President of the National Federation of the Blind Addresses Staff at Library of Congress

Jan 21, 2010, 11:30 ET from National Federation of the Blind

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, addressed staff at the Library of Congress today.  Dr. Maurer's presentation focused on the need for digital information, including electronic books, to be made available to the blind.  He urged the Library of Congress, which is participating in the creation of the World Digital Library, to work with blind Americans to make sure that this new resource will be accessible to the blind.  In addition to being the world's largest library, the Library of Congress operates the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which distributes Braille and recorded books by hard copy and digital download to some 800,000 Americans who cannot read print.

In his remarks, Dr. Maurer said in part: "The Library of Congress is recognized throughout the world and revered by those who cherish knowledge.  I myself have spent time in the stacks of the law library and have conducted research that helped to change the lives of blind workers in America.  As the Library pursues the creation of a worldwide body of information made available to people through the newest technologies, we are asking that the plans incorporate nonvisual access for the blind and print-disabled. . . .The Library of Congress, which has been such a magnificent leader in protecting and defending intellectual property and making it available for use by scholars and others, can lead once again in this spectacular effort.  I look forward to working with you in making it happen."

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.

SOURCE National Federation of the Blind