JULY, 1974


A Publication of the

National Offices

Washington Office




Associate Editor: HAZEL tenBROEK, 2652 SHASTA ROAD, BERKELEY, CALIF. 94708



If you or a friend wishes 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 nonprofit 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."

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

JULY 1974


























With traditional pomp and circumstance, caps, gowns, and academic hoods, eighteen hundred graduates, their families and friends were present at Seton Hall University (NJ) on Saturday, May 18, to witness the conferral of a Doctor of Laws degree upon our President, Kenneth Jernigan. This is the second time he has been so recognized by the academic community. He received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1968 from Coe College in Iowa.

But the privilege went both ways. Those gathered at the convocation had the opportunity to hear our President deliver the commencement address. And he spoke to them of a subject most important to him. The terms, familiar to us, were new to almost all his listeners that day. And his words were the more impressive for the eloquence with which they were delivered. He said in part:

Everyone is familiar with the "revolution of rising expectations" which has raised the consciousness of deprived and dependent populations the world over during the generation since World War II. Abroad, this trend had taken the form of independence movements, the rise of new nations, and the decline of the old colonial empires. Within the United States it has found famous expression in the civil rights movement of the "black-brown-red-yellow" revolt; the feminist movement, known as women's liberation; the aggressive youth counterculture of the sixties; and a variety of other self-assertive and self-directing mobilizations—such as those of the poor, the aged, and the sexually deviant.

Whatever their ultimate validity or vitality, most of these domestic movements and causes have been attended with considerable fanfare and commotion. They have captured the imagination and stirred the understanding of the general public. Not so with the blind. It is not that we have lacked sympathy or goodwill or widespread support. We have had plenty of that. Rather, it is that we have not (in present day parlance) been perceived as a minority. Yet, that is exactly what we are—a minority, with all that the term implies.

As with other minorities, we contend with an "establishment," which tries to put us down and keep us out and which denies that we even exist as a legitimate and cohesive group—with common problems, common aspirations, and common interests. Not only is our "establishment" composed of the general sighted public but, more particularly, of the network of governmental and private social service agencies specifically created to give us aid. Principal among these repressive agencies are the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC).

We have organized to take concerted action. In fact, the National Federation of the Blind (established in 1940) predates most of the activist groups of today. We, too, have our Uncle Toms. We have tokenism; we have efforts to divide and conquer; we have attempts to buy off the troublemakers; we have threats and intimidations; we have professional-sounding studies and reports; we have impressive meetings and conferences; we have talk about positive and constructive action; we have the force and prestige of tradition and custom; and we have a hundred other delays and obstacles.

But underlying all of these things (and far more complex) are our own problems of self-awareness and the need for public education and public understanding. We of the National Federation of the Blind, for instance, affirm that the ordinary blind person can compete on terms of equality with the ordinary sighted person, if he gets proper training and opportunity. We know that the average blind person can do the average job in the average place of business, and do it as well as his sighted neighbor. In other words the blind person can be as happy and lead as full a life as anybody else.

Even so, blindness has its problems. Properly understood and dealt with, it need not be the major tragedy which it has always been considered. It can be reduced to the level of a mere physical nuisance, but it cannot be reduced below that point. Even if we were to contend (and we don't contend it, as I will shortly indicate) that there is absolutely nothing which can be done with sight which cannot be done just as easily and just as well without it, blindness would still be a nuisance, as the world is now constituted. Why? Because the world is planned and structured for the sighted. This does not mean that blindness need be a terrible tragedy or that the blind are inferior or that they cannot compete on terms of equality with the sighted.

Blindness can, indeed, be a tragedy and a veritable hell, but this is not because of the blindness or anything inherent in it. It is because of what people have thought about blindness and because of the deprivations and the denials which result. It is because of the destructive myths which have existed from the time of the caveman—myths which have equated eyesight with ability, and light with intelligence and purity. It is because the blind, being part of the general culture, have tended to accept the public attitudes and thus have done much to make those attitudes reality.

As far as I am concerned, all that I have been saying is tied up with the why and wherefore of the National Federation of the Blind. If our principal problem is the physical fact of blindness, I think there is little purpose in organizing. However, the real problem is not the blindness but the mistaken attitudes about it. These attitudes can be changed, and we are changing them. The sighted can also change. They can be shown that we are in no way inferior to them and that the old ideas were wrong—that we are able to compete with the sighted, play with the sighted, work with the sighted, and live with the sighted on terms of complete equality. We the blind can also come to recognize these truths, and we can live by them.

For all these reasons I say to you that the blind are able to compete on terms of absolute equality with the sighted, but I go on to say that blindness (even when properly dealt with) is still a physical nuisance. We must avoid the sin and the fallacy of either extreme. Blindness need not be a tragic hell. It cannot be a total nullity, lacking all inconvenience. It can, as we of the National Federation of the Blind say at every opportunity, be reduced to the level of a mere annoyance. We the blind must neither sell ourselves short with self-pity and myths of tragic deprivation, nor lie to ourselves by denying the existence of a problem. We need your help: we seek your understanding; and we want your partnership in changing our status in society. There is no place in our movement for the plilosophy of the self-effacing Uncle Tom, but there is also no place for unreasonable and unrealistic belligerence. Will you work with us?

The Governor of New Jersey was also granted a degree and spoke to the assembly. Probably the most pleased person was Seton Hall Professor and active Federationist Ed Lewinson, who introduced President Jernigan to the gathering.

On Sunday evening the Student Division of the NFB of Iowa held a reception to celebrate the occasion. The Orientation Staff gave President Jernigan a scroll—in Latin. And he was presented with a collection of five hundred silver dollars to go toward expenses for the NAC-Trackers.

The degree which attests to the granting of the Doctor of Laws is written in Latin. Freely translated, it says:



Let him be an equal with those who excel in genius and learning and who are distinguished by a deserved award: We, by the power delegated to us by the State of New Jersey, make known to all, and to all who shall yet come before us, that Kenneth Jernigan is selected by us to be advanced to the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws, with all honors, rights, and privileges which appertain thereto. Therefore, that it might become known to all, and as witness to the greater rank conferred, we hereby give this document, signed by our hand and secured with the seal of our University.

Given at the Academic Halls at South Orange, this eighteenth day of May, the year of our Lord 1974.




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Discrimination continues to raise its ugly head in North Carolina. One Saturday morning back in March I received a telephone call from Roy Perry. He said that he had been employed by the Duke Power Company as a meter reader for twenty-eight years and that during this time there had been frequent little harassments relating to his poor vision. Recently this harassment resulted in outright discrimination. He had called a private agency for the blind here in town seeking help and they referred him to me.

Mr. Perry is totally blind in one eye and cannot see well enough out of the other to get a driver's license. The company has been giving him bus fare to get to the various areas where he has to read meters. However, early in February the company announced that they were discontinuing all bus fares and instead would start paying $1.50 per day plus fourteen dollars per mile to meter readers using their own cars for their work. Mrs. Perry, who is employed as a secretary in the local school system, began dropping her husband off in the area where he was to work. If he needed to move to another area, he called her and she would go back on her break or at her lunch hour and take him where he needed to go next. Mr. Perry's supervisor, Mr. Untz, informed him that the company could not pay him the expense money that they were paying the other meter readers because he was not driving his own car. Mr. Perry tried to explain that the car belonged to him; that he had the same expense of getting around as the others; and that he counted only the actual miles he used in doing his job, not the distance his wife drove coming back and forth to pick him up. The company still refused to give him his expense money. He felt that this was discrimination and had decided to seek help. He had never heard of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina until he was referred to me.

I explained Federation philosophy to him and described some of our activities. I agreed that he certainly was a victim of discrimination and that we would do what we could to help him.

I happen to know Mr. Untz well, since he and my husband are members of the same Lions Club; so the first thing I did was call him to find out something about Mr. Perry. He said that Mr. Perry was one of the company's best employees; that he almost never missed a day's work; that he was never late; and that he very seldom made an error in his meter readings. I asked why, then, the company was unwilling to pay him his expense money. Just a couple of weeks prior to this I had spoken to this Lions Club and apparently Mr. Untz began to recall some of our Federation activities. He became somewhat agitated and defensive. He said that Mr. Perry should not have called in an outsider; that he would help him work out his problem. I reminded him that he had had the opportunity to work it out and had not done so; that, besides, I did not really feel that I was an "outsider," since discrimination against one blind person is discrimination against us all. He said that one thing which had complicated the situation was the fact that another meter reader had lost his driver's license a few days before for driving under the influence of alcohol and they would have to pay him, too, if they paid Mr. Perry. I said that as long as he did his work and used his car to do it, I felt that they should pay him; but that, even so, there was still one big difference between his case and that of Mr. Perry; namely, that this fellow created his own problem, while Mr. Perry was doing a good job for the company in spite of a situation over which he had no control. I thanked him for his time, hung up, and reported back to Mr. Perry. I suggested that he just keep quiet for a few days to see how the company would respond to my call.

The following Monday Mr. Untz told Mr. Perry that he was going to try to help him, but one of the vice-presidents who had to approve the action was out of the office because of illness and nothing could be done until his return. Each week Mr. Perry would inquire about his expense money and each week there was some sort of delay tactic. When the ill vice-president finally returned, someone else who had to approve the action retired and the new person had to familiarize himself with the company policies and procedures. Meanwhile, Mr. Perry conferred with his lawyer and was told that Duke Power Company was guilty on a number of counts: violation of the Equal Opportunities Act, mental cruelty, unnecessary harassment, et cetera. He said that if it became necessary to take the matter to court, he was financially able to pay for his own lawyer, but that he would like to have the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina as a co-plaintiff. I said that we would do that and would give him our complete support.

I called Mr. Untz again and said that we would give the company until May 1 (one week) to pay Mr. Perry his retroactive expense money and to start paying him regularly as they did the other employees doing similar work. A couple of days later Mr. Perry called to say that Mr. Untz had told him that he would get his money on May 2, and that it had to be the 2nd rather than the 1st because of their bookkeeping system. Mr. Perry was almost beside himself with joy and gratitude. He said that he knew he would have never gotten his money had it not been for the Federation. He said that many people tithe to their churches, but that from now on he was going to tithe his expense money to the Federation as a token of his appreciation.

Mr. and Mrs. Perry have both joined our Charlotte chapter. He is making regular financial contributions and she is helping with our typing. Mrs. Perry says that her husband tells everyone he meets what a great organization the Federation is and he distributes literature to anyone who will take it. We feel fortunate to have these two new members in our organization.

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On Saturday, February 9, 1974, teachers, school officials, and other interested people met in the downtown Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis for the largest Midwest Conference of Blind Teachers ever held. The sponsors: the NFB Teachers Division and the NFB of Minnesota. The purpose: to demonstrate to the public and school administrators that blind people can teach successfully in the public schools. There have also been conferences in Denver and New York City, but this one in Minneapolis was the largest yet, with about fifty-five people in attendance.

The conference was opened by Joyce Hoffa, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. She stated she hoped the presentation would extend the horizons of the public as to the abilities of blind people in the teaching profession. She spoke from first-hand experience, being a former teacher who has met constant rebuffs and discrimination since becoming blind.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Howard Casmey, Minnesota Commissioner of Education. Dr. Casmey stated he knew of only one blind person employed in Minnesota's public school system. He went on to state his opinion that blind people can teach, and pledged his support in opening opportunities in the education field, particularly in the public schools.

To present the administrators' point of view, a panel discussion, "Considerations in Hiring the Blind Teacher," followed. Panelists were: Dr. Bernard Kaye, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel of the Minneapolis Public Schools; Paul Rutan, Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools; and James O'Keefe, Assistant Director of Minnesota State Services for the Blind. According to Dr. Kaye, there is one blind person employed in the Minneapolis School System (one of the largest in the Midwest), and then only as a substitute teacher. Mr. Kaye dwelt quite heavily on the "problems" of hiring a blind teacher, and raised many questions. Unfortunately, he was not interested enough in the answers to stay for the panel which followed dealing with that very matter. Minneapolis has a dismal record on equal opportunity for the blind; it is easy to see why.

When a blind person is hired as a teacher, the general public assumes he uses "modified" (and therefore probably inferior) techniques in carrying out routine daily teaching duties. To explain the true nature of the alternative techniques used by the blind teacher (and to answer questions such as those raised by Dr. Kaye) a panel of blind teachers discussed "Techniques Employed by the Blind Teacher." Members of this group were: Judy Saunders, moderator, elementary teacher from Devils Lake, North Dakota; Sue Dobbin, Montessori teacher from Minneapolis; David Walle, elementary music teacher in South St. Paul; Roger Drewicke, teaching assistant in English at the University of Minnesota; and Shirley Lansing, junior high mathematics teacher from Urbandale, Iowa. The panelists explained the techniques used by them demonstrating that the blind person can be successful in diverse fields ranging from preschool through college. This vividly brought forth the theme of the conference, that hiring a blind person as a teacher must be based on teaching competency and training, not the lack of sight.

Judy Miller led off the afternoon session with "The Case Against the Denver School System." You will remember that Judy (as well as all other blind people) was denied a chance to teach in the Denver schools simply because of blindness. She and the National Federation of the Blind are seeking to overcome that discrimination. She explained the status of the court action brought by the NFB against the Denver School System, which could have widespread benefits for the blind of the entire Nation.

Since the basic education received by a person, blind or sighted, determines the ability of that person to proceed into higher education (such as teacher education), the quality of grade-school and high-school education received is critical. The final panel, "The Preparation of the Blind Teacher," dealt with the education received by blind children. Panelists were: Joyce Hoffa, moderator; Pat Maurer, resource teacher from South Bend, Indiana; Vincent Svaldi, Superintendent of the Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving School; Doris Willoughby, resource teacher from Des Moines, Iowa; John C. Groos, Director of the Special Education Section of the Minnesota Department of Education; and Paul Leverentz, Coordinator of the East Metropolitan Special Education Council. All in all, this panel showed there is much room for improvement in the education received by a blind child. But Mrs. Maurer and Mrs. Willoughby (both strong Federationists) also showed how to make that improvement.

Bob Acosta, president of the NFB Teachers Division and a history teacher in Chatsworth, California, topped off the day. Bob insisted that we must not let the current tight job market blunt our momentum in telling the public that blind people are successfully working in numerous professions, including teaching. As part of this, we as Federationists must contact our Congressmen and obtain their support of H.R. 69, the amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Enactment of this bill would give blind people a fighting chance by requiring school officials to hire the blind and physically handicapped person on the basis of teaching qualifications, not automatically rule him out. As with other legislation sponsored by the Federation, we must push this ourselves. No one is going to do it for us.

So the Midwest Conference of Blind Teachers, attended by people from California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, is now history. What did it accomplish? We did receive some local press and television coverage, so the word did get out. We had a chance to present our case to some key school officials, up to the State Commissioner of Education. But above all, we showed real, live blind people who are teaching on an equal basis with sighted teachers. Let some regressive agencies and NAC say the blind can't teach. The National Federation of the Blind will continue to show that we can. We can show that because hundreds of blind people are doing it.

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[Reprinted, with permission, from the Des Moines Sunday Register, June 2, 1974.]

Kenneth Jernigan is blind, and so when he plays poker with friends the deck used is marked with Braille symbols. A house rule is that Jernigan never deals.

"I put that rule in myself," says Jernigan. "When I play poker I intend to win, and I don't want anyone else to think the Braille deck is the reason."

Jernigan does win, not only at poker but in games much less precise and rule-bound—changing public attitudes and opinions about blindness, for example. In that game, Jernigan is very much the dealer.

He came to Iowa sixteen years ago to become Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Since then, the record of that agency is impressive: State budget up from $60,000 to about $500,000 annually; headquarters moved from three rooms to a seven-story downtown building; a State law, lobbied by Jernigan, giving blind persons first crack at operating food concessions in government buildings; more than one thousand blind Iowans placed in jobs ranging from electrical engineer to lathe operator.

In those sixteen years, Iowa has gained a worldwide reputation for its training and rehabilitation of the blind. As Harold Russell, chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, put it in a speech in Des Moines in 1968: "If a person must be blind, it is better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the Nation or in the world."

Jernigan says of the success of the Iowa program: "It has nothing to do with technique. It has to do with philosophy." Summed up, the Jernigan philosophy is: That I am blind does not necessarily mean I am less fortunate than you who are sighted. That blindness does not mean inferiority. That a blind person can compete at almost anything on terms of equality with a sighted person.

Such lines would ring in the air like great clichés except that Jernigan is on the cutting edge of a movement by the blind to move out of the humble, to-be-pitied, stay-in-your-place role.

Jernigan, who also is President of the National Federation of the Blind, takes an aggressive, sometimes militant stand in calling for the organized blind to come out in the open and demand their rights.

"Mr. Jernigan would use the techniques of Black Power or Indian Power and say that therefore the blind need to use Blind Power to fight what he calls discrimination," says Robert Barnett of New York City, executive director of the American Foundation for the Blind, and a frequent critic of Jernigan.

Jernigan, explaining his philosophy, says, "If you are to truly understand what I have done here it has to do with the civil-rights aspect of blindness.

"It has to do with our self-image and society's image of us. You see, people do not regard their treatment of the blind as discrimination because they think they are being thoroughly reasonable and that they only want to help the blind person.

"If I insist on my rights, no matter how courteously, no matter how gently, I'm going to be regarded as unreasonable, militant, and pushy."

As an example, Jernigan cites the case a few years ago when a carnival ride operator at the State Fair refused to allow several blind persons on the ride, saying he felt it would be unsafe for them.

Members of Jernigan's staff immediately went to the fairgrounds and told the operator his refusal to allow the blind on the ride was a violation of the State civil rights law. The blind persons were allowed on the ride.

"I would suspect that that individual (the midway operator) had great sympathy for the blind until the day they insisted they were going on his ride," says Jernigan.

"I suspect he felt that blind persons were all right as long as they stayed in their place. But from that moment on they were an unreasonable, aggressive lot.

"This is the problem all minority groups face, and since most people don't regard blind persons as a minority they are more shocked when they find this as a problem than they would be if it were blacks or some other racial minority."

Jernigan, who is 47, has been battling for his rights virtually all his life. Born blind, the son of a Tennessee farm couple, he chafed at parental restrictions, applied lovingly in an effort to protect him.

Jernigan attended a school for the blind through high school but spurned any suggestion that he learn a trade such as broom making.

He won two college degrees in Tennessee and went into teaching there—teaching blind children, saying he wanted them to know of opportunities he had not known of.

When he pressed a case of brutality against a sighted teacher in a blind school he lost his job, but so did the sighted teacher. He eventually ended up working with the blind in Oakland, California, where he was recruited for the Iowa job.

Jernigan says he came to Iowa because he liked the challenge of working in a State ranked dead last in blind work.

He and others say Iowa now ranks first, but he says he won't leave (although he says he has been offered jobs in other states that pay up to thirty thousand dollars a year).

"What keeps me here is what brought me here," he says. "The challenge now is to make the Iowa program still better and the yardstick for every other one. Iowa has been very good to me and I want to stay here."

Jernigan has an expert lobbyist's knowledge of the Iowa Legislature and its members which helps explain his success in getting money and laws. His small dinner parties for legislators and others, at which he himself grills the steaks, are popular.

So are the wines he serves. A noted oenophilist, he was named to the Iowa Wine Advisory Board when that body was established about four years ago to assist the State Liquor Commission in choosing wine brands for State stores. He since has resigned the post.

Jernigan's specialty is Bordeaux, both still wines and sparkling. He does not maintain a wine cellar these days, saying he has no room for one.

Jernigan is not without critics, and some of the most vocal come from the ranks of the blind. That isn't so surprising, says Jernigan.

He likens it to the pre-Civil War days when it was said that the ones who disliked the freed slaves the most were other slaves.

"We say here in Iowa it is possible for you as a blind man to go out and lead the same kind of life any other person leads," says Jernigan.

"Now suppose you have someone who has spent half his life in an inferior position and he has learned to live with it, figuring nothing could be done because he's blind. You tell him different. Most will be glad that others will benefit, but some will react with fury."

Fury may be too strong a word, but Jernigan does draw fire.

"He enjoys being abrasive," says Barnett of the New York City-based American Foundation for the Blind. Barnett also is blind.

Adds Barnett: "From his point of view I think he is deadly sincere, but Ken and I have disagreed. He calls me 'Uncle Bob,' a takeoff on 'Uncle Tom,' apparently because I'm employed by the establishment. My reaction to that is that I didn't know that was a disgrace. I don't agree with any blind person demanding his or her rights beyond the rights which he already is granted as a citizen—education, living where he chooses, and employment that he is capable of handling."

Lyle Williams of Des Moines, who is blind and who is State president of the American Council of the Blind, says he fears that some blind persons who have undergone training at the Iowa Commission have developed "a belligerent attitude" toward sighted persons.

"We hear repeated instances in the city where people are rather brusquely refused when they offer their help to blind persons traveling about the city," says Williams.

On the other hand, Kenneth Hopkins, who is blind and is director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind at Boise, says of Jernigan: "I think he runs the finest program for the blind in the country."

Hopkins, who once lived in Muscatine and attended the University of Iowa, was a student at the Iowa Commission under Jernigan for about eight months. "That training gave me opportunities I did not know existed," Hopkins says. "I am where I am today because of it."

Hopkins says Jernigan's approach takes the emphasis away from techniques and what he called "assembly line" training. The Jernigan method substitutes an emphasis on attitude and the realization that blindness presents certain problems—but that there are ways to meet those problems. "It's the only way to run a railroad," says Hopkins, adding that he has
modeled the Idaho program on Iowa's.

Blind mobility—the ability of a blind person to travel on his own city streets—is one of Jernigan's favorite topics.

Students taking training at the Iowa Commission are a common sight on downtown Des Moines streets. Using the long white cane (called the Iowa Cane by many in the field of the blind), the students make their way among shoppers and across streets.

Not too long ago, says Jernigan, a blind man taking mobility training lost his sense of direction along Keosauqua Way in downtown Des Moines and wandered into the middle of that street. A commission staff member, trailing about a quarter block behind, witnessed the action and stood ready to lend aid should real danger from traffic show itself.

Instead, says Jernigan, a passerby, touched by the sight of a blind man apparently lost and confused, stepped to his side and guided the man back to the sidewalk. "That meant it all had to be done over again," says Jernigan. "It would have been better to let the individual find his own way back to the sidewalk if it could be done, even if it took forty-five minutes.

"In the stage between the time when he (the blind man) knows he's being watched and the stage when he gets to be confident and independent, there will inevitably come times when he is lost, frightened, and confused. And there is no way to avoid going through that stage unless he is going to sit down the rest of his life and not be able to travel independently."

To critics who call such training "too tough," Jernigan replies: "It is the least tough alternative available. The real test is not its theory, but does it work? We have never had an individual here get hurt in travel."

Seriously hurt, is what Jernigan means. There have been a few bumped heads and some minor scrapes.

Once a Des Moines city official came to Jernigan and offered to have a crew move a utility pole that protruded into a sidewalk used by blind walkers. Jernigan refused, telling the city official: "You can't go and clear every pole out of every sidewalk in this country. These people have to learn to avoid that pole by techniques we can teach them."

When the city official protested that he himself had seen a blind man bump his head on the pole and that it appeared to be a painful experience, Jernigan replied: "I'm sure it was, and I'm sorry about it, but would you rather he'd hurt his head on that pole and think about it and do better, or would you rather he be killed five years from now by stepping out in front of a car because he was careless?"

Adds Jernigan: "Look, I am blind and I want to be able to go where I want to go. If you were to offer me the option of having to sit down as a prisoner—and that's what it amounts to, unable to go unless someone is willing and able to take me—or you offer me some pain in learning a method which sets me free so that I can go where I please to go, I'll take the pain."

To those who question his attitudes toward the blind, Jernigan says: "there are times when you must be ultra-gentle and you must let a man stand up and swear at you, but on the other hand there are times when you must say, 'Look, I'm as blind as you are and I don't feel one bit sorry for you, so get off it.'"

Jernigan has plenty of opportunities to talk to students at the Iowa Commission. He and his wife, Anna Katherine, who is sighted and works as a dietary administrator for the State health department, live in an apartment in the Commission's building. The quarters are part of Jernigan's compensation, which includes an annual salary of $21,400.

"The reason I live here is that I need to be available day or night if students want to talk to me," said Jernigan.

Jernigan and his wife host a group of the students most every Sunday at a tea in the apartment on the fifth floor. Also, it is not uncommon for a student (all students at the commission live in the building) to call Jernigan late at night to discuss a problem.

Once, a student called Jernigan and told him that another student, discouraged and bitter, was preparing to leave the building. It was about 3:00 a.m.

Jernigan hurried to the main floor and stopped the man, saying he wanted to hear his problem. The man refused and attempted to brush past Jernigan who blocked his path.

"The only way you're going to get past me is knock me down," Jernigan told the student. The student did agree to talk to Jernigan in his office and made a decision to stay.

Those who come to the Iowa Commission do not follow any set timetable on how long they will stay. They live, rent free, in single rooms and take various vocational courses ranging from learning to cook and bake to operating a lathe or an electric welder. They also have classes, sometimes taught by Jernigan, in which the problems of the blind are discussed.

Jernigan makes no bones about the fact that the Commission center is not a vocational training center. "This is an attitude factory, not a trade school," he says. He adds that those who leave the center bent on a career in a craft generally go on to a trade school.

The impatience that has marked his whole life also marks most of his days. He hates to waste time. He usually arises at 5:30 a.m., sometimes takes a 6:00 a.m. gym class with other students. Then, while shaving, he listens to the reading of The Des Moines Register over Radio Station KDPS, an FM station operated by the Des Moines school board.

At night Jernigan often reads science fiction or history or biography—either by Braille or by a "talking book" recording.

He keeps a set of weights in his office and sometimes lifts them when he dictates letters to his secretary. He once was an accomplished horseback rider and water-skier, but does not take part in those activities now.


[From the Memphis City Schools Bulletin.]

A favorite story in Special Education circles deals with the blind student who told everyone, "I'm not handicapped, just inconvenienced." Lev Williams—new Area Specialist in the Special Education Division who also happens to be blind—goes a step further in his philosophy, because he doesn't even consider himself inconvenienced.

Mr. Williams was a freshman at Mississippi Industrial College when he lost his vision in a shooting accident. He was in school on an athletic scholarship, played all sports, was majoring in biology and chemistry, and planned to eventually become a brain surgeon.

After losing his vision Mr. Williams attended Arkansas Enterprises, a rehabilitation and adjustment center for the visually handicapped. He graduated from Tennessee State in Nashville, with a degree in psychology, second highest in his class of 420, with a grade point average of 3.75. He then attended the University of Kentucky on a jointly sponsored Woodrow Wilson and Southern Educational Foundation Scholarship. Washington University in St. Louis was where he received his master's degree in psychology in 1964. As part of his work there, he spent six months doing research and writing a thesis on prejudice, an experience which he considers contributed more to his growth and maturity than any other episode in his life, even his adjustment to blindness. In fact, Mr. Williams does not consider that he really had to adjust to blindness. He just simply was blind; this was a fact he accepted, and life went on.

His research into prejudice left him with the conviction that most people's prejudices are based on their beliefs as individuals rather than their race.

After his accident the moral and financial support of the people in his hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, was a big factor in his acceptance of the situation. The town, where he had worked in the YMCA since the seventh grade, adopted him. Their attitude toward him was one of support and acceptance, not pity, and he had so much to do that he never had time to pity himself. Mr. Williams feels that many people become so absorbed in accepting pity that they become trapped by it.

He has completed thirty-six hours past his master's in education from Memphis State and Peabody College. His first job with the Memphis City Schools was as resource teacher at Georgia Avenue School, in 1965. After a year and a half he became an itinerant teacher of the blind, traveling by bus to the various schools all over the city where his students were assigned. He has taught all subjects, grades one through twelve. If you asked the students, teachers, parents, and other people who have come in contact with Lev Williams through the years what characteristic they most identify with him they would mention such things as his courage, his determination, his quick mind; but the one thing everyone would think of is his sense of humor, his ability to laugh at himself and to keep others from taking themselves too seriously.

Mr. Williams' promotion to Area Specialist marks the first time a blind person has been assigned to an administrative position in the Memphis City Schools. He has primary responsibility for the instructional program for the visually limited for Special Education and the visually limited comprehensive center at Sea Isle School. He had taught adult night classes for the blind for the past six or seven years.

Mr. Williams says that his goal is for the blind kids now in school to come along and make him look bad. His hope is for them to be everything they would have been if they hadn't been blind.

The people who know Lev Williams and work with him feel that he's everything he would have been if he hadn't been blind—and more.

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"Firmly but gently" was the way Lorraine Hill Arvidson repaired too-tight earrings, handled energetic children, and "educated" stubborn adversaries. But on April 17, 1974, she was attacked by a virus, and quietly passed away the following evening.

Lorraine became a Federationist in 1950. She was secretary and board member of the United Blind of Minnesota for over twelve years, and was up for election again this spring. She was also a member of its Legislative Committee. She and her Husband, Jack, attended every NFB Convention since 1961.

Lorraine was extremely well-versed in the Federation's history, its past and present legislative programs, and the philosophy of the NFB. She was proud of the fact that blind people had organized long ago, and as a result were far more advanced legislatively than other groups who are just now beginning to cry for their rights.

Lorraine lost her sight as a preschooler. She attended the Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving School, where she majored in music with the intention of becoming a piano teacher. However, after one year of struggling with students who had neither the inclination nor the aptitude for piano, she decided to turn her efforts to work which might be more rewarding.

She tried rug weaving, factory work, and proofreading for the public school's sight saving department. She soon became an expert in Braille mathematics. She was hired by State Services for the Blind as a consultant teacher. A great deal of her time after that was spent proofreading Braille math books for Minnesota students. She was considered to be an authority in her field, and will be deeply missed.

Because of her experience, she was appointed Commissioner and Legislative Chairman of the Minnesota Commission of the Handicapped. She was a member of the Advisory Committee on Social Services of the State Department of Public Welfare. For many years, she was a member of the Liaison Committee to State Services for the Blind. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Society for the Blind.

Lorraine tried to get wheelchair ramps built with stippled surfaces so blind people could tell when they were coming to what should have been a curb. She was instrumental in getting blind people on the Society's executive committee, getting positions for blind people in the MSB's front office, getting a vending stand established at the MSB, and preventing a credit union (in direct competition with the Blind of Minnesota Credit Union) from being chartered at the MSB. At the time of her death, she was involved in an effort to get unemployment compensation for the workshop workers, and, of course, in deNACing the MSB.

Lorraine was a board member of the St. Croix Valley Arts Guild, a charter member of the Blind of Minnesota Credit Union, and an avid Card Club member. Nothing, but nothing, stopped her from attending Card Club.

Lorraine and her husband, Jack, designed the split level mansion they called "home" in Brooklyn Center. Lorraine said, "Men know very little about kitchens. They don't care how much space is allowed below a wall cabinet, or which way a door opens. If a woman wants a functional kitchen, she had jolly well better design it herself." Needless to say, Lorraine did.

The Arvidsons have two boys—John, his wife Gail, and their two children, live next door in a home almost identical to his parents'; Lee lives at home. Lorraine got only pleasure from raising her two boys. She found everything about their growing years interesting and exciting. One of the boys was acquiring a bad habit of coming home late for dinner. When he finally showed up, did she say, "Where have you been? I've been worried sick. Why didn't you call?" Not Lorraine. She said, "Too bad you missed your dinner. Your portion has been placed in the freezer. Dinner will be served tomorrow evening at six sharp. However, I do hope you had a big lunch."

Lorraine dearly loved dogs, and believed her two Chihuahuas were as intelligent as some human beings. According to her, one of the dogs considered herself to be sole owner of the Arvidson home and condescended to allow them to share it with her, and the other was a cheerful gadabout who chattered and scolded from morning 'til night.

Lorraine was a fragile looking lady. But she had the determination and endurance of a marathon runner. She was always quiet and dignified. She wore elegantly understated clothes. She believed a lady was never too old to wear feminine clothes. Back before the days of wigs, she said, "A fluffy hat can hide a multitude of sins." She was very vain about one thing. "I have a twenty-two-inch waist. Why not flaunt it?"

In her off-hours, Lorraine did all the work schedules for Jack's Commercial Floor Service. She was hooked on "As The World Turns," and we spent many an evening second-guessing the twistings of its plots.

She took a trip to Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, to learn Braille speed-reading. From her accounts, one got the impression that more time was spent on memory games and writing zany limericks about the professor than was actually spent on reading books.

Lorraine liked people. She respected them for their abilities. If a job needed to be done, she would simply ask the person most qualified to do it if he would be willing to help. This is probably why she had friends who were young, friends who were old, friends who were famous, friends who were unknown, friends who were influential, and friends who simply didn't have her drive. She found them all exceedingly interesting.

Lorraine was totally honest. If you had the nerve to ask her for an opinion, knowing full well you would get the unvarnished truth, she certainly had the nerve to tell you. But Lorraine was also totally objective. She could disagree with you at a meeting to the point of name-calling. But afterwards, she could be as cordial as before the meeting. You see, Lorraine never became angry with people, just ideas.

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[Reprinted by courtesy of the Montana Standard (Butte, Montana).]

Blind persons can do anything until they prove they can't, according to Susan Ford.

She should know. Mrs. Ford has been blind since her birth twenty-some years ago.

Mrs. Ford recently spoke to McKinley School students who prepared for her visit with units on the eye and blindness.

With a no-nonsense ring in her voice, Mrs. Ford quieted a roomful of curious youngsters, saying, "I am blind. I can't see your hands if you raise them. If you have questions, call my name and I'll try to answer."

According to Tim Sullivan, McKinley principal, the purpose of the talk session was to give students, who will someday be employers, a "grassroots" knowledge of blindness as a handicap.

"Some people are afraid to hire the blind because they are afraid to fire them if they don't measure up," said the outspoken Mrs. Ford.

She has a frustrated opinion of blind persons who resort to begging or peddling on the street.

"In this day and age, (blind) people can get jobs," she said. "There's no reason for them to stand on the street and beg."

The practice holds blind people's progress up while prejudicing sighted people against them, she added.

Mrs. Ford has a master's degree in visual services rehabilitation from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned her bachelor's degree from Montana State University after attending the University of Iowa in her home State for three years.

As director for a summer orientation for newly blind in Bozeman, Mrs. Ford met her future husband and decided to transfer to MSU. Ford is also blind.

The couple came to Butte in August, and they are moving to Missoula late this month.

Though her stay in Butte is short, district visual services counselor Sam Larango said Mrs. Ford's presence has been strongly felt.

"The best way to get people to accept the fact they're going blind is to have a blind person work with them," he explained.

As a home teacher, Mrs. Ford helps persons losing their sight or newly blind to gradually replace fear and frustration with acceptance and realistic attitudes for progress. She lectures to students and other interested groups, as she did at McKinley.

With Mrs. Ford's help, an elderly woman who is losing her sight is still able to bake and do her laundry. Simple strips of tape on the oven and washing machine dials did the trick. The woman is able to keep up her pastime, corresponding with friends, because Mrs. Ford gave her special, heavily lined stationery.

When she visits schools, Mrs. Ford often blindfolds students and asks them to perform tasks such as identifying coins and pouring water.

"With blindfolds on, students discover it's different and scary, but they realize they are capable of doing these things," said Mrs. Ford. Consequently, they realize the blind are even more capable, through necessity.

About her job, Mrs. Ford said, "I'd much rather do this than teach in conventional classrooms. I can see such a need for education, so the blind can be more independent." To Mrs. Ford the word "see" is a verb with a different meaning-understanding.

She applauds blind persons who conform with her opinion that the blind shouldn't be pitied. She stamps her approval on blind who insist, "I can do it myself."

Mrs. Ford types in Braille and on standard typewriters and she is a proficient Braille reader. She does much of her own sewing, and as hobbies, she knits and quilts.

Larango said when he takes Susan to one of the cities in his six-county district, he gives her the westerly directions and lets her go. With help from nothing but a cane and confidence, Mrs. Ford accomplishes what needs to be done.

"Blind isn't a word to be afraid of," said Mrs. Ford.

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There will be a new look in Rehabilitation Services for the Visually Impaired in the State of Nebraska. Our Nebraska affiliate, led by Dick Parker, is delighted that someone who believes in Federation philosophy has taken over.

The new director is Dr. James Nyman. He says that his past activities indicate where the future will lie. Federation philosophy, he hopes, will interact with the program in Nebraska to achieve coherence from services which have been, until now, fragmented and whose emphasis has not been on the blind. The Division is housed in more-or-less-adequate temporary facilities, and Mr. Nyman hopes that someday all programs affecting the blind will be in one place, including orientation and the library for the blind.

Nyman brings with him a fine background in the educational field. He received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1956; an M.A. in 1958 from the University of California; and in 1966, a Ph.D. from that institution. As a graduate student, he taught for three years at Berkeley. Nyman served on the faculty of the University of California at Davis for one year, at the University of Arizona at Tucson for one year; four years at the University of Chicago; and five years at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Jim Nyman also brings with him a long history in the Federation. His first formal association was with the Alameda County chapter in California which he joined in 1956. And the president was none other than Kenneth Jernigan. Jim was a charter member of the Illinois affiliate (then the Illinois Congress, now the NFB of Illinois). In 1968 he was second vice-president and legislative chairman. In the latter role he was responsible for the passage of the White Cane Law in the State. Since 1971 he has served as a board member of the NFB of Texas; as legislative chairman; and as president of the San Antonio Chapter 1973-74.

With these circumstances, the kind of courage which Mr. Nyman brings to the job, and our full support, there is only one way for rehabilitation services for the blind in Nebraska to go: as our President would say—Onward and Upward.

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Editor's Note.—Dr. Wilson is professor of political science at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and delivered the following address at the banquet of the NFB of California's spring convention in May 1974.

It is written in the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter I, verse 18: "He that increaseth knowledge also increaseth sorrow."

Several generations of my students, I am afraid, would volubly attest to the truth of this proposition. But I think it equally true that "He who suppresseth knowledge also suppresseth the people." And in plain English, he who suppresses knowledge or withholds vital information is a tyrant. In a self-governing Republic, at least, the perplexity, disquiet, and even sorrow which inevitably accompany an expansion of knowledge is infinitely to be preferred to tyranny.

The tragedies of the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Watergate, of the ITT Affair, the Vesco Caper, the Dairy Association's suspected bribery, and the Ellsberg break-in are not that they happened, but that we, the public, lacked the essential information to prevent them from happening. It is only belatedly that, beneath the cloak of official secrecy covering Washington, we are beginning to comprehend that the emperor literally "wears no clothes." So perhaps this frightening insight confirms both verities—that what we learn causes sorrow but that what we fail to learn denies our responsibility and thus our humanity.

The phenomena which have produced this curtain of secrecy are many and complex. The Cold War, of course, has necessitated the perpetuation of a massive military establishment which invokes national security as a rationalization for withholding information from the "enemy" and thus, inevitably, from the people. The perennial concern of the bureaucrat to insulate his mistakes from public criticism provides further impetus for secrecy. The major contribution to the secrecy fetish, however, has come from the rapidly increasing domination of public administration by the professional expert who places his ultimate faith in comprehensive planning, scientific method, and a suffocating array of specialized techniques and routines. All of these approaches to managing the public's business are said to require specialized knowledge and professional training, neither of which the general public possesses and neither of which it can acquire. Thus, what the public cannot comprehend it does not "need to know." One critic of the specialist's information monopoly puts it this way:

"... in most instances experts and planners tend to emerge as the equivalent of selective filters for communication and decision in the social system. They use their available time to consult in selected circles. Since they limit participation in planning they permit information and influence to flow only within a selective portion of the body politic."

But the jealous protection of information is only one of the dubious benefits ensuing from government by the experts. Another, equally dubious, is the virtual monopoly enjoyed by certain "private" experts in generating the information upon which the "public" experts supposedly rely when formulating and applying public policies.

Take, for example, the so-called Urban Problems Industry which consists of a small group of consulting firms providing the great bulk of the research utilized by HUD and other Federal agencies charged with rescuing American cities from imminent strangulation. Interestingly, most of these firms, which last year were paid over half a billion dollars of the taxpayers' money, are subsidiaries of companies whose profits depend primarily on the preservation and revitalization of the American metropolis—companies engaged in urban renewal, freeway construction, structural insurance, automated office equipment, and the like.

One such firm, well-known to you in the NFB, is Peat, Marwick and Mitchell whose generous gift to the Nation's blind is Daniel D. Robinson, the imperial potentate of NAC. Peat, Marwick and Mitchell is, of course, a well-known, nationwide accounting firm. What is less well-known is that it owns and operates a subsidiary. Peat, Marwick and Livingston which is one of the most influential "think tanks" in the Urban Problems Industry,

Some insight into the attitudes and sentiments of commercial research groups like Peat, Marwick and Livingston may be provided by the fact that most of them, as well as the professional researchers who work for them, have had a long and close connection with the military-industrial complex; they are, in fact, a "spin-off” from the latter. However, the mental set that successfully creates a missile delivery system is hardly suitable for creating livable cities. It is a mental set that puts freeways through slums and the dispossessed slum residents into yet other slums. It produces, in a study of mass transportation, a sentence like "Comfort is a complexly distributed random variable." Now, in the doubtful event that this means anything at all, it appears to signify that since you can't quantify comfort, you might as well forget about it and leave the strap-hangers with their elbows in each other's ribs.

In this approach to the human condition, of course, the reduction of people and their behavior to quantifiable measurements is a necessary correlate of what has come to be called Systems Theory. The major premise of that theory is that all human behavior is determined by invariant laws, similar in their permanence and universality to the laws of Newtonian mechanics. These laws, it is contended, fit together into an interdependent and comprehensive descriptive system which enables us to predict and ultimately to control all human behavior. Such an analytical approach is equally useful, it is further argued, for comprehending and manipulating any aspect of social conduct, whether it be international warfare, the distribution of goods and services, the operation of a welfare system, or the management of a rehabilitation program for handicapped persons.

The formulation of vital human concerns in the jargon of systems theory often produces some curious results. A recent proposal to OEO for an automated data system to keep track of civil rights progress of blacks and Chicanos sounded like this: "The initial step in developing alternative system models will be to use the analysis of existing and proposed systems as the basis for constructing several different designs for each system component. These components include system objectives, data inputs, collection mechanisms, processing procedures, and utilization patterns."

Such pretentious jargon obviously expresses little real concern for the ethnic minorities who are supposedly the beneficiaries of OEO efforts. Equally important, this paragraph could just as well have been talking about missile systems, and indeed may have been when it was first written, for plagiarism is an all too common phenomenon among systems theorists.

But if the methodologies are couched in arcane and impenetrable language, what about the research which results from their use? That much of it is less than spectacular is well illustrated by a 150-page study by one of these "think tanks," entitled Inter-Urban Residential Mobility in Seattle as It Relates to Poverty and OEO Programs. The conclusion reached by this elaborate effort is, quite simply, that patterns of residence-change of poverty families in central Seattle differ vastly from all other segments of the population. The reason for the difference is "the apparent inability of Negroes in the ghetto to participate in the normal choice of housing." Therefore, the report concludes, some new approach is required. And, indeed, some new approach surely is required when a team of "experts" gets $75,000 for giving the Government the astonishing news that Negroes in the ghetto "have an apparent inability to participate in the normal choice of housing."

Thus it is that highly specialized but largely sterile information inputs, processed through an artificial and dehumanizing theoretical system, producing outputs that are either meaningless or are suppressed because they would cause much embarrassment—all add up to government by the experts rather than government by the people. You in the NFB are, of course, abundantly familiar with the victimization and alienation that such an approach creates within one particular group of citizens—the visually handicapped. And since your experience in this regard vastly exceeds my own, I have refrained from narrating additional horror stories about the consequences which this orientation has had for the Nation's blind citizens. Rather, what I am constrained to emphasize is not so much the uniqueness but the universality of your condition. We are all, sighted and blind alike, the so-called beneficiaries of a well-intentioned, rationally organized welfare state directed and managed by professional experts who profess to know what is good for us. But our role is precisely that of the beneficiary, not that of the citizen. The vast difference between these two roles is accurately summarized by Professor Benveniste in his provocative little book The Politics of Expertise:

The beneficiaries have no importance. They probably do not understand the complexities of the problem, their technical awareness is minimal, and who has the time to worry about them? To consult them is to subject oneself to the indignities of political pressure. It is not atypical for experts to avoid any contact with the ultimate beneficiaries of their plans.

But if the entire political system is seriously infected with the disease of custodialism; if in the words of the Italian social critic, Luigi Barzini, "The delusion of the bureaucrat is the notion that civilization is a system"; then what is the therapy? How are we, sighted and blind, white and black, young and old, to escape from the status of mere beneficiary and to assume the functions of intelligent consumer and responsible citizen? The deeper significance of this question, of course, goes to the heart of any political system, including our own. How shall power and authority be distributed in order to protect the legitimate interests of the competing groups which together compose the society while, at the same time, promoting the welfare of the community as a whole?

Among the various answers to this question is one which, in recent years, has received ever-increasing attention from a growing number of disparate interest groups. It is called consumerism or maximum feasible consumer participation in the formulation and the administration of policy at the agency level. This, of course, is not a novel or an untried political technique in the American context. It has been employed with considerable success by farmers' organized labor, trade associations, professional "guilds," and the like, for over a century. What is new about it is its latter-day utilization by groups which previously have been characterized as largely disorganized, clearly disadvantaged, and generally unrepresented—the poor, the ethnic minorities, and the physically handicapped. The adoption of consumerism by these previously disinherited groups raises several crucial questions. First, will it work as successfully for them as it has for their more affluent and influential predecessors? Second, entirely apart from who profits from the process, is consumerism consistent with the realities of the American political system? Third, is it consistent with the norms and values of the American constitutional system? Fourth, even if it does work for the disadvantaged, should it be widely utilized by them? My short answer to these questions is that maximum consumer participation at the administrative level does, indeed, offer a viable and promising method for increasing the influence and the affluence of the dispossessed, but, that if used as the exclusive means to that end, unaccompanied by other, indispensable alterations in the American political system, it is likely to prove counterproductive for the groups who rely upon it and, perhaps, disastrous for the public interest as a whole. Let me devote the remainder of my remarks to an examination of these propositions.

From the beginning of our constitutional experience in 1789 down to, roughly, the beginning of the present century, the very foundation stone of American political theory was the notion that atomization of power is an indispensable condition for the liberty and well-being of all citizens. From a constitutional point of view, power was separated among the several branches of government, divided between state and Nation, and restricted, wherever located, by guarantees for individual rights. In James Madison's words, this fragmented structure of formal power was designed "to insure that the government's several constituent parts may, by their mutual relation, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places."

This neat, mechanistic solution to the problem of power, however, rests upon a suppressed premise—a premise which pertains to the realities of political life rather than to the formalities of governmental structure. In a word, this premise posits the existence of a self-adjusting mechanism defined by the "natural laws" of what we might call the "political marketplace." From competition and struggle among organized interest groups, each seeking to maximize the welfare of its members, it is assumed that policies will automatically emerge which will best serve the broader interest of the entire Nation. This view we have come to call interest group liberalism, or pluralism, and it bears a remarkable resemblance to Adam Smith's theory of the self-adjusting price market within which free competition among sellers and buyers will automatically produce a maximum supply of goods and services at the lowest possible price. As Adam Smith put it, an "invisible hand" will mysteriously but efficiently adjust and coordinate the selfish interests of all buyers and sellers in such a way as to maximize satisfaction for all and thus promote the greatest good for the greatest number. Similarly, the theory of interest group liberalism assumes the existence of a political "invisible hand" which will miraculously balance the demands of selfish interest groups in such a manner as to promote the common interests of the broader political community.

It will come as no surprise that neither the theory of economic liberalism nor the theory of interest group liberalism has worked out in practice. In a word, somebody or something amputated the "invisible hand" quite some time ago—if it ever existed at all. And the knife which amputated it was what, in the economic sphere, we call monopoly or oligopoly, and in the political sphere, power or influence. Inevitably, some actors, whether economic or political, will accumulate disproportionate amounts of wealth, power, and influence and when they do, the system functions primarily in their interest and not in the public interest.

On the political side, many factors have contributed to the inequitable distribution of power among competing interest groups. Wealth is an obvious one; the poorly financed causes of little people rarely prevail in the political arena. But penury may, to some degree, be offset by a second factor—namely, a high degree of cohesion, organizational solidarity, and firmness of purpose in the political efforts of the less opulent groups. There is, however, an additional contributing cause of political power imbalance which I wish to emphasize here and it is, quite simply, consumerism. Those organized interest groups which have managed to capture and to control the administrative agencies having direct jurisdiction over their affairs and vital concerns are precisely the groups which have enjoyed the greatest success in the game of power politics.

Now, at first glance, it may appear quite outrageous and unfair to suggest that consumer control over the agencies that serve them has contributed so significantly to a distortion and an imbalance of power within the American political system. But it appears outrageous only until we ask the basic question—who are the consumers? A few illustrations should provide the answer to this question. The consumers of the services of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) are a handful of giant airline companies, not the millions of passengers who regularly travel by air; the companies created the CAB to protect themselves from potential competion and they control the Board's policies exclusively in their own interest, not that of the passengers. Similarly, large commercial farming corporations (the Agri-business) are the principle consumers of the services of the United States Department of Agriculture, not the millions of us who daily purchase our food at the supermarket. And it is rare indeed, to find a Secretary or under Secretary, or Assistant Secretary of Agriculture whose primary loyalty does not belong to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Exactly the same observation can be made about the American railroad industry and the ICC, giant unions and the Department of Labor, major business corporations and the FTC, and so forth. Finally, who are regarded as the relevant consumers of the services of HEW, of the state welfare and vocational rehabilitation departments, and of NAC, which strives to achieve a quasi-official monopoly over the conditions of welfare and rehabilitation services for the Nation's blind? Certainly not the blind, the poor welfare client, or the homeless child—rather, the peripatologist, the professional caseworker, the agency supervisor, the so-called rehabilitation expert, and all of the other parasites whose first loyalty is to their jobs rather than to their clients.

The point that I am making here, of course, is that consumerism has contributed so signally to a distortion of the American political power balance—to a discrediting of political pluralism—precisely because the wrong "consumers" have achieved a virtual monopoly over the agencies which serve them. If, then, we are to reestablish anything like the viable balance of power which was the ideal objective of the nineteenth-century pluralist thinkers, the "right" consumers, the ultimate consumers, such as yourselves, the housewife, the welfare recipient, must acquire and protect maximum possible participation in policymaking and application at the agency level. It is in this sense that the contemporary demand for consumerism by the disadvantaged and the disregarded is not only consistent with the realities of the American political system, but is indispensable if that system is to survive.

But earlier in these remarks I raised another question which is not so easily answered. If consumer participation is consistent with the realities of our political system, is it equally consistent with the norms of our constitutional system? The answer to this question will determine in significant degree whether the "ultimate" consumer should push for his place in the participatory sun and, more important, how he should use his influence once he achieves it. Let me devote my final remarks to these issues.

Perhaps the foundation stone of the American constitutional system is the notion of the "rule of law." Specifically, this means that what the citizen may do, and what he may not do, is spelled out in the form of general, impartial rules contained in statutes enacted by legislative bodies which, in some general sense, represent the will of the whole political community. The antithesis of the idea of the "rule of law" is that of the "rule of men." Specifically, what the citizen may do and what he may not do is determined by the arbitrary will or the capricious whim of the ruler or rulers. In our constitutional system, discretionary authority—that is, the function of policy innovation—is supposedly the primary responsibility of legislative bodies and not administrative agencies since the former represent the popular will and the latter do not.

If the system is to work at all, of course, legislatures must inevitably delegate some discretionary authority to the bureaucrats. But in order to preserve the principle of the "rule of law," legislative delegation of power must be circumscribed and narrowly limited by means of adequate statutory standards. Chief Justice Taft summarized this vital constitutional requirement as follows: "If Congress shall lay down by a legislative act an intelligible principle and a set of primary standards to which the person authorized to act is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power."

If legislative bodies fail to restrain the bureaucracy by placing clear and sharp limits on the discretionary authority delegated to it, then it is inevitable that the real policymakers will be, not the legislators, but the professional experts and the organized interest groups which dominate the administrative agencies. And even if representative legislatures do include effective, limiting standards in the legislation which they enact, unless the courts are willing strictly to interpret and vigorously to enforce those limitations, then we shall be governed by the arbitrary discretion of the agencies—by the "rule of men," not by the "rule of law."

To put the matter bluntly, this is exactly what has happened in our governmental system, and it continues to happen every day. Legislatures—both state and national—have increasingly delegated ever-broader grants of discretionary authority to the bureaus; limiting standards have either been omitted altogether or else stated so vaguely and ambiguously as to be useless; the courts have largely failed in the constitutional duty to invalidate what has clearly become a flood of unconstitutional delegation. The political scientist, Theodore Lowi, puts it this way: "Delegation of power has become alienation of the public domain—the gift of sovereignty to private satrapies."

As Professor Lowi's conclusion clearly implies, the professional bureaucrats and the organized consumer groups (albeit the wrong ones) have been the prime agitators and the most powerful proponents of this process of unrestricted delegations of policymaking power. And this is hardly surprising; it is difficult to imagine a development which would more effectively reinforce their claims for dominance and their assertions of superiority.

Now, the conclusions which we can draw from all of this seem to me rather obvious. First, participation in the administrative process by the ultimate consumers (welfare recipients, rehabilitation clients, the housewife at the supermarket, et cetera) will not, by itself, dissolve the virtual monopoly of power and influence presently enjoyed by the professional bureaucrats and the traditional interest groups. Second, genuine consumer representation will not, by itself, promote the general interest of the broader political community at the national level. Third, consumerism can contribute significantly to both of these objectives only if it is combined with a serious attempt to reverse the trend toward unconstitutional and unconscionable delegations of policymaking authority to the bureaucrats and to the traditional, well-financed interest groups. Fourth, the initial and major objectives of consumer participation for disadvantaged groups such as your own must be an effort to use the lever of consumerism as a device for stemming the tide of unconstitutional delegations, for insisting on incorporation of fair, equitable, and strictly limiting standards in legislative grants of authority, and for forcing the administrators to conform rigidly to these standards. Anything short of this will, I am afraid, leave participating consumers still at the mercy of the professionals and the stronger, wealthier interest groups.

As I have earlier suggested, we can no longer rely on the mysterious "invisible hand" of the political marketplace to rationalize the competing demands of self-interested groups and to safeguard the public interest. But, the only constitutionally acceptable substitute for this ghostly phenomenon is the "rule of law." The "rule of law," however, becomes ever more a myth and ever less a reality as the trend toward unconstitutional delegations of policymaking power to the agencies becomes intensified. Any political system which must rely on an "invisible hand" and an "invisible law" will sooner or later, itself, become invisible.

Perhaps that exquisitely perceptive critic of American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville, best summed it up when he observed: "Men are not corrupted by the exercise of power or debased by the habit of obedience, but by the exercise of a power which they believe to be illegitimate, and by obedience to a rule they consider to be usurped and oppressive."

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[From the Michigan Focus, April 1974, publication of our affiliate, the NFB of Michigan.]

As most blind people in Michigan know, we have three NAC Board members from our State and yet when were you or a member of the organized blind last permitted to discuss our concerns about the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped with even one of these "representatives?" I continue to be disheartened, disgusted, and appalled with their condescension and aloofness for those constituents whom they purport to serve.

Dr. Geraldine Scholl spoke to representatives of the NFBM about one year ago; however, she demonstrated no interest or willingness to work with the organized blind of Michigan to achieve necessary reforms within the structure and function of NAC. She is comfortably situated at the University of Michigan, Department of Special Education, and apparently feels her "wise" decisions will help blind persons without benefit of our ideas. Dr. Melvin Glasser, in charge of Social Security for the UAW, would not bother to respond to our queries; therefore, we have not even had an opportunity to speak with him in person although his attitudes have been placed on the record from minutes published in The Braille Monitor as reprinted from past years' NAC Board meetings. Like Dr. Scholl, Mr. Glasser presumes that his wisdom will guide him toward proper decisions even though he will not bother to meet with our representatives and listen to our concerns. The third NAC Board member, McAllister Upshaw, is the executive director of the Greater Detroit Society for the Blind. Representatives of the organized blind movement have met with Mr. Upshaw, but find his position similar to Dr. Scholl's and Mr. Glasser's. Mr. Upshaw directs an agency in Detroit which has been described by many persons as an outright disgrace in terms of the failure of the agency to provide services. The Greater Detroit Society for the Blind is viewed by most blind people in the Detroit metropolitan area as a well-disguised window dressing for the United Community Services. The UCS is annually granting GDSB one-quarter million dollars per fiscal year and GDSB has only to answer to its self-appointed and self-perpetuating board and the parent organization UCS. There is no provision for consumer input outside of an occasional conversation with Mr. Upshaw, which is granted only for the sake of improving public relations. In the opinion of Mr. Upshaw only professionals in the field of work with the blind are qualified to make decisions about the lives of blind people. All is done in the name of professionalism and beneath the cloak of secrecy. Members of the organized blind as a class are not entitled to nor are we proper in asking for self-determination.

This should not be passed off as the traditional agency against client struggle, for we all know there are good agencies which manage to function quite nicely with participation of the organized blind. What we must recognize is that the three NAC board members discussed above are not exceptions but rather represent all too uniformly the kinds of people who are denying blind persons the opportunity to participate in decisions which have a stranglehold on our lives. We must understand NAC, but even more importantly we must persuade the NAC board members that they will not plan, oversee, and evaluate the goals of blind individuals.

Finally, we must continue to work toward convincing the NAC Board members that their struggle with the organized blind movement is not solely a struggle with Mr. Jernigan. Certainly as President of the National Federation of the Blind, Mr. Jernigan is a powerful force in a leadership role of the largest group of blind people in the world. However, NAC and its guardians must realize that Mr. Jernigan is elected by us and in his capacity as President must guide our policy—the key here is that members of the National Federation of the Blind and our elected officers are expected to act on our policy decisions. It is so terribly naive to assume that Mr. Jernigan alone is responsible for what the NAC establishment has labeled a power struggle between Mr. Jernigan and the traditional factions in work with the blind. The National Federation of the Blind is a people's movement, and Mr. Jernigan happens to be our president and significantly is an advocate of the rights of blind people.

While the outcome hangs in the balance, it would serve NAC and its elitist board members to look beyond Mr. Jernigan's role to the tens of thousands of blind people for whom he has been elected to act. If there remain those who are dubious, put the rank and file members of the National Federation of the Blind to continued tests. I can assure you that we have made a decision about NAC and people who would attempt to regulate the lives of blind people in the patronizing and custodial way of years past. We are not prepared to accept half-a-loaf nor will we be silenced by empty gestures and unfulfilled promises—no, what we have asked for is the right to determine our life chances in an environment where traditional work with blindness will not provide an opportunity to break from too many years of bondage. NAC and its well-meaning protectors must reform or resign. We are not growing weary; on the contrary, our resolve gets ever stronger. If you are still not moved, watch as we march relentlessly toward our dream. You may borrow time, possess more money and influence, but you lack the intrinsic feeling which has permeated our movement. The organized blind of this State and of this Nation will press on—notwithstanding your opposition, we shall overcome.... When will they ever learn?

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[From the Michigan Focus, April 1974, publication of our affiliate, the NFB of Michigan.]

What do the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped and the Council of Economic Advisors have in common? What is different?

The CEA is an advisory body to the President and Congress on economic matters. It was formed in 1946 by the Employment Act to advise ways of insuring full employment, stable prices, a strong international dollar, and economic growth. NAC was formed in the mid-sixties by COMSTAC (the Commission on Standards and Accreditation) which was formed by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). NAC's purpose, through the promulgation of standards is to insure quality service to the blind from service agencies. The three members of the CEA are appointed by the President, an official responsible for his actions to the people, and approved by the Senate, another group of individuals controlled by their constituents. Consequently, if the CEA hurts those it should help, our elected representatives can "throw the bums out" or the people can choose new officials. The first board of directors of NAC was appointed by COMSTAC which in turn was appointed by the AFB. Now, NAC Board members are elected by those agencies accredited by NAC, creating a self-perpetuating body resulting in a closed corporation. There is no recourse for the blind if NAC accredits an agency which hurts blind persons. No election is held, no impeachment is possible. In contrast, members of the CEA are professional economists. They are responsible to nonprofessional, elected officials who may choose to ignore their advice. NAC Board members are professionals in the field of blindness or nonprofessionals who must take their cues from those who have professional knowledge in work with the blind. Those on the NAC board are responsible only to themselves and those agencies which they accredit. The blind have virtually no say in any decisions made.

Some differences should be obvious. NAC was created privately, although it receives approximately one-half of its support from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Although the Government sanctions NAC, it does not require consumer participation. The CEA also receives government money but was created by Congress to whom it is responsible. Those who receive CEA services, all Americans, have recourse at the ballot box.

The role of the professional, as exemplified by the economist in the CEA, is well known. The CEA makes recommendations to Congress and the President who may or may not take the advice. Usually an array of choices and consequences are given and elected officials must make decisions. Ultimately consumers, the electorate, have an opportunity to demonstrate dissatisfaction by electing new representatives to Congress and a new President. NAC has privately established itself as the setter of standards and arbiter of quality for agencies serving the blind. NAC not only sets professional standards, the equivalent to the CEA making recommendations, but carries these out without safeguards for the consumer. Clearly, NAC has overstepped its professional bounds by acting as well as recommending and has moved into an area of action where it has no business. The sad result for the blind is that the democratic safeguards applied to the CEA are not applicable to NAC, and we must accept their decisions without benefit of recall, meaningful input, or any other form of participation.

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New York, New York, May 10, 1974.

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

DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: Thank you for your letter of April 29.

We are distressed that you fail to share our concern about the importance of planning for a meeting between NFB and NAC officers. Our concern is that such a meeting should have an orderly plan and agreed-upon agenda in order to be productive. The suggestion is not designed to formalize our relationship unduly but to give both organizations every possible chance to conduct a constructive dialogue. To that end, we believe that a planning session will assist both parties to avoid misunderstandings which otherwise might well exacerbate rather than improve our relationship.

In order to move this matter ahead, we suggest that Mr. John Taylor, who is NFB's designated representative to attend our Annual Meeting on May 30 and to attend and make a presentation to NAC's Board on May 31, should take this opportunity to meet with Mr. Alexander Handel, our executive director, and Dr. Richard Bleecker, our associate director, to work out the agenda and other arrangements for an officers' meeting. Of course, if either you or Mr. Taylor desire to have one or two other NFB members participate in this discussion, we should be happy to have them do so.

We suggest that this conference occur sometime during the afternoon after the close of NAC's Board meeting on May 31 at the Flagship Inn, Greater Cincinnati Airport. I hope this suggestion is acceptable and I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,


P.S.— If you choose to discuss with your membership or convention delegates your invitation to me to attend NFB's July convention, we trust you will not attribute my absence to reasons other than those I have given to you. Such attribution on your part could only make more difficult our organizations' efforts to achieve some measure of harmony.


Des Moines, Iowa, May 16, 1974.

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

DEAR MR. ROBINSON: During the last several months we have exchanged numerous letters. You have told us that NAC has a policy of "openness," and to prove it you have done everything possible to prevent our representatives from attending your closed meetings. Your executive committee meetings (at which much NAC policy is made) are still closed. When we finally succeeded (despite your policy of "openness") to get into your board meetings, we were not given minutes or other documentation being discussed which would enable us to know in any meaningful way what was occurring. To our request for such documentation you replied that it would certainly be an agenda item. We have repeatedly asked to meet with you. You have indicated (at least, by implication) that this is your fondest desire—that you seek only cooperation and goodwill. But you say that you need a meeting to plan the meeting.

When we tell you that we would prefer to meet to discuss issues and not simply meet to plan for a meeting to discuss issues, you reply that this is a great disappointment to you and that it constitutes rejection of your wish to meet with us. You also say that this rejection on our part makes it inappropriate for you to come and speak to our members—a rather exotic piece of logic. When I tell you that our members will be informed as to your reasons for not coming, you tell me that no reason for your failure to appear should be given except the reason you yourself gave.

Mr. Robinson, I am content (in fact, more than content) to let you speak for yourself. The letters between us will be published for all to see. As to what I shall say at the Convention, surely I have the right to express an opinion as to why you did not come. As I have already told you, I think you are reluctant to stand face to face with the blind and have to answer their questions, especially in view of your behavior and that of the rest of the NAC Board members. If you wish to come to our Convention and say to the contrary, I have already told you that I will see that you get a respectful hearing. If you are not willing to do this then it seems to me you have only yourself to blame.

In my letter of April 29 I suggested to you that we compromise. You want a meeting to plan for another meeting. We want a meeting to discuss issues. Therefore, I suggested that we split it down the middle—half of the time to discuss issues and half of the time to plan the agenda for a future meeting. In your May 10 letter you ignored this suggestion, of course. Rather, you indicated that you would like to have Mr. Handel and Dr. Bleecker talk with our representative, Mr. Taylor, after the NAC Board meeting at the Flagship Inn later this month. The meeting, of course, was to be exactly of the kind you had originally suggested. In other words, no compromise and no flexibility and no consideration of anybody else's viewpoint.

Experience, Mr. Robinson, has taught us to be wary. Since you have felt no urgency in getting together, I now make you a new proposal. Send me NAC's proposed agenda for a meeting between the two organizations. (I have already sent you my proposed agenda.) If your agenda indicates that you are willing to discuss meaningful matters—that is, the operation of NAC and its reform—then we can set a time for a meeting to plan an agenda for a future meeting. If you are trying (as NAC has so often done in the past) to evade or divert attention by establishing an agenda to discuss other matters, then your fetter will so indicate. In such event the letter will help you build as much of a record as your proposed preliminary meeting, and it will save all of us a great deal of time and expense.

Mr. Robinson, I now repeat to you my request and my invitation. The National Federation of the Blind requests the NAC Board to send top level representatives to meet with us to discuss the structure and operation of NAC. The National Federation of the Blind requests that NAC send a top level representative to speak at our Convention July 5. The program is already printed and finalized, but if you will come, we will make appropriate adjustments.

Since we have learned from long experience that NAC sometimes equivocates or delays in responding to letters, I shall assume that you have rejected the requests and invitations contained in this communication unless I hear from you to the contrary within ten days after this letter is sent.

Very truly yours,

National Federation of the Blind.

New York, New York, May 23, 1974.

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

DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: In response to your letter of May 16, I enclose a suggested agenda for a meeting between NAC and NFB officers to establish the basis for meaningful cooperation between our organizations. You state that you have already sent us a proposed agenda. We have not received it. However, I believe the enclosed agenda incorporates the points we understand you wish to discuss concerning the structure and operations of NAC. It also includes items which we have previously indicated should be resolved in order to develop a truly constructive relationship.

The suggested agenda seeks a basis for productive discussion and resolution of our differences. It presupposes a mutual willingness to seek genuinely improved understanding and find workable solutions.

Since the real cooperation which we seek can come only in terms of the respective role of each organization, it's clearly necessary to come to an understanding of what those roles are. Once this is done, we can concentrate on the review of NAC and NFB structures and operations that should pave the way toward improved cooperation.

Alex Handel will try to firm up the agenda with John Taylor in Cincinnati next week, whereupon the final plans including selection of an early meeting date can be expeditiously concluded.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. — I appreciate your renewed invitation to address the NFB convention in Chicago. However, I believe the goal of cooperation would be better served at this time by concentrating on plans for a meeting of officers.

Encl.: Suggested Agenda


1. Statement by NFB of its purposes and what it does to carry out those purposes.

2. Statement by NAC of its purposes and what it does to carry out those purposes.

3. Discussion of the respective purposes and programs of NFB and NAC as set forth in the statements.

4. Identification of purposes common to both NFB and NAC.

5. Review of functions and structures to determine how NFB and NAC can best cooperate to achieve their common purposes:

a. Input of NFB and other organizations of the blind in NAC's board-level policy-making.

b. Input of NFB and other organizations of the blind in the development and review of NAC standards.

c. Input of NFB and other organizations of the blind in the evaluation of agencies and schools applying for accreditation by NAC.

d. NFB's application of Standards of Accounting and Financial Reporting for Voluntary Health and Welfare Organizations.

e. NFB's criteria for determining and reporting membership.

Des Moines, Iowa, June 5, 1974.

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

DEAR MR. ROBINSON: Your letter dated May 23, 1974, reached me after your board meeting at the Cincinnati airport had already started. Consequently, it was not possible for me to take it up with Mr. John Taylor, who could then attempt to discuss your proposed agenda with Mr. Handel at your board meeting.

In your May 23 letter you say that you have not received our proposed agenda. In the past when I have implied or stated that NAC tries to play games of evasion and delay, you have taken great umbrage and bridled at any suggestion of bad faith. Yet, it is hard to reconcile this posture with your statement that you have not received our proposed agenda. I refer you to my letter of April 19, 1974, in which I said:

The issues we wish to discuss have been outlined in great detail in my letters to you and other NAC leaders during the past many months. Particularly, I refer you to my letter of April 24, 1973, to Dr. Peter Salmon, who was then President of NAC. We wish to discuss the structure of NAC, the method of its operation, and its viability as an organization.

Mr. Robinson, you have acknowledged in writing that you have received and read my April 19, 1974 letter. You now tell me that you have not received our proposed agenda. Do you still act shocked and angry at talk of games of evasion and delay?

As to your proposed agenda, I think you should keep in mind who it is that has sought a meeting between us, and why. If we were asking NAC to accredit us, then it seems to me you might properly inquire into our structure, procedures, and financing. However, we are not asking you to accredit us. Rather, we feel that we have the right to discuss with you NAC's structure, democracy, and viability.

Why do we feel this way? Because you are engaging in activities which affect our lives. You hold yourselves out as qualified to determine what kind of services we shall receive, and on what terms. Therefore, we have a proper concern with your operation.

You do not have the same rights with respect to us. In the Watergate case, for instance, a public official who has been asked to explain his conduct by an organization of citizens may not use as a proper defense the answer that he will not discuss his conduct until the citizens have proved up on theirs. As an example, if the AFL-CIO should question an organization purporting to regulate matters involving labor as to its competence, structure, and viability, that organization would not come off well if it first insisted on investigating the AFL-CIO.

In the specific instance of NAC and the Federation, your proposed agenda seems a bit quixotic. A few months ago you wrote a letter to Dr. MacFarland, Chief of the Federal Office for the Blind, calling into question the integrity and the fiscal responsibility of our organization. You questioned our tax returns and said, in effect, that you felt you should not meet with us until we could prove that we were worthy. Mr. Handel, your chief of staff, then circulated your letter to a great number of people and invited them to write to others concerning us. I feel that this was a deliberate attempt on the part of NAC to damage our good name and reputation, especially unwarranted in view of the fact that our tax forms were exhaustively audited by the Internal Revenue Service in 1969 and given a clean bill of health and since we are following the same methods of filing now that we used then.

I have recently seen a number of newspaper articles containing charges that the accounting firm of which you are a member (Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company) has been charged in a court action by Federal agencies with having "aided in preparing false and misleading financial statements" for the Penn Central Railroad. I have no idea whether these charges are true and would assume, unless the courts find to the contrary, that they are groundless. If you demand the right to discuss the Federation's financial affairs before you will meet with us, would it not be equally reasonable for us to ask that your firm (Peat, Marwick and Mitchell) make similar disclosures and offer similar proofs? I think such a request on our part would be inappropriate, just as inappropriate as what you have suggested to us.

In fact, let us assume that all fifty thousand of our members may be scoundrels and thieves. This would still not alter the fact that we are blind and that NAC purports to regulate programs affecting our lives. Even prisoners have the right to discuss with their wardens grievances and prison reform without first having to bare their souls and prove that they come with clean hands. Lo, even the felons may participate, but apparently not the blind. All society (including the criminals) may speak collectively, but we are exempt. NAC, it would seem, marches to the sound of another drum.

Further, you have asked us to give you our criteria for reporting and computing our membership. I tell you that we have more than fifty thousand members. Whether you believe this or not, you have evidence that we have several thousand. Your staff saw them demonstrating in front of your windows in New York last summer. If we could muster in New York two thousand delegates from all over the country, surely it is reasonable to assume that twenty-five stayed at home for every one who came. I have not heard a single person in the field of work with the blind question that we are the largest organization of blind people in this Nation.

This brings me back to the matter of a meeting between representatives of NAC and the Federation. I repeat to you our request that such a meeting be held. I tell you that we wish to discuss NAC's structure, its method of procedure, its lack of democracy, and its viability as an organization. We would like to hold this meeting soon, and we feel that it should concern itself exclusively with these questions. I hope that you will recognize the legitimacy of our request and that you will respond affirmatively. Until NAC admits its responsibility and accountability to the largest organization of consumers of its services in this country, we must continue our efforts to try to reform NAC by bringing its conduct to the attention of the public, the Congress, and the executive branch of government.

Very truly yours,

National Federation of the Blind.

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One need not wonder too much about where NAC will hold its winter meeting. Just find an inaccessible hotel, a lot of construction, and a large metropolitan airport nearby and that will be the place. After all, why change the pattern, having done it twice now, with equal success? Since the first time it was tried did not keep the Federation away, why did NAC think it would this time? But, as before, the plan worked more against the NACsters than the NAC-Trackers.

When a considerable portion of the two hundred or so Federationists who went to Cincinnati turned up with letters from Congressional Representatives or Senators appointing our members as their personal observers, NAC thought it well to bow to the inevitable. At the awards dinner held the eve of the board meeting, it was announced that NAC had decided to open the session to the public. In that way NAC avoided having to publicly acknowledge these official congressional observers and the fact that the NFB had finally pushed them to do what they should have done from the beginning. In order not to crowd out everyone else, our people decided on a delegation of about a dozen observers inside while the remainder worked the outside.

At the board meeting, NAC amended its "openness" resolution to provide that member agencies could be in attendance at meetings; that in the future, board meetings could be attended by observers from member agencies and groups which sponsor NAC. (Sponsors are groups which endorse and contribute funds to NAC.) However, the section dealing with representatives of organizations of the blind was not changed. It still provides for the admission as observers of one representative of each national organization of the blind. It would seem that NAC had no hesitancy in violating its own resolution and rules of procedure by making an expedient on-the-spot change in its regulations. But even so, it is, as usual, word-playing. NAC insists that it doesn't deal with clients as such, but only with agencies. Thus, a meeting which admitted as observers representatives of member agencies but excluded the elected representatives of the blind would be an "open" meeting as NAC understands it and would fulfill its declared policy.

NAC did print an agenda and did hand it out to everyone there, including observers. Old Business and New Business are the usual last items on most agendas. But this time New Business was followed by the listing of the representatives of the organizations of the blind who were to be heard. However, when the New Business item on the agenda was completed, it was moved that the meeting be adjourned. One board member protested the adjournment on the ground that the agenda had not been completed, but that voice went unheeded. So, the meeting adjourned and the NFB representative, John Taylor, was heard by an unofficial, adjourned meeting. This is a familiar AFB-WCWB-NAC tactic. It has been done by them before and will undoubtedly be done again when they wish to be particularly insulting. This means that our NFB representative was not heard by the NAC Board but only by individuals who cared to stay to hear us. What will the minutes show? Will representatives of member agencies and sponsors be heard only in adjourned sessions?

After many complaints from the National Federation of the Blind about the unavailability of minutes of NAC meetings, the board did vote to make copies of the minutes of meetings available to member agencies and sponsors on request; and to make the same information available to anyone else at cost.

The NAC Executive Committee met at 8:30 a.m., just before the general session, to consider, it was said, a personnel matter. At the board meeting it was announced that Alexander Handel, having reached age sixty-five, would retire on December 31, 1974. Richard Bleecker will take his place.

John Taylor, our official NFB representative observer, was called upon, after the meeting was adjourned, to make his statement. He did that, and in the process stirred quite a controversy. In the course of his remarks, Mr. Taylor pointed to the fact that NAC and its president had been widely circulating false and misleading statements about NFB, namely, that there was something wrong with our Federal tax returns and that our membership figures did not reflect the true facts, that is, that Mr. Robinson had deduced from our figures on dues from state affiliates, that we had about thirteen hundred members. Mr. Taylor thought it interesting that while our tax returns were properly filled by a reputable CPA and that there had been no question about them, he had read newspaper reports alleging that Mr. Robinson and Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell were having trouble with some of their "statements" and had been taken to court. Mr. Taylor's statements were based largely on an AP news release which appeared in the Business and Finance Section of the Dayton (OH) Journal Herald on May 3, 1974. The statement reported that the firm of Peat, Marwick and Mitchell has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of helping Penn Central Company cover up a plan to defraud investors in the Penn Central Railroad before 1970. The SEC says that Peat, Marwick and Mitchell assisted in the alleged fraud by readying somewhat less than true and accurate financial statements. Peat, Marwick and Mitchell, along with the Penn Central Company and a number of other defendants, have been taken to court in civil suits on these matters.

Mr. B.T. Kimbrough of Dialogue magazine was present at the meeting, tape recorder in hand. When Mr. Taylor finished his statement, Mr. Robinson asked Mr. Kimbrough if his tape would be available for subpoena in the suit which Mr. Robinson was going to bring against the NFB. Mr. Taylor pointed out that he had no knowledge that the meeting was being recorded but that he would not mind if his statement were used. As people left the hall, Mr. Robinson was approached by the ever-present film crew about giving a statement. He said that if he had been asked before the meeting he would have done so. However, in view of Mr. Taylor's statements at the meeting, he would not do so without first consulting counsel.

Elections were conducted at this meeting for the coming year. Mr. Daniel Robinson was re-elected as president. The three vice-presidents are McAllister Upshaw, Huntington Harris, and Howard Hansen. Claire Carlson was re-elected treasurer. The board members elected are: Reese Robrahn, nominated by Arthur Brandon, returns to the Board after a year's absence, as does Kenneth Cozier. Mrs. Joseph Clifford is new to the board. She comes from Phoenix where she has been active in community affairs. Owen Pollard from Maine, director of the Eye Care Clinic for some time and at present director of the general agency in that State, and Austin G. Scott, from the board of the Dallas Lighthouse in Texas, complete the list.

Other interesting facts which emerged from the meeting were: The adoption of a budget of $328,000 for the next year; the fact that three more agencies had been accredited since the first of the year for a total of fifty-six; and an increase in the cost to agencies for accreditation. It had been at one-twentieth of one percent of the agency's budget—with a range of fifty to five hundred dollars. The upper reaches have now been set at $630.

The overall impression of our observers was that NAC is feeling concerned about its current financial situation, especially the anticipated ending of Federal support. They are, consequently, planning a nationwide fundraising project which will go through the board members to corporations, foundations, and so on.

John Proffit, Director, Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility Staff in the Office of Education, DHEW, delivered the banquet address at the awards dinner. The main burden of it was that NAC with its policy of openness and inclusion of consumers was way out in front of the other accrediting bodies, of which there are about sixty. NAC, said Mr. Proffit, is leading the way into the future in the consumerism area. (Nothing was said, of course, about the NFB attempts to push NAC into the twentieth century.)

Though the effort has been great and the progress small, the organized blind of this country, through the NFB, have made NAC move in the direction of consumer participation. We hope these short steps will make NAC realize that we are not going to cease the pressure until our goals have been reached. The blind are not going to continue to accept the decisions of others about how their lives are going to be lived. We want to, and will, make these decisions for ourselves.

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With news camera crews at the ready, and about two hundred hardy Federationists, the NFB went to NAC's spring board meeting at the Flagship Inn in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 30-31, 1974.

The NAC hotel was not only inaccessible but small and crowded. American Airlines uses it for its crews. Some idea of its accommodations may be gained from the fact that the dining room seats forty. But our sturdy crowd managed.

For some it was a long and crowded week. Don Morris, Sylvester Nemmers, Peggy Pinder, Joyce Hoffa, Jim Brennan, E.U. Parker, J. Boyd, Milford and Jan Force, joined with the Gashels in Washington for a couple of days' hard work on Capitol Hill and persuaded some other members of our Congressional delegations in the Nation's Capital to work with us on NAC. Then—on to Cincinnati.

The briefing session was comparatively short. Many experienced hands were available, and they were joined by a number of first-timers. The placard-making crew, working with its usual efficiency, got the job done by about 3 a.m.

With construction all around outside, and reduced numbers inside, it was decided to take the word to where the people were. After a continental breakfast in the Garden Room, across the court from the exit walkway where they could be seen by passersby like NAC Board members, the buses were loaded and headed for Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, a ride of about a half-hour. Armed with placards, brochures about NAC, and postcards to be signed and sent to HEW Secretary Caspar Weinberger, our people went to work. They covered the busy square corner to corner and spilled over into the surrounding business community. The postcard, which points out the harmful effects of NAC and which carries a place for a signature, was a popular item. Don Morris reports that over one thousand cards were filled out by the public and that he himself posted them.

Back on the buses about 1 p.m., Federationists drove to the workshop at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind. On the way they enjoyed the sandwiches and other goodies which hardworking Pat Eschbach had arranged for them. The NFB had heard that the blind workers at this shop reportedly make about ninety cents an hour. On arrival, our pickets began their rounds. It was not long before police arrived on the scene. One officer was talking to a man who came out of the Association building. Don Morris went over, introduced himself, and asked if there was a problem. The officer replied: "Mr. Bruce is complaining about your being here. Do you understand what is required in order for you to be here legally?" Don told him that he had been in communication with the police department, had the regulations, and had complied with them. At that, Mr. Bruce (Malcolm Bruce, assistant director of the Cincinnati Association) turned and walked away. Our pickets stayed until about 4 p.m. when they had to return to the hotel to greet NAC. It was later reported that the Association called a meeting of the workers almost immediately after the buses departed, that is, about 4:30 p.m. At that time the workers were told by management something like this: "Folks, we meant to tell you this yesterday, but we forgot. You have all had an increase in your wages." When that news reached our people the trials of the very hot day seemed worth the effort.

Friday was a different story. It rained, and it rained great quantities at once. Our spirited group decided to make a try at getting to more people despite the weather and boarded the buses and went back to Fountain Square. But after waiting an hour and a half and seeing only a dozen or so hurrying people, it was decided to return.

The weather may have been bad, but our people were fired by belief in what they were doing, and they went on with the effort. They had come from both coasts and from north and south. And they discovered that work and great satisfaction are both to be had when you join the NFB on the barricades.

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San Antonio, Texas, March 5, 1974.

Texas School For The Blind,
Austin, Texas.

DEAR MR. HANSEN: I graduated from the Texas School for the Blind quite a few years ago and have always been proud to call myself an alumnus. A year or so back when a very critical Mallas report was made on the school, I made a trip to Austin to defend the school from some of that criticism. I am regularly in touch with many members of the Alumni Association; and I know many on a personal basis as friends. Quite a number of us belong to the Alamo Federation of the Blind in San Antonio. The Alamo Federation is the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas.

We recently heard that the Texas School was considering applying for accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). At least, we understand that school officials have begun the process by obtaining the self-evaluation forms from NAC. In our past two meetings—held on the third Sunday of January and February—we discussed this matter and the organization voted unanimously to ask that I write to you to express our concern over this matter. First of all, we would like to know whether it is true that the School is applying for accreditation and engaging in the first steps toward that. Next, if it is true, we would like to urge you very strongly not to associate the name of the Texas School for the Blind with the National Accreditation Council. I will explain some of our reasons.

We of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and the Alamo chapter believe that agencies serving the blind, such as a school, should have the highest standards possible. We are, after all, consumers of those services and would be foolish not to expect the best that could be had. However, NAC has not given very good evidence of accrediting agencies of the best kind, but has applied its standards for accreditation in a way that favors agencies which the blind consumers have reason and experience to question. An official of the Texas State Commission for the Blind to whom I spoke went with an on-site visit team to review the application of one agency in Arizona. As a professional in the field, he thought that that agency was one of the worst in the country and said that if NAC would accredit it, NAC would have to be a rubber stamp. They did accredit it. Moreover, NAC has accredited the agencies of most of the board members of the Council and two of them at least, in Cleveland and Detroit, are under legal suit by our organization for their treatment of blind persons. No doubt, some of the agencies accredited are good and deserve recognition, but we know of nothing that shows that accreditation has done anything to improve an agency that is bad. It simply gives them a NAC emblem to hide behind and show the public that they are doing a good job. Eventually, NAC wishes to make accreditation a necessary condition for any agency receiving public money. It would then have become a national super-agency calling the tune for all agencies, good and bad, and controlling the kind and quality of services.

Perhaps nine tenths of what is wrong with NAC stems from the fact that the board has consistently refused to consider the voice of the blind consumer of services as important. It has been only with great difficulty that the National Federation of the Blind has even in the past few years been able to get observers at their meetings. And yet, it is our interests that are being discussed and decisions are made that vitally affect us. There is no representation of the blind consumers and NAC continues to resist the idea that there should be. As a national organization of the blind, we have tried to reform NAC and will continue to do so.

We hope that you will not do anything to add to the power and prestige of NAC by seeking its approval when it cares nothing for the approval of those who are blind and prefers to speak for us and tell the world what is good for the blind. We are quite able to make judgements for ourselves and that is why we belong to the National Federation of the Blind. We understand that the Lighthouse for the Blind in Houston, which has been accredited, is now, after that experience, deciding not to continue that policy and we hope that the Texas School for the Blind will follow that example and refrain from any relations with NAC.

Yours respectfully,

Piano Tuning Department.

Austin, Texas, March 12, 1974.

Chairman, Piano Tuning Department,
San Antonio College,
San Antonio, Texas.

DEAR MR. MUSLER: I received your letter of March 5, 1974, and understand your concern over the certification by the National Accreditation Council. First let me say that I do appreciate your interest in the school and appreciate the testimony which you have given on behalf of the school. We appreciate this very much and we need it very much because we are concerned for the benefit of the visually handicapped children in the State of Texas and only through interest by people who know can we satisfactorily work out these programs.

I would like to say that I am well aware of the COMSTAC and NAC development and problems which ensued. I also understand the position that has been taken by the National Federation for the Blind. I am aware, naturally, that there are disagreements between various organizations on this situation and I do not pretend to know all the answers.

In response to your question on our activity at this time, I must say that we have done nothing. When I became superintendent in 1970, there were a number of self-evaluation forms and booklets from NAC on the campus which I believe were originally ordered and received by the former superintendent, Mr. John Best. During the time that I have been here we have been involved in evaluation by the Mallas organization and currently by a study committee of the legislature. Really, if I had wanted to have a self-evaluation we would not have had time. At this point, we are not involved in self-evaluation study involving NAC or any other organization. We are, of course, certified by the State of Texas and that is our main certification standards. I am sure that if we did seek certification we would seek it through the South Central Association which is a standard accreditating agency for all schools in this area. As far as NAC is concerned, we have not discussed it.

I hope this answers the questions that you have. I do not know where you got your information about our obtaining material, but this material has been here for a number of years. To my knowledge there has been no discussion nor any move at this time to consider applying for accreditation. I certainly appreciate your interest and concern. Best wishes to you and your organization. We appreciate all of the support that we have received in the past and, of course, hope the support continues. Stop in and see our school when you have a chance. We are now virtually finished with our renovation program. The campus is beautiful and we hope to maintain a program which is equally as good.

Very truly yours,


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Washington, D.C., May 23, 1974.

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

DEAR MR. ROBINSON: I have followed with increasing concern the difficulties between the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). It is with reluctance that I have come to believe that your organization is not acting in total good faith. Your insistence on a planning meeting to discuss a possible meeting, to discuss what should be discussed should a meeting actually occur, seems unwarranted. It seems that NAC has merely adopted this position as a device to delay and if possible to prevent meaningful dialogue with the NFB.

I find your periodic assurances of "openness" questionable in view of your refusal to give NFB observers access to minutes, reports, and other documentation being discussed. You will recall that Mr. James Dwight, Jr., the Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service, in a letter dated March 25, 1974, to Mr. Ralph Sanders of the NFB made the following statement: "We are asking Mr. Alexander F. Handel, executive director of NAC, to furnish you with information you desire. Since you participated in the meeting as an observer, we see no reason why the minutes and other program information discussed at the meeting cannot be furnished to you." I am informed, however, that to date no action has been taken by NAC to comply with Mr. Dwight's request.

The NFB, as I understand it, has asked you to appear at its annual Convention in Chicago during the week of July 1. It is also my understanding that you have declined to do so. It would seem to me that it is hardly appropriate for an agency such as yours, receiving Federal dollars for the benefit of the blind, to refuse to appear before the largest gathering of blind persons that will occur in this country this year. And particularly so since your agency has been so strongly criticized by the organization representing this country's "rank-and-file" blind citizens. Unlike NAC, I am fully satisfied that the National Federation of the Blind is in fact the representative voice of our Nation's blind.

I strongly urge you and the organization you head to become more responsive to the Congress, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the National Federation of the Blind. I request that you meet with leaders of the Federation to discuss the issues set forth by them. I request that you appear before the Federation's annual Convention in Chicago and consider the Federation's positions. I am convinced that the differences between NAC and the NFB can be satisfactorily resolved once the two groups begin meeting at regular intervals to discuss substantive problems.


Member of Congress.

cc: Mr. James Dwight, Jr.


Washington, D.C., May 23, 1974.

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

DEAR MR. DWIGHT: Please find enclosed a letter I have written today to Mr. Daniel D. Robinson, president of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). I urge you to give careful consideration to its content. I am not prepared to see the Nation's blind and the Congress treated unfairly by an organization receiving Federal funds from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Further, I am not convinced that your Department has done all it can to resolve the long-standing controversy between NAC and the NFB. Throughout the record, which I have carefully reviewed, it appears that your Department has been more interested in defending its action in funding NAC than it has been in attempting to deal with the very real issues raised by the Nation's organized blind.

As an example, I refer you particularly to a letter dated December 19, 1973, from Stephen Kurzman, Assistant Secretary for Legislation, to my colleague. Congressman Ronald A. Sarasin. Mr. Kurzman states that Federation observers "freely attended all sessions" at NAC Board meetings in June 1973 and December 1972. Mr. Kurzman's statement is, unfortunately, incorrect. In light of the Department's past reluctance to come to grips with the issues involved in the controversy between the Federation and NAC, I would like you to give me your thoughts on the following items:

(1) Mr. Kurzman's understanding of what has transpired at recent NAC Board meetings.

(2) NAC's unwillingness to respond to your March 25, 1974, request that it provide to the NFB minutes and other program information discussed at its December 1973 board meeting.

(3) The Department's feeling with respect to NAC's obligation to meet with the National Federation of the Blind to discuss substantive issues.

(4) The Department's feeling with respect to NAC's obligation to appear before the annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind at the Palmer House in Chicago the week of July 1, 1974.

(5) Finally, your Department has in recent years placed considerable emphasis on the cost effectiveness of its program. As a Member of Congress, I would appreciate your providing me figures on the amount of Federal, other public, and private money involved in the National Accreditation Council, with specific identification of the principal payers and principal payees for each category of funds.

I shall give this matter priority, and I hope that you will do the same. This Nation's organized blind are entitled to fair treatment by your Department, by the Congress, and by the National Accreditation Council.


Member of Congress.


Ames, Iowa, 1974


Over the years, I have had the great opportunity to work with Ken, your national President, and many outstanding Iowa members of the National Federation of the Blind. Our correspondence and extensive discussions have convinced me that a complete overhaul in the National Accreditation Council is imperative.

In the past, NAC has been unwilling to examine its goals, methods, and standards employed in rating services for the blind. I have been working vigorously to reform NAC, both from within and from without. Persuasive prodding will demonstrate that it must become accountable to you, as consumers. By sending vocal representatives to their meetings in New York and mounting a united effort through the National Federation of the Blind, we have started a movement which NAC cannot ignore. Last year, I sponsored a bill to eliminate another stumbling block, blind eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. It is pending in the Ways and Means Committee which has already sponsored hearings on the measure.

Signs of progress in our endeavors have come to light. NAC recognizes the strength and scope of the National Federation of the Blind's collective voice. This cannot fail to arouse those NAC members who share your experiences with badly managed schools, inadequate rehabilitation programs, and discriminatory sheltered workshops. NAC is just beginning to feel demands for representation of the blind at their meetings and on their boards. Already, the council feels an absolute necessity to justify itself to U.S. Congressmen. This can be very effective in creating change. But all these changes are tiny splinters in the structure NAC must begin to build.

To mention a few of the many reforms that group has in front of it, gives us a notion of the prodding left to do and the enormous task before us. First, NAC cannot continue to function autonomously, as though your voice were silent. Vital contributions outside their council will give NAC a balanced view of its effectiveness and of its weaknesses. As a closed society, it shunts aside criticism, making downfalls of its failings. NAC needs to recognize constructive suggestions for the good they can do.

Secondly, participation by the blind in NAC must be not just our target, but theirs. The Council should rely on the blind to assess what only the blind can judge. A sighted person is more apt to rate a training center, for example, by its aesthetics, than by the services it provides. Such vocational training must be a nuts and bolts approach in order to prepare the blind for the real world. Further, participation by those who lack sight should be an integral part of their method, not mere tokenism. Your experience and that of the entire blind community should be combined to establish criteria against which services can be measured. The same people should be consulted as actual accreditation is considered, using on-the-spot inspection of available programs and facilities.

Thirdly, and most significantly, NAC must change its outlook on its role in the blind community. Presently its self-portrait is that of the guardian. Clearly, it must begin seeing itself as a partner rather than a parent to organizations like the National Federation of the Blind. This change of perspective will be a take-off point for all the other larger alterations needed. The pedestrian and paternal image NAC has fostered of the blind must stop. The vitality you demonstrate as normally functioning people is helping to dissolve their faulty notions.

I have watched you in action and believe absolutely in your uncanny strength and vigor—both as individuals and as a group. As all Americans, you must be given a free hand in determining your own destinies. I believe that through our redoubled efforts we can achieve that goal.

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On Friday, May 17th Federationists and friends of the Federation from not only across the State of Nebraska but also from Colorado, Iowa, and Arkansas, converged on the hospitality room at the Colonial Inn in Lincoln, to renew old acquaintances and to take part in the celebration of a Federationist, Dr. James Nyman, being named director of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Visually Impaired.

On Saturday, May 18th, President Parker brought the convention to order promptly at 9:30. The first order of business was a drawing for a crisp ten dollar bill. Then we were warmly welcomed by Lincoln's Mayor Sam Schwartzkopf, and heard an invocation by Reverend Melvin Ireland, the secretary's report, and then the treasurer's report.

The first speaker on our program was our National Representative and the newest member of the Executive Committee, Ralph Sanders, president of our Arkansas affiliate. Ralph spoke to us briefly about the Disability Insurance for the Blind Bill, and NAC. He also congratulated us on the naming of the new Director of Services for the Visually Impaired. This writer must pause now to comment here that the Federation in Arkansas and the NFB Executive Board are very fortunate to have such a talented, dedicated Federationist as Ralph Sanders.

Next on the program with a most enlightening presentation, as well as a question and answer session, was Jerry Regler, Superintendent of the Residential School for the Visually Impaired.

Without question the highlight of the morning activities came when President Parker introduced Dr. Nyman as our new Director of Services for the Visually Impaired. Dr. Nyman was greeted with a standing ovation. He told us briefly about his background, his educational qualifications, and his desire to get input into the agency from the blind of our State. I think the blind in Nebraska will soon see much improvement in the agency providing services to them.

The resolutions committee and the nominating committee reported to the convention.

During the noon break many people had an opportunity to try out an Optacon for themselves. This display and demonstration drew much attendance.

The afternoon session heard a presentation given by Wendel Carpenter of the Christian Record Braille Foundation, followed by John Ratliff, State Director of the S.S.I. office who gave valuable information on the S.S.I. program.

Local chapters reported and each chapter president or representative told a little about what they had been doing during the past year.

Richard Anderson, public relations fieldman for the new Talking Book Radio Program, told us about this new service. The program originates in Omaha and will be aired over one of the subcarriers of station KIOS-FM. Plans are already going forward to cable it across the whole State. The target date for getting the program on the air is July 1 of this year.

President Parker was the last speaker on the program. He recounted what had been accomplished in the three-and-one-half short years since the NFB of Nebraska was organized: We secured one man in his job in the vending stand program after he was fired for political reasons; we helped establish the right of two people to live in an apartment of their choice with their guide dogs; we succeeded in gaining passage of the White Cane Law; we repealed the Lien Law; and we sponsored a very strong Fair Employment Practices Act which was adopted. Of course, the most positive move of all is the naming of a new director of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Visually Impaired.

Our business session closed with the election of the following officers: president, Dick Parker, Omaha; first vice president, Ralph Doud, Grand Island; second vice president, Karen Koeling, Lincoln; secretary, Barbara Parker, Omaha; treasurer, Bill Pfeiffer, Omaha; board members for two year terms, Jim Radcliff, Lincoln, and Dick Zlab, Omaha; board member for a one year term, Larry Wallace, North Platte.

Fifty-six people attended the banquet and after a most palatable meal Ralph Sanders gave an outstanding presentation on just how dangerous and how detrimental NAC is to our lives. The overwhelming applause and the passing of the hat to raise funds to send representatives from Nebraska to the NAC-Trackers in Cincinnati showed the way the Federation in Nebraska feels about NAC. The Federation in action was really demonstrated when Ralph Sanders from Arkansas, and Judy Miller from Colorado put on an arm wrestling contest at the dance that followed the banquet. Bets were taken on who had the most physical stamina and the thirty-five dollars raised by this little enterprise, went to the NAC-Tracker fund. Hats off to Ralph and Judy.

So ended another convention of the NFB of Nebraska. All of us, I'm sure, went home rededicated and ready to stand that much firmer behind President Jernigan on the barricades.

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NFB of D.C. conventions usually mean three things: information, controversy, and confrontation. This year's, held May 11, certainly upheld that tradition.

Starting off the morning was Dr. Margaret Rockwell, organizer of "The Washington Ear," a radio talking book service she would like to establish. After explaining the cost, coverage, and content of her proposed service. Dr. Rockwell offered to answer questions. Our primary question was who would control the policies of "The Washington Ear." She seemed interested in our ideas, but we could not quite convince her that a representative of the organized blind would contribute much more consumer information than a person speaking only for himself. However, communication lines were established and we will certainly pursue the matter further when we meet with the board of directors.

Next came a panel discussion entitled "The Dynamics of Discrimination," chaired by Roger Petersen. The panel consisted of representatives from a number of groups other than the blind who suffer from discriminatory practices. Each gave an introductory talk on the particular discrimination suffered by his or her group. Then, and in the question session that followed, it became clear that most of the prejudices, clichés, and stereotypes generally applied to the blind are used just as viciously against other minorities. Two of the panelists later applied for and were voted into membership in our affiliate.

Highlighting the afternoon session was a panel on library services. Mrs. Florence Grannis, in Washington for a Regional Librarians' Conference, launched the discussion with her excellent presentation on "Consumerism—Library Style." Unfortunately, the Regional Librarian for the District shares Dr. Rockwell's resistance to the fact that the collective voice of the organized blind carries more weight than a number of persons speaking only as individuals. We left no doubt in her mind that we intend to try to alter that opinion—one way or another. Kathleen Roedder, Children's Librarian at our regional library and a Federationist, asked our help in stimulating reading among blind children of the District.

Bob Hunt, president of the NFB of West Virginia and chairman of the Cultural Exchange International Program, was our banquet speaker. He entitled his talk "The Blind Ethos" and immediately said that this was the most intellectual word he intended to use. Then, with well chosen anecdotes and down-to-earth language. Bob drove home his point: That the ancient Greek ethos of individual self-esteem must be adopted by all blind persons if we are ever to achieve real equality. In other words, we have to believe in ourselves as individuals and in each other before we can be of much value to the movement. Bob stressed that we can demonstrate this belief by saying what we know is true and doing what we know is right every time we come up against misconceptions or wrong decisions.

One of the major pieces of business at each convention is the election of officers. This year we came up with a combination of veteran Federationists and some relative newcomers. Our new president is Roger Petersen, who has been active in local and national NFB work for many years. Gale Conard, a former president of the affiliate, is now first vice president. George Reed, whose leadership and good sense have always been important to the Federation, was chosen second vice president. Tom Bickford, who took over as president when Orlo Nichols had to move to Baltimore, showed his real dedication by accepting the often wearisome job of corresponding secretary. Recording secretary for the next year will be Alex Zazow, who has been active on various committees but has not held office before. When it comes to money management, the NFB of D.C. has a real winner in Kitty McNabb, our treasurer. Elected to our board were Beatrice Campbell, another former president, Charles Hackney, our principal link with the parents of the District's blind students, and the Reverend Floyd Rivers, a minister and an actively concerned member of both his community and our affiliate.

To sum up: We can say that the 1974 D.C. convention focused our attention on certain problems, left us with much to think about, and gave us a set of leaders who will see that we move ahead.

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The Utah Association for the Blind held a very successful two-day event on June 1 and 2, 1974, in Ogden. One day was devoted to a seminar and the other to regular convention business.

The seminar theme was "Employment of the Blind." Governor Calvin Rampton gave the keynote address on Friday morning. Other participants were Don Perry, State Director of Services for the Visually Handicapped; and the State Director of the Manpower Council, who pointed out what programs are performing well and how the visually handicapped are being integrated into them. The afternoon session began with a short public meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council for the Visually Handicapped, chaired by Jesse Anderson. The Advisory Committee indicated its concern and interest in every phase of employment of the blind. NFB President Kenneth Jernigan gave an overview of employment programs for the blind on the national level and on the operation of employment programs in Iowa. Two blind IRS employees gave a demonstration of their work and how they use a number of special devices in the performance of their duties. An employee of Kennecott Copper went over his experiences in losing his sight and what happened when his employers decided that he should have a lesser position. With the help of the Utah Association, the union, and the State Rehabilitation Department, he is still on his old job. Donna Steel, president of the Salt Lake Chapter, who is a medical transcriber at Cottonwood Hospital, chaired the afternoon session.

Friday evening there was a gala reception for President Jernigan which took place at an open house held by affiliate president, Norma Spencer, at her home.

The first regular convention session opened on Saturday morning and was devoted to SSI, with a number of participants. When it was discovered that the representative from the local SSI office could not be present, his place was more than adequately filled by Mr. Jernigan. Many in the audience felt that they probably learned more about the program from our President than they would have otherwise.

The business of the organization was the work of the afternoon meeting. All chapter presidents made their reports to the convention and other regular items were considered. President Jernigan gave a report on the activities of the NFB National Office and included an exciting preview of the agenda of the upcoming Convention in Chicago.

The Saturday evening banquet was attended by about one hundred delegates and their friends. President Jernigan gave an exceptionally fine speech on the effect of the programs and other efforts of the NFB. We enjoyed a fine meal and music by the Meladonic Chorus.

Norma Spencer, who was re-elected as president of the Utah Association for the Blind, and Heide Knipper, who was elected treasurer, filled the only offices open for election this year.

The Utah Association for the Blind did, indeed, greatly appreciate the presence of President Jernigan. He took the floor again and again, and gave us much knowledge whenever he spoke. There are no doubts in the minds of the delegates that his visit has made us all feel much closer to the National movement.

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The 1974 convention of the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico was held at the Roswell Inn in Roswell, New Mexico. Convention activities commenced Friday evening, May 31, with meetings of the resolutions committee and the nominating committee. The convention adjourned promptly at noon on Sunday, June 2. A hearty and spirited crowd was on hand to take part in one of our finest conventions yet.

One of the convention highlights was a panel of State legislators and candidates for the legislature. Each made a short speech, but primarily they came to listen to us. The main thread of the discussion back and forth centered on our desire to enact legislation establishing a New Mexico Commission for the Blind. At this juncture, programs for the blind of this State are submerged in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. While some of those on the panel expressed a desire to study the concept of a Commission for the Blind before taking a definitive stand on the issue, one or two made commitments to endorse and support appropriate enacting legislation.

In this connection, the delegates attending the convention were briefed on the Legislative Finance Committee hearing concerning the quality and current status of services for the blind. This hearing was held at the request of the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico, and it certainly made people sit up and take notice of the current need for change. This stride forward illustrates the need for an organized group of blind persons.

Harold Bruce, Chief of Services for the Blind, spoke to us on the latest developments in the program. It was clear to all that Mr. Bruce is making an effort to work more closely with the Federation and this effort is appreciated by us.

James Gashel, Chief of the Washington Office of the National Federation of the Blind, also attended our convention, representing the National Office. Jim spoke to us on a variety of subjects of current interest in the Federation. He urged us to make contact with our Congressmen and Senators and to inform them of our legislative goals. He also asked that we personally introduce him and Arlene to our representatives in Congress. Jim also spoke at our banquet and he stirred us to think about the efforts we, as individuals, must make to reach the goals of the National Federation of the Blind.

The highlight of the Sunday morning session was a report by Benjamin Wakashiga, Librarian of the New Mexico Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Ben Wakashiga has been here only a short time, but he has already made a very favorable impression on the blind of this State; particularly encouraging is the fact that he participated in our entire convention. He said he came to learn how we felt about library service, and he did just that. He pledged himself to be responsive to our suggestions, and he said that we should expect him to produce results. He urged us, as consumers of library services, to make our desires known. Truly, a new day has dawned in the New Mexico Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Officers elected at this convention were: Steven Stanival, president; Barbara Innis, first vice president; Bryan Banister, second vice President; Pauleen Gomez, secretary; and Frutoso Garcia, treasurer. Chapter representatives elected to the Board of Directors were: Charlie Maes, G.E. Cox, Allen Mattison, and Albert Gonzales.

As we closed the convention, we talked about the national Convention coming up in Chicago in July. Things look very encouraging for a good delegation from New Mexico. In fact, all of our chapters will probably be represented. See you in Chicago!

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The National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota convention, hosted by the Fargo-Moorhead Chapter, was held May 31 and June 1, at the Town House Motor Hotel in Fargo. The two days were both productive and fun, as high spirited Federationists pondered the urgent and serious matters confronting us in the NFB. Friday was set aside as student day at the convention. We were especially delighted to have with us Mary Hartle and Marge Schnider of Minneapolis, representing the NFB Student Division. The theme for the day was the student's role in the Federation, and that gave us food for a great deal of stimulating discussion.

After an evening of fine hospitality, Saturday was another day of serious business. Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcelino, Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind and first vice president of the NFB of California, kicked off the day with a rousing discussion of recent developments and accomplishments in the Federation. Other speakers for the day included representatives from the Civil Service Commission, the Small Business Administration, Northwest Bell Telephone Company, and a blind professor from Bemidji State College in Bemidji, Minnesota. Miss Jeanette Sharp, Regional Librarian for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pierre, South Dakota, was also available throughout the day to talk with members of our organization about library services. Several displays of interest to blind persons were set up in the hotel lobby.

The following officers and board members were elected at this year's convention: president, Dr. Curtis Saunders, a chiropractor in Devils Lake; first vice president, Jon Holier, a college student majoring in architectural drawing; second vice president, Mrs. Myrtle Anderson from Maddock, North Dakota; secretary, Miss Barbara Boettcher, a high school student at the School for the Blind; and treasurer, Mrs. Mabel McCormick, a nurse's aide in a Devils Lake nursing home. Board members elected for two-year terms were: David Sundeen, a college student majoring in special education for the mentally retarded; and Miss Charlene Domier, also a college student. For one-year terms the convention elected Miss Lynn Iverson, a high school student from Valley City; and Mrs. Judy Saunders, a housewife and former teacher from Devils Lake.

Typically in the NFB, the banquet is the highlight of the convention, and our's was certainly no exception. It was well attended, and Muzzy Marcelino's address was tremendously well received. His remarks filled each of us with the spirit of Federationism and increased in us a true sense of urgency with regard to the challenges of our organization.

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The fourth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida was held May 17-19, at the Heart of Jacksonville Motor Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida. Jim Gashel, new Chief of the NFB Washington Office, arrived on Thursday, May 16, to help with pre-convention publicity via two television appearances. Jim Bowen, convention chairman and Judie Welch, program chairman (aided by Jim Gashel) and the Jacksonville chapter hosts are to be commended for making this the largest and most enthusiastic convention in the history of NFBF.

Enthusiastic and spirited members and friends of the NFBF began arriving at the motel on Friday afternoon with registration commencing at 4 p.m. Eager to welcome each guest personally, President Beth Bowen hosted an informal reception. Later there were meetings of the by-laws, resolutions, and nominating committees.

President Bowen gaveled the convention to order at 10 a.m. Saturday. The invocation was given by Reverend J.O. McLeod of Springfield Baptist Church followed by welcoming remarks from Jacksonville's Mayor Hans G. Tanzler.

The morning agenda was completed by Donald Wedewer, new chief of the Florida Bureau of Blind Services. Mr. Wedewer spoke to us on the topic, "The Bureau of Blind Services under New Leadership," giving us some of his plans for the future. As with all speakers, time was allotted to Mr. Wedewer for questions and answers from the audience.

Following the noon recess, Jim Gashel gave a talk entitled "On the Barricades at the Washington Front" in which he stressed the importance of conveying to our Senators and Representatives our ideas and opinions regarding national legislation and other matters pertaining to the blind.

A panel discussion entitled "Employment of the Blind Statewide in the Professions—A Look at Present and Future Opportunities" followed. Participants included Pat Miller, Personnel Specialist, Duval county Public School System, Len Hoskins, Area Supervisor, Florida Bureau of Blind Services, and Jerry Head, Director of Education, St. Luke's Hospital. After an intense session of questions and answers, the participants on the panel were probably and hopefully more enlightened concerning their subject.

Hazel Hargrove, Coordinator, Education of the Visually Handicapped, State Department of Education, spoke on "Education of Blind Children Today in Florida's Public Schools."

Our final afternoon speaker was Cathy Jackson, librarian, State Talking Book Library, whose paper was on "What Services are Reasonable to Expect from a Library for the Blind."

The highlight of our convention was the annual banquet preceded by a social hour—compliments of George Starfas, president of the host chapter. An atmosphere of gaiety was evident as Fred Uzzle, banquet toastmaster, opened the evening's program with his "Ten Pages of Ad Libs," humorously bringing NFB philosophy to his audience. Then in a more serious vein, the newly-named Spacecoast chapter was presented its charter of affiliation by President Bowen, after which four most deserving individuals were officially made honorary members of NFBF.

The second annual NFBF Scholarship was awarded to a high school senior, Joni Lynn Crumpton of Tampa who attained the highest score of any blind student on the Florida Senior Placement Test.

The evening was climaxed by a dynamic and inspiring address by Jim Gashel who reminded us that antiquated attitudes toward blindness are still prevalent and there is still much work to be done to educate those who work for the blind.

At 10:30 Saturday night, inspired by Jim's speech and determined to put his words into action, a group of Florida students and interested persons formed the NFBF Students Division. Visits are planned to all Florida campuses in the next three months to recruit new members.

The first order of business on Sunday morning was the election of officers and two board positions for two-year terms. Beth Bowen of Jacksonville was elected by acclamation to a third term as State president. Other officers elected include Gertrude Sitt, first vice president; Sam Sitt, second vice president; Judie Welch, secretary; and Judge Lou Corbin, treasurer. The two board positions were filled by Jim Parkman and Barbara Nabutovsky. Delegate to the National Convention is Beth Bowen. The alternate is Linda Starks.

Two of the most important resolutions adopted by this convention were a resolution strongly imploring the BBS to discontinue its efforts in seeking accreditation by NAC, and a resolution to make the BBS a separate and independent agency.

Throughout the convention more than sixty door prizes were won by lucky conventioneers.

In bringing the convention to a close, our president reviewed the achievements of the past year. She admonished us never to be satisfied with past accomplishments and challenged us never to rest until our goals have been reached, our philosophy understood, and until every blind citizen in this Nation is truly free to choose his own destiny.

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Editor's Note.—Barbara Parker is the great all-purpose assistant who rounds out the family of Dick Parker, president of our Nebraska affiliate.



½ lb. shell macaroni
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup diced beef or ham
¼ cup sliced stuffed olives
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons grated onions


Cook macaroni, blanch and cool. Toss all ingredients together, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Bowl may be rubbed with a cut clove of garlic. Serve on a crisp lettuce leaf.



1 small apple, diced
1 cup grapes, halved
1 envelope Dream Whip
1 small pear, diced
¼ cup black walnuts


Prepare Dream Whip as package directs, and add fruit and nuts. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Other seasonal fruits or a can of water-packed fruit cocktail may be used.

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Congressman Earl F. Langrebe of Indiana has been on the firing line with us in our battle with NAC. On May 2, 1974, on the floor of the House of Representatives he said:

Mr. Speaker, for several months now I have been aware of a controversy raging between the National Federation of the Blind, a service organization blind persons voluntarily join, and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, an organization which recieves a great deal of its money from our tax dollars.

Mr. Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, has recently written a brief overview of the controversy, and a decent respect for his opinions and those whom he represents requires that an account of this controversy be presented so that Members of Congress may know full well the unresponsive nature of our fourth branch of Government, the enormous Federal bureaucracy.

I understand that the agency responsible for the funding of the NAC, the Social and Rehabilitation Service of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, will be the subject of appropriation hearings early in May. Perhaps the only way to get a response from an entrenched bureaucracy is to hit it over the head with a plank—that is, threaten its source of income.

I know that many Members of Congress have been as interested in this controversy as I have been, and I present this article for their benefit as well as for the benefit of those who are not aware of the situation.

He then included in the Congressional Record the whole of President Jernigan's speech "NAC: What Price Accreditation."

Honorable Cecil King.—It struck a sad note for many in the Federation to see in the Congressional Record for May 2, 1974, comments by Congressman Thomas M. Rees of California about the passing of the NFB's great and loyal friend, Cecil King. He carried many of our bills and fought for them in committees and on the floor of the House during his long tenure in office. But he did more than that. Congressman King introduced our representatives to other Congressmen, aided in our disagreements with administrators, and attended our conventions, especially those of the California affiliate, with great regularity. Congressman Rees said of him:

Mr. Speaker, I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of our former colleague, Cecil King, on March 23.

Cecil was a quiet, gentle man who during his twenty-six years in Congress, became one of the most effective and respected Members of the House. As dean of the California delegation, he served the best interests not only of his own State, but also those of the entire Nation.

His keen perception, his ability to delve deeply to the root of problems, and his wonderful sense of humor enabled him to exercise great leadership on the Ways and Means Committee.

Cecil had a deep and abiding concern for the public interest, a great devotion to duty, and a sense of integrity which may serve as a model for all of us in the Congress.

His efforts to provide adequate medical care for older Americans through medicare serve as a legacy for all elected representatives of the people, present and future.

Mrs. Rees and I offer our sincere sympathy to Mrs. King and the entire King family.

The following letter was received at the Berkeley Office:

To: National Federation of the Blind,

I was wondering if any of the blind people at your Federation would like to write letters back and forth with me. I'm not blind but I have a Braille slate and I could write letters with it. I'm 11 years old and I live in Oakland. Please write me if anybody is interested. I think they would like it as much as I would. If they don't have a way of printing I can read Braille.



Write to: Ms. Kris Mitchell, 277 Chadbourne Way, Oakland, California 94619.

The Cleveland (Ohio) Press reported that Edward L. Glaser was named Computer Sciences Man of the Year by the Data Processing Management Association. The national award is given in recognition of "distinguished service and outstanding contributions" in the field of computer science. Mr. Glaser is the head of the computer and information science departments of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is totally blind.

On Saturday evening, May 11th, the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind held a banquet at the Holiday Inn in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and organized the Rock Hill Chapter of the SCACB. This is the ninth chapter of the State organization. Their president is Mrs. Frances Messer, 727 Mt. Gattant Road, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730.

There's something different about the women's championship softball team in Oak Hill, Texas—and, so far, most of the other teams haven't noticed. The Kansas City Star reports that the catcher for the team is June Collins—June is blind. According to June's coach, only one other team and one umpire noticed her blindness during the season. It's not only June's defensive play that earns her credit. In all her times at bat this season, she never once struck out.

Mr. Raymond Graber, first vice president of the NFB of Kansas, writes that there is a clause in the contract agreement between United Steelworkers of America, Local 4991 and Fairbanks Morse Pump Division of Kansas City which provides: "The blind employee will be allowed to work overtime when at least one other assembler is working on overtime for safety reasons, provided he is the low man on overtime." Mr. Graber feels this is discrimination against the blind worker and is going to do his best to have the offending clause removed by his union when the contract is renegotiated.

The Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093, has responded to a consumer survey with a much-requested new course, in Braille or on cassette. In ten lessons the course includes: how to go about listening and why we should bother; listening to learn, including note-taking techniques; improving inter-personal communication in family, professional, and social situations; listening for enjoyment; noise pollution and how you can help; and how to get the most from spoken-word records, music, radio, and television. The course, which is free, utilizes a variety of techniques to spark the imagination and to stimulate the intellect—sound stories, experiments in auditory awareness, help in recalling vital information, recognizing the sounds around us, and samples of music, poetry, drama, and comedy. Those interested should write the Registrar at the Hadley School. At the same time they may request a soundsheet listing all courses offered by the Hadley School.

The Santa Rosa (California) News-Herald reports that riding the bus in Sonoma County (California) has been made a little easier for the blind patrons of the Golden Gate Bus Transit system. The poles at the bus stops have been equipped with Braille signs signifying that the pole marks a G.G.T. bus stop.

Beryl Masters, vice president of the Kansas City Association for the Blind Amateur Radio Club is very enthusiastic about spreading the word to other blind people about the joys of ham radio work. According to the Kansas City Star, Masters' club, which started with six members a little more than one year ago, now has fifty-two members and is sponsoring classes to teach other blind people to become ham operators.

William T. Snyder, a blind businessman and distinguished civic leader in his native Baltimore, Maryland, was presented with Dialogue Publications Public Service Award. The award is given for distinguished community service by a blind person. Mr. Snyder, owner of his own public relations agency, contributed volunteer work through the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Blindness, the Baltimore Association for the Visually Handicapped, and the National Association for the Visually Handicapped. He also served as Chairman of the 1973 Baltimore Symposium on Social and Recreational Integration of Blind Youth. Snyder is a member of the University Club of Baltimore and the Mt. Royal Swim and Tennis Club. He is a research consultant and contributor to the Maryland Historical Society and is active in the Arts and Science Association, American Studies Association of Great Britain, Baltimore Bibliophiles, and Walters Art Gallery. He is a member and past officer of the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association.

Robert T. Smith, writing in the Minneapolis Tribune, reports that Leon Lacabanne of Minnetonka, Minnesota, holds the highest rating attainable in karate. Leon holds a black belt—he is also blind. Leon is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota and an electronics expert. He worked in the aerospace industry and has invented printed circuit modules since becoming blind.

In speaking before the California Blind Teachers Association recently, Tom Yonker (Linfield, Oregon, education professor) said that he had made a two-state survey showing that the Washington-Oregon job market for blind teachers is virtually wide open. Yonker mailed a total of 173 questionnaires to junior colleges and high schools in Oregon and Washington. He drew the following conclusions from the responses: The survey indicated that blind teachers may have a better chance of being hired in Washington than in Oregon; Portland is their "best bet" in Oregon; the overall best bet would be the junior colleges; not more than ten schools polled reported employment of a blind teacher; more than 90 percent of the schools said they've never had a blind applicant; and some schools asked for help in encouraging blind teachers to apply.

The Connecticut Blind Federationist, publication of the NFB of Connecticut, announces the formation of the Southeastern chapter of that affiliate. An NFB spot announcement on CBS brought Mrs. Junerose Killian to the chapter and she is now its public relations chairman. Her duties include arranging for radio and newspaper coverage, locating drivers to assist, and obtaining a permanent meeting place for the chapter. Marjorie Heath is chapter president.

The Riverside, California Enterprise reports that when John Gentry of Riverside recently returned from a twenty-fifth anniversary trip with his wife to the Far East and Africa, he brought with him a unique trip log. Wherever he went during the five-month trip, John, who is blind, recorded his impressions and the sounds of the area on cassette. He now has six hours of tapes to aid him in sharing his trip with his friends.

The California State Employees Association asks its many members throughout the State:
How do you rate?

Are you an active member—a cooperative pal.
Or are you content to wear a pin in your lapel?
Do you attend meetings and mingle with the flock?
Or do you sit home and criticize and knock?
Do you take an active part to help the work along,
Or are you satisfied to "just belong?"
Do you help the directors to draft and plan,
Or leave the work to those who do the best they can?
Attend meetings often—you know right from wrong.
Are you an active member—or do you "just belong?"
This is your chapter;
What it is is what you make it.
Nuff said.

The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho) carried a report of Janet Redlich of Mountain Home, Idaho, who has been legally blind for ten years—but no one ever bothered to tell her. Two years ago Janet was finally told that she was, indeed, legally blind. Since then she has taken training in Braille and mobility from the Idaho Commission for the Blind. Her only regret is that she couldn't have had the training when she was younger and learning was easier.

Performance, publication of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, reports that if handicapped persons who can't hold jobs because they have inadequate transportation were able to be more mobile, they could be earning about $452 million annually. At the same time their employment could reduce welfare costs by $40 million and increase Federal income tax revenues by $39 million.

The Marshall (Minnesota) Messenger Independent carried an article about Lloyd White who three years ago took six clocks to a jeweler to be repaired. After paying $172 for the repairs and finding that all the clocks still needed work, Lloyd began to do the work himself. Since then, his clock collection has grown to include ninety-nine clocks and Lloyd does all the repair work on them himself. The only problem he has run into so far is that some of the clocks don't tick loudly enough to allow him to follow the clock's movements. Lloyd White is blind. The clocks serve the purpose of relieving tension for Lloyd when he comes home from school (he teaches German) and works on them—at least one of the ninety-nine clocks is bound to need repair. Lloyd's clock collection has also solved any problem of what to do with Saturday afternoons. It takes Lloyd and his wife two hours every Saturday to wind all the clocks.

In a chapter report of the Kansas United Workers of the Blind, an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas, Jim Stewart writes that on Sunday, May 5, 1974, the KUWB held a dinner for its members and guests. There were twenty-eight people at the dinner including Mr. Jim Couts, Second Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind. He gave a short talk, telling of how the KUWB was started before the Federation came to Kansas, thus giving the Federation a foundation to build on.

Dick Edlund, president of the NFB of Kansas spoke on the strike at the Kansas Industries of the Blind and the stand the Federation took. An election was held after dinner. Following are the new officers of the KUWB: president, Nathan Shelby, Kansas City, Kansas; vice president, Jim Stewart, Merriam, Kansas; secretary, Linda Lewis, Kansas City, Kansas; treasurer, Marion Robinson, Kansas City, Kansas; corresponding secretary, Jackie Peters, Kansas City, Kansas.

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