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Kathleen Strauss to Help Launch Braille Literacy Campaign
Date:3/26/2009

LANSING, Mich., March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan State Board of Education President Kathleen Strauss will join members of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan to launch a Braille Literacy Campaign Thursday, March 26th at 10:30 am in the Rotunda of the Michigan State Capitol. Blind persons will kick off an $8 million campaign to double the Braille literacy rate by 2015.

The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is joining in a nationwide campaign to double the number of Braille readers by 2015.

Braille Readers are Leaders is a public awareness campaign to increase support for Braille literacy among blind children and adults.

The US Mint's NFB Braille Commemorative Coin will be launched on March 26, 2009 to celebrate Louis Braille's 200th birthday.

Money raised during the campaign will be invested in Braille literacy programs.

"We are pleased to have Mrs. Strauss join us in our effort to improve education for blind children in our state," said Fred Wurtzel, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. "As Michigan's longest serving Board of Education member, Mrs. Strauss has demonstrated her dedication to quality education for Michigan's children, including children who read and write Braille," said Wurtzel.

"Braille is important to me in my work and personal life," said Mary Ann Rojak, a blind social worker from Jackson. "There is no substitute for Braille. Computers have not replaced the pencil and paper, nor have they replaced Braille."

With the passing of Public Law 109-247: The Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin Act, the President of the United States and the U. S. Congress have recognized the critical role Braille plays in the independence, freedom, and success of the blind and the central role the NFB plays in improving literacy among the blind.

Campaign Goals

  1. The number of school-age children reading Braille will double by 2015.
  2. Michigan will promulgate rules under existing state law requiring special education teachers of blind children to obtain and maintain the National Certification in Literary Braille by 2015.
  3. Michigan will continue to improve systems to assure that Braille resources are made more available through online sharing of materials, enhanced Braille book production methods, and improved distribution of text books and related educational materials.
  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.

To find material on the national launch use the following:

    AVAILABLE ON PATHFIRE-VNF Provider A SATELLITE COORDINATES

    WHAT:        Braille Literacy Crisis in America

    FEED TIME:   Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 1:00-1:15pm ET & 4:00-4:15pm ET

    COORDINATES: Galaxy X Transponder: X D/L Frequency: X
                 C-Band Analogue Audio 6.2/6.8

    CONTACT:     Renee Kelly at 877-544-8400 (toll free)


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SOURCE National Federation of the Blind of Michigan
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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