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Media inquiries:
    Kimberley Ballard
    617-266-6160 ext. 437
    contact@nbp.org


What's New at NBP

NBP Announces New Leadership

Clifford Watkin, Board Chair

Photo of Cliff Watkin

As Managing Partner of Ipswich Bay Advisors, Clifford has over 25 years of human resources and employee benefits experience. Throughout his career, Clifford has built a reputation for effective leadership, critical communication and detail oriented administrative skills. He has served on the Board of Trustees of NBP since 2010, where he has shown those skills to help improve NBP's culture, navigate our latest strategic planning process, and help exercise his leaderships skills on committees. Clifford has been a regular speaker at the Northeast Human Resources Association and New England Employee Benefits Council meetings. Both the Employee Benefit News and the Boston Business Journal sought Clifford's expertise for his compliance commentary for various human resources legislation and is an adjunct instructor for Human Resources at Salem State University. Clifford holds a Bachelor's Degree from Boston University and a Masters of Business Administration from Northeastern University.

Nicholas Racheotes, Vice-Chair

Photo of Nicholas Racheotes Dr. Racheotes, who is blind and a braille reader, served on the NBP Board of Trustees for six years starting in 2008 and we're happy to welcome him back on this year as our Vice Chair. Nick is a historian and recently retired professor from Framingham State University. A braille reader since age 11, Dr. Racheotes reads braille in English, French, Modern Greek, and Russian and employs it to deliver lectures, in his research and writing, and his foreign language studies. Nick has an extensive background in advocating for the blind, and in addition to the NBP Board, he served on The Boston-Cambridge Unit of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic's Board of Directors from 1997-2005; serving as their Chairman during 2001-2003. In 2006, he was awarded the National Braille Press' Volunteer Award for contributing to Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius exhibition and book, and he was honored by the Carroll Society "for outstanding achievement as an employee and a positive influence to others," in 2001.

Welcome Cliff and Nick!

Posted 7/7/2014

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A Tribute to Irma Goldberg

All of us at National Braille Press wish to express our sincere grief at the death of Irma Goldberg of Westbury, New York. Irma lovingly and perceptively crafted the tactile illustrations for such classics as Goodnight Moon to Touch, Humpty Dumpty and Other Touching Rhymes, Let's Learn Shapes with Shapely-CAL, Touch and Learn Tactile Activities, Touch the Stars, and her endearing ABC Illustrated Flashcards. Our finest art-by-touch products from Creative Adaptations for Learning were crafted by her hands.

Irma cared deeply about precision in her work. Her genius drawings were rendered with just enough detail, but not too much, to take in the essence of the image or composition. She succeeded brilliantly. We will miss her magic touch.

Goodnight moon. Goodnight stars. Goodnight, dear friend.

Joe Quintanilla and Brian Grillo of the Boston Renegades beep ball team


Posted 7/24/2014

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Announcing Gala Co-Chairs

Photo of Tom Sullivan Photo of Tom Crohan
Co-chairs Tom Crohan, left, and Tom Sullivan

National Braille Press is proud to announce the leadership of Co-Chairs Tom Sullivan, Chairman and Founder of Lumber Liquidators and Tom Crohan, AVP & Counsel of John Hancock at our fall gala, A Million Laughs for Literacy. Tom Sullivan has been co-chairing our event since 2006 and has been a terrific supporter of braille literacy, raising over $1.3 million for NBP. Tom Crohan's parents, both braille readers, read to him from our Children's Braille Book Club and John Hancock has been a steadfast supporter of our work, underwriting books, volunteering and providing NBP with Boston Marathon numbers. We are thrilled to have their leadership and support. Please join us on October 17, 2014. Read more about the Million Laughs for Literacy Gala.

Posted 7/17/2014

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Braille Literacy Night at Lowell Spinners

Joe Quintanilla and Brian Grillo of the Boston Renegades beep ball team
Joe Quintanilla and Brian Grillo of the Boston Renegades beep ball team

Support the Boston Renegades Beep Ball team and Braille Literacy Night while catching a Lowell Spinners game on Sunday, July 27th at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA! Game time is 5pm but come early for a beep ball exhibition at 4pm, and score a free NBP braille alphabet card and other surprises.

To reserve a discounted ticket for $6 (while tickets last), please contact Jennifer Gonyea: jgonyea@nbp.org or 617-266-6160 ext. 436

Bring your pooch with you for the Spinner's annual Bark in the Park night!
Posted 6/26/2014

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NBP is hitting the road!

Close-up photo of the Eone Bradley watch.

Come visit our booth in the exhibit hall at the NFB and ACB summer conventions. Purchase any braille product and enter a raffle to win The Bradley watch! (Download our Summer Picks flyer to find out what we'll be exhibiting - as a PDF or a BRF.)

"The Bradley" by Eone was named after Bradley Snyder, an ex-naval officer who lost his eyesight in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2011. Its stunning universal design makes it a timepiece for everyone.

Stop by NBP's booth and see how it works - and why it's been nominated by the Design Museum for Design of the Year 2014!

Read more about the watch at Eone's site.
Posted 7/1/2014

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NBP Annual Meeting

Brian MacDonald and David Kennedy honor outgoing Chair of the Board, Paul Parravano
Brian MacDonald and David Kennedy honor outgoing Chair of the Board, Paul Parravano (center)

National Braille Press hosted the 87th Annual Meeting of the Trustees on Tuesday, June 17th at the Fenway Center. Guests had the pleasure of listening to Keynote speaker, Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation Winners were also announced; Cheryl Kamei-Hannan and Nancy Niebrugge for their submission of The iBraille Challenge App and Pranay Jain and Anshul Singhal for their submission of the Tactile Caliper. Read more about the Touch of Genius Prize winners and their creations.

The Annual Meeting is also our platform to celebrate our volunteers who have given their time and energy to help support our mission. This year's award winners are below:

Peter Altschul
In recognition of his august and newsworthy contributions to Syndicated Columnists Weekly and its braille readers for seven years and counting!

Norman Lang
In appreciation of his leadership, extension of his talents as a photographer and videographer, chairmanship of the Blindfold Challenge, and recruitment of new NBP supporters.

Liberty Mutual
In appreciation of their countless hours of service in ensuring that our Children's Braille Book Club is a success and the many employees who have volunteered their own time to assist our production team on many different projects to help further our mission.

Thanks to all who attended!
Posted 6/18/2014

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Great Expectations for Blind Kids

Young girl reading a braille book

Did you know that if a child isn't proficient in reading by 3rd grade, their high school dropout rate is 4x higher? NBP and Bridge MultiMedia are working together to develop a program called Great Expectations to enrich the reading experience for blind children. Featuring songs, play activities, audio picture descriptions, and more, this program will bring selected titles to life for the whole family. Learn more and help make Great Expectations a reality.
Posted 6/2/2014

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NBP in the Boston Globe

NBP employee Matt Witterschein at the riveting machine.
NBP employee Matt Witterschein at the riveting machine

Heralded as a top publisher for the blind, NBP was featured in The Boston Globe. Some highlights in the story include the recent production of the Bible for the Xavier Society which totaled over 8,000 braille pages and 45 volumes per copy. Read the full Globe article.

Posted 5/2/2014

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Congratulations, Runners!

Congratulations to all the runners who supported NBP through the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. 5K during Marathon weekend and raised over $15,000 to support braille literacy and access to information. Braille reader Ted Lennox, was so inspired h by our two Marathon runners, Bridget Brooke and Erin Connors, who, undeterred by the terrible acts at last year's Marathon, ran again and completed the 26.2 miles. Along with his check to support this great effort, Ted sent along this poem:

    Tribute to Bridget and Erin:
    You both did an exciting run.
    My hope is that it was really fun.
    Your time was about equal to mine.
    Please feel you did fine!
    Next year try to beat your speed.
    That would be fun indeed!
The runners in the B.A.A. 5K competed in the Blindfold Challenge and ran in solidarity with blind and visually impaired athletes to show the world that fear is the only disability. Well done, runners, and thank you!

Posted 5/1/2014

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Remembering Bob O'Brien

Photo of Bob O'Brien

Obituary for Robert E. O'Brien

Robert "Bob" O'Brien died on April 8, 2014 as a result of a fall-related head injury. He was 82 years old. He leaves his wife Caroline, his sister Margaret and a large family of 7 children and step-children and 17 grandchildren.

Bob grew up in Providence, RI, attended Manhattan College and later Harvard Business School, and also served as an artillery officer in the US Army.

Bob had wide-ranging pursuits and accomplishments throughout his career. He was a successful entrepreneur in the 1960's with pioneering ventures including the first company to market corporate fitness programs and an early cable-TV venture that linked surgeons to rural low income hospitals in Puerto Rico. He advised both Massachusetts and Puerto Rico governments on the development of commercial fisheries and he launched a company that consulted with the Federal government on bio-dynamic and ocean-related research. He worked for many years as a management consultant for a broad range of corporate and pro-bono clients, ranging from several Fortune 500 companies to St. Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts. He was a longtime Board Director for the Carroll Center for the Blind and also for the National Braille Press. He tutored and mentored many students at the School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, Florida.

Bob loved his hobbies as well. He was an avid reader, a beautiful writer, an accomplished amateur historian and a lover of classical and jazz music. He spent thousands of hours restoring, tinkering with and showing off his collection of old cars. He loved sailing, from his boyhood summers on Narragansett Bay to later summers on Cape Cod and Boston Harbor. In recent years he took up soaring and greatly enjoyed his time both in the air and on the ground with his fellow glider pilots. He was a regular visitor to St. Joseph's Abbey, and his time spent there with his "brothers" and in retreat helped him to reinforce his faith and to maintain a sense of peace with changes in his life.

More than any of these interests and accomplishments, though, Bob loved his family. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. While juggling the pressures of his career, he took time each night to read to his children while they were growing up and also shared many special projects and activities. As the grandchildren arrived and grew, he similarly built and cherished a special connection with each of them. He wrote and called regularly, sent thoughtful gifts, found special projects to share, and sought to spend time with each person individually during family get-togethers. He and Caroline traveled regularly across the country and to Europe to visit their children and grandchildren. Bob and Caroline's homes in Maine and Florida hosted many boisterous family get-togethers over the past decades, gatherings that reinforced family bonds and created many happy memories. His long devotion to his family created his most memorable and lasting legacy - a close-knit, loving and thriving extended family that misses him greatly.

A memorial service will be held at St. Joseph's Abbey in May. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either St. Joseph's Abbey (167 N Spencer Rd, Spencer, MA 01562) or to National Braille Press (88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115).
Posted 4/10/2014

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Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2014

Photo of Jennifer Harnish, Kristin Turgeon, and Teri Turgeon at podium of BLIND Day 2013

You are cordially invited to attend the sixth annual
Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2014
on Monday, March 10, 2014, from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM in
The Great Hall, at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Join us as we advocate for legislative support for budget needs for the upcoming fiscal year that acknowledge the importance of appropriate funding for specialized blindness services. B.L.I.N.D. event sponsors and advocates represent Massachusetts leading non-profits on blindness-related services.

Please show your support for the Governor's fiscal year 2015 House 2 budget by attending the 6th Annual B.L.I.N.D. event on March 10th.

House 2 provides for the following important increases:
  • A 2.5% Increase for the Perkins Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library. This funding will continue to support needed outreach and programmatic costs.
  • A 6% or $1.28 Million increase for MCB, specifically the 4010-2000 account. This allows MCB to provide residential services to new Turning 22 consumers, as well as more funding for residential services for individuals who are deafblind or multi-handicapped as part of Chapter 257 purchase of service reform.
  • An increase is needed in House 2's special education circuit-breaker funding support for Chapter 766 school tuition rates of 1.53%. If the rate is not increased, it will cause Massachusetts special education schools to lose $7 million in critically needed revenue.
Attendees will be provided specific talking points for the Perkins and Worcester Libraries, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and the special education funding issue prior to the event for your use during the advocacy portion of B.L.I.N.D. day.

Your participation is critical! Please complete the online registration form at www.perkins.org/statehouse. The online form will be available after February 22nd. By completing the online registration, attendees will make it easier for event planners to provide follow-up email information with additional details on this free event including directions and the event location.

For other questions, or to register by phone contact Debby King, B.L.I.N.D. 2014 Registration Coordinator at 617-972-7376 or debby.king@perkins.org.

For any accommodations requests, please contact Carl Richardson by March 3, 2014 at 617-727-1100 x35502 or via email at carl.richardson@state.ma.us.

Talking points and legislative contact information will be distributed in a future email communication prior to the event, with hard copy handouts available on March 10th. If you are unable to join us on Monday, March 10th, you can still help by contacting your elected officials.

Sponsors:
  • Bay State Council of the Blind
  • Carroll Center for the Blind
  • Lowell Association for the Blind
  • Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • National Braille Press
  • National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts
  • Perkins on behalf of the Friends of the Braille & Talking Book Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library
  • Talking Information Center
Thank you for supporting and being a part of the sixth annual "B.L.I.N.D." State House event on March 10th.

Posted 2/28/2014

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Chris Devin on Horizons

A photo of Chris Devin at his NBP desk

Chris Devin was recently interviewed on his experience with braille - as a reader and as a proofreader at NBP. Listen here. Chris is an amazing storyteller, so enjoy!

Posted 2/7/2014

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'Breaking Down Barriers' Reading Event

Breaking Down Barriers invitation

National Braille Press, a Boston based non-profit braille publisher is partnering with IBM to host Breaking Down Barriers, on January 29th at IBM's Client Center in Cambridge at 5:30 pm. The event will feature author, Rosemary Mahoney, as she reads from her new book, For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind. In her book, Mahoney shares her life changing experiences after meeting the remarkable blind woman, Sabriye Tenberken, founder of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet. She tells of her three months spent teaching at Sabriye's training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, where she encountered shocking oppression as well as amazing resilience and strength. Sabriye will also read from her critically-acclaimed book, My Path Leads to Tibet, which tells the story of the founding of Braille Without Borders.

IBM's new Client Center in Cambridge was developed to bring together influencers from different industries to discuss the changing role of technology in business and society. 'Breaking Down Barriers' presents an opportunity to discuss experiences in helping people change the way they see things for the blind community. A reception will immediately follow the reading portion of the event and both books will be available for purchase.

See photos from the event.

Posted 1/10/2014

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WGBH-Boston Covers Louis Braille

Photo of the braille alphabet appearing on WGBH's exterior wall
The braille alphabet appearing on WGBH's exterior wall.

In honor of National Braille Literacy Month, an image of Louis Braille and an image of the braille alphabet were embedded in the exterior wall of Boston public media powerhouse, WGBH. The digital mural was designed to brighten the ride for commuters with a theme a day that provokes thought, inspires curiosity, and reflects the content and values of public media. NBP thanks WGBH for recognizing Louis Braille's great contribution to braille literacy.

Photo of Louis Braille portrait on WGBH's exterior wall
Louis Braille on the wall.


Posted 1/17/2014

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NBP on Boston's Urban Update

Photo of Brian Mac Donald and Marisa Parker on the Urban Update set.

In honor of National Braille Literacy Month, Brian MacDonald and Marisa Parker were featured on Urban Update, Sunday, 1/12, 11:30am, WHDH Channel 7 in Boston. Read more about Urban Update.

Posted 1/12/2014

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The Giving Library's "Share to Give" campaign

This is the time of year when many Americans will be making charitable donations, and we'd like to share some exciting news. The Giving Library, an online video archive that connects donors to nonprofits, is hosting a $100,000 "Share to Give" campaign until December 31st.

This is a way for you to support National Braille Press by sharing our Giving Library video on Facebook or Twitter, and the Giving Library will donate $5 to us. It's that simple! Participants can share up to five organizations per month, and the Giving Library will donate up to $100,000 during the campaign. There are no gimmicks and no matching contributions.

Please mark your calendar and take just a minute to log on to the Giving Library and share our video. We thank you for your support and wish you a joyful season.

How to Share:

  1. Discover an organization you want to share.
  2. Click the "Share Now" button.
  3. Create an account if you don't already have one.
  4. Click "Share on Facebook" or "Share on Twitter."
  5. Share either the default message or a message of your choice.
  6. The organization will receive $5 per share.
  7. Individuals may share up to five organizations per month.

Posted 12/6/2013

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AmazonSmile logo.

We are excited to be part of AmazonSmile! Now when you shop at Amazon, they will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to National Braille Press. AmazonSmile is simple and automatic. It's the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.

Remember, if you want Amazon to donate to the charity you've selected, you need to start each shopping session at http://smile.amazon.com. You can type smile.amazon.com into your browser's address bar or bookmark it. When you start at smile.amazon.com Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

Learn more about AmazonSmile - use this "one click" sign-up link to start supporting NBP while you shop!

Posted 12/1/2013

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Remembering JFK

President Kennedy speaks in front of an American flag.

November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of a very dark time in our nation's history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Recently, a customer sent a braille copy of the Weekly Newspaper from 1963, the week after this tragedy. We found it fascinating and transcribed it into print and BRF files. It captures the mood of our country and is worth a read. To illustrate just how much has changed in the last 50 years, guest blogger Jonathan Mosen posts on Inside NBP how this chapter in our history would have been changed if Twitter had been around.

Download the print version of the 1963 SCW issue.
Download the BRF version of the 1963 SCW issue.

Posted 11/22/2013

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Braille Reading Event

Photo of Jay Hooley, Juna Gjata and kids at library reading event.

Jay Hooley, CEO of State Street Corporation and Juna Gjata, Harvard University freshman, were guest readers at an NBP hosted braille reading event at the North End Public Library in Boston. The story hour was held to raise awareness about braille literacy during October's Blindness Awareness Month. View more photos from the reading event.
Posted 10/31/2013

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Dinner with Jenny McCarthy

Photo of Jenny McCarthy

This is a unique Live Auction opportunity at NBP's Gala. You and a guest will have the pleasure of breaking bread with Jenny McCarthy in New York City. Talk with her about anything from dating Donnie Wahlberg to her View co-hosts. Overnight stay included and airfare for two provided by JetBlue. Read more information on the Gala.
Posted 10/20/2013

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Bud Colbert

Photo of Bud Colbert

Stoddard G. 'Bud' Colbert, passed away on Oct. 12th after a short illness Bud served for many years as a Trustee of NBP and many of us remember Bud fondly including Paul McLaughlin, current Trustee and past Chair:

"In 1983, I was still new to Boston and had recently joined the Board of National Braille Press. After one of my first attended Board meetings, I stood sharing a hanging strap on the Green Line with Bud as we returned to our offices. He enthusiastically explained his support of the Press and its mission and encouraged me to get more involved and to assist the Press and its President, Bill Raeder... Other similar discussions with Bud followed and his words of encouragement obviously had some effect because 30 years later I remain active with the Press."

Posted 10/18/2013

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Building the Braille Brain

Photo of the braille brain

Post written by Lotfi B. Merabet, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary-Harvard Medical School

Understanding the inner workings of the human brain remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern science and medicine. However, while technology such as modern day brain scanners have allowed for unprecedented views of the brain's anatomy and function, a gap in knowledge has been created for those individuals who are blind.

We know that the brain not only has a complex three dimensional structure, but also regions of specialized function that are responsible processing our senses, emotions, memories and actions. As such, the structure and organizational principles of brain are difficult to conceptualize by non-visual means.

As part of a summer project, Governor's Academy student Jin Young ("Josh") Park partnered with Lindsay Yazallino of MEEI to develop a working prototype of a 3D model of a brain that would allow for tactile exploration and identification of key landmarks, structures, and areas of specialized function. With the guidance of NBP, these intrepid investigators worked carefully to review science text book curriculum and hand built working models to help conceptualize what would become the "Braille Brain". Key, was the use of a specialty software called Blender to create a 3D virtual rendering of the brain model and tactile landmarks needed to help identify regions and location of function in the brain.

Once completed, the virtual rendered was brought to life using state of the art 3D printer technology.

Acknowledgements: The group would like to personally thank David Campbell from Boston University for his assistance in realizing the prototype model.

Lotfi Merabet is a Trustee at National Braille Press.
Posted 9/16/2013

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See Paul Reiser at A Million Laughs for Literacy Gala

Host Paul Reiser.

Stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Paul Reiser will be performing at NBP's A Million Laughs for Literacy Gala on November 1, 2013. You may remember Paul's quick wit and comedic talent on the hit show "Mad About You." Learn more about the gala.
Posted 9/1/2013

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Jay Hooley to receive President's Award

Photo of Jay Hooley

NBP will be presenting Jay Hooley, CEO of State Street Corporation, with the President's Award at our 2013 Gala, A Million Laughs for Literacy. Under his leadership NBP and State Street have partnered to promote literacy for blind children to ensure that all children are taught to read and write.
Posted 8/1/2013

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2013 Hands On! Award

Photo of Karen Keninger.

NBP is proud to announce Karen Keninger, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), as this year's Hands On! Awardee. The Hands On! Award will be presented to Karen at NBP's annual gala on November 1st in Boston. Learn more in NBP's enews.
Posted 7/1/2013

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