Four women in Red Cross uniforms work in a braille book bindery
Our Throwback this week comes from a wonderful set of five scrapbooks assembled by Dorothy Fuller in Berkeley, California between about 1936 and 1989. Fuller was an American Red Cross volunteer who worked in a shop that translated and bound braille books. The black and white photograph from 1948 shows four women in neat uniform dresses, each with a Red Cross emblem and pin on their right pocket. Dorothy Fuller is on the far left, stitching the spine of a book together. To her right, Julia Philbrick uses a machine to manually punch holes in paper. Further right and in the background, Daphne Isenhour uses a glue pot and brush to assemble book covers. And in the far right foreground, Calla Baker brushes the braille pages with shellac to reinforce and stiffen them. An accompanying news story brags that the shop is the largest braille bindery in the west. The Braille Division of the Berkeley Chapter of the American Red Cross began in 1928, with Daisy Beck as chairman. Volunteers in the Division provided braille transcription services, primarily producing braille materials for local schools, and offered braille transcription classes. In 1936, the Division added their braille bindery service. Books were bound by hand, using the "Berkeley Method," until the process was mechanized in 1976. Volunteer braille translation has always been an important part of the American braille scene.
by Monica Turner As a Field Services Representative, one of my responsibilities is to go to conferences and exhibit APH products. Oftentimes I will display many of the new and exciting products that we have to offer in order to provide consumers an opportunity to see the items firsthand before making the decision to purchase them. While it is wonderful that APH has been producing so many new products over the past several years, I find that I'm not often able to take along as many of the wonderful, older products that we still have available. We give you information about our new products each month as they are released, and we have been thinking that it might be beneficial to also go back and revisit some of the "oldies but goodies." We hope you agree and we welcome any suggestions you may have about products that you would like to see highlighted.
After months of ongoing negotiations between the Transforming Braille Group (of which APH is a member) and Orbit Research (the manufacturer of the Orbit Reader 20), American Printing House has removed the Orbit Reader 20 from its catalog and shopping site. This comes after discussions have stalled regarding the terms of distribution to TBG partners. The global nonprofits that make up the TBG collaborate as a group to purchase Orbit Reader 20s as part of an effort to keep costs low.
“Working with the TBG, APH has negotiated in good faith for many months, balancing the needs of our customers and organization, our interest in driving a low-cost braille market, and our valuable partnerships with TBG members,” says APH President Craig Meador. “Despite our best efforts, we have not found alignment on the issues at hand. APH must now move forward, and focus our energies on our mission to support students with braille literacy and adults in their independence.” The Good News
The Orbit Reader …