[nfbmi-talk] A Story about NASA and the Braille Coin

Mary Ann Rojek brightsmile1953 at comcast.net
Thu Oct 22 20:04:50 CDT 2009


        NASA and the National Federation of the Blind Celebrate Release of the 2009 Louis
Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
10.16.09
Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
 Limited Edition 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar. Credit: United States
Mint.
NASA Associate Administrator Chris Scolese, left, and Mark Riccobono, executive director of the Jernigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind
 NASA Associate Administrator Chris Scolese, left, presented Mark Riccobono, executive
director of the Jernigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind a Braille-inscribed
award with two Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars flown on Atlantis' STS-125
mission. Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers.
To commemorate the United States Mint's release of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial
Silver Dollar and to recognize the critical role that Braille plays in the pursuit
of careers in math and science by the blind, NASA's STS-125 mission flew two of the
coins aboard during the Hubble Servicing Mission. This commemorative coin, only available
until Dec. 11, 2009, is the first U.S. coin to have readable Braille on it and is
a testament to the importance of Braille in the lives of the blind people.
Associate Administrator Chris Scolese presented them to Mark Riccobono, executive
director of the Jernigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind during
the closing ceremony of the NFB Youth Slam--the largest gathering of blind students
and mentors brought together to inspire and engage blind youth in science, technology,
engineering and math.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille's birthday, Congress authorized
the minting of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar. The coins are the
first to feature tactile, readable Braille, which enables the blind to read and learn,
just as Hubble allows people to learn about the universe.
As authorized by Congress, the United States Braille coin will fund efforts by the
National Federation of the Blind to reverse the Braille literacy crisis in America.
After Dec. 11, any unsold coins are melted down.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "This is
an exciting moment because the general public has the chance to buy a piece of history
-- a coin that not only represents knowledge and empowerment for blind people but
that also [visited] the Hubble Space Telescope."
NASA astronaut Gregory H. Johnson will speak at the celebratory closing of the National
Federation of the Blind's 2009 Youth Slam. At the Youth Slam, 200 blind high school
students from across the nation will participate in five days of activities to help
encourage the blind youth of America to consider careers in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics.
NASA and the National Federation of the Blind have been collaborating for more than
five years to inspire and engage blind students to lend their unique talents to disciplines
critical to the nation's engineering, scientific and technical missions.
For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, visit:
http://www.nfb.org
.
To learn more about the coin, visit
Louis Braille Commemorative Coin


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