Release Date: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

NFB President Marc Maurer to Receive Award from University of Notre Dame

Award Honors Maurer’s Outstanding Contributions in Public Service

South Bend, Indiana (November 2, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest organization of blind people in the United States, today announced that its president, Dr. Marc Maurer, will be presented the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award from the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association in a ceremony on November 5. Maurer, a 1974 graduate from the University of Notre Dame, will be honored for outstanding contributions in the field of public service.

Maurer earned his law degree from Indiana University in 1977 and began focusing on representing blind individuals in the courts. A member of the Bar in Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Maryland, and the Bar of the Supreme Court, Maurer is one of the most experienced lawyers in the field of civil rights and discrimination against the blind.

Maurer has been president of the National Federation of the Blind since 1986. In that capacity, he has joined President George W. Bush in the Oval Office in 2001 to celebrate the organization’s Everest Expedition, and was present for Bush’s signing into law the Help America Vote Act of 2002. He has promoted new technology for the blind, including the knfbReader Mobile, a revolutionary cell phone application that scans and reads aloud most printed material, and the prototype vehicle for the Blind Driver Challenge. He has overseen the visionary expansion of the NFB Jernigan Institute, the first training and research institute for the blind, led by the blind. He has also previously served as president of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “I am honored to receive this award from my alma mater. As president of the largest organization of blind people in the United States, I have been fortunate to play a role in many exciting and life-changing developments for blind people in America. While we have made much progress, there is still more to be done. Only 10 percent of blind children are learning Braille in this country, and this directly contributes to a 70 percent unemployment rate among blind people in the United States. I humbly accept this award on behalf of blind Americans and pledge to work harder than ever to ensure that the blind are not left behind in today’s society.”

“In his role as president of the National Federation of the Blind, Marc Maurer continually demonstrates unwavering determination in his effort to better the lives of the world’s blind through innovative technologies and services that support their independence,” said Charles F. Lennon Jr., executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association and associate vice president for University Relations. “The Notre Dame Alumni Association is pleased to honor Marc for his personal character and outstanding contributions in public service. He is a living example of the integrity and generosity of spirit that Notre Dame instills in its graduates. His leadership of the NFB has made the University proud.”

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