FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Monday, March 10, 2008
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Public Relations Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Introduces Second Annual March for Independence

Over 1,500 Blind People Will March in Dallas This Summer

Dallas, Texas (March 10, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of the blind in America, will introduce the March for Independence – A Walk for Opportunity at a breakfast reception for community and business leaders on Thursday, March 20, at 9:00 a.m. The reception will be held at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Date:             March 20, 2008
Time:             9:00 a.m.
Location:       Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
                    Republic Tower
                    325 North St. Paul Street
                    Dallas, Texas 75201

Fifteen hundred blind citizens from across the nation will be marching for independence from the Hilton Anatole Hotel to the American Airlines Plaza on the morning of July 2.  This extraordinary event is coming to Dallas due in part to the efforts of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).  The Honorary Chairman of the March for Independence – A Walk for Opportunity, Congressman Pete Sessions, will be marching at the head of the procession. 

“This march will be an extraordinary event for the community,” said Heather Walker, convention services manager at the CVB.  “We are always promoting our community and we are excited that this group is not only bringing their national convention, but also a unique event.”

Kevan Worley, chairman of the March for Independence – A Walk for Opportunity, said: “Yes, the March is the culmination of our yearlong Imagination Fund drive.  But it is much, much more than that.  It is intended to raise awareness about the capabilities of blind people.”   

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, added, “The purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is to change what it means to be blind, to break down the old stereotypes and misconceptions, to get Braille under the fingertips of blind children, and to bring information and support to the low vision elderly who are losing sight at alarming rates.  We are trying to end, once and for all, the appalling 70 percent unemployment rate among the blind and we raise money through the Imagination Fund to support these missions and the development of exciting, cutting edge technologies which can bring the blind even greater access and independence.  We will be marching to demonstrate to the public the independent spirit and true capacity of the blind of Texas and the nation.”

At the breakfast reception the NFB will demonstrate cutting edge access technology, the development of which was made possible through those companies that sponsored the first-ever March for Independence last summer.  NFB of Texas President Tommy Craig explained, “We are more than a self-help group here in Texas.  We are a civil rights and advocacy organization.  But we also do amazing research and training and we want to partner with local companies and civic organizations to spread the word about what we do.”

The NFB raised nearly $600,000 from the event last year.  Half of all dollars raised stayed in local communities and the other half supported training and research conducted at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.  The institute is the first of its kind, empowering the blind of all ages through research and training developed and conducted by the blind themselves.

“We are grateful that the CVB is giving us this opportunity to reach some of our community leaders, shake some hands, and spread our enthusiasm,” said NFB of Texas President Craig.

For more information, please contact Heather Walker at (214) 571-1037 or by e-mail at hwalker@dallascvb.com, or Kevan Worley at (866) 543-6808 or by e-mail at kevanworley@blindmerchants.org.