BOX 11185

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

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






by Kenneth Jernigan

by Susan Ford and Barbara Cheadle

by Sharon Gold

by Kenneth Jernigan

by Bean Hudson

by Kenneth Jernigan






by Paul Dressell

by Sandy Kelly

by Hazel Staley and Beth Bowen


Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1982


by Kenneth Jernigan

As the national convention approaches, we need to talk about resolutions and scholarships. First, the resolutions:

Last year we tried to streamline the process. We said that if a resolution was to be considered, it must be in the hands of the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee no later than two o'clock on Sunday afternoon of the convention. Moreover, the resolution must be in written draft form. There seemed to be general agreement that this was a progressive step.

However, there are still problems, and we are instituting measures to try to deal with them. Sometimes a resolution is given to the Chairman of the Committee, and no one is present to explain why the resolution is needed or to negotiate with the Committee about possible changes in it. This leads to confusion and time wasting. Therefore, not only are we continuing last year's policy of requiring that a resolution (if it is to be considered) must be in the hands of the Chairman of the Committee in written draft form no later than two o'clock Sunday afternoon but also that someone be present who can speak in behalf of the resolution and negotiate concerning possible changes in its wording and intent.

Of course, we will continue our policy of not permitting the Committee to bottle up a resolution. If the author of a resolution is not satisfied with the Committee's action, he or she may take the resolution directly to the convention floor. The resolutions passed by the convention are the statements of policy which determine the actions and direction of the organization for the following year. This is why it is so important that the resolutions receive serious attention and that adequate time be allotted for their discussion and debate.

Now, let me turn to the matter of scholarships. As was announced in the January Monitor we will be giving a Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship and two Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarships at this summer's convention. Now, we will be adding the Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship. In a letter dated November 30, 1981, Mr. Charles Owen discussed the new scholarship:

Dear Dr. Jernigan:

This refers to my previous correspondence with Rev. Howard May concerning our wish to establish a continuing scholarship award to be administered by the NFB, to your letter of the 24th, and to our phone conversation of today.

It is our wish to offer a scholarship to a worthy blind student each year, beginning in 1982. The amount of the first scholarship will be $1,000. All publicity will be handled by NFB, and all applications will be sent to NFB. NFB will appoint a scholarship selection committee to determine the successful applicant. The Tarver Fund will not be involved in any of this.

In selecting the student to receive the award, our guidelines in general would be no different from those of the Rickard scholarships as indicated in the application blank for same furnished us by Mr. May: Either undergraduates or graduates as long as they are working toward a professional or technical goal; the provision of evidence of satisfactory work to date in that direction; the submission of the short essay; the approval of the local NFB chapter; and the like. We would make no sex distinctions, and no limitations as to field of study except that it should not be religious (this is inherent in pursuit of a professional or technical goal, it seems to me) since we do not want to be drawn into discussions of doctrinal differences amongst various religious students.

We do not wish to be involved in the selection process and we want to leave this entirely in your much more capable hands, but we do wish to receive copies of the essay and other material submitted by the one you select to receive the award—for our files and for display to the IRS as may be necessary.

We wish as much publicity given the award as possible, but its scope and extent will be up to you. The award is being made in memory and honor of my deceased wife and so should be called the Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship, and the more people who know about it the greater the memory and honor, especially among the hundreds of blind people who knew and loved her while she was here with us.

Our present budget will allow us to make a single grant of $1,000 each year. We will handle this in any manner you suggest, but our choice would be to send our check to the NFB and have the NFB pay the recipient. If our financial program continues to develop as we hope, we will be able to increase the amount in the future. This could be either in the form of a larger award to a single applicant or by dividing it into two or more separate awards. We'll discuss this further when the time comes. In the longer range of planning, the money available for the awards likely will be increased substantially in about 10 years or so.

Please proceed with your plans to announce the availability of the first Melva T. Owen award, and please do make sure that it is made at the Minneapolis convention this coming year. Our check will be sent at your request at any time after the beginning of 1982.

I appreciate the courtesy and help you have given us in our plan to institute the Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarships. Your confirmation of the thoughts set forth herein will serve to provide the agreement between us for the beginning and continuation of this program.

Sincerely yours,
Charles Owen

The Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship recipient will be selected by our regular Scholarship Committee. Applications should be sent to: Reverend Howard May, RFD 2, Clint Eldredge Road, West Willington, Connecticut 06279. For additional information see the January, 1981, Braille Monitor.

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by Susan Ford and Barbara Cheadle

We are changing what it means to be blind. More opportunities are available to blind adults than ever before. More opportunities are available to blind children, also; but it is often difficult for parents and educators to learn of all the resources available and, therefore, to take advantage of them. The NFB Committee on Parental Concerns has established a newsletter which deals with problems and their solutions for parents of blind children and the children themselves. Editor of the newsletter is Barbara Cheadle, and the first issue was distributed to more than 500 persons in October, 1981. Following is a list of items which appeared in the newsletter:

A Message from the President by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan

What Should I Expect From My Child's School? by Doris M. Willoughby

Myths and Facts About Blindness--with a short test

A False Eye and a New Image by Laurie Eckery

Selecting Toys for Your Blind Child by Susan Ford

College Funding for Blind Students by Reverend Howard E. May

The National Federation of the Blind . . . We Are Changing What It Means To Be Blind With comments from members and non-members.

The Committee on Parental Concerns by Susan Ford, Chairperson

Editor's Note

NFB Membership Application Form Answers To Test on Myths and Facts About Blindness

Special Announcements About Things To Come

Newsletter editor, Barbara Cheadle, has produced an application form to be filled out by anyone wishing to subscribe on a regular basis. The following is part of the application form:

The NFB Newsletter for Parents of Blind Children is published quarterly. There is no subscription fee, although donations are encouraged and appreciated. The 1981-82 issues are scheduled for October, January, April and July.

To subscribe, just fill out the following form and mail to:

Barbara Cheadle, Editor
NFB Newsletter for Parents of Blind Children
Box 552
Jefferson City, MO 65102

NAME _________________________

ADDRESS ______________________

______________________ ZIP_______

Check one:
Parent(s)     □
Educator     □
Other          □

Contributions of material to be printed in the newsletter are welcome and should be sent to Barbara Cheadle. Contributions of money to support the newsletter should be sent to Susan Ford, 1135 Third Avenue East, Kalispell, Montana 59901.

But the newsletter does not have a name. We need your help to choose one. The Committee on Parental Concerns is holding a contest to see who can come up with the best name. The winner will receive $250 to be presented at the seminar for parents and educators of blind children July 3, 1982, in Minneapolis. If you have a good idea for the name of this newsletter, then you'd better start making your plans to come to the seminar. If you aren't there, you won't win. Another entry will have to be chosen as the name of the newsletter, and someone else will win the prize. Contest entries should be sent to Susan Ford or Barbara Cheadle and should be received by May 15, 1982. But don't wait until the first of May to enter the contest! Send us your entry as soon as you can think it up. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Only one winner will be selected, but the winner must attend the seminar or be disqualified.

That's right, there will be a seminar for parents and educators of blind children and anyone else who is interested on July 3 at the Leamington Hotel in Minneapolis at the beginning of next year's convention. The NFB Teachers Division and the Committee on Parental Concerns are sponsoring this seminar. It looks as though the agenda will be exciting, and attendance will be high. This is an opportunity for the Federation to share with parents and educators of blind children our experience with blindness.

Thirty years ago blind children attended schools for the blind. Almost everyone did. In those days some parents had difficulty learning about the school for the blind, and some blind children who had a little vision tried to function as sighted kids and struggle through public schools. But generally speaking, most blind kids were found in schools for the blind or special resource classrooms. Parents relied on teachers to tell them about blindness. It may not have been the best system possible, but it was a system. Today half or two-thirds of all blind kids attend public schools in their home communities. There may or may not be a teacher who knows Braille, cane travel or anything about blindness. Classroom teachers, parents, school administrators, and perhaps a special aide for the blind child often must do the best they can with very little knowledge of blindness or guidance. The blind child may never have an opportunity to learn to read and write Braille or to receive lessons in independent travel. The child may never have contact with other blind individuals which means he or she develops the same attitudes about blindness held by parents, teachers, and friends. As Federationists, we know that it helps a great deal for a blind person to be told that blindness need not be what most people think it is-a terrible problem making the individual so different from everyone else as to be almost a freak. A freak is still a freak, even if he or she is considered quite a talented freak. And far too many blind children find themselves in this situation.

The National Federation of the Blind has developed literature for distribution to parents and educators of blind children, and these materials have helped tens of thousands of blind people. But we want to do more, and we can. The newsletter will make it possible to provide up-to-date information on a continuing basis. The seminar on July 3 will provide an opportunity for parents and educators to learn the things about blindness that we learned the hard way.

Increasingly, state affiliates of the Federation are telling us that parents of blind children are expressing a need for information and support. The Federation (all of us) must do what we can to meet that need. No one else will do it, and we can do a great deal.

Therefore, spread the word about our newsletter. Enter the contest and help us pick a name. Plan to participate in the seminar next summer.

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by Sharon Gold

The National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) is well known to Federationists as the creature of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). By establishing NAC, the AFB, in the name of accreditation, has sought to gain control of every agency and blind individual in this country. Through the National Federation of the Blind, we have made our voices heard and have told NAC and the AFB that we know what they are about and that we simply will not tolerate it.

Being frustrated by their lack of ability to control the lives of blind adults, the American Foundation for the Blind has attempted a variation on the theme. They are now trying to gain control of the blind of tomorrow through an effort to organize their unsuspecting (and often uninformed) parents. About two years ago, the AFB quietly brought together a small nucleus of parents of blind children to organize and serve as officers for its new venture—the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI), which they call Nap-vee. These parents, most of whom are uneducated concerning the activities and philosophy of the AFB and NAC, freely admit to the relationship between the AFB and NAPVI. Under the leadership and direction of the AFB, these few parents formed a Board of Directors, lent their names to the preparation and publication of some literature (including two books and a quarterly newsletter), and have now set about to broaden their horizons by beginning to organize in several parts of the country. NAPVI's most recent efforts were focused in San Francisco, as it set its sights upon organizing California parents of blind children into a state-wide affiliate with local chapters of NAPVI.

On Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 1981, several California Federationists attended a workshop held by the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired. This workshop was organized by Eileen Hancock, the West Coast representative of the American Foundation for the Blind. The AFB sent two staff members from New York to California and paid the expenses of seven of the twelve members of the NAPVI Board of Directors, so that these Directors could attend and actively participate in the California meeting. In addition to these persons (who made up approximately one-quarter of those in attendance at the weekend conference), Audrey Smith, Director of Educational Programs in Vision Rehabilitation, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, was sent to San Francisco to speak to the workshop.

According to Lee Robinson of Austin, Texas, President of NAPVI and a teacher at the Texas School for the Blind (an institution which is currently seeking NAC accreditation), no chapters or state affiliates of NAPVI have yet been formed. He invited California parents of blind children to organize and to be the first affiliate of NAPVI. The California parents who were in attendance (about eight in total) were not ready to commit themselves to be organized and affiliated. However, two parents present did agree to be chairpersons for Northern and Southern California and to work to organize the parents in their respective areas. At the prompting of the American Foundation for the Blind representatives and with a promise of financial assistance from AFB to those California parents attending, a Southern California meeting was planned for February of 1982.

The October parents workshop was devoted to the child with residual vision. The totally blind child was ignored and at no time was blindness represented as anything but tragedy and trauma. Ms. Smith set the tone by speaking on the necessity of visual stimulation for babies and children with residual vision and emphasized to those parents and professionals in attendance that damage is done to children with residual vision when they are classified as "blind." As Federationists, our hearts go out to these parents, who are being led down the path by the "professionals" who contribute to the stereotype that to be blind is to be a second-class citizen. We are saddened by the misconceptions being given by the AFB and many other agencies to these families of our young blind brothers and sisters. Real damage will be done to these young people unless their parents can be brought to join with us to promote positive attitudes and a living philosophy of pride, respect, and first-class citizenship for the blind of America.

The workshop convened on Friday evening with registration, an introduction to NAPVI, and a presentation on the importance of parental influence on blind children. The evening's activities concluded with a Wine and Cheese Reception. Saturday morning began with an informal breakfast of coffee and sweet rolls. Audrey Smith then spoke on "Visual Stimulation for Visually Impaired Children-Techniques and Resources."

The next agenda item was to have been small group discussion sessions to consider Social Services, Regional Centers, and the California Department of Rehabilitation. Apparently, the preregistration response was poor making it obvious that there would be an inadequate number of parents to divide into three small groups. Therefore, at the last minute, local agency representatives were invited to speak including social workers from the San Francisco Lighthouse Children's Project, who spoke on social services for blind children; a representative from a preschool for blind children; and a social worker from a California Regional Center, who spoke on Regional Center Services to the multihandicapped blind child. No one spoke on the services of the California Department of Rehabilitation. In total, approximately twenty agency representatives from Northern and Southern California were in attendance as observers of the workshop and/or presenters on the program.

The agenda was further revised because several parents wished to leave early and the American Foundation for the Blind wanted to show a slide presentation while the parents were still present. The afternoon session, which followed a luncheon, included a panel discussion by a group of parents, two-thirds of whom were NAPVI Board Members. Many of the attitudes and much of the philosophy presented by this panel appeared to alienate some of the California parents who responded with hostility. The workshop concluded with a discussion of organizing in California and the future workshop in Southern California.

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by Kenneth Jernigan

When I first became Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind in 1958, I needed (or, at least, I thought I needed) a calculator, which I could use to do such things as figure the percentage of federal funds, total up the formula for this or that, and make small numbers out of big ones. It was all very interesting, very impressive to visitors, and very helpful—well, sometimes. But the point to all of this is not to talk about the whims of state directors but to talk about calculators.

In 1958 the only calculator which I found that I could use was made by Marchant. Of course, this was before the days of the small electronic models, and my Marchant was a big desk model. It must have weighed at least fifty pounds. At least, that is how it felt as I lugged it about from here to yonder. Above the keyboard it had three rows of little wheels with Braille numbers on them for readout purposes. It was a good machine and worked as well as other rotary calculators of that day. In fact, since I could examine three lines of numbers simultaneously, I liked it in some ways better than the delightfully compact and serviceable models which are now becoming available.

As time went on, I must confess that I found myself using the calculator less than I had in those first days of novelty, but it served a very useful purpose; and I still had it in my office when I left Iowa in 1978. Somewhere during the sixties and early seventies the rotary calculator began to give way to the electronic version, and Marchant stopped selling the Braille model. Science for the Blind turned out some makeshift products, adapting discarded print rotary calculators for Braille use, and the National Federation of the Blind tried the same thing with about the same result. It worked (at least, it sort of worked), but it wasn't the electronic models of today; nor was it the smooth efficiency of the good old Marchant. Let it be said here that the Braille Marchant was the cadillac of the rotary calculator for the blind. It should have been. After all, it cost almost a thousand dollars in pre-1960 American money.

All of this is background for seeing the present in perspective. In the mid-1970's somebody or another (I have even forgotten the name) brought out a talking calculator. By today's standards it was quite large. It was also quite expensive, costing well over $2,000. We at the Iowa Commission for the Blind bought a few to try them out but returned them because they didn't work. So far as I know, the machine is not now on the market. At least, if it is it must not be selling very well since I haven't heard anything about it for years.

Then came Telesensory (TSI). I don't remember just when TSI brought out its calculator, but it must have been somewhere in the mid-seventies. In my opinion, it was (with all of its shortcomings) the first truly usable portable talking electronic calculator. It had (and, to the best of my knowledge, still has) a wacky keyboard arrangement, and it was vastly overpriced, costing almost $400. The electronics and the cost of production didn't justify the price, but the monopoly did. Monopolies are like that—and, after all, it worked. It was the best calculator the blind had ever had, and it was a lot cheaper than the good old Marchant. Even at the price, the blind snapped it up and bought it by the thousands. However, the TSI calculator was bound to be an intermediate step, a transitional machine. The day of reckoning was inevitable. The overpricing, the wacky keyboard, the not quite portable size, and the failure to advance with new technology were bound to catch up—and they have.

In my opinion, the days of the TSI calculator are gone forever. It takes its place with the Marchant as something remembered back there on the road of progress which was left behind with last year's Christmas cards. It would surprise me if TSI ever sold another calculator.

I don't claim to be a technologist, and there may be calculators for the blind that I don't know about; but I travel all over the country, and I know what blind people are saying—and generally what products are available to them.

When I was in Illinois in 1980, Don Gillmore told me about the Cannon calculator which he uses. From what I gather (I have not seen one) it is quite sophisticated, is a regular printing calculator, and talks. As I understand it, this is a regular desk model electronic high quality Cannon printing calculator modified to talk. Don told me that it cost around $390, and I think it is probably a more sophisticated machine than most of us would care to have—too costly, too complex, and too big: but extremely valuable for those who need and want it.

There may be other complex and advanced talking calculators (and maybe some Braille ones, too) that I don't know about; but for me (and I believe for the average blind person) the real excitement in the calculator business began a little over a year ago when we heard that Panasonic was definitely going to bring out a low-cost workable calculator. Although the Federation is not primarily in the business of aids and appliances, we made contact with Panasonic to become a distributor. We wanted to be sure that the price to the blind consumer would be kept as low as possible, and our experience with the talking clock had taught us that the best way to get the job done was to do it ourselves. Panasonic was long on promises but short on performance. For month after month they promised to provide us with calculators, and for month after month they failed to keep their commitments. Finally, in the summer of 1981, we began to get the Panasonic talking calculator. We have been selling the machine for $100, and it is far superior to the TSI model at four times the price. However, Panasonic has not been able to work out its distribution problems and is so erratic in servicing its accounts that one has to wonder whether the Panasonic is a wise investment for the long pull.

There are, of course, now new and more exciting developments. Sharp has brought out a hand held calculator, which is extremely portable and a delight to operate. The machine is five and three quarter inches long, three inches wide, and one-half inch thick. It ships easily into pocket or purse.

Panasonic will be bringing out a hand held unit (at least, they say they will) in January of 1982. I have seen the Panasonic unit and have worked with both it and the Sharp. In my opinion, the Sharp is far superior to the Panasonic. There is simply no comparison.

In the first place the Panasonic is thicker than the Sharp, thus making it bulkier and harder to carry in pocket or purse. I didn't measure it, but the Panasonic must be at least two inches thick, maybe more. It is just about as long and wide as the Sharp. The memory of the Panasonic erases when the machine is turned off; the memory of the Sharp doesn't. The Sharp has a square root key; the Panasonic doesn't. The Sharp has a volume control and will speak in either words or numbers. The Panasonic lacks these features. I like the voice of the Sharp much better than that of the Panasonic. It is clearer. Further, the Panasonic injects unnecessary words such as "equals" into its operation, which makes it more cumbersome than the Sharp.

Sharp has always kept its commitments to us (they are the people from whom we get the talking clock), and they tell us that (beginning in December of 1981) they will be able to supply us with as many of the hand held calculators as we want. We are selling these calculators for $50 each. The Panasonic hand held calculator will sell for something under $50, but we have decided not to stock these units. We feel that they are so inferior to the Sharp that there is no comparison and that it would not be worthwhile to carry them.

In fact, we have decided to discontinue selling any Panasonic calculators--even the $100 desk models which we have been handling. We are doing this because we feel the Panasonic product is inferior to the Sharp; but, of equal importance, we feel that Panasonic's inability to service its accounts and keep its commitments would cause endless problems and snarls in the months ahead. We believe that the Panasonic calculators will soon join TSI and the Marchant in the realm of might-have-been and used-to-be. Accordingly, the few orders which we now have on hand for the Panasonic desk model are being returned to the people who sent them with our recommendation that they consider the Sharp hand held unit. Of course, some may wish to try the Panasonic. If so, they may be able to find them on the regular market some time during the next few months. We do not plan to stock any more of them. The last two or three years have seen many new technological breakthroughs for the blind, none more exciting than the pocket size talking calculator by Sharp. I carry one with me constantly and I would not like to be without it. There will doubtless be still further developments and innovations in the calculator field, and I look forward to them. In the meantime, however, I am happy with my Sharp, and I believe most other blind persons will share my feeling.

I also look forward to breakthroughs in other areas, and I believe they will be forthcoming. Despite the people who talk of gloom and destruction, I believe the next decade can (I emphasize the word can) be the most exciting and productive we as blind people have ever known. One thing is certain: Whether in technology, civil rights, or social action, the Federation will continue to be on the cutting edge of the progress. We who are blind have fully come into our own as a people's movement, and we intend to keep it that way.

(Editor's Postscript: As we go to press, our first shipment of Sharp calculators has arrived, and we are mailing them out to those who have sent orders to us. We can fill orders immediately, and there seems every likelihood that this will continue to be the case. With respect to the Panasonic desk model calculator, we may reconsider our position and stock a few of them if there seems enough interest to warrant it.)

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by Bean Hudson

(Note: Bean Hudson chairs the Committee on the Senior Blind. She writes):

When the time comes for the Honor Roll Call of States and the pledges to the White Cane Fund at the 1982 national convention in Minneapolis, the dream of one dedicated Arkansas Federationist will finally come true. Mrs. Alpha Ennis, a member of the Greater Little Rock chapter, will be able to announce that she has reached her "Mile of Pennies" and will be presenting $500 to the tenBroek Memorial Fund and $500 to the White Cane Fund. Members of the Arkansas affiliate have been aware of this project for several years and the entire Federation should know what hard work and devotion has gone into this personal project.

Several years ago, a member of the Arkansas affiliate came up with the idea that the Fort Smith chapter and the Little Rock chapter could have a contest to see which could first raise money which would be the equivalent of a mile of pennies laid side by side. In the Little Rock chapter members began turning in their pennies and other change at monthly meetings. As with many good ideas, the challenge was forgotten, but the mile of pennies fund had begun. Mrs. Ennis, who is one of the mainstays of the Arkansas affiliate, decided to make it her personal project to ensure that the mile was collected, and to take it one step further to the round figure of $1,000 divided evenly between the tenBroek fund and the White Cane fund.

It has become traditional that no Little Rock chapter meeting can begin without Alpha's sales pitch on donating pennies and on buying whatever articles she has brought for the cause. She sets up shop on the head table and describes the sale items or calls for chances on an item for raffle and wants the members to guess how many jellybeans are in the jar. She has an endless store of craft items, plants, costume jewelry and trinkets for sale. At the national convention she has sold chances on a beautiful pillow and on an afghan and has even set up a table in the exhibit hall and sold her items. The state conventions would seem incomplete without her "Jot Um Down Store" as labeled by Searcy Ewell.

Federationists everywhere could learn from Alpha's example. Pennies add up to thousands of dollars and the work of one person who is dedicated enough can make it happen. Mrs. Ennis is the most faithful and active of the Arkansas membership and makes the rest of us aware of what one person's efforts can accomplish. Think you don't have the energy, Mrs. Ennis is over 70 years old. You'll have to think up another excuse. She is an example of the vitality among our older members throughout the country and of the important role they play in our movement.

What will Alpha Ennis do when her $1,000 goal is reached? That's simple. Alpha has already told Ralph Sanders she will start on the second thousand.

(Note: This article is intended to be the first in a series on older Federationists. The Committee on the Senior Blind would like all Federationists to be more aware of the contributions made by older members in the movement.)

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by Kenneth Jernigan

For something like two years the National Federation of the Blind has been working with the blind vendors of Tennessee and officials of the state rehabilitation agency to improve the condition of blind food service operators in Tennessee. In the beginning the going was rough. Many of the vendors belonged to the American Council of the Blind through their membership in the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, and they had been thoroughly poisoned against the National Federation of the Blind. They turned to us because they could not find assistance elsewhere and because their situation was becoming increasingly urgent.

James Gashel, our Director of Governmental Affairs, went to Tennessee to see what could be done. Durward McDaniel, the national representative of the American Council of the Blind, also went to Tennessee. He was present at one of the early meetings with officials of the state rehabilitation agency. He advised the operators to cave in and give up. Jim Gashel advised them to stand their ground and negotiate from strength. Mr. McDaniel saw the handwriting on the wall and left the meeting. Mr. Gashel stayed.

In the intervening months many things have happened to make life better for the blind of Tennessee. Mr. Gashel and the Committee of Blind Vendors worked out model rules and regulations for the state's vending facility program, and the rehabilitation officials of the state (seeing that we were determined, knowledgeable, and reasonable) negotiated in good faith and worked with us in partnership. There were, of course, areas of disagreement, but through give-and-take bargaining sessions a final product was hammered out. It is safe to say that the Tennessee rules and regulations are the best in the country, that they constitute a model for other states, and that they would not have happened except for the work and knowledge and resources of the National Federation of the Blind.

Many of the blind of Tennessee are now having second thoughts about continued membership in the American Council of the Blind. Some have already withdrawn from ACB and joined the Federation. Others will undoubtedly do so. The state rehabilitation officials seem to share with us the pride of what has been done to improve the Tennessee program.

There are still those who try to pretend that the Federation is negative and destructive in its approach—that we are unreasoning agency haters who eat state directors for breakfast. The truth, of course, is something else. We work constructively and harmoniously with those who are truly interested in improving the status of the blind, and we fight those who would exploit us and try to put us down and keep us out. If an agency receives governmental funds or publicly contributed money for the purpose of helping blind people and if it does not help blind people, then (as we see it) it is just as guilty of misappropriation as if there had been actual theft of the money. We do not mince words about such agencies. We try to expose them for what they are, and we have no apologies to make for doing it. On the other hand, we work with equal vigor to defend and strengthen agencies that act in partnership with the blind—agencies that truly provide meaningful service and have concern for the aspirations and well-being of the people they are established to serve.

In the fall of 1980, when it seemed that snags might be developing in implementing and putting into effect the final draft of the Tennessee rules and regulations, Mr. Gashel called upon Tennessee's U.S. Senator Jim Sasser to look into the matter. The letter which came back from Sammie Lynn Puett, the head of Tennessee's Department of Human Services, indicates the nature of the relationships which now exist in the state, as well as the constructive character of the Federation's work in developing the regulations, and also the regard with which the Federation is viewed. Mr. Puett's communication was not only a letter but also an omen of things to come:

Nashville, Tennessee
December 3, 1980

Mr. James Gashel
Director of Governmental Affairs
National Federation of the Blind

Dear Mr. Gashel:

Senator Sasser has referred your letter of November 3, 1980, to me for reply.

In your letter to Senator Sasser, you expressed concern that the revised Licensing Agreement and Business Enterprises Program Rules, developed during the month of September by the Joint Subcommittee on Rules, would not be implemented.

The revised Agreement and Rules were presented to me on October 14, 1980, for review and approval. I approved the documents on that date, without making any changes whatsoever, and directed that they be promulgated as expeditiously as possible. They are currently being processed in accordance with the provisions of the State Administrative Procedures Act and will be filed with the Secretary of State as soon as the various requirements of the Act have been met.

I was favorably impressed by the overall quality, clarity, and fairness of both documents and am persuaded that the process followed in their development should serve as a model for future changes in policy and administration.

Staff directly involved in this undertaking asked me to express their appreciation for your constructive contribution to development of the Agreement and Rules.

Sammie Lynn Puett

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Leominster, Massachusetts
November 23, 1981

Dear Dr. Jernigan:

First of all, let me tell you what a pleasure it is to return to my home and to work again, following two months of recuperating from an automobile accident I was involved in this past August 24. Since I had to be hospitalized for arm and leg injuries, as a result of that accident, along with the resulting therapy and recuperation at my parents' home, I had to temporarily curtail my Federation activities, including recruitment of associates. However, since I'm back on the track, I'm trying hard to make up for lost time by recruiting those associates like crazy.

So far, I don't see Massachusetts in the top ten states for the associates contest, but we're getting up there. Also, Sandy Sanderson may be out to win that contest, and I know Ralph Sanders has gotten off to a good start with 72 brought in, as of your Presidential Release 68, but look out, because I'll be coming up the ranking, with the intention of winning this contest.

Let's see if you can add to this first, or what I believe to be a first. Thanks to amateur radio, I was able to get the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket represented, because each location now has an associate member. I sent each of them one of our dog guide pamphlets, along with an associates form. I only regret that I didn't send a "What is the NFB" brochure along, also. However, I have put my act together, with the result being that each person I recruit will get both brochures, included with one form. In some cases of new members, I write a personal letter explaining the contest and why I want to do well in it. I have gotten a great response so far; let's hope that continues.

I also have the complete roster of my fellow Middlesex Amateur Radio Club members in Braille, and have already sent information packets to a few of the members. A letter explaining our contest has been submitted to the editor of our Amateur Radio Club newsletter, for inclusion in a forthcoming issue. David Whelan, from the Christian Science Center in Boston, has already signed up, after I met him recently (only two days ago). As you have guessed, we're moving forward, and will keep on keeping on.

I know that the Bear has spoken, and that Ralph has spoken, and that everyone else has spoken. But it's about time I improve my showing in this contest. This will be done, because all we do in recruiting of these associates is part of public relations of the organization. The more members all of us can recruit, the more our message can be spread throughout the land, and the higher up we can climb on the stairway to independence and first-class citizenship.

It may seem crazy for me to start doing better in this contest, all of a sudden. But I realize that my lack of recruitment means lack of PR, since I'm the PR officer for our Nashoba Valley chapter. It also would mean lack of fundraising, which would mean lack of opportunity to remodel the National Center, and do all the other things we are trying to do to make life better for all blind people. Let's see if we can get others to do the same, or do better.

We know who we are, and we will never go back.

Yours in associate recruitment
Paul Burkhardt

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For many years United Airlines has run radio and television commercials emphasizing the theme "The Friendly Skies of United." For almost as long, the blind have found that theme an irony and a bitter joke. However, things have changed, and the claim may well be in the process of becoming reality. At long last, the skies of United would seem to have turned "friendly" for the blind.

It is not surprising that the National Federation of the Blind has helped make it happen. Particularly, Sharon Gold (the President of the California affiliate) has helped make it happen. The correspondence is self-explanatory, and the results once again provide an answer to the question "why the National Federation of the Blind." Persistence, determination, clarity of purpose, and good will. All are evident in the letters, and all are important ingredients in the formula of Federation action. Here is how it happened:

Lancaster, California
December 1, 1981

Mr. Robert Morgan
Consumer Representative
Office of the President
United Airlines

Dear Mr. Morgan:

On May 5, 1981, I wrote to Richard Ferris, Chief Executive Director, United Airlines, regarding the refusal of United Airlines officials to allow Ms. Linda O'Neal aboard Flight 343 in Monterey, California, on April 9, 1981, solely because Ms. O'Neal is blind and was accompanied by a dog guide. As my letter explained, United Airlines was in violation of California law when its personnel prevented Ms. O'Neal from boarding the aircraft on which there were available seats using the excuse the bulkhead seats were filled.

Mr. Ferris passed my letter to you for action and, after some correspondence and several telephone conversations, on June 22, 1981, Norm Edwards, City Manager, United Airlines, Monterey, California, wrote Ms. O'Neal a letter of apology (copy enclosed) in which he said that "We were clearly wrong in not accomodating you Ms. O'Neal . . ." Included with this letter was a copy of the United Airlines policy statement of 4/29/81 and an explanation by Mr. Edwards that a change had been made 12/30/80 in the United Airlines policy with respect to blind passengers accompanied by dog guides.

Despite United Airlines change in policy and Mr. Edwards' letter of apology to Ms. O'Neal, United Airlines personnel handling passengers on the ground and in the air continue to be unaware of your policy change and therefore fail to comply with California law.

Accompanied by her dog guide, Patricia Neumeyer of Santa Barbara, California, flew United Airlines' afternoon flight from Santa Barbara to San Francisco on August 20, 1981. Assigned to an unrequested bulkhead seat, Ms. Neumeyer reports that she explained that she knew there was a change in United Airlines' policy and inquired if the United Airlines officials would be so kind as to look up the regulation so that she could occupy an available non-bulkhead seat which was of her choosing, rather than the bulkhead seat into which she was being forced. According to Ms. Neumeyer, she was curtly informed that whatever the United Airlines policy change may be was irrelevant since it was up to the flight crew as to what rules would be followed and, in this case, where she would sit. On the afternoon of September 3, 1981, Ms. Neumeyer returned to Santa Barbara from San Francisco on a United Airlines flight. Ms. Neumeyer reports that she was once again forced to sit in a bulkhead seat.

On November 18, 1981, Walter Cone of Concord, California, travelled from New York to San Francisco on United Airlines Flight 25. Mr. Cone wished to be seated in the smoking section of the aircraft but was forced into bulkhead seating in the non-smoking section because he was blind and accompanied by a dog guide. When Flight 25 was airborne, Mr. Cone took an unoccupied seat in the smoking section of the aircraft so that he, like other passengers wishing to smoke, could enjoy his right to a cigarette. I am advised that although this change of seating caused no discomfort to any of the passengers, the Flight Captain entered the cabin and caused such a scene about Mr. Cone sitting in a non-bulkhead seat with his dog guide that Mr. Cone relinquished his right to smoke and returned to the bulkhead seating. Mr. Cone says the Flight Captain was apparently uninformed about any change in United Airlines policy, and refused to discuss the matter with Mr. Cone.

Section 54.1(a) of the California Civil Code provides that blind persons "shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to accomodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes . . ." and Section 54.2(a) further provides that such blind persons "shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog . . . especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places specified in Section 54.1 ..." Therefore, denying Ms. Neumeyer and Mr. Cone equal access to seating aboard aircraft is a violation of California statutes pertaining to the rights of blind citizens. I am enclosing a copy of the California statutes pertaining to the blind and disabled as compiled and published by the National Federation of the Blind, Western Division.

We respectfully request your immediate attention to this matter and a reply to this letter.

Very truly yours,
Sharon Gold, President
National Federation of the Blind,
Western Division

Chicago, Illinois
December 9, 1981

Ms. Sharon Gold
National Federation of the Blind
Western Division

Dear Ms. Gold:

Thank you for writing us again. I share your concern for the disservice you report in connection with Patricia Neumeyer's and Walter Cone's travel on United. Please accept and extend to them our sincere apologies.

I can only reiterate what we've previously said about passenger's guide dogs. The passenger may be seated anywhere in the appropriate class of service. The guide dog must sit or lie at its master's feet. We'll share your message with the right people here at United. Your report will serve as a timely reminder of our own policy and the law involved.

We appreciate your interest in this matter on behalf of the blind and the National Federation of the Blind.

Robert W. Morgan

Consumer Representative

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NAC (the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped) opened up shop in 1966—more than fifteen years ago. It confidently predicted that a majority of the four or five hundred potentially eligible agencies in the country would soon be accredited. It wrote its "standards," issued its press releases, and confidently sat back to await the applications for accreditation. But something went wrong. It didn't happen that way.

NAC has never had as many as even a hundred agencies accredited, and now it is evident that the effort has peaked and the NAC perimeter is shrinking. In fact, at the November 13 - 14, 1981, NAC meeting in Atlanta, NAC was told by its Commission on the Advancement of Standards that it must either find both sticks and carrots to offer to the agencies or face ultimate failure. It was suggested that attempts be made to condition the receipt of federal funds by agencies in the field on NAC accreditation, and George Mertz (Executive Vice President of National Industries for the Blind) announced in his banquet speech that NIB would help pay the costs of NAC accreditation for any sheltered shop that was willing to sign up. This announcement by Mr. Mertz is all the more significant in view of the fact that, in a recent survey, a majority of the workshops polled said that they would not accept NAC accreditation even if it were absolutely free.

Then, there is the matter of the resolution which was presented to the American Association of Workers for the Blind in Toronto last summer. Surely if NAC could expect support anywhere, it could expect it from AAWB. Yet, the resolution was defeated:


Resolution 81-1

WHEREAS, the performance of an individual or organization against recognized standards for quality of service is a common and necessary practice within most professions established for the purpose of meeting human needs, and

WHEREAS, consumers seeking services can be reasonably assured of the quality of the service they will receive if the individual or organization they are dealing with has been licensed, certified or accredited by the appropriate process established for each service area, and

WHEREAS, the field of blindness has been one of the few exceptions to this process, and

WHEREAS, it is only since the establishment of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped in 1967 that the standards and accreditation process has had any impact on the service delivery system in the field of blindness, and

WHEREAS, NAC has made a significant contribution to the maintenance of high standards for quality of service to blind persons served by NAC accredited agencies, and

WHEREAS, NAC was created as a result of the COMSTAC report which involved hundreds of persons in service to the blind, and

WHEREAS, accreditation is the only way that funding agents can be assured that their support of services for blind persons will achieve the purposes for which the support is given, and

WHEREAS, the accreditation process is an opportunity for a school or agency to evaluate their entire program and use it to make constructive adjustments in their staffing and programming, and

WHEREAS, no agency or school can claim it is offering the best possible service without an accreditation yardstick by which it can be measured, and

WHEREAS, accreditation rigorously tests the professionalism and competency of individuals working within an accredited school or agency, and

WHEREAS, we are committed to the highest quality of service to blind persons, now


1) AAWB reaffirms its moral and financial support of accreditation process through the National Accreditation Council

2) that each professional in AAWB affirm and support accreditation programs for blind persons through the National Accreditation Council

3) that the provision of public funds (Federal and State) to voluntary agencies serving blind persons be conditioned on such agencies being in the process of achieving or having achieved accreditation through the National Accreditation Council

4) that consumers and providers together urge the agencies with which they are associated to seek accreditation through the National Accreditation Council with all deliberate speed.

It must be said again that the resolution did not pass. It was defeated. Why? Was it because the AAWB members knew in their hearts that accreditation (NAC style) does not, despite the claims of the resolution, "rigorously test the professionalism and competency of individuals working within an accredited school or agency?" Was it because they did not want federal funds conditioned upon NAC accreditation? Was it because they sensed that the NAC ship was sinking and did not want to go down with it? Was it because many of them are sincere in their work and simply could not bring themselves to vote for such a travesty? Whatever the reason, they did not vote for it, and the resolution failed.

But there is more-much more! There is the matter of the dog guide schools. Apparently they, too, have had enough. Under date of October 15, 1981, Tom Stevens (Director of state programs for the blind in Missouri) sent out a memorandum:

October 15, 1981

TO: Dog Guide Schools

FROM: Charles T. Stevens,
Deputy Director, DFS,
Bureau for the Blind

It has come to my attention recently that the National Accreditation Council has suggested to the various dog guide training facilities that accreditation is appropriate. I have no argument with accreditation as such, but I have very strong reservations about accreditation with the National Accreditation Council, based on their past performance. I feel relatively certain that you have been aware of the problems which have existed with accreditation by NAC regarding agencies for the blind. If you are not aware of those problems, please advise and I will make the information available to you immediately.

In essence, the Council sets forth a number of standards, all of which sound very good. They put together a team which visits and makes recommendations. I have personally discussed those visits and subsequent results with several persons who have been involved on those teams. Those persons have indicated a very strong dismay because of the fact that the findings which they developed and the recommendations which they made did not appear in any of the final reports. The individuals making these observations were directors of agencies for the blind and must be considered highly knowledgeable in their field. Accordingly, it gives me great pause when I realize that NAC has said one thing and delivered another. In other words, their policy in the past has been to evolve a "whitewash" job.

In addition, a number of the agencies which NAC has accredited have been involved in numerous violations of moral and fiscal integrity. Those violations include physical abuse of workers and of clients, an inaccurate and inappropriate accounting of funds, and exploitation of their client population. Yet, to my knowledge, NAC has taken no action to discipline or suspend those to whom they have extended accreditation and wherein these improprieties have been noted. Therefore, I must conclude that serious question arises regarding accreditation with NAC and suggest to you that you do an in-depth investigation of the feasibility of accreditation with NAC before you actively pursue their accreditation.

I stand prepared to assist you in any way possible in the resolution of a problem which can pose a serious dilemma.

The Stevens memorandum was sent out October 15, and the answers were not long in coming. They were quick and to the point:

Rochester, Michigan
October 20, 1981

Dear Mr. Stevens:

Have no fear-Leader Dogs for the Blind has no intention of seeking accreditation. As you may have heard, Leader Dogs worked with The Seeing Eye and Guide Dogs for the Blind of California to establish what we thought were good guidelines for accreditation. When the papers came back, after suffering revisions by the committee of "experts," we could not recognize our efforts.

The three major schools agreed we have our own accreditation program based on reality. At any rate we do not need outside help and we do understand the situation.

Thanks for your reminder of October 15th. It does bolster our reasoning and we do agree with you.

Sincerely yours,

Harold L. Pocklington
Executive Director

Forest Hills, New York
October 21, 1981

Dear Mr. Stevens:

Thank you for your letter of October 15th.

For too long a period of time, we have shared many of your concerns.

We recently dispatched a letter to the National Accreditation Council to offer our assistance in modifying and updating their program of accreditation.

We appreciate where you're coming from, share your concern, and look forward to helping in any way we possibly can.

Ernest M. Swanton
Executive Director

Morristown, New Jersey
October 26, 1981

Dear Mr. Stevens:

I have your October 15th memo addressed to dog guide schools. The National Accreditation Council encouraged The Seeing Eye to seek accreditation. Since my appointment as executive vice president of The Seeing Eye in 1975, I have taken the position that The Seeing Eye will be in favor of accreditation at a point in time when there is consensus by all of the leading dog guide schools that accreditation is valuable.

To date, there seems little interest on behalf of the major dog guide schools that accreditation by NAC or any other group is appropriate at this time.

Thank you for your views and for your courtesy in sharing them with me.

Most Sincerely yours,
Stuart Grout
Executive Vice President

In the face of such opposition NAC covered its nakedness and retreated with as much dignity as it could muster. At its Atlanta meeting it announced that there seemed little point in continuing with standards for dog guide schools at the present time.

The NAC fleet sails in stormy waters. Its numbers diminish, and it maneuvers to postpone the disaster which draws ever closer. It is clear that the day of reckoning is at hand. What began as a joyous proclamation of victory is ending in a whimper of defeat and bitterness.

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The Morse Chain Company of Denver, Colorado, is a subsidiary of Borg/Warner. It publishes a monthly newspaper called Chip Chatter. The November, 1981, edition carries an article of special interest to Federationists:


by Diane Dichter

Some of you may have noticed a TV crew in the plant on Thursday, November 12. Channel 9 was here filming one of our employees for a human interest story. Rick Kelley. 1st shift small drill operator was the focus of their interest. I was curious and thought you would be too, as to what this was all about and how Rick felt about it. Most of what follows is a loose translation of Rick's thoughts.

Channel 9's purpose is to put together a human interest story on the handicapped working and living in the community—going about their normal routine. Although Rick and his wife Sandy are blind, the program will not focus only on the blind. Rick doesn't know exactly what the program will be like in its final form, how long it will be or how much of the film they shot of him and his family will be left in, but he hopes that it won't turn out to be a "pity the poor handicapped" kind of program. He'd like to show that the handicapped live and work in the community as successfully as anyone else.

The Channel 9 crew spent a total of 10½ hours with Rick and his wife, Sandy. They filmed Rick at work here and Sandy at her job as a medical secretary at St. Luke's. They followed Sandy home from work on the bus and filmed Rick picking up their son Brent at pre-school. They filmed while they prepared dinner, they filmed while they ate and they filmed while they played with their son. In short, they followed them around all day.

When I asked Rick why he was willing to give up a big chunk of his time and a lot of his privacy he told me it was his goal to educate society to try to eliminate prejudice. Society tends to think of the blind as unable to maintain a normal living and working situation, as a passive subordinate. Surveys show blindness is the second most feared "disease"-second only to cancer. Rick feels good about his life and what he's been able to accomplish. He feels that he is not exceptional or amazing—just an average human being who happens to be blind.

"Blindness is not the handicap. The handicap is the label which society has put on the blind."

The blind are limited, not by their blindness, but by what society thinks their limitations are.

It is important to Rick to break down these limitations by cooperating in putting together films such as this one, as well as working for the National Federation of the Blind. It is his hope to bring this message especially to potential employers. 70% of the employable blind are out of work, not because they can't or don't want to work, but because employers fear they can't. Rick has proved them wrong daily and he is not the exception.

We will keep you posted on when this program will air.

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"The Blind at the Crossroads" was the theme as over a hundred Federationists gathered in Effingham, the crossroads of Illinois, for the thirteenth annual NFB of Illinois convention during the weekend of September 11-13, 1981. We came to the convention from across the state and from as far away as the District of Columbia.

The Prairie State Chapter ably handled Friday evening registration and Peter Grunwald conducted a spirited resolutions committee meeting.

The first business session began right on time Saturday morning with greetings from the Mayor of Effingham. Then, Ralph Sanders brought us up to date on the activities of the movement throughout the country.

During the past year, we have worked to improve protection for dog guide users and to bring about reforms of the State Department of Rehabilitation Services through separate, identifiable programs for the blind with a clear-cut budget and lines of authority. Peter Grunwald, legislative chairman, informed us that we were successful with the changes in the dog guide law but we still have a long way to go to improve state rehabilitation services.

Since people at the crossroads chose their paths based on the information they have, it was particularly appropriate that we heard from two Radio Reading Services and the head of the Regional Library for the Blind.

The Saturday afternoon session showed that we have begun to turn the comer on the employment of blind persons. Sharlene Czaja, our energetic and capable JOB coordinator, reported on the work of the past year. We also heard from four Federationists whose jobs are helping us on the road to first-class citizenship. Dave Meyer is a music therapist with Trainable Mentally Handicapped students in a suburban Chicago school system. Pat Walthoff is an information receptionist for the Food and Drug Administration. Tony Burda is a registered pharmacist and a Poison Information Specialist for Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center. Tony attended pharmacy school as a blind person; it took a two-year court battle for him to receive his license, although he was one of the top candidates in his class. Harold Palash is a production worker for the Visually Handicapped Work Center of Galesburg. He told of frequent, unpaid layoffs and supervisors who do not really believe in blind people. Harold refuses to accept his situation without working through the Federation to improve conditions for himself and others.

Fifteen for Funds is a tradition at Illinois conventions. Within a quarter of an hour, Federationists pledged nearly three thousand dollars to help us carry on our work during the coming year.

The coordinator of the International Year of Disabled Persons spoke about attitudes concerning the handicapped. She listened with interest as we told her that the time for special, one-year observances and fancy conferences to prioritize issues has passed (if such things were ever useful at all). The NFB has been working to make every year a year of improved conditions for blind people for nearly half a century.

The final item on the Saturday afternoon agenda was a panel on rehabilitation services. Annette Grove of Alternatives for the Blind in Living and Employment in St. Louis spoke on "What an Orientation Center for the Blind Should Be." Ralph Sanders talked about the relationship which the blind should have with agencies which provide service. Those who deserve support should have it; those who don't shouldn't. Mr. Robert Granzeier, acting director of the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services, talked about tight money and the budget crunch. We spoke with Mr. Granzeier about the administrative decisions which have been made that have further submerged and weakened services to blind Illinoisans.

Just before the Saturday evening banquet, we were saddened to learn of the death of Rev. A. A. Finders, the father of Ruth Anne Schaefer. It is a measure of the dedication of Ruth Anne and Allen that they remained at the head table throughout the banquet. Ralph Sanders spoke from the experiences of the weekend in a way which Federationists will not soon forget. We also presented a charter to our newest chapter, the NFBI Sangamon Valley Chapter. Cecelia Ross received the John W. Myers Scholarship to begin studies at Loop College. Cecelia was preparing to celebrate her 66th birthday. Representative Woods Bowman of Chicago received the 1981 NFBI Legislative Award. We also heard from state Senator Terry Bruce.

After the banquet, Federationists still had the stamina to bid on items at our annual Midnight Madness Auction.

Sunday morning was filled with reports and elections. President Steve Benson chronicled a year of hard work and important progress. His message pointed us in the direction we will be taking for the coming year. Two board positions were filled. Tom Weglarz of Calumet City was re-elected. Charlene Elder of Springfield will be returning to the Board. Peter Grunwald will be our delegate to the 1982 National Convention in Minneapolis.

The blind left the crossroads with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication. It is clear from the reaction to the 1981 convention that our 1982 convention in Bradley, Illinois will be even bigger and better.

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by Paul Dressell

The 35th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio was held October 23rd, 24th, and 25th in Dayton, Ohio at the Ramada Inn. This was one of our best conventions ever and featured such guests as Dick Porter, President NFB-West Virginia as well as various County officials and State Legislators.

Festivities commenced Friday afternoon with the usual opening ceremonies. In his report to the Convention, President Robert M. Eschbach elaborated upon the theme of the convention: A New Day. President Eschbach said, "This new day is being heralded by increased dependence upon consumers by agencies, which formerly took them for granted. Agencies are having difficulty in adjusting to budget cuts, and it is incumbent upon Federationists that we be selective in what agencies we support." The Friday afternoon session concluded with updates from Carol Heideman, Cincinnati Library, and Jacki Goodin, Cleveland Library.

John Gray, Executive Director of Pilot Dogs, Inc. gave a brief history of his organization as well as reaffirming his determination not to seek accreditation from NAC. A resolution commending Pilot Dog's decision not to accredit with NAC was subsequently passed. James Gashel, Director of Governmental Affairs, brought greetings from Dr. Jernigan as well as updating us on the various court cases in which we have been involved.

Senator Howard J. Metzenbaum addressed the Saturday afternoon session of the convention and promised his active support with respect to obtaining minimum wages for blind sheltered shop workers; Senator Metzenbaum also promised to support our voting rights bill. After Senator Metzenbaum's address, a panel discussed the future of rehabilitation in Ohio; panel members were: James Gashel, Doris Barcomb (Director of Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired), James Maury (Attorney for the Vendors Chapter of NFBO), and Paul Dressell (Consumer member of the Advisory Board to BSVI).

The Saturday evening banquet was Mc'ed by Jo Geiger, who did an excellent job in making the festivities memorable. Omega Federation of the Blind was awarded the gavel for being the outstanding affiliate during the past year, and Donovan Evans was honored as the sighted Federationist of the year for his invaluable assistance to the Vendors Chapter NFBO. In his banquet address which could have been entitled, "Of books, chairs and boxes," James Gashel described some of the ridiculous literature that is being written about us in the name of "professionalism." In one such manual, there is a step-by-step description of how a blind person should negotiate the difficult task of sitting in a chair. Another manual proposes to teach the concepts of up and down, front and back and right and left by placing a blind subject in a wooden box (not a coffin) and having him listen to an array of bells and buzzers.

The final session on Sunday morning featured a speech by Congressman Clarence (Bud) Brown, who will be running for Governor in 1982. He promised to assist us in any way possible, if elected.

Helen Johnson of Toledo and Mike Justice of Springfield were re-elected to two-year terms on the Executive Committee.

Next year's convention will be held in Akron. All of us left Dayton with a renewed sense of optimism, for we realize that in spite of the many challenges that He ahead, we, the blind of Ohio as well as America, are, for the most part, better off for this new day in our lives.

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by Sandy Kelly

The 27th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado September 16, 17, and 18, 1981.

Our national representative was Peggy Pinder, whose PAC figures encouraged us to move up one position by substantially increasing our contributions.

Our agenda included presentations by the director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the director of Services to the Blind and Deaf, and personnel from the Colorado School for the Blind and Deaf.

Our education of blind children panel was a Saturday afternoon highlight. Homer Page, first vice-president of the NFBC, Fred Schroeder from New Mexico, and Anne Hayashi, the parent of a blind child, put our philosophy and attitudes about blindness in action in the education process of blind children.

At the banquet Saturday evening, $1,000 scholarships were presented to Gail Hamilton, a student at the University of Colorado and a new Federationist, and Vicki Akintero, a student at the University of Northern Colorado from Nigeria whom some of you may have met at our last national convention.

Sunday morning, elections resulted in the following: Diane McGeorge, president; Homer Page, first vice-president; Virgil Miracle, second vice-president; Sandy Kelly, recording secretary; Judy Dixon, corresponding secretary; one-year board position, Gail Crowe; two-year board positions, John Duffy, Grace Tensley, and Peggy Woodward. Diane McGeorge will be our 1982 convention delegate, Sandy Kelly first alternate, and Don Hudson second alternate.

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by Hazel Staley

1 pint of persimmon pulp and peel grated together
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine
½ teaspoon each of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1 large can condensed milk

Directions: Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat in remaining ingredients, adding milk last. Bake about 1 hour in 9-inch square pan or comparable loaf pan at 375 degrees.

May add coconut or 1 medium sweet potato grated if desired.


by Beth Bowen

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Cake Mix
1 Large can crushed Pineapple
1 cup sugar
1 box large instant Vanilla pudding mix
Large Cool Whip
Angel Flake Coconut

Directions: Cook cake mix according to directions in a 13 x 9 pan. Mix one large can of crushed pineapple and one cup of sugar in bowl. While cake is still hot, punch holes in cake and pour pineapple and sugar mixture over top, allowing the mixture to run into the holes. Mix one large box of instant vanilla pudding (following directions on the box), spread over top of cake. Spread cool whip over top of this, then the package of angel flake coconut. Top with nuts. Refrigerate over night.

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McCraw Appointment:

Connie McCraw has been appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve as a member of the Board of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, which is headed by Ralph Sanders and which is the principal service agency for the blind of the state. Her late husband, John McCraw, was a member of the Board of the National Federation of the Blind and was one of the most loved and respected members of the organization. He served as Chairman of the Board of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland from 1976 to 1978. He was, of course, also the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland for many years.

From the Philomatheon Society, an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio;

Dear Dr. Jernigan:

You have by now, no doubt, seen the purse alarm which the Philomatheon Society gave Jim Gashel at our state convention in Dayton, along with a cassette recording of explanation and demonstration.

We feel that this item would be very advantageous to many blind people. It retails in this area for $9.95. We can offer this item to NFB affiliates for the following prices: $80.04 per dozen, $918.72 by the gross. These prices do not include the three penlite batteries which are required for its operation. The price for three batteries is 75¢ regardless of the number purchased. These prices also do not include shipping which will be shipped UPS, the amount being added to your invoice.

For further information contact: Arthur Leading, Vice President, Public Relations Chairman, Philomatheon Society of the Blind, 2810 Tuscarawas Street West, Canton, Ohio 44108.

Family Weekly:

Family Weekly is a magazine supplement which is received by millions of people throughout the country with their newspaper each Sunday. It is widely read. An indicator of the growing prestige and recognition of the Federation can be found in the number of times during recent months we have been appearing in the Sunday supplement. One of its prominent features is a column captioned "Ask Them Yourself.'' The December 6, 1981, Family Weekly carried a picture of President Jernigan, along with the following text:

FOR KENNETH JERNIGAN, president, National Federation of the Blind

Do you think the day will come when blindness will no longer be a threat to the human race?—L.V., De Pere, Wis.

Ironically, medical advances have indirectly led to an increase of blindness. This is true because many people with conditions which would formerly have resulted in death can now be saved. Many of those conditions result in blindness. Diabetes, for instance, was not a significant cause of blindness before the 1920's. After the synthesis of insulin, diabetics could live and have children. Today diabetes is one of the principal causes of blindness, and since it is inherited and very often results in blindness, blindness from that cause is increasing. There is no reasonable likelihood that blindness will be eliminated in the foreseeable future.


The Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chapter of the NFB is selling t-shirts with the NFB logo. In Braille above the logo is the word "blind," and in print below the logo is the word "pride." The shirts are white on black and royal blue on white, and come in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Individuals may order the shirts at $7.00 each plus .50 postage and handling. Chapters and state affiliates who wish to resell the shirts for fundraising purposes may buy them in quantity at special discounts: $5.75 each for one to three dozen, $5.25 each for four to six dozen and $4.50 each for seven to ten dozen. The price for larger orders may be negotiated. In order to assist other Federationists' fundraising, the Cambridge Chapter is not charging for postage and handling on these quantity orders. Please remit in advance, by check payable to "Cambridge Chapter, NFBM," and allow four to six weeks for delivery. Send orders and information requests to David Ticchi, 321 Harvard Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Don't forget to specify the color, quantity and size required and to enclose postage and handling if ordering as an individual.

From Ophelia Justice, Meridian, Mississippi:

Bruce Sellers, President of the Meridian Chapter of the NFB of Mississippi, and his wife Roxanne are proud to announce the birth of their son, Vernice Ray Scott Sellers. He was born on November 12, 1981, and weighs eight pounds, ten ounces.

From Al Sanchez:

On September 24, the Organized Blind of South Sound (Olympia, Washington), held its elections. The new officers are: Al Sanchez, President; Bob Sellers, Vice President; Penny Sellers, Secretary; and Becky Tiegen, Treasurer.

The baby boom continues. On October 17, two weeks after the National Federation of the Blind of Washington convention, the Robert Sellers became proud parents of a fine baby boy. Little Robert Weston weighed in at eight pounds, thirteen and one-half ounces, and measured twenty-one inches long. Bob and Penny have been active in the movement for many years. As of this writing, little Bob has already attended his first local chapter meeting.

New Arrivals:

Dick and Pat Davis of Iowa announce the arrival of their daughter Amanda Joyce. She was born at 7:03 a.m., December 6, 1981. She weighed seven pounds, eleven ounces, and was nineteen and three-quarter inches long. All are doing well. Fred and Cathy Schroeder announce the arrival of Carrie Ann. She was born at 1:10 a.m., November 28, 1981. She weighed seven pounds, six ounces, and was twenty and one-half inches long.


Harold Reagan, who served for many years as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky and is a former Board Member and officer of the National Federation of the Blind, suffered a stroke during the first week of December. He was hospitalized in Louisville, but we do not have further details. Also, Roger Ivie, who has served as our attorney and colleague through the years, recently underwent surgery for cancer and then had a stroke. At our last information he was hospitalized in Des Moines.


They called him big Ray Thorpe, and he deserved the name. He was one of the leaders of the NFB of Indiana. We have just received word of his death. We have also received word of the death of Sam Chavez of New Mexico. He was a member of the Federation for many years, and those who remember the Civil War days of the late 1950's will remember his strong convictions and ringing words on the floor of the national convention. We called him "Senator" Chavez because of the former Senator from New Mexico with the same name. Big Ray and Senator Chavez—colorful, individualistic, and proud to be known as Federationists. Our movement will be diminished by their absence.

Visits National Center:

The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania visited the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore Saturday, December 12, 1981. The Chapter chartered a bus and spent the day discussing the programs and touring the facilities at the Center.

Moves to Minnesota:

Judy Sanders is moving from Baltimore to Minneapolis to take a job with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. She will do advocacy, membership recruitment, and other jobs to strengthen and build the affiliate.


At the 1981 national convention in Baltimore Al Evans was elected to a second two-year term on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. He was President of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts and Chairman of the national Dog Guide Committee. Late in October (because of health problems) Al resigned from the presidency of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts and also from the national Board. He will continue to be active in the movement and as dedicated as ever. All of us hope for him a quick and full recovery.


It is generally agreed that the Braille calendars produced by the American Brotherhood for the Blind are the best that can be had. They are available free on request from: American Brotherhood for the Blind, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, California 91356.

Separated from Service:

For a time Sue Ammeter was President of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington. That time is no more. For a time Sue Ammeter was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. That time is no more. More recently Sue Altimeter was part of the administrative staff of the Washington State Commission for the Blind. That time is no more. It is reported that she was separated from the service on or about December 1, 1981, and that she now works in a lesser position in another area of the Washington state government.

Official Observer:

Bean Hudson, who is a leader of the NFB of Arkansas and who also chairs the Committee on the Senior Blind of the National Federation of the Blind, was appointed as an official observer to attend the White House Conference on Aging held in Washington, D.C., in late November.

Social Service Agencies:

Under date of October 24, 1981, a college official wrote to the National Office of the Federation to ask for certain materials and other assistance to help blind students on campus. The letter concluded by saying: "Through Mr. Richard Edlund and the Federation we have received guidance, support, and reference for ourselves and our student. My experience with social service agencies was so frustrating that I want to express my own appreciation for the Federation. Your services and support have been invaluable."

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