[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Announces Winners of 2010 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Tue Dec 21 03:52:42 UTC 2010

                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Announces
Winners of 2010 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest

Competition Encourages Braille Usage Among the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (December 20, 2010): 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 2010 
Onkyo Braille Essay Contest.  The NFB administered the Onkyo Braille 
Literacy Essay Contest in the U.S. on behalf of the North 
American/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 to pertain 
either to how the individual gains knowledge or independence through 
Braille or to an individual concept about world peace from the 
viewpoint of persons with disabilities.  There were two groups of 
competitors: a junior category for persons up to age twenty-five and 
a senior category for persons over age twenty-six.  Each winner 
received a substantial cash prize, a plaque, and other gifts from the 
Onkyo Corporation.

Dr. Marc Maurer, 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 impact Braille has had on 
their lives through their essays and also for raising awareness of 
the importance of Braille literacy throughout their everyday lives."

The seven winners from the North America/Caribbean Region were as follows:
Nijat Worley; Colorado, U.S.

Barbie Elliott; Utah, U.S.
April Davis; Louisiana, U.S.
Penny Leclair; Ontario, Canada

Madeline Link; Pennsylvania, U.S.

Ashley Gonzalez; Texas, U.S.
Ana Gschwend; Manitoba, Canada

The NFB encouraged all countries in the North America Caribbean 
Region to participate in the Onkyo Braille Essay 
Contest.  Thirty-nine essays were submitted from the United States, 
and three from Canada.  The United States selection committee was 
established by inviting member organizations from the United States 
to have a representative participate on the committee.  The selection 
committee then forwarded the top five essays from the U.S. to be 
considered in the regional selection process.  The Canadian essays 
were ranked by a committee designated by the coordinating agency for 
Canada, and all of those essays were forwarded for regional 
consideration.  The regional selection committee consisted of all of 
the members of both national selection committees, and it met to 
choose the prize winners on August 18, 2010.

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, 
please visit <http://www.nfb.org>www.nfb.org.


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.  Please visit our 
Web site: <http://www.nfb.org>www.nfb.org.

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