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.



































We want every person who would like to read the Monitor to have it, but we do not wish to waste our resources. Also, we are finding it increasingly difficult to fund our programs. Therefore, we make the following request:

If you wish to continue receiving the Monitor, and if you can afford to do so, please help with the cost of your subscription. It costs almost fifteen dollars for each copy per year to publish the inkprint and recorded editions of the Monitor and somewhat more than twenty-five dollars per year for each copy of the Braille edition. However, we are standardizing on a flat fifteen dollars per year for each subscription in all editions.

If you now receive the Braille edition and would be equally content with the recorded edition, it would result in a savings to the organization. Some people receive two editions and might manage equally well with one. Obviously, we should be notified if the Monitor is now being received and is not wanted.

If you wish to make any of these changes, please contact the Berkeley Office, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708. Donations and payments should be sent to Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, P.O. Box 11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111.

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"Alabama Blind Workers Paid Average of One Dollar Per Hour, Mississippi Blind Workers Paid Average of $3.04 Per Hour."

"It's Our Lives and Your Careers, Rehab; You Are Fumbling Our Future."

"Institute Official Beat Student with Pool Stick."

"Sighted Employee Replaces Blind Worker."

So read some of the picket signs as the blind of Alabama publicized conditions at the Alabama Industries for the Blind, the failure of rehabilitation programs, and the condition of service programs in general. The citizens of Talladega were surprised to find members of the National Federation of the Blind of Alabama picketing the building which houses the State Rehabilitation Services. On the Capitol steps in Montgomery, two leaders of the NFB of Alabama declared they would fast until they could discuss these problems with Governor George C. Wallace.

The picketers were protesting, among other shortcomings, the treatment of students at Alabama Industries for the Blind. In one case, for example, a seventy-one-year-old blind stand operator, off the job for two weeks because of illness, couldn't get his job back when he was ready to return to work. He discovered that his stand had been turned over to training students, some of them sighted. After working for four-and-a-half years, he lacked only a few quarters to become eligible for federally funded assistance. Assembling pens at a dollar an hour was not his idea of an adequate replacement for the dignity of running his own snack bar. Examples of training so inadequate that graduates couldn't meet employment standards in the general community, high set-asides but low services in the Business Enterprise Program, the usual attitudes about the lack of capacity of the blind on the part of agencies personnel, and the beating of one adult student with a billiard cue, were brought to public attention.

T. Euclid Rains, Sr., president of the National Federation of the Blind of Alabama, and Tom Mills, president of the NFB of Alabama Mobile Chapter, went on a seven-day bread-and-water fast in the effort to have the State administration take action on improving programs and services for the blind. They substituted billiard cues for white canes in emphasize their points.

Newspapers, radio, television, and the wire services gave this questionable conduct of the State's affairs full and prominent coverage. Headlines in the daily newspapers were colorful: "Two Federation of Blind Officials Protest Student Treatment at Talladega School." "Fasting on Capitol Steps, Blind Protest Treatment." "Frusstrated Blind Men Picket to Protest Official Treatment."

Administration officials were spurred to action. Mr. William C. King, Executive Assistant to Governor—and now Presidential candidate—George C. Wallace, gave the problem conscientious attention, especially when the wires of support from Federationists around the country began to arrive, care of the Governor's Office. James Gashel, Chief of the NFB Washington Office, wired: "T. Euclid Rains and Thomas Mills, Care Governor's Office, Capitol Steps, State Capitol Building, Montgomery, Alabama. The blind of the Nation keep vigil with you on the Capitol steps in Montgomery. It is to be hoped that Governor Wallace and the State officials in charge of programs for the blind will come to understand before further damage is done to the lives of the blind of Alabama and the Nation. It is to be hoped that the needed reform can be accomplished without the necessity for the blind of the Nation to mass in Montgomery and block the State House doors. There are many thousands of us, and we will never go back."

The picketing and the starve-in were not actions entered into lightly or on the spur of the moment. These public displays were the only remedies left after many weeks of fruitless protest in writing to and attempts to negotiate with officials of the Alabama Institute and the Governor's Office to bring to some equitable solutions the problems presented. The NFB leaders also were aware of the fact that many of the blind were in a vulnerable position in their relation to those who governed their jobs and their lives. When it seemed that the picketing was the only method of getting results and the planning was underway, Euclid Rains wrote to Joe Horsely, in Ashville: "But try to understand and be as patient as you can with the Talladega people. A high percentage may not come out. You know the oppression and pressure they are under. The officials cannot discriminate against you and me and Mills and a few more, so we must bear the brunt of the action."

The agency people were quick to use the fact that there were few pickets, contending that it was an indication of lack of support for the NFB of Alabama. They resorted to the usual agency talk with which we have become so familiar: namely, "they've wildly misconstrued the facts," "these actions may injure the over-all effort" to find employment for the blind. George McFaden, executive director of the Adult Blind and Deaf Department told the news media that shop employees receive a daily hot lunch for fifty cents and receive ten cents a day toward their public transportation costs. A blind worker was quoted as saying, "If I push for higher wages, another worker who isn't able to produce much might lose his job in order to make the business more efficient." With this tender regard for each other's welfare, it is no wonder that improvement has been slow to come. It was also pointed out that despite economic turndowns, no workers had been laid off. Since the shops operate under exemption certificates, at very reduced wages, it wouldn't take much to keep them going, and the fact that there have been no layoffs is hardly cause for rejoicing.

For a while the organized blind of the State wondered if Alabama's Governor was going to stand in the door of the Blind Industries building to keep out progress as he had stood in the schoolhouse door some years ago. In the end a compromise of sorts was worked out between the NFB of Alabama and the Governor's Office. Management Services Associates of Austin, Texas, will conduct an "independent" evaluation of programs and services for the blind in Alabama.

Some immediate small benefits came out of the picketing: All workers at Alabama Industries received a raise in "wages"-it is hard to dignify what the workers receive by using such a term—from fifteen to twenty-five cents an hour. As expected, the agency officials declared that the picketing had nothing to do with this increase.

On four slices of bread a day, along with a lot of water, Euclid Rains lost twelve pounds and Tom Mills four during the fast. The weather that far south is hot and the heat was intensified by the marble of the Capitol steps. Euclid Rains said that the first four days were the hardest.

Shortly after this event concluded, Euclid Rains went to the hospital for an appendectomy but reports are that he is recovering rapidly and is in good shape.

So the effort was not in vain. The Govvernor's Office decided that perhaps the NFB of Alabama did exist and that it had something worthwhile to say. The shop-workers received a slight raise with more promised for the future. Perhaps the investigation will bring more improvements. And, as President Jernigan noted, "It shows what determination and proper planning can do."

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Editor's Note.—The following remarks were made, in September 1975, at a training workshop for the Handicapped Workers Task Force of the United States Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.

The real problem of blindness is not the blindness—the real problem is the misunderstanding and lack of information which exist. If a blind person has proper training and if he has an opportunity, blindness is nothing more than a physical nuisance. The average blind person is able to perform the average job in the average place of business and do it as well as his sighted neighbor, given proper training and an opportunity.

These are phrases which we of the National Federation of the Blind have used increasingly to develop a new image of blindness and the blind. They are admittedly straightforward and to the point, but perhaps too much so, for I wonder sometimes if we are actually taken seriously. I suspect that sometimes we are, and I know that sometimes we are not. I leave it to you to consider where you fit in.

Some of you may ask, if the real problem of blindness is not the blindness, what is it? I contend that our society's failure to answer this central question has created the mission which brings us together here today and that if we fail to answer it, we will have failed in our effort to serve the public trust.

An example will show you what I mean. A few years ago a group of us, mostly made up of blind persons, visited the famous Amana Colonies in Iowa and toured the points of attraction there. One was the woolen mill. As is the custom, we were first ushered into the small sales shop adjacent to the mill so that we might satisfy our natural desire to take home a souvenir. Our shopping complete and our treasures in hand, we proceeded in the direction of the mill only to be told that for this group this tour was not to be. This decision had been made (we later learned) not because the group was too large to be accommodated in the cramped quarters of the mill, not because its members were suspected to be entering the mill with criminal intent, not because they were carriers of some form of dreaded contagion which would contaminate the wool or the wool weavers, but only because they were blind.

The position taken by the manager was unequivocal. The mill was dangerous. Even his sighted employees had been injured when the automated equipment permitted a steel shuttle to become an airborne missile. I need not add that he had no blind employees, and that he did not contemplate hiring any either. To him, this was not discrimination—it was simply good sense. Safety was involved. Someone might get hurt—the best of intentions; the kindest path; the desire to protect.

On that day at that mill for that group the real problem was not the blindness. Many blind persons have been working in "run of the mill" hazardous occupations, and at least one is a nuclear physicist. The real problem was the misunderstanding and lack of information which exist. We pointed out to the mill manager that if the mill were really as dangerous as he would have us believe and that if the employees who had been injured were all sighted employees, he probably ought not to permit any sighted visitors. In fact, he probably ought not to hire any sighted employees. After all, it was not a blind employee or even a blind visitor who had been injured in his mill. Then we considered staging a "mill-in," but we didn't.

The attitudes about blindness and the blind exhibited by the manager of the Amana woolen mill are similar to those of the Internal Revenue Service of the Federal Government, which refuses to employ the blind as revenue officers; to those of the Department of State, which refuses to employ the blind in the service of the United States abroad; to those of the universities who have told us we cannot study, of the schools who have told us we cannot teach, of the teachers who have told us we cannot learn, and of the industries who have told us we cannot work.

The social attitudes about blindness are all-pervasive. They have their origin in ancient myth and superstition. The blind, we have been taught, are not merely unemployed—they are unemployable. Almost everywhere you turn there is plenty of reenforcement for this concept. The dictionary definition should be enough to make my point. Consider it: "Blind: Without the power of sight; sightless; eyeless. Lacking insight or understanding. Done without adequate directions or knowledge: as, blind research. Reckless; unreasonable. Not controlled by intelligence: as, blind destiny. Insensible. Drunk. Illegible. Indistinct." However you cut it, the picture is not pleasant. We are viewed not only as lacking in sight, we are also seen as lacking insight-inferior, second-rate, rejects, you bet, all the way.

These are the attitudes we face and the concepts we must replace, but we also have the problem of communication. Let me illustrate it in this way. When I was approaching graduation from college, I had a series of interviews with prospective employers. One such interview is particularly memorable. After having indicated that my credentials seemed thoroughly in order and that I appeared well qualified, the personnel officer began to question me on the matter of my blindness. I indicated that I would anticipate no difficulty in fulfilling the duties of the position (a junior high school teaching post) since hundreds of blind persons were already successfully at work in this field. He responded (somewhat pompously I thought) "Oh, I know what the blind can do. You see, my great aunt is also blind. I think it is just wonderful how she can care for herself and her home." Do I need to tell you that I did not get the job? For me on that day in that interview, the real problem of blindness was not the blindness. Later I landed a teaching job in a better school with better pay with more responsibilities. The real problem of blindness was the misunderstanding and lack of information which exist. When I suggested to the personnel officer that blind people were able to teach, and furthermore, that hundreds of them were doing it, he thought of me as he thinks of his poor great aunt. Isn't it marvellous how she can somehow manage to take care of herself. No, frankly, it isn't.

This incident illustrates how a qualified blind employee or potential employee often becomes the victim of public attitudes and stereotypes about blindness which all of us have learned and internalized since childhood. The invisible barriers which are illustrated here are not easily removed since they are built into the very warp and woof of our language and psychology. I shudder when someone says: "Isn't it marvellous what they can do!" This statement and the attitudes which produce it create an unbelievably complex handicap. What the statement really says is that "after all, blind people really cannot be expected to do very much for themselves. They certainly cannot be productive." Hidden behind all of the nice words and comforting phrases are the age-old notions of despair, helplessness, and dependency.

I hope you will not think me a pessimist or a cynic. I am neither. For the pessimist the cup always half-empty. Together with the optimist, I believe our cup is half-full, and it is filling. During the early 1960's we worked hard to secure employment for blind persons in the Bell Telephone System. For three years our efforts seemed in vain. According to Bell, there were just no jobs the blind could handle. But we did not go away, and we did not give up. Finally, Northwestern Bell in Des Moines, Iowa, agreed to try one blind woman in an extremely simple, very repetitive and undemanding position—the CAMA board. She was successful, and the word spread. The company employed more blind people, but only in one position—the CAMA board. With this much as a base, we approached the company about employing a qualified blind electrical engineer. They would not hear of it, and they thought we had lost our minds. We assured them that we certainly had not lost our minds and that the gentleman in question was under consideration by various firms. He was later hired by Collins Radio. Perhaps you may be encouraged to learn that today this same electrical engineer (totally blind since birth) is employed by none other than Northwestern Bell Telephone Company—the same company which had rejected him just a few short years ago. The barriers have at last begun to crumble.

The affirmative action provisions contained in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 will give us a further and important weapon in our arsenal. Fortunately for all of us, the days of passionate appeals to hire the handicapped, "please," are being replaced by the more enlightened and dignified concepts of equality in the labor force. This does not mean that the days of salesmanship and negotiation are gone. Such approaches are needed now as much as they ever were. It does mean along with love we now have a club. Our challenge is to use both and to use them wisely. We must not fail to persuade when persuasion is all that is needed, nor must we cower when the time comes to prescribe, to instruct, and to order.

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I am Susie Stanzel, formerly Susie Lane. My address is 4726 Belleview Avenue, Apartment 7, Kansas City, Missouri 64112. I became president of the Johnson County, Kansas, affiliate after the sudden death of our beloved president, Ken Tiede.

I have been very much bothered by the number of suits against doctors because of retrolental fibroplasia (RLF). I have been encouraged by an aunt to also sue since a precedent has been established. I didn't make much comment at the time because my thoughts on the subject were not formalized. I feel very strongly that I am very lucky to be alive and if blindness is the necessary price, it was certainly worth it. As we know, blindness is by no means the end of the road. This does not mean that I would not like to see, but such is life.

If there is definite proof that the doctor made an error such as putting the wrong drops in a baby's eyes or putting in too many, that might be a different story. It is my own personal belief that it must be very hard for a doctor to know how much oxygen a particular baby can take without causing blindness. The other alternative is to say that too much oxygen would possibly make the baby blind so we won't give it and consequently the baby dies. My parents would rather have me blind and alive and so would everyone else including me.

People don't like to look at it this way, but with all the court action going on our medical rates are sky high and going higher. If the doctor did not have to be afraid that the little baby he saves now would sue him in twenty years, it would make things much simpler. The doctor pays high rates for his insurance and works with a double-edged knife. If the baby does not survive, then the parents might sue the doctor for not giving enough oxygen; and at the same time the child might sue him for giving too much oxygen if the child lives, but is blind.

The Federation preaches independence and that blindness is not the end. If any of our Federationists decided that suing the doctor is the way to pick up a quick buck, the image is getting worse. You can't say you are independent and that the so-called "handicap" need not necessarily be a handicap and then sue the doctor because you are blind and you don't think you will get the jobs you would get if you could see. I feel that in some ways I have been blessed by the blindness because I just might not have had the ambition to excel if I had not had something to overcome.

My address is at the beginning of this article and I certainly would like to hear from Federationists. Write in either print or Braille and let me know how you feel. I think all this suing is hurting the image of the blind. What do you think?

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President Jernigan is known for becoming involved in unusual situations but in late October 1975 he played an important part in an event with which NFB members do not usually associate him.

Tennessee Tech is proud of its prominent alumni and in 1975 instituted a new award. As the plaque read: "Tennessee Tech Distinguished Alumni Award. Inducted 1975."

But there was to be more to the ceremonies than that. Dr. Jernigan arrived in Tennessee on Friday, October 24, and was immediately caught up in the first of what turned out to be a round of receptions scheduled throughout the weekend. Many of his old professors, now retired, turned out to greet him. Dr. Jernigan and his former speech professor had great fun remembering his years at the school, especially savoring the time they were on a speaking tour and Kenneth Jernigan had short-sheeted the professor's bed.

The banquet at which the presentations were made by a university president, emeritus, was attended by all the college dignitaries. A surprise in the way of a letter from Iowa's Governor Robert D. Ray was read to the assemblage:

Des Moines, Iowa, October 24, 1975.

Director, Iowa Commission for the Blind,
Des Moines, Iowa.

DEAR KEN: The Distinguished Alumni Award which you accept tonight from your Alma Mater is an honor given to very few people, and you can rightfully accept it with a great deal of pride and sense of achievement.

Your many accomplishments as a strong voice for sightless people in Iowa and throughout the Nation have inspired thousands of people to discover and reach for their own potential. Those you have stirred with your enthusiasm to become even more productive members of our society have reached high levels of success. You can take a great deal of satisfaction in your ability to build confidence in others with your own positive outlook on life.

Not only have you reached out to the sightless to help them achieve, but you have also directed your efforts toward those who can see and you have given them a vision clearer than simple eyesight. The problems of the blind community have not evaporated, but, thanks in part to your leadership, more and more people have come to a better understanding of the special needs and problems of the sightless and are willing to give their assistance with jobs, training, and acceptance.

Congratulations and warm personal regards.


Governor of Iowa.

And it was a signal award. The university, which has a student body of 7,500, has never given this kind of award before. Recipient's names will be engraved upon a shield which will be hung in a prominent place of honor on the campus.

But it was also a time for remembering the times when student Kenneth Jernigan livened the campus. As one dignitary put it, the statute of limitations having run he would tell a tale out of school. Having spent some time reading Shakespeare, Kenneth Jernigan and two cohorts were enticed by a third, who was driving one of his father's trucks, to join a group of friends at a roadhouse party. They returned to the campus late but thought they should go by and cheer the university's president. But the truck ran off the road and a tow-car had to be called to right it. That done, the truck decided to go off on its own—right through the flower beds surrounding the official's home. And President Jernigan remembers the occasion with pleasure.

The next morning the old speech group met. Since the professor's name was Pinkerton, the debate group had been known as the "Pinkertons" or, sometimes, as the "Tennessee Talking Horses."

President Jernigan was Grand Marshal of the homecoming parade which went through the town, and he sat in the president's box during the afternoon football game. But we know that our President rises to every occasion and can carry any ceremony with aplomb. The knowledge that he is capable of having fun and taking part in some spirited mischievousness, adds some extra sparkle to an already engaging personality. Grand Marshal, indeed.

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Washington, D.C., October 9, 1975.

Chief, Washington Office,
National Federation of the Blind,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. GASHEL: This is in response to your letter to me of August 29, 1975, regarding Mr. Terry Carney. Mr. Carney received consideration for positions in the Handicapped Program without regard to his status as a Federal or non-Federal employee.

In considering Mr. Carney and all other applicants for positions in the Employment Standards Administration the ESA Personnel Office uses the U.S. Civil Service Commission's qualification standards and information listed on the respective vacancy announcements as determining factors. With all due respect to Mr. Carney's ability it is the judgement of the ESA Personnel Office that he does not qualify for positions at the GS-13 through 15 level.  It is Mr. Carney's contention that the state level "Commissioner or Secretary of Labor" is equivalent to the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the varying layers of authority in the state labor departments are therefore equivalent to the respective layers in the U.S. Department of Labor. It is the contention of the ESA Personnel Office that the state positions are not equivalent but rather are proportionate to the national responsibilities of their Federal counterparts and therefore cannot be equated on a "one for one basis" with regard to grade level comparability.

However, please accept my apology for errors made on the notices sent to Mr. Carney. The typist mistakenly placed a not qualified statement on the bottom of the form sent to Mr. Carney for the GS-11 and 12 Employment Opportunity Specialist (Handicapped) and the GS-12 Program Analyst positions although the top of the form showed that he had been rated as qualified. The announcement number was also improperly listed on the form. We expect that some errors will be made when over eight hundred people are considered for nineteen national office positions, however I am sure that the errors were few and definitely not intended to keep non-Federal employees from competing for these positions.

If you have further questions please feel free to contact Robert Blair or Glenn Woodley in the ESA Personnel Office at 523-7545.

Thank you for your interest in the programs of the Employment Standards Administration.


Assistant Secretary.

P.S. Jim, if you would like to get together on this please let me know and we'll have a meeting with my staff.



Washington, D.C., October 29, 1975.

Employment Standards Administration,
Department of Labor,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR BERNIE: This will respond to your letter of October 9. Frankly, I find your response to be unsatisfactory and I feel I should be candid in sharing this view with you.

In your letter you indicate that Mr. Carney was not deliberately excluded from consideration for any positions for which he applied, stating that certain "errors" were made which resulted in his being shown as "not qualified." You apologized for those errors, and the apology is accepted. You did not, however, indicate whether Mr. Carney has been reinstated as qualified. In all fairness to Mr. Carney I think he should be notified that errors were made and corrective action has been taken. Perhaps this was done but not mentioned in your letter to me.

The errors made in Mr. Carney's case raise serious questions which I would like to discuss with you, and I thought that we would have an early opportunity to do this. As a postscript to your October 9 letter to me you state: "Jim, if you would like to get together on this please let me know and we'll have a meeting with my staff." On October 16, I called your office to arrange for the meeting which you suggested, and I was informed that someone would be back to me. Today is October 29, and I am still waiting.

Since you admitted discovering errors in processing Mr. Carney's application, the question arises, how many other applicants have been similarly victimized, and have these "errors" occurred selectively or at random? Frankly, the blind who heard you speak in Chicago will find these errors to be difficult to comprehend. The blind who heard you ask for their help and announce the availability of the positions which they helped to secure through the Congress will naturally begin to wonder if affirmative action applies only to employment outside the Federal structure.

Under the circumstances, I feel I have no alternative but to request that you supply us with the following information: (1) The number of known blind applicants for the central office and regional office positions; (2) the number of them actually employed at this point; (3) the number rejected at this point, and the reasons for rejection in each case; (4) the number still under consideration, and the status of their applications at this point. I realize that you may regard this task as burdensome, but I think the request is justified in view of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Carney's rejection and in view of the Department's commitment to act aggressively to insure that government contractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified handicapped individuals.

Cordially yours,

Chief, Washington Office.

cc:   Senator Harrison Williams
Senator Jennings Randolph
Senator Claiborne Pell
Senator Edward Kennedy
Senator Gaylord Nelson
Senator Walter Mondale
Senator Thomas Eagleton
Senator Alan Cranston
Senator William Hathaway
Senator Jacob Javits
Senator Richard Schweiker
Senator Robert Taft
Senator J. Glenn Beall
Senator Robert Stafford
Senator Paul Laxalt

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Stony Brook, New York, October 2, 1975.

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

DEAR MR. CYLKE: Out of a considerable experience in criticizing various agencies in the "blindness system," I would like to compliment you on the ways in which you responded to the criticisms in my letter of July 31, 1975. Unfortunately, many other directors of service agencies (AFB, APH, RFB) follow a dismal formula of thanking me for my interest, reporting how many tens of thousands of clients they served in the past year, telling me that they know how to run their business better than I do, and in effect, telling me to go chase myself. I am delighted by your prompt and detailed reply, and I have been thinking for several weeks about where we might go from here.

As your reply indicates, most of the books I want are apparently recorded eventually, but, under the present arrangements, I have to wait anywhere from a year to three or four years to find the book appearing in your Talking Book Topics. It seems to me that a useful additional service for readers like me would be a periodic report on which books your Selection Committee is considering, which it has decided on, and where the process stands for each of them.

Whether or not this could or should appear in Talking Book Topics is another question. I am inclined to think that it might well be left to a separate mimeographed report that could be mailed to those requesting it. Indeed, I would be willing to pay a small subscription to a quarterly report of this type.

Why not solicit your clients to see how many would be interested in such a service. Knowing that a book would be forthcoming in a year or so would be a great comfort to readers like me. It would, for example, save me the trouble of buying copies to send to Recording for the Blind and waiting for their less elegant recording to be made. And just to show you that I do indeed have books for which I have been waiting a long time, how about Merle Miller's book on Harry Truman, Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, and Warren Bennis' The Leaning Ivory Tower?

This brings me to a suggestion about the format of Talking Book Topics: How about listing the books alphabetically by author? The present arrangement seems to be essentially random, and that is always a poor procedure for arranging lists.

Now for a more cranky complaint. I recently received the newest cassette reproducer, and I infer that, like its predecessors, it is a stripped-down version of the GE Cassette Reproducer/Recorder sold by the American Printing House for the Blind. Since communication by cassette is important to many blind people—for me, as a professional sociologist, it is absolutely essential—I think you might well ponder a slight change in the specifications of your machine. To justify this request, let me describe how I read my students' term papers, theses, and dissertations. Armed with a memorandum from me on the techniques of recording, each student records his work on a cassette. Then I set up two cassette machines on my desk. I listen to the paper on one and record my comments on the other. After a couple of years of doing this, I have the procedure well in hand; indeed, it is almost as satisfying as visual reading and marginal annotation used to be. The only trouble lies in the necessity of having two machines in my office at the university and two at home; carrying them back and forth is annoying and, what with the poor design of the carrying strap and attaching studs on both your machine and its APH cousin, has led to the machine's becoming detached from the carrying strap and falling to the ground. In short, even without allowing for necessary repairs, I need four cassette machines to work effectively at the university and at home.

Your machines reproduce very well, but they impair my flexibility in not having any recording capability. How much more would it cost the DBPH to have its machines equipped with recording heads and the necessary controls, like the APH machines? I am not even suggesting that you supply free microphones but only that you make it possible to use your machines as recorders as well as players.

I have thought about this matter for over a year and believe that I can anticipate some of your objections. First, providing the blind with recording equipment would exceed your congressional mandate. Second, some of the blind might use the machines to record music or other non-verbal material. Third, your mission is to promote recreational reading, not professional reading or correspondence.

All of these objections seem valid to me but, even in their aggregate, trivial. For an increased cost that must surely be no more than five dollars per machine in the quantities that the DBPH buys you could make a significant improvement in the lives of many blind people. Is that too much to ask?

Although I would appreciate your replying to the questions and suggestions in this letter, you may be comforted to learn that I will not be a constant, solitary gadfly hereafter. I had sent a copy of my earlier letter to you to Ms. Florence Grannis, whose various writings on book selection for the blind I have found particularly stimulating, and she showed it to Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, who at that moment was wearing his NFB Presidential Hat. Dr. Jernigan has asked me to serve on the NFB's Committee on Library Services, and I have accepted; you will, therefore, be hearing from me in the future primarily as a member of that committee. Your expressed and demonstrated willingness to work with the Federation in the past augur well for the committee's relationship with you in the future.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. (1) Two additional minor complaints about the new cassette machine. The door that covers the A.C. cord storage compartment would be more convenient if it were spring loaded like the storage compartment on top, rather than be easily detachable.

(2) Why not use the space now occupied by the S.C. to build in the Speed Control. I have worked out a way to attach my Speed Control to the top of the machine, but this is a nuisance in carrying the machine about (see pages two and three).

H. C. S.

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[Reprinted from the July 1975 issue of Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews.]

The Meaning of Blindness, by Michael E. Monbeck. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973. 159 pages.

SUNY/Stony Brook

Michael E. Monbeck has impressive credentials for writing this book. He was on the staff of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for ten years; he has edited a professional journal in the blindness field; and he has read everything, from Sophocles to sociology and from Karl Abraham to J.P. Zubek. Moreover, as he makes plain at the outset, he is neither a social scientist nor a "worker for the blind," but, so one infers, a literary intellectual. Since much of the ground that Monbeck covers has already been traveled by sociologists and psychologists, Monbeck unwittingly provides us with a "natural experiment," a chance to compare the ways in which social scientists, whether number crunchers or qualitative observers, stack up against literary intellectuals in their handling of a single, more-or-less clearly defined problem.

On the positive side, this book has many virtues. To start with the smallest, it provides enough trivia that there is something for everyone. On my next visit to my ophthalmologist, I expect to dazzle him with the statement that Herodotus, on visiting Egypt in the fifth century B.C., found many specialists who dealt only with diseases with the eye—the first recorded ophthalmologists! And his attempt to show that the core of public attitudes toward blindness lies in two Jungian "archetypes," the Shadow (the dark, guilty, and repressed underside of the self), and the Stranger (the wise Old Man)-is a delightful tour through the remote reaches of mythology, folk lore, symbolism, and other arcana.

This Jungian essay is worth some critical attention, for Monbeck devotes a full ten percent of his text to it. The problem, however, is that this delightful literary tour is merely suggestive, and only weakly so at that. It would be one thing if Monbeck were concerned only to change the attitudes of literary intellectuals, people who had presumably read widely in the literature on which Monbeck draws. It is something else again to argue that these archetypes form the core of the attitudes toward blindness held by the man in the street. This is, of course, Jung's problem more than Monbeck's, but it is typical of Monbeck's evenhanded and uncritical stance toward anything in print that he does not even mention this problem.

Monbeck's sins of omission are more damning still. At times he seems to be ignorant even of the most basic distinctions among the blind, such as the distinction between congenital and adventitious blindness; although the congenitally blind and the totally blind form only a small minority of the legally blind, Monbeck often treats the latter as if they had all of the characteristics of the former. Again, in dicussing the meanings of blindness to the blind, he seems to be writing from somewhere before the beginning of the nineteenth century, as if Braille, the long cane, the tape recorder, and a whole new generation of advanced technological devices for turning print into tactual or audible representations did not exist. "Get the hell out of the library," one wants to shout at him, "and listen to what blind people tell you about how they actually cope with their blindness!"

It is not only that Monbeck ignores the possibility of empirical research to uncover the meanings of blindness. He is so solipsistically the lone researcher that he seems never to have spoken to the various sociologists who have spent shorter or longer periods at the American Foundation for the Blind, such as Irving F. Lukoff, Robert A. Scott, and Eric Josephson. Even a few hours of casual conversation with such scholars might have kept Monbeck from his two most serious errors. Although he has read widely, even encyclopedically in the literature on attitudes and attitude change, he retains an almost childlike faith in propaganda campaigns to change public attitudes. He seems to be altogether unaware of the literature on why propaganda and information campaigns fail and, more startling still, even of the Freudian defense mechanisms that allow people to avoid dealing with unpleasant truth. Finally, whether from consulting sociologists or simply from reading The New York Times, Monbeck ought to have realized that there are more effective ways of coping with prejudice and discrimination than trying to change attitudes. Are the lessons of the civil rights struggle and of the woman's liberation movement altogether lost on him?

The source of Monbeck's political blindness, his apparent inability to contemplate changes in the social structure that might improve the lot of the blind, is revealed by another one of his omissions. Nowhere in this book is there any mention of the blind organizing on their own behalf, notably in that arch-enemy of the American Foundation for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, whose monthly journal begins with the statement that the NFB is "not an organization speaking for the blind, but the blind speaking for themselves." One need not be a radical or a member of the NFB to suggest that it has done more to change the public image of the blind than all of the AFB's attempts at education.

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[Reprinted from the Congressional Record for October 6, 1975.]

By Mr. PELL:

S. 2478. A bill to secure the civil rights of blind persons. Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.


Mr. PELL. Mr. President, today I am introducing legislation which would secure for all blind persons the civil rights necessary to guarantee full and equal utilization of transportation and business services, housing, and accommodations.

This legislation was first suggested to me by Mr. Albert R. Piccolo, who is a member of the legislative committee of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. In suggesting that this approach would be of value, Mr. Piccolo wrote:

This legislation would undoubtedly prevent the frustration, disappointment, and discouragement which quite frequently is the result of our efforts to obtain employment, to secure adequate housing, to gain admission to colleges and technical schools, and to use the various means of transportation and public accommodations. These cherished privileges, which are taken for granted by most citizens, if denied to us, can cause unnecessary hardship, a lack of opportunity, and an inability to travel freely and independently.

This eloquent statement points to the frustration which blind persons experience in securing adequate housing, in obtaining access to transportation, and in enjoying free access to places of public accommodation. This legislation, which is similar to that introduced by Congressman Bob Wilson, would prohibit such discrimination. In addition, it calls upon the President to proclaim a "National White Cane Safety Day" each year.

The blind and visually handicapped of our Nation are a great resource to us, and we cannot afford to allow them to remain out of the mainstream of normal, day-to-day life, and its opportunity for personal achievement and success.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of this bill be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

S. 2478

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the "Bill of Rights of the Blind Act".


SECTION 2. The Congress hereby finds and declares that the denial to blind persons of equal access to places or facilities of public accommodation and transportation, to business establishments, and to housing has the effect of impairing the interstate commerce of the United States, both by constricting the free flow of goods and persons and by preventing blind persons from achieving their maximum potential independence and productivity. To remedy this inequitable and unproductive condition, it is the policy and purpose of this Act to utilize the full authority of the United States Government to secure the civil rights of blind persons from unfair discrimination in accommodations, transportation, business, and housing.


SECTION 3. (a) No common carrier by air, rail, water, or motor vehicle, or other mode of public transportation, engaged in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, shall refuse to accept as a passenger any person because of such person's blindness, or because of such person's use of a dog guide or other guidance instrumentality, nor shall any such blind person be required to pay an additional or special fee for the transport of such dog guide or other guidance instrumentality.

(b) No owner or operator of any place of public accommodation, as defined by section 201(b) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a(b)), or of any public facility or building covered by title III of such Act, or of any facility or building belonging to the United States or its territories, or the District of Columbia, shall refuse to admit or serve any person because of such person's blindness, or because of such person's use of a dog guide or other guidance instrumentality, nor shall any such blind person be required to pay an additional or special fee for the admission of such dog guide or other guidance instrumentality to such place of public accommodation or to such public facility or building.

(c) No owner or operator of any housing facility or accommodation subject to the provisions of title VIII of the Act of April 11, 1968 (82 Stat. 81, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), shall refuse to admit any person, as a tenant or otherwise, because of such person's blindness, or because of such person's use of a dog guide or other guidance instrumentality, nor shall any such blind person be required to pay an additional or special fee, other than a security deposit for damages, for the admission of such dog guide or other guidance instrumentality.

(d) In addition, no person shall engage in any subterfuge, device, or covert strategy for the purpose of achieving indirectly any of the forms of discrimination prohibited by subsections (a), (b), and (c).


SECTION 4. The President of the United States shall take suitable notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day. He shall issue a proclamation in which:

(1) he comments upon the significance of the white cane;

(2) he calls upon the citizens of the Nation to observe the provisions of the White Cane Law and to take precautions necessary to the safety of the disabled;

(3) he reminds the citizens of the Nation of the policies with respect to the disabled herein declared and urges the citizens to cooperate in giving effect to them;

(4) he emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community and to keep safe and functional for the disabled the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement, and resort, and other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to disabled persons upon appropriate occasions.


SECTION 5. Any person, firm, corporation, or association who shall violate the provisions of this Act shall be liable to the blind person or persons involved for damages caused thereby, for punitive damages not to exceed $10,000, for each violation, and for reasonable attorneys' fees and other costs of litigation. In determining the extent to which punitive damages shall be imposed, the court shall consider the extent to which the offense is part of an ongoing, repeated, or intentional practice, the extent to which such blind person is thereby deprived of the opportunity to lead a full and productive life, the number of persons adversely affected, and such other factors as the court may deem relevant.

(b) Suits for damages or other legal, equitable, or declaratory relief may be maintained in the appropriate United States district court without regard to the amount in controversy or to the diversity of citizenship of the parties. No such action shall be brought later than three years after the date of occurrence of the violation.

(c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede the laws of any State or territory, or of the District of Columbia. No person shall recover under this Act for harms resulting from actions or conduct which constitute violations of this Act, if recovery has been had under the laws of any State or territory, or of the District of Columbia, relating to discrimination on the basis of blindness, for the same actions or conduct.

(d) It shall be a defense to a claim under this Act that—

(1) the claimant, at the time he sought entry, access, or service, did not have his guide dog or other guidance instrumentality under reasonable control; or

(2) that the claimant was disorderly, abusive, intoxicated, or was excluded from entry, access, or service for other good and substantial reasons not in conflict with the policies and purposes of this Act.


SECTION 6. As used in this Act, the term—

(1) "blind person" means a person whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye, with corrective lenses, as measured by the Snellen test, or a central visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle not greater than twenty degrees;

(2) "dog guide" means a dog which is fitted with a special harness or collar suitable as an aid to the mobility of a blind person, which has been specifically and adequately trained to serve blind persons, and which is in use by a blind person as an aid to his travel, movement, or safety; and

(3) "other guidance instrumentality" means an animal or device specifically and adequately trained or designed for use by blind persons as an aid to personal travel, movement, or safety.

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Portland, Oregon, October 3, 1975.

Executive Director, National Accreditation Council,
New York, New York.

DEAR DICK: This is in further connection to our conversation in San Francisco concerning the decision of the NCSAB to defer renewal of its membership in NAC.

The sense of the motion and the subsequent discussion of the motion can generally be summarized as follows:

(1) Some time ago NAC asked the NCSAB to participate in its process of reviewing and updating standards used for accreditation.

(2) In good faith, the NCSAB accepted the offer to assist your organization.

(3) We spent a considerable amount of time and effort, and no inconsequential amount of money, to furnish the kind of input NAC had requested.

(4) Out of our effort there evolved a general statement on accreditation, which the NCSAB, by a unanimous vote, adopted well over a year ago as its general policy position on the issue of accreditation.

(5) In our position statement, the NCSAB recommends some very fundamental but constructive changes in NAC's accreditation process.

(6) While our membership generally feels that NAC has given some consideration to our position and while NAC has in fact allowed our recommendations on a number of rather narrow and quite specific points, there has not occurred the degree of change and type of redirection we think necessary if accreditation is to become a vital, meaningful, and generally accepted component of work for the blind in the United States.

(7) We are therefore most disappointed by NAC's failure to achieve significant progress in revising its accreditation process in a manner consistent with the policy position and general recommendations of the NCSAB.

(8) We are aware that NAC has had its share of major problems in recent months.

(9) We are not insensitive to the practical complications occasioned by NAC's loss of Federal support.

(10) As with everyone else, we are in general agreement with the concept of promoting quality in services through relevant standards applied as part of a meaningful accreditation process.

(11) Our interest and our basic responsibilities as representatives of state programs for the blind necessarily require that we try to promote unity and harmony among the major organizations in this field, so that concerted action may be taken on broad matters of paramount importance to blind Americans who, in the main, are going inadequately and imperfectly served, and we are not interested in acerbating any conflict or dissension within the field.

(12) Although we recognize that an accreditation movement cannot be revised, redirected, and improved to everyone's satisfaction overnight, we do feel that a more reasonable amount of basic improvement might have been made than anything we presently perceive and we are certainly interested in contributing to any further improvements of a constructive nature which can redound to the benefit of blind Americans.

(13) We are prepared to establish a special Liaison Committee to work with NAC to bring about the general kinds of changes and refinements of NAC's accreditation process that we feel essential to improvements in services provided by our member agencies directly, by cooperating organizations, or by vendors through contract.

(14) That Liaison Committee is to report back to the NCSAB on NAC's future progress in improving its accreditation processes and to provide an evaluation of the extent to which such improvements appear to be consistent with the NCSAB's general position on the issue of accreditation.

(15) The membership of the NCSAB will make its decision on the NCSAB's future support of NAC after the Liaison Committee has made its report and provided its evaluation.

Consistent with the decision of our membership at our business meeting in San Francisco, I am constituting as the NCSAB Liaison Committee with NAC all members of the NCSAB executive board and Mr. Manuel Urena of California and Mr. Joseph Kohn of New Jersey. This action will, in my judgment, tend to assure broad-based representation of the various viewpoints included within the NCSAB's membership. I will chair the Committee.

In taking this action, there are a number of points I would like to emphasize.

First, the NCSAB does not propose to dictate the content of standards or the mechanics of the accreditation process to NAC. We do propose, however, to inform you about what we feel we need in order to make the services of state agencies more relevant and more responsive to the needs of our clients.

Second, we would prefer to view this action as something initiated by NAC rather than the NCSAB. After all, you took the initiative in coming to us to ask for the NCSAB's support and assistance in improving the effectiveness of NAC's accreditation process. I think it reasonable to view the action of our membership at the last business meeting as being essentially in the nature of the NCSAB's continuing response to your request.

Third, to this date no one associated with NAC, and, for that matter, no representative of any other organization in this field, has expressed any exception to the general policy position adopted by the NCSAB on the issue of accreditation. We do not say that our policy position is totally free of flaws and imperfections. We do say that the NCSAB's policy position on accreditation should serve as the primary agenda for communications between your organization and our Liaison Committee.

Fourth, I cannot stress too greatly that we have no interest in going through the expense and effort of the process I have outlined in this letter, unless NAC is prepared to give full and fair consideration to our recommendations for very fundamental and possibly far-reaching changes in the accreditation process. Our interest is not in discussing the minute particles contained in various sets of standards; this we are fully prepared to leave to NAC's staff and consultants. What we want to do is look at accreditation broadly and then to talk about various ways in which the system itself might possibly be strengthened and improved so as to optimize the practical impact which specialized services have upon the daily lives of blind individuals throughout this country.

I believe that the foregoing fully and fairly summarizes where this matter stands as a result of the action taken by our membership at the NCSAB's last business meeting. Should you have any questions, please let me hear from you at an early date.

A copy of this letter is being forwarded to each member of the Liaison Committee by way of soliciting recommendations as to specific items to be included on the agenda for our first meeting, if in the judgment of your organization it seems appropriate and potentially productive to go forward in the manner I have described. I shall, of course, cooperate with you in the preparation of the agenda for the first meeting between the NCSAB Liaison Committee and the representatives of NAC. We both need to be giving some thought to a mutually convenient time and place for the meeting. My present thinking is that it would only be fair to your organization to defer the meeting date until after the next meeting of the NAC board. I am hopeful that it will be within our capacity to accomplish many of the constructive improvements that most of us agree ought to be accomplished in the current era of work for the blind.



New York, New York, October 10, 1975.

Administrator, Commission for the Blind,
Portland, Oregon.

DEAR BOB: Your letter of October 3 has been received, which elaborates upon the motion introduced by yourself and seconded by Harry Vines at the recent NCSAB meeting in San Francisco. Thank you for advising me of the steps that your Liaison Committee proposes to take regarding NAC.

We are always eager to work cooperatively with any organization interested in strengthening the application of standards, and we are especially pleased with the support and assistance provided by NCSAB members. Our relationship with NCSAB, of all our sponsors and supporters, holds particular meaning to us because of your organization's potential for imaginative leadership across the country.

Following our annual meeting next month, as you propose, let's plan to get together to arrange for the meeting with your Liaison Committee. In the meanwhile, I hope that your committee members will take the opportunity to review the newly published self-study and evaluation guide for vocational services. A great many NCSAB members participated in that revision, as you know, and I am sure your committee will be pleased to see how extensively their suggestions have been incorporated in the new edition of the guide.

NAC's record of accomplishment in this first decade of its existence is a proud one. Substantial improvements in the quality of service have been made where agencies and schools have applied the standards. Further, with the assistance of its friends, NAC has demonstrated an awareness of changing conditions in the field, and an ability to be responsive to these changes. We know well the value of maintaining close working friendships with others who share our interests in improving services to blind and visually handicapped persons. For these reasons, we shall always welcome the advice and counsel of NCSAB, and we are looking forward to the meeting with your Liaison Committee.

But you should also know this: we are not prepared to abandon our principles and objectives, nor will we sanction the emasculation of our ability to carry out our responsibilities to the field, the public, and to the consumer.

Your letter states that NCSAB is "not interested in acerbating (sic) any conflict or dissension within the field" and that you "try to promote unity and harmony among the major organizations in this field." We frankly do not comprehend how the withholding of NAC associate member dues is consistent with that noble purpose. This sort of thing is simply exploited by the one aggressor group that has been attempting to control or destroy the accreditation movement as an effective vehicle for improving agency performance and accountability. Here's just one example of how NCSAB's actions have been used in the attempt to intimidate our friends: an accredited agency last week received a letter demanding that it withdraw from membership in NAC. The letter cited as a reason that "on September 8, 1975 the National Council of State Administrators of Agencies Serving the Blind (sic) voted in San Francisco to withhold its dues from NAC pending an investigation."

A number of NCSAB members (from those many who either are accredited, or who have served on our board, commissions, or committees, or who have been volunteers on our onsite review teams) have expressed to me in recent weeks dismay and disappointment about the San Francisco motion. I only hope that NCSAB does not one day find that its unity position has not only failed to harmonize the various groups, but also that it is unacceptable to a majority of its own membership. For the entire field would be the loser if NCSAB's vast potential for decisive leadership were to be dissipated in this way.

As a former state director, I have a very high regard for NCSAB and its members. In fact, as you know, NAC seeks and welcomes NCSAB's advice and suggestions at all times. The support of NCSAB in utilizing the standards to improve services for and with blind persons can be a key factor in achieving more effective rehabilitation programs nationwide. I firmly believe that, as NCSAB and NAC continue to work together, there will be increasingly beneficial results for all blind people throughout the country.

Sincerely yours,


Portland, Oregon, October 24, 1975.

Executive Director, National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
New York, New York.

DEAR DICK: Thank you for your letter of October 10. I will alert our liaison committee to the plans to get together with you following NAC's next annual meeting, as we discussed on the phone.

While I am sure that we will within the NCSAB be happy to accommodate you on your suggestion that we review the newly published materials on vocational services, I would like to reiterate a point which I have previously conveyed to you: The purpose of our liaison committee will not be to look at narrow and specific components of any particular set of standards, but rather to focus upon the general nature and broad thrust of the accreditation movement as a whole and as exemplified by NAC.

As to NAC's record during the first decade of its existence, we do not regard that as being an appropriate issue to be dealt with by the liaison committee in its future meetings with you. Whatever NAC's accomplishments may have been, a recently completed management study commissioned by the NCSAB concludes that during this past decade, work for the blind has, as a whole, lost substantial ground in relation to other fields. What is done is past history. Our interest is in looking to the future, in looking at what the condition of this field and the state of the art should be like in the years to come, and in talking about what accreditation might do to contribute to the kinds of constructive improvements I believe all of us desire in existing services.

I can and do assure you that the NCSAB has absolutely no interest in asking NAC to abandon its principles and objectives, nor do we have any interest in emasculating your ability to carry our your responsibilities to the field, the public, and the consumer. We do, however, propose to make certain suggestions about how we believe improved communications, better understanding, more effective cooperation, and somewhat greater flexibility on the part of all interested organizations might tend to promote more effectively the advancement of principles, objectives, and responsibilities all of us share in common.

Frankly, I am a little disappointed about the general tone of various comments you made in the final paragraphs of your letter of October 10, Those comments tend to reflect an overriding preoccupation about your present major differences with a consumer organization, and the attitude you express is hardly compatible with the kind of perspective and frame of mind required if those differences are, as is overwhelmingly desired by the responsible leaders within this field, to be reconciled.

Certainly, I can understand your enthusiasm for accreditation and I can also understand why you might be acutely sensitive to the criticism NAC receives from its major antagonist. Let me suggest, though, that meetings involving the liaison committee undoubtedly will be considerably more productive if we all recognize at the outset that most representatives of state programs for the blind do not regard accreditation as the most urgent and overriding issue in work for the blind at the current hour. The major responsibility for seeing to it that an increased number of blind Americans actually receive the kinds of services they want and need rests with state agencies. That being the case, our major concern is that work for the blind—including both public and private agencies—continue to survive as a separate, identifiable, and relevant field of specialization. Our second major concern is that there be available to work for the blind resources commensurate to the needs of those individuals for whom this field exists. Until these two major areas are first meaningfully addressed, questions related to specific standards for various types of services are, at best, reached prematurely.

This point of view and these concerns are hardly unique to work for the blind; increasingly and for good reasons, these concerns are characterizing and pervading the entire rehabilitation movement. In this connection, therefore, I hope that your references to NAC's awareness of changing conditions in the field may be read to denote a sensitivity to the current struggle for survival and heightened service capability, and I also hope that your comments may be read to indicate a willingness to consider ways in which accreditation might be made more useful in terms of helping to bring about the basic preconditions for excellence in services.

The major problem in work for the blind right now, after all, is that entirely too many blind Americans are being offered only token services. That is why the liaison committee wants to talk about ways in which all parties of interest, working together in harmony, may help relieve and improve upon the current situation—doing this in a manner which results in lasting benefits for the blind.



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Laurel, Mississippi, November 6, 1975.

General Manager, National Industries for the Blind,
Bloomfield, New Jersey.

DEAR MR. PRICE: The Board of the National Federation of the Blind of Mississippi met November 1, 1975 and voted to send this letter to you and NIB.

We are distressed to note the new agreement that the General Council of Workshops voted to enter into with NIB and NAC. We are aware that the General Council of Workshops and NIB approved an agreement last year which NAC turned down; of course, we understand NAC is so desperate to sell accreditation that they are not likely to turn this one down. We feel that you and your Board should know that this move on the part of the General Council of Workshops and NIB is opposed to the aims and aspirations of the blind in general and to the majority of the five thousand or so employees of the workshops in particular.

Specifically we want to point out that a cut-rate sale of accreditation is beneath the dignity of any organization claiming the authority to accredit. I quote from the Memorandum of Understanding:

"(5) Until December 31, 1977, NAG will accept a reduced $50 application fee from any workshop applying for accreditation which had paid the $100 application fee for certification to NIB."

For NIB to subsidize the organization which has harmed the lives of blind people as NAC has is unthinkable. I quote again from the Memorandum of Understanding:

"(6) In processing an application for accreditation or reaccreditation from a workshop or agency associated with NIB, NAC will select an on-site review team of ordinarily three members. One of the members of the team shall be selected from the staff of NIB or from the staff of an associated workshop and the travel and per diem expenses of this one member will be paid for by NIB and the others will be paid for by the applicant workshop."

NIB has a monopoly in distributing government contracts to the workshops for the blind. You charge the workshops a percentage of these contracts for these services. If you have these extra funds it would appear to us that you would pass them back to the workshops through lower commission rates in order that the workshops could pay their blind workers more money (after all, practically all of them pay substandard wages). We feel like there has to be some limit to the high pay of the officials and managers of NIB and the workshops and low pay of the workers.

Of course, accreditation by NAC is a poor deal for the workshops; first, because their accrediting is meaningless; and secondly, because the workshops are inviting additional problems by seeking accreditation through this New York corporation. Let's face it, as the blind of this Nation, including the workers of the workshops, are becoming more aware of the damage being done them by NAC, most of those served by the workshops will naturally feel that they have been betrayed by their employers and NIB.

Everyone concerned is now aware that in more and more cases the blind workers expect better treatment. We all know that there is already evidence of unrest breaking out in all parts of the Nation. The blind workers are being left no choice but to turn to the public, government agencies, unions, or to any others who will help them overcome the conspiracy of agencies against them which seems to be developing, and which unholy alliance is represented by this agreement.

Most of the problems between workers and shops which have occurred and the many more which will occur are spontaneous from the workers (or as some people prefer, the client) in the local situation.

We are aware of the exceptional job you did in building Mississippi Industries for the Blind. But we also realize it has been eleven years since you have personally been in contact with the workers themselves. We know that NAC does not realize (apparently they actually do not care) what is happening at the grass roots. We humbly request that you, NIB, and the managers of the workshops not make this serious error.

Now a word about a local situation here in Mississippi. We are grateful that Royal Maid is now paying minimum wages; but we think you should be aware that we are having more and more instances reported to us by workers at Royal Maid of what appears to be discrimination against the blind workers and many others which are at best a custodial attitude demeaning to the human dignity. Since Royal Maid is, for practical purposes, a subsidiary of NIB, we hope you will consider improving the relationship. We realize that this type of situation is not always easy to solve, but we feel that management and blind workers working together can solve the problems to the advantage of Royal Maid and the people it was created to serve. There are a number of ways that this can be done. The existing committee of blind workers could be broadened and become more active in communicating between the workers and the management; what we mean by this is that communication is a two-way exchange and the committee could be looked on as communicating from the worker to management as well as from management to workers. It would certainly appear that blind persons from the service area could be placed on the Royal Maid Board. We understand that Royal Maid has just spent a sizeable amount to be reaccredited by NAC, and we understand the attitude this implies.

Thank you very much for your kind attention and consideration.

Very sincerely,

E. U. PARKER, Jr.,



The parties to this memorandum recognize and stress that:

(1) Standards of service in work with blind persons are essential to assist agencies in strengthening services to the blind. Maintenance of a system of agency accreditation is intended to provide that public and private funds are being used to render needed services which measure up to recognized standards of quality.

(2) The National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) is the recognized agency in the field of work with blind people that maintains standards and a system of accreditation.

(3) Accreditation is the preferred method for workshops primarily serving blind persons to demonstrate their proficiency; all workshops associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and the General Council of Workshops for the Blind should strive to integrate the national standards into their operations and achieve NAC accreditation.

(4) All applicants for NAC accreditation upon the submission of a satisfactory, completed self-study and payment of the application fee will be given special recognition by NAC for having taken the first step toward accreditation.

(5) Until December 31, 1977, NAC will accept a reduced $50 application fee from any workshop applying for accreditation which had paid the $100 application fee for certification to NIB.

(6) In processing an application for accreditation or reaccreditation from a workshop or agency associated with NIB, NAC will select an on-site review team of ordinarily three members. One of the members of the team shall be selected from the staff of NIB or from the staff of an associated workshop and the travel and per diem expenses of this one member will be paid for by NIB and the others will be paid for by the applicant workshop. (Note: The on-site review team might need to be composed of more than three members if the workshop provides that number of services which would require additional team members).

(7) The National Accreditation Council, National Industries for the Blind, and the General Council of Workshops for the Blind recognize the value and importance of consumer participation in all phases of the accreditation process, and agree that meaningful roles for consumers of service should be provided during workshop self-studies and on-site review teams.

(8) The self-study or accreditation is not a prerequisite to receiving allocations of Federal Government business.

(9) This Memorandum of Understanding replaces previous memoranda, and shall be reviewed periodically by the parties.




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[Reprinted from The Press-Tribune, Roseville, California.]

"I am not 'visually impaired,' I am blind."

Harvey Owen doesn't believe in mincing words or in sidestepping what became the facts of life for him some three years ago following a shooting accident while pheasant hunting.

The thirty-three-year-old general contractor from Penryn wasted no time in adjusting to his new situation as he set about investigating the various organizations offering services to the blind. He chose the National Federation of the Blind and enrolled in [the State's] Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany, where he was re-initiated into the basics of living without the use of his eyes.

Owen lauds the services of the Federation, which he describes as "a lot of blind people working to help themselves."

The National Federation of the Blind, formed in 1940, is the largest nationwide organization of blind people in this country. The blind express their needs and formulate programs to meet those needs through their chapter meetings and state and national conventions. The objective of the Federation is to integrate the blind into society on a basis of equality involving the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations, the education of the public to new concepts regarding blindness and the achievement of each blind person of the right to exercise his individual talents and capacities.

Dealing in specifics, the Federation: works to educate the public to the fact that the blind are normal individuals who can compete equally with others, through speeches, pamphlets, and the news media; publishes the monthly Braille Monitor devoted to news and issues pertaining to the blind; awards scholarships to blind students; assists blind persons who are victims of discrimination or whose rights have been denied; researches and informs members on laws and regulations concerning the blind.

Owen chose to affiliate himself with this group because "it is a strong group which gets input from members on what is really needed by individuals." The Federation is funded by members and through public donations.

Owens lends his support to the organization through active participation and currently serves as vice-president of the Capitol Chapter and is heading up the annual candy sale.

The area chapter is selling Almond Roca at a cost of $1.50 per can or eighteen dollars for a case of twelve cans, with forty-five percent of that cost going directly to the blind. The sale chairman notes that proceeds are "used for the blind by the blind," and suggests the purchase of the popular candy by businesses for Christmas gifts.

Those wishing to purchase the candy may call Owen at 663-3602. (Let the telephone ring. He may be involved in a project in his shop-garage.)

Owen carries out his own personal campaign in educating the public through his own activities. Besides keeping up his interest in construction and woodwork (he's building a barn), he serves as president of Five Cities Girls' Softball League.

He also has talked to his wife Betty's students at Sierra Gardens School in the hope of impressing them with the fact that the biggest handicap in being blind is being set apart because the sighted are uncomfortable and shy away from the blind.

The outgoing spokesman is the father of two daughters, Athena, twelve, and Kimberlynn, three.

Owen offers his reassurance to others and would be happy to talk with those who are blind or have visual problems or their families.

In asking public support for the current candy sale, Owen says, "supporting this group is a good insurance policy. An accident could happen to anyone."

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The National Federation of the Blind of New York State is demonstrating today to protest present negotiations by the Albany Association of the Blind to accredit with the National Accreditation Council, which accredits agencies serving the blind. If the AAB is truly interested in the people it was funded to serve, it will stop now.

The blind of New York State as well as those in the states surrounding New York who participate in the AAB programs, are strongly opposed to this agency's effort to accredit with the NAC. The NFB is the largest organized group of blind people (with a membership of over fifty thousand) and we have no consumer representation on this board. In fact, it was only through our pressure that the NAC began to have any consumer representation at all. Now it has chosen blind representatives mainly from among those groups who have traditionally taken the agency position on controversial issues.

The NFB opposes "client" status for blind sheltered shop workers. This client status permits and increases discrimination in public attitudes, salaries, working conditions, and benefits (or the total lack of them). The NAC accepts client status and its guidelines do not include a requirement for the applying agency to pay the minimum wage to sheltered shop workers, to carry unemployment insurance, to have a sick bank program, or to provide most common benefits that workers in other agencies automatically receive today. Neither does it concern itself with standards or recommendations that would improve the psychological atmosphere within the agency. It is fundamental that each agency should function primarily in the interest of the blind person who seeks training through it. Nothing constructive can result unless a mutually encouraging and respectful atmosphere between counselor and client exists. The NAC does not deal with this phase of rehabilitation, and the NFB insists that this is far more basic than the number of staff holding master's degrees. The prevalent idea that blindness automatically indicates emotional disturbance, an inability indicates emotional disturbance, an inability to make sensible and appropriate life decisions, and a general mental dysfunctioning necessarily requiring custodial care or, at best, paternalistic guidance is totally fallacious, demoralizing, and absurd. An accrediting agency which is truly concerned with those it serves, NFB insists, should establish guidelines and goals more in line with the needs and wishes of the client as he defines them.

It is not only NFB who opposes the NAC. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has withdrawn its funding from that board, as have many private foundations and donors, because they understand the inadequacies of the NAC, its lack of consumer representation on its board, and the frustration and complaints of the blind. The NAC has lost prestige and respect and many agencies and schools for the blind have actually withdrawn from the NAC accreditation.

So—Why does the Albany Association of the Blind, against its clients' wishes, now seek to align itself with a dying offshoot of the American Foundation for the Blind whose policies are not only worthless but actually detrimental to the blind of this country?

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For the second year in a row, members of the National Federation of the Blind were on hand to help the American Foundation for the Blind celebrate its day of founding. We marched back and forth in front of the Foundation Building, handing out leaflets to the public denouncing the Foundation's continued financial and moral support of NAC. We were peaceful and pleasant and orderly; yet the Foundation just did not have any appreciation for our presence.

VIP's were coming and going, and we took advantage of the press that came to cover Foundation Day. After we had chanted a couple of slogans, the Foundation found it necessary to send out half its staff to grab up our leaflets-there were probably more leaflets inside the building than out on the street.

Although we were not many in number, the Foundation knew we were there and who we were. We have decided that Foundation Day will be a tradition for us also, and every year we will be on hand to help celebrate until such time as the Foundation withdraws its support of NAC. Our leaflet gave Mr. Apple's name and the telephone number of the Foundation in the hopes that people would call to express concern about the Foundation's involvement with NAC. If nothing else, there were a few extra calls passing through the Foundation switchboard.

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We went to the barricades and took our stand against NAC. This time we were in Washington, D.C., where the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, having just paid its NAC dues, was holding ground-breaking ceremonies for its new $1.9 million building. We marched and chanted,

The ground's breakin'—
The earth gets shaken,
and the blind get taken!"

Last summer the NFB of the District of Columbia held two talks with Charles Fegan, the new Executive Director of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Fegan postponed arrival of the NAC inspection team and told us he would take no further action about NAC without letting us know. The result was that on the last day before default the Lighthouse quietly paid its NAC dues. So we chanted,

"Get — NAC — off our back!"

On Tuesday, November 4, the NFBDC Executive Committee discussed the matter and decided that the ground-breaking ceremony was just the time to express our views. Walter Washington, Mayor of the District of Columbia, was scheduled to speak at the ground-breaking, and we sent him a telegram expressing our opinion of his participation.

"One — two — three — four —
Minimum wage is what we're for!"

Then came Thursday, November 6, ground-breaking day, and the Lighthouse officials tried to buy us off. Fegan called Jim Gashel before the festivities began and asked if he would like to meet with the Lighthouse Board. The answer was, "any time." When the NFBDC arrived on the scene, Duane Ekedahl, President of the Lighthouse Board, pleaded with Gashel not to ruin their big day. During the brief discussion that ensued concerning NAC and minimum wages for the blind, Ekedahl said he did not know that the shopworkers earned less than the minimum wage. He loses points whether you believe him or not.

"Two — four — six — eight —
A dollar an hour ain't so great!"

Joie Stuart, president of the NFBDC, and other Federationists who work for the Lighthouse put their beliefs on the line and came down with an understandable sickness that day. Fellow Federationists from Maryland and Virginia joined us and swelled our numbers. Arlene Gashel brought our youngest Federationist, Andrea, who particularly liked singing "Glory, glory Federation." By the way, more of us should learn the words including the line from the fourth verse: ". . . to free them from their bondage of workshop and agency...."

When the Mayor finished his ceremonial duties, he stepped to the sidewalk for a brief word with the demonstrators. The TV cameras recorded and later broadcast Keith Howard asking, "Would you be Mayor for a dollar and six cents an hour?" The Mayor said, "No," but offered to meet with us another time. We carried the signs made by Roy Stuart on which were printed such slogans as "Lady Justice, if you're really blind, NAC has you on its mind."

This year, for a $25,000 fee, the Lighthouse is retaining its former Director as a consultant. Labor for construction of the new $1.9 million building will be bought at competitive prices. But we wonder if in the new Lighthouse the blind shop-workers will earn as much as the minimum wage.

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I was walking home from work one day when the following conversation took place.  I was walking with my cane past several homes, and there were children playing on the sidewalk.

Heidi: (whispering) "What's that lady walking like that for, with that stick?"

Kathy: (also whispering) "I don't know."

I thought to myself, "I'll bet I do look funny to these kids. Maybe I'll try to strike up a conversation with them and put them at ease. Then they can ask me questions about my blindness and get comfortable around me."

I, turning around and walking casually toward them: "Hi. I thought I heard one of you asking about my cane. I bet you never saw a blind person before."

The girls: "No." (Sheepish giggles.)

I: "I think I'd wonder if I saw some one doing something different like this, too. I use this cane tell where curbs are—"

That was the end of the conversation for that day. They didn't want to get their nerve up, so it seemed.

Two days later, however, I met Heidi and Kathy again, as well as a friend, Pete. All were about seven or eight years old.

A voice that I couldn't identify: "Hi, Susan."

I: "Who are you?"

Speaker: "Heidi, and my sister Kathy is with me."

I: "I see three of you. Who's the third one?" (I have some sight.)

New voice: "Peter."

Heidi: "Can you see that watch you're wearing?"

I: "No; it's a Braille watch. I'll show you."

I demonstrate. Each one felt it in turn, fascinated.

Within the next weeks there was a growing chorus of Hi's as children saw me in the neighborhood. New ones were introduced. Each, in turn, had to see my watch, and venture questions about what I could see and do. Two or three months later there was a conversation like this:

Ragged chorus: "Hi, Sue."

I answer. "Hi, kids. Nice day today, isn't it? What's new?"

Heidi and Kathy, who are sisters: "We just got back from a vacation to Florida. We went to Disney World."

I: "Oh, that must have been great fun! I've been there too."

Karen: "We're moving next month."

I, turning to Bobby, aware that a very little child was near him; "Who's that, Bobby?"

Bobby: "That's my little brother, David."

I: "Oh, You never told me about your brother. How old is he?" I turn to David with a smile and ask him the same question. David makes a gesture which I cannot see. He probably is holding up some fingers.

Bobby: "Tell her how old you are. She can't see those fingers."

David: "Three."

I was very conscious of the limited room in which these children could play. On one occasion I heard an older woman reprimanding them from her apartment window for playing in the driveway. Sometimes they talked about adults in their lives. On one occasion I taught them a group game.

Why did I take all this time with the children? Being children, they haven't had the chance to develop fully set opinions and prejudices. They are still learning from exposure to new and different experiences. I wanted them to see me as friendly and normal. I wanted them to know that I was comfortable about my blindness, and see it as one of my many characteristics. That way, they would be comfortable around the next blind person they encounter, and less prone to act on assumptions, at least the harmful ones.

I am a social worker in the adoptions program of a local agency. I counsel families to prepare them for adoption. Part of that preparation includes helping them visualize how they will explain adoption to their children so as to enable them to develop a healthy, positive attitude toward it. An approach of honesty and sensitivity is encouraged.

Children learn about life and develop attitudes by observing and identifying with the attitudes and behavior of significant adults in their lives. They are exposed to society's negative steretyped image of the blind in many ways. By being myself with them, I am giving them some positive, direct experience that will enable them to question the assumptions they hear from others.

Heidi may be a mother some day, or a teacher. Kathy may be a social worker. Bobby may grow up to be a personnel manager, and Karen the head of an employment agency. Richard may be a landlord, and Sandy an insurance agent. I hope that they will remember their experience with me when they meet the blind in their adult roles, and that they will treat them fairly. They are, in a sense, the wave of our future. By taking time with them we can help them grow up to be less prejudiced, and thus more able and willing to give the kind of help, and more importantly, moral support that any blind individual may need as he seeks to participate normally in the mainstream of life.

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A Mexican holiday, or a Jamaica caper, or seven hundred dollars in cash can be yours if you are the lucky winner of the vacation raffle being sponsored by the Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee of the NFB as a fundraising project. You now have the opportunity to buy these tickets for only one dollar each. They will be on sale from now until the drawing on July 9, 1976, at the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Los Angeles, California. The lucky winner does not need to be present to win, and will be notified as soon as possible after the drawing.

The winner of this raffle will have a choice of one of the following:

(1) Mexican Holiday for two: This holiday would begin with three days and nights in Mexico City, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. The beauty, diversity, and excitement of Mexico will be waiting for them. The winners will then leave Mexico City by bus for a glimpse of rural Mexico as they sightsee in Cuernavaca and Taxco. They will stay overnight in charming Taxco, one of the oldest silver mining centers in Mexico. Here is a shopper's paradise for silver jewelry and plate, Tissot ceramics, and Mexican handicrafts. Next, three exciting days and nights will be spent in tropical, enchanting Acapulco, the resort capital of the world. This holidy will include roundtrip airfare for two from the Continental United States, transfers between airports and hotels, baggage handling and tips in and out of airports and hotels, hotel room tax, and a choice of selected activities in Mexico City and Acapulco. Language should not be a problem since the holiday will be with a tour, and translators will be available.


(2) Jamaica Caper for two persons: If the winner selects this holiday, they will spend four nights and five days in the tropical paradise of Jamaica, the site of the world famous Doctor's Cave Beach. They will have rooms at the beautiful Casa Montego overlooking the beach and the blue Caribbean. Daily they will dine on sumptuour Jamaican breakfasts with homegrown tropical fruits, and very full Jamaican dinners. There will be sightseeing, shopping, and fun. This holiday includes roundtrip airfare from points east of the Mississippi River. Since Jamaica is an English-speaking country, language should not be a problem.


(3) Seven hundred dollars in cash.

CEIP Committee members and friends will be selling these tickets from now until the drawing at the NFB Convention to anyone with an extra dollar and a yen to travel. They will be selling at state NFB conventions, local chapter meetings, and at the national Convention. Also, if you would like tickets, you may send one dollar and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Joanne Fernandes, 1210 Second Street, Boone, Iowa 50036.

Remember, you may be the lucky winner!

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Not too long ago, the American Foundation for the Blind published a "Step-by-Step Guide to Personal Managment for Blind Persons." Federationists will remember this publication from a banquet address given in 1971 by Dr. Jernigan at our national Convention in Houston, Texas. Now, it seems that we are going to be privileged with yet another great work: "A Step-by-Step Guide to Winter Travel for Blind Persons."

On February 23, 24, and 25, the American Foundation for the Blind, in cooperation with local orientation and mobility personnel, sponsored a working conference in the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to conference organizers, the conference was to determine the skills, techniques, and devices used by the blind to travel in inclement winter weather. The body of information collected would then be compiled into the form of a text or manual for those mobility instructors who found it necessary to teach the blind how to travel in the snowy areas of the continent.

As usual, the Foundation did not think it necessary to consult with the organized blind to determine whether such a conference was even necessary to begin with. A few token blind persons were asked to participate on the various panels presented at the conference; but as we shall see, their views were largely ignored by the eighty or so mobility instructors who acted as conference participants.

The organized blind were not idle. At its quarterly meeting in Rochester, held on February 22, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota unanimously adopted a resolution condemning and deploring the Foundation for its failure to consult with the organized blind. This resolution, along with a news release clearly stating our position, was widely distributed to the press and the broadcast media.

Although there were some festivities on the evening of Sunday, February 23, the real work of the conference did not begin until Monday. A close look at the morning's program will serve to illustrate the overall tone of the conference and the condescending attitude held by the "professionals" toward blind people in general and the blind participants in particular.

The morning session of the conference was devoted to a discussion of urban and small business winter travel. A paper on the subject was presented by a mobility instructor from Montreal, Canada. Typical of the paper's profundity were statements to the effect that blind people should wear high boots and warm woolen coats to protect themselves from the winter chill. The paper also suggested that the blind traveler, before venturing forth, consult with a sighted person to determine the nature of the environment. He should, for example, determine the height of snow banks and whether or not sidewalks were shoveled. As Joyce Scanlan, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, put it, "If they think that a blind person can waste half-an-hour finding out all these things before going to work, they must not think that he can work at all."

The presentation emphasized one point that deserves some comment here. The mobility instructor from Montreal felt strongly that the blind traveler had to be taught to "use the public well," implying that the ability to ask for help was something extremely difficult to learn. What does this say about the intelligence of the average blind person? It says that he doesn't even have the sense of a two-year-old. As Sharon Grostephan, former travel teacher for the NFB of Minnesota, put it, "I've worked with retarded blind people, and I've never had to teach them how to deal with the public. If you need help, you ask for it. Any kid of two knows that."

During the panel discussion that followed the presentation of the paper, it became clear that the mobility instructors who were present were not really interested in the views of the blind participants. When one blind person pointed out that the need to keep warm was common to all regardless of visual acuity, the instructors made no comment. However, other more preposterous ideas were greeted with far greater enthusiasm.

After the panel discussion, smaller groups were organized, and everyone went out on a "field experience." Blindfolded instructors and blind travelers were observed by other instructors. The intent here was to determine the problems encountered by the blind winter traveler and to develop ways of solving them. The instructors displayed such a lack of confidence in the ability of the blind participants to travel that they virtually attacked each blind person who dared to cross the street alone. This is not surprising, however, if you consider that the blindfolded instructors were themselves having a terrible time traveling. I personally observed some of them wandering off from the sidewalk and losing themselves in parking lots. To quote Sharon Grostephan, "No mobility instructor under the blindfold can travel as well as the blind student."

The instructors kept exclaiming about how exceptional some of us were as blind travelers. They implied that we possessed some remarkable talents not present in the average blind person. However, it is not the exceptional nature of our physical talents that accounts for our confidence and ease in traveling. The lack of ability to travel with some skill is due to the inadequate training that exists throughout the country combined with the transmission to the blind students of the fears and misconceptions held by mobility instructors themselves. An instructor cannot expect blind travel students to develop a belief in their ability to travel independently without sight if he himself lacks such a belief.

The small groups that had been organized met to discuss the “field experience” and to compare notes. Here is where the true value of the conference (or the lack thereof) can really be seen. In one group, they concluded that the blind winter traveler must undergo intensive training in the art of falling. By so doing, it was agreed, he would prevent himself from getting hurt should he ever slip on the ice.

In another group, a great deal of attention was given to the needs of the partially blind. There was some concern expressed about the partially blind person's not being able to see the white lines on the road because of the slush on the ground, and a great deal of attention was focused on the problem of glasses fogging up in the rain. One instructor referred to an umbrella which was supposed to be strapped to the top of the traveler's head. This would, he said, protect the blind person and his glasses from the harmful effects of precipitation. However, even he admitted that he couldn't imagine a blind person actually wearing such an oddity.

"I don't have problems with partials," commented Sharon Grostephan after the conference, "because I blindfold them." She also indicated that eighty percent of the problems discussed at the conference weren't problems for her because "I don't teach like they do."

During the discussions that occurred Monday morning, a mitten was demonstrated. This was supposed to permit the blind traveler to hold the cane with his bare hand, thus improving the cane's sensitivity. However, the mitten's bright orange color and its inability to maintain any warmth rendered it both an embarrassment and a waste. Yet it was given an enthusiastic reception by the mobility instructors present.

Also demonstrated was a cleated overshoe originally developed for the use of mail carriers. The Foundation evidently decided that it would be a good thing for blind people to wear, even though most people would not find it either desirable or necessary.

The remaining sessions of the conference need no comment here. Basically, they followed the same format as the Monday morning session, complete with papers, field experiences, and discussion groups. (More specifically, they dealt with rural and residential travel, electronic travel aids, and ancillary aids.) More importantly, the condescension and lack of respect displayed by the "professionals" present were the same throughout.

Sharon Grostephan best summed up the general effectiveness and worth of the conference: "I just felt that they were making problems rather than solving them. They were looking for a reason to have a profession when there really wasn't one. They were showing absolute and total disrespect for the blind people there and to blind people in general. They were treating them as if they were zero-heads."

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Blind people are citizens, too. This assertion is one oft repeated by the National Federation of the Blind. Blind people are not only citizens of these United States but have an active interest in all its affairs and have had a part in the development of this country. To bring the Bicentennial celebration and some historical notes to all blind persons, the National Federation of the Blind is distributing copies in recorded form of the Bicentennial Calendar published by the American Issues Forum.

President Jernigan records some sentiments and facts about the blind and our organization and our place among the citizenry in opening and closing statements which will be valued by all listeners.

As the American Issues Forum states: "The calendar for the Forum covers just nine months from September 1975 through May 1976.... One major issue is presented for each of these months—an issue that has affected American life from the beginning, that affects it today, and that will surely affect it for generations to come. With each issue, a few sample questions are proposed to suggested possible lines of approach; some examples and quotations are presented, too, just to show how often and under what different circumstances the American people have faced these issues in the past."

The statement of the issues, the facts and background given, the examples and questions presented, will prove a valuable source of information and interest for everyone. The topics covered include: The Founding Peoples; Two Centuries of Immigrants; Out of Many, One; The Sprawling City; Who Owns the Land; Freedom of the Press; Equal Protection Under the Law; The American Work Ethic; The Welfare State: Providing a Livelihood; Empire-building; Cornering the Market; The Economic Dimension; A Nation Among Nations; Education for Work and for Life; A Sense of Belonging; The Rugged Individualist; The Fruits of Wisdom; among many others.

These interesting and informative records have been distributed widely to libraries and other institutions around the country. They are also available to our members who did not receive one with the October recorded issue of The Braille Monitor. If you wish to enjoy a copy of this unusual calendar or give one to another, the records are available on request from our National Offices, 218 Randolph Hotel Building, Fourth and Court Streets, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

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[Reprinted from the September-October 1975 issue of The Minnesota Bulletin, publication of the NFB of Minnesota.]

3M: Everyone's "favorite" employer. Since Larry Binger's public display of arrogance and unresponsiveness in the 1971 State Legislature, blind Minnesotans have had a very clear picture of the 3M Company's attitude toward hiring the handicapped. We are told that blind applicants for 3M positions are referred directly to the St. Paul Society for the Blind for work in the sheltered shop. These facts led us to invite 3M personnel officials to participate on a panel on employment opportunities for the blind at our 1975 annual convention last May 30. At first I was bounced from public relations to personnel to rehabilitation and back and forth and around and around. The final decision came from the public relations office. "No, we cannot participate." No reason was given; simply, "We are unable to comply with your request."

The National Federation of the Blind is in the business of educating the public. We have often been faced with opposition from those with differing viewpoints, but rarely do we find employers or other officials who refuse to come and talk with us. The refusal of 3M to participate in the educational process was received by our membership with understandable concern. The following resolution was adopted by the convention and forwarded to the 3M Company and other interested parties.


WHEREAS the 3M Company at present employs fewer blind persons than most of the other large companies in the State; and

WHEREAS the few blind persons who are employed by 3M are not paid wages comparable to those of their fellow workers and are not afforded equal opportunities for advancement; and

WHEREAS 3M has been consistently reluctant to adopt progressive and positive policies toward the employment of the handicapped or to initiate productive employment programs that would develop the economic potential of the handicapped; and

WHEREAS whenever the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota has invited the company to participate in the educational employment programs of the organization, 3M has invariably refused to cooperate, thereby demonstrating its lack of interest in learning about the abilities of blind persons and its unwillingness to promote equal employment opportunities: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this thirtieth day of May 1975 in the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this organization condemns and deplores the 3M Company for its unfair and discriminatory employment practices against the handicapped; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization denounces 3M for its demonstrated lack of respect for the organized blind and its unreasonable refusal to cooperate with the Federation in its efforts to educate employers about the abilities of the blind.

The letter sent with the resolution to 3M is self-explanatory. It further outlines the circumstances surrounding the resolution and states the basic problems existing between 3M and the blind of the area.

President, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

DEAR MR. HERZOG: Enclosed please find a copy of a resolution adopted by the 1975 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota held recently in Minneapolis. We request that you give immediate attention to the situation described in this resolution.

As you may know, the National Federation of the Blind is by far the largest and most active organization of blind persons in America, with more than fifty thousand members in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The NFB promotes greater security, equality, and opportunity for all blind Americans through public education, legislation, and the courts.

To the best of our knowledge, no blind person has been hired by 3M in the Twin City Area during the last ten years. Blind persons previously hired by your company were often paid less than sighted colleagues performing the same job. Blind employees have seldom, if ever, received equal treatment in advancement and promotion at 3M. We, as blind persons, feel that we have not been given fair or equal consideration when applying for positions at 3M.

This matter is of particular concern to us in view of the fact that a prominent 3M personnel official, Mr. Lawrence W. Binger, served as chairman of the Governor's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped from approximately 1964 to 1973. It should be noted that in 1971, Mr. Binger testified against a bill (subsequently adopted by the legislature two years later) extending the State human rights act to cover blind and disabled persons, calling it "unnecessary." In addition, we are extremely dissatisfied with the unwillingness of 3M personnel officials to accept an invitation to appear on a panel dealing with employment opportunities for the blind at our recent annual convention.

We realize that 3M has from time to time subcontracted work to sheltered work facilities such as the St. Paul Society for the Blind. We also realize that 3M operates what it calls a "rehabilitation" program. But sheltered workshops and rehabilitation are only second-class substitutes for the real thing. In no way can they replace employment in competitive industry on the basis of equality and dignity.

Today thousands of qualified blind persons are successfully employed as lawyers, teachers, scientists, technicians, computer programmers, machinists, mechanics, factory workers, and a wide variety of other trade and professional positions. But thousands more qualified blind persons are unemployed or underemployed because companies like 3M will not hire or promote them on the basis of equality.

We, as blind persons, are not asking for special treatment, only equal treatment. We merely ask that 3M hire, fire, and promote blind persons on the basis of ability not disability. In short, we want 3M to follow both the spirit and the letter of the State human rights act amendments of 1973.

This matter is of urgent concern to us. We therefore request that you take the time to review this matter personally. We expect that you will take prompt and favorable action to ensure that in the future, blind persons are hired and promoted on the basis of equality with the sighted. In the meantime, we intend to circulate this letter and the enclosed resolution widely: to public officials, members of the press, and other interested persons. We look forward to your reply. Thank you very much for your time and attention.



3M, like all other companies and agencies for the blind when confronted with opposition to their policies, scurried for defense-in this case to Steve Fischer and the St. Paul Society for the Blind. Mr. Fischer, in true agency style, rallied the support of the sheltered shop workers by frightening them with the threat of losing their 3M contract work. The following letter was signed by the employees of the St. Paul shop. We firmly believe that the blind workers at the St. Paul Society for the Blind are capable and competitive employees. We do not believe, however, that 3M Company should use the fact that it sends subcontracted work to the St. Paul Society shop as an excuse for not hiring blind workers at the actual 3M plants around the State. If blind persons can do the work at the St. Paul Society for minimum wages or less, why can't they be hired at the 3M plants for union scale wages and all that goes with it?

Letter from the St. Paul Society for the Blind, June 25, 1975:

To Whom It May Concern:

We the employees of the St. Paul Society for the Blind vigorously protest resolution A-75-01 drawn up by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, Inc., at their annual convention on May 30, 1975.

In regards to the statement that second-class work is being subcontracted to the St. Paul Society for the Blind is a misleading statement and does not represent the viewpoint of the employees of this company. All work done by the St. Paul Society for the Blind from 3M Company is highly competitive and has been for over twenty-five years. 3M Company has been interested in the welfare of the St. Paul Society for the Blind and in its growth.

The employees of the St. Paul Society for the Blind wish to extend an invitation to you to visit our facilities and see the competitive work being done for 3M Company.



Letter from 3M Company to Joyce Scanlan, June 27, 1975:

Your letter of June 23 to 3M President R. H. Herzog has been referred to me for reply.

The 3M Company has had for many years a broad-based program dealing with employment of the handicapped, including the blind and more than 650 currently handicapped 3M employees. This program, which is continually reviewed and updated, was established on the basis of 3M experience with the handicapped and in consultation with professionals in the field, appropriate government agencies, and with well-endorsed organizations serving the handicapped, such as the St. Paul Society for the Blind.

Our program focuses on but is not necessarily limited to the sheltered workshop concept, especially for production type work. This is why 3M has for many years strongly supported the St. Paul Society for the Blind. We have provided the Society with a continuing supply of work backed up with administrative and technical assistance. I'm sure the Society will confirm our long-standing involvement.

Similar opportunities for indirect employment or other assistance have been provided by 3M to additional organizations serving the blind, such as the Occupational Training Center in St. Paul, the Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, which operates a "ham" radio program for the blind, the United Way of St. Paul, the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and Recording for the Blind, Inc., Washington, D.C.

We recognize that there are a variety of approaches to the solution of any problem. We also realize that no single approach is likely to receive the unanimous first-choice support of all those with a vested interest. In the case of 3M, our experience has demonstrated that the sheltered workshop is a practical and legitimate alternative to employment of the handicapped in a factory setting where certain safety hazards are present. As you know, this concept has been endorsed by state governmental agencies and by the Federal Government through certain of its financial aid programs. Because of our successful experience, 3M is now planning to expand its support to include a number of additional sheltered workshops for the handicapped throughout Minnesota.

In the area of clerical or salaried positions that involve office work, our records show that very few blind persons have formally applied for work at the 3M employment department in recent years. Unfortunately, those who have applied lacked the necessary qualifications for the available work. Disability was not a major factor.

If you know of any blind persons who you believe are qualified for a certain type of work at 3M, they should be encouraged to apply at our employment department. They will be interviewed by our full-time professional rehabilitation counselor, who will help to review their qualifications and assist with any special needs arising from their handicap. Although general economic conditions have temporarily curtailed employment opportunities at 3M, I'm sure we can anticipate such opportunities again being available in the near future.

I would also appreciate it if you would promptly bring to my attention any specific evidence you may have regarding alleged discrimination against blind 3M employees so that this matter can be properly investigated. It is my responsibility and my firm intention to see that 3M follows both the spirit and the letter of the Minnesota Human Rights Act Amendments of 1973.



Letter from Joyce Scanlan to Mr. Herzog, August 18, 1975:

DEAR MR. HERZOG: Some time has passed since your letter of June 27 was received. I have given a great deal of thought to the points you discuss and will respond to each one individually.

First, let me say that I was disappointed that you did not handle the matter raised in our letter of June 23 personally but referred it on to a personnel official. However, I shall reply to your 3M letter as though it actually did come from you.

Our letter to you emphasized equal employment opportunities for blind persons at 3M Company. You have responded by focusing upon the sheltered workshop concept which you say experience and consultation with "professionals" in the field of work with the blind have shown to be a practical approach. You speak of your involvement with the St. Paul Society for the Blind. You say you have 650 currently handicapped employees at 3M Company. These, as I understand it, are those who were hired as able-bodied who became disabled while on the job. I simply cannot find anywhere in your letter a statement even implicitly indicating that you hire blind or otherwise disabled persons on a basis of equality.

3M officials were invited to our 1975 annual NFB of Minnesota convention in order that we might have an exchange of information. In your letter you allude to "employment of the handicapped in a factory setting where certain safety hazards are present." You appear to be saying that blind persons require extra safety devices not found in factories where blind persons do not work. This blatant lack of information on your part is the basis for our request that we have an opportunity to work with you to remove these attitudinal barriers which prevent blind persons from sharing equally in today's society. I challenge you to show me a study which proves that blind or otherwise disabled persons present a safety problem to employers. No such study exists.

One of our greatest problems in working with employers and others in the public is the charity fallacy. We speak to you of employment of blind persons on an equal basis with all others, and you respond by telling of your charitable contributions to the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Blindness, the Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, and Recording for the Blind. These are indeed worthy contributions, but they do not speak to the questions we raised. Blind people in today's society are well qualified for numerous jobs, and we do not ask to be hired because we want charity. We want to be hired because we have a contribution to make to an employer and his company. If one automatically thinks of charity when a blind person appears as a job applicant, he will never reach the point of seeing that blind person as a prospective employee.

You say that we should refer any qualified blind person to your employment department. You say, "They will be interviewed by our full-time professional rehabilitation counselor, who will help to review their...handicap." Now, are all applicants interviewed by your full-time professional rehabilitation counselor? I believe not. Here again we have the absence of equal treatment. If this is the 3M policy where the blind are concerned, I would have great difficulty encouraging anyone to apply. Your own statement that during the past ten years no blind persons have qualified for clerical positions is self-incriminating in view of your application policy. The system by its very nature tends to exclude qualified persons.

Yes, state agencies and the Federal Government have provided some financial aid programs to sheltered workshops. If this is an endorsement of the sheltered workshop concept, then we must also point out the support given by state and Federal governments to concepts such as affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. What effort is being made by 3M to see that these mandates are carried out? Also, you might take another look at the 1973 amendments to the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Part 2 under Subdivision 1 of 363.03 says, "Except when based on a bona fide occupational qualification, it is an unfair employment practice: For an employer, because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance or disability, (a) to refuse to hire or maintain a system of employment which unreasonably excludes a person seeking employment." From your own description of 3M practices in hiring, I suspect that there could be legal problems relative to the Human Rights Act in this area.

While I was sadly disappointed in the tone of your letter with its arrogant and condescending attitude, I feel that the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota is willing to pursue our approach of education. With this in mind I again ask you to participate with us in a program at our semiannual meeting to be held in St. Paul on December 6. I sincerely hope you will accept our invitation, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. We will set the time at your convenience between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and we will let you know the exact place when that has been determined.



The above correspondence speaks for itself. 3M officials have essentially admitted that discrimination against blind applicants does occur. Of course, by 3M thinking, blind applicants are by nature not equal; therefore, no discrimination can be charged. We are still waiting for 3M's answer to our invitation to attend the semiannual meeting December 6. As far as we're concerned, the door is still open for 3M to change its policies before we take further action.

Where has our good State Services for the Blind been during all these years of 3M intransigence? Recently we have heard faint murmurings of SSB attempts to place blind persons with 3M Company. Could anyone possibly guess what might have spurred SSB placement people into action at this particular time? Let's see if you can do better than OJT's this time, placement folk.

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[Reprinted from The Focus, campus publication of Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, by courtesy of the author.]

When newly graduated Norm Gardner went job hunting in 1968 the future looked bright. A fresh Master of Business Administration degree in hand, his chances for a good job seemed assured. He finished second in his class and all his fellow graduates had at least five job offers.

But he got none. The reason—Norm Gardner is blind.

"Several large companies were interested in my record, but when they found out I was blind they backed away," he notes. "They put me into the typical blind stereotype ... if you can't see you can't think."

It was after this that he decided to earn a Ph.D. degree so he could teach at a university. So he graduated from the University of Utah and came to Boise State in 1974 as an assistant professor of management and finance. His BSU assignment is his first full-time teaching job.

"I decided to go into education because there is a lot less discrimination against the blind in the academic world. Here they judge me on what I can do, not on what I can't do."

Business school Dean Charles Lein seconds Gardner's opinion. "We hired Norm because he had three things we wanted . . . teaching ability, the right degree, and practical experience."

Gardner came to Boise State with an impressive list of credentials. Valedictorian of his high school class in Duncan, Arizona, he graduated from Brigham Young University cum laude in 1966. In the meantime, he taught Spanish at BYU's Language Training Center.

He graduated with a 3.8 grade average in his master's program and earned two fellowships while working on his doctorate. He also worked as a vice-president for a small Utah securities firm and was an account executive for Schwabacher and Company.

While students, administrators, and teachers marvel at his accomplishments, Gardner remains modest. "What's so unusual about getting a Ph.D. degree and becoming a teacher . . . people do it all the time," he says.

"Sure it's a nuisance to be blind, but I've adopted alternative techniques to do things. I decided I wanted to be a college teacher so I found ways to do it."

He is critical of the stigma that is attached to blindness. "The true tragedy of blindness is the handicap that society gives it. We aren't that different from anybody else."

He stresses that the "average blind person can do the average job just as well as the average worker if properly trained and exposed to the correct philosophy."

But there was a time when even the ambitious Gardner didn't have that optimistic outlook. He was one of those blind persons who force themselves into the stereotypes of society.

"I used to be very introverted and tried to hide my blindness because I was ashamed. I excelled in academics because that was one place where I could compensate. I associated blind with inferior . . . I was playing 'blind man's bluff with myself," he now says of his earlier life.

But all that changed last year when he discovered the Idaho Commission for the Blind, a State agency that he now serves as one of three commissioners. He says people there "really turned my head around and totally changed my life."

Now he looks at life with a fresh confidence in himself. "I realize I have limitations and I accept these. But blindness is a characteristic just like baldness . . . . I'm no longer ashamed."

Gardner is doing things he thought he could never do, like carpentry. He is putting the final touches on a cedar chest that he began last year. "It doesn't take a super-human to do these things, and if I fail, I fail. So do other people."

Gardner currently is serving the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho as president. He was elected to the post last May and will serve a two-year term.

He is currently hard at work on a computer program for a local bank that will predict the credit worthiness of people who apply for charge cards. Earlier in the year he and BSU accounting professor Dr. Bob Koester conducted executive development seminars for two Idaho companies.

In the classroom Gardner says many of his students feel uneasy at first. But they soon get over it. Now he says some feel at ease enough to joke about his blindness, a sign of acceptance that pleases Gardner.

He wants to be considered "just another member of the faculty," and asks no special considerations.

"My goal at BSU is to become the very best teacher possible . . . . I just happen to be blind, that's all."

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The twentieth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of New York State was held on the weekend of October 10-12, 1975, at the Treadway Inn, Binghamton, New York, hosted by the entire State affiliate.

Saturday morning, at 9:30 a.m., President Laura Herman called the convention into session. James Gashel, of our Washington Office, and other out-of-town guests were introduced.

The convention welcomed four new affiliates into the fold: the recently reorganized Brooklyn Chapter, Albert Cutolo, president; the Mid-Hudson Chapter of Poughkeepsie, Marjorie Fiorino, president; Sullivan County Chapter, Professor Peter Roidl, president; and Tompkins County Chapter of Ithaca, Suzi Spigle, president (she is also head of the New York State Student Division).

The focus of the convention was the drafting and adoption of a new constitution, a proceeding ably chaired by James Gashel. Everyone took part in the formulation of that document. This process consumed the bulk of convention time, both Saturday and part of Sunday.

Saturday evening's highlights were: special divisional meetings, the showing of the film "The Blind, An Emerging Minority," and hospitality.

Sunday afternoon, following the adoption of the new constitution, new officers were elected: president, Rita Chernow, New York City; first vice president, Sterling France, Horseheads; second vice president, Anthony Mussillo, Staten Island; secretary, Alex Chavich, New York City; and David Stayer of Long Island, treasurer.

Among the resolutions adopted were: one to keep the State Commission independent and placed directly under the Governor; and another to repeal that provision of the State labor law preventing sheltered workshops from unionizing or having collective bargaining.

The site chosen for the 1976 convention was Albany.

That evening there was a cocktail hour and banquet, with Sam Lentine acting as master of ceremonies. President Herman presented charters of affiliation to the aforementioned new chapters. The highlight of the evening was an outstanding and stirring address by James Gashel. Collections were taken up for the national organization and for the tenBroek Endowment Fund. Plenty of door prizes were given throughout the convention. Over seven hundred dollars was raised through the annual benefit drawing.

After the banquet, there was a talent and stunt night hosted by Sterling France. Fun was had by all.

This was probably one of our most productive conventions.

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The annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada was held at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas, October 31 through November 2, with President Audrey Tait presiding.

The guest speakers included Sue Ammeter, Board Member of the National Federation of the Blind; Rodger Trounday, Director, Nevada Department of Human Resources; Jan Weight, para-legal worker, Clark County Legal Services; Pat Van Betten, Consumer League; Mildred Mann, Director, Southern Nevada Sightless Ceramic Program; Dr. Chester Lock wood, Ophthalmologist; and Mr. Oscar Ford, Director of Nevada's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Following the banquet on Saturday evening, Effie Keele, Audrey Tait, and Sue Ammeter gave complementary talks which provided the audience with an excellent description of the goals and achievements of the State and National Federations of the Blind.

There were three resolutions passed, all of which were adopted unanimously. Resolution 75-01 condemned Nevada State Services for the Blind for its poor performance and called for its complete reorganization. Resolution 75-02 called for a more liberal approach by the Federal Government in its administration of the SSI program insofar as the income of an ineligible spouse is considered a resource of a blind recipient. Resolution 75-03 praised Dr. Adams, Commissioner of the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, for his support of the blind and called upon the officers of the State Federation to contact our Congressmen and Senators, urging them to retain Dr. Adams in his present position.

The following officers were elected: president, Audrey Tait; first vice president, K. O. Knudson; second vice president, Cleo Fellers; secretary, John Tait; treasurer, James Waggoner; chaplain, Josh Newman. Elected to the board of directors were: Ella Council of Las Vegas, Carl Clontz of Hawthorne, Mary Kyle of Las Vegas, and Hilda Thompson of Sparks. Cleo Fellers was elected to a three-year term as trustee, and Hilda Thompson was elected to a one-year term. Audrey Tait was elected delegate to the NFB Convention, and Ella Council was elected alternate delegate.

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On October 24, 25, and 26, Federationists from Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, New York, and Arkansas convened at the Sheraton Motor Inn in Hagerstown, Maryland. At 9:00 p.m. on the 24th, convention chairman Ned L. Graham wielded his gavel, opening the ninth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

The customary open board meeting was followed by hospitality which began in the Maryland Room and overflowed copiously into every nook and cranny of the hotel for the next two days.

Saturday, after an invocation, the assemblage was welcomed by President McCraw and Miss M. Georgia Norford, president of the Hagerstown host chapter, and greeted on behalf of the NFB by Ralph Sanders and Arlene Gashel.

Representatives from the State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Maryland School for the Blind, and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation presented a panel discussion on "Services to the Blind in Maryland," moderated by Joe Bardari and followed by a question-and-answer period participated in by so many Federationists that it was continued after the lunch break.

Dr. Fred L. Crawford, assistant director of the SSI program in the Social Security Administration, reported on "Updating SSI," and Mr. Edwin Abel, program operations officer, SSA, presented a report on "Disability Insurance for the Blind." The NFB film "The Blind, An Emerging Minority" was well received, as was the panel "The Saga of BISM" (Blind Industries and Services of Maryland), moderated by John McCraw. Panelists were Senator Meyer Emanuel and Georgia Myers of the NFB of Maryland Cumberland Chapter. David Brigham, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, offered a most informative report: "Affirmative Action for the Blind."

A sumptuous banquet, preceded by cocktails, was made memorable by the speech delivered by our keynote speaker, Ralph Sanders. Highlights of the evening were awards presented to Ned L. Graham, retiring president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter, and Ralph Thompson, who received the Barbara Johnson Award for outstanding work performance at BISM. High spirits and hospitality were all pervasive till the wee hours of the morning, but our Maryland Federationists being a sturdy lot, we reconvened at 9:30 on Sunday morning.

Panelists Joe Bardari, Nancy Munck, Al Manecki, and Ralph Sanders joined with moderator Bill Munck to "Explore the Many Facets of Public Relations" and to lead an audience participation discussion. Ralph Sanders, John McCraw, Ned Graham, and Arlene Gashel led the conventioneers in an active and vocal discussion of Federationism, followed by chapter reports from the six Maryland affiliate chapters.

Marylanders serving on the following national committees: CEIP, COPA, Jacobus tenBroek Endowment Fund, and the Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship Committee presented progress reports and encouraged the general membership to participate in and assist with these projects.

The Maryland affiliate, recognizing the financial plight of NFB's treasury, collected five hundred dollars on the convention floor which will be forwarded to Dick Edlund, and pledges and promises strongly indicate that substantial amounts will be forthcoming.

Affiliate affairs were wrapped up at our business meeting and our convention was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

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The twenty-second annual convention of the NFB of Massachusetts was held during the weekend of October 3-5, 1975, at the Holiday Inn, Worcester, with the Worcester Chapter as host.

As usual, people from various parts of the State began to converge on the convention site Friday afternoon to be ready to attend various committee meetings that evening, or just to do some socializing. There were also people from other states, and these included Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Jernigan, who were with us all through the weekend.

Every convention has its own unique features, and this one was no exception. Included in this category was a ham radio exhibit, open all through the weekend except during the convention sessions. Visitors to this exhibit had the opportunity to send radiograms, without charge, to any part of the country.

Saturday morning featured a rollcall of the chapters and their reports of activities during the past year. The keynote address was delivered by John F. Mungovan, retiring head of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, in which he recalled experiences and accomplishments covering nearly a quarter of a century. Mr. Mungovan had been chosen by the NFBM to receive its annual Dr. Jacobus tenBroek Award, and since he was unable to attend the banquet, the award was presented at the conclusion of his talk, together with a testimonial gift from the chapters.

The usual luncheon for speakers and constitutional officers was expanded this year to include members of the State Legislature, thus affording them an opportunity to become better acquainted with some of us as individuals. Present were the Ways and Means chairmen of both the Senate and House, who assured us of their help and support in any way possible.

In the afternoon Kenneth Jernigan gave a talk, "Federationism in the United States," in which he explained the national organization's present financial plight. A collection was taken, and several pledged to join the program permitting regular contributions to be made automatically from their bank accounts.

A panel discussion pointed up the convention theme, 'The Way We Live." Rosamond Critchley and Manuel Rubin described the way blind people lived in the '20's and '30's, before the NFB came into being. Cecile Paice and Irving MacShawson told of how things were in the '40's and '50's, when the national organization was in the process of developing. Comments on the '60's and '70's were made by Paul Burkhart and Richard Chapman-young people who have always been blind-and by John Sassier who lost his sight just a few years ago.

As always, the banquet Saturday evening was a gala event. Irving MacShawson, Worcester Chapter president, was master of ceremonies. Charters of affiliation were presented to two new chapters-the NFB of Cape Cod, and the NFB of Greater Lowell, and the State organization's third annual Employer of the Year Award was received by Berkey Photo Film Products, Inc., which maintains an outstandingly liberal policy regarding employment of blind persons. We have all come to expect a fine and thought-provoking speech from Dr. Jernigan, and suffice it to say that's exactly what we received! A dance followed the banquet.

Before the opening of the Sunday morning session, Catholic and Protestant services were conducted simultaneously in different parts of the Inn.

There were no featured speakers on  Sunday, thus allowing time for debate on a revised constitution, which was ultimately adopted with some additional changes. Discussion on this was preceded by the annual memorial service, the president's report, and the report of the legislative officer. This last indicated less success than usual during the past year, which is at least partly due to the State's current austerity program; but much of the legislation which did not pass will be reintroduced. We were also given a detailed account of the State organization's controversy with the Governor and the Secretary of Human Resources, surrounding the appointment of a new Commissioner for the Blind.

Two opposing resolutions were presented dealing with coalition with other organizations. After some debate, in which Dr. Jernigan was asked to join, the one adopted committed the organization to abide by the non-coalitionist policy of the NFB. Others adopted included: a request to the Commission for the Blind to take a more positive attitude toward Radio Reading Service; and a commendation to Hugh Anthony, reader for the NFBM newsletter, Cassette Gazette.

New officers were elected and were installed by Dr. Jernigan. They are: president, William Burke, Worcester; first vice president, Eugene Raschi, Watertown; second vice president, Anita O'Shea, Springfield; recording secretary, Rosamond Critchley, Worcester; corresponding secretary, Albert Evans, Boston; treasurer, Edward Murphy, Worcester; legislative officer, Domenic Marinello, Boston. The new constitution provided for the addition of a sergeant-at-arms to the executive board, and Ray Wayrynen of the Nashoba Valley Chapter was chosen to fill that position.

Much of the success of this convention was due to the outstanding job done by our Boy and Girl Scouts, who received arousing vote of thanks with prolonged applause and cheers.

The 1976 convention, conducted by the State organization, will be held at the Sheraton Regal Hotel, Hyannis, September 10-12.

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As Federationists from six states gathered September 5 at the Sheraton Rock Island Motor Inn, Rock Island, Illinois, there was no mistaking the spirit, fellowship, and sense of purpose that have come to be identified with Federation activities.

The first item on the agenda was a press conference over which State President Allen Schaefer and President Jernigan presided. The evening progressed with committee meetings, including that of the resolutions committee which exhibited exceptional vigor and "mulish stamina" for it was in session almost constantly.

By the time President Schaefer gaveled the first general session to order Saturday morning, it was clear that this was to be an extraordinary event in the history of the Federation in Illinois. The agenda was packed and we looked forward to hearing from President Jernigan, Florence Grannis, and the many Illinois State officials on the program.

After welcoming remarks by the honorable J. H. Haymaker, Mayor of Rock Island, President Schaefer delivered the State report in which he highlighted the previous year's activities and outlined objectives for the year ahead, building and strengthening the Federation in Illinois and gaining broader name recognition.

On the national scene, President Jernigan brought us up to date on the Munn case and other matters of vital interest. He also discussed funding the organization and indicated that without all-out participation by the membership, we might be faced with the prospect of dropping matters like the Munn case. President Jernigan said: "We've got to be able to pool our resources and focus them wherever they're needed throughout the country." He further drew our attention to the folly in waiting until someone in "our state" gets into trouble before taking effective funding action. In the long run it all boils down to this: "How much is it worth to you to be free? How much is it worth to you to have other blind persons free? Each of us must answer these questions for himself; but for some it appears that what the Federation is and does means little more than whether we drink a coke next week or not."

After discussing our demonstration at the offices of the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington and the subsequent action by that agency, President Jernigan returned to matters of funding. He demonstrated how really easy it is to raise funds for our State treasury by asking each of us to pledge what we could. We managed to raise over fourteen hundred dollars. It is most gratifying and encouraging to note that those pledges have been fulfilled almost one hundred percent; a commentary on commitment to the organization.

The morning session was brought to a close with a thorough discussion of SSI, its philosophy, its objectives and procedures. Then State Representative Ben Polk made brief remarks stressing the importance of communicating with state and national legislative representatives.

Saturday afternoon's program was so full and so interesting that we ran thirty minutes over our scheduled time. The session opened with a presentation by Dr. Richard Kinney, President of the Hadley School for the Blind. Following a detailed description of Hadley's programs and mention of four courses developed as a result of input partly from Monitor readers, Dr. Kinney addressed himself to our resolutions regarding the Hadley School's accreditation by NAC. Following are remarks by Dr. Kinney and President Jernigan.

Dr. KINNEY. Now I'm going to turn, for just a moment, to the resolutions which were received from you last week and which I have already shared with my colleagues and with Mr. Henry Wood, the chairman of the board of trustees, and with Mrs. Rose Darnell, the vice-chairman. Both Mr. Wood and Mrs. Darnell have asked me to extend their thanks to you for the high tribute you paid to Hadley School's educational services and to assure you that the Hadley School periodically reexamines and reassesses our overall accreditation picture.

Your resolutions and the supplementary material you sent with them are being closely studied because we respect the National Federation and the Illinois affiliate. You may be sure that your views will be given very relevant weight in assessing the future.

I do want you to know that it is a complex situation because the school's reputation is the fundamental thing. When a student does seek employment or seeks further schooling at other schools, then the worth of Hadley's certificates and diplomas does, to some extent, depend upon our accreditation picture in the educational field. The national system simply works that way.

We are going to give your resolutions and your feelings the most careful study and analysis in all future accreditation policies. I want you to know this and I want you to know several things right now. Our Hadley letterhead, just issued in June, since I became president, has one symbol on it and one symbol only, and that is the Hadley School's own logo (the world with a Braille "H" in its center). This symbolizes the fact that although we listen to many voices the Hadley School is the ultimate judge of its own policies, and our overriding, fundamental policy is to provide excellent education to the blind persons who give us their trust in studying with us.

You know from the record that we are sensitive to consumer points of view. Our teachers are consumers themselves. I am a consumer and always have been. And I want you to know now that we are preparing another list of possible courses for submission to The Braille Monitor so that we may again get the benefit of your Federationists' point of view and reference. This time, however, we're going even further and I am inviting you today to send me your suggestions of courses you think should be put on the list for the Nation's blind to choose from in recommendation. We will want to get this list prepared and to you in the next few months. We sincerely seek guidance on the type of courses that are most helpful. We have given you all four of your top choices in the survey of two years ago. I was happy for I concurred with your judgment because actually I am one of you.

President Jernigan has spoken of alternative techniques; I would add alternative senses. If we can't see, we can listen. If we can't hear, we can touch. And most of all, and forever, we can think.

Some months ago I told the World Congress of the Deaf, in Washington, we who are deaf may not hear but we will be heard. To you today I say this, we who are blind may not see, but our example will be seen. Together, let's give the world something, not to look at, but to look up to.

President JERNIGAN.  I have always had a great deal of respect for you, Dr. Kinney, and I believe that respect is shared universally by the blind of this country. Under the circumstances, the only word to describe our feelings at the Hadley accreditation by NAC is sorrow; not anger, not even so much disappointment, as sorrow. For we are being driven to a position with respect to Hadley that we do not wish to find ourselves in. Let me specify.

You tell us that our views will be considered; and since you are who you are, and your reputation for integrity is what it is, I know that you mean what you say. But you also say that you are a consumer; and that, too, is the truth. You do not have to be told, for you know, of the long, dreary, terrible situation that may face blind people if they do not have proper services, or if they are the victims of repression and custodialism.

We have witnessed the behavior of NAC first-hand. It is not just accreditation we deal with. It is nothing less than attempted enslavement and custodialization of all of us who are blind, professional as well as the nonprofessional, rich as well as poor, the intelligent as well as the unintelligent. And this is no exaggeration. The term is used advisedly. I myself have sat in the NAC Board meetings, behind closed doors, and have heard the cynical sneers of the NAC members concerning the aspirations and efforts of the blind at self-determination. What are we to do now? Hadley's is a respected name. Yours is a respected name.

I sent you a letter last week, and I said in that letter that I am sure you will not cop out by saying to us that you accepted NAC accreditation in order that you could really study your programs; that this was valuable and you needed self-study. For you know, and we know that you know, that Hadley may study itself without seeking NAC accreditation. I am glad to say today that you did not make this claim. What you did say was that for a diploma to carry weight in the current system, accreditation must be considered as a factor, and we grant that is true. But we would add these things—there is a limit as to how far one should go in selling one's soul; no matter the price. As a matter of fact, if Hadley could get an endowment of a hundred million dollars, and if it could get the highest plaudits from all the world leaders, and in so doing it hurt and damaged the lives of blind people in this country, I cannot believe you would do it. And yet, what you are doing by taking NAC accreditation, as least as we see it, is hurting all of us and hurting yourself.

We as blind people should have a conscience, and if our choice—let us hope it is not that—but if our choice were to go forth and beg our bread with honor and decency, or sell ourselves regardless of the price, we should choose the former.

The time is coming, and indeed it is at hand, when not only all blind people but all people in work with the blind in this country will have to take a stand on the NAC issue, and I hope that the stand that the Hadley School will take will be with the blind, where you rightfully belong, for your tradition is a long and honorable tradition, as a school and as a tradition; and you personally have a long and honorable tradition of integrity and respect on the part of the blind.

Please consider carefully what I've said to you, and our resolutions. We want no controversy with Hadley; we want only to support you. You have done good work with the blind, but we cannot sit idly by and watch any institution, even Hadley, line up with NAC, even if it hedges its bets by not using the NAC symbol or by saying it did it only because it thought it had to. Ultimately we cannot sit idly by and watch that happen. Please consider carefully what we've said and join with us, not against us, for we are your natural companions and allies, not the people who run NAC and who exploit blind people and talk about the quality of services while they give us Lawrence Kettner and all the rest of the people like him.

Dr. KINNEY.  Just one additional word. I do want to make it clear that the Hadley School is also accredited by the National Home Study Council and has a close relationship with the University Extension Association. In the future we hope for still further accreditation that will enable the Hadley School itself to give a college degree to blind persons who study with us. Naturally these accreditations are somewhat interlocked. The people on various accreditation boards do know one another. So the Hadley School, with the best interests of our students in mind, must assess the effects of any action we take on the whole accreditation picture. It is not simply NAC and Hadley, but a whole picture.

I might tell you that the National Home Study Council is the primary voice in regard to our educational program. The NAC limits itself, in our case at least—in view of this fact—to recommendations about such things as bookkeeping, records, paper work, and things of this nature. However, the fundamental point I want to emphasize, we will always judge for ourselves, and we will never, at anyone's behest, do anything that we feel could weaken the quality of our program and the education we offer to the students whom we believe in and trust.

I happen to trust President Jernigan. I thank him for the good will with which he has offered his views and his convictions in temperate, reasoned, and responsible language; he is a responsible man.

I have told you I am sharing his views. I know this is being tape-recorded, so I'm looking forward to a print copy, if possible, of what he said a few minutes ago so that I can better present the true voice of the Federation. I think that everyone in this room, without exception, is dedicated to the best interests of blind persons. We, most of us here, are such persons. We know that the senses are merely the means with which we observe or communicate with the world. It is the mind behind the senses that counts. President Jernigan and I are at one with that. I will do my best always to keep rapport with you as you have so clearly, with good will, done your best to do. May we all live up to the highest interests of those of us who do not see but, as this afternoon demonstrates and confirms again, do think. So I leave you with the same greeting I met you with today: thank you, Federationists and friends.

The second major item on the Saturday afternoon agenda was entitled Employment, Rehabilitation, and Affirmative Action." The panelists were: Eugene Turner, Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in Illinois; Tom Fuller, Director, Affirmative Action Division, Department of Personnel, State of Illinois; and President Jernigan. The panel was ably chaired by Rami Rabby. Each panelist made a formal statement followed by some understandably lively questions and discussion from the audience concerning philosophy, direction, and quality of service.

Saturday afternoon's session saw a rousing climax in the panel on library services. Panelists were: Robert Ensley, Senior Consultant on Library Development, Illinois State Library; Tom Olsen, Regional Librarian for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Illinois; Louise Stoelting, Librarian, River Bend Library, Coal Valley, Illinois (the subregional librarian for the Rock Island area); and Florence Grannis, Regional Librarian for the State of Iowa.

The panel moderator, Steve Benson, made some introductory remarks and then asked each panelist to make abbreviated formal comments. Mrs. Grannis addressed herself to the kinds of services and the philosophy the blind can reasonably expect from a regional library. She also made some observations about the nature and quality of printed and other media used to publicize the library programs. It is reasonable that these materials will contain nothing less than positive statements and nothing that would perpetuate or reinforce the age-old stereotypes about the blind.

Robert Ensley stated that the Illinois State Library's philosophy of service to the blind and physically handicapped is to integrate that service into the regular system. "We do not believe in the panacea of separate but equal service." He indicated that since all blind people are part of the community where they live, they should receive services that are available in the community. The blind should receive the same level of service at the local level as their sighted neighbors. It would follow logically from that position that the blind should expect the same kind of library service, in the appropriate media (format), that our sighted neighbors can get. The question becomes, of course, can this be reasonable in the light of costs and commitment of the State government. The answer to that is clear.

The programs for the blind in Illinois are administered under several different agencies. There is no organized and agreed-upon philosophy of service to the blind in this State. There is no agreement that positive attitudes and philosophy are essential, either in the delivery of service or to those receiving services. These two panels demonstrated with great clarity how much work we have to do in Illinois. In true Federation spirit we are committed to meeting the challenge at the barricades.

Saturday evening's banquet was an occasion Federationists in Illinois will long remember. Florence Grannis delivered an exceptional address and she was enthusiastically and warmly received. The enthusiasm and warmth was acknowledged by the legislators present (who also expressed interest in working with us in Springfield).

This year's banquet featured still another poignant moment, the presentation of our service award. It is not customary for this award to be given annually, but only when it is deserved. The 1975 award was bestowed upon Gwendolyn Williams who, at eighty-five, is one of our staunchest and most active members. Miss Williams was further honored by the passage of a resolution that the service award henceforth bear her name.

The Sunday morning session was devoted to organization business, including election of Rami Rabby of Chicago and Don Gilmore of Kankakee to the board of directors, and Ruth Schaefer of Mazon to fill the unexpired term of treasurer. Susan Lopez of Forest Park was elected delegate to the 1976 national Convention; Allen Schaefer of Mazon and Steve Benson of Chicago were elected alternate delegates.

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Editor's Note.—Here is the note from Ralph Sanders which accompanied the recipe: "Enclosed is a recipe for NFB Tea which is the creation of Dr. Jernigan. At a seminar long, long ago, Jim Gashel and I watched Dr. Jernigan prepare a batch of this delicious drink and made very copious notes. This recipe is the result of our efforts. We hope that you will put this in the Monitor at some future time I so that all Federationists can enjoy this fine drink at home, as well as in the Presidential Suite at Conventions.



46 oz. cranberry juice
46 oz. pineapple juice
46 oz. orange juice
8 oz. Lipton Tea in
3 quarts of boiling water (Let tea steep for 15 minutes)
4 oz. coffee drink (cup of coffee)
4 oz. Diet 7-Up
4 dashes Old House Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
24 oz. apricot juice
10 long squirts of Sweet-10
46 oz. peach juice
1½ tsp. mocha essence
¼ tsp. pistachio essence
1 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. rosewater
1/8 tsp. black walnut extract
2 oz. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut
1 drop liquid cinnamon
1 tsp. liquid cloves
I tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cherry extract
½ tsp. arrack
10 drops lemon extract


Mix together, add ice. Let stand covered. Drink.

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The NFB of Iowa Bulletin reports that the Library of Congress has started issuing cassette books recorded at 15/16 ips. Borrowers who are still using their own cassette machines or the old one-speed machines should contact the Library if they need a two-speed machine. The following recorded magazines are being sent to the borrower by the producer and copies need not be returned to the Library: American Heritage, Changing Times, Ebony, Ellery Queen, Good Housekeeping, Holiday, Historic Preservation, National Geographic, National Review, National History, and Time. Numerous items are available free from the Library in Braille: National Football League Schedule, "A Campbell Cookbook-Easy Ways to Delicious Meals," "UNESCOWhat It Is and What It Does." Three brochures from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare are free in Braille: "Your Medicare Handbook," "If You Become Disabled," and "Your Social Security."

Braillegrams for the blind and Large-Print Messages for the partially sighted are innovations recently announced by Western Union.

Contracts have been awarded to replace the blind rehabilitation center at the Menlo Park Division of the Palo Alto California Veterans Administration Hospital with a new thirty-student center. The two-story structure will have the latest technological facilities and additional space for other program improvements, including direct translation machines and mobility aids to assist in sensory training techniques. There will also be a rehabilitation service on an out-patient basis to serve blinded veterans.

During its 1975 session, the Minnesota Legislature acted to secure the right of people with physical or mental disabilities to obtain life, health, and accident insurance. The law makes it an illegal discriminatory practice for an insurance company to reject an application for coverage or to rate up as substandard with disabilities unless claims experience, actuarial projections, and other data establish significant and substantial differences in class rates because of disability.

Public Law 94-48, which was signed by the President, will continue eligibility for Medicaid on a permanent basis for individuals who received the twenty percent increase in OASDI cash benefits in 1972.

Richard Tussey, trained at the Oregon Commission for the Blind, has opened his own cyclery in Portland. He does repair work as well as selling new and used bikes.

Starting as a volunteer, Maggie Gisslow, who is blind, is now a full-fledged paid tour guide and member of the staff at the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Monument in Chico, California, according to an article in the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. Ranger Lee Shelton, who is Miss Gisslow's supervisor, said, "I've trained the guides before, but now she's training me." He said that the sighted employees are now "looking" at the mansion's valuable objects in new and unique ways.

Miss Gisslow breezes through several daily tours of the three-story Victorian mansion and notes that for her the slate fireplaces are not as cold as marble. She put together a brief information sheet about the house in Braille, and for the first time, blind children toured the mansion with some sense of its great importance to the life of the State.

Bob Shaw, who is blind, and his son Jim, who is sighted, rode tandem on a bike to visit relatives. The ride was a long one—250 miles—between the Twin Cities and International Falls in Minnesota. As reported in the latter city's Journal, they plan to make the trip an annual affair. Son Jim laughingly noted that his father did the steering but that he did most of the pedaling.

Active Federationists Lew Hendrix hosts a weekly talk show, "The Living Empire," which is so popular that it is picked up and aired on other radio stations on the opposite coast from where he lives in Tacoma, Washington. In an article about him which appeared recently in the Tacoma News Tribune, written by Betty Anderson, Mr. Hendrix got his points across. For ten years after returning from service with the Air Force in both World War II and the Korean conflict he sat at home enjoying neither his lifestyle nor his life. But rehab services got him started and "I can relate to those many blind citizens. Just sitting. That's why I'm so involved in the Federation. . . . Once you get the necessary skills to become independent, blind people can be useful citizens." Right on.

Ed Mayrand of Minnesota may be blind and deaf but that does not keep him from being an active Federationist and avid Monitor reader. He has attended NFB and State conventions regularly for the past twenty-three years and Federationists are familiar with his piano playing for the sing-along sessions in the hospitality room. Ed is a proofreader for the Library of Congress and does a lot of reading for his own edification. Last summer he figured in a fine news article by Doug Germundsen of the Brooklyn Center (Minn.) Post. In that article, Mayrand's philosophy was summed up: "You know, it's what's inside a person, not what's outside, that counts."

He's a young man, twenty-two years old, but his two-hour evening shows on the radio are eagerly awaited by the elderly in nursing homes as well as the blind for whom they are principally intended. The man in charge is announcer Stan Cox of Station KOAP in Portland, Oregon. The station thinks he is probably the only blind radio announcer in the Portland metropolitan area.

Georgia Morash, president of the NFB of Denver, writes: Lyle Guill of Denver was honored October 21 in Dillon, Colorado, for his work with a young blind man at the Federal Youth Institution in Inglewood. Lyle received recognition as Volunteer Man of the Year from the Colorado Correctional Association.

Elsie Cowan, a member of the NFB of Denver, was honored October 20 by the Colorado Braille Transcribers for her thirty-two years as a Braille proofreader. Elsie has had many articles published nationwide.

Wilber Moehrke was honored November 8 in Denver by the Colorado Mountain Club as Man of the Year. Wilber received his honor for the many years of work with the monthly White Cane Hikes for blind persons in the Denver area.

An attractive, new, and unusual item, introduced at the NFB Convention in Chicago by Elizabeth Powell, mother of Federationist Patti Davidson of Nashville, Tennessee, is now available to members of the NFB for fundraising purposes. Called the Sholdit, it comes in gold or silver and is designed to prevent shoulder bags, binoculars, cassettes, radios, et cetera, from slipping off the shoulder. Light in weight (½ oz.), beautifully boxed, and useful for both women and men, it is unsurpassed as a gift item. Sholdits are available at $24 per dozen in minimum orders of four dozen. Selling price must be at least four dollars. Mrs. Powell will donate an amount equal to twenty percent of all sales to the Federation. For further details, contact Mrs. Elizabeth Powell, 3000 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; phone (515) 255-3331.

The NFB Teachers Division will sponsor a Midwest Conference of Blind Educators on March 6 and 7, 1976. The conference will be held at the Bismarck Hotel, 171 West Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (telephone (312) 236-0123). Room rates will be $15 for singles and $20 for doubles. The $ 1 registration fee will include Saturday's luncheon. For further information, contact the conference chairman, Allen Schaefer, Box 141, Mazon, Illinois 60444.

On October 24, 1975, President Jernigan received the following letter from David W. Bishop, Assistant Underwriting Secretary of the Bankers Life Insurance Company:

"Perhaps you will recall from correspondence dated in February and March 1975, we were communicating as to Bankers Life Company guidelines regarding blind persons.

"You asked in March that should our position change or become more clear that we write to you. I am happy to state that new guidelines have been formulated and will soon be published in our Company Ratebook indicating that individual consideration will be given to persons who are blind due to a disease cause. Obviously, here the action may vary significantly depending upon the nature of the condition. On the other hand, in stable blind situations including those due to injury, from ages through 15 we prefer not to issue Life insurance. For ages over 15, self-supporting and well adjusted persons, we would be inclined to offer standard Life insurance, standard Waiver of Premium, and standard Accidental Death.

"We feel that the above information is certainly of a positive nature and are happy to inform you of our decision."

Former Representative Gregory B. Khachadoorian, a member of the Boston, Massachusetts, Chapter of the NFB, has once again been appointed chairman to the Advisory Board to the Commission for the Blind and also has been appointed to the Board of the Perkins School for the Blind.

Sandra Hargrove, secretary of the Central Valley Chapter, NFB of California, appears as an outstanding student in the 1975-76 edition of "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges." Miss Hargrove is working on her master's in Social Work at Fresno State University. She is actively involved with the NFB, sings with the Fresno Community Chorus, and participates in other campus and civic programs. Sandy, twenty-four, is totally blind.

This article appeared in the Denver (Colo.) Post, October 25, 1975: "A Boulder man was arrested Friday for allegedly selling appointment calendars to benefit the National Federation of the Blind of Denver. However, according to Mrs. Felicia Muftic, head of the Metropolitan District Attorneys Consumer Office, neither the Denver nor Colorado office of the National Federation had heard of the man, identified as Charles R. B. Nash, forty-four, of 5809 Arapahoe Road, Boulder. Mrs. Muftic said Nash had twenty thousand calendars made and had sold at least five thousand at $3.25 each. She said he is in Boulder City Jail charged with violating Colorado's Charitable Fraud Act, a felony."

Chapters Report Elections

The Southeast Chapter, NFB of Connecticut, held elections October 19, 1975. The results were: president, Mrs. Junerose Killian, Niantic; first vice president, Mrs. Marjorie Heath, New London; second vice president, Mrs. Helene Lewis, Farmington; recording secretary, Miss Florence Bliven, Nutmeg Pavilion; corresponding secretary, John Bowman, Norwich; and treasurer, Dr. Jimmie Killian.

Judith Welch writes: "We now have an NFBF chapter in Pensacola, the National Federation of the Blind of Florida-Gulf Coast Chapter. Officers elected at our first regular meeting on September 27 were: Judith Welch, president; Bobby Bertram, vice president; Eloise Croft, recording secretary; Max Weems, corresponding secretary; and Al Barbee, treasurer."

Officers of the University Chapter, NFB of Iowa, for the 1975-76 school year are: president, Mark Nemmers; vice president, Mrs. Carolyn Dullard; secretary, Mrs. Vicki Riedesel; and treasurer, Miss Sharon Monthei.

Thursday evening, November 13, the Westside Chapter, NFB of California, held elections. Results were as follows: elected to two-year terms: president Mitch Pomerantz; first vice president David Weddle; second vice president, Joanne Hinman; secretary Michael Stearn (Mike is the recently elected second vice president of the NFBC Student Division) treasurer Denise Weddle. Elected to one-year terms: executive board members Bertha Fine and Catherine Lambert.

The officers of the NFB of Rhode Island are as follows: H. Don Levesque, president, Tiverton; Edmund Beck, first vice president, Cranston; Richard Gaffney, second vice president, Providence; Mary Jane Fry, secretary, Providence; and Steve Garabedian, treasurer, North Providence.

The following officers have been elected for 1976 for our local affiliate, Mutual Federation of the Blind of Cleveland: John Knall, president; Howard Anderson, vice president; Ms. Elsie Eaton, secretary; Ms. Margaret Knall, treasurer. Board member from Mutual Federation to NFB of Ohio is Ms. Annette Anderson, and alternate is Ms. Elsie Eaton.

The Richmond Area Federation of the Blind, Richmond, Virginia, held their election of officers on October 27, 1975. The results are as follows: James F. Nelson, president; Miss Lydia Stuples, first vice president; Ed Gwaltney, second vice president; Miss Gwen Welle, secretary; Robert Nelson, treasurer; and Mrs. Hazel Richardson, assistant treasurer. The three newly elected board members are Miss Dawnelle Cruze, William H. Kidd, and James Hostetler.

New officers of the Greater Baltimore Chapter, NFB of Maryland, are as follows: Bill Munck, president; Willie Thompson, first vice president; Kathleen Chapman, second vice president; Cookie Samuels, secretary; Bernie Anschel, treasurer; and board members Ralph Thompson, Clairmann Sutton, and Ron Mentayi.

New president of the Columbia Chapter, South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, is Padgett McKenzie. Other officers are James Sims, vice president; Hilda Graham, secretary; McDonald Hancock, treasurer; and Mrs. Lois Tucker, social director.

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The name of this organization is The National Federation of the Blind.


The purpose of The National Federation of the Blind is to promote the security and social welfare of the blind.


Section A. Membership of The National Federation of the Blind shall consist of the members of the state affiliates plus members at large in states, territories, and possessions of the United States not having affiliates, who shall have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee, any person denied admission by a state affiliate may be admitted as a member at large. The dues of members at large shall be one dollar per year.

Section B. Each state or territorial possession of the United States, including the District of Columbia, having an affiliate shall have one vote at the National Convention and shall be referred to hereinafter as state affiliates.

Section C. Affiliates shall be organizations of the blind, controlled by the blind.

Section D. The Executive Committee shall establish procedures for the admission of new state affiliates. There shall be only one affiliate in each state, except as hereinafter provided in this Article:

(1) More than one affiliate may continue to exist in states which have more than one affiliate at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.

(2) With the consent of the organizations involved, more than one affiliate may be admitted in a state or territorial possession under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee.

(3) If all of the organizations involved do not consent to the admission of more than one affiliate in a state, such action may not be taken except by an affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the states present and voting at a National Convention.

(4) In any state having two or more affiliates the state shall be entitled to one vote cast as a unit. The dues and voting strength shall be apportioned among the affiliates according to mutual agreement. In the absence of such agreement the dues and voting strength shall be apportioned equally.

Section E. The Convention by a two-thirds vote may expel and by a simple majority vote suspend, or otherwise discipline, any member or affiliate for conduct inconsistent with this Constitution, or policies established by the Convention; provided that notice of the proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on the preceding day.


Section A. The officers of The National Federation of the Blind shall consist of (1) president, (2) first vice-president, (3) second vice-president, (4) secretary, and (5) treasurer. They shall be elected biennially.

Section B. The officers shall be elected by majority vote of the state affiliates present and voting at a National Convention.

Section C. The National Federation of the Blind shall have an Executive Committee, which shall be composed of the officers plus eight members selected in the same way, whose regular term shall be two years, all eight members to be elected under this system beginning in July, 1960, four for two years and four for one year.

Section D. There shall be, in addition, a Board of Directors, the duties of the said Board shall be advisory only. The membership of the Board of Directors shall be the officers of the Federation, the elected members of the Executive Committee, and other persons, not to exceed twelve in number, who may be appointed, from time to time, by the Executive Committee, subject to confirmation by the Federation at the next ensuing annual Convention. When so confirmed, such members of the Board of Directors shall serve for one year, or until their successors shall have been appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section E. Officers, Executive Committee members, and members of the Board of Directors may be removed or recalled by a majority vote of the Convention; provided that notice of the proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on the preceding day.

Section F. No person receiving regular substantial financial compensation from The National Federation of the Blind shall be an elected officer or Executive Committee member.


Section A. Powers and Duties of the Convention.

The Convention is the supreme authority of the Federation. It is the legislature of the Federation. As such, it has final authority with respect to all issues of policy. Its decisions shall be made after opportunity has been afforded for full and fair discussion. Delegates, members, and all blind persons in attendance may participate in all Convention discussions as a matter of right. Any member of the Federation may make or second motions, propose nominations, and serve on committees; and is eligible for election to office, except that only blind members may hold elective office. Voting and making motions by proxy are prohibited. The Convention shall (when possible) determine the time and place of its meetings. Consistent with the democratic character of the Federation, Convention meetings shall be so conducted as to prevent parliamentary maneuvers which would have the effect of interfering with the expression of the will of the majority on any question, or with the rights of the minority to full and fair presentation of their views. The Convention is not merely a gathering of representatives of separate state organizations. It is a meeting of the Federation at the national level in its character as a national organization. Committees of the Federation are committees of the national organization. The nominating committee shall consist of one member from each state affiliate represented at the Convention.

Section B. Powers and Duties of the Executive Committee.

The function of the Executive Committee as the governing body of the Federation between Conventions is to make policies when necessary and not in conflict with the policies adopted by the Convention. Policy decisions which can reasonably be postponed until the next meeting of the National Convention shall not be made by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall serve as a credentials committee. In this capacity it shall deal with organizational problems presented to it by any affiliate, shall decide appeals regarding the validity of elections in state or local affiliates, and shall certify the credentials of delegates when questions concerning the validity of such credentials arise. At each meeting, the Executive Committee shall receive a report from the President on the operations of the Federation. There shall be a standing subcommittee of the Executive Committee which shall consist of three members. The committee shall be known as the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance. It shall, whenever it deems necessary, recommend to the Executive Committee principles of budgeting, accounting procedures, and methods of financing the Federation program; and shall consult with the President on major expenditures.

The Executive Committee shall meet at the time of each National Convention. It shall hold other meetings on the call of the President or on the written request of any five members.

Section C. Powers and Duties of the President.

The President is the principal administrative officer of the Federation. In this capacity his duties consist of: carrying out the policies adopted by the Convention; conducting the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Federation: authorizing expenditures from the Federation treasury in accordance with and in implementation of the policies established by the Convention: appointing all committees of the Federation except the Executive Committee; coordinating all activities of the Federation including the work of other officers and of committees; hiring, supervising, and, when necessary, dismissing staff members and other employees of the Federation and determining their numbers and compensation; taking all administrative actions necessary and proper to put into effect the programs and accomplish the purposes of the Federation.

The implementation and administration of the interim policies adopted by the Executive Committee is the responsibility of the President as principal administrative officer of the Federation.


Any organized group desiring to become a state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the President of the National Federation of the Blind a copy of its Constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its elected officers. Under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee action shall be taken on the application. If the action is affirmative, the National Federation of the Blind shall issue to the organization a charter of affiliation. Upon request of the national President the state affiliate shall, from time to time, provide to the national President the names and addresses of its members. Copies of all amendments to the Constitution and/or by-laws of an affiliate shall be sent without delay to the national President. No organization shall be accepted as an affiliate and no organization shall remain an affiliate unless at least a majority of its voting members are blind. The president, the vice-president (or vice-presidents) and at least a majority of the executive committee or board of directors of the state affiliate and of all of its local chapters must be blind. Affiliates must not merely be social organizations but must formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and social betterment of the blind. Affiliates must comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federation. Policy decisions of the Federation are binding upon all affiliates, and the affiliate must participate affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions. The name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof is the property of the National Federation of the Blind; and any affiliate, or local chapter of an affiliate, which ceases to be part of the National Federation of the Blind (for whatever reason) shall forthwith forfeit the right use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.

A general convention of the membership of an affiliate or of the elected delegates of the membership must be held and its principal executive officers must be elected at least once every two years. There can be no closed membership. Proxy voting is prohibited in state and local affiliates. Each affiliate must have a written constitution or by-laws setting forth its structure, the authority of its officers, and the basic procedures which it will follow. No publicly contributed funds may be divided among the membership of an affiliate on the basis of membership, and (upon request from the national office) an affiliate must present an accounting of all of its receipts and expenditures. An affiliate which fails to be represented at three consecutive National Conventions may be considered to be inactive, and may be suspended as an affiliate by the Executive Committee, The affiliate must not indulge in attacks upon the officers, committeemen, leaders, or members of the Federation or upon the organization itself outside of the organization, and must not allow its officers or members to indulge in such attacks. This requirement shall not be interpreted to interfere with the right of an affiliate or its officers or members to carry on a political campaign inside the Federation for election to office or to achieve policy changes. No affiliate may join or support, or allow its officers or members to join or support, any temporary or permanent organization inside the Federation which has not received the sanction and approval of the Federation.


Each state affiliate shall pay an annual assessment of $30.00. Assessments shall be payable in advance on or before January 1.

Any state affiliate which is in arrears with its dues at the time of the National Convention shall be denied the right to vote.


In the event of dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to an organization with similar purposes which has received a 501.C3 certification by the Internal Revenue Service.


This Constitution may be amended at any regular annual Convention of the Federation by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the states registered, present, and voting. Provided further: that the proposed amendment must be signed by five member states in good standing and that it must have been presented to the President the day before final action by the Convention.

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The name of this organization shall be NFB of [name of state].


The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the general welfare of the blind of [name of state] and the Nation and to work cooperatively and constructively as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind.


Section One. Active Members.

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Active membership shall of two classifications: active members who are affiliated with local chapters, and active members who are not affiliated with local chapters.

(1) All active members of local chapters shall automatically become active members of this organization, with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

(2) Any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become an active member of this organization by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at a convention or by action of the board of directors.

Section Two. Associate Members.

Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization either by the convention or the board of directors. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they may not vote, hold office, or serve on the board of directors. Associate members shall not pay dues.

Section Three. Expulsion.

Any member may be expelled for misconduct or neglect of duty by a two-thirds vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business session of the organization. No person who is a member of the American Council of the Blind shall be a member of this organization.


Any organized group desiring to become a local chapter of the [name of state organization] shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the president of the [name of state organization] a copy of its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When the [name of state organization], either in convention assembled or by action of its board of directors shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the local chapter a certificate of acceptance. Annually, on or before January 1, each local chapter shall provide to the secretary of the [name of state organization] a current list of its members and their addresses. At the same time, each local treasurer shall forward to the state treasurer the state dues for each member in the chapter. As new members enter local chapters, their names and addresses shall be sent without delay to the secretary of the state organization and their state dues shall be sent without delay to the treasurer of the state organization. No group shall be accepted as a chapter and no group shall remain a chapter unless at least a majority of its voting members are blind. The president, the vice-president (or vice-presidents) and at least a majority of the executive committee or board of directors of the local chapter must be blind. The president of the [name of state organization] shall be an ex officio member of each local chapter.


There shall be elected at the regular annual convention during each even-numbered year, a president, a first vice-president, a second vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the convention at which they are elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of the person receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped from the list of nominees and a second ballot shall be taken. This procedure shall continue until one of the nominees has received a majority vote from the active members present and voting. The president and the vice-presidents must be blind. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with his office.


The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the five constitutional officers and four additional members, two of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during even-numbered years and two of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during odd-numbered years. At the meeting at which this constitution is adopted, two of the four directors shall be elected for one-year terms and the remaining two shall be elected for two-year terms. The four directors shall be elected in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers. The board shall meet at the call of the president or on written call signed by any three of the board members. The board shall advise the president ad shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least five members of the board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone or mail ballot on any question. At least a majority of the board of directors must be blind persons.


Section One. Annual Conventions.

This organization shall hold an annual convention, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the membership or by the board of directors. At least fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any annual convention.

Section Two. Special Meetings.

The president of the organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he, or a majority of the board of directors, deems such action to be necessary, but at such special meeting at least fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business and notice must have been sent to the membership at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting.


The president may appoint such committees as he or the organization deems necessary.


The [name of state organization] shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the President of the National Federation of the Blind annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the constitution of the [name of state organization] and of all amendments to the constitution shall also be sent to the President of the National Federation of the Blind.


The organization shall elect each year at least one delegate and at least one alternate delegate to attend the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. No person shall be elected as delegate or alternate delegate unless he is an active member in good standing. To the extent of the resources of the organization, the expenses of delegates and alternate delegates to Conventions of the National Federation of the Blind shall be paid.


The dues of the organization shall be $1.00 per year payable in advance. In accordance with Article IV of the constitution, local chapters shall pay the state dues of their members. Members who are not affiliated with a local chapter shall pay their dues before or during the time of the annual convention. A lifetime membership may be secured for a fee of $100. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his dues.


The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer with the approval of the president. The treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of the organization shall be discharged by check issued on written order of the president, and signed by the treasurer.


In the event of dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind.


This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active members present and voting provided the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing to the proper committee of the organization.

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