The Joshua Project Braille Signs
Joshua Goldenberg of Simi Valley, California, was born totally blind with his right eye missing, a rare condition called Bilateral Microphthalmia. At 18 months old, his left eye was removed due to Glaucoma. He is now almost 8 years old and is a very smart, talented, outgoing, funny and independent boy. He has an amazing memory and has an uncanny ability to add and subtract numbers in his head with ease. As he gets older, Josh is figuring out that the world is not accommodating to his needs. His parents, Evan and Christie Goldenberg, are encouraging and helping him to change the world one step at a time.
With the help and support of some amazingly generous friends, Josh’s family started The Joshua Project Foundation. Their mission is to continue to put Braille along with other aides and technology into grocery stores throughout the United States. "When I saw there were stories of [visually-impaired] people going into stores and waiting 20 minutes [for an assistant], I thought, Josh is so fiercely independent, he'll never go for that," Christie said. "So, I thought, there has to be a better way. And [Josh] said, 'Mommy, just make them put Braille on the labels.'"
And although Christie thought her son's idea would be brushed aside, the reaction was quite the opposite. Whole Foods Market embraced the concept and soon after, Joshua was at home making labels for the stores. Whole Foods Market, Thousand Oaks location, was the first of the 44 stores in the Southern Pacific Region to work with the Goldenberg’s by putting Braille on their grocery labels. The Whole Foods Market Newtonville, Boston location, also has Braille in their store. Today, Whole Foods Market Santa Barbara location will be third in launching The Joshua Project by putting Braille on their grocery and produce labels.