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July 30, 2009
Dear President Obama:
My name is Carylin Walton. I am employed with the National Federation of the Blind. The National Center is located at 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, Maryland. I have been employed with the NFB for nine years, and I am writing this letter to you in support of Braille literacy.
Have you ever noticed a blind student or an adult reading a Braille book, letter, or menu? They read with the same energy, drive, and focus as we who are sighted do. The information blind people absorb is no different from the information we absorb. The difference is just the medium in which they receive it.
I never really knew much about blindness until I came to the NFB. My first national convention was in 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia. What I saw took my breath away. The convention drew thousands of blind adults--blind adults with babies, teenagers, and children walking proudly, confidently, excitedly to their various destinations.
In addition to their canes, guide dogs, and sighted guides, they held in their hands or under their arms some type of Braille document. It was probably a national convention agenda that told them where the seminars, classes, general sessions, and other items of interest were located, in what rooms they were being held, and what times meetings were to begin.
Blindness is a fact in our society, one that will always exist. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give every blind child the same opportunities, skills, and equipment to provide him or her a running start to obtain independence--just as the sighted are given? Please give your support to the National Federation of the Blind Braille Literacy Program. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Carylin R. Walton