JUNE, 1977



JUNE 1977


Kenneth Jernigan, President

218 Randolph Hotel Building
Fourth and Court Streets
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dupont Circle Building, Suite 212
1346 Connecticut Avenue, NW.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Richard Edlund, Treasurer
National Federation of the Blind
Box 11185
Kansas City, Kansas 66111












BOX 11185

If you or a friend would like 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 National Offices for other suggested forms.

JUNE 1977



















The evaluation of the Kurzweil print-to-speech machine is now underway. The first field model of the reading machine was set up at the Iowa Commission for the Blind in late March, and blind persons throughout the central part of Iowa are now using it 18 hours a day for a variety of reading needs. This marks the end of a long period beginning with the first demonstration of the device by the inventor, Ray Kurzweil, to the media in early 1976, and ending with this installation of a model in roughly its finished form. It is a milestone worth noting that the original machine, which occupied half a room and could only read print typed on Ray Kurzweil’s personal typewriter, has now been transformed into a compact unit which can handle complicated formats and read nearly 200 typestyles. It now has the capacity to read slowly or fast and at various pitches; it will repeat words, spell words, back up a line at a time or jump back to the top of the page; it can manage pages with two or more columns; it will read or omit punctuation. The speech is easy to understand almost immediately; it can read almost any typestyle used in books or typewriters (not handwriting); and a capacity for skimming (skipping ahead a paragraph at a time or ahead to the next bold-print heading) is hoped to be made part of its talents.

A machine which is virtually the same as that now undergoing testing was demonstrated to the press at the Iowa Commission this last January. At that time many people (including curious members of the public) got to hear the machine in its advanced state. The effect on those who were present was almost awing. The ease with which different materials were put in place, the facility of several operators with the control panel, and most of all the understandability and rapidity of the synthesized speech were impressive. The fact that we were dealing with an operational model, actually set in a library, opened us to the impact this machine could have on the lives of the blind. The device would give the blind substantially the same access to the printed word as is now available to the sighted. Although it will be at least a decade before we can expect to find these machines anywhere but in libraries or public settings, it is likely that in the future the blind will become mighty familiar with the computer voice of the Kurzweil machine.

The January presentation received wide media coverage. It was discussed on the Today Show, on all the network news programs, and was syndicated across the nation by UPI and AP. What the press often missed, but which is an essential point to the blind, is that the Kurzweil machine has been developed with the active involvement of the blind. Its usability has increased immensely as a result of this immediate and direct feedback from blind persons associated with the project. It was this involvement, for example, which led to the realization that straight reading was nowhere near sufficient, that the ability to stop, back up, spell, and pronounce punctuation were necessary to scholarly work, and many other kinds of work. It was discovered that the machine could not read photocopies a major problem since at least half of business reading is copied material. The machine can now read photocopies. A drawback to other print-translation devices, developed without this active consumer involvement, has been their limited number of uses. As hundreds of blind people put in hours with this machine, its capabilities will undoubtedly expand greatly.

One of the more remarkable features of the Kurzweil machine is its ability to learn. This also explains why a machine can be close to its final form at the beginning of its first extensive testing and still be able to incorporate the results of the testing. The actual hardware or physical equipment of the computer is relatively complete (although some mechanical parts may yet be modified). But the capacities of a computer are determined by the subtlety of the program fed into it. Thus, control buttons can be reprogrammed to perform different functions, and the interpreting action of the computer itself can be changed by changing the program. Even now the Kurzweil machine has a limited ability to reprogram itself according to what is being read. If a peculiar typestyle causes the speech to be garbled, the machine will "learn" the new style and begin to read clearly.

This learning capability is what makes the wide testing now beginning so useful. The input from months of use will enable the final product to be much freer of bugs than is usually the case. Even after the machines are on the market and in private homes, the programs can be updated as advances are made. Undoubtedly special programs will be developed for special uses—such as foreign languages or non-roman letters.

It is also worth noting that the final development of this machine has been coordinated by the National Federation of the Blind. We obtained the grants to support the project, and we have provided constant liaison to Kurzweil Computer Products, the inventor's company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is proper that the organized blind should be in the forefront in this way, for this project will benefit all of the blind, and the blind of future generations.

The locations of the other field models have not yet been determined, and the applications to participate in the testing are being reviewed. We will attempt to place the machines in a variety of situations and spread them out as much as is feasible within cost and time restraints. The Iowa machine, as well as the other models put into testing, will later circulate into work settings in the test area, to let as many people as possible become acquainted with this remarkable machine.  

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March 2, 1977, marked another milestone in the march by the blind toward equality. For many years, we have been wrestling with the question of discrimination against the blind in the purchase of insurance. On March 2, an Insurance Department of Iowa departmental regulation went into effect forbidding discrimination in insurance against the blind in that state. While we had the opportunity, we also gave an assist to the physically disabled by including them in our regulation.

As Monitor readers will recall from the February issue, I filed a formal complaint with our insurance department because of discrimination in travel insurance. We then used this complaint as a vehicle to call attention to the entire problem of discrimination against the blind in an effort to urge our insurance department to take constructive action. Once the facts were known, the insurance commissioner became concerned and agreed that something had to be done. Accordingly, the commissioner drafted a proposed departmental regulation which states in part: "The purpose of this regulation is to state that individuals who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability do not, for that reason, constitute a class."

On November 16, 1976, a public hearing was held on the proposed regulation. Representatives of the insurance industry turned out en masse to oppose the regulation. I testified on behalf of both the Iowa Commission for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind.

The insurance companies brought out their old arguments. They claim that the blind as a group have a shortened life expectancy. A much higher percentage of the blind than of the normal population, they say, has diabetes-a major cause of blindness; many are elderly, or their loss of sight is due to a stroke or some other serious life-threatening condition. Yet insurers are asked to ignore the classification of blindness and treat these people as ordinary members of the public.

The argument has a major fallacy. All of the situations in which blindness is directly linked to shortened life expectancy—all the cases where it is a warning of serious illness-are already accepted as proper classifications. But all of the rest of the blind—those whose blindness is a stable condition-have no different life expectancy than other members of the public. Thus blindness itself—without an examination of its medical cause and meaning—is not reason enough to impose higher rates for curtailed service.

It is these medical conditions sometimes related to blindness which cause the confusion. But when they are cleared away, the underlying stereotype is revealed. The insurance industry refuses to believe that these ordinary blind persons do not have a higher accident rate, that they can avoid walking off cliffs or into machinery. This, for example, is why the blind are almost never sold so-called "double indemnity" or accidental death insurance.

The companies even tend to believe that the blind do not have any life to insure—that they do not have what is called an "insurable interest"—so unlikely are they to be able to hold jobs or support themselves. After all, this arguments seems to go, if the blind head of a family dies, there is probably no economic loss to the family; more likely just the opposite. This is the rock bottom of prejudice, and it is hard to deal with because we are talking to people in business who buck themselves up by believing they are being practical. We can't afford to baby the blind along, they would say; maybe the federal government can afford to, and maybe it can bully big corporate contractors into doing it; but let's face it, the average blind person is lucky to make it intact from his bed to his rocking chair, and we are in business.

As one insurer wrote: "While this may sound like a tired old stereotype to you, the very small mortality margins in the premium for this additional benefit simply do not permit any excess deaths." This whole problem can alsp be plainly seen in an exchange of correspondence between an insurance carrier in Iowa and Insurance Commissioner Herbert Anderson. As these letters show, Commissioner Anderson did not permit himself to be bullied by the industry, but rather became deeply involved.

"DEAR COMMISSIONER: I strongly object to [the proposed regulation].

"The statement which is proposed for adoption as law is completely wrong.

"Persons who smoke do indeed represent a different life expectancy than those who do not. Persons who are overweight do indeed represent a different life expectancy than those who are not. Persons with high blood pressure do indeed represent a different life expectancy than those who do not.

"It is my belief that persons who do not have functioning vision represent a different life expectancy than those who do. On what basis do you conclude that they are precisely the same?"

Commissioner Anderson's reply was as follows:

"I have your letter and it will be considered when the record is closed on our proposed regulations. However, I must tell you that you do not add anything of value to the record by asking me on what basis I have reached the conclusion that you assume I have reached. The matter which you should address is the basis for your belief 'that persons who do not have functioning vision represent a different life expectancy than those who do.' I have not seen any empirical data to support such a belief and I challenge you to supply me with any. Remember that your statement is that blind persons have a different life expectancy than sighted persons. If you do not furnish evidence to support your statement, then your statement will be considered evidence of the strong need for a regulation such as that proposed. The regulation is directly aimed at preventing insurers from practicing 'blind' discrimination."

Under Iowa law, a departmental regulation must be approved by the Administrative Rules Review Committee of the Iowa Legislature. This committee reviewed the regulation on February 8, 1977, and approved it unanimously. The regulation as adopted reads as follows:


Pursuant to the authority of section 507B.12 of the Code, the following rules are adopted.



510-15.80(507B) Purpose.—The purpose of this regulation is to state that individuals who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability do not, for that reason, constitute a class. Therefore, individuals who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability will not, solely on that basis, be unfairly discriminated against in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon or in any other of the terms and conditions of such contract; and will not, solely on the basis of blindness, partial blindness, or physical disability, be unfairly discriminated against in the amount of premium, policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of insurance other than life or in the benefits payable thereunder or in any of the terms or conditions of such contract, or in any manner whatever.

510-15.81(507B) Definitions.

15.81(1) "Contract" shall mean "insurance policy" or "insurance contract" as defined in section 507B.2(3) of the Code.

15.81(2) "Person" shall mean "person" As defined in section 507B.2(1) of the Code.

510-15.82(507B) Applicability and Scope.

15.82(1) This regulation shall apply to all contracts delivered or issued for delivery in this state by a person on or after the effective date of this regulation and to all existing group contracts which are amended or renewed on or after the effective date of this regulation.

15.82(2) Nothing contained in this regulation shall be construed to prohibit discrimination between individuals of the same class who do not have equal expectation of life or who have an expected risk of loss different than that of other individuals of the same class.

510-15.83(507B) Prohibition.

15.83(1) For the purposes of sections 507B.4(7)(a) and 507B.4(7)(b) of the Code, individuals shall not be considered to be of the same class solely because such individuals are blind, partially blind, or physically disabled.

15.83(2) For the purposes of section 507B.4(7)(a) individuals shall not be considered to have a different life expectancy solely because they are blind, partially blind, or physically disabled.

These rules will become effective on March 2, 1977.

Commissioner of Insurance.

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The federal Office for the Blind and Visually Handicapped is part of the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Its Director is a member of the executive staff of the RSA Commissioner, whom he advises. The Office for the Blind serves, in fact, as unofficial advisor to the federal government on all matters having to do with the blind. If President Carter were asked a question about the Federation, for instance, he would probably refer it to the Office for the Blind.

The Office for the Blind was created in its present form in 1971. It superseded the old Division for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. This occurred at the time of a reorganization of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, when it looked as if the blind would be included under the umbrella of a new Division of Special Populations. Monitor readers may remember that the formation of the Office for the Blind resulted from the protest of blind consumers, as well as many agencies, that their programs would be downgraded in the new arrangement. After meetings with the RSA Commissioner, then Edward Newman, and with John Twiname, Administrator of RSA's parent agency, the Social and Rehabilitative Service, a memo was written by Mr. Twiname outlining what had been decided.

"We are creating a new Office for the Blind," Mr. Twiname wrote, "which will have full divisional status within the Rehabilitation Services Administration.... The 'office' designation means (1) carrying on the regular operating responsibilities of the current division within the Rehabilitation Services Administration and (2) the opportunity for the new office to provide increased leadership and advocacy for the nation's blind and visually handicapped.

"This second goal will be accomplished by designating the head of the new office as a special assistant to the Administrator of Social and Rehabilitative Service to provide consultation in expanding services and generating new programs for blind persons. This designation will extend the responsibility of this position to include, in addition to rehabilitation, representation for the blind in policy and program development in community services, Medicaid, and other SRS programs, plus opening a new avenue for advocacy and leadership on behalf of this target group for the entire Department."

The "Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority" published in the Federal Register in the summer of 1971 and signed by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, repeats and even extends the language of the Twiname memo. According to this statement, the functions of the Office for the Blind, in part, are that it: "Assumes leadership for achievement of agency missions as assigned by the Commissioner on the basis of the Office's special expertise. Provides leadership and consultation to regional offices, state agencies, and other grantees in the development and expansion of rehabilitation programs and services for the blind and visually handicapped. Maintains liaison and consultation with national organizations of and for the blind and with the blind community nationwide to serve as a focal point and to provide increased leadership and advocacy for the nation's blind and visually handicapped. . . . Develops appropriate methods to facilitate client participation in the formulation of program objectives within the agency and at the state agency and other grantee level."

So explicit is this language and so clear its intent, that there is no need to labor it. But one would be hard-pressed to connect it to many of the recent activities of the Office for the Blind.

The Director of the Office for the Blind ever since its creation has been Dr. Douglas C. MacFarland. He was the head of the Division for the Blind and Visually Handicapped for some years before that, since 1964 when he took over the position from Lou Rives. The Monitor, in 1965, published an article praising the exemplary careers of both MacFarland and Rives, as well as George Majors, who has been MacFarland's longtime chief assistant. This patient support has been the attitude of the Federation for years, even when the positive results from having a blind person so highly placed in the rehab bureacracy were hard to find.

For this is the vision we have of Dr. MacFarland's position: He is the most highly placed blind person in the federal government who has been given the explicit charge of protecting the interests of the blind. When these interests are threatened by other governmental departments, he is the one intended to speak up in our behalf. If a bureaucratic impasse arises which may retard the progress of rehabilitation programs, he is to insure that the program mission is carried out.

This has rarely happened. The evidence suggests that Dr. MacFarland has an opposite vision of his job. When he acts at all, it is as the spokesman for agency bureaucrats who find that consumer input will interfere with discretionary control of their programs. He acts as the compromiser in cases where federal departments wish to circumvent requirements concerning employment of the blind, and the compromise is usually at the expense of the blind.

Some instances of this role confusion came up at last summer's Convention in Los Angeles, during the question-and-answer period following Dr. MacFarland's talk. Most of the questions concerned the administration of the vending stand program mandated by the Randolph-Sheppard Act. The administration of this program is a major official duty of the Office for the Blind, especially since the passage of the 1974 amendments to the act. The Office approves applications submitted by state agencies to carry out the program at the state level, as well as agreements with the nominee agencies sometimes appointed by the state agencies. The Randolph-Sheppard Act, originally passed in 1936, was amended in 1974. These amendments strengthen the priority for blind persons to run vending facilities on federal property. They also require that representative committees of vendors be elected to participate "in major administrative decisions and policy and program development" and receive "grievances of blind licensees and [serve] as advocates for such licensees."

An act of Congress becomes the law of the land at the moment of its signing by the President. In the case of the Randolph-Sheppard amendments, this was December 7, 1974. In practice, however, those agencies affected by a new law often do not fully carry out its provisions until the act is translated into federal regulations. The process of forming the regulations is sometimes a slow one, in order to provide an opportunity for the public to comment and testify on the proposed regulations before they become final. The Randolph-Sheppard regulations, for instance, have just now (in spring 1977) been published, more than two years after the amendments became law and two years after the deadline specified in the amendments. But this procedure, which allows for consumer input and careful consideration, is not meant to invalidate acts of Congress, nor to delay their enforcement at the convenience of the regulating agency. To illustrate this, the non-discrimination requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were passed a year earlier than the Randolph-Sheppard amendments, and the regulations enforcing these have still not been finalized. Yet more than a year ago, the Federation, in the Gurmankin case, sued the Philadelphia School District under Section 504, even without regulations, and obtained a favorable ruling. This question-the force of laws before their regulations are published-will arise in this article; but as the Gurmankin case shows, there is no real question.

The first matter brought to Dr. MacFarland's attention at the Convention concerned the priority for the blind to run vending facilities on federal property and its application in the state of West Virginia. The situation which arose in that state was remarkably straightforward. The National Mine Health and Safety Academy (NMHSA) in Beckley, West Virginia, was looking for someone to run its cafeteria. The academy is part of the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration of the Department of the Interior-a federal agency anyway you look at it. The Randolph-Sheppard Act, as amended in 1974, provides that: "The Secretary, through the Commissioner, shall prescribe regulations to establish a priority for the operation of cafeterias on federal property by blind licensees when he determines, on an individual basis and after consultation with the head of the appropriate installation, that such operation can be provided at a reasonable cost with food of high quality comparable to that currently provided to employees, whether by contract or otherwise."

The provision calls for regulations to insure the priority of the blind, with the only restriction being that "high quality" food can be provided "at a reasonable cost."

By the spring of 1976, the academy had asked for bids from commercial food vendors to run its cafeteria. When the West Virginia Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the state licensing agency) indicated an interest in this cafeteria, the matter was referred to the Office for the Blind. The Office's duty under the law was to actively protect the priority of the blind, and it should have informed the Department of the Interior of its obligations under the law. What actually did happen is set out in a letter from Dr. MacFarland to an official of the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration, dated March 18.

"DEAR MR. LOCKWOOD: This is in response to your letter of March 5 resulting from the' March 3 meeting held in my office with representatives from the Department of the Interior, the Small Business Administration, our Office of the General Counsel, and members of my staff concerning the establishment of a cafeteria at the Mining Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, West Virginia. During the meeting, it was indicated that the West Virginia rehabilitation agency had made application to operate the cafeteria but there was a question as to whether blind persons would manage the facility as stipulated in the Randolph-Shepard Act. That question was raised with an official of the West Virginia agency later that afternoon and we were assured that several blind persons would be involved in managing and operating the cafeteria.

"The major issue discussed during the meeting was whether the facility contemplated at the academy was subject to the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act as amended by Public Law 93-516. Your letter of March 5 set forth this question in writing. The specific question was referred for a legal opinion to our General Counsel (copy of opinion attached). The legal opinion clearly establishes that operation of the facility cafeteria does not fall within the purview of the Randolph-Sheppard Act as amended. Under the circumstances, the application by the West Virginia rehabilitation agency is not entitled to priority under the act.

"We appreciate your cooperation and trust that the foregoing information will be responsive to your question. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

"Sincerely yours,

"Director, Office for the Blind and Visually Handicapped." 

The legal opinion supporting this astonishing conclusion was obtained from one Paul M. Menszer, of the Office of the HEW General Counsel. As you read this opinion, consider the lengths to which this lawyer has gone to justify his interpretation of the act, and consider what sort of coaching he must have received. His opinion, directed to Dr. MacFarland, reads as follows:

"You have asked us whether blind persons licensed by the state agency are entitled to a statutory priority in accordance with the provisions [of the act] in the operation of a cafeteria at the Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, West Virginia. In our opinion, no such entitlement exists because of the nature of the academy cafeteria operation.

"The relevant facts, as we understand them, are as follows: The Mine Health and Safety Academy intends to provide food services at a cafeteria installation beginning July 1, 1976. More than 85 percent of the meals prepared will be furnished to academy students (approximately 400 in number) free of charge (the food service provider will bill the academy directly). A minimal number of meals (less than 15 percent) will be provided to faculty members and visitors on a cash basis. . . .

"The term 'vending facility' is defined in section 207 of the act as automatic vending machines, cafeterias, snack bars, cart services, shelters, counters, and such other appropriate auxiliary equipment as the Secretary may by regulation prescribe as being necessary for the sale of articles or services described in section 2(a)(5) of this act and which may be operated by blind licensees." [Note: emphasis in the original]

"In our opinion, the priority provisions of sections 202(b) and 206(e) of the act do not apply to the cafeteria operation at the Mine Health and Safety Academy because it is not a vending facility within the meaning of the statute. The majority of the meals served will not be sold (as the definition of vending facility contemplates) to individual customers, but instead provided by the federal government (the main customer), gratis to academy students. We do not believe this type of food service arrangement was intended by Congress to fall within the scope of the operation of a vending facility to which the blind are entitled to a priority."

This opinion was brought by West Virginia Federationists to Senator Jennings Randolph. Senator Randolph must have been surprised to find that the act bearing his name had been declared inoperative, and on such an unbelievable rationale. He promptly turned to the General Accounting Office (GAO) and obtained another opinion, from the Deputy Comptroller General of the United States, Robert F. Keller. Mr. Keller's opinion was as follows:

"We understand that the FMHSA food services will be provided cafeteria style to the more than 400 students and faculty expected to attend the academy beginning this coming July. The students will come from both federal and state agencies and the costs of their attendance will be borne by their employing agencies-a basic fee being levied for each student for the costs of room, board, and supplies. Thus, while a student will not pay for his food on a meal-by-meal basis, the meals, nevertheless, will be bought by the sponsoring agency-the purchase included in the basic fee levied for each FMHSA participant. . . .

"The Randolph-Sheppard Act, as amended . . . provides that priority is to be given to applications by licensed blind persons to operate vending facilities on any federal property. . . Cafeterias-the type of food service contemplated for the FMHSA—are expressly included in the definition of 'vending facilities' prescribed in the statute. . . .

"Our analysis of HEW's decision on the FMHSA cafeteria is that the Department's conclusion was based upon a determination that the subject food services do not fall within the meaning of 'vending facility' because the majority of the meals served will not be 'sold'—HEW believes the statute contemplates only those sales transactions that occur at the time goods or services are obtained. Thus, because no sale transaction will occur when the majority of the meals are to be served in the FMHSA cafeteria, the absence of such a transaction operates to bring the cafeteria outside of the statute's priority provisions. We are unaware of any evidence in the statute or its legislative history supporting this conclusion. Nowhere is there support for the view that the statute, even by implication, contemplates priority to be given to only those vending facilities where a sales transaction takes place contemporaneously with the vendee obtaining the articles purchased. As discussed earlier, a 'sale' will take place; albeit on a pre-paid basis.

"In the light of the above, we conclude that operations like the FMHSA cafeteria were intended to be subject to the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act."

This GAO opinion comes close to being an open rebuke to Mr. Menszer, but in our opinion, it could with justice have been stronger. The section of the amendments on which Menszer bases his opinion was the definition of vending facilities. To paraphrase that section, a vending facility includes any equipment which the Secretary of HEW may consider necessary for sales operations. Frankly, this section does not require that anything be sold at all (although this is clearly the intent of the act), it merely discusses the equipment which can be part of the facility. But Mr. Menszer has latched onto the word "sales" and then interpreted the section to mean: federal agencies may ignore this act if meals are not paid for when they are eaten. This is straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

As events turned out, the academy went ahead and granted a contract to a private food service firm. The West Virginia Federation of the Blind and West Virginia Department of Vocational Rehabilitation filed suit in U.S. District Court, claiming violations of the law in the awarding of the contract. Later the nominee agency for vending programs in the state joined the suit. The court has still to rule on the case, but correction of the situation must now await at least the end of the existing food service contract. But leaving the lawsuit aside, what has happened is that the Office for the Blind, the "advocate" for the blind in the government, finagled and skirted the law in order to prevent the blind from receiving what was theirs by right of legislation specifically enacted for their benefit. The only purpose for all this appears to have been the desire to avoid creating nuisances for busy federal agencies—such nuisances as obeying the law.

At the NFB Convention last summer, NFB Washington Office Chief James Gashel discussed the history of this case and then put a question to Dr. MacFarland. Also present on the podium was Andrew Adams, the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Dr. MacFarland made a lengthy reply in which he put the blame on Commissioner Adams, on the Mine Academy, and finally on the General Counsel. He reversed himself repeatedly and often within single statements, before finally being forced to admit that the action was his. That discussion went like this:

Mr. Gashel: I would put the question to you this way. I read section 7(e) which provides that the Secretary, through the Commissioner, shall make an individual determination. Your letter of March 18 was written to the Mine Safety Academy, and it sets forth such a determination. The Commissioner is here; the blind are here. Are you prepared to tell us that your letter of March 18 constitutes the Commissioner's determination, or the Secretary's determination, that there shall be no priority in the operation of cafeterias in this particular instance?

Dr. MacFarland: . . . Now, specifically with respect to the academy in West Virginia. Naturally, I do not answer for the Commissioner, I do not answer for the Secretary. The circumstances were these: We did have a meeting in my office. We did have the representation from the Interior. We had representation—and I might say, very vocal representation—from the Small Business Administration. They were eager to get their cafeteria—or their dining room, as they described it-in operation. They wanted an answer. I asked our General Counsel for an opinion. The letter I wrote merely transmitted that opinion to the Interior Department. It was done with the full knowledge of the Commissioner and—Is the Commissioner here?—Andy can certainly tell you that it was done with his full knowledge. It was not intended to speak for the Commissioner; it was not intended to give an opinion for the Secretary; it was simply meant to transmit the findings of our General Counsel. Now, General Counsel is—these are the people who are supposed to give us legal interpretation. We don't have to take what they say; the Commissioner doesn't have to take what they say. He can reverse the decision. I'm fully aware—I was at the meeting, Jim, with Senator Randolph—I'm fully aware that Senator Randolph asked the GAO to look into the question. Although I haven't seen the correspondence I am aware that they did reverse, and this is fine. I think I have given you an honest and full explanation of exactly what happened.

[The discussion moved to other areas, but was brought back to West Virginia by another question from Jim Gashel.]

Mr. Gashel: You've already told us that this was not the Commissioner's determination, and we certainly accept that. I would only point out you were the one that wrote the letter to the Mine Safety Academy transmitting this information, that many of the sentences—in fact, most—are yours, not the legal counsel's; and I would say then, is this your opinion that this doesn't come under the priority? It isn't the Commissioner's; is it yours? Or do you want to give it to General Counsel?

Dr. MacFarland: No, I'm not. You know. General Counsel isn't here to defend himself, and I'm not sure they need defense. But everything that was in that letter was the opinion of General Counsel and it was merely transmitted by me. It was not my opinion. I never saw the academy.

President Jernigan: It is my understanding, and I perhaps am wrong about this. Dr. MacFarland. My understanding was that this matter had not been brought to the attention of the Commissioner in its earlier stages, but had been handled by the Office for the Blind. Am I incorrect in that understanding?

Dr. MacFarland: There was only one meeting—

President Jernigan: With Senator Randolph, you mean?

Dr. MacFarland: There was only one meeting with the Interior Department.

President Jernigan: And the Commissioner was apprised of that ahead of time?

Dr. MacFarland: No, the Commissioner was not. The Commissioner knew that we were meeting with the Interior, yes. Is that not correct, Andy? That you knew that we were meeting with Interior? and that we were meeting with other departments as I was instructed to do.

President Jernigan: My understanding was that the specific facility in question—that the determination was made prior to the Commissioner's knowledge that that was an issue; but I may be wrong about that.

Dr. MacFarland: No, I'm sure you're right.

Mr. Gashel: Dr. Jernigan, if I may just say, I think if the blind had been at that meeting—not just the Office for the Blind, but the blind of this country—a different decision would have been made.

This was the end of the discussion of the cafeteria at the Convention, but it raised questions about the role of the Office for the Blind that have still not been answered.

Two other instances brought to Dr. MacFarland's attention that same afternoon concerned the requirements for consumer participation in state vending stand programs and policies. Section 209 of the Randolph-Sheppard amendments reads, in part:

"In addition to other requirements imposed in this title and the Randolph-Sheppard Act upon state licensing agencies, such agencies shall—

"(2) conduct the biennial election of a Committee of Blind Vendors who shall be fully representative of all blind licensees in the state program, and

"(3) insure that such committee's responsibilities include (A) participation, with the state agency, in major administrative decisions and policy and program development . . . ."

As noted earlier, these amendments had the force of law as soon as they were passed in 1974. Agencies could, and did, drag their heels on forming these vendor committees, waiting for the regulations to be published. The language of the amendments states plainly that these vendors committees are to represent the views of the blind persons operating vending facilities and that these committees shall be their voice in agency policy. In two states—South Carolina and Louisiana—the chairman of the vendors committee was appointed by the state agency, and in one case the appointee was the supervisor of the state vending program. John Taylor raised the question of the legality of this in relation to the Louisiana case. His question and Dr. MacFarland's very definite response went as follows: 

Mr. Taylor: There is at least one state delegation here reporting that when it elected its committee of blind vending facility managers, it also elected a chairman of that committee. The director in that state apparently didn't care for that particular chairman, and he simply set aside that election and appointed his own choice as a replacement. What kind of help can the blind vendors expect from the Office for the Blind?

Dr. MacFarland: I think you know the answer to that without asking the question. Certainly we're not going to put up with anything like that. The law—[Dr. MacFarland was interrupted by applause. He went on:] I don't know what state you're talking about and I don't care to know at this moment. I would like very much to know in my—

Mr. Taylor: I'll be glad to tell you, too.

Dr. MacFarland: Well, I don't—

President Jernigan: Tell him.

Mr. Taylor: Okay, we're talking about the state of Louisiana.

Dr. MacFarland: Whether it's the state of Louisiana, the state of Texas, or any other of the 50 states, the law says that the committee is elected by the vendors in the state, and I would assume that the chairman would be elected by the committee. And it cannot be appointed by anybody else. And that's my answer. If this is brought to my attention—and I hope it is—believe me, any decision like that will be reversed.

The situation in South Carolina was raised by James Simms, as follows:

Mr. Simms: Mr. MacFarland, I run a concession stand in the state of South Carolina. When our committee was formed, back in April, our stand supervisor told us at our last meeting in June that he would appoint himself—and by the way, he is a sighted man—that he would appoint himself as chairman of this committee.

[Before Dr. MacFarland could reply, the discussion moved to a related matter, but was brought back to South Carolina by Donald Capps, who said:]

Mr. Capps: I did not know about this in South Carolina, but Dr. MacFarland, we are bringing this to your attention now officially. Will you look into it and will you give me a report on what happens and what is done?

Dr. MacFarland: Yes. I can see my work is cut out for me when I get back to the office tomorrow.

Dr. MacFarland's first answer, to Mr. Taylor, was unequivocal: "[The chairman] cannot be appointed by anybody else. . . . If this is brought to my attention-and I hope it is—believe me, any decision like that will be reversed." But when Dr. MacFarland got back to his office—away from the spotlight of the Convention—he reversed himself completely, and decided that the action of the South Carolina agency had been perfectly proper. Here is the letter he wrote to Henry Watts, the head of the agency:

"DEAR MR. WATTS: This is in response to our telephone conversation regarding a question that was raised at the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Los Angeles on July 8.

"During a question-and-answer period, Mr. Simms, a South Carolina vending facility operator, stated that a vending facility supervisor from your staff had appointed himself as chairman of the committee of vending facility operators that has been elected in your state. I told Mr. Simms that I would look into the matter. . . .

"I appreciate receiving a copy of the tape recorded during the July meeting of the committee of blind vendors of South Carolina, which outlined in detail a full discussion of the situation. The tape was forwarded to me as a result of a motion of the committee which was carried unanimously. I reviewed it several times and it appears clear that Mr. Jones, the supervisor in question, was in fact elected by a majority of the committee. It was indicated in the discussion that the current chairman saw his role as more of a coordinator, recorder, and expeditor-a role which would certainly be in order if the committee members agreed that they wished him to act in this capacity and that such help was necessary.

"Section 209(2)(3) of Public Law 93-516 specifies that a committee of blind vendors be elected to work with the state licensing agency in the conduct of certain designated responsibilities. The statute, however, does not mention a chairman; therefore, whether there is a chairman and how this person is elected is a matter for the state and the committee of blind vendors to decide. I certainly believe, however, that if a chairman is selected from the state agency staff, that he should abstain from voting in order not to exercise any undue influence or create a situation that can be construed as involving a possible or actual conflict of interest. At present, the question is academic since we have not promulgated final regulations implementing the 1974 amendments and until such time as we do the program operates under the currently published rules which do not address this question.

"I trust this response will remedy for you and your advisory committee any misunderstanding that might have been raised as a result of the interchange in Los Angeles between Mr. Simms and myself. Please express my thanks to the members of the advisory committee for making the tape available to me.


"Director, Office for the Blind and Visually Handicapped."

The letter, on the face of it, is the result of a discussion between MacFarland and Watts about the best way to smoothe over the situation. Particularly revealing is the comment, "I trust this response will remedy for you . . . any misunderstanding that might have been raised"—in other words, he says, Don't do anything; I'll write you a letter which will "remedy" your problem.

The remedy he offers is worth comment. In a letter to Dr. MacFarland's superior, RSA Commissioner Adams, James Gashel wrote:

"Dr. MacFarland was informed that an agency staff member was appointed to chair the committee of blind vendors. He said he would check into it and give us a report. Presumably the attached letter constitutes that report.

"How can one justify having an agency staff member serve as the elected chairman of the committee of blind vendors? The law states that there shall be an elected committee of blind vendors and that that committee shall be fully representative of all blind vendors in the state program. Surely this means that membership on the committee is open to no one but blind vendors. The law does not authorize persons other than vendors to serve on the committee. Although the law does not speak to the matter of who should be the chairman (or, whether there shall be a chairman at all), surely it is obvious that the chairman, if there is one, will be elected from the membership of the committee. Even if the members of the committee wanted to, I do not think they could legally elect the state director or one of his subordinates to serve as one of their committee. The other vendors (whom the committee purports to represent) would almost certainly raise a row as they have in the South Carolina case. I doubt that the blind vendors of the other 49 states and the District of Columbia would tolerate having the principle established that an agency staff member could be elected to chair the vendors committee."

This analysis of the legality of Dr. MacFarland's new position does not go into his misrepresentation of the actual event. The agency supervisor was not elected by the vendors committee. He had told them that he was the person most conversant with the South Carolina vending program, having access to all the records, etc., and that he wished to act as chairman of the committee. The vendors had no inkling that this was improper, and they informally agreed. The first any of them knew that Mr. Jones had stepped out of line was when James Simms heard John Taylor ask Dr. MacFarland about the Louisiana case at the Convention. Concerning the tape-recording so emphasized by Dr. MacFarland: At a committee meeting after the Convention, Henry Watts asked the vendors if he could send the tape to Dr. MacFarland, and they agreed. Dr. MacFarland's letter twists these events and clearly implies that the vendors are ready to defend Mr. Jones' action. In fact, their protests persuaded Mr. Jones to step down as chairman, and a vendor was elected in his place. Surely some of this was known to Dr. MacFarland, and it further highlights the duplicity of his response.

In Louisiana, a vendors committee was elected after the passage of the 1974 amendments. This committee, at their first meeting, which was attended by every committee member but with no agency personnel present, elected one Johnny Cook their chairman. At the next committee meeting, the administrator of the Blind Services Program, Vernon Broussard, set aside Mr. Cook's election. He said he would prefer another committee member, Harold Broussard, and that Harold Broussard was therefore the committee chairman.

After the Los Angeles Convention, Dr. MacFarland wrote a letter about this to the Louisiana agency and received a reply from Roy Westerfield, Director of the Division of Family Services which contains the Blind Services Program. Mr. Westerfield sent a short cover letter and enclosed a letter he had written earlier in response to the same question. Confusion was later to arise—and we will see why—about whether the vendor committee in question was intended to fulfill the requirements of the 1974 amendments, or whether it was simply some unofficial, pre-existing committee. The sequence, as we understand it, was as follows: An advisory committee of vendors was elected in 1973. Then, after the passage of the amendments, the committee was reconstituted, with the results described earlier. That this new committee was intended to fill the requirements of the amendments is, we think, plain, since Mr. Westerfield discusses the committee in terms of specific sections of the amended act. His letter, directed to Louisiana State Senator Don Williamson, reads, in part, as follows:

"DEAR SENATOR WILLIAMSON: ... I have reviewed our Blind Services Program with its administrator, and I believe that all programs operated by the Division of Family Services . . . are as client-centered as we can possibly make them, considering staff limitations, etc. I also solicit and accept regular input from client groups, client representatives, and individual clients themselves. The Blind Services Program has recently established an advisory committee for the total program, although in 1973, an advisory group was formed to represent the approximately 100 vending stand operators throughout the state. It should be noted that this advisory group was formed well before there was any legal mandate to do so, and the representatives to this committee were elected by their peers when the agency could simply have arbitrarily appointed individuals to this committee.

"The National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana, Inc., takes issue with the fact that the agency has recently appointed the chairman of the vending facilities advisory group instead of having the individuals elect their own chairman. This matter has been discussed with Dr. Stewart, Commissioner of Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration, and he feels that it is his prerogative to appoint the chairman of this advisory group as well as the respective chairmen of all client and program advisory units working with the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration. It should be noted that while some blind individuals feel that the 1974 amendments to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act require that the vending facilities representatives elect their own chairman, this contention is not particularly clear in the law. The federal regulations resulting from Public Law 93-516 have not yet been issued; and, consequently, our Blind Services Program must continue to administer the program as it relates to the vending facilities operated by the blind in the same equitable manner as it has in the past. I feel confident that our Blind Services Program will continue to give every consideration to any suggestions relative to policy and procedure needed for the continued success of our vending facilities program that is offered by the duly elected members of our vending stand advisory committee."

The core of this defense is quite a lordly one: Dr. Stewart "feels it is his prerogative to appoint the chairman of this advisory group"; "Our Blind Services Program must continue to administer the program ... in the same equitable manner as it has in the past." The essence of this reply is that the Louisiana program does not feel any need for these meddlesome new amendments; they are doing very nicely already, thank you. One is reminded of the Lily Tomlin characterization of the uppity telephone operator who informs a customer, "We are the telephone company. We are not subject to municipal, state, or federal regulation. We are omnipotent."

The Westerfield letter sent in reply to Dr. MacFarland is more a challenge to lay off than it is a justification of the autocratic policy. But it was sent to the right official. Dr. MacFarland wrote back that he was sorry the whole misunderstanding had arisen. He even pointed out a few more reasons why Louisiana could continue to ignore the law. He wrote, in part:

"In response to the question [asked at the NFB Convention], I answered that as I understood the procedures outlined, in my opinion it was illegal. The answer was given spontaneously and in good faith, but without full knowledge of the total situation. Your advisory committee as described in your communication to Senator Williamson was elected and has been in operation since 1973, and did not result from the passage of the Randolph-Sheppard amendments of 1974. Public Law 93-516.

"You are correct in pointing out that final regulations have not been promulgated and current regulations under which you are operating do not speak to the issue of state committees of blind vendors. Section 209(2) (3) of Public Law 93-516 clearly establishes that a state committee of blind vendors be elected to work with the state licensing agency in the conduct of certain designated responsibilities. The law, however, is silent with respect to election or appointment of a chairman of such a committee. Under these circumstances we must assume that the development of procedures for selecting a chairman, or conversely reaching a decision not to select one, rests with the committee of blind vendors and the state licensing agency. I should like to suggest that when a committee is elected in accordance with the law and final regulations that should a state licensing agency representative be selected to serve as chairman that he abstain completely from voting on any matters concerning blind vendors. Such action in my opinion raises problems of possible undue influence and could result in the appearance of or actual conflict of interest. It was this point that I was referring to when I responded in Los Angeles. . . .

"Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your cooperation and to wish you and the operators you serve in Louisiana continued success and program growth as we move forward under the opportunities provided by the Randolph-Sheppard amendments."

One is led to wonder, after all of this, if Dr. MacFarland is referring to the opportunities for double-talk and evasion of responsibility.

Note that in this letter. Dr. MacFarland has now turned his handling of the South Carolina situation into a policy which he recommends to other states: By all means appoint the chairman, he tells Mr. Westerfield, but don't let him vote or there will be charges of conflict of interest. Dr. MacFarland apparently did not investigate far enough to learn that the appointed chairman is a vendor himself and certainly should be allowed to vote since he represents other vendors in the program. Our federal advocate is prepared to accept greater violations of the law than actually took place.

But more interesting still is the matter of whether this is the vendor committee called for by the new law. A close reading of the Westerfield letter fails to reveal this defense. The letter was not written in specific response to Dr. MacFarland's inquiry, and the old vendor committee is mentioned in order to show the extensive client input already sought by the Lousiana agency: Its members were democratically elected, notes Mr. Westerfield, even though they could simply have been appointed by the agency. He then goes on to say that "while some blind individuals feel that the 1974 amendments . . . require that the vending facilities representatives elect their own chairman, this contention is not particularly clear in the law." This sentence by itself makes plain that although Westerfield disagrees about the requirements of the law, the vendor committee in question is the one intended to fulfill those requirements.

Dr. MacFarland, though, finds this reference to an earlier committee sufficient to explain away the whole situation. So eager is he to avoid the responsibilities assigned him by Congress that he is willing not only to accept any excuse offered for state agency noncompliance, he is willing to make up the excuses as well. If this committee isn't the vendors committee required by the amendments, then where is the real committee? There is just the one. But there is no need to chide Mr. Westerfield for this shifty reasoning; it is not his work. Indeed, he was probably surprised to learn on what ground his actions were approved.

As we discussed, the Office for the Blind is the watchdog agency in the federal government, charged with advocating the interests of the blind. As I believe we have shown. Dr. MacFarland, the Director of the Office, in practice is an advocate for the convenience of the agencies dealing with the blind, even though this frequently acts to the direct detriment of the blind. The West Virginia case is the most damaging in its implications for the entire Randolph-Sheppard program. In that instance, Dr. MacFarland attacked the very heart of the program—the requirement that the blind be given priority to set up facilities on federal property. On no discernible basis other than the Department of the Interior's wish to avoid inconvience, MacFarland blithely freed them from their requirements under the law. He bolstered his opinion with a legal opinion so thin that it exposed its author to scorn.

In the South Carolina and Louisiana cases, Dr. MacFarland once again backed the agencies to the hilt, and once again, misread the law to do so. The intent of the amendments is that the vendors committee shall be the independent voice of the vendors themselves. We wonder how effective the NFB would be as an independent voice of the blind if its president could be appointed by Dr. MacFarland. We imagine this would trim our sails quite a bit, even if he protested that the appointed president's role would be that of a "coordinator, recorder, and expediter." Of course state agencies feel that their clients have sufficient input. The Congress amended the Randolph-Sheppard Act in order to strengthen it, because they found that when it was left to the states, the program was not expanding and the operators were not being treated fairly.

Is this timidity on the part of the Office for the Blind a result of Dr. MacFarland's belief that agencies and government bureaus can be trusted to protect our rights, and that they have the best interests of the blind always in mind? Undoubtedly this is partially so. Dr. MacFarland unquestionably sees himself as a member of the agency establishment; that is where he comes from and that is where all his support is. But sadly enough, we have come to feel that this sustained dereliction of duty is largely the result of wishing to maintain a low profile. Having climbed so high, Dr. MacFarland has adopted the posture least likely to draw fire. He acts as a facilitator and smoother-over, rather than as our federal-level advocate.

If Dr. MacFarland were the federal keeper of stone monuments, this age-old bureaucrat's role would be easier to accept. The monuments would grow over with moss and eventually crumble into ruin, to be re-built by the next generation. Is this to be the case with programs for the blind? Are we to let Dr. MacFarland doze his career away even though it means that the integration of the blind into society on an equal basis, on the basis of independence and remunerative employment, will wait for our children and grandchildren? Are we to stand by as the congressional programs we have worked on for decades and at great personal expense are dismantled bit by bit by the Office for the Blind acting in conjunction with regressive interests in the field?

It is fortunate that the blind have not waited for others to advocate their interests. The need to be our own advocates was one of the compelling reasons behind the formation of the National Federation of the Blind. Congressional programs such as the Randolph-Sheppard Act are meant to meet real and pressing needs of the blind community. The one group not likely to lose sight of these needs are the blind themselves.

Speaking, then, as a group, as the group which suffers from inaction and malfeasance in the Office for the Blind, the blind say to Dr. MacFarland: We see what you are doing, and why you are doing it. We know and feel the consequences of your inaction. We consider it is shabby behavior for a man who has benefited from the support of his fellow blind. You have risen to a high position where you could do great good for us, but you have forgotten where you came from and turned your back on us. We have kept quiet for nearly twelve years. Now we demand a reckoning.  

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The following correspondence underlines the constant battle we must wage for equal treatment under the law, as well as acceptance as human beings. Hazel Staley is not necessarily dramatic in her approach, but she knows what is right; and she is rock solid in her will and determination.

Note the statement of Mr. Diaz that he is "very concerned with helping those less fortunate than" he is. Discrimination usually attempts to cover its nakedness in pious raiment. Let those (if any there still be) who wonder why we need a National Federation of the Blind read the following correspondence for answer. There was a time when we meekly bowed our heads, accepted the rejections, and turned away; but that time is no more. Never again! We know who we are, and we will never go back!:

Charlotte, North Carolina, February 19, 1977.

Stratford Arms Apartments,
Greenville, North Carolina.

DEAR MR. DIAZ: It has recently come to my attention that you have refused to rent an apartment to Miss Patricia Williams, a blind graduate student at East Carolina University, because she has a guide dog. Perhaps you are unaware of the North Carolina law permitting blind persons to be accompanied by their guide dogs anywhere they need to go, including rental facilities. Accordingly, I am enclosing a copy for your information. I am instructing Miss Williams to contact you again about renting an apartment. I sincerely hope that this will resolve the problem without the need for further action on the part of our organization.

Very truly yours,


Greenville, North Carolina,
February 24, 1977.

President, NFB of North Carolina,
Charlotte, North Carolina.

DEAR MRS. STALEY: This acknowledges receipt of your letter of February 19, 1977, concerning Miss Patricia Williams. While I can appreciate and admire your concern for Miss Williams, I am not at all impressed by the high and mighty tone of your letter. I have found through experience that a lot more can be accomplished at the bargaining table than with idle threats such as the one implied in the last sentence of your letter.

In the first place, Miss Williams has not been refused tenancy, as you claim, for the simple reason that she has not filed the required application for tenancy with us, but has merely inquired about the availability of apartments and the possibility of securing an apartment this coming summer. I am sure that you will find the enclosed copy of a letter mailed to Miss Williams to be very frank and factual. In all honesty, we would prefer not to be burdened with the dog and the accompanying problems that it will create just for the sake of convenience. However, this does not mean that she has been or will be refused tenancy.

Second, you have been very gracious in providing us with a copy of the North Carolina statutes concerning the rights of blind persons. However, you have inadvertently or conveniently omitted section 168-9 which specifically states that handicapped persons shall have the same rights to housing as anyone else on the same basis and conditions as any other citizen. This section I believe to be more in keeping with the philosophy of fairness to all under the law.

In seeking clarification of this matter, the Attorney General's office indicates that if there were to be a test case, the decision will have to come from the courts. In a court of law, the decision could go either way because the contents of section 168-9 and 168-7 are in conflict.

Please rest assured that we would not allow this matter to get to that extreme because, contrary to your unshakable belief, we are very concerned with helping those less fortunate than we are and can furnish ample evidence of our dedication in this respect. Further, the only person that will suffer will be Miss Williams because any litigation will take at least a year, at which time even a ruling in her favor will be of little value to her. Furthermore, even if we were the ones to receive a favorable ruling, we would be the bad guys anyway because, as you know, everyone has a soft heart for the handicapped. But perhaps even more interesting is the fact that since your organization depends on donations and taxpayer funding for its very existence, it would be even more sinful to allow you to waste our own money in unnecessary litigation.

Please forgive me for being so frank about this matter but as one who has known pathos, I am convinced that there is no higher religion than honesty and truth.

Sincerely yours,


cc: Berlin-Miles. Inc.
      Miss Patricia Williams
      Ms. Francine Churchill, Rehabilitation Supervisor
      Mr. Paul Friday, Attorney General's Office

Greenville, North Carolina,
February 21, 1977.

Wilson, North Carolina.

DEAR MISS WILLIAMS: Thank you for your interest in our apartments and please accept my apologies for not being able to communicate with you earlier.

As to your request to be permitted to lease an apartment from us with a dog on the premises, it is felt that the leasing of an apartment to you should be on the same basis as any other resident currently living here or applying for tenancy. Since our lease specifically prohibits dogs, cats, birds, or any other animals, any exception made for you will also have to be made for anyone else that so requests. As you can readily see, this will create problems of large proportions for us and our residents.

We are in complete sympathy with your desire for convenience and would like to be of service to you in any way feasible. However, since you have not as yet filed a formal application for tenancy with us and there are numerous apartment complexes in the immediate vicinity that allow dogs, we would prefer not to have to go through the ordeal of accommodating your dog.

Thank you again for your interest and if I can be of further help please let me know.

Sincerely yours,


Charlotte, North Carolina, March 2, 1977.

Stratford Arms Apartments,
Greenville, North Carolina.

DEAR MR. DIAZ: Thank your for your letter of February 24.

I am sorry that you found my style of writing in my letter of February 19 objectionable. I did not realize that I was capable of writing anything with a "high and mighty" tone. However, it was not my purpose to impress you with my literary ability. My sole purpose was to seek fair treatment for a blind person. While we are exchanging evaluations of each other's literary styles, let me say that I did not appreciate the condescending tone of your letter of February 24 either. We have not asked you for any special favors, Mr. Diaz, only fair and equal treatment.

I can see no conflict between chapter 168.7 and 168.9 of the North Carolina statute regarding the rights of the blind. One says that the blind person cannot be denied tenancy because he has a guide dog; the other, that he shall receive the same consideration as other persons in renting or leasing. You say that you do not allow pets on your property. But a guide dog is not a pet. Miss Williams' dog is a necessary tool for her independent travel. Would you refuse tenancy to a person wearing eyeglasses? The principle is the same. Let me assure you, Mr. Diaz, that you would not be "burdened" with any "problems" as far as the dog is concerned. Guide dogs are highly trained animals, and you probably would never know it was on the premises if you didn't see it coming and going with its master. As for your other tenants, I am sure they would recognize the difference between a blind person's guide dog and a household pet. It's like comparing a lion with a pussycat.

You say that Miss Williams had not submitted a formal application for an apartment. The reason she had not when I wrote to you was that you refused to even consider her application when you learned that she had a guide dog.

Let me return for a moment, if I may, to my letter of February 19. I would like to say just a word about my closing sentence, which you apparently, for some reason, found particularly objectionable. The sentence reads: "I sincerely hope that this will resolve the problem without the need for further action on the part of our organization." Why does "further action" necessarily imply litigation to you? To me it could mean further correspondence, such as this in which we are now engaged. It could mean a meeting with you and the apartment complex owners to discuss the matter, which would entail travel, inconvenience, and some expense on my part. It could mean any number of things. You have brought up the matter of court action, Mr. Diaz; but if that is the route you want to take, we will oblige you. I am not a flighty, emotional person with nothing better to do than make "idle threats." My sole purpose from the beginning has been to try to help a blind person resolve a problem.

And how did you arrive at the idea that it is my "unshakable belief" that you are not concerned with those "less fortunate" than yourself? I certainly made no such implication in my letter. I had never met you or had any contact with you when I wrote that letter; so I had no way of knowing what you were or were not concerned with, let alone having an "unshakable belief about it.

Let me further assure you, Mr. Diaz, that our organization is not wasting a dime of your tax money because we receive no public funds of any kind. As for any bad publicity you might receive in case of litigation, I cannot say. As I said in the beginning, we are seeking only fair treatment, not sympathy. We would prefer amicable settlement to court action, but the decision is yours.



cc: Berlin-Miles, Inc.
      Patricia Williams
      Fran Churchill
      Paul Friday.

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The May Monitor discussed briefly our renewed campaign for Disability Insurance for the Blind. That same issue also reviewed in some detail the present eligibility requirements for receiving disability insurance. As it stands now, after you are declared eligible for benefits, you will lose them if it is determined that you can engage in "substantial gainful work." If the DIB bill now being considered is passed, disability insurance benefits would continue as long as the recipient remains blind, no matter what his or her income.

The proposed change in the law would recognize that the relatively generous income received under this program is a disincentive to seeking a paying job. It also would recognize that when blind persons find jobs, they often are paid much lower incomes, are only able to advance in their jobs at a much slower rate, and in addition, must spend part of their income on such items as readers, adapted equipment, etc. This is where the insurance concept comes in: any person may become blind, and the economic consequences are always the same.

These arguments are given in greater detail in the article "Why Should the Blind Receive Disability Insurance?" by President Jernigan, published in the March 1975 Monitor, and in the testimony presented by James Gashel in the last session of Congress, published in the August 1976 Monitor.

A more general discussion of the bill appears in the eloquent statement made in the Senate in February by Senator Hubert Humphrey, speaking for himself and Senator Birch Bayh, who have jointly introduced this bill in the Senate. This statement is reprinted below.

We are particularly pleased to have Senator Humphrey's strong support once again. He was the original sponsor of this measure in the Senate in 1960 and successfully steered the bill through the Senate for the first time in 1964. In 1965 the Federation, in gratitude for his efforts, presented Senator Humphrey the Newel Perry Award at our Annual Convention, and declared him our honorary president. The years as Vice-President of the United States took Mr. Humphrey away from the Senate and continued sponsorship of the bill, but he is back again in the DIB camp. His statement shows his real concern and understanding of the issues involved.


[Reprinted from the Congressional Record, Tuesday, February 22, 1977.]

Mr. Humphrey: Mr. President, early this month, a delegation of members of the Minnesota Federation of the Blind came to visit me at my office. These blind citizens are not sitting at home feeling sorry for themselves. They are confronting and overcoming all the barriers that a seeing society thoughtlessly erects. I was impressed anew with their spirit, their abilities, and their determination.

The bill that I and Senator Bayh are introducing at their request is identical to legislation introduced by Mr. Hartke and 37 co-sponsors in the last Congress. It has a simple, twofold thrust. This bill would permit blind persons who have worked six quarters, or a year and a half, under social security-covered employment to both qualify for and draw disability benefits so long as they remain blind, and to receive benefits regardless of their earnings.

The purpose of this bill is essentially to encourage and support the efforts of the blind who wish to be self-supporting and productive. The blind receiving social security disability insurance benefits frequently can increase their earnings only at the risk of losing the security of insurance benefits.

It is wrong to hold back persons intent on overcoming obstacles from devoting that extra dedication and that extra effort required to function in a world made to the specifications of those of us who have the inestimable good fortune and advantage of sight.

I am aware that the current earnings limitation is challenged not only by the blind but by the other disabled and by the aged who cannot live on social security income alone. I have also co-sponsored legislation to increase the overall limitation from $3,000 to $4,800.

A very basic problem of our systems of income maintenance is that they reward idleness. There is no better medicine, no greater tonic—and I say that from firsthand experience—than honest labor. Ambition, hard work, and the challenge of self-improvement are what this nation is all about. Until we have a perfect system that is equitable, we can make a good argument for certain exceptions in disability insurance coverage.

The blind point out with justice that they are frequently denied the equal educational opportunity and job experience that permit most young adults to steadily increase their earning power and secure their future on the strength of their best working years.

The number of unemployed or underemployed blind has been estimated at 70 percent. Many of these people have the capability, the desire, and the right to earn a good living. Too many of the barriers to earning are erected by society and not imposed by the nature of their handicap.

If the blind do overcome the discrimination which often sidelines them into short-term, insecure, and low-paying employment, they face substantial extra costs. Often, they must pay for special transportation and special services. Rarely will their income approach what it would be without this handicap. Disability insurance compensates for the lack of opportunities and services which limit their earning power.

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare will be called upon to comment on this bill and to estimate its cost and appropriateness. Even if such estimates are large, society will be better for an exercise of compassion and an expression of faith in the principles of individual effort and independence. But there are dollar-and-cents benefits as well. The blind who are freed to earn to the best of their ability will be paying income and social security taxes. A part of the costs incurred will be offset as recipients eligible for disability benefits are dropped from supplemental security and other public assistance programs.

All of us are conscious of the immense demands upon our nation's social security program and on the federal budget. Each of us is privileged to signal by our legislative proposals those that deserve special attention. We offer this amendment to insure that any consideration of the extension, expansion, and improvement of our social security system address serious and energetic attention to the needs of the blind.  

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The letter which is printed verbatim below is being circulated around the country by Dennis Schreiber, Community Development Specialist at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. This is apparently the Lighthouse's answer to the blind and to the federal government which last summer, in a landmark decision, ordered the Lighthouse to hold a union election for the employees in its workshop. We have printed other examples of the material being distributed by the Lighthouse, notably in the article "Chicago Postscript" which appeared in the February issue. One of the pieces discussed in that article was a leaflet handed out by Lighthouse staff members picketing an NFB chapter meeting, and which purported to be the work of a group called the "Independent Blind of Illinois." That leaflet contained a bizarre statement—that President Jernigan believes physical fitness can overcome blindness—which also appears in the Schreiber letter printed here. We believe the source of the picketers' handout is now reasonably apparent.

Readers of the January Monitor will remember Dennis Schreiber as the candidate hand-picked by the Lighthouse to attend the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals. That campaign involved the intimidation of delegates and, allegedly, the outlay of considerable funds, but it was ultimately unsuccessful. This casts light on Mr. Schreiber's description of the Illinois White House Conference.

The character of our opponents is becoming clearer as time goes on. The Schreiber letter was sent to the NFB President as an enclosure to a letter from an alleged Joseph Smith of Chicago Heights. At first Mr. Smith's letter seemed innocent enough; but we have learned to look twice in any dealings with the Chicago Lighthouse-NAC group. It occurred to us to check the address given in the letter—after all, Joe Smith is a fairly common name. Sure enough, the Chicago Heights post office informs us that there is no such address in that town, and that the street name is fictitious. This makes us wonder who really sent the letter and for what reason. In any case, if Mr. Schreiber and his employer at the Lighthouse, Fred McDonald (or Joe Smith, or whoever), feel they can gain anything by distributing such attacks, we are glad to help them by giving them exposure in the pages of the Monitor. If you think we have aided you with this publicity, Mr. Schreiber, why don't you send us a check?

February 16, 1977.

To Whom It May Concern:

In the February 1977 issue of the national Braille Monitor, Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind and Executive Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, stated in an open letter to the Federation, which "we are at war, there is no middle ground." Although the context in which this statement is made is in reference to the growing financial predicament of the National Federation of the Blind, the statement is made in open recognition and admission of the growing opposition coming from consumer groups of blind individuals and agencies serving the blind and visually handicapped all across America. Many people should be gratified to learn that their efforts have become an acknowledged fact in the eyes of the man who has apparently dedicated his life and his organization to the complete take-over and/or destruction of blind services all throughout the country, armed with an erroneous philosophy that blindness is "not a handicap, but only a series of inconveniences and nuisances which can be overcome by physical fitness."

Kenneth Jernigan and the National Federation of the Blind have seriously impeded adjustment to blindness by newly blinded individuals, development of programs for the multiply handicapped blind, educationally deprived and poverty-level, minority-group citizens, not to mention the creation of overly high expectations for the mass of the blind population during the past 37 years. Scattered opposition to the Federation has come mainly from sighted administrators of agencies serving the blind and visually handicapped and a few consumer adult blind. This opposition has been put down with brutal force, often seriously damaging the ability of the administrator to continue to work in the field of blind services, and creating a psychological picture of Tom-ism, in relation to the lay blind who have had the courage to stand up to the power of the National Federation of the Blind.

In the middle 1970's this is no longer the case, with the recognition of the needs of social programming. In the area of housing, employment, education, transportation, recreation, and additional social services by advocates of, and for, all groups of the handicapped, blind people have come to the recognition that we, too, can avail ourselves of greater fruits of American prosperity. Time has seen the passage of the Viet Nam war and the acceptance of social program strongest in housing and employment for Black and Latin minority groups. The handicapped should, and must, be the new frontier for social change throughout our great land.

The development of significant, strong and substantial programs can only be hindered by a philosophy which refuses to accept additional psychological or physical factors and which misrepresents environmental and social circumstances which go into the making of a blind adult.

In Illinois a handful of NFB members, working from the premise that they are the chosen few and that all who do not join with them are opposed to them, have in the past roamed the state, attacking programs and assassinating reputations of administrators and rehabilitation workers involved in these programs.

No longer is this the case at at least one agency, the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. The blind and sighted people have stood their ground in almost solid ranks against the NFB. The Illinois affiliate of the NFB attempted, through the Communication Workers of America, a union-organizing drive in our sheltered workshop, a National Labor Relations Board. Election saw the defeat of the union proposal. The blind workshop employees themselves turned the NFB down.

A group of 26 Chicago Lighthouse students, workshop employees, staff and administration went into the Illinois White House Conference on the Handicapped and overturned the carefully laid plans of the NFBI and the Illinois Governor's Committee on the Handicapped by electing many of an alternate slate of delegates proposed by the Independent Blind of Illinois and other concerned handicapped.

A national demonstration, called to make an example of the Chicago Lighthouse and sheltered workshops everywhere, was turned back by a counter-demonstration of blind people from all over the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Subsequent actions have resulted in a cross of Governor James Thompson, that he remove from their positions on state boards for the blind the two top leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and two small public demonstrations against the National Federation of the Blind, Chicago chapter, mainly for purposes of reciprocation and public exposure to the negative aspects of this organization from day to day and week to week. The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind has withstood pressure, harassment and intimidation of administrators, staff, students and trainees successfully. These actions have given courage to the Illinois Federation of the Blind and the Illinois Association of Workers for the Blind, who have joined the fight against NFB. Rehabilitation workers and blind adults are coming forth to voice open opposition to this organization all over the state.

In consultations with many people involved in the emancipation movement for and of the blind, I have come to wonder what is the real sentiment cross the country? How do you and the blind community around your area, and agency or organization, feel about the development of services in your area? What is the feeling in relation to the National Federation of the Blind? What can we do?

I would like to propose a series of national demonstrations with a positive viewpoint, combining advocacy and protest. Can a formidable force of blind and sighted people be mobilized to demonstrate at the National Federation of the Blind National Convention in New Orleans the Fourth of July? Can there be a substantial counter-force mobilized to meet the NFB on the streets at the next annual meeting of the National Accreditation Council of Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped?

In my opinion, it is time that we begin to demonstrate to the world that the National Federation of the Blind does not speak for all of the blind and that we, too, desire a voice in programming for future generations to come. I remain.

Sincerely yours,

Community Development Specialist.
(Organizational affiliation for identification and mailing purposes only)

P.S. NFB don't speak for me.  

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It looks as if the blind of Washington State may soon have a separate commission for the blind. As the result of a carefully planned legislative campaign, the NFB of Washington has managed to gather impressive support for such a move in the governor's mansion and in the legislature. Evidence of the enthusiasm and general support which have been generated is found in an article published in the Seattle Times in December. The article written by Svein Gilje, begins by quoting Dr. Bob Mallas, of Management Services Associates of Austin, Texas, who was the principal speaker at a legislative dinner held by the NFB of Washington. Dr. Mallas' testimony before the state legislature is reprinted elsewhere in this issue. The Times article then continues, in part, as follows:

"Mallas addressed a legislative dinner here Saturday night sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind of Washington. Many state legislators attended and pledged to work for better services to the blind, including supporting a bill to establish a separate agency here.

"At one point the politicians were almost falling over themselves to demonstrate their support.

"Representative Jeff Douthwaite, Seattle, has drafted a bill to establish a Washington State Commission for the Blind. He said he will introduce it in the 1977 legislature, and that Senator Robert C. Bailey, South Bend, would do the same in the Senate.

"Senator H. A. (Barney) Goltz, Bellingham, predicted that 1977 'will be the year of the commission,' and Representative Rod Chandler, Kirkland, suggested there be a Blind Awareness Day in the legislature.

"Marion Reid, sister and personal aide to Governor-elect Dixy Lee Ray, extended an invitation: 'Ya'll come over to the mansion for tea' on the day such a bill becomes law.

"The Assistant Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, John Taylor, said most improvements there came 'through the blind people who need something with which they can feel closely associated' and which they trust.

"The Douthwaite bill would establish a commission of five, including three blind members, all unsalaried, to set policy. A director and a staff would assume administrative duties and take over all services for the blind now handled by the Department of Social and Health Services. . . ."

The momentum described in this article has been maintained in succeeding months, and the bill is now far along. It has reached the floor of the house in the legislature and action is expected daily on this as we go to press. In the state senate, the bill is being considered by the Senate Rules Committee, prior to bringing it to the full senate for a vote.

There has been resistance from officials of the umbrella agency which now contains services to the blind. At one point, for example, Ken Hopkins, Director of Blind Services, as well as a member of the NFB Executive Committee, was directed by his superiors in the agency to testify in the legislature against the bill. Federation members, aware of the strong support of Governor Ray, appealed directly to her to void this directive. The governor met with Federation leaders as about 100 blind persons gathered in the hallway outside. When the governor's aide emerged from the meeting with the news that Mr. Hopkins would not testify against the bill, the hall rang with cheers.

There are still snags ahead, particularly in the senate, but considering the progress which has been made and the strong friends who have been gained, it looks as if the blind of Washington State will soon benefit from the improved service programs possible under the commission structure.  

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Editor's Note: What follows was presented as testimony before the House and Senate Committees on Social and Health Services of the Washington State Legislature. The testimony was given in support of proposed legislation to create a separate agency for services to the blind. Dr. Mallas has been engaged in research on programs, both public and private, relating to handicapping conditions since 1949. His research has led to the institution of public programs that receive in excess of three billion dollars in annual appropriations. He has served as advisor on human resource programs to three U.S. Presidents and many governors and legislative bodies. He has authored or co-authored books, articles, studies, monographs, and laws on many functional areas of handicapping conditions. Dr. Mallas has also founded a group of companies engaged in diverse areas such as mining, publishing, research, computer services, retail sales, wholesale marketing, hotel operation, and manufacturing. In these companies he has pioneered hiring of the handicapped and has assisted many other public and private organizations and facilities to hire the handicapped. He is a former member of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and a former trustee of the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Honorable members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen:

For the record, so there is no understanding, I have come before you today to testify for the bill. It is important for you to know:

Actually, I have come not to tell you what to do, but to share with you what I have learned from my research in this field for nearly 28 years. Moreover, in 1974-1975 I directed the most comprehensive study of services to the blind in the fifty states that has ever been undertaken. No public monies were involved in this study. It was paid for by this firm primarily with small grants from the American Foundation for the Blind, the Seeing Eye Foundation, and the Visual Research Foundation. These groups gave me complete research freedom, asking only that we use the best research talent and seek advice from the most experienced and able minds in this field in the United States. This we did.

The study took 18 months to complete, and we have since continued to track developments in this field very closely. Therefore, the data I'm presenting to you is up-to-date, impartial, and was produced by great minds with proper technical background and experience. It was nationwide in scope, assembling data on each state, but assembling detailed data on 22 of the more significant states, including Washington. Sixteen states were visited and analyzed in greater detail. From these states eight were chosen for in-depth analysis. Clients of programs (both past and present) were interviewed in 12 states.

The results are very grim:

Our research also disclosed that those states with separate programs had superior records of rehabilitation achievement (moving a person from a state of dependency to a state of self-sufficiency). States with separate programs rehabilitated 3.2 blind persons per 100,000 population, while those with non-separate programs such as the State of Washington rehabilitated 1.56 blind persons per 100,000 population on the average.

Not only was the record of persons rehabilitated in states with separate agencies vastly superior, the per unit cost of service was lower. For every dollar spent by separate agencies for the blind, service umbrella agencies—such as the type you now have in the State of Washington—had to spend $1.16 on the average to achieve that same unit of service.

The research evidence is empirical. Separate programs for the blind such as this bill sets up are more efficient, more economical, and provide better client service.

Structure cannot do it alone, but in your state you have competent, skilled, trained, experienced leadership that, given the proper structure, can provide effective programs for the blind and do it efficiently.

Blindness, only exceeded by deafness, is an area of disability that can be downgraded to a mere inconvenience, or upgraded to a catastrophe—depending upon the effectiveness of the diagnosis, education, training, and vocational placement effort that is provided to the person with needs in these areas of disability. Without effective services these citizens are doomed to a life of economic servitude and social dependence. We have indeed made their disability a catastrophe.

You have a basically excellent bill. I think it will be a vast improvement over the existing structure.

Please note our research shows that in all the human resource agency field, separate status can only be justified for blindness and deafness. Therefore, those who are concerned with the question of whether this is merely a step toward all agencies wanting separate status should not be concerned with this being a precedent.

It is my understanding that in 16 states separate agency status is under consideration now by the appropriate authorities in those states.

My thanks to you for your careful attention to these research findings and professional  judgments.  

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Problems within the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Federation have retarded progress in that state for some time now. The Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind, a part of the movement since the NFB's founding in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1940, has in recent years greatly declined in strength and vigor. Gradually it has become a social rather than a social action organization, and its major yearly project was a fundraising dinner that mainly benefited its own trust fund. This tendency to think only in local and social terms even led one chapter to institute residency requirements for membership. Some members who transferred to this chapter were welcomed to participate in chapter fundraising and even officership in the chapter. But they were told they would need to be members for a year before they could vote. This matter was appealed to the PFB board, but it declined to take any action.

Division within the ranks of the affiliate grew up as a new generation of leadership developed—one committed to the total movement and eager for progress. This conflict of purpose divided the group more and more until the state meetings of the PFB disintegrated into shouting matches. Everyone involved agreed that the energy of the affiliate was being wasted on factional disputes. Appeals for intervention were sent regularly to the National Office of the Federation by both sides, and the NFB Executive Committee met several times to attempt mediation. Yet wishing to have harmony, the committee deferred action except to recommend that Federationists in Pennsylvania surmount their differences and get on with the important work to be done. Article VI of the NFB Constitution states that: "Affiliates must not merely be social organizations but must formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and social betterment of the blind." Still, it was generally felt that it would be better to work for reconciliation of the factions and negotiate a truce within the dissension-riven affiliate.

But a new element was added with the formation of what was called the "Grassroots Committee," which began circulating attacks on other PFB members to chapters around the state. Federationists across the country who heard of this development reacted in revulsion as they remembered the "Free-Pressers" of more than a decade ago who began a similar campaign against the national leaders, at first within and later outside the ranks of the organization. It was in response to this earlier group (which eventually broke away to form the American Council of the Blind) that the Federation added to its constitution the following provision: "No affiliate may join or support, or allow its officers or members to join or support, any temporary or permanent organization inside the Federation which has not received the sanction and approval of the Federation." Particularly disturbing was that the PFB president, Mae Davidow, abetted the Grassroots Committee, even allowing them the facilities and resources of the state office for their mail campaign.

As was the case with the earlier Free-Pressers, lack of response within the Federation drove the Grassroots Committee to carry their battle to the public. They sent letters to the employers of two PFB members, urging that these Federationists be fired from their jobs. This was in direct violation of the NFB Constitution, which states: "The affiliate must not indulge in attacks upon the officers, committeemen, leaders, or members of the Federation or upon the organization itself outside of the organization, and must not allow its officers or members to indulge in such attaches. This requirement shall not be interpreted to interfere with the right of an affiliate or its officers or members to carry on a political campaign inside the Federation for election to office or to achieve policy changes."

This policy point is basic to the purpose and survival of the organization. The Federation is a forum for the views of any blind person who cares to join and express himself. National policy is determined by majority votes of the Convention, acting upon resolutions introduced by affiliates, the Executive Committee, or individual members. But once policy is decided, if we continue to splinter our forces and dispute, we are no Federation at all, since the point of organization is to add the strength of union to our views. The actions of the Grassroots Committee were particularly despicable since they did not simply air these grievances in public, but tried to destroy the livelihoods and reputations of fellow Federationists in the most direct way.

In the face of these unconstitutional actions, the NFB Executive Committee met and decided as follows: "[The] members of the so-called 'Grassroots Committee' may no longer be members of the National Federation of the Blind. Dr. Mae Davidow and any others who conspired with the so-called 'Grassroots Committee' may no longer be members of the National Federation of the Blind. If the affiliate cannot speedily initiate reforms of an effective and meaningful nature, a reorganization must occur." The president and board of the PFB considered the matter and voted to ignore this decision of the national Executive Committee. There was no alternative but to reorganize the affiliate, allowing all PFB members who wished to abide by the national constitution and be part of the national movement to remain in the Federation. It should be noted that the great majority of Pennsylvania Federationists fall into this category.

Following is a report by Ted Young of the reorganization and the birth of the NFB of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, March 12, 1977, was truly a historic day for the blind of Pennsylvania. On that day, 200 Federationists filled with the positive spirit of Federationism, dedicated to our cause, and bursting with hope for the future, gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia for the reorganization meeting. Adding to the pleasant excitement was the fact that President Jernigan came to be with us and to chair the activities of the day. The new bylaws of the affiliate did away with the old system of delegate voting at state conventions and returned one vote to every member. A vote to change the name of the affiliate to the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania was unanimous, clearly demonstrating the strong commitment of the members to our national movement.

Let those who would question whether interested and enthusiastic Federationists can finance our own movement take note that when contributions were sought to give the affiliate a good start, members of all economic situations rose to the occasion and over $4,000 in contributions and pledges was raised.

The new officers and board members of the affiliate are: Ted Young, president; Charles Morgenstern, first vice-president; Charles Irons, second vice-president; Wayne Kerstetter, secretary; Patrick Comorato, treasurer; and Joe Phillips, Jim Leri, Dot Crea, and Stanley Kozel, board members. There is no doubt that the statewide representation in the above list will provide the affiliate with active and vigorous leadership.

Included among the 180 people who attended the banquet in the evening were a state senator, a state assemblyman, and representatives from the office of a Pennsylvania Congressman. Jon Stein, the attorney known to Monitor readers for his work on the Gurmankin case, was also present. Speakers at the banquet included: Jim Gashel, Chief of our Washington Office; Marc Maurer and Jonathan May of our national Executive Committee; and Ralph Sanders and President Jernigan. As yet another indication of the enthusiasm of the membership, it should be mentioned that following the banquet many members attended a three-hour meeting of the resolutions committee to lay the groundwork for the work of the following day.

At 8:30 Sunday morning the state president gaveled the meeting to order. Plans were made for the acquisition of a telephone, office space, secretarial assistance, and a monthly publication. Seventeen resolutions were passed, setting the stage for future action from which we can expect many accomplishments. At twelve noon the meeting was adjourned, and tired-but still enthusiastic—Federationists began leaving for their own parts of the state.

One cannot end an article of this kind, filled as it is with the news of rebirth and hope, without a pledge and a promise which we offer to the blind of the nation. We are grateful for the opportunity to be Federationists and we know through Federationism that the accomplishments of the blind in any affiliate of our great movement affect all of the blind of the nation. Yes, we are with you on the barricades.  

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Despite the array of legislation passed in the last forty years to ensure employment of the physically disabled in the federal government, progress in this area has been slow. The vast majority of federal jobs opened to the blind, for instance, have been at the lowest level of government service. These employees also find that promotions or transfers to jobs with more challenge and responsibility are not possible.

The suit of a blind employee of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has just come to a successful conclusion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case directly concerned this problem—administrative programs for affirmative action which exist only on paper. As William McNutt, the blind HUD employee who brought the suit, argued: "Executive orders, equal employment opportunity laws, Civil Service Commission directives, and departmental policy statements ostensibly designed to establish the mechanisms, strategies, and commitments to make equal employment opportunity for the physically handicapped a reality have been abandoned here in HUD. It appears that the program devised to 'upgrade employment and career opportunities for the handicapped' was fraudulent and perfunctory in that it was designed merely to satisfy federal law and ease management's conscience."

McNutt's tribulations will be familiar to blind persons who have managed to enter federal employment. Small promotions were granted him during his first four years at HUD. But even then, he was not treated in the way other employees were. As the court decision notes: "After some difficulty obtaining a placement assignment, he was placed in the Office of Congressional Services for Model Cities; he was not, however, formally transferred to that office and, as a result, his immediate supervisors did not have the authority to evaluate his work for purposes of promotion." Also, the director of the unit to which McNutt had been assigned wanted, at one point, to get rid of him. As he was quoted in oral and written testimony, the director said he did not want McNutt "wandering and stumbling around the halls of Congress."

When William McNutt reached the GS-12 level on the government employment scale and desired more responsible work, he found his progress blocked. No application he made for advancement was considered after 1971. McNutt pursued administrative remedies within the Department of HUD. The grievance examiner who initially reviewed the case found discrimination by the Department. He wrote, in a decision which should have been taken to heart by the agency, that: "What is needed is a candid introspection by HUD and then the establishment of an honest affirmative action program which amounts to more than rhetoric and required submissions to the Civil Service Commission."

This decision, however, had to be reviewed at various levels within the Department. While this was going on, McNutt was given a promotion. The final decision of the Department, as might have been predicted, was that McNutt had been discriminated against but that the promotion in late 1974 was the fullest possible relief for that discrimination. HUD declined to consider the matter of discrimination throughout the Department.

McNutt went to court, since all the prescribed administrative remedies had been exhausted. His suit, argued by the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU), was heard by Judge Charles Richey of the U.S. District Court. The judge's decision refuted HUD's stance that the McNutt case could be judged in isolation. He ordered that the Department report back to him with specific plans for affirmative action on employment of the disabled. He also rejected the claim that nothing could be done to compensate for the past discrimination, although he affirmed that the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevented any back wages from being ordered. The Department of HUD was directed to determine what position McNutt might have reached had he not been discriminated against, and to advance him to that position.

The importance of this decision rests in the fact that it is the first one. It is the first time a court has found a federal agency guilty of employment discrimination based on blindness since the passage of the non-discrimination sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This fact may startle those who are aware of the widespread discrimination throughout government service. The prejudicial policies of the State Department particularly come to mind. But this picture is finally changing, and we can look forward to more advances in federal employment, though we can also expect to meet the same resistance encountered by William McNutt at HUD.

This case, decided partly on the basis of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, makes us look forward to the implementation of the other sections of the act which extend affirmative action requirements to federal contractors and programs receiving federal money. Again, the road to implementation of these sections will be blocked at many turns, but we have begun. The obstacles will not deter us, for we know the alternative is idleness and unemployment for competent blind persons, and we have had our fill of that.  

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In the May issue of the Monitor we included a letter from a Federationist who said that he wanted his name removed from the Monitor list for (among other things) the reason he did not like certain articles appearing in the publication. We printed President Jernigan's reply. Now, a second exchange of letters has occurred:

DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: I was prompted to write this letter mainly for two reasons. First, your real seriousness in wanting the members to finance the organization, and second, a letter which you wrote to Mr. Perry Sundquist dated August 14, 1969, which appeared in the January 1977 edition of the Monitor.

Taking first things first, your letter was very candid as well. You assumed everything correctly. For example, you were correct when you said that I do not read all of the Monitor and that I do not subscribe to the PAC Plan. Your letter gave me something to think about, and since our chapter met the day after I received your letter, I decided to have it read after Presidential Release #31 was played. I thought it went well with what was said on the tape. I wanted to get some reaction from the members. Unfortunately, we had a rather small turnout for that meeting. The members' reactions seemed to be those of mixed feelings. They said they could see both points of view. I also discussed this matter with our state president. He said he felt cuts needed to be made but didn't want to make them where I did. He didn't elaborate any further. There has been a general consensus among the members of our group that times have been quite hard, especially for blind people in this area. For example, despite the fact that there are two small children in my family, we have had to dial down our thermostats to 60 degrees both day and night in order to lower our gas bill. This is just our form of belt-tightening, and we have done it without complaint and have gotten used to it.

Secondly, you expressed dismay upon learning that I would seek to have my name removed from the mailing list of the Monitor. Perhaps I can best comment on that by quoting directly from you. You say in your letter of August 14, 1969, to Mr. Perry Sundquist that "from the beginning of time, publishers have assumed the prerogative of vetoing a given article which they don't like-often on pure whim if they feel like it." I believe this applies as well to readers of newspapers and magazines. If the reader finds a particular article impertinant or uninteresting, he probably will not (and indeed he should not have to) read it. A talking book magazine which is not tone-indexed and uses the same reader, does not afford this opportunity. When I first joined the movement, I received the Monitor on talking books for a time. Because of the reasons mentioned above, it was very difficult to skip articles I did not want to hear. As a result, I wouldn't even bother to listen to some issues of the Monitor. There is no point in having this happen again.

I have one final comment. I don't like the way you and the editors of the Monitor have been insulting our intelligence lately. For example, the first two articles of the February Monitor said essentially the same thing. To add insult to injury, it was all about the same as what you said on Presidential Release #31. I got the message the first time. As a second example, I refer you to the Convention article in the February Monitor. Again, I learned nothing I didn't already know. If you say that these things need to be reprinted for new members, or those who might otherwise have missed them, then I say again to you that those of us who got the first message should not have to waste our time in reading or listening to them again.

I hope that my candor does not offend you. I respect you as a person, but I know of no other way of making my views known.

Cordially yours,

DEAR MR. —: I found your letter not only candid but refreshingly direct and to the point. It is not the same thing for a publisher to decide whether to include an article as it is for a member of a movement to decide not to read it. Of course, you have the right to skip through a newspaper, casually reading this or that article, but the Monitor is not a newspaper; and, in my opinion, you do not have the right merely to be a casual reader. You are a chapter president, and even if you were not, the movement is serious business, not a matter of entertainment like a newspaper.

You tell me that the first two articles in the February Monitor insulted your intelligence because they were repetitious since you had already got the message on the previous Presidential Release. It is clear that you did not get the message—and that you still haven't got the message. I grant that times are hard (for the blind as well as for others) and I do not doubt that your means are limited; but I simply do not believe that you cannot afford to make a regular contribution to the Federation. Other people are doing it, some of them who probably do not have a thermostat to lower. You imply that you simply cannot afford to join the PAC Plan. Nonsense! What you mean is that you do not think it is as important as some of your other priorities. Maybe it isn't, but candor and self-honesty would seem to demand recognition of the facts.

If you truly cannot afford more, then I think you ought to give a dime or a quarter a month—and I think your gift should be treasured and respected as much as that of the individual who gives $100 or $150. But I don't see how you can conscientiously be a member of the Federation and make no regular financial contribution to it. It is a matter of principle, not your pocketbook. Further, the decision is yours, not mine or somebody else's. I am only telling you what I think.

I hope you will give consideration to what I have said and that you will decide it merits action. Whether you do or not, I want you to know that I appreciate your comments. Far from being offended, I was pleased that you took the time to write and give me your thoughts.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

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The largest convention in the eight-year history of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois was held September 10-12, 1976, in Kankakee, Illinois. This gathering attracted guests from Oregon, California, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Four state presidents participated in this exciting weekend: Patti Shreck of Oregon, Joyce Scanlan of Minnesota, Sylvester Nemmers of Iowa, and John McCraw of Maryland.

Friday evening was designated "NFB T-Shirt Night" and everyone wore his or her NFB T-shirt for registration and hospitality. There was an extensive literature and sales display. The resolutions committee met, with Rami Rabby serving as chairman; while the audit committee, chaired by Joe Lopez, examined the financial records.

"Independence! A New Way of Life for the Blind of Illinois" was the Bicentennial theme when President Allen Schaefer gaveled the Saturday morning session to order. Following the invocation, greetings were given by Roy M. West, Chairman of the Kankakee County Board, and by Don Gillmore, Prairie State Chapter president.

The morning session was titled "Independence Through Information." President Schaefer led off with a state report—'Thirteen Stars of NFBI Progress"—which compared our progress to the 13 stars of the colonial flag. James Gashel, Chief of the NFB Washington Office, presented a national report featuring a legislative update, a discussion of NAC, and a bit of NFB philosophy under the heading "Whose Organization Is This Anyway?" In a 15-minute segment, "Fifteen for Funds," Allen Schaefer and Steve Benson took pledges and donations totaling $2,130. Ms. Mary Eckert, Administrative Assistant, Bureau of Social Service, Illinois Department of Public Aid, spoke on "Social Services Under Title XX of the Social Security Act." The morning session concluded with a report from Dr. Silas Singh, state director of the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals providing information on the upcoming state conference.

A new NFBI Student Chapter was organized during a student luncheon. With the assistance of Mark Nemmers, Iowa's student chapter president, plans were discussed and the following officers elected: president, Mark Harris of New Berlin; vice-president, Bob Simonson of Chicago; secretary, Martha Grove of Jacksonville; and treasurer, Daryl Darnell of Jacksonville.

The Saturday afternoon session opened with "Independence Through Education," a panel discussion on the education of blind children, moderated by Steve Benson. The vending stand program in Illinois was examined in a panel discussion, "The Blind Merchant," chaired by Rami Rabby. The final section of the afternoon session was titled "Independence Through Participation" and opened with an address by Michael J. Howlett, Democratic candidate for Governor. The rights of the blind voter were discussed by Mrs. Virginia Paznokos, chief deputy registrar of Kankakee County, under the title "Election '76 and the Blind Voter."

Carl Miller of Bourbonnais was master of ceremonies for the Saturday evening banquet. Following a fine dinner Allen Schaefer presented chapter charters to all NFBI chapters. Our first vice-president, Stephen Benson, paid a memorial tribute to John W. Myers, past president of the NFBI. The first annual presentation of the John W. Myers Scholarship was made by Allen Schaefer to Mark Harris, a sociology major at Lincolnland Junior College in Springfield. James Gashel's inspiring banquet address challenged Federationists to rededication to the goals and spirit of the movement. Following the banquet, entertainment was provided by Vern and the Country Boys, whose services were donated through the Prairie State Chapter.

Sunday morning's business session, "Independence Through Involvement," began with a report by Mrs. Susan Lopez, National Convention delegate. An optimistic state financial picture was described in reports by Mrs. Ruth Anne Schaefer, treasurer; Joe Lopez, audit committee chairman; and Don Gillmore, finance committee chairman. A talk called "Candy Speaks" was presented by Mr. Arnold Ludwig, president of the Ludwig Candy Company, assisted by Sylvester Nemmers, who explained NFB candy sales in Iowa. Following this enthusiastic discussion, Mr. Ludwig became a member of the Prairie State Chapter.

Rami Rabby gave a legislative report, and Mark Harris reported on student activities. To help finance the new student chapter, a can of fudge was auctioned off to the Chicago Chapter for $50. The following NFBI officers were elected: president, Allen Schaefer of Mazon; first vice-president, Stephen Benson of Chicago; second vice-president, Don Gillmore of Kankakee; secretary, Ruth Swenson of Bloomington; treasurer, Ruth Anne Schaefer of Mazon; and board members, Peter Grunwald of Chicago, Roberta Chappell of Jacksonville, and Thomas Brick of Rockford.

During the convention eight resolutions were passed dealing with the following subjects: (1) congratulating Governor Walker for vetoing a bill which would have deprived the new Board of Vocational Rehabilitation of the right to appoint the DVR Director; (2) pledging NFBI participation in both the state and national White House Conferences on Handicapped Individuals; (3) rededicating a legislative campaign to establish the Illinois Commission for the Blind; (4) condemning the NAC-accredited agencies in Illinois; (5) urging the General Assembly and Governor to provide funds for the Fair Employment Practices Commission so it can investigate cases of discrimination on the basis of handicap; (6) deploring the NAC accreditation of the Illinois Braille and Sight Saving School; (7) urging the Illinois Department of Personnel to remove the shorthand requirement for clerical/secretarial positions; and (8) congratulating and thanking Edward Disch of the Communications Workers of America for his efforts in the union-organizing campaign at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind.

The 1977 NFBI state convention will be held September 9-11, 1977, at the Holiday Inn East in Springfield. The theme will be "An Emerging Minority On the Move." The 1976 convention truly demonstrated that Illinois is an affiliate on the barricades and on the move.  

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On the weekend of October 29-31, 1976, the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland held its convention. One hundred thirty-five Federationists gathered in Cumberland for our largest and best convention yet. Fellow Federationists from as far away as California attended. The first activity was the meeting of the executive board.

On Saturday morning the convention was gaveled to order by President John McCraw. The first item was a panel discussion involving representatives from the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. The panelists discussed their projects over the past year, including successful case closures. When we read a resolution expressing our dissatisfaction with the services which DVR is providing, the panel members proceeded to walk out. Unfortunately for them, Senator Ed Mason was a witness to this act and he stated that he would investigate why state employees walked out on a meeting of consumers. DVR has not heard the last of the organized blind.

The principal of the Maryland School for the Blind discussed current programs at the school. We presented three resolutions concerning the school, expressing our dissatisfaction with the school's accreditation by NAC and the school's de-emphasis of Braille and cane travel. The principal attempted to dismiss our concerns. In the afternoon, Patricia Livers, an official with the SSI program, participated in a panel discussion concerning social security. It proved to be an informative and beneficial presentation. Ralph Sanders, president of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, then presented the news of BISM. It was exciting to hear of the progressive changes taking place at Blind Industries and Services. It is encouraging to see another agency basing its programs on Federation philosophy.

Harold Snider, a Federationist employed at the Smithsonian Institution, informed us of the programs available for the handicapped at the Smithsonian.

We had an exciting and enjoyable banquet. NFB Secretary Lawrence Marcelino was the keynote speaker. His speech inspired philosophical reflection in all of us. The members then presented a token of our heartfelt thanks to John and Connie McCraw for all that they have done for the blind movement.

Sunday's business session was called to order at 10:00 a.m. Our legislative chairman reported that we had a lively and meaningful year in Annapolis. Arlene Gashel gave a fine report on our legislative efforts in Washington, D.C. A panel followed entitled "Confrontations With Discrimination." The three panelists told of incidents which once again clearly stated "Why the National Federation of the Blind."

Elections for the board of directors were then held. John McCraw was re-elected president by acclamation. The following individuals were also elected: Wesley Williams, first vice-president; Al Maneki, second vice-president; Doris Samuels, secretary; Georgia Myers, treasurer; and Joe Bardari, Florence Squires, Lloyd Rasmussen, and Nelson Garber, board members. We now have a new chapter in Annapolis, and at the convention the nucleus of a new student division was formed. With adjournment on Sunday, the biggest and best Maryland convention yet ended.

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For our fifth annual convention, the weekend of January 21, 1977, the National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi returned to the Downtowner Motel in Jackson, the place where we were organized in January 1972. The 22nd of January was fully packed with one of our most interesting programs. After welcoming and other preliminaries were over, we got right down to business with our featured guest—Jim Gashel, Chief of the NFS Washington Office—leading off with a report from our National Office and a report on the legislative front. He was followed by George Dale, Mississippi State Commissioner of Insurance. Mr. Dale gave a very interesting talk about the function of his department and discrimination against the blind by insurance companies. He promised to do his part to eliminate such discrimination, so now it is up to us to follow up on the specifics.

Before adjourning for lunch, Dr. James Mann, Professor of Special Education at the University of Mississippi and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Schools for the Blind and Deaf (the vocational rehabilitation agency is also under this board) gave a report on the board's activity for the past eight months. First, he admitted that as he went over the board minutes, he found that 90 percent of their time had been spent on the School for the Deaf. He then described the structure of the board, the three committees which specialize in each of the several agencies, and how they function. He told of a study being made of the School for the Blind. We know now that 19 people were involved in this study, none of them Mississippi blind people or parents of the students attending the school, though there was one parent on the board at the time of the study. Though Dr. Mann is personally very accessible and has been very helpful in individual problems, it is apparent that the board is not yet to the point of involving Mississippi blind people in the affairs of the blind. He also said that the board had been directed by the Governor to conduct a study of services for the blind and deaf in the state and that they were in the process of securing funds for the study. He did not mention that a Governor's select committee for the blind had made such a study of services to the blind in 1974. Nor did he mention other similar studies. We might add that nothing has been done as a result of these studies.

Dr. Mann announced that Department of Health, Education, and Welfare auditors were auditing the vocational rehabilitation agency and had been since June 1976. He said they were studying three areas: (1) the effectiveness of the program by following up on a sample of 128 clients; (2) the management of property; and (3) the management of federal funds. He expected a report from the audit by March, which will be made public as a result of the federal Freedom of Information Act. The report will probably be out in May, and we plan to share a summary of it with you.

After lunch there was a panel on Public Law 94-142, the Education of Handicapped Children Act. It is obvious that if this act is properly administered the education of blind children will be revolutionized. Each of us certainly needs to know what this act provides and follow closely how it is administered.

The two final items on the program for the day were reports from Royal Maid and Mississippi Industries for the Blind, given by their respective directors, Mr. John Granger and Mr. Robert S. Sibley. May this writer mention here that after four or five months' negotiation between the NFB of Mississippi and Royal Maid, in 1974, all regular workers (but not trainees or special certificate people) were raised to at least the minimum wage. Before that time no blind employees were paid the minimum wage. Mr. Granger described the progress made by Royal Maid in recent years, including the growth of their business, the number of blind persons employed, etc. Royal Maid is owned by National Industries for the Blind, and Mr. Granger also described the use of Royal Maid as a training ground for managers and employees of other workshops across the nation.

Mr. Sibley described the advances made by Mississippi Industries for the Blind workers: all employees, including trainees, have been paid at least the minimum wage for the last two and a half years; the average hourly wage is more than $3.50 plus fringe benefits—retirement, annual leave, sick leave, ten paid holidays, hospital insurance, etc. The more than 250 blind employees earned more than $1 million during the past fiscal year.

We wound up with a short business meeting at which Clifton Boyd of Laurel was re-elected to the state board, and James Moore of Hazlehurst was elected to the board for the first time.

Well, I haven't even mentioned the twenty-some door prizes, including a beautiful box spring and mattress made at MIB. Of course, the feature of the day was a luncheon speech by our own Jim Gashel. He spoke on our accomplishments in the past and our goals of equality, opportunity, and security. He covered our victories—in the courts and in legislation—and emphasized what our dreams are for the future.  

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Mrs. Schaefer is treasurer of the NFB of Illinois (NFBI).



4½ cups sugar
1 large can evaporated milk
¼ pound butter or margarine
1 pint marshmallow whip
3 packages chocolate chips (small)
1½ cups chopped nuts

Boil the sugar, milk, and butter for 8 minutes. Take off the fire, add the chocolate chips, marshmallow, and nuts. Beat together and pour into a large, shallow greased pan. The recipe makes 5 pounds of fudge.  

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As this issue goes to press, the Social Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives has announced its intention to prepare legislation which will address a broad range of social security issues, including the disability insurance program and the earnings limitation. NFB Representative James Gashel will, of course, be submitting testimony and calling for the inclusion of the disability insurance for the blind bill in the legislation to be developed in June by the subcommittee. Letters requesting inclusion of the DIB bill in the subcommittee's legislation—which will be reported to the full Committee on Ways and Means sometime later this summer—should be sent to your own Representatives. They should be asked to contact the chairman and the members of the Social Security Subcommittee to express their support for the DIB bill. Particular attention should be paid to the members of the subcommittee itself. They are: James Burke of Massachusetts (chairman). Bill Archer of Texas, William Cotter of Connecticut, Richard Gephardt of Missouri, Andrew Jacobs of Indiana, William Ketchum of California, Raymond Lederer of Pennsylvania, Abner Mikva of Illinois, J. J. Pickle of Texas, Richard Schulze of Pennsylvania, William Steiger of Wisconsin, Jim Guy Tucker of Arkansas, and Joe D. Waggoner of Louisiana. 

The next meeting of the NAC Board will be held at the Portland, Oregon, Hilton Hotel, Thursday July 21, 1977, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This will follow the biennial convention of the AAWB which will be held at the same site July 17-20. The next NAC annual meeting and board meeting will be held November 14 and 15, 1977, in Phoenix Arizona.

Boyd C. Wolfe of Ohio writes that since Clovernook Printing House is NAC-accredited, he intends to cancel his subscription to every Braille magazine printed at Clovernook or any other NAC-accredited Braille press. He urges others to do likewise. Be sure to let the publishers of these magazines know why you are canceling your subscription.

A short version of President Jernigan's speech "The Blind: A Minority Without Press," originally delivered before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., has been printed in the "Deadliner." This is the newsletter of the New York City Deadline Club, a chapter of the Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism society. The club's membership is made up of many of the journalists in New York City, including those employed by the networks. The speech was presented as a "Guest Column" occupying half of the front page of the newsletter. Thus is our message spreading further and deeper into the consciousness of the public, and of the journalists who inform the public.

Hazel Staley, president of the NFB of North Carolina, has been named Outstanding Handicapped Citizen of the Year by the Mayor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is a well-deserved tribute to one of the most active members of our movement.

Harry J. Spar has succeeded the 81-year-old Peter Salmon as Director of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, in Sands Point, New York. Mr. Spar has been Associate Director of the Center since 1971. Before that, most of his career was spent at the Industrial Home for the Blind in Brooklyn.  

The deadline for articles to be printed in the July Monitor is May 10th.

Instructions for the PAC Plan are on page 216→


The Pre-Authorized Check Plan (PAC) is a way for you to contribute a set amount each month to the NFB without the trouble of writing and mailing a check. The amount you pledge will be drawn from your account automatically. The bottom of this page is a PAC Plan card. To join the plan:

(1) On the upper portion of the PAC Plan card, fill in the amount you can send each month, and fill in the day of the month you want the money to be drawn from your account.

(2) Put your signature and the date on both the upper and lower portions of the PAC Plan card where there is an "X." All other spaces on the card can be filled in by the NFB Treasurer.

(3) Write "void" on one of your own unused checks and attach it to the PAC Plan card. Mail the card (both parts) with the voided check to: Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, Box11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111.

Your bank will send you receipts for your contributions with your regular bank statements. You can increase (or decrease) your monthly payments by filling out a new PAC Plan card and mailing it to the Treasurer. Also, more PAC Plan cards are available from the Treasurer.  


For my benefit and convenience, I hereby request and authorize the National Federation of the Blind to draw a check in the amount of $_____ on the_____ day of each month payable to its own order. This authorization will remain in effect until revoked by me in writing and until such notice is actually received.

Please include a voided check with your PAC card. The PAC card must be signed in two places, where the x's are. Please enclose the voided check along with your PAC card and mail to: Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, Box 11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111.

X _____________________________________________________________________
Bank signature of donor (both signatures if two are necessary)


We understand that your bank has agreed to cooperate in our Pre-Authorized Check Plan on behalf of your depositor. Attached is your client's signed authorization to honor such checks drawn by us.

Customer's account and your bank transit numbers will be MICR printed on checks, per usual specifications, before they are deposited.

Our Indemnification Agreement is on the reverse side of the signed authorization.

Name of depositor as shown on Bank records ________________________________
Acct #_______________________________________________________________

Name of Bank and Branch Name, if any, and address of bank or branch where account is maintained ______________________________ ______________________________

For my benefit and convenience, I hereby request and authorize you to pay and charge to my account checks drawn on my account by the National Federation of the Blind to its own order. This authorization will remain in effect until revoked by me in writing and until you actually receive such notice I agree that you shall be fully protected in honoring any such check.

In consideration of your compliance with such request and authorization, I agree that your treatment of each check, and your rights in respect to it shall be the same as if it were signed personally by me and that if any such check be dishonored, whether with or without cause, you shall be under no liability whatsoever.

The National Federation of the Blind is instructed to forward this authorization to you.

Bank signature of customer (both signatures if two are necessary)

(back of PAC card)


TO: Bank named on the reverse side

In consideration of your compliance with the request and authorization of the depositor named on the reverse side


1. It will refund to you any amount erroneously paid by you to The National Federation of the Blind on any such check if claim for the amount of such erroneous payment is made by you within twelve months from the date of the check on which such erroneous payment was made.

Authorized in a resolution adopted by the Board Members of the National Federation of the Blind on November 28, 1974.


BY: ______________________________________

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