[Colorado-talk] message regarding Braille Coin Activities Tomorrow at the Capitol

Scott C. LaBarre slabarre at labarrelaw.com
Wed Mar 25 18:57:31 UTC 2009

Greetings Friends:

As discussed previously, we will be conducting various events tomorrow at our State Capitol surrounding the release of the Louis Braille Commemorative Coin.  We will start with a press conference at 8:30 a.m. in Room 326 of the Capitol.  Because of the predicted weather and the fact that you will have to go through security, plan to arrive at the Capitol  no earlier than 8:15 a.m.  Starting at 9:00 a.m.   , both the Senate and House will take up a Joint Resolution honoring Louis Braille, taking note of the Coin release, and calling attention to the Braille Literacy program.  Please  join us at  8:30 for the press conference and stick around for the Senate and House sessions because we will have a presence in each chamber where we will see our Joint Resolution adopted.  .  I am including below a copy of our press release and the last draft of language for the Joint Resolution.  The language may change slightly before it is adopted on the floor.  Please do not hesitate to contact me or Chris Foster about tomorrow's event.  My info is immediately below and Chris can be reached at 303 635-6583.  
Scott C. LaBarre, Esq.

LaBarre Law Offices P.C.
1660 South Albion Street, Ste. 918
Denver, Colorado 80222
303 504-5979 (voice)
303 757-3640 (fax)
slabarre at labarrelaw.com (e-mail)
www.labarrelaw.com (website)



Scott LaBarre, President 

 National Federation of the Blind of Colorado                               

Mobile: (303) 520-3584

Email: slabarre at nfbco.org


National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Celebrates 
Release of Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

Denver, Colorado (March 25, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Colorado will On March 26 celebrate the release of the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar.  This historic commemorative coin, the first-ever U.S. coin to contain tactile, readable Braille, will be launched at a special ceremony at the headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind, in Baltimore, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2009.  


In Denver, Colorado and under the leadership of Majority Leader, Senator Brendon Shaffer and Representative Joe Rice, the Colorado General Assembly will honor the launch by adopting a Joint Resolution highlighting the release of the coin and emphasizing the Braille literacy program partially funded by the sale of this commemorative coin.  


Immediately preceding the assembly's passing of the resolution, the NFB of Colorado will hold a press event at 08:30 am in the Press Room; (room 326 on the third floor in the southwest corner of the Capitol).  State Senator Brandon Shaffer and other dignitaries will be in attendance.  


Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "If the blind can read, the blind can achieve. The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar celebrates the man who gave literacy to the blind and is a unique and beautiful keepsake, but it is also a coin with a mission: to make sure that every blind child and every adult losing vision in our nation has the opportunity to learn Braille. " 


Scott LaBarre, president of the Federation's Colorado affiliate said "I am a totally blind attorney operating my own successful law practice.  I would not be able to do so without being extremely literate.  Braille is fundamental to my level of literacy, without which I 

 could not practice law.  The Louis Braille Coin and its attendant literacy program will bring success and freedom to the generations of tomorrow.  We know that the working 


age blind face an unemployment rate exceeding seventy percent, yet a substantial majority of the blind who are employed are Braille readers.  We salute Senator Shaffer and Representative Rice for demonstrating the leadership to call attention to this literacy crisis and for supporting the program to start fixing the problem."  


Senator Shaffer said, "It's unfortunate that we are so quick to forget the invaluable contributions that the sight impaired have made to our society.  Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, Galileo Galilee, Kirby Puckett, Claude Monet, and David Paterson are just a few individuals that have and continue to contribute.  Braille is an accessible, efficient mechanism for learning and there is no reason why only 10 percent of blind children are learning it.  The sight impaired deserve the same opportunities as all individuals and Colorado is ready to provide that for them." 


Regarding the resolution, Representative Rice said, "Literacy is considered by our society to be a fundamental civil right in America today.  I applaud the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado as it works through its Braille Readers are Leaders Campaign to provide the right of literacy through Braille to all of America's blind children and adults."   


Sales of the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, which was authorized by a law passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2006, will support the NFB's "Braille Readers are Leaders" campaign.  The campaign is a national initiative created to double the number of blind children learning Braille by 2015.


The National Federation of the Blind is asking the American public, through purchasing this stunning silver dollar, to join its campaign to bring literacy, education, opportunity, and success to the blind of America.  The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar goes on sale to the general public at noon on March 26.  Those interested in ordering a coin should visit www.usmint.gov or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).  For more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, visit www.braille.org.





About the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado 

Chartered in 1955, the NFB of Colorado is an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind.

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Celebrates 
Release of Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
March 25, 2009
Page three

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, 


and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the Nation's blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.







 First Regular Session Sixty-seventh General Assembly STATE OF COLORADO DRAFT  3.19.09 DRAFT
LLS NO. R09-0962.01 Joel Moore SENATE Joint Resolution
SHORT TITLE: "Braille Literacy"
WHEREAS, Since its invention by Louis Braille, the reading and
writing code for the blind that bears his name has become the accepted
method of reading and writing for the blind the world over; and
WHEREAS, Braille is used to represent not only the alphabets of
most written languages but also mathematical and scientific notation and
the reproduction of musical scores; and
WHEREAS, Braille provides people who are blind with the power
of knowledge, expanding their opportunities and equipping them with the
tools to be productive and imaginative contributors to society; and

Capital letters indicate new material to be added to existing statute.
Dashes through the words indicate deletions from existing statute.

DRAFT 3.19.09
WHEREAS, Contrary to popular belief, Braille is not difficult to
learn, nor is reading Braille slower than reading print; and
WHEREAS, While technology has improved the lives of blind
people by facilitating quick access to information, no technology can
replace Braille literacy since literacy is the ability to read and write and
to do both interactively; and
WHEREAS, Despite Braille's efficiency, versatility, and universal
acceptance by the blind, the rate of Braille literacy in the United States
has declined to the point where only 10 percent of blind children are
learning to read and write Braille; and
WHEREAS, Just as a literacy rate of 10 percent among this
nation's sighted children would be rightly viewed as a crisis and as cause
for national outrage, the decline in Braille literacy is a crisis, and swift
action must be taken to reverse this dangerous trend; and
WHEREAS, Braille literacy is the key to independence,
productivity, and success for blind people, as evidenced by the fact that,
while 70 percent of the blind are unemployed, 85 percent of those who
are employed use Braille; and
WHEREAS, The United States Congress officially recognized the
importance of Braille by passing the Louis Braille Bicentennial--Braille
Literacy Commemorative Coin Act, authorizing the striking of a United
States silver dollar in commemoration of the two hundredth anniversary
of the birth of Louis Braille; and
WHEREAS, The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's
oldest and largest organization of blind people and the leading advocate
for Braille literacy, has launched a national "Braille Readers are Leaders"
campaign to promote awareness of the importance of Braille and the
magnitude of the Braille literacy crisis and to increase the availability of
competent Braille instruction and of Braille reading materials in this
country, with funding for said campaign to come from a portion of the
proceeds of the sale of the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar; and
WHEREAS, The National Federation of the Blind has today
released a comprehensive report, "The Braille Literacy Crisis in
America--Facing the Truth, Reversing the Trend, Empowering the Blind",
and the United States Mint has this day released the Louis Braille
Bicentennial Silver Dollar for purchase by the general public; now,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-seventh General Assembly
of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:
(1) That we, the members of the Colorado General Assembly, do
hereby proclaim March 26, 2009, as National Braille Readers are Leaders
Day, to celebrate the hope, opportunity, and power that literacy in Braille
provides to the blind and to our nation; and
(2) That we call upon all public officials, educators, and citizens 

throughout Colorado and this nation to recognize the importance of
Braille in the lives of blind people and to assist the National Federation
of the Blind in its efforts to increase instruction in and use of Braille in
Colorado and across the United States.

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