FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Congratulates NASA on Successful Mission

Two Louis Braille Coins Return with Atlantis

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE (May 24, 2009): When the space shuttle Atlantis landed today, it also returned from space two Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars. This unique coin commemorates the birth of the inventor of the reading and writing code for the blind and is the first United States coin to contain tactile, readable Braille. Sales of the coin will be used to support the National Federation of the Blind “Braille Readers are Leaders” campaign. The campaign is a national initiative created to double the number of blind children learning Braille by 2015.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind wishes to congratulate NASA on a successful mission to enhance our capability to explore the far reaches of space. We are also pleased that this mission promoted Braille literacy by carrying two Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars into orbit. Blind children in America are facing a crisis—only 10 percent of them are learning Braille, leaving 90 percent illiterate. By dramatically publicizing this coin, whose own mission is to raise critically needed funds to support Braille literacy, NASA has helped to reverse this devastating trend.”

To purchase the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, please visit www.usmint.gov or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The proof silver dollar is available for $41.95 and the uncirculated silver dollar sells for $33.95. For more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, please visit www.braille.org.