The American Red Cross Jane Bente Braille Center in Fairfield is one of the largest remaining volunteer Braille production centers.
The American Red Cross New Jersey Region Jane Bente Braille Center is one of the largest remaining volunteer Braille production centers. It was established after World War I to provide an information source for servicemen blinded by mustard gas.
Today, visually impaired school children are the recipients of more than 3,000 Braille textbooks distributed annually throughout the United States and four foreign countries.
The Jane Bente Braille Center provides Braille readers (K-12) with Braille textbooks. These transcribed books encompass every subject required in the classroom, including math, science, foreign languages and others.
The Red Cross trains 8-10 Braille transcribers per year in New Jersey. The average transcriber spends three to four hours daily transcribing Braille. Each year, more than 1,000,000 pages of Braille are produced by Red Cross volunteers.
More than 50 volunteers create Braille files on computers right from their homes. The files are emailed to the Center in Fairfield where 30 volunteers emboss and bind the textbooks. The average textbook can translate into more than 1,500 pages of Braille.