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Michael Barber
Des Moines, Iowa

August 1, 2009

Dear President Obama:

In 1991 I became employed as the first totally blind customer service representative of Wells Fargo Credit Card Services. My job was to give customers their current balance and available credit, review their statements, make adjustments when necessary, and issue replacement cards. I began this job using speech-output software. It soon became apparent that the software I was using was not going to be compatible with the applications I was using. My job was in jeopardy after only two months.

We turned to a refreshable Braille display, where with my fingers I could actually read everything appearing on the screen. The software and display worked beautifully. My job was salvaged. Had I not been able to read Braille, as so many blind people in our country cannot, I would have lost my job. Anyone who says Braille literacy is not important is sadly mistaken.

Cordially,
Michael D. Barber