JUNE, 1978




JUNE 1978







Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1978




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.




In the summer of 1940—a handful of blind men and women from seven states met in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to inaugurate a new and unique organization. That meeting was the beginning of the National Federation of the Blind, the first nationwide organization of the blind themselves a federation truly of the blind, by the blind, and for the blind. The blind of the nation-long immobilized in the protective custody of almshouses and lighthouses—were at last on the move, on their own.

The moving force behind that meeting in Wilkes-Barre was Jacobus tenBroek, 29-year-old blind man from Berkeley, California. Born in 1911 the son of a prairie homesteader in Canada, young tenBroek lost the sight of one eye as the result of a bow-and-arrow accident at the age of seven. His remaining vision deteriorated until at the age of 14 he was totally blind. Jacobus tenBroek traveled to Berkeley to attend the California School for the Blind. Within three years he was an active part of local blind organizations.

By 1934 Jacobus tenBroek had joined with Dr. Newel Perry and others to form the California Council of the Blind (now the National Federation of the Blind of California). This organization was a prototype for the National Federation, formed six years later.

The impetus behind the new movement was a new notion of blindness and the real problem of being blind. The problem was not the lack of sight: basic techniques like Braille and cane travel enabled the blind to participate in the activities of life. The real problem was the age-old image of the blind as helpless, simple creatures—unable to care for themselves, much less hold responsible jobs or take a normal part in community life.

The field of work with the blind at that time was dominated by this negative view of blindness. The blind were thought to require cradle-to-grave institutional or near-institutional care. They were taught simple trades or persuaded to sit idle. Those who dared to set their sights higher were often actively discouraged.

Part of the problem, tenBroek felt, was that the blind themselves had never been consulted about their own capacities or needs. There had always been professional custodians, the well-meaning but overly protective sighted keepers. As he later said:

"Only the blind themselves can be fully aware of their own problems. Only the blind themselves can feel an unremitting motivation to secure their rights and further their welfare. Only the blind themselves can know the full significance and impelling urgency of the ideal of integration. . . . The right to participate fully in the community as equal partners and their share in the democratic process is denied if the blind permit others to speak for them and to plan for them."

When the sighted led the blind—that is, during most of history-they led us to safe shelters and idle, useless lives. But when the blind began to lead themselves, things began to change quickly. For one thing, the blind flocked to the new philosophy and to the Federation. Today—38 years later—the NFB includes more than ten percent of the blind population. Considering that more than half the blind are over age 65 and that many people lose their sight in extreme old age, the NFB includes a much higher percentage of the active blind population.

Working together for nearly four decades, we have changed what it means to be blind. We are employed in all the regular professions and callings; we live normally, in our own homes, raising our own families. Our rights as citizens are now specifically guaranteed at the state and federal levels. Service programs for the blind now are much more clearly directed to active participation in life rather than to custody. Our experience is that when the blind lead the blind, we move forward.

Who are the blind who have led the blind? We have already mentioned one of the most distinguished Jacobus tenBroek, founder of the Federation and president of it with only one interruption until his death. His career showed the absurdity of the idea that blindness means incapacity. The same year the Federation was founded, Jacobus tenBroek received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of California, completed a year as Brandeis Research Fellow at Harvard Law School, and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School.

Two years later he began his teaching career at the University of California at Berkeley, moving steadily up through the ranks to become a full professor in 1953 and chairman of the Department of Speech in 1955. In 1963 he accepted an appointment as professor of political science.

During this period Professor tenBroek published three books and more than 50 articles and monographs in the fields of welfare, government, and law—establishing a reputation as one of the nation's foremost scholars on matters of constitutional law. One of his books, Prejudice, War and the Constitution, won the Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Political Science Association in 1955 as the best book on government and democracy. His other books are California's Dual System of Family Law (1964), Hope Deferred: Public Welfare and the Blind (1959), and The Antislavery Origins of the Fourteenth Amendment (1951)—revised and republished in 1965 as Equal under Law.

In the course of his academic career Professor TenBroek was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Palo Alto, and was twice the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1947 he earned the degree of S.J. D. from Harvard Law School. He was awarded honorary degrees by Parsons College in Iowa and Findlay College in Ohio.

In 1950 Dr. TenBroek was made a member of the California State Board of Social Welfare by Governor Earl Warren. Later reappointed to the board three times, he was elected its chairman in 1960 by the other members and served in that capacity until 1963.

The brilliance of Jacobus tenBroek's career led some skeptics to suggest that his achievements were beyond the reach of what they called the "ordinary blind person." But what tenBroek recognized in himself was not that he was exceptional, but that he was normal—that his blindness had nothing to do with whether he could lead a full career.

In any case, the skeptics were refuted by the successes of the thousands of blind people who put this philosophy of normality to work in their own lives. If the walls of skepticism based on stereotype could be breached, the blind could live normal, active lives—pulling their own weight and contributing their talents.

Jacobus tenBroek died of cancer at the age of 56, in 1968. His successor, Kenneth Jernigan, in a memorial address, said truly of him: "The relationship of this man to the organized blind movement, which he brought into being in the United States and around the world, was such that it would be equally accurate to say that the man was the embodiment of the movement or that the movement was the expression of the man.

"For tens of thousands of blind Americans, over more than a quarter of a century, he was leader, mentor, spokesman, and philosopher. He gave to the organized blind movement the force of his intellect and the shape of his dreams. He made it the symbol of a cause barely imagined before his coming: the cause of self-expression, self-direction, and self-sufficiency on the part of blind people. Step by step, year by year, action by action, he made that cause succeed."

This eulogy was delivered by the man who took up the presidency at tenBroek's death, and during the next nine years, built the Federation into the strongest influence in the field of work with the blind.

Kenneth Jernigan was born blind in 1926. He was raised on a farm in the hills of Tennessee. Isolated by geography and even more by the well intended protectiveness of those around him he felt early the oppressiveness of the blind person's traditional role. When he graduated from the Tennessee School for the Blind, he wanted to become a lawyer. His counselors told him he could not. This experience, on top of the others of his youth, made Kenneth Jernigan determine that no other blind people would have to face the galling restrictions he had faced. Maybe he would never be a lawyer, but blind persons who came after him would get a better deal.

After graduating from Tennessee Technological University and earning a master's degree from Peabody College in Nashville, Kenneth Jernigan decided to return to the Tennessee School for the Blind. He worked there for four years as an English teacher, but the real lessons he wanted to teach were those of independence and self-confidence. He had become active in the National Federation of the Blind, and in 1951 was elected president of the NFB's Tennessee affiliate.

In 1953, Jernigan left Tennessee to work at the California State Orientation Center for the Blind in Oakland. The Center had been established by the legislature in 1951 and accepted its first student late in 1952. Kenneth Jernigan was able to participate in the development of the Center's program almost from the beginning. As the nest of the Federation and the site of its national headquarters, California was a stronghold of Federation philosophy. Kenneth Jernigan spent five years in this atmosphere, working with Professor TenBroek and becoming a leader in the NFB in California.

At the end of this period, he was looking for a place to build a program modeled on the Federation's philosophy. He later said he would have gone to any state that offered him an opportunity to work fairly independently and mold a program based on the rehabilitation of attitudes as much as on training of skills. In 1958 the State of Iowa offered such an opportunity, and Kenneth Jernigan moved to Des Moines to become Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind.

Kenneth Jernigan

In several ways, Iowa was the ideal place. Programs for the blind were consolidated in a separate agency, so the Director could shape the entire program with little interference. And Iowa ranked forty-eighth among the forty-eight states in rehabilitating blind persons. Clearly there was room for improvement.

Ten years later the improvements were so notable that Kenneth Jernigan received a special citation from the President of the United States for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the blind. Harold Russell, chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, said in presenting the citation: "If a person must be blind, it is better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation or in the world. This statement sums up the story of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and more pertinently, of its Director, Kenneth Jernigan. That narrative is much more than a success story. It is the story of high aspiration magnificently accomplished—of an impossible dream become reality."

It was also in 1968 that Kenneth Jernigan received the first of three honorary doctorates. In 1967 he received the Francis Joseph Campbell Award, given by the American Library Association to recognize leadership in developing superlative service for the blind. This award was particularly appropriate: the Commission was in the process of building the largest library for the blind in the world.  In 1977, as one of his last acts in office President Gerald Ford appointed Dr. Jernigan to the Advisory Committee on the White House Conference on Library and Information Services. On this Committee, Dr. Jernigan is the only representative of the field of work with the blind.

The rehabilitation programs built in Iowa have been recognized again and again. In 1975 Dr. Jernigan was appointed a consultant to the Commissioner of the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, and he received the Commissioner's Award for national contributions to programs for the blind. In 1975, he also received a U.S. Department of Labor award for significant contributions to the American worker. And in 1976, he was appointed a special consultant to the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals.

Many of these awards and appointments were only partly in recognition of Kenneth Jernigan's work at the Iowa Commission. They also honored his work as President of the National Federation of the Blind and indicated how generally recognized the Federation had become—recognized both as the voice of the blind and as the leading force moving the blind to active participation in society.

Kenneth Jernigan had become a member of the NFB Executive Committee in 1952 and First Vice-President of the NFB in 1958. He became President in 1968 and, during the next nine years, led the Federation in the period of its greatest growth—in numbers and organizational unity. Today there are more than 50,000 NFB members, organized into affiliates in every state and the District of Columbia. There are more than 450 local chapters-one in virtually every population center of the United States.

The Federation's careful scrutiny of rehabilitation and welfare policy and legislation over nearly four decades has brought far-reaching reforms to programs for the blind. As one lawyer put it: Even if you had never heard of the Federation, if you looked at the laws governing the handicapped, you would know that there was an organization of the blind at work.

The blind today, and not only those who belong to the NFB, are enjoying an access to society-to education, jobs, housing, normal responsibilities-that has never been available before in history. Most people attribute this breakthrough to the activity of the National Federation of the Blind—of the organization of the blind themselves, led by the blind.

Kenneth Jernigan resigned as President of the Federation in 1977. He was succeeded by Ralph W. Sanders. In March 1978 Dr. Jernigan resigned as Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, effective later in the year. The Governor of Iowa wrote at the time of the resignation: "You brought with you a determination to share your positive attitude toward life and your knowledge and experience that sightless people could have meaningful and confident lives. You made them realize that they too can work and read and play, and they can have families and contribute to the well-being of others every bit as much as other people, and enjoy it."

Since Dr. Jernigan's retirement as President of the Federation he has remained a leader in the organization. But who are the other leaders of the blind? They come from all parts of the nation and from many careers and backgrounds. The ultimate authority in the Federation is the vote of the Annual Convention. Between Conventions the NFB is directed by the NFB Executive Committee, made up of the officers plus eight others. There are also a varying number of board members, elected by the Convention to advise the Executive Committee.


Ralph Sanders was born in 1945 on a farm in Grant County, Arkansas. He lost his sight at the age of seven as the result of a shotgun blast-an accident that almost cost him his life. He later told a reporter:

"Following my return home to the farm, I think I felt trapped by my blindness. I was discouraged from going out and playing, so I stayed inside with my mother, listening to the soap operas on the radio and daydreaming a lot. In fairness to my family, I should add that after they adjusted to my blindness, I was encouraged to go out and play and to resume many of my chores."

Ralph Sanders was sent to attend the Arkansas School for the Blind. He later said about this: "The academic education I received was more than adequate. There were very few students so we got a lot of individual attention. I had little trouble competing, academically, in college. Socially, however, residential schools are quite a different matter. I was not at all prepared for the adjustment I had to make to college life. Your social transactions are framed in an environment totally foreign to the experiences of most people as they grow up."

Sanders went on to attend California State University at Northridge, where he became editor of the campus newspaper and was involved in campus organizations and politics. He received a B.A. in journalism in 1969. About this period he says:

"I rebelled against the idea of being around other blind people or being compared with them. I made the mistake that many blind people make. I felt I was better than other blind persons.

"In 1967, through association with members of the National Federation of the Blind, I began to accept a new image of blindness. I learned that blind people were successful in a variety of fields. I came to realize that success as a blind person is a factor of opportunity and not blindness. I have been terribly lucky. I had a lot of friends and a wonderful family who encouraged me to be successful. What might be termed my activist attitude stems from my commitment to do what I can to give other blind people the same opportunities I had."

Ralph Sanders

Ralph Sanders went on to earn a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. In 1970 he returned to Arkansas to work on public relations for Winthrop Rockefeller's campaign to be reelected Governor.

"My experience with the Rockefeller organization was satisfying," he said later. "There were those on the staff who had difficulty accepting me as a blind person, but for the most part I was well accepted and expected to perform on a basis of ability. Even Governor Rockefeller, I believe, genuinely looked upon me as just another member of his staff. That's how the blind want to be accepted. If we succeed or fail, we want to do it on our merits and not on a basis of some preconceived notion about our performance as a handicapped person. After the campaign was over, and Rockefeller was not reelected, I was terminated like most of the staff, as I should have been."

Sanders formed a partnership with another member of the Rockefeller staff. They operated a public relations and advertising business in Little Rock. In 1971 Ralph Sanders was elected president of the NFB of Arkansas. In 1973 he was elected to the NFB Executive Committee, and he became NFB Second Vice-President in 1974.

In 1975 Ralph Sanders was named president of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM), which provides services to the adult blind of Maryland. At that time, BISM was racked by scandal and mismanagement. In the three years since, it has begun to be a model program in a number of areas. The sheltered workshops run by BISM were changed to duplicate the conditions of normal private industry, including payment of the regular minimum wage to all workers, and the freedom to organize.

Ralph Sanders married Judy Miller in 1975. Judy Sanders was a leader in the Federation in Colorado and the plaintiff in a landmark suit instituted by the NFB. The decision in the suit declared that a person could not be excluded from teaching in public schools solely because he or she was blind.

Ralph Sanders was unanimously elected President of the Federation by the Convention held in July 1977.

Donald C. CAPPS, First Vice-President

Few more compelling examples of personal independence and social contribution could be found among blind Americans than the First Vice-President of the National Federation of the Blind, Donald C. Capps, of Columbia, South Carolina.

Born in 1928, Donald Capps did not become legally blind until 1954, although he possessed a congenital eye defect. He attended the South Carolina School for the Blind and later attended public schools. Following high school graduation, he enrolled in Draughon's Business College, in Columbia, and earned a business diploma. He joined the Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company as a claims examiner trainee and has stayed with the company ever since, rising to his present position as assistant to the claims vice-president and manager of the death claims section.

Don Capps first became interested in the organized blind movement in 1953 and by the following year had been elected president of the Columbia Chapter of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind (now the NFB of South Carolina), Two years later he was elected president of the state organization. During the next 20 years he was elected to six two-year terms as state president.

The extent of his contributions as state president can be judged by the success of the affiliate's programs to improve aid and services to the blind since 1956. The organization has been responsible for remarkable increases in the state's appropriation for cash assistance to the needy blind increases won over the opposition of state public welfare officials. The blind in the state have won an extra exemption on state income tax, amendments to the state vending stand law making the priority for the blind to operate vending facilities mandatory rather than permissive, and abolishing the so-called "set aside"—a percentage of the vendor's income previously appropriated by the state.

A major accomplishment of the South Carolina affiliate under Don Capps' leadership was the successful uphill struggle to establish an independent state commission for the blind-a struggle won in 1966. During Don's service as state president more than fifteen pieces of legislation for the blind have been passed in South Carolina, including: the Federation's Model White Cane Law.

Don Capps has labored in the movement not only as an officer. He is editor of the Palmetto Blind, the quarterly publication of the NFB of South Carolina. In 1960 he directed a campaign that led to construction of the Columbia Chapter's $35,000 education and training center. The center was expanded in 1970 and is currently undergoing a second expansion. Its present value is well over $150,000. Don Capps is now chairman of the center's board of trustees. He has been instrumental in setting up fulltime daily operation of the Federation center. He has also been fundraising chairman of the Columbia Chapter for more than 20 years.

Donald C. Capps

In December 1977, Donald Capps was honored by his company with the presentation of an award for 30 years of efficient, faithful, and loyal service in his managerial capacity. At a special testimonial dinner for the occasion, the firm's president Leon S. Goodall, read a citation that stated in part: "Don is truly a fine example of a person who becomes involved in community affairs. He is active in church work, a former president of the Forest Acres Rotary Club, member of the state and national Federation of the Blind, and also on the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. This year Don received the Jacobus tenBroek Award, which is given to the blind American making the greatest contribution to the blind during the year. . . . We are proud to have him as a part of our organization."

In 1965, Don was doubly honored as Handicapped Citizen of the Year, both by his city of Columbia and by his state. He was appointed to the Governor's Statewide Planning Committee on Rehabilitation Needs of the Disabled. Don and his wife Betty have two children.

Don Capps was elected Second Vice-President of the National Federation of the Blind in 1959 and was reelected to that office four more times. In 1968 he was elected First Vice-President, a job he has held with distinction ever since.

In 1977 at the NFB Convention, Don Capps became the second recipient of the highest honor the Federation gives to one of its own-the Jacobus tenBroek Award. The award read: "In recognition of dedicated service, the National Federation of the Blind bestows its Jacobus tenBroek Award upon Donald C. Capps. Front-line soldier in the movement, he exemplifies the best in us. His life symbolizes courage, devotion, competence, and purpose. We call him our colleague with respect; we call him our friend with love."

RAMI RABBY, Second Vice-President

Avraham (Rami) Rabby was born in 1942 in Tel-Aviv. Israel. He lost his sight at the age of eight, and two years later was sent to England to attend residential schools for the blind, first Waver tree School in Liverpool, and later, Worcester College for the Blind Sons of Gentlemen. From Worcester College he went on to Oxford University, where he was a member of Jesus College and graduated in the top quarter of his class.

Rami Rabby

Rami Rabby went to work for the Ford Motor Company of Britain, but then decided to seek a business education. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and attended the University of Chicago Business School, graduating in 1969 with a master's degree in business administration. Despite Rami's impressive education, however, the nearly universal skepticism about the abilities of blind persons more than overcame any advantage he might have had in the job market. He was interviewed by 130 companies before receiving a job offer.

Rami was hired by Hewitt Associates, a national firm of consultants and actuaries working in the fields of compensation, employee benefits, communication, and other personnel-related functions Rami became an account executive and later joined the company's salary administration unit.

In May 1977 Rami left Chicago to become project manager in the corporate personnel relations group of Citibank, in New York. There he has responsibility for improving coordination between the various personnel activities, such as recruitment, training, compensation, and manpower planning. He also directs the bank's affirmative action program for the handicapped.

Rami Rabby first began to be interested in organizations of the blind when he was in England. But only when he came to the United States and got to know Kenneth Jernigan did he realize, as he later wrote, "that here was an organization whose philosophy and thinking were in tune with mine. On my first night in this country, I was refused accommodation at the Grand Central YMCA in New York. The manager said his insurance company would never cover him for the added risk my blindness would undoubtedly pose. That experience was one of the reasons why, in March 1968, after I had settled down in Chicago, I Contacted Mr. Jernigan and went to visit him in Des Moines. I took a liking to him immediately, and in July of that year, I attended my first NFB Convention.

"It was during that Convention that we made our plans to establish the NFB affiliate in Illinois, which we did just one month later and only 11 months after I arrived in this country. The work of setting up the affiliate, now that I look back over it, was perhaps the single most exhilarating event of my life. I look back on it now with tremendous satisfaction. I was the president of the affiliate for its first two years and then continued as legislative chairman and newsletter editor until I left Illinois."

Rami has been a strong force in the International Federation of the Blind (IFB)—the extension of the NFB inaugurated by Jacobus tenBroek in the late 1960's to spread the new concept of blindness around the world Rami was chairman of the NFB committee devoted to international programs: and in 1974 he was an NFB delegate to the IFB Convention in West Berlin. At that meeting, he was elected a member of the IFB Executive Committee.

In 1976 Rami Rabby was appointed to the Illinois Governor's Committee on the Handicapped and was named an Outstanding Young Man of America by the Jaycees. He also served as program chairman for the Illinois State White House Conference on Handicapped individuals and was elected a delegate to the national White House Conference. More important, in 1976 he was elected to the NFB Executive Committee, and in 1977 he was elected Second Vice-President of the National Federation of the Blind.


A sentence in the official history of the National Federation of the Blind of California reads: "It would be difficult indeed to find a person with more public spirit, more unselfish dedication and zeal for the cause of the blind than Muzzy Marcelino." This is no understatement about a man who has been active in the organized blind movement almost all of his life.

Muzzy was born in California and attended the California School for the Blind in Berkeley. He met and was strongly influenced by Dr. Newel Perry, who was also the teacher of Jacobus tenBroek. Muzzy went to meetings of the alumni association of the school for the blind, and he wrote letters supporting bills in the state legislature.

During his college years Muzzy found the meetings of the local NFB chapter dull and the membership too old and passive for his taste. But one day tenBroek caught him on campus and upbraided him for staying away from meetings. Muzzy enjoyed the episode and promised to reform. He did so, bringing in new members and making the chapter move.

Much of Muzzy Marcelino's work as a member of the Alameda County Club of Adult Blind had to do with the Aid to the Blind law. He was familiar with the law for two reasons. First, he was a recipient of aid to the blind; and second, during his last semester at the school for the blind, he had attended a small class given after school hours by Dr. Perry. Dr. Perry made the group memorize the entire law, section by section, comma by comma. They memorized the law and argued about the meaning of every phrase and clause.

In 1942 Marcelino moved to San Diego to take a job as a social worker in the county welfare department. He became active in the San Diego Braille Club (the local chapter of the NFB) and led a campaign to abolish a vision requirement for home teachers. The discriminatory requirement was finally discarded by the state personnel board.

Lawrence Marcelino

Muzzy s attendance at the semiannual conventions of the NFB of California began in 1943; he has missed only one since then. From the start he sat in on the resolutions committee meetings, taking an active part in drafting resolutions; he has frequently chaired the committee. In the early 1960's Muzzy was elected first board member and later secretary of the state affiliate. He then became second vice-president, first vice-president, and finally in 1976, president of the NFB of California.

After leaving the San Diego welfare job, Muzzy Marcelino spent a year as a rehabilitation and education aide for the U.S. War Department at Dibble Hospital in San Mateo, followed by a year as a training officer for the Veterans Administration. He then worked for 12 years for the state department of education as a rehabilitation counselor for the blind. Since 1961 Muzzy has been employed as a broker by Putnam Financial Services of San Francisco.

Muzzy Marcelino's greatest contribution has been in the field of legislation. Since 1960 he has been a leading spokesman for the blind in Sacramento. He has drafted and guided through the legislature many amendments liberalizing the state's welfare programs for the blind. In 1969 Lawrence Marcelino was the first recipient of the NFB of California's Jacobus tenBroek Award, presented to recognize devotion and service to the interests of the blind.

Lawrence Marclino was elected Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind in 1970 and has held that post ever since.


Richard Edlund preaches Federationism every chance he gets-as the newspapers of Kansas attest. In one article he is quoted saying: "Any loss of one of the body's senses is naturally going to create a problem. But it is little more than that if a person has some training and the right attitude." In another interview he said: "We maintain that blind people can be just as competitive as anyone else if they have the proper training. All we're saying is give the blind the same chance as the sighted person." Or at another point in that interview: "We've got to change public attitudes. Today if a blind person is very successful, he's labeled an exception in the blind community. If the public would only give us a chance to prove ourselves, we could make cases like this the accepted rule."

Dick Edlund knows whereof he speaks. Blinded at 16 as the result of a blasting cap accident, he learned to hold his own and do his share. As he later told a reporter: "My parents let me know that just because I was blind I wouldn't get any special treatment. I had to get back to work and take my place in the family." After high school, Dick Edlund like Kenneth Jernigan, wanted to become a lawyer A counselor told him it would be impossible because he was blind. He has had varied jobs including owning and managing an airport. He successfully took courses in engine repair and has taught the skills to other blind persons. For the last 30 years he has owned and operated a hardware store outside of Kansas City.

Richard Edlund

Dick Edlund is an energetic leader of the organized blind in Kansas. He is president of the NFB of Kansas. Whether it is the right of the blind to serve as jurors, to enter a restaurant with a guide dog, to be foster parents, Dick Edlund and the NFB of Kansas are at work on the problem. He was instrumental in passing the state's white cane law.

Dick Edlund is chairman of the Kansas City Human Relations Commission and a member of the Kansas Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. He has been active in a project to create employer advisory boards for community colleges—a project that acquaints local employers with the abilities of blind students. Dick Edlund is also active in politics. In 1974 he ran for the office of public administrator; and for the last six years he has been campaign chairman for a state congressman. Dick and Eileen Edlund and their four sons are involved in many other community activities.

In short Dick Edlund is a man who practices what he preaches. In recognition of this, the Federation elected him its National Treasurer in 1974 and reelected him in 1976.



Sue Ammeter was born blind in 1948 in Bremerton. Washington. She was educated in special education classes in various public schools in Seattle before earning a B.A. in social welfare at the University of Washington Before graduation, however Sue became part of the Federation due to an organizing effort undertaken by the state affiliate and the NFB National Office; and she became involved in projects of the NFB of Washington that were to occupy her energies for the next eight years.

Services for the blind in Washington were poor and deteriorating. The organized blind began an effort in the legislature to change the structure of state services to the model developed in Iowa-a Washington commission for the blind. As part of this effort, the University Association of the Blind was formed in 1969, and Sue was elected its president, a job she held until 1975. She became vice-president of the state affiliate in 1970.

Following her graduation from college in 1971, two experiences, as Sue says: "gave me a broader insight into the philosophy and purpose of the organization I spent a week at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, viewing for the first time the operation of an agency for the blind whose philosophy is based on the belief that blind persons are normal human beings. And I attended my first NFB National Convention, where I was elected second vice-president of the NFB Student Division."

In 1971 Sue married John Ammeter. Most of her career has involved enforcing civil rights laws. She worked for the Seattle Office of Women's Rights and for the Washington State Human Rights Commission. In 1976 she became the Handicapped Specialist in the State Human Rights Division and was responsible for settling cases dealing with discrimination on the basis of handicap.

Sue Ammeter

During this time Sue served as a member of a hearing tribunal. The tribunal heard the first handicap discrimination case to be brought to the Commission. The tribunal found in favor of the complainant, but a King County Superior Court judge later ruled the decision was in error. One of his reasons for the ruling was that "a person who is legally blind is not qualified to serve as a fact-finding tribunal member." This decision was unacceptable to the Federation (particularly since, in American legal history, there have been blind judges in courts at all levels). Later the ruling was set aside by a higher court on technical grounds. The damaging legal precedent was not allowed to stand, but the experience showed the blind of Washington once again the need for the Federation.

In the meantime the NFB of Washington had been working steadily, in legislature after legislature, to pass a bill to create a commission for the blind. Before it was over, the project required major organizing work within the state, constant contact with legislators, and liaison with other groups and interests in the state. Sue was active in all of this, particularly after 1974 when she became president of the state affiliate.

Finally, in September 1977, the eight years of work paid off when the new Washington Commission for the Blind began operation. Two months later. Sue Ammeter was named Assistant Director in charge of administrative services.

Sue has been active at the national level of the Federation. She is chairperson of the Membership Committee and has served on national committees on library services, resolutions, and financing the movement. She was also actively involved in the efforts to create a direct forum for the handicapped delegates at the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals, in May 1977. In 1975 Sue Ammeter was elected to the NFB Executive Committee and reelected in 1977.

About her NFB activities, Sue Ammeter says: "My involvement in the organized blind movement has given me a broader perspective of the problems faced by the blind. It has given me the belief that through the movement we can and will eliminate discrimination and negative attitudes about blindness. Our victories and achievements give each of us the strength and determination to continue in our dedication to improve the lives of blind persons."


In 1969, the state of Florida had a separate agency to provide services to the blind—a commission. But this was when governmental reorganization was becoming popular; and in that year, the commission was swept up as part of a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation that was itself part of a huge Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (DHRS). In 1969 there was no strong organization of the blind to raise a cry.

In 1975 the legislature considered a new and even more sweeping reorganization of DHRS. This one would decentralize all of its varied services to 11 regional offices. Beyond this there would be hundreds of "one-stop service centers" throughout the state. No matter what your business with the Department—be it welfare, medical services, or rehabilitation—you would be helped by a single expert, a "generalist" in all programs. This step would have destroyed programs for the blind. The needs of the blind are so different from the needs of those with other handicaps and the blind are so few in relation to other groups that it is hard for them to obtain meaningful service even within a general rehabilitation agency. Yet under the proposed set-up, blind people would be depending on generalists not necessarily trained in rehabilitation at all.

But in 1975 there was a strong organization of the blind in Florida-the NFB of Florida. The NFB spearheaded a move to salvage services for the blind. Large numbers of blind people became involved, and several salvaging plans were tried. At one point an amendment was introduced to move all rehabilitation services out of DHRS and put them in the Department of Education. As part of the large program, services for the blind would go along. This tactic was not successful, but the point was eventually achieved: Florida now has a separate agency for services to the blind, and it is located not in DHRS but in the Department of Education.

Other rehabilitations programs were not so lucky. They were reorganized and distributed around the state. One result was that the federal Department of Health. Education, and Welfare declared Florida was no longer eligible for federal rehabilitation funds and the matter has been in court ever since. The agency for the blind, however, is not involved; and though not the best program for the blind in the country, it is better than it would now be had the organized blind not been there to intervene.

The spokeswoman for the NFB of Florida and one of those largely responsible for the affiliate's emergence as a united organization was Elizabeth Bowen.

Elizabeth Bowen

The president of the NFB of Florida is a soft-spoken woman, the mother of four children and wife of James Bowen who is also blind and a strong Federationist. Beth was educated at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, then at Stetson University and the University of Florida. She has worked as a medical secretary for the last fourteen years.

Beth Bowen has been president of the NFB of Florida since 1971. She has been a member of the NFB Executive Committee since 1976 and has served on a number of national committees. Outside the Federation she has been a PTA officer and a member of the Jaycetts. She is active in politics-a Democratic Committeewoman in Duval County and an active campaign worker.

Beth Bowen's commitment to the movement comes from her experiences as a blind person. As she says: "The discriminations I experienced while growing up were never really blatant They were many small, unintentional things which experienced over many years—made me feel certain I could never be quite as much of a person as those who had sight. All my failures were excused by, and my accomplishments explained by, the fact that I was blind. Deep inside I knew this was unfair; but through years of conditioning I also knew that if I spoke out no one would really understand.

"Then I found out about the National Federation of the Blind. I learned that many blind people feel as I do and were trying to do something about it learned that together we could accomplish what no one of us could do alone.

"My only regret is that I did not know about the Federation sooner. It is my hope that through our efforts no blind person will ever again be made to feel inferior because of his blindness."


Robert Eschbach was born in 1932 in the Phillippines of missionary parents. He spent much of his childhood traveling around the world, returning to the United States in 1941 to settle in Michigan. Two years later Bob lost his sight.

At first he attended public school in Detroit, but went on to the Ohio School for the Blind for high school. He graduated from Otterbein College, in Westerville, Ohio, with a degree in theoretical music and English; and in 1958, received a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, in Dayton.

Bob Eschbach served for nine years in the parish ministry. Then, in 1966, he accepted a fellowship at the Menninger Foundation, in Topeka, Kansas. The experience persuaded Bob to move into the field of social work, and he remained in Kansas to earn a master's degree in social work at the University of Kansas before returning to Dayton in 1969. Bob accepted a job as a therapist at the east way Community Mental Health Center in Dayton. His responsibilities were gradually increased until he was made Community Services Director.

After a great deal of deliberation Bob decided to return to the pastorate of the United Methodist Church. He was appointed to the Spring Valley United Methodist Church, in Spring Valley. Ohio, and has served there since June 1977.

Robert M. Eschbach

Bob Eschbach became acquainted with the Federation in 1969 when he was invited to join the Dayton chapter. He felt he had discovered a new dimension to the experience of blind persons. He became more involved and committed as each day passed until 1972 when he attended the NFB National Convention in Chicago. It was his first exposure to the national movement, and Bob returned to Dayton feeling he had discovered where he wanted to be. He was elected president of the NFB of Ohio in1973. During the past five years the state affiliate has made great strides in unity and in achieving legislation for the blind. In 1974, Robert Eschbach was elected a member of the NFB Executive Committee, and he was reelected in 1976.


Jonathan May was born in Toronto in 1944. He grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut, graduating from Glastonbury High School and going on to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He received a B.A. cum laude in 1966 and spent the summer of that year studying in Germany.

Jon went to work for the IBM Corporation, in accounts administration, later working in personnel and corporate insurance administration for the International Basic Economy Corporation. In 1969 he began losing his sight due to hemorrhaging and scarring from diabetic retinopathy, and within two years he was totally blind. As he says:

"Our country had just landed men on the moon and demonstrated great technological and organizational progress. I had not thought about blindness, and I was unsure exactly what to expect. I did feel certain that blindness could be managed as well as most life changes, without all the expressions of tragedy and pity that people showed toward me.

"I learned some skills of blindness from friends, from the application of common sense, and from several rehabilitation workers. I kept working, but I had to seek a new job within a few years. I became increasingly frustrated with the capricious denials of employment and the mind-boggling misconceptions held by the public about blindness.

"About this time I contacted Shirley Lebowitz, who had recently spearheaded the reorganization of the Connecticut affiliate. She talked to me about the need for the blind to organize as consumers and speak for themselves. The first experience that led to a great change in my life was my introduction to the recorded literature of the NFB. The history, philosophy, and activities of the Federation, expressed in stirring talks by Dr. Jernigan and Dr. TenBroek crystallized my thoughts on blindness."

Jon attended a meeting of a local NFB chapter and met blind people from all walks of life, many of them facing the same difficulties he was facing-social and economic barriers erected by a society steeped in misconceptions about blindness. As Jon said: "In spite of the difficulties blind people still faced, I realized I was a beneficiary of the work of earlier Federationists whose sweat and sacrifice had obtained for me opportunities they never had I realized I had an obligation to do all I could to advance the cause of the blind. I joined the NFB.

During this time, Jonathan May worked as a volunteer counselor for the Glastonbury Youth Services Bureau. In 1973, he began study at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, receiving a master's degree in public health in 1975. During his stay in North Carolina he was elected to the board of the state NFB affiliate and served on its legislative committee.

In 1975 Jon was appointed to the NFB Committee on Human Rights, and he has continued to serve on this and other committees and NFB organizing teams. He was elected to the NFB Executive Committee in 1975 and reelected in 1977. Jon May returned to Connecticut in 1975, where he served as first vice-president of the state affiliate until 1977, when he returned to North Carolina to take a job in public health.

Among many public health activities, Jonathan May continues his efforts for increased research and public and patient education on diabetes. He received a Community Service Award from the American Diabetes Association's North Carolina affiliate in 1974, and he has served as a director of the American Diabetes Association's Greater Hartford chapter. With several others, he has developed an apparatus to increase the independence of blind diabetics, a project that was reported in the journals Diabetes and Diabetes Outlook.

Jonathan May

Jonathan May is an active member of the American Public Health Association and the Society for Public Health Education. He currently works as a health education planner for the Cardinal Health Agency, implementing health programs for a largely rural, medically underserved population in southeastern North Carolina. He says: "I find the NFB a perfect complement to public health. The professional public health community shares many of the principles of the Federation and has increasingly recognized and encouraged the efforts of organized consumers to change the social and economic determinants of their health."


When John McCraw was elected to a position on the NFB Executive Committee in July 1977, there was no question in anyone's mind that he should have the job. He has long been a favorite with those in the movement who know him, and he is the president of one of the most rapidly growing affiliates in the Federation, the NFB of Maryland.

John F. McCraw

John McCraw was born in 1921 in Norfolk, Virginia. He moved with his parents to Baltimore in 1925. Seven years later, at the age of 10. John lost his sight and was enrolled in the Maryland School for the Blind. He graduated from Morgan State College, in Baltimore, with a B.S. in education. All during this time, though, John had devoted much of his energy to music and learning to play the piano. Since 1944 he has been employed as a professional musician. He has also, at various times, taught travel training worked as a medical transcriber, and taught in the public school system as a substitute teacher He and his wife, Connie, have two sons.

John McCraw now works during the day as a recreationist for the City of Baltimore. A few years ago an article about John appeared in a recreation journal. Part of the article read: "John F. McCraw is unique to recreation he is blind. He is also a professional musician and a dedicated and gifted professional recreation leader.

"He is the only blind recreationist working in Baltimore City. Hundreds of children know 'Mr. John' as the 'big man' who plays the piano, conducts physical exercise, teaches games, and accompanies them on trips. Handicapped adults look forward to talk sessions . . . with John; retarded teens and adults look to him for fun and counsel and sing and dance to his music. Handicapped senior citizens relate to his dignity, gentleness, and humor."

To show John's versatility, the article later goes on: "At 9:30 each night, McCraw changes hats and enters the world of show business. He is musical director for a well-known after-dark club and leads the John McCraw combo. He has been widely acclaimed as a leading exponent of jazz and a top-flight pianist."

As a recreation director and musician, John McCraw has two careers. But the Federation is as much a career as either of the others. Besides his work as president of the state NFB affiliate and as an Executive Committee member, John is chairman of the board of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. John McCraw and Ralph Sanders, working with the blind of the NFB of Maryland, are making Maryland, like Iowa, a good state in which to be blind.


Diane McGeorge was raised in Nebraska. She was blinded by meningitis at the age of two. As she wrote later: "Mr. Jernigan has said that we are programmed to feel inferior; and until we deal with that, we don't deal with the real issues of blindness. I always had a loving family; my mother was one of the most positive people in the world. She always told me I could do anything I wanted to. So I never thought that she felt I was inferior. I didn't stop to deal with the fact that she never let me go anywhere by myself—someone was always available to go with me. There were other things, hut this one stands out in my mind. She taught me many more things than do most parents of blind children, and she gave me a feeling of pride in myself as an individual. But we never discussed my blindness as it should have been discussed."

As Diane puts it, she was "slightly educated" at the Nebraska School for the Blind. The lack of challenge at the school left Diane, on graduation, feeling she had brilliant talents that would win her any job she wanted. She soon learned that no blind person—no matter how well qualified—has an easy time in the job market. She enrolled in a business college in Denver to learn typing and transcribing. She then went on to the University of Colorado to take the training to become a medical secretary, a profession she has followed ever since, except for some time taken out to raise a family.

Diane left her job when her second child was due and she spent eight years as a full-time homemaker and mother. She took part in all of the activities surrounding raising a family—being a den mother, teaching Sunday School serving in the PTA She also did some teaching of blind students in her home.

All during this time, Diane had been a member of the Federation, but a passive one. Her husband, Ray McGeorge, was much more active than she, though she had been willing to handle refreshments at meetings or handle other tasks. She says her attitude bordered on being: "Some of you people just go out and look for trouble. I don't have any trouble and I don't know what all this talk about discrimination means; I never get discriminated against." She continues: "All the time I was thinking I was some kind of super blind person: I can get a job; I can live wherever I want to. (We had bought a house right after we were married, and I managed to forget the times I had tried to rent an apartment and been turned down. I also managed to rationalize the times we had been refused admission to restaurants because of my dog guide. I would get angry and say I wouldn't eat in their restaurant anyway; there were lots of others; who cares?

Diane McGeorge

"I had never come to grips with the fact that I was really hiding from the unpleasant issues in life. It was easier to be 'super blind person,' a member of the PTA. the choir, etc. I was in the Federation, but I really felt no deep commitment or involvement."

The active participation of her husband, Ray, and her friendship with Federationist Judy Miller gradually drew Diane into the movement. As she says: "I started taking more part in NFB activities, not just making sure somebody brought cookies to the chapter meeting. One day in December, when it was bitter cold, Ray and I stopped at a coffee shop to have coffee. It was the only warm place available and probably not fit to walk into. We did though, and when we did. The proprietor told us we couldn't bring the dog in I was so furious I nearly burst into tears, and I walked out of there. I thought and thought about that; and I said, deep in my heart, that nobody was ever going to make me feel that way again; I had been a coward to let it happen.

"I never said this to anybody it was just something that went on inside me. About six months later we were at a movie or I should say, we had planned to go to a movie. The manager said we couldn't bring the dog into the theater. We have a white cane law in Colorado, and I was well acquainted with it. We had what turned out to be a two-hour battle over that issue, but I came away from there not feeling cowardly or guilty or as if I were not quite as good as the manager because he could see and I couldn't. It took me a long time to deal with the basic issues of blindness. I never started doing it until I really started learning what the NFB is about."

In 1976, Judy Miller resigned as president of the NFB of Colorado to move to Maryland and marry Ralph Sanders. Diane assumed the state presidency. At first she felt she was in over her head: "I knew nothing about legislation, about how to get a bill passed. The first time I went to the legislature, I was terrified."

The last two years, however, have seen a change in the affiliate and in its president. Now she says: "We have been able to pass what is commonly called a "little Randolph-Sheppard Act" in the legislature. We have gone in and gotten funds for a project for older blind citizens; it was not going to be funded at all until the NFB of Colorado got to work on it. We now have an anti-discrimination bill in the legislature; it has passed the senate and is nearly through the house. We plan next year to introduce our bill for a separate agency for the blind. I've been involved in planning and conducting workshops in the state on the regulations implementing section 504; I've been to Washington and learned how to talk to Congressmen. No one was more surprised than I when I turned on the five-o'clock TV news and heard myself giving testimony before the state utilities commission. I've learned a tremendous amount about administration, fundraising. giving speeches, meeting legislators-and all of this since I became state president two years ago One of the proudest days of my life was when I was elected by the NFB Convention in 1977 to be a member of our Executive Committee."

Diane has become well known to NFB Conventioners as the head of the door prize committee (last year along with John McCraw) Almost as well known is her dog Pony, who has been celebrated in the Monitor and heard often on tapes of conventions.

As she considered her life recently to provide information for this article, Diane McGeorge began by reflecting that all the events in her life seem to have happened since her involvement with the Federation. At the end of her letter she wrote: "I think now you will understand what I mean when I say nothing really exciting happened to me until the past few years, because only then did I start to grow as an individual. Before that I was somebody's mother, somebody's wife. Now I'm a person in my own right and one who is proud beyond all belief to be a part of the Federation.

"Never again will anyone tell me I can't come in someplace because of my dog, or tell me where I will sit on an airplane, or that they won't sell me insurance—the list is endless. In January of this year, the Colorado Department of Employment refused jobs to two blind people because of their blindness. The NFB of Colorado made it clear we would not permit this sort of discrimination to take place. Those people are working today in jobs they were told no blind person could do."


E. U. Parker was born in 1922 in Bay Springs, Mississippi. He attended the Bay Springs public schools at first, going on to the Mississippi School for the Blind, and later to the University of Mississippi and the Texas ("Hiropractic College, in San Antonio. He practiced chiropractic until 1955. Three years before that E. U. was appointed an agent for the State Farm Insurance Company, a position he holds today.

E. U. Parker, Jr.

E. U. Parker has been president of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association, a president of the Laurel, Mississippi, Rotary Club, and a district chairman of the Boy Scouts for two terms. He was presented the Silver Beaver Award in 1972 for "outstanding service to Boy Scouts." He was also vice-president of his high school class. He would have been president, but he lost the flip of a coin to the only other member of the class. E. U. has held nearly every job in his church, where he is a charter member. He is married to the former Imogene ("Gene") Price, and they have three daughters.

These details tell little about E. U. Parker's work with the Federation in Mississippi—work that has brought about major changes in a state once among the worst in service to the blind. The picture is still bleak for most of the blind of the state, but there have been dramatic improvements in a number of areas. E. U. was involved in the dramatic upgrading of conditions for the workers in both the large sheltered workshop operations in the state. He was instrumental in starting a federal study of the state's rehabilitation services—a study that showed what the blind already knew: the rehabilitation program was ineffective and mismanaged. As he has been for a number of years, E. U. is president of the NFB of Mississippi.

E. U. Parker has sat on the boards of the state agencies concerned with services for the blind, and he has made his presence felt bringing the input of consumers to state officials.

In the NFB nationally, E. U. has been the originator of a number of important Federation programs-most notably the Pre-Authorized Check Plan that now provides a major portion of the NFB budget.


Joyce Scanlan was born in Fargo, North Dakota. She received her elementary and secondary education at the North Dakota School for the Blind. Having a strong love of reading and theater, Joyce went on to earn a B.A. in English and history, and a master's degree in history, at the University of North Dakota. Joyce taught these subjects, along with social studies, in high schools in the state for the next five years.

Although she always had limited vision due to a congenital eye defect, and although her early education took place at a school for the blind, Joyce still believed her ability to function depended on her remaining sight. When glaucoma took the rest of her sight after five successful years of teaching, she lost her self-confidence. She says: "I qualified from the job because I had never known a blind teacher in a public school, and I had had such a struggle those last few weeks in the classroom that I was positive no blind person could ever teach sighted children."

She had trouble finding another job; but as she points out, her own attitudes were as bad as those of the employers she applied to. She told a counselor who visited her in the hospital: "I never saw a blind person amount to anything yet, so there's no reason to think I can."

Joyce Scanlan

In 1970 the NFB Convention was in Minneapolis, and Joyce attended the meeting of the NFB Teachers Division. There, she says: "I met many teachers who were blind. In fact, I met blind persons from all over the country who were engaged in a great variety of occupations. I learned how discrimination was being faced. But most of all, I learned what the NFB was all about and realized what blind people working together can do." At that Convention, Joyce also met Tom Scanlan. whom she married four years later.

Joyce became active in the NFB in Minnesota, where she was now living. In l971 she organized a statewide student division. In 1972 she was elected vice-president of the NFB of Minnesota, and in 1973 she was elected president. That same year she was appointed to a newly created Minnesota Commission for the Handicapped—the only representative of a consumer organization on the Commission. The affiliate under her leadership has worked to keep state services for the blind located in a separate unit of the government. It also successfully sued a private agency for the blind that illegally changed its bylaws to exclude consumer participation. The affiliate has grown both in numbers and in the scope of its activities.

Joyce Scanlan was elected to the NFB Executive Committee in 1974 and reelected in 1976. She says about her experience with the NFB: "The Federation has made a great difference in my life. I still try to spend time on the theater and reading, but I want to give as much time as possible to working in the NFB. I wish I had known about it before 1970. I want to be sure that every blind person I ever know hears all about the Federation. If I have any skill as a teacher, I'll use it in the Federation."



Jacob Freid became a member of the NFB Board of Directors in 1963 and has retained the position ever since. That same year he was presented the Federation's Newel Perry Award for distinguished service to the blind. He has long been known as an aggressive champion of the cause of the organized blind.

Although blind in one eye Dr. Freid has some useful vision in the other. He graduated from the College of the City of New York, where he was an honor fellow, in 1937. He earned a master's degree in sociology at Columbia University in 1938, returning to Columbia later to earn a Ph.D., which he received in 1956.

During World War II, Dr. Freid was head of the Moscow desk of the Office of War Information in the U.S. State Department, acting as liaison between our embassy in Moscow and the State Department in Washington. The work of his desk was considered by Averell Harriman, at that time our ambassador to tile Soviet Union, to be the most successful operation in our wartime relations with Russia.

Jacob Freid

Following the war, Dr. Freid accepted an executive position with the American Jewish Congress. He left this in 1952 to become Executive Director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America, a position he still holds. During the same period he taught sociology at Rutgers University. He also served for a number of years as chairman of the Department of Political Science and chairman of the faculty at the New School for Social Research, in New York City.

Dr. Freid has written widely in the fields of social science and public welfare. Among his works is a comprehensive study of Jewish life and history, titled Jews in the Modern World. Published in 1962. the book has been called a classic of social science and "a remarkable treasure house of information and profoundly perceptive insight into the Jewish condition of our time."

In presenting the Newel Perry Award to Jacob Freid, the NFB President summed up Dr. Freid's contribution to the movement as follows:

"He has been a very active participant, an inspired speaker, a wise confidant, and a steadfast friend. Above all, he has thrown himself and his considerable energies into the thick of our struggles….  He is a liberal in the true liberating sense: a fighter for every cause of social justice, however 'lost' it may seem; a foe of prejudice and intolerance, wherever they rear their ugly heads: a spokesman for the deprived against the depraved, and for the underdog against the overlord. In short, he is not just a friend of the blind: he is a friend to man."


Peggy Pinder was elected president of the NFB Student Division in July 1977 at the NFB Convention. At the same Convention she was elected a member of the NFB Board of Directors to represent the growing number of students and young blind people in the Federation. Born in 1953, Peggy is the youngest member of the board, but one of the best known. At the NFB Convention in July 1976, she was awarded the Federation's Rickard Scholarship for a student of the humanities or natural sciences, a scholarship she was to use at Yale Law School. Later that summer she was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. So far as we know, she was the first blind person to be a delegate to a Republican Convention During the Convention she appeared on national television and in a national news magazine—on all these occasions, she spread the word about NFB philosophy and the real problems of blind people. Finally, she was chosen to second the nomination of Robert Dole to be Republican candidate for Vice President. This brought her into most of the homes of America, thanks to the media. Since then she has appeared, with Dr. Jernigan, on NBC's Today Show, as well as completing her second year of law school.

Peggy was born and raised in Grinnell, a small farm town in eastern Iowa. She attended regular schools until the middle of the ninth grade. Though her vision was inadequate from the start, Peggy tried to disguise the true situation; she was afraid of being labeled blind. As she says:

Peggy Pinder

"My family is from the well-nourished, well-educated middle class of the Midwest, all bound to do well in our own right with B.A.'s, good pay, and happiness stamped on our birth certificates Until blindness. When my condition was diagnosed as irreversible decline into total blindness, my father cried for the first and only time in my life. My family tried to act as if nothing had changed, as if I possessed the same birthright; but it all seemed to be pretense—until I met Dr. Jernigan.

"Two and a half unhappy years at a school for the blind had started me living the lie society imposes on many blind people: We are assured that the blind are normal and capable, but we are expected to achieve little academically (I learned nothing in the five semesters at the school for the blind that I had not learned in public school); we are expected to have no mobility (we were not allowed off the campus except in the company of sighted people); and we were expected to have limited vocational goals (there was no encouragement to identify and develop talents nor any system to build pride and confidence by getting to know successful working blind persons).

Peggy reacted to the stifling atmosphere and drew down the wrath of the school administration, which insisted that she go back to public school. This was when she went to the Commission for the Blind and met Kenneth Jernigan. The school had not taught her the skills necessary to live independently as a blind person, and she came to the Commission to get them. As she says:

"My first meetings with Dr. Jernigan were intellectual and emotional battles. I had met a man of intelligence and wisdom, successful in his chosen profession, and blind. He had achieved the success I desperately wanted, and he was not living with the limited expectations I had been taught to expect. The prospect of taking my life in my own hands was exhilarating and frightening. He had thought deeply about the meaning society puts on blindness and found it hollow. He presented me the chance to do the same.

"He also showed me that blind people, whatever their positions, are perceived first and foremost as blind. We must work to change our image, individually and collectively."

Peggy went on to Iowa's Cornell College, and then, as noted, to Yale Law School. She has held office in the student divisions and state affiliates in Iowa and now Connecticut. Last summer she worked as an intern in the NFB's Washington Office. One of her projects was arranging to have the Federation become a co-plaintiff in the Adams v. Califano lawsuit being brought to compel the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to enforce civil rights laws protecting women and racial minorities As a result of our intervention, the final agreement in that suit included the enforcement of civil rights laws for the handicapped as well.

About her experience with the organized blind movement Peggy says: "The self-awareness I have achieved through my association with the Federation has made me aware of my rights and capabilities. It has .allowed me to set my own goals for my life and to resist the lowered expectations that teachers and colleagues have tried to hedge me in with. But I also know that alone I cannot stand against some restrictions-restrictions that must be resisted in the legislatures and courts.

"The Federation is for me a working out of de Toqueville's observation that we Americans have, since our founding, known the value of organizing to achieve goals we the blind, must take it into our own hands to achieve our rights as full-fledged citizens to places on juries, on tax rolls, and in the front line of every vocation."

JAMES GASHEL, Chief, NFB Washington Office

The Chief of the NFB's Washington Office was born in Mason City Iowa, in 1946. He attended the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, graduating in 1964. Then he went to the Commission for the Blind. He has said about this period: "When I was a youngster coming up in school. I wouldn't carry a cane. I was ashamed to be blind. I tried to hide it, which of course was impossible since I always got proved the fool. I wanted to work: but I didn't know what I could do; and the superintendent at the school for the blind had told me I couldn't be a teacher (he said there were discipline problems); so he dashed my only dream.

"When I visited the Iowa Commission, in June 1964, I was a mighty depressed and hostile fellow. Two weeks before. I had graduated from high school; and the future was closing in on me. I didn't want any more counseling; and I didn't want to admit I was blind. I think I just wanted to be left alone. Dr. Jernigan knew this the minute he met me. That day was our first meeting. Thank God it wasn't our last. I agreed to go to the center something I thought I'd never do. It changed the course of my life.

James Gashel

After the Commission, Jim Gashel went to college at the University of Northern Iowa. During College he was active in intercollegiate debating, as well as student government and intramural athletics. He was also active in the Federation, as president of the Black Hawk County Association of the Blind, in the Waterloo, Iowa, area, and as first president of the national NFB Student Division, an office which earned him election to the NFB Board of Directors.

After graduation, Jim Gashel moved to Pipestone, Minnesota, to teach speech and English in the public school system. Jim taught a heavy schedule of speech classes, in addition to coaching the debating team.

In 1970, Jim Gashel returned to Iowa to work at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. He and his wife, Arlene, who is also a graduate of the Commission's program, lived in the center building to provide counseling to students at the center around the clock, if need be.

A year later, in 1971, Jim was made program supervisor of the orientation center: and in 1972 he became Assistant Director of the Commission in charge of orientation. In 1973 Jim Gashel went back to school, this time at the University of Iowa, for graduate study in public administration. But when John Nagel retired as Chief of the NFB Washington Office, Jim Gashel left Iowa to take up the job.

Beginning in January 1974, Jim and Arlene Gashel worked together as representatives of the Federation in Washington. In 1975, however, their daughter Andrea was born; and Jim shouldered the work of the office alone. Since then, he has become an effective spokesman for the organized blind movement. His energy and knowledgeability, as well as the fact that he represents a coherent and sophisticated constiuency, have made his a respected voice in government bureaus and the Congress. It is not too much to say that in the federal government, the National Federation of the Blind not only is regarded as a consensus of the grass-roots opinions of the nation's blind people, it is regarded as the source of well-directed and innovative programs for the blind.

Acting as liaison with the government is only part of Jim Gashel's job. He travels to conventions of state affiliates or other groups within and without the NFB. He works with members or other blind people on Social Security or discrimination problems. In general, he is available—as are the officers and board members—to Federationists throughout the country for discussions of plans and problems.

"The personal growth and progress I have made," says Jim, "are directly attributable to the philosophy of the NFB I found at the Iowa Commission. I often wonder what would have happened to me if I had been born just ten years earlier. As a blind boy in Iowa, I had been persuaded to expect very little of life. Today I hold a satisfying and important post which itself symbolizes the ascent to national leadership of the National Federation of the Blind."

Photograph of Jonathan May by The Hartford Courant, a Connecticut institution since 1764.

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Here are a number of notices of meetings and activities taking place next month at the NFB Convention in Baltimore. The first is from Peggy Pinder, president of the NFB Students Division:

"Mohandas Gandhi was a master of the art of timing. Alexander the Great always knew when and where he should show up. Don't you miss this year's meeting of the NFB Student Division on July 3 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

"Plans are underway for a real event. Representatives from Educational Testing Service in Princeton New Jersey have been invited to discuss their efforts to comply with the testing provisions of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of HEW's Office for Civil Rights, which enforces section 504 is sending the head of its technical assistance division, Mr. James Bennett. A representative from the Rehabilitation Services Administration in HEW will be present to discuss the interplay between section 504 and already existing rehabilitation agencies—or more specifically, who provides readers and necessary equipment. Ms. Claire Guthrie, who works in the general counsel's office of Princeton University, will discuss how to make the various enforcement alternatives of the Executive and Judicial Branches of government actively protect our rights. And of course, students will talk of student action throughout the year and in the year to come."

Marj Schneider sends this notice: "A meeting of blind feminists will be held at this year's Convention in Baltimore. The time and place of the meeting will be announced at the Convention. Anyone with suggestions for topics of discussion should contact Marj Schneider 1615 South Fourth Street Apartment 2506, Minneapolis Minnesota 55454; telephone (612) 341-3114."

From Joanne Fernandes comes the following; "The Committee on Parents and Adoption would like to offer a new service to those who will have children with them at the upcoming Convention. We are willing to compile a list of those who would like to explore cooperative baby-sitting during the Convention. We would make up the list and share it with anyone interested. Putting your name on the list would not commit you to anything. We would also like the names of teenagers who are willing to be hired as baby-sitters during the Convention. All the details would be worked out between the parties: we would just keep the list Send the information to Joanne Fernandes, 1210 Second Street, Boone, Iowa 50036."

Here is a note about travel arrangements, from John Taylor:

"I have a special announcement regarding air travel to and from this summer's Convention. American Airlines has a computer reservation center with a national in-WATS number for the continental United States except Texas. The number is 800-433-1790. For residents of Texas, the number is 800-792-1160. This system is not available to residents of Alaska or Hawaii.

"When we call the American Airlines computer center, we can make our reservation by saying that we are attending the National Federation of the Blind Convention. Our reservation schedule will then be sent to Johnny's House of Travel in Des Moines. Johnny's House of Travel will mail your tickets, your itinerary, and your bill to you. Johnny's will also review your schedule and rate to determine whether something better may be available.

"Johnny's House of Travel is holding some seats on schedules from various parts of the country at unusually good rates. As reservations come in, these seats will be filled first; you do not need to discuss this arrangement with the American Airlines reservation center, but you do need to state that you are attending the NFB Convention.

"Those who wish to communicate directly with Johnny's House of Travel about their reservations can call (515) 274-3806. The address is 534 Forty-second Street, Des Moines. Iowa 50312.

"As you know, Joseph Fernandes is associated with Johnny's House of Travel, and both he and Joanne are active in a wide variety of NFB activities. Joseph has made several contributions to the NFB treasury, and I take advantage of this opportunity to thank him and Joanne for the $500 check they sent just recently."

Finally, there is this note: "The NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CHIP) will hold its annual wine-and-cheese tasting party at the Convention this summer. The party will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, July 2. Tickets are $3 each. There will be a number of members of the National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom at the Convention this year, and they will be guests at this party. Come and meet them. Tickets can be purchased in Baltimore in July from any CEIP Committee member, or send $3 to Cheryl Finley, 318 First Street, Northeast, Clarion, Iowa 50525. This is one of the major CEIP fundraising events, so take part, have a good time, and help the organized blind movement overseas."

CEIP will also hold a Paddle Tennis Tournament, Saturday through Monday in the Exhibition Hall at the Convention, played on Telesensory Systems' new Games Centers. It will cost $1 to play each game. The person who wins the most games over the three days will win a TSI Games Center, worth $895. The more games you play, the better your chance to win.

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Note: Marj Schneider is a member of the NFB of Minnesota.



1 lb. hamburger         
1 package mixed frozen vegetables
2 cups water
1/4 cup dry onion soup mix
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Brown the hamburger. Add all the other ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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The article in last month's Monitor about the new projects for financing the movement omitted some important details about the candle program. There are two kinds of candle available from Mississippi Industries for the Blind. One was the candle in a smooth glass. These cost the chapter $1.20 each and it was recommended they be sold for $2. We neglected to mention that of the $1.20 sent to MIB for each candle, forty cents will go to the NFB treasury. The other type of candle is in a glass with a picture and a beaded surface. These cost the chapter $1.75 and are sold for $3. Of the $1.75 paid for these candles, fifty-five cents will go to the NFB treasury. As you can see, this raises considerably the percentage of the sales price going to the Federation.

Federationist Pat Harrison, 3021 Park Avenue, Apartment 7, Richmond, Virginia 23221, phone (804) 353-2522, would like to obtain a medical dictionary in Braille. She would like to hear from and negotiate with anybody who has one.

Here are brief reports of two state conventions that took place last fail. The NFB of Rhode Island held its seventh annual convention in Providence, October 8. The Saturday meeting began with a business session at which two new board members Marcel LaRaviere and Dr. Hayvis Woolf were elected. In the afternoon, a panel discussion chaired by convention chairman Kenneth Brackett dealt with rehabilitation services and employment opportunities in the state. Representatives of state services for the blind, the state CETA program, and the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped were panelists. Representing the national organization were Executive Committee member Jonathan May and NFB President Sanders, who delivered the banquet address Saturday night. Guests at the banquet were U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, state senator William Castro, and a representative of the Governor's office. A plaque was presented to the widow of Don Levesque, a man who worked tirelessly for the Federation in Rhode Island.

The 1977 convention of the NFB of Maryland took place November 4-6, in Ocean City, Maryland, with 148 Federationists attending. NFB Treasurer Dick Edlund and NFB Washington Office chief Jim Gashel were present throughout the weekend, as of course was President Sanders, who lives in the state. We held discussions with representatives of state and federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration, the Office for Civil Rights, the state library for the blind, and the Governor's Committee to Study the Needs of the Handicapped. Conspicuously absent was any representative of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Education. This insensitivity was duly noted by the media and by state legislators who took part in the convention.

The arrogance of the chairman of the Board of the Maryland School for the Blind, S. James Campbell, caused a lively discussion. In his opening remarks, Mr. Campbell talked about his school's accreditation by NAC. He used words like "objectivity" and "open discussion." When we began to bring up the objective facts about NAC, he closed off discussion by stating, "You have your opinion, and we have ours." He refused to have representatives of the NFB at the next board meeting. We have fought too hard and too long for this kind of behavior to be acceptable. Mr. Campbell has a great deal to learn.

At the banquet, 165 were present to hear Dick Edlund. During the dinner over $3,000 was raised from pledges and donations. Dr. Al Maneki was elected first vice-president of the state organization, and Lloyd Rasmussen was elected second vice-president. Clearman Sutton and Joe Bardari were elected to the board. John McCraw, who chaired the convention, remains president.

Lucy Carpenter sends the following note: "'Walk a mile in my shoes'-this is to be the theme of the annual convention of the NFB of New York State. It will be held, as it is every year, during Columbus Day weekend—October 6-8. We will gather in Syracuse, New York, at the Hotel Syracuse, 500 Warren Street. We would be glad to have guests from other affiliates. Single rooms are $21, doubles $26.50, and an extra cot $7. For reservations, call (315) 422-5121."

If you want a reservation for a room in one of the Convention hotels this July at the NFB Convention, you had better write immediately. Complete details appeared in the April Monitor. At the end of the ink-print edition is a tear-out reservation form but it is not necessary to use it so long as you indicate your name, address, date of arrival (including whether in the morning or afternoon), date of departure, and whether you wish a single, double, twin, triple, or quad room. Send this information along with a check for $10 made out to Baltimore Convention to the following address: Baltimore Convention, Box 4422, Baltimore, Maryland 21223. Also at the Baltimore, Maryland 21223. Also at the end of the ink print edition are tear-out forms for both the Pre-Authorized Check Plan and the Associates Program (discussed in the May issue). Let's arrive in Baltimore with both the PAC Plan and the Associates Program at new highs and growing fast.

The Catholic Guild for the Blind has a number of catalogues to the materials they produce. These are available free from: Catholic Guild for the Blind, 180 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Illinois 60601. The list of Braille titles is available in Braille or print; the cassette titles are in large type and cassette; and the catalogue of the Self-Help Library and devotional materials is in print only.

The Boston Fire Department has produced a pamphlet on fire safety and drills for getting out of your home in case of a fire. The pamphlet is available free in Braille from Vision Foundation of Massachusetts, 770 Centre Street, Newton, Massachusetts 02158; phone (617) 965-5877.

The Long Island, New York, chapter asks all those interested in psychic phenomena to contact Mrs. Alma Crovatt, Librarian, A.R.E., Box 595, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451.

A book called Museums and Handicapped Students: Guidelines for Educators has been published by the Smithsonian Institution under a grant from the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped in the Department of HEW. The book contains the results of an extensive survey of museum programs for the handicapped and of handicapped persons themselves, their experiences with museums, and what they would like in the way of programs. Many Federationists took part in this survey; and two of the project's consultants on blindness were Kenneth Jernigan and James Gashel. The entire project was directed by Federationist Harold Snider, who is coordinator of programs for the handicapped at the Smithsonian. The book contains many charts on the survey, most of which will be comprehensible only to a statistician; but the guidelines for programs for the handicapped are excellent and will be of value to anyone interested in the subject. The book is free and can be obtained by writing to Harold Snider, Room 3566, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560. The Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress is producing the book in Braille and on cassette; these editions will be available soon from DBPH.


The National Federation of the Blind has chapters in all fifty states and in almost every local community in the nation. The Federation has more than 50,000 members and is working to help the blind have full and meaningful lives. It is not financed by the government but depends for support on contributions from its Members, its Friends, and ASSOCIATES.

I support the National Federation of the Blind and wish to make a tax-deductible contribution for the year_____ by participating in the ASSOCIATES Program as indicated:

□ Associate — $10                                         □ Sponsoring Associate — $100
□ Contributing Associate — $25                    □ Sustaining Associate — $500
□ Supporting Associate — $50                      □ Member of the president’s club — $1,000

Name _________________________________________________________________________
Address __________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________
Telephone__________________________________     Date ________________________

Local representative of the National Federation of the Blind: ________________________

This application (and accompanying check made payable to: National Federation of the Blind) should be sent to: Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, Box 11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111


Received of ______________________________ the amount of __________________ dollars.

Date _____________    _______________________________________________________
    Signature of local representative of the National Federation of the Blind

(All contributions to the National Federation of the Blind are tax-deductible.)

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.

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

We understand that your bank has agreed to cooperate in our preauthorized check plan on behalf of your of depositor as shown on bank records 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 shall be fully 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.

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

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 PAC Plan cards are available from the Treasurer.


To the 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: ______________________________________


Date of Arrival________________ a.m. □ p.m. □  Date of Departure____________________
                                                             (Name of Registrant)
                                                        City, State, and ZIP Code

TYPE OF ROOM                            Hotel                          1st choice        2nd choice
Single  □  Triple □                        Lord Baltimore                □                    □
Double □  Quad  □                        Baltimore Hilton             □                    □
Twin □                                           Holiday Inn                      □                    □

Mail completed form with $10 deposit to: Baltimore Convention, Box 4422, Baltimore, Maryland 21223. YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO: BALTIMORE CONVENTION

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