Secretary of State

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JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft thanked members of the Calvary Lutheran Braille club at the Wolfner Library on Thursday morning.

"90 percent of all the materials that are published are unaccessible to people with visual impairments," Ashcroft said. "[The Braille club is] helping to open up society to a portion of people."

Since January of 2016, club members Brailled over 250 books and games for the blind and vision-impaired. All of the books and games were donated to the library.

Wolfner provides library resources to Missourians who are unable to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability. The library's collection includes fiction and nonfiction audio, braille, and large print books for all ages.

"Nationally there are libraries across the country that help put materials into audio form and other forms for individuals. We really concentrate on things dealing with Missouri and work with other states to bring in other materials," Ashcroft said.

In honor of the club's donations to the library, and World Sight Day, Braille club members went on a tour of the library, its' facilities and received a certificate from the Secretary for their service. 

"We really got into this because I was going blind," club member Elizabeth Whitworth said. "That drove my mom to learn and teach Braille."

By this time, doctors expected Whitworth to be legally blind, but she said she was able to get her driver's license last year. 

The club plans to continue Brailling books and games for the next few years. 

"I help because I'm empathetic. I'm in the same boat as them and if I was going to go blind, I'd want this stuff, so they probably want this stuff," Whitworth said.