Voice of the National Federation of the Blind

MAY - 1973

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



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

EDITOR: Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue Sacramento, California 95822
Associate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708
News items should be sent to the Editor
Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

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

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


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

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708

MAY 1973




by Ralph Solberg and Al Fisher

by Rosamond M. Critchley


by Ruth Acosta

by Kenneth Jernigan

by Perry Sundquist


by Joanne Fernandes

by Jane Howard

by Ben Zinser

by Ruby Garner

by Sam Sitt


by Hon. Elliot L. Richardson

by Emily Sundquist



Five long years have now elapsed since Professor Jacobus (Chick) tenBroek, Founder and longtime President of the National Federation of the Blind, died. During all of that time the officers, Executive Committee members, staff, and the entire membership of the NFB have tried to carry on as we felt he would have wished.

At first, and for many years, Chick was manning the barricades almost alone. He fought for blind people whom he never knew and who were never to know him. Then, in 1940, he founded the NFB and others from all over the country joined this comrade-in-arms. He was a dreamer and a doer. He called himself a social reformer, and that he was!

Chick tenBroek established as the ultimate goal of the NFB the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. This objective involved the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by each and every blind person of the right to exercise to the full his individual talents and capacities. It meant the right of the blind to work along with their sighted fellows in the professions, common callings, skilled trades, and regular occupations.

Whenever discrimination raised its ugly head and struck at the blind. Chick and the NFB struck back. He realized that if only the agencies for the blind would fight these battles against discrimination, which is as much their concern as ours, we could free ourselves for greater efforts in our other avenues of approach to the attainment of Security, Equality, and Opportunity. However, when the agencies won't lift a finger to combat discrimination, we must. And Chick struck back hard--through the media, the legislative halls, the courts, and his own powerful writings.

Through his scholarly writings and well-nigh classic addresses over the years, Chick tenBroek developed brilliantly doctrines on many important phases of social reform. Even today he is recognized nationally as a man who was one of the most serious and original thinkers in the whole field. His work in this area will undoubtedly profoundly affect the course of public welfare in this country for many years to come. During his presidency of the NFB Professor tenBroek earned wide recognition by men and women in every walk of life as a dynamic leader. His work evoked spontaneous bursts of enthusiasm from social worker organizations, public and private welfare officials, leaders in the several learned professions, the press and radio, and innumerable individuals--all finding in Chick tenBroek a man who combined scholarly excellence with social concern. They realized that, at long last, an individual had come across the scene who was doing great things and fighting a heroic battle for all of those disadvantaged groups who could not speak effectively for themselves. Such leadership imparted a warm feeling of encouragement and strength to all of those across this land who were interested in helping others to help themselves.

The only way, perhaps, to evaluate greatness is by the size of the tasks a man sets for himself. Chick set high and arduous tasks for himself. He brought to this service a remarkable intellectual capacity, an extraordinary ability to express himself in sentences which not only made sense but were eloquent to the point of being classics, a boundless energy which made him a prodigious worker, an enlightened yet all-pervading dedication, a constant optimism toward the eventual triumph of human values, and a deep and abiding sense of humor. It is of such ingredients that greatness is made.

The story of Chick tenBroek is the saga of a man's dedication to deeply-held convictions--the tale of one person's hard work and sacrifice of time, energy, and money to advance those programs which are already translating the hopes and dreams of blind persons into realities. He was one of the most thoughtful and kind human beings that anyone could hope to find. At the same time, Chick was an intensely stimulating and vital individual. The sheer impact of the personality of this man inspired thousands of blind men and women to do two wonderful things-to believe in themselves, and to want to help others.

In carrying on the work which Chick tenBroek so nobly and boldly began, we of the NFB have repaid in part his long and dedicated efforts in the blind movement.

We have tried to keep the faith. Chick, we have tried to keep the faith!

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[Editor's Note: The following release was sent by President Jernigan on March 12, 1973.]

Dear Colleagues:

I have just received a letter from John Nagle which informs me that the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill is now in the hands of Congressman James A. Burke of Massachusetts He has once again agreed to take on the task of introducing and guiding our bill through the House and to work to get as many other Congressmen as possible to co-sponsor our bill with him. The bill does not yet have a number but that is not important.

Every Federationist must now contact his Congressman and urge him to support our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. That is identification enough. In the 91st Congress we asked you to have your
Congressman introduce an identical bill, but this year we are asking for co-sponsors. As John's letter says, in part:

Our members should have their Congressman notify Congressman Burke's office to add their names as co-sponsors on our bill. This change of procedure could result in a greater number of co-sponsors than we had in the 91st Congress, for a substantial number of members refuse to introduce an identical bill as a waste and extravagance but the same members would willingly have their names added as co-sponsors to Congressman Burke's already introduced bill.

Both Congressman Burke and Congressman Wilbur Mills are doing their part. But they cannot succeed unless each and every Federationist now does his. It is important for you to see your own Congressman when he is at home or to write to him in Washington urging his support as a co-sponsor to Congressman Burke's bill. Those of you who have yet to write letters to Congressman Mills in appreciation for his support of the bill should do so as quickly as possible. Some chapters around the country have written at least one hundred letters to Congressman Mills, but too many of you have written none at all. If we are all to benefit from this bill, we must all get in and work for it. Your local newspaper or library can tell you who your Congressman is and where to send your letter.

Remember, your letter need not be a work of literary art. Say what you feel as simply and concisely as possible. Don't worry about the spelling and the grammar. Just tell your Congressman that the blind of the country will all benefit from the passage of the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill and urge him to co-sponsor Congressman Burke's bill.

Remember that we absolutely must have action and have it now.

Cordially yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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Ralph Solberg and Al Fisher

[Reprinted from the News Bulletin, publication of the NFB of the State of Washington.]

A good look at the Iowa program for the blind can best begin by describing the facilities used by the Iowa Commission for the Blind located in Des Moines. The building itself is one formerly occupied by the YMCA. It is a six-story structure, remodeled considerably and added onto over the past twelve years.

The building houses the administrative offices, cafeteria facilities--open to the public and servicing three hundred people a day--recreational facilities, orientation offices and classrooms, student living quarters, the largest library for the blind in the world, complete metal and woodworking shop, field operations, home industries, home economics department, and separate apartment living quarters for the director and three other staff members. The structure is highly complex, and in its complexity of hallways, rooms, split levels, stairways, elevators in various locations, it provides an ideal setting for mobility experience. The library in itself, which takes parts of three floors and several stack levels, can provide an almost inescapable maze to the blind student learning the techniques of self-reliance and mobility. In addition, the close proximity of the facility to the downtown Des Moines area provides an excellent opportunity for the student to learn all the necessary skills needed to live and work and play independently in the modem world as he or she will encounter it, and do it successfully.

The building is bustling with activity. Every square foot of space is used to its maximum, including the roof which serves an additional useful function in the overall orientation of the average blind Iowan. The roof is outfitted with a large picnic-type table, a natural gas grille, large double sink, and refrigerator. At first glance this would appear to be an ideal spot used for the sole purpose of recreation. But more importantly, the students themselves learn the techniques of grilling steaks, preparing cookouts, et cetera, and proving to themselves that they can do it. This is part of the overall goal of the nine-month program of orientation at the Iowa Commission.

Moving downward from the roof, the fifth and sixth floors contain the apartments and the student living quarters. Here each student has his or her own room. Students live at the Commission during their stay at the Center--even those in the Des Moines area. It is important to note that in the philosophy of the Iowa Commission, each student lives apart from his or her former environment to learn the value and importance of complete and total self-reliance and self-confidence. The program to some may seem quite harsh and at times even brutal. But the fact that the number of those who do not stick with it for the entire program is virtually nil, is proof that the program is accepted by the students themselves. Ninety-eight percent complete the course. The philosophy and attitudes of the students change noticeably in the course of their stay, and the results
in successful rehabilitation proves that the program is working effectively.

The recreation facilities, such as the well-equipped gymnasium and swimming pool, used daily by the students, play their important role in physical and social wellbeing. Off the front entrance there is a large recreation room where students and staff gather at leisure time and sometimes hold joint meetings. It provides a lounging area, with vending machines for refreshments and snacks. At one end of the recreation room is a large fireplace which in itself has what might be termed a dual function. It not only provides a warm atmosphere for cold evenings, but obviously the wood for the fireplace must come from someplace. When the supply of fuel is low, students and staff, dressed for the oftentimes sub-zero weather, go out into the woods and fell trees, cut them up, load the wood on trucks, and haul it back to the Commission building. One staff member related to us a humorous incident which took place on one of the woodcutting expeditions.

"I was new here then," he said. "In fact, I was going through my own orientation and training to be a staff member. We arrived in the woods and the chill factor that day was thirty below zero. We began cutting up the trees we had felled, and I looked around at one of the students who was manning a saw. He had his stocking cap pulled down completely over his face, right down to his chin. My reaction was spontaneous, before I even thought, and I said, 'My god, how can you see what you are doing?' And then I realized that in a few moments I would be doing the same thing with a pair of sleep shades on."

A field office is located in Waterloo and one in Cedar Rapids. Field Counselors cover the entire State on a regional basis, seeking out blind people, talking to them about available services, and assisting them in all ways needed.

Students upon entering the training program are first of all given a thorough tour of the facilities which they will be using for the next months to come. They are made to feel that they are to become a part of the overall program, with basically only three ground rules to follow--no boys on the girls' floor, no girls on the boys' floor, and no liquor on the premises. They are accepted as adults, and it is assumed they will conduct themselves responsibly. No place is off-limits to the students. They are given a key to the building so they may enter or leave at any time. Incidents of irresponsible or poor conduct are extremely minimal.

The Commission attempts to have a balance of persons of all ages and from several areas of the State at the same time at the center, and to stagger entry into the program so as to have a balance of new students with the more advanced. Students receive $140 a month to live on, which is the minimum grant paid under Iowa's Aid to the Blind program. The total number of persons on Aid to the Blind, including students, is approximately twelve hundred. The Center is equipped to handle up to twenty-five students at a time. Students take part in all phases of the program, learning many new skills and techniques; but, chiefly, the concentration is on attitude and philosophy. The students must accept the fact that they are blind. They learn that blindness is respectable and that they will be capable, with the proper training and opportunity, of making their own way within reason in the work-a-day world and do it successfully. No staff person is even permitted to tell a student, "I don't think you can do it," no matter what "it" is.

Since mobility is one of the chief ingredients of successful living, much emphasis is placed on travel techniques using the long white cane. Students receive a cane upon entering the program and, if they have residual eyesight, a pair of sleep shades, which they use to learn to travel, and all the other techniques, as totally blind persons. Cane travel instruction starts immediately. The student soon learns the basic techniques of the cane and from then on learns by experience to become a good traveler by doing it. For the rest of their stay, two or more hours a day are spent practicing cane travel, under all conditions, over a variety of routes. The longest such route is 5.2 miles.

The woodworking and metal shop is like any other such shop anywhere. There are no Braille markings, special safety rules or devices, and no machines are modified in any way. New techniques and ways of doing things, such as measuring or setting up machines, are being developed and made available to blind people. The most recent is a method by which a blind person can successfully do arc welding. Students needing further training for specific occupations are sent on to college and trade schools. All students take on projects in the shops in order to develop their skills and techniques and build confidence that they can do it as a blind person. They come to believe and know that if they can perform in the program, they can go to work and make a living for themselves and /or their families.

We want to emphasize the role and importance of attitude and philosophy in the scheme of things at the Iowa Center because that's where it's at. It is the central core, the thread that goes through and ties the entire program into one viable, highly successful program. No one is measured or tested. There are no psychologists or specialists in that sense. What they do is to have philosophy classes almost every day. Classes last an hour or an hour-and-a-half. All students attend these classes and participate in them. The subjects discussed are the problems that come up for one student or the group, organizing activities which they participate in--such as talks and demonstrations to schools or other groups--legislative matters, and national issues. In fact, most anything that is important to or affects the blind. Students are led in these discussions so they fully participate and air their views and hash things out in a responsible, adult way. Students are listened to and become a part of the overall program. Philosophy and attitude are matters of practical application, a commonsense approach to everyday problems and how to cope with them, including combating the stifling attitudes of the sighted world.

Another interesting feature of the Center is the large number of tours, sometimes two and three a day, of people attracted to the Commission. Students help conduct the tours, and even these activities become a challenge and learning opportunity for them.

Administration of Iowa's Commission for the Blind is under the able direction of Kenneth Jernigan. Since taking over the Commission in 1958, Mr. Jernigan has brought about many new programs and innovations. The program, rated the worst in the Nation in 1958, is now at the top of the list. One proof of the value of their program is the steady increase over the years of people placed in employment from twelve to last year's figure of 125, and they expect greater results this year. And these are meaningful jobs, not just make-work or sheltered employment. Of the first twenty-five placements for fiscal 1973, the average income on closure was $145 per week.

We took the time to see and talk to a number of blind people working in a variety of occupations and businesses and to employers of blind people. We heard blind people first-hand--what they were doing and how they came to be doing it. It is further interesting to note in talking to employers, their early apprehensions in hiring blind guys in their operations and the changes in their own attitude and their now enthusiastic approach to hiring blind persons. One employer in particular contributes a great deal toward developing the attitude of other employers.

We find a belief on the part of blind workers that because of the type of training and philosophy they received at the Commission, they can successfully compete and work at their maximum capability. We soon learned that seeking jobs for blind guys doesn't fall just on a certain member or portion of the Commission staff. Everybody gets into the act, including all of the staff members, alumni and many employers, too. A more recent development is the setting up of a fifty-member advisory committee, whose sole function is to help develop job opportunities for blind guys. Activities of the advisory committee include dinner meetings for prospective employers and development of informational material helpful in convincing companies and businesses that to employ the blind is just as profitable as to employ any other worker.

The approach to hiring staff for the Commission is unique and refreshing. They seek out people who have had a variety of successful work or business experiences, and prefer that they not be from other agencies for the blind. While the Iowa Commission staff have all had university and college education, not much weight is given to degrees. They prefer to have people with open minds who can be trained and indoctrinated in the philosophy and methods of the Commission. Staff members must go through much of the orientation training just as though they were students coming to the Center for a period of three to six months.

Students and staff have a relationship based upon equality and dignity. They are all working together for one common goal. A large percentage of the staff are blind guys, some of whom are former students of the Commission. There is no question about the attitude of blind Iowans to the Commission. A close, inseparable relationship exists. They built the
Commission, and in fact it is theirs. It is also the product of the understanding and the support of the legislature, the State government, and the people of Iowa, brought about because of the determination and hard work of the blind people of Iowa.

A close, inseparable relationship exists between the Commission and the organized movement of the blind, the NFB of Iowa. All are working together, facing the issues that affect the lives of blind Iowans, and working together to achieve their goals. The organized blind of Iowa are the moving force and the igniting spark that set the events in motion, and have continued to play an indispensable role in guaranteeing continued progress of the Commission.

Leaving Iowa, we stopped in Boise, Idaho, for two days to acquaint ourselves with the programs of the relatively new Commission there. We find in Idaho a great similarity and parallel to the program in Iowa. Under the capable leadership of Ken Hopkins and his staff, we find the same basic philosophy and attitude being pushed forward, and substantial progress toward establishing adequate facilities and programs for blind Idahoans.

The basic difference between Iowa and Idaho is one of degree. Starting five years ago, the Commission in Idaho has acquired a five-story building, which was remodeled and now houses their programs. They moved into the new facility in September 1972. The enthusiasm and participation here equals that of Iowa, and Idaho is in fact on the road to building one of the best programs in the country.

Again, here it was the organized blind, the NFB of Idaho, which provided the spark and the impetus to secure the necessary legislation to establish their programs. There is here, too, the kind of relationship of all parties concerned that will assure success in that State.

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Rosamond M. Critchley

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, which, over the years, the State's organized blind have fought so hard to establish and maintain, is now involved in the Governor's reorganization plan. Under this plan, all State functions have been divided among ten departments, each headed by a cabinet-type Secretary. The Commission for the Blind is included in the Department of Human Services, under Secretary Peter Goldmark.

Last fall Secretary Goldmark held a series of conferences with representatives of groups and agencies in his department, to discuss such matters as consolidation, regionalized services, increased consumer representation, et cetera. Armand Lefebvre, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, spoke so convincingly in defense of the Commission for the Blind and the excellent services blind persons receive from it, that he was told, on the strength of his presentation, the Commission would be allowed to remain autonomous and virtually untouched.

Now it is learned that the next phase of the reorganization plan calls for inclusion of the Commission for the Blind and other similar agencies within the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, with their former heads serving as assistants to the Commissioner of Rehabilitation, who has power to hire and fire them at his pleasure. With many conflicting reports and predictions as to what this might entail, both the NFB of Massachusetts and the Commissioner for the Blind are understandably anxious. Therefore, Dr. Duncan Yaggy of the Department of Human Services, principal architect of the proposed plan, was invited to address blind residents of the commonwealth on Saturday afternoon, February 10, in Boston. The following is just a brief account of what took place.

People came from everywhere, Federationists and nonmembers alike, including many in buses chartered by at least two chapters. The Dome Room of the Hotel Lenox, which had been engaged for this meeting, was crowded to overflowing. We found that some ACB members were present, and on this occasion they were with us every step of the way.

Dr. Yaggy went to considerable length to explain his proposal as it affects our Commission, and exhibited considerable patience in handling the searching questions fired at him from all directions. As nearly as we could understand, it's essentially the story we have heard so often--gathering up the multitude of departments, agencies, and commissions and bringing them together in some semblance of order so that persons whose needs come somewhere between one department and another will be in less danger of "falling through the cracks between agencies" and receiving inadequate service or none at all. The making of rules and policies would, in our case, be the responsibility of the Secretary of Human Services; but we were told, in actual practice he would, of course, delegate this to the Commissioner for the Blind. The main difference, we were assured, would be in the matter of bookkeeping--all of which, naturally, would be gathered under one head. We had been given to understand that under the new setup funds could be arbitrarily transferred from one department to another. Yes, said Dr. Yaggy, if one department were badly in need of more funds and another had more than it needed, this certainly would make sense; but if, for instance, money is bequeathed specifically to the Commission for the Blind, as sometimes happens, such money could not legally be touched by the Rehabilitation Commissioner. In some cases drastic changes would be made, such as a shift to regionalization; but. Dr. Yaggy stated, where everything is running so smoothly as it is with our Commission, with such widespread satisfaction among those whom it serves, things would be left the way they are, as far as possible. It was pointed out that in a number of States where plans of this kind are now in operation, the result has been chaos and general dissatisfaction. The answer to this was that the planners here are well aware of this, and are trying to profit by the mistakes made elsewhere.

The draft of the plan is not yet available for distribution but it is hoped that it will be ready in about a month. It must first go to the Governor for approval and possible changes.  

Even if things turn out as promised, it was asked what guarantee we have, once the plan is in operation, that our present advantageous position will not gradually be whittled away and disappear.

"Your best guarantee of that," said Dr. Yaggy, "is the kind of group you have here today."

Well, for the present, we'll just have to wait--and watch!

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Des Moines, Iowa

March 12, 1973

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

Dear Peter:

Today is March 12, 1973. Under date of January 22, 1973, I wrote to you asking certain questions. You have not replied to that letter. Under the circumstances I have no other choice but to assume that you do not intend to reply.

The entire round of correspondence was kicked off by the following passage in your letter to me of November 22, 1972:

The agenda will include an interim report on plans for the scope and structure of a project to formulate standards for consumer participation in agency policies, program development and service delivery. We believe that this interim report may be of interest to you and we hope it will provide a basis for future comments and suggestions from your representatives. Since the time available for consideration of any one item on a full Board agenda is quite limited, we suggest that, following your observers' opportunity to hear the presentation, you might wish to discuss the scope and structure of the proposed project at a meeting set up for that purpose. If so, we should be happy to arrange such a meeting.

I wrote you on November 29, saying that the organized blind would like to meet with NAC to discuss consumer participation in accordance with your proposal. You replied December 5, beginning to equivocate about your earlier proposal. I wrote to you on December 22, urging that your original promise be kept. You wrote to me January 10, 1973, making absolutely no response whatever to the questions I had raised. By now, you were not even mentioning the offer made in your November 22 letter. Again I wrote to you on January 22, 1973, still trying to get you to be responsive and to deal with the issues.

If you choose not to answer at all, you have made the record, and it speaks for itself. What more convincing evidence would anyone need of the condescending attitudes of NAC and its complete contempt for the consumers of its services. Upon your own suggestion we asked to be able to meet with you, and we even offered to pay your way to the meeting if you couldn't find the funds, this being one of the objections you raised along the way. Apparently you do not think such a meeting is of sufficient importance to merit your attention, and you do not feel that you even need to explain your behavior. Be it so. NAC has only itself to blame if the results of such behavior are not to its liking.

I now wish to raise another question with you. It is my understanding that you will be meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21-22. I officially request that you tell me the exact time and location of your meetings. I ask that this be done forthwith so that we may prepare accordingly.

As you know from the New York meetings in December, we will in no way seek to disrupt your meetings. Our observers will behave in an orderly manner and will treat the members of your Board courteously. It is not with the NAC Board members as individuals that we have any quarrel. It is with the whole NAC concept and what you are doing to blind people.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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Ruth Acosta

Henry Talbert, board member of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, was the featured speaker at the third annual Legislative Luncheon sponsored by the West Valley Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of California. The banquet room of the Canoga Bowl Restaurant was filled to capacity with 125 Federationists and their friends. They were there not merely to listen to what Mr. Talbert had to say, but to demonstrate their honest concern for the way in which the NAC Board is now constructed.

In introducing NAC's representative, Robert Acosta, second vice-president of the NFB of California, read some of the standards formulated by NAC to accredit various agencies serving the blind. There was much laughter, even by our guest, as trivialities were read, such as the need to put the receptions areas near points of entry and allowing for areas to provide for guide dogs' physical needs, while ignoring the fact that many accredited agencies pay subminimum wages in their sheltered workshops. He also voiced our main concern, the number of blind persons represented on the NAC board.

Mr. Talbert readily admitted his ignorance on blindness. However, since he had previously formulated standards in the field of social work, the NAC Board members felt he could be of service in accrediting agencies for the blind. He told of his surprise at finding only six blind persons on the board at the time of his appointment. After persistent questioning from the audience, Mr. Talbert stated that he personally felt that there should be more blind representation, although he was unable to speak for the NAC Board as a whole. But, he did not volunteer to do anything about it.

Also appearing on the program was our newly elected representative to the State Assembly, Howard Berman. He told of a time when a blind social worker called on him for assistance. She was threatened with the loss of her job stemming from the Department of Welfare's ignorance and discriminatory practices. Because of this experience, he was well aware of the problems facing blind people. He pledged to do everything he could to see that the blind were included under the Fair Employment Practices Act, and to make it work for the blind in action as well as in words. Also appearing on the program was Bill Hurst, from the Braille Institute of America. He gave us helpful advice on placement.

The highlight of the program was the presentation of the West Valley Chapter's award for Federationist of the Year. Normally this award is presented annually to a person in the chapter who has contributed most to the welfare of the blind in the West San Fernando Valley. However, this year an exception was made. Because of this person's unselfish efforts to aid blind persons in their many battles against California's system of social welfare, we were delighted to honor Jerrold Drake with a plaque and a $25 savings bond. Thank you, Jerry, for all you've done for the blind in California.

This luncheon was the most successful ever, not only because of the record attendance, but because of the unity of purpose expressed by those in the room. To paraphrase a statement that Mr. Talbert made: Although the members of NAC and the blind do not always agree, real progress can be made when two groups can discuss an issue with fairness and decency. Surely our luncheon was a step in the establishment of this hoped-for communication.

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Kenneth Jernigan

Des Moines, Iowa

April 2, 1973

Dear Colleagues:

I herewith send you a letter which I recently wrote to Bob Acosta. I think you will find it self-explanatory. I hope you will use it as a blueprint for action. We are making progress in the NAC battle, but we must have more action by local chapters. State affiliates, and individual members.

Is there a NAC Board member in your State or locality? Is there a NAC-accredited agency in your area? Have you as an individual taken action? Have you tried to stimulate others to take action? Have you continued to follow up on initial action? If not, why not? Has your local chapter taken action? Again if not, why not?

This is not a battle which can be waged successfully by the national President alone, or by the national officers or a handful of State leaders. The outcome will affect your lives. This is not somebody else's fight. It is yours. Don't just sit back and urge somebody else to "sic 'em." Pitch in and help.

Besides the items outlined in my letter to Bob Acosta, there are other things to do and plan. I hope that as many of you as possible are preparing to be in Cleveland July 21-22 to help me picket NAC. We will make final plans and announcements concerning the coordination of the effort at the NFB Convention this summer in New York.

In the meantime let me tell you that a delegation of the blind of Iowa visited Bob Buckley, our local NAC Board member in Des Moines, to talk to him along the lines set forth in my letter to Bob Acosta. Buckley showed some considerable concern. I followed up with a direct talk with him the other day, telling him that the time had now come and that we were not prepared to do much more waiting. He indicated that he had been seriously considering resigning from NAC, with appropriate public comment.

Our residential school for the blind, I am ashamed to say, is accredited by NAC. We have been working on them. We will continue doing it. Earlier this year they were using the NAC symbol on their envelopes. I am informed that they have now discontinued this practice. This, of course, is not enough. In view of the harm NAC has done to the lives of blind people, no self-respecting agency or school should allow itself to be accredited by NAC or (having made the mistake) should allow the accreditation to continue.

Please contact your NAC Board member at once. Please contact your agencies. Please keep the letters concerning NAC going to your Congressmen and Senators. Please think and plan to send as many as possible to Cleveland this summer. We can win this battle, and we will.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind


Des Moines, Iowa

March 26, 1973

Mr. Bob Acosta
Chatsworth, California

Dear Bob:

I herewith return the cassette you sent me of your chapter meeting at which Henry Talbert, NAC Board member, appeared. I listened to the cassette with great interest.

I think there are both good things and bad things which can come from Talbert's attendance, depending on what you now do. The very fact of having him there at all was a plus. Regardless of his intentions, he cannot help but be impressed, and to some extent educated, by the experience. If he thinks about what occurred and if he will go to NAC and translate his learning into action, then the plus will be great, indeed!

On the other hand, there can be minuses if you let them occur. If our members become so pleased by the fact that Talbert deigned to visit them at ail that they merely exchange polite speeches with him and let him off the hook without further action, we will be worse off than we were; because there will be a feeling of accomplishment while Talbert and NAC rock along in the usual way, accrediting bad agencies and hurting the lives of blind people as usual. When he was asked why NAC accredits sheltered shops which pay less than the minimum wage, he made an evasive, meaningless answer.

He is black. How would he feel if an organization established to accredit governmental and private agencies made second-class citizens out of blacks--and did it in the name of "improving standards"? How would he feel if, adding insult to injury, they defended their conduct by saying that they were not a "social action" group?

I think there must be immediate followup with Talbert. I think our members must tell him that he must either get off of the board of NAC, with a public statement dissociating himself from it, or that he must move affirmatively and positively to reform it. He must be told that "reform" means very definite and specific things. All NAC meetings (board meetings and committee meetings--not just their meaningless, formal so-called "annual" meeting) must be completely open. At least one-third of their entire board must be "consumer representatives." This does not mean just blind people. It means what it says—"consumer representatives." A "consumer representative" is a person (blind or sighted) selected by a representative organization of the blind to speak for it--responsible to that organization and subject to recall by it. In this connection (as elsewhere) tokenism will not do. In other words, the demand will not be satisfied by packing the NAC Board with puppets from company unions and calling them "consumer representatives." The "consumer representatives" must, in truth and in fact, be actually that--real "consumer representatives." We have had enough of double-talk, pretense, and flimflam.

Further, NAC's standards must be revised so as to give recognition to the rights and real interests of the blind--that is, the attitudes of the consumer of the services of an agency must be taken into account when that agency is up for accreditation. What kind of job is it doing in the opinion of those who use its services? What kind of mechanism does it have to insure consumer input?

Regardless of how pleasant he may be, Mr. Talbert must be made to deal with these issues, meaningfully and responsively. If he will not (and fairly quickly), then our people should picket both his office and his home, massively and continuously. We must make the NAC people know that we mean business. This same course of action should be followed by all of us who live in States where NAC Board members live.

Further, we should begin to put pressure to renounce the accreditation on agencies which have been accredited. If they won't do it, we should resort to picketing, demonstration, and publicity. Any agencies which are in the process of seeking accreditation should receive the same treatment.

This is the way to get action, and this is what we must do--right now, and with determination. I hope you will see that an immediate followup is made with Mr. Talbert and that you will let me know how the battle is going. We must take positive action, and we must not quit until we are successful.


Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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Perry Sundquist

[Editor's Note: The Office for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Social and Rehabilitation Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, held a conference in St. Louis from March 25 to 28 on the subject ''Blind Rehabilitation--Decade of the Seventies." There were five groups: Service to the Older Blind, Research in the Development of Hardware, Manpower Needs and Personnel Training, Vocational Preparation and Job Placement, and Coordination of Efforts in the Public and Private Sector Toward the Development of a Truly Viable Service Delivery System. Group one. Service to the Older Blind, was under the chairmanship of Joseph Cohn, Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind; Helen Gromman, supervisor of Home Service of the New Jersey Commission; Elaine Parker, Director of Services for the Blind in the Tennessee Department of Public Welfare; Mel Saterbak, supervisor of Rehabilitation Services, Minneapolis Society for the Blind; and Perry Sundquist, Editor of the Braille Monitor and one of the representatives of the National Federation of the Blind. Each participant was required to submit a paper at least one month prior to the conference. These papers were then brought together by the editor as a unified whole so that the conferees could go over them in St. Louis and make suggestions for changes. In the section on Maximizing Independent Living, the editor came up with the following (it is hoped that the Monitor can carry other portions of the papers of the conference from time to time).]

Present Conditions

In seeking ways to maximize independent living among older blind Americans, one inevitably turns to an evaluation of the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of services available to him. First, attention must be given to social services in the context of what is now happening. One definition of "services" encompasses those activities that enable a blind person to achieve his highest potential for physical, social, and economic adjustment. In its most direct context, services begin with the efforts of relatives and friends who first try to assist the older blind person. These services are usually direct and meaningful.

However, the professional purveyor of services has had a mixed history of success and failure. This probably stems from the fact that motivation is often unclear and vague. On the one hand, the professional purveyor of services is ordinarily sincerely interested in helping. On the other hand, too often administrators of social welfare programs have been somewhat less than honest in "overselling" Federal and State legislatures on the theory that if more money were provided for services, spiraling caseloads and costs would drop dramatically.

The Social Security Act provided at the outset for Federal sharing not only in the cost of assistance given to the needy, but also in the "amounts found necessary by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for the proper and efficient administration of the State plan." The Federal share in such expenditures was fifty percent on an open-ended appropriation basis. Early in the history of the program, the Social Security Board interpreted the words "administration of the plan" to include the cost of providing social services on behalf of applicants and recipients of aid under the various assistance titles. This was the origin of the social service program. Expenditures grew, but slowly, for the States were so involved in providing assistance that they had little capability to provide social services.

The Social Security Board and its successor agencies encouraged the development of social services, and gradually this became a recognizable part of the program. In 1956 the statement of purpose of the various titles was amended to include, for the first time, a service emphasis, although no other changes were made. The first major development to result in social services expansion was the Social Security Act Amendments of 1962. That legislation made several significant changes in the law--all designed to encourage the development of social services by the State welfare agencies. These changes included the following aspects:

1. An increase from fifty percent to seventy-five percent in the Federal funding for those services which the Secretary was directed to specify.

2. The inclusion of language to make it clear that the expenditures were to be for the staff of the State agency, interpreted to include the staff of the local agency also.

3. A broadening of the program to include services given to former recipients and to potential recipients. The next major development was the Social Security Act Amendments of 1967 which introduced the work emphasis into the AFDC program.

When the President and others speak of "welfare reform" they are really talking about how to reduce the spiraling costs and caseloads in the AFDC program. For more than a decade, welfare administrators, the State legislatures, and the Congress have wrestled in vain with this problem--adopting such devices as highlighting social services, separating the administration of eligibility and services, and requiring adult persons in the AFDC program to register for work or training.

None of these gimmicks has really appeared to be effective, and often they have done a disservice to the very concept of special services. Why? Simply because the AFDC program is heavily weighted with persons having little or no education, motivation, or marketable skills. All this is superimposed on the fact that five million Americans are now unemployed and seeking jobs in the labor market. It would by now seem clear that if the objective is to put adults on the AFDC program to work, then the Federal Government will have to become their employer.

In the meantime, erosion of social services continues. Reforms in the AFDC program, both well- and ill-advised, were torn out of the 1972 Amendments to the Social Security Act; States are no longer required to separate the administration of income maintenance from the provision of social services in the adult aids; services need not be statewide; and a closed-ended appropriation of Federal funds for social services has been imposed by the provision in the revenue-sharing legislation. Since the income-maintenance provisions will be directly administered by the Social Security Administration in the adult aids beginning in January 1974, and the services will be provided by the States who must pay twenty-five percent of the costs involved and will be struggling with the mandatory services provisions in the AFDC program under restricted Federal funding, one wonders how long social services in the adult aids as we now know them will survive. Their future is certainly cloudy.

So much for an overview of services, both those directly provided by social welfare agencies and those indirectly given through grants from rehabilitation agencies to private agencies. Now, it might be well to
focus on the effect of attitudes of the persons giving, and the person receiving, services. Specific kinds of services can be grouped under the following areas of need:

1. Maintenance--does the older blind person have an adequate income with which to buy the necessities of life? (This is perhaps the greatest need of all for most blind persons.)

2. Health--does the client have a health problem? If so, is he receiving adequate care?

3. Living arrangement--is the client's living situation satisfactory? If not, can anything be done to improve it, such as assisting him to move or to secure housekeeper or homemaker service?

4. Physical adjustment--is the client able to move around freely? If not, can efforts be made to bring him help in travel training?

5. Protective care--when the client's capacity for self-protection is interrupted, what plans can be made for placement?

6. Interpersonal relationships--are the relationships of the client with those persons in his immediate environment satisfactory? If not, can help be given to improve relationships by services which will effect more understanding?

7. Social adjustments--is the client living an isolated, lonely existence because his blindness has cut him off from his fellows? Can family ties be strengthened? Are there possibilities for helping him develop avenues to community participation?

8. Meaningful activity--has the client opportunities to use his experience or to develop new skills?

9. Educational facilities--has the blind person had full advantage of the educational facilities available to him, including reader service in high school and college?

10. Economic adjustment—what is the client's potential for economic activity as gauged by his age, employment history and training, and work opportunities in the community? Can he be encouraged to explore possibilities to developing a plan for either partial or full self-support?

Future Needs

In order to assist blind persons in becoming increasingly independent, they must be encouraged to develop inwardly, thus decreasing dependence. The blind community can, of course, be divided into two main age groups--younger blind and older blind. The problems of these two groups are quite different. Since services to the younger blind are outside the scope of this paper, they are not considered here.

By far the larger of the two groups are the older blind persons. Over two-thirds of all blind persons are over sixty years of age. Most of these are newly blinded people. They were sighted for most of their lives, but became visually handicapped through such conditions as cataracts, diabetes, retinopathy, or glaucoma.

It is not easy for a newly-blinded older person to adjust to his condition. To be assisted, such a person must receive services geared to providing security, opportunity, and hope. Essentially there are three facets to such assistance:

1. The older blind must develop a feeling of security, stemming from the knowledge that he will receive an an adequate income to acquire the necessities of life. It is essential that the blind individual receive the needed income without impairment of dignity. He must be accepted as a person and be respected as such. These conditions will lead to a feeling of belonging, acceptance, and self respect--all of which add up to Security. 

2. In providing services to the older blind, effort must be made to assure his self-development. He must be given the opportunity to be busy; to earn a livelihood if possible; to be mobile; and above all, to be treated like any other human being. This adds up to Opportunity.

3. It is vitally important to instill in the older blind person the realization that the added effort needed to adjust to his condition is well worth it. Such effort will result in greater independence. The realization of the fact adds up to Hope.

All of these steps require skill resources, but most of all they require rapport between the persons providing services and the older blind recipient of services.

In an attempt to maximize the independent living of the older blind person, the following recommendations are made:

1. A cost-of-living escalator clause should be added to the public assistance programs for the adult aids, similar to that now in effect for Social Security and Disability Insurance beneficiaries.

2. Elderly and disabled Americans should be permitted to participate in the food stamp and food commodities programs, as recommended by the Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in February of 1972.

3. Efforts should be taken to educate the sighted public as to proper attitudes toward blindness by encouraging association with well-adjusted blind persons on a daily basis in social and employment situations.

4. The older concept that the blind should be "sponsored, protected, and tolerated" must be rejected. Rather, the blind must be assured of the fundamental human right to self-expression and the right to speak for themselves individually and collectively.

5. A consistent effort must be made to eliminate entirely the custodial-paternalistic tendency toward the blind client by those rendering him services.

6. The enactment of the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill to cover the maintenance needs on an insurance rather than a means-test basis until the blind person is eligible for retirement benefits under the Social Security Act. Such a measure, initiated by the National Federation of the Blind and sponsored by all organizations of the blind, would provide that any blind person with a minimum of six quarters of covered employment be eligible for disability insurance benefits so long as he remained blind, irrespective of the amount of his income. This measure has passed the United States Senate five times, only to be defeated in the Conference Committee.

7. Blind persons should be encouraged to join their fellows in the ranks of the organized blind under the proud banner of the National Federation of the Blind. It is this organization, the oldest and largest, which has blazed the trail in so many ways to help secure for all blind persons the goals of Security, Equality, and Opportunity. The ultimate goal of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. This objective involves the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the pub he to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by each blind person of the right to exercise to the full his individual talents and capacities. It means the right of the blind to work along with their sighted fellows in the professions, common callings, skilled trades, and regular occupations. Since the National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind but rather the blind speaking for themselves, it is suggested that the unorganized blind be encouraged to join their voices with those in this people's movement so that they might help determine their own destinies.

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[The following testimony was given by John F. Nagle to the Senate Subcommittee on Health.]

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

We are appearing here, today, to express the full and unqualified support of the National Federation of the Blind for S. 17, the National Diabetes Research and Education Act of 1973.

The National Federation of the Blind is a nationwide organization with a membership primarily of blind men and women. Representative of every background, activity, and area in the nation, the members of the National Federation of the Blind are rank and file Americans, sharing with our sighted fellow citizens the same goals and ambitions, the same talents and abilities.

By our organized efforts, by our individual example, we seek to translate hopes and objectives held in common into improved conditions and equalized opportunities for all blind people. We as blind people know that, today, blindness does not have to be a disaster in a person's life. But we also know that far too often, it is a disaster because of no help or training at all or because of inadequate or incompetent help or training necessary for adjusting to the changed circumstances resulting from loss of sight.

We as blind people believe that the economic and social consequences of blindness upon the individual, his family, and society, generally, are so great and grave as to justify and demand a substantial governmentally managed and financed effort to ascertain the causes and to control the consequences of diabetes in order that blindness attributable to this disease may be eradicated from the lives and experience of the men, women, and children of this Nation and throughout the entire world.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I have endeavored to obtain statistics to support the crucial need for enactment of S. 17, but though I have found figures aplenty, they vary to such an extent I will not cite them. But I did learn this from my search for statistics--that diabetes is a major disease in this Nation, affecting the lives of millions of Americans, both adults and children.

I also learned that diabetes is one of the major causes of diminished or destroyed vision in America. And as a major disease in the Nation, as a major cause of blindness in the Nation, the dollar cost--for health care facilities and personnel, for rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation facilities and personnel, for lost earnings and welfare costs, for vanished taxes and curtailed or terminated productivity--the irreparable harm and devastating damage to the lives and livelihoods of a great number of our people--are all harmful to the Nation's strength and detrimental to the Nation's well-being, and demand resolution by a nationally directed attack upon the dread disease, diabetes--that all may be freed from its ravages, that the Nation may be relieved of its cost and burden.

S. 17, the National Diabetes Research and Education Act of 1973, would mount just such an attack.

As American citizens with a proud concern for this Nation, we urge you to give your prompt and favorable approval to this proposed, most ameliorative legislation. As blind people, as persons who know the consequences of diabetes in our own lives, for many of us are without sight because of diabetes, we ask and urge that you act quickly and affirmatively on S. 17, that its benefits may the sooner be reflected in the lives of Americans living today, in the lives of generations of Americans who will come after us.

It is our hope that the program of research and education contained in S. 17 will prove so far-reaching and so effective that in but a few years the disease, diabetes, will be unknown in our society, and the word "diabetes" will retain only a slight measure of interest and curiosity for the medical students and medical historians of tomorrow.

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Joanne Fernandes

In many countries throughout the world, the movement of blind persons forming federations of the blind is growing very rapidly. In these countries this is a very new concept, and, like it once was here in the United States, a minority view. These countries are dominated by welfare associations for the blind, most of which are ineffective or damaging to the blind. We all know too well about these agencies and associations for the blind. So again, as it is in the United States, this concept is met with resistance from the agencies for the blind, and even by some blind persons.

But in these countries there are also some brave, forward-looking blind leaders who are pioneering in joining together to work for their own welfare. They face the same misconceptions, prejudices, and problems that we all face. They are doing a tremendous job fighting the many obstacles put in their paths, but like any new and revolutionary movement, they need encouragement and ideas from other believers who are working for the same cause, and who have gone before them.

The International Federation of the Blind has been serving as the connecting link between many of these affiliates. The Braille International and personal letters, especially to members of the Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee of the NFB, are the prime means of communication through which philosophy of blindness and ideas for the betterment of the blind are shared. But additional communication would be beneficial.

The Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee, along with the help of the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, would like to propose an additional means of communication between countries. We would like to start a program of "sister affiliates" of the International Federation of the Blind. In this plan any affiliate of the NFB of the United States which would like to participate, would be paired with an affiliate of the IFB in another country. These affiliates would then correspond. They would exchange ideas, philosophy on blindness, and would give encouragement. For example, ideas could be exchanged on fundraising, activities done at meetings, methods of gaining job opportunities for the blind or ideas on solutions to specific problems faced by the affiliates. A special committee could be established in your affiliate to be responsible for this project.

This program would be a means of opening up communication between the blind of the world at a personal, grassroots level. It would truly help to unite the blind on a worldwide level. As Kenneth Jernigan, President of the NFB, has stated in a recent letter of greetings and good wishes to the newly formed National Federation of the Blind of India:

If we as blind people are ever to achieve decent working and living conditions, we must work together as one. If we are ever to achieve equal treatment in society, we must recognize the problems of each of us as the problems of all of us. This is why your meeting holds such promise and why I write to you to lend support to it.

Of course, what applies to the internal conditions of the nation also applies to the world as a whole. The problems of the blind of a given country are not simply the problems of that country but of all of us. The blind throughout the world must endeavor to think of themselves as one integrated fraternity. When that day comes, most of our problems would be solved.

If your affiliate would like to participate in this program please write to:

Joanne Fernandes
219 Beedle Drive
Ames, Iowa 50010

If certain countries are preferred, please include these preferences in order of choice. We will do our best to match preferences, but due to uncertainty of the response to this proect from the United States and abroad, we cannot guarantee your choices. Safeguards will be taken to assure that "sister" affiliates are truly organizations of the blind.

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Jane Howard

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Newark (New Jersey) Star Ledger.]

Dr. George Jackson, the new academic dean at Essex County College in Newark, likes to think he's not a traditional bureaucrat who approaches administration in a cold, systematic way.

"To me, one of the problems of education is that we have administrators who have no feeling," said Dr. Jackson, who is a Ph. D. and licensed psychologist. "They combine technology with bureaucratic power and become technocrats instead of feeling people. To me, the task of an administrator is to manage the job and to relate to people."

The new dean has been a professional jazz musician, a prison psychologist, a writer, an antipoverty worker and a counselor. He comes to Essex County College from Seton Hall University where he was director and cofounder of the black studies center.

Dr. Jackson also is blind. When asked if his blindness was much of a handicap, he replied it was "minor" compared "to being black."

He said that a blind person has to master his job much quicker than a sighted person.

"It requires much more careful management of my staff and of my time," he said. "I have to build in mechanisms for insuring that the work goes out the way I want it to."

Some of the tools used by the dean are cassettes, a Braille machine and a tremendous amount of perception when developing a working relationship with his colleagues.

"But I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think I could handle it," he said firmly.

A soft-spoken, articulate man who exudes confidence, Dr. Jackson said he will work with the college's administration and faculty to improve educational services for both the students and the community.

"Essex County College is a young, developing college with an enormous number of problems due to the fact that it is located in an overexploited city," he said. "It doesn't get nearly the kind of financial support it should be getting from the State. In fact, it should really be a tuition-free college."

Despite the problems, he said, Essex has a group of students who have come to learn. Dr. Jackson said that one of the things that excites him about Essex is its plan to continue working with the community at large.

"We hope to get involved in criminal justice programs and to expand the health programs," he said. "I intend to push as hard as possible to develop Essex's role so that it is, in fact, a community college.

"We can't forget that one of the reasons we received the money for the college in the first place was because of a rebellion in Newark in 1967 that took the lives of thirty-two people. We owe it to the community to turn out scholars who will help make basic changes."

The dean received his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and his master's degree from New York University. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at New York University, which has one of the leading graduate schools in psychology.

Dr. Jackson has worked many years as a psychologist and as a consultant. He continues to have a limited practice in psychology in his home in Orange.

Last summer, he spent five weeks in Africa setting up exchange programs between African universities and Seton Hall.

He regards the African trip as one of the most pleasant experiences of his life. "Africa is the continent of the future," he said, "particularly in terms of ethical and humanistic leadership in the world." He was particularly impressed with Zambia and Tanzania.

"If America could be infused with this form of humanism, then many of the problems which are recycled and escalated would be dispensed with," he said.

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Ben Zinser

[Reprinted by courtesy of the Long Beach (California) Press Telegram.]

Marvelous new aids for blind computer workers were described by a blind computer programmer in the wake of the Fall Joint Computer Conference at Anaheim Convention Center.

Nelson Hinman, blind since birth and now employed by Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, termed some of the devices "bizarre and incredible."

Hinman, who was 1962 "Student of the Year" at Wilson High School in Long Beach, said one of the instruments displayed at the conference is a "compressed speech device" which enables the blind computer worker "to get the material much faster."

Thanks to the device a tape recorder can be operated at double speed. But a black-box attachment, he said, converts the customary "Donald Duck sound" into an understandable voice.

"It puts information in the two hundred- to three hundred-word range," Hinman related.

The devices were demonstrated under the auspices of the Special Interest Committee on Computers and the Physically Handicapped--a subgroup of the Association of Computing Machinery.

Hinman was most lavish in his praise for a modified version of the Optacon, a Stanford-developed electronic reading aid that enables blind persons to read video computer printouts.

"There are about four hundred of us blind guys in the information processing field, and this is the most promising device of all," Hinman said of the modified Optacon.

He said it would help sightless computer workers to obtain promotions in their chosen field.

Loren Schoof, blind research associate in Stanford's Applied Electronics Laboratory, has learned to read up to eighty words a minute with the standard Optacon. He used it to vote in the national election. This may be the first time a blind person has been able to cast a secret ballot.

Video computer printouts are much faster than mechanical printouts. The user can type his query, which appears on the screen. The computer's answer then appears below it, usually in a fraction of a second.

About fifty blind persons now are employed nationally by the Internal Revenue Service to answer standard taxpayers' questions by telephone. If they had access to IRS files by computer, Schoof says, these employees could greatly expand their usefulness by answering all types of questions. A blind reader uses the Optacon's small probe, or "camera" to scan written or printed figures. The camera activates a compact array of 144 tiny rods which vibrate in the form of each figure. The reader can identify the figure by holding his forefinger on the vibrating rods.

For the computer, a slightly different head on the camera gives the reader a better focus on the lighted figures of the video screen. The camera's scanning frequency was also changed to match the sixty-per-second "frame count" of the video screen.

The modified version for computer use is expected to be on the market within a year, Stanford University says.

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Ruby Garner

[Editor's Note: Mrs. Gamer is State Library Chairperson for the NFB of Michigan.]

As with all Federationists, we in Michigan are acutely aware of the problem of being recognized and heard by the agencies which attempt to serve us. The following story will point out once again the fruitful and meaningful relationship which can and should exist between the blind and the agencies which serve them on the one hand, and the condescending bureaucracy on the other.

In November 1970 the blind of Michigan became increasingly aware of a decline in the service provided by the Wayne County Library. After investigating, we learned that the new librarian in the Department for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (DBPH) was not capable of directing that department and because of a cutback in county funds had to supervise two departments. The DBPH is one small part of the total Wayne County Library System. After much letter writing, a conference was set up in May of 1971 which included Federation members, the head of the DBPH, and the directors of the Wayne County Library System. They hastened to our complaints and sincerely tried to understand our viewpoints. Leo Dinnan explained the library's position and proceeded to seek methods for correcting existing difficulties and exploring ways of innovating services we felt would be beneficial to the people served by the library for the blind. These must be achieved without enlarging the staff or spending large amounts of money, both of which were impossible on their operating budget. This was the most rewarding initial conference with an agency that many of us have ever had the privilege to attend. Let me list a few of the additions in service which were implemented without any addition in staff and at very little cost. We asked for an enlarged volunteer tape program. The library purchased three tape recorders and placed them in three libraries within the system. We launched the publicity to get the volunteers, and the program was supervised by the librarians in the respective libraries and coordinated by the head of the taping program at DBPH. At last word, the tape program has more than tripled in the past year.

We felt that if it could be done, election information on tape would be extremely helpful to the blind. With a will, the staff of the library and the volunteers picked up the challenge and for the first time we had election information on tape. We realize what an overwhelming job it was to obtain, sort, and record all that information in the short time they had.

We asked for a truly representative advisory council of members elected by the groups they represent. I am happy to say the council has had two meetings and seems to be productive.

Glowing with success and good will, we then assaulted the bastille of the Lansing library where we were met with the hard walls and shiny veneer of bureaucracy. In September of 1971 we met with Miss Haskins, head of the DBPH, and Mr. Skinell, head of the State library. Eagerly we set forth plans, similar to those implemented in Wayne County, for improving library service. With many assurances of their interest in our proposals and their dedication to serving the blind, we were politely but firmly refused on every count. We were told that we were not in a position to understand the problems of the library and that they were better qualified than we were to decide the kind of service needed by the blind.

In February of 1972 another meeting was held with the library staff and representatives of blind organizations. Again the proposals were made and refused on the grounds that there was neither staff nor money for new projects. We asked for an In-WATS line [incoming-only calls on a Wide Area Telephone Service line] to the State library to provide better communication. Although Miss Haskins felt that there were other concerns more pressing, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan initiated an all-out drive to obtain an extra grant of $31,000 from the Legislature for two clerical workers, an In-WATS line, and an operator to handle In-WATS calls. Other organizations gave their wholehearted support and the grant was passed. In August of 1972 the In-WATS line was in operation; however, no operator was hired. Last fall Miss Haskins stated that, although the line was being used, other services had to be curtailed to provide staff for the In-WATS line. Finally a recording device was installed which somewhat meets the needs but defeats the person-to-person relationship.

We continue to face an agency serving the blind which maintains an attitude of paternalism concerning the needs of its blind patrons. The Lansing library is still run largely for the convenience of its staff and, where possible, ignores the wishes of the people who justify its very existence.

The problem of unresponsive agencies serving the blind is not a new phenomenon, but the contrast shown between Wayne County and Lansing clearly demonstrates how most problems can be resolved with sincerely motivated cooperation. We are pleased with the relationship which now exists between the Wayne County Library and its blind patrons. However, we are dissatisfied with the attitudes which thwart our efforts toward improved services at the Lansing library. The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will persist, and we are certain that our programs will prevail. Agencies for the blind must become agencies of the blind, and it is our responsibility to achieve this goal.

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Sam Sitt

[Editor's Note: Late in January of this year the Miami Herald in Florida ran an article about the AFB's six workshops on teaching homemaking to the blind. Sam and Gertrude Sitt are long-time Federationists now residing in Florida.]

January 25, 1973

Ms. Dorothy Anne Flor
Miami Herald
Miami, Florida

Dear Ms. Flor:

On Wednesday, January 24, a story appeared in the Miami Herald written by staff reporter Eleanor Hart, entitled, "They Learned to Live in the World of the Blind " Some of the material presented is of such a nature that it arouses the ire and resentment of a great many mature, adult blind individuals. The reason for this is that it presents to your readers a distorted picture of the capabilities of blind persons. Surely you must know that any two-or three-year-old child can open a door. Why, then, should it be necessary to teach the "blind" to open a door? Why should anyone think that by wearing a blindfold for a few hours and knowing full well that he can remove it at will, he can make an effort to understand how a blind person functions?

The first part of the story telling about the program and the reason for it, and listing the persons involved, makes a great deal of sense. Then the story goes haywire and becomes entangled in emotional drivel. It points out, for example, that rehabilitation centers train people for employment, but do not train them to know their way around their own kitchens. The fallacy in that statement is that if a person is capable of being trained to hold a job and do a day's work, surely she must have enough common sense, drive, and initiative to organize her kitchen.

What qualifies Evelyn Berger, home economist for the Thomas J. Lipton Company, to make the statement that "One of the problems is learning to sustain himself in his own home"? Are we to assume that without help from Evelyn Berger, sighted rehabilitation personnel, public health nurses, and county home-demonstration agents, a person who is losing her sight or who has been blind for thirty years remains helpless, hopeless, and useless? Or is her own personal drive and initiative the push that enables her to learn alternative techniques so that she can function as a normal human being in the sighted world? Incidentally, we personally know of hundreds of blind people who have trained themselves with very little outside help, and are doing a splendid job of living without the blessing of the American Foundation for the Blind, who, parenthetically, have created the myth of "The World of the Blind." There is only one world, and that is the world of people.

For years many State agencies for the blind have employed qualified blind persons as home teachers whose duties included visiting newly blinded persons in their homes and teaching them from their own experience of many years the alternative techniques needed to overcome the nuisance of blindness. We who have been blind for many years do not look upon blindness as a handicap.

Have the sighted trainees referred to in the story come from the wilderness of the jungle, that they must be taught how to turn on a faucet, or which is the cold or the hot? Does Evelyn Berger think that when a person loses his sight he also loses all sense of direction or the ability to perform the simplest task without being led by the hand as one would take a three-year-old child?

"A blind person's kitchen should be simplified." Why? "High storage areas should be avoided. Pans used most frequently should be at accessible levels. Drawers should have dividers for cutlery with knives in paper sheaths." Doesn't this smack of regimentation? Should not each housewife, blind or sighted, set up her kitchen to suit her and her family's needs? To set up a kitchen as described by Mrs. Berger could mean an expensive remodeling job. Were the "blind" trainees given instructions in helping a housewife who is going blind or who has just gone blind to make the best use of her existing facilities? Or would they recommend that the entire kitchen be torn out and an Evelyn Berger-type kitchen put in? And would the American Foundation for the Blind pay the bill?

If the teacher must leave the room for a minute, says the article, "leave the person with his hand on something such as a chair for security." What kind of security: What is going to happen to a person who is left standing in the middle of a room for a moment? Are we to assume he will fall because he cannot see? This is just another one of the myriad popular misconceptions about blind people. Certainly, if he has been shown adequately around the kitchen, he can freely move to any part of the room he wishes.

The purpose of the whole program, according to its sponsors, is to train a blind person to be able to live a normal life in the kitchen and presumably in the rest of the house. But the entire effort is blown to bits in the last sentence. "How does it feel to be blind? Unprotected and vulnerable." In view of these final two words, what incentive does a blind person have to leave his bed or rocking chair, where presumably he will be protected and invulnerable?

We of the National Federation of the Blind have been combating this type of insidious propaganda about the blind and blindness which emanates and spreads all over the country from the ivory towers of the American Foundation for the Blind. For more than thirty years our efforts have been directed toward instilling in the minds of the public confidence in and respect for the capabilities of blind persons to live normal lives and to participate in community affairs and activities. All of our programs are geared toward a positive attitude of life for every blind person. Our efforts would meet with much greater success if we did not find it necessary to overcome the negative attitudes displayed by social service agencies specializing in service to the blind, such as the American Foundation.

We will be very happy to meet with a reporter from the Herald, and present our views, or you may use material from this letter which expresses them, and which should be brought to the attention of your readers, thus giving them both sides of the picture. We feel that as consumers of services provided to us by agencies for the blind we should have the opportunity to evaluate and criticize the product being delivered.

Sincerely yours,

Sam J. Sitt, President
Sunshine Chapter of Greater Miami
National Federation of the Blind
of Florida

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[Reprinted with permission from the Alta Bates News, March-April 1973, publication of Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California.]

Diabetes, the most common cause of blindness in the United States, has a new adversary at Alta Bates Hospital--an argon laser. This is a sophisticated device which has been acquired recently in an expansion of the hospital's diagnostic and therapeutic eye services. It provides a source of intense light, with strong enough focus to coagulate or literally melt away abnormal and harmful blood vessels which can form on the surface of the retina in the presence of diabetes.

The problem develops in only ten to fifteen percent of those who suffer from diabetes, Alta Bates News was told by Dr. Lionel Sorenson, ophthalmologist member of the hospital medical staff. But, when it does, it can be a major difficulty.

What happens is this:

New, and abnormal, blood vessels form on the surface of the retina, which is the innermost coating of the posterior part of the eyeball--the surface behind the eye which receives the images via the pupil. These abnormal blood vessels become adherent to the vitreous, which is the gel-like fluid that fills the eye's interior cavity. As this vitreous body detaches, it pulls the abnormal blood vessels, resulting in recurrent hemorrhages into the center of the eye and ultimate blindness.

"The laser coagulates these abnormal blood vessels before they can do their damage," Dr. Sorenson explained. "The nice thing about this machine is its selective effect: it can hit a target as small as fifty microns, or about one-twentieth of a millimeter, for a very short time or longer, and at whatever strength is desired."

The beam, aimed precisely, eradicates the trouble makers while sparing the healthy vessels serving the eye. Good vision can be maintained if the patient is seen while the problem is in its early stages. Dr. Sorenson said. He emphasized that persons suffering from diabetes should be watched, routinely, for the possible development of these problems.

The argon laser is useful in several other conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, certain vascular tumors, some forms of macular disease, retinal breaks, and others. For example, sickle cell anemia can produce abnormal blood vessels in the eye, susceptible to treatment with the laser's intense beam. The laser can be used also to eradicate certain vascular tumors which develop in the retina from causes other than diabetes.

Devices like this are costly; the little unit comes with a price tag of $27,000, and it is one of the reasons why hospital rates have been going up over the recent years.

But when it comes to the moment of truth in which $27,000 may preserve the sight of even one person and actually helps many more than that, there is only one answer: Acquire it.

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Hon. Elliot L. Richardson

[Editor's Note: Early this year Elliot L. Richardson, formerly Secretary of HEW and recently appointed Secretary of Defense, published a thoughtful assessment of where we should go in the Seventies insofar as education, health, and welfare are concerned. Excerpts from that report follow.]


In January 1972 I outlined my thoughts concerning the HEW Potential for the Seventies--in a report titled Responsibility and Responsiveness. It was my hope, thereby, conveniently to provide those interested in HEW with an overview of departmental efforts designed to make HEW a more responsible and responsive instrument for serving the American people. The January 1972 report was, in part, a progress report.

This report reflects an extension of the thinking represented in the 1972 report. But this report is not intended as a progress report. Rather, it looks to the future and suggests reconception and reform for HEW.

In the intervening year, there has, without doubt, been much progress to which one might point with pride. We have seen the enactment of profoundly important social reform legislation: the Education Amendments of 1972 which provide the necessary authority to help ensure that all who wish--regardless of income--may enjoy the benefits of higher education; the Emergency School Aid Act which provides authority to aid school districts in achieving integration; the 20-percent Social Security benefit increase which, combined with the two previous benefit increases, marks the most rapid rate of increase in the history of the Social Security Program--a 51.8-percent increase in less than four years--along with the "cost-of-living escalator" provision which ensures that henceforth social security benefits will be inflation-proof; and the Social Security Amendments of 1972 which comprise a wide range of highly desirable reforms, the most significant of which is authorization of the new Supplementary Security Income program--providing a nation-wide uniform minimum income for the blind, the disabled and the aged poor.

And there has been much progress--although it has often been afforded less public attention than the legislative events of 1972--in the execution of the very broad range of responsibilities with which HEW has been charged by prior Congressional acts.

But although there has been much positive to report, I have in the past year grown ever more concerned about the way in which we, as a society, conceive and manage our responsibilities for human resource development. It is as a result of careful consideration that, in the pages that follow, I refer to a developing crisis--still largely hidden--facing the human service sector of our society, a crisis which may challenge the fundamental capability of our society to govern itself.

This report is intended to provide a perspective which might better direct attention toward the alleviation and remediation of what I perceive to be an impending crisis.


The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is the institutional bearer of a distinguished heritage of both Federal responsibility and responsiveness.

In the field of health, the heritage dates from the earliest days of our Republic--on July 16, 1798, President John Adams signed an act creating the Marine Hospital Service, precursor of the Public Health Service, to provide treatment for sick and disabled merchant seamen. The responsibilities of the Service were first significantly expanded--to include prevention of epidemics--by the Federal Quarantine Act of 1878. The present National Institutes of Health--three of whose researchers have been honored as recipients of the Nobel Prize in the past four years--derive from the Hygienic Laboratory of the Service. In education--although the first steps toward public education were taken as early as 1647 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and land was set aside for public schools by the Congress of the Confederation in 1785--the idea of universal public schools became firmly established in the Civil War era, at which point, in 1867, Congress created the United States Office of Education. And Federal responsibilities for social security and public assistance were established during the Great Depression--with enactment of the Social
Security Act on August 14, 1935.

HEW has become--as its name suggests--a focus for the aspirations and concerns of our Nation for the income, the education, the physical and mental health and well-being of its citizenry.

With the expansion of the Department's responsibilities, its scope of activity has now come to range from family planning and prenatal care to regulation and support of nursing homes for the aged, from early education of the disadvantaged to graduate training of Ph. D.'s, from provision of supportive services for those seeking employment to replacement of wages for those who have retired, from invention of artificial organs to experimentation in the provision of human services via earth-orbiting satellite, from regulation of the sale of food and drugs to rehabilitation of the addicted, from "Sesame Street" for television-watching children to "Meals on Wheels" for the home-bound elderly. In one way or another, HEW touches the lives of virtually every American--often poignantly so.

Throughout the period of expansion of health, education, and welfare responsibilities there has been a concomitant growth--of both scope and complexity--in the associated administrative apparatus. Some observers have been led to suggest that the Department--which was established as such relatively recently, in 1953--ought to be split apart. They tend to view the Department as a disparate conglomerate. This view and the suggestion seem to me to be both mistaken and misguided.

The growth of responsibilities, and of the associated administrative apparatus, has been a corollary of the development of our complex industrial and "post-industrial" society. This growth of responsibility has been inescapable--and it is largely irreversible.

For the foreseeable future there will remain the necessity to fix administrative responsibility for the resolution of issues which cut across health, education, and welfare organizational units. A practical issue of consequence is whether that responsibility is to be fixed with the White House staff or with a Cabinet officer. My own clear preference is for the latter, because the cross-cutting issues involved are issues of profound import, worthy of open debate--and a Cabinet officer (unlike White House staff) is visible to the public and accountable to the Congress.

What should no longer be at issue is the question of whether there are, in fact, important problems which cut across the areas of health, education, and welfare. The fact is that the interrelationships among HEW programs and activities are far more significant than are their divergences.

Take a random list of our most urgent concerns: poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, mental retardation, child development, aging, rehabilitation of the handicapped, or any other. Nothing on such a list falls within the exclusive province of any one HEW operating agency. None is exclusively a "health" problem, or an "education" problem, or a "welfare" problem. All involve aspects of each.
. . . . .

Wherever we have turned--as our society has grown in complexity and as our knowledge about the nature and extent of social problems has grown in sophistication--we have come increasingly to an appreciation of the profoundness of the interdependency among health and education and welfare.

The grouping of health, education, and welfare responsibilities in a single department is neither haphazard nor arbitrary. And, indeed, it has been recommended by serious analysts of the Executive Branch throughout the twentieth century--in 1923 by President Harding, in 1924 by the Joint Committee on Reorganization, in 1932 by President Hoover, in 1937 by the President's Committee on Administrative Management, in 1939 and 1953 by the Congress, and more recently by the Ash Commission and President Nixon.

. . . . .

... I am convinced that management in the area of human resources--if it is to succeed at all in alleviating social problems--must reflect an appreciation of the interdependency to which I have alluded. HEW must, as I have urged, be viewed not as a conglomerate but as a coalition. In planning and in programming, our perspective must be comprehensive.
Resources must not only be better brought together, they must be better fitted together. Integration must replace fragmentation.

. . . . .

The more fundamental question in my mind is focused not on the managerial skills of an individual. The more fundamental question is whether we as a society can effectively manage our human resource development.

It is this question which is of primary concern to me as I leave HEW. It is upon this question that I focus most (particularly in Chapter III) in what is my final report as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Here, I am--as one must be--deeply troubled by the sense of failure, of frustration, of futility which pervades much of our human resource system--much of our society. And I am thoroughly convinced that the conceptual framework which has guided us in the past is no longer tenable.

It is my hope that the framework which I recommend for the 1970's might better foster the continued growth of our Nation's capacity both to appreciate our humane responsibilities and to respond--equitably and effectively.


As with any human institution, the effective management of HEW is crucially dependent upon: first, people--their competence, their motivation, their morale; and second, the processes which define the relationships among people--the means openly and equitably to ensure the orderly and timely participation in the decision-making process by all affected parties, a sense of common purpose and direction, clear and fair accountability, informed and sensitive appreciation of the consequence of intended actions, opportunity for the satisfactory realization of individual and collective potential. These two sets of concerns--people and processes--are, of course, interrelated.

. . . . .  

I am pleased, also, to be able to note that in 1972 we reached our annual target of fifty HEW enrollees for "Project Start"--a special program intended to help ex-lawbreakers return to society as responsible citizens in productive jobs. Like all such programs, this has its risks; but it is my hope that it may become an exemplar in the field of prisoner rehabilitation.

Two fundamental concepts have governed these and related efforts: First, I have been convinced that whatever we do to improve the careers of the disadvantaged, of lower-graded employees, of minorities, and of women, will at the same time improve the Department's performance. I fully expect that through these efforts HEW will better be able to attract and retain a stable and highly motivated work force. And second, the HEW mission and the nature of its programs dictate that it must exercise positive leadership in the national effort to recognize and promote human dignity and individual worth. We cannot do this merely by precept or even by furnishing money to support worthy undertakings. We must first practice what we preach, and this is a challenge that I personally--and I trust the entire Department--have wholeheartedly accepted.

. . . . .

Our efforts to improve HEW's responsiveness have been successful--due, in large measure, to the following:

— The formulation and adoption of comprehensive departmental goals--dependency prevention and institutional reform.

These goals may be stated as follows: (a) to help individuals lead healthy, dignified, and independent lives to the maximum extent possible; and (b) to ensure that the institutional means to accomplish this goal are efficiently considerate of and responsive to individuals' needs.

The goals of dependency prevention and institutional reform are, in addition to being particularly appropriate to HEW, of special appeal to me.

The effort to prevent dependency responds to the deepest instincts of a society which affirms the ultimate worth and dignity of each individual...

Moreover, resources invested in the prevention of dependency can yield major long-term dividends. One disabled individual may, during a lifetime, receive anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 in public assistance payments. If he were not dependent and had an average annual income of $8,000, the same individual in a family of four would pay taxes totaling $42,000 over his lifetime. Thus, when a handicapped person is helped to become a contributing member of society, he is transformed from a charge on the public into one who is not only independent of the government but able to contribute through his taxes to helping others.

The goal of institutional reform also responds to what I believe to be basic perceptions and values in our society. All of us can agree, I think, that in a vast, increasingly urban, increasingly homogenized society, the most critically needed changes in our institutions are those which increase their humane responsiveness. Institutions and their activities, after all, do not exist for their own sakes; they exist for people. Where programs are rigid--where they suffer from "hardening of the categories"--they must be made flexible; and where they are remote, they must be opened to consumer participation and made accessible.

Like the prevention of dependency, institutional reform can also contribute to the conservation of limited resources. It can seek to assure that the agencies, organizations, and skills that are capable of making some contribution to the protection and development of human resources are properly deployed. The great needs and high expectations of those who call upon our human service institutions require that these institutions be made to work as efficiently and as effectively as possible. Overlap, waste, duplication, jurisdictional jealousies, persistence in outmoded methods--any or all of these things can only drive deeper the wedge between promise and performance.

. . . . .

In order to encourage coordination, consultation, and communication throughout the Department, and to ensure that no issues are forwarded for final decision until and unless all affected HEW parties have had a fair opportunity to participate in the development of recommendations, I established an Executive Secretariat--charged with responsibility to ensure due process with regard to Secretarial decision-making.

And to facilitate the communication of views by interested external parties, I established two principal points of contact and responsibility within the Office of the Secretary: the Office of the Special Assistant for External Affairs--which acts as liaison with interest groups and professional associations; and the Office of Special Concerns--charged to act in an advocacy capacity on behalf of minority groups and women.

Through these new mechanisms we have attempted to make decision-making more open, more fair--and more informed.

Critical Evaluation

In the decade of the Sixties, HEW programs proliferated--launched often with the best of intuition and intent. To many, the impact of these programs--based on what hard evidence we have been able to gather--has proved disappointing.

Given the squeeze between rising costs and rising expectations, our society can no longer afford to indulge the "don't just stand there, do something" syndrome that has so often characterized reactions to current appeals. It is not that "doing something" is necessarily wrong. At a time of disillusionment with the integrity of government, however, ineffective responses to needs we do not really know how to meet can only compound distrust and reinforce alienation.

It is more urgent than ever before to be able to apply objective measures to the performance of our programs. Despite this urgency--and despite the steps which I outlined in my 1972 report and additional steps taken in the interim--our present capacity to do this is seriously limited.

We want to know what works. We want to know what works best. We want to know what it costs to get some improvement. We want to be able to measure the trade-offs among competing alternatives in order to invest our limited resources in the most effective methods and programs.

We need better methods of measuring performance in order to make meaningful, decision-oriented evaluation a regular part of program administration. Too often we act like the proverbial drunk searching for keys under a street lamp who, when asked where he lost them responded, "Down there in that dark alley"--and who, when asked why he was not searching in the alley, replied, "Because the light is here at the corner."

In addition to improving the ability to glean "objective" data, we must increase our sensitivity to a special body of "subjective" data--the opinions of HEW's consumers.

It was on this premise that the "PEBSI" project--Program Evaluation by Summer Interns--was initiated in 1970. (PEBSI retains community residents to survey users and eligible non-users of HEW-funded services.) Based on experience with PEBSI--and with consumer participation on program advisory councils--we are now developing flexible means to encourage and institutionalize the development and application of a variety of methods of consumer evaluation.

Aristotle is said to have remarked, "If you want to know how a shoe fits, ask the wearer not the maker." Yet while this rather obvious point has not been lost on the American private sector, it has remained too long unappreciated by the public sector.

If we are to be properly responsive, we can not sensibly look inward without also looking outward--toward those whom it is our responsibility to serve.


The Problem--A Developing Crisis

There is, in my opinion, a developing crisis--still largely hidden--facing the human service sector of our society, a crisis which may challenge the fundamental capability of our society to govern itself.

It is a crisis of performance--our institutions are failing to live up to our expectations.

It is a crisis of control--in many fundamental respects the human service system is developing beyond the scope of Executive control ... or of Congressional control ... or of consumer control ... or of public control.

It is, as a result, a crisis of confidence--there is an increasingly pervasive sense not only of failure, but of futility. Not only is the capacity of our institutions challenged, so too is our regenerative capacity. And while an increased recognition of the limitations of our past conceptions would be a mark of maturity and a highly desirable corrective, increased despair would be a dangerous overcorrective.

Our intellectual resources seem curiously barren. Prophets of hope of the 1960's--still tied to their old conceptual frameworks--marshal an increasing weight of evidence to refute hypotheses once held dear. Too few have found their way to constructive reconception. Yet it is only through reconception that we will regenerate our capacity satisfactorily to perform.

The Budgetary Spiral

The growth of the performance gap--or the "expectations gap," as I have suggested it might better be termed--has occurred in the context of, and in spite of, a phenomenal increase in Federal resources allocated to health, education, and welfare.

. . . . .

The average per capita expenditure of HEW resources in 1954 was thirty-three dollars. This year HEW will spend, on the average, almost four hundred dollars for every man, woman, and child in America.

We cannot, in fairness, pretend that Federal investment in human resources has done anything other than soar. And the pressures which have accounted for this flight--inadequate Congressional budgeting practices and inefficient management systems in the human resource sector as well as legitimate pressures to expand eligibility and enlarge benefits--will not readily abate.

A Political Shell Game

In the context of rapidly increasing budgets and even more rapidly increasing expectations, it is disheartening to observe the patterns of Congressional behavior.

Historically, one set of committees in the House and Senate creates programs and another set actually provides the money for them. The political incentive for a member of an authorizing committee is to pass bills with big price tags--and much publicity--to show he "cares about solving problems." Such an incentive does not apply to members of appropriating committees. Time after time, the figures on the price tag are higher than anything the Executive Branch can in good conscience request, and higher than anything that appropriations committees are willing to provide. There results, then, an "authorization-appropriation gap"--a gap which has grown by $3 billion in the last year alone and is now over $13 billion.

For the public, the authorization-appropriation process has become, in a sense, a shell game. Hopes are raised by attention to the authorizing hoopla, only to be dashed by the less flamboyant hand of the appropriation process.

. . . . .

There are, of course, too many competing claims for the promissory notes of the authorizing committees to be redeemed for full face value by the appropriations cashier. But in none of this is there a rational approach to priority-setting. The appropriation process is itself highly fragmented. HEW's resource allocation is determined piecemeal by ten different subcommittees--with no coordination of any kind.

The net result is too little of too much--and unfulfilled expectations. The dynamic is perverse.

A Matter of Equity

Just as the proliferation of categorical programs ensures underfunding, a derivative effect is public subsidy and administration of a system which is massively inequitable.

. . . . .

. . . HEW now spends about nine billion dollars per year to finance service programs which provide special benefits to limited numbers of people who, for one reason or another, happen to have the good luck to be chosen to participate. Indeed, there is little cause for wonder that our governmental institutions are viewed as inept and unfair.

To disguise the inequity problem, many programs are misleadingly labeled "demonstrations"--although it is clear that their intent is to serve, not to demonstrate in the conventional sense of the word. But this fundamentally inequitable system cannot long survive as such. It is all but certain--and rightly so--that the Federal government will be faced with more and more lawsuits demanding equal opportunity and access to services for those who are similarly situated in need.

It is important to note that the cost of extending the present range of HEW services equitably--to all those who are similarly situated in need--is estimated to be approximately one quarter of a trillion dollars. That is, the additional cost would be roughly equivalent to the entire Federal budget!

The Bureaucratic Labyrinth

Since 1961 the number of different HEW programs has tripled, and now exceeds three hundred. Fifty-four of these programs overlap each other; thirty-six overlap programs of other departments. This almost random proliferation has fostered the development of a ridiculous labyrinth of bureaucracies, regulations, and guidelines.

The average State now has between eighty and one hundred separate service administrations and the average middle-sized city has between four hundred and five hundred human service providers--each of which is more typically organized in relation to a Federal program than in relation to a set of human problems. In spite of our efforts at administrative simplification, there are twelve hundred pages of regulations devoted to the administration of these programs with an average of ten pages of interpretative guidelines for each page of regulations. The regulations typically prescribe accounting requirements that necessitate separate sets of books for each grant; they require reports in different formats for reporting periods that do not mesh; eligibility is determined program by program without reference to the possible relationship of one program to another; prescribed geographic boundaries for service areas lack congruity. In general, confusion and contradiction are maximized.

Although studies indicate that more than eighty-five percent of all HEW clients have multiple problems, that single services provided independently of one another are unlikely to result in changes in clients' dependency status, and that chances are less than one in five that a client referred from one service to another will ever get there, the present maze encourages fragmentation.

As an administrative matter, the system is, at best, inefficient. As a creative matter, it is stifling. As an intellectual matter, it is almost incomprehensible. And as a human matter, it is downright cruel.

A System Out of Control

The problem, in short, is that--in spite of the fact that the HEW "monster" is now moving toward a reasonably satisfactory condition of administrative control--the larger human resource development system, of which HEW is but a part, is a system out of control.

The HEW budget is spiraling upward-and more than eighty-five percent of the budget is determined not by what the Executive Branch might request or the Congress might appropriate, but simply by the expanding number of eligible people who claim benefits. Pressures for greater equity threaten to force impossible quantum jumps in resource requirements. The Congress is not organized to bring the process of budgeting under rational control. Expectations--inflated by a political shell game--rise faster than the capacity of the system to perform. Proliferating programs foster the development of a fragmented and ill-coordinated service delivery maze--in which clients are literally lost--a complex maze which defies the comprehension of administrators and citizens alike. Subsystems struggle to expand without regard to each other--promising only to compound inefficiency. Social problems remain unsolved Intuitive tendencies to "do something" too easily follow a line of little resistance: the line to additional "programs." And the perverse dynamic is reinforced.

One can imagine a point of reckoning at which the magnitude of ill-treated problems is fully perceived--along with a profound sense of failure. And one can only hope that the troubled reaction toward the institutions held accountable would be reasoned and responsible.

Reconception and Regeneration

There is--along with a history of idealistic American efforts at organized beneficence--a powerful American tradition of skepticism toward such efforts. The latter strain of concern was succinctly articulated by Justice Brandeis: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." It was put more colloquially by Thoreau: "If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life."

In many respects, our present "helping" systems provide empirical support for such skepticism. Yet the development of our society is beyond the point where it is possible--or desirable--to shrink from a major, organized, public responsibility for health, education, and welfare objectives. The challenge is to find means to pursue these objectives in ways that "work" in a narrow sense--and in ways that also preserve and enrich the dignity and independence of the individual and the capacity of the system to continue to perform.

To begin to find such means, the following are prerequisite:

-We must first level with each other about present approaches to social problem solving.

We must acknowledge that passing narrow categorical legislation does not in any way ensure the intended remediation of problems; that, indeed, it may be counterproductive; it may further squander limited resources by spreading them too thinly or by allocating them to areas for which the state of the art is inadequately developed; and it may further complicate a service delivery system already paralyzed by ill-organized complexity.

-We must recognize, as we have with both foreign affairs and natural resources, that resources we once thought boundless--human, financial, and intellectual resources--are indeed severely limited.

-We must radically simplify our conception of the functions of HEW in order to make comprehensive analysis and administration manageable.

To this end, I recommend we conceive of HEW--apart from its regulatory responsibilities--as having only three basic functions (to which each of its three hundred programs might be assigned): (1) providing financial assistance to individuals; (2) providing financial assistance to States and localities; and (3) building human resources capacity. We may then readily discuss: (a) reform-in relation to each of these functions; and (b) broad system dynamics-the relationship among the functions.

Only with such a comprehensive and comprehensible conceptual framework will we be able rationally to engage, focus, and sustain public attention and debate.

(1) Financial assistance to individuals--ensuring dignity and independence

At the heart of activity in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare are programs which provide cash or near-cash benefits to families and individuals--Medicaid, Medicare, Student Aid, Social Security, Supplementary Security Income, Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Such programs have been accepted as a legitimate public function--a direct means of ensuring at least a minimum level of dignity through consumer purchasing power. These programs are becoming increasingly a Federal responsibility, rather than a State and local one, for three reasons: benefits can often be distributed on the basis of objectively determined personal characteristics, such as age, family size, and income, so that local personalized administration--often inappropriately intrusive--is unnecessary; there are often large economies to be gained by centralizing the eligibility and benefit determination functions; if large State-to-State differences in eligibility and benefit levels are permitted, uneconomic migration results The process of Federalizing these functions is not, of course, complete, but the pressures in this direction are clear.

Although the administration of these programs is increasingly Federal, it is important to note that among governmental interventions these programs, basically income-transfer programs, actually provide the greatest degree of decentralization of choice-to the level of the individual, who is able to exercise his discretionary power in the private marketplace In this respect-in cases where one may assume satisfactory consumer and market responsiveness-such interventions are to be preferred.

But in spite of the long-term trend toward Federalization, and the preferred character of the intervention, this class of programs-and selected service programs which might better be converted to income programs-are in pressing need of reform. We must "cash out"— convert to income-those service programs which are known to be ineffective and those service programs whose intended benefits could more effectively or more equitably be achieved by the distribution of income. But the essential challenge is to design and enact necessary health, education, and income assistance so that it is at once reliant on normal incentives for private action in the public interest, simple, comprehensive, equitable, and adequate.

Increasingly health is construed as a "right," yet health insurance coverage is very uneven. About four-fifths of the population under age sixty-five have some form of private health insurance, much of which is included as part of the "fringe benefits" package offered to workers. But whereas over ninety percent of those earning in excess of ten thousand dollars have hospital and surgical coverage, for those earning less than five thousand dollars the proportion with such coverage is less than fifty percent Protection against medical costs arising outside a hospital is considerably poorer for all income groups. Problems of little or no in-depth coverage are most serious for five major groups: those employed in less prosperous industries or firms, those with low average levels of wages and salaries, small firms which cannot avail themselves of lower cost group insurance, the self-employed, and the unemployed who are not on welfare. The problems of lack of protection are compounded for those who have no fixed employer or who change jobs from time to time.

In many instances, present day health insurance coverage is upside down in terms of providing protection against risk. Not surprisingly, this state of affairs creates some strange behavior. Consumers worry about the financial devastation of a major illness, and are unable to protect themselves adequately against such a risk. Concurrently, they pay large premiums to health insurers for first-dollar coverage and feel they have not "got their money's worth" over a year if they fail to receive large reimbursement checks. The contrast with other types of insurance could not be more extreme-it is considered peculiar to find the homeowner annoyed about not collecting on his fire insurance policy last year, or a family lamenting its lack of return on the husband's life insurance. These inequities and incongruities must be remedied.

The financing of higher education-in spite of recent reforms-remains too heavily weighted toward institutional aid. This approach tends to promote the common denominator interests of faculty and professional guilds-and tends to be slow to change. In contrast, direct student aid, through redistributive aid and guaranteed loans, tends to foster the freer play of market forces, and more rapid adjustment to labor market conditions. In general, because student market choices will with rare exceptions be congruent with Federal goals, reforms which allow freer market play will better achieve Federal objectives in post-secondary education. Such reforms must be advanced.

But by far the most pressing area for reform is the disgrace we mistakenly call a welfare system. This chaotic nonsystem is widely agreed to function in exactly the opposite manner from that which we would wish. It encourages the dissolution of the family. And it provides incentives to stay on welfare rather than to get off—under the present system, many employable persons would incur a net loss by accepting paid employment.

Any responsible approach to reform must remedy these ills. It must provide a uniform national income floor for all those who are truly unable to work. It must provide coverage for the working poor--"horizontal equity"--and strong financial incentives to encourage employable people to work. And it must provide not only incentives to work but opportunities to work.

In the latter regard, it is my view that we ought to recognize that being a mother is hardly being unemployed. But even if one were not to value highly the character of this work, one could be led to the conclusion that needy mothers ought to receive welfare payments for performing caretaker functions for their own children. The cost of an alternative system of day care and the likely incapability of our society efficiently to find alternative employment for all needy mothers make the alternative policy approach excessive in both expense and promise.

The scope of the tragedy now extends beyond the earlier dimensions of the welfare problem; it is now a problem of government in general. In the face of what is almost universally recognized as an extraordinarily serious problem of public policy, our institutions are unable to respond. If we are to restore confidence in government, the first order of business must be action on welfare reform.

(2) Financial assistance to States and localities-reforming the intergovernmental delivery system

In the past two decades the percentage of State and local outlays financed by Federal funds has doubled-from ten percent in 1950 to twenty percent in 1970. Now that general revenue sharing has been enacted, the percentage will grow further. This aid is distributed through 530 categorical programs-more than half of which are HEW programs— whose administrative regulations, eligibility requirements, and sheer number serve to overwhelm public officials at all levels.

What we need now is to simplify and decentralize program decision-making. We must, at the same time, preserve those safeguards, but only those safeguards, necessary to protect the unique Federal interest. Simplification need not-and it should not— mean abandonment of commitment to minorities, the poor, and the disadvantaged; we can and we must-through legislative and regulatory provisions-protect the interests of those who have found it difficult to gain satisfactory access to the service delivery system.

There are two basic approaches available to the Federal Government to effect the necessary reforms-a "top-down" approach (Special Revenue Sharing) and a "bottom-up" approach (Allied Services). I would recommend that we proceed with both-recognizing, of course, that both are enabling approaches which depend ultimately upon States and localities for the implementation of meaningful reform.

Both approaches to services reform-Special Revenue Sharing and Allied Services--would rely principally on units of State and local general-purpose government. Unlike distant extensions of a Federal bureaucracy, these units of government are held accountable to the people they serve through periodic local elections. They can, of course, be made more accountable to the public--and they should be. In part, this can be accomplished with regard to the use of Federal funds through Federal requirements for open books, open evaluation reports, and open planning processes.   

To the extent that our private and public systems for assuring adequate income for individuals are successful, there will be a reduced drain on public funds required for the provision of human services. To the extent that market imperfections can be overcome through market and service development activities, the favorable effects of the basic income systems will be further advanced. To the extent that market mechanisms are inadequate, financial assistance to States and localities is made available for provision of services consistent with the public interest. To the extent that service provision remains inadequate due to scarcity of resources, special manpower and research and development programs can be focused to remedy (over the long term) the more fundamental resource scarcity problems. But the most significant combined effect of the reconceived HEW functions is the effect on individuals' sense of importance and involvement in governing the processes which determine the quality of life-processes which seem now to have slipped beyond control.

When I was Attorney General of Massachusetts I had the honor of delivering the C.R. Musser lecture at the University of Chicago Law School. At that time--as I would now--I argued for increased citizen participation in decision-making as a counterbalance to the centripetal tendency toward big government and the resultant alienation of many individuals. The centripetal impetus, it seemed to me, was comprised of three major components-the characteristic American demand for quick results and the related tendency to apply pressure at the most convenient single point (Washington); the need for reliance upon a Federal taxing authority and the mis-association of all program authority with this tax authority; and the incompetence of State and local government.

The reconception of HEW which I propose would help balance each of these centripetal force components. It would start with a frank recognition of the limits upon our resources-an appreciation that if we demand quick results on all fronts at once we will get quick results on none, an appreciation that pressing a button may pass a law but it will not necessarily solve a problem. The reconception would rely on Federal taxing authority, but it would decentralize programmatic authority-to units of local government and to individuals, through direct financial assistance. And it would strengthen State and local governments. It would, in short, provide an operational means to give content to the now-fashionable rhetoric, "Power to the People."


In this essay, I have attempted to suggest an approach to closing the performance gap—not by retreating from our responsibilities, but by being more realistic and more pragmatic about them.

There is an unfortunate tendency, on the part of many, to view pragmatism and realism as somehow opposed to high promise and humanism. But we have reached a point at which high promise and humane concern can be responsibly expressed only through operational performance which is pragmatic and realistic. To continue to pretend otherwise would be irresponsible.

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Sacramento Version
Emily Sundquist

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking brown rice

7 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup olive or salad oil

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup each minced parsley and mint (or 1/2 cup mint crumbled)

1/4 cup minced green onion including some of the tops

About 2/3 cup pitted dates

About 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large oranges

Mint leaves or parsley sprigs

Bring water to boiling, add rice, cover, and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Pour rice into a bowl (it can be hot or cold) and add lemon juice, olive oil, cinnamon, parsley, mint, and onions. Finely chop 1/3 cup of the dates and stir into the rice salad; add salt to taste. If the salad is warm or if made ahead, cover and chill.

Mound rice into a shallow serving dish. Cut peel from oranges with a knife, then cut oranges in crosswise slices and decorate rice salad with the fruit slices, the remaining dates, and mint leaves.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Word has reached us of the Fall convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas, which took place November 25 in Little Rock. Seventy people attended the all-day session, double the number which attended the NFBA reorganization convention a year earlier. The following were some of the highlights of the convention: Among a number of morning committee meetings was that of the Vending Stand Review Committee, set up to review the vending stand program in Arkansas, Chaired by NFBA first vice-president Ordis Higgs, the meeting was attended by vendors and officials of the vending stand program. There was a panel discussion on the employment outlook for the blind of the State, and an address by the deputy director of the State department of rehabilitation, Harry Vines. Commissioner Vines said he would establish a consumers advisory committee to work with the Services for the Blind. President Ralph Sanders discussed NFBA accomplishments during the last year-two of which were the establishment of a Driver's License Identification Program, and firm steps toward the passing of the White Cane Law.

Two major resolutions passed by the convention urged Congressman Wilbur Mills' support of the Disability Insurance for the Blind program, and the State Governor's support of efforts to enact the Model White Cane Law.

Highlight of the day was the banquet address given by John Taylor, representing the NFB. He detailed the many areas in which Federationists are being called to the barricades.

The following were elected to State office: Dianne Durham and Leslie McDaniel were elected to the board of directors and Alpha Ennis was reelected to the board for two more years Ralph Sanders was elected NFB delegate and Leslie McDaniel, alternate delegate.

The enthusiasm and high resolve of this affiliate can be seen in the words of President Ralph Sanders who concluded his report to the convention by saying that the NFBA was going to show the rest of the organized blind movement that it is here to be heard!

With strong bi-partisan backing, the House Committee on Labor recently approved two major bills to aid handicapped persons and the elderly-vetoed by the President after Congress adjourned last year. Both the Rehabilitation bill and the Older American Services bill passed the Congress unanimously last year. The Rehabilitation bill will continue a Federal-State program of grants for rehabilitating handicapped persons, including new programs to aid the severely disabled. The Older Americans Services bill strengthens the Administration on Aging in the Department of HEW by increasing aid to the States to meet the problems of the elderly and authorizes special programs in housing, transportation, and preretirement training. The Committee reduced the authorization level of the Older Americans bill by thirty percent and the Rehabilitation bill authorization was also reduced by twenty-five percent. These substantial reductions in appropriations were obviously designed to try to avoid a second Presidential veto.

The Senate has already passed the Older Americans Services bill and the Rehabilitation bill in the Senate is expected to be acted upon shortly.

Since 1962 the cost of living has gone up thirty-nine percent. In the decade between 1960 and 1970 alone, the cost of being hospitalized went up 151 percent. The most conservative expert estimate is that average hospital costs per patient day will more than double between 1970 and 1980, to around $175 a day in community hospitals.

In a major change in the State's welfare policy, New York ordered that all welfare recipients be required to undergo face-to-face interviews at specified intervals to reestablish continued eligibility. The interviews were ordered after a projection of an audit of welfare cases indicated that $ 116 million was improperly paid by local welfare districts last year. The audit found that 1 1.3 percent of those receiving aid to families with dependent children were ineligible and that 23.2 percent were overpaid. The audit also indicated that 6.5 percent of those in the aid to dependent children classification were underpaid and 11.6 percent of the aged, blind, and disabled were also underpaid. About 12.2 percent of the cases in the "Medicaid only" category were found to be ineligible. Results of the audit showed that most of the AFDC ineligibility cases resulted from the client's lack of understanding of the requirements of his own condition, his being mentally incapable of giving the required information, or his misrepresentation of the facts. These errors accounted for sixty-four percent of the ineligible cases. In nearly one-half of the cases receiving AFDC and one-third of the cases receiving aged, blind, and disabled aid, the State investigators found that local districts had made errors in either approving assistance or in establishing the amount to be paid.

Senator Curtis introduced a bill, S. 614, to amend titles X and XVI of the Social Security Act to prohibit any State from imposing a lien on a blind individual's property as a condition of aid or assistance thereunder.

Frank "Buddy" Ree, blind for twenty-three years, has a job with the South Dakota State Highway Department reporting on road and driving conditions throughout the State. Operating from telephoned reports from highway maintenance men, post offices, truck drivers, and others, Ree prepares tapes which are broadcast by radio stations throughout the State. He also prepares an official morning road report. Begun last year the program of winter road reports has become an important part of the Department of Highways' public service program, largely through the abilities of Frank Ree.

The NFB of Mississippi newsletter reports that it had introduced into the legislature amendments to the Little-Randolph-Sheppard Act which were favorable to the vending stand operators. Another NFB of Mississippi-sponsored measure would simply have granted to blind persons the right to work unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved These bills were assigned to the Public Health and Welfare Committee, whose chairman in turn referred them for study by a subcommittee The Division for the Blind, which is supposed to be looking after the interests of the blind, apparently by lobbying on a very small number of Senators at taxpayers' expense, managed to persuade this small subcommittee to kill the bills without ever permitting a hearing by the full Committee. "Some people may have had some doubt that our keepers actually opposed our best interests and welfare. As sad as it might be, this is proof positive that our keepers, some of whom are paid sixteen thousand dollars and more a year for assisting the blind, certainly do not act as if they are friends of the blind. Senators say they researched the matters thoroughly through experts. No, apparently there are no blind experts, so they saw no need for hearing from the blind or their organizations."

At least fifteen million of the world's people are blind and the number will double by the end of the century unless decisive action is taken, according to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind. Undernourishment alone causes the blindness of eighty thousand babies each year.

Sonny Brown, a blind man in Royal Oak, Michigan, and his wife Beverly have turned a hobby into a livelihood. Brown, a former boilermaker who turned to carpentry when he lost his sight three years ago, constructs picture frames from wood salvaged from old barns. The Browns sometimes salvage the wood themselves, dismantling barns which are often more than a hundred years old. Then Mr. Brown constructs the frames using the power tools in their basement workshop- Mrs. Brown decorates the frames and makes ornamental mats to complement the rustic old wood. The frames themselves are their main advertisement; and past customers, their best salesmen.

A record $41.6 billion was paid last year in cash benefits to Social Security recipients, according to the Social Security Administration. Total payments this year are estimated to amount to $52 billion. At the end of 1972 there were 28.4 million men, women, and children receiving monthly Social Security benefits. This represents one of every eight Americans and an increase of a million beneficiaries over the previous year. Benefits have advanced more than seventy percent since 1968 and the law now provides that payments be increased automatically as the cost of living rises in the future.

The U.S. Forest Service has developed more than a dozen special trails during the past five years, located in National Forests in Oregon, California, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, and Florida. They all have Braille signs and "touch and smell" exhibits. They are proving popular with sighted and blind visitors alike, showing how to feel the difference between the prickly needles of spruce and juniper as compared with the flat, soft needles of firs; how to crush a fir needle to smell the balsam aroma; how to count the rings on a decaying tree stump; and how to listen to forest sounds.

From the minutes of the State Board meeting of the NFB of Washington held in Seattle in February, comes the following encouraging note: "The Board voted unanimously to receive the new affiliate from Cowlitz County as a member of the NFB of Washington. Eugene Gibson, of Longview, is its president. We now have fifteen affiliates in this State with an approximate statewide membership of 570. This count includes both active and associate members."

The following is a release from the American Telephone and Telegraph Company: "The '1972 A. T. & T. Annual Report,' which will be mailed soon to the company's more than three million share owners, is available upon request in Braille and record form. Blind persons wishing a copy in either record form or Braille should address their requests to:

"The Secretary,
American Telephone & Telegraph Co-
195 Broadway
New York, New York 10007"

From a reader in Michigan: What do the letters GDSB stand for? Wrong! They stand for Greater Detroit Society for the Blind. On second thought, maybe not so wrong.

From Berneice Johnson, 717 Fourth Street, Apt. 114, Des Moines, Iowa 50309: Magnetic board and can markers. A board is 16 X 18 inches, covered with walnut formica with a 14 x 16 inch magnetic area on it painted in colors of avocado, orange, raspberry, and harvest gold The price is ten dollars. Also there is a board 10x12 inches covered with harvest gold formica with a brown magnetic area for five dollars. Magnets with Braille and raised print are one inch wide and as long as necessary with Braille in white across the top and raised print in black across the bottom at fifty cents each. Braille magnets in black with no print on them are one-half inch wide and are twenty-five cents each. Magnets are made to order for fruits, vegetables, and other produce. These items will be offered for sale at the NFB New York Convention.

At the New York Convention this summer there will be two fundraising projects of the Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CEIP). On display for sale in the exhibition room will be the original drawing "The Old Shack," and stickers for car windows or luggage. These stickers are printed in the NFB colors of blue and gold and contain a picture of NFB President Kenneth Jernigan. They also contain the printed slogan "Support the National Federation of the Blind." The price for the stickers is fifty cents; the money will be used for the overseas projects of the NFB.

The State of California can no longer reduce or terminate welfare benefits before a hearing is held, according to a decision by a three-judge Federal panel. In their ruling, the U-S, District Court judges held that the disputed State welfare regulations denied due process to the plaintiffs. They cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision which militates against any delay m payments since there is a "strong possibility the plaintiffs will prevail on a trial on the merits." Under present State regulations aid is not paid pending a fair hearing if a State official determines that a recipient's appeal only raises issues of policy, not of fact or judgment. The court held that the regulations denied welfare recipients due process by erroneously preventing pre termination hearings even for those recipients who appealed on factual issues. The State plans to appeal the decision since the cost to the State would be at least fifteen million dollars a year and about half the pending twenty thousand hearings would be affected by the ruling.

A blind man has been hired as a food service aide in the Berkeley Unified School District in Berkeley, California. Jesse Brown is described by his supervisor as "most unusual-not because he's blind, but because he's Jesse Brown, a person with a superb attitude." Brown describes his own feelings about the job this way: "I like the job very much because I feel as if I'm helping people plus I get a big kick out of being around- children. ... I want it to be known among other blind people that they can get these kinds of jobs."

Brown has had a number of other interesting jobs: He was one of the original Five Blind Guys, a gospel recording group popular from the late Forties to the early Sixties. He still plays the guitar professionally and gives private lessons to young students.

A well-deserved tribute was recently paid to John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, by Dr. Jacob Freid, executive director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America. After listening all day at congressional hearings to physicians and professors of medicine testify on the problems created by diabetes, Dr. Freid wrote John: "I think your submissions to Congress are just about the best in the country. Do accept my warmest accolade for your brief but outstanding statement on the blind and diabetes." No doubt John, a layman as far as medicine is concerned, will be made an honorary member of the American Medical Association at its next annual convention.

In Jersey City, New Jersey, blind Peter Bordino has been given a post created for him by County Sheriff William Wolfe as receptionist and auxiliary secretary. Wolfe was first impressed with Bordino when the young man had a job as summer clerk for freeholders in the County Administration Building. The two men became friendly and when Wolfe needed a receptionist, he thought of Bordino. The sheriff had this praise for him: "Without his sight, this man has an uncanny command of the surroundings. He has shown that dedication in learning to adjust even under the most severe handicaps can lead to an almost normal life of service and usefulness." Perhaps in the time to come Bordino will show his employer that even with a "severe" handicap, the blind can do better than lead "almost normal" lives.

The third annual convention of the NFB of Florida will be held May 11-13, 1973, at the Columbus Hotel, Miami. Rates at the hotel are favorable. The program will be varied. The banquet address Saturday evening will be given by Don Capps, First Vice-President of the NFB. Sam J. Sitt, convention coordinator, urges all who are interested in attending to write directly to the hotel for reservations. The address is 312 Northeast First Street, Miami, Florida 33132.

The Newsletter, publication of the NFB of Virginia, reports that the first Leadership Seminar was highly successful. Some fifty-two Federationists from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia attended. Guiding the course of the participation session was the president, Robert McDonald, who kept the interchanges at a rapid pace. Answering the many questions raised by the audience were Manuel Urena, member of the NFB Executive Committee, and John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office. The session started with a general outline of NFB philosophy and objectives. The discussion then went into the duties and responsibilities of committee chairmen. Also discussed were the recruitment of new members and fundraising. At future seminars it was decided to stress more strongly such specific subjects as membership recruitment and fundraising.

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