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North Jersey Red Cross Seeking Volunteer Braille Transcribers

Contact: Diane Concannon, American Red Cross - North Jersey Region

Telephone Office: (609) 951-2116

Telephone Cell: (609) 206-4043

Diane.Concannon@redcross.org

FOR MEDIA ONLY

FAIRFIELD, NJ, August 1, 2012 – The American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Jane Bente Braille Center is currently seeking volunteer Braille transcribers and is offering a free training course this September. The Center, established after World War I to help soldiers blinded by mustard gas, is one of the largest volunteer run 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 are distributed throughout the United States and foreign countries to help empower visually impaired children to study in mainstream schools instead of in specialized environments.

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.

The training course will be offered in both Fairfield and Clifton, with classes beginning in mid-September on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons respectively. For additional details and registration, please contact Nancy Jost via email at nancy.jost@redcross.org or by calling (973) 797-3359.

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 in their community and the world. Please visit the Red Cross of Northern New Jersey's Braille page for more information about the Jane Bente Braille Center and other Red Cross programs and services.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross North Jersey Region:

The American Red Cross North Jersey Region provides programs and services throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren, with a combined population of 5.7 million. The region trains and mobilizes more than 6,000 volunteers who support the delivery of services in the community. Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 479 local disasters, helping 1,296 families displaced by home fires; educated 25,732 community members about disaster preparedness; collected 25,079 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; helped 1,587 military families send emergency messages, receive financial assistance, and get counseling and referrals; and trained 138,620 individuals with life-saving skills in CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics.