THE BRAILLE MONITOR
Vol. 31, No. 1 January, 1988
Kenneth Jernigan, Editor
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THE BRAILLE MONITOR
PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
Vol. 31, No. 1 January, 1988
THE ALEUTIONS AND THE WHITE CANE LAWS
by Geerat J. Vermeij
ONE WHITE CANE SAGA
by Charlotte Verduin
THE DOUG LEE CASE
by Stephen Benson
HANDICAPPED PARKING PERMITS FOR THE BLIND
by Kenneth Jernigan
HAWAII, RABIES, AND DOG GUIDES
THE BATTLE FOR BRAILLE AND LITERACY
MEDICINE BY MAIL AT LOW COST
by Marc Maurer
BREAKTHROUGH IN MISSISSIPPI
AN AGENCY THAT SERVES
by Rami Rabby
OF JIM DICKSON, WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, AND A TEMPEST OF WORDS AND WATERS
by Kenneth Jernigan
REHABILITATION'S ONE-WAY STREET
INFORMATION ABOUT DIABETES
OF ELEVATORS AND STAIRWAYS
by Susan Jones
DOG GUIDES AT THE ZOO
TOM ANDERSON HONORED
WHY NOT HAVE IT ALL
by Homer Page
TO PRETEND TO BE BLIND IS NOT HELPFUL
THE LEGACY OF FATHER CARROLL
by Kenneth Jernigan
WELCOME TO CHICAGO
by Stephen Benson
AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTEREST TO VENDORS
by Larry Posont
Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1988
THE ALEUTIANS AND THE WHITE CANE LAWS
by Geerat J. Vermeij
(Dr. Geerat Vermeij is a professor in the Zoology Department at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he has taught since 1972. He has a Ph.D. degree from Yale, and he is the author of short books and numerous scholarly papers. Dr. Vermeij has been blind since the age of three. He is married and has a daughter.)
As the gale blew hard out of the Bering Sea, covering our faces with a fine cold mist, the skiff pulled alongside the R.V. "Alpha Helix," and I heard at once the sound of the ship's generator that had become so familiar years earlier. Whitecaps covered Casco Cove as we climbed on the heaving deck. This moment, late on a June evening at Attu in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, was the beginning of a scientific rsearch cruise that would take us for a thousand miles along the chain of volcanic islands to Dutch Harbor. There was another reason why this moment should have been memorable, for my arrival aboard the "Alpha Helix" encapsulated the power of the White Cane Laws and the triumph of reasoned discourse over prejudice. It all started two months earlier.
A telephone message was waiting for me as I returned to my office after giving a Tuesday lecture in my course on Animal Diversity at the University of Maryland at College Park. I was to call Dr. David Duggins of the Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington as soon as possible. Together with Charles Simenstad of the University of Washington and Dr. James Estes of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of California at Santa Cruz, David was organizing a cruise aboard the "Alpha Helix" in order to study how sea otters influence nearshore marine communities in the North Pacific. Knowing about my interests in the geological and biological history of the opening of the Bering Strait during the Pliocene (about three million years ago), Dr. Duggins invited me to join the cruise. I would be able to make shore collections of animals and to examine patterns of distribution along the Aleutian chain. Duggins was quick to point out a potential hitch in the plans.
The University of Alaska, which operates the "Alpha Helix" for the National Science Foundation, insisted that either my home institution (the University of Maryland) or the University of Washington (the home institution of the chief scientist) shoulder the financial responsibility that would naturally arise by virtue of my being aboard. A blind person would, so the argument went, pose exceptional risks both to himself and to others. Upon calling Dolly Deater at the Institute of Marine Science at Seward (part of the University of Alaska), I soon learned that none of the other twelve members of the scientific party would have to meet this requirement. She also told me in no uncertain terms that in her opinion the chief danger lay in my transferring from the ship to the shore and back again by means of skiffs. After all, she reminded me, one of the skiffs was swamped last summer while landing a party on the beach, and in any case work in the Aleutians just isn't like work in the warm tropical oceans that I had done previously on the "Alpha Helix" and other ships. I was further warned that, even if I could persuade Maryland or Washington to relieve Alaska of the alleged extra burden, the final decision about my participation would have to come from Dr. Patrick O'Rourke, Chancellor of the University of Alaska. Now, ship cruises always carry with them a substantial element of risk.
Aleutian waters are indeed bitterly cold, and seas can be mighty rough even in summer. True enough; but the tropics have their share of dangers, most of them biological--sharks, sting rays, stonefish, crocodiles, moray eels, venomous cone shells and snakes, and needle-spined sea urchins--to say nothing of rough seas and the unwelcome arrival of armed soldiers on three occasions during my previous "Alpha Helix" cruise to Indonesia and the Philippines in 1979. This affair was rapidly coming to look like a classic case of inventing ad hoc conditions and criteria for the blind by those whose opinions about the blind are formed more by preconceptions and intuition than by experience. Officials at Maryland were sympathetic and were unable to ascertain just what Alaska wanted or why they wanted it. I tried in vain to reason with Deater and other officials at the University of Alaska. After yet another phone conversation with Deater, I called Marc Maurer (President of the National Federation of the Blind) and Jim Omvig, whom I had met some years earlier in Baltimore and who is now Director of the Louise Rude Center for Blind Adults in Anchorage. Both confirmed my suspicion that the imposition of the ad hoc conditions and the meeting of these conditions were violations of the White Cane Laws that are in force both in Maryland and in Alaska. Armed with this information, I set out the arguments on paper and sent copies of my letter to all concerned parties. The letter, with the ensuing correspondence and telephone calls, had the desired effect of allowing me to participate in the cruise without the odious conditions. The correspondence is reprinted as part of this article. So the cruise came to pass.
From Seattle most of us flew to Kodiak and then by Coast Guard plane onto Attu, where we joined the ship. For the next seventeen days we went ashore at nine islands. Never did the skipper discourage me (or anyone else) from going ashore; in fact, the whole subject of my participation never came up. By my count, I boarded or left the skiffs fifty-seven times. Only once, when my right foot slipped on some kelp as I got back into the skiff at Amchitka, did I get even a little wet as the cold water went over the top of my boot. I made excellent collections on all sorts of shores--boulder-strewn beaches, barnacle-covered benches, shores clothed in layers of slippery kelp, and even sand beaches--and we hiked over steep hillsides and across fast-flowing streams in order to reach yet other bays and points. All in all, the trip was a great success, and the material gathered during it will no doubt influence my research for some time to come. What is the point of this episode? The point is the power of the White Cane Laws, which prohibit discrimination agains the blind and the imposition of conditions and criteria only for the blind. The point is that reasoned argument and an attempt to educate can prevail. In these fundamental ways, the National Federation of the Blind can take a large part of the credit for creating laws and a social climate by virtue of which the blind have more opportunities today than they have ever had before. Without this work of thousands, I might well have been dis- aleutianed.
College Park, Maryland
May 12, 1987
Director and Professor
Institute of Marine Science University of Alaska--Fairbanks
Dear Dr. Alexander:
As you know, Dr. David Duggins of the University of Washington has invited me to participate in a cruise to the Aleutians aboard the "Alpha Helix" during June and July of this year. When he extended this invitation during a telephone conversation on April 14, he told me that Dr. Dolly Deater of the University of Alaska raised the objection that, because of my total blindness, I would pose great risks both to myself and to other participants by my presence. In speaking with her that same day, I learned that the University of Alaska would insist upon an arrangement whereby either the University of Maryland (my employer) or the University of Washington (home base for the principal investigators) would assume the burden of risk for me, whereas for other participants this risk would be borne in the usual way by the University of Alaska, which operates the ship. Until last week, I was under the impression that these arrangements would be negotiated by Dr. Deater and other officials of the University of Alaska; but in a telephone conversation with Deater on May 6 I was told in no uncertain terms that this was my problem to solve.
My interest in this cruise stems from research on the so-called Trans-Arctic interchange, an event beginning about three million years ago, as the result of which many cold-adapted Pacific species invaded the North Atlantic. It is of the greatest importance to make firsthand observations and collections in an area close to, and little changed from, the source areas of these invaders. Without firsthand experience interpretation of fossil assemblages chronicling the interchange would be substantially more difficult. Because the cruise is to begin one month from now, it is imperative that the matter of my participation be resolved at once. Resolution has proved to be difficult. I believe strongly that Alaska's concerns about my participation are unwarranted and that the university's attempts to pawn off the allegedly grater risk on other parties are both illegal and unnecessary. As I understand the argument, Deater believes that transfers from ship to shore involving the use of skiffs pose unusual and apparently unacceptable risks to me and the other participants. This may well be her belief, and indeed such an idea would seem to make eminent sense to many people. The trouble is, there are no data, and the observations that do exist contradict this supposed common sense.
What are these observations? For fifty-four days during 1979 my wife and I took part in a cruise aboard the "Alpha Helix" to Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Nearly every day we boarded skiffs to go ashore onto coral reefs, coastal swamps, sand beaches, and volcanic islands. Many of these trips were in rough seas. Yet, never was there any trouble in entering or leaving a skiff. Moreover, Dr. Deater herself actually witnessed this procedure, for she came aboard with three others at Thursday Island (Australia) and left the ship at the next port of call (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea) in order to look the ship over for use in Alaskan waters. During her time on board, we went ashore by skiff at Ravao Island on the south coast of Papua New Guinea on June 8. In addition to the "Alpha Helix" cruise, I have done shore work from ships on two other notable occasions. In August, 1978, my wife and I spent a week aboard the "Stenella" (which at that time belonged to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) on the Pacific coast of Panama; and in July, 1981, I visited Pagan and several other volcanic islands in the Northern Marianas (north of Guam) aboard the "Si-Ti-Si," chartered by the University of Guam. On all these trips, but especially during the cruise to Pagan, we sent ashore by skiff in heavy seas and made land falls on some particularly dangerous slippery volcanic shores buffeted by heavy surf. Nothing unusual happened on these many occasions, and never were objections raised by anyone concerning my participation.
The only question that ever arose concerning any of the three cruises was a call from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (then the operator of the "Alpha Helix") late in 1978. I was asked if I thought I could handle shore work from a ship. After I assured the caller that I had already done this and that I had extensive experience on all kinds of shores, the matter was dropped, never to be raised again by anyone. Now, any expedition of this kind entails risk. Having failed to uncover compelling evidence for differential risk, however, I cannot understand why the assumption of financial risk should not be the same for each participant. In fact, I am advised by Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, that this is the kind of discriminatory treatment that is made illegal under terms of Maryland's White Cane Law.
James Omvig, Director of the Louise Ruide Center for Blind Adults in Anchorage, informs me that a similar law in Alaska makes differential risk assumption with respect to blind persons illegal in that state as well. Had I been a frail woman or a fifty-year-old man, the issue of risk would probably never even had surfaced, even though one could make an argument for greater risk that would have been just as plausible (if just as erroneous) as the one being offered presently by the University of Alaska with respect to my participation. This analogy makes it clear, I think, how ad hoc and frankly discriminatory Alaska's position has been up to now. It is obvious that the issue of my participation has been blown all out of proportion.
I urge you in the strongest terms to put an end to it by allowing me to take part in the cruise and by finding a nondiscriminatory way to assume financial risk. The latter may be done either by (1) having the University of Alaska assume its usual responsibility for all, or (2) having the home institution of each participant assume the risk. I think the first alternative is by the far the easiest and, given the lack of evidence of differential risk and the success of my previous shipboard work, a perfectly reasonable course of action. You may be sure that, while on the cruise, I shall depend on the ship's captain and on Dr. Duggins, who has extensive experience with boats and ships, for determining when and where I am allowed to use the skiffs. I look forward to your favorable response when we speak on the telephone tomorrow. It is best to call me after 11:30 your time at my home telephone (301-779-1959) in view of the fact that I shall be working at the Smithsonian during the day. I am sending copies of this letter to Drs. Deater and Duggins and to Messrs. Maurer, Omvig, and Mark Neumayr. You and Mr. Neumayr will receive the letter by Federal Express, the others by regular mail. In closing, I wish to thank you for considering this matter carefully. I seek cooperation and harmony, not conflict and confrontation.
Sincerely, Geerat J.
College Park, Maryland
May 21, 1987
Dr. Patrick O'Rourke
Chancellor University of Alaska--Fairbanks
Dear Dr. O'Rourke:
Thank you for allowing me to take part in the upcoming cruise to the Aleutians aboard the "Alpha Helix." I understand from Dr. Vera Alexander, who informed me of your decision two days ago, that you wish to have a letter sent by an official of the University of Maryland certifying that I am capable of doing the kind of field work required during this cruise. Despite my objections (see below), I have asked Dr. Raymond J. Miller, Dean, College of Life Sciences, to write you accordingly. I have been an active research biologist for twenty years, with extensive field experience all over the world in environments ranging from mangrove swamps to wave-swept rocky shores to tropical rain-forests. I have worked from ships for extended periods on three cruises. There can hardly be any question that I am competent to handle field situations. It therefore seems quite unnecessary to have an official at my university certify these facts, especially when that official has only second-hand knowledge of my field performance. Much more importantly, such certification would never have been requested had I been, say, a woman or an older man with vision. My blindness is somehow seen as so unusual that any pretense of equal treatment is dropped in favor of ad hoc requirements and conditions that have little bearing on the individual's record of accomplishment. Needless to say, I hope this cruise will be successful. Again, I wish to thank you for allowing me to participate. If, in the future, other situations arise in which you must make decisions about blind people, I hope you will make them with the same conditions and criteria that you would apply to others.
Geerat J. Vermeij
Department of Zoology
University of Maryland
cc: Dr. Vera Alexander James Omvig Marc Maurer
Fairbanks, Alaska June 4, 1987
Dear Professor Vermeij:
I now have official authorization from Chancellor O'Rourke to approve your participation in the R/V Alpha Helix cruise. In accord with our policy, any shore work will be done at the discretion and with the final authority of the ship's master. The skiff operator is completely in charge during any skiff operation. I hope that our work goes well, and rest assured that we will do everything possible to help you achieve your goals.
Yours sincerely, Vera Alexander
Director and Professor
Institute of Marine Science
University of Alaska--Fairbanks
ONE WHITE CANE SAGA
by Charlotte Verduin
(This article appeared in the August-September, 1987, Month's News, the publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. Charlotte Verduin is a member of the board of directors of the Parents Division of the National Federation of the Blind.)
My daughter, Cherranne, blind from birth (retrolental fibroplasia), has had her white cane since age four. In early spring, 1984, the annual conference of the Illinois Teachers of the Visually Impaired was held in Chicago. At that conference NFB gave a presentation which included Kids With Canes. I liked what I saw and heard, and I decided then and there that Cherranne would have a cane now. What follows is one mother's story of mobility training in a so-called "good" state with a so-called "good" teacher. At the Illinois Teachers of the Visually Impaired conference I mentioned to Cherranne's orientation and mobility teacher (she had been getting one-half hour of O&M training once a week since age three) that I was not going to "start badgering" her for Cherrane to have a cane and to get training with it. She listened and made two comments.
First, she suggested we take time to discuss "early" (age four-six) cane travel teaching experiences with the few other Illinois vision teachers who she knew had taught it. Second, she agreed to seriously consider implementing white cane training for Cherranne on an "experimental" basis. The responses of the O&M teachers who had taught younger children were largely negative. "They develop bad habits"; "They don't have the abstract concepts"; "They can't even follow directions"; "They don't know left from right"; etc. None of it sounded like a good enough excuse to keep my child away from the mobility tool she will use for the rest of her life. And I became angrier with each patronizing, paternalistic, power-tripping statement I heard. By the end of the discussions I was close to cutting a branch off a tree, as I know some people have done, for I felt it may be the only way Cherranne would see a cane before age nine.
My determination to get some kind of cane into Cherranne's hands was impressed upon her O&M instructor. Soon after the conference I told her that Cherranne would have a cane either with her support or without it. I tried to be as pleasant about this comment as possible, but I was firm. And she conceded to begin Cherrane on "diagonal technique" and how to walk with a sighted guide while carrying her cane for the remainder of that year. I was not yet a Federationist, but I believed Federation philosophy; and I was determined to go to the Louisville convention in spite of the negative comments from the professionals responsible for my daughter's educational program. There I learned the inappropriateness of the training Cherranne was getting. I am still working two years later to continue appropriate orientation and mobility goals in Cherranne's Individual Education Program (IEP).
At Louisville I was fired up by the Parents of Blind Children conference. This was support of the type I needed. Hearing from blind adults what their own experiences throughout childhood had been was so important. When Federationists met Cherranne and her cane (named "Bumpy"), encouragement to continue training and pleasure at seeing a small child using a cane abounded. Stories of "mobility training" were shared, teaching me what to teach, what to watch for, and how to counterargue certain philosophies and practices of the teaching professionals. NFB has helped me know my rights, my child's rights and needs, and how to achieve and fulfill them. That is not to say the battle is won. Cherranne's teacher for orientation and mobility and I still disagree strongly over what length the cane ought to be. I return from each convention with a long white NFB cane, which promptly gets "cut down" when school starts. Cherranne has yet to be formally taught "touch technique" although she has had her cane for three and a half years. I am learning that I will have to be more assertive in this area, and I intend to be this coming year. Stay tuned to the Month's News and Future Reflections, the NFB magazine for parents and teachers of blind children.
THE DOUG LEE CASE
by Stephen Benson
(This article appeared in the October, 1987, issue of The Month's News, the publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. As Federationists know, Steve Benson is President of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind.)
Doug Lee is a resident of Springfield, Illinois. He is entering his third year at the University of Illinois as a computer engineering major. In 1986 Doug was awarded a Merit Scholarship at the 46th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. He had intended to use the $1,800 he won in recognition of his academic achievement to purchase a computer. Early in 1986 when I spoke with Doug about the scholarship, he indicated that although the University of Illinois' rehabilitation institute had an accessible computer, he could not get enough time to fulfill his academic requirements and that he had to turn work in late because of it. Health problems required Doug to spend much of the $1,800 in ways other than the purchase of a computer. One of the requirements of the scholarship is that each winner submit the names of newspapers that should receive a news release regarding the winners of the NFB scholarships. Doug complied with this requirement, and the Champaign newspaper carried a story about Doug. So did the newsletter of the NFB of Illinois, and so did the Monitor, national publication of the NFB.
In addition, Doug wrote to Dr. Joseph Larsen, Director of the Rehabilitation Institute at the University of Illinois. Dr. Larsen replied with a congratulatory letter. Against this background, the events that followed are disgusting and shameful. One other thing, Doug's gross income for 1986 was $2,900, not including the NFB scholarship. Doug's rehab counselor attempted to allege that Doug had tried to conceal the fact that he had won a scholarship. The counselor alleged that the $1,800 was a so-called "similar benefit," and he accused Doug of trying to build a financial empire while in college. There were other issues concerning DORS (the Division of Rehabilitation Services) to which Doug took exception, more than twenty. But for our purposes here we will focus on similar benefits. Doug contacted the Client Counselor Assistance Project to determine his rights under the law, for Doug had been told that he would be required to repay to DORS the $1,800 he had won from the NFB. Doug appealed his counselor's decision all the way to the Fair Hearing level. By that time he had begun to work with an attorney appointed by the Client Counselor Assistance Project.
The attorney was convinced, and attempted to show at the Fair Hearing, that DORS had, all the way through Doug's case, violated its own procedures. He also tried to show that the $1,800 in question was not a "similar benefit." The Fair Hearing Panel that heard Doug's case on July 6, 1987, was reluctant to admit any evidence other than that specifically related to the issue of similar benefits. For the record, Steve Mills, Doug's attorney, succeeded in getting other evidence introduced. As I said, the hearing took place on July 6. Doug had a deadline to make. He had outstanding bills to the University which, if not paid by July 22, would have excluded him from school in the fall of 1987. The attorney attempted to get the Fair Hearing Panel to rule on Doug's case prior to that date. The panel chairman stuck to the book and said that in thirty days a decision would be rendered. At the close of the hearing, once again the panel was urged to make a decision before July 22. Susan Suter, Director of DORS, issued her decision on July 23. The decision upheld the position that the $1,800 scholarship was a similar benefit and that he would have to pay that amount to DORS over the remainder of his college career. On August 5, 1987, Sharon Gold (President of our California affiliate and a member of the 1987 national Scholarship Committee) and I met with Gil Johnson, newly appointed Director of the Bureau of Blind Services.
We told Mr. Johnson that the Department's decision was shameful and that there is significant difference between a scholarship won on merit and a grant received simply because one is blind, and there is no similarity at all. We told him that for years DORS had erected arbitrary and capricious barriers to achievement by its clients. We said that we intended to go to the press with the story and that it wouldn't look good for DORS to be demanding that a blind college student with a gross income of $2,900 pay $1,800 to the state. We told Johnson that DORS' policy would give NFB no alternative but to tell Illinois blind college students that they would not be considered for competition for NFB scholarships, because if they won a scholarship, DORS would just take it away from them. We emphasized our intention to publicize that as well, and that DORS' image would certainly be damaged by it. We asked that DORS reverse its decision on this case and that it reverse its policy on "similar benefits." Johnson indicated that he would try to resolve the matter. In a letter to Doug Lee dated August 18, 1987, Johnson notified him and me that DORS had capitulated. Doug would not have to repay DORS the $1,800. But the department's policy on siimilar benefits had not changed. He indicated in his letter to me and in a subsequent phone call that the Executive Council for DORS would further consider the matter but that a change in policy might mean as much as a $200,000 increase in DORS budget. The NFB will stick to its guns.
No student should be penalized for seeking or winning an academic scholarship. If the policy remains as it is, quality students, such as Doug Lee, will have no incentive to try for a scholarship. If the Department does not change its policy, Illinois would be the only state in the Union whose blind students would be prohibited from competing for academic scholarships. If the policy is not changed, we will indeed take the issue to the press. If college students who received scholarships in 1987 from the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois are told they must repay anything, we are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to remedy the situation. On August 5, 1987, we told Mr. Johnson that we intended to take the issue to court and that DORS' court costs would likely be more than the $1,800 in question. Make no mistake about it. This is a national issue that could have impact on every blind student in America. We intend to see that it is resolved in the students' favor, one way or another.
HANDICAPPED PARKING PERMITS FOR THE BLIND
by Kenneth Jernigan
When I was Director of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind I, frequently had business at the State Capitol. Ordinarily there was no trouble finding a parking place quite close to the building. However, from January until some time in the late spring or early summer the legislature was in session, and the Capitol was always crowded. Correspondingly, the Capitol grounds and parking areas were filled with cars, and if one arrived after 7:30 in the morning, he or she was likely to have to walk several blocks. If one is not in a hurry and the weather is pleasant (as, for instance, in early May with the birds singing, the sun shining, and the appropriations settled), such walking may be good for both body and soul, evoking thoughts of a just providence and a well-ordered world; but if the time is January and the snow lies deep on the ground (with legislators to meet and appropriations to justify), the perspective changes.
Now, it so happens that in the Iowa of that day I was a public figure of considerable note, treated with respect and deference. Therefore, when I traveled by automobile to the Capitol to transact this or that piece of business, the security guards were pleased to see me and offer assistance. There was at the very door of the Capitol a parking place reserved for the handicapped, and I was a blind person. The security guards insisted that I take the parking place. More than that: They were hurt and offended if I indicated that I would park elsewhere and walk back in the snow like everybody else. The problem was not with the guards or my colleagues in government or the general public. All would have been glad to have me use the handicapped parking place. No, that is an understatement. They would have felt downright good about it. The problem was not with them. It was with me.
I knew that I could walk as well as anybody else and that (regardless of technicalities or public misconceptions) the intent which had led to the enactment of the handicapped parking permit law was to provide easy access to the building for those who had trouble in walking and truly needed it. Yet, I like comfort and approval as well as the next person. It was not pleasant to walk through the cold, wet Iowa snow in January, and it was not satisfying to hear the tone of disappointment and hurt in the voices of the security guards when I declined the use of the space, regardless of how courteously and appreciatively I did it. And it was not a matter which could be faced, settled once and for all, and then put behind me. It happened over and over--because, as I have already said, I had frequent business at the State Capitol in January, and the snow storms came with discouraging regularity.
So my Federationism and my bodily comfort, my wish to be honest and consistent and my wish to be polite and thought of as a good fellow--in short, my spiritual aspirations and my carnal desires were in continuous conflict. What do you think I did? In the circumstances what would you have done? Whoever says that the world is not filled with temptations (for the blind as well as for the sighted) is either a naive nincompoop or a barefaced liar. Of such is humanity made--neither angel nor devil but somewhere between, and always becoming. The question of handicapped parking permits is, of course, not limited to me or the state of Iowa. It is constantly with us and often not honestly met or discussed. It is partly a matter of state and local law, but it is far more than that. It is something that will not ultimately be settled in the courts or the legislatures. It will be settled in the minds of the public--one way if we do our work well, another if we don't. And even more important, it will be settled by us, by the blind. What do we want our world and our lives to be like--and what are we willing to pay to have it that way? How mature are we? How mature can we become? How mature do we want to become? Recently in the state of Washington there has been a controversy about whether the blind should be allowed to use handicapped parking permits, and as you might imagine, the National Federation of the Blind is in the middle of it. The American Foundation for the Blind is also involved.
Think carefully about what the Foundation is quoted as having said, and consider whether it accords with what you believe blind people are like and what we need. Also, think about the position which the Federationists are described as holding; and again, consider whether it accords with what you think blind people are like and what we need. Here is the article which gives the details. It appeared in the July 15, 1987, issue of the Vancouver COLUMBIAN:
Blind Man Campaigns For Parking Permit
by James Bruggers
A blind Vancouver man, denied a handicapped permit last week, is mounting a campaign to change the law. Robert Patchen, 60, who lives at Smith Tower apartments, Tuesday said all he wants is the same privilege he had in California: the right to carry a handicapped parking permit with him when a friend takes him on errands. Parking lots are large, often packed with vehicles and dangerous to walk through, he said, adding that a permit would make life a little easier for him and the person who drives him around town. He said he is not alone. Many other blind people do not want to negotiate a busy parking lot or impose upon friends who must act as escorts, he said. Patchen said he decided to challenge the Washington law after the Clark County Auditor's Office, which processes handicapped parking applications, denied him a special permit last Wednesday. Clark County Auditor Liz Luce said Friday she wanted to give Patchen the permit but was unable to because of state codes. The codes are specific, and only people with a loss of mobility qualify, she said. No exceptions can be made, she said. Permit applications list several types of disabilities. Among them: loss of both hands, loss of both lower limbs, loss of normal use of legs, or loss of mobility due to heart or lung problems. Luce has arranged a July 22 meeting between Patchen, several other local blind people, and House Speaker Joe King, D-Vancouver. Patchen said he hopes to explain his point of view to the legislator.
However, Patchen's efforts likely will renew an ongoing debate in the Legislature and are sure to be controversial--especially among the blind. "All we want is the integration of the blind on an equal basis," said Michael Freeman of Vancouver. Freeman, who is blind, is an official in the National Federation of the Blind, an organization with about 50,000 members. He has opposed previous efforts to modify the Washington law.
"We really need less help than most people think," he said, adding that his organization holds that the blind may be discriminated against if employers or others believe they are critically handicapped. That view, however, is called "selfish" by people like Patchen or Ed Ruch, a Washington, D.C., consultant for the American Foundation for the Blind. Ruch, in a telephone interview Tuesday, said Freeman's position "is a bunch of garbage" because it fails to take into account all blind people. "There are blind people who could really use that permit," he said. His office did not have statistics on how many states allow blind people to qualify for handicapped parking permits. He said he thought most states did, though.
In his region, he said Virginia, New York, and New Jersey each have laws that allow the blind to park in handicapped parking spaces. Oregon has a similar provision. In Washington, legislation that would allow handicapped parking permits for the blind has been killed in each of the past three legislative sessions, said Paul Dciedzic, director of the state Department of Services for the Blind. Dciedzic said various organizations for the blind, as well as a state advisory committee, have opposed changing the current Washington law. Dciedzic said his personal view is that blind people do not need special parking privileges, but added, "What I think isn't that important." He said the issue needs to be resolved among the blind. "It's the disabled people who should be the ones who decide," he said.
HAWAII, RABIES, AND DOG GUIDES
The ongoing discussions concerning Hawaii's quarantine laws, which have the effect of preventing blind persons with dog guides from traveling freely to and from that state, continue. Understandably Hawaii wishes to protect its rabies-free environment. Equally understandably blind persons who use dog guides wish to travel without impediment. What to do? The following letters contain the latest exchange on the matter. Sharon Gold, President of the National Federation of the Blind of California, had in-person discussions with Hawaii officials in May of 1987. Her letter and the reply from Dr. Lum of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture state the positions and indicate the explorations which are being made. Perhaps advancing technology will provide an answer, thereby eliminating the problem. In the meantime legislative solutions have been proposed and will doubtless be attempted again. As evidenced by the Gold-Lum correspondence, negotiations and explorations with the Executive Branch of government proceed. As in so many other areas where the interests of the blind are involved, it is the National Federation of the Blind which leads the way in seeking innovative solutions.
June 9, 1987
Dr. Calvin Lum
Department of Agriculture
State of Hawaii
Dear Dr. Lum:
It was a pleasure to meet you on Thursday, May 28, and to speak with you concerning the current rules for quarantine of animals in the State of Hawaii. For many years the National Federation of the Blind has been concerned with the application of the animal quarantine rules to blind persons who use a dog guide and travel to and from the State of Hawaii. Freedom to travel from state to state is a right guaranteed to all persons in our country by the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, this guaranteed right is not extended to blind persons who use a dog guide and either live in Hawaii or desire to travel to and within the state.
Today, blind people are as widely traveled as are the sighted. Like the sighted, the blind travel independently, sometimes in large tour groups, sometimes with small groups of friends, and sometimes alone. Many blind persons incorporate the use of a dog guide as a mobility tool. To these persons the daily use of the dog to accomplish movement from place to place is as important as the use of a pair of glasses to a sighted person, whose mobility is limited without the use of glasses. To blind persons using a dog guide the leaving of their dogs at home imposes marked restrictions on their ability to travel independently and in some cases makes a blind person totally unable to travel. To persons accustomed to using a dog and for whom the dog is a necessary mobility aid, the absence of the dog may pose a serious threat to the person's safety in traveling without the dog. This sets the dog guide apart from any other trained or untrained dog since the dog guide is the only dog relied upon for mobility. Therefore, it is reasonable to handle dog guides differently from any other group of dogs when applying the rules of quarantine.
While in Hawaii, I spoke with some blind Hawaiian residents, who use dog guides. I understand from these persons and from you that there has been some recent discussion concerning the lifting of the animal quarantine to allow blind persons using dog guides the freedom to travel to and from the State of Hawaii. However, during the meeting of May 28, you and Dr. Baer of the Center for Disease Control indicated a concern for impending abuses of such a lifting of quarantine as to dog guides, notwithstanding positive identification of the dog. I understand that Hawaii now recognizes the prophylactic value of rabies vaccinations and the almost 100% effectiveness of the vaccinations if given prior to exposure to rabies and, further, that rabies vaccinations are now being administered in the State of Hawaii. As I pointed out to you on May 28, it would appear that the Hawaii state government could at least impose suitable controls over the dog guides residing in Hawaii to allow for the freedom of those blind persons using dog guides to leave the state with the dog guide, to travel to the mainland, and to return home without quarantine. This would provide the State of Hawaii with an opportunity to test the effectiveness of a quarantine exemption on a very limited and controlled population--those dog guides and their users who live in Hawaii.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture could easily maintain all records on the limited number of dogs trained as dog guides and residing in Hawaii. These records could include a schedule and history of rabies vaccinations; general identification markings about the dog's body, such as its breed, color, spotting, height, and weight; imposed markings of identification such as tattoos and ear and tail croppings (in those breeds where customary); and very specific special body characteristics such as nose prints and impressions and castings of the teeth. The maintenance of such records would insure the validity of the return of the exact dog guide leaving the state and would insure that said dog had received a regular schedule of vaccinations against rabies. We recognize and respect the desire of the State of Hawaii to protect its rabies-free environment. However, we do not believe it appropriate to use rabies prevention as an excuse for preventing blind persons who require the use of a dog guide from the freedom to travel when a program to prevent the transmission of rabies by dog guides can be established using the above described plan or a reasonable facsimile thereof. With some effort on the part of the State of Hawaii and some effort on the part of the dog guide users, travel by a blind person using a dog guide should be an immediate reality, at least for dog guide users who reside in the state of Hawaii and desire to travel to the mainland and return home. I shall appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible concerning this matter either by letter or by telephone.
Very truly yours, Sharon
National Federation of the Blind of California
July 24, 1987
Dear Ms. Gold:
This is in response to your inquiry about Hawaii's rabies quarantine prevention program. Recently the State Departments of Agriculture and Health began formal inquiries into the possibility of an exemption from quarantine for guide dogs and companion animals because of requests received from the visually impaired guide dog owners and owners of companion animals for the disabled. Similar requests for exemption have been received from dog breeders, military working dog programs, and various law enforcement agencies.
These inquires have received much attention, and on May 28, 1987, the Departments of Agriculture and Health met with representatives from different organizations, including agencies representing the visually handicapped and Centers for Disease Control. Since you were present at this meeting, I will summarize the state's position as it was presented. It is commonly believed that rabies vaccinations are completely effective in protecting pets against rabies. This assumption is incorrect as rabies vaccination does not guarantee that a dog or cat will not develop the disease especially if it is administered after the animal was exposed. Present research shows there is no adequate diagnostic test to detect incubating rabies. Only those animals intended for export out of our state are vaccinated with a rabies vaccine just prior to shipment. Routine rabies vaccination for local animals is currently not required and for the most part is not being administered to our pets.
Please understand that vaccine induced rabies cases have been recorded and it is possible that a local animal vaccinated could contract rabies. Therefore, at this time local guide dogs leaving the state will be subject to our rabies prevention quarantine upon return. We might also add that any rabies that would be introduced in the Islands would raise the distinct danger of direct transmission of rabies to our mongoose population. To date the elimination of the mongoose population that threatens our native birds has proved impossible. Mongoose rabies has been a larger problem than dog or cat rabies in Granada, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and South Africa. Exploration into possible modifications to our existing rabies prevention program will continue in the hope of seeking some relief for guide dog users living in Hawaii. We are taking a close look at the suggestion that we permit certified guide dogs now living in Hawaii to spend limited periods of time away from Hawaii while they accompany their owners on short vacations and business trips with their visually impaired owners.
Upon return to Hawaii these animals may be exempt from our existing quarantine and/or be required to undergo some form of provisional quarantine. At this time, however, these ideas merely represent possible alternatives to our program and must not be confused with the existing regulations. I will keep you informed of any changes that we make in this area. Be assured that we understand and sympathize with you and your fellow guide dog users and wish that we could do more for you. However, currently no exemption from quarantine exists for any dog, cat, or other related carnivore. We are dedicated to maintaining Hawaii's rabies-free status for future generations. Today, quarantine is our only dependable course of action. Should you require additional information or assistance, please contact Mr. Gary D. Moniz, Inspection and Quarantine Branch Chief, by calling (808) 488-8462 or sending a letter to 99-770 Moanalua Road, Aiea, Hawaii 96701.
Sincerely, Calvin W. S.
Lum, D.V.M. Head, Division of Animal Industry
Department of Agriculture
THE BATTLE FOR BRAILLE AND LITERACY
The following letter from Diane Croft of the National Braille Press to Barbara Cheadle, the Editor of Future Reflections, deserves careful consideration from all who are truly interested in the well-being of the blind. The ability to read and write is so basic that it spells the difference between civilization and savagery. This is a commonplace, and one would think that there would be no need for discussion as to whether blind children should be taught to read Braille. Yet, there is not only a need for discussion but also persuasion--and even more. The plain truth is that blind children and their parents in this country today are being sold a bill of goods. They are being told that Braille is outmoded, that it is clumsy and inefficient, and that substitutes are better and more available. That this is not the truth does not alter the fact that it is being given wide currency and acceptance. At the very time when technology and social advancement are opening new horizons to the blind, growing illiteracy among the blind threatens to make a mockery of the promises and prospects. The National Federation of the Blind has taken a leading part in trying to reverse the trend of illiteracy among the blind, and so have a number of other groups. Through its Twin Vision program the American Brotherhood for the Blind provides books with side-by-side print and Braille text to enable sighted adults to read with blind children, or blind adults with sighted children. Other groups throughout the country are also working to increase the use of Braille. One of these is the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. Another is the National Braille Press, which started a Children's Braille Book Club a few years back. Diane Croft's letter does more than talk about the efforts of the National Braille Press. It spotlights a problem which must be given serious consideration by every thinking blind person and every parent of a blind child in the country:
July 1, 1987
The Braille business has never been more exciting. Computer-generated Braille is becoming more prevalent, making more and more information accessible to a print handicapped reader. Braille output devices attached to IBM and Apple computers give a blind user access to more information than the average person could even assimilate. I guess that's why it's so painful to see what's happening to our young people who are being mainstreamed into public and private school systems. While mainstreaming has considerable advantages over residential programs for the blind, it has not proven to be beneficial in terms of Braille literacy.
Some depressing statistics I saw recently show that "the number of legally blind school children who read only Braille has decreased from 9,000 in 1963 to 5,200 in 1978; the proportion of persons who read only Braille has declined about linearly over time from 52% in 1963 to less than 18% in 1978." This serious decline in Braille occurred at the same time the number of legally blind students attending nonresidential schools rose from 9,437 in 1963 to 21,283 in 1978. School systems are not always adequately prepared to meet the special needs of blind students. Now taught in sighted classes, the blind child is immersed in an environment where most teachers, classmates, and other significant persons do not share the child's need for information in Braille.
As our society moves from an industrial age to an information age, what could have more serious consequences for our blind youth than illiteracy? Braille remains the only way a visually impaired person (who cannot read large print) can read and write--the definition of literacy. Over the years I have heard the National Federation of the Blind, as well as other organizations, protest the declining use of Braille. But nothing hit home to me until I sat on a panel, actually two different panels at two different conferences, and heard teachers of the visually impaired say that "no one uses Braille anymore... I haven't taught Braille in ten years... I don't even know Braille anymore, I haven't used it in so long...."
These are the people to whom we are entrusting our children's future--a future which shows promises of being radically different from generations past in terms of integration and employment. We believe it's time to stop talking about the problem and start tackling it. We are in the process of outlining strategies that we, as a Braille printing and publishing house, can implement. As you know, several years ago we initiated a Children's Braille Book Club to get Braille into the home at an early age. Now we are working on a Braille primer for parents called "Just Enough to Know Better," which we hope will encourage parents to get more involved in the education of their blind children. There is so much to be done, and we can't aford to wait. It will require the combined resources of every agency that cares about something as basic as literacy. Estimates are that there are 47,000 severely visually impaired school-age children in this country--not so many that we can't insure that each and every child gets an equal opportunity to participate in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Sincerely, Diane L. Croft
MEDICINE BY MAIL AT LOW COST
by Marc Maurer
Several months ago I received a piece of mail telling me that prescription drugs and other over-the-counter medications were being offered by HSN Pharmaceuticals through the mail. The company wanted to work out a cooperative arrangement to sell these items to members of the National Federation of the Blind. It seemed to me that there were already too many drugs in America as it was. I almost threw the letter away. However, I thought about it for a moment. Many of the members of the Federation require insulin to combat diabetes. Those with kidney transplants often take medications on a daily basis. I myself have been to the doctor within the last year for a prescription.
All of us take medicines now and then. After reflection, it seemed to me that the letter deserved another look. I invited representatives of HSN Pharmaceuticals to come to the National Center for the Blind. They were understandably impressed with the facilities we have and the programs we operate. They asked us to help them establish pharmaceutical services which could serve blind people throughout the United States. They needed our expertise, and they requested assistance in reaching those who are blind. Senior company representatives made it plain that they would work with the National Federation of the Blind exclusively and that they were flexible enough to consider the real needs of the blind that must be met. The results of negotiations are that there is now available a program which will make prescription medication and other over-the-counter medical supplies available to blind people through the mail.
The containers for these medicinal substances will be marked with Braille labels along with the print. There will also be basic information included in Braille describing the characteristics of the medicine, the proper method for administering it and how often it should be taken, and the other medications or substances which should not be taken with it. Much of this information has not been easy to get in the past. It has almost never been available in Braille, and certainly not from a pharmacy. Here is the announcement provided by HSN Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated. The company has agreed to make regular financial contributions to the National Federation of the Blind. At the moment it will be making a contribution equal to one percent of the purchase price of all orders which are generated through the National Federation of the Blind. The Federation gets credit for an order if the "group number" 10002 is used every time an order is made or referred to. This should be emphasized when you are asking members to make orders for which the Federation is to receive credit and contributions--group number 10002. Incidentally, HSN Pharmaceuticals is a division of Home Shopping Network, a company which sells household items and other merchandise by twenty- four-hour-a-day television advertising. Their operation appears to be efficiently run, and it promises to provide good service at low cost. This is the announcement:
Home Shopping Pharmacy Announces National Federation of the Blind Medication by Mail Program
Home Shopping Pharmacy takes pleasure in announcing the availability of its special mail order pharmacy service with features offered exclusively to members of the National Federation of the Blind. Home Shopping Pharmacy is a subsidiary of Home Shopping Network and the Home Shopping Club. By providing service to the NFB members, we will offer many benefits that are not usually available through your neighborhood pharmacy. We are able to provide drugs at a lower cost because of our size and our buying power with many of the major drug manufacturers. We also utilize the latest state-of-the-art technologies in computerized dispensing in our brand new facility. Although we utilize the computer to monitor your drug profile and control the prescription filling operation, our highly qualified staff of experienced pharmacists also give their personal touch to our service to you. Home Shopping Pharmacy is unique in that we consider each person we provide service to as our patient, rather than as our customer. Home Shopping Pharmacy offers convenience to you through our delivery of your medication to your door through United Parcel Service. This eliminates the necessity of your getting to a pharmacy and waiting in line to have your prescriptions filled. Our toll-free telephones are available for your use in contacting our competent staff to answer your questions or to place your orders twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Through our advanced computer technology, we are able to monitor the medication you are taking, as well as potential problems which could be caused by conflicting medications. This is done by building a profile of medications and health information for you from the information you provide by completing the profile form. As a special service to the blind, we will make available both patient information and prescription labeling in Braille. All information that is embossed in Braille will also be provided in print. In order for you to know more about the services which Home Shopping Pharmacy is offering to you, we want to include a brief description of how a prescription is filled. Our pharmacists' first direct patient contact is by telephone. In the initial call you will receive pricing and other general information. You may then place your order by sending us a prescription and a history profile. This profile acts as an enrollment form and also permits you to indicate your preference for child- proof or regular packaging.
A computerized profile is created from the data you supply. In our order entry area of our pharmacy we receive all orders, computerize all data from patient profile/enrollment forms, and input all new and refill prescriptions for electronic processing in the dispensing area. After the pharmacist has checked the order and approved the newly created profile and new prescription, the computer transmits this information to the filling area where label and auxiliary dispensing information is generated. At this point, if the patient has requested Braille information, it would be produced both in print and in Braille. The prescription order is filled from the computer information, and is checked and labeled by a pharmacist. The completed prescriptions are then packaged and addressed for shipment to the patient. In addition, a consultation form for the patient is created. This is also prepared in Braille upon request. It provides counseling information on the use of the drug, precautions concerning drug interactions, and drug side-effect information. Authorized refills of prescriptions are processed in much the same manner. The prescription number is entered into the computer, and the pharmacist approves the processing of each refill.
A separate and final quality control check is performed by your pharmacist before the completed order for each patient is assembled and packaged for shipment. Each prescription is screened and checked by a pharmacist for potential adverse effects based on data provided in the patient's history/profile enrollment form. Your physician can also call us directly with either new prescriptions or refill authorizations by using our toll-free telephone number. In most cases, the order for your prescriptions and other medications will be shipped the same day that the order is received by us. All packages are delivered to your door by United Parcel Service. In summary, we would like briefly to review the benefits members of the National Federation of the Blind will receive by utilizing the services of Home Shopping Pharmacy.
First and foremost is that we are able to offer a very professional and personalized service to you. Your Home Shopping pharmacist is as close as your telephone, and your prescriptions will arrive on your doorstep. This offers you a complete pharmacy service without leaving your home. You are assured that your prescriptions are being filled by pharmacists who utilize the latest state-of-the-art technology. That technology also allows us continually to monitor your prescription and medication therapy. For those of you who read Braille, your prescription label as well as patient information is provided to you in Braille, in addition to being printed. You will receive a receipt with each order for tax or reimbursement purposes. Each of your prescriptions will be completely labeled with information on how to properly take that medication, as well as side effects you should watch for or report to your physician. You have the option of having your prescriptions packaged in child-proof or standard containers. You provide us that information when you complete your patient profile, and this remains in your file permanently. All of our prescription vials are sealed before the cap is installed to insure freshness and reduce the possibility of tampering. And, unlike your corner drugstore, several pharmacists inspect each prescription before and after it is filled. We also assure you that all drugs which we use to fill your prescription are the freshest possible because of our large volume buying from the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The toll-free number to call is 1-800- 289-7979 (1-800-BUY-RxRx). As a final note, Home Shopping Pharmacy wishes to thank the National Federation of the Blind and all of your members for the opportunity to provide our services to you. Our professional staff looks forward to talking to each of you in the very near future. (Postscript: remember group number 10002.)
BREAKTHROUGH IN MISSISSIPPI
Since the very name Hazelhurst, Mississippi, has for a long time been for many blind people a symbol of repression and agency domination, recent events in the area have significance beyond the immediate locality or even the borders of the state. NFB of Mississippi State President Sam Gleese writes: "Saturday, September 19, 1987, at 1:00 p.m. eleven blind consumers met in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, to form an NFB chapter. On hand were: Sam Gleese (NFB of Mississippi state President) and Mrs. Gleese, and James Moore (NFB of Mississippi First Vice President) and Mrs. Moore. The organizing of any NFB chapter is significant. However, this one holds special significance, because Hazlehurst is reportedly an ACB stronghold. The workshop there is NAC- accredited, and the Mississippi Council of the Blind (ACB affiliate) has dominated the shop for a number of years. In his opening remarks, the chapter president, Mr. Richard Payne, stated: 'I know that there is a management pimp in our presence.' This really did not trouble the group in the least. As a state president, I was elated to witness this great show of interest and enthusiasm, as well as courage, on the part of these workers. This group appears to be one of the most cohesive I have ever met. Mississippi is on the move! "The officers for the Hazlehurst Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi are: Richard Payne, President; Donnie Brown, First Vice President; Larry Mitchell, Second Vice President; James Moore, Secretary; Henry Bracey, Treasurer; and Milton Hatchett and Haskell Burks, Board Members." So writes Sam Gleese, and we say: congratulations to the blind of Hazlehurst and the NFB of Mississippi. It is a long road which has no turning, and although things are changing for the blind of Mississippi, we are only at the threshold. There is a stirring in the state, and more (much more) is yet to come.
AN AGENCY THAT SERVES
by Rami Rabby
(Rami Rabby, who is President of the New York City Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, is one of the long-time leaders of the Federation. Monitor readers should note the reference to service available for those attending next year's NFB convention in Chicago.)
Federationists often justifiably criticize many public and private agencies for establishing rigid systems and inflexible procedures for delivering their services, and for compelling all blind people to follow their procedures and fit in with their system willy- nilly, no matter what the individual needs of each blind person might be. Recently a relatively small private agency which offers one-on-one reading services for the blind proved to me that it, at least, was one exception to this unfortunate general rule. On Thursday, September 3, 1987, I traveled from New York to Chicago to take part in the 1987 convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. My plan was to remain in Chicago for two days following the convention in order to do some work at the Chicago Public Library. Ideally, I should have organized some readers for this purpose ahead of time, but I didn't. Nevertheless, upon my arrival at the Hyatt Regency hotel, I telephoned Blind Service Association. I apologized to Ms. Beatric Fredman, the agency's Executive Director, for giving her such short notice--particularly in view of the fact that the agency would be closed on Monday, September 7, for the Labor Day holiday--and asked her if there was any way she would be able to provide me with a reader at the public library on Tuesday, September 8. Ms. Fredman did not hesitate for a moment. She said she would do her best and would let me know. And that is exactly what happened.
The following morning a message was waiting for me in my hotel room: "You will have a reader at your disposal all day next Tuesday." At 9:00 sharp on Tuesday morning my volunteer reader was waiting for me at the hotel's reception desk. We worked together all day, and she proved to be a first-class reader and a thoroughly nice person. Upon my return to New York, I called to thank Ms. Fredman. She said that Blind Service Association, as its title suggests, is there to be of service to blind people and, provided volunteers are available, always does its best to assist any blind person residing in or visiting Chicago, specifically with reading assignments and possibly with other assignments requiring sighted help. She thought that Federationists planning to attend the 1988 national convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Chicago would probably want to know this.
"Just try to give us as much advance notice as you can, and if the right volunteers are available, we all do our best," she said. The agency is open for business during normal working hours, as well as in the evenings (until 8:00 p.m.) from Monday to Thursday. Blind Service Association is located at 22 West Monroe, Suite 1100, Chicago, Illinois 60603, telephone (312) 236-0808.
OF JIM DICKSON, WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, AND A TEMPEST OF WORDS AND WATERS
by Kenneth Jernigan
In August of 1987 Jim Dickson, a blind man, undertook to sail across the Atlantic alone. Dickson's undertaking kicked off a major controversy on television and in the newspapers. For a few days the coverage rivaled that being given to Nicaragua, the Middle East, arms control, and the battle of the budget. There were articles, editorials, and letters to editors--some sane and rational, some heated and emphasized, and some about as weird as one would ever hope to find. In the name of reason most of the stereotypes about blindness that have ever been known were trotted out for review; and the writers called on memories, anecdotes, and fancy rhetoric with five-dollar words. All in all it was a field day for the sensation-seeking press and the sensation-seeking public. On August 18, 1987, the Washington Post carried no fewer than four letters from outraged readers.
There was the sophisticated, who lambasted Buckley from the towers of liberalism: "Poor William F. Buckley, Jr., victimized once more by 'the rampant egalitarianism of democratic society' ['The Blind Man and the Sea']. In his own lifetime, two southerners, a man without a college education, and even a man in a wheelchair have been president. Blacks and women run for that office, serve on the Supreme Court, and--even worse luck--are graduated from Yale. And now a blind man is sailing a boat across the Atlantic. What can a superior person do nowadays to demonstrate his qualities? There is probably even a cabdriver or two in Passaic who uses the adjective 'hubristic' to curse other drivers."
There was the Editor of the Handicapped Americans Report, who talked about the disabled as the "physically challenged," a term which has always struck me as having unrealistic overtones, but who also took the occasion to make some common sense arguments: "By demonstrating that a person with physical limitations can take on unique, exciting, and dangerous challenges with the help of modern technology, Jim Dickson has demonstrated that such a person can take on more 'mundane' tasks with similar help--tasks such as working for a living." Those tasks are beyond the reach of many handicapped Americans not because they are unable to work, but because many people perceive them as unable to work. Despite the difficulties he has had during his voyage, one hopes Mr. Dickson has dispelled some widely held misconceptions about persons who are physically challenged."
Then, there was the man who wrote with a mixture of sentimentality, reason, and "isn't it wonderful": "When I was a boy living in Massachusetts, one of our unproductive aspirations was to eschew the safe stairway and come down the steel struts on the side of the observation tower on Prospect Hill in Waltham. One day a blind boy from the Perkins Institute in Watertown accompanied our group on the hike to Waltham. Some of the more daring among us decided to come down from the tower the nonproductive way, leaving one behind to walk down the stairs with our 'Jim Dickson.' But the blind boy insisted he wanted to come down the more daring way and could not be persuaded otherwise." So he, too, went down the side of the tower, with one of the sighted ahead of him to lead the way and another behind him to check his handholds on the steel struts. "He arrived on the ground to the cheers of those of active limb but inactive sense. Perhaps our 'Jim' helped the blind by showing that their aspirations could be as foolishly unproductive as any man's. He was happy, too."
Finally, there was the Executive Director of the National Handicapped Sports and Recreation Association, who may have overemphasized the importance of the part played by the negative attitudes of the blind themselves in the massive unemployment faced by the blind but who, even so, did a pretty good job of "telling it like it is": "Curiously, William F. Buckley, Jr., chose to castigate a blind sailor for failing to recognize the limits of his handicap. Further, Mr. Buckley declared that Jim Dickson 'is endeavoring to pull off a stunt, and the blind stand neither to benefit from this adventure nor to ake heart from it.' "What qualifies Mr. Buckley to make these statements? Yes, he is a well known sailor. But he knows nothing about being disabled. He made this abundantly clear when he said, 'If you cannot see the water and the skies, why are you going on a sailboat to begin with?' "Aside from decreeing that the only way to see is through the eyes, Mr. Buckley also lectured disabled people 'to recognize they are handicapped.' Disabled people are all too aware of their handicaps and what they cannot do. In fact, most harbor negative self-images and are reluctant to take even small chances. Unhappily, this results in high unemployment levels and limited socialization among this population. "My job is to change these negative attitudes; that is why the organization I direct decided to sponsor Jim Dickson's solo sail."
The object of Jim Dickson's sail is not to encourage blind people to jump in boats and head for England. His hope is to inspire people to think of life in terms of possibilities, not limitations. The same talking computers that enable him to sail alone also allow blind students to attend regular classes for the sighted and open up job opportunities previously reserved for sighted workers." All of this flurry in the Washington Post was matched in other newspapers around the country and on radio and television. The night before (on August 17) Buckley and Dickson had squared off for a nationwide debate on Ted Koppel's "Nightline" television show. It started like this: "Ted Koppel (voice over): A paraplegic made it around the world in a wheelchair, a high jumper with only one leg cleared six foot eleven, a blind Californian sailed to Hawaii. Whey then shouldn't blind sailor Jim Dickson try to sail across the Atlantic by himself? "(On-camera) Good evening, I'm Ted Koppel, and this is "Nightline." "(Voice-over): 'Jim Dickson is endeavoring to pull off a stunt,' wrote columnist and sailor William F. Buckley, 'and the blind stand neither to benefit from his adventure nor to take heart from it.' "Jim Dickson, Blind Sailor, (Good Morning America): I would very much like the opportunity to debate with Mr. Buckley on something like "Nightline." "Koppel (voice-over): Jim Dickson will get his chance tonight. "Announcer: This is ABC News "Nightline." Reporting from Washington, Ted Koppel. "Koppel: It is a story about being disabled, and what that means to different people. Jim Dickson is legally blind. He has done a fair amount of recreational sailing, but what he has undertaken now is a major enterprise. He is sailing solo across the Atlantic.
That prompted William F. Buckley, the columnist, who is a very experienced sailor, to raise questions about Dickson's prudence and whether what he is doing should even be appropriately attempted by a blind man. Buckley thinks not. That, in turn, infuriated Mr. Dickson, who is presently in Bermuda, where his boat is undergoing some equipment repairs. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here, first, is a report from Ned Potter. "Ned Potter (voice-over): People who know Jim Dickson say he wasn't just making an ocean voyage, he was going on a crusade. He wanted to prove that disabled people need not be limited. With the proper technology, he said, they can hold a decent job or even sail the Atlantic." In the debate which followed, it is pretty generally conceded that Buckley (an experienced debator) got the worst of it. There are things which one could have wished that Dickson had not said, and there were some of the stereotypes and misconceptions; but by and large Dickson held his own and came through with all flags flying. So what does it all mean, and where does it leave us? Probably it leaves us with a "mixed bag."
There are many blind people who have told me that they think Dickson's attempted exploit was not particularly helpful, but most of them have gone on to say that they feel he had the right to do it and that Buckley's attack was unenlightened. I think that those who attempted to portray this as a battle between left wing liberalism and right wing conservatism were reaching pretty far for a point. Neither the left nor the right has a corner on stupidity or enlightenment, and both groups very often miss the boat when it comes to understanding the problems of blindness. There is, indeed, a grain of truth in the argument that the blind are held back by their own negative attitudes and low self- esteem, but this is by no means the whole story. From the beginning of recorded history our road to hell has been paved with other people's good intentions and unenlightened attitudes, and we have also been hindered by discriminatory laws and lack of opportunity even to make a beginning. When we talk of blind people as being "physically challenged," I think it creates an impression of phoniness and trying to pretend, and I don't think this is quibbling. Jim Dickson's boat trip is now history, and each of us will have to decide for himself or herself what it meant and whether it advanced our cause. Perhaps we should leave it with the following excerpt from the Congressional Record:
A Response to William F. Buckley Hon.
Vic Fazio of California
In the House of Representatives
Tuesday, September 29, 1987
Mr. FAZIO. Mr. Speaker, Sharon Gold, President of the National Federation of the Blind of California, has sent me her response to columnist William F. Buckley's article on blind sailor Jim Dickson's attempt to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. I felt it was an excellent response, one that was worthy of being shared with my colleagues. It reads as follows:
Mr. Buckley sits on the high horse of his erudition and his three books on sailing, tilts his head back, looks down his nose, and pronounces pontifically "certain things one can't naturally do when one is blind," "people who can't see have really no business sailing," "I think it is incorrect to suppose that by engaging in an exercise of this kind you are helping blind people, because there's no way that you can make people who are blind unblind." He adds piously, "I wish we could." William Buckley, who postures himself as being in "the right," recently demonstrated in his syndicated column and in a television appearance his inability to recognize the rights of others when he openly and unblushingly criticized Jim Dickson, a blind sailor, for setting sail upon the Atlantic Ocean using modern technology designed for use by the blind. Mr. Buckley, who is a recognized authority on sailing, has thrust himself into the field of blindness as a self-announced authority.
In this newfound position, Mr. Buckley has declared that he would neither "take" the blind to the ballet nor "take" the blind to the Grand Canyon and that the blind have no right to join him in sailing. The truth is, that the blind don't need a Mr. Buckley to "take" us to the ballet or to the Grand Canyon and we have as much right to the seaways as we do to the streets and byways of the land. In other words, blind persons choose for themselves whether we will attend the ballet, hike through the Grand Canyon, swim in the ocean, and, yes, sail the seas. Mr. Dickson said: The attitude which Mr. Buckley has expressed is the attitude which keeps 500 thousand blind Americans "in circumstances akin to the 14th century." The attitude to which Mr. Dickson refers is the real tragedy of blindness, and it is this antiquated attitude which is the kind the National Federation of the Blind (a nationwide membership organization of blind persons) has been working to dispel for now almost half a century.
The National Federation of the Blind believes that with opportunity and training in the alternative techniques of blindness--techniques which Mr. Buckley obviously does not know or understand--blind persons can participate as equal members of society and hold jobs alongside their sighted colleagues. In these modern times, all persons benefit from the advancement of technology. The blind person's use of technology which "speaks" in a synthesized voice or gives a printout in Braille is no different from a sighted person's use of technology which displays or produces a readout in print. Does Mr. Buckley believe that because Mr. Dickson has become blind he has become a "native American alien" without the right of citizenship and that he is thus without the rights and privileges of a citizen in this country--free to walk the byways and the highways and go sailing on the high seas?
REHABILITATION'S ONE-WAY STREET
We are often told that the agencies would like to cooperate with the National Federation of the Blind but that Federationists won't do it. The truth is that many of the state agencies for the blind absolutely refuse to cooperate with the organized blind movement and are not willing to have any partnership at all--except, of course, when they want something, like appropriations or public testimonials. All of this was brought to mind by a recent article in the Newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia. Seville Allen, Newsletter Editor, writes: "Communication? Ed Peay, Richmond Area Federation of the Blind and active in our NFB Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) program, sent a written report to President Brown on an assignment he had completed. According to Mr. Peay's report, President Brown had asked him to attend a career day type activity, participating on a panel to discuss jobs. The panel was sponsored by the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped (VDVH).
Mr. Peay reported that a VDVH official told him that he was participating on the panel with the understanding that he would not discuss JOB. In fact, Mr. Peay said that he had been told that Commissioner McCann had asked that JOB be left out of the panel discussion. "Thinking this a bit strange, to have a discussion of jobs and to leave out one of the most successful job placement programs for the blind to be quite peculiar, I called Commissioner McCann in late July and asked him about such an instruction. McCann said that he had not had such an instruction given to Mr. Peay. However, he went on to say that he didn't want a discussion of JOB to take up the meeting, or he didn't want that forum used for JOB advertisements because it is only one of several resources. Further, he said that he didn't know much about JOB." This is what Seville Allen reports, and it is passing strange. Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) is an official program of the United States Department of Labor, which is jointly sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind. The Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped is a state rehabilitation agency, largely financed with federal funds; and rehabilitation is (or should be) primarily concerned with getting jobs. Agencies, take note. Cooperation is a two-way street.
INFORMATION ABOUT DIABETES
At the beginning of the twentieth century diabetes was scarcely ever considered as a factor in blindness. Then, in the 1920's everything changed. Insulin was synthesized, and diabetics began to live longer. Today diabetes is the largest cause of new blindness in the United States. One of the most active groups in the National Federation of the Blind is the Diabetic Division. Its capable President, Karen Mayry, provides excellent leadership; and Ed Bryant (the editor of its newletter, the Voice of the Diabetic) is equally effective. From time to time we print material from the Voice of the Diabetic because of its general interest and because some blind diabetics or members of their families may not yet have been introduced to the publication. Each issue of the Voice of the Diabetic carries a column called "Ask Dr. James." The July-September, 1987, Voice of the Diabetic is of particular interest. Here is the "Ask Dr. James" column, followed by "What Is Sugar Diabetes?":
Ask Dr. James
by Ronald C. James, M.D.
Question 1: I occasionally have a bad taste in my mouth. I don't know how to describe it except it is kind of heavy but not sticky. Could this be related to sugar diabetes?
Answer 1: As far as I know diabetes does not cause this kind of change in one's taste sensation. Of course, the dry mouth that can occur with high sugars and dehydration may give one an unpleasant sensation.
Question 2: I am a pregnant diabetic and want to know if there is some sort of insulin withdrawal my child might undergo. Will insulin affect my newborn child?
Answer 2: Your child will not undergo an insulin withdrawal at the time of his/her birth because of the insulin that you have been taking. The insulin you take does not cross the placenta and will not enter the baby. Therefore, the baby is not exposed to your insulin as such. On the other hand, sugar from your blood crosses the placenta, and the baby's blood sugar will be a direct reflection of your blood sugar level. If you have too much insulin resulting in an insulin reaction, at that time the unborn child's sugar will be low also. There is no good evidence that this causes any real detrimental effect on the unborn child. This is probably because you usually do something during an insulin reaction to bring your sugar back up and thus at the same time bring the unborn child's sugar back up. If your sugars are high prior to the birth of your child, this means the child's sugar at the time will be high. Because the child has a normal pancreas and will be able to produce insulin, it will have plenty of insulin present at the time of birth. When it is suddenly withdrawn from your high sugar (which is its source of sugar up until the time of birth) and it has a lot of insulin present, then its sugar will fall rapidly and it will develop hypoglycemia. This might be interpreted as a withdrawal from the mother's high blood sugar at the time of birth, but certainly is not the result of withdrawing from the mother's insulin. This results from the mother's not having enough insulin to keep her blood sugar down prior to the time of birth.
Question 3: What determines if a person is classified as a borderline diabetic or diabetic?
Answer 3: Several years ago diabetes doctors from around the world got together and agreed on a common terminology and a common classification in terms of the various types of glucose intolerance. What was once called borderline diabetes is now referred to as impaired glucose tolerance. The distinction between the individual with borderline diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) and the diabetic is determined by the two-hour oral glucose tolerance test. Those individuals with diabetes have one blood glucose value between the fasting and the two-hour sample as well as the two-hour sample that exceeds 200 mg.%. Those with borderline diabetes have one value between the fasting and two-hour sample that exceeds 200 mg.%, but the two-hour sample is less than 200 mg.%.
Question 4: Why can't insulin be taken orally?
Answer 4: Insulin cannot be taken orally because it is a protein and will be broken down by the digestive enzymes in the intestinal tract just like any other protein such as meat or eggs. Therefore, it will be destroyed. Very little of it will be absorbed.
Question 5: Do you recommend U-100 disposable syringes or glass syringes that have to be boiled for sterilization?
Answer 5: Either disposable syringes or glass syringes that must be sterilized can be used for administration of insulin. I usually recommend the disposable syringes simply because they can be thrown away after use and one does not need to bother with sterilizing them. However, if cost is a problem, glass syringes that can be used repeatedly, sometimes for many years, will be much cheaper.
Question 6: Would you explain the procedure which allows insulin to be sprayed into the nose instead of being injected? Who would I contact if I were interested in volunteering to test this procedure?
Answer 6: Insulin, like some other medicines, can be sprayed into the nose, where it will be absorbed through the mucous membranes lining the air passages. At the present time this does not appear to be a practical way of treating diabetes because of several problems. Such preparations may irritate the nose and cause considerable difficulties. Another problem is variable absorption of the insulin from time to time; for example, if one sneezes, this may blow some of the insulin out of the nose, and thus it will not be absorbed. Also, absorption may be affected by infections such as colds, or conditions such as allergies like hay fever. I do not personally know who is doing research with nasal insulin, but I am sure it is being done at some of the university-related diabetes centers around the country. On the other hand, I think there would be no great need for volunteers since many people are willing to help out with this type of research.
What Is Sugar Diabetes?
In order to function properly, we must digest the food eaten. In the digestion process, carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are converted into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and the intestines. The bloodstream carries the glucose to the heart, which then pumps it to all parts of the body. All parts of the body need glucose for energy. When it reaches the part of the body where it is needed, it has to enter the cells so it can be used. Glucose cannot get into the cells without having help. Insulin is the agent that provides this help. Insulin helps transport the glucose into the body cells. Insulin is made by a gland called the pancreas. The pancreas is in the abdomen just below the stomach, and it makes insulin whenever it is needed. If the pancreas is working properly, it will make just enough insulin to match the glucose made from the digested food. The pancreas of a person with diabetes does not make insulin properly, or the body doesn't use the insulin correctly. When there is not enough insulin being made, high levels of sugar or glucose build up in the blood stream. If the body is not being fed with glucose, then it will start eating up its fat stores. A person can lose considerable weight, as his or her body is actually eating itself. The kidneys serve to filter the substances in the blood stream that are not useful. When too much glucose builds up in the blood stream, the kidneys make so much urine to filter out the excess glucose that the body tends to get dried out. This makes us urinate a lot, and we must drink a lot of extra liquid to make up for all the urine passed. In summary, insulin is a hormone which the body needs to properly convert food to glucose and energy. Diabetes is a condition in which there is not sufficient insulin available to the body; thus, there is too much sugar in the blood stream.
OF ELEVATORS AND STAIRWAYS
by Susan Jones
(Susan Jones is a Federationist from Indianapolis. Like many of the rest of us, she no longer accepts without question the ancient stereotypes about blindness. She believes that she should have the same rights and responsibilities as others have, but she also has the normal fears about losing her job, alienating fellow employees, or fighting on the wrong battlefield. What should she do? What would you do? Courage has many definitions. The climb from second-class status to first-class citizenship is always difficult, whether by stair or elevator. Here are excerpts from a letter from Susan Jones to President Maurer. Not surprisingly, it was written shortly after the 1987 NFB convention. One can understand why our critics do not want us to get together for discussion.)
The issue I wish to discuss with you is one I have discussed at length for the past year with John Halverson, President of the Public Employees Division of the National Federation of the Blind. In my mind it is very similar to the emergency exit row issue. I work for the Social Security Administration in the Minton-Capehart Federal Building in Indianapolis. For purposes of emergency evacuation I, along with all other blind employees, am considered "handicapped" and must take the elevator along with all the nonambulatory people, while my fellow employees take the stairs. I have been troubled about this since coming to work for SSA in 1977. When I heard about Terry McManus's case (see "Blindness: The Coming of the Third Generation," Braille Monitor, October, 1986), as well as those of my blind brothers and sisters with exit row problems, I knew last July that it was my turn to take a stand, and I'd best begin immediately. I made an appointment and talked at length with John Laughman, our building coordinator for emergency evacuations. He stated to me that he had problems getting all handicapped persons in the two elevators that could be manually operated in an emergency and that our taking the stairs would help solve that problem, but he didn't know if he would be allowed to let us do that. At John Halverson's suggestion I asked whether deaf employees must ride on elevators. He said yes, that they were included as handicapped persons. I kept calling him every once in a while, and month after month he said he didn't know anything yet.
Finally, May 5, 1987, he called a meeting of all handicapped employees and their supervisors to discuss emergency evacuation procedures. I thought, "Aha, now's my chance!" The meeting was to discuss other issues, such as the malfunction of the elevators in last month's evacuation drill. And as you might imagine, it dribbled off into all kinds of "what-if" situations, including the total failure of the elevators and the need for nonambulatory employees and visitors to be carried downstairs. But before it dribbled off I brought up my issue quickly. Mr. Laughman announced to those present that this was not a new issue, that he had held several discussions prior, and that he still did not have an answer. There were several reactions from those attending, mostly supervisors. How would I use my cane? Wouldn't I trip the people in front of me? One woman described the plight of her poor four-year-old child, who was with her as she was visiting, not working, in the building during the last drill. She had to pick the child up, lest she get crushed by the crowd.
I listened politely and then said, "Yes, you should have picked that child up. You did the right thing. On the other hand, I have age, height, body weight, and hopefully good judgment on my side. I am not a child." Then, an ex-Marine corporal, as he put it, told how during a disaster you have to anticipate the worst possible scenario and plan for the masses, and thus he couldn't go along with having blind people evacuate with everybody else. The risks were too great. What if somebody tripped and fell in front of me? I might not be aware, would trip over them, and so on. The long and short was, Mr. Laughman still didn't know and didn't know whether he had the authority to make such a decision; and until further notice, we blind people were to exit using the elevators. Incidentally, his policy has changed with regard to deaf employees. They now should use the stairs, but with a "buddy." At our Public Employees Division meeting at the NFB convention in Phoenix on Monday, June 29, it was generally agreed that the only way we're going to change anything is to begin using the stairs and dealing later with the consequences. I feel frightened just thinking about that. I got in trouble once for taking the stairs--when I did so due to a misunderstanding. My manager called me into her office, chewed me up one side and down the other, and reprimanded me for insubordination. I'm not aware that anything went into my personnel file, because I was able to convince her that I had misunderstood. The announcement over the p.a. system which had previously said, "All handicapped persons please use the elevator," did not say it that particular time. So I figured we were all to go down the stairs. That was three years ago.
My supervisor, manager, and office marshal are unaware that I believe sending the blind down on the elevator is unnecessary attention and something we blind don't need. I don't have any support from my co-workers. They're just mosly silent. There are, I would guess, fifteen other blind people working in the building. One works in my office. We have discussed this situation at length, and he would like to see our situation changed but is not likely to be willing to make waves over it. I know personally two or three others who, when I told them that I was talking to Mr. Laughman, said "Well, good luck. We've tried and can't seem to make any headway." None of these people are Federationists. Most deplore what they see as our militancy and don't want to get involved. What am I to do? It may cost me my job. But I believe it is wrong to bow to people who want to make us "more handicapped" than we are. I've thought of trying to invite all blind employees over to my home for dessert and coffee and to discuss this thing. As I have said, I don't know them all and don't know if I could get their names. I'm looking for all the wisdom and suggestions I can find. I'm a poor strategist. But I know, even with the most wonderful advice in the world, the bottom line is, I have to stick my neck out. I am willing to do that. I just want to know what kind of support I can get and how to find support among my fellow blind employees. Anything you can suggest to help me would be greatly appreciated. I do think it's important to know how to avoid doing things that will get us into more trouble than we should--just as you make decisions to fight some battles in court, some by negotiation, etc.
DOG GUIDES AT THE ZOO
Salem, Oregon May 20, 1987
Dear President Maurer:
Enclosed please find a letter I'm sending to all state presidents together with a proposed policy on dog guides from the Washington Park Zoo (Portland, Oregon). As we research this proposal, some interesting medical facts have become available. Rabies, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine leptospirosis, canine parvovirus, salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and brucellosis are not of major concern since dog guides are vaccinated against them, except rabies, and they are transmitted through fecal matter. Toxoplasmosis is acquired through the ingestion of raw meat. Brucellosis is sexually transmitted. Such concerns lead one to wonder what Washington Park Zoo believes the function of dog guides to be. I.e. is the concern for toxoplasmosis a concern for the dog guide user or the zoo? Who eats whom? I will reserve my comments on brucellosis. Are Washington Park's concerns about their hooved animals as valid as their opinions on zenotoxicity? If we have information on file that may be of help, please let me know.
Cordially, Dave Hyde, President
National Federation of the Blind of Oregon
To the Members of the National Federation of the Blind
Enclosed you will find a proposed policy from the Washington Park Zoo (Portland, Oregon) regarding access for persons with dog guides. We are compiling information about such policies in zoos throughout the country. If a zoo in your state has specific policies dealing with dog guides which refuse, limit, or allow total access to a zoo, or has a history of such policy, or is commonly believed to have such policy, please let me know by return mail. I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If we can solve this problem here, we can solve it elsewhere.
Cordially, Dave Hyde, President
National Federation of the Blind of Oregon
Proposed Policy Washington Park Zoo
Dogs, in general, pose a threat to the health and safety of the Zoo's animal collection. In addition to violating a captive animal's flight distance, they can also transmit various diseases. Among the more common diseases and pathogens are: canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine leptospirosis, canine parvovirus, rabies, salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and brucellosis. External and internal parasites can also be detrimental to the captive collection. Because of these considerations and in accordance with the Zoo's responsibility for the health and welfare of the animal collection, many of them endangered species, it is preferred that guide dogs remain at the Administration office in the care of Zoo staff. The Zoo is prepared to provide an escort to facilitate the blind guest's visit. However, if the guest requests, their dog will be allowed on the Zoo grounds with a Zoo representative. Keepers will be notified that there is a dog on the grounds and that its presence has been authorized. The representative accompanying the visitor and the dog should be a responsible employee (preferably the Manager on Duty or an Animal Management representative) who will stay with the blind person as long as they are on the grounds with their dog. If the representative perceives that the dog is upsetting any Zoo animal, the dog must be removed from the area of concern. Because direct contact greatly increases the risk of disease transmission, guide dogs will not be allowed in areas where direct contact with Zoo animals is probable, such as the Children's Zoo, the Cascade Marsh, the Africa Bush Walkthrough Aviary, etc.
TOM ANDERSON HONORED
As a part of the 200th anniversary celebration of the adoption of the United States Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance, the State of Ohio is giving recognition to outstanding citizen achievement in each of six categories displaying civic participation, generosity, and patriotism. Cities and counties throughout the state are selecting community leaders to be honored and to represent them in statewide competition. In public ceremonies at the Mahoning County Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio, September 17, 1987, Tom Anderson received the following award:
Certificate of Recognition Spirit of '87 Award
In recognition of extraordinary community service through demonstrated leadership in furthering the principles stated in the Articles of Compact of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the city/county of Youngstown hereby recognizes Thomas Anderson as the Spirit of '87 Award Recipient For contributions in promoting the Ordinance principle of "Human Freedom" in our community. Honored on this date, September 17, 1987. In accordance with the Spirit of '87 Awards, you are an official representative of the city/county in a statewide competition sponsored by Ohio's Northwest Ordinance and United States Constitution Bicentennial Commission.
In addition to the certificate a proclamation was issued by the Mayor of Youngstown:
City of Youngstown
Whereas: As part of the state's bicentennial celebration of the Northwest Ordinance and the U. S. Constitution, the Spirit of '87 Awards were established to recognize outstanding citizen achievement in each of six categories displaying civic participation, generosity, and patriotism; and
Whereas: As past President of the National Federation of the Blind of Mahoning Valley, presently Second Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio and a member of numerous organizations, Thomas Anderson has demonstrated that he is a capable civil rights advocate for many minority groups including the blind community; and
Whereas: Tom's commitment to the community combines a love for human service with a desire to educate for civic responsibility. Now, therefore, I, Patrick J. Ungaro, as Mayor of the City of Youngstown, do hereby recognize
as the Spirit of '87 Award Recipient
for contributions in promoting the Ordinance principle of Human Freedom in our community and further do congratulate Mr. Anderson on his outstanding achievements and invaluable service.
In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and cause to be affixed the Great Seal of the City of Youngstown, Ohio, this 10th day of September, 1987.
Patrick J. Ungaro
WHY NOT HAVE IT ALL?
by Homer Page
(Dr. Homer Page is Deputy Mayor of Boulder, Colorado, and a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is also one of the leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and of the national movement. The following article is taken from an address delivered by Dr. Page at a luncheon in St. Louis on May 2, 1987. The occasion was a conference and series of seminars centering around the theme "Focus on Success" sponsored jointly by the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri.)
Miss Nellie Stice was my English teacher during my senior year at Buchannan High School in Troy, Missouri. She often read examinations for me. On the final examination I received 296 points out of a possible total of 300. When we finished the exam, she told me my score and said, "Have you ever thought about what you would be able to accomplish if you were not blind?" Miss Stice did not believe blind persons could be successful. She believed that I had ability, and she felt badly that I, in her view, was destined to be thwarted in my efforts to use that ability. She genuinely felt pain for me.
If any other of my classmates would have done so well, and none of them did, she would have said to that student, "Congratulations, you will go far in life," but those were not her expectations for me. Others may not believe in us. We must believe in ourselves, no matter what the expectations of others may be. This hard truth is the beginning for whatever success we may find. If we are to truly believe in ourselves, there is a proposition that we must affirm. It is one that we should think about and not accept glibly or without serious soul searching. It is this: I believe my life is as good and as meaningful and as successful as it would have been if I had normal sight. I believe this is true for me, and I want to talk with you about why I believe that it is true. In spite of the withering message that I received from Miss Stice, I was generally encouraged as a child.
When I was in the first grade, the teacher set up three groups of different learning levels. I was originally placed in the slowest group. My parents are not educated people. My mother completed the tenth grade, and my father went only to the eighth grade. However, they understood that it was not good for me to remain in that group. They talked with the teacher, and I was moved up to the first row. I am sure that nothing my parents ever did for me apart from giving me life was so important to my future. If the teachers and administrators and other people had developed the expectations that I couldn't keep up with the demands of the school, then I hesitate to think what my life would have become. I am certain it would have been different and that it would have been much worse. There was another time when my parents came to my rescue. During the summer between my third and fourth grades in school my family was visited by representatives from the Missouri School for the Blind.
My father and I were on top of the chicken house putting down a new roof. We spoke with them from our lofty perch. They wanted me to attend the MSB in the fall. My father said "no." He said, "My son is doing fine in school. I think a boy's place is with his family, and besides, who would help me with all this work if he were to go with you?" Now I don't want to argue the pros and cons of residential education. I only want to make the point that few things could have been more important to a young blind child than to hear his father affirm that he was successful in school, loved and wanted by his family, and a productive contributing member of the economy of his family farm. My school didn't know what to do with me a lot of the time; so I was allowed to do what I could figure out to do. It was the great privilege of the sixth grade boys at Troy Elementary School to get to be the School Boy Patrol. The teachers could have forbidden me to take part in this highly prized activity, but they did not. I took my turn with all the other boys, and I would have gladly faced down a semi-truck at a street crossing. Needless to say, no such heroic deed was required.
How many times do the blind children in a classroom get the opportunity to do errands in school? The message is usually very clear. Someone else can do it better. I was lucky. The way had been prepared for me by my parents. I took my turn with all the others. By the time Miss Stice made her comment it was already too late for my spirit to be damaged very much. I was on my way to college, and there were some things that I wanted to do. Three important things came into my life during my college years. I became a varsity wrestler, I joined in the civil rights movement, and I became a serious, committed student. I needed to wrestle, because it was important to me to prove to myself that I was a physically competent athlete. The civil rights movement made a truly lasting impression on me. I committed myself to work for a more just society.
There were times when I literally put my life on the line. I didn't really understand that the struggle to establish the rights of the black people would be so directly parallel to the struggle for the rights of the blind. The lessons which I was learning in the civil rights movement in the sixties would become valuable to me as I joined the struggle for the rights of the blind in the seventies and eighties. Finally, the commitment which I made to becoming a really serious student has shaped my career. I had always been a good student, but there came a time when I took the risk to become a really serious scholar. This risk-taking led to me completion of a Ph.D. and employment in higher education as a university professor and administrator. The education which I received opened many doors for me. It was my passport to successful employment, involvement in community activities, and political office. I have been active in politics for the last twenty-three years. I have worked in one or another campaign on behalf of the candidate for the Colorado State Board of Education, and I was the Deputy Director of the Colorado Campaign for Mondale/Ferraro.
In 1981 I was elected to the Boulder City Council. I was re- elected in 1985 and was chosen to be Boulder's Deputy Mayor in 1986. Politics is an interesting business for blind persons. My blindness has been an issue in almost every campaign in which I have been involved. It is very competitive. There are very few positions, and many want those positions. Dr. Jernigan has spoken of the difficulty that comes as blind people make progress. The voter is asked to select a leader, but the stereotype of the blind does not include an element of leadership. One of the trite statements which people use to describe a feeling of confusion is "It is like the blind leading the blind." I have had well- respected people in the community go door to door before an election telling people not to vote for me, because I would only represent the interest of the blind. One of the persons was a local judge. It is so very important for blind people to be in positions of leadership so that these stereotypes can be challenged in visible public ways. It is necessary for blind people to exercise power, if we are to change the way people think about us.
Two summers ago the Denver and Boulder Chapters of the NFB went horseback riding and picnicking at a local stable. I wanted to take my cane along on the ride. I am a competent horseman, and I always take my cane when I ride. The stable personnel became angry and abusive when I would not leave my cane behind. Finally I told them I would deal with them the next day. The land on which their operation was located belongs to the city of Boulder. I have responsibility for overseeing the lease that allows them to operate on that land. I began to take the necessary action to terminate their lease. Their humble apologies were rapidly forthcoming. These people are not unlike most of the public. They could not believe that a blind person would be so outrageous as to refuse to do what they wanted him to do, and they were totally surprised to find out that such a person might have the power to take away their livelihood.
Have I been successful? In some ways perhaps I have; but if I have, I haven't done it on my own, and there is more to my success than I have so far stated. I had a supportive family and generally helpful friends and teachers, but there was a group of people working for me about whom I had no knowledge until well into my adult life. That group was the men and women of the National Federation of the Blind. Even though I didn't know it, opportunities had been made available for me by the work of the generation of NFB members that preceded me. The rehabilitation programs that provided funding for my education would have been reluctant to do that twenty years before. The actions of the NFB during the first generation of its existence had substantially changed what it meant to be blind, and so I got a chance. Whether we like it or not, blind people are judged as a group. No matter how competent a blind individual may be, he or she will find that his or her success is tied with an unbreakable knot to the success or failure of the least competent blind person.
We who are blind are a family, and whether we like it or not, we cannot escape from our blind brothers and sisters, but why would we want to? We come together in the NFB to work together for the success of all of us. The NFB has provided me with a great deal of friendship and support, but the most important thing that I have gained from it has been the ability to accept and understand and care for other blind people. What this really means, of course, is that I have learned to accept my own blindness, and so I don't have to worry about being identified by the sighted world with all of those other blind people. I don't have to try to overcome my blindness.
How could anyone overcome his blindness? My blindness is a part of me like other characteristics. I am who I am, and part of that is being blind. I entitled the speech, "Why Not Have It All?" What does it mean to have it all? For me, it has meant to have a strong family, a good education, a successful career, respect and acceptance from my community, and a strong relationship with my blind sisters and brothers. It has meant support, friendship, and love from the organized blind community. It has meant achieving peace with myself concerning my blindness. In many ways which I understand and many more ways which I may never know, the success which I have achieved is grounded in the work of the men and women of the National Federation of the Blind. I invite you to join me in the work that needs to be done to insure that the next generation of blind persons will have even more opportunities than we have today. It is not easy work, nor should my invitation be easily accepted. We may be required to speak with a congressman or run for elective office. We may be required to speak to a class of young children or testify in a court of law. We may be required to demonstrate on the steps of the U. S. Capitol or be arrested and go to jail. We will be required to work hard and long hours and sometimes to be attacked. But even with all of this I still invite you to join me, because the future is ours, and we can never go back.
TO PRETEND TO BE BLIND IS NOT HELPFUL
The following letter calls attention to a phenomenon which is widespread and persistent. It is something which blind persons should be alert to resist, and Federationists usually are and do:
October 7, 1987
Honorable Alex A. Olejko
Mayor City of Lorain, Ohio
Dear Mayor Olejko:
The blind of Lorain County are pleased that Monday, October 19, has been declared Handicapped Awareness Day in our city. However, we are concerned about the way in which we have heard the city council will observe the day. We have heard that one or more councilmen have plans to wear blindfolds during their meeting, supposedly to be more aware of what it is like to be blind. We do not feel that this is what is needed to have sighted people be more aware of what it is to be blind.
First of all, they will be able to remove the blindfolds at the end of the time they have decided to wear them. Also, not all blind persons are totally blind and thus see more than total darkness. Further, people who do this type of exercise, because they're not trained to deal with blindness, may feel helpless and frustrated. Blind people, properly adjusted to their disability, need not be either frustrated or helpless. Also, the participants may feel that, because one is helpless and frustrated when they're blind, that they cannot do anything for themselves, work in a job, or live a normal life.
The blind of Lorain County would urge the city council members to consider what we feel are more important issues about being blind. Some of these are the need for employment opportunities for qualified blind persons in competitive jobs. Other issues include adequate transportation and discrimination in housing. For information on blind people and blindness, contact me at Elyria: 365- 7970, or the National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.
Sincerely, Philip R. Copeland
President NFB of Lorain County
THE LEGACY OF FATHER CARROLL
by Kenneth Jernigan
In the period immediately following World War II, one of the best known and most controversial figures in work with the blind in this country was Father Thomas Carroll. He believed that blindness was more than a loss of eyesight. He thought it was a kind of "dying." In fact, he compiled a list of what he called "the twenty lacks and losses of blindness"--a list which some regarded as a kind of bible, others made fun of, and still others dismissed as ridiculous nonsense, not worth discussing. As one would deduce from the name, Father Carroll was a Catholic priest, but his writings and conversations were dominated by an overwhelming concern with psychiatry. He said, for instance, that one should "vidiate." As I understand it, this is a process whereby one constantly practices trying to remember what things look like. For instance, when a man shaves in the morning, he is supposed to make faces in front of a mirror and picture them in his mind's eye so that his "visual memory" will be kept alive.
According to Father Carroll newly blinded adults in training were expected to walk around constantly thinking about how their surroundings looked--regardless of whether they knew what was there or whether the mental pictures had any relationship at all to reality. It was, to say the least, a novel concept, one which was never predominant and which continues to enjoy a steadily declining degree of popularity. Let me give you an example of how it works. Twenty-five or thirty years ago I visited a rehabilitation center which was being operated according to the Father Carroll philosophy, and I was having lunch with the center's director. He said (a paraphrase, not a quote): "We want the newly blinded person to keep alive his visual memory. Therefore, at unexpected moments we tap a trainee on the arm and say, 'What do you see?' If we are out of doors, the trainee is expected to describe the trees, people who are walking at a distance, and such like." At this stage (the director was a blind man) I reached over, tapped him on the arm, and said: "What do you see?" Without hesitation he replied (again, a paraphrase, not a direct quote): "The fellow sitting across the table from us is wearing a dark blue suit with a beautiful red tie. The waiter is approaching him with a pot of coffee and pouring it into his cup. The waiter is smiling." He went on to say: "Of course, I don't know whether the fellow across the table is wearing a dark suit or not--and, for that matter, whether he has on a suit at all; nor do I know whether a waiter is there or has coffee. But this is how the process works. It keeps my visual memory alive." I told him that this concept violated everything I thought I knew about how to teach blind persons to live in the normal world and that I thought it was harmful and counterproductive, but he said that it was the best way to rehabilitate a blind person--and who can say which of us was right.
At any rate Father Carroll established a rehabilitation center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. It still continues to operate as the "Carroll Center for the Blind"--and as was the case with its namesake, it functions in an atmosphere of controversy and different degrees of respect and credibility. Those who love it love it a lot, and those how disparage it do so with equal vigor and persistence. Dennis Polselli, one of the leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, is the Editor of the Cassette Gazette, which is the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts newsletter. In its Fall, 1987, issue the Cassette Gazette carries an article by Gwen Evans entitled "The Ghost of Father Carroll Still Haunts the Blind." In an introduction to the article Editor Polselli says in part: "Gwen Evans is a member of the Vermont affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. Gwen graduated from College last June and decided to get some introduction to computer skills.
In previous issues of this publication, we have mentioned the Cable Program taught at the Carroll Center by Bryan Charlsen, Vice President of Talking Computer Systems in Watertown; and Joe Lazarro, President of the same company. The Cable Program is a two-week introductory course to computer technology. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has, in the past few years, required clients to take the Cable Program before the agency loaned out any equipment to blind persons. One such client was threatened by the Commission: 'No Cable Program, no job.' Gwen Evans agreed to take on the assignment of being Cassette Gazette correspondent during her experience and keep a journal of what was happening." After the introduction by Editor Polselli Gwen Evans' report was given as follows:
I recently had the opportunity to receive computer training from Project Cable at the Carroll Center for the Blind. The Carroll Center is located in Newton, Massachusetts, and although Project Cable is housed on the campus, it is a separate program from the center itself. I stayed in the center's dormitory, so I had the opportunity to speak to clients and staff about the programs offered at the center. It seemed that the more I inquired the more dubious I became about the quality of the programs offered.
During the time I was there I was with students participating in the center's "Youth in Transition" program, a six-week program of training and recreation to assist blind teenagers with their transition into adulthood. These clients were sent to this program by the state rehabilitation agencies from Massachusetts to New York state. Among the courses the clients had to take were: Braille (grade one only), mobility, typing, sensory training, tape recording, written and spoken communication skills, personal management, group and individual counseling, and fencing (yes, fencing). One gets the impression that blind adolescents really need a separate program with this kind of curriculum in order to be successful in college. Is this program really necessary, or is it a waste of taxpayer's money? I had the opportunity to talk to the participants in the program about this curriculum.
The fencing course, which is always an eyeraiser, is to help develop coordination for good mobility skills, the staff told me. Each participant is required to have his or her feet examined to determine if there are any abnormalities that would impede his or her travel skills. I found this to be the most amazing thing I have ever heard. As one student described it to me, "If one has a callous on the left foot or if the foot points outward, the person would be veering to the left when walking." I personally have never heard of such a procedure or theory. There are other interesting things about the classes. As an example, a former student who participated in a similar program at the Carroll Center reported to me that in the case of personal management four of the six weeks in the course were spent on how to pour liquid into a cup. And then there is the question of the "tape recording" class. Why does it take six weeks? They must spend one week per button. All these examples form a pattern of inconsistencies in the Carroll Center's philosophy, or lack thereof.
The inconsistencies are not only prevalent in the programs but in some of the practices of the Carroll Center. For instance, some of the pathways were lined with handrails. There were no locks on the rooms in the dorms, affording no privacy to persons who are supposedly adults. (It should be pointed out that the Carroll Center has a sixteen-week program for newly blinded adults premised on the teachings of Father Carroll centered around twenty gains and twenty losses. Twenty-twenty may make for good television, but it is bad philosophy.) Both the lighting and the plumbing were extremely inadequate, and many of the rooms were not kept up very well by the maintenance staff. One of the most appalling experiences I had was the practice of getting around the cafeteria. When I went to breakfast on the first day of the program, I was informed that I had to follow a designated traffic pattern in the room. I had to leave my cane in a set of racks outside the door, and trail the wall with my hand to the kitchen window, where we picked up our tray of food. From the window we were told to turn completely around and veer right until you found the first empty seat. (The Carroll Center offered no technique on how to ascertain an empty seat.)
When the meal was completed, we were told to pick up our trays, veer over to the opposite direction back to the window to return our trays, and locate and trail the wall to the door. I do not usually travel without my cane, and this was no exception. In fact, I did not follow the policy. I kept my cane with me at as many meals as I could get away with and stowed it underneath the table out of other people's way. One day at lunch I was approached by Dick Connors, the director of community outreach, who asked me if I was aware of the "no cane in cafeteria policy and the traffic patterns." I told him I was aware of them but that I preferred to keep my cane with me. He told me that "canes belong in the racks." Then, before I could even protest, my cane was confiscated. As I sat there at the table, I remember thinking of another situation where blind persons have had their canes taken from them (the airlines). It's bad enough when the airlines harass blind persons by confiscating canes, but when an agency dedicated to teaching the blind does the same, that's insane. It is all these examples and more that illustrate how the Carroll Center is perpetuating the old stereotypes instead of teaching that it is respectable to be blind and how the cane is more efficient for getting around than trailing walls.
WELCOME TO CHICAGO
by Stephen Benson
The members of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois are looking forward to greeting you at the Chicago convention. There will be hospitality, worthwhile program items, and the most interesting time you have ever had in your life. Your first impressions of the Chicago Hyatt Regency hotel may be formed by Bill, the chief doorman who is stationed at the taxi entrance of the east tower. His enthusiastic and friendly greeting is quite typical of what you will find inside.
As you exit the taxi, over your right shoulder one block to the west, is the striking white tiled Wrigley Building. Standing on the north bank of the Chicago River and on the west side of Michigan Avenue, the Wrigley Company's world headquarters marks the beginning of Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The building is brilliantly illuminated at night. It is, unquestionably, a landmark you should know about. The Wrigley Building is also credited for marking the site of the home and business of Chicago's first permanent settler, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable, a black man, established his trading post in about 1779. Trading with the Indians made him what some regard as Chicago's first tycoon. As you step inside the Hyatt's east tower, the scene before you will be a four-story glass house lobby, a dazzling expanse of light, greenery waterfalls, a 4,000 square-foot lagoon, and constant motion.
On the "Plaza," or street level, are two restaurants, Stetson's (for gourmet dining), and Scampi (a 24-hour, 285-seat European style cafe, serving ethnic and American fare and set on an island in the lagoon). The Center Club, an elegant and intimate lounge, and a gift shop are also on this level. On the "Skyway" level, just above the Plaza, are the hotel registration area, the concierge, the Gold Passport desk, and bell stand. The Skyway can be accessed by elevator, stairs, or escalator. Between the Skyway and Plaza levels is Rumors, a multi-level lounge. This very comfortable setting is accessible from both the Skyway and Plaza levels. To all of this splendor is added the full, rich sound of a grand piano. Tuxedoed pianists provide continuous background of classical and popular selections. It lends a genuine touch of class. On the Skyway, between the east and west towers, is a small restaurant called The Skyway. Open for breakfast or lunch, it specializes in fantastic omelettes. Just inside the west tower, on the Skyway level, is Mrs. O'Leary's delicatessen and bar. It features fresh seafood and homestyle dishes in a decor that is reminiscent of a turn-of-the- century Chicago tavern. I'm told the onion soup is "out of this world." On Sundays, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the Plaza level of the west tower becomes Captain Streeters Champagne Brunch. The musical background is some of Chicago's best live jazz. Oh, the food is very good.
The Chicago Hyatt Regency is an excellent facility. It contains 185,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. The Grand Ballroom, two levels below the street in the east tower, contains 24,500 square feet. The Regency Ballroom, two levels below the street in the west tower, has 6,500 square feet. Wacker Hall, three levels below the street, is capable of housing exhibits of up to 70,000 square feet. The hotel's towers are connected by a concourse one level below the street and by a Skyway one level above the street. Massive as this property is, it is laid out sensibly, mostly in straight lines. Two important keys to remember are these: (1) the escalators in the east tower run north and south, and (2) the escalators in the west tower run east and west. Both tower lobbies have fountain/waterfalls. However, the east lobby is much larger, much busier, and the pianists play twenty-two hours per day. The taxi entrance is in the east tower. The airport entrance is in the west tower.
At the close of the Illinois affiliate's 1987 convention Diane McGeorge, National First Vice President, was overheard saying, "I like this hotel so much, I don't want to leave." You will like the hotel, too. Within a mile of the hotel are three very familiar Chicago landmarks. Buckingham Fountain was a gift to the city in 1921 from Kate Buckingham. This magnificent fountain's central column of water rises 130 feet in the air. Its pool is 285 feet in diameter. Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m., during the summer months, it is illuminated by a splendid rainbow of light. The fountain is patterned after Latona Fountain in Versailles. Buckingham Fountain's setting is also patterned on the gardens of Versailles. The Berghoff Restaurant is a favorite spot for lunch and dinner. This nearly 100-year-old Chicago institution seats 400 people at a time. Its hearty fare is relatively inexpensive. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. The seven and a quarter-ton cast bronze Marshall Field clock at Washington and State, and its twin at Randolpoh and State, are as much symbolic of Marshall Field and Chicago as Buckingham Fountain, the skyline, or the old Water Tower. These clocks have long been favorite rendezvous spots for visitors to the Loop. Chicago is the place to be in July of 1988.
AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTEREST TO VENDORS
by Larry Posont
Louisville, Kentucky, will be the place, and March 11 through 13, 1988, will be the time for the mid-year conference of the National Federation of the Blind Merchants Division. Participants will arrive Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11, at the Howard Johnson Motel, 100 East Jefferson, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. Rates are: singles, $32; doubles, $34; triples, $36; and quads, $38.
If you wish to have an executive room, they are $42 for a single and $44 for a double. To make your reservations call Carol Burke at (502) 582-2481. She will also make arrangements for you to be picked up at the bus station or at the airport. There will be tours of Louisville's vending facilities Friday. In recent years these tours have become increasingly interesting, and vendors in Louisville operate good businesses. Saturday will be our program, which promises to be as good as or better than the one last year. The banquet will be in the evening. Sunday morning will be the business meeting. Vendors, business people, and those interested in business as a career are invited and encouraged to attend. The Merchants Division has a limited amount of money to use to help people get to the conference. To request assistance, contact Donna Posont, 4539 Rosalie, Dearborn, Michigan 48129. She needs to know by January 25 how much assistance you are requesting and something about your background in business. State affiliates are urged to find a way to get at least one representative (more, if possible) to this conference. Each mid-year conference seems to be better than the one before, and Louisville will be no exception. See you there.
Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
Whereas, on October 15, 1987, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) will observe White Cane Safety Day; and
Whereas, the purpose of White Cane Safety Day is to make the public aware of the white cane as a symbol of independence and freedom of blind people, and to promote public awareness of the blind as equal and productive citizens; and
Whereas, during this time the NFB will remind all citizens that persons carrying a white cane or using a dog guide are legally blind and have equal rights under the law to housing; to all places to which the public is invited including, but not limited to, places of lodging, amusement, and recreation; to all modes of public transportation; and to all the streets and byways of our communities; and
Whereas, at this time motorists are to remember that the law requires drivers to exercise appropriate care when approaching blind persons; and
Whereas, it is also at this time that the NFB reminds employers that when blind persons receive proper instruction and genuine opportunity, they compete on equal terms with sighted persons and are, in fact, employed within the broad spectrum of competitive labor and within the professions:
Now, therefore, I, Harold Washington, Mayor of the City of Chicago, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1987, to be White Cane Safety Day in Chicago and commend the National Federation of the Blind on its forty-seven years of effort to achieve security, equality, and opportunity for all blind people of this nation through education, advocacy, and consultation, and urge all citizens to be congnizant of the events arranged for this time.
Dated this 2nd day of September, 1987.
S. C. LOW COUNTRY CHICKEN BOGG
by Irene & Edsel Doyle
(Irene and Edsel Doyle are members of the Columbia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina.)
1 chicken fryer cut up
2 ham hocks smoked or 2 cups smoked ham
2 links smoked sausage cut up
2 large onions sliced
2 cups uncooked rice salt and pepper to taste
In large pot cook ham hocks until tender. Add chicken parts and onion. Cook about twenty minutes until bone can be removed from chicken. Add smoked sausage, bring back to good boil, add rice, and stir well. Put lid on pot, and cut stove as low as possible for twenty to twenty-five minutes with lid tight. Two cups liquid per one cup rice; four to six servings; can be frozen and heated in microwave or oven; good pot supper for large crowd, good fundraiser. If using smoked ham, start ham, chicken, onion, and sausage all at one time. If you have too much stock, save and freeze to use in vegetables or noodles or rice for another meal.
COTTAGE CHEESE CRUNCH
by Peggy Covey
(Peggy Covey is President of the Members At Large of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.)
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/3 cup chopped celery, radishes, and green pepper lettuce leaves
Method: Combine cottage cheese, dill weed, salt, tabasco sauce, and onion. Blend well. Sitr in celery, radishes, and green pepper. Serve on lettuce leaves, tomato slices, or crackers. Makes 1-3/4 cups.
HERBED CREAM CHEESE
by Peggy Covey
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons cream
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Method: Mix these ingredients and refrigerate. This cheese lends itself well to attractive shaping. Sprinkle with lemon pepper before or after shaping.
QUICKY HERBED BREAD
by Peggy Covey
1 loaf Italian or French bread
4 cups soft butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt few twists freshly ground pepper
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make diagonal cuts in bread one inch apart. Do not cut through bottom of bread. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Spread mixture between bread slices. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake fifteen to twenty minutes until butter is melted and bread is hot.
PARSLEY DILL DRESSING
by Peggy Covey
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Method: Mix well. Use on salad or as a dip.
FOUR LAYER DESSERT
by Sandy Hansen
(Sandy Hansen is a member of the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota.)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1 carton cool whip
2 packages instant pudding (any flavor, mix with 3 cups milk)
1/2 cup nut meats
Mix flour, margarine, and nuts. Put into nine- by thirteen-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for fifteen minutes. Cool. Mix powdered sugar and cream cheese. Add one cup cool whip and place over crust. Mix pudding and milk, spread over second layer. Spread remainder of cool whip over pudding. Sprinkle with nut meats, and chill.
**Perry Sundquist Dies:
It was with sadness that we learned of the death on October 27, 1987, of Perry Sundquist of Sacramento, California. As Federationists know, Perry at one time served as editor of this publication. During the formative years of the NFB he worked closely with Dr. tenBroek, was a member of the National Board, and served briefly as President of the Federation. He was eighty-three at the time of his death.
The October 16, 1987, Stanley (North Carolina) News and Press carried the following item:
The state president of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina comes to Albemarle every Wednesday afternoon to teach Braille to local blind and/or visually impaired residents of the community. She is Hazel Staley of Charlotte, who conducts classes at the Senior Center on North Third Street. Mrs. Staley started coming to Albemarle last April and continued through the months of May and June. Because of summer vacations, gardening chores, and other activities of her local students, the classes were suspended during the months of July, August, and September but were recently resumed. So far, Mrs. Staley has taught some six to eight local residents how to use the Braille system.
Dennis Ranker writes: "The West Virginia Blind Merchants Division is pleased to inform everyone that, as in past years, we have large quantities of wallets. Particular attention is directed to some New York affiliate members who told us they would be interested in quantity purchases should we be successful in securing sufficient numbers to ship. They are available at $2.00 each plus postage. To order or to obtain information, contact Larry Kirby, 7 Maple Terrace, Charleston, West Virginia 25301, or call (304) 348-0234 during normal Eastern Standard Time working hours."
Dennis Polselli, one of the leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, reports that a new chapter came into being on Saturday, September 12, 1987, at Framingham State College in Massachusetts. Many students are part of this chapter, and plans for a number of projects have already been made.
The American Brotherhood for the Blind provides (at no cost) Braille calendars to those who want them. Contact: American Brotherhood for the Blind, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, California 91356.
The airlines have repeatedly said that their policy barring blind persons from exit row seats on airplanes is entirely a matter of safety with absolutely no overtones of prejudice or "putdown." In this connection an item in the November, 1987, Miscellaneogram, issued by the AAA Travel Agency, is instructive. It says:
"About That Reserved Seat: Seats at exits can only be given to MATURE adults (an FAA requirement) who can evacuate their seats quickly in an emergency, so these seats cannot be pre- assigned." Think about it. The word "mature" says it all.
**How Good Was The Quality:
Ruth Swensen, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona, tells us about a recent performance audit of the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind prepared by the Auditor General of the state of Arizona. President Swensen's letter says in part:
The following item is found on page 40 of the report: "Dinner for NAC members ($822)--ASDB's superintendent hosted a dinner for 33 people, including the spouses of several ASDB employees, board members, and a NAC team member. The bill included $192 for 16 bottles of wine. The superintendent justified the expense citing NAC requirements for such events."
President Swensen's letter provides us with food (or, perhaps, we should say beverage) for thought. NAC is fond of speaking of quality, and certainly we are not against wine; but if our mathematics is correct, sixteen into $192 means $12 per bottle. It depends on how much quality NAC wants. It's simply a matter of standards.
Gwen Rittgers writes: "Diana Aubuchon, who is Secretary of the Kansas City Chapter of NFB, lost her infant son on October 28, 1987, with meningitis. He was buried on the 31st. He was only nine months old."
**Christian Education Conference:
Edwin Wilson, President of Christian Education for the Blind, Inc., asks that we carry the following announcement: "The Christian Life Conference of the Blind convenes in Fort Worth, Texas, March 26-29, 1988. The four-day conference event is hosted by Christian Education for the Blind. The conference program consists of seminar and workshop sessions concerning the blind Christian worker in church and community. General sessions will present the ESSENTIALS of Christian life, a concert of sacred music by blind artists, and an old- fashioned hymn festival. Persons who are interested in attending and participating in the conference may obtain additional information by contacting Christian Education for the Blind, Inc., P. O. Box 6399, Fort Worth, Texas 76115, phone: (817) 923-0603."
At the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, which was held October 9-11, 1987, in Jacksonville, Marilyn Womble of Homosassa Springs was elected President. Stepped-up organizing efforts are now going forward in Florida, and it would appear that the state affiliate is about to experience a period of accelerated growth.
**Braille Computer Book Soon:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement: "The computer information book entitled "Essential PC-DOS" will soon be available in Braille to the public. If you are interested in purchasing a Braille copy of this book, please contact Triformation Braille Service, Inc., 3142 S. E. Jay Street, Stuart, Florida 34997, or call 305-286-8366."
Lois Nemeth writes: "The Milwaukee Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin held their annual elections in September of 1987. Elected were: President, Bonnie Peterson; Vice President/Treasurer, Cheryl Orgas; Secretary, Lois Nemeth; and Board Members are Debbie Jacobson and Mike Hall."
We have been asked to carry the following announcement: "LS&S Group, Inc. now has its 1987/1988 catalog of over 350 products of specific interest to visually impaired and blind people--available on voice-indexed cassettes--as well as in print. "Recorded on two C-90 cassettes at 15/16 i.p.s., the catalog is intended to be used with a two-speed, four-track player--such as is provided free on loan to eligible persons by the Talking Book Program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. "Tracks one and two contain descriptions of our products. When the cassette player is placed in the fast forward mode, tracks three and four give rapid voice access to the particular device or category being searched. "For a free large print or voice indexed catalog, contact: LS&S Group, Inc., P. O. Box 673, Northbrook, Illinois 60065, or call toll-free: (800) 468-4789. Illinois residents call: (312) 498-9777."
Mark Harris writes: "The St. Louis Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind at its October meeting elected the following officers to serve for 1988: Margaret Bohley, President; Mark Harris, Vice President; Susan Ford, Recording Secretary; Janet Dew, Corresponding Secretary; Charlene Hedgecorth, Treasurer; and John Ford, Board Member at Large."
In the December, 1987, issue we ran the following Miniature:
Amtrak, Too: Maurice Mines, Federationist from the state of Washington, recently sent a letter to Amtrak which said in part:
I boarded your Pacific Coast Starlight on Saturday, August 19, 1987, and received rude, obnoxious, patronizing, and custodial treatment. When I boarded, a conductor named Jimmy moved a family of five because another person on the train and I were blind. He insisted I sit on the lower level labeled "Handicapped Seating." I tried to go back to the upper level, but he grabbed me and ordered me to remain in the lower level. He then yelled for the family of five to hurry up and get back to the upper level. Meanwhile, he interjected with very loud comments such as "Handicapped seating only! Give the handicapped a seat!" I do hope this does not happen again, either to me or any other blind person. Please send me a copy of your handicapped seating policy.
The date was August 29, not August 19.
**Back Page: Time was when the withdrawal of an agency from NAC made headlines, but no more. We learned not long ago that the Hadley School for the Blind has de-NACed--in short, told NAC that its accreditation was no longer wanted. So what's new.