Vol. 41, No.4                                                 April, 1998
Barbara Pierce, Editor

Published in inkprint, in Braille, and on cassette by

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Baltimore, Maryland  21230

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 should be sent to the National Office.

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ISSN 0006-8829

New Mexico School Update
1998 Convention Tours

     by Tommy Craig
The 1998 Washington Seminar

     by Barbara Pierce
The Road to 2020

     by Peggy Elliott
1998 Washington Seminar Fact Sheets
Ed Beck Recognized
Allen Radford: Red Cross Instructor

     by Lusi Radford
Baltimore Sun Highlights NFB Technology
Bruce A. Gardner, Attorney, Church Leader, and

Community Activist

     by James Omvig
1998 Convention Attractions
Arthur Cushen Dies

     by Timothy Hendel
Toward More Peaceful Meetings

     by Doris M. Willoughby
Dialysis at National Convention

     by Ed Bryant
Monitor Miniatures
        Copyright  1998 National Federation of the Blind
[LEAD PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Pictured here is a very large and

stately southern-style home made of stucco with a clay tile roof.

CAPTION: The Superintendent's residence at the New Mexico School

for the Visually Handicapped is located on the institution's

beautiful campus. By July 1 the third superintendent in three

years will be taking up residence in this lovely home.]

[PHOTO/CAPTION: Jim Salas, President of the NMSVH Board of


[PHOTO/CAPTION: Dr. Nell Carney, recently named superintendent of

the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped]

                    New Mexico School Update


     From the Editor: Much of the October, 1996, issue of the

Braille Monitor was devoted to an examination of allegations made

by many students and former students against the New Mexico

School for the Visually Handicapped concerning alleged attacks of

various kinds over the past quarter century. Those complaints

eventually resulted in the filing of civil suits against a number

of staff and former staff members of the school. Then on the eve

of the first trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, January 26,

1998, a settlement agreement was reached. The details of the

agreement have not yet been disclosed and by state law will not

be disclosed for several more months.

     But this important development is only the most spectacular

step in the school's return to a healthy outlook and full

attention to its mission to educate and train the state's blind

students. A number of changes have taken place at the school

since this story first broke. In the early summer of 1996 Jeriel

Watkins, who had been the superintendent at the New Mexico School

since 1973, retired. Many hoped that his departure from the scene

would blunt the outcry from former students and some current

students and their parents. The school's board of regents at the

time (three women and two men, only one of whom was blind)

appointed a committee to conduct the search for a new

superintendent. The group came up with several finalists, and the

board chose J. Kirk Walter, an administrator at the Maryland

School for the Blind with responsibility for public relations.

Walter was given a one-year contract, which had been standard

procedure during the Watkins years. At the December meeting

Walter was given a six-month contract extension.

     Then on January 1, 1997, the terms of two of the women board

members expired, and during the first week of January the

governor announced his appointment of two replacement members.

These were James Salas, a long-time leader in the NFB of New

Mexico, and Dr. David Small, the father of a blind child. The

board's January meeting took place on the 24th, and Salas and

Small were not confirmed by the Senate until the 30th, but they

sat in on the January meeting even though they could not vote. At

that meeting the board rescinded its six-month extension of

Walter's appointment and substituted a two-year one instead.

     Salas and Small did not actually join the board until its

February, 1997, meeting, but as its first order of business the

board then elected Jim Salas president; Joe Salazar, the other

blind member of the board, vice president; and Dr. Small


     All this was a profound change in business as usual for the

governing board of the school. Gone was the garden-club element

that had dominated the board for years. Blind people and parents

of blind children were suddenly in positions of real power. Not

surprisingly, changes began to occur. The first to feel the

effects was Diane Baker, NMSVH director of student services. She

had been in charge of academic, residential, and recreational

programs for years, and several of the people who spoke to the

Braille Monitor told us they believed that she had been a

significant part of the cover-up during her tenure. Walter

recommended that her contract be extended, but the board did not

take that recommendation, so at the close of the '96-97 academic

year, Baker left. Dianna Jennings, according to Salas a quiet,

dedicated professional with years of teaching experience at the

school, was appointed by Walter as vice principal in August of

'97 to take up some of the slack. In November, with board

concurrence, Walter appointed Jennings to take Baker's place as

director of student services.

     In the meantime the board was also grappling with the

question of Walter's contract. By the summer of 1997 there was

considerable board dissatisfaction with Walter even though he was

now at the beginning of a two-year contract. Salas says that he

had hoped to reach consensus on the board action, but he could

not get it. At the August meeting four board members voted to

relieve Walter of his duties at the end of the '97-98 academic

year. The fifth member, Dr. Small, wanted him gone immediately.

Salas says that with Baker gone, Jennings not yet fully in place,

and the school year already two weeks old, he could not support

the notion of leaving the school with both chief administrative

positions unfilled. So the vote to accept Walter's resignation in

June of 1998 was approved by a vote of four to one. Many

incorrectly assumed that this reflected the presence of one

Walter supporter on the board, but that was not the case.

According to Salas, Walter will receive reasonable moving

expenses but no remuneration for the second year of his contract.

     Salas says that he has had a cordial working relationship

with Walter during the year they have worked together, but he was

determined to conduct the search for his successor very

differently from the search that brought Walter to New Mexico.

The board contracted with a consulting firm, Huge and Wise of

Denver, to do a good bit of the preliminary work of the search,

and Salas has only the highest praise for the job Jim Huge did. A

number of focus-group meetings were conducted throughout the

state, and staff, parents, and consumers were urged to attend

these meetings or to submit comments by mail, e-mail, fax, and

voice-mail for the board's use. In this way a profile of the kind

of leader the school was looking for emerged. Huge brought a

stack of files and resumes to a board meeting in early February

from which the regents chose the four finalists, whom they then

brought to the school for interviews on February 17 and 18.

     On February 19 they chose Dr. Nell Carney, former

Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and a

one-time student of Dr. Jernigan's at the Tennessee School for

the Blind. According to Salas, most people are delighted with the

choice, and Carney seems to be looking forward to the challenge

facing her. At this writing, in late February, the final details

have not been settled, but Carney will be on board before the

beginning of the '98-99 academic year.

     It seems as if the long agony of the New Mexico School for

the Visually Handicapped may actually be over. Blind people and

parents of blind children at last have a significant voice in the

governance of the institution. A blind superintendent with

credentials in education and years of administrative experience

has been appointed. Other fine appointments have been made, and

several staff members associated in the public mind with the

allegations of abuse are gone. On February 10 Jerry Watkins, the

man believed by many to have borne most of the responsibility for

the school's troubles, died suddenly. (See the Monitor Miniatures

section of this issue for the details.) And of course the civil

law suits that threatened to cast a heartbreaking shadow over the

school and its alumni for years to come have now been settled.

     The New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped now seems

ready to write a new page in its history. In many ways this

school has more advantages than other residential schools: a

wonderful campus, amazing autonomy, financial independence, a

dedicated and talented staff, and a large geographic base from

which to draw students who would not otherwise have a chance at

good blindness training in their rural school districts. Can the

board of regents, Nell Carney, the school staff and students, and

the blind community in New Mexico pull off the resurrection?

Certainly everyone hopes so. Here is the article written by

reporter Rene Romo in the January 27, 1998, edition of the

Albuquerque Journal:


                     Ex-Students Settle Suit

                 School for Blind Abuses Alleged


     The state's primary school for the blind has settled a

divisive civil suit in which fifteen former students alleged

administrators ignored physical and sexual abuse over three


     Faced with the start of a trial Monday in Albuquerque for

one plaintiff, the Board of Regents of the Alamogordo-based New

Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped voted Friday to

settle, the plaintiffs' attorney said.

     Terms of the settlement, which have not been filed, will not

be disclosed for six months in keeping with state law.

     However, parties on both sides of the suit said the

settlement would avoid huge legal costs in what was expected to

be protracted litigation and help the school and the plaintiffs

move on from the scandal.

     "I needed closure, and I needed to get on with my life,"

said Jennifer Switzer-Hensley, a thirty-eight-year-old counselor

who said she was gang-raped at knifepoint by four fellow students

in the campus gym in 1976.

     Switzer-Hensley, the first of the former students to go

public with criticism of the school in early 1996, said she told

former superintendent Jeriel Watkins about the rape, and he

advised her to keep quiet about it.

     Other plaintiffs alleged in their lawsuit that they were

physically or sexually abused by, among others, a dorm parent, a

former school principal, a coach, and other students between 1973

and 1996.

     The lawsuit had named the school's Board of Regents, former

superintendent Watkins, and thirteen former or current staff

members as defendants.

     Switzer-Hensley also said she was glad to avoid a protracted

trial that would have dredged up old wounds.

     "It would have gotten worse before it got better," Switzer-

Hensley said.

     James Salas, president of the school's board, said the

settlement will allow the school to concentrate on educating the

campus's sixty blind boarding students and perhaps lift a cloud

that has been hanging over the school's staff.

     "I'm glad it's done so we can go on to educating blind

kids," said Salas, who is also blind. "That's what our mission


     The settlement was reached in eleventh-hour discussions

after a negotiating session in Albuquerque on Thursday ended

without an agreement. School Superintendent J. Kirk Walter said

he proposed a new offer after the meeting, and both parties


     The school regents approved the agreement in executive

session in a meeting Friday in Deming, Walter said.

     Both sides were set to go to trial in Albuquerque on Monday

before Judge Eugenio Mathis in the case of a twelve-year-old boy

who was allegedly choked by a dorm parent in the winter of 1994-

95 and subsequently sexually assaulted by a fellow student. The

boy said he was afraid to report the incident to his dorm parent

because of the alleged choking.

     That case was separated from the other plaintiffs', said

plaintiffs' attorney Bruce Pasternack of Albuquerque, to

establish a "benchmark value" in the case.

     Pasternack said he believed the lawsuit led the school to

adopt protective measures that were sought by the plaintiffs.

Those improvements, Pasternack said, included better monitoring

of students in school dormitories and increasing staff training

on recognizing child abuse and neglect.

     "So the only thing that remained at issue was the damages to

our clients," Pasternack said.

     Clovis resident Tim Martin, one of the plaintiffs in the

suit, said his main concern was "changing the mentality of the

people who work at the school," improving hiring practices, and

improving student safety.

     "Because, who knows, I could have grandchildren who one day

would have to go there, and if they had to, I'd want it to be a

good place," Martin said.

     Martin alleged that in 1973, when he was fourteen, he was

sexually abused by two male students, and the incident was not

reported by a housemother who witnessed the abuse.

     The school, Martin said, "wasn't all bad. I got a good

education there for the most part. I mean, the good outweighed

the bad, but the bad never should have happened."

     The allegations of abuse and administrative neglect caused

sharp divisions between the school and advocates for the blind

since reports began surfacing in late 1995.

     An investigation by the state Attorney General's Office

remains open, said spokeswoman Kay Roybal.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Tommy Craig, President of the NFB of Texas]

                      1998 Convention Tours

                         by Tommy Craig


     From the Editor: We are now under three months and counting

until the 1998 convention of the National Federation of the Blind

at the Hyatt Regency DFW. The dates are July 4 to 11. If you have

not yet made your room reservations, you should do so

immediately. National convention room rates will never be better.

This year they are singles, $41; doubles and twins, $43; triples,

$45; and quads, $47. Call the Hyatt Regency DFW directly to make

your reservation. The number is (972) 453-1234. Do not call the

Hyatt national toll-free number to make your reservation because

it will not be honored. Consult the Convention Bulletin in the

December, 1997, Braille Monitor for all the details. Here is news

about convention tours for 1998 as arranged by NFB of Texas

President Tommy Craig:


     Texas is a big place, so there's a lot to do in the Lone

Star state. The NFB of Texas wants you to get a small taste, at

least, of the many fun and interesting things that we have to

offer. During the Convention of the National Federation of the

Blind we have scheduled a number of tours for your enjoyment. A

list of these and their prices follows. Be sure to make your

choices quickly and send your complete order and check for the

full amount to the address listed before June 19. Here is the

list of tours:


Wednesday, July 8


Six Flags Over Texas, $38 per person (children under three free)


     This tour consists of round-trip transportation from the

hotel to the Six Flags Over Texas Amusement Park, which is one of

the finest in the entire country. You can ride exciting roller-

coasters or enjoy live entertainment at dozens of shows. The tour

will leave the hotel at 1:00 p.m. and return at 10:00 p.m.


Kennedy/Dallas West End Tour $30 per person


     This consists of a brief tour of downtown Dallas, a tour of

the Kennedy Memorial and the Sixth-Floor Museum, and an evening

in the historic Dallas West-End Warehouse District. It contains

many striking architectural features including brick-paved

streets. It is full of wonderful restaurants and a number of

music and comedy clubs. This tour will leave the hotel at 2:30

p.m. and return at 10:00 p.m.


The Studio at Las Colinas, $20 per person


     This tour consists of round-trip transportation to the Las

Colinas Studio, a real working television and movie sound stage.

You will see the sound stages where movies such as JFK, Silkwood,

and Robocop were made. This tour will also include a trip to the

National Communications Museum with thousands of memorabilia

items from radio and television. The Communications Museum has

numerous hands-on exhibits. This tour will leave the hotel at

1:30 p.m. and return about 5:00 p.m.


Billy Bob's Texas, $25 per person


     This visit to the biggest honky-tonk in the world, located

in Fort Worth's Stockyard District, departs the hotel at 6:30

p.m. and returns at midnight. Billy Bob's has been refurbished

since our last visit to Texas, and it still boasts more bars than

you can count in an evening. Chances are that this will be the

most popular convention tour again this year.


Friday Evening, July 10


Trail Dust Steak House and Mesquite Rodeo, $40 per person


     This tour is the perfect way to wind down after a busy

convention. It includes round-trip transportation to the Trail

Dust Steak House, where you can enjoy Texas cooking at its

finest. After dinner you will be transported to the Mesquite

rodeo, where you can enjoy some real cowboy action. This tour

will leave the hotel at 5:15 p.m. and return at 11:30 p.m.


Saturday morning, July 11


Breakfast and Riding at the Circle R Ranch, $40


     The Circle R Ranch is near the airport, so plan an afternoon

departure for home and you can enjoy breakfast and horseback

riding before you leave. The bus will depart from the hotel at

8:00 a.m. and return by noon. You won't ride long enough or far

enough to get saddle-sore, but you will take home a real taste of



     If you would like to take part in any of these tours, you

should contact Ms. Jackie Gottlieb, Eagle Tours, 1634 Irving

Boulevard, Irving, Texas 75060, Phone (972) 721-0545.

     The deadline for reserving tours is June 19, 1998. Tour

orders must include clear indication of which tour tickets are

being purchased, the number of tickets needed, and full payment

for all tickets. Checks should be made payable to Eagle Tours.

     We look forward to seeing you all in Dallas. Come early and 

stay late so you can enjoy lots of great Texas fun and




[PHOTO/CAPTION: President Maurer holds up the $50,000 check just

presented by Mel Smith, Human Relations Manager, Baltimore

District, United Parcel Service]

[PHOTO/CAPTION: James Gashel]

                   The 1998 Washington Seminar

                        by Barbara Pierce


     As usual, this year's Washington Seminar started with a bang

several days ahead of the opening briefing with workshops and

committee meetings at both the Holiday Inn, Capitol, our

headquarters for the week, and the National Center for the Blind

in Baltimore. The Research and Development Committee met in

Baltimore while the Merchants Division and the National

Association of Blind Students conducted daylong seminars on

Saturday, January 31, in Washington.

     Both seminars were well attended, and both culminated in

banquets Saturday evening. President Maurer addressed the

vendors, and Dr. Fredric K. Schroeder, Commissioner of the

Rehabilitation Services Administration, spoke to the students.

     On Sunday morning well over a hundred Federationists boarded

busses and vans for the drive to Baltimore and a tour of the

National Center for the Blind. Meantime the National Association

of Blind Lawyers met during the morning at the hotel, and scores

of Federationists gathered during the afternoon for an inspiring

workshop on all forms of fund raising. This was an extremely

interesting and useful program, and the consensus seemed to be

that it should become an annual event.

     The Mercury Room staff under the leadership of Sandy

Halverson opened for business Sunday afternoon making note of

appointment times and handing out materials for distribution on

the Hill the next day. As always, Sandy and her crew were a model

of efficiency, patience, and good humor. All weekend print and

cassette copies of the fact sheets for the week circulated

throughout the hotel, and one could hear snatches of conversation

everywhere indicating that people were studying the sheets and

preparing for their presentations.

     Word began to trickle out that this year a solution had been

found to the overcrowding of the 5 p.m. briefing on Sunday.

Rather than asking people who couldn't find chairs to stand or

lean against the walls for two hours, an overflow room was set up

with piped-in sound from the main meeting. This made everyone

much more comfortable even if close to a hundred late-comers

missed out on the firsthand excitement of the meeting. By 4:45

there were very few seats left in the Columbia room, Dave Evans's

trumpet was sounding charge, and a number of chapters were

selling sustenance for the inner man or woman in the form of

candy of all sorts. The National Organization of Parents of Blind

Children even prepared packed lunches to sell to those interested

in a more balanced approach to fending off starvation.

     President Maurer chaired the briefing and brought members up

to date on a number of important matters. He announced that

forty-eight affiliates were present at this year's seminar and

that there were about 500 people present for the opening session.

He then introduced representatives from the United Parcel Service

Foundation, who presented the NFB with a check for $50,000 to be

used to nurture Braille literacy among blind children. The

briefing concluded with Jim Gashel, Director of Governmental

Affairs, discussing the legislative issues for this year and

answering questions. (See the article reprinting the fact sheets

elsewhere in this issue.)

     By now Federationists are old hands at dealing with the

complexities of Capitol Hill and Congressional office

appointments. Newcomers naturally gravitate to experienced

colleagues for pointers and advice, and everyone gets down to

business on Monday with a commendable lack of furor. Late Monday

afternoon the word went out that people were needed to report to

a hearing room in the Capitol Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate

support for the National Library Service, whose budget was being

reviewed. Without breaking stride the necessary troops slipped

away from lunch or Congressional meetings where they weren't

needed to pack the hearing room and the halls outside it. The

message that the NLS program is important to blind people was

clearly heard and noted.

     Tuesday evening Senator Christopher Dodd, whose sister

Carolyn is an active Connecticut Federationist, came to the

briefing to talk about the importance of the Rehabilitation Act

amendments to be marked up on Wednesday morning. His speech was

filled with energy and commitment, and the response he received

was equally enthusiastic.

     By Wednesday morning many of us had completed our

Congressional appointments and were heading home. But the Senate

Committee on Labor and Human Resources had scheduled a meeting to

mark up the bill Senator DeWine had introduced the week before as

S. 1579. Naturally Federationists wanted to be present to

underline the importance of this legislation to blind Americans.

So again, everyone who was not busy elsewhere went to show the

members of the Senate committee what we thought about their work

and this exciting piece of legislation.

     By late that day the Mercury Room had been packed up and the

files and computers loaded onto vans for the return trip to

Baltimore. Another Washington Seminar had come to a close. But

the legislative work of the Federation for 1998 was just




[PHOTO/CAPTION: Peggy Elliott]

                        The Road to 2020

                        by Peggy Elliott


     From the Editor: Peggy Elliott, Second Vice President of the

National Federation of the Blind and President of the NFB of

Iowa, is a long-time leader of the Federation. Among other

assignments she has chaired the Scholarship Committee for fifteen

years. She gave the keynote address at the 1998 Mid-Winter

Conference conducted by the National Association of Blind

Students in Washington, D.C. Her presentation was conversational

and interactive, so the following text is an approximation of the

speech in some places. But it is faithful to her ideas; this is

what she said on Saturday morning, January 31, 1998:


     I have a prediction to make: after we finish with all the

millennialism and the year 2000 is under our belts, people will

then begin to concentrate on the year 2020. You heard it here

first. This morning I'm going to jump the gun a bit and talk to

you about 2020 before anybody else does. The discussion may seem

a little disjointed because there are several strands, but in the

end I'll braid them together to get us from here to there. 

     The first strand is the blind community. Each of you has

heard this phrase; many of you have used it; some of you actually

think you are part of it or don't want to be. The blind community

is a widely recognized concept, but what is it? From my point of

view it is essentially the National Federation of the Blind. What

comes to mind when we think of the NFB today? Let's name them.

There's the Washington Seminar, the student division, NFB

training centers, the National Convention, Job Opportunities for

the Blind, the National Organization of Parents of Blind

Children, NEWSLINE(R), America's Jobline(R), the International

Braille and Technology Center, the National Center for the Blind,

the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille, the Voice

of the Diabetic, Kernel Books, Walking Alone and Marching

Together, the Braille Monitor.

     The list we have just assembled is interesting. With the

exception of the National Convention and the Braille Monitor,

virtually everything we named on that list began after 1980. The

National Federation of the Blind was founded in 1940, but almost

all the things that define the organization for us today were

established after 1980. That is an important thing to think

about, but we will leave it on the table for the moment and turn

to something else.

     I want to look back to when I joined the National Federation

of the Blind, which I must say was prior to 1980. I remember what

a wonderful feeling it was to meet other people who could

articulate and were living the things I wanted to. I wasn't doing

them yet, but I wanted to. I remember the rush it was to discover

the place I belonged.

     I also remember the second thing that happened to me. I

lived in Iowa, which many of you know was the cradle of the

modern Federation. People like Mr. Maurer, Mr. Gashel, Mrs.

Walhof, and Mr. Omvig were chapter leaders at that time in Iowa.

And, of course, Dr. Jernigan was the director of the Iowa

Commission for the Blind. After I found my feet, I looked around

and discovered that everything was being done. With people like

these around in chapter and state leadership, it seemed to me

that everything was already being done. I wanted to be part of

the Federation, but I didn't know what my role could be; I didn't

know what I could do. I began not showing up for things.

     I lived about twenty miles east of the nearest chapter when

I was in college. As you can imagine, feeling the way I did, I

didn't make a great effort to get to chapter meetings. In fact, I

didn't go at all. I didn't drive; I would have had to take a bus;

it was a hassle I didn't need. Another member of that chapter

lived about thirty miles south, and he started calling me every

month and telling me that he would be glad to swing by and pick

me up. What was I supposed to say when this guy was hiring a

driver and offering to come out of his way to pick me up before

going to the meeting? Was I going to say that I was too busy when

he was willing to make a tremendous effort to get me there? No, I

grudgingly said that I would go.

     When I got to the chapter meeting, the average age of the

chapter members was about sixty. That was about three times my

age at the time, and there were people there in their seventies

and eighties. I remember thinking that this was not the

Federation that I had thought was so wonderful. It wasn't the

organization that I had joined; it wasn't doing the exciting

things that Mr. Gashel and Mr. Omvig were doing. I got a call

every month and went and chatted with people, but I clearly felt

that I had nothing but blindness in common with those people. I

remember one meeting in particular. The Federation was conducting

a letter-writing campaign--I have no idea what it was about,

probably Social Security, as a matter of fact. The friend who

picked me up suggested that we take typewriters and paper and

stamps and envelopes and help people write letters. I thought,

"I'm a good writer and I can type. I can do this." I had a great

time at that meeting helping people write letters or writing them

for them. And I remember thinking what a wonderful thing it was

that the chapter had me to help it do those letters.

     I have to say now with a little perspective that I wouldn't

have been there at all without that fellow who came and got me.

And I wouldn't have thought to bring typewriters or planned ahead

enough to get stamps. And on my own I wouldn't have had the

patience to sit down with people and explain the issue and help

them. I wouldn't have done any of it. I wasn't a gift to that

chapter. At best I was doing what this guy was teaching me to do:

to help chapter members do what they could do to contribute. In

other words, he was simply helping me to do what he was helping

the other members to do.

     Eventually--and this was a great gift to me--I figured out

that I was not a great gift to any chapter meeting to which I

showed up. I needed to sit down and learn how to help. This guy

was gently teaching me to do that. At about the same time I

remember learning to call people I didn't know and talk to them

about things I had no idea whether they would care about. I was

very resistant to inviting people to come to events they might

not want to. I also remember after making these calls going to

the meetings and meeting some of the people I had called. Some of

them didn't come, but some of them did. I discovered that they

were delightful, interesting, good people.

     I learned from all this. It may be boring to go to another

meeting, to make a bunch of calls, to get into a car and travel

half-way across the state. But there were people in my life who

kept getting me there, who kept encouraging me, who kept asking

me to do things again and again. I finally learned, thank God,

that every time I went to a meeting or made a call a little more

Federation work got done. But also, I began to find that each

time I took part in these activities I was building the blind

community inside myself. With a little piece here and a little

piece there I began to discover things in common with people I

had never met before. It wasn't just blindness I had in common

with them; it was an aspiration to change the world. I also had

something in common with the people who didn't aspire to change

the world. I began to ask myself how I could help them to view

things differently, come to feel about them the way I did. I

first began to build the blind community within myself and then

to help to build it among other blind people.

     What I am talking about is not very mysterious. Churches do

it all the time. Towns with a sense of community do it. It's what

any close-knit group does. They talk and spend time together;

they give their time and effort to find the common ground. But it

starts inside each person.

     I urge each one of you to think about where you are in

helping to build the blind community. I have done my best--some

days better than others--to build it. What have you done today?

Have you gone to a chapter meeting with an average age of sixty?

What have you done to get someone else there? What has each of us

done to build our community? It isn't a static thing like a

building that sits there completed when you have finished it. You

have to build it every day, and you have to begin with yourself.

     I was lucky when I came into the Federation. It was a long

time ago, and there were a lot more of them than there were of

me. In Iowa there were a lot of mentors. There were people piling

on me--complaining, "Why aren't you doing this?"; "Why haven't we

seen you?"; "Get going on this project." In so many ways these

people were telling me that they wanted to be my mentors.

     The National Federation of the Blind is different today from

the way it was when I first joined. As young people today, there

are a lot more of you than there are of us. That is wonderful,

but you know what that leads to? Individual blind people are

joining the movement without necessarily having the same kind of

mentoring that I had. Each of you has a piece of the blind

community inside you. You need to identify it and build it inside

yourself and reach out and help build it beyond yourself in all

kinds of ways. But I suggest that you need to identify your own

mentors. Pick somebody in your state, somebody you like or

admire, someone you can learn from; and start demanding their

attention. If we are left to our own devices, we will talk to

this one and talk to that one, but we won't give the consistent

support you deserve. You must pick your own mentors and demand

that you get mentored. That will work a lot better than hoping

that someone will notice you. It will help us experienced

Federationists focus our efforts on the people who can learn from

us. That's part of community-building too.

     So what is the National Federation of the Blind going to be

like in 2020? There are two possibilities. One is that it will

look just like it does today. The other is that there will be new

ideas and new ways of doing things that we haven't thought of

yet. During the first forty years of the Federation no one had

yet thought of most of the things that we now think of as the

very core of the NFB. In my opinion, if in 2020 the Federation

looks exactly like it does today, we will have failed because we

won't have come up with new ways of trying to achieve the goals

we all believe in. And guess what: the people who are going to

have to think up those new ideas--it's not me; it's you, the next

generation of the National Federation of the Blind.

     I know how and where most of the ideas that have become our

core programs in recent years came from. I know the people who

thought of them, and I could tell you how the ideas evolved. In

every case the creator was someone who had taken the time to do

the boring stuff, to make the calls, to go to the meetings, to

find things in common with all sorts of people. Each of these

ideas came from a person who was deeply a part of the blind

community. It took the first forty or so years to build the

community out of which those ideas came. I don't think it will

take that long to develop the next set of ideas because I hope

that many of us will continue to build that sense of community--

to do the boring stuff, to build that framework. No one can walk

into the Federation and say, "We need to do this, this, and

this." For it isn't only what we need to do, but how it is best

to do it, and the two go together. You won't know either what or

how unless you take the time to do the boring stuff and discover

that it isn't boring at all.

     One more element is involved with getting us successfully to

2020. In assessing new ideas and finding the projects for the

future, we must be very careful to use the National Federation of

the Blind's framework of thought. As an individual I must take

the responsibility and time to learn the skills I need to

function efficiently as a blind person. I must learn Braille and

practice. I need to learn to use the white cane and practice

that, too. It isn't magic. It's like learning to swim; you can't

read a book and know how to swim. You have to get into the water

and do it. Mastering the skills of blindness is no different. It

isn't enough to know conceptually that you need those skills and

how to use the tools. You have to take the responsibility to

practice until they are second nature. It's the same thing as

building community; it doesn't happen unless you put in the work.

     So the first thing is learning the skills, and the second is

building the self-confidence to believe that the skills work and

that you as a person really are equal. It's easy to say and hard

to do. There is nothing for it but to go out and do it until you

believe it deep down in your soul.

     You must also learn how to communicate this understanding of

yourself and your abilities to the people around you in a way

that they don't know they are learning and you most certainly

know you are teaching. This entails dealing with professors,

employers, family members--all the people around you. You must

learn to set the terms of the relationship and the balance of

responsibility. There are sighted and blind ways of doing things.

If you as a blind person try to do things in the sighted way, you

aren't going to get them done or done effectively. But if you do

things as a blind person and are comfortable with that and make

others comfortable with it, then you're going to be fine. The

responsibility, though, is yours. All this is standard, National

Federation of the Blind boiler-plate language.

     But here is the point: anywhere you go today you will hear

that the Americans with Disabilities Act will take care of all

that for you. In the old days, before the ADA, people would just

tell us, "Well, you can't do that." It was pretty clear. Now you

hear, "Of course you can do it, and we'll take care of providing

all the reasonable accommodations we think you need. We'll

reformat the world for you because of the Americans with

Disabilities Act." It is the same message my generation received;

it's nicer words but the same outcome. Those who wave the ADA

around don't believe in you as a blind person. They believe that

the world around you must be fixed in order for you to manage

because otherwise you couldn't do anything worth doing. It's time

that we in the National Federation of the Blind stripped away the

myth that the Americans with Disabilities Act is going to fix us.

If you haven't fixed yourself using those three principles

(mastering skills, learning to have self-confidence, and dealing

effectively with the world around you), then the ADA can only

give you a job you didn't earn or give you a place you can't

occupy. You have to do it for yourself. If you believe that the

ADA will do it for you, you will have some kind of life, but it

won't be the free and independent one I would wish for you.

     Those are the three strands: building the blind community,

developing the new ideas that will define the Federation, and

recognizing the ADA as the biggest current lie. So what will the

organization be like in 2020? There are people in this room today

who will be my age in 2020; you'll have kids in college. You are

the ones who will decide what kind of blind community we will

have. I know what I want. What do you want? Is the Americans with

Disabilities Act going to rule, or are we going to rule? What

kind of Federation are we going to have in 2020? Will it look

like what we have today, or will we have developed new ways of

accomplishing our goals? I challenge each one of you to find

those new ways. When I get here in 2020--and I intend to be here-

-you can tell me the answer.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: The crowd at the opening briefing of the 1998 NFB

Washington Seminar]

               1998 Washington Seminar Fact Sheets


     From the Editor: Participants in the 1998 Washington Seminar

went to Capitol Hill ready to discuss two issues with Members of

Congress. The first was reestablishing the linkage between the

stipends received by blind Social Security Disability Insurance

recipients and those of retirees under the age of seventy. The

second was reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Following are the legislative agenda and the two fact sheets that

Federationists took to the Hill:


                       LEGISLATIVE AGENDA



FROM:     Members of the National Federation of the Blind

TO:       Members of the 105th Congress

RE:       Legislative Priorities of Blind Americans


     Public policies and laws affecting blind people have a

profound impact throughout our entire society. Most people know

someone who is blind. It may be a friend, a family member, or a

co-worker on the job. In fact, as many as fifty thousand

Americans become blind each year, and the blind population in the

U.S. is estimated to exceed 700,000. By themselves these numbers

may not seem large, but the social and economic consequences of

blindness directly touch the lives of millions and, at least

indirectly, have some impact on everyone.

     Public policies and laws that result from misconceptions or

lack of information about blindness are often more limiting than

the loss of eyesight itself. This is why we have formed the

National Federation of the Blind. The Federation's leaders and

the vast majority of the members are blind, but anyone is welcome

to join in the effort we are making to win understanding and

equality in society.

     Our priorities for the second session of the 105th Congress

reflect an urgent need for action in two specific areas of vital

importance to the blind this year.

     (1) Congress should restore work incentive equity by re-

enacting the identical earnings exemption threshold for blind and

senior citizen beneficiaries under title II of the Social

Security Act. This proposal seeks to reduce (or eliminate

altogether) the work disincentive of the Social Security earnings

limit as it now affects blind beneficiaries. In spite of a 1977

law to maintain the same earnings exemption threshold for blind

people and age sixty-five retirees, a decision was made to

exclude the blind when the threshold was raised for seniors in

1996. This means that a lower blind persons' earnings limit of

$12,600 is now in effect as compared to $14,500 for seniors. By

2002, when the seniors' exemption becomes $30,000, the blind

persons' lower limit will be less than half that amount unless

the law is changed.

     People of working age who are blind must not be forgotten

now that the earnings exemption for retirees has been raised.

Just as with hundreds of thousands of seniors, the positive

response of blind people to higher earnings exemptions will bring

additional revenues into the Social Security trust funds. The

chance to work, earn, and pay taxes is a constructive and valid

goal for senior citizens and blind Americans alike. For more

details and an explanation of the need for this legislation, see

the fact sheet entitled "Winning the Chance to Earn and Pay

Taxes: How the Blind Person's Earnings Limit in the Social

Security Act Must Be Changed."

     (2) Congress should expedite consideration and final passage

of pending legislation to reauthorize the vocational

rehabilitation program. Last reauthorized in 1992, this program

is currently operating under an automatic one-year renewal

provision, effective through September 30, 1998. Meanwhile a

three-year extension bill has been passed by the House of

Representatives, and a seven-year extension measure is now under

active review in the Senate. Legislation to combine vocational

rehabilitation with several other adult education, training, and

employment services was considered but rejected during the 104th

Congress. As a result the issue of consolidation appears to be

settled, although the legislation to continue the program still

awaits final action.
     This program, which provides grants to states for assisting

persons with disabilities, has been conducted with leadership and

significant funding from the federal government for seventy-eight

years. For the person who is blind, the difficulty in finding

suitable employment is only one of many consequences. The most

profound initial problem, in fact, is the need for specific help

to deal with adjustment to blindness. Failure to provide services

which respond to the blind person's fears, lack of confidence,

and lack of relevant skills will almost certainly result in

lifelong dependence. There is no program other than vocational

rehabilitation which has the responsibility of helping to meet

these needs. For more details and an explanation of the need for

reauthorization see the fact sheet entitled "Reauthorizing

Vocational Rehabilitation and Related Programs: A Call for


     People who are blind are asking for your help to enact the

legislation described in the priority items of this agenda. By

acting on these priorities in partnership with the National

Federation of the Blind, each Member of Congress can help build

better lives for the blind both today and in the years ahead.

     For further information contact James Gashel, Director of

Governmental Affairs, National Federation of the Blind, 1800

Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, (410) 659-9314.


                           Fact Sheet


            Winning the Chance to Earn and Pay Taxes:

          How the Blind Person's Earnings Limit in the

               Social Security Act Must Be Changed


PENDING BILLS: H.R. 612; S. 375


PURPOSE: To restore the linkage between the earnings exemption

threshold for blind persons and the exemption allowed for

retirees at age sixty-five under title II of the Social Security



BACKGROUND: As the result of a 1996 law to raise the debt limit,

senior citizens age sixty-five to seventy are encouraged to

continue working while retaining entitlement to Social Security

benefits. This is being done by annual changes in the exempt

earnings threshold, which is $14,500 in 1998 and will increase to

$30,000 by the year 2002. In making the case for this change,

advocates in Congress explained that senior citizens in greater

numbers would now have the opportunity to work, earn, and pay


     In spite of a law passed in 1977 to establish the earnings

exemption threshold for blind people at the identical exempt

amount used for seniors, a decision was made to exclude the blind

from the higher exemptions. This means that a lower earnings

limit for the blind is now in effect. This lower limit for 1998

is $12,600. By 2002, when the exemption for seniors becomes

$30,000, the lower limit for the blind is expected to be $14,400.

     Earnings of this amount for a blind person who is age sixty-

four will cause the complete loss of Social Security benefits

until the individual becomes a retiree at age sixty-five. At that

point the same individual is allowed to earn more than twice the

amount allowed for the blind. This is the inequity that now



EXISTING LAW: Section 216(i) of the Social Security Act defines

"blindness" in precise medical terms. Therefore blindness--as

with age--can be determined with reasonable certainty. In this

respect blindness is unlike any other disability subject to

evaluation under the Social Security Act. All other disabilities

are determined on the basis of an individual's "inability to

engage in substantial gainful activity," which is a complex and

fairly subjective determination in many cases.

     Although blindness is precisely defined, monthly benefits

are not paid to all persons who are blind but only to those whose

earnings (if any) are below the annually adjusted limit. Personal

wealth not resulting from current work activity does not count as

earnings and has no effect on eligibility. Only work is

penalized. It was the recognition of this fact that led to the

greater exemption of earnings now allowed for seniors, and the

situation for blind people is precisely the same.


ACTION REQUESTED: Congress should restore work incentive equity

by re-enacting the identical earnings exemption threshold for

blind and senior citizen beneficiaries under title II of the

Social Security Act. Legislation to achieve this objective has

been offered in bills submitted in both the House and the Senate.

The House bill is H.R. 612, sponsored by Representative Barbara

Kennelly. The companion bill in the Senate is S. 375, sponsored

by Senators McCain and Dodd. Although neither bill was considered

beyond introduction in the last session of Congress, an

impressive list of cosponsors indicates that substantial

bipartisan support exists in both the House and the Senate.

     The National Federation of the Blind strongly supports this

legislation. By creating a lower earnings limit for the blind,

the action in the 104th Congress has resulted in a harsh work

disincentive policy which is widely regarded as an inequity

created in the rush to pass the 1996 debt ceiling bill.


NEED TO REMOVE WORK DISINCENTIVES: Mandating the adjustments in

the earnings limit for blind people in the manner now allowed for

age sixty-five retirees will provide more than 100,000 blind

beneficiaries with a powerful work incentive. Most blind people

could then not lose financially by working. Moreover, the

mandated earnings limit changes would be cost-beneficial, since

among those of working age most blind people are already

beneficiaries. At present their earnings must not exceed a strict

limit of $1,050 per month. When earnings exceed this exempt

amount, the entire sum paid to a primary beneficiary and

dependents is abruptly withdrawn after a trial work period.

     When a blind person finds work, there is absolutely no

assurance that earnings will replace the amount of lost

disability benefits after taxes and work expenses are paid.

Usually they do not. Therefore few beneficiaries can actually

afford to attempt substantial work. Those who do will often

sacrifice income and will certainly sacrifice the security they

have from the automatic receipt of a monthly check.

     This group of beneficiaries--people of working age who are

blind--must not be forgotten now that the earnings exemption has

been raised for seniors. Just as with hundreds of thousands of

seniors, the positive response of blind people to the higher

earnings exemptions will bring additional revenues into the

Social Security trust funds. The chance to work, earn, and pay

taxes is a constructive and valid goal for senior citizens and

blind Americans alike.


                           Fact Sheet


             Reauthorizing Vocational Rehabilitation

                      and Related Programs:


                        A Call for Action


BACKGROUND: Under title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,

states receive federal funds to provide comprehensive vocational

rehabilitation services to eligible persons with disabilities,

including persons who are blind. The program pays part or all of

the cost for individually planned services leading to employment.

The amount appropriated for fiscal year 1998 is approximately

$2.25 billion.


ACTION REQUESTED: Congress should expedite consideration and

final passage of pending legislation to reauthorize the

vocational rehabilitation program. Last reauthorized in 1992, the

vocational rehabilitation program is currently operating under an

automatic one-year renewal provision, effective through September

30, 1998. Meanwhile a bill to extend the program for three years

has been passed by the House of Representatives. A Senate bill on

reauthorization proposing a seven-year extension is also under

consideration after extensive negotiations to develop the bill

last fall. This program has been conducted under shared federal

and state responsibilities for seventy-eight years.

     Legislation to combine vocational rehabilitation with

several adult education, training, and employment service

programs was considered but rejected during the 104th Congress.

As a result provisions passed by the House as part of the latest

consolidation bill call for maintaining vocational rehabilitation

as a completely distinct service, which is also proposed in the

Senate bill. Therefore the separate status of vocational

rehabilitation has been settled, although the legislation to

continue the program still awaits final action.


REAUTHORIZATION APPROACH: At a technical level the pending bills

call for extensive revisions in title I of the Rehabilitation

Act. However, the overall direction, structure, and funding

arrangements now in effect would be maintained under either the

Senate or the House bill. In general it is also fair to say that

both bills contain several new provisions which are designed to

lead to a more consumer-responsive approach to service delivery.

     As one example of this, both bills include independent

preparation of training and employment programs as the right of

each consumer. Under existing law these programs must be prepared

by rehabilitation counselors. The programs must include the plans

for service, specification of training required, and

identification of the resources necessary to achieve the

individual's chosen goal. Also both bills contain expanded

sections on consumer choice, building on language first included

in amendments made during the last reauthorization of

rehabilitation programs in 1992.

     In fact the provisions now being considered for final

passage should result in moving the vocational rehabilitation

program toward a more consumer-focused orientation. Under the

Senate bill, for instance, any blind or disabled person who has

already met the qualifying standards to receive cash assistance

from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental

Security Income programs would automatically be found eligible

for training and employment services from vocational

rehabilitation. If this provision is accepted by the House and

included in the final bill, blind people in particular will

witness the removal of bureaucratic barriers to eligibility

decisions and prompt service.

     For the person who is blind, the difficulty in finding

suitable employment is only one of many consequences. The most

profound initial problem, in fact, is the need for specific help

to deal with adjustment to blindness. Failure to provide services

which respond to the blind person's fears, lack of confidence,

and lack of relevant skills will almost certainly result in

lifelong dependence.

     There is no program other than vocational rehabilitation

which has the responsibility of helping to meet these needs. This

conclusion represents the shared experience of blind persons and

speaks to the need for maintaining a system of specialized,

blindness-related services with federal support and leadership.

Therefore the pending measures to reauthorize the vocational

rehabilitation program must move forward to final consideration

and passage before the present session of Congress adjourns.



     Have you considered leaving a gift to the National

Federation of the Blind in your will? By preparing a will now,

you can assure that those administering your estate will avoid

unnecessary delays, legal complications, and substantial tax

costs. A will is a common device used to leave a substantial gift

to charity. A gift in your will to the NFB can be of any size and

will be used to help blind people. Here are some useful hints in

preparing your will:

     * Make a list of everything you want to leave (your estate).

     * Decide how and to whom you want to leave these assets.

     * Consult an attorney (one you know or one we can help you


     * Make certain you thoroughly understand your will before

you sign it.


     For more information contact the National Federation of the

Blind, Special Gifts, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland

21230-4998, (410) 659-9314, fax (410) 685-5653.




                       Ed Beck Recognized


     From the Editor: Ed Beck is a long-time leader of the

National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island. The following

article first appeared in the August 6, 1997, edition of the

Providence Journal-Bulletin. As usual Ed Beck took an active part

in this year's Washington Seminar. This is what a reporter,

Richard Salit, had to say about Ed Beck and his work last summer:


         At Eighty-three Edmund Beck Remains a Vigorous

                     Advocate for the Blind


     One day twenty-seven years ago a stack of wine cases toppled

onto Edmund Beck, throwing him to the floor of his Rolfe Square

liquor store and knocking him unconscious.

     After coming to, Beck noticed the vision blurring in his one

good eye. He had lost sight in the other as a teen when a

baseball bat hit him in the head. Doctors couldn't save that eye,

and now, at fifty-six and facing total blindness, he again heard

doctors say they could do nothing for him.

     "Then the curtains went down completely and I couldn't see

anything," Beck recalls.

     The darkness enveloped Beck in a deep depression. The life

he had known was over. It took him a year to accept that there

was, literally, no looking back.

     That's when his new life began. Forced to give up Eddie's

Liquors, he turned his energies to lobbying, traveling across the

country to fight for the needs of the handicapped and the


     As the former head of the Rhode Island Liquor Store

Association, Beck was no stranger to state politics. He knew his

way around the State House and rubbed elbows with some of the

most powerful leaders in the General Assembly. He had relished

politics, and it was time to return with a new mission: helping

the handicapped and the elderly. "It would kill me if I had to

stay home," he says.

     Today Beck is eighty-three and still as enthusiastic as a

political intern. He lobbied for federal legislation that was

passed last fall to speed the reproduction of books and magazines

into audio or Braille versions for the blind.

     "He is a delightful fellow and, in his gentle and soft-

spoken fashion, is an able advocate for the blindness community,"

says Senator John Chafee, who worked with Beck on the legislation

and who has known him for years.

     "Ed is a wonderful example of an individual who has done

more than overcome a disability," Chafee says. "Through his work

he has helped others to see beyond the disability to the enormous

ability we all possess."

     On a scorching summer day Beck sits at a cafeteria table in

the state administration building, a short walk from the State

House, where it's common for the politicians to walk up and shake

his hand.

     A pair of dark aviator glasses shrouds his eyes, and a

collapsible cane rests on the table in front of him. Next to the

cane is a small metal plate with holes that he uses with a stylus

to take notes in Braille.

     Sitting across from him is Virgilio Devecchis, seventy-

three, who lobbies with Beck on behalf of the American

Association of Retired Persons. Devecchis is also one of Beck's

closest friends. For years he has driven Beck to the State House

and read documents to him.

     "We both learn at the same time," Devecchis says.

     Beck doesn't like to dwell on his blindness. He'd rather

talk about legislation or reel off names of people he has met in

his years in politics--from the likes of Senators Kennedy,

Chafee, and Reed on down to political aides from Providence to

Washington. He seems to remember them all.

     Despite his reluctance to talk about himself, he is too much

of a gentleman not to face a visitor, as if he could see, and

answer a few questions about how he lost his eyesight.

     "What I really want to express is it's not the end of the

world," he says.

     When he had one good eye, Beck was able to drive a car,

operate a business, and devote time to his family. Suddenly, at

fifty-six, he had to give up much of that life. Beck took to

spending a lot of time at his home on Shirley Boulevard with his

wife Mildred, with whom he has one daughter.

     "The first year it was terrible," he says. "I moped and

moped and didn't do anything."

     But then, mustering what he calls a positive attitude, he

decided to forge a new life. He learned how to read Braille,

taking advantage of home tutoring once a week, and for exercise

began walking down his street, lined with handsome 1920's

Colonials he could no longer see.

     From those beginnings Beck would go on to serve on the

Governor's Advisory Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired

and the Governor's Committee on the Handicapped. He also served

as a legislative representative for both the AARP and the

National Federation of the Blind.

     He traveled a great deal a few years back but these days

spends most of his time lobbying in Providence, with a trip once

a year to Washington.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Allen Radford]

               Allen Radford: Red Cross Instructor

                         by Lusi Radford


     From the Editor: The following article is taken from JOB

Recorded Bulletin 180, produced by the Job Opportunities for the

Blind Program, which is jointly conducted by the United States

Department of Labor and the National Federation of the Blind.

Those interested in learning more about becoming Red Cross

volunteers should call Miss Rovig, Director of the JOB Program.

She can be reached between 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time at

(800) 638-7518. Here is the story:


     During the week of April 13, 1997, channel 17, the NBC

affiliate in Goldsboro, North Carolina, aired a series of short

stories on outstanding volunteers. My husband Allen Radford was

chosen out of more than 1,600 volunteers to represent the

Triangle Chapter of the Red Cross on the program. On April 17 he

was presented with his third Exceptional Volunteer Award at a

luncheon honoring Red Cross volunteers in the Raleigh area.

     Allen Radford, age forty-two, grew up on a tobacco farm near

Kinley, North Carolina. Although he was legally blind at birth,

he had usable vision. He enjoyed working with his father--

especially driving the tractor.

     Allen began his education in public school, then transferred

in second grade to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in

Raleigh. After graduation he earned an associate degree in

horticulture from Central Piedmont Community College and later a

Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Barton College.

     In 1988 Allen was a senior at Barton College, getting ready

to graduate. One Sunday afternoon a neighbor knocked on his door

and asked him for help. Her husband had just attempted to commit


     When Allen went next door, he found the victim unconscious

on the floor. Allen began talking to him--asking him if he was

okay. Then he rolled the neighbor onto his back. The man got

sick, so Allen turned his head to the side. When the Emergency

Medical Service (EMS) team arrived,they said that Allen had done

all the right things. Allen turned off the lights, locked the

apartment door, went home, and cried.

     From his psychology courses Allen had learned all the

characteristics of a person considering suicide. However, no

course had told him what to do when working with a suicide

victim. Allen decided to learn what to do so that, if he were

ever faced with such an emergency again, he would know how to


     That spring Allen enrolled in a community first aid and

safety class conducted by the local Red Cross. He got the book a

week before the class began and read it using his closed-circuit

TV. The class instructors were impressed with his knowledge of

the material and how thoroughly he mastered the skills. They

encouraged him to become an instructor.

     When the news spread that a blind man was going to become an

instructor, some Red Cross personnel did not believe that it

should be allowed. Allen's instructors put their Red Cross

credentials on the line. They said that, if he was not allowed to

become an instructor, they would no longer teach. Allen took the

courses, earned his certification, and was given his credentials

as a Red Cross instructor.

     Allen became totally blind in 1991. Today Allen teaches

community first aid and safety classes for the Red Cross. He also

works first aid stations. Allen relies on his hearing as well as

his sense of touch when teaching skills or when actually working

with an injured victim. He enjoys helping people.

     Another reason Allen volunteers with the Red Cross is that

it is a way for him to give back to his community in appreciation

for the things that have been done for him. In 1979 Allen was hit

by a car. His left leg was broken, and he was in a cast for two

years. He was unable to take care of his most basic needs by

himself. In 1991 Allen almost died from an allergic reaction to

codeine following neurosurgery. The surgery, which was an attempt

to restore some of Allen's vision, failed.

     Currently Allen is working on becoming an instructor

trainer. Although Allen is a good Braille reader, he is a highly

auditory learner. There is a great deal of material to read, for

which he depends upon our scanner. This course is an exciting

opportunity for him. He will be teaching the people who want to

become instructors for the Red Cross. One of his instructor

friends says that Allen is already an instructor's instructor.

     Allen and I were married on August 3, 1996. When I married

him, I also married the Red Cross. I have taken Allen's community

first aid and safety course. I was amazed at how he has

internalized the material. He does little or no preparation

before class but is well prepared and thorough when teaching. It

has been fun working first aid stations with him and getting to

know other Red Cross volunteers.

     Last summer my husband and I were getting haircuts at the

local hair salon when a woman in the chair next to me fainted and

dropped onto the floor. I yelled for Allen, and he took charge.

No one else knew what to do. (It turned out that she was having a

problem with her blood pressure medicine.)

     Along with volunteering for the Red Cross, Allen works hard

at a number of other activities. He and I are members of the

Triangle Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of North

Carolina. We generally help out with whatever comes up.

     We're both very involved as volunteers in our church. Allen

serves on the Hospitality Committee,which puts on two big events

each year, plus receptions and other smaller events, and he helps

with the children's ministry.

     To support his family, he works full-time as a teacher

assistant in the home economics department at Governor Morehead

School for the Blind in Raleigh, and he runs his own bakery and

catering service out of our home. Allen says his Braille skills

are of great use to him in his bakery business. He thermoforms

all of his recipes before using them so that he doesn't need to

worry about getting batter-covered fingers on the dots. He writes

down and carries shopping lists to the store in his Braille n'

Speak. He uses Braille to keep track of his orders, and he labels

the finished products in Braille and print for delivery to the

right customers.

     Sweets are his specialty. Allen makes lots of cakes, mints,

cookies, and cheese wafers. The majority of his business comes

from individuals buying refreshments for local parties. As usual,

he was very busy between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

     We don't presently have children, but we are in the process

of adopting a young girl from Russia who is blind. As soon as

officials make final arrangements, we are going over to Siberia

to meet her. The Russian agency sent two officials to meet with

us and some other parents who are adopting Russian orphans. After

meeting us, they were very warm and friendly to Allen and me. We

are both guide dog users, but they advised us to leave the dogs

home because of problems in Siberia with packs of wild dogs and

because the severe weather might lead to frostbite on their paws.

That sounded like good advice, so our dogs will have a little

vacation when we fly over there.

     To get back to the Red Cross a moment, as you can guess from

the facts in this story, Allen would be glad to share his

techniques with any other blind person who would like to learn

first aid or become a Red Cross instructor. He encourages

everyone, blind or sighted, to learn to handle first-aid




[PHOTO/CAPTION: A small part of the International Braille and

Technology Center for the Blind.]

             Baltimore Sun Highlights NFB Technology


     From the Editor: On February 26, 1998, the Baltimore Sun

published a story describing a number of programs offered by the

National Federation of the Blind and discussing technology issues

facing blind people today. Here it is:


               Harnessing Technology for Everyone

          Blind Demand Equal Access in Information Age

              by Ernest F. Imhoff, Sun Staff Writer


     New technology is both a boon and a curse for blind people.

It has allowed them to hear six daily newspapers, listen to

Internet texts converted to voice, and take pages of notes in a

portable Braille computer.

     But another facet of technology is ominous: the lack of

nonvisual access to information and procedures.

     Blind people can't use devices increasingly available to

sighted people who touch menus on a flat computer screen. The

problem has begun to apply to many automated teller machines,

airport and hotel information kiosks, and new generations of

microwave ovens, washers, and certain televisions and

videocassette recorders.

     "It'll get worse before it gets better," said Betsy A.


     She is director of special programs for the National

Federation of the Blind (NFB). The Baltimore-based nonprofit

organization describes itself as the country's leading advocate

and the world's foremost technology center for the blind.

     "There are different kinds of challenges," she said. "More

and more information on the Internet is graphics. Unlike text,

they can't be translated to speech or Braille."

     For the blind, who want to be independent, it's an old

story: one step forward and one step back, Zaborowski said.

     Many of the newer household goods off-limits to the blind

were usable when they had knobs, buttons, and switches that could

be felt.

     "These devices are not designed for rocket scientists but

for people of average intelligence. I can't use them because I'm

blind," said Richard A. Ring, director of NFB's International

Braille and Technology Center.

     Manufacturers ignore the blind, he said. About one million

legally blind people live in the United States--people who have

less than 10 percent normal vision.

     Staffers such as Zaborowski and her husband, James Gashel,

Director of Governmental Affairs, fight in the political arena

for nonvisual access for the blind.

     "For the second year in a row," she said, "we support bills

in the General Assembly requiring any technology the state buys

to be suitable for nonvisual access.

     "We need that, like the physically disabled need ramps."

     At the technology center, in a building the size of a city

block at 1800 Johnson Street in South Baltimore, Ring and Curtis

Chong, Director of Technology, oversee the development of

innovations. An example is software that offers accessible menus

and synthetic speech created by computers. The technology has

made possible two new programs:

     NEWSLINE(R): About 600 blind people in the Baltimore area

can hear for free, through synthesized speech on the phone, any

news or editorial portion of that day's Sun, Los Angeles Times,

New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune.

The program, at thirty-six NEWSLINE(R) centers in seventeen

states and Canada, expands to Montgomery County in March and

later to the Eastern Shore.

     Jobline: Job seekers--both blind and sighted--in Maryland

will become the first in a nationwide program. Within about a

month they will search for work by using a touch-tone keypad and

phone to comb through a regularly updated help-wanted data base

in the state or the nation. It is for people in rural areas,

shut-ins, and others as well as the blind.

     A major NFB goal is to revive the use, declining since the

1960's, of Braille, the system of raised dots representing

letters. Four-day seminars on the importance of Braille for

parents of blind children will be held here in May and October.

     Only 9 percent of America's blind can read Braille,

Zaborowski said. "The blind were told years ago `Don't be so

blind: use large type, tape recorders, voice synthesizers.'"

     Ring's center is a large room with two million dollars'

worth of what he calls the world's largest collection of advanced

technology for the blind. It is part laboratory, part classroom,

part destination.

     "I'm loving every minute of this, there's so much here,"

said a blind visitor, Stacey Revis, twenty-nine, of Egg Harbor

Township, New Jersey.

     Her fingers roamed over the Braille embossers and reading

machines as though she were an antique dealer examining Meissen


     At home Revis has electronics that produce synthetic speech

or Braille, but she came to learn more. She begins a job this

week as a computer specialist at JFK Hospital in Edison, New


     Patricia Maurer and her husband, NFB President Marc Maurer,

who are both blind, chatted with the visitors. "They love to come

here," she said.

     The NFB also hears from hundreds of blind people--including

parents of blind children--who telephone to seek an objective and

comprehensive view about the latest gizmos, Chong said.

     "There's no other place in the world where the blind can

find all the latest equipment and software with no bias toward

one vendor or another," he said.

     "We bought everything here. We accept nothing for free from

vendors. We make no money. We explain and show the differences.

If we're asked, we can make a recommendation."

     He was surrounded by scores of computers and dozens of

specialized devices such as Braille embossers (printed words or

computer text to Braille), reading machines (printed words to

speech), portable note-takers (typing Braille notes to Braille

storage or speech).

     At the high end was a $77,000 Braille embosser converting at

high speed printed words to pages imprinted on both sides with



     Accompanying this article was the following sidebar:


The National Federation of the Blind at 1800 Johnson Street has

national programs:


Jobline: For a phone demonstration, call (410) 539-0818.

Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB): an assistance program.

Parents of Blind Children: a support network.

Student scholarships of more than $100,000.

Resource Library: Free recorded, printed literature.

Kernel Books: Helpful paperbacks in large type.

Information: (410) 659-9314.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Bruce and Becca Gardner]

                        Bruce A. Gardner

         Attorney, Church Leader, and Community Activist

                         by James Omvig


     From the Editor: Jim Omvig is a long-time Federation leader.

Now that he has retired to Arizona, he is an active member of

that affiliate's leadership. He recently wrote the following

profile of NFB of Arizona President Bruce Gardner, who was

elected to the NFB Board of Directors at last summer's

convention. This is what he says about our newest Board Member:


     Bruce A. Gardner of Mesa, Arizona, was elected to the Board

of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind at its 1997

Convention in New Orleans. Bruce is a long-time Federationist,

and he is also known and respected for many of his other

activities and accomplishments.

     Bruce was born in Morenci, Arizona, in 1955. As a child he

gradually lost his sight and was diagnosed at the age of eight

with juvenile bilateral macular degeneration. Two of his seven

brothers are also blind.

     Bruce attended public school for both his elementary and

secondary education. Of course neither his family nor the

educators around him had learned about blindness from the

National Federation of the Blind. Therefore, like other partially

blind children of that era, Bruce was never helped to adjust to

his blindness and was not taught the skills which are essential

to successful blind people. Looking back, Bruce says that he had

no role models to emulate except, of course, for the hapless Mr.


     This lack of proper training as a child is one of Bruce's

biggest regrets. Instead of learning to use Braille and the other

proven alternative techniques, he relied upon magnifying glasses

and his mother's reading to help him complete high school.

     In spite of his poor training and limited view of his

abilities, Bruce was determined to get an education to ensure

some kind of success in adulthood. Therefore, following his high

school graduation, he enrolled in Brigham Young University, where

he majored in interpersonal communications.

     The years 1976, '77, and '78 struck like a bolt of lightning

and turned out to be pivotal in Bruce Gardner's development and

in his life. First, in the summer of 1976 he was introduced to

the National Federation of the Blind by his brother Dr. Norman

Gardner, and his life was changed forever. Bruce was just

completing a two-year Mormon Mission when Norman first gave him

some Federation materials to read. Norman said, "Bruce, have I

ever got something for you!"

     In the summer of 1977 Bruce took advantage of the

opportunity to become a summer student at the Idaho Commission

for the Blind's Orientation and Adjustment Center. He also

attended his first National Federation of the Blind Convention

that summer in New Orleans, and he was invited to attend a

National Leadership Seminar that Christmas.

     In April of 1978 Bruce met Becca, his future wife (see the

article, "Making Other Arrangements," in the March, 1997, Braille

Monitor). Also he served an NFB internship with Jim Gashel in

Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1978, and he married Becca in

November. This Bruce Gardner was a far cry from the insecure and

frightened young man whose only role model had been Mr. Magoo.

     Bruce settled into family and school life and earned his

B.A. degree magna cum laude from Brigham Young in 1979. By the

time of graduation he had already decided to go to law school,

and he had been accepted at Brigham Young. He graduated from

Brigham Young law school cum laude in 1982.

     Bruce had the usual run-ins with discrimination against the

blind. When he decided to go to law school, he tried to take the

Law School Aptitude Test--the national test for prospective law

school students. He was refused. Therefore Brigham Young accepted

him based on his outstanding undergraduate record.

     In 1981 he had his second run-in with discrimination. Like

other law school students, Bruce spent his summers clerking. In

the summer between his second and third years, he clerked in a

firm of approximately thirty lawyers, where he reported to one of

the managing partners. It is common for law firms to make

employment offers to second-year law clerks. No job offer was

made to Bruce, however, even though everyone found his work

outstanding. The managing partner later apologized for the

short-sightedness of his partners--they simply refused to hire a

blind attorney.

     But some good things happened, too. In the law school's moot

court competition, Bruce received the Dean's Cup, given to the

outstanding oralist. The Cup was presented to Bruce personally by

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.

     Upon graduation the search for that elusive first job also

proved to be difficult. Typically top law school students choose

a number of firms with whom they would like to interview on

campus. The firms then review the students' resumes and follow up

by interviewing those students in whom they are interested.

Despite the fact that Bruce was one of the top students in his

class, he got only about half as many invitations to interview as

his classmates.

     Fortunately for Bruce, he received job offers from some of

the largest and most prestigious law firms in Salt Lake City and

Phoenix. He says he is grateful that, thanks to the work of the

Federation, his experience was different from that of Dr. Newel

Perry, who never found a job in mathematics, the profession for

which he was trained and qualified, and from that of NFB founder

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, who had to begin his working career with

temporary, part-time employment.

     Bruce began his career with the firm of Streich, Lang,

Weeks, and Cardon, P.A., in Phoenix, where he worked for three

years handling real estate transactions and litigation cases.

Then in 1985 he accepted a position as an in-house attorney with

the Arizona Public Service Company (Arizona's largest electric

utility company), where he works today.

     He has now risen to the position of senior attorney. In this

capacity he oversees all of the numerous tort and commercial

litigation cases involving the company, and he handles all of its

legal real estate matters.

     Bruce Gardner's life is a visible demonstration of the

soundness of the philosophy of the National Federation of the

Blind. In addition to his legal work, Bruce is a committed family

man. He and Becca are the proud parents of six children, three of

whom are teen-agers. Bruce and his family enjoy raising horses,

goats, pigs, ducks, and geese on what some would call his

gentleman's farm. He has always enjoyed scouting activities and

was an Eagle Scout himself. He has held various positions with

the Boy Scouts and today serves as a scout troop committee

member. Bruce participates in many scouting events with his three

sons--mountain climbing and backpacking. He has even hiked the

Grand Canyon from rim to rim. He and his oldest son recently took

scuba diving lessons and became certified open-water divers.

Besides all of this, Bruce and several of his children play and

sing country and western music together, sounding like


     Bruce is also active in his church. He has held various

volunteer positions with the church and since early 1997 has

served as Bishop of the Lehi First Ward of the Church of Jesus

Christ of Latter Day Saints. In his capacity as Bishop he serves

as the spiritual leader and day-to-day lay administrator for his


     Then there is community activity. Bruce believes that being

an active member of his community is also an important part of

Federationism. He has served as president of the Lehi Community

Improvement Association since 1995. He is a member of the Lehi

Citizens on Patrol, a neighborhood crime prevention task force,

which patrols the Lehi community, and he serves as Republican

precinct committeeman in the district where his home is located.

     Another large part of Bruce's mission in life is to share

NFB philosophy with others. He has done this informally by

speaking with friends and acquaintances and as a mentor for other

blind people. He has also held many appointed and elected

positions in the NFB--as a member of the National Scholarship

Committee and as director of the Legislative Committee for the

NFB of Arizona. He served for ten years as First Vice President

of the NFB of Arizona and was elected President in 1995.

     In addition Bruce has held several positions from which he

has been able to have influence in other ways. He is a past

member of the board of directors of the National Association of

Blind Lawyers, was appointed by the Governor of Arizona to serve

on the Board of Directors of the Arizona State Schools for the

Deaf and the Blind, and has been appointed by two Arizona

Governors to serve on the Arizona Governor's Council on Blindness

and Visual Impairment.

     The National Federation of the Blind is fortunate to have

found Bruce. He is also fortunate to have found the Federation,

since the Federation taught him the truth about blindness and

helped him to overcome his low expectations and low self-esteem.

Today Bruce agrees with Henry Ford, who said, "If you think you

can or you can't, you're right."

     Bruce Gardner has taken the training and followed the

opportunities that life has brought his way. He has found

alternative ways of doing anything he would have done with

eyesight and is, therefore, successful doing whatever he decides

to do. He makes an outstanding addition to the Board of Directors

of the National Federation of the Blind.



                   1998 Convention Attractions


     From the Editor: Every year's National Convention is an

absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new

friends and business acquaintances: all these give each

convention its own character and significance. Some activities

lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take

place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of

events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions

Committee and the Board of Directors, the annual banquet, and the

many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and

committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by

a number of Federation groups during the 1998 Convention, July 4

through 11. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and

event presenters have provided the information. The pre-

convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking

place before convention registration on Sunday, July 5. The

convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking

place after that time.


               Blind Industrial Workers of America

                        by Primo Foianini


     The Blind Industrial Workers of America will conduct a split

cash drawing at this year's convention. The group will gather on

Monday afternoon, July 6, for its annual meeting.


                 Blind Professional Journalists

                      by Elizabeth Campbell


     If you are interested in journalism, you don't want to miss

the Blind Professional Journalists meeting planned during our

convention at the Hyatt Regency DFW. We will meet Monday

afternoon, July 6. Please see the convention agenda for the time

and location of our meeting. We had a wonderful turnout in New

Orleans during the 1997 National Federation of the Blind

convention, and I look forward to another good session in Dallas.

     Come meet professionals who are working in the field and

bring your questions. That is what journalism is all about. For

more information contact Elizabeth Campbell, (817) 738-0350

evenings after 6 p.m., CDT. You may also send e-mail to

[email protected]


[PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Seven horses carrying riders are visible in

this picture. CAPTION: The children visited a dude ranch at the

Dallas Convention in 1993. The youngsters this year will

undoubtedly have just as good a time.]

                     Child Care Information

                       by Carla McQuillan


     NFB Camp in the Wild, Wild West: It's more than just child's

play. Throughout our National Convention NFB Camp provides

activities and programs for children under twelve. Although it is

generally referred to as Child Care, the participants in NFB Camp

will tell you otherwise. It is a tremendous opportunity to

instill Federation philosophy in the camp counselors, the

parents, and the children--blind and sighted alike. Advanced

registration is required to ensure that the number of camp

counselors is sufficient for the safety and happiness of the

children. Both blind and sighted children will enjoy the action-

packed schedule that awaits them in Dallas this summer. Call or

write today to register.


     NFB Camp is under the direction of Carla McQuillan, the

owner and operator of Children's Choice Montessori School and

Child Care Center in Springfield, Oregon. With eighteen years of

teaching experience in early childhood education, Mrs. McQuillan

received the NFB's Blind Educator of the Year award at our 1996

convention in Anaheim. Carla is also the mother of two children

and the President of the National Federation of the Blind of


     The team supervisor and activities director are employees of

Children's Choice Montessori School. Both have extensive

experience planning and expediting programs for children. In

addition, we will recruit private and public school teachers in

the Dallas/Fort Worth area to serve as counselors. All of these

individuals have CPR and First Aid certification, criminal record

checks, and the education and experience to handle large groups

of children with ease.

     There will be daily performances by blind

musician/singer/songwriter Daniel Lamond. Other featured

activities will include presentations by various blind

professionals to spark the children's interest; stories read in

Braille by blind adults; and a guest appearance by Peggy Elliott,

who will share tales of her blind cat Sheriff. Throughout the

week we will be taking the children on walking tours of the

airport, hotel, and local shops.

     NFB Camp will be open one half hour before the beginning of

sessions and one half hour after sessions adjourn. Children must

be picked up during lunch breaks. The schedule follows:

     Saturday, July 4, during the seminar for Parents of Blind


     Sunday, July 5, no NFB camp

     Monday, July 6, during afternoon committee meetings (Kids'

          Trip Day)

     Tuesday, July 7, during general sessions

     Wednesday, July 8, during morning general sessions (no camp

          during afternoon tours)

     Thursday, July 9, during general sessions and banquet

     Friday, July 10, during general sessions

     We will serve dinner during the banquet. A late fee of $10

per child will be rigorously enforced if children are not picked

up from camp on time. Please fill out the pre-registration form

below or provide all the requested information in a letter and

mail it today.


                 NFB Camp Pre-Registration Form


Child(ren) Name(s)

_______________________________________________________Age ______


_______________________________________________________Age ______
_______________________________________________________Age ______





Home Address





Home Phone ( ___ )_______________ Work Phone ( ____ ) ___________


                                             Amount Enclosed     


First Child (full week)            $60            ______


Additional Siblings (full week)    $30 each       ______ #


Daily rate per child          $15 each per day    ______ #

children  ______ # days

Banquet                       $10 per child       ______ #


                              Total Enclosed      ______


Make checks payable to NOPBC. Send this form with payment to:

Carla McQuillan

National Federation of the Blind of Oregon

5005 Main Street

Springfield, Oregon 97478

(541) 726-6924               1998 National Convention Activities


Kids' Trip to Wagon Wheel Ranch

Ages: five to twelve

Cost: $20 per child (includes lunch)

Check-in: 10:30 a.m. in the NOPBC meeting room


     In keeping with our Wild, Wild West theme, we have scheduled

a trip to one of the many dude ranches in the Dallas area. On

Monday, July 6, children between the ages of five and twelve are

invited to visit the Wagon Wheel Ranch for a true Texas-style


     We will gather at 10:30 in the NOPBC business meeting room.

The busses will take us to Wagon Wheel, where we will enjoy a

cookout with hot dogs, drinks, chips, and a relish tray. After

lunch we'll spend some time at the petting zoo and finish the day

with a hay ride for the younger children and horseback riding for

the older ones. The children will return at 4:30 and may be

picked up in the NFB Camp rooms.

     As always, there will be a host of blind adults to serve as

role models for the children on the trip. Registration and

payment must be received no later than June 10, 1998. Send the

form below or a letter including all necessary information with

your payment to:

Carla McQuillan

National Federation of the Blind of Oregon

5005 Main Street

Springfield, Oregon 97478

Don't delay--space is limited.


                Registration for 1998 Kids' Trip


Child(ren) Name(s)

__________________________________________________ Age __________


Parent/Guardian _________________________________________________


Phone # _______________


Address _________________________________________________________


Amount Enclosed $__________


Is your child blind? [     ] yes [     ] no (If more than one

child is being registered, indicate which child is blind.)



Does your child have special needs? (List the special needs, and

indicate which child if registering more than one.)


     Campers' curriculum and other information regarding

activities for children and youth during Convention will be

available at the information table when you arrive at the Hyatt

Regency DFW in July.


                   The Committee on Associates

                         by Tom Stevens


     The Committee on Associates will meet as scheduled in the

agenda, most likely Monday evening, July 6.

     We'll talk about final results for 1998 and discuss what can

make this program grow. So saddle up Ole Dobbin and head for

Dallas. Remember to get your ribbons quickly so that you can wear

them during the entire convention. They look a lot better on your

shirt than they do in an envelope.

     The Committee on Associates, with co-chairpersons Karen

Mayry, Frank Lee, and Tom Stevens, stands ready even now to

answer your questions. For first contact, call chairman Tom at

(573) 445-6091.

     We use the Committee meeting to hear inspirational talks, to

recognize every successful Associate recruiter--from one up--and

to share techniques. It is a highly encouraging time; and one

meets people with the same conviction: That this is the most

under-used program in the Federation. For confirmation of that,

just come to our meeting, get to know some of our fine folks, and

help us gear up for the 1999 contest year.


[PHOTO CAPTION: Deaf-blind people and volunteers work with the

Tellatouch during an NFB convention.]

                       Deaf-Blind Division

                          by Joe Naulty


     The Deaf-Blind Division will conduct three evening seminars

during the 1998 National Convention. The first will take place

Saturday, July 4, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Welcome and opening

remarks will be delivered by Joseph B. Naulty, Deaf-Blind

Division President. The guest speaker will be Harry Anderson,

President of the American Association of Deaf-Blind, from St.

Augustine, Florida. His topic is "The World of Deaf-Blind."

     Monday, July 6 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will be annual reports

from committee chairpersons and Board Members. The guest speaker

will be Martha Bagley, the National Representative for Senior

Deaf-Blind of the Helen Keller National Center in Dallas. She

will discuss the topic, "Deaf-Blind Issues Affecting the Senior


     Wednesday, July 8, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will be the Deaf-

Blind Division annual business meeting, which includes membership

reports, business issues, fund-raising reports, goal-setting for

1998-1999, and the bi-annual election of officers and Board

Members. The guest speaker for this seminar is still to be



                     Diabetes Action Network

                          by Ed Bryant


     At the 1998 annual convention of the National Federation of

the Blind in Dallas, Texas, our Diabetes Action Network will

conduct two seminars. We are still making arrangements at this

time. The first will be on Sunday, July 5, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

There our speaker will be an exercise physiologist who will

discuss diabetes and exercise. On Monday, July 6, we will have

our second seminar, starting at 6:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker

will be a physician who will discuss kidney transplantation. Both

seminars are free and open to the public.

     The location for the Sunday seminar will be posted in the

pre-convention agenda, available in the hotel lobby. The location

for our Monday seminar and business meeting will be listed in the

regular agenda, available at registration. Come join us! It will

be fun and enlightening.


   Announcing the National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs

                        by Connie Leblond


     At the 1997 convention in New Orleans interested

Federationists attended an organizing meeting. The Board of

Directors of the National Federation of the Blind has now

officially approved this new division. The officers are Connie

Leblond, President; Ted Young, First Vice President; Sharon Gold,

Second Vice President; Peter Donahue, Secretary; Paul McIntire,

Treasurer; and Board Members Marie Cobb, Lynda West, Jeremiah

Beasley, and Jim Skelton.

     This division will provide information to blind individuals

on starting a business, expanding existing businesses, and

networking between blind entrepreneurs that will open doors to

opportunities. Membership in the division is $5 annually. We are

now accepting membership dues, which will also put you on a

listserv being created by Ted Young. Please send your name,

address, phone number, and e-mail address with membership dues to

Mrs. Connie Leblond, 15 May Street, Portland, Maine 04102. You

may also e-mail her at [email protected]

Please be certain to include as much information about your

business as you are willing to share.

     Whether you currently operate a business or are doing

research that will result in your operating a business, we want

to hear from you. This new NFB division will assist entrepreneurs

in changing what it means to be blind. See you all in Texas,

where we will hold our first meeting.


                     Human Services Division

                         by Doug Elliott


     Blind human services professionals from a wide variety of

vocational and academic positions will gather in Dallas in

conjunction with the convention of the National Federation of the

Blind to discuss their work and their lives as blind

professionals. Our meeting will take place on Monday afternoon,

July 6, 1998. Registration will open at 1:00 p.m., and this

year's exciting program will commence at 1:30 p.m. We will also

be discussing our listservs and their potential for serving us in

our professions between conventions. You all come to share

experience, wisdom, and fun at this year's Human Services

Division meeting in Dallas.


                  An Introduction to Windows 95

                            A Seminar

                         by Richard Ring


     Windows 95 has replaced MS/DOS as the operating system of

choice in the workplace and at home. For the sighted this has

been a welcomed change for the most part--no more complex command

lines to remember. Instead all the sighted user need do is point

and click the mouse, and programs run, files are moved, and the

World Wide Web magically opens. But what about those of us who

are blind? Can a blind person become a productive and efficient

user of Windows 95? The answer is "yes!"

     If you want to understand how to accomplish this, An

Introduction to Windows 95 is a seminar you should attend. It

will take place on Saturday, July 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

at the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Dallas.

     This seminar will be hosted by members of the staff of the

Technology Department at the National Center for the Blind. What

makes this seminar unique is its approach to teaching Windows 95.

Often when sighted people attempt to teach the blind Windows 95,

they find it difficult to get away from a point-and-click

mentality. They seem to be more interested in the physical or

visual layout of the screen than how to access the items and

objects on the screen. We will show you how to navigate in

Windows 95 using the keyboard. We will show you how to create

shortcuts to your favorite programs, how to work with popular

Windows applications, what it is like to surf the Web in Windows,

and more.

     Sometimes it is necessary to use the mouse pointer to access

certain functions within a Windows application. Screen-reading

systems for the blind provide a way for a blind person to

manipulate the mouse pointer from the keyboard. In this way even

programs that are not keyboard-friendly can be used. We'll even

show you how sounds generated by Windows 95 can serve as valuable

cues as well as providing a bit of entertainment.

     Many blind people have expressed grave concerns about how

well they can learn to work in Windows 95. What holds true when

it comes to blindness itself remains true when it comes to

Windows 95: given the proper training and opportunity, a blind

person can not only learn to use Windows but enjoy doing so!

Though we cannot promise you that when you leave this seminar you

will be a Windows expert, we can assure you that you will come

away knowing that Windows need not be an obstacle to success.

Join us and discover, as we already have, that blind people do



                 Job Opportunities for the Blind

                    1998 National Job Seminar

                        by Lorraine Rovig


     Can ordinary blind Americans get hired for ordinary normal

jobs? How? Once hired, how do they perform them? Listeners have

called JOB's annual seminar "riveting" and "exhilarating." Blind

Americans searching for work and other interested persons are

invited to the 1998 National JOB seminar sponsored by the

National Federation of the Blind and the U.S. Department of

Labor. This free national employment seminar will take place

Saturday afternoon, on the 4th of July, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,

in the Hyatt Regency DFW.

     In this year's lively three hours, Lee Kerr of Arizona will

talk about his customer service job for Sears and about training

other blind people to join the staff. Susan Schaffer (MS-CCC), a

totally blind certified speech language pathologist, will talk

about the techniques she used to get through college and to

succeed in her chosen field. We will hear an update from Rami

Rabby on his job as a United States Foreign Service officer. He

is now posted to our embassy in Lima, Peru.

     Do you have a generic liberal arts degree? Veronica Smith is

working as a paralegal at a state agency. She'll describe what

she does and how she was trained on the job. Do you hate the

thought of working indoors in an office or a factory? Last year

the panel of speakers from Nebraska's state agency for the blind

told us about assisting a blind client to become a trucker. This

year Chad Bell himself will tell his story. (No, sorry, he won't

arrive at the Hyatt in his eighteen-wheeler.) These fascinating

and educational real-life tales, along with many more, will fill

the three-hour job seminar.

     Remember, at the end of the seminar the mike is open for any

employment-related announcements. JOB invites employers in the

crowd to give notice of job openings, blind job seekers to give

an oral mini-resume, and agencies with programs for blind job

seekers to entice students by describing their offerings.

     What employment is possible for a blind American? What would

you like to do? Whether you are looking for work or wish to

change jobs, this seminar is for you. On Independence Day come

listen in person. Ask our speakers directly those questions that

you have always wanted to ask.

     Tapes of JOB seminars from previous years are free from

JOB/NFB, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230,

telephone: (800) 638-7518, 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. EDT). Or ask for

the JOB Sample Pack to receive a copy of The JOB Recorded

Bulletin and the JOB Application Form. All JOB services are free.

[PHOTO/CAPTION: Lorraine Rovig, Director of the JOB Program,

looks on as Federationists exchange ideas at a networking


                    JOB Networking Breakfasts

                        by Lorraine Rovig


     Are you a blind person looking for work or an employed blind

person who wishes to share what you know or a professional in the

blindness field looking for new ideas? Every morning of

convention, in the main restaurant of the Hyatt Regency DFW, JOB

invites you to network about employment. Seating takes place from

6:45 to 7:00 a.m. and breakfast is BYOB (Buy Your Own Breakfast).

Please don't interrupt the conversations by being late. The

conversation facilitators listed for each breakfast are experts

in that topic.




     Never been to a full NFB National Convention before? We'll

     help you learn how to take full advantage of our networking

     and meetings. Wayne and Carmen Davis, Florida; Joseph and

     Judy Ruffalo, New Jersey; Jerry & Madeline Moreno, New



Not a breakfast:

     THE 1998 NATIONAL JOB SEMINAR, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

     Independence Day. Join JOB at our annual seminar designed

     specifically for the blind job seeker. Free!



     THE SUNDAY FIRST-TIMERS BREAKFAST (A second chance for first

     timers) Bob Ray, Iowa; Jerry and Madeline Moreno, New




     What problems do you have in your job search? Brain-

     storming is our specialty at the daily generic

     breakfast. Loraine and David Stayer, New York.



     Blind teachers share NFB teaching techniques for using long


     Louisiana Center for the Blind instructors.



     Brad Greenspan, New York.


Not a breakfast:

     NEW JOB IN A NEW PLACE (a JOB Walking Workshop)

     Russell Anderson and Ron Burzese, travel instructors, BLIND,

     Inc. (Details TBA at 1998 National JOB Seminar)




     Wayne and Carmen Davis, Florida.



     Private breakfast room--Ask John Miller, BS&E

     President, how to make your reservation.

     <[email protected]




     David Stayer (MSW), JOB consultant--Medical Fields.




     Mary Donahue, Texas.



     Povinelli and Kay (D.C. law firm) and the NABL.



     Steve Shelton, Oklahoma; Michael and Fatos Floyd, Nebraska;

     Richard Fox, DeWitt and Associates, New Jersey.




     Mrs. tenBroek, California; Bob Ray, Iowa; Susie Stanzel,




     Art for money! Thomas Barretta, Connecticut.



     Colorado Center for the Blind, Service Representative

     Training (SRT) program.



     Steve Shelton, Oklahoma; Michael and Fatos Floyd, Nebraska;

     Richard Fox, DeWitt and Associates, New Jersey.




     Peggy and Curtis Chong, Maryland.


     WRITING FOR MONEY: A JOB Networking Breakfast

     Deborah Kent Stein, Illinois; Elizabeth Campbell, Texas;

     Bryan Bashin, California.




     Special for JOB Field Service Network Volunteers--Miss




     (New--for rangers, farmers, gardeners, sports/athletics

     workers, animal caretakers, window washers, etc.)

     Eric Woods, Shop Teacher, Colorado Center for the Blind,

     Colorado; Chad Bell, Nebraska.




     Whom do you need to find? What do you need to know to help

     you get a job? Ask before convention ends. Miss Rovig, JOB.



     Are you teaching computer access to blind children or

     adults? Do you want to? Colorado Center for the Blind and

     Louisiana Center for the Blind teachers.



     Connie Leblond, Maine; Bob Ray, Iowa.




     By JOB invitation only. A sharing of the best ideas of the

     past year. Lorraine Rovig, Director, JOB.


        Louisiana Center for the Blind Players Production


     The Sky is Blue and Black is the title of this year's

original play, written by Jerry Whittle and performed by the

Louisiana Center for the Blind Players. Performances will be

Monday evening, July 6.


                     The Merchants Division

                        by Charles Allen


     Having conducted a daylong workshop during the recent

Washington Seminar, the Merchants Division plans no seminar

during the National Convention, only the usual division meeting.

However, we will sell flowers for the banquet, tickets for a

$1,000 drawing, and snack packs, and we will give away soft

drinks. We will announce the raffle winner at the banquet.


                           Mock Trial

                        by Scott LaBarre


     For the first time the National Association of Blind Lawyers

will sponsor a mock trial at the 1998 Convention. This trial will

re-enact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be

pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two

positions. At present we believe we will revisit the 1986

Jacobson case, which explored the right of blind people to sit in

emergency exit rows. This case was tried to a jury and won by the

Federation. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their

legal stuff.

     There will be a nominal charge for the trial. All funds will

benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will

take place on Sunday afternoon, July 5, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in

the convention hotel. Consult the convention agenda for the exact

[PHOTO/CAPTION: Lauren Ross of California sings at the 1996

Showcase of Talent.]


                         Music Division

                        by Linda Mentink


     The Music Division will again conduct its Showcase of Talent

at this year's convention. It will take place on Tuesday evening,

July 7. If you would like to participate in the Showcase, here

are the guidelines: 1) Sign up no later than noon, Tuesday. 2)

Perform only one number, taking no more than four minutes to

perform. 3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, be sure that

the tape is cued up properly. Do not sing along with a vocal

artist; you will be stopped immediately. 4) If you need live

accompaniment, make your arrangements before the Showcase begins.

     Children who plan to participate will be invited to perform

first. The Showcase will be limited to two hours, about twenty-

four performers. Come help us enjoy music.

     The Music Division's annual meeting is expected to include

an update on music Braille from a representative of the National

Library Service. Remember that 1998 is an election year. The

current officers are President, Linda Mentink (Wisconsin); First

Vice President, Mary Brunoli (Connecticut); Second Vice

President, Denise Bravell (California); Secretary, Linda Milliner

(California); and Treasurer, Ben Snow (Connecticut). Division

dues are $5 and may be paid any time before the meeting. Ben

Snow's address is 358 Orange Street, Apartment 409, New Haven,

Connecticut 06511.


    National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith

                        by Robert Parrish


     The National Association of the Blind in Communities of

Faith (NABICF) is a new division this year even though we have

been meeting at convention for several years. We will conduct a

seminar this summer at the Hyatt Regency DFW, on Monday, July 6.

The theme is "Being Lights in the World of Religion." This

seminar promises to be the best we have yet had and will include

such speakers as Ehab Yamini, who is a leader in the Islamic

tradition, and Leroy Delafosse, who is the executive director of

Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc. Priscilla Ferris, a member of the

NFB Board of Directors, and Agnes Allen, an active Roman Catholic

lay leader,will share with us what they have done in their home

communities as members of this division. As a result of their

exciting work, others will have opportunities to serve as

division leaders in their state affiliates.

     In addition to all of this, I will make a report of what we

have done as a division during the past year. I believe you will

see that as a new division our progress has been steady and sure.

We are truly on the cutting edge in our religious communities and

have great potential for making significant progress.

     What more could one want from this division? All right, how

about a raffle? During the course of the 1998 convention our

division will be selling raffle tickets for $2 apiece to raise

money for its upkeep and endeavors. The lucky person whose ticket

is drawn at the annual banquet will win $300.

     Everyone is invited to participate in our seminar and

raffle-ticket sale. NABICF hopes to help make the 1998 convention

of the National Federation of the Blind the most rewarding and

exciting convention ever.


             National Association of Blind Educators

                       by Bonnie Peterson


     The National Association of Blind Educators (NABE) is the

largest organization of blind educational professionals in the

country. We will hold our annual meeting on Monday, July 6, from

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as part of the convention of the National

Federation of the Blind.

     Join us as established classroom teachers, college

professors, and educational consultants discuss many exciting

topics. Dr. Floyd Matson, Professor of Communication at the

University of Hawaii and author of Walking Alone and Marching

Together: A History of the Organized Blind Movement in the United

States 1940-1990, will discuss how his life was significantly

influenced by a blind educator, Jacobus tenBroek, the founder and

first President of the National Federation of the Blind, a

college professor, and a prolific writer. We will also hear from

Dr. Fredric K. Schroeder, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation

Services Administration and Past President of NABE.

     Everyone in the field of education, students planning to

enter the profession, and anyone interested in improving personal

skills and sharing techniques and ideas related to education are

welcome. We recognize that we are all both students and teachers

of life and the Federation.


              National Association of Blind Lawyers

                        by Scott LaBarre


     As the hot days of summer draw even closer, activity in the

National Association of Blind Lawyers also begins to heat up.

First, I would like to invite all of you to join us in Dallas to

take part in the largest meeting of blind lawyers and legal

professionals held anywhere in the country. The National

Association of Blind Lawyers will meet Monday, July 6, 1998, from

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency DFW, as part of the

fifty-eighth annual Convention of the National Federation of the


     We will discuss many exciting topics on that afternoon.

Speaking from their expertise, lawyers will give an update on the

current status of laws affecting the blind. We will hear reports

on various advocacy matters in which the Federation has been

involved throughout the last year. We expect that officials from

the American Bar Association and Texas Bar Association will

address the group. Experienced practitioners will offer

strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases. We

expect to hear from a blind judge who was recently appointed to

the Federal Bench. This and much more will take place at our

annual meeting in Dallas.




     As NABL President I am also pleased to announce that we will

be hosting a reception after the NABL meeting for blind lawyers,

law students, and legal professionals. This reception will give

us the opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas.

Blind law students will be able to learn how their predecessors

did it. Practicing professionals will learn new tips from their


     With our regular meeting, the mock trial, and the reception,

the National Association of Blind Lawyers plans to be busy in

Dallas. Make your plans now and join us in big D.


   National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers

                          by Lisa Hall


     The National Association of Blind Secretaries and

Transcribers will meet on Saturday, July 4, at the Hyatt Regency

DFW. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will

begin at 7:00. It should be an interesting meeting with lots of

information for blind secretaries and transcribers who are not

yet on the Internet. I am sure that there will be other topics to

discuss such as customer-service-representative training, Braille

transcription, etc.

     The officers of the National Association of Blind

Secretaries and Transcribers are: Lisa Hall, President; Janet

Triplett, Vice President; Mary Donahue, Secretary; and Carol

Clark, Treasurer.

     Those interested in joining the division may send their

names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and dues of $3

to Lisa Hall, National Association of Blind Secretaries and

Transcribers, 9110 Broadway, Apartment J103, San Antonio,Texas

78217. If you have questions or ideas, call (210) 829-4571 or

send e-mail to [email protected]

     We are also planning to establish a listserv for e-mail

discussion for this division. Perhaps other ideas will come

forward at our meeting as well. If you are a secretary or

transcriber or are thinking about these professions, plan to join



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Melody Lindsey (left), Pam Dubel (right), and

Roland Allen (seated) enjoy Monte Carlo night.]

             National Association of Blind Students

                          by Ana Ugarte


     Sunday night, July 5, the National Association of Blind

Students will conduct its annual meeting and seminar. Consult the

convention agenda for the exact time and place. Wednesday

evening, July 8, our annual Monte Carlo night goes western as a

saloon night. Come and join us for a night of western

entertainment, drawings, and games. If you are a student,

thinking about becoming one, or just looking for a good time with

interesting people, join the members of NABS at our activities

during the convention.


             National Association of Guide Dog Users

                       by Priscilla Ferris


     The National Association of Guide Dog Users will conduct a

seminar for all guide dog users and other interested persons on

Saturday, July 4, at our National Convention in Dallas.

Registration will begin at 12:45 p.m. The registration fee is

$15. If you wish to register ahead of time and avoid the long,

long line, you may send your dues, name and address, and phone

number to our Treasurer, Priscilla Ferris, 140 Wood Street,

Somerset, Massachusetts 02726. Checks should be made payable to

NAGDU. The seminar will begin at 1:30 with welcoming remarks by

our President, Dr. Paul Gabias. We are planning a full agenda.


       National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

                 Time to Sing "Ode to the Code"

                        by Betty Niceley


     The National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

(NAPUB) has something wonderful in store for you. Since you don't

want to miss it, get busy finalizing those plans to be in Dallas

at the most exciting event to take place this summer--the NFB

National Convention. Of course I am not prejudiced when I tell

you that one of the convention's very finest events will take

place on Monday evening, July 6, when Napubbers gather for a

lively meeting to celebrate Braille and then participate in an

evening filled with surprises you will always remember.

     A number of ideas are being combined this year to make NAPUB

night quite special. Come prepared to share information at the

meeting and join the fun afterwards as we enjoy ourselves Texas-

style. See you there.


      National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science

          Java, the Graphical User Interface, and More

                         by Curtis Chong


     If you want to learn about efforts to make Java accessible,

if you want to know what Java is, or if you are simply interested

in Windows and the graphical user interface (GUI), come to the

1998 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer

Science. All of these issues, and others dealing with computer

technology and its use by the blind, will be discussed at the


     Java is a way of distributing intelligent applications over

networks such as the Internet. These applications can run on many

different computers (referred to as platforms in the trade). The

ability to write a single program capable of running on different

computers is called platform independence. It has been a long-

sought-after commodity. The appeal of Java is that, for the first

time, true platform independence may have been achieved. It is

very likely that Java applications will become the standard means

for people both at work and at home to interact with the

computer. Within the next year or so Java probably will be the

next accessibility hurdle for the blind. Fortunately, companies

such as Sun Microsystems and IBM are working on the problem. We

expect to hear from both companies at our meeting. There is talk

of a Java-based screen reader. Some of us have even heard about

WordPerfect written in Java.

     There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft. Many of

the programs we use come from that company. Because we have some

real concerns about the company's efforts to make its software

truly useful to the blind, we are trying to get someone from

senior management to speak at our meeting. It is too early to

tell if our efforts will succeed, but whatever happens, we will

hear from someone at Microsoft.

     Part of the meeting will be devoted to presentations from

vendors of screen-access technology for the blind. The purpose of

these presentations is to help us understand the problems and

successes encountered by the various companies who make the

software we need in order to know what is happening on the

computer screen. The work of these companies is often more

challenging when major players such as Microsoft make significant

changes to operating system and application software. In an ideal

world these changes should not require us to change our screen-

access software. Alas, the world of software and system upgrades

is far from ideal.

     The meeting itself will take place on Monday, July 6, from

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. somewhere in the Hyatt Regency DFW. Check

your convention agenda for room location information.

     Membership in the NFB in Computer Science costs $5 a year.

For information about the meeting and also to renew your

membership in the organization, contact Curtis Chong, President,

National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 1800

Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, Phone (410) 659-9314,

e-mail [email protected]


                    NFB NET Training Seminar

                        by David Andrews


     No matter where you turn today, you constantly hear about

the Internet. This is as true for blind people and our

publications as it is for our sighted colleagues, friends, and

relatives. Seeing the importance of this trend, NFB NET, the

official bulletin board service of the National Federation of the

Blind, has made its resources available on the Internet since

October of 1996.

     It has been possible to Telnet to NFB NET since that time,

and we now have over 1,600 users from around the world. This

means that, if you have access to the Internet using a shell

account or a PPP connection, you can reach NFB NET free from

anywhere in the world. If you don't know what any of this means

or if you just want to learn more about NFB NET and the different

ways to access the service, come to the annual NFB NET training

seminar at the 1998 convention of the National Federation of the

Blind in Dallas, Texas.

     The seminar will be a part of the pre-convention activities

and will be held on Saturday, July 4, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Please check the pre-convention agenda when you arrive in Dallas

to find the location and to double-check the time.

     We will cover the Telnet process, both from Windows 95 and

from DOS. We will demonstrate using a shell account, a DOS client

like Nettamer, and one or more Windows 95-based Telnet clients.

You will learn how to Telnet to NFB NET; log onto the service;

register; read messages and download files, including the Braille

Monitor; and more.

     Please join us on Saturday, July 4, in Dallas for the annual

NFB NET Training Seminar. See you in Dallas.


[PHOTO/CAPTION: Joe Cutter and Hailee Linhart of Washington

demonstrate proper use of the white cane for parents and blind

children attending the 1996 cane walk.]

       National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

                       by Barbara Cheadle


     The theme of the 1998 annual national seminar for parents of

blind children is: "A Chance to Belong." Registration begins at

8:00 a.m., Saturday, July 4. The registration fee is $5 per

person. The general seminar session will run from 9:00 a.m. to

noon. Among the morning presentations will be a discussion of how

to promote self-advocacy among children, a panel of children

talking about the ten courtesy rules for blind kids, and a

special presentation by Dr. Adrienne Asch honoring her father,

who was instrumental in helping her get "A Chance to Belong." We

are hoping to offer a box lunch at a reasonable price so that

those who would like more time to attend concurrent workshops in

the afternoon may do so. The workshops will run from 1:00 p.m. to

4:00 p.m.

     At 4:30 we invite all seminar participants (and others at

the convention) to come back together to enjoy a Cane Parade by

the children in NFB Camp. All kids--sighted and blind--among

other activities that day will decorate canes and conduct a Cane

Parade for parents while their camp counselors give a

presentation about what they did that day to learn about how

blind people do things so that they too have a chance to belong.

     The concurrent workshop topics include the following:

"Giving Blind Kids a Chance to Belong in Sports, Recreation,

Music, and the Arts"; "Keeping Up With the World: Helping Blind

Kids Speed Up and Keep Up"; "Teaching Braille to the Partially

Sighted Student: Rationale and Methodology"; "Technology from a

Kid's Point of View" (a panel of blind children and youth

discussing and demonstrating the technology they use in school);

"Beginning Braille for Parents"; network meetings for parents of

deaf-blind children and for parents of blind, multiply

handicapped children; and a viewing of a new NOPBC video about

the IEP process.

     Instead of a field trip on Saturday, NFB Camp will operate a

special session for children ages four or five through twelve on

the theme, "A Chance to Belong." (Child care will be provided for

younger children and babies.) Children will learn how blind

people can use alternative techniques--such as Braille and cane

travel--so that they can belong just like everyone else. The

children will also have fun and learn through music, crafts,

games, stories, and discussions. The regular NFB Camp fees apply

for this day.

     For teens there will be a special baby-sitting course

conducted by Carla McQuillan emphasizing behavior management

(disciplining children). We also hope to have a segment on sign

language and specific techniques for working with children with

different disabilities. This class will not be a repeat of last

year's, so teens who attended the baby-sitting course last year

are encouraged to attend this one as well. The fee will be $10,

including lunch. Participants must be between the ages of twelve

and eighteen to take the course. Time: registration--10:00 a.m.,

class: 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. From 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. the teens

will have a chance to practice their new skills by assisting in

NFB Camp's cane decorating and Cane Parade.

     Saturday evening as usual the NOPBC will offer a Family

Hospitality Night from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Although we don't

have a menu yet, the food and drinks provided last year were such

a hit that we guarantee food and drinks again this year.

     Also Saturday evening will be our annual Teen Convention

Orientation and Scavenger Hunt from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Youth will

be able to meet other teens and learn the layout of the hotel

through a scavenger hunt, which will include fun prizes and food.

Mildred Rivera of Maryland is chairing this activity.

     Sunday, July 5, we will once again sponsor two one-hour

sessions of a Cane Walk. From 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

to 11:30 a.m. kids and parents can get a hands-on cane lesson

from volunteers in the NFB. Most of the volunteers are blind,

experienced cane users, and many work as professional cane travel

instructors. Teachers are invited to come and participate too.

Joe Cutter and Arlene Hill will once again coordinate this


     Monday, July 6: The big event for kids this day is a field

trip to a dude ranch (see Carla McQuillan's section on child care

for details). While the kids are off playing, parents can enjoy

an afternoon of networking with other parents at the annual

meeting of the NOBPC from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

     Tuesday, July 7: The highly popular IEP Workshop will once

again be conducted from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. This year we encourage

every state affiliate to send a representative to this workshop

to learn about the new IDEA amendments and how they should be

implemented through the IEP process.

     Wednesday, July 8: During the free afternoon parents and

teachers are encouraged to drop into a movement and cane travel

discussion and question-and-answer session conducted between 2:00

and 5:00 p.m. by Joe Cutter. The format is casual, and

participants may drop in any time and leave when they like. Also

on Wednesday afternoon we are putting together a hands-on

workshop on creating tactile materials. More details will be

available later.


            National Organization of the Senior Blind

                        by Christine Hall


     The annual meeting of the National Organization of the

Senior Blind will be held on Monday, July 6, 1998, from 1:00 to

5:00 p.m. Members and interested parties, please note the time of

the meeting has been changed because we are now a division and no

longer a committee. We are planning an interesting and exciting

meeting, and at the time of this writing in late January, we plan

to have an ophthalmologist from the Dallas area speak to us on

aging and vision loss and changes occurring in the provision of

health care services. Please plan to arrive on time so dues of $5

can be collected and names and addresses can be obtained for the

membership list. We look forward to seeing you in Dallas.


                Piano Tuners Division Reorganizes

                         by Don Mitchell


     The Piano Tuners Division of the National Federation of the

Blind will re-organize at the National Convention this summer in

Dallas/Fort Worth. Don Mitchell of the Clark County Chapter in

Washington state has been asked to help re-organize this

division. At our meeting we will consider the purpose of this

division, develop bylaws, elect officers, and set goals for the


     Piano tuning is and has been an excellent career choice for

both blind and sighted men and women. I hope this division can

assist blind piano tuners in finding equality and success in

their chosen field and can share this exciting career opportunity

with other blind men and women.

     Look for the time and place in your convention program. Don

Mitchell, the director of instruction and vice president of the

Emil Fries School of Piano Tuning and Technology, previously

known as the Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center, hopes

to greet both tuners and other interested blind persons at this

organizational meeting.


                     Social Security Seminar

                         by James Gashel


     An outreach seminar (Social Security and Supplemental

Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients

Should Know) will take place on Wednesday afternoon, July 8. The

purpose of this seminar, which will be conducted jointly by the

National Federation of the Blind and the Social Security

Administration, is to provide information on Social Security and

Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. Seminar

presenters will be Jim Gashel, Director of Governmental Affairs

for the National Federation of the Blind, and a representative to

be announced from the Social Security Administration.


                        Writers' Division

                         by Tom Stevens


     Writing is the surest way to give something a degree of

permanence. The spoken word vanishes in a few seconds, and

usually what remains is an idea or a concept.

     However, when we write, we offer our views, our knowledge to

others. The effectiveness of writing can be seen in the millions

of pages which are published each year. One facet of the Writers'

Division is to make useful information available to people who

would like to write.

     In Dallas we plan a workshop for Saturday, July 4, the day

preceding registration and resolutions. The program is not yet

complete but will begin with registration at 1:15 p.m., and the

workshop will conclude by approximately 4:00 p.m. There will be a

question-and-answer session, and books authored by presenters may

be available. The cost of the workshop will be $10.

     We will also conduct the division's annual meeting. In

addition to several presentations on various topics, this fast-

growing meeting will let you meet some of the division's officers

and some of the best of the writers in the National Federation of

the Blind. So gear up. Head your cayuse for Dallas and bring

along a couple of writing instruments so you can take home some

of our information. Division membership for first-timers is $5

and $10 for renewals. Members receive our quarterly magazine,

Slate and Style, on tape, in large print, or in Braille.

Questions may be directed to Tom Stevens at (573) 445-6091.



                       Arthur Cushen Dies

                        by Timothy Hendel


     From the Editor: Tim Hendel is a member of the Huntsville

chapter of the NFB of Alabama. Since he was a student at the New

York State School for the Blind in Batavia, he has been

interested in travel, languages, and short-wave radio. That is

how he first became acquainted with Arthur Cushen and his story.

This is what he says:


     A large group of sighted people would tell you that the only

blind person they know is Arthur Cushen. These people share the

hobby of tuning around on their short-wave radios to pick up

unusual stations. Hard-to-get stations are often referred to as

"DX," and people who have this hobby are called "DX-ers." Arthur

Cushen was called "the world's only professional DX-er." On

September 20, 1997, he died in Invercargill, New Zealand.

     Arthur Thomas Cushen was born on January 24, 1920, in

Invercargill. This community is at the extreme southern tip of

the South Island of New Zealand. It is about as far as you can

get from most European and North American cities.

     As a young boy Arthur is said to have suffered from poor

eyesight. I do not know if he would have been classified as

visually impaired in modern parlance. It is true that while in

school Arthur did not receive any special educational training.

During the 1930's his sight became much worse. He lost all vision

in the early 1950's. Somewhere along the way Arthur learned


     On Christmas morning, 1932, Arthur got up at 3:00 a.m. with

his father and the rest of his family. They tuned their battery-

powered radio to the BBC on short-wave to hear the Christmas

address of King George VI, from far-away England. A couple of

years later as a teen-ager Arthur picked up Suva, Fiji Islands,

on his radio. By that time he was bitten by the bug and saved his

money to buy better radios. He probably climbed around in his

yard, putting up better antennas. Many of us have tuned around on

our radios to see what we could pick up, but from his earliest

explorations Arthur kept careful and detailed records of what he


     All of this might have remained little more than a pastime

for a young man in a very isolated community, if it had not been

for World War II. During that war most men of military age in New

Zealand, as well as in other English-speaking countries, were

called away to fight the Germans and Japanese. It was the nature

of that war that many of these fighters were taken prisoner.

     In the early 1940's, Germans, Japanese, and Allies were all

beginning to learn about international radio and trying to use it

for their own propaganda ends. The Japanese were fond of sending

out nightly broadcasts in English, touting their victories. These

broadcasts went out from what was then called Radio Tokyo, but

also from Manila, Singapore, and Batavia (now Jakarta,

Indonesia). To give their broadcasts more realism, they often

read out the names and addresses of prisoners of war whom they

were holding. Perhaps the Japanese felt that these details would

increase the believability of their programs. They surely never

knew that they were providing great comfort to the families of

those prisoners.

     Sitting almost at the bottom of the world, listening to his

radio, was Arthur Cushen. He had been rejected for military

service due to his vision. Arthur, together with his wife Ralda,

copied down the names and addresses of the soldiers and civilians

as they were broadcast from Tokyo, Singapore, and Batavia.

(Arthur says that those were the strongest stations and had the

greatest number of prisoners, but that he also monitored

Shanghai, Chungking, and many other smaller stations.) Then

Arthur would try to track down the families and tell them that he

had heard news of a relative on the radio. True, the man might be

a prisoner, but at least families got word that their loved one

was alive.

     To understand how Arthur did his work during World War II,

we should bear in mind that there was no Internet, no cassette

recorder, no word processor. I cannot even find any mention of

his having had a typewriter. He dictated his messages to his wife

and other helpers, who would often go to the local telegraph

office and send telegrams or write letters to the families. Even

long-distance telephoning seems to have been limited, perhaps

because Arthur could not afford it. After the war letters of

thanks poured into Arthur's home. In 1970 Queen Elizabeth awarded

Arthur the MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his service

during the war.

     During the Vietnam War Arthur monitored the Voice of Vietnam

(Radio Hanoi) and contacted many U.S. families whose loved ones

had spoken over that station. By this time the actual voices of

the prisoners were broadcast, and tape recorders were common, so

Arthur was often able to provide recordings to the families.

     In 1953 Queen Elizabeth made a trip to New Zealand. She made

it known that she wanted to spend at least one night alone in her

hotel room. She also requested a radio and asked that someone

provide her with a list of frequencies on which she could hear

the BBC. Arthur Cushen was called upon to do this and has kept

the special souvenir card on which he listed the frequencies for

Her Majesty. Another scoop came to Arthur on November 23 (New

Zealand time) 1963. After President Kennedy was shot, Arthur

monitored many U.S. AM broadcast band stations and relayed the

news he heard to the local New Zealand stations. In that era

before satellite coverage, they would not have had so much news

if it had not been for Arthur.

     In February, 1942, Arthur was contacted by the BBC in

London, who had heard of his radio work. They wanted someone in

New Zealand to check on reception of their programs and send them

a cable each week, telling them how the station was doing. After

the war Voice of America, Radio Canada, Radio Netherlands, Radio

Sweden, and many other stations made similar arrangements with


     Between 1952 and 1954 Arthur had several eye operations. He

hoped that they would restore his sight. Instead, he lost most of

the vision which he had. At that time he felt that he could not

continue the work he was doing and needed to find another source

of income. He asked the stations for which he had already been

doing monitoring if he could be taken on their payroll as a

regular staff member. This is how it came to pass that Arthur

Cushen became the world's only professional DX-er.

     In addition to his work for the large broadcast stations,

Arthur wrote many articles talking about radio. Some of these

were published in radio hobby magazines, others in newspapers in

New Zealand. Arthur wanted as many people as possible to discover

the magic of tuning their radios to far-away stations. He also

wanted people to know that they could do this with whatever radio

they had on hand, instead of going out and spending lots of hard-

earned cash for a special receiver. Victor Goonetilleke of Sri

Lanka said, during a tribute to Arthur by Radio Netherlands,

"Arthur always put in stuff that was easy to pick up, as well as

the rare, hard-to-find stuff. He was a great encouragement to

those of us who were starting out, especially us who lived in

Asia. No one else was talking about stations that we could hear."

     Glenn Hauser of the well-known short-wave program "World of

Radio," said, "Arthur is the only person who was active in the

hobby when I started in 1957 and is still heard."

     I was a boy at the New York State School for the Blind when

I first heard Arthur giving reports over Radio Netherlands,

talking about stations he had heard. It is hard to describe the

thrill I felt when, as a teen-ager living in what I thought to be

boring Upstate New York, I heard Arthur talking about picking up

Fiji, Tonga, or New Guinea. It certainly whetted my appetite for

travel, languages, and radio--interests which I still have.

     In the early 1970's I lived in Hawaii, and I had the thrill

of exchanging tapes with Arthur. He wanted to know how well Radio

New Zealand was received in Honolulu. I was able to fulfill his

request. In 1986 I met Arthur at a short-wave convention in

Montreal. It was wonderful to see everybody, blind and sighted,

clustered around Arthur as he told stories of World War II and

radio in the exotic islands of the Pacific.

     Arthur wrote two books. The World in My Ears is a

combination autobiography and beginning guide for those who want

to know about short-wave radio. NLS has recorded it as RC15856.

Another book, Arthur Cushen's Radio Listening Guide, has not been


     Most of the tributes to Arthur have focused on his radio

activities. In passing they have mentioned that he "did a lot for

the blind of New Zealand," but I have been able to obtain very

little information about this facet of his life. Apparently he

helped found the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind.

During the early 1960's he and his wife Ralda began some kind of

simple newspaper-reading service for the blind. Ralda would read

articles on tape. These tapes were placed on an answering

machine, where people could call in and hear them. Today most of

New Zealand, as well as Australia, is served by radio reading

services which operate on open channel, usually on the AM

broadcast band.

     In the tributes which many short-wave stations broadcast

about Arthur, his wife Ralda was always mentioned. It was said

that Ralda was "his eyes" and his greatest help. It is certain

that Arthur and Ralda worked a great deal together, but I do not

know how much of this reflects some sighted people's ideas about

what we can and cannot do without sighted help and how much

reflects the actual way this couple chose to work together. A

careful reading of his book reveals some gentle chiding of

certain sighted people who, he felt, were trying to take over the

running of some organizations in New Zealand, putting into place

what they thought was "necessary for the blind," rather than

consulting with blind consumers.

     It is true that Arthur grew up in a time and place when the

special tools we take for granted were not available. I have no

evidence that he used talking computers and other modern devices.

I do know that he used Braille during his broadcasts. I used to

fancy sometimes that I heard him rattling his Braille paper,

though I don't know if this was true.

     Arthur's family has requested that any contributions in his

memory be sent to the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind,

172 Queens Drive, Invercargill, New Zealand.

     Tributes and condolences to Ralda Cushen may be sent to

Ralda Cushen, 212 Earn Street, Invercargill, New Zealand.

     Condolences and recollections of Arthur may be e-mailed to

[email protected]

     Radio New Zealand ended its tribute to Arthur Cushen with a

beautiful Maori sacred song. A very well-known blind person has

passed from among us.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Doris Willoughby]

                  Toward More Peaceful Meetings

                     by Doris M. Willoughby


     From the Editor: Doris Willoughby is an experienced teacher

and expert on the education of blind children. Here are her ideas

about what chapters can do to make children welcome at meetings

without causing disruption:


     We want young families to join the Federation and take part

fully. We also want children to grow up in the Federation family.

But at local chapter meetings shall we (a) let young children run

around noisily, (b) spend money on child care (individually or as

a group), or (c) require some member to pay attention to the

children instead of the agenda?

     Here's an idea that costs little or nothing and helps a

great deal. Assemble a collection of toys in a distinctive tote

bag or box. Bring them to each meeting, or leave them at the

meeting place if that is practical. Children can enjoy them with

little or no supervision in or near the meeting room while the

meeting is in progress.

     If you invite donations of toys, it may not be necessary to

spend any money. If things are bought, a few dollars can be

sufficient. It is best not to include noisy toys, balls, crayons

or markers, or anything requiring close supervision.

     Here are a few examples of what to include: stuffed animals,

books, puzzles, dolls and doll clothes, construction sets, toy

animals, blocks, and pop-it beads.



                 Dialysis at National Convention

                          by Ed Bryant


     From the Editor: Ed Bryant is President of the Diabetes

Action Network, a division of the National Federation of the

Blind. This is what he says about dialysis during the national



     Dialysis will be available during this year's annual

convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Dallas,

Texas, Saturday, July 4, through Friday, July 10. Those requiring

dialysis must have a transient patient packet and physician's

statement filled out prior to treatment. Conventioneers should

have their unit contact the desired location in the Dallas area

for instructions.

     Individuals will be responsible for, and must pay out of

pocket prior to each treatment, the approximately $30 not covered

by Medicare, plus any additional physicians' fees and any charges

for Erythropoietin (EPO) or Calcijex.

     Dialysis centers should set up transient dialysis locations

at least three months in advance. This helps assure a location

for anyone wanting to dialyze. There are only a few centers close

to the Hyatt Regency DFW on the grounds of the Dallas-Fort Worth

Airport, so an early reservation is essential.

     Here are some dialysis locations:


Irving Dialysis Center, 720 Plymouth Park, Irving, Texas 75061,

telephone: (972) 258-0880. Note: This Center moved to this

location February 1. This address is correct; the new phone

listing was unavailable at press time. Calls will be transferred

for several weeks; but you may need to call information. This is

the closest facility to the airport--about ten minutes by taxi

from the convention hotel.


Hurst-Euless Bedford (HEB) Dialysis, 1401 Brown Trail Road, Suite

A, Bedford, Texas 76022, telephone: (817) 282-8870. Depending on

traffic, fifteen to thirty minutes from the convention hotel.


Ameri-Tech Kidney Center, 1600 Central Drive, Bedford, Texas

76022, telephone: (817) 540-6084. Approximately the same distance

as HEB.


South Arlington Dialysis Center (BMA), 3295 South Cooper, Suite

137 (Cooper and Mayfield), Arlington, Texas 76015, telephone:

(817) 465-8586. Furthest from the convention hotel, this center

is perhaps thirty minutes away.


     Please remember to schedule dialysis treatments early. If

scheduling assistance is needed, contact Diabetes Action Network

President Ed Bryant at (573) 875-8911. See you in Dallas.





     This month's recipes are contributed by members of the Human

Services Division.


[PHOTO/CAPTION: Doug Elliott]

                       Midwestern Burritos

                         by Doug Elliott


     Doug Elliott is the President of the Human Services

Division. Invented by Doug and his son as their idea of the

Midwestern taste while they were living in Reno, Nevada, this is

a long-standing family favorite.



1 pound lean hamburger

2 medium cans of hot chili beans

1 green pepper

1 package powdered taco sauce

1 small onion or frozen onion chips

3 ribs celery

1/2 pound cheddar or jalapeno cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon powdered garlic

package of 8 to 10 large flour tortillas


     Method: Break up hamburger meat into frying pan. Add chopped

green pepper, chopped onion or onion chips, chopped ribs of

celery, and one tablespoon olive oil. Stir-fry at medium high

heat until hamburger is browned. Reduce heat to medium and stir 2

cans of chili into mixture. Mix taco powder and powdered garlic

with one quarter cup water and stir into mixture. Simmer on

medium for fifteen minutes. Then reduce to low. Slice cheese and

place on top of mixture. Cover and simmer for an additional

fifteen to twenty minutes. Stir mixture and then serve on flour

tortillas. Roll meat mixture in two tortillas for each serving

and enjoy. Some add sour cream, chopped onions, and chopped

tomatoes to taste. Probably serves eight normal appetites.



                         Beef Bourginon

                         by Doug Elliott



2 pounds stew meat, cubed

1 bottle burgundy wine

1 can or bag of pearl onions

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon powdered garlic

1 small can sliced black olives

1 package wide egg noodles

1 can button mushrooms, optional


     Method: Place stew meat in frying pan with garlic, olive

oil, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir fry ingredients

until meat is browned. Add 1/4 cup water to mixture, cover, and

simmer for about thirty minutes. Remove frying pan from stove and

pour ingredients into cast iron or stainless steel stewing pot.

Add wine, onions, olives, and mushrooms. Cover and simmer mixture

on low for about two hours. Check stew meat for tenderness. When

meat is tender, boil wide egg noodles according to package

directions and drain well. Serve mixture on bed of noodles on

individual plates or in casserole dish. If you like to drink

Merlot wine with dinner, it goes well with this dish. The recipe

probably serves eight normal appetites.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Ever Lee Hairston]

                      Apple Pie Substitute

                      by Ever Lee Hairston


     Ever Lee Hairston is an experienced human services

professional and a long-time member of the Human Services

Division. She serves as First Vice President of the NFB of New




6 large apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick margarine

1/2 cup chopped nuts


     Method: Slice apples and set aside. In small mixing bowl mix

sugars, softened butter, and nuts until mixture forms crumbs.

Place apples in a 9-inch casserole dish. Pour lemon juice over

apples. Spread sugar mixture over the apples. Cook in 350-degree

oven for thirty minutes.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Julie Deden]

                         French Pancakes

                         by Julie Deden


     Julie Deden is the Director of Program Development for the

Colorado Center for the Blind. She also serves as Treasurer of

the Human Services Division.



1 cup milk

1/4 cup margarine

3 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


     Method: Bring milk and margarine to a boil. Remove from

heat, add rest of ingredients, and beat well. Heat griddle for

pancakes. Melt a little margarine on surface, pour batter onto

griddle using a small measuring cup, and cook pancakes about one

minute on each side.



                    Chicken Burritos Supreme

                         by Julie Deden



4 cups cooked diced chicken

2 small cans diced green chilies

1 cup sour cream

2 cans black beans

juice from one lemon

garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and other spices to


12 tortillas

3 cups grated cheese

lettuce, tomato, avocado, and anything else that sounds good


     Method: Mix first six ingredients together. Place small

amount of mixture on a tortilla. Roll tortilla and place, seam

side down, in baking dish. Repeat this step with other eleven

tortillas and all of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top

of rolled tortillas. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.

Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and anything else you

like on the side.



[PHOTO/CAPTION: Chris McKenzie]

                           Hot Crumble

                        by Chris McKenzie


     Chris McKenzie is President of the NFB of Arkansas and an

active member of the Human Services Division.



1/2 onion, minced

2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

1 1/2 tablespoons reduced calorie tub margarine

1 pound ground chuck, browned

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons beef granules

1 level teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 cup water



     Method: Melt margarine in non-stick skillet. Brown onions

until soft (add 2 tablespoons water to finish softening if

necessary); add garlic during the last minute or two. In a bowl

combine tomato sauce, water, beef granules, cumin, and red

pepper. Add onion and garlic mixture. Add meat and rice. Cook,

stirring frequently, until much of the moisture has been absorbed

or evaporated. Makes approximately four servings.



                       Coconut Pound Cake

                        by Chris McKenzie



1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup oil

4 eggs

1 box butter recipe cake mix

1 cup sour cream

1 small package frozen coconut


     Method: Cream together sugar and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a

time. Add cake mix and sour cream to the mixture and mix well;

fold in frozen coconut. Bake one hour at 350 degrees in greased

and floured bundt or tube pan. Cake is done when a toothpick

inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake to cooling

rack and cool a few minutes before loosening sides and removing

from the pan. Allow cake to cool completely before storing.



                           Yeast Rolls

                       by Chris McKenzie 



2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

6 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon salt

5 1/2 cups flour


     Method: Mix ingredients together in order listed. Allow

dough to rise covered in warm place until doubled in bulk, about

an hour; punch down. At this point rolls may be refrigerated in a

covered bowl for several days. When you are ready to bake the

rolls, grease muffin tin wells with oil. Pinch off dough into

small pieces (about the size of a small pecan) and place two or

three pieces smoothed into balls in each well. For golden color

brush tops of rolls with melted butter. Cover pans with a towel

and allow rolls to rise in a warm place for two hours or until

they are popping out of the wells. Remove towel and bake at 400

degrees for twelve minutes. Remove from pans immediately to

prevent rolls from becoming soggy or overcooked.



                       Monitor Miniatures


Braille for China Again:

     We carried a notice in the February, 1998, issue which

invited readers to consider donating complete Braille materials

in good condition for use by blind people in China who are

studying English. Larry Campbell, who asked us to post that

request, reports that the response has been gratifying. He has

also had some questions. He wishes to clarify several matters.

First, the materials should be shipped directly to China, not to

Larry. Materials may be mailed "free matter for the blind" using

the same U.S. Postal specifications that you would use in mailing

such materials here. Materials for overseas shipment should be

placed in strong, compact cardboard boxes and should not exceed

twelve pounds. Seal boxes with strong, clear tape. Boxes should

be labelled as follows:

1. In the upper left corner place a small label with the sender's

return address.

2. In the upper right corner, where postage is normally attached,


3. In the center, using a larger label than the return-address

label, print the full address of the China Braille Press.
4. At the bottom center write "By sea mail."

     Larry tells us that the most welcome materials are novels,

current-event and other popular-interest magazines such as

Reader's Digest, National Geographic, etc., and basic books and

periodicals on access technology. Several groups are already

providing Bibles and other religious materials, so general

literature is what is needed.

     Materials should be mailed directly to:

Foreign Language Department

China Braille Press

39 Chengnei Street


Beijing, China 100072


In Memoriam:

     Thelda Borisch, a member of the National Federation of the

Blind of Missouri, recently wrote to report that on Thursday,

November 6, 1997, a long-time Federationist, Rhoda Dower, lost

her fight against cancer. She was a charter member of the St.

Louis Chapter. She lived a year and seven months after the death

of her husband John Dower, who was also a charter member of the

Missouri affiliate. John and Rhoda provided a lot of support and

understanding to Federationists. I met them about fifteen years

ago. They taught me much about the National Federation of the

Blind. Many people will miss Rhoda.


Cook Books and Patterns Wanted:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Since I can no longer read Braille, I am interested in

hearing from anyone who has cook books and knitting patterns on

audio tape. Please contact Rose Dalley, 1 Hubbard Street,

Montpelier, Vermont 05602, or call (802) 223-1673.


Instructional Music Tapes Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Tapes on piano teaching, theory, and transcription and

accompaniment tapes for instrumental and voice with individual

attention are available. Dictated audio cassette tapes of many

types (mostly keyboard) of music (classical, pops, show tunes,

hymns, or old favorites; beginners to advanced) can be ordered by

contacting Jeanine Linster, 409 30-1/4 Road, Grand Junction,

Colorado 81504, (970) 434-8639. No Braille please.


Convention Lunch Link:

     Would you like to meet someone new at the NFB Convention in

Dallas? Maybe you are looking for a friendship or a bit of

romance. What better way to get acquainted than over lunch? The

NFB of Maryland can help you link up with that special someone.

We'll leave lunch to you.

     Don't miss out on the fun. Join the Lunch Link today. Here's

how it works. You answer a series of questions about yourself and

the type of person you are looking for. The questionnaire is

available in large print and Braille. It is quick and easy to do.

Then we put your information into our computer, which will find

the best match. We will share your name and state affiliate with

that person and vice versa. Your name may be shared with up to

three additional people. The service is confidential.

     Why stand in long lines in Dallas to get your questionnaire?

Request one today by contacting Lynn Mattioli, 817 Park Avenue,

Apartment 7, Baltimore, Maryland 21210, or call (410) 625-0076.

Be sure to tell us which format you prefer (large print or

Braille). Once you have circled your answers, return it to the

above address with your payment of $5 per submission. (Make

checks payable to the NFB of Maryland.)

     You can also get a questionnaire at our table in the Exhibit

Hall on Sunday, July 5, and Monday, July 6. The deadline for

joining the Lunch Link is 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Monday night the

computer will do its magic. You must return to the Exhibit Hall

on Tuesday, July 7, to pick up the name of your match (which will

be in a sealed envelope). We will only give you this information

in person.

     Don't miss out on your link. Join the Lunch Link today. You

have nothing to lose but the problem of wondering whom you will

be dining with in Dallas.


Wall Gardens:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Now everyone can grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers with a

space-saving new gardening technology, the Living Wallgarden.

This containerized system substitutes an artificial growing

medium for soil, allowing both novice and experienced gardeners

to garden with ease and independence without the need for soil

preparation or weeding. The Living Wallgarden comes in various

sizes, can be used indoors or outside, and occupies a fraction of

the space of traditional growing systems. The containers come

complete with growing medium, fertilizer, and easy-to-follow

instructions. All you supply are the plants. Everyone with an

interest in gardening is invited to visit the Living Wallgarden

Web site at

where you can learn about this new gardening resource.

You can also contact Harv Robinson, Living Wallgarden Company,

9727 Williams Road, Diamond, Ohio 44412, (330) 654-9507.


Vintage Radio Programs:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Audio Treasures produces cassette tapes of great old radio

programs such as "Jack Benny," "The Shadow," "Suspense,"

"Gunsmoke," "Lone Ranger," "X Minus One," "Lux Radio Theatre,"

famous news and sports broadcasts, plus other old favorites. To

order a free catalog call toll free, (888) 723-4642. For more

information or to place an order, contact Michael Yale, Audio

Treasures, 27 Cann Street, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada P1H 1K7.


Help Needed in Bangladesh:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Used books; magazines; journals; and materials and equipment

such as Perkins Braillers, cassette recorders, Talking-Book

player/recorders, talking watches and calculators, white canes,

spectacles, frames, or any other used materials for the disabled

are requested by the FIMA Institute for Disabled Society (FIDS).

FIDS is a voluntary organization serving the blind, deaf-blind,

partially-sighted, and physically handicapped. Send your donation

to FIMA Institute for Disabled Society, 12, E 5/6, P.O. Box-8104,

Mirpur, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh. If you donate money, send by

postal money order and inform FIDS of the money order number and

sending date.


Fund-raising Idea:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The Chocolate Experience, Inc., which manufactures chocolate

Braille greeting cards, has recently done a Brailled Easter bunny

and Brailled chocolate heart. These items make great fund-

raisers. For more information on products contact Judy Geva at

(800) 669-6665. In New York only, call (718) 461-1873. Our e-mail

address is

[email protected]


Fast Track for Tenor from Tuscany:

     NFB of Michigan member Sunny Emerson passes along the

following notice she found in The Independent, United Kingdom,

May 19, 1997, about an Italian tenor with truly Federation ideas

and, according to her, a spectacular voice. Here it is:

     Andrea Bocelli, the blind Tuscan tenor, was a complete

unknown until recently. Since being discovered by Luciano

Pavarotti in 1992, Bocelli, thirty-eight, has taken master

classes with the maestro. He has sung for the Pope and with

Pavarotti, Bryan Adams, and Bryan Ferry. He was born with a

visual defect, and at the age of twelve he lost his sight

completely after an accident playing football. Bocelli is adamant

that for him his blindness was in no way a tragedy. "The tragedy

is that people continue to make a fuss out of something which

they consider tragic, not I." He is scheduled to appear on the

Rosie O'Donnell Show on March 31. Available CD's are Romanza and

Viaggio Italiano.


Letter from Liverpool:

     We recently received the following letter from a reader in

Liverpool. Perhaps someone can help. Here it is:

     I have enjoyed reading the Monitor in Braille sent to me by

a friend in the Irish Republic. I would like to read the journal

on a regular basis. I would be happy to swap journals in Braille

with any American Federationist. I am totally blind and work in

the tourist industry guiding visitors (many from the U.S.) around

public buildings in my city. I was fascinated by the description

of your July convention, and the journal is full of information.

Those interested in swapping journals should contact Stephen

Binns, 7 Trispen Road, Liverpool, L116ND, United Kingdom.


[PHOTO/CAPTION: Dr. Betsy Zaborowski]


     It was recently announced that Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, a long-

time leader in the NFB's Human Services Division and now a member

of the staff at the National Center for the Blind, has been

selected as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for 1998. The

reception will take place at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

on March 25, 1998 at 5:00 p.m. The honor comes as recognition of

her many professional and civic accomplishments. The award

program is sponsored by the Daily Record, Baltimore's most

influential business publication.



     The St. Louis Chapter of the NFB of Missouri recently

elected the following new officers: Kerry Smith, President; John

Ford, Vice President; Susan Ford, Secretary; Delores Watson,

Treasurer; Rhonda Dycus, Corresponding Secretary; and Thelda

Borisch, Board Member-at-Large.


Perkins Brailler Repairs Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The Selective Doctor, Inc., is a repair service for all IBM

typewriters and Perkins Braille Writers. Located in Baltimore,

the service has done work for the Maryland School for the Blind

and a number of other organizations in Maryland. They accept

Perkins Braillers sent to them from around the country. They

advertise top quality service at yesterday's prices. They also

request a phone call before shipment of Braillers and ask that

equipment be insured in the mail. For more information contact

the Selective Doctor, Inc., P.O. Box 28432, Baltimore, Maryland

21234, or call (410) 668-1143.


Soundman Now Available:

     President Maurer writes: The National Federation of the

Blind is now distributing the Soundman, a tape recorder with

AM/FM radio, television bands, and The Weather Channel. The

Soundman sells for $165. It is also available from the Myna

Corporation, 239 Western Avenue, Building A2I, Essex,

Massachusetts, 01929-1102, or telephone 508-768-9000.

     I like to keep a tape recorder in my bedroom. For some time

now I have been looking for a television receiver that I could

also keep there. However, I didn't want several machines. I was

hoping to find a single unit that would give me both a tape

recorder and the audio bands of a television. I hoped that I

would be able not only to listen to library books and other

recordings, but to record some of the material broadcast on

television and radio. Consequently, when the Soundman became

available, I decided to try it. As I said earlier, the Soundman

also brought me the Weather Channel, a part of broadcasting that

I had missed.

     One evening, as I was scanning the dial with the Soundman, I

came upon a familiar voice. It did not sound like a public

broadcast. Rather it seemed much more like a private phone call.

As I listened, it became clear to me that I was hearing a

telephone conversation between my thirteen-year-old son David

Maurer and a girl. I invited David to step around to my room.

When he arrived, I asked him if he was on the phone, and he said

that he was using the portable. I invited him to say something

into the phone, and his voice came out of the radio. The Soundman

was picking up the broadcast from our portable phone. David and I

were both astonished.

     I have used the Soundman myself for several weeks now. It is

about a foot long, about eight inches high, and about three

inches thick. It can be operated on house current or on

batteries. I prefer to operate it on batteries, because I can

carry it with me wherever I am in the house or, for that matter,

anywhere else.

     I don't know whether the Soundman will pick up your

children's conversations or not. But I do think it is a good

machine and that you should know about it.


Cassette Religious Magazine Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The Circle of Love is a monthly Christian ninety-minute tape

magazine, which features songs, poetry, Bible games, testimonies,

helpful information, Scripture memorization, pen pals, and many

other features. Yearly subscriptions are $20 to keep the magazine

and $15 to receive it on a read-and-return basis. For a free

sample, write Circle of Love, 1002 Johnson Street, Pasadena,

Texas 77506-4618, or call toll-free (800) 555-9205, enter mailbox

5384, and press the star key. Be sure to speak clearly and spell

any unusual street and city names.


Audio Business Digest Service:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Newstrack Executive Tape Service is the Listener's Digest of

business information. For over seventeen years executives,

business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and other

professionals have listened to this business tool. In every issue

Newstrack editors review over 100 top business publications and

special sources. They select the best sixteen articles on

management, sales, marketing, finance, business strategy, and

much more. Since no one has the time to read every important

business article, Newstrack is a time-saving source in this age

of information overload.

     Newstrack is available on both audio tape and CD. You have a

choice of two versions: the small business issue is produced once

a month at a cost of $149 per year on audio cassette; the regular

full subscription is produced twice a month and costs $299 per

year on cassette. We also offer the transcripts of each article

available by e-mail, on 3.5-inch disk, or in hard copy.

     To order call toll-free (800) 334-5771. Mention this notice

and receive a 15 percent discount off the regular subscription

price. Our subscriptions come with a money-back guarantee. If you

are dissatisfied at any time for any reason, just call and we'll

promptly refund the unused portion of your subscription. So start

letting us at Newstrack do your business reading for you today.


Jerry Watkins Dies:

     Jeriel R. Watkins, superintendent of the New Mexico School

for the Blind from 1973 until his retirement in 1996, died

Tuesday, February 10, 1998. He had suffered a brain aneurism two

days earlier. Watkins was one of the defendants in a lawsuit

brought by fifteen former students who maintained that they had

been abused in various ways while students at the New Mexico

School for the Visually Impaired. (See the October, 1996, issue

of the Braille Monitor.) The case was recently settled.



     The Austin Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind

of Texas elected the following officers at its January, 1998,

meeting: Zena Pearcy, President; Mary Ward, First Vice President;

Wanda Hamm, Second Vice President; Norma Gonzales Baker,

Secretary; and Margaret Craig, Treasurer. The new Board Members

are Mike Waddles and Jim Portillo.


OSB Alumni Reunion:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The Oklahoma School for the Blind alumni reunion will be

held May 8, 9, and 10, 1998. A newsletter with registration form

was sent out the last week in February. If you are an alum and

have moved or are not on the mailing list, please send your name

and address to Carolyn Patocka, Oklahoma School for the Blind,

3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74403, (918) 682-6641,

fax: (918) 682-1651, e-mail: [email protected]


Braille Teaching Aid:

     We recently learned about a Braille instructional tool that

could be helpful in teaching Braille to children:

     Produced by Dancing Dots, Tack-tiles are small rectangular

blocks which show Braille symbols as large raised dots and also

show the corresponding print symbol for that Braille character.

The blocks snap on to a board much like Lego toys. There are sets

for English, Spanish, math, and music Braille. Each set contains

320 Tack-tiles, three large boards, and four smaller boards for

students. Each set costs $269 plus shipping.


More from the Braille through Remote Learning Project:

     The following notice was recently passed along to us.

Braille Monitor readers will remember that Robert Gotwals, who

originally sent the note, has been working to develop an Internet

course to teach Braille to students and would-be instructors.

This is what he says about a new project:

     As a part of the Braille through Remote Learning (BRL)

Project, the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., will be providing

some basic instruction in music Braille on the Web. We expect

this course, "Specialized Codes," to be available free of charge

by early summer. The course will also include Nemeth code,

computer Braille codes, etc. This course is the third in a series

of novice-to-expert Braille courses being offered over the Net.

     As the course instructor and Braillist, I have a special

interest in music. I am very active in choral music; play the

cello, guitar, and hammered dulcimer; and am currently taking

piano lessons and a music theory course at Duke. Therefore I am

extremely excited about the Specialized Codes course. I'm also a

computational chemist in my real job and am thus eager to develop

and offer the instruction in Braille mathematics and other

technical codes.

     For more information visit

We welcome kids and especially parents of blind kids who need any

type of Braille instruction.


Writing Guides Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Sturdy black pocket check-writing guides are now available

with spaces for date, payee, numeric and written amount, plus

signature and memo fields. Standard-size checks are held in place

for easy writing, and the guides are durable. Cost is $4 each.

     Also available are sturdy black credit-card-size signature

guides that fit either on a key chain or in your wallet. The

template matches the signature line on a standard-size check. The

guide is also convenient for signing credit card slips in a store

check-out line. Cost is $1.50 each. If both items are purchased,

the cost is $5.

     Send your order with a check or money order plus a self-

addressed stamped envelope to the Rev. George Gray, 1002 Johnson

Street, Pasadena, Texas 77506-4618.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Type 'n Speak for sale, less than one year old, used only

two or three times, includes manual and cables, asking $1,200 or

best offer. Contact Ruth King at 112 North Lakewood Avenue,

Baltimore, Maryland, 21224, or (410) 732-5331.


Catalog of Braille Books Available:

     The Louis Braille Center's 1998 catalog of Braille books

features eighteen new titles, including My Life for the Poor by

Mother Teresa, $18; You Come Too, poems by Robert Frost, $12; and

The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, $18. For a free

catalog in Braille or print, contact Louis Braille Center, 320

Dayton Street, Suite 125, Edmonds, Washington 98020-3590, phone:

(425) 776-4042, fax: (425) 778-2384, or e-mail:

[email protected]


Religious Materials Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Outreach with the Blind and Deaf/Blind offers Bibles and

other materials in Braille as well as a lending library. To find

out about their services, contact Floyd Rhoads, Outreach with the

Blind and Deaf/Blind, Deaf/Blind Evangelism, 4143 Edmondson,

Indianapolis, Indiana 46226-5016 or call (317) 549-3433.


New Braille Music Notation Software Available:

     Connie Leblond, President of the National Federation of the

Blind of Maine, has asked us to carry the following announcement:

     Perspectives, total accessibility specialist, is pleased to

announce the distribution of Concerto-Braille. This software

enables blind and visually impaired users to transcribe Braille

music. Features include the production of unlimited Braille

pages; free updates; free Lime notator; and current NIFF

compatibility: MIDI Scan, Lime, and Encore 5.0. It transcribes

melodic lines, lyrics, and piano accompaniment.

     For more information on Perspectives' products and services,

visit our Web site at:

or telephone (207) 772-7305 to request a product and service

guide on computer diskette, in print, or in Braille.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     I have a Kurzweil Personal Reader model 35 for sale. It has

manuals in Braille, on computer disk, and on cassette. It also

has a SCSI card and cables. It is in good condition. Asking

$2,500 or best offer. Contact Brenda Pride at (850) 455-3994.



     We recently received notice from the Greater Seattle Chapter

of the NFB of Washington that its new officers are Noel

Nightingale, President; Rita Szantay, First Vice President; Mark

Noble, Second Vice President; Renee West, Secretary; Gary Deeter,

Treasurer; and Bennett Prows and Stephanie Yates, Board Members.


Ann Morris Enterprises 1998 Catalogues Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     If you have not received your 1998, Volume 12, catalog, it

is time to phone Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., and request your

copy in large print, cassette, or computer disk. We have over 175

new items including an indoor/outdoor talking thermometer,

talking count-down timer, no-flame lighter, new Aiwa and Sony

modified recorders, and much more. Call (800) 454-3175 today or

e-mail: [email protected]


BANA Elects 1998 Officers:

     The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) met in

Atlanta, Georgia, on December 8 and 9, 1997. It elected the

following new officers: Delores Ferrara-Godzieba, Chairperson;

Betty Niceley, Vice Chairperson; Phyllis Campana, Secretary; and

Charlotte Begley, Treasurer. BANA will conduct its spring meeting

in Washington, D.C., on April 27 and 28.



     On December 20, 1997, the Central Florida Chapter of the NFB

of Florida elected new officers. They are Jerry Heichelbeck,

President; Sherri Brun, Vice President; Marilyn Baldwin,

Secretary; and Ruth Heichelbeck, Treasurer.


New Division:

     We are pleased to report that at its Christmas banquet on

December 6, 1997, the NFB of Mississippi created Mississippi

NAPUB, a division of the National Association to Promote the Use

of Braille. The officers of the new division are Prentice Horton,

President; Ella Reed, First Vice President; Gwen Stocks, Second

Vice President; James Beard, Secretary; James Prince, Treasurer;

and Rhonda White and Octivia Cotten, Board Members.


Business Opportunity:

     Jim Blacksten, who is helping to organize a new chapter in

the NFB of California, has asked us to carry the following


     Would you like to join an exciting business which is selling

new Leading-Edge computer products to blind people and to

advertise and sell catalogs with some imported products? If you

are a member of the international community, a woman with an

interest in business, a college student, or someone who would

like to be a distributor and make some extra money, this is the

perfect opportunity for you. I am seeking to build a working

relationship with a blind person having an interest in the

international market and interested in a possible future

partnership involving work and some financial investment. Whether

you're interested in selling products or helping develop catalogs

and promotional materials, I'd like to talk with you. To find out

how you can become involved, call Jim Blacksten of Blacksten and

Associates, Import Export, at (650) 347-7533.


A Raffle:

     The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of

the Blind provides support and information to thousands of

people. Because operating this valuable network and publishing

the Voice of the Diabetic cost money, we must generate funds to

help cover these expenses. Our Diabetes Action Network has

elected to conduct a raffle.

     The grand prize will be $500! The winning ticket will be

drawn and the winner's name announced on July 9 at the banquet

held during the annual convention of the National Federation of

the Blind.

     Raffle tickets cost $1 each, or a book of six may be

purchased for $5. Tickets may be purchased from state

representatives of our Diabetes Action Network or by contacting

the Voice Editorial Office, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309,

Columbia, Missouri 65201, telephone: (573) 875-8911. Anyone

interested in selling tickets should also contact the Voice

Editorial Office. Tickets are available now. Names of those who

sell fifty tickets or more will be announced in the Voice.

     Please make checks payable to the National Federation of the

Blind. Money and sold raffle ticket stubs must be mailed to the

Voice office no later than June 10, 1998, or they can be

personally delivered to Ed Bryant at this year's NFB convention

in Dallas.

     This raffle is open to anyone age eighteen or older, and the

holder of the lucky raffle ticket need not be present to win.

Each ticket sold is a donation, helping keep our Diabetes Action

Network moving forward.


New Chapter:

     NFB of California President Jim Willows recently wrote to

say that on a rainy El Nino day, February 21, 1998, some forty

Federationists and Federationists-to-be met to reestablish our

San Francisco Chapter. This newest chapter of the NFB of

California will carry on the great work of our late colleague,

Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcelino in the city and Federation he loved.

Officers elected are Jim Blacksten, President; David Chittendon,

Vice President; Helen Dodge, Secretary; Shannon Dillon,

Treasurer; and Adam Linn, Board Member. The NFB of California

looks forward to great things from the NFB of San Francisco.



     Elizabeth Campbell writes to say:

     I am pleased to announce that the following officers were

elected to serve one-year terms in the Fort Worth chapter of the

National Federation of the Blind of Texas: President, Elizabeth

Campbell; Vice President, Gabriel Valentin; Secretary, Geneva

Teagarden; Treasurer, Linda Fitzgerald; and Board Member, John

Jones. We look forward to an exciting year of planning projects

and seeing our chapter grow.


Playing Cards Available:

     The Black Hawk County Chapter of the NFB of Iowa is now

selling Braille and large-print playing cards. Each card has

National Federation of the Blind and the organization's logo

printed on the back. The cost of a deck is $6 plus $.50 for

shipping and handling. Checks should be made payable to Black

Hawk County, NFBI and should be mailed to Loren Wakefield, 722

Denver Street #2, Waterloo, Iowa 50702-2944.



     We recently learned that at its February 13, 1998, meeting,

the American Council of the Blind's Board of Directors accepted

the resignation of long-time ACB Executive Director Oral Miller,

effective in September.


                           NFB PLEDGE


     I pledge to participate actively in the effort of the

National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality,

opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies

and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.