Posted: 9:54 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, 2014

10-year-old boy helps design braille system for grocery stores


By Gasia Mikaelian

FREMONT, Calif. —

A 10-year-old’s question to his mother in the grocery store became the inspiration behind one family’s goal to make a change in the community.

Josh Goldenberg was born blind and depends on braille to read, but the young boy has run into limitations where braille is not provided.

Goldenberg’s father, Evan, said his son ran into one of those hurdles while grocery shopping with his mother.

"My wife said she went shopping with him and he asked, ‘Why is there no braille for me to go shopping’,” Evan Goldenberg said.

Josh’s parents didn’t have a good answer but together, they family has been working to come up with a solution.

The family started the Joshua Project Foundation, a non-profit with the goal of putting up braille in grocery stores, one market at a time. 

So far, most of markets participating have been in Southern California where the family lives, but the Whole Foods in Fremont is the project’s sixth addition in what Josh hopes will become a nationwide movement.  

"After we brailled two stores it was like really common and every store was like, ‘Lemme do it! Lemme do it!’” Josh told KTVU.

The families said with the movement’s successes there have been setbacks.  One store put in braille labels, only to take them out later.

But in the meantime the Goldenbergs have becoming experts in navigating corporate politics and getting through a lot of red-tape.

"If we have braille up in every store through the United States, the next person who has a child who's born blind, they'll know they can take them to school there will be a teacher who can teach them to read braille. As it is right now, you have to fight for it," Evan Goldenberg said.

The family says their goal is not about shopping, but rather about being self-sufficient.

"Everybody should have the ability to go into a store and buy a carton of milk-- everybody should have the right to at least be that independent," Josh’s mother, Christie Goldenberg said.

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