, PA (PressExposure) December 03, 2008 -- Eighteen recording artists from across the US have donated tracks to the âSound in Sightâ CD, a project of the volunteer-run, nonprofit Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the Blind (PAD,NFB â www.padnfb.org). Proceeds from the sale of âSound in Sightâ support the Mary Anne Parks Performing Arts Scholarship for blind students majoring in the performing arts. Here clips from the CD at:
Recording artists featured on âSound in Sightâ include singer/songwriter Seria Chatters (Tampa), a 2006 Florida Idol finalist and half of the hip hop duo Kemistry, whose single âBody Heatâ topped dance charts in 2008. The CD includes songs by 2006 Jus Plain Folks finalist Brooke Fox (NYC), country singer songwriter J.P. Williams (Nashville), easy jazz vocalist Lisa Ostrow (Boston), Sarasota-based jazz pianist Mike Markaverich and opera singer Beth Allred (Denver).
PADâs purpose is to support blind and visually impaired entertainers through scholarships, subsidies, mentoring, networking and peer support. As part of their larger goal as a division of the NFB, PAD works to improve opportunities for all blind people through the performing arts. Unemployment among working-age blind Americans has remained at seventy percent for decades, consigning many talented, educated blind people to lives of poverty. Only ten percent of the nationâs blind children are taught to read Braille, the only tool offering true literacy and the common link among many successful blind people. Issues facing blind Americans rarely make the news, and many blind people report repeated problems with misunderstanding and discrimination.
PAD understands that having a strong media presence has helped other minorities. There are very few blind people in the national spotlight. There hasnât been a new, blind American superstar for decades and the only blind woman most people can name is Helen Keller, who died over fifty years ago.
PAD hopes that in supporting blind entertainers, more blind people will enter the public arena. As understanding and acceptance increases through exposure to talented blind artists, opportunities will improve for all blind Americans.
All of the recording artists featured on the âSound in Sightâ are blind. PAD President Dennis Holston (Manhattan), an artist recruiter for the Visionary Media Company, combed the country for promising blind performers and persuaded them to donate their work to the project. Many of them have gone on to accept leadership roles in PAD. Brooke Fox is vice president, Beth Allred is secretary and Seria Chatters is on the board of directors.
### About the National Federation of the Blind: With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind peopleâs lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.