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National Federation of the Blind Announces Winners of 2016 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 15:00

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2017Category: NationalChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Announces Winners of 2016 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest

Competition Encourages Braille Usage Among the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (January 11, 2017): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, is proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. The NFB administered the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest on behalf of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union. The essay contest, sponsored by Onkyo Corporation, a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, and the Braille Mainichi, part of the Mainichi Newspaper Company in Japan, was created to promote Braille literacy and to encourage the sharing of social and cultural information among blind and visually impaired persons.

The essays were required to be written in Braille and could be written on a variety of proposed topics related to the importance of Braille. There were two groups of competitors: a junior category for persons up to age twenty-five and a senior category for persons aged twenty-six or older. Each winner received a substantial cash prize, a plaque, and other gifts from the Onkyo Corporation.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are very pleased to have been a part of this important contest. 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. Despite the undisputed value of Braille, however, only about 10 percent of blind children in the United States are learning it. We congratulate the contest winners and commend them for demonstrating the positive impact Braille has had on their lives through their essays, and also for raising awareness of the importance of Braille literacy as they live the lives they want.”

The seven winners from the North America/Caribbean Region were as follows:

Otsuki Prize

Larry Johnson, Texas, US

 

Excellent Work Award, Senior

Carol Begay Green, New Mexico, US

 

Fine Work Award, Senior

Charmaine Co, British Columbia, Canada

Ann Parsons, New York, US

 

Excellent Work Award, Junior

Juan Avila, California, US

 

Fine Work Award, Junior

Josh Andrews, Illinois, US

Samoya Jordan, Kingston, Jamaica

 

The NFB encouraged all countries in the North America/Caribbean Region to participate in the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Essays were submitted from the United States, Canada, and Jamaica.

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About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Issuance of "508 Refresh" Regulations

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Monday, January 9, 2017Category: NationalChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Issuance of "508 Refresh" Regulations

Baltimore, Maryland (January 9, 2017): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's leading advocate for blind Americans to gain equal access to information and technology, today applauded the publication of new technical standards to bring information and communication technology (ICT)  into compliance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, which requires government agencies and contractors to make their electronic information and technology accessible to the blind and others with disabilities.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "Information and communication technology has changed a great deal since the last Section 508 regulations were issued, and has become an even more integral part of everyday life. Yet blind people, particularly blind federal employees, continue to struggle with access barriers when interacting with electronic and information technology used or procured by federal agencies. For these reasons, we are extremely pleased that the new Section 508 standards have finally been published. Government agencies and contractors should now understand how to make information and services accessible to the blind, allowing federal employees to perform their job functions effectively and other blind Americans to exercise our rights and responsibilities as citizens."

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their ICT accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. 

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About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

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