FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Category: 
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

The National Federation of the Blind Releases the “Nonvisual Election Technology and Training Curriculum”

Available Now on CD and on the World Wide Web

Casting a secret ballot is a right most Americans take for granted. Now, for the first time ever, speech output technology voting machines make it possible for blind and visually impaired people to cast a secret ballot privately and independently.

Baltimore, MD – (August 10, 2006) – The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is pleased to announce the immediate release of its free “Nonvisual Election Technology Training Curriculum,” which provides comprehensive information and expertise about voting accessibility and nonvisual election technology. In addition to the CD and accompanying materials, an online version of the training curriculum is also available.

“Nonvisual Election Technology Training Curriculum”

Produced by the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the “Nonvisual Election Technology Training Curriculum” contains the following chapters:

· An Introduction to Accessible Voting by Dr. Marc Maurer,
President of the National Federation of the Blind
· Why the NFB?
· Voting, Accessibility, and the Law
· Purchasing an Accessible Voting Machine
· Training the Poll Worker
· Comments by Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, Executive Director of the
National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
· A video presentation about voting machines by some of the manufacturers
· An evaluation by the National Center on Nonvisual Election Technology (NCNET)
staff of all voting machines located at the National Center for the Blind

In addition to the CD, the following information is also available in both print and Braille:

· HAVA Usability Checklist
· The 2004 Resolution of the National Federation of the Blind, Resolution 2004-01
Regarding: Maintaining Accessible Voting for Blind People

For the third year, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the recipient of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities’ (ADD) Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant program. In order to create an awareness of nonvisual election technology and to promote voting accessibility for the blind, the NCNET, based at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, houses a comprehensive list of accessible voting machines for the blind. These machines are available for demonstration and evaluation at no cost to officials or the public. Reservations are required beforehand in order for NCNET staff to be available to provide free demonstrations, give expert advice, and answer questions.

For further information, to make a reservation for a tour and evaluation, or to order additional curriculum packets, please contact Steven Booth at (410) 659-9314 or email him at: sbooth@nfb.org.

About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.