THE BRAILLE MONITOR

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER, 1978

VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

THE BRAILLE MONITOR

PUBLISHED MONTHLY IN INKPRINT, BRAILLE, AND ON TALKING-BOOK DISCS BY THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

KENNETH JERNIGAN, President

NATIONAL OFFICE
1101 SAINT PAUL STREET, SUITE 412
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21202
(301) 659-9314

WASHINGTON OFFICE
1346 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, NW., SUITE 212
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
(202) 785-2974

LETTERS FOR THE PRESIDENT AND ADDRESS CHANGES AND SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS FOR THE MONITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO THE NATIONAL OFFICE.

ARTICLES AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO THE WASHINGTON OFFICE.

DONALD McCONNELL, Editor

MONITOR SUBSCRIPTIONS COST THE FEDERATION ABOUT $15 YEARLY. MEMBERS WHO CAN AFFORD TO DO SO ARE INVITED, AND NON-MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED, TO COVER THE SUBSCRIPTION COST. DUE TO ITS HIGH COST, BRAILLE IS AVAILABLE ONLY TO THE DEAF-BLIND AND THOSE WITH A SIMILARLY COMPELLING NEED FOR THAT MEDIUM. DONATIONS AND SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, AND SENT TO:

RICHARD EDLUND, Treasurer
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
BOX 11185
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS 66111

If you or a friend would like 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 non-profit 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 Washington Office for other suggested forms.

THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND IS NOT AN ORGANIZATION SPEAKING FOR THE BLIND—IT IS THE BLIND SPEAKING FOR THEMSELVES.

THE BRAILLE MONITOR

PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1978

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEMBERS AT LARGE: WHO AND WHY

CONVENTION BULLETIN

CONVENTION ROUNDUP - PART TWO

THE RIGHT OF THE BLIND TO ORGANIZE

THE BLIND AND THE TEAMSTERS: PARTNERSHIP AND PROGRESS
BY KENNETH JERNIGAN

THE DES MOINES OFFICE CLOSES

FOR UNITY'S SAKE
BY HAZEL STALEY

THE NEW FEDERATION INSURANCE PLAN

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
BY JULIA HAWKINS

MONITOR MINIATURES

Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1978

MEMBERS AT LARGE: WHO AND WHY

Earlier this year, the Federation began enrolling "Associates" to help fund and support the movement. At the Baltimore Convention last summer, the Constitution was amended to provide for members at large. The program of seeking new members and of enrolling Associates has now been combined. The form for enrolling members at large is as follows:

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM

The National Federation of the Blind has chapters in all fifty states and in almost every local community in the nation. The Federation has more than 50,000 members and is working to help the blind to have full and meaningful lives. It is not financed by the government but depends for support on contributions from its members and its friends.

I support the National Federation of the Blind and herewith pay one dollar for membership at large in the organization. As a member at large I wish to make a tax-deductible contribution for the year _______ in the amount of:

□ Associate — $10
□ Contributing Associate — $25
□ Supporting Associate — $50
□ Sponsoring Associate — $100
□ Sustaining Associate — $500
□ Member of the President's Club — $1,000
□ Other

Name __________________________
Address ________________________
Telephone ____________Date ______
Local Representative of the National Federation of the Blind: ___________________________

This application and accompanying check made payable to National Federation of the Blind should be sent to: Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, Box 11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111.

The bottom of the form is a tear-off receipt to be given to the Associate as a record of his or her contribution.

The Associates program started about a year ago, and the results are quite revealing. They indicate that this can be one of our most effective means of funding the movement. The work of Gail Flateau of Florida proves that the Associates program can (if enough of us work at it) provide the major part of the public support we so badly need. On the other hand, it won't happen if we don't work at it.

How easy it is to enroll members at large and get them to participate in the Associates program! Yet, how few of us have taken the trouble to do it! The tables printed at the end of this article tell the story and show what must be done. Through September 30, 1978, 883 people were enrolled as Associates, with total contributions of $20,820. These Associates were recruited by 146 Federationists from 27 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-three states have not participated at all. In other words, in those 23 states, not a single Federationist has recruited a single Associate—at least, so far as we can tell. Twenty-four of the Associate forms have come in with no name on the line for the local NFB representative. We could not credit these to any person or state.

In last month's Monitor we announced a national Associates competition. Several changes have been made in the contest to simplify record-keeping. There will be no contest among NFB chapters, so it is not necessary to include your chapter's name on the Associate form. The prizes will go to the three individual NFB members who recruit the most Associates. The cash prizes have been increased to $400 for first place, $300 for second, and $200 for third place. The competition period is still October 1, 1978, to May 15, 1979. To be counted. Associate forms must reach Dick Edlund by May 15. The prizes will be awarded to individuals only. If forms come in with a husband and wife team listed on the line for the NFB representative, the total number for the couple will be divided in two, with half the Associates credited to each half of the couple.

The tables in this issue include only those Associates recruited before October 1, 1978; these will not be counted in the contest. We began keeping a new tally on October 1st. Thus, even though you may have recruited no Associates so far, you have an equal chance to win the competition and the cash prizes. In future Monitors we will list those who have recruited Associates since October 1st.

In Table I the Federationist who has recruited the most Associates is ranked number one. This is followed by the number of Associates recruited and by the amount of money this represents. The person having recruited the second largest number of Associates is listed number two, the person having recruited the next largest number is listed number three, etc. When two or more persons have recruited the same number of Associates, they are ranked according to the amount of money received. (This, by the way, is also the method that will be used to determine a winner in the contest if two persons have recruited the same number of Associates.) When two or more persons have recruited the same number of Associates representing the same amount of money, then the ranking in Table I is alphabetical. This method of breaking ties is also used in Table II.

Table II shows the ranking of the states by the number of Associates recruited by Federationists living in the state. After the name of the state comes the number of Associates, followed by the amount of money represented. It is recognized that this article will probably result in a great many spirited discussions as to which states should get credit for the work of certain individuals. For instance, should Jim Gashel be credited to the District of Columbia, where he works, or to Virginia, where he lives? He has been credited to Virginia, since that is where he lists his residence. In cases where people have moved from one state to another, their work has been credited to the state where they currently reside—that is, to the best of our belief and knowledge.

Table III is an alphabetical listing of the states in which not a single Federationist has recruited a single Associate. Let us hope this is a shrinking list and that there will soon be no third table at all.

Our movement will be as strong or as weak as we ourselves make it. If we have the money, we can continue to print the Monitor, support civil rights cases in the courts, keep the Washington Office open, and do all of the other things which we want to accomplish. If not, then not. Every Federationist should read the following tables with thoughtful consideration. All of us should examine our consciences and see what we think we should do. The membership forms to recruit Associates are available upon request from: National Federation of the Blind, 1101 Saint Paul Street, Suite 412, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

TABLE IRecruiter list for members at large and the Associates Program

RECRUITER

Number of  Associates

MONEY

1. Gail Flateau

189

$3,405

2. Dick Edlund

29

2,095

3. Ralph Sanders

25

1,445

4. Steve Machalow

22

460

5. Al Evans

21

265

6. Judy Sanders

20

460

7. Al Maneki

20

260

8. Kenneth Jernigan

19

215

9. Jonathan May

18

395

10. Rami Rabby

16

285

11. Norman Gardner

16

175

12. Jim Gashel

15

1,010

13. Jim & Beth Bowen

15

535

14. Trish Miller

15

195

15. Thomas DeMarco

15

165

16. Anna K. Jernigan

14

350

17. Allen Harris

14

200

18. Jim Omvig

13

295

19. Diane McGeorge

13

260

20. John McCraw

13

250

21. Ray McGeorge

13

230

22. Mike Hingson

12

260

23. Sylvester Nemmers

12

150

24. Sharon Omvig

11

$240

25. Stanford Hess

11

185

26. Mary Ellen Anderson

10

840

27. Hazel Staley

10

200

28. Glenn Crosby

10

185

29. Stanley Neuhauser

10

100

30. Sue Ammeter

9

790

31. Peggy Pinder

9

160

32. Ted Young

9

90

33. Nancy Lynn

8

110

34. Susie Stanzel

8

110

35. Jim Willows

7

140

36. Allen Schaefer

7

130

37. Betty Capps

7

85

38. Gail Crowe

7

85

39. John Taylor

7

85

40. Jennie Owens

7

70

41. Joyce Scanlan

6

75

42. Patti Jacobson

5

185

43. Agatha Dilsaver

5

95

44. Ramona Walhof

5

65

45. Sandy Kelly

4

160

46. Pat Epperson

4

110

47. Ruth Schaefer

4

90

48. Karen Mayry

4

70

49. Neil Butler

4

55

50. Nina Palmer

4

55

51. Steve Benson

4

40

52. Deanne Gueblaoui

4

40

53. Randy Huffman

4

40

54. Cecelia Ross

3

520

55. Fred Schroeder

3

85

56. Dean Stanzel

3

70

57. Ron Metenyi

3

45

58. Charlie & Joann Erickson

3

30

59. Doris Samuels

3

30

60. Slaigo Creek Chapter

3

30

61. Marjorie Woodward

3

30

62. E. Thibodeau

2

50

63. Don McConnell

2

35

64. Joe Money

2

35

65. Peggy Frazee

2

20

66. Clarita Golender

2

20

67. Denise Mackenstadt

2

20

68. John Niceley

2

20

69. Art Segal

2

20

71. Etta Mae Trahan

2

20

70. Moe Smeester

2

20

72. Judith Welch

2

20

73. Jean Agin

1

100

74. Maxine Bohrer

1

100

75. Tom Bozikis

1

$50

76. Joanne Giudicessi

1

50

77. NFB of South Carolina

1

50

78. NFB of Washington

1

50

79. Jean Turnquist

1

50

80. Allen Ackley

1

25

81. Charlene Elder

1

25

82. Ruth Goodwin

1

25

83. Virginia Griswold

1

25

84. Mary Ellen Halverson

1

25

85. Gilbert Johnson

1

25

86. Harold Pigsley

1

25

87. Althea Pittman

1

25

88. Dara Ratigan

1

25

89. John Salatore

1

25

90. Georgina Silva

1

25

91. Michael Smith

1

25

92. Tom Stevens

1

25

93. Ehab Yamini

1

25

94. Constance Blackmon

1

10

95. Dorothy Campbell

1

10

96. Connie Chaney

1

10

97. John Cheadle

1

10

98. Carol Crosby

1

10

99. Maxine Dixon

1

10

100. Pat Estes

1

10

101. Theresa Erpelding

1

10

102. James Fox

1

10

103. Janet Gawith

1

10

104. Terry Harris

1

10

105. Don Hudson

1

10

106. Charles Ivory  

1

10

107. Joel Jefferies

1

10

108. Frank Koracin

1

10

109. Denise Leopold

1

10

110. Sharon Luka

1

10

111. Mary McDonough

1

10

112. Mary Main

1

10

113. Lawrence Marcelino

1

10

114. Marc Maurer

1

10

115. Pat Maurer

1

10

116. Roy Miller

1

10

117. Pittsburgh Chapter

1

10

118. Mitch Pomerantz

1

10

119. Richard Schell

1

10

120. Willmetta Sutton

1

10

121. Gertrude Sitt

1

10

122. Orville Williams

1

10

123-146. Unknown recruiters

24

565

TOTALS

883

$20,820

TABLE IIList of States that have recruited Associates

STATE

Number of Associates

MONEY

1. Maryland

232

$5,845

2. Florida

219

4,150

3. Colorado

62

1,235

4. Iowa

48

625

5. Kansas

42

2,385

6. Connecticut

28

565

7. Illinois

23

860

8. Massachusetts

23

340

9. New York

20

340

10. Idaho

20

230

11. Missouri

17

200

12. Virginia

15

1,010

13. Texas

14

225

14. Michigan

14

200

15. North Carolina

13

230

16. California

12

220

17. Pennsylvania

12

120

18. Washington

10

840

19. South Carolina

8

135

20. South Dakota

7

130

21. Minnesota

6

75

22. Nebraska

4

95

23. Indiana

3

85

24. District of Columbia

3

45

25. Georgia

1

25

26. Kentucky

1

25

27. Arizona

1

10

28. Maine

1

10

Associates not attributable to any state

24

565

TOTALS

883

$20,820

TABLE IIIStates that have not participated in the Associates Program

1. Alabama
2. Alaska
3. Arkansas
4. Delaware
5. Hawaii
6. Louisiana
7. Mississippi
8. Montana
9. Nevada
10. New Hampshire
11. New Jersey
12. New Mexico
13. North Dakota
14. Ohio
15. Oklahoma
16. Oregon
17. Rhode Island
18. Tennessee
19. Utah
20. Vermont
21. West Virginia
22. Wisconsin
23. Wyoming

In the last two years, we have moved a long way toward self-support—the only real security we can gain as a movement. But in the meantime, as we begin projects to encourage contributions by members, their families and friends, our reserves continue to dwindle. There is not much time left. Seen in this light, self-support is not a game; it is the most serious business we have.  

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CONVENTION BULLETIN

As we move into winter, it is time to think about next summer and plans for our 39th Annual Convention. The site will be one of the most prized vacation spots in the world—Miami Beach. We have obtained blocks of rooms in five hotels right on Miami Beach. Four of the hotels are in a line; if you go out the back of any of them, you are on the beach. The fifth hotel is right across the street from the other four. All of the hotels are first-rate; but if you want a room in the hotel where the convention sessions will be held, send in your reservation request right away. Here are the details on the hotels and what to do to reserve a room. The headquarters hotel—where our meetings will be held—is the Deauville. We have reserved 500 rooms in the Deauville; and unless you specifically request another hotel, these rooms will be filled first. After that, the other hotels will be filled. They are the Carillon, where we have reserved another 500 rooms; the Monte Carlo Hotel, with 150 rooms available to us; the Sterling Hotel, with 50 rooms; the Rowe Motel, with 75 rooms; and the Golden Sands Hotel, with 30 rooms available.

No matter where you wish to stay, send your reservation request to the Deauville—this is very important. Your request should include the following information: (1) your name and address; (2) your date of arrival; (3) your date of departure; (4) what kind of room you want—a single, double, triple, or quad; (5) if you prefer a certain hotel, indicate this; but also put down your second and third choice. Some of the hotels have only a few rooms available, and we cannot promise to observe hotel preferences. (6) Include a check or money order payable to the Deauville Hotel for $20. This deposit must be included in order for your reservation to be made. The $20 (which is not refundable) will apply toward your room bill. Send the reservation requests to: Deauville Hotel, Ocean at 67th Street, Miami Beach, Florida 33141. (Please note that we will be meeting in Miami Beach, not Miami; there is a difference.)

Here are the room rates for the five hotels. At the Deauville Hotel, singles are $15 per night, and doubles are $20. At the Carillon Hotel, singles are $18, and doubles are $22. At the Monte Carlo Hotel, both singles and doubles are $20. At the Sterling Hotel also, both singles and doubles are $20. At the Rowe Motel, singles are $14, and doubles are $16. At all five of the hotels, triples are $5 more than doubles, and quads are $10 more than doubles.

The first official activities of the convention begin on Sunday, July 1; but if this convention is like previous ones, many people will arrive two days earlier, on Friday, June 29. The convention will adjourn the following Friday, July 6. The special convention rates will be available two days prior to and two days after the convention—in other words, between Wednesday, June 27, and Sunday, July 8. However, the convention rates will only be available if you register for the convention.

The Federation is not directly handling reservations or the assignment of rooms. Therefore, unless there are major unresolved problems, it will not help you to contact the NFB offices in Baltimore or Washington about reservations. If you have questions or problems, contact the Deauville Hotel directly. Their telephone number is (305) 865-8511. If you call, be sure to specify that you are talking about the National Federation of the Blind Convention and the special rates arranged for it.

An important part of every convention is the door prizes. Chapters and affiliates should begin now to collect these. In the past we have informally put a minimum value of $25 on prizes; but many have been worth considerably more. If you wish to mail door prizes to Florida before next summer, send them to John McNally, 15775 Northeast 13th Avenue, North Miami Beach, Florida 33162.

Each year our conventions grow bigger and the spirit is higher. In recent years they have been not only a chance to learn about and provide input to the programs and issues of concern to blind people, they have been events to remember—whether it was marching down Madison Avenue to confront NAC or traveling to Washington to bring our message to the FAA and the American people. The Monitor can give you some idea of what occurs, but it cannot begin to equal the experience of being present. In addition to the formal programs and division and committee meetings, there are many opportunities to meet informally, exchange ideas, discuss problems, and become more deeply grounded in both our philosophy and the sense of belonging to a strong and united national movement. On top of all this, the Florida affiliate is setting up a number of attractive excursions for free times during the week and tours for the days immediately after the convention. Watch the Monitor for more details about these. But to take part in any of this, you need a reservation; and the time to send in your requests is right now. See you in Miami Beach!

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CONVENTION ROUNDUP—PART TWO

The October Monitor reported the programs and activities of the 1978 NFB Convention that took place during the first part of the week, as well as the banquet Thursday evening. Here is a report on the rest of the week.

Public Law 92-142—The Education for All Handicapped Children Act

The second agenda item on Thursday morning was a talk by Dr. Edwin W. Martin, director of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Dr. Martin discussed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, the so-called "mainstreaming" law. His remarks, in part, were as follows:

"I first had the chance to work on the very first version of [the act] in 1966, when the House held hearings at that time. Mr. Nagle from your organization was one of the people who testified, talking with us about the need for educational programming for blind and other handicapped people. Those hearings led to the first version of the Education of the Handicapped Act.

When I became director of the Bureau [of Education for the Handicapped] in about 1970, we decided to try and change the assumptions of the federal program if we could. Up until that time the federal program had been an attempt to stimulate and to help the states, and to help local communities, to help colleges and universities and others—basically a catalyst to the change that was necessary. What we tried to do was to create the basis of public policy that would move us from—as I called it then—the era of charity to the era of rights. The assumptions, it seemed to me, of educational programming for the handicapped was in fact a sense of a charity orientation where the organizations—the schools and others-seemed to feel as though anything they did on behalf of disabled people was a kindness, was a question of 'we'll do a little bit when we can afford it.'

"Our assumption was that disabled people, as with nondisabled people, had a right to education, and that the federal policy should reflect that right. It took a number of years for us to get that done. We first articulated it in 1971. Thanks to the court cases and other matters, by 1975 the Congress passed that law. And this year, on September 1, 1978, the states will have to agree to educate all disabled children of school age if they want to continue to receive federal education funds. I’m confident that will take place.

"I was interested that your President called the act the 'mainstreaming act'; and it is true that there is a philosophy in the act which says that the burden should be on the schools to demonstrate that it's necessary educationally to have a youngster in a special and separate setting, rather than on the parents to demonstrate that the youngster should be in a non-separate setting. It does, however, allow the flexibility for settings some of which are mainstreamed and some of which are separate if in fact the child's particular individual educational needs can be demonstrated to require those placements. I think it will help promote programs which avoid the problems of segregation which we are all too familiar with. Whether they are segregated on a racial basis or on another basis, the tendency of segregated institutions has been to receive less attention rather than more. On the other hand, there are some very fine specialized educational programs, and those meet a need which can't be ignored entirely. Our hope is to create choices, to create a continuum of services, and to insist that the schools place children in those services based on their own needs, not on the administrative convenience to the schools."

Dr. Martin discussed a number of the projects being undertaken by the Bureau, and then concluded with these encouraging words: I’m going to stop now with one final commitment to you that my colleagues and myself feel allied with you in your advocacy on behalf of blind and other handicapped people and that we pledge our continuing support to you."

Panel on Rehabilitation

The next part of the program was a panel on rehabilitation services for the blind. It was chaired by Dr. Jernigan. The panelists were Jim Gashel, Chief of the NFB Washington Office; Robert Humphreys, Commissioner of the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA); Dr. Robert Winn, Director of the Bureau for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in RSA (formerly the Office for the Blind); and John Taylor, Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Much of Jim Gashel's presentation had to do with the NFB's proposed amendments to the federal Rehabilitation Act. These amendments are now law and will be discussed in the January Monitor. There was spirited discussion with Mr. Humphreys concerning the Carter Administration's opposition to these amendments—opposition that was spearheaded by Mr. Humphreys. We accepted that the RSA Commissioner is not a free agent able to take actions against the wishes of the Administration, but we expressed concern that RSA is becoming an advocate more of the Office of Management and Budget than of the nation's handicapped.

This program provided our first opportunity to hear from the new Director of the Bureau for the Blind. Dr. Winn is the successor to the late Dr. MacFarland, and we were eager to hear his concept of his job. The problems he articulated were, in general, right on track; although there were a number of tough questions from the floor afterwards. It is clear, however, that Dr. Winn is willing to listen to us and that he understands who we are.

Mr. Taylor concluded the panel presentations with a strong statement about the need for identifiable and comprehensive programs for the blind. He also made the point that, although Congress has steadily increased the funding available to state rehabilitation programs, the rate of increase has not matched the rate of inflation.

Despite the differences of opinion, the panel was characterized by a spirit of cooperation between the Federation and government speakers. One thing was clear, and it is something we already know well: The only voice in federal programs that has the freedom to express the needs of the blind in an uninhibited way is the blind themselves speaking through the National Federation of the Blind.

Arts for the Handicapped

The next presentation was a change of pace. The general topic was the National Committee—Arts for the Handicapped, and the first speaker was Oscar-winning actress Celeste Holm. Miss Holm, speaking largely extemporaneously, completely charmed the convention—there is no other word for it. She discussed her feelings about the arts and their importance in the life of every person and used her own career as an illustration. As she left the stage, President Sanders declared, "That lady can come back any time!"

Following Miss Holm was Federationist Harold Snider, who has become a nationally respected authority on accessibility in museum programs. Mr. Snider talked about his work during the last year as coordinator of programs for the handicapped at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. He concluded as follows:

"I think that in many of our museums we really haven't taken a good look at what is touchable and what is meaningful and what alternative techniques can be used in galleries. ... I think that we've got to guarantee the rights of blind guys to get into places like museums and other public institutions, and the only way to do that is through the legislation which has been passed to guarantee those rights—namely, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. . . . During the last year I had the pleasure of being a member of the task force appointed by Livingston Biddle, the chairman of the National Endowment on the Arts, to write section 504 regulations for that organization. You ought to know that the National Endowment on the Arts is the largest organization giving money to museums for museum programs and for exhibits in museums which are federally funded. It also gives money across the board to state arts councils and to performing arts organizations.

"One other organization that the National Federation of the Blind has begun to work with increasingly and which I have given increasing time during the past year is the National Committee—Arts for the Handicapped. That committee is an independent organization now receiving a million-dollar appropriation from Congress. The job of that committee is to make sure that blind guys and other handicapped people have the same rights to participate in any art activity that they choose—including museum visiting—as anybody else. That committee has gotten with Jim Gashel. I'm a member of its board of directors. And this past year Jim gave some fantastically good testimony which helped the National Committee—Arts for the Handicapped gain its appropriation.

"Finally, I guess I'd say to you that we as blind people don't have to visit a museum. We don't have to go to the theater. But think how much poorer a world it would be if we were kept out as we've been in the past."

Legal Rights of the Handicapped

The next program item concerned our efforts to unionize sheltered workshops for the blind. That session is discussed in another article in this issue.

Following the workshop panel, we heard a talk by the Honorable Francis Burch, Attorney General of the State of Maryland. Mr. Burch spoke as follows:

"I am delighted to have this opportunity to address the representative assembly of the blind of this nation and to welcome the 38th convention of the National Federation of the Blind to Baltimore, Maryland. It is a particular honor to be able to appear on the anniversary of the birth of the distinguished Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, the founder of your great movement. I would also like to extend a special word of greeting to Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, who I understand has recently become a fellow Marylander. And I am delighted. Doctor, that your association has taken the opportunity to move to the great free state of Maryland, the land of pleasant living; and I know you will enjoy not only your own stay here, but I know you will be very very pleased with the cooperation that the state of Maryland will give you and your association in your endeavors. . . .

"In the past quarter century we have come to recognize many minority groups as the victims of discrimination. Over the past 25 years, our legislation and the decisions of our courts have structured a framework of protections for these minority groups to make sure that they have full and equal access to the mainstream of our society. But it is a slow and a partial process. We have not yet succeeded in identifying all the groups which need such protection; and we have not always moved quickly enough to protect fully the groups that we have recognized. There is a pattern that must be followed: A minority with legitimate grievances must be identified. It must be protected from discrimination by law. And its rights must be ensured and enforced by the courts and the agencies of goverment. We in this room all know of one articulate and forceful minority group for whom this process is not yet complete. I speak, of course, of the blind of this nation and of the battle the National Federation of the Blind is still fighting through collective action to achieve first-class citizenship for the unsighted.

"Far from being protected, you are too often denied your rights out of a misguided sense of charity. Far from being encouraged to stand tall and take your rightful place alongside other Americans, you're often encouraged to stand aside and accept a care that you do not want. I have read with interest, for example, of the recent harassment you have faced in your attempt to exercise your right to free travel throughout this nation. For far too long have we looked on you as helpless wards needing the protection of charity rather than the protection of equal opportunity. Far too long have we looked on you as predestined welfare cases, as some might say; and we have failed to expect you to help in society in helping those who truly cannot help themselves.

"For most sighted Americans it has come as a surprise that blind people do indeed face discrimination just as other minorities do. But the signs have always been there if only we could have stopped to see them. After all, what is discrimination? You have been denied access to apartments and to jobs. This, of course, has not happened to all blind people; but it is not a prerequisite of discrimination that it should happen to everyone in a class on all occasions in every circumstance. Patchy discrimination remains discrimination, and I can assure you that that is true. And in your case it is the direct result of public ignorance—ignorance of what are the real capacities of blind people.

"This ignorance has denied you the right to serve on juries in some states in this country. This ignorance has denied you the right to earn a competitive wage. It is now high time that the public, the courts, the legal profession, and the government recognize you for what you are—normal, capable, industrious citizens who happen to have the characteristic of blindness.

"It is time for us to separate out this physical characteristic from your true problems and to try to understand the best approaches to the solution of those problems. It is time for the blind to be seen as they really are—citizens of this country whose rightful place in the nation's life is being withheld because of our outdated, misguided notions about them. It is time for the blind to be fully accepted and finally accepted as a minority whose civil and political rights must be protected and guaranteed.

"As a past president of the National Association of Attorneys General, and as Attorney General of the State of Maryland, I have long been aware of your legal, political, and social problems. In recent months, however, I have had an opportunity to learn a great deal more about your abilities and the difficulties which you face. Not long ago, with your President, Ralph Sanders, I visited Blind Industries and Services of Maryland—a multiservice agency for blind adults which Mr. Sanders heads. And frankly, I was enormously impressed during my visit with the positive attitudes of the people who were there. It is always exciting to be a part—if only for a moment—of a group fighting to be let into the economic mainstream of our community, seeking to be taxpayers rather than tax consumers. I was glad then and I am glad now that we in Maryland are beginning to promote a new image of blindness.

"I have also reviewed the laws of Maryland as they pertain to the blind. On the whole I think that over the years we have made some progress in our state in protecting your rights. The white cane law—which I understand is a direct result of work done by the National Federation of the Blind—affords you certain basic protections. It protects your right to public accommodations; it protects the dog guide user; and it makes a commitment to equal employment opportunity. I also understand that the blind have sought protection from the Human Rights Commission on several occasions and have been successful. Like the white cane law, though, this is more of a tribute to the work of the organized blind in Maryland than it is, unfortunately, to a foresight in government.

"And this is the message, I think, that I took from my review of the statute books: We must do more. We must extend the same legal protections to you that are afforded to all minority groups. I understand that you are currently confronting several basic areas of discrimination. I have followed with interest the progress of the legal battle you and your President have started to ensure your constitutional right to travel in this country on commercial airlines. As I understand it, the Federal Aviation Administration and some commercial airlines have sought to have your white canes stowed during takeoff and landing. And I'm not unaware of your march on Washington yesterday, and I commend you for it. For anyone who has traveled by commercial airline must surely recognize that the most critical period in any flight and the one where the person is most uncomfortable and needs every consolation and every crutch that he or she may have is during takeoff and landing.

"This is a classic example of public ignorance leading to severe injustice. You have only asked for the opportunity for safety and for your basic right to move about freely and to have your companion with you. Both have been denied. And you are forced to use the courts, unfortunately, to gain rights freely given to other Americans. Progress, as I understand it, is now being made on this; and I only hope that this unfortunate situation did not make your travel to our fair city of Baltimore more difficult.

"I know that for many years this organization has sought the extension of minimum wage protection to blind workers in sheltered workshops. You have asked for the same protection afforded other American workers. It is a classic case of society being willing to give you a dollar but being unwilling to give you the chance at a minimum wage. I pledge my full support to your efforts to gain equal protection under the federal law.

"Parallel to the need for equal protection under the minimum wage laws is the right to organize granted most all Americans. This fight has been for you an especially important and difficult one. You have been in the vanguard of our society in espousing an idea whose time had not yet come—the unionizing of workers in sheltered workshops. Through the work of the National Federation of the Blind and the dedication of the workers of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind, I understand that the time for the idea has now come. I congratulate the workers at the Cincinnati Association and you for this important first step on the road toward gaining full protection under United States labor laws.

"I recognize the importance of your battles in the national arena, but I recognize too that we in Maryland are a part of that arena. What we in government in Maryland do in serving the blind of this state will have its effect in other states. What the blind of Maryland do in getting government on their side will be beneficial to other states. So I pledge to you to do my best in this state to be a positive element in your move toward first-class citizenship in our society; and what we do in this state will certainly be helpful in gaining like laws and like opportunities in other states.

"I have worked in close harmony with the blind of Maryland during the past years, and I intend to continue to do so in the future. It is not enough merely to talk about the lack of understanding about blindness on the part of the public. The real issue that must be addressed is the urgent need for better understanding on the part of government. I am dedicated to helping see that a better understanding is achieved so that your rights are protected and your opportunities are restored to you. It has been a great pleasure and an honor to be with you this afternoon. I wish you well in your deliberations, and Hook forward to your joining us here in the state of Maryland as the home of your association."

Rights of the Dog Guide User

A number of issues concerning the rights of dog guide users and the policies of the schools that train dogs have heated up in recent years. In recognition of this, a convention session was devoted to a panel discussion of these issues, in addition to the earlier meeting of the NFB Dog Guide Committee. The panelists were Geoffrey Lock, Director of Training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York, and David Loux, field representative of the Seeing Eye in New Jersey. Al Evans, chairman of the NFB Dog Guide Committee, was the moderator; and he began the panel as follows:

"Our Dog Guide Committee met Monday afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and we had a great deal of harmony on some basic issues before the waters began to shoal and we started to run aground a bit. Fundamentally, the committee was solid in its belief that all blind people using dog guides have absolute and total right of access to public facilities, restaurants, public carriers, buses, and aircraft: and we have every right to come and go as we please without forcible attention or without rejection or without commentary from those who would ordinarily serve the general public.

"We further agreed that there is an issue that as dog guide users we have a particular responsibility to not only talk a great show but to deliver it as well—and that is in the form of proper dog guide use, proper care for the dog, proper consideration for other people, and for better education. Throughout the United States, everywhere we go, we should be a walking advertisement. Now, the only way to do that, frankly, is to be it. Sometimes your actions do speak louder than words; and if the dog guide user fundamentally acts in a sensible manner in accordance with the training priorities and the purpose for which he or she got the dog, that really in and of itself, in our judgment-this is the way I sense the committee's judgment—collectively we believe that was the best advertisement of all.

"Now we were in full agreement on that, and it was nice. Everything was harmonious, and it was delightful. However, up came a few issues on which there was some considerable disagreement. I would say basically two areas of disagreement arose. (1) The contract of repossession which most schools except Seeing Eye, Inc., will implement which in essense says that the dog is not our own—that the school which trained that person with the dog has the right to withdraw the dog without resistance on the basis of what that school has determined to be some kind of behavior not becoming to the blind, cruelty to the animal, etc. The argument arose . . . that Seeing Eye, for example, has the wherewithal and the mechanism to do exactly the same thing without the Damoclean sword of a contract which says: You guys are different because you're blind, and therefore we're going to make you or ask you or have you sign this; or we're going to let you know that it's in force whether you sign it or not—that we can come get your dog if somebody complains or if we think you're cruel.

"We don't argue with anybody's right to remove an animal from anybody if the person is cruel to the animal. What we oppose fundamentally and we oppose on the record—Resolution 76-26, our resolution in 1976 in Los Angeles, said in essence that this is degrading and demeaning to the blind. Why should the blind as a particular class of citizenry be singled out to have to face a contract which in essence says that because they are blind, because they have a dog, they are different? It's implied—or at least this is the way I personally take it and I think many of the people on the committee took it—it's implied there's always the potential for blind guys [more] than anybody else to be cruel to their animals. Frankly, I think the consensus of the dog guide committee—while there were some dissenters—was very negative toward this contract.

"The second issue which got a little bit heated was the issue of NAC accreditation of dog guide facilities. Again we come to the issue of Seeing Eye not having NAC accreditation and Guiding Eyes having NAC accreditation. Please understand, this is not a pairing off of Seeing Eye against Guiding Eyes or anybody else. It's a matter of individual training policies and individual attitudes in my judgment and, I think, in the judgment of the blind dog guide users of this Federation and, of course, throughout the nation. . . .

"The other issue on which we were fully agreed was that of assigned seating on air-craft-preboarding and then delayed deplaning while the rest get out—the second-class-citizen attitude of the airlines and others that this Federation and all of its members decry in the loudest possible tones."

Following this introduction, the representatives from Seeing Eye and Guiding Eyes for the Blind addressed themselves to the issues raised by Al Evans and also gave reports on the activities of their schools. Guiding Eyes holds to its position that a repossession contract gives them a needed tool to protect their animals, even though the Seeing Eye has had no difficulty removing dogs in problem situations without a contract. Mr. Loux of Seeing Eye ended his talk with the statement that the Seeing Eye is not accredited and is not seeking accreditation from NAC. Mr. Lock had some difficulty presenting Guiding Eyes' position on NAC accreditation and finally conceded he had not examined our position on the subject but would do so after the convention. The session ended amicably with all parties eager for future discussions of the issues raised.

Panel on Funding the Movement

The final session on Thursday afternoon concerned the various programs we have instituted to fund our movement. These include the selling of candles and candy by chapters, the Associates program (which is discussed in detail later in this issue), and the program of deferred giving.

Ed Wilkinson of the Ludwig Candy Company told us of a slight change in the boxes of candy available for sale. All kinds of candy, including the milk chocolate-and-almond squares, now come in 8-ounce boxes that cost the chapter $1 and are sold to the public for $2. Out of every $1 profit made by the Ludwig Candy Company, 25 cents is remitted to the NFB treasury. Mr. Wilkinson reported the sales during the past year, and unfortunately they indicate that sales of candy are falling off. Last year 42,241 boxes were sold; this is down 6,551 from the year before. The rebate to the NFB treasury was $7,304.90; this is down $1,793.20 from the year before. At a time when the movement is in its most serious financial straits, the last thing we can afford is to cut back on our longstanding fundraising projects.

The deferred giving program was introduced by Hal Bleakley, chairman of the NFB Deferred Giving Committee, as follows:

"The deferred giving program is a new program; it holds tremendous potential. To give you an idea of what we can be talking about, one agency for the blind in the United States over the last 20 years has built up an endowment fund of $33 million. Now, if you put that money out at six percent, you have annual operating funds of $1,980,000. While I don't anticipate that the plans of the NFB down through the years can be funded with a mere $1,980,000, it's pretty clear that it would be a good start.

"Deferred giving breaks into a number of different parts. Some of them are very sophisticated; others are quite simple. The most simple form of deferred giving program is a systematic plan to encourage people of all walks of life to include the NFB in their wills, giving a gift of money, securities, what have you, to our organization. The program ranges from bequests all the way through several kinds of trusts, including trusts that can be set up by an individual while he is still alive or trusts set up as a part of his will.

"The insurance program is a part of deferred giving. You take out an insurance policy naming the NFB as a beneficiary. Then when we go to our happy reward, we can be even more happy than we anticipated. Which is not to say we want to go tomorrow. There are a number of types of deferred giving. This is a long-range program down through the years. We are starting with the development of a brochure which has been checked by the attorneys and which tells the NFB story while indicating to the potential donor five ways that he can help himself by setting up one or more forms of deferred giving in behalf of the NFB. Those brochures will be ready for distribution within a week or ten days.

"Now, it isn't going to do any good to print the brochures and put them on the shelf and let them gather dust. What we need out in the affiliates, out across the country, are Federationists distributing the brochures to the proper people—to certain types of attorneys, accountants, trust officers in banks—so that we can begin to stir up interest. We need to have the presidents of all state affiliates designate specific individuals in their affiliates to distribute the brochures. We will be getting the brochures out shortly, and with the brochures will come a cover letter describing what to do with the brochures. We will then be following up in the months ahead with other forms, other brochures, and other parts of the deferred giving program.

"I’d like to state that many fundraisers in the country, some of the best in the business, have become convinced in the last few years that deferred giving is the way of the future for fundraising for organizations such as ours. There is nothing really new about the idea—colleges and universities have been using this concept very successfully for many years. What is new is our approach to it—weaving the story of the NFB into the opportunity for the individual really to help himself. And the other thing that's new and very important is the fact that changes in the tax laws in recent years have created problems for thousands of individuals, and deferred giving is a major way for many, many people to solve their tax problems. And I know we all feel that the best solution is deferred giving in behalf of the blind of the United States through the NFB."

Friday Morning

The first session on Friday morning was devoted to reports from members of the NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CHIP) on our involvment with the blind of other countries. This year we had a number of guests who are members of the National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom, and they participated actively in all parts of the convention. A major part of the CEIP Committee's work is the program to send used aids and appliances—including white canes. Braille watches, and Braille books and magazines—to blind persons abroad. The statistics on the Braille book and magazine project in particular were impressive. As reported by Ray McGeorge, 37 tons of Braille, or roughly 30,000 volumes were mailed out of the country last year. Of the 6,000 packages mailed in 51 shipments, about 1,000 went to Bangladesh, and almost 1,400 to a single district in India.

The next two program items were devoted to a report from Jim Gashel on the activities of the NFB Washington Office and a panel discussion on library services for the blind. Speaking on the library panel were Duane Gerstenberger, librarian at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and Frank Kurt Cylke, Chief of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. Mr. Gerstenberger discussed the new standards for regional libraries developed for the Library of Congress by the American Library Association. His analysis of the standards found them to be largely irrelevant to improved service for users of the libraries. This is what might be expected since there was no opportunity for the organized blind to provide input to the development of the standards.

The session with Mr. Cylke was dominated by discussion of a proposed resolution that condemned what many felt to be his increasing reluctance to accept input from the organized blind, a charge Mr. Cylke vigorously denied. After a frank and often heated exchange of views that was continued later in the day, it was agreed that the resolution ought to be withdrawn and that efforts would be made to maintain a clearer understanding in the future.

Enforcement of Title V of the Rehabilitation Act

Friday morning came to a close with two distinguished guests—David Tatel, Director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Honorable F. Ray Marshall, U.S. Secretary of Labor. They reported on the implementation of sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap in any activity receiving federal funds; this section is enforced by HEW's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Mr. Tatel discussed the history of the regulations implementing section 504 and the various strategies being used to enforce it. He talked about OCR's efforts to provide information to federally funded institutions to encourage voluntary compliance with the act and then gave us some figures on OCR's investigation of complaints brought under section 504, as follows;

"We've received about 1,200 complaints since the Rehabilitation Act was passed. Five hundred of those have come in since January, which is a greatly accelerated rate. . . . Six hundred of these complaints have been resolved; 400 completely, mostly by corrective action. Two hundred are in the investigative stage; letters of findings have been sent out or the investigation is underway. The remaining 600 are in a backlog; we hope those will be completely resolved by the end of fiscal year 1979.

"The third area of our activity is in the area of compliance reviews. These are by far our most effective technique for enforcing this statute. They are not complaint-driven; we select them on the basis of our surveys and information we receive from organized groups. We go into an institution and do a comprehensive review of all of their activities to determine whether they comply with the civil rights laws. One hundred thirty-nine of the reviews we're doing this year involve section 504; 19 involve section 504 alone. Our experience to date has been that these are extremely effective. In New York, Baton Rouge, and Saint Louis, where our major letters of findings have been sent out, we've charged massive violations of the statute.

"In New York we've already obtained remedial action in the area of eliminating waiting lists for handicapped students awaiting space in school. In Baton Rouge we've charged that the Louisiana schools for the blind and deaf have failed to hire the handicapped, have failed to make their programs accessible, and have failed to provide individual programs for students under their care. And in Saint Louis the same charges have been made plus several others. These compliance reviews and others like them will in the long run bring about major changes and major compliance with this statute."

Mr. Tatel acknowledged that this vigorous enforcement effort is largely due to the vigilance of organized consumers. Referring to the lawsuit brought last year by the Federation that resulted in a court order to add nearly 1,000 positions to the OCR staff, Mr. Tatel concluded with these words:

"My final point is that we can't do the job alone. Government simply is not big enough and shouldn't be big enough to enforce this law by itself. We need the help of the National Federation and groups like you. We need your prodding, which moves us along; we need your advice, which educates us and which we appreciate; and we even need your lawsuits, which I note you are not reluctant to file. The point is that the government. National Federation, and other groups like you working together can ensure that the great promises of the Rehabilitation Act become a reality to the millions and millions of decent people in this country who so desperately need its protection."

Secretary of Labor Marshall discussed the Department of Labor's efforts to enforce section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that federal contractors take affirmative action to employ the handicapped. This session produced one of the most important events of the week—support by Secretary Marshall for our campaign to bring blind workers under the protections of federal labor laws. Mr. Marshall's opening remarks provided the framework for the discussion of this issue that occurred later during the question period. He stated;

"Let me say that it's a pleasure to be here and to talk with such an active and forth-right group as the National Federation of the Blind. I am well aware from personal experience that there is a large difference between a group called 'of the blind' and one that's called 'for the blind.'

"As Secretary of Labor, my responsibility is to protect and promote the interests of American workers. My basic concern is achieving full employment, which means that there will be jobs for everyone who is willing and able to work. . . . Over the years, our society has developed a number of destructive stereotypes about who can work and who wants to work. In putting together our public service jobs programs, we had to convince those who said that the poor and the unemployed didn't really want to work. As people lined up for hours to try to enroll in some of the 450,000 CETA jobs that we created, we proved that this stereotype was a total fallacy.

"So too is it with the handicapped. For years, many of you wanted to work but were thwarted by a system that could not deal with you as self-sufficient workers. You were offered alms and sympathy, but what you really needed was jobs and opportunity for equal treatment."

Following Secretary Marshall's talk, President Sanders asked the question that grew out of these opening statements. He put the question this way:

"We believe that there are some situations in which the problems of the blind are uniquely different. One of them involves sheltered workshop employment because of the nature of sheltered workshops for the blind. In May of 1978 the National Labor Relations Board agreed with us that sheltered workshops for the blind were different from sheltered workshops for the handicapped generally in that they were engaged in mainstream economic activity and declared NLRB jurisdiction over sheltered workshops for the blind as a separate issue from the handicapped. We have a proposal in Congress to extend the Fair Labor Standards Act provisions of minimum-wage protection to blind workers in sheltered workshops for the blind on the belief that the condition of your eyes doesn't alter the cost of living within the society. I'd like to ask you directly this morning: Are you willing to support our proposal in Congress for extending coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act to blind workers in sheltered workshops?"

To which Secretary Marshall replied: "Let me say that I am opposed to subminimum wages for ordinary workers under any circumstances. I think that one of the biggest fallacies that we've had is that you either benefit the society as a whole or workers by allowing subminimum wages. It seems to me that we ought to do that very sparingly; and my view is that we ought to do it mainly for people who are in learning situations like apprentice situations and not in situations where workers have become regular employees. So we will vigorously support any effort to eliminate subminimum wages for regular workers of any kind."

Back to contents

THE RIGHT OF THE BLIND TO ORGANIZE

The title of this article was the title of an important session at the convention this summer. It was a celebration of our recent victory at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind (CAB) where the workers voted in June to be represented by Teamsters Local 100. It was also a discussion of where we go from here.

NFB Treasurer Dick Edlund, who worked tirelessly to achieve the Cincinnati victory, chaired the session. The speakers were Paul Dressell, president of the NFB affiliate in Cincinnati; Roy Smith, a worker at the CAB who was one of the prime movers within the shop; and Mr. John Greeley, the Director of the Warehouse Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

It was a historic occasion: one of the highest-ranking officials of the nation's largest labor union addressing the convention of the organized blind movement. Mr. Greeley understood at once what we are about. He began by referring to the FAA demonstration the day before, saying: "I do want to congratulate you very, very sincerely for the demonstration you put on yesterday in the city of Washington. And I want you to know this is what it's all about."

Mr. Greeley then turned to the events in Cincinnati and spoke, in part, as follows:

"Of all the things your chapter has ever done in the state of Ohio or the city of Cincinnati, I believe coming to us was the proper thing to do. ... I have a feeling that now that you're organized, now that you have the right to organize, and you had that very long series of different meetings at the National Labor Relations Board office that finally resulted in the disposition of different paper matters by the board itself, ultimately showing that you had a right to vote, to vote for a union of your own choice—that's the greatest victory that could ever possibly happen to people.

"Because all you want really is to be ordinary good citizens. You no longer want to be treated as you have been for all these years—as second-class citizens. And that's what our effort is, too. ... I want you to know this: that on that day in Cincinnati when you got the right to vote, and later on we had the election and you voted to affiliate with the Teamsters Union, you made a fine, right decision for the benefit of all people that have your handicap for the rest of your lives. And I guarantee you this today as I stand here: I am going to say to you that never again will I misunderstand, and never again will I wonder why I'm sent on a thing like this, because now I know, now I know by being here these last couple of hours, now I know how I feel; and I have a feeling that I should dedicate myself to spreading the word everywhere I go—back in the Teamsters building, back everywhere I meet Teamsters—that we've going to assist you, and we're going to give you the fullest measure of protection that our international union can give you. Because you deserve it.

"Now let me say this to you: One of the main reasons that we're attacked all the time is because of our strength. And we have never forgotten, as I told you before, that we represent people; and we are not concerned about what they say to us as long as we do the right kind of job. We're proud of our ability to negotiate good contracts.

"And I say this to you, and particularly to those people that we now represent in the workshop in Cincinnati: If we are not able to negotiate a contract through the strength of negotiating across a table, then we're not afraid to take any other kind of action. Because we know that you're not second-class citizens, and you will do anything that the ordinary citizen does to gain their contract, to gain their position, and to gain what they should obtain in the way of wages, hours, and working conditions.

"And in this connection, I want to say just one thing. Our record as Teamsters with respect to strikes is the most unusual record of any international union in this country. And I daresay if you follow the record of unions in the nation with respect to strikes, you can't help but notice that we have fewer strikes than all the other international unions. And maybe the reason for that is when we sit down at the bargaining table, the employer across the table from us knows that when we say strike, we mean it and we can do it, and we can do it right and effectively. We never have a strike unless two thirds of those people involved vote for the right to strike. We never, never do call a strike ourselves; only the people we represent call the strike."

Mr. Greeley then concluded with the following promise: "I'm very, very proud of the fact that I got this opportunity to come here today to say to you: The decision that you've made is the right kind of a decision because I say we are not the best international union because we are the largest, but we are the largest because we are the best. And every place and in every workshop in this nation where you people work, if you want to be organized, just sing out, call us and we'll be there to help. And we guarantee we will give you the full measure of protection—from General President Fitzsimmons down to the newest elected full-time officer."

Mr. Greeley's words were greeted with sustained cheers and applause. Here was a speaker after our own heart, and here was a message which showed that the sighted workers of this country understand that our problems on the job are not the result of blindness but of the same kind of management insensitivity that oppressed sighted workers before they learned the power of organizing.

This message of strong support from the Teamsters was returned a month later when President Jernigan traveled to Toronto to address the National Warehouse Conference of the Teamsters, on August 15. The speech he delivered appears in full immediately following this article, but the reaction it received can be gauged by a report in the September newsletter of Teamsters Local 1937 in Detroit. Titled "Blind Organization Leader Holds Delegates Spellbound," and written by Jack Carlisle, the report began as follows:

"TORONTO—The most exciting moment at the 29th annual National Warehouse Conference here was the unscheduled appearance before the 500 delegates of blind Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, president of the National Federation of the Blind.

"Dr. Jernigan electrified the warehouse leaders when he made this strong plea with his white cane leaning on the podium, I hope you will let us become part of the Teamster family and we will try to carry our weight.'

"For 40 minutes you could hear a pin drop while the leader of the blind recited how blind workers were treated as second-class citizens as they worked at amazingly low wages in the nation's so-called 'sheltered shops' for the blind. He delivered a prepared speech by using the Braille system as he spoke in the powerful voice of conviction, and his message had an emotional impact on his Teamster listeners."

The report in the Teamster newsletter then quoted Dr. Jernigan's speech nearly in full before continuing as follows:

"Well, this speech properly electrified the Teamsters warehouse leaders. They gave the blind president of the blind a standing ovation and long, ringing applause. There was no question about it. Dr. Jernigan, the courageous leader of blind underprivileged workers, had captured the hearts of his Teamster listeners.

"Chairman Bobby Holmes said to the eloquent speaker, 'Tell the Federation that your message to these delegates I am sure was really something pathetic.'

"'When the tragedy of life,' Holmes added, 'has got to be ripped off by the money mongers, it's a sad commentary. Now we are for equality and I think the labor movement has proven that over the years. As far as I am concerned, a blind man is an American citizen just like a man who has his eyesight. I thank you for being part of our program. I know I am speaking for our delegates in giving you our best wishes and in giving you as much support as we can.'

The report in the Teamster newsletter then concluded as follows:

"Eventually Paul Steinberger, a brilliant Central States Conference administrator, introduced a resolution which he had written about the blind. In all admiration, Holmes remarked that 'Paul is the only writer we know of who has made a literary art out of writing Teamster resolutions.'

"'Early last winter,' Steinberger read the resolution, 'a beefy Teamster whose heart was bigger than his belly passed away. Ken Watson, Sr., an organizer for Local 100 in Cincinnati, was more than just a local union representative. He was a fighter for human rights before the term became popular.

"'Almost singlehandedly he built one of the most active Teamster retiree operations in the country. He worked to bring Overnite Drivers into our organization in the early stages of the campaign. He became the beacon of hope in the Lighthouse for the Blind that posthumously led to an NLRB victory for the sightless workers in Cincinnati.

"'From the remarks made to this 29th meeting of the National Warehouse Division by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, it has been proved beyond any doubt that to be sightless is not to be blind to the struggle for human dignity.

"'Therefore be it resolved that we the delegates pledge our support to America's sightless workers in their fight to achieve those benefits of collective bargaining that we have taken for granted for so long and that we urge each and every local union and joint council in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to extend the hand of trade union friendship to our sightless brothers and sisters in their communities. We do this in the memory of our brother Kenneth Watson, Sr.'"

This meeting in Toronto was just the first of several very encouraging contacts with the Teamsters. President Jernigan and Dick Edlund have taken part in training seminars held at the Teamsters headquarters in Washington, and we look forward to a close co-operative relationship with the union.

But it could not be expected that this united effort of the Federation and the Teamsters would go unopposed by the workshop establishment. In the plush administrative offices of workshops around the country—at least in those shops where high salaries and handsome perquisites for the managers are based on low wages and exploitation of the blind workers—there has been a desperate scurrying around as the end of their outdated, custodial system looms near. We are now entering what may be the most intensive battle in the history of the blind-a battle that will determine whether we are to be first-class citizens or wards.

Two significant developments have occurred since the convention that are clearly the first return fire in that battle. In Cincinnati, Milton Jahoda and the CAB have refused to bargain with the Teamsters. In the long run this tactic cannot succeed; the courts, if necessary, will bring Mr. Jahoda to accept reality. But the immediate result will be delays in negotiating a decent contract for the CAB workers; and this is undoubtedly what the CAB management has in mind.

On the national level, National Industries for the Blind, the organization spawned by the American Foundation for the Blind to act as lobbying agent and contractor for over 90 workshops in the country, has decided to take action to try to return to the old days when blind workers had no legal protections at all. NIB has reportedly hired one of the most prestigious and expensive law firms in the country to petition the National Labor Relations Board for a reversal of its decision in the Chicago and Cincinnati cases. NIB, you will remember, testified before the Congress this year that blind workers should not be guaranteed the minimum wage. Now they are hoping that by hiring a firm with enormous political leverage they can persuade the NLRB to deny us the right to organize.

It seems clear to us that NIB and the Cincinnati Association have another tactic in mind as well. Both of their actions will require that the Federation devote a good deal of money to defending the rights of blind workers in court. Put simply, there is no other group in the country to defend these rights. Our opponents know we have the determination to stay in the battle to the end; but very likely they are hoping we will not have the resources to do so. There is a bitter irony in the fact that NIB is using the money gained by exploiting blind people to block their steps toward first-class status.

We can expect ever stronger attacks from the workshop managers as their privileged position comes under greater attack. Not only the blind but the general public as well is coming to realize how rotten the system is. In August the citizens of New York State got a good glimpse into the blindness establishment. The state counterpart of NIB is an outfit called Industries for the Blind of New York State. On August 19, Newsday, a Long Island newspaper, published the results of a state audit of Industries for the Blind. The article, by reporter Pete Bowles, began as follows:

"A Long Island corporation that acts as a sales agent for 10 workshops for the blind throughout the state was accused in a state audit yesterday of spending 576,826 last year on 'unreasonable" business expenses, including $25,000 in meals listed as 'promotional expenses." State Comptroller Arthur Levitt charged that Industries for the Blind of New York State, Inc., a nonprofit corporation in Garden City Park that sells only to government agencies in New York State, also improperly listed as business expenses money spent on out-of-state conventions, luxury cars for its two managers and alcoholic beverages bought in a tavern occupying half the small building owned by the corporation. Among the convention expenses, said Levitt, were bills for jewelry, flowers, and liquor."

The article reported that Industries for the Blind receives a 7 percent commission on workshop sales, or $383,000 in fiscal 1977. Then it concluded with a list of the uses this money was put to, as follows:

"• $25,000 spent at various Long Island restaurants, most within five miles of the corporation's office. The state said most of the organization's customers are in New York [City] or Suffolk [County].

"• $945 for the corporation's annual Christmas party, held at a nearby restaurant, plus another $420 for a party two days later in Manhattan. The firm has four employees.

"• The purchase of two 1977 Lincolns with list prices of about $13,000 each for Goehrig [the corporation's general manager] and the corporation's business manager, Jack B. Kleinstein. Goehrig defended the purchase as 'a good deal,' saying the cars actually cost about $8,000 each.

"• 'Inappropriate' pay increases from 1973 to 1976 that boosted Goehrig's salary from $30,000 to $45,600 and Kleinstein 's from $18,500 to $30,600. Goehrig said the salaries are justified because he and Kleinstein do not receive the same benefits as state employees.

"• The purchase in 1971 of the office building and tavern for $51,000, the spending of $29,000 for renovations and the 1977 purchase for $16,000 of a vacant lot that could be used for tavern parking in the event North Hempstead Town chooses to enforce its off-street parking regulations."

In case anyone might think it is unfair to blame workshops for the mismanagement of their contracting agent, one of the results of this audit was the resignation of the executive director of the NAC-accredited Albany Association for the Blind, Joseph W. Pike. Mr. Pike is the president of Industries for the Blind. Another of the results was that the NFB of New York State has asked the state auditor to extend his scrutiny to the operations of the ten workshops which are clients of Industries for the Blind.

Because one thing is obvious: The system of sheltered workshops for the blind produces immense profits-profits to pay high salaries, to buy limousines and liquor and jewelry, not to mention taverns and parking lots and Christmas parties averaging $340 per staff member. It is no wonder the work-shop managers cannot find the money to pay blind workers the minimum wage. And it is no wonder they will use every tactic available to resist changing the system. But we are changing it, and all the AFB's and NIB's and NAC's in the world will not stop us.

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THE BLIND AND THE TEAMSTERS: PARTNERSHIP AND PROGRESS

BY KENNETH JERNIGAN
President, National Federation of the Blind

DELIVERED BEFORE THE 29th ANNUAL NATIONAL WAREHOUSE CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

Toronto, Canada, August 15, 1978

I have never been to a meeting of Teamsters before, but I do not feel like a stranger among you. Instead, I feel like a member of the family here to discuss common problems and shared hopes—the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively, the tendency of management to want to control not only business and industry but also government and the lives of employees as well, and the need of the ordinary person to have the chance to compete for a piece of the action in society.

The National Federation of the Blind was founded in 1940. It is the largest organization of Wind people in the country, with chapters in every state and almost every community of any size. The blind have always been regarded as second-class citizens, and the very governmental and private social service agencies and charitable organizations established to help us have often exploited us and been a hindrance to our progress. They have sometimes been more interested in the salaries and prestige of their managers and supervisors than in the advancement of the blind persons they were created to help. Sometimes they have had token blind persons in management positions, but this has not changed their stake in keeping us second-class. This is why the National Federation of the Blind was formed. This is why we organized—to do for ourselves and to speak for ourselves.

I am here today to tell you something about our organization. More particularly, I am here because you the Teamsters have helped us start on the road to organize the workers in the so-called "sheltered shops" for the blind. Let me tell you something about these shops. In the first place most blind persons could work in regular business and industry on equal terms with others (just as productive and just as competitive) if they had the training and the opportunity. But they don't, so they work in the sheltered shops.

Some of these shops are run by state government. Many of them are private organizations set up by a few prominent citizens in the community, who get publicity and satisfaction from serving on the board and having their names connected with a worth-while cause but who really know very little about what goes on in the day-to-day operation. The real control is usually exercised by the paid (highly paid) director and other management staff.

The managers of the workshops have had a good thing of it. They have had prestige and respect in the community; they have raised money in the name of helping the blind; and very few questions have been asked because it has been thought they were doing such noble work in helping unfortunate people. They have told the Congress that the blind are not capable of real productivity, and so they have been permitted to pay less than the minimum wage (sometimes as little as fifty cents an hour) on the theory that the activity in the shops is not actually real work as much as it is therapy, that it is rehabilitation or training to prepare the workers to go into competitive employment, and that the shops will go broke (have you heard that before?) if they pay the workers decent wages and fringe benefits. Yet, they have enough money to pay salaries often running to more than $50,000 a year to their top management. They can afford fancy offices, a lot of travel to conferences in expensive hotels, and a very thorough package of fringe benefits for supervisors and other professional staff. Blind workers can be laid off or fired at will; and they often have no sick leave, no vacation, and no say about working conditions.

The songs people sing tell a great deal about their lives. In the National Federation of the Blind we have several songs about sheltered shops. One of these is sung to the tune of the religious song "Bringing in the Sheaves," but it is titled "Bringing in the Thieves." The chorus goes like this:

Bringing in the thieves,
bringing in the thieves,
the workshops come rejoicing,
bringing in the thieves.

As you might imagine, the thieves to which the reference is made are not the workers. Another song is done to the tune of "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad." It is called "I've Been Workin' in the Workshop," and it goes like this:

I've been workin' in the workshop,
all the live long day,
and with the wages that they pay me,
it's just to pass my time away.

In 1960 the blind workers in the San Diego shop asked the National Labor Relations Board to order an election to permit them to unionize. In a three-to-two split decision the Board refused to take jurisdiction, having been propagandized by management into believing that the prime purpose of the shop was rehabilitation in nature and, therefore, that the blind workers did not need the same rights and protections enjoyed by other Americans in the work force. It was 1976 before we could get this decision reversed. That was the Chicago Lighthouse case. And it was 1978 before we really locked it up. That was when you the Teamsters helped us organize the Cincinnati Association for the Blind.

Since they are either governmental or non-profit organizations, the workshops pay no taxes. They receive heavy subsidies from the government, and they receive donations from the general public. Federal legislation requires government agencies to buy products from the shops. I am not complaining about all of this. I am only saying that if it is going to happen, I don't want all of the pie to go to management. I want the workers to have a few bites, too.

The workshops have traditionally made brooms, mops, and mattresses. More recently they have received large government contracts to produce a wide variety of items and have subcontracted with private industry.

The Cleveland Society for the Blind is a nonprofit organization established to assist blind persons in the Cleveland area. It operates a sheltered shop and provides employment to blind persons who manage snack bars on public and other property. Late in 1972 the National Federation of the Blind learned that the Cleveland Society had told the snack bar operators that they must contribute specified amounts to the United Torch campaign or face the possibility of dismissal. There were other problems. The state of Ohio was authorized to take no more than three percent from the gross earnings of operators as a service charge, but the Cleveland Society was taking eight percent. If a snack bar netted twenty percent, this would mean that almost half of the net earnings of the operator was being taken from him by the Cleveland Society. Further, there were rebates from soft drink companies and other suppliers going directly to the Cleveland Society and not to the operators. Moreover, as a condition of employment each blind operator had to sign an agreement which gave the Cleveland Society absolutely unbelievable power over his personal life. Let me read you a few of the things the operators had to sign. They had to agree (and I am now quoting) that they would "have an annual physical checkup. Obtain dental care at least semi-annually." Eat a "balanced diet. Obtain adequate rest commensurate with the hours to be worked at a snack bar. Bathe daily. Shampoo frequently. Use appropriate deodorants. Wear clean underclothing. Wear comfortable shoes."

I think that I ought to take a bath when I need one and that I ought to take care of myself generally, but I don't want anybody telling me as a condition of employment how much rest I ought to get, what kind of food I ought to eat, what kind of deodorant I ought to use, and how often I must change my underwear. How would you like to be forced to sign that kind of agreement as a condition of employment? The sighted director of the Cleveland Society for the Blind defended his rules in the newspaper by saying that blind people have to be especially careful.

The National Federation of the Blind helped the snack bar operators sue the Cleveland Society and its director for money illegally withheld from their earnings and for violating their rights as human beings because of the agreement they were forced to sign. The Cleveland Society for the Blind has a lot of clout and a lot of contacts, so (almost six years later) the case is still on appeal in the federal courts. When the general public learns the whole story, I think they won't stand for this sort of treatment of blind persons. Just as important, I hope that the next time that we go to deal with the Cleveland Society for the Blind you will be standing by our side. That will make a lot of difference. If the Teamsters and the Federation had been at the bargaining table with the Cleveland Society for the Blind, do you think a contract would have been written telling people when to change their underwear?

The Minneapolis Society for the Blind is another so-called "nonprofit" organization. In the early 1970's it had a 30-memberboard of directors, none of whom was blind. According to the bylaws anybody who made a cash contribution would thereby be a member of the organization. When the blind tried to become members, the board of directors said that all members were expelled and that in the future nobody would be considered members except the members of the board. The Minneapolis Society receives upwards of $100,000 per year from the state of Minnesota, as well as sizable grants from the federal government and continuing contributions from the general public. The Minneapolis Society was building an addition to its workshop. We learned that the contract for the mechanical work (a sizable contract) had been awarded to a company owned by the man who was both the President of the Society and the Chairman of its building committee.

Conditions in the Society's workshop can be understood by what happened to Lawrence Kettner, a blind worker. Kettner was "evaluated" so that the Society could get an exemption and not pay him the minimum wage. It was a remarkable evaluation. Kettner was evaluated over a period of 14 days, but time studies of his work were made only on the third, fourth, sixth, and eighth days of the period. His duties were changed so that he had trouble developing proficiency in any one task. The equipment available to him was faulty, but he was measured against sighted workers using good equipment. Delays in receiving supplies were counted as part of his production time even though these delays were not his fault.

His productivity increased markedly during the four time studies (from 42 percent of normal production to 79 percent), showing the unfairness of giving him no time studies near the end of the evaluation period. Kettner says he was called into the director's office and badgered into signing a statement indicating he was capable of only 75 percent of normal production. He says he was told he would not be paid for the work he had done if he did not sign. He needed the money. He signed. The Minneapolis Society did not know that the day before Kettner signed the waiver he had found himself a job in private industry at a rate above the minimum wage.

We complained to the federal Department of Labor and were told that a ruling was made against the Minneapolis Society for the Blind. Maybe so, but we never observed any noticeable results. We also took the Society to court because they had manipulated their board and membership. We won the court case, but the Society is appealing, and the case is still tied up in delays and red tape. When we deal with the Minneapolis Society for the Blind in the future, I hope the Teamsters will be at our side. Maybe we can have a lot less red tape and a lot more action.

The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind also operates a sheltered shop. When the workers began to try to organize in 1975, blind persons were being paid less than the minimum wage, and working conditions were bad—no job protection, no rights, and no collective bargaining. Seventy to eighty percent of all workshop contracts were with the Skilcraft Corporation. Skilcraft had no assembly and packaging employees of its own. All assembly and packaging were done by blind employees of the Lighthouse in Skilcraft's own building. None of the individuals was paid the federal minimum wage, and there were no fringe benefits whatsoever. Therefore, in truth and in fact these blind people were employees of Skilcraft, and the Chicago Lighthouse was nothing more than a front for an employer who wanted cheap labor. The workers were not much better off than slaves.

The Chicago Lighthouse tried to explain it by saying that the blind were not "employees" but were "clients," who were in the process of being rehabilitated and trained for outside competitive employment. It was a mighty long period of training. Some of these so-called "clients" had worked for the Lighthouse for from ten to fifteen years. So the Lighthouse had (and for all I know, still has) two classes of workers: one group (all blind) called "clients," and the other group (mostly sighted) called "employees." As the National Federation of the Blind said in its brief to the National Labor Relations Board in 1976, "Those called employees receive paid vacations, sick leave, paid holidays, personal leave days, hospitalization insurance, life insurance, pension benefits, workmen's compensation benefits, and unemployment insurance; those called 'clients' do not.

"In all other respects employees and 'clients' receive equal treatment. They are supervised, punch a time clock, work eight-hour days, and observe all of the employer's policies. For instance, the employer has a policy that if an individual is sick for more than two days he must produce a verifying doctor's statement upon his return to work. Astounding as it may be, the worker who is characterized as a 'client' must follow this policy even though he receives no pay for his time off from work." He must spend his own money in order to get the doctor's statement.

The National Labor Relations Board ordered an election at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind in the summer of 1976. Before the election was held, the principal worker engaged in organizing was fired. We lost the election. Shortly afterward, three more leaders of the effort to organize were fired.

The blind of the nation collected what money they could to help feed those fired workers. We are now trying to organize again at the Chicago Lighthouse, and another leading organizer has been fired. We will share what we have with him. To the extent that we have it or can get it, we will see that he has money for food and clothes.

But this time I believe Chicago will be different. I believe you the Teamsters will be with us. Our people are willing to fight (and we are good fighters); but we are up against power and heavy odds, and we need help. I have the faith to believe that you will give us that help, for our cause is your cause and what we are doing is right.

In Massachusetts a few days ago there was a transit strike. State employees were paid for the day on the theory that they could not get to work. Blind workers at the state workshop (also state employees) were not paid for the day—presumably on the theory that they couldn't do anything about it. The Massachusetts workshop is considering a list of factors on which to evaluate its workers. Some of the factors are these: reaction to criticism, reaction to praise, reaction to authority, reaction to co-workers, acceptance of responsibility, posture, sound localization, sense of humor, independent action, worker self-concept, social conduct, motivation, dependability, initiative, work quality, and work quantity. There are other factors on the list, but I think I have given you enough to make the point. The only two things on that list that really ought to be given very much weight are the quantity and the quality of the work the employee does. I am particularly struck by management's intention to evaluate the blind workers on their sense of humor. It's a bad joke. With conditions what they are in the sheltered shops there's not a whole lot to laugh about.

We have a job to do in Massachusetts; and, again, I hope and believe that you will be at our side. You were with us in Cincinnati a few weeks ago when the shopworkers voted to be represented by the Teamsters. I am told that some of the workers in the Cincinnati shop make 58 cents an hour while the director of the organization makes upwards of $50,000 a year. I look forward to the contract talks, and I suspect you do, too.

I have come here today as the President of the 50,000-member National Federation of the Blind. I have come as the leader of the organized blind of the United States. I have come to lay our case before you and to ask for your help and your partnership. We need your financial support, and we need your strength at the bargaining table; but we want to give as well as take.

There is an organization called NAC (the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped). NAC is the rallying point for some of the worst sheltered shops in the country. It does everything it can to keep the workers from organizing and, particularly, to discredit the National Federation of the Blind. Maybe the best way I can summarize our purposes and goals is by reading you a letter.

It was 1974, and we were going to Cincinnati to picket the workshop and the annual meeting of NAC. Some of our Kentucky members were troubled by the thought of picketing and wrote to ask me exactly what they would be expected to do. I replied as follows:

"You say that there seems to be somewhat of a reaction to demonstrating and picketing. As you know, I grew up in the hills of Tennessee, where the water ran clear and the loyalties deep. I doubt that any member of the Federation (either in Kentucky or anywhere else) had a more conservative upbringing than I.

"For that matter, I still regard myself as a conservative citizen, but I cannot stand by and do nothing while NAC [and the workshops] remain unreformed and while I have life and strength. NAC [and the workshops] represent tyranny to the blind. That means tyranny to the blind of Kentucky, as well as to the blind of other places. It is that simple, and we cannot avoid our responsibility by telling ourselves it does not exist.

"In the days of the youth of our nation a man named Andrew Jackson went down the Mississippi to fight the British at New Orleans. The backbone of his army consisted of Kentucky riflemen straight from the edge of the frontier. They were not radicals or irresponsible hell-raisers, but they would die and be double damned before they would give up their freedom to the British. I am not Andrew Jackson, and today's Kentuckians are not the frontiersmen of the 1800's; but if we meekly bow to NAC and the workshops, we deserve the second-class status we will surely get.

"You ask me what is expected of those attending the demonstration, and I reply that we need every man, woman, and child we can get to go to Cincinnati to serve as a visible reminder to NAC and the workshops that we are free people and not inferiors—that we are not indifferent, not unconcerned, and not afraid to stand up for our rights. This is what is needed, but I would not want a single person to go to that meeting who is unwilling in his heart to go. We need front-line soldiers; but the army we need must be an army of volunteers, not draftees. We want no person there in body only. You must bring your heart with you, or stay at home.

"You ask what is expected of Kentucky, and I answer that I want you to come as your fathers came—with the spirit that crossed the mountains, settled the wilderness, and fought the British. Do it, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against us."

The Kentuckians came—and I have come to you today, asking for your help and your partnership. If there was ever a cause that was just, that cause is ours. If there was ever a time of need, that time is now. We know how to give loyalty to friends, and we know how to give battle to opponents. We have faith in the future, and we have faith in you as people and as Teamsters. If you will work with us as partners, we will give as well as take. Your cause will be our cause; your friends will be our friends; your enemies will be our enemies. We will stand with you until hell freezes over and then get an axe and help you chop a hole in the ice.  

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THE DES MOINES OFFICE CLOSES

By the time you read this, the Des Moines office of the Federation will be closed. As of this moment, therefore, you should no longer use the address 218 Randolph Hotel Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 for any purpose whatever. We understand that some letters may be in the mail on their way to Des Moines; these will be forwarded on to the proper address. But using this address in the future will mean considerable delays in having your mail handled.

Here, then, is a complete rundown of where various kinds of mail should be sent from now on:

The new address of the National Office is: National Federation of the Blind, 1101 Saint Paul Street, Suite 412, Baltimore, Maryland 21202; phone (301) 659-9314. Use this address for letters to President Jernigan. Also use it for requests for Monitor subscriptions or changes in subscription addresses. Use it also to report changes in chapter or state affiliate officers or their addresses. Finally, this is the address for all requests for NFB literature, films, aids, and appliances.

The address of the NFB Washington Office remains the same: National Federation of the Blind, 1346 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Suite 212, Washington, D.C. 20036; phone (202) 785-2974. Use this address for mail to Jim Gashel and for articles for the Monitor or mail for the Monitor editor.

The address of the national treasurer is the same also. That is: Richard Edlund, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, Box 11185, Kansas City, Kansas 66111. Use this address for all donations to the Federation, for forms enrolling Associate members, and for any correspondence dealing with the PAC plan.

Speaking of contributions, this issue of the Monitor is once again a single issue for two months; and most Federationists will not need to ask the reason why. We have never been in more serious financial straits. The response to the campaign to finance our movement ourselves with contributions from members, their families, and friends has been heartening. We are now providing roughly one third of our budget from this source. But in the meantime, we have been draining our reserves. It has reached the point that we cannot do this for another year. During 1979 we must either triple our contributions or eliminate two thirds of the activities of the movement. The choice is this or bankruptcy.

We have already begun stringent cutbacks in all areas of our operations. Yet if you think about it, there are no frills to eliminate. What we are talking about are the substantive programs that are the very center of our purpose as a movement. It becomes a question of curtailing our work with Congress, or cutting back more on the Monitor, or not being able to afford the legal expenses of challenging discriminatory treatment of blind people. Indeed, there is no question that our opponents are hoping all of these things will happen. They are depending on it.

None of this is cause for despair. But it is reason for us to triple our efforts toward self-support. In spite of our financial difficulties, 1978 was the most successful year in our history; and we believe 1979 can surpass it. Our momentum is growing year by year. We must make certain that nothing slows our progress.  

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FOR UNITY'S SAKE

by HAZEL STALEY

It's the middle of October as I write this. I have just listened to the presidential release describing the meeting of our national board with the California affiliate, and I was heart-sick as I heard Bob Acosta and his supporters scream insults at the elected leaders of the organization and the other Federationists in the room. Although I am not a writer, I feel impelled to commit a few of my thoughts to paper.

I read somewhere that it was a miracle that the Apostles Matthew and Simon the Zealot could serve on an intimate group like Jesus' twelve Disciples without killing each other. Matthew was, in effect, a traitor. He collected exorbitant taxes from his own people for an oppressive foreign power. A tax collector's word wasn't even valid in a Jewish court. Simon belonged to a radical revolutionary party that was determined to throw the Romans out; he was a guerrilla, a "Zealot"—one completely committed to securing Jewish freedom from the Romans. It is indeed a miracle that two such different people could be recruited for so small a team and even more miraculous that there is no record of any conflict between them.

How did they do it? How were they able to work together without killing each other? They could do it because they both recognized and were willing to acknowledge that spreading the Gospel message was the number-one priority of their team. They were willing to relegate their own political leanings to a secondary position or forget them altogether in order to accomplish the mission of the team.

What has this got to do with the National Federation of the Blind? Jesus' team and the NFB, it seems to me, are very similar. The NFB was organized because there were people back there in 1940 who cared about blind people and were concerned about their future. Those 16 delegates who met at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, were already successful. No one compelled them to spend their time and money to try to formulate a plan for ensuring equality, opportunity, and security for future generations of blind people. They did it because they cared. They were willing to put the well-being of the total group above their own personal ambitions.

It seems to me that Bob Acosta and those who support him have lost sight of the central purpose of the NFB. They seem to be more concerned with personal ambitions, positions, and prestige than with the well-being of the total group of the nation's blind. Destroy the largest organization of the blind in the country and you destroy your own future. You may have a good job and may be getting everything you want out of life right now. But suppose you run into trouble in the future? (With the vagaries of life as they are, it could happen—no matter how secure you may think you are at the moment.) Where could you turn for help without the NFB? Certainly not to the American Foundation for the Blind or to NAC or even to their handmaiden, the American Council of the Blind. If you are a blind person in the United States, you need the Federation, and the Federation needs you. We must provide mutual support for each other. Chances are you would not have made it to where you are today had it not been for the toil and suffering of Federationists who have gone before.

How will your behavior affect future generations of blind persons? Someone has said that the service we render to others is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth. Let's not shirk our responsibility or misuse the talents God gave us. I urge every Federationist to submerge your personal ambitions, your hurt feelings, or whatever else may be disrupting your fellowship with other Federationists. Let's all join our hearts and minds, our wills and our talents, and work together to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for ourselves and for future blind people of our nation. 

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THE NEW FEDERATION INSURANCE PLAN

This year we have talked a good deal about insurance—mainly insurance discrimination. We have made a breakthrough in another area having to do with insurance—we now have our own NFB insurance plan.

The new NFB insurance is as inexpensive as you will ever find; and it produces money for the NFB. We cannot say just how much will come to the organization; but when the combined premiums of insured members reach $200,000 per year, about $50,000 of that will come back to the NFB.

To give an idea about how good a deal this is, Dr. Jernigan called on his experience as an insurance salesman in the 1950's. He sold term life insurance to a college professor under 30 years of age. It cost the man about $6 per thousand dollars of insurance. Under the NFB plan, the insurance would cost less than $1.90 per thousand. The complete rate schedules for the NFB plan are printed later in this article.

Only members of the NFB and their families are eligible. This means, of course, that all NFB members at large are eligible. Since the expense of becoming a member at large and an Associate is modest, and since the savings possible through the insurance plan are so great, this plan should be a real inducement to your friends to become Associates. The combined transaction will not only save them money, it will help further the work of the movement.

Some Federationists have bought life insurance policies and put down the NFB as beneficiary for all or part of it.

There are two parts to the NFB plan; you can sign up for either one or both. There are group life insurance and a hospital indemnity benefit. You can purchase life insurance for yourself, your spouse, and your children until you are 70 years old, though at age 65 the benefits are cut in half. Your spouse can only purchase half as much life insurance as you, and your children only one quarter as much, unless, of course, they are members themselves. At age 70 you can convert the policy into a regular policy with no further proof of insurability.

The hospital indemnity benefit is not meant to take the place of regular hospital insurance. If you are hospitalized the plan will pay you either $25 or $50 a day, beginning with the first day and continuing for 365 days, no matter what other insurance you also have. The payments may be spent any way you wish. Your spouse is eligible for the same amount, and your children for half that. No physical examination is necessary for this part of the plan.

Here, then, is a more complete description of the two parts of the NFB insurance plan, complete with rates for all categories. This plan has the potential for helping to support the NFB, but its original purpose was just as much to be a convenience for NFB members who need insurance. The plan is now in operation, and we advise you to take advantage of it.

In the rate charts for life insurance and the hospital indemnity benefit, when the member moves from one age bracket to another, his or her dependents move to the rates for the new age bracket of the member.

Semi-annual payments are one half the yearly payment plus 50 cents; quarterly payments are one fourth the annual rate plus 50 cents.

* THE NFB INSURANCE PLAN *

ELIGIBILITY

* All dues-paying members under age 65 who are actively at work either at jobs or household duties.

* Dependent spouses under age 65.

* Dependent children age 14 days to 19 years. Coverage will be extended to age 23 if the child is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

LIFE INSURANCE

Amount of Insurance—You can buy coverage of $50,000, $25,000, or $10,000. At age 65, benefits are cut 50%. You can buy coverage for spouses up to 50% your own coverage, and up to 25% for eligible children.

Waiver of Premium—Life insurance coverage will continue in force without the payment of premiums during any period a member becomes totally and permanently disabled prior to age 60 and when such disability has continued at least six months. The cause of the disability cannot be medically related to the member's blindness.

Conversion Privilege—If a member's insurance terminates or is reduced because of age, the same amount of insurance may be converted to an individual policy without any health statements, if the application is sent to Monumental Insurance Company within 31 days. Conversion is also available to spouses and children, in case the NFB member leaves the program, or when the children grow too old for eligibility.

Termination of Coverage—A member's insurance under this program will terminate upon the earliest of the following: (1) the premium due date following the member's 70th birthday, (2) termination of the master policy, (3) non-payment of premium, or (4) termination of NFB membership.

Insurance will terminate for an insured spouse or dependent child upon the earliest of the following: (1) the date they no longer are eligible because of age or relationship to the insured member, or (2) the date the member's insurance is terminated.

Annual Rates for Life Insurance

Annual Rate for Member’s Coverage

Amount of Coverage

Members Age

$10,000

$25,000

$50,000

under 30

$18.80

$47.00

$94.00

30-39

24.00

60.00

120.00

40-49

55.60

139.00

278.00

50-59

136.00

340.00

680.00

60-64

249.60

624.00

1248.00

65-69*

199.60

499.00

998.00

*Benefit reduced 50% at age 65.

Annual Rate for Coverage of Member’s Spouse

Amount of Coverage

Members Age

$5,000

$12,500

$25,000

under 30

$8.40

$21.00

$42.00

30-39

10.40

26.00

52.00

40-49

26.40

66.00

132.00

50-59

62.40

156.00

312.00

60-64

113.60

284.00

568.00

65-69*

91.20

228.00

456.00

*Benefit reduced 50% at age 65.

Annual Rate for Member’s Children

Amount of Coverage

$2,500

$6,250

$12,500

All children at all age brackets

$12.00

$30.00

$60.00

HOSPITAL INDEMNITY BENEFIT

Benefits—The following amounts will be paid while you are hospitalized by an accident or sickness for a period of confinement up to 365 days, provided you are under the regular care of a licensed physician or surgeon:

                 PLAN I                   PLAN II
Member $25/day               $50/day
Spouse   $25/day                $50/day
Children $12.50/day          $25/day

Cash is paid directly to the insured member or dependent to spend any way they decide. This is in addition to any other insurance in force, and there are no limits to the number of claims payable.

Everyone who applies will be insured for the Hospital Indemnity benefit.

Recurrent Hospital Confinement—Successive periods of hospital confinement as a result of the same or related injury or sickness will be considered as one period of confinement unless such confinement is separated by at least six months.

Exclusions—This program does not cover loss as a result of war or military service; attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries; mental disorder, alcoholism, or drug addiction; dental care, except as a result of injury to sound and natural teeth; pregnancy; treatment or service rendered in any hospital or convalescent facility owned or operated by the federal government; rest cure or physical check-up; or hospital charges for usual well-baby care for newborn children. You will not be paid during confinements caused by conditions for which you were treated or advised by a physician in the 12 months preceding the start of the insurance. This limitation will not apply as soon as you have gone 12 months without treatment or have been insured for 24 months, whichever comes first.

Annual Rates for Hospital Indemnity Benefit

PLAN I

Members Age

Member Only

Member and Spouse

Member, Spouse and all children

Member and all children

under 30

$32.60

$61.00

$95.00

$66.60

30-39

45.00

84.20

118.20

79.00

40-49

61.60

113.40

145.00

93.20

50-59

80.20

149.80

175.00

105.40

60-64

92.80

178.80

197.80

111.80

Plan II

Members Age

Member Only

Member and Spouse

Member, Spouse and all children

Member and all children

under 30

$65.20

$122.00

$190.00

$133.20

30-39

90.00

168.40

236.40

158.00

40-49

123.20

226.80

290.00

186.40

50-59

160.40

299.60

350.00

210.80

60-64

185.60

357.60

395.00

223.60

Application forms for the Federation insurance plan have been sent to every chapter president. You can also obtain forms by writing to: Herbert Magin, 2 Charles Center, 15 Charles Plaza, Suite 3001, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. Sign up today to protect yourself and help fund the movement.  

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH

by JULIA HAWKINS

Note: Julia Hawkins is a member of the Black Hills Chapter, NFB of South Dakota.

THE FAMOUS SENTA RESTAURANT BEAN SOUP  

Ingredients  

2 pounds small navy beans
1-1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks 
1 onion
3 Salt, pepper, and butter  

Wash the navy beans and run through hot water until they are white again. Put them on the fire with four quarts of water. Then add the ham hocks and boil for three hours in a covered pot. Chop the onion and braise it in a little butter. When the onion is browned, add it to the soup and season with pepper. Do not add the salt until you are ready to serve the soup. This recipe will serve eight people. 

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MONITOR MINIATURES

Joanne Fernandes, chairwoman of the NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee (CEIP) would like to remind you that the next time you clean out your shelves of used Braille book or magazines or are about to throw out an old white cane or Braille watch, the CEIP Committee would like these items to send to blind persons in countries where they are not available or too costly for blind persons to afford. The committee will repair canes or watches and distribute them. Here are the addresses to use:

Braille books and Braille writing equipment: Send to Ray McGeorge, 901 East 17th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80218.

Braille watches: Send to Bernice Hamer, 31 Dartmouth, Lawrence, Massachusetts 01841.

White canes: Send these to Junerose Killian, 7 Chaplin Hill Court, Niantic, Connecticut 06357.

If you have copies of the Monitor in Braille that you have no use for, send these to Donald Montgomery Reynolds, 4 Parkside Drive. Davis, California 95616. The committee is still selling the cookbook Tasty Treats with a Foreign Flair. The book is available in print or Braille for $2 a copy from Mabel Nading, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Also, copies of the international postal regulations for the blind are available in Braille for 50 cents a copy from the National Office.

Dennis Toyama, the brother of Warren Toyama, president of the Hawaii Federation, will be running in a 26-mile marathon on December 10th. Dennis may be the first blind person to run in a marathon; very likely the first to do so in Hawaii at least. The HFB suggests that Federationists make pledges to the national treasury to be paid if Dennis completes the race. Make your pledges now (this will be on the honor system) and watch the Monitor for news of the results.

Federationist Eric Clegg is a TSI-trained freelance Optacon teacher who offers complete Optacon training, follow-up, problem-solving, and general reference information. Contact Eric Clegg, 1801 Kennedy Boulevard, Apartment 2105, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103; phone (215) 568-6417.

Carol Siegel, 6839 Parsons Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21207, is a Federationist who is interested in corresponding in Braille, cassette or open-reel tape (all tracks and speeds) with others interested in law, politics, journalism, nonfiction, arts and crafts, zoology, amateur radio, or sports.

Mrs. Laurie Beach Eckery, 4901½ Webster, Omaha, Nebraska 68132, writes as follows: "I am seeking employment in hospital central supply—sterile service, processing, and distribution. Some aspects of the job have posed a problem to me and to those working with me on securing employment. Hospital personnel insist that most aspects of the job absolutely require sight. If there are any Federationists who have been or are currently engaged in similar employment, I would like to hear from them to learn how they function efficiently as a blind person performing the job. I would also like to hear from anyone who has extensive knowledge about converting equipment with various display panels, dials, meters, etc., into tactile or audible form, equal in efficiency and accuracy to those already on the equipment."

Used braillers are needed for classes of sighted volunteers who are learning Braille transcribing. Any make will be considered: Perkins, Marburg Blista, Smith-Corona, New Hall, Anderssen & Sorenson, etc. Write with the price you are asking to Mrs. Norma Schechter, Braille Instructor, Beach Cities Braille Guild, P.O. Box 712, Huntington Beach, California 92648.

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