Blind woman wins at bingo after protest

May 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 27 (UPI) -- A blind New York woman says it is a joy to be able to hear her electronic bingo card in the wake of her two-year battle to allow the devices to be audible.

The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle said Wednesday Joanna Richardson, 51, who was born blind, won a game of bingo this month after convincing state officials to allow the electronic bingo devices to audibly notify users if they won.

"You have the control over the majority of what's going on now," Richardson said. "You don't feel like you're throwing your money away. You know when you're waiting and you know when you won. You can't be cheated."

The state Racing and Wagering Board, which supervises bingo games in the state of New York, previously had banned audible electronic cards due to complaints from other bingo players.

But after Richardson's two-year campaign of e-mails and telephone calls, the state group capitulated to her request and allowed the devices to alert users if they are victorious or are only one square away from winning.

"She's a profile in persistence," Joe Mahoney, the state agency's spokesman, told the Democrat and Chronicle.

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