Transforming Braille FAQ

General Questions About Transforming Braille

  1. What is the Transforming Braille project?
  2. I am researching a new form of braille technology – is it too late to get involved?
  3. What organizations are involved in the project?

1. What is the Transforming Braille project?

Why transform braille? The objective of the project is to identify a breakthrough solution which will radically reduce the cost of refreshable braille technology.

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2. I am researching a new form of braille technology – is it too late to get involved?

We are interested in hearing from anybody who is researching new and exciting ways of producing refreshable braille. Please complete our questionnaire and email Larry Skutchan, CEO, lskutchan@aph.org.

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3. What organizations are involved in the project?

The following organizations are currently Managing Members of the TBG LLC:

Association Valentin Haüy (AVH) in France

Valentin Haüy Association’s primary aim is to strive for – and with – visually impaired for the recognition of their rights, their unfettered participation in society and the world of work, the development of their everyday autonomy, their information and the general public’s information regarding the reality of a visual handicap, means of prevention, and the need to constantly advance the attitude to the handicap taken by society at large and sometimes even by the visually impaired themselves.

American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in the USA

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent living products for people who are blind or have low vision.  Much of APH’s mandate is derived from the federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind of 1879, designating APH as the official supplier of educational materials to legally blind students in the United States working at less than college level.

Blind Foundation (formerly RNZFB) in New Zealand

The RNZFB is New Zealand’s main provider of sight loss services to blind and partially sighted people. The RNZFB advises government, business and the community on inclusive standards to ensure that blind and partially sighted people can participate and contribute equitably.

The RNZFB’s vision is empowering and supporting blind and partially sighted New Zealanders to ensure that they have the same opportunities and choices as everyone else. We equip our members with the adaptive skills, technology and resources they need to overcome the barriers they face to participating fully in society and leading independent lives.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the USA

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation’s blind.  The NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters.

Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (NABP) in Norway

NABP’s main objective is to achieve equal opportunities and status in society for people with visual impairment – and other groups of disabled people.

NABP provides a multitude of special products and services for blind and partially sighted people in Norway. Examples are: Guide dog training, summer camps for children and youth, an extensive rehabilitation programme for people with recent visual impairment, and recordings of many books and talking newspapers.

Perkins School for the Blind in the USA

Perkins provides education, services and products to people who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired with other disabilities, to build more productive and meaningful lives. Perkins pursues this mission both locally and globally. Founded in 1829, Perkins reaches more than a half million people each year in 67 countries around the world. The organization advances its mission through its various groups including: School for the Blind, International, Library, eLearning, and Products.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the United Kingdom

RNIB is the leading charity offering information, support and advice to almost two million people with sight loss in the UK. We are an organisation of blind and partially sighted people, passionately committed to ending the isolation of sight loss. As a membership organisation we work together with our members to shape the future for people with sight loss.

Sight Savers in India

Sightsavers is an organisation dedicated to shaping a world in which no one is needlessly blind and where everyone who is irreversibly blind or vision impaired enjoys the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as people who are sighted.

India has one-fourth of the world’s reported 161 million blind and severely visually impaired people. Sightsavers in India works with over 100 local partners across 17 states in alignment with the Government of India’s national plan and global movements such as VISION 2020: The Right to Sight and the Global Campaign for Education to address this mammoth issue.

Vision Australia in Australia

Vision Australia is the largest and only national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. We are a not for profit organisation which works in partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to help them achieve independence and equality in the community. We do this through a wide range of services for every stage of life, including children’s services, library and accessible information, low vision clinics, orientation and mobility training, advocacy assistance and Seeing Eye Dogs. We are also a major innovator and partner in the international blindness community.

The following organizations constitute an Advisory Board for the TBG LLC:

Benetech

Benetech develops innovative and effective technology applications for unmet social needs.

CNIB in Canada

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.

To do that, our dedicated specialists work with people of all ages in their own homes, communities or local CNIB offices – providing the personalized rehabilitation support they need to see beyond vision loss, build their independence and lead the lives they want.

CBM

CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in low income regions of the world.

CBM has Member Associations raising funds and awareness of disability issues in ‘industrialised’ countries worldwide. In lower-income regions of the world, CBM strives to build the capacity of partner organisations. This is all done following proven core values and with more than 100 years of experience in the field of disability.

Celia Library in Finland

Celia is a Finnish state-owned special library which produces and provides literature in accessible formats for people who are unable to read standard printed books, due to illness or disability – including visually impaired persons, persons suffering from dyslexia and learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and muscular diseases.

Celia produces and lends works of fiction and non-fiction in the form of talking books, Braille and/or e-books to users, free of charge. In addition to fiction and non-fiction, Celia also produces and sells or lends textbooks in accessible formats to a range of educational establishments.

The International Council on English Braille (ICEB)

The purpose of the International Council on English Braille is to coordinate and improve standards for braille usage for all English-speaking users of braille. The members of the ICEB are the various countries where English is spoken (and membership is open to all such countries); representatives to ICEB are named by the accepted authorities that set braille standards within those countries.

National Library Service of The Library of Congress (NLS) in the USA

Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail.

Sense International

Sense International helps deafblind people in less developed countries to communicate, connect, interact and flourish. Sense International is a global charity supporting deafblind people in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Romania and Uganda. We are one of the world’s leading international organisations working for deafblind people and their families.

Deafblind children in these countries desperately need to receive education and healthcare. Without this, many will lead short, lonely lives.

We work in partnership to provide services and raise awareness of the needs of deafblind people and their families so they can connect, participate and contribute to their communities.

Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) in Spain

The Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) is a Public Law Corporation which is governed by its own specific regulations.  Its social, economic and business activity is characterized by the principles of solidarity, not for profit and general interest, carrying out functions throughout Spain delegated to it by the Public Administrations under the State’s protection and, for the financing of its corporate purpose, enjoying a series of gamesrelated state permits.

This social nature prevades and conditions all the ONCE’s activities, aimed at achieving two major goals: the self-reliance and full social integration of its more than 71.000 members, thanks to the specialised quality services that are made available to all ONCE members in the areas of educational and workplace integration, comprehensive rehabilitation, self-autonomy, culture and sports, universal accessibility and design; further R&D&I on blindness, serious visual impairment and tiflotechnology, to name but a few.

More than 58.000 people directly work in the companies and entities that make up the ONCE and its Foundation (about 56% have some type of disability).

World Braille Council (WBC)

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