FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Louis Braille Coin Will be Launched into Space

National Federation of the Blind and NASA Confirm Historic Flight

Baltimore, Maryland (March 26, 2009): In a surprise announcement at the launch ceremony for the new Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, NASA announced that the new commemorative coin celebrating the life and work of the inventor of the reading code for the blind will fly on a future space shuttle mission. The announcement, by NASA Deputy Administrator for Educational Programs Dr. Joyce Winterton, came at the end of the official event announcing the availability of this beautiful new coin, which will help the National Federation of the Blind to increase Braille literacy in the United States.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar symbolizes the power of knowledge and future opportunities for blind children across America. It is therefore fitting that this historic coin will be part of a mission to uncover the secrets of the universe. Perhaps someday a Braille reader will also be part of such a mission.”

Dr. Joyce Winterton said: “NASA believes strongly in the importance of educational opportunities for everyone, and that is why we have partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to help create programs that enhance scientific study for blind youth. Launching the first coin ever to contain tactile, readable Braille into space symbolizes NASA’s commitment to the spread of knowledge by every means and to every individual.”

The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar goes on sale to the general public at noon today. Those interested in ordering a coin should visit www.usmint.gov or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). For more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, visit www.braille.org.