[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind, Wells Fargo Launch the 2017 Bell Academy Program

Danielsen, Chris CDanielsen at nfb.org
Wed Jan 4 15:13:21 UTC 2017


Danielsen                                                       Lisa Westermann
Director of Public 
Relations                                   VP, Corporate Communications
National Federation of the 
Blind                           Wells Fargo & Company
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330                           (415) 222-6236
(410) 262-1281 
<mailto:lisa.b.westermann at wellsfargo.com>lisa.b.westermann at wellsfargo.com
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org 

National Federation of the Blind, Wells Fargo 
Launch the 2017 Bell Academy Program

325 students participated across 30 states and 45 academies in 2016

Baltimore, Maryland (January 4, 2017) ─ Today, 
on the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of 
the reading and writing system for the blind that 
bears his name, the<http://www.nfb.org> National 
Federation of the Blind (NFB) and 
<http://www.wellsfargo.com/>Wells Fargo launched 
the 2017 Braille Enrichment for Literacy and 
Learning <https://nfb.org/bell-academy>(BELL) 
Academy program. The program takes place 
throughout the country each summer and provides 
blind children initial or advanced Braille 
instruction so that they may learn how to use 
this powerful reading medium in fun, interactive 
ways. In addition to sponsoring the BELL Academy, 
Wells Fargo will provide strategic input into the 
program and offer team member volunteers at select academies.

Mark A. Riccobono, president of the National 
Federation of the Blind, said "The National 
Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is 
not the characteristic that defines children or 
their future. Our BELL Academy helps these 
children learn the basics of Braille, as well as 
meet other blind children and adult mentors. They 
engage in activities designed to increase their 
independence, allowing them to make friends, gain 
support, and start on the road to a future in 
which they will live the lives they want. In an 
environment where only ten percent of blind 
children receive Braille instruction, we deeply 
appreciate Wells Fargo’s support of this critical 
nationwide effort to increase literacy and raise 
expectations for blind children."

This is the second year Wells Fargo is sponsoring 
the Bell Academy. In 2016, 325 students 
participated in the BELL Academy across 30 states 
and 45 academies. To spotlight this 2016 work, 
Wells Fargo released a video showcasing the Rhode 
Island BELL Academy program: 

Kathy Martinez, head of People with Disabilities 
Segment Strategy at Wells Fargo, said "Wells 
Fargo is committed to the full inclusion of blind 
people and other people with disabilities. The 
National Federation of the Blind represents an 
integral part of our corporate mission. We are 
pleased and proud to support, and promote the 
innovative NFB BELL Academy, which teaches 
critical life skills to be successful adults."

To learn more about NFB and the BELL Academy, 
please visit <https://nfb.org/bell-academy>https://nfb.org/bell-academy.


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.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a 
diversified, community-based financial services 
company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 
1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells 
Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, 
mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance 
through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, 
the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, 
and has offices in 42 countries and territories 
to support customers who conduct business in the 
global economy. With approximately 269,000 team 
members, Wells Fargo serves one in three 
households in the United States. Wells Fargo & 
Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 
rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells 
Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ 
financial needs and help them succeed 
financially. In 2015, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 
million to 16,300 nonprofits, ranking No. 3 on 
the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s rankings of the 
top corporate cash philanthropists. Wells Fargo 
team members volunteered 1.86 million hours in 
2015, serving more than 40,000 nonprofits. Wells 
Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts 
are focused on three priorities: economic 
empowerment in underserved communities, 
environmental sustainability, and advancing 
diversity and social inclusion. News, insights 
and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also 
available at <http://www.wellsfargo.com/stories>Wells Fargo Stories.

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