THE BRAILLE MONITOR

MAY, 1979

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
1800 JOHNSON STREET
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21230

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

LETTERS FOR THE PRESIDENT, ADDRESS CHANGES, SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS, AND ORDERS FOR NFB LITERATURE SHOULD BE SENT TO THE NATIONAL OFFICE.

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

DONALD McCONNELL, Editor

MONITOR SUBSCRIPTIONS COST THE FEDERATION ABOUT FIFTEEN DOLLARS PER YEAR.  MEMBERS 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 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 nonprofit corporation, the sum of $____ (or "____ percent of my net estate" or "the following stocks and bonds:____") to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons."

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the National 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

MAY 1979

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PARTIAL VICTORY IN THE AIRLINE WAR: THE F.A.A. RECONSIDERS ITS POSITION

MORE FOLLOW-UP ON THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLES

THE BLIND OF MAINE LOSE A STALWART: HELEN COLLINS DIES

THE ASSOCIATES PROGRAM REALLY TAKES OFF

UPDATE ON THE MAGNOLIA LYONS CASE: THE RIGHT OF BLIND PERSONS TO SUE FOR DAMAGES UNDER WHITE CANE LAWS
BY CHARLES BROWN

THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND MADE A FIRMLY COMMITTED FEDERATIONIST OUT OF ME
BY KATHLEEN HAGEN

CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON: COMMENTS AND IMPLICATIONS
BY KENNETH JERNlGAN

THE N.A.C. NOTION OF CONSUMER PARTICIPATION: THE EVANSVILLE ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND

MORE ABOUT THE NFB INSURANCE PLAN

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
BY DON McCONNELL

MONITOR MINIATURES

THE DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES TO APPEAR IN THE JULY ISSUE IS MAY 10th.

Copyright, National Federation of the Blind, Inc., 1979

PARTIAL VICTORY IN THE AIRLINE WAR: THE F.A.A. RECONSIDERS ITS POSITION

In the March Monitor we reported the recent developments in our battle to gain for the blind the same freedom to travel that is enjoyed by other Americans. We noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had asked the D.C. Court of Appeals for a 90-day stay of the proceedings in our lawsuit so that it could at last perform tests to determine whether there was any tactual basis to the FAA claim that travel canes would be dangerous in the event of an emergency evacuation. We have now received a letter from the FAA that indicates the progress we are making.

We have reported so extensively on the events that spurred the lawsuit (not only in the March 1979 Monitor, but in the Monitors for December 1977 and October 1978), that it is not necessary to go into it all again here. However, to understand the significance of the most recent letter from the FAA, it will be useful to review the exchange of documents that preceeded the lawsuit.

In March 1977 the FAA issued the infamous regulation 121.586, titled "Authority to refuse transportation." This was the FAA's answer to the problem of how to deal equitably with the needs of handicapped would-be air travelers. It granted the airlines the right to make up whatever rules they pleased on the subject and then to deny passage to anyone who failed to follow the rules.

After months of correspondence with the FAA and private airlines (as a result of which we could not even learn what the rules for the blind were), on September 14, 1977, the NFB filed a petition with Langhorne Bond, Administrator of the FAA.  The petition read, in part, as follows:

"DEAR MR. BOND: We hereby petition for the repeal of portions of parts 121 and 123 of the Federal Aviation Regulations as specified below. . . .

"We petition for repeal of section 121.586 of part 121. . . . In addition, we petition for amendment of section 121.589(a) to exclude from those items which must be stored away from the passenger the flexible travel canes of blind persons. . . .

"Our interest in the repeal of the above-listed FAR sections is as follows: The sections enforce procedures for the carriage of the handicapped on air carriers. The procedures work an unreasonable hardship on the blind citizens of the United States in pursuit of their constitutionally protected activities for the following reasons:

"(1) The sections require blind citizens to follow procedures set up arbitrarily by private air carriers, which procedures are kept secret from those who must follow them.

"(2) The sections enforce humiliating, discriminatory, and unnecessary procedures to ensure 'safety,' although there is no evidence that the safety hazards cited actually exist.

"(3) The sections do not prohibit illegal discrimination in treatment of the handicapped by private air carriers."

There was more, mainly of a technical nature, but this was the core of our petition. It was not received favorably by the FAA. After waiting for six months, FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond denied our petition giving the following reasons:

"The FAA does not agree that the regulations cited forced blind citizens to comply with discriminatory or secret procedures as stated in the NFB petition.

"The regulations cited by the NFB were established in the interest of the passenger. They ensure that safety is the only matter considered in restricting the carriage of persons who may need evacuation assistance. The rules emphasize the duty resting upon the air carriers to perform their services with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest as required by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 . . . .

"Contrary to petitioner's assertion, the FAA believes there is ample evidence to indicate that the carriage of blind passengers can present safety hazards in the event of an aircraft accident and ensuing evacuation. A study conducted at the FAA Civil Aero-medical Institute (CAMI) in July 1977 (FAA-AM-77-11) concluded that the rate of movement of blind passengers evacuating an aircraft was 2.82 feet per second as compared to 7.87 feet per second for unimpaired passengers. This study demonstrates the delaying effect that blind passengers can have on an emergency evacuation. Since the passengers who took part in the study were shown the exits to be used before the test, blind passengers could present a more significant delaying effect in a real evacuation.

"Furthermore, the FAA believes it is in the public interest to require persons carrying canes to stow them prior to takeoff and landing to preclude them from becoming flying missiles during an aircraft accident, causing delay during an evacuation or damaging the evacuation slide during the escape from the aircraft. . . .

"In view of the foregoing, I find that the petition does not disclose adequate reasons to justify instituting the rule making requested by petitioner and that the petition does not establish that the proposed rulemaking would be in the public interest. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of part 11 of the FAR's, the subject petition to revoke sections of part 121 and part 123 of the FAR's is hereby denied."

The reasons put forward for this denial were sketchy, to say the least. In support of its determination that blind persons would slow an evacuation, the FAA cites CAMI studies. When our attorneys looked into these studies, however, they found that most of them were conducted using not actual blind persons, but "simulated blind persons," or sighted persons wearing sleep-shades. Then when the FAA gets to the justification of the rule on stowing canes, it doesn't even refer to studies, relying instead on its "belief." This tactic became clear when the FAA had to admit in court that it had performed no tests at all involving canes.

The talk about the regulation's having only the safety of the passengers in mind does not hold up, considering that the regulation allowed the airlines to make up any rules they pleased. One of those rules, Monitor readers may remember, required blind persons on Eastern Airlines flights to sit on blankets in case they could not control their bladders.

After the rash of discriminatory incidents that took place in May 1978 during the travel of about 1,000 Federationists to Des Moines for the farewell dinner marking Dr. Jernigan's departure from Iowa, we realized that matters could not stand where they were. We appealed Langhorne Bond's denial of our petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In January, as noted, the FAA was granted time to conduct tests using canes. Now, two months later, we have received the following letter:

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION,
Washington, D.C., March 9, 1979.

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

DEAR MR. GASHEL: This is to advise you that the FAA is reconsidering your petition dated September 14, 1977, for repeal of various sections of FAR parts 121 and 123. This is in accordance with the motion granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on January 10, 1979.

You will be informed of the agency's decision as soon as possible after our evaluation is completed.

Sincerely,

W.T. GATES,
Acting Chief,
Air Carrier Regulations Branch,
Flight Standards Service.

This was a very welcome letter for several reasons. The general rule in the federal government is that when petitions are denied, there is a request for reconsideration of the decision in about 40 percent of the cases and that about one percent of those requests for reconsideration are granted. Of course, you might say that the Federation took a little more trouble than usual in "requesting a reconsideration." We took the case to court; we involved the Congress; we came 1,000-strong to the steps of the FAA in Washington; and we mounted a media campaign that was estimated to have reached 60 million Americans.

Another point about the FAA action is that, although it is undoubtedly related to the court suit, it was not mandated by the court. The reconsideration of the petition is an internal FAA decision. It means, for one thing, that we may have a new rulemaking on the issues involved irrespective of the course of the lawsuit. We would still probably want to continue the lawsuit no matter what action the FAA now takes, since there are goals in the lawsuit-particularly our goal of having the blind declared a suspect class-that go beyond the cane problem.

Whatever the result of the FAA reconsideration, this letter means that the FAA has finally gotten away from its position of simply ignoring us and hoping we will go away. It makes some of us remember the early stages of this fight, when we were writing to FAA officials and the airlines, informing them as clearly as we could that this was a matter we were not willing to leave alone, that our rights as citizens were involved, and that if they chose not to respond meaningfully to our letters we would meet them on the streets and in court. You might say that they did and we did. Another government bureaucracy is learning the hard way that the organized blind never give up.

Back to contents

MORE FOLLOW-UP ON THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLES

The Wall Street Journal articles, published in January (and reprinted in the March Monitor), that exposed the exploitation of blind workers in the sheltered workshops of some of the nation's best-known charities have continued to bring reactions from various sources.

A few weeks after the articles appeared, the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government (part of the House Appropriations Committee) called in officials of the Committee for Purchase from the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped to see what they had to say about the charges in the Journal articles. The Committee for Purchase from the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped is the arm of the Executive Branch that determines which office-supply and other products used by the government should be obtained from sheltered workshops. It then takes this list to National Industries for the Blind, the organization that determines which workshop in the country will get the contract to produce the specific product.

The transcripts of the meeting called by the House subcommittee are not yet available, so we could not reprint them in this issue, but the subcommittee asked the Committee for Purchase from the Blind what it had to say about the abuses reported in the Journal, and further, what it intended to do about them. According to a congressional staff member who was present, the subcommittee demanded that a report on these issues be in its hands by mid-April.

We wonder, however, what sort of investigation the Committee for Purchase from the Blind is likely to make of National Industries for the Blind. It should be noted that Jansen Noyes, Jr., is a member of the Committee (and until recently its vice-chairman). And according to the most recent NIB annual report, Mr. Noyes is also a member of the NIB executive committee. This is the old game of asking you to investigate yourself. (In case readers have trouble placing Mr. Noyes, he is the chairman of the board of trustees of the American Foundation for the Blind as well as the vice-chairman of the Affiliated Leadership League of and for the Blind of America. Since the American Foundation was instrumental in setting up National Industries for the Blind and since the American Foundation, NIB, and most of the workshops belong to the Affiliated Leadership League, there is no point in looking for efforts for reform from any of these outfits.)

It is too early to say whether the Subcommittee on Treasury, Post Service, and General Government intends seriously to press for reforms. However, we have learned that Congressman Abner Mikva has detailed a staff member to launch an independent investigation of the workshop system. So the movement for reform is growing, and if we continue our pressure (not only on the Congress, but on the Labor Department and through the news media), we are certain to succeed.

In another development, on February 26, 1979, the Wall Street Journal devoted most of its Letters to the Editor page to reactions to the workshop articles. The first letter was from a Seattle reader who wrote, in part:

"This nation's citizenry, through its charity and tax dollars, should be witnessing a golden age for the handicapped, but what do we see? The social well-being of the nation's handicapped is 'host' to a legion of parasites: politicians and bureaucrats, social consultants and professional grant writers and those you have depicted in your article."

The next letter was from a reader in Florida, who wrote:

"Regarding your page-one articles 'Sheltered Shops': I thought I was reading Charles Dickens. Are you really sure all this was going on recently? If so, God Almighty!"

Then, however, we come to the predictable cries of outrage from the shops themselves. The first was from the head of the Houston Lighthouse. The April Monitor reported that the workers in the shop of the Houston Lighthouse wanted to organize a collective bargaining unit and that the National Labor Relations Board ordered an election to be held. But at the last minute the Lighthouse appealed the NLRB decision, and before the ballots could be counted, the ballot box was impounded. The Lighthouse's action, of course, made it fairly clear how that election would have turned out. In any event, here is the letter:

"Since I am in the banking business I cannot threaten to cancel my subscription to the Journal. However, as President of the Board of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Houston, I feel compelled to comment on your articles of January 24 and January 25 describing how workshops mistreat their clients. Both articles appeared to have been written right out of the textbook of the National Federation of the Blind. It is my understanding the objective of the National Federation of the Blind is to abolish all workshops in the United States. Apparently that organization has the ear of your reporters and is using them as tools to try to accomplish that objective. To show how useful you have been to the NFB, they have entered copies of your articles in evidence in a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board to determine whether the NLRB has jurisdiction in an attempt by the Teamsters Union to organize the blind clients in our workshop. Permitting your newspaper to be used in this manner can only diminish your reputation for objectivity, integrity, and independence.

"F. M. Saunders."

After reading this letter, you wonder where Saunders has been lately. It sounds as if he has been hanging out with National Industries for the Blind or the staff of the National Accreditation Council. Much as NAC and NIB would like it to be, it is no scandal to print articles that agree with the criticisms of the organized blind movement, nor is it exactly a mark of shame to have your reporting submitted as evidence in an NLRB hearing. It would be more accurate to restate Mr. Saunders' final sentence to read: Permitting your newspaper to be used in this manner can only contribute to your reputation for objectivity, integrity, and independence.

The real value of the Journal articles is the very thing that Mr. Saunders finds himself unable to accept. The Journal reporters did not act as the "tools" of the Federation. In fact, they were initially extremely skeptical about what we were saying and suspicious of us (particularly after the workshops tried to defend their shabby practices by launching a campaign to discredit us). So the reporters went out and dug up their own evidence. Because of our past experience with the press, we waited for the articles with mixed emotions. In the circumstances, Mr. Saunders' charge that the articles "appeared to have been written right out of the textbook of the National Federation of the Blind" is testimony to the accuracy of what we have been saying over the years. And it is also a way of saying that the Journal reporters were not fooled by the flimflam of shop officials but went on and talked to shopworkers and drew their own conclusions.

Speaking of flimflam, the final letter printed by the Journal was from the president of the Jewish Guild for the Blind, the agency that suffered the most from the sort of close scrutiny it received in the Journal. Here is the letter:

"Your January 25 article, critical of The Jewish Guild for the Blind and its staff, contained serious inaccuracies, and attempted to discredit a philanthropic agency which has provided a much need service for the blind and multi-handicapped persons in our community for 65 years.

"Your reporters particularly attacked our sheltered workshops. They took liberties with our freely given financial statements and disregarded any attempt by our Executive Director to explain the painful evolution of the workshops and their admitted present difficulties. The workshop program at The Guild was originally conceived by our Board of Directors as a means of making the blind become more self-sufficient and to end the abhorrent practice of selling pencils on street corners. Our first workshops were designed for the assembly of dolls and for fabric weaving. Better programs were later derived to teach skills, which it was hoped, would train the blind for gainful employment in industry. This has only been partly successful. Last year, although we placed 23 blind clients in various industries, only three came out of our workshops, mainly because our blind workers, who are often handicapped with other disabilities, rarely become fully capable of competing for jobs in the highly skilled workshop industries. The full irony of this workshop program, contrary to your reporters' view, is that it is almost impossible for it to make a profit. It cannot hope to compete with private industry and is almost fully dependent upon the uncertainties of government contracts. Even more ironically, when we are able to train workers so that they are good enough to earn their way we try very hard to lose them to industry through our placement program."

There is a good deal more to this letter, but what we have quoted so far is more than enough to damn the Guild. In the first place, the Guild seems hurt that after having "freely given" the reporters financial statements that in any case were available under the Freedom of Information Act from the Internal Revenue Service, the reporters were so rude as to read them and draw their own conclusions. Then the Guild is injured because the reporters ignored the fine and charitable purpose of the Guild—to end the "abhorrent practice of selling pencils on street corners." The Washington Post recently printed the obituary of an amputee who begged in Washington during the summer and then took the bus down to spend the winter overseeing the cocktail lounge and other property he had bought in Florida with the proceeds of his begging. Unquestionably, being forced to beg on the streets is beneath the dignity of a human being; but the kind-hearted officials of the Guild might consider the indignity of working a whole lifetime at subminimum wages. A number might choose the "abhorrent practice" that produced the more money.

What is difficult to stomach in the Guild's defense of itself, however, is the old, discredited excuse that all the conditions in the workshop have to be the way they are because of the inability of the workers. The Guild writes, "Last year, although we placed 23 blind clients in various industries, only three came out of our workshops, mainly because our blind workers, who are often handicapped with other disabilities, rarely become fully capable of competing for jobs in the highly skilled workshop industries."

In the first place, the industries that compete with the workshops are, in general, those that require the least degree of skilled labor. In the second place, according to the Office Products Manufacturers Association, many of those competing private industries now employ blind persons in their regular work force, pay them the minimum wage, and are seeking more of them. The core of the phony defense, though, is that blind workers (particularly those with other handicaps) cannot be productive. If workers must work on primitive equipment, and if they learn that no matter how hard they work their wages will not rise and that management will never move them into regular jobs, it is no miracle if they adjust their productivity accordingly.

The question the workshops have steadfastly refused to ask themselves is why, when Blind Industries and Services of Maryland raised the salaries of all workers above the statutory minimum, production rose as well-even though a third of the work force consisted of blind persons with additional handicaps. And this experience has been repeated by the other shops which have started treating blind shop workers as the capable laborers they can be.

The rest of the letter from the president of the Guild was as follows:

"All our wages are based on minimum wage standards, or higher, as set forth by special legislation and monitored by the Department of Labor. Earnings are based upon a client's actual productivity and reflect their serious vocational limitations.

"Your reporters indicated that 'a huge amount of overhead' is charged to the sheltered workshops. Our 1977 audited statement indicates that of $2,424,539 of total workshop costs, $343,346 were allocated costs. If allocated costs were to be completely disregarded, as your reporters suggest, our workshops would still have had a deficit of approximately $464,000 in 1977 instead of the real loss reported of $807,058.

"Your reporters' suggestion, that The Guild's premises are under-utilized by purporting to quote Mr. Heimerdinger as stating that only 56 blind persons had been involved in activities in the building on the day of the reporters' visit, is untrue. That number was given as the attendance at a specific program serving senior citizens on that day. There were many other programs in which Guild clients participated in the building on that day.

"Your reporters even distorted the use of legacies given to The Guild by persons concerned with the plight of the blind. The Guild did not show a $1,000,000 profit in 1977, unless you incorrectly count as income bequests to The Guild in the wills of supporters who died during the year. A good portion of each year's legacies are used to reduce its annual deficit. Without this endowment fund and the annual legacies, The Guild would not stand much of a chance of surviving in the ever-increasing reality of the budget crunches of the federal and state governments.

"Your reporters also made reference to the salary earned by The Guild's Executive Director, John F. Heimerdinger, and to his office furnishings. His office, and indeed the entire building, was built with funds donated by the Board of Directors and other generous people. They wrongly compared Mr. Heimerdinger's salary as Executive Director with his reported salary for the prior year during the latter part of which he became Executive Director. They came as close as they could to suggesting that The Guild made false reports, and they clearly suggested that there was something wrong in deferring a percentage of his salary, a benefit expressly granted to employes of not-for-profit organizations by Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

"Fairness dictates that a thorough and proper examination of The Guild, its records and its practices be made at once to set the record straight. You owe this much at least to the many concerned citizens who support it and to the blind people, counting in the thousands, who have benefited in the past and those who will benefit in the future from The Guild.

"BERNARD H. MENDIK,
"President, The Jewish Guild for the Blind."

Mr. Mendik's protests are not likely to raise much sympathy among the blind. Take his statement that "All our wages are based on minimum wage standards, or higher, as set forth by special legislation and monitored by the Department of Labor." The average reader of the Wall Street Journal might come away from that one believing that the Guild pays its workers the minimum wage or higher. But that average reader would be mistaken. Mr. Mendik means the minimum wage for the blind—or one-quarter to one-half the minimum wage for sighted workers.

Then there is the pained discussion of the Guild's budget, that the Guild has many wonderful programs, that the $1 million in bequests should not be regarded as income, and incredibly, that the lavish salaries and office furnishings of the director were not improper because they were donated by contributors to the Guild. Putting the various defenses in the same letter tells a great deal about the mentality of the Guild. Even if we were to accept their belief that blind persons cannot produce and that even if the workshop were to be run according to professional industrial methods it would never be self-supporting (neither of which notions we do accept), it is interesting that the Guild's concept of charity is that it would be wrong to use the millions donated by its generous supporters to give the blind a decent wage, but it is just fine to use that money to buy Mr. Heimerdinger (who, you will remember, also draws a salary from his family's investment company) original art works and pay him over $50,000 a year. The interesting part of all this is that the statements that reveal this philosophy are put forward by the Guild itself in its own defense. It is no wonder that the Wall Street Journal felt no need to defend what its reporters had written. At the end of Mr. Mendik's letter, the Journal printed a single sentence. It read:

"The Wall Street Journal stands by its article."

Back to contents

THE BLIND OF MAINE LOSE A STALWART: HELEN COLLINS DIES

The April Monitor contained an article about the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine to eliminate a clause in the state election laws. The law required that if a voter needed the assistance of another person to fill out a ballot, the assistant would be required to sign his or her name on the ballot. The objections to this requirement were basically two: (1) that the law was based on the belief that a blind voter (who would be the voter most likely to fall under the requirement) would not be able to select a trustworthy assistant; and (2) that the assistant's signature on the ballot would easily identify the voter as well, thereby denying blind voters the right to a secret ballot.

As was clear in the article, this campaign grew out of the experiences at the polls of Federationist Helen Collins; and the campaign was largely carried on by Mrs. Collins, at first almost singlehandedly.

The article brought the story to the point last fall where Mrs. Collins and the NFB of Maine had gained the support of the governor, James Longley, and the attorney general, Joseph Brennan, for their proposed change in the election law. The proposed change would eliminate all of the language about voting assistance and state simply that a voter who needed assistance could gain it "from any individual of the voter's choice."

Following the election last fall, in which Governor Longley did not seek another term, the campaign to change the law went forward. The new governor was Joseph Brennan, the former attorney general, who remained a supporter of the change. The NFB of Maine persuaded senator Walter W. Hitchens to introduce the proposal.

But then, on March 4, 1979, as victory in the legislature seemed certain, Helen Collins died of the cancer that had kept her seriously ill for months. State president Pat Estes and her husband Skip attended the funeral on March 7, representing the NFB of Maine; and on March 19, Pat testified in a senate hearing on the measure Helen Collins had made her final battle for the rights of blind persons.

Pat Estes says that she doesn't know how the affiliate can do without the tireless work of its treasurer. Mrs. Collins not only performed the job of treasurer, but she monitored the state legislature and acted as corresponding secretary as well. She was an indefatigable letter-writer, as anyone who knew her will attest. Indeed, the Maine Conservative Union named her Conservative of the Year for the hundreds of letters she wrote during the battle over the 200-mile limit for fishing rights along the Atlantic Coast. On all issues, she was a woman who knew what she thought; and she did not hesitate to set in and make her opinions count. The blind of her state and the country are fortunate that her energy and devotion were given to the cause of the organized blind movement. Her 51 years were many, many too few; and the loss felt by her friends and colleagues in the Federation is great.

Back to contents

THE ASSOCIATES PROGRAM REALLY TAKES OFF

This article contains what will probably be the last rankings in the Associates contest before the contest closes. In order to have the Associates you enroll count in the contest, the Associate forms must reach either the Treasurer's Office or the National Office by 5:00 p.m., May 31, 1979. The lists in this issue are as of March 23, and the rankings will probably have changed quite a bit by the time you read this. You still have nearly a full month to win the contest. In fact, it might still be possible for someone who has not participated at all so far to win the contest. There are three prizes—$400 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third. As of March 23, JoAnn Giudicessi was first with 38 Associates. Second place was held by Gail Flateau, with 29 Associates; and in third place, with 23 Associates, was President Jernigan's brother, Lloyd.

Before discussing the general progress of the Associates program—and it is showing real progress—here are the latest rankings of contestants. Remember that the ranking is on the basis of who has recruited the most Associates rather than of the money contributed. However, if two people have recruited the same number of Associates, the person bringing in more money is ranked higher. If two or more people recruited the same number of Associates and the money contributed is the same also, the ranking is alphabetical. This last method of tie-breaking, though, occurs only fairly far down the list. The contest will probably be won solely on the basis of the number recruited. Here then are the rankings of contestants:

Ranking of recruiters of NFB Associates, October 1, 1978 - March 23, 1979

Recruiter

Number of Associates

Money

State

 

1. JoAnn Giudicessi

38

$660

Mass.

 

2. Gail Flateau

29

740

Fla.

 

3. Lloyd Jernigan

23

262

Mich.

 

4. Trish Miller

22

398

Md.

 

5. Anna Katherine Jernigan

21

367

Md.

 

6. Kenneth Jernigan

19

1,265

Md.

 

7. Fred Schroeder

18

355

Nebr.

 

8. Karen Mayry

18

276

S.Dak.

 

9. E.U. Parker

17

285

Miss.

 

10. Jean Marie Moore

12

152

Colo.

 

11. Allen Sanderson

11

210

Alaska

 

12. Lawrence Marcelino

11

187

Calif.

 

13. Ralph Sanders

11

181

Md.

 

14. Gladys Tenpenny

11

110

Tex.

 

15. Herb Magin

10

100

Md.

 

16. Judy Sanders

9

221

Md.

 

17. Dick Edlund

9

185

Kans.

 

18. Paul Burkhardt

9

90

Mass.

 

19. Jim Fox

9

90

Md.

 

20. Jim Omvig

7

$116

Md.

 

21. Al Evans

7

100

Mass.

 

22. Marc Maurer

7

100

Md.

 

23. Michael Hingson

7

70

Mass.

 

24. Harvey Heagy

6

131

Tex.

 

25. Barbara Pierce

6

114

Ohio

 

26. Steve Machalow

6

105

Md.

 

27. Jonathan May

6

90

Conn.

 

28. Joy Smith

5

110

Calif.

 

29. Pat Maurer

5

96

Md.

 

30. Diane McGeorge

5

95

Colo.

 

31. Terry Harris

5

66

Idaho

 

32. Allen Harris

5

65

Mich.

 

33. Joe Worthington

5

50

N.J.

 

34. Andrew Hoffman

4

57

Ohio

 

35. Shelia Byrd

4

40

S.C.

 

36. Larry Posont

4

40

S.C.

 

37. Sharon Omvig

4

35

Md.

 

38. Maxine Bohrer

3

85

Kans.

 

39. Al Maneki

3

70

Md.

 

40. Susan Stanzel

3

70

Kans.

 

41. Ramona Walhof

3

60

Iowa

 

42. Adrienne Asch

3

45

N.Y.

 

43. Robert Eschbach

3

45

Ohio

 

44. Mary Ellen Reihing

3

45

Nebr.

 

45. Ann Johnson

3

30

Iowa

 

46. Mrs. E. F. Lane

3

30

Kans.

 

47. Nina Palmer

3

30

N.Y.

 

48. Berneice Johnson

3

25

Iowa

 

49. Pat Eschbach

2

110

Ohio

 

50. Peggy Pinder

2

60

Conn.

 

51. Dr. and Mrs. Schroeder

2

60

Iowa

 

52. Alan Alcorn

2

50

Mo.

 

53. Clarita Golender

2

40

Md.

 

54. Catharine Amaral

2

35

R.I.

 

55. Rhoda Dower

2

35

Mo.

 

56. Norman Gardner

2

35

Idaho

 

57. James Glaza

2

35

Iowa

 

58. Myrtle Golanis

2

35

Utah

 

59. Don Hudson

2

20

Colo.

 

60. Jim Bowen

2

20

Fla.

 

61. Barbara Cheadle

2

20

Nebr.

 

62. Gary Mackenstadt

2

20

Mass.

 

63. Cathlene Nusser

2

20

Nebr.

 

64. Michael Rossi

2

20

N.H.

 

65. Clearman and Wilnetta Sutton

2

20

Md.

 

66. Ruth Swenson

2

$20

Nebr.

 

67. Marshall Tucker

2

20

S.C.

 

68. Louie Vinson

2

20

Tex.

 

69. Carl Wyatt

2

20

Mo.

 

70. Julie Deden

1

200

Colo.

 

71. Mark Plantz

1

101

Md.

 

72. Mary Ellen Anderson

1

100

Md.

 

73. Antonio Lomeli

1

100

Tex.

 

74. Jim Mitchell

1

100

Calif.

 

75. Cecile Paice

1

100

Mass.

 

76. George Pingel

1

100

Idaho

 

77. Lucy Carpenter

1

50

N.Y.

 

78. Diane Corson

1

50

Iowa

 

79. Mrs. Ray Halverson

1

50

Idaho

 

80. Jim Sofka

1

50

N.J.

 

81. Sandy Tulley

1

50

Tex.

 

82. Evelyn Weckerly

1

50

Mich.

 

83. John Cheadle

1

28

Nebr.

 

84. Associated Blind of Greater Brockton

1

25

Mass.

 

85. Curtis Chong

1

25

Minn.

 

86. Sharlene Czaja

1

25

Mass.

 

87. Beverly Hudson

1

25

Colo.

 

88. Mary Main

1

25

Conn.

 

89. Don McConnell

1

25

D.C.

 

90. Ray McGeorge

1

25

Colo.

 

91. Don Morris

1

25

Md.

 

92. Louise Orick

1

25

Mo.

 

93. Georgina Silva

1

25

Calif.

 

94. Dorothy Singleton

1

25

Tex.

 

95. Dorothy Steers

1

25

Mich.

 

96. Susan Stanzel

1

25

Mo.

 

97. Franklin Van Vliet

1

25

N.H.

 

98. Doris Willoughby

1

25

Iowa

 

99. Mike Barber

1

10

Iowa

 

100. Steve Benson

1

10

Ill.

 

101. Jacquilyn Billey

1

10

Conn.

 

102. Ken Brackett

1

10

R.I.

 

103. Neil Butler

1

10

Iowa

 

104. Donovan Cooper

1

10

Nebr.

 

105. Gail Cowart

1

10

Calif.

 

106. Carol Crosby

1

10

Tex.

 

107. Glenn Crosby

1

10

Tex.

 

108. Premo Foianini

1

10

Utah

 

109. Peggy Frazee

1

10

Ill.

 

110. Steve Garabedian

1

10

R.I.

 

111. Mary Gibbons

1

10

Va.

 

112. Deanne Gueblaoui

1

10

Md.

 

113. Mrs. Martin Howe

1

10

Wisc.

 

114. Tommie Johnson

1

10

Ga.

 

115. Dick Jones

1

10

Idaho

 

116. Sharon Kelly

1

10

N.J.

 

117. Budd Little

1

10

Idaho

 

118. Raymond Lowder

1

10

Md.

 

119. Nancy Lynn

1

10

Fla.

 

120. Ron Metenyi

1

10

Md.

 

121. Barbara Nabutovsky

1

10

Fla.

 

122. Andrew Norr

1

10

Iowa

 

123. Joe Paxson

1

10

Calif.

 

124. Bob Ray

1

10

Iowa

 

125. Cecelia Ross

1

10

Ill.

 

126. Harold Snider

1

10

D.C.

 

127. Jimmy Sparks

1

10

Ark.

 

128. Hazel Staley

1

10

N.C.

 

129. Stamford Chapter

1

10

Conn.

 

130. Ethel Untermyer

1

10

Ill.

 

131. Suzanne Whalen

1

10

Tex.

 

132. Curtis Willoughby

1

10

Iowa

 

133. Jim Willows

1

10

Calif.

 

Unknown recruiters

72

1,503

 

Totals

616

$13,436

 

Next we have the rankings of the states that have participated in the contest and then a list of the states that have so far enrolled not a single Associate. In last month's Monitor, we announced that these lists would appear but then did not print them. Once again the ranking is by the number of Associates enrolled by Federationists in the state, with ties being broken by giving precedence to the state bringing in the most money, or if that doesn't break the tie, by alphabetizing tied states. After each state is listed the number of Associates and the total contributions from those Associates. A new category is added this month-the number of recruiters in each state. This will show the depth of participation in each state, and there are some surprises. Since there are several states that have Associates credited to them but no recruiters, remember that if the name of the recruiter does not appear on the Associate form, credit is given to the state where the Associate resides.  The listing of the states that have recruited no Associates is alphabetical.  Here then are the lists:

Ranking of the states that have recruited Associates,
Oct. 1, 1978 – Mar. 23, 1979

    STATE

Number of Associates

Money

No. of Recruiters

1. Maryland

154

$4,690

21

2. Massachusetts

68

  1,120

  8

3. Florida

38

  920

  4

4. Michigan

37

  472

  5

5. California

30

  597

   7

6. Nebraska

29

  498

   7

7. Iowa

29

  496

 12

8. Colorado

27

  612

   6

9. Texas

27

  486

   9

10. Kansas

19

  420

   4

11. South Dakota

19

  286

   1

12. Mississippi

17

  470

   1

13. Ohio

16

  336

   4

14. Idaho

12

  281

   6

15. Alaska

11

  210

   1

16. Connecticut

11

  195

   5

17. South Carolina

10

  220

   2

18. Missouri

10

  175

   5

19. New Jersey

8

     135

   3

20. New York

8

     135

   3

21. Illinois

6

    75

   4

22. Rhode Island

4

    55

   3

23. Minnesota

3

     136

   1

24. District of Columbia

3

     135

   2

25. New Hampshire

3

    45

   2

26. Utah

3

    45

   2

27. Georgia

2

    20

   1

28. North Carolina

2

    20

   1

29. Virginia

2

    20

   1

30. West Virginia

1

    26

   0

31. Arizona

1

    25

   0

32. Louisiana

1

    25

   0

33. Arkansas

1

    10

   1

34. Wisconsin

1

    10

   1

35. Indiana

1

       5

   0

36. Vermont

1

       5

   0

States that have recruited no Associates since the beginning of the contest

1. Alabama

2. Delaware

3. Hawaii

4. Kentucky

5. Maine

6. Montana

7. Nevada

8. New Mexico

9. North Dakota

10. Oklahoma

11. Oregon

12. Pennsylvania

13. Tennessee

14. Washington

15. Wyoming

Unfortunately, there are still 15 states that have not taken part in the Associates program since the contest began in October. And there are other states in which just one or two people have participated. In fact, there are only two states—Maryland and Iowa—where more than 10 people have pitched in to make the program a success. Still, the rankings published in this Monitor and those of the last two months show that the program is growing rapidly.

The lists in the March Monitor reported on the progress from October 1, 1978, up through the end of the year, or a period of 92 days. At the end of that time, 219 Associates had been enrolled, and they had contributed $4,364. The April Monitor reported the activity through the end of February, or another 59 days. During that period—about two thirds as long as the first period—210 Associates were added, only 9 fewer than during the first period, and the contributions were even higher—$4,663. The latest lists report the activity during only the 23 days since the last list. Still, 183 new Associates have been enrolled, and they have contributed $4,264.

If we break it down another way, the progress becomes even clearer. During the first three months, Associates were being enrolled at the rate of 2.38 per day. During the next two months, they were coming in at the rate of 3.56 per day, or a 50% increase. And during the last three weeks, they have reached 7.96 per day—more than double the rate of the second period and more than triple the rate of the first three months.

Breaking the rate of contributions down the same way, we find that the first period brought in donations at roughly $47 per day. During the second period that jumped to $79 per day, and it has now climbed to more than $185 per day. The figures show that the program is accelerating rapidly; but even if the rate were to level off at the point it was near the end of March, the Associates program could contribute about $70,000 a year to the movement. It should be underlined that so far this is the work of just 133 Federationists—far fewer than have been willing to join the Pre-Authorized Check plan. It shows that we are more willing to contribute our own money than to ask our families and friends to contribute theirs, which may be as it should be. But unless we are willing to raise the PAC plan to about 10 times its present level, we are going to have to ask others for help.

Who are the people who are likely to be the most willing to support our goals? The Associates program is aimed right at them. Only members at large can become Associates, and the member-at-large category was set up for the sighted relatives and friends of Federationists. These are the people who know most directly what we are doing and what the effects of the Federation are on the lives of blind people. They will not be offended but honored to be offered a larger role in what the Federation is doing. At least that has been the experience of the Federationists who have taken the trouble to go to these people with Associate form in hand and ask for their support.

Once we have a broad list of Associates-people who will contribute from year to year-we will be far along toward financial self-sufficiency as an organization. Groups similar to the Federation have found that this is the best long-term source of funding—a large body of supporters who really know what the organization is and want to help. Once we have this in hand, we can really begin to move.

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UPDATE ON THE MAGNOLIA LYONS CASE: THE RIGHT OF BLIND PERSONS TO SUE FOR DAMAGES UNDER WHITE CANE LAWS

by CHARLES BROWN

Note: Charles Brown, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Labor, is president of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia. The early stages of the Magnolia Lyons case were discussed in the Monitors for May 1976 and March 1978. This article is from the Newsletter of the NFB of Virginia.

Those of you who have been following the Magnolia Lyons case for the past few years undoubtedly recall that it involves a physician's refusal to allow Ms. Lyons to enter his waiting room accompanied by her guide dog. You also recall that Ms. Lyons, being a good Federationist, decided to do what was necessary to fight this kind of discrimination, and that we had to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Virginia to establish her right to bring a lawsuit against the doctor involved. That Supreme Court victory was indeed very important to all blind Virginians.

After the Virginia Supreme Court decision, the doctor and his insurance company offered to settle the case without going to trial. However, Ms. Lyons consulted with her attorney and decided that she would rather risk everything in a trial than take a settlement she believed was too low. Unfortunately, the risk did not pay off for her. Yes, she won the case—the jury found in her favor and against the doctor—but they only awarded damages of $20. The judgment certainly did not cover the costs of the suit. Sadly, those who win the landmark cases often do not enjoy the benefits to the same extent as those who come later. Although she was disappointed, Ms. Lyons, who now lives in Georgia, said that she does not at all regret her involvement in the case because of her deep belief in the important principles involved.

One could speculate on possible reasons for the low damage award by the jury. At least two come to mind. First, there is the public fear that high damage awards against doctors will result in increased medical costs. Second, there was the inability of Ms. Lyons' attorney to find another doctor willing to testify against the defendant.

Regardless of the actual money award, the case is still a very important one, as is illustrated by the following excerpts from an article by Noel H. Thompson, Ms. Lyons' attorney, in District Lawyer, the magazine of the Washington, D.C., Bar:

"In 1972 the District of Columbia joined 25 states in enacting a model White Cane Act protecting the rights of blind and other visually handicapped persons."

"The legislative history of the White Cane Act is sparse. However, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), which sponsored the act, has explained why the bill was proposed and adopted:

"'In 1966 NFB President Jacobus tenBroek published a landmark article, "The Right to Live in the World: The Disabled in the Law of Torts," (54 California Law Review 841, 1966). Based on Dr. tenBroek's analysis, that existing laws and court decisions provided insufficient protection of the rights of the blind and handicapped, the NFB developed a "Model White Cane Act." To date this model statute has been enacted in one form or other by at least 26 states (including the District of Columbia), as well as by the Commonwealth of Virginia.'

"The Act provides for criminal penalties for its violation, but makes no mention whether the blind who are denied their rights to move freely in society and use the aid of guide dogs and white canes for their safety have any standing to enforce the act by private suits. Recently this issue was resolved by the Supreme Court of Virginia in Lyons v. Grether. 239 S.E. 2d 145 (1977), the court holding that a blind person has standing to sue for both compensatory and punitive damages if she can prove her rights have been violated. The court went on to apply the White Cane Act to include medical facilities, now specifically included in the Virginia White Cane Act but not so included at the time of the incident and not included in the D.C. White Cane Act. ...

"[The Lyons case], which is the only known appellate decision dealing with the White Cane Act, closely parallels the interpretation of the act suggested by the NFB in its amicus curiae brief in the case. This position is also consistent with the interpretations of similar state acts dealing with the rights of protected persons to punitive as well as compensatory damages for employment, housing, and public accommodations discrimination, and extending coverage by implication to places not specifically mentioned in the acts."

Mr. Thompson's article then goes on to give a detailed description of the White Cane Act before concluding as follows:

"The White Cane Act as outlined above may include many important provisions for protecting the rights of the blind which are not readily apparent from the face of the act, but which are implicit if the White Cane Act is interpreted with the same spirit that laws prohibiting sex and race discrimination are now being interpreted. Indeed, herein lies the likely impact of [the Lyons case] which interpreted the Virginia White Cane Act broadly. The District of Columbia White Cane Act's interpretations should therefore be followed closely by virtually all lawyers who may have to advise clients on its implementation.

We only need to add that the White Cane Act of Virginia is virtually the same as those passed now in most of the states. Thus, the willingness of Magnolia Lyons to fight for her rights has gained a victory not only for herself but for the blind of the nation.

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THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND MADE A FIRMLY COMMITTED FEDERATIONIST OUT OF ME

by KATHLEEN HAGEN

Note: Some months ago, Kathleen Hagen, who at that time was a fairly new Federationist, attended a conference on the early childhood development of blind infants and pre-school children. The conference was sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Before attending the conference, Ms. Hagen had been having some doubts about the Federation's longstanding opposition to the AFB and its attitudes toward blindness. But as she later wrote: "This conference was my first personal confrontation with the AFB, and it definitely made a committed Federationist out of me." Ms. Hagen came home from the conference and sent the following report to the Monitor. Considering the American Foundation for the Blind's declared intention to move into the field of childhood blindness and to organize the parents of blind children (as reported in the April Monitor), Ms. Hagen's report is timely. Here it is:

The very title of the conference was a summary of its content. The title read as follows: "Help me to become the most that I can be." In these few short words, it is possible to see the whole AFB philosophy toward blind people. This philosophy could be phrased in the following manner: "Left to themselves, blind people would always be helpless and dependent. Without our help and our guiding light to show them the way, they would not reach their fullest potential. Blind people everywhere should be grateful for the things we have done for them. Blind people should also realize that even when they have reached their fullest potential, they will always have limitations."

If the American Foundation for the Blind truly had the best interests of blind people at heart, they would have entitled their conference "I will become anything I want to be" or "Blind people can do anything they want to do."

My second clue about the perceptions the AFB holds about blind people came to me through my own personal experiences with people at the conference. Not even on the streets have I run into more clumsy offers of help than I received from members of this conference; and these people were all professionals working in the field of blindness—people who were supposed to be aware of the things blind persons can do. One man ran ahead of me up a staircase, counting the steps to give me the exact number so that I would know when I reached the top—even though I was using my cane and could have determined this fact for myself. Many people offered assistance and grabbed me by the arm whether I said I wanted assistance or not.

As I navigated a row of chairs with my cane, I was constantly assailed by alarmed cries of "Oh, look out, you're going to bump that chair" or "Oh here, let me help you." If I asked someone for directions to a particular meeting room, the person was likely either to take my arm and propel me in the right direction or to insist that I take his or her arm because I would not possibly be able to find the room with all the crowds about. If I actually found a person who would just give me a direction such as "turn right," and if I then turned to the right, that person would respond with "That's the girl."

It was as if they had all been very correctly programmed in the behavioral modification method of positively reinforcing and praising any correct movements made by a blind person. I became convinced that while these people outwardly advocate training blind people in the use of the cane, they actually believe that the use of the cane is pretty limited. The implicit messages these people gave me were: "It's nice that you use your cane and show that you want to be as independent as you can be, but remember that the cane is really a pretty limited tool. By carrying it, though, you alert other people to the fact that you're blind; and you can usually count on them to help you."

I will not waste time with rhetorical comments about the absurdity of such attitudes. Instead I will relate what seems to me the most humiliating experience of all. Every person at this conference was with an agency or a hospital or had some other professional interest. When talking to each other, they would discuss their professional interests, their agencies, their philosophies, and the "wonderful ideas" they were getting from the conference. When they talked to me, they would first ask me what I did. I would tell them that I was a registered music therapist and that I had developed and implemented a music program in a community center and was still carrying it on.

The fact that I had degrees, was a registered music therapist, and had a responsible job working with people should have put me on an equal footing with anyone there. And, indeed, they were quite willing to expound to me at great length on their jobs and their great accomplishments. Their questions to me, however, were: "Do you live by yourself or with a friend?" "Do you live far from work?" "How do you get to work?" For the most part, I consider these to be personal questions which people, when they respect each other, refrain from asking until they have laid the necessary groundwork for such intimacy. However, these people obviously had no respect for my professional knowledge or skills; and if they even acknowledged that I was doing well for myself, the implicit assumption was that I was an exceptional blind person rather than the rule.

This situation made me very much aware of the problem we as blind people always face. No matter how much we accomplish or what our credentials may be, as blind people we always face the problem of credibility. When this problem is reinforced by a foundation which supposedly is interested in our welfare, the insult is monstrous.

Of course, the worst aspect of the conference was its program. They had an impressive array of speakers. Some of the longtime AFB favorites were there along with professors and doctors from the most respected universities in the country. They had a large quantity of workshops and program models dealing with perceptual development, language development, cognitive development, motor development, social development, conceptual development, and visual utilization. The workshops consisted of research papers presented on these topics. Their research findings indicated, predictably, that blind children had "delayed development" in all of the aforementioned areas except language. Any problems these children had were blamed solely on their blindness. There was no thought or consideration given to the fact that each person is different in personality or that there are marked differences in the rate of development even among children with no handicaps.

In the social development workshop I attended, the researcher described observations she had made of blind children in the regular pre-school setting. She told about a blind boy involved in a game of hide and seek with his sighted peers. They chose him to be "it" and then they all went and hid from him. He proceeded to look for them by going in the wrong direction. The teacher's attention was attracted, and she thought he was wandering aimlessly alone in the room with nothing to do. She immediately sat him down at a table with a talking-book machine to listen to records.

The researcher felt that the problem was that the teacher had not been observing her class and didn't know that this child was already involved in an activity. I ventured to point out that the real problem was that the teacher had limited perceptions of what blind people could enjoy and she assumed he would be more happy in a passive listening activity than in an active game with his peers. I further stated that the main danger in this situation was that the teacher was acting as a role model for the other children. Soon, I told them, the other children would not even ask him to join them in activities because they would assume he was different from them and didn't want to be with them. I said that more time and thought should be given to helping teachers work through their own negative feelings about handicapped people if these children were going to be successfully mainstreamed into the regular classroom. My points were virtually ignored by everyone except the workshop leader, who was obliged to at least acknowledge my presence.

In the perceptual development workshop I attended, a mother actually asked a question. She was the only parent I heard speak at all during my time at the conference. I cannot say, however, that other parents did not speak because I left after half the conference, not being able to stomach any more. At any rate, this mother said she had an 18-month-old infant who had been standing and pulling himself around by holding on to furniture, but he wasn't walking upright without assistance. One of the facilitators suggested to her that the problem probably was that he didn't feel adequately supported and felt off-balance when he tried to walk. To alleviate this problem, she was told to tie a belt around his waist to support his lower back. She was then to walk in front of him, pulling him along by the belt. It is my observation that dogs on leashes receive better treatment than that from their owners.

Let us talk for a moment about the parents of blind pre-school children who came to this conference hoping to get some answers to their problems in child-rearing. Aside from the unhealthy attitudes and perceptions about blind people, what actual information did the AFB give these parents? Well, parents were told that in most areas of development, their blind child would develop more slowly than his or her sighted peers. Parents were told that they would have to do very intensive stimulation exercises and use much behavior modification and and programming to get the appropriate responses to occur. Much time was spent on the problem of developing the "social smile" among blind infants and making it "an expression of pure enjoyment." Parents were told that every vestige of vision must be stimulated and developed to the fullest extent. They were told, incredibly, that visual perception and utilization is a learned behavior that has to be fostered. They were implicitly told that a child with any vision was better off and had more hope than the child without vision.

How were parents to help their children utilize this small amount of vision? Well, they could make sure that the floors and walls of their houses were of contrasting colors to help the child develop spatial perception. In various ways they were practically told to redesign and redecorate their houses for the child. If parents actually asked for concrete suggestions, they usually received only rhetoric and philosophy, and the suggestions that were made were, to say the least, elaborate. One suggestion was to use special textured floor coverings in each room and to make each room a different texture so that the blind child would know what part of the house he was in.

The parents could not even take home with them any of the data, evidence, or ideas from the research papers. Some of the researchers even admitted that they didn't have their data in final publishable form. The AFB thought it would be four to five months before they published the proceedings of this conference, which would include the papers presented. I suspect that most parents went home with little information, and possibly they left with attitudes toward their blind child that were far more unhealthy than the ones they came with.

One of the most absurd theories at this conference was propounded by a pediatrician. He felt that parental love was an innate biological instinct. We are all, humans and other animals alike, born with an instinctual knowledge of parenting. However, he felt that one of the most vital ingredients in establishing this first vital interaction between parents and their child is visual contact. He felt that when vision is lacking, this wonderful biological instinct might be circumvented because the vital first parent-child interactions hadn't taken place. He had, apparently, seen studies of comparisons between blind infants and sighted infants and their parent-child interactions. The sighted children cried less, smiled more and earlier, and the mothers breast-fed them sooner and longer. So, just as some would have us believe that blacks are born with an inherent potential for less intelligence than whites, so this man would have us believe that visual contact is the important key to the beginning of a good parent-child relationship. If people believe this argument, they can believe that there are biological reasons why parents may not love their visually handicapped child, or they may believe that for biological reasons it would be best for blind parents not to have children.

We as blind people must fight hard to overcome the images and attitudes fostered by the AFB. Our problems are the same ones that have confronted blind persons for centuries. The only answer is to unite and to build such a power base that we must win.

At the farewell banquet given in Kenneth Jernigan's honor in Des Moines in May 1978, he said, "I dared to act as if I were as good as a sighted person." The power that he gained by these actions and beliefs can only be fathomed when one realizes that the major newspaper in Iowa is seeking to destroy him. Major attempts to destroy a person are not launched unless that person has gained enough power to be feared by his enemies, and in this case we all know who our enemies are.

If we all believe that we have the same rights as anyone else in this world, and if we accept no less from people than the respect due us as their peers and equals, think of the united power we can unleash against these prevailing beliefs and attitudes. On our side of the battle we have our own strengths and our own belief in our worth as people. I firmly believe that people like those in the AFB usually do not find their main sources of strength within themselves. They try to build strength from considering themselves benevolent helpers of those more unfortunate than themselves. Our knowledge of our own selves and of our worth will put us in the stronger position because it is not based on comparisons between our status and that of other people. We must learn how to use this unfathomed potential for strength, and we must win.

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CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON: COMMENTS AND IMPLICATIONS

by KENNETH JERNIGAN

Mary Ellen Reihing (originally from Ohio) now lives in Nebraska. She is a dedicated member of the movement. Along with the rest of us, she has obviously done considerable thinking about the implications of the recent behavior of Bob Acosta, Sue Ammeter, and their supporters.

We have worked hard to build this movement, often against great odds. It has changed the lives of many of us, sighted and blind alike. Our opponents have had difficulty understanding our phenomenal growth, our achievements, and our strength. For instance, the agency people have repeatedly marveled at the hundreds of us who regularly attend the demonstrations against NAC in ever-increasing numbers. They have said that our people are only there because they are "paid" to do it. Apparently it never occurs to the NACsters that most of the demonstrators pay their own way and that we come because we believe in what we're doing—enough to make sacrifices, enough to take personal abuse, enough to struggle and endure and prevail.

We are accustomed to our agency opponents attacking us. They have done it from the beginning. But not since the late 1950's have we had serious attempts from within the movement by those claiming to be Federationists to disrupt and cause dissension. Bob Acosta, Sue Ammeter, and their followers (in conjunction with agency officials in California and Washington—officials that we helped get the jobs they now hold) have violated Federation policies and ethics to the extent that the national Board of Directors has been compelled to take action to reorganize those states.

As an increasing number of Federationists Know, Bob Acosta has countered by sending hate literature in growing volume to members of the movement and others throughout the country. Apparently the attempt is to cause a split in the movement and take us back to the Federation's civil war days of the late 1950's while our opponents (particularly, NAC and its allies) chortle in glee. But Bob Acosta has made a basic misassessment. The Federation of today is not the Federation of 20 years ago. We are more mature than we were then, better informed, more lean and battle-hardened, and thoroughly knowledgeable as to who we are and where we are going.

We have learned many lessons in these past two decades. We are not simply repeating a slogan when we say: We know who we are, and we will never go back. We mean it, and the "we" is the great majority of the active blind population of this country. The momentum of the organized blind movement continues to grow, and it will not be stopped or slowed.

Seen from this viewpoint the reaction of Federationists to what has been happening is not surprising. The vicious campaign carried on by the Des Moines Register during the past year has not discouraged us. We know the origins of that campaign and understand its purposes. Through our civil rights victories, through such articles as those appearing recently in the Wall Street Journal, through our actions in the Congress and the state legislatures, and through our contacts with the general public we have not only counterattacked but continued our advance toward first-class citizenship. As it has been with the Des Moines Register, so has it been with the recent Acosta campaign of attempted division and disruption. Since the Convention last summer I have been to almost a third of the state conventions; I have received literally hundreds of letters and telephone calls; and I have had reports from the rest of the country. As a result I have become firmly convinced of several things: The Acosta hate campaign has created no converts. Mostly, so far as I can tell, his tapes and literature are thrown into the trash without being read. Federationists have no intention of going through another civil war or allowing our movement to be fragmented—especially, under the leadership of Bob Acosta and for the purposes he espouses. When he gets to Miami Beach (assuming, that is, that he is so lacking in shame that he can face those who formerly called him colleague and friend) I think he will be in for a shock. Although the resentment against his behavior is widespread and extreme, I think he will hardly create a ripple or a disturbance. I think he will not be the focus of attention at the Convention and that he will not disturb the unity or blunt the momentum. In short, his behavior, his tactics, and his motives will be seen in perspective. The delegates will put the matter behind them and move on to the real business of the movement.

However, if the Acosta rule-or-ruin campaign has been unable to shake the Federation, it has had quite a different impact in other quarters. As might be expected, Dr. Richard Bleecker, the leader of NAC, sees hopeful signs in it all. Dr. Bleecker seems to feel that he has much in common with Mr. Acosta and that a constructive purpose might be served by a friendly get-together. Under date of February 23, 1979, Dr. Bleecker sent the following letter to Mr. Acosta:

MR. ROBERT ACOSTA,
President, National Federation of the Blind of California,
Los Angeles, California.

DEAR MR. ACOSTA: I am writing to you in peace and friendship.

I have read with interest your January 24 letter and the National Federation of the Blind of California position paper which report differences between NFBC and the National Administration of the National Federation of the Blind.

The tactics described in the letter and attachment are familiar to us. They are disturbingly similar to the strategies that have been used against NAC; we don't wish such pressures upon you or anyone else.

We know that many NFBC and NFB members are opposed to NAC. But we believe a substantial reason for this may be misinformation that has emanated from your National President.

NAC is dedicated to improving the quality of services for blind and visually handicapped people. And believe it or not—we also seek the constructive participation of NFBC and NFB members in our standard-setting and accreditation activities.

You have set forth the facts in the dispute involving NFBC. Will you let us set forth for you the facts in the dispute involving NAC? We'd appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions or any of the allegations that Mr. Jernigan has made over the years about NAC. Perhaps a meeting between us to discuss this would be a productive step.

We'd welcome your joining us in setting high standards of service to blind and visually handicapped Americans—and in helping agencies and schools attain them through accreditation.

We don't want to see NFB explode into a civil war. Despite our differences, we recognize that a unified NFB has a very important role to play in shaping services to the blind. Nor do we want to see NFB dissipate its credibility and effectiveness by unfairly attacking those with whom it could cooperate in serving the interests of all blind people.

There's so much that needs to be done to open doors of opportunity and equality for every blind man, woman and child. And, by working together, there's so much that can be done.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely yours,

RICHARD W. BLEECKER, Ed. D.

What a revealing letter! As I see it, Dr. Bleecker and Mr. Acosta have at least one thing in common: they completely fail to understand the essence of our movement—the spirit, the inner heart of it all, the thing that makes it powerful and indestructible. That something—that driving force which binds us together and makes us willing to sacrifice—is a thing they cannot understand or even believe exists. Simply stated it is love—the love which we have for each other, for our fellow blind and for our cause. In a tape of one of Bob Acosta's speeches last summer I heard him say something to this effect: "It is not necessary that we love each other." But, of course, it is necessary that we love each other. Otherwise, we're nothing. This attitude is at the center of his whole problem. Whatever Bob Acosta and his followers may say, whatever NAC or the American Council of the Blind or the American Foundation for the Blind may think, our whole movement is based upon love and belief and trust. It is that simple; it is that compelling; it is that powerful.

And what does all of this have to do with Mary Ellen Reihing? It has everything to do with her, for the other day she sent me a letter. It is not pretentious or lengthy, but it captures the spirit of what we are and why we have strength. In a way, it symbolizes our whole movement—the love, the determination, the resilience, the hope, the trust, and the plain good sense:

Lincoln, Nebraska, March 3, 1979.

DEAR MR. JERNIGAN: Although I think you already know where I stand on the challenges we're facing in Washington and California, I believe it's time to put my firm commitment on paper.

When Bob Acosta, Sue Ammeter, and the rest talk about those "responsible" for the administration's response to their destructive behavior, they'll probably only mention a few names. Yours will no doubt head the list. Maybe they'll include the Board of Directors. But I'm sure they won't mention me or the president of my local chapter or any of the thousands of us who elected you and the Board. I don't like it when people try to separate me from those I choose as my leaders. I helped put you in office because I believe you are the best person to lead us in getting things done. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't escape responsibility for actions you take in my name.

In this case, I would be howling for your impeachment if you had acted differently. Being a Federationist means something. I certainly believe individual members and state affiliates should have latitude in bringing the Federation to life within ourselves in the way that works best. All of us use our own approaches in the Federation every day. But democracy isn't license to distort the meaning of the movement.

I'm also beginning to think that screaming "dictator!" is just another way of saying "We don't have the votes." I remember talking about that at seminar. I think I asked you whether some Federationists would agree to almost anything just because you asked them to do so. You turned the question back to me and asked how long I would be willing to put up with you if I thought you were doing a poor job. I said I wouldn't take poor leadership for long. After I went home and thought about it, I realized that my question had really been: "I know I'm too clever to be taken in, but a lot of Federationists aren't as sharp as me. Couldn't they be duped easily?" That's a pretty sorry statement from someone who says she's working for equal treatment of blind people. An attitude like that would fit nicely into a NAC board meeting. Of course it's true that I'm too sharp to be tricked for long; we all are. We're organized precisely because we are unwilling to stand for the misinformed thinking and poor leadership in society's approach to blindness. The charge of dictatorship says more about elitism of the accuser than about the state of the movement.

If the Acosta people come to convention and try to tell me that you and the Board are the "bad guys" who caused all the trouble, I promise to listen courteously. When they've had their say, I will be proud to let them know that my name is also on the list of those who believe in the unity of the organization and the ultimate authority of the national body.

Please don't feel you need to answer this. I just thought you would want to know my feelings; I know I wanted to write them. God bless you.

Sincerely,

MARY ELLEN REIHING.

1800 Johnson Street,
Baltimore, Maryland,
March 21, 1979.

DEAR MARY ELLEN: I will not write a long letter in answer to the one I have just received from you. It is neither necessary nor appropriate. Let me just say that it is letters like yours that give me the courage to go on and the belief to know that whatever sacrifice we must make to achieve our goal of first-class citizenship is worth it. I will feel strengthened and bolstered at Miami because of what you have said and because you are there.

Cordially,

KENNETH JERNIGAN,
President, National Federation of the Blind.

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THE N.A.C. NOTION OF CONSUMER PARTICIPATION: THE EVANSVILLE ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND

The Winter 1979 issue of The Standard-bearer, the newsletter of the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC), begins as follows:

"Otis H. Stephens, chairman of the Commission on Accreditation, announced that three organizations were accredited in December. They are: Alabama School for the Blind (Talladega), George H. Dabbs, principal; Toledo Society for the Blind (Ohio), Barry A. McEwen, executive director: and Oklahoma League for the Blind (Oklahoma City), LeRoy F. Saunders, executive director.

"Also, Guiding Eyes for the Blind (Yorktown Heights, New York) and New Hampshire Association for the Blind (Concord) were reaccredited."

The accreditation of the Toledo Society for the Blind, which originally had some problems with NAC because of its lack of "consumer participation," raised the question of what changes the Toledo Society had made in order to meet what is clearly the most whimsical of NAC's standards. At past NAC board meetings, various officials have stated that NAC is unique in the accreditation field because of the degree to which it involves "consumers" in its workings. Of course, this does not mean that NAC accepts input from the largest group of organized consumers in the nation, the National Federation of the Blind.

But perhaps NAC requires a greater degree of consumer participation in the agencies it accredits than it allows in NAC itself. To gain an understanding of the involvement of blind persons and organizations of the blind in NAC-accredited agencies, we reprint here a series of letters that passed between the Evansville Association for the Blind (a NAC-accredited agency) and the National Federation of the Blind of Indiana during late 1977 and 1978. The first letter was written by Tom Bozikis of the NFB of Indiana to the board members of the Evansville Society and dated December 14, 1977. It read as follows:

"The National Federation of the Blind seeks cooperation with agencies doing work in the field of blindness. As you may know, the Federation is an activist consumer organization seeking quality services from the service providers.

"The following recommendations are made in an effort to open meaningful dialogue between the organized blind and the Evansville Association for the Blind. First, persons who receive services or who are employed at the Association, not including staff personnel, should have representation on the board. Second, a representative of the organized blind movement should have a seat on the board. In each instance, these representatives should be elected by their own constituency. Finally, the board of directors should be empowered to review policy changes proposed by the executive committee and the executive director.

"What should be made clear is that this does not constitute a change of position or policy concerning the National Accreditation Council (NAC). Our views concerning NAC are quite well known.

"It is our hope that we can cooperate with you, and you with us, in changing the lives of blind people from a disaster to ones of independence and equality. I look forward to hearing from you in what, hopefully, will be a common endeavor."

This was not a particularly militant letter. Indeed, it is filled with a spirit of cooperation. On January 13, 1978, Frank Kern, the Society's executive director, replied. He thanked Tom Bozikis for his letter and then discussed a tour of the Society given to a few Federationists a short time earlier. Then he got to the gist of the matter, as follows:

"In response to your request for attendance at the next meeting of the board of directors, we should make you aware that the board meetings are business meetings. The board has never permitted any 'observers' and has only afforded individuals the opportunity to make presentations and then be excused. As suggested to you in a phone conversation with our president. Gene Johnson, if you have a presentation that would be of value to the board of directors, consideration will be given to a request for placement on the meeting agenda."

Mr. Kern's statement that individuals may "make presentations and then be excused" carries some unintended irony—the implication is that after the presentation, the maker of it will ask for and be given forgiveness for intruding. The unintended meaning, in this case, is close to the truth. Tom Bozikis responded to Mr. Kern's letter, in part, as follows:

"I believe we should deal with two issues first of all, that being the possibility of making a presentation to the board, and secondly the question of allowing observers to the board meeting.

"First, we would like to make a presentation to the board as to what we believe is the way to run a good rehabilitation facility and also the need for blind consumers to participate in the activities of determining their own course of action. This presentation is not to be construed as consumer participation since the liaison is not a part of the formal structure. Anything which may be presented does not necessarily have to be acted upon. Nevertheless, we would like to make a presentation in good faith and a spirit of cooperation.

"Second and more importantly, the issue of observers at the next board meeting must be dealt with. I don't see any reason why observers should not be admitted to your board meeting. After all, even NAC does that. Admittedly, they would rather not. It at least gives the appearance of cooperation.

"What alarms me more than anything is that in your letter and phone conversations with me, not once did you ever deal with the issue of representation by the blind on the board of directors. As you may know, the Toledo Society for the Blind did not receive accreditation from NAC due to lack of consumer participation. I shall await a response from you and the board concerning these matters."

The continuation of this discussion took place in the public press. The Evansville Courier-Press of February 28, 1978, carried an article by staff writer Fred Brown, which read, in part, as follows:

"The Evansville Association for the Blind, a 59-year-old organization that used to call itself a 'Lighthouse,' is finding that light a bit clouded these days as a group of local blind persons attacks the association because they 'don't think it is operating in the best welfare of blind persons.'

"That charge comes from Tom Bozikis, an Evansville resident who is second vice-president of the Indiana chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, which Bozikis describes as 'a consumer organization...an advocacy group.'

"The Federation criticizes the association on several points, including the method in which the association operates a sheltered workshop for blind and other handicapped persons, and the Federation's lack of official representation on the association's board of directors.

"'The association was conceived and organized to serve all the blind of Evansville,' said Bozikis, who believes it would be 'more to their (the association's) benefit to have a consumer representative on their board.' The Hammond native believes the association should add two members to its board, with one of them being an employee of the sheltered workshop and the other a member of the Federation because it is 'the only representative voice of blind people.'

"Association executive director Frank E. Kern disagrees. He does not think persons should be appointed to the board simply because they are members of the Federation—or any other group. Such an action, he fears, would mean some association board members might be forced to split their loyalties between the association and the Federation.

'"We have to be of service not just to a very select group,' Kern said, adding that there are already two blind persons on the association's 21-member board, with one of those persons being Bozikis' wife—the former Rhonda Horton, who was once a newscaster for radio station WROZ.

"In Kern's opinion, that resolves the question of blind representation on the board, but Bozikis doesn't think so.

"'You can appoint Uncle Toms to a board. You can have them and it's tokenism down the line,' he said. For example, Bozikis added, his wife was appointed to the association board in 1976, long before she joined the National Federation of the Blind. She was elected first vice-president of the local chapter earlier this month. Had Mrs. Bozikis been a Federation activist in 1976, Bozikis doubts she would have ever been named to the association board."

Later parts of the article reveal just what it is about the Evansville Association the NFB of Indiana would like to reform:

"We're not helpless and we're not hopeless. We can determine our own destinies,' said [Bozikis]. "Blind people are perfectly capable of making up their own minds, and that's the premise on which any social service agency for the blind should be run.'

"In too many cases, social service agencies have adopted a patronizing attitude with the blind, lumping them together as persons made childlike by their handicap, said Bozikis, who feels such an attitude is both degrading and erroneous.

"'Blindness doesn't have to be a handicap. If we're just given a chance, we can prove ourselves,' he said.

"Kern argues in return that such a philosophy—which is espoused by most persons connected with the Federation, including its former president Ken Jernigan—is somewhat unrealistic. Not all persons with visual (and other) handicaps can cope as well as Bozikis, said Kern, who believes special consideration must be given individuals with special problems.

"And, he continues, what may be an inconvenience for one person is a total handicap for another. To illustrate, Kern related the story of a Vincennes man who became almost totally disabled after losing an arm, simply because he could not cope with his loss. Yet, he said, there are individuals like Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, yet has risen to one of the top posts in the federal government."

Thus Mr. Kern dredges up what is coming to be the standard justification for service agencies that do not channel blind persons into regular jobs and independent lives. It is all because, according to Mr. Kern and his counterparts at substandard agencies across the land, many people are simply totally disabled by blindness. They are unable to be independent, unreachable by available rehabilitation methods, doomed by fate (or perhaps by "other handicaps") to back-room existence and a miserable sort of half life. It would be more convincing if there were some of these "totally handicapped" blind people telling us this themselves. Somehow it is always the agency directors, or on occasion even blind staff members of the agencies, who preach this line. Where are these blind people who will tell us they don't want regular jobs, who don't want decent wages, who would do anything to avoid lives of full participation and first-class status?

Mr. Kern assures us they do exist, and the article goes on to tell us what happens to them when they go to the Evansville Society for rehabilitation or job placement:

"Because it believes visually handicapped persons may not be able to compete equally with sighted individuals, the association organized a sheltered workshop in the early 1960's."

The article also tells us about conditions in the workshop:

"During 1977, Kern said, the workshop's rate of pay averaged $2.94 per hour—64 cents above the federal minimum of $2.30. Some of the more experienced, more productive workers are making up to $4.50 per hour, while some beginners are paid as little as $1.44, Kern said. All workshop employees are guaranteed to make at least 25 percent of the minimum wage—about 66 cents an hour."

The article concluded as follows:

"And, Kern wonders, what does the National Federation of the Blind offer as a better alternative? He answers his own question with one word: 'Nothing!'

"'The Federation has no programs for the blind anywhere in the United States,' Kern said.

"Bozikis agrees the Federation has no programs, but said that's because the group doesn't claim to be in the program business.  'We are a consumer organization ... an advocacy group. We're not in the business of running programs. We're trying to tell these people how to run organizations for the blind,' said Bozikis. The whole question, he added, gets back to his contention that 'we think the people who are there (at the workshop) should determine their own needs. We don't think that anyone knows what is best for us.

"'Where does the consumer fit in this whole scheme?' Bozikis asked.

"How will the disagreement between the Evansville chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and the Evansville Association for the Blind be resolved?

"That answer might come through communication. The Federation has been invited to appear before the association board at its April 18 meeting to discuss operation of the workshop and the question of more blind representation on the association board.

"Bozikis is cautiously optimistic about that meeting's success. 'A lot of it depends on where the association wants to go from here. I'd like to see it go on, but if things hold true to form, this is most likely to be a one-time effort.'

"If that is the case, Bozikis said he's not sure what the Federation's next move might be, indicating the group might picket the association. Above all, he added, the Federation is going to try to 'continually keep the public aware of what we can do to improve services for the blind in this community.'"

The prospects for cooperation between the Federation and the Evansville Association seemed dim considering Mr. Kern's statement that if the blind had representatives on the board, they "might be forced to split their loyalties between the association and the Federation." Mr. Kern here calls into question the whole democratic ideal. His statement could be used to justify a Congress in which the Senators and Representatives are appointed by their predecessors. After all, Mr. Kern would argue, if they are elected by their home districts, they might be forced to split their loyalties. Mr. Kern's statement makes sense only if he believes the interests of the blind are different from those of the Association—which he apparently does believe, judging from his other actions about that time.

Before the Courier-Press article appeared, Mr. Kern had written another letter to Tom Bozikis, inviting him to make a presentation to the board and concluding:

"Apparently, you feel that two very capable blind and visually handicapped persons presently serving as members of the board of directors of the Association do not represent the blind of our community. As you know, your wife, Rhonda, and Dr. David Kinsey have participated actively in our affairs since joining the board. Their invitations to become members of the board were based upon the same considerations used for the selection of other board members and was not influenced by membership or lack of membership in other organizations of or for the blind."

This was an odd justification for refusing a request that board members be selected on the basis of their membership in the Federation or employment in the workshop. On March 7, 1978, Tom Bozikis responded to Mr. Kern's letter, in part, as follows:

"You ask about representation and whether it should be determined that any organization of the blind should say which blind people could serve or not serve as a member of the EAB board. Simply stated, the answer to your question is yes. What we have always sought is partnership, not dominance of any agency. Your letter to the board makes it sound as if we seek vengeful destruction of agencies that we don't like and wish them done away with. By no means is this accurate. Neither is it accurate to say that we want all blind people to be treated alike. We want blind people to be treated the way each person wants to be treated. Each of us wants to be treated fairly, honestly, with dignity and respect. I believe we have the right to expect that from our sighted neighbors.

"Further, let me state that it is rather curious that you mention that my wife is a board member and yet she was not sent your letter, which supposedly went to all members of the board. As I said, I believe that Rhonda's position on the board is tokenism. If it weren't, you would not meet her inquiries with 'You don't understand.' That seems to be the standard answer given to all blind persons who differ with the EAB. Even so, we appreciate the opportunity we do have and we thank the board for allowing us it."

Tom Bozikis' statement that his wife's place on the board was tokenism is putting it mildly. He referred to a letter sent by Mr. Kern, according to the greeting on the letter, to the board of directors. Rhonda Bozikis was a member of the board, yet she did not receive a copy. As the following excerpts will show, it was a letter that would have been of particular interest to a member of the Federation. It read, in part, as follows:

"If you were, watching TV with friends some evening and suddenly a blind man appeared on the screen attacking the Evansville Association for the Blind as 'oppressive and degrading' to blind people, could you answer the questions your friends might throw at you?

"As a member of the board of directors of the EAB you should be prepared for this eventuality. There are blind people who have done this in the past and could do it again in the future. You should know who they are; what they stand for; and their announced objectives for such an attack.

"Let me hasten to assure you that it is not only the EAB they may attack. It is every major organization, agency, and service program performing services for the blind in this country. They have already done this.

"I am referring to that group known as the National Federation of the Blind with Ken Jernigan, Iowa, serving as spokesman and Tom Bozikis leading the local campaign.

"Most of the national leaders of well-known and respected organizations for the blind agree that the purpose of NFB is 'CONTROL OR DESTROY.' That purpose has been all too evident in recent years."

After some paragraphs of puffery about EAB programs, put in to bolster the confidence of the board members and illustrate how crazy we are, Mr. Kern goes on:

"You must be aware of this background to place them in perspective and understand the irrational things they do. They have mastered the art of organized protest and how to reach the media. On a national basis they have one of the New York City's best PR advertising firms working for them. [Note: This was a total fabrication.] Their only programs are protest and propaganda. They attempt to pit the blind against the sighted. Yet they issue a request to our board that they have a quota of their members on our board of directors.

"They have harassed the EAB for some years as well as many, many other organizations like ours throughout the country. Recent examples of their activity have occurred in Phoenix, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati. In Mr. Jernigan they have a brilliant (if misguided) leader whose power to motivate and inspire is fantastic. He is an extremely emotional and capable speaker.

"What is most dangerous is they believe 100% in what they are doing and would view with joy the collapse of such organizations as the American Foundation for the Blind, National Accreditation Council, and all local service organizations like the EAB. They have mastered the skills of lobbying. They are dedicated to their purposes. Although extremely small in number, their appeal to the media, legislators, etc. is obvious.

"So—if you see an individual on your TV screen blasting the EAB and all programs for the blind, at least now you should be able to place that individual in perspective.''

It is in question how much comfort EAB board members derived from this letter. Putting to one side the fear and hatred expressed by Mr. Kern (and these are so intense that one wonders why he is in the field of work with the blind at all-a field where he must meet daily such "dangerous" and "irrational" beings), the letter illustrates well the real confusion of NACsters. President Jernigan discussed this elsewhere in this issue. The picture Mr. Kern paints of us is filled with inconsistencies. The only way we could possess all of the characteristics attributed to us by him would be if we were all ready for a lunatic asylum. On the evidence, we are forced to conclude this is what Frank Kern and his colleagues in NAC do believe. We are ready for an asylum—or a NAC-accredited sheltered workshop.

But examine this letter from another point of view: Mr. Kern would persuade the blind of Evansville that they already have ample consumer representation on the EAB board—after all, an officer of the Federation is a board member. She sits on the body that supposedly directs the agency, that determines agency policy and supervises its executive director. Yet what does that director do? He not only writes letters attacking the integrity and sanity of one of his board members, but he sends the letter only to selected members of the board. And then he has the face to write to Tom Bozikis and say, "As you know, your wife, Rhonda, and Dr. David Kinsey have participated actively in our affairs since joining the board."

But the saga goes on. On May 1, 1978, Tom Bozikis sent the following letter to other Federationists.

"April 18, 1978, was a most important day in the lives of blind people in the Evansville area. On that day members of the National Federation of the Blind met with the board of directors of the Evansville Association for the Blind. Joe Money, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Indiana, and Tom Bozikis, second vice-president, began the presentation with a showing of [the film] "We Know Who We Are." Joe Money spoke before the board and commented on the worthlessness of NAC accreditation. He spoke about the Tennessee School for the Blind and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and how they have NAC accreditation but are not accredited by the regional accrediting body on education.

"Frank Kern, executive director of the Association, said that the Iowa program was not a very good one and that there were others which were better. We wonder if he meant the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind or some of the other agencies which do have NAC accreditation. He also brought up Dr. Jernigan's resignation in Iowa and that Dr. Jernigan resigned prior to the governor's beginning an investigation of the Commission. He also told us that we should read the articles from the Des Moines Register and Tribune. But we know what those articles say and their origins.

"This is what struck us to be most curious. First we walked into a room which is not the normal meeting room of the board. We were already told we would not be permitted to observe the board meeting. We repeated our request with no response. While we were in the process of getting our materials together, the board retired to the normal meeting place leaving us behind with three other board members and they spoke with us. And there it was—prejudice and discrimination clothed in the attire of good will and pity. These board members decided that we were the ones who were prejudiced and discriminatory towards the sighted. We were told that we were the ones being hostile. I guess we are supposed to take whatever meager handouts we can get from our benevolent keepers, even if its means 65 cents an hour.

"Rhonda Bozikis, a board member of the Association, decided not to stay with the board, but to leave with us. She is also first vice-president of the local chapter of the Federation. Before leaving, Joe Money asked one of the board members if he would make a motion to admit us. He refused. Upon leaving the building, we left through the shop area and noticed people inside. This is highly unusual. Later we learned these were anti-Federation pickets. We understand these people, about ten or twelve, were paid to picket against us if we showed up with pickets.

"Recent articles in the Evansville newspapers and news stories on radio and television clearly indicate who is willing to work in the best interest of the blind.

"There is an open-door law and an attorney has advised us that the EAB comes under its jurisdiction since it receives funding from the state. Therefore a number of Federationists and hopefully members of the press will join us in gaining entrance to the next EAB board meeting in July."

There have been other episodes since the ones reported here, but surely this is enough to give a good idea of the degree of consumer participation required of agencies accredited by NAC. If we had to compose a short list of the steps to fulfill NAC's requirements in this area, it might read as follows:

(1) Appoint token blind persons to the board of directors. By no means give any consideration to allowing these blind persons to be chosen by the consumers themselves.

(2) Attack the consumers in your statements to the press.

(3) Write vicious letters, impugning the rationality and motives of the consumers. Then send your letters to all members of the board except those having any connection with consumer groups.

(4) Arrange for presentations before the board by consumer organizations, but then have the board leave the room and have the consumers talk only with a selected committee of the board.

(5) And be sure to hire pickets and have them ready at hand.

This should do it for starters. There is no question that NAC will find all this acceptable. After all, in Chicago, NAC sent its own director to help the Chicago Lighthouse get together a similar anti-consumer campaign with most of the same features, including paid pickets.

Considering the consumer participation at the Evansville Association, some may have wondered how it was that the Toledo Society for the Blind could have failed to meet this sterling NAC "standard." What more could an agency do to exclude and intimidate its consumers? But now the Toledo Society has been "accredited," so all such questions can be put to rest. There is a fine consistency to NAC's actions—as far as can be observed by us, not one of them is taken in the interests of blind consumers.

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MORE ABOUT THE NFB INSURANCE PLAN

It's been some months since we discussed the NFB Insurance Plan. The plan was introduced at last year's Baltimore Convention; and during the Convention, hundreds of Federationists signed up. The plan was further discussed on a presidential cassette release and then in the November-December 1978 Monitor. After each of these occasions, applications for policies increased. But in the rush of other projects—the Associates contest, the PAC plan, and just the general high-level activity of the movement—the insurance plan has gotten ignored.

Unlike our other activities—most of which are geared to the long-range benefit of the blind or the self-sufficiency of the organization—the NFB Insurance Plan is primarily a program set up for the convenience of individual Federationists. It is the result of an extensive search for the kinds of benefits most people are looking for and the most attractive possible rates—the kind of rates that are only available under group plans. You are not likely to find a better deal anywhere else, and this is one insurance program where you can be certain there will be no discrimination because of blindness. In fact, you must be a member of the Federation (or related to a member) to sign up at all.

Beyond the personal benefits of this plan is the fact that it has the potential to help support the Federation. When the combined premiums of insured members reach about $200,000 a year, roughly $50,000 of that will come back to the NFB treasury. There are other ways the plan can help the movement. Particularly for younger members (since the rates for term life insurance are most attractive to that group), even if you have ample insurance already, you might consider taking out a life insurance policy and making the Federation your beneficiary. For instance, if you are under 40, it costs only $24 per year to insure your life for $10,000. It is not something people like to think about, but even the very remote possibility of death might be worth insuring against at the rates under this plan.

There will be people enrolling members for insurance at the Convention this summer, but why wait. At the end of the ink-print edition of this issue is a tear-out application for both parts of the plan—the life insurance and the hospital indemnity insurance. Also, most chapter and state presidents have brochures and applications. Failing this, applications can be got from the National Office or from Herb Magin, the broker who arranged the plan. His address appears at the end of this article.

Remember that any member is eligible, and that all Associates (who must first become members at large before being eligible to be Associates) can also join the plan. They won't know about this extra benefit unless you tell them at the time you enroll them in the NFB.

There are two parts to the NFB plan; and you can sign up for either one or both. First is the term life insurance. You can buy life insurance for yourself, your spouse, and your children, until you are 70 years old, although at age 65 the benefits are cut in half. Your spouse can only purchase half as much life insurance as you do, and your children one quarter as much. At age 70 you can convert the policy into a regular policy without providing 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. You can spend the money any way you wish. Your spouse can be eligible for the same amount as you sign up for, and your children for half that. No physical examination is necessary for this part of the plan.

Several hundred Federationists signed up for the hospital indemnity benefit at last year's convention. One member began to collect benefits within a few months, and several others have received payments since then. So the plan is in operation and just waiting for you to take advantage of it.

Here, then, is a more complete description of the plan, with rate charts. In the charts, when the NFB member moves up from one age bracket to the next, his or her dependents move up at the same time. Semi-annual payments (if you wish to pay that way) are one half the yearly payments plus 50 cents. Quarterly payments are one fourth the yearly 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

MEMBER'S

 AMOUNT OF COVERAGE

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

1,248.00

65-69*

 . . .

199.60

499.00

998.00

*Benefit reduced 50% at age 65.

 

 

ANNUAL RATE FOR COVERAGE OF MEMBER'S SPOUSE

MEMBER’S

AMOUNT OF COVERAGE

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 COVERAGE OF 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

Member, spouse, and all children

MEMBER'S AGE

Member only

Member and spouse

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

Member, spouse, and all children

MEMBER'S AGE

Member only

Member and spouse

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 DON McCONNELL

CELERIAC SALAD WITH MUSTARD-CREAM DRESSING

Ingredients

1 large celeriac (celery root)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoons mustard (preferably Dijon mustard)
Salt and pepper

Shred the celeriac fairly fine and soak it in the lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. Then beat together the cream and mustard, adding salt and pepper to taste. Beat the dressing until it begins to be foamy. Then mix the celeriac and the dressing together. This is a fine salad that is even better the next day.

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MONITOR MINIATURES

The following letter was sent to President Jernigan by Joy Smith, a California Federationist. The techniques described in her letter have already made her 28th in the Associates competition. Here is her letter:

"I have been wanting to write a letter expressing my feelings about the Associates program. For a long time I found that I was doing a lot of planning and thinking, but I was taking no action. Like many people, I realized the reason I was procrastinating was because I simply hate to ask favors or money from those who are close to me.

"One day while deep in thought about my problem of not taking action with the Associates program, I decided that I must have more positive thoughts on this matter instead of negative ones. Hadn't I always been successful when I worked with fundraising? Didn't I hear some of my relatives say they had given to other organizations? Wasn't it my brother who asked me a few years ago what he could do to help? All the answers were yes and so the job in front of me became easier.

"Once I started I couldn't stop and found myself handwriting seven notes. I simply told them that the NFB meant a lot to me and that it did many good things for all blind people across this country. I sent the notes along with the partially filled-in forms, and I remembered to include a self-addressed stamped envelope. The note contained a little family news to give it a personal touch. Within a few days the first one came back to me with a $25 check, and more were soon to follow. Watching the mail and opening the envelopes had become an exciting game as the 25's outnumbered the 10"s. Now there is $95.

"Now, Dr. Jernigan, I am sending along to you the fruit of my positive thoughts.

"Sincerely,

"Joy Smith."

This summer at the Convention in Miami Beach, there will be another competition using an electronic game center, with proceeds going to the NFB Cultural Exchange and International Program Committee. The CEIP Committee will need volunteers to run the competition, and they ask that anyone who is interested come to the Exhibition Hall at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 30th, and get in touch with either Jean Asner or Harold Snider.

The Student Division of the NFB of South Carolina would like to remind those planning to come to Miami Beach this July that they are holding a "Carolina Cooler" Monday, July 2, from 9 p.m. until midnight. The location will be announced at the Student Division meeting.

Barbara Prinsen, secretary of the NFB of Vermont, sent the following clipping from the Burlington, Vermont, Free Press of March 21:

"Aged and the handicapped persons, many of them in wheelchairs, went to the Statehouse Tuesday to support a bill that would outlaw employment discrimination based on age or mental or physical condition.

"'The handicapped need a fair shake,' Alan Dalton told the House General and Military Affairs Committee.

"Dalton, representing the National Federation of the Blind, said federal law concerning employment of the handicapped is being ignored. He said the worst offender is the state of Vermont.

"'You know discrimination is going on, but how do you prove it?' Dalton asked. He said many employers feel they have met their obligations when a handicapped person is included in a field of five persons vying for a job."

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Whitehead will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on Sunday, June 10, at the Clifton Heights Baptist Church Fellowship Hah, 2917 Cleveland Boulevard, Louisville, Kentucky. They invite fellow Federationists to attend, but ask that any who might be inclined to send gifts to instead make a donation in their honor to the National Federation of the Blind. Mr. Whitehead has missed recent NFB Conventions due to poor health, but says he is hoping and praying he can be in Miami Beach this summer.

Check here for Coverages Desired

I. Group Term Life Insurance
A. Coverage Desired for Principal Insured
□ $50,000        □ $25,000        □ $10,000
B. Coverage Desired for Dependent Spouse
□ 25,000          □ $12,500        □ $5,000
C. Coverage Desired for All Dependent Children
□ $12,500        □ $6,250 Each             □ $2,500 Each
D. Mode of Payment: □ Annual □ Semi-Annual □ Quarterly

II. Hospital Indemnity Insurance
A. Plan Desired:    □ $50/Day    □ $25/Day
B. Type of Coverage: □ Member Only          □ Member & Spouse
□ Member, Spouse & Children          □ Member & Children
C. Mode of Payment: □ Annual □ Semi-Annual □ Quarterly

HOME OFFICE USE ONLY

1. Cert. #—L   □□□□□□□□□
2. Cert. #-H     □□□□□□□□□
3. Age             □□
4. Sex             □
5. D.O.B.         □□□□□□
6. Plan A003   □□□
7. Units           □□□□□□
8. Plan A004   □□□□□□
9. Units           □□□
10. Eff. Date—L□□
11. Eff. Date—H□□
12. State          □□□
13. U.C.           □□

THEN COMPLETE THE APPLICATION

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

APPLICATION FOR LIFE AND/OR HOSPITAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE TO MONUMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

Section I—Complete if applying for either Life Insurance or Hospital Indemnity Insurance or both.

NFB Member's Name____________________________________________________________
Last Name                   First Name                              Middle Initial

Age___________       Social Security number _______/_____/________            □ Male   □ Female

Billing address_________________________________________________________________
     Street Address
______________________________________________________________________________
          City                                                                   State                                  ZIP Code

Phone number where you can be reached during the day_________________________________

Height________  Weight______   Birth date___/___/__ Birth place_______________________

Member's beneficiary (applicable to life insurance only). You have the option of naming any beneficiary:

Percent of benefit to National Federation of the Blind_______  Percent to beneficiary_________

Beneficiary's name_________________________________________ Relationship___________

Personal physician (applicable to life insurance only):

Physician's name________________________________________ Phone number____________

Physician's address ______________________________________________________________

If you have dependents and want them covered, complete the following (the beneficiary of all dependdents is the NFB member):

Spouse________________________________________________________________________
       Last Name                                                            First Name                        Middle Initial

Height________  Weight______   Birth date___/___/__ Birth place_______________________

Children__________________/__/_____________________/__/___________________/__/__
  Name                    Birth date      Name                 Birth date    Name       Birth date

(Application continued on back)

NOTICE TO APPLICANT - PLEASE READ, DETACH, AND RETAIN THIS PORTION

Insurance regulations require that we send you this statement using the following wording:

"Information regarding your insurability will be treated as confidential. Monumental Life Insurance Company or its reinsurer(s) may, however, make a brief report thereon to the Medical Information Bureau, a nonprofit membership organization of life insurance companies, which operates an information exchange on behalf of its members. If you apply to another Bureau member company for life or health insurance coverage, or a claim for benefits is submitted to such a company, the Bureau, upon request, will supply such company with the information in its file.

"Upon receipt of a request from you, the Bureau will arrange disclosure of any information it may have in your file. (Medical information will be disclosed only to your attending physician.) If you question the accuracy of information in the Bureau's file, you may contact the Bureau and seek a correction in accordance with the procedures set forth in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The address of the Bureau's information office is Post Office Box 105, Essex Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02112, telephone number (617) 426-3660.

"Monumental Life Insurance Company or its reinsurer(s) may also release information in its file to other life insurance companies to whom you may apply for life or health insurance, or to whom a claim for benefits may be submitted."

Public Law 91-508 requires that we advise you that a routine inquiry may be made which will provide applicable information concerning character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living. Upon written request additional information as to the nature and scope of the report, if one is made, will be provided.

Section II—Complete if applying for Life Insurance.

(1) Have you or any named dependent ever made application for Life or Accident and Health Insurance which has been declined, postponed, or rated-up? Yes □                No □     If yes, name each person and reason:
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

(2) Do you or any named dependent have, or have you ever had: high blood pressure or any disease of the heart or arteries; stroke; diabetes or disorder of the liver or kidneys; paralysis?    Yes □            No □

Nervous system or mental disorder; disorder of the lungs; cancer; epilepsy; or alcoholism or other drug addiction?     Yes □          No □            (Explain any yes answers below.)

(3) Have you or any named dependent been under observation or had any treatment or medical advice for any condition not listed above or been examined by any physician for other than a symptom-free check-up or been hospital confined during the past five years?    Yes         No     (If yes, explain below.)

Explanation of yes answers to questions (2) and (3). Include name of person; nature of ailment; date of treatment and duration; hospital; results; and the doctor's name, address, and telephone number:
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

(4) Will the Group Term Life Insurance Coverage hereby applied for replace any existing Life Insurance or Annuity Contracts?   Yes □      No □

If yes, name of company__________________________________________________________

Section III—Complete if applying for Hospital Indemnity Insurance.

(5) With respect to the Hospital Indemnity Insurance, I understand that this program does not cover conditions for which the above persons to be covered have received medical treatment or advice within 12 months prior to the date individual coverage goes into effect. These conditions will be covered after any covered person has received no medical treatment or advice for 12 consecutive months after the individual effective date, or after a period of 24 consecutive months regardless of treatment.  Yes □ No □

I hereby represent that all information and answers to all questions on this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand and agree that: (1) the information contained in this application shall form the basis for the insurance applied for; (2) the Company shall incur no liability until this application has been approved and coverage issued; (3) if the Company requests, I will take a medical exam at the Company's expense.

I hereby authorize any licensed physician, medical practitioner, hospital, clinic, or other medically related facility, insurance company, the Medical Information Bureau, or other organization, institution, or person, that has any records or knowledge of me or my health to give the Monumental Life Insurance Company or its reinsurer(s) any such information. A photocopy of this authorization shall be as valid as the original.

X_____________________________________________________Date___________________
    Member's signature

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