Yesterday, July 27, the White House announced that President George W. Bush signed H.R. 2872, Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law number not available at this time) to commemorate Louis Braille’s accomplishments on the 200th anniversary of his birthday. The law calls for the minting of no more than 400,000 commemorative $1 coins made of 90-percent.

The law prescribes the obverse will have a portrait of Braille and the “reverse shall emphasize Braille literacy and shall specifically include the word for Braille in Braille code (the Braille capital sign and the letters Brl) represented in a way that substantially complies with section 3 of Specification 800 of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress specifications for Braille, and is tactilely indiscernible from printed or written Braille.” It requires the designers to work with the National Federation for the Blind on the design.

When this commemorative is released in 2009, its price will include a $10 surcharge that will be given to the National Federation for the Blind “to promote Braille literacy.”

It looks like 2009 will be a busy year. In addition to this commemorative, 2009 will include the Lincoln Cent circulating commemoratives and the new presidential dollar series begins along with the first lady commemoratives (Public Law 109-145 [GPO: text, pdf]). Also, the Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Act (S.811) has been passed by the Senate and is awaiting for the House to act upon H.R.2808 before the bill can be sent to the President for approval.

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