Friday, March 25, 2011

Blind, and want to ride in the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle?

The Blind Driver Challenge reached an important milestone on January 29, 2011, when the first public demonstration of a blind person independently operating an automobile using non-visual interfaces was successfully held at the Daytona International Speedway.

This achievement comes from the commitment and dedication of National Federation of the Blind members across the country. Whether it is the NFB's Blind Driver Challenge, the education programs, or any of the dozens of programs and services provided by NFB at the local or national level, it always begins with gathering the resources required to build our dreams for the future.

The NFB Imagination Fund is a primary source for the financial resources needed to build new programs. Those who help to collect those resources have the satisfaction of contributing to our future success. At our National Convention in Orlando, Fla., those who help raise considerable resources for the NFB Imagination Fund also will get to have their own Blind Driver Experience.

What is the Blind Driver Experience?

* An incredible opportunity for you and up to three of your friends to ride in the Blind Driver Challenge car -- the same car that was driven on the famed Daytona International Speedway -- while it is driven by a skilled blind driver

* An exclusive occasion to witness, up close, the non-visual access technology that makes it possible for a blind person to drive while experiencing a ride in the second-generation Blind Driver Challenge vehicle

* A unique chance to dialogue with a trained blind driver about the technology, the experience of testing the technology, and future interfaces for blind driving.

Thirty of this year’s Imaginators will have the honor of participating in the Blind Driver Experience during the convention. The top 10 Imaginators in overall dollars raised will automatically be selected to participate. The remaining twenty spots will be drawn at random from the pool of individuals who raised at least $1,000 and who plan to be in attendance at the convention.

In order to be eligible to participate in the Blind Driver Experience you must:

* Register for the Race for Independence (, or call (410) 659-9314 ext. 2371)

* Raise at least $1,000 or more, no later than June 15, 2011

* Register for the 2011 National Convention

* If selected, be available at the appointed time during the convention (participating individuals will be assigned a ride time on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 5)

Photo by Steven D. A. Mackay

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