First Braille Coin Unveiled

Silver dollar celebrates 200th birthday of creator of blind alphabet
By Joseph Connelly,  Newser User
Posted Jul 3, 2008 4:41 PM CDT
Unveiling the design of a commemorative in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, file photo.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – The US Mint unveiled the first coin bearing readable Braille letters yesterday. The silver dollar features the letters "Brl," code for Braille, and honors the 200th birthday of the eponymous creator of the alphabet for the blind, the AP reports. "This is going to put Braille in front of people in a very dramatic way," said a rep for the National Federation of the Blind.

A $10 premium will be applied to each coin, available in spring 2009, with proceeds supporting programs to help the blind; its issue also comes on the heels of a court ruling that paper currency discriminates against the blind because it can be hard distinguish among bills. The ruling could force a redesign of US currency. Less than 10% of blind children learn Braille; the NFB hopes to double that number by 2015.