Braille Monitor                                                    January 2009

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The little hands of Brandon Pickrel, a child who attended the NFB of Maryland convention in 2007, are pictured here reading Braille. The print text of what he is reading can be seen above the Braille.

Throughout 2009 blind people around the world will celebrate the bicentennial of Louis Braille's birth. During this year the NFB will raise the profile of the Braille code through a national Braille literacy campaign, Braille Readers Are Leaders (BRL). Local Federationists celebrated Braille's birthday on January 4 by sponsoring educational events at book stores and libraries across the country. On March 26 the U.S. Mint will begin selling a commemorative silver dollar to the general public. It will include the likeness of Louis Braille and the raised dots, BRL, the Braille abbreviation for the word “Braille.” Proceeds from the sale of these commemorative coins will help fund the NFB's national Braille literacy campaign. Articles examining various issues surrounding Braille will be published in the Braille Monitor throughout the next year as part of this educational initiative. President Maurer announced at the 2008 NFB national convention that one goal of this campaign will be to double the number of Braille readers among the American blind school-aged population by 2015. For further information about developments in the NFB's national Braille literacy campaign, visit <> and sign up to receive regular updates by email.

The Lucienne Filippi portrait of Louis Braille that hangs in the Braille birthplace and museum in Coupvray, France


This is the newly designed NFB Braille alphabet card, which may be ordered from the NFB Independence Market and used for educational purposes. "Go 4 Braille" is the secret message embossed at the bottom of the alphabet card. Featuring the uncontracted alphabet and the numbers 1 through 0, this tool will go a long way to promote knowledge of Braille throughout the United States. To order these cards, call (410) 659-9314 or visit <>.

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