BOX 4422








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 non-profit 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 Office for other suggested forms.

















On June 15, 1977, Judge Richard J. Kantorowicz of Minnesota's Fourth Judicial District ruled in favor of six blind persons who brought suit against the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. The decision was a clearcut and important victory for the organized blind. It will hopefully make possible the beginning of real reform of an agency as unresponsive and regressive as any in the nation. The Minneapolis Society for the Blind, it goes almost without saying, is accredited by NAC.

The Minneapolis Society is a private agency which provides rehabilitation service, occupational training, and recreational programs, as well as operating a sheltered workshop. It is the main institution providing rehabilitation for the blind in Minnesota and yearly receives around $150,000 from the state for services provided to blind clients referred by State Services for the Blind. It also receives substantial grants both from State Services and from the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. As its accreditation by NAC might tell you, the Society has gained exemptions from state and federal minimum wage laws for the blind employees in its workshop.

Monitor articles over the years have documented a number of the glaring shortcomings in the Society's programs and attitudes. Before the organized blind began efforts to reform the Society, there were no blind persons on its 30-member board of directors. The board held closed meetings. An article in the October 1972 Monitor discussed an instance of the sort which might be expected in a set-up whereby an agency receiving vast amounts of public money is governed by a private board operating in secret. The Society was building an addition to its workshop. It became known that the contract for the mechanical work in the addition had been awarded to a firm owned by a man who was both the president of the Society and the chairman of the building committee.

More recently, in the September 1974 Monitor, we reported on the Kettner case. In this instance, a blind client of the Society (Lawrence Kettner) had been rehabilitated right into the Society's workshop. He was then evaluated so that the Society could gain an exemption from the minimum wage law. It was a remarkable evaluation. Mr. Kettner was examined over a period of 14 days, but time studies of his work were made only on the third, fourth, sixth, and eighth days of the period. His duties were changed, so that he was not able to develop proficiency in any one task; the equipment available to him was faulty (though he was being measured against sighted workers using functioning equipment); and delays in receiving supplies were counted in his production time, although these delays were no fault of Mr. Kettner's.

His productivity increased markedly over the four time studies (from 42% of normal productivity to 79%), stressing the gross unfairness of placing these time studies near the beginning of the evaluation period. Finally, he was coerced (by MSB executive director Jesse Rosten, among others) into signing a minimum wage waiver indicating that he was capable of only 75% of normal production, at $1.35 an hour. To give the final lie to the Society's evaluation procedures, the day before he signed the waiver, Mr. Kettner had been hired in private industry at the rate of $2.17 an hour—above the minimum wage—and this was soon raised to $2.25 an hour.

[An article elsewhere in this issue reports on a panel discussion held at the recent delegate assembly of the Affiliated Leadership League. The panel, which dealt with unions in sheltered workshops, was chaired by Jesse Rosten. The consensus of the panelists was that NAC accreditation is the only safeguard shopworkers need. Perhaps they meant to say that NAC accreditation is the only safeguard the managers of workshops need.]

This, then, is the context of the lawsuit brought by six members of the NFB of Minnesota against the Society. The actual actions which resulted in the litigation, as established by the district court, were as follows:

Prior to April 1972, the Minneapolis Society raised funds mainly by sending mail solicitations. Anyone who responded with a dollar or more became a member of the Society. Members could attend the Society's annual meeting and vote in the election of the governing board of directors. In practice, very few members exercised this right. In November 1970 there were approximately 1,900 members of the Society.

In the fall of 1970 and on into the spring of 1971, members of the Federation in Minnesota met with the staff and directors of MSB to attempt reforms. Some of their grievances, as later listed in the complaint filed as part of the lawsuit, were that, in the workshop, "seniority was not being adhered to, that blind people were being laid off while sighted persons were retained, that wages should be increased to the level required of other employers by minimum wage laws, that the percentage of sighted persons in the workshop was too high, thus endangering its status under federal law . . . , that [the Society's] employment policy and practice manual should be modernized and its paternalistic posture toward the blind eliminated, that blind persons should be given broader opportunities to perform tasks before they are assigned to sighted persons, and that no blind persons sat on the board of directors, the investment committee, or the executive committee." Finally, since (at least on paper) the membership of the Society controlled its governance, five NFB members paid the $1 dues and became members. These were James Brennan, Thomas Scanlan, Maxine Schrader, Melvin Schrader, and Eric Smith.

In response to the request that MSB allow a portion of its board to be chosen by its consumers, MSB put one Raymond Kempf on the board. He was a man of the Society's choosing, and the organized blind had never heard of him, although we later came to know him well. He was sent out to defend the Society to the press; and in 1976, he was made a member of the NAC Board. MSB later added three other blind persons to its board, one of whom was a Federationist. These four, of course, were tokens; they were four out of thirty board members.

The NFB met with these blind directors and persuaded them to propose an amendment to the Society's bylaws which would open the board meetings to the public. Now the Society's evasive action began in earnest. It rejected the proposal and raised membership dues to five dollars, no doubt hoping that the blind would give up and go away. The board also determined that it would have the authority to terminate members of the Society for "any reason deemed satisfactory to it," and that this could be done without notice. These actions took place in December 1971.

One Federationist who had joined the Society decided to try to exercise the rights of membership. He requested a copy of the Society's bylaws in order to learn the procedure for nominating board members. The Society delayed filling this request until January 3, 1972, or 16 days before the annual meeting at which elections would be held. But the bylaws stated that nominations had to be submitted 15 days before the annual meeting, and that nominations had to be endorsed by 25 members. We now quote again from the complaint filed in the lawsuit:

"At the [Society's] annual meeting on January 19, 1972, plaintiff Maxine Schrader moved to open nominations for the office of director. The chairman ruled her motion out of order. When a blind person who was a member both of [the Society] and the Federation sought to introduce a resolution proposing that [the Society's] board meetings be open to the public, the meeting was summarily adjourned."

During early 1972, the Federationists renewed their MSB memberships, paying the new higher dues. The MSB Board met on April 19, 1972, and expelled all of the members of the Society, limiting membership to the board of directors. To carry out this purge, they needed to amend the Society's articles of incorporation, which was beyond their power to do. Not to be stopped by this, they produced another amendment to the articles of incorporation which they claimed had been passed on January 19, 1966. Minnesota state law requires that all such amendments be filed with the Secretary of State in order to be valid. The Society board said their failure to file the amendment was merely a clerical oversight. What did this amendment accomplish? It permitted the board to make further amendments to the incorporating articles. This amendment, allegedly passed in 1966, was filed with the state on May 31, 1972.

The day after the board meeting which produced these amendments, the executive director of MSB sent letters to the five Federationists, refunding their dues and expelling them from the Society. The Society, however, retained the dues of the other 1,900 members and made them "Friends of the Society," though without voting privileges. The NFB state affiliate began to prepare a lawsuit.

The board then apparently realized they had been too hasty. They once again amended the articles of incorporation. They reinstated the Society membership, although no new members were allowed to join. Yet they automatically instated as members all of those belonging to several other organizations-the Downtown Kiwanis Club, the Women's Club of Minneapolis, the Minnesota State Sunshine Society, the Delta Gamma Sorority, and the Council for Jewish Women. These new members did not apply for membership, nor did they pay dues.

Then the board scheduled a general meeting so that the membership (as reconstituted) could vote on the board actions of April 19th (that is, the actions which abolished the membership). At the meeting, this padded membership approved what the board had done. It is not hard to figure out why only the local organizations listed above were added to the rolls and why no members of the organized blind movement were allowed to join. Indeed, Federationists who tried to attend this peculiar exercise in democracy were not even permitted to enter as spectators. One of those who tried, Steve Jacobson, later joined in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit dragged on for four years, and finally came to trial this last winter. As noted, the judge handed down his decision on June 15th of this year; and in every substantial point, it was in our favor.

In the memorandum accompanying the decision, Judge Kantorowicz discussed the history of the Society's actions. About the raised dues and the initial board action by which they gave themselves the right to expel members "for reasons deemed satisfactory," the judge wrote:

"The amended bylaw failed to provide any guidelines either for the board exercising the expulsion power or for members informing them of impermissible activity. Such provisions frequently lead to arbitrary and capricious action by those entrusted with the exercise of power. When viewed chronologically it is obvious that each of these actions was taken to bar the critical, minority members from gaining additional representation in the Society.

"Based upon these consideratons, the amended bylaw was unreasonable and therefore violated Minnesota [state law].

"Also, these changes were 'not germane to the purposes of the corporation."

"Article I of the 1976 Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation states:

The general objectives and purposes of the corporation shall be to further the welfare and happiness of blind persons by making available to them opportunities for personal independence and self-support through investigation, education, employment, training, recreation; and to aid in the prevention of blindness.

"It is inconceivable that the board of directors' attempts to exclude the critical blind minority from board representation furthered either their 'welfare,' 'independence,' 'happiness,' or 'self-support.' At a time when the evidence clearly reflects the need for active and concerned board leadership, the Society blatantly rejected the services of those who had the greatest knowledge of the feelings of the blind and who had progressed the furthest in overcoming the harsh realities of their handicap. In so doing, the defendant violated Minnesota (state law].

"Not content with amendment of the bylaws, the board acted on April 19, 1972, in contravention of the articles of incorporation on file with the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota, and terminated the broad voting membership. . . .

"The board purported to act in accordance with a 1966 amendment to the articles and bylaws, passed by the membership but not filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota until May 31, 1972, following this board action. Defendant has argued that the filing requirement is merely clerical and therefore the board action was legitimate. The court cannot agree. . . .

"Aside from the dubious character of a forgotten, six-year-old amendment, to allow the Society to escape the responsibilities of filing would subvert the purposes of the filing requirements. The state requires filing to prevent acts that may be accomplished in secret by corporations to the detriment of shareholders, investors, creditors, or members. The heart of the law is disclosure. . . .

"Most importantly, the purposes for these actions must be analyzed. As previously mentioned, the Society had a very large inactive membership. Business was conducted by the board of directors with member input existing only by virtue of the annual election of members to the board. Membership existence did not affect the board's ability to conduct Society affairs.

"The only reason, therefore, to terminate membership on April 19, 1972, was to eliminate the criticism of the Society by the plaintiff members and to preclude them from increasing their voice in the membership. Membership termination was a subterfuge for expulsion of the plaintiffs without having to comply with reasonable procedures for expulsion."

"A great deal of evidence was also presented which indicated that the board of directors knew that their actions failed to meet the standards necessary for the expulsion or termination of membership. The Society intended to have the membership ratify the acts of April 19, 1972, in order to comply with the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act. However, it was first necessary to reconstitute the membership to determine who would be eligible to vote on the amendments.

"The reconstitution of the membership also violated Minnesota [state law], since the methods used to determine membership resulted in including in the membership many persons who were not so designated before the termination of membership. The choice of the cut-off date, September 22, 1972, the same day the plaintiffs filed their complaint, and criteria for membership were wholly arbitrary acts by the board of directors and the advisory committee. The only known effect was to specifically exclude plaintiff Steven O. Jacobson, and any other individuals who may have been solicited in support of the plaintiffs' position."

"The only right of a minority which can be protected by the court is their right to try to become a majority. That may be accomplished by ensuring that the internal political and democratic processes of the organization, guaranteed by the laws of Minnesota and the articles and bylaws of the corporation, are observed.

"It is also required that the processes be exercised. The plaintiffs in this case were systematically excluded from effective participation in the Society. That may be corrected. If they are to assume greater roles in the Society's policy direction and business affairs, they must do so by their personal abilities and the force of their persuasion.

"It is for this purpose that the court has ordered a new election of board members. Such an election will be conducted pursuant to the rules existing on December 14, 1971. There will be an open membership based upon same-day registration upon the payment of one dollar in dues. Cumulative voting will be applied. Compliance with all other rules and regulations for notice and hearing is required. In addition, at Society expense, the plaintiffs will be allowed to express their views to each past and present Society member, as reflected in the records kept by the Society, by a mailing of one 8 ½  x 11 inch page, each and every time the Society notifies individuals of the special meeting or communicates in any way with any potential voter regarding the purposes of the special meeting or the issues involved.

"All amendments to the articles and by-laws since December 14, 1971, are rescinded. After the election, the membership may vote to reinstate those policies. Hopefully, the opportunity to renew open membership and regain the trust of many blind people in Minnesota will not be lightly disregarded."

It would be hard to imagine a more definite or damning judgment. The Minneapolis Society has appealed the ruling; and indeed, what else could they do? Meaningful involvement of the Society's blind consumers seems to be seen by its officers as a threat to their well-paid, comfortable jobs. It is apparently unimportant to them that such an involvement would certainly have major benefits to the blind they are supposedly committed to serving.

As we mentioned, the Minneapolis Society is accredited by NAC, and in fact, a Society director is on the NAC Board. The Monitor article on the Kettner case ended with some questions to NAC. We repeat them here:

NAC, you have said you want documentation. Here it is-in great detail. So what will you do about it? Do you wish to deny that you are aware of this lawsuit? You can't. Would you like to take us to court on the grounds that we have not told the truth? Come and do it! Will you try to explain it away? pretend it never happened? ignore it? or will you revoke the accreditation of the Minneapolis Society? The blind of the nation are waiting, and so are the Members of Congress and the responsible agencies in the field. What will you do, NAC? Come up to the line and show us.  

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[Reprinted from Newsline, publication of the NFB of Washington.]

On 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 11, 1977, my telephone rang. The excited, jubilant voice of Ed Foscue crackled in my ear.

"We've got our Commission!"

In the background, amid the confusion of many voices, came a sound akin to an Apache war party about to attack. Phyllis Foscue, Alco Canfield, and Scott Lewis were making darn sure the whole world knew that seven long years of struggle had culminated in victory.

"Thirty-nine to four," said Ed. "The senate has just passed the bill and sent it on to the governor to sign."

One hour and twenty-three minutes later I hung up my phone and leaned back. I had called at least three dozen people around the state and nation spreading the victorious news. I smiled. The smile grew broader, and finally I just sat there and grinned.

Seven long years—seven years of pounding the typewriter and hanging on the telephone, stumping the state, talking to legislators and just about anyone who would listen. Seven years of building, planning, straining to squeeze a few extra hours into already crowded weeks. Seven years of an organization growing from a thin, wavering rag-tag band to a confident marching army. Seven years—

I pondered over that. Had the beginning really been that May day, seven years ago, when a brief resolution was drawn up and passed by the King County White Cane Association (now the NFB of Seattle) calling for the establishment of a commission for the blind?

The real beginning was early in June 1969, at the NFB National Convention in Columbia, South Carolina. Meeting with President Kenneth Jernigan, Tom Gronning, president of the Washington State Association of the Blind (now the NFB of Washington), spoke urgently of the need to involve young, active blind people in the organized blind movement in the State of Washington.

At President Groning's request, an organizing team had been sent to work with the WSAB to help build membership, especially among the young blind of the state. By mid-July, Manual Urena, Loren Schmitt, Ken Hopkins, Ramona and Chuck Walhof, and Shirley Lansing were hard at work seeking out and talking with well over 100 blind persons. The state convention held in Yakima in late July saw a number of these new members in attendance.

Following the Yakima convention, a meeting was held in Seattle; and by the time the organizing team had left the state, a new affiliate had come into being. The Youth Association of the Blind, as it was then called, promptly elected Bob Sellers as its first president. I became vice-president, with Alco Canfield secretary, and Berl Colley treasurer.

During the fall of 1969, while the Youth Association went about the business of building membership, other significant developments were taking place. At the very time that we were busy persuading the Space Needle that it was wrong in refusing a blind woman and her dog guide the right to ride in their elevator, the State of Washington was busy reorganizing health and social services into one huge umbrella agency.

The new Youth Association grew as 1969 slid into 1970. Discrimination existed everywhere, and we suddenly found ourselves fighting on all fronts at once. The new organization turned to State Services for the Blind, believing that a firm stand by that agency would assist in resolving many of these cases of discrimination. Not only was the agency unwilling to take a firm stand, but indications began to surface pointing to a complete break-up of state services to the blind.

By mid-May of 1970, it had become apparent that if nothing were done to prevent it, services for the blind would be spread out among the .various divisions of the new Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The Youth Association was already feeling growing pains by this time. Those members from Olympia joined the Thurston County Association, while most of the remaining members reorganized into the University Association and established themselves in Seattle's university district, drawing membership from the more than 30 blind students attending the University of Washington.

At 35, I was the "old man" of the Youth Association, and I traveled across town to become president of the King County White Cane Association. At its May 1970 meeting, the King County Association recognized the desperate situation at State Services for the Blind and passed a resolution calling for the establishment of the commission for the blind.

The 1970 state convention in Hoquiam saw some 15 young blind men and women crowding their way into the Emerson Hotel. For most it was their first state convention. A brash young college student, Sue Anderson (now Sue Ammeter), president of the newly formed University Association, was called before the board of trustees; and the new affiliate was added to the roll of state chapters.

The King County White Cane Association's resolution to establish a commission was presented. John Taylor, national representative, spoke with the membership, detailing the importance of separate, identifiable programs for the blind. Jerome Dunham, supervisor of State Services for the Blind, cautioned against "extreme" action. He suggested that a letter requesting that State Services for the Blind be maintained as a separate entity within the new DSHS would be the best way to go. The convention listened and then unanimously supported the resolution calling for a Washington Commission for the Blind.

Following the convention, legislative chairman Wes Osborne called together his legislative committee. A subcommittee, co-chaired by Bob Sellers and Bed Colley, was appointed to study commissions in several other states. After a series of meetings, a bill was drafted, sponsors lined up, and a WSAB state board meeting set in Olympia in early January to plan strategy.

Wes was the "old pro." In the last regular session of the legislature, he had marshalled the passage of the White Cane Law. But the kindest word that could be said of the troops that rallied around him that dreary January day was "greenhorns."

We swept into Olympia with eager confidence. Right was on our side; it was merely a matter of telling it like it was, and victory would then be ours.

A hearing was set before the Senate Social and Health Services Committee. Senator William Day presided. Wes and Al Fisher, editor of the White Cane, drilled us in what to say and what to expect. It was our first big test. We presented good, strong testimony favoring the establishment of a commission. Then we sat uneasily while the call was given for opposing views.

We got more than we expected. We got the message. The commission bill was not going to be "walked through" the legislature. We were going to have to really dig in. We figured that it might even take us the full session to get the bill passed.

Opposition to the bill came from many sides. Some we had expected, some we had brought on ourselves through inexperience, and some was totally unexpected.

Governor Daniel J. Evans was the prime author of the DSHS umbrella agency. "Give the Department a chance." he urged us. And he passed the word along that so long as he was governor, the bill would meet a veto.

We were stunned by this news, but just determined enough to believe that we could still pull it off. We developed our plans and talked with President Jernigan. A couple of weeks later Senator Day called his Social and Health Services Committee to order and introduced Dr. Kenneth Jernigan as a distinguished guest to testify before them.

So impressed were the senators by Dr. Jernigan that he was invited to speak before the entire senate. His testimony before that body brought a standing ovation.

The battle was waged, but victory was postponed. As the legislature came to a close, the bill was still in committee.

But that first effort to create a commission for the blind brought with it unexpected side effects. Organized opposition to our efforts sprang into being early in 1971. The pros and cons became identifiable camps in the blind community. By the time of the convention held in Spokane in July 1971, relations between the WSAB and State Services for the Blind were strained. The agency spokesman called for cooperation in maintaining agency identity within the Department. But the convention reaffirmed its resolution to establish a separate commission.

Jim Gashel was our national representative that year; and he stressed the importance of national strength and unity. In reply, our opponents charged that we were too weak to run our own organization and were forced to call on "outsiders" for assistance. In answer, Federationists dug in and began preparing for the 1972 special session of the legislature. Board meetings were now full-blown strategy and planning sessions. Action was taken on several fronts. For the first time it was recognized that in order to pass such a bill, a broad base of support would have to be built. Plans were made for organizing teams to spread out over the state. Methods of educating the general public were examined and placed into action. An all-out effort at self-education was launched.

In the early winter of 1971, Senator Day again headed a special committee, which met at the Hyatt House in Seattle. Federationists gathered and testified once more in support of the commission. An expert called by the committee was Kenneth Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind. As NFB national representative at our 1972 convention, Ken discussed the establishment and growth of the Idaho Commission and the effective services now afforded the blind in our neighboring state, which aided greatly our resounding confirmation of the commission resolution.

Having once again failed to move the bill out of committee during that special session, we began laying the groundwork for a major battle in 1973.

By the time the 1973 legislature was called into session, a greatly improved commission bill had been tossed into the hopper. The name of Ed Foscue had been added to the WSAB legislative committee; and along with Wes Osborne and Al Fisher, Ed threw his full time and energy into the battle. As WSAB president I stumped the state along with Sue Ammeter, Gary Ernest, Bob Sellers, Berl Colley, Ralph Solberg, and a host of others. We visited every affiliate, fostering greater involvement.

Financing the organization had been master-minded by Kelly Ridge, our ways and means committee chairman. With a solid treasury and a fast-growing membership, we stormed Olympia, confident that this would surely be the year of the passage of the commission bill.

John Taylor, Assistant Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, was called to testify before a joint senate-house hearing of the Social and Health Services Committees. Over 70 Federationists packed the chamber in eager anticipation. Despite the growth of the Federation and the wealth of information presented before the committee and circulated among the legislators, the bill again failed to emerge from committee. The continuing commitment by the governor to veto the bill, and the active opposition from DSHS, coupled with the opposing views from within the blind community, caused the legislators to counsel us that, "When you people get together, and all of the blind of the state support this bill, we will pass it."

The 1973 state convention in Olympia was a wild one. President Jernigan addressed the banquet. "Time is running out," he warned us. He noted that social service programs were then in a state of flux; but as this comes to an end, it could well be that only a few short years remain in which substantive changes can be accomplished.

Jerome Dunham, supervisor of State Service for the Blind, warned us that we were polarizing the blind community by our actions. He drove home his view of the organized blind by advising us that if he needed us, he would call us.

For the fourth time, the convention called for the establishment of a commission for the blind.

The period of 1973-74 was one of rapid change. In October 1973, my wife Trish and I closed up our home in Spokane and opened a state office in Seattle from which to direct statewide organizational activities. From here, plans were developed for the 1974 special legislative session. Study and discussion meetings, begun during the past year, were conducted on a monthly basis. Radio and TV spots were distributed and carried by members to stations around the state. Again the troops marched on Olympia, with Ed Foscue virtually camping on the steps of the capitol, picking up for an ailing Wes Osborne.

Charles Morris became the new Secretary of DSHS, the umbrella agency. Following an operations review of State Services for the Blind, Jerome Dunham, the supervisor, resigned. Frank Hoppes was named acting supervisor; and he came to our 1974 state convention in Seattle, announcing a willingness to work with the blind organizations of the state.

At that convention, Manuel Urena gave a masterly address; but the national trends in work for the blind, to which he pointed, gave members nothing to cheer about. One thing for certain, it did cause the organization, now the NFB of Washington, to pledge a redoubling of efforts to establish a commission for the blind.

Again, the commission bill died in the Social and Health Services Committee. But Federationists continued the fight on all fronts, and we watched as a new director of State Services was selected. Finally the word went out: Ken Hopkins, Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, had been named. In April 1975, Ken took over as Chief of the Office of Services for the Blind. While the 1975 legislature had not seen the wisdom of passing a commission bill, hard-working Federationists had won a major victory in the battle against discrimination. A bill was passed which guaranteed blind citizens the right to serve on juries.

The state convention was held In Tacoma in mid-October. It was a jubilant crowd that greeted Ralph Sanders, national representative. Ralph spoke before the largest gathering of blind people ever held in the state. The organization streamlined its bylaws and reaffirmed its determination to pass the commission bill. Organizing efforts had paid off: The 1975 convention saw the seventh new affiliate seated since 1970.

Nineteen seventy-six was a quiet year in the legislature. It was anything but quiet within the organized blind movement. Spokane was the site of the 1976 state convention; and it was the equal of the previous year's. The strength and growth of the movement were apparent everywhere, as Dick Edlund reminded us how it was in other states around the nation. The mood was one of "We know who we are." Amid a goodly number of state legislators committing their support, NFBW proclaimed that 1977 would be the year of the commission.

Plans for the coming fall and winter months were enough to fill a full five years, but the membership was up to the challenge. Ed Foscue, legislative chairman, and his committee organized the first annual legislative banquet. A large delegation of legislators gathered in Seattle with more than 100 Federationists that winter and listened to the hard facts presented to them by Dr. Bob Mallas, president of Management Services Associates, Austin, Texas, and by John Taylor of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Representative Jeff Dowthwaite and Senator Bob Bailey, sponsors of the house and senate bills, signed up those present as co-sponsors.

Support for the bill began to pour in from all quarters. "Tim" Timmer went to work on the labor front, bringing in the endorsement of Local 843 of the State Employees Union and that of the AFL-CIO Labor Council. Other members brought back support from civic, community, fraternal, and church organizations. After several years of division, other blind organizations in the state added their resolutions in support of the commission bill. One more major factor tipped the scales in our favor. A new governor, Dixy Lee Ray, had met with us and supported our efforts.

The year 1977 brought to a head eight years of solid, steady building. Singly and in teams, blind people began to move through the legislative halls, talking knowledgeably about the commission form of service structure and how it would become the basis for meaningful services. Radio campaigns were launched, and the legislative toll-free hotline was jammed with calls from the opening day of the session. So heavy were the calls and letters that not a single operator, secretary, or legislator called the bill by number. The Commission for the Blind bill was known to everyone in Olympia.

Hearings were once again set in both the house and senate Social and Health Services Committees. Bob Mallas came to Washington again, willing to share his knowledge and statistics. His testimony, aided by that of Federationists, was brilliant. Well over 100 blind persons lined the halls and committee rooms. For the first time since the bill had first been introduced in 1971, it passed out of committee.

The bill moved along its precarious course, from committee to committee. Every movement, every delay was sheer agony. We bore down, working harder. We groaned at each delay, and cheered with each new development that meant our bill was closer to final passage. First the senate and then the house passed the bill with overwhelming majorities. But the battle was not yet over. Amendments had made the house and senate bills slightly different, so one bill or the other had to travel the entire route again. The house bill was moved into the Senate Social and Health Services Committee.

Senator Day was quick to act. He moved the bill out of committee with a strong recommendation that the senate concur with it as submitted by the house.

Only a few more days. Just long enough for members to anguish one final time. Then it was over! Final passage was 39 to 4 in the senate. The call on the telephone from Ed Foscue—the cheering—I felt as though I had just given birth to a baby.

The Washington State Commission for the Blind had finally come to pass. And what had brought it about—what had caused it to happen—was an organization. It was an organization recognizing its need for growth that had sent its president to the National Convention in 1969 requesting direction and support. The organization grew and nourished through hard, steady work. Blind men and women and their friends and families saw the need for strong national, state, and local unity. Day by day, challenges were met, problems were solved, and new members were added.

The story of the passage of the commission for the blind bill is the story of a national movement. The organized blind movement. The National Federation of the Blind. It is the story of caring, feeling people around the nation, building together. Why the National Federation of the Blind? We in Washington know the answer. We are the answer.

Several years ago, following a particularly hard set-back in our battle for the commission, a group of us were sitting around with long faces, moaning about the tough thankless job.

"Heck," Al Fisher said. "You think this is hard? Wait 'til we get our commission. That's when the real work begins."  

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On July 21, Federationists converged on Portland, Oregon, to protest the semiannual meeting of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC). Over 200 Federationists, representing 20 states, came, including two busloads from California.

It seems NAC believed that holding their meeting so soon after the NFB Convention in New Orleans would decrease our numbers. Once again, NAC misassessed the stalwart determination of the Federation to either reform NAC or expose it to the public. As a matter of fact, a member of the press told us that earlier in the week the press had been informed that only about 15 persons would picket the meeting and that the picketers would all be from other states. Well, a number of us were from other states. NAC is not just a local matter.

Federationists began arriving early in the week to prepare for the demonstration. Enthusiasm was running high as the group gathered for a preliminary briefing session chaired by Sue Ammeter, which was held late on Wednesday evening, July 20. Many persons worked late into the night preparing signs to be used the next day.

All of us rose early, and demonstrators began circling the Hilton Hotel by 7:30 a.m. We were kept busy distributing literature to passers-by on their way to work. Meanwhile, E. U. Parker and Sue Ammeter attended the NAC meeting held inside the Hilton.

It appeared that NAC had expected a large attendance, since the meeting was held in one of the hotel ballrooms. The meeting had been scheduled in conjunction with the annual convention of the American Association of Workers for the Blind (AAWB), no doubt in the hopes that AAWB members would stay on and help swell the ranks of NAC. But characteristically, the NAC meeting was sparsely attended, and there were far more demonstrators outside than NACsters inside.

The meeting was called to order by NAC president Lou Rives. Mr. Rives began by praising NAC for its ability to rely upon knowledge and facts in dealing with agencies, unlike those who were picketing and parading in front of the hotel. He continued by commending NAC's policy of open meetings as evidenced by their attempts to encourage persons who wished to do so to send agenda items to the staff. Since no requests had been received, those attending the meeting were informed that they might ask for time on the agenda. Only one request was received, from which it may be deduced that NAC is seen as irrelevant even by NAC members.

The meeting was hosted by the Oregon State School for the Blind, which has been accredited by NAC since 1969. The NAC Board was welcomed by school superintendent Don Edwards. Ms. Mary K. Bauman, the new president of AAWB, expressed her pleasure in attending NAC's meeting since she sees NAC as the "conscience of our field . . . the conscience of AAWB, AEVH, and of all those who serve blind and visually handicapped people."

The next agenda item was the approval of the minutes of the board meeting held November 18 "as mailed" on March 23, and the approval of the minutes of the executive committee meeting held on May 11 "as mailed" May 20. In the absence of objections, the minutes were approved as mailed. Needless to say, the minutes of the secret executive committee meeting were not read at this "open meeting," since there were consumer representatives present.

Ms. Ruth Kaarlela presented the report from the Commission on Accreditation, in the absence of Otis Stephens, chairman of the Commission. During fiscal 1977, eight agencies sought and received re-accreditation. Also, four new agencies were accredited, bringing the total of NAC-accredited agencies to 67. The new agencies are the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, Tampa, Florida; the Central Association for the Blind, Utica, New York; Community Services for the Visually Handicapped, Chicago; and the Maine Institution for the Blind, Portland, Maine.

Huntington Harris reported for the Committee on the Advancement of Standards. The committee's purpose is to reach out to agencies and blind persons, informing them of the advantages of accreditation and reaccreditation, and especially, of course, to assist agencies to overcome the objections raised by "some groups." Judging from the report, the committee has made little progress since its creation at NAC's last annual meeting.

Wesley Sprague presented the report of the Commission on Standards. Mr. Sprague stated that the proposed revision of the standards on structure and function had been mailed to the board on June 15, and that a limited number of copies would be available to persons attending the meeting. However, when our observers asked for a copy, they were told that copies were available only to board members.

Mr. Sprague stated that the proposed revision of standards for rehabilitation teaching services had also been mailed. One board member expressed concern that the revised standards would allow agencies to consider hiring persons as rehabilitation teachers whose academic background was not necessarily in rehabilitation. This NACster seemed to intimate that loosening the qualifications would pose a potential threat to the professionalism of agencies. Experience has taught us that academic qualifications are not the key to success in rehabilitation; the essential ingredient is a positive attitude about blindness.

NAC executive director Richard Bleecker presented the treasurer's report in the absence of treasurer John McWilliams. The report was cursory since there was no written report and since the fiscal audit had not been completed. NAC had estimated that its 1977 operating budget would be $333,000, and its actual expenses $302,000. But income for the year was actually $304,000, which resulted in a surplus of $2,000. Mr. Bleecker estimated that the budget for fiscal 1978 would be $360,000. There is already pledged $283,000, leaving a deficit of $75,000.

No mention was made of NAC's unpleasant experience this summer with the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped, an agency of the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. NAC applied to the Bureau for a grant to revise its standards on education, but was rejected. As Ernest Boyer, U.S. Commissioner of Education, wrote to a California Congressman: "The [grant] application was rated as technically 'approvable,' but did not rank sufficiently high to merit funding." We understand why this matter did not arise at NAC's public meeting.

The next agenda item was the report from the executive committee, presented by Lou Rives. NAC's annual meeting will be held on November 14 and 15 in Phoenix. Election of officers and board members will occur at that time. Mr. Rives reminded board members that at least one-third of those elected must be suggested by organizations of the blind, and that efforts will be made to seek input from these groups. Thus, we can expect to receive the usual letter from NAC asking for our "suggestions." This letter will be sent to establish the record that we were asked. Of course, we still have the old-fashioned notion that representatives, in order to represent their constituents, must be elected by those constituents, rather than by the NAC Board. This will allow NAC to fill its "consumer" board positions with members of the American Council of the Blind, its "company union."

Mr. Rives stated that with the retirement of Dr. Jernigan and the succession to the NFB presidency by Ralph Sanders, he would try again to cooperate with the Federation by seeking our full participation in NAC. He assured the board that Federation participation in NAC would only be possible if the integrity of NAC and the integrity of blind persons can be maintained. He explained this to mean that blind persons must be allowed to express their own views, not those that are manufactured for them. This is quite a point of view. Obviously Mr. Rives believes that it is impossible for the blind to hold views that disagree with NAC's.

The conclusion of Mr. Rive's report was a pep talk. He emphasized NAC's past achievements and promised a bright future. The meeting adjourned some two hours after it had begun. It consisted of the same old monotony of reports, with little input from board members or the "professionals" who were supposed to flock to the meeting. Everything of consequence (if such a word can be used in connection with NAC) is relegated to the secret executive committee meetings, and the so-called "open meeting policy" is still a formality and a sham.

The action on that warm summer day was occurring outside of the hotel. A large quantity of literature was distributed to the public as Federationists marched around the hotel and into downtown Portland. The response from the press was excellent, and many of us were kept busy talking with radio, TV, and newspaper reporters. Stories about the demonstration were carried in many newspapers and on all the major Portland area radio and TV stations. Our success with the press can be attributed to the hard work of Patti Shreck and the other members of the press committee.

Each of us left Portland with a renewed spirit of dedication to seek the reform or continue the exposure of NAC, and to work to increase the number present at the next demonstration in Phoenix. We are on the road to victory in our battle to reform NAC, and the loss of the HEW grant is yet another step on the road to success.

As the blind of the country continue to mobilize and to learn more about NAC, this regressive agency will continue to reap the consequences of its actions.

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Since the Convention this summer, President Sanders has received letters of congratulation from friends of the Federation, and from some others. Two examples of the latter are reprinted here, along with President Sanders' replies.

New York, New York, August 1, 1977.

President, National Federation of the Blind,
Baltimore, Maryland.

DEAR RALPH: On behalf of the National Accreditation Council, I would like to extend to you our warmest good wishes as you assume the presidency of the National Federation of the Blind.

I do sincerely hope that we can work constructively together to achieve the goal both our organizations share—to help blind people achieve their fullest potential through strengthened services.



Baltimore, Maryland, August 31, 1977.

National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
New York, New York.

DEAR LOU: I have your letter dated August 1, 1977, in which you express the hope that we can "work constructively together to achieve the goal both our organizations share—to help blind people achieve their fullest potential through strengthened services."

I, like my tens of thousands of colleagues in the organized blind movement, wish we could work constructively with NAC. The experience of the past years does not lend itself to much optimism for the future, however.

In your letter you say, "to achieve the goal our organizations share—to help blind people achieve their fullest potential through strengthened services." One of the real difficulties in all human transactions is the disparity between the word and the deed. I cannot fault the sentiment of your thought or the words that convey it. But quite frankly, Lou, the actions of the National Accreditation Council during the recent years cannot support the claim that our organizations share this mutual goal.

In 1974 you personally involved yourself in what at first appeared to be a constructive move in developing a working relationship between the blind in the nation and NAC when you served on NAC's Ad Hoc Committee. So constructive was the work of the committee that it resulted in a compromise solution to the difficulties which would have brought all parties into a sound working relationship. I personally had the opportunity to observe the NAC Board meeting in which the Ad Hoc Committee proposal was submitted. Another member of that committee made numerous motions to attempt to gain its acceptance. You, unfortunately, had apparently abandoned the work of the committee and did not see fit to push for its acceptance.

Where there had been the promise of a constructive working relationship, we found only tokenism and a complete rejection of the principle of legitimate consumer representation. As I said before, the work and the deed are often not the same. The action we have seen NAC take consists of for-the-record letters written to the organized blind movement by an assortment of NAC officials. But no purpose can be served in this letter by recounting the many communications we have exchanged in the past concerning NAC's past actions.

In fact, in light of all the previous communications, I am curious as to the purpose of your letter. Or was it also written for the record? In any event, I hope that the future actions of NAC will support a constructive working relationship consistent with the spirit of the concept.

While I am on the subject of actions and words, let me express to you the hope that you and your colleagues do not misassess my presidency, taking it to mean a change in the fundamental position of the Federation with regard to NAC. The facts are something else. Our actions have been consistent with our words. As you are well aware, I have been a part of the administration of the National Federation of the Blind for some time; and as you also know, I have been particularly close to the formulation of all policies concerning the National Accreditation Council in the past several years. NAC has long persisted in the notion that the difficulty between NAC and the blind was somehow, mysteriously, based on a personal difference between Dr. Jernigan and NAC. It will be interesting to see how you and your colleagues explain away the large number of Federationists who were in Portland and the large number of Federationists who will continue to assemble wherever NAC meets in the future until we are able to develop a constructive working relationship. Lou, we in the organized blind movement have also built a record. But our written record is consistent with our actions. The facts speak for themselves. We are not opposed to accreditation, but we are opposed to accreditation without meaningful representation. We are opposed to NAC's accreditation of substandard agencies for political, not professional, purposes. We are opposed to NAC's absolute refusal to recognize the blind served by the agencies it purports to accredit as a legitimate group for input into the accreditation process.

In closing, let me say to you that I too sincerely hope that we can work constructively together. I sincerely hope that we can identify goals we mutually share. If you really wish a constructive working relationship with the blind of the nation, then you need but demonstrate it by your actions. If you fail to demonstrate it through your actions, we shall continue to oppose the National Accreditation Council. We shall continue to make a visible presence at all meetings of NAC's board. We shall continue to express our opposition to the public, to the Congress, to private foundations, and in the field of work with and for the blind. We, the blind, will continue to await your answer.



Chicago, Illinois, August 16, 1977.

President, National Federation of the Blind,
Baltimore, Maryland.

DEAR RALPH: Please accept my sincere (if belated!) congratulations on your recent election as the new NFB President.

I feel this is a critical development in services to the blind of this country and wanted to express to you the hope that you see an end to the severe rifts that have developed within our field in recent years.

Better services can be the goal of all of us working together as a team. You are in a position to lead on this and accomplish more for the blind than any other single individual in this country.

What great things we all could accomplish if the differences between NFB and the other organizations could be resolved.

In no way do I represent any national organization and am writing you as a concerned individual who would like to help.

I would appreciate, Ralph, if you could give me an idea of your thinking. It is critically important at this time.

Also, in your travels around the country, if you have an opportunity to visit Chicago, I would like to invite you to visit the Lighthouse we are really not that bad.


FRED McDonald,
Executive Director.

Baltimore, Maryland, September 8, 1977.

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

DEAR FRED: This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of August 16, 1977. In your letter you say, "Better services can be the goal of all of us working together as a team. You are in a position to lead on this and accomplish more for the blind than any other single individual in this country." I must humbly agree that the National Federation of the Blind will be, in the long run, in a position to determine the outcome of all disagreements existing between the organized blind movement and those agencies serving the blind which have placed themselves in an adversary position against the views of the blind of this nation. I am pleased that you can acknowledge that fact.

In your letter you express a noble sentiment when you say, "What great things we all could accomplish if the differences between NFB and the other organizations could be resolved." As I say, the sentiments you express are noble. I only wish that you and your colleagues in agencies accredited by the National Accreditation Council, in the American Council of the Blind, and in the American Foundation for the Blind could express such sentiments through your actions.

While you acknowledge the fact that the organized blind movement will have the principal say in the ultimate resolution of the difficulties, the real purpose of your letter is indicated in your opening statements. You say, "I feel this is a critical development in services to the blind of this country and wanted to express to you the hope that you see an end to the severe rifts that have developed within our field in recent years." You, like many of your colleagues, are seemingly unwilling to recognize any role that you play in creating the rifts within the field of work for the blind. It is interesting to me that you can serve as heads and staff members of agencies purporting to serve the blind and wage overt, cold, and cruel warfare upon the blind of the nation, at the same time saying that it is up to the organized blind movement to settle the rift within the field of work for the blind. Reading your statements, contrasted against your actions, leaves me open to suspicion as to your purpose. If you really mean what you say, then join us in the organized blind movement in our fight for self-determination. Join us in the struggle for equality in the mainstream of American society. Join us in the efforts to achieve first-class citizenship. Join us in our efforts to have the agencies that serve us be responsive to us.

I see no reason for there to be any rift within the field of work for the blind; but as I see it, it is up to those of you who caused the rift to resolve it. We, the blind of the nation, await your answer through your actions, not your words. If you will, come and join us. We are really not so bad.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

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. . . and ALL the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.

For the past year or so, there has been considerable publicity about the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind (ALL). In order to understand what ALL is and where it came from, it is necessary to back up a few years and discuss its origins and the needs it fulfills. For most readers, it would be enough to say that ALL is the latest child of the American Foundation for the Blind. But for others, a little history will be instructive.

As one of the richest and oldest agencies in the field of work with the blind, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) feels that its words ought to have great weight. Indeed, it has consistently felt that it alone is in the position to say what is good and what is bad for the blind. But during the last forty years, the blind have met together—as the National Federation of the Blind—and discussed for themselves what they need and what is good for them. What dismayed the AFB was that, once the blind had found their own voice and had reviewed their experience with the AFB and other charitable agencies set up for their benefit, they decided that the Foundation did not truly represent their best interests at all.

They found, in fact, that the AFB was a foundation with a point of view as distinct as the Federation's; The AFB was devoted to the aggrandizement of professionals in work with the blind to the same degree that the Federation was committed to the welfare and progress of the blind themselves. It further became clear that to the AFB, the stability of the professional field depended on the blind remaining in need of services-in other words, remaining in a state of need. We saw all this; and we said it, clearly and publicly.

Many professionals in work with the blind understood and agreed with what we were saying. Thus the AFB saw that even the professionals were no longer its unquestioning partisans. But the Foundation was so accustomed to the notion that its deeds were blessed that the new point of view being voiced by the Federation was unacceptable. It decided that the NFB was an example of organizational hysteria and of the sorry psychological syndrome of blindness. The NFB was accused of fragmenting the field, of being destructive and unreasonable.

This was the initial reaction of the AFB. Its considered response was longer in emerging, and the nature of the response was so cynical and so absent of ethical restraint as to amaze anyone who studies the field today. Using its vast financial resources, the AFB decided to sponsor or create organizations at various levels in the field. These organizations—whatever their other dissimilarities—would be united in their support of the AFB approach to blindness.

The Foundation may have believed at first that there was genuine support for such a move—that the NFB was a freak occurrence, the work of a handful of unusually aggressive and extraordinarily gifted blind persons. Within the context of the notion of blindness being spread by the AFB, it was not possible to believe that blind persons (average, rank-and-file, ordinary blind persons, that is) were capable beings able to speak for themselves.

The hope that the NFB was the work of a few "exceptional" blind persons, however, was shattered over the ensuing years as the Federation grew phenomenally, enlisting the blind to activity and progress unknown in their history. The success of the NFB, both in engaging the loyalty of the blind and in achieving tangible progress for them, has driven the AFB and its supporters into an ethically intolerable position. It has provided to us a startling example of people floundering in their own bad faith, of people rationalizing despicable actions, of people so locked into the position they have taken in the past that they are unable to alter it. It is a classic example of Thomas Jefferson's statement that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Undoubtedly the most publicized of the AFB puppet organizations is the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, or NAC. NAC was set up to provide standards for the field, to make pronouncements which would be marketed as "consensuses" of the professional field. From its very birth in the mid-1960's, NAC (and its predecessor, COMSTAC) has been the center of controversy. It was said then, and ever since, that rather than reflecting a consensus, NAC was trying to impose one. Its standards were seen to be the AFB's conception of professional excellence, just as it was clear that the AFB had staffed and provided funding for NAC.

These criticisms were voiced throughout the field; but they came most strongly from the Federation. We suspected that if it were left alone, NAC—supported by the wealth and influence of the AFB—would be accepted as the benign and objective authority it pretended to be. We were not surprised, therefore, when lobbyists for the AFB and NAC suggested again and again to the government that federal grants or contracts ought to be conditioned on NAC accreditation. We began our efforts to reform NAC, and when that proved impossible, to expose it for what it was.

Indeed, NAC gradually became something much worse than what we were saying. As the dream of using NAC to dictate standards to all programs for the blind in the country began to fade, the Foundation looked around for other uses for NAC and its battle-worn standards. The uses it found have been reported in the Monitor as they evolved. The present function of NAC can be described as follows; When an agency (and this is usually, though not always, an agency associated with the AFB) faces efforts by its blind clients to reform it, the agency turns to NAC. NAC then stamps that agency with its seal of approval, which is "accreditation"—one might almost say, with the mark of the beast. The "accredited" agency then turns to the press or to its backers and says, "Look, this accrediting body, representing the best thought in the field, says our program is in accordance with current high standards." Then they say, "These blind people picketing at our door represent a radical splinter group, the NFB. But there is another organization of the blind which represents the mainstream and which also supports us."

This brings us to the second of the AFB-dominated groups, the American Council of the Blind, or ACB. In the late 1950's, the Federation had reached a strength (including financial strength) such that some saw leadership of the movement as desirable for reasons other than the opportunities it offered to further the progress of the blind. A dissident group led by Durward McDaniel attempted to unseat the officers of the NFB, using as their main tool not majority votes—which they could not get—but character assassination. Frustrated by the loyal support displayed by members of the Federation toward Jacobus tenBroek and his administration, they accused Professor tenBroek of being a ruthless dictator. They then began a campaign of such divisiveness that the Federation came close to being destroyed as an effective force.

Finally, after Professor tenBroek's resignation as NFB President, the Federation rallied to its own survival and expelled the dissidents, who then formed the American Council of the Blind. The ACB claimed that theirs was the true, democratic, and above all, cooperative organization of the blind—cooperation here meaning cooperation with the agencies being criticized by the NFB. For after all, what was left them but to throw in with the other enemies of the organized blind movement. The leaders of the ACB found themselves in the classic position described by the antagonist in Paradise Lost when he cries; "To reign is worth ambition though in hell: Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n." Or as Satan later states: "Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost; Evil, be thou my good."

All of this is not to suggest that we have confused Federationism with God's truth, but the situation is much the same: Once the ACB had proclaimed Federationism to be unacceptable, they were forced to adhere to what was left. And if that was not evil, the aroma seemed mightly similar to the rest of the blind. The ACB declared that blind people ought to be easy-going; they ought to cooperate with those agencies trying so hard to help them. Anything that even smacked of aggressiveness or impatience ought to be avoided. As a result, the ACB attracted much of its membership from among blind persons attached to agencies (though even so the numbers were comparatively small). Indeed, at a dinner held in Washington, D.C., last spring, the president of the ACB affiliate in Arkansas told Jim Gashel that he had been elected president because he was the only member not employed by the state agency.

This was clearly the group for the Foundation. Even more, here was clearly the group to support NAC. As the Federation became more pressing in its demand that NAC put consumers on its board, NAC responded by enlisting ACB members for the job. The ACB strength on the NAC Board began to rival that of the AFB. Then, some years back, Reese Robrahn, former president of the ACB and present staff member, was put on the board of trustees of the American Foundation; and this past January, the AFB began openly providing funds to the American Council of the Blind.

But the ACB has not prospered. Its lack of meaningful program and its eagerness to side with regressive agencies in the field have not drawn the blind to its banner. As a result, the ACB subsists as an organization with a small, quiescent membership. The ACB leaders are active, but their activity has mainly been directed to getting even with the Federation which expelled them. We don't want to overwork poor Milton, but one more quotation from his poem seems apposite: "What though the field be lost? All is not lost; th'unconquerable will. And study of revenge, immortal hate."

What has emerged from the ACB, and lately from NAC, is a willingness to retard the progress of the blind if this is what is necessary to stop the progress of the Federation. It is not hard to see why this would be so. There is no question but that the Federation has brought NAC to its present tattered state. It was not something we could have done unless the majority of the blind and a large segment of the professional field agreed with our perception of the matter; but it was the NFB which from the beginning realized the actual purpose behind the creation of NAC and determined that that purpose must not be achieved. As the result of our constant exposure of NAC's actions, as well as the nature of those actions, NAC has been utterly discredited with the field, and to a large extent, with the government. It lost its federal funding some time ago, and an attempt to gain another federal grant this summer was unsuccessful.

Perhaps it was this declining strength of NAC, along with the downward spiral of the ACB, which made the Foundation feel it was time for a new organization to enter the field. But there was also one other occurrence which made the time seem ripe.

This occurrence was the failure of NAC's attempt to take over the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB). The NCSAB is an organization made up of directors of state agencies for the blind. The NCSAB had been wavering in its support of NAC, and finally it suspended support altogether pending meaningful reform of the accreditation system. In retaliation, NAC organized a rump meeting of NCSAB. At that meeting, the office of president-elect was declared vacant, and a NAC supporter was "elected" to fill the vacancy. Then those present at the rump meeting sat down with Richard Bleecker, the executive director of NAC, and began changing the NCSAB bylaws. When a court restrained the phony new president-elect from holding himself out to the public as the real president-elect or president of NCSAB, the NAC group tried another tactic. The next legally constituted NCSAB meeting was to be an election; and the AFB-NAC group let it be known that travel expenses to the meeting were available to NCSAB members who supported NAC. Despite this, however, the election results were mixed. The only clear outcome was the indication that NCSAB members had had more than enough of NAC's manipulations (although it would be misleading to imply that those manipulations have ceased).

Accepting, then, that outright domination of the NCSAB was not feasible in the near future, AFB, NAC, and ACB turned to their past experience. If the NCSAB would not toe the line, they would create another organization to take its place. And thus was born the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind.

The scope of this new group may be gathered from its initials; it is to be called ALL. In fact, it is more than a substitute for the NCSAB: In the best modern tradition, ALL is a coalition! In the words of Dr. R. T. McLean, chairman of ALL's membership committee (and president of the ACB affiliate in Louisiana); "For the first time agencies and institutions working for the blind and visually impaired and organizations of the blind are joining together in a representative team to provide positive support and action to achieve better services for the blind. The Affiliated Leadership League (ALL) is now organized and has begun to move."

The Affiliated Leadership League, then, is intended to represent not only agencies and professionals, but the blind as well. As Loyal Apple, president of the American Foundation for the Blind, wrote in a general membership solicitation which was, ironically, mailed to the NFB President; "... I am writing to invite your organization and other organizations and agencies of and for the blind to participate in a new and unique coalition. This is the only organization of its kind in our field of interest. It was formed because of a compelling need to unify action. Through the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind of America—ALL your organization will have a new opportunity to influence courses of action, to discourage negative forces, and to encourage progress."

When the president of the American Foundation for the Blind writes about discouraging "negative forces," members of the organized blind movement had better expect attack.

The Apple letter was sent out in June 1976, before ALL had held its first public meeting. Mr. Apple was writing as a member of the "executive committee" of ALL—a committee apparently appointed by those involved in the planning sessions for ALL held in the fall of 1975. These planning sessions produced not only an initial executive committee, but a statement of purposes and organizational bylaws. Federationists with long memories will remember that this method of proceeding is identical to that used in the formation of COMSTAC, the predecessor of NAC. That is, by the time the general field was invited to participate in the organization, the rules and personnel had already been determined.

Notice how it worked in this case: The original bylaws of ALL state; "The highest governing body of the League and the ultimate source of policy authority shall be a National Delegate Assembly." But then the bylaws go on to state who shall be permitted to join that assembly: "Applicant organizations shall be admitted to participation by majority vote of the Executive Board." Thus, although the delegate assembly determines policy and elects the board, the board determines who is in the assembly. The executive committee which determined the first assembly existed before-hand—chosen by all's organizers.

But—ALL will reply—the initial governing body was an "executive committee.'' not the "executive board.'' Yes, but the executive board elected at the first delegate assembly retained the major elements of the committee formed before that—a committee chaired by Durward McDaniel (national representative of the ACB and member of the NAC Board) and, in addition, containing Jansen Noyes as vice-chairman (Mr. Noyes is chairman of the board of trustees of the AFB), Loyal Apple (president of the AFB), and Richard Bleecker (executive director of NAC). The treasurer of the executive committee was a NAC Board member, and the secretary was a member of the AFB board of trustees.

When the executive board was elected, Durward McDaniel and Jansen Noyes were retained. The secretary and treasurer were replaced by Elizabeth Lennon (delegate from the ACB Michigan affiliate) and Joseph Larkin—both of them members of the NAC Board. Apple and Bleecker went off, but Lou Rives (the president of NAC) came on.

An article by Don O. Nold, which appeared in the Fall 1976 issue of Dialogue, carries this a little further. The article was appropriately titled "Affiliated Leadership League in Support of NAC," and in it Mr. Nold reported on the first delegate assembly of ALL. He wrote, in part:

"At the meeting delegates representing organizations having paid dues were seated on one side of the room, with representatives of other organizations and agencies on the other side as observers. Some of the latter expressed disappointment that so much had been done in advance of the meeting, such as establishing membership fees and eligibility, believing that this was to be done through discussion as a part of the first meeting's agenda. . . . Several delegates, as well as observers, were also apprehensive about plans to share office space with the American Council of the Blind in Washington, D.C., believing that this might create a conflict of interest for organizations not affiliated with or in agreement with the policies of the American Council."

Another part of the Nold article reads as follows: "Prior to the Hot Springs meeting [the first delegate assembly) an organizational committee wrote a set of bylaws and policy statements that were adopted by the charter members with minor changes in text. ... It was reported that the American Foundation for the Blind provided $40,000 to launch the project."

This was too much for Durward McDaniel, who replied (in the September-October 1976 issue of the Braille Forum) as follows: "The Fall issue of Dialogue with the Blind contains some misleading and erroneous information about the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind of America (ALL), which must be clarified in order to avoid any possible confusion or misunderstanding about this new organization. Specifically, the American Foundation did not provide $40,000 to launch the project, and such a fact was not reported."

Mr. McDaniel's disclaimer is a gem of its kind. He does not say the AFB did not provide funds to launch ALL, he says "specifically" it did not provide $40,000—leading one to wonder if it did not provide a good deal more, or maybe a penny less. Then he says, "and such a fact was not reported"—strongly suggesting that it is a fact. But whether it is or not, considering the makeup of ALL, it is certain that the AFB's domination of the organization—either directly or by means of organizations it dominates—is total.

The same issue of the Forum contains the keynote address delivered at the first ALL delegate assembly by NAC president Louis Rives. If it was not already clear what Loyal Apple meant when he referred to discouraging "negative forces," Mr. Rives makes the matter even plainer. Here are some quotations from his address:

"We don't have an organization which must assume the responsibility not only for policing what it does itself and what its member agencies and organizations do, but which must have the responsibility for policing what outsiders do."

"We must have the capacity to support each other against attack and from encroachment on what we believe is right and proper and just. Too many times, agencies have had to stand alone, not only against attack from an organization . . . ."

"We stand for quality delivery of services. That means sometimes that we must stand out and say these are good services and we're going to stand for these services whether other organizations do or not."

Federationists will have little trouble interpreting these references to "an organization" and "other organizations." He means us: he means the blind who have dared to point out that highly paid administrators and meaningless academic qualifications coupled with degrading treatment of blind clients do not add up to quality delivery of services.

But let us examine the organizations which make up ALL. You will understand why Loyal Apple calls it a "unique coalition." A list of ALL members was published in the Forum last fall. That list contained 27 names. ALL now says it has 47 members, but an examination of the shorter list will allow you to figure out who these 20 new members probably are. (Incidentally, at the second ALL delegate assembly this summer, only 36 of these 47 organizations bothered to send delegates.)

Leading the list is the American Foundation for the Blind. Farther down is the National Accreditation Council. There is the Minneapolis Society for the Blind (an article about MSB appears elsewhere in this issue); there is the Cleveland Society for the Blind (which readers will remember from Monitor articles in 1973, describing the lawsuit brought against the society by blind vendors); there is the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and the Albany Association for the Blind. All of these are NAC-accredited. There is the Industrial Home for the Blind in Brooklyn (until recently, IHB was directed by former NAC president Peter Salmon, and its present executive director, Joseph Larkin, is a NAC Board member); there is the Dallas County Association for the Blind (its executive director, Austin Scott, is a NAC Board member); and there is Royal Maid, Inc. All three of these agencies have NAC-accredited workshops.

Then there is the Arkansas Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired; its director is Louis Rives, president of NAC. There is the Oklahoma League for the Blind. Floyd Quails, president of the ACB, was one of the founders of the League and was its executive manager until his retirement two years ago. There is National Industries for the Blind (NIB), an agency spawned by the American Foundation for the Blind. The January 1976 Monitor published an article on the sweetheart deal worked out between NIB and NAC whereby workshops applying for NIB certification could get NAC accreditation at cut rates. Finally, there is a chapter of the American Association of Workers for the Blind and the Friends of Eye Research, Rehabilitation and Treatment Industries for the Blind (FERRAT). We know little about FERRAT, but we note that the stationary used by its executive director, Marvin Brotman, also lists Durward McDaniel.

But this is only 14 of the 27 ALL member organizations. Who are the other 13? One of the them is the American Council of the Blind. The other 12 are affiliates of the American Council of the Blind. Nor are these simply the state affiliates of the ACB; their special interest divisions have also joined separately in order to swell the numbers. This is playing the numbers game with a vengeance. By comparison, the NFB could create a "coalition" with over 60 member organizations of the blind without involving a single group not affiliated with the Federation. But we won't. We prefer to stick with a name—the National Federation of the Blind—which has validity and credibility, and which actually represents something.

ALL, then, is the third and ultimate puppet creation of the AFB. It is clear that it is less a new organization than a last-stand battle-grouping of the whole AFB-NAC-ACB crowd. NAC and the ACB have been exposed and discredited; their usefulness to the Foundation is coming to an end. This new organization is meant to supplant them. Thus, ALL operates out of the national offices of the ACB; the two organizations share staff members. When Durward McDaniel appears at congressional hearings or writes letters these days, he is more likely to do so as chairperson of ALL than as national representative of ACB.

The activities and positions of ALL are what we would expect from such a group. For example, ALL publishes a newsletter called All-o-grams, which is edited by Roger Kingsley, who is administrative director of ALL and also (according to the May issue of the Forum) administrative coordinator of the ACB national office. To create a subscription list for All-o-grams, ALL apparently borrowed the mailing list for the AFB Newsletter. The July 1977 All-o-grams had some news items about the NFB and its leaders, and discussed in passing our policy on unions in sheltered workshops. Part of the newsletter read as follows:

"Ralph Sanders, President and Director of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, was unanimously elected President of the National Federation of the Blind at its Convention on July 6th. He succeeds Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind who had been NFB's President since 1968. Jernigan was not a candidate for any office.

"John T. McCraw, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, was elected to NFB's Executive Committee. NFB aggressively supports unionization of workshops for the blind. There is no union in the three shops operated by Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. Informed observers doubt that NFB will promote unions in the Maryland shops."

There was more—a good deal more—about the Federation or its leaders in the July All-o-grams, but this will suffice to show the tone of the publication. The matter of unions in workshops was taken up again at the second annual delegate assembly of ALL, held in St. Louis this August. There was a panel discussion on the subject moderated by Jesse Rosten of the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. The panel also included Fred McDonald of the Chicago Lighthouse and Durward McDaniel. Mr. McDonald first said that the NFB had little to do with the NLRB decision granting shopworkers the right to organize, and then he went on to suggest that we were merely exploiting the blind workers for our own purposes. He agreed with two other speakers that NAC accreditation already provides adequate safeguards for shopworkers and that unionization is not necessary for their protection. It was further suggested that the radical promises made by the NFB to the workers at the Chicago Lighthouse had scared them and caused them to vote against the union. Finally, the hope was expressed that we wouldn't simply abandon the 4,000 to 5,000 blind workers who may be put out of work as a result of the inevitable shop closures resulting from unionization.

Let us summarize, then. ALL seems to feel that unions would be good in Maryland but bad in Chicago; that no benefits will come to workers from a union, although the promise of benefits scares the workers; and that the NFB hopes to close all workshops, although our President earns his living as a workshop director. The only coherent element in this is the flagrant hostility to the NFB.

In an interview in the Dialogue article cited earlier, Louis Rives made the statement that "[ALL] will not grow overnight from the current 28 agencies to the hundreds that ought to belong to it." Hundreds of organizations—think of it! And all of these will be working together to counteract the "negative influence" of the NFB. But why do they stop at a hundred? Why not a thousand? or ten thousand? And yet in a way, this tells the whole story. For if the National Federation of the Blind did not truly represent the blind, and if our programs and beliefs did not spell progress for the blind, then one organization would be sufficient to spell our downfall.

The Affiliated Leadership League is the product of desperation. As the blind and, increasingly, the public and the government become aware of the quality of people associated with the Foundation and become aware of its limited and selfish purposes, its  influence is destined to diminish further. NAC is faded, the Council is fading; thus we now face the Affiliated Leadership League. All of this—the desperation, the origins, and the real motive behind ALL—are reflected in a statement made by NAC president Lou Rives at the first ALL delegate assembly. It is a statement which is certain to be prophetic. Mr. Rives spoke as follows:

"I hope that in our deliberations here, as we set this organization up, we will keep in mind that it must grow, and that we will not limit it in any way, except to those who believe in what we stand for and who do subscribe to our principles. If we do this, if we work at it, if we believe in what we say, if we are willing to put our own personal commitment and the commitment of the agencies and organizations we represent behind it, it can be sort of a declaration of independence. If we don't, it will be another failure, and failures hurt."

We believe that ALL will be no more successful than its predecessors. When that happens, perhaps it will be replaced by SMALL, or Some More Attempts Leading to Little. And maybe when that fails, we will have SMALLER, or Some More Attempts Leading to Little Ever Retreating. And after that, last and least, we will face SMALLEST, or Some More Attempts Leading to Less Every Stinking Time.  

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There was a record turnout at the 7th annual meeting of the NFB Teachers Division held July 4, 1977, in New Orleans. The meeting took place in conjunction with the NFB Convention. The theme for this year's meeting was "Mainstreaming and Its Implications for Blind Youth."

Our keynote speaker was Nathaniel LaCour, vice-president of the American Federation of Teachers. We have been troubled by a resolution, adopted by the AFT at their 1976 convention, which sets a quota of two handicapped students per regular classroom teacher. We believe that if a blind youngster receives proper back-up support, he or she can compete on an equal basis with sighted children; and that, therefore, no quota is needed. Mr. LaCour agreed with us and he pledged to work to submit a resolution to the AFT which better clarifies our position.

Harold Snider, Coordinator of Programs for the Handicapped at the Smithsonian, spoke to us about the use of museums as an educational supplement to the classroom. He feels that museum directors should modify museums in ways which will benefit the general public, not only the handicapped. For example, recorded explanations of exhibits would be useful to the sighted public as well as the blind.

Doris Willoughby, an itinerant teacher of blind children in Iowa, led a panel discussion on Public Law 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. This was supplemented by a recorded analysis of the law, which requires that handicapped children be mainstreamed into the regular classroom wherever feasible.

Sharon Gold of California told of the Federation's effort to reinstitute the separate credential for teachers of blind children. As it is now, a teacher of blind children with very little knowledge of their specific needs can obtain a credential.

At the meeting, Robert Acosta of California was unanimously re-elected president. Judy Sanders of Maryland was elected first vice-president; Patricia Maurer of Indiana, second vice-president; Allen Harris of Michigan, secretary; and Allen Schaefer of Illinois, treasurer.

This year's meeting concluded with an excellent panel of experienced teachers discussing techniques they use to teach successfully in public schools.  

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The name of this organization is The National Federation of the Blind.


The purpose of The National Federation of the Blind is to promote the security and social welfare of the blind.


Section A. Membership of The National Federation of the Blind shall consist of the members of the state affiliates plus members at large in states, territories, and possessions of the United States not having affiliates, who shall have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee, any person denied admission by a state affiliate may be admitted as a member at large. The dues of members at large shall be one dollar per year.

Section B. Each state or territorial possession of the United States, including the District of Columbia, having an affiliate shall have one vote at the National Convention and shall be referred to hereinafter as state affiliates.

Section C. Affiliates shall be organizations of the blind, controlled by the blind.

Section D. The Executive Committee shall establish procedures for the admission of new state affiliates. There shall be only one affiliate in each state.

Section E. The Convention by a two-thirds vote may expel and by a simple majority vote suspend, or otherwise discipline, any member or affiliate for conduct inconsistent with this Constitution, or policies established by the Convention: provided that notice of the proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on the preceding day.


Section A. The officers of The National Federation of the Blind shall consist of (1) President, (2) First Vice-President, (3) Second Vice-President, (4) Secretary, and (5) Treasurer. They shall be elected biennially.

Section B. The officers shall be elected by majority vote of the state affiliates present and voting at a National Convention.

Section C. The National Federation of the Blind shall have an Executive Committee, which shall be composed of the officers plus eight members selected in the same way, whose regular term shall be two years, all eight members to be elected under this system beginning in July 1960, four for two years and four for one year.

Section D. There shall be, in addition, a Board of Directors, the duties of the said Board shall be advisory only. The membership of the Board of Directors shall be the officers of the Federation, the elected members of the Executive Committee, and other persons, not to exceed twelve in number, who may be appointed, from time to time, by the Executive Committee, subject to confirmation by the Federation at the next ensuing annual Convention. When so affirmed, such members of the Board of Directors shall serve for one year, or until their successors shall have been appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section E. Officers, Executive Committee members, and members of the Board of Directors may be removed or recalled by a majority vote of the Convention; provided that notice of the proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on the preceding day.

Section F. No person receiving regular substantial financial compensation from The National Federation of the Blind shall be an elected officer or Executive Committee member.


Section A. Powers and Duties of the Convention. The Convention is the supreme authority of the Federation. It is the legislature of the Federation. As such, it has final authority with respect to all issues of policy. Its decisions shall be made after opportunity has been afforded for full and fair discussion. Delegates, members, and all blind persons in attendance may participate in all Convention discussions as a matter of right. Any member of the Federation may make or second motions, propose nominations, and serve on committees; and is eligible for election to office, except that only blind members may hold elective office. Voting and making motions by proxy are prohibited. Consistent with the democratic character of the Federation, Convention meetings shall be so conducted as to prevent parliamentary maneuvers which would have the effect of interfering with the expression of the will of the majority on any question, or with the rights of the minority to full and fair presentation of their views. The Convention is not merely a gathering of representatives of separate state organizations. It is a meeting of the Federation at the national level in its character as a national organization. Committees of the Federation are committees of the national organization. The nominating committee shall consist of one member from each state affiliate represented at the Convention.

Section B. Powers and Duties of the Executive Committee. The function of the Executive Committee as the governing body of the Federation between Conventions is to make policies when necessary and not in conflict with the policies adopted by the Convention. Policy decisions which can reasonably be postponed until the next meeting of the National Convention shall not be made by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall serve as a credentials committee. It shall have the power to deal with organizational problems presented to it by any member or affiliate, shall decide appeals regarding the validity of elections in state or local affiliates, and shall certify the credentials of delegates when questions regarding the validity of such credentials arise. At each meeting, the Executive Committee shall receive a report from the President on the operations of the Federation. There shall be a standing subcommittee of the Executive Committee which shall consist of three members. The committee shall be known as the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance. It shall, whenever it deems necessary, recommend to the Executive Committee principles of budgeting, accounting procedures, and methods of financing the Federation program; and shall consult with the President on major expenditures.

The Executive Committee shall meet at the time of each National Convention. It shall hold other meetings on the call of the President or on the written request of any five members.

Section C. Powers and Duties of the President. The President is the principal administrative officer of the Federation. In this capacity his duties consist of: carrying out the policies adopted by the Convention; conducting the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Federation; authorizing expenditures from the Federation treasury in accordance with and in implementation of the policies established by the Convention; appointing all committees of the Federation except the Executive Committee; coordinating all activities of the Federation including the work of other officers and of committees; hiring, supervising, and, when necessary, dismissing staff members and other employees of the Federation and determining their numbers and compensation; taking all administrative actions necessary and proper to put into effect the programs and accomplish the purposes of the Federation.

The implementation and administration of the interim policies adopted by the Executive Committee is the responsibility of the President as principal administrative officer of the Federation.


Any organized group desiring to become a state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the President of the National Federation of the Blind a copy of its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its elected officers. Under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee action shall be taken on the application. If the action is affirmative, the National Federation of the Blind shall issue to the organization a charter of affiliation. Upon request of the national President the state affiliate shall, from time to time, provide to the national President the names and addresses of its members. Copies of all amendments to the constitution and/or bylaws of an affiliate shall be sent without delay to the national President. No organization shall be accepted as an affiliate and no organization shall remain an affiliate unless at least a majority of its voting members are blind. The president, the vice-president (or vice-presidents), and at least a majority of the executive committee or board of directors of the state affiliate and of all of its local chapters must be blind. Affiliates must not merely be social organizations but must formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and social betterment of the blind. Affiliates must comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federation. Policy decisions of the Federation are binding upon all affiliates, and the affiliate must participate affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions. The name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof is the property of the National Federation of the Blind; and any affiliate, or local chapter of an affiliate, which ceases to be part of the National Federation of the Blind (for whatever reason) shall forthwith forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind. Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.

A general convention of the membership of an affiliate or of the elected delegates of the membership must be held and its principal executive officers must be elected at least once every two years. There can be no closed membership. Proxy voting is prohibited in state and local affiliates. Each affiliate must have a written constitution or bylaws setting forth its structure, the authority of its officers, and the basic procedures which it will follow. No publicly contributed funds may be divided among the membership of an affiliate on the basis of membership, and (upon request from the National Office) an affiliate must present an accounting of all of its receipts and expenditures. An affiliate which fails to be represented at three consecutive National Conventions may be considered to be inactive, and may be suspended as an affiliate by the Executive Committee. The affiliate must not indulge in attacks upon the officers, committeemen, leaders, or members of the Federation or upon the organization itself outside of the organization, and must not allow its officers or members to indulge in such attacks. This requirement shall not be interpreted to interfere with the right of an affiliate or its officers or members to carry on a political campaign inside the Federation for election to office or to achieve policy changes. No affiliate may join or support, or allow its officers or members to join or support, any temporary or permanent organization inside the Federation which has not received the sanction and approval of the Federation.


Each state affiliate shall pay an annual assessment of $30. Assessments shall be payable in advance on or before January 1. 

Any state affiliate which is in arrears with its dues at the time of the National Convention shall be denied the right to vote.


In the event of dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to an organization with similar purposes which has received a 501. C3 certification by the Internal Revenue Service.


This Constitution may be amended at any regular annual Convention of the Federation by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the states registered, present, and voting. Provided further: that the proposed amendment must be signed by five member states in good standing and that it must have been presented to the President the day before final action by the  Convention.  

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Note: Mrs. Estes is president of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine.



5 cups wheat flour
2 tablespoons yeast  
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon salt  
cup honey or molasses
cup oil  

Soften the yeast in one-half cup lukewarm water. Mix well together 3 cups of wheat flour and 2 ½  cups hot water. Add the salt, oil, honey (or molasses), the cup of unbleached white flour, one more cup of wheat flour, and the yeast mixture, and mix well. Add one cup or more of wheat flour as needed. Knead the dough for ten to fifteen minutes. Let the dough "rest" for ten minutes, then knead lightly again. Divide the dough in two and shape into loaves. Place the loaves in oiled bread pans dusted with cornmeal. Set in a warm place to rise (I use my oven and place a pan of boiling water on the rack below the pans.) Let the dough rise to one inch above the pan (about ½ hour to an hour, depending on the weather). Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf. Baste with butter or milk and wrap in damp linen cloths. Allow to cool on a rack.  

Here are some variations on the recipe: Use all white or all wheat flour. Substitute white or brown sugar for the honey. Add one cup chopped wheat sprouts or one cup whole alfalfa sprouts. Add one cup cooked cereal-oats, rice, barley. Add one cup raw oatmeal, bran, or cornmeal. Add one cup raisins, nuts, or seeds. Substitute orange juice for some of the water. Add one or two eggs. Substitute scalded milk or buttermilk for the water. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves before rising with bran or sesame seeds. Add one cup peanut butter. Add one cup applesauce. The recipe is foolproof once you become sensitive to the dough and can tell when it is ready to bake.  

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Anyone who wishes one or more Braille calendars for 1978 should write to Mrs. Jean Dyon Norris. Program Director, American Brotherhood for the Blind, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, California 91356. The ABB will send you as many calendars as you like.

The technical assistance project of the NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CEIP) needs your help. For several years now our committee has been collecting discarded Braille books and magazines. Braille writing equipment, white canes. Braille watches, and cassette tapes and recorders. We then send these aids and appliances to groups or blind persons in other countries. Very often this is nearly the only source of such aids and appliances for these blind persons, and with them they are a little more equipped to seek out equality, security, and opportunity in their countries. If you have any items to donate to this project, please send them to the following addresses. All items can be sent as Free Matter for the Blind. In the case of watches and tape recorders, they should be well wrapped. The items are repaired before they are sent to other countries, so do not hesitate to send broken items. In the case of Braille, please do not send religious materials or books. Most of the countries are not Christian, and thus do not have a need for such materials. The blind of the world thank you.

Send Braille books, magazines, and writing equipment to: NFB of Colorado, 2232 South Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80210.

Send cassette tapes and recorders to: Joanne Fernandes, 1210 Second Street, Boone, Iowa 50036.

Send Braille watches to: Bernice Hamer, 31 Dartmouth, Lawrence, Massachusetts 01841.

Send white canes to: Junerose Killian, 7 Chaplin Hill Court, Niantic, Connecticut 06357.

We are no longer collecting open-reel tapes or recorders, or talking books of any type.

The Wine and Cheese Tasting Party sponsored by the CEIP Committee at the NFB Convention in New Orleans was a great success. Over 400 persons were wined and dined, and more than SI, 000 was raised for the NFB treasury. Cheryl Finley was in charge of the party and was amply aided by many hard-working volunteers. The committee wishes to thank all who attended the party, worked at it, or donated items or money. The Vacation Raffle sponsored by the committee was also a success. It raised over $1,000 for the NFB treasury. The winner was Mr. T. F. Moody of Houston, Texas.

Johnny's House of Travel is a travel agency in Des Moines, Iowa. The travel agent at Johnny's is Federationist Joseph Fernandes. He will donate any commissions he receives on tickets bought by NFB members to the NFB treasury. There may not be any saving to you as travelers, but the NFB could gain considerably if you buy tickets through Johnny's. If you wish to do this, you should call collect to Gary Johnson at (515) 274-3806. The charges for the call will be accepted if you call station-to-station and identify yourself as an NFB member. Gary Johnson will mail the tickets and billing to you, or if time is too short, he can have the tickets waiting for you at the terminal.

The National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas invites all Federationists to its annual convention, November 11, 12, and 13 in Little Rock. NFB President Sanders will return to Arkansas for the event, and plans are shaping up for a very interesting agenda. Accommodations have not been finalized, but rates will be reasonable. Contact Jim Hudson, NFB of Arkansas, Box 7, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203.

The NFB of Indiana has a new chapter. It is the Ohio Valley Chapter. Twenty-five persons from the New Albany area came together to form the group, filled with enthusiasm and high hopes. The officers are William Roberts, president; Dorothy Walker, vice-president; Ellis Beryn, second vice-president; Cecil Williams, secretary; and Steve Sheley, treasurer. Elected trustees are Bertie Poehner and Clarence Minter.

Elections were recently held in the Marion County Council of the Blind (centered in Indianapolis). Joe Money is president; Ron Burt, vice-president; Susan Jones, secretary; Susan McKinney, associate secretary; and Nancy Fox, treasurer.

The following was sent to the Monitor by James C. Bliss, president of Telesensory Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California:


During my presentation to the Federation in New Orleans, it became apparent that there may be a misimpression of Tele-sensory Systems' position on the uses of the Optacon and of Braille as alternative reading systems.

Telesensory Systems fully supports Braille as a primary reading medium for the blind. We do not advocate replacing Braille with the use of the Optacon, nor do we recommend reduction of Braille instruction to blind children. We believe that Braille is a highly useful medium, and that its use should be increased. TSI hopes to facilitate and expand the usefulness of Braille through the development of one or more devices in this area within the next year or so.

It comes as a surprise to me that anyone would think of Braille and Optacon as being directly competitive. Braille includes a writing system, as well as a reading system. The Optacon is primarily a reading system. Braille requires little or no dependence on electromechanical machinery, while the Optacon is an electronic system. These are just some of the reasons why Braille will be indispensable for a very long time. ... In other words, TSI sees the uses of Braille and those of the Optacon as complementary rather than competitive, and we therefore fully support both media.


NFB PRE-AUTHORIZED CHECK PLAN. This is a way for you to contribute a set amount to the NFB each month. The amount you pledge will be drawn from your account automatically. On the other side of this card, fill in the amount you want to give each month and the day of the month you want it to be drawn from your account. Sign the card in two places, where the X's are. The rest will be filled in by the NFB Treasurer. Enclose a voided check with the card, and mail it 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 PAG Plan cards are available from the Treasurer.

PRE-AUTHORIZED CHECK PLAN (Instructions on back of the card)

I hereby authorize the National Federation of the Blind to draw a check to its own order 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.

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

We understand that your bank has agreed to cooperate in our pre-authorized check plan on behalf of your depositor. Attached is your client’s signed authorization to honor such checks drawn by us.

Customer’s account and your bank transit numbers will be MICR-printed on checks per usual specifications before they are deposited. Our Indemnification Agreement is on the reverse side of the signed authorization.


Name of depositor as shown on bank records______________________________________
Acct. No._________
Name of bank and branch, if any, and Address of 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 should 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)


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, the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND 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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