National Braille Press Receives Grant from People’s United Bank

August 24, 2015

(L to R) Kevin Noyes of People’s United Bank with Brian A. Mac Donald, President of National Braille Press.

National Braille Press, a client of O’Neill and Associates, announced that the non-profit braille publisher has received a $5,000 grant from People’s United Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank. This funding will support the organization’s ongoing mission to support literacy for blind children through the Great Expectations series designed to promote active reading experiences for children with visual impairments.

“We are grateful for People’s United Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts’ and their continued support of our efforts of ensuring that blind and visually impaired children do not get left behind in today’s world of ever-changing technology,” said Brian MacDonald, President of National Braille Press. “We always strive to make our books special for children with visual impairments, and we are particularly proud of our interactive Great Expectations Series. These books are engaging with fun activities that will encourage kids and families to read and learn together.”

The Great Expectations series is a program that brings popular books to life with a multi-sensory approach to promote active reading experiences using songs, tactile play, picture descriptions, body movement, engaged listening — all designed to promote active reading experiences for children with visual impairments. Parents learn how to describe a picture in a book, how to explore a book’s visual concepts, how to play and have fun telling “the whole story.” Children learn to listen carefully to words, feelings (voice), image descriptions, actions, scene, and plots—elements that they would otherwise miss by not seeing the pictures.

“We want blind children to love reading and to become braille literate whenever possible, to improve their opportunities in school, work, and daily life,” MacDonald continued. “These funds will help National Braille Press continue our work on providing the tools to support braille literacy and education.”

“We are pleased to support the tireless efforts of National Braille Press, an organization dedicated to providing essential tools and programs that aid in the process for the blind and visually impaired to become literate,” said Kevin Noyes, Director at People’s United Bank Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts. “People’s United Bank has been a benevolent partner in the local community and supports the National Braille Press in their mission, particularly the Great Expectations remarkable program that enriches the reading experience for blind children. This contribution to them was made out of gratitude for their good work, and to show our continuing commitment to investing in our community’s future.”

People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance the quality of life for citizens in the communities that People’s United Bank serves. People’s United Bank, a client of O’Neill and Associates, founded in 1842 and serving customers from New York to Maine through a network of more than 400 branches, is the largest independent bank headquartered in New England. The Foundation places special emphasis on programs designed to promote economic self-sufficiency, education and improved conditions for low-income families and neighborhoods. The funding priorities of the Foundation include community development, youth development, and affordable housing.


A non-profit braille publisher, National Braille Press promotes literacy for blind children through outreach programs and provides access to information by producing information in Braille for blind children and adults. National Braille Press is the only publisher of original braille works in the United States. The Boston based non-profit continues the proud tradition of supporting a lifetime of opportunity for blind children through braille literacy, and provides an education foundation for the blind community to maintain independence and productivity in their lives.

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