Carrie Gilmer carrie.gilmer at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 21:19:17 UTC 2009

Carrie Gilmer, President
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
A Division of the National Federation of the Blind
NFB National Center: 410-659-9314
Home Phone: 763-784-8590
carrie.gilmer at gmail.com
-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwnews-bounces at nfbwis.org [mailto:nfbwnews-bounces at nfbwis.org] On
Behalf Of Fuehrer Stacy L
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 1:57 PM
To: nfbwnews at nfbwis.org

Hi every one.  In case any one is planning to order Louis Braille coins in 
the near future, thought you might want to see this message.

> Introductory prices for the Louis Braille commemorative coin  will go away
> at the completion of business on Sunday April 26. Pricing information is
> below.
> The National Federation of the Blind will have Louis Braille coins 
> available
> through the NFB Independence Market as a convenience to members beginning
> March 26.  For your information, below are the prices that they will sell
> coins for.
> March 26-April 26: $33 uncirculated and $40 proof plus actual shipping 
> costs
> After April 26: $34 uncirculated and $42 proof plus actual shipping costs
> Independence Market 410 659-9314 Ext. 2216
> USA Mint Pricing
> Introductory Price
> Regular Price
> Uncirculated Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
> Introductory price: 31.95
> Regular Price: 33.95
> The uncirculated Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar will also be
> offered in an easy-to-open
> capsule for those who would like to feel the tactile elements offered by 
> the
> coin
> design.
> Uncirculated Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar in Easy-Open Capsule
> Introductory price: 31.95
> Regular Price: 33.95
> Proof Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar
> Introductory price: 37.95
> Regular price: 41.95
> You can order coins online at the U.S. Mint:
> http://www.usmint.gov
> or by phone at: 1-800-USA-MINT (800) 872-6468)
> TTY: 1-888-321-MINT (6468)
> Outside the 50 United States: 001-202-898-MINT (6468)
> Available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight (Eastern
> Daylight Time).
> Remember, if you don't order before April 26, the coins will still be
> available, but only until the end of this year. After that they will only 
> be
> available from collectors.
> Fred Olver
> Missouri Coordinator Louis Braille coin initiative
> Email:
> goodfolks at charter.net
>  Braille Readers are Leaders
> Braille equips the blind with literacy in the exact same manner that print
> empowers the sighted.  Yet, today fewer than 10 percent of blind children
> are learning Braille. The National Federation of the Blind is introducing
> the "Braille Readers are Leaders" Literacy Campaign to improve Braille
> literacy and double the number of young Braille readers by 2015.
> Background
> The Braille code, the primary system of reading and writing used by people
> who are blind, is a relatively modern invention that has frequently met 
> with
> opposition.  The code is named after its creator, Louis Braille 
> (1809-1852),
> who developed and published the first manual on his code at the age of
> eighteen.  Blind students enthusiastically took to the Braille code as 
> until
> then the only means of reading independently, was using embossed letters.
> The embossed letters were slow and difficult to use, and no easy way to
> write using this system existed.  Essentially, the embossed letter system
> was invented by fully sighted individuals as a means of helping blind 
> people
> to be normal.  Despite the clear advantages of Braille and the 
> enthusiastic
> support for the system among young blind students, using the code was
> challenged by sighted schoolmasters who viewed it as simply another 
> barrier
> between blind and sighted individuals.  The Braille code was first
> introduced in the United States in 1869 but faced many struggles before 
> its
> adoption as the Standard English Grade Two Braille code, in 1932.
>>From that point until the early 1960s, many blind people were routinely
> taught to read and write Braille from an early age.  However, by the 
> 1980s,
> the Braille literacy rate among blind people was reported to be near 10
> percent.  This meant that the vast majority of blind people were
> illiterate-they could not effectively use print or Braille to read and
> write.  A number of causes led to the decline in Braille literacy,
> including:
> .        The emphasis, since approximately 1965, on teaching children with
> some remaining vision to read print, to the exclusion of Braille;
> .        Negative attitudes toward blind people and the communication 
> skills
> they need;
> .        Lack of standardized Braille teaching methods and of quality
> control to ensure high standards of teaching;
> .        The misguided notion that technological advances, such as 
> cassette
> tapes, were a viable substitute for Braille;
> .        Discouragement of newly blinded adults from learning Braille 
> under
> the false belief that it cannot be mastered after childhood;
> .        Not giving older individuals the opportunity to explore how some
> Braille might help them maintain their independence and manage their own
> medications; and
> .        Underestimation of and view of Braille as unusual, thus, the 
> blind
> themselves are viewed in a similar fashion.
> A Much Needed Shift
> Led by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), a number of initiatives
> were undertaken, beginning in the 1980s, to change the decline in Braille
> literacy.  These included raising public awareness about the benefits of
> Braille and an effort to adopt state laws that strengthened access to
> Braille instruction and instructional materials for blind children.  While
> significant progress was made in the 1990s in changing public policies
> related to Braille and raising awareness of the importance of Braille to 
> the
> blind, the literacy statistics for the blind show that far too few blind
> people have access to quality instruction in Braille.  This is true 
> despite
> the fact that research conducted during this period demonstrates a
> significant relationship between Braille and employment.  That is, better
> than 80 percent of the blind people who are gainfully employed utilize
> Braille in their daily lives.  This is contrasted with an unemployment 
> rate
> among the blind that is often cited to be 70 percent.  Braille,
> independence, confidence, success, and literacy are all tied together.
> "Braille Readers are Leaders" Literacy Campaign
> The National Federation of the Blind-the oldest and largest organization 
> of
> blind people in the United States-will establish an unprecedented and
> comprehensive initiative in Braille literacy beginning in July 2008 to
> coincide with the unveiling of the design for the Louis Braille
> Commemorative Coin from the United States Treasury in honor of Braille's
> 200th birthday.  This initiative will be marked by the most significant
> investment in literacy for the blind ever-raising $8 million for Braille
> literacy programs into the future-and an innovative network of programs 
> that
> dramatically enhance opportunities and education for the blind.
> The campaign has aggressive goals:
> 1.      The number of school-age children reading Braille will double by
> 2015
> 2.      All 50 states will enact legislation requiring special education
> teachers of blind children to obtain and maintain the National 
> Certification
> in Literary Braille by 2015.
> 3.      Braille resources will be made more available through online 
> sharing
> of materials, enhanced production methods and improved distribution.
> 4.      The American public will learn that blind people have a right to
> Braille literacy so they can compete and assume a productive role in
> society.
> The first phase of the campaign is raising sufficient funds to fund such
> future programs as:
> Braille.org: The Superhighway to Literacy
> A new website,
> www.braille.org
> , will be launched as a clearinghouse "portal"
> to become the premier Internet resource on Braille and educate the public
> about the capabilities of the blind well into the future.
> Braille Outreach Projects
> Big ideas begin with grassroots innovation.  The NFB includes seven 
> hundred
> local chapters located in each of the fifty states, the District of
> Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Thousands of blind people come together in 
> these
> local chapters to establish programs in partnership with members of the
> community to improve the integration of the blind into society on terms of
> equality.  A significant focus of the Braille literacy campaign will be
> providing local grants to innovative outreach and education programs 
> around
> the country that have a clear emphasis on Braille.
> "That the Blind May Read": An Educational Documentary
> The National Federation of the Blind will raise awareness of the 2009
> Braille campaign by helping to produce a one-hour documentary about 
> Braille,
> its history, and the role it plays in empowering the blind all around the
> world.  Never before has an accurate, and in-depth educational look at
> Braille been produced in a multi-media form for a wide audience.
> Braille Reading Pals
> A Braille reading-readiness program for blind infants, toddlers,
> preschoolers, and older students with reading delays will enhance literacy
> through early exposure to Braille. The program will equip parents with 
> early
> literacy materials and will connect them with resources to support their
> child's literacy development throughout the years such as mentoring from
> other parents of blind children and free Braille books.
> "Braille Readers Are Leaders" Contest
> A dynamic program encouraging Braille reading at all grade levels (K-12) 
> and
> awarding prizes in a number of categories to students reading significant
> amounts of Braille each year.
> "Braille Is Beautiful" Curriculum
> An innovative curriculum to teach sighted students how to read and write 
> the
> Braille alphabet code and increase students' sensitivity to and
> understanding of blind persons will be introduced.  This modular 
> curriculum
> will be flexible, with components to serve different age ranges.
> Braille Certification Training Program
> NFB will undertake an aggressive outreach effort to significantly expand 
> the
> pool of teachers certified in standardized teaching of Braille and
> individuals certified in transcribing and proofreading Braille in all
> Braille codes (literary, math/science, and music).
> Braille Research in Literacy
> The National Federation of the Blind will help improve Braille- related
> programs by filling gaps in the Braille knowledge base, designing studies 
> to
> evaluate the effectiveness of currently available Braille curricula and
> teaching strategies for blind people of all ages, measuring the blind
> population and Braille readership, and disseminating accurate information
> about Braille- related research.
> Braille Technology Development
> In the 21st century, literacy requires the integration of and 
> accessibility
> to technologies that facilitate reading, writing, and access to 
> information.
> Tremendous potential exists for stimulating such development and
> incorporating the use of Braille into technologies in order to enhance
> literacy for the blind.  Electronic refreshable Braille displays, dynamic
> tactile pads, new Braille writing technologies, and machines for producing
> tactile graphics are all examples where technology development is 
> required.
> New, low-cost, Braille writing technologies are also needed as the current
> tools have not been significantly improved in decades.  The National
> Federation of the Blind will establish a technology development team made 
> up
> of strategic university, industry, and other supporters to generate new
> Braille-related technologies and bring them to market at an affordable
> price.
> As this imaginative campaign develops during 2008 with its focus on
> fundraising, many new opportunities, innovative programs, and great
> partnerships will emerge to further shape the scope of this literacy
> initiative.  The NFB is the leader in Braille education, awareness, and
> advocacy and the literacy campaign will build on that leadership to build
> previously unimagined opportunities.  With imagination and innovation, we
> will build a future full of opportunities with Braille.

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