Let Freedom Ring

Braille Letters to President Barack Obama

What would happen if a group of people were asked to write about their experience with literacy? Only that segment of the group possessing the commodity could do it of course. What conclusions could be drawn about better ways to provide the group with this vital skill? What truths might be revealed about the education being provided to that group? How would the leaders of our nation with the power to make change respond? 
-Marc Maurer, President, National Federation of the Blind

In the fall of 2009, the National Federation of the Blind put out a call for Americans to write letters to President Barack Obama expressing the role that being able to read and write Braille plays in their lives. Today, only ten percent of blind children are learning to read Braille in school'a shocking statistic that alone reveals glaring problems in the education of blind children in theUnited States.

The NFB was flooded with responses from a large variety of blind and sighted people'from school children to working professionals to retired senior citizens. While there are great variances in the people responding, one factor was the same: that Braille plays a vital role in their lives and is an important and, indeed necessary, tool for the blind.

We have compiled one hundred of these letters, representing diverse perspectives, into a book intended to be presented to President Barack Obama. On February 1, 2010, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, will receive the publication on behalf of the president at an ceremony at the United States Department of Education with leaders of the National Federation of the Blind, blind children, andparents of blind children.

Read the letters here: Let Freedom Ring: Braille Letters to President Barack Obama