« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
of the students taking it in the junior year, that means there is no decline in the top 10 or 20 percent in a period of time?
Mr. MATTHEIS. Except that, Mr. Lehman, in years previously the top 10 and 20 percent of the students did in fact take the test again in their senior year, and many of them did not choose a college or university until their senior year. We are finding many more of them are taking their test and choose a college and university at the end of their junior year.
Mr. Hastings. There is an additional element suggested in an article in the New York Times; that is, many of the brighter students these days, because of financial reasons, are choosing to go to State institutions, many of which do not require taking the test at all. Therefore, they are not counted in the average.
Mr. LEHMAN. I guess you could number 25 reasons without hesitating.
Mr. MATTHEIS. That is about right.
Mr. MATTHEIS. There will be some study, and we want to make sure you and the committee will receive those.
Mr. LEHMAN. You still think we have a problem?
Mr. MATTHEIS. We have more of a problem in the writing example you used. I think the test is going to fall out as not being much changed over the recent years. In the writing example, which you have mentioned where there has been an indication of writing ability, that is a little more disturbing, although it is not totally bad.
One part of that report indicated there is an increase in the writing ability among a certain age level of children, and then there is a decrease in another
group. Mr. LEHMAN. Can I ask you something else? Mr. MATTHEIS. Yes.
Mr. LEHMAN. Is there a definite correlation between reading skills and writing skills ?
Mr. MATTHEIS. I don't know that I could speak to that specifically from any research base. I would be surprised if there wasn't.
Mr. LEHMAN. If there was, it would be additional support for library funds.
Mr. MATTHEIS. Yes. But the fact of the matter, Mr. Lehman, again is that library usage, whether in public schools or public libraries, is very much on the increase. Far be it for us to sit here before this committee and be labeled as antilibrary. What we are simply addressing here is the Federal role in public libraries. What it ought to be. It is our judgment that there ought to be a change in the direction of the Federal role from what has been developing into a service program, an ongoing operational construction services program, to one of discretionary grants to look at new ways of doing things.
Mr. LEHMAN. I will make you an offer you can't refuse. How about one-tenth of 1 percent of the military installations budget for library funds? The military people have to read, too.
Mr. MATTHEIs. Yes; they do. They certainly do.
Mr. LEHMAN. Say you have $20 billion worth of military installations. One-tenth of 1 percent would be $2 million, which ain't bad. Think of the books that could buy, and it can't hurt the morale. You could even put comic books in there.
Go ahead, I am sorry.
Mr. MATTHEIS. That really concluded the three points about testing and writing, and the general position that we have with regard to libraries. Certainly we would not want to have ourselves looked upon as antilibrary. We simply are looking at the changing roles of support for libraries.
Mr. LEHMAN. Any other comments? If not, I am sorry I was late. I am quite interested in libraries.
We have one more panel which will testify regarding H.R. 10999. [Text of H.R. 10999 follows:]
(H.R. 10999, 94th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To authorize the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to distribute funds
to Recording for the Blind, Incorporated, to assist such corporation in carrying out certain projects
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) there are authorized to be appropriated $925,000 to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the "Secretary") for distribution to Recording for the Blind, Incorporated, a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of New York (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the “corporation") in order to carry out the provisions of subsection (b).
(b) Any sums distributed to the corporation by the Secretary from sums appropriated under subsection (a) shall be used by the corporation
(1) to complete the duplication of the master tape recording library of the corporation; and
(2) to establish and maintain a data processing system to be used (A) in connection with orders and other requests for materials from handicapped individuals desiring to use the services and facilities of the corporation; and (B) to make available a complete library lending service for use by handicapped individuals.
Sec. 2. The corporation shall, before receiving any sums from the Secretary under this Act, provide satisfactory assurance that such fiscal control and fund accounting proceudres will be adopted as may be necessary to assure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, such sums.
SEC. 3. (a) Except as provided by subsection (b), the provisions of this Act shall cease to be effective upon the effective date of any appropriations Act which makes an appropriation to carry out the first section of this Act which, together with any other such appropriation, is equal to the authorization made by subsection (a) of the first section of this Act.
(b) Any appropriation made to carry out the first section of this Act shall remain available until obligated or expended.
Mr. LEHMAN. Mr. Carothers, would you begin the presentation?
STATEMENT OF STUART CAROTHERS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
RECORDING FOR THE BLIND, NEW YORK, N.Y. Mr. CAROTHERS. My name is Stuart Carothers. I am executive director of the Recording for the Blind, Inc., and I am here in support of H.R. 10999.
Recording for the Blind, Inc., is a private, tax-exempt, volunteer organization incorporated for the sole purpose of providing free, recorded, educational materials for students and professionals unable to read ink print for any of a variety of reasons. Our users include not only the blind, but persons with perceptual disabilities like dyslexia, or with physical handicaps that make it impossible to hold a book, such as multiple selerosis, cerebral palsy, or paraplegia.
RFB was founded in 1951 by a group of New York women led by Mrs. Ronald Macdonald, who began recording textbooks for blind Korean war veterans. RFB now has 27 professionally equipped recording studios throughout the country, manned by 4,500 dedicated volunteers readers and monitors, and a master tape library of over 33,000 recorded volumes in New York City. Last year, RFB circulated more than 75,000 recorded textbooks to over 11,000 visually or physically handicapped students and professionals.
RFB is the only national organization of its kind in the world devoted exclusively to providing recorded educational materials for the handicapped. We make it possible for thousands of young people to attend schools and colleges throughout the country and to compete successfully with their peers in business and professions ranging from mathematics, computer science, and financial management through medicine and the law.
With an annual consolidated budget of more than $2.5 million, RFB has traditionally relied on private support from foundations, corporations, and individuals. We have two critical special projects, however, for which we have an urgent need for funds which are not available from our normal private sources.
One critical need is for a complete duplicate master tape library. We now have over 33,000 volumes on tape in our New York library. This represents almost 4 million hours of volunteer work. If these master tapes were destroyed by fire, the loss would be incalculable. Even if the tapes could be re-recorded, an entire generation of printhandicapped students would be deprived of the tools necessary to lead productive lives in a sighted world. RFB has therefore undertaken a program of duplicating these master tapes and storing them in fireproof facilities underground in upstate New York. We are using funds from our operating budget to make duplicate master tapes of new titles as they are recorded, but we desperately need an additional $195,000 to complete duplication of tapes already in our master tape library.
Our second urgent need is for funds to computerize our ordering process and library operations. At peak periods during the academic year, student requests pour in at the rate of over 1,000 daily. A fully computerized ordering process and library service would not only permit us to reduce the "turnaround time” for filling student requests, but would also add a whole new dimension to our library service.
Under the present system, students order books by title, author, and edition. With the proposed computerization, students would be able to order books by subject matter as well, thus providing our users with a substantially increased research capability, a service of enormous value to students already operating at a time disadvantage compared to their sighted classmates.
Finally, under a fully computerized service tied in with other recording organizations, RFB could serve as an "information center" for all recorded educational material available to the blind and handicapped.
Both the executive branch and the Congress have previously evidenced their support of RFB with two separate grants, totaling $500,000 for operating expenses for 1975. This has been enormously helpful during a particularly difficult fundraising period. I would like to emphasize, however, that RFB does not intend to rely on public moneys for operating expenses in the future. As our services continue to expand and improve, we will look to the private sector for our support, as we have for the last 25 years.
We are here now only because we are faced at one and the same time with two very urgent capital projects for which addtional funds must be found. With these funds, we cannot only insure the continuation of our services, we can also dramatically improve these services, enabling our users to lead ever more useful and productive lives.
Mr. LEHMAN. Thank you, Mr. Carothers.
STATEMENT OF HAROLD KRENTS, LAWYER, SURREY, KARASIK
AND MORSE, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE RECORDING FOR THE BLIND
Mr. Krexts. I will keep it very brief, Mr. Lehman. I know that you have a quorium call. I just would very briefly like to speak to the services from the standpoint of the recipient.
I became aware of the Recording for the Blind when I entered Harvard College. During my earlier years, I had relied primarily upon braille. However, when one gets to the college, to the graduate school years, and eventually when he becomes a professional, the amount of reading is such that braille becomes not nearly as useful.
Also, many of the books are simply not available in braille. It became clear that something had to be done. I was falling farther and farther behind my sighted classmates. It was at this time that we heard about Recording for the Blind.
Through master libraries, it seems 9 out of the 10 books I needed that were already on tape were sent to me within 1 week. Those books which were not already available were farmed out to their units around the country, and volunteers put these books onto tapes.
One point that should be emphasized is that, for instance, I myself am an attorney in a law firm in Washington. All my books and records for the blind at law schools were read by lawyers, so volunteers who were used on the books are people conversant in the field in which they helped.
There is no doubt in any mind that I would not have been able to sucessfully get through Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and an extra year at Oxford University, to get a master's degree, had it not been for the remarkable work done by Recording for the Blind, and its 4,000 volunteers.
As you are no doubt aware, Congress presently appropriates a sizable amount of money to the Library of Congress to assist the talking books program, which produces recreational material for the blind. It is a fine service.
But, what Recording for the Blind does, what the talking book program does, is rather compliment it and supplement it, and I would hope that you and the other members of your committee would look at this item and feel that this is something that you could support, and support enthusiastically.
[Prepared statement of Harold Krents follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HAROLD KRENTS, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
RECORDING FOR THE BLIND, INC. Mr. Chairman, I support wholeheartedly the comments of Mr. Carothers on behalf of this legislation and I would just like to add a personal word or two about what Recording For The Blind has done for me.
During my elementary and high school years, I managed to go through the Scarsdale, New York, school system, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteer braille transcribers and a very committed family. However, shortly after my arrival at Harvard College it became abundantly clear that my future academic career was in serious jeopardy. For one thing, most of the text books which I had been assigned by my freshman professors were unavailable in braille, and for another, the process of reading braille is rather slow. At best, a blind student reads at one-third the speed of his sighted counterpart. Therefore, although studying through braille was possible given the short assignments in high school, it was out of the question given the overwhelming amount of reading required at the college level.
I was falling farther and farther behind and actually considering dropping out of Harvard when my family heard of Recording For The Blind. This outstanding organization, then and now, provided exclusively educational material free of charge on tapes. Through the use of Recording For The Blind and its extensive master tape library, combined with its high-speed duplicating equipment, the necessary textbooks were furnished within a matter of days.
I can truthfully say I would not have been able to attend Harvard College, graduate cum laude in English, and go through Harvard Law School had it not been for the marvelous work of the Recording For The Blind. It is through this organization that tens of thousands of blind students and professionals are able to function on a level of equality with their peers.
On behalf of Recording For The Blind I would like to express our appreciation for the opportunity to appear today.
Mr. LEHMAN. Thank you. Of course, you have no problem with me, and I will continue to do all I can. I just want to compliment you on your brief but certainly very meaningful statement of the needs and the results of this kind of a program.
STATEMENT OF JAMES GASHEL, CHIEF, WASHINGTON OFFICE,
THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
Mr. GASHEL. Thank you, Mr. Lehman.
My name is James Gashel. I am chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind.
In 1940, the National Federation of the Blind was formed to serve as a vehicle through which the blind may speak for themselves.
Indeed, a quotation on our publication, “The Braille Monitor," which is produced monthly on record and ink print and in braille, states the following: "The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind, it is the blind speaking for themselves."
In that capacity, then, Mr. Chairman, we come before you today to discuss with you the request of Recording for the Blind for certain funding to provide for an expansion and improvement of its programs.
Noting the time and hearing the quorum call, I am going to do the best I can to summarize the statement I have here, Mr. Chairman, and ask that my full statement be printed in the record.