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.






















As reported in the February issue, the Monitor will not be published in April. This will be the first time in twelve years that such an action has been taken. It is entirely a matter of finances. The future of the Monitor, as well as of the entire movement, now depends upon what action the blind and their friends take.

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For more than a dozen years we have had the Monitor Brailled at the Clovernook Printing House for the Blind in Cincinnati. Now, we have made a change. The February, 1977, issue was Brailled at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville. The why is complex, and Monitor readers should know the circumstances.

For one thing there is NAC. (There usually is when there is unpleasantness or problems.) A couple of years ago it came to my attention that Clovernook was in the process of seeking NAC accreditation. I called Mr. Donald Reed, who was then executive director of the organization, and expressed our concern. I told him that if he followed through on the plan to affiliate with NAC, I did not see how the Federation or any of its affiliates could in good conscience continue to do business with Clovernook. In view of the harm NAC has done to the blind it would not make sense (assuming there was any reasonable alternative) for us to spend our hard-earned money to support a NAC-affiliated organization—especially in the brailling of the very magazine which devotes a good deal of its space to the exposure of NAC's shenanigans. Mr. Reed hemmed and hawed, uttered pious platitudes and made apologies, expressed regrets and tried to placate; but he did not deny that Clovernook intended to affiliate with NAC, nor did he offer to change his mind. He said that he was under pressure to seek the accreditation and that he felt that he had no alternative. We left it at that.

Then (a more serious matter if that is possible) there is the treatment of the workers at Clovernook. In 1975 there was a public outcry in Cincinnati. Because so many prominent figures have donated money to it over the years, Clovernook has been regarded as virtually untouchable and sacrosanct. Even so, circumstances were so bad that the blind felt that an effort at public exposure had to be made. It was not that the staff and management were intentionally cruel or despotic. Rather, it was that the whole system was so custodial as to be intolerably demeaning.

Clovernook has been in existence for a long time. It has fairly extensive grounds (some 26 acres). In former times vegetables were raised, a few chickens were kept, and maybe even some cows. It was (and, for that matter, still is) more than simply a place for the production of Braille.

The printing house part of the establishment consists of a bindery, employing some 30 people; a stereotyping and proofreading department, employing about the same number; and a press room, which has fewer workers. The facility also has a weaving department, where a few people work on looms to make rugs, Afghans, etc. There is also a residential home which has between 30 and 40 inmates. Some of these are quite elderly. Also on the grounds is located the "Proctor Center," which is named for the Proctor of Proctor and Gamble. This Center is reported to have a capacity of around 16 trainees, but at the present time it is said to have only about half that number, with more staff than students.

The furor in 1975 was the expression of long-smoldering discontent. The immediate spark that touched it off involved a resident who moved out of the Home and filed charges with the police, saying that her SSI check had been confiscated and that Clovernook wished to continue to manage her affairs and dominate her life even though she was no longer a resident. (Even in the custodial atmosphere of the worst of the agencies, one cannot help expressing astonishment that they would think they had the right to confiscate her check or run her affairs even if she were a resident.) In any case, this was, as the saying goes, only the tip of the iceberg. In another article in this issue the Monitor editor will detail some of the events which occurred. Suffice it to say here that wages were small, and custody was big.

There were enough apparent violations of the Social Security Act that the NFB brought the matter to the attention of federal officials. There was much negotiating, but we were never able to get meaningful action. Whether it was the fear of tangling with an agency doing work with the blind and having prominent contributors, whether it was the size and cumbersome nature of the federal bureaucracy, or whether it was something else, the matter could never be brought to a definitive conclusion. Somewhere along the line, Mr. Reed was replaced as executive director by Mr. Gerald Mundy, but it seemed to be a continuation of the same old show. During 1976 the NAC accreditation came through on schedule as one might have expected. It has been remarked before that the agencies that feel the need to seek NAC accreditation are usually those that are having problems; and, of course, NAC is glad to get anybody it can.

When I went to the Ohio convention last fall, Carole Jones (who is a longtime proofreader at Clovernook and who has shown the courage to speak out) was on the program. She told us of the continuing problems at the institution. She said that checks were often cashed for the people at Clovernook and deductions (unitemized) were made, and any balance was then given to the person. For a resident of the home who also worked at Clovernook the system worked like this: 80% of the individual's SSI check and 75% of his or her earnings would be taken for room and board, regardless of the size of the check. Presumably various so-called "deductions" might be made in addition. She told of one woman who worked in the bindery who received total net pay of 79 cents for the month of June 1976. When our Ohio membership heard the story, they overwhelmingly expressed themselves as feeling that we should stop having the Monitor Brailled at Clovernook, even if it meant having no Braille edition at all.

The choice, of course, was not easy. Little though the workers' pay might be, it was still something, and removing one more source of income from Clovernook could possibly mean even less. Carole Jones expressed her own dilemma and did not advise removing the publication. She simply told us the facts and expressed her frustrations and concern.

Under date of November 29, 1976, she wrote to me as follows:

DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: I have been advised by the Cincinnati chapter to write and inform you of the latest events at Clovernook. First, I'm still there—I think.

Immediately upon my return from the Ohio convention, I was questioned by the plant manager, Martin Droege. He took a sympathetic attitude—rubbing his head and sighing over the proposed, possible layoffs if the Braille Monitor was lost. I tell you frankly, when the November and, more, when the December issues of the Monitor arrived I held my breath. But, it is other circumstances I wish to tell you about.

The employees of Clovernook already knew that we had lost two magazines due to the bidding system established by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. Then, the rumor circulated that we had lost all of the book contracts. The rumor proved to be fact. Then, the contract for the American Foundation for the Blind catalog, which Clovernook had done for years, was given to Philadelphia—again, we were underbid.

Now, just this past week, Julie Gonzales, social services director, informed the stereotyping and proofreading departments that Clovernook has entered into a contract of some description with National Industries for the Blind. She didn't even find it necessary to explain to the now very confused employees just what National Industries for the Blind was. When I told the workers and she was confronted by one of the women, who was upset because she didn't want to turn in her years as a good proof reader for packaging and production work, she was told indignantly that I didn't have the correct information. (That same thing was told the workers a couple of years back when I told them about the advent of the computer-that computer is now resting in a room at Clovernook but, since the book contract has been lost, it looks as if we cannot be replaced by it soon.)

To combat the possibility of a burgeoning union, management has designated all sighted help, regardless of skill, knowledge, or position as "staff" and all blind people, regardless of skill, years of service, knowledge, or position—with the exception of the supervisor of the stereotyping—proof-reading department, who has been head of the department since the early 60's—as "clients." (The supervisor of our department will retire in approximately a year and a half.)

I have ridden the horns of this dilemma until my spirit is sore. I see so clearly why you do not want to continue feeding Clovernook NFB funds. I see almost helpless blind people riding the rough and careless tides of the agency people who use us to their whim. One part of me wants to get out. One part of me wants to fight back and one part of me wants to weep with helplessness.

We certainly are surrounded, in Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and here among other quieter places. There must be a way to get the public awake we'll keep trying.  



It is surely not coincidence that Clovernook was deciding to call all of its blind workers "clients" at just about the same time last summer that the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind (another NAC-accredited agency) was resorting to the same device. Apparently the decision of the National Labor Relations Board to take jurisdiction in sheltered shops will he resisted in every way possible, regardless of the cost to the blind worker-for whose benefit, presumably, the agencies exist in the first place.

Presumably, if you call a blind worker a "client," you can hope to avoid giving him or her any of the rights of workers. It has been said before: If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck-even if you write a lot of memos and prominently and repeatedly refer to it as a "client."

So we have moved the Monitor from Clovernook, and I now call on all Federation affiliates and friends of the blind to consider like action. Surely (at least to the extent we have alternatives) we should not use our money to support custodialism. Our actions as well as our words must carry the message of independence and freedom.

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"Custodial: . . . marked by or given to watching and protecting rather than seeking to cure."  —Webster's Third New International Dictionary

The Clovernook Home and School for the Blind was founded in 1903 through a gift of William A. Proctor, a soap magnate. The trustees of the gift were the Trader sisters, Georgia, who was blind, and Florence. Florence Trader was associated with the institution until the late 1950's, by which time all of its assets were in the hands of a nonprofit corporation run by a board of trustees. These assets are substantial; the major ones are buildings and 26 acres of land. The very name Clovernook Home and School for the Blind suggests a holdover from an earlier and sleepier time; and this is the case Clovernook is in many respects a living museum, a well-preserved example of Victorian notions about training and care for the blind.

Clovernook is an institution which attempts to combine rehabilitation and custodial care. A program description written in 1971 by Donald Reed, then the executive director of Clovernook, includes the following statements which express these contradictory goals: “Those responsible for the Clovernook program want to be sure [t]hat the disabilities of an individual applicant require the special combination of vocational and social rehabilitation services, sheltered workshop employment, and (in some cases) residential and recreational services that Clovernook provides for blind women ....” The facility actually tries to maintain two distinct programs: (1) the Proctor Center (which provides orientation and mobility training) and some vocational programs in the print shop, operated as government-funded rehabilitation programs; and (2) the residential program and some of the home-industry types of work, intended for the very aged or those with "multiple handicaps.” The result, as might be predicted, is largely the training of blind persons for sheltered employment. Mr. Reed tacitly admits this in a later part of his program description: “Following training, if a person has adjusted satisfactorily, she is generally accepted as a worker." (It might be noted [see article elsewhere in this issue] that before the change in NLRB policy and the threat of unionism, blind people could be called "workers," but in these more troubled times, they can now only achieve the status of "client.")

Here is one more paragraph from Mr. Reed: "Persons employed at Clovernook are usually considered to be self-maintaining and do not receive public assistance grants. However, there are some who receive other forms of payments, and these are turned over to Clovernook along with other resources under individual agreements which are made at the time a person becomes a regular resident of Clovernook. Those who have other incomes or resources are permitted to retain part of these funds for their personal needs. They turn over the rest to Clovernook to help meet operating expenses this arrangement is justified because only rarely does a resident worker produce enough through her labor to meet the entire cost of her care."

Clovernook, then, combines a number of undesirable features. It is a rehabilitation facility of the sort which finds jobs in its own sheltered shop. [The Clovernook shop is unusual in that the Braille press portion of it is well known as a publishing house rather than as a sheltered shop. Clovernook, for instance, is a member of the Braille Authority of North America. But the total figures for the entire shop operation, including weaving, claim that it has been a money-loser.] Although there is an array of professional expertise available on the staff, the blind women who live at Clovernook are not taught the skills of independent living. Nor are they permitted to learn these skills by themselves. The intolerable situation which was exposed in 1975 was that the women were actively discouraged, even intimidated, when they tried to manage their own affairs.

The immediate incident involved Leola Little, a worker in the print shop, and for some years a resident of the Home as well. Her letter of July 21, 1975, to the United States Postal Service tells her story:

"This letter is a formal complaint against the administrators of the Clovernook Home and School for the Blind who, without authorization, have willfully opened and kept my personal mail. I have never given anyone at that facility power of attorney, nor permission to open my personal mail. Quite a serious problem developed Friday, July 18, because of them taking the liberty of doing so.

"On July 9, 1975, I moved from the Clovernook residence to 7816 Hamilton Avenue. Social Security Office was given this change of address on July 8th (although they didn't think they could feed the change into the computer for the dispatch of my first Social Security check), and they assured me that if I gave notice of change of address at the Home and post office it would reach me at home. I notified the Clovernook Home (Kathy Bouschyeager) of my change of address, as well as the Mt. Healthy and North College Hill post offices.

"Friday, July 18, Mrs. Julie Gonzalez [of the Clovernook staff] approached me on the job at the Clovernook print shop and asked me to go with her to a back room where she told me my first Social Security check had arrived. She handed it to me. It was not in a sealed envelope. She told me the amount of the check was $520 (which is not the amount Social Security told me it would be). I took the check and endorsed the check so it would be ready to deposit at the bank at the end of the day. As I finished signing it, Ms. Gonzalez took the check away from me, saying she was going to cash it. She didn't cash it, but instead locked it up in the safe at Clovernook Home. I called her later that evening at home, and she refused to hand over the check.

"I necessarily went to the North College Hill Police Department who were unable to reach Ms. Gonzalez until late Saturday morning. I also called the Secret Service and they promised to escort me to Dr. Mundy, director of Clovernook, and have me ask once again for the check. Both the Secret Service and the FBI instructed me to notify the Postmaster's office of this violation regarding personal mail."

Above, we quoted Mr. Reed saying that "there are some who receive other forms of payments, and these are turned over to Clovernook along with other resources under individual agreements . . . ." This is the arrangement usually to be found at terminal-care rest homes. At Clovernook the agreement involved a power of attorney and the complete managing of the residents' financial affairs. The difficulty was that Leola Little said that she had made no such arrangement. And she had left the Home. She was informed that the deductions from her SSI check were debts she owed to Clovernook. The normal and legal procedure for collecting debts is to issue a bill, not to confiscate property.

In the course of trying to do something about the high-handed Clovernook actions Miss Little discovered that SSI checks could be forwarded directly to the recipient's bank, which would end the dispute with the staff at the Home over who would determine deductions. She obtained some copies of Treasury Form 223, which would institute this direct-deposit procedure, and began explaining the advantages of this to residents at the Home. The residents, a few at a time, began to go to the bank with Miss little to set up the system. When news of this reached the ears of Gerald Mundy who had succeeded Donald Reed as executive director, he hurriedly called a meeting. Leola Little was not present, but the results of the meeting as they came back to her indicate its tone and substance. She was ostracized by some of the very women who had gone with her to the police to file charges against the Home. One of these women now said to her: "You're trying to get my money"; another said: "I don't want to get my pink slip"; and yet another claimed: "I'm not allowed to sign any papers or else I will have to leave and go back where I was." Another resident sent Miss Little a hysterical cassette letter begging her not to "close down" Clovernook and warning her not to try to get the residents’ money to pay for her apartment rent. And then, presumably to keep the residents away from her pernicious influence, Leola Little was laid off from her job. It can be seen from what has been said so far that Clovernook takes its custodial duties seriously.

An editorial article which appeared about this time in a local newspaper (The Hilltop News of August 21, 1975), written by reporter Pat Tolzmann, tells a good deal more about Clovernook's style of custody. Parts of the article, titled '"Residents Encouraged To Be Dependent, Woman Says," are reprinted here:

"The controversy now brewing over whether blind women residents of the Clovernook Home are being taken advantage of points up the question of just how much—or how little—blind persons are able to control their own affairs.

"One of the expressed goals of the Home is to teach the women to overcome the handicap of sightlessness and adapt themselves to living in society as best they can.

"According to at least one disappointed former resident, Leola Little, Clovernook is much more of an institution than a school. During her more than three years there, she says, she was not given any training other than for her job in the book bindery. She was not taught to live alone, to handle money, or even to maneuver the streets and use public transportation.

"According to Miss Little, the Home's handling of the women's financial affairs illustrates the ‘caretaker’ attitude on the part of the staff. Residents who are employed in the Home's bindery or craft shops are paid once a month in cash, after the Home deducts from their gross earnings payments for room and board, and other deductions. Miss Little said her monthly net salary ranged from $19 to $82 for a six-day week.

“From their net pay residents buy toiletry items, clothing, incidentals, gifts, and entertainment—in short, everything except room and board, Miss Little said.

"Some of the women have savings and checking accounts at local banks, and the bankbooks are kept by their counselors, she said. Others, including herself, left cash with the Home for safekeeping, and would ask the counselor for it when they wanted the money.

"[Clovernook director] Mundy said the bindery realizes enough income to cover the employees' salaries there, but the craft shops are subsidized. Since the industries qualify as "sheltered workshops" they can pay employees half the minimum wage, or $1.05 an hour. Some of the employees are on a piecework rate, Mundy added, and earn a little more than that.

"Miss Little said that although she was paid on a piecework basis, she was never informed what her actual rate of pay was.

"Mundy said the Home is trying to add extra personnel so that residents can get more than just job training. The school's slate of 150 volunteers, he added are invaluable in helping the residents become more independent. 'They take them shopping, to restaurants, concerts, to a circus, on the annual boat ride,’ he said.

"But his claims that the residents get 'outside' once in a while are disputed not only by Miss Little but by Bill Trainer, a former school teacher who went blind three years ago and recently went through Proctor's training program.

"’I met girls from Clovernook who had been there seven years, and the first time they got to the Frisch's restaurant one block away was when I took them,’ he said.

"Mrs. Hernandez said Clovernook residents don't get much help with their clothing, haircuts, makeup, or complexion care. The meals at Clovernook are not nutritionally balanced, she said, and salads and fruits are served in such a way that many residents don't like to eat them. Consequently, they put on weight from too much starch.

"Mundy said, 'Many of the women here do tend to put on weight,' but said the meals are carefully planned. He showed lists of menus which included some kind of salad or vegetable with the meals.

"'I would like to see more women in the community take an interest in these blind women,' Mrs. Hernandez said, 'It's important for them to have someone on the outside they can talk to."

Some of the women found they could talk to the members of the National Federation of the Blind. [There was, as it turned out, no one else who would listen. (How often this is the case.) None of the government agencies applied to for relief had any to offer. The Postal Service and the local police backed out; the Secret Service (which handles Social Security investigations) said that since Miss Little had endorsed the check, nothing which happened after that mattered to them. This was in spite of the fact that Miss Little had been issued a new SSI check by the government, which would seem to be an admission that her first check had been misappropriated. The most amazing government response came in February of 1976 from the acting director of the Bureau of Retirement and Survivors Insurance of the Social Security Administration. In writing about the procedure for direct deposit of SSI checks (as used by Miss Little), this official shows that he distrusts Leola Little's motive for complaining, that he suspects she may not be on the level. He states: "We do not however, see the direct deposit program as a procedure for circumventing legitimate responsibilities, but rather as a means for providing convenience and discretionary control to beneficiaries and recipients in handling their own financial affairs." The Social Security Administration did find substantial irregularities in Clovernook's reporting of income and payment of payroll taxes; but the Administration found nothing else disturbing in the situation.]

By this time, the NFB was actively involved. Leola Little, along with Bill Trainer and Nancy Hernandez, had attended a meeting of the NFB of Cincinnati. Chapter members were appalled at what they heard and vowed their support. One thing, however, did not surprise them. The very next day in the midst of the uproar, of newspaper articles, of government investigators, who was expected in town but the NAC onsite inspection team.  As President Jernigan points out elsewhere in this issue, NAC accreditations are seldom sought these days except when they are needed by regressive agencies as a mask for trouble within the agency and public relations problems in the community. Clovernook needed some emergency first aid for its reputation, and NAC hurried to the rescue. None of the questions being raised about Clovernook's operations—even the payroll accounting—caused NAC to hesitate for a moment to grant accreditation. Probably NAC regarded the attack from Clovernook's consumers as an indication that it was "professionally" run and providing "quality services," NAC style.

The Cincinnati chapter formed a special committee to make contacts with Clovernook residents and with the administration. The chapter also formed picket lines the next day to protest the presence of NAC on the scene.

There has been no resolution of these problems with Clovernook. The custodial attitudes and practices found there might well have been written into the original deed, so engrained are they not only in the staff but in many of the longtime residents. Just after Christmas 1976, Paul Dressell, president of the NFB of Cincinnati, wrote to Clovernook executive director Mundy asking for, among other things, a meeting. There was no reply from Mr. Mundy until he was telephoned, well into January. He replied in an ancient and shabby dodge used by the worst of the agencies-that he would have to discuss it first with his board.

We end this article with Mr. Dressells letter. The problems he speaks of remain to be dealt with. The change which has occurred is that while the problems are being solved, while Mr. Mundy delays and decides what to do, NFB funds will no longer be paying the bill. Undoubtedly the people at Clovernook wish (or, at least, did before they felt threatened in their power and control) only the best for their blind wards. But how pathetic! How degrading! What a sermon in miniature. What a commentary upon a system that has bruised the spirit and shriveled the soul from the beginning of time. But no more! The old custodialism is coming to an end. The blind are making it come to an end. The struggle will not be easy or the battle soon finished, but as President Jernigan has said, "We know who we are, and we will never go back!":

Cincinnati, Ohio, December 26, 1976.

Dr. GERALD MUNDY, Director,
Clovernook Home and School for the Blind,
North College Hill, Ohio.

DEAR DR. MUNDY: The National Federation of the Blind is a national organization of blind persons which has among its objectives the achievement by each and every blind person of the right and opportunity to exercise to the fullest his talents and capabilities and to be treated in a nondiscriminatory manner within our society. The greater Cincinnati chapter has the same objectives locally. The Clovernook Home and School for the Blind, as one of the major local institutions serving the blind, has a significant impact upon blind persons in this area. Consequently, I have appointed a Clovernook Committee within the local affiliate (including one person who works at Clovernook). The purpose of this committee is to establish an ongoing relationship with Clovernook as an advocate on behalf of Clovernook workers and residents.

We expect to be active in Clovernook matters on a continuing basis: however, we have several specific concerns of current interest to discuss with you now. These concerns fall into five basic categories: (1) association with the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC); (2) financial stability of and outlook for Clovernook Home and School for the Blind; (3) independence and self-sufficiency of Clovernook residents: (4) working conditions in Clovernook industries; and (5) lack of consumer representation at Clovernook at policy-making levels or of any consumer accountability.

NAC.—NAC accredited Clovernook Home and School for the Blind despite numerous problems at Clovernook which were raised by residents and workers during the on-site inspection. The NAC accreditation process is a sham. NAC is run by the agencies it "evaluates" and not by the blind people it is supposed to serve. NAC standards are too low to be meaningful. NAC is simply used to mislead the public into believing that the accredited agencies are of high quality. Clovernook should withdraw from NAC accreditation as a clear demonstration that Clovernook intends to serve the blind and not simply "play the accreditation game."

Financial Stability.—The broad problem here is the almost total lack of information available to residents, workers, interested blind persons, and other members of the public of the Clovernook operation. This is of course of critical concern to the residents, who depend upon Clovernook for their daily existence, and the workers, who depend upon Clovernook for the livelihood to support themselves and their families. We understand that in recent months Clovernook has lost several work contracts. We want to know what contracts were lost; why; how such losses can be avoided in the future; and what effect these losses have had on Clovernook 's financial picture

We also understand that Clovernook has recently become associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB). We want to know what this affiliation will mean to Clovernook workers; when the association will begin; what jobs will be done; and what new or different regulations or operational requirements are connected with the NIB association.

We understand that Clovernook plans to introduce a computer into the Braille print shop operation. When will this occur? What effect will it have on the jobs in the print shop?

Independence.—Clovernook Home and School for the Blind should make it possible for its residents and workers to achieve the highest degree of self-sufficiency and independence, and should reduce the amount of direction and regulation of the lives of the residents and workers as much as possible. We recognize that many of the residents have multiple handicaps and limited capabilities; however, no one should be written off as incapable of learning. Appropriate testing should be provided for each resident to determine each person's potential. Availability of training should not depend upon one's ability to pay for it. Mobility training, necessary to achieve any independence, should be increased.

Training is also needed in the area of personal financial affairs. At present, the procedure followed is that a staff person has the Clovernook resident sign her check; the staff person takes the check to the bank, cashes it, takes out money to pay bills, and gives the balance to the resident. The resident has no opportunity to learn skills for self-sufficiency. A preferable procedure would be to have the staff person take the resident to the bank, have the resident carry out the transaction directly with the bank, and allow the resident to pay her own bills after being told what they are for and how much they are.

The Proctor Center is available to teach basic living skills to blind people, but Clovernook residents do not have adequate access to the Center's programs and facilities. Cooking facilities should be available to Clovernook residents so that they can use skills learned at Proctor Center.

Residents need more opportunity to develop satisfactory social lives. They need areas where they can entertain guests comfortably. These areas must be constructed to accommodate the needs of younger residents and older residents, since the latter require more quiet while the former tend to be noisier.

Clovernook should not be managing the lives of its residents and workers. It should be training them to manage their own lives whenever possible.

Working Conditions.—The Clovernook Home and School for the Blind has a sheltered workshop certificate from the Wage and Hours Division of the Department of Labor. This requires Clovernook to conform to certain statutory regulations which are enforced by the Labor Department. The Labor Department can investigate a sheltered workshop and, if necessary, revoke its certification.

Regulations require that workers whose handicap impairs performance of their job be classified as "clients" and only those persons may be paid subminimum wages. Although each certificate sets a floor wage which is the minimum wage payable by the workshop, the worker must be paid a wage commensurate with that paid to nonhandicapped workers in the same industry and area, based upon the productivity of the handicapped worker, if that amount is above the floor wage. An evaluation must be made of each worker to determine whether he or she is in fact a "client" and what commensurate wage is for that client. At Clovernook all blind workers are termed "clients," and all sighted workers are termed "staff." This is an arbitrary distinction which does not account for individual skills.

Another requirement of a sheltered workshop is that each worker be told in a manner that he can understand just how much he or she is earning. The workers at Clovernook do not have adequate information or have no information as to pay rates and guidelines such as: starting salary, pay periods, the basis for raises and when they are given.

Blind workers are not asked to participate in the retirement fund which is available to sighted workers. Resident workers receive no paid sick days.

Workers who use guide dogs are inconvenienced by the location of kennels—away from the work site and across a parking lot. Residents are not allowed to have guide dogs at all even though anyone who gets a guide dog is trained to care for it so that the dog can live in the same room as the owner.

Consumer Accountability.—Clovernook Home and School for the Blind was created to serve the blind. In order for this to be done effectively, blind people must be represented on the board of directors, meetings should be open to the public and publicly announced, and information should be freely available. At present, there are no blind persons on the board. The workers do not even know who is on the board so that they can make board members aware of their needs. Board members never inquire into the needs of the women who live and work at Clovernook. Clovernook was created under a deed with a restrictive covenant and is now operated as a nonprofit corporation. The primary concern of the board of directors should be to represent the needs of those being served; that must have been the intention of the donors.

We believe that consumer representation on the board must be provided, and Clovernook operations must be open to the public.

We would like to meet to discuss our concerns with you. We will call you soon to arrange a meeting after the Christmas holidays.



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Can the blind do welfare casework? The success of the many blind persons doing this work would make you think so, but the Lucas County, Ohio, Welfare Department doesn't believe it. This is what Sister Colleen Spain learned when she applied for a job as caseworker over a year ago. Her story demonstrates that overcoming discrimination one place does not automatically eliminate it everywhere, but that every victory aids the next. It also shows the great impact affirmative action legislation such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 can have [see the September 1976 Monitor] and the need for such remedies. Most important of all, it shows the need for and demonstrates the power of organized action by the blind in other words, the NFB.

Sister Colleen Spain, an Ursuline nun, totally blind, and secretary of the Toledo chapter of the NFB of Ohio, received a high score on the civil service examination for caseworker III. On the strength of this she applied for a job with the Lucas County Welfare Department (Lucas County contains the city of Toledo). After her interview with the department Sister Colleen was rejected as not qualified for a job at the caseworker III level. From depositions made later by those involved in the decision, and from a department memo on the decision, it was clear that the lack of qualification was Sister Colleen's lack of sight. Nor was this denied at first: Sister Colleen was plainly told in a phone call that her blindness disqualified her.

The Federation saw in this case an opportunity to test the directive in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that "no otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, . . . be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." We brought the problem to Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), a publicly funded legal group in Toledo of the sort which litigates with the purpose of creating legal precedents on social issues of broad social concern. In this case they also saw a chance to get a blind person a job. A job was part of Sister Colleen's purpose in going to law, but only a part. In conversation with the Monitor, Sister Colleen explained that the far easier road would have been to give up and find some other job, but that she thought of other blind people meeting the same barrier that had been thrown up before her, and she knew she had to fight. This, of course, is the Federation way not just personal advancement but improvement of opportunity for all of the blind, not just the narrow view but the broad perspective, not only today, but tomorrow and the decades ahead.

With the help and cooperation of the Federation, Attorney Nancy Lawson, of ABLE, began to apply pressure to the Lucas County Welfare Department. The department resisted in a number of ways. They raised technical considerations about the civil service certification and offered to let Sister Colleen retake the exam and reapply for a job. We felt this would give the agency a chance to reject her in a way which we might not be able to prove to be discriminatory: They would simply hire someone else. The welfare department then stated that it had no duty to hire Sister Colleen. Attorney Lawson pointed out that while that was correct, the department did have a duty not to eliminate her on the discriminatory basis of blindness.

The matter dragged on until this last summer. Then the department proposed a compromise. They offered to hire Sister Colleen on a trial basis with funds provided by CETA, the federal emergency job program which pays for employment on a temporary, "leg up" basis. The department said this would give Sister Colleen a chance to prove herself. They said they would make every effort to hire her on a regular basis at the end of CETA funding if she met certain '"objective criteria"; but they were unwilling to guarantee an offer of regular employment after the CETA funds ended, and Sister Colleen was to agree beforehand not to contest the agency's decision to let her go if they so decided. All of this hesitation to hire Sister Colleen seems particularly oppressive since the department normally puts new workers through a six-month probationary period. Apparently a blind person was thought to need even more in the way of probation.

Nor was this all. New personnel standards were made up especially for Sister Colleen. Most onerous of these was the requirement that she provide eight-hour-a-day reader service at her own expense, with the additional stipulation that if she were to report to work without a reader, she would work without pay that day. As blind people know, this would be the death knell for any job. There is little point to jobs for blind people if it take two persons-one blind and one sighted, the sighted one paid for by the blind one-to perform every job.

Basically, all these stipulations and extra qualifications amounted to one thing: Sister Colleen, because blind, was not to be given the chance to succeed or fail on her own. The possibility of her failing was to be protected against so thoroughly as to make that failure almost certain. The NFB position is that the blind can compete on an equal basis with the sighted in most jobs and only ask for the opportunity to try. This chance was not being offered to Sister Colleen, and it became clear that the matter would have to go to court.

At this point Attorney Lawson hesitated and expressed concern. Although our position would almost certainly prevail and ABLE was willing to pursue it, they would not be able to finance the taking of testimony and the appearance of witnesses. The NFB of Ohio said that it would collect the witnesses and cover their expenses.

The Lucas County Welfare Department felt they had knowledge that a totally blind person could not perform the duties of a caseworker. The absurdity of this position emerged as our witness list grew. To take a single example, we arranged for the testimony of Anthony Balik a supervisor with the Lynn County Department of Social Services, working in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tony, totally blind began his career as a traveling caseworker—in just the situation Sister Colleen faces. He has worked his way up to become area supervisor for the department. Our witness list had many such examples. After the list was filed with the court, the welfare department began to cave in. Finally they offered Sister Colleen a job beginning January 31, 1977, as an income maintenance worker I (which is the new name for the equivalent job to caseworker III).

The Lucas County Welfare Department does not believe that a blind person can work competently as a caseworker they could not bring themselves to waste good agency money on hiring a blind woman. The situation shows the need for laws to nudge employers past that barrier of disbelief, to press them to learn from actual experience what the blind can do.

Thus the Colleen Spain case has been resolved, proving once again the practical value to the blind of the Federation. It is the story we have come to know so well; "Philosophy bakes no bread, but without a philosophy no bread is baked." It is a matter of commitment and understanding of our own enlightened self-interest. It is also a matter of bread and meat on the table. In short, it is what the National Federation of the Blind is all about—jobs, independence, self-respect, protection of rights, not being pushed around, and the knowledge that we can have a voice in determining our own lives and futures.  

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What do the Missouri Federation of the Blind and the Illinois Federation of the Blind have in common? They are both affiliates of the American Council of the Blind. The California Council of the Blind and the Indiana Council of the Blind, on the other hand, were until recently affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind. To which organization were the following groups affiliated: the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, the Empire State Association of the Blind, or the Associated Blind of Massachusetts? Partly to straighten out this nomenclatural mess, the NFB in 1971 began nationally to urge state affiliates to adopt a standard name, the NFB of whatever state. Thus we now have the NFB of Massachusetts, the NFB of South Carolina, of New York State, of California, of Illinois, of Indiana, of—no. not "of Missouri": most definitely not "of Missouri." And therein lies a complicated tale.

The motive for standardizing affiliate names was partly to make it clear to the public which organization we belong to. But the message was for ourselves as much as for the general public. We wanted to be definite in our own minds that the local chapter was seen not as a separate unit with relations to a faraway "national." There is no "national" except as the combined activity of the local affiliates. We are more like the United States in structure than like the United Nations. Confederacy was tried in this country in the 1860's, and it didn't work. It wasn't practical then, and it isn't practical now. We are the National Federation of the Blind, not the National Federation of Organizations of the Blind.

Part of the confusion stems from the unusual history of the movement. Certain state affiliates were expelled from the Federation in 1960 and 1961 for violation of affiliate standards: they formed the American Council of the Blind. These state groups regarded themselves as independent entities, and, of course, legally they were. Thus they felt no need to change their particular state names.

They retained a strong feeling for the traditions of the movement of which they were now the declared opponents. Thus the very name American Council of the Blind harks to the most prestigious name in our early history-the California Council of the Blind founded by Dr. Newel Perry and built by Professor Jacobus tenBroek. The new ACB affiliates were reluctant to divorce themselves from the name of the new enemy. It had been their name—Federationists—and at some level it must have been hard to accept the new status, outsiders to the movement.

The constitutional structure of the NFB at that time allowed the national body no legal possession of the state affiliate names. Thus, in 1961 when the Missouri Federation of the Blind was expelled from the Federation, a new NFB affiliate, reorganized after the expulsion, was forced to hunt a new name. As Gwen Rittgers later wrote about this period: "You will recall that we called ourselves the Federated Blind of Missouri from December 3, 1961, until sometime that summer when the Missouri Federation of the Blind threatened to sue us over this name. We did not wish to change, but for the sake of trying to have some kind of appeasement, we changed the name to Progressive Blind of Missouri, and received our articles of incorporation under this name in September 1962 from the secretary of state of Missouri." As the Progressive Blind of Missouri we marched in that state for nearly nine years.

Yet as the years passed, what had seemed the easiest way at the time became more and more an anomaly. The NFB became a unified movement-each action, each member being seen as related to our common purpose, our collective identity: and state after state became the NFB of Kansas, or Oregon, or Arizona. The Progressive Blind of Missouri applied for and was granted the name National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, Inc. This was in July 1971. That fall the Missouri Federation (the present ACB affiliate) sued the NFB of Missouri, claiming that "the new name of the defendant is so similar to the name of the plaintiff that confusion will arise in the minds of potential members, contributors, and members of the general public in Missouri, who will be misled by the similarity of names, and will cause to be misled in dealing with defendants to believe that they are dealing with the plaintiff." [In all that follows, the Missouri Federation (MFB)—the ACB group—is referred to as "plaintiff" or as "Missouri." The Missouri NFB affiliate is called the "defendant" or "affiliate." The national NFB is called "national" or "defendant-intervenor."]

To the MFB charge we replied that any confusion about names lay in the fact that the Missouri Federation had no relation to the National Federation and that our new name hoped to remedy that confusion. The NFB National Office entered the suit as defendent-intervenor. We pointed out that the name "National Federation of the Blind" had been registered in the state long before the name "Missouri Federation of the Blind." and that if MFB could claim priority, then NFB could claim even greater priority. As our brief summed up the situation: "Prior to Missouri's institution of this proceeding, neither National nor Affiliate viewed confusion to exist with regard to their names, vis-a-vis Missouri's. They did, however, harbor concern of public confusion regarding Affiliate's status versus Missouri's status as to which organization was in fact the Missouri affiliate of National. Indeed, this concern was logical since Missouri was formed as an affiliate of National and its name is exactly the same as National's with the exception of a delineation of a geographical location in the first word of the name."

The MFB position was that the names Missouri Federation of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind of Missouri were so similar as to confuse the public. but that Missouri Federation of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind were not similar enough to deceive the public.

The circuit court judge (against all seeming reason and common sense) upheld the Missouri Federation and issued a very broad injunction. He ruled, in part: "such injunction shall preclude the future use by said defendant of any combination of the following words: Missouri, Federation, and Blind, unless they wish to revert to their prior name, the Progressive Blind of Missouri."

We appealed the decision, but (compounding the unbelievable decision of the lower court) the Court of Appeals reaffirmed the decision in every detail.

The broadness of the injunction was unwarranted, and it seemed to us unreasonable. A strict interpretation—that we could not use any two of the three proscribed words (blind, Federation, Missouri)—put us in an absurd position. As we argued in our appeal to have the case reheard by the Court of Appeals or transferred to the State Supreme Court: "[S]urely the court has overlooked the equities in allowing such a broad injunction. For example, if Affiliate changes its name to 'National Federation of the Blind, Missouri Chapter' (or 'Affiliate' or "of the Midwest') MFB could not possibly be equitably entitled to prevent the use of such names . . . and NFB's nationwide policy of name identification with its affiliates would at least be approximated. Yet because of the breadth of the court's injunction MFB may try to argue that such names could constitute a violation of the injunction."

Our appeal to the State Supreme Court was denied. We accepted that we could not be the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri. But we had been in the state since 1940 as National Federation of the Blind. It didn't seem possible that this name would be held in contempt of the injunction even though the words Federation and Blind appear in it, since we were still chartered for that name in the state. Rather cautiously, and with every intention of obeying the law, our state affiliate began using the name National Federation of the Blind. State officers used stationery that had those words in large capital letters next to the standard NFB symbol. Underneath the printing, in small type and in parentheses, appeared the words "a Missouri Corporation."

The Missouri Chronicle (the ACB state affiliate's newsletter) in the fall of 1974 published an article by the outgoing president of the Missouri Federation which commented, with typical restraint, on the situation at that time: "The above information surely shows that we have won every round in our two-and-a-half year old legal battle with the National Federation of the Blind and its Missouri affiliate;  and that the latter, which now calls itself 'the National Federation of the Blind in Missouri,' [note—we never called ourselves this officially] has been in contempt of court since last February. Our MFB attorney has filed a motion to that effect in the circuit court of Jackson County. So I am not only glad that our executive board requested the MFB attorney to introduce such a motion; I am also confident that the convention will support the board's action. For it is unthinkable that we, the winners of the costly suit, should slink from the field like beaten curs, leaving our longtime persecutors free to use the name which the court has forbidden them to use I hope, therefore, that our next president and executive board will do whatever is necessary to see that the court order is obeyed." This was Alma Murphey speaking, and her expressed wish was put into effect. The MFB pressed the contempt-of-court proceedings against the Federation.

The petition for the contempt order charged "that the change of the name effected by National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, Inc., combines two of the words-"Federation" and "Blind"—whose use in combination this court's decree forbids, and [that the] letterhead adopted by this defendant positions the third word proscribed in combination—"Missouri"—immediately below the other two in an attempt to evade this court's decree by subterfuge."

At this point, it has become clear that more was involved in this series of suits than the protection of a fundraising reputation in the state and the wish to avoid confusion in the minds of members of the public. As our attorneys argued in our response to the MFB petition: "[T]he petition for contempt is so baseless and delinquent that it demonstrates unclean hands and vexatious litigation by the plaintiff . . . ." But following the pattern so far in the case, the court ruled against us and found us in contempt.

Our Missouri affiliate, we were told, had no right to the name National Federation of the Blind, even though the national organization retained right to the name in the state-whatever that might mean. The court found: "that defendant and defendant-intervenor are two separate corporate entities, that the defendant is not a member of defendant-intervenor but is an affiliate thereof and for the further reason that defendant's name is National Federation of the Blind whereas defendant-intervenor's name is The National Federation of the Blind."

Thus the affiliate of the American Council of the Blind had been granted the sole right to imply affiliation to the National Federation of the Blind, to the exclusion of the actual NFB Missouri affiliate. Our Missouri people made up a new name. They were allowed to use one of the proscribed words, so they took "blind" and combined it with "national"—which was not banned and called themselves the "National Blind."

Our defeat seemed complete. The decision in the original suit had been unreasonably restrictive. On top of this the decision had been interpreted in an even more unreasonably stringent manner as a result of the contempt suit. But as it turned out, our opponents didn't know when to leave well enough alone. The contempt ruling allowed us to reopen the question of the original ruling in our appeal. The appeal has been successful. Here is the letter of Charles Tureen, our St. Louis attorney, telling the news of our success:

"After all these many months, it is indeed a pleasure to enclose the opinion of the Missouri Court of Appeals Kansas City District, handed down on December 27, 1976 .... The decision is a complete reversal of the trial court's holding favorable to the Missouri Federation and clarifies the injunction to require the use of all three words 'Missouri.' 'Federation,' and 'Blind' . . . before there is a violation of the injunction. It further provides that the parenthetical phrase 'a Missouri corporation' cannot be considered as a part of the corporate name 'it being clearly intended as a description of the location of the corporation named."

"The attorney for the Missouri Federation has notified Kansas City counsel that he will recommend that the Missouri Federation not file a motion for a rehearing. However, in all likelihood such a motion will be filed and in all probability promptly denied. To this end I wish to point out to you that the decision was handed down by the court en banc with all judges concurring. Thus, seven judges—being all the judges of the Kansas City Appeals District—agreed with the position taken by the NFB. I will notify you as soon as the appeal is finally concluded, whereupon I will prepare the necessary papers, and change the name back to the National Federation of the Blind, and you can continue to use the small-type parenthetical statement (a Missouri corporation)."

So what does all of this mishmash mean, and what did we win? To answer these questions we must deal with the real reasons for the bringing of the lawsuit in the first place. If the Missouri Federation (which, if it had any real pride in its association with the ACB, would call itself the Missouri Council of the Blind) could have blocked our use of our own name in Missouri, it would have been regarded as somehow constituting a national victory. We might well have suffered similar harassment in other states. If the Missouri Federation had prevailed, it would have boosted the sagging morale of the ACB throughout the country. But the Missouri Federation and the ACB did not prevail. We persevered. We spent the time and the money and the effort necessary to protect our name and show that we can defend ourselves when attacked. Our Missouri members never faltered in the conflict. All the ACB affiliate got for its pains was wasted effort, expense, and public embarrassment. Other ACB affiliates contemplating similar exercises might take note.

Let us be clear about the matter: We do not wish to have conflict with the American Council of the Blind, nor do we wish to prevent their state affiliates from identifying with them in name. In fact, it would seem reasonable for all ACB affiliates to add the word Council to their names and (wherever such still exists) delete the word Federation. Likewise, it would seem reasonable for NFB affiliates to have the word Federation in their names, and (as Monitor readers know) the process is now virtually complete. This would go a long way toward eliminating confusion on the part of the public.

If the ACB and the NFB are ever to have anything like friendly relations, episodes like the Missouri lawsuit must come to an end. As with the earlier Iowa lawsuit, no purpose was served except expense and embarrassment for the ACB. The two organizations have a number of basic philosophical differences, and the pattern of personal animosity has been slow in dying; but neither organization is likely simply to fold up and go away. Practicality would seem to indicate an assessment of the situation based on reality, and the outcome of the Missouri lawsuit underscores the nature of the reality.  

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Everybody knows that NAC's executive committee holds the real power and that its board of directors only meets once annually under pressure from the blind and their friends, which Dr. Bleecker refers to as "the general public." Will NAC's leaders ever have the good grace to admit this? I doubt it, but their own words tell the story. NAC, "the jig is up."

Washington, D.C., December 9, 1976.

President National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
Little Rock, Arkansas.

DEAR MR. RIVES: As you know, under NAC's policy of "openness," I was a "silent observer" at the annual NAC membership meeting held in New York on November 17 and the NAC Board meeting held November 18.

During the board meeting on November 18, it became clear that the executive committee of NAC has become the major policymaking body within the organization. The reading of the executive committee meeting minutes of October 7, 1976, was especially enlightening. Also, it is worth noting that the board, in its November 18 meeting, granted new power to the executive committee by authorizing it to have the final word on what standards are published and which are rejected. Of course, the executive committee will also be responsible for setting the time and place of the next annual meeting and board meeting.

I assume that NAC's policy of openness extends to all executive committee meetings, including those held between annual board and membership meetings. Accordingly, in order that we might make arrangements to have observers present at your next executive committee meeting, could you please advise me of its date, time, and place.

Cordially yours,

Chief, Washington Office.

New York, New York, December 23, 1976

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

DEAR JIM: Your letter to NAC president Louis H. Rives, Jr., has been forwarded to me and I am glad to clarify your incorrect assumption about our policy of openness in regard to attendance at meetings.

It is NAC's policy not to open executive committee meetings to general public observation. The executive committee does not have final authority on matters of substance, but takes actions or formulates recommendations subject to review or approval by the board of directors.

Meetings of the board or directors are open, of course, and public announcement of their time and place is made well in advance. Provision may be made in advance for special purpose presentations to the board. Effort is made to provide comfortable seating for observers, and copies of minutes of board meetings are available at cost upon request.

Your letter also contained an apparent misconception of action taken at the November 18 board meeting that you attended. The board definitely did not delegate to the executive committee the power to approve standards. In fact, the board reaffirmed that a majority of the board must approve any standards, either at a regular board meeting or by mail if it would cause any undue delay to wait for the next meeting. If one or two minor points need to be worked out as a result of board comments, on an affirmative mail ballot, the executive committee would be empowered to resolve them in consultation with the Commission on Standards and other appropriate groups. The executive committee does not and would not "have the final word on what standards are published and which are rejected" under this arrangement.



Washington, D.C., December 29, 1976.

President, National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
Little Rock, Arkansas.

DEAR MR. RIVES: By now we ought to know better than to take anything NAC says on good faith. Since December 1973 NAC has proclaimed to the world its "policy of openness," while conveniently sidestepping the fact that the policy (such as it is) was forced upon it by congressional pressure and the threat of grant termination by HEW.

Well, Mr. Rives, "the jig is up." In the old days, before NAC fell upon such hard times, it was possible for the executive committee to hide somewhat behind the fact that the board meetings were more frequent. Now that the board seems to be meeting only once annually (and even then allowing the executive committee to determine the time, place, date, and number of its meetings), the actual role of the executive committee is out in the open and NAC's double-talk is plain for all to see.

In his letter of December 23rd, Dr. Bleecker states: "It is NAC's policy not to open executive committee meetings to general public observation. The executive committee does not have final authority on matters of substance, but takes actions or formulates recommendations subject to review or approval by the board of directors." If you will pardon an observation from what Dr. Bleecker calls "the general public," we are not really fooled by this flimflam. It has always been NAC's time-honored custom for the board to approve minutes of executive committee meetings "as mailed," thus avoiding scrutiny from "the general public"; hut presumably because somebody slipped up and failed to mail the minutes of NAC's executive committee meeting of October 7, 1976, a full reading of these minutes was forced in open hoard session on November 18.

This is probably the last time such a breach of security will occur, but once is enough to prove Dr. Bleecker's December 23nJ assertions totally false. financial management policy, and the motion was carried."

Dr. Bleecker contends that "the executive committee does not have final authority on matters of substance, but takes actions or formulates recommendations subject to review or approval by the board of directors."

The minutes of October 7 indicate the contrary:

"There was also a discussion of the importance of continuity in fund raising and in the need to consider once more the employment of a full-time staff fundraiser as soon as NAC's income permits. It was moved by Mr. Pepper and seconded by Mr. McWilliams that the executive director should be authorized to search for a full-time fundraising person when in his judgment and after appropriate consultation he deems it financially feasible to employ such a person. The motion carried."

I ask you. Mr. Rives, is this not substantive discussion-the employment of a full-time fundraiser. What can be of more substance to NAC, especially in view of the annual deficits? But this is not the only matter of substance approved by the executive committee on October 7.

For example, the minutes also say: "NAC's investment practices and policies were reviewed by the Finance Committee, and it was agreed the modest size of NAC's reserve does not permit investment in stocks or bonds at this time. The reserve should he kept safe and available in the event needed while earning the best rate of interest available under the prevailing market conditions. It was moved by Mr. Pepper and seconded by Mr. Hanson that the executive committee reaffirm its approval of NAC's existing

Further on finances, the executive committee took the following action on October 7: "Mr. McWilliams noted that NAC had closed its fiscal year on June 30 with a deficit of under $10,000 and a change in accounting for sale of materials has been made. He reported that the Finance Committee had recommended that the gift from Mr. Cozier be used to help build NAC's reserve by the establishment of a special J. Kenneth Cozier fund to honor Mr. Cozier for his long and dedicated efforts to achieve the betterment of services to all blind people through NAC. ... It was, therefore, moved by Mr. McWilliams and seconded by Mr. Pepper that Mr. Cozier's generous gift be used to establish the J. Kenneth Cozier fund as a special fund in NAC's reserve. The motion carried unanimously."

On the matter of legal counsel (something of substance to any organization but especially to one which has built such a public record of unethical behavior), the executive committee minutes reveal "Dr. Bleecker recalled that the executive committee at its previous meeting had authorized him to make a change in NAC's legal counsel if that should seem desirable. The change has now been made . . . ."

Well. Mr. Rives, what is your response? You may wish to argue that there is little point in taking up the valuable and limited time of the board discussing matters of finance and legal counsel. Say this if you will, but how will you deal with the fact that NAC's executive committee, not the board, approved joining AAWB, not to mention the Affiliate Leadership League of and for the Blind of America? The minutes report:

"Dr. Bleecker next brought to the executive committee's attention an invitation brought by Wesley Sprague on behalf of the American Association of Workers for the Blind for NAC to become an organizational member of AAWB at the minimum annual dues of $100. If NAC were to join, it would be listed along with other organizations that are members of AAWB. In a discussion as to whether this might set a precedent [emphasis added], it was pointed out that there are very few organizations that NAC might join in this way. It has joined ALL, the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind of America, and is a member of the Council of Specialized Accrediting Agencies, the Association for Education of the Visually Handicapped, and on the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. The President's Committee is an appointment and does not involve dues. Its invitation has been handled on its merits. It does not seem likely that there would be more than one or two others at most. Dr. Birch stated that he would be happy to underwrite the cost of NAC's annual AAWB dues personally. It was moved by Dr. Birch and seconded by Mr. McWilliams that NAC accept the invitation to become an organizational member of AAWB, and the motion carried."

Well, Mr. Rives, NAC's executive committee minutes make my point. I rest my case. In view of these disclosures, I renew my request for the time, date, and place of NAC's next executive committee meeting. While we are on the subject, I would also like to receive a list of the members of the executive committee. If you are really interested in openness and participation in NAC, as you suggest, you will have no problem in favoring me with the information in a straightforward manner.

Sincerely yours,

Chief, Washington Office.

P.S.—Incidentally, Dr. Bleecker's "clarification" of the board's action regarding approval of standards did not go unnoticed. It hardly merits comment since the facade of continued board authority is plain on the face of it. Even NAC's so-called consumer representatives protested this delegation of authority.   

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October 20, 1976.

The Hon. ARCH A. MOORE, Jr.,
Governor, State of West Virginia,
Charleston, West Virginia.

DEAR GOVERNOR MOORE: My interruption of your speech on the occasion of the Governor's Conference on Handicapped Individuals held at the Rehabilitation Center on Monday, October 18, 1976, when I asked, "What about the cafeteria. Governor?" was not intended to be rude or discourteous, per se. It was nothing more than an impromptu rhetorical question which I interpret as a mild form of protest on behalf of my constituency, since I am president of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind, an elected representative of several hundred blind people in this state.

As a citizen of West Virginia and president of the WVFB I consider it my duty to report to you an incident involving a ranking member of your administration Thorald S. Funk. Director of DVR following the banquet held the evening of the aforementioned date in the dining room of the Rehabilitation Center. I was seated at a banquet table waiting for the crowd to thin out, when Mr. Funk came up on the other side of the table and greeted me.


My reply: "Hello there."

Mr. Funk: "I cannot permit you to leave my house without telling you that what you did today was disgraceful and unforgivable."

My reply: "You are entitled to your opinion."

Mr. Funk: "You are no longer welcome to Rehab meetings or on Rehab property. You will not be permitted on Rehab property."

My reply: "As a taxpayer, I will come on Rehab property any damn time the occasion calls for it."

Mr. Funk: "I'll see to it that you don't and that's not all I'll see to. I think you know what I mean."

I believe the remarks were made in anger and this is my only interpretation. However, I thought it should be brought to your attention.

Very truly yours,

President, West Virginia Federation of the Blind.

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Editor's Note.—this article was presented as testimony before a Nebraska Legislative Committee, October 15, 1976.

Sighted people have many sources for their reading material-the corner drugstore, book stores, general stores, a multitude of mail order merchandisers. They even have magazines to dull their apprehension at the dentist's, and—usually the Bible to relate to in their motel rooms. In short, sighted people may well have a veritable avalanche of reading matter—may never need to seek their public library.

What is their public library? Is it a room or a group of rooms with some books—perhaps some magazines and newspapers—a few pictures and musical records—some of the things to be borrowed—some to be used in the rooms? This is what a library is to most sighted people. It will be—probably—on a side street—likely in a drab but durable Carnegie building or maybe an annex to the fire station or city hall, or a store front. Wherever it is it is not likely to be in the forefront of the lives of sighted people.

Blind people, on the other hand, have almost no other way of satisfying their reading needs except through their libraries. These libraries—if they are properly organized, developed, and functioning—are so very different from the sighted individuals' libraries, that they are no longer the same thing and should have a different name—Information, Production, and Learning Center, perhaps. Part of the cause of the generally poor libraries for the blind in the nation is that administrators and directors of these libraries tend to have mistaken concepts about what is needed and what they should be trying to do. It was only after the horseless carriage concept was superseded by the motorized vehicle notion that effective automobiles could be developed. Similarly, libraries for the blind have suffered by efforts by the well-meaning to fit them into the same mold as libraries for the sighted. Most libraries for the blind have only the books furnished to them by the Library of Congress—these are a good beginning, but only a beginning. Libraries for the blind should serve all the functions of the books, magazine, and newspaper suppliers which sighted individuals have.

What do you do if you want to know how to spell benefited or learn the meaning of uxorious? Look in a dictionary. What do you do if you want to know where Zimbabwe is or which is the largest city in the world? Look in an atlas or world almanac. What do you do when you want to know how to make meatballs? Look in a cookbook. Blind people need to use their libraries for all of this. I can go on and on. You can readily read your union contract a blind person will need to have his cassette or taped. You can read the directions and tips for efficiency that come with your electric fry pan the blind person will need to have the information Brailled or taped.

To put it simply, a comprehensive, effective library is exceedingly important for a blind person-aiding him to keep in the mainstream of life—using alternative techniques for functioning as he would if he were not blind. His needs and sources are so structured that it—his library—can and should be in the forefront of his life—and that is what this talk is all about!

(As you contemplate this, please substitute for "library" the more meaningful term for what is really needed—"Information, Production, and Learning Center.")

Other advantages of having the library in an agency for the blind;

There can and should be much stimulating interchange between the library and other departments of the agency for the blind.

It can and should be vastly beneficial to the library to have live input from consumers. This occurs more with the library in an agency for the blind than another setting, for there is a great deal more live, drop-in business—not nearly as much is done by mail. The consumer comes to see his counselor about a job interview, perhaps, and goes to the library as well to find out how they are coming on the books on parakeet care he asked to have Brailled; to see what they have produced on the history of his county; what they have—or can tape on New Orleans, which he intends to visit next July; and to see how many presidents of the United States have been from the deep South.

There can and should be financial involvement in the library through the rehabilitation department of the agency. For example, an individual is studying under the aegis of the rehabilitation department to pass his state insurance exams. The library can provide needed material. Rehab may pay the costs.

A library for the blind is much more likely to be first-rate when it is part of a larger agency for the blind. The administrators of such an agency will no doubt appreciate what a significant role the library can and should play in its consumers' lives. They will no doubt be aware that what is wanted and needed is an "Information, Production, and Learning Center" and will set about creating it.

It will probably play a key part and have its fair share in the agency's financial pie, and, as I have indicated, there is great possibility of more advantageous financing than would be possible otherwise.

If it is part of some other agency—a larger library for example—it is likely to be very peripheral—a step person with no fairy godmother.

When it is part of an agency for the blind it is easy to get library people and train them to be knowledgeable about blindness, but it is not likely—when the library is in another agency for the staff to become steeped in what blindness is all about. In fact—it may well be that that agency will give the library such low priority they will not even insist on the same educational qualifications they commonly require for other positions. (Has Nebraska's present librarian for the blind graduated from a library school?)

Over and over it has been demonstrated that a library for the blind has more in common with other parts of an agency for the blind than it does with other parts of a state or public library.

And what advantage is there in having the library for the blind in any setting rather than the agency for the blind?

The library in an agency for the blind makes it possible to get it all together and serve the whole person. The library service plus training plus opportunity equal self-supporting citizen.  

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DEAR FELLOW FEDERATIONISTS: The January Presidential Release makes clear the financial crisis our Federation faces in the months ahead. We each have a responsibility to help solve our financial problems.

In addition to increasing my PAC Plan contribution, I have decided that each time I spend money for entertainment, or for some other luxury, I will donate an equal sum to our national treasury. Since my funds are limited, this will mean missing some movies and some of the other activities that I enjoy. This is a matter of priorities; if I only have five dollars to spend, my priority is to use it to help save the Federation rather than seeing a movie.

As Mr. Jernigan has said, to save our Federation we will have to sacrifice, and sacrifice until it hurts. I urge each of you to join with me in donating a sum equal to that which you spend on non-essentials to our national treasury. This may seem like a high price to pay, but is it too high a price to pay to save our National Federation of the Blind'?

Let's join Mr. Jernigan on the barricades by putting our money where it counts—in our national treasury!

NFB of Minnesota.

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Editor's Note.—Jacob Freid is the highly respected director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America and an NFB Board member.

The history of this past quarter century will show that the National Federation of the Blind has compiled a distinguished record in the struggle for equality, security, and opportunity for the blind. Today a blind child can attend public school with his sighted peers. Also, today, with the virtual prevention of retrolental fibroplasia as a major cause of blindness among premature babies, the incidence of blindness is being skewed to the upper end of the age scale.

The demographic trend towards the elderly made itself felt more than fifteen years ago. The psychological problems of blindness at birth and blindness in maturity are completely different. To most of the elderly blind, blindness in their mature years represents a traumatic calamity. I will not go into all the details except to say that the newly blinded elderly person tends to be ostracized and self-ostracizing. I have met with our elderly blind on numerous occasions at the Jewish Guild Home for the Aged Blind in Yonkers, New York, and at homes for the aged in the greater New York area; in Toronto and Montreal, Canada; and in Chicago and Boston. I believe there is a proper basis for the following statement: The elderly blind person is to a depressing extent a pariah. This is a situation to which, unfortunately, a large number of the elderly blind contribute by their own actions or rather lack of action. Whereas we have been able to make great strides in the integration of our blind youth into the community, the elderly blind have presented a far more difficult problem.

If community services were adequate and met the unmet needs of the elderly blind and visually handicapped, there would be no need to provide them with services in segregated programs in agencies for the blind.

Let us take an actual major agency for the blind in New York as an example. I say for the blind advisedly because the day has not yet arrived when the three New York agencies will be of and by the blind. This agency operates a recreational program because the community centers and senior citizen clubs don't want to include the elderly blind. It operates a home for the aged blind because the other homes won't take them in. If a person goes blind in a home for the aged, he or she is put into Nursing clinic as if he were sick this is a major tragedy. The community as of today has ghettoized the elderly blind and the agencies as a consequence are preserving and securing the ghetto.

Just as I do not believe that a normal person who is blind and who is not multiply handicapped should be in a segregated school for the blind, so I do not believe there is such a thing as a good home for the aged blind. Admittedly this agency tries to make its home as good as possible, knowing it's no good to begin with. What it offers is a program of intensive activities. In fact there are 26 different activities. Its elderly blind use power saws, power Drills, and other machinery to make a host of things in the sewing group the old ladies design and make their own clothes, culminating in a fashion show

This agency put some of its people into golden age clubs. In a few places they were welcomed. They were bored stiff at the golden age centers where one staff worker tried to serve some 200 people. The blind passed their time listening to music, playing bingo, chit-chatting, and sitting, and compared their lethargy with the program at the agency where there was one activity after another and the joint was jumping.

The problem is to get the agencies of the community to discharge their responsibility to serve the blind the way they serve the sighted. Two years ago the Jewish Braille Institute of America conducted major meetings of the foremost authorities in work with the aged in greater metropolitan New York. The gist of the meeting was: The elderly blind are segregated because no successful attempt has yet been made to overcome their rejection by golden age clubs, senior citizens groups, synagogues, and homes for the aged. Studies emphasize words like "isolated alone, "withdrawn" as psychological adjuncts of physical deprivation inherent in terms like "poor" "needy," "in want." In contrast to the respect for the elderly of Confucian society and in Western communities which made the commandment "Honor thy father and thy mother" one to live by, today the anonymity of urban life with its compartmentalized pueblo apartment cells is a largely barren and desolate environment for an increasing number of the old in general and the old blind in particular. And the elderly blind are increasing because we are living longer and as a result are more subject to deteriorating sight and blindness in our elderly years. Fully one half of the almost half-million legally blind population in the United States is 65 years of age or older. When you also include those aging persons who, though not legally blind, have such severely limited sight that it impedes their ability to function, the number is more than a million.

Discrimination and prejudice exclude the elderly blind from many services and activities for the sighted elderly. The center staff is worried that it doesn't know how to deal with the blind. The sighted members of the center fear that the blind will take an overwhelming share of the staff's time and attention.

What is necessary is to develop in-service educational and training programs and materials for staff, volunteers, and sighted people involved in center programs that have visually handicapped persons. In conjunction with this should be a transportation system that will help the elderly blind to take part in senior citizen programs.

However, there is another area that should be explored as being potentially more fruitful. This is the common interest group, whether it is religious, political, literary, musical, hobby, crafts, etc. Common interests are levellers of age sex economic and other differences, and we should meet with such groups to accept the like-minded elderly blind and partially sighted. The compatibility of mutually shared interest should bind the aficionados together regardless of their degree of sight.

We face in a more intense form in the elderly that problem which we confronted some 25 years ago in considering the integration of blind youth. The largest segment of the blind that is drastically un-serviced and whose needs are extremely ill-met are the elderly. The problems of blindness are compounded by the diverse circumstances of old age. We do know that our services, materials, and publications are vitally important to them. We also know there are a great many who have psychologically capitulated to living as recluses and who refuse to acknowledge their blindness and let us know who they are so that we may service them.

We must educate our elderly blind to understand themselves and then bring them into our own ranks as accepted, wanted, and respected human beings who can be valued members of our fellowship, sharing our struggles and hopes. Then we must educate the sighted public to the knowledge that they are human beings with the capacity to be constructive, participating members of human society.

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The Washington State Supreme Court has issued a long-awaited opinion involving issues of discrimination in employment on the basis of a physical, sensory, or mental handicap. It also ruled on an earlier King County Superior Court decision that "a person who is legally blind is  not qualified to serve as a fact-finding tribunal member" [See the February 1976 Monitor.] The court ruling was handed down on December 9, 1976, in the case of Chicago, St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Pacific Railroad Company v. the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

The case had involved a finding by a Human* Rights Commission hearing tribunal panel that the railroad had unlawfully denied employment as a brakemen to Mr. Robert Clark because of a history of knee surgery. The tribunal pane! had ordered that he be hired with back pay. Sue Ammeter (member of the NFB Executive Committee and president of the NFB of Washington State) served as one of the three members of the tribunal.

The tribunal's ruling was appealed to the King County Superior Court. Judge William Goodloe ruled that "a person who is legally blind is not qualified to serve as a fact-finding tribunal member." He further ruled that the handicap statute is unconstitutionally vague for its failure to define what constitutes a handicap. The case was appealed.

The NFB submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in which it addressed the issue of the qualifications of a blind person to serve as a fact-finding tribunal member or quasi-judicial officer. If such a judicial decision were allowed to stand it would pose a serious threat to the civil rights of the blind of Washington State and throughout the country. It would challenge the credibility of the many blind persons who have ably served as investigators, hearing examiners, or judges. The NFB's brief addresses the issue and demonstrates that blind persons are able to function on an equal level with their sighted co-workers.

Quoting from the "Interest of Amicus" section of the brief; "the actions of the superior court in this matter, if allowed to stand, would constitute a major setback for the blind not only within the state of Washington but also as a precedent for further discriminatory practices against the blind on a national basis and would, therefore, have a decidedly negative effect on the efforts of the organization in all areas of the country."

The brief contains arguments stating that the Goodloe ruling violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Washington State White Cane Law, the Washington State Law against Discrimination, and state law which permits blind persons to be empaneled for jury service. In conclusion the NFB argued: "it is submitted that there is absolutely nothing contained in the statutory law of the state of Washington or other jurisdictions for that matter, or in the evidence submitted in this case that would provide a foundation for disqualification of a hearing tribunal member solely on the grounds of blindness. On the contrary, all of the precedence, legislative deliberations, and the history of the evolution of the efforts to more fully develop blind individuals' potential points directly to the conclusion that unless it can be shown that a blind individual is unable to serve in such a capacity that such a blind individual should be allowed to serve."

On May 11, 1976, the case was argued before the Washington State Supreme Court. Months passed without a decision. At last, on December 9, 1976, the high court issued its ruling in the matter. The court vacated, or set aside, Judge Goodloe's decision, that, among other points, "a person who is legally blind is not qualified to serve as a fact-finding tribunal member." The Supreme Court also reversed the lower court ruling that the handicap statute is unconstitutionally vague for its failure to define what constitutes a handicap.

The Supreme Court decision to vacate Judge Goodloe's ruling on the ability of blind persons to serve as tribunal members means that the superior court ruling will have no effect or precedent-setting value. Thus, the high court ruling will nullify the Goodloe decision, even though the Supreme Court did not directly address the merits of the issue. The contention that blind persons are unable to judge evidence and render findings from that evidence is without merit. This case marks another step in the work of the Federation to eradicate the false stereotypes and misconceptions which the general public, and many public officials, have regarding blindness.

It is interesting to note that although the superior court ruling would have had far-reaching and harmful effects on the lives of blind and handicapped persons in the state of Washington and throughout the country, the NFB was the only organization to lend assistance to the Human Rights Commission in appealing the ruling. The NFB was the only organization to submit an amicus curiae brief in the case. But still there are those who continue to ask. Why a National Federation of the Blind?

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DEAR DR. JERNIGAN: Let me tell you that the NFB now has a new group, consisting of amateur radio operators. It is called, appropriately enough. National Association of Blind Amateur Radio Operators—abbreviated NABARO. We now have an eastern area NABARO net which has been meeting for three weeks on Tuesday evenings. Beginning next Tuesday, January 11, we will meet at nine p.m. Eastern Time, or eight p.m. Central Time, on an approximate frequency of 3947 kilocycles; and we will run for an hour at the latest. The net's primary purpose is to discuss information, ideas, and problems of blind hams. These discussions may cover either ham-related situations among the blind, or may involve talking about everyday problems and situations brought up by those of us who check in.

During the first three NABARO net sessions everybody has been getting acquainted with everybody else. Incidentally, this net is open to any and all blind people who can hear each other's signals as well as any sighted hams who feel they would like to contribute, ask questions on blindness, or whatever.

At the present time Jack (WB8GVI) of Columbus, Ohio, and I (WA1GXN) share the duty of controlling the running of the net. I don't happen to recall Jack's last name, but he's a Federationist you can rest assured of that.

The NABARO net is, indeed, being pushed. I have spread the word to some of our eastern nets and have received inquiries from interested people. They're all for it.

The more interest NABARO receives, the better the possibility of setting up amateur stations at NFB conventions. Hopefully I, along with others, will be contacting hams in New Orleans with the idea of setting up and managing a station at the headquarters hotel.

So far, there is no western area NABARO net; although Jim Aldritch, who now lives in Reno, Nevada, told me that he'd be glad to start one. I've not contacted Kevin Nathon of Idaho yet, but have been trying and hope to get the news to him soon. If anyone has any questions about NABARO they may contact either Kevin Nathon or me, Paul Burkhardt, WAIGXN, 5 Jenison Street, Newtonville, Massachusetts 02160.

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After nearly two years of planning, speechmaking distributing "awareness papers" and workbooks, and holding conferences at various levels, the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals is drawing near. Some 2,500 people will gather at the Washington, D.C. Hilton late this May, presumably to "develop recommendations and plans for action in solving the multifold problems facing individuals with handicaps." This is a big order, but the framers of this Conference had big ideas.

The Conference is mandated by title HI of the 1974 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The language of title III is broad; very little having to do with handicapped individuals is omitted from consideration and, supposedly, resolution by this Conference. Under the "Findings and Policy" of title III, for example, we read that "it is essential that recommendations be made to assure that all individuals with handicaps are able to live their lives independently and with dignity, and that the complete integration of all individuals with handicaps into normal community living, working, and service patterns be held as the final objective."

This ambitious goal is to be accomplished by instigating the activity of virtually everyone in the field: "the Conference shall bring together individuals with handicaps and members of their families and representatives of federal, state, and local governments, professional experts, and members of the general public recognized by individuals with handicaps as being knowledgeable about problems affecting their lives."

The White House Conference Act, in addition to outlining ultimate goals, lists 17 areas that are to receive special consideration. None of these 17 is narrow in scope: Item number 7 demands recommendations "assuring individuals with handicaps of equal opportunity with others to engage in gainful employment"; and number 8 asks for recommendations "enabling individuals with handicaps to have incomes sufficient for health and for participation in family and community life as self-respecting citizens."

When one deals with problems at this level of abstraction, it is easy to find unity. This is the level of thinking that produces the idea that, "We are all working for the same thing, so why can't we all get along." It implies that all that has kept us from a resolution of the problems of the handicapped is a lack of communication, a lack of getting everyone concerned to sit down together, to share what they know and decide on the basis of it what should be done, and then do it.

To anyone familiar with these handicapped individuals, their families, the government officials, and the "professional experts," all of whom are to be brought to-together in unity for this Conference, a bit of headshaking might be in order. Even the U.N. General Assembly could probably be united in support of some goals: peace, good will, or health; it is when you try to figure out how these are to be brought about that it is seen that the U.N. is largely a referee organization. As any Federationist knows, the same will have to be true here.

This lack of unity in the field focuses attention on the actual workings of the Conference. Yet title III says little about how its goals are to be achieved. It creates a 28-member Planning and Advisory Council and gives it some directives. But the directives are broad. The major and minor details of the Conference are left to the discretion of the Council. Since we have described the goals of the Conference as overambitious it may be too much to expect that a workable procedure for accomplishing them would be developed. Still, what was developed was a system which placed most of the real decision-making in the hands of the Conference staff.

The Conference was conceived by the Council as a vast referendum. The problems of the handicapped were to be refined into "issues" which would be submitted to the Conference delegates who would then vote to arrange the issues in order of importance. Surprisingly, however, most of these "issues" were provided in the first place by the Conference staff. In carrying out one of the specifics of the act, to "prepare and make available necessary background materials for the use of the delegates," the Council prepared workbooks for the state White House conferences held in preparation for the national Conference. In these workbooks the goals of the Conference had been translated into five "concerns," each concern having from three to seven "topics." The instructions in the beginning of each book direct that: "State conferences must address and propose recommendations for at least two issues for each of the 25 Conference topics."

To explain the process further, we quote from the section of the workbook titled "Overview": "Our strategy, then, is to encourage the sponsorship, locally, of forums at which primarily handicapped individuals can introduce their views into the Conference process. At the state level . . . preliminary White House conferences will be held as intended by Congress. Reports of findings from both these types of events will be channeled into the national Conference for review and discussion prior to final recommendations.

"In order to assure that local and state reports lend themselves to summarization for national Conference delegates and for the final report, a standard format has been developed for reporting. In addition, 'awareness papers' have been written by experts in the field and given to leaders of state conferences. . . . They define the barriers faced by people with various handicaps and review what we already know about how those barriers can be overcome or minimized."

Then, quoting a later section of the workbook: "When your state's conference report is submitted to the White House Conference . . . the staff members will take it apart, issue by issue, and synthesize it with all other state inputs to reduce it to the fewest common issues, plus all the unique issues that arise. The national Conference agenda will then be composed of meetings which will consider all these issues and their recommendations, and the national delegates will vote on which issues and which recommendations should be addressed in the final implementation plan of the Conference."

It can be seen that the staff of the Conference intends to keep a firm grasp on these delegates at every turn. The duty of the delegates at the local forums is to formulate, at the least, fifty issues based on topics provided by the staff. Awareness papers setting forth "what we already know" are included, each with Its own issues. The delegates vote to prioritize these issues, which are then taken apart by the White House Conference staff and reduced and synthesized and turned into new issues which will be voted on by the national Conference. When this is done and the issues are arranged in order one last time, back to the staff they go to be turned into a final report to Congress and the President. One is tempted to paraphrase the burial service for these issues: From the staff you came and to the staff you shall return, blessed be the name of the staff.

It was probably felt that such close staff control of the deliberations was needed, so vast and variegated was the field from which the delegates were to be drawn. Yet size was not the real problem with delegate selection. The original act specified that the handicapped are to be consulted; the Council set percentages of the delegates who were to be handicapped. But nowhere is there any requirement that these handicapped individuals be consumer representatives, or that they be consumers at all. Add to this that the national delegates could be appointed by the state governors, by chairmen appointed by the state governors, by panels or committees appointed by either of the above; or they could be elected by the local forums. The results of this were predictable: some states have ended up with delegations with a number of consumer representatives, other states have delegations utterly dominated by the state rehabilitation or social services agency-in which all the "handicapped" delegates are agency employees or spokesmen. We will look at this more closely in a moment.

Accepting, then, that the White House Conference is not in its conception or structure likely to "solve the multifold problems facing individuals with handicaps," what can we look for from it? Will it harm us, for instance? Well, it may. In order to dignify the Conference and to emphasize the sincerity of the impulse behind it, the act stresses that the Conference recommendations are to be implemented. There is no mandate for Congress or the President to pay any attention to the various final reports, schedules of needed legislation, etc., but after all the hoopla, some attention will be paid to this Conference Which means that the blind have had to take an interest, if only to minimize erosion of the programs we have already.

We have had a number of well-defined concerns from the start. The planners of the Conference assume (and we do not argue with the assumption) that if the final recommendations are to carry weight, they "must emerge as a consensus from a broad base of support." We have seen that this consensus is more to be wrung and extracted from the delegates by the staff than it is to emerge spontaneously. For the blind, the fear is not that there will be no consensus in the rehab field, but that this unity will be achieved at the expense of individualized and meaningful programs for the blind. The blind constitute little more than one percent of the handicapped population, and our problems are different, essentially different, from those of other handicapped groups.

We have feared from the beginning that the Conference would produce a recommendation that services for all groups be combined and operated from an umbrella agency structure. Last summer at our National Convention we passed a resolution on this subject and all but waved it in the face of the White House Conference's executive director, Jack Smith, who was present. At the least we were being submerged in a coalition, the biggest coalition of all-a sort of congressional advisory committee representing all handicaps and being looked to as the source for legislative remedies for all problems. Perhaps this overstates the importance of the Conference, but it does not overstate the unlikelihood that the Conference will bring us anything positive.

Even before the Los Angeles Convention President Jernigan had sent a letter to leaders throughout the Federation, saying, in part: "inevitably these state and national conferences will touch upon matters of concern to the organized blind. It is. therefore, in our best interest as a movement to have our voices heard at all levels. Particularly we must guard against the tendency to generalize about the needs of all the handicapped. We must also be certain that our philosophy is reflected in any and all recommendations which might have an impact upon the lives of blind people. ... If we sit back and permit others to speak for us, we all have a good idea of what we will get, and we will get exactly what we deserve. . . . (Contact your state conference director and see what you can do to be sure that the Federation will be actively involved." So spoke President Jernigan.

The results of our efforts to have input to the delegate selection have been mixed. We were stymied by the lack of a formal, standard procedure for choosing delegates. The process was different from state to state, and since the act finally leaves this up to the discretion of the state director, we had little room to maneuver. For instance, the following confused situation developed in Maryland: As John McCraw, president of the NFB of Maryland, wrote to Governor Marvin Mandel last November: "On October 23, 1976, several members of the NFB of Maryland attended the Eastern Shore Regional White House Conference. During the conference one of our members inquired about the procedures that were to be used for the selection process of delegates to the Maryland State White House Conference scheduled for December 4, 1976. She was informed that a committee would have this responsibility and she was appointed to the committee. We later learned that four members of the NFB of Maryland would be delegates to the state conference. While we are pleased to have representation at the conference, we are puzzled about how this delegation was arrived at since our member was never notified of a delegate selection committee meeting."

In a reply from the director of the Maryland state conference came the following bewildering explanation "At the Eastern Shore Conference, all attendees were invited to nominate delegates to the state conference A committee was named to make delegate selection, if there were any question of conflict in choice of representatives from the Eastern Shore. It happened that all persons nominated to be delegates to the state conference were fully qualified to be delegates, or alternate delegates, and all persons who were nominated have been named delegates. No conflicts of interest existed, so there was no need for a supplemental meeting of a delegate review committee."

A procedure this informal may be acceptable when it happens to work to our benefit; but there is no protection from quite the opposite, no guarantee of equal treatment or due process. In fact, the Maryland director began his letter by saying, "I'm surprised at receiving the copy of your letter to Governor Mandel about selection of delegates . . . . " Surprised and not pleased, is what he implies.

It would be safe to say that in almost every state there was a strong attempt to limit consumer representation in one way or another. Let us look at a few instances. In California the state conference was planned by a steering committee appointed by the State Department of Rehabilitation whose director. Ed Roberts preferred for political reasons to deal with the American Council of the Blind in the state. (The ACB, of course, has only a fraction of the membership of the NFB of California and can hardly be said, even by its most imaginative supporters, to be representative of the blind population of the state-or anybody else, for that matter, except the rehab agency professionals who apparently control and run it.)

At our Convention E. U. Parker of Mississippi questioned Jack Smith about the favoring of the ACB in the planning of his state's conference that conference is now over; Mr. Parker described it as follows in a letter to Mr. Smith: "The state meeting of the White House Conference was held Saturday. November 6, 1976. I am sure Mr. Breedlove [the state director] did the best job possible. He was certainly courteous, etc. I cannot speak for all ten regional conferences, but most of them and the state meeting had no handicapped people—except Mr. Breedlove and the speaker at the banquet Saturday night—participate in any responsible position or manner. There were two blind persons and one visually impaired who has been under the blind program selected to go to Washington. The net effect is politically they all represent one agency."

Or listen to this report from Tom Bozikis describing, in a letter to Mr. Smith, the situation in Indiana: "Six of the first eight delegates which were selected either have present or had past affiliation with the Indiana Rehabilitation Services. No member of any consumer organization was selected as a delegate except for one. This person leads a coalition of organizations of and for the handicapped. It is called COVOM. The NFB of Indiana does not have nor does it desire membership in this organization since we would lose our separate identity. We have been offered a spot as an alternate to this Conference. But I feel that the NFB of Indiana has been neglected and we should be given delegate status. We should challenge the credentials of those delegates who have been selected. Also, it is unclear as to how these delegates were selected to begin with."

In Maine, the state conference broke up in protest, with 67 of the participants signing a formal complaint which was sent to the state's congressional delegation. A letter sent to Jack Smith by Ed Hart, president of the NFB of Maine, tells the reasons for the complaint:

"DEAR MR. SMITH: On behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine, I am requesting that you do not seat the Maine delegation at the White House Conference in Washington for the following reasons.

"The delegates were not elected by the body of the blind and handicapped in Augusta. Ballots were distributed with the names of the delegates already printed on the ballots. Although nominations were taken from the floor, no one was allowed to introduce themselves, so that the people voting had no knowledge of who they were. There were no pencils or writing implements for people to cast ballots. They were not cast in sealed containers, but left on tables in the conference hall. No one has any knowledge that these were even picked up. The eight people selected to attend the White House Conference in Washington are all agency people. The deaf are not even represented. The National Federation of the Blind of Maine thinks this procedure to be high-handed, dictatorial, and undemocratic; and, therefore, we protest seating the delegation on these grounds."

Surely one of the most blatant cases of agency interference in delegate selection took place at the Illinois state conference. The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind reportedly set aside $2,000 to campaign for one of its handicapped staff members to be elected a delegate to the national Conference. The affidavit of Mary Lou Winter printed in the January 1977 Monitor describes this campaign, which among other things included attempts to pressure the voters at the conference itself.

Equally disturbing were the reports of the ideas emerging from state conferences From Texas Federationist Peggy Melton reported on her local conference: "There were many speakers at the Southeast Texas Forum here in Houston, urging umbrella agencies as a means for cutting costs of rehabilitation. These forums in Texas have proved to me where the blind would be in an umbrella situation. I fear we may come from the White House Conference with recommendations for umbrella agencies in those states which do not already have them."

And from Mississippi, E. U. Parker, in another part of the letter quoted previously, described what can be expected from some Mississippi delegates: "They will recommend to the White House Conference that: (1) the minimum wage be waived on an even broader scale than it is; (2) that there be more sheltered workshops. Do you think the physically disabled ask that their wages be cut lower than the standard minimum wage? So far as sheltered workshops for the physically disabled are concerned, we already have about thirty in Mississippi. There are substantially more than 300 blind alone depending on jobs in sheltered workshops. I'll assure you that no blind person wants either of these things for themselves."

Our experience with these state conferences was, as we said, mixed; some states will have strong consumer delegations. Idaho, for instance, will be represented by several members of the Federation, as well as other handicapped groups. The same is true of a number of other states. Yet it is clear that if the future of work with the blind depended on the degree to which we can exert strength at the upcoming conference that future would be in grave doubt.

Do we have other possibilities of input? At the Convention last summer Jack Smith made a great deal of his understanding of our philosophy and his trust of us. President Jernigan, he reminded us, had been appointed a special consultant to the planning committee. When President Jernigan expressed to him our special and intense interest in separate programs for the blind, Mr. Smith assured him: "May I say . . . that I perfectly agree with you in everything you said." And when Andrew Virden of Minnesota pressed the point, he was much more firm. That exchange (all of which appeared in the September 1976 Monitor) went like this:

Virden: "And also, would we be given some opportunity really an opportunity not just philosophically—to express our desire for separate agencies for the blind?"

Mr. Smith: "I think that is a possibility I think that we are going to have to do a job and we can control this more at the national level of educating those delegates to the real facts of life and I think that is something we are going to have to do particularly in this area, and frankly, in many others. There is not the same kind of sophistication, I'm afraid, that this group has shown in terms of problems and their solutions."

Mr. Smith made some other statements at that Convention which we reprint here. He said: "We are going to look to the delegates who come in from the states. We have asked that they either be elected by the state conference or named by a panel that includes at least fifty percent handicapped individuals. If NFB is not adequately represented from those delegations, I guarantee you that we have the process in place to provide delegates at large to rectify that situation." Finally, he said: "I want you to watch this White House Conference very carefully, because I'm going to be able to come back to you in one year and I want you to be able to evaluate what I've said to you today in terms of action."

At the time, we said to ourselves that Mr. Smith's intentions surely went beyond his ability to carry them out. Once a state has spent the money budgeted for its conference and once it has a slate of delegates, what can a national staff member do to change this? With so much left to the discretion of the state chairmen and such vagueness in the legislation, what chance is there for appeal? We recognized this even as we applauded Mr. Smith and brought complaints to his attention then and in the months since.

The National Federation of the Blind does not feel it ought to dominate the White House Conference. We have never felt we should speak for any handicapped group but our own. If the Conference is to draw its validity from the participation of the handicapped, though, then we ought to be consulted, not spoken for by the agencies. And if the Conference is to achieve its goals of solving the multifold problems of the handicapped, then some accurate distinction must be made between programs such as the separate agency for the blind, which have concrete evidence of their effectiveness, and programs which have none. The promise by Mr. Smith that, at the national level, he will provide a balancing, a correcting of the inequities of the state conferences was heard well by the NFB. We fully expect to hold him to it. We go to the Conference, though, remembering our own promise to ourselves: The responsibility for our future must remain in our own hands. We will see that it does. We know the trend of the times (the meaningless jargon, the doubletalk, the umbrella agencies, and the rest), as well as the odds we face at the White House Conference; but we also know our own strength and determination. We have a clear-cut philosophy, and we know how to express it and make ourselves heard. We have unity and numbers, and we will have at least a sizable group of delegates and alternates at the White House Conference. In this, as in so many other things, the stakes are high and the issues clearly drawn. If we falter or fail to come up to the line, we will get what we deserve-nothing: worse than nothing; for we will be burdened with a system which denies our individuality and robs us of the chance to achieve first-class status in society. But, of course, we will not falter, and we must not fail. The potential threat must be turned into a promise and an opportunity.

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The NFB of Kansas held its 1976 convention on September 17, 18, and 19 at the Jay-hawk Hotel in Topeka. A hospitality room Friday evening started the convention, and meetings of the resolutions and nominating committees were held.

Saturday the convention was opened by President Richard Edlund. Speakers in the morning included Bertram Lewis, who gave a report on the Kansas State School for the Visually Handicapped; Sharon Merrill, who spoke on library services; and Rosie Horwitz, who spoke on the audio reader. In the afternoon, William Bevan, III, spoke on the National Labor Relations Board. Jerry Powell gave a report on the Public Employees Relations Board: how we were effective in circumventing detrimental amendments to the existing law and how effective the law can be in future negotiations. Next, Rami Rabby, representing the National Office, gave the NFB national report. Acting Director William Richards of the State Division of Services for the Blind announced that Richard Schutz had just been appointed to fill the position that Harry Hays retired from. Joe Greaves, executive director of the Kansas Committee on Employment of the Handicapped and Kansas chairman of the White House Committee, ended the afternoon with his report on the impact of the recent NLRB decision as it will affect sheltered workshops and employees.

Blake Williamson was master of ceremonies at the banquet Saturday evening, and Rami Rabby was national representative and banquet speaker. His message stirred the membership to action and dedication. Congresswoman Martha Keys in her remarks stated that Rami Rabby's speech was relevant, material, and pertinent, and she would do what was within her power to assist us legislatively.

Sunday morning, four resolutions were adopted pertaining to civil rights; also requests for a legislative investigation of Services for the Blind, for a separate agency, and for the audio reader. Elections were held, with Richard Edlund being re-elected president and Walter Long re-elected as treasurer. James Stewart was elected first vice-president: Gerald Griggs, second vice-president; and Marilyn Tiede, secretary. Tom Anderwas elected a new board member, and Jackie Peters and Becky Clark were re-elected as board members. Alternate delegate to the National Convention in 1977 is Jackie Peters.

Dr. Jim Nyman, Director of Services for the Blind in Nebraska, his wife, several staff members, and several guests from Missouri were welcome additions to our convent It was a good convention with lots of participation and interest. Everyone left with their energies focused on the job ahead.  

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Federationists from all over North Carolina and surrounding states began arriving at the Downtown Holiday Inn in Raleigh for the biggest and best NFB of North Carolina convention. Friday, September 17. Friday night the hospitality room was busy as old and new friends chatted and partook of the ample refreshments. The convention spirit was quite evident both here and in the Presidential Suite, with much coming and going—the elevators were kept busy between the two hospitality centers.

President Hazel Staley gaveled the convention to order at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The large meeting room was filled to capacity throughout the day. After the invocation, we were welcomed to Raleigh by the host chapter and a representative from the Mayor's office. Mrs. Staley gave the presidential report outlining the gains the Federation has made in North Carolina during the past year. Two new chapters were born this year. The formation of the Greenville and the Wilson chapters heralded our growth in eastern North Carolina. Mrs. Staley also reported that we have been effective in persuading the Durham Lions Workshop to drop its NAC accreditation, and are working toward the same result with the other two NAC-accredited agencies in the state. We also went to the barricades and successfully beat back an attempt by the North Carolina Utilities Commission to impose a charge for directory assistance upon blind and other disabled people in our state. President Staley also reported substantial gains in Federation influence in all branches of state government in matters involving the well-being of the blind. Truly we are being heard!

The National Office was most ably represented by the Second Vice-President, Ralph Sanders, who gave us a most informative report concerning national legislation and other matters of intense interest to all of us. He also strongly urged us to support the PAC Plan and underscored the necessity for membership support of the NFB by showing us the good use that is being made of our money to help us all.

The theme of our 1976 convention was 'affirmative action, rehabilitation, and employment." Mr. Walter Melton, from the Atlanta office of the U.S. Labor Department, brought an interesting and informative presentation on implementation of affirmative action in our area. Several complaints from North Carolina stimulated a lively question-and-answer session which whetted our appetites for lunch.

Dr. Robert C. Urie, North Carolina chairman for the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals, reported on the preparations for the national Conference next May. He told us that the blind will be well represented in the state delegation. The rest of the afternoon session was devoted to a panel presentation on rehabilitation in North Carolina. Panel members were the regional supervisors of rehabilitation for the Division of Services for the Blind. The panel members—J. W. Smith (Western Region), William Joyce (North Central Region), Hilda Sandlin (South Central Region), and Roland Brantley (Eastern Region)-ably presented rehabilitation problems in their areas; then participated in a lively discussion with many members of the audience. Late in the afternoon President Staley was forced to end the discussion so we could prepare for the annual banquet.

The seventh annual banquet on Saturday night featured the spirited singing of NFB songs by 107 enthusiastic Federationists and guests. Our two newest chapters were presented their charters, accompanied by a deluge of applause. The highlight of the evening was the address by Ralph Sanders, who ably represented the National Office throughout the convention. His speech was frequently interrupted by wild applause as he reinforced our dedication to Federationism and strengthened our resolve to "never go back."

Sunday morning, in business session, the convention enlarged the executive committee to provide better membership representation. We also adopted six resolutions to guide us in legislative and social action during the coming year. Reports from officers and standing committees were presented and discussed, followed by election of officers for the next two years. These are: president, Mrs. Hazel Staley, Charlotte; first vice-president, John Niceley, Rockingham; second vice-president, Jesse Williamson, Morganton; secretary, Mrs. Joanne Moore, Wilson; and treasurer. Mrs. Pat Thompson, Raleigh. Board members elected were: Ralph Wilkins, Asheville; Byron Sykes, Greensboro; Connie Blackman, Williamston; Bill Bethea, Goldsboro; and Mike Human, Burlington. Hazel Staley will be our National Convention delegate, and John Niceley will be alternate delegate.

After the noon adjournment, tired but happy Federationists left for their homes all over North Carolina and six other states, ready to work harder for our movement and filled with memories of the biggest and best NFB of North Carolina convention we have had.

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1 cup butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
8 eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 cup (8 oz.) dairy sour cream

Cream together sugar and butter. Separate eggs and beat yolks until creamy. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and set them aside. Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with egg yolks and sour cream. Mix well in mixer or by hand. Stir in vanilla and lemon and fold in egg whites. Pour into well-buttered, floured tube pan and bake at 275 degrees for about two hours or until done. Cake is done when toothpick or slender knife blade inserted in center comes out clean

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Braille calendars for 1977 are still available for the asking from Twin Vision Publishing Division, American Brotherhood for the Blind, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, California 91356.

The National Federation of the Blind (a Missouri Corporation) will hold its annual convention April 22-24 at the Continental Hotel in Kansas City. Missouri. Rates are $13.50 for singles, $16.50 doubles, $19.50 twins, and for students with an ID sharing three or four persons in a room the rate is $7.50 per person per night. Reservations can be made by stating that you wish them for the National Federation of the Blind's Missouri convention. Send reservations to: Continental Hotel, Baltimore at 11th, Kansas City, Missouri. If you will be arriving from out of town and will need transportation or directions for reaching the hotel from the airport or bus station please contact Ms. Willa Patterson, 4734 Cleveland Kansas City, Missouri 64130; or telephone: (816) 923-9252.

The National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey will hold its annual convention at the Gateway Motor Inn. Raymond Boulevard and McCarter Highway Newark, New Jersey The convention will begin on Friday evening May 6 and will conclude on Sunday May 8.

Raymond Rokita, 1515 Ridge Road, Lot 260 Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197, writes as follows: “I would like to correspond with people residing in the state of Florida. Braille or cassette is preferable. I am interested in moving to Florida and want to get acquainted with people in that state. Country music and CB radio are my main hobbies."

By long-standing policy and tradition the Braille Monitor has presented information which will aid the blind of the nation in developing concerted actions designed to assist the blind in determining their own destinies. The following information follows this policy. We list below the names of members of the board of directors of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). The second listing indicates those agencies in the field of work with the blind which have accepted the NAC stamp (one might almost say the mark of the beast). These are the individuals and agencies involved in the American Foundation for the Blind and NAC axis who have dedicated themselves to working against the interests of the organized blind movement. It is the responsibility of the blind of the local community providing residence to the NAC Board members and the NAC agencies to take the necessary concerted actions to reverse the harm done to the blind of this nation. For one thing, they should be asked repeatedly and directly why they continue to associate themselves with an organization which is harming the lives of blind people.

Arthur L. Brandon, Lewisburg, Pa., president emeritus; Louis H. Rives, Jr., Little Rock, Ark., president: Huntington Harris, Chicago, Ill., vice-president; Howard H. Hanson, Pierre, S. Dak., vice-president; Jack W. Birch, Pittsburgh, Pa., vice-president; Mrs. Joseph Clifford. Scottsdale, Ariz., secretary; John P. McWilliams, Jr., New York, N.Y., treasurer; Dr. Robert Botenberg, San Antonio, Tex.; Mrs. Claire W. Carlson, New York, N.Y.; Joseph E. Champagne, Houston, Tex.; Samuel J. Cole, Raleigh, N.C.; William T. Coppage, Richmond, Va.; J. Kenneth Cozier, Cleveland, Ohio; Mrs. William G. Derouin, Salem, Ore.: Robert G. Eagen, Cincinnati, Ohio; Robert Hampton III, New York, N.Y.; Raymond A. Kemph, Wayzota, Minn.; Hilliard F. Kirby, Asheville, N.C.; Roy Kumpe, Little Rock. Ark.; Joseph J. Larkin Brooklyn, N.Y.: Elizabeth M. Lennon, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Mrs. Lawrence M. Levine, Cincinnati, Ohio; Donald R. Mandich, Detroit, Mich.; Durward K. McDaniel, Washington D.C.; John R. Nay, Sausalito. Calif.; C. Owen Pollard. Augusta. Maine; Daniel D. Robinson, Riverside, Conn.; Norman R. Robinson, Chicago, Ill.; Reese H. Robrahn Washington, D.C.; David L. Schnair, New York, N.Y.; Austin G. Scott, Dallas, Tex.; Wesley D. Sprague, New York, NY. Otis H. Stephens, Knoxville, Tenn.; George E. Stocking, Miami, Fla.; Russell C. Williams, Bethesda, Md.; and Mrs. Helen C. Worden, Providence, R.I.

NAC-accredited agencies as of July 1976, listed by state, were: Arizona: Department for the Visually Handicapped of the Arizona State School for the Deaf and the Blind (Tucson); Section of Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Phoenix). Arkansas: Arkansas Enterprises for the Blind; Arkansas School for the Blind; Arkansas State Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (all in Little Rock). California: Sacramento Society for the Blind. District of Columbia: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Florida: Florida Bureau of Blind Services (Tallahassee). Georgia: Atlanta Area Services for the Blind. Hawaii: Services for the Blind Branch (Honolulu).

Illinois: Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind; Hadley School for the Blind (Winnetka); Illinois Braille and Sight Saving School (Jacksonville); Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute (Chicago). Indiana: Evansville Association for the Blind. Iowa: Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. Kansas: Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (Topeka). Louisiana: Shreveport Association for the Blind. Maine: Division of Eye Care (Augusta). Maryland: Maryland School for the Blind (Baltimore). Massachusetts: Massachusetts Association for the Blind (Boston); Perkins School for the Blind (Watertown). Michigan: Greater Detroit Society for the Blind; Michigan School for the Blind (Lansing). Minnesota: Minneapolis Society for the Blind. Mississippi: Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (Jackson); Royal Maid (Hazlehurst).

Missouri: Kansas City Association for the Blind. New Hampshire: New Hampshire Association for the Blind (Concord). New Jersey: St. Joseph's School for the Blind (Jersey City). New York: Albany Association of the Blind; Association for the Blind of Rochester and Monroe County; Blind Work Association (Binghamton); Blind Association of Western New York (Buffalo): Guiding Eyes for the Blind (Yorktown Heights); Industrial Home for the Blind (New York); Jewish Guild for the Blind (New York); New York Association for the Blind (New York); Recording for the Blind (New York); Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind.

North Carolina: Governor Morehead School (Raleigh); Raleigh Lions Clinic for the Blind. Ohio: Cincinnati Association for the Blind; Cleveland Society for the Blind; Clovernook Home and School for the Blind (Cincinnati); Ohio State School for the Blind (Columbus); Vision Center of Central Ohio (Columbus). Oklahoma: Oklahoma School for the Blind (Muskogee). Oregon: Oregon State School for the Blind (Salem). Pennsylvania: Lancaster County Branch, Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (Lancaster); Pittsburgh Branch, Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. Rhode Island: Rhode Island Association for the Blind; Rhode Island State Services for the Blind (both in Providence).

South Dakota: Office of Services to the Visually Impaired (Pierre). Tennessee: Tennessee School for the Blind (Donelson). Texas: Dallas County Association for the Blind (Dallas); Dallas Services for Visually Impaired Children; Lighthouse for the Blind of Houston. Utah: Utah School for the Blind (Ogden). Virginia: Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped (Richmond). Washington: Lighthouse for the Blind (Seattle). West Virginia: West Virginia School for the Blind (Romney). Wisconsin: Wisconsin School tor the Visually Handicapped (Janesville).

The Pre-Authorized Check (PAC) Plan.—The PAC Plan is a way for you 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. Below 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, Box 11185, 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.

Articles, changes of address, and any other correspondence " dealing with the Monitor should be addressed as follows: The Braille Monitor, 218 Randolph Hotel Building, Fourth and Court Streets, Des Moines Iowa 50309 The deadline for articles to be printed in the May issue is March 20


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.

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_____________________________________

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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