FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Federation of the Blind Thanks Governor O’Malley
Urges Maryland General Assembly to Approve Appropriation for Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access
Baltimore, Maryland (January 23, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for nonvisual access to electronic technology and information by the blind, today thanked Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for proposing that the state grant the NFB $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2015. The funds will help the NFB to establish the Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Commerce, Public Information, and Education (CENA). The CENA will serve as a resource for businesses, government entities, and educational institutions wishing to make their products, services, and information fully accessible to blind people in Maryland and beyond. The Federation also thanked Maryland Senator Bill Ferguson and Maryland Delegates Luke Clippinger, Peter Hammen, and Brian McHale for supporting equal access to information and technology for blind people in Maryland and across the nation.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We appreciate the continued support of Governor O’Malley and commend him for his commitment to advancing our critical mission to improve access to information and technology by the blind. In the twenty-first century, electronic information and technology are an integral part of everyday life, and the blind cannot succeed unless we have full nonvisual access to the same products, services, and information as our sighted peers. The Center of Excellence will help blind people in Maryland and across the nation to obtain this access, while making Maryland the hub of innovation in nonvisual accessibility for the entire country. We therefore urge the Maryland General Assembly to include the governor’s request for funding of this new resource in its final budget.”