Braille Monitor                                                                 February 1985


The Federation Equation--
The Ohio Convention

by Peggy Covey and Paul Dressell

Speeches by the State Insurance Commissioner, the Administrator of the Rehabilitation Services Commission, and the Director of the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired were but a few of the events that highlighted the 38th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, which was held the weekend of October 26 - 28 at the Parke Hotel in Canton. The Philomatheon Society of the Blind, the Canton Chapter of the NFBO, hosted the convention in conjunction with their 60th anniversary.

Ohio Insurance Commissioner, George Fave, was one of the few state insurance commissioners who did not oppose H.R. 4642--the Fair Insurance Bill. In fact, he broke ranks with the majority of his contemporaries. Commissioner Fave promised to investigate complaints of discrimination and described the procedure by which they would be handled. A toll free number is available for easier communication.

Bob Rabe, Administrator of Rehabilitation Services Commission, charted the future course of rehabilitation in Ohio, and Doris Barcomb, Director of the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, gave an update of service for the past year. It would appear that rehabilitation in this state could be headed in the right direction.

In his State of the State message NFBO President Robert M. Eschbach introduced the theme of this year's convention: The Federation Equation of Continuity Plus Action Equals NFBO. In his remarks President Eschbach illustrated the theme by recounting past activities: the Kessinger case--concerning a blind mother who was not permitted to adopt a sighted child just because she was blind; successful negotiation of a contract for workers at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind; improved relationship between NFBO and the Rehabilitation Services Commission and the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired. "The word 'Federation' has struck terror in those who hate us and has served as a beacon of hope to those who need us."

The following Federationists received awards at the 38th annual NFBO Banquet: Loretta Rush (Cleveland) won the sighted Federationist of the Year award; Edith Kamrad (Akron) won the Alfonso Smith Memorial award; NFB-Lorain won the Outstanding Chapter award, with Toledo and

Omega as runners-up. In his banquet address, Fred Schroeder, President of the New Mexico affiliate of the NFB and newly elected member of the Board of Directors, described special gadgetry designed to "make mobility safer for the blind." Said Schroeder, "We the blind want no safe place in the shadow of nonpar ticipation." Mike Justice (Springfield) again did an outstanding job of MC'ing this year's banquet. Elections were held on Saturday morning with the following results: President, Barbara Pierce (Oberlin); First Vice President, Paul Dressell (Cincinnati) ; Second Vice President, Sheila Samson (Dayton); Secretary, Peggy Covey (Marietta); and Treasurer, George Gilbert (Oberlin). Four members were elected to serve on the Executive Committee: Robert Eschbach (Columbus), Charles Davis (Cleveland), Annette Anderson (Cleveland), and Helen Tsekouras (Akron). All of the 216 in attendance left Canton with a new sense of purpose and an unbounded determination to put the Federation Equation into practice during the coming year.