A Publication of the

National Offices

Washington Office




Editor                                                           Associate Editor
PERRY SUNDQUIST                                  HAZEL tenBROEK
4651 MEAD AVENUE                                2652 SHASTA ROAD
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. 95822                 BERKELEY, CALIF. 94708




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

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

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the Berkeley Office for other suggested forms.





























The Officers, Executive Committee, and the Staff extend to all Federationists the wish that the hopes expressed in the Season's Greetings for peace on earth may be realized in a Happy New Year.

This is a season of joy and reconsecration in many religious faiths and for the secular community as well. It is a time for introspection and resolves to do better by our fellows in the New Year. For the members of the National Federation of the Blind, the reasons for redoubling our efforts and for rededication to the cause are set out below as expressed so succinctly during the last few years by our President. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan:

"The real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight but the misconceptions and misunderstandings which exist. The public (whether it be the general public, the agencies, or the blind themselves) has created the problem and must the accept the responsibility for solving it. In fact, great strides are being made in this direction.

"First must come awareness, awareness on the part of the blind themselves, and a thorough consistency of philosophy and dedication of purpose: an increasing program of public education must be waged; vigilance must be maintained to see that the agencies for the blind are staffed with the right kind of people; with the right kind of philosophy: and the movement of self-organization of the blind must be encouraged and strengthened. This last is a cardinal point, for any disadvantaged group must be heard with its own voice, must lead in the achievement of its own salvation.

"Accomplishments are made of dreams and drudgeries, of hope and hard work. The blind of the Nation are now moving toward a destiny, a destiny of full equality and full participation in community life.

"That destiny will be achieved when the day comes on which we can say with pleasure and satisfaction what we must now say with concern and consternation: 'Public attitudes about the blind become the attitudes of the blind. The blind see themselves as others see them.'"

"What is the significance of these acts and attitudes on the part of government officials and workers with the blind? It is not merely that these several isolated incidents occurred. It is not even that they are symptomatic of a broader pattern of thought and deed, and therefore not isolated at all. It is rather that they bespeak the dominant theme of public and official opinion which everywhere characterizes the image of blindness.

"That is the dark and threatening significance of the events which I have laid before you. But such events as these, however common, however destructive, no longer stand alone. Of still greater significance is the positive fact that we have come to recognize these sordid myths and misconceptions for the lies which they are; that we have organized: that we have mobilized ourselves into a powerful movement to change the total landscape of the country of the blind; that we have not only won friends and influenced people in our cause but have won battles and influenced the course of public policy.

"It is significant, too, that more and more professionals in the field of work with the blind—in the private agencies, in government, in the foundations and universities—are receiving our message and rallying to our cause.

It is significant that more and more blind persons are employed, in better and better careers. It is significant, most of all, that despite the heritage of old outlooks, despite the deep hold of the graven image upon their minds, the general public is beginning to show itself ready to listen, to learn, and to understand.

"The challenge is ours, and the time is now. Our revolution will not wait, and it will succeed—but only if we take the lead and take the risks. It is for us to persuade, to participate, to persevere—and to prevail—and prevail we will!"

"All that I have been saying is tied up with the why and wherefore of the National Federation of the Blind. If our principal problem is the physical fact of blindness, I think there is little purpose in organizing. However, the real problem is not the blindness but the mistaken attitudes about it. These attitudes can be changed, and we are changing them. The sighted can also change. They can be shown that we are in no way inferior to them and that the old ideas were wrong-that we are able to compete with the sighted, play with the sighted, work with the sighted, and live with the sighted on terms of complete equality. We the blind can also come to recognize these truths, and we can live by them.

"For all these reasons I say to you that the blind are able to compete on terms of absolute equality with the sighted, but I go on to say that blindness (even when properly dealt with) is still a physical nuisance. We must avoid the sin and the fallacy of either extreme. Blindness need not be a tragic hell. It cannot be a total nullity, lacking all inconvenience. It can, as we have so often said, be reduced to the level of a mere annoyance. Right on! And let us neither cop out by selling ourselves short with self-pity and myths of tragic deprivation, nor lie to ourselves by denying the existence of a problem. There is no place in our movement for the philosophy of the self-effacing Uncle Tom, but there is also no place for unreasonable and unrealistic belligerence."

"Let no discussion of blindness and the blind, in print or on the air, whether popular or professional, go unanswered unless it demonstrates a recognition of the role of the National Federation and the organized blind movement. Let each of us cultivate the habit of verbal protest, by letter or 'phone call, whenever we encounter the worn-out half-truths of those who celebrate the good works of foundations, agencies, and bureaus—of charities and service clubs—without an equivalent awareness of the other half of the truth embodied in Federationism. Let the word go out from every Federated corner of the land; let the whole truth emerge; let the people know.

"The struggle of the organized blind today has shifted its focus and battleground, but it is no less critical or crucial than it was a decade ago. It is no longer a 'hot war,' fought out in the open for all to see and hear-as in the days of our battle for the right to organize, waged dramatically in congressional hearings and violent confrontations. Although the confrontation is still frequent and violent enough, it has largely frequent and violent enough, it has largely become a cold war, a silent struggle underground, reminiscent of the words of the poet, 'where invisible armies clash by night.' Our struggle now is to become visible as a social force—to break out of the conspiracy of silence—to be seen, to be heard, and to be recognized.

"When we have accomplished that breakthrough-when we are fully visible to the professionals, the public, and ourselves in the reality of our independence and collective strength—when these things have been done, we shall have buried forever the pitiful figure of 'Blind Tom,' the beggar boy, and have paved the way for a new understanding of the blind.

"The challenge is real; the need is urgent; and the responsibility is ours. Enlightened professionals in the governmental and private agencies can and will help, but they cannot and should not be expected to lead the way. Likewise, sighted friends who believe in our cause and know what we are doing can give invaluable assistance; but again, they cannot and should not be expected to furnish the impetus or provide the leadership. We as blind people must do that job for ourselves. Do it we must, and do it we will! We have set our feet on the road. We have begun to march. We have taken up our positions at the barricades, and we shall not rest or quit until the job is done."

"No blind person—and no friend of the blind—can view without concern and alarm the trends in rehabilitation and welfare today. As the professional jargon, the so-called 'research,' and the Federal funds increase, the actual help for the individual seems to decrease. It is problems like this that have compelled us as blind people to organize and take a hand in our own programs. We can expect improvements in those programs only to the extent that we exert ourselves to make those improvements happen.

"We are not children, and we are not helpless. We know our needs, and we know the means of achieving those needs. I, for one, believe we have the guts and the good sense to turn our dreams into realities. One way to do that is to insist that the public programs established to give us help do what they were intended to do. The increasing worship of the idols of professional jargon and pseudo-research will not contribute to the solution of our problems. The time is at an end when we are willing to allow our road to hell to be paved with the good intentions and misdirected activities of people who would be our keepers and custodians.

"Let me be clearly understood. We do not condemn all of the professionals in work with the blind. Far from it. Many of them have done yeoman service, and continue to do it. They march side by side with us and help us achieve our goals. Further, we do not condemn true professionalism or meaningful research. These are essential in our struggle for self-realization. What we do condemn, what we do decry, and what we do not intend forever to tolerate are the Mickey Mouse tactics of self-proclaimed 'professionals' who waste the public's money and our lives in childish prattle and foolish games, masquerading as scientists and humanitarians. Let the high-flown jargon and the pseudo-research go the way of the dinosaur, and let us as blind people move forward with determination and vigor to our rightful place in the mainstream of social and vocational achievement.  This is the challenge we must face and the destiny we must go to meet. Let us meet it with confidence and conviction-but above all, let us meet it now!

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The March and May issues of the Monitor carried detailed articles concerning our Disability Insurance for the Blind bill, now known as H.R. 281 in the House of Representatives and S. 1183 in the United States Senate. This bill has previously passed the Senate six separate times, but it has never gone through the House. The 94th Congress offers new hope and new possibilities. By no means must we diminish our efforts to pass this bill. In fact, we must increase them in our work as chapters and as individual members of the Federation.

H.R. 281 has been referred to the Social Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Honorable James A. Burke of Massachusetts is the Chairman of that Subcommittee. In June and July the Subcommittee held extensive hearings on issues related to the long-range financing of Social Security. In September and October the Subcommittee considered methods of reducing the delays encountered by Social Security claimants when they apply for a hearing or when they appeal a decision made at a lower level. Later this year the Subcommittee will explore alternatives for short-range financing of the program.

On Friday, October 3, the Subcommittee heard from state agency witnesses and persons representing the interested public on the subject of the hearings and appeals process. It is of significance that the National Federation of the Blind was the only organization of consumers to appear at these hearings to voice the views of the Social Security applicants and beneficiaries. The American Council of the Blind was not represented at all in these important hearings although the name of its national representative appeared on the witness list. Where, oh where, was Durward?

The NFB statement before the Subcommittee expressed some opposition to any efforts at discouraging dissatisfied claimants from filing for a hearing and having a full adjudication of their complaints. We pointed out that there are a number of factors which tend to generate hearings and appeals, and that among these are the inexcusable amount of time required for initial decisions on claims and the incorrect, incomplete, and conflicting information provided by Social Security claims representatives. It was also argued that incorrect decisions often arise from the complexities in the Social Security Act. One way to remove those complexities would be to adopt H.R. 281.

It is a pleasure to report that our reception by the Social Security Subcommittee was most cordial. In his introductory remarks Chairman Burke praised the work of the National Federation of the Blind and emphasized the significance of our calm consultation. In his closing remarks Chairman Burke again expressed his support for our objective and urged his colleagues to give careful attention to the views of the NFB. Without question, these hearings were of significance in our total effort on behalf of the blind of this Nation. It is gratifying to recognize that those responsible for making important decisions which affect us understand and respond to the real voice of the Nation's blind.

Congressional support for our disability insurance bill continues to mount. At this writing (October 20) sixty-two members of the House of Representatives have either co-sponsored Mr. Burke's hill or introduced an identical one of their own. Ten of these members serve on the Ways and Means Committee and five of those ten are members of the Social Security Subcommittee. The Subcommittee has thirteen members in all, and we are now assured of support from nearly a majority of them.

The members of the Subcommittee are: James A. Burke, Massachusetts (Chairman and introducer of H.R. 281); Joe Waggonner, Louisiana (introducer of H.R. 1147, identical to H.R. 281); William Green, Pennsylvania (introducer of H.R. 8082, identical to H.R. 281); Andrew Jacobs, Indiana; J. J. Pickle, Texas; William Cotter, Connecticut (introducer of H.R. 5716, identical to H.R. 281); James R. Jones, Oklahoma; Abner Mikva, Illinois; Joseph Karth, Minnesota; Bill Archer, Texas; Barber Conable, New York; William Steiger, Wisconsin; and Philip Crane, Illinois (introducer of H.R. 9807, identical to H.R. 281 ).

Our first goal must be to secure introduction of identical bills by all members of the Subcommittee. We are well on our way, but we have much more work to do.

To assist you in determining appropriate action, here is a list of the Members of the House of Representatives who have introduced or co-sponsored disability insurance bills as of October 20.

(Members are listed by state. States without any representatives introducing or co-sponsoring are not listed.)


October 20, 1975.

George Brown
James Corman
Ronald Dellums
Don Edwards
Barry Goldwater, Jr.
Andrew Hinshaw
Fortney Stark
Bob Wilson

Patricia Schroeder

William Cotter
Christopher Dodd
Stewart McKinney
Anthony Moffett
Ronald Sarasin

William Lehman
Claude Pepper

Spark Matsunaga
Patsy Mink

Cardiss Collins
Philip Crane
Melvin Price
Tom Railsback
Dan Rostenkowski

Carl Perkins

Joe Waggonner

Parren Mitchell
Gladys Spellman

James Burke
Silvio Conte
Michael Harrington

John Conyers
Charles Diggs
Donald Riegle

Trent Lott

New Jersey
Henry Helstoski
Peter Rodino
Robert Roe

New York
Bella Abzug
Herman Badillo
Mario Biaggi
Jonathan Bingham
Shirley Chisholm
James Delaney
Edward Koch
John Murphy
Benjamin Rosenthal

North Carolina
David Henderson
Walter Jones
Richardson Preyer
Roy Taylor

Thomas Ashley
John Seiberling
Charles Vanik
Charles Whalen

Theodore Risenhoover

Robert Nix
William Green

Henry Gonzalez

James Jeffords

West Virginia
John Slack
Harley Staggers
Robert Mollohan
Ken Hechler

In the Senate we now have Senator Hartke and forty-one additional co-sponsors On S. 1183. The list follows:


October 20, 1975.

Mike Gravel

Barry Goldwater

Dale Bumpers

Abraham Ribicoff
Lowell Weicker

Daniel Inouye

Frank Church

Birch Bayh
Vance Hartke

Dick Clark
John Culver

J. Glenn Beall

Edward Brooke

Philip Hart

Hubert Humphrey
Walter Mondale

James Eastland

Thomas Eagleton
Stuart Symington

Mike Mansfield
Lee Metcalf

Carl Curtis

New Jersey
Clifford Case

New York
Jacob Javits

North Carolina
Jesse Helms

North Dakota
Quentin Burdick

Richard Schweiker
Hugh Scott

Rhode Island
John Pastore
Claiborn Pell

South Carolina
Strom Thurmond

South Dakota
James Abourezk
George McGovern

Bill Brock
Howard Baker

John Tower

Frank Moss

Henry Jackson

West Virginia
Robert Byrd
Jennings Randolph

Clifford Hansen
Gale McGee

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Editor's Note.—Mr. Townsend wrote Rami Rabby: "I deeply appreciated your kindness in sending me the copy of the speech by Mr. Jernigan. I was so impressed by it, and by the way Mr. Jernigan made his points, that I used it as the subject of last Sunday's 'One View of the Press.' A copy of the broadcast is enclosed." So writes Dallas Townsend, of CBS News.

CBS RADIO NETWORK, Sunday, September 7, 1975, 10:25 a.m., E.D.T.

DALLAS TOWNSEND. One View of the Press. I'm Dallas Townsend, CBS News, reporting with commentary on the CBS Radio Network.

Is the press unfair to the blind? Most journalists probably would find that a startling question, but the answer seems to be yes. At least, that's the view presented this summer to the National Press Club in Washington. A lookafter this message.


TOWNSEND. On July 23rd, Kenneth Jernigan, President of the National Federation of the Blind, delivered an address to the National Press Club entitled "The BlindA Minority Without Press." Jernigan told the assembled reporters that, while the blind do constitute a minority, they are not perceived as a minority by the news media. By a minority he meant a disadvantaged group, discriminated against, and which has legitimate grievancespolitical, economic, and social. Jernigan told about a reporter who came to one of his meetings and said he wanted to film blind people bowling, and some of them with their dogs. Jernigan explained that such a story would be a distortion, that the meeting was being held to discuss discrimination against blind people, such as the refusal of many employers to let them work, of airlines to let them fly, or of hotels to let them in. Jernigan said the reporter listened to him, said he appreciated being told, found it enlightening, and then concluded. "Now, can I see the dogs and the bowlers?"

Jernigan also tells of a large demonstration in Chicago by blind people from all over the Nation. Jernigan says that by every test known to journalism the story was newsworthy and demonstrators had real grievances to air, and yet the next day's Chicago Tribune carried not a single line on it. The paper did, however, carry two stories about blind people: one headlined, "Busy blind man finds time to help children"; the other captioned, "Blind, he directs music in city school." Jernigan asks, appropriately, what would have happened if Martin Luther King had been leading the first Civil Rights demonstration in Chicago and the paper had ignored it, reporting instead, "Busy black man finds time to help children."

Jernigan concludes that the Chicago papers weren't trying to put blind people down or conspire against them. They were merely writing what tradition had taught them to write. It wasn't a matter of motivation, but of comprehension, or lack thereof. Jernigan believes we see and think of the blind in terms of pitying stereotypes, that we can't see beyond them, that the press is largely blind to the real story of the blind. We think it's a point well taken. Nowthis message.


TOWNSEND. This has been One View of the Press. I'm Dallas Townsend, CBS News.

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Tuesday, the 28th of October, 1975 may well be celebrated as liberation day by the blind of Maryland. On that day Ralph Sanders, by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees, was elected to the position of president of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. The job involves managing a complex combination of sheltered shops, training programs, vending facilities, and a home services division.

As noted in a number of the Monitor articles, the last four or five years have been anything but peaceful and progressive in Maryland. It has been rough going for a minority of Federationists on the board to make their points about mismanagement of people, programs, and funds. The first signs of real progress became apparent when, early in 1975, the Board of Trustees voted to de-NAC.

Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) is governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees and managed by a president. One member of the Board of Trustees served as treasurer, one member served as comptroller, and so on; in other words, the business of the organization was vested in the Board of Trustees.

BISM was organized in 1908 under the Laws of Maryland Chapter 566 as The Maryland Workshop for the Blind (MWB). Control was vested in a board of five trustees; three were appointed by the Governor, with Senate approval, and two were elected by the Board of Directors of the Maryland School for the Blind. Its purpose was to give the blind employment in a manufacturing environment. MWB operated in one location in Baltimore until 1955 when the Western Maryland Training and Work Center in Cumberland, and the Eastern Shore Training and Work Center in Salisbury were authorized under Chapter 100 of the Statutes of Maryland in 1955. The legislation which brought the Maryland Workshop for the Blind in being as a quasi-governmental body was not materially changed until 1973, when the name was changed to Blind Industries and Services of Maryland and the board was expanded from five to eleven members to provide a broader geographical and occupational representation. The purpose of BISM is defined in the Maryland Code (Article 30, Section 6) as follows: "The Blind Industries and Services of Maryland shall be open for the labor and manufactures of all blind citizens of Maryland over eighteen years of age, who can give satisfactory evidence of character and their ability to do the work required of them." It has provided employment opportunities, evaluation services, training, home teaching, developed the vending stand program, and offered other work rehabilitation.

What should have been a highly successful enterprise both in terms of rehabilitation of blind persons and in fiscal responsibility, has been a disaster. Management did not work in the best interests of its clients and had bad relationships with some members of the board. The board members themselves were in frequent conflict about where money should be spent. There was no community of ideas about the proper goals of the programs. The managers of the shops worked as independent entities. Many problems, especially fiscal ones, were masked and hidden from some members of the board. The clients themselves protested their improper treatment. There were more supervisors than justified by the number of workers. When money problems became severe, the workers felt the cuts, and it was the black blind women who were the first to feel the pinch. The workers finally protested publicly.

Three Federationists were appointed to the expanded Board of Trustees in 1973: John McCraw, president of the NFB of Maryland; Georgia Meyers; and Louise Emmanuel. John McCraw became their spokesman and was the only board member to criticize the agency openly. The Federationists kept the pressure on to investigate the fiscal and management operations of the BISM. When certain malpractices and misusage of funds began to surface, the Federationists widened the criticism and brought the Congress and the public into action. The Governor of Maryland finally called for an audit by the State Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning. A report by Philip T. Bannon, Jr., and Ronald E. Bradshal of the Division of Management Analysis and Audits, and Jay W. Bixby, Pension Plan Analyst of the Division of Budget Analysis, was completed in May of 1975.

Everything that the Federationists had been complaining about and much more was to be found in the pages of the audit report.

The report concluded that BISM had been mismanaged for a number of years. Its fiscal operations had been improperly handled. Expense accounts which included meals at posh restaurants while attending conferences of both staff and board members were revealed. For example, entertainment expenses for three management level employees for the period November 9-15, 1974, totaled $1,350. There were payments of "consultant" fees to the board's lawyers and fiscal officers supposedly serving without remuneration. The agency operated at over-budget allocations to management expenses with no concern for the funding of the services areas designed to help the blind. The only successful operation was the vending stand program which is still one of the best in the country and which affords comparatively high incomes to its operators.

The audit and newsstories in July and August of 1975 also indicate that the agency had been using funds which should have gone into the employees retirement fund to cover other expenses brought about by mismanagement. The organization had to go into debt about a million dollars to make up this deficit when a Federal grant, which it intended to divert to this purpose, did not materialize.

At the operations end of the organization, matters were no better. Invoices were paid without indicating that fact; sometimes there was nothing on an invoice to show that payment had been approved; vouchers for services were not documented; and no one knew whether services or items paid for were in fact received. Manufacturing costs were difficult to discover on any particular item of finished work. Payrolls were in bad condition. Worksheets were not authorized. When cuts were made in salaries, restorations were not always equitable. There were no existing documents to prove that some salaries had been authorized at all. It was also discovered that payments to production workers were made in cash and that, in some instances, the pay envelopes containing the cash were picked up by third parties who were not required to sign for them.

So much for NAC standards and accreditation. Are these the "quality" services NAC says it demands? But NAC doesn't believe in consulting consumers and listens only to those management personnel who know what is best for the blind. The spade work of digging out the facts, the discovery of mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility, the lack of any standards of operation in the shops, and all the rest, were not brought out by the NAC on-site review team. No, the real work was done by the persistent efforts of those interested in the blind-the members of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

Why should Ralph Sanders give up a successful advertising and public relations enterprise to take on an organization so beset by serious problems? For some months Ralph has been giving more and more time to work with the blind. Early this year he made a commitment to himself that he would enter work with the blind full time when the opportunity offered. Several possibilities presented themselves, but for Ralph none carried the challenge, the chance for real service to the blind, and ultimate success as did the BISM. He will be working now with a Board of Trustees who understand the necessity for changing the priorities and goals of the agency.

The best wishes and high hopes of the whole National Federation of the Blind go with Ralph Sanders as he takes up his arduous duties.

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New York, New York, October 1, 1975.

The Honorable EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr.,
Governor of California,
Sacramento, California.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: I am the Executive Director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America which is directly and intimately involved with the blind of California. The enclosed copy of our recent correspondence tells of the first prize winner for non-fiction prose. Bill Isaacs of San Luis Obispo. We are bringing Mr. Isaacs and the second prize winner, Mr. Morris Soifer of Los Angeles, to New York for our Awards function. Mr. Isaacs took the first prize of one thousand dollars for his essay and Mr. Soifer, who will be on the "Today" show with the winner from the Netherlands, took a second prize of five hundred dollars for his short story.

Since we serve several hundred blind in California, many of whom read our magazine, The Jewish Braille Review, I am closely informed by them in regard to important events concerning the blind of your State.

I know of no single event more applauded by the blind of your State as a progressive and meaningful step forward, than the decision by the State of California to develop its own standards in work for the blind rather than to accept those of the National Accreditation Council (NAC) for the Blind.

I write this on behalf of our agency to commend you and California on this significant decision. Indeed, our Jewish Braille Institute of America (JBI) as a national agency has had to come to grips with the same problem of standards your State faced.

The JBI is the official national organization of American Jewry in work for the blind in general and the Jewish blind in particular. I am enclosing for your information some of our literature and a recent letter from Cynthia Groopman of New York and an excerpt from another letter from Max Kowen, a blind lawyer of Capetown, South Africa. This material will show you the high esteem in which our agency is held by the blind whom we serve by reason of the fact that we are an agency not only for, but of and by the blind as well, whose program and policy are determined with the equal participation of our blind board members, and which is dedicated to the objective of equality and normality for the blind as whole persons and first-class citizens in our democratic society.

As the JBI Executive Director, as a former university teacher of sociology, and former Chairman of the Faculty of the Adult Division of the New School for Social Research, one of my special subject interests was normative standards in social welfare agencies (how should a good social welfare agency operate, and what are the criteria by which you can measure its performance). As an objective scholar who participated with many others in the first organizing meetings of COM STAC, the progenitor of NAC, and one who has observed it closely throughout the years since, NAC's actions and pronouncements turned me from being originally a fervent supporter to a saddened observer of Paradise Lost for the blind by discarding a golden opportunity for participatory democracy of the blind in helping to determine their own destiny, and betraying their hopes and need for equal status as NAC became a False Messiah and a thoroughly Establishment power group, cavalierly consigning the organized blind and their democratically chosen representatives to the role of "Bless the Squire and his relations and keep us in our proper stations."

During more than two decades as editor of The Jewish Braille Review which is a highly intellectual and cultural monthly magazine designed for blind professionals and college students and graduates, I have witnessed a revolution generated by the blind themselves to attain equality of participation in agencies for the blind as a crucial example of their ability and right to equality in the sighted world as well.

I have seen the blind accept the struggle and achieve the triumphs that lead to equality of education, training, and opportunity without which equality of being and life are unattainable.

It has been an "Operation Bootstrap" in which the blind have lifted themselves out of employment ostracism and the condition of being self-ostracized, to obtain the status and dignity that rightfully belong to all free citizens in a democratic society to achieve their own potential, hopes, aspirations, and personal fulfillment. A frightened animal can't play and a frightened man can't think. But fright has given way to self-determination and organizational strength under the leadership of able men democratically chosen to lead the blind troops into battle for equality in all phases of life.

In this way have the blind come to achieve freedom from human bondage, secure in the knowledge that given the opportunity to contribute their abilities they can achieve equality and normality as human beings with the right to fulfillment rather than frustration. That is why by every test of scholarly objectivity as a sociologist I see NAC as an Establishment power group, an aristocratic anomaly in a democratic society in which a group of oligarchs have established themselves as the monopolists of the Sinaitic revelation of how standards should be determined. Benevolent despots throughout history have protested how benign their acts and how good their intentions have been. They have always been nonplussed with the apothegm that the way to hell is paved with good intentions. They have never appreciated how robbing a man of his right to choose and to decide is to rob him of his birthright of freedom and to consign him to being a ward or a slave.

NAC's selection of carefully chosen sighted and acquiescent blind board members, including professionals of accredited agencies (an obvious conflict of interests) and its accreditations are implicitly redolent of company unionism and sweetheart contracts. It is for all of the above reasons that the Jewish Braille Institute of America has refused NAC's offer to apply for accreditation and would not accept it. It is not that we could not qualify, because we know from our intimate partnership with the blind and their feedback that we operate at a what they consider to be a remarkably high standard of professionalism and cooperation with the blind that they wish other agencies would emulate.

The story of the blind is that of a both tragic and heroic climb from the abyss of a degraded status to a bridgehead of equality occupied by the courageous blind who have wrenched it from the benevolent paternalists who control the agencies for the blind on the one hand and on the other from a grudging, misunderstanding sighted society who considered the blind only as objects of pity.

The struggle has been to have the blind judged on their ability, not their disabilitythen ability to perform on a par with the sighted on the job, and in the determination of the conditions that affect their lives. The organized blind consider blindness as essentially a nuisance that only unconscious prejudice and discrimination by the sighted world transforms into an unnecessary handicap.

Why has the struggle been so difficult? Because the relationship of the blind to those who control the passways to equality for the blind both in the world of the blind within like NAC, and in the world outside, has been a tainted bargain. Those who control the accreditation of agencies for the blind refuse to permit the blind the partnership of participatory democracy that should be the birthright of the American blind as normal human beings and citizens of a free society with the ability to contribute their constructive judgments to determining the actions and standards that affect them.

For all of the above, the Jewish Braille Institute of America congratulates you on your decision. The blind of the State of California are fortunate to be blessed with your leadership in their struggle for equality and opportunity.

May I wish you good health and every success and satisfaction in your high office.


Executive Director.



New York, New York, September 4, 1975.

The Honorable EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr.,
Sacramento, California.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: The Jewish Braille Institute of America has sponsored an International Literary Braille Competition which had over two hundred contestants from thirty-seven countries. The judges were Meyer Levin, Nadine Gordimer, Chaim Potok, Santha Rama Rau, and Dr. Kenneth Jernigan.

Mr. Bill Isaacs of your State was the winner of First Prize for non-fiction prose. Prizes will be awarded at a reception for VIPs from the United States and Ambassadors and Consul Generals of the countries who participated. Illuminated scrolls will be presented to these countries for their efforts on behalf of the creative blind.

May we have the honor of your presence at this reception which will take place at our building at 110 East Thirtieth Street on Wednesday, October 8th at 3:00 p.m.

We look forward to having you with us at this reception for international dignitaries, the press, and the leaders of the blind and creative community.



Executive Director.


Sacramento, California, Sept. 15, 1975.

The Jewish Braille Institute of America, Inc.,
New York, New York.

DEAR MRS. LEVITT and MR. FREID: Thank you for inviting Governor Brown to attend the reception honoring winners of the International Literary Braille Competition on October 8.

Your thoughtfulness is appreciated and we regret the Governor must decline. Commitments in California will prevent his travelling to New York during the time of the reception.

Please convey our congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Bill Isaacs.


Scheduling Director.


Long Island City, New York, Sept. 8, 1975.

Executive Director,
Jewish Braille Institute of America, Inc.,
New York, New York.

DEAR DR. FREID: Another New Year has dawned and again my heart is full of joy and happiness and good wishes for you and your wonderful organization who has done so much to enrich my cultural life and Jewish heritage.

As I sat and prayed and participated fully in the High Holy Day Services, I began to think pleasant thoughts about you and how wonderful it is to read a prayer book that your organization produced. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you as Executive Director for all the wonderful books you have produced so that all people regardless of disability can share in the joy of communication with God. I know that all that the organization has done is a reflection upon your superior supervision and guidance. May God bless you because it is through your work that we are able to give God blessings.

It is almost ten years since I became affiliated with the organization. It was your large type Hebrew book that enabled me to learn to read Hebrew so that I was able to begin on the same basis as my classmates when I entered Stem College. Later, it was you that presented me with the first large type Haggadah for Passover which enabled me to participate in one of the greatest festivals of our religion. Then I have pleasant memories of the Very Special Passover Celebration on Channel 4 in 1969, when I shared this Haggadah with other people in an actual service. It was also your organization who enlarged for four years all of the Hebrew books that I used in my classes in college.

Recently, I have availed myself of your services in a different way, this time not as a student but as an adult eager to learn more about the Jewish cultural heritage. Your organization has provided me with Hebrew conversation courses, The Jewish Braille Review, and above all Hebrew Braille Self-Taught. In fact, thanks to you I have learned by myself Hebrew Braille. However, the prayer book in large type gave me the greatest satisfaction this week, at the High Holy Day Services.

I know that this letter might sound too emotional, but I am really expressing my true feelings about you.

I hope that this letter finds you in good health. I know that God will grant you this since you have always done great things for people.

I am presently working for the City of New York in a clerical position which does not pay much. However, it is a good job since jobs are hard to get today for anyone. I also am attending graduate school for my master's degree. Your materials have really filled my leisure time with the joys of Judaism.

May 5736 bring you lots of joy, good health, happiness, and above all good fortune because you have an emphatic and discerning heart. I also hope that the Jewish Braille Institute has a prosperous year.




[Excerpted from a letter written by Max Kowen of Capetown, South Africa.]

I should mention that the Jewish Braille Institute is not just another agency for the blind to be found in the United States. The blind of the United States and of the world as a whole have a great respect for the services rendered by the Jewish Braille Institute. This is because though Jewish Braille Institute is an agency, it does not work for the blind but rather with the blind. I shall illustrate this point by bringing to your attention the following. Four of the members of the Executive Board of the Jewish Braille Institute of America are blind persons; one of the four. Dr. Edwin Lewinson, Professor of American History at Seton Hall University, is vice-president of the Jewish Braille Institute. The others are Rami Rabby, a distinguished industrial relations consultant; Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Professor of mathematics at the University of Detroit and the brilliant inventor of the Nemeth Braille Mathemathics Code;and Dr. Jacob Twersky, Professor of History of the City University of New York.


Sacramento, California, October 21, 1975.

The Jewish Braille Institute of America, Inc.,
New York, New York.

DEAR MR. FREID: I am so pleased to have the opportunity to respond to your letter of October 1, 1975, which was referred to me by the Office of Governor Brown.

It so eloquently chronicles the fabulous rise of the blind to a status of equality and dignity; it so cogently sets forth the obstacles the blind have had to overcome.

Needless to say, your support of our position on standard-setting for agencies serving the blind is sincerely appreciated. I am confident that we have the capability of doing a commendable job in this regard.


Acting Director.

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Within the past month, the Illinois Office of Education and the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute (an agency of the Department of Children and Family Services located at 1151 South Wood, Chicago) have taken actions which pose a serious and intolerable threat to the blind of Illinois by abridging our basic civil right to join, and participate actively in. organizations of the blind. such as the National Federaton of the Blind of Illinois. Moreover, these actions provide incontestable evidence that State agencies for the blind in Illinois (aided and abetted by the Office of Education) will spare no effort to stifle and prevent the expression of any public criticism of their operations. As a result, regressive rehabilitation philosophies and agency malpractices persist, thereby wasting public tax funds and bringing no benefit to the blind clients whom these agencies are designed to serve. As you will see, the attached correspondence provides clear documentation of the charges and assertions we make in the following paragraphs.


The Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute has, for many years, served as the target of heavy criticism from the blind clients and potential clients it serves. The principal issue involved has been the demeaning attitude of the Institute's Superintendent, Tom Murphy, and his staff toward the blind, their refusal to permit blind consumer representatives to participate in shaping and planning the direction of the Institute's programs, and their apparent belief that blind people are helpless, incompetent, and unable to make intelligent decisions regarding their own rehabilitation and training. This attitude was highlighted during the 79th General Assembly when Tom Murphy and his staff successfully spearheaded a massive campaign to defeat House Bill 717 which would have given the blind consumers of services provided by the Department of Children and Family Services a substantive, advisory voice in decisions affecting the Department's programs for the blind.

Recent Events

In his August 22 letter (Exhibit 1), Sherwood Dees, Assistant Superintendent of Vocational and Technical Education in the Office of Education, invited Mary Hartle to participate in an external team which was to evaluate the occupational programs of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute, from October 20 to 23. Mary Hartle is a Research Assistant at the Center for Program Development and the Handicapped of the City Colleges of Chicago; being blind, she is also an active member of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. Mary accepted this invitation, believing that participation on such a team would offer her the opportunity to improve the quality of the Institute's programs for the blind, as well as further her career, goals, and objectives.

On September 13, the National Federation of the Blind held a press conference at which Rami Rabby charged that the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute had contracted with Wright Junior College to conduct segregated swimming, sewing, and other courses for the blind, and was thereby making a mockery of the basic objective of any rehabilitative activity, namely, the complete integration of the client in question into the economic and social life of his or her community. At the end of the press conference statement, Mary Hartle's name was listed as one of four National Federation of the Blind of Illinois members whom the press might contact for further information.

In his September 24 letter (Exhibit 2), Bernard F. Quigley, Regional Vocational Director for State Agencies in the Office of Education, wrote to Mary, informing her that she was no longer on the evaluation team for the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute, and claiming that the reason for her removal was the possibility of conflict of interest arising out of her position with the City Colleges of Chicago and IVHI's contract with Wright Junior College, one of Chicago's City Colleges.

In her response to Sherwood Dees, Quigley's superior (Exhibit 3), Mary asked some pointed questions regarding her removal from the evaluation team and the reason claimed for it. She pointed to two other examples of conflict-of-interest situations which were of far greater significance and substance than was her own alleged conflict of interest. Yet, she said, no action had been taken to remove the persons involved in those two cases from their respective teams.

Finally, in a letter dated October 7 (Exhibit 4), Sherwood Dees revealed the real reason for Mary's dismissal from the evaluation team: she had, apparently, caused her own dismissal, simply by having her name listed on the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois press conference statement of September 13. Moreover, said Dees, IVHI had been given the prerogative to reject, with justifiable cause, any member of the proposed evaluation team.

Our Analysis and Interpretation

It is the view of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois:

(a) that the Office of Education must be roundly condemned for the duplicitous and two-faced manner in which it went about explaining to Mary Hartle the real reason for her dismissal from the evaluation team:

(b) that the joint actions of the Office of Education and the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute represent an unconscionable threat to the right of blind lllinoisans to free association and to collective self-expression: and

(c) that the prerogative of IVHI to reject members of the evaluation team makes a mockery of the evaluation process and is wasteful of public funds, since it guarantees that the conclusions of the evaluation will be overwhelmingly favorable to IVHI and that the status quo will thereby continue in the future.

Would it not be reasonable to ask why the real reason for Mary's dismissal was not revealed in Quigley's letter of September 24? Did the Office of Education, by any chance, feel guilty about removing Mary from the evaluation team merely because of her organizational affiliation? The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois believes that it did!

During the 1950's, the blind of the United States fought long and hard against the entrenched service agencies in order to establish their basic right to organize and voice their views and interests collectively. Throughout this struggle, blind men and women who had chosen to pursue a career in rehabilitation of the blind were constantly intimidated by the administrators of the agencies in which they worked from participating actively in the organized blind movement and criticizing the negative philosophy and practices of agency authorities. It was our impression that this battle had long ago been won; yet now, it appears, Tom Murphy, Superintendent of IVHI, has once again resurrected this shameful tactic; by forcing Mary Hartle off the evaluation team, he has retarded her professional progress and advancement in the field of her choice, and penalized her for her active participation in the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. It is our belief that it was not the listing of Mary's name at the end of the press conference statement which caused her removal, but rather the very fact that she was known by Murphy to be an active and articulate spokeswoman for the cause of the blind.

But Tom Murphy's action in this particular case is not an isolated one; it is, rather, only symptomatic of a broader and deeper malaise in the field of work with the blind in Illinois, a malaise which should be of profound concern to all Illinois taxpayers.

In his October 7 letter, Sherwood Dees charged that Mary Hartle "may possibly have predetermined concepts." It is the conviction of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois that, had Mary publicly praised IVHI for its programs, she would certainly not have been removed from the evaluation team for having "predetermined concepts." Indeed, Floyd Cargill, Resource Specialist for the Blind in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation who was also invited to participate on the evaluation team, has long been known to be a bosom colleague of Murphy's and a vociferous apologist for his programs. How could he be anything else? He works with Murphy on a daily basis! Yet, was Floyd Cargill removed from the evaluation team? Does Floyd Cargill have no "predetermined concepts"?

For years, the agencies for the blind have considered themselves to be immune from the criticism of their Wind public in general, and that of the National Federation of the Blind in particular. Tom Murphy's campaign to defeat House Bill 717, in the Spring of 1975, was but one example of his typical reaction to any actual or potential criticism of himself and his agency. The Mary Hartle case represents just one more example. How, one may ask, does the Illinois taxpayer benefit from any evaluation which is guaranteed not to expose the faults of the agency under evaluation? Whoever heard of the subject of an evaluation having the prerogative to pick and choose those who would evaluate him! It is the view of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois that such power is inexcusable in the hands of even an intelligent and responsive administrator; in Murphy's hands, it brings to mind Lord Acton's time-honored warning: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Postscript: The NFB of Illinois Prevails

Upon receiving Sherwood Dees' letter of October 7, members of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois moved into higher gear. The office of Steve Teichner, Governor Walker's Assistant who had delivered the Governor's message to the 1975 NFB Convention in Chicago, was contacted by telephone. Steve Teichner was in Boston, but he had come to the NFB Convention, and seen the kind of organization the Federation is. Within two hours, he had made a number of long-distance phone calls to the Illinois Office of Education; then, he called Rami Rabby with a suggested compromise: perhaps Mary Hartle should be replaced on the evaluation team, but with another Federationist. Although not the ideal solution, it might possible be an acceptable one. Steve Teichner pleaded that we take no further action until his return to Illinois on Tuesday, October 14; in the meantime, we should compile a list of Federationists who might take Mary's place on the team, if necessary.

This we did; but in addition, members of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and their friends launched an effective barrage of mailgrams to Governor Walker, demanding that Mary Hartle be immediately reinstated on the IVHI evaluation team. At the same time, the preceding account was prepared for distribution to Chicago's principal newspapers and television stations, as well as to the Illinois Legislature.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, October 14 and 15, it was difficult to make contact with Steve Teichner. We did talk to him once on the telephone, but he was vague and noncommittal. He had obviously been in constant touch with the Office of Education and Tom Murphy's superiors, but was not saying very much. We told him that time was running out; he said he knew that, and assured us that he was not stalling.

Finally, on Thursday morning, October 16, Steve Teichner called to say that Mary Hartle was reinstated on the evaluation team.

Glory, glory, Federation!
Glory, glory, Federation!
Glory, glory, Federation!
Our cause goes marching on!


Springfield, Illinois, August 22, 1975.

Research Assistant,
Chicago City Colleges,
Chicago, Illinois.

DEAR MS. HARTLE: A vital aspect of educational programs in state agencies today is the continual assessment of the programs being provided to the residents. One important segment of such assessment can be achieved by external teams made up of individuals like yourself who are not directly involved in the program being offered. During the past three years teams of educators, business and industrial representatives, and former students of occupational programs have been identified by the Division of Vocational and Technical Education to provide such a service to seventeen of the forty-six State institutions receiving reimbursement from the Division for offering occupational programs. An additional six institutions are scheduled for visitation this year.

We would like to invite you to serve as a member on one of these teams. The specific visit for which we are inviting you is to be held October 20-22, 1975, to evaluate the occupational program offered to residents of Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute.

An overview of the entire visitation process and of your responsibilities as a team member is included in the enclosed booklet. As a team member you will devote most of your visitation time interviewing educators and residents within the institution. The intent of the visitation is to assess the total occupational program of the institution. The total program Areas of Concern for Evaluation are shown on page six of the booklet.

The visitation would require you to be away from your home and job for two days. The visitation schedule is as follows:

DAY 1 — 5:00 p.m. Orientation meeting.

DAY 2 — On-site visit and preliminary report-writing session.

DAY 3 — Conclude on-site (a.m.) and report-writing (p.m.).

Past experience has indicated that evening work is necessary to discuss the findings and prepare the evaluation report. Therefore, overnight stay is encouraged. Your travel, lodging, and meals during the visit will be reimbursed at State rates.

Enclosed you will find a postcard asking for your commitment to serve on this visitation. By returning this postcard with a positive response, your confirmation is ensured for the dates previously indicated. You will receive more correspondence from us approximately two weeks prior to the visit. Two mailings should be received at that time. One from the institution containing material intended to familiarize you with their program, and a second mailing from this office indicating the exact location of your place of lodging and the orientation meeting.

Your services are greatly needed and the success of the Illinois Evaluation System depends on the support of professionals like yourself.


Assistant Superintendent,
Vocational and Technical Education.


Springfield, Illinois, September 24. 1975.

Research Assistant,
Chicago City Colleges,
Chicago, Illinois.

DEAR MS. HARTLE: The Division of Vocational and Technical Education (DVTE) had scheduled an evaluation of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute (IVHI) for October 20-23, 1975, for an outside team evaluation. You have accepted the invitation as a team member but recently I came across an article in reference to Chicago City Colleges contracting with IVHI. Since you are working with Chicago City Colleges in coordinating programs for the handicapped, it was decided by DVTE that there would be a chance of conflict of interest which would be reflected in the evaluation report. We have requested another team member to take your place.

Thank you again for accepting initially and if we find another evaluation which could benefit from your expertise, we will ask again. Sorry for the inconvenience we have initiated in your scheduling.


Regional Vocational Director,
State Agencies.


Chicago, Illinois, September 29, 1975.

Assistant Superintendent.
Vocational and Technical Education,
Illinois Office of Education,
Springfield, Illinois.

DEAR MR. DEES: I am writing in regard to the evaluation of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute (IVHI) scheduled for October 20-23. You have invited me to participate on the visitation team in your letter of August 22. I have accepted. On September 24, Mr. Bernard Quigley wrote to me advising me that I had been removed from the team because of a possible conflict of interest (see the enclosed copy).

I was very surprised and perplexed over this decision by DVTE in view of the fact that DVTE saw no conflict of interest in connection with Mr. Fred Richardson's involvement in the evaluation of the Illinois Braille and Sight-Saving School (IBSSS). As you may know, IBSSS is under the Department of Children and Family Services, the department for which Mr. Richardson works.

In order to gain an understanding of why the decision was made to remove me from the team, I telephoned Mr. Quigley last evening. He reiterated what he had said in his letter. I pointed out the example involving Mr. Richardson. He explained that DVTE does use personnel from other agencies in the same department in which the agency under evaluation is located. He also stated that DVTE uses personnel from agencies under other departments which tie in with the agency to be visited. He referred to the division's plans to have Mr. Floyd Cargill, Chief of Services for the Blind, in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, on the IVHI team.

I ended the conversation with Mr. Quigley more confused than when I had started.

I am writing to ask for a clarification on a few points. In your letter you state that "one important segment of such assessment can be achieved by external teams made up of individuals like yourself who are not directly involved in the program being offered." Mr. Quigley 's letter referred to "an outside team." How does DVTE define an "outside" or "external" team? The division did not consider a conflict of interest to exist in connection with Mr. Richardson's involvement in the IBSSS evaluation, nor does it consider such a possibility to exist in Mr. Cargill’s case, even though both these persons are much more directly involved with the institutions or departments they were assigned to visit. Why has DVTE decided that a conflict of interest might occur if I served on the team for IVHI?

Since the visitation is only a few weeks away, I would ask for your prompt attention to this matter. I would hope that I still might be able to be of service to DVTE. I would very much appreciate your calling me at the earliest time possible.

Sincerely yours,

Research Assistant.


Springfield, Illinois, October 7, 1975.

Research Assistant,
Chicago City Colleges,
Chicago, Illinois.

DEAR MS. HARTLE: In response to your letter of September 29, 1975, concerning the evaluation of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute (IVHI), I will try to clear up the questions you raised. In recent weeks the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois has publicized criticism of IVHI's recent NAC accreditation and the contract with Wright Junior College for a course in swimming. You were named as the contact person for the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois in the September 13, 1975, press conference. It is felt that with your serving in this capacity you may possibly have predetermined concepts; consequently, you may not serve the team as objectively as desired. This certainly is not viewed by this office as a personal criticism for it occurs on other evaluation teams as well. Since team membership is confirmed prior to the local institution receiving the team listing, it has always been a policy of this office to give the institution to be visited the prerogative of rejecting a team member if sufficiently justified.

To show our sincerity, we would like to invite you to serve on the Morton College visitation, scheduled for December 15-18, 1975. You will be receiving an invitation letter for the Morton visit.

Thank you for relating your concern to us and we are hopeful that you are understanding of our position.


Assistant Superintendent,
Vocational and Technical Education.

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After several years of fighting off death with all his vigor, John "Bill" Myers, finally lost. And so did the National Federation of the Blind. As the Editor of The Month's News. publication of the NFB of Illinois, wrote:

"Word has just reached us that John (Bill) Myers, former president of NFBI, passed away in New York, on the afternoon of Friday, October 3. The history of any social movement, such as the NFBI, is always characterized not only by moments of high exhilaration and uplift but also by moments of extreme sadness, loss, and disappointment. The loss of Bill Myers is one which the movement cannot replace.

He was a charter member of NFBI, and its president from 1970 until 1974. Throughout, he worked with tremendous commitment and dedication. His enthusiasm, vitality, energy, and humor were infectious. In the last two years of his life, in the face of pain and suffering, he displayed a personal strength and inner courage which should serve us all as an inspiration for the future.

Our prayers go out to Camille, his wife, and their three children, in the difficult and trying time which lies before them. At the time of writing, the funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 5. Camille has requested that donations be sent in Bill's name to Children's Memorial Hospital, in Chicago. It is there that Scott, Bill's and Camille's youngest son, has received treatment for retinal blastoma."

Bill Myers will be missed by the Wind across the Nation. We know that Camille, who is a dedicated Federationist, will find strength in Bill's example of living-something he left for all of us.  

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For many years, Massachusetts has had a viable, consumer-oriented Commission for the Blind headed by John Mungovan. Mr. Mungovan always listened to the voice of the organized blind; he cared and he was firm in his resolve to keep the agency autonomous.

However, on September 18, 1975, subsequent to the retirement of Mr. Mungovan, the most vicious sort of treachery was perpetrated upon the blind of this Commonwealth. The Governor, Michael Dukakis, appointed Mrs. Marie (sandy) Matava to the position of Commissioner of the Blind. Mrs. Matava is former Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, a NAC-accredited outfit that has long warred against NFB and against the Commission. She represents all that is bad and wrong with sighted attitudes toward blindness, and now she has the wheel; and we are convinced she will drive the Commission straight into a reorganized, ineffective, anemic wraith of its former self.

Worse than even all this is the perfidy instituted by the Governor, his staff, and Massachusetts Association for the Blind. Upon meeting with the Governor's staff on September 18, 1975, NFB members were treated with disdain, with scorn, and with the classic, "to hell with you" indifference that has characteristics reminiscent of the almshouse concepts that so badly disgraced America's early history.

In case anyone believes we have become somewhat paranoid about the matter, read carefully the ensuing facts which remain undisputed, then judge by the merits of these facts: It was said that originally there were about two dozen candidates for the Commissioner's job. When the field was narrowed down to four, all interested blind organizations were permitted to question these four people. Mrs. Matava was not among the four. It looked for a while as if the NFB-supported entry, John Ferguson, a twenty-three-year, career Commission employee, would get the appointment. Suddenly, like the proverbial dark horse, coming from nowhere, Mrs. Matava's name assumed prominence. In less than a week she was appointed and sworn in. From the blind, she is sworn at!

It is most interesting to note that more than two weeks ago, Mrs. Matava resigned her former job. It is also interesting to note that she was former president of the Massachusetts Federation of Agencies for the Blind, a coalition including her former organization, the National Braille Press, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, ACB, MIT of all things, and a few other groups. For some time, this coalition has supported reorganization of the Commission to absorb it and destroy it. Strange how Mrs. Matava is now elevated to the job of Commissioner of the Blind.

In addition, Mrs. Lucy Benson, Secretary of Human Services, has been quoted as having said, "John Ferguson is too close to the blind." A most interesting remark.

The Governor himself declared something to the effect that he had tried to do "what was best for them," but that they would not respond, so he and his staff stopped trying. In substance, those are the expressed sentiments of the Governor of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the "Cradle of Liberty."

We blind may not be able to see in the conventional sense, but there is nothing wrong with our ability to discern a frank and outright lie! We are, indeed, finally disabled, but it is from that peculiar sharp pain we feel between our shoulders, much like a knife. To date, we wish to recount the record of this "Governor of the people," in order that the reader may see for himself whom he has elected: Funds cut for the retarded; never mind the fact that Federal funding may restore some of that money. The unemployed are dropped from relief rolesall well and good for a Governor of the people to institute such a move from a lofty, high-income position. State workers laid off and firedbut none of his appointees felt the axe, including the Secretary of Human Services who continues to be chauffeured approximately one hundred miles one way to work at State expense. This Governor of the people has vetoed a referendum demanding the death penalty passed by the Legislature, endorsed overwhelmingly by the people he is sworn to obey and support. We maintain it is impossible to vote conscience when there is no conscience to utilize.

The organized blind of Massachusetts must now re-assess their posture with this new breed of cold, calculating politician. We must adopt new techniques that call for radical action, and please do not say that it does not affect you. The further we are pushed, the more difficult it is to take a progressive step ahead. The Governor and his staff, it is abundantly clear, do not care about the blind. We are pests to be swatted. This cannot be permitted to continue. Governor Dukakis must be dealt with much like the paternalistic, unfeeling shells of men that govern NAC Boards, and we cannot rest until he knows with certainty that NFB is here to stay, and that we shall speak for ourselves. We shall have a profound, material say in anything that affects our lives. We shall fight in every avenue, every corridor, every medium available to us.

Those among the blind who are deluded enough to think this has no bearing upon them are gutless, useless beings who wish to be waited upon as invalids, and they are none of us. Those, however, of courage, of pride, of energy who will stand with us will pick up the gauntlet that is hurled before us and march together in a manner of unity that will assure our foes that we mean business.

Des Moines, Iowa, October 20, 1975.

Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR DR. ADAMS: Early this year you appointed me as consultant to you on programs for the blind throughout the Nation. In that capacity I have tried to be responsive to questions you have asked and concerns you have expressed. I have also tried to anticipate problems by calling to your attention situations which I thought had the potential for causing difficulties.

Such a situation has now arisen. It is still in the incipient stages, but I view its possible implications as nothing short of catastrophic. I speak of recent developments regarding programs for the blind in the State of Massachusetts.

Programs for the blind in that State have been among the most progressive in the country. This has been due, in no small part, to the energetic and imaginative leadership of John Mungovan, the long-time head of services for the blind. Mungovan retired this year, and the blind of the State were very nearly unanimous as to who his successor should bea twenty-three-year employee of the Commission, with a proven record of competence and dedication. There seemed every indication that the wishes of the blind would be respected. (After all. they were the ones most affected.)

However, politics apparently intervened. At least, this is what the blind think, and the facts would tend to confirm it. Short-circuiting the advisory and selection processes which his own administration had established, the Governor rushed through an appointment which, to say the least, struck most of the blind as ill considered. The appointee was Mrs. Marie Matava, who had had no experience in administering such programs for the blind.

The announcement of Mrs. Matava's appointment triggered angry reaction by the blind. There were marches in Boston, along with widespread publicity and editorial comment in the press. Apparently the Governor's office has taken the position that they have made their decision and, come hell or high water, they have no intention of reversing it—regardless of new facts, regardless of the opinions of the blind, and regardless of the merits of the case. The blind, on the other hand, seem to be daily becoming more determined and united. The situation is not cooling off. Quite the contrary. It is building to an explosion. Further, it threatens to destroy the programs for the blind in the State and to ruin the prospects for effective rehabilitation. I assume that the Governor (if he truly understood) would do something about it, but I suspect that his back is now up and that a combination of pride, busy schedule, politics, and the like will not allow him to get the facts or see it in perspective.

With something like a thousand active members the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts is, by far, the largest organization of blind persons in the State. In fact, it is generally recognized as the "voice of the blind" of Massachusetts. I attended their convention during the first weekend of October and would like to share with you my observations.

Mrs. Matava attended the banquet, and I sat by her. She frankly admitted that she was not knowledgeable concerning programs for the blind, and her conversation was a testimonial to the truth of her utterance. If she were a person of incisive wit or sparkling personality or obvious empathy, she might surmount the difficulties of her situation and achieve harmony and constructive leadership. Unfortunately she demonstrated none of these qualities. She seemed to be out of her depth, and unaware of the fact that she was out of her depth—average in ability, average in awareness, and average in motivation. In my opinion, she will (given the present circumstances) at worst lead the programs for the blind of Massachusetts to destruction, at best to mediocrity.

I do not know that anything can be done to improve the situation, but I thought you should be alerted. I think it will get worse (much worse) before it gets better. I say this from the vantage point of my experience as Director of Iowa's programs for the blind for the last seventeen years and President of the Nation's largest organization of blind persons since 1968.


President, National Federation of the Blind.

cc: The Honorable Michael Dukakis
Ms. Lucy Benson
Commissioner Marie Matava
Mr. William Burke

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Next summer, at the Los Angeles Convention, some blind college student will receive $1,200 from the Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship Fund.

Last summer Michael Hingson won the prized award. He is an active Federationist in California, and a doctoral student in physics at the University of California at Irvine.

The Scholarship is highly competitive. Applicants show a high degree of academic competence, and great determination by the students to overcome the obstacles thrown in their way by deans, professors, parents, and sometimes rehab counsellors, who seem unable to understand how a blind student can do the work. These are exciting stories of success and persistence. Most all of the applicants were deserving of awards, but we have only one. We commend these students to their respective states for aid. Students should not assume that because they did not win once, they should give up. Try again, for no one can anticipate how the Scholarship Committee will decide.

Students are eligible if blind and studying in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, architecture, medicine, and the law. Those studying in the humanities are not eligible because of provisions of the trust establishing the Rickard Scholarship Fund. We wish we had a scholarship in the humanities; perhaps some kindly and interested benefactor will make such a gift.

Completed applications for the Rickard Scholarship must be in the hands of the Chairman, Reverend Howard E. May, by May 15, 1976. Applications are now available from Mr. May at R.F.D. 1, West Willington, Connecticut 06279. Application forms will be included in the Monitor for February 1976.

The Rickard Scholarship Committee met last summer in Chicago and made a few recommendations to blind students and chapter and state presidents.

(1) Too few of our blind students know about the NFB or the Scholarship. Federationists, students or members, can take an application to whichever college office provides aid and advice to students in finding scholarship help.

(2) We urge chapter and state presidents to establish scholarship programs. Affiliate scholarship funds can be of great value in reaching blind students, and the accompanying publicity gives the public a different view of the blind. The amounts awarded may be modest, but are helpful to students.

(3) Applicants should submit recommendations from presidents or members of a chapter with their application. Of course, the recommendation is stronger if the student is known and active within the chapter or state organization. Presidents may recommend more than one candidate.

(4) Student applicants should be aware that winning any scholarship will give them added prestige on their job resumes after college. College graduation is not the end of the line: a job is very important to one's own sense of achievement.

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Stony Brook, New York, July 31, 1975.

Chief, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped,
Library of Congress,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CYLKE: Like most other readers of Talking Books, I imagine, I have my own set of likes and dislikes. Although my secretary tells me that I am overly predisposed toward writing letters, I have hesitated to write to you about my feelings, mainly because I did not have any solution to offer for some of my dislikes; now, however, the recent exchange of correspondence between you and Florence Grannis, as published in the July issue of The Braille Monitor, suggests at least a partial solution to me, and I want to pass it on to you for whatever use the DBPH can make of it.

Let me start with the praise. In the five years or so since I have become legally blind and have gradually moved from reading inkprint to reading recorded material, I have been accumulating a small list of good things about being blind. I mean here positive goods, not negative evils; thus the only proper retort to those well-meaning but fatuous people who tell me how fortunate I am not to have to look at the dirt and the squalor of the world is that they don't have to either they can close their eyes or look away. Such experiences are what I term "negative evils." It is, however, a "positive good" to be able to get Talking Books. Having a worthwhile book read by an Alexander Scourby or a Milton Metz adds a wholly new esthetic dimension to the printed page, and lest you think that this is the sum of my "positive goods" in being blind, I will add one more that will surely appeal to you, as it has to other sighted people: Carrying my long cane at conventions and other large gatherings, I am excused from the irksome task of remembering people's names.

Turning now to the negative side of the DPBH, I am disturbed by two recent exchanges of correspondence. The first, appearing, if I remember correctly, in the March-April issue of Talking Book Topics, involved a protest by a reader against what he took to be the low quality of many recent booksnot the technical recording, but the inherent literary worth of the book itself. The answer by the DBPH (I'm sorry now not to remember the identity of the writer) was essentially to repeat the DBPH's published statement of book-selection policy.

I believe that this answer misses the point of the complaint. The complainant was not attacking the book-selection policy but the book-selection practice, which is something else.

I have two bits of evidence to offer on the discrepancy between policy and practice in book selection. The first is trivial: Fifteen copies of How to Run a Garage Sale sent by the DBPH to our local sub-regional library! Both the quality and the quantity of that item speak for themselves. My second piece of evidence has died in preparation, because the student assistant I had assigned to it has apparently found the beaches of Long Island more attractive than our university library. The task, however, is simple enough to describe, and you might want to put one of your clerks to work on it. I sought to compare the books in the lead review of The New York Times Book Review for the 1972-73 period with the list of books now available from DBPH. In the two years there would have been something less than 104 books, since some issues of the Book Review are devoted to special topics, such as Christmas books, and others begin with general articles rather than reviews of single books. However, in that two-year period there must have been at least sixty to seventy books that The New York Times thought sufficiently important to warrant the first place in the Sunday reviews. Although the DBPH has every right to exercise its own independent judgment, rather than simply follow the lead of The New York Times or any other set of reviewers, this seems to me a fair operationalization of "important books." How many of them are now Talking Books?

Please note that I am not advocating that you record only "important" books, those that appeal to "high brows" or "intellectuals." There is plenty of room for you to record both important books and the mysteries, science fiction, and other types of escapist "trash" that not appear to dominate your recordings. Perhaps I can put the matter better this way: No one would suffer any measurable injury by being deprived of the latest Faith Baldwin or Erie Stanley Gardner, but I feel that I am being made to suffer when important books do not appear in your list.

My second complaint has to do with the explanation you gave Mrs. Grannis for deleting the "bibliographic" material that formerly appeared at the beginning of each recorded book. If I recall correctly, you said something to the effect that some readers had complained that this material delayed their getting into the text of the book.

Is that really the basis on which the DBPH decides to change its procedures? Does it take only a few letters and the silence of the tens of thousands of other readers who had not thought to write? If so, this is an appalling indictment. No legislature or newspaper editor would make such a mistake, especially when there are demonstrably better alternatives to pursue.

What the DBPH needs to do in this case, and in the foregoing one as well, is to assess the opinions of its readers about such mattersin short, to conduct small but competent studies of opinions, preferences, and other matters among the public that it serves. Although such procedures have their faults, they are surely a far more reliable guide to action than the relative handful of letters that happen to appear.

Like the technical tasks of librarianship, the technical tasks of such survey research require professionals. There must be thousands of people competent to do such work for you in Washington; the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics alone have several hundred. Nevertheless, since I am criticizing the DBPH, I should also be willing to do some work on its behalf, and so I am. If you wish, I would be happy to draw up a questionnaire on book selection, bibliographic entries, and other aspects of the DBPH that might go to a sample of your readers, and I would even make suggestions about efficient ways to draw such a sample. Alternatively, I would be pleased to serve as an advisor to the DBPH on such matters and to comment on research designed by others (I can furnish you with my credentials if you wish, but it may be enough to note that, among other things, I have been a member of the Advisory Panel on Sociology and Social Psychology of the National Science Foundation and that I have been Chairman of the Section on Methodology of the American Sociological Association).

I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience. If you prefer the telephone, my direct number is (516) 246-3413. I will be in my office almost every day until August 8, after which I shall be away until September 2.

Yours truly,


cc: Ms. Florence Grannis


Des Moines, Iowa, August 28, 1975.

Professor HANAN C. SELVIN,
State University of New York at Stony Brook,
Department of Sociology,
Stony Brook, New York.

DEAR PROFESSOR SELVIN: I read with interest your letter of July 31, 1975, to Mr. Cylke. The National Federation of the Blind is establishing a Committee on Library Services to consider the whole range of library needs and problems of the blind. Among other things, the Committee will offer consultation to Mr. Cylke's division and to other governmental agencies. It will also attempt to focus the attitudes and opinions of blind readers throughout the country and to arrive at meaningful policies.

I am asking you to serve on the Committee, and I hope that you will be able to accept. Your letter was one of the most perceptive and articulate I have read. I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet and know you personally. In the meantime I shall await your reply concerning our Committee on Library Services.

Very truly yours,

President, National Federation of the Blind.


[Editor's Note.Professor Selvin has accepted Dr. Jernigan's invitation to serve on the NFB's Committee on Library Services. Mrs. Grannis is the chairperson and other members are Sharon Gold of California, Hazel Staley of North Carolina, Sue Ammeter of Washington State, and Steven Hoad of Maine.]  

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Fargo, North Dakota, August 13, 1975.

Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: I herein wish to register a complaint and ask for clarification of a statement made to me by the conductor of the eastbound Amtrak (Empire Builder) from Minot, North Dakota, on July 8, 1 975. I will attach my ticket receipt hereto.

I bought my ticket in Minot, North Dakota, and went on board with a friend who was going to help me find my seat; but when the conductor noticed that I was blind, he informed me in a loud voice that they could not allow me on board because I was blind and traveling alone. I told him that I had traveled over a hundred thousand miles by rail and never had any trouble but he insisted and again told me that they could not allow me to travel alone because I was blind and that was the rule. At this point I asked my friend to show me my seat and he did and I stayed on. When the conductor came around to punch my ticket he grumbled something to his helper about the rules.

Is this discriminatory rule in the Amtrak book of rules? Does Amtrak subscribe to such a rule? Does the Federal Government support and uphold this kind of discrimination against the blind traveler? I am sure the conductor was uninformed.

I would appreciate the answers to the above questions in writing and in some form easily kept, just in case I should once more be confronted and insulted by some grumpy conductor in my future travels.

I also hope that Amtrak will inform the conductor in question about the right of blind persons to travel. I certainly did not appreciate his insult in public and before my friends. It was extremely poor public relations.

North Dakota and, I believe, many other states now have a law known as the White Cane Law. This law guarantees the equal rights of blind persons to travel on any and all public conveyances. A copy of the law may be obtained by writing the Secretary of State, Bismarck, North Dakota.

Thank you kindly and may I hear from you at an early date. I am,



Washington, D.C., August 25, 1975.

Fargo, North Dakota.

DEAR MR. BJORNSETH: Thank you for your letter of August 13 regarding your trip aboard the Empire Builder.

Please accept our apologies for the behavior of the conductor. He must not be informed of the rules we have governing disabled passengers. I am forwarding a copy of your letter to our Supervisor of On-Board Services for his attention and corrective action. Hopefully, he will distribute the Service Policy I am enclosing for you to all the crews on our trains.

We certainly appreciate your taking the time to write, and hope that the unfortunate incident you experienced will not deter you from traveling aboard Amtrak in the future.


Consumer Service.


Bulletin Number 218.



Disabled individuals who want to travel on Amtrak trains must have an attendant if they are unable to care for themselves. If they need assistance in obtaining attendant service, Amtrak will provide this service at cost to the passenger.

Disabled passengers needing an attendant will not be allowed on board who have not made prior arrangements for an attendant or for necessary equipment. When disabled passengers are carried, the Conductor/Service Director will make every attempt to assist them with their needs.

Blind individuals accustomed to moving about in public streets and places will not be considered disabled and will be permitted to travel on Amtrak trains with or without an attendant or dog.


(1) Stretcher Loading Patients.When arrangements are made with the ticket agent for a disabled passenger and escort to board the train, the Conductor/Service Director will find out which sleeping car space is being held by the passenger and escort, that the accommodation has the proper type of window, and that the attendant has the tool needed to open the window and understands the loading procedure before the passenger arrives. Although the ambulance driver and assistant will usually do the loading, the SCSA will, when requested, give assistance. The SCSA will be responsible for obtaining meal service when requested.

(2) The Conductor/Service Director will help crippled and blind passengers with dining car service and will make arrangements by wire or phone for wheelchairs or crutches to be provided at destination when necessary.

(3) Language barriers.Interpreters are available in our larger terminals and may be contacted through Traveler's Aid or Manager-Stations.

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[Reprinted from the October 1975 issue of The Connecticut Blind Federationist, publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut.)

The City of New London and the Directors of the Ocean Beach Park have been cited by the Connecticut Human Rights Commission for a hearing on charges that the park discriminated against a blind person. The incident occurred about a year ago, when Mrs. Junerose Killian, president of the Southeast Chapter of the NFB of Connecticut, was refused permission to swim in the Ocean Beach pool because she had no sighted escort. Public Law 73-279 states that no person shall be refused access to public accommodations for reasons of blindness.

Some of our blind people seem to misunderstand the meaning of this situation by stating that since they would not want to swim without a sighted companion, Mrs. Killian should not. Come on, my blind friends! There are lots of things I do not want to do, or fear to do, that you may wish to do, and should have the right to do. Our rights need not be exercised; but if we permit any person's rights to be denied, all of us may be deprived of these rights. If a blind person is denied access to a public restaurant, or to rent an apartment, because of blindness, the rights of all of us are in jeopardy.

The NFB of Connecticut is supporting Mrs. Killian in the case of New London and the Ocean Beach Park through the courts, if necessary. The whole Civil Rights Law of Connecticut, P.L. 73-279, is at stake.  

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[Reprinted from the July-August 1975 issue of Bandwagon, published by Frito-Lay, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Roehl have been very active Federationists and have been generous with financial as well as moral support.]

Wilfred Roehl (pronounced Rail) is an extraordinary man. Blind since birth, he refuses to let this handicap interfere with his pursuit of a normal life and fulfillment in his work.

He has been a Frito-Lay employee for the past seventeen years, working at both the old and now the new San Antonio plants in the packaging room as a Packaging Utility. The San Antonio employees have a keen admiration and respect for Wilfred and the efficient manner he carries out his work. This a story about Wilfred and his wife, Marjorie, who is also legally blind, and their pursuit of a rewarding life.

There are two milestones in Wilfred Roehl’s life which stand out vividly in his memory. One occurred April 15, 1950.

That was the day Wilfred married Marjorie Tarlton. Since then they have been constant and the closest companions. This past April 15 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of this important event. Because of the occasion's significance, Wilfred did something he had been thinking of and wanting to do for a long time. He held one of the finest silver anniversary parties imaginable.

He invited friends, family, and co-workers. A special invitation was extended to the employees of the entire San Antonio plant. Since dancing is a favorite pastime, Wilfred contracted his and Marjorie's favorite band. To accommodate all his guests, he rented the Gruenau Hall in Yorktown, Texas, sixty miles southeast of San Antonio. All this was topped with a sit-down dinner.

More than five hundred attended the anniversary party which started early with dinner and concluded in the wee hours with dancing and merriment. Employees of the San Antonio plant still talk about Wilfred's party. But to Wilfred, it was more than a party. It was a way of expressing the rightness of his decision twenty-five years before.

The second milestone in Wilfred's life occurred July 28, 1958, when he accepted a job with Frito-Lay as a Shipping Helper in the San Antonio plant. "A job is important to everyone," points out Wilfred, "but especially so to a blind person. He gets a lot of reward out of carrying out a job right. I know I do. I really enjoy my job here in the San Antonio plant. It gives me a lot of pleasure, and I know I'm doing a good job."

Plant Manager Gene Barton agrees. "Wilfred is a remarkable man and does a remarkable job. And the people here have the utmost respect for him."

When Frito-Lay opened its new San Antonio plant in 1973, Wilfred was a little anxious about adjusting to the new surroundings since he had every nook and cranny of the old plant etched in his mind. But with the help of supervisors, other co-workers, and a service worker for the blind, Wilfred quickly made the adjustment and mastered his new environment.

Wilfred carpools with three fellow workers. They pick him up and leave him at the driveway of his comfortable home.

Wilfred's off-the-job hours are as pleasurable as his work is rewarding.

He spends hours listening to records especially prepared for the blind. Each week Wilfred hears readings of national publications such as Newsweek or Reader's Digest. As Allen Freudenrich, Plant Production Manager in San Antonio said, "Wilfred is one of the most well read people I know. He has knowledge about almost every significant event that occurs."

One of Wilfred and Marjorie's favorite pastimes is dancing. It's not uncommon for them to spend a weekend away from home just to dance to one of their favorite groups. They recently rode a bus to Austin one Saturday afternoon, spent the evening dancing, and caught an early-morning bus back to San Antonio arriving at 6:00 in the morning.

Outside of each other and their jobs, one of the most important things the Roehls have is their friends. "Blind people have a special closeness to one another. I have friends that I'd do anything for and I know they feel the same way about me," emphasizes Wilfred.

The Roehls have scores of friends. They see each other on a regular basis, and dancing is a mutually entertaining recreation. Wilfred is an officer in the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and also attends the national Conventions. He receives requests on a regular basis to speak to groups at the Texas State School for the Blind. In all, he leads a busy, rewarding life.

He has a zest for life unmatched by many. And if you're around him much, his enthusiasm will rub off on you. He is proud, independent, and a master of his destiny. Wilfred has about everything you'd want in life-a home, a good wife, and a strong sense of purpose. Yes, it really is a remarkable world for Wilfred Roehl.  

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"Recommendations.It is recommended that the board direct the superintendent of the Tennessee School for the Blind to inform the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (1) that the school will not pay its annual dues ($630) to NAC by October 1, 1975, as requested, (2) that the school no longer wishes to be accredited by this or any other agency which displays arrogant contempt for the organized blind of this Nation, (3) that the school's name should be removed immediately from all lists of agencies accredited by the Council, and (4) that the school is forthwith removing the NAC logo from all school stationery and literature.

"It is further recommended that the board adopt this posture as policy until such time as NAC shows a credible attitude of responsiveness to the overwhelming majority of the organized blind represented by the National Federation of the Blind."

So read the recommendation of Clay Coble, Superintendent of the Tennessee School for the Blind, in his report for the quarterly meeting of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Vocational Education to take place on August 8, 1975. But the members of the Board of Education did not receive that recommendation at that time.

The details of the problems at the Tennessee School for the Blind were published in The Braille Monitor for August 1975. At that time it was noted that Superintendent Clay Coble, Assistant Superintendent Anthony Cobb, and Principal Gary Coker had all been fired by the State Board of Education. The political nature of these activities was reviewed, along with those of the NAC on-site review team. If some suspicion was expressed about lurking "professional" jealousy on the part of Principal Coker along with the political maneuvering, subsequent events have borne this out.

In a letter from Principal Coker to Superintendent Coble in April of 1975, some of the difficulties of the administration are perhaps unwittingly revealed. Mr. Coker doesn't like the Superintendent's not asking him to comment on certain aspects of the report, nor does he appreciate the Superintendent's exercise of his own professional expertise in criticizing certain of the NAC team's recommendations. Mr. Coker characterizes the NAC on-site review team as "internationally recognized experts and professionals," and falls back upon that great and tiresome equalizer misappropriated from the law-by suggesting that, after all, everyone is or should be advancing only the best interests of the children. But the whole game is conceded when he says: "Naturally it hurts to see people you view as having less knowledge, experience, and expertise advance above you in salary or authority . . . ." Mr. Coker then goes on to rationalize the other administrators' actions as due not to their lack of training in education or experience as administrators but to their lack of courses in special education. He views himself as eminently qualified to run an institution such as the Tennessee School for the Blind with its broad academic and vocational goals because he has a degree in peripatology.

Donelson, Tennessee, April 14, 1975.

Superintendent, Tennessee School for the Blind,
Donelson, Tennessee.

DEAR MR. COBLE: In light of the nature of the final three pages sent by you to Mr. Collingwood on April 4, 1975, regarding the draft report on the NAC reassessment which took place two months earlier, I find it necessary to make my own reactions also a matter of official record. I had been informed, as stated by you on the first page of your response to Mr. Collingwood, that only comments "with respect to the facts therein" would be welcomed for sending back to Mr. Collingwood. This was conveyed to the instructional staff via chairpersons and was acted upon accordingly and only therein by brief comments as to whether such an evaluation by outside experts in their field had been considered helpful by them in guiding their eternal efforts toward improving quality and delivery of our services to visually handicapped children, their families, and the public at large.

My own comments are totally in respect to errors of fact, attempting to honestly correct these regardless of whether such corrections seemed favorable or unfavorable in terms of our progress to date. There were a few accreditation committee recommendations with which I disagree and there are also occasional instances which suggested to me some minimal misunderstanding of TSB's particular organization and problems. Nevertheless, I had not been called upon to comment on these, nor did I consider criticism of the report an especially appropriate response at this time, considering the amount of earnest effort which had gone into the committee's work and the very significant benefits to our program and our thinking we attributed to these efforts (both currently and in the past). In short, I viewed the report as a sincere attempt to help our school through troubled times and to put it back on the road of progress in educating visually handicapped children. Their work having been intended for the school's own best interests in developing as a growing organism, it seemed neither courteous nor helpful to elaborate on every point of disagreement between myself and the committee.

In contrast, other members of the administration have appeared to take the accreditation report as a personal attack (although in my opinion it seemed to have been written with extreme caution in that regard as suggested by your statement on page twelve about the committee's unwillingness to give specific recommendations concerning administrative differences). These administrators have in turn responded, it seems to me, by quite inappropriately attacking this committee of internationally recognized experts and professionals, perhaps even to the extent of questioning the ethics of these good people (or at least their intelligence) by inferring that they might have allowed themselves to be duped or swayed through personal contacts by "unrepresentative samplings" of staff members.

While Mr. Cobb apparently feels that he has accumulated "documentation" as to "'the roots of the conflict within the administrative staff,'" I feel that the very nature of these final three pages of response to the accreditation report are sufficient documentation in and of themselves. To my mind the problem, as it has been developing and snowballing since 1972 has been just this type of personal reactions to suggestions, recommendations, and constructively intended criticism. Disagreement of any kind and for any reason, no matter how openly put or well-intentioned, has been perceived as "refusal to abide," "outright evasions or circumventions," and ultimately, personal attack. There has been a closing off of any open forum for discussing the school's problems, no thought of attempting to remedy them together in a group without active seeking or acceptance of all opinions as people with a unified purpose. Instead of assuming we are all striving toward the same goal of bettering the futures of our students (and within that context making allowances for personality differences which always makes real communication a difficult matter), there seems to have been an insidiously growing assumption that all staff members who in any way disagree with administrative directives must be entirely concerned with a power struggle directed toward improving their own salaries and positions.

Naturally it hurts to see people you view as having less knowledge, experience, and expertise advance above you in salary or authority, but if those people then prove they deserve such advancement by the way in which they help to further the development of the school (hence the children), personal resentment dies away. It certainly does not spread over an entire staff. When a job is being well done and the staff's own goals are being furthered, the personal resentment of a few individuals does not spread to engulf and paralyze the whole staff through "gossip and misinformation." People look around them, see that things are going well and proceed with their own jobs. They may enjoy taking part in the gossip (such is human nature), but the type of hostility, tension, and fragmentation we are experiencing at TSB does not occur under those circumstances. It is when the less qualified function in less qualified ways, even blocking the philosophies or programs of the more experienced trained people they superseded, that the resentment grows toward crippling proportions. It is when all attempts to point out gaps in philosophy and when all efforts to correct the natural mistakes of inexperience lead to charges of insubordination or conspiracy, that the situation becomes totally unviable.

I personally do not know how to solve our administrative differences as they now stand, and my response to the accreditation committee report draft is one of gratitude and hope that implementing their suggestions might help.

However, if the only help possible would be to sit silently without being able to comment while occurrences take place which my professional judgment tells me are against the best interest of our students, that would be an impossible role for me (or, I hope, for any principal).



At a later meeting of the Board of Education, some of its members decided that no one really had been fired. Superintendent Coble would be assigned other work in the Department of Education; the position of Assistant Superintendent, held by Mr. Cobb, would be abolished, and Mr. Coker would be demoted to a teaching position at the school.

The Board of Education then began its search for a new superintendent and interviewed a number of candidates among whom was Gary Coker. Once again, Mr. Coker was passed by, and on a vote of 10 to 2, Garland Cross was named Superintendent of the Tennessee School for the Blind. Mr. Cross is an experienced administrator and educator of some twenty years' standing. He was instructed, immediately after his appointment, by Education Commissioner Sam Ingram to study all applications for school principal, including Gary Coker's, and was informed that if the person met the proper qualifications, the Board would approve his choice. Many blind people in the State supported Mr. Cross on assurances that he would not reappoint Mr. Coker as principal. But he did; and one Federationist let him know how that action was received.

Nashville, Tennessee, August 21, 1975.

Superintendent, Tennessee School for the Blind,
Nashville, Tennessee.

DEAR MR. CROSS: Today I was shocked and dismayed when I heard the announcement that you had chosen Gary Coker as principal of the school because you felt that he was the most qualified to fill the position. I know and I know that you are aware that I know that you made commitments that you would not consider Mr. Coker as long ago as early July. It is my understanding that you made these commitments on the basis of Mr. Coker's insubordination, lack of respect for authority, using students and faculty to demonstrate in his behalf, and the limitations of his degree which is only in peripatology, one area of the education of the visually handicapped.

I am further aware of the fact that you knew of the efforts of many individuals who worked tirelessly to help place you in the position of superintendent because we were convinced that you would do a thorough job of removing all elements of contention from the school and return it to the high level of academic achievement which should exist. What then, may I ask, could you be thinking about when you selected Mr. Coker as principal?

You may say anything you wish to the press. You may say anything you wish to Mr. Coker and the other members of your staff. You do not have to acknowledge the support you received from many diligent, concerned individuals. But what are you going to do when Mr. Coker uses the faculty and student body to get his way even when it is not in the best interest of the school? What will you do when the student body demonstrates because Mr. Coker does not agree with you on a specific issue?

Indeed, Mr. Cross, where is the school for the blind going in this State? When so-called professionals can exploit the very students which they are supposed to be dedicated to serving, it is a bad day for education of the visually handicapped in the State of Tennessee.

I have always respected and admired you as a man of character and good judgement. Now I seriously question your decision in naming a principal because I believe it casts grave doubts on your goals and objectives for the total program of the school.

Yours truly,


The report of the Tennessee School situation which appeared in the Monitor spurred Mr. Coker to write to President Jernigan. He must have been surprised when he received the reply. That exchange went thus:

Nashville, Tennessee, August 11, 1975.

President, National Federation of the Blind,
Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: I read with interest the article "NAC, Special Education, and the Tennessee School for the Blind." It was somewhat surprising to see the amount of information you have acquired concerning the situation-some of which would be considered privileged.

Of particular concern is a remark on page 304, column 2, second paragraph, "During the last couple of years or so, differences arose between Superintendent Coble and Principal Coker about administration and scheduling to the point that the principal eventually refused directives from the administration." This statement is false and without foundation. Furthermore to place such a statement in a national publication without any consultation or investigation of the facts is extremely detrimental to the professional approach I have long associated with your organization.

In the reporting of the events surrounding the National Accreditation reassessment of the Tennessee school, there was no mention of the response I had made. For your information, I enclose a copy of that response.

I'm well aware of the differences between the National Federation and the National Accreditation Council. My writing is not aimed at any differences. I have the highest respect for you and the National Federation. At the same time, the National Accreditation Council assisted the Tennessee School in improving its weaknesses which in turn assisted visually handicapped persons. Isn't that the goal of all our organizations?

Kindest regards,



Des Moines, Iowa, October 16, 1975.

Nashville, Tennessee.

DEAR MR. COKER: I have read your letter of August 11, 1975, concerning the August Monitor article on the Tennessee School for the Blind and the enclosures, noting your unique demur at the article's accuracy.

I really do not understand, by the way, what you deem "privileged" information about that situation since the bulk of the article drew upon numerous reports in the Nashville papers. I further take your expression of surprise at the thoroughness of the story and your allegation that parts were written "without any consultation or investigation of the facts" to be unnecessarily devious ways of asking how the writer knew enough about your role in the conflict to report upon it. You apparently wish for some reason to test with me a perfectly logical surmise that many in Tennessee and elsewhere have shared quite adequately supported assessments of your attitudes and behavior which would suggest that you have in fact refused to abide by directions from your superiors. They have, and it appears you did. Suffice it to say that similar behavior from any staff member in our agency is unimaginable, but were I to find evidence of it I should waste little time in applying a rather direct remedy.

What I find genuinely unsettling about your letter, however, is not the perfectly predictable efforts at self-vindication. Rather it is that anyone seriously engaged in work with the blind of Tennessee or elsewhere concludes as you do that there can be any sort of congruence between the goals of the National Federation of the Blind and those of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, at least as the latter is presently constituted and administered. You say that you are well aware of the differences between NFB and NAC and that you have the highest respect for the Federation, but under these circumstances the final line of your letter is truly puzzling. You speak as if there had been no deliberate rejection of genuine consumer participation by NAC, as if the NAC Executive Board had not obstinately rejected its own committee's recommendations for democracy, and as if NAC had not been attempting to wreak personal vengeance upon the blind people who have questioned its actions. Come now, how can one maintain that he has respect for the blind while praising and promoting an organization which continues to display absolute contempt for us?

I find it equally hard to understand your contention that NAC "assisted" the Tennessee School for the Blind in improving its program. With that sort of assistance surely the school needs no one working against its programs. NAC obviously assisted in worsening an already disastrous situation and rendering ineffective all efforts at a solution short of the administrative mayhem which occurred. It might well have "assisted" in the school's losing a half million dollars in capital outlay funds without even devoting sufficient time to a review of the project concerned. These conclusions should come after even a cursory reading of the Monitor article.

You see we both know that your letter is obviously aimed at differences—that is, unless you are not as well informed about them as you claim. The Tennessee School for the Blind has been badly damaged, and it will be a long time recovering. Continued accreditation by NAC will, I think, retard rather than aid that recovery. If, therefore, you really have the highest respect for the blind who are speaking for themselves and if you are truly concerned for the blind children who attend the school, join us in this battle we are already winning so decisively. Emulate the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, for example, which at its recent meeting in San Francisco withdrew its unconditional sponsorship of NAC, and do your best to persuade others to go and do likewise.

If on the other hand you aspire—as appears to be the case—to graduate to the lists of serious debate, it would behoove you to learn the habit of carefully studying the real issues and addressing them directly rather than needlessly attempting to belittle your colleagues past or present. Such tactics ill become an avowed professional and may, as in the present case, merely serve to confirm (albeit inadvertently) someone's prior assessment to which you in no wise intend to lend support.

Very truly yours,


Coordinator of Program Development and Planning.

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The Honorable Gilbert Ramirez has been a staunch Federationist and avid Monitor reader for many years. About two weeks ago, he was nominated to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Of course, all of us are most excited since this is a first for our State. Wanting all of our Federationists around the country to know of Judge Ramirez's good fortune, I asked him to send me some material about his background so that I might submit an article to The Monitor. Upon reading the information that Judge Ramirez sent, I found, as is often the case, that Judge Ramirez expresses his life story himself far better than anyone else possibly could. Except for the last paragraph and some minor adjustments, this is what Judge Ramirez sent. No doubt each of us will be inspired and stimulated by this warm, sensitive, and humble man.

As many of you may know, I was born in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, and when I completed the third grade of primary school, my parents and I moved to Brooklyn, New York. My parents were factory workers and, of course, I was not spared any of the horrors of the first generation New York City ghetto dwellers.

At the end of my freshman year at Brooklyn College, my family and I returned to Puerto Rico where I enrolled in the College of Science at the University of Puerto Rico; later I transferred to the College of Education. I was elected to represent the College of Education in the Student Council, and among other campus activities, I was news editor and columnist on the university newspaper.

I obtained a B.A. degree with a major in secondary school education, and then returned to New York City to work towards an M.A. degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. However, I suddenly became totally blind and returned to Puerto Rico where I secured a job as a lecturer for the Board of Health. Soon thereafter, I accepted a full scholarship grant from the University of Puerto Rico to do graduate work at the Graduate School, New York University, with a view to teaching at the University of Puerto Rico. However, midway through my studies, I decided to start all over again as a blind person in an entirely new career.

Although I had never taken typing lessons in my life, I secured a permanent appointment as a transcribing typist with the City of New York after scoring high in a competitive municipal civil service test for transcribing typists for the City of New York.

In September 1953, I enrolled in the evening session at the Brooklyn Law School. This created quite a stir as neither the Law School nor I had ever heard of a blind person studying law at night while holding a full-time job during the day. To make a long story short, I managed to complete the four-year night course in only three years and I did not ask for, nor did I receive, special treatment from the law school because of my blindness. In passing, I should add that I paid all my expenses at the law school from my earnings as a typist. I did not receive any financial aid from any public or private agency.

I completed the requirements for the law degree in August 1956, and about ten weeks later, in November, I took and passed the twelve-and-a-half-hour bar examination although I had not taken any review courses.

After my admission to the New York State Bar in 1957, I withdrew my $1,500 contribution to the Municipal Civil Service Pension Plan and opened a storefront office for the general practice of law in Brooklyn, New York. Within a few years, I developed a highly successful practice, and I then brought two other attorneys into my firm. Our office engaged in all aspects of the general practice of law with myself as the principal trial attorney in the firm.

While engaged in the active practice of law and being involved in a multitude of community activities, I ran for the New York State Assembly. I financed my own campaign and organized my own political club and emerged as the winner in a hard-fought Democratic primary in September 1965. I then went on to be elected in the general election that November, thereby becoming the first and only Puerto Rican ever to be elected to the New York State Legislature from Brooklyn. In November 1966, after winning the Democratic Primary, I was elected as one of the three delegates from Bedford-Stuyvesant to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1967. In 1968, I was appointed to the Family Court Bench, and reappointed the following year to a full ten-year term.

I have been intimately involved in community affairs during my entire adult life. In addition to my involvement in the Brooklyn Chapter of the Federation, I have served as president and chapter member of the New York Association of the Spanish Blind, Gilbert Ramirez Softball League, Ramirez Democratic Club, and the Congress of Puerto Rican Youth. I have also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Puerto Rican Pioneers, Sons of Vega Alta, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

About two weeks ago, another chapter was added to my life when I was nominated to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Certainly, I am honored and consider this a great step forward for the blind of this country. I have been in the Federation a long time and know that the roads we travel as blind people are often difficult. I also know that with all of us working together, it will be better. Whatever I have in life did not come easy; it came with hard work, endurance, and motivation; but I have come to learn that where there is a will, there is a way.  

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[Reprinted with permission from the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal. Copyright 1975.]

Some State services for the blind in Kentucky have been impaired by mismanagement, according to a study recently completed for the State Department of Education.

The study, which was made by a consulting firm based in New York, criticized the work of State agencies administering programs for the blind.

The study report said the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services' leadership has "not kept pace" with changes in the rehabilitation area. The report said that the Bureau's top management has "poorly coordinated" units under it, which includes the Division of Services for the Blind.

The Bureau is a part of the State Department of Education.

The consultants reported that they found the Division of Services for the Blind has performed such functions as policy-making, staff supervision, and liaison with other agencies "unsystematically and in a haphazard manner, if at all."

State programs attempt to offer many key services for the blind, including counseling, job training, job placement, and preparation of educational materials for the blind.

There are more than seven thousand blind persons in Kentucky, according to estimates prepared by the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, the study report said. In addition, there are thousands of other people with visual impairments.

State officials, including Superintendent of Public Instruction Lyman Ginger, acknowledge that many blind persons in Kentucky aren't being adequately assisted because of State agency problems.

Since at least last summer there have been disputes—some very heated—between key administrators of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Services for the Blind.

The disputes appear to involve personality clashes as well as philosophic differences.

Last June a top official of the Division complained to Ginger in a letter that he was cursed in language condemning his blindness by a Bureau leader.

Ginger said he had asked for the consultant study in an effort to clear up the controversy and obtain an objective view of problems surrounding programs for the blind.

A committee, which included blind persons and State officials, met yesterday at Frankfort to discuss the study report.

The committee didn't have time to discuss all the issues raised in the report but Ginger said he hopes the committee, after further review and discussions, can recommend changes in June to the State Board of Education. The State Board then will decide whether to implement the recommendations to upgrade programs for the blind.

Ginger said the study by the consulting firm of Cresap, McCormick, and Paget, Inc., will serve as a "guide and stimulator" for the committee. He said the study cost about $27,000. He said it was one of the "better reports I have seen."

Before yesterday's committee meeting an official for the National Federation of the Blind sent a letter to members of the State Board of Education, news reporters, and others asserting that the study was "built upon data generated for the obvious purpose of discrediting the Division of Services for the Blind and its staff."

Ginger said there was no foundation to the charge by the Federation, which is a national organization with state chapters, including one in Kentucky. Officials of the consulting firm said they weren't pressured to favor anyone or any side.

The firm's report recommended in part that the organizational structure of agencies serving the blind needs to be simplified and better coordinated.

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Swan Lake, New York, Sept. 16, 1975.

Governor, State of Idaho,
Boise, Idaho.

DEAR SIR: I wish to clarify a point as to whether a seeing eye dog is considered a pet in the State of Idaho.

I am blind, and being employed in Twin Falls, had to rent an apartment which I did at the North Campus (now North Manor) Apartments, 1322 North Washington, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, and owned by the Regal Manufacturing Company. I gave them the required seventy-five dollars as security should there be any damage, which I know is customary. However, since I had a seeing eye dog, I had to give them twenty-five dollars additional which, according to the lease, was not refundable since I had a pet.

After renting the apartment for fourteen months and now upon leaving, I feel that it is unjust for the Company to keep the twenty-five dollars as my dog is not a pet, but a necessity to my livelihood.

In the words of the agent, I have been a model tenant and have kept and left the apartment in much better condition than it was given to me. In fact, I had to hire someone to help clean up the mess that was given to me.

The point in question is not the twenty-five dollars, but the principle. Why should a blind person be penalized for having a dog?

In fact, quoting from legislation relating to dog guides: any person, firm, association, or corporation violating the provisions (entitling a blind person to have a guide dog with him without being required to pay any additional charges) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Thank you for investigating the matter further and a prompt reply.

Very truly yours,



Boise, Idaho, September 25, 1975.

Swan Lake, New York.

DEAR MS. HELLER: Your letter of September 16, 1975, addressed to Governor Cecil D. Andrus, has been referred to me for reply. In order to answer your question, we obtained a legal opinion from the office of the Idaho Attorney General. Concerning the twenty-five-dollar charge made for your guide dog by your landlord, we submit the following:

Idaho Code, section 56-704 states, as you have pointed out, that

Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in section 56-703, Idaho Code, without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog; provided that he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.

The statutory provision regarding misdemeanor charges being brought against any person, firm, association, or corporation which does not allow the use of a guide dog by a person partially or totally blind without payment of additional charges applies only in the areas specifically set out by State law. Sections 56-703 and 56-704, Idaho Code, reaffirm the existence of the rights of blind individuals to the same rights as any other citizen in the free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places. Further, Idaho law guarantees to the physically disabled full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, and railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats, or other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law as applicable alike to all persons.

It is indeed unfortunate that the management of the Regal Manufacturing Company from whom you rented your apartment did not see fit to make a distinction between a dog which is a "pet" and your seeing eye dog. Unfortunately, the Idaho statutes at the present time do not deal with private accommodations such as apartments. The laws are directed to places where the general public may gather. The State of Idaho does not have a comprehensive legal scheme dealing with landlord/tenant relationships and rights.

Since the law as it presently stands does not cover your situation, it would appear that, no matter how unjust, the twenty-five-dollar additional charge would be legally valid.

I am in full sympathy with your situation; however, at this time I feel that the best that I can do for you would be to call to the attention of the Legislature of the State of Idaho your particular factual situation with an eye toward legislating to prevent a reoccurrence.

It is not unusual in the State of Idaho for landlords to charge an additional amount over and above the normal rental rate for an apartment where a pet or animal will occupy the premises. From a legal point of view, this is perfectly permissible and rational since a pet or animal will utilize the premises to one extent or another.

Section 56-704 of the Idaho Code states that every partially or totally blind person shall have the right to have his guide dog with him at all times without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog, but that section also provides that the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog. The damage deposit in your case would cover any damage done to the premises by the dog; however, the general day-to-day wear and tear of having an animal in the house and the right to have said animal in the house is a reasonable concern to those owning rental property.

Although the State of Idaho has in the past done everything possible to eliminate discrimination as to persons totally or partially blind, the situation at issue is not covered by our existing laws. It would appear that there is a rational basis for a landlord to charge an extra amount when an animal will be present on the premises. The fact that the dog is a guide dog should, from a moral standpoint, mitigate against the imposition of the additional charge as to renters who must utilize the dog in his day-to-day life. However, a guide dog occupying the house would utilize the premises in much the same manner and to much the same extent as any other well-behaved dog.

Your concern is certainly valid, and we hope we have answered your question to your satisfaction.

Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention.

Very truly yours,

Director, Executive Office of the Governor.

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[Reprinted by courtesy of The Dalles, Oregon, Chronicle.]

A young blind woman who inspired engineers at Pacific Northwest Bell to develop a light-sensitive device enabling her to work at a switchboard told of her work with the blind during a visit to The Dalles.

Patti Shreck has been working for the telephone company in Portland for about three and a half years. Before being employed by PNB she earned a degree in music at Lewis and Clark College where she majored in voice. She worked about two and a half years as an entertainer, then decided she wanted eight-to-five jobs. "All my friends worked days, and when I worked nights, I never got to see them," she said. "It absolutely ruined my social life!"

A determined sort, Patti also chose to find work other than the assembly-line type which was often the only kind of job open to handicapped persons.

When the engineers at the telephone company heard a young blind woman wanted to work for them, they designed a light probe which she could use to answer the correct line, pick up calls on hold, or recognize switchboard lights. She got the job, and the engineers went into the spare-time, non-profit light probe business. Recently their many other "spare-time" engineering activities forced them to seek the support of the Telephone Pioneers and this group is now producing the device.

Patti is enthusiastic about her work with the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, a service non-profit organization which works to educate blind people to blindness and the public to blindness. The group is also concerned with legislation which would improve programs, training services, and social status, and further the employment of the blind in Oregon.

The Federation also works with judicial activities concerned with discrimination in employment, housing, and public facilities. It is affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind, which has about fifty thousand members across the country.

Patti advised any blind person interested in job placement and counseling or scholarship support for blind students or students of blind persons to write to the Federation at Post Office Box 8524, Portland.

Miss Shreck now works in both the traffic and public relations departments of the telephone company, writing employee news information and outside news releases as part of her daily tasks.

She was speaker at the Lions Club meeting last week, accompanying local PNB Manager Russ Farley.

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Editor's Note.—At the Correspondence Committee meeting at the NFB Convention in Chicago last July, Mrs. Ruth Drummond suggested that it would be appropriate for us to run a series of brief biographical sketches of blind men and women who achieved success in one or more fields of endeavor throughout American history-a most appropriate way for us to mark the Bicentennial. Following is Mrs. Drummond's explanation, with the hope that all ho can will cooperate.

DEAR NFB MEMBER: This is a special appeals letter to all National Federation of the Blind members and a special request to newsletter editors and reporters who send the news to The Braille Monitor. We don't want money, we just want news. But news of a special kind.

All across America this year everyone is getting ready for the Bicentennial in 1976. The Braille Monitor wants to be a part of this exciting season so what better time of looking back to our past and making good resolutions for our future. We are planning a series of articles during the Bicentennial year about blind persons how much they have contributed to the quality of life in our country over the past two hundred years and how much more they will give to it in the next hundred years. What new responsibilities will they assume, what new personal ambitions will they fulfill?

You will probably say there were not too many blind people in history that you know about. We feel differently. We just know that in each city, rural area, and town there is a town historian or a family member who can remember, with a little nudge, some delightful stories.

Our aim is to find the little-known blind person or persons who may have done something during his/her lifetime to mould our country's history. He/she may have been an educator, physician, saloon keeper, or whatever they did in those good old days.

We will accept information about NFB members or some other prominent name in your city or state who was active in history, but later became blind. With a follow-up story of how he or she is doing these days.

Man has always been curious about what goes on beyond the places he knows and there have always been adventurous men and women who go and see. That brings to mind our immigration folks. Many people poured into our country in the early days and somewhere there was a blind person. How did they react to the new country, what were his impressions, how did he/she make a living in those days, and where did their families settle and why.

We all are aware of how much of a role music has played in the lives of the blind since the days of Pompey and if you or your families have forebears who made their mark in history as musicians, send the information to us. No matter how trivial you think the information is. We are of course interested in knowing if the story is true, myth, or family hand-me-down stories. Check with your town library for history records.

As an example, Edwin Grasse, born in New York in 1884, achieved distinction as an organist, violinist, and composer. He studied in Brussels, made his debut in Berlin in 1902, and toured Europe and America. If anyone living in New York wishes to explore his life history further, please do so and tell us the outcome. This can help lead us onto the trail of music. There were men and women who never made it to the big time, but made quite a name for themselves in the local limelight. This is just as important as the person who did great things.

We are quite excited about this series and would like for you to help us make this the best round-up of "blind people in U.S. history" ever.

Send your information to: Ruth Drummond, 2210 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22301; telephone: (703) 683-3697.


Name of subject_____________________________ Current Date______________________
State, country, or city where story took place_______________________________________
Known occupation of subject___________________________________________________
Is information true story or fictional______________________________________________
Source of information-library records, fireside chats, town historian, or something handed
down from family members____________________________________________________
Dates the story includes (from birth to death if known). Dates are important even if you
must guess; try to stay within ten years of actual happening. __________________________


Age, if known________________
Education, if any. This can include formal education in schools, home study, on-the-job work, et cetera
Married? If so, to whom, when and where_________________________________________
How many children or dependents known? ________________________________________
In what community, school, or civic organization was the subject known to have made his/her mark in history?
What information did you hear about this person that interested you enough to want him or her to appear in the Bicentennial stories?
Don't cheat on information. Give us the whole story, good, bad, or indifferent.

Wanted: Persons known to have lived in what is fondly remembered as the good ol’ days: the time before there was a Federation of the blind, or when our country was very young and only the fittest survived. In the West there were the saloons and Indian reservations, hunters, mining operations, guides for the settlers traveling over the mountains. Maybe you won't be able to find a blind person but can locate a Federation member or someone known to the Federation who lived during this time and is blind now. Some interesting tales can come to us about these times in our history.

Other subjects to investigate: Writers, musicians, inventors, preachers, teachers, politicians, newspaper editors, sculptors, artists, navigators, fortune tellers, actors, singers, store operators (grocery, general merchandising, ice cream parlors, stills—you name it), law, outlaws, sewing, horse thieves, cattle ranchers. There are as many subjects as we are sure there were blind persons doing these things. Your part in this program is to find them.  

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The twenty-ninth annual convention of the NFB of Ohio was held on October 16th through the 19th at the Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. The host affiliates were the Progressive Association of the Sightless and the Capital Council of the Blind. The theme of the convention was "Security, Equality, Opportunity."

Participants in the legislative luncheon, held Thursday the 16th, were the Executive Board, which is made up of the Executive Committee and one person elected from each affiliate, and eleven legislators who were present. We discussed our legislative goals with them and they advised how best to get the bills introduced and through the Legislature.

On Thursday afternoon and evening, the Executive Board held a meeting at which a whole range of State problems and projects were discussed. After the discussion of President Ford's upcoming conference on the handicapped, the following motion was adopted that we actively find persons who are willing to represent the NFB of Ohio at the various conferences in the State of Ohio, local, regional, and State; and that we have a seminar, inviting these representatives to come together and become more familiar with materials which are available and to talk about what they need to know as they work with these conferences on the handicapped, so that the issues related to the blind become clear. The State will pick up the expense for that seminar.

On Friday morning, there were two training sessions developed by the Human Relations Committee under the chairmanship of Ray Creech. One was to train advocates for the blind. These persons are to know what services are available to the blind of Ohio and know where to go to get them. The other training session was to instruct persons to be qualified to be seated on the governing boards of private and public agencies as elected consumer representatives. Each affiliate was encouraged to send at least one person to each session.

President Robert Eschbach and all the local affiliate presidents met for lunch on Friday at noon. There was a very good exchange of ideas.

The first convention session opened on Friday at 1:00 p.m. Eighteen affiliates answered the rollcall. The keynote address was delivered by Ray Creech from Dayton. The topic was "Security, Equality, and Opportunity." The speech was a very inspiring kick-off for our convention.

President Eschbach gave us a report of his activities for the year, followed by a report of the treasurer, Ivan Garwood, who read us a summary of the financial statement. Secretary John Knall read a report of the activities of the Executive Board the day previous. We then had a report from Robert Eschbach as delegate to the NFB Convention. We had quite a number of displays and each exhibitor was allowed five minutes to explain his display.

The first hour of the Friday evening session was devoted to committee reports. At eight o'clock our national representative, Ned Graham, was introduced. He was very warmly received and gave us a legislative report. He told us that the top priority on the national level is money. So he showed us how to raise money on the spot. In about twenty minutes, he raised five hundred dollars from the assembled delegates. More was added to this the next day and the entire amount will be sent to Mr. Edlund.

On Saturday morning we had division meetings. The Vendors Chapter held their annual meeting, at which they elected Bruce Powelson of Akron president. The Student Chapter had a reorganization meeting aided by Marc Maurer, president of the national NFB Student Division, and his wife, Pat.

At the Saturday afternoon general session we heard from the resolutions and legislative committees. We then heard a report by Betty Willson, who is in charge of the talking book program in Ohio. She also told us about the Radio Reading Service which is being developed statewide in Ohio.

After that we had a panel discussion on vocations for the blind. Robert Eschbach related some of his problems in getting his education and how they were handled. Mrs. Era Mae Rickman, blind school teacher for twenty-five years and presently teaching at the Ohio School for the Blind, told us of her experiences. Another panelist was Linda Miller, a student, who told us of her problems in taking a civil service test. We next saw the new NFB film.

At the Saturday evening banquet, Ned Graham was the main speaker. We annually award a gavel to the affiliate which has done the most during the year. Each affiliate is required to submit a report at the convention. Mrs Fontnae Doran, chairman of the Awards Committee, read highlights from all the reports. The Summit County Society of the Blind of Akron was awarded the gavel. There were no nominations for "Federationist of the year," but there were nominations for the "sighted person of the year." Mrs. Carnella Bascome of Springfield was awarded this honor. She has attended all the conventions since 1947.

Sunday morning, after church services and a memorial service, the convention reconvened. First on the agenda were the elections. This year we had to elect a second vice-president. Ray Creech of Dayton was elected to that position. Mrs. Helen Johnson and Mrs. Edna Fillinger were both re-elected to fill two-year terms on the Executive Committee.

A resolution was adopted to create a committee to study and develop some alternative accreditation standards which will be acceptable to the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. This is to be instead of the NAC standards.

We then heard from Stanley Doran, former chairman of the Public Relations Committee. He has resigned to devote all his time to the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service of which he is the director. He gave us a report of his committee up to this convention. The president has appointed Mrs. B. Pierce of Oberlin as the new chairman.

The convention agreed to hold their 1976 convention at Point Fork, a lodge in one of the Ohio State Parks.  

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Appearances by West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler and NFB Second Vice President Ralph Sanders highlighted the 1975 convention of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind. This year's gathering was held the weekend of August 15-17 at the Uptowner Inn in Huntington, with nearly two hundred persons on hand.

Speaking before the convention banquet on Saturday evening, Congressman Hechler called for more individual consumer input into the legislative process. The West Virginia Democrat pointed out that all too often Congress follows the path of least resistance in adopting legislation. Therefore, he said, it is necessary for more individuals to make their feelings known to their congressional representatives in order to offset the tremendous lobbying power of big business and other special interests. Hechler pledged his support for disability insurance legislation, saying that such benefits would encourage more blind persons to seek gainful employment.

Following his address, Congressman Hechler was awarded a lifetime honorary membership in the West Virginia Federation.

Second Vice President Ralph Sanders also spoke at the convention banquet, discussing various issues currently facing the NFB, such as the Munn case in Michigan; FAA passenger regulations; and of course, NAC. Sanders was also on hand for the convention business sessions to participate in the various discussions.

As in past years, the convention program included reports from representatives of the major State agencies providing services to the blind of West Virginia. These included the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the West Virginia Library Commission, the Department of Education, and the West Virginia School for the Blind, along with the Federal Social Security Administration.

Each representative presented a progress report on the past year's activities within his agency and then entertained questions, comments, and suggestions from Federation members attending the convention. These annual sessions have, for several years now, provided Federationists in West Virginia an opportunity to have direct consumer communication with the agencies that provide services for them.

The convention adopted resolutions on a wide variety of subjects. One again endorsed the NFB position on NAC, urged all State agencies serving the blind to consult with the Federation before seeking any type of accreditation, and urged all State agencies currently seeking NAC accreditation to discontinue their efforts. Another called for the organization to conduct a feasibility study into the creation of a commission for the blind in West Virginia. The resolution further stated that if the results of such a study were favorable, the organization should introduce and support legislation creating such a commission. One resolution called on the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to conduct a comprehensive survey in an effort to find additional employment opportunities for the blind. Yet another urged that representatives of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind be appointed to such State agencies as the Library Commission, the Commission on Aging, the State Board of Education, and others which provide services for the blind. It also called on these agencies to appoint Federation representatives to their various advisory committees.

Those attending this year's convention also endorsed several measures which the organization will introduce and support during the coming session of the West Virginia Legislature. One proposal would include operators in the State vending stand program in a State pension plan in order for them to receive retirement benefits. Another measure would provide funds from the State welfare department to supplement Federal SSI payments to the blind. Still another legislative proposal would establish a minimum salary for special education instructors both in the public schools of the State and at the West Virginia School for the Blind. A statewide legislative committee has also been created to strengthen the organization's efforts in working for passage of these proposals.

After choosing not to run for office last year, Robert L. Hunt of Buckhannon was again elected president of the West Virginia Federation of the Blind at this year's convention. Hunt is a professor of history at West Virginia's Wesleyan College and a longtime active Federationist. Other elected officers include first vice president Earl Fisher of Morgan town; second vice president Ed McDonald of Hurricane; secretary Paul Hughes of Wheeling; financial secretary Evelyn Milhorn of Wheeling; treasurer Sid Allen of Huntington; chaplain Gaines Smith of Huntington. President Hunt was chosen as the State's delegate to the 1976 NFB Convention in Los Angeles; second vice president Ed McDonald was selected as alternate delegate.

The organization named Earl Fisher its Federationist of the year. Fisher, who served the past year as State Federation president, owns and operates a successful insurance and real estate firm. The 1975 WVFB Yearbook was dedicated to President Robert L. Hunt.

The West Virginia Federation of the Blind now boasts ten active local affiliates throughout the State, with plans to establish at least one new affiliate during the coming year.

The 1976 convention is planned for the capital city of Charleston.  

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This year arrangements are being made for group air and Amtrak fares for those attending the 1976 NFB Convention in Los Angeles and a post-Convention trip to Hawaii. This plan can save you considerable amounts of travel expense and also can benefit the NFB treasury.

(1) Fare reductions are given by airlines and Amtrak to persons traveling in groups to common destinations. Shown below are just a few comparisons of normal round-trip jet coach fares and group fares to Los Angeles:




































*Fares shown are those currently in effect and are subject to change. The Hawaii fare includes the air fare from point of origin to Los Angeles, to Hawaii, and return to the point of origin as well as the land package described later in this article. A slight increase in the Hawaii air fare is anticipated.

(2) While there may not be sufficient numbers of people attending from some areas to warrant group fares, it may be possible to consolidate a portion of their trip with others, to secure group fare discounts. For example, if there are insufficient numbers of people from Boston to form a group, they could be consolidated with the group from New York.

(3) If on the other hand, there are very large groups from certain areas, a jet could be chartered which would further lower the fare considerably. Even in cases where individual fares are a necessity, making arrangements through Johnny's House of Travel will benefit the NFB treasury. The price of the tickets will not be higher because of this arrangement. In most cases, it should be lower.

Joseph Fernandes, an active member and a supporter of NFB is currently working in cooperation with Johnny's House of Travel, Des Moines, Iowa. He has pledged that any compensation he gets in connection with travel arrangements made for NFB members will be donated to the NFB treasury.

For many of you, this may be your first trip to the West Coast and you may not soon again be this close to the fiftieth state, Hawaii; therefore a post-Convention tour is being planned to this tropical paradise. Examples of prices to go to the Convention and to Hawaii are also shown above in the last column. This price includes:

• Air fare from city indicated to Los Angeles.

• Transfer to Convention hotel and return to airport.

• Continuing transportation to Honolulu and return to origin city (West Coast stop on return permitted in most cases).

• Lei flower greeting upon arrival in Honolulu.

• Six nights at Sheraton's Princess Kaiulaui—across the street from world-famous Waikiki Beach, and in the heart of all the excitement of this tropical resort paradise. Rate based on sharing twin room a few singles available at forty-five dollars extra.

• Half-day city tour.

• Sunset dinner sail, a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Enjoy punch, dinner, and native music as you watch the sun set over Waikiki.

Of course, other options will be available for you to enjoy while in Hawaii. Besides the beach and surf fun of Waikiki Beach, there's a free hula show and a free Navy tour of Pearl Harbor. At nominal additional cost there is a scenic bus tour of the Island of Oahu, a Sea Life Park tour, or perhaps even a night club tour.

If there are a large number of people interested in going to Hawaii, tour escorts will be provided for each group of twenty-five persons. These escorts will help make arrangements for the options and help make it an enjoyable vacation. These escorts will not serve as personal guides; if a person feels he needs a personal guide, he will have to make his own arrangements.

If the best possible arrangements are to be made, we need some idea of the number of people interested in group discounts and/or a trip to Hawaii. So that you will be included in the plans, please send your name, address, telephone number, preferred dates of travel, and place of origin, to Johnny's House of Travel, 534 Forty-second Street, Suite 101, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. If you want further information on excursions or Hawaii, please indicate this.

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The heart's cry between a man and a woman is perhaps the most compelling cry of all greater than the one between mother and child, greater than the one between revered father and daughter. This call has come to me. After making my plans to move to Bellingham, Washington (midway between my children and across the bay from my father) and to open a bookstore Sage's Pagesand acquiring booksmucho(What in the world will I do with them all?), I have met the most wonderful man in the world (my feet haven't yet touched the ground) and we will be married January 1, 1976. (How is that for starting the new year right?) Hopefully, we will visit my family on the West Coast frequently my man's sister lives in California.

Besides being the dearest and most lovable person in the worldwhat is he like? He is a lawyer, retired from service with the Internal Revenue. Just a little older than I, he grew up and was educated in Georgia (I find his accent most melodious!). We will live in his gracious home in old Alexandria.

One of the serendipities of the whole situation is that I will be near the Gashels and other friends in the D.C. area. Robert Shropshire-that is my dear love's namesays he hopes we will be involved in NFB activities. So, dear NFB friends, the movement is not losing a member, it is gaining one.

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1 lb. ground round
1 medium onion
1 medium bell pepper
1 15-oz. can butter beans 
Crushed Fritos 
½ cup grated cheddar cheese  
1 15-oz. can dark red kidney beans  


¼ cup vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup catsup (1 5-oz. bottle)
¼ cup brown sugar 
1 tsp. chili powder  
Salt and pepper


Brown the ground meat. Chop the onion and the bell pepper and add to the browning meat. Put meat mixture into a casserole dish. Drain the kidney and the butter beans and mix with the meat in the dish. Using the same pan that the meat was cooked in, mix and heat to boiling the sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce over the whole mixture and bake in a 350-degree oven for thirty minutes.  Remove the dish and spread the Fritos over the mixture, then spread the cheese over this, and return to the oven for ten more minutes.   

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is at present studying the possibilities of publishing a six-monthly Braille magazine which would contain articles on subjects in the fields of education, science, culture, and communications. The magazine would be produced in English, French, and Spanish, with copies available free of charge to blind people throughout the world. Anyone who like to receive a copy of such a magazine should write (typed or Braille letters) to Mr. F. H. Potter, UNESCO Visitors Information Centre. UNESCO House, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris, France.

Telesensory Systems, Inc., 1889 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California 94304, have finally chosen a name for their talking calculator. It will be called the Speech Plus Calculator. The dimensions have been set at 7" x 4½" x 1½." The weight will be less than one pound. These are the latest developments in their talking calculator.

A rather unique and highly profitable fundraising effort is the forty-mile Bike-for-Life jointly sponsored by the North Hollywood Kiwanis Club and the West Valley Chapter of the NFB of California. The club received a check for $2,400. The Bike-a-Thon in 1974 earned $3,000 for this chapter. More than four hundred riders participated.

Ed Foscue of Seattle, Washington, State Legislative Chairman of the NFB of Washington, reports the recent passage of a law in his State guaranteeing that blind persons have a right to serve on juries. Previously, the Washington State law, like that in so many other states, provided that no person shall be competent to serve as a juror unless he be in full possession of his faculties and of sound mind. The new law adds this: "Provided: that a person shall not be precluded from the list of prospective jurors because of loss of sight in any degree. Sound mind, as used in this section, shall mean the necessary mental process utilized in reasoning to a logical conclusion." We congratulate our Washington friends on this signal victory.

"Programs for the Handicapped," publication of the Office for Handicapped Individuals in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, has the following comment in its most recent issue: "Summer activities in the area of work for the blind have been varied and widespread, ranging from conferences for professional workers with the blind to workshops of research groups dealing with specific aids and devices for the blind. Interesting and revealing, however, are the meetings of blind people themselves, where topics of general concern to blind people and of interest to specific groups are discussed. One such meeting was held during the annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Chicago. This large organization of blind people has, since its founding in the forties, focused on many aspects of life that have posed problems for blind people in this country. The current issues discussed at this year's Convention included the implications of several new pieces of legislation dealing with the Nation's vending facilities program, financial assistance to the blind, and specific court cases affecting the employment of blind people. Another topic covered was the organization's relationship with Government service-providers, such as the Library of Congress and the Office for the Blind in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare."

A major benefit for recipients of SSI was extended for another year by congressional action late in June, when the Congress approved continued eligibility for food stamps. Public Law 94-44 makes it possible for SSI recipients to continue to receive food stamps through June 30, 1976, in all but the five states that elected to give recipients the cash value of those stamps. The five states are California, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Wisconsin.

The following letter was received by the editors:

"My name is Carolyn Knox White. For years I have tried in vain to find my brother, Philip Henry Knox. Recently I heard he is alive and is blind. If you know of such a person, please have him or someone contact me if possible. We are anxiously awaiting some sort of news about him or from him. He took care of my sons when my daughter Carolyn, Jr., was born in 1955. I am praying this letter brings good results." Mrs. White's address is 502 East Thirty-ninth Street, Chicago, Illinois 60653.

The Olympics for the Disabled will be held in Toronto, August 3-11, 1976. From over thirty countries will come three hundred blind, three hundred amputees, and 1,100 paraplegics. The Canadian government is spending one and a half million dollars on the event. The countries must send in their entries six months before the games. This means that athletes should send in applications now. Their coaches may send in the applications. In any event, applications must be received soon so that the Committee will have time to select the best possible team after screening the applications. Those who participate in swimming or track and field will not be permitted to take part in wrestling or distance running. Dr. Charles Buell is the chairman of the Committee. Applications should be sent to him at 33905 Calle Acordarse, San Juan Capistrano, California 92675. Applicants should list age, address, exact amount of vision (such as 5/200, none, et cetera), sex, performances in the events in which they wish to compete, and any other pertinent information. There will be two groups for competition: total blindness and 1/200 to 10/200. Those who are selected will be required to have a statement from an ophthalmologist and to be examined by a Canadian ophthalmologist at the site of the games in Toronto.

Chapters Report Elections

New officers for the Gate City Chapter, NFB of North Carolina, located in Greensboro, were elected in August. They are: president, Byron Sykes; vice-president, Jan Nicholson; secretary, Bill Lenfesty; and treasurer, Annie Alexander.

The Capitol City Chapter of the NFB of Tennessee had its annual election of officers on September 27, 1975. The following officers were elected. J. Terry Carney, president; Leroy Duff, first vice-president; Mai Frances Robinson, second vice-president; Judy Denning, recording secretary; Johnny Blasingam, corresponding secretary; Lillie Christmas, treasurer. The six new board members are: J. M. Warren, Gertie Wisdom, Preston Ogelsby, Clarence White, James Brown, and Roger Ammons.

Susan Spigle writes: "The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the blind of Tompkins County have formed the Tompkins County Chapter of the NFB of New York State. I have been elected its first president. We are setting forth on several projects in our area, such as increasing our membership of eight, and we are also working on fundraising projects, as well as learning more about the Federation.

The newly elected officers of the Santa Clara County Chapter of the NFB of California are: president, Mary G. Sack; vice-president, Jerry Reynolds; secretary, Nancy Ortiz; treasurer, Sylvia Mittleman; member-at-large, Donna Sanchez; delegate, Mary Sack; alternate delegate. Donna Sanchez.

The National Federation of the Blind of Muncie became the tenth chapter of the Indiana Council of the Blind on September 13, 1975. There were nineteen members at the organizing meeting with many active and enthusiastic prospective members who are sure to become a part of the Muncie chapter. President Mike Latta, a college student at Ball State University, influenced a large number of the university students to become members, leaders, and officers in this organization. Vice-president Dave Smith, a retired policeman, brings the wisdom of long experience and tried ability to the group. The enthusiasm of our other young officers—Jody Fisher, secretary; Paul Howard, treasurer; and Ron Brown, board member ensure that strong leadership will be in our Muncie chapter for a long time to come. The task of these leaders will be made easy and exciting because of the staunch and loyal members who make up this thriving chapter.

At its regular meeting on August 23, 1975, the NFB of Minnesota Student Division elected the following officers: president, Curtis Chong; first vice-president, Tom Anderson; second vice-president, Marj Schneider; secretary, Tim Aune; and treasurer, Bruce Raizes.

At its October 9th meeting, the National Federation of the Blind, Central Minnesota Chapter, held its annual elections. The following people were elected: Andy Virden, president; Clarence Schadeg, first vice-president; Tom Spanier, second vice-president; Milton Malmanger, secretary; and treasurer, Marianne Bruesehof. Tom Anderson, our past president, will be finishing his work for his B.S. degree and will be leaving Saint Cloud to enter law school. Tom has done a splendid job. The chapter has twenty-four members and is planning to increase efforts to obtain more members.

The following are the newly elected officers of the Hudson County Social Club of the Blind, of Jersey City, New Jersey. They will serve for two years. President, Joseph Di Pema; vice-president, Anthony Celauro; secretary, Pauline Santora; treasurer, Dorothy Hackman; and sergeant-at-arms. Rose Marshall.

On September 26, 1975, the Saint Louis Chapter, NFB of Missouri, elected the following new officers: president, Daniel Williams; vice-president, Rick Bums; recording secretary, Judy Schlimart; corresponding secretary, Gerald Heichelbeck; treasurer, Loretta Benavedez; and member-at-large, Josephine Turner.

The National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island held the banquet of its annual convention on Saturday, October 4, 1975, at Lombardy's Restaurant, North Providence, Rhode Island. Approximately two hundred Federationists and friends attended. The invocation was given by the Reverend Gerrard Sabourin. One new board member, Mrs. Lucy DeChaine, and one re-elected board member, Mr. Walter Janas, were installed. A highlight of this year's banquet was the awarding of the first NFB of Rhode Island scholarships. Six visually handicapped college students were each given $150 to be used for their further education.

Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci spoke briefly and praised the Federation for being a representative voice of the blind in the State. Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garrahee also spoke and congratulated the NFB Legislative Committee for working so hard to secure the passage of the amendment to the "Guide Dog Bill" in the last State legislative session. Throughout the evening, many prizes were awarded, and entertainment was provided by some Federationists and a fine dance band. We all look forward to next year's convention.

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