BOX 11185

If you or a friend would like to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto National Federation of the Blind, a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation, the sum of $_____ (or "_____ percent of my net estate" or "the following stocks and bonds: _____ ") to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons."






by Kenneth Jernigan


by Kenneth Jernigan

by James Gashel

by James Gashel






by Sheila Harmon


Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1981



In the November, 1980, Monitor we reported that the former Chief of the Bureau for the Blind in Missouri had been fired. We did not mention the name of the individual, but as everyone who is knowledgeable in the field knows, we were referring to Charles Freeman, who now works in the Bureau for the Blind of the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.

As it turns out, our report was in error. To the best of my belief and knowledge Charles Freeman was not fired, nor was he in any way pressured to resign. In our reporting we wish to be hard-hitting and direct, but we also wish to be truthful. Furthermore, when we make a mistake and print something that is not factual, we do not wish to bury the retraction somewhere deep inside an article. As in the present instance, we wish to make certain that the retraction is printed at least as prominently as the original story—more so if possible.

Most of the leaders of the Federation have, at one time or another, been victimized by false reports in the media and then have been unable to get prominently displayed retractions. Even when we have got them, they have often been of a sulky or surly nature, or they have been coupled with further abusive attack. We want no part of that sort of reporting, and we herewith publicly and unconditionally apologize to Mr. Freeman for the mistake which we made.

Let me tell you how it happened. When Tom Stevens (who now heads programs for the Blind in Missouri) spoke to the NFB convention last summer, he said that the Services for the Blind was located in the Division of Family Services of the Department of Social Services and that the Director of both the Division and the Department had been asked to resign. One of those directors was also named Freeman—not Charles Freeman but another Freeman. The person who listened to the tapes of the convention and prepared our November story was not knowledgeable about the situation in Missouri. He confused the Freemans and the resignations. He mistakenly said that it was the Director of Services for the Blind who had been asked to resign—in other words (although he did not mention him by name) Charles Freeman. This was not what Tom Stevens said; it was not what I had understood to be the fact; and it was not what we intended to print.

I try personally to review everything that goes into the Monitor, and I did, in fact, read the story in question. However, I failed to catch the inaccuracy. Therefore, in addition to the apology which is being made by the Monitor, I offer my own personal apology to Mr. Freeman—Charles Freeman, that is, not the other Freeman. As I have already said, we take pride in our straightforward, hard-hitting reports; and we have no apologies to make to those who become angry with us because we have told it like it is. However, we will not (either by innuendo or direct statement) ever knowingly make an untrue allegation about any individual, even if that individual is all the way "bad news" for the blind—which Charles Freeman is not.

I first learned of the mistake in the November issue when Mr. Freeman called our office to protest. Hot on the heels of that call, I received one from Tom Stevens, who also told me about the error. I assured both of them that the Monitor would print the most prominent retraction it could make and that it would do so gladly and cheerfully. Tom Stevens subsequently wrote the letter as follows:

Jefferson City, Missouri

December 17, 1980

Dear Dr. Jernigan:

Effective 25 August, 1978, Charlie Freeman resigned as Chief, Bureau for the Blind, Missouri. At the time, the position was a merit system position. The Bureau was and is located in the Division of Family Services under the Department of Social Services under the Governor. To the best of my knowledge and belief, there was no movement afoot which would have negatively affected Mr. Freeman's tenure. Thus, he was neither fired nor pressured into resigning. However, the Governor had sought the resignations of both the Director of the Department of Social Services and of the Division of Family Services. Those resignations were effective 31 December, 1978. The selection process for the position which Charlie Freeman had vacated had progressed to the point that an official register was issued on 9 November, 1978. Because of the pending resignations, the selection process was delayed. The new Director of the Department of Social Services, also named Freeman, was appointed 25 February, 1979. The new Director of the Division of Family Services on 13 June, 1979 (John Zumwalt). The position which Mr. Charlie Freeman had held was changed from merit system to exempt and retitled Deputy Director, Division of Family Services, Bureau for the Blind. The selection process took a different direction at that point. For details I refer you to my report at the National Federation of the Blind convention last summer.

Sincerely yours,
Charles T. Stevens
Deputy Director

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On Saturday, October 25, 1980, Marsha Bangert was married to Rob Williamson. Less than three weeks later she was dead. Marsha was our state President in Nebraska. She was also a wonderfully warm and sensitive human being.

I first met Marsha several years ago when I was still Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. She came to Des Moines with other Nebraskans to visit our program and to exchange ideas. During that initial contact I gained certain lasting impressions of Marsha. She was quiet and unassuming, but that did not mean she was lacking in determination or ability. Quite the contrary. During part of that initial visit Marsha was ill, but she worked as much and as intensely as she could. Her body often failed her, but her spirit never did.

Last fall as Marsha's wedding day approached, it was clear that she was thoroughly and gloriously happy. A few days after the marriage Jim Walker, who is now our capable Nebraska President, called me in obvious pain and sorrow to say that Marsha had been told that she had leukemia and probably had only a very short time to live. A few weeks earlier she had had a stroke and was only beginning to make a recovery. This did not diminish her joy at the prospect of the wedding or cause her to think of giving up.

Early Thursday morning, November 12, I was at the office. The phone rang, and I could hardly recognize the sorrowing voice on the other end of the line. It was Jim Walker telling me that Marsha had just died. When John Cheadle (who has been doing some work at the National Office) heard the news, his voice was shaken with grief. Later that day he told me that he had talked with Rob and that (despite the fact that Marsha's funeral would be on Saturday) the Nebraskans would be at the NAC-Tracking in Minneapolis. "Marsha wanted it that way."

When I attended the Nebraska convention early in December, it was clear that Marsha's spirit was very much with us. Even in death she was helping to motivate and build the movement which had played such a large part in her life. The Nebraskans said that they had felt it in the unity and the sense of dedication which prevailed at the NAC-Tracking in November. It was evident after the convention banquet when the calls were made to increase Nebraska's Pre-Authorized Check plan (PAC) pledges. Nebraska moved into the top ten, and more than one person in the audience was heard to mention Marsha's name as the new and increased pledges were made.

After the banquet I talked with Rob Williamson and really got to know him personally for the first time. He is a man of great strength and genuineness, a suitable mate for a woman like Marsha. He told me that he intended to continue in the Federation when he returned to his home in Oregon. Although he is sighted, he will be as active and dedicated in the movement as any of us. He expressed no regrets but only gratitude for the time he had had with Marsha.

The memorial service which was held Sunday morning was a moving tribute. I left the convention feeling that the Federation in Nebraska is in good hands and that Marsha's presence will be a continuing factor in its stability and progress.

Marsha was loved. She will be remembered as a leader and a person. She gave all that she had to make the lives of blind people better. Her contribution forms a permanent part of our heritage and our legacy for the future.

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In July of 1979 I attended the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Utah in Salt Lake City. While there, I visited the sheltered shop operated by Utah State Services for the Visually Handicapped. The visit had been arranged by Premo Foyanini, who is employed at the shop and is a staunch Federationist.

By strange (or maybe not so strange) coincidence, the head of the workshop was on vacation that day; and my tour was conducted by Don Perry, the Administrator of State Services for the Visually Handicapped. The things I learned were a confirmation of the abuses and exploitation about which we have been telling the Congress, the Department of Labor, and the general public.

The wages were unbelievably low. Not a single blind employee received as much as $2.00 an hour. Many received less. The building is a modern concrete structure containing approximately 30,000 square feet, but at the time of my visit there were only 13 blind employees. However, there were 7 sighted supervisory staff, all of whom were being paid by the taxpayers and were making considerably more than the minimum wage. Mr. Perry declined (although this is presumably public information) to tell me the precise salary being paid to the head of the workshop. He also declined to tell me his own salary.

The principal activity seemed to be broom-making, but there was little evidence of any real effort to try to make sales or get new business. I pointed out to Mr. Perry that if his salary, as well as the salaries paid to the rest of management, depended upon sales, there would probably be a great deal more activity. His only answer was that he had been thinking for a couple of years that he should get around to reviewing the wages paid the blind workers.

In addition to the broom-making the shop had one subcontract from private industry. This was an operation for the packaging of fuses for automobiles. Five fuses were placed in a package, and 200 packages were put into a larger container. Thus, a thousand fuses made up a single unit of the contract. The blind man who was doing the packaging was being paid at the handsome rate of $1.20 for the processing of this unit of a thousand fuses—not a $1.20 per hour, mind you, but $1.20 for the entire unit of a thousand fuses. I doubt that any human being alive could make as much as the minimum wage at such a piece-work rate.

Mr. Perry had a novel explanation for it all. He said that the company had told him that if the Utah shop would not accept the contract at that rate, there was a sheltered shop in Indiana that would. "Yes," I replied, "and they probably told the shop in Indiana that if they didn't take it, there was a shop in Utah that would be glad to have the business." When I pressed further, Mr. Perry said that his secretary had done a time study to see what she thought the piece-rate for the packaging should be. I talked to the woman, and she seemed to be reasonably pleasant and personable, but that was about all you could say for her. She admitted that she had only worked at the project for half an hour—well, not exactly half an hour, just somewhere in the neighborhood of half an hour, give or take a few minutes. No, she didn't know whether she could sustain her rate of packaging throughout a work day. Well, no, she couldn't exactly say that she had really kept records or a precise count of how many fuses she had packaged in her approximately thirty minutes—but she thought it was about what she had thought it had been. I asked Mr. Perry what he thought would happen if piece rates in competitive industry were set in such a manner. He had no response.

When I told our members and the representatives of the news media what I had found it made quite a stir. As might have been expected, the agency officials were not pleased. Since that time justice has been catching up with the Utah program. Don Perry has "resigned." At a staff meeting held Monday, November 24, 1980, Mr. Perry reportedly said that he had been forced to resign by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Walter D. Talbot, who was allegedly referred to by Mr. Perry as a "600 pound gorilla." It is also reported that Mr. Perry asked other members of the agency staff to resign with him and protest. They, however, presumably decided to let the cup pass from them.

All of this followed a highly critical audit of the state workshop. As will be seen from the following documentation, Dr. Talbot apparently finds the audit so embarrassing, that he is trying to conceal the final two sections. It would appear that he is even trying to hide them from the Governor. His statement that Mr. Perry's illness (a heart attack in January of 1980) is the reason why corrections have not been made is not very convincing. He may be trying to spare Mr. Perry's feelings, but what about the feelings and needs of the blind, the people for whom the program was established?

The Governor has now reportedly demanded an audit of the entire Utah State Services for the Visually Handicapped, not just the workshop. Since he just got re-elected for another four-year term, he will probably get it, along with the missing sections of the audit of the workshop.

The following documentation is self-explanatory. Except for the fact that it is so typical, it would almost be unbelievable. It explains why so many of the agencies doing work with the blind hate and fear the Federation. It explains why we have organized. It explains the compelling need which has brought us together and made of our movement what it is. It is still another answer to, "Why the National Federation of the Blind?":

Ogden, Utah

November 3, 1980

Dear Mr. Jernigan:

This letter is a progress report regarding the situation in Utah pertaining to services to the blind since we last talked in Minneapolis.

About the middle of April, mostly due to pressure from our Utah affiliate, the visit of Congressman Dan Marriott to the workshop and disclosures of mismanagement by the sub-contract man at the shop to the Board of Education and the Governor, an audit of Utah Industries for the Blind was ordered by Dr. Walter Talbot, Director of the State Office of Education. In late July, shortly before our state convention, we received word that the audit had been completed and was in the hands of Dr. Talbot. At our board meeting the night before our convention I strongly recommended that we procure a copy to keep us informed on the situation. Milton Taylor was asked to call Dr. Talbot the following Monday.

The following day Congressman Marriott came to our convention and pledged encouraging support for our efforts. Finally he agreed to co-sponsor HR3764 and asked that a task force made up of members of the NFBU, himself and possibly the other members of the Utah Congressional delegation be established to discuss our legislative needs. This group to meet on a regular basis. He also informed us that some mention had been made of his visit to the workshop in a recent issue of his Congressional newsletter. A full length article about our convention and his speech appeared in a subsequent newsletter.

On Monday Milton called Dr. Talbot. At first it appeared we would have cooperation from him. Milton was told he would have a copy of the audit. A short time later Milton received all but the last two sections of the audit and a letter from Dr. Talbot expressing his regret that he was unable to provide us with the remainder of the audit due to the personal nature of some of the information contained therein. Also some personal comments of the auditors concerning their feelings about the shop. He went on with most elaborate casualness to try to convince US that the information was not all that important and that most of it was covered in the sections we had. Needless to say we were not convinced. When you read the enclosed letter and audit I don't believe you will be convinced either. It was about this time that we discovered that the Governor's copy of the audit had been edited as well. Much to his dismay.

At this point I was asked to write a letter to Dr. Talbot requesting the remaining two sections of the audit under the Freedom of Information Act. This I did.

A few days before our board meeting on October 11th Milton called Dr. Talbot to try once again to get the audit. Talbot stated that he could not release the information for the reasons stated in his letter. But he would be willing to come to our board meeting and discuss with us the matters involved.

Accordingly the following Saturday Dr. Talbot came. Don Perry and Gordon Cleg came to answer specific questions about the agency. Dr. Talbot again stated that he did not wish to release the withheld sections since he felt that since they mentioned people by name this might violate the Privacy act. He then went on to give a vague outline of some of the information. This included the hiring of the warehouseman by Mr. May, the director of the shop, in his laundry business. Also reference to donated televisions and radios which had been given, I believe, for distribution to needy blind persons. These televisions and radios had been repaired on state time and to my knowledge no blind person has ever received one. We were promised, however, that they had been disposed of. No one said what happened to them. Finally something which has gone on so long that most of us were surprised to learn that it was out of the ordinary. For years it has been common to order groceries, canned goods, etc., from the shop in case lots at good savings. I have done it myself. It seems that this food had been purchased by the workshop using its tax exemption and selling it to private blind persons without bothering to collect sales tax. Talbot said that he was concerned that this information might get out to the wrong persons and be "misunderstood". Mr. Perry commented that if the state tax commission started checking they might decide that the agency owed thousands in back taxes. What bothered me the most about this entire discussion was Talbot's final comments about what he said were his main concerns about publicly disclosing this information. He said that if all this got out it would reflect very badly on the "blind community".

When he was finished I told him, first of all, that I didn't believe he had a choice in giving us the information we wanted because the persons mentioned acted during the course of their state employment thus the Privacy act could not be invoked to protect them. Secondly if the agency violated the law and owed back taxes so be it. Finally I felt that his comments suggesting that these disclosures might hurt the blind community were an insult to the blind and merely a dodge since the persons involved were all state staffers.

He departed saying that he would have to get legal advice regarding our request. Mr. Perry and Cleg stayed to discuss with us some specifics about the first sections of the audit and other general questions about the shop and the agency.

I believe two items from this discussion will be of interest to you. The first concerns how many blind persons there are that work at the shop. Mr. Perry said that they had thirty-two. Primo, however, disagreed. He had compiled a list the previous week and had only about twenty. As it turned out Mr. Perry had ordered the time cards counted one day and this is where he got his figures. He had thirty-two time cards. The problem, however, was that some of the people counted had worked perhaps one or two days. Since they had not yet been paid their time cards were still held.

The second event really had nothing to do with the audit. I think, however, that it does point out the rising attitude of hostility harbored toward the Federation and in particular me. I made the statement that I did not feel the administrators of the agency would like to work on the same piece work basis that the shop workers do. Mr. Cleg was incensed and said that he would make more money if he were paid on this basis and that if I wanted to try to do his job I was welcome to come down and do it. Furthermore, he said that I had no room to talk about working since I had "failed" at "several" rehab programs and was going back to school "on the rehab". He ended up storming out of the room saying how low we all were. Mr. Perry apologized and said he was going to have a talk with Gordon the first of the week. Cleg is known for this type of abuse. He is the same one who was so incensed when I wrote to the Federal Rehabilitation people for information and publicly available documents concerning our state agency.

I was asked to write another letter to the Office of Education demanding, more firmly this time, the remaining sections of the audit. I did so. Copies of this letter have been forwarded to the Governor, Congressman Marriott and the regional RSA office in Denver.

On October twentieth our task force had its first meeting with Congressman Marriott. When he was advised of the situation regarding the audit he promised he would write immediately and demand a copy for himself with emphasis on the last two sections. He also said that if we had not received it by the time he did he would gladly provide us with a copy.

Finally, last Friday, we received word from the Governor's office that a letter was going out to all state legislators, Dr. Talbot and some others in state government ordering a complete investigation of services for the blind in Utah.

I will keep you informed on the situation as it progresses.

Karl Smith

To Mr. Milton Taylor
National Federation of the Blind of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 18, 1980

Dear Mr. Taylor:

I am enclosing a copy of the internal audit performed by staff of this office on the Workshop for the Blind. I have omitted the last two sections of the report which contain some sensitive material of a personal nature relating to administration and to some personal observations by the auditor. Most of the material in the last two sections had been covered in the body of the report and constituted, for the most part, a summary of earlier observations.

As you know, correction of the problems has been slow, much slower than I like to see. However, the serious illness of the Division Administrator (Don Perry) has curtailed my desire to move obliquely into the matter. Just prior to his heart attack and subsequent serious infection, I had given him specific assignments to correct all the problems surfaced by the audit. He had begun to make corrections at the time he was stricken.

To wrest that assignment from him until he has recovered or until his condition requires other action seems a bit inhumane. An acting administrator has been assigned and is handling routine administration and correcting old problems requiring immediate attention but the overall problems of the workshop are in limbo. Hopefully, it will not be long before we can move aggressively to correct all of them.

We intend to resolve the problems and will do so as soon as propriety permits. The fact that we ordered the audit and have pursued solutions to the problems thus far, even at a slowed pace, is evidence of our desire to move on the difficulties.

Best wishes.

Sincerely yours,
Walter D. Talbot
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Report to
Dr. Walter D. Talbot
State Superintendent of Public Instruction


April 1980

Audit Performed by WILLIAM R. BOREN

I. INTRODUCTION                                                                                         1
Audit Steps and Objectives                                                                        1

Needs for Role Clarification                                                                        2

III. SPACE UTILIZATION                                                                                3

IV. SUPPORT SERVICES                                                                                3

V. COST EFFECTIVENESS                                                                              5

VI. FRINGE BENEFITS                                                                                    7


In 1908, a private group established the first Workshop for the Blind in Utah. After a couple of years the workshop faltered. It was not until the early twenties that the blind workshop was established on a more permanent footing. However, these later efforts were continually plagued with a need for permanent housing for the operation. In 1938, the state acquired an old church at 138 South 2nd East, (currently known as Theatre 138) and the workshop was there housed until June 1950, when the Murray B. Allen Center was opened. In April 1977, the workshop was moved to its new quarters at 1595 West 500 South.

The workshop was established to:

1. Provide a work setting to determine a client's ability to adjust to actual working conditions.

2. Provide employment opportunities in the workshop for those unable to cope with the pressures and competition of conventional employment.

The audit of the workshop indicated that opportunity for rehabilitation counselors to place clients in the workshop to determine clients' abilities to adjust to actual working conditions is essentially nonexistent. Too, sheltered employment opportunities are unavailable. Significant economics could be realized in modifying the assignments of support personnel. The facility space is greatly underutilized. Credit extended to private salesmen needs to be more carefully monitored. The number of persons served by the workshop is not commensurate with the investment in staff and facility to operate the program. Lax and inept administration and supervision are rife.

Audit Steps and Objectives

The Audit reviewed the Workshop for the Blind and addressed the following objectives:

1. Review the extent to which the workshop accepts clients to assess their work skills and to provide training in work skills.

2. Review the utilization of space to determine if the facility is being adequately utilized.

3. Review support services to determine if such services are provided in the most efficient and economical manner.

4. Review the cost effectiveness of the program in providing skills training and employment to the blind.


The workshop considered the possibility of hiring a workshop trainer and the development of a training program this past year, but determined that its emphasis ought to remain sheltered employment for the blind; consequently no request was made to implement this aspect of their PPBS planning. A couple of the blind employees could easily move to a regular job in competitive employment, but they do not wish to leave the security of sheltered employment and the work environment they enjoy. Over the past two years one employee, who boxed fuses, was placed in competitive employment as a receptionist.

Rehabilitation counselors have been unable to place clients in the workshop to determine clients' abilities to adjust to actual work conditions. In addition to the claim that the workshop does not provide training in work skills, the point is also emphasized that securing employment at the workshop is almost impossible. It should be noted that the workshop hired a subcontract specialist in November 1979. Since then, two visually impaired persons have been hired in the workshop and new contracts are expected to provide work slots for six more persons by the end of February 1980. Mr. Perry, Administrator of the Division of Services to the Visually Handicapped, says, "Our goal is to place at least 15 new people in the workshop within the year. The number of employees at the center now does not justify its continued operation. Unless we can create a minimum of 15 new jobs for those who need them this next year, we should close the workshop!"

Need for Role Clarification

According to Mr. Perry, Division Administrator, the purposes of the workshop are to:

a. Provide work experience to blind people so that they can eventually be placed in competitive employment.

b. Provide sheltered employment for the multiple-handicapped blind.

Current employment practices at the workshop are counter-productive to the espoused philosophy.

First, most of the contracts entered into by the workshop require skills which are provided by people who should be out in competitive employment.

Second, the workshop provides very few opportunities for blind people to develop work skills. There is little turnover in the work force and an actual reduction in the client workforce. In 1971, the workshop employed approximately 23 clients. Today this has dropped to almost half that number.

Third, newly employed clients at the workshop are people who can work in competitive employment.

Fourth, several longtime employees at the workshop could enter the competitive employment market but are permitted to remain in the workshop's employment.

It should be noted that "a workshop that persists in providing products largely by hand is likely to find itself in a difficult position in the marketplace. It simply cannot compete, either in government, business or private contracts." This is especially true when you are trying to do it with essentially inefficient labor.


1. A determination should be reached regarding the specific goals and direction in which the workshop should move. No clear statement of objectives or specific goals are provided to guide staff on a course to pursue to get the workshop on its feet and into a viable posture.

2. The agency should determine whether the assessment and/or teaching of work skills is to be an integral aspect of the workshop mission.

3. Develop a proposed training program for the workshop and work activity employees. (The PPBS form dated March 1979, Objective W 4.321—this has not been done to date.)

4. Establish an intake policy for the workshop.


Since April 1977, the Workshop for the Blind has been housed at the new facility at 1595 West 500 South. The year prior to the move, an FTE (full-time equivalent) of approximately 16 clients worked in the workshop. In 1971 the FTE was approximately 21 clients. During the past year, the FTE of clients working at the workshop was approximately 12.

About 4,600 square feet of space at the workshop is utilized by RWEWA. This leaves approximately 27,000 square feet of space for the workshop activities. This amounts to 2,250 square feet of space for each client. However, warehousing occupies 5,600 square feet and storage of finished goods has been allocated 1,845 square feet of space. There is ample room in the regular storage space to house the finished goods. Most workshops allocate between 100 and 125 square feet of space per client, excluding warehouse space. Using these same guidelines for computation, the Workshop for the Blind provides 1,783 square feet of space for each client working at the center.

If the workshop were to employ an additional 15 clients during the year, the space utilization would still be approximately 800 square feet per worker or six to eight times greater than that provided by most workshops.


1. The workshop is woefully underutilized. It should be adequately used for workshop purposes by significant increase in workshop personnel or significant portions of the building should be converted to other uses.


In 1976, sixteen (16) FTE clients were employed at the Workshop for the Blind. A support staff of seven (7) people aided the program. At the end of October 1979, twelve (12) FTE clients were employed at the workshop and a support staff of ten (10) was being utilized.





Number Employed Clients



Number Support Personnel



The number of employed clients at the workshop has decreased since 1976, while the number of support personnel has increased dramatically during the same period of time.

In most workshops, the ratio of support services to client employees is at least 5 to 1. Our workshop exhibits almost a 1 to 1 ratio!

Custodial Services—Two full-time custodians are employed. In addition to these custodians, RWEWA contracts for custodial services in its area of the building to a private contractor. The RWEWA contract is for $150 per month. The salaries and fringe benefits paid by the state to the two custodians amount to $1,662.68 per month. Adding the RWEWA custodial contract to this provides a monthly cost of $1,812.68 for custodial services. In December 1979, a private, bonded custodial contractor submitted a bid to provide custodial services and ground maintenance. From this single bid, it is evident that the state could save at least $850-1,000 per month in custodial costs alone with more frequent custodial services to parts of the building.

One of the currently employed custodians is assigned to the outside of the building and spends most of his time during the winter months at odd jobs in the textile shop to keep busy.

Driver—The driver spends approximately 75% of his time at odd jobs in the textile shop; the remainder of his time is spent in deliveries and in hauling refuse to the garbage dump on Fridays.

Warehouseman—The workshop did not have a warehouseman until October 1978. His assignment is to keep inventory of goods, and to take care of the shipping and receiving of goods. In addition he helps to keep the departments supplied with materials.

Although I did not complete time and motion studies, it was obvious from numerous observations and personal interviews with the warehouseman that the work assigned to him occupies only a minor fraction of his work day.

Furthermore, inventory records are not current and anyone who enters the building has access to the warehouse. Not only is there a lack in keeping inventory records up-to-date but a lack of physical control as well.


1. Custodial services should be contracted to private enterprise or one custodian should provide complete service to the whole building and grounds and the RWEWA custodial contract should be terminated.

2. The warehouseman and the driver's assignments should be combined to reduce the number of support staff without adversely affecting operations.

3. The number of client employees should be significantly increased or steps should be implemented to further reduce the support staff beyond above recommendations.

4. Revised practices should be implemented to insure the security of the warehouse.


Whenever one raises the issue of cost efficiency, another waves the flag of concern for the well-being of clients. Almost all of the client-employees at the workshop receive either SSI or SSDI Benefits through Social Security. Some also receive benefits from other sources. These individuals have the opportunity at the workshop to supplement their social security benefits and to become involved in meaningful work and social activities. To support the operation of the workshop and the employment of clients, ten (10) full-time employees are on the payroll. Over the past year the total salary and fringe benefits of health insurance, life insurance, retirement contributions and social security contributions paid to these ten support personnel amounted to $125,000. During the same period of time, clients at the center received wages and comparable fringe benefits to the amount of $54,600. Viewed from another perspective, seventy percent of the payroll costs accrue to support personnel and only thirty percent to workshop clients who are provided sheltered employment.

Revolving Fund

The client-employees are paid from a revolving fund which is maintained from the sale of blind-made goods. This past year, two of the ten support personnel were paid out of the revolving fund. These two persons are the broomshop foreman and the driver. Their total salary costs for the past year was $23,201.20. Up until the past year, the value of products sold exceeded the cost of labor and materials purchased for resale. However, during the past year, the cost of materials purchased plus labor costs, exceeded the dollar value of products sold.


Labor costs (does not include support personnel) except driver and broomshop foreman   $77,799.87
Materials purchased for fabrication or resale                                                                                       82,917.81
Total cost of labor and materials                                                                                                          $160,717.68
Products sold and contracts completed                                                                                                158,006.01
Deficit of costs less sales                                                                                                                             $ 2,711.57

Value of Finished Goods

The value of finished goods and raw materials on hand has also decreased from the previous year even though the last inventory includes six months' acquisition of goods from a new fiscal year!

Support Costs

For each FTE client at the center, the state pays out $10,400 in salaries to supervisory and support staff.

For each FTE client at the center the state pays $1,310 in utilities. No costs for capital investment, depreciation, repairs, vehicles, or gasoline have been included.

The average client realizes a wage from the workshop of $4,550. The state could pay each client a direct subsidy of $4,550, dispose of the facility and support staff, and save $6,160 per client in utility and support salary costs per year.

Uncollected Accounts Receivable

Both blind and sighted salesmen purchase goods on credit for resale. This practice has been sanctioned for many years. In 1966, the State Board of Education authorized the workshop to "write off" some uncollectable accounts. The Board at the same time mentioned that "it is necessary to make personal contacts on uncollectable accounts and also to withdraw credit from firms and individuals that do not live up to their obligations." The problem still exists. Some accounts receivable have increased and the balance owed the workshop is in excess of $2,580 in one case. At the beginning of FY 1978-79, the above mentioned account indicated that the salesman owed the workshop $1,925. During the year he purchased goods in the amount of $6,879 and paid to the workshop $6,247, thus increasing his debt by $632 to a new total debt of $2,557. Furthermore, this salesman is sighted. Providing him additional credit appears to violate Board counsel.

There appears to be no special effort made to collect this past due account. The practice is to permit people to continue purchasing goods for resale by making only nominal payment of five or ten dollars on their debts. At least three salesmen have died, others cannot be located. Amounts owing on their accounts range from $21.24 to $1,438.80.

Inventory Problems

An attempt was made to compare the inventories of raw materials and finished products on hand for the past four years with the cost of labor and goods sold. This was not possible because the inventory for this past year was not carried out until after the Christmas Season. In the past, the inventory has been conducted the first week in July. Consequently, the reported goods on hand at the end of FY 1979 actually includes six months' inventory accrued during FY 1980!


1. In order for the revolving fund to remain solvent, it is recommended that:

a. Sales be significantly increased.

b. Costs of support services not be charged to the revolving fund.

c. Sales prices be reviewed to determine what increases can be generated without adversely affecting sales.

2. Inventories should be taken regularly and adequate reports completed at the end of each fiscal year.

3. The State Office of Education should review the practice of selling goods on credit to salesmen in light of the workshop's experience in failing to collect on debts owed.

4. Accounts receivable which are uncollectable should be written off through official Board action.

5. Special efforts should be exerted to collect the debts owed the workshop by outside salesmen.

6. Serious consideration should be given to closing the workshop and placing clients in private or other public workshops.


To my knowledge, all of the blind clients at the workshop receive either SSI or SSDI benefits under the Social Security program. In addition, Mr. Perry has pointed out that one client and his family realize over $700 a month in Social Security benefits. Such benefits are important to these people and they are extremely conscious that their earnings not exceed a specific limit which would necessitate a reduction in Social Security benefits.

In 1971, Harold Richterman, a consultant retained by the agency, noted that "A system of part-time work for social security benefits people should be considered as their present schedule of full-time work is limiting their application and production."

During the decade of the fifties, Ken Hansen, then an employee of the Utah State Finance Department, began to consider clients of the Workshop for the Blind as state employees. Thus, they were accorded retirement, hospitalization, and leave benefits. This treatment has not been extended to clients of workshops sponsored by the state at the American Fork Training School or workshops sponsored by local school districts.

It appears that employing SSDI or SSI recipients full-time at the workshop and according them fringe benefits provide two significant disincentives to production:

1. If the clients receiving SSDI benefits earn more than $4,500 per year, they are in jeopardy of losing Social Security benefits. So they take care not to earn above this amount.

Those individuals who qualify for SSI benefits receive a minimum of $218 per month. These people can earn $85 per month plus one-half of each dollar over $85 without jeopardizing their Social Security benefits.

2. Under the present operation, clients are considered state employees and enjoy fringe benefits which make it desirable to be full-time employees. For example: A client at the workshop can receive almost two months pay (36 days) without going to work. When this is coupled with the earning restrictions of Social Security, we are faced with significant disincentives to production. In fact, in May of 1974, Mr. Austin Scott who evaluated the Workshop for the Blind said, "There is a lack of initiative on the part of workshop employees to be productive. According to the Production Superintendent, Mr. Wilbur Mays, the workers have a daily production quota which is very low."

The broomwinder was averaging over 12 dozen brooms per day. As soon as he qualified for SSDI benefits his production dropped to 8 dozen brooms per day. It appears that the workshop as it is being operated is simply a highly subsidized welfare program for a few select people.


1. The propriety of considering workshop clients as state employees should be considered. This should be determined not only for the workshop but for other workshops operated by the state and local school districts.

2. A system of part-time work for social security benefits people should be considered to provide incentive for increased production.

3. Daily production quotas should be sufficiently high to motivate clients to greater production. This should be coupled with a base wage which does not encourage lower production.

Dr. Walter D. Talbot
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Utah State Board of Education
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 1, 1980

Dear Dr. Talbot:

I should like to express my appreciation, along with that of the other members of The National Federation of the Blind of Utah, for your cooperation in providing us with a copy of the internal audit of Utah Industries for the Blind. This information is vital to our work to better the lives of Wind sheltered workshop employees in Utah.

I must, however, take serious exception to your withholding the remaining two sections of the audit. It is this type of side-stepping of the issues that has caused the very problem we are dealing with. That is, the blind of Utah have been systematically excluded from any role in policy making and evaluation of services intended for their use. In almost no other area is this fact pointed out so vividly as in the abuse and mismanagement evident at Utah Industries for the Blind. This is a workshop funded with tax dollars; and as most of our members are tax paying citizens of this state, I feel it is our right to have access to the complete audit. The cover-up and the abuse have gone on long enough. Regardless of the nature or degree of embarrassment this information may have on the workshop or the state agency which operates it, the time has come to take a good look at what can be done to help the workshop.

To further emphasize my concern that this information be forthcoming, I hereby make formal request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, that the remaining two sections of the audit be forwarded to me immediately. I will expect to hear from you within ten days as stated in the act.

Sincerely yours,
O. Karl Smith

Dr. Walter D. Talbot
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Utah State Office of Education
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 30, 1980

Dear Dr. Talbot:

Having thoroughly considered our conversation at our board meeting on October 11th, I have reached an inevitable conclusion. Your blatant disregard for the law in refusing us rightful access to the remaining two sections of the audit of Utah Industries for the Blind and your attempts to hide these from the Governor, demonstrate that your deepest concerns he less with the blind community, as you say, than with your own political aspirations.

The matters in these sections which you discussed, the disappearing donated televisions, Mr. May's hiring of the warehouseman for his private business and the selling of canned goods without paying sales tax are questionable if not criminal. I can only shake my head in wonder at your apparent sanctioning of these actions. You are apparently convinced that your political future is worth the continued sacrifice and long-suffering of blind sheltered shop employees in Utah, if not the nation. I am not. Political prestige is not worth this price.

I am, therefore, repeating my previous request, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, for the remaining two sections of the audit. I will expect your written reply within ten days as the law requires.

I regret that you are unwilling to work with us on this. Your actions, however, to hinder us will not divert us from our ultimate goal to better the lives of all blind persons.

Karl Smith

November 14, 1980

To: Mr. Karl Smith
Ogden, Utah

From: Dr. Walter D. Talbot
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Utah State Board of Education

Dear Mr. Smith:

This will acknowledge your letter of October 30 which reached this office on November 12. Your inflammatory accusations based on half truths and lack of information are a deep source of concern to me and remain unappreciated.

How anyone with an attitude you deploy can expect complete cooperation is beyond me. Nonetheless, in the usual manner displayed by this office I shall cooperate in every way possible.

As indicated to you and other members of the National Federation of the Blind of Utah at the time of your meeting, if you persist in your request for the full text of the report, I shall seek legal counsel as to the legality and appropriateness of its release. I have on this day sought such advice from the Utah Attorney General and will act upon his advice.

Sincerely yours,

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During several weeks in the fall of 1975 and again in the spring of 1976 the sorry plight of blind persons in Alabama was dramatized by means of peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins at the State capitol in Montgomery. Two NFB leaders, Euclid Rains and Tom Mills, showed the degree of their commitment to our cause by occupying the capitol steps, vowing to exist only on bread and water until State officials would take action to improve conditions for the blind throughout the State; the foremost offender was the State rehabilitation services agency and its network of private groups which get State and Federal rehabilitation funds.

As demonstrations go, these were fairly novel, drawing a great deal of public attention and sympathy for the cause. The most unique feature of all was an outpouring of support from blind persons across the nation who took time to participate in the protest by sending thousands of Braille communications to Euclid Rains on the capitol steps in care of the Governor's office. This to our knowledge was the first ever mail-in (or as some termed it, a "Braille-in,") but regardless of the name, it was effective. Even today, Euclid takes pride in showing pictures of his farm wagon heaped high with the Braille reading material sent to him by blind supporters.

Much has now happened since those desperate days. For one thing, Euclid Rains now sits in the State legislature, not on the capitol steps. Now, in his capacity as a State representative, Euclid is directly responsible for helping to make the laws of the State and seeing to it that they are carried out by the proper agencies.

It is not too much to say that Euclid Rains' election to the State legislature grew at least in part out of the public prominence he acquired during the vigils on the capitol steps, where he spoke forcefully and with eloquence on behalf of his fellow blind. But in addition, the protests sparked other initiatives to investigate and take corrective action to improve conditions for the blind of Alabama.

Undoubtedly there were those in the State government who regarded the Federation as a radical element, and some probably would (if they did not actually say so openly) have regarded Euclid Rains as a kook for occupying the capitol steps while carrying on a personal starvation campaign to boot. Nonetheless, we knew that the problems were of such a nature that they must be dramatized; we were right.

In the Braille Monitor of March, 1980, the first indictment and guilty plea, arising from a widespread and continuing federal investigation of Alabama rehabilitation service agencies was reported. The indictment, consisting of 12 counts, charged Carlice Flowers, former Director of the Southeast Alabama Rehabilitation Center, with fraudulent record keeping and personal use of public funds; Flowers later pleaded guilty to one of the charges filed against him and received a two year prison sentence, serving four months of the time in the penitentiary, with the remainder of the sentence being suspended.

This was the status of the continuing Federal probe into corruption in Alabama rehabilitation as we last reported in the March Monitor, but developments since show that Flowers' conduct was only a small part of the entire picture of criminal activity. On April 16, 1980, additional charges of criminal misconduct came to light as a Federal grand jury in Montgomery issued a second indictment, this time citing George M. Hudson, Director of the Division of Rehabilitation and Crippled Children Service for the State of Alabama, with criminal wrongdoing involving 11 counts of extortion, racketeering, falsification of records and perjury. Hudson was Director of Alabama rehabilitation services from 1971 until his retirement in 1979.

A key factor in Hudson's pattern of criminal activity, cited in the grand jury indictment, was the relationship between the State Division of Rehabilitation and Crippled Children Service and other groups receiving hefty State and Federal support under the control of the division directed by Hudson. Historically, in the State of Alabama, direct services to blind and disabled people have been provided by "third party" agencies (such as the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind) with financing and general policy coordination carried on by the general rehabilitation agency. Apparently Hudson preferred this pattern, and, as charged in the indictment, he took maximum personal advantage of his control over the purse strings of several agencies responsible for serving handicapped people in the State. Among the specific charges were the following:

Racketeering and Extortion: The indictment charged Hudson with using his position and economic control over the Alabama Society for Crippled Children and Adults and the Alabama Elks Memorial Center to "knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully obtain approximately $1,500 which was not due him or his office from Charles T. Higgins, Executive Director of the Alabama Society for Crippled Children and Adults " This was in October, 1974, but the indictment goes on to state: "On or about September 1, 1975, at Montgomery , George M. Hudson did obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion, in that George M. Hudson did knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully obtain approximately $10,000 which was not due him or his office from Charles T. Higgins, Executive Director of the Alabama Society for Crippled Children and Adults The racketeering and extortion counts in the indictment charged Hudson with unlawfully diverting a total of $16,500 obtained from the Alabama Society for Crippled Children and Adults, and from Conrad C. Flores, Administrator and General Manager of the Elks Memorial Center. But apparently this was not enough to satisfy Hudson's expensive tastes as the indictment went on to charge him with unlawfully obtaining two automobiles (a 1975 Chevrolet Caprice and a 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88) from the Elks Center.

Falsification of Records: Three counts in the indictment charged Hudson with preparing or causing to be prepared false receipts apparently designed to cover-up at least part of the extortion of funds and automobiles from the Elks Memorial Center. These falsely made receipts were, according to the indictment, prepared for Hudson by employees of the Elks Memorial Center "for the purpose of defrauding the United States" by deceiving agents of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare who, among other things, were investigating financial mismanagement of Hudson's division.

Perjury: The final count of the indictment charged Hudson with committing perjury when testifying under oath on March 20, 1979, at his home before a special agent of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare who was at the time investigating Hudson's financial dealings with the Elks Memorial Center. According to the indictment Hudson falsely testified on the occasion by stating that he had paid approximately $3,900 to the Elks Memorial Center for the 1975 Chevrolet Caprice, when in fact records show that Hudson only paid $900 to the Center for the automobile.

On Wednesday, September 24, 1980, Hudson pleaded guilty to one of the 11 counts contained in the indictment, admitting (just before going on trial on all of the charges) that he had illegally extorted the 1977 Oldsmobile from the Elks Memorial Center. The remaining charges were dropped, and a week later, on October 1, Judge Truman Hobbs sentenced Hudson to five months in prison and a fine of $10,000. Considering the seriousness and scope of the indictment which Hudson faced, his sentence was fairly light; a fact which may well signal that there are even more substantial revelations to follow in this continuing Federal investigation. While it cannot be confirmed as yet that the Federal corruption probe has reached the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, we have already noted elsewhere (see the article entitled "Politics as Usual: NAC Exposed in Alabama") that Civil Rights investigators of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare found numerous violations of Civil Rights laws at the Institute and forced the agency into compliance during 1980. Again, as we noted in the article about these Civil Rights violations uncovered at the Institute, it is significant that the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) continues to maintain accreditation of the Alabama programs in the face of wrongdoing by responsible State officials of high office. Is this to suggest that NAC was directly tied in or was in some other way responsible for George M. Hudson's illegal conduct? Certainly not, but NAC cannot escape its share of accountability since NAC has placed its stamp of approval on Alabama's rehabilitation programs as they were being carried out at the very time when George Hudson had overall State responsibility for them by virtue of his control over the source of rehabilitation funds.

Although, in terms of physical proximity, the distance may be short from the capitol steps to the legislative halls, where laws and policies are established on behalf of the citizens of Alabama, the battle for quality services for the blind of that State has proven to be a struggle of long duration. Exposing corrupt practices and cleaning up a system which has lost touch with its original and legal mandates are not things which can be accomplished in a matter of months, and especially so when this same corrupt system has cloaked itself in the purportedly respectable garb of "accreditation." But also, it is clear that the battle in Alabama is being won, and, despite NAC's inability or unwillingness at that. Here, again, is another example of why we need to organize, for no one can speak and act for us; not even NAC, which is an integral part of the system now in need of reform. No one can say how far the Federal probe in Alabama will reach or which official or officials will be targeted in future indictments (or for that matter if there will be further indictments), but from what we have already learned in the two admissions of criminal wrongdoing so far, the sacrifices made by the blind leaders of the State who took their cause to the capitol steps in order to expose the state's rehabilitation system to public scrutiny and Federal investigation were certainly not in vain. So, we say to NAC and those who follow its ways and rhetoric:

"Preach to us all you will about quality service, and continue to tell us of your ethics, but when you are done, you will still have to explain the findings of corruption and violation even now unfolding within your own system in the State of Alabama. Yes, NAC, tell us what you have done to help the blind, for we now know the Alabama story, and it reveals to all a system which you have had a part in allowing to become rotten to its very core."

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Pick up any brochure of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC), or read any issue of its house organ. The Standard Bearer, and you will find within their pages numerous and repetitious pronouncements touting NAC as the leading force for improving the quality of services for the blind in this country. The virtue of NAC, so say its promoters, is the alleged use of "nationally recognized standards" to measure and shape the performance of both public and private agencies in the field. Much is made of accountability; the NAC rhetoric tells us.

So let us talk of accountability. You may not read about it in The Standard Bearer, but information reaching the Monitor establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that NAC has now set a precedent for accrediting an agency regardless of the fact that, at the time of initial accreditation, there were widespread and open violations of several Federal Civil Rights Laws. Purely in the interest of "full disclosure," (another principle boasted by NAC), the details of the precedent setting case will be unveiled. If NAC really believes in accountability, why did it disregard its own standards which purport to require compliance with principles of nondiscrimination? Where are the ethics and openness we have heard of so much, and what of objectivity? Now that the Monitor has scooped this story, will NAC square its shoulders and come clean before us to explain the rationale behind approving an agency which was, at the same time that the accreditation took place, deliberately violating Federal Civil Rights Laws? Just in case NAC does do this, although we frankly doubt that it can muster up the courage, not to mention the common decency or integrity which such an action would call for, remember, the Monitor brought you the story first.

The agency under discussion is the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, located in Talladega. The Institute was fully accredited by NAC in the spring of 1977 and remains to this date on the NAC list of "accredited members." The Institute, which operates primarily as a residential school for deaf and blind youngsters in Alabama receives financial assistance from the Federal government and is, therefore, prohibited from discriminating against any employees or students because of race, sex, religion, national origin, or handicap. Three laws (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) contained the specific prohibitions against discrimination, and each requires that a recipient of Federal assistance must take certain specified steps to assure that the programs which it operates are free from bias or discrimination.

In May of 1978, appoximately one year following the original accreditation of the Institute by NAC, the Office for Civil Rights in the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare performed a routine investigation to review compliance with the applicable Civil Rights Laws. Findings, which listed numerous and extensive violations of Federal law and Civil Rights policy were issued in late 1979, and for much of 1980 the Institute worked to mend its ways in order to preserve its Federal funds. In late September, 1980, the Institute finally succeeded in resolving the last of its many violations, and, accordingly, the books were closed on the whole sordid affair as the Institute was released from the threat of having its Federal assistance terminated. Yet the facts of the entire episode show, once again, and without any possibility of doubt, that an agency serving the blind can willfully violate the law of the land while NAC's accreditation remains in force and unaffected.

Why the cover-up by NAC? Perhaps it will be said that NAC was unaware of the nature and scope of the violations (a serious enough indictment itself), but in view of some of the violations found by the Office for Civil Rights, it is more likely that NAC was simply too embarrassed to admit publicly that it would allow accreditation to stand unaffected in the face of so many proven Civil Rights abuses. Indeed, the record of findings shows that NAC and the Institute had a lot to be embarrassed about. Here is a summary of the violations:

1. The Institute violated Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Cited among the violations of Title IV were practices of racial discrimination in the assignment of dormitory rooms at both the schools for the blind and deaf. No policies had been established by the Institute to assure that discrimination on the basis of race in the dormitories would not occur and actual discriminatory practices were uncovered during the investigation. The students, parents of students, and house parents were permitted to request changes in room assignments, a policy which was identified as the probable cause for widespread racial discrimination.

2. Several violations of Title XI of the Education Amendments of 1972 were found by the Federal authorities. Title XI bars sex discrimination in Federally assisted education programs and seeks to break down the traditional separation of the sexes in most educational activities. But despite the mandates of Title IX, the Institute was going about its business without regard to these Federal requirements. The following practices of sex discrimination were found:

(a) The Civil Rights investigators learned that boys at the School for the Blind were required to take one course in home economics (bachelor living), while girls were required to take several. Boys were required to take shop courses, but girls were not, and no girls were enrolled in shop. Class rolls for physical education showed that classes for all ages were separated by sex. Piano practice rooms for boys were on one floor and girls practice rooms on another.

(b) There was an unwritten policy in use throughout the Institute that students who were pregnant would not be allowed to continue in school.

(c) The School for the Blind Houseparent's Manual Stated that boys over 16 may leave the campus alone on Friday, 3:00-5:00 p.m., as well as Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30-5:00 p.m., while girls must go in groups. Boys and girls were found to be separated by a requirement to leave the campus at different times. It was also reported that girls had an 8:00 p.m. curfew time while the curfew time for boys was 9:00 p.m. On certain days boys could go to the gym while girls could not.

(d) Additional evidence raised several other concerns related to the conduct of the athletic program at the Institute. For instance, whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodated the interests and abilities of members of both sexes; scheduling of games and practice times; opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring; and assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors.

3. In addition to the violations of Title IV and Title XI already cited, practices were uncovered which violate Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap in Federally assisted programs. The 504 violations included:

(a) The employment application used at the Institute at the time of the review had a section which inquired about hearing and vision. A draft revision of the employment application asked all applicants to indicate whether they are visually impaired or hearing impaired. Pre-employment inquiries as to whether an applicant is a handicapped person or as to the nature or severity of a handicap are prohibited.

(b) There was no evidence that the Institute had undertaken to review its facilities to ensure that its programs, when reviewed in their entirety, were accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. At the time of the review, there were numerous barriers to program accessibility present. For example, few if any, modifications had been made to water fountains, toilet facilities or entrances to buildings housing integral parts of the program. Classes that were required of all students in certain schools continued to be offered in basement levels or second floors with no access provided to nonambulatory students. All non-structural changes should have been completed by August 3, 1977; and a transition plan detailing whatever structural change needed to be made to facilities to achieve program accessibility should have been completed by December 2, 1977.

(c) Required evaluations of appropriate educational placement for each student were not conducted by the Institute.

(d) Procedures to safeguard the rights of students and their parents or guardians were found to be inadequate. There was no information provided to show that parents or guardians had been informed of their right to examine relevant records. Nor was there information to show that it was possible for parents or guardians to participate in informal hearings where they could present any complaints they may have with respect to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of their children. Information was not provided to show that there was a review procedure if parents were dissatisfied with the outcome of the impartial hearings.

What a record of disregard for our most basic Civil Rights guarantees; in many instances wholesale sections of Federal regulations were being ignored as though the Institute had no knowledge of their existence. Yet, how can this be, when NAC purportedly requires compliance with Civil Rights laws, and the existence of Federal policies against discrimination is supposedly made known to Federally assisted programs, such as those at the Alabama Institute. Furthermore, ignorance is not an adequate or valid defense.

This was a simple, clear-cut, case of violation, and how will NAC explain its role? Will NAC seek to wiggle out, claiming "no responsibility," or some other lame excuse? How will NAC reconcile its boasting of "quality service" when it has so firmly established the precedent of permitting flagrant Civil Rights violations? These are fundamental questions worth raising with NAC, but far be it from us to suggest the answer; only NAC can be held accountable for its own actions.

So, NAC, your credibility is now up on the line. Can you now come before us to explain with a straight face that you did not know of all these violations, and if not, why not? If you knew what was going on in Alabama, why did you permit it to occur without at least withholding or suspending accreditation? After all, like it or not, your credibility depends, as much as anything, on the actions, not the statements, of your member agencies. So, come forward, NAC, and tell us of "full disclosure." Preach to us of "accountability," and then square your shoulders and face the music. You did it, NAC, you accredited a Civil Rights violator of the first order, and now you cannot wiggle out.

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During the past twenty years the blind have made tremendous progress. New jobs, increased social opportunities, and wider public acceptance have occurred. Yet, prejudice and discrimination are still facts of life. This is why we must continue to have concerted action. This underscores the necessity for the organized blind movement. This is why we must continue to have the National Federation of the Blind.

The following statement by Michael D. Peterson of California is a graphic illustration of the nuts and bolts of discrimination, of the still continuing attitudes of far too many of the public concerning blindness. Here is the way it is:

November 18, 1980

As a blind citizen who considers himself an equal member of society, I have encountered many instances of subtle—and sometimes not so subtle—discrimination politically, socially and economically. I don't think any of them can match the recent instance I am about to disclose.

On Wednesday, September 17, 1980, I received a questionnaire in the mail from a dating service called International Diversions for Singles (IDS). Being somewhat interested, I filled it out and put it in the next day's mail. I was called the following Monday, September 22, by a lady named Bridget who told me my personality test questionnaire had been received and that she would like to send one of her trained counselors to explain my test results and tell me about the programs they had to offer.

The appointment was set for Saturday, September 27, at 10 a.m. and was confirmed Friday night. On Saturday morning Hank Kres called me and said he would meet with me at about 12 o'clock. When he arrived he said he was like an insurance investigator and it was his job to make sure I was legitimate. Then he called his company and cussed out his supervisor for giving him such bad leads. I probably should have kicked Mr. Kres out right then, but I was stunned, to say the least, and I figured that since I had taken it this far I might as well hear his sales pitch.

When Mr. Kres hung up the phone he asked me what I would do if he sent me a girl, since it was quite obvious to him that I couldn't date her anyway. He proceeded to inform me that if all I wanted was a sexual relationship his agency wasn't a "whorehouse." Throughout his conversation every other word seemed to be profanity.

Apparently after coming on so harshly, the man felt a little stupid but he still talked down to me. He said, "I could probably get you some rich bitch to take care of you since she could do anything she wanted with you." I told him that I am quite capable of taking care of myself and all I was interested in was the dating service. "Where could you take her?" he asked. I didn't bother answering him but instead asked for the personal profile Bridget promised me. Mr. Kres told me that he didn't have the test results but would give it to me over again.

When he finished he wanted to set up an appointment and drive me into the office. I told him I would come in at 3 o'clock and that I could take the RTD. He then called IDS, asked for the profile department and read off a bunch of numbers. When they gave him the results, he said, "You know he's blind don't you?" Shortly thereafter he hung up the phone. I never did get my personal profile results.

For a half-hour Mr. Kres talked to my roommate and me about some psychic research he's involved in for which he apparently needs some blind guinea pigs. He told me he could teach me to see colors with my mind.

When his conversation ended Mr. Kres left but as he was opening the door to go I asked why they told him I was not qualified for IDS. He said, "We've never worked with blind people before and wouldn't know how to help you."

On Monday, September 29, I talked to a friend, David Cole, whom I referred to IDS. He had an appointment the previous Friday and decided to join. Dave told me that the fee was $680 for two years and about 70 per cent of those using the service ended up married. I told Dave what happened to me and he called the supervisor—I believe his name was Pete Wilson. Dave threatened to cancel his contract because of the discriminatory treatment which I received. Mr. Wilson told Dave he would call me and offer his personal apology, which I never got. He further told Dave that discrimination really wasn't the fault of IDS, since his members didn't want to date "handicapped" people. He said he could let me join but couldn't give me the same guarantee as the average member and I might be disappointed.

I'm sure I could go to other dating services and be accepted. In fact, after the treatment I received from IDS, I don't think I'd want to use their's. But I can't let something like this go unchallenged and unexposed.

I have lived on my own for eight years and if, as this company implies, I am not capable of dating, my problem is much more serious than blindness.

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During the past few months we have been featuring letters from throughout the country showing the "rising expectations" of the blind. What emerges is a pattern of exclusion, prejudice, and custodialism, countered by resistance and a determination to be free. It is not that the situation is worse today than it was ten or twenty years ago. Quite the contrary. It is only that we are more aware now than we were then and that we are organized for concerted action. The discrimination against the blind is still widespread and blatant, but today we are doing something about it.

Chicago, Illinois

November 23, 1980

Mr. Hallock
District Manager
Fayva Shoe Store
Hanover Park, Illinois

Dear Mr. Hallock:

While shopping on November 23, 1980 at the Devon Avenue store in West Rogers Park, I was appalled at certain discriminatory customer service policies. As a disabled consumer, I do not expect preferential treatment however, your identification requirements necessary for check payment of merchandise is discernably myopic.

Briefly describing the situation:

I wished to purchase merchandise and inquired whether Fayva accepts personal checks for payment, the clerk said they did and relying upon this information I reached for my checkbook, at this point I was questioned as to whether I had a driver's license. Being legally blind, it is impossible and impractical for me to have such identification. To aid the clerk, I offered her my phone number—and various charge cards from several major reputable stores. The clerk informed me that this was insufficient, even after I informed her of my disability, I asked to speak with the manager and his attitude was rude and inflexible.

Once again, I do not want or expect preferential treatment, but my integrity as a disabled member of the consuming public has been compromised. I was embarrassed by having to announce personal information in the presence of other shoppers. Why should I be further penalized because I am unable to procure a driver's license?

I recognize that there must be certain payment policies. However, under these circumstances, alternate means of identification must be acceptable, both for disabled and able-bodied people who for whatever reasons don't drive. I strongly recommend a review of your check payment policies.

Michelle B. Rosen
Coordinator of Independent Living Skills and Financial Benefits Counselor
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

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To the National Federation of the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland

November 12, 1980

Dear Friends:

I write with two purposes in mind. First to send an absolutely delicious recipe for chocolate mousse that I know all will devour with much enjoyment, and second, to send a copy of an article I wrote earlier this year. The article takes a little explanation and you will understand why it is important to me and to other members of the Federation.

First: blend together for 3 minutes in an electric blender
1 and 1 half cups scalded milk, which has been cooled
1 third cup brewed coffee
1 quarter cup Cointreau (an orange liqueur)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 large package chocolate chips

Pour into 12 dessert cups and chill for several hours. Enjoy!

Second, the article concerns another incident of discrimination against blind persons using guide dogs. The interesting feature is that there was a serious period of several months of attacks against blind persons in Chicago and the important thing is that almost all of us decided not to take it but to print it. We hoped, all of us who engaged in bringing this peculiar treatment of the blind to the attention of the public, to put a halt to this growing violence. For example,

A mother was humiliated at a movie theater and forced by the owner to take herself, her guide dog and her bewildered son out of the theater and to go home. She wrote, through a well known journalist, of her problem in the Chicago Tribune. Another person, this time a blind man using a guide dog, was beaten on a CTA bus and awaited the police to put him off. To our credit, he waited out the unfortunate attack and was the victor in this case. Third, the same individual was approached by a guard in a housing project who pointed a gun at him and threatened him if he did not leave. Finally, I again ran into the problem when I was rudely treated at a well known Greek restaurant during my lunch break. The important thing to notice is that all these unfortunate happenings were taken to the press and citizens began to react against this outbreak of violence aimed at the blind.

Interestingly enough, one of the local papers told the touching story of a young blind woman and her dog and how they expect, and I suppose tolerate, being barred from more than fifty percent of restaurants in Illinois. It is a credit to the cause to note that we are not simply "taking it" but "making it" the occasion to let the public know what is the law and what is actually happening.

It's been a long and a rather peculiar year but I think our image has changed from the sullen, reluctant, passive citizen to one who is not ashamed to declare that we know the law and we have rights.

Elizabeth Browne



From the Sun Times, June 6, 1980

'We had just been refused entry because of my guide dog.'

A few weeks ago I found myself standing with a guest outside the closing door of a popular Halsted St. restaurant—flustered, embarrassed and rather annoyed at an unexpected fuss. We had just been refused entry because of my guide dog, Brutus, a handsome, well-trained Yellow Labrador Retriever.

My first impulse was to forget the whole unpleasant incident and take my guest somewhere else to lunch.

But then I remembered an article I had recently read that told of a blind woman who expects to be turned away from more than half the restaurants she tries to enter. What happens if we allow this sort of thing to continue? Can we afford to forget these awkward incidents and hope that people will gradually become aware of their responsibilities and our rights? Is a slow process of education the best way to proceed?

Guide dogs have been with us in this country too long for us to accept that 50 percent of the restaurants will turn us away. Guide-dog schools have been training dogs since the 1930s. The image of the stalwart German Shepherd and his blind master has become a symbol of all that is heart-warming and appealing—a living cliche of man's best friend. The American public has become accustomed to these well-groomed, finely trained dogs as they make their skillful way onto buses and rapid transit trains and airplanes, into classrooms and concert halls and theaters.

The use of guide dogs has spread throughout the United States; many countries sent their blind citizens here for training before establishing similar schools in Japan, Britain, France and Germany. Lions Clubs and other civic-minded organizations provide substantial support to guide-dog schools throughout the country—in Columbus, Ohio, in Rochester, Mich., in Morristown, N.J., in San Rafael, Calif., and elsewhere.

In addition, White Cane Laws have been passed in almost every state, including Illinois, to ensure that guide dogs can accompany their owners into any place of public accommodation where they have business. This has been reinforced by television documentaries detailing the lengthy process of training and selecting these fine animals, and the painstaking care in suiting dog to master.

But all this history, and all this legal protection, and all this public exposure are thrust back into the dark ages so long as one proprietor of one restaurant can summarily refuse service to one blind person who happens to stop by for lunch on a fine spring afternoon.

Certainly, we expect that persons who operate places of business be aware of their obligations and of their customers' rights. They must follow health regulations and abide by fire regulations. Then how does it happen that in this complex and careful consideration of legalities, so many of our restaurateurs are unaware of the Illinois White Cane Law, and of the Dram Shop Act, which provides that an owner can be fined for not serving a person because he or she is accompanied by a guide dog? What are these laws for, if they can be casually ignored?

I think the time is long gone when I should turn the other cheek and humbly seek out some other place in whatever is left of my lunch hour. The time of counting on educational documentaries to do the job for us is over. It is now time, in every case, to use the laws that have been passed.

Violators of traffic rules are made to watch movies on traffic safety and traffic courtesy. Perhaps owners of restaurants, besides being made aware of the possibility of losing their liquor license or of being fined, ought to be asked to watch movies on the proper treatment of their customers. I am part of the public, and the dog I travel with is trained, mannerly and knows his business, unlike those persons who would deny service to me.

Brutus has been with me through a busy life—in academic processions, in classes when I teach, in airplanes when I travel. He has respectfully stretched out in the jury box when I served as a juror. He has slumbered through the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford, Ontario. He has visited me in hospitals and made the opening nights and many other nights at Grant Park and Ravinia.

But he has not, as yet, accompanied me into Dianna's Restaurant. Sorry about that, Dianna. Would that your waiters and waitresses and managers were as professional and courteous as my friend.

Elizabeth Browne leaches literature and composition at St. Xavier College and literature and education at Governors State University.

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Laurel, Mississippi

November 19, 1980

Dear Mr. Cylke:

I have been troubled in recent months by certain trends that seem to be apparent in library service. I read a number of magazines in your program. A few years ago I applauded when your program put more and more of the technicalities and notices at the end of books and magazines, but during the past year the message about limited circulation and how to get subscriptions and cancel subscriptions on magazines have just about run me up the wall. It seems to me that if you must have these messages in each magazine, you could put them at the end so we would not have to read them every time we read a magazine.

Of course, I personally prefer books and magazines on talking books rather than cassettes, because your equipment on talking books has better sound reproduction than the cassettes. I like for some books to be on cassettes because of increased portability. Of course, I understand—or so it appears—that you have put more emphasis on physically handicapped than blind. The reduced Braille identification on both records and cassettes is very inconvenient.

I realize that the library is not responsible for Newsweek, and some other periodicals, but it seems to me that modern methods would make it possible to make such periodicals more current. I normally get Newsweek on Monday or Tuesday, which is about a week later than others. I normally get Sports Illustrated sometimes as late as Thursday or Friday of the following week.

I have expressed myself on more than one occasion in favor of one of the business magazines—Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, or the like—being added to your periodicals. Of course that would still be one that needs to be much faster than usual in getting to the reader.

It would appear to me that the lower cost of sound sheets would be a strong argument to put more books on talking book records…

It appears to me that Library Services for the Blind would be the place where we could find out which of the equipment for compressed speech is best. Even if you do not have enough funds to furnish this equipment, you should be able to tell us which is the best. I paid American Printing House for a compressed speech device which was practically worthless. I would like to have another, but I do not know which one to purchase. Unfortunately, American Printing House and American Foundation for the Blind do not have a very good track record in advancing technology in this field—as they do not have a very good track record in most of these fields. So I am looking for a good compressed speech machine. Can you help me in this problem?

Sincerely yours,
E. U. Parker, Jr.
State Farm Agent

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Erie Center for the Blind: Some workers say they have complaints


Weekender Staff Reporter

From the Times-News, November 22, 1980

Visually handicapped workers employed in the sheltered workshop at the Erie Center for the Blind say they have complaints to make—but have no access to their own board of directors.

Their complaints are numerous but center director Tyco Swick contends most are not justified.

Swick, however, admits that board meetings are closed to the public.

"The board meetings are closed," Swick said. "But the employees, through formal grievance procedures and through their advisory board, do have access to the board."

Swick said one member of the center's 30-person board sits on the advisory board, which meets one week before the quarterly meeting of the larger board.

All the members of the advisory board are visually handicapped, as opposed to three on the 30-member board.

"If the advisory board has some complaint they wish to make to the board, the representative (from the larger board) can relay it during the meeting," Swick explained. "And I can't remember an issue coming from the advisory board that had to go to the board."

But Joseph Phillips, chairman of the advisory board and president of the Erie County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, claims the advisory board is "nothing but window dressing."

"The policy making comes strictly from the big board," he said. "And employees can't even talk to that board. We don't know who all is on it and we don't know when the meetings are held, although I've tried to get that information."

Swick contended Phillips has been a "trouble-maker" and that his own advisory board has refused to vote to send issues Phillips has raised to the big board.

Phillips contended that, because the center receives federal Title 20 money in addition to being a United Way agency, board meetings must be held in public under the Sunshine Law.

Swick, however, said it is not necessary.

"Why should they be open?" Swick asked. "The discussions are about business and budget planning; there are discussions about grievances, and there are policy matters. The board members represent various sectors of the community and they've found the private meetings an efficient way of carrying on business."

Two shop workers who spoke with the Weekender, both with well over 10 years of service, contended the employees do have complaints to make to the board but feel helpless.

"We haven't lost control of the workshop yet," one said, "but it's slipping away from us."

He said the center's staff has cut into areas once occupied by the workshop, by providing room for a talking library, a glaucoma testing service, an eye bank, and a recreational van service.

"The talking library," he said, "is a duplication of services provided by the Library of Congress that sends you cassettes through the mail. There's very little traffic to the eye bank. We feel they are shoving us out more and more as years go by."

He complained that the staff has taken away access to a "lunchroom and kitchen" that had been donated to the center. "They said we were messing it up," he claimed. "It wasn't us; it was the sighted workers who were messing it up. They stuck us back in a cage, with a cement floor and wire mesh all around. We call it the monkey hut."

Swick said the center serves about 700 handicapped persons in Erie and only 35 are employed in the workshop. He said the others use services such as the van service and the talking library and have no complaint.

As for the cage, he said it was built 10 years ago as a convenience for handicapped workers who had to wait for rides after the shop closed or who, because they were dropped off earlier than it opened in the mornings, had to wait outside.

"It was built to provide security for the building while still allowing them someplace warm to stay while they waited," he said. "It has tables, a refrigerator and a microwave oven that's being serviced right now."

One worker complained that the center was hiring too many sighted people with handicaps other than visual and, on occasion, had laid off blind people while allowing sighted employees to continue working.

Swick said some of the jobs performed in the shop needed sighted workers. "As it says in the scriptures," he said, "the blind can't lead the blind. That applies to some of the jobs here."

Asked the ratio of sighted to visually handicapped, Swick said approximately half were sighted.

But he said the center has employed every blind person who wants to work there. He said there are no visually handicapped persons on any waiting list for jobs at the center.

"We'd love to have more working here," Swick said. "We have the work for more."

He also said it was true that, on occasion, blind persons were laid off while the sighted were allowed to work.

"As in many shops today, there is occasionally a time when contracts don't come in and we have to lay people off," he explained. "If the contracts left consist of jobs the blind can't do, the sighted people stay."

Another worker complained of conditions in the shop itself. The worker said the shop area is a "sweat shop" during the summer and cold during the winter, while sighted staff workers up front have air conditioning in the summer and plenty of heat in the winter.

"When you ask about that," the worker said, "they tell you they are simply adhering to federal guidelines for the temperatures."

Asked about it, Swick said, "We are following Department of Energy guidelines that say we should keep our thermostats at 68 degrees. We do have air conditioning up front, the same as any other factory. It wouldn't make sense to have it out back when the shipping dock doors have to be open so much.

"And it's bound to be colder during the winter back there because those same doors have to be up so often.

"But our biggest problem is trying to keep the workers from turning up the thermostats."

Phillips contended that the center has been, using the term "rehabilitation" simply to obtain government funds. He said very little or no rehabilitation actually occurs at the shop.

The workers couldn't remember more than three persons being hired away from the center by private industry. One of the workers interviewed said they had been hired away briefly but couldn't perform the work and returned to the center.

Swick said he could recall at least 10 totally blind and several partially blind employees being hired away successfully, but he agreed that the center is not for rehabilitation.

"We fought the state very hard some time ago to make us an exception," Swick said. "They finally agreed to license us without using the word rehabilitation. This shop is, very simply, a place that provides work for handicapped people who want to work but who could not find jobs on the outside. These are not the very talented or very educated handicapped who are employed here. Most of those people who I've seen are either self-employed professionals or are working for the government."

He also said most blind persons working at the center do not want to be hired by private industry because they would lose financially.

"Prior to the advent of Social Security Disability and SSI and the like, the center did have people leaving for private industry," he said. "Now the people have a disincentive to leave and go to work.

"If you take into account the pensions, medical care, the subsidized housing and the subsidized heating, they would have to be offered $25,000 jobs to make it worthwhile to work. And the people who work here are very careful about how much they make, so they don't make too much and lose their benefits."

Swick said he was proud of his 17 years with the center, having taken it from a $10,000 a year business to one that now gets $250,000 worth of contracts a year.

He said he could not understand why the workers chose to take their complaints to the news media instead of working through established channels.

For the workers, however, the reason was obvious. According to them, their complaints never seemed to reach the board.

"We don't blame the board in any way," one worker said. "We just don't think they are aware of us. How could they be? They don't know us. And we can't get to know them."

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1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cream
¼ cup sherry wine
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups pecans

Cook first four ingredients together to soft-ball stage. Remove from heat; add butter and pecans. Stir until cloudy and slightly thickened. Drop from spoon onto waxed paper. Reheat to proper consistency if mixture becomes too thick. Makes approximately one dozen.

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The following comes from Brenda Williams, President of the NFB of Maryland Student Chapter: Our newly-formed chapter is a growing and enthusiastic group. We held a statewide seminar at the National Center for the Blind last January at which there was participation by students and staff from several colleges and universities in Maryland. On March 17, 1981, we will hold our second annual student seminar at Montgomery College, and we expect the turnout to be even better. There will be many interested and hard working blind college students from Maryland at the next meeting of the NFB Student Division at the 1981 Convention. We will want to learn from Student Chapters that have more experience than we have.

The NFB of Maryland Student Chapter recently elected: President, Brenda Williams; Vice-President, Althea Pittman; Secretary, Rosalee Gossard; Treasurer, Nancy Painter.

During the past few months the circumstances surrounding the sale of the talking clock have been of such a nature as to provide food for thought and a lesson in organizational tactics and motivation. The American Foundation for the Blind began by selling the talking clock at $90. We began by selling it at $80, then $68, and finally $58. At this point the Foundation (lamenting that they had to subsidize the operation) lowered their price to $58 to compete with us. Recently a blind person called the Foundation to inquire about clocks and was told that they would not be available until at least January but that he could get his name on the list by sending his money in now. This leads to three observations: 1) The individual blind person has benefited from the competition. 2) One wonders whether the Foundation would have lowered its price if it could have secured a monopoly on the clocks. 3) Since the Foundation does not currently have any clocks, one wonders why it doesn't lower the price to $30. The subsidy would be the same, and the talking point would be even better.

Since the 1979 national convention, the leaders of our former Washington State affiliate have been illegally using the name National Federation of the Blind of Washington and have been holding themselves out to the public as members of the Federation. Last fall we decided to take action. A lawsuit was filed in the federal courts. Within a few days it was all over. After first splitting and fighting among themselves, the leaders of the former affiliate changed their name to the United Blind of Washington. It is reported that Ed Foscue and Nell Carney fought Kenneth Hopkins and Sue Ammeter—for what reason or purpose one can only speculate: Perhaps the same sort of thing that gave them problems in the National Federation of the Blind. In a sour grapes editorial entitled, "What Does It Mean To Be Free," the leaders of our former affiliate said:

"…we have come by our freedom by what might seem to be a capitulation. Yet, how many of us were truly willing and ready to contest the recent lawsuit filed against us here? How many of us were willing to commit more money to the lawsuit in California? How many of us were willing to continue to fight the political and undercover tactics of which Jernigan is so capable? Yes, we could have hung in. We might have won on one front or another, but does anyone seriously believe that we could have brought Jernigan down in a winner-take-all war? Possibly, but it certainly looked like most of us would not live long enough to see the end of it. Now we are free"

One does not even have to read between the hues to see the rationalization. It is all pretty flimsy. Indeed, in the state of Washington the blind are "now free" and we will go forward in building a strong and viable affiliate. Hopefully most of the members and chapters of the former affiliate will want to continue their membership in the Federation and remain with us, working to achieve the same objectives we were pursuing when the Hopkins-Ammeter-Foscue clique lost perspective and began their attempts to disrupt and destroy. We wish them well in the parting. We will now resume our constructive task of helping to improve the lives of the blind of the state.

The National Federation of the Blind is one of ten organizations which will participate this year in the National Benefit Auction. The following Press Release was issued November 7, 1980, by the Satellite Program Network:

SPN Making Cable History with the National Benefit Auction

The Satellite Program Network will carry the first major auction nationally telecast on cable television, April 3-12, 1981. The National Benefit Auction will invite SPN viewers to bid, and buy products and services donated by American corporations, with the proceeds going to ten national charitable organizations. Those ten charities are: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America; Child Welfare League of America; The Deafness Research Foundation; National Benefit Auction Charitable Education Fund; National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse; National Federation of the Blind; National Jewish Hospital and Research Center/National Asthma Center; Opera America; Parkinson's Disease Foundation; and the Sierra Club.

The charitable organizations receive the benefits, the corporations which donate products or underwrite portions of the program receive the credit, and SPN's cable viewers receive top quality products and services. For this reason, The National Benefit Auction is being dubbed "The Game That All America Wins". SPN will carry the auction from 6pm-2am ET on weekdays, lpm-2am ET on weekends for ten days from April 3-12, 1981. SPN talk show host Paul Ryan will host the live auction originating from Miami, Florida.

The Satellite Program Network carries quality entertainment and information for cable systems 24 hours a day on Transponder 9 on Westar 111.

Notice to blind persons with a professional interest in money market and economic forecasting information: If you have an interest in receiving Savings and Loan News or similar industry periodicals please write to Recorded Periodicals, 919 Walnut Street, 8th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 and send copies of your letters to Donovan Cooper, Nebraska Services for the Visually Impaired, 1047 South Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68502. Recorded Periodicals has agreed to add such a magazine to their list of Periodicals if we can develop a list of ten subscribers. Subscription prices are $16.00 per year "on loan" and $33.25 per year to keep the cassettes.

Recently Dick Edlund sent the following letter to state and local affiliates of the NFB:

Dear Colleague:

Local chapters of the National Federation of the Blind have in the past purchased greeting cards from the National Headquarters of the NFB for resale or personal use. The NFB is no longer able to provide greeting cards since our supply has been used up.

The American Brotherhood for the Blind can supply greeting cards to organizations or individuals for resale or individual use. These greeting cards are available in bundles of 25. Each bundle contains 25 identical cards and 25 envelopes. As you will note from the enclosed order form, there are four types of Christmas cards and six types of cards for other occasions. In addition, assortments of all occasion cards can be ordered in groups of 25.

Fall all occasion cards and spring all occasion cards are also available in assortments of 25. The price of these cards is extremely reasonable and I thought you would want this information.

Richard Edlund, Treasurer
National Federation of the Blind



American Brotherhood for the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Telephone (301) 659-9315

Envelopes are supplied for all greeting cards. Cards and envelopes are shipped together in bundles of 25 each. Bundles will not be broken. There is a minimum order of two bundles of cards and envelopes. The prices listed below are for the total amount of cards and envelopes in the shipment.

Check the number of bundles of each type of card you wish to order in the space below. Note the total number of bundles and cards with envelopes and the cost in the appropriate space.

Cards for Special Occasions

On Your Special Day……….                            Fall_____    Spring______
Birthday Wishes…………….                            Fall_____    Spring______
Get Well Soon………………                           Fall_____    Spring______
Thinking of You…………….                            Fall_____    Spring______
Hope You Will Soon Be Well………                Fall_____    Spring______
Happy Birthday……………………..               Fall_____    Spring______


Happy Holidays (red)…… _____
Happy Holidays (blue)..… _____
Christmas Peace…………_____
Merry Christmas…………_____

Assorted Greetings

Fall Cards
Autumn Cuties……..________
Autumn Gold………________
Cross Stitch………..________
Denim Delights……________

Spring Cards
Plaids & Bows……..________
Floral Plaids………..________
Florals & Lace……..________
Springtime................ ________

50 cards…..$12.50
100 cards…..23.50
200 cards…..44.00
300 cards…..60.00
400 cards…..75.00
500 cards…..81.00
600 cards…..90.00

Number of Bundles…..______
Number of Cards……..______
Total Cost…………….______

Check Enclosed………______
Money Order Enclosed…______

Cards should be shipped to:

Name: _________________________________________
Street Address: __________________________________
City: ______________State:_______     Zip: ____________

Checks or money orders should be made payable to the American Brotherhood for the Blind. Please note, envelopes are automatically provided with all cards.

As Federationists know, Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) is a program jointly sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and the Federal Department of Labor. The first year of JOB ended December 15, 1980, and the results are extremely gratifying. During the first year we helped 65 blind persons find competitive employment. There are doubtless a great many more if we only had the data to prove it. A good first year, and this is only the beginning.

In the November issue of the Braille Forum, the official publication of the American Council of the Blind, an article appears about the Jessie Nash case. Usually the Forum is not noted for the skill or subtlety of its writing, but its Jessie Nash article has to represent some sort of new high or low in achievement. The Forum writer managed to do an entire article on the Jessie Nash case without once mentioning the National Federation of the Blind or our Director of Governmental Affairs, Jim Gashel. Rewriting history is always a ticklish business. Not only does it invariably fail but it also indicates the desperation of those who attempt it.

The following reprints from the Braille Monitor are available from the National Office:

Wrap up on the Steven Henry Case: Four years later, a final victory (Print and Braille)

Minimum wages for the blind and related matters Spring and Summer 1980

In print, this includes:
"Collective bargaining reaffirmed in the Houston Lighthouse Case as Cincinnati added by NAC continues to fight the blind in the Federal Courts"
"Update on minimum wage: A report and testimony from the latest Congressional hearings, and there's more in the works
A. Testimony of Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder
B. Testimony of Frederick C. Rockwell
C. Testimony of Kenneth Jernigan"

In Braille, the second of these articles is available.

Blind Vendors and the National Federation of the Blind: This is how it was in 1980

In print, this includes:
"Historic victory in the Jessie Nash Case, and now the battle shifts to Federal Court"
"Who fights for the rights of the blind? Ask the Tennessee vendors"
"A Tennessee vendor 'tells it like it is' "

The National Office now has a publication on public attitudes called The Encounter. The booklet is cleverly illustrated and deals with the question of what should a sighted person do when encountering a blind person. Excellent attitudes towards blindness are presented with humor and frankness. The book was written by Carl Olsen of Nebraska and illustrated by Gene Acosta.

The Walk-A-Thon sponsored last October by the Baltimore Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind was an outstanding success.

Special thanks is extended to this year's Honorary Chairman, Mr. Walter Orlinsky, President of the Baltimore City Council. Mr. Orlinsky walked the entire 20 kilometers with us and raised nearly $1,200 personally.

The following excerpts are taken from Gino's Inc. Ink, a publication of Gino's Restaurants:

"Though the weather was less than ideal, it did not dim the bright and sunny atmosphere that prevailed all along the route of the Second Annual Walk-A-Thon for the Blind, sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and local Gino's Restaurants.

"By the end of the 20-kilometer walk, which began at Baltimore's scenic Inner Harbor and included refreshment stops at three of our Gino's, over $8,000 in pledges had been raised by the determined walkers. All funds raised during the Walk-A-Thon will aid blind individuals in their struggle to achieve full and active participation in the economic and social life of their community…

"Six employees from our Wilkens Avenue Gino's joined Assistant Manager Marci Mills in raising a total of $450 in pledges for finishing the walk.

"This year's event again generated television coverage from all three local Baltimore stations. And, the colorful banners displayed at our participating restaurants provided additional publicity for this outstanding Gino's-sponsored event."

Two Iowa Federationists recently have been recognized for outstanding professional and civic activities. Cheryl Finley, Clarion, and Bill Pearce, Fort Dodge, have been named to Outstanding Young Women of America and Outstanding Young Men of America respectively. Cheryl is a librarian with the Clarion Community Schools and Bill is an attorney with the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa. Both Cheryl and Bill provide energy, dedication, and enthusiasm to our movement, and we congratulate them for this recognition.

The following resolution was passed at the recent convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska and was forwarded to the National Office by Jim Walker, who is the newly elected President of the affiliate:

Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind is a national movement, and

Whereas, we are attempting to establish hike-a-thons and bike-a-thons to be held on a single weekend with national sponsorship and national recognition, and

Whereas, this coordinated effort on the part of all state affiliates will benefit blind persons throughout the country, in ways which cannot be achieved at the state or local levels,

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska in Convention assembled this seventh day of December, 1980, in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, that the net proceeds of all future hike-a-thon/bike-a-thons sponsored by our affiliate be contributed to our national treasury, and

That the President be instructed to appoint annually a hike-a-thon/bike-a-thon committee which will work on site selection and otherwise work with the national hike-a-thon/bike-a-thon committee on coordinating this national project.

In December Kathleen Sullivan was elected Chairman of the La Crosse County Committee of the International Year of the Disabled. At the same meeting Bernadette Krajewski, La Crosse Chapter President of the NFB, was chosen Secretary. As Federationists know Kathleen Sullivan is a long-time leader of the Federation in Wisconsin. She now serves as First Vice President of the state affiliate. Bernadette Krajewski spent time last summer at the National Office working on the IBM Talking Typewriter.

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