Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

National Braille Press Powers Through Pandemic to Continue Bringing Books to the Blind

Discover

National Braille Press Powers Through Pandemic to Continue Bringing Books to the Blind

The National Braille Press (NBP) in Boston empowers the blind and visually impaired with programs, materials, and technology supporting Braille literacy and learning through touch. Amid the initial disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, the storied non-profit publisher in business since 1927 was forced to shut down.

Matt Witterschein rivets binders at the National Braille Press in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. PHOTOS BY SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF/GLOBE STAFF

Understanding the importance of reading as a pastime during isolation, NBP has since been able to reopen and keep its presses running with a combination of physical distancing and remote operations. Head pressman Khith Nhem is even able to control the presses from his home in Billerica, Massachusetts, WDHD 7News reported.

Blind persons use the raised, tactile letters and punctuation in Braille to read. “For a child, Braille is literacy by definition,” said NBP president Brian MacDonald. “It’s the only way to learn to spell and do sentence structure, and grammar.”

Mansfield, Massachusetts resident Tim Vernon, who is blind, shared his perspective with 7News. “It’s a vital part of quality of life, being able to read books and utilize Braille on a daily basis. It’s critical to success and to happiness,” he said.

Watch the special report on 7News Boston and learn more about the National Braille Press at www.nbp.org.