Archive for Sunday, May 21, 2006

Project seeks to help blind kids learn about the American flag

May 21, 2006


— How do you explain the "Stars and Stripes" to children who cannot distinguish one from the other, or talk about the "Red, White and Blue" to someone whose world has always been black?

That's the challenge facing the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Kansas Braille Transcription Institute, a nonprofit group based in Wichita.

The two organizations are teaming to help blind and visually impaired children across the country learn more about the American flag, its meaning and its history.

The Braille Transcription Institute plans to produce nearly 1 million posters featuring an embossed U.S. flag that children will be able to feel with their fingers, president Randolph Cabral said. The posters, which will also include the Pledge of Allegiance in large print and Braille, will be distributed to DAR chapters nationwide.

The DAR has about 168,000 members in 3,000 chapters nationwide. The project's goal is to provide each member with 50 posters, to be distributed to children who need them.

The total cost of the project is unknown, but Kaye Stanley, a representative of one of Wichita's seven chapters, said the DAR plans to cover expenses.

Special cloth flags will also be produced for use in classroom presentations in the Wichita area.

The fabric for the red stripes is thicker and textured, so students will be able to differentiate them from the white stripes. One flag has 13 raised stars, arranged in a circle - the original U.S. flag pattern - while the other has 50 stars.

"The idea for the flags just sort of came up suddenly," said Stanley, who hopes DAR chapters across the nation will implement the program as well. "We saw the need for an educational tool, and the idea grew from there."


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