Monday, December 29, 2008

National Federation of the Blind Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Louis Braille

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's largest and oldest organization of blind people, will hold events nationwide on Sunday, January 4, 2009, to promote Braille literacy and help celebrate 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. In over one hundred bookstores, libraries, and other venues all across the nation, National Federation of the Blind representatives will demonstrate Braille and the power of 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, only about 10 percent of blind children in the United States are currently learning it. These events will help raise awareness of the importance of Braille literacy and are an integral part of our nationwide campaign to reverse the downward trend in Braille literacy and to ensure that equal opportunities in education and employment are available to all of the nation's blind," said Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

The events are being held nationwide as part of the National Federation of the Blind'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 minted in 2009 in recognition of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille. The commemorative coin design will also be previewed at the events.

For more information about the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, please visit www.braille.org. To find out about events in your area, please contact Fredric Schroeder at fschroeder@nfb.org.

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