At National Braille Press, we welcome visitors. Producing braille is a fascinating and labor-intensive process, which visitors from all over the world have seen during tours of our braille publishing house. You can find us in a former piano factory in the heart of Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.
We open our doors to teach others how braille is produced but also to remind the world that braille remains an essential literacy tool for blind people. Braille obsolete? Not on our watch!
Recently, a family from New Hampshire visited. Their 8-year-old daughter, Abby, is a braille reader and has a bookshelf of NBP books at home. Abby, her brother, Sam, along with her mom and dad toured NBP a few weeks back and were impressed with the mix high-tech and low-tech strategies that go into embossing over 10 million pages of braille each year. Abby’s mom, Penny, even wrote about it on her blog.
Here is an excerpt of what Penny had to say about her trip to NBP:
It was exciting when we got to the door because it was locked and you had to ring the buzzer to get let in. But wait, remember, this is National Braille Press and on the door in braille was the directions to hit the buzzer. Abby read the door for us and hit the buzzer so we could be let in.
We were led into a conference room and encouraged to explore some of the titles that NBP sells. Abby loved Make Way for Ducklings and read a few pages while we waited. (It’s been added to our wish list).
We viewed a video about National Braille Press and then were led through all the departments including Transcription, Proofreading, Embossing, Pressing, Tactile Graphics and Finishing. It was a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun. It was fascinating watching the big presses add braille from the plates.
What was the biggest surprise was the level of work done by hand throughout the process. All the people we met from the different departments were so nice. It was an extra treat for them to have a braille reader as part of our party. They were so kind to us and so wonderful with Abby.
We learned a lot and I really recommend a visit if you have a chance sometime. Special locations sometimes have a mood, a vibe, and this was one of those places. You couldn’t help but feel the LOVE…a pure JOY of braille throughout the whole building.