Long active in addressing the needs of blind readers, as well as the issues confronting braille publishing houses and the need for consistent standards, Eileen plays as active a role in the external community as she does within her own department. She was Chair of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) from 2000 to 2003; has held leadership roles in other organizations; and frequently delivers keynote speeches at conferences across the country, conducts workshops, and participates in panel discussions.
Eileen's chairmanship of BANA has taken her around the world representing National Braille Press. BANA's mission is to assure literacy for braille readers through the standardization of braille and tactile graphics. The organization is currently addressing best practices for transcribing educational materials for children with emerging literacy skills, and is setting standards for producing tactile graphics and transcribing foreign languages. At the same time, BANA is researching the needs of braille readers, and is working with the International Council on English Braille to develop braille standards that will be consistent in all English-speaking countries.As Vice President for Education Services, the scope of Eileen Curran's voice has also increased along with the reputation of National Braille Press among teachers, school administrators, parents, and textbook publishers all around the country.
Eileen is passionate about braille and about the need for blind students to learn braille. A graduate of Boston College's former teacher-training program, Eileen has been involved in developing the teacher-training program at the University of Massachusetts Boston for instructors of the visually impaired. She is known by many parents and professionals as the author of Just Enough to Know Better, a primer now in its 6th edition, for every parent who wants to know just enough to be able to help their blind child learn to read.
Wanting to combine her three passions -- transcribing, technology, and teaching -- Eileen came to National Braille Press as a part-time transcriber in 1985. She was also working at the time as an itinerant teacher, and, being blind, she was dependent on the trains to get her from one session to the next. When the trains went on strike in 1986, she wasn't able to get to her students, so she became a full-time transcriber at the Press.
In her first year, Eileen moved from transcriber to bindery worker to bindery supervisor to computer technology specialist, holding the latter position for five years.
In 1991 she became Director of Operations, and in 1998 she became head of a new program, Education Services. Under her leadership over the last five years our services to blind school children and to school districts all across the country have increased in size more than fivefold.
As Vice President for Education Services, the scope of Eileen Curran's voice has also increased along with the reputation of National Braille Press among teachers, school administrators, parents, and textbook publishers all around the country. And most recently Eileen has also been the primary voice for her newborn daughter Kayla, who joined older brother Christopher in December.