Friday, January 7, 2011

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

The NOPBC is an organization of parents with blind children. This group of parents considers blindness as a characteristic of their child, not a defining disability.  We support the efforts of this group to encourage the  climate of opportunity and understanding for parents. 

In the coming months it's our goal to provide 1000 braille flags to the children as they learn about the history of the United States and the meaning behind our nations symbol of freedom and unity.  

If you haven't seen our braille flags, they are not simply a piece of paper with braille description, instead these are fully tactile flags of high-quality, weatherproof thermoform paper. Thermoform light-weight textile plastic material commonly used in the industry to the blind for reproduction of tactile graphics as it retains the raised images and Braille dots better than standard Braille paper.

The flag is unique in that it permits a person who is non-sighted to fully see (via touch) the raised stars and stripes, but the colors of the flag as well. The flag also features the American Pledge of Allegiance in print and raised Braille dots in grade one Braille. (Grade-one Braille was chosen as it is can be read by both novice and seasoned Braille readers.)

Children who are blind are consistently taught the Braille color code. The color code is made up of an arrangement of three dots, very easily learned. However, for any person who is blind that may not have learned the color code or Braille, a separate "key" was created located at the lower portion of the flag that conveys that the smooth stripes are red, and the raised-grainy stripes are white stripes. Also within the key, a smaller raised graphic depicts the orientation of the fifty white stars on its blue canton (field).

We feel it's important for children to know and understand the place our flag holds in history. What better way than to let them "see" it.