[Nfbc-info] Contact media with info about Blind Driver event this Saturday

Mary Willows mwillows at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jan 28 06:28:19 UTC 2011

Hello All:

We are just one day away from seeing the world's first car that will be 
driven independently by a blind person.  This event is historic.  Let's all 
try to get TV and radio coverage of the event.
Send the following information to pr at myabc7.com



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

Congressman Mica to Participate in NFB Blind Driver ChallengeT

Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2011): The
National Federation of the Blind announced today
that Congressman John Mica, who represents
Florida's Seventh Congressional District and
chairs the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee, will participate in
the demonstration of a vehicle that can be
driven by the blind.  The Congressman will be
present along with NFB officials and other
dignitaries when a modified Ford Escape equipped
with nonvisual technology allowing a blind
person to drive it independently is demonstrated
as part of pre-race activities leading up to the
Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway
on January 29.  Congressman Mica will drive the
vehicle onto the course and present the keys to
a blind driver, who will then drive the road course alone.

Congressman Mica said: "I am pleased to
participate in this historic moment, which will
shatter misconceptions about blind citizens and
show the world exciting new technologies that
will enhance the quality of living for many
Americans.  I have no doubt that this event is a
milestone in revolutionary technological change
that will dramatically improve transportation
and safety in the twenty-first century."

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National
Federation of the Blind, said: "We are extremely
pleased that Congressman Mica is joining us for
this historic occasion.  It is fitting that the
Chairman of the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee will participate in the
demonstration of technology that will ultimately
benefit sighted drivers as well as the blind."

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan
Institute­the only research and training
facility on blindness operated by the blind­has
challenged universities, technology developers,
and other interested innovators to establish NFB
Blind Driver ChallengeT (BDC) teams, in
collaboration with the NFB, to build interface
technologies that will empower blind people to
drive a car independently.  The purpose of the
NFB Blind Driver ChallengeT is to stimulate the
development of nonvisual interface
technology.  The Virginia Tech/TORC team, under
the direction of Dr. Dennis Hong, Director of
the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at
Virginia Tech., is the only team that has
accepted the challenge.  The team is currently
working with the National Federation of the
Blind on the second-generation prototype vehicle
to integrate new and improved versions of the
first-generation nonvisual interface technologies into a Ford Escape.

For more information about the NFB, please visit
<http://www.nfb.org/>www.nfb.org.  For our
digital news release about the Blind Driver
ChallengeT and the debut of the BDC car at the
Rolex 24, including audio and video clips for
television and radio, 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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
>/>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.
nfb-talk mailing list
nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
Mary Willows, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
mwillows at sbcglobal.net 

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