Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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 President to Deliver Keynote Address at Notre Dame’s Blindness Symposium

Speech will Address Education and Civil Rights for All Americans

Baltimore, Maryland (March 3, 2009): Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, will give the keynote address at the Notre Dame Disability Studies Forum’s blindness symposium. The symposium will be held at the University of Notre Dame on March 6, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The Notre Dame Disability Studies Forum is hosting speakers from arts-based and technology-based disciplines to discuss the culture and technology surrounding blindness and low vision. The symposium will also feature a technology fair running concurrently with the conference and highlighting products that blind people can use.

“I am honored to give the keynote address at this influential symposium conducted by my alma mater. With the increasing use of electronic textbooks, web-based instruction, and other technology in the classroom, it is critical that educators consider how all aspects of the educational system can be made accessible to all students including the blind. Only 10 percent of all blind children are currently learning to read and write using Braille. Our educational system is failing these students and this issue must be addressed immediately. I appreciate the opportunity to speak on these crucial subjects to this prestigious gathering.”

Attendees of the symposium will get to see firsthand a brand-new, highly affordable navigational aid called AdapTap that blind swimmers can use to keep their bearings in a swimming pool. The National Federation of the Blind awarded the project a 2008 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for outstanding and innovative achievements in the blindness field.

Both the academic conference and the technology fair will be open at no charge to the general public. For more information about the symposium, please e-mail For more information on the National Federation of the Blind, please visit