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National Braille Press Promotes Tactile Literacy & Braille Technology Innovation

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National Braille Press Promotes Tactile Literacy & Braille Technology Innovation

National Braille Press is leading the iPhone charge among the blind and visually impaired.

National Braille Press

NBP Believes Braille = Literacy for Blind Persons:

National Braille Press (NBP) is a nonprofit that seeks to provide blind people with equal access to information by publishing content in braille. NBP is headquartered in Boston.

NBP is believes braille is the only true means of literacy for a blind person. Its guiding purpose is to are to promote braille literacy among blind children and provide information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.

Since 2008, when it launched the Center for Braille Innovation, NBP has also been at the forefront of developing technology to improve tactile learning and make more universally accessible and less expensive.

Francis B. Ierardi, an Italian immigrant, founded National Braille Press in 1927 with the launch of The Weekly News, a periodical he published for nearly 40 years, fulfilling his dream of enabling blind people to read the newspaper.

National Braille Press Products and Programs:

Today, NPB publishes braille books -- in both bound and digital Web-braille editions -- on subjects that include computers and technology, home and health, self-help, literature and poetry, and children's books.

NBP is also known for its braille literacy programs, such as ReadBooks, which encourages families with blind children to read print/braille books together. NBP provides free book bags containing a braille book, a braille primer for parents, and various teaching tools and games designed to foster a love of reading.

NBP also does on-demand braille printing for commercial customers for such things as bank statements, menus, company handbooks, user manuals, and transit schedules in accessible formats.

Inspiring Braille Technology Innovations:

Another way NBP promotes braille literacy is inspiring the development of new technologies -- and improvements to existing products --that make braille easier to learn, portable, and more readily available to blind adults.

NBP's two main technology initiatives are its annual Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation and its Center for Braille Innovation (CBI(.

The $20,000 Touch of Genius Prize recognizes individuals and groups that contribute innovations that promote tactile literacy among blind people. Past winners have included new tools and approaches to teaching math and music.

NBP president Brian Mac Donald launched the Center for Braille Innovation in 2008 as a hub for new ideas and inventive tools to deliver braille faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost compared to current products.

NBP is at work on an affordable braille note taker it hopes to launch in late 2012.

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