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National Federation of the Blind and Louisiana Tech Launch National Reading Media Assessment

November 15, 2012

News source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Assessment to Determine Best Reading Medium for Blind Students

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States and the leading advocate for Braille literacy, today announced that its National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA) is now available. Developed and tested over a three-year period in collaboration with the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University, the NRMA is the first nationally validated assessment of its kind for youth with low vision. The assessment was developed to determine the most appropriate reading medium for students who are blind or have low vision, to ensure that the reading medium is appropriately identified both for current and future need, and to ensure that student success is not hampered by incorrect identification of literacy needs.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Many young students today with visual impairments are not classified as blind and as such do not receive training in the proper reading medium. For instance, far too many students with low vision are mistakenly taught to read large print instead of Braille and end up functionally illiterate. The NRMA aims to change this harmful trend and ensure that every student with a visual impairment receives training in the proper reading medium and is set on the path to future success.”

Dr. Edward Bell, principal investigator of the research, said: “The primary findings from our assessment showed 14 percent more youth as needing Braille than prior assessments, and 36 percent more youth as needing Braille than who are actually getting it. Clearly this new approach is sorely needed in order to improve the education of blind children.”

To learn more or participate in the National Reading Media Assessment, please visit

More NFB News

National Federation of the Blind Partners with Santa to Promote Braille Literacy

Once again, Santa has enlisted the help of the elves at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Jernigan Institute to get Braille letters out to hundreds of blind boys and girls this Christmas season.

Between November 19 and December 17, parents can go online at and fill out a Santa Braille Letter request form. The form can also be printed and faxed to (410) 685-2340. Beginning November 27, the Braille letters from Santa will start going out to blind boys and girls around the country. The Braille letter will also be accompanied by a print copy (for mom and dad to read). Requests for letters must include the writer’s name, the child’s name, birthday, gender, mailing address, a telephone number, and e-mail address in case Santa’s helpers at the National Federation of the Blind have questions.

The deadline for letter requests is December 17, to ensure that a return letter in Braille is received before Christmas.

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