Red Cross Seeking Volunteer Braille Transcribers

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FAIRFIELD – The American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey is currently seeking volunteer Braille transcribers and is offering free training courses this September. The Jane Bente Braille Center, housed at the Red Cross in Fairfield, was established after World War I to help soldiers blinded by mustard gas and is one of the largest volunteer Braille production centers.

Each year, Red Cross volunteers create more than 1,300,000 pages of academic materials and more than 3,000 textbooks in Braille. These materials are distributed in the United States and throughout the world to help empower visually impaired children to study in mainstream schools.

“This is a great opportunity for recent college graduates, young retirees and civic-minded individuals from all walks of life to make a deep impact in the lives of blind children around the world,” said Jocelyn Gilman, community chapter executive, American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey.

The Red Cross 20-week training course involves a two-hour class and twelve hours of homework weekly. There is no charge for the training and all materials and equipment are supplied by the Red Cross. After completing the course, participants prepare a trial manuscript for submission to the Library of Congress for certification. Upon certification, volunteers can transcribe textbooks at home.

Training courses will be offered in both Fairfield and Basking Ridge, with classes beginning in mid-September. There will be two classes in Fairfield, one on Tuesday afternoons and the other on Wednesday afternoons. The class in Basking Ridge will be held on Wednesday afternoons. For additional details and registration, contact Nancy Jost at or call 973-797-3359.

Visit for more information about the Jane Bente Braille Center and other Red Cross programs and services.

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