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.




















Greenfield, Massachusetts, July 5, 1976.

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

DEAR KEN: At a recent meeting of the chapter presidents of the NFB of Massachusetts a rather heated discussion took place pertaining to the appointment of an NFB of Massachusetts member to the Governor's (Mass.) White House Conference on the Handicapped.

As that member, I contended that I was cooperating with other individuals representing various statewide groups of handicapped individuals in an endeavor to satisfy the requirements mandated by the President's White House Conference on the Handicapped to the several states, and not entering into a coalition as accused by more than one chapter president.

Finally one president demanded that a firm definition of what constitutes a coalition be obtained. He contended that this definition could then be used as a yardstick by which to measure this and future associations of similar ilk.

You may be meeting with some of our members over breakfast or coffee one morning at the NFB Convention to discuss a parallel situation: that of NFBM's first vice president and his affiliation with another coalition group. This later development may be mentioned at that time; however, I shall appreciate a written reply giving your answer the full attention it deserves. To depend upon anyone to interpret verbally what you with your expertise have said is expecting altogether too much.

I want to be able to give you ample time to answer my inquiry and then read it verbatim at our September executive board meeting. The question of course is, How does the NFB define coalition? and also, How does the NFB distinguish between "coalition" and "cooperation"?

Finally, Ken, because I am on the steering committee of the Governor's White House Conference on the Handicapped, would you please send me any of your valuable remarks or memoranda which you would normally send only to the state presidents. Your last communique concerning the President's White House Conference on the Handicapped was mentioned at our presidents meeting but not read, and I feel that I may be losing out by not having heard it verbatim.

Most sincerely yours,


Des Moines, Iowa, July 20, 1976.

President, Greenfield-Athol Association of the Blind,
Greenfield, Massachusetts.

DEAR GENE: The resolution prohibiting coalitions was passed at the 1974 Convention and was reprinted, along with other resolutions, either in the September or October Monitor for that year. The floor debate made it clear that a distinction was to be drawn between cooperation and coalition. Coalition was prohibited; cooperation was encouraged.

The object was to keep our organization (whether at the local, state, or national level) from being submerged in a larger coalition of the handicapped or disabled. We did not want to blur our identity or lose our freedom of action. We felt that there were times when the interests of the blind might differ from those of other groups. The test was not so much of form but of substance.

Certainly there was no objection to working with another group on any specific issue, but that should not lead to a merging so that some other group would claim us as a member and speak for us. You mentioned the state committees that have been established to work on the White House Conference for the Handicapped. I think we should have input to such committees and that it can be very positive for our members to serve on them. It would be another thing entirely if such a committee were to undertake to speak for the combined groups from which it had drawn members.

The AFL-CIO, for example, may very well have a member on the state committee for the White House Conference, but the committee would not think of trying to speak for or represent the interests of the labor union. The moment the committee tried to enunciate labor's policy there would be trouble.

In another type of situation let me cite certain matters affecting the state agency which I direct. The Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind is, by law, a member of the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. This does not mean that the Governor's Committee can (in any way or on any issue) speak for the Commission for the Blind. The Committee would regard it as inappropriate, and the Commission for the Blind would regard it as presumptuous. In other words the Commission for the Blind holds membership on the Governor's Committee and cooperates with others who hold such membership, but there is no thought of coalition on anybody's part.

As I have said, we are not so much dealing with form as with substance. When I was in Massachusetts, I understood that there was some sort of coalition of which our state first vice president was a principal officer. If I understood correctly, this was truly a "coalition" and raised serious questions concerning the participation of any officers of the Federation or of the organization as a whole. As I understood it, the coalition undertook to deal with state agencies and others in behalf of all of its member groups, drawing its strength and prestige from those groups. It was holding itself out as a common front and a common spokesman, leaving the impression that the Federation was merely one of several groups going to make up the more powerful superstructure. This is exactly the kind of thing the national resolution prohibited and which the Massachusetts State convention reaffirmed.

What I am saying is this: the Federation must be the voice of the blind, clear and unblurred. It must be independent, both in action and appearance. From its strength it should cooperate with others; from its weakness it should never seek combination and coalition.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

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Anthony Gordon Mannino was buried on Saturday, September 25, 1976, from the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, high in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains of the Coast Range. The church was filled to overflowing with relatives, friends, and Federationists despite a strike which had halted public transportation and despite the mile-long uphill trek from the entrance of the cemetery to the sanctuary.

The altar was banked with floral offerings. Services were conducted by the Reverend Robert C. Kliewer, a brother-in-law. Appropriate words were spoken by NFB Second Vice President Ralph Sanders, representing the National Office, and by NFB of California Second Vice President Robert Acosta, on behalf of the State affiliate. At the grave site, a tribute by the Sons of Italy was read.

For seventeen years Tony was Executive Secretary of the American Brotherhood for the Blind where one of his chief duties was to supervise and encourage the successful activities of the Twin Vision Publishing Division. For the National Federation of the Blind he served for many years as chairman of the White Cane Week committee, which meant putting together and ordering, and mailing out materials for fundraising drives for participating state affiliates. At the State level, Tony was chairman of the citizen Advisory Committee for Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted to the Department of Rehabilitation. That committee provided leadership for many improvements in the department's delivery of services to the blind of the State. He was also a member of the Statewide Advisory Committee to the same department.

Tony was an active leader in the California affiliate almost from the time he became aware of the National Federation of the Blind in 1952. He was elected president of his chapter before his first year of membership was completed and he went about the business of changing its character to benefit the blind. He was president of the NFB of California for eight years and during the last two years of his life served as executive secretary. He improved the financial standing of the organization and was instrumental in changing conditions for the better for the blind at all levels-administrative, executive, and legislative.

The personal touch of his warm personality which gave his interest in every person's problems a special meaning is the one trait that stands out most prominently in the memories of those he served. To say that he will be missed is a gross understatement. Perhaps his sense of dedication to his fellow blind will lead some to take up the work he left for us to do with more zeal now that he is no longer here to do it for us.

To his wife Frances, to his sister Mary Catalano and to his other sisters and brothers, go the heartfelt sympathies of the National Federation of the Blind.

A Mannino Memorial Fund has been established. Contributions should be mailed to the NFB of California, 730 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005.

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Editor's Note.—The National Federation of the Blind testified before the Subcommittee on Aviation of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, U.S. House of Representatives, on August 10, 1976.

Mr. Chairman, the National Federation of the Blind is a membership organization of blind persons. We have more than fifty thousand members and six hundred local chapters. There is a state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. You will find a local chapter of ours in almost every sizeable population area in the United States. We are the blind speaking for themselves.

In 1940 the blind organized the National Federation of the Blind to provide a vehicle of self-expression and self-determination because, frankly, those who would seek to protect us those agencies, such as the American Foundation for the Blind, who would seek to "care" for us—had set themselves up as self-styled experts on the blind and thus acted as unappointed spokesmen in the field, before legislatures, and before the Congress. Today, in the democratic spirit, we, the blind, have put this to an end—now we speak for ourselves.

Mr. Chairman, we are here today to discuss with the subcommittee H.R. 14866 and similar bills introduced in the 94th Congress which would amend the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 by authorizing reduced-fare transportation on a space-available basis for elderly persons, young persons, and handicapped persons. My appearance this morning is for the purpose of speaking to this legislation as it affects the latter of these groups, and specifically, the blind, since visual impairment is categorically classified as a handicap in the definition section of H.R. 14866.

We oppose enactment of H.R. 14866 as it is presently written. We appreciate the motivation and intent of the chairman and others who have joined in introducing this legislation now, and in the past, but we say, "no thanks." We do not wish to be included. The National Federation of the Blind adopted this position formally by resolution twelve years ago. I am submitting a copy of that resolution attached to this testimony, and I ask that it be printed in the record. If there has been any change in our position during the intervening years, it is that we have become even more convinced that our opposing position is the right position.

Mr. Chairman, we do not want reduced fares for the blind on airlines. It is not sound public policy, and it is not good for the blind. Proponents of reduced air fares for the blind and handicapped argue for them generally on the basis that severely physically and visually impaired persons may often need to be accompanied by an attendant or sighted guide. When he appeared before the Subcommittee on Aviation of the Committee on Commerce in the Senate in 1972, Irvin P. Schloss, the representative of the American Foundation for the Blind, made the argument like this: "Lack of adequate mobility is one of the major handicapping effects of blindness. Some blind persons learn to get around efficiently using a cane as a mobility tool. Others prefer to use a trained dog guide. But by far the largest number of blind people in the United States cannot use a cane or dog guide safely and effectively and must depend exclusively on assistance from a sighted person, especially in a strange area."

Proponents further argue that authorizing reduced air fare for the handicapped and blind is only a logical progression of policy already established by the Congress when, in 1927, the Interstate Commerce Act was amended to authorize railroads and over-the-road carriers to permit a blind person and sighted guide to travel two for the price of one ticket. They say that the time has now come to provide the same specific legislative authority for airlines.

But we disagree. In fact, Mr. Chairman, we hope that the time will never come when such a policy is necessary. As a matter of general policy and widespread practice, the commercial air carriers in this country have instituted procedures which are designed to meet the needs of most of the traveling public. Passenger service agents, ground and airport personnel, and flight crews, all are schooled to provide assistance to those in need. In the larger air terminals, where transfers are typically made, special ground personnel are readily available to serve as escorts. They often have special electric carts for added convenience. I have even seen them whisking away with Members of Congress who are rushing to make a quick plane change.

The point is simple. The argument that the blind cannot travel about and need sighted help-an argument which may have been valid in 1927 when it was applied to surface transportation—is not valid in 1976 when it is applied to travel by air. The times are different. The conditions are different. Particularly the level of assistance provided where it is needed is different.

Under the present operating procedures of most airlines, independent mobility is not required. The traveler need not even be able to put one foot ahead of the other. The blind passenger who comes to the airport by taxi or other conveyance can be escorted from curbside, through check-in to the gate, and onto the plane. If a transfer is to be made, agents will be notified and someone will be on hand to help. If a lengthy layover is involved, airline personnel will see to it that the passenger is made comfortable. Once at the airport of his destination, the blind traveler can be assisted with reclaiming baggage and securing a taxi or other ground transportation.

Mr. Chairman, as a blind person and as a representative of a large national organization, I speak from more than just a little personal experience. I fly thousands of miles annually. I do it safely. I usually do it alone. Personally, since I have been the happy beneficiary of the modern techniques for teaching mobility to the blind (which incidentally have been developed since 1927), I prefer not to use the assistance which the airlines offer, but it is always there and available if I want or need it. It is available to you if you want or need it. It is available to anyone who wants or needs it. And don't you think for one minute that we do not pay for it—all of us who use the airlines do. Somebody has to pay the bill. Personal travel assistance provided by airlines is not benevolence, it is a service; and it is provided to all, the sighted as well as the blind. This is the way it should be.

Proponents say the blind and the handicapped cannot travel alone so they need constant companions and personal attendants. They say that such service is expensive for the handicapped, and they ask those of us who can travel alone to pay for it. When you cut through all of the nice talk about the handicapped and how everybody ought to help them, you get down to the reality that what they are arguing for is a subsidy—plain and simple.

The National Federation of the Blind has never been opposed to subsidies when there is a real need which can be met. The principle of subsidies to particular groups is long-standing and firmly established in America. Frequently you will find us arguing before committees of the Congress for subsidies, but hopefully you will find us doing this only when there is a real need and only when it can be justified.

In the case of subsidizing those who cannot travel alone on airlines, we think there is not a real need for such a subsidy, and we think it cannot be justified. I have already discussed the lack of need, but there are many other substantial reasons for rejecting reduced airfares for the handicapped.

In the first place, simple justice and good sense demands that subsidies, where they are needed, should be made available by the Government in cash as a matter of right. They should not come from this or that private industry or individual in kind as a matter of charity. We are more interested in creating a climate of public opinion and having readily available the necessary resources which will better enable us to earn a dollar than we are in fostering attitudes of custodial care which persuade one to give us a quarter. We would much rather hear talk of jobs and opportunities (including employment opportunities with the airlines) than calls for attendants, guides, and reduced fares. We believe that the latter tends to render the former less likely.

Secondly, (and a related point) it is inevitable that reduced airfares for the handicapped will lend credence to the erroneous notion, often already exhibited by airline personnel, that we cannot travel by ourselves. The assistance which they are willing to provide us is helpful to some, but not wanted by others. Nevertheless, the presumption seems to be that all of us need help, so we have it thrust upon us and have to battle our way to independence. Proponents of the reduced fare argue for specific legislative language assuring the right of blind persons to travel alone, but such assurances will predictably do little to erase the stereotype that the blind cannot care for themselves a stereotype already too firmly entrenched.

Even today without the reduced airfare and with all the assistance which is provided, blind persons are victimized by discriminatory practices of some air carriers and flight crews. Two blind residents of the District of Columbia (husband and wife) were recently forced to fly on separate planes because (according to the airline) there was only one flight attendant on each aircraft. Another blind traveler was forced to sign a form which sought to relieve the airline of all ordinary liability and stated that he could be removed from the flight at any point presumably on the ground, although this was left unspecified. I was personally denied a flight after I had paid my full fare, boarded myself found my seat, and strapped myself in. The reason (according to the pilot) was that my long cane (which I wanted to keep with me at my seat in the event of an emergency) was considered a hazard. The pilot suggested putting it in the cockpit, which was unacceptable to me and potentially more harardous to all 173 passengers on board. Nothing must be done to increase the incidence of such discrimination. In fact, this committee should take an early opportunity to investigate such discriminatory practices of air carriers, and through specific legislation this behavior must be prohibited.

Third, as I have observed earlier, modern mobility techniques enable blind persons to travel about with ease and independence. These techniques are known, and they are teachable. In 1927, when the Interstate Commerce Act was amended, this was not the case. Under the present circumstances, though, the airlines and the traveling public who are expected to pay full fare might reasonably ask why they should be expected further to subsidize guides for blind persons. If the response is that some blind people need guides,the answer is, indeed they do, but wouldn't it be better to subsidize mobility instruction programs which would enable them to be much more independent and self-sufficient than they can be relying on a sighted guide? After all, what the blind need is a hand up, not a handout. Sound economics tells us this.

Fourth, subsidizing airfares for the blind may also be considered antithetical to the objective of independence through appropriate training. The professionals in work for the blind make much of their modern methodology and their advanced degrees, and they talk a great deal of preparing the blind for independent living. Thus it bothers us considerably to hear them argue for reduced fares and admit, as Mr. Schloss did, that "by far the largest number of blind people in the United States cannot use a cane or dog guide safely and effectively and depend exclusively on assistance from a sighted person . . . ."

We contend that this is a depressing cop-out. If the statement is true, then it tells us something about what the professionals are doing (or shall I say not doing) with our tax dollars and the contributions which they constantly solicit from us. If the Schloss statement is true, then we ought to improve the training. Most certainly we ought not to spend our resources, scarce as they are, on efforts such as reduced fares which give tacit admission to a theory that says, "we cannot do any better for the poor, unfortunate blind." Mr. Chairman, if the professionals can't do better for us, we can, and we are prepared to, do better for ourselves. Furthermore, we ask you not to subsidize their incompetence and thereby perpetuate a system which keeps us dependent.

Fifth, one of the major arguments for extending reduced-fare service to the young and the elderly is an economic one—that is, it is recognized that such individuals face a serious economic barrier in fully utilizing the airlines. Usually this argument has not been a major one advanced with respect to the blind. I have already spoken some about the principle of subsidies. We are for them, when they are proper. As a group, the blind are depressed economically, but we do not believe that reduced-fare airline travel constitutes a meaningful shot in the arm to the blind who need it most. Furthermore, we believe that such a subsidy has a heavy price tag attached. We are not prepared to submit willingly to the stereotype which sees us as dependent.

We want jobs, we want opportunities, we want to fly, and we want independence. Where subsidies are needed, we want them too, but they should be in cash and they should be provided by the Government as a matter of right. We strongly support H.R. 281, now before the Committee on Ways and Means, which would provide an insurance payment against the costs of blindness. It would be meaningful, and it is entirely consistent with our present position opposing the subsidy of reduced fare in air travel. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, we hope you will support this legislation and urge all of your colleagues to do so.

Mr. Chairman, the blind are not looking for charity. We want and demand equality and opportunity. As American citizens, we deserve to have our equal rights and we share the burden of equal responsibilities. It has been our experience that sometimes we have to ask the Congress and the courts to help us secure recognition of our rights as free and fully capable citizens. We are never reluctant to do that, and we will continue to come to you when we are being denied our rightful place. We expect you to help us and to join with us in preventing the discriminations which occur. We also expect to meet our responsibilities as citizens, and we think you should insist that we do this. It is good for us, it is good for the country, and, Mr. Chairman, it is right.

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Editor's Note.—Readers of the May and August 1976 issues of the Monitor will recall the facts about the meetings of two NCSAB boards: one elected by the membership, one rump. The latter group attempted to establish its legitimacy by calling another meeting with the interesting results set out below. It should not be too difficult to discover who is riding herd. If the rump group is successful, then all agencies serving the blind will be caught in NAC's barbed wire, to be hogtied and branded. Then, if they are docile, they may be allowed to feed "voluntarily" at the Federal trough. Some will escape the round-up and their directors, like Mr. Maveric, may find the going rough. But their agencies will be free and the blind will benefit.



TO: Members of National Council of State Agencies for the Blind

FROM: Jim Carballo, Lyman D'Andrea, Mervin Flander—Board Members

SUBJECT: Called meeting—Hollywood, Florida—September 20, 1976

DATE: September 2, 1976

In compliance with the minutes of the NCSAB meeting in Washington last February 8, we are calling a meeting of the Council, Monday, September 20, 1976, in conjunction with NRA and CSAVR.

We understand President Pogorelc will not call a meeting in conjunction with NRA and most of the membership feel a meeting should be held to dispose of matters which now confront us. An agenda will be sent to you prior to your arrival in Hollywood. The Agency for the Blind in Florida has promised to make arrangements for a meeting place at the Diplomat Hotel. We feel if we convene at 9:00 a.m., we will have plenty of time to dispose of matters in one day.

If you have suggestions for agenda items, please get them to Jim Carballo, Post Office Box 4872, Jackson, Mississippi 39216, immediately.

All eligible members of NCSAB are urged and welcome to attend this meeting.



TO: NCSAB Membership

FROM: Robert L. Pogorelc, President

SUBJECT: Notice of NCSAB's Annual Meeting for 1976

DATE: September 10, 1976

This is to advise that the 1976 annual meeting of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., has been scheduled to begin at the Breckenridge Ramada Inn at Westport, 1231 Lackland Road, Westport being a suburb of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri, at nine o'clock a.m. on the 22nd day of October 1976, and to continue the next day commencing at nine o'clock a.m. and continuing until such time as when all business shall have been completed.

Business to be transacted at the annual meeting will include, in addition to matters remaining unresolved following the special spring meeting that was held in Denver, Colorado, on May 9-11, 1976, the annual election of officers, fiscal matters, consideration of recent legal developments bearing upon the official service responsibilities of state agencies for the blind, consultation with appropriate Federal program representatives on matters of mutual interest and shared responsibility, and hopefully direct discussions with representatives of the Presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties concerning the problems and needs of blind Americans and the difficulties and limitations confronting our membership in attempting to be responsive to the problems and needs of our clientele.

As you know, on August 6, 1976, I sent a survey to the full membership soliciting your preferences as to the time and date of this year's annual meeting. While there was a significant amount of sentiment in favor of having the annual meeting in Florida concurrent with meetings of the National Rehabilitation Association and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the number of responses indicating such a preference did not approximate a majority of the NCSAB membership. Since then, there have been certain highly disturbing developments, presumably orchestrated by an external private organization (NAC), which in my judgment make it imperative that the NCSAB's annual meeting be conducted independent of the pressure and demands of any other professional meetings in which NCSAB representatives might participate.


In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi



Robert L. Pogorelc, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

(1) The information set forth in this affidavit is within my personal knowledge and I am competent to testify to the matters herein stated.

(2) The National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., ("NCSAB"), is a non-profit corporation organized under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act.

(3) I am presently the President of the NCSAB, having succeeded to my present position in San Francisco, California, in September 1975, after having served a year as President-elect of the NCSAB, a position to which I was elected at the annual meeting of the NCSAB in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 1974.

(4) On September 9, 1975, the NCSAB held its 1975 annual meeting in San Francisco, California, at which meeting I was installed as the NCSAB President and Harry Vines was elected to the position of President-elect of the NCSAB. Harry Vines will succeed to the office of President of the NCSAB at the 1976 annual meeting, which is scheduled to take place on October 22, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri.

(5) In addition to holding an annual meeting each year, the NCSAB normally holds special meetings during the year at which meetings the business of the NCSAB is discussed. Normally these special meetings are scheduled to coincide with other professional conferences or events normally attended by significant numbers of individuals who represent their agencies before the NCSAB.

(6) Prior to December 14, 1975, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation ("CSAVR") scheduled a meeting to be held at the Twin Bridges Marriott Hotel in Washington, District of Columbia, on February 8 and 9, 1976.

(7) The director of the CSAVR, acting on behalf of the CSAVR and not acting on behalf of the NCSAB sent out an announcement on December 14, 1975, to the persons who would be attending the CSAVR meeting on February 8 and 9, 1976, setting forth a tentative agenda for that meeting. The tentative agenda which he sent out to the members of the CSAVR made allowance for the holding of an NCSAB meeting during the same time the CSAVR meeting would take place.

(8) On January 30, 1976, recognizing that based on the December 14, 1975, announcement sent out by the director of the CSAVR, there would be some confusion as to whether or not there would be an NCSAB meeting on either February 8 or 9, 1976, I sent a memorandum to the members of the NCSAB noting that there would not be an NCSAB meeting on either February 8 or 9 and that instead an NCSAB special meeting would take place during the time period between March 19 and May 22, 1976, in the central part of the United States. In my memorandum I requested the members of the NCSAB to set out their preferences as to cities and dates for the next NCSAB special meeting.

(9) The only NCSAB special meeting to be held during the calendar year 1976 was held on May 11 and 12, 1976, in Denver, Colorado.

(10) I first arrived at the CSAVR meeting of February 8 and 9, 1976, at approximately 5:30 p.m. on February 8th.

(11) After I arrived at the CSAVR meeting on February 8. I for the first time learned, through other persons, that some members of the NCSAB had held an unauthorized meeting of the NCSAB on February 8, 1976, and that at that unauthorized meeting action had been taken.

(12) After the 6:00 p.m. meeting of the CSAVR on February 8, 1976, ended. I was informed that the group which had held the unauthorized NCSAB meeting on February 8, 1976, intended to hold another unauthorized NCSAB meeting at 7:30 p.m. on February 9, 1976. I did not know on February 8, 1976, what the purpose of the unauthorized meeting scheduled for February 9, 1976, was to be.

(13) I attended the meeting of February 9, 1976, for the purpose of advising the members of the NCSAB who attended that unauthorized meeting that any meeting held on either the 8th or 9th was not a valid special meeting of the NCSAB and that any action taken at the meeting on the 8th or 9th was without any binding effect. It was my intent when I attended the February 9th meeting to convince the persons who also were in attendance at the meeting that the proper forum for dealing with NCSAB problems was the next authorized and regularly scheduled special meeting of the NCSAB.

(14) After I arrived at the unauthorized Februrary 9th meeting of the NCSAB and after I advised the persons there present of the invalidity of same I remained at the meeting because having already made my statement that the meeting was invalid I felt that in the interest of harmony in the organization I should coordinate and preside over the February 9th meeting to let the persons there present air out what they had to discuss. During the session that followed I did not participate in any of the votes which were taken and I did not treat the meeting as a valid and authorized event. At the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, the persons there assembled declared Harry Vines ineligible to hold the position of President-elect of the NCSAB. I did not participate in the discussion as to whether or not Harry Vines was eligible to hold the position of President-elect of the NCSAB.

(15) After the persons present at the unauthorized February 9th meeting declared Vines ineligible, James Carballo was nominated from the floor and seconded and unanimously elected to the position of President-elect of the NCSAB.

(14) Prior to the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976. I did not appoint a nominating committee composed of three persons to report the nomination to the general membership of a candidate for the position of President-elect.

(15) Prior to the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, the Board of Directors of the NCSAB neither removed Harry Vines from his position as President-elect nor declared him disqualified to hold the position of President-elect.

(16) Even if the election of February 9, 1976, was a valid and authorized meeting of the NCSAB, it was not the annual meeting of the NCSAB for the calendar year 1976.

(17) After James Carballo was elected to the position of President-elect by the persons in attendance at the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, he resigned from his position as an at-large member of the Board of Directors of the NCSAB. This resignation was witnessed by the persons in attendance at the unauthorized meeting on February 9, 1976.

(18) At the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, it was voted by the persons there present that the next annual meeting of the NCSAB should take place in Florida during the week of September 20, 1976.

(19) Although the meeting of February 9, 1976, was not an authorized special meeting of the NCSAB, the Secretary of the NCSAB, Lyman D'Andrea, took minutes of the meeting and distributed the minutes after their compilation. Lyman D'Andrea did not attend the unauthorized meeting of February 8, 1976.

(20) No written or printed notice of the meeting of February 8 and 9, 1976, setting forth the date, place, and purpose of that meeting, was sent out to the members of the NCSAB not later than ten days nor earlier than fifty days before February 8, 1976.

(21) The only other members of the Board of Directors of the NCSAB present at the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, besides myself were Lyman D'Andrea and James Carballo. None of the other members of the Board of Directors of the NCSAB were given advance notice that the unauthorized meeting of February 8 and 9 would be held.

(22) On September 2, 1976, on stationery which is not the official stationery of the NCSAB, James Carballo and Lyman D'Andrea, along with Mervin Flander, who was elected to the position of Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors of the NCSAB, the position from which James Carballo resigned at the unauthorized meeting of February 9, 1976, sent out a memorandum calling for a meeting of the NCSAB on Monday, September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida. I did not call, after adequate consultation with the Board of Directors, the meeting of September 20, 1976.

(23) The purpose for holding the unauthorized meeting of September 20, 1976, is to install James Carballo as President of the NCSAB.

(24) On September 10, 1976, after consultation with the Board of Directors of the NCSAB, I sent an official written notice to the members of the NCSAB of the official annual meeting scheduled on October 22, 1976.

(25) The NCSAB is a provider of information to Congress and a monitor and director of Federal funds in excess of $75 million a year to state agencies for use in programs for the blind.

(26) The NCSAB receives direct grants from private and public foundations and groups to carry on studies, programs, and functions in support of blind persons.

(27) As long as James Carballo is permitted to hold himself out as the President-elect, and after September 20, 1976, as the President of the NCSAB, in violation of the bylaws of the NCSAB, which status has been conveyed to and discussed throughout the blind services industry, the NCSAB will be impaired in its ability to raise and may be denied direct funds from private foundations and public organizations and will be jeopardized in its ability to direct and monitor the distribution of Federal funds to state governments. It is necessary for the NCSAB in order to continue to carry out its corporate purposes to demonstrate to third parties that it now has and will continue to have a stable organization with stable leadership.

(28) If James Carballo is permitted to hold himself out as President-elect, and after September 20, 1976, as President of the NCSAB, the NCSAB will suffer immediate, substantial, and irreparable injury.



To wit:

I hereby certify that on this 14th day of September 1976, before me, the subscriber, a Notary Public of the State of Maryland, personally appeared Robert L. Pogorelc, who made oath in due form of law that the matters and facts contained in the foregoing Affidavit are true and correct to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief.

Witness my hand and Notarial Seal.


Notary Public.

In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi




Comes now the Plaintiff, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., by and through its attorneys, Watkins, Pyle, Ludlam, Winter & Stennis, and would show unto this Honorable Court in support of its Complaint the following, to wit:

(1) The Plaintiff, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., (hereinater referred to as "NCSAB") is a non-profit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Texas, with its principal office located in Austin, Texas, and whose function and purpose is to promote, provide, and administer services and financial support to the blind, near-blind, or those apt to become blind.

(2) The Defendant, James L. Carballo, resides in Hinds County, Mississippi, and is employed by the State of Mississippi as the Director of the State Vocational Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, and may be served with process of this Court at his place of residence. 5908 Woodhaven Drive, Jackson, Mississippi.

(3) This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332: there is diversity of citizenship between the Plaintiff and the Defendant, and the amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, exceeds the sum of ten thousand and no/100 dollars ($10,000).

(4) This is an action for a declaratory judgment pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. §2201 and for injunctive relief pursuant to Rule 65. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the purpose of determining questions of actual controversy between the parties as hereinafter more fully appears, and as more fully appears in the affidavit of Robert L. Pogorelc which is marked Exhibit "A" and attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein.

(5) On February 8, 1976, Defendant Carballo, in conspiracy with other unnamed persons, convened and presided over an unauthorized, invalid meeting of several members of NCSAB in Washington. D.C.

(6) Said meeting was invalid and illegal under the bylaws of NCSAB, a copy of which is marked Exhibit "B" and attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein.

(7) Said meeting was not properly noticed under the provisions of the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act, Texas Code Ann., Title 32, Article 1396, §2.11, a copy of which is marked Exhibit "C" and attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein. [Exhibits B and C are omitted from this article.)

(8) Furthermore, Robert Pogorelc, the President of NCSAB, notified the membership of NCSAB by letter of January 30, 1976, a copy of which is marked Exhibit "D," attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein, that no meeting of NCSAB would be held in Washington. D.C. on February 8 and 9, 1976, but would occur during the time period between March 19 and May 22, 1976. [See the May 1976 Monitor.]

Nevertheless, Defendant Carballo and other unnamed conspirators convened an unauthorized, invalid meeting of NCSAB on February 8 and 9, 1976, in Washington, D.C. At said meeting Defendant Carballo was purportedly elected President-elect of NCSAB.

(10) The purported election of Defendant Carballo as President-elect was contrary to the bylaws of the corporation and the laws of the State of Texas and is a complete nullity thereunder for the following reasons: (1) the meeting was not validly called; (2) the purported meeting was not an annual meeting: (3) prior to the meeting there was not a declaration by the Board of Directors of a vacancy existing among the officers of NCSAB; (4) interim vacancies among the officers of NCSAB can only be filled by the Board of Directors; and (5) no nominating committee was appointed by the President.

(11) Since the meeting in Washington, D.C., on February 8 and 9, 1976, Defendant Carballo has held and continues to hold himself out and otherwise represent himself to be President-elect of NCSAB, all to the detriment and damage of Plaintiff.

(12) On September 2. 1976, Defendant Carballo, in conspiracy with other unnamed conspirators, sent a memorandum, on other than official NCSAB stationery, to selected members of NCSAB, purporting to give notice of an annual meeting of NCSAB to be held on September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida. Said memorandum is marked Exhibit "E," attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein.

(13) On September 10, 1976, Robert Pogorelc, President of NCSAB, sent notice to the entire NCSAB membership, that the annual meeting of NCSAB would be held on October 22, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri. In this notice, the President notified the membership that there would be no meeting of NCSAB in Florida during September. Said notice is marked Exhibit "F," attached hereto and made a part hereof as though fully copied in words and figures herein.

(14) The conduct of Defendant Carballo in wrongfully holding himself out to be President-elect of NCSAB has created division among the membership of NCSAB, thereby undermining the ability of NCSAB to accomplish its stated goals of providing and monitoring services and benefits to blind and partially blind persons.

(15) Furthermore, the conduct of Defendant Carballo in wrongfully holding himself out to be President-elect of NCSAB has caused grave concern throughout those agencies which comprise the blind services industry as to the continued stability and integrity of NCSAB, the effect of which has been to severely hamper Plaintiffs ability to deliver needed services and benefits to the blind and partially blind.

(16) In furtherance of carrying out its stated corporate purposes, the NCSAB monitors and directs, through cooperation with Federal and state agencies, the distribution of Federal funds in excess of $75 million per year for services and benefits to blind and partially blind persons. The NCSAB also directly receives substantial funds annually from private and public organizations for use by it in furtherance of its corporate purposes.

(17) If Defendant Carballo is not restrained and enjoined from holding himself out at the unauthorized and invalidly noticed meeting scheduled for September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida, as President-elect and/or President of NCSAB, and if Defendant Carballo is not restrained and enjoined from falsely representing that said meeting is a valid meeting of NCSAB, Plaintiff will suffer immediate, irreparable harm and injury in the following respects: (1) funds which the Plaintiff is now directly receiving and which otherwise the Plaintiff would continue to directly receive from private and public foundations and organizations will be terminated immediately; (2) the membership of the NCSAB will be irrevocably divided and the validly elected officers of NCSAB will be unable to repair the schism thereby created; and (3) Plaintiff will be severely retarded in its ability to carry out its essential functions of directing and monitoring the distribution of state and Federal funds, and in providing services and benefits to blind and partially blind persons.

(18) In addition, Defendant Carballo, if permitted to continue unrestrained in his aforesaid course of conduct, and specifically, if allowed to represent himself as President-elect and/or President of NCSAB, and to further represent that the aforesaid meeting of September 20, 1976, is a valid meeting of NCSAB, the public interest will suffer irrevocable harm in that the delivery of services and benefits to the blind and partially blind, which number in excess of 500,000 persons, will be substantially impaired and impeded.

(19) There exists a present, actual controversy between the parties which affects the rights of the Plaintiff and which controversy will be terminated and settled by Declaratory Judgment of this Court.

(20) That the protection of the public interest, as well as the preservation of the respective rights of both parties hereto, can only be assured through the maintenance of the status quo ante pending a final determination by this Court.

Wherefore, premises considered, the Plaintiff prays this Court to grant the following relief:

(1) That the Court immediately issue a temporary restraining order restraining and enjoining the Defendant, James L. Carballo, from holding himself out as the President-elect or President of NCSAB and further restrain and enjoin the Defendant from representing that the unauthorized alleged annual meeting of the NCSAB scheduled for September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida, is a valid meeting under the bylaws of NCSAB and the laws of the State of Texas.

(2) That the Court issue a preliminary injunction restraining and enjoining, during the pendency of this action, the Defendant, James L. Carballo, from holding himself out as the President-elect or President of NCSAB and further restrain and enjoin the Defendant from representing that the unauthorized alleged annual meeting of the NCSAB scheduled for September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida, is a valid meeting under the bylaws of NCSAB and the laws of the State of Texas.

(3) That the Court issue a permanent injunction upon the final determination of this action restraining and enjoining the Defendant, James L. Carballo, from holding himself out as the President-elect or President of NCSAB and further restrain and enjoin the Defendant from representing that the unauthorized alleged annual meeting of the NCSAB scheduled for September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida, is a valid meeting under the bylaws of NCSAB and the laws of the State of Texas.

(4) That the Court issue a Declaratory Judgment determining that James L. Carballo is not the President-elect or President of NCSAB and that the meeting of September 20, 1976, which has been called by the Defendant, James L. Carballo, is not an authorized and valid meeting of NCSAB, nor is it the annual meeting of NCSAB, under the bylaws of NCSAB and the laws of the State of Texas.

(5) That the Court award to NCSAB the reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees of this action.

(6) That the Court grant such other, further, and more general relief as it may deem proper in the premises.

Respectfully submitted,

By its Attorneys,


Of Counsel for Plaintiff.

In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi




In the above cause, Plaintiff having filed its Complaint seeking a temporary restraining order against the Defendant for the purpose of immediately restraining and enjoining the Defendant, James L. Carballo, from holding himself out as the President-elect or President of the Plaintiff, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., and further, from representing to members of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind and other interested persons that the unauthorized alleged annual meeting of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., scheduled for September 20, 1976, in Hollywood, Florida, is a valid meeting under the bylaws of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc., and the laws of the State of Texas: and. said Complaint, being supported by the affidavits of the Plaintiff representatives.

It appearing to the Court that there exists an immediate and real threat of irreparable harm to the Plaintiff if the Temporary Restraining Order is not granted, and it further appearing to the Court that the balance of interest of the Plaintiff in preventing said harm and the injury that might result to the Defendant if a Temporary Restraining Order were to issue, and, further, it appearing to the Court that the nature of the matter presented is one of great public interest, and there is a prima facie probability that the Plaintiff will succeed on the merits.

It is therefore ordered that the Defendant named in the caption of the Complaint in this cause be and hereby is by the Honorable Judge Nixon, United States District Judge, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on the 15th day of September, 1976, in the United States Courtroom therein, immediately restrained and enjoined from committing the acts hereinabove stated.

This Temporary Restraining Order to be in effect for ten (10) days from this date.

It is further therefore ordered that the Defendant named in the caption of the Complaint in this cause be and appear before the Honorable Judge Nixon, United States District Judge, on the 23rd day of September, 1976, in the United States Courtroom, and show cause, if any he can, why a preliminary injunction should not issue upon determination of the Temporary Restraining Order.

Dated this, the 15th day of September, 1976.


United States District Judge.

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NCSAB Rived by action most dismal,
Or even if reaved—a thought cataclysmal;
To be ruled by NAC's reeve would be bitterly dismal;
Whether rived or by reaver,
The prospect is bleaker.

New York, New York, August 13, 1976.

Editor, Braille Monitor,
Sacramento, California.

DEAR PERRY; Having just read the Braille Monitor for August 1976, I want to thank you for publishing in it my letter of May 24 to you and Rod Kossick's letter of May 12. I appreciate your honoring my request that you do so.

I note that you also published in the same issue a lengthy letter of June 2 from Bob Pogorelc regarding the matters mentioned by Rod and me.

In view of this, I hope you will now publish my reply of August 5. I know that you have a sense of fair play and I am sure you will want your readers to have my response to Bob which completes this exchange of correspondence.

All good wishes to you.



Little Rock, Arkansas, August 5, 1976.

President, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc.,
Portland, Oregon.

DEAR BOB: I was sorrowed by your letter of June 2, 1976, because its tone, verbiage, and biased point of view were strikingly reminiscent of extensive correspondence which I have received over the past few months from Mr. Hoehne, General Counsel of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind. I had hoped that your firsthand knowledge of what went on at the NCSAB meeting in Washington on February 8 and 9, and of the unfortunate meeting which you called in Denver in May, would have given you a more objective understanding of how a majority of the participating directors feel about the policies, strategies, and attitudes of the current leadership of the NCSAB. Obviously, this is not the case. But I still have hope.

It was my inclination not to reply to your letter of June 2, since I saw no point in saying again and again the same things which have been said to an audience that has decided not to listen. It has, however, come to my attention that my failure to respond is being cited by some of the current leadership of the NCSAB as evidence that I concur with your letter. This is not the case. To make it clear, I would like to make the following points:

(1) In your letter, you accuse NAC officials, of which I am one, of using tactics involving "misrepresentations, half-truths, innuendo, and information taken out of relevant context." You do not support this intemperate and libelous statement with facts but, rather, with self-serving conclusions. If you have facts concerning inappropriate conduct of NAC's staff members or officials, I will appreciate your furnishing them to me so that I can look into them.

(2) You say that I erroneously stated that you presided at a meeting of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind in Washington on February 9. You were there and I think you know that more than twenty (20) state directors believe that they were participating in a legitimate meeting of the National Council rather than, as you characterize it, a "lively and useful session ...."' "Truth, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder." If you wish to continue to call white black, it's up to you.

(3) There is one point in your letter upon which we agree. You stated that "It is my personal hope that the NCSAB's stance on accreditation issues can always be properly categorized as constructive, objective, responsible, and relevant to the service delivery responsibilities of state agencies." I share this hope with you and I shall, along with what I believe to be a majority of the state directors, continue to strive to make it come true. I sincerely hope that you will join with us in achieving this most desirable goal.



Portland, Oregon, September 1, 1976.

Administrator, Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired,
Arkansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services,
Little Rock, Arkansas.

DEAR LOU: Thank you for your letter of August 5th, sent in response to my letter of June 2nd.

It seems obvious to me that, despite the fact that we were both in attendance in Washington last February, we have different ideas and perceptions of what actually happened. Please allow me to elaborate.

First, you will recall that, during the "meeting" on February 9th, I clearly indicated that I did not consider that meeting or the previous day's meeting to be valid. The minutes clearly reflect that indication, also. Numerous pieces of correspondence have subsequently been exchanged, which verify my judgment, and which explain the legal basis for that judgment, including the minutes of the spring meeting in Denver. Now, it may be that "more than twenty (20) state directors believe that they were participating in a legitimate meeting of the National Council." However, I did not believe that, and several others with whom I have talked since then either did not believe it also, or were not sure whether it was legitimate or not. The majority of directors (almost thirty (30)) weren't even there! In any group or organization, if an overwhelming majority of the members decide to do something contrary to its bylaws or other regulations, and those who oppose such action are unable or unwilling to challenge it, anything can be done, with impunity. In this case, however, simply believing that a valid meeting is taking place is not sufficient, because those who did not believe it was valid pointed to the bylaws, which clearly indicate that it was not valid, and did challenge it. The only recourse of the Executive Board was to go along with the bylaws and statutory requirements.

Secondly, it was reported to me by directors who were present, that Dick Bleecker was in attendance on February 8th, that he actively participated in the discussion, and suggested changes in the NCSAS bylaws, among other things. You were there, both as an NCSAS member and as NAC president, and you made the motion to continue support of NAC. You took a strong leadership role in the discussion at which I was present on February 9th, and you moved to validate the "actions" taken on February 8th. You suggested that "Mr. Hoehne's testifying in the Cleveland Society's litigation may have conflicted with today's meeting" (Mr. Hoehne did not testify at all). "Inappropriate conduct of NAC's staff members or officials"??? You were there, and you know.

Thirdly, I regret that efforts which I and others within the NCSAS have been exerting since 1974 on accreditation issues have been misperceived and misrepresented. We have had, and we still continue to have, a highly unfortunate situation in work for the blind. That situation consists, as we all know, of an inordinate amount of controversy as between NAC and the NFS. Although the situation was not created by the NCSAS, the situation has been injected into the NCSAS through the effort of NAC representatives. The situation has since inhibited the NCSAS in its attainment of goals and objectives unrelated to the question of accreditation. The continuation of this controversy is plainly incompatible with the best interests of blind persons throughout the United States. To many of us, therefore, it has seemed, and it continues to seem, that the paramount objective should be to resolve all of the controversy in which the accreditation movement somehow managed to get itself enmeshed. It continues to be my personal belief that the best contribution any individual or organization can make to the advancement of the accreditation movement is effort directed toward the resolution of this conflict.

NAC has a mission, and. regardless of present and past problems. I continue to be committed to improvements in the accreditation system for this field. I am confident that the controversy over accreditation is, in fact, going to be resolved in due course, even though there are obviously a lot of people who would prefer that this controversy never be resolved. I am confident of this because it is my conviction that the overwhelming number of individuals within the NCSAS will, once full and accurate information is made available to them, rise to the occasion and meet the responsibilities associated with the positions of honor and trust they occupy throughout the various states. My posture in this matter is as it is because it continues to be my firm conviction that the overwhelming number of colleagues who elected me to the position I now occupy are neither lemmings, sheep, or puppets, but are instead individuals of honor, responsibility, and good judgment.

Lastly, I can assure you that, although I regularly and actively solicit advice, input, and suggestions from a number of individuals within and without the NCSAB, (including Mr. Hoehne), this letter has been written by me and I accept full responsibility for its contents.



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The Teachers Division of the National Federation of the Blind held its sixth annual meeting on Monday afternoon, July 5, 1976, in Los Angeles, at the Biltmore Hotel, the site of the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

President Acosta in his annual report to the membership reviewed the past year's activities which included court victories in the Garshwiler case in Indiana and in the Gurmankin case in Philadelphia. (Both of these court decisions have been thoroughly discussed in recent Monitor issues.) The president then discussed the regional and state teachers conferences which had been sponsored by the Teachers Division. He then spoke to the membership about future projects of the Teachers Division which would include producing a film which would clearly express the philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind by showing competent blind teachers in action in regular classroom situations. The Teachers Division will also look into the possibility of developing a leaflet about the accomplishments of blind teachers and a discussion of those classroom techniques which lead to their teaching success.

The president concluded his remarks by thanking those teachers and friends of the Division who contributed hundreds of dollars in annual dues to the organization. With such a commitment on the part of the membership, the Teachers Division will be unstoppable in its efforts to improve economic and social conditions, not only for blind teachers, but for the blind as a whole.

Mr. Walter R. Norwood, affirmative action specialist with the Los Angeles Unified School District, then spoke to the membership on the subject "Affirmative Action and the Blind Teacher." Mr. Norwood discussed those procedures utilized when affirmative action is contemplated. The audience urged him to work more closely with the NFB Teachers Division so that he could gain a true understanding with regard to the abilities of blind teachers. The Division also pledged to lend all possible assistance to Mr. Norwood in his efforts to place competent blind teachers with the district.

"Schools without Failure and the Blind Teacher" was the subject of an address given by the keynote speaker of this year's program. Dr. William Glasser is the founder of the Institute for Reality Therapy in Los Angeles. For many years, he has enjoyed much respect in the field of education for his innovative approach to both teaching and learning. Dr. Glasser asserts that the best kind of learning occurs when a failure-proof environment is created within a particular classroom. Dr. Glasser acts as a consultant to numerous school systems throughout the United States.

The selection of teachers by the Los Angeles Unified School District was the next topic under discussion. This address was presented by Mr. LaVerne Ricchio, who is the director of the Teacher Selection Section within the school system. Mr. Ricchio pointed out that there were two major pitfalls in the hiring of teachers by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The applicant might be selected by the personnel division only to be rejected by the medical staff. Mr. Ricchio quickly asserted that each person is judged individually and that blindness in itself cannot be a reason for rejection by the health division. Teachers Division representatives pointed out to Mr. Ricchio that at present only seven blind teachers have been employed by the district and that this was due to the rigid standards established by the health division. It was further stated that blindness should not be viewed as a disease, but that blindness was simply the loss of eyesight and no more.

The second pitfall, especially for the blind applicant, lies with the school principals who do the final selecting. The Teachers Division promised to do all that it could in the next year to educate school principals concerning the accomplishments of blind teachers throughout the United States.

The final item concerned itself with a discussion of programs for handicapped students on the community college campuses. Ms. Fran Neumann, who is the coordinator for handicapped students at Pasadena City College; Ms. Victoria Schmoeler, coordinator of programs for handicapped students for the Los Angeles Community College District; and Mr. Luis Escontrias, the Director of the Client Assistance Program, engaged in a lively discussion on the various program for handicapped college students throughout California. Mr. Escontrias made several telling points on this subject when he urged those coordinators on the panel not to custodialize their handicapped students. He stated that he was both concerned and disgusted with the establishment of such classes as sex courses for the handicapped. He was also deeply concerned to learn that a college in Southern California provided taxi service for a blind student to the tune of $250 per month. It was the consensus of those present that a blind student should attend an orientation center for the blind before going to college if the person believed himself to be weak in those skills which can assist him in coping with his blindness. In other words, the college campus should not become a rehabilitation facility.

This, our finest meeting, was highlighted by a reception hosted by the officers of the Teachers Division which gave those blind teachers in attendance a great opportunity to exchange their ideas. Almost immediately, the officers of the Teachers Division began to make plans for the Division's seventh annual meeting to be hold in New Orleans in 1977.  

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Des Moines, Iowa, August 5, 1976.

Brooklyn, New York.

DEAR RITA: This will reply to your letter of July 20, 1976, concerning the structure and function of divisions in the Federation. The purpose of divisions is to deal with specialized problems and to broaden the appeal of the Federation so as to bring in new members. Members of divisions are expected to be full-fledged, active participants in the whole Federation movement. Divisions are not meant to be political in nature. In other words they are not meant to water down the relationship of the individual member to the local chapter, the state affiliate, or the national body. They are, in effect, formalized committees of the organization. They are special interest groups (study groups, problem-solving groups, action groups), but they are within the regular organizational structure of the Federation, not separate political entities.

At the national level this relationship is emphasized by the fact that groups, divisions, and committees do not have votes as such. We vote by states, and the members of the divisions have their input through this channel. Divisions do not create new Federation policy. They recommend to the convention or the Executive Committee. Let me be clearly understood; I am not downplaying the importance of the divisions. Their recommendations have weight and prestige. Necessarily the head of a national division has a certain amount of political influence. The experience with divisions has been altogether constructive and harmonious.

At the state level a chapter of a national division may well be organized. If so, it will usually function as a chapter of the state affiliate, having the same duties and responsibilities as other chapters and having the special emphasis of its particular interest. The tie between the state chapter of a division and the national body of the division is not political. It is a matter of common interest, cooperation, mutual help, and shared experience. The relation of the state president to the division is much the same as that of the national President to the national body of the division. Within the state the state president is the principal administrative officer of the Federation. In this capacity the state president's duties consist of coordinating all activities of the organization-including the work of committees, chapters, and other officers.

Members of a division may not bypass the state and local administrative structure of the Federation. They may not deal directly with the national structure of the division to the exclusion of state officials of the Federation. Ordinarily this is not a problem. In many states there are student chapters. In many there are individual members and officers of various divisions. As a matter of routine, regular procedure these chapters and members regard themselves as a regular part of the state structure of the Federation, It is that simple, and it is that uncomplicated.

With all of this as background let me now deal specifically with some of your questions:

Question. "When a special division forms on the state level, is it required for the state division to present to the president of the national division a constitution and list of members; if yes, and a state division has failed to do this, what are the consequences, if any?"

Answer. Ordinarily I would think that a state chapter (student, teacher, et cetera) would not be formed except as a regular chapter of the state affiliate. The constitution would be presented to the president of the state affiliate in the same manner as other chapter constitutions. In most instances the national body of the division would probably also want a copy of the constitution of the state chapter, but I don't know that any formal mechanism has been set up to deal with noncompliance. By all I have said I do not mean to imply that the head of a national division may not deal with members of a division without going through the president of the state in question. This sort of thing usually occurs in the natural course of events and creates no question or comment one way or another.

Question. "Are there any stipulations in the constitutions of the national divisions which would indicate directly or imply that state divisions should present the state affiliate president with a constitution and list of members?"

Answer. I don't believe there are any such provisions. As I have already said, I think chapters would not be formed in most instances except as a regular part of the state affiliate.

Question. "Who bears the financial responsibility of a state division, and does a state division have a financial responsibility to the state affiliate? the national division?"

Answer. This question has been answered (in spirit, at least) in my earlier comments. State chapters of divisions are not separate from the rest of the state affiliate. There is no formal financial responsibility on the part of the state division with respect to the national division. Federationists are Federationists, and the state affiliate should help with the costs of operating the state divisions. Of course, the state treasury can only spend as much money as it has, and the members of the state division have responsibility to help get funds into the state treasury. If a given state division is having severe financial problems, it may (resources permitting) get help from the national division—which, in turn, may have received funds from the national treasury. I suppose it goes without saying that the members must work to put money into the national treasury. Otherwise, no money will be coming out of it—for the operation of divisions or anything else. I suppose it also goes without saying that if a state unit receives funds from a national division, those funds must be accounted for to the national division.

Question. "If a special division on the state level is not a voting chapter does this or should this mitigate its responsibility to the state affiliate or the national organization?"

Answer. If a state chapter of a division is not to be permitted to be a local chapter of the state affiliate, complications are inevitable; and I would question the wisdom of forming the division chapter at all. In any case the responsibility of the members of the Federation is clear. That responsibility is to the Federation as a whole to the movement: local chapter, state affiliate, and national body.

Question. "At what point should the president of a state division make the state affiliate president aware of actions and activities planned by the state division, and to what degree, if any, is the state division president autonomous from the state affiliate president?"

Answer. If the formal resolution of such questions really becomes necessary or important, there are deeper problems which deserve examination. We should work together as one movement, and that is that. Activities of any division cannot be carried on within a state without the knowledge and cooperation of the leaders of the state affiliate. On the other hand, the leaders of the affiliate should not unreasonably withhold cooperation. Beyond all of this, when problems arise anywhere in the structure of the Federation (conflicts between state officers and division leaders, conflicts between local chapters, conflicts between state affiliates, et cetera), the national constitution makes it clear that the National Office of the Federation is the final arbiter—in some cases the national Executive Committee; in others the national President.

Question. "Who speaks on behalf of the Federation on the state level and would the spokesperson change if the issues pertained mainly to a subject in which a special division was active?"

Answer. Each state affiliate must decide this question for itself, but as a matter of good judgment the person who is best qualified to speak on a particular issue should do it—always keeping in mind the responsibility of the state president to coordinate the activities of committees, chapters, and other officers.

Let me conclude by making this overall observation: The success of our movement has always depended much more on cooperation and respect for each other's feelings and opinions than on formal rules and constitutional requirements. Rules cannot take the place of sincerity, dedication, common purpose, and goodwill. Moral suasion is our most powerful instrument. As long as we continue to be a people's movement, it must necessarily be that way.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

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The members of the Dog Guide Committee met on July 4, 1976, at the Valencian Room at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Spirit ran high and by the time of the closing of the meeting our meeting room was packed.

In order to deal with the various areas of concern, committees were established as follows: Public Relations: Al Evans, chairman, Andy Moore, Marian Sansum, Donna Simms, and Nelly Herrel, members; Legislative Committee: chaired by Andy Moore, with members Ed Foscue and Marian Sansum; and Committee on Discrimination: chaired by Al Cutolo, with members Barbara Esposito, Marian Sansum, and Ed Foscue.

The Public Relations Committee hopes to disseminate information promoting the proper image of the dog guide user and acquaint others with Federation philosophy. The committee will also compile a position paper encompassing veterinary information, maintenance and care of dog guides. With the cooperation of the dog guide training centers we hope to circulate this material to all new graduates.

The Legislative Committee plans to make a more concentrated effort to support Federation white cane legislation on a nationwide basis. There was also much discussion about the quarantine regulations in Hawaii which make it virtually impossible for blind visitors to travel with their dog guides.

The Committee on Discrimination needs your help in providing us with documented incidents of discrimination against dog guide users in agencies for and of the blind. There was much discussion about this growing problem. Please send information pertaining to this matter to: Patrick Comorato, Chairman, Dog Guide Committee, 815 Ivy Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15232.

Dr. Jernigan has expressed the Federation policy pertaining to whichever means of mobility the individual chooses. It is felt that the individual is free to choose whichever means works best for him. This choice should not be subject to criticism by others. We are all Federationists striving for the same goals.

If you are interested in any of the above committees and would like to help, or if you have information to bring to our attention, please contact Pat Comorato at the above address.  

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As Federationists are aware, many universities throughout the country have taken to setting up specialized programs for the blind and other disabled persons in order to "take care of us." We have taken the position that we neither need nor want such custodialism, but simply want the right to attend the college or university of our choice and to have the opportunity to compete alongside our sighted peers.

About a year ago, the University of Iowa established such a program on the Iowa campus. Immediately upon learning of its existence, the Student Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, went to work. The correspondence which follows is self-explanatory. As you will observe, University officials backed down and agreed to remove the blind from this repressive program, and further agreed to permit us to establish an official office of the Student Chapter, NFB of Iowa, on the University of Iowa campus. [Note.—Only pertinent correspondence is included. The full file can be obtained by writing to Mark Nemmers. The correspondence begins in December 1975 and covers the next four months.]

Ames, Iowa, March 16, 1976.

Executive Secretary,
State Board of Resents,
Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. RICHEY: You will recall that on December 6, 1975, the Student Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, passed a resolution in opposition to the "Coordinator for the Handicapped program" which is being established at the University of Iowa. On December 12 this resolution, together with its cover letter, was sent to President Boyd of the University of Iowa, and copies were transmitted to you, among others.

We were much pleased when we received your December 15 letter in which you state, "No discussion whatever took place concerning blind persons and they were not involved in the discussion. In fact, we believe that the blind need no special facilities." Following our January meeting, we wrote you on January 21 as follows:

"Our resolution and letter refer specifically to the establishment of a Special Coordinator for the Handicapped program at the State University of Iowa. Your response deals specifically with "accessibility of facilities for the orthopedically handicapped." It is our hope that language would be promulgated from your office as well as from that of the Coordinator for the Handicapped which would specifically exclude blind persons from this program. Again, we believe that the general tone of your letter would indicate that this is your attitude, but it seems to us that specific language would foreclose any future confusion and controversy."

As indicated, we wrote this letter simply to have our exclusion from the new program spelled out. Therefore, it was with some surprise and shock with which we received your letter of February 18, 1976, in which you state: "You will note that services are offered to the blind only at the request of the student." We believe that you are a man of honor and integrity and that, therefore, when you wrote us on December 15 complete and accurate information about the program had not been provided to you.

At our March 6 meeting we read in disgust your letter together with its attachments, the University of Iowa pamphlet entitled "Handicapped Students in Your School?," and learned additional facts about the program from some of our members who attend the University of Iowa. The totality of the information which we now possess gives us great cause for alarm. Later on in this letter we shall discuss some specific items which justify our belief that a detrimental program is being established: a program which can do us no good but one which might destroy our chances of success for the rest of our lives.

First, however, it might be well to review our broad position on this entire matter. We neither need nor want specialized treatment, facilities, or programs. We simply want the right to attend school on an equal basis with others. We believe that we should have the same right to succeed or fail as others. These attitudes are an outgrowth of our underlying philosophy about blindness which is that, with proper training and with opportunity, the average blind person can compete successfully with the average sighted person. This philosophy is not mere opinion, but is established fact in this State. Further, we now know that it is not our blindness but rather our society's attitudes about blindness—shared by the blind and sighted alike—which have kept us down and out throughout the years. We know that we have an uphill struggle ahead of us in order to erase the myths and replace them with facts about blindness. We also know that specialized programs will do nothing to forward our goals. On the contrary, they will tend to perpetuate the stereotyped myths about us and will most surely impede our progress.

Let us consider the impact which the specialized program will have in two respects: First, what will it do to the students, and second, what will it do to the attitudes of the general public? So far as the student is concerned, if he is to become truly independent, self-sufficient, and self-supporting—in other words, if he is to have the opportunity to lead a normal and productive life—it will be necessary for him to learn to function independently and to compete successfully with his peers at the time he is attending a university. At first glance, our attitude might appear to be harsh. However, life itself is harsh and hard. It is far better for a blind student to learn to compete independently while he is attending a university than it is for him to attend that same university under a protective and custodial system and then to learn about the harsh reality of life when he finds his first job. If he has been taught under and learned to depend upon specialized programs while attending school, he might just lose that job since he will be ill-prepared to compete on terms of absolute equality and to learn to devise his own alternative methods for getting the job done. He will not have someone there "to do it for him."

Conversely, he might not secure that first job at all. In interviews for employment when he learns that no special provision will be made for him he may become frustrated and be unable to convince a prospective employer of how he will handle given situations, since the dependent life which he has been leading will not have forced him to devise alternative methods for himself. Someone else will always have been there "to do it for him." In short, the blind student, like the sighted student, must be afforded the opportunity to develop self-reliance during his tenure as a student if he is to have a reasonable chance for success in later life. It goes without saying, of course, that the performances of the blind student should be judged on terms of equality with his sighted counterparts. If he performs well he should receive appropriate marks. If he cannot perform, he should be dropped along with other poor students.

Now, let us turn to the second problem: namely, the effect which specialized programs such as the one now being established at the University of Iowa can have in the minds of many members of the public at large. First of all, most people already regard the blind as different, as unequal, as helpless, and as incompetent, if not irrelevant. These attitudes are in no sense based upon hatred or hostility. In fact, they are based upon the opposite. They are based upon love, good will, kindness, charity, and pity. Further, they are based upon myth and misconception, lack of education, and a complete lack of understanding about the true nature of blindness. As noted above, it is this general lack of information about blindness which has kept us down and out through the years.

In recent years, we of the National Federation of the Blind have been doing all that we can to erase the old myths and to replace them with facts. We have made much progress in our State but there remains much to be done. The point at issue is a prime example: the Special Program for the Blind which is being established at the University of Iowa is clearly being established based upon the myth that blind students "need" special assistance in order to be successful in school. It is obviously not based upon the fact that blind students can compete on terms of equality. As we have said, we are trying as hard as we can to replace myths with facts in the minds of the members of the public at large. We are continually carrying on educational efforts to this end.

With this background in mind, consider the impact which special programs such as the one you are establishing will have on our citizens who learn of it; and, as noted below, it is being widely advertised. They will tend to continue to think that we are different, are inferior, are special, and that, therefore, we need special provisions to enable us to survive. If they are employers, they will say something to this effect: "I am sorry, but I really can't hire you to work in my place of business. You see, I simply can't afford to make the special adaptations in my equipment which you will need. I cannot afford to hire readers for you. I cannot afford the time of another employee to walk you to the cafeteria. I cannot afford the time of another employee to take you to the bathroom." Lest you think that these reasons are absurd hypothetical ones which we have conjured up to make a point, we can assure you that they are not. These statements, or statements very much like them, are very often made right now as we are being turned down for employment. If we add to that regressive and specialized programs such as the one now under discussion, it is a certainty that these responses will increase, not decrease, since we will here have our own State of Iowa telling people that disabled students "can't cut it" as equals.

Further, the negative implications presented by this program will involve facets of our lives other than employment. We will have the State of Iowa teaching its citizens that blind and other disabled persons "can't cut it" in social situations, in civic organizations, and in community affairs. The real tragedy involved is that this negative instruction will be coming at a time when the combined efforts of the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa have been going in exactly the opposite direction. We have made much progress in this State in recent years, and we do not wish to see anything happen now which will retard our progress.

We hope that you understand our position. The last thing we want is to have conflict or controversy with anyone. Ever since the middle 1960's, when we had to fight for the right of a blind student to enroll in the School of Elementary Education, we have had fine relations with the University of Iowa. Many students have attended it and many are now attending it. We have been successful, and our success has come without special treatment or specialized programs. Our hope is that we will be permitted to be regular students as we have in the past.

Before dealing specifically with some of the problems as we see them, let me discuss one other point. One of our members had intended to go to school at the University of Illinois. When she learned that Illinois had a mandatory, custodial program for the blind, she withdrew from that situation and chose to attend the University of Iowa. She has now expressed the concern that Iowa might become another Illinois. She, along with other students, might leave Iowa to find some other school if regressive programs are now imposed. To show you something of the Illinois situation, I am attaching an article from the April 1970 Braille Monitor (the house organ of the National Federation of the Blind) entitled "Big Brother on the Illinois Campus." From reading this article you will learn not only of the problems in Illinois, but you will also get some insight concerning our present apprehensions.

Turning specifically to some of our concerns, let us first examine the letter which Mr. Chambers, Executive Vice President, wrote to you on February 10, 1976. He begins by telling you that the program will be "voluntary," not "mandatory." As we said in our resolution, all too often programs which begin as voluntary become mandatory. We see this constantly, and I am sure that you have seen such things. However, even if the program were to remain voluntary it would still carry with it the negative factors described above. Those factors have already been discussed at length and will not be repeated here.

As we read on through Mr. Chambers' letter, we find statements which are nothing short of astonishing: "Specifically for the blind, these services include obtaining people to assist as paid or voluntary readers, helping get classroom material brailled, offering travel training to students who may need additional help, and helping blind students find work-study jobs that they can handle well." To these points we respond:

(1) The University should not involve itself in finding people to assist as paid or volunteer readers. Upon graduation, the student will need to do this for himself (if he is to be competitively employed) once he finds employment. He will necessarily need to learn to cope with this problem while he is a student.

(2) The University should not involve itself in securing brailled materials. The Iowa Commission for the Blind's Library performs this service quite competently in our State. It will simply be wasteful and duplicative if the University now attempts to provide this service. As we said in our original letter and resolution, the University should provide an educational experience for all students who choose to attend it. It should not involve itself in providing vocational rehabilitation services.

(3) The University should not involve itself in providing travel training to students. Again, this service is provided through the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the University should stick to education. In this area, however, there would seem to be an implication that is deeper than the mere provision of vocational rehabilitation services. That is that blind students will "need" additional travel training. One would assume that the student who chooses to attend the University has already had travel training. If not, he would most likely not feel compelled to attend a university at all.

Then, too, there is the question as to who will provide this travel training. Are we to assume that the University of Iowa is planning to hire trained travel teachers? We don't think so. If so, however, such action would again be wasteful and duplicative since this service is already available in our State. On the other hand, are we simply talking about telling a blind student how to get around the campus when he arrives? If so, this would appear to be poor usage of tax dollars. Any blind student with any sense can learn his way around the campus by exploring on his own and by asking a few simple questions of fellow students.

(4) The University should not involve itself in helping blind students find work-study jobs "that they can handle well." Two things are involved here: (a) The blind student who wishes to work should and commonly does find his own employment. This is as it should be. He should simply have the opportunity to use employment channels available to all students. Further, if a special employment office is established for blind and disabled students, it will not be long until the regular student employment office will be closed to these students. (b) Who will decide what kind of work-study jobs blind students can handle? Will the University again involve itself in rehabilitation and hire trained rehabilitation counselors for the blind? Of course not. On the other hand, will lay people who have no experience in work with the blind handle this position? One can do nothing but shudder when one contemplates which work-study jobs the lay person will believe that the blind person can hold. Again, the blind person will inevitably be sold short and will not have work opportunities which should be made available to him. This will be so not because those administering the program will be people of bad faith, but simply because they are people, with run-of-the-mill prejudices and attitudes about the blind.

Finally, Mr. Chambers goes on to say, "Mrs. Bonney [in charge of the services program] has had personal contact with Mr. R. Craig Slayton, Area Representative of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. She has referred blind students to Mr. Slayton when it was felt that he could offer the best help." (emphasis supplied). This statement, too, seems startling. How will Mrs. Bonney know when Mr. Slayton could offer the best help? He is trained and experienced in work with the blind. To the best of our belief and knowledge, she is not. It would seem that if any referrals were to be made, then all blind students should referred to Mr. Slayton. He would be the one who would be able to provide assistance if rehabilitation assistance were needed at all.

In case you have not seen it, we are enclosing a copy of "Handicapped Students in Your School?" As we stated above, the University has not only established the program but is now advertising it broadly. Most of the description deals with architectural barriers. However, from the pamphlet it is equally clear that the program is intended for blind persons. First, it contains the picture of a blind student. Second, it states that a Braille map of the campus is available and also that tutors, readers, and tape services are available. We have already discussed our concerns about Braille maps, readers, and taping services being provided by the University. One item, however, would deserve special comment: namely, tutors. Far too many people already believe that blind students will need tutors in order to get them through school. This brochure tends to reinforce that attitude. From time to time a blind student may need tutorial services. Similarly, from time to time a sighted student may need tutorial services. In either instance the student should be able to avail himself of tutorial services which are available to all, and we reject the implication that blind students will need some different or specialized kind of tutorial services.

In addition to the things we have discussed which are in writing, some interesting discussion took place at our March 6 meeting. For example, one student stated that he/she lived in an apartment house on a busy street. This student stated that the residents of the house have petitioned the city to put in a walk light in front of their house to enable residents to cross easily to go to school. This student went on to say that someone from Sharon Bonney's office said that that would be great since, next year, there will be fifty blind students at the University and all of them could live in this house so that they could get to school easily. We realize that at this point this is hearsay, but the trend is unmistakable and alarming. This kind of situation is likely to arise when special programs are initiated. It would be most regrettable if such an event occurred.

Mr. Richey, we could continue ad infinitum with this discussion. However, I believe that our point is clear. We would now appeal to you and to the members of the State Board of Regents to put a stop to this program so far as blind persons are concerned (we have no right to speak for others) before it develops into the "Big Brother" of the Illinois variety. As we have said before, we respect you and the Regents and we have no wish for conflict. Neither, however, do we have the wish to have our lives run for us. We are perfectly capable of running them for ourselves and fully intend to do so. We are hopeful that you will help us to bring about a satisfactory resolution to the problem. One of our members has suggested that we take our story to the public. We are reluctant to take this step at this time. Another has suggested that we attempt to block funding for the program. This, too, we are reluctant to do. There may be some, particularly persons in wheelchairs, who need some of the services which are available. They should have the right to avail themselves of such services if they wish. We simply want the right to go to school unhampered.

We intend to invite Mr. Shanhouse to our next meeting, which will be held in Iowa City on Saturday, April 10. We would hope to resolve this problem at that time. If not, we would like to meet either with you or the members of the Board of Regents, or both, in order to resolve the problem.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.


President, Student Chapter,
National Federation of the Blind of Iowa.

Ames, Iowa, April 21, 1976.

Vice President, University of Iowa,
Iowa City, Iowa.

DEAR MR. SHANHOUSE: This letter is being written for two purposes: (1) I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to you and Mrs. Bonney for attending our chapter meeting at Iowa City on April 10. We believe that much progress was made and we are looking forward to a very productive and fruitful relationship in the future; and (2) We would like to set out our understanding of the agreements which were reached at that meeting.

In your opening statement to the organization you included the following seven points:

(1) "The University of Iowa is not developing and does not plan development of any special program for the blind."

(2) "We believe that blind students can 'cut it as equals,' and must be given this opportunity through treatment, as Mr. Nemmers asks, 'as regular students.' No blind student is singled out during the admissions process, and no special admission requirement is imposed upon them."

(3) "No handicapped program or supervision is mandatory on this campus."

(4) "We will cooperate with the Iowa Commission for the Blind, in spirit and in fact, recognizing the Commission's professional competence in dealing with blind problems, and in referring blind students there."

(5) "We do not have nor intend to establish a special employment office for the blind."

(6) "We do not have, intend to have, or recommend any special housing to blind students."

(7) "Blind people are welcome on this campus with, as Mr. Nemmers again asks, 'the right to go to school unhampered.'"

And later you go on to say:

"Specifically relating to blind students, I support the National Federation of the Blind in your efforts toward enabling blind people to become independent, self-supporting, fully recognized contributors to society. I believe it is grievous that many blind people have been denied rights, and even opportunities, to which they are entitled. It is equally distressing that society has been denied the creative energies of a large number of highly motivated, intellectually capable individuals."

These formal statements by you laid the groundwork for much discussion during which several ideas and recommendations were made. Our understanding of the agreements made is as follows:

(1) Essentially we agreed that the University is the expert in education, the Student Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, is the expert in the affairs of the blind, and Sharon Bonney is the expert for the orthopedically handicapped.

(2) We also agreed that the pamphlet "Handicapped Student in Your School?" will receive no further circulation or distribution until all references to blindness have been eliminated from it.

(3) It was agreed that the name of the Coordinator for the Handicapped Office would be changed should a suitable name be found. You will recall that a suggestion was made that the name be changed to the Coordinator for the Orthopedically Handicapped. This change, of course, would by implication exclude the blind. Unfortunately, however, it would tend to exclude disabled persons other than the blind. As we discussed by phone last Monday, we can appreciate your problem in this area and would, therefore, not desire to push for any change unless some other appropriate name can be found.

(4) It was agreed that you would consult with our organization on any issue involving the blind: and

(5) It was agreed that since we are the recognized experts on blindness we would be permitted to establish a student organization on campus with appropriate office space, appropriate publicity, and a phone listing, so that blind students who might be new to the campus would have a suitable place to secure needed information. We would assume that blind students would be referred by the University to this office. We would also be willing to disseminate information concerning blindness to any student at the University.

So far as we are concerned, if all of these agreements are kept, whatever concerns were expressed in our original resolution and follow-up correspondence will have been satisfactorily resolved.

After you and Mrs. Bonney left our meeting, our organization discussed other actions which we might take in order to be positive and constructive, it was suggested that we might draw up a pamphlet about our organization and distribute it to high school guidance counselors throughout the State. It is my understanding that you indicated to Mr. Omvig that you might be willing to reproduce and distribute this type of literature for us. We would like to discuss this matter with you further.

One final point should be made. The National Federation of the Blind is well recognized, and organized, and extremely influential. We are aware that other organizations of the disabled do not possess our reputation and strength and that, therefore, they would like to join with us to take advantage of the prestige and strength which we have. Two points are relevant here. First, we have no right to speak for these other groups since we have not been elected by them. And second, we believe that it would water down our effectiveness if we were to attempt to solve the problems of all disabled persons. As you recognized in your prepared statement, we as blind people have tremendous social problems to which solutions must be found. Therefore, we must direct our energies to this end. From this it follows that in all our dealings with you and the University our concern must necessarily be limited to the creation of better opportunities for the blind.

Again, we wish to thank you sincerely for taking the time to come to our meeting, for understanding our concerns, for candidly exchanging ideas with us, and for having the foresight to make agreements which should bring about an end to any differences which might have existed in the past. We are looking forward to working closely with you and with other University officials in the future.


President, Student Chapter,
National Federation of the Blind of Iowa.

P.S.—Thank you very much for reading your report to me before submitting it to the Board of Regents. I believe that this action on your part symbolizes the new era of cooperation which has been established.

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First it was Peggy Pinder as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Now (just to underline the fact that Federationists are not only a true cross-section of society but also leaders) it is the turn of the Democrats. Marc Maurer (NFB Board Member and president of the National Federation of the Blind of Indiana) was appointed chairman of the Disabled for Carter-Mondale for the State of Indiana.

Sunday, September 10, was a big day for the Carter forces in Indiana. Jimmy Carter came to Notre Dame to deliver an address entitled "Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Rights of the Disabled." On the platform besides Carter were Congressman John Brademas, Father Theodore Hessberg, president of Notre Dame, and Marc Maurer. Federationists were well represented in the audience, and they gave the message to Governor Carter.

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August 16, 1976.

DEAR KEN: Our chapter is in need of some authoritative information concerning the position of the National Federation towards auxiliary activities of local chapters such as ours. No one here has any definite knowledge with the result that there is a good deal of inconclusive arguing going on. If we could receive a statement of policy from your headquarters by the end of or before the end of August, it would be very much appreciated.

The issue here is pretty clear-cut. Several years ago the chapter decided to sponsor a center which stresses a kind of simple handcraft. It caters mostly to the elderly and the physically inactive. There is an almost even split of opinion among chapter members as to whether or not it would be better for the center to be separated from the chapter, contending as they do that the National Federation disapproves of such extra activities. The other side of the argument, which admits its uncertainty about the position of the National Federation, not only desires to continue the sponsorship, but also wishes to increase its control and active participation.

You can do much to stop this dissension by letting us know whether or not you approve or disapprove of auxiliary sponsorships by local NFB chapters.

Sincerely yours,

Des Moines, Iowa, August 23, 1976.

DEAR MR.___: This will reply to your letter of August 16, 1976, concerning auxiliary activities by local chapters of the Federation. In considering this question the overall purpose of the Federation must be kept in mind. The national body of the Federation is made up of the members of the state and local affiliates. Except for these members there is no National Federation of the Blind.

From this certain things follow: The meeting of the local chapter is a meeting of the National Federation of the Blind. Whatever the National Federation of the Blind is working to accomplish should be the activity at the local meeting. Otherwise, the work will not get done unless it is done by local chapters somewhere else in the country.

There is no magic about the concept of the national office of the Federation. When people say, "Let the national office do it," it means that I must do it or that I must try to get Jim Gashel to do it in the Washington office, or that the members of the local chapter here in Des Moines must undertake it. The fact that the national office is located in Des Moines does not mean that the Des Moines members have more responsibility or should work harder than the members of any other chapter. It is true that we have three paid staff members here in Des Moines, but they are fully occupied in mailing out more than 25,000 items per month to members and affiliates throughout the country, as well as to others who make inquiry. These three staff members must collect items from the post office, keep track of inventory, keep shelves clean, package and take materials to the post office, file correspondence, handle typing of correspondence, et cetera. In other words they are always working at full capacity.

Federation policy on the activities and functions of local affiliates is set forth in an article entitled "Local Organizations of the Blind-How to Build and Strengthen Them." This article is available from the national office on record, in print, and in Braille. In general it lays down guidelines for chapter projects and activities. Chapters should raise funds for the state and national treasuries including getting people to remember the Federation in their wills. Otherwise, the state and national treasuries will not have the funds to function, and a dollar spent at the national level probably gets ten to twenty times the mileage for the blind that the same dollar would get if it were spent at the local level. This is not because the local chapter is unimportant. Quite the contrary. It is because many things are national in scope and must be handled by all of us as a national movement: disability insurance. SSI policies and regulations, vending stand policies and regulations. FAA regulations, civil rights legislation and policies, network publicity, national magazine publicity, et cetera. These items affect every local blind person in the country. They can be properly handled only if we have strong, alert, knowledgeable local chapters—chapters which concentrate on the real central problems of blindness and give correspondingly less emphasis to the peripheral issues.

A local chapter can have too much money in its treasury. It can become so concerned to protect its treasury or erect a building that it loses perspective and effectiveness. In our own local Des Moines chapter, for instance, we never have more than around one thousand dollars not because we could not raise more but because this is all we think we need for the projects we wish to carry on. When we get this much money, we begin to work to raise money for the state or national treasury, or we spend most of what we have for NAC-tracking, NFB Convention expenses for members, or something else. I doubt that we have a single member who would think we should spend any money for a building, a recreation program, or any other such item.

Let me hasten to say that I am not condemning these activities and that many local chapters do such things. It is all a matter of emphasis. The local program must not engulf the chapter or cause the members to lose sight of what our movement is all about.

With all of this as background let me comment on the specific question you raised. If our chapter established the center and if that center is going to continue, then it would seem to me that the local chapter should control and operate it. Otherwise, the center will simply become a competing force for the loyalties and resources of the blind of the community. This does not speak to the question of whether the center should have been established or whether it should continue at all. It probably would serve no useful purpose to debate whether the center should have been created. It was, and it exists. Discussion about the desirability of its establishment would simply create division and disunity.

I would have to know more about what really goes on at the center to offer an opinion as to whether it is constructive and should continue. In any case this is a decision which must, in the final analysis, be made by the local members. It is one thing to decide whether something should be established. It is something else entirely to decide whether it should be discontinued.

Be this as it may, there are certain things that are quite clear. No local project should be allowed to drain off the energy of the members to the extent that it competes with their responsibilities to the movement as a whole or causes them to lose perspective. If a local project can be made to build and strengthen the chapter, well and good. If not, it should be abolished. In this latter case it should not simply be cut loose from the chapter and allowed to continue as a separate entity, competing for the loyalty and resources of chapter members and draining off their time and energy. It should either be part of the chapter, used as a vehicle to build and strengthen it: or it should be abolished altogether.

As I have said, the decision must be with the local members, but the guidelines and perspective are clearly indicated in the Federation article on local organizations of the blind. I hope that what I have said has been helpful and that the chapter will grow and prosper.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

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On the evening of Friday, May 14, 1976, approximately 65 Federationists and guests began to arrive at the Yancey Hotel in Grand Island, Nebraska, site of the fifth annual convention of the NFB of Nebraska. For some, the evening provided hospitality; for others, hospitality and work. To get the business of the convention off to a good start, the resolutions committee, the constitution committee, and the nominating committee met in the midst of the gaiety.

Saturday morning, our convention officially came to order with President Ralph Doud beginning the program by welcoming us to Grand Island.

Dr. James S. Nyman. Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services for the Visually Impaired, spoke to us concerning the changes which have come about since he came two years ago, and the positive directions in which this work is obviously moving. Staff members also spoke to us about their work-specifically, Mary Ellen Reihing, special services; and Mike Adams, the orientation center in Lincoln. Much time was allowed for questions and comments.

The afternoon brought with it a quite emotional panel discussion/audience participation session dealing with the Nebraska Library Commission and our recently introduced legislation, L.B. 661, to transfer the library for the blind and physically handicapped from the Nebraska Library Commission to the Division of Rehabilitation Services for the Visually Impaired. Panel leader was Marsha Bangert, our legislative chairperson. Panelists included: Mrs. Jane Geske from the Nebraska Library Commission and Mr. James Omvig, at this particular time representing the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. There were many questions and there was much debate and it is almost certain that this discussion could have lasted forever had we not another speaker on the program.

State Senator Steve Fowler, from Lincoln, closed our Saturday meeting with a talk and a chance for questions concerning the "do's" and "don't's" of dealing with State legislation in Nebraska. He was very helpful and gave us hope and encouragement at a time when it was very much needed.

Saturday evening's banquet not only consisted of a delicious meal (which is often a surprise) but a most wonderful and very appreciated surprise. Mr. Omvig, of Iowa, our guest speaker and national representative at our convention, deviated from his planned speech to touch upon more personal matters (after observing our convention thus far). We have come a long way from the time in 1971 when we were first organized. As Mr. Omvig said, "We of the NFB of Nebraska will never go back to the pet shop—for we will sing."

Sunday morning we heard from Dick Parker, project specialist for the Radio Talking Book program in Omaha. Among other improvements, Braille program schedules are now available.

Two amendments were added to our State constitution. One, placing the most recent past president of the NFB of Nebraska on the board of directors; another, altering our election procedures. It might also be added that the NFB of Nebraska is now incorporated.

At this point came the election of officers. Newly elected are: president, Barbara Beach; first vice president, Richard Parker; second vice president, Richard Zlab; secretary, Laurie Beach Eckery; board members, Marsha Bangert, Doran Oltman, John Cheadle, and Ralph Doud, Reelected for treasurer, William Pfeiffer.

During the course of our convention eleven resolutions were passed. Five of these resolutions dealt with improvement of library services for the blind and physically handicapped in Nebraska. Other issues concerned: (1) public awareness (particularly on the governmental level) of the needs and abilities of blind persons; (2) the establishment of a committee to study the statutes of the blind in Nebraska State employment, to work toward elimination of questions on State employment applications in regard to physical impairment; (3) to establish a committee to study the status of employment of blind teachers in Nebraska; (4) commending the Lancaster County Attorney's Office, Mr. Rodney J. Rehm in particular, for successful prosecution in a housing discrimination case; (5) the establishment of a committee to work with the Nebraska School for the Visually Handicapped and the parents of blind children concerning positive attitudes towards blindness; and (6) that we propose legislation in 1977 to eliminate the requirement in the Nebraska State statutes that the person rendering assistance to a blind voter in casting his/her ballot must be a registered voter in the State of Nebraska.

We feel we had a most worthwhile convention.

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It is said that "as Maine goes, so goes the Nation." If this be accurate, then the National Federation of the Blind is in fine shape.

On August 28, 1976, the NFB of Maine held its State convention at the Holiday Inn in Augusta. People came from far and wide to attend. One Federationist came down from the North Woods and left his home at 3:45 a.m. to arrive on time. To help spread the word for this fine gathering several Federationists spent the week beforehand talking to the blind of the State.

James Gashel, chief of our Washington office, representing our national office, began the program. He spoke about why the blind have organized into the National Federation of the Blind, what we have accomplished as a movement, and our goals for the future. Our film, "The Blind: An Emerging Minority" followed this inspiring talk, further reinforcing our desire to work in the movement.

After a fine lunch, time was devoted to a discussion of specific matters. Joyce Scanlan of Minnesota, described the appeals process that is available to blind persons when they are not satisfied with their rehabilitation services. She gave many examples from her own State.

Public relations is important to any affiliate as was emphasized by Miss Peggy Pinder, who is from Iowa but who currently resides in Connecticut where she is a first-year law student at Yale University. An unexpected bit of publicity came to the Federation because a passerby recognized Miss Pinder from having seen her on television during the Republican convention. This stranger called the local newspaper to see that she was interviewed.

Growth is one of the keys to the success of the National Federation of the Blind. Mrs. Judy Sanders from Maryland discussed techniques used in spreading our message to the blind of the Nation. Mrs. Arlene Gashel of Virginia, Miss Patti Jacobson of Colorado, and Jonathan May from Connecticut added much to all discussions.

Hugo Sondergarrd, recently appointed Director of the Maine Institute for the Blind, said a few words. He expressed a real desire to work with the organized blind of Maine.

Elections were held and a fine slate of officers were elected. Our new president is Ed Hart of Portland. Mr. Hart is a former English teacher and a novelist. Hal Knight, a country-and-western disc jockey, is vice president. Patricia Estes, who was elected secretary, is a homemaker from Auburn. Money matters go to Dorothy Coleman, treasurer. She is a recent graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington.

Board members are Courtland Perry, an attorney from Augusta; Gene Monahan, a student from Presque Isle: and Steve Hoad of Gardiner. Monitor readers will remember Mr. Hoad as the gentleman who had difficulty with Air New England when trying to go to our 1975 national Convention in Chicago. This board is made up of new and experienced Federationists who will lead Maine with a new look.

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Editor's Note.—This recipe was submitted with the following note: “I have just lifted another recipe from the Monitor for my own use. While I am still strongly motivated, I will drop this note to you and pass on a recipe that my family likes very much. It makes marvelous toast and also freezes well.”


Ingredients for Starter

½ cup water reserved from cooking potatoes  
1 package of active dry yeast or 1 cake of yeast  
3 tablespoons flour

Other Ingredients

1 cup mashed potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)  
2 cups potato water or milk  
1½ tablespoons salt
½ tablespoon caraway seed  
8 cups unbleached or white flour  


Combine the ingredients for the starter. The potato water should be room temperature. Cover the bowl and place out of a draft and in a warm spot for at least thirty minutes. Overnight is not too long. Then combine the 2 cups of potato water, mashed potato, salt, caraway seed, starter, and then work in the flour. Turn the dough out on to a floured board and knead until it is smooth and elastic. This will take at least ten minutes of active kneading. Butter the top of the dough and place in a buttered bowl. Cover and allow to rise for one to two hours until doubled in bulk. Knead again to release the air pockets and shape into loaves. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about thirty minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for one-half to one hour, depending on the size of the loaves. When done the loaves will be well browned and will sound hollow when tapped firmly. Remove from pans immediately and cool on racks. This recipe makes two standard 9" x 5" loaves or one loaf in a 12" round frying pan. Pans for any of these should be well greased.  

This dough is also excellent for bread sculpture. Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal and arrange the individual parts of a sculpture slightly apart to allow for rising. Animals like an octopus, monkey, or turkey work particularly well. All loaves should be brushed with butter when set to rise the second time and again before baking, though this takes a gentle hand. I hope that other Federationists have as much fun with this as I do.

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The NFB of Arkansas invites Federationists to its annual convention to be held November 19 through 21 at the Coachmans Inn in Little Rock. Registration is $5: the banquet $10. Rooms: $13 single; $17 doubles; $2 for additional person in the room. Those wishing to attend should contact Leslie MacDaniel, NFB of Arkansas, Box 7, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203.

Those who attended the NFB Convention in Los Angeles will remember that the Florida affiliate was selling t-shirts with the NFB logo for four dollars. The NFB of Florida would like to announce to the Monitor readership that these t-shirts may still be purchased from: Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen, president, NFB of Florida, 2415 Brownwood Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32207. These shirts are available in sizes: small (32-36), medium (38-40), large (42-44), and extra large (46-48). The proceeds from the sales of these t-shirts will go to the NFB national treasury. Some states have already placed their orders. They plan to use these as a project for their state conventions.

The NFB of Colorado is on the move, literally. We have moved to a new building located at 2232 South Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80210. Please send all correspondence and Braille books for the CEIP Braille Book Project to this new address. Also, our new telephone number is (303) 778-1130.

Governor Dan Walker of Illinois has appointed Stephen O. Benson of Chicago a member of the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. Benson is a blind rehabilitation specialist at the Veterans' Administration Hospital. He is the first vice president of the NFB of Illinois and president of the Chicago chapter, NFB of Illinois.

Rami Rabby, also of the NFB of Illinois, received the following letter from Governor Walker: "I am pleased to appoint you a member of the Governor's Committee on the Handicapped. Your willingness to give time and service to the State of Illinois will help us in our efforts to insure that government is responsive to people. I look forward to working with you in the months ahead."

If any expectant mother is having trouble locating materials on prenatal care, child-birth, care of your child, making your own baby food, or breast feeding. La Leche League International has a whole library of brailled and taped books available for loan. You can request the Braille catalog of these materials from Marilyn Lapp, 520 West Fifty-sixth Street, Hindsdale, Illinois 60521.

Harry E. Hayes retired August 1, 1976, as Director of Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in Kansas. He had served as Director of the State program for over thirty-six years.

At its monthly meeting on July 16, 1976, the Jacksonville Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida voted to change its name to the Bold City Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida. The name change will become effective October 1, 1976, commemorating the anniversary celebration of the consolidation of the city and county governments of Jacksonville and Duval County, which took place on October 1, 1968. Also during July, Governor Reuben Askew appointed Jim Bowen, president of the Jacksonville Chapter, to the Governor's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped. Having an NFB representative on this committee is another milestone for the NFB of Florida.

On July 30, 1976, Rudolph V. Lutter, Jr., a senior attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, was appointed to the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a member of the committee it will be Mr. Lutter's responsibility, during his leisure time, to meet with and establish a dialogue between representatives of the business, labor, and handicapped communities of Pennsylvania with a particular emphasis on solving any problems confronting Pennsylvania's handicapped citizens. Mr. Lutter is blind.

Recording for the Blind, Inc., (215 East Fifty-eighth Street, New York, New York 10022) has the following books available in either open reel or cassette mode: Textile Design Course for the Weaver, Series 1, 2, 3 by Kay Geary; Designing and Drafting for Handweavers by Berta Frey; A Handbook of Weaves by G. H. Oelsner; Weaving, A Handbook for Fiber Craftsmen by S. E. Held; Rug Weaving for Everyone by O. G. Tod and J. del Deo; and Oriental Rugs, Antique and Modern by W. A. Hawley. The Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (1921 Taylor Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20542) has cooperated by producing in a cassette mode The Encyclopedia of Textiles by the editors of American Fabrics Magazine.

Don't forget that you can order a Tele-sensory talking calculator direct from our National Offices, 218 Randolph Hotel Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. This unit can be had for $395.

James S. Gray, personnel manager of Ortho Diagnostics, Inc., Raritan, New Jersey 08869 writes as follows: "Ortho Diagnostics, Inc., is totally committed to the policy of equal employment opportunity. Because of this commitment, we are writing to you to have you refer handicapped applicants to us on a completely non-discriminatory basis. We will try to accommodate every handicap where practical, but as we develop plans to modify our facility, we will then be able to achieve greater flexibility in hiring."

The 1977 Ski for Light program will be held in Woodstock, Vermont, from Sunday, January 30, 1977, through Sunday, February 6, 1977. Ski for Light is a week-long program designed to introduce visually impaired Americans, eighteen years of age and older, to Nordic or cross-country skiing, known also as ski touring. This will be the third annual event of this type held in the United States. The first was held in Summit County, Colorado, in 1975, and the 1976 event was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota; both were officially designated Bicentennial events.

The program consists of instruction by experienced cross-country skiers, practice sessions, informal lectures or presentations on subjects related to the sport, plenty of time for the exchange of ideas and experiences with the other participants, delicious meals at the beautiful and rustic Woodstock Inn, and informal social activity. Anyone wanting more specific information should contact Mrs. Grethe Twiford, executive secretary of the 1977 Ski for Light, 2305 White Tail Court, Reston, Virginia 22091; telephone (703) 860-0054.

California has more residents age sixty-five or over than any other State-a total of 2,056,000, according to 1975 census figures. New York's total is 2,030,000, the census showed. Florida continues to have the highest percentage of citizens sixty-five or older-16.6 percent. The national total of persons in this age bracket grew from 19.8 million in 1970 to 22.4 million, or 10.5 percent of the total population, in 1975. That's "senior power" for you!

The Department of HEW issued proposed regulations which would liberalize the "substantial gainful activity" for individuals receiving Disability Insurance or SSI income. A person earning less than $150 monthly will automatically be considered unable to perform substantial gainful work. The previous limit was $130. A person earning more than $230 in average monthly wages will ordinarily be considered capable of gainful activity. The previous limit was $200 per month. For a person earning between $150 and $230 a month, a detailed review of the individual's work activities and medical evidence are required to determine whether or not his ability to engage in substantial gainful employment exists. Claims for Disability Insurance benefits may be reopened on the basis of the higher amounts. The proposed regulations also provide for an automatic annual adjustment of the substantial gainful employment test in accordance with general increases in earnings similar to that provided by law for the retirement test used for individuals receiving Social Security retirement benefits. The new adjustment mechanism does not apply to SSI beneficiaries.

The deadline for receiving articles for the January issue of the Braille Monitor is November 20.

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