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National Braille Press

 88 Saint Stephen Street
 Boston, MA 02115
[P] (617) 266-6160
[F] (617) 437-0456
www.nbp.org
vcribbins@nbp.org
Valerie Cribbins
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INCORPORATED: 1929
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2104740

LAST UPDATED: 06/14/2016
Organization DBA NBP
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The guiding purposes of National Braille Press are to promote the literacy of blind children through braille and to provide access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.

Since it was founded in 1927 as a printing press to provide the first regularly issued braille newspaper to the blind community in Boston, NBP has expanded its efforts to ensure that blind people have the same access to information as sighted people in a medium they can read - braille. Braille is a writing system that enables blind and partially sighted people to read and write through touch.

NBP remains committed to providing children's literacy through braille books, as well as self-help and traditional print reading materials for blind or visually impaired adults. In a typical year, NBP serves approximately 10,000 individuals through its outreach programs and publication services. Today, National Braille Press, still located in Boston, is one of only a handful of braille publishing houses nationwide.

NBP's Key Programs and Services Focus on Three Areas:

1. Children's Literacy Development

2. Education Materials/Resources

3. Technology Tools

Mission Statement

The guiding purposes of National Braille Press are to promote the literacy of blind children through braille and to provide access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.

Since it was founded in 1927 as a printing press to provide the first regularly issued braille newspaper to the blind community in Boston, NBP has expanded its efforts to ensure that blind people have the same access to information as sighted people in a medium they can read - braille. Braille is a writing system that enables blind and partially sighted people to read and write through touch.

NBP remains committed to providing children's literacy through braille books, as well as self-help and traditional print reading materials for blind or visually impaired adults. In a typical year, NBP serves approximately 10,000 individuals through its outreach programs and publication services. Today, National Braille Press, still located in Boston, is one of only a handful of braille publishing houses nationwide.

NBP's Key Programs and Services Focus on Three Areas:

1. Children's Literacy Development

2. Education Materials/Resources

3. Technology Tools


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2015 to Mar 31, 2016
Projected Income $4,265,948.00
Projected Expense $4,265,948.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters
  • 2. Hands On! Books for Blind Children
  • 3. Lifelong Literacy
  • 4. Center for Braille Innovation (CBI)
  • Great Expectations: Making Picture Books Come Alive for Blind Kids

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The guiding purposes of National Braille Press are to promote the literacy of blind children through braille and to provide access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.

Since it was founded in 1927 as a printing press to provide the first regularly issued braille newspaper to the blind community in Boston, NBP has expanded its efforts to ensure that blind people have the same access to information as sighted people in a medium they can read - braille. Braille is a writing system that enables blind and partially sighted people to read and write through touch.

NBP remains committed to providing children's literacy through braille books, as well as self-help and traditional print reading materials for blind or visually impaired adults. In a typical year, NBP serves approximately 10,000 individuals through its outreach programs and publication services. Today, National Braille Press, still located in Boston, is one of only a handful of braille publishing houses nationwide.

NBP's Key Programs and Services Focus on Three Areas:

1. Children's Literacy Development

2. Education Materials/Resources

3. Technology Tools


Background Statement

History and Mission

Founded in 1927, to provide a weekly newspaper to blind adults in the Boston community, National Braille Press (NBP) has grown in many ways over the past 88 years. Now serving all generations of braille readers from toddlers, who are reading for the first time, to blind students who rely on our braille textbooks, tactile graphics, and standardized tests, to individuals looking for advanced instruction on how to access technology via their iPhone or iPad, and senior citizens who have been reading our books and magazines for most of their lives. The power of life-long literacy and learning is central to our mission.

Because technology plays a significant role in making it possible for blind and visually impaired people to navigate their increasingly technical world, NBP established its Center for Braille Innovation. Through the Center, NBP connects with universities and researchers around the globe to identify potential methods of hardware and software solutions that can reduce the high-cost of braille technology tools.

Serving over 10,000 children and adults each year, NBP's programming encompasses a wide range of literacy needs for blind and visually impaired youth from children to older adults. Blindness cuts across all demographic boundaries, including socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, and gender, and has no geographic boundaries.

NBP remains committed to providing children's literacy through braille books, as well as self-help and traditional print reading materials for blind or visually impaired adults. Today, NBP is also exploring new tools and technology that will help blind people communicate, learn, and thrive in the digital world.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments

1. Great Expectations - Bringing Picture Books to Life for Blind Kids

NBP marked 30 years of its Children's Braille Book Club by launching an innovative program called Great Expectations- Bringing Picture Books to Life for Blind Kids. The overarching goal of Great Expectations is to promote playful multi-sensory activities to complement children's books that will inspire blind and visually impaired children to become actively engaged and excited about reading.

2. Reach for the Stars Project Textbook - Tactile Graphics' Project

NBP was recently asked to provide tactile overlays for a book developed by astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute, SAS Corporation, and the National Federation of the Blind. The Reach for the Stars book was designed to inspire students of all abilities to pursue careers in science. The abundance of graphs, charts, and other visual data in today's math and science materials, have made it challenging to present math and science to visually impaired students. NBP has created tactile overlays for all of the interactive images in the free e-book including the Hubble Space Telescope, constellations, and more! The book was made possible with support from NASA.

3. B2g - Verizon Innovation Program

NBP's new b2g (braille to go) device for the blind and visually impaired was accepted into the Verizon Innovation Program that helps bring innovative solutions to market. NBP now has access to engineering resources and state-of-the-art labs at Verizon facilities. The b2g is a refreshable braille device for thousands of dollars less than the same type currently available. The device will provide the independence blind people need to connect and participate effectively in today's information driven society. We are gearing up for a production run of the new b2g in the summer/fall of 2015.

4. U.S. Department of Education Wireless Research Center Grant

NBP is proud to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies in 2014 to develop an assistive app for mobile platforms. The app will address the lack of an accessible word editing app for the blind and visually impaired in the Android marketplace.

5. The Touch of Genius Prize

Developed to inspire innovators to promote braille literacy for blind and deaf-blind people worldwide, each year the Touch of Genius awards $20,000 for professional and educational devices, software and apps, and gaming software or apps that promote tactile and braille learning, and braille or tactile-related hardware. The Touch of Genius Prize is made possible by The Gibney Family Foundation.

NBP's 2014 Touch of Genius Prize was awarded to:

* First Place - Carnegie Mellon Research Group/TechBridgeWorld - Braille Tutor, an automated braille writing tutor which addresses challenges associated with learning to use a slate and stylus to write braille.

* Honorary Mention - Rahul Namdev, MIT Ph.D. Candidate - Intuitive STEM Accessibility System, an interactive platform to make complex STEM material accessible using a hyperbraille devic.

 


Needs Statement

Hands On! Books for Blind Children programs encourage blind children to begin a lifetime of literacy.  Programs include: ReadBooks!, Bumpy Basics toddler program, and the Children’s Braille Book Club. 

For children, sharing and reading books is a critical feature of their development. It fosters a love of reading. For blind or visually impaired children who are exposed to braille reading at a young age the experience can also foster a positive attitude about braille. Literacy experiences begin early in childhood and what better way to bond with your baby or young child then to cuddle on the sofa with a good book! However, parents of blind and visually impaired children are often overwhelmed by the medical and emotional concerns that accompany having a child with a disability. Reading braille can often be a secondary concern for them, and one that parents are unsure how to approach. Learning about braille literacy and introducing their child to braille are new skills that can be daunting for parents, but they can learn if they have the right resources.

Learning braille at an early age is correlated with a blind person's lifetime achievement. Although 70% of blind people in the United States are unemployed, those who use braille are employed at a significantly higher rate. Without braille, blind children are not able to read and write adequately and they fall behind quickly in school. Ultimately, they face the adult world ill prepared to pursue higher education or a meaningful career.

 

$2,112,564 in charitable support funds all our Hands-On! children's programming this fiscal year.
 
 
 
 


CEO Statement

Above all, our most important achievement remains the connection we have with our customers and supporters. This past year NBP started a luncheon program in various cities across the country to meet with our donors, customers and friends in each region. So far we have held these programs in Pittsburgh, Boston, Seattle, and Washington D.C., and in every city we were amazed at the large attendance and the outpouring of testimonials, thanking us for providing books at a fair price and for our work in support of affordable braille technology and braille literacy.
 
Every one of our supporters count—from the $5 monthly giver to the anonymous supporter of $8,000 to the family foundation that gives $50,000—none of this great work could occur without the continued generosity from each of you. I am often asked, “What is the future of braille with this explosive growth in technology?” and the answer remains the same: Braille will always be relevant whether it is on paper or in an e-braille format and we’re proud to be at the forefront of providing braille for that reason.
 
Similarly the 100,000 tactile graphics and diagrams we produced this year for textbooks and tests will always be needed to help young children learn about basic shapes, and for students to understand complex images and concepts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) applications. Next year we will already have many more new accomplishments to discuss, as we balance the need for traditional braille materials with the digital braille world. Thank you for believing in our work, trusting us to deliver quality braille products at the lowest price possible, and for your continued financial support. Our doors are always open in Boston, and we invite you to visit, and meet us in person for a tour. We hope to see you soon!
 

Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

NATIONAL
STATEWIDE
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

Blindness impacts all demographic groups, so it has no geographic boundaries.  National Braille Press serves blind children, adults, and their families across the United States and in Canada. While our constituents are national, we are anchored in our local and state communities.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services
  2. Education - Remedial Reading & Encouragement
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

1. ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters

ReadBooks! is a children’s braille literacy program designed to foster a love of books and reading at an early age and to support families of blind preschool children. We distribute free book bags filled with braille and other tactile materials to start blind children reading braille and prepare their sighted parents to promote braille literacy. Three book bags are available, one for 0-3, 4-5, and 6-7 year olds. The contents of each book bag is geared toward the targeted age group and is available in English or Spanish.

A network of community-based early intervention specialists distributes book bags nationwide. These professionals review the contents of the book bag when they give it to a family and show them ways to use the materials to help their child. This personal touch is key to ensure that parents are comfortable with starting to learn braille and know that beginning to read braille books with their child is an easy first step toward braille literacy.

 
Budget  $120,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

 

Short-term success is based on our ability to meet the following annual objectives:
  • Distribute 1,200 ReadBooks! bags to families of blind children.
  • Distribute 200 of the ReadBooks! bags directly to parents of blind children (most book bags are distributed through our network of professionals).
  • Distribute 125 ReadBooks! book bags with all materials in Spanish to parents of blind children.
  • Add 100 new early intervention professionals to the distribution network that provides our ReadBooks! bags to families of blind children.
  • Distribute at least 1,200 copies of each of two braille literacy guides –Because Books Matter and Just Enough To Know Better– to parents of blind children.
Program Long-Term Success 

NBP is part of a nationwide effort to increase the braille literacy rate among blind children.Among the 51% of blind children who are cognitively able to read braille, only 9% are braille readers.

ReadBooks! contributes to this effort by giving parents the resources to start their blind children learning braille and reading at an early age. This measure of long-term success is based on the premise that braille is the only medium for true literacy for blind people. Audio tools are useful, but listening is not literacy. To learn spelling, grammar, and sentence structure everyone, blind or sighted, must be able to read and write – core skills that are vital to succeeding in school, work, and life.

Program Success Monitored By 

NBP designed a database specifically for collecting, tracking, and evaluating ReadBooks! data, which we use to:

  • Track number of ReadBooks! book bags distributed nationally and in each state – the annual distribution rate is approximately 1,300 book bags, a significant increase from the early years of the program, when we distributed approximately 500 annually.
  • Monitor feedback from parents and early intervention specialists to ensure that ReadBooks! is providing relevant resources and to adjust the program as needed. NBP requests feedback and receives unsolicited comments through email and phone conversations.
  • Increase and track the number of early intervention specialists who distribute book bags – this network currently includes over 1,600 providers.
  • Track the percentage of parents who return the coupon in their ReadBooks! bag for a free braille children’s book or braille playing cards.
Examples of Program Success 

NBP requests feedback and receives unsolicited comments from parents and early intervention specialists who use the ReadBooks! program. For example, the mom of an 18-month old blind son told us:

I just wanted to tell you how much better I feel since receiving my literacy bag. It was almost a sigh of relief after reading the books. It has answered a number of questions for me and has given me the confidence to know that I can help my blind son to read…I am so happy that I will be able to help him.

We also analyze the feedback for common themes and have found that among parents and providers:

  • Over 80% mention that the program is helping them and their blind child or their students to learn braille and communicate better using this new medium.
  • Almost 60% note that a family member is using the resources in the ReadBooks! bag to learn braille to help a blind child learn to read.
  • Over 50% highlight that families are reading together after receiving the ReadBooks! bag.

2. Hands On! Books for Blind Children

Hands On! supports blind children and their parents in the effort to make braille literacy a part of their lives and a foundation for future education and success. This initiative encourages parents to read braille books with their blind child to instill an early love of reading and provide braille resources that will allow their child to enjoy a lifetime of literacy.

The Hands On! programs include: Bumpy Basics, ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters, Children’s Braille Book Club, Science and Technology, and Textbooks and Standardized Tests. All of the Hands On! materials are converted from the print versions to braille, which ensures that blind students can share the experience of reading popular books like Curious George and Harry Potter as well as use the same textbooks and take the same standardized tests including college entrance exams such as the SAT’s.
Budget  $915,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

Short-term success is based on our ability to meet the following annual objectives:

  • Distribute approximately 1,200 free ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters book bags to blind children and their families.
  • Distribute approximately 5,000 guides for parents to give them the tools that they need to help their blind child to learn braille.
  • Braille 225 textbooks and 4,000 standardized tests for blind students in grades K-12.
  • Produce 100,000 tactile graphics for braille children’s books, textbooks, and standardized tests.
  • Convert 16 print children’s books to a print/braille format & distribute at least 300 copies of each book to blind children nationwide.
  • Distribute approximately 18,000 children’s books in print/braille format to blind children.
  • Distribute at least 600 copies of math and science themed braille and print/braille books to start blind children grasping essential concepts like counting and exploring the environment.
Program Long-Term Success 

NBP is part of a nationwide effort to increase the braille literacy rate among blind children. Among the 51% of blind children who are cognitively able to read braille, only 9% are braille readers. The Hands On! programs are designed to promote braille literacy and prepare blind children to learn and to take advantage of mainstream educational opportunities alongside their sighted peers.

In addition to basic literacy, technical literacy has become an essential skill. Braille remains relevant even as technology becomes the primary means of communication that blind children will use when they get older. A focus group of blind high school and college students revealed that they began using electronic tools when they were young and that these tools are vital to learning and keeping up with their schoolwork. Long-term success would result in blind students being able to base their educational and career choices on their interests rather than any limitation of their disability.
Program Success Monitored By 
  • Track number of ReadBooks!book bags distributed nationally and in each state – the annual distribution rate is approximately 1,000 book bags, a significant increase from the early years of the program, when we distributed approximately 500 annually.
  • Monitor feedback from parents and early intervention specialists to ensure that ReadBooks!is providing relevant resources and to adjust the program as needed. NBP requests feedback and receives unsolicited comments through email and phone conversations.
  • Track all requests for braille textbooks and tests in our production and financial database to ensure that we are providing relevant resources and determine what publications we will offer in the future.
  • Track the number of children’s books that we produce and distribute, nationwide and in each U.S. state.
  • Comply with all required evaluations by standardized test producers that request braille versions of their tests. These include written evaluations, hosting quality assurance visits, and adhering to and submitting documentation of protocols and procedures for producing and sending tests and adhering to security measures.
  • Submit a questionnaire to each recipient of our braille textbooks to request feedback about the quality of the book and overall experience of working with NBP.
Examples of Program Success 

NBP developed a new book in 2011: Out-of-Sight Science Experiments, which is an educational and fun book of 32 experiments for blind children, ages 7-11. One teacher of the visually impaired told us she was thrilled with the book and encouraged us to bring it to science fairs, because many teachers are unsure how to incorporate blind children into a science curriculum and blind and sighted children could use it side by side in a classroom.

Hands On! feedback:

"We just got an order of 4 books for my daughter and it included the Madeline book with the tactile. She was so excited about that…Yesterday she got her ReadBooks! bag too. She is so proud. She has really been struggling getting excited about braille and all these things are really helping her. She lost a lot of her vision over the summer and is having a hard time adjusting to needing to learn something different then her classmates. I can't express how wonderful your adapted inexpensive mainstream books and ReadBooks means."


3. Lifelong Literacy

Lifelong Literacy encompasses NBP’s efforts to ensure that blind people have access to information throughout their lives, starting with a foundation of literacy developed at an early age and access to information in a variety of forms for blind people of all ages, including hard-copy braille and braille adapted for digital tools. NBP provides a wide range of braille books, magazines, and other resources to start blind children reading and give braille readers of all ages important tools for communicating, working, and enjoying hobbies.

Key to promoting lifelong literacy for blind people is keeping up with rapid advances in technology. A nonprofit since 1927, we NBP is addressing the impact of digital media on the braille readers we serve. We want blind people to have as many resources as they need to access information that is vital to pursue educational and professional career opportunities.  Braille and technology are both part of that equation.

Budget  $675,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

Meeting the following annual goals, indicates our short-term success:

  • Serve approximately 10,000 braille readers, with a wide range of braille books and in paper braille and eBraille (downloaded versions to be read on refreshable braille displays) to ensure that all braille readers have the tools they need.
  • Distribute approximately 45,000 publications to braille readers of all ages.
  • Respond annually to requests for approximately 1,200 books in eBraille format – CD or download.
  • Respond annually to requests for approximately 3,000 technology publications in either eBraille or paper braille format.
  • Develop at least one new technology publication each year to keep blind computer users up to date with current software and hardware.
Program Long-Term Success  The long-term success of the Lifelong Literacy program will include braille and technology, as well as an integration of the two. The rapid advance of electronic tools has provided new opportunities for blind people, yet braille remains relevant in the digital age. Our ideal vision of the future will show clear evidence of an increase in the number and variety of available braille books and other braille resources, as well as technology fully integrated with braille in digital tools that are affordable. Braille is the only way for blind people to read and to be literate. Many digital devices rely exclusively on audio features instead of braille – audio tools are useful, but listening is not literacy.
Program Success Monitored By 
  • Track every book that is requested, distributed, and in what format – paper braille, eBraille download, or eBraille CD. Plan future publications based on trends we see in this data.
  • Track responses to a particular series of books, like our iPhone manuals, through book sales and personal feedback to ensure that we are providing relevant resources.
  • Obtain, track, and respond to feedback from parents and teachers at conferences, via email, social networking, and other avenues of communication. For example:
An online review of: Google It! A Guide to the World's Most Popular Search Engine commented:
 
“What (the authors) have done with this cleverly concise tutorial is to give us heaps of tips and tricks for harnessing the power of Google in ways that can spark many an "aha" moment for even the most sophisticated Internet seeker… The book is a quick read, a handy reference, and a powerhouse of information.
Examples of Program Success 

The demand for our braille books shows the success and relevance of Lifelong Literacy. Several of our books have sold out in weeks after their publication, including:For Women Facing Breast Cancer (the only braille guide to this disease), and Getting Started with the iPhone: An Introduction for Blind Users. Feedback from blind readers follows.

From an online review of Getting Started with the iPhone:

(The authors) have done an excellent job on the iPhone book from NBP. I highly recommend it for all blind iDevice users! It's been highly anticipated and your willingness to offer it as a download is extremely helpful.

From a Harvard Law School student:

(The Constitution) is in this little booklet with proper page numbers, the Declaration of Independence, and table of contents, and (it is) just so nicely put together. I'm going to hang on to this for years. I haven't had a braille book so well prepared since high school! The Torts Supplement and syllabi are there, too.


4. Center for Braille Innovation (CBI)

A hub for imaginative new ideas and inventive tools, NBP’s Center for Braille Innovation (CBI) was founded to streamline information access for blind people through braille and tactile-based technology. With technology changing daily, a variety of affordable braille tools are vital for blind people to read, learn, and communicate. CBI challenges NBP to provide information faster, more efficiently, and with new technologies that allow blind people to keep pace with the rest of the world.

CBI’s core project is the development of the B2G (Braille To Go) – an affordable, compact, refreshable-braille computer that blind people will rely on to access email and the internet, and to compose and read documents – similar to the way that sighted people depend on tablets. This device stands out from those that are currently available through its lower cost, and the capacity for users to read and write. We are not striving to make a profit with this project – any profit will be folded back into Research & Development.

Budget  $356,600.00
Category  Education, General/Other Computer Literacy
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

Our short term success is measured by our ability to complete development of our first affordable, refreshable braille tablet, the B2G. The hardware and core software have been completed. We are in the process of developing 20 prototypes to use for testing and to create the B2G manual.

Program Long-Term Success 

Increasingly, digital devices such as iPads, digital textbooks and standardized tests are becoming the norm in classrooms. These changes have the potential to force blind children to learn via audio instead of braille.

The ideal state in the future is for blind children, students, and adults to have access to all communications options through a toolkit that includes braille literacy, digital devices accessed through braille, as well as audio. Our ultimate success will be evident in increasing numbers of blind students and adults who have access to digital tools through braille.

Current refreshable-braille devices sell for approximately $6,000 a piece – out of reach for most schools and families.  The B2G will be available for approximately $2,000, with any profit applied to Research & Development.Any future tools we develop will be produced under the same premise – quality, refreshable-braille devices that are vastly more affordable than their counterparts.

Program Success Monitored By 

NBP has received significant positive feedback from braille readers who are eager to beta test and own the B2G. We receive calls on a weekly basis from blind individuals who are checking up on the progress of the project and the date that the device will be available. Other positive feedback has come in through focus groups of potential users, one-on-one interviews, and as a result of our presentations at conferences. Going forward, we will continue to depend on the users of the B2G to provide us with their opinions and their success with using the device.

Examples of Program Success 

Testimonials from parents and teachers about the potential impact of a new, affordable device on the blindness community help us to gauge our success. Two examples from a mother of a young blind children and the mother of a blind high-school student follow below.

“What we need is to put these (devices) in every blind child’s hands, so they can have the same access, the same technology that sighted children have.” 9-year-old Jack’s mom

“Most families can’t afford it (technology) and most school districts are not able to buy the equipment allowing them to be successful students.” Tina, mother of a blind teenager


Great Expectations: Making Picture Books Come Alive for Blind Kids

 

National Braille Press (NBP) is delighted to report that we are preparing to roll out a new program called Great Expectations: Making Picture Books Come Alive for Blind Kids in the fall of 2014. The program will integrate storytelling with the Expanded Core Curriculum for blind and visually impaired kids and their families across the country. The innovative program brings children's books to life for blind and visually impaired children using a multi-modal approach that includes songs, tactile play activities, and picture descriptions to enrich the reading experience for blind kids that they miss by not seeing the pictures.

 

The goal of this innovative program is for parents to approach reading in a way that goes beyond the traditional experience of passively reading a storybook, to one that stimulates a child’s pictorial imagination, musical aptitude, tactile discrimination, orientation and mobility skills, and braille readiness.

 
Storybooks for young children are picture-driven making it difficult for blind or visually impaired kids to fully participate. Too often, reading can be a passive experience for blind kids since they miss the connections that sighted kids enjoy by seeing the colorful and engaging illustrations which help to bring the story to life. For sighted kids approximately 80-90% of learning occurs through visual observation during the first five years of life (Ferrell, 2011). Yet, students with visual impairments are expected to enter kindergarten with the same readiness skills as their same aged peers (Duncan, 2011).
 

 

  • Parents will: learn how to describe a picture in a book for a blind reader, how to expand on a book's concepts, and how to instill a love of reading in their child

     

  • Children will: have a greater understanding of stories, become a describer, increase their vocabulary, develop listening skills, and increase their literacy skills

Budget  $71,900.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Program Short-Term Success   

The overarching goal of the new Great Expectations' pilot program is to promote early literacy through playful multisensory activities that will inspire blind and visually impaired children to become actively engaged and excited about reading.

Program Long-Term Success   

With the added feature of the new experiential learning techniques, we may see an increase in the number of new families who become CBBC members. We also think this program will bring a new audience to the CBBC – children with other learning disabilities such as autism, thereby, increasing the number of low vision and special needs children who can also benefit greatly from this program.

Program Success Monitored By   

Quantitative data including the number families who use the web-based program, and other pertinent data as it relates to our measurable objectives will be collected.  At the conclusion of the program year, NBP, in collaboration with Bridge Multimedia staff will compare quantitative outcome data to determine if program objectives are being met. The results will then be compiled and reviewed by NBP's management team.

Examples of Program Success   

One of the significant elements of implementing Great Expectations is its expert panel that is advising NBP and Bridge Multimedia on the development of story-enriching content. We have enlisted the guidance of parents of blind and visually impaired children, TVI's  (teachers of the visually impaired), and other early intervention professionals to complement the expertise of our two organizations. We have already received valuable feedback regarding how to present GE materials to parents.

 

Other evaluation activities include:

  • Holding one (1) focus group

  • Conducting an electronic survey to adult parent/teacher participants

     

    Quantitative data including the number families who use the web-based program, and other pertinent data as it relates to our measurable objectives will be collected.  At the conclusion of the program year, NBP, in collaboration with Bridge Multimedia staff will compare quantitative outcome data to determine if program objectives are being met. The results will then be compiled and reviewed by NBP's management team.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brian A. Mac Donald
CEO Term Start May 2008
CEO Email bmacdonald@nbp.org
CEO Experience

Brian Mac Donald joined National Braille Press as president in May, 2008. He is responsible for overall operations and functions including finance, development, human resources, marketing, manufacturing, programs, IT, and business development. Since arriving at NBP, Mac Donald has restructured the organization including strategic planning, marketing, revenue generation, planned giving, and corporate partnerships. He also developed the Center for Braille Innovation, which focuses on leveraging new technologies for production, tactile graphic development, and to produce an affordable braille tablet and other products for the blindness community.

Mac Donald holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Boston College and an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont. Prior to joining National Braille Press, he was Chief Operating Officer and CFO of New Hampshire Audubon where he helped lead a major restructuring that included strategic planning, change management, and improved revenue generation. Prior to Audubon, he was the Senior Director of Sales and Revenue for over twenty years at New England Aquarium.

Mac Donald was a founding board member and treasurer of the Island Alliance in Boston, a non-profit organization that helped create the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. He also founded the Northeast Whale Watching Association, authored an economic impact study, and testified before Congress on the re-authorization of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. William Raeder Dec 1975 Mar 2008
Ward Willett July 1974 Dec 1975

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Edie Coletti VP of Information Systems --
Ms. Diane L. Croft Publisher --
Mr. Anthony V. Grima VP of Braille Publications --
Ms. Lynne Pratt Controller --
Mr. Joseph Quintanilla VP of Development --
Ms. Jaclyn Sheridan VP of Production --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
International Board on Books for Young People with Disabilities 2015 Exhibition International Board on Books for Young People with Disabilities (IBBY) 2014
Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award to honor one of NBP's Vice Presidents National Federation for the Blind 2009
Humanitarian of the Year Award Consumer Vision Magazine 2009
Golden Keys Award National Association to Promote the Use of Braille 1997
Employer of the Year Award National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts 1992
Literary Market Place Award Literary Market Place 1991
Migel Medal American Foundation for the Blind 1948

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
American Council of the Blind --
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce --
National Federation of the Blind --
World Blind Union --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Charity Navigator 2008

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 40
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 350
Number of Contract Staff 30
Staff Retention Rate % 95%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4
Caucasian: 36
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 30
Male: 15
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Special Event Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Clifford Watkin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Ipswich Bay Advisors
Board Chair Term June 2014 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair Mr. Nicholas Racheotes
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Framingham State University - Retired
Board Co-Chair Term June 2014 - June 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Susan Ammeter Retired Voting
Mr. David Antoine Atallah Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC Voting
Mr. Christopher Babcock BNY Mellon Voting
Mr. James Barrow Suffolk University Voting
Ms. JoAnn Becker Consultant, Adaptive Technology Specialist Voting
Mr. Deane Blazie Blazie Engineering, Retired Voting
Mr. Michael Brown Palmer & Dodge, Retired Voting
Mr. Christopher Cavallerano Consultant Voting
Ms. Jayne Donahue State Street FInancial Voting
Mr. Gregory Fowler CISCO Systems Voting
Mr. Timothy Fulham Fulham & Co. Voting
Ms. Tara Gearhart HubSpot Voting
Mr. Jon Goplerud Citibank Voting
Mr. Daniel J. Hirce State Street Corporation Voting
Mr. David S. Kennedy Columbia Management Group Voting
Mr. Paul McLaughin CVI Capital Holdings, LLC Voting
Mr. Lotfi Merabet Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary Voting
Mr. Brendan O'Brien Sanofi Voting
Mr. John Pastore Integrated Financial Partner Voting
Ms. Julie Pierog N/A Voting
Mr. Nicholas Racheotes Framingham State University - Retired Voting
Ms. Marcy A. Scott Perkins School for the Blind, Retired Voting
Mr. Matthew Sullivan Microsoft Corporation Voting
Ms. Janet Ulwick-Sacca Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Voting
Mr. Clifford Watkin Ipswich Bay Advisors Voting
Ms. Frances West IBM Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Fred Achille Retired NonVoting
Mr. Louis H. Goldish Massachusetts Institute of Technology NonVoting
Mr. Wycliffe K. Grousbeck Boston Celtics NonVoting
Mr. Thomas G. Hagan Actioneer, Inc. NonVoting
Mr. William C. Hays -- NonVoting
Mr. Robert E. O’Brien Retired NonVoting
Mr. Vito A. Proscia Innovative Rehabilitation Technology Center NonVoting
Mr. Thomas Sullivan -- NonVoting
Mr. Erik Weihenmayer Motivational Speaker NonVoting
Mr. Richard H. Willis -- NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 100
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 18
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 95%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 5%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Fiscal Affairs
  • Human Resources / Personnel
  • Investment
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Technology

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

NBP’s constituents are well represented on its board. Nearly one third of the trustees are blind or visually impaired or have a blind or visually impaired child. Maintaining constituent representation on our board is a core priority. We are also continuing striving to make our board more diverse in terms of gender and ethnicity, and are actively recruiting women and minorities to serve on our board.

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $3,952,702 $4,186,180 $4,176,718
Total Expenses $3,936,515 $4,367,100 $4,145,007

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $952,008 $1,015,904 $1,211,577
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $2,512,360 $2,799,262 $2,880,099
Investment Income, Net of Losses $474,013 $349,737 $67,051
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $14,321 $21,277 $17,991
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $2,800,863 $3,165,153 $2,997,840
Administration Expense $675,538 $719,300 $725,463
Fundraising Expense $460,114 $482,647 $421,704
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 0.96 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 71% 72% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 48% 48% 35%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $6,580,091 $6,635,638 $6,653,305
Current Assets $5,605,000 $5,567,287 $5,515,605
Long-Term Liabilities $20,375 $22,767 $25,765
Current Liabilities $493,260 $562,602 $396,351
Total Net Assets $6,066,456 $6,050,269 $6,231,189

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
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Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 11.36 9.90 13.92

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The cost of producing a braille book is as much as three times more than the print version. For example, the last Harry Potter book cost about $60.00 per copy to produce in braille. The print, hard-cover edition sold for about $19.00. National Braille Press sells all its braille books at the same cost as the print editions in spite of the difference in production costs, so blind Harry Potter fans got their braille copy for $19.00 as well. 

Support from foundations, corporations, and individual donors helps fill in the gap.  NBP also fosters partnerships with businesses to make written materials accessible in braille, including health care information, menus, bank statements, and airline emergency cards. This work serves as a revenue stream for NBP and supports our braille production, as well helping us to fulfill our mission to promote independence for blind people through braille literacy.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data, charts, and graphs are from audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals as the breakdown was not available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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