FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Wednesday, November 4, 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 Announces Notre Dame Will Use Braille Coin in Coin Toss

Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar Will Be Used in Coin Toss at Fighting Irish Game

South Bend, Indiana (November 4, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for Braille, is pleased to announce that the University of Notre Dame will use a 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar in the coin toss at its football game on Saturday, November 7. The renowned Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who have been awarded more national championships than any other Football Bowl Subdivision school, will play Navy.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased that the University of Notre Dame is recognizing the critical importance of Braille literacy for the blind in a fun and exciting way by including the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar in its football game on November 7. As an alumnus of Notre Dame, I am personally appreciative of the great impact this gesture will likely make. There can be no doubt that the ability to read and write Braille competently and efficiently is the key to education, employment, and success for the blind; yet only one in ten blind children in the United States are currently learning it. We are asking University of Notre Dame fans and all other Americans to help us in ensuring literacy, education, productivity, and success for every blind American by purchasing a 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar today.”

Congress authorized the minting in 2009 of 400,000 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars to mark the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille (1809–1852) and to support the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to promote literacy among blind Americans. This unique and beautiful commemorative coin is the first U.S. currency to feature tactile, readable Braille.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar will be used to support the NFB’s “Braille Readers are Leaders” campaign, a national initiative created to double the number of blind children learning Braille by 2015, improve certification standards for teachers of Braille, and conduct innovative programs to support Braille literacy.

Those interested in ordering a 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar or the new Braille Education Set, which features the coin in a collectible folder designed to highlight the life and legacy of Louis Braille, should visit www.braille.org or www.usmint.gov or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar and the Braille Education Set will only be available until December 11, 2009. For more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, visit www.braille.org.