Commemorative coin to honor Braille

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Louis Braille, the inventor of the most widely used reading and writing method for the blind, will be featured on a commemorative U.S. silver dollar.

Under a House bill passed by voice vote Tuesday, the U.S. Mint will issue 400,000 silver dollars commemorating Braille in 2009, the bicentennial of his birth. Funds raised from a $10 surcharge will go to the National Federation of the Blind to promote Braille literacy.

The front of the coin would depict Braille, and the reverse would include the word "Braille" written in Braille code.

Braille, born outside Paris on Jan. 4, 1809, lost his sight in a childhood accident. He later built on a nighttime code used by the French Army to create the pattern of raised dots that is named after him.

Similar legislation introduced in the Senate earlier this month has 23 co-sponsors. This type of legislation requires 67 Senate co-sponsors, according to Senate Banking Committee spokesman Andrew Gray.

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