A Publication of the

National Offices

Washington Office





Associate Editor



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.























At the NFB Convention in July, SRS Commissioner Andrew S. Adams said he would arrange a meeting between the leaders of the blind and NAC. The conditions stipulated at the Convention were met. The meeting was successful as an opening session, as far as our representatives were concerned.

The meeting took place in the HEW Building in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 1974. It was conducted in the manner of an informal hearing, with Dr. Adams and Dr. Gary Massel, the associate SRS administrator, acting as co-chairmen, and Dr. William Usdane, Assistant Commissioner for Program Development, appearing on behalf of the Department of HEW, Daniel Robinson, president of NAC's Board, Richard Bleecker, Executive Director-designate of NAC, and Howard Hansen, represented NAC. President Jernigan, John Taylor, and James Gashel appeared on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind.

A few others were present as resource people or observers, among them Mr. B.T. Kimbrough of Dialogue magazine.

The transcript of the meeting is now at hand and is being studied. A full report will appear in the November Monitor.

A further meeting is planned for November 15, to take place in Chicago. The report of that event will appear in the Monitor as soon as possible.

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Although the fundamental belief in the absolute necessity for blind persons to organize is well ingrained in most of us, it never hurts to reinforce this attitude with new and vivid examples of the positive gains which can be made. Self-organization and self-expression by the blind have long been recognized as important tools in our march for equal justice and equal treatment under the law. In various fields of employment, in education, in public accommodation, and in almost every aspect of life, the blind have had to struggle for equal opportunities and inalienable rights which naturally belong to all free citizens.

One barrier after another, though, has finally begun to crumble. Why is this so? The answer is not mysterious; it is contained in a name—the National Federation of the Blind. To me it is really somewhat surprizing that there are still those who fail to recognize this rather elementary fact. Perhaps therein lies our challenge for the future.

One obstacle blocking our path has been equal access to various modes of transportation, particularly railroad trains. The argument goes like this:

Blind Person: "I'd like to buy a ticket, please, to—"

Ticket Agent: "Will there be two of you travelling today?"

Blind Person: "No, I will be travelling alone."

Ticket Agent: "Oh, you have a dog."

Blind Person: "No, I have a cane."

Ticket Agent: "You know, of course, that you are entitled to have a sighted guide accompany you at no additional charge."

Blind Person: "I simply have no sighted guide available at the moment, and even if I did, I prefer to travel alone."

Ticket Agent: "Well, this is really a problem. Our regulations say that proper safety must be maintained. I simply cannot sell you, alone, a ticket!"

How many times has this incident been replayed in depots across the land? Probably we will never know, but we know of several recent encounters which have come to light and have served to write the next chapter in the book of progress of the blind of this country.

Responding to the difficulties blind travellers have had in dealing with the railroads, the NFB, at its 34th Annual Convention, unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Amtrak, the federally-assisted passenger rail system, to make clear to all personnel that blind persons are to have access to Amtrak trains with or without a sighted guide and with or without a dog guide.


WHERE AS Bulletin number 5.7 of Amtrak's "On Board Service Director Handbook" outlines the agency's policies restricting conditions under which a disabled person may travel, stating that passengers will not be allowed on board who have not made prior arrangements for an attendant or for necessary equipment; and

WHEREAS said bulletin and Amtrak officials state that these travel restrictions apply to the blind and require the blind to be accompanied by an attendant or dog guide; and

WHEREAS the blind have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to travel competently on all public conveyances and this ability is universally recognized by enlightened and knowledgeable individuals; and

WHEREAS the Amtrak policy, if rigidly applied by ticket agents and their supervisors, would seriously infringe upon the right of the blind to travel; and

WHEREAS the enactment of White Cane Laws by numerous states guarantees the freedom of unrestricted mobility to the blind, recognizing the importance of free movement to all citizens; and

WHEREAS Amtrak is a public corporation relying upon the bounty of taxpayers for its support, and among these taxpayers are the blind: Now,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 5th day of July, 1974, in the City of Chicago, Illinois, that this organization condemn and deplore this illegal and oppressive policy imposed upon the blind by Amtrak; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge Amtrak officials to immediately adopt a policy specifying that the blind shall travel independently and without restrictions, and furthermore that said policy be specifically made clear to all ticket agents and their supervisors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if Amtrak officials prove to be unresponsive and refuse to rescind the present retrogressive policy regarding blind passengers, the officers of the NFB are hereby instructed to take all necessary measures to insure that Amtrak officials comply with the goals of this Resolution.

The national press picked up the story of our legitimate discontent and spread it far and wide.



[Reprinted by courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, July 5, 1974.]

A suit charging Amtrak with discrimination against blind people is expected to be authorized today by approximately 2,500 members of the National Federation of the Blind meeting at the Palmer House.

The Federation, whose membership includes more than fifty thousand of the estimated four hundred thousand blind people in America, is expected to authorize newly re-elected President Kenneth Jernigan to file suit to get Amtrak to change the regulation requiring a blind person to be accompanied by either a sighted person or a guide dog.

Jernigan, who is also Director of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind, is expected to negotiate with Amtrak to get the regulation changed voluntarily before entering the suit, an aide said.

The Federation recently testified before six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hearings when the FAA was considering the adoption of a similar rule for blind people on airplanes. The FAA has apparently abandoned the idea.

A proposition by a blind city planner to put noise devices on traffic lights, buzzers on subway doors, and rough pavement on sidewalks before subway stairs is expected to be opposed by another resolution.

The Federation is dedicated to changing the stereotype image of blind people as helpless or handicapped. "Blindness is very normal. We can do anything, given the training," a spokesman said.

The Convention, which is in its fifth and final day today, is also expected to pass two resolutions dealing with the American Foundation for the Blind. The Foundation does not allow Federation representatives on its Accreditation Council, which meets in closed sessions. Federation spokesmen said they don't feel that Foundation criteria are always in the best interest of blind people, and they are seeking to cut off government funding until elected representatives of blind people are allowed on the Council.

Amtrak officials first denied having a policy which restricted travel by blind persons, but when pressed they had to reconsider and regroup. But to their credit, they did come up to the line, and, finding themselves in error, they are taking the first steps necessary to proper reform. In taking this action, Amtrak officials leave no doubt that they are responding to the National Federation of the Blind as the collective voice of the rank and file of blind citizens. But let them speak for themselves.

August 1, 1974

National Federation of the Blind,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MRS. GASHEL: The confusion over Amtrak's policy regarding disabled passengers has been brought to my attention. It has always been the intent of Amtrak to provide the most complete service to all our passengers, and to receive as passengers every individual. Any restrictions we have set, have always been with the safety, health, and comfort of the customer in mind.

I am enclosing a copy of our policy regarding disabled and blind passengers. This latest revision has further clarified our policy toward blind individuals desiring passage on Amtrak trains—that they in no way shall be restricted from any Amtrak facilities and that all service personnel shall render them whatever assistance they may request. Thus, they are welcomed aboard our trains with or without escort or dog.

Unfortunately, decisions have been made in individual situations to deny admittance onto Amtrak trains on the basis of blindness. I apologize to you and the National Federation for such incidents. I can defend such decisions only on the hope that the personnel involved acted in the name of the safety of the customer.

As our personnel and all public concerns are learning, however, to deny blind persons access to facilities is to deny them the independence that they are capable of and have the right to. Your Federation has been in the vanguard of efforts to educate the American public to this fact.

My hope is that the accompanying bulletin will clear up any questions you and the Federation may have. Should any future incidents occur denying blind persons admittance onto an Amtrak train, rest assured that we will deal with the individuals involved. We are using every avenue available to disseminate the correct policy to all our personnel.

Again, my personal apologies for past situations, and my sincere welcome to all citizens, blind and sighted, onto Amtrak.




Disabled Passengers: Policy

Disabled individuals who want to travel on Amtrak trains must have an attendant if they are unable to care for themselves. If they need assistance in obtaining attendant service, Amtrak will provide this service at cost to the passenger.

Disabled passengers needing an attendant will not be allowed on-board who have not made prior arrangements for an attendant or for necessary equipment. When disabled passengers are carried, the On-Board Service Director will make every attempt to assist them with their needs.

Blind individuals accustomed to moving about in public streets and places will not be considered disabled and will be permitted to travel on Amtrak trains with or without an attendant or dog.

Mr. Ensz, that's a fine, fine way to run a railroad.

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Editor's Note.—Last fall the Federal Aviation Agency held a series of public hearings around the Nation on Proposed Regulations governing transportation of handicapped persons on aircraft. The NFB appeared at all the hearings to protest the restrictive and discriminatory character of the regulations (see The Monitor, November 1973). On July 5, 1974, the Federal Register published another set of Proposed Regulations considerably altered as a result of the hearings. While the new regulations are much less restrictive than the first, the current set is still shortsighted. Comments were accepted, and James Gashel wrote the following letter of protest on behalf of the NFB. In fact, an attempt is made to exclude the blind and deaf from the definition of "handicapped."


Washington, D.C., August 19, 1974.

Office of the Chief Counsel,
Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: Pursuant to the notice published in the Federal Register on July 5, 1974, the National Federation of the Blind wishes to comment on the proposed regulations of the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, concerning carriage of handicapped persons on the Nation's commerical airlines.

§ 121.584, Carriage of persons needing evacuation assistance, reads, in part:

(a) For the purpose of this section, a handicapped person is a person who may need the assistance of another person to expeditiously move to an exit in the event of an emergency evacuation.

(b) A certificate holder may not refuse to carry a person on the basis that he is a handicapped person, if—

(1) He presents the certificate holder with a written statement signed within the preceding six months by a licensed physician that he does not need the assistance of another person to expeditiously move to an exit in the event of an emergency evacuation, or the sole basis for the certificate holder's refusal to carry him is that he is blind or deaf; and

(2) He can be seated in a seat that is not one of the two seats nearest an exit, or is not a seat in a row of seats immediately adjacent to an exit, except that he may be seated in the farthest seat from the exit in that row.

The proposed regulations as published contain a basic principle long supported and highly endorsed by the National Federation of the Blind, the representative voice of the blind men and women in this country. This principle is embodied in the recognition that persons who are blind are not considered "handicapped" for purposes of air travel. By recognizing the ability of blind persons to make their way independently, the Federal Aviation Administration has adopted the progressive view that blind citizens are competent and capable members of the public. Repeatedly over the years, the National Federation of the Blind has argued that the blind can travel about independently, and now this position is becoming universally accepted as valid.

A dominant theme in the testimony of those representing the National Federation of the Blind in the six public hearings held to develop these proposed regulations was that independent mobility is now, and has been for a long time, a reality for the blind. In our testimony we pointed to numerous examples of blind persons who travel extensively throughout this country and abroad with no more difficulty than that faced by the average sighted traveller. The plain truth of this statement has long been understood by the Nation's air carriers and by virtually all airline personnel. In proposing regulations which in no way will restrict air travel by blind persons, the Federal Aviation Administration has taken a forward step toward insuring equal justice and equal rights for the blind.

Paragraph (b)(2) of § 121.584 restricts seating of blind passengers by employing the following language:

(2) He can be seated in a seat that is not one of the two seats nearest an exit, or is not a seat in a row of seats immediately adjacent to an exit, except that he may be seated in the farthest seat from the exit in that row.

This provision of the proposed regulations contains a basic assumption about blindness which is totally rejected by the National Federation of the Blind. The underlying premise upon which this regulation rests is that the condition of being blind has some relationship to one's ability to react with appropriate speed in the event of an emergency situation. Also involved may be the thinking that blindness would necessarily prevent one from properly handling emergency exit doors or from assisting other passengers. What other justification could there be for the seating limitations imposed in paragraph (b)(2) of § 121.584?

Such assumptions, however, are simply not warranted under the circumstances. For years no seating restrictions were imposed on blind air travellers. During recent times, however, (perhaps the last three or four years) such has not been the case. Indeed, this fact has caused some real concern among the blind since we are aware of our ability to perform the necessary functions involved in effecting an emergency exit from an aircraft.

More to the point, perhaps, is the fact that there exists, so far as anyone can tell, no evidence to suggest that blindness would impose any disadvantage in making an expeditious evacuation. In the absence of such evidence, the final regulations must reflect a view consistent with the previously held policy that blind persons may sit anywhere in the aircraft. Any other position would constitute unreasonable and discriminatory treatment of the blind and would serve to continue and further substantiate the myth that the blind are more helpless than their sighted sisters and brothers.

To illustrate the unreasonable discrimination which would be imposed on blind persons with the adoption of the regulations restricting their seating in commercial aircraft, one need only return for a moment to the assumption upon which this regulation is predicated. Presumably, all persons interested in the safety of the travelling public have a vested interest in providing for a speedy exit in the event of some emergency. Certainly the blind are among those who seek this objective. To accomplish this goal, however, the Federal Aviation Administration does not propose to test all persons boarding a commercial aircraft to ascertain their level of competence in handling and assisting in an emergency. Probably such a test would involve determining the passengers' reflexes and reaction time, his or her level of strength and ability to remain calm under pressure, and a host of other qualities which might be related to one's behavior in the event of some disaster. Perhaps one's medical history and past experience in dealing with tragedy would also be relevant considerations. But the Federal Aviation Administration does not propose testing for any of these qualities in passengers boarding an aircraft. For the most part, as long as one is not handicapped, possessed of normal hearing, and is sighted, he or she is presumed to be sufficiently endowed with the necessary ability to react appropriately in any given emergency situation requiring quick exit.

The question then arises, is this position (insofar as it affects the blind) justified? The answer from those most knowledgeable about the abilities of the blind is definitely in the negative. Nothing whatsoever inherent in blindness would prevent a blind person from effecting safe and speedy exit from the aircraft. In fact, there is some reason to believe that under many circumstances a person who is blind may be best able to cope with an emergency, especially if the sight of others is obscured by smoke or darkness. Accustomed to moving without sight, a blind person's experience makes him uniquely suited to deal with many hazardous situations in which the sighted find themselves limited by blinding smoke or other obstructions.

Yet this positive factor has been overlooked or rejected in the proposed regulations as published. It is our hope and belief that the final regulations will take cognizance of this inconsistancy and reflect a more enlightened concept of the abilities of the blind. In fact, such an alteration in the regulations would not only recognize the true abilities of the blind, but would also be more consistant with the enlightened position concerning the blind adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in paragraph (b)(1) of § 121.584.

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The final session of the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind adjourned at 5 o'clock Friday afternoon, July 5. I spent the evening and the following morning talking with Federationists and winding up details. This year's Convention was certainly the best and most productive we have ever had. It saw a new dimension of Federation confidence and accomplishment.

On Saturday afternoon, instead of going home, I met Mrs. Florence Grannis at the Chicago train station and headed for New York to attend the meeting of ALA (The American Library Association). We arrived Sunday morning and immediately began a round of meetings and individual conferences.

For a long time ALA has had a "Round Table on Library Service to the Blind." Last year—in line with the trend to lump all of the disabled, the handicapped, and the disadvantaged into a single pot of mulligan stew—the "Round Table on Library Service to the Blind" was merged with the American Hospital and Institution Libraries to form a new division of ALA which is to be called the Health and Rehabilitative Library Services Division. It is reminiscent of the last century when the blind, the criminals, the insane, the sick, the aged, the orphans, and the poor were all thrown together in the almshouse. This backward step was sharply brought home to me by a newly published pamphlet we were given entitled "Jails Need Libraries Too—Guidelines for Library Service Programs to Jails." It is not that prisoners do not need library service; nor is it that their needs are less urgent than those of the blind. It is only that both groups suffer when they are lumped together as if their needs were identical or even related. It was not until our special needs and circumstances began to be identified and treated separately that we as blind persons began to emerge from the shadows of misery and neglect into the light of hope and fulfillment. It is disturbing to see the tide sweeping us back toward faceless anonymity and the Victorian almshouse—and all in the name of administrative ease and efficiency. Of course, it will only happen if we let it happen—in which case we will deserve what we get.

Be this as it may, the "Round Table on Library Service to the Blind" held its terminal meetings at the American Library Association Convention this year in New York. At a special luncheon Wednesday, July 10, Senator Jennings Randolph was given the Francis Joseph Campbell Award. He was honored not only for his support for library service for the blind, but for his broader efforts in the field. The featured speaker at the luncheon was Harold Krents, whose life inspired the play and movie Butterflies Are Free.

Earlier in the week, at a general membership meeting, the "Round Table on Library Service to the Blind" dealt with a variety of matters. Larry Volin of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped expressed concern that there was not enough career information available to blind and visually handicapped persons in a form they could readily use. The following motion was discussed and unanimously adopted:

That the chairperson appoint a committee to define the problem of providing career information for people who do or might use our services and to outline a plan for making this information more readily available; further that this committee determine a method for seeking the individuals who could profit from the service.

A motion was also adopted urging the ALA to employ interpreters for deaf librarians at its general meetings and to avoid convention sites where architectural barriers would be a problem.

And then there was NAC—in fact, wherever certain ones of us go there usually is. Federationists will remember that the librarians for the blind have more than once declared that NAC's library standards are outdated and irrelevant. I learned from some comments at the meeting that after the last such public declaration by the librarians, NAC officials apparently tried pressure and protest—secretly, of course, in their usual manner.

Regardless of all this, the librarians did it again at the ALA meeting in New York. A motion was introduced declaring that the library profession itself, as opposed to NAC or any other group, should write the standards. The discussion made it clear that the librarians were reluctant to mention NAC by name. So the motion was amended; but the meaning was just as clear and it was meant to be. The motion (adopted unanimously) reads as follows:

I move that standards be developed for library service for the blind and physically handicapped and that the library profession itself (through the Health and Rehabilitative Library Service Division) assume responsibility for the development of such standards.

It is a safe bet that NAC will raise a protest and try to apply pressure—but not openly and publicly.

Mrs. Grannis has been chairing a committee (the other two members being Mary Miller of Wisconsin and Dick Peel of Montana) to write standards for the production of reading materials for the blind and visually handicapped. The completed document, which is both thorough and comprehensive, was presented and discussed at a meeting of the Round Table Board. When it is published, this document should supersede and completely replace the NAC standards on production of materials. It underscores once again the harm which NAC has done in every phase of work with the blind Even if we could eliminate NAC today, its detrimental effects would probably be felt (at least to some extent) for the rest of the century. The standards prepared by Mrs. Grannis and her committee should soon be available in quantity as an official publication of the ALA.

There were many other events of interest at the ALA Convention. There was talk of advancing technology and innovative methods. There was a mood of hope and promise taken in conjunction with the new and refreshing atmosphere which Mr. Cylke has brought to the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. It bodes well for better things ahead for the libraries.

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[Reprinted by courtesy of the Des Moines (Iowa) Register.]

Stately, scholarly Ross Anderson doesn't think anything of walking forty minutes to the library, picking up an armful of books, and then walking another forty minutes back to his home. To some less fit, the walk might be quite a feat. But not to Anderson, who is seventy-two years old and blind.

His frequent trips are to the Library for the Blind, located on the fourth floor of the Iowa Commission for the Blind Building at Fourth and Keo. And he had the distinction recently of checking out the two millionth "book" from the world's largest library for the blind. His selection was the light and humorous Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough.

It might have been a novel by Aldous Huxley, himself a writer with poor eyesight; or it might have been a book by theologian Paul Tillich (the Iowa Library for the Blind put one of Tillich's works into talking book form at Anderson's request). He is a man with broad interests who in his lifetime has studied to be a teacher and a minister ("Ghandi was my spiritual teacher"), has done much community work in the South, is interested in communes, is writing a handbook on communities, and likes organic foods. Which all is to say that the man with the nearly sightless eyes which still sparkle is a gentleman of books.

During those forty-minute walks, he passes many supermarkets and drugstores with their racks of magazines and paperback books. But they are for the sighted who take print for granted. To Anderson and the thousands of sightless or near-sightless Iowans, the library is their reading source. And this library, which is about to undergo its fourth expansion, provides the bulk of the world's great literature, magazines, textbooks, plays, and dramas in a medium of their choice. There are the talking books, which are records, cassette tapes, large type and Braille volumes. They are available to any persons with visual problems or to the handicapped who might not be able to turn the pages of a book.

The Library for the Blind is in its fourteenth year, and has grown "from nothing," says its director Mrs. Florence Grannis, to the largest such facility anywhere, offering such broad services to the entire State. "This would be only a dream anywhere else," says the lady who virtually bubbles when she relates the story of the growth and quality of the Library.

Back in 1960, the building that once housed the YWCA was taken over for the Iowa Commission for the Blind. A library was going to be an important part of the entire program, and Mrs. Grannis had two weeks to get one in order. There were no library shelves, so old metal gym lockers were adapted and put to new use. Others were taken up and down by block and tackle from the gym floor to the overhead running track. Despite the difficulties, library service to the blind of Iowa began on the target day, July 1, 1960.

In 1969, the Library marked its millionth circulation. The book was Gone With the Wind, and the "book" was a set of  twenty-seven long-playing records. Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, points to the technical progress made in recording the talking books. In the old days, Gone With the Wind consisted of eighty 33 1/3 rpm records and they were twelve-inch discs. Now, the twenty-seven records are ten-inch and play at 8 1/3 rpm's.

Jernigan points with great pride to the many persons involved in the work of the Library. He cited as an example the recent case of a blind lawyer who is serving as law clerk to a senator in the State legislature. He needed to read the Criminal Code, which was 256 pages of fine print. It had come off the press on a Friday. The blind lawyer brought his problem to the Library and asked if it would be possible to tape the code by the following Friday, considering that short time a "tremendous imposition." No imposition at all. Volunteers had the whole thing on cassettes within two days! A classic example of people understanding a need and working together to accomplish a goal, is the way Jernigan puts it.

Regarding the continuing growth, Mrs. Grannis recalls that it took nine years to reach the first million in circulation, and less than five years to double that. She points to the number of cookbooks in Braille, on plastic sheets so that smudges may be removed easily. Some libraries for the blind do not have any because some believe blind persons should not cook. Not true here, where Iowa blind cooks have available to them scores of Braille cookbooks and thirty more in the process.

The energetic lady with the auburn hair who oversees the Library is ever so glad that the Books for the Blind Program, which established regional libraries to serve adults way back in 1931, finally got around to serving children. It took twenty years. Not until 1952 were children's books made available in such libraries. And she credits much of the growth of the Library for the Blind here to the fact that Jernigan is so library-minded—an avid reader himself who had few books to read as a child. She relates that while attending the Tennessee School for the Blind, he used to sneak books into his room and read the Braille editions in the dark after hours. He would ration his reading as a child, it was so precious.

The Library also functions as an Instructional Materials Center. In this division, educational materials, aids, and devices are made available to the visually handicapped so they may pursue their education. During the last year, the Center has processed more than three thousand requests for nearly three hundred public, private, and college students.

The talking books are recorded by persons with professional voices whose diction makes the books come to life. Brailling is done by hundreds of volunteers. Record and cassette players are available at no cost. Readers using the library services merely mark their preference in a catalogue kept up to date and sent to them. The talking books, Braille volumes, and cassettes are mailed without charge to the receiver. Mrs. Grannis adds, too, that through the Iowa Lions Sight Conservation Foundation, any blind person may have, free of charge, his own Bible in whatever medium he wishes. "Just contact us," she adds. "What we want is everything available in these various mediums—the same as if these persons were not blind and lived in an excellent library area."

"People have been good to us," Jernigan said, tapping his own white walking stick on the floor of Mrs. Grannis' office. "State officials have been good to us; the governor, legislature, many organizations and individuals. The combined efforts of vast elements in the community, that is what has made it happen," he said. "And you know," said this man who has been blind since birth, "the important thing is to get the thought from the printed page into your head. That's what counts, not whether you read it in large type, Braille, or listen to records."

Ross Anderson is back home now, probably chuckling over Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. It is good that Ross and thousands of other blind and handicapped Iowans can experience the wisdom, humor, and pleasure of the printed page.

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According to charts released by HEW on June 26, 1974, the following thirty-three States have supplemented the Federal grants under the SSI program of $146 a month for an individual and $219 a month for a couple in independent living arrangements, to provide flat grants to those recipients transferred from Aid to the Blind as follows (an asterisk shows larger grants to blind persons than to the aged):

*Alabama $146 $250
Alaska 185 285
*Arkansas 146 229
*California 265 530
*Colorado 155 310
Connecticut 238 286
Delaware 150 248
Hawaii $173 $260
Idaho 200 249
*Illinois 175 219
*Indiana 146 288
*Iowa 164 255
Kansas 203 242
Maine 156 234
*Massachusetts 292 584
Michigan 167 240
Minnesota 178 258
*Missouri 146 229
Nebraska 213 289
*Nevada 215 430
New Hampshire 173 230
New Jersey 182 250
†New York 207 295
Oklahoma 161 249
*Oregon 183 248
Pennsylvania $166 $249
Rhode Island 183 287
South Carolina 146 220
South Dakota 190 230
*Utah 146 262
‡Vermont 175 260
Virginia 152 219
Washington 176 252
Wisconsin 216 329

Of the thirty-three States supplementing the SSI payments, grants to blind persons were higher in eleven than grants to the aged.

Since the average grant for the United States as a whole for Aid to the Blind in December 1973 (the month before the "take-over") was only $112, it can be seen what great progress has been made in the amounts of the grants to blind persons under the SSI program.

†New York varies the grant for congregate care into three areas.

‡Vermont varies the grant into two areas in the State.

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[Reprinted with courtesy from the NFB of Virginia Newsletter, August, 1974.]

Shortly before I joined the Federation, I declared to a member that I'd never spend my vacation at some convention no matter how devoted I was to that organization. To me, a convention was either a week-long alcoholic party, or a total loss as a vacation spot. Now, after having attended three National Conventions, I wince when I remember my simple declaration.

For me, now, I could not think of missing a single Convention. Why? Well, that's a hard question to answer.

First, I do believe that the Federation is the most important organization of and for the blind in this world. The record shows that the Federation has done more for the blind than any other group—and, after all, that is not surprising, since the Federation is the blind speaking and doing for themselves. And, since everything the Federation does is decided by the Convention and every member has a right to join in that decision-making process, the Convention is the place to be for your own sake—and for the sakes of all of us, for that matter.

Secondly, the Convention is so filled with the Federation spirit that it recharges every Convention-goer, strengthening his commitment to the movement.

Then, there's the new information: the latest invention on display in the exhibit hall; or a suggestion picked up during a committee meeting—fundraising, public relations, or membership; or, it might be some information brought by a Convention speaker—Supplemental Security Income, or vocational rehabilitation; or, an exciting conversation with a Federationist from a distant part of this Nation.

We had twenty-three NFBV's in Chicago this time and probably each would offer a different list of Convention highlights; but, anyway, here's mine: there will be a meeting late this year between the leaders of the NFB, NAC, and SRS (Social Rehabilitation Service) alone; unless SRS is convinced that NAC is a worthwhile organization to fund, its Federal funding will be stopped—or so SRS Commissioner Adams says. To emphasize Federation unity, we will use one NFB membership card; yours is on its way....NFB will sell aids and appliances at cost; see your August Monitor for catalog....We are producing another documentary film; this one tells the Federation story....We are realizing vast successes in our candy sales, thanks to the agreement between the NFB and Ludwig Candy Company.

I urge each of you to try to attend the next NFB Convention; it is important and personally satisfying. Ask anyone who's gone.

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Editor's Note.—Robert Eschbach, president of the NFB of Ohio and newly-elected member of the Executive Committee, let Recording for the Blind know he was unhappy with their stand on NAC in a letter written just after our July Convention.

Executive Director,
Recording for the Blind, Inc.,
New York, New York.

DEAR MR. STALEY: Before me is your letter of June 10 with its request for personal information relative to fundraising and possible job referral programming as proposed by RFB.

As a borrower of RFB services since the early days and a firm believer in the principles for which RFB has stood, I have followed with interest and pleasure the development of these services and have continued to find valuable assistance through the program.

It is, therefore, with great disappointment that I observed the seal of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) displayed on your material. The progress of RFB has been significant and demonstrably valid and the attachment to your name of the symbol of NAC has not proved or disproved your development. It is, I suppose, considered by some to be a mark of prestige. I would trust, however, that the pride you have is more identifiably placed in the service you have given and the standards of excellence which you have consistently maintained. NAC had done nothing to improve your quality of service or to improve your standards of excellence. While I believe that you have shared with the blind a valuable service over the years, I know that NAC can only bring discredit to what you are able to offer.

I cannot in good conscience supply biographical material for purposes of fundraising as it is presently outlined in your brochure. As one of your blind constituents and a representative of blind people through the National Federation of the Blind, I join others in encouraging you strongly to disassociate the program from such a questionable seal of approval.


National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.

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August 8, 1974

Commissioner, Rehabilitation
Services Administration,
Department of HEW,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR DR. ADAMS: Over the past several years, the blind of my State have complained to me about some of the policies and practices of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, an organization commonly referred to by the blind as NAC. In this regard, I have reviewed a considerable amount of correspondence between the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut and NAC.

In my opinion, HEW must see that the National Federation of the Blind is comparable to a union of consumers demanding accountability from NAC's management team of professional service providers; not the pretense that HEW is mediating a squabble between two competing organizations of the blind. Blind persons are consumers of services and should have a role in determining the types and quality of service available to them.

I urge you to continue your very progressive role in resolving the differences between these two organizations.

With kindest regards.


United States Senator

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Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The mass of documentation concerning problems with the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (an agency to which you award a grant) continues to grow. Recently, I have reviewed this documentation and frankly, I am convinced that no good purpose is being served by what appears to be inaction on the part of your Department. Mere repetition of what have now become standard answers has not resulted in improved recognition of the views of the blind. I am firmly convinced that steps must be taken to bring about such recognition, and it seems reasonable to me that this would be your objective as well. The blind, through the forum of the National Federation of the Blind, do have the right to be consulted and their views must be given weight. Therefore, I am anxious to know what new plans you have developed to cause your grantee agency (NAC) to be responsive to the blind.



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Editor's Note.—Is it "making disparaging remarks" to state a direct fact? Is it "developing an argument" to ask questions about activities in which an agency such as NAC is engaged? Evidently questions and statements of fact are fighting words these days if they are directed to a member to NAC's Board and question the validity of NAC's standards. The correspondence set out below from E. U. Parker, president of our Mississippi affiliate, who serves on his State 's Public Welfare Board, which, among other things, supervises Mississippi Industries for the Blind; and Jansen Noyes, who is a member of the President's Committee for Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped and Is the president of a major Wall Street brokerage house, makes It plain that Mr. Noyes thinks that Mr. Parker has stepped out of line in questioning not only NAC's but also Mr. Noyes' activities on behalf of shop workers.

June 12, 1974

President, Hornblower & Weeks-Hemphill, Noyes, Inc.,
New York, New York.

DEAR MR. NOYES: In a letter of June 4, 1974, from Mr. C.W. Fletcher, Executive Director of the Committee for Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped, he gives me your name as "the member of the Committee who represents blind individuals employed in qualified nonprofit agencies for the blind" of the National Accreditation Council (NAC). I realize you must not represent them in the normal political or social sense. So I wonder what is meant by you representing their interest. As I am writing as an interested blind individual, I want to say I am earnestly seeking information and am in no way questioning your ability, knowledge, or intentions.

I would like to know what you as a member of the President's appointed Committee for Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped do specifically to safeguard the interest of the blind who work in so-called sheltered workshops. In what way, other than helping the workshops through the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) get government contracts, do you assist in helping them attain higher wages, better working conditions, and some input into the system? I am curious about these matters because I can not learn of anything done by the certification committee of the General Council of Workshops supervised by NIB or NAC. The former, I suppose, is recognized by NIB; the latter, so far as I can determine, is not officially recognized in this field except by themselves. NAC has a standard that seems to say that they require the workshops to pay Federal minimum wage, but when they get through with their special definition of words, the standard is meaningless, as they accredit shops who pay one-half the minimum wage or even less. As a member of the State Department of Public Welfare Board (among whose duties it is to supervise the Mississippi Industries for the Blind), I have attended the past three General Council of Workshops meetings. In their meeting in Kansas City in October 1973, a representative of the Labor Department was on the program. I asked him what the Labor Department did in this regard. He quoted a section of Federal law, but added that Federal court decisions had indicated that the Federal courts did not have jurisdiction. All this leaves me wondering if Federal legislation is needed since it appears that nobody sees the interest of the blind workers as their responsibility at present. I might add that we are making strides so far as Mississippi Industries for the Blind is concerned.

Very sincerely,

National Federation of the Blind
of Mississippi.


New York, New York, June 20, 1974.

Mr. E.U. PARKER, Jr.,
President, National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi,
Laurel, Mississippi.

DEAR MR. PARKER; I have your letter of June 12 in which you ask a great many questions concerning my activities on the President's appointed committee. At the same time, you have made some rather disparaging remarks about NIB and NAC. I have the feeling that you are more interested in developing an argument than obtaining information.

I can assure you that I have worked for approximately thirty years to develop more employment in sheltered shops and higher wages for those working in them. If you are one of those supervising Mississippi Industries for the Blind, I think you have excellent access to the services performed by NIB and the support given by the President's Committee.

As I recall, mattresses have been an important part of the work done by Mississippi Industries. I think that within the last year NIB and the President's Committee have successfully attempted to have prison industries release considerable business in this area to blind shops. I think also in recent months NIB has carried, at its own expense, substantial inventory of flame proof materials to assist the Mississippi Industries. We are happy to do these things for the blind shops, and hope in the future to do many more of them.




June 27, 1974

DEAR MR. NOYES: Thank you for your letter of June 20, 1974. I regret I incorrectly left the impression that I was attempting to disparage anyone rather than get information. It is true that as a blind person I am very concerned about NAC and the harmful effect that I believe it is having on blind people and, in some cases, agencies serving the blind.

I regret I bothered you with the matter, but I am also very sorry that the information I desire is apparently not available to you.

Very sincerely,


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July 15, 1974

Chief, Division for the Blind and the Physically Handicapped,
Library of Congress,
Washington, D.C.

Dear MR. CYLKE: This letter is in regard to the policy changes initiated by the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, on July 1, 1974. According to these changes, all reel-to-reel tape recordings will be eliminated in favor of the tape cassette program. Although the idea is economically sound, I have strong reservations about how practical such a change will be over the long run. My reasons are these:

  1. The cassette is cheaper to buy new when it is damaged than to repair. This causes grave doubts as to the practicality of something that has to be replaced each time something minor goes wrong with it.
  2. The discontinuation of the talking book disc program in favor of the overall cassette program could result in some disadvantages that the policy makers at the Division of the Blind and the Physically Handicapped may not have forseen. When a cassette jams, it's jammed! There is no way to merely guide the needle, as in a phonograph record, into the next groove and to go on with the reading.

According to information supplied to me by both Mr. Melvin D. Cohen of Atlanta, Georgia, and my Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at Charleston, West Virginia, the new cassette machines will be equipped with an attachment to play the sound-sheet discs. My immediate question is: is such an arrangement practical? This arrangement seems to add to the weaknesses of an already inherently weak machine. In my experience, the relative freedom from repair of a cassette machine is six months to a year, rating fairly heavily. The component parts of a cassette machine are so light, in order to achieve portability, that they cannot stand up to even moderately heavy use of a blind person who does any amount of reading at all. A talking book machine, on the other hand, may go for as much as a year and a half to two years without needing such repair. This is also true of a reel-to-reel tape recorder kept in moderately good condition.

As for the advantage of playing time, a good, Government designed, reel-to-reel tape recorder which is capable of playing at 15/16 ips, with quarter track facilities, could play a seven-inch, 1800 foot reel of tape for twenty-four hours. Generally, this is more than enough time to record most books being produced by the Library of Congress. Don't get me wrong. Cassettes have their place in a society in which blind people are becoming more mobile than formerly. However, cassettes are not the be all and end all in the productions of books for blind people.

The reduction of books in Braille is also creating a problem. We, as parents of blind children, educate our children so that they may read and write and otherwise perform competitively in society. With the reduction of Braille material we are reducing considerably the literacy of our children. No matter how many recorded books there are, if a child cannot read and write in his own medium, he is functionally illiterate.

For these reasons, I would therefore suggest that a re-study and re-evaluation of these policies be implemented so that a program which has brought continued satisfaction to blind and physically handicapped people for more than forty years not be abandoned on the mere ground of something newer and maybe better coming along.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter.

Yours truly,


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The twenty-ninth annual convention of the Montana Association for the Blind was held on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman on the weekend of July 19, 20, and 21, with the Yellowstone Chapter as our host affiliate. Hapner Hall was a beehive of activity Friday afternoon with registration, open house for the Summer Orientation Program for the Blind, and a Board of Directors meeting all going on simultaneously.

The convention officially began with president Charles Vanderzee's call to order at 8 p.m. The usual opening ceremonies, which included the welcoming address by Bozeman Mayor Elect James Vollmer, were followed by the President's report. In his review of the year's activities, president Vanderzee cited the completion of one Summer Orientation Program and the beginning of another; seminars on blindness conducted in four different cities throughout the State since last fall; two mini-orientation programs; the continuing progress of our own home teaching program and successful efforts in getting the Visual Services Division to initiate a similar program with MAB's financial support; substantial success in our fund raising efforts, particularly in regard to the sale of memo calendars; the continuing growth and use of the Memorial Fund; and a real surge upward in active membership.

Delegates to the NFB Chicago Convention also gave their reports. Refreshments and much socializing ended the day.

During the Saturday morning business session, financial and committee reports were given. Some figures: approximately $24,000 went into the Summer Orientation Program during the year and just over $6,000 into the Public Education and Home Teaching program. Calendar sales are improving every year and 1974 sales grossed $9,600. The membership report indicated that active membership has climbed.

Later in the morning our guest speakers were Robert Whitstock, Vice-President of Seeing Eye, Inc., and Dan Kelly, bureau chief of Aging Services in the Montana Department of SRS, both of whom gave interesting and informative presentations.

In the afternoon we heard from Visual Services Counselor Supervisor Sharon Cromeenes, standing in for Administrator Emil Honka. Jim Gashel, NFB's Washington Representative, followed, bringing us up to date on national legislation, developments with NAC and other phases of NFB activities. There were also reports on the Summer Orientation Program and the resolutions committee.

Four resolutions were adopted during this convention. Two pertained to greater involvement of the MAB in the struggle with NAC; one voiced opposition to discrimination against handicapped persons using walkers and wheelchairs on the part of a Missoula cab company; and the other seeks to include in our State White Cane Law those provisions of the Model White Cane Law that were omitted in the revision of 1971.

The banquet on Saturday evening was the largest in several years with one hundred six in attendance. Jim Sibert did a good job as substitute master of ceremonies, filling in for Hugh Berg who was unable to be present because of his wife's illness. The recipient of this year's Dorothy C. Bridgman Award was Keith Denton, the Association's first president. The Award is given for outstanding service to the blind of the State. Keith served as president for nine years and has remained on the board almost continuously ever since, having missed only two board meetings since 1946. He was summer school director for eleven years, legislative chairman for many years, and also held a number of other committee positions during that time. Each year on this occasion, the Bozeman Lions Club presents the Association with a wonderful gift of one hundred dollars. Banquet speakers were Jim Gashel and Tom Rolfe, a Bozeman legislator. Music and dancing at the Eagles completed the evening's festivities.

At memorial services Sunday morning, we honored the memory of seventeen departed members and friends.

The first order of business when the final session was gaveled to order was the announcement of election returns which were as follows: second vice-president, Virginia Sutich, Sand Coulee, re-elected; district two representative, Charles Martin, Livingston; district three representative, Jim Sibert, Great Falls. Hold-over members of the board are: president, Charles Vanderzee, Bozeman; first vice-president, Tony Persha, Red Lodge; district one representative, Keith Denton, Lakeside; and district four representative, Delos Kelley, Billings. (The office of secretary-treasurer is filled by board appointment.)

All nine chapters reported on their activities during the past year. The Northwest Montana chapter volunteered to host the 1975 convention. Contributions were voted for a number of causes. There was a vote to request in writing, statements from the three agencies serving the blind of Montana (Visual Services Division, the State School for the Deaf and Blind, and the State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) in regard to their intentions of seeking accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Having completed all business, the convention adjourned shortly before noon. It was one of our better gatherings in just about every respect. We were pleased to have Jim Gashel with us throughout the weekend and before he left, he challenged each of our chapters to send at least one delegate to the NFB's Chicago Convention in 1975. As always, there were numerous drawings for door prizes, most of which turned out to be lettuce this year. And so we went our separate ways, knowing that there is much work to be done in the year that lies ahead.

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Nineteen seventy-four marks the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. Thirty years of service to the blind of South Carolina was the theme of the 1974 convention held the weekend of August 16, 17, and 18, in Anderson at the Ramada Inn. There was considerable interest in this highly celebrated meeting with upwards of two hundred persons in attendance at the Saturday evening banquet. Delegates from throughout South Carolina began arriving on Friday evening and there was good hospitality and fun for all. However, on Saturday morning the convention officially got underway with a welcoming address by Mayor Darwin Wright.

In his report to the convention, president Donald Capps told the large gathering that the past year had been characterized by substantial growth with three new chapters joining the State organization, and a stepped-up program of public education. Henry F. Watts, executive director of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, reported that the Commission was continuing its efforts to improve all facets of its programs, especially in the area of rehabilitation. On Saturday morning, the convention also heard from N.F. Walker, superintendent of the South Carolina School for the Blind, and Charles Miller of the Anderson office of the Social Security Administration. Mr. Walker reported that the school continues to expand with construction plans virtually complete for a new infirmary, and a swimming pool. The Anderson Chapter hosted the convention to a delightful noon-time luncheon. During the luncheon, several hundred bumper stickers were distributed to the delegates. The idea of the bumper stickers is to get the name of the organization before the public as much as possible throughout the State. The highly colorful stickers feature the name of the organization and also show that the organization has provided thirty years of service to the blind of South Carolina. On Saturday afternoon the delegates toured the John C. Calhoun Mansion located on the campus of Clemson University.

The highlight of the convention was the Saturday evening banquet, commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind. This memorable event featured many presentations, and a one hour recorded documentary entitled Thirty Years in Review. Certificates of charter membership were presented to five members in appreciation of their loyal and faithful services to the blind of this State for thirty years. The honored members included: Mrs. Sam M. Lawton, widow of the distinguished founder of the organization; Marshall Tucker, Ruth Weeks, Grover Jones, and Morgan Tyler. Charters were presented to three new chapters located in Sumter, Rock Hill, and Greenwood. These were the eighth, ninth, and tenth chapters to join the State organization. The James B. Morrison, Jr. Memorial Award was presented to Mrs. Ivy Cooley of the Orangeburg chapter. Jimmie Smith, who was in charge of the convention arrangements, was the recipient of the Donald C. Capps Award. Suzanne Bridges, president of the Student Division, was presented the Dr. Sam M. Lawton Memorial Scholarship Award. The second annual Ellen B. Mack Home Award went to Mrs. Louise Bristow. The Aurora Service Award is presented annually to the sighted person considered to have made the greatest contribution to the well being of the blind of the State. This year, Mrs. Sam M. Lawton was the logical choice for the Aurora Service Award, as she and Dr. Lawton worked very closely together thirty years ago to establish the organization. In order to recapture and focus attention on many of the highlights and accomplishments of the organization during the past thirty years, president Capps researched many tapes of former meetings and conventions and extracted excerpts of speeches made by various speakers and had them made into a one-hour recorded documentary. This was innovative and unique and delegates thoroughly enjoyed reliving many of the notable accomplishments of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind throughout the years which have had a tremendous impact on the progress of the blind in the State. The Honorable T. Ed. Garrison, Anderson County senator, was an honored banquet guest.

Sunday was taken up primarily with chapter reports, resolutions, and election of officers and board members. The following officers were elected: president, Mrs. Reba Hancock of Columbia; first vice-president, Donald C. Capps of Columbia; second vice-president, Jimmie Smith of Anderson; secretary, Robert L. Oglesby of Spartanburg; treasurer, James R. Sims of Columbia. Board members elected were: Mrs. C.A. Gatlin of Charleston; Mr. W.P. Stogner of Florence; Mr. Glen McCoy of Sumter; Mrs Evelyn Easier of Anderson; Miss Gayle Martin of Spartanburg; Mrs. Frances Messer of Rock Hill; and Mr. G.M. Moore of Greenwood. The 1975 convention will be held in Charleston. Delegates left the thirtieth anniversary convention full of enthusiasm and re-dedication.

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The convention began around 9:00 a.m. on June 8th. After the invocation and welcome address, our service award was presented to Mrs. Heatherbell Dustman, district representative of the Christian Record Braille Foundation. Mr. Herman Cordisco, Awards chairman, presented the plaque. Mr. Rosendo Guiterez, Phoenix city councilman, welcomed us to the city and invited us to contact the council about matters on which they can be of help.

Mr. Kehoe, from the Small Business Administration, explained how SBA can assist citizens when their requests are found to make them eligible for services. Margaret Lester talked on Social Security problems and possible solutions. Many questions from the floor were aroused on this topic.

At the last legislative session, an effort was made to fund Social Services to SSI recipients. The goal was not achieved. However, Ms. Nancy Chase, chief of the Bureau of Social Services, and Mr. Ross Fullmer addressed themselves to the anticipated services and stimulated a good deal of interest in how these services might affect the blind.

Mr. Ross Fullmer, section manager of our agency, gave the annual report on the agency. Mr. Fullmer, who has held the position since the first of the year, had several topics of interest in his comments. Among them, a statement that placement is a responsibility of the individual client, and not that of the counselor. We are still thinking about that.

The supervisor of the Business Enterprise Program, Mr. Donald A. Roberts, outlined the growth during the last year in the program, and explained the intent of proposed vending stand regulations which are pending. This brought a number of statements and questions from the conventioners, as much was controversial. Mr. Roberts should rest assured that we shall not willingly tolerate some of the proposed changes.

NAC accreditation of the Phoenix Center for the Blind was discussed by Mr. Walter Herendeng, chairman of PCB Board of Directors and Mr. Alan Woody, executive director of the PCB. We left understanding the position of NFBA and also of PCB on the accreditation topic. We attempted to discourage them from further pursuit of accreditation on the understanding we would move mountains to oppose them if they continued.

Mr. Frank Kells, program evaluator for the State rehab service bureau and Mr. Lloyd Smith were the next speakers, and the topic was a mixed one: the newly developed Skill Center on location at Arizona Industries for the Blind, as well as an explanation on how Mr. Kells will serve as a resource person.

Among those at the banquet were Mr. William Mayo, director of the State Department of Economic Security, and Mrs. Mayo; Mr. Walter Herendeng, chairman of PCB Board, and Mrs. Henendeng; Mr. Manuel Urena, representing the NFB, and his wife Pat. The theme of the banquet address was Eliminate or Minimize Red Tape Necessary for Meaningful Services to be Received by Consumers. Mr. Urena suggested we should all either read or re-read 1984. Mr. Roger Kinney recieved our two hundred dollar scholarship.

Sunday morning saw resolutions passed on a firm position to reform NAC; to develop legislation on an Arizona Commission for the Blind; and a call for positive and continuing action on the proposed BEP regulations.

Douglas Palmer, as a member of the Federation, spoke on a study he had made of the development of today's programs in Iowa, and some observations of his views of Arizona's programs for the blind. Ted Tesmer reported on the need for workers at the industries. Ron Boxmeyer explained a job finding concept and requested our participation in its development.

Yuma was selected as the site for next year's convention. Jim Carlock, Phoenix; John Tsosia, Tucson; and Aileene Tenny, Yuma, were elected to attend the NFB Convention in Chicago in 1975.

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Editor's Note.—lf the state affiliate and its chapters are up and doing, it is not difficult to come up with a swinging convention report. Read the following—and go and do likewise.

The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota held its fifty-fourth annual convention on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 17, 18, and 19 in St. Paul. More than eighty Federationists, friends, and guests attended Friday night's opening session. We were pleased to have on hand two special guests; James Omvig, assistant director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, representing the National office; and Rami Rabby, a management consultant and leading Federationist from Illinois. Jim also brought with him ten students from the Commission's Orientation Center.

After a brief invocation delivered by Federationist Hazel Youngman, President Joyce Hoffa opened the Friday night session with a report on her activities during the past few months. She noted that our lawsuit against the Minneapolis Society for the Blind was now nearly two years old. She said that the Society is more intransigent and unresponsive than ever. They are using the lawsuit as an excuse not to deal directly with the Federation. Consequently, we have had to use other methods of dealing with problems caused by the Society. Nevertheless, we continue to emerge victorious from our skirmishes with them.

For example, the Metropolitan Council's Committee on Aging recently denied MSB's application for funds to establish a program to help integrate the senior blind into sighted society. The denial came largely as a result of strong objections raised by the NFB of Minnesota. Our objections were contained in a letter written by President Hoffa and sent to members of the Committee on Aging, which pointed out that we are not opposed to the concept of integration; indeed, we very much support it. Rather, we are concerned that the Minneapolis Society is not the proper entity to initiate and carry out programs of this kind.

Joyce further noted that the Society had failed to consult with the NFB of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Senior Federation, State Services for the Blind, or any other relevant agency or consumer group.

President Hoffa reported that our new home teaching program is operating quite successfully. We now have a contract with State Services for the Blind and are receiving referrals from that agency. She emphasized again that this is a temporary program and must be kept small.

The balance of the evening was taken up with reports from chapter and division presidents and committee chairpersons. Speaking for the legislative committee, Jim Brennan reported that our commission for the blind bill had once again failed to pass the legislature. He reported that the legislative committee is preparing a packet of information on the bill and that a packet will be sent to each member of the affiliate when we go back with the bill next year. Another top legislative priority for 1975 will be the enactment of a bill banning discrimination against the blind in insurance except where justifies by actuarial evidence. In addition, Federationists had successfully gained passage of anti-NAC resolutions in numerous precinct caucuses of both political parties.

Public relations chairman Tom Scanlan reported that Federationists have been actively distributing the NFB public service spots to radio and television stations throughout the State. Many of these stations are now playing our PSA's. Tom also reported that a number of good articles concerning blindness and blind people in general and the Federation in particular have appeared recently in the local press.

Membership chairman Maxine Schrader reported on the great growth of the NFB of Minnesota. She also announced that two of Minnesota's leading Federationists, Tom Scanlan and Joyce Hoffa, were engaged to be married.

Mary Hartle, chairman of the Chapter Organizing Committee, reported that the committee had been in the process of organizing a new chapter in the Rochester area during the past few months. She also reported that a recruiting effort had been successfully carried out in the Duluth area last October and that a number of new members were now active in the Arrowhead Chapter.

Mary also reported on developments in the Student Division. Among other things, the Student Division is working on a clients' rights handbook for blind Minnesotans. This handbook will describe the services blind persons are entitled to receive from public and private agencies for the blind as well as the legal rights, privileges, and responsibilities they enjoy as blind persons.

Tom Anderson reported that members of the Central Minnesota Chapter have been busy writing letters to Congressmen about NAC and the disability insurance bill. He also announced that he had been appointed to the board of directors of the Opportunity Training Center (OTC) in St. Cloud. A sheltered workshop for the mentally and physically handicapped, OTC has several blind persons on its payroll. Chapter members have also been doing some public speaking including radio appearances in Brainerd and St. Cloud.

The Friday night session concluded with a report from Bruce Raizes, first vice-president of our Arrowhead Chapter. He reported that the Duluth Lighthouse for the Blind, a sheltered workshop, is experiencing financial difficulties. He said the chapter is trying to decide whether it should support the Lighthouse and then attempt to reform it so it conforms more nearly to Federation philosophy, or simply ignore it and allow events to take their course.

Convention activities began anew bright and early Saturday morning. The first program on the agenda was a panel discussion on "New Programs for the Senior Blind." The first panelist was Daphne Krause, executive director of the Minneapolis Age and Opportunity Center (MAO). aphne is a long time friend and ally of the organized blind movement. Herself a senior, she is a forceful, effective advocate of the rights of senior citizens. She believes in the principle of consumerism, and she puts it into practice in the agency which she heads.

Mrs. Krause stated that the goal of her agency is to help seniors become independent and self-supporting and to keep them out of institutions. Such a goal is not only morally and philosophically right, she contended, it is economically right as well. She cited the example of a newly blinded senior whom MAO, in cooperation with State Services for the Blind, provided with training in the alternative techniques of blindness as well as supportive services thus allowing this senior to stay out of the nursing home and in her own home. Mrs. Krause conservatively estimated that it would have cost the government four hundred dollars more to place this senior in a nursing home for six months than it did to rehabilitate her. She noted, in passing, that most nursing homes charge higher rates for blind patients, and, of course, they provide no training in the skills of independent living. She promised that in the future, she would utilize our home teaching services in assisting her blind clients to achieve greater independence.

Daphne challenged the contention of many government agencies that it is cheaper to institutionalize a senior than it is to make him independent. She noted that MAO is proving that exactly the reverse is true.

Mrs. Krause expressed strong support for a bill introduced by Minneapolis Congressman Donald Fraser. The bill would set up a Medicare-type program for supportive services, that is, a senior would voluntarily pay a monthly fee and in return receive all the supportive services he may need.

The second panelist was Justin Herzog who has headed the new program for the senior blind at the St. Paul Society for the Blind since its inception in June 1973. Unlike the Minneapolis Society, the St. Paul Society has consulted and attempted to work with the Federation in developing its program for the senior blind. The purpose of the program, Herzog stated, is to help integrate blind seniors into existing senior citizen activities. Through his program, he tells blind seniors to continue living life to the fullest.

Herzog estimated that there are more than three hundred blind seniors in St. Paul and Ramsey County. He has contacted and is working with about one hundred sixty of them. Many of his clients are now going regularly to neighborhood senior citizen centers and conjugate dining centers. Many are becoming actively involved in recreational activities, health programs, and voluntary organizations.

The third panelist was Winfield Deahofe, who is one of Mr. Herzog's clients. Mr. Deahofe described some of his activities since becoming blind.

This panel was followed by another entitled, "The Agency-Client Relationship in the Modern Era," and featured four staff members from State Services for the Blind. The first speaker was a psychologist. Dr. William Hammel. Dr. Hammel stated that psychological testing is used to help the counselor in determining a client's vocational interests, general abilities, and self-image and level of personal adjustment. The tests are administered only when lie and the counselor feel they will be helpful. He emphasized that the results of these tests serve only as guides. They are not perfect predictors of behavior. “Testing is used to help answer questions for which we don't have information," Hammel said, "or to verify something which we suspect is true."

Ken Anderson, a rehabilitation counselor, stated that complete and total rehabilitation of a blind client depends upon successful adjustment in three areas. The first involves acceptance by the client of himself as a blind person. The second involves the acquisition and mastery of what he termed, "compensatory skills." And the third involves vocational training and placement in a job. He noted that many clients are referred to the agency long after they become blind and that this makes the task of effective rehabilitation much more difficult. He said it is important that the counselor trust and respect his clients and that his clients be willing to stand up for their rights.

Mr. Anderson stated that the agency does not require clients to subject themselves to psychological testing. This appears to represent a change in agency policy. In recent years, many blind Minnesotans, including Federationists, have been forced to take these tests.

Ted Lockett of the job placement unit stated that his group helps the client by locating job openings, arranging interviews, dealing with employer concerns about blindness, and helping the client develop job seeking skills. He emphasized that a client seeking employment in a more specialized area must assume a greater responsibility for representing his abilities and talents to prospective employers.

Home teacher Ralph Hilgendorf stated that that work involved assisting blind persons for whom attendance at an adjustment center is impossible, inappropriate, or unnecessary. He emphasized, however, that the adjustment center must remain the primary resource for rehabilitation training. Sharon Grostephan, NFBM's home teacher and a former employee of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, challenged this assertion, noting that a number of unnecessary skills, such as knitting and basket weaving, are taught at many adjustment centers. The quality of the adjustment center must be taken into consideration. Noting that several of her students had formerly attended MSB's rehab center, she reported that she sometimes had to spend as much as two months repairing the damage done to a particular student by the Society.

This panel was followed by a presentation from Audry Benson of the United Handicapped Federation (UHF). She outlined the philosophy, goals, structure, and direction of this newly organized coalition of handicapped groups and individuals. The ideas and objectives embodied in the group were ones familiar to us as Federationists: independence, self-expression through self-organization, consumer representation, and equal opportunity. She requested NFB support to assist UHF in becoming an effective voice for disabled Minnesotans.

The morning session closed with a presentation by C. Stanley Potter, director of State Services for the Blind, on program selection for the Radio Talking Book Network. Potter noted that RTB is now broadcasting on five FM subcarriers and that it hopes to be using seven by the end of the year. The service is on the air more than 132 hours per week. Eighty-one of those hours are devoted to the reading of nonfiction materials. Thirty-six of those eighty-one are devoted to news. Articles from ninety-one magazines and eleven newspapers are read each week. Books presented on RTB are selected in response to requests from RTB listeners and after consultation with book dealers, book distributors, and librarians.

Several Federationists expressed concern over RTB's wasteful duplication of informational services available from other electronic media. Potter defended RTB's use of the UPI news service and weather wire for which it pays a fee of fifty dollars per week. He termed it, "a valuable service," and justified it even though he conceded that it does duplicate a service which is available through most radio and television stations. Even though there has been some apparent duplication in the past, Potter stated that RTB is trying to avoid programming books which are already available through the regional library. He also said that RTB is considering the cancellation of two religious broadcasts which are also aired by other radio stations. Potter said that he would consider airing the new NFB public service spots on RTB.

Rami Rabby opened the afternoon session with a presentation on rehabilitation and employment as they relate to blind persons. He likened the attitudes of vocational rehabilitation agencies to those held by industry management during the 1920's and 1930's. At that time, management generally regarded its employees as lazy, dishonest, lacking in intelligence, and incapable of any but the most menial tasks. This led to the development of the assembly line, a dehumanizing process which breaks down each job into simple repetitive tasks. Rehabilitation specialists regard their clients with similar disrespect. Through psychological testing, they are broken down into bits and pieces. They are analyzed and categorized according to specific skills such as Braille, abacus, and menial skills. They are molded to fit specific jobs rather than the other way around. In earlier days, blind people were channelled into piano tuning and darkroom technology. Today this process still operates, albeit on a slightly higher level, with regard to occupations such as taxpayer service representative, social security information specialist, and civil service information specialist.

Rami contended that the goal of rehabilitation should not be mere placement in a job. Rather, it should be placement in a career in which one can perform successfully for forty years or more. He noted that many college graduates are out of work because they failed to receive adequate vocational education in high school. He called upon young blind people to take the initiative and inform themselves as to what is available in the job market before entering any training program.

Mr. Rabby also stated his belief that job seeking, in and of itself, should be a full time job. He noted that he himself had gone to about one hundred thirty interviews and had written literally thousands of letters before securing his present position. He encouraged blind job applicants to sell themselves in the same way they might sell a product. No arbitrary limit should be placed on the length of a resumé; Rami said that each blind applicant should use his own judgment in determining the time and method of informing employers of his blindness. He noted that some blind people do it through the resumé while others prefer to do so after the interview has been arranged, and yet others wait until the interview itself. He urged job seekers to utilize every source of job information available including professional journals, but he warned that newspapers often contain phony ads for jobs which do not exist.

Attorney Jerry Truhn then brought us up to date on our lawsuit against the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. He reported that despite the backing of a court order, we are still having difficulty obtaining needed relevant information from the Society. He stated that we would soon be taking depositions on several Society officials, and he hoped that we could wrap up the discovery phase of this suit within the near future. He also noted that recent decisions in several similar lawsuits against nonprofit organizations should prove helpful to our case. As on past occasions, Mr. Truhn expressed amazement at the arrogant and deceitful behavior of this supposedly charitable organization.

Next came a discussion on, "Governmental Structure and Services for the Blind." Participants included John Buzzell, director of the Division of Rehabilitative Services in the Bureau of Residential Services of the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare and Jim Omvig. Buzzell defended the present structure of services to the blind in Minnesota (State Services for the Blind is in the Department of Public Welfare and Mr. Buzzell is Mr. Potter's immediate supervisor), and he praised the agency's ability and competence. He asserted that the strength of a governmental agency lies not in its structure but, rather, in the quality of the personnel who run it. He also reported that the Department of Public Welfare will increasingly be delivering services through regional development offices and county and multi-county human services boards.

Mr. Omvig stated his belief that a separate commission for the blind represents the best vehicle for administering services to blind people. It is best if all services are combined under one agency and that orientation and adjustment services be administered directly instead of being purchased from private sources. He said that the Iowa Commission has kept itself relatively free from red tape. It has resisted efforts on four occasions to submerge the commission in an umbrella agency. It has remained outside state central purchasing and state civil service. Its employees have also resisted efforts to unionize them.

The Saturday afternoon session closed with a brief report from the National Office by Jim Omvig.

An overflow crowd attended the NFB of Minnesota Annual Banquet Saturday night. The banquet address was delivered by Jim Omvig. He touched upon themes familiar to all of us as Federationists. He called upon Federationists to strive hard to improve the image of the blind among the general public, agency professionals, and our fellow blind. Omvig's address was taped and later broadcast in its entirety over KUOM, the University of Minnesota radio station.

The Sunday afternoon session opened with a brief memorial service conducted by long time member Torger Lien honoring twelve Federationists who passed away during the last year. The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to internal business. Eight resolutions were presented to the convention, six of which were adopted.

The first resolution instructed the Minneapolis Society for the Blind to begin paying all of its employees at least the minimum wage. It also instructed the Society to cease and desist in its efforts to force certain workshop employees to sign minimum wage waivers. The resolution warned the Society that the Federation was prepared to defend any employee who is victimized by the Society.

The second resolution called upon all sheltered workshops in Minnesota to immediately begin providing unemployment insurance to their employees. Last fall, representatives of MSB and the St. Paul Society said they would support any effort by the State Legislature aimed at enabling them to provide unemployment insurance to their employees. The Federation subsequently informed both shops that the law already permitted them to offer such benefits. To date, however, neither shop has taken action to implement such a program.

The third resolution permits members to cast mail ballots either in print or Braille. The fourth resolution authorizes the Federation to, in certain cases, co-sign loans to low income blind Minnesotans, made by the Blind of Minnesota Credit Union.

The fifth resolution calls upon the Minnesota Legislature to increase its appropriation for the Regional Library in order to make up for cuts in Federal funding. The final resolution opposes efforts recently undertaken by some legislators and administrators to merge the Minnesota Braille and Sightsaving School with the Minnesota School for the Deaf.

The convention also adopted a bylaw amendment permitting residents of the Federation-owned Home and Center for the Blind in St. Paul to elect two of the five members of the Housing Committee. The NFB Board hopes that primary responsibility for the Home's operation can be turned over to this committee so it will have more time to devote to other matters. Doubters and skeptics take note: We of the Federation don't just talk about consumerism, we put it into practice as well.

Four of seven positions on the NFBM Board were filled by election. Clarence Johnson, a former president of the NFB of Minnesota and an active member of the credit union, was re-elected to the vice-presidency. Tom Scanlan, who is employed as a computer programmer for the State of Minnesota, was elected treasurer. Tom succeeds Vernon Dery, who retired after sixteen years of dedicated service in that position. Jim Schleppegrell, a successful businessman who operates a janitorial supply service, was elected to the board of directors. Jim served as president of the NFB of Minnesota from 1967 to 1971. Steve Jacobson was re-elected to a second term on the board. A 1973 graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Steve is looking for a job in computer programming.

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Editor's Note.—Submitted by a Federationist at the 1974 Convention in Chicago.



2 sticks oleo or butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups plain flour
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


Cream the butter; cream in sugar; add vanilla. Alternate eggs and flour. After the cake is well mixed, turn beater on full speed for a few minutes. Bake for one hour at 300 degrees.

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The Official News Bulletin of the Educational Tape Recording for the Blind in Illinois carried the following in its July issue:


My congratulations are extended to the National Federation of the Blind, who at their recent Convention in Chicago succeeded in winning a major victory over the operations of the National Accrediting Council. Federal officials promised to hold up the funds from a grant until certain reforms were instituted. The Council sets standards for schools, workshops, and agencies for the blind. The National Federation contends that "accreditation" does not make the agencies any better—and we agree.

When we were invited to become "accredited" by the National Accreditation Council for a sum of five hundred dollars, we politely refused. In view of the fact that thousands of letters from satisfied students attest to the quality of our services, and with the rapid growth of our organization in a three year period to its place as second largest in America, we felt that the five hundred dollars would be better spent on tape. Since our funds are limited, we felt that every penny given to us should continue to be spent on tape, equipment, rent, utilities, and office supplies. So far, not one penny has gone for advertising, to fund raisers, or for salaries to anyone in our nine-year history. I do believe we are unique in America for a national organization of our size and scope in that every dollar goes directly to the service we render.


Adelle Brown, together with the Catholic Guild for the Blind of Chicago, Illinois, announces the publication of So What About Sewing, for blind and visually impaired persons. It is printed in Braille and large type print. This reference work contains instructions for the beginner as well as for those with sewing experience. The book covers all the steps from threading a needle to hand sewing. The author is blind. For further information, one should write to the Catholic Guild for the Blind, 67 West Division Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610.


A Federal District judge in New Jersey declared unconstitutional the cancellation of financial assistance to children whose parents have been convicted of welfare fraud. The ruling resulted from a class action suit brought by an anti-poverty legal group on behalf of two women convicted of welfare fraud. The judge said that "as welfare recipients threatened with imminent loss of their benefits, they would, by definition, be exposed to immediate and 'brutal' need, clearly causing them irreparable harm." He said such was not the intent of Congress in setting up the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program which was rather aimed at maintaining and strengthening family life.


The President approved the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1974 which increases the minimum wages paid to various classes of workers on a progressive basis. There is a provision increasing the prevailing minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act from $1.60 an hour to $2.00 an hour effective May 1, 1974, to $2.10 an hour effective January 1, 1975, and to $2.30 an hour effective January 1, 1976. As a result, the statutory minimum wage for handicapped workers employed in sheltered workshops, which is set at fifty percent of the prevailing minimum wage, will be increased on May 1, 1974, to $1.00, on January 1, 1975, to $1.05, and on January 1, 1976, to $1.15. Actually, this is no big deal. What is needed is to require sheltered shops to pay the prevailing minimum wage, not one-half of it.


On Saturday evening, July 27, the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind held a banquet at the Holiday Inn in Greenwood, South Carolina, and organized the tenth chapter of the State organization. This followed a weekend of activity by the organizing team. The organization has fifteen charter members. Their president is Mr. G.M. Moore of Greenwood, South Carolina.


In California, the Governor's Office announced that Michael B. Hingson, who is studying for a doctorate in physics at the University of California at Irvine, was appointed to the State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The new appointee received a bachelor's degree with honors in physics at UC Irvine in June 1972. While on campus, he aided in the development of a Braille computer terminal for blind communication. Currently he is working on a project for the National Federation of the Blind which would lead to the building and marketing of an electronic calculator with a Braille display.

Hingson was given a President's research fellowship which is partially financing exploration of a device that would permit blind persons to read printed books. During the spring he was a student teacher at University High School. In June he obtained a secondary teaching credential.

Off campus, Hingson tape records a radio program for station KUTY in Palmdale, which is aired each Sunday. He is program director of the UC Irvine campus radio station, KUCI, and has his own program.

He is president of the Orange County chapter of the National Federation of the Blind in California, co-chairman of the broadcast media subcommittee of the Federation's public relations committee, and is a member of the NFBC's research and evaluation committee.


On August 8, 1974, the Gary Chapter of the NFB of Northwest Indiana was reconstituted. The new officers are: president, Ray Thorpe, Michigan City; vice-president. Marietta Slusher, Hammond; secretary, Joyce Hack, Hammond; treasurer, Truman Gibbs, Gary. It looks as though this is going to be another live-wire chapter in the Indiana affiliate.


Paul J. Cifrino, former president of Supreme Markets, Inc., has been named executive director of the Carroll Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. A member of the executive board for over twenty years, Mr. Cifrino's commitment to the agency is longstanding. He is a native of Boston and earned his bachelor of arts degree at Harvard.


The method used by labor union contracts, Social Security raises, and many others is the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index. It is estimated that fifty million Americans depend on this Index in one form or another. Recently the Commissioner of Labor Statistics announced his plan to change the method of calculating increases in the cost of living. He would average into the inflation rate items which are not essential, and have not been subject to the high inflation rate which hit essential items like food, clothing, housing, taxes, transportaion, education, recreation, et cetera. This move would tend to cause the Consumer Price Index to understate the inflation actually felt by persons of low and moderate income and to deprive them of cost of living raises. Legislation has been introduced into the Congress to halt this plan.


Kentucky is boasting of a new chapter in the Frankfort area, organized during the summer. The new officers are: president, Charles L. Allen; vice-president, Scott Trimble; secretary, Mrs. Pat Vice; treasurer, Thomas L. Lutes.


Donald C. Capps, First Vice-President of the NFB, reports that his organization was successful in securing the passage of a significant Homestead Exemption Law for the blind since it exempts from taxation the first ten thousand dollars of fair market value. It will mean that in South Carolina many blind homeowners will actually pay no county property taxes, as their homes have not been listed for more than ten thousand dollars. This law will result in savings of slightly more than one hundred dollars per year for each blind homeowner. Thus, the South Carolina affiliate has scored yet another significant triumph through legislation.


At its regular annual convention last Spring, the North Dakota Chiropractic Association twice honored one of its members, Rudolph J. Bjornseth, by conferring on him a Lifetime Honorary Membership and presenting him with a beautiful walnut and bronze plaque for his fifty years of service in the profession. Rudolph and Martha Bjornseth are well known to older Federationists, as they have attended a number of National Conventions. They have been active in work for the blind in North Dakota since the mid-thirties.


Recently the Senate Labor Committee approved a bill to provide that twenty-five percent of the proceeds of automatic vending machines in Federal buildings be used to aid blind persons who operate stands in the buildings. Sponsors said that the automatic machines have taken away much of the business that formerly went to the blind vendors.


A bill to bring Arizona into the Federal Medicaid program was enacted by the Arizona Legislature prior to adjournment of its 1974 session. The measure instructs the State Department of Health Services to set up a medical assistance program that would meet Federal requirements for matching funds and would start in October 1975. Arizona has been the only State without a medicaid program.


A bill that would end California's controversial work-for-welfare program was narrowly passed by the California Assembly and sent to the State Senate. The sponsors said the program was ineffective, had placed only eighteen persons in full-time permanent jobs, and that Federal authorities had recommended that it be abandoned. The project was originally designed to put able-bodied welfare recipients to work to earn their payments and to learn tasks which would help them find regular jobs. One critic said that the major result of the program has been a "constantly increasing staff of program managers."


The Month's News, publication of the NFB of Illinois, contains the following: "During the past month one unmitigated victory and one outrageous affront to our dignity as blind people have indicated more clearly than ever why there should be a National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and why eternal vigilance is our obligation. First, in response to continuing pressure from NFBI and other organizations of the handicapped, Governor Walker has now issued a revised Executive Order No. 9, which includes the handicapped in the State's affirmative action program of minority recruitment and promotion. Second, in utter disregard of all previous promises to consult with the blind of Illinois on all matters affecting them, the Regional Librarian for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has produced a public relations-oriented slide presentation which displays an image of the blind which is demeaning, and an attitude toward blind persons which wreaks of the worst sort of custodialism and condescension. In fact, the manner in which the Librarian brought this slide presentation to our attention reveals as much about this agency's attitude toward the consumers of its services as does the content of the presentation. Several years ago, at NFB's urging, the Regional Library established a Users' Advisory Committee on Services to the Blind. At the time, it was our hope that through such a channel, we would be able to provide the Library with meaningful and substantive input from consumers to its policy and program decisions. For many months the Librarian had not convened the committee, and we were beginning to wonder why the responsive spirit of Frank Kurt Cylke at the Library of Congress was not seeping westward to our own Regional Library. Finally, the Librarian did convene the Users' Advisory Committee for the purpose of unveiling the finished version of a slide presentation on the talking book program, a presentation the Librarian had secretly produced with not the slightest reference to the Users' Committee. As a result, the presentation holds out the old, rocking-chair image of the blind person who can do nothing in the world except sit and listen to talking books provided through the generosity and warm concern of the Librarian and the Regional Library. Ellen Zobel (the name of the Librarian), the time has come for you to know that the blind of Illinois are no longer prepared to be used as a rubber stamp for your outdated notions of blindness, that we demand full and equal partnership in the formulation of the policies and programs of the Regional Library, and that we shall fight against any attempt by you at self-glorification which detracts from the conception we have of ourselves as normal, competent, and full productive human beings."


Myles Crosby, president of the New Jersey Council of the Blind, announces that the Council will hold its seventeenth annual convention at the Beacon Manor Hotel in Point Pleasant, New Jersey on October 25, 26, and 27. All Monitor readers are cordially invited to attend so that affiliates can enrich the meeting through the exchange of ideas.


An abridged Braille edition of Chess Life and Review has appeared. Those interested should write to Mrs. J.M. Beck, executive director, Volunteer Services for the Blind, 919 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.


Curtis Chong reports that in August 1974, the Hawaii Federation of the Blind Student Division elected officers for the coming term. They are: president, Michael Meehan; vice-president, Philip Ana; secretary, Maureen Sheedy; and treasurer, Norman Ota.


Albert A. Smith writes that his favorite pastime is communicating with friends and that he would like "cassette pals." Send him a tape at 1410 Scott Avenue, Moberly, Missouri, and he promises to answer promptly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Jernigan's leadership in advancing the cause of the blind was recognized yet again in May 1974, when he addressed the graduation convocation at Seton Hall University (New Jersey) upon the occasion of the granting to him of an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

First Vice-President

Few more compelling examples of personal independence and social contribution could be found among blind Americans than that of the NFB's First Vice-President, Donald C. Capps of Columbia, South Carolina. During the late 1950's and early 1960's he served four two-year terms as president of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, the affiliate of the National Federation, and has held that office again since 1970. Capps was elected to the Second Vice-Presidency of the NFB in 1959 and re-elected for two-year terms in 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1966. In 1968 he was elected First Vice-President and has been re-elected every two years since that time.

Born in 1928, Capps did not become legally blind until 1954, although he possessed a congenital eye defect. He attended the South Carolina School for the Blind and later attended public schools. Following his graduation from high school, he enrolled in Draughon's Business College in Columbia; and upon receiving his business diploma, joined the Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company of Columbia as a claims examiner trainee. He has risen to his present position as assistant to the claims vice-president.

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

A truly major accomplishment was the successful uphill struggle of the South Carolina affiliate under Capps' leadership to bring about the establishment of an independent State Commission for the Blind, which became a reality in 1966. During his service as president, more than fifteen pieces of legislation affecting the blind have been passed in South Carolina including the model White Cane Law.

Capps' energies as a leader have not been confined to the performance of his official duties, productive and time-consuming as they are. Among other activities, he is editor of the Palmetto Auroran, the quarterly publication of the Aurora Club, whose articles are frequently reprinted in national journals for the blind. In 1960, Capps directed a campaign which led to construction of the Columbia chapter's $35,000 education and training center, which was expanded in 1970. Today the center is valued well in excess of $100,000. He now serves as executive director and chairman of the board of trustees. In this role, he has been instrumental in setting up a full time daily operation of the Aurora Center. In addition, Capps has served for twenty years as the very successful fundraising chairman of the Columbia chapter.

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

In December 1972, Capps was honored by his company with the presentation of an award for "twenty-five years efficient, faithful, and loyal service" in his managerial capacity. At a special Christmas luncheon signalizing the event, the firm's president, Mr. Gayle O. Avery, read a citation which stated in part:

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

In 1965, Don was doubly honored as Handicapped Man of the Year, both by his City of Columbia and by his State. In 1967, he was appointed to the Governor's Statewide Planning Committee on Rehabilitation Needs of the Disabled. Capps was elected president of the Rotary Club of Forest Acres of Columbia in 1974. He and his wife, Betty, have two children.

Second Vice-President

Ralph Sanders is no stranger to Monitor readers. He has been "on the barricades" most of his adult life.

Sanders lost his sight when he was seven years old. He attended the Arkansas School for the Blind until his graduation. He then went on to earn a B.A. in journalism at California State University at Northridge and a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

Ralph Sanders has worked as a newspaper writer and editor, and as a freelance writer. In 1970 he was employed as director of press relations for Winthrop Rockefeller, the late Governor of Arkansas. Sanders is now co-owner, executive vice-president, and chief financial officer of Concept-three, Inc., an advertising, public relations, and marketing firm in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sanders' involvement with Federationism began during his undergraduate years at CSU, Northridge (California). When the Arkansas affiliate was reorganized as the NFB of Arkansas, in 1971, Ralph Sanders was elected its president, a position he still holds. The organization has grown from sixty-nine members to more than several hundred during the last three years.

Ralph Sanders was one of the two official NFB observers at the NAC Board meetings during 1973 and 1974. He was also actively involved in several recent campaigns in Washington, D.C. He coordinated the activities for the Federation citizen advocates and led a review of the day's efforts each evening.

Ralph Sanders was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Federation of the Blind at the 1973 National Convention in New York. He became the National Federation of the Blind's Second Vice-President by election at the Convention in Chicago in July 1974. Of his work in the Federation Sanders says: "Full involvement in the organized blind movement is the only way that present and future generations of blind Americans will realize the potential for full citizenship which lies within our grasp."


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richard Edlund, Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind and president of the NFB of Kansas, preaches Federation philosophy to the sighted as well as the blind, as numerous articles in the newspapers of his community attest. "You notice it's the National Federation o/the Blind," says Edlund. "We believe the old concept of an organization being for the blind is outmoded." He goes on: "Any loss of one of the body's senses is naturally going to create a problem. But it is little more than that if a person has some training and the right attitude. Rather than say one must make an adjustment, we prefer to say he must develop alternative techniques."

Richard Edlund practices what he preaches. He is a successful businessman—he has owned and operated a hardware store for twenty-seven years—and plays an important part in the civic and social activities of his community. Blinded by an explosion of dynamite caps when he was sixteen, an accident which brought him sympathy but no pity from his family, he had to learn to hold his own and do his share. His work experience has been varied and includes owning and managing an airport. Among other things, he took and passed courses in engine repair and he teaches these skills to other blind persons.

As the energetic leader of the organized blind in Kansas, Richard Edlund does more than acknowledge that discrimination against the blind exists. Whether it is the right of the blind to serve as jurors, or enter a restaurant with a guide dog, or the recognition of sheltered shop workers as public employees, the problems are handled with the determination to bring them to successful solution. He was instrumental in the passage of the State's white cane and other anti-discrimination laws.

Richard Edlund was appointed chairman of his State's Human Relations Commission in August of 1974, having served as vice-chairman from 1972 to 1974; is a member of the advisory board on sheltered shops; serves as a representative of the American Investors Life Insurance and All Securities Company; is a member of the York Rite of Freemasonry, Abdallah Temple; is a Mason of the Delaware No. 96 Blue Lodge; and is active in politics. In 1974 he ran for the office of Public Administrator. He, his wife Eileen, and their four sons are involved in many other community concerns.

Anyone who operates a business and meets the public in one community for over a quarter of a century is in a position to bring problems to the political community in a manner which gets some action, and Richard Edlund has never hesitated to take discriminatory action against the blind of Kansas to the barricades.

Edlund's main goal is that of the Federation-to insure that the blind people in his State receive the kind of education, services, and training which will prepare them to live independently and to contribute to the life of their communities.

Member, Executive Committee

"The National Federation of the Blind has been a catalyst for me. It has enabled me to put my experience as a blind person into focus. I have gained immeasurable confidence and strength through the movement." In this way, Robert Eschbach sums up his feelings for the Federation. For many years he rejected the opportunity of sharing with other blind people in one kind of club or another. "I thought I didn't need them," he says, "and that I had more important things to do than enjoy picnics and having the Lions Club and other organizations serve me meals."

In 1969, Eschbach was invited to join the Dayton Council for the Blind—an affiliate of the NFB of Ohio—and discovered a new dimension to the experience of blind people. As each day passed, he became more involved and committed to the ideals of the National Federation of the Blind. The big push toward that committment came in 1972 at the NFB Convention in Chicago. That was Bob's first exposure to the national scene and he returned home believing that he had discovered where he wanted to be. When he was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio last October at its State convention in Dayton, he felt he had achieved the culmination of his committment. After the 1974 National Convention voted him a member of the Executive Committee, however, Bob said: "Being elected to the Executive Committee at the national level enlarges my committment even more. It makes me doubly conscious of my responsibility to the local and state level of the movement as well as the national."

Currently, he serves as director of consultation and education for the Eastway Community Mental Health Center in Dayton, Ohio. As part of middle-management in this center, Eschbach's duties include management of staff as well as program design and implementation, administrative assignments, community involvement, as well as some direct service through therapy.

Bob lives with his wife, Pat, and their two children, Mary and Fred, in Dayton, Ohio.

Educationally, he is a product of Braille classes in the Detroit public school system, and attended high school at the Ohio State School for the Blind. Upon graduation from OSSB, he attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where he received a bachelor's degree in Theoretical Music and English. He then attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and recieved a Master of Divinity degree in 1958. After serving in the parish ministry for seven years, Bob accepted a fellowship at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas, in 1966. During this year he determined to move into the field of social work. Therefore, he remained in Kansas and completed his master's degree in Social Work at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1969 before returning to Dayton.

Robert Eschbach was born of missionary parents in Baguio, the Phillipines, on August 26, 1932. The youngest of three children, he spent much of his childhood traveling around the world. He returned to this country in 1941, and lived in Dearborn, Michigan. It was there, in January 1943, that he became blind; he had extreme myopia which led to detached retina. Currently Bob is using his fourth Seeing Eye dog, named Greg. His interests include a variety of sports, music, reading, and playing bridge.

Member, Executive Committee

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

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

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

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

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

At the 1968 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, in Des Moines, Iowa, Graham was elected to a two-year term on the NFB Executive Committee. He was reelected in 1970, 1972, and again in 1974. Since his election, Graham has continued to work with diligence in the organized blind movement. He was part of the NFB organizing teams in Delaware and Michigan, and additional chapters have been formed in Maryland, his home State. Today the Free State Federation of the Blind has become the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, a thriving affiliate with four chapters. Ned Graham is currently president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the NFB of Maryland—the chapter whose organization Graham had undertaken as his first task as a Federationist.

Member, Executive Committee

The NFB of Minnesota has grown both in the scope of its activities and in numbers since Joyce Hoffa was elected its president in early 1973.

Before assuming leadership of the State affiliate, she worked on local problems, acquiring the experience which now serves the blind well. Keeping services to the blind out of the umbrella administrative agency, working at the precinct level to promote the protection of human rights, furthering the NFB public education program in communities all around the State, were all targets for her efforts. In 1971 she organized the State student division, and was elected vice-president of the NFB of Minnesota in 1972.

At the State and national levels, Joyce Hoffa has been and is a citizen advocate involved in the effort to make NAC and some agencies in Minnesota more responsive to the representations of the blind. In 1973, she was appointed to a newly-created Minnesota Commission for the Handicapped, the only representative of a consumer organization on that commission.

Joyce Hoffa comes to the Executive Board well equipped in experience and education. She was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and received her elementary and secondary education at the North Dakota School for the Blind. An avid interest in reading and the theater led to a major in English and Latin for a B.A. degree and in English and history for an M.A., both from the University of North Dakota. Miss Hoffa taught these subjects, along with social studies, in high schools in her native State for five years. Later, she worked as an instructional assistant in a language laboratory in Minneapolis.

The experience came, as it often does, the hard way. She had been taught, and firmly believed, that sight was a necessary ingredient for success. Though she had limited vision because of a congenital eye defect, and though she had attended a school for the blind for her early education, she believed there was no other way to function. When glaucoma took the remaining vision near the end of her fifth year of successful teaching, her reaction was predictable: "I quickly fled from the job because I had never known a blind teacher in a public school, and I had had such a struggle those last few weeks in the classroom that I was positive no blind person could ever teach sighted children." She attributes difficulties in finding employment after she lost her sight to the fact that her own attitudes toward blindness were as bad as those of almost everyone else. She told a counselor who visited her in the hospital at that time: "I never saw a blind person amount to anything yet, so there's no reason to think I could."

Her struggles with blindness continued until 1970. In that year, the National Convention met in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Joyce Hoffa, among other things, attended the meeting of the NFB Teachers Division. As she says: "I met many teachers who were blind. In fact, I met blind persons from all over the country who were engaged in a great variety of occupations. I learned how discrimination was being faced, but most of all, I learned what the NFB was all about, and realized what blind people working together can do.

"The Federation has made a great difference in my life. I still try to spend time on the theater and reading, but I want to give as much time as possible to working in the NFB. I wish I had known about it before 1970. I want to be sure that every blind person I ever know hears all about the Federation. If I have any skill as a teacher, I'll use it in the Federation."

On September 14, 1974, Joyce Hoffa married Tom Scanlan, whom she met at the 1970 NFB Convention.

Member, Executive Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Member, Executive Committee

Although fairly new to the organized blind movement, Shirley Lebowitz has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most energetic and effective of Federationists. Blind for the last fifteen years, she has been a Federationists for the last four. In that time, she has helped to reorganize and greatly strengthen the Connecticut affiliate; has been an active force in legislative efforts, has marched on the first NAC picket line; and has been elected to the NFB Executive Committee. Born in 1924, Shirley Lebowitz lived in Norwich, Connecticut, until the age of five, when she moved with her family to Hartford, the State capital (an appropriate location, it turns out, considering her present active involvement in legislation). She has lived in the Hartford area ever since.

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

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

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

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

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

This, indeed, was prophetic. For in July 1973, Governor Thomas J. Meskill appointed Shirley to a four-year term to serve on the Board of Directors of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, the only agency in Connecticut designed to meet the needs of that State's blind community.

Member, Executive Committee

Ethel Parker was born E. U. Parker, Jr. on March 18, 1922, at Bay Springs, Mississippi, the son of Mrs. E. U. Parker and the late E. U. Parker, Sr. He attended Bay Springs public school from 1927-1929, the Mississippi School for the Blind from 1929-1939, the University of Mississippi 1940-1942, and the Texas Chiropractic College at San Antonio, Texas, from 1942-1944. He practiced chiropractic from 1944-1955. He was appointed an agent with the State Farm Insurance Company on September 1, 1952, and is still an agent with them.

As an active member of his community, Mr. Parker has been president of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association (1950-1951); president of the Laurel Rotary Club (1969-1970); district chairman of the Boy Scouts of America for two terms (1971 and 1972), and was presented the Silver Beaver Award in 1972 for "outstanding service to Boy Scouts"; vice-president of his high school senior class when he lost the presidency by a flip of a coin to Dexter Lessley (the other member of that senior class); has held practically any position you can name in his church, where he is a charter member.

E. U. Parker is a Mason, a Shriner, a member of the Laurel Rotary Club, the Laurel Country Club, the Laurel Life Underwriters, the Mississippi Association of Life Underwriters, the Mississippi Association of Chartered Life Underwriters, the Franklin United Methodist Church, and is a Board member of the Mississippi Department of Public Welfare. His most important responsibilities are being president of the National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi and a member of the National Federation of the Blind Executive Committee.

He is married to the former Imogene (Gene) Price, who is actually office manager, chauffer, cook, and mother-among other activities. They have three daughters; Dixie, who is a home economist with the Extension Service in Pascagoula; Teresa who is an accountant with the Mississippi Tax Commission in Jackson; and Genie, who is the most important student in the eleventh grade at Watkins High School in Laurel.

Member, Executive Committee

Hazel Staley was the fifth of six children born to a farm family in Union County, North Carolina, and lost her sight when she was two years old as the result of meningitis. She graduated from the Governor Morehead School for the Blind (North Carolina) and received her A.B. degree from Flora McDonald College (now St. Andrews) with a major in English and a minor in Sociology.

When Hazel first entered Flora McDonald, the faculty was at a loss to know how to deal with her. There had been blind students there before, but they had all majored in music-and the faculty couldn't understand how Hazel was going to do the lab work necessary for an A.B. degree. She insisted even back then that she should have the same chance as everybody else to try. After considerable hemming and hawing, the faculty decided to put her on probation for the first semester. Hazel admits that science just isn't her bag, but she was determined they weren't going to outdo her; so she dug in. This is what happens, she says, when you have to hold your own with four older brothers and sisters on a farm in a depression. She made the Scientific Honorary Society that first semester. After that, there were no further problems. In her senior year, she received the "students' superlative election for capability."

Hazel had hoped to teach English in the secondary school system of her State; but, finding this field closed to blind people, she enrolled in the graduate School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was employed as a social worker for almost six years with the North Carolina Commission for the Blind. Then she met and married Bob Staley and resigned her job. Bob was in the U.S. Army at that time and Hazel wanted to be free to move when he did.

That was in 1947. Their only son, Ken, was born in 1951. Hazel says that she and Ken really didn't do much traveling with Bob. The work he was doing with the Army was top secret and there were times when he had to move at a moment's notice. There were no arrangements for dependents in these situations. "I just kept the home fires burning," Hazel says, "and Bob came home when he could."

Following the Korean War, the Staleys moved to Columbus, Georgia, where Bob was stationed at Fort Benning. When Ken entered school, Hazel became active in the PTA. She served first as program chairman; then group study chairman, vice-president, and president. During her two-year term as president, her local PTA increased in membership from 223 to 636. They completely equipped a playground and library and bought some office equipment for the school. "I certainly cannot take credit for this," Hazel says. "I just had some great committees who enjoyed hard work." Hazel holds a PTA Lifetime Membership in the State of Georgia.

During this time, Hazel was also busy in her church, teaching a ladies' Sunday School class and working in the Woman's Missionary Society. She has taught Sunday School a total of seventeen years and has served in the Missionary Society as a circle chairman, vice-president, and president.

Bob retired from the Army in November 1961. with twenty-three years of service. The family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, the following June, where Bob now teaches graphics in Garinger High School.

In 1968, the Mecklenburg Association for the Blind, a local agency financed by the Lions Club and the United Appeal Fund, found itself in need of someone who could teach Braille. Hazel had secured a Braille Proofreader's Certificate from the Library of Congress in 1961. Someone in the agency happened to know about this and called her about the job. Hazel said that she really wasn't interested in working full time, but would help out as a volunteer until they could find someone. As a volunteer she could set her own hours. After a week there was so much work that needed to be done that the agency began paying her by the hour. After a few more weeks she decided that she might as well take the job as a regular staff member. In addition to teaching Braille, she did social work and managed the small library. She worked at the Association for two and a half years, until July 1970. At that time, a new executive director was employed. The new director said quite frankly that she did not want a blind person on her staff. “I didn't like her as a person anyway," Hazel says, "so I just resigned-without even putting up a fight. Can you imagine anything so stupid? I had joined the Federation by then, but really didn't know a lot about it. That gal is just lucky she came before I learned. Now I'm really too busy to think about a job."

Hazel joined the Federation in 1969 when she attended an organizational meeting conducted by Don Capps. She didn't even know what kind of meeting it was when she came. Her boss at the Association had just said that a group of blind people wanted to meet at the Assoication building on Sunday afternoon and asked her to come as a staff member to be responsible for the building. She liked what she heard and joined.

That was in August. In November Hazel was elected president of the Charlotte chapter, a position which she held for three years.

After leaving the Association in July 1970, Hazel decided to renew her teacher's certificate, and enrolled at the Charlotte branch of the University of North Carolina. Although she only needed six hours for renewal, she became so interested she took twelve. By this time, however, she had become so involved in the Federation that she didn't feel that she had time for a full-time job. Also, the school situation had gotten into such a state that Bob felt that one set of school problems was all their household could stand; so Hazel didn't even apply for a job.

In September 1972, Hazel was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina. After attending her first Convention in 1971 in Houston, Hazel had decided that she must take her place on the barricades.

Hobbies? "I like to read and I like to play bridge," Hazel says, "but there just never seems to be enough time for very much of either."

Member, Executive Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Member, Board of Directors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Member, Board of Directors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Member, Board of Directors

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

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

Marc Maurer graduated from the University of Notre Dame, with honors, in 1974. He is now a student at Indiana University Law School in Indianapolis. Marc's white cane and cocky manner are a normal sight on campus. He admits to a reputation for being argumentative (no drawback for a Federation organizer); if everyone is in agreement on a topic. Marc will take the opposite view "just to make the discussion interesting."

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

Chief of the Washington Office

Born in 1946 in Mason City, Iowa, Jim Gashel attended the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, graduating in 1964. Then followed a year of intensive training and orientation at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. This experience he describes as the most valuable period of his life. Under the guidance of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, Jim soon learned the enlightened philosophy about blindness which revolutionized services for the blind of Iowa. He attained the confidence and skills necessary to carry on an active life as a blind person. Also, he developed a keen sense of the need for blind persons to organize and become part of the National Federation of the Blind.

In the fall of 1965 Jim Gashel enrolled as a freshman at the State College of Iowa. He declared a speech major, and he became very active on the intercollegiate debating team. During his four undergarduate years, Jim was an enthusiastic participant in all competitive speech activities, and he served as president of the local Forensics Fraternity.

But speech and debate were by no means his only interests. Mixed in among his other activities were such things as student government and intramural athletics. Of course, though, participation in the National Federation of the Blind affairs remained high on Jim Gashel's list of priorities during his college days. In 1967 alone, he was elected to serve as president of the Black Hawk County Association of the Blind in the Waterloo, Iowa, area, and was chosen as the first president of the NFB Student Division when that organization formed at the Los Angeles Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. In this latter capacity, Jim did much to lead the way toward the growth of interest among blind young people in joining the organized blind.

Between his junior and senior years, Jim managed to find time to become a husband. In August 1968 he married Arlene Hill, and they took up residence in Cedar Falls, where Jim was in school. Arlene had worked for some time as a billing operator for the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Waterloo, and she continued her employment during Jim's senior year.

In May of 1969, Jim graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. Degree in speech education. Already he had accepted a position to teach in the public school system in Pipestone, Minnesota. So in August of 1969, the Gashels headed north. At Pipestone, Jim's teaching responsibilities were rigorous. Each day he taught three classes of seventh grade English, one class of ninth grade speech and a combined class of junior and senior speech. During evenings and most weekends he coached debate and speech activities programs. This was a heavy schedule, but Jim had fun at his work.

While considering signing his renewed contract with the Pipestone Schools toward the end of his first full year of teaching, Jim received a call from Dr. Kenneth Jernigan to come to work for the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Although in some ways this was a difficult decision for him, there has never really been any question of Jim's interest in work with the blind. Accordingly, on June 1, 1970, the Gashels moved to Des Moines where Jim started work as an orientation teacher at the Iowa Commission. His work in the Iowa program brought him great satisfaction, and he threw all of his energy into it. Jim and Arlene lived in the Commission building as a part of Jim's work, and both of them spent many hours a day counseling and working with blind adults attending the Orientation Center.

In 1971, a year after his employment in the Iowa program, Jim was given the position of program supervisor of the Orientation Center-a position which carried with it added responsibilities for the effective operation of the Center's program, and which he held for one year. In November 1972, he was appointed assistant director in charge of Orientation of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. In this capacity he held primary responsibility for directing the adult training center.

Having the desire to meet the challenge of obtaining an advanced degree and recognizing the necessity for additional university training, Jim left his position at the Iowa Commission in August 1973 and entered graduate studies in public administration at the University of Iowa. This proved personally to be a rewarding experience for him. Once again, however, he was called upon to serve the cause of advancing opportunities for the blind. Upon the retirement of John Nagle, Chief of the Washington Office, the Federation appointed Jim Gashel to fill this position.

Since January 1974, Jim and Arlene Gashel have ably served the National Federation of the Blind in the Washington Office. Jim views this vital work as crucial in the strengthening of rights and opportunities for all blind persons. Together, he and Arlene are helping to forge ahead and carry forth the banner of Federationism in Washington and throughout the land.

National Representative

Arlene Gashel is a native of Knoxville, Iowa, a small community near Des Moines. Mrs. Gashel (formerly Arlene Hill, before her marriage to James Gashel in 1968) attended the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School but graduated from the public high school of Knoxville.

One of the most worthwhile years of her life was that immediately following her high school graduation. During this period she trained at the Orientation Center of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. As she says, it was then that she stopped believing that she was inferior and started believing that she was an equal person. She became a believer in the abilities of the blind as a result of the training program directed by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and she now lives by this new philosophy that is spreading across the Nation. It was during this time that she became an active participant in the National Federation of the Blind.

During the early 1960's the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the organized blind of that State labored tirelessly to serve employment opportunities for blind persons with the telephone company. Arlene, always ready to advance the cause, was one of the first blind operators hired; and her conclusive demonstration of competence in this work has continued to pave the way for other blind persons in the field. For five years she successfully performed her duties as a direct-dial billing operator and consistently received high ratings from her supervisors. As a result of her superior performance, Arlene became the first blind person to work in the Waterloo, Iowa, office of Northwestern Bell.

Although she regards her telephone company experience as valuable to her and to the cause of advancing the employment of the blind, she found her work with retarded children at the Woodward State Hospital School to be even more satisfying. The children who were assigned to her were blind. Though the children in this program were severely retarded, Arlene insisted that they put forth maximum effort to develop skills of self-sufficiency and confidence in their own abilities. In effect, she taught them the new philosophy of the blind.

Since her high school graduation, Arlene has also managed to fit in some college work. At this point she is a junior and plans to continue with her degree. Her main academic interest is elementary and special education.

In January 1974, Arlene embarked on a totally new venture—one which she finds challenging and stimulating. She now works, along with her husband Jim, for the National Federation of the Blind in Washington, D.C. In this position, Arlene is an able spokeswoman for all blind persons in the Nation. Her demonstration of competence as a successful blind person, and her winning personality have already done much to convince many public officials of the true equality and normality of the blind of this country.

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