[nfbwatlk] FW: [Wcb-l] History kicks 5

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Tue May 6 18:03:13 UTC 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: Wcb-l [mailto:wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org] On Behalf Of frank cuta
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 10:59 AM
To: wcb-l at wcbinfo.org
Subject: [Wcb-l] History kicks 5

(from october 1970 Braille Monitor)


by A. A. Fisher 

The 1970 convention of the Washington State Association of the Blind lost no
time getting under way following opening ceremonies presided over by Ed
President of the Grays Harbor Chapter of the WSAB. The invocation was given
by Father O'Shea. Mayor Youmans of Hoquiam gave a warm welcome to the
assembled in the Emerson Hotel, Hoquiam, for the three-day conclave, July 30
through August 1. 

The sixty-five delegates representing local affiliates in the State, came
together to hammer out a program for the coming year. President Cecil
in his opening remarks noted that progress had been made toward
consolidating the organization during the past year, and called for further
the local affiliates, the Washington State Association, and the National
Federation of the Blind. 

President Phillips particularly emphasized the possible threat to State
Services for the Blind inherent in the new super-agency in the process of
into being in this State. This new agency, known as the Health and Social
Services Agency, is headed by Sidney Smith, formerly Director of the
of Public Assistance. President Phillips pointed out that the blind could be
lost in the shuffle, with State Services for the Blind fragmented and
out to general, all-inclusive departments. The convention later unanimously
adopted a resolution from the King County Association of the Blind, calling
for a separate and distinct Commission for the Blind, which would give
greater opportunity for participation of the blind themselves in determining
to meet their needs. The Commission as proposed would administer all
services affecting blind persons in this State. The next session of the
State Legislature
will be called upon to establish the Commission as proposed. 

A highlight of the convention was the granting of a charter to a new
affiliate in King County, the University Association of the Blind. The new
was represented by its President, Sue Anderson, a student at the University
of Washington. The new chapter, primarily oriented toward students and young
workers will not be limited to student membership. With some 1700 blind
people in King County, the new group expects to recruit many new members,
and will
be a real asset to WSAB and NFB. 

Other actions of the convention included adoption of a resolution in support
of efforts to continue and expand the Tape Recording and Transcribing
now operating at the State Rehabilitation for the Blind in Seattle. This
service provides taped text books and technical material needed by students
other blind persons in the State. At the present time the Taping Service is
being operated without pay by Carl Jarvis. President of King County
of the Blind, pending action on applications made by State Services for the
Blind for either State or Federal funding. 

Another resolution adopted by the convention established a goal of
organizing at least two new affiliates in the State and for doubling the
membership of
the Association in the coining year. In a further action the convention
called for more cooperation and joint efforts with other organizations
active in
service to the blind, such as the Lions Clubs, to eliminate detrimental
competition and overlapping. 

The convention heard a detailed, comprehensive report from Wesley Osborne,
Legislative Education Chairman, on the status of projects for the coming
of the legislature. These will be worked out in more detail as the session
nears Included are possible changes affecting vending stand operations as a
result of Congressional consideration of amendments to the Randolph Shepherd
Act, and measures to redefine resources, to prevent reduction to Aid to the
Blind when increased benefits are voted by Congress. 

One session of the convention was devoted to a seminar on local
organizations and what can be done. It was conducted by John Taylor, member
of the Board
of the National Federation of the Blind, and Assistant Director of the Iowa
Commission for the Blind. He was assisted by Kenneth Hopkins, Director of
Idaho Commission for the Blind. Mr. Taylor replaced Kenneth Jernigan,
President of N F.B., whose scheduled appearance was cancelled due to other

The convention adjourned at noon Saturday following election of officers and
naming Spokane as the site of the 1971 convention. President Cecil Phillips
was unanimously elected for a second term in the office for which he was
chosen in the Yakima convention last year. Other officers were: Sue
Vice-President; Kathy Colley, Secretary: and Berl Colley, Treasurer.
Committee Chairmen elected were: Carl Jarvis, Public Relations; Wesley
Osborne, (re-elected)
Legislation; Robert Sellers, Organization; Robert Keppler, (re-elected)
Welfare; and Marie Lemke, Publications. The Ways and Means chairmanship was

(from march 1971 Braile Monitor)


by Wesley Osborne 

Our proposed bill to establish a Commission for the Blind is now in the
hopper and will be under consideration by the Legislature during the next
two months.

Following the WSAB convention in Hoquiam last summer, the Legislative
Education Committee sent for a number of State laws from those States where
agencies exist. We researched those laws as well as our own State laws
dealing with various services to blind people and worked out a proposed
draft. This
draft was then placed in the hands of legislators who have checked it
carefully with existing State laws to be sure the final version would be
what we
want done. 

The director would be operating under, and be responsible to the Commission,
which includes blind persons in direct contact with the blind of the State
through active participation as members of WSAB. In contrast, the Chief of
State Services and the Superintendent of the State School for the Blind are
only responsible to then immediate supervisors, who in turn are responsible
to the next in command on up through a pyramided agency to the Director of
Social and Health Services, and as such are really responsible to no one.
The director of the Social and Health Services department is not and cannot
expected to be knowledgable in the affairs and needs of the blind, and is
extremely busy with much larger problems in terms of numbers of people. 

The greatest danger, and what makes this campaign an urgent matter, is the
threat of disbursement of what services we have, of dividing the various
between several general and overall agencies and services The details of
such a plan are already in the works. In such an event, services and
to blind people of this State will suffer. This is the way of mediocrity. 

Achievement of a Commission for the Blind would open up many new and
exciting doors and greatly enhance opportunities and possibilities for blind
to live satisfying, useful lives, and to have some say about it.

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