Members of the National Prison Braille Network (NPBN) come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including:
- Associated Professionals—This group includes anyone who contracts with prison programs, hires those who became qualified braille transcribers while incarcerated, or someone who was released from a prison braille program and is providing a braille service on the outside.
- Friends and family members of offenders working in prison braille programs.
- Formerly Incarcerated Persons (FIPS) who became qualified braille transcribers while incarcerated.
There is no membership fee, and anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to join our network.
There is only one requirement for NPBN membership, and it applies primarily to professionals working directly with prison braille programs. We need you to keep the information about your program current by participating in our annual survey and/or sending information updates whenever appropriate.
To successfully accomplish our goals, we continually strive to have the most current data possible about existing programs and about offenders who become certified braille transcribers while in prison and then reenter society. This information is critical in our efforts to gain support from government officials, potential donors, partner agencies, vision and corrections professionals unfamiliar with these programs, and the general public. Prison braille programs have proven to provide an excellent opportunity for offenders to learn job skills while incarcerated, reenter society prepared to secure and maintain employment, and it is important to quantify our collective accomplishments as much as possible.
- Inclusion in a national network of vision professionals working to get braille materials for people who are blind, corrections officials working to rehabilitate offenders and prepare them to reenter society, and former offenders who are highly qualified braille transcribers, and those willing to hire them upon release.
- Email updates including: prison braille program profiles, announcements about program accomplishments, upcoming events that are posted online.
- An invitation to attend the National Prison Braille Forum held in Louisville each year in October, one of few national networking opportunities among unique partners.
- Opportunities to share your expertise with others and to seek advice when it's needed.
- Potential access to braille jobs for prison braille programs, and to agencies that could become program partners.
- Access to print publications produced by the NPBN: Directory of Prison Braille Programs (2009) and Guidelines for Starting and Operating Prison Braille Programs (2009).
Membership Application Process
New members of the network currently working with prison braille programs are asked to complete a questionnaire about their program. When changes occur in your program, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible so we can update your program's profile. These profiles will become part of an online directory of programs that is posted under the "Publications" section of this website. As a reminder, we will send out periodic requests for you to review your program's profile and make any necessary changes.
Anyone interested in learning more about prison braille programs or becoming involved with the National Prison Braille Network can complete the membership application to receive announcements of meetings and the latest network news.
The questionnaire and application forms should be returned to:
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
APH Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Direct line: 502-899-2356
©2010, American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.