JUNE, 1981








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."




JUNE 1981







by Kenneth Jernigan



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



From the Seattle Post Intelligencer, February 27, 1981

The woman who blew the whistle on gross mismanagement and misuse of state money at the State Commission for the Blind yesterday sued its former director, deputy director, the commission and the state for $1 million.

Lori Engles, head of the agency's Business Enterprises program, claims physical injury, violation of her civil rights, unlawful imprisonment, abuse of state power and a legal action known as "outrage."

A $1 million judgment is sought against Kenneth Hopkins and Frank Hoppes, both of Mercer Island, and against both the Commission for the Blind and the State of Washington, as well as all court and attorney fees.

Hoppes and Hopkins were unavailable for comment.

Engles said she developed a stomach ulcer as a result of "harassment" she suffered throughout the two-year investigation of the illegal and unethical practices she uncovered and reported.

She was hospitalized for two weeks for stress and said she suffered severe deterioration of her vision under the strain of the ordeal.

"For six months I couldn't sleep at night and this made me nervous and moody. My family and I actually lived in terror for more than two years. It exacerbated my eye disease until I almost lost my vision entirely. And there were the hospital and doctor expenses and the cost of hiring my own attorney to defend me against my employers," she said.

The claim of unlawful imprisonment arises from an order by former agency director Hopkins that she be suspended from work without pay for a week. After she was permitted to come back to work, she was ordered to remain inside the commission building during working hours.

Hopkins denied her the right to accept any incoming telephone calls and ordered that she be accompanied from her office to the front door of the building and searched before being permitted to leave, the suit contends.

Hopkins resigned as director of the agency last May with a blast at the investigation for "trying and convicting me with unwarranted attacks." Hoppes, who was Hopkins' deputy, has since retired.

The suit says that Engles, in her capacity as supervisor of the Business Enterprises Program for the state agency, uncovered evidence of illegal activities by her predecessor, Xavier Timmer. The suit alleges that Timmer had stored at state expense and later transferred for his own use about $20,000 worth of state equipment in violation of state law.

Timmer also used state funds to buy insurance for his private teen club operated in downtown Seattle, according to the suit. The club, "The Association," was closed down by Seattle Police vice officers over charges that it was serving as a front for juvenile prostitution.

The Engle suit charges that Timmer moved equipment from state warehouses to his teen club at state expense and that Hopkins declared the state equipment "surplus" to cover up the transfer.

The suit contends that the commission kept income from vending machines in a private account and that in Timmer's term of office only $5,000 was entered in that account. Engles contends that during the first few months of her administration, she placed more than $100,000 in that account from vending machine returns.

Timmer, trustee of the account before Engles' term of service, fled while the investigation was under way last year. After he disappeared, Hopkins fired him. His present whereabouts are still unknown.

The suit charges Hopkins' aide Hoppes with approving inadequate and overpriced work designs for blind vendors' facilities in government buildings and with forcing Engles to pay for unfinished work that he had contracted.

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It has already been reported in the Monitor (November, 1980) that the elected Committee of Blind Vendors in Tennessee requested Federation help in negotiating with State Agency officials to resolve several matters of long-standing dispute. Since many members of the Tennessee Committee were also members of the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), and by virtue of that also members of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the Committee first approached Durward McDaniel, ACB national representative, but got nowhere.

Durward was close friends with the State Agency director, Claude Scale, who, in the middle of it all, lost his job in Tennessee and left the State reportedly to search for greener pastures in Oklahoma (now we hear he is in Florida). Otis Stephens, the current NAC (National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped) President and immediate past president of the Tennessee Council of the Blind also got involved against the vendors, taking up for the Agency along with Durward. Stephens even had the nerve to try to convince the Federation to join his little "understanding" with McDaniel, asking Lev Williams, President of the NFB of Tennessee, to pursuade the vendors to settle down. Lev didn't, the Federation didn't, and the vendors didn't.

Then last fall we began to bargain hard with representatives from the Agency; no RSVA and no ACB hanging around to hold us back. The immediate problem was to reach agreements on a series of proposed amendments to the State's vending rules, which must be officially adopted by the State and approved by the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the Federal level. The amendments which were being negotiated addressed several, but not all, of the major matters of controversy between the State Agency and the vendors. There were several issues to be resolved, but much of it came down to assuring the Committee of Blind Vendors, which is established under authority of the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, a greater role in policy setting. Without getting into all of the details, the Committee was dissatisfied because the Agency continued to bypass it at every turn, and the Committee wanted something done about this. Among many other grievances, vendors were concerned that maintenance and repair services were not being provided as promised by the Agency.

The negotiations, which were conducted over a weekend and resembled the ordinary process of collective bargaining, proved successful, with a package of amendments being agreed upon by everyone involved on both sides. There were compromises on both sides, to be sure, but the end result could be viewed with pride. The amendments give the Vendors' Committee real status in the overall administration of the vending facility program by assuring that the Committee will have certain approval rights to be exercised jointly with the Agency before policies are established. Also, the agreement includes a provision authorizing vendors to withhold payment of set-aside assessments (or administrative fees charged to the vendors by the State Agency) if vending facility equipment is not repaired or replaced within forty-eight hours after the breakdown has been reported to the Agency. These and other changes in the rules introduce some important new concepts, not only for Tennessee, but also for other States as well.

Hammering out the terms of this far-reaching agreement was tough and time consuming, yet delicate, since there were sensitivities on both sides, but over a period of weeks following the more intense negotiations, the final language of the amendments was worked out, right down to the placement of each comma and dash. Then the agreement was signed, and the stage was set for higher-ups in the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Federal authorities in the Rehabilitation Services Administration to pass judgment on the work which had been accomplished. As for the Tennessee side of the matter, there appeared to be no problem; the rules sailed through the legal office and up to the Commissioner of Human Services without an apparent hitch. Moreover, the Federal representatives seemed to agree as well, giving their blessing (in the form of an informal go-ahead) from the central office of RSA in Washington. All looked rosy, maybe too rosy, given the gravity of the changes involved and the fact that several of the concepts embodied in the amendments were unheard of in the vending program anywhere in the country.

Then came the Federal intrusion from Atlanta, albeit somewhat unexpected and surprising, given the earlier informal approval from RSA. The cause of the intrusion can only be a matter of suspicion; whether it was a case of bad faith on the part of someone in the Tennessee Agency who regarded us (the vendors and the Federation) as too uppity, or whether it was just a bit of traditional Federal meddling, one cannot really say, but the fact of the intervention is a certainty. Rarely, in fact, has the heavy hand of the Federal government been used so blatantly, yet fortunately with little competence.

Nonetheless, the heavy Federal hand threatened the entire effort. The intrusion began in the form of a seemingly innocent letter from the RSA regional office in Atlanta, which purported to be a straight-forward offer of guidance to State officials—just fulfilling the proper Federal role, that's all. But the content of the letter was uncharacteristically specific for a communique from the regional office, especially in view of the fact that Tennessee had not even completed the official promulgation of the rules, so the amendments had not actually been submitted for approval or disapproval by RSA. Then, too, the regional office does not approve or disapprove rules which are submitted by a State to the RSA Commissioner; this is done in the central office in Washington.

Despite this, the letter from Atlanta took a strong stand in opposition to several sections of the agreed upon amendments, singling out for special attack most of the provisions which were designed to give the Committee of Blind Vendors a greater voice in State Agency decision-making. Regional officials also bristled at the suggestion that blind vendors should be able to withhold payments of set-aside as a means of encouraging the State Agency to do a better job on maintenance and repair of vending facility equipment. The stated reason for objecting to these and similar provisions was abdication of the State Agency's responsibility to control the vending program and to maintain authority over the vendors.

This letter from Atlanta was damaging enough, since, regardless of the talk of "State's rights," there is still some tendency to cower in the face of Federal criticism, but the timing of the letter (which some have termed suspiciously convenient) made the situation even worse. Normally Federal authorities do not spend much time or energy analyzing the proposed rules of a State until the State has completed all of its work and the rules are actually submitted for approval or disapproval by Washington. In this instance, however, the Federal involvement came much earlier; there was bound to be a confrontation.

The battle took place on Monday, March 2, 1981, at a public hearing conducted by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. The hearing was required under the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act in Tennessee, since a rule or any amendment to it cannot be issued without giving the public an opportunity to comment. All interested parties were on hand, although normally there is so much preliminary work done that these events involve a formal reading of the rule, with very little objection at the hearing itself. One would expect this to be the case especially in this instance, since so much work had gone into development of the amendments by the Agency and Committee representatives.

But this was not the average, garden variety rule-making hearing. The most unique feature was that the State Agency and the vendors were absolutely united, something which Tennessee has not seen for years, if ever. More importantly, it was not that the vendors were cowering before the Agency; they were not, for they had no reason to cower; we were negotiating from a position of strength. And above it all, it was quickly obvious that the most important factor in that strength was the predominant role being played by the National Federation of the Blind, and it is significant that the Federation was the only organization to appear in the hearing on behalf of the blind vendors of Tennessee.

Then there was the element of Federal involvement. Again, it would not be normal for a Federal representative to participate in a State hearing of this type. For one thing, Federal travel funds are always tight, and this is ordinarily the first and most convenient excuse which Federal officials use when they think it may be better for them to stay away. But the excuse was not used in this instance, and a Federal representative (Mervin Darter) from the Atlanta Regional Office of RSA attended the hearing. The letter from Atlanta had reached Tennessee only a few days before the hearing, but the Federal office did not even give the Committee of Blind Vendors the courtesy of a copy; this in itself is worth noting.

The hearing proceeded peacefully enough—that is, the decorum was maintained since everyone remained seated and relatively calm—but there were sharp disagreements between the vendors and Mr. Darter. These were expressed as each side commented for the record on various provisions of the amendments to the rules as they were read, and it quickly developed that the objections being raised from Atlanta did not go to questions of legality, rather it was a matter of program focus and judgment. Not once, in fact, did Mr. Darter succeed in citing a provision of proposed Tennessee rules which was legally in conflict with the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act or the Federal regulations. I say he did not succeed, because he tried, at least twice, and each time we showed, by referring to the specific sections of the Federal law and regulation, that Mr. Darter was most ill informed. All in all, it was a good day's work and a great day for the blind of Tennessee who have now been shown, firsthand, what it means to act as one with our total national movement.

Indeed, this is the most important lesson to be learned from the entire Tennessee experience—what we can do if we decide to work together as a movement and throw aside all of the old jealousies of the past. Perhaps there are still some in Tennessee and many in the ACB throughout the country who resent what we have done by cementing an alliance between the Tennessee Committee of Blind Vendors and the National Federation of the Blind, and it is certain that some of the Committee members will be regarded as traitors by the ACB, but it is a fact that, because we have joined hands, we have produced greater results in a shorter amount of time against greater odds than anyone (the Council, the vendors by themselves, or anyone else) has done before in the State. Let the record speak for itself. We have met the challenge and surmounted the greatest obstacles—a stubborn State Agency and an overzealous Federal office. Now we must go forward for the future and learn from our experience of the past. We can overcome the obstacles; we have the power within ourselves to do it, all we need is to have faith in ourselves and the will to fight for what is right.

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NAC (the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped) proudly proclaims that its system of accreditation has only one object, to improve the "quality" of services to the blind. Those who oppose NAC are accused of being irresponsible. Why?—because they oppose "quality services." After all, a system of accreditation gives the public, as well as government officials and the blind themselves, a means of knowing that at least minimum standards of accountability, performance, and quality are being met. Who could possibly find fault with the logic and the reasonableness of it? After all, isn't everybody in favor of "quality services," of high standards, of honesty, of decency, of fair play, of goodness, and of better lives for the blind?

Yet the National Federation of the Blind (that group of militant radicals) has the unmitigated audacity to oppose NAC-to say that its actual performance produces the very opposite of its proclaimed objectives. In other words, the NFB says that NAC tends to accredit the least reputable agencies in the field, who seek its approval in order to hide their shortcomings—that "quality services" are, thereby, hurt instead of being helped. The issue is clear cut. NAC says that its system of accreditation (while possessing a few inevitable weaknesses) is constructive and positive, leading to better lives for the blind, and that those who oppose it are irresponsible power-seekers, bent on nothing but destruction. On the other hand, the blind say that (even though a few good agencies are accredited by NAC) the overall effect of its operation is probably the most destructive force in the field of work with the blind today—that NAC accreditation decreases the likelihood of "quality services," that it causes more problems than it solves, that its leaders are principally interested in political power and custodial control over the lives of the blind, and that its usefulness (if, indeed, it ever had any) has long since passed.

Both of these assessments cannot be right. One of them must be wrong. It is extremely important for all who are truly interested in the betterment of the lives of the blind to make a determination and take a stand. The pattern of recent developments provides a definitive answer. In this connection late breaking events in Alabama should be pondered with care.

The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind is a NAC-accredited agency. Located in the town of Talladega, it is responsible for providing a wide variety of educational and rehabilitative services. For many years it has been a focal point of criticism and unhappiness on the part of the blind, who say that its performance is poor and that its services are unimaginative, meager, and custodial. When NAC accreditation was secured in the 70's, the situation did not seem to improve. In fact, it became noticeably worse. The line of mere incompetence and bad administration was crossed, and stories of gross mismanagement and actual illegality began to be heard.

Now, it is no longer a matter of guess work or speculation. The scandal has surfaced in the public press. And how did it come to light? Since the Alabama Institute has the NAC seal of approval (the public safeguards, the guarantee of "quality services") did NAC find the wrong-doing and bring it to light? No. As far as we can determine, the Alabama Institute is still in good standing, still NAC-accredited, still covered by the shield that assures "quality services." But if not NAC, then who? It was done by the blind themselves-the National Federation of the Blind—the true watchdogs of agency performance—the real promoters of "quality services."

Tandy Culpepper: an interesting name, one that will likely become widely known throughout the country, one which the blind will long remember. Mr. Culpepper is a psychologist. Until recently he was Director of Evaluative Services at the E. H. Gentry Technical Facility at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. The circumstances surrounding his leaving are instructive.

The article which appeared in the February 3,1981, Talladega Daily Home was innocent and unsensational, one might almost say routine. Certainly it gave no indication of scandal or hint of what was to come. Headlined "Two officials resign from technical facility," it said:

TALLADEGA - Resignations have been accepted from two E. H. Gentry Technical Facility employees, according to Dr. Jack Hawkins, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind president.

He said Monday that Tandy Culpepper, director of evaluative services, and Darryl Ingram, recreation director, have resigned.

The resignations came as a result of recommendations made by a committee of consultants who reviewed the Institute's programs during a campus visit Jan. 8-9, Hawkins said.

Other recommendations regarding changes in the organizational structure of the institute will be made at the Feb. 19 meeting of the board of trustees. However, Hawkins said he anticipated no other resignations.

A far-reaching change at the technical facility was made in October when the board of trustees voted to combine the academic and adult departments under Hawkins' leadership.

Serving on the committee of consultants were Dr. Truman Pierce, dean emeritus at Auburn University, chairman; and committee members Dr. Milo Bishop, dean of instruction at National Technological Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, N.Y.; Pierce Cain, president of Ayers Technical College, Anniston; Dr. Robert Couch, coordinator. Rehabilitation and Crippled Children Services; Johnny Granger, vice president and general manager, Modglin-Maid Inc., Hazelhurst, Miss.; and Dr. Charles Joiner, associate dean of the School of Community and Allied Health, University of Alabama in Birmingham.

It will be observed that this newspaper article indicates no problem or need for haste. After all, the eminent committee of consultants had made its recommendations during "a campus visit" January 8 and 9. Here it was almost a month later, so surely no real problem or great urgency was involved. Apparently there were other recommendations to be made at the upcoming board meeting of the Institute February 19, no board action being required in the interim. A distinguished committee of consultants, overall recommendations concerning the Institute, two routine resignations, and an announcement by the Institute's president. Low key—all's well. Besides, if there were trouble, would it not be detected by NAC? Would not the shield of "quality services" reach out to guard the public and protect the blind?

There are those who at times say that they cannot understand why some of the agencies in the field of work with the blind have such bitterness and hatred toward the leaders and members of the National Federation of the Blind. Perhaps they should read the February 5, 1981, letter from Tom Mills, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Alabama, to Mr. Howard McKinsey of the Alabama State Ethics Commission:

Dear Mr. McKinsey:

Tandy Culpepper, a former State employee who was in the service of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind as a department psychologist has been "double-dipping" his travel expense account. It is reported that Mr. Culpepper is also a state employee in service to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The nature of the theft revolves around trips which he made during the past 18 months. He charged both the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the same trips. Dr. Jack Hawkins, President of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind fired Mr. Culpepper last week but is attempting to cover this affair up and hide it from the authorities and public scrutiny. Confidential reports have estimated the theft in excess of $4,000.00. Also it has been reported that Dr. Jack Hawkins, President, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, took it upon himself and required Mr. Culpepper to pay it back and fired him without Board approval. If additional information is needed feel free to get in touch with me.


Thomas H. Mills, President,
National Federation of the Blind of Alabama

What a revealing letter! What a different picture from that painted by the February 3 newspaper article and the announcement by Mr. Hawkins. Of course, President Mills did not stop with the letter to the Ethics Commission. Federal money was involved, and the wrong-doing could not be erased by simply paying back the money and quietly getting out of town. In addition to contacting federal officials, Federation leaders in Alabama contacted the press. Now, the articles had a different tone:


Star Staff Writer

From the Anniston Star, February 7, 1981

TALLADEGA - The National Federation of the Blind of Alabama has asked the state Ethics Commission to look into the resignation of a psychologist from two state institutions amid allegations he had been billing both institutions for the same travel.

The psychologist, Tandy Culpepper, resigned from both the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talladega and the University of Alabama in Birmingham last week, officials at both institutions confirmed Friday.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, president of the institute, said the resignation came after the psychologist had been confronted with evidence of the double billing. Culpepper was given "an option of resigning." which he chose "as a unilateral decision," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the decision to confront Culpepper had been a joint one arrived at by the administration at UAB and by his administration.

UAB spokesmen would not confirm that Culpepper's resignation had anything to do with the financial matters.

Culpepper could not be reached Friday for comment.

The ethics commission would neither confirm nor deny that a complaint had been made.

But Thomas H. Mills, president of the national federation, said he had mailed a letter to Howard McKenzie, assistant director of the commission, on Thursday.

In the letter, he alleges Culpepper had charged both UAB and the institute more than $4,000 in trips. A source told The Star the accurate figure is $1,900 to 32,000, about $1,000 to which Culpepper was entitled.

Mills also alleges Hawkins "fired" Culpepper in an attempt to "cover this affair up and hide it from the authorities and public scrutiny."

Hawkins said Culpepper "made the unilateral decision to resign. There has not been, nor will there be, an attempt to cover up anything."

Hawkins said Culpepper had repaid the institute nearly $500. Institute spokesman Bill Edwards said that was the full amount he owed the institute. Edwards added that Culpepper had agreed to repay about $1,000 to UAB.

Culpepper had been an instructor in the rehabilitation services division of UAB's school of community and allied health since April 1979. Dr. Charles Joiner, associate dean of the school, said Culpepper resigned "I guess for his own reasons."

Edwards said the double billing was an "error." and that it was "discovered through administrative review by Dr. Hawkins."

Culpepper, a 16-year employee of the institute, had been director of evaluative services at the E. H. Gentry Technical Institute in Talladega.


Advertiser Staff Writer

From the Montgomery Advertiser, February 7, 1981

Members of an organization for the blind have asked for an Ethics Commission investigation of a former teacher at a Talladega school for the blind who, they say, resigned after an administrative inquiry revealed he falsified expense account forms.

The state president of the National Federation of the Blind, Tom Mills, mailed the complaint to Howard McKenzie, an Ethics Commission official, Thursday. It alleges that Tandy Culpepper padded his expense accounts from two Alabama schools during the past 18 months.

Culpepper, who worked two days a week at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and three days at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, resigned both positions last week.

A spokesman for the Talladega school confirmed Culpepper resigned after institute President Jack Hawkins Jr. "discovered he (Culpepper) was padding his expense accounts."

"We discovered the discrepancies through an administrative review," Bill Edwards, director of the Office of Public Information, said Thursday. "Dr. Hawkins then gave Mr. Culpepper the option of resigning or being fired."

The administrative inquiry was begun last November when Hawkins assumed administrative control over the school's adult vocational training department. Prior to November, the chairman of that department answered directly to the institute's board of trustees. Edwards said.

Edwards said Culpepper agreed to repay approximately $500 he had received as a result of filing false expense vouchers from the institute.

The discrepancies in the expense vouchers occurred in his claims for trips from Talladega to Birmingham during the past 18 months, Edwards said.

"The way I understand it, when Culpepper was traveling back and forth from Birmingham to Talladega, he was filing expense vouchers with both schools," Edwards said.

The Talladega school does not plan to press charges against Culpepper or turn any of the falsified expense forms over to state authorities, according to Edwards.

"As far as I'm aware, there will be no charges pressed against Culpepper by the institute because he has agreed to reimburse the school," Edwards said.

UAB officials said Thursday they were not aware of any discrepancies in Culpepper's expense vouchers. Ida Leonard, university legal representative, said her department was not investigating Culpepper.

UAB does not have a "written down or set policy" concerning possible discrepancies in expense vouchers, but "if any such violation was discovered, corrective action would be taken," Ms. Leonard said.

A spokesman in the UAB public affairs department said Culpepper was not forced to resign. He confirmed Culpepper commuted between Talladega and Birmingham and said the former vocational instructor could have taken out-of-town trips while employed by the university.

"If he took out-of-town trips or any trips where expenses were incurred, he was responsible for justifying his travel expenses," said the spokesman.

Culpepper served as a department head at UAB and had the authority to approve expense forms, according to officials.

Edwards said Culpepper taught in the adult vocational section of the Talladega institute. UAB officials said he was chairman of a division in the School of Community Health, which works with blind adults.

With such articles appearing in the press, it is not difficult to understand the consternation which must have been felt by officials at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and the University of Alabama. In fact, some of the statements of these officials as quoted in the articles leave room for wonder. But the matter of irregularities at the Institute was by no means finished.

On February 19, 1981, the board of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind was slated to meet in Talladega at the Institute. President Mills was there. As he puts it, "Alabama is a Sunshine Law State which means that state agencies and schools must conduct public board meetings. A secret session can not be held except whenever the good name of a person is being discussed and even then the board must adjourn itself from public session and then come back and report again in public session." Tom Mills is not a passive man. He takes his role as state president seriously. On February 19 he did not simply sit in an office at the Institute and wait. He moved about the premises and explored.

In a room (unannounced to the public) he found the board in secret session, apparently in violation of the state law. He tried to enter. He said that the blind of the state (and he as their leader) had the right to know. There was more than a little unpleasantness. He was not treated gently.

In the open board meeting that day President Mills criticized the secret meetings held by the board and demanded that the public's business not be hidden from the public. President Mills stayed at the Alabama Institute on Thursday night. Here, in his own words, is what happened to him: "After the Thursday board meeting in which the Federation was critical of the board, I was mysteriously beaten up by four or five unidentified persons who knocked at my room door and as I opened it they barged in punching all over my body." Mr. Mills says that he suffered bruises all over his body. He has glaucoma—which, of course, is a condition of elevated pressure in the eyeball. A blow in the area of the eye can aggravate this condition and cause irreparable damage. Mr. Mills says that he was hit in the area of the eyes, which caused severe flare up of the glaucoma, giving him a great deal of pain and requiring medication.

But Tom Mills does not frighten easily. He has not backed away from what must be done. This is underscored by a letter dated February 25, 1981, to Mr. Mills from the Federal Regional Inspector General:

Dear Mr. Mills:

This letter is to acknowledge your oral complaint concerning irregularities at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama. We have referred your complaint to the Regional Inspector General for Investigations, Atlanta, Georgia.

We thank you for your concern in this matter. If any additional information is desired, you will be contacted.

Of course, this story is by no means finished. There will be more newspaper articles, more threats, more facts brought to light, more attempts at intimidation, and possibly criminal indictments and convictions. There are also questions left to be answered: Where has NAC been during all of these proceedings? Why has it not spoken out or revoked the accreditation of the Institute? How much credibility is left concerning NAC's talk about how it insures "quality services" and that it fights the Federation because we are militant and radical and because we are not in favor of high standards and good services? We know why Mr. Culpepper "resigned," but why did Mr. Darryl Ingram (who was the recreation director at the Institute) "resign?" There are rumors (very ugly rumors), but what are the facts? Will we be told? Will NAC uncover the truth for us, or will we of the Federation have to do it for ourselves—Culpepper style?

If an impartial observer surveys the scene in work with the blind throughout the country for the past two or three years, he or she cannot escape a clearly unfolding pattern—and it is not a pattern which is flattering to NAC or its custodial allies, the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Council of the Blind. More and more blind persons are coming to realize how vital the National Federation of the Blind is to their interests and how important it is that NAC and its supporters be fully exposed to public scrutiny. The events which are unfolding in Alabama underscore and emphasize these facts. The blind are simply no longer willing to be second-class citizens, and the general public (once it has the facts) will no longer tolerate what has been happening.

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February 23, 1981

Mr. Duane Gerstenberger, Director
Job Opportunities for the Blind

Dear Mr. Gerstenberger:

In my opinion JOB has been quite successful in its first year. The activities such as job listings, job applicant seminars, employer seminars and making a variety of job related materials available to JOB applicants and employers have been most helpful to blind people.

I realize with a limited staff only so much can be done. Hopefully the future can bring expansion. You are working on individualizing job announcements. I see this as a particularly important part of the program. From time to time it is mentioned that states are having employer seminars. We have been thinking about doing that in Wisconsin. It would be helpful to know specifically what states are doing in employer seminars and also some of the other activities.

Since I have an opportunity to dream I will take advantage of it. Young blind people have difficulty getting job experience. A project for summer employment would be helpful. It would help people gain work experience and it would help employers see the capabilities of blind people. Sighted students have many summer job opportunities. I could also see working with senior citizens who aren't ready to fully retire. This project could be endless if the resources were available.

I believe that there has been no waste in using the grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sister Sue Micich
Volunteer JOB Coordinator

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As most people in the field of work with the blind know, the Federal Department of Labor and the National Federation of the Blind embarked on a joint venture in December of 1979 to improve job opportunities for the blind. Appropriately, the project was entitled JOB, Job Opportunities for the Blind. From the very beginning it was one of the most successful efforts ever undertaken to improve the lives of the blind. Each day it is becoming more so.

As could have been predicted, the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) resented this constructive development. With its usual jealousy and vindictiveness, NAC undertook to destroy the project. A review of NAC's tactics and their failure (a documenting of what NAC showed itself to be and of the response of the Federal Department of Labor) is worthwhile in continuing to build the record of NAC's unethical and unprofessional conduct—its attempt to lower standards and destroy quality services for the blind.

Under date of April 21, 1980, Richard Bleecker (NAC's chief spokesman) wrote to Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall. It will be observed that the letter is characterized by NAC's usual arrogance, innuendoes, and half truths. Dr. Bleecker's concern that JOB might become an "undisguised showpiece for NFB's radical philosophy and militant methods" is thoroughly understandable. It has an almost frightened and plaintive tone. Of course, JOB has become a "showpiece" for NFB's philosophy; and considering what NAC and its American Foundation for the Blind and American Council of the Blind allies are, their concern is understandable. Whether a philosophy is "radical" or "militant" is often a matter of perspective—a commentary on the accuser, not the accused. Be that as it may, here is the Bleecker letter:

New York, New York
April 21, 1980

The Honorable Ray Marshall
Secretary of Labor
Washington, D. C.

Dear Secretary Marshall:

Thank you for your letter of January 31 regarding the problems currently facing sheltered workshops for blind and other handicapped persons.

I was pleased to receive your assurance that programs for the handicapped continue to be a high priority within the Department of Labor, and that you have asked Assistant Secretary Elisburg to meet with us to obtain our ideas for improving the sheltered workshop program. I do plan to attend this meeting, and look forward to a productive exchange of ideas. [Dr. Bleecker is here referring to NAC's ongoing battle to try to pursuade Congress and the Department of Labor that blind workers in sheltered shops should not receive the minimum wage.]

Meanwhile, I am compelled to write to you on another matter of grave concern. We recently learned that the Department had awarded the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) a $157,323 contract for "Job Opportunities for the Blind". This is a profoundly regrettable decision. It supports—and tacitly endorses—the activities of a group that attacks legitimate organizations of and for the blind that refuse to be dominated by NFB's tactics.

Clearly, there is a need for the Department of Labor to explain its decision to use public funds in this manner. Let me give you a single brief example of why I am concerned:

After receiving the contract, NFB issued a pamphlet titled Section 504 and Blind Employees. It states, "This material is provided to you as a service of Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB). JOB is operated by the National Federation of the Blind under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor." When we look closely at this material, we find that, within the guise of providing helpful information to blind persons and potential employers, NFB vilifies a number of organizations, including the National Accreditation Council. Here's what I mean: "NAC symbolized (and it still does) everything odious and repulsive in our long and painful tradition—custodialism by governmental and private social service agencies, ward status, vested interest, intimidation, exclusion, and second-class citizenship."

Can you please tell me how this gratuitous and false statement about NAC will help blind people get jobs? And I trust that you have an explanation for allowing taxpayers' money to pay for these insults.

What safeguards has the Department established to prevent the "Job Opportunities for the Blind" contract from becoming an undisguised showpiece for NFB's radical philosophy and militant methods?

I am enclosing a copy of the position on the NFB national leadership that was adopted last year by the board of directors of the National Accreditation Council. It should help you to understand the way in which the nature and purposes of NFB are perceived within our field.

I ask that you give this matter your personal attention. Under which authority did a respected Department of our government make an unfortunate decision of this sort? On what basis can you justify the publication of materials that distort the work of responsible persons and reputable organizations in the field?

I trust you understand now why I think that this is an embarrassment to the reputation of the Department as a body genuinely committed to improving conditions for the handicapped.

Thank you very much for your attention to this serious matter.

Sincerely yours.
Richard W. Bleecker, Ed. D.

Not content to wait for a response from Secretary Marshall, Dr. Bleecker and his allies undertook to see whether they could load the dice. They tried to start a pressure campaign through Congress—using, of course, the falsehoods which they themselves had helped plant in the Des Moines Register, as well as the other vilifications which characterize their standard attack. Under date of May 2, 1980, Dr. Bleecker wrote to Congressman William Green:

Dear Congressman Green:

Morton Pepper of New York City, first vice president of the National Accreditation Council (NAC), and I very much appreciate your meeting with us this morning to discuss the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Mr. Pepper and I are concerned about the possible misuse of public funds by this organization, and we welcome this opportunity to share our concern with you.

Our most immediate concern is that recently, the Department of Labor awarded a $157,323 contract to the NFB for "Job Opportunities for the Blind". We think that this was a poorly considered and regrettable decision. By supporting the NFB, the Department of Labor is tacitly endorsing the activities of a group that attacks legitimate organizations of and for the blind that refuse to be dominated by NFB's tactics.

Let me give you a single brief example of why I am concerned:

After receiving the contract, NFB issued a pamphlet titled Section 504 and Blind Employees. It states, "This material is provided to you as a service of Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB). JOB is operated by the National Federation of the Blind under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor". When we look closely at this material, we find that, within the guise of providing helpful information to blind persons and potential employers, NFB vilifies a number of organizations, including the National Accreditation Council. Here's what I mean: "NAC symbolized (and it still does) everything odious and repulsive in our long and painful tradition—custodialism by governmental and private social service agencies, ward status, vested interest, intimidation, exclusion, and second-class citizenship".

We don't think gratuitous and false statements about NAC will help blind people get jobs; moreover, we fear that the "Job Opportunities for the Blind" contract is an undisguised showpiece for NFB's radical philosophy and militant methods. It disturbs us that taxpayers' money is being used to pay for these things.

I am enclosing a copy of the position on the NFB national leadership that was adopted last year by the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Council. It should help you to understand the way our field perceives the nature and purpose of NFB.

There are others—outside the field of work with the blind—that share these concerns. I've enclosed several newspaper articles that discuss some of the controversial and questionable activities of the NFB, its related corporate interests, and its long-time President, Kenneth Jernigan.

We hope that you'll have this investigated; possibly the GAO should look into this since federal funds are involved. Please let me know if we can be of any further help.

Richard W. Bleecker, Ed.D.

In the meantime Huntington Harris of Virginia, another of the NAC stalwarts, was working on his Congressman:

Leesburg, Virginia
May 16, 1980

Congressman Joseph L. Fisher
Washington, D. C.

Dear Joe:

Thank you very much for your letter of 29 April with regard to your campaign. I hope it succeeds, though I have not always—unsurprisingly!—agreed with everything you have done.

Meanwhile, another difficulty has arisen with my National Accreditation Council for the Blind and the Visually Handicapped which is explained in the enclosed letter from its executive director to Secretary Marshall.

What's done cannot be undone, but surely some complaints can be registered. It is most unfortunate that the Labor Department fund an operation which attacks NAC, itself being the U.S. Government's officially recognized, through HEW, accrediting agency in this field.

In short, I hope you will find it possible to grumble in an appropriate manner.

With very best wishes,

Huntington Harris

Of course, Mr. Harris bends the truth just a little since NAC is not "the U.S. Government's officially recognized, through HEW, accrediting agency in this field"—but, then, when has a little truth bending ever stood in NAC's way? Congressman Fisher cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of NAC's behavior or the private prejudices of every constituent. Under date of May 23, 1980, the Congressman wrote to Secretary Marshall:

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am enclosing a letter addressed to me from Mr. Huntington Harris, a most respected citizen of Loudoun County, Virginia, along with a letter written to you on April 21 by Dr. Richard W. Bleecker. This relates to a contract recently awarded by the Department of Labor to the National Federation of the Blind. The point is made in the second letter that this organization has made highly critical and false statements about the National Accreditation Council for the Blind which is recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services as the accrediting agency in this field.

I would appreciate your having the appropriate person in your department look into this matter and give me some report on it. I know Mr. Harris is not given to raising frivolous or unimportant matters.

Thank you very much.

Joseph L. Fisher
Member of Congress

The uninformed sometimes wonder whether it may not be an exaggeration to characterize certain goings on in our field as a "conspiracy." Yet, certain patterns seem constantly to recur. In the present instance, for example, the Des Moines Register got into the act. One wonders at the coincidence of all of these attacks on JOB by NAC and an article on the same subject which appeared in the Des Moines Register June 12, 1980. How did it happen that a newspaper in the midwest just happened to know about a letter written by a man in New York to the Secretary of Labor—and why was it thought newsworthy? To the best of our knowledge not another newspaper in the entire nation got hold of the item or thought it worth printing. Yet, here it is in the Des Moines Register—and done with the usual innuendo and disregard of the truth. Mr. Gerstenberger (Director of JOB) categorically denies, for example, the statements attributed to him by the Des Moines Register. He says that he gave them a quote and asked them to use it if they intended to use his name at all. Here is the article from the Register:


Of The Register's Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON, D. C. - The National Federation of the Blind is under fire for using part of a $157,323 federal grant to propagate the views of its president, Kenneth Jernigan, and to attack an old Jernigan foe as "odious and repulsive."

The money was awarded to the federation under a U.S. Labor Department contract last December. The federation said it would use the funds to establish a reference service to help the blind find jobs.

One part of the project, known as Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB), has been to send prospective employers a 60-page publication that, among other things, explains federal requirements for hiring the handicapped.

But 17 pages are taken up with the text of a speech Jernigan gave in 1975 that, in general, condemns public attitudes toward blindness. At one point, the speech berates the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, a New York-based organization that has been at odds with Jernigan for years.

"Uncle Toms"

Jernigan, director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind for 20 years prior to his resignation in 1978, contends the council is the hand maiden of organizations of the blind that favor custodial care. He calls them "Uncle Toms" in the speech reprinted in the JOB publication.

The speech characterized the council as symbolizing "everything odious and repulsive in our long and painful tradition—custodialism by governmental and private social service agencies, ward status, vested interest, intimidation, exclusion, and second-class citizenship."

The cover of the publication for prospective employers of the blind states, "This material is provided to you as a service of Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB). JOB is operated by the National Federation of the Blind under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor."

Richard Bleecker, an official of the National Accreditation Council, has complained to U.S. Labor Secretary Ray Marshall about the granting of the $157,323 contract to the federation, saying the arrangement makes it appear as if the Labor Department "supports—and tacitly endorses—the activities of a group that attacks legitimate organizations of and for the blind that refuse to be dominated by NFB's tactics."

Bleecker pointed specifically to the portion of the reprinted Jernigan speech in the JOB publication that attacked the council.

"Taxpayers' Money"

He asked Marshall: "Can you please tell me how this gratuitous and false statement about (the council) will help blind people get jobs? And I trust that you have an explanation for allowing taxpayers' money to pay for these insults."

Marshall also was asked to explain what "safeguards" the Labor Department had taken to "prevent the 'Job Opportunities for the Blind' contract from becoming an undisguised showpiece for NFB's radical philosophy and militant methods?"

A Labor Department spokesman said the department's employment and training administration had drafted a reply to Bleecker's letter, but he declined to disclose its contents on the ground that Marshall had not reviewed or signed it.

Duane Gerstenberger, director of the federation's JOB project, dismissed Bleecker's complaint as "simply one more ploy on the part of the NAC and presumably its crony, The Register." He declined to discuss the issue further.

Last February, the Braille Monitor, a publication of the National Federation of the Blind, printed a 20-page special edition entitled, "The Bizarre World of the Des Moines Register: Malicious and Reckless Disregard of the Truth." Written by Jernigan, whose fund-raising operations and stewardship of the Iowa Commission for the Blind had been questioned in a number of Register articles, characterized the newspaper as "parochial, arrogant, bigoted, and narrow."

And how did the Department of Labor react to all of this criticism and attempted pressure? Under date of June 27, 1980, Lamond Godwin (Administrator, Office of National Programs, Department of Labor) wrote to Congressman Fisher. One does not have to read between the lines to see that Secretary Marshall and Mr. Godwin were profoundly unimpressed by Dr. Bleecker and his arrogance. In other words the pressure tactics did not generate much pressure:

Dear Congressman Fisher:

Your letter to Secretary Marshall concerning one of our contractors, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), has been referred to me for reply. Please accept my apology for the delay in responding to you.

You will appreciate that the Department of Labor's principal concern is in the support of programs for the handicapped. While there may be disagreements between organizations as to their proper role or the efficacy of their particular program, it is the Department's position that a program which promises information, training, and employment for blind persons, merits its support—regardless of the differing philosophies between organizations in the same field.

The NFB contract undertakes a plan to set up a national system to match the qualifications of blind persons seeking employment in the private sector, with the needs of employers who require persons with such qualifications. NFB has made good progress in this regard. I am sure you will agree a useful service is being performed.

In response to your particular concern regarding a sentence contained in NFB's Pamphlet, Section 504 and Blind  Employees, staff in our Office of National Programs have reviewed the distribution of this material as it relates to the Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) contract. The publication to which you refer is copyrighted solely by the National Federation of the Blind and was prepared by the Federation without the aid of Federal financial assistance; its issuance predates the JOB project. Moreover, the specific sentence which you have cited as objectionable must be seen in the context of this 60-page publication. From this perspective we are confident that the Federation did not intend its distribution as an act of offense against the National Accreditation Council (NAC). The Department does not necessarily subscribe to (nor is it our policy to exercise specific approval over) every statement made in the various publications and materials which are regularly distributed by the many contractors who work with us in order to promote employment and training activities.

We have informed the Federation of NAC's objection to the statement in this pamphlet. In response, NFB expressed the view that NAC's letter (and similar communications to Members of Congress) may be regarded as attempts to politicize a legitimate and worthwhile project. In order to avoid this possibility, the Federation will remove any identification of Department of Labor sponsorship from publications which are not specifically prepared for circulation as part of the JOB program. This procedure is in accordance with departmental policy and should remove any inadvertent implication that the Department of Labor endorses or opposes such statements as the one you cited from a publication which was prepared on a voluntary basis without Federal assistance and not pursuant to the specific obligations or requirements of a Federal contract.

Thank you for your interest in employment and training programs, especially for the handicapped.

Lamond Godwin
Office of National Programs

Under date of July 11, 1980, Secretary Marshall got around to answering the Bleecker letter of April 21. Secretary Marshall's letter was word for word almost a verbatim repeat of Mr. Godwin's communication to Congressman Fisher. As one might imagine, Dr. Bleecker was not pleased. (There has been so little to please Dr. Bleecker of late.) He lost no time in trying to pull rank on the Secretary and show him the error of his ways:

New York, New York
July 23, 1980

Dear Secretary Marshall:

Thank you for your letter of July 11 in response to mine to you of April 21.

I appreciate the Department of Labor obtaining agreement from National Federation of the Blind to remove identification of the Department as sponsoring the publications which "are not specifically prepared for circulation as part of the JOB Program."

I am surprised, however, at your characterization of NFB and NAC as "organizations in the same field" which have "differing philosophies." This reminds me of someone who once referred to the Ku Klux Klan and the Anti-Defamation League as organizations in the same field with differing philosophies! The fact is that the National Accreditation Council is the standard-setting and accrediting body in work with the blind, endorsed by the majority of responsible organizations in the field, and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. On the other hand, the National Federation of the Blind is a self-described militant consumer group that has been attacking NAC and other agencies of and for the blind for over a decade and that has failed to obtain the recognition of National Information Bureau or Council of Better Business Bureaus, which are set up to monitor charitable groups of this type.

I also am surprised by your statement that the NFB program "promises information, training and employment for blind persons" and therefore deserves your support. To my knowledge, NFB has no record of ability to provide these particular services. And in fact, there are other consumer groups that might make the same promises. Would they also qualify for Department contracts? What about the agencies for the blind already working to provide these services by helping blind people obtain job opportunities? Have they been offered similar Departmental contracts?

Now, once again, I'd like to ask you to address several of the concerns I raised in my initial letter to you:

1) What safeguards has the Department established to prevent the JOB contract from becoming a showpiece for NFB's radical philosophy and militant methods, and to finance further attacks on NAC?

2) Under which authority did the Department make this funding decision, rather than considering other consumer groups or organizations with experience in this area?

I will appreciate your looking into these matters for me. Meanwhile, thank you again for your assistance.

Richard W. Bleecker, Ed.D.

Secretary Marshall did not seem in a great hurry to dignify Dr. Bleecker's impertinence with a response. In fact, he did not respond at all. Instead, he delegated the matter to Lamond Godwin—who, in his turn, was in no great rush about the matter. Under date of September 5, 1980, Mr. Godwin wrote to Dr. Bleecker. Although the letter was polite, it clearly said that nonsense was nonsense and enough was enough. In fact, one might almost say that Mr. Godwin's communication was terse. He said that the Federation was doing a good job and that the Department of Labor was pleased with JOB, but he did not waste a lot of words on it. In the context of the previous correspondence, the citation of the law constitutes nothing less than a rebuff:

September 5, 1980

Dear Mr. Bleecker:

Thank you for your letter to Secretary Marshall, in which you have asked him to address several of your concerns in regard to our contract with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Your letter has been referred to me for reply.

I sincerely regret that you feel that your concerns have not been fully addressed. I shall try to do so now.

This contract was awarded under authority vested in the Secretary of Labor by Title III, Section 301 of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), and on the basis that the NFB was an eligible organization which submitted a suitable proposal for expanding employment opportunities, consistent with the objectives of the employment and training programs for which we are responsible.

Each of our contractors is subject to applicable Departmental regulations and our general contracting provisions, which, among other things, protect the Department against violations by the contractor. Also, the performance of each contractor is closely monitored by staff in the Office of National Programs. In this connection, we have worked closely with the Federation and we are convinced that the progress being made by this contractor represents a genuinely worthwhile and constructive effort on behalf of unemployed and underemployed blind people in this country.

I hope that this information addresses your concerns, and I thank you for your interest in employment and training programs.

Lamond Godwin
Office of National Programs

One has to hand it to Dr. Bleecker. What he lacks in tact, understanding, subtlety, and "professionalism" he makes up in brass, impudence, and exaggerated self-esteem. Under date of September 22, 1980, he replied to Mr. Godwin. As his letter indicates, he had, at least, finally got the message that he needed to change tactics. He would no longer try to get an explanation of why the Department of Labor had dared enter into the original JOB contract. He would take a fall back position. He would see whether he could find something to criticize in the reports of the Federation's performance of the contract and try to prevent a renewal for a second year. After all, the contract would expire December 15, 1980.

September 22, 1980

Dear Mr. Godwin:

Thank you for writing me concerning the Department of Labor contract with National Federation of the Blind. I appreciate the information you provided, and your attempt to address our concerns.

I don't think it would be productive to trouble DOL further with our questions about the manner which it decided to award the contract to NFB.

Instead I would Uke to learn more about the contract itself and NFB's performance under it. Our organization has a vital interest in blind people receiving employment and promotional opportunities and we are very pleased to learn that DOL is developing a particular awareness in this regard.

It is reassuring to learn that NFB's performance is being closely monitored by your staff. We would appreciate it if you could send us the reports of the evaluations on which your statement about NFB's contract performance is based. Also, we would like to know when the contract will expire and how soon afterward a final report can be made available to us.

Thank you for your assistance.

Richard W. Bleecker, Ed. D.

As the fall dragged on and JOB became more and more successful and received more and more praise, the NAC forces must have felt growing consternation. One can only assume that they were unaware of the fact that the Labor Department was so pleased with the JOB performance that an extra $50,000 was added to the contract late in September. In his own way perhaps Dr. Bleecker assisted.

At any rate as the year drew to an end, NAC tried once more. Under date of December 5, 1980, the redoubtable Morton Pepper wrote to Congressman William Green:

Dear Bill:

I am turning to you again for help on the Department of Labor contract with National Federation of the Blind.

On September 22, 1980 Dr. Bleecker asked the Department for "the reports of the evaluations on which your statement about NFB's contract performance is based." To date he has not received a reply. Perhaps a request from you would bring a reply and the documents. We at NAC would very much appreciate your making a request.

Morton Pepper

Under date of December 19, 1980, Congressman Green wrote to Nik B. Edes, Deputy Under-Secretary for Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations, Department of Labor:

Dear Mr. Edes:

I write to you with regard to the attached correspondence from my constituent Atty. Morton Pepper.

I believe that the contract referred to was awarded by DOL's Office of National Programs, and I would mention that Dr. Bleecker is Dr. Richard Bleecker of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

It is my hope that the Department will comply with Dr. Bleecker's request, and any assistance which you might provide in this regard would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time and cooperation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Green, Member of Congress

1980 was not a good year for NAC, but it was still trying. After all, January would bring a new administration and, perhaps, new hope. When the answer finally came, it must have been almost more than Dr. Bleecker could take. When the JOB contract expired in December, it was renewed for another year. And then there was the letter from William J. Kacvinsky, the man in the new administration who had taken Lamond Godwin's place. Under date of February 10, 1981, he responded to Congressman Green. His letter was detailed and definitive. It contained statistics and attachments. Particularly painful to Dr. Bleecker must have been the testimonial in support of JOB from Lymon D'Andrea, the Director of Programs for the Blind in Rhode Island and long-time NAC supporter. There was a letter of support from Louise Kimbrough, the Editor of Dialogue Magazine, and there were letters from blind persons who had benefited from JOB. One wonders if the Des Moines Register (purely in the interest of truth and objectivity, of course) would like to print a retraction and feature the Kacvinsky letter in a prominent news story. One wonders if Dr. Bleecker (as a matter of ethical conduct, promotion of quality services, and professionalism) would like to offer an apology. Here is the Kacvinsky letter:

February 10, 1981

Dear Congressman Green:

Thank you for your letter to Nik B. Edes, former Deputy Under Secretary for Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations on behalf of your constituent, Mr. Morton Pepper, concerning the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Your letter has been referred to me for response.

In past correspondence to Dr. Bleecker, Mr. Godwin, former Administrator of the Office of National Programs, has described the Federation's work as a "genuinely worthwhile and constructive effort on behalf of unemployed and underemployed blind people in this country." This statement remains in effect as our overall evaluation of the JOB project. This evaluation is based on data we have gathered in connection with monitoring NFB's progress toward achieving the objectives of the JOB contract. Moreover, we have received information from sources other than the contractor which indicated that JOB is enthusiastically received and that the Federation is competently fulfilling its responsibilities in an area of need which is not adequately met by other programs.

With reference to your request for a final evaluation report, our procedures do not include a formal, written evaluation report, inasmuch as our project officers (Federal Representatives) are in regular contact with each contractor to insure that the objectives which we mutually agree upon are being met. In this connection, we believe that the NFB project is achieving, and in some cases exceeding, all our expectations. Furthermore, we are satisfied that this contractor has acted in good faith in carrying out its commitments to the government and to the blind persons for whom the program was intended.

Specific examples of what has been accomplished are as follows:

1. JOB has assisted qualified blind persons seeking nonsubsidized, competitive employment. A series of public service announcements was produced and disseminated describing the services to be provided. Dissemination of these announcements is ongoing. The continued response from blind persons who become new JOB applicants and others interested in the program indicates that the announcements are being aired throughout the country. One measurement is that job applicants are registering with the project at a steadily increasing rate. JOB has established, and is maintaining, listings of blind persons who have registered with the project for purposes of seeking employment. Twenty-six issues of a job applicant's bulletin have been disseminated nationwide. A new and more detailed application form was developed to expedite processing of registration with JOB. This form along with a cover letter (in print and Braille as needed) was sent to all current applicants, and the form is used to register new applicants. The standard employment application form (Standard Form 171) required by the Federal government for Federal employment was produced in Braille. Copies were provided to volunteer coordinators (for further distribution) and to applicants on request. Sixty-seven JOB applicants secured nonsubsidized, competitive employment during the first year of the program.

2. JOB has assisted employers in locating qualified blind persons to fill available job openings. Volunteer coordinators have been designated in each State and are collecting notices of job availabilities. Both public and private employers are represented in the job listings forwarded by volunteer coordinators and others. Most major metropolitan areas and all specific geographic sections of the country are represented within JOB listings. Recently a new 4-page description of the JOB program was written and copies produced in print and Braille. While this description helps introduce anyone to the program, it has proven to be particularly effective in helping volunteer coordinators develop and cultivate contacts with employers. JOB has produced and disseminated twelve issues of the Employer's Edition of the JOB Bulletin. The mailing list for the Employer's Edition has grown steadily and now exceeds 300. Volunteer coordinators and others constantly refer personnel officers to be added to this list. Educational materials regarding blindness and the provisions of Federal and State laws have been provided to employers. An educational mailing to 680 active American business executives involved with personnel and training was made late last year.

3. JOB has provided consultation service to employers concerning employment of blind persons. JOB staff, volunteer coordinators, and others as needed have consulted with numerous potential employers and rehabilitation counselors concerning the employment of blind persons. This has been done principally by means of seminars for potential employers and through individual conferences to solve specific problems. Meetings with employers in Idaho, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado, New Jersey, Virginia, and Nebraska represent the most significant consultation efforts made last year.

4. JOB has conducted employee preparation seminars and other training activities to facilitate the placement of qualified blind persons in competitive positions. Qualified blind persons seeking nonsubsidized, competitive positions received training under JOB sponsorship. Four employee preparation seminars have been conducted to date. During the week of December 1, 1980, seven JOB applicants participated in a week-long seminar held at JOB headquarters. Similar sessions are planned for the future.

5. JOB has produced and disseminated selected employment related materials prepared either by or for the Department of Labor. Eleven separate items have been produced and distributed in recorded form to JOB applicants, libraries for the blind and physically handicapped. State and local organizations of blind persons and volunteer coordinators: four items on flexible disc and seven items on cassette.

We believe that these accomplishments during the first year of the JOB project are impressive, and as indicated earlier, the staff in our Office of Special National Programs reports that encouraging comments supporting this project have been received from many sources. The attached statement made recently by the State Rehabilitation Director in Rhode Island (Mr. E. Lymon D'Andrea) is typical of the comments we have received. In addition, I am attaching for your reference similar statements which we have received from persons closely associated with work on behalf of the blind and individuals who have been served directly by the Federation through JOB. Names have been deleted to protect their confidentiality. But, in the final analysis, we must also look at the results being achieved in terms of actual jobs. In order to give you some idea of the Federation's accomplishments in this respect, I am enclosing a representative list of positions which were filled through the efforts of the JOB program.

Our continuous work with NFB in developing the job opportunities initiative has provided the responsible staff of this department sufficient data to conclude that a genuinely constructive effort is being made to achieve a greater opportunity for blind persons to contribute their talents and productive energy to our nations productivity. This department has the responsibility and the legislative mandate to sponsor and develop initiatives such as those being carried on by NFB, and we remain confident that the direction and achievements of this project are consistent with DOL policy and objectives. Furthermore, it is clear to us that other organizations and leaders in the private sector join with us in endorsing the substantive results and future direction of the JOB program. We also invite you, Mr. Pepper, and Dr. Bleecker to join us in support of this effort and trust that you will appreciate this Department's commitment to help blind people become fully involved as equal partners in the work force of our country.

William J. Kacvinsky
Acting Administrator
Office of National Programs

The following statement was made by E. Lymon D'Andrea, Director, Rhode Island State Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island, September 27, 1980. It is one of the items sent to Congressman Green in the packet with the letter from Mr. Kacvinsky:



I think the subject for this afternoon is indeed an interesting one and one, of course, that has been quite close to my heart for many, many years and that is on jobs, and jobs for blind and visually impaired people. I might say from the outset that I am extremely pleased and very happy to note that the Federation for the Blind is going in this direction to create a jobs program. Now that may sound strange because so many times I know that Ken (Kenneth Jernigan) used to think that I was probably not attuned to Federation activities.

But I feel that this is a very positive step forward on behalf of the Federation itself. Why do I feel this way when you ask, "Aren't you doing this in the State Agency—aren't you charged to do this very thing?" Yes we are. We have been for low these 50 years now, jobs to find, jobs for blind and now visually impaired persons, too.

It is not an easy matter as you all know. It is not an area that is exclusive or just restricted to a State Agency. It is not an area which cannot be treated privately by an individual who is seeking the job or otherwise. Therefore, we certainly reach out to anyone who is willing to help, and I think we have experienced, too, that the Federation has for many years, and with its own membership, that it can be a very viable force through its new program, JOBs. We will give it all the cooperation we can.

I think Jim (James Gashel) has brought some very good points home to you about the numbers of people who are in need of jobs, and probably I could quibble about a few of the statistics you have, but that's not really germane to this issue at all. I think the problem is quite clear, and that is even though many of the Agencies and many of the individuals in this field have attempted to do good job placement, it is next to impossible for just a handful of people to do it. It takes a monumental effort just to pursuade employers not to be afraid to take on a blind or visually impaired person. It is a gargantuan job, believe me. There are as many as 10 to 15 different excuses per interview with each employer, and those excuses have to be knocked down one by one. . . .

The foregoing statement by Mr. D'Andrea speaks for itself, as do the three letters which follow. They were sent by Mr. Kacvinsky to Congressman Green, and (as indicated by Mr. Kacvinsky) certain names and places have been blanked out to protect privacy:

March 16, 1980

1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Attention: Duane Gerstenberger, Director

In early February, JOB representative Mrs. Ramona Walhof called to tell me that _____________, Selective Placement Specialist for the Federal Trade Commission, was interested in hiring a blind person to work on IBM equipment. I had been job hunting unsuccessfully for approximately 3 months so, needless to say, I was happy to hear about this new job lead. I called Miss _________ and scheduled an interview for February 28.

After learning of my work experience and secretarial skills, Miss _________ seemed satisfied that I could handle the job. She said that she had been in contact with DC rehab, but that they did not have clients qualified for this particular position.

Miss _________ explained the technicalities of Schedule A appointments and mentioned that FTC had only recently received authority to hire their own personnel. She then gave an overview of available government benefits.

In closing, she said that she had no authority to hire, but was sure that I had proper skills for this job. Other candidates would also be interviewed. Depending on the outcome, she would then schedule interviews with an administrative officer and an interested supervisor.

On Tuesday, March 4, I called Miss ____________ to reaffirm my interest in the position. She said that someone should be calling to schedule a follow-up interview. If no phone call was received, I was to contact her on Friday, March 7.

I called Miss _________ on Friday, March 7. Due to a possible federal employment freeze she said that the FTC was making a tentative offer and that I should receive a letter in this regard, though this offer was not binding. I told her I didn't understand and asked why a binding offer could not be made. She stated that the FTC wanted to find a responsible supervisor. When I questioned this, she said that they were looking for someone who would regard me as a good employee, as well as being sensitive to my needs. I again questioned her and she finally said that, regardless of my skills, they couldn't find a supervisor who wanted a blind person and that both of us needed to be patient because of the newness of employing handicapped people. Our conversation ended.

I called Mrs. Walhof and gave her an update on the FTC happenings. She then contacted Miss ________ at the FTC offering assistance in educating supervisors.

Mrs. Walhof also mentioned that I had several pending offers. Miss said that if she needed assistance, she would contact JOB.

On Tuesday, March 11, Miss ___________ called to say that she had just learned of her authority to hire as a Selective Placement Specialist. She then offered me a position. Even though I had 4-1/2 years of related experience in the private sector, Miss _________ only offered me a 700 hour trial appointment. She indicated that this position would be made permanent. She said she was doing this because it was the FTC's first experience with Schedule A hiring. I accepted and will begin work on March 30, provided Miss __________ receives proper documentation.

Miss ___________ insists that I obtain Schedule A certification through DC Rehab. Previous to this, I had no need to contact DC Rehab and find it a bother to do so now. DC Rehab will reopen my case, pay for a general medical physical exam, ophthalmological report and get a successful case closure. I find this most annoying. Why should DC Rehab, or any rehab agency take credit for JOB's successes'? I hope this can be changed.

I would like to thank everyone at JOB for their assistance. Even though I am a competent blind person with experience in the secretarial and personnel fields, I couldn't have gotten this job without you. We're making progress; keep up the good work.


April 2, 1980

Duane Gerstenberger
Director, JOB
National Federation of the Blind

Mr. Gerstenberger:

Thank you very much for the disc and letter concerning the J.O.B. program that you are heading. I find the information most useful in a market where the blind and otherwise visually impaired are trying to prove their value to society.

We are airing the public service announcements on our main channel operation as well as over our SCA Radio Reading Service. I hope your messages will achieve results throughout the country as well as in southwestern Virginia.

Please continue to keep us informed of activities from your department. And please keep us on your mailing list when new audio is available for your campaign.

In reference to your audio disc, we find it much more efficient if there are 30-second public service announcements to complement your 60-second announcements.

Again, thank you for your assistance and best wishes in the future endeavors of your department.

Dennis K. Sullivan
Virginia Western Community College Radio Reading Service

Hackensack, New Jersey
July 26, 1980

Dear Sir:

I am happy to inform you that I got a job that I heard about through your services.

I am the Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for the Audio Reader Network at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The job was listed in bulletin number eleven I think. It was out in late May or early June. I hope that the JOB service can be as helpful to others as it has been for me.

My new address, effective immediately is.... Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

Thank you very much for your assistance.


As with the other correspondence quoted in this article, the foregoing letters speak for themselves. They speak to the blind of the nation, and they speak to NAC and its supporters. The federal government can no longer be bamboozled by the American Foundation for the Blind-NAC-American Council of the Blind combine, nor can the general public or the blind. The custodialism and repression which we have suffered for so long is coming to an end. We conclude this article with two letters from Louise Kimbrough, who is the Editor of Dialogue Magazine. They are letters of hope and encouragement, positive and constructive. They are in the tone and in the spirit of the new day which is dawning for the blind of this country. The words which have become our battle cry are not merely a slogan or a meaningless refrain. Through painful experience, "we know who we are, and we will never go back."

Dialogue with the Blind
Berwyn, Illinois
August 19, 1980

Dear Mr. Gerstenberger:

I want to thank you, though belatedly, for making time to talk with me on tape about the JOB program. The resulting article is enclosed for your viewing prior to publication. The recorded version is done in your voice.

I think JOB is one of the best ideas ever to be put into practice, and will be very disappointed if it is not funded after the initial year. If there is anyone to whom I might write and say this, let me know, and I shall do it gladly. . . .

Louise Kimbrough

Berwyn, Illinois
September 10, 1980

Lamond Godwin, Administrator
National Programs
Office of the Assistant Secretary
Employment and Training
Department of Labor
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Godwin:

I am writing to express my hope that the Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) Program, established last December and operated jointly by the National Federation of the Blind and the Department of Labor, be continued.

I believe this program offers greater promise of helping blind persons find suitable employment than any other program yet devised or put into action. Its great advantage is that it can transcend state lines and other boundaries limiting political jurisdiction or agency service.

At a time when hundreds of blind men and women have had no recourse but to accept employment far below the level of their skills and capabilities I believe this program serves as a beacon toward the equality which the government has mandated for, but which has not yet been attained by, this group of handicapped people.

Louise Kimbrough

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The American Brotherhood for the Blind offers a wide range of services to blind and deaf-blind persons. It produces in Braille for the deaf-blind a bi-weekly summary of the news. It offers scholarships and provides aids and appliances. It produces Twin Vision books—Braille and print side by side so that blind parents and sighted children or sighted parents and blind children may share the enjoyment of reading together. It helps conduct seminars for leaders of the blind and people working as professionals in the field. It offers consultation, advice, and any other assistance which it can give to help make life better for the blind.

As one part of its services, the American Brotherhood for the Blind operates a Braille lending library. Books for this library are produced by volunteer transcribers. An important part of this work is a group of volumes called "The Great Documents" series.

Recently the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, recognized the contribution being made by the Brotherhood by giving to the organization a "Principal Award." Two books in our Great Documents series (Shapes of Music and American Quotations) were cited as the reason. We were notified of the honor in a mailgram dated December 11, 1980. The mailgram said: "We are pleased to inform you that the Freedoms Foundation's national awards jury has awarded you the 1980 Freedoms Foundation encased George Washington Honor Medal. Principal Awards are always presented at Valley Forge on Washington's birthday. Congratulations for this national recognition. We look forward to presenting you with your award on 21 February, 1981."

I went to Valley Forge to attend the ceremony and receive the medal for the Brotherhood. It was an extremely impressive ceremony and a most interesting weekend. Some twenty other organizations and individuals were honored. The Brotherhood was in good company. Perhaps the significance of the occasion can best be judged by the words of the Freedoms Foundation Press Release, which said in part:

For its 32nd year, the National Awards Program of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge continues to recognize and draw public attention to individuals and organizations whose words and deeds support the United States social, political, and economic system, suggest solutions to basic problems, and contribute to responsible citizenship.

Alfred Alistair Cooke and Olivia DeHavilland each will receive an American Exemplar Medal; Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr., the American Patriots Medal; Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the American Statesman Medal; Fred Waring, the National Service Medal; R. E. "Ted" Turner, the Private Enterprise Exemplar Medal for innovation in television news broadcasting; and the Honorable Kenneth D. Taylor, former Canadian Ambassador to Iran, the American Friendship Medal for his service to the United States.

Several hundred people attended the banquet and awards ceremony Saturday evening, February 21. I sat at the table with the Editor of the magazine for the Women's Division of Amvets. During the course of the evening I talked with Ted Turner, who told me that his television news network would give coverage to the convention of the National Federation of the Blind this summer. I met and talked with the leaders of some of the largest corporations in the country.

Each person receiving an award walked across the stage and stood at the podium for a few moments to make an acceptance speech. As I accepted the award, read from the book of American quotations, and talked to the audience about blindness and what it means, I reflected on how far we have come as a people's movement—and how far we still have to go. The contacts which were made that night will help us speed the way toward the achievement of our goals.

The bronze George Washington honor medal is four inches in diameter and depicts George Washington at prayer in relief. It is inscribed to the American Brotherhood for the Blind and beautifully encased in lucite. It stands on my desk at the National Center for the Blind as a constant stimulus and reminder. To me it symbolizes the fact that we are coming into our own, that we are only at the threshold, and that the future is ours.

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(Note: This recipe is a favorite at the Leamington Hotel in Minneapolis. It was much enjoyed by Federationists at the convention last summer. The recipe was sent to us by Joyce Scanlan.)


½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Flour
4 Cups of Chicken Broth
1 ½ Cups Cream
16-oz. Cheese Whiz
1 Tbs. Lea and Perrin's Worchestershire Sauce
6-oz. Beer
¼ Cup Chives
Dash Yellow Food Coloring

In heavy saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour. Heat over low flame for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and cream; stir till smooth and thick. Add cheese and stir until all cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Add beer and Worchestershire sauce. Stir in chives and food coloring. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring.

Serve piping hot with popcorn. Serves 8.

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On Sunday, March 8, 1981, at its annual general meeting in Toronto, Canada, the Society for the Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped elected Harold Snider to serve as its president during 1981-82. The Society for the Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped is the only travel industry organization which concerns itself with the promotion of travel for handicapped persons and the employment of handicapped persons in the travel industry. It has affiliates in thirty-five countries and 3,000 members around the world.

From Beverly Widger, Secretary of the Omaha Chapter:

This letter is to inform you that the Tri-County Federation of the Blind has by unanimous vote of the membership changed its name to National Federation of the Blind of Omaha, Nebraska. We felt that this change was necessary so that we might be recognized as an affiliate of the NFB: and it is now more fitting.

I am also including the list of officers for 1981.

President: Henry (Hank) Vetter
First Vice President: Jerry Eckery
Second Vice President: John Smith
Secretary: Beverly A. Widger

From John McNally:

The officers of the Sunshine Chapter of Greater Miami are:

President: John McNally
Vice President: Ross LeVine
Secretary: Virginia Shirley
Treasurer: Marion McNally

From Jerald E. Dessecker, President, Philomatheon Society of the Blind:

The Philomatheon Society is again selling Braille ashtrays and white cane lapel pins.

ASHTRAYS: 4 colors per case (6 of each color) $45.60 per case plus shipping; 2% discount on 5 or more cases; 2% discount if paid within 5 days.

WHITE CANE LAPEL PINS: $30.00 per thousand plus shipping.

From Robert Rehahn:

I would like to hear from anyone who is now teaching Earth Science, or who has taught the subject. I would like to exchange ideas and information. My address is: 13090 Irene, Southgate, Michigan 48195, (313) 281-8025.

From Doug Boone:

I am a member of the Lincoln chapter of the NFB and have sold the listed items to members and non-members of the Federation.

Boone's Kustom Kraft is pleased to offer a solid walnut freeform slate and stylus holder. The compact slate and stylus holder is finished in tung oil and will lend beauty and style to any office, or place it near the phone for a quick message. Retail price is $4.50 plus $1.35 shipping (Nebr. res. add 4% tax).

In addition, Boone's Kustom Kraft is offering birch plywood games in a modified version of "Aggravation." These games are played with golf tees (in lieu of marbles) which are placed in holes in the birch board. Since the golf tees are color coded as well as tactually identifiable, sighted and blind players familiar with the game can immediately become competitors, with no discussion of procedure necessary. Print or Braille instructions are also available upon request. Price is just $9.00, plus $2.00 shipping. For more information, write:

Boone's Kustom Kraft
P. O. Box 2641
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502

From Russell Getz:

The NFB of Indiana is again offering its scholarship to some legally blind person with legal residence in the State of Indiana. To qualify the applicant must have previously graduated or will graduate this year from an accredited high school.

Interested persons should write for an application form and any additional desired information to:

Russell Getz, Committee Chairman
321 North Main Street
Goshen, Indiana 46526

News Brief from Iowa:

We offer the following without comment: In September of 1980, an official of the American Foundation for the Blind, one Ben Seltzman, who runs the model shop, visited the Iowa Commission for the Blind. He had quite a discussion with John Taylor, Commission Director, and Paul Hahle, Supervisor of Technical Services, who made some recommendations for improvements in AFB products. As a result of this conversation, both parties are considering a joint AFB/Commission venture to produce a new device—an 'audible level.'

From Sterling France:

The New York state affiliate will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary at its state convention October 9, 10, 11, 1981, at the Holiday Inn - Downtown in Elmira, New York. We are inviting all Federationists to come join us in a gala celebration. We are extending a special invitation to those persons who once lived in New York. If you wish to be a part of our celebration and cannot attend the convention, you may participate in our Anniversary Program by purchasing an ad or being a patron. For both hotel reservation information and program ad information, contact Convention Committee Chairperson: Mrs. Loretta France, 106 Pine Circle, Horseheads, New York 14845, or phone: (607) 739-0233 or 739-3344.

From Bean Hudson, who chairs the Committee on the Senior Blind:

The Committee on the Senior Blind is offering assistance to our older members during the Baltimore Convention aiding them in getting to and from convention sessions, going for meals or running small errands. Persons needing assistance or persons wishing to volunteer to assist our older members should contact Bean Hudson at the Holiday Inn or in the Arkansas delegation during convention sessions.

Israel to Host International Symposium on Visually Handicapped Infants:

The INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VISUALLY HANDICAPPED INFANTS and YOUNG CHILDREN will be held m Israel June 14-19, 1981, sponsored by the International Institute for Visually Impaired, 0-7, Inc. and co-sponsored by the University Center of International Rehabilitation, Foundation for the Junior Blind, Helen Keller International, J.F.K. Child Development Center - University of Colorado, American Foundation for the Blind, Michigan School for the Blind, Perkins School for the Blind and others.  

The central theme of the Symposium is to create an awareness of the special needs of handicapped infants and young children and to promote, share and encourage improvement of services for young visually handicapped children and their families.

For further information please contact Sherry Raynor, President of the International Institute for Visually Impaired, 0-7. Inc., 14 Gay Street, Newtonville, MA 02160, (617) 924-3434 or Rafi Baeri, Deputy Director, Midwestern States, Israel Government Tourist Office, 5 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 782-4306.

Judge Gilbert Ramirez, who (as Federationists know) is a member of the movement and active in the political and public affairs of New York was recently appointed by the Governor of the state to serve on the New York Commission on the International Year of the Disabled. The first meeting of the Commission was held March 16 in Albany. The Chairman of the Commission is Mario Cuomo, who is Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York. At the March 16 meeting Judge Ramirez was appointed to chair the Legislative Committee of the Commission. Several New York legislators are on the Legislative Committee. Judge Ramirez is the only blind person serving on the New York Commission on the International Year of the Disabled.

NFB Second Vice President Rami Rabby has recently published a booklet entitled Locating, Recruiting, and Hiring the Disabled. Published by Pilot Books, this Guide describes a number of both short-term and long-term strategies which are calculated to assist corporations, colleges and universities, and other organizations in locating and recruiting disabled persons, thereby enabling them to comply with their affirmative action obligations under the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The booklet sells for $3. 95 and can be ordered from: Pilot Books, 347 - 5th Avenue, New York, New York 10016, phone (212) 685-0736.

From Barbara Walker:

The NFB Human Rights Committee would like to compile a resource and/or reference list of advocates of the blind. If you are either professionally employed in advocacy work or personally experienced in dealing with job discrimination, and if you're willing to share your expertise and/or experience, please send or call in your name, address, telephone number(s), and area(s) of advocacy willingness to: Mrs. Barbara Walker, Chairperson, Human Rights Committee, 2224 South 35th Street. Lincoln, Nebraska 68506; (402) 489-9559.

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