A Publication of the

National Offices

Washington Office




Editor                                                             Associate Editor
PERRY SUNDQUIST                                  HAZEL tenBROEK
4651 MEAD AVENUE                                  2652 SHASTA ROAD
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. 95822                   BERKELEY, CALIF. 94708




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

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

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















BY ED McDonald










And, we are all going to New Orleans. Reservations are coming in in great numbers. If you haven't made yours yet, you had better hurry it along. Rates are good: singles are $10, and $14.50 for doubles. One would have to look a long way to find accommodations at good hotels at these prices and we have them only because our National Office has used its long experience in our behalf.

New Orleans is a town familiar to all in story and song. But that's not the same as seeing it, gowned in history but looking very much to today and tomorrow. The restaurants in that city should prove a real adventure to those who enjoy good food, and its many other attractions will provide an exceptional background for our meetings.

President Jernigan wrote, early in October, to many of those making reservations. His words should be heeded by all those planning to attend:

"I am sending this letter to all of you who have received confirmed reservations from Braniff Place in New Orleans for next year's National Federation of the Blind Convention. Apparently our original announcements were not clear. It will be necessary to have a ten-dollar deposit sent to Braniff Place for each room which is to be reserved. Whether the reservation has already been confirmed or not, it will not be valid until Braniff Place receives the deposit. Further, all confirmations will come from the Braniff Place. This does not mean that your room will be at Braniff Place, but we will try to honor your preferences if we can.

"We are using three hotels (Braniff Place, Delta Towers, and Governor House). These hotels are all on the same street in a three-block area. The meetings will be held at the Braniff Place. The Delta Towers has larger rooms, and each room has a sink and refrigerator. The Governor House is closer to the Braniff Place than the Delta Towers. Some may wish to stay at one hotel, and some at another.

"Next spring (probably in late April) we will sit down with the Braniff Place management and assign rooms. We will try to do it equitably. If an individual indicates a health problem, we will try to make the reservation for the Braniff Place. Those who want the Delta Towers because of the sink and refrigerator and the larger room should say so. In any case preference in room assignments will be given to those writing first. Insofar as we can, we will try to put people where they indicate they want to be.

"Regardless of where you wish to stay, please write to the Braniff Place. Do not (I emphasize do not) write to the Delta Towers or the Governor House. Say that you want a reservation for the National Federation of the Blind Convention, and send a ten-dollar deposit. Late next spring you will receive a letter telling you at which hotel you will be staying. I repeat that even if you already have confirmed reservations, those reservations will not be valid unless and until you send a deposit of ten dollars to the Braniff Place. Deposits will not be refundable."

Now that you have made your reservations, start thinking about those prizes you are going to give and which contribute to the general fun of our Conventions. Remember, they should be something worth twenty-five dollars. Prize chairperson for 1977 is Velma James (Mrs. Jack), 3655 Beech Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70805. Start collecting items for the Elegant White Elephant sale which each year adds funds to the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Endowment Fund.

Let's make New Orleans the "biggest and best Convention ever."  

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Monitor readers are aware that the sheltered shop workers at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind (in the special election ordered by the National Labor Relations Board) did not vote to have the union represent them. There are many who believed (whether rightly or wrongly) that fear of reprisals played a part in the negative vote. Earlier this year Fred McDonald, executive director of the Lighthouse, wrote Jim Gashel to complain about Federation testimony before a congressional committee. Feeling that his statements were true and, therefore, that they required no further defense or explanation, Mr. Gashel did not respond to Mr. McDonald's letter.

But Mr. McDonald was apparently not willing to let well enough alone. He has now written to Jim Omvig, who has decided to reply. It is doubtful, however, that Mr. McDonald will take much comfort from it all. At least, such has been the experience of others.

The McDonald letters give rise to the following reflections:

(1) Lawyer-like talk does not alter facts or do much convincing.

(2) It is clear that a lot of people read the Monitor quite carefully.

(3) People should think carefully before insisting that their letters appear in the Monitor.

(4) It is true that the workers at the Chicago Lighthouse won only a partial victory since they did not vote to exercise their right to organize, but they can vote again next year; and both time and right are on our side.

(5) The tide of Federationism is rising, and nothing can keep the shop workers from organizing.

(6) The Chicago case is part of a broader pattern. The blind are on the move to freedom. We know who we are, and we will never go back.

(7) The courts are open almost every day.

(8) Federationists don't scare easy.

With all of this in mind we think Monitor readers will find the following correspondence interesting.

Chicago, Illinois, May 4, 1976.

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

DEAR MR. GASHEL: I regret the tone of your response to my telephone call this morning seeking a correction on the statements made by you in the Braille Monitor (February issue), reflecting your testimony before the Select Subcommittee on Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, and the Sub-committee on the Handicapped, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, U.S. Senate.

Your statement concerning the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind is grossly inaccurate and has damaged the reputation of this agency and has threatened loss of substantial support funds for program service.

I quote the statement made by you that appears on page eighty-seven of the Monitor, February 1976 issue, starting halfway down the second column:

"Recently under questioning before the National Labor Relations Board, witnesses from the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind admitted that their facility has two classes of workers—those who are sighted and those who are blind. According to the Lighthouse officials, the sighted workers are paid the minimum wage and have all available fringe benefits, while the blind have none of these."

Nothing like this statement was made at the hearing and I have substantiated this by close examination of the verbatim transcript. Nothing close to this situation exists at the Lighthouse.

In fact, more than fifty percent of our staff, both in professional services and in the workshop, are blind. The new Director of the Workshop is blind as is the Director of Training and the Director of Placement. Four persons serve on the Administrative Executive Committee of the Lighthouse. Two are blind. Two are sighted.

This Lighthouse is serving chiefly multiply handicapped people who are blind. Yet we are placing around fifty to fifty-five of these people in competitive employment in the community each year.

I had put off calling you until I had a chance to discuss this with the Illinois chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and did talk last night with Rami Rabby who suggested I call, rather than write you, which I did this morning. It is regrettable that this incident is occurring at the very time that NFBI and the Lighthouse are meeting at the Board level to work out ways we can cooperate together.

I feel compelled to ask you again for a retraction and correction of this article and would urge you to restudy the transcript of the proceedings as we have.

We have far too much to accomplish together to waste time on matters such as this but when the very character of our agency is attacked it leaves us no choice but to demand accuracy in reporting. You have a perfect right to write and speak your opinions but you also have a responsibility to be accurate in stating facts, especially when they critically affect others.

I would hope to hear from you soon.


FRED W. McDonald,
Executive Director.

Chicago, Illinois, October 14, 1976.

Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. OMVIG: Knowing that you are an attorney and knowing your closeness to the true situation in the union organizing attempt at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, I cannot understand your distortion of fact that appears in the article written by you, that starts on page 526, in the October issue of the Braille Monitor.

I do understand that this is a printing of remarks made by you before the NFB annual Convention in Los Angeles, in July 1976. Because of the circumstances I am quite certain that the true facts in at least two statements made by you were indeed known to you and therefore I question why you chose to utter the damaging remarks attributed to you.

First of all, in writing about Mr. Dick Mohill you state, on page 528, "Mr. Dick Mohill, the leading organizer in the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind case, was fired because of his union activity. We have now filed an unfair labor practice complaint in Dick's behalf, so be assured that this wrong will be righted and that the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind will regret the day that it took the action which it so foolishly decided to take."

Since Dick was there with you with the knowledge that this case had already been heard by the NLRB and that they had stated, in effect, there was not even enough evidence supporting the fact of the charge to issue a complaint, there can be no justification for your not knowing the fact. The NLRB letter to Mr. Mohill on June 29th said, "From the investigation the evidence is not established that you were terminated because of your union and/or protected and concerted activities."

Why then, in an article that appears in print in October, do you say that a case is being filed? Is it embarrassing to admit that the NLRB, after a detailed investigation, did not support your charges?

Again, in this same article you infer repeatedly that it was the NFB's efforts in persuading the NLRB to rule against the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind which, in effect, caused the new policy to be drawn up. I must assume that you, as an attorney, are familiar enough with this case to know that the NLRB changed its policy a week earlier in a case involving St. Aloysius Home for Orphans in Rhode Island. The Lighthouse case had nothing to do with its policy change.

These two statements, particularly the first one, seriously damage the integrity and the character of the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. I therefore, formally, must ask from you a retraction and an apology in the next issue of the Braille Monitor.

Also, assuming that you are legal counsel for the National Federation of the Blind, I must reiterate my earlier letter to Mr. James Gashel, seeking a correction of the damaging mistruths made about the Chicago Lighthouse in the Monitor concerning statements he says were "admitted" by Lighthouse officials at the hearing before the NLRB last fall. I sent you a copy of that letter and would refer you once again to it. As I suggested then, and repeat now, a careful check of the printed transcript verifies my stand.

We will not permit any individual or organization to damage our programs by being allowed to print at will gross mistruths. I therefore hold you accountable.


Executive Director.

Des Moines, Iowa, October 25, 1976.

Executive Director,
The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind,
Chicago, Illinois.

DEAR MR. McDONALD: As you say, I am an attorney. Therefore, I am fully aware of the legal implications of my words.

I believe my statements at the Los Angeles Convention of the National Federation of the Blind were not a distortion but the truth. I believed then and I believe now that Dick Mohill was fired because of union activity and that the firing was done in violation of the law. I know and I believe that you also know that the NLRB investigator did not interview all knowledgeable witnesses before the decision was made not to pursue Dick Mohill's charge against you. I do not here suggest, as some have, that somebody got to the investigator; but I do say that, in my opinion, his method of procedure was unique. Once I pointed out that Mr. Mohill's Charge was being dismissed without benefit of a full investigation, NLRB officials suggested that Mr. Mohill should return to the Regional Office for further discussion.

(Incidentally, in your letter you refer to my "distortion of fact." In your letter you also state, "Since Dick was there with you with the knowledge that this case had already been heard by the NLRB and that they had stated, in effect, there was not even enough evidence supporting the fact of the charge to issue a complaint, there can be no justification for your not knowing the fact." Come now Mr. McDonald, is not that portion of your sentence which reads "this case had already been heard [emphasis added] by the NLRB" a "distortion of fact"? You know, and I know, and I know that you know, that this case was never "heard" by anybody. Yet would it not be reasonable to suggest that the uninformed reader of your letter would be misled by what, in my opinion, was an intentional distortion of fact?)

I remind you that I was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board for three years, so I know something about labor law. I believe that Dick Mohill should have appealed that initial unfavorable decision of the NLRB investigator and that he would have prevailed if he had done so. I make no allegation here that the Lighthouse threatened him, but I do believe (based on my conversations with him) that Mr. Mohill feared reprisals if he went forward with an appeal.

Let us come straight to the point of the matter: I tell you directly and unequivocally that I believe that Mr. Mohill was fired because of union activity. I think I can find a number of people who will be happy to testify concerning the situation. If you wish to put the matter to the test, I suggest that the courts are a proper arena. I have faith in the judicial process as it operates in this country, and I believe that justice can still be had in the courts. Truth is always a good defense. Therefore, let us, by all means, settle the matter in the courts if you like. I am, as you say, an attorney, and I believe in the law.

As to your other allegation, I meant exactly what I said. In my opinion, the NFB in the Chicago Lighthouse case helped usher in a new era in NLRB policy to blind sheltered shop employees. Surely by your letter you do not mean to imply that the St. Aloysius case would automatically have, in and of itself, brought NLRB protection to sheltered shop employees. The fact is that, only through the effort of the NFB, NRLB policy was changed and an election was ordered at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. Yes, I do know the law. I believe that you know it, too. I believe that, upon its own initiative, the NLRB would not have reversed the regional director's unfavorable decision in the Chicago Lighthouse case.

One might speculate as to why the employees of the Chicago Lighthouse did not vote to have union representation at the election in July, but this is not an unusual pattern in industries which are only beginning to have the right to organize. The road from fear to confidence is often difficult and long. I believe, however, that the time is not far off when all (or nearly all) of the sheltered shop employees in this country will take advantage of their newly acquired right to organize. I think this would be a good thing, and I will do all I can to help them. If you do not like my sentiment, I invite you to take whatever action you think proper to counter it.

While we are exchanging compliments, let me tell you that I believe some of the statements in your letter would tend to create in the mind of the average reader an impression at variance with the facts. If you are unhappy with anything I have said in this letter or in the Monitor or anywhere else, I again invite you to test the soundness of your legal theories in the courts. I shall be pleased to participate with you in that exercise.

Incidentally, I am not (as you put it) "legal counsel for the National Federation of the Blind," (I am simply a volunteer along with thousands of other blind Americans) but I will tell you (based on my knowledge of the Chicago Lighthouse case) that I do not believe Mr. Gashel's statements to which you refer are "mistruths." Indeed, I believe that Mr. Gashel might be able to convince you of that fact in the courts if he chooses to do so. While you are considering whether you wish to meet me in the courts, you might consider whether you would like to meet him there, also.

Very truly yours,


P.S.—I suspect that the editors of the Braille Monitor may well gratify your wish to have your sentiments appear in that publication. They seem to have a fondness for disseminating the truth and presenting various facets of an issue. I also note with interest that you show a copy of your letter to Mr. Richard Bleecker, Executive Director of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped. In view of the behavior of the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind during this entire matter it somehow seems particularly appropriate that you should do this.  

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Frequently, a radio or television program or news broadcast is interrupted by a commercial jingle: "We're American Airlines doing what we do best," or "Fly the American Way." When it comes to serving the blind, however, American does far less than its best, and the "American Way" is strictly second class.

I have traveled to many cities on many airlines, accompanied by my guide dog, but I have never been treated as poorly and as discriminatorily as I was by American Airlines at Washington, D.C.'s National Airport on November 14. 1975.

I approached the ticket counter at the airline's boarding gate that evening to receive my seat assignment for the flight from Washington to New York City. I requested an aisle smoking seat, and the agent asked whether I intended to take my guide dog on board with me. When I answered "yes," the agent told me that he was going to assign me to the bulkhead seat for greater room for the dog. (The bulkhead seat is the very first seat in touring class, separated from first class by a partition, and is not in the smoking section.)

I protested, and was told that American Airlines had a "company regulation" requiring blind persons traveling with guide dogs to be assigned to the bulkhead seat. A company supervisor was not available, and the only other agent present agreed that such a regulation existed.

I became vehement and informed the first agent that I would send a written complaint to the airline. His response was, "Go ahead like you always do."

"What do you mean," I said.

"You've done it before," he said.

"What is your name?" I then asked.

"Flynn," he responded.

Mr. Flynn is the same agent who, just one year earlier, had insisted that I pre-board and occupy the bulkhead seat on a similar night to New York. On that occasion I telephoned American Airlines and complained about the special pre-boarding procedures. The airline wrote me a letter of apology, stating that there is no requirement that a blind person sit in the bulkhead seat. The gist of the letter stated that Mr. Flynn had been spoken to, and that such incidents should not occur again at National Airport.

Apparently, speaking to Mr. Flynn was an exercise in futility, as now, just a year later, he behaved in precisely the same manner.

Once again, I was forced to complain to American about their discriminatory treatment of blind persons. American Airlines responded with a letter which I quote here because I believe it best summarizes their position, which I find totally unsatisfactory.

"[O]ur policy is to accept all passengers regardless of any physical handicap provided that such acceptance does not create a hazardous condition or create an offensive inconvenience which would be validly objectionable to other passengers.

"One indication of our willingness to do so is the fact that we accept seeing eye dogs without charge. We also provide wheelchairs at many of our terminals to accommodate handicapped passengers.

"From long experience with sightless passengers with seeing eye dogs, we have learned that the location which provides the easiest access to the aisle and which also creates the least amount of aisle congestion by the dog is the seat it was suggested you use. This is spelled out in our manuals.

"However, this is only a recommendation and depends on each situation and the size of the dog. It is not necessarily a mandatory requirement.

"Your particular complaint is the only one we have received and was caused by a misunderstanding at Washington National Airport by one of our employees who felt that this was a mandatory requirement. This has now been corrected.

"In the future, if you wish a seat in the smoking section and it is determined that your dog will not create a hazard, this can certainly be arranged by our airport personnel." [Emphasis added.]

The letter which occasioned this response had requested that American Airlines officially, in writing, inform all of its ticket and seating agents to cease all discriminatory practices against blind persons. This they have not done. American's response deals with only one seating agent at one airport, and certainly does not demonstrate an interest on American's part in avoiding similar treatment of blind persons by other airline employees, and at other airports.

I feel that every blind person, when traveling on an airplane, has as much right to sit in a seat he or she chooses as do other citizens. Nothing is more discriminatory than to have an airline predetermine that a blind person traveling with a guide dog must in all cases be assigned to the bulkhead seat, or for that matter, must be pre-boarded, or involuntarily escorted onto and off the plane by a ground agent.

It's high time for the airlines to recognize that blind persons are not freaks. They are normal people who lead useful and productive lives, who merely lack the sense of sight. It is also high time that the airlines treat blind persons with the same respect and dignity accorded to other citizens.

I am sure that the problems I encountered with American Airlines are far from unique, and that perhaps other readers of the Monitor have undergone similar experiences. I am examining the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against American Airlines, and would appreciate being contacted by anyone else who has been discriminated against by American, or by any other airline. A class action suit is one of many alternatives.

We will win this battle against American Airlines, because we are the Federation, doing what we do best.  

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Editor's Note.—Curtis Willoughby is president of the NFB in Computer Science and an engineer for Northwest Bell.

On July 2, as I was headed from Des Moines to Los Angeles to attend the NFB Convention, I was put off an airplane in Denver because I would not permit my cane to be taken away for stowage during takeoff and landing. The following is a description of the events related to the incident.

Our United Airlines flight was late leaving Des Moines. My wife and I were in the front row of a section, so I placed my cane under my seat in a manner so that it extended somewhat in front of my seat. The crew did not challenge this method of stowing the cane. We encountered considerable rough weather approaching Denver, and there were no problems with my cane. We were, however, extremely late getting into Denver.

We changed planes in Denver, and as we arrived at our gate, the jetway had just been closed. We boarded in a great rush, and again received seats in the front of a section. I stuck my cane under the seat approximately as before, and very shortly thereafter we taxied away from the gate. A male flight attendant then noticed my cane (which was not sticking into the main aisle) and tried to pick it up. I had my foot on it, and immediately leaned down and grabbed hold. There followed a brief but spirited tug-of-war. The attendant insisted that, for safety reasons, he was going to put the cane in a closet located across the aisle and forward; I insisted he was not. I said that this issue had come up before, and that I was not going to permit my cane to be put in the closet. At this point the attendant rushed to the front of the plane, we were pulled out of line for takeoff, and the captain came back to pay a personal call. The captain stated that it would be necessary to put the cane in the closet due to FAA regulations. I said that he was misinterpreting the FAA regulations. He suggested the alternative of putting the cane in an overhead compartment, but the cane proved to be too long.

He explained that I would only have to have the cane put in the closet during take-off and landing. If I refused, he continued, we would have to return to the gate and I would have to get off the plane. He said it might take an hour to get a gate, and that this delay would be a great inconvenience to some seventy other passengers. He also suggested that it would not be any trouble to put the cane in the closet and solve the problem after we got to Los Angeles. I replied that this problem was of national significance, and that to go that route would not get the problem solved. I stated that if those were my choices, I would have to get off the plane. By this time the captain appeared to be very angry.

On the way back to the gate, I offered to put my cane between the seat and the wall, which I have also done frequently in the past. This proposal was also rejected.

During this time my wife and I prepared on a card the following statement:

"In exercise of my command authority over this airplane, I, the undersigned, order D. Curtis Willoughby to place his cane in a closet or to leave the aircraft."

When the jetway was re-attached, the captain and the passenger agent came to give me one last chance to allow my cane to be put in the closet. I told them no, but that if the captain would sign my card I would peacefully leave the airplane. The captain would have nothing whatsoever to do with my card, but offered to give me his business card, which I accepted.

My wife and I left the plane not knowing for sure whether we would be stranded in Denver without any luggage. Another concern which we felt at this time was that all our inconvenience might be in vain because, since the captain had refused to sign my card, we might not have the necessary documentation to pursue the matter further.

The passenger agent at the terminal arranged for us to continue to Los Angeles on a Continental flight. She also indicated that she would have to fill out a report on the incident, and this reassured us that there would be some documentation to permit follow-up work. On the Continental flight, I put my cane between the seat and the wall, and no one appeared to notice it. We did, however, observe another cane being passed up the aisle and put in the closet.

When we reached Los Angeles, we recovered our luggage from the United baggage claim area without incident.

During the Convention, we described our experiences to at least one television crew, and to representatives of Senator Tunney's office, as well as to Joseph Fernandes of Johnny's House of Travel, who had arranged the trip and sold the tickets to us. We understand that Johnny's House of Travel filed a strong protest with United Airlines. NFB Resolution 76-03 and the associated publicity also helped to bring our problem before the public and the airline.

On our return trip, which included three different flights, we had no difficulties over the cane.

We understand that airlines do not regard the matter lightly if an airplane returns to the gate after once having left it, and that probably there were a number of explanations to be made within the airline. We also understand that local United Airlines officials in Des Moines were quite concerned over the fact that American Airlines (which was brand new in Des Moines) had taken a group of well over one hundred Federationists to the Convention, and that many of these Federationists had cancelled reservations on United in order to join that group. When the United officials broached this subject with one of our members, they were told that the Federation was much more concerned about the treatment that I received in Denver. Our member was assured that they were "very concerned about this too, and would look into it immediately."

The attached letters and enclosure tell the rest of the story, except to reiterate that this matter could not have been brought to a successful conclusion, and the significant United Airlines policy change probably would not have occurred, were it not for the National Federation of the Blind. The timing of the incident, the resolution, the publicity, the chunk of business big enough to be noticeable, our connections with Johnny's House of Travel, my own sensitivity to a problem which needed to be solved, the knowledge of an effective means of solving it, and the confidence to carry it through none of these would have existed if it were not for the National Federation of the Blind.

Thanks to the NFB, therefore, blind people may now (at least on United Airlines) put their canes in any reasonable and sensible location, and may have them immediately accessible for convenience or emergency at all times.

August 26, 1976.

Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. WILLOUGHBY: I hope this tardy letter in response to the unfortunate incident which occurred to you and Mrs. Willoughby on Flight 4674 of July 2nd is not interpreted by you as a lack of concern or interest. The investigation and action taken will, I hope, indicate to you that this has caused a great deal of consternation within United Airlines.

Briefly, when informed of your being deplaned at Denver, we asked for statements from all involved employees and reviewed all of our procedures. While those who write procedures are completely cognizant of their intended content, not all who read them get the same interpretation. Additionally, since stowage of anything in the airplane cabin might have an impact on evacuation, any change would have to be approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency). I am very happy to advise that full approval for a change to all pertinent manuals has been obtained from the interested parties and the verbiage is now being formulated to preclude any future misunderstanding.

Mr. Willoughby, sometimes progress comes slowly. The only bright spot in the embarrassing situation you and Mrs. Willoughby found yourselves in is that, hopefully, we will be able to prevent its recurrence by virtue of a complete and positive attack on the basic problem. We value your business most highly and we want you on United Airlines, not on our competition.

Again, this late reply is because I wanted something positive to relate to you, not just another excuse. When the new regulation is finalized, I plan to send you a copy. In the meantime, please feel free to contact either Mr. Clark Gwinn, our City Manager at Des Moines, or myself if we can be of future assistance.

Personal regards,

Vice President,
Maintenance Services, Central Division.

September 2, 1976.

Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. WILLOUGHBY: As I promised in my letter to you of August 26, I am forwarding a copy of the new regulation for storing canes under the seat in a free and easy position. This is a copy of the official telemeter and is not in its final form as it will appear in all of the manuals which pertain to carry-on items.

Sometimes progress comes slowly, as I mentioned in my previous letter, however in this instance it's only taken a few days to get the word to the troops. We have every expectation that this will resolve the issue and I most certainly hope that you never again incur this type of problem on United Airlines.


Vice President,
Maintenance Services, Central Division.


Crutches and canes may be stowed under the seat in front of the passenger or between the sidewall and the seat. Canes, as well as the new collapsible crutches may also be stored on the floor area at the passenger's feet, parallel to the fuselage. This is a new policy and has recently been approved by medical and flight safety. It means that the crutches and canes do not have to be stored under the seat in front of the passenger. The restriction prohibiting such items from sticking out into the aisle still applies.

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Editor's Note.—Reprinted by courtesy of The Seeing Eye Guide. Robert Whitstock is vice president in charge of field services at The Seeing Eye, Morristown, New Jersey.

Since it was founded, nearly fifty years ago, The Seeing Eye has deliberately not made contractual agreements with its graduates which would give the school legal title to Seeing Eye dogs or a right to reclaim them if certain conditions were not met. Often in my travels throughout the United States and Canada, I have been asked why The Seeing Eye avoids such agreements. The answer is simple.

The overriding purpose of The Seeing Eye is to nurture and further the independence and self-respect of the blind people we serve. As an individual who is blind, I would greatly resent a service that offered physical independence through use of a dog guide, and then attached a demeaning psychological restraint that deprived me of ownership of the dog.

Such a contractual policy, as we see it, is a vestige of past paternalism. Reasons given for it are that a few blind individuals may abuse their dogs or that some will have working or control problems with their dogs. In theory contracts give schools the leverage necessary to correct such problems.

The Seeing Eye has always met both contingencies with realism and total respect for the intelligence and capacity of the blind persons it serves without resort to retained ownership. A realistic, yet individually oriented, application process has been developed, designed to place Seeing Eye dogs with blind persons who can use them advantageously. One factor in this process is the blind person's willingness to assume a personal obligation of $150 toward the cost of his training. As readers of The Guide know, this amount can be paid by an individual at his own convenience over any period of time.

Obviously, it is a token payment but it adds to the pride of ownership and gives the individual a greater sense of participation and accomplishment and an overriding feeling of personal worth. Is this not, in essence, what rehabilitation is all about?

And, is not the retention of legal title, with its tandem power to reclaim, nothing more than a "vote of no confidence" at a point in a person's life when what he often most needs is faith in himself and the confidence of others in his ability and importance? Obviously, over the years, applicant screening has failed in a few cases, but these have been overwhelmingly offset by the many graduates whose confidence, dignity, and self-respect have been restored or enhanced.

There have also been some graduates of The Seeing Eye who have needed additional assistance after returning home. And there have been times when allegations of abuse or misuse have been leveled against specific graduates. After careful investigation, we have found that these are generally situations where the public has misunderstood the necessity for correction of the dog and/or the graduate needed some remedial help. In such circumstances, The Seeing Eye has promptly offered whatever assistance was necessary and, invariably, the offer has been accepted.

As we see it. Seeing Eye dogs are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. That end is the independent mobility of blind individuals, thus enabling them to live constructive and fulfilling lives.

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Secrecy, cover up, leaked documents. No, we are not talking about Watergate. We are speaking of the blind standing together on the barricades in Michigan and saving State Services for the Blind from virtual dissolution. Consider the quality of services blind persons would receive if the state agency for the blind were reduced to the level of merely keeping records for the Federal Government and providing consulting services upon request from county offices of social services whose employees may or may not have any understanding about blindness. A bad dream, a joke, you say. No, such a plan was proposed this summer in Michigan, and if not for the vigilance of the National Federation of the Blind, it would have been implemented.

For many years now, attempts have been made to put agencies for the blind under the umbrella of the super-agency. To the detriment of the blind, this has occurred in many states, reducing the quality of services received and consigning too many blind persons to a life of second-class citizenship and dependence. In states such as Michigan, however, with strong Federation affiliates, such attempts will be hard pressed to be successful.

In the mid-sixties the Michigan Office of Services for the Blind underwent an important change. It became a unified, centrally controlled agency. Prior to this it was controlled through county offices of social services, and blind persons received very poor service. We believe the agency has been given reasonable autonomy, and—with imaginative and effective leadership willing to join with the National Federation of the Blind to insure quality, responsive service—it could be one of the finest rehabilitation agencies in the Nation.

Unfortunately, history repeats itself. Attempts were made this summer to return control of the Michigan State Office of Services for the Blind to the counties. This time, though, the blind were ready.

During the evening of July 15, John Halverson, one of the Federation leaders in Michigan, received a phone call concerning a rumor that the Michigan Office of Services for the Blind was being reorganized. This was news to him so he called Ruby Garner, president of the NFB of Michigan to see what she knew. By the end of the next day, we had received four confirmations of the rumor, but little concrete information as to the details. On Monday, July 19, Mrs. Garner called Harold Payne, Director of the Michigan Office of Services for the Blind, for confirmation. She was told that direct supervision of services for the blind would be transferred from the agency to the local county offices of social services. Mr. Payne was unable to provide specific answers regarding the proposed changes. Instead, he provided four vague options for the possible reorganization. The written text of the options was later leaked to us. During the phone call, he refused to provide Mrs. Garner with any written documentation. President Garner was told that she could get material from a member of the Consumer Advisory Committee to State Services for the Blind, implying that the Federation had membership on this body. Of course, this has never been true, and the committee has served only as a hand-picked front to give the facade of legitimacy to consumer involvement.

Meanwhile, John Halverson placed a call to Dr. John Dempsey, Director of the Michigan State Department of Social Services, in order to learn the specifics of the proposed changes. Halverson was told that Dempsey would be in and out of his office for the next two weeks and would be unable to meet or speak with him. Halverson was told to call one of the assistant directors of the Department of Social Services. Lois Lamont, the Assistant Director under Dempsey, did not return Halverson's call of the 19th, so Halverson traveled to Lansing, the State Capital, on the 20th to gather more information. After a long delay, Halverson met with John Vielbig, an official in the Department of Social Services. Vielbig indicated that Dr. Dempsey had directed that all areas of social service under direct departmental control in Lansing should have control and supervision moved to local county offices of Michigan Social Services. He further indicated that no decision had been made as to how the Office of Services for the Blind would fit into this scheme, but that a decision could come rather quickly. Vielbig mentioned three alternatives: (1) no change; (2) large counties would house services, and rehabilitation counselors would travel to nearby smaller counties to assist clients; and (3) large counties would have a worker for the blind, and smaller counties would have a Social Services staff member to assist on a part-time basis. Halverson was assured that home teaching and business enterprise services would not be affected by the proposed changes. Finally, Vielbig refused to provide the Federation with written materials on the proposed changes.

On Wednesday, the 21st, Halverson formally requested that Mr. Payne provide the Federation with the written amendments to the State plan that were provided to members of the consumer committee. Despite Halverson's reminders to Payne concerning Federal law and regulations on freedom of information, Payne refused. As Payne told Mrs. Garner, we could get the material from the consumer committee. He further indicated that the amendments to the State plan would be gladly provided to us when the Rehabilitation Services Administration in Washington received them.

We finally received the amendments to the rehabilitation plan from a member of the advisory committee. From these, it was clear that control of the agency would be moved to the counties. Further, the date on the cover letter predated my Lansing visits by several days. We later learned that the amendments had already been submitted to HEW, placing the Office of Social Services and the Office of Services for the Blind in a position of breaking the law by withholding information from citizens.

As Federationists, we know what to do when agencies and officials act on matters which affect the blind without working with blind persons. As a beginning effort, President Garner sent a forthright statement of concern to Dr. Andrew Adams, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and true friend of the blind. At the same time, Halverson, Garner, and others began speaking to the press so that members of the public would know how the blind are treated by their public officials. As a result of our efforts, Dr. Dempsey had to respond to inquiries from the press and make a statement.

At the same time, letters began to come in to Dr. Dempsey expressing concern over his proposed changes. It is exciting to note that blind persons who before had shown little interest in the Federation began to work with us in order to make sure these proposed changes did not take place. It is also interesting to consider that the State ACB, to our knowledge, did nothing but ask us to meet with them to discuss the problems.

Letters to Dr. Dempsey indicated that county control would mean a reduction in the quality of services provided blind persons since there would be no guarantee that those providing services would know anything about blindness. Federationists and others also complained about the lack of meaningful input to the proposed changes by blind persons and their organizations. Finally, the letters stated that the proposed reorganization would in all probability be contrary to Federal law and lead to the loss of Federal funds for the rehabilitation of the blind.

Halverson wrote Dr. Dempsey requesting a meeting to discuss the issues raised by the Federation. A phone call was placed as follow-up to the letter, and Halverson was told that Dr. Dempsey would be out of town until Tuesday, August 10, and besides, he would be busy for the next few weeks. Halverson was finally told to call back on Tuesday, the 10th, to see if Dempsey would have time to meet with the Federation.

Meanwhile, the Federation did not rest. In conjunction with a State executive committee meeting scheduled for Grand Rapids on Saturday, August 7, a press conference was called by the Federation in order to further outline our charges and future plans. Halverson journeyed to Grand Rapids and met with representatives of the press to set up the press conference. He found a great deal of interest; in fact, at least one radio station unable to attend the press conference interviewed him and broke the news at the approximate time of the press conference. Both local television stations appeared. The blind received excellent coverage. We discussed our fears about the reduction in service which would probably result from the decentralization and stated that we believed the State was liable to lose Federal rehabilitation funds for the blind. We ended the meeting with the press by indicating our plans to picket Dr. Dempsey's office on Thursday, August 12, and stated that a small group of Federationists planned to stay in Dr. Dempsey's office until he met with us.

The publicity we received had an effect. By Tuesday, August 10, it appeared that a meeting on Thursday with Dr. Dempsey was very likely. On Monday, the 9th, we released notice of our upcoming demonstration, and the blind of Michigan prepared to meet on the streets of Lansing. Literally minutes before leaving for Lansing, we learned from a representative of Dr. Adams that HEW had received the changes in the State Rehabilitation Plan and that they would not be legal. Armed with this information, we went to Lansing confident of victory.

On Thursday morning, a group of Federationists met on the street in front of the Commerce Building in Lansing and handed out an explanation of our concerns to the public. At the same time, these same persons spoke with the gathered press about Services for the Blind.

Federationists John Mullins, Allen Harris, and John Halverson went upstairs to meet with Dr. Dempsey. The meeting was cordial and extremely fruitful for the blind. It opened with an announcement by Dr. Dempsey that no changes in the agency for the blind would take place. While he made this statement, a press release prepared by his office moments before was released. The meeting lasted for approximately thirty-five minutes and could be summarized through three key points: (1) the Office of Services for the Blind would not be decentralized; (2) the Federation would take part in a process of improving the now-token consumer advisory committee to the Office of Services for the Blind. This improvement will include the Federation naming some members. And (3) a broad-based examination of the quality of current services to the blind in Michigan would be undertaken with the assistance of the Federation.

A very happy group of Federationists joined their companions on the street and shared their views with the press.

It is clear that the blind won a great victory for themselves this August in Michigan. When considering what happened here this summer, we must never forget that our victory was won through our forthright and collective efforts on the barricades. The blind of Michigan have truly learned the advantages of organizing in a strong, united group.  

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In September Robert Schumack of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, received an award from Governor Milton Shapp as Handicapped Pennsylvanian of the Year. Schumack was chosen to receive the award in recognition of exceptional accomplishments. He was nominated for the honor by the Greater Hazleton Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. The nomination also will be sent to the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, as the Pennsylvania entry for a national award.

Schumack was blinded by a Japanese grenade during the battle for Iwo Jima on March 6, 1945. When wounded, he was a medical corpsman attached to the Fifth Marine Division. Hospitalized at Pearl Harbor and later at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, he was discharged from the latter institution late in 1945 after surgery had failed to restore his sight.

Schumack entered Temple University School of Business in the fall of 1946 and was graduated in 1953 with an L.L.B. degree from Temple University Law School. He was a Dean's List student. He continued his legal education in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida, and in 1968 received a Juris Doctor degree from Temple Law School.

He opened law offices in Hazleton in 1957 after passing the Pennsylvania Bar examinations. There he has practiced successfully for almost twenty years. He is a member of the Superior and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania and the Middle and Eastern Federal Courts in Pennsylvania. Robert Schwartz, who is sighted, is serving his clerkship under Schumack. This year, Schumack expects to train a blind young woman graduate of the University of Notre Dame in his office before she enters Duke University Law School in North Carolina.

Schumack is a past national, state, and chapter commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. An active Federationist, Schumack has served on the board of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind, and is currently a member of the board of the Liberty Alliance of the Blind, a Federation affiliate. He is married and has a six-year-old daughter, Melanie.

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Philadelphia, Penna., September 7, 1976.

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

DEAR KEN: Enclosed is a copy of a letter which I have written to Paul Hamilton, Contract Officer of the Office for the Visually Handicapped, Department of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, concerning "Consumer Representation." If you feel that it would be appropriate I would like to see this letter published in the Braille Monitor.

As I am sure you know, Liberty Alliance of the Blind is putting pressure on the branches of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind and the Central Office of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind to obtain meaningful "Consumer Representation" on their Boards of Directors.

Kind personal regards.

Cordially yours,


Philadelphia, Penna., September 7, 1976.

Contract Officer, Office for the Visually Handicapped,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

DEAR PAUL: This is with reference to the conference that Ralph Beistline, Commissioner of the Office for the Visually Handicapped, Department of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you, Ted Young, and I had in the Central Office of the Office for the Visually Handicapped on Wednesday, July 21, 1976. The major subject on the agenda was a discussion of the services to the blind that were approvable under the Title XX amendments to the Social Security Act.

As a part of the overall discussion of the rules and regulations applying to Title XX, you made reference to the need for consumer participation at the decision-making level and stated that before approving our next contract for Title XX services to the blind in Philadelphia it would be necessary for you to make sure that the Center for the Blind conformed to this aspect of the Title XX legislation. I asked whether you had begun to check this matter with other agencies for the blind in Pennsylvania having purchase of service contracts with the Department of Public Welfare for the provision of Title XX services to the blind. You stated that you were beginning to investigate this with other agencies. You stated that you had checked with the Pittsburgh Branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind and had been advised that they had selected several blind persons to come on their Board of Directors.

A discussion ensued, concerning the meaning of "Consumer Representation." Since you, apparently, were unaware of the steps that had already been taken by the Center for the Blind to implement "Consumer Representation," I described the action that had been taken by the Center for the Blind, as follows:

In a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind, held in January of 1975, it was unanimously agreed that the Center for the Blind should elect seven representatives of tile blind community to the Board of Trustees of the Center. Shortly thereafter, I, as President of the Center for the Blind, met with leaders of the blind community in Philadelphia and informed them of the action of the Executive Committee of the Center for the Blind. At this meeting I requested that they decide among themselves how they wished to select the nominees for election to the Board of Trustees of the Center. They decided that one representative would be the nominee of the Pennsylvania Blind Merchants Guild, one representative would be the nominee of the Alumni Association of the Overbrook School for the Blind, and five representatives would be the nominees of the local chapters of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind. I asked that they select their nominees in time for the next Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind and that they forward to the Center the names of their nominees together with a brief biographical sketch of each nominee.

The Pennsylvania Blind Merchants Guild and the Alumni Association of the Overbrook School for the Blind selected their nominees and forwarded this information to the Center for the Blind almost immediately, including brief biographical sketches of the nominees. At the 1975 Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind these nominees were elected. The names and biographical sketches of the five nominees from the local chapters of the Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind were not received in time to elect them to the Board of Trustees of the Center at the 1975 Annual Meeting. However, these names were received before the 1976 Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind. Consequently, these five nominees were elected at the 1976 Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind.

Currently the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind consists of twenty-three members. The seven nominees, referred to above, who have been elected to the Board constitute one-third of the membership of the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind. In addition, the parents association of the Upsal Day School Division of the Center for the Blind (a school for blind multiply handicapped children) selected a representative who was elected to the Board of the Center at the 1975 Annual Meeting. This person, while being a consumer representative (as the parent of a blind child at Upsal), does not happen to be blind. There are also two other blind persons on the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Blind, who were elected to the Board because of their particular expertise.

With a twenty-three-member Board of Trustees, the following representation analysis is significant: members of the blind community—7; parents association of Upsal School—1; black members—3; oriental board members—1; women members—5; Title XX eligible blind board members—3; additional blind board members—2.

The Center for the Blind is proud to have been the first agency for the blind in Pennsylvania, and one of the few in the Nation, to take these progressive steps. We have more than conformed, not only with the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law. It is important for you to know that the action taken by the Center for the Blind was not designed to conform either to the legislation pertaining to Title XX or the Rehabilitation Act, but, rather, because the Center for the Blind is committed to this philosophy and is convinced that this kind of Board representation will enable the Center for the Blind more effectively to provide the services to blind Philadelphians that are its only reason for being.

Although we have not as yet received any written inquiry from you concerning our conformity to the "Consumer Representation" aspects of Title XX legislation, I am requesting that you accept this letter as our position concerning this matter. With all modesty, I suggest that the philosophy and implementing action of the Center for the Blind could be used as a national model. Philadelphia is, historically, a city of "firsts." Again we are first in Pennsylvania, and, while in this instance, we may not be first in the country, we certainly are in the national vanguard.

Sincerely yours,


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It has been nearly two years since we first heard of a new and revolutionary reading machine which actually reads printed material and produces what it reads in the form of full-word speech. The Kurzweil Reading Machine, as it is called, is the invention of Mr. Raymond Kurzweil, president of Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This past July, those who attended our national Convention in Los Angeles had an opportunity to see the reading machine in action. Though time was limited, many of us had a chance to become acquainted with the device and to make it read a wide variety of printed material.

The Kurzweil Reading Machine consists of two separate units connected by a flexible cable. The first part of the machine, which is housed in a cabinet measuring two feet square and eighteen inches high, contains the scanning unit. When printed matter is placed on the glass top of this box and the scanning action is started, a special camera looks at the lines of print on the exposed page. The scanned information is sent to a second box which measures eighteen inches square and nearly eighteen inches high, and which contains a mini-computer, the brains of the machine. Here the printed information is analyzed. It is broken down into letters and letter fragments in order that it can be reconstructed into words which the machine recognizes. These are then classified by the computer according to rules of English grammar and an exception dictionary designed to find those words which do not fit the normal grammatical rules. Once words are classified and analyzed, they are sent to the speech synthesizer, where they are converted to understandable English which is heard over a loudspeaker or through earphones. The machine is even programmed to put some emphasis on different parts of sentences. In short, the Kurzweil device is a true reading machine.

Soon after Mr. Kurzweil first contacted the NFB concerning the possibilities and potentials of the reading machine, a program was proposed through which the blind would thoroughly test and evaluate the Kurzweil device. As plans developed, it became apparent that the best way to test the machine was for the Federation to obtain several reading machines and place them in a wide variety of user situations. Though close cooperation and communications with Kurzweil Computer Products would be maintained, the evaluation project would remain under the complete control of the NFB.

In his July 6th Presidential Report to the Federation, Dr. Jernigan announced the availability of special foundation funding for this innovative project. As plans now stand, Kurzweil Reading Machines will be placed for varying amounts of time in single-user and multi-user environments. One question which must be answered is whether or not this tool can help on the job. Also, is the machine of practical use to students? Its possibilities for home use might also be considered.

During the course of the project we want to evaluate fully the strengths and weaknesses of this new technology. If there are limitations which can be overcome, we must know about them. The results will be compiled in a final project report to Kurzweil Computer Products, where our findings will be incorporated into future models of the machine. The study will also be available for review by others, since this type of substantive consumer participation in scientific development is truly a pioneering concept. The possibilities are exciting, and again the NFB is leading the way.

The final report, however, is some fourteen months away. The process of selecting the project participants is one of the first major steps. Many persons have already indicated interest. Those who will be selected as test users of the machine will represent a cross section of the blind of the Nation. All who will participate must be willing to devote considerable time to using the machine, whether it be on the job, in school, or wherever it is placed. During all stages of involvement in the project, users will be asked to take part in detailed evaluations of all aspects of the reading machine.

Anyone who would like to participate in the reading machine testing program is welcome to apply. Please complete the application form which appears within this article and return it to:


Those who return applications to us will be carefully considered for inclusion in the project. The cutoff date for applications is March 1, 1977. If you are interested, don't delay!


1. Name ______________________________________________________

2. Address ____________________________________________________

3. Home phone__________________ Work phone____________________

4. Birth date (year and month) ____________________________________

5. What is your occupational status?
Employed (state the nature of your work and reading demands)
Student (what is your major and what are your reading requirements)
Unemployed (explain how you would use the reading machine at home or in other
reading situations)
6. Are you a member of the NFB? __________________________________
7. Where did you first hear about this project? _________________________
8. Why do you wish to participate in this project? _______________________
9. List the types of materials (textbooks, memos, forms, magazines, newspapers, letters,

    etc.) which you read as a matter of daily routine. ________________________

10. Which of the following modes of reading do you use? List all that are applicable.
Print  Sighted readers  Braille (if Braille, how fast do you read?): ___________
Recorded materials

11. If you listed more than one reading mode in question ten, which mode of reading do you
prefer? ____________________________________________________________

12. If you are chosen to participate in the reading machine testing project, may we use your
name in the final project report? ________________________________________
13. How many hours a day do you spend reading? __________________________

14. Is most of your reading job-related, school-related, or other? (If other, please explain.)

15. Is adequate space available for the reading machine? ______________________
Is there a standard wall plug available to provide power for the reading machine? ___

16. When necessary, can a member of the project staff come to your home, school, or place
of employment? ______________________________________________________

17. How far away from your work or study area will the reading machine be placed?


18. Can you take time out from your regular work or study activities to discuss the project?

19. Will your work, class, or study schedule permit you to participate fully in this project,
including the completion of test questionnaires? ____________________________

20. Can you obtain permission from your employer to use the Kurzweil Reading Machine
on the job? ____________________________________________________________

21. Are there other blind persons in your place of employment or school who might participate in this project, therefore making this a multi-user testing site? ________________



Please include your personal resume with your application.

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[Reprinted, with permission, from the Talladega-Sylacauga (Ala.) Daily Home, October 6, 1976.]

Almost a year ago, last October 28, State officials met with two blind men who had been picketing and fasting on the steps of the State capitol in Montgomery and agreed to an independent evaluation of State services to the blind.

As a result, Euclid Rains, Sr., president of the Alabama affiliate of National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and Tom Mills, head of the Mobile NFB chapter, called off a week-long hunger strike. Other members of the NFB had been demonstrating in front of the trade school in Talladega.

They had been protesting alleged inadequacies in the State's program for the blind, including low wages in sheltered workshops and lack of employment opportunities.

But the study still has not been made. And at this date it has not yet been settled who will make the study or who will pay for it.

On April 29, Rains and Mills demonstrated again to draw attention to the lack of action. Their hunger strike lasted close to two weeks and was brought to an end when Senators Sid McDonald of Arab and John Baker of Rainsville assured them that State Superintendent of Education Wayne Teague had promised a "complete and independent evaluation."

That was five months ago. The delay may mean that the State will be faced with a lawsuit or further demonstrations.

"It will probably be a different type of demonstration," Rains said at one point. "If they can't keep their word, I don't know what we'll do, but we're not going to let this drop."

"The delay has troubled me some, too," Senator McDonald said on Monday. "I favor an independent study and have for some time. They promised the group they would do a study and I think they should do it."

According to McDonald, the study would be financed by the State Department of Education, and Teague would therefore make the final decision as to who would conduct the study. McDonald, who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said the Department of Education could have requested an appropriation from the Legislature last summer to pay for the study, but did not.

Teague, however, said Monday that while he is not sure who will pay for the evaluation, it won't be the Department of Education.

"All our funds are earmarked," he said. "I'll make recommendations but I have no official authority." He indicated that the final decision would be up to the trustees of Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

State services to the blind are carried out both through the Institute, which is located in Talladega, and through Vocational Rehabilitation and Crippled Children's Services, a division of the State Department of Education, league conceded that Vocational Rehabilitation might have some funds that could be used for the study. "If we have funds available, we'll certainly do our part." he said.

Vocational Rehabilitation Director George Hudson has been seeking proposals from firms that might do the study. He said Monday that he has received two such proposals and is awaiting the third, which he expects in about two weeks. Then, he said, the proposals would be turned over to the chairman of the Institute's board of trustees.

But the chairman, Elmer Lazenby of Opelika, has no information about a proposed study: as of Monday, no one had contacted him about it, he said. And the president of the Institute, Dr. W. W. Elliott, is opposed to having the trustees saddled with the decision. Elliott has not been involved in the meetings concerning the study and he said Monday that the Institute does not have responsibility for all services to the blind in the State.

"We'll give every bit of cooperation to Teague and Hudson we can," he said. "But we are not, in my judgment, in a position to study anything except the facilities here."

Institute trustees already voted last May to initiate a self-study of the Department of Adult Blind and Deaf in preparation for accreditation by National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAG). And apparently it is not clear whether the issue will be passed to the full board of trustees, which meets annually in May, or to the board's three-member executive committee, which meets once a month.

Adult Department Director George McFaden, who was present at the October 28 meeting, thinks both the Institute board and the State Board of Education would have to agree on the study, with approval from the Governor's office. The October 28 meeting was arranged by aides of Governor George Wallace and was held in the Governor's office. Two aides-Bob Taylor and Bill King-were present. But the Governor's office appears to be stepping back from any connection with it. Asked about the meeting, Taylor declined comment and King responded, "I don't have to tell you, of course." He answered every subsequent question from the Daily Home with the words, "Next question." Billy Joe Camp, the Governor's press secretary, said that the Governor's approval would not be required.

Besides Taylor and King, Hudson, McFaden, Rains, and Mills were present at the October 28 meeting. Others there included Marguerite McKinnon, administrator of blind services; George Limbaugh of the Institute's executive committee; and Dr. Erskine Murray, Assistant Superintendent of Education. Those present seem to agree that the State promised an evaluation. But just which State agency would assume ultimate responsibility and pay for the evaluation seems more difficult to pin down.

As Teague said recently, "We don't know who the State is." Equally confused has been the question, who will conduct the study. Officials at the meeting apparently agreed to ask for a proposal from Management Services Associates of Austin, Texas, a firm strongly recommended by Rains and Mills. Rains thinks this implied that Management Services Associates would do the study, hut officials are now saying that competitive bids will have to be taken with Management Services providing one of the bids.

As recently as September 15, Teague had decided that NAC, the accrediting agency, would do the study. Such a decision would be totally unacceptable to Rains. The Sand Mountain resident is the only blind member of the Institute's board of trustees, and he cast the only vote against NAC accreditation at the trustees' May meeting. He has appeared before the executive committee to argue that NAC does not represent the best interests of the blind.

Bob Mallas, president of Management Services Associates, said he received a letter from George Hudson about ten days ago rejecting his proposal, and saying the study would be done by NAC. Mallas, who serves on one of NAC's major committees, said, "This is very confusing to us because NAC doesn't do research .... I think someone is terribly misinformed." He also said that his negotiations with the State had never implied the taking of competitive bids. "The only reason I was willing to come was because a promise had been made to the Governor," he said, describing his quotation of around $25,000 as "very low for a study of this type." The Mallas firm has been doing program research since 1948, conducted a nationwide survey of services to the blind last year, and has consulted with various state legislatures.

It appears the State may have changed its mind about having NAC do the study. Hudson denied Monday that he rejected the Mallas proposal and said it is still being considered. He wouldn't say what other proposals were in the running.

The failure of State government to settle a seemingly small matter for almost a year may possibly have had an adverse effect outside the State. George Hudson had been nominated as president-elect by the nominating committee of the National Rehabilitation Association, but was defeated by a candidate nominated from the floor (Carl Hansen, director of the rehabilitation program at the University of Texas) during a recent NRA meeting. Hudson does not attribute his defeat to NFB influence, but Rains is convinced he lost "because he had made too many people mad—the whole country knew about the stands on the capitol steps."

Delay has caused irritation within, the State. As Sid McDonald said, "It's becoming a sticky situation-tempers are frayed."

Tom Wright, a member of the Institute's executive committee, commented, "I was not at the meeting, but it's my understanding the State agreed to have the Texas firm do the study and agreed to pay for it. If we have an agreement with these blind people, I want us to keep it one hundred percent. . . . I don't blame them for picketing."

Roy Robinson, who became the chairman of the executive committee on October 1, said, "I think the board should live up to any agreement made by Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Taylor in Montgomery." Limbaugh was chairman of the executive committee at the time.  

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Ever since the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind voted last fall in San Francisco to cease its sponsorship of NAC, the American Foundation for the Blind-NAC combine has been desperately busy trying to reverse the defeat. First, it was a campaign of letter writing and telephone calls to state agency directors. Then it was the unauthorized meeting in Washington, D.C., held in February in violation of the NCSAB bylaws and convened without notice to all members-a meeting at which Richard Bleecker, NAC's executive director, played a prominent part.

When that didn't work, the NAC combine undertook to boycott the official NCSAB meeting in Denver late in the spring. The meeting was held anyway, and nobody seemed bothered by the boycott except the embarrassed NACsters. The next attempt was made in connection with the National Rehabilitation Association meeting held in Hollywood, Florida, in September. The NAC group circulated a letter to certain state directors saying that NCSAB would hold its fall meeting in conjunction with NRA. Even if this call for a meeting had met other legal requirements (which it didn't), it violated not only the NCSAB's own bylaws but every rule of basic democracy and fair play. The notice did not go to all state directors but only to a selected number—and strangely enough, there seemed to be a pattern in the selection. Ridiculous as it may seem, even some of NCSAB's own officers did not receive the notice. As Monitor readers know, the American Foundation NAC combine was foiled again—this time by the Federal courts. James Carballo, head of Mississippi's services for the blind, was told by the judge that he could not attend an alleged NCSAB meeting in Florida and that he could not hold himself out as president of NCSAB.

Despite the court order, a number of state directors got together at the September National Rehabilitation Association meeting anyway. They made much of the fact that they were not really holding an NCSAB meeting, "just getting together as state directors," presumably to discuss common problems (and they had quite a number). The meeting had a traditional American Foundation—NAC stamp on it. (As a matter of fact, there were two meetings. The first was open but edgy. The second was closed.) The staff member of the Iowa Commission for the Blind who was attending the National Rehabilitation Association meeting and also the meeting of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, which was held at the same time and place, was denied admittance. He was told that only state directors might attend. As I say, the meeting had a traditional American Foundation—NAC flavor to it. Whether (since courts look to substance, not form) it was a violation of the court order is an interesting question.

In the meantime, Bob Pogorelc (president of the NCSAB and Director of the Oregon Commission for the Blind) had called the real fall meeting of NCSAB for October 22-23 in St. Louis. This meeting was to be preceded by one held at the same St. Louis hotel October 20-21 called by Dr. Bob Mallas (who, Monitor readers will remember, conducted the study of state agencies for the blind commissioned by NCSAB and who attended the NFS Los Angeles Convention). At first the strategy of the Foundation—NAC group seemed to be to boycott the St. Louis meeting, but their Denver fiasco may have given them pause. Also, as events would indicate, they may have overestimated their strength.

Both the American Foundation for the Blind and NAC have talked to sickening infinity about how "professional" they are. They have said that all they want is "quality services" for the blind, that they are only interested in "standards." Yet, as October began to lengthen and the St. Louis meeting drew near, the tactics used by the Foundation—NAC forces were disgustingly political, unprofessional, and unethical.

It began to be whispered among state directors that the American Foundation for the Blind was making a concerted effort to get state directors to the St. Louis meeting. It was further said that the Foundation was offering to pay expenses for certain directors and that (at least in the minds of some) there was a linkage between expense money and the way the individual should vote. It was hard to believe that even the American Foundation for the Blind would use its money in such a way, but it later developed that offers of expense money had been made and that such offers had been made only to certain directors.

In any case, October 20 arrived, and the directors began to gather at St. Louis. The Mallas meeting (very constructive and professional) took place on the afternoon of October 20 and all day October 21. The different states were asked to talk about their problems. Then Dr. Mallas undertook to suggest possible solutions and to point out the overall patterns which seemed prevalent in the field. He said that he felt work for the blind was in danger of ceasing to exist as an identifiable entity unless certain trends could be reversed. He had not invited the American Foundation to be present at the meeting, and he made it clear that he thought the omission was appropriate since the Foundation no longer exercises any real leadership (if, indeed, it ever did).

Dr. Mallas indicated that he felt separate agencies for the blind offer the best opportunity for effective services and that the agencies must now establish a new and meaningful relationship with organizations of consumers. Most of the people present in the room gave at least verbal assent to these propositions. The tone of the meeting showed that Dr. Mallas recognizes the growing role of the Federation in the field of work with the blind, as well as the legitimacy and propriety of that role.

By the morning of October 22, it was clear that the attempt to bring to the meeting agencies who had traditionally not come had succeeded. Some forty states were represented. Louis Rives (president of NAC and director of services for the blind in Arkansas) was obviously at the center of the Foundation-NAC effort. He roomed with James Carballo (director of Mississippi services for the blind and NAC's choice for NCSAB president or president-elect). President Pogorelc appointed a credentials committee to consider the challenges which had been made concerning the right of several states to vote. The challenges were made by Howard Barton, director of Idaho services for the blind. The question was raised as to whether those directors who were being paid by the American Foundation for the Blind should be allowed to vote since they would have conflicts of interest. Later some of the directors admitted that they had been offered money by the Foundation, but they denied that this was an attempt to influence their vote. A question was also raised as to whether states which did not have separate programs for the blind should be permitted to vote. The right of Louis Rives to vote was challenged since he was president of NAC and it was felt that NAC was trying to gain control of NCSAB. This brought a suggestion from Howard Hansen, director of services in South Dakota and a long-time NAC Board member and leader, that if Mr. Rives should be challenged, so should I since I am President of the National Federation of the Blind. As Monitor readers might imagine, I made no objection to Mr. Hansen's challenge but urged him on. In the ward-heeling, political atmosphere of it all, the only appropriate thing to do seemed to be to say to Mr. Hansen, "Sic 'em." The NAC people seemed particularly emotional and hysterical about the fact that anybody would challenge someone's right to vote. They seemed to want to ignore the Foundation's money, the fact that a number of the people present who purported to represent their states were not really directors but only consultants or subsidiaries in large umbrella agencies, and the rather obvious attempt of NAC ("professional" NAC, "quality services" NAC, "ethical" NAC) to gain control of NCSAB.

That afternoon (Friday, October 22) Louis Rives took the floor and showed those present more about himself and NAC than he probably intended or realized. He said that the real question was not whether NAC would control the NCSAB but whether the National Federation of the Blind would control it. He said that the credentials committee was stacked, being composed entirely of Federationists. (The committee, incidentally, was composed of Kenneth Hopkins, director of Washington State services, who served as chairman; Dr. James Nyman, director of Nebraska services; Bill Waters, director of North Carolina services; and Charles Freeman, director of Missouri services.) Bill Waters took the floor to object to the hostile and intemperate character of Mr. Rives' language. Mr. Rives retorted to this effect (not an exact quote but a very precise paraphrase): "If you are not a Federationist I apologize, but you look like one." Mr. Rives also engaged in a hostile exchange with Charles Hoehne of Texas. I think I have never heard such bitterness and hatred as he showed in his tones. Many of the directors later indicated annoyance and embarrassment at his behavior. (Let me remind you that this was and is the president of NAC, "professional," "ethical," "standard-setting" NAC.)

Friday night a number of directors (reportedly the session was chaired by James Carballo) gathered for a meeting. John Taylor, who is Assistant Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and who has for sixteen years attended NCSAB meetings (often as Iowa's official representative), walked into the room and sat down. The meeting stopped. People were asked to identify themselves. Someone went around the room whispering to people and everybody left. (I ask you, hard as it may be to believe, to remember that we are dealing with "professionals" and that the NAC people were at the center of this meeting.)

The meeting reconvened in one of the bedrooms. During its course, John Taylor, President Pogorelc, and others sought admittance. Mr. Taylor says that he was asked to identify himself and that he heard someone in the room say, "He is not welcome"; but no response was made to him. It was later reported (remember this is NAC "professionalism") that someone kept looking out through the peephole of the door to spy on the people in the hall and that someone in the hall put toothpaste in the peephole.

In this "professional" atmosphere the Saturday morning meeting was called to order. Early on, John Taylor took the floor on a question of personal privilege. He said that his room was next to that occupied by Messrs. Rives and Carballo. He said that after midnight the night before, he began to receive anonymous telephone calls and poundings on his door. He also said that from the Rives-Carballo room there were heavy poundings on his wall until after two o'clock in the morning. He reported that when he had finally given up any idea of sleeping, he got up and dressed. He said he could not help hearing what his neighbors were saying since it was done with considerable loudness. He quoted Mr. Rives as saying concerning him: "I hate that s.o.b." (the words, not the letters, were used). He said that Mr. Carballo said of him: "He's a (bathroom expletive) head." He said that Mr. Rives said: "He's a —" (expletive meaning one who procures for prostitutes). Mr. Taylor said that he felt it was not right for the president of NAC and the director of the Mississippi services for the blind to engage in such conduct. Neither Mr. Rives nor Mr. Carballo denied the charge nor made any response.

One director said that he felt we should get away from personalities and deal with the business of the meeting, that this is the kind of conduct he would expect from his four-year-old child. I said that if his four-year-old child beat on people's walls at two o'clock in the morning and indulged in that sort of language, I would wonder what kind of training his child had received. A number of directors expressed annoyance and disgust at the conduct of the president of NAC. The results of the election would seem to indicate that this conduct did not pass unnoticed.

During the Saturday morning session I was scheduled to appear on the program and had opportunity to speak to the directors at length. I told them that the agencies could not afford to live in the past, that this was not the 1950's or even the 1960's. I said that the agencies must either work in partnership with the consumers or cease to exist as viable entities. I told them that there were a great number of agencies which simply would not permit NAC or some other outside force to control them and that we could either have an independent organization of state agencies or we could break apart and have two organizations, depending on what we decided at the St. Louis meeting.

The elections were scheduled for one o'clock Saturday afternoon. This had been decided by court order late in September when preliminary hearings were held in a suit by the NCSAB against James Carballo. The court said that all offices must be declared vacant and filled in free and fair elections. The nominations committee recommended Harry Vines for president. Don Wedewer of Florida was nominated from the floor. The vote was 21 to 16 for Wedewer. I believe the NAC forces were surprised by the size of the Vines vote.

If so, they must have been horror-struck by what happened next. The nominating committee had recommended James Carballo for president-elect. This is the key position since the person filling it will serve three years on the NCSAB Board this year as president-elect, next year as president, and the following year as past president. I nominated Harry Vines. The vote was 20 for Vines and 17 for Carballo. Despite later rumbling in this direction, Mr. Carballo got no position on the board. Wayne McEachen of Georgia ran against Rod Kossick of Wisconsin for secretary and was elected. Kossick was obviously the NAC candidate. Henry Watts of South Carolina beat Charley Freeman of Missouri for treasurer by a vote of 19 to 18. Rod Kossick finally made it. He and Merve Flander of Nevada were elected to the board.

As I say, the big loser in the election was NAC. Don Wedewer has certainly been friendly with NAC, but it is doubtful whether NAC can control him and even more doubtful that the directors felt that they were voting for a NAC candidate. On the other hand, James Carballo roomed with NAC's president and was obviously NAC's handpicked candidate for president or president-elect. I (the President of the Federation) nominated against him Harry Vines (a man that NAC seemed determined to defeat). Vines was elected. The significance was probably not lost on anybody in the room. Certainly it will not be lost on NAC. Wayne McEachen is certainly not controlled by NAC. He beat the handpicked NAC candidate. Charley Freeman came within one vote of beating Henry Watts, who appeared to be solidly in the NAC comer. The trend indicating the pattern of the future was even more important than the results of the voting. Many of the agencies who were persuaded to come to St. Louis have never attended NCSAB meetings and will likely not come again—at least not on a regular basis. The field is highly fluid; there are likely to be changes in personnel during the coming months; and many of the people who voted in St. Louis may be otherwise occupied next year-assuming, that is, that they're occupied at all.

To round out the picture of the St. Louis meeting, additional observations may be in order. (1) There was an attempt made to put NCSAB on record as neither endorsing or opposing NAC—a hands-off position, which is what the Federation has always advocated. The membership made it clear that they did not wish to discuss the matter. What they seemed to be saying in unmistakable terms was that the NCSAB had been burned enough by the NAC controversy and wanted no more of it.

As a matter of fact, it is beyond imagining that the new NCSAB Board would try to revive the NAC issue. If they do, I predict that they will be out of office in short order, and NCSAB may well cease to exist, divided into two separate organizations. All of this controversy over NAC, an organization purportedly established to bring better conditions to the field of work with the blind!

(2) After the election Saturday afternoon, there was a motion that the lawsuit brought by NCSAB against James Carballo be dropped. I seconded this motion believing that no useful purpose would be served by having the suit continue. The record has been fully made. The American Foundation for the Blind-NAC activities have been exposed for all to see. All credibility is gone. The motion to drop the suit was adopted unanimously.

(3) The NAC controversy has done real harm to the NCSAB. It has caused bitterness which will be hard to erase. This may partly explain the unhappiness which has been recently demonstrated by Bert Risley. He did not stay for the NCSAB meeting. Mr. Risley is a real gentleman in every sense of that word, and he has repeatedly urged that the NAC question be put aside for more important considerations.

If the NCSAB can learn from the past and put the NAC issue behind it, what has happened may prove to have positive aspects. Otherwise NCSAB is doomed, and both work with the blind and the blind themselves are damaged. In any case, NAC and the American Foundation for the Blind are the real losers. The Foundation's money transactions were exposed; NAC's handpicked candidate was beaten by the man nominated by the President of the Federation; and NAC got no endorsement, nor appears likely to get one. Justice does seem to have a way of balancing the scales.  

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Fanny Crosby was one of the most significant women in the field of religion in the nineteenth century. She achieved prominence as a poet, lecturer, musician, and educator of the blind, but her greatest contribution was her composition of the lyrics to more than nine thousand hymns, which earned her the appellation "the Queen of Gospel Song."

Frances Jane Crosby was born in Gayville, Putnam County, New York, of pure English stock, on March 24, 1820. Soon after her birth, her parents, John and Mercy Crosby, noticed that there was something wrong with the infant's eyes. Since Putnam County was quite rural in those days, no competent medical help was available. An unlicensed practitioner of medicine disagnosed the child's trouble as an "'inflammation of the eyes" and applied hot poultices. The heat of the compresses burned the baby's corneas and destroyed any chance little Fanny Jane had of normal vision. To add to this adversity, her father contracted a respiratory infection and died when Fanny was eight months old.

Fanny grew up in great poverty. Her mother, Mercy (whose maiden name was also Crosby), worked as a domestic and left Fanny in the care of her own mother, who took it upon herself to educate the child. Eunice Paddock Crosby instilled in Fanny the idea that she should never feel sorry for herself and that she could accomplish anything that a sighted child or person could. "Grandma" and Fanny went on long walks through the woods and the older woman taught the child the names of the flowers and trees by smell and by texture of the leaves and blossoms. Fanny learned to identify the birds by their cries.

"Grandma" also taught Fanny to use her memory. By the time she was ten, Fanny had memorized the entire Old and New Testaments. In later life, she had only to have a book read to her once and she would know it all, word for word. She played with the other children of the neighborhood, climbing trees and walls and riding horses bareback.

In 1831, John Denison Russ, M.D., founded the New York Institution for the Education of the Blind, in Manhattan. It was only the second institution of its kind in America. In 1835, at the age of fifteen, Fanny was able to enroll at the Institution, subsidized by the State. There she made rapid strides. Within a few years, she had mastered her subjects so well that she was made a teacher. Her poetry attracted attention, and she published her first volume, The Blind Girl, in 1844. The Institution arranged for her to give recitals of her poetry in order to demonstrate to the public what the blind could do. She was also a gifted pianist, organist, guitarist, as well as an accomplished soprano singer, and was said to have been the finest harpist in America at the time. Audiences were amazed at her presentations, especially by her ability to compose poems on the spot, and many remarked that they never knew before that the blind could make such use of their talents.

It was as a poet that she achieved her greatest fame, her work attracting the attention and commendation of William Cullen Bryant and Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, in which many of her works appeared. By her mid-twenties, Fanny Crosby found herself a celebrity, frequently giving lectures, demonstrations, and recitals. In 1844, she, along with a group of her colleagues from the Institution, gave a demonstration before Members of Congress in the Capitol in Washington.

Miss Crosby returned to Washington two years later along with Laura Bridgeman, the celebrated deaf-mute, and other advocates of education for the blind to plead before a group of Senators and Representatives for the establishment of institutions for the education of the blind in every state of the Union. They were not successful. Fanny was told that she had the distinction of being the first woman in American history to address Congress.

Fanny Crosby's career continued to gain momentum. She published a second volume of poems, Monterey, in 1851, and a third, A Wreath of Columbia's Flowers, in 1858. In 1850, she was made Preceptress (second-in-command) of the Institution. Her secretary from 1853 to 1854 was a young man named Grover Cleveland, who later became President of the United States. Miss Crosby was several times a guest at the White House, and was a friend of Presidents Van Buren, Polk, and Lincoln, as well as Cleveland. She was also active in politics, and although as a woman she could not vote, she actively campaigned for Democratic candidates in the 1840's and 1850's. After Lincoln, she became a Republican. In the 1850's, she began offering summer courses in music at a conservatory in North Reading, Massachusetts. Here she collaborated with George F. Root in the composition of several popular songs of the period.

In 1858, Fanny married Alexander Van Alsteine, her former student, more than a decade her junior. Fanny never took her husband's surname, in either public or private life. Even in signing strictly legal documents, she used a variant form of spelling, signing herself Fanny "Van Alstyne." On all other occasions, with her husband's full consent, she was known as Fanny Crosby.

Fanny Crosby left the Institution for the Blind in 1858 and tried her hand briefly at being a housewise. Her husband, Van, gave private music lessons at their home on Long Island. After losing a baby, their only child, she gave up being a housewife and became active in social and civic work in Manhattan. Previously, she had worked as a nurse during the cholera epidemic of 1849, making "cholera pills" under the supervision of a physician and supervising a temporary hospital in mid-town Manhattan, erected expressly to care for the victims of the current epidemic. Now she became active in the slums of New York's Bowery district, working with alcoholics, drug addicts, and loose women. A religious revival was in progress at the time, and there was a call for new hymns, hymns of a light, informal type, "music for the masses." as one composer put it. William B. Bradbury, a composer, choir leader, and manufacturer of pianos, urged her to write a hymn for him in 1864. Bradbury was so pleased with the result that he invited Fanny to become a part of his firm and supply it with a specified quota of hymns per year. For the next four decades, she supplied Bradbury, and after his death, his successors, Biglow and Main, with two hundred hymns per year. She also wrote hymns for other music firms.

Fanny Crosby's last years were spent in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her mother had moved here and remarried after Fanny went away to the Institution, and it was for Bridgeport that she left New York (she had been separated from her husband for some years) to make her home with her younger half-sister in 1900. After the sister died in 1907, Fanny resided, in the same town, with a step-niece, Florence Booth. It was here that the "blind Saint Cecilia." as she was known in the religious world, died. The date was February 12, 1915. She was nearly ninety-five years old and had been active in her travels and lectures until six months before. She had just worked on several new hymns when, very early in the morning, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died within the hour. Thousands lined up outside the First Methodist Church of Bridgeport to catch a glimpse of the "Hymn Queen," whose mortal remains lay in a bed of violets (her favorite flower).

"The Blind Woman." as Fanny Crosby was usually called, has now been largely forgotten, but her work, not only in the field of hymnody, but also on behalf of the education of those who like her were without sight, as well as on behalf of the poor and oppressed, is quite appropriately recalled this Bicentennial year as numbering among those contributions by many persons which have over the years made America a great Nation.

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BY ED McDonald

Appearances by a gubernatorial candidate, a human rights official, several State agency representatives, and a couple of neighbor Federationists highlighted the 1976 convention of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind. The affair was held the weekend of August 20-22, 1976, at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Charleston, West Virginia's capital city.

Addressing the convention during the Saturday session was Howard W. Kenney, executive director of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission. Several years ago the West Virginia Federation of the Blind was successful in gaining legislative approval of a measure broadening the terms of the State Human Rights Act to extend protection to the blind against discrimination in housing, employment, and other such areas. In his convention remarks Kenney urged that more blind persons bring their grievances to the commission for investigation. Kenney acknowledged that a tremendous volume of cases and a limited staff have created a considerable backlog for the commission, and thus a significant delay in processing cases. However, Kenney urged Federationists not to be "scared off by this situation. He explained in some detail the procedures in handling case investigations and urged Federation members to take greater advantage of the rights afforded them under the Human Rights Act.

Mrs. Dolly Rapking. Director of the West Virginia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, discussed with Federationists a proposal by the library to cooperate with a public radio station to develop a pilot program for radio reader service. Mrs. Rapking expressed a strong desire to receive consumer input from Federationists in the area of the State to be covered by the service. She said this input would help determine whether such a radio reader service is needed by consumers, and if so, what the leading program elements should be.

State President Robert L. Hunt said that although the job is only beginning, he is pleased that more and more State agencies in West Virginia are coming to listen to and respect the Federation as the voice of the organized blind in the State.

West Virginia Federationists were pleased to welcome to their convention two fellow Federationists from the neighboring State of Maryland. They were John McCraw, president of the NFB of Maryland, who served as this year's official NFB representative, and NFB Second Vice President Ralph Sanders, who returned this year for an unofficial though much appreciated visit.

McCraw was the featured speaker at the Saturday night banquet. In his remarks McCraw selected numerous vivid examples pointing out the need for a strong and united movement of the organized blind and citing examples from his own State and elsewhere to illustrate the accomplishments of the movement. During the Saturday business session McCraw presented an updated report on NFB legislative efforts at the national level. Throughout the weekend he took an active and enthusiastic part in floor discussions of numerous issues.

As part of the banquet program, the organization presented its two annual $150 scholarship awards to two blind West Virginia college students. This year's Skidmore-Fisher Scholarship was awarded to Cynthia Siebel of Parkersburg, a 1976 graduate of the West Virginia School for the Blind who entered Pebody University this fall, majoring in education of the blind. The Jacobus tenBroek Award went this year to David Nearhoof of Morgantown, Nearhoof is a junior at West Virginia University, majoring in computer science.

Master of ceremonies for the banquet was Jim Byard, a Charleston area sportscaster and assistant general manager of the Charleston Charlies, a minor league professional baseball team. In his brief closing remarks Byard quoted passages from President Jernigan's 1976 Convention banquet address and acknowledged that long-standing misconceptions about the blind, perpetuated by the rest of society-including himself, are truly the greatest "handicaps" faced by blind persons today.

This year's WVFB convention did not pass unnoticed by the local news media. John McCraw and President Hunt were guests during the weekend on two leading radio public affairs programs. In addition, Hunt and McCraw were interviewed for separate stories which appeared on the Charleston area's three primary television stations and in a major daily newspaper. Local media attention had focused on the Federation some weeks earlier when the organization became involved in court action defending the right of the blind to operate a new cafeteria in the State capitol building. At the time of the convention, the matter was still a hot issue, and reporters were particularly eager to question Federation leaders about subsequent developments.

Throughout the convention, West Virginia Federationists enthusiastically adopted a long list of resolutions setting policy for the coming year, outlining the organization's basic legislative program for 1977, creating several special committees within the organization, and endorsing various NFB positions and policies at the national level.

Officers elected for the coming year were: president, Robert L. Hunt, of Buckhannon; first vice president, Ed McDonald, Athens; second vice president. Dr. Jean Myers, Morgantown; secretary, Paul Hughes, Wheeling; financial secretary, Evelyn Milhorn, Wheeling; treasurer, Sid Allen, Huntington; chaplain, Gaines Smith, Huntington. President Hunt was elected delegate to the 1977 NFB Convention in New Orleans, and Jim Gray of Charleston was chosen as alternate delegate.

Finally, West Virginia Federationists chose the City of Morgantown as the site for their 1977 State convention.  

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The twenty-third annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts was held September 10-12 at the Sheraton Regal Inn, Hyannis, our first convention to take place on Cape Cod.

Delegates and guests began to arrive on Friday afternoon, to be on hand for evening committee meetings or to meet and visit with friends from various parts of the State. There was also a sprinkling of Federationists from other states. Representing the national organization were Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Sanders, who were with us from Friday evening to Sunday morning.

The theme of the convention was: "1976: The Year of Individual Input." Saturday morning's session began with the usual addresses of welcome, followed by a rollcall of the chapters, in which each one reported on its activities and accomplishments during the past year. William H. Burke, State president, also presented his annual report.

Under the general title "Predictions: Then and Now," the keynote presentation was divided into two parts, one delivered by Domenic J. Marinello, NFBM legislative officer, and the other by Priscilla Ferris, president of the Fall River chapter.

Following a luncheon for speakers and constitutional officers, the afternoon was occupied mainly by a panel discussion: "Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, September 1975-1976." Changes in policy, personnel, and program were outlined by Commissioner Marie Matava; Paul McDade, Director of Social Rehabilitation: and William Dolan, Director of Developmental Programs. The audience was ready, willing, and eager to get into the act with a barrage of searching questions.

Ruth Goodwin, president of the Brockton chapter, served most capably as mistress of ceremonies at the banquet Saturday evening. The annual Employer of the Year Award went to the Polaroid Corporation, which has long been respected for its policy concerning employment of blind persons. Recipient of the Dr. Jacobus tenBroek Award was Minetta Scott, president of the Andover chapter and chairman of the NFBM's organizing committee, in recognition of her untiring efforts in establishing new chapters. There are now fifteen, two having come into being since the 1975 convention. The NFB of New Bedford received its charter at this time, but due to unavoidable circumstances, no one from the NFB of Rutland was able to be present. Special posthumous awards were presented in memory of three outstanding NFBM members: John F. Nagle, Charles W. Little, and Raoul J. Goguea, who had passed away in April. Mrs. Virginia Nagle and Mrs. Leona Goguen each received a plaque, and a third one was sent to Mr. Little's daughter in California. The highlight of the evening was a truly fine speech by Ralph Sanders.

Much of Sunday's session was taken up with regular business, but there were also two panels, with Anita O'Shea, second vice president of the NFBM, as moderator and the audience as panelists. One bore the caption "Echoes and Projections." The first part, "Echoes," was devoted to a rehash of what we had been doing, with a chance for criticism; the second, "Projections," provided opportunity for members to offer ideas on what we should be doing after the convention, and how we should be doing it.

The final panel Sunday afternoon was called "Wrap and Wrap-up," a real wrap session featuring in-depth discussion of and action on issues brought forth earlier, to formulate our policies and actions for the coming year.

The following resolutions were adopted: that we urge the Commission for the Blind to work actively and aggressively toward a radio reading service program for Massachusetts; that we deplore the Commission's hiring of sighted legal counsel when equally qualified blind lawyers are available; that a tag day is an unsuitable method of fundraising for the blind; that we reaffirm our opposition to any possible expansion of the Commission's policies to include visually handicapped persons who are not legally blind.

Boy and Girl Scouts, who had given such able assistance during the convention, received a hearty vote of thanks.

This was not the year to elect officers, but the following chapter representatives on the executive board were installed and welcomed; Minetta Scott, Andover; Catherine Black, Boston; Walter Woitasek, Brockton; Joseph Zlogar, Cape Cod; Priscilla Ferris, Fall River; Eugene Sibley, Greenfield-Athol; Armand Lefebvre, Holyoke; Victor Jedrey, Lawrence; Freeman Downing, Lowell; Theresa McDowell, Nashoba Valley; Edna Feijo, New Bedford; Elmer Brown, North Shore; Daniel Appleby, Rutland; Janet Andrews, Springfield; Cecile Paice, Watertown; and Roger Beaudry, Worcester.  

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The hustle, bustle, and chatter at the Sheraton InTowne Motor Inn. Albany, New York, during the weekend of October 8-10, let it be known, was the National Federation of the Blind of New York State holding its twentieth annual convention. A lively, spirited board meeting started the ball rolling on Friday night with a punch and chip hospitality to follow.

The general sessions began on Saturday morning with Ralph Sanders. NFB Second Vice President, and Judy Sanders on hand to participate. Executive Committee Member Jonathan May was to be counted among the one hundred Federationists who came to plan and work at our convention. President Rita Chernow began the session with the State of the State Report, "Moving Along." calling upon members to set aside personal differences so that we can move forward together and work towards solving the problems of the blind. Sterling France, our first vice president, presented President Chernow with an official NFB of New York State gavel which will be handed down from president to president as the years go by.

As the morning progressed, we listened, glowing with inspiration, as the Honorable Gilbert Ramirez, member of our Brooklyn chapter, spoke with us about the trials and tribulations involved in becoming a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, a position to which Judge Ramirez has been recently elected, making him both the first blind person and the first Puerto Rican to attain such a position.

Ralph Sanders presented the report from our National Office, encouraging all of us to help out by joining the PAC Plan and by working as a team. He spoke of the upcoming NAC demonstration in November and strongly urged that we turn out by the hundreds to join with our fellow Federationists on the barricades. Mr. Sanders reiterated that by working hard, we could lick the NAC and bring better, more positive services to the blind of the Nation. In addition to bringing us greetings from our national President, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, Mr. Sanders reminded us that our National Office and our national leaders need our support and need for us to be on the move with Federation projects.

Our State legislative co-chairpersons, Marjorie Fiorino and Anthony Mussillo, brought us up to date on legislative happenings. Our bill to create a separate agency for the blind had a good showing for its first year in the State Legislature, and we will continue to fight for this bill until it becomes law. An amendment we introduced to the election law would enable a blind person to take anyone of his/her choice into the voting booth-this amendment has passed both houses of the State Legislature and is awaiting the signature of the Governor. Our legislative co-chairpersons then presented an excellent proposal to be used for the purpose of obtaining private funding to enable us to open and operate an information office. This long-term, long-awaited plan would create a permanent home for the Federation in New York State. Such an office would be located in Albany, thus bringing us closer to the State Legislature, and in addition would give us a headquarters from which we could navigate our various Federation projects. For this and their many other efforts, our legislative co-chairpersons are highly commended.

State Senator Richard Schermerhorn, co-sponsor for our bill to create a separate agency for the blind, spoke with us about the importance of having a separate agency and pledged his continuous support for this bill until it becomes law. A resolution was unanimously passed thanking Senator Schermerhorn for his many efforts on our behalf and for his taking time from his busy schedule to visit with us.

Preceded by a cocktail hour and followed by a dance arranged by the host chapter, Tri-City, our annual banquet was well attended, with all enjoying dinner as well as the inspiring address by Ralph Sanders. Once again, in a most dynamic way, Mr. Sanders let us know that we are one organization working together to change attitudes towards the blind. He let it be known that we, the blind, could change the many misconceptions about blindness by getting on the barricades and spreading the word of the Federation.

As we continue to grow, new chapters keep joining the Federation, and this year was no exception. We welcomed the Rochester Chapter to our ranks by presenting its charter to the chapter president David Walker. During the evening, Peter and Linda Roidl spoke about the tenBroek Fund and did a fine job: we collected almost two hundred dollars which will be forwarded to our National, 11185, 66111.

On Sunday morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we had the opportunity to hear some extremely interesting speakers: Mr. Raymond D'Amico of the New York State Insurance Department spoke on insurance coverage for the blind. How obvious it was that the blind are excluded from some insurance and discriminated against in other insurance coverage. With some sharp examination by Judy Sanders, we had no trouble realizing that we have much work to do to assure that blind people in New York have equal opportunity in insurance coverage.

Geoffrey Lock, director of training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, joined with us to explain what is involved in training guide dogs and how one can tell if a guide dog is well trained.

In the afternoon session, we heard John McGuinness, policy specialist. Region II Social Security Administration Office, explain how SSI works in New York State. After a question-and-answer period, some areas of confusion were cleared up, and Mr. McGuinness left us with a better knowledge of the workings of SSI.

The problems of blind youth and those of blind senior citizens are often of concern to us. Ada May Fearon, immediate past president of Parents of Visually Impaired Children, and Joan Miller, of the State Education Department, spoke with us about the mainstreaming of blind children-what it is and how it works. They told of programs in the public schools for visually impaired children and how more and more blind children are being taught alongside sighted children.

Mr. Al Czosak. Federationist, Buffalo Chapter, and Dr. Douglas Inkster, Director, Center for Independent Living (CIL), spoke about the needs of blind senior citizens and what services are available to them.

Resolutions passed during the convention dealt with: deploring the New York State Employment Service for not treating blind job applicants like everyone else; going on record as being opposed to dual membership in both the NFB and the ACB; and establishing a formal procedure through which resolutions should be presented.

In addition to speakers, various reports were presented during the convention. Membership, Public Relations, Fundraising, Treasurer's Report, and Audit Committee Report did much to let us know where we were at and where we were going.

We would like to extend a very big and sincere Thank You to the entire Convention Committee and the many non-committee members for the many long hours of hard work required to make this a successful convention. The host chapter, Tri-City, and its president, Michael O'Brian, are commended for giving their energy and experience which added not only spirit but also spark to our convention.

President Rita Chernow and First Vice President Sterling France were elected delegate and alternate delegate respectively to the 1977 NFB Convention. Next year, our State convention will be held during Columbus Day weekend in Rochester, New York. So, on to New Orleans and then to Rochester.  

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The thirtieth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio was held on October 14th through the 17th at the Ramada Inn in Marietta, Ohio.

On the afternoon and evening of the 14th, there was an executive board meeting. Convention chairman John Knall briefed the board on final convention arrangements. Barbara Pierce and her Public Relations Committee were commended for their fine work. Our convention received considerable attention from radio, television, and the press. Ivan Garwood, retiring treasurer, read us a summary of the annual financial statement. The executive board listened to many committee reports. After considerable discussion, the following concepts were adopted: that we continue with our officers training seminars; that we have a seminar to train members to assume positions on committees; and that President Eschbach conduct leadership seminars similar to those conducted by President Jernigan on the national level.

On Friday morning, October 15, we had our second training session on advocacy for the blind, conducted by Sybil Silverman. At noon, there was a Brass Hat luncheon. Present were Dr. Jernigan, Robert Eschbach, and the local affiliate presidents.

The convention convened on Friday afternoon at one o'clock. Mayor Brunton of Marietta greeted us and read us his White Cane Safety Day proclamation. The rollcall indicated that eighteen affiliates were present and the Vendors Division of the NFB of Ohio. A very inspiring keynote address was given by Mrs. Barbara Pierce, president of the NFB of Lorain County and also chairman of the Public Relations Committee. The theme of the convention was "The Blind: We Know Who We Are." President Eschbach reported on his activities of the year, and Ivan Garwood, treasurer, read his summarized report to the convention. John Knall, secretary, read a brief report of what the executive board had accomplished the day before.

Ohio Bell has exempted all print-handicapped persons from paying the directory assistance charge. They now have asked the NFB of Ohio to name a committee of five to work with them to find some method for exempting the print-handicapped from paying the directory assistance charge while they are away from their residences.

The Friday evening session began with a report from Dr. Jernigan. He first played for us his October 10th presidential cassette. Then he reported on other matters of national importance, especially our fundraising. He said it was very important that we finance our organization. His report was very warmly received. The remainder of the Friday evening session was consumed by committee reports. At 10:00, the convention went on a moonlight cruise on the Ohio River.

At the Saturday afternoon session, we heard from Carol Jones, an employee of Clovernook Printing House and Home for Blind Women. She reported that some of the blind women who are living at the home, after working a month, having their room and board deducted from their SSI, Social Security check, or wages, which are very low, one woman received a check for seventy-nine cents for one month's work. The convention unanimously adopted the following motion: "That we endorse the principle that the Braille Monitor ought to be removed from Clovernook Home and School for the Blind Printing, and that any affiliate that considers Clovernook printing should discontinue that consideration and that we recommend to the NFB Executive Committee, to examine how we can also deal with the concerns of some of these workers, who may be affected thereby." Dr. Jernigan's response was that he is sure that Clovernook will hear all about what is happening here. And if we get no response, he will go ahead and simply pull the Monitor and every other Braille publication we have and write a letter to all our friends, urging them to do it and also ask them in their states to contact agencies and put on pressure for them to do it.

Next on the program was Richard Oestreich, Director of Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. His presentation was followed by a question period. The last hour and a half of this business session was consumed by a panel discussion on the needs and rights of the library consumer. The moderator was Ray Creech, the panelists were Mrs. Katherine Prescott, from the Cleveland Regional Library; Mrs. Betty Wilson, program specialist in charge of the talking book machine and cassette player distribution; and Miss Rose Mary Gaiser, of the Cincinnati Regional Library.

At the Saturday evening banquet, 208 Federationists were present. The NFB of Ohio has three awards which it usually presents; one is for the "Federationist of the Year"; the second is for the "Sighted Person of the Year"; and the third is for the most active affiliate of the year. The latter award was given to the Hancock County Association of the Blind. This year there was no "Federationist" award, but they did make an award for the "Sighted Person of the Year." The person so honored was Mrs. Katherine Prescott, Regional Librarian for the Blind in Cleveland. Dr. Jernigan, as he usually does, gave us a very inspiring talk. The banquet was followed by a dance.

The first order of business for the last session was the election of officers. Here are the results: president, Robert M. Eschbach, of Dayton; first vice president, Ray Creech, of Dayton; second vice president, John Knall, of Cleveland; secretary, Paul Dressell, of Cincinnati; treasurer, George Gilbert of Oberlin. Mrs. Edith Kamrad of Akron and Mrs. Mildred Harrison of Youngstown were elected for two-year terms on the executive committee as members at large.

A statement was read, which was written by one of the employees of the Cleveland Society for the Blind, to the effect that some of the government projects at the sheltered shop are done by one-hundred-percent sighted workers. After some discussion, the following motion was adopted: "that we instruct the Human Relations Committee, in collaboration with the NFB of Ohio Executive Committee, to investigate and to take what action is necessary in this case."

Future convention sites are as follows: 1977 in Youngstown; 1978 in Toledo. The executive committee is to choose between Dover and Cincinnati for 1979 and 1980.

The Rev. Bost installed our officers and the 1976 convention adjourned.  

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Editor's Note.-Alice Fornia is president of the San Francisco Chapter, NFB of California. She writes, "This delicious all-purpose sauce is the foundation of all good Italian cooking: for spaghetti, vegetable dishes, and casseroles."  



12 fresh tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 medium white or yellow onion
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive or salad oil
Salt and pepper


Blend the 12 fresh tomatoes in an electric blender until they are all juice. The skins will disappear. Pour juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a fry pan. Slice 4 cloves of garlic, and saute in oil until golden brown. Carefully pour tomato juice into garlic mixture. Add one sliced onion, one bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. For spaghetti, simmer slowly for one hour; for vegetable dishes, about 15 minutes. Then add vegetable of your choice: zucchini, peas, beans, carrots, eggplant, and continue cooking until tender.  

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 Important Notice.—Beginning immediately, Monitor subscribers should send address changes to the Des Moines office of the Federation. The address to use is: National Federation of the Blind, 218 Randolph Hotel Building, Fourth and Court Streets, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Articles for the Monitor should also be sent to this address. The deadline for articles to be printed in the February issue is December 20.

On Sunday, September 19, 1976, the Greater Hartford Chapter of the NFB of Connecticut held an election. The following officers were elected: president, Richard Frost; first vice president, Jonathan May; second vice president, Frank Meunier, Jr.; recording secretary, Miss Mary Brunoli; and corresponding secretary, Mrs. Shirley Lebowitz.

On Saturday, September 24, 1976, the St. Louis Chapter of the National Blind (our Missouri affiliate) held an election of officers, with the following results: president, Rick Burch; vice president, Debbie Parrett; recording secretary, Judy Schlimpert; corresponding secretary, Wanda Brown; treasurer, Nick Whitney; and member at large, Rhoda E. Dower.

Here is the ultimate gift for the cook who has almost everything the cookbook Tasty Treats With a Foreign Flair, recipes collected by members of the CHIP Committee under the sponsorship of the National Federation of the Blind. The price for either the Braille or inkprint edition of this superb holiday gift is two dollars plus twenty-five cents for packaging and mailing. For your copies, send check or money order to Mrs. Mabel Nading, 1538 Twenty-first Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50311.

Neil and Bev Shulman, members of the Peninsula Chapter, NFB of California, have sent us a notice of their cassette retailing and duplicating service: Our tape cassettes use name-brand tapes housed in unlabeled, quality cassettes. All cassetttes are guaranteed for one year against any manufacturing or operational defects. If such a defect should occur, return the cassette to Kopy-Kat Center, and a new one will be provided.

Cassette Price List: C-60 cassettes are 69 cents; C-90 cassettes are 89 cents; plastic boxes are 10 cents. The minimum order is six cassettes. Residents of California should add six percent sales tax. Shipping cost per cassette is 10 cents.

Duplication Service: Our low-cost tape duplication service is designed to duplicate anywhere from one cassette to as many as you desire. Both monaural and stereo tapes can be duplicated. All prices include quality cassettes plus careful duplicating service.
C-60 cassette with cassette master . . . $2.25
C-60 cassette with reel-to-reel master . . 3.00
C-90 cassette with cassette master 3.00
C-90 cassette with reel-to-reel master . . 3.75

Prices for multiple tapes will be furnished upon request. Our address is: Kopy-Kat Tape Center, 845 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025. Telephone: (415)324-1916.  

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