Braille Forum
Vol. XXXVI March 1998 No. 9
Published By
The American Council of the Blind
Paul Edwards, President
Oral O. Miller, J.D., Executive Director
Nolan Crabb, Editor
Sharon Lovering, Editorial Assistant
National Office:
1155 15th St. N.W.
Suite 720
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 467-5081
Fax: (202) 467-5085

THE BRAILLE FORUM is available in braille, large print, half- speed four-track cassette tape and computer disk. Subscription requests, address changes, and items intended for publication should be sent to: Nolan Crabb, THE BRAILLE FORUM, 1155 15th St. N.W., Suite 720, Washington, DC 20005. Submission deadlines are the first of the month.

Those much-needed contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to Patricia Beattie at the same address. If you wish to remember a relative or friend by sharing in the council's continuing work, the national office has printed cards available to acknowledge contributions made by loved ones in memory of deceased people.

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, you may contact the ACB National Office.

For the latest in legislative and governmental news, call the "Washington Connection" toll-free at (800) 424-8666, 6 p.m. to midnight Eastern time Monday through Friday. Washington, D.C., residents only call 331-2876.

Copyright 1998
American Council of the Blind


President's Message: President's Mid-Year Report, by Paul Edwards
Report of the Executive Director, by Oral O. Miller
There's More to Orlando Than Disney!, by John A. Horst
Aloha Guide Dog Handlers! A Guide to Traveling to Hawaii With Your Guide Dog, compiled by Jenine Stanley
ACB Positions Available
Affiliate News
First Timers Contest Sponsored by McDaniel Fund
Book Review: "Bert's Eye View" An Excellent Look at Macular Degeneration, by Sharon Lovering
Here And There, by Elizabeth M. Lennon
In Memoriam: James Max Woolly Sr.
Legal Access: PGA: Please Go Away!, by Charles D. Goldman
Visually Impaired Twin Pilots Lose Important ADA Case, by Charles S.P. Hodge
High Tech Swap Shop

by Paul Edwards

(Editor's Note: This is the text of President Edwards' mid- year speech delivered at the affiliate presidents meeting in Orlando, Fla.)

When I spoke with all of you last in person at our national convention, I said that ACB was in for some hard times. I suggested that we would not be alone in this and that programs that serve people who are disabled would be a lot harder to sell.

Six months later I have seen nothing to change my mind. In fact there is a whole lot of evidence to suggest that, barring something very unforeseen, we will continue to find ourselves forced to justify every program and every change to a Congress that seems to be more interested in political in-fighting than it is in doing what it was elected to do!

And yet the last six months have been exciting for us because many of the things we have been working on have shown signs that are good. Some of you may know that last summer WMATA, (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), formally abandoned its efforts to use electronic devices to tell blind people when they came to the edge of platforms. It has, in fact, been involved with trying to negotiate with us to see whether we can settle our lawsuit. WMATA has already acceded to our demand that tactile warnings be placed at key stations. We want them placed at all stations and we don't agree with its request that the tiles be placed away from the edge of the platform. Whatever the outcome of our negotiations is, WMATA has recognized that the American Council of the Blind and the other plaintiffs in this case will not tolerate attempts to circumvent the law of the land! The need for tactile warnings was emphasized when Mark Richert, one of our staff, fell on a platform and later by the death of still another blind person at the hands of WMATA's arrogance. That death was not wasted! ACB led demonstrations before the board of WMATA and we have received intimations that the National Transportation Safety Board will be looking into this accident! Earlier this week WMATA was granted what is called equal facilitation for a proposal that comes far short of what ACB wants. This is just another effort to postpone the inevitable! ACB will continue to fight until tactile warnings are on all platforms at all stations in its system!

In Hawaii the American Council of the Blind and our affiliate Guide Dog Users, Inc. have worked for the last 15 years to make it possible for people who are blind and who use dogs to be able to travel to the islands without quarantining their dogs. A settlement agreement was signed. We have once more demonstrated that persistence and principle can succeed! Here too ACB and GDUI led the way! The Department of Justice became involved in this issue and that had an effect. Legal fights are not cheap, my friends! As of this writing, GDUI is substantially in debt and any assistance that affiliates or individuals can offer to GDUI would be greatly appreciated! ACB has put considerable resources into this fight and will continue to help GDUI meet its obligations as final details are ironed out. We have included in our budget for this year more support to help defray the legal expenses that GDUI still has. Even though we won, we have to pay for that victory!

By last summer the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act had been passed! This fall saw the publication of IDEA regulations and ACB submitted comments of our own and affirmed our support for the American Foundation for the Blind's more extensive submission! We must continue to be vigilant to assure that the important steps forward that we made in the law are reflected in the regulations as well. The need for concern over education was underlined by the threat to close the school for the blind in Wisconsin. I made two visits there. The first trip I was able to meet with the coalition to Save Our School and also met with the board of directors of our affiliate in Wisconsin, the Badger Association. On December 16th I returned to Madison to appear before the state legislature to offer testimony on ACB's behalf. A study that may well have an impact on the school for the blind in Nebraska is also under way. ACB continues to believe that schools for the blind are an important part of the educational continuum that must remain available to blind children!

Rehab reauthorization continues and it is our hope that we will end up with a five-year or a seven-year reauthorization that will not differ much from what we have! It is already clear that we have had some small victories. First, the money available to the Older Blind program has been increased by 1.98 million dollars in the current budget. This is still not nearly enough money and ACB will continue to work to seek to expand funds available to serve this large and extremely under-served group of people. We are proud to report that, despite lots of threats, the ability to operate separate blindness agencies remains in the law and efforts to broaden the Older Blind program to cover other disabilities have failed. Let me thank all those affiliates who became actively involved fighting the Gorton amendment last fall that would have gutted Department of Education programs. Though that amendment was withdrawn, I want to talk about it for a moment. I am not concerned with the amendment itself but rather with the way that our community dealt with it.

There were two ways to view that amendment. Viewed narrowly, ACB could have chosen to see what NFB and the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind saw. Both these organizations focused their opposition on the threat to the vocational rehabilitation system. We and the American Foundation for the Blind and National Industries for the Blind took a much broader approach. For us, there were many other programs affected than just vocational rehabilitation!

The internet is a wonderful thing but, during this crisis, it did not serve us well! Various organizations were putting messages out and lots of our members and affiliates were convinced by these messages that there was no problem. The crisis is over. There's no problem! In fact, this was far from the case as those messages began flying around! There were some tentative agreements to hold vocational rehabilitation harmless but programs like funding for the American Printing House were still subject to being cut. The moral of this story is, listen to the Washington Connection and the ACB-Announce Internet mailing list. That's where you will find the most current information on what the situation really is! I know that many of the people who were telling you that everything was fine were people you work with at the state level. But they, too, were getting the information their organizations sent them! Everything worked out this time but I am very much afraid that the next time, we will stop our efforts before the job is done, as many did last November!

There are still no final regulations implementing the Telecommunications Act of 1996 provisions for assuring equal access for people with disabilities. As many of you know, I made this a major issue when I visited the White House in September. I am convinced that both President Clinton and Vice President Gore heard what I said and are concerned. We are continuing to work with other organizations to apply pressure to the Federal Communications Commission to see that these rules move forward. Those of you who are attending the Josephine L. Taylor seminar this March will have a chance to hear from the new head of the FCC.

As those of you who are into technology will already know, we took what I consider to be a major step backward over the past few months with the release by Microsoft of a new version of Internet Explorer before its approach to creating access, Active Accessibility (MSAA), was made to function with it. There was a fire storm of epic proportion from blind people all over the world. I met, when I was out in Seattle, with the leader from Microsoft's accessibility area and, very soon after our board meeting, Brian Charlson will be representing ACB at meetings with various developers at Microsoft. It is our understanding that Bill Gates will be on the agenda of this meeting. The task force on information access continues to work and it is becoming increasingly clear that there are a huge range of issues with which it must deal. Appliance labeling, worldwide web access and information kiosks are all a part of its charge. The truth is there are just too many things happening right now that we must keep on top of if we are not to lose ground. ACB must and will stay on top of technology. Unless we do, blind people will be second-class citizens in the age of information. In fact there are those who would argue that we already are!

ACB continues to work cooperatively with other organizations in the blindness field. It was my pleasure to be a part of the conference of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind in Seattle. I published some of my remarks to them in our December issue of the Forum as part of my President's Message. I am convinced that we are building a partnership with NCSAB that will strengthen services to blind people all over the country. I am equally convinced that we must make certain that each of our state affiliates works conscientiously to build the same kind of partnership. We cannot afford to be perceived as an irritant to the rehabilitation system; but we can equally not do well if we are seen as passive window-dressing. The Rehabilitation Act clearly calls for partnership between the consumer and those who serve the consumer. We must take that partnership one step further by insisting that there be a partnership between consumer organizations and service providers so that the models of service delivery that evolve will be shared models.

I have attended many state affiliate conventions over the past half year and have found our organization to be healthy and innovative. I continue to be heartened by the many state affiliates who have exciting programs and activities with which they are involved. I am determined, however, that the national organization will do more for affiliates! As some of you know, ACB decided last year to begin a grant program through which affiliates could apply for support from ACB. That program is not quite ready for unveiling but by July we will be ready to roll. More than that, I want to see our national office become more involved with affiliates who are having problems. There is room in this year's budget for us to begin to work directly with affiliates who are having problems. I don't think it is enough to just show up at conventions. If we are going to make a significant impact with affiliates, I am convinced that we need to have someone come out and spend several days helping state leaders turn that affiliate around. You will hear more about this as the year goes on. Please know, though, that ACB is committed to helping weak affiliates get stronger without treading on the autonomy that both affiliates and ACB value highly!

In July, I talked about making the officers of ACB more responsible to the organization. We have begun this process. At our convention this summer, you will have a chance to hear how well that has worked from the officers themselves who will be reporting on their areas of responsibility to the convention. I truly believe that this is a way to give our members a chance to learn more about our leaders and what qualities they have to offer and it's also a chance for me to palm off some of the work that I'm not getting done to others so that they can get it done.

The process has not always gone smoothly but we are making progress. All of my officers have helped me out of problems at one time or another this year and I would like all of you to join me in thanking them for all the work they do on your behalf and on mine.

Our national office has continued to serve our organization well. Now that I have had a chance to spend some time there, I can tell you that it truly is a very busy place where there always seems to be a deadline and where the phones are never idle! If you find yourself placed on hold a few times, understand that it's not because the staff aren't working. It's instead because they are! I am going to ask that staff phone mail box numbers be sent to affiliate presidents. That way you can dial directly into the mailbox of the person you want to speak with and save both you and them some time by leaving a direct message! This will be even more crucial in a few weeks because of what I am about to tell you. In late November of this year I was saddened to hear that Julie Carroll was leaving our staff. She went to work for the Paralyzed Veterans of America in a legislative position and, while we were sad to see her go, we recognized that this was an opportunity it would have been hard for her to pass up. I am very happy to tell all of you that we have not lost a staff person. We have gained a committee chair. Julie has agreed to chair our Environmental Access Committee and, as you will hear later today, there are many issues that she and her committee are working on right now. Welcome to the world of volunteer work, Julie. I would be happy to negotiate an increase in your current salary.

Some two weeks ago, Mark Richert announced that he was leaving to take a position with the American Foundation for the Blind. Mark will become its resident guru on the subjects of education and Social Security. I hope AFB is properly grateful for the training we have provided to many of its brightest stars. Both Scott Marshall who is here with us and Paul Schroeder were hardened in the crucible of ACB and Mark joins a long list of those who ACB has made ready for bigger and better things. Last week Holly Fults announced that she too was leaving. Sarah DeYoung has already been asked to assume her duties so that the important work of dealing with scholarships and getting ready for the convention will not suffer! Unfortunately, she will only be with us till late this summer because Sarah has been accepted to the law school at the University of Michigan where she will impress them as much as she has impressed ACB! We will be hiring a replacement that will be permanent as soon as possible so that Sarah can help that person learn the ropes before she leaves! Both Mark and Holly will be with us till after our legislative seminar in Washington. We will miss both of these folks very much.

Thanks to Oral Miller, I have had a chance to review the resumes that are being considered for the Director of Legislative Affairs position. I am very pleased to tell you that on paper the candidates who have submitted applications look very sharp and, since there are several, maybe we can persuade two of them to come and work for us.

The loss of three professional staff within a short period of time leaves a big hole in our ability to be seen and heard throughout the blindness community. I will be asking the officers and board to step up to fill this gap and may well ask some of you affiliate presidents to help as well. Just because we are short-staffed, the work doesn't stop! All of us will need to recognize that we will need to do more to be sure that people know that ACB is still alive and kicking even though we are paying fewer people for a while. I know that Oral Miller joins me in believing that we must make haste to fill the vacant positions as soon as we can.

Later this weekend the ACB board will adopt a budget for 1998 that has in it a number of good things. While it may be premature of me to discuss them yet, I want to tell you that the budget includes increased salaries for all our staff positions. I hope that our financial situation will allow us to consider paying our staff a little more so that our salaries are more competitive. This year as a part of his budget, our executive director included figures purporting to provide us with a notion of what comparable positions in Washington are being paid. We are currently near the bottom of all the ranges. I hope that this will change. Unless we are paying competitive salaries, we cannot hope to keep quality staff!

Being the president of ACB is an honor and a privilege! It gives me a chance to lead an organization that is making a difference. We have won some victories and you at the state and special interest affiliate levels have won victories too! I am proud to lead you and prouder still of each and every one of you who are the mortar and bricks of ACB's leadership. I continue to hear from individual members both by letter and by e-mail and by telephone. At the convention I ended my message quoting from someone who was not happy with ACB. I will end this report by quoting from one who is not unhappy. In a letter that came into my possession just yesterday, the writer says in part: "I have been associated with the American Council of the Blind for as many years as I have been blind. The ACB has played a pivotal role in my personal and professional development by introducing me to the many possibilities for blind individuals. After losing my eyesight in an automobile accident in 1986, it was the ACB who taught me that spirit and will were more essential for success than mere eyesight. It is neither hyperbole nor overstatement when I tell you that I would not be where I am today without the many fine people and resources of the American Council of the Blind."

Where is this gentleman today? He is a practicing attorney and he is what we are all about! Thank you for all you do and for all you are!

by Oral O. Miller

During his career as a professional entertainer, the late congressman Sonny Bono and his former wife Cher recorded a popular song containing the refrain "the beat goes on," a phrase which aptly describes the level of activity in the ACB national office whether Congress is in session and whether a federal department is on the verge of issuing important regulations. Likewise, "the beat goes on" and duties must be performed by the national staff even while recruitment for vacancies goes on. During recent weeks, for example, it was my pleasure to address a regional meeting of chapters of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in South Hill, Va., and to observe firsthand the enthusiasm, strength and focus of that extremely effective grassroots organization. The importance of working closely with such organizations is underscored when we recall that more than two-thirds of the blind and visually impaired people in the USA are over 50 years of age and eligible for AARP membership. During the same period, I was invited to attend a White House briefing on the state of the union prior to the delivery of the State of the Union message by President Clinton. A few days later, legislative assistant Krista Dubroff attended a similar briefing at the White House regarding the budget proposed by President Clinton.

I commend the members of the national office staff for "stepping up" to even higher levels of performance while the recruitment process has gone on to select the new Director of Governmental Affairs. In recent weeks staff members have participated actively in an endless and dizzying series of important governmental, advocacy, program consultation, public education and organizational liaison activities even before Congress came back into session. A few of the activities that virtually jump off the calendar into view include strategy meetings of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, a formal input solicitation meeting of the Gore committee on digital TV, a conference of the American Public Transit Association, functions of Access to Electoral Process and the Voting Access Advisory Committee of the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, a high-level Department of Justice meeting between disability community leaders and newly designated acting assistant attorney general for civil rights Bill Lann Lee, and meetings with the Federal Communications Commission regarding implementation of the Telecommunications Act. And, yes, a recent "Braille Forum" article regarding the investigation of a state agency for the blind by the Department of Justice generated considerable interest and spirited discussion. The fact that we must stay diligent at all times was demonstrated by an early and initially little-known bill in Congress that had the worthwhile objective of eliminating possible voter fraud in federal elections by requiring verification of citizenship. Unfortunately, the same bill, which was moving on a supposedly non-controversial "fast track" would have created many obstacles to registration and voting by disabled people such as by requiring or authorizing the verification of citizenship by reference to the Social Security Administration or the Immigration and Naturalization Service, neither of which is capable of verifying citizenship. In connection with this bill I spoke in behalf of the disabled community at a press conference conducted at the U.S. Capitol by the League of Women Voters. In my remarks I pointed out that the bill would, perhaps unintentionally, negate the progress made by such legislation as the "Motor Voter Act." The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights also took part in the press conference. I am pleased to report that a few days later the bill in question was removed from the "non-controversial fast track" and opened for easier public scrutiny and comment.

ACB continues to serve as a nationally recognized resource for developers of technology. Recently, for example, we arranged for the Motorola Corporation to establish with our Miami chapter a program to evaluate the Pocketalk voice pager now produced by that company. Arrangements are also being made for ACB members attending the upcoming national legislative workshop in Washington to have an opportunity to become familiar with and evaluate the new Motorola talking pager.

Although we are always pleased when staff members have outstanding opportunities to advance their careers, we, nevertheless, regret losing them because they perform such a wide variety of valuable services to ACB and its members. With this in mind we extend our best wishes to Advocacy Services Director Mark Richert as he leaves ACB employment to join the governmental office staff of the American Foundation for the Blind. Likewise, we extend our best wishes to Membership Services Coordinator Holly Fults as she leaves ACB employment to accept a position outside the blindness field with a telecommunications company. The duties of the membership services coordinator have been assumed on an acting basis by advocacy administrative assistant Sarah DeYoung, who will be working very closely with our scholarship program and our national convention activities over the next several months. A recruitment notice regarding the advocacy position and the membership services position appears elsewhere in this issue.

On a personal level I want to extend my thanks for the good wishes, concerns and prayers which many members expressed recently upon receiving the news that my wife, Roberta Douglas, had experienced cardiac arrest a few minutes after arriving in the hospital emergency room. I am very pleased to report that she is recovering very satisfactorily and appreciates the expressions of concern that have been received.

With this report I am announcing to the ACB membership my plan to retire from my position as Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind in the fall of this year. At that time I will, as already discussed with the ACB president and board of directors, assist ACB in implementing its interest in a very important field of activity not previously emphasized by ACB. More information regarding those plans will be made available as details are decided upon. While it was initially my wish to continue in full-time service until 1999, I will continue to perform all my duties as executive director until my departure from this position.

by John A. Horst, Convention Coordinator

In 1998 there's more to Orlando, Fla., than Disney World. Disney has its Magic Kingdom, its Epcot portrayals of other cultures, its MGM Studios and its island of pleasure. But as the local citizens will tell you rather quickly, Disney is only a small part of what Orlando has to offer. For those of you who are challenged by the issues and concerns of blindness and visual impairment, the 1998 convention of the American Council of the Blind in Orlando offers a world of opportunity. If you want to be well-informed and up-to-date, if you want to improve your blindness skills, if you would like to know how other blind people function or would like to have more hands-on awareness of technology and devices, the 1998 ACB convention is the place for you. In addition, if you are the kind of person that has ideas and feelings about blindness issues and would like to share those ideas with others in an open forum where your thoughts will be heard and respected, the 1998 ACB convention is the place.

The ACB convention in 1998 will take place at the Clarion Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819-8114; phone (800) 366-9700 or (407) 352-9700. Room rates are $55 per night plus tax. However, all rooms at the Clarion have been reserved since last October. The overflow hotel is the Quality Inn Plaza, situated less than two blocks from the Clarion. There are good sidewalks for easy walking. Shuttles will also be available. Rates at the Quality Inn Plaza are $51 per night plus tax; phone (800) 999-8585 or (407) 345-8585. This hotel is made up of several buildings of rooms, each five or six stories high; some are nearer to the Clarion than others. So if you are walking to the Clarion, ask for the closest room when you check in. The hotel registration desk, restaurant, gift shop, Lite Bite snack shop and lounge are in a separate building from the rooms. The restaurant is a buffet, but don't be alarmed. Adequate assistance will be available. More detail will be included in later issues of "The Braille Forum."

The city of St. Augustine is the destination for the overnight tour, scheduled for July 3 and 4. The cost will be approximately $175. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United States. Founded in 1565 and named after the feast day of St. Augustine, August 28, the city has some of the oldest written records in the United States, dating back to 1594. The tour will include a narrated trolley ride through the city, a visit to the Fountain of Youth, the old Spanish Quarter and old church for a concert, and Fort Castillo de San Marcos that was never captured, and St. George's Street for browsing, souvenir shopping, and more. Watch for additional details in the April "Braille Forum" on this fabulous overnight tour.

Special agreements with US Airways in addition to those already established with American and Delta airlines have been completed through AAA Travel of Muskogee, Okla., ACB's designated travel agency. Remember to call (800) 259-9299 for the lowest air fares when traveling to all ACB functions. A special agreement has been signed with the travel agency for 1998.

Program development and detailed planning are continuing for the 1998 ACB convention. Be certain to complete your plans to attend.

A Guide to Traveling to Hawaii with Your Guide Dog
compiled by Jenine Stanley

The officers, directors and membership of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) would like to thank the American Council of the Blind board of directors, the many state and local ACB chapters, guide dog training programs and other organizations concerned about the independence of blind people, and the thousands of individuals who have contributed to our efforts in this case. Some have given money, some have given expert testimony and many have given emotional support. All of our efforts have paid off. Through persistence and perseverance, in 1998, blind people from the American mainland can travel to Hawaii. Blind Hawaiians can travel to their own country with their guide dogs for the first time.

Since the settlement terms were outlined in the winter '97-'98 issue of "Pawtracks," GDUI's audio magazine, some people have expressed confusion and frustration about the final decision to opt for settlement. GDUI presents the following information in an attempt to clarify its position and provide a foundation for those wishing to travel to Hawaii under the settlement terms.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees the right of a guide dog handler to be accompanied by his/her dog in all places of public accommodation. Given this supporting legislation, many people think that access to Hawaii should be as simple as access from one state to another. There are, however, a few circumstances where the ADA must be balanced against other important public interests. One of these circumstances is when the presence of the dog constitutes a disruption to services, programs or activities of the public entity or a potential threat to public health and safety. The goal of our case has always been to balance the need of the state of Hawaii for maintaining its quarantine and protection program against rabies with the need of blind people who travel with the aid of guide dogs to use their mobility tool of choice.

Hawaii is the only state in the union which is rabies-free and which has a quarantine for dogs. The state feels that exempting the quarantine to allow guide dogs and other service animals to accompany their disabled handlers would substantially impact its rabies control measures. To assure the state of Hawaii that guide dogs pose no significant threat to the maintenance of its rabies-free status, we have agreed to the following settlement terms. The real strength of the ADA in this case is that it allows for such mutually beneficial compromises. We appreciate the support and cooperation of all guide dog handlers, training providers and friends as we embark on new ground in access law and practice. HISTORY OF THE CASE

On March 2, 1993, Vernon Crowder and Linda Cote, on behalf of themselves and other individuals with visual disabilities (collectively "Class Plaintiffs"), filed a Class Action Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii alleging that the state of Hawaii's use of a 120-day quarantine for guide dogs as a rabies control measure violated the ADA, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq. The class plaintiffs alleged, and the state denied, that because Hawaii's quarantine policies effectively denied visually impaired users of guide dogs meaningful access to Hawaii, those policies violated the ADA and should have been reasonably modified by implementing a vaccine-based system.

The court granted summary judgment in favor of Hawaii, holding that "the quarantine requirement is a public health measure, and not a 'service' or benefit furnished by the state to eligible participants." (Crowder v. Kitagawa, 842 F. Supp. 1257, 1267 {D. Hawaii 1994}). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment. (See Crowder v. Kitagawa, 81 F. 3d 1480 {9th Cir. 1996}). First, the court held that Hawaii's quarantine requirement is a "policy, practice or procedure" within the meaning of the ADA. The court also held that the quarantine policy, by denying visually impaired users of guide dogs access to those dogs, denied these individuals the use of a variety of public services, from public transportation to parks, government buildings, tourist attractions and other public facilities.

The U.S. Department of Justice participated as amicus curiae (friend of the court) before the 9th Circuit, and following remand the United States moved to intervene as a party. On August 7, 1996, the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii granted the United States' motion; the United States subsequently filed a Complaint in Intervention, alleging that Hawaii's refusal to modify reasonably its quarantine policies violated Title II of the ADA.

In May 1997, Hawaii adopted a new rabies control system utilizing essential elements of class plaintiffs' proposed alternatives. The new quarantine terms shortened the quarantine period from 120 to 30 days, but still prohibited blind people from working with their guide dogs. Aspects of the class plaintiffs' "reasonable accommodations to quarantine" were, however, incorporated into this new 30-day quarantine policy.

In a decision dated September 3, 1997, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii found that the May 1997 rule "is no different from the 120-day quarantine in the manner in which it denies the visually impaired the benefits of services, programs and activities of the public entities of Hawaii."

The court victory evolved from a long and difficult process that began as early as 1982, said Linda Cote, a named co- plaintiff in the suit. "We first attempted to settle this by attending legislative hearings annually for a number of years. This began with the Aloha Council's bid for the ACB national convention in 1982."

"This is a good compromise," Cote explains. "It's a couple of blood tests that may inconvenience you a little bit, but can give you the right to travel. I feel a great sense of relief and accomplishment in having this done."


The concept of allowing guide dogs access with their blind handlers was overruled by the public safety concerns in maintaining the Hawaiian quarantine system. The portion of the ADA used to assert the class plaintiffs' right to travel to Hawaii involved "reasonable accommodation." The state of Hawaii felt that a reasonable accommodation to quarantine was to provide an apartment on the quarantine grounds for the guide dog handler and limited opportunities to work the dog while visiting the islands, under close supervision. The class plaintiffs refused this as a reasonable accommodation and presented instead a program of vaccinations, titre tests and microchip identification which would allow the dog to work in real-time situations with the handler. It was this point of "reasonable accommodation" which was upheld by the decision of the 9th circuit court of appeals in 1996.

The ADA is a multi-faceted act with sometimes broad interpretations. GDUI and participating co-plaintiffs have laid significant ground work by looking beyond the obvious portion of the law and finding ways that it could be used in our favor.

Settlement terms in this case apply only to residents of the United States because the lawsuit was filed on behalf of American residents. Although specific guide dog training providers are named from the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the rules provide a mechanism for validating additional guide dog training programs. Guide dog handlers in other countries, or those who have received their dogs from training providers not listed, or who have self-trained their dogs, may thus apply for admission under the rules. For those from other countries, questions about the applicability of the ADA and rabies prevention and education programs must be addressed. THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

GDUI agreed to enter into this preliminary settlement agreement for several reasons. We felt, on the advice of the class counsel of Michael Lilly, that this was the most efficient means of beginning access to Hawaii for blind people, especially in light of the risk of an unfavorable outcome in the litigation. We also felt that, due to the state's considerable ability to prolong any hope of settlement through the court system by trial, a settlement under these terms would be the most efficient and effective use of GDUI's resources. Guide Dog Users Inc. has a strong commitment to this case and its subsequent outcome.

The settlement agreement will remain active under the terms listed below and in the section regarding time lines and reporting responsibilities, for a period of five years. This means that no member who does not "opt out" of the class may take similar legal action against Hawaii during that time period. Since the rules will be signed into Hawaiian law, a foundation will be set during this five year period from which we can build. Access will not end after five years. With vigilance and persistence, access can only grow.

The following terms for travel to Hawaii may seem restrictive; however, we ask that you understand that both parties gave up significant stands to come to this agreement. The rules are also very similar to those adopted in New Zealand and Australia which have already been used by American guide dog handlers. The state of Hawaii has never before considered any exemption from its quarantine policies. These exemptions for guide dogs are thus a huge step for all involved.

Below is an outline of the settlement terms, based on information that appeared in the winter 1997 issue of "Pawtracks." Brief explanations are included. More detailed information is planned upon the release and approval of the final rules. Those desiring more detailed information may contact our class counsel, Michael A. Lilly, at P.O. Box 3439, Honolulu, HI, 96801, phone (808) 528-1100, fax (808) 531-2415, e-mail [email protected].

1. The guide dog team must have graduated from a guide dog school registered through the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. The following schools are currently included in this registry. Rules are being adopted which will allow additional guide dog training programs to be approved.

Royal Guide Dogs of Australia

Royal Guide Dog Foundation of New Zealand

Eye Dog Foundation

Guide Dogs of America

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Guide Dogs of the Desert

Guide Dog Foundation

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Freedom Guide Dogs

Kansas Specialty Dog Service

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Pilot Dogs

Southeastern Guide Dogs

The Seeing Eye

NOTE: This system of registration of schools and teams is part of a compromise aimed at assuring that dogs are given appropriate veterinary care during their puppyhood and training, and that blind people are educated, during the training process, on the appropriate vaccinations necessary to maintain good health and assure protection from rabies. The class plaintiffs engaged several experts in veterinary medicine and guide dog schools who testified in their depositions on the importance of a solid training foundation in ensuring protection against rabies.

2. The guide dog must be currently vaccinated for rabies.

3. Prior to arrival in Hawaii, the guide dog must have had two OIE FAVN titre tests of at least 0.5 international units. The OIE FAVN titre test is the only rabies antibody test accepted by the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. The first test may be taken any time after the dog is 12 months of age. The second test must be taken no more than two years and no less than 30 days prior to travel. Tests must have been taken no less than 30 days apart.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The OIE FAVN tests may only be conducted by the laboratories at Kansas State University and Fort Sam Houston. Information on how to reach these programs will be available in a pamphlet produced by GDUI for your veterinarian upon approval of the final rules.

4. The guide dog must have an implanted microchip, readable by an AVID scanner. The AVID scanner will read the following chips:

All AVID Microchips (Encrypted and Unencrypted)


Infopet #1

Anicare Life Chip


IDI/Destron 400 kHz

IDI/Destron 125 kHz


Schering-Plough "Home Again"

NOTE: We recommend that you choose the AVID microchip to avoid potential errors in reading the chip on arrival in Hawaii.

5. A health certificate, issued no more than 14 days prior to arrival, including the following information:

Description of the guide dog

Notice of treatment for internal and external parasites within 14 days of arrival

Certification of freedom from disease

Notice of current rabies vaccine and heartworm test

6. Upon arrival, the guide dog must have blood drawn for a third OIE FAVN titre test and must have a physical exam done at the Honolulu International Airport at the state's expense. If the guide dog handler wishes the exam to be conducted by a private veterinarian rather than the state supplied veterinarian, such exam will be done at cost to the handler.

NOTE: The guide dog handler must give the state of Hawaii at least 24 hours advance notice of arrival in the state.

7. If the dog remains in Hawaii after 30 days it must have another physical examination.

8. An unlimited number of guide dog teams may stay in approved Hawaii hotels. An "approved hotel" is one that has proven it can offer a secure environment, free from other carnivores in the guest areas. Approved hotels include:

All four and five star hotels in the State of Hawaii

Hilton hotels

Hyatt hotels

Outrigger hotels

Four Seasons hotels

Mauna Kea hotels

Maunalani Hotel

Prince Hotel

Holiday Inn hotels

Sheraton hotels

Westin hotels

Aston hotels and resorts

NOTE: Some condos and time share resorts are owned by the above companies. These types of residences would be considered approved hotels. Additionally, the rules allow the addition of other hotels after request by a guide dog user and an adequate opportunity for the state to visit and approve the hotel.

9. The number of dogs allowed at pre-approved, private residences, including "bed and breakfast" establishments, are not currently limited by the proposed rules.

NOTE: If you will be staying in a private residence, it must be approved by the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture and no other carnivores, except for guide, service or hearing dogs, may reside in the residence during your stay.

10. While in Hawaii, including any of its islands, the guide dog team is allowed to travel freely as long as contact with other animals is avoided as best can be done. Contact with other guide dogs is allowed.

NOTE: Specifics regarding this rule are being worked out. We understand that it is often impossible to avoid encountering other animals.

The actual rules are very detailed and will be made available through GDUI in the near future.

After the rules are adopted by the state, a hearing will be held before the United States District Court to finally approve the settlement and the rules. Before the hearing, notice will be given to all class members through the media and various publications of their right to "opt in" or "opt out" of the class. If you "opt out" of the class, you will not be bound by or receive the benefits of the settlement and you will be free to file your own lawsuit. You may "opt in" that is, accept the benefits of and be bound by the settlement by either accepting the settlement in writing or doing nothing. CHECKS AND BALANCES

The proposed rules include many checks and balances for both guide dog handlers and the state of Hawaii. The state must keep records and make them available regarding the number of guide dogs admitted to the state and any problems encountered. The Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights will receive reports from the state every six months detailing any complaints, comments, rejections of guide dog teams, etc., for a period of five years.

In addition, GDUI plans to retain the counsel of Michael Lilly of Ning, Lilly and Jones, for at least 18 months after the rules have been signed into law, to assure the smooth implementation of the settlement. Mr. Lilly has extended his assistance to anyone coming to Hawaii under this new agreement.


Let's give an example of a typical trip to Hawaii to show the process. John Smith and his wife, both guide dog handlers, wish to go to Hawaii. After obtaining the vet information brochure from GDUI, they will first contact their vet to set up a blood test and paperwork to be sent to the approved laboratory at Kansas State University. Cost for this test may vary widely.

If they do not have microchip identification for their dogs, they will also obtain microchips, easily implanted by any vet. Cost of most types of microchips, including AVID and "Home Again" chips is waived, as is chip registration, for people with service animals.

Next, the Smiths will plan their itinerary. Once this is secure, they will send a copy, including all addresses at which they plan to reside, flight information and any private residences they plan to visit, to the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. No less than 30 days before arrival, they will have their dogs' blood drawn again and sent to the lab for another titre test. To expedite paperwork, it is suggested to do this second test no less than 30 days after the first test.

No more than 14 days before their arrival, the Smiths will get health certificates from their vet. At this time, they will have a heartworm test performed. The dogs will also be treated for external parasites by having a flea bath, dip or other specified application and for internal parasites with deworming medication.

At least 24 hours prior to arrival, the Smiths must call the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and provide their airline, flight number and time of arrival and intended place(s) of stay.

Assuming that all their paperwork regarding flight times, etc. has been submitted and received in Hawaii, the Smiths will fly to Honolulu. At the airport, they will meet the Department of Agriculture certified vet for a physical exam and blood drawn at the state's expense. Once this exam is finished, the Smiths are free to go to their hotel and will not be further restricted in travel unless the test comes back as unacceptable, which should be highly unlikely.

If the vet is late or cannot come, as in the case of a late night arrival, the Smiths will be released to their hotel and the vet will arrive for the checkup within 24 hours.


Yes, once the rules are adopted, which is expected this spring! The settlement does provide terms for Hawaiian residents and their guide dogs to come to the mainland United States and return free of quarantine restrictions. They must show the same titre testing program and will be tested upon their arrival back in the state. This freedom of travel for blind Hawaiians is a landmark in guide dog access!


Currently, rules are being worked out for people to "lay over" with their guide dogs and/or come to Hawaii from another rabies-free zone to return to the mainland United States. Details on these situations will be available soon.

Copies of a document outlining the settlement terms are currently available from GDUI in any format. Information for veterinarians and guide dog schools will be available soon. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact GDUI at: Guide Dog Users, Inc., 14311 Astrodome Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20906; phone (301) 598-2131 or toll-free (888) 858-1008, or send e-mail to [email protected].


The American Council of the Blind is now accepting applications for the positions of Director of Advocacy Services and Coordinator of Affiliate and Membership Services. Director of Advocacy Services

The principal duties of this position include the provision of information and advice to inquirers concerning their rights and/or obligations connected with blindness-related controversies, the referral of callers to other appropriate sources of assistance, the representation of ACB at advisory or consultative functions seeking organizational input, the provision of assistance in preparing comments on regulatory or advocacy matters, and the possible representation of members in appropriate cases as well as the provision of technical assistance to attorneys and other advocates. Requirements for the position include a minimum of two years experience in the solution of blindness-related problems, excellent interpersonal and communications skills, ability to move quickly from task to task, ability to work as a self-starter and organizer under minimum supervision, willingness to attend employer-provided training, as necessary, in substantive knowledge areas related to the position, ability to find and understand laws and regulations (as necessary), and a working knowledge of the blindness service delivery system, Social Security, the Americans with Disabilities Act, fair housing and public accommodations.

Desirable skills or training include knowledge and use of braille, general familiarity with assistive devices used by blind people, computer literacy, a J.D. degree or specific disability advocacy training, and general knowledge concerning the objectives and practices of the American Council of the Blind.

This is an excellent opportunity for a versatile advocate interested in providing meaningful assistance to many of the thousands of blind people who call the ACB national office each year for assistance. Beginning compensation for this position of expectedly increasing importance is in the upper 30s. Coordinator of Affiliate and Membership Services

Approximately 15 percent of the work will be devoted to assisting and working with the programs of the National Alliance of Blind Students; approximately 15 percent will involve providing information to members and affiliates; approximately 20 percent will involve working with the scholarship, membership and other committees; approximately 40 percent will consist of assisting the national convention committee and the national convention coordinator, and the remaining 10 percent will deal with other duties as assigned. Samples of work to be performed will include, but will not be limited to, the preparation and appropriate updating of instructional materials regarding the duties of affiliate offices in relation to ACB; the preparation, updating or obtaining of appropriate resource materials; the provision of assistance to the National Alliance of Blind Students and other specialized affiliates; the provision of assistance to the ACB national convention coordinator and the preparation of a convention planning manual; preparation of press releases and other material relating to the scholarship program; and the preparation of appropriate membership development materials in cooperation with the membership or other committees.

Required qualifications include knowledge of blindness services and issues of importance to blind and visually impaired people; PC computer literacy; excellent organizational and communications skills (including flexible telecommunication skills); an associate's degree or higher level in education, and two years work experience. Additional desirable qualifications include two years work experience in an association or similar office, experience in abstracting and organizing information, and knowledge of braille. Salary range from the upper twenties to low thirties based on qualifications.

Applications for either position consisting of a cover letter and a resume (including references) should be submitted to: Mr. Oral O. Miller, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind, 1155 15th St. NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20005 by April 15, 1998, although potential candidates who learn of this announcement within a reasonable time thereafter are encouraged to inquire then as to whether the desired position has yet been filled. Those applying for the Coordinator of Affiliate and Membership Services position should also include a writing sample.



The Des Moines chapter of the Iowa Council of the United Blind has two scholarships available: one for $1,500 and one for $1,000. The program is open to any post-secondary, full-time, blind Iowa student who expects to be involved in a training program during the 1998-99 school year, including college, trade, mechanical, or other similar activity. Completed applications and attachments, together with the most recent transcript of grades and one letter of recommendation, should be submitted no later than April 15, 1998. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of scholastic achievement; work experience and/or extracurricular and community activities; and neatness and appropriateness of the completed application form and attachments. For more information, contact John Taylor, 2012 40th Place, Des Moines, IA 50310; phone (515) 279-2817.


The North Dakota Association of the Blind will hold its state convention in Fargo June 12-14 at the Doublewood Inn on 13th Avenue South. To reserve your room at the hotel, call (605) 235- 3333. Be sure to mention that you are attending the NDAB convention when you make your reservation so that you get the convention room rates. ACB President Paul Edwards will be speaking at the convention. The Horace Lions Club will host a picnic at a local park on Friday night; entertainment by the Meadow Muffins, a musical group that plays country, gospel and bluegrass music, will be one of the evening's features. Also participating in the program will be Gary Bjornson, a computer technology specialist at the state school for the blind, as will Crystal Roy, project leader on News Voice, a local telephone newspaper reading service.


The American Council of the Blind of Colorado has a new chapter, the Rocky Mountain Eagles. This group is the Colorado Beep-Baseball team, which decided to affiliate with ACB of Colorado to gain support and strength in the quest for greater participation and support throughout the state for individuals interested in the game. The team is nationally recognized, and plays annually in the World Series of Beep-Ball; the Colorado Rockies sponsor them.

The inclusion of the Eagles follows a strategy of developing a recreational component to the state affiliate and will, in the future, incorporate all forms of outdoor activities into the chapter, including a goal-ball league, bowling, hiking, skiing, and other activities.

The ACB of Colorado convention will be held in Estes Park on April 24 and 25 at the Inn of the Estes. ACB Second Vice President Steve Speicher will be the guest speaker, focusing on employment and advocacy. Exhibitors will showcase state-of-the- art equipment. Group transportation will be provided from Denver, Longmont and Fort Collins. For more information, call president Alan Beatty at (970) 484-2598.


The American Council of Blind Lions strives to promote awareness and ensure full inclusion in our society for those who have suffered vision loss as well as those who will experience blindness in later years. ACBL is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind and was organized exclusively for the purpose of incorporating the principles of Lionism into a national organization for the blind. It is dedicated to advising all Lions organizations as to the appropriate support of individuals with recent sight impairments at the local level, from requests for white canes and guide dogs to computer systems. ACBL was chartered as a special club within Lions International and holds meetings once a year at the annual national convention of the American Council of the Blind. At this meeting, pins are exchanged and programs set into place which encourage support of the visually impaired community throughout the United States. Newsletters are provided throughout the year which highlight activities and recommendations for programs that have proved successful.

All Lions are encouraged to recommend that visually impaired Lions join ACBL. The affiliate is making a special plea to all clubs to sponsor any club member for an annual membership. Dues for the year are $5. Submit inquiries to: American Council of Blind Lions, c/o Alan Beatty, President, 519 Locust St., Fort Collins, CO 80524; phone (970) 484-2598.


In September 1994 the American Council of the Blind's board of directors established the Durward McDaniel Membership Development and Retention Fund. The fund was created in honor of ACB's first national representative and key leader.

The first expenditure of funds sponsored two first-time attendees to the 1996 convention. The program is being continued this year for the convention in Orlando, Fla. If you have never attended an ACB national convention in the past and want to make a difference in your state, special-interest and/or national organization, now is a wonderful opportunity to do so!

In this contest, a winner will be chosen from each side of the Mississippi River. As the fund grows through gifts (as well as accrual of interest) it is hoped that more people can be chosen as well as other programs sponsored.

In order to apply for this contest, you must do three things. First, submit a letter of application to the American Council of the Blind national office stating the major reasons for which you would like to be considered. The length and format of your letter has not been prescribed but is left to your good judgment.

Second, a letter in your behalf must be submitted by the president or the president's designated representative for your state or special-interest affiliate. This letter should give the selection committee some additional sense of your accomplishments and involvement in activities related to the work of ACB and its affiliate members.

Finally, you must be sure that all materials sent on your behalf and by you are submitted no later than May 8, 1998. A postmark of May 8 will be accepted; however, you are strongly encouraged to have your materials to the office by that date.

National conventions represent wonderful opportunities for learning, networking and new comradeship. Don't miss this chance to find out firsthand what a convention is really like! It can be the opportunity of a lifetime, and the McDaniel Fund can provide it to you simply because of your best efforts and contributions to this movement. The committee looks forward to receiving, reviewing and selecting your application for the 1998 national convention in Orlando, Fla.

Send contest entry materials to ACB First Timers Contest, 1155 15th St. NW, Suite 720, Washington, D.C. 20005.

by Sharon Lovering

It's often been said that good things come in small packages. This is especially true of "Bert's Eye View: Coping with Macular Degeneration," by Bert Silverman. It contains useful information about the disease itself, devices that are helpful, his experiences, and a listing of resources, in a large-print, 5 1/2- inch by 8 1/2-inch book that's about a quarter of an inch thick.

The introduction, written by Dr. Walter Schuyler (the author's doctor), provides medical information on macular degeneration, as well as some statistics. "One in six Americans age 55 to 64 is affected. As the baby-boomer generation reaches its retirement years, estimates are that well over 10 million Americans will experience this visual disability." But what really startles me is his statement that "the public has little knowledge of this disorder. Despite the large number of Americans who are directly or indirectly affected, it seems that age-related macular degeneration is a cruel surprise of the golden years."

Schuyler provides a diagram of the eye along with a description of each part's function as it relates to vision and macular degeneration. He notes that there are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry, with dry being the more common form. Dry macular degeneration occurs when the macula's tissues break down and get thin. The wet form occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak or bleed, occasionally causing scar tissue. He mentions that studies evaluating risk factors for the disorder are ongoing; some known risk factors are age, family history, smoking, and being female. There is no treatment for the dry form; in some cases, the wet form can be treated with lasers.

Schuyler also mentions the Amsler grid, a rectangular card with a black or white background, a small dot in the center, and straight vertical and horizontal lines. If the lines appear straight, the user has no problem; if the lines are wavy, the person should have his or her eyes checked by an eye doctor. He also introduces the reader to Bert Silverman, a man who has had macular degeneration for 14 years. Schuyler tells of his request for Silverman to help others with the disease. The result of Schuyler's request is this book.

Silverman introduces himself as "just a normal guy afflicted with age-related macular degeneration." He tells the reader that living with the disorder can be discouraging at times, but "with the proper positive attitude, many adjustments can be successfully made in life ..." He tells of his diagnosis at age 70, and the adjustments he's been making in his life ever since. One of the items he refers to is the Amsler grid to tell of any progression of AMD. He mentions the loss of his wife Evelyn, and the changes in his vision shortly thereafter, and how these losses changed him.

Many readers will identify with Silverman's inability to recognize people, particularly their faces. He states, "When it first happened, it was serious and disturbing, and I do not intend to minimize it." But, he adds, when he faced it head-on, he was able to accept it. It is embarrassing to him not to be able to recognize people he's known for years, but they have been understanding of the problem.

Another difficulty Silverman mentions is reading. He discusses the devices that have helped him. One thing that can help is proper lighting. It is possible to get an evaluation from a local low-vision center free of charge. One item he talks about is a reading guide, a black card with a slit in the middle that is used like a magnifying glass. Other guides, such as for checks and signatures, are available too. He mentions that large-print books are helpful to some people with macular degeneration. He notes that the use of a magnifying glass, a closed circuit TV, and talking books have helped him read books and printed or typed letters, and write letters and checks again. "It is enjoyable to sit back, relax, and listen to the reading of a book," Silverman says. "It is important, however, that you do not fall asleep while listening to a cassette. If you do, the cassette will play to the end. When you awaken it will be necessary to rewind it to the spot where you fell asleep!"

Recreation and travel are other difficult areas. Silverman still plays golf, and is known for finding the ball a sighted colleague was searching for in the hole. "... You don't have to see the ball actually go into the hole to be a witness to a masterful hole-in-one."

He mentions air travel, and how he handles reading airport bulletin boards announcing arrivals, departures, flight numbers and so forth. The easiest approach, he says, is to ask someone standing near you to read the information you want. When making telephone calls from an airport, he searches for a phone, dials 0 for operator, and uses his calling card. "If you have not memorized your calling-card number (which is advisable), you need to have a piece of paper with the numbers printed big enough for you to see." At home, he has a large-number phone which he can read, and was able to get free directory assistance via an explanatory letter from his doctor to the telephone company. (To see whether this is available in your area, call your phone company.)

Another problem area at home is reading the controls on such things as ovens, washers and dryers, televisions, radios, and thermostats. To help him, he placed orange plastic dots over the digits, and better lighting over the controls. In elevators, he asks for help pushing the right button for the floor he wants. In handling money, he identifies coins by their edge, and bills with a piece of paper on which he has written, in large print, "ONE," "FIVE," "TEN," and "TWENTY." Behind the sheet marked "ONE," he puts all his ones, and does the same with the fives, tens and twenties.

Telling time poses other problems. He mentions an old favorite wristwatch that he gave up because he couldn't read it, and purchased a large-number watch. But he recently purchased a talking watch because he couldn't read the large-number one. For an alarm clock, he also has a talking clock.

Silverman also mentions shopping. He takes a companion along to help him. "Maybe some people will resort to a magnifying glass, but personally I do not have the patience," he says. And for watching TV, he uses a TV magnifier.

Another topic is transportation and getting around. Many readers will identify with his feelings about driving. "One of the most traumatic aspects of macular degeneration is when the time arrives that a person can no longer drive an automobile," he says. "Under any circumstance, it is shocking to have to come to the realization that it is no longer possible to sit behind the driver's wheel." A few years ago, the realization hit him when he caused an accident while driving to his daughter's house in Massachusetts. He states that his daughter told him, "'Dad, that's it! I will see to it that your door is fixed before you return, and I will drive you back to Portland and take the bus back to Framingham. I don't want you to drive anymore.'" And he has not driven since.

One transportation option he mentions is sighted family members and friends. He makes plans to go with someone who will be going to the same place, such as the grocery store. Sometimes he takes a taxi when no one is available. Another option is the city's transportation service for the disabled. Planning, Silverman stresses, is very important; you need to let the service know at least a day in advance where you're going and when you need to be there. Also, in some states, there is an Independent Transportation Network for elderly people who should not be driving anymore. This is a private non-profit organization, founded in Portland, Maine, that provides transportation at a nominal fee. Again, the service must be notified a day in advance. And, Silverman advises, when crossing streets, be very cautious.

Another section of the book is called "How others cope." He shares the experiences of some of his friends, including Myer Marcus, with whom he and another friend often play golf; a retired businessman with wet macular degeneration; and a woman in a nursing home who's just starting to have trouble. Silverman encourages readers to be optimistic about facing challenges. "As we go about our daily activities, let us maintain a positive attitude, knowing full well that there are more sophisticated devices constantly being made available to us to help in daily living. Also, we can always have the hope that in the not-too- distant future there will be a cure for macular." He adds that he hopes his book will provide the reader with "a little comfort and some practical tips which will benefit the quality of your life."

The resources section includes numerous books and agencies, such as R.R. Bowker's "The Complete Directory of Large-Print Books and Serials," catalogs and directories of services for blind and visually impaired people, and Nicolette P. Ringgold's "Out of the Corner of My Eye: Living with Vision Loss in Later Life," the American Council of the Blind, Choice Magazine Listening, Macular Degeneration Foundation, and many more. In my opinion, this book would be worth buying for the resource section alone; but it gains something with Silverman's personal perspectives and Schuyler's introduction to macular degeneration.

All profits from the sale of this book are donated to organizations doing eye research and helping people with macular degeneration. To order "Bert's Eye View: Coping with Macular Degeneration," send your name, address, phone number, and check for $4.95 per book plus $1.50 shipping (if total is under $30) to Viewpoint Press, 19 Longwood Dr., Portland, ME 04102; phone (207) 772-5944. Libraries, retailers and wholesalers, please contact Viewpoint Press to find out about quantity discounts.

by Elizabeth M. Lennon

The announcement of new products and services in this column should not be considered an endorsement of those products and services 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 or services mentioned.


Radio Reading Services of Greater Cincinnati is seeking a person to manage its programmatic operations. This person will be responsible for the management and growth of information delivery systems for people who are print impaired. The manager will supervise several full- and part-time staff members. Requirements include a bachelor's degree, knowledge of current technology for information delivery systems, and demonstrated leadership skills. Experience with blind or visually impaired individuals is preferred, as well as three years of supervisory experience. Send resume, cover letter, salary history and references to: Attn: D. Wesseler, Cincinnati Association for the Blind, 2045 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45202.


The Canadian National Institute for the Blind recently presented Edward R. Bettinardi, president of Innoventions, Inc. of Littleton, Colo., with the Winston Gordon Award for Technological Advancement in the Field of Blindness and Visual Impairment. The award consists of $15,000 (Canadian) and a gold recognition medal. The award was presented in recognition of the Magni-Cam (TM) electronic magnification system, introduced in 1990. For more information on the Magni-Cam (TM) contact Innoventions at (800) 854-6554.


The Oklahoma School for the Blind will hold its alumni reunion May 8-10, 1998. If you have not received a newsletter and registration form, send your name and address to: Carolyn Patocka, Oklahoma School for the Blind, 3300 Gibson St., Muskogee, OK 74403; phone (918) 682-6641, fax (918) 682-1651, or e-mail [email protected].


Recorded Periodicals now has the "Fortune Technology Buyer's Guide Winter 1998" and the special spring-summer edition of "Newsweek" called "Your Child From Birth to Age Three" available on tape. The buyer's guide is two tapes, and costs $10; "Your Child" is one tape, and costs $7. Call (215) 627-0600 extension 3208.


On January 15, President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Freedom to Justin Dart of Justice For All, civil rights leader James Farmer, four-time cabinet secretary Elliott Richardson and philanthropist David Rockefeller, among others. According to a release from Dart's office, the citation for Dart's medal read: "'The purpose of human society,' Justin Dart has said, 'is to empower every individual to live life to his or her God-given potential.' He has made that purpose his own. Since contracting polio as a young man, he has worked for the independence, inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities. A leading architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act and a driving force behind its passage, he has had a profound impact on the public policy of this nation. Justin Dart has earned our thanks for helping us recognize the possibility within each individual and for tenaciously advocating equal access to the American Dream for all our people."


The Braille Authority of North America met in Atlanta, Ga., December 8-9. BANA's officers are: Dolores Ferrara-Godzieba, chairperson; Betty Niceley, vice chairperson; Phyllis Campana, secretary; Charlotte Begley, treasurer. Also, it approved the official use of these braille formats and code books: "Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription"; "The International Supplement for Braille Music Notation"; and "The Braille Code for Chemical Notation." BANA's spring meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. April 27 and 28.


The Louis Braille Center's 1998 catalog of braille books is now available. It includes 18 new titles, including "My Life for the Poor," by Mother Teresa, $18; "You Come Too," poems by Robert Frost, $12; and "The Velveteen Rabbit," by Margery Williams, $18. For a free catalog in braille or print, contact the Louis Braille Center, 320 Dayton St., Suite 125, Edmonds, WA 98020-3590.


Telesensory Corp. recently acquired Xerox Adaptive Products, according to an announcement from Telesensory.

Also, Telesensory recently released the PowerReader Assistant, an easy-to-use reading system that uses a desktop PC and Windows 95. Its large-print display highlights each word as PowerReader speaks. For more information, call the company at (800) 286-8484.


Catharine (Katie) Mincey, an employee of the Columbia Lighthouse contracted to work at the U.S. Department of Education as the director of the Alternate Format Center, was recently named Blind Employee of the Year, according to a press release from the lighthouse. Mincey coordinates requests for documents to be made available in various formats, such as braille, large print and cassette tape, and fulfills requests of Department of Education employees who require documents in alternative formats for presentations, meetings and so forth. She has also served as president of the National Capital Area Chapter of ACB; assisted the Department of Public Works with the development of Metro Access; and received the 1992 Prince George's County Blind Employee of the Year Award.


The Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped is accepting applications from blind musicians throughout the United States, who are in high school or beginning college, to participate in its third Summer Music Institute for Blind College-Bound Musicians. This three-week program, to be held in July at the University of Bridgeport, will provide exposure to braille music, composition by computer, keyboard, theory, and ensemble, and strategies for study and independent living in a college setting. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. The program costs $2,500, which includes tuition, room and board, and materials. Partial scholarships are available. Applications must be completed and returned by May 1. For an application, contact the Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped, 600 University Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06601; phone (203) 366-3300; e- mail [email protected].


Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, president of the American Printing House for the Blind, recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Business and Industry from the College of Education at Florida State University, according to a press release from APH. The college cited Tinsley's record of leadership and service to his profession and community. Tinsley has served as president of APH since 1989. Prior to that, he held several positions at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, including principal, assistant principal, and mathematics teacher.


Mobility International USA is looking for adventurous young adults with and without disabilities to apply for its international exchange programs. U.S. citizens ages 16 to 24 are eligible. One program is the Mexico Leadership, Diversity and Disability Rights Exchange, tentatively scheduled for June 22-July 13. This program aims to examine diversity issues, strengthen cultural ties, explore disability rights and expand leadership skills. Activities will include attending Mexican cultural events, visiting historical sites, meeting with disability activists and learning about culture by living with local families. MIUSA will be coordinating other international exchanges with various themes and age requirements during summer 1998. Partial scholarships are available. For more information on the Mexico exchange or other programs, contact the organization at P.O. Box 10767, Eugene, OR 97440; phone (541) 343- 1284, or e-mail [email protected].


Shadows in the Dark, carrier of braille pictured greeting cards, is now on the internet. To see new pictures, visit To see new cards, visit The company now accepts all major credit cards. For more information, write to Shadows in the Dark, 4600 Pine Hill Rd., Shreveport, LA 71107-2716; phone (318) 459-2233.


Do you like to listen to old radio programs? Quik Scrybe has several programs available on CDs. The company has "Suspense: Donovan's Brain" from May 18 and 25, 1944, as well as February 7, 1948; "Suspense: The Black Angel" from January 24, 1948; "Our Miss Brooks"; "Two Mischievous Kids"; "Dragnet: The Big Gangster" parts 1 and 2; "The Edgar Bergen Hour"; "Frontpage Farrell"; "The Brighter Day"; "Laura Lawton"; "Lorenzo Jones"; Lux Radio Theatre's "King Solomon's Mines"; "Father Knows Best: Betty, the Adult" and "The Garbage Can Lid"; "This is Your FBI: The Face" and "The Old Hat." The company is set up to accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Make checks payable to Quik Scrybe and mail to 5632 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 10, Van Nuys, CA 91401. To order via credit card, call (818) 989-2137. Allow three weeks for delivery.

January 5, 1914 December 19, 1997

James Max Woolly, a long-time member of the Arkansas Council of the Blind and superintendent of the Arkansas School for the Blind from 1947 until his retirement in 1982, died December 19, 1997. Prior to becoming superintendent, he was a principal at the school with the additional duties of teaching science and mathematics from 1939 until 1947.

Finding a facility that did not provide a complete educational program, Woolly became more involved in education for the blind, serving as president of the North American Region of the International Council for the Education of the Visually Handicapped. Under his leadership, the Arkansas School for the Blind gained national recognition for providing quality education to visually impaired students.

He was well-known for his work on behalf of the education of visually impaired children throughout Arkansas, the nation and worldwide. He served as a member and officer of many national and international organizations, including the presidency of the American Association of Instructors of the Blind (now AER), the vice-presidency of the American Foundation for the Blind, and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped, a six-time delegate to the International Conference for the Education of Blind Youth, the Inter-American Conference on Work for the Blind as well as numerous other boards, agencies and organizations.

He received a number of national awards, including the Migel Medal, the Anne Sullivan Award and the Mary K. Bauman Award.

After his retirement from the Arkansas School for the Blind, he continued his efforts to improve services for the blind by serving as a member and officer of numerous professional and civic organizations including the Arkansas Radio Reading Services, the Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind, Lions World Services for the Blind, and the Pulaski County Lions Club.

Woolly was a graduate of Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas and received an honorary doctor of law degree from Hendrix College.

Although he received many awards and great recognition, nothing was more important to him than the success of his students. He followed with great interest the vocational and career paths of the many graduates of the Arkansas School for the Blind. He worked diligently to build an educational program which, during his tenure, had no equal.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Kathlyn, three sons and their spouses (James and Carol, William and Diane, David and Marsha), six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He leaves a legacy of untiring work to ensure that visually impaired children receive a quality education which will lead to a life of dignity and self-respect.

Submitted by Imogene Johnson, President, Arkansas Council of the Blind

by Charles D. Goldman

(Reprinted with permission from "Horizons," March 1998.)

Casey Martin's recent victory over the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) allowing him to ride in a cart as he plays in tournaments is a profound victory, a major landmark in the legal/social-political history related to people with disabilities. The victory in federal court in Oregon, itself very significant, may pale compared to what it has already done and may yet do outside the courthouse.

Let's examine what happened in court and what the implications are for the future.

Casey Martin is a golfer, good enough to compete in college with Tiger Woods. He has a circulatory problem which makes him tire when he must walk the extended distances on the golf course. He sued so that he would be reasonably accommodated by using a cart when playing. The PGA's first defense was that it was not subject to the ADA because it was a private club. Given the public nature of PGA events, this was rejected by the federal judge. PGA next argued that walking was an essential part of the sport and that allowing a cart would be a fundamental alteration. This too was rejected. Martin won big time.

The PGA has indicated that it will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The prediction here is that if the PGA follows through on this, then the PGA will lose again when the decision is rendered in about a year.

But let's look at what happened outside the courtroom. Casey Martin told of strangers waving to him and wishing him luck. News shows, not only sports talk radio, addressed the issue. While not unanimous, public opinion overwhelmingly supported Casey Martin. The judge's decision was page one news in all the major newspapers and a reason to interrupt regularly scheduled programming on radio and television.

It has been a long time since public opinion and attention were so favorably focused on a person with a disability, rooting for him to win. The last time there was such public awareness was when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed in 1990.

But let's go back a couple of years before that to 1988 when there was a big brouhaha at Gallaudet College. Then the issue was over whether a person with a hearing impairment could ever be qualified to be president of this educational institution predominantly for deaf and hearing-impaired people. The students' demonstrations in favor of a hearing-impaired person were captured in the media; soon politicians chimed in with their support. I. King Jordan, who is hearing-impaired, was eventually installed as president and continues to lead Gallaudet successfully.

Gallaudet created what in sports is called momentum (what in politics is called grass roots interests). In 1988 the Fair Housing Amendments to include people with disabilities were passed, as was a major civil rights bill reversing the limiting effect of the Supreme Court's Grove City decision. In 1988 the first draft of the Americans with Disabilities Act came to public attention.

The insensitivity shown at Gallaudet had not been seen for some time until the PGA came along. To me, as former Sen. Bob Dole remarked at a press conference, PGA seemed to stand for Please Go Away.

In fact, now is the time not to go away but to press forward. Casey Martin's case is a huge public victory which emphasizes his having the opportunity to show his ABILITY. The PGA's attitude and grim determination to continue the fight illustrate the need to press for more money for EEOC so it can process more charges of employment discrimination under ADA Title I and to seek stronger laws, such as by amending the ADA to allow for damages for violations of Title III, public accommodations, not just the specific relief and legal fees (as Casey Martin won). The attitude and actions of the PGA show, sadly, that bigotry still exists. The clear support for Casey Martin by the general public shows that people support equality of opportunity for qualified people with disabilities. Now is the time to use the Casey Martin decision as a major building block.

If I were the PGA I would not appeal. What I would do is embrace Casey Martin, make him an attraction on the tour. Name a golfer on the PGA tour; I dare you. Depending on your age, you've responded with Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. Casey Martin would be a beacon attracting new interest, including people with disabilities and their friends and families to tournaments and events. Companies such as Wal-Mart include people with disabilities in their promotions. Why doesn't the PGA? By deciding to appeal, the PGA is showing that it just doesn't get it.

The vigor of the PGA and its determination to appeal are a sign to the community that cares about people with disabilities that the fight for civil rights for people with disabilities requires ongoing diligence. We have the opportunity to build on the popular support for Casey Martin. We have, as Robert Frost noted, "miles to go before [we] sleep."

PGA, please go away.

by Charles S.P. Hodge

On November 26, 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit handed down its opinion in Sutton v. United Airlines Inc. (see Federal Reports, third series, volume 130, page 893). The case involves twin sisters who are pilots and who are visually impaired. The sisters both have uncorrected vision of 20/200 in the better eye and 20/400 in the lesser eye, thus they are both legally blind when their vision is measured without correction. However, both use corrective contact lenses, and their eyesight with correction is 20/20. Both sisters have, with the use of their corrective lenses, been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as commercial pilots, and both have been working for several years without incident or safety problems as pilots for regional or commuter air carriers.

Both sisters would like to work as commercial pilots for a major national or global carrier which would pay them substantially more than they can make working for regional or commuter carriers. They applied for pilot positions with United Airlines and were summarily rejected by the carrier as failing its job requirement and medical qualification that a pilot applicant have better than 20/100 vision uncorrected in the applicant's worse eye. This company-imposed vision standard goes well beyond any medical standard imposed by the FAA but is similar to medical standards imposed upon pilot applicants by most national and global carriers. After their rejection by United, both sisters filed Title I ADA charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, received right to sue letters in due course, and jointly brought a Title I action in federal court. The U.S. District Court for the district of Colorado granted summary judgment against the twin sisters' ADA claim. The Sutton twins then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Senior circuit judge James E. Barrett delivered the opinion of the court for a unanimous three-judge panel, with circuit judges Wade Brorby and Monroe G. McKay silently concurring. Barrett begins his legal analysis on the right foot by holding that consistent with EEOC guidance in determining whether an impairment cognizable under the ADA is present, the court should assess the alleged impairment without correction or remediation. Following this precept, Barrett finds that the Sutton twins' visual impairment is an impairment covered by the ADA. But when he turns to the question of whether the impairment at issue meets one or more of the prongs of the ADA definition of being substantially limiting of a major life activity or being regarded as having such an impairment by the prospective employer even if the appellant does not have a substantially limiting impairment, storm clouds are on the horizon. Inexplicably, Barrett refuses to follow the EEOC guidance of assessing an impairment in its uncorrected state in determining whether the impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

On this crucial point, the Sutton twins argued vociferously that the court should follow the EEOC guidance and evaluate whether their covered impairment limited a major life activity by looking at their uncorrected visual acuity. The appellants argued that their uncorrected visual impairment would not enable them to read normal print, drive a car, fly an airplane, or pursue their chosen profession of airline pilot. They argued that their uncorrected visual impairment substantially limits the major life activities of seeing, moving about and working. Barrett responded by refusing to follow the EEOC guidance with respect to the court's substantial limitation analysis. He held that to follow the EEOC guidance on this point would render the substantial limitation prong of the statutory definition meaningless, since every condition found to be a covered impairment would also be one which substantially limits a major life activity. The court held that in conducting its substantial limitation analysis, it will assess the covered visual impairment of the sisters in remediated or corrected state. It then held that the twins' visual impairment as corrected does not substantially limit their major life activities of seeing, moving about or working. It also held that the visual medical standard imposed by the airline, while stiffer than the FAA requirements, is not illegal or discriminatory so long as it is based on legitimate safety considerations. Barrett stated that the airline is not limited to the floor of the medical standards imposed by the FAA and may legitimately impose a higher standard based on legitimate safety concerns. Finally, the court held that the airline's imposition of a heightened medical visual acuity standard does not disqualify or foreclose the appellants from an entire chosen occupation, but simply disqualifies them from a narrow band of job as a commercial pilot with national or global passenger air carriers.

Having already held that the Sutton twins do not have an impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, the court quickly disposed of the argument that the airline regarded them as having such an impairment, affirming the lower court's granting of summary judgment to the airline and holding that the appellants could not prove their claim of unlawful disability discrimination.

This court decision is the latest in a growing line of restrictive and disappointing appellate court interpretations of the ADA relating to employment discrimination issues. The federal appellate courts seem to be going out of their way through narrow and restrictive interpretations of such ADA requirements as the substantial limitation prong of the individual with a disability definition, to find against disabled plaintiffs, especially under Title I, the employment discrimination title, of the ADA. In fact, since the passage of the ADA, plaintiffs have lost about 80 percent of cases at the federal appellate court level under Title I. If this trend continues much longer or goes much further, we as advocates for the blind and visually impaired community may well have to consider going back to Congress with recommendations to correct and clarify the Title I provisions. Such a campaign in favor of remedial amendments to Title I may become necessary if the employment discrimination title is to fulfill its promise of fair employment and upward mobility for the disabled in general and for the blind and visually impaired in particular.


FOR SALE: dBase version 5.0 and Alpha 4 version 2, $100 or best offer. Contact Monty Cassellius, 234 Barton Hall, Normal, IL 61761; phone (309) 436-4965; e-mail [email protected].

FOR SALE: VTek Voyager CCTV with zoom and reverse image, $950. Write to Marion McFadden, 1201 E. Freeport St., Broken Arrow, OK 74012; phone (918) 251-2367.

FOR SALE: Romeo braille printer (RB-20), $1,200. (Price is negotiable.) Printer is under service contract through June 17, 1998, and will be serviced before being shipped to new owner if purchased before that date. Comes with all cables and braille manual. Contact: Jane Sheehan, 14311 Astrodome Dr., Silver Spring, MD 20906; phone (301) 598-2131 home, (202) 273-8381 work, or e-mail [email protected].

FOR SALE: Telesensory Vantage 2001 black-and-white CCTV, less than two years old, hardly used. In excellent condition. Includes low glare viewing table, ergonomic hand controls, five-control focus settings, 14-inch monitor. Magnification up to 50 times strength, documentation included. Asking $1,400. Contact the Bay State Council of the Blind, Kim Charlson, President, 57 Grandview Ave., Watertown, MA 02172; phone (617) 926-9198, or e-mail [email protected].

WANTED: Sony 105 open reel-to-reel four-track mono recorder/player, either in working condition or used for parts. Also wanted, talking book machine made of wood. Contact Chester Carnes, 339 Frederick St. #1, Cumberland, MD 21502; phone (301) 724-4185.

WANTED: Tandem bike. Price negotiable. Contact Judy Duncan at (703) 765-1336.

WANTED: Used braillers. Contact Anne Wheeler, 2199 Floyd St., Covington, GA 30014; phone (770) 786-5778.


Sue Ammeter, Seattle, WA

Ardis Bazyn, Cedar Rapids, IA

John Buckley, Knoxville, TN

Dawn Christensen, Holland, OH

Christopher Gray, San Francisco, CA

John Horst, Elizabethtown, PA

Kristal Platt, Omaha, NE

M.J. Schmitt, Forest Park, IL

Pamela Shaw, Philadelphia, PA

Richard Villa, Austin, TX


Carol McCarl, Chairperson, Salem, OR

Kim Charlson, Watertown, MA

Thomas Mitchell, North Salt Lake City, UT

Mitch Pomerantz, Los Angeles, CA

Jay Doudna, Lancaster, PA

Ex Officio: Laura Oftedahl, Watertown, MA


20330 NE 20TH CT.
MIAMI, FL 33179


825 M ST., SUITE 216

556 N. 80TH ST.


LeRoy Saunders
2118 NW 21st St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107


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