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gram, we can start replacing those machines that are over 10 years old. The agencies for the blind have requested another 20,000 machines for growth in the program for the blind. For the other physically handicapped an additional 25,000 machines are needed in order that this expanded program will not detract from the on-going program for the blind.
INCREASE FOR ADDITIONAL MUSIC MATERIALS Mr. ANDREWS. The next item is for music. You are asking an increase of $27,834. What will that total be?
Mr. BRAY. That will bring the total to $77,000, Mr. Chairman, The increase will enable us to provide additional scores, additional music books in braille, and will allow us to continue the only magazine in braille about music; namely, the Braille Musician. I might say that our braille music program which was authorized by special amendment in 1962, has proved to be very popular.
Mr. ANDREWS. Describe how the program operates.
Mr. BRAY. The program operates as follows: music is a performing art, perhaps the only one, in which a blind person can compete favorably with sighted people. Braille music is a special braille code. It differs in its configuration to literary braille. Most young people going through standard educational programs for blind persons are taught music or certainly exposed to it for some time. Braille music offers both a method of education, of personal betterment, and for many people a livelihood in performing in some phase of music.
Mr. ANDREWS. How would a blind person use the braille and the instrument?
Mr. BRAY. He could not use them in concert or at the same time. But he studies braille music the same way a sighted person does. He has to memorize more than a sighted person. He cannot play a violin while he is fingering the book. This would be out of the question.
Mr. ANDREWS. They memorize from the braille and play the instrument from memory.
Mr. BRAY. That is right, or make their own notes in braille for themselves.
Mr. ANDREWS. A person who becomes a musician that way has a tremendous amount of talent, I would think.
Mr. BRAY. Yes, he has. It is quite a bit of effort.
Mr. ANDREWS. You are requesting five additional positions. How many are currently authorized ?
Mr. BRAY. Fifty-four, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ANDREWS. I believe you told us earlier that 40 percent of them are blind.
Mr. Bray. One-fourth, sir. Mr. ANDREWS. Twenty-five percent are blind? Mr. Bray. Yes, sir. Mr. ANDREWS. Do you have any vacancies? If so, how many? Mr. BRAY. Currently from the authorized supplemental, the vacancies are two in number.
Mr. ANDREWS. This five additional positions would give you a total of 59. Mr. BRAY. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. Mr. ANDREWS. And you have two vacancies? Mr. BRAY. That is correct. Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Yates. Mr. YATES. I have no questions. Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Langen?
NUMBERS OF PEOPLE SERVED
Mr. LANGEN. Mr. Chairman, I am looking at the overall program and noting the rather substantial expansion together with the new part of the program involving the physically handicapped. With regard to the increase in the request for money, how much of that is credited to the physically handicapped as compared to an expansion of the services to the blind.
Mr. BRAY. I would say that one-half of the increase would relate to the expansion. This is just an estimate. I think even if we had not expanded to other physically handicapped that the coming year would see a continued growth in use by blind people.
Mr. LANGEN. How many blind are you serving now? Mr. BRAY. We are serving now approximately 90,000 talking book readers, blind people, and approximately 14,000 braille readers. There is very little overlap. The braille reader usually sticks to his braille and most talking book readers cannot read braille. We have an additional 6,000 reading magnetic tape.
Mr. LANGEN. Does my memory serve me right, there are some 400,000 blind in the country?
Mr. Bray. Your memory is correct but we figure this has increased another 10,000 or 12,000 this year.
Mr. LANGEN. Since a year ago.
Mr. BRAY. Yes. There is usually a total gain. Many die, but there are more added. So the increment is an additional number per year.
Mr. LANGEN. Consequently, you are still serving about a fourth of them or a little better.
Mr. BRAY. I think it is about a fourth.
Mr. BRAY. Since the 1st of January of this calendar year when we really got underway, they have come in at about the rate of 1,000 a month for January, February, and March, and there is evidence that this is increasing right now. These have been served both directly from my Division and from the regional libraries.
Mr. LANGEN. Do we have any knowledge how many of them may be and what the potential load may be here eventually?
Mr. Bray. We have estimates of the potential. Just as we do not know how many blind people there really are, and never have known since the program started, there are estimates. The best estimate, let me say because you get different numbers from different people, as compared to 400,000 blind people in the strict sense of the word, you will have another 500,000 who are visually handicapped to the extent that they cannot read even with glasses. These are generally called the near blind. They are eligible. In addition to those you have 112 to 2
million people who are severely disabled by nerve difficulty, muscle difficulty, stroke, terminal cancer, or general deterioration, or quite a variety of things. What we do not know, of course, is how many will actually want to read.
The response, however, has been pretty substantial and quick. Mr. LANGEN. It might be reasonable to assume at least a fourth of them as well as the blind might be interested in the services that you yes.
Mr. BRAY. I would say this would be a very reasonable assumption, yes.
Mr. LANGEN. So it might run about the same percentage ?
Mr. LANGEN. I think I gathered from your earlier testimony that while these have somewhat of a different classification they will be handled through the same organization that you have now with States and the various State departments and the very fine relationships you have with them in carrying out this program.
Mr. BRAY. Essentially the same. In any event, it will continue to be a regional program pattern.
SERVICES TO PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR Mr. LANGEN. Let me ask one other question that probably has come to my mind because of an individual case. Do you experience any difficulty where you may be able to supply them with equipment and services that you do provide, but that they may be experiencing a greater difficulty in not having sufficient money with which to meet the rest of the needs of life.
Mr. BRAY. Yes, that difficulty does arise. Mr. LANGEN. Is there a need for the entire program to be somewhat coordinated with the welfare program, to provide some financial aid to go along with it.
Dr. MUMFORD. You are referring to the regional libraries which provide the direct service, as to whether they might be handicapped in providing the service.
Mr. LANGEN. Not necessarily whether they might be handicapped but whether they are limited in income.
Dr. MUMFORD. There is a provision in the Library Services, and Construction Act which would permit Federal aid to the States for this purpose, to assist these libraries in providing this kind of service; that is, the regional libraries.
Mr. LANGEN. What do you mean when you say to provide this kind of service?
Dr. MUMFORD. The talking book or braille service. I am not quite sure whether you are referring to the individual reader who may not have money, or the regional library that provides service to the individual reader.
Mr. LANGEN. Actually I am referring to the individual himself.
Dr. MUMFORD. It does not require money on his part in order to avail himself of the service.
Mr. LANGEN. I afipreciate that. But in the event that the individual who is blind, and it might be well to furnish him with all of these machines and records and the whole works, but at the same time if he does not have enough to eat and enough clothes he is not in a good position. I am wondering whether or not in your experience you encounter situations of this kind, and whether then there is a coordination with the welfare people, so that the added financial care might be forthcoming through another department, or through State aid. It would seem that both are pretty pertinent, and merely providing a record in some instances may not solve the problems of that blind person.
Mr. Bray. That is a very interesting point. I might say it is much more enlightened a viewpoint than I have seen in a number of welfare agencies. I think it is true. No doubt it is hard to identify, unless you can cite a particular individual and when this happens we can go to work on it. There is first of all no orderly communication or arrangement for solving the problem you described. For example, the public welfare department in a State has never to my knowledge advised the library that so and so is so down at the heel and his living conditions are so terrible that he cannot use talking books. Even if he does not have electricity, we put out a battery-operated unit. There is no determined effort to answer your concern. I do see some evidence of situations where a blind person could be so destitute, in fact, out of favor with his community and his family, that if he heard about talking books and asked for them, his friends and relatives would discourage their use. It is just a hard fact of life, the handicapped people are quite often not the favorite members of the family, especially if they land in homes or places where they are in a terrific network of supervision and regimentation. For instance in a nursing home where the furniture is limited—the talking book takes up a table—and there is no place to put the book, I could predict he would have rough going. I think the wonderful thing about this library service, as is true of any person however poor who can walk into his public library and withdraw a book, is that it is freely available.
Mr. LANGEN. One of the reasons I ask is that I can see where there might be a greater percentage of this kind of incident with the physically handicapped than with the blind.
Mr. BRAY. Yes.
Mr. LANGEN. You probably run into an area in which hospitalization or other care is more essential than it is with a blind person.
Mr. BRAY. That is right.
Mr. LANGEN. They may be in need of specific physical attention or medication,
Mr. BRAY. That is very true. In the brief 3 or 4 months that we have been active in implementing the expanded program, I have personally visited a nursing home in Kansas where two physically handicapped people who were elegible lived. I saw a cerebral palsy center in Denver, Colo., where in one room there were over 50 cerebral individuals of ages from 10 up, most of whom were eligible for this service. They lead an extremely sheltered life. That is why it is hard to reach them. That is why we have to dig for them and find them.
Mr. LANGEN. I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman.