[Nfbc-info] Larry Shepherd to Serve as National Ambassador for Braille Literacy

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Tue Mar 3 22:47:27 UTC 2009



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

Larry Shepherd to Serve as
National Ambassador for Braille Literacy

Baltimore, Maryland (March 3, 2009): The National Federation of the 
Blind (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for Braille literacy, 
announced today that Larry Shepherd, executive director for the 
American Numismatic Association, will serve as a National Ambassador 
for Braille literacy.  As an ambassador, Shepherd will help advance 
the NFB's Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, a national initiative 
to promote the importance of reading and writing Braille for blind 
children and adults.  The Braille Readers are Leaders campaign kicked 
off in July of 2008 with the unveiling of the design of a 
commemorative coin to be released on March 26, 2009, in recognition 
of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille 
(1809-1852), the inventor of the reading and writing code for the 
blind that bears his name.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to have Mr. 
Shepherd as part of this historic initiative to bring Braille 
literacy to all of the blind children and adults in America who need 
it.  As the executive director of the American Numismatic 
Association, Mr. Shepherd will be an invaluable asset in reaching out 
to the large community of coin collectors to share his belief in 
Braille literacy.  There can be no doubt that the ability to read and 
write Braille competently and efficiently is the key to education, 
employment, and success for the blind.  Despite the undisputed value 
of Braille, however, only about 10 percent of blind children in the 
United States are currently learning it.  Society would never accept 
a 10 percent literacy rate among sighted children; it should not 
accept such an outrageously low literacy rate among the blind.  The 
Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, with the support of influential 
Americans like Mr. Shepherd, will reverse the downward trend in 
Braille literacy and ensure that equal opportunities in education and 
employment are available to all of the nation's blind."

Mr. Shepherd said: "I am honored and pleased to serve as a National 
Ambassador for the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign.  It is very 
exciting to be a part of a commemorative coin release that has the 
power to change lives, and I am eager to help the National Federation 
of the Blind in its mission to improve the lives of blind children 
and adults throughout the country through the power of Braille literacy."

For more information about the Braille Readers Are Leaders campaign 
and the Louis Braille commemorative coin, please visit 


About the National Federation of the Blind

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.

About the American Numismatic Association

The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit organization 
dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect 
money and related items. The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the 
public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array 
of programs including its education and outreach programs, museum, 
library, publications, conventions and seminars.  For more 
information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.

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