FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
National Federation of the Blind
Announces 2010 Race for Independence
Fundraising Effort to Focus on Access to Technology for Blind Americans
Baltimore, Maryland (January 19, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, today announced the 2010 Race for Independence, a fundraising effort focused on improving access to technology by blind Americans and supporting other NFB initiatives. The Race for Independence is designed to raise funds for the National Federation of the Blind Imagination Fund, which supports the education, technology, and research projects of the NFB Jernigan Institute, as well as programs conducted by the fifty-two affiliates and over seven hundred local chapters of the Federation. The Race for Independence will also bring public attention to the need for full and equal access for blind Americans to modern technology, in everything from home appliances to automobiles. The initiative begins with a six-month campaign to raise funds from NFB members and friends that will close on July 31, 2010.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Imagination Fund represents the hopes and aspirations of blind Americans. Through this effort we are able to create innovative research, training, education, and technology programs that improve the lives of the blind and move us closer to our ultimate goal of full integration into society on a basis of equality. The crisis in Braille literacy for blind children and advances in technology that, if not properly designed, will threaten the independence of the blind mean that time is of the essence. But I am confident that with the help of our members and friends, we will ensure that blind children are literate and can pursue the career of their choice; that blind people have access to cutting-edge technology; and that opportunities for all blind Americans are limited only by our capacity to dream.”
Parnell Diggs, Chairman of the NFB Imagination Fund, said: “The Race for Independence is quite simply the expression of our desire to speed toward our goal of achieving first-class citizenship status in society at an ever-increasing pace. It is the anchor of the National Federation of the Blind’s Imagination Fund, the annual campaign to raise proceeds for NFB programs at the national, state, and local levels.”
To sign up to be an Imaginator and help build the Imagination Fund, please visit www.raceforindependence.org or call (410) 659-9314, extension 2371.
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.