« PreviousContinue »
Talking book machines------
and 25,000 for the physically handicapped.
circulation amongst the regional libraries. New positions (5)----
1, 696 Group Life Insurance..
87 Contribution to Health Insurance..
------ 28, 133
-------- +1, 482, 378
Total Increases ------
------- +1, 480, 900
1966 AMENDMENT TO BASIC LAW (EMBRACING PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED)
Mr. ANDREWS. What is the authority, Dr. Mumford, for increasing the program to include the physically handicapped as well as the blind?
Dr. MUMFORD. Public Law 89–522, which was approved on July 30, 1966, extended the services of this program to anyone who is handicapped so he cannot read a book in the normal way, including the near blind, who were not eligible before, and people who suffer from various other physical disorders.
Mr. ANDREWS. I believe you told us last year there has been an increased interest in the program so far as the blind are concerned. What has been your experience with reference to the physically handicapped who, under the law you cited, are entitled to the benefits of this program?
Dr. MUMFORD. There has been a continuing increase in the service to the blind, also. Of course, the privilege of use to physically handicapped persons has been in existence a relatively short time. I would like to ask Mr. Bray if he has some figures on service to the physically handicapped other than the blind.
Mr. BRAY. Yes, Mr. Chairman. The response has been quick and substantial. Following the enactment of the law the Librarian described, we requested a supplemental appropriation, which was granted.
Mr. ANDREWS. Last year?
Mr. Bray. Last fall, just before the close of the session. The supplemental was intended for substantially more copies of talking books and an additional production of 20,000 talking book machines during fiscal 1967, solely for the use of the physically handicapped other than blind.
As you recall, we had also in the 1967 regular appropriation authorization for an additional 20,000 talking book machines for the blind. This was the largest production ever undertaken. The highest previous year production was 12,500. Therefore, although about 6 months behind time, in view of the expansion, we entered the calendar year well supplied with resources, and with the promise of not jeopardizing the ongoing program for blind people.
I can report today that the response from other physically handicapped, who are served directly from the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, of the Library of Congress, as well as by the various regional libraries, has amounted to about 1,000 readers per month. From my last tally in April, the indication is that this rate of increase is accelerating.
So, there is every assurance that complete use will be made of the additional resources authorized by the supplemental.
We anounced the program in essentially two ways. First of all. through the traditional methods of press releases to the various media, to magazines and newsletters in the field of work for the blind and the handicapped, and secondly, by a rather diligent program of liaison by the staff of my Division. Last year some interest was expressed by the Members in what we do to alert handicapped people across the Nation, both blind and otherwise handicapped. In response to that interest last year, Mr. Chairman, I have a little notebook here with a few clippings such as have come across my desk-I am sure there are hundreds more—where the availability to other handicapped press release was picked up by newspapers around the country. That is the book on top.
The additional notebook, Mr. Chairman, contains some letters, also only those which have come to my desk, and I know there are many others in the regional libraries of the States, from units of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, certain of the Easter Seal chapters these are units of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults—and from miscellaneous other sources.
I believe in the coming months, after a full year of the new program, we will see a very substantial increase because we will have had an opportunity to work in similar detail with such associations as the one for nursing homes, the medical components that are concerned with home care, associations for the aging, and other areas.
Mr. ANDREWS. When did you actually start supplying physically handicapped people, other than blind, with the talking machines?
Mr. Bray. I would say, sir, the substantial service began about the first of this calendar year, after the new machines were available.
Mr. ANDREWS. You say you have been issuing them at the rate of about 1,000 a month?
Mr. Briy. Yes, sir.
TALKING BOOK MACHINES
Mr. ANDREWS. What is the total number of machines issued to both the blind and the physically handicapped?
Mr. BRAY. The 20,000 machines for the blind have in the most part been issued. They go out on a monthly quota basis in response to requests from State agencies for the blind. There will be a final shipment in June. The additional 20,000 machines for other physically handicapped will be available about the 1st of July. We borrowed from the machines for the blind, knowing that we could replace them from the machines for the handicapped. We have allotted 5,000 machines to the Multiple Sclerosis people. There is estimated to be 1 percent of the national population with this disability. We have allotted 5,000 machines to the United Cerebral Palsy Association. Here again, this is a very small percentage of the estimated total number eligible, but we feel we can meet this demand within the year.
We add to this approximately 4,000 that have already been distributed to other physically handicapped people directly. This is 14,000 out of the 20,000 for the handicapped. We have about 6,000 left to distribute.
Mr. ANDREWS. What about your source of supply of the machines? Hare you any trouble getting deliveries?
Mr. BRAY. No, sir.
Mr. 'ANDREWS. Do you have a single source of supply, or do you get these by competitive bidding?
Mr. Bray. On competitive bid, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ANDREWS. We have a decrease of $1,478 related to pay above the stated annual rate as shown on page 187. Is the reason for that the same?
Dr. MUMFORD. Yes. There is one less day for which payment of alaries is made.
INCREASE FOR ANNUALIZATION OF POSITIONS Jr. ANDREWS. You are requesting $18,996 for the annualization of positions required in the 1967 supplemental appropriation. How many positions are involved?
Dr. MUMFORD. Nine. The supplemental appropriation which Mr. Brav referred to, among other things, provided for nine additional positions.
INCREASE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THINGS Mr. ANDREWS. You are requesting $7,000 for the transportation of things. How much is in the base and what is the total requested for 1968?
Dr. JUMFORD. There is presently $500 in this item, Mr. Chairman. This raises it to $7,500. Mr. Bray can elaborate upon the need for additional transportation of books, supplies and other facilities.
Mr. BRAY. Yes, sir. There is a need for additional regional libraries. As of today's reporting, there are 34 regional libraries across the country. Last year we established two new ones at the request of the corresponding States, one in New Jersey to serve New Jersey, and one in New Mexico for the blind and physically handicapped people in that region.
We have very positive requests for and preparations being made for a regional library to combine Connecticut and Rhode Island, one in Tennessee, and indications that others will be along. The additional sum for the transportation of things is to transport books and other supplies to the scene of the new libraries, either from the reserve stock in the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, or from neighboring libraries that are able to share copies.
Mr. ANDREWS. Describe briefly for us one of your regional libraries. How many people are involved ? How is it housed? What kind of stock do you carry?
Mr. Bray. The regional libraries represent a system of administering the program designated by the original act and built by the Librarian of Congress since 1931 from the number of 19 regional libraries to the current number of 34. The Library places no actual money in these cooperating circulation outlets. Through letters of agreement from the initial 19 and, as new ones are added, at the rate of about one a year, in the last 9 or 10 years, these libraries agree to accept the books provided by the Federal program, the talking books, the machines that go into the States, the books in press braille, more recently some books on tape, and other related materials, and to provide a circulation system from day to day within their area of jurisdiction, usually one State, in some cases two States.
Mr. ANDREWS. Are these regional libraries interested only in the programs of books for the blind and physically handicapped?
Mr. BRAY. That is correct, sir. The regional library itself is a unit of a State library or a public library system. Some are also locateda very few-in State commissions for the blind. The regional library itself is the only unit I am describing. I just mentioned the material that went into the regional library itself, which is physically a very small unit. It is often located in a rather disreputable part of town, although this is improving, I am happy to say.
The staff is minimal, consisting of anywhere from five or six to perhaps 20 people in the larger ones. This staff and these facilities are provided by the cooperating library system as their share of the total program; the Federal share being the provision of book materials and related items, and the local share being the operation of the program.
The regional libraries that are in State library systems, of course, fall within the jurisdiction of the State library
Mr. ANDREWS. Do those libraries stock your records and book machines?
Mr. BRAY. The regional libraries do ; ves, sir.
Mr. BRAY. That is correct. If the regional library, as is the case in Chicago, to represent one Member's interest, is a part of the public library, the staff and administrative costs are supported by either the
rests are suppothe Blind
bough, with ma
taxpayers in that jurisdiction or perhaps from some additional contribution from the State government through the State library.
A few regional libraries are in State commissions for the blind or in one or two instances in residential schools for the blind. This staff and these administrative costs are supported by that administrative unit, as at Talladega at the Institute for the Blind.
Mr. ANDREWS. You do furnish all these libraries, though, with machines which they, in turn, furnish to the applicants? Mr. BRAY. That is correct.
Mr. ANDREWS. Who are either now blind or physically handicapped?
Mr. BRAY. Along with the books.
Dr. MUMFORD. Do you not want to distinguish between the library giving the service and the State agency that handles the machine?
Mr. BRAY. Yes. In most States a separate agency handles the talking book machines. This is not the case, of course, in Alabama, where the same agency handles both. In Florida, Iowa, and two or three other States, the same agency that handles the books handles the machine. However, in most States the machines are handled by the State commission for the blind as an avenue of establishing eligibility for the program, largely.
OBJECTIVES AND OPERATIONS OF THE PROGRAM Mr. ANDREWS. Your program is concerned with placing talking books and machines in the hands of blind people who apply for them. What do you mean by talking books?
Mr. BRAY. A talking book is a print book which has been read word for word, without addition or change, by expert readers on longplaying phonograph records. Currently, talking books appear on 1623revolution-per-minute recordings, 10 inches in diameter.
Mr. ANDREWs. I believe you have told us heretofore that you use professional readers to transcribe the book onto the disk or record.
Mr. BRAY. That is correct. Mr. ANDREWS. I have heard some of them, and they are quite good. (Off the record.)
Mr. ANDREWS. Is this $7,000 you are requesting for the transportation of things the total amount that is used to ship these books and machines?
Mr. Bray. Yes, sir. It will be used in the case of establishing new libraries. - Mr. ANDREWS. What is the base for this?
Mr. BRAY. The base is $500, Mr. Chairman. It has been somewhat inadequate in the past.
Dr. MUMFORD. In normal service, the books are taken by the Post Office free of charge, but these are additional expenses in connection with the establishment of libraries.
Mr. ANDREWS. I want to ask something else about the people who receive the machines. Are they furnished periodically with a list of new records available for them to order?