Welcome to the National Prison Braille Network (NPBN) Website
NPBN: Where professionals in the fields of vision and corrections–unlikely partners–work together toward common goals.
Offenders serving time in corrections facilities across the United States are learning to transcribe print documents into braille for people who are blind and visually impaired.
Prison braille programs are building a reputation for producing high quality braille textbooks.
The demand for braille textbooks continues to increase as the number of blind and visually impaired students receiving an education in mainstream classrooms grows.
The mission of the National Prison Braille Network (NPBN) is twofold:
- To support and promote braille production facilities in prisons across the U.S. as major sources of high quality braille and experienced braille transcribers,
- To help ensure that inmate transcribers are well prepared for successful careers as braille transcribers upon release.
- Centralized communication and professional development via a webpage (sites.aph.org/pbf), email, and U.S. mail correspondence with members, network gatherings (such as the annual National Prison Braille Forum and periodic focus groups), and the use of webcasts, teleconferences, and a listserv when appropriate.
- A source of information and educational materials related to braille production facilities inside prisons and to individual prison braille programs across the country. Publications to date include:
- Support for individual programs, such as the distribution of news releases highlighting program accomplishments, and letters of support for expansion plans, grant applications…
- Braille work referral: passing braille jobs along to others in the network when production capacity is reached, and helping programs secure braille jobs when possible.
- Training and consultation within prisons through staff visits, presentations, transcriber workshops, meetings with corrections staff, and electronic programs via the internet.
- Support for the Building Bridges with Braille reentry initiative, designed to prepare qualified offenders for employment as braille transcribers upon release, and to assist with their transition when appropriate.
Since 2001, the annual Prison Braille Forum has grown from a group of about 15 people with experience operating a prison braille program or an interest in starting a program, to about 50 in 2010.
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