COMSTACCommercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee
COMSTACCommission on Standards and Accreditation of Services for the Blind
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COMSTAC was established in 1984 to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on critical matters concerning the US commercial space transportation industry.
The professional literature, as reflected in the two major journals of that time, presented no critique of COMSTAC or the resulting accreditation agency, NAC.
While a fairly small group of carefully selected leaders in the profession were developing the process and agenda for COMSTAC, The Braille Monitor was publishing articles about agencies and practices which, it alleged, provided either exploitive or unequal treatment to clients receiving rehabilitation services.
During the years immediately preceding the creation of COMSTAC, members of the National Federation of the Blind and of other organizations such as the Blinded Veterans Association were working to improve the economic and social conditions faced by blind people.
However, because the COMSTAC Commission and the establishment of the National Accreditation Council occurred in the 1960's, the decade of the equality revolution in the United States, the reaction of the National Federation of the Blind was probably more intense than it would have been at an earlier time (Gans, 1974).
The gulf between the organized blind movement and the professionals in charge of COMSTAC is perhaps illustrated most clearly in a February 14, 1966, letter from the President of the National Federation of the Blind to Arthur L.
Koestler observed that opposition to COMSTAC and NAC also came from blind workers whose positions were threatened by professional standards.
First and possibly most important, the originating process, COMSTAC, and the later NAC organization did not significantly involve the organized blind.
"NFB - COMSTAC Differences Aired." The Braille Monitor, July, p.