Voice of the National Federation of the Blind


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


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

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

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

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

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

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708




by Kenneth Jernigan

by Ed Sheppard

by Alta


by Ed Foscue








by Raymond Angel

by Jimmie Nelson

by Lelia Proctor

by James R. Carlock

by Hal Knight


by Robert Acosta

by Cindy Lou Patterson





by Sharon Lewis





There seems to be no end to the evasions and doubletalk by NAC. Although the following correspondence speaks for itself, I would like to call certain items to your attention. Notice that both Mr. Dwight's letter of July 10 to Congressman Mayne and Mr. Reedy's letter of July 13 to me take a hard, uncompromising line. They say, in effect, "This is a lot of fuss about nothing. HEW has looked into the matter, and everything is fine. We are tired of the whole business. Go away, and leave us alone." Then comes Congressman Mayne's letter of July 30 to Mr. Dwight, raising embarrassing questions and insisting upon explanations. It may be mere coincidence that only three days later (August 2) Mr. Reedy wrote to me in a totally new tone: NAC will be asked to give advance notice of the time and place of meetings. NAC will be asked to admit observers. NAC will be asked to let the observers speak. NAC will be asked to provide minutes. NAC will be asked to discuss differences. As to continued Federal funding—maybe.

It will be observed that Mr. Robinson is a worthy successor to Dr. Salmon as president of NAC. He is short-fused. He has all of the accustomed arrogance, all the familiar condescension. He replied to my July 19 letter with the usual flim-flam: NAC has a policy of "openness"—Mr. Robinson sends a resolution and a committee report to prove it. Therefore, they will exclude observers. As I say, just Uke Dr. Salmon.

Incidentally, was there not a song a while back about a certain Mrs. Robinson? One wonders if she had anything to do with the Mr. Robinson who has something to do with NAC, which has something to do with us. All kinds of interesting variations might emerge: "We need to know a little bit about you for our files So here's to you, Mr. Robinson.

Anyway, I suggest that Federationists read the following letters with due regard to their details. HEW is beginning to show evidence of finally understanding some of what we have been saying. Every local member and affiliate must continue to find ways to keep the pressure on: Study carefully the NAC materials in The Monitor. Contact Congressmen and Senators, both in Washington and through their local offices in your own area. Make repeated contacts with any NAC Board members living in your State, resorting to picketing if necessary. The NAC Board members must be made to understand that local blind people (the ones they can't ignore) are aware of what they are doing, and intend to have justice. Make representations to the agencies who are already accredited by NAC or who are seeking such accreditation. Agency funds should be spent to provide services to blind people, not for dues and inspection fees to an out-of-State group which is hurting the blind. See that every newspaper, radio station, and television station in your vicinity is alerted to the problem. Enlist the help of church groups and civic organizations. Talk to influential friends and average citizens. Alert them to the problem, and get them to help.

NAC keeps trying to say that all of its troubles are caused by one person, the NFB President. Politically and emotionally they cannot afford to admit that this is an action by tens of thousands of blind people and their friends. Therefore, from every part of the country we must "send them a message."


Washington, D.C., July 11, 1973.

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

DEAR KEN: In further reference to our previous communications regarding the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC), I am enclosing a copy of the July 10 letter of James S. Dwight, Jr., Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which I received today.

I appreciate your having kept me posted on the further developments in the relationship between the National Federation of the Blind and the NAC, and hope that the information I've enclosed may be helpful in understanding why the Department of HEW finds NAC still meets the requirements for grantees. Seven of the new members elected at the last annual meeting of the NAC are blind, so it appears that your protests have had an effect.

Please write again whenever I may be of service to the Iowa State Commission for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, or you. With best wishes, I remain


Member of Congress.



Washington, D.C., July 10, 1973.

House of Representatives,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. MAYNE: This is in further response to your letter of May 24 to the Secretary enclosing correspondence from Kenneth Jemigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in which he raised complaints about the undemocratic processes of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) and requested that we discontinue grant support of that agency.

We authorized a study of NAC last March by a team of experts chosen from outside SRS, including representation from NFB. It appears from a preliminary summary of the review team's findings that NAC, which has accredited many of the most highly respected State and voluntary agencies serving the blind throughout the country, is fulfilling the requirements as set forth in their grant application and we should not impose additional conditions that we do not require of other grantees. Should you wish a copy of the full report, please let us know and we will send it to you.

As indicated in the enclosed addendum, you will note that we have worked very closely with both NFB and NAC during the past year in an attempt to resolve issues that have been brought to our attention by NFB. We have done all that can reasonably be expected of a Federal agency granting support to a private organization. We are satisfied that we should do nothing more in this regard, and would urge that in the future the Federation work directly with NAC to resolve their differences.

Sincerely yours,




[Enclosed with Mr. Dwight's letter of July 10 to Congressman Mayne were the addendum and the abstract of the report of NAC activities.]


As a result of complaints about the undemocratic processes of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) raised by Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), published in the NFB Monitor and widely circulated to Members of Congress, we studied the issues involved and sent a report to Members of Congress on October 27, 1972. (Tab A)

Additional complaints by the Federation were subsequently transmitted from Congress to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, criticizing the exclusion of observers from the semiannual business meeting of the Board of Directors of NAC held in New York, December 10-11, 1972. We discussed this matter with NAC officials and learned that consumer representatives were to be invited, including two from the NFB. Nonetheless, the Federation demonstrated and picketed during the entire meeting.

During the year, we have responded to four different form letters sent to Congress by Mr. Jernigan. From August 22, 1972, through May 4, 1973, our congressional responses totalled approximately 114. In addition, we sent sixty-nine letters to agencies and private individuals. In the same period of time, we responded to an average of two congressional telephone inquiries per week.

During the same period in which we were receiving complaints, we also received a number of letters from State and private organizations and schools who had been accredited supporting NAC and its activities and indicating the value they had received.

 In order to assess all the facts, an independent study was scheduled for March 19-20, 1973. The site visit team consisted of knowledgeable experts from outside the Social and Rehabihtation Service and included representation from NFB. The final draft of the report of the site visit has been completed. A preliminary review of the findings indicates that NAC is fulfilling all the requirements as set forth in their grant application. As soon as the report is released by the chairman of the team, it will be available on request.

By letter of May 1 1 , Mr. Jernigan indicated that he felt that NAC had not acted in good faith because the executive committee decided in April to change the time and place on the annual meeting from July 20-21, in Cleveland, to June 20-21, in Chicago.

While the time and place of meetings does not fall within the jurisdiction of HEW, we nevertheless checked with the NAC president and learned the following facts:

(l)The executive committee had full authority to make such changes and exercised this authority only upon requests from a large number of accredited agency representatives. These members stated that it was most inconvenient for them to be away from their homes and places of business for six consecutive days if they chose to attend the biennial convention of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, July 22-25.

(2) Some Council members who had originally agreed to the July date found it necessary to cancel because of the scheduling of staff vacations and family obligations.

We are informed that in view of the foregoing, the executive committee felt it in the best interest of all concerned to make appropriate changes and to reschedule the meeting at a more convenient time and place. The meeting was rescheduled at O'Hare Inn in Chicago because of its central location and resulting cost savings. The majority of the board attend these meetings at their own expense.

From dates of copies of correspondence we have in the office, it appears that Mr. Jernigan was advised of the change in time and place of the meeting the same week the board members were informed.

In correspondence of June 4 and 5 to Congress and HEW, Mr. Jernigan again raised the issue of opening the annual board meeting to observers. On the same dates, during his attendance at our advisory committee meeting, he also discussed the issue with staff of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Executive Order 11671 requires HEW meetings to be open to the public; this rule does not extend, however, to grantees who are being supported in part by Federal funds. While we certainly encourage such meetings to permit public attendance insofar as such participation does not constitute direct violation of laws of confidentiality, we do not exercise legal control in this matter. In fact, we must respect the judgment of the officers of the Council to determine those conditions that require closed executive sessions. Observers had been invited to the day-long board meeting which was open to participants coming from accredited agencies. However, observers were not asked to attend the business meeting of the board which was scheduled the following morning.

We discussed this issue with Dr. Salmon who was also at HEW on June 5 attending the advisory committee meeting. Even though NAC was not under compulsion to open its business meeting to the public, after a discussion with the executive committee Dr. Salmon invited Mr. Jernigan to send representatives to audit the board meeting, and confirmed this invitation by telegram, with a copy to HEW.

Although observers freely attended all of the meetings in Chicago, a large NFB group demonstrated and picketed during the two-day period.

In keeping with their promise to add competent blind persons to the board as vacancies occurred, seven of the ten new members elected at the past annual meeting are blind. This does not meet subsequent demands of Mr. Jernigan that at least one-third of the membership be appointed by the Federation, with power to remove or replace such membership. Such an arrangement is completely unacceptable to NAC and would violate the corporate charter under which they operate.


October 13, 1972.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Social and Rehabilitation Service will continue to monitor, through periodic site visits, the activities of NAC, as it does those of all grantees In addition, an independent review of those issues raised by Mr.
Jernigan will be initiated.


Des Moines, Iowa. July 20, 1973.

The Honorable WILEY MAYNE,
House of Representatives,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN MAYNE: I very much appreciate your letter of July 1 1, 1973, and your continued patience in our effort to try to let Congress and the public know the truth about NAC. This is not an easy task since some of the information coming from NAC and, perhaps, HEW is misleading, if not downright false.

For instance, Mr. Dwight, Administrator of Social and Rehabilitation Service, tells you in his letter of July 10: "We authorized a study of NAC last March by a team of experts chosen from outside SRS, including representation from NFB." I tell you that what Mr. Dwight has told you is not the truth. How can you know which of us to believe?

I feel certain that, if Congress were fully apprised of what NAC has done and of the part HEW has played in it, there would be a major shake-up. In New York earlier this month some two thousand blind people marched to the NAC headquarters to protest. Surely this is not simply because they were all "misinformed," as one of the NAC members said. The team appointed by SRS to study NAC was not independent; its members were not chosen from outside of SRS; and there was not representation from the National Federation of the Blind. Along with this letter I send you remarks made at our recent national Convention by Dr. Richard Wilson, a member of the review team and a prominent professor of political science. You will observe that Dr. Wilson feels that the so-called "investigation" was a sham and a travesty.

Congressman Mayne, you have gone far beyond the call of duty to try to help us, and I am reluctant to ask you to do still more. However, surely there is some way to reform NAC, which is hurting the lives of blind people; and surely there is some way to make HEW and NAC officials tell the truth to Congress and the public. Is there any way we can cut through the red tape and the doubletalk to a meaningful solution?


National Federation of the Blind


Washington. D.C., July 30, 1973.

Administrator, Social and
Rehabilitation Service,
Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. DWIGHT: Thank you for your July 10 reply to my May 24 letter to Secretary Weinberger, with regard to questions raised by Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind and Director of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind, concerning the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC).

I appreciate your supplying this information, but I am puzzled by the second paragraph of your reply, wherein you say, "We authorized a study of NAC last March by a team of experts chosen from outside SRS, including representation from NFB." I am advised that "The team appointed by SRS to study NAC was not independent; its members were not chosen from outside of SRS; and there was not representation from the National Federation of the Blind." I would appreciate your checking into this and advising me as to your findings.

I've been provided with a copy of remarks made at the recent national Convention of the National Federation of the Blind by Dr. Richard Wilson, who was a member of the review team Dr. Wilson's remarks are strongly critical of the manner m which the site-visit team was selected and administered, and stated that he had prepared dissenting views for submission to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. A copy of Dr. Wilson's remarks before the NFB is enclosed for your information. Since he spoke on July 4 and your reply to me was dated July 11, it may well be that your reply overlooked Dr. Wilson's strong dissent. Your consideration of that dissent in connection with the majority report of the review team would be appreciated, as would your comments regarding the questions raised by Dr. Wilson.


Member of Congress.


Washington, D.C., July 13. 1973.

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

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: Administrator Dwight has asked me to respond to your letter of June 5. On that day, as a result of your complaint to me regarding what you considered to be subterfuge on the part of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) in changing the time and place of their annual meeting, and the exclusion of observers at the forthcoming NAC Board meeting, these questions were taken up with Dr. Salmon As you know, as chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Services to the Blind and Visually Handicapped, he was also present in HEW that day.

Dr. Salmon told me that the executive committee, at its April 24 meeting, had changed the date of the annual meeting from July 20-21, in Cleveland, to June 20-21. He further explained that the executive committee had full authority to make such changes, and had exercised this authority only after receiving requests from a large number of accredited agency representatives who attend the annual meeting. These members stated that it was most inconvenient for them to be away from their homes and places of business for six consecutive days—a situation which many of them would face if they chose to attend the biennial convention of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, July 22-25. Some Council members who had originally agreed to the July date found it necessary to cancel because of the scheduling of staff vacations and family obligations.

We are informed that in view of the foregoing, the executive committee felt it in the best interest of all concerned to make appropriate changes and to reschedule the meeting at a more convenient time and place. The meeting place was changed to the O'Hare Inn in Chicago because Council members and attendants are drawn from across the Nation, and holding the meeting close to the O'Hare Airport would save members both time and money. The majority of the board attends these meetings at their own expense. Dr. Salmon informs me that you were notified of the change the same week the Council members received this information.

With respect to your question concerning admission of observers to the board meeting, you were told by Dr. Salmon that observers were welcome to all activities attended by the representatives of accredited agencies, including the dinner, but that no observers would be invited to the half-day executive session. Although Executive Order 11671 requires HEW meetings to be open to the public, this rule does not extend to grantees who are being supported in part by Federal funds. While we certainly encourage such meetings to permit public attendance and have so advised Dr. Salmon, we do not exercise legal control in this matter. In fact, we must respect the judgment of the officers of the committee to determine those conditions that require closed executive sessions.

We are still awaiting the report of the site-visit team. As I understand it, the final draft of this fact-finding study is now being reviewed by team members and as soon as it is delivered to me, I shall send you, and others who are interested, copies of the report. We shall keep in mind Dr. Walker's [he means Wilson] comments as we study the report.

I believe that we have a good understanding of the Federation's position regarding shortcomings in the organization and operation of NAC, and we will certainly take these into account in making decisions regarding continuing support of this project.

Let me thank you again for the invitation to attend your annual Convention in New York July 5-6 and for the many courtesies which I received while there. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

With kindest regards,

Sincerely yours,
CORBETT REEDY, Acting Commissioner


Des Moines, Iowa, July 18, 1973.

Acting Commissioner, Rehabilitation
Services Administration,
Social and Rehabilitation Service,
Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. REEDY: This will reply to and thank you for your letter of July 13, 1973, concerning the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). Certain parts of your letter seem difficult to reconcile with the facts as I have them.

You tell me that, as a result of my complaint to you last month and my belief that NAC had practiced subterfuge in changing the dates of its meeting, you discussed the matter with Dr. Peter Salmon, who was then president of NAC and in Washington at the time. You go on to say:

Dr. Salmon told me that the executive committee, at its April 24 meeting, had changed the date of the annual meeting from July 20-21, in Cleveland, to June 20-21. He further explained that the executive committee had full authority to make such changes, and had exercised this authority only after receiving requests from a large number of accredited agency representatives who attend the annual meeting. These members stated that it was most inconvenient for them to be away from their homes and places of business for six consecutive days-a situation which many of them would face if they chose to attend the biennial convention of the American Association of Workers for the Blind, July 22-25. Some Council members who had originally agreed to the July date found it necessary to cancel because of the scheduling of staff vacations and family obligations The meeting place was changed to the O'Hare Inn in Chicago because Council members and attendants are drawn from across the Nation, and holding the meeting close to the O'Hare Airport would save members both time and money. The majority of the board attends these meetings at their own expense.

In the first place, if Dr. Salmon told you that the NAC meeting was scheduled for July 20-21 (a Friday and a Saturday), he was mistaken. As NAC's December, 1972, minutes will show, the meeting was scheduled for July 21-22 (a Saturday and a Sunday). Thus, if members of the NAC Board were concerned about being away from their homes and places of business, they were not helped by shifting from a weekend in July to a Wednesday and Thursday in June. This point is given added emphasis by the fact that quite a number of the NAC Board members and accredited agencies will be attending the July meeting of the American Association of Workers for the Blind in Cleveland anyway, even though they made the extra trip to the NAC Board meeting in Chicago in June. Those who will not attend the AAWB meeting would still have less time away from their places of business on a Saturday and Sunday than a Wednesday and Thursday.

As to the matter of cost, I find your letter completely mystifying. The NAC Board members and the NAC accredited agencies who are attending the AAWB convention and who also attended the NAC Board meeting will have a double transportation expense Further, rooms at the O'Hare Inn were approximately thirty dollars per day, even for a single. Room rates at the AAWB convention in Cleveland, on the other hand, are twelve dollars per day for singles, sixteen dollars for doubles, and eighteen dollars for twins. In addition to all of this, NAC pays the expenses of its board members to attend meetings. Those with sufficient wealth can, of course, refuse reimbursement, but in any case this would seem to demolish the argument that the executive committee suddenly found it necessary to change the place of the NAC meeting because of the cost to the members.

Add still another factor: Three of the NAC Board members told me that they did not know the NAC Executive Committee had decided to change the time and place of the NAC meeting until after the fact. A fourth board member said the same thing to a delegation of blind persons who visited him. In view of the fact that the full NAC Board voted at both their June and December 1972 meetings to hold their 1973 meeting in Cleveland in July, does it not seem strange that the executive committee decided to alter the arrangement, and that they did so without even consulting the members of the board? You tell me that Dr. Salmon said that the executive committee had the power to do this. I am intimately familiar with NAC policies, and I believe that this statement is at variance with the facts.

Dr. MacFarland, the head of the Office for the Blind in HEW and a member of the NAC Board, told me when I was in Washington in June that he had not known until that day that the NAC Executive Committee had decided to exclude observers from the meeting to be held at the O'Hare Inn, and that he thought the decision was a mistake. Several other board members said the same thing.

Mr. Reedy, I think there is an explanation which is far more plausible than the one given you by Dr. Salmon. In both June and December of last year the NAC Board voted to meet in Cleveland this summer. After considerable pressure from Members of Congress, NAC admitted two silent observers from the organized blind movement to its December 1972 meeting. It then made much of the fact to Congress and others that it was following a policy of openness. As the winter turned to spring, NAC wanted to wiggle out of its commitments to open meetings, but it apparently did not have the courage to say so, especially in view of continuing questions from Congress.

The NAC Executive Committee met (and without even the knowledge of its own board) voted to change the time and place of the NAC meeting and to exclude observers. It literally tried to "hide" from the blind since the O'Hare Inn is currently undergoing remodeling and has many obstructions and very little pedestrian area at all. Further, the inn is in an out-of-the-way place. Even so, several hundred blind people from throughout the Nation were on hand for a peaceful protest and demonstration against NAC's undemocratic policies. Two silent observers from the organized blind movement were admitted, but their request to make a statement was denied. Dr. Salmon had promised them that they could at least distribute a memorandum to the NAC members, but when it became apparent that the promise would not be kept and one of the observers reminded Dr. Salmon of it, Dr. Salmon said that the executive committee had decided that it would be inappropriate to permit distribution of the memorandum. To show you that the memorandum was not abusive or incendiary, I quote it to you in full:

This memorandum is to be distributed to members of the NAC Board at the time of their meeting Thursday, June 21, 1973.

TO: Members of the Board of
Directors of the National
Accreditation Council for
Agencies Serving the Blind and
Visually Handicapped

FROM: Kenneth Jemigan

DATE: June 21, 1973

The National Federation of the Blind asks that copies of the minutes of the NAC Board meeting being held today, and of all future NAC Board meetings, be sent to the Federation so that the blind of the Nation may have an official record of your proceedings. Further, the events of the past few months make it clear that NAC's executive committee makes policy decisions (often in direct contravention of actions taken by the NAC Board) Therefore, we also ask that we be notified of the time and place of all future meetings of the NAC Executive Committee and that we be permitted to have observers at those meetings. We would also suggest that our observers be allowed a reasonable amount of time (both at NAC Executive Committee meetings and NAC Board meetings) to bring to NAC matters of concern to the blind.

/s/ Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

Kelly Girls were stationed in the entrance of the motel where the blind were demonstrating. The Kelly Girls said they had been hired by NAC presumably with Federal tax dollars to "watch" the demonstrators. A NAC staff member later said the Kelly Girls had been hired to do typing. This is not what the Kelly Girls said, and there were neither typewriters nor desks in the doorway Mr. Reedy, this is a sorry business. Is there no way we can get past the doubletalk and evasion and come to grips with the real issue? Earlier this month in New York, as you know, almost two thousand blind persons marched to the NAC headquarters to protest and take their story to the public. They received only anger and abuse from NAC officials.

Why did the blind protest, and why are we determined to continue? We feel that NAC is hurting blind people and that it is not telling the truth to the Congress or the public. We feel that HEW should stop giving sanction and financial support to NAC. Regardless of the cost, we shall continue to raise our voices against the abuses and undemocratic actions of this organization.

I conclude this letter by officially asking the Department of HEW to do the following things:

(1) Please inquire as to the time and place of the next NAC Board meeting, and give us the information, far enough in advance to be meaningful.

(2) Please try to learn when and where the next meeting of the NAC Executive Committee will be held, and give us the information--again, far enough in advance to be meaningful.

(3) Please help us persuade NAC to allow a reasonable number of observers to be present at these meetings and to make brief statements.

(4) Please help us get the minutes of the NAC meeting which was held at the O'Hare Inn June 20-21, and the minutes of all future board and executive committee meetings. We would also like to have an up-to-date list of the names and addresses of NAC Board members.

(5) Please let us know whether HEW will continue to give Federal grants to NAC.

(6) The analysis of Dr. Richard Wilson (a respected professor of political science at the University of Colorado) makes it clear that the so-called "independent" on-site review team to study NAC was not independent at all. The team was obviously handpicked to produce a predetermined report. I gave you a copy of Dr. Wilson's analysis, and you told me you would see that it received appropriate circulation. The National Federation of the Blind requests that HEW conduct a truly "independent" study of NAC and that it make the results known to Congress and the public.

Please let me have your comments on what I have said, and tell me what HEW is prepared to do to remedy this deplorable situation, which it helped to create and which is doing harm to the blind of the Nation.

Very truly yours,

National Federation of the Blind.


Washington, D.C., August 2, 1973.

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

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: This is in reply to your letter received last week concerning the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped CNAC).

Your letter deals at length with the circumstances surrounding the recent meeting of NAC in Chicago on July 21-22. I doubt if it is profitable to dwell further on the events leading up to this meeting since there is now nothing we can change in regard to that particular meeting.

I do wish to reply specifically to your requests of the Department of HEW specified on pages five and six of your letter, as follows:

Item 1. We are making a request of the president of NAC that adequate advance notice be given to you and to other interested parties of the time and place of the next NAC Board meeting.

Item 2. We are requesting that NAC allow a reasonable number of observers to be present at these meetings and to make brief statements.

Item 3. We are requesting that copies of the minutes of the recent NAC Board meeting, as well as minutes of future meetings be supplied to you. We are also requesting that an up-to-date list with the names and addresses of NAC Board members be issued.

Item 4. In regard to continued Federal grants to NAC, these will depend on availability of funds and priorities for funding and to the evaluation we place upon the performance of NAC as revealed by progress reports and site reviews and other reliable informational sources.

Item 5. The paper prepared by Dr. Richard Wilson analyzing the finds of the on-site review team to study NAC was distributed to key SRS personnel, including the Administrator. We have not yet received the final report prepared by the review team and hence cannot judge its contents at this time. We understand, informally, that the completion of the report has been delayed because Dr. Wilson's comments on the first draft have not been received.

We note with interest in your July 19 letter to Mr. Daniel Robinson the suggestion "that a delegation of top NAC Board members meet with a delegation from our organization to discuss differences." We believe that such direct communication and exchange of views that such a meeting would afford would be helpful in resolving the many questions that have been identified.

Sincerely yours,

Acting Commissioner.


Des Moines, Iowa, July 19, 1973.

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

DEAR MR. ROBINSON: It is my understanding that you are now the president of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). Therefore, I write to you in your official capacity.

At NAC's Board meeting at the O'Hare Inn last month two silent observers from the organized blind movement were admitted, but they were refused permission (after having been promised by Dr. Salmon, then president of NAC, that it would be granted) to distribute a memorandum to those present. The full text of the memorandum is as follows:

This memorandum is to be distributed to members of the NAC Board at the time of their meeting Thursday, June 21, 1973.

TO: Members of the Board of
Directors of the National
Accreditation Council for
Agencies Serving the Blind and
Visually Handicapped

FROM: Kenneth Jernigan

DATE: June 21, 1973

The National Federation of the Blind asks that copies of the minutes of the NAC Board meeting being held today, and of all future NAC Board meetings, be sent to the Federation so that the blind of the Nation may have an official record of your proceedings. Further, the events of the past few months make it clear that NAC's executive committee makes policy decisions (often in direct contravention of actions taken by the NAC Board). Therefore, we also ask that we be notified of the time and place of all future meetings of the NAC Executive Committee and that we be permitted to have observers at those meetings. We would also suggest that our observers be allowed a reasonable amount of time both at NAC Executive Committee meetings and NAC Board meetings to bring to NAC matters of concern to the blind.

/s/ Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

I now officially ask that you respond to the issues raised in the memorandum and that this letter be circulated to the members of the NAC Board. Will we be notified of the time and place of future NAC Executive Committee and board meetings, and will we be permitted to have observers at those meetings? If observers may attend, must they remain silent, or will they be allowed to make brief statements regarding matters of concern to the blind? May we have copies of minutes of executive committee and board meetings, and may we have an up-to-date list of the names and addresses of NAC Board members?

Some NAC officials have said that we have declined to meet with them to discuss differences. As the record will indicate, this is not the truth. 1 now repeat to you our request that a delegation of top NAC Board members meet with a delegation from our organization to discuss differences. We would suggest that such a meeting be held in Chicago at the earliest possible date. We hope your response will be affirmative, for we have no quarrel with the concept of accreditation—only with the undemocratic structure and procedures of NAC. I shall appreciate an early response from you.

Very truly yours,

National Federation of the Blind.


New York, New York, July 26, 1973.

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

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: In response to your letter of July 19, 1973, please note that the memorandum you refer to and quote was made available to members of the board at the meeting of June 21, 1973.

The enclosed committee report and resolution, unanimously approved by our board of directors, sets forth the current policy of the board regarding the conduct of its meetings.

Very truly yours,




[The following committee report and resolution were enclosed in Mr. Robinson's letter of July 26 to President Jernigan.]

Detroit, Michigan.

To the Board of Directors, National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped:



Dr. Jack W. Birch
Associate Dean, School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh

Mrs. Claire W. Carlson
New York, New York

Joseph Jaworski, Esq.
Bracewell & Patterson

J. Kenneth Cozier
Cleveland, Ohio

Melvin A. Glasser, Director
Social Security Department
United Auto Workers of America

Douglas E. Inkster
Staff Associate

McAllister Upshaw, Chairman
Greater Detroit Society for the Blind

The Committee met on April 4, 1972.


Dr. Jack W. Birch
Melvin A. Glasser
Joseph Jaworski, Esq.  
Douglas E. Inkster (NAC Staff Associate)
McAllister Upshaw, Chairman
Prior to the meeting, policy statements on the subject were requested from selected national agencies including:

Replies indicated a uniform practice of closed board meetings. These were mailed to committee members and reviewed by them before the meeting on April 4.

The committee had no difficulty in reaching the unanimous conclusion that National Accreditation Council Board meetings should not be open for general observance by nonboard members.

The committee's discussion made the following points:

1. National Accreditation Council's primary constituency is made up of those agencies which are fully participating members of the Council.

2. Annual meetings are open.

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

4. Officers and members of the board are widely dispersed in the Nation, and direct access to them is easy for any communication validly related to the function of the National Accreditation Council.

5. Staff and board, alike, are expected to transmit communications related to or affecting the business of National Accreditation Council.

The committee recommends that:

1. With acceptance of this report, it be understood the Board of National Accreditation Council adopts a general policy of openness which encourages input by individuals or groups who have a determinable interest in the welfare of blind persons as it may be affected by the National Accreditation Council.

2. Every reasonable consideration be given to requests for special purpose appearances at or presentations to meetings of the Directors of National Accreditation Council. 


New York, New York.

June 24. 1972
Miami Beach, Florida

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

WHEREAS, annual meetings of the Council are open; and

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

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

WHEREAS, staff and board, alike, are expected to transmit communications related to or affecting the business of the national accreditation Council; and

WHEREAS, the approved board minutes are available for inspection by members of the Council during regular business hours: Now, therefore, be it

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

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


Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 1973.

President, National Accreditation
Council for Agencies Sending the
Blind and Visually Handicapped,
New York, New York.

DEAR MR. ROBINSON: On July 19, 1973, I sent you a letter. I asked you certain specific questions. On July 26, 1973, you sent what purported to be an answer. It wasn't. You did not respond to a single one of my questions. Instead, you sent me a committee report and a resolution.

In the meantime I have received a letter copy enclosed from Mr. Corbett Reedy. You will observe that Mr. Reedy says that he has asked NAC to do the very things the Federation has been requesting all of these months and years.

I would like to make some comments about your July 26 letter. You say the memorandum that the Federation asked NAC to distribute at its June 21 meeting was "made available to members of the board." Mr. John Taylor (one of the two NFB observers at that meeting) tells me that Dr. Salmon had promised him that the memorandum would be distributed but that Dr. Salmon said publicly at the board meeting that the NAC Executive Committee had decided the memorandum could not be distributed. Are you now telling me that the memorandum was distributed, or are you playing NAC's usual word game and saying that "made available" means something other than "distributed?" I believe Mr. Taylor told me the truth, and I want to know if you are prepared to deny it. I would like to know whether you will distribute this correspondence and our earlier letters to the members of the NAC Board.

I now ask you once again to respond to the questions that I raised in my July 19 letter. Please do not send me a resolution or a committee report or a speech or a diatribe. Just give it to me straight. If you will not let Federation representatives come to your board meetings, please have the courage and decency to say so directly, without wiggling or equivocating. If you will not permit observers at your executive committee meetings or send us your minutes or give us a list of the names and addresses of your board members or meet with us to discuss differences, then be man enough to say it—and in simple, straightforward language. On the other hand, if you will do these things, say you will do them—say it directly and straight to the point.

Must we prod and push you every step of the way to fair treatment and democratic action! If so, we will do it. In the meantime the record NAC is building is clear for all to see.

Very truly yours,

National Federation of the Blind.

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The 1973 NFB Convention had ended the previous day, and I was seated on a Boston-bound train when a middle-aged couple walked up the aisle toward me. The man seated his wife beside me and found a nearby seat for himself. Manners dictated that I give up my seat so the couple could sit together, but I noticed that the woman was blind and decided I would like to pass the time in conversation with her.

I opened up the conversation by noting that she was sitting in a smoking car, in case she found tobacco disagreeable. She said that didn't matter, and emphasized that she was blind, tired, and just glad to get on the train before departure time. It seems that she and her husband were on the last leg of a 1500-mile journey to visit their son in suburban Boston.

I inquired about the cause of her blindness: diabetic retinopathy, followed more recently by cataracts and glaucoma. I asked if she used any travel aid, noticing she had none with her. She said she had a cane at home, but doesn't use it since she knows her way around her apartment and is always accompanied outdoors by a sighted person. From this point on, throughout the conversation, she kept on repeating the phrase, "It's okay—I get along all right."

Then followed a discussion of homemaking techniques. The woman said that she carries out all of the housekeeping herself, but as she elaborated it became obvious that she relied heavily on her husband's sighted techniques. By now she was aware that I knew more about blindness than the average citizen, and I identified my work with the blind.

This led to her recounting her experiences since she became blind. As she unfolded her story, I gradually began to regard it as a tale of horror.

This couple had lived in a large eastern city, and when the woman lost her sight she was referred to a private rehabilitation facility and then transferred to a similar facility closer to her neighborhood. Both agencies were to provide her with training in the alternative techniques of blindness, but this was not the case. She said she received very little of anything from either agency. And she related how the field worker from the second agency (herself blind) would come to her home every week and say, "You don't want any training today, do you, Mrs. --------? Let's sit and have a nice talk."

After her husband retired from his business, they moved to a warmer climate. The State rehabihtation agency enrolled her in a private rehabilitation facility. She received training for six weeks and then was informed that, due to a shortage of rehabilitation funds, services were being terminated to all but those on welfare. The woman also noted that she had observed the facility's sheltered workshop and how hard the employees work for a pitiful wage.

Library services proved to be equally frustrating. The woman had enrolled for talking-book service and had listed the books she wished to borrow. None were forthcoming, although she did receive a number of unwanted taped textbooks. A series of letters to the regional library solved nothing.

She then resorted to phoning the library on an In-WATS line which automatically records the borrower's message, but she never received even an acknowledgement.

She had also subscribed to several talking-book magazines, but received none. Fortunately she receives some periodicals from a friend. Thus, she said, most of her spare time at home is spent watching TV.

It came out during the conversation that she had burned her finger the first time she tried to pour hot coffee for herself. As a result, her husband prepares a pot of coffee in the morning, and she drinks it cold for the rest of the day. She commented resignedly, "I like hot coffee, but I suppose cold is all right." Whereupon I asked her if she were familiar with an electronic liquid probe. She wasn't, and when I described one she wondered aloud, "Why should a man from Iowa have to tell me about this?" (Why, indeed?)

I promised to mail her a probe.

I brought up the subject of the NFB. She had never heard of the organization, and I talked at some length of it. She seemed moderately interested. (She will receive our literature.)

Our conversation ended as she and her husband went to the dining car. I thought about her--a woman who had lost her sight, had turned to several agencies for help, and had found none. She is now resigned to this. (It's okay--I get along all right.)

And as the train rushed through the New England countryside, I thought about those agencies and wondered why must this be?

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[Editor's Note.--This article is reprinted, with permission of the author, from the August 5, 1973 issue of California Living, the magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle.]

Bill emerges from the bathroom, shaved and ready to take us to his favorite chinese restaurant Now an electrical technician in The City, Bill was told when he started college he couldn't study electronics: blind people didn't do that.

But he persisted and finally earned the degree. Now he works on experimental aids for the blind. The job was hard to get; so was the apartment.

He told us about it:

"I went to a whole group of places--mostly residence hotels--that wouldn't rent to any people with major handicaps. When they told me blindness constituted a major handicap, I answered, 'Presumably someone who's well adapted shouldn't be considered handicapped.' They replied, 'That's not the point. We're responsible for all the tenants. We just can't take a chance.

"Another place said they had a blind man there a few years ago and he was really gross. He picked his nose. I thought about waving my handkerchief in their faces, but decided that wouldn't do any good. Another place would rent to me only on the condition that I have a roommate. I guess so he could keep an eye on me.

"Some managers were nice enough to take me into their office to refuse me; others would just do it in the lobby. They would say stuff like 'We have no special facilities for you, you know.' And I'd answer, 'As far as I know, I don't need any.' Then they would say they were full, anyway.

"So I stopped trying the residence hotels and began looking for a studio apartment. I found one with no trouble at all, though I was asked to sign a release saying insurance wouldn't cover me. I asked an insurance guy about that and he says most companies don't care who lives in a place like that. Besides, the privately signed form is illegal.

"I guess the residence clubs were so difficult to deal with because blind people are a social discomfort to the other tenants. Many clubs advertise cocktail hours and such, and how can you socialize with that blind thing in there. One landlord said his place had stairs--I said 'I walk up forty-seven stairs to work and for Pete's sake, you're standing next to an elevator!' Other places wouldn't rent to me above the ground floor--even when I told them my TV and radio work better on the top floor, and there's a hell of a view for my guests.

"But the problem goes way beyond housing. Unemployment is maybe the biggest. So many blind people are desperately poor. The trouble with unemployment is that it leads to other problems. Some blind people have been unable to learn skills. Much about rehabilitation is a farce.

"There are dozens of training programs but they train too many people for a certain field: bicycle repair, for instance.

"There are agencies to set you up in jobs you find yourself. If the employer is unwilling to try you, the rehabilitation agency will pay part of your salary for the first six months. If you do well, presumably the company will keep you on full time.

"That's how I got my job, and now I'm making standard wages for an electronic technician.

"What it boils down to, I think, is ignorance. It's not intentional malice. They think there are things blind people can't do--like be responsible tenants. It's a shame, in a city with such a large population of blind people Ignorance is so widespread."

Not all the people contacted for this article are as willing to tell us their stories as Bill is. One woman says she can "pass," because she wears glasses and most people assume she has fairly normal vision. She does not want to be identified.

A saleswoman from San Lorenzo said she had no trouble after she married a sighted man: he could do the house hunting, and, of course, he was never asked if his wife was blind Lots of women hold their husbands' arms while walking.

One of the greatest blind theoreticians and organizers Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, founder of the National Federation of the Blind, was instrumental in passing the White Cane Law.

He asked, in 1966, does the law assure the physically disabled the right to leave their institutions, asylums, and the houses of their relatives? Do they have the right to be in public places and receive goods and services in hotels, restaurants and other places of accommodation?

In 1968 the law answered:

Blind persons . . . shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this State ….

That law has now become a reality in twenty-two States, including California. But the discrimination goes on.

Marie, a medical transcriber in San Francisco, attempted to fight her case in the courts. The only lawyer she could find who would take her case works with Neighborhood Legal Assistance and he had no previous experience with the White Cane Law.

Indeed, there is now no precedent for him to follow, because the law has never been enforced: to date, no landlord has been taken to court for discrimination against the blind in the State of California. Sometimes, this is because the blind person has neither the time nor money.

Sometimes, it may be because he feels defeated beforehand.

But Marie wanted to take the time: she was hoping to raise the money and she knew she could win. Her lawyer backed out. He said that she had found a place, anyway, and there was no use attacking when she had won the war. Besides, since there was no precedent, he didn't know how to do it. So her case died before it hit the courts.

"Of course," she adds, "it's possible I was discriminated against because I'm Japanese and not because I'm blind. But how would you ever know? So I went to Hastings Law Library and looked up the White Cane Law and confronted the landlady There's a law You can't refuse to rent to me She answered, 'I don't care about any law. I don't want you falling down the stairs.'

"The White Cane Law was passed in 1968. Yet I was the first one to try using it.

"Realtors are still getting away with discrimination. At one rental agency, there's a code: For instance, if they won't take Japanese people or other Third World people, it will say something like ‘no piano’ on the card. There are a lot of ways to get around antidiscrimination laws.”

Marie said she had had a similar experience one woman showed her the apartment but refused to let her move in. When she moved to Oakland, one landlady took her deposit and then refused to let her move in, using the old lie about lack of insurance coverage. The insurance in fact is not affected.

She told us she got her job through a friend.

"It's a civil service job—I had been applying at hospitals and they wouldn't take me. One supervisor told me she wouldn't hire a handicapped person She said they had once hired a woman with epilepsy and she typed slowly.

"As I sat there wondering if that made sense, she said 'How do you do it? How do you put the paper in the typewriter?'

"So I showed her and I typed from the recording and handed it to her. She said I had done well, and then asked again: 'But how do you do it? How do you put the paper in the typewriter?

Bob's predicament was not covered by the law

"I never had trouble with the landlord, it was the people living in the houses at one house, the two women asked, 'How do you feel about housework?' and I answered, 'I feel the same way you do about it. It's no fun, but I'm willing to share it.'

"They said they felt it wouldn't work out, so that was that. At another place, when I called they said it hadn't been rented, so I went right over and they said it was rented.

"The guy living there called me later and said that it had not, in fact, been rented and I should return to confront them the next day. I did, and they acted like they had never met me. People have the right to feel Comfortable they should say so at the outset.

"If they had mentioned hazards, I'd have responded, 'I'm afraid of gravity as much as you are.' But I never heard that. Actually, discrimination is as old as the history of the world.

Kenneth Jernigan, who succeeded tenBroek as President of the National Federation of the Blind, fights the "disaster concept, the tragic sense of blindness."

In a speech a few years ago, he said:

Everything which we are and which we have become rises up to give the lie to the disaster concept of blindness we are now functioning in all of the various professions of the regular community. We do not regard our lives, as we live them on a day-to-day basis, as tragic or disastrous and no amount of professional jargon or trumped-up theory can make us do so.

We know that with training and opportunity we can compete on terms of equality with our sighted neighbors. Blindness is merely a physical nuisance.

But even the sighted who work on daily terms with blind people can act as foolish as the hospital supervisor who refused to hire Marie. A teacher confided, "There are still people on the same staff who in one breath think I'm wonderful and how do I do it, and in the next think I can't carry a ream of paper down the hall."

He has had no trouble finding housing and has been employed at the same school for many years. Recently he even acted as the responsible party in an application for a loan, and it was granted.

"We just applied for a loan and got it, which kind of thrilled me. The blindness didn't prevent the loan. I was thrilled just because it's fun to be on top."

He said the local 4-H program was in danger of having the city funds cut off a few years ago and he went to argue with the mayor. He was convincing and the funds did not get cut. But a week later, the mayor called and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry! I just learned that you are blind. If I had known that, I never would have argued with you!"

"After all, you shouldn't argue with a poor, helpless blind person; just say yes and do as you please, but don't take the blind man seriously. You see, he obviously felt that a blind man was helpless and since he's superior, he can't show anger," the teacher explained.

We also visited the California School for the Blind in Berkeley.

I asked, "Have you had trouble finding housing?" "No, never. I heard of a man who had trouble maybe thirty years ago, but nothing lately. People are much better educated than they were then."

Do students ever come back after graduation and complain about housing discrimination?" "Oh no. No trouble like that."

At this point, an eighth-grade student walked in and was told we were asking about housing discrimination. The teacher said to him "Have you ever had trouble like that? You, or your family?"

The student said, "Oh, sure."

"You have? Well, these are the people to talk to!" 

So he did:

"We have a fairly large family They think we can't take care of their house I think blind people can do it better Blind are super careful to do things right; to keep things in their proper place And even cleaning Like my sister takes off her shoes when she sweeps to make sure the floor is clean; sighted people use only their eyes."

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[Editor's Note:--The following letter was received recently by the editors of the Monitor. As you read it, bear in mind that the Industrial Home for the Blind is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Council (NAC) for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped. Also bear in mind that the longtime leader of the Industrial Home is none other than Dr. Peter Salmon, who has just finished a term as NAC president. Since NAC's beginning in 1966, a number of its board members both sighted and blind have been directors or board members of agencies doing work with the blind. It is not surprising perhaps, that a large percentage of these agencies have been accredited by NAC, apparently with little difficulty.

Perhaps it is also not surprising that many of these agencies are considered by the blind the people who know them firsthand to be among the worst in the field. The writer of the letter which follows wonders what an agency must do before it will be rejected for accreditation. Many of us have been wondering the same thing As Federationists read this letter, perhaps it will give emphasis to what is happening to blind people and to what must be done about it.]

June 24, 1973.

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: I am writing to you about one of the most respected agencies for the blind in the United States, the Industrial Home for the Blind. This agency affects the lives of approximately nine thousand blind people in Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It is the only agency to which the people in Brooklyn, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties can turn for help. The New York State Commission for the Blind assumes that IHB is giving adequate service to blind people and, therefore, purchases services for the blind from IHB rather than giving these services directly.

What kind of services do blind people receive from IHB? There is neither time nor space to answer this question in detail. However, there are some specific pieces of information which I would like to give you.

First, there are no blind people on the board of trustees, let alone clients of the agency. The Planning Committee, which makes all agency policies, is composed of the director of the agency and the heads of departments. Clients, of course, are not included. Furthermore, no mechanism has been developed by which workers who usually have contact with clients can give vital information to the Planning Committee. Visitors are not invited to the committee's meetings.

Information about pending legislation affecting the blind is not disseminated to either IHB staff or clients No mention has been made to this date of the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill now pending in the House Ways and Means Committee When demonstrations supporting passage of the rehabilitation legislation were being organized, IHB waited until the day before the demonstrations were to take place to arrange for a group of deaf-blind clients to attend. Most staff and no clients were informed except for a few who had been invited to attend. When staff members asked if they might go, they were refused on the basis that only a few people were needed to assist the deaf-blind clients.

At IHB it is understood that blind staff members may not join NFB. Recently a highly qualified professional worker was refused a job because she was known to be active in one of the NFB chapters in New York City.

IHB has a "Rehabilitation" Center in New Hyde Park Most clients in Suffolk County cannot use this important service because it is physically inaccessible to them. So, although they are theoretically within the service area, they cannot take advantage of the training which IHB offers. Out-of-town female trainees are housed in the "cottage" at Burwood. Burwood is located on the north shore of Long Island near Huntington, about sixty miles from the city. Female trainees are expected to go to bed at ten o'clock because at that hour the "housemother" who is in charge of them goes off duty. Like all of the IHB trainees, they are not allowed to leave the premises unaccompanied until they have been "cleared for travel" by the mobility instructor. All of their activities are observed and reported in great detail to their IHB rehabilitation counselor. Included in these reports are, for example, the hour at which the trainee awoke, what she had for breakfast, and what she did during the day to occupy her time.

Male out-of-town trainees live at the Gates Avenue Residence, which is located in one of the least desirable areas of the city. It really isn't safe for anybody to travel there, sighted or blind. The building is very old, dark, dirty, and in disrepair. Aside from occasional visits to an informal recreation program held in the IHB building in downtown Brooklyn, no provision is made for trainees' needs for recreation and human contact. IHB has a policy that an individual who is "not cleared for travel" cannot travel with another legally blind person, no matter what his travel skills may be, to any IHB facility. Trainees may never leave their residences without permission from the person in charge.

At the Rehabilitation Center, there is a "work exercise area," which consists of nut and bolt and plate assembly. This same assembly has been used for sixteen years. Nothing is ever produced, and everything is taken apart at the end of each day. Understandably, most clients do not like this training area very much.

Clients working in IHB shops are the only IHB employees who pay for their own Blue Cross. The shops are not air-conditioned, and in the summer when it gets very hot, most of the lights are turned off to keep the place a bit cooler. People with partial vision learn, I suppose, to function as if they had no vision at all.

Lastly, I want to tell you a little bit about the "Social Services Department." It is, perhaps, the most important department to the clients, because no client may receive a service from the agency without first being referred for that service by a "social worker." Whenever problems arise which interfere with the client's use of a service, the social worker is consulted and generally expected to solve the problem. Not only are most of the social workers undertrained but, more importantly, they are given no information about blindness or about available resources when they are hired. Very often, they are not given much information about the agency either. They are usually told about several books concerning blindness but are not required to read even these. These inexperienced, nonprofessional (usually sighted) workers are totally responsible for what happens to the client within the agency from the time of his first contact. They are expected to do counseling with people about the problems which blindness has created. They are supposed to determine which services are appropriate. Most of them do not even know of the existence of library services, other than the talking-book department of the local library. There is little opportunity to learn because turnover is so great. IHB salaries are two to three thousand dollars less than what is generally being paid to social workers in this area. So, social workers come and go, and very few remain long enough to gain knowledge and experience. During the time that one worker leaves and before another can be hired, the blind people living in that particular area may receive no service at all. This period often lasts for many months. Emergencies are not dealt with. Clients are not referred for services. New clients are not interviewed.

In closing I would like to comment that the former director of IHB is very active in NAC. It makes one wonder what an agency has to do to be refused accreditation.

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On May 10, 1973, a blind man on his way to work in Seattle boarded a morning bus with his dog guide. The driver told the blind man that he must pay a full fare for his dog guide, insisting that this fare must be paid between the hours of seven and nine in the morning and four and six in the evening. The driver was so demanding that the blind man paid full fare for his dog guide as well as for himself and took no further action. The conversation between the driver and the blind man was observed by a passenger who became concerned and later called Ellen Cote whom, she knew, worked in a law office. Mrs. Cote contacted Mr. Craiger at the Seattle Metropolitan Transit System who cited a regulation indicating that the bus driver was correct in charging a double fare.

Undaunted by the negative results of her first call, she turned to the Yellow Pages, found the number for the National Federation of the Blind of Washington, and dialed that number. Federation volunteer Oscar Mortenson discussed the situation with her and then suggested that Mrs. Cote call Ed Foscue, welfare chairman for the National Federation of the Blind of Washington. By noon that same Friday, Mrs. Cote had explained the situation to him. Shortly after one o'clock Ed Foscue called Mr. Craiger at the Metropolitan Transit System. He advised Mr. Craiger that he was recording the conversation and requested that he read the regulations to him. Not only did the regulations state that between the hours of seven and nine in the morning and four and six in the evening a blind person would be required to pay full fare for his dog guide, it also stated that a blind person with a dog guide would always be permitted on a bus except when there was another dog already on the bus.

Since apparently this was the regulation under which the drivers were supposed to be working, and since it was in direct violation of the White Cane Law of the State of Washington, Mr. Foscue asked for the name and telephone number of the Metropolitan Transit Systems attorney, and within a few minutes was talking to Attorney Bob Gunter. Mr. Foscue explained what had happened to the blind man and his dog guide and that the bus driver was apparently operating under regulations of the Metropolitan Transit Service which were in direct violation of the White Cane Law passed in 1969. Mr. Gunter was unfamiliar with the details of the White Cane Law so he was given the legal citation for the law. In the mail the next morning Mr. Foscue received a letter from Mr. Gunter explaining that the driver of that particular bus was apparently unaware that there was a change in the regulations several years ago which specifically stated that there would be no extra charge at any time for a blind person with a dog guide, nor would there be any time when a blind person with a dog guide would be refused entrance to the bus. Mr. Gunter also stated that if the name of the blind person could be determined, they would be happy to refund the fare paid for his dog. Unfortunately the efforts to find the name of this blind man have so far been unsuccessful. We believe, however, that this illustrates the fact that the National Federation of the Blind is ready to help any blind person and that many sighted people have learned where to turn when an injustice is being done to a blind person in the State of Washington.

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California, May 24, 1973.

Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: Attached is a copy of a letter I sent to KCBS Radio, San Francisco with the thought that it might have some general interest value In this letter I describe what I would label a typical contact with a typical agency "for " the blind. I am used to it, but decided this time to fight back, at least just a little. I believe that public exposure is the chief weapon we have against this patronizing treatment, and at times it does bear fruit. You may do what you wish with this letter and I will be happy to furnish whatever additional information I can about the problem if you should request it In any case I will let you know if there are any results.

It was a delight to hear a few of your spot announcements over KGO Radio, San Francisco. They were a pleasant contrast to the "be thankful you can see" junk put out by the agencies.

Very truly,


May 23, 1973.

KCBS Radio,
San Francisco, California.

DEAR MR. WILCOX: I listen to your program frequently and derive much valuable information from it which leads me to share with you a problem which has troubled me for some time. I don't know if it fits in your province, but here goes, anyway.

I became totally blind about two years ago and sought mobility training with the cane I was directed to Miss ------ of the [California] State Rehabilitation Service. She visited my home last August and told me that her agency would provide me with Braille-writing equipment, a Braille watch, a travel cane, mobility training, and a number of other items.

In September she returned to -------, bringing me a cane which proved defective and which I later returned to her and which she did not replace. With this cane she gave me mobility instruction on two consecutive days, informing me that what I really needed was two hours daily instruction for a couple of weeks, which she could not provide, but that she would most likely be able to give me a lesson about once every three weeks.

Next she phoned me from her motel, in November, to set up a lesson for the following day, "in the downtown area," as she put it. Unfortunately it rained so she drove me downtown where I cashed my State blind aid check of $215. Several weeks later she phoned me again at which time I asked about the Braille watch, and she informed me that I was not eligible for one because I "had an income." When I tried to prod her further on the matter she disconnected the phone connetion abruptly without ceremony. Later when I asked her if she would give me a watch if I had no income and was starving she said she would not, but would direct me to Welfare.

Miss ----------- phoned me again in late March of this year to set up a series of mobility lessons for the coming months, to begin in May. Not hearing from her, I sent her a postcard in mid-May, demanding mobility training and a Braille watch.

She showed up at my house today and observed my travel on the nearby sidewalks for about an hour. She asked me what problems I was having. I told her that less than two months ago I had wandered off the sidewalk into a busy street and was fearful of being hurt or possibly causing an accident. I told her I didn't feel proficient in downtown areas. She told me that I was doing better than average and she saw no importance in giving me any more training. She told me she would give me the name of an instructor who would give me further lessons at fourteen dollars per hour, or I could move to Albany, California, for eight months to attend the orientation training program for the blind. Since she visits ---------- frequently, and it is in --------- that I need the training, and since fourteen dollars an hour is rather steep for me, I do not understand why she made these suggestions.

I am telling you all this in the hope, that you can get for me some straight answers. Is what Miss -------- told me last August true, or is it true what she told me last November, or is what she told me today true? To whom among its blind citizens does the State provide a Braille watch? How is Miss -------- instructed to inform her clients of the services available from her agency? Have I fulfilled my obligation to seek adequate training to protect myself and others from my awkwardness as an untrained blind person? Are there funds available to defray the costs of a substitute mobility instructor?

I ask these questions not only for myself but for clarification for the public and for the sake of other blind persons in similar circumstances. The State provides Miss --------- with a car, travel expenses, motel accommodations, and other needs in her work, as well it should. I am compelled to ask, however, where are the funds to provide the appliances and services to the clients whom Miss --------- is supposed to serve, and for whose sake her job exists at all? It is my belief that money provided by the people for this program is being squandered by the State bureaucracy. Perhaps the public is not concerned, but I believe it has a right to be made aware of the result of my experience.

I thank you for your kind attention in this matter and your patience in following this rather lengthy presentation. Any help you can give to ameliorate this situation will be greatly appreciated.

Very truly,

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To the Officers of the ACB:

I am sorely troubled as I write this secret dispatch reporting my activities at our recent convention in Knoxville. Over the years ever since the glorious "Days of Infamy" in the early sixties I have grown close to the Council and its machinations. But the past year, filled though it was with villainy to please an old traitor's heart, has seen my position grow increasingly shaky: a number of my most sensitive memos have found their way into the pages of The M*n*t*r; I have been accused of treachery by persons with whom I've conspired for years; and this year my reputation was impugned on the floor of the convention itself, and by a Council officer! Yet more disturbing than any of these personal betrayals is my reluctant conclusion that the Council itself is far along the way to becoming like its hardworking spy—dead. I could see this plainly during the long week in Knoxville. I could sense it as I floated along the rafters of the huge eight-story lobby of the Hyatt Regency and watched the small groups of conventioners trying to act merry in facilities that dwarfed them. It reminded me of whistling in a graveyard.

In my opinion, the trouble is that we've lost our ability to fool anybody. We certainly couldn't fool that judge in Iowa, and I doubt if we fooled anyone at the convention. Not for want of trying, of course.

The convention agenda was a masterpiece: It listed activities from Sunday morning to Saturday evening. These began with the special seminar on "citizen participation," moved through three days of meetings of special-interest groups, and climaxed in the four days of convention sessions. This sounds great on paper. Let us leave unmentioned the fact that the attendance at the special-interest group meetings averaged fewer than ten.
The teachers group may have had fifteen.

The convention itself began Wednesday afternoon. The mayor of Knoxville named July 15-21 ACB Week in Knoxville. A representative from the Governor's Office declared ACB Week in Tennessee. He then awarded a Tennessee colonel's commission to "Durward McDaniel, president of the ACB.” Although technically inaccurate, this is true enough; but, to paraphrase John Dean, it's a lousy coverup.

The next agenda item, on the other hand, was excellent coverup. This was the report of the Credentials Committee. You remember the debacle we had last year: At the Portland convention Judge Robrahn reminded us of his wish (expressed at an earlier convention) to see forty ACB affiliates before his retirement. He then proudly claimed that we had forty-two affiliates. This was the leadoff to a rollcall which turned up delegates from only twenty-five. This year the matter was handled more carefully. Garland Dowling, chairman of the Credentials Committee, simply announced the rollcall. There were, he said, thirty-eight affiliates (a good thing Judge Robrahn retired when he did) represented by 294 delegates. He added that we now claim ten thousand members (I was glad to know what we were claiming this year). This was the end of his report. And only a spy with a memory would have thought anything of it. Next day when President Quails announced the formation of three new affiliates, who would stop to wonder how it was that forty-two plus three equals thirty-eight?

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to "Lobbying for Legislation," a panel discussion which, to anyone paying attention, compromised our credibility beyond repair. The main speaker was Bob Riley, Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas as well as newly elected NAC Board member what a guy! The trouble was that, while his talk was practical and knowledgeable, he used for an example of successful lobbying the passing of the white cane law in Arkansas. He claimed for us total credit for passing this legislation (the tenBroek model law, do you suppose?) despite the opposition of the NFB. With the straightest face in the world, Lieutenant Governor Riley warned us against those who, for reasons "best known to themselves," will not work with us on legislation. He urged us to work to keep their number at a minimum and to work for solidarity among ourselves. Now, who would be fooled by such talk? And who would be fooled by the treatment of the question asked at the end of the session by a shopworker in the Brooklyn Industrial Home for the Blind? This guy, in all innocence probably, asked how to counteract the effect of Lighthouse officials and other agency staff members who could drive up to Albany anytime, at no inconvenience, to oppose legislation favorable to their blind clients. What a question! The only truthful answer would be "offer the Council's support in return for names and addresses of their clients But the fast thinking master of ceremonies rephrased the question for those who hadn't heard it. This time it came out: What can we do about blind people who oppose our legislative efforts? This question had, of course, already been answered, so the meeting adjourned—barely in time if you ask me. There may have been three or four hundred people at this session, although the number dropped to a much safer 150 to 200 thereafter. This happens year after year, and yet my suggestion that we make this first session entirely ceremonial has never been taken seriously.

The Thursday session began with the president's annual report, followed on the schedule by performers and entertainers from the University of Tennessee. This arrangement was skillfully handled: the entertainers were to begin at 9:30 a.m.; the session began twenty minutes late, at 9:20 a.m.; so obviously the annual report could only be ten minutes long. Thus, rather than excerpting this for you, I am able to repeat everything mentioned in the report.

President Quails announced the formation of three new affiliates. They are the Nebraska Association of Workers for the Blind, the ACB of Indiana, and the Guide Dog Users, Inc. The guide-dog users association, of course, is just another one of the affiliates culled from already existing affiliates on Saturday there was one delegate voting for both the Guide Dog Users and the Colorado affiliate. I believe we have seven of these dummy affiliates now, and we may have to rely ever more heavily on this tactic in the future. Maybe we could accept agencies as affiliates. The Nebraska Association of Workers for the Blind sounds like a good first step toward direct affiliation of professional agencies (we also have the District of Columbia Association of Workers for the Blind). And yet I question the advisability of making our agency connections so overt. Much craftier is the move of the Indiana group in calling themselves the ACB of Indiana. And there is the ACB of Maryland and, I think, one other. This is bound to confuse a good many people who may know of another organization of the blind which links its name to each State name in that way. But back to the president's annual report Floyd went on to thank all the people who had helped him get his work done during the last year. He concluded by assuring the convention that we are keeping the pace we've set for ourselves. Then the University of Tennessee entertainers rolled in a piano, and the report was over. I for one was glad that whatever it is we're doing, we're at least keeping up our pace.

The rest of the morning was spent on the play-reading "Sir Francis Campbell, Father of Modem Rehabilitation" a talk by Robert Smithdas on the National Center for Deaf-blind Youths and Adults--during which, alas, he referred to us as an agency--and a talk by the head of services for the blind in Tennessee. The afternoon was devoted to trips to "the Top of Old Smokey and other tourist attractions in the vicinity

On Friday morning we had another string of speakers, notable for the safe blandness of their topics (for example, "Music City Soundtrack" and another talk on adult education of the blind). The afternoon was then devoted entirely to what was clearly a major event of the convention. The topic was "Seminar on National Health Insurance Legislation." Now, I have no criticism of the seminar itself, but what a giveaway! For this was not a seminar on Federal disability insurance for the blind, but on the Kennedy bill to replace private health insurance with Federal health insurance; and not just for the blind, but for the general public.

The meeting was chaired by Durward McDaniel, in his only extended convention appearance, and it turned out that the three-hour session was to prepare the delegates for a resolution to be presented the next day. This resolution would add the name of the ACB to the list of supporters of the Kennedy National Health Insurance bill. This list, we were informed, contained such legitimate organizations as the AFL-CIO and the American Dental Association. Puzzling as all this might have seemed to an outsider, I realized at once that Durward was simply following the prime directive: "Survive at any cost, if only on paper." And yet to be so blatant about the thing. In introducing the staff member from the Committee for National Health Insurance, who ran the session, Durward declared that this bill was the most important insurance legislation pending for the blind. This assumed that no one in the audience had heard of the NFB's bill H.R. 6554, which is the first step to obtaining for blind people a permanent insurance payment from the Federal Government. Was this a safe assumption?

Nor did Durward say a word when the young lady presenting the program trotted out this reason for supporting her bill: she said that blind people know what it is like to have an employer turn them down for jobs because the blind raise employers' insurance rates. From time to time I read The M*n*t*r (to see if my leaked reports are quoted correctly), and this magazine tells me that the blind do not have more accidents than sighted people, nor do they get sick more often. Besides all this, insurance rates for employers are not determined on the basis of individual employees, so her statement is false on the face of it, reflecting an amazing lack of knowledge about the law and insurance practices, but one which might be expected under the circumstances. Anyone who knew this might think we would do better to pressure insurance companies (not that we ever would) than to involve ourselves in a lobbying campaign for legislation of no specific benefit to the blind. But I may be hypersensitive, because no one did think this. Even when the speaker mentioned that Durward had sat in on their planning sessions for nearly a year, no one minded. I guess they realized that lobbying for 2-for-l airfares wouldn't take all his time.

We now have representatives on the NAC Board (as well as being an official sponsor of that organization), the board of the American Foundation, the National Advisory Committee for the Blind, and National Industries for the Blind; and we support National Health Insurance. If we only had a program and a few more members.

As to the banquet, perhaps the least said the better. After last year's fiasco, featuring Walt Disney and no substance, I would have thought we might have changed tactics. Bread and circuses may have been all right for the Romans, but the Romans aren't around any more--besides which, the bread wasn't that good, and neither was the circus. Anyway, this year's banquet was the same old business--or, to be more precise it wasn't business at all, being another case of bread and circus. Mind you, I think Archie Campbell did a creditable job as master of ceremonies, all things being considered. There is something singularly appropriate about having a master of ceremonies who played the Grandpa on a discontinued show called "The Hee Haws."

Then, there was the main speaker—a Dr. Andrew Holt, formerly president of the University of Tennessee. He was folksy and witty and made a lot of talk about "being your own cobalt bomb," and other such things to stimulate one and all to be dynamic But blindness? Well, of course, he didn't know anything about it; but that was no problem since the entire banquet was wholly taken up with entertainment. If we have more bread and circuses next year, I would suggest that we at least try to improve the bread. It's getting to the place that our whole convention is one big loaf, and we're running out of dough.

Saturday was devoted to internal business. This began with proposed changes to the bylaws and the constitution. One proposal was to remove the clause in the constitution restricting more than one person from a State from holding a position on the board of directors. Another proposal would have removed the same restriction with regard to the publications board. These changes grew out of our reluctant recognition that the Council may one day exist only in Oklahoma. The whole matter was poorly handled. Had we been frank with the delegates they would surely have gone along. They would see that with a fourteen-member board of directors we would always need at least fourteen State affiliates. And since we are gradually moving over to the special interest group- dummy-affiliate system, we will soon be stuck. And yet I also realize that frankness was not possible it is the worst policy almost always. The members didn't get the message, and they defeated both proposals--despite Don Nold's compromise motion on the second proposal that maybe we could restrict the number from a single State to two (then, next year, three; et cetera). He at least got the idea, I think.

The resolutions followed this minor failure. Since the resolutions determine policy and goals for the coming year, this was a most delicate part of the session. Just the right blend of forceful statements and meaningless purposes must be achieved so that we may pretend to high goals and still snuggle up to the agency interests which, seen realistically, are the enemies of those goals. With a single exception, the resolution session ran smoothly. The first resolution empowered the officers to set in motion a massive fundraising drive. There were dark hints about our precarious financial position hints which were to haunt us later in the meeting and the resolution passed. The second resolution added our name to the list of supporters of the Kennedy National Health Insurance bill. Needless to say, this passed.

The third resolution was our traditional one—renewing our total dedication to gaining 2-for-l airfares for the blind and their companions. Need I report the vote? It passed without comment. The next two resolutions concerned the deaf-blind—one of our recent, intensive interests, and one of our safest. The first had to do with supporting deaf-blind centers (my memory is hazy here); the second made it our goal to get the deaf-blind included in all legislation benefiting the blind. Who would argue with that?

The sixth resolution dealt with an Institute for Special Education in some manner. My attention during this one was diverted by anticipation of the next resolution: a subtle and brilliantly handled contribution of our affiliate, the so-called National Association of Blind Teachers. The resolution began very sensibly. It was pointed out that school boards do not believe that blind teachers can control a classroom. What is necessary, it was stated, is that school administrators see the blind teachers in action. Fine, so far. Now here is our solution, passed by the convention: Every blind teacher's prospectus should include videotapes of his student teaching! I gather we have now committed ourselves to work for videotaping equipment to follow every blind student teacher through his practice teaching. It strikes me that school administrators might prefer blindness to videotaping teams. Still, I have nothing but admiration for the author of this resolution. The Whereas clauses sound as if we were going to fight stereotypes in the minds of school officials—an unpleasant prospect—but the resolving clauses commit us to something much simpler because improbable and silly. This successful resolution was followed by the one unalloyed triumph of the convention.

The eighth resolution dealt with consumer participation. Now, we have never had any problems with this because I don't remember that it ever occurred to us to oppose an agency action. But events have forced us to take a stand on the issue. The matter obviously called for the most careful handling, which is what it received.

The background for the resolution was the much-touted special seminar, held earlier in the week, on "citizens participation" (a term we prefer to "consumer participation" as being appropriate to the confusion we wish to spread about its meaning). The seminar was led by Reese Robrahn, our general agency liaison (board member of NAC and the AFB). The National Accreditation Council claims that consumers of agencies providing services to the blind may be defined as—roughly—anyone: blind or sighted, client or professional, the average taxpayer. This refutes the absurd contention of our opponents that consumers of agencies serving the blind are blind people "consuming" the services. I imagined that Judge Robrahn would simply stick to the NAC stand, but I was pleasantly surprised. Having changed the term from "consumer" to "citizen" participation, he branched out from there. "Citizen participation" is achieved when blind clients receive services from agencies. They are participating. What more could they want? Isn't that subtle? Isn't it a truly brilliant extension of the concept?

Judge Robrahn further intimated that if we count all of the blind people presently serving as agency officials, then the blind are well represented already. I hope you see the logic of this: Bob Barnett is director of the AFB; Bob Barnett is blind; therefore the blind have a consumer representative right in the heart of the AFB and NAC.

Judge Robrahn's report was presented before the reading of the eighth resolution, which proposed the formation of a Consumer Committee. True to our new definition of participation, the committee's function would be to inform blind people of the services they could receive from agencies. This was well received and the program moved on, having solved the consumer problem with a project we can really get behind.

The ninth and final resolution was not so successful. In fact, things went downhill from this point. The resolution referred the delegates to an article, which appeared in the Forum, condemning the existence of the numbers game in rehabilitation agencies. The article stressed that individual needs are ignored in the race to achieve the greatest number of case closures. I blanched as I heard the resolution read. Here was not only a worthy purpose, but an unbelievably dangerous one. The resolution actually criticized rehabilitation counselors. But this was its downfall. A rehab counselor immediately stood up to condemn the intemperate language of the resolution and to suggest that it be reworded or, better yet, tabled. This provoked heated discussion on the floor: The consensus was that while the numbers game does exist, we must be constructive and positive, not critical. The resolution was sent back to committee.

Barring the narrow escape on the last resolution, I think you must agree that the session was a triumph. I invite you to review these resolutions—in effect, our policy for the next year—and try to find anything which would either jeopardize our role of mascot to agency interests or involve us in tedious worthwhile endeavors. Unfortunately the combative mood which defeated the last resolution carried over to the treasurer's report, which followed soon after.

I am still troubled by the uproar which followed the treasurer's report, and not because of my personal humiliation during the floor fight. Last year there was no treasurer's report at all. This year there was a report, but no one was satisfied by it. The report was simplicity itself: we had receipts during the year totaling forty thousand dollars (these figures are rounded off), we had expenditures totaling twenty-seven thousand dollars. Treasurer Ed Miller summarized by saying: "We are not flush, and we are not broke." I was startled by the shoestring image this gave of our operations, and wondered what this budget was supposed to have covered. The delegates, on the other hand, declared that they were being frightened with tales of desperate financial straits, but being denied the details. They demanded to know where the money came from, where it went, and what unpaid bills we still have. This shocked me a good deal. Who did they think they were? Then, in the midst of the fight, the ACB secretary came to the podium and said: "I haven't heard from Benedict Arnold lately, but I don't care to see our finances in the pages of The Monitor." I could scarcely believe my ears. Surely the ACB secretary is aware of where my allegiance lies. I was on the point of identifying myself and pointing out that the leaking of my reports to The Monitor was not my doing.

Now, after the event, I can grudgingly admire the quick thinking which realized that something was needed to stop the questions of the delegates. And if a loyal colleague must be thrown to the dogs, so be it. I can understand that, I say; but the injury remains.

Also--it didn't work. The delegates fumed; there were speeches about "our people's movement"; and threats of withdrawal from the Council. And in the end it was decided that a more detailed report would be sent to any bona fide Council member who writes and requests it—a pledge we may regret.

The convention finally settled down, and we sat back for the report of our national representative, Durward McDaniel. By this time, however, the afternoon was almost over, and the report had to be cut short (funny that that happened with the president's report as well, and all but two or three of the committee reports had to be omitted for the same reason). Durward said he had time only to mention the legislation concerning the blind which had come before Congress. He meant this literally. Here is a sample "mention": "And then there is H.R. 6554, the Disability Insurance bill. Most of you know about this; or maybe you don't." And that was that. He spent some time on 2-for-l airfares, assuring us that this is the year for that to pass.

Legislation out of the way, we waited for  Durward's yearly prediction for the Council--always a highpoint. We hoped for a message filled with optimism, like last year's report. I can still remember Durward's stirring prediction that the ACB would become "the most important organization in the United States with the word blind in the title." (Also I remember the confident announcement of the lawsuit against the Iowa Commission. Of course the lawsuit was not likely to be mentioned this year, considering its course so far, and this was the case.) He said he knew that we had been hearing about the Council's troubles during the past year. And yet, despite all of this, it is his belief that the ACB "will be around for a while." Poor Durward, ever the exaggerator.

Respectfully submitted,


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Chief, ACB Plumbers Unit

In accordance with instructions I attended the convention of the American Council of the Blind to conduct intelligence activities. Where are the leaks coming from? How can they be bugged?

The comments which I shall make concerning the ACB convention are presented at random and in no particular order. They are meant to provide data for your use in preparing whatever reports or evaluations you may choose to make.

My surveillance of the special interest groups was thorough indeed. These groups are practically nonexistent. The Student group had its second annual meeting, but is still in the organizational stage (they do not have the twenty-five members necessary for affiliation). There were five or six students at their meeting, and similar numbers at the other divisional meetings. The ACB's so-called World Council of Blind Lions met in conjunction with the Knoxville Lions and thus, no estimate of their size was possible. My major regret was that 1 missed the special seminar on "citizen participation," which was held Sunday night. It must have been quite an event. I first learned about it on Wednesday when I finally obtained a printed program. Until then all that was available was a mimeographed sheet which did not list the seminar (and, in fact, listed the convention as beginning Thursday). Being a cautious agent, I was necessarily restricted in my use of recording and photographic equipment—all that is, except the most sophisticated.

Of my reporting of the convention itself, I committed to memory mainly those portions which I thought pertinent to my purpose there. This was very easy to do (much more so than last year). The contrast between the two conventions was very marked. Last year there was a great deal of spirit and aggressiveness. This year there was an equal amount of disinterest and a sort of repressed uneasiness. There were many unspecific remarks about the troubles of the Council: particularly money troubles. But the bulk of the convention agenda items were utterly uncontroversial (a two-hour play reading, a program on country music, paper topics which were mainly descriptive of professional trends in education or service programs). Discussions and reports concerning the Council itself were so few and so brief that I could commit them fully to memory. The president's report was ten minutes long; Durward McDaniel left himself time barely to mention legislation by name. He did not discuss any of his extralegislative activities, nor did he make great claims for the future of the Council. The contrast with his behavior last year was stark: he hoped this year that the Council "will be around for a while." His delivery of this gave the impression that he wishes he were sure of it On the basis of this convention, the Council is quickly running out of steam.

Some miscellaneous tidbits: The ACB attempted to organize an affiliate in Pennsylvania, but the effort failed. The ACB membership chairman, Alice Bankston, of Washington, travelled to Montana to attempt to organize an affiliate there. She mentioned that Kenny Richardson had joined the ACB as a member-at-large, and will be disappointed if he is not expelled from the NFB. Miss Bankston ended her report with her resignation, unexplained. George Card was present at the convention but barely. I have never seen anyone who looked in worse health. He played no role in the sessions at all.

Here are two items which may have meaning to you. I did not have any reason at the time to make anything out of these incidents, but with proper background, they might be useful should either of these guys try getting out of line

1. During the questions following the session "Lobbying for Legislation" Don Nold asked if the panel thought it "fair" that riders could be added to legislation which had nothing to do with the main  legislation. He seemed to have some grievance in mind, but didn't explain. Maybe he remembers that in June 1972 Congress passed a twenty-percent increase in retirement and disability benefits, and made it "veto-proof" by attaching it as a rider to a required increase in the national debt ceiling. Or perhaps it was the increases in Supplemental Security Income and the 5.9-percent increase in social security, both of which were attached as a rider to the Contract Renegotiation Act Amendments of 1973. Unfair?

2. Before the proposed constitutional changes were presented, on Saturday, a bylaw change was proposed which would require persons to join the affiliate in their State if one existed, rather than belong to the Council as a national member at large. This was defeated. One speaker against it was Lyle Williams who again stressed that in Iowa, Council members were constantly in fear of retribution from the Commission. I seem to remember that he has been supported by the Commission through all of his mischief, but I leave this to you to make something of if you wish.

Be assured, General Arnold, that I will follow you if you should decide (as once before) to shift allegiance. My loyalty is absolutely steadfast and unswerving.

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[Editor's Note.—B. T. Kimbrough, managing editor of Dialogue magazine, taped an interview with Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, at the NFB Convention in New York City. The following is a transcription of that interview.]

Mr. KIMBROUGH. When I was at the station with you on Monday [this was a radio program called "Out of Sight" during which Al Sperber, the program's blind host, interviewed President Jernigan and Mr. Kimbrough] taping this broadcast that we did, I was constantly in mind of something you said to Al Sperber the day--before  whenever you talked to him--which was about being in the middle of the road and how if you're in the middle of the road you get run over, or whatever it was you said to him. It put me in mind of something Biblical, which is—you know: if you're not for me you must, by virtue of that, be against me. Is that a proper way to phrase how you feel about people who are not members of the National Federation of the Blind people who are blind?

President JERNIGAN. No.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Okay. In what way isn't that a proper inference?

President JERNIGAN. Well, because there are two kinds of situations in the world, it seems to me: One of them is the Scylla-Charybdis one; and the other is the American-truck driver one. Now, we in this time seem to have come to sort of rely on a generalization that it's very virtuous to be in the middle of the road—that it is always a great thing. You don't want to go to extremes. Nobody wants to be an extremist. Don't be too hot; don't be too cold, don't be too tall, don't be too short. By all means be a middle-of-the-road man. Well, that's fine if you have, as in old Greek mythology, Scylla and Charybdis, so that if you get on one side Scylla gets you and if you get on the other side Charybdis gets you. But it's a terrible thing if you're driving a truck. If you're in the middle of the road all you do is get squished and you're a hazard to the traffic on both sides of you. All I'm saying is that the problems confronting the blind today are so compelling, and they affect blind people in their daily living so vitally, that it is hard for me to see how any self-respecting blind person who has an opportunity to know the facts can feel it virtuous to say that he's not "aligned" or, rather, that he's not on anybody's "side." For these things are not matters of opinion; such as, is red more desirable than green. These are matters of basic principle. So that if you're dealing with, let us say, the mayor of a large city and with a gangster chief you're not very virtuous by saying: well, I'm going to compromise and see if I can be in the middle of the road between them.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. During the broadcast on Monday you mentioned fifty thousand members.

President JERNIGAN. Yes.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. --of the National Federation

President JERNIGAN. I did.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. That's been the figure mentioned numerous times during the NAC demonstration in Chicago, et cetera.

President JERNIGAN. Yes.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Now, since you referred to churches on Monday, I'm going to bring them up in this connection. In all the churches I've been in there have been two classifications: one was the number of members on the roll, and the other was the number of members who were at all active. Do you imagine that all fifty thousand people on the—who are part of the statistic you cite—are active NFB members?

President JERNIGAN. You mean by active do they participate and fully buy all tenets of the philosophy and do they go to all chapter meetings every month, or whenever; do they read all literature and are they in every way model members, or do you mean do they take some part?

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, do they take some regular part. I think I mean a little of both extremes. Model members--you didn't say you had fifty thousand of---  

President JERNIGAN. No, I didn't.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. But in saying that you had fifty thousand members, it seems to me that you imply that you have fifty thousand people who rally to the cause at sometime during a given year.

President JERNIGAN. I believe that's true. But I believe that we do not have fifty thousand people with equal dedication. But we know we have about two thousand, don't we, because we have that many at this Convention. Now, we have---  

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Two thousand and fifty thousand--there's a considerable disparity, of course.

President JERNIGAN. Oh, sure. But if you go to the Republican or Democratic conventions, assuming that we ever have any more of those, I believe that you'll find the ratio here quite good. That is, not every Democrat goes to the Democratic national convention, and not every Republican. So, I think that this is indicative. That is, if we say that we have fifty thousand members and if two thousand of those members will go all the way to New York City to show up at Convention, that's one out of twenty-five. You can certainly count on the fact that you've got a lot more back home who didn't come.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. One Of the Federationists mentioned to me that he had a certain number of active people on his roll—I'll pull a figure out of a hat—let's say five hundred—and that he had a list of maybe two thousand people who at one time had been a member of his chapter; and I asked him—and he couldn't answer—which of those two lists is calculated in computing how many National Federation of the Blind members there are. Which list would you suppose is the one used?

President JERNIGAN. I don't accept your basic tenet. That is, I don't deny that he said that to you and that you said that to him. But since we are a people's movement, you can go out and get somebody at this Convention to say most anything you want to get him to say. And I'm not suggesting that you tried to load any questions or got him to say anything. I only suggest that you can get somebody to say anything. I know what I use in calculating the fifty thousand and it's not—you see I can't start from the premises that you set up. I can tell you that my best estimate of the people who are actively now members of the National Federation of the Blind is that we have something over fifty thousand members. Now, why do I put it like that—something over? People die in our local chapters and I don't know that they die, the day they die. They're members of the National Federation by virtue of the fact that they are members of the local chapters. People come in every day, and I don't know that they've joined. We cannot be sure when a man quits. We do not do as some of the American Council of the Blind affiliates allegedly do; that is, if a man joins, he's on the rolls until he asks to have his name taken off and then may be kept on the rolls. I think that's despicable behavior and we don't do that. What we do is that we have current membership lists, and people pay membership dues—they're small—but they have to indicate that they want to be members.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. You did say estimate and---

President JERNIGAN. Oh, yes.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Somebody may raise a question that he's the President of the organization, why does he have to estimate his membership?

President JERNIGAN. And I just told you.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. I'll accept that. You said on Monday during the broadcast that the American Council of the Blind is an organization of approximately one-fortieth the size of the National Federation.

President JERNIGAN. Well, I was charitable and kind.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Now that mathematics, which I labored long and hard upon, brings me to the conclusion that in your mind the American Council of the Blind must have a membership somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,030 people.

President JERNIGAN. Ohhhh—I don't think that I'd stick with that entirely. That's an estimate too. I expect that they have a thousand or two thousand members. And I suspect that those members are also as dedicated or nondedicated as you find in other places, which is some of those aren't cash customers, probably. I also say that it's more difficult to know about the American Council since at least in the State that I'm familiar with, in Iowa, they hold closed meetings, behind locked doors. They held their convention in June. A reporter, just as you are, went out and tried to get in. They refused to let him in. They had a policeman with a badge on and a gun on his hip guarding the door, and wouldn't let the reporter in. But, the best estimates we have for that convention were that this fine organization had about thirty-five people present, maybe forty, at their "State" convention, whereas the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa had its convention a couple of weeks before that and it had several hundred members present and every meeting was wide open. Anybody can come and go. And as you know, you've been at our meeting here at the National Federation of the Blind Convention and nobody has barred you from access to anything.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. I'd be the first to complain long and loud if they did. Now, I've got about ten of these and I'd like to get to as many of them as we can, so I'll be glad to keep them as short as you want to.

President JERNIGAN. All right.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. I just want to throw this one in. Somebody said that during testimony in connection with an Illinois resolution that would have the National Federation of the Blind conduct a study of State services-that's the source—one of the Federation people there said that in Iowa there is an advisory committee composed of Federationists, and didn't mention any representation on the committee of Council members. Now, that led me to wonder whether in Iowa a person is governmentally penalized for not being a member of the NFB of Iowa.

President JERNIGAN. He is not.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. You don't care to go any further?

President JERNIGAN. Oh, I care to go further if you want me to. In Iowa a person receives services regardless; and, as a matter of fact, one of the principal people in Iowa who has been trying to destroy me every way he can—attacking me—has received a great deal of service from us and continues to do so. And I have repeatedly said to our staff members, and I have repeatedly said publicly, whatever I may think individually of a person's political motivations or his activities, if he's blind and he's entitled to our services, he'll get the services. Period.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. That covers the recipient aspect. How about the advisory committee?

President JERNIGAN. Oh, Good Lord, the Council won't speak to us—us meaning the Iowa Commission for the Blind—and the Council will have nothing to do with us. I just got through telling you that they lock the doors. I'd be glad to go to their convention. They won't let me. I'd be glad to have them come and visit me. They won't.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Okay. This is another subject entirely. You said, and I think the philosophy of the organization says, for the most part, psychiatrists and people who deal in mental disorders are not relevant to general services for the blind; that is, that they're not relevant to your average, typical agency or to vocational rehabilitation. Now, if I'm wrong, correct me in a minute. But on the other hand I notice the frequent use of such words as "bad temper" and "bad grace" in your responses to agencies, which means that you're bringing emotional matters into an area which I understand you to be saying should be dealt with much more with intellect than with emotion. What I'm really asking you is why do you think that bad temper and bad grace are at all relevant in your dealings, let's say, with the National Accreditation Council.

President JERNIGAN. A man ought to try to behave like a gentleman and with civility and like a civilized human being, if he can. I admit that some of the people you refer to may have difficulty in understanding that concept. I don't think that has anything to do with psychiatrists or psychologists. Good manners were around, and bad manners, long before there were psychiatrists in the world; boors were around and people who were courteous were around, long before there were professionals. The two things have nothing to do with each other. It's as if you told me that you wanted to talk to me about the weather forecast and that that had relevance to what I had for breakfast.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Okay. In the interest of time I'll just move on. To what degree would NFB's feelings about NAC apply to other major accrediting agencies, let's say, in the field of schools and hospitals? To what degree are the objections to NAC general objections about the accrediting process that goes on anywhere in the country?

President JERNIGAN. We believe that accreditation is a fine tiling, if it's done objectively and if it's done reasonably. We believe, as a matter of fact, that schools for the blind ought to be accredited and ought to meet standards from the regular secondary school associations or whatever accrediting body accredits other schools. We have no objection to accreditation. We only have objection to accreditation without representation.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Is there the kind of representation you're alluding to precedented anywhere else in the accrediting process—hospitals, schools, and other agencies that get accreditation?

President JERNIGAN. I don't think that hospitals are relevant and I think that with respect to schools you're dealing very often with children—except when you get into colleges, and even there you're dealing with a student population-type thing—and, as was pointed out this morning by Dr. Wilson, there are choices in schools and hospitals. In services for the blind you have such an overall, blanket-type situation that you're not dealing with a comparable thing. We think that there ought to be accreditation and we think that such accreditation can come from regular accrediting bodies. We think that has nothing to do with what NAC is because NAC we regard more as a management tool to try to suppress consumer rights. And that's a different matter. It's not truly accreditation. It represents itself as such. It's something else.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, perhaps in the last sentence you did address yourself to the thrust, which is, has any accreditation process been established with the kind of representation that you're talking about?

President JERNIGAN. I don't know; but I think it isn't relevant. Because you see I don't think any other accreditation process that has been established is of such a monopoly nature and is used in such a way that it tries to grind people under. I think NAC is a vicious, insidious thing. That's what I think.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. You've alluded, in The Monitor at least, to certain accreditations that came just at the time NFB, or some local arm of NFB, was fighting against a particular agency. Is that meant to be an accusation that NAC is indulging purposely in trying to aid such agencies by accrediting them and giving them some positive "p.r." when they might need it most?

President JERNIGAN. Oh, I don't think I've said that in The Monitor, in the first place.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. I'm talking specifically about the Minneapolis situation. There was mention in The Monitor that along comes NAC just during the fight and accredits the Minneapolis Society.

President JERNIGAN. Are they accredited? I don't think they are accredited. I don't know. Maybe they are. I think you're barking up the wrong tree. I don't know what you're talking about. What I did say was that, well, I don't know that I said it, I think there was discussion in The Monitor about NAC—maybe they are accredited— it doesn't matter for these purposes—I believe that the Minneapolis Society is a repressive agency and I believe that it has the general philosophy that NAC advocates. I'm sure that NAC would help it. So, if I didn't make that accusation and you'd like me to, I will.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, you know perfectly well that my desires in this are not relevant but I did want to make sure that I knew just what you were and weren't saying.

President JERNIGAN. Well, I hope I made that clear.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. It seems like you did.

President JERNIGAN. Okay.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. NFB has been termed a movement. A number of the people who were in the hall this morning said it's more than an organization, it's a movement.

President JERNIGAN. I have termed it a movement.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. To what extent do you think that a movement is likely to depend more upon emotionalism than an organization would in matters where disciplined intelligence is most relevant to it?

President JERNIGAN. Well, I think that in the long run—and the NFB has been around a long time, since 1940—a movement cannot depend upon emotion to the exclusion of intelligence and be viable. NFB is viable and growing as you've seen. It has adherents. Implicit in your question is a fallacy and that is that emotion is necessarily devoid of intelligence and intelligence of emotion. I believe that intelligence cannot truly be intelligence unless it has with it some emotion. Intelligence which treats with fine impartiality the death of a child or the building of an automobile is not intelligence.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Now, in trying to reform the National Accreditation Council there are no doubt some long-range goals about what you would like to see the Council be? Not just the short-range goals of how many board members shall represent the organized blind.

President JERNIGAN. That isn't short-range.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well perhaps it isn't in terms of when it shall come about, but no doubt—as I am sure you can see what I am saying—there are other goals beyond that.

President JERNIGAN. No there aren't. You must understand my position. Even if people make the wrong decisions, it is better for people to govern themselves than to have people governing them who make the right decisions. The very key part of democracy is the process of democracy.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. All right. As leader of an organization which is currently involved in a forceable struggle with NAC —

President JERNIGAN. Gentle persuasion, I would term it—

Mr. KIMBROUGH. You must certainly have some ideas on what you would ultimately like NAC to be: Yes or no.

President JERNIGAN. Yes.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. NAC has been spoken of as potentially a police force which would make it a policy to penalize agencies, perhaps even use its force to drive them out of business. Would you like to see the National Accreditation Council be a tool to be used against agencies that members of the NFB would like to see destroyed?

President JERNIGAN. Not in the context that you ask the question. No.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. In perhaps a more refined context that you'd care to elaborate on?

President JERNIGAN. Not in a refined context that you ask the question—that is, if it is going to exist at all, it should be an agency that operates openly and fairly. It shouldn't simply be an exclusive club which has a lot of people on it who are not knowledgeable in the field, and a few agency directors and spokesmen who in reality call the shots. And NAC should not end up accrediting all the agencies of its board members—where they are involved in agencies—and then spread out from there to agencies that cooperate with it. NAC should deal with real services of agencies and it doesn't matter whether NFB likes a given agency or whether an agency does. But the NFB isn't going to dislike an agency if that agency performs good services for the blind. You know, the test is not do we find an agency and dislike it.

The question is does an agency perform good services for the blind. If it does, if it gives good services, then the NFB is going to like it.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. NFB publishes a magazine, a monthly magazine. The Braille Monitor

President JERNIGAN. The biggest circulation in the field—

Mr. KIMBROUGH. When news events are covered in The Monitor, very often those events are reported on by people who are members of the National Federation of the Blind—

President JERNIGAN. I should hope to tell you.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Right Well, the question is simple: Do you thus consider The Monitor an objective source of news?

President JERNIGAN. We consider The Monitor a truthful source of news, and if the truth is objective, then we're objective—it would follow.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, there's a semantics game involved.

President JERNIGAN. No semantics game at all. We tell the truth, as we believe the truth is, as best we can understand the truth and I do not believe—you see, that goes back to your middle-of-the-roader—I do not believe a man can be objective if he doesn't understand, and I believe if a blind person truly understands what's involved—or for that matter, a sighted person—I happen to believe enough in right and justice to believe that he's likely going to ally himself to the things we are talking about. They're as basic as democracy itself.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. I'm sure that you do know that very few, if any, newspapers would accept a story about the National Federation of the Blind if it were written by a Federationist.

President JERNIGAN. I don't know that at all. For many of them do and they know that it's written by a Federationist So, I just don't know that at all.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Policy of newspapers is to hire their own reporters and to tell their own stories.

President JERNIGAN. And also to print news releases when they come from organizations.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, the question is, really whether you think that there is a need among the blind of objective reporting that does not come from any organization involved in the stories being reported on.

President JERNIGAN. But, you see, you've made mutually exclusive statements. That is, you have implied that to be objective, reporting cannot come from an organization. And I don't accept your basic premise. I believe there's a need for objective reporting, yes. And I believe that that means, among other things, that The Braille Monitor does just that.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Dr. Jernigan, would you accept a report on legislative matters if it were submitted by the man who sponsored the bill involved in the story?

President JERNIGAN. I very often do. And look, while you're on the subject, you have now condemned NAC, whether you recognize it or not, because we're expected and asked to take their evaluation of what happens when they're one side of a controversy and, therefore, I assume they shouldn't be reporting on anything because they can't be objective since they're part of it. Therefore, we'd also, I assume, not be able to have any American newspapers reporting on international events because we're not Russians or Chinese. And as a matter of fact, we couldn't have Russians or Chinese reporting either. So we ought to get somebody from outside the solar system to report news events. It is possible to be objective and still be allied with a side.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Okay. I think I have what you mean.

President JERNIGAN. And I you

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Do you want to add anything?

President JERNIGAN. Oh, I think I've said all I can say on that.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, what I'm saying is that's all of my prepared questions. Did I not ask anything that you would like to—or that you would just as soon say in front of this microphone, or are you satisfied to call it quits there?

President JERNIGAN. I think that the National Federation of the Blind is the voice of the blind of this country. I think that more and more blind people are coming to recognize that. I think that it's understandable that a number of the more reactionary agencies in the field have attacked us because we're a threat to their power—power which they have no right to have in the first place over the lives of blind people. And I believe that the future is ours. I believe that our meetings are open and objectively conducted and that everybody can have his say in them.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Okay. It's been a real pleasure for me to have the opportunity to talk with you in the middle of your biggest show. I also appreciate your invitation to me to become a Federationist.

President JERNIGAN. I would say that I have invited you to be a Federationist with all that that implies. Which is to say to join us in the movement and to become part of the cause Otherwise, I certainly wouldn't want you to be a Federationist in name or simply as a formality.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Well, I guess you've brought to mind one question that I'd just as soon ask, if I have the tape left.

President JERNIGAN. Trot it out.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Going back to what we said in the beginning about being for or being against. Would you assume that since I have not joined, and will not join—while I am here in New York—your organization, that it will not be possible for me to write what you would consider to be a fair story on this Convention?

President JERNIGAN. I don't know that—no, I would not assume that. But I would assume something else. That since you are part of Dialogue magazine; and since Dialogue magazine seems to me to be very biased in its reporting usually; and since it, all things to the contrary notwithstanding, seems to many of us to lean toward the ACB; and since Don Nold, who has been a long time associated with it, has been part and parcel of ACB; I would assume that that might preclude objectivity on your part, but it might not, too. I don't know. I'll wait and see with interest what you write. If you write objectively, more power to you.

Mr. KIMBROUGH. Thank you.

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Watertown, Massachusetts. July 30. 1973.

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

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: As I listened to your paper at the recent AAWB Meeting in Cleveland, I confess mixed thoughts on your subjects, which I want to share with you.

Of the Florida and Ohio problem, not knowing all the facts, I readily accept your side of the story.

For the AFB and NAC and all other agencies serving the blind, I also accept and admit we do not do enough for the visually handicapped nor can we ever achieve the satisfaction "there is nothing more to do." Again, I take no issue with your pursuit for better and more services for the visually handicapped; however, please try not to confuse or destroy the public confidence in our efforts to serve the blind. Remember, the confidence of the public is the reciprocal of services for the visually handicapped

Mr. Jernigan, I am disappointed that you would publicly criticize your fellow blind organization in the same way you criticize the sighted organizations. As a sighted person, I am as imperfect an individual as you are—and all other men. I would ask that you be understanding and patient with all men and women, especially the American Council and other groups of the blind, who also aspire for the same goals as NFB

I admire your determination, persistence, and championship towards NFB goals, even though I do not always agree with your methods on individual issues. All I ask is that you consider portions from Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People to help you and NFB membership achieve your goals.

Sincerely yours,


Des Moines, Iowa, August 15, 1973.

Manager, Howe Press of
Perkins School for the Blind,
Watertown, Massachusetts.

DEAR MR. FRIEDMAN: I have your letter, and I find it most interesting. The problem is that we do not begin with the same basic premises.

In your third paragraph you say: "For the AFB and NAC and all other agencies serving the blind, I also accept and admit we do not do enough for the visually handicapped nor can we ever achieve the satisfaction 'there is nothing more to do.'" This was not at all what I was saying. Later, you say: "As a sighted person, I am as imperfect an individual as you are—and all other men."

I reply to you that, although no man is perfect, all men are not equally imperfect. An individual or an agency cannot excuse shortcomings by hiding behind the pious comment: "Well, I realize I'm not perfect"; nor is it sufficient for an agency to say: "No matter how hard we work, there will always be something left to do."

The question is, did the individual or the agency do all that reasonably could have been done in the circumstances? Did the agency or its director or its staff attempt to exploit the blind, or were the failings minor in comparison to the positive gains? When one applies these tests, some agencies (as I clearly said in my speech) deserve commendation. Others deserve censure. As I also said, the easy way out is to ride the fence and pretend that you really don't understand what it is all about. This may be safe and comfortable for the agency official who does it, but it is ruinous for the blind who are thus deprived of meaningful service.

You say to me: "Please try not to confuse or destroy the public confidence in our efforts to serve the blind. Remember, the confidence of the public is the reciprocal of services for the visually handicapped."

I reply to you that when an agency truly does a good job, we should try to reinforce public confidence in it. When an agency does a bad job and hurts the blind—when it fails to give services because of staff indifference or complacency or laziness or worse—then, we should do all we can to destroy public confidence in it. This is the most positive and constructive thing which can be done in the circumstances.

You tell me that you are "disappointed" that I "would publicly criticize" my "fellow blind organizations in the same way" I "criticize the sighted organizations." What a statement! If an organization is bad, it should be exposed as bad. What difference does it make whether it is a "blind organization"—whatever that may be. This is exactly the trouble that plagues many of the so-called "professionals" in the agencies. They make a great virtue of not "criticizing" their fellow "professionals." Such an attitude is not praiseworthy. It is not ethical or professional or positive. At best, it is lack of concern or lack of perception or lack of courage to take a stand. At worst, it is collusion—a feeling that, "I had better say nice things about him today, even though I know he is doing a ratty job, so that he will say nice things about me tomorrow and help cover my rattiness." You have to work pretty hard (in fact, you have to work overtime) to make something virtuous out of that.

As for the American Council of the Blind, I have no apologies to make. If anything, I was too gentle. The best I can do is repeat what I said in my speech.

You will observe that I have not dealt with that dwarf counterfeit of the National Federation of the Blind, the American Council of the Blind. Those who know them at all recognize them for what they are—puppets of the more reactionary agencies—a company union—"alone and afraid in a world they never made"—doomed, despite all their flutter and noise to the contrary, to play no real part in the final drama between the organized blind and the agencies, between the consumer and the professional.

This is what I said, and I meant every word of it. In your letter you say: "I would ask that you be understanding and patient with all men and women, especially the American Council and other groups of the blind, who also aspire for the same goals as NFB." In answer I make two comments (1) I admit that the ACB is in a bad way and deserves patience and understanding. (2) When you say that the ACB aspires "for the same goals as NFB," you are about as wrong as anybody could be. One of the oldest and most destructive fallacies ever spread by the agencies goes something to this effect: "Let's all get together. After all, despite our differences of approach, we are all working for the same thing." Don't you believe it.

Mr. Friedman, I would now like to comment on the final sentence in your letter. It reads: "All I ask is that you consider portions from Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People to help you and NFB membership achieve your goals." I reply to you that all of us would do well to search our souls occasionally. Therefore, I do not resent what you have said but accept it in the spirit in which I think you meant it. The NFB continues to grow and flourish and win friends. We also continue to influence people—an ever-increasing number of them. At any rate I assume our record speaks for itself.

Very truly yours,
National Federation of the Blind


Morristown, New Jersey, August 3, 1973.

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

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: Your paper and your presentation at the AAWB convention certainly lived up to expectations. In behalf of myself and the membership of AAWB, I want to express our thanks for your very articulate and clear presentation. We appreciated your taking the time to come to Cleveland to share with us the viewpoint of the National Federation of the Blind.

Thanks very much for making your paper available, and my special thanks for staying so precisely within the specified time segment. I wish all speakers had your facility, not only with words, but for keeping their presentations so precisely on time.

I do hope in the years ahead that AAWB will be able to work more closely with other organizations that are concerned with blindness. These are very critical times, as everyone knows, with services for blind people threatened with submersion and anonymity within governmental superstructure, and it's my hope, at least in the next two years, to see that AAWB's national office plays an active role in legislative matters. I do hope that these legislative efforts will be a part of a strong and active coalition of all organizations which purport to be of and for blind people.

Again, our thanks for your participation in the AAWB meeting.

My best wishes to you.

Sincerely yours,
President, American Association of Workers for the Blind

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New York, New York, July 19, 1973.

National Federation for the Blind,
Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: This letter is to say "thank you" for inviting me to attend the thirty-third annual Convention of the NFB. I was present during the Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning sessions, as well as the Thursday evening banquet.

I enjoyed our forthright discussion Monday evening. One cannot fail to be concerned about the large numbers of accusations and demands NFB has levied against NAC. Many continue to believe, however, that sufficient latitude remains to improve the relationships between the two organizations. As you know, I share this belief.

I feel that the Federation displayed commendable prudence by its refusal to endorse sanctions against an uninvolved third party. Let's hope that subsequent actions will further defuse the incendiary atmosphere, so that a dispassionate review of the issues will be possible.

Again, I offer my thanks for your invitation to attend the Convention.

Associate Director.


Des Moines, Iowa, August 20, 1973.

Associate Director,
National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
New York, New York.

DEAR DR. BLEECKER: I have your letter of July 19, 1973, and once again it points up the problems we have with NAC. No good purpose would be served, I think, in giving you a detailed analysis of what I mean. You are a reader of The Monitor, and you and I spent a good deal of time at the New York Convention in discussion. Therefore, the ground has been pretty thoroughly covered.

Let me, then, content myself with the following comments:

(1) You address me as President of the National Federation for the Blind. This is not the name of the organization. We are the National Federation of the Blind. The difference is significant. If your terminology was deliberate, it says a great deal. If it was just happenstance and unnoticed, it says at least as much, maybe more. Am I saying that we have no sighted members? I am not, for we do.

(2) You say in your letter: "I feel that the Federation displayed commendable prudence by its refusal to endorse sanctions against an uninvolved third party." This sentence indicates a total lack of understanding of what we did and why. "Prudence" is not what we displayed. Think about it, and perhaps my meaning will be clear. Further, I do not agree with your statement that Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, and Company is an "uninvolved third party." Again, think about it, and see whether my meaning is clear.

(3) Your letter is not optimistic. Quite the contrary it implies that a little reason and tolerance will solve most of the problems. It says, in effect, "We have had a few misunderstandings, but the time has now come to put the past behind us and get together. After all, NAC and the organized blind are really working for the same things. We have the same basic goals." What a terrible misunderstanding!

I urge you to read the material already in your possession and to try to understand (before it is too late) what we have repeatedly attempted to say to NAC. Time is running out.

Very truly yours,
President, National Federation of the Blind

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[Editor's Note.—This report was presented by John Nagle and Perry Sundquist at the thirty-third annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.]

Mr. NAGLE. Last Saturday, June 30, the Congress went wild and made many and substantial changes in the Social Security Act.

It is an honor and privilege for me to yield to Perry Sundquist to tell you about these changes.

(And Perry, please don't forget the 5.6-percent social security increase!)

Mr. SUNDQUIST Thank you John. On June 30, 1973, the Congress passed the Renegotiation Act extension (H.R. 7445) and loaded it with significant amendments to the Social Security Act [the measure was signed on July 11, 1973, by the President]. The more significant amendments were as follows:

1. Increased from $2100 to $2400 a year the amount a recipient may earn without any deduction from his social security benefits, or from $175 to $200 a month—effective January 1, 1974.

2. Increased the wage base for social security taxes from $12,000 to $12,600 a year—effective January 1, 1974.

3. Increased Supplemental Security Income from $130 to $140 a month for an individual and from $195 to $210 for a couple—effective July 1, 1974.

4. Required States to provide for the maintenance of persons in the household essential to the recipient's well-being chiefly ineligible spouses effective January 1, 1974.

5. The degree of blindness may be determined by either an opthalmologist or by an optometrist—effective January 1, 1974.

6. Provided that no blind, aged, or disabled person receive less under the Supplemental Security Income plan beginning in January 1974 than he received under titles I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act in December 1973. In other words, the States are required to supplement the Supplemental Security Income plan payment up to their present grant levels.

7. Protection is provided against Medicaid loss to those persons essential to a blind, aged, or disabled recipient, as well as such recipients, because of increases in social security benefits—effective January 1, 1974.

8. Defers the implementation of the stringent cutbacks proposed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare until November 1, 1973, unless approved by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

9. Repealed the 90-10 rule concerning social services for the blind, aged, or disabled. Under the Revenue Sharing Act, at least ninety percent of a State's allotment must be directed toward current welfare recipients, and only ten percent can be targeted for past and potential beneficiaries. This repeal will allow greater flexibility in providing social services for former and potential adult welfare recipients.

10. Increased all social security benefits by 5.9 percent, effective in June 1974 for checks payable in July 1974. This was originally thought to be about a 5.6 percent increase but was based on the cost of living increase during the period from June 1972 to June 1973 and the price index showed an increase of seven-tenths of one percent in June 1973—hence, the benefit increase will be 5.9 percent instead of 5.6 percent.

Now, back to John Nagle.

Mr. NAGLE. Next I will describe briefly the Federation's activities in the 93d Congress:

Vocational Rehabilitation

After extensive public hearings in both the Senate and House of Representatives last year in which the Federation appeared and presented testimony, the 92d Congress passed a Vocational Rehabilitation amending bill. Although this bill had the usual provisions objectionable to us, it did have several very good provisions, which were acceptable. But the President vetoed this bill.

Early in the 93d Congress, the Vocational Rehabilitation bill was again considered in hearings in both Houses of Congress, and again the Federation offered testimony. And again the President vetoed the Vocational Rehabilitation amending bill. Strenuous efforts were made by disability organizations—including the NFB—to muster enough support to override the Presidential veto, but this failed by four votes in the Senate. A much revamped Vocational Rehabilitation bill is now on its way through Congress. Since other speakers here will be discussing this bill, I will not do so, except to say it will not provide sufficient Federal funds to carry on the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with the needs of disabled people. Thus, Federation affiliates should be prepared to make sure that blind people wishing vocational rehabilitation services are provided with the necessary help and services they require, that they are not given short shrift because of the claim of lack of available funds.

Vending Stands

Last year, as a means for obtaining evidence to support the provision of our vending-stand bill requiring exclusive assignment of income from vending machines on Federal property to blind vending-stand operators, the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office (GAO), him of the vending-machine income on Federal locations. A report was to be submitted to Congress in six months. Just before leaving Washington for this Convention, I checked and was told the report should be available late this month. Based upon the findings in this report, decisions will be made as how best to proceed with our vending-stand amending bill.

Amendments to Older Americans Act

When the NFB met last year in Chicago, it adopted a resolution urging approval of provisions of the Older Americans Act of particular benefit to elderly blind and otherwise disabled people. Congress incorporated the proposals contained in our Convention resolution into amendments of the Older Americans Act which passed in the final days of the 92d Congress, but which the President later vetoed.

Earlier in this Congress, another modified Older Americans Act amending bill—providing for substantially less funding but containing intact the elderly handicapped provisions—was passed by Congress and was signed into law by the President. P.L. 93-29, section 308, authorizes special project grants to public and private nonprofit organizations for the provision to elderly handicapped persons of: special transportation and escort services; homemaker, home-health, and shopping services; reader service; letter-writing service; and other services designed to assist such individuals in leading more independent lives.

Grant application forms and other particulars about this new program can be obtained from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.

Blind Teacher Discrimination

Even though several hundred blind people are successfully teaching today, at every level from kindergarten to university graduate school, still qualified blind people encounter much discrimination as they try to obtain jobs as teachers.

Last year's NFB Convention, therefore, adopted a resolution directing that an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act be drafted, introduced in Congress, and supported in public hearings, to the effect that discrimination based upon blindness be outlawed in programs, activities, and positions receiving Federal financial assistance under the act.

In furtherance of this resolution, the Federation appeared in hearings conducted by the House General Education Subcommittee as it considered extension and expansion of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We offered an amendment to the act as urged by the resolution.

When a member of the committee asked for letters from persons who had experienced discrimination President Jernigan contacted Bob Acosta, president of the NFB Teachers Division, and a couple of dozen fine and most vividly descriptive letters came in and were placed in the printed record of the hearings.

Incidently the amendment reads as follows: "Prohibition Against Discrimination against the Blind in Employment"—"No person in the United States shall, on the ground of blindness or severely impaired vision, be denied employment in any position, program, or activity receiving Federal financial assistance under this act."

Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Hawaii, a member of the House General Education Subcommittee, agreed to bring up our amendment when the subcommittee met on the Education bill in executive session. Although the committee has not yet reached executive-session consideration of our amendment, I understand that at a caucus of the Democratic members of the subcommittee, our amendment was discussed and unanimously approved. At this point, we know of no opposition to our amendment.

Manpower Training and Development Act

Responding to the experience of blind people refused admission to job-training and job-placement programs conducted by the Federal Department of Labor through local employment security offices, and denied solely because of their lack of sight, last year's NFB Convention adopted a resolution urging the preparation of a bill outlawing discrimination based upon blindness, as an amendment to the Manpower Training and Development Act.

Since it was decided by the House Select Labor Subcommittee not to hold public hearings on the manpower training legislation, but to consider the measure only in executive session, arrangements were made for Congressman Phillip Burton of California, a member of the Select Labor Subcommittee, to offer our amendment for committee consideration. The committee discussed our amendment and decided that, since persons who are blind are not excluded from the Federal training programs by specific provisions of the Manpower Act, it would not be wise to include our antidiscrimination amendment in the act. Instead, it was determined to include in the committee report, issued with the Manpower bill, language that would clearly and explicitly express the intent of Congress that blind persons must be admitted to Federal job-training programs when they ask for admission. This language, as part of the legislative history of the Manpower bill, should serve as notice to program administration people to quit discriminating against blind people. When the committee report on the Manpower bill was published, it did not contain the antidiscrimination-because-of-blindness language. When this omission was called to the attention of committee staff, the omission was acknowledged as an oversight resulting from too hasty preparation of the report.

It was agreed, however, that when the manpower measure comes up on the House floor, the committee chairman. Congressman Burton, and a ranking Republican member of the Committee will discuss the right of blind persons to participate in Federal job-training programs—that they must not be denied admission to such programs simply because they are blind. Such a conversation should serve at least to lessen, if not to entirely eliminate, prejudicial practices by reason of blindness in the Federal manpower-training placement programs.

Reduced Plane Fares for the Blind and Other Handicapped

Continuing support of the policy adopted by resolution of the 1964 (Phoenix, Arizona) Convention of the NFB, the Federation appeared in public hearings conducted by the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation on bills providing reduced plane fares for the blind and other disabled persons, and opposed such bills.

Education of Handicapped Act

In public hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the NFB presented testimony in support of bills to extend the Education of the Handicapped Act—originally adopted, and reenacted through the years, as a result of the efforts of the Federation in concert with other disability organizations.

Under the Education of the Handicapped Act, a division for the education of the handicapped exists in the Federal Office of Education; Federal funds are provided to assist, improve, and broaden State programs of special education; scholarships, fellowships and other financial aids are made available to train teachers of the disabled; and programs are conducted to discover and devise new, different, and better tools, techniques, and mechanisms for use in the education of the handicapped and for use by the handicapped.

Diabetes Legislation

When the Senate Subcommittee on Health held public hearings on a bill to authorize funds for a concentrated attack upon the health destroyer and sight killer diabetes, the NFB presented strongly supportive testimony.

We stated, in part:

As blind people, as persons who know of 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.

I was very proud as a Federationist, for the NFB was the only organization in the blind field appearing in the diabetes hearings; we were the only nonmedically oriented organization present and speaking and arguing in favor of the diabetes bill.

Extra Income Tax Exemption

In the opening days of the 93d Congress, chairman Wilbur Mills of the House Ways and Means Committee announced the committee would hold extensive public hearings on the Federal income tax law; that all provisions of this law would be examined and considered with reference to their alteration or retention—or repeal. At the direction of President Jernigan, testimony was presented in the House income tax hearings in support of the special income tax exemption based upon blindness, arguing that since it costs more for a blind person to function in a predominantly sighted society, the extra income tax exemption is a dollars-saving recognition of this and should be retained.

We concluded our testimony, however, with these words:

Mr. Chairman, I would remind you that pending before this committee is a measure sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind which would amend the disability provisions of the Social Security Act to allow a blind person to draw disability payments so long as he remains blind.

This bill is intended to provide the blind person with a regular source of funds to meet and to pay the extra, the additional expenses of living without sight in a predominantly sighted world. This bill would do better, Mr. Chairman, what the additional income tax exemption now is intended to do for the taxpayer who is blind. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, when the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill has become Federal law, we of the National Federation of the Blind will no longer need to ask for the additional tax exemption based upon blindness. Until that time, however, Mr. Chairman, we urge that the additional income tax exemption for the blind taxpayer be retained in the law.

Library Services

When the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) was adopted in 1966, it contained provisions authorizing the establishment of libraries for the handicapped and providing at least $25,000 to each State for this purpose. As a result, there was a considerable growth of State libraries for the blind and physically handicapped, financed by State money formerly paid to Regional Libraries for library service to their blind citizens, plus the $25,000 of Federal money allotted to each State under the LSCA.

Earlier this year, the announcement of President Nixon that he was not providing in his budget for funds for libraries placed many of the newly created State libraries for the blind and physically handicapped in jeopardy. It meant that unless State funds or other monies could be found to make up for the loss of Federal money, these libraries would most probably have to close down.

When the Senate Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations considered the funding request for the Books for the Blind program at the Library of Congress, the Federation submitted testimony asking for an additional two million dollars for this program to compensate for the lost Federal funds previously available under the Library Services and Construction Act. We then sent a copy of our Federation testimony to all one hundred Members of the United States Senate that they might be apprised of the threat confronting their State libraries for the blind and physically handicapped.

When it was reported that the Librarian of Congress indicated unwillingness to accept and distribute the proposed additional two million dollars by contract he has legal authority to make such contracts and pay costs of distribution with Federal funds, interested and concerned members of the Senate Subcommittee on HEW Appropriations worked to have library-for-the-blind money included in the HEW Appropriations bill.

When the Commissioner of Education appeared at the Senate HEW Appropriations hearings, the NFB library-service testimony was read to him and into the record of the hearings, and the Education Commissioner was vigorously questioned about funds for libraries for the blind, since the Administration was asking for no money for these libraries.

When the HEW Appropriations bill finally emerged from committee consideration, it contained an amount of nearly $1,400,000 for libraries for the blind and physically handicapped.

If this measure successfully surmounts legislative pitfalls—such as a possible Presidential veto—there will be enough Federal money to save State libraries for the blind and physically handicapped for another year.

Disability Insurance for the Blind Bill

Shortly after the 93d Congress opened for business in January of this year President Jernigan, Ralph Sanders (president of our Arkansas affiliate) and I met with Representative Wilbur Mills of Arkansas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and discussed with him our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill

At the request of President Jernigan, Congressman Mills agreed to become a co-sponsor of our bill when Congressman James A. Burke of Massachusetts introduced it—and he did!

Mills was the first co-sponsor of H.R. 6554, the latest Burke-NFB Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. Although having Chairman Mills with us on our disability bill is a tremendously valuable asset, I do not believe it guarantees approval of our bill by his committee and by the House.

Since the usual major consideration of social security matters is not expected to occur in this Congress, Congressmen Burke and Mills will only seek committee action on our disability bill if a substantial number of the Members of the House of Representatives have expressed their support of our bill, by co-sponsoring H.R. 6554, or by introducing bills identical to H.R. 6554.

In the 91st Congress, 159 Representatives introduced identical Disability Insurance for the Blind bills—and this number proved insufficient to pursuade the House Ways and Means Committee to give its approval to our disability bill.

I believe if we can get 218 Members of the House committed as co-sponsors or identical-bill introducers of our disability insurance bill—and 218 is one more than half of the full House of Representatives—then I believe Burke and Mills will be able to get our disability insurance bill through the Ways and Means Committee. So it is up to you to get your Congressman on our bill. You should write letters asking your House Member to join as co-sponsor on H.R. 6554. You should also visit your Congressman or his staff in his local office—and every Congressman has at least one office in his congressional district. Talk about the great need for the enactment of the disability bill. And if you feel you require my help to convince your Congressman to become a party to our bill, ask him to call me in Washington and I will be happy to go to his office and discuss our bill with him. If I call your Congressman, I am just one of ten thousand bill pushers in Washington seeking his support. But if you, the Congressman's constituents, ask him to listen to me, his attitude toward me will be much different. I will be your spokesman. I will be speaking to the Congressman about the concerns and interests and wishes of his blind constituents.

Now, as of today, there are only fifty-nine Members of the House of Representatives who have indicated their endorsement of our disability bill

As for the Senate, Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana will again handle our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill there. On April 30, Senator Hartke sent a letter to all Members of the Senate, advising he would be reintroducing the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill in this Congress, and inviting each Member to join him as a co-sponsor on this bill. However, he also said in his letter that I of the NFB would visit each office to explain and answer any questions about our disability bill. And I did visit each Senate office and made followup calls to many of them to secure Hartke bill co-sponsorship.

In the 92nd Congress, seventy-one of the one hundred Members of the United States Senate were co-sponsors of our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. As of today, we have only fifty.

Now, on the literature table outside this hall is a sheet that lists the Hartke bill co-sponsors in the last Congress and those so far in this Congress.

What I said about reaching your Congressman about sending letters to him, about trying to see him at his local office and talking with him or his staff—also applies to your Senators. And certainly, when you do talk with your Congressman, when you do talk with your Senators about our disability bill, you should also talk with them about NAC.

I urge you to work hard on your Senators to get them as co-sponsors on the Hartke Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. If we have substantially fewer co-sponsors this time than the seventy-one we obtained in the last Congress, it could be greatly to the disadvantage of our bill.

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The National Federation of the Blind of Washington held its annual convention July 25-28, 1973, at the Hotel Olympian in Olympia our State capital.

Among the first items of business carried out by the convention was the endorsement and passage of the resolutions approved earlier in the month at the National Convention. In addition, we passed resolutions establishing 1) a senior citizens division and 2) a student division; a resolution reaffirming our intentions of replacing the present setup of state services to the blind with a commission; and, a resolution proposing that property taxes be limited to not more than $500 per year for low-income families and individuals. (This last resolution was passed "in spirit" by the convention, our board of trustees and legislative chairman being given the responsibility of working out specific details.)

In connection with legislation, it was announced that this last legislature has passed a bill to prohibit job discrimination solely on the basis of blindness or physical disability.

The highlight of the convention though was Friday afternoon. Joe Whittle and Norman Christianson led off the program with a discussion concerning job opportunities and placement for the blind. Mr. Whittle, a Lion, stated that the local he belongs to, although continuing to work in the areas of sight conservation and prevention of blindness, is, in addition, moving into the area of job placement—with the hope that in time this will become a national project of the Lions.

Mr. Christianson, a member of the Telephone Pioneers, stated that his local is now moving into the area of "career education." This is an attempt to inform students (at all levels of the educational process) of the various jobs and career opportunities open to them. In addition, members of the Pioneers attempt to provide the students with the necessary background information and experience through on-the-job training for the attainment of the desired jobs.

Following these gentlemen, a report was given concerning the various programs and activities carried on by Washington State Services for the Blind by its Director, Dr. Jerome Dunham. Dr. Dunham had also been invited to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Building Positive Programs for the Blind: The Role of the Agency . . . the Role of the People" scheduled to take place shortly after he completed his report, but he refused to do so. The reasons he gave for his refusal were that he felt that "nothing could be accomplished by such a discussion," and that the NFB of Washington was "polarizing" the blind of the State. (He did not seem to think that State Services for the Blind or its Director could have anything to do with this "polarization.)

Following his report, Dr. Dunham was asked to participate in the panel discussion. Once more he refused, giving as his reason the fact that he planned to return to Seattle. (He did not elaborate.)

In discussing the proposed commission, Dr. Dunham stated that our Governor (Daniel J. Evans) was "utterly opposed" to the idea. He went on to say that when we (the NFB of Washington) finally reach the conclusion that our proposal for the establishment of a commission is no longer feasible, he (Dr. Dunham) will be glad to "allow" us to "join with [him]" in a discussion of viable alternatives.

In his report, Dr. Dunham mentioned that he and his staff had held a meeting with representatives from the NFB of Washington on May 5 of this year. Our president, Carl Jarvis, then asked why he had not yet received a copy of the report which came out of this meeting. Dr. Dunham replied that no report had yet been written, but that when he had the time to write one, a copy of it would be sent to the NFB of Washington.

When asked the same question concerning a meeting on June 15 of this year between State Services for the Blind and a group of blind students from throughout the State, Dr. Dunham gave a similar response. He did, however, admit to having seen a partial list of recommendations which came out of the meeting. Concerning one of these recommendations—a suggestion that each student be given a copy of the proposed expense plan prepared for him by the staff of State Services for the Blind—he said, "I don't know why I didn't think of it myself."

The panel discussion on "Building Positive Programs for the Blind" took place shortly after Dr. Dunham departed. Appropriately enough, Dr. Dunham's report and remarks were used as the starting point -after making sure that a complete and accurate report of the discussion would be given Dr. Dunham a representative of State Services was still in the room at the time. Participants on the panel were: our national President, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan; Kenneth Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind; and, our State president, Carl Jarvis The conclusion of the panel, and of the convention as a whole, was that the attitude expressed by State Services toward the organized blind in the State of Washington was, at best, one of complete unresponsiveness and indifference.

By unanimous decision, the convention decided to make tapes of Dr. Dunham's remarks and of the panel discussion which followed available to the general public through the National Headquarters of the NFB 218 Randolph Hotel. Des Moines, Iowa 50309 and through the secretary of the NFB of Washington Maria Bradford, 3801 Casa Court, Yakima, Washington 98902. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Other reports submitted to the convention include: a report by Charles Ferer concerning the activities of the Governor's Advisory Committee on State programs for the blind; and a report by Florence Grannis concerning (1) the Iowa Library for the Blind and (2) her philosophy about libraries for the blind in general—that is, that they should operate in exactly the same way as do libraries for the sighted.

The banquet speech was delivered by our national President, Dr. Kenneth Jemigan. He stated that generally speaking things are now in a state of flux. But, he added, this flux is now coming to an end, so that those who want to take advantage of it in an attempt to better themselves and society had better do so now-or it could be too late.

A Ludlow Kramer, Secretary of State of Washington, seconded Dr. Jernigan's remarks and then went on to give us some suggestions as to how we might go about achieving the changes we desire. In concluding his remarks, Mr. Kramer threw his entire support behind our efforts to establish a commission here in Washington.

There were two Special Service Awards given at the banquet One, to Wesley M. Osborne, a former president of the NFB of Washington, who was retiring after sixteen years as legislative chairman for the State organization; and the other to Al Fisher, an associate member of the NFB of Washington, a strong Federationist and former editor of The White Cane magazine.

We admitted one new affiliate this year, the NFB of Cowhtz County, an active group which has already offered to host the 1975 NFB of Washington convention.

Officers elected this year were: president, Carl Jarvis from Spokane, for his third term; vice-president, Mrs. Sue Ammeter from Seattle, for her second term secretary, Maria Bradford from Yakima treasurer, Gary Ernest from Othello legislative chairman, Dave DeLaittre from Seattle; ways and means chairman, Corine Watts from Seattle; organization chairman, Ralph Solberg from Warden; public-relations chairman, Ray Angel from Spokane; welfare chairman, Ed Foscue from Seattle, for his second term.

And our alternate delegate to the national Convention in 1974 is Sue Ammeter, from Seattle.

The NFB of Washington will hold its next convention in October of 1974 in Seattle.

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It was very apparent to many several days before the opening of the NFBV convention in Winchester, Virginia, that something was occurring, very reminiscent of some recent NFB national Conventions. The Lee-Jackson Motor Inn was writing back and saying they didn't have room for all the people who wanted to stay there for the convention but that reservations were being made with the Holiday Inn East just one-quarter of a mile away. Whatever inconvenience this may have imposed was certainly more than offset by the joy of attendance beyond what was expected. Simply stated, NFBV officials just didn't ask for enough rooms to be set aside because they didn't know so many were coming—a happy mistake!

There was much good cheer at the hospitality hour, the first evening of the convention, as swarms of Federationists and their guests happily renewed acquaintances and made new friends. There were other things that reminded one of NFB national Conventions—a registration fee (voluntary), bags laden with goodies, quantities of Federation literature for the taking, and scores and scores of drawings for prizes during all three days of the convention.

When NFBV President Robert W. McDonald gaveled the meeting to order shortly after 9 a.m. on Saturday, he was doing what he had done at all other conventions (but for one or two exceptions) since the State organization came into existence in 1958 After the usual but appropriate preliminaries, Mr. Walt Weber, a young, vigorous Federationist and president of the Richmond Area Federation of the Blind, was on his feet up front telling about something new for the NFBV—a credit union; he was just waiting for the charter. Walt was elected president of the Credit Union, with Robert McDonald heading the committee approving loans, and Ted Hoover supervisory chairman.

As perennial to NFBV conventions as Robert W. McDonald is John F. Nagle, Chief of the NFB's Washington Office, whose contribution to this convention, as to past ones, was sizable. He appeared with Robert Cooper, of the Winchester Social Security Office, to present information and discussion in the ever-changing social-security program. Time ran out for John to get started on legislation, so he came back on Sunday morning and spoke of many legislative measures but particularly urging (as only John knows how to urge) support of the Disability Insurance for the Blind bill. He emphasized that his work and that of Dr. Jernigan and other NFB officials is greatly minimized if the rank-and-file member does not write those letters to congressmen and make personal contacts.

A part of every NFBV convention, a panel entitled "Employment Opportunities for the Blind", was very much on this year's program. In this feature, blind persons describe their backgrounds and training and how they perform their jobs. The panel was comprised of an IRS consultant, an Optacon user, and a real estate broker.

Anthony G. Mannino was in the Old Dominion for the first time as NFB representative at an NFBV convention, and he has a lot more friends than before as he very ably participated in the convention in a variety of ways. He and Walt Weber got things going Saturday afternoon by leading a discussion on fundraising projects, and before this period ended, the Virginia Federation had elected to embark upon a White Cane Mailing project.

Heretofore, each chapter president has reported to the convention in about a five-minute statement. This year, however, something new was introduced. Local organizations were evaluated by questions posed by President McDonald and others, with all chapter presidents expected to respond to each question. They grappled with such questions as: Do you call your members to remind them of meetings? Do you participate in legislative letterwriting efforts? Does your affiliate read and discuss NFB presidential releases? Do you have socials in conjunction with every meeting?

NAC should not feel slighted. It was not left out of the convention but discussed vigorously by Mr. Nagle, who spoke of the faults the Federation finds with it and what the NFB is doing to deal with it.

Alan Schlank, newly-elected president of the Potomac Federation of the Blind, again this year capably chaired the Resolutions Committee, and presented resolutions: condemning NAC; establishing the Marian J. Kelly Award for meritorious service for the blind, establishing the Mobility Award to go to a student at the School for the Blind; allowing expense-free attendance at the NFBV Convention; providing funds for assistance in legal action involving NFBV members; seeking promises from gubernatorial candidates to back organized-blind representation on the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped; urging continuation of funding for the Advisory Committee on Services of the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped from other sources if the Federal Government ceases providing funds for this purpose. All these resolutions were adopted by the convention.

The NFBV banquet was the greatest ever, with 1 56 reservations noted well in advance of the banquet, and Tony Mannino had a great message to deliver: The outstanding success of the National Federation can be largely attributed to the organization's outstanding leadership down through the years, he stated. As long as the blind have to face misconceptions and discriminatory practices, he remarked, there will be the need for the NFB. At the banquet, Robert McDonald and his wife Marion, became the first recipients of the Marian J. Kelly Award for their notable service in forwarding the work of the NFBV.

The NFBV worship service Sunday morning was well attended and permitted members to worship the Lord as usual on Sunday and yet not miss the concluding business session, which included many interesting reports and other points of interest. Robert McDonald was designated to represent the organization at the NFB Convention, with Mrs. Nancy Hoover alternate. The 1974 NFBV convention is to take place in Alexandria and, in 1975, in Richmond.

There has never been a bad NFBV convention, but it seems to be the consensus of opinion that the conventions get better year by year, and the 1973 convention of the Virginia affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind was exceptional from many standpoints, not the least of which was that 112 persons registered for it. We express our appreciation to the Winchester Federation, the host affiliate, for the hard work and thoughtful planning which greatly enhanced the success of the NFBV convention.

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The twenty-eighth annual convention of the Montana Association for the Blind was held on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman on July 20, 21, and 22 with the Great Falls Chapter as host affiliate. (Although conventions are traditionally held in Bozeman in conjunction with the Summer Orientation Program for the Blind, chapters take turns in program planning and making arrangements.)

Much of the first session on Friday evening was taken up with fine musical entertainment, but there was time for such items as the welcoming address by the vice-president of Montana State University; MAB President Tony Persha's annual report; and the report of our delegates to the NFB New York Convention.

Various financial and other routine reports were given during the business session on Saturday morning. Among other items it was reported that our 1973 calendars grossed just over $7700. Later in the morning we witnessed a demonstration of low power AM radio transmission and heard a talk on eye diseases and their treatments by a local ophthalmologist.

This year we were pleased to have with us throughout the convention Mrs. Hazel tenBroek, representing the NFB. During two periods on Saturday afternoon she discussed the new Federal SSI program, pending legislation in Congress, problems with NAC, and other topics of general interest to Federationists. Another speaker in the afternoon was Darleen Tiensvold, Assistant to the Coordinator of Special Library Services, Montana State Library Much credit was given members of the Association for their work in securing State funds for the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in the last legislative assembly.

The only resolution of the entire convention was considered and adopted unanimously just before we recessed for the day. This pertained to emergency financing for clients of the Visual Services Division and the problems that are being encountered under the new fiscal structure of the State.

Approximately one hundred persons were present for the banquet on Saturday evening when once again Mrs. TenBroek was our guest speaker. At this time also the first Dorothy C. Bridgman Award for "exceptional service to the blind of the state" was presented to Lelia Proctor. Evening activities continued with dancing at the Eagles Lodge.

Following an impressive memorial service on Sunday morning, the final session was called to order. The election committee reported on the results of the election of officers, which were as follows: president, Charles Vanderzee, Bozeman; first vice-president, Tony Persha, Red Lodge; District One representative, Keith Denton, Lakeside; District Four representative, Delos Kelly, Billings Hold-over officers are: second vice-president, Virginia Sutich, Sand Coulee; District Three representative, Luella McVeda, Lewistown; the District Two representative (now Charles Vanderzee) will be appointed before October 1.

Seven of the nine chapters reported on activities during the past year. A number of contributions to worthwhile causes were voted on just prior to adjournment Sunday noon.

Throughout the convention there were frequent drawings for attractive and useful gifts provided by the various chapters. The Yellowstone Chapter volunteered to host the 1974 conclave. A rousing vote of appreciation was given the Great Falls Chapter for an excellent job of planning and carrying out this year's get-together.

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Many of the conventioners felt that the convention began Saturday morning. But Ray Miranda and I had been at the hotel since Wednesday. We visited and contacted many of the blind of the Tucson area, and by Saturday Tucson was represented on the convention floor and our purpose was realized. Tucson would have a club in the NFBA.

The Saturday morning convention session began with a minute of silence dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Katherine Hurley of Prescott, who served as secretary of NFBA from 1966-73, and Mrs. Josephine Huff who was coauthor of "Glory, Glory, Federation" We shall miss them both.

The reorganization which affected the State's blind programs was particularly our convention theme. The State Department of Economic Security now contains the Bureau of Rehabihtation Services which has a Section of Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired. William T. Ray, Jr., Manager of the Section, explained the services of SRBVI. Later in the day, William Mayo, Director of the State Department of Economic Security, outlined his department's budget and the expected function of the programs. Thomas Terrell, Chief of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, told of his assigned responsibilities. All three men conveyed a willingness to make services responsive. Donald A. Roberts of the Business Enterprise Program of SRBVI spoke on the growth of that program. It would seem the winds of change are blowing gently.

We also heard a presentation by Dr. Thomas Jordan of the Tucson Community Council regarding a recent study of the needs of the blind of the Tucson area. More needs are still either unmet or undefined. Frank Kells talked about the Advisory Council for the Blind.

The election of officers and directors of the NFB of Arizona was conducted. Those elected were the following: James R. Carlock was reelected president. Elected first vice-president was Walter Cone of Tucson; second vice-president, Dan Duffy of Phoenix; secretary, Herbert Johnson of Flagstaff; treasurer, John Tsosie of Tucson Mrs. Adonis Johnson of Flagstaff and Mrs. Aileen Tenny of Yuma were elected directors.

A panel discussion on how best to place blind people in employment was held over until after the banquet dessert. This was followed by the banquet address given by NFB Representative James Omvig. Senator and Mrs. Douglas Holesclaw were special guests, as were Mr. and Mrs. William Mayo. The festivities of the evening were enjoyed by all.

Sunday morning we heard about the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind from Principal Ed Anderson. And big changes should be upcoming in a few months, according to Ted Tesmer, in the Arizona Industries for the Blind.

Resolutions were passed to request that no money be paid NAC until substantial changes are made; to reaffirm the organizational placement of Arizona Industries for the Blind so it is part of SRBVI. Another resolution called for legislation to change the location of the Arizona Regional Library for the Blind so it is within SRBVI; and finally, a resolutions was passed expressing appreciation to officials of the Department of Economic Security for their willingness to cooperate with the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona in improving programs.

Phoenix was selected for the convention in 1974.

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[Editor's Note.—Reprinted by coutesy of The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.]

About a dozen blind people are taking part in one of the most unusual experiments ever devised for the sightless—a course in speed reading.

The technique, first explored in a workshop at Brigham Young University last summer, may revolutionize the usually slow process of reading in Braille.

A six-day introductory course held at the Murray B. Allen Blind Center, 309 East First South, attracted students from Utah and three other western States.

Within that brief period their Braille reading skills rose dramatically, more than tripling in a number of instances.

At the start of the course the reading ability of the students ranged from thirty-two words per minute up to a high of 211 for one man. By the end of one week one student had reached seven hundred to eight hundred words a minute, with "enjoyable comprehension."

This is a startling achievement in view of the fact that about one hundred words per minute is a good average for Braille and two hundred words a minute is considered very fast.

Teacher of the course and originator of the rapid reading technique was Dr. Vearl McBride, professor of education at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri.

Armed with a stopwatch, he kept his students hard at it during the all-day session, noting that "pressure" to perform was an important ingredient of the course and said that students must learn to "push themselves."

He was aided by Mrs. Ruth Craig, a trainer of teachers for the blind at BYU's Institute of Special Education.

McBride, a teacher for the sighted in rapid reading for many years, decided to try the same techniques used in speed reading for Braille.

This involves rapidly "scanning" a page with both hands instead of one and going for speed without worrying about being able to understand too much at first.

In his class, the hands of the blind students raced across the pages, rapidly brushing the paper and flipping the pages of the special Braille books.

"They forego comprehension at first and lose much as they gain speed. They just get bits and pieces, but as the speed picks up the comprehension follows with practice and sometimes is even better than before," he said.

Speed reading for the sighted involves trying to grasp the meaning of whole sentences and paragraphs at once without reading each word from left to right.

Reading Braille at a rapid rate employes the same method, McBride said. Students try to get as much as possible through their fingers. Some start in the middle of the page and brush both hands outward, reading left and right from the middle at the same time.

At the BYU workshop last summer one man reading at forty words a minute rose to two hundred and is now teaching the method in California. At the Murray B Allen Blind Center a man who read fifty-six words a minute rose to one hundred with "very good comprehension" in just three days.

When BYU sponsored the world's first workshop for blind readers using McBride's teachings, there was "great skepticism" among experts in the field.

"Braille is so slow for most people and those in the field accepted this as an established fact," Mrs. Craig noted.

"But we had success beyond our wildest dreams," McBride said. Now inquiries are pouring in from all over the world asking for materials, instruction books and other aides—none of which exist yet.

In addition, universities and State agencies are swamping BYU and McBride with requests for workshops and seminars for the blind.

"It is one of the most startling things that has happened in education for the blind in this century," Mrs. Craig declared.

A major firm which publishes Braille books said that if rapid reading by the blind becomes widespread, they would never be able to keep up with the demand for books. 

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The third annual meeting of the Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind was held on Monday afternoon, July 2, 1973, at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in New York City.

This meeting was held in conjunction with the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind—the largest gathering of blind people ever assembled in the history of this country.

Robert Acosta, president of the Teachers Division, presented the membership with a yearly report filled with optimism as well as with accomplishments. Mr. A.costa announced the production of a recording entitled "A Decade of Success" (recorded at 8 rpm) which commemorated the ten years of progress made by the blind teachers of California. The price of the record is one dollar and can be obtained by writing to Mr. Acosta at 9927 DeSoto Avenue, Apartment 26, Chatsworth, California 91311.

The audience was stirred to rousing applause with the announcement that the Chicago City School System will now consider the hiring of well qualified teachers who happen to be blind. It was also reported that a blind teacher had been employed by the San Francisco School System. Mr. Acosta encouraged blind teachers to keep the pressure on those school districts which still refuse to employ them solely on account of blindness.

With this in mind, the president announced that the National Federation of the Blind, along with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado were instituting a lawsuit against the Denver School System for some time now, the representatives of the Teachers Division have attempted to negotiate in good faith in order to urge the Denver schools to hire a well qualified blind teacher. Denver has staunchly refused to do so in the face of overwhelming verbal and written testimony attesting to the fact that blindness in a teacher need not be an insurmountable handicap. Because of the district's refusal to listen to us, we were forced to initiate this lawsuit on behalf of the blind teachers of this Nation.

The Denver lawsuit is a unique one and may stand as a landmark case in the field of jurisprudence. The Federation has taken this case to the Federal courts, asserting that the plaintiff, Judy Miller, of Denver, has been in fact denied her constitutional rights to attain gainful employment with the Denver School System. If we are successful, the court could order the Denver School System to actively recruit blind teachers. As Kenneth Jernigan, the President of the National Federation of the Blind, has stated so often, the time has come for the blind of this Nation to take our stand against ignorance and outright discrimination.

John Nagle, Washington Field Representative of the National Federation of the Blind, reported to the Teachers Division on the progress of H.R. 69 which would amend the Higher Education Act by providing that any school district on the elementary and secondary level which discriminated in the employment of a teacher solely on account of blindness, would lose all of its Federal funds. Mr. Nagle reported that this proposed amendment was moving along smoothly through the various committees of the Congress. He went on to thank the Teachers Division for its great response which led to the sending of dozens of letters to the Education Committee of the House of Representatives citing personal examples of blatant discriminatory practices on the part of too many school districts throughout this Nation. We are certain that we shall be successful in the passage of this needed piece of legislation.

Mr. Acosta also announced the Federation's total victory in the Weckerly case. Because of the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, Evelyn Weckerly is now once again teaching in the Mona Shores School District in the State of Michigan. The district has had to pay her five years of back salary, amounting to upwards of forty thousand dollars. Let those who wonder about the necessity for the organized blind movement take note.

Shortly, the Teachers Division will make available a slideshow presentation to be shown to boards of education across the Nation. The slideshow production, accompanied by a taped narrative, will show the blind teacher in action and demonstrate once and for all that blind teachers can indeed teach.

The Teachers Division president concluded his report by announcing his plans for a midwestern conference of blind teachers to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, early in 1974. The National Federation of the Blind and, hence, the Teachers Division are stronger than ever and, more importantly, the organized blind are bringing about the needed changes in public attitudes regarding the abilities of the blind.

The keynote speaker for this year's meeting was Dr. Edward F. Huntington who gave us timely advice on obtaining a teaching position in a glutted teachers' market. He maintained that there are available positions, but that all prospective teacher candidates must be willing to move anywhere to teach. Dr. Huntington is the author of the paper "Administrative Considerations in the Employment of Blind Teachers" This paper can be obtained by writing the Teachers Division president and requesting it.

Dr. Huntington, who is now a superintendent in upstate New York, concluded his remarks by reasserting the fact that blind teachers have achieved a great record in the classroom. He stated that the two most serious considerations which administrators have in the employment of blind teachers are: (1) lunch duty supervision; and (2) the taking of attendance. It was interesting to note that the problems involved with discipline were much farther down the list of administrative considerations.

'The Role of the Rehabilitation Agency in the Preparation and Placement of the Blind Teacher" was discussed by Ronald Johnston of the New York State Commission for the Visually Handicapped. Mr. Johnston explained the various services which the Commission provided for its prospective teacher candidates. He stated that there are currently ninety-three credentialed blind teachers who have been trained in New York State. Many of these are working outside of the State. He went on to state that there are approximately fifteen blind persons teaching in the New York City Schools.

There was much concern by the Teachers Division, however, when it was learned that the Commission had concluded, many years ago, that persons with some residual vision would do much better in the instruction of children in the early elementary grades. We have since discovered that no totally blind person is teaching sighted youngsters in grades K through three in the State of New York.

We wish to point out that many totally blind individuals are in fact teaching sighted youngsters in regular classroom situations in grades K through three throughout this Nation. Although we would commend the Commission for its strenuous efforts to place blind teachers, we find the above situation to be a deplorable one. Representatives of the Teachers Division shall make every effort to change this unenlightened policy.

Alfred Gil, chairman. Educational Projects Committee of the National Federation of the Blind of California, addressed the organization on the subject "Accountability in the Education of Blind Children in the Public Schools." Mr. Gil and his committee have compiled a series of minimal behavioral objectives to be accomplished by the "average" blind youngster with no other categorical differences, before graduating from high school. The committee found that too many of our blind children were graduating from the public schools showing marked deficiencies in such essentials as Braille, typing, and mobility. The committee is working in a cooperative testing program with the Los Angeles City School System to evaluate these minimal behavioral objectives. Needless to say, the presentation elicited a lively discussion on the part of the audience. The Teachers Division would like to go on record as commending Mr. Gil and the Educational Projects Committee for volunteering their time in order to improve the educational standards for blind children Copies of the committee report are available upon request.

Mrs. A. Harrison, director of the resource programs for the District of Columbia School System responded to Mr. Gil's talk as well as presenting us with a report on her efforts to upgrade the programs for the blind children of that district.

In electing its officers for the next two-year term, the Teachers Division selected teachers who are very active in the profession. Robert Acosta, a United States history instructor at Chatsworth High School, Chatsworth, California, was unanimously reelected to the presidency. Judy Miller, a credentialed speech and social studies teacher from Denver, Colorado, was elected first vice-president. Pat Schaaf, a teacher in special education from the State of Iowa was selected as the second vice-president. Alex Chavich, a music teacher at McCombs Community Junior High School in New York City, was elected to the position of secretary; and Janiece Petersen, a Braille teacher in the District of Columbia School System, was chosen treasurer.

The final segment of the program involved a most stimulating panel discussion entitled 'The Administrative Considerations in the Employment of Blind Teachers." This panel featured Dr. Gjertrud Smith, a retired principal from the Los Angeles City School System and Joel Seigerman, administrative assistant at McCombs Community Junior High School in New York City. They discussed their experiences with blind teachers and readily concluded that the amount of vision which one possesses does not influence being a good teacher. They answered many questions from those students in the audience who were considering the teaching profession.

Other members of the panel were Lola Lebon, representing the personnel office of the New York City School System, and Irene Mooney, of the United Federation of Teachers. They both took copious notes on the desires of the Teachers Division regarding the employability of the blind teacher. There was much cocern over the fact that New York City requires a special safety exam for the blind teacher candidate above that of his sighted colleagues. This exam involves a series of safety drills with a strange class in a strange school. Much concern was voiced over the fact that the United Federation of Teachers would not assist the prospective blind teacher candidate in the obtaining of a job. Experience has shown us that unless placement opportunities are created for the blind teacher candidate he will not be placed, due to the myths and misconceptions which society holds toward the blind.

The third annual meeting of the NFB Teachers Division ended on a note of optimism due to this honest exchange of ideas between the speakers and those who were present. Our next meeting will take place during the first week in July 1974 at the Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois.

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It was a successful seminar—the third annual seminar of the National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers (NABST). It was held on July 2, the day set aside at the NFB Convention for special interest groups.

After the reading of the minutes, the questionnaire which we had sent out during the year was discussed. Since we had received several letters requesting information pertaining to the training of blind secretaries, we felt we could give more constructive and factual information if we could learn something about what our members had or had not gained from their training, and how it could have been improved.

At our 1972 seminar, Ed Rose of the Federal Civil Service Commission had asked us to develop a pamphlet for prospective employers of blind secretaries, on the employment and needs of blind secretaries. We heard a committee report, as well as the finished product, which was well received.

During the year we started the mailing of a newsletter. This letter, edited by Carol Clark, contains material of interest to blind secretaries and is sent out to all NABST members in Braille, unless requested in print. The committee report indicated that the newsletter is being enthusiastically received.

Dr. Kenneth Ingham from the Protestant Guild for the Blind spoke to us about and demonstrated the ARTS Program. This is a "Talking Computer." A terminal is connected to a time-sharing computer by telephone lines. The user dials a number to reach the computer, then by keying in (typing on the terminal) various commands, the terminal's speaker unit will tell by voice what the caller has typed. The computer can be commanded to give as much or as little of the information as the user wishes. It is even capable of spelling words. Then if one wants the material printed, a request for a printout is keyed in. The material is printed, compiled, and sent to the specified address within hours.

Cindy Patterson spoke briefly on her new job; and Harvey Lauer spoke briefly on the Stereotoner.

Following the program, we held our election of officers, the results of which follow: president, Anita M. O'Shea, 1029 Elm Street, West Springfield, Massachusetts 01089; first vice-president, Guy H. Sullivan, New York; second vice-president, Cindy Lou Patterson, Iowa; secretary, Carol Clark, Iowa; treasurer, Marie Hatanaka, California.

We adopted two amendments to the constitution. One extended the time officers serve-from the end of the meeting in which their successors are elected, to September 1 following the election The other created the office of corresponding secretary.

A special election was held for corresponding secretary Padgett McKinzie, South Carolina, was elected

On Monday evening we had a lovely dinner at the Riverboat Restaurant in the Empire State Building. The food was fine, and the entertainment provided by the band and by our first vice-president was both enjoyable and memorable.

After such a successful seminar this year, we are already looking forward to next year's meeting to be held at the Palmer House in Chicago, on July 1.

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On July 2, during the week of the annual Convention, the Sheltered Shop Employees Division of the National Federation of the Blind held its annual meeting. The first item of business was a discussion of how the workshops continue to exploit the blind and other handicapped throughout the country. This was followed by a synopsis, read by Perry Sundquist, of the Fair Labor Standards Act prepared by the Advisory Committee on Sheltered Workshops, United States Department of Labor. Also, Sonia Carr, who attended the Advisory Committee meeting as a representative of the NFB, gave a brief report on the same subject.

Division President Cid Urena next introduced Charles E. Grant, vice-president of California Industries for the Blind, who spoke on the subject of the benefits, not only to the employees but also to management, of a unionized work force. After completion of his speech there was a fairly extensive question-and-answer period during which many subjects were discussed, one of them being the fact that CIB has the only unionized work force in blind industries in the United States. Another factor was the attitude of workers in the audience about their right to organize: Most of them were of the opinion that this was not only an impossibility but in many cases was prohibited by law. It was enlightening to many of the workers in California that through union organizing there were such fringe benefits as vacations, sick leave, and health insurance that could be available to other workers throughout the country. Upon request, Mr. Grant made available a copy of the current union contract with CIB. Obtaining the names and addresses of those individuals interested, he stated that after the meeting they would be mailed copies of the contract.

John Geagan, chief organizer of the Service Employees Union International, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C. Office, informed the audience that there are currently two sheltered workshops in their organization, one being CIB, in the United States, and the other being a workshop for the blind in Toronto, Canada, with organizing action being investigated in Houston, Texas, and St. Paul, Minnesota After discussing and describing the actions taken on developing contracts, he stated that the Service Employees Union is willing and has the money available to organize sheltered workshops upon request. He emphasized that the problem is that any action to begin discussion of union organization of blind workers must be initiated by the workers themselves.

In conclusion, Cid Urena pointed out that where there are statutes preventing the workshops from organizing copies of the laws should be sent directly to him at 3730 Baldwin Avenue, Apartment 3, El Monte, California 91731. It was observed that the most difficult problem of organizing any shop appears to be the fear and insecurity of the workers involved. Finally, the president informed the audience that the NFB is willing and prepared to help those individuals who are concerned with their well-being.

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Students came in cars, buses, and planes, to the sprawling City of New York for the most important event of the year—the NFB Convention. This year, as in the past, various NFB divisions held meetings on Monday afternoon. In this connection the NFB Student Division held its seventh annual meeting with its program featuring speakers from four nationally-known agencies. President Marc Maurer was pleased to report that three new or reorganized student chapters of the NFB had been organized during the past year, and the meeting heard from the presidents of those three chapters: Larry Liston spoke about the activities of the new chapter in Ohio, Bill Lenfestey spoke about those in North Carolina, and Rob Turner spoke on those matters which are now taking place in California.

Following the discussion of new chapters in the student area, there were four items on the program in which officials from programs for the blind spoke to the division about activities in their agencies that pertained to students. Mr. Donald Staley from Recordings for the Blind talked about the development of a new four-track cassette program of recorded student materials. Mr. Staley also promised to meet with representatives of the Student Division to discuss the repudiation of his accreditation by NAC. Mr. Charles Gallozzi, Acting Director of the Library of Congress Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, brought a new talking-book machine of a simpler, lighter, and less expensive design for us to look over. The talking-book machine will use the sound equipment of the cassette machine, and will be only a pickup for the recorded material on talking-book records. Mr. Gallozzi and the students engaged in a lively discussion of what library services should be as compared with what they are. Apparently there was some disagreement about the manner in which such discrepanies should be eliminated.

Mr. Burt Zimmerman of the New York Lighthouse for the Blind then told us about services to the blind from the perspective of the Lighthouse. He and Mr. William Gallagher of the American Foundation for the Blind arrived together in the meeting room, and were noted to be in agreement on many subjects during the course of the discussions. Although violent disagreements occured between the members of the student division and Mr. Gallagher on the matter of NAC, there were points where our disagreements were not so violent. Mr. Gallagher stated that the ad run by the Foundation which says that "even the blind can love" made him sick, and when asked about the "Step by Step Guide to Personal Management for Blind Persons," Mr. Gallagher thought that perhaps much of what was contained in it could be dropped. He did not, however, believe that the entire book and the entire idea should be dropped. It would seem that even the representatives of the American Foundation for the Blind have trouble defending the actions of the Foundation.

This being an odd-numbered year, new officers were elected Reelected to office were Marc Maurer as president and Mary Hartle as first vice-president. The three new members of the executive committee include Rob Turner, second vice-president; Mary Ellen Reihing, secretary; and Peggy Pinder, treasurer.

The Division has been and will continue to be very active under Marc's superb leadership. In addition to this office, he is second vice-president of the NFB of Indiana. In his spare time he attends Notre Dame University, where he is a senior majoring in Political Science.

Mary Hartle, from Minnesota, is enrolled at Macalester College, where she is a senior working towards her degree in Political Science. Rob Turner of California is president of the NFB of California Student Division, and a board member of ththe West Valley Chapter, NFBC. He has less than a year left at California State University at Northridge where he is studying psychology. Mary Ellen Reihing is vice-president of the Ohio Student Division and will also graduate next spring with a degree in psychology. Peggy Pinder of Iowa, although the youngest officer, is well experienced in Federation work. She is a sophomore at Cornell College in Iowa. A word of thanks and appreciation should be extended to the outgoing officers-Sue Ammeter, Curtis Chong, and Dave Wohlers.

Students left the convention with a sense of unity and enthusiasm. There was much morning on ways to improve student discussion into the wee hours of the chapters and State affiliates.

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New York City, July 1973


WHEREAS the many provisions of the Social Security Amendments of 1972 will give rise to serious questions on the part of the more than one hundred thousand blind persons directly affected by one or more of those provisions, including the fifty thousand members of the National Federation of the Blind; and

WHEREAS the Supplemental Security Income program will in particular give rise from time to time to many uncertainties in the minds of blind persons; and

WHEREAS it is essential that the Bureau of Supplemental Security Income of the Social security Administration, in its consideration of interpretative materials and possible suggested amendments to the Social Security Act, have the benefit of the counsel of representatives of blind beneficiaries under the program: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this fifth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that the Director of the Bureau of Supplemental Security Income be requested to establish an advisory committee of the blind, to be appointed from a list submitted by the President of the National Federation of the Blind, to confer with the Director and/or his staff on a regular basis to call attention to problems being experienced by blind beneficiaries and to cooperate in strengthening the entire program.


WHEREAS postgraduate education is imperative for certain occupations; and

WHEREAS persons with bachelor's degrees ofttimes have need for further graduate work in order to secure employment; and 

WHEREAS some job promotions are contingent upon further graduate work: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July, 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization urges the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to bring about changes which would enable blind individuals to work for higher degrees in order to obtain their maximum potential.


WHEREAS the age-old plight of the blind has been that of either outright denial of employment or employment in menial, routine, and stereotyped occupations, without regard to the individual's actual or prospective capacity; and

WHEREAS many blind persons continue to be placed in employment substantially below their potential capabilities; and

WHEREAS this practice is detrimental not only to the blind person's earnings but to the development of his productive powers, representing a loss both to the blind person and to society generally: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this Federation urge that the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare adopt policies that will encourage and assist rehabilitation agencies to see to it that their blind clients be placed in jobs commensurate with their abilities, and that each client have the opportunity for vocational training which will develop fully his vocational potential, including upgrading of employment.


WHEREAS the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) affects the life of every blind person in this Nation; and

WHEREAS NAC is a self-appointed body composed largely of representatives of agencies for the blind, with no representation from organizations of the blind themselves; and

WHEREAS the NAC standards do not take into account the real needs, problems, and experience of the blind and will continue to adversely affect their lives unless at least one-third of the NAC Board members are representatives elected by and responsible to organizations of the blind themselves and are not handpicked by NAC; and

WHEREAS NAC has stubbornly refused to allow blind consumers to participate actively and meaningfully in decisions regarding standards and accreditation, by brashly declaring the blind to be incompetent: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this Federation urge the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to withhold all Federal funds from the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped until such time when at least one-third of its board of directors consists of representatives elected by and responsible to organizations of the blind; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Federation call upon the United States Congress and its appropriate committees to examine the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped and its activities, and that such inquiry include public hearings so that the National Federation of the Blind may fully present its views; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Representatives and Senators in the United States Congress be urged to render all possible assistance in accomplishing the goals set forth in this resolution.


WHEREAS in the FEDERAL REGISTER of February 16, 1973, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare printed Proposed Regulations regarding services to public assistance recipients under the provisions of the 1972 Amendments to the Social Security Act; and

WHEREAS the list of services was adequate to care for the needs of blind persons, many of whom require one or more of the listed social services because of special circumstances; and

WHEREAS, the Proposed Regulations specified that each State would be required to make mandatory only one of these essential services; and

WHEREAS in spite of a great volume of protest the same provision for only one of the services will be made mandatory in the final Regulations published in the FEDERAL REGISTER of May 1, 1973: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that the Department of Health Education, and Welfare be urged to reconsider its social service regulations so that the essential needs of many blind persons can be met, due to special circumstances in individual cases, especially the special services for the blind and particularly the need for transportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the event that the regulations as presently written go into effect, the State affiliates be strongly urged to take whatever steps are necessary to insure that their States adopt as many of the optional services as local circumstances of the blind in each State may require.


WHEREAS Affirmative Action Order Number 11246, signed by President Johnson September 14, 1965, and Amendment 1 147-A, signed by President Nixon on August 8, 1969, seek equal employment opportunities for persons denied employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and

WHEREAS this policy has to an appreciable extent been successful in achieving its goals by providing employment for said groups in agencies and institutions funded in whole or in part by the Federal Government; and

WHEREAS the blind of America also constitute a minority -indeed, a minority which has long endured discrimination in vocational training and employment; and

WHEREAS this age-old discrimination can be remedied only through vigorously enforced Affirmative Action Programs: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization seek amendments which will include the blind in Affirmative Action Order Number 11246.


WHEREAS the American Telephone and Telegraph Company has announced that it plans to make an identifiable charge for directory assistance in ascertaining telephone numbers; and

WHEREAS in many parts of the country service has been limited so that addresses and other published information are no longer provided on request; and

WHEREAS this would impose increased costs and reduce services to the blind of this  Nation, the vast majority of whom are already in economic need, all of whom already pay additional costs of living imposed by blindness, and none of whom can use the print telephone directory: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization urge the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and all other telephone companies to exempt blind persons from such a charge when calling from any telephone for directory assistance, upon declaring themselves to be blind; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Telephone and Telegraph Company be urged to provide blind persons any information printed in the telephone directory, upon request.


WHEREAS the Social Security Administration is to be commended for its efforts at providing job opportunities for the blind at the GS-4, GS-5, and GS-6 levels; and

WHEREAS while affording to many blind people opportunities for employment at these levels, the practice is to deny to the blind the normal opportunities for advancement to higher levels of employment; and

WHEREAS this practice is not consistent with the usual expectation that qualified personnel may advance through the Federal system; and

WHEREAS it has come to the attention of this Federation that certain blind persons have been barred from advancement beyond the GS-6 rating solely on the ground of their blindness: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this Federation call upon the Social Security Administration to eliminate all discriminatory practices against the blind in order that the blind may have the same chance for employment and for promotion as is currently enjoyed by their sighted peers.


WHEREAS it has long been established, both morally and legally, that blind and otherwise disabled persons have a right to be abroad in the land for purposes of employment and recreation; and

WHEREAS this right was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court when it ruled in 1964 that the denial of equal access is a social and moral wrong and a burden upon commerce; and

WHEREAS this right has been reinforced by legislative enactment of model white cane laws and laws removing architectural barriers; and

WHEREAS it has been further reaffirmed by the concept and philosophy of restoring blind and otherwise disabled persons to a fully functioning position in society, thereby substantially benefiting that society; and

WHEREAS the Federal Aviation Administration is now proposing rules which restrict the number and type of disabled persons allowed on any one flight, under the guise of "safety of flight"; and

WHEREAS the FAA proposals suggest:

(1) Limiting the number of unaccompanied disabled persons;

(2) Limiting by quota the disabled persons allowed on any one flight;

(3) Limiting the number or type of disabled persons allowed on any one flight, depending on the length of that flight;

(4) Requiring an identification card for the disabled which certifies the ability of the card carrier to perform certain physical tasks; and

(5) The possibility that disabled persons would be the last ones to be evacuated from a plane in an emergency; and

WHEREAS these suggested regulations would abrogate the constitutional rights of disabled persons to freedom of mobility; and

WHEREAS the National Federation of the Blind has cooperated with the airlines in resisting efforts requiring air lines to give free passage to persons accompanying blind passengers: Now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July, 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization make known to the Federal Aviation Administration that the National Federation of the Blind deplores and condemns the proposed amendments to Parts 25, 131, and 135 of the "Federal Aviation Regulations"; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of the National Federation of the Blind request the FAA to hold public hearings on the proposed amendments and notify the National Federation of the Blind before any action is formally taken by the FAA on these rules; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of the National Federation of the Blind be empowered to take any action necessary, including litigation to prevent these retrogressive FAA proposals from compromising our guaranteed constitutional rights to freedom of movement and access to public transportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President be authorized to contact the Air Line Transport Association in order to determine if cooperative relations can be established for the purpose of securing the principles set forth in this Resolution.






WHEREAS the regular quinquennial convention of the International Federation of the Blind is to be held in Berlin, West Germany, August 4-9, 1974; and

WHEREAS members of the National Federation of the Blind have much to offer in guidance to representatives of developing nations who will be present at the convention, such guidance being in the fields of teaching, computer programming, organizational procedures, and other areas of emphasis of the NFB; and

WHEREAS it is highly probable that such a convention will not be held in the so-called western countries for some considerable time in the future; and 

WHEREAS attractive fares are now available by chartered flights, with possible accommodation concessions by the authorities in Berlin: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization give every encouragement to members desiring to share their knowledge and experience with their fellow blind from other countries and to attend the convention.


WHEREAS the regular quinquennial convention of the International Federation of the Blind is to be held in Berlin, West Germany, during the first week of August 1974; and

WHEREAS the proximity of Berlin to the United States makes it possible for students to travel at a minimal student rate, board and room being at this point partially provided by arrangement of the Mayor of Berlin ; and

WHEREAS the main emphasis of this convention has been placed on the Student Movement over the World, as agreed upon at the Executive Meeting of the IFB in Paris, May 1972; and

WHEREAS the experience, philosophy, and progress of the Student Division of the NFB would conceivably be of significant value and benefit in Student Movement discussions to be conducted at the convention; and

WHEREAS all meetings and discussions of the IFB are open, according to the constitution of the IFB: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July 1973, in the City of New York, that this organization give every encouragement to member students to share their acquired knowledge of organizational and other matters with their fellow students from other nations.



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[Editor's Note.—It's time for the 1973 Miss-A-Meal campaign. Each year Federationists are asked to miss a meal and send its equivalent in money as a contribution to the Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee of the NFB. Following is a letter about the campaign written by Ned Graham, acting treasurer of the CEIP Committee.]

Dear Fellow Federationists and Friends:

Your past cooperation in the Miss-A-Meal project of the National Federation of the Blind, USA, on behalf of the International Federation of the Blind has been extremely gratifying. We, the members of the NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CEIP) ask for your continued support.

Already our fellow blind overseas are involving themselves in this movement. The blind of the world wish their voices to be heard and to speak for themselves. They wish for an end to discrimination on the basis of blindness.

The idea of a world movement of the blind, by the blind, and for the blind is a new concept for the blind of undeveloped countries. This is an answer to their problems. The blind of all countries must join us on the barricades to seek Security, Equality, and Opportunity. There are approximately twenty-five or thirty million blind persons in the world. Were the American and European definition of blindness to be universally accepted, the number of blind persons would conceivably be doubled. That makes the blind a sizable army. We ask with one Voice for our rights as people The IFB is our forum. With one voice we ask for self-determination, for education, for training, and for a job as do our sighted fellow human beings.

Miss a meal, miss two meals, and send the financial equivalent to CEIP. We the members of CEIP thank you for your understanding and your participation in this, our common cause. Send your contributions to Ned Graham, acting treasurer, CEIP, 3511 Berwyn Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21207.

Acting Treasurer, CEIP.

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[Editor's Note.—Sharon Lewis is a member of the Des Moines Chapter, NFB of Iowa.]


Mix together:

2 1/2 pounds ground smoked ham
2 pounds groud lean pork
1 pound ground lean beef


3 eggs
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups milk

Mix above ingredients and form into balls. (Should make approximately 28-30.) Place in ungreased baking pan.



2 cans tomato soup
2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 pound brown sugar

Mix together and pour over ham balls. Bake at 325° for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.


Combine following ingredients in casserole:

1 cup uncooked rice
1 can beef consume
1 can onion soup
1 stick butter (cut up)
1 small can mushrooms (drained)

Bake one hour at 325°. Do not disturb during baking.


Use 9 X 14 inch pan and layer all ingredients. Do not stir.

Layers should be placed into pan in the following order:

1/4 pound melted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 (6 oz.) package butterscotch chips
1 (6 oz.) package chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or mixed nuts

Carefully spoon over top 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Bake 25 minutes at 325°. Cut into small squares when cool.

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Anyone who is not in need of the following issues of the 1969 Monitor—in print or in Braille—please send them to Kenneth Jemigan, President, National Federation of the Blind, at our National Offices, 218 Randolph Hotel, Fourth and Court Streets, Des Moines, Iowa 50309: Braille Monitor for 1969—June, August, September, October, November.

NFB Executive Board Member Ned Graham loves bowling. His interest in this sport netted him a writeup in the Akron, Ohio, Beacon Journal. Ned is probably bowling's greatest spectator and he and his wife, Helen, attend all the big meets.

A group of lowans on their way home from the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota stopped at a motel just south of Minneapolis. Upon arrival they encountered Slammin' Sam Sneed, also signing the motel register. One of the Iowa group, Jim Rechkemmer, while exploring the lobby, was approached by the great golfer who inquired what the white sticks were for. When informed that they were white canes for blind people, he replied, "Oh, I thought they were sticks for running pigs."

The Department of HEW reports that about 71,400 cases reported by State public assistance agencies as involving a question of recipient fraud were disposed of by administrative action during fiscal year 1972; this represents less than one percent of the cases open for maintenance assistance during the year. For almost one-half of the cases disposed of (49.5 percent) by administrative action, a decision was reached that the facts were insufficient to support a question of fraud.

On May 3, 1973 the President signed the Older Americans Comprehensive Services Amendments of 1973. Among its purposes are to encourage and assist local agencies to develop service systems to serve older persons in order to secure and maintain maximum independence and dignity in a home environment through supportive social services such as health, continuing education, welfare, informational, educational, homemaker, counselling or referral services; transportation services where necessary to facilitate access to social services; and services designed to assist older persons to obtain adequate housing; or any other services necessary for the welfare of older persons.

The Christian Record Braille Foundation, 4444 South Fifty-second Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68506, provides services which cover a broad spectrum including Braille, large print, full-vision books, records, and recorded tape. The Foundation also operates a Braille Bible school and a lending library. There is no charge for any of these services.

The NFB of Iowa had its usual large, busy annual convention in Waterloo. Vernon S. Meyer, Manager of the Waterloo office of the Social Security Administration, attempted to explain current thinking and coming changes in that program. Dover Donnelly, Chief of the Division of Income Maintenance, State Department of Social Services, spoke about the blind aid program. Charles Woodcock, Superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, discussed the new programs being initiated which will get blind high schoolers into the public schools. And, of course, the Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, Kenneth Jernigan, reported on the activities and progress of the Commission. President Sylvester Nemmers presented a charter for the newly organized NFB of Iowa chapter in Dubuque to the chapter's president, Sally Harkey. The Altig Award, the highest the State affiliate has to present for outstanding contributions to the blind of the State, went to Senator Ralph McCartney. Four positions on the NFB of Iowa Board were filled by election this year. Those elected were John Taylor, Jim Tanner, Fred Kinne, and Sally Harkey.

United States Senator Charles Mathias, Jr., of Maryland, recently stated that State and local governments in Maryland have been and are bearing the major costs of library services. The Federal contribution is a small percentage, but these funds are essential in addressing the information and library needs of special groups of people whose needs have not been served heretofore. Many visually handicapped people have been able to complete their educations with the assistance of agencies like the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Where is the "economy" in reversing the course of progress for our handicapped population by cutting back aid to this library?

The NFB of Illinois' Month's News States:

If anyone should ever ask you why there is a need for an NFB affiliate in Illinois, answer him or her with the following account. As we have mentioned in previous issues of the newsletter, Senator Thomas Hynes of Chicago recently agreed to sponsor an NFBI resolution in the Illinois General Assembly, inviting the National Federation of the Blind to conduct an evaluative study of programs for the blind in the State. In an era of consumerism and community participation in the development and implementation of human-care services, where could one find a more wholesome resolution? Indeed, this was the question which the members of the senate's executive committee (which was scheduled to vote on the resolution) asked themselves as they prepared to recommend to the entire senate approval of the resolution. However, as you might have guessed, the only vested interests that could have risen up in horrified anguish against the slightest hint of progress did, in fact, do so—namely, the American Council of the Blind, the Illinois Federation of the Blind (the ACB affiliate in the State), the Division of Vocational Rehabihtation, the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, to mention but a few. Not that they were opposed to a survey, only to a survey conducted by the NFB.

On Tuesday, June 5, at less than a day's notice, no fewer than twelve NFBI members made their way to Springfield to testify in favor of the resolution before a subcommittee of the senate executive committee, while the agencies, the American Council, and the Illinois Federation testified against it. One can only say that any honest and objective observer of that subcommittee hearing would have recognized the voice of progress and constructive change on one side of the table, and the voice of negativism and the status quo on the other. Particularly disheartening, although anticipated, was the performance of the American Council of the Blind and the Illinois Federation of the Blind which continue to reach for the apron strings of their agency guardians while the vast majority of blind people reach for the skies. Whereas the National Federation of the Blind moves to force a new social contract for the blind of the Nation, the agency professionals and the American Council of the Blind retrench themselves ever more in their old sweetheart contract. That is why there should be an NFB affiliate in Illinois and in every other State of the Union; that is why we should all be present at the NAC demonstration; that is why we should all go to New York for the NFB Convention. As of this writing, the subcommittee of the senate executive committee has still not made a decision on S.J.R. 33.

From the Queen City League of the Blind in Cincinnati, Ohio, comes the following sad note:

It is with deep sorrow that we inform you of the death of William L. Dressell on July 7. Bill was a charter member of our chapter and remained loyal, even though his ideas were not always accepted. The League was formed in 1948; it was an offshoot of an older organization dominated by sighted persons who "knew" what was best for the blind. Bill helped to write our first constitution and was instrumental in developing our philosophy and ideals. For many years, Bill Dressell served as executive secretary for the Ohio Council of the Blind; his proficiency in this position was attested to by the number of times he was elected by unanimous acclamation. Bill enjoyed the annual NFB Conventions, attending his first one in 1954 at Louisville, Kentucky.

For twenty-nine years, Bill operated the concession stand at the Hamilton County Courthouse. He did more than merely give correct change, amaze customers by handing them the requested brand of cigaret, or be courteous to all with whom he came in contact; he radiated happiness and was frequently called "the sunshine man." The eulogy given by Bill's minister very aptly portrayed the spirit of the man throughout his life: "He created the Kingdom of God for all those about him." Truly, the world is now a less sunny place.

Rosamond Critchley reports that the Greater Lawrence Association of the Blind elected the following officers at its June meeting: president, Sam Randazzo; vice-president. Freeman Downing; recording secretary, Josephine Benoit; corresponding secretary, Domenic Fiato; financial secretary, Marie Fiato; sighted secretary, Lorraine Demers; treasurer, Paul Lasonde; sergeant at arms, Victor Jedrey. Two members were elected to the board: Cecile Aubin and Shaban Numan. Elected trustees were Santa Saracusa, John Burke, and Peter Cote.

At the State convention Domenic Fiato will serve on the nominating committee, Peter Cote on the resolutions committee, and Freeman Downing on the ways and means committee.

The NFB of Watertown, at its June meeting, elected the following: president, Lester Stott; first vice-president, Ralph Cushman; second vice-president, Eugene Raschi; recording secretary, Lucy Devino; corresponding secretary, Mary Czub; treasurer, Linda Cress; sergeant at arms, Mary Lopresti; lay members, Evelyn Callahan and Edward Connelly; trustees, Paul Burkhardt (three years), Helen Raschi (two years), and Eleanor Fitzpatrick (one year).

Earlier this year the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon held its annual convention in Portland, Oregon. The NFB representative was Manuel Urena and the program included speakers from the State who are involved in programs for the blind: Douglas Kinney, Director of the Oregon Rehabilitation Center for the Blind; Robert Pogorelc, Administrator of the Oregon State Commission for the Blind; and others. Sue Ammeter, of the NFB of Washington, and Ken Lillie, acting director of the Portland Training Center for the Blind, reported their activities. Jeff Brown's presidential address cited the progress made in the last three years by the Oregon affiliate. Board positions were filled by election with the following results: Ben Prows of Portland and Richard Hawthorn of Newport. Pam Amick of Portland was elected secretary. Winona Parker, first vice-president, took on the added duties of editor of SAM (State Affiliate Memo).

Recently the General Services Administration sent a directive to all of its regional offices, stating: "In no case may a minority concession sell competing items offered by a blind stand."

Albert A. Smith, 1410 Scott Avenue, Moberly, Missouri 65270, writes: "I would like to correspond with readers of The Braille Monitor anywhere in the U.S.A. by cassette. I think this is a nice way to get acquainted and become old friends. I'm a shut-in and don't have many pastimes. Please send me a cassette letter. I will answer promptly."

Blind demonstrators recently held a protest outside the Northwest Regional Rehabilitation Center in Seattle. The protesters were members of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington. The Center is part of the State's Social and Health Services. The demonstrators charged that the State's service to the blind "is one of custodialism, paternalism and arrogance—promoting resignation and defeatism."

An encyclopedia devoted to the blind and their lives and problems was recently published by the Japan Lighthouse, located in Osaka, Japan.

Ruth Goodwin of the Associated Blind of Greater Brockton (Mass.) reports that on June 25, the East Bridgewater Lions Club held its third annual tournament for blind bowlers in southeastern Massachusetts. Again this year the entire facilities of the Carlysle Club in Whitman were donated for this tournament. Cash prizes were divided equally between men and women, with a handsome trophy going to the high-scoring man and woman, as well as a cash prize. There was also a prize for the high singles. Chairman Michael Kennedy and Cochairman Raymond Tardie were ably assisted by other members of their club. Following the tournament a delicious roast beef dinner was served (and prepared) by members and their wives. Sighted helpers who had kept score were included in the banquet. It was a gala affair and a good time was enjoyed by all.

A fashion show was held earlier this year in which the ladies, all blind, modeled the gowns they had made. Complete with a flower bower to step through, commentator, and music, the twenty-one models did their thing. Average age—eighty-two the event took place at the Jewish Guild Home for the Aged Blind in Yonkers, New York, and drew a large and appreciative audience

Ruling in a major welfare case, the California Second District Court of Appeals held that when the law says market value, it means market value. The suit had held up since March 1972 the enforcement of a provision of the State Welfare Reform Act of 1971 that governed the amount of personal property a recipient could possess and remain on welfare. The plaintiffs argued that the limits were meant to apply only to the equity the recipient actually owned in the goods. The Court of Appeals decided the law intended that the common-usage definition of market value be used—the price for which an item can be sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer in the market place. The opinion was written by Justice Robert S. Thompson, who said, "Having initially provided for general reserves of considerable substance, the California statutory and regulatory scheme allows additional personal property to be acquired, but provides that when the additional property reaches a level where it provides to the welfare recipient a standard of living that may exceed that enjoyed by most of the nonwelfare population of the State, the right to tax-subsidized assistance terminates." This case dealt chiefly with AFDC cases.

Here we go, another umbrella-like agency proposed! Governor Sargent of Massachusetts has proposed to the legislature that a new State Department of Human Services be formed with six major agencies. The six agencies would be the Family Services Administration, Rehabilitation Administration, Community and Mental Health Administration, Health Systems Regulation Administration, Financial Assistance Administration, and Correctional Administration. The State Department of Public Welfare would be abolished and its fiscal functions separated from social services and from Medicaid and be administered by the Financial Assistance Administration. The proposed Rehabilitation Administration would combine all services presently handled by the State Rehabilitation Commission, the Commission for the Blind, the mental retardation services now in the State Department of Mental Health, the State Hospital School, and the handicapped children's program It would provide (in theory, at least) complete, integrated services to the physically handicapped and the developmentally disabled, including the retarded. These umbrella-like agencies are getting larger and larger and will, in time, fall of their own sheer magnitude. However, those who draw charts will be happy.

Studies made by the Social and Rehabilitation Service of HEW indicate that some 180,000 legally blind individuals are on the Old Age Assistance rolls, 80,000 on the Aid to Blind rolls, and 40,000 on the Aid to Disabled rolls. This seems utterly incredible. First, why—since Federal regulations require that a person eligible for more than one type of aid be allowed to choose that which benefits him more, and since Aid to the Blind is usually far more adequate in its grants than Old Age Security—would blind persons choose Old Age Security rather than Aid to the Blind? Second, how can anyone know that all of these people are "legally blind" without their first having careful eye examinations?

A new chapter came into being recently in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. It is known as the Eastern Panhandle Federation of the Blind, Affiliate Number Eleven, and covers the counties of Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson. Its officers are: Mrs. Lola Unger, president; Mrs. Marjorie Young, first vice-president; Mrs. Neva Michael, second vice-president; Mrs. Pearl Corbin, secretary; Mr. Irvin Henry, treasurer; Mrs. Mary Braithwaite, chaplain; and Mrs. Carol Unger, executive board member.

Feel and read, see and read. —This is the slogan of the Braille greeting-card service headed by Harry Fribush. Mr. Fribush produces cards for different occasions with verses in both Braille and print. Those interested in high quality greeting cards which can be read equally by the blind and sighted should write to Harry Fribush, 27 Colonial Avenue, Albany, New York 12203.

Visualtek, the Santa Monica-based manufacturer of electronic visual aids for the partially sighted, announced that significant price reductions for its RS-Series of Read/Write Systems® became effective on May 1. Price reductions ranged from $250 to $320, equivalent to about twenty percent, depending on the specific configuration required. This equipment has been available for prices ranging from $1200 to $1600, but now costs $895 to $1200, depending on the types of capabilities and functions which are desired. The company is located at 1901 Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90404.

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