In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) moving their national headquarters to Baltimore, the Orioles will host National Federation of the Blind Night at Oriole Park on Tuesday, September 18, when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05 p.m. ET.
During the game, Orioles players and coaches will wear specially-designed jerseys with Braille lettering of both “Orioles” and player last names, becoming the first team in American professional sports history to incorporate Braille lettering into their gameday uniforms. The jerseys will be autographed, authenticated, and auctioned at www.orioles.com/auctions to benefit the National Federation of the Blind.
The Orioles will welcome accomplished concert pianist and singer Carlos Alberto Ibay, who has been blind since birth, to perform the national anthem prior to the game. Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded NFB/Orioles Braille alphabet card, which will be distributed by volunteers from the NFB. Additionally, members of the NFB will be at the OriolesREACH Community Booth near Gate D during the game.
Founded in 1940, the NFB is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. With affiliates in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, the NFB offers programs to enhance learning, increase work opportunities, and improve overall quality of life for blind individuals.
“The National Federation of the Blind is proud of our seventy-eight years of working together to help all blind Americans live the lives they want,” said Riccobono. “For forty of those years, we have coordinated that work from our headquarters here in Baltimore, where we have invested tens of millions of dollars to create a top-notch facility that benefits our organization and the surrounding community. We appreciate this opportunity to partner with our hometown baseball team to share our mission, particularly our commitment to literacy through Braille education, with our fellow Orioles fans.”
This unique night is part of the club’s larger commitment to making the fan experience at Oriole Park accessible and enjoyable for all fans. National Federation of the Blind Night joins Celebrate ADA Day, hosted earlier this season on July 26, as the second disability awareness night at Oriole Park this year.
The Orioles offer a variety of gameday services and amenities for fans with physical and intellectual disabilities. At each game, assistive listening devices are available at the Fan Assistance Centers behind home plate on the Lower Level Concourse and on the first floor of the Warehouse. Orioles home games are also broadcast without any delay so that blind fans attending the game can learn what is happening on the field in real time. Additionally, ballpark announcements are captioned on Oriole Park scoreboards; nearly 400 equal access seats are available throughout the ballpark, as well as ample on-site, accessible parking; and service animals are welcome at Oriole Park.