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Subscription requests, address changes, and items intended for
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or via e-mail.
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Submission deadlines are the first of the month.
The American Council of the Blind is a membership organization made up of more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates. To join, visit the ACB web site and fill out the application form, or contact the national office at the number listed above.
Those much-needed contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to Ardis Bazyn at the above mailing address. If you wish to remember a relative or friend by sharing in the council's continuing work, the national office makes printed cards available to acknowledge contributions made by loved ones in memory of deceased friends or relatives.
Anyone wishing to remember the American Council of the Blind in his/her Last Will and Testament may do so by including a special paragraph for that purpose. If your wishes are complex, contact the ACB National Office.
For the latest in legislative and governmental news, call the "Washington Connection" toll-free at (800) 424-8666, 5 p.m. to midnight Eastern time Monday through Friday. The Washington Connection is also posted and updated on the ACB web site.
The telephone number given for the national dating service ("Here and There," February 2002) was incorrect. The correct number is (925) 586-5211.
An editing error occurred at the end of the last sentence in the first paragraph of the article "U.S. Supreme Court Rules on ADA Again," (February 2002). There, and elsewhere in the article, the issue is described as involving whether Ms. Williams "was a qualified person with a disability, as defined by the ADA, and therefore, entitled to accommodation in the form of a change in her job duties under Title III of the act." The references to Title III are wrong. The article should have stated: Title I. We regret any confusion which may have resulted from the error.
When National Industries for the Blind (NIB) hosted a meeting of the World Blind Union (WBU) a few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind and meet many people who are blind and deaf-blind who work there on federal government contracts as well as commercial subcontracts for companies like Boeing Aircraft. The many blind people I talked with expressed pride in the work that they do: They manufacture products such as easels, aircraft parts, binders and rubber stamps. Visiting and getting to know these energetic "workshop employees" brought back memories of when I worked at the Lighthouse many years ago to help pay my way through college.
I also heard many of the folks I talked with expressing bewilderment over a new federal Rehabilitation Services Administration regulation that went into effect in October 2001.
"They are trying to say that our jobs aren't real jobs," one long-time employee complained. "I make more than $15 per hour in a supervisory position and the RSA is saying that our jobs aren't acceptable 'employment outcomes' anymore, because too many blind people work here."
What an odd criterion on which to base a definition. One wonders: Would an apartment house cease to be a living space if too many blind people lived there?
I saw blind people working at all levels within the company. There are 128 blind employees working on what the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (JWOD) defines as "direct labor" positions, and another 25 blind people in other positions throughout the Lighthouse. In addition, there are 22 blind people who have multiple disabilities besides their visual impairments who participate in a "supported work" program. The average wage for the direct labor (production) employees is over $10 per hour. The lighthouse also offers all of its full-time employees health insurance, which includes dental coverage, life insurance and a pension plan.
Under the new rules adopted in October 2001, the Rehabilitation Services Administration calls facilities like those at the Lighthouse "non-integrated settings." The new rule says that if a disabled person chooses a job at the Lighthouse or other places it calls "non-integrated settings," then no vocational rehabilitation funds can be spent to prepare a vocational rehabilitation client for that choice. In other words, you can choose, but not that choice, if you want or need VR services. Typical services such as orientation and mobility training and job coaching are now denied to you by VR if you want to go to work in a "non-integrated" industrial setting. VR is, in all likelihood, now depriving many people who are blind and visually impaired of jobs. In addition, the rehab counselor who allows a person to choose to work in a non- integrated industrial setting at any point in the rehabilitation process is penalized, in that such a placement may not be counted as a closure -- and it is closures on which states and their employees are monitored by the Department of Education, and ultimately judged.
A Seattle Lighthouse employee, who works as a machinist, told me that it seems crazy to him that one federal agency says that manufacturing jobs or customer service jobs at the Lighthouse are not acceptable employment, but three other federal agencies consider him to be "employed": the Internal Revenue Service; the Department of Labor; and the Social Security Administration.
Furthermore, other rulings which various federal and state agencies have made over the years definitely place the settings which many of us are still calling "workshops" in the category of real employers who pay the salaries of real workers -- where workers can unionize and engage in collective bargaining with management in addition to enjoying paychecks and other benefits of real work. For example, rulings were made by the National Labor Relations Board and in the courts that jobs at NIB-related agencies in Houston and Cincinnati met the appropriate standards for "employment," and pursuant to this ruling, the Teamsters Union came to represent employees in the Cincinnati facilities and both facilities continue to have union representation today.
I'd heard that about 40 deaf-blind people work at the Lighthouse, many having moved from other states in order to find employment and to live in a friendly, nurturing environment. "For us, integration is isolation," said Debbie Sommer, who moved to Seattle from Colorado almost 16 years ago. Born deaf, Debbie now also is totally blind and communicates with the assistance of a sign language interpreter who signs into her hand. "Jobs are almost impossible for deaf-blind people to get," Debbie told me, "and if I did get another job I probably wouldn't have a tactile sign language interpreter or a TTY with braille that lets me use the telephone. And I probably couldn't participate in the company like I do here on employee committees and at meetings."
She added that in addition to the insurance, she also now gets four weeks a year of paid vacation and sick leave as well as the other benefits she values.
Roger Hilling is another long-time employee. He started working at the Lighthouse in 1974, when he was a senior in high school. "I started out as a work-study student," he remembers. "I've worked in the Dynacraft area assembling hoses for big trucks, I've made automobile jacks and hand-trucks, and I've worked in the Boeing Department with drill presses and punch presses. Once they knew my ability, I was in demand all over the place."
Three years ago, Roger was again asked to apply his talents to a new position, this time in the production of rubber stamps. "I can turn out about a hundred stamps a day," he boasts. "I assemble stamps by gluing the rubber stamp into the housing. We make both self-inking and pre-inked stamps. Our largest customer is the U.S. Postal Service. We also make stamps for the Department of Agriculture."
Roger says he makes $9.42 per hour.
Both Debbie and Roger attended college. Debbie said that she went to see what college life was like, but decided that she enjoyed working and making things much more than studying. Roger earned an associate's degree in recreation technology, but only found volunteer jobs, so he went back to the Lighthouse and has been there most of his working life, except for a year or two as a cashier with a vendor in the Business Enterprises Program. Both are active in the Seattle community and love the services -- especially public transportation -- available there. Debbie also enjoys a number of recreational activities, including snow shoeing.
As I reflect on my visit with the blind and the deaf-blind employees at the Seattle Lighthouse, it is obvious that these folks consider themselves to be employed and that each enjoys their work and the economic independence it provides. Both of the workers I have told you about received assistance from vocational rehabilitation agencies in preparation for their employment at the Lighthouse: Debbie with orientation and mobility and braille, and Roger with job coaching.
But today's vocational rehabilitation programs aren't supposed to help prepare blind people for jobs such as these any longer. Due only to a politically motivated, dogmatic agenda, blind people are being made to feel like second-class citizens. The fact that this rule was authored and promulgated primarily by administrators who are themselves blind is the height of irony -- and shame!
These looked like real jobs to me, and they feel like real jobs to the people who do them. These workers and others who aspire to work in a manufacturing setting deserve the support of rehabilitation funding, not to mention the respect of their peers. The American Council of the Blind membership agrees, both through recent resolutions on the subject and in its longstanding support for employees in industrial settings. This employment outcome rule needs to be modified so that it distinguishes between the kind of work activities that used to take place at many old-fashioned sheltered workshops, and today's good jobs available at many NIB-associated agencies across the country. There's more to arriving at a definition of a job than how many other people with disabilities work there.
The leadership of ACB is now actively engaged in several activities related to this problem. First, we are calling upon U.S. Congressional members to launch a full-scale investigation into the rule and various aspects of its application. Second, ACB is actively promoting legislation that will overturn this rule within the Vocational Rehabilitation Act itself.
Charlie Crawford, who drafted a proposed amendment to the Rehabilitation Act in consultation with me, has very aptly described the problem which the amendment seeks to ameliorate as follows: "While it is clear that the majority of blind and otherwise disabled people will choose to work in integrated settings, the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the United States Department of Education has promulgated regulations which adversely impact upon blind and other consumers having made a choice to seek employment at industrial settings with other members of their disability group wherein these individuals would earn at least minimum wage, often with benefits. RSA has not only penalized and devalued these individuals, but has further disenfranchised other individuals with disabling conditions so severe as to render them unable to work up to the level of minimum wage even though they can and do perform work of value to themselves and society. Despite a nearly 2-to-1 negative response to the proposed regulation and calls from Congress to resolve the situation, RSA has continued to impose an ideologically constructed standard rather than supporting either in the first instance the informed choice of consumers desiring to work in non-integrated settings at or above minimum wage, or in the latter instance individuals who have the ability to perform some level of meaningful work in such settings.
"We propose the following solution. The Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. ch16 secs 705(11)(A) and 705 (11) (C) are hereby amended under Title I to read as follows. '(11) Employment outcome
'The term "employment outcome" means, with respect to an individual--
'(A) entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market, or pursuant to the informed choice of such individual, employment in the non-integrated labor market at or above minimum wage; ...
'(C) satisfying any other vocational outcome the Secretary may determine to be appropriate (including work at the sub-minimum wage level in non-integrated settings for individuals who do not qualify under section (A), or satisfying the vocational outcome of self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership), in a manner consistent with this chapter.'"
Choice is the operative word here, and ACB intends to assure that Americans who are blind or visually impaired, or deaf and blind, or multiply disabled can make choices for themselves, by themselves, about where they want to work and the kinds of jobs that are good jobs for them, and that the vocational rehabilitation system, which has, since its inception, helped people with disabilities to acquire the skills they need to go to work, will continue doing this important work for blind and visually impaired people, no matter where we want to work and no matter how many other people with disabilities choose to work alongside us.
Almost 30 years ago, organizations such as the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities called upon disabled people everywhere to demand that Congress pass the Rehabilitation Act. Many believed, and many hoped that the Rehab Act would be the cornerstone upon which we would build a new era of opportunity for people with disabilities, allowing us to become partners with the service system to get the kind of training we needed and help in finding work. Since then, we have seen a series of changes in the world we live in, and as succeeding administrations put their own imprints on the act and the way rehab services could be delivered: the coming of the technology revolution; the opportunity society; the independent living movement; the supported employment phenomenon; the reconcentration of rehabilitation on jobs; the imposition of questionable personnel standards which require rehab counselors to earn master's degrees, the curriculum for which may have little or no relevance to informing them about the needs or potentialities of people who are blind; a limited absorption of the rehab system into the larger workforce development system with its one-stop job centers; and the objectionable redefinition of employment to exclude so-called non-integrated settings. All of these trends, events, and reactions to a dynamic world represent a whirlwind of change and yet is the average blind person better off today than 30 years ago? The answer to this and related questions will in major part become a significant consideration as we begin to address the coming reauthorization of the law.
First, it is important to understand that the rehabilitation system is a partnership between the federal government that dispenses most of the money and the states to administer a national program of rehabilitation for folks with disabilities. How the partnership is defined and what requirements exist for all the participants are the results of how the law is written and re- authorized from time to time by the Congress. Here are some of the questions we must answer in developing our position on reauthorization. Does the system really work?
Studies have shown that blind folks who receive rehabilitation training from agencies that have been set up to meet our specific needs do better than people who are served by the generic agencies who try to serve everyone with a disability with a one-size-fits- all approach. However, we still encounter states where simplistic administrative thinking leads to the consolidation of agencies without regard for output. Even in those states where we have been able to get our own agencies, we are confronted in many cases with what they call "order of selection" which prioritizes who gets services and who waits. Moreover, we are seeing an increasing trend in some state agencies for the blind to narrow their approach to providing training to consumers so that it conforms with a monolithic philosophical premise that may work for some but not for all blind and visually impaired consumers. Should jobs be the only focus?
There is no doubt that the principle function of a rehabilitation agency has come to be defined as getting jobs for consumers. This is a good thing. Yet, are we seeing too many agencies ignoring the person in favor of the product? What about folks who choose to work at or above minimum wage in non-integrated settings? How about other employment outcomes that used to exist like "Homemaker," for people who take on the responsibility of running a home while others go off to work? What about the great numbers of elders and other consumers who either cannot or choose not to work? Has the system become too burdensome to itself and us?
Do we really need all the rules, regulations, policies, procedures, reports, monitoring, policy sub-guidance, and all the rest of the paperwork that demands a heavy administrative burden on the system? Do we need counselors with advanced degrees while important discrete job functions such as providing technology- related services remain largely catch as catch can? Do we need forms, master forms, and sub-forms to process almost every decision? Even in the best of circumstances have we created magnificent machines that cost more than the value of what they provide? In short, have we abandoned both consumers and agency staff in favor of paper realities that see people as mere data elements in a report? How well does the system do in conforming to our principles of consumer cooperation?
ACB has carefully constructed principles of consumer cooperation that provide for balance, consumer input, equality of opportunity and joint effort with agencies. Some are doing well with this and others remain unclear. No matter what other considerations may be included in the mix, these principles of best practice will have great impact on our activities with respect to reauthorization. Are resource, personnel, and other systemic issues being addressed?
There is no question that the resources available to the rehab system are hardly adequate. Neither is there any question that personnel are too often asked to do a great deal of work with insufficient supports, low pay, and little recognition. Reforming rehab must address not only consumer issues, but in addition, any efforts at reform must honor all the good people who work so hard on our behalf. Even as this is true, we must seek management practices that empower line staff and decrease cost-intensive administrative practices that lead to inefficiency and delays. Highly prescriptive and process-oriented procurement practices are an example of where improvements can be made.
There are many more questions than have been presented here. We know, for example, that it is not useful either for RSA or for consumers of rehab services to have to rely on data that is consistently out of date. Why in an age dominated by I.T. professionals and an onslaught of information and data are we still relying on statistics which are years behind current realities? The law must ultimately facilitate a system that serves the needs of consumers in a way that attends to all the pieces of the puzzle, but if that is to happen then consumers, professionals, administrators and all other concerned parties must gather at the table and revamp the system itself.
ACB does not have all the answers, but in partnership with all who care about building a first-rate rehabilitation system, we can get there.
At 7:30 a.m. on April 28, 1977, then-HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr. signed the 504 regulation into effect.
The immediate effects were that airports, public libraries and other programs receiving federal funds became accessible, while colleges and universities revamped every aspect of their services -- from admissions through academics and even dorms and team sports -- and, of course, the long-range effects include the Americans with Disabilities Act itself. No one can read the legislative history of the ADA without being impressed that the precedents set by 504, plus the case histories, made a deep impression on Congress. Members were comforted that if indeed they passed ADA, the world would not end.
Thank you to those pioneers who had the courage to advocate for passage of this important provision under the Rehabilitation Act and then to press onward until regulations were written and implemented.
The article below describes actions which the ACB Board of Directors took at their mid-year meeting and paraphrases the content of ACB Resolution 99-30 within the context of the discussion which took place at that meeting. The use of the word, "convicted," is erroneous. ACB Resolution 99-30 refers to "documented disreputable business practices." The account of discussions which occurred at the ACB Board of Directors meeting should not be construed to imply, in any way, that MaxiAids has ever been convicted of a crime. As far as we are aware, MaxiAids has never been convicted of illegal business practices.
Since that meeting, Maxi-Aids has
asked the Board to review its current position. A small working
group is looking into the matter and
intends to report to the Board as soon as practicable. The working group wishes to thank Maxi-
Aids, Howe Press and others who have assisted the working group with its inquiry.
April 19, 2002
President's Report, Christopher Gray: A new practice will be tried at this summer's convention in Houston in an effort to ensure that more members can be present at the final business meeting. That function will be held all day on Friday with the seminars usually scheduled for Friday afternoon postponed until Saturday morning.
Gray has made some effort at establishing a working relationship with the National Federation of the Blind, meeting with Marc Maurer and Joanne Wilson. The two organization presidents did not discuss their opposing views on sheltered workshop employment or ACB's concern about the appointment of Joanne Wilson as the director of the Department of Rehabilitation. When Gray met with Wilson and asked about the department's acceptance of the 13 principles Charlie Crawford identified some months ago as guidelines in rehabilitation services, she maintained that the department does not respond to directives from any outside organization or group. She will speak at the ACB convention in July. Subjects to discuss with her are the Ticket to Work and One-Stop programs which run the risk of supplanting the work of the Department of Rehabilitation.
In continuing efforts to increase fund-raising, an organization called Fundflow is assembling a tool kit to be used in approaching businesses. In that connection, Gray requested that each board member submit to him a one- or two-paragraph autobiography to be used as information in the kit.
A particularly interesting fundraising possibility centers around helping an organization called Smart Media to sell a type of radio that can access web sites. ACB would profit from a portion of the sales price and also from a share in the monthly fee charged by the operators of the service to those who access the very large number of stations that will be available to them. Because of the many questions involved in this kind of arrangement, the board, in executive session, voted to have the executive committee consider the matter thoroughly after securing information from a contract lawyer skilled in tax law for non- profit organizations and a second lawyer with expertise in electronic and dot-com law. No specific date was fixed for this report, but Gray cautioned that prompt action is necessary since other organizations are also manifesting interest in this plan.
A motion was also passed concerning employee bonuses and a second one assigning to the executive committee the task of drawing up criteria to govern the position of the executive director.
Preparing for the 2002 ACB Convention, Cynthia Towers: The team assembled to plan for the convention is working well together. Already the Adam's Mark Hotel is almost full, and the Hilton has many rooms reserved. Efforts are being made to simplify and make less expensive the transfer of persons between the airport and the hotel. A shuttle will also be available between the Adam's Mark and Hilton since walking would require crossing a four-lane highway and two parking lots; some affiliate and committee meetings will be held at the Hilton.
Plans are under way concerning tours, quick meals, more refrigerators for rent, brailling of up-to-date restaurant menus, and the like. Ed Bradley has tapes describing the hotel layout which state presidents took home to copy for their convention- bound members. An audio traffic signal is promised for an important intersection a block from the hotel, and there is a possibility that an off-duty police officer may be available, since all Houston police are required to work some hours for a non-profit function. Towers praised particularly the assistance of Texas President Ed Bradley, Carla Ruschival, Mike Hoenig, and Margie Donovan. She provoked hearty laughter when, in warning against placing names on the ACB master account without consulting her, she remarked that as a teacher, her motto has been, "When in doubt, I cancel you out."
Guide Dog Concerns, Debbie Grubb: After extensive discussion and consideration, it has been decided that the contract that had already been made with the Adam's Mark Hotel should govern maintaining and cleaning of the guide dog relief area. Outside companies contacted to attend to this matter from the Thursday prior to the convention to the Saturday closing date would charge, on average, $4,700. In view of increased costs, guide dog users will be asked to donate $15 for this year's services. The task force decided that arrangements of this kind must be made for each convention, rather than by an established procedure, since the conditions vary so greatly from place to place.
Membership, Pamela Shaw: There is so much interest in the activities of the committee that many persons have asked to be a part of it, so subcommittees are being established to work on specific problems or in limited geographical areas. Some of the concerns and tasks are: 1) committee responsibility for the first-timers meetings at the convention; 2) counsel to state affiliates that find it hard to work with special-interest affiliates on matters like fund-raising; 3) assistance after March 15 for affiliates that have been understood to be in danger of dissolution but which appear in some instances to be within acceptable parameters. To share ideas and information on these and similar issues, the membership committee has established a listserv. Affiliates are urged to have their membership chairs contact Terry Pacheco at the ACB office to participate in that list, but persons who are not computer users are also invited to be a part of the discussion through letters and telephone calls.
The affiliate formerly known as the Social Service Providers wishes to extend its membership and focus to Human Services Providers. The board passed a motion to issue a new charter with the change of name to ACB Human Service Professionals at the convention in July 2002.
ACB Financial Situation: Ardis Bazyn, ACB Treasurer, stated that final total figures for the year 2001 will be issued by Jim Olsen at the end of the month. Figures for most of the year are: total receipts, $1,527,588; expenditures, $1,261,895; and surplus, $265,694 distributed between the ACB reserves, money set aside for the resource development committee, and an amount carried forward. The board moved to utilize reserve funds while money is coming in to pay this year's expenses. Funding will cover having Jonathan Mosen on ACB Radio full time, completing the pedestrian safety project, perhaps increasing the term for an intern, and continuing the directions and programs pursued last year.
Those who wish further details on these matters and on how revenues will support the organization are welcome to contact the ACB treasurer. It is hoped that many ACB members will become monthly contributors to the organization through authorized withdrawals from their banks. Further information on that plan will be forthcoming.
Resource Development Committee, Sandy Sanderson: The book- signing ceremony for the ACB history, intended as a major fund- raising event, has had to be postponed because the book is not quite finished, and publication dates are still under discussion. Work is progressing on the price structure for the ATM machines which it is hoped affiliates will install in areas of high activity to earn funds both for ACB and the sponsoring affiliate. A report from the committee on projected costs of operation will be submitted by March 10.
New ACB Logo, Jerry Annunzio: Several samples of logos were distributed, a vote taken, and a new logo with certain recommended modifications was adopted.
Information Access Committee, Roger Petersen: Responding to a request from Tara Wiseman of Utah, efforts are under way to ensure an uninterrupted supply of music transcribed into braille. Copyright issues and a supply of trained transcribers are involved.
A technical assistance guide on alternative formats is near completion. It will help pin down responsibility for problems that job seekers face when they cannot access programs. Such individuals are urged to report their problems to the committee.
Board of Publications, Winifred Downing: Since last year's experiment in furnishing information on the ACB web site and ACB Radio about candidates for election at the national convention elicited interest and enthusiasm, the process will be repeated this year. The May issue of "The Braille Forum" will give details for candidates wishing to participate. They will be required to answer in 250 words each of the five questions that will be formulated by the appointed members of the BOP, since all the elected members are up for re-election this year.
Because the BOP is required to examine and update its editorial policy every two years, that task was initiated and completed, resulting mainly in minor changes to ensure clarity. One addition is the requirement that the editor of "The Braille Forum" be a member of any committee representing the public face of ACB and present at all meetings and conference calls.
The BOP recommended decisions that led to contracts for the production of all formats of the Forum. Though the price charged by Braille Institute has increased sharply, it was decided to retain that agency because of excellent work and prompt delivery.
Staff Reports: Charles Crawford, Penny Reeder, and Melanie Brunson reported on their office activities. Efforts continue to have the voice mail system work better, and Crawford promised an improvement in the Washington Connection. Penny said that subscriptions to "The Braille Forum" in all formats are down slightly from last year, but it is not possible to determine how much the decrease is caused by the fact that more and more people are reading it online.
Position on MaxiAids: Brian Charlson brought to the attention of the board extensively documented accusations concerning that organization's purchase from African entities of braille writers which were later sold for much more money in the United States when those machines had been subsidized by contributions under a grant from the Hilton-Perkins Foundation. The braillers had been intended to alleviate the education deficits experienced in under-developed countries. Since ACB Resolution 99-30 bars any organization convicted of unfair or disreputable practices from exhibiting at ACB conventions, advertising in its program, or disseminating information about its products in the convention newspaper or the telephone newsline, MaxiAids, even though it has already been sent its registration packet for exhibiting in 2002, will be denied that privilege. The details of how this information will be conveyed to MaxiAids will be considered by the executive committee.
Adjournment: The board meeting adjourned at 11 a.m. on February 18.
We all know about the Boston Tea Party, but have you ever heard of a Texas Tea Party? The members of the Durward McDaniel Fund Committee cordially invite you to one which will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 4th, 2002 at the ACB convention in Houston, Texas.
Durward McDaniel worked as hard as anyone I have ever known. He attended parties with the same gusto and energy! When our committee got together to think about what kind of fund-raiser we could have, we thought that since he spent his last years in Texas, and we know that he enjoyed quite a few parties in that state, that a "Mac- Hatters' Texas Tea Party" would be a great way to remember him.
Durward was dedicated to increasing membership in ACB. The proceeds from the fund-raisers held by the Durward McDaniel Committee are used each year to bring two people to the ACB national convention who have never had the opportunity to attend before. One person is selected from east of the Mississippi and one from west of the Mississippi. Winners will have their way paid to the convention. Their hotel expenses also will be paid and they will receive a per diem for other costs.
If a tea party isn't exactly your style, you should know that we are also going to hold a raffle, and we hope that many of you will support it. Ticket books will be available from your state president or committee members. We will also be selling them at the ACB convention, and as we get closer to convention time, we'll be sharing more details about the prizes and the costs.
Our Texas Tea Mac-Hatters' Party should be a lot of fun. You'll have something to eat along with beer and wine, or Texas Tea. What's Texas Tea? That's one of the questions you'll have to wait until the party to answer. (Durward liked surprises too!) As for the "Hatter" part of our party, well, we'll be awarding a prize to the person who comes with the most outrageous hat!
You'll be able to purchase tickets for our tea party when you register for the convention. Please come and join us; you'll have the time of your life in Texas.
Here's an invitation for y'all to come on down to Texas and spend a little time at the ranch. George's Ranch, that is; it's about 20 miles from the Adam's Mark Hotel. Enjoy a trip back in time where you'll experience a real working ranch. Wednesday night July 3rd we will board the buses (not horses) and scoot on out to the ranch to enjoy a little barbecue Texas style. Besides eating, which everyone likes to do, you will also be able to go through the old ranch house if you desire. Of course there are other activities as well, such as a calf roping demonstration with description. You'll also learn more than you may have ever had the chance to know about cattle breeds, how methods for breeding and caring for the cattle have changed over the years. After all this education and entertainment, there will be a chuck wagon set up with an authentic ranch cook who will let you sample a little of his cooking. If you're still stuffed from the delicious barbecue, don't mind -- you can just sit around and shoot the breeze with whoever happens by. Bring your jeans, boots and hats and enjoy some good old Texas hospitality.
The national ACB convention will take place from Saturday, June 29 through Saturday, July 6, in the Adam's Mark Hotel, which is located at 2900 Briarpark Drive (at Westheimer Road) in West Houston.
The Adam's Mark is a big hotel with 600 rooms, which can be reserved for $65 per night plus tax for single and double, $75 per night plus tax for triple and quad. You can call, toll free, for reservations at (800) 436-2326 or visit them on the World Wide Web at http://www.adamsmark.com/houston/index.htm. Alternatively, you can call the hotel directly at (713) 978-7400 or fax them at (713) 735-2727.
The Hilton Hotel diagonally across the street from the Adam's Mark is the overflow hotel. Room rates at the Hilton are $65 per night plus tax. The phone number is (713) 974-1000.
For more information about this summer's hot time in Houston, check out the ACB web site at http://www.acb.org.
Those of us who attended the last ACB convention in Houston can recall that the dog relief area at the Adam's Mark was as close to perfect as we will probably ever get. Again this year, we are hoping for the same.
In planning for both the size and maintenance of the guide dog relief areas, it is helpful to have an idea of how many guide dog users plan to attend with their dogs. Whether or not you are a GDUI member, or even plan to attend GDUI events, it will be very helpful if you let ACB know on the pre-registration form that you are planning to bring your dog.
Previously ACB has asked for a voluntary donation of $10 as a gratuity to go to those individuals responsible for maintaining the area. This year we are asking for a minimal voluntary contribution of $15. Please keep in mind that this is a recommended amount and we will gladly accept your generous contributions of any amount. ACB will pass these funds along to the hotel to defray the cost of providing a full-time clean-up person to maintain the area.
As Houston is very hot in July, remember to give your dogs lots of water. Please bring your own food and water containers. It might be tempting to just fill up that ice bucket with lots of chilly water, but hotels cannot re-use an ice bucket once it has been put to such a purpose, so we encourage you to use a more acceptable container.
You may want to consider purchasing dog booties if you plan to be outside much during the day. If you believe that dog booties are the answer for your guide, purchase them ahead of time and work your dog on familiar routes while wearing them. Many dogs will not wear booties or work unsafely when first getting used to them.
Conventions are very stressful for both handlers and their dogs. Be sure to take extra time to praise and play with your pups. Just like us humans, when tired or stressed out, our dogs want a little TLC.
Responsible dog handling is the commitment of both ACB and GDUI. Let's all contribute in doing our part toward continuing to make this a reality. Accidents do and will happen. Making sure to clean them up is the essence of taking responsibility.
Finally, let's remember to keep our dogs on a short leash and under control while in public areas. Allowing our dogs to wander at the end of a long leash while their human partners are engaged in conversation or checking out exhibits can lead to misbehavior. Dogs love to sniff and they have more freedom to do so on a long leash. Taking a quick moment to place a dog at sit and shortening a leash enables us to monitor our dogs' behavior more closely. If you leave your dog alone in your room, be sure that it does not bark and show other signs of stress and alarm in your absence.
Remember that all concerns and complaints about guide dogs and the guide dog relief area should be brought to me as the guide dog user representative to the ACB convention committee. Happy travels to Houston.
As I sit here thinking about the fast-approaching ACB legislative seminar, I am truly amazed at the breadth and scope of the many public policy issues which ACB's advocacy efforts address each year. Every day of our lives as blind Americans, we encounter various challenges and frustrations, and ACB is attempting through our collective legislative advocacy efforts to address and resolve or ameliorate a number of those challenges and frustrations. While it is true that it often takes several years for ACB to achieve satisfactory results on many such issues, with perseverance and stick-to-itiveness, ACB's track record of ultimate achievement and success over the years is really quite impressive.
The point that I am trying to make is that ACB has been and continues to be a positive and constructive voice and influence in achieving measurable progress on many of the public policy issues which concern us as blind Americans, and ACB therefore deserves our special attention and support. One tangible way that we as blind Americans can support and further ACB's positive and constructive influence in the public policy arena is to step forward and make the individual financial commitments of becoming life members of ACB.
Now, as an ACB life member myself, I am very aware that the $1,000 life membership dues represents quite a substantial financial commitment. Yet, the burden of this considerable financial commitment can be cushioned by paying life membership dues in up to five annual installments of $200. At this level, one can become an ACB life member for a commitment of a mere 55 cents per day for the next five years. Yep, that's right. For the cost of a daily can of soda pop over the next five years, even you can become an ACB life member. Just think about it, isn't this the kind of commitment you ought to make?
ACB state and special-interest affiliates and local chapters may also honor a current member of their organization by purchasing an ACB life membership on behalf of a deserving individual member. I challenge all affiliates and chapters to look inward and think seriously about so honoring one of your own members with an ACB life membership.
Interested individuals, affiliates and/or chapters may contact ACB's Chief Financial Officer, Jim Olsen, at (800) 866-3242 during normal Central time zone business hours for further details about ACB's life membership program.
As a proud life member of ACB, I look forward each year to the presentation of life membership plaques to new life members at each national convention. I hope and trust that many individuals, affiliates and chapters will take me up on my challenge and that I will have the distinct pleasure of welcoming a bumper crop of new ACB life members in early July in Houston, Texas.
If you live in the southeastern U.S. and have an interest in guide dogs, this message is for you! DixieLand Guide Dog Users is looking for new members. We are based in South Carolina, but also welcome members from North Carolina and Georgia. Our purpose is to unite guide dog users, puppy raisers, trainers and others interested in guide dogs on a local level for support, information, and special events. We are a regional affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc., the world's largest organization of guide dog users. For more information, please contact president Carmella Broome at (803) 256-3271 or by e-mail at [email protected]
A super drawing has been organized to raise funds for the ACB national scholarship program. Only 300 tickets will be sold. The owner of the winning ticket will receive $10,000. The second prize is $500, and third prize is $300. Tickets cost $100 each. If you don't think you can afford to buy a ticket yourself, you can partner with up to four friends to buy the ticket and become possible winners with that ticket. Local chapters, state affiliates or special-interest groups, as well as individuals, can purchase tickets to support this worthy cause. The winning ticket will be drawn at the banquet during the 2002 ACB national convention. You do not have to be present to win.
The idea grew from a small committee of NOVA chapter members from northern Virginia, and ACB staff. NOVA receives no money from this volunteer service project. For more information or to purchase a ticket, please send Billie Jean Keith an e-mail message to [email protected] and she will be able to send you a ticket following receipt of your check. Or you may phone her at (703) 528-4455.
Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed into law a bill that affords people with disabilities, especially those who are blind and visually impaired, the same privacy in the voting booth that others enjoy. House Bill 320 allows people with disabilities to vote without assistance through the use of "paperless" electronic balloting equipment. The equipment will allow voters with disabilities to cast private, independent, and verifiable ballots.
Alaska is one of the first states in the nation to take this step to accommodate people who are visually impaired in the voting booth.
Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, who is responsible for overseeing the state's election process, recently appointed a committee to make recommendations to address voting issues experienced by those with disabilities. The committee and the Division of Elections researched electronic elections equipment that is newly available on the market.
"We're hopeful that we will be able to upgrade our services with this new equipment to accommodate the sight-impaired," Ulmer said. No funding was provided to implement House Bill 320, so the state will purchase new electronic balloting equipment as replacement of old or broken equipment is funded.
Lynne Koral of Alaska Independent Blind, which advocated strenuously for passage of the legislation, welcomes the new law. "Machines that give audio information through headsets or Braille templates are here now, making this bill the perfect vehicle for allowing those of us with visual impairments the opportunity to exercise our right to vote in a private, secure voting booth. Alaska Independent Blind applauds an idea whose time has arrived, and looks forward to a time when every person who is blind can vote his or her own ballot."
Spring is in the air, and ACB state conventions seem to be everywhere! Here is a listing of ones we have been asked to publicize.
April 5-7: Badger Association of the Blind, contact Kathy Brockman, (414) 615-0108
April 6 & 7: Bay State Council of the Blind, Holiday Inn, Worcester, MA, contact Judi Cannon, (617) 972-7646
April 12-14: Mississippi Council of the Blind, contact Ken Maddox, (601) 982-1713
April 19-21: ACB of Nebraska, contact Jim Jirak, (402) 553-8456
April 19-21: ACB of Colorado, contact Rod Chard, (303) 730-1353
April 27-28: Vermont Council of the Blind, contact Heidi Pfau at (800) 639-5861 ext. 30 or [email protected]
May 2-5: California Council of the Blind, San Mateo Marriott, 1770 S. Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo; contact CCB office at (510) 537-7877 or (800) 221-6359 (California only)
May 3-4: ACB of New Mexico, contact David Armijo, (505) 437-9295 or by e-mail at [email protected]
May 3-5: Iowa Council of the United Blind, contact Donna Seliger, (515) 284-0505 or via e-mail at [email protected]
May 31 - June 2: Florida Council of the Blind, contact FCB office at (800) 267-4448 (Florida only)
May 31- June 2: Louisiana Council of the Blind, Best Western Landmark Hotel, Metairie, contact Herbert Reado at (225) 387-0440
June 7-9: North Dakota Association for the Blind, contact Elmer Morlock via e-mail at [email protected]
June 8-9: ACB of Idaho, contact Travis Beck, (208) 524-4459 or e- mail [email protected]
On February 17, 2002, in Houston, Texas the American Council of the Blind board of directors took action. By a majority vote the board selected a new ACB logo. After five years and more than 60 different versions, the logo selected is a perfectly round circle. With this new logo the world will know that we are a close-knit group of diverse people who will roll over indifference and bigotry, while at the same time inviting in all those who will fight for the rights of blind and visually impaired people everywhere. The Description
Our new logo has been described variously as a doughnut, a Life Saver, or an automobile tire. However some people experience it, it is a series of circles one inside the other, representing our never-ending quest to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and to improve the quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.
The following description will help you get an idea of what our logo looks like. Soon it will appear on all ACB letterhead, and on the ACB web site, and it already graces the outside cover of this month's large-print edition of "The Braille Forum." Remember, this logo will find itself represented on a lapel pin only one-half inch across and painted on the side of a truck several feet across. When painted or printed the dark lines and circles will be our normal royal blue on a white background.
Starting with the outermost circle and working toward the center, the outside circle is a thin dark line that encloses a white space of about one-eighth inch. The next circle is a one- inch-wide dark band, within which, arching across the top, within the dark band, are the words, "AMERICAN COUNCIL" written in white capital letters. At the bottom are the words, "OF THE BLIND," again all in white capital letters. In the dark space on the left and right sides separating these two groups of words is an arching white line about two and a half inches long. Then moving toward the center is the second one-eighth-inch white space enclosed by another thin dark line.
Now we have reached the large white center area within which appear the dark-blue capital letters, "ACB." Under each print letter is the braille sign for that letter. This is the first time braille has been a part of our official logo in this writer's memory.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is our new ACB logo. After several years of hard work and many compromises, we have a logo that is not an eyeball but does represent our people and ideas. Most of all, it is an easily recognizable symbol for all to enjoy.
(Based on the research report by Beezy Bentzen, Janet Barlow and Lukas Franck, available soon online at http://www.acb.org)
Many people who are blind and visually impaired have been pleased to find traffic engineers more likely than ever before to install accessible pedestrian signals (APSs) at intersections where information about when the walk interval begins is routinely disseminated to sighted pedestrians with a visual display from a Walk/Don't Walk sign. An accessible signal is an augmentative device, i.e., reliance on an accessible signal does not obviate the necessity of focusing on the situation at hand, using all of one's senses and relying on good orientation and mobility techniques for crossing streets.
The accessible pedestrian signals of today have come a long way from the beeping and chirping/cuckooing signals of years past. Many blind and visually impaired pedestrians appreciate the spoken messages which the newer signals can deliver, not merely concerning when the walk signal is on to cross a given street, but also identifying the intersecting streets, and sometimes delivering additional information as well. Yet, the diversity of messages can in itself become confusing.
Research was conducted, under a grant from ACB and the California Council of the Blind (CCB), with additional assistance from the Seeing Eye, the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, and the U.S. Access Board, to determine exactly what types of messages are most helpful to blind pedestrians, and when spoken messages should, in fact, be utilized at all. The results of this research include recommended "model" messages for use during different parts of the signal cycle. Two model messages are recommended for use during the walk interval, i.e., the part of the signal cycle when the pedestrian signal shows "WALK" or a walking person, to indicate the segment of the cycle when pedestrians can start crossing the street. A number of model messages are also recommended for use during the flashing don't walk and steady don't walk intervals, the parts of the cycle when pedestrians should not begin a crossing. These messages are referred to as "pushbutton messages" because they come on when you push the button, either immediately, or after holding the button down for a few seconds. They give more information about the intersection such as which crosswalk is controlled by that pushbutton, and information about unusual signalization or geometry at the intersection.
The research report also includes a cautionary section in which the authors discuss their reservations about whether providing spoken messages is an appropriate methodology for making the pedestrian signals accessible to the majority of blind and visually impaired pedestrians in all situations. One factor which leads to their reservations is that many older blind people have age-related hearing loss. They can usually understand a male voice better than a female voice, but a male voice has frequencies that are more like those in traffic than a female voice. So, if the messages are recorded by a male voice, older blind people may be able to understand them in very quiet situations but not when there is traffic, because the traffic sound can mask the speech. However, if the messages are recorded by a female voice, which younger people can understand more easily when there is a lot of traffic noise, older people can't understand them just because the voice is too high. It's a real catch-22, and it may be necessary to engage in additional research to identify alternative sound-generating mechanisms for alerting pedestrians about the onset of the walk interval.
Recently, APS that provide audible information from the pushbutton location have been introduced in the U.S. This type of signal has been used extensively in Europe and Australia for many years. These signals typically use a rapidly repeating tone to indicate the walk interval, and a slower repeating tone during the "flashing don't walk" and steady "don't walk" intervals. The slowly repeating tone alerts users to the need to press a button to request a walk signal, and helps users locate the pushbutton. Vibrotactile information is also provided by most of these signals. In the U.S., in some of these pushbutton integrated signals, spoken messages are being used to indicate the walk interval information, as well as additional information about the names of applicable streets, the geometry of the intersection, etc.
Many blind and visually impaired people consider the signals which provide spoken messages to be very user friendly. During last year's deliberations of the Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee (PROWAAC), representatives of the American Council of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and The Seeing Eye all supported the use of APS which can deliver speech messages, to reduce possible ambiguity about which crosswalk has the walk signal at certain intersections, especially intersections at which there are two pushbuttons mounted on the same pole.
Currently there is minimal standardization of walk messages and pushbutton messages for APSs. Therefore message content, length, and structure can and do vary considerably from one APS installation to another. The only existing standard for the wording of APS speech messages is contained in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which was published early in 2001. This standard requires that where verbal messages are provided during the walk interval, "the verbal message . . . shall be the term 'walk sign,' which may be followed by the name of the street to be crossed," and the verbal message during the flashing don't walk and don't walk intervals "shall be the term 'wait.'"
Although some preliminary research about the content of spoken messages was conducted under the auspices of the Smith- Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in 1996, there remained a need for research to identify the structure and content of spoken messages which blind and visually impaired pedestrians find most useful.
An expert panel met by teleconference to develop a survey to be given to stakeholders, including pedestrians who are visually impaired, orientation and mobility specialists, transportation engineers, and accessible pedestrian signal manufacturers. Members of the expert panel were Billie Louise Bentzen, Janet Barlow, and Lukas Franck, (all of whom are certified orientation and mobility specialists), and one representative familiar with speech equipped APSs from each of the following groups: transportation engineers, APS manufacturers, Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, and the American Council of the Blind. The National Federation of the Blind declined the invitation to participate in this research.
The expert panel developed sample walk interval and pushbutton messages that were applicable to different intersection geometries and signalization patterns, and that varied in message content, length, and structure. Each message approved by the expert panel was required to have consensus that it was appropriate in content and structure. Appropriate messages were those that were judged by most expert panel members to be unambiguous, and to clearly convey the minimum necessary information.
Expert panel members held extensive discussion about safety concerns related to the wording of the walk and pushbutton messages. It was considered essential that the wording of a walk message should indicate the status of the signal, neither giving a command nor implying that it would be safe to cross. The researchers were mindful that misunderstanding messages could place pedestrians in life-threatening situations, so they eliminated from consideration any message they thought could be misinterpreted if a person missed hearing or had difficulty hearing part of it.
There was concern that some messages that have been used as pushbutton messages, that is, coming on during the flashing or steady don't walk intervals, such as "Crossing Charles at State," could be misinterpreted as a walk message by a pedestrian unfamiliar with such messages. This discussion led to the decision that the words "crossing" and "walk sign" should not be included in pushbutton messages. There was also discussion of the words "to cross." The panel decided that "to cross" could be used as part of a phrase in the pushbutton message, but not at the beginning of the message. If used at the beginning of a message, if the word "to" is not heard or understood, pedestrians could mistakenly understand that "cross" means they should cross now.
The expert panel also decided that the word "wait" should be included in every pushbutton message, because pushbutton messages always come on during either the flashing or steady don't walk intervals when pedestrians should, in fact, be waiting. The panel discussed the types of information to be provided by the pushbutton messages at length. While there was recognition that APS could provide landmark and construction information, the panel decided that APS should be used to provide only crossing and intersection information. That is, the APS should be a pedestrian signal only. The separation of traffic signal information from other types of information was considered a safety issue. The panel felt that other types of information should be provided by other means.
Messages selected by the expert panel were developed into a survey instrument for determining which information was preferred by blind travelers, orientation and mobility specialists, transportation engineers, and APS manufacturers. The survey also contained items to evaluate how well various types of information were understood and a question to determine users' preferences about whether the pushbutton messages should come on immediately versus after holding the pushbutton down for a few seconds.
The survey was administered in braille, large print, or orally to 170 pedestrians with visual impairments who were attending the convention of the American Council of the Blind in Des Moines, Iowa, during the first week of July 2001. The same survey was mailed to 160 people who are actively involved in decision-making about pedestrian signals or in teaching pedestrians with visual impairments to recognize and interpret the geometric and signal information at intersections, including orientation and mobility specialists, APS manufacturers and distributors, and transportation engineers.
The panel reviewed the survey results via a conference call and made recommendations based on the results and comments collected.
The expert panel recommended the following model messages for specific situations, based on the results of the survey and their own expertise. Further, they recommended that all installations should be developed on the basis of these models. They recommended that the structure and content of actual messages should follow the models as closely as possible. Word order should not be changed. Where complete sentences are used in the models, they should be used in actual messages for the same situations. Where sentence fragments are used in models for other situations, they should be used in actual messages for those situations. In the model messages, such words as street, avenue and road are not used except for locations where they may be needed to avoid ambiguity. Model Walk Interval Messages: messages that could come on when the walk sign is on.
It is important to point out that understanding the content of a walk interval message is crucial. It can be life-threatening to misunderstand what one of these spoken messages means. It's essential that the user understand which street the walk message applies to.
So, here is the recommended model message for the walk interval, applicable to most intersections: "Howard. Walk sign is on to cross Howard."
Here is a model walk message for intersections where all vehicles have a red light during the walk interval, and all crosswalks have the walk sign at the same time: "Walk sign is on for all crossings."
Pushbutton messages can come on during either the flashing or steady don't walk intervals when the button is pushed. They either come on immediately or after about a three-second button push. The content of pushbutton messages, while helpful to pedestrians, is not of crucial importance in terms of life safety. The pushbutton message provides street names, intersection geometry, or signalization information. If the pedestrian doesn't understand the pushbutton message the first time, it's possible to play it again.
Here is the basic recommended model message for pushbutton intersection identification: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand." This message means that you should not start to cross because it is either the flashing or steady don't walk interval, and that you have pushed the button to request a walk signal to cross Howard Street, and Grand is the street beside you.
Other model pushbutton messages include information about signalization or geometry as well as intersection identification. A model pushbutton message for intersections where all vehicles have a red light during the walk interval, and all crosswalks have the walk sign at the same time and no right turns on red are permitted is: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand. Wait for red light for all vehicles."
A model pushbutton message for intersections where all vehicles have a red light during the walk interval, and all crosswalks have the walk sign at the same time but right turns on red are permitted is: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand. Wait for red light for all vehicles. Right turn on red permitted."
A model pushbutton message for angled crosswalks is: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand. Crosswalk angles right."
A model pushbutton message for crosswalks to medians where a second button push is required is: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand. Short walk phase. Raised [or cut-through] median with second pushbutton."
A model pushbutton message for signalized crosswalks to splitter islands is: "Wait to cross right turn lane to island for Howard and Grand crosswalks."
A model pushbutton message for crosswalks at "T" intersections is: "Wait to cross Howard at Grand." Note that this is the same as the basic pushbutton message.
The expert panel recommended the following order of information for pushbutton messages:
* Intersection identification;
* Intersection signalization (if remarkable); and
* Intersection geometry (if remarkable).
The expert panel concluded that pushbutton messages should come on after a long button press. Currently the length of this extended button press is about three seconds; this will be standardized in the future based on research, and is expected to be less than three seconds.
If the decision is made to use APS with speech messages at a particular intersection or crosswalk, the messages should be worded carefully, according to the models above, or the nearest approximation to the special situations in which they will be used. The messages then must be recorded very carefully, in a clear, moderately pitched voice, with excellent diction and moderate pacing. Cautions Expressed
Those interested in speech messages should be aware of some of the concerns raised in this report regarding the difficulty of providing speech messages that will be clearly understood by all users. It is not likely to be possible to make speech signals understandable in all ambient noise situations such as loud traffic, and it is easy for listeners to miss or mistake parts of messages in loud ambient noise situations. Non-English speakers and non-native English speakers are likely to have difficulty understanding speech messages. To be understood, speech messages must be carefully recorded, in a clear voice, with excellent diction, and moderate pacing.
For all of these reasons, the researchers came to question the premise that spoken messages are the best way to present information about when it is safe to initiate a pedestrian crossing. Further, the researchers believe that generating other kinds of sounds may be a more appropriate way to communicate with a larger segment of the population, since it is relatively easy for a large number of people to mis-hear the content of spoken messages. Further research should be conducted to identify the kinds of sounds which may contain the least possibility for ambiguity. Sound systems which incorporate a location factor which can serve as a beacon may be investigated by this and other research teams. Follow-Up Research
The authors of the report accompanied several ACB staff members on a visit to installations of APS with speech messages in the Baltimore/Washington area in January of this year. We discovered that some of the messages were ambiguous and hard to understand. Where two pushbuttons were on the same pole, and the pole was more than 10 feet away from the crosswalk, it was difficult to understand the walk messages. This was a situation in which it was absolutely essential that the messages be understood because a blind pedestrian had no way to know which crosswalk had the walk interval. Where pushbuttons for two crosswalks were on two separate poles at a corner, it was pretty easy to tell which crosswalk had the walk interval because you could hear that the sound was coming from the pushbutton you had just pushed. You didn't really have to understand what it was saying; you just knew from where it was that it was the signal you were waiting for.
Those visits provided additional information to those of us who had previously believed that spoken messages were the best, perhaps the only way, to provide unambiguous information about when it is safe to initiate a pedestrian crossing. Where the APS are separated by a minimum of 10 feet, as recommended by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, it seems like it isn't absolutely essential to understand exactly what the spoken messages are saying to tell which crosswalk has the walk interval. It's only where two pushbuttons are on the same pole that speech messages are needed for walk interval messages as recommended by PROWAAC. It seems like the additional information available in pushbutton messages is a good idea regardless of whether APS are on the same or separate poles, but utilizing spoken messages to convey the walk signal information may not be as good as having tones, so long as the pushbuttons are separated.
According to Bentzen, Barlow and Franck, having very consistent placement of pushbuttons at or very close to the end of the crosswalk, and within about three feet of the street makes APS that just have locator and walk tones extremely effective in countries such as Sweden and Australia where they have been common for many years. Bentzen says, "You can find a pushbutton using the locator tone, push it, and be sure you are waiting in exactly the right place to align for a crossing, and know that a very short distance into the street you will hear the locator tone from the APS on the other side or on the median, and you can home in on it as you cross the street."
Standardization of pushbutton location in the US is now a hot topic in the US Access Board, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and the Federal Highway Administration. ACB advocacy will be needed to achieve standards for consistent pushbutton placement. This is seen as something that is good for all pedestrians: put the button where it's needed, not 20 feet away, behind the fence!
Meanwhile, if you're requesting an APS, don't just assume that your local traffic engineer will know what message it should have and where it should be located. Follow up every step of the way! The best equipment can provide useless, or even dangerous, information, if not well installed. If you think it would help you to have the assistance of an O&M specialist who is knowledgeable about APS issues, ACB can put you in touch with the member of the AER Environmental Access Committee for your area who is especially prepared to provide technical assistance. Call the ACB national office, (202) 467-5081, or go to the list of Enviornmental Access Committee members posted at http://www.aerbvi.org/Division9/ea.htm.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the agency that administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), has agreed to revise its policies on test accommodations for persons with physical disabilities under a settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice. The agreement was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for approval recently.
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in 1999 alleging that the LSAC violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to provide reasonable test accommodations to four persons with physical disabilities to take the LSAT, a standardized test administered to those seeking admission to law school. Some of the applicants who have cerebral palsy and requested extra time to complete the examination because of the nature of their physical disabilities were asked by LSAC to undergo testing for learning disabilities.
Under the terms of the settlement, the LSAC will, among other things:
* Grant the requested test accommodation to candidates who have been granted the same or comparable accommodation on other standardized admission tests;
* Give considerable weight to the recommendation of the candidate's doctor or other evaluator;
* Ensure that LSAC does not require individuals to undergo diagnostic or functional tests that are unnecessary and/or not commonly utilized by the medical community; and
* Pay $20,000 to individuals harmed by LSAC's actions.
"This agreement opens the door for people with disabilities interested in pursuing the study of law," said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "Making reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities ensures that testing procedures are fair for all participants in the law school application process."
The agreement does not address LSAC's handling of requests of accommodations from persons with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychological or psychiatric impairments, or other non-physical impairments. The department will monitor LSAC's compliance of the agreement for five years.
Title III of the ADA, which was passed by Congress in 1990, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities and specifically requires that private testing entities offer examinations in a manner that is accessible to people with disabilities.
People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA home page at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm.
Three enthusiastic Harry Potter fans sat rigidly in their seats, hardly daring to breathe, waiting for the Hogwarts train to leave at 1:45 p.m., bound for that wonderful, magical land of Harry Potter. All of Harry's adventures would be audio-described, thanks to Descriptive Video Service (DVS).
The music began with the introduction, but alas, no description. What to do? The answer was practically at my fingertips! Not quite a magic wand but almost as good, I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and dialed the theater number.
"Hello, we're the three blind people who are here to enjoy the Sorcerer's Stone with audio description and the description doesn't seem to be working."
"Oh," came the reply, "I'll send someone right over to correct the situation." That's exactly what happened. It was all a little matter of turning on a switch, and we were off!
Our adventure had begun a few weeks before when we learned that the Cinema 1 Theater in Clifton, New Jersey, would be showing "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" with audio description, arranged through the efforts of DVS. Our schedules made it impossible for us to see the movie during the week listed. I explained this to John, the general manager of Cinema 1, and he said to call him back when we were ready with a date and he would set it up even if it was just for the three of us to enjoy.
"You would really do that for us?" I asked.
"Certainly. We want our equipment to be used. Twenty-six blind kids were here the other day for a showing of the movie and I never heard so much screaming and laughing in my life. They really were having a ball and enjoying themselves."
We arrived at the theater about half an hour before the showing was to begin. First, we purchased three extra large sodas and a big, big bucket of popcorn. In the middle of the movie, someone came and refilled the almost empty bucket to the brim and then some. I had all I could do to keep it from spilling. What's a movie without lots of popcorn?
We had all read the first Harry Potter book. Even so, the action of the movie would have been almost impossible to follow without the help of the DVS audio description.
When the movie was over we were requested to stop at the front desk, where we learned that because of the inconvenience of not having the audio description for the first five minutes of the movie, we were given coupons for guess what -- free popcorn - - to use the next time we come to a movie!
All the Cinema 1 staff were very courteous and helpful. They did their best to make our experience enjoyable. It was a day we will never forget. We look forward to visiting Cinema 1 in Clifton, New Jersey again to see another audio-described movie and to get our free popcorn.
(Note: Cinema 1 is located near New York City at 405 Route 3 East, Clifton, New Jersey, phone (973) 614-0966.)
The best blind and visually impaired athletes in the world will converge on Chicago this summer. Teams from cities across the country and Taiwan will be traveling to Glenview, Ill., a suburb northwest of Chicago, to compete in the 27th annual World Series of Beep Baseball, being held the week of July 26 through August 3.
Beep baseball is a modified game of baseball that uses a ball that beeps and bases that buzz. The National Beep Baseball Association is the non-profit charitable organization that organizes the tournament, standardizes the rules and provides the officials.
Spectators who witness a beep baseball game are generally amazed at the speed and bravery of the players. They see blind athletes dive onto the ground to stop a beeping ball and run full speed toward the sound of a buzzing base to score a run. They see desire, determination, teamwork and in many cases skilled performances of visually impaired players having fun in the midst of extreme competition. They also witness an occasional injury. Beep baseball is not a game for those who are concerned about a scraped elbow. Safety precautions are high priorities, but due to the nature of the game, some injuries do occur. Players fully accept these risks for the sake of playing America's oldest sport.
Players openly admit they enjoy the thrill of a hefty swing at a pitched ball and making solid contact and then charging down the base path to score a run. On defense, players absolutely love the exhilarating feeling of diving for a hit ball and picking it up, sight unseen, to record an out.
For more information on this year's tournament, call Dave or Terri Smolka, (708) 424-2133. To make a donation, send it to John Lykowski, NBBA, P.O.Box 290, Glenview, IL 60025.
To learn more about the game of beep baseball or obtain a copy of the official NBBA playing rules, write to Jeanette Bigger, Secretary, NBBA, 2231 W. First St., Topeka, KS 66606. You are also invited to visit the NBBA's web site, http://www.nbba.org, for more information.
With the passing of Charles Simpson in late 2001, Oklahomans with visual impairments lost a quiet but effective leader.
In the early 1950s Charles became the manager of the vending facility at Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. Under his management the location became one of the most profitable facilities in the state. He was committed to employing blind people in his business and a number of these went on to become successful managers in the program. Throughout his life Charles demonstrated a strong feeling for the vending facility program as a business occupation that offered both economic opportunity and a chance to apply individual talents and skills.
Shortly after 1960 Charles and other state vending program leaders were instrumental in establishing the first training program for blind vendors in Oklahoma. The Children's Hospital facility was selected as one of the first on-the-job training sites.
Charles worked with blind vendors in the state to guide the Oklahoma vendors' organization into the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA).
Among his many contributions to the Oklahoma vending program, perhaps the one that most directly benefitted facility managers and operators was getting the state legislature to include blind vendors in the health insurance and retirement programs available to all state employees. This would not have happened if Charles had not worked with office holders and candidates at the grassroots level at the time their campaigns were under way.
In 1974 Charles became president of the Oklahoma League for the Blind board of directors. He served in this capacity until 1988. During this period, while working with the league's executive director, LeRoy Saunders, the board established an employee benefit package which included health insurance and leave, instituted policy requiring payment of minimum wage or above for all workshop employees, and introduced new product lines including the manufacturing of wooden step ladders. Also during this period, the board was reorganized in a substantial way to increase the number of community leaders serving as board members. In the late 1990s, Charles again accepted the responsibility of league president at a time of transition and challenge.
Certainly current and former league employees and blind vendors in Oklahoma owe Charles Simpson a debt of gratitude for the many contributions he made throughout his life to promote employment opportunities and improve working conditions for Oklahomans with visual impairments.
The announcement of products and services in this column is not an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its staff, or elected officials. Products and services are listed free of charge for the benefit of our readers. "The Braille Forum" cannot be responsible for the reliability of products and services mentioned.
To submit an item for "Here and There," send an e-mail message to [email protected] You may call the ACB toll-free number, (800) 424-8666, and leave a message in mailbox 26. Please bear in mind that we need information two months ahead of actual publication dates.
On April 26-27, 2002, the Georgia Academy for the Blind will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. For information concerning this event, contact Tom Ridgeway, Georgia Academy for the Blind, 2895 Vineville Ave., Macon, GA 31204; phone (478) 751-6085, or e-mail [email protected]
The Lowell (Mass.) beep baseball team meets on Wednesday and Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ryan Field on Gorham Street. Volunteer once or twice a week. All are welcome. Call Bob St. Germaine at (978) 458-1358 or e-mail [email protected]
The Fulbright Scholar Program is offering lecturing/research awards in about 140 countries for the 2003-2004 academic year. Competition opened March 1. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators, professionals from business and government, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. There are awards in 37 different disciplines and professional fields as well as a variety of subdisciplines such as gender studies and peace studies. Traditional awards are available from two months to an academic year or longer. A new short-term grants program, the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program, offers two- to six-week grants in a variety of disciplines and fields. Foreign language skills are needed in some countries, but most Fulbright lecturing assignments are in English. Some 80 percent of the awards are for lecturing. Application deadlines for the 2003-2004 awards are: May 1 for Fulbright Distinguished Chair awards in Europe, Canada and Russia; August 1 for Fulbright traditional lecturing and research grants worldwide; and November 1 for the summer German Studies Seminar and for spring/summer seminars in Germany, Korea and Japan for academic and international education administrators. The senior specialists program has a rolling deadline. For more information, contact the Council for International Exchange of Scholars at 3007 Tilden St. NW, Suite 5L, Washington, DC 20008-3009; phone (202) 686-7877, or e-mail [email protected] You may also apply online at www.cies.org.
The American Foundation for the Blind recently launched the Braille Bug, an interactive channel of its web site created to teach sighted children about braille, and to encourage literacy among all children. Designed for children in grades three through six, the Braille Bug is the first children's site that combines full accessibility with functionality and an environment that features colorful animated graphics and sound effects. The "Braille Bug" is a ladybug with the six dots of the braille cell on her back; she welcomes all children to the site, helps them understand the secret code of braille, and invites them to play a variety of online games and activities. Want to see your name in braille? Visit http://www.afb.org/braillebug and check it out!
First Union National Bank has a number of talking ATMs in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Their locations are listed below.
Arlington: Courthouse Financial Center, 2200 Clarendon Blvd.
Fairfax: Pan Am Financial Center, 3019 Nutley St.
Hampton: Mercury Boulevard Financial Center, 4100 Mercury Blvd.
Midlothian: Harbour Pointe Financial Center, 13505 Harbour Pointe Parkway
Newport News: Hidenwood Financial Center, 2 Hidenwood Shopping Center
Norfolk: Roosevelt Gardens Financial Center, 2316 E. Little Creek Road
Richmond: 11th & Marshall Financial Center, 11th and Marshall; St. Mary's, 5801 Bremo Rd.; Stratford Hills Financial Center, 2827 Hathaway Rd.; and Westhampton Financial Center, 315 Libbie Ave.
Roanoke: Hershberger Financial Center, 1344 Hershberger Road
Annapolis: Parole Plaza Financial Center, 2525 Riva Rd.
Baltimore: Arlington Financial Center, 5701 Reisterstown Rd.; Crown, 6817 Loch Raven Blvd.; Gwynn Oak Junction Financial Center, 4735 Liberty Heights Ave.; Harford Road Financial Center, 2056 Harford Rd.; Highlandtown Financial Center, 4820 Eastern Ave. & Ponca St.; Joppa Road Financial Center, 2030 E. Joppa Rd.; Milford Mill Financial Center, 3608 Milford Mill Rd.; Monument Street Financial Center, 2008 E. Monument & Washington; Mount Clare Junction Financial Center, 1241 W. Pratt St.; Mt. Royal Financial Center, 1228 Charles St. & Preston St.; North Avenue Financial Center, 2520 Pennsylvania Ave.; Overlea Financial Center, 6817 Belair Rd. & Overlea; Parkside Financial Center, 5040 Sinclair Lane & Moravia Rd.; Pulaski-Rossville Financial Center, 8807 Pulaski Hwy. & Rossville; Roland Park Financial Center, 5121 Roland Ave.; SS Metro, 300 Greene St.; SS Operations, 6401 Security Blvd.; St. Paul Street Financial Center, 7 St. Paul St.; Walbrook Financial Center, 3200 W. North Ave.
Ellicott City: Chatham Mall Financial Center, Rt. 40 & Chatham-9200 Baltimore Nat.
Essex: Essex Financial Center, 632 Eastern Blvd.
Glyndon: Glyndon Financial Center, 4830 Butler Rd.
Langley Park: Langley Park Financial Center, New Hampshire & University Blvd.
Linthicum: Linthicum Financial Center, 721 Hammonds Ferry & Nursery
Pasadena: Lake Shore Plaza Financial Center, 4305 Mountain Rd.
Randallstown: Liberty Road Financial Center, 8530 Liberty Road
Rockville: Congressional Plaza Financial Center, 110 Congressional Plaza
19th and M Street Financial Center, 1850 M St. NW
Capitol Hill Financial Center, 215 Pennsylvania Ave.
East River Park Financial Center, 3915-B Dix St. NE
Howard University Financial Center, 2801 Georgia Ave. NW
K Street Financial Center, 1510 K St. NW
Spring Valley Financial Center, 4841 Massachusetts Ave. NW
The American Printing House for the Blind recently honored Dr. Abraham Nemeth with the Creative Use of Braille Award. This award recognizes a person or people who have made a product, idea, method or promotional effort that increases the availability or awareness of braille. It must be currently in production or use. Nemeth was honored for the development of the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, which became official in the United States in 1952, and has since become official in Canada and New Zealand.
APH also honored Dr. Josephine Stratton with the Virgil Zickel Award for her work to produce the "On the Way to Literacy" handbook and her contributions to the "On the Way to Literacy" storybook series. The Zickel Award is given annually to a person or people who contribute an innovative idea for a new product that can be produced by APH.
American Stars and Stripes flag pin with USA in Braille! This one-of-a-kind collectible is now available from Christiansen Designs. In cast brass, this lapel pin is just $15 and can be seen on the www.braillejewelry.com web site. The lapel-size pin is about one inch wide and 3/4 of an inch high. It looks like a wavy flag on a flag pole with stars and stripes that can be felt. On the flag is USA in Braille. Visa and MasterCard accepted. To order, or for more information, call (802) 295-2486. You may also e-mail [email protected] If you have a store or are an organization looking for fund-raising opportunities, be sure to ask about how they can help you.
There is now a Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. It is located at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Ky. The first honorees include: Natalie Barraga, Burt Boyer, Joan Chase, Phil Hatlen, Cay Holbrook, Michael Nelipovich, Susan Spungin and Dean Tuttle. APH staff members serving on the committee include Dr. Tuck Tinsley, Mary Nelle McLennan, Gary Mudd, Donald J. Keefe, Janie Humphries, Will Evans and Bob Brasher. For more information on the leaders and legends slated for initial induction, and for opportunities to support the Hall of Fame, contact Bob Brasher at (800) 223- 1839 extension 369, or e-mail him at [email protected]
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Program is thrilled to announce the first edition of Opening Stages: a Newsletter for People with Disabilities Pursuing Careers in the Arts. This new quarterly newsletter contains interviews with people successfully pursuing careers, highlights exemplary training programs (college, university and non-traditional), and lists extensive useful resources for individuals looking for jobs including 17 carefully vetted on-line job listing services. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter via e-mail, please send your request along with your name, mailing address and e-mail address to: [email protected]
If you cannot open e-mail attachments, don't have access to e-mail, or wish to receive the newsletter as a hard copy, mail your request (along with your address and whether you need the newsletter in regular print, large print or braille) to the Accessibility Program, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566-0001.
The U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has awarded the World Institute on Disability (WID) a five-year grant to establish the National Technical Assistance Center for Latinos with Disabilities living in the USA. To be called Proyecto Vision (Project Vision), the center will connect disabled Latinos with employment services and related resources; work with government agencies and private organizations focusing on employment and technology, to increase their outreach to disabled Hispanics; and help Hispanic and Latino organizations to better serve their disabled community members.
To accomplish these goals, the project will offer: bilingual technical assistance via a toll-free hotline, a bilingual web site and listserv, annual employment-centered trainings, and leadership development activities. The project will also build a national Latino disability network based on the regional training seminars, develop unique outreach activities designed with the national Hispanic Radio Network, and carry out an extensive translation program focused on employment-related legislation and training opportunities.
Further details are available from Kathy Martinez, phone (510) 251-4326 or e-mail [email protected]
We are pleased to announce that we have new Spanish-language educational materials on age-related macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. As with our English-language brochures, the new brochures feature an "at-risk" version and an "information for patients" version for each disease area. These new items are available on the NEI web site, http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/espanol/index.htm.
Phil Jackson of Bristol, Va., recently became a deacon in his Seventh Day Adventist church. Phil would like to make contact with others who are blind who are also serving as deacons. Please contact him by audiocassette at the following postal address: 100 Moore Street #616, Bristol, VA 24201. He also welcomes e-mail contact at this address: [email protected]
FOR SALE: Clearview CCTV. In excellent condition. Asking $1,500. Contact Ed at (732) 752-6512 or e-mail him at [email protected]
FOR SALE: JFW 4.0 for $550; Xerox Kurzweil Personal Reader, model 7315 with flatbed scanner, carrying case, original shipping containers for $1,150. Contact [email protected], or call (828) 669-7736.
FOR SALE: VideoEye Power Magnification System (model MV2-1) with 27"color RCA monitor/TV for $2,200 or best offer. Less than a year old, in perfect condition and it cost $3,000 when new. A self-focusing viewing head mounted on a precision flexible arm moves over anything you want to see and magnifies it up to 100 times bigger in color. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] or phone (703) 978-2595 if you are interested.
FOR SALE: Kurzweil reading machine model 7315. Asking $2,000. DECTalk Express with cables and driver, still in original package. Asking $1,000. Versapoint braille embosser. Asking $1,500. Please contact Mark Montgomery at (716) 836-0822 extension 105.
FOR SALE: Aladdin CCD 1995, $600. Voyager XL CCD, $600. Xerox -Kurzweil Reading Edge Express Edition, $1,500. Contact Dick O'Day by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone, (703) 941- 6183.
FOR SALE: Telesensory Vantage CCTV with 14-inch black-and- white monitor in good condition. Recently repaired. Asking $800 or best offer. Contact Harold Longmore in the evening at (717) 671-8735 or during the day at (717) 787-1842, or via e-mail at [email protected]
FOR SALE: Thirteen cases (1,300 syringes) of B-D U100 1cc insulin syringes plus more than 65 Insul-gauges, two Medicoolers and one Hold-Ease. Free shipping. $550. Five-plus sterile cases of Monoject one-half cc insulin syringes. Free shipping. $100. Contact Robert Ziegler at (763) 537-8000 or via e-mail at [email protected]
FOR SALE: Freedom Scientific screen reader called Connect OutLoud, $260. Will sell to highest bidder. Call Joel Woodbury at (801) 544-7208 or (801) 544-5656, or e-mail [email protected]
FOR SALE: 16 boxes of One Touch test strips, 50 strips per box, plus free meter. Less than half price plus shipping. Walker with wheels, seat and brake, price negotiable (plus shipping). Call M.K. Leets at (703) 938-0172 before 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
FOR SALE: Kurzweil 1000 6.0 scanning software, $750, includes shipping. Handitech case for Braille Note, $35, shipping included. Accent PC internal synthesizer card, $150. Contact [email protected] or (773) 325-1117.
FOR SALE: Brother word processor nylon typing ribbons, black, #1032. Four new cartridges in sealed box (cost $47.50), plus one cartridge slightly used, asking $15 plus shipping for all. Call (863) 324-2711 and ask for Richard, or e-mail [email protected]
FOR SALE: 20-inch color video CCTV. Asking $2,000 or best offer. Contact Emily Moore at (770) 942-6551 or e-mail her at [email protected]
FOR SALE: Type 'n Speak and Braille Lite 18, both under warranty. Contact Barbara Mattson, 519 E. Main St. #8, Spartanburg, SC 29302; phone (864) 585-7323.
FOR SALE: Keynote Companion multi-application Palmtop computer, version 2.4J, with word processor, scientific calculator, address book and daily planner. Soft carrying case with strap, external disk drive, connector cables, user's manual and upgrade manual. Excellent condition. Recently replaced main battery. Asking $750. Also, internal DECTalk PC speech synthesizer, driver, external speaker and installation software and manual. Asking $350. Contact Larry Johnson at (210) 590-6777.
WANTED: One Perkins brailler in good condition. One Optacon in good working condition. One Type 'n Speak, good working order. An electronic talking computer Bible and electronic talking dictionary. Also seeking Sharp talking calculator and a color indicator. Can't afford price. Contact Melody Edwards at (609) 347-7539.
ACB wishes to thank its many members and friends who gave so generously in response to our December 2001 letter requesting support for ACB's ongoing programs and services. This partial list of donors reflects only those people who gave us permission to publicly acknowledge their gifts.
Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., Talladega
Donna Greep, Semmes
Belle Mills, Birmingham
David Talley, Hueytown
Jim Swartz, Anchorage
Dan Bailey, Phoenix
John E. Lane, Mesa
Valerie Lintz, Phoenix
Karen Sabin, Phoenix
Berta Stoner, Goodyear
Robert K. Johnson, Little Rock
W.C. O'Connor, Marmaduke
Ardis Bazyn, Burbank
David Bird, Santa Clarita
Ralph Black, Sacramento
Mari Bull, La Verne
Bianca Culbertson, Carmichael
Dinesh Desai, Los Altos
Winifred Downing, San Francisco
Olive Dunsmore, Lancaster
Lainey Feingold, Berkeley
Virginia Gong, Union City
Jane Kardas, Ukiah
Tiffany Medina, Los Altos Hills
Gennie Phillips, North Hollywood
Mitch Pomerantz, Los Angeles
Teddie-Joy Remhild, Burbank
D.T. Rohde, Los Osos
Doug Rose, McKinleyville
Lillian Scaife, Long Beach
Peter G. Schustach, San Luis Obispo
Nan Millar Scott, Victorville
Norma Sealy, Pittsburg
Frank Selders, Redondo Beach
Joan Sikkens, McKinleyville
Catherine, Darryl & Eric Skivers, Hayward
Allie Thomas, Yreka
Alice M. Johnson, Federal Heights
John Jostad, Fort Collins
Bettye Krolick, Fort Collins
Anna Godrie, Fairfield
David Goldstein, Bridgeport
Bernard Kassett, Tolland
Barbara Lombardi, Shelton
Louise A. Manginello, Hartford
John I. Haas, Newark
Thomas H. Miller
Don Arnold, Floridana Beach
Frank A. Bartola, Winter Park
Michael Bayus, Spring Hill
Carlos J. Bermudez, Hialeah
Tommie Broach, Jacksonville
Charles J. Close, Tampa
Beatrice David, Tampa
Emma Donaldson, Jensen Beach
Denyse Eddy, Winter Park
Mildred Frank, Ormond Beach
Rachel Friedman, Hallandale
George Gibb, Rotonda West
Gwen Givens, Tampa
Charles Hackney, Lakeland
Rev. & Mrs. A. Heumann, Oviedo
Amanda Hudson, Starke
James & Patricia Kracht, Miami
David Lang, Ormond Beach
Mr. & Mrs. J.F. Lover, Indian Rk. Beach
Joseph Lucasiewicz, Spring Hill
Meredith Mazza, Naples
Ruth A. Moore, Port Charlotte
Grace C. Moulton, Tallahassee
Jane Pikula, Ormond Beach
Mr. & Mrs. Don Sanders, Clearwater
Lester Tesch, Pensacola
Henry Wojtasinski, St. Petersburg
Mr. & Mrs. Neale Zimmerman, Jacksonville
Annie Baldwin, Augusta
Richard Canon, Alpharetta
Joseph Parks Hill, Ellijay
Phillip Jones, Lilburn
Tom Ridgeway, Macon
Polly Roe, Roswell
Sarah F. Scott, Smyrna
Gale Watson, Decatur
James T. Chinn, Honolulu
Cynthia Hirakawa, Honolulu
Schalene Kobashigawa, Honolulu
Thomas Morikami, Honolulu
Clara Bowie, Carbondale
Ivonne Bradley, Macomb
Ann Brash, La Grange
William Byers, Chicago
Sally Hering, Lake Bluff
Dennis Mejia, Highland
Donald G. Morrow, Chicago
Terry-Ann Saurmann, Arlington Heights
M.J. Schmitt, Forest Park
Alan & Paula Sprecher, Chicago
Glenn Wiemer, Glenview
Rev. Boniface Wittenbrink, Belleville
John Huffman, Indianapolis
Joseph J. Neff, Indianapolis
Mary L. Plake, Bedford
Robert W. Short, Bedford
Mike & Dolly Sowder, Bedford
Roger H. Larson, Eagle Grove
John Taylor, Des Moines
Mary A. Freeman, Eureka
Marilyn G. Lytle, Wichita
Glenna & Howard Morrow, Overland Park
Donald Franklin, Louisville
Thomas Lutes, Bardstown
Mary Renaud, Lexington
Susan B. Robertson, Louisville
Terry Camardelle, Harvey
Della Mae Childress, Metairie
Vernon & Hazel Daigle, Gonzales
Yolanda P. Hebert, Baton Rouge
Charlotte Himel, Covington
Natalie Nouth, Baton Rouge
Tom & Kim Venable, Marrero
Jim Martin, Ellsworth
George Roderick, Augusta
Jo Ann Kucic, Parkville
Mary Mahoney, Silver Spring
Sheila McKeown, Baltimore
Jack Roeder, Owings Mills
Parley Van Sickle, Bethesda
Regina Chavez-Berlin, Northampton
Donna Fanelle, Medford
Mary Haroyan, Worcester
Rose Mathews, East Harwich
Donna McKirdy, Waltham
Joyce L. Nadell, South Weymouth
Sharon Strzalkowski, Worcester
Jeffrey Turner, Jamaica Plain
John Anderson, Livonia
Louis J. Cantoni, Detroit
Brian Colfer, Sterling Heights
Robert Engel, Flint
Margaret M. Hunerjager, Niles
Bessie Ingram, Flint
Elizabeth M. Lennon, Kalamazoo
Paul & Sue Ponchillia, Three Rivers
Matilda Standage, Muskegon
Robin Van Der Bos, Kalamazoo
Jack & Sharon Hicken, Duluth
Linda Oliva, Minneapolis
Robert L. Smith III, Saint Paul
Mike & Elaine Vining, Minneapolis
Robert Ziegler, Brooklyn Center
Janice Gable, Jackson
Kristina McNair, Petal
Elton Moore, Mississippi State
Sharon Near, Hazlehurst
Ralph Smitherman, Canton
Willard Wood, Jackson
Barbara Borgmeyer, St. Charles
Alice Conway, St. Louis
Charles "Ned" Cox, Fenton
Diane Meek, Springfield
Ralph Sole, Lees Summit
Marie Ranold, O'Neill
Elizabeth Perring, Las Vegas
Freeda Schofield, Hiko
Daniel Tijerina, Las Vegas
Richard W. Bleecker, Jersey City
Sharon W. Burniston, Maplewood
James F. Dougherty, Metuchen
Edward Fedush, Garfield
Mrs. Gromann, West Orange
Dennis Hartenstine, Long Branch
Joan Leonard, Edison
Kenneth Quinn, Iselin
Peter G. Hanigan Jr., Albuquerque
Lonnie & Brenda Lanning, Albuquerque
Fred Mansfield, Santa Fe
Victor & Loretta Bourgoin, Rochester
Joan O. Brown, Rochester
Frank & Kathy Casey, Albany
Merritt M. Clark, Albany
George Downey, Sunnyside
Karen Eisenstadt, Forest Hills
William Kirchgaessner, Hartsdale
Paul Rethier, Sound Beach
Philip G. Rich, Albany
Helen Whelan, Seaford
Karen Broderick, Raleigh
Sharon D. Joyce, Winston-Salem
Bill Kebey, New Bern
Norma Krajczar, Morehead City
Judith K. Redfield, Clemmons
Loris Van Berkom, Williston
Richard & Gina Bird, Parma Heights
Dawn Christensen, Holland
Rosalyn M. Iles, Harpster
Natalie Neff, Dayton
Edward Snively, Columbus
Brian White, Columbus
Wanda Eller, Tulsa
Clinton Moore, Oklahoma City
Peggy & Frank Alvarez, Tigard
Gene & Hazel Koelle, Reedsport
Janine Robinson, La Grande
Frank Beam, Dickson City
Lucy Boyle, Philadelphia
Dolores Coombs, Narberth
Chloe Datto, Jermyn
Michael Greenway, Sharon Hill
Kathleen M. Huebner, Elkins Park
Richard E. Klinedinst, York
Martin Lee, Philadelphia
Marita Mathews, Pittsburgh
Anna Mary McHugh, Ashley
Edward McKelvey, Abington
Adele Minissale, Gladwyne
Mary Jane Nester, Shenandoah
Anna B. Porter, Lancaster
Rose Ann Schaller, Lancaster
Katharine Surette, York
Buelah Flynn Brazzell, Columbia
Dr. Robert & Betty Armstrong, Memphis
Robert S. Casper, Houston
Jo Cassidy, Cypress
Clessia Himes, Hurst
Bernice Klepac, Houston
Ruth Nowlin, Austin
Robert Shepard, Brenham
McLeod Stinnett III, Dallas
Bill & Sandy Gibson, Roy
Nadeen Hackwell, Ogden
Lois M. Kimball, Salt Lake City
Geraldine Weatherston, Ogden
N.S. Case Jr., Bethel
Robert A. Green, Newport
Bob & Shawn Phelps, Rutland
Michael & Carol Ann Richman, South Burlington
Debra & Paul Hill, Alexandria
Nancy Jenkins, Richmond
Billie Jean Keith, Arlington
Cindy Lynn, Chesapeake
Sue Ammeter, Seattle
Steve Heesen, Seattle
Glenn R. McCully, Auburn
Dixie McDaniel, Kennewick
Teresa Nash, Longview
Rhonda Nelson, Auburn
Bill VanWinkle, Richland
Terry Waldron, Spokane
Jerry Hamrick, Valley Head
Donald Lehmann, Kenosha
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Ludois, Greenfield
Wanda Slaby, Arcadia
Rachel Wilson, Milwaukee
94 RAMONA AVE.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
825 M ST., SUITE 216
LINCOLN, NE 68508
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
1027 DUNLOP AVE
FOREST PARK, IL 60130
3912 SE 5TH ST
DES MOINES, IA 50315
500 S. 3RD ST. #H
BURBANK, CA 91502
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
20330 NE 20th Ct.
Miami, FL 33179