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This Week's Facts:

  1. April is Autism Awareness Month
  2. More DTV Coupons Now Available
  3. Unwind with a Nice Stay-cation this Spring
  4. Census 2010 Preparation Getting in Gear

U.S. Mint Honoring Louis Braille with New Coin

U.S. Mint: Braile Bicentennial

The U.S. Mint is yet again releasing a new coin.  This one, however, is a little different than most.  Officially known as the “Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar,” the coin was authorized by Public Law 109-247.  It features inventor Louis Braille on the obverse (“heads”) side, and is the first U.S. coin to include readable Braille on it.  The coins are available until December 31, 2009, and are non-circulating.  Patrons interested in purchasing one can visit the U.S. Mint website or call their toll-free number at 1-800-USA-MINT.  They can also view images of the coin by visiting the Mint’s Press Image Library.  Any surcharges in sales will be sent to the National Federation of the Blind for its blind literacy programs. 

Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator
Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

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April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness MonthThursday, April 2, 2009 was World Autism Awareness Day, and April is Autism Awareness Month, sponsored by the Autism Society of America. There are several government resources to turn to when searching for information on Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASDs. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a user-friendly online Autism Information Center which contains an overview of ASDs, CDC activities, and directs users to related news.  The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus webpage on Autism also lists a wealth of different sources – from Diagnosis and Treatment to Genetics and Research. For quick access to answers, try the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Autism Information Page. Try also Learning about Autism, from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Digital Television CouponsMore DTV Coupons Now Available

In a March 24, 2009 press release from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), it was announced that the DTV Coupon Program is back on track.  The program was designed to provide government subsidies for citizens who had to purchase digital cable converters for their analog televisions.  Prior to the DTV Delay Act (PL 111-4), a major concern was that the program had run out of funding and was unable to provide coupons for households who needed them, thus creating an extensive backlog.  However, because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the backlog has been alleviated.  Households with expired coupons can contact the NTIA to get a replacement.  Please see the press release for detailed contact information.  The NTIA is accepting new applications for coupons and their stated turnaround period is nine days.  However, as these coupons are being distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, citizens are encouraged to redeem their coupons as soon as possible.

Unwind with a Nice "Stay-cation" this Spring

Indiana Office of Tourism and DevelopmentFlorida, Cancun, Jamaica… Indiana?!  Why not Indiana for Spring Break?  While it may not be an exotic location, Indiana has many tourist attractions and features for just about everyone.  Instead of going away for Spring Break, many Hoosiers are deciding to take stay-cations and become tourists in their own city.  The Indiana Office of Tourism and Development has packages and discounts to make staying in Indiana for Spring Break an attractive one.  From resorts to museums to casinos, there is something for everyone here. For more information, please visit these websites and enjoy your stay-cation.

Census 2010 Preparation Getting into Gear

US Census BureauYou and your patrons may notice U.S. Census workers soon in your neighborhood, sporting identification badges, starting now and throughout the year. Workers have begun canvassing addresses to make sure no one goes uncounted. One year from now, on April 1, 2010, the Census Bureau will begin counting the nation. Performing an accurate count of the population is very important. Information collected during the decennial census is used to: “distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year,” according to the Census Bureau’s Census 2010 website. One of the main differences for Census 2010 is that there will be no long form to fill out. Everyone will fill out the same short form which takes a convenient 10 minutes to complete. For more information, please visit Indiana’s Census 2010 website for more on Why the Census Matters and read the March 30 Indy Star article, Census wants to count on you.