The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the Blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves


March 1958


N. F. B. Headquarters
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.


Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010
with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)


( March, 1958)



Flight of an Arrow

Bouquet for Bob Barnett
by Earl Scharry

Twelve More Congressmen Join Walter Baring

Misconceptions --"The Problem of the Partially Sighted"
by David Krause


Oregon Register

More About the BVA Opposition

"A Preference for Equality"
by Jacobus tenBroek

Progressive Massachusetts Again Takes Long Step Forward

NFB Position on Sheltered Workshops

Important Civil Service Development
by David Krause

Checks and Balances
by Walter McDonald

Only a Handful

The Helpless Blind

No Tapes, Please

New State Publication

Our "Overtones" Are Showing

Should the Blind and the Aged Pay for Increased Defense Costs?

New State Laws Affecting the Blind

NRA Gets in Its Nickel's Worth
by Kenneth Jernigan

Here and There



(What follows is the result of a long distance collaboration between Professor Floyd Matson, one of Dr. tenBroek's colleagues on the University of California faculty--who has attended a number of NFB Conventions—and this Editor.)

Jacobus tenBroek is one of the few prominent Americans alive today who was born in a log cabin! His father was a strong-willed "renegade" Dutchman who first asserted his own independence by running away from home at seven to become a cabin-boy. Over the next thirty years he literally sailed the seven seas and roamed most of the world, but at the ripe age of forty he felt a hankering to settle down. Through devious negotiations with the Dutch Community in California he "arranged" a marriage with a girl whom he met for the first time on their wedding day--and promptly took up homesteading in the rugged Canadian prairies of Alberta. Like his fellow "sod-busters" of that era, Nicolaas tenBroek earned the right to own his section (640 acres) of hard ground through arduous years of clearing and "breaking" it. But unlike the other home-steaders who customarily constructed their huts out of the native sod, the elder tenBroek chose to build his home of logs chopped from Alberta timber.

In that primitive, dirt-floor cabin both Jacobus and his older brother, Nicolaas, were born. Some years later, when the worst edge of grinding poverty had been turned, their father set about erecting the first frame house to be seen in that province. (He was also the first, as Dr. tenBroek now recalls, to make the revolutionary change-over from plow oxen to horses.) But the rustic log cabin still stands today, hardly the worse for half a century of wear--as a monument to Dutch craftsmanship and North American timber.

One day in the year 1918, seven-year-old Jacobus and a boyhood friend were playing at bows and arrows, taking turns in aiming at a roughly constructed bull's-eye cut out of a large piece of canvas. On a sudden whim, young tenBroek darted behind the cloth to peer through the hole at his companion. At that moment the other boy released an arrow from his bow--and for once that day the missile was perfectly on target.

The sight of one eye was irrevocably lost to Jacobus tenBroek on that afternoon. Even then, however, had he received prompt and expert medical attention, he would still today have the full sight of his other eye. But in rural Alberta in those days such care was not to be had. Before many more years had gone by, as a result of the process known as ophthalmia, Jacobus was totally blind.

Perhaps it required the challenge of blindness to get young Jacobus "Dutch" up. At any rate, the stubborn streak of independence he had inherited from both parents, coupled with his spartan upbringing on a prairie homestead, prevented any lapse into helplessness or self-pity. The family decided to move back to California so that Jacobus could enroll in the famed California School for the Blind in Berkeley, where he was placed under the wise tutelage of a great pioneer in education of the blind, Dr. Newel Perry. Following this schooling tenBroek entered the University of California, where he was graduated with highest honors and went on to win the Order of the Coxf (the legal equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa) at the University Law School. (There is a legend, perhaps apocryphal, that the two highest-ranking students in the history of the University of California Law School are Dr. tenBroek and the late General Hugh Johnson, a graduate of a generation earlier who became NRA administrator in the thirties).

Two years later Jacobus won what he still considers his greatest triumph: the hand of his wife, Hazel. Today today the tenBroeks, together with their three children, live a happy if untranquil home life in a rambling five-story structure high in the hills overlooking Berkeley and the Golden Gate.

The distinguished career which followed is well known to most readers of The Braille Monitor. Suffice it to say here that Dr. tenBroek has achieved eminence and fame--not in one field but in many. He is still a comparatively young man but he has risen high in the teaching profession. His prestige as an authroity on constitutional law is constantly increasing. In 1955 Dr. tenBroek received the supreme distinction of the Woodrow Wilson Award for his book "Prejudice, War, and the Constitution. " This Award goes annually to the author of the most important book to be published in the field of political science. He is universally recognized as one of the outstanding leaders of thought and moulder of opinion in the area of Social Welfare. As a public speaker, even his detractors concede that he has few equals in his stirring, compelling eloquence.

And with all of this, for the past eighteen years, he has been the dynamic, inspiring leader of the most important mass movement which has ever taken place among blind people. It has been largely because of his dauntless courage, his tireless energy and his superlative skill as an administrator that that movement has grown from its feeble beginnings to its present indisputable position as the instrumentality through which the blind people of this great country are reclaming their birthright.

Many thousands of us now glory in the achievements of our great leader and in the luster which he sheds upon our cause. We are proud and happy to follow him. But there is another aspect to this saga which is known to only a very few of Dr. tenBroek's most intimate associates.

That is the absolutely incredible workload which this man carries. It is a story in itself and it will be told in these columns one of these days.

What if that fateful arrow had never flown? Who can say?

A few months ago the sister of the lad who had sent it on its flight, after long hesitation, at last screwed up her courage and appeared at Dr. tenBroek's office. Timidly she asked to see him. When he learned her identity he instantly dropped his work, dismissed his secretary and had her brought in. She explained that she had learned only recently of his whereabouts. In his kind, friendly manner, he tried to put her at ease. Then she told him, in a voice not always too steady, how, through all these years, her brother and she, and all their family, had been weighed down by a tormenting, relentless feeling of guilt. They were oppressed by the certainty that they had destroyed a fellow-being; that they had condemned him to live out his life in darkness and hopelessness.

Those of you who have heard the vibrant, expressive baritone voice of the NFB president, with the famous chuckle that is never long absent from his conversation, can well imagine him interrupting this moving recital. I do not know the exact words that he used but very possibly he began something like this: "Now look here, Miss , you're talking sheer nonsense. From my point of view at least, my life has been a rich, rewarding, exciting and thoroughly satisfactory one." He went on, gently but firmly, to point out to her that that it was only because of the accident that the tenBroek family had returned to California, where he could enter a decent school. It was entirely conceivable that otherwise he might never have broken out of the isolation of that remote frontier country and might have lived out his life in obscurity.

As she listened he told her something of his life during the last quarter of a century, of the fulfillment which had come to him through his work. Her spirit lifted with each passing moment. After a time she told him how she and her brother had also escaped from the drabness of the Alberta back country, how her brother had become a school inspector and how she herself had won a Ph. D. in astronomy. When she left, her heart was lighter than it had been for many years.

back to contents



by Earl Scharry

(Ed. Note--Mr. Scharry is the Legislative Analyst on the staff of the NFB and is now permanently stationed in Washington, D. C.)

In its campaign to prove and demonstrate the need for legislation to protect the right of the blind to organize, the National Federation of the Blind has received considerable help from unexpected quarters. Among the unsolicited contributors to this campaign none has been more assiduous than Mr. Robert Barnett of the American Foundation for the Blind. His latest effort in our behalf appeared in the January issue of "The New Outlook" in the column written by Mr. Barnett under the caption "Hindsight". Since Mr. Barnett not only has exerted considerable literary skill and energy in this composition but has gone to no little trouble to circulate it among influential members of Congress, common decency would seem to dictate that we acknowledge our indebtedness to him and call attention to the magnitude and extent of his contribution.

It is true that Mr. Barnett's contribution to our cause is cleverly disguised in the form of an attack upon the Right to Organize Bill. While this is an exceedingly subtle device, yet it might conceivably confuse some people into a miscalculation of its real significance. It therefore seems advisable to point out in some detail the full import, of Mr. Barnett's literary gymnastics.

Consider, for instance, the revealing nature of the following quotation: "The only time organizations of any kindred group of people encounter opposition and hostility is when their concerted demands upon the community begin to show signs of unreasonably self-serving goals which have doubtful value in the healthy development of, the entire community'.' What Mr. Barnett is saying by this ingenious gobbledegook is that those who oppose the Right to Organize Bill do not advocate interference with the right of the blind to organize in general, but only when the particular organization in question happens to be one that they dislike. For who/the interfering administrator is to determine whether the goals of the particular organization "have doubtful value in the healthy development of the entire community"? Thus it is that the self- righteous autocrat always justifies the destruction of those he dislikes. Pravda or Izvestia could not have done better in justifying the purge of their enemies. A little later Mr. Barnett re-enforces this masterful sophistry with the following statement: " I suggest that such isolated and alleged instances were not in opposition to the right of blind people to organize, but rather in opposition to a particular organization." Mr. Barnett is here saying: Of course blind people are free to organize--so long as they choose only organizations which meet with the approval of their guardian agencies. One hesitates to find the slightest fault with such a masterful presentation of our case, but we are tempted to wonder if the position might not have been made even more clear if he had added that of course government officials have no right to interfere with freedom of the press, unless a publication makes demands which are detrimental to the well-being of the State, or that freedom of religion should not be interfered with, unless the beliefs espoused in a particular instance "begin to show signs" of promoting goals "of doubtful value" to the community. We must be careful to point out that the language and the approach are Mr. Robert Barnett's, not Comrade Ilya Ehrenberg's.

Again, Mr. Barnett says: "So what, then, is the real issue in the Kennedy Bill? It is simply the principle advocated in one of its brief clauses that administrators of Federally financed programs of aid or service to the blind shall seek and abide by the guidance of representatives of organizations of blind people in the execution of their work. " An unwary appraisal might lead one to conclude that Mr. Barnett is here abandoning his task of demonstrating the weakness of the case against the Kennedy Bill. For the uninformed reader of Mr. Barnett's column would certainly assume that the legislation is designed to give dictatorial powers to the organized blind, and it is true that Mr. Barnett has seen to it that his readers remain uninformed as to the provisions of the Kennedy Bill. Yet, since he has given widespread circulation of his remarks among members of Congress, it must be assumed that he knows that these men have ready access to the text of the bill and are certain to inform themselves of its provisions. He must know that in so doing they will discover that the allegation that the bill would require administrators to "abide by" the guidance of organizations of the blind is the most flagrant mis- representation imaginable. The bill merely requires consultation, and consultation does not connote dictation by the wildest stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, there is nothing in the bill to preclude consultation with other groups. Further, Mr. Barnett must know that these experienced legislators are not likely to be fooled by the vague claims that the principle of consultation with citizen groups is already recognized by agencies engaged in work for the blind. They will know that, while procedures for. consultation with citizen groups and advisory committees are common practice in almost all governmental departments, in the field of public assistance and vocational rehabilitation such pro- cedures are almost non-existent. They will know that decisions of these agencies are reached on an ad hoc basis, without reference to previous decisions in similar cases and without opportunity for the expression of views by interested groups.

Finally, we would be remiss in the expression of our appreciation of Mr. Barnett's services were we to omit reference to his demonstration of the desperate poverty of the argument against the Right to Organize Bill by his evoking of the spectre of interference with State's Rights. Says Mr. Barnett: "I see no reason whatsoever for adding another item of Federal control over all the states because of a handful of local problems--any one of which could easily have been prevented or could be solved by unselfish and intelligent leadership at the local level. " The caricature would hardly have been complete without this allusion, even though in this instance Mr. Barnett's contribution is somewhat dwarfed by that of Mr. Lon Alsup of Texas, who has played the state's rights theme with much more virtuosity and violence. Still it was essential for Mr. Barnett to display this tender regard for the sacred rights of the states to use Federal funds to trample upon the rights of their citizens, while at the same time he is completely unconcerned about the many much more arbitrary conditions attached to the granting of Federal matching funds.

So, all in all, we feel that Mr. Barnett has earned our grateful commendation. We accord it without stint and hope that he may be inspired to even more fantastic achievements.

Here are few choice tidbits from Mr. Barnett's "Hindsight" column in the January New Outlook for the Blind: "I am one of those who hope that a particular bill, introduced into Congress last year, will never become law. It is the bill which was introduced by Senator John Kennedy in the last session of Congress.... Among the many things America is famous for is its tendency to over-organize, if anything, and in the field of blindness there certainly is abundant evidence that blind persons may organize all they want to. Some blind persons, of course, do not particularly want to be organized as such, but for those who do, there are dozens of groups, of one kind or another, national or local, already in existence. The only time organizations of any kindred group of people encounter opposition and hostility is when their concerted demands upon the community begin to show signs of unreasonably self-serving goals which have doubtful value in the healthy development of the entire community. I consider it misleading, therefore, that the Kennedy bill has been given the label of the 'right to organize' bill. It is a distortion of its import, the result of either deliberate misinterpretation by some individuals or the unwitting definition of it by those whose motives are purely and sentimentally meant to be helpful.

"It is reported that in several states there have been some sort of efforts to prevent organization. I suggest that such isolated and alleged instances were not in opposition to the right of blind people to organize, but rather in opposition to a particular organization. In at least one case, the opposition was based upon hostility toward an outside national influence interfering in the state's local affairs, which is a reaction often noted in American attitudes. I see no reason whatsoever for adding another item of federal control over all of the states because of a handful of local problems--any one of which could easily have been prevented or could now be solved by unselfish and intelligent leadership at the local level. " (Texas, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado--please note the foregoing!) "So what, then,, is the real issue in the Kennedy bill? It is simply the principle advocated in one of its brief clauses that administrators of federally-financed programs of aid or service to the blind shall seek and abide by the guidance of representatives of organizations of blind people in the execution of their work," (There is, of course, no such language in the Kennedy bill. Mr. Barnett's insertion of the words "abide by" is an outrageous distortion.)

"The real issue, then, is the question of legislation which would force the implementation of principles which are already accepted. In our democratic way of life and government, I do not believe it to be either wise or necessary. If passed into law, I believe that it would be ineffective and inefficient--so unwieldy that it actually would defeat the very purposes which its sponsors say it would achieve. The principal interest that would be served would be that of whatever organization of blind people could demonstrate that it 'represents the blind. ' If one organization were more successful than others in the techniques of organizing, advertising, lobbying and aggressive activity, then it might become the one whose authorized representatives would enjoy the right of law to review the activities of federal administrators, and through them, the activities of state officials and private agency administrators whose programs utilize federal funds. Obviously, there is one organization which believes it would enjoy that privilege.

"I, therefore, am opposed to Senator Kennedy's bill. First, it is inconsistent with the principles of federal-state relationships which we try to maintain in this republic. Second, it would not add materially to the right of blind persons to organize, since the right already exists and has been exploited quite fully. Third, it would impose upon the administrators of services to the blind the domination of some blind persons or of one blind organization which I do not believe to be truly representative of the views and hopes of the great majority of persons who are blind." (I suggest that this last observation is a rather pathetic bit of wishful thinking.) "It is probably necessary that I add the statement that even if I were to be the individual who was the authorized representative, or even if the organizations with which I am associated were to be the ones to whom the consulting role was assigned, I still would be opposed to the Kennedy bill. Any who quote from any part of this column are respectfully requested to quote that statement as well.... I think that a law like that proposed by Senator Kennedy would be the most serious influence yet seen in the form of legislation that would build the wall a little higher."

back to contents



Although dates for hearings on S. 2411 and H. R. 8609 have not been announced, news from the Washington front is most heartening. The efforts of our people in contacting Congressmen back home and the energetic activity of our staff at the national capital are continuing to show splendid results. No less than twelve additional Congressmen have now introduced bills identical to H. R, 8609 and this brings the total number of Congressional co-sponsors to twenty-seven.! The names of the first fifteen appeared in the February Monitor and here are the new ones-- if you see the name of a Congressman from your state, BE SURE TO WRITE HIM AND EXPRESS YOUR PERSONAL GRATITUDE:

Bernard W. Kearney, N. Y., H. R. 10238; Dean P. Taylor, N. Y., H. R. 10250; William H. Ayres, Ohio, H. R. 10376; A. Sydney Herlong, Fla., H. R. 10387; Albert W. Cretella, Conn., H. R. 10428; Carroll D. Kearns, Pa., H. R. 10441; George S. McGovern, S. D., H. R. 10446; Arch Alfred Moore, W. Va. , H. R. 10571; F. Edward He'bert, La., H. R. 10611; Glenn C. Cunningham, Neb., H. R. 10673; Carl Elliott, Ala., H. R. 10681; and Clement J. Zablocki, Wis., H. R. 10722.

It is especially gratifying that the name of Congressman Carl Elliott, of Alabama, appears in this latest list. He is Chairman of the Subcommittee to which H. R. 8609 has been assigned. Many of these new co-sponsors have introduced strong personal statements along with their bills and these all go into the official record. Congressman Clement Zablocki, of Wis., not only included a strong statement of his own in support of the Right to Organize, but also inserted the entire text of Dr. tenBroek's New Orleans speech, "The Cross of Blindness."

back to contents



(This is the fifth in a series of articles written for a St. Louis newspaper by Jack and Alma Murphey and David Krause. Mr. Krause is the author of this particular instalment.)

(Ed. Note-- It is estimated that 75 per cent of those considered legally blind have some degree of residual vision.)

Some call them partially-blind people; some call them partially-sighted people, but whichever you prefer, they are still the blind people who can see or the sighted people who are blind. Before you think we've been stricken with the double-talk craze, let us explain ourselves.

While few people ever stop to think about it, actually there are many degrees of blindness. Some blind people cannot even distinguish light from dark, while others can see that much but no more. Some blind people can distinguish large objects a few inches away, and still others can distinguish smaller objects several feet away. It is not until we come to the blind people with sufficient sight to travel the streets without the use of a cane or a guide dog that the real problems begin.

First of all, let's clear up definitions. Blindness means one thing when used by a layman, but when defined for legal purposes it takes on quite a different meaning. For our purposes here it is not necessary to discuss percentages of acuity. Let it suffice to say that while these people may travel about without a cane or a dog, they are most definitely blind as the law defines the word.

Unfortunately, however, most people do not consult the law in arriving at the definition of blindness. Blind people, they conclude, are people who use a white cane or a guide dog.

"But where is the big problem this brings about?" you may ask. When waiting on a street corner for a bus, someone in the crowd will invariably ask the blind man with a cane or a dog which bus he is waiting for. However, when the partially blind person without cane or dog ask someone in the crowd which bus is coming, the reaction is almost always the same--a look of bewildered amazement, that in this day and age there are actually illiterates roaming the streets of a big city. Similar embarrassing situations arise for these people in restaurants. The waitress thinks nothing of reading the menu to a totally blind person but when requested to do so by a partially blind person whom she does not recognize as being blind, she immediately assumes that "how much service can one expect" look.

When applying for jobs, personnel managers rarely consider these people as blind, but the examining physician will not pass them as sighted. And so it goes. At every turn these people find themselves in the middle--too sighted to be recognized as blind, too blind to be accepted as sighted. The emotional upset which must accompany such a situation is certainly understandable. It is only by making the general public fully aware that blind people do not necessarily carry a white cane or use a guide dog that any real progress can be hoped for in solving the problems of the blind. Many persons can appear to be sighted when actually they are legally blind. Be aware of this fact and make your friends aware of it. In this way you can help with the public education so vital to the solution of this difficult problem.

back to contents



(If I were to try to give you all of the articles which have appeared on Dr. tenBroek, from one end of the country to the other, since the publication of the New Yorker story, it would require at least two full issues of the Braille Monitor. I am selecting, therefore, only one, which I consider the most typical and perhaps the best. It is from the San Francisco Examiner , Sunday, Feb. 2, 1958.)

"In these illusion-shattering days one of America's old stereotypes refuses to die. The popular view of a blind man as a helpless ward whose 'employment' is confined to basket weaving is still popular. But there is strong, well-directed and effective opposition to this American prejudice. Much of it comes from Jacobus tenBroek, blind for almost 40 of his 46 years and founder and president of the National Federation of the Blind, the only national group run by and for the blind.

"He came down the stairs of his chalet-like home yesterday in Berkeley, with just the slightest hesitation threaded his way past several pieces of furniture and extended his hand to a guest. 'Here's a press release,' he said, after the introductions. It was four pages long and written in newspaper style. 'If you want to look that over, we can argue about it.' He sat down, lit a cigar and stroked his well-trimmed van dyke, while the visitor read.

"During the next 45 minutes the telephone rang several times. One of the callers, in Washington, wanted to discuss a bill that Senator John Kennedy is trying to push through Congress, to allow the blind to organize. tenBroek said: 'I believe it is literally a bill of rights for the blind. It protects the right of the blind to self-expression through organizations of the blind. Most people take it for granted that the blind already have all the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution, and therefore should not need additional legislation for their protection. The fact is that every day the blind are rejected or excluded from normal activity solely because of their blindness.'

"He cited what he termed a 'typical and routine example. 'A friend, a distinguished educator, was refused a hotel room in a large city 'not because he looked like a criminal, or even like a pauper, but simply because he was blind. One blind person was refused a plane ticket by an airline, another rejected for jury duty, a third turned down as a blood donor, and still another denied the rental of a safety deposit box.' Incidents such as these, tenBroek insists, are commonplace.

"It was to counteract this feeling that tenBroek in 1940 then an instructor, now chairman of the department of speech at the University of California, organized the National Federation of the Blind.

"Last year the Federation persuaded Senator Kennedy, of Mass., and Congressman Baring, of Nevada, to introduce S. 2411, the bill to guarantee the blind their right to organize. Since then, the attacks on the Federation, once sporadic and well-disguised, have become open and bitter. Most of them come from public welfare agencies, which administer State and Federal funds, he says. 'These agency people feel they are in a better position to tell us what we ought to be doing than we are. If we win the right to organize, without interference, they will lose some of their power."

"tenBroek cited case after case where blind persons employed in sheltered work shops, at vending stands and in other so-called 'blind trades' were threatened with the withdrawal of public aid if they refused to drop membership in the National Federation of the Blind. He said: 'Since the Kennedy Bill was introduced, our campaign has been an all-out effort. People have been surprised by the vehemence of our battle, so to speak.'

"During a recent period of 12 weekends he spent 10 of them away from home on flying trips throughout the country to arrange support for the bill. After his classes on Friday, tenBroek would be driven to the airport by his wife Hazel, who handles a double load as helpmate and secretary. Monday morning she would pick him up, in time for classes. A man of enormous energy, tenBroek has ignored the things that blind men are expected to do and become a living example of what he wants for all his fellow Americans similarly handicapped....

"Ten years ago he and his wife bought a huge old house on a steep Berkeley hillside, with four levels, and the kitchen on the top. He said: 'We got it because nobody else wanted it. '' It has become a wonderful plaything for the three tenBroek children--Jacobus (Dutch), 12, Anna, 9, and Nicholas, 5--who scramble up and down indoors and out with friends. Three full flights of concrete steps lead up from the street to the livingroom. They are no problem for tenBroek.

"Youthful in appearance and attitude, the sandy-haired educator has the realistic sense of humor often found in the blind but rarely known by the general public, which is shielded from it by an overdose of sentimentality. He is often asked if he has any vision. Both of his eyes are artificial and he tells an unrefined joke that obviously gives him pleasure. 'During the war I was answering a questionnaire at the draft board. The clerk finally said the doctor would like to examine my eyes. Okay, I said, do you want me to go in with them, or do you want to take them in? '

"The thing he misses most in being blind is the ability to drive a car. 'There are certain things I can't do, but after being blind for awhile you don't miss them. In an area where you're familiar a blind person operates as well as any one.'

"The thing he wants most is more freedom for the blind to compete with sighted persons, and more voice for the blind in the formulation of public policies. 'We must refute the doctrine that the blind are abnormal or incompetent wards of society released in custody of the social worker, says the man who counts lawyers, housewives, physicists, successful businessmen, educators, and skilled laborers as his friends.

"The issue, he says, will be 'fatefully determined this spring in Congress, when the Kennedy Bill comes up for hearing. "

back to contents



(Ed. Note--Dr. tenBroek has sent out questionnaires to the heads of state agencies for the blind in an effort to obtain information concerning methods and techniques of registration of blind persons and of the employment situation in the various states. Following is the reply received from Cliff Stocker, of Oregon. It is published here because it affords such a refreshing contrast to the indifference, halfheartedness or defeatism manifested by far too many administrators of state programs.)

"The Oregon Commission for the Blind is authorized by law.. to '...cause to be compiled and maintained as complete as possible a register of blind in which is described extent of blindness, cause of blindness, and such other facts in regard to each person so registered as the Commission may deem advisable.'

"The Oregon State Board of Health is also required by law to maintain a register of physically handicapped persons including the visually handicapped. Since the State Health Officer is a member of the Commission for the Blind and the State Board of Health is also concerned with vital statistics and has much of the necessary IBM equipment and personnel needed to maintain these statistics the Commission works cooperatively with the State Board of Health in the maintenance of this register of the state's blind residents. The Commission and the State Board of Health maintain a mutual exchange of information relative to blind persons living within the state. The two agencies, working together, are able to keep in contact with all public and private agencies and organizations and other sources of referral or information concerning blind persons, Through this working relationship we presently have slightly over 2700 blind persons on our register.

"Dr. Ralph G. Hurlin, in his booklet 'Estimated Prevalence of Blindness in the United States, ' published in 1953, estimated that the State of Oregon would have approximately 1.49 blind persons per thousand of population. The Oregon State Board of Census in its report of July 1, 1957 estimated the state's population to be 1,737,470. If we consider this to be approximately 1,740,000 individuals and figure there are 1-1/2 blind persons per thousand of population we arrive at a figure of 2, 610 blind persons in the State of Oregon. Therefore we feel our register is probably 90-95% accurate. The enclosed form is a sample of the one used by the Commission and the State Board of Health in compiling our register and will serve to indicate what we consider as a minimum amount of information necessary to register a blind person. The State Board of Health sets up the information contained on this form on IBM cards and here at the Commission we maintain this information in loose-leaf binders so as to facilitate keeping them in alphabetic order and. in order according to county. It is from this register that a great deal of our work is assigned our field staff.

"The Commission obtains additional information such as that requested in your letter before providing individualized services for a blind client and generally it is necessary for us to contact the individuals personally to obtain this information.

"The last time we had occasion to prepare a list of employed blind persons we counted 273 blind men and women employed in the State of Oregon in 121 different occupations. If we include the blind persons on the Staff of the Commission and the State School for the Blind, the blind vending stand operators, and the blind workers in our workshop, we find that 61 or slightly less than 23% of the state's employed blind people are working in some type of position which might be construed to be sheltered employment. At the present time we know of one blind man who raises, trades and sells horses, another blind man and wife operate a dairy, three others raise poultry, another is a YMCA Director, one is a Justice of the Peace, another is the head of the State Corporation Commission. We have three blind doctors, one of whom is the Chief Medical Consultant for the State Industrial Accident Commission, another a psychiatrist, and the third conducts a limited practice in internal medicine. One partially sighted girl is a Medical Social Worker at the University of Oregon Medical School Hospital, another blind girl is a medical records tran- scriber at the medical school and one blind man is working as an X-ray technician in a private medical clinic. Several of our blind salesmen are wholly self-supporting, one of whom earns approximately $9,000 per year. I could cite many other examples of what blind men and women are doing to earn their own living here in the great State of Oregon but will not submit such a list unless you specifically request same. Please understand that the 121 different occupations include those blind persons who are performing different professional jobs in agencies for the blind as well as those performing different types of jobs in the workshop.

"I am proud to say that many of our presently employed blind persons have become so through their own efforts, drive and sheer determination to be self-supporting. I am happy that the agency has been responsible for helping many of them get into the position of self-supporting individuals but I must admit that we have not been able to get as many of our blind people employed as we feel are capable of being employed but our efforts will, I assure you, continue toward the goal of ultimately placing every employable blind person and we will still be proud of those who become employed in spite of all our expert knowledge'that they are incapable of being employed.'

"Incidentally, we are facing a period very soon in which our rehabilitation case load will be made up of younger blind persons since the many retrolental fibroplasia victims are now beginning to come of employable age. We anticipate that this circumstance of a 'young' case load in our rehabilitation division will probably last for about ten years, which is approximately the period of the greatest number of incidence of cases who lost their sight in infancy because of this disease during the '40s. In all probability over 50% of these young people are destined to become professional or semi-professional persons and we are now entering into a program of intensive 'encouragement' of state and public agencies to hire capable professional blind persons or, at least, begin preparing their programs to utilize these young blind professional workers who will be completing their training and coming out of colleges and universities during the coming ten years..."

back to contents



Those who are directing the strategy of the agency opposition to the Kennedy-Baring bills are continuing to try to exploit the resolution adopted by the Blinded Veterans' Association at their Hartford, Conn, convention last summer. The claim is made that, since the BVA is an organization of the blind, its hostility to the "Right to Organize" legislation demonstrates that the blind themselves are divided on this issue.

The Braille Monitor has pointed out before that the BVA convention heard only one side when it adopted its resolution and, furthermore, that its members do not have to face the same economic problems as those which confront the civilian blind. In view of the continued effort to exploit and publicize the BVA "opposition," however, it seems well to go into the matter a little further.

The tight circle of opposition to the Kennedy-Baring bills, dominated by agency interest in and out of government, was joined late last summer by a group of the blind themselves. The Blinded Veterans Association, a national organization, approved a convention resolution rejecting S. 2411 and H. R. 8609 on the grounds that the bills "would seem to serve no practical purposes" and that "no further legislation is needed to guarantee these rights (of organization and consultation) to blind persons."

The resolution declared significantly that "this Association has, since its inception in 1945, recognized its constitutional right to organize nationally and locally without restriction by any Federal or local laws," and that "the Association does, in fact, work closely with Federal, State, and local governmental and voluntary agencies serving blind persons, and has, in turn, been consulted by these agencies."

What the resolution neglected to point out, however, is that the Association is itself a quasi-official agency through its receipt of a grant from the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and through the official authorization of BVA-employed regional representatives for purposes of advising and procuring employment for blinded veterans. In view of this formal and intimate relationship it is not unnatural that the Association should subscribe to the policies and attitudes of the Federal agencies. It is also reported that the BVA receives a substantial money grant from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Equally pertinent to an evaluation of the Association's opposition to the Kennedy-Baring bills is the fact that, by law, the BVA is entitled to represent veterans before the Claims Boards of the Veterans Administration. It may have access to the claims file of a veteran and can be giving power of attorney to act for the veteran. Moreover, veterans organizations such as the BVA are even permitted to retain office space in VA facilities. In short, the Association does indeed possess--as its resolution affirms--a formidable and secure right of consultation for its members with the responsible agency of government. Once again, it is natural for such a group, to believe that the provisions of the Kennedy-Baring bills are, to quote the resolution, "redundant"--at least from its point of view.

The important question is whether the point of view espoused by the BVA is representative of the several hundred thousand blind people of the nation, or only of those blinded during or after military service. In order to answer this question it is necessary to examine the benefits and services uniquely enjoyed by blinded veterans.

Most of the members of the BVA are veterans of World War II or the Korean War. The compensation paid by the government to a veteran with bilateral enucleation is $40l per month, tax exempt, with no limit on the amount of income he may earn. Furthermore, any veteran with visual acuity of 5/200, whose disability is non-service connected, is entitled to receive $135.35 per month, pfus an additional $66 for the services of a guide and attendant. Moreover, a veteran with dependents is entitled to $2,700 of exempt income.($l,400 if he is single or without dependents).

Under Public Law 309 blinded veterans receive free such items as recorders, Braillewriters, radios, Braille watches and electric razors. If a blinded veteran wishes to attend school or college, he receives $110 for his subsistence, in addition to his $401. Moreover, the government pays for his tuition, books, and supplies (including special equipment), and reading services-all, of course, without regard to economic need. Besides these pension and compensation benefits, the blinded veteran is eligible for insurance benefits and rehabilitation services available from the U. S. Veterans Administration, along with educational and home-purchase privileges provided by state veterans agencies.

Readers of the Braille Monitor will need no reminder of the vast discrepancy between these compensations and those enjoyed by blind non-veterans. No blind American will regret or begrudge the special rights earned by blinded veterans in the service of their country--and particularly by those who lost their sight in combat. What many, however, may well regret is that an organization of such honorable lineage should oppose the closely similar efforts of its fellow blind, not to dupli- cate its rewards, but to seek in a modest way to secure those elementary rights of consultation and organized self-expression which the BVA accomplished at its birth and without a struggle.

That not all members of the BVA share this hostility to the similar purposes of the non-veteran blind, however, is strikingly indicated by the passage last fall of a resolution endorsing the Kennedy-Baring bills by the Northern California Regional Chapter of the BVA. The resolution, which expressed a viewpoint exactly the reverse of that adopted by the national body, was evidently approved after the negative action of the BVA convention.

It is to be hoped that the BVA as a whole, on sober second thought, will recognize its fundamental kinship with others of the organized blind to be more important than either its distinctive characteristics or its distinctive relationship with custodial agencies in and out of government.

back to contents



by Jacobus tenBroek

(Ed. Note--A lot of nonsense has been spouted by agency personnel and others on the subject of "special privilege", legislative handouts," "destroying incentive," "favored position," etc. Worse than that, there is a great deal of confused thinking on the part of some of our own blind people. The distinction which Dr. tenBroek discusses in this article is not an easy one to grasp. The concept which he so carefully works out is a completely logical one but to understand it fully may require a bit of concentrated mental effort on the part of the reader who has not previously done any really analytical thinking along these lines.)

A serious criticism has been directed with increasing frequency at the organized blind. In simplest terms the charge is that the organized blind--and in particular the National Federation of the Blind--harbor two contradictory ideas; first, a doctrine of normality, equality and integration; and second, a doctrine of special privilege and preferential treatment.

In other words, the charge is that the left hand of the Federation does not know what the right hand is doing. On one hand, (so it is said), we favor equality, and on the other hand, we favor public assistance. On one hand we speak of normality, and on the other hand we advocate vocational rehabilitation. On one hand we talk of independence, and on the other hand we support vending stand programs. On one hand we say the blind are competent to make their own way in society, and on the other hand we ask for white cane laws which display the incompetence of the blind to make their way.

Let me be fair about this criticism. It does not come only from die-hard opponents of the principle of self-organization of the blind, who may be expected to seize upon any pretext to declare the failure of that principle. The criticism comes also from interested individuals, blind as well as sighted, who wish us well and generally aplaud our aspirations. It comes from persons honestly puzzled by what seem to them conflicting purposes.

Is the charge true? Are we a split personality moving in opposite directions simultaneously? Do we, short, insist on our normality and right to equality--while at the same time we ask for handouts on the basis of our helplessness and inequality?

You will not be surprised to hear that I think the answer is in the negative. We do not seek any preferential treatment based upon the claim of incapacity, or abnormality, or inferiority of those who cannot see. We refute all such claims and reject all programs of segregation "and shelter which are rooted in the prejudicial stereotype of the "helpless blind man."

But "preferential treatment" is a slippery term. It may mean merely particular treatment which takes account of valid differences, of the distinguishing characteristics which set one group apart from others. If this is all that "preferential" amounts to, then let us admit--indeed actively insist upon--our claim to such consideration; for we do in fact demand distinctive treatment for the blind, in numerous areas of training and welfare.

We who are blind know that we are normal people, lacking only the sense of sight; but we know also that this is a serious lack. If it is true to say that few disabilities are as severe as the loss of sight, it is still truer to say that no other disability is quite the same as the loss of sight. The blind cannot, for example, be treated for rehabilitation purposes as if they were paraplegics. Not merely our medical needs but our training requirements call for specialized techniques. Nor should the blind be treated for welfare purposes, as if their condition were the same as that of dependent children or of the aged. To do so is effectively to deny them the opportunity of rehabilitation into normal employment and self-support.

This principle of valid distinctions of course holds true for all legislation which seeks to minimize hardship, or remove discrimination, or equalize conditions of competition. No doubt the laws eliminating child labor reflect a certain preference for children. No doubt our anti-trust legislation is in the special interest of small business as well as of the principle of competition. No doubt the Emancipation Proclamation expresses a bias against slavery and in favor of freedom. These vital and necessary provisions cannot be dismissed as "preferential. " They do not confer a privileged status upon the groups concerned--rather they seek to restore and equal status which has been lost.

Legislation of this kind does not exalt the poverty of the poor, nor create privileges for the underprivileged which others do not enjoy, nor so elevate the disadvantaged as to give them an unfair advantage over others. The spirit of the laws in a democracy is that of equalizing conditions and compensating handicaps as much as may be possible: of enforcing equal rights, of creating equal opportunity, of ensuring ultimately equal treatment of those who hitherto have been denied such rights and opportunity.

There is a well established legal doctrine which embodies this philosophy: it goes by the name of "proper classification." What it says is, that our laws must first of all be aimed at the achievement of a public and constitutional purpose--a purpose, such as those contained in the ringing words of the Preamble of the Constitution: " to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. " In pursuit of these objectives the law must be impartial--it cannot be motivated by hatred or vengeance, favoritism or discriminatory purpose. Since there are real and legitimate differences among men--differences of age, need, of calling-- every law must be selective in its classification.

As a Justice of the Supreme Court put it in a famous case " class legislation, discriminating against some and favoring others, is prohibited" (by the doctrine of equality), "but legislation which, in carrying out a public purpose, is limited in its application and... affects alike all persons similarly situated," meets the requirement of equality.

Public programs aimed at restoring rights of participation, at regaining liberties which have been withheld, at personal rehabilitation and social reform, at fair employment practices and fair competitive policies, are obviously and solidly in the democratic tradition. Their purpose is the reduction or removal of inequities and artificial barriers in the society and in the economy. They are not in alliance with discrimination and injustice they are at war with them. Their object is not "preferential" treatment, but equal treatment.

To return to the charge against us--we do affirm the normality of the blind; we do assert their right and capacity for equality and independence; we do seek as a paramount objective their complete integration both socially and economically. And in keeping with these principles we do oppose--have always opposed, and will continue to oppose--any program or policy founded on contrary assumptions of the incompetence, or inferiority, or abnormality, or innate dependence, of those who lack the sense of sight.

In short, the National Federation of the Blind is unequivocally for all treatment which is equalizing--which moves toward equal opportunity and equal status--and just as unequivocally against all treatment which renders the blind unequal or perpetuates an artificial inequality.

The commitment of the blind on behalf of equalizing treatment is a demand for two kinds of social action. On its negative side it calls for programs aimed at removal of the social obstacles in the path of normal life and productive livelihood--including the barriers of discrimination, the doubts of the ignorant, the suspicions of the prejudiced, the misguided charity of the benevolent, and the corrosive malice of those whose privileged positions are threatened by our independence. This aspect of equalizing treatment does its work through education and demonstration, through information and public relations. But there is a positive side as well--and it is with this that we are principally and immediately concerned. The positive work of equalizing treatment requires public programs and social provisions which will not merely reduce the barriers but actively create new conditions of opportunity and encourage the initiative and independence of the blind.

The greatest problem of the blind, if I may say it once more, is not their blindness. That is a problem only to medicine. To the blind man it is a fact to be accepted: a deprivation, a nuisance, a source of frustration, a physical lack. The real problems for the blind person are: first, his internal adjustment to the physical conditions imposed by blindness; and second, his external adjustment to the social conditions imposed by the sighted community. The blind person must himself assume the main responsibility for his adjustment to disability; but responsibility for the social handicaps under which the blind have always labored--the handicaps of discrimination, segregation, overprotection, and outright exclusion--lies primarily at the door of society. Of course every sightless person has a contribution of his own to make toward the amelioration of these social handicaps; he must seek every opportunity to prove his normality, his competence, his reliability, and thus assist in ridding the public mind of super stitution and stereotypes. As a member of an organization of the blind, moreover, he can lend his weight to state and national campaigns for corrective legislation and administrative reform in the direction of broader opportunity for the blind. Very little, we may be sure, will be done by society to effectuate these values until its conscience and understanding have been touched: until the issue has been articulated in unmistakable terms and the need for change is reflected in the public mind and the public heart. But this is no more than to say that any social movement or campaign of reform must have its leaders--and in this case the leadership must come from the blind themselves.

Just as public health, welfare and morals are proper concerns of the whole society-just as the prevention of blindness, for example, is a social responsibility-so is the prevention of discrimination and the abolition of restrictive barriers raised against the blind. Public provisions to promote their welfare and security have taken a number of forms-some good, some bad, a very few indifferent. I suggest that the test of all programs and services for the blind should be the degree of their concurrence with the purposes of equalizing treatment as opposed to preferential treatment-with the long-range goals of personal and financial independence, equal opportunity and equal protection, full and free participation In the mainstream of community affairs.

With this test in mind, let us look briefly at a few of the more significant and controversial public programs presently in effect throughout the country. Do they equalize conditions for the blind? Do they assume the normality of their blind clients, intellectually and psychologically? Are they geared in theory and practice to the ultimate goals of independence and integration? Or do they retard these purposes in favor of continued segregation and protectee custody-do they convey an attitude of preferential treatment toward a helpless and infirm minority?

First, public assistance. What are the conditions under which the programs of public aid to the blind meet the requirements of equalizing treatment? What are the conditions which place such programs in the category of preferential treatment?

The treatment of the blind in public assistance may be said to be equalizing when it encourages and stimulates its clients to escape the relief rolls. It is equalizing when it enables the blind person to attain self-support through a system of exempt earnings and allowance of all real and personal property used and useful in a rehabilitative plan. It is equalizing when it provides a floor below which the recipient cannot fall rather than a ceiling above which he cannot rise. It is equalizing treatment when aid is granted as a matter of right, operating through fixed and uniform rules which specify the conditions and terms of the grant. It is equalizing treatment, in short, when the purpose is to protect the dignity of the blind and provide the groundwork which will permit them to rise above dependency into self-sufficiency and ultimate equality. These democratic principles and equalizing policies are embodied in the public assistance proposals of the National Federation of the Blind, and particularly in the King Bill H. R. 8131.

On the other hand, the programs of public assistance must be described as preferential when they are dependent on the poor-law principle of the means test, which requires that the need of each individual be individually determined through an inquisition into his property, resources, relatives and every aspect of his private life. It is preferential treatment when initiative is stifled and the aim is only to help the blind in distress, not to help him out of it. It is preferential treatment when the rules and regulations are arbitrarily laid down and carried out at the discretion of administrators and social workers operating on a philosophy of economy and efficiency with a prior assumption of the inferiority and innate dependency of those who are in need. And I fear that just such preferential and discriminatory features as these--which were officially endorsed only last year by the national convention of the AAWB--are the predominant and pervasive characteristics of our present public assistance programs under the Social Security Act. Under this gospel of public welfare the blind person finds indeed that he has sacrificed his freedom for a mess of pottage--and a pot of message.

Next, let us examine briefly the federal-state programs of vocational rehabilitation of the blind--bearing in mind our standard for all such programs: do they move in the forward direction of equalizing treatment, or in the backward direction of preferential treatment, of continued inequality and segregation?

It is not difficult to specify the conditions under which vocational rehabilitation for the blind may be said to have an equalizing purpose. It is equalizing when the successive processes of guidance, training and placement are pointed toward a competitive goal. It is equalizing when the blind client is free to choose his own vocation on the basis of talent and inclination, not compulsion or administrative convenience. It is equalizing when his training is conducted in an atmosphere of confidence and optimism, a climate of encouragement and active stimulation in which the wells of self-reliance and initiative are tapped, rather than capped.

It is equally easy to describe the conditions under which the rehabilitation process must be classified as "preferential treatment:" when it terminates in the dead end of the sheltered workshop, as a place of final employment for those whose aptitudes and vigor make them logical contenders in the open market of industry, commerce and the professions. It is preferential treatment when the goals of rehabilitation for the blind are fixed by counselors and administrators on a basis of stereotypes of the abilities and capabilities of their clients. It is preferential treatment when counselors and training experts reinforce the apprehensions of the newly blinded client concerning his prospects. It is preferential treatment when the process is pervaded by the frustrating authority and bureaucratic outlook of administrators whose first concern is economy and efficiency--expressed in the demand for rapid turnover of the case load, and a view of clients as units to be manipu- lated and quickly replaced. While the overall goal of vocational rehabilitation has often been stated in equalizing terms, all too frequently the administration has been preferential.

What of the programs of vending stands and small business enterprises for the blind? These programs have had an eventful and controversial history, dating from their inception under the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, through the Business Enterprises Program of 1945, to the "New Look" changes on the law brought about in 1954. Do they meet our test of equalizing treatment, or are they policies of preferential treatment? Do they move in the direction of broader economic opportunity and independence for the blind, or in the direction of dependency and inequality?

In principle, at least, I believe it can be said of the vending stand programs that they are broadly consistent with the long-range objectives of the organized blind. Their central purpose is still what the original legislation said it was, namely, that of providing "blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting." But there is one criticism which can be made, and has been made, of these programs, which has a direct bearing upon our test of equalizing versus preferential treatment. This charge is that stand operators are initially subsidized, and that, in federal buildings competition in the form of vending, machines, or similar stands, is disallowed: therefore the operators are neither wholly independent nor wholly competitive.

How does this criticism meet our test? Does the condition it describes move in the direction of equalizing or of preferential goals? I believe that the vending stand is a half-way house on the road to equality and therefore fundamentally equalizing. For if this arrangement represents a compromise with our principles it is both a realistic and temporary one. It is realistic in that it recognizes the pervasive social and psychological barriers raised against the blind in all ordinary avenues of employment, and therefore elects to assist them in starting limited ventures of their own. It is a temporary expedient in that such assistance will no longer be necessary-will lose its reason for being-when the ordinary trades and vocations are freely opened to the blind: when the banks will risk a loan to a blind enterpriser, when personnel offices will cease to tell the blind applicant "Don't call us, we'll call you." When the pervasive discrimination and resistance of employers and the general public has ended--or has been effectively reduced to the point of permitting free and equal competition in normal occupations--there will no longer be justification or excuse for any lingering favors or monopolies to blind operators, such as the present provision of free rent for vending stands in public buildings.

But these programs of self-employment for the blind do more than function merely as a stopgap. At their best, in the form of the independent operator system presently in effect in several states, they provide genuine opportunity for the blind operator to own his own business, to stand or fall on his own merits, to face the world as a normal and self-sufficient citizen, and thus to reach the full independence and integration that is his goal.

For a final example, what are we to say about the White Cane Laws? Are these protective measures consistent with the goal of equalizing treatment or are they among the trivial instances of discriminatory treatment which reinforces inequality and promote depen I believe that the canes are a dramatic and significant symbol of precisely what is meant by "equalizing." Their function is to augment the mobility of the blind person, by giving him a legitimate legal status in traffic and moderating the discriminatory harshness of the contributory negligence rule. Thus these laws make meaningful for the blind the human and constitutional right of free movement, just as the cane itself makes meaningful the physical capacity of free movement. The White Cane laws provide an incentive to physical initiative which is the parallel of programs furnishing incentives to vocational initiative; they are a discouragement of idleness and self-isolation, and an invitation to meet and mingle with the main stream of the community.

I have examined four programs in the fields of welfare and security. I have shown what must be done to bring them into harmony with the principle of equalizing treatment, and in what respects they stand for the contrary principle of preferential treatment. The organized blind reject without equivocation any doctrine of special privilege and preferential treatment which assumes a difference that is more than physical, and works to segregate and isolate the blind from normal society. The ulti- mate end for which we labor is equality in all its phases and the only means to this end which has our sanction is that of equalizing treatment; treatment that advances steadily in the direction of equal opportunity, equal rights, equal protection and equal status--in short, toward the treatment as equals in a free society.

After centuries of patronage and charity, following upon long ages of total rejection and exclusion, the blind believe that equality of treatment is preferable. We do display a preference, at the very heart of our philosophy; a preference for equality.

back to contents



(Ed. Note--The following statement, by John Mungovan, Director of the State agency for the blind, and supplied to us through the good offices of Charles Little, evidences once more the fact that in Mass. we have one of the most forward-looking and enlightened administrators to be found anywhere. Mr. Mungovan received the Dr. Newell Perry Award at the New Orleans convention last July.)

"A new arrangement for the operators of vending stands was announced on January 1, 1958, in Massachusetts. Up to this time, many vending stands were operated under the supervision of the Massachusetts Association for the Adult Blind as nominee of the Massachusetts Division of the Blind.

"The stands were classified as limited service under which the operator paid a small percentage of gross sales to the Association in return for supervision. The other type of arrangement was called 'full service.' Under this arrangement, the operator was virtually a manager since all bookkeeping, paying bills, ordering supplies, in fact all management services, were provided by the Association. Under this plan, the operator was guaranteed a minimum weekly income and a percentage of the net profits.

"Under the new arrangement, the Massachusetts Association drops out of the picture and the operators of the stands become independent businessmen with no 'set-aside' funds, and supervision is furnished by the Massachusetts Division of the Blind. The 'limited service' stands were put on their own January 1 and, under an agreement between the Association and the Division, the 'full service' stands will be turned over to the operators one at a time within a period of 18 months. Actually they will be turned over within a few months.

"It was necessary to allow for a gradual transition from the controlled stands to independent operation so that bookkeeping, banking, insurance, etc., can be transferred in an orderly fashion.

"Under the new plan, the operator is completely on his own after being stocked and installed by the Division of the Blind. "

back to contents



The National Federation of the Blind will have representatives at a national conference in April in which a number of agencies and organizations interested in the sheltered workshop program, from various points of view, will participate. Since our position will undoubtedly be presented at this conference, it seems appropriate to publish at this time the resolutions dealing with this subject which were unanimously adopted at New Orleans last July.


Whereas, certain benevolent and charitable corporations or firms are permitted to obtain tax waivers from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and, whereas, some of these same corporations or firms engage in interstate, commerce and are permitted to receive a certi ficate from the United States Department of Labor permitting them to pay sub-minimum wages by reason of hiring handicapped workers; and, whereas, many of such associations and firms gross considerable sums of money from their industrial output, and under such circumstances should not be permitted to do so without paying the standard wage;

Now therefore, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled at New Orleans, Louisiana, this 7th day of July, 1957. That this convention urge the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the U. S. Department of Labor to require such corporations or firms to pay the minimum wage required by the applicable federal or state laws in commercial enterprises of similar kind and nature, as a pre-requisite for obtaining the tax waiver, thereby not only placing such corporations on a fair rather than an advantageous footing with other firms manufacturing similar items, but also resulting in substantial advances in the economic status of numerous blind workers; and

Further be it resolved that should legislation be required to attain the ends herein set forth, the Convention instruct its officers to take appropriate action to secure the introduction and adoption of corrective legislative measures.


Whereas, there has been a growing tendency on the part of rehabilitation agencies to use and to encourage the use of sheltered workshops both as places of training for employment and as places of employment for their blind clients; and whereas, sheltered shops afford, at best, an exceedingly limited scope of training, generally in fields which are not suited for competitive pursuits; and, whereas, as places of employment the sheltered workshop, does not foster, but usually prevents the development of the capabilities, talents and full productive powers of the blind clients; and, whereas, the workshop represents to the blind and public alike an outmoded and antiquated notion of blindness that the blind are, at best, capable of employment only when such employment is simple, repetitive and routine, and even then under protected and sheltered conditions; and, whereas, the purpose and sole justification of vocational rehabilitation programs is that of assisting disabled persons in achieving a normal life and a normal livelihood embracing all of the elements implied by these concepts; and, whereas, despite these facts and considerations the practice has grown up among rehabilitation agencies of using the sheltered workshops as an easy means of making placement of blind workers, thereby establishing a record of apparent achievement, while avoiding the difficult problem of placement in competitive pursuits;

Now therefore be it resolved etc. That this convention deprecates the attempt to use the workshop as an instrument of rehabilitation and placement, and strongly urges rehabilitation agencies to turn their energies to constructive channels to stimulate and encourage blind persons, to train them in areas of their interest to the extent of each client's talents and capacities in the occupation of his choice and to do all possible to secure his placement in competitive pursuits; and

Further be it resolved that this Convention strongly urge rehabilitation agencies to cease the nefarious practice of claiming rehabilitation credit for sheltered shop placements.


Whereas, in the United States there are in operation a considerable number of workshops for the blind; and, whereas, it has come to the attention of the National Federation of the Blind that numerous workers in such workshops receive wages insufficient to purchase even the barest necessities of life, the workers sometimes receiving as little as five cents out of each dollar's worth of goods sold from such shops; and whereas, the purpose and sole justification for the existence of such shops is to provide lor blind persons an opportunity to earn a livelihood;

Now therefore be it resolved etc. That this Convention instruct its officers at the earliest possible date consistent with other demands on its manpower and treasury, to undertake a thoroughgoing survey of working conditions in sheltered shops throughout the country, to include not only a study of the salaries paid to blind workers but also an analysis of the causes of the insubstantial remuneration for work done; and

Be it further resolved that the results of such survey when completed, shall be reported to a Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

back to contents



by David Krause

(Ed. Note--Mr. Krause now employed in Washington, D.C. , was formerly very active in the Missouri Federation of the Blind, and has written other articles for the Braille Monitor. In his covering letter to its Editor, he says: "I have had personal experience with this Co-ordinator Program and I can attest to its value and effectiveness here in the Washington area":)

The National Federation of the Blind has been extremely active in breaking down the barriers to the employment of blind persons in Federal civil service. Tremendous strides forward have been taken in this direction. Department Circular No. 903 dated March 7, 1957 issued by the United States Civil Service Commission established a Co-ordinator Program for Employment of the Physically Handicapped. The directive states, "To insure full consideration of the physically handicapped in selective placement, it is requested that a Co-ordinator be designated to represent each department or agency, and that additional Co-ordinator be designated within each large bureau and field establishment."

In each agency of the Federal government, a specific individual has been designated as Co-ordinator for the employment of the physically handicapped. It is his job to find positions in that particular agency which can be filled capably by handicapped persons, and then to assist handicapped persons in getting placed in the positions, These Co-ordinator s are all top-level persons and have generally been selected because of their sincere desire to further the employment of the physically handicapped in the agency.

These Co-ordinators have been appointed not only in the Washington area but also in branch offices throughout the country. If you are a blind person, with eligibility on a civil service register, but are having difficulty in getting beyond that stage, you are urged to make use of this new Co-ordinator Program. Simply contact the local personnel office of the particular agency you are interested in and ask for the name of the Co-ordinator for Employment of the Physically Handicapped. Talk with this individual personally. If you find that a Co-ordinator has not been appointed, write to Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California. Be sure to include complete information so that our Washington Office can get in touch with the top Co-ordinator of the agency in Washington, D. C., or with the Civil Service Commission.

Reports from Federation members who have recently found employment through this Co-ordinator Program indicate that there is a genuine desire on the part of the Medical Director of the Civil Service Commission, Dr. Eugene R. Chapin, and his staff, who have charge of this new program, to further the employment of qualified physically handicapped persons.

This is indeed an encouraging and most significant development. Use the new Co-ordinator Program to the fullest. It marks a tremendous stride in the right direction.

back to contents



by Walter McDonald

(Ed. Note--This article has nothing to do with bank accounts. It is concerned, rather, with that traditional American concept which the framers of our Constitution so wisely incorporated in that instrument, as it applies to the relationship between agencies serving the blind and organizations of the blind. Mr. McDonald--blind Georgia attorney, former three- term member of his state's legislature, member of the Georgia Public Service Commission since 1922 and its Chairman from 1937 to 1950, President of the National Association of Railroad and Public Utilities Commissioners and of the Southeastern Association of Railroad and Public Utilities Commissioners and first Executive Secretary of the Southern Governors' Conference--is President of the Georgia Federation of the Blind and was elected last July to the NFB Board of Directors).

Although our state organization is relatively new, its growth has been rapid. For the first time in the history of Georgia the average blind citizen of the state has a means of making his voice heard in matters affecting him and of really being a factor in the shaping of his own destiny. We now have four local chapters (located in Griffin, Bainbridge, Macon and Atlanta) as well as members-at-large throughout the state. We have upwards of 300 active members.

We are asking Congress to enact legislation requiring that the blind be consulted about programs affecting them and protecting the right of the blind to organize. Why we are doing this? Is it really conceivable that there are times when the best interests of the blind and of the agencies established to serve the blind are different, even antagonistic? If there are such times, then the need for the legislation we are proposing is obvious.

Let me create for you a rather fanciful and purely hypothetical situation. Suppose the year is not 1958, but 1940 instead. Suppose further that you are not in your present circumstances but are in work for the blind. You may be a social case worker, a home teacher, or the manager of a sheltered workshop. You may be sighted or blind. It makes no difference for the purposes of our story.

In 1940 the depression was just beginning to ease and the lifeblood of commerce to flow through the nation again. It was a year of hope--a time to dream dreams and have ambition. Like the rest, you have your dream and your ambition, but it is not a selfish dream, not an unworthy ambition. You have in mind the launching of a project which will benefit blind people, not only those with whom you have been working but others throughout your state and region.

You have observed that one of the greatest problems confronting the blind is their difficulty in traveling independently. In the past, when you have tried to help a blind person get a job, almost the first question you have always been asked by the prospective employer has been, "But how can he get to and from work?" You have given a great deal of thought to the matter and have concluded that the best answer to the problem is the guide dog. Guide dogs cannot be procured in your part of the country, and the local blind person who wants one must travel many hundreds of miles at great trouble and expense. Besides, there is usually a long waiting list. You decide to do something about the situation. In short, you decide to establish a guide dog school.

You quit your job and put your whole time and energy into the project. You talk to local business people and begin to raise money. Soon you have a building, and you are collecting a staff of guide dog trainers and beginning to bring in dogs and students. You work day and night, and you pay yourself a salary of, let us say, ten thousand dollars a year--which is not unreasonable and certainly not too high for the amount of time and effort you are putting in.

Your school prospers. Blind people who have learned to travel by using your dogs are working in competitive industry and the professions throughout the country, and you have letters of gratitude and appreciation from them as well as many newspaper clippings and magazine articles telling of their success.

Your happiness is complete. You are doing a worthwhile job, and you are respected and honored throughout your entire state. In your own community you have become quite a figure and have more prestige than anyone else doing work for the blind. Yearly fund drives, complete with picture displays of guide dogs leading their masters, touch the hearts of thousands of donors and insure plenty of money for the growth and expansion of the school.

Time rushes by, and the year is now 1960. One day I come into your office and I tell you of the perfection of a new travel aid for the blind. Perhaps I say something to this effect:

"Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have, as you probably know, been working for several years to perfect an electronic travel aid for the blind. They have now achieved success. The instrument is perfect. It is light, compact, and inexpensive, and able to scan for at least thirty feet in all directions and to give the blind person all of the information his eyes would give him if he were sighted. I have one of the instruments here with me, and since I know that you have devoted the greater part of your life to the improvement of the lot of the blind and that you are sincerely interested in their welfare, I am certain you will, (after looking at the instrument and verifying my statement about it) rejoice with me that the blind no longer need canes or dogs. I am sure that you will close up your school, discharge your staff, cease your fund-raising, stop paying yourself your salary of ten thousand dollars a year, and tell the public that the guide dog is no longer needed."

If this were a true instead of a hypothetical situation, what would you do? I submit that you would rationalize and say to yourself and to others, "These people are doing real harm to the blind. It may be a good instrument, but nothing will ever replace the guide dog, at least not in our lifetime." You would not admit to yourself that you were merely protecting your own vested interests. You would rationalize. The alternative would be to give up your position, your prestige, your feeling of importance, your established program, and last but not least your ten thousand dollars a year.

As I have said, this is purely a hypothetical situation. 1960 has not yet arrived, and the people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have not, so far, perfected their travel aid. Besides, as any guide dog school official will tell you, nothing will ever replace the guide dog, at least not in our lifetime.

The situation I have created for you is purely hypothetical, but its real life counterpart is occurring every day in literally hundreds of agencies for the blind in this country. It occurs every time the manager of a sheltered workshop for the blind has to decide whether to encourage his best and most skilled workers to leave the sheltered workshop and seek employment in competitive industry or to discourage them from seeking such employment so that they will stay in the shop. If they go, they will be finding normal lives and better pay, but the efficiency of the shop will be lowered, and more subsidies will have to be found. On the other hand, if the best-workers are kept in the sheltered workshop, overall efficiency rises, and the workshop manager looks good as an administrator. He is getting skilled labor at substandard wages to help offset the inefficiency of his poorer workers. What is he to do, consider the welfare of the blind worker who might be placed in private industry or defend the interests of the overall workshop program? The answer is that many workshop managers rationalize and tell themselves that it is really to the best interests of all the workers to be kept in sheltered employment.

The same basic situation occurs every time the administrator of a vending stand program for the blind has to decide what kind of system he will have. If he advocates the philosophy of independence for the blind and admits to himself and others that many blind are capable of operating vending stands without constant care and supervision on the part of the agency, he needs fewer vending stand supervisors, and his agency will not expand as rapidly as it would under what has come to be known as the "controlled" system. The result is that most vending stand agencies have "controlled" rather than "independent" programs.

In reality the counterpart of my hypothetical situation occurs every time the blind set up an independent organization of their own in a community where a well-established agency doing work for the blind exists. The agency has a monopoly on fund raising in the name of the blind. Its officials have unchallenged prestige and are considered to be the authorities in the field. If the blind organize, the empire is challenged, the monopoly is threatened.

The agency leaders not only rationalize to themselves they also propagandize the public in an attempt to perpetuate their programs and defend their vested interests. The first sentence of the Code of Ethics (so-called) of the American Association of Workers for the Blind reads as follows: "The operations of all agencies for the blind entail a high degree of responsibility because of the element of public trusteeship and protection of the blind involved in services to the blind. "

As our national president, Dr. tenBroek, has so aptly put it, "The use of the word 'protection' makes it plain that the trusteeship here referred to is of the same kind as that existing under the United Nations Trusteeship Council--that is, custody and control of underprivileged, backward and dependent peoples."

Mr. M. Robert Barnett, Executive Director of the American Foundation for the Blind, says on page 12, of the Pinebrook Report, an official publication of the Foundation: "A job, a home, and the right to be a citizen will come to the blind in that generation when each and every blind person is a living advertisement of his ability and capacity to accept the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. Then we professionals will have no problem of interpretation because the blind will no longer need us to speak for them, and we, like primitive segregation, will die away as an instrument which society will include only in its historical records. "

No statements could be clearer than these and none could be more unsound or more harmful to the best interests of the blind and to public understanding of our problems. The matter is as simple as this. Most agency workers are basically good people, but they are also human. They tend to defend their own vested interests, and those interests are not always identical with the interests of the blind they are supposedly serving. We need agencies for the blind, and we need independent organizations of the blind. In the best American tradition the two forces serve as checks and balances. Both have duties; both have rights; both have responsibilities. The existence of one need not, and should not constitute a threat to the proper activities of the other. No agency should claim to "represent the blind" or set itself up as a "spokesman for the blind." No organization of the blind nor any individual member should indulge in sweeping condemnations of all agencies and all agency activities. When each recognizes that the other has a necessary and appropriate role, mutual jealousy and antagonism should give way to an attitude of mutual respect and to a spirit of cooperation.

back to contents



An employment counselor whom I have known for a long time recently told me that his real problem was finding capable blind persons who really wanted to work, rather than finding the jobs. "You would probably be quite surprised," he told me, "to learn how small the active rehab case load now is in this territory. "

I asked him about a number of individuals whom I knew were desperately anxious for employment. He said none of them were on his current active case load. "We're not supposed to drag them in, " he added, "We're not supposed to put on any pressure. They must come to us."

In the December Michigan Eye Opener, Stanley Oliver writes:

"The cry is heard on all sides that more jobs are needed for blind people.... One can not be active in any group of blind people and not receive the distinct impression that they feel their most urgent need is for gainful employment. Even those with some source of income feel that it is so unsatisfactory that it lessens to only a slight degree their need for work. In the face of overwhelming evidence to support the claim of blind people, namely, that they want jobs, there has been brought to our attention a strange situation.... The claim is made that there is only a bare handful of blind people awaiting placement by the Division of Services for the Blind. Why is this so? We believe that this is the answer--why keep going back to a dry water hole?

"If you applied for work to a rehab agency and were not placed within a reasonable time, you probably became discouraged and eventually stopped reporting at the agency office. After a time your name would be dropped from their active files. One less person looking for a job. Many a client has been placed in a job where he believed he would only remain temporarily. This group would include many of those working at door-to-door selling and in sheltered workshops. Although it is usually not made crystal clear to the blind job seeker, this work is more often than not considered terminal employment. Although you may not like it, according to the agency this is to be your lifetime career. Another name gone from active files.

"Although proper training is essential to good rehabilitation, it can also be used as a stalling technique. While you are in training, of course, you are not on the waiting list for a job.

"Another group of people not appearing in the active files is made up of those who have been discouraged by the experience of friends and who have givin up without even trying. Some, of course, just don't know of the existence of the agency. Add it all up and see if you get the same answer we do. "

back to contents



(From the Michigan Eye Opener ): "Paul Lehner , forty years old, of Ithaca, Mich., has been steadily employed for the last few years as a shoe inspector by the Wolverine Shoe and Tanning Co. Using only his fingers, he rapidly checks over finished articles for stitching or cementing defects inside and outside shoes and other footwear. 'One of our best inspectors, ' states a Wolverine executive. "

And from the same periodical: "Jerry McTaggart, blind Detroit court reporter, ... in his work in Common Pleas Court with Judge Connoly, employs an Audiograph unit. Into this recording system he parrots testimony being given, using a closed microphone, and the recording thus made is played back/on in the day and typed by him. Diabetes brought on his blidness suddenly but, thanks to a resilient spirit, he carries on successfully the same work he was doing before the loss of vision."

Ed. Note--Bill Dwyer is the president of the Tri-City Council of the Blind, (Albany-Troy-Schenectady), one of the newer chapters in the Empire State Association of the Blind, He is proving to be an enthusiastic, energetic and resourceful leader. For the past three years he has been shop steward for his union, The Textile Workers of America.

From the Albany Times-Union : "William Dwyer doesn't look like a pioneer. His muscular arms bulge beneath his cotton tee-shirt, a gabardine cap covers his thinning, blondish hair. He moves deliberately, and talks without gestures. He doen't think of himself as a pioneer, either. But he's believed to be the first blind person in the Tri-City Area to hold down a job in an industrial plant which was originally tagged for a sighted person. He's been told by a vocational expert it's one of the toughest jobs being done by a blind person in the state. 'People think some of the things a blind man can do are pretty hot stuff, ' he commented wryly at his drill press in the F. C. Huyck and Sons mill in Rensselaer. 'You get a lot of baloney about us having some kind of super power to do things without sight. But it all boils down to just using common sense. '

"As a teasel setter at the mill for the past seven years Bill uses his common sense to do a half-dozen different operations. The teasel is a burry, dried flower head used to raise the nap on papermaker 's felt at the plant, where Bill landed the job in open competition with the sighted. The 42-year-old father of three, drills a hole through the center of about 2,000 teasels a day with his electric drill press. Then he mixes up a batch of special glue-- 'Just like mixing a cake--you can tell by the way the paddle moves around when you've got the right consistency--' and dips a steel spindle in the glue. Through his sense of touch, Bill lines up two teasels with the burrs going the same way, and inserts the spindle through the holes. Then he walks to another room where he installs the completed teasel into a long roller, or 'gig' to nap the felt. He also keeps the teasels in working order, feeling them regularly to ferret out broken ones and install new ones. The useless ones he boils up in a huge barrel in his shop and plucks out the spindles for reuse. In another aspect of his job he bags 'locks' or lint which is blown down a huge pipe into his shop and caught in burlap bags twice his height. He uses a huge needle and twine for the stitch- ing operation on the bags. The former Albanian has already collected six suggestion awards, ranging from a pen and pencil set to $150, for ideas he's thoughts up to improve various operations around the plant. He does all his work unaided, and gets around the sprawling mill on his own with the aid of a cane....

"He also put a retaining wall in his backyard one summer, made from old railroad ties. 'I didn't know a blind man wasn't supposed to be able to do something like that, ' he said. 'I wish somebody had told me before--it was tough work...."

The Washington State White Cane reports that Glen Freccero a 22-year-old blind student, who lost both hands when he was a child of 8, and who completed his public school work with the aid of a tape recorder, has just passed his matriculation examination at the University of Turin. 65% of his 1600 fellow candidates failed.

Taken from the Tucson Daily Citizen, dated February 8: "A woman blind since childhood has become one of the busiest producers of off-Broadway shows here, (New York City, ) 'Lack of sight has been no real handicap to me,' said Stella Holt. 'I won't let it. I keep too busy. People some-times think it is frustrating to produce plays you can't see. But I do see them. I have a very good visual memory. Life is not a blankness to me. I remember what things look like. I haven't forgotten colors.'

"Her stage manager... nodded in affirmation. 'She has wonderful judgement in picking plays,' he said. 'And she can tell instantly whether an actor or actress is honest in a role-or whether they are faking.

"Miss Holt, a friendly, vibrant, dark-haired woman of 43... lost her eyesight at the age of 13... Despite her vision loss she went to Cornell University, graduated, and spent many years here as an active social worker. In time that proved more frustrating to her than her blindness ever had.... 'I felt there was so little I could really do for people in ordinary social work,' she cried. She ran art exhibits for a while and about 5-1/2 years ago became managing director for the Greenwich Mews, an interdenominational, inter-racial theater sponsored by a synagogue and a Presbyterian church.

"In the years since then Miss Holt has produced 14 plays, a number of which have been favorably reviewed by the city's top drama critics.... But Miss Holt has no ambition to crash the main stem. She likes the pioneering, noncommercial freedom of the off-Broadway theater. She likes to provide cultural entertainment that a busboy can afford as well as a banker-and in her audiences you'll find both....

"Where does she get the money? Many prominent Broadway figures are glad to be her 'angels, ' and she has a list of 300 organizations which sponsor theater parties for her shows....

"Many highly paid Broadway actors, while temporarily 'at liberty,' are glad to appear in her plays for a pittance-for the fun of it, and for the experience of acting in a kind of play Broadway rarely offers. Miss Holt herself now finds she gets the satisfaction she looked for and missed, in routine social work"...

(Ed. Note--An article appeared recently in the American Bar Association Journal, written by Jack Zimmerman and entitled "A Success Story; Blind Justice in Oregon." This article was later read into the Congressional Record by Senator Neuberger. The subject, George Howeiler, is a past president and is still an active leader of our Oregon affiliate. Lyle von Erichsen, also mentioned in the article, is a past president of our Washington state affiliate.)

"George Howeiler is one man who won 't take exception if you tell him justice is blind. On the contrary, Howeiler is quite literally living proof of the old saying. He is justice of the peace for the sprawling Sandy district of Oregon's Clackamas County, and he is totally blind. Justice Howeiler ascended to the justice court by virtue of a resounding 2,976 to 214 ballot in the November 1956 elections....

"A resident of Sandy, a tiny wayside community which straddles the Mt. Hood loop highway east of Portland, for only a year, Howeiler was born in Edmonton, Alberta, September 17, 1910, and moved to eastern Washington with his parents in 1923. Born with normal sight, his present blindness is the result of a premature explosion of blasting caps when he was a teen-ager. He now considers his handicap one of his greatest blessings. 'I had quit school to become a farmer in my junior year of high school, he explains,' and if it hadn't been for my accident and examples of other handicapped people I probably never would have amounted to anything.'

"As a result of his injury though, Howeiler has not only become a justice of the peace, he is a practicing lawyer, has been a teacher, school administrator, and holds a master's degree in education from Columbia University. As a newly blinded teen-ager, Howeiler turned to music and became proficient with the piano. A blind piano tuner heard of him and came to visit him on his father's Okanogan County farm. The visitor urged Howeiler to continue his education. Several operations on his eyes followed and by the time he was enrolled in Eastern Washington College of Education at Cheney he possesed limited narrow vision. With double lenses on his glasses he was able to read by taking in only two letters at a time.

"At Cheney in 1939 he met and married his wife, Ruth, and together they completed college, took graduate work at Washington State College, earned master's degrees at Columbia and became teachers.... He became teaching principal of a small eastern Washington school. Then one day in a classroom in 1945, Howeiler's blindness became permanent. As he stood lecturing to his students a sudden hemorrhage clouded his vision and darkness closed in.

"Disheartened, he went to Spokane a few months later to inquire about Federal aid. In that city a fried told him about Lyle von Ericksen, prominent lawyer who was not only blind, but who also had little hearing. In von Ericksen's office George Howeiler received new inspiration and shortly afterward moved to the Portland area with his wife and both of them enrolled in Northwestern College of Law. The couple worked days; she as a teacher and he for the State Commission for the Blind. Nights they went to school and studied. They were graduated together and passed the bar in 1952.

"In law school Howeiler learned he would not be alone in Oregon as a blind lawyer. Successful blind lawyers are practicing in Brownsville, The Dalles, and Portland....

"When it comes to dispensing justice, Howeiler feels his blindness is no handicap. Operating his court and law practice is like everything else that must be adjusted to and taken in stride. With the aid of lawbooks in Braille, his braillewriter-a typewriter that types in Braille-and recordings, the Sandy justice of the peace handles lots of business. His file cards are filed upside down and files run in reverse alphabetical order, but otherwise you wouldn't notice anything strange about the operations.

"When he took office the new justice of the peace hired Bill Blake, Portland policeman for 20 years, as secretary, and most of the court business stems from activities of the area's weighmasters, State police, sheriff's deputies and game wardens. So far he hasn't had to sit in judment over any of his wife's clients...."

back to contents



So many blind people now own tape recorders that it is getting to be a common thing for one such owner to assume that another blind person, with whom he has corresponded or wishes to correspond, also owns a tape recorder. I have received a number of tapes in the mail recently.

I feel that I am now compelled to state publicly that I simply do not dare have a tape recorder around. The mail which comes to this office is so heavy that we are lucky to get through the Monday batch by Tuesday afternoon. These letters average perhaps a third of the page. Between the Monitor and the necessity of answering many letters, I am all but swamped. I would thoroughly enjoy corresponding with many of you by tape but tape enthusiasts invariably feel that they must fill up a half-hour or hour reel to the last possible second and I am sure you can understand what this would do to my already abbreviated sleep periods.

I believe all of the above applies as well to Dr. tenBroek.

Nothing in the foregoing should be taken to indicate that I underestimate the great value of tape recordings, not only to individuals but to our chapters. Sandford Allerton, president of the Michigan Council, has begun sending special tapes of his own to be played at chapter meetings. I think this is a splendid idea and other state presidents could well follow his example.

back to contents



The president of our fast growing Missouri affiliate, Mrs. Alma Murphey, of St. Louis, has begun the issuance of a monthly newsletter. I think nothing is more important in holding a statewide organization together and maintaining the interest of its members at a high pitch, than a well-edited newsletter. If a state organization can afford Braille, or tape or disc recordings, so much the better. But even a mimeographed sheet fills a great need. A publication should have serious overtones and should keep readers well informed on state and national legislation affecting the blind, but it should also be newsy and even gossipy. It is highly gratifying that nearly all NFB affiliates have come to realize the value of this medium.

Mrs. Murphey announces the formation of the newest Missouri organization, which was formed at Hannibal, (the birthplace of Mark Twain), on Feb.12, It will apply for formal recognition as an affiliate at the annual convention, which will be held this year at the Melbourne Hotel, in St. Louis, on Sept. 27 and 28. The Missouri Federation plans to carry on vigorous organized organizing activities in several other communities before the date of this convention.

back to contents



The new AAWB Legislative Committee has issued its first bulletin. Referring to the King bill it has this to say: "It was apparent that there is some reluctance on the part of the Committee to go as far as the King Bill proposes, and a compromise is indicated." In discussing the Kennedy bill there is no statement this time that it is either "unnecessary" or "disrupting. The latest characterization is even more ambiguous. "Mandated by the AAWB Convention to oppose this measure, we shall do so for we believe sincerely that the overtones of this bill are damaging, even though the intent may be praiseworthy. "

back to contents



Traditionally, the successive editors of The Matilda Ziegler Magazine have tended to confine their editorial comments to innocuous and non-controversial--not to say trivial--subjects. In the January issue, Mr. Howard M. Liechty departs from this tradition, at least momentarily. Although his language is exceedingly mild, his subject is certainly a most timely one and he raises a question which a great many of us have been asking ourselves and, (I hope), our Senators and Congressmen. In reprinting his editorial below, my only other comments are, (1), the gains in social security payments have, to a large degree, been more apparent than real, since rising prices have tended to cancel them out, and, (2), the hard-won gains he refers to have been achieved not only by "individuals and agencies" but also, (and to a decisive extent), by organizations of the blind. Mr. Liechty writes:

"The general levels of governmental contributions in all sorts of assistance programs in this country have been rising more or less steadily during the past two and a half or three decades, and we have become accustomed to expecting periodic increases in such welfare services as social security benefits for citizens reaching retirement age, more and more federal aid to the blind, old age assistance, and various other educational and social welfare programs. Speaking particularly of the social welfare gains which have been of benefit to blind people and to needy and aged people, we know from close observation that these gains have been hard-won in terms of years of effort on the part of many individuals and agencies.

"Just now at the beginning of 1958, in the light of the President's references to aid to the blind and other welfare programs in his State-of-the-Union message, we are concerned about the future of finanoial assistance to blind persons from federal funds. The President has been severely criticized by some people over the cutbacks in domestic funds, including welfare, which he recommends, in compensation for greater spending on advanced weapons. I personally do not presume to be well informed about the details of the federal budget, and about what can or cannot be done in such an extremely complicated problem as drawing up the federal budget, nor about the many details having to do with aid to the blind and to the aged and such programs, so I speak only in general terms when I say that from the standpoint of my frankly partisan position in favor of the welfare of blind people I think it is worse than a pity that, in order to adequately defend our country--which nobody'could wish to neglect--the first to sacrifice for such defense should be blind people and others who depend heavily on federal aid for their economic support. Naturally the Administration, and everybody else, wants to avoid higher taxes on the country's citizens: moreover, it is reasonable and right to approach the matter of adequate defense by looking for ways to economize in other expenditures of our government. But is it wise, or fair, to call upon the already disadvantaged groups of our citizens to submit to even greater disadvantage in order that others may be spared correspondingly greater sacrifices? High as taxes already are, would it not be more equitable to make up the extremely small saving (comparatively speaking in terms of the total national budget) represented in cutbacks from economic assistance to needy individuals, by that much more in taxes collected from those able to pay taxes? Or could not that amount more logically be made up by reducing the waste that admittedly is going on in many departments of the national government?

"One other factor to consider is the population growth in this country—both the general population and those who are elderly and who are blind. Each year more of them need assistance. Therefore the funds to pay for such assistance should actually be increased so that each may continue to receive his proportionate share, not reduced. On top of that, since the population is growing, the economy is growing and there should be constantly more money available for welfare, rather than less."

back to contents



In its annual report on new state legislation, the January New Outlook points out that at last the problem of the blind child with additional handicaps is beginning to receive recognition in at least a few states. Oklahoma and Arkansas have provided funds for the education of deaf-blind children outside the state. New York adds cerebral palsy. Massachusetts adds complications arising from the various types of aphasia.

California substantially increased financial provisions for the education of blind children generally. Oregon has increased its Readers' Fund to $750 a year, with a limitation of seven years. South Dakota has eliminated college tuition fees for blind students.

California increased the amount of real and personal property which will not make a blind person ineligible for aid under Chapter III—Aid. to the Partially Self-supporting Blind. Florida raised its maximum grant from $55 to $60 a month. Nebraska raised from $80 to $100 a month. Nevada increased its minimum grant from $75 to $90 a month. Illinois removed the ceiling on public assistance to the blind. Maryland liberalized its relative responsibility law, recognized the special expenses incident to blindness and made blind beggars ineligible for aid. It also increased financial provisions for medical care, as did also Ohio, Wis., Montana and Colo.

Arkansas finally appropriated enough money for vocational rehabilitation so that it can now receive maximum federal reimbursement. Florida directed all state agencies to employ blind people wherever the job does not absolutely require good vision. California, Minnesota and Wisconsin defined the term "blind-made articles," in an effort to eliminate misrepresentation by salesmen. California reduced the residence requirement for stand operators from five years to one year and Tennessee eliminated such a requirement entirely.

Minnesota made it mandatory that all blind students completing courses in education be given teaching certificates.

Hawaii extended social security coverage to blind employees in sheltered workshops. Kansas established a Co-ordinating Council, on which the NFB affiliate in that state has a voting membership. Massachusetts enacted a retirement law for blind employees of sheltered work-shops--compulsory retirement at 65, with either the regular budgetary grant or 75 per cent of former earnings, whichever is higher. New Mexico established a vending stand program. Nevada a position of Director of vocational rehabilitation services. California makes it unlawful to operate a guide dog center without a license from the state Guide Dog Board. North Dakota joined Virginia and Oregon in granting state income tax exemptions, similar to the federal exemption, to its blind citizens--$600, or, if there is a blind spouse, $1,200. Maryland exempted blind stand operators from the payment of retail licenses. North Carolina did the same but restricted this exemption to stands operated under the Com- mission--independent blind operators continue to pay. Connecticut exempted local property taxes up to $10, 000 for veterans with combat-connected blindness. Pennsylvania provided free automobile licenses for blinded veterans. Texas and Oklahoma joined many other states which permit a blind voter to be assisted by any person of his choice.

back to contents



by Jacobus tenBroek

As was to be expected the National Rehabilitation Associatipn has gone along with and bowed to the wishes of that little group of agency executives which also dominates the AAWB, and has condemned the Kennedy-Baring bills in its newsletter of December 12, 1957.

In explanation of its opposition, the NRA bulletin declared that it "is opposed to this legislation on the grouids that it is based upon a fallacious assumption and that it adds nothing to the rights that every American citizen enjoys."

It is worthy of note that, in two references made to the National Federation of the Blind in the single paragraph devoted to the measure, the designations given were respectively "National Federation for the Blind" and "National Association for the Blind. " If it seems unlikely that two such egregious errors could be wholly accidental, it is even less likely that they were intended to be flattering.

The opposition of the NRA to efforts by the blind to escape control and interference with their organizational efforts was, of course, predictable. With its high proportion of welfare agency members and intimate relationship with the Federal Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the NRA could scarcely have acted otherwise; but its public repudiation of the purposes behind S. 2411 and H. R. 8609 is significant as a further reflection of the reactionary attitude of the Federal Office and many of the quasi-public agencies for the blind.

The charge that the Kennedy and Baring bills are "based on a fallacious assumption" cannot, of course, be refuted in the absense of specification. Is the "fallacious assumption" that the blind possess the right and competence to organize for self-expression, as do other groups with a common need and a special problem? Or is the "fallacious assumption" that their organizations should be free from interference and dictation by agency personnel and other members of the National Rehabilitation Association? Or is the "fallacious assumption" that their representatives should be consulted regularly and systematically by government departments charged with their welfare and security? Since these are the only assumptions that underlie the bills, it would be interesting to learn which of them the NRA regards as fallacious.

The statement that the bill "adds nothing to the rights that every American citizen enjoys" holds a different sort of fascination, for it has all the deceptive plausibility of the half-truth. There is of course a sense in which no specific legislation in the field of human rights and civil liberties "adds anything" to the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution. What all such legislation accomplishes is to apply the relevant provisions of the Constitution to a particular area; or put negatively, it forbids interference with the exercise of those rights that every American citizen in principle enjoys. As readers of the Braille Monitor are well aware, the blind do not demand or wish to be granted any rights that others do not enjoy; all that they seek, through the Kennedy bill as elsewhere, is to be protected in their exercise of the "rights that every American citizen enjoys."

The pious platitudes of the NRA come with especially bad grace from an organization which encourages employees of the federal-state rehabilitation program to collect its membership dues. On page 37 of the report on the Ninth Annual Workshop on Guidance, Training and Placement, (which was sponsored and I believe, paid for by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation), were answers to a questionnaire which had been sent out to members employed in the federal-state rehabilitation program. The question had been "list any activities in which you are now engaged which you feel should not be a function.. of rehabilitation personnel." Five of the 193 responding had the courage to mention collecting NRA membership dues. On page 38 of the same report it was pointed out that some counselors felt that collecting NRA membership dues should not be considered part of their duties.

back to contents



The annual convention of the Iowa Association of the Blind will be held June 6-8 at the School in Vinton.

On Jan. 21 the Las Vegas post of the American Legion unanimously adopted a resolution requesting Nevada Senators and the Congressman-at-Large to support the Kennedy-Baring bill.

From the Ohio Council Bulletin: "In President Eisenhower's budget, he requested a cut in federal aid to the blind and other public assistance programs. This would mean a cut in the amount of money that the federal government would provide each separate state for its AB program. In Ohio such a cut would pass right down to the AB recipient. Our last State Legislature did not appropriate a sufficient sum of money to really meet our AB needs and now the federal government would reduce available help. Congress must approve or alter the budget. You have the right and the responsibility to express your opinion to your Congressman. We want adequate defense, but it looks as if our President was taking away from those who have the least to finance the program. "

(From the Michigan Eye Opener): "The moon's power to enhance a romantic situation has long been recognized. Blind people have heretofore been denied this visual aid to pitching woo. Thanks to 'Sputnick' and its radio voice, however, blind men can now hope to hold their own with sighted Romeos... 'He took out his girl, and a little transistor; he tuned in the moon and it beeped while he kissed her. '"

From the newsletter of our South Dakota affiliate: "In a survey of graduates of the School for the Blind of the past eleven years it was learned that of 26 graduates, seven are presently attending college, two are in training for future jobs, three are housewives, four are teachers, two in public schools and two in schools for the blind, one is an attorney, one a dictaphone typist, two are vending stand operators, one is a home-worker, one is a dairyman, one is a nurses aid, one works at odd jobs, and two are homebound and are apparently unemployed. And just to show you that the course I've taken in statistics has taught me to divide, I'll tell you that this is 92% of the graduates of these eleven years actively employed. I think we can be proud of South Dakotans when they set a record like this. There may be better but I rather doubt it. "

From The White Cane (Wash. State): "Readers accustomed to changing records after a maximum of twenty minute reading time will soon be making fewer treks to the phonograph. A new reading process has been developed which will add approximately 33% more reading material to each side of the record. Within a few months all the new titles will be on longer playing records."

John Henry McAulay, 59, who lost his sight at 21 and made a career of rehabilitating the blind, died recently at Newton Baker Veterans Administration Hospital, Martinsburg, W. Va., after a lingering illness. Until his retirement four years ago, Mr. McAulay was a specialist in vocational rehabilitation of the blind for the Health, Education and Welfare Department. He toured industrial plants to find jobs that could be performed by the blind and trained members of state rehabilitation agencies. Mr. McAulay was the author of a book, "Vocational Schools as Training Facilities for Blind Workers," published in 1954.

The Nebraska Observer reports that, in November, the Lincoln Braille Club elected Dr. J. Ray Shike as its president and Mr. Harry Hines, head of the state rehabilitation agency, to its Board of Directors.

From the Independent Forum (N.C.): "After 11 months of repeated requests by blind citizens for access to the minutes of the quarterly meetings of the N.C. Commission for the Blind, H. A. Wood, Executive Secretary of the Commission, continues to stall. The North Carolina Federation of the Blind (NCFB) last July appealed to Wake County Superior Court to compel Wood to comply with the General Statutes of North Carolina by releasing the records of the official actions of the Commission for the Blind.... The NCFB is interested in the policies and practices of the Commission for the Blind. The NCFB contends that these minutes, which are public documents under the Statutes of North Carolina, will be extremely helpful to blind citizens in understanding and appraising the programs for the blind of the state...."

And again: "The first annual membership meeting of the NCFB Credit Union was scheduled to be held in Greensboro, Saturday afternoon, Jan. 25, 1958. At this meeting the membership will be given a full report on the operation of their Credit Union during the first year of its existence.... Membership in the NCFB Credit Union continues to rise as more members of the N. C. Federation of the Blind become acquainted with/what the Credit Union has to offer. Our shares balance recently passed the $7,750 mark. Also our fifty-second loan has been made. Our record for the year will, according to all indications, be one of which we can justly feel proud...."

And again: "The Executive Council of the NCFB authorized its President to arrange to invite every Lions Club in the state to send a representative to the 1957 convention banquet of the NCFB in Raleigh as the guest of the organized blind. Also to send out invitations to all known staff members of the N.C. State Commission for the Blind. More than 300 invitations were mailed to officials of Lions Clubs throughout the state. It is reported that several clubs replied expressing regret at not being able to send a representative to the banquet. The Winston-Salem Lions Club was the only Lions Club with a representative at the banquet. Most of the Lions Clubs failed to acknowledge the invitation. At least 50 staff members and all board members of the Commission for the Blind were mailed invitations. It is reported that no staff members and no members of the Commission were able to attend, though several expressed regrets. Many of the delegates at the NCFB convention expressed bewilderment at what they seemed to feel might be a calculated rebuff from those who so loudly proclaim their interest in the well-being of blind citizens. Some of these delegates wondered how they should respond to future invitations to dinners given by those who appeared unwilling to be guests of blind citizens. It is reported that other delegates retained their confidence in the sincerity and good will of the rank and file of the Lions and in the rank and file of the Commission staff members. These delegates seemed to feel that it was quite possible that this apparent refusal to recognize the organized blind citizens of North Carolina as a responsible and reasonable group of citizens may have been the result of the pressure of a powerful political machine."

The debate over Wisconsin's controversial new residence law goes merrily on. Here is an excerpt from a "Voice of the People" letter which appeared recently: "We are a border county. Until last June, Wis. had no residence requirement for the Aid to Dependent Children program. Our neighboring state, Mich., has a very low maximum payment for the ADC. Wis. has one of the highest ADC grants in the U. S. If it were true that any sizeable portion of the transient population of this country were 'professional reliefers' this county would have had an influx of ADC cases from Mich. Statistics show that this county has had a continuous decline in ADC cases and grants for the past three to four years."

The California Council of the Blind is elated over the victory it achieved when the state's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation reversed its decision to require a driver's license for placement counselors. This reversal came about only after the Council had asked for and obtained a hearing before the State Personnel Board. The Council is quite unhappy, however, over two other recent developments. (1) An important part of the work of George Fogarty, field worker for the residential school for the blind, has been the placement of graduates. It is now proposed to divest the very capable Mr. Fogarty of this all-important function. The Council is very strongly opposed to any such regressive action. (2) The adminis- tration of the Readers' Fund has been transferred from the School to the state rehabilitation agency and now, for the first time, a means test has been instituted. It is feared that the net result will be that fewer blind boys and girls will go on to college.

Excerpt from a Bill Taylor letter: "Barnett and Clunk labor the point that the wrongs alleged "(in the NFB documentation of the reasons why the Kennedy bill is needed) "were specific incidents and consequently therefore irrelevant. This is a bit difficult to follow. Even Billy the Kid killed his twenty-one victims one at a time. "

Excerpt from a tenBroek letter: "Barnett's column makes it plain that there is no such thing as hindsight without at least some insight. He sets his sights low and obviously in the wrong direction. He does not claim foresight or insight, but only hindsight. Even so one could wish that his visual acuity in that direction were a little stronger."

From the Capital Times, (Madison, Wis.), Feb. 11: "A Madison postal clerk was charged Monday with stealing 25 cents from a letter passing through the post office.. Lloyd M. Hathaway, 52, Waubesa Beach, signed his own $1,000 bond when he appeared before U. S. Commissioner Monday afternoon. He was released until his arraigment before Judge Patrick T. Stone. The arraignment will probably be in Federal Court in Wausau, Feb. 18, according to U. S. Atty. George E. Rapp. Rapp said 'Hathaway has confessed taking about $500 from envelopes at the post office since about last October, but for the sake of convenience is being charged with only one of the offenses. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both. ' Rapp said 'the money was taken, a quarter at a time, from envelopes addressed to the National Federation of the Blind. ''Postal inspectors began an investigation, ' Rapp said, 'when the Federation complained that many of their envelopes were being returned with only $1 in them. Hathaway came under suspicion and confessed when questioned, ' Rapp said." (Mr. Hathaway had served 33 years and in two more years would have been eligible for retirement pay. His offense, of course, resulted in his automatic and immediate dismissal.)

The Boston Chapter of the Associated Blind of Mass. has selected Charles W. Little from 19-Myrtle St. , Boston, as a delegate to the NFB convention to be held in Boston this year and Gregory B. Khachadoorian, Esq., as an alternate from 32 Churchill Ave., Arlington, Mass.

Important Notice--Those who send reservations to the Somerset Hotel, Boston, Mass., for our next national convention, (July 4-7), should send carbons to Mr. James P. Callahan at his new address, 23 Moulton St., Charlestown, 29, Mass.

The Independent Forum (N.C.) quotes from an article appearing in the Asheville Times, which contains high praise for the quality of the products turned out by the sheltered workshop for the blind in Asheville but also contains this significant sentence: "The wages paid to the 10 blind employees for the week of Oct. 7-11 show that the average earnings for that week were $17. 06. "

Richard Stotera is being transferred from Phoenix to the Tucson area, where he will serve not only as Home Teacher but also as Rehabilitation Counselor for the three southern counties of Ariz. Richard's home is in Tucson so he is naturally pleased by this switch.

From the Chicago Daily News, Fri., Jan. 17, 1958: "A nearly blind scientist—with a clear view of the atom age--is in charge of some of the nation's most important research work at Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont. Dr. Bradley Burson, 40, a slender, dark-haired father of three boys, is a recognized leader in the study of a mysterious phase of research called 'nuclear spectroscopy. ' He measures the spectra--or span--of radiation emitted by radioactive isotopes. But the things he does .... in his laboratory are contributing to man's knowledge of matter. He is rated among the top 10 physicists in pure research in the country. When Argonne began expanding its research program 10 years ago, Burson joined the staff. On two topics Burson is outspoken. His belief that 'crash programs' won't work in developing scientists for America and his dedication to an organization of which he is a Board member, the National Federation of the Blind "

From the Illinois Federation Newsletter: "On Jan. 16, Emil Arndt, Victor Buttram and Robert O'Shaughnessy, (state president), met with blind people in Quincy to form a new organization in that area. Mrs. Maymie Tuttle was elected president of the new group, which will affiliate with the IFB as its 24th chapter.

From The Kentucky Cardinal: "The Alumni Association of the Kentucky School for the Blind has established a fund to assist blind students who are attending public schools. This program is being administered by a committee, which includes W. R. Stringer, Claudia Dotson, Harold Reagan, Margaret Traub and T. V. Cranmer. The Kentucky Federation contributed $1,000 to this fund.

The Louisville Association of the Blind, an affiliate of the Kentucky Federation, was formed in 1955 and its membership has now reached 41. It was active in the sale of the special NFB Christmas cards last year and realized a nice profit.

Mr. Herman Davis, popular teacher at the Kentucky School for the Blind, has accepted a position at the Kansas School for the Blind.

In the face of all evidence to the contrary most businessmen still strongly resist hiring the handicapped because they believe they will be less efficient, more prone to accident, etc.--and many corporations fear their customers might mistrust products turned out by the handicapped. The United States Chamber of Commerce, however, said: "Statistics show that properly trained and placed in the right job, physically handicapped employees compare favorably with the nonhandicapped in absenteeism, job performance, accident rates and turnover." In New York, the National Association of Manufacturers underlined the Chamber's message with this statement: "In the past decade, production records of thousands of physically handicapped persons in industry indicate beyond any question that so-called handicapped workers are equal to-- and in some instances better than--their able-bodied associates in such important factors as attendance, turnover, safety and productivity." Sylvia Porter, writing in the Kentucky Cardinal adds: "The barriers are still there. But the prejudices are now being openly admitted and fought. That's progress. And any hiring policy which is on the side of the angels--as well as practical--is sound and must eventually triumph."

The Weekly News reports that corneal transplants, which have hitherto been regarded as extremely perishable, can now be kept usable for as much as two years by dehydrating them in glycerin.

Paul Kirton has spent the past six weeks on a research project, the results of which may prove very valuable in planning future legislation--especially at the state level. With a highly competent sighted secretary, he has spent all of this time at the Supreme Court Library, in our State Capitol here at Madison, dredging out existing state laws, regulations and judicial rulings bearing on sheltered workshops, workmen's compensation insurance and unemployment compensation, as these affect the blind. The library phase of the work is nearing completion and then will come the big job of reducing his voluminous Braille notes to a usable digest.

Miss Kathern Cruber in a speech to the BVA, reprinted in the January New Outlook, entitled "Operation BVA," calls attention to the employment record of blinded veterans receiving the generous "disability compensation" provided by the Federal government and points out once more how devastating this record is with respect to the myth that adequate "pensions" or "disability compensation" destroys the incentive to work. Of the 1949 blinded veterans who received this disability compensation, 980 are working and another 140 are in training. The great veterans rehabilitation center at Hines, 111., is still operating at full capacity and there is still a waiting list for admission. Incidentally, I have the deepest respect for Russ Williams, the blind Director of this institution. He and I were the only American observers at the European Rehabilitation Seminar held in London in 1956 and we became warm friends.

A Montana correspondent suggests that I state in this column whether I prefer communications in Braille or in ink-print. Both are equally welcome but, since my secretary is a rapid reader, the latter certainly does conserve time. Box 345, Madison, 1, Wis.

In South Carolina a jury may be selected legally only if the names are drawn by a totally blind person or by a child under ten years of age.

From Viewpoint, (Okla.): "This year for the first time, a questionnaire will be sent to candidates for Governor and the Legislature to ascertain their views on subjects of interest and importance to blind people in this state. The responses to these questionnaires will be published in Viewpoint. "

You can obtain tape recorders at manufacturer's price by writing to Mr. Hubert E. Smith, Ways and Means for the Blind, 334 Masonic Building, Augusta, Georgia.

From The Capital Times, Madison, Wis., said Judge John J. Kenney: "I don't think that anyone who is back of the present legislation expected or anticipated the hardships that were going to result... We hear a lot about the family being the foundation of our society. But when a law such as the residency law is passed, which breaks up families, we suddenly find that it is all right to do so under the mistaken belief that a few pennies are being saved in relief costs.... It was politics that passed the law in question. It is politics that is trying to cover up its ugly, in-human results."

In S.D. a rehabilitation client who feels himself aggrieved may appeal directly to the Governor and must be given a fair hearing before that august personage.

back to top