[Nfb-seniors] National Federation of the Blind Celebrates Release of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Thu Mar 26 08:45:25 CDT 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, ext. 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Celebrates
Release of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
NFB Jernigan Institute Releases
Report to the Nation on Braille Literacy Crisis

Baltimore, Maryland (March 26, 2009): The 
National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the 
nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people and the leading
advocate for Braille literacy, today celebrates 
the release of the 2009 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. on March 26, 2009.

The NFB Jernigan Institute, the research and 
training arm of the National Federation of the 
Blind, will also release a report to the nation on the literacy
crisis facing the blind in America.  “The Braille 
Literacy Crisis in America: Facing the Truth, 
Reversing the Trend, Empowering the Blind” describes the
factors that have contributed to the shocking 
illiteracy rate of 90 percent among blind 
children and outlines steps to reverse this trend.

A portion of the money from sales of the 2009 
Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, which 
was authorized by a law signed by President George W. Bush
in 2006, will be used to 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.

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.”

Dr. Fredric K. Schroeder, first vice president of 
the National Federation of the Blind and 
coordinator of the NFB’s national Braille Readers are Leaders
campaign, said:  “Braille is not being taught to 
many blind children and adults because there are 
myths and misconceptions surrounding the code.  Braille
is said to be slow and inefficient, difficult to 
learn, unnecessary in light of new technology, 
and something that isolates blind students from their sighted
peers.  But the blind know these myths to be 
false, and studies have shown that Braille leads 
to employment opportunities, independence, and self-confidence
for blind people.”

The program celebrating the launch of the Louis 
Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar will feature:

·        The presentation of the report

·        Remarks by Dr. Marc Maurer, President of 
the National Federation of the Blind

·        Remarks by Dr. Abraham Nemeth, who 
invented the Braille code used for mathematics 
and scientific notation in the United States

·        Demonstrations by proficient Braille readers, including blind children

·        A message from United States Senator 
Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Committee on 
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the sponsor of the
legislation authorizing the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

·        Ed Moy, director of the United States 
Mint, who will give remarks and sign certificates of authenticity

·        A “Braille Fair” featuring fun 
activities for children and adults who want to learn about Braille

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 today.
  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.

###

David Andrews and white cane Harry.






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