Blind Boy Adds Braille Tags in Fremont Whole Foods Grocery

By Christie Smith and Lisa Fernandez
|  Friday, Feb 21, 2014  |  Updated 7:06 PM PDT
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He's 10 years old now, but when Josh Goldenberg was 6 and just learning to read, he was floored to find out that the kind of reading he was learning how to do was no good at the grocery store.

He's 10 years old now, but when Josh Goldenberg was 6 and just learning to read, he was floored to find out that the kind of reading he was learning how to do was no good at the grocery store.

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"Other Blind People Can Shop Too," Blind Calif. Boy on Braille Tags in Grocery Stores

Josh Goldenberg, 10, of Simi Valley is the mastermind behind installing brailled tags and technology in grocery stores throughout California. On Friday, he was at the Fremont Whole Foods. This way "other blind people can shop, too," he said. Christie Smith reports

Blind Boy Adds Braille Tags in Fremont Whole Foods Grocery

Josh Goldenberg of Simi Valley, who is blind, has been on a mission to add braille tags to grocery stores. He plans to add the braille signs at a Whole Foods in Fremont on Friday. Christie Smith reports
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He's 10 years old now, but when Josh Goldenberg was 6 and just learning to read, he was floored to find out that the kind of reading he was learning how to do was no good at the grocery store. 

Blind at birth, Josh has grew up in Simi Valley doing everything like everyone else. 

Like any other kid learning to read, Josh was thrilled to “see” for himself what things said -- and was disappointed to find out that labels on store shelves were illegible to him, and thousands of other visually impaired Americans like him.

“How am I going to shop, if there’s no Braille there?”

It was a question his mom, Christie Goldenberg, didn’t have an answer to.

For the last four years, the Goldenberg family has been on a mission to add braille tags and technology in grocery stores. On Friday, they were able to add braille readers to the Whole Foods in Fremont.

This way "other blind people can shop, too" Josh told NBC Bay Area.

The family has been wholeheartedly behind their son, who has a peppy spirit and a mess of curly hair.

“It’s a question of access,” Josh's mom said. “You don’t always see people in wheelchairs, but the ramps are there.  Just because you don’t see blind people in grocery stores doesn’t mean they don’t want to be there.”

Christie Goldenberg researched how the visually impaired shop. She found that, in many cases, blind shoppers are asked to wait until someone can help them.

"My son's so independent, he's never going to go for that," Goldenberg said. "To him, he's no different than anybody else. So, why is the world different when it comes to him? That's what he's trying to figure out."
 

"For him to be able to just go out and touch something and do this on his own, it makes him feel part of it instead of being away from them," said Josh's father, Evan Goldenberg.

Josh and his parents started the Joshua Project Foundation, a non-profit organization with the goal of putting up Braille in grocery stores, one market at a time.  They started with a few stores near their home in Southern California, and have been working to bring Braille to stores across the state and the nation.

There are at least three or four other Whole Foods that have worked with the Goldenberg family on adding the braille readers.

 NBC LA's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

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