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Hands On! Award

The Hands On! Award, created in 2005, honors an individual who has made a difference in the world of braille literacy and whose accomplishments have helped blind children and adults succeed in their own life. This award is presented annually at the NBP gala.

Past recipients include:


David Stern, for encouraging blind children to read through the NBA's 'Read to Achieve' program. Working with NBP, he created reading events held across the country where basketball players read print/braille children's books.

Erik Weihenmayer, for promoting braille literacy internationally. Serving as a public speaker after his summit of Mt. Everest and appearance as Time Magazine's 'Man of the Year', he inspired many, never failing to mention the role that literacy played in his accomplishments.


First Lady Laura Bush, for her role as honorary co-chair of NBP's family outreach program, ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters.

Cindy Rogers, a Starbucks barista extraordinaire, for her leadership in including children's print/braille books at Starbucks' reading events.


J.K. Rowling, for allowing NBP to produce her last Harry Potter novels at the same time as the print versions, so blind children could be part of the phenomenon that inspired millions.

Bill Raeder, for his dignity and vision in dedicating his adult life to serving blind people.


Sabriye Tenberken, for her work as founder of Braille Without Borders, providing a better education and life for blind children in Tibet and India. One of Oprah's 10 Phenomenal Women!

David Stern & Erik Weihenmayer
David Stern & Erik Weihenmayer

Sabriye Tenberken
Sabriye Tenberken

Evan & Joshua Goldenberg
Evan & Joshua Goldenberg


Rocco Fiorentino, a then 12 year old dynamo, for his perseverance in advocating for the education of blind children and convincing New Jersey's state legislature to restore funding for braille education.


Dr. William Henderson, retired principal of the newly renamed William Henderson Inclusion School, for his commitment to implementing the highest standards of public education for children with disabilities.


The Goldenberg Family, for advocating for equal access to information for blind children and adults by asking local supermarkets to put braille labels on store shelves through the Joshua Project.


Diane Croft, recognizing her 30 year anniversary as NBP's publisher during which time she has been instrumental in developing original braille publications for adults and inspiring braille literacy for children through founding programs such as the Children's Braille Book Club.

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