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U.S. House of Representatives -

Florida-

Number of veterans

1 1

144 137

Veterans Administration..
Regional offices---

Baltimore, Md.
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cleveland, Ohio
Chicago, Ill--
Columbia, S.C..
Indianapolis, Ind.
Los Angeles, Calif-
Louisville, Ky---
Milwaukee, Wis---
Montgomery, Ala-
Newark, N.J--
New York, N.Y---
Pass-A-Grille Beach, Fla_
Philadelphia, Pau-
Phoenix, Ariz_-
Portland, Oreg--
Roanoke, Va_
St. Paul, Minn -
San Francisco, Calif.
Seattle, Wash

Wilkes-Barre, Pa----
Veterans' Benefits Office, District of Columbia_

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1 1 8 2 20

2 11 1 9 16

1 17

4 16 7 1

Veterans employment representative.

Illinois

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Veterans organizations--

American Legion.

Indianapolis, Ind.
Newark, N.J.
St. Paul, Minn..
Seattle, Wash---

3 1 1 1

Disabled American Veterans.

Indianapolis, Ind.
Roanoke, Va-----
San Francisco, Calif.--

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Veterans of Foreign Wars-

7

Birmingham, Ala.

1 Indianapolis, Ind.

2 Newark, N.J

3 Seattle, Wash

1 In the course of the fiscal year just passed, emphasis in the field service program has been placed upon unemployed blinded veterans. It is not always possible, however, to learn a man's employment status without contacting him in person; and 148 of the 388 veterans visited for the first time last year were found to be employed. In addition, employed blinded veterans who requested assistance from a field representative were not turned away or ignored. Nevertheless, the majority of blinded veterans with whom BVA field representatives worked were not gainfully employed; and there are one or two interesting points about this group which are felt to be important.

About 40 percent of these men impressed the BVA field staff at first contact as not being satisfied with their idleness but did not appear to be seeking training or

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a job. Only about half this number were in training or actively looking for work when first visited by the field representatives. The balance of this unemployed group of blinded veterans was divided between those who because of additional disabilities or poor health were not apt to become employed and those who ap peared to be genuinely satisfied in an unemployed status. This last subgroup appears to make up about 10 percent of all unemployed blinded veterans contacted during the year.

Considerable significance is attached to the fact that the largest by far of the subgroups of unemployed blinded veterans was composed of men who were dissatisfied with their unemployed status but who were not doing anything about it. Many community services have been available to these individuals; but unfortunately a majority had not been able to make effective use of these resources and had ceased to try. The effectiveness of the BVA field service approach with these veterans is reflected in some of the statistics mentioned earlier in this report. Most of the 13 men who entered prevocational rehabilitation training during the year came from this group. The same is true of the 32 blinded veterans who received counseling and the 15 who entered some type of vocational training. Of the 17 men who became gainfully employed in this report period as a result of BVA field service, 9 were not actively seeking work when first contacted by BVA field representatives. It is clear that the interested, stimulating, catalytic action of BVA field representatives has sparked these blinded veterans and set them on the road to a more positive future.

Your board of directors looks forward to the continuing success of the field service program in assisting blinded veterans and, at the same time, demonstrating the effectiveness of an all-out, community-centered attack on the individual's problems. It is hoped that this demonstration will benefit all blind persons in the country.

NATIONAL SERVICE In the period of this report, the national service director handled requests and took action in the cases of 60 blinded veterans at BVA headquarters. Some of these men reside outside of active field areas and requested assistance directly from the NSD. In other instances, the work involved the cases of blinded veterans referred to BVA headquarters by field representatives for national level action.

During the year, the NSD also worked closely with representatives of certain regional groups regarding service to their members. The Blinded Veterans of Southern California, Los Angeles regional group, and the New York State regional group kept the NSD well informed of their own service activities.

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Regional groups.-During the year, the BVA welcomed the reactivation of one regional group and the formation of a new one. The Pennsylvania regional group, which dissolved voluntarily in August 1955, was officially reactivated on August 24, 1957. The Florida regional group was officially recognized by the national organization on June 27, 1958. On December 9, 1957, national headquarters was notified of the dissolution of the Wisconsin regional group. The BVA now has 22 regional groups.

District conventions.-Conventions were held by the BVA regional groups in two director districts one on the east coast and one on the west coast. Delegates and members of the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island regional groups attended the director district 1 convention, which was held in Bristol, R.I., on May 10, 1958, with the Rhode Island regional group serving as the host. National Secretary Norbert L. Cormier and Board Member Julius Morris attended the meeting.

Delegates and members of the Blinded Veterans of Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, San Diego, and Washington regional groups attended the director district 6 convention, which was held in Los Angeles on May 23–24, 1958. The national president; national treasurer, Michael I. Berney; national judge advocate, Durham D. Hail; board member, Clarence C. Carlson; and BVA field representative, Douglas W. Kinney attended this 2-day conference.

Congressional charter.-On June 21, 1957, Representative T. A. Thompson (Democrat, Louisiana) introduced H.R. 8304, a bill to incorporate the Blinded Veterans Association by act of Congress. On May 7, 1958, Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Committee on the Judiciary held hearings on the bill. National President John E. Mattingly, Executive Director Irvin P. Schloss, National Service Director William W. Thompson, and Advisory Committee Member

Kathern F. Gruber, testified. A statement bs Board Member Melvin J. Maas was filed. On June 9, 1958, the subcommittee ordered the bill favorably re ported to the full committee. No action has yet been taken by the full committee.

Congressional inquiry.-On February 7, 1957, the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 65, which anthorized the Committee on Veterans Affairs to conduct an investigation of fundraising carried on in the name of veterans. On June 28, 1957, BVA headquarters received a comprebensive questionnaire calling for detailed information about finances, fundraising methods, and program activities, especially with regard to job placement of veterans. The names and addresses of veterans placed in jobs, the dates of such place ments, and the names and addresses of the employers were called for. The questionnaire was completed and mailed to the Committee on Veterans Affairs on July 5, 1957.

Early in February 1958 the Committee on Veterans' Affairs began extensive public hearings as part of the investigation into fund raising on behalf of veterans organizations. On February 18, 1958, Executive Director Irvin P. Schloss testified before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Honse of Representatives on the fundraising policy and practices of the Blinded Veterans Association.

As a direct outgrowth of the investigation, the National Association of Veterans Employment Councils (NAVEC), which was under fire for its fund-raising and program practices, agreed to dissolve and turn over its assets to the Blindedi Veterans Association. This action by NAVEC was encouraged by the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

A board of trustees, consisting of NAVEC's auditor, BVA's auditor, and a third person agreed upon by the two, has been established to administer the actual dissolution-liquidation of equipment, supplies, and other types of physical assets; liquidation of outstanding obligations of NAVEC; handling of receipts of fandraising drives which were in progress, etc. At present, it appears that NAVEC's cash assets are in the neighborhood of $30,000; and equipment, furniture, and supplies are valued at approximately $150,000. As NAVEC had not been granted tax-exempt status, settlement of tax obligations will have to be made before the amonnt to be received by the BVA can be adequately determined. It presently appears that NAVEC's contributor lists will be the asset of most value to the Blinded Veterans Association.

National legislation.-On April 15, 1958, Executive Director Irvin P. Schloss testified before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on behalf of H.R. 10463, a bill introduced by Representative Olin E. Teague, Democrat, of Texas, at the request of the Blinded Veterans Association. The bill, which resulted from a resolution adopted by the BVA's 12th annual convention, would allow veterans who did not have the full $10,000 NSLI coverage at the time they became totally disablied to obtain such additional coverage on a premium-paying basis. Although the committee was sympathetic, it took no action on the bill because of the precedent which might be set for reopening other phases of the NSLI program.

On June 16, 1958, Acting Executive Director William W. Thompson testified before the Veterans Affairs Committee on behalf of H.R. 10461 and H.R. 10462, both of which had been introduced by Congressman Teague at the request of the Blinded Veterans Association as a result of resolutions adopted by the 12th annual convention. H.R. 10461 would amend section 315 (m) of the Veterans' Benefits Act of 1957 by establishing total blindness in both eyes having only light perception as a criterion for entitlement to compensation under this subsection rather than helplessness. H.R. 10462 would allow the dependents of veterans who die while receiving disability compensation under section 315(1-P) to receive dependency and indemnity compensation rather than death pension if the death were nonservice connected. The committee ordered H.R. 10461 favorably reported on June 26, 1958. Passage of this bill by the House of Representatives and the Senate can be expected during this session of Congress. The committee took no action on H.R. 10462, undoubtedly because of the radical change of veterans affairs philosophy involved.

The BVA's 12th annual convention adopted a resolution in opposition to H.R. 8609, “A bill to protect the right of the blind to self-expression through organizations of the blind." This bill and numerous companion bills have been referred to the Subcommittee on Special Education of the House Education and Labor Committee. The subcommittee has not scheduled hearings, and it is unlikely that any action will be taken during the present Congress.

H.R. 1955, a bill introduced by Representative D. R. (Billy) Matthews (Democrat, of Florida), to authorize a study of all work for the blind in the United States has not received any action during the current session of Congress. This bill was endorsed by the Blinded Veterans Association. It is expected that efforts will be made during the 86th Congress to secure enactment of the bill, so that authoritative study hopefully resulting in improved services to all blind persons can be made.

President's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped.--During the year, BVA headquarters staff maintained a close working relationship with the staff of the President's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped which is under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. Melvin J. Maas, USMCR (retired), a member of the BVA board of directors. In addition to attending the annual meeting of the President's Committee in Washington, D.C., May 8-9, 1958, BVA staff members participated in the work of the Disabled Veterans Subcommittee and the Public Service Subcommittee.

Public relations workshop.-Executive Director Irvin P. Schloss attended the Second Annual Public Relations Workshop for workers for the blind sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind in New York City, February 3-5, 1958. The purpose of the workshop was to instruct agency personnel in public relations techniques.

Workshop conference.-National Service Director William W. Thompson and BVA Field Representative Charles P. Jones attended the National Institute on the Role of the Workshop in Rehabilitation, held at Bedford, Pa., April 15–18, 1958.

World Veterans Federation.-During the year, the BVA continued its participation in the work of the WVF. The American council of the WVF held several meetings during the year. National President John E. Mattingly attended a meeting of the council in Chicago on March 8, 1958.

The Seventh General Assembly of the WVF was held in West Berlin from October 28 through November 1, 1957. Board member Melvin J. Maas represented the BVA.

BVA National Advisory Committee.—The national president appointed the following to the BVA's National Advisory Committee: Mr. M. Robert Barnett, executive director, American Foundation for the Blind, New York, N.Y.; the Reverend Thomas J. Carroll, director, Catholic Guild for the Blind, Boston, Mass. ; Mr. A. L. Ebersole, director, Bowlers Victory Legion, Washington, D.C.; Miss Kathern F. Gruber, assistant director, American Foundation for the Blind, New York, N.Y.; Mr. G. Walter Laborie of H. P. Hood & Sons, Boston, Mass.; Mr. Nathan Newman, businessman, New York, N.Y.; Dr. Peter J. Salmon, executive director, Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Mr. Nicholas Vignone, Local 405, United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO, West Hartford, Conn.

BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., TREASURER'S REPORT

Summary of cash transactions, July 1, 1957June 30, 1958 General and special funds, July 1, 1957----

$52, 737. 16 Less funds held in trust: Employees' bond fund.

$34.00 Pennsylvania regional group trust fund...

244. 00

278.00

Cash position, July 1, 1957.Income during fiscal period.

52, 459, 16 82, 189. 82

Funds available during fiscal period.--Less cash expended during fiscal period.-

134, 648. 98 90, 287. 75

Cash position, June 30, 1958----
Additional funds held in trust: Employees' bond fund.-

44, 361. 23

11. 25

144, 372. 48

General and special funds, June 30, 1958.. 1 General and special funds held as follows:

Special account
General account.
Savings and loan acocunts_

$200.00 31, 865, 16 12, 307. 32

44, 372. 48

Income, July 1, 1957-June 30, 1958
Membership dues -
BVA Bulletin subscriptions---
American Foundation for the Blind..
Bowlers Victory Legion.
Lilly Endowment Grant-
OVR Grant
Community chests.---
Other contributions...
Savings and loan account dividends ---
Life membership trust fund dividends----

$802. 00

79. 75 *9, 669.00 25, 000.00 9,000.00 9,000.00 10, 819. 86 16, 953. 13

799. 61 66. 47

Total income during fiscal period.-

82, 189, 82

Expenditures, July 1, 1957-June 30, 1958
Personal services:
Administrative and professional salaries-

$38, 570. 40 Clerical salaries--

10, 900, 37 President's clerical expense--Field representatives' clerical expense

2, 327.63

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Total expenditures during fiscal period.

90, 287.75 1 $4,657 applicable to 1958–59 budget. Respectfully submitted.

MICHAEL I. BERNAY,

National Treasurer. Mrs. GREEN. I have no other questions. Mr. ELLIOTT. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Daniels.

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