigan

When I was a schoolboy, one of my favorite poems was "The Cremation of Sam McGee." It began: "There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold." I presume that Sam McGee (if he ever lived at all) is long since dead, and I have never been in the midnight sun; nor, to the best of my knowledge, have I ever seen men moil for gold. Yet, I must confess that I have recently seen "some strange things done."

In this connection I received a call the other day from Donald Nold, the editor of Dialogue magazine. More precisely, Mrs. Grannis received the call. He told her that there was a persistent rumor that I had been fired by the Governor of Iowa and that he wished to verify it. He said that The Braille Monitor was often inaccurate (which would seem to be a gratuitous insult in the circumstances) but that Dialogue wanted to "tell it like it is." At this stage Mrs. Grannis left him waiting on the line and called me. I told her that I would be glad to talk with him.

Since I cannot hope to remember the exact words of my conversation with Mr. Nold and since I think the exchange was too much fun for Monitor readers to miss, I hope you will permit me to paraphrase. I emphasize that what I am about to give you is not word for word, but it is my best memory and it certainly gives an accurate portrayal of the sense and flavor of it all.

I picked up the phone and said: "Mr. Nold, I understand you have some questions to ask about me."

"Yes," he replied, "this rumor that the Governor of Iowa has fired you is so persistent that we want to print the truth about it."

"Why didn't you ask me instead of Mrs. Grannis?" I said.

"I am asking you," he answered.

"But you didn't intend to," I replied. "You only did it because Mrs. Grannis got me on the phone."

"I thought you might already be gone," he said.

"Well," I replied, "you might have asked for me as a sort of trial run. Don't you think? Anyway, I'm still here, in spite of what some might hope."

"But," Mr. Nold said, "I understand that you are trying to get a job in South Carolina. If there isn't anything to all this, why are all these rumors going about?"

I replied that I could think of several reasons why certain persons and organizations in the country might eagerly spread such rumors, based mostly on wishful thinking. There is NAC, for instance; and then there is the American Foundation for the Blind. Even more, there is the American Council of the Blind. I suggested to Mr. Nold that, in view of the trouncing the ACB recently took in the Iowa lawsuit, they might be interested in creating a diversion. I went on to say that the rumor would backfire-as such untruths are wont to do.

I then said something to this effect: "The only talk I have heard about the possibility of my leaving my job as Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind came in a recent newspaper story, which said that it was reported that the Governor was considering offering me the job of Director of our State Department of Social Services, the department which spends about a third of the Iowa budget and controls most of our State institutions and welfare programs." I went on to say to Mr. Nold that, although this might be considered quite a promotion, I doubt that I would be interested. "In any case," I said, "all I can tell you is this: I drew my last pay check; I expect to draw the next one; and I believe I will be doing the same thing this time next year. As Mark Twain put it, 'The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.' "

Mr. Nold said, "Can I quote you verbatim on all of this?"

"Have you been taping our conversation?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied.

"Then," I said, "you are violating the law."

"I intended to tell you about it before we were through," he said.

"That has nothing to do with it," I replied. "You are still violating the law."

"The quality may not be good enough to be reproduced on our records, anyway," he said.

"Totally irrelevant," I replied. "If you are going to tape a telephone conversation you have to tell the individual, and you have to have a beeper. Otherwise, you are violating the law."

"But," he said, "we don't have a beeper."

To which one can only say: "What has that got to do with the price of soy bean futures?"

While I was about it, I explained to Mr. Nold that I thought his reporting was usually quite biased and slanted, and rarely objective or factual. I said that he often printed things about the Federation without ever bothering to get the facts, not to mention our viewpoint. He said that we have never asked him to publish anything. In this, at least, he was right on target. The Monitor has considerably more circulation than Dialogue and is quite capable of carrying our message wherever it needs to go. If Mr. Nold wishes to ask us to publish something, we will be glad to consider it.

Somewhere along about this time the conversation ended, on a moderately amiable note. I assume that Mr. Nold will continue making snide remarks about us in his magazine and that he will go on writing letters of attack to private individuals whenever he thinks we will not learn about it. (Such letters keep finding their way into my hands.) I also assume that we will continue to bear up under it.

Before leaving Mr. Nold, let me say a word more about the kind of letters he writes to blind people. Recently, for instance, he wrote to one blind person as follows:

Berwyn, Illinois, March 8, 1973.

DEAR MR.______: I am returning your dollar because I consider the implications under which it was sent to be insulting, to say the least.

Our policy at Dialogue is to accept material which we consider worthy of publication and to reject that which is not. Many successful authors have boxes filled with rejection slips because editors did not think their material acceptable. Your vindicative attitude to our decision does not enhance your image with our editors, and if you were dealing with a commercial magazine, you probably would not receive the courtesy of an answer. We do not accept articles on sympathy, but judge them strictly on their merit. If your articles had measured up to our standards, they would have been accepted. Unless you change your attitude in the future, we shall be inclined to reject anything you send on sight. However, if you learn what many other writers have learned—that one must learn not only to write acceptable material which editors believe their readers will enjoy-and if you can accept a rejection gratefully, we will consider more material from you. I would strongly urge, however, you study some of the basic rules of writing and forget what over-sympathetic teachers might have told you.



(Incidentally, the spelling and wording are Mr. Nold's. In other words, the repetition, stylistic flaws, and errors are his—not ours or the would-be author's, the man he was lecturing on the necessity of good writing. The condescension and the sanctimonious tone are also his, and I doubt that the man who received the letter was "grateful.")

But enough of Mr. Nold. The day after our conversation I received a call from Lou Corbin from Florida, who told me that blind people in that State had heard the rumor that I had been fired by the Governor of Iowa and that he was calling to get the truth of the matter.

The calls from Lou Corbin and Don Nold were not the first I had received. A couple of weeks before, Bob Whitehead called me to say that ACB members in Kentucky were dancing with glee and gloating because the Governor of Iowa had just tossed me out. Still earlier that same kind of call came from New England, again indicating that ACB members were spreading the word with great joy. Also from California and other parts of the Far West came similar tidings.

Remember the song by Pete Seeger, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" Perhaps we should revive it with a new twist:

Where have all the rumors gone?
Gone to the Council, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the Council gone?
Gone to NAC, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the NACsters gone?
Gone to the Foundation, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the Foundation gone?
Gone to Dialogue, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the Dialogues gone?
Gone to losers, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the losers gone?
Gone to rumors, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

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Probably the most controversial subject in the field of work with the blind today is NAC, the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped. The organized blind have been trying to reform it and make it behave responsibly; the Librarians for the Blind recently rejected it; the State administrators of agencies for the blind split down the middle in a tie vote in the spring of 1972 on the question of endorsing it; many of the agencies secretly fear and condemn it, while some of them seek accreditation from it, and still others warmly embrace it; Congress threatens to investigate it; and its own board, along with the American Foundation for the Blind, and certain HEW officials, desperately seek to justify it and make it respectable.

In view of all of this the comments of M. Robert Barnett, executive director of the American Foundation for the Blind in the Spring 1973 issue of Dialogue magazine are perhaps to be expected but still worthy of comment. They exemplify his attitudes toward blindness and the blind and show how much out of contact with reality he really is. Entitled "Meet the Foundation Director," the Dialogue article appears in the print and talking-book, not in the Braille, editions. It says in part:

The Foundation helped to organize and currently contributes ninety thousand dollars a year to the National Accreditation Council, which seeks to standardize programs and personnel qualifications in agencies and schools.

"There has been a little controversy about the National Accreditation Council," Barnett said. "Some think that it is imposing controls on society. The word 'control' is inaccurate. What NAC is imposing, for those who request them, are standards. If someone is in trouble, let's make sure that people who try to help them know how to solve their problem. Therefore, there must be standards. People who say, 'I want to help the blind,' but never went to college and have no training in psychology, vocational guidance, or rehabilitation, to me are for the birds. If I had a blind child, I would want him to get good education; and to get good education, you have to have teachers. To have teachers, you have to have standards. That is what the Foundation is really all about. Without putting down some well-meaning people (Lions clubs, Delta Gamma, Junior League, and a few other organizations who want to do good things), I still say that most of what they purport to do does not meet a standard."

So says M. Robert Barnett to Donald Nold, and it is hard to know where to begin in commenting on it all. Can all that has been happening with respect to NAC properly be characterized as just "a little controversy?" Certainly one item which requires notice is Mr. Barnett's statement "if someone is in trouble, let's make sure that people who try to help them know how to solve their problem." One wonders where Mr. Barnett has been for the last twenty-five years. This is what it has all been about. His statement is custodialism exemplified. What the blind want is not somebody to "solve their problem." They can do that for themselves. Help in dealing with problems? Yes. Somebody to solve the problem? No.

If someone thinks all of this is quibbling, let him think again. Custodialism and condescension do not so much manifest themselves in the great events of life as in the little rills and rivulets of everyday talk and casual expression.

Then, there is that comment about people who "never went to college" and "have no training in psychology, vocational guidance, and rehabilitation." Are they really "for the birds?" What complete lack of understanding! What total insensitivity ! What complete missing of the point! What pathetic, disgusting, and misplaced condescension!

Mr. Barnett seems to feel that there is some magic in the word "standard"—that if you have one (a "standard," that is) you're on the right track. Never mind what the "standard" is, or whether it does anybody any good—or, for that matter, any harm. Apparently you need one—a "standard" that is.

The Lions, it would seem don't have one; nor do the Delta Gammas, or the Junior League, or presumably a whole variety of other organizations— including, one can be sure, the organized blind.

Mr. Barnett is one of those who makes a good deal of the fact that NAC and the American Foundation for the Blind are very "ethical," very "professional," very "confidential," in their handling of information. Yet, at a meeting in Chicago a couple of years ago (a meeting attended by the head of the Office for the Blind of the Federal Rehabilitation Agency, the President of the National Federation of the Blind, Mr. Joseph Cohn of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind, Judge Reese Robrahn of the American Council of the Blind, and Mr. Carl Davis of Perkins School), Mr. Barnett publicly taunted Mr. Davis with the fact that the Perkins School had had trouble in being accredited by NAC. Mr. Davis was obviously pained and embarrassed and kept telling Mr. Barnett that such information was supposed to be confidential. There were those who wondered how Mr. Barnett came by the information at all since he was not on the NAC committee which had considered the matter and since the Foundation has repeatedly told us that it does not control NAC. In any case, Perkins (one of the most respected schools in the country) deserved better and more "professional" treatment than it got from Mr. Barnett, the Foundation, and NAC.

There is more (much more) which could be said about the interview between Mr. Nold and Mr. Barnett. For instance, Mr. Barnett gives forth with the following incredible remarks:

Blind people are not discriminated against in the sense Negroes or Jews or Catholics are. As a blind person, I've never been denied an apartment. But there are some blind people in New York City who say they have been denied an apartment. I don't understand this. To me this is a bogeyman in the closet that doesn't really exist. It seems that there are a few vocal blind people who have come up against some hard knocks and think they are being somehow put down. I say they are people with individual problems of personality.

Once upon another time a French queen (one Marie Antoinette by name) was told that the common people were starving, that they had no bread. She reportedly replied, "Then, let them eat cake." It was not that she was trying to make a bad joke or that she was being deliberately insensitive. Rather, it was that she was so out of touch with the real world around her that she could not understand what she was being told. She had plenty of money (most of it wrung from the misery of the peasants); she had a large retinue of servants to cater to her every whim; and not only had she never been hungry a single time in her life but she probably never knew anybody who was.

Mr. Barnett has a relatively large staff to assist him in all of the little niceties of life. The American Foundation for the Blind, the organization which he heads, has an endowment of many millions of dollars. Through the Foundation Mr. Barnett has connections. He says he has never been denied the right to rent an apartment. One has to wonder how many times he has gone, alone and unaided, to try to rent an apartment, to the sections of New York City where ordinary blind people live. On those occasions when he wanted to rent an apartment, did he go to make the initial contact, or did he send a sighted assistant or make a phone call? Did he have to be concerned about the price? It is surprising that when he was told, "The blind are having trouble renting apartments," he did not reply, "Then, let them rent the Waldorf."

Shortly after Marie Antoinette advised the people to "eat cake," her regime came to an end. She was put on trial to face the pent-up fury and frustration of centuries of abuse and injustice. The results are well known.

One has to wonder how long the entire American Foundation—NAC operation can continue to stay afloat. People are getting wise. The thing is coming apart at the seams. The lid is coming off. In this context perhaps one of the statements made by Mr. Nold in his Dialogue interview with Mr. Barnett takes on added and unexpected significance. Mr. Nold says: "Blind persons can expect some help from Robert Barnett's agency with the really large and complex problems, but in general he feels that each blind individual must sink or swim on the basis of his own motivation and ability."

Two comments might be in order: (1) We of the National Federation of the Blind agree, and we intend to swim. (2) Mr. Barnett is blind. So is Mr. Nold. Let the test apply.

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The December 1972 issue of The Monitor carried the story of the fight being waged by the blind of Minnesota to reform the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. The background is stark and simply told.

It is usually thus when the blind begin to try to gain their rights and ask to be treated as human beings. The community at large does not understand. The powerfully entrenched agency fights back with both pressure and attempts at creating public sympathy for its cause. It usually has paid staff, connections, money, know-how, position, and influence. In other words, the agency has everything on its side— everything, that is, except right and justice.

The blind, on the other hand, have only themselves and the organized blind movement. Strange as it may seem to some, this is enough. AU that is required are faith, patience, self-belief, and concerted action. This is a simple formula, but it is the cornerstone of" Federationism, and it is absolutely unbeatable and ultimately successful.

The Minneapolis Society for the Blind is a good case in point. There was much rhetoric and every indication that the opinions of the blind made no difference at all. Yet, on April 9, 1973, the board of the Minneapolis Society for the Blind (the same board that had disfranchised the blind and scorned all talk of negotiation) quietly met to accept the resignation of Frank Johnson as director of the Society. Mr. Johnson did not quit voluntarily. He resigned under fire and upon request.

He has been with the Society for many years, first understudying Byron Smith, the former director, and then assuming leadership himself. To many of the blind he symbolized everything they disliked about the agency— its custodialism, its exploitation, and its condescension. He seemed to be the very essence of entrenched power, untouchable and unconcerned. Yet, he could not stand against the united action of the blind in their demand for justice. Let this be a lesson to all who are similarly situated. Let it also be a lesson to the blind, whoever they are and wherever they yearn for freedom.

At the time of this writing a new director has not been appointed, but several candidates are actively being considered. Mr. Johnson will continue as acting director until the position is filled. It is understood that he will then be given a period of six months to work with the new appointee. If the new director does not wish to keep him on in some capacity or other, he will have three months to seek other employment.

It is reported that Mr. Johnson's performance at the April 9 board meeting was something less than inspiring. When charged with inefficiency, he allegedly said that he had poor eyesight and could not be expected to keep track of the figures in complicated documentation and financial reports since he must use a magnifier for the purpose. This gives emphasis (if such is needed) to what the blind have been saying about the philosophical inadequacies of the Minneapolis Society for the Blind and its leaders. In the circumstances what kind of confidence and attitudes of independence can they possibly have been teaching the trainees at their center? What kind of public image can they have been promoting? Whoever the new director of the Minneapolis Society may be, the blind of the State and the Nation are the gainers. The very fact of the change is a plus in the circumstances. No one wishes ill to Frank Johnson as a person, but his going is the symbol of a new beginning, the hope of a glimmer of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

We would all do well to keep in mind the words of James Russell Lowell, which seem particularly appropriate:

Truth forever on the scaffold;
Wrong forever on the throne.
Yet, that scaffold sways the future;
And behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadows.
Keeping watch above his own.

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Florence Grannis

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

Federal money is drying up. Some programs are being eliminated. Some programs are being curtailed. Perhaps some programs will go on much as before. What about the libraries for the blind?

First of all there is no indication that the "Books for the Blind" program of the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, has been or will be reduced in its funding or in any other way diminished or endangered. Every indication is that the staff and funding of the Division next year 'mil be about at its present level. This means that talking books, cassette books, Braille books, talking book machines, catalogs, "Talking Book Topics," "The Braille Book Review," et cetera, will, in all likelihood, come along at their present level (allowing for a decrease because of inflation, perhaps). Apparently the cut in Federal funding provides no threat to any of these.

How are regional libraries for the blind supported? When the "Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind" was passed March 3, 1931, and eighteen institutions were designated as regional libraries to serve the blind of the nation, the libraries were to be locally supported—with their talking book machines and a major portion of their talking books and Braille books corning from the Library of Congress. (These eighteen were in a variety of institutional settings so their funding was disparate—some were private institutions supported by gifts, some were city libraries supported by local taxes, some were State libraries with state-wide support.) Since 1931 the regional libraries have grown from eighteen to fifty -one in 1973, but they are still in a variety of parent organizations with a variety of financial patterns. Many changes have occurred as libraries for the blind have developed but one constant has remained—local autonomy and support; except, of course, that the talking book machines, the major portion of the talking book records, and a large part of the Braille books still come from the Library of Congress in Washington. In other words, the money for staff, supplies and general operating expenses does not come from the Library of Congress, but must be supplied from local sources or other funds.

It was not until the mid 1960's when the Library Services and Construction Act was amended to authorize appropriations to State library agencies for establishing and/or improving library services that money was made available to the regional libraries for the blind to upgrade their facilities and services. Library Services and Construction Act money was not channeled through the Library of Congress. Instead, it was appropriated to the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare and administered by the State libraries. This money was never intended to
keep the libraries functioning but only for demonstration projects, surveys, special materials and the like; but in reality in many situations this money furnished the life blood of the regional libraries for the blind— staff, salaries, supplies, et cetera. The need was there and the money was there; so the vacuum was filled. Thus, if Congress follows the President's recommendations and appropriates no money for the Library Services and Construction Act for the next biennium, suffering will be the inevitable result. During the time of the Library Services and Construction Act funding, the more enterprising States (those which tended to have aggressive leaders and progressive philosophy about blindness) developed programs far beyond those that could be funded by the Library Services and Construction Act monies only. These areas will suffer least. As was pointed out before-it was never intended that the Federal monies would be more than demonstration grants and aids in getting effective libraries under way—these grants were not expected to be the heart and core of the operating budget and the local parent agency was expected to pick up the tab after the Federal monies had given the initial boost. While the present Federal crunch cutting funding has come sooner than was expected, all knowledgeable people had known it would come! Even yet Congress may fund the Library Services and Construction Act bill and some money may be forthcoming. Even if this is the case for 1974, it can at best be only a transition to completely local and State financing of these libraries. The President has made it clear that he regards the provision of operating funds for libraries as a State and local function.

What can blind people in each area do to keep their library service from deteriorating or completely drying up? Each situation is somewhat different. It must come to convincing the local money distributors that the regional library is vitally important and must have enough to operate effectively. Find out your specific situation. If your regional library is part of a big city library, your mayor, city council, commissioners or other city fathers should be contacted. If your regional Library is part of a State library it should be your State legislators who are sought. If it is part of an agency for the blind it should be whatever officials are responsible for the operation and financing of that agency.

Sweet reason, concerted action, demonstration of the value of your regional library will be most effective. Let's all work together to make the seeming disaster of a stoppage of Federal funding turn into the blessing of local recognition of the value of giving regional libraries for the blind their proper place in the sun as far as community emphasis and support are concerned.

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Victor Gonzalez

[Editor's Note.— Mr. Gonzalez is Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and the Legislative Committee of the West Virginia affiliate. His remarkable article follows, together with the forthright Executive Order by the Governor.]

Members of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind who were in attendance during the nineteenth annual convention of their organization were speechless after an address delivered by His Excellency, Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. The Governor during his speech requested president Robert L. Hunt to recommend to him six members of his organization to serve on a Governor's Task Force Committee to evaluate services for the blind in West Virginia and make recommendations for the improvement of same. To this reporter's knowledge, this is the first time that a consumer group has been requested to evaluate services provided by the State that affect their daily lives. This achievement did not come overnight for the organized blind of our Mountain State.

In late 1968 United States Senator Jennings Randolph requested the National Industries for the Blind to conduct a study as to the feasibility of establishing sheltered workshops for the blind in West Virginia. In February 1969 this reporter received a letter from a Mr. Robert Goodpasture informing us of the Senator's request. In reply to Mr. Goodpasture's letter we advised him that the organized blind of West Virginia were opposed to the establishment of sheltered workshops in West Virginia. However, we advised him that we would keep an open mind on the matter and would appreciate the opportunity to cooperate on any study to be conducted that would affect the daily lives of the blind.

In June 1969 during the national conference on the handicapped and the disadvantaged held in Washington, D.C., I discussed this matter with Mr. Goodpasture and he advised me that I would be hearing from the American Foundation for the Blind because it had been decided that a more comprehensive study should be conducted with reference to the programs and services available to the blind. We reminded him of our continued interest in such a study and our willingness to participate in such an endeavor.

Not having received any communication from the American Foundation for the Blind we then turned to the office of Senator Randolph and inquired if he had any information from his proposed study. We were advised that the American Foundation for the Blind had contacted Governor Moore and that they were awaiting a reply from him. On December 12, 1969, members of the Federation met with Governor Moore and reminded him that the American Foundation for the Blind had sent a letter to the Governor and, to our knowledge, he had not replied to their letter. He advised us that he had replied to the letter and suggested that we contact his Federal-State Relations Office with reference to this matter. Shortly after this meeting I received information from Senator Randolph's office that the Governor had replied to the letter and had instructed the Director of his Federal-State Relations Office to contact the various State agencies serving the blind for the purpose of obtaining prospective members to serve on a committee to be appointed by the Governor to work with the American Foundation for the Blind in conducting the proposed study.

For two years an effort was made to have representatives of the organized blind appointed to this proposed committee and several meetings were held with the successive directors of the Federal-State Relations Office and the regional consultant of the American Foundation for the Blind, but no positive action to appoint such a committee was ever undertaken on the part of the Governor's Federal-State Relations Office. However, members of the Federation never relented in their efforts to have this study completed.

Fortunately for us a change in our State constitution made it possible for Governor Moore to seek reelection for another four-year term. During the spring and summer of 1972 several letters were written to the Governor reminding him of his commitment and requesting that he either have the study conducted or announce that he had changed his mind and the study would not be conducted. In reply to these letters he stated that action would soon be taken on our request and that he was sincere in his efforts to improve State services to the blind in West Virginia. It wasn't until his appearance at our convention that we had any knowledge or any hope that the study would be conducted.

Within forty-eight hours President Hunt had submitted a list of names to the Governor's office for his consideration and we were hopeful that at long last this study would get under way and we were willing to meet the challenge. Four weeks went by and still no word from the Governor's office on the appointment of the study committee. President Hunt then wrote to the Governor and also contacted his office by phone and sent letters to the Federal-State Relations Office. The letters finally paid off. Appointment notices were sent to the prospective members of the committee by the Governor's office.

The first meeting of the committee was held on November 14, 1972, with the Director of the Governor's Federal-State Relations Office, to plan how the study would be conducted. The first meeting adjourned with an agreement reached that the Director of the Federal-State Relations Office would contact the department heads and that a second meeting would be held on November 29, 1972, with these people present. The members of the committee were disappointed when it was learned that the Director had failed to perform his duty—that of notifying the department heads at the earliest possible time for them to adjust their schedules so that they could be present. No department heads were present at the meeting and no action was taken on that date.

After he returned home. President Hunt immediately contacted Governor Moore expressing the disappointment of the members in the manner in which the Director of his Federal-State Relations Office was cooperating with the committee and requested that the Governor meet with the members of the committee that he had appointed.

Repeated letters to the Governor's Office by President Hunt finally resulted in the Governor calling for a meeting of the committee in his office on February 12, 1973. This marked the fourth anniversary of our first meeting with Governor Moore. When the meeting was called to order by the Governor he took the offensive, apologized for the failure on the part of some of his aides to meet their responsibilities, but emphasized his intentions to go on with the study if the members of the committee were still willing to do the work. He advised the members of the committee that he was issuing Executive Order Number 2 of 1973, giving status to the committee and also setting up the necessary machinery for the committee.

In planning for this study the committee has employed a secretary to be paid from the Governor's contingency fund and the plans for the study have been almost completed. The committee will, along with the State agencies involved, review all past studies that have been undertaken and evaluate the recommendations contained in these studies. Site visits with agency personnel to other States will be undertaken to review some programs presently not available to the blind in West Virginia. A review of the annual reports of the Department of Welfare and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will also be conducted. It is the desire of the members of the committee to have the Lions Clubs in West Virginia conduct a census of the State to ascertain the blind population and other pertinent information to assist the committee in making its final recommendations of the Governor. The committee has no definite timetable and it will serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor on a continuing basis.


Executive Order Number 2—73
By the Governor

WHEREAS, The provision for the needs of the blind is of primary importance in the State's continuing assistance to the people; and

WHEREAS, There has been a progressing effort to improve all manner of service of the State of West Virginia to the blind; and

WHEREAS, In order to provide for an orderly and continuing evaluation of the State's service to the blind; and

WHEREAS, The needs of the blind should be called to the attention of the Governor for his study and action thereupon; and

WHEREAS, The State of West Virginia wants to assist through every conceivable course in meeting the needs of the blind in West Virginia through State services to the blind.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARCH A. MOORE, JR., Governor of the State of West Virginia, in full recognition of the magnitude and necessity of this task, and pursuant to the authority vested in me by the constitution and the statutes of West Virginia, do hereby issue the following order:

There is hereby created a Governor's Commmittee on Services to the Blind, which committee shall be composed of six members, appointed by the Governor, from among persons who are aware of the needs of the blind, to serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor.

The Aforesaid Governor's Committee on Services to the Blind shall be charged with continually evaluating State services to the blind and shall report their findings to the Governor no less than annually.

The Aforesaid Governor's Committee on Services to the Blind shall conduct a minimum of four meetings annually. The committee members shall each receive twenty-five dollars per diem and travel allowance of ten cents per mile for travel to and from committee meetings. The committee shall be authorized to employ a secretary for any committee meetings; this expense and all others related to the Governor's Committee on Services to the Blind is to be paid from the Governor's contingency fund.

The Aforesaid Governor's Committee on Services to the Blind shall have the full cooperation of the department heads of all agencies of the State of West Virginia.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed.

DONE at the Capitol in the City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, this the 23d day of February, in the year [SEAL] of our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-three and in the One Hundred Tenth year of the State.


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[Editor's Note.— Activity in the suit of the operators in the vending stand program in Ohio against the Cleveland Society for the Blind continued at the high level reported in the December 1972 and January and February 1973 issues of The Monitor. This report will bring readers up to date on actions which have transpired since the February Monitor was published. Steven Sindell, attorney for the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association members and others who are the plaintiffs in the suit against the Cleveland Society for the Blind, wrote to President Jernigan as follows.]

Cleveland, Ohio, February 28, 1973.

Re Cleveland Society Vending Stand Case

President, National Federation of the Blind,
Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR KEN: I would like to take this opportunity to review for you the progress and status of the pending litigation brought by numerous local operators and managers of vending stands in the Cleveland area against the State Rehabilitation Commission and the Cleveland Society for the Blind.

As you know, we initially filed Complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, requesting declaratory and injunctive relief and damages for alleged violations of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Federal Constitution. Essentially, the Complaint charges that the defendants have unlawfully set aside funds to which our plaintiffs are and have been entitled, that the defendants have required our plaintiffs to sign an illegal agreement which calls for the unlawful set-aside, as well as offensive dress and hygiene codes, and that the defendants have unlawfully taken rebates to which the plaintiffs are entitled. Thereafter, a number of additional vendors desired to be joined as party plaintiffs, including the Cleveland Snack Bar Personnel Association itself, which voted unanimously to become a party plaintiff. I felt that these requests should be honored, and thus the original Complaint was amended to add these additional parties, making a total of about forty plaintiffs in all.

Recently, it became necessary to seek a Temporary Restraining Order from the court on the ground that the Cleveland Society for the Blind had been improperly attempting to obtain the signatures of some of our plaintiffs upon the very agreements which we are contending to be illegal in the pending litigation. The Cleveland Society for the Blind gave a deadline by which time certain plaintiffs who had not signed would be subject to being removed from their stands and placed on relief rolls. I felt this action of the Cleveland Society was discriminatory with respect to our plaintiffs, and otherwise improper, all of which is more fully set forth in the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order which I filed with the court. The court granted the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, thereby restraining the Cleveland Society from taking any adverse action against any of the plaintiffs who refused to sign the agreement. Almost concurrently with the writing of this letter, a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction is being filed, thereby extending the court's present temporary order to a more definite one effective throughout the pendency of this lawsuit, or until further order of the court. The Motion for the Preliminary Injunction contains a stipulation of counsel for the Cleveland Society that it be granted. However, the Cleveland Society did oppose the original motion for the Temporary Restraining Order.

Additionally, I have filed a Motion to Produce Documents under rules 34 and 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this motion being directed toward compelling the Cleveland Society to produce for our inspection the financial audits of the Cleveland Society over the years, since 1956. I am advised that these records, previously requested, will shortly be made available.

The State Rehabilitation Commission, acting through the Attorney General of the State of Ohio, has moved the court to dismiss it as a party defendant, essentially on the ground that as a State agency it is immune from suit. This is premised upon the Eleventh Amendment to the Federal Constitution and upon the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. Our opposition to this motion is presently being prepared for presentation to the court.

We will soon be developing our discovery on a more in-depth basis with an eye toward establishing as a matter of proof the specific allegations made in the Complaint.

I am satisfied with the present status and progress of the litigation, and you may be assured that my best efforts will continue to be applied toward achieving a favorable result in this important matter.





For a period of several weeks defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind through its various agents has been attempting to secure signatures by several plaintiffs on the contractual instrument which is virtually the same instrument presently being litigated before this Court. In effect, defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind is unnecessarily attempting to pressure these plaintiffs in a highly discriminatory manner into signing the contracts which they contend are illegal and offensive, under pain of termination of their present employment status. On the one hand plaintiffs stand to lose immeasurably as a result of any such termination. On the other hand defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind will suffer no loss whatsoever by waiting a few days in connection with the granting of this Temporary Restraining Order while this Court has an opportunity to determine if these plaintiffs should be obligated to sign an instrument which they are presently contending is illegal, unconscionable and unconstitutional. The equities are clear and forcefully mitigate in favor of granting a Temporary Restraining Order as requested. If plaintiffs are forced to sign these contracts in order to keep their jobs, then this Court will have allowed this defendant to arbitrarily enforce its will without a fair judicial determination of the merits. Discovery has hardly begun, and yet this defendant seeks to accomplish by pressure what it allegedly has no right to legally do. It may be contended that a signature by these plaintiffs at this time could conceivably constitute a waiver of their rights although plaintiffs even now resist that conclusion.

The purpose of a Temporary Restraining Order is to equitably maintain the status of the parties until such time as a fuller determination by the Court can be had. Only by granting the Temporary Restraining Order until such time as the Court can hear the matter under Rule 65 on preliminary injunction will the status of the parties be maintained so that a judicial determination will have meaning and effect.



Now comes Steven A. Sindell who having first been duly sworn, deposes and says:

2. That he has been informed by a number of his clients, plaintiffs herein, that a copy of a letter from Harry Cotton, Director of Food Service Division of February 16, 1973 (a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A" representing the letter forwarded to plaintiff Jack Van Uum), was forwarded by certified mail to plaintiff Marjorie Howard and plaintiff Paul Bunn, in addition to plaintiff Jack Van Uum and possibly others;

3. That the contents of said letter are self-explanatory, and that these plaintiffs will likely suffer irreparable harm, including in one case at least, loss of seniority and loss of income, if relieved of their snack bars and relegated to relief rolls, whereas defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind certainly will suffer no serious detriment by allowing a brief period of time without any adverse repercussions to plaintiffs while this Court has an opportunity to evaluate whether or not a preliminary injunction should issue ....



Cleveland, Ohio, February 16, 1973.

Bay Village, Ohio.

DEAR MR. VAN UUM: We were advised by the Food Service Advisory Committee of the board of trustees at the meeting held Wednesday, February 14, 1973, that all managers of snack bars who have not signed contracts to date for the locations which they operate must do so by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 23, 1973, or they will be relieved of their snack bars and relegated to the relief rolls.

Very truly yours,

Director, Food Service Division.


et al.


et al.





This matter having come on for hearing before the Court this twenty-first day of February, 1973, upon the motion of plaintiffs for Temporary Restraining Order, and the Court having been advised and having examined the moving papers,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that defendant The Cleveland Society For The Blind should be and hereby is temporarily restrained from ordering any plaintiffs to sign any contracts for the locations where they operate snack bars, and/or from relieving any of these plaintiffs from their snack bars, and/or relegating any of them to relief rolls, and/or taking any other adverse action against these plaintiffs by virtue of their refusal to sign said contracts until such time as the Court has had an opportunity to hear the matter on the merits with respect to a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65, upon plaintiffs' posting of a Twenty Thousand ($20,000) Dollar surety bond with the Clerk.



On March 13, 1973, Steve Sindell, attorney for the vending stand operators who are the plaintiffs in this suit, filed a Memorandum of Law in opposition to the motion of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, one of the defendants. The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission is the State agency which contracts with the Cleveland Society to run the vending stand program. The Rehabilitation Services Commission tried to get itself out of the case by declaring that since the funds used in the vending stand program are all Federal funds it could not be sued. That is, they invoked the doctrine of sovereign immunity set forth in the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution which prohibits suits in Federal courts by citizens against a State or the Federal government. The defendant Commission then says that consequently this suit is "strictly an equitable claim for return of money, that is, the set-aside funds."

To this argument Mr. Sindell replied in part: "If the plaintiffs could not sue because of the sovereign immunity protected in the Eleventh Amendment, ... it would leave a blind operator without any redress in Federal court regarding a statute, through which Congress intended to confer a benefit upon the operator." On this point, Mr. Sindell concludes that the Federal court has jurisdiction "to enforce a Federal statute and to insure the proper expenditure of Federal funds and the proper regulatory enforcement by injunction and declaratory relief .... He also claims on behalf of the vending stand operators that there has been violation of due process and equal protection of the laws in the Federal Constitution. So that the record will be perfectly clear, the Amended Complaint sets forth the most shocking kinds of personal hygiene and dress codes, which are utilized to enforce a discriminatory system of licensing practices, clearly in violation of the Federal Constitution and the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act itself.

In separate actions, on March 19, 1973, Cleo B. Dolan, director, and his employer, the Cleveland Society for the Blind, filed answers to the formal complaints of the plaintiffs. In addition, the Cleveland Society filed a Counterclaim.

Mr. Dolan denied almost all the complaints but did admit to some of the facts. He did admit, for instance, that the plaintiffs were blind; that they were vending stand operators; that the Rehabilitation Services Commission is the designated State agency to administer the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act; that with respect to those vending stands in the Greater Cleveland area which are subject to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, the Cleveland Society for the Blind is by contract the nominee agency for the defendant Rehabilitation Services Commission; and that he is, and has been, the executive director of the Cleveland Society for the Blind since 1958. He goes on to state, however, "that the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act and the rules and regulations thereunder specifically authorize the promulgation of rules and regulations of the type incorporated by the Cleveland Society for the Blind for its management practices,... to enable the designated agencies to carry out their responsibilities under the Act and to assure efficient conduct of the program."

Mr. Dolan finally did admit that portions of rebates have been withheld from direct distribution to plaintiffs, but said that the rebates were placed in the Administrative Fund of the Food Service Division and indirectly distributed to plaintiffs in the form of services and benefits. He also said that the plaintiffs did not exhaust their administrative remedies because they failed to ask for hearings, and that they delayed asserting the various matters set forth in the Amended Complaint after applying for membership in the Cleveland vending stand program and receiving the various benefits of that association.

Finally, the defendant Dolan claimed that the plaintiffs have voluntarily entered into contracts with defendant, obligating defendant to provide the services so received by plaintiffs in return for plaintiffs' promises to pay for such services. By going to work for the Society, the operators relinquished their right to assert the claims of the Amended Complaint and to recover the relief sought therein.

The Separate Answer of the Cleveland Society for the Blind was much the same as that for Defendant Dolan. It is interesting mostly because of the contents of the Counterclaim.

"The relationship between these vending stand operators and defendant Society is governed by the terms and conditions of a written agreement which each operator has voluntarily entered into with defendant Society. . . ."

They then go on to list the services they render to the plaintiffs: "[In] addition to substantial expenditures for the establishment of vending stand locations, [the Society] has and continues to provide numerous and valuable services and benefits to plaintiffs pursuant to the aforementioned contract, including: Social Security, insurance, interest-free loans, relief operators, discounts, complete daily banking-accounting and supervisory services, high quality-low cost prepared foods, outside revenues and private donations, together with fringe and intangible benefits obtained by virtue of plaintiffs' participation in defendant Society's vending stand program, which services were provided in return for payments from plaintiffs in accordance with paragraph 8(a) of their contracts with defendant Society. The reasonable aggregate value of such services and benefits far exceeds the aforementioned payments made by plaintiffs, which they now seek to recover in part." The defendant Society then goes on to ask "the Court to enter judgment in favor of defendant Society in an amount equal to the fair value of the services and benefits rendered to and received by plaintiffs pursuant to said contract."

The Society has indicated that it is about to gather a "set-aside" of eight percent of gross sales on the grounds of increased costs of services. They imply that the Snack Bar personnel are indeed fortunate to be attached to an organization which uses their hard-earned income to provide "fringe benefits." Most of these benefits are provided by corporations, public and private, to employees in the regular course of business, and it is true that employees do contribute to these benefits—but not on the basis of the corporation's administrative expenses. Eight percent of the operator's gross income (estimated by the Society at $2,250,000 for 1973), should provide some very fancy benefits indeed if the operators were to pool their funds and buy them elsewhere.

That the Society and its executive director continue their discriminatory practices can be seen in the actions against two operators who had the temerity to demand their rights. The defendants knew it would be dangerous to fire the operators but that did not stop them from attempting some petty revenge. Operators after licensing must go through a hierarchy of work set up by the Society. First the licensed operator becomes a snack bar assistant, then a junior manager, and finally a manager. Operators bid for openings in larger stands which are deemed promotions, and a seniority system has been set up. When a couple of stands became available recently, operators with experience and seniority were by-passed for operators who were not involved in the suit. Mr. Sindell and the operators have taken, and continue to take, vigorous steps to correct these activities against the stand managers.

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Rita Chemow

A Time to Start

January 14, 1973, shed a light on an old, sometimes forgotten issue. For the first time in almost forty years, a people destined to fade into the woodwork came forth in search of greater understanding, guidance, and leadership. They do not protest being second-class citizens since their status more closely resembles that of fifth-class citizenship. Yes, employees in sheltered workshops not only earn substandard wages but often work under substandard conditions.

Prompted by interested, energetic, and motivated individuals with a special interest and concern for the welfare of others, the National Federation of the Blind established a special division for Sheltered Workshops. Under the direction of Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, representatives from throughout the country gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, to draw up a constitution and elect officers for this new venture. In November of 1971, the Sheltered Workshop Division became an integral part of the NFB. The main objective was to encourage and promote better social and economic conditions in the shops. Frieda Wolff from the New York City Chapter was elected secretary and, like the others, was sent home to organize and negotiate.

Frieda Wolff did not hesitate; she went right to work contacting employees in the various shops throughout New York City, attempting to learn from their experiences and to understand more of their plight. As her investigation proceeded, it became clear that remedy was a long way off as sheltered workshop employees were plagued with apathy and fear. This, combined with the frequency of Limited mental and physical capacity, made it increasingly apparent that the problems were far-reaching and that solutions were a long term project, several years at best.

Not at all disheartened or discouraged, Miss Wolff continued to establish rapport with the sheltered workshop employees. They came to know and trust her and often consulted with her regarding their problems and situations; but Miss Wolff wanted to learn more about these people, how they see themselves and what they want for themselves. She knew that success hinged on their ability to stand together and fight together. After many months, it became obvious that to best help these people, it was necessary to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Arrangements were then made for a special meeting of blind sheltered workshop employees; and on January 14, the Jewish Braille Institute of America played host to this innovative gathering. It has been a very long time since anyone in New York State had the courage and incentive to take this enormous endeavor upon his shoulders. We know that there will be a relentless battle against time and society, and that rewards will be few and far between, but if right is to prevail, we must try until we have reached our goal.

The Meeting

Although all were not sheltered workshop employees, all thirty-five persons in attendance shared a common interest. Representatives from the three major NFB chapters in the Metropolitan Area were present. A three-page questionnaire had been prepared in advance and was used as the basis for the meeting. Everyone was encouraged to express his feelings and to offer comments and/or criticisms relevant to the sheltered workshops. Reluctant to talk at first, people soon became more affable, and after hearing some of the more aggressive people speak were more willing to participate. Not only was the meeting on its way and making progress—it was progress.

Discussion centered on general grievances and complaints with the mainstream of thought focusing on "the root of all evil"—money. Sheltered workshop employees earn an average wage of thirty-five dollars per week, which can hardly be considered even reasonably adequate. Hindering the possibility of improved economic standards is the New York State Labor Law, section 701, subdivision 3, which in essence states that individuals working under sheltered conditions are not employees and do not have the same rights as employees. They are, according to the State law, "under rehabilitation" regardless of how long they have been in ' the sheltered workshop or what they do there. Therefore, they are not subject to minimum wage requirements and do not have the right to organize. Indeed, this very meeting may have been contrary to the laws of New York State.

Brought out early in the meeting was the point that these workers have no redress of grievances. Their opinions and feelings are often totally ignored by management, and the relationship between them and the shop supervisors is, at best, very poor. Their general morale and self-image is quite low. Victims of discouragement and neglect, the sheltered workshop workers have little offered them in the way of support and these workshops may even be a contributing factor to further deterioration of these already battered people.

Many of the participants did not know what fringe benefits were and stated that they were subject to frequent layoffs for which, of course, they were in no way compensated. Items such as health insurance, workmen's compensation, retirement benefits, sick leave, vacation, and so on were of another world—something you dream about and know it's only a dream.

Most of the tasks performed in the sheltered workshop are of a boring, repetitive nature. Noteworthy, however, is that whatever may be done on or to a product at the sheltered workshop makes that product presentable for marketing—at least at retail price. Also mentioned was that production items were often left lying on the floor, presenting mobility problems for the shop employees. Lighting and sanitation were reported as satisfactory, with lunch hours and breaks being of adequate duration.

When asked about medical care at the sheltered workshops themselves, one individual stated that there were medical personnel present every Tuesday. When asked what would happen if someone were to get hurt or ill on Wednesday, he was at a loss to answer, but assumed that the person would be taken to the nearest hospital.

The agencies, both governmental and private, seem to have the right to determine who may or may not work at a sheltered workshop and just who goes on toward more productive employment. Sometimes, when an individual functions very well in a sheltered workshop and excels in his tasks, he is deliberately kept on so that production rates in the shops are kept up. This not only constitutes severe exploitation but seriously interferes with an individual's right for self-determination.

When asked what the sheltered workshop had to offer, the answer was, sadly enough, that it was a place to go for most people—better than sitting in the house all day with no one to talk with and nothing to do. Here, at least, there was a chance to meet and be with people, and the few dollars earned meant that they would be able to have some independence rather than count entirely on welfare or family support. Sheltered workshop employees are reaching out for a better, more meaningful tomorrow; let's hope there's something more enriching in store for them.

Course of Action

Of immediate concern is the status of the sheltered workshop employees themselves. They must pull together and strive toward higher goals. They must learn to see themselves and each other in a more positive light. To accomplish this, they must be continually encouraged to take a strong stand, for they are fighting for their very existence. Leaders must be sought out in the various shops, they must attempt to boost morale, organize, and oversee the actions and activities of the employees.

Repeal of section 701, subdivision 3, of the New York State Labor Law can only come about when there is an educated and informed public; a public which will appeal to their representatives in government to take note of this injustice. The blind, too, must take an active part and prove to the public that their problem is real and threatening. There must be massive letter-writing campaigns, demonstrations, and personal contacts; until or unless attention is brought to this situation, progress, remedy, solution will be words without meaning. Until we have people who are determined to see this through, we'll have a cause without crusaders.

Mass media are the best and most effective methods to reach the public. The press should be periodically invited to attend conferences at which workshop workers would have an opportunity to discuss the sheltered shops and their employees.

Don't expect to see miracles overnight; but the ultimate goal is the creation of a union. This will not happen here for many years, but it has already happened in several States. When it is possible to organize and unionize migratory workers, it is realistic to believe that sheltered workshop employees can be made into first-class citizens.


It is of extreme importance to continue to build upon the rapport which has been established. There must be trust and faith before there can be further advancement. Because apathy and fear are so prevalent in the shops, it was decided that it would not be advisable to work with people on an individual basis. The reasoning behind this is rather simple—if, as a result of our encouraging a shop employee to be strong and outspoken, he should get fired, we might not be in a position to help him get his job back, and this would inevitably send the rest of the employees in that shop for cover—destroying the relationship that had been built up. Any and all attempts to organize must come from within the shops themselves. Outsiders can advise and oversee to some degree, but no one can do for the sheltered workshop employee what he, himself, must do.

Since there is a strong suspicion that there are many people working in the shops who should not be there in the first place, it is hoped that these individuals will have the capacity and motivation to stir things up a bit and show the other employees that with togetherness there can be strength.

The Aftermath

Several days after the meeting, a conference call was held with Sid Urena, president of the NFB Sheltered Workshop Division; Jim Omvig, treasurer; Frieda Wolff, secretary; Frank Perino, of Choose, Incorporated; and Rita Chemow, president of New York City Chapter, NFB of New York State. Mr. Urena and Mr. Omvig concurred with our observations and findings and told us that when we have found leaders in the shops, they would be willing to come to New York City to meet with them, to give them direction and guidance. They reiterated the need for organization to come from within, stating that the time must be right and that when it is, the sheltered workshop employees will have the desire to enhance their own cause.

Jacob Freid. director of the Jewish Braille Institute and member of the NFB Board of Directors, is sincerely and deeply concerned with this situation and has pledged his continued support to help those who want to help themselves.


Recently, at the first meeting of the New York City Chapter in 1973, I delivered a short message to the membership, and strongly urged that sheltered workshop employees take special note: "A new year is now upon us; it is a time for resolutions. Resolve that: The year 1973 will see us become comparable to the national organization of which we are a vital part—if there be trust and faith, work and stamina, unity and drive. It is up to us to build the tomorrows we want to leave behind. THE


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Michael Meehan

On the weekend of March 17, 1973, the Hawaii Federation of the Blind held its sixth annual State convention at the Surfrider Hotel in Honolulu. Our guest from the Mainland was Anthony Mannino, president of the National Federation of the Blind of California.

Friday night, as usual, the hospitality suite was opened, and good Hawaiian hospitality was showered upon everyone. On Saturday, however, we got down to business as our convention began at 9:00 in the morning.

The convention was called to order by our president, Donald Thomson. The first item on the program was a legislative report for 1973 which was presented by our president and by Warren Toyama. Three bills were discussed at length. One of them, if adopted, would prevent discrimination against blind teachers either working in or seeking employment from the public schools.

Tony Mannino then gave a presentation concerning the National Federation of the Blind of California and the reasons for its effectiveness in that State. He gave a brief history of that organization and described some of the services which the organization provides to blind people. Although many things were stressed as being important to the organized blind movement, Mr. Mannino emphasized that membership must always be increased.

A report on the progress of Hawaii's schools for blind students was presented by Mr. Fusao Uchiyama, curriculum specialist for Special Education within the State Department of Education. This was essentially a report on the number of blind students attending the public schools.

A panel dealing with the importance and significance of a positive public image of the blind was next presented. Panelists included: Tony Mannino of California; Curtis Chong, president of the HFB Student Division; and Emmett A. Cahill, executive director of the John Howard Association of Hawaii. The panelists all agreed that a positive public image is important if the blind are to become fully integrated into society and if they are to overcome the stereotypes and misconceptions which people have held about them for centuries.

We then adjourned for lunch during which we heard an inspiring address given by Dr. Floyd Matson, a strong, sighted member of the organized blind movement. His topic was the spread of Federationism.

Lunch was followed by an election of officers and board members. Elected to office were: Donald Thomson, president; Toshi Takano, vice-president; Curtis Chong, recording secretary; Norman Ota, corresponding secretary; and Amelia Cetrone, treasurer. Elected to the board of directors were: Warren Toyama, Albert Auyong, Valerie Marino, and Dr. Floyd Matson.

We closed our afternoon session with a panel on the employment of the blind. Participants on the panel included: Valentine Rowe, chief of the Data Processing Branch of the Federal Aviation Administration; Mrs. Florence Aihara, administrative assistant, St. Francis Hospital; and William Abbott, executive secretary, Hawaii Federation of College Teachers. The panel discussed employment opportunities which now exist for the blind and what we as Federationists can do to improve employment prospects and attitudes for the blind of the future.

During the panel discussion, it was moved, seconded, and adopted that the Federation give the State rehabilitation agency for the blind (Ho'opono) three hundred dollars to be used to help blind persons secure on-the-job training.

Tony Mannino gave an outstanding address at our banquet on Saturday evening dealing with discrimination against the blind and what Federationists can do about it.

Another highlight of our banquet was the presentation of the Eva H. Smyth Award to State Representative Richard Wong for outstanding service to the blind.

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Ramona Walhof

[Author's Note.— I often get questions about how to do various things in sewing, and I do my best to answer them. However, when Mrs. tenBroek wrote to Mr. Jernigan asking if he knew of anything written on the subject, and when he referred this letter to me, I scratched my head and considered. I couldn't think of anything that would truly be helpful to a blind person at home who wanted to learn to sew or who wanted not to stop sewing when losing sight. I decided to write down the best techniques I know for doing the things I am most often asked about. They have worked for me and my students, and I believe other blind persons may find some of these ideas helpful.]

In sewing, a blind person uses most of the same methods a sighted person uses, but here are a few suggestions and gadgets that are often helpful.

Many people use needle threaders to thread needles. There are a variety of types available. The simplest of these is available in sewing departments in most cities. It consists of a small piece of metal with a wire loop attached. This delicate wire loop is passed through the needle; the thread is passed through the loop; and the threader is removed, pulling the thread with it. With a little practice the process can be done quickly and easily. Many people also like to use self-threading needles. For hand sewing, these needles are also widely available, but self-threading needles of machines are more difficult to find. Either means of threading needles is workable.

Most sewing machines come equipped with a seam guide to be screwed onto the machine table to the right of the presser foot. Such a guide is most useful to sew a half-inch or five-eighths-inch seam or hem. These guides can generally be purchased separately if desired, and other types of guides are also available. Some blind people like to put tape on their machines as guides. Some people find they can guide the material by keeping one finger on the edge of the material and another finger on the presser foot. For top-stitching or very narrow seams — such as are often recommended for sewing knitted fabrics—the presser foot is the best guide for most people. Regardless of the kind of sewing guide used, the procedure is the same. Just determine where the edge of the fabric should be in relation to the needle and the guide; then keep it there as the needle moves under the presser foot.

To make a good-looking garment, one must be a good ripper. To rip, one needs to feel the threads of the seam to be ripped and get the point of a standard ripper under the stitches. If the fabric is lightweight or knitted, this can be delicate work. Again, practice will prove that ripping need not be a problem to a blind person.

Then what should be said for patterns and cutting? Picking patterns and fabric depends on getting someone to serve as a reader or advisor and getting her to give you the information wanted in shopping. When the pattern has been purchased, a blind person needs to have a sighted person cut off the extra tissue paper around the edges of pieces, trimming on the regular cutting line. Then the blind person merely needs to cut at the edge of the pattern. Some sewing teachers recommend that blind students have their patterns cut out of brown paper in order to feel it better, but I have never found this necessary, nor have my students.

An experienced seamstress can identify the different pieces of the pattern by their various shapes. The beginner needs to learn to do this. Then it is possible to pin on the pattern, cut it out, and put it together with no more sighted help than is given at the time of trimming the pattern. Darts and other markings, if needed, can be marked with pins, tape, or by cutting out a pattern for the dart itself from another piece of paper.

In guiding the scissors when cutting out the garment, most of my students have found that one can be more exact in her work by curving the left hand (assuming you are a right-handed cutter) over the top blade of the scissors, thumb and fingers coming together at the edge of the tissue pattern between the blades of the scissors when the scissors are open. It is really a simple means of following the edge of the pattern as you cut. Generally, this method enables the blind person to do a neater job of cutting than she does with the left hand guiding the scissors from beyond the tip.

Sometimes labeling thread for color can be a problem. One unique solution to this problem is to obtain pill bottles with large tops from your local pharmacy and stick Braille labels on them. Braille labels glued to the spool of thread itself will be pushed off by the spindle if the spool is put on the machine.

These are the things that seem to bother blind people who want to sew, and these are the solutions that my students and I have found. With confidence and a bit of imagination blind people can sew whatever they wish with very little assistance. There may be other ways of doing some of the things also. Good luck as you proceed with your sewing.

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Kay Martin and Joanna Spence

The fourth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Delaware was convened at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 1973, by President Joseph Spence. Mr. Spence introduced our distinguished guests, the Honorable Sherman W. Tribett, Governor of the State of Delaware; John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office of the National Federation of the Blind; Ray Jacobsen, representative from the office of United States Senator William V. Roth; and Ed Kaufman, representative from the office of United States Senator Joseph Biden.

In lieu of the traditional invocation, Joanna Spence read "Beatitudes of the Blind" by Douglas Rambo. Then the "Battle Hymn of the NFB" was taught to the group.

In the Presidential Report, Mr. Spence reported that we now have two blind members on the Advisory Council on the Blind of the Bureau for the Visually Impaired, and three blind members in the Delaware Association of the Blind (a private organization). He also reported that Mrs. Marie Munis has been named chairman of the Family Services Council in addition to her position with the Delaware Association of the Blind.

Governor Tribett in his address to the group deplored the planned cuts in grants to blind recipients that are apt to occur under H.R. 1 when the Federal law takes over the adult categories formally under Public Law 92-603. The Governor stated that with the support of the Delaware General Assembly supplementary money can be granted. As proposed by Howard Jones of the Bureau for the Visually Impaired and Miss Mae Hightower, president of the board of governors of the Delaware Association of the Blind, the residue of surplus funds from July 1, 1973, to January 1, 1974, instead of reverting to the State could be used to supplement the aid payments after January 1, 1974. The National Federation of the Blind of Delaware has already written to the State legislators expressing our concern over the

Norman Balot, deputy chief of the Bureau for the Visually Impaired, gave a review of the structure and functions of the Bureau under the new cabinet system. He reported that since the hiring of a new foreman in the workshop earnings were already on the rise and that new jobs were coming in. Mr. Balot expressed his views on the vending stand program stating that he felt that operators should be given the right of handling their own personnel and that some operators should be allowed to maintain their businesses on their own. He reported also that two of the stand operators have joined the American Association of Workers for the Blind. These two people happen to be Federationists, Joseph Spence and Mrs. Florence Blackston. In his report on rehabilitation Mr. Balot reported twenty-two persons were rehabilitated as of March, 1973, five of these in the telephone industry, a blind teacher in the Middletown School District, et cetera. There are eighty-five children involved in the various aspects of the educational program. He reported that there has been a cut in Title I funds but believes that the program can continue due to the money saved from sending the children to Maryland to school.

There were several questions asked of Mr. Balot regarding the quality of education our blind children receive under the itinerant teacher program. Mr. Balot reported that HEW is publishing an article which is very complimentary to Delaware for its itinerant teacher program.

Mr. Nagle asked Mr. Balot if he intended to make stand operators independent businessmen and if they should not keep their own profits instead of having them averaged throughout the program. Mr. Balot responded that it was a good idea and under consideration. Mr. Nagle emphasized to Mr. Balot that you can have both a controlled and a decontrolled program in a State.

Ray Jacobsen, representative from Senator Roth's office, spoke about legislation on Aid to the Blind. He pointed out that the objectives of H.R. 1 were to help those States which had very low grants for the blind and that when the Federal Government took over, those States, such as Delaware, with higher grants suffered. He stated, however, that the Federal law allows for State supplements so that such people will not receive reduced grants. Mr. Jacobsen pointed out some of the fine points of H.R. 1, indicating that if recipients were eligible as of October 1972, payments will not be changed. The law provides $130 per month to an individual and $195 per month to a couple. An amount of $20 from Social Security and $65 from earned income is ignored. He reiterated the Federal definition of blindness; however, some States have not been following this definition. The $1500 resources provision does not hold if it can be demonstrated that the applicant needs more resources. Finally, the Federal Government will bear the administrative costs where supplemental payments are made.

Ed Kaufman, representative from Senator Biden's office, praised John Nagle as a unique and valuable aid to members of Congress. He deplored the failure to override the veto of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, He stated that Senator Biden's office is interested in hearing from constituents on problems.

Discussion followed regarding just what has been lost with the veto of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

While we had the representatives from our senatorial offices with us, there was discussion regarding NAC. Senator Roth's office is already familiar with our position since we have had previous correspondence with him. However, since Senator Biden is new on the scene, we will bring him up to date with copies of our previous correspondence as well as the current information.

The Honorable W. Laird Stabler, Attorney General for the State of Delaware, spoke on the role of the Department of Justice and how it affects us in the prosecution of criminals in order to make the streets safer. Mr. Spence pointed out to Mr. Stabler that two versions of the white cane law are on the books and Mr. Stabler clarified the point of conflict by stating that the most recent law was the applicable one. This means that we must go back to the legislature to have this law amended so that a proprietor would not have the sole prerogative of determining whether or not a guide dog was safe enough to enter his establishment. Stanley Smith pointed out to Mr. Stabler that blind people do wish to be responsible for damages that their dogs may incur but that we are against being rejected for admission to public places on the manager's judgment
alone as to the reliability of the dog.

John Nagle's luncheon banquet speech was his usual eloquent and stirring summarization of the goal of the organized blind to rid ourselves of the shackles and barriers placed before us in our day-to-day living and become hard-working, self-sufficient citizens. He stated that he felt we were indeed fortunate in having our Governor, Attorney General, and representatives from the offices of both our United States Senators with us at the meeting.

The afternoon session resumed with Mr. Balot returning for more questions from the floor concerning the rehabilitation work in the Bureau and other matters.

Mrs. Wilma Oulette from the State Library Commission, Library for the Blind and Handicapped, spoke of the hardships the library is undergoing at this time, due to the impoundment of library funds. She pointed out that some organizations have suggested putting libraries for the handicapped under the Library of Congress where funds could not be impounded. The State Librarian is working hard at securing State financing to keep our services going. Mrs. Oulette pointed out that 595 persons are using the services at this time. Mrs. Oulette was given a round of applause for the very excellent services Delawareans have been receiving since the library has been under her jurisdiction.

John Nagle spoke of the Disability Insurance bill which is being introduced and the support promised by Congressman Wilbur Mills. The bill has once again been introduced and it is now H.R. 6554. John spoke of the proposed deletion of the exemption for blind people from income tax and he has been assured that this will not happen. He has also appeared on Capitol Hill on the Education and Vending Stand bills.

A panel on sheltered workshops followed. Leroy Price, director of the Lycoming County unit of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, spoke. He stated that he felt they must give the best service to the greatest number of clients. The Pennsylvania State Use law (1956) was established for workshops for the blind and later extended to other workshops. The agency is involved in manufacturing chiefly, which is a steady business, rather than subcontracting, which comes and goes. Thomas Griffin, the new supervisor for the workshop of the Bureau for the Visually Impaired, introduced himself and gave some of his background. In the short time he has been on the scene Mr. Griffin has defined some of his goals with safety being one of the foremost considerations, development of rapport with the workers, securing of new jobs, and especially the acquiring of a new facility. Mrs. Marie Munis, who has worked as liaison for the Federation, primarily with the shopworkers, spoke of the many complaints that we have had in the past but stated that she feels we do have a leader in Mr. Griffin.

The election of two board members followed. The terms of Mrs. Marie Munis and Mr. Charles Cannon were up for vote this year. Mrs. Munis was renominated by the Nominating Committee and with no other nominations from the floor she was reelected by acclamation. The Nominating Committee submitted the name of Charles Cannon to run again and with the nomination of Rocco Bonavita from the floor, Mr. Cannon was reelected by a majority.

A discussion of the fundraising projects that we have in mind was led by Stanley Smith, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Mr. Spence. Further information regarding the projects will be sent out in the next newsletter.

Thanks was expressed by Mrs. Spence for the tremendous help that our treasurer, Milly Stokes, had been during the convention and to Mrs. Kay Martin for acting as recording secretary for this convention.

The convention was adjourned at 4:20 with the feeling that we had accomplished a great deal.

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Florence Grannis

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

The following exchange of correspondence is self-explanatory. It bears on a topic which is receiving a good deal of attention these days and which needs to be carefully considered:

DEAR MRS. GRANNIS: Very many thanks for the two copies of the Iowa Transcriber1 I have received from you— they are so enjoyable. I have, tonight, subscribed for further issues.

In the latest one. Volume IX-1-1973 on page 16, in a letter to __, you have made a statement that is so far removed from the truth that I am compelled to refute it: "Only someone who truly has the spirit of selflessness will work on Braille constantly over a prolonged period," you say!

Believe me, Mrs. Grannis, anyone less qualified than I for "a martyr's crown" would be difficult to find, and my favorite nightmare is centered around a possible reply I might receive to a request for further transcribing assignments to the effect that there is simply no work available for me. I have been in that position locally—and in view of the amount of time and study and energy which is employed in the learning and Library of Congress Certification process, I must confess that I feel cheated and resentful when material to keep the skill alive, dries up. No-one ever went into this project with loftier ideals or motives but from the second lesson onwards, I was "hooked" as permanently and decisively as any addict. My poor husband will testify to the fact that I have to put the timer on in order to ensure that dinner is served on time!

Whenever I read such statements as that contained in the letter you wrote to—or am confronted with some admiring friend or acquaintance who proceeds to assure me of my "nobility" in working so long and with such dedication my conscience works overtime—because the plain truth is that I couldn't give it up, voluntarily, any more than I could quit eating! My husband is retired and an avid fisherman. When we take off on our trailering trips, for about three and one-half months of the year, my brailling equipment is as indispensable as his fishing gear.

I find it impossible to believe that I am unique in this respect—transcribing is one of the most fascinating pursuits in the world.

Finally—even though I'm sure you couldn't be more mistaken, I've absolutely no objection to the undeserved praise with which you lavish us—keep it up, we love it. Bui please don't let the assignments dry up.

Very sincerely,


April 3, 1973.

DEAR MRS. ----: It was good to get your letter of March 19. I feel privileged to be able to use part of it in the next issue of the Iowa Transcriber.

I would like to discuss here and in the Transcriber some of the factors behind the "apparent" decrease in the need for the volunteer Braille transcribing. I say "apparent" because, in reality, I believe there should be an increase in volunteer transcribing, rather than a decrease and I believe that the apparent decrease in need relates to the spread of some extremely unfortunate philosophical concepts relating to blindness and Braille.

When I go to meetings outside of Iowa, I frequently hear that there is much less need for Braille. Sometimes blind people say this as well as sighted ones. There is talk about such instruments as the Optacon and Visitoner making it possible for blind people to read normal print and about the great availability of recorded material making it unnecessary to have much of anything in Braille. Some people even go so far as to say that it will soon be that only deaf-blind people will need Braille and that only the deaf-blind who are unable to use the Optacon will need it.

To me, all of this is an absurd cop-out and rationalization— to excuse the agencies from teaching Braille effectively and/or the blind people from making the effort to learn Braille. Even if some mad government program gave every blind person an Optacon or Visitoner (and heaven help us poor taxpayers if the government goes that mad with this equipment roughly $3500 each) and suppose that each blind person had the capacity to learn to use it (a supposition with which I believe no one who really thinks about it would agree), who wants to be content to read at the maximum speed people have been able to develop with these fine instruments (is it around 80 words per minute?) when a good Braille reader can gallop along at 300+ words a minute? The whole truth is, as I see it, that as more and more blind people become regular participating members of the community, their need for Braille increases, and certainly their need for hand transcribed Braille increases since the interests of all citizens run a very wide gamut. Just this week we have had requests for the following subjects in Braille, which we have not been able to supply:

The biology of a frog
How to be a radio broadcaster
Political and social science research
methods and statistics
Knitting patterns
Current materials on pregnancy and
infant care
We also had no books by Gene Stratton Porter

It is, and must be, the responsibility of some agency in every area to teach the blind in their area Braille reading in such a way that Braille is very much a real part of their lives, and then to have the materials that they need and want to read. The blind person should not have to wait until someone has time to transcribe what he desires. (There are not many occasions when a sighted person has to have information produced for him to fit his particular need or interest.)

So, here we are, working away, so that our library can supply our borrowers the same materials they would have to read if they were not blind and lived in a good library area. Of course, our agency has the facility to teach blind people to be good Braille readers. With the help of you volunteers, we can, to some measure, realize our goal. We have only been in existence a little more than twelve years and this librarian will by no means see the achievement of the goal—our needs are too great and the development of a comprehensive collection is too slow and too costly, my retirement is only about 15 years off. Every time I realize some great gap in our collection, I am saddened and feel that we have let down the individual or individuals whose reading needs have not been filled.

Can you not see why I feel transcribers are among God's noblest creatures: Each book brailled is a unique treasure. It is surely good that you and other transcribers achieve satisfaction from your activity. We would be in a bad way if only masochists or martyrs brailled.

Sincerely yours,


1 The Iowa Transcriber is a magazine published two or three times a year for volunteer transcribers working in the program of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. It is coedited by Kenneth Jernigan and Florence Grannis and has been in production since 1964. Anyone desiring a sample copy should write to Mrs. Florence Grannis, at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, 4th & Keo, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. The Iowa Transcriber is published in print only.

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Loretta Benavidez

The annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri was held the weekend of April 13, 14, and 15 at the Aladdin Hotel in Kansas City. Despite the convening day being Friday the thirteenth, many delegates arrived early to greet friends and make plans for committee meetings to be held that evening. For those delegates not occupied with committee work, the hospitality room provided a friendly atmosphere with plenty of coffee and cookies. However, here too, important work was being done. Roy Zuvers demonstrated the Optacon, furnished for him by his employer, the Department of Agriculture, and used by him in his work as a computer programmer. Everyone who wished was given the opportunity to attempt to read printed letters with the Optacon, and many left the demonstration feeling that only $3500 separated them from being able to read print.

The Saturday morning session began with a welcome address by Mayor Wheeler of Kansas City. Following the morning work session the assembly was brought up to date on matters concerning the organization by Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind. The afternoon agenda was composed of various speakers representing a number of organizations and agencies which work to make the loss of vision less blinding. Among those organizations represented were Senior Citizens, the Kansas State School for the Blind, the Telephone Pioneers, the Lions Club, and the Bureau for the Blind.

Everyone enjoyed the Saturday night banquet with Mark Stone, master quipster, as master of ceremonies. The banquet speech was given by President Jernigan and this was followed by the awarding of the Jacobus tenBroek Award to Ruth Hill, a sighted woman, for notable service to the blind of this area. The last Perrin McLeroy Award, an award to a blind person of this affiliate for outstanding services to the blind, was presented to Nell Martin of Kansas City. This award was changed by resolution adopted at this convention, to the Kenneth Jernigan Award. The remainder of the evening was spent dancing and visiting with friends.

On Sunday morning the State officers gave their reports to the assembly, and the chapter presidents reported the year's activities of their respective organizations. The resolutions were adopted as read and the following officers elected by acclamation: John Dower, president; BUI McAtee, first vice-president; Early "Cotton" Busby, second vice-president; recording secretary, Margaret Bohley; corresponding secretary, Loretta Benavidez; treasurer, Ethel "Tiny" Beedle; members-at-large, Melanie Rudell and Jim Wantz. So that the two new chapters, St. Joseph and Kirksville, would have representatives on the State board, special representatives were made of Joan Davis, of St. Joseph, and Cheryl Lewis, of Kirksville.

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Mary Hartle

March 17— St. Patrick's Day—will be a memorable date for fifteen students who came together that day to create the North Carolina Student Chapter. Bill Lenfestey was elected president. Hazel Staley, president of the North Carolina State affiliate, spoke brilliantly of State activities, calling special attention to efforts being made in the legislative area. Also on hand at the meeting were Marc Maurer of Indiana, president of the NFB Students Division, and Don Cooper of Iowa, who together with Bill Lenfestey had recruited students the week prior to the meeting.
These new Federationists showed tremendous enthusiasm, and this new chapter promises to be an outstanding organization under the dynamic leadership of its president, Bill.

Two weeks later history was made in another State. On March 31a seminar was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at which time a provisional constitution was adopted and a provisional president elected—Joseph Varghese. Under his dedicated leadership a permanent student division should be established in the near future.

We know that many students have been saving their pennies to go to the NFB Convention so we're planning a program for the NFB Students Division meeting at the Convention that should rouse the interests of all students. The Students Division meeting will take place Monday afternoon, July 2. On hand for the meeting will be representatives from the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress and from Recordings for the Blind. To find out who else will be speaking come and attend the meeting. Elections will also be held this year. So come to New York and participate in this and other Convention activities.

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Jeanne Frederick

[Editor's Note.— Federationist Jeanne Frederick from Illinois writes that this recipe was given to her by an eighty-four-year-old woman. "Whenever anybody would mention to her that they had used her recipe, she would say, 'Be sure you freeze the grape! If you don't it will ferment!'"]


4 cups sliced peaches, crushed
4 teaspoons artificial sweetener
I package Sure Gel pectin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid

Place crushed peaches in a saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring these ingredients to a boil and boil one minute. Place in containers such as empty baby food jars or bouillon cube jars. Store in freezer. You can substitute other fruits in the above recipe. If you try strawberries or red raspberries, add a little red food coloring. For Concord grapes, start with four cups of grapes and a small amount of water in the saucepan. Cook and put through a sieve. Use the pulp in the above recipe.

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Lelia M. Proctor, secretary-treasurer of the Montana Association for the Blind reports that the 28th annual convention of the Montana Association will be held on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman on the weekend of July 20, 21, and 22. Hazel tenBroek is scheduled to be present as the NFB's representative. The Montana summer orientation program will be held from June 24 to July 28 on the MSU campus in Bozeman. To carry on this and other service programs, the MAB conducts white cane tag-day drives, a letter campaign, and a memo calendar sale. The organization is also a member of four United Fund appeals. The 1973 sale of calendars alone will probably gross over seven thousand dollars this year. The State legislature voted to replace with State funds money which formerly came from Federal sources for the support of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Money was also allotted for the purchase of cassette duplicating equipment.

Roger J. Manges, of South Bend, Indiana, writes that the members of his organization voted to send Early American-styled footstools to the New York Convention to be used in the raffle. This unusual footstool will be on display in the exhibition room. Two new color choices are now being offered — English Country Green and English Country Brown. These differ from the other choices in that the naugahyde covering is printed with Early American patterns.

At its regular meeting in March, the executive committee of the NFB of Massachusetts regretfully accepted the resignation of Armand Lefebvre, president of the organization, who had found it necessary to give up his office due to illness. He was succeeded by the first vice-president, William H. Burke.

Following are the Burke-Hartke Federation bills in the new Congress: S. 1022-H.R. 6125 would increase from $240 to $480 the amount of unearned income which will be excluded in determining eligibility and amount of benefits payable under the program for supplementary security income for the aged, blind, and disabled established by the new title XVI of the Social Security Act; S. 1051-H.R. 6127 would amend the Social Security Act to eliminate the requirement that a recipient of disability insurance benefits must wait for twenty-four months before becoming eligible for coverage under Medicare; and S. 1117-H.R. 6126 would amend the program of supplemental security income for the aged, blind, and disabled to provide for cost-of-living increases in the benefits provided thereunder.

Handicapped persons who may confront difficulties in boarding aircraft or in otherwise traveling by means of the Nation's airways will find help at their fingertips in a new publication released by the National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Airline Transportation for the Handicapped and Disabled. This booklet surveys the policies and procedures established by twenty-two domestic airlines, as well as by the Air Transport Association of America and the Civil Aeronautics Board, in handling handicapped passengers. The report offers assurance that with careful planning even those with severe disabilities can surmount special problems and enjoy the convenience and pleasure of air travel. The report (publication number E-47) is available at a nominal cost from the National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, 2023 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60612.

Our beloved colleague on the Executive Committee of the NFB, Nellie Hargrove, recently resigned as president of the NFB of Tennessee. Ah, but there was an excellent reason! Nellie has just been married and is now Nellie Carney. We wish for you all the happiness in the world, Nellie.

The 1973 convention of the Visually Impaired Data Processors International will be held June 28-30 at the Playboy Towers Hotel, 163 East Walton, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Included will be a session devoted to equipment description and a time to try whatever is exhibited. Also, a report will be given concerning the status and future of the blind data-processor magazine. There will be a session devoted to exploring ways of establishing a resource information center for blind programmers. Reservations may be made directly with the hotel. To obtain further information about the convention program, write to 1414 South Fourth Street, St. Charles, Illinois 60174.

In an article entitled "Calling on the Courts," published by the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, it is asked if the courts are becoming new advocates for the disabled. One group which says yes, and which recognizes a potential for further legal decisions in favor of rights for the disabled, has gotten together to establish a National Center for Law and the Handicapped, in South Bend, Indiana. The center attempts to fill a need reflected by the numbers of handicapped people who, frustrated by the lack of legislation ensuring their constitutional right to equal protection under law, have turned to the judicial branch of government for support. The National Center for Law and the Handicapped is located at 1235 North Eddy Street, South Bend, Indiana 46617.

The Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois, has announced three important staff appointments. Dr. Richard Kinney, who joined the Hadley School faculty in 1954 and who has held a succession of posts of increasing responsibility, has been named executive director of the school. Roger D. Rouse, an authority on business administration and former controller of Evanston Hospital, has been named vice-president. Dr. Michael Carbery, who earned his Ph. D, at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, in Rome, and holds a master's degree in library science from Rosary College, has been named director of education. Carbery replaces Dr. Karen Gearreald, who resigned to enter law school.

New methods for glaucoma tests: This information comes from the newsletter of the Bank of New Hampshire. A new device called a tonometer has been demonstrated to the American Optometric Association. The tonometer is a glaucoma tester which operates by blowing a pulse of air against the cornea of the eye. The device is said to provide more accurate readings than the mechanical tester presently in use. The tonometer in addition avoids two disadvantages of the mechanical tester: the need for direct contact with the eye and the need for a local anesthetic during the testing. As the newsletter points out, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, but blindness can usually be prevented if the disease is detected in its early stages.

The Connecticut Blind Federationist for March 1973 quotes State President Howard E. May, Jr.: "Sometimes I am tempted (by the devil, of course) to say that 'the poor, disabled, and blind deserve what they get, and get what they deserve.' It is interesting that these groups have been getting more in recent years as they have organized, and fought for their rights and opportunities. There are always some timid souls who would not say 'ouch' when kicked in the shins, lest the kicker be offended. Others seem happy with their crust of bread, lest they lose that. I feel sorry for these souls so intimidated. At least the blind can join NFB for only one dollar and thus add to the size of our clout. If you live for yourself alone, you will live alone. Who will look out for your neighbor if you do not?

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June 1973




















In the summer of 1940, a handful of blind men and women from seven States met at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to inaugurate a new and unique voluntary association. The fruit of that historic meeting was the National Federation of the Blind, the first nationwide organization in America open to all sightless persons— truly a federation of the blind, by the blind, and for the blind.

On that eventful day in 1940 when the National Federation of the Blind was formally inaugurated, it was no ordinary private group that was set in motion but an extraordinary social movement. The blind people of the United States— long immobilized in the protective custody of almshouse and lighthouse keepers—were at last on the move—and on their own.

Starting with ten who were stouthearted men, they soon added ten thousand more. Today they have added tens of thousands more.

Foremost of the stouthearted men who met at Wilkes-Barre—founder of the National Federation and creator of the vision which inspired it—was a twenty-nine-year-old California professor named Jacobus tenBroek, whose own blindness had not deterred him from earning a college degree and three postgraduate degrees in political science and law (a fifth earned degree from Harvard was later to be added).

Dr. tenBroek's own successful struggle for independence stood in stark contrast to the stifling atmosphere of overprotective shelter, enforced dependency, and foreclosed opportunity which everywhere prevailed among the agencies and institutions for the blind of that day. The worst effect of this prejudice, in his view, was to isolate these sightless "wards" not only from normal society (and from their self-appointed "custodians"), but also from significant association with one another— by depriving them of the means and responsibility for mutual effort and collective self-advancement.

It might almost be said that for tenBroek the end of sight was the beginning of "vision"— the vision of a democratic people's movement in which blind men and women would no longer be led but would take the lead themselves in their own cause, and in so doing point the way to a new age of individual independence and social integration for all blind Americans.

Born in 1911 the son of a prairie homesteader, young tenBroek lost the sight of one eye as the result of a bow-and-arrow accident at the age of seven. Thereafter his remaining vision deteriorated until by the age of fourteen he was totally blind. He did not sit long in idleness. Within three years he was an active participant and officeholder in local blind organizations in Berkeley, where he went to attend the California School for the Blind. By 1934 he had joined with Dr. Newel Perry, Perry Sundquist, and others, to form the California Council of the Blind—a prototype on the State level of the National Federation which followed six years later.

From its inception the national movement of the organized blind was shaped in the image of the revolutionary approach to blindness which was preached and practiced with equal brilliance by its founder. It was preached up and down the land, in convention and conference, to blind and sighted audiences alike, in a continuous succession of memorable public addresses stretching over more than twenty years. One of the first was entitled, "A Declaration of Independence by the Blind." Many of Dr. tenBroek's speeches were inserted in the Congressional Record, reprinted in Vital Speeches, or published as articles by welfare journals. One, "The Cross of Blindness," found its way into two college textbooks on composition, and another, "Social Security: Today's Challenge in Public Welfare," found its way into a volume of significant contemporary speeches.

But the new philosophy of normality, equality, and productivity was not merely "preached" by the NFB's first President. It was also practiced. In the same year in which the Federation was founded, tenBroek received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of California, completed a year as Brandeis Research Fellow at Harvard Law School, and was appointed to the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School. Two years later he began his teaching career at the University of California, moving steadily upward through the ranks to become a full professor in 1953 and chairman of the Department of Speech in 1955. In 1963 he accepted an appointment as professor of political science on the Berkeley campus.

During this period Professor tenBroek published more than fifty articles and monographs— plus three books—in the fields of welfare, government, and law-establishing a reputation as one of the Nation's foremost scholars on matters of constitutional law. One of his volumes, Prejudice, War, and the Constitution, won the Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Political Science Association in 1955 as the best book on government and democracy. His other books are California's Dual System of Family Law (1964), Hope Deferred: Public Welfare and the Blind (1959), and The Antislavery Origins of the Fourteenth Amendment (1951)—revised and republished in 1965 under the title Equal Under Law. In the course of his academic career he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Palo Alto, and was twice the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1947 he earned the degree of S.J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was awarded in 1956 the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by Findlay College in Ohio, and in 1964 the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Parsons College in Iowa. In 1950 Dr. tenBroek was named a member of the California State Board of Social Welfare by Governor Earl Warren. Subsequently reappointed three times to the policymaking welfare board, he was elected its chairman in 1960 by the other members and served in that capacity until 1963.

After twenty-one years as President of the National Federation of the Blind, Dr. tenBroek resigned in 1961 only to resume the office by acclamation of the Convention in 1966. In the interim, among other continuing activities, he accepted a position as the NFB's delegate to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind. In that capacity he attended the meeting of the World Council's executive committee at Hanover, Germany, in the summer of 1962, and the quinquennial meeting of the Assembly of the World Council in New York in 1964. When the International Federation of the Blind was formed at organizational meetings in Phoenix and New York in 1964, he was selected as its president.

In August of 1966 Dr. tenBroek learned that he had cancer. The surgery which followed brought hope, waiting, and ultimate disappointment. On March 27, 1968, Jacobus tenBroek died. As Kenneth Jernigan, new President of the Federation, said in a memorial address:
"The relationship of this man to the organized blind movement, which he brought into being in the United States and around the world, was such that it would be equally accurate to say that the man was the embodiment of the movement or that the movement was the expression of the man.

"For tens of thousands of blind Americans, over more than a quarter of a century, he was leader, mentor, spokesman, and philosopher. He gave to the organized blind movement the force of his intellect and the shape of his dreams. He made it the symbol of a cause barely imagined before his coming: the cause of self-expression, self-direction, and self-sufficiency on the part of blind people. Step by step, year by year, action by action, he made that cause succeed."

Such was the man who founded the National Federation of the Blind, and such was the movement he brought into being.

Since its modest beginning, the national movement of the organized blind has grown steadily in numbers, strength, and influence. Today it has a membership of forty-seven State affiliates and is recognized by sightless people the country over as their principal means of collective self-expression—the voice of the independent blind.

The Federation believes that blind people are essentially normal human beings—that blindness in itself is only a physical lack which can be met and mastered, not an impairment of mental powers or psychological stability. Therefore, all arbitrary barriers and discriminations—legal, economic, and social— based on the false assumption that the blind are somehow different from those with sight must be abolished in favor of equality of opportunity for all who are blind. Because of their intimate firsthand experience with the problems of blindness—and because they, too, have the constitutional right to organize, to speak for themselves, and to be heard— the blind themselves are best qualified to lead the way in solving their own problems. But the general public should be made aware of these problems and asked to participate in their solution. These are the fundamental beliefs upon which the National Federation of the Blind bases its philosophy and programs.

Today, as in the past, the Federation is fortunate in the quality of its elective leadership. All officers and executive committeemen are blind; all are chosen democratically by delegates to the national Conventions. Brief biographies of the blind who lead the blind are set forth on the following pages. They are men and women from many walks of life, representing a broad cross section of the blind population of the United States. But while their backgrounds and careers are varied, they are drawn together by the common bond of having encountered blindness individually and successfully in their own lives, and by their dedication to the proposition that all who are blind are created equally capable of similar success. In the story of their lives and achievements is to be seen compelling proof of the affirmative democratic faith embodied in the National Federation of the Blind.


The office of President of the National Federation is held by one of the Nation's most brilliant and successful administrators of programs for the blind—Kenneth Jernigan, of Des Moines, Director of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind.

In his varied and accomplished career, Jernigan has built an equal national reputation as a leader of the blind through a succession of organizational honors including the presidency of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, the vice-presidency of the National Federation—to which he was first elected in 1959 and to which he was successively reelected until the time of his elevation to the presidency in 1968—and the winning in 1960 of the NFB's Newel Perry Award (given annually to the individual considered by the organization to have made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the blind).

Totally blind since his birth in 1926, Jernigan went to work immediately after graduating from high school, as the manager of a furniture shop in Beech Grove, Tennessee, for which he made all the furniture as well as operated the business. In the fall of 1945 he enrolled for a college career at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. Active in campus affairs from the outset, he was soon elected to office in his class organization and to important positions in other student clubs. In 1948, at the Southeastern Conference of the Pi Kappa Delta competition held at the University of South Carolina, Jernigan won first prize in extemporaneous speaking and original oratory.

A year after his graduation from the Tennessee Technological University Jernigan was awarded a master's degree in English from Peabody College at Nashville, where he subsequently completed an additional year of graduate study. While at Peabody he was a staff writer for the school newspaper, cofounder of an independent literary magazine, and a member of the Writers' Club. In 1949 he received the Captain Charles W. Browne Award, presented by the American Foundation for the Blind each year to the Nation's outstanding blind student.

Following his collegiate career, Jernigan spent four years as a teacher of English at the Tennessee School for the Blind. During this period he became interested in organizational work with the blind, starting with membership in the Nashville chapter of the Tennessee Association for the Blind (now the NFB of Tennessee). He was elected to the vice-presidency of the State affiliate in 1950, and to the presidency in 1951.

In 1953 Jernigan was appointed to the faculty of the State Orientation Center for the Adult Blind in Oakland, California, where he remained for five years prior to accepting his current position as Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. In this capacity he is responsible for the administration of State programs of rehabilitation, home teaching, home industries, and various other services to the blind. The magnitude of Jernigan's achievement as Commission head is perhaps best described in a sentence from the citation which accompanied the Newel Perry Award in 1960: "The task of taking on a rehabilitation program which ranked last in the Nation in point of accomplishment, and within two years nearly quadrupling its number of closures while vastly improving its quality, is itself a remarkable feat of creative administration and sheer hard work." Since that date his performance in Iowa and the Nation has greatly surpassed even those levels of accomplishment. In fiscal 1972, 116 blind Iowans were rehabilitated—three times the number of closures for which Jernigan was praised in 1960.

In June of 1967 at the annual meeting of the American Library Association in San Francisco, Jernigan was awarded the Francis Joseph Campbell Award for his outstanding work in the field of library service to the blind. The citation recognized the Iowa library as not only the largest but among the most dynamic and effective in the world.(As an example: during fiscal 1972, more than 220,000 books were sent to blind people throughout the State.)

In the spring of 1968 Jernigan was not only awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities by Coe College in Iowa, he also received a special citation from the President of the United States for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the blind. The citation was presented by Harold Russell, Chairman of the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped, at a special ceremony at a luncheon attended by the Governor of Iowa and over three hundred State, civic, and political leaders. Mr. Russell said: "If a person must be Wind, it is better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the Nation or in the world. This statement sums up the story of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and more pertinently, of its Director, Kenneth Jernigan. That narrative is much more than a success story. It is the story of high aspiration magnificently accomplished—of an impossible dream become reality."

First Vice-President

Few more compelling examples of personal independence and social contribution could be found among blind Americans than that of the NFB's First Vice-President, Donald C. Capps, of Columbia, South Carolina. During the late 1950's and early 1960's he served four two-year terms as president of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, the South Carolina affiliate of the National Federation. Capps was elected to the second vice-presidency of the NFB in 1959 and was reelected for two-year terms in 1960, 1962, 1964, and 1966. In 1968 he was elected to the first vice-presidency.

Born in 1928, Capps did not become legally blind until 1954, although he possessed a congenital eye defect. He attended the South Carolina School for the Blind and later attended public schools. Following high school graduation, Capps enrolled in Draughon's Business College, in Columbia.

In 1947, business diploma in hand, Don Capps went to work for the Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company, as a claims-examiner trainee. He has worked there ever since, rising steadily to his present post of administrative assistant to the claims vice-president. In 1972 at a special ceremony arranged to celebrate Don's twenty-five years with the company, the president of Colonial Life, Gayle O. Avery, repeated the words used by his father in marking an earlier milestone in Don's career:

Don has done a superior and faithful job for the company in spite of a vision handicap which he has overcome in remarkable fashion, and which he has never allowed to circumscribe his life, family, and community activities, or his efficiency in performance of his very responsible job. We take a reflected glory in Don Capps and are extremely proud of the tremendous contribution he has made in this State and over the whole country toward the progress and betterment of his fellows.

Capps first became interested in the organized blind movement in 1953, and by the following year had been elected president of the Columbia chapter of the Aurora Club, which he headed for two years before assuming leadership of the State organization. The extent of his contribution may be measured by the success of the Aurora Club's programs to improve aid and services for the blind in that State since the club's inception in 1956. Over the years the organization has been responsible for remarkable increases in the State's appropriation for cash assistance to the needy blind—advances which were won over the strenuous opposition of State public welfare officials. Among other improvements, Capps' organization has achieved an extra exemption on State income tax, amendments to the South Carolina vending stand law making the blind priority in employment mandatory rather than merely permissive, and abolition of the so-called "set-aside"—a percentage of the stand operator's income previously appropriated by the State.

A truly major accomplishment was the successful uphill struggle of the South Carolina affiliate under Capps' leadership to bring about the establishment of an independent State Commission for the Blind. This became a reality in 1966. Don again became president of the Aurora Club in 1970 and was reelected in 1972. In 1972, also, the model white cane law was enacted by the legislature of the State.

Capps' energies as a leader have not been confined to the performance of his official duties, productive and time-consuming as they are. Among other activities he is editor of the Palmetto Auroran, the quarterly publication of the Aurora Club, whose articles are frequently reprinted in national journals for the blind. In 1960 Capps directed a campaign which led to construction of the Columbia chapter's education and training center, a facility now valued at $100,000. He now serves as executive director and chairman of the board of trustees. In this role he has been instrumental in setting up full time daily operation of the Aurora Center. In addition, Capps has served for fifteen years as the very successful fundraising chairman of the Columbia chapter.

The role which he has played in the organized blind movement of his State, as well as of the Nation, is aptly symbolized by the Donald C. Capps Award, a cash gift presented annually to an outstanding blind Carolinian. (The Capps Award was created in 1961 by Ways and Means for the Blind, of Augusta, Georgia.) In 1963 Capps was appointed to the Governor's Committee on the Employment of the Physically Handicapped.

In 1965 Don was doubly honored as Handicapped Man of the Year, both by his city of Columbia and by his State. In 1967 he was appointed to the Governor's Statewide Planning Committee on Rehabilitation Needs of the Disabled. He and his wife, Betty, have two children.

Second Vice-President

James Couts' career reads like the American story of the self-made man. Born in Missouri in 1901, Couts moved across the Mississippi to Kansas in 1911. Before 1942 he worked in a variety of jobs: laborer, shipping clerk, truck driver. In 1942 Couts' life took a short detour. In that year he lost his sight and spent a summer at the Kansas State School for the Blind—for a period of adjustment and training. During the Second World War he worked for North American Aviation. In August of 1945 he began selling printing for a plant in Kansas City, Kansas, on a straight commission basis; and gradually branched out over the next few years into office supplies and business machines. This was a good field for Couts and he has remained in it ever since.

James Couts has always been an organization man. The depression years and the hard times they brought to the workingman found him organizing for the CIO. He joined the NFB the year after he lost his sight and served as a board member of the Kansas Association for the Blind (the NFB affiliate in Kansas at that time) for fifteen years.

Couts withdrew from active involvement in the KAB when it was expelled by the NFB in 1961, but he continued to be active in affairs of the blind and to work with the NFB—particularly in finding employment for the blind. It was no surprise, therefore, when he was elected president of the new NFB affiliate in Kansas, the Sunflower Federation of the Blind, when it was organized in 1968.

The Sunflower Federation (now the NFB of Kansas), under his leadership, was instrumental in the adoption by the State of the model white cane law in 1969, the passage of a Little-Randolph-Sheppard Act, and the exemption of the blind from the State lien law-both in 1970.

James Couts was elected to the NFB Executive Committee at the Convention in Houston, Texas in 1971, and he was elected Second Vice-President of the Federation at the Chicago Convention in 1972. In 1971 Couts moved back to his native State of Missouri-a loss to the organization in Kansas— but since only a few miles separate the two centers of Couts' interest, the blind of both States continue to benefit from his long experience in their areas. He is a past president of the Stockyard Lions Club and a Past Noble Grand of the Pride of the West Lodge 484, IOOF. He was appointed to the Kansas Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped in 1956 and served as chairman of the Mayor's Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped of Kansas City, Kansas, in 1957.


"It would be difficult indeed to find a person with more public spirit, more unselfish dedication and zeal for the cause of the blind than Muzzy Marcelino." This is the conclusion of an article in the official history of the California Council of the Blind (now the NFB of California); and, extravagant as the statement is, it is no overstatement. Active in the work of the Federation since his school days, particularly in State legislation, Marcelino continues to serve the organized blind movement in his capacities as Secretary of the National Federation, first vice-president of the NFB of California, and longtime editor of the NFBC publication, the Blind Californian. He is also second vice-president of the American Brotherhood for the Blind.

Born in California, Marcelino attended the State School for the Blind in Berkeley, where he met and was strongly influenced by Dr. Newel Perry, mentor of Jacobus tenBroek and the California Council. Muzzy attended meetings of the Alumni Association of the California School for the Blind and wrote letters in behalf of bills pending in the State legislature.

His active participation in the work of the Alameda County Club of Adult Blind also began in Muzzy's college years. He had found the meetings dull and the membership much older and more passive than he would have liked. But one day. Chick tenBroek caught him between the library building and Wheeler Hall on the campus and strongly upbraided him for not going to the club meetings. Muzzy rather enjoyed that episode and assured Chick that he would attend meetings regularly and pitch into the work. And so he did, bringing in other students and making the club zoom. And thus began the career of one of the most dedicated leaders of the Council.

Marcelino's activity in the Alameda County Club of Adult Blind consisted of supporting Dr. Perry's positions on issues, especially on matters pertaining to the Aid to Blind law, its amendments, implementation, and administration. He was very familiar with that law because at the time he was a recipient of aid to the blind. Further, during his last semester at the School for the Blind, he attended a small class given by Dr. Perry after school hours for graduating seniors. Dr. Perry made this select group memorize the entire Aid to Blind law, section by section, comma by comma. Not only did they memorize the law, but they argued over the meaning of every phrase and clause. To be sure, this rigorous instruction served not only to teach them the provisions of the aid law, it sharpened them on analysis, the English language, and gave them the history of legal terminology.

In 1942 Marcelino moved to San Diego to take a job as a social worker in that county's public welfare department. He became active in the San Diego Braille Club and led a campaign there for the abolition of a visual acuity requirement for the position of Field Worker for the Blind (home teacher). Muzzy and his cohorts stirred up a great deal of opposition to that requirement which was finally discarded by the State Personnel Board.

Marcelino's attendance at the semiannual conventions of the Council began in 1943 and he has missed only one since then. From the start he sat in on the Committee on Resolutions, participating actively in the drafting of resolutions, and since then has frequently been chairman of that committee.

In the early 1960's Muzzy was elected secretary of the Council after having served on the executive committee as a member-at-large. In 1966 Marcelino was elected second vice-president of the Council and in 1968 he was elected first vice-president.

After leaving the San Diego County Public Welfare position, Marcelino spent a year as a rehabilitation and education aide for the United States War Department at Dibble Hospital in San Mateo, followed by a year as a training officer for the Veterans Administration, then twelve years as a rehabilitation counselor for the blind in the State Department of Education. Since 1961 Muzzy has been employed as a broker by the Putnam Financial Services, Inc., of San Francisco.

Perhaps Marcelino's greatest contribution to the work of the Council has been in the field of legislation. Since 1960 he has been one of the leading representatives of the Council at legislative sessions in Sacramento, serving without compensation and at great personal sacrifice. During this time he has not only drafted but guided through the legislature many liberalizing amendments to California's Social Welfare Programs for the Blind.

In October 1969, Lawrence Marcelino was, fittingly, the first recipient of the Jacobus tenBroek Award, presented by the NFB of California to recognize devotion and service to the interests of the blind.


Dairy farmer, independent businessman, electronics technician, radio operator, politician, and Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind—these are only a few of the activities met and mastered during the active career of Franklin VanVliet. In addition to his leadership role in the National Federation, he long served as president of the NFB affiliate in his home State, the New Hampshire Federation of the Blind (now the NFB of New Hampshire).

Born in a small New Hampshire farming community in 1922, VanVliet lost the sight of one eye as the result of an accident at the age of seven, and gradually lost his remaining vision over the next decade through sympathetic ophthalmia. By an irony of fate, his father was for many years State supervisor of services to the blind.

Franklin completed elementary schooling at Massachusetts' Perkins School for the Blind; but the death of his father forced him to leave school and go to work on a dairy farm, a job which he held for two years before moving into an industrial job with the State-operated workshop in Concord, New Hampshire. He next found employment in the field of his greatest interest, electronics, with a Manchester firm producing wartime technical equipment for the Navy. The end of the war brought an end to this job, as with many others, and VanVliet became a parts manager with the State highway department.

A lifelong desire to operate his own business was realized for VanVliet in 1952, when he opened a shop specializing in the manufacture and sale of various types of automotive upholstery and equipment. Forced out of business by chain-store competition, VanVliet chose to turn adversity into new opportunity—by returning to school to master the intricate science of electronics. He attended the Radio Engineering Institute of Omaha, Nebraska, graduating in 1955 with a radio technician's diploma, and returned to Concord where he has since made a successful career for himself as an electronics specialist.

In 1946 Franklin VanVliet married Gertrude Goodwin. Today the NFB's indefatigable Treasurer devotes much of his free time to a vigorous outdoor life centering around the VanVliets' summer cabin which Franklin built.

Member, Executive Committee

Twelve years ago, Mae Davidow, then a mathematics teacher at the Overbrook School for the Blind, was instrumental in reactivating the local chapter of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind in Philadelphia. As president of the West Philadelphia Chapter, Mae invited people from every section of Philadelphia to participate. As the chapter grew, new leaders emerged and were encouraged to start new chapters in other sections of the city. After five years of work in building up the membership of the group in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Davidow was elected to the executive board of the PFB. She was elected to the executive committee of the NFB in 1966 and has been a member ever since.

Mae Davidow spent the early years of her childhood on a small farm near Bridgeton, New Jersey. At the age of ten, after a mastoid operation, Mae lost her vision. She entered the Overbrook School for the Blind and studied there for several years, but completed her secondary education at Bridgeton High School. She received a B.A. from the New Jersey College for Women, now Douglas College of Rutgers University. Temple University granted her a master's degree in 1949, and she earned her doctorate there in 1960.

In that year, Dr. Davidow undertook a new project supported by a Federal grant to the Pennsylvania Office for the Blind Her purpose was to gather occupational information that would help blind students and newly blinded persons make better vocational choices. In the course of this work she interviewed blind professional people in various parts of the United States. She has been chairman of the Mathematics Workshop of the American Association of Instructors of the Blind. Mae was president of the Overbrook Teachers Association and representative of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

As a mathematics teacher at the Overbrook School for the Blind for many years. Dr. Davidow was instrumental in establishing the use of the Cranmer abacus as a part of the regular curriculum. In 1964 she attended the Abacus Institute at the University of Kentucky, the first such institute ever conducted in America. For four years Mae taught the Cranmer abacus using Fred Gissoni's text. However, as an instructor of the abacus to both teachers and students, she has found it desirable to have a simplified manual for their use. Thus, in June 1966, was published The Abacus Made Easy by Dr. Mae E. Davidow. This book was introduced at the convention of the American Association of Instructors of the Blind in Salt Lake City. Soon the publication was put into Braille and large print. It has been translated into many languages and is used by teachers throughout the world.

After two years of research, Dr. Davidow completed a modernization of mathematics in elementary and junior high school. She has also written A Guide for Social Competency, aimed at helping students, parents, and teachers of the blind. In April of 1970 Dr. Davidow received an Achievement Award from Phi Delta Gamma, the women's scholarship fraternity. The award is given every two years and is based on a point system in one of two fields—in the field of the arts, or in one's career field. Mae's name was submitted in both fields—in the field of literature because of the books she has written, and in the career field—teaching students and teaching teachers.

In addition to being a devoted teacher, her social service work has been outstanding with both the sighted and the blind. She has taken an active part in leadership training at the Y.M.C.A.; and through her work as adviser to teenage girls, Mae has become adept at all the modern dances. As past president in a local B'nai B'rith chapter, Mae has helped to write a manual for advisers of B'nai B'rith Youth.

She has been a member of the board of managers of the Chapin Home for the Aged Blind in Philadelphia. She takes time in a busy week to visit and talk with the older citizens and brings word of progress in the field of education to several teachers there.

Dr. Davidow is a popular speaker at luncheon and dinner meetings of Lions Clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, and so on. Her topic is usually "Preparing Blind Youth for Community Living." It is at these meetings that Mae seizes the opportunity to tell community leaders about the work done by the National Federation of the Blind.

Dr. Davidow has spent several summers conducting mathematics seminars at various colleges: Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee; San Francisco State College; and Temple University. In addition, during two summers she has conducted abacus workshops at East Carolina College and Northern College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. These were in connection with The Governor Morehead School in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the South Dakota School for the Blind in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Recently, Mae Davidow retired from active teaching at the Overbrook School, ending what is by any standard a most distinguished career at that institution. She hopes to devote her time to the many projects-research, writing, lecturing-which are already in progress. And, of course, she is continuing her active work for the Pennsylvania and the National Federations of the Blind.

Member, Executive Committee

Grocery store operation, landscaping, real estate business— these are but a few of the activities in which Ned Graham has engaged.

Graham was born in Burlington, North Carolina, in 1926, and it was in this same town that he began and completed his formal education. Following his graduation from Jordan Sellars High School in 1943, he moved, along with his family, to Chester, Pennsylvania.

In January 1945 Graham was inducted into the United States Army and served in the Special Services Division. He was honorably discharged in 1947 and returned to Pennsylvania to live with his family for a time before entering North Carolina's A & T College to study cabinetmaking. This did not suit Ned's future plans for himself so he became an entrepreneur and delved into a number of self-owned business enterprises including landscaping and the operation of a small seafood store. The seafood store was so successful that in 1953 Graham expanded into the grocery business—a project which eventually resulted in his owning, with his family, a small chain of grocery stores. Today Graham has retired from his business interests altogether and devotes his time to Federation work.

In 1956 Graham began to experience the effects of a congenital eye defect. By 1960 he was forced to seek training at the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. Four years later, he moved to Baltimore and married Helen Warrington, a social worker with the Associated Catholic Charities.

When Graham came to Maryland in 1956 there was only one chapter, the Maryland Council of the Blind, affiliated with the NFB. With characteristic leadership and diligence, he soon organized another chapter in Baltimore known as the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the Blind. These two chapters joined to form the Free State Federation of the Blind, which received its charter from the NFB in 1966, in Louisville, Kentucky. Graham was elected as first vice-president of the Free State Federation and also served as legislative chairman. Shortly after the formation of the Free State Federation of the Blind, Graham was instrumental in organizing two additional chapters—the Twin County Federation of the Blind and the Eastern Shore Federation of the Blind.

At the 1968 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, in Des Moines, Iowa, Graham was elected to a two-year term on the NFB Executive Committee. He was reelected in 1970, at the Minneapolis Convention. Since his election, Graham has continued to work with diligence in the organized blind movement. He was part of the NFB organizing teams in Delaware and Michigan, and additional chapters have been formed in Maryland, his home State. Today the Free State Federation of the Blind has become the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, a thriving affiliate with four chapters and about two hundred members. Ned Graham is currently president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the NFB of Maryland—the chapter whose organization Graham had undertaken as his first task as a Federationist.

Member, Executive Committee

Nellie Hargrove was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee when the new affiliate was formed in June 1969. She was reelected to a two-year term as its president in May of 1970. At the first annual convention of the NFB of Tennessee she was named Federationist of the Year. At the Columbia, South Carolina Convention of the NFB in 1969 she was elected to a two-year term on the NFB Executive Committee and was reelected in 1971. In addition, in 1970 Mrs. Hargrove was chairman of the resolutions committee and served on the auditing committee of the Alumni Association of the Tennessee School for the Blind.

This listing of the offices she has held in the last few years testifies to the energy of our executive committeewoman from Tennessee and to her involvement in the organized blind movement. But it fails to express the lively spirit of her personality and the depth of her commitment to life. Born in June of 1935, Mrs. Hargrove is a daughter of the late Reverend and Mrs. Thomas Cardwell. "My father, who was blind, was a country preacher in the hills of East Tennessee. We were quite poor as far as material matters go. We were taught love, courage, and self-pride at home. I sometimes think I haven't gone as far in life as I could have or perhaps should have, but then I consider my starting point."

As the result of a congenital eye defect, Mrs. Hargrove has been legally blind since the age of thirteen. At the age of ten she went to Nashville to attend Tennessee's residential school for the blind. Mrs. Hargrove remained in the school through the eleventh grade. Grades eight through eleven were spent in the English classes of Kenneth Jernigan. "We learned much more than English grammar and literature in Mr. Jernigan's classroom," she says. "He gave us a practical education in almost everything. We once had a discussion on how one should behave during a visit to a funeral parlor. We talked about politics, chocolate cake, the latest fashions, and the newest dances. One semester we did nothing but spell. I didn't make out too well that term." Nellie feels that it was a great loss to the world of education when Mr. Jernigan left the teaching profession.

During her last year at the Tennessee School for the Blind she was elected by the faculty and student body as "The girl most likely to succeed." The last year of high school she attended Watkins Institute in Nashville. There, in a class of thirty-one, she was graduated as valedictorian of her class. After eighteen months of training at the Nashville College of Business Mrs. Hargrove first took a position with Tennessee Aircraft Corporation and later worked briefly for the Davidson County Department of Public Welfare. Leaving this position, she went to work for the Tennessee Department of Public Works where she remained until January 1972, when she resigned to devote full time to her studies at the University of Tennessee." Education is her major.

Besides her work with the organized blind and her studies, Mrs. Hargrove is also active in the PTA, church groups, and the Tennessee Young Democrats. She has a keen interest in local politics.

For recreation Mrs. Hargrove bowls with a team, likes to go to Florida's beaches and "goof off," goes deep-sea fishing, and hikes in the mountains of her native State. Her favorite pastime is cooking. Sharing Mr. Jernigan's taste for good literature, she also enjoys reading.

"I consider myself most fortunate. I have had more than my share of the breaks. It has been said that one gets out of life what he puts into it. I think my life has been an exception to the rule. I have gotten far more out of life than I could ever put into it."

Member, Executive Committee

In most States the message of Federationism is being delivered to the State agencies by the organized blind consumers of their services. In some few States the techniques and goals of the Federation are the core of the services being delivered by the State agency itself. An example of this latter case is the Idaho Commission for the Blind.

With Federationism as a philosophical basis for the programs of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, a new day dawned for blind persons in Idaho. Blind men and women are working throughout the full range of employment from speech therapist to foundry worker; from working in the classroom to working in the home; and in business, from cafeterias to florists. As a result of its basis in Federationism and the success of blind persons working in professional or regular jobs, the Commission's growth includes the development of a comprehensive Orientation and Adjustment Center and a three-hundred-percent increase in appropriations. The Center and its activities show the strong influence of NFB President Kenneth Jernigan, whose direct assistance and most effective model (the Iowa Commission) helped shape the Idaho Center and program.

These are the words of Kenneth Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission. And despite his eagerness to share the credit for the success of the Commission with the NFB leaders who inspired it, he is fast developing a model program himself.

Ken Hopkins' biography, the way he relates it, reads like a history of his involvement with the Federation. Hopkins was born in Iowa and educated in the Muscatine Community Schools. After high school he lived all around the country, working first in the family construction business and then in other jobs. During this time he had completed a year of college, before leaving school to follow other interests. Hopkins returned to college to
complete work for a degree, in 1961. In June of the following year he began to lose the sight in one eye; by July of that year he was legally blind (as the result of spontaneous degeneration of the retinas). Of this period, Hopkins says:

This began a totally new and different part of my life. Early in 1963 I started my training at the Orientation Center at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Under the guidance and tutelage of Mr. Jernigan and Manuel Urena, I learned how little blindness need limit my life, my productivity, my ambition, and my prospects. The result was a broadening of my life in terms both of meaning and prospects.

Ken Hopkins graduated from the University of Iowa in 1966. He married Mary Jacoby, a Federationist he had met at the NFB Convention in Washington, D.C. Immediately after their marriage, the Hopkins moved to Reno, Nevada, where Ken worked as a rehabilitation counselor for the Nevada Services for the Blind. On December 1, 1967, he was appointed Director of the newly created Idaho Commission for the Blind. (The formation of the Commission and participation in the selection of a director for it were major achievements for the organized blind of Idaho.)

Ken Hopkins had joined the Federation in 1963, while a student at the Iowa Orientation and Adjustment Center, and he became an active force in the organization after his return to college. During the first year back in school Hopkins assisted in laying the groundwork for the organizing of the University Association of the Blind, now an affiliate of the NFB of Iowa. He served as this organization's first president and initiated the first of the evaluations of the education of blind children done by the IAB (Iowa Association of the Blind; now the NFB of Iowa) student association. He helped organize the Cedar Rapids chapter of the IAB, was active in the Orientation Center Alumni Association and in the State activities of the IAB.

When he moved to Nevada in 1966 Hopkins took with him his interest in the development of student organizations. He worked to establish such an organization at the national level, organizing in California and Idaho. Locally, he was white cane chairman of the Reno Chapter of the Nevada Federation of the Blind (now the NFB of Nevada).

The move to Idaho in 1967 and the assumption of the direction of the Idaho Commission greatly increased Hopkins' ability to further the cause of the Federation. Aside from his work in developing the Commission programs, he remained active in organizing. Three new chapters have been added to the Idaho affiliate since his arrival in the State, including a student organization. He has helped strengthen the affiliates in the neighboring States of Washington and Oregon, and was appointed NFB national membership chairman by President Jernigan in 1969, 1970, and 1971. In recognition of his work for the Federation, in 1971, Kenneth Hopkins was elected to the NFB Executive Committee. Ken Hopkins is a member of Lions International and is the subject of one of the more impressive listings in the 1973 edition of Who's Who of the West.

Member, Executive Committee

Although fairly new to the organized blind movement, Shirley Lebowitz has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most energetic and effective of Federationists. Blind for the last eleven years, she has been a Federationist for the last three. In that time she has helped to reorganize-and greatly strengthen the Connecticut affiliate; she has been an active force in legislative efforts; she marched on the first NAC picket line; and she has been elected to the NFB Executive Committee.

Born in 1924, Shirley Lebowitz lived in Norwich, Connecticut, until the age of five, when she moved with her family to Hartford, the State capital (an appropriate location, it turns out, considering her present active involvement in legislation). She has lived in the Hartford area ever since.

During the period before she lost her sight, Shirley devoted much of her energy to civic, religious, and service organizations. She became Mrs. Edward Lebowitz in 1948 and has two daughters, Joyce and Cindy. Toward the end of this period, she took a job in the public relations and advertising department of a large department store. The work was routine and carried little responsibility, and it persuaded Shirley to seek further education. The New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing was participating in the United States Nurse Corps program. Shirley signed up for the three-year course and became a registered nurse. She then attended the Hartford branch of the University of Connecticut and subsequently gained a position at the Hartford Isolation Hospital, in Nursing Education. She taught communicable disease and precaution technique to student nurses from other Connecticut hospitals. This flourishing career, however, was interrupted by vision problems.

When she was a senior student nurse, Shirley Lebowitz experienced the first symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa. When frequent changes of corrective lenses could no longer help, she went to St. Paul's Rehabilitation Center, in Newton, Massachusetts. A year later she enrolled in a course in medical transcribing offered by the Hadley School for the Blind, As a result of this, the Reliable Transcribing Service was established in 1969 in the Lebowitz home.

Shirley Lebowitz joined the NFB in 1970: "My personal experiences and those related to me by other blind people, concerning problems in dealing with the public and professionals in work with the blind, pointed out the need to strengthen the NFB of Connecticut." And strengthen it she did. In the fall of 1972 Shirley Lebowitz worked with an organizing team to reorganize and renew the affiliate. That goal was realized on December 4, 1971, at a meeting at which a new constitution was adopted and a new slate of officers was elected. Mrs. Lebowitz was one of the principal planners for that meeting.

In 1972, at the NFB Convention in Minneapolis, Shirley Lebowitz was elected to the NFB Executive Committee. About this national recognition of her work she wrote, "I am grateful for the opportunity to fulfill the obligation I feel to do what I can to bring about improvements in the quality of life for my fellow blind." Of course, the essence of a minority-rights organization is the opportunity it provides for the voices of the disadvantaged to gain strength and be heard. Shirley Lebowitz realizes this well. In the course of a battle against discrimination in Connecticut, she wrote:

The National Federation of the Blind ... is an action organization. We have pledged to give top priority to our efforts in seeking enactment of civil rights legislation for the blind. We must not be silent and obscure. There is no security in obscurity. It is time now for the blind of Connecticut to unite and step forward. We must speak out and speak up with one voice—a voice loud enough, strong enough, and clear enough to be heard in the General Assembly, the office of [the Governor], the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, and all over the State of Connecticut.

Member, Executive Committee

Past President of the National Federation, pioneer leader of the organized blind movement in California, veteran administrator of a model State welfare division—Perry Sundquist has played a distinguished role in the social progress of the blind over the past generation.

Born in 1904 in Minnesota, Sundquist received his early education in the schools of Canada and Washington, and later moved to California to enroll at the famous school for the blind in Berkeley. There he studied under the late Dr. Newel Perry and first developed his interest in the educational and organizational cause of the blind. Sundquist's severe visual impairment did not keep him from earning a B.A. degree in political science in 1928 from the University of California. This was followed by two years of graduate study there and at the University of Southern California. In 1931 he married a college classmate, Emily Wright.

From his initial election in 1930 to the office of secretary of the Los Angeles County Club of Adult Blind, Sundquist has been involved continuously in the organized blind movement. For five years following its formation in 1934, he was vice-president of the California Council of the Blind. From 1936 to 1941 he served as executive secretary of the American Brotherhood for the Blind. In 1939 he was elected president of the Los Angeles County Club. His long years of association with the National Federation of the Blind culminated with his election to the second vice-presidency in July 1960, and his elevation to the presidency some months later-an office which he held until his resignation in July 1962. Since then Sundquist has served continuously on the NFB Executive Committee: He was elected for two-year terms in 1964 and 1966; he was elected to fill an unexpired term of one year in 1968; and in both 1969 and 1971 he was again elected for two-year terms.

Sundquist's career in public welfare work with the blind goes back to 1935, when he was appointed by the California Department of Education to conduct a statewide study of the blind. In 1941 he became Chief of the Division for the Blind, California Department of Social Welfare-a post in which he served with skill and distinction. His outstanding contributions as an administrator were given recognition in 1959, when the National Federation of the Blind conferred upon him its Newel Perry Award, and again in 1964, when he received the Citation of the California Council of the Blind. Sundquist is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. In 1962 he was awarded honorary membership in the California Optometric Association. He is a registered social worker and was a member of the board of directors of the California Conference of Social Work from 1951 to 1955. He is currently a member of the California Social Workers Organization and a member of both the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

During the more than quarter-century that Sundquist served as Chief of the Division for the Blind, the program of public assistance for the sightless in California came to include all of the essential elements which produce maximum incentive to rehabilitation and minimum dependency. The State's laws on aid to the blind now comprise such forward-looking provisions as a minimum guaranteed grant established at a decent level, the meeting of special needs above the minimum, incentives to self-support through retention of income and liberal property allowances, elimination of liens on the property of recipients, a medical-care program with broad coverage, provision for meeting the costs of attendant care and other special services up to three hundred dollars a month over and above the maximum grant of aid, repeal of the requirements for relatives' financial responsibility, and repeal of durational residence as a qualification for State aid. These and many other provisions preserving the dignity of the individual recipient make California's program of aid to the blind one of the most advanced in the Nation.

In 1968 Perry Sundquist retired from the position of Chief of the Division for the Blind, after twenty-seven years of service to the State of California. He immediately accepted a part-time position, as social welfare consultant, with the American Brotherhood for the Blind. In 1970 Sundquist authored two monographs: "A History of the California Council of the Blind: 1934-1969" and "Aid to the Blind in California: Fifty Years of Program Development, 1919-1969."

In April 1968 Sundquist was appointed Editor of The Braille Monitor-a position which he has filled steadfastly and effectively ever since.

Member, Executive Committee

Early this year the Blind Californian, publication of the NFB of California, contained an article entitled "'The Return of the Native.' "The title referred to a speech by Manuel Urena; and the article announced the successful conclusion of months of effort by the organized blind of the State to have a Federationist appointed to the position of Program Manager for the Blind in the State Department of Rehabilitation. This was an important step, for the new program manager directs all rehabilitation programs for the blind in the State. And the organized blind of California have reason to exult in the return of this particular native Californian. Assistant Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind in charge of the operations of the Adult Orientation Center from 1964 to 1972, Urena has come most recently from a position with the District of Columbia Board of Education as director of the Vision Center of its Special Education Department. In announcing his appointment, California State Director of Rehabilitation Alan C. Nelson said, "I am very pleased to have Mr. Urena join our staff. As the outstanding candidate for the position, he especially possesses the qualifications we need. His filling this important position signals a major change in administering and strengthening the State's rehabilitation services for the adult blind. Under the program manager system of administration Mr. Urena will be able to work across other administrative lines in the department to give strong leadership and direction in the rehabilitation of the blind."

Manuel Urena was born in the small town of Etiwanda in California, From his birth he had impaired vision and by the time he reached thirteen years of age he was totally blind as the result of twice being hit in the eyes while playing. He attended the California School for the Blind for eleven years. During the last three of those years he also went to public high school. Moving out of the residential school, he was able to graduate from Oakland Technical High School while living independently and meeting his own reader expenses.

He enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, where he became involved in several campus activities. Urena was a member, and later an officer, of the Honor Society while an undergraduate. He was an active participant in the University Model United Nations program and assisted in developing positions on international problems of the day for student debate. He was a member of the chess team.

Urena received a B.A. degree magna cum laude in 1956 and an M.A. degree in 1958. While working on the M.A. degree he enrolled in the School of Education and, after completing the necessary teaching requirements at Oakland Technical High School and Merritt Junior College, received a lifetime teaching credential for the junior college and high school levels. When he did not attend summer school, he spent his summers working: selling Watkins products, assisting naturalization classes for Spanish-speaking immigrants, and tutoring for the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Urena has been active in organizations of the blind for fifteen years. His first knowledge of the organized blind movement came in 1949 when he was a freshman in high school.

During that year he came under the tutelage of Dr. Newel Perry, director of advanced studies at the California School f6r the Blind. That learned mathematician did more than teach his blind students geometry, calculus, or trigonometry, or see that the tasks assigned students attending "outside" high school were completed. He taught them to take a lively interest in the general life around them and especially to engage actively in the work of improving the social and economic conditions of the blind. So it was that Manuel Urena was introduced to the organized blind movement.

Late in 1952 he joined the Alumni Association of the California School for the Blind, an affiliate of the California Council of the Blind. This resulted in his attending the fall convention of the CCB in 1953, memorable because it was to be the last CCB convention at which Dr. Perry would preside.

From this point on it was a foregone conclusion that Manuel would become deeply involved in the organized blind movement. His first project was as a member of a committee of the Alumni Association which was to review the programs and policies of the blind school. He regards this project as notable on two counts: first, because the work on this committee led to his first meeting with Dr. Jacobus tenBroek (the beginning of an association and friendship which lasted for over fourteen years); and second, because it enabled him to work with a committee of distinguished blind people. His first office was also with the Alumni Association; he was elected its delegate to the CCB in 1955, a position he held until his departure from the State.

In 1954-55 Kenneth Jernigan came and spoke to the University Chapter of the CCB. Through this association Urena became active in a number of local blind organizations and held office in some. In 1958 Urena was very active on the State level and by 1959 he was elected to the board of directors of the CCB. He resigned that post to move to Iowa to accept a position under Kenneth Jernigan who had become Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind.

Rather than reducing his work or diminishing his interest in the organized blind movement, the shift to Iowa gave him even greater opportunities. Urena immediately became active in the Iowa Association of the Blind (now the NFB of Iowa), and was a member of the IAB Board of Directors. In recent years he assisted in forming several new chapters in Iowa.

On the national stage, Urena has been active also. For a number of years he has been chairman of the National Resolutions Committee. In 1967 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Brotherhood for the Blind. More recently, Urena has represented the NFB at hearings before State agencies and at State affiliate conventions. During 1968 he helped reconstitute a Texas affiliate and organized a new affiliate in another State. He was elected to the NFB Executive Committee in 1968, 1970, and 1972.

Member, Executive Committee

In the last two years the Federation has been having much success in organizing affiliates in the deep South. Since 1971 the NFB has admitted State organizations from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia, and reorganized the affiliate in Alabama. Much of the credit (though, of course, by no means all) for the creation of the first two of these organizations goes to the work of NFB Executive Committeeman Harvey Webb, of Morgan City, Louisiana. He is now president of the NFB of Louisiana.

Harvey's work with the Federation extends back to the mid-1950's. "My first national Convention was in New Orleans in 1957. I was in on the first effort to organize Mississippi back in 1956 or 1957, also on the one that worked in 1972. We Federationists can be tenacious. The Louisiana affiliate was formed on June 17, 1972, in Baton Rouge, and we were off to a good start with some 180 people in attendance at the organizing meeting."

The organization of the NFB of Mississippi was important to Harvey, for Mississippi is his native State. Born in Calhoun City in October 1929, he lost his sight at the age of three. He attended the State school for the blind in Jackson, and, three days after he received his high school diploma, moved to Louisiana.

For a short time, before leaving Mississippi, Harvey worked in a chair factory. He went back to school in Louisiana. "I .attended the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for a couple of semesters," writes Harvey; and then adds wryly, "and in the wisdom of postpuberty thought I would rather work for a living, so I went to work at the Mississippi Industries for the Blind. Ever since making that decision, I've questioned giving eighteen-year-olds the vote. Hopefully, this generation is smarter."

Most of Harvey Webb's career since then has been in the music business. Playing the clarinet and saxophone, he worked in various combos. "We played everything from the opening of service stations to the leper colony in Carville, Louisiana. I almost starved to death up in Missouri and Kansas with a carnival." He married in 1962 and moved with his wife Adele to Morgan City to open a music store. After a few years they sold the business, but kept the building and moved into real estate. They now have rental apartments and an interest in a land development company. Recently Harvey began working at radio station KMRC in Morgan City, as a disc jockey. "At the beginning, I selected the records to be played on my show, but the staff man handled the board-that is to say, he operated all the switches. Now I am doing all my own operations— turning knobs, punching buttons like crazy, and having a ball with it. The format is music for the over-thirty group, and it is catching on in a big way around town. The manager is talking to me about putting in more time on the board, and this sounds good to me."

In addition to his organizing work for the NFB, Harvey has been otherwise active in his State. Recently he was instrumental in having seven NFB of Louisiana members (including himself) appointed by the State Superintendent of Education to a newly formed advisory committee on education of the blind in the State. Harvey Webb was elected to the NFB Executive Committee at the national Convention in Chicago in July 1972.

Member, Board of Directors

Long known to Federationists throughout the country as an aggressive champion of the cause of the organized blind, Dr. Jacob Freid was chosen by the Federation at its 1963 Convention to join the NFB Board of Directors During the same Convention he was also honored as recipient of the Newel Perry Award, presented by the Federation for distinguished service in the field of work with the blind.

Although lacking sight in one eye as the result of a detached retina, Dr. Freid has sufficient remaining vision to read and travel independently with corrective lenses. Following his graduation in 1937 from the College of the City of New York, where he was also an Honor Fellow, he went on to earn a master's degree in sociology from Columbia University in 1938, and later returned to the same institution to receive a Ph.D. in sociology in 1956.

During the Second World War, he was head of the Moscow desk of the Office of War Information and the United States State Department, acting as information liaison between our embassy in Moscow and our State Department in Washington. The work of his desk was considered by Averell Harriman, then United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, to be the most successful operation conducted by our Nation in its wartime relations with the Soviet Union.

Following the war Dr. Freid accepted an executive position with the American Jewish Congress, which he subsequently left in 1952 to become executive director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America. During the same period he taught sociology at Rutgers University, where his courses included a class on "Social Welfare Agencies: Problems, Standards, Community Relations." Freid also served for a number of years as chairman of the Department of Political Science at the New School for Social Research, in New York City, and as Chairman of the Faculty.

Dr. Freid is the author of numerous published writings in social science and public welfare, among which is a comprehensive study of Jewish life and history entitled Jews in the Modem World, Published in 1962, the work has been hailed by scholars as a classic of social science and "a remarkable treasure house of information and profoundly perceptive insight into the Jewish condition of our time."

In presenting the Newel Perry Award to Jacob Freid, the NFB President summed up the character of Dr. Freid's contribution in the following words:

Dr. Freid has been much more than a guest at each of our Conventions since [1958]. He has been a very active participant, an inspired speaker, a wise confidant, and a steadfast friend. Above all, he has thrown himself and his considerable energies into the thick of our struggles -both without and within the Federation. When the Kennedy bill, the Federation's right to organize measure, came before a committee of Congress for public hearings in 1959, and when we were in desperate need of supporting voices to counteract the phalanx of powerful agencies arrayed against us, it was Jacob Freid who braved the wrath of agency interests to fly down to Washington and speak forcefully on behalf of the right of blind people to organize on their own. This was no mere act of courtesy. It was an act of courage, determination, and devotion, for Jacob Freid is himself an "agency man." These are the qualities, coupled with rare intelligence and insight, which he has consistently and conspicuously displayed in the direction of his own agency, the Jewish Braille Institute of America.

As the executive director of the Institute and the brilliant editor of its well-known journal, the Jewish Braille Review, Dr. Freid has long been in the forefront of those enlightened forces in the field of welfare who recognize their function as that of working with the blind rather than merely for them-or against them. His attitude is part and parcel of a larger philosophy. He is a liberal in the true liberating sense: a fighter for every cause of social justice, however "lost" it may seem; a foe of prejudice and intolerance, wherever they rear their ugly heads; a spokesman for the deprived against the depraved, and for the underdog against the overlord. In short, he is not just a friend of the blind: he is a friend to man.

Member, Board of Directors

Famed the world over for her inspired and inspiring labors toward the education of the blind of all nations, Dr. Isabelle Grant may well be termed unofficial ambassador-at-large of America's organized blind. Treasurer of the International Federation of the Blind and Editor of the IFB journal, the Braille International (published in inkprint and Braille and distributed to readers in sixty-five countries), Dr, Grant has been a member of the NFB Board of Directors since 1960.

Dr. Grant retired in 1962 after thirty-five years of outstanding service to the Los Angeles City School District as teacher, counselor, vice-principal, and resource teacher. She had lost her sight twelve years earlier, but continued her teaching career without letup—now with a new mission and specific purpose: helping to train and rehabilitate sightless children in the integrated school program.

A native of Scotland, Dr. Grant received her education from the University of Aberdeen, the University of Paris, and the University of Madrid. She later acquired a Ph. D. from the University of Southern California.

In 1959 Dr. Grant began the first of a. series of journeys in the cause of international organization of the blind which set to rest doubts any might have about the mobility of the blind person traveling alone. Accompanied only by "Oscar" (her cane). Dr. Grant set out on a year-long, sabbatical-leave tour which took her to no fewer than twenty-one Middle Eastern, Asian, and Far Eastern countries. On her journey she flew from country to country for the primary purpose of "meeting people and listening to their thinking"; but she also studied the training and rehabilitation programs for the blind in each nation, and organized pioneer educational projects in many.

In Pakistan, in particular, the extent of Dr. Grant's efforts may be measured by the fact that in 1962 and again in 1963 she returned there to resume her educational project under a Fulbright Fellowship, with the full official approval both of the United States State Department and the governmental authorities of Pakistan.

In 1967-68 she traveled to ten African countries and paid return visits to five other countries outside of Africa-from Britain to Hong Kong. During this fourth year of residence among the blind abroad, Dr. Grant followed her usual punishing schedule—meeting with blind groups and individuals, addressing meetings, making television and radio appearances, and initiating personal contacts with as many government officials as were available (and some who weren't). As always, the emphasis was on education of blind youth, rehabilitation, employment, and organizing the blind.

In October 1969 Dr. Grant was instrumental in convening the first conclave of the International Federation of the Blind, held in Colombo, Ceylon. This was for her a "dream come true," for there she met once again— now as fellow members of a world organization—the people she had met Ln the far comers of the world. The first convention of the IFB crystallized the hopes and aspirations of the blind of the world, through the formation of resolutions and plans which are contributing to the betterment of the world's blind. Following the convention, Dr. Grant visited Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana—laying foundations of new IFB affiliates or strengthening existing ones.

The National Federation of the Blind, in 1964, awarded Dr. Grant the Newel Perry Award for Distinguished Service. She was named International Teacher of 1967, at the annual National Teacher Remembrance Day (for this honor she was the recipient of a complimentary scroll from the Los Angeles City Council). In February 1971 Dr. Grant received the DIANA award of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority, a philanthropic service organization for women. (DIANA stands for Distinguished International Award for Noble Achievement.) In May of the same year she received a personal letter of commendation from President Richard Nixon, for her outstanding work with and for the blind at home and overseas. And, finally, in 1972 Dr. Grant received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize—a signal and appropriate honor.

Member, Board of Directors

The youngest member of the NFB Board of Directors is NFB Students Division President Marc Maurer. This eager and articulate young man is a junior at the University of Notre Dame and a major cause of the recent remarkable growth of the Students Division. Born in 1951, Maurer has been visually handicapped since birth. For the past sixteen years, for all practical purposes, he has been totally blind. "My third eye operation happened when I was six, and when it was over I was blind. I was resentful, bitter, and scared. I had determined that blindness was an irreparable, tragic blow to my being. Henceforth, I would spend much time doing nothing except sitting alone and becoming more bitter. I was doing rather well; I had collected almost as much dust as the knickknacks on our bookshelf. Then my mother decided that it was time for a change of scenery and literally dragged me outside to 'play.' My first lesson about the proper attitude concerning blindness wasn't much fun, but it was taught to me in the form of a good time on a swing set."

Maurer attended the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School at Vinton through the fifth grade. He then completed his public schooling in the schools of Boone, Iowa, before moving to Des Moines for a year of training at the Adult Orientation Center of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Here Marc learned many things, not the least of which was the value of organization. "Before I came to the Commission," says Marc, "I didn't believe that the problems of blind people were really significantly larger than those of the sighted. Besides that, I thought that those people who talked about discrimination were dressing up a weak case. I thought that if reason prevailed in the world the blind would become less demanding and accept the realities of their limitation, and not try to do those things that blind people could obviously not do." This was changed by Marc's acquaintance with the Director of the Commission, Kenneth Jernigan. "We had several discussions about blindness and the blind, and as it happened, I inevitably lost the debate, but I did grow to recognize the need for organization." Once convinced, he remained convinced.

Marc Maurer is now attending the University of Notre Dame where he is finishing his junior year in a curriculum of arts and letters. He plans to go on to law school. Marc's white cane and cocky manner are a normal sight on the Notre Dame campus. He admits to a reputation for being argumentative (no drawback for a Federation organizer): if everyone is in agreement on a topic. Marc will take the opposite view "just to make the discussion interesting."

But there was a time when Marc was not so self-assured on the campus. "When I came to Notre Dame I was sure that I'd flunk out, and I was certain that I'd never be able to figure out where everything was." The fact that he did find things and did not flunk out speaks for the excellent training that he has had. "I wish that everyone could have the kind of chance that I've had; I guess that's what we're organized for." And Marc understands what this means. In speaking of the Students Division which he has done so much to strengthen and enlarge, he says, "As we understand it, the first duty of a division is to the organization of which it is a part, and as such the Students Division will work in whatever way we can to make the NFB a greater movement. ... We are an entity in one sense only. We are not a division of the NFB, but a division in the NFB. We stand together with all our colleagues in the movement." Maurer has also said, "The National Federation of the Blind has put me where I am. I hope to work within it for a long, long time."

Chief of the Washington Office

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That as a token of esteem and respect the name of John Nagle be inscribed in the records of the National Federation of the Blind, with the title of "Friend of the Blind."

These are the final words of a lengthy resolution adopted by delegates to the 1962 Convention of the National Federation, for the purpose of expressing the organization's appreciation and gratitude to Nagle "for his untiring efforts and deep interest in promoting the social and economic welfare of the blind through legislation."

The recipient of this official accolade is a blind attorney from Massachusetts. As Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, he has been the effective instrument of the Federation in presenting to Congress the Convention-approved policies which have resulted in much of the constructive legislation affecting the welfare of the blind enacted in recent years.

Born in 1915, Nagle lost his sight at the age of thirteen and thereafter attended Massachusetts' Perkins School for the Blind, graduating in 1934. He studied journalism at Boston University for the next two years, later switched to law and received his LL.B. degree from the Northeastern University night law school in 1942. Four years later he was awarded a B.A. degree in public affairs by the American International College (which he also attended evenings). He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1943 and to the Federal Bar the following year, and settled down to a full-time law practice, in Springfield, Massachusetts, which was to claim his professional attention for the next fourteen years.

During the years 1956-1958 Nagle became, successively, recording secretary of the Greater Springfield Association of the Blind, a member of its executive board, president of the Associated Blind of Massachusetts, and a member of the executive committee of the National Federation of the Blind. In 1958 he received a governor's appointment to the advisory board of the Massachusetts Division for the Blind, and in the same year was named by the NFB to its Washington staff. In 1963 Nagle was admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Nagle is a member of the District of Columbia Mayor-Commissioner's Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation; a member of the board of directors and Legislative Advisory Committee of the American Association of Workers for the Blind; a member of the Advisory Committee of the Audio Response Time-Shared Service Bureau for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; and a member of the board of directors of District Enterprises for the Blind (the vending-stand nominee in the District of Columbia).

John has received awards from the Massachusetts, Maryland, and District of Columbia affiliates of the NFB; and in 1969 he was presented with the Migel Award by the American Foundation for the Blind "for outstanding service to the blind."

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