[nfbmi-talk] Fw: [Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Man to Take to theRoad at DaytonaInternational Speedway

J.J. Meddaugh jj at bestmidi.com
Fri Jan 28 23:03:03 CST 2011

The excitement down here is electric right now, and I can't wait for 
It should be on the speed channel on cable and you can listen to the demo at 
11:15 by going to the nfb.org website.
Wish I was driving.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Larry Posont" <president.nfb.mi at gmail.com>
To: "nfbmi List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 7:35 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: [Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Man to Take to theRoad 
at DaytonaInternational Speedway

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
> To: <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 5:14 PM
> Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Man to Take to the Road at 
> DaytonaInternational Speedway
> Chris Danielsen
> Director of Public Relations
> National Federation of the Blind
> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
> (410) 262-1281 (Cell)
> cdanielsen at nfb.org
> Blind Man to Take to the Road
> at Daytona International Speedway
> Baltimore, Maryland (January 28, 2011):
> The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest
> organization of blind people in the nation, announced
> today that Mark Anthony Riccobono, a blind executive who directs
> technology, research, and education programs for the organization,
> will be the first blind
> individual to drive a street vehicle in public.  Mr. Riccobono will
> be behind the wheel of a Ford Escape hybrid equipped with nonvisual
> technology allowing
> a blind person to drive it independently as part of a historic
> demonstration scheduled during pre-race activities leading up to the
> Rolex 24 at the Daytona
> International Speedway.  The demonstration is set to take place at
> 11:30 a.m. EST on January 29.
> Mr. Riccobono said: "I have been blind since the age of five, so I
> never got to try for a driver's license or drive a car without
> another person telling
> me which way to steer.  The NFB's leadership in the Blind Driver
> Challenge(tm) has taken something almost everyone believed was an
> impossible dream and
> turned it into reality.  I am looking forward to getting behind the
> wheel and demonstrating to the world that being blind does not
> prevent me from engaging
> in any activity I choose as long as I am able to get the information
> I need.  This will be a truly historic occasion for my blind brothers
> and sisters
> and for America, and I am humbled and proud to be part of it."
> Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
> said: "The sight of a blind individual driving a vehicle without
> assistance from a sighted
> person will shake the foundation of public misconceptions about
> blindness and blind people by showing that even tasks that are
> thought to require vision
> are possible if a blind person has access to information in a
> nonvisual way.  Vision is not a requirement for success.  Capacity,
> imagination, and determination
> are all that is needed, and blind people have all of these qualities."
> Mr. Riccobono was the first director of the Wisconsin Center for the
> Blind and Visually Impaired, a state agency that serves Wisconsin's
> blind children.
> Since coming to the headquarters of the National Federation of the
> Blind in 2003, he has spearheaded many initiatives, including
> educational programs designed
> to engage blind youth in the fields of science, technology,
> engineering, and mathematics.  He currently serves as executive
> director of the NFB Jernigan
> Institute.  He and his wife Melissa, who has worked as a school
> counselor and serves as president of the Maryland affiliate of the
> NFB, live in Baltimore
> with their two small children, Austin and Oriana.
> The NFB Blind Driver Challenge(tm) is a research project of the
> National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute-the only research
> and training facility
> on blindness operated by the blind.  The Jernigan Institute
> challenged universities, technology developers, and other interested
> innovators to establish
> NFB Blind Driver Challenge(tm) (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 Challenge(tm) is
> to stimulate the development of nonvisual interface technology.  The
> Virginia Tech/TORC
> NFB BDC 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 uses the ByWire XGV(tm) developed by TORC
> technologies as the research platform for the development and testing
> of the nonvisual
> interface technologies that allow a blind person to drive.
> For more information about the NFB, please visit
> www.nfb.org.
>  For our digital news release about the Blind Driver Challenge(tm)
> and the debut of the BDC car at the Rolex 24, including audio and
> video clips for television
> and radio, please visit
> www.DigitalNewsRelease.com/?q=NFB_CarKit.
> ###
> 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.
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