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Oral History Interview: Gary Wunder

Identifier: 05-C2012.10

Scope and Contents

1 audio recording, 2:21:42 in length. An interview log with time stamps has been created, but the recording has not been transcribed. 0:00 Disclaimer / Introductory Statements. 2:35 Review Gary’s childhood. 4:08 Speaking about Gary’s father and what his business was while Gary was growing up. 6:36 How would you describe your family’s class status? 8:10 Gary’s story of his blindness. 11:18 The cause of Gary’s blindness. 12:06 Gary’s experiences in public school. 13:24 Recognizing the difference between braille and print. 14:51 Getting better at reading and being able to understand topics in those books. Gary was able to speak to his mother now about these topics. 15:45 Gary was able to learn the shapes of the alphabet letters when he graduated high school. He used a device called an opticon. 18:10 Did your family encourage you to use brail growing up? 19:40 Slate and Stylus use and the Perkins Braillewriter. 21:02 Did you make friends with sighted kids? 22:35 Did you feel being in a one room school house inhibited your learning during primary grades? 23:21 Are you a confident braille reader now? 24:11 Reading braille and listening to accelerated speeches. 25:33 Gary speaking to his parents about going to a school for the blind and his expectations and experiences he had. 31:22 Necessary but painful things learned at the school for the blind. 34:12 Segregation and White Superiority. 37:08 Gary Wunder’s name. 39:00 After two years at the school, why did you want to go home? 40:10 Was the school mostly blind or did it have other disabled children as well? 41:10 Dual systems in school districts; how did they come about? 42:27 What skills did you learn at the school for the blind? 43:24 When Gary first got a cane and how much of a difference it made in his life. 45:00 Using a long cane. 46:51 Do you still use echolocation? 48:00 Hauling hay onto a truck without using the cane. Gary knew where the truck was from the sound of the truck. 49:48 When you returned from school who did you live with? 52:15 Not enough access to braille in high school. 54:00 Who read to you before you got braille? 58:08 Gary’s college years. 1:06:53 Gary’s first jobs out of college. 1:11:10 University of Missouri job. 1:13:40 Were there any alternative techniques or apparatus you improvised with or used? 1:16:13 Tandem bikes. 1:20:40 Reading schematics. 1:21:48 How old were you when you became a ham operator? 1:22:00 When you switched to programming were you disappointed that you would not be working with electronics for a living? 1:22:47 Did you remain an electronics copyist? 1:24:25 Other avocational interests. 1:24:53 Have you traveled much? 1:25:47 Do you think programming is a particularly attractive career for the blind? 1:27:40 Computers. 1:31:12 Do you ever regret staying with one employer for such a long time? 1:32:47 Gary’s family. 1:37:40 Gary and the NFB. 1:44:12 Summer job before college. 1:46:19 When did you become a leader in the National affiliate? 1:51:54 Gary and Kenneth Jernigan. 1:55:51 Did Kenneth Jernigan have any specific influence on you other than telling you it would be a good idea to be on the board and pushing you into National leadership? Major life decisions? 2:03:22 Do you see any significant changes in the NFB over the last thirty something years? (The character/membership). 2:08:30 Gary’s father and his thoughts about him being a musician. 2:16:00 Gary having to do better in the sighted world (having to do better than sighted people). 2:18:56 Gary’s concluding thoughts.


  • Created: 2012
  • Other: Majority of material found in 2012
  • Other: Date acquired: 04/20/2012


Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Jacobus tenBroek Library. Consult the Archives staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Jacobus tenBroek Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Archives staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Jacobus tenBroek Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Biographical or Historical Information

[url=]Who Are the Blind Who Lead the Blind? Gary Wunder[/url], Braille Monitor, May 2010

Note written by National Federation of the Blind


1.00 items

1 digital audio recording, 132MB other_unmapped

Language of Materials



Oral history interview with Gary Wunder collected by Ed Morman on April 20, 2012, in the Recording Studio at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.

Source of Acquisition

Edward Morman

Method of Acquisition

Collected as part of the NFB Oral History Program.

Other Descriptive Information

Interview Log prepared by Gina Coticchio, May 2017


Archon Finding Aid Title
Anna Kresmer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Jacobus tenBroek Library, National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Repository

200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore MD 21230 US
(410) 659-9314