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Southern California boy brings Braille to Whole Foods

February 21, 2014
Source: ABC KGO-TV San Francico - East Bay News

By Laura Anthony

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Josh Goldenberg from The Joshua Project is from Southern California and he is in the Bay Area, masterminding a new way for blind people to shop at Whole Foods markets.

Josh was born blind. When he was old enough to go shopping, he could not believe there were no labels on store shelves to help him. He was in Fremont on Friday at the Whole Foods market trying to change that.

Leave it to a kid, to come up with a simple idea, that is brilliant. It grew out of the efforts of young Josh to find batteries one day at a grocery store.

"Mommy, why is there no Braille on the shelves? She is like, I do not know," said Josh.

He is the boy behind The Joshua Project, a foundation dedicated to making the daily lives of the blind a bit easier, like being able to find things in a store.

"That way they can come into the store and they do not have to wait a million years. They do not have to wait that long for someone to come over and help them," said Josh.

Josh was born without sight -- something his parents vowed would never be treated as a handicap.

"We thought if we raise him different, he is going to grow up different. If we raise him the same, he is going to grow up the same, so we raised him the same," said Evan Goldenberg, the dad of Josh.

And Josh thinks blind people should be able to shop for groceries, the same as everyone else.

"It is a feeling of accomplishment. Getting there is one thing, but knowing where everything is, is a really good feeling," said Jennifer Boylan, from the Stockton Center for the Blind.

Besides new Braille labels in the produce department, Whole Foods also has these handheld scanners, so that blind shoppers can find what they need on the shelves. The scanners allow the person to find the item and learn a bit more about it, if they wish.

For Josh, it is all about the kind of life he envisions for himself and others, who just happen to be blind.

"I am just going to keep brailing more and more and more stores, until I Braille the world, including Target," said Josh.

Note: The story also includes a video that has closed-captioning available.

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