A Small Change To Their Jerseys Sends A Big Message To These Baltimore Orioles Fans

"An environment where everyone feels welcome at the ballpark.”

This is a home run for inclusion.

Later this month, the Baltimore Orioles baseball team will sport a new kind of jersey, becoming the first professional sports team to use Braille lettering on its gameday uniforms. 

In an effort to raise awareness and welcome more fans who are blind or visually impaired, on September 18, the Orioles will host the National Federation of the Blind Night, wearing "first-of-their-kind big league jerseys with their names spelled in Braille," The Baltimore Sun reports. The jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned after the game.

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Greg Bader, the Orioles vice president of communications and marketing, explains, "We've made a conscious effort to create an environment where everyone feels welcome at the ballpark," Bader tells the publication. "We take our role as entertainer very seriously, but we also want to serve as an escape for some people, and as a platform to highlight the causes and morals that we feel strongly about. A 'blindness awareness night' puts it into perspective that there's more going on out there than just wins and losses."

The National Federation of the Blind is an organization with 50,000 members. Chris Danielson, the public relations director, has been blind since birth. He tells The Baltimore Sun that the Braille jerseys work to send an important message to the public.

"We appreciate their spirit in reaching out to our community and letting the public know that blind people are sports fans, too — and that Braille is a simple yet elegant way for them to learn to read," Danielson says. 

The organization also hosts The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC), among other programs. 

The IBTC is the "world's largest and most complete evaluation and demonstration center of adaptive technology used by the blind. The center contains nearly two million dollars' worth of technology from around the world, including all of the speech and Braille assistive devices for use with computers and other related technologies."

People have taken to social media to share their excitement for the jerseys:

(H/T: Twitter)

Cover image: Keeton Gale / Shutterstock.com

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