WICHITA, Kan., July 1, 2011 — Three hundred and fifty blind children from July 3-8 will participate in the “Red Sight and Blue: I Can See Her Too” project in Orlando, Florida, at the 71st Annual Convention of The National Federation of the Blind. Thanks to the generous donation of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, and the help of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, each child will receive an American Braille Flag, along with a Braille booklet titled “Americanism 2011″, containing the following information: Evolution of the United States Flag; Holidays to display your flag; The History of Flag Day; History of the American Braille Flag; Description of the American Braille Flag; and Braille Alphabet Card.
During July 17-23, an additional 150 blind and low vision students from all across the country will also participate in the “Red Sight and Blue” project and receive an Americanism 2011 packet upon attending Youth Slam, a five-day adventure to be held in Baltimore, Maryland at Towson University (July 17-23, 2011). While staying on a college campus, these students will be mentored by blind role models during fun and challenging activities designed to build confidence and increase science literacy.
Prior to the creation of the American Braille flag the American flag was not accessible to the blind. Created by the Kansas Braille Transcription Institute, in Wichita, Kansas, this flag has been specially designed in a way that informs the blind of the full color of the American flag, 13 stripes, and 50 stars on the blue field. Additionally, this tactile flag bears the American Pledge of Allegiance in both large print and Braille.
In 2008, U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas) authorizing the placement of the American Braille flag in Arlington National Cemetery honoring blind members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and other Americans. The flag was placed in the Cemetery’s Visitor’s Center. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our veterans, and this simple action will mean much to our patriotic blind veterans,” said Tiahrt.
Visit these websites to learn more about the Child Welfare Foundation: http://www.cwf-inc.org, The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children:http://www.nfb.org/nfb/parents_and_teachers.asp and Youth Slam:http://www.blindscience.org/ncbys/Youth_Slam_20111.asp
It is estimated of 1.5 million blind Americans approximately 90,000 are school-aged children.
To learn more about the Kansas Braille Transcription Institute, and how you too can receive an American Braille Flag, visit http://www.kbti.org, or call (316)265-9692.