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Red Cross Seeking Volunteer Braille Transcribers in Northern NJ

Free Training Courses Available in Fairfield and Basking Ridge

FAIRFIELD, NJ, July 23, 2013 – 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, please contact Nancy Jost at or call 973-797-3359.

Please visit 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 about 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

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 4,500 volunteers who support the delivery of services in the community. Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 419 local disasters, helping 929 families displaced by home fires; collected more than 28,500 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; helped 884 military families send emergency messages, receive financial assistance, and get counseling and referrals; and trained 143,344 individuals with life-saving skills in CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. Follow the North Jersey Region on Twitter @RedCrossNorthNJ.


Diane Concannon, American Red Cross - North Jersey Region

609-206-4043 (cell)