Braille Institute: far-seeing nonprofit

Marleena_DaphneWhat’s the first thing you think of when you see the word “Braille”? If you’re like me, you imagine someone’s fingers feeling their way across a page, reading. And that someone has dark glasses and a white cane.

All that’s great, and true. But Braille Institute — which was founded in 1919 to make braille books widely available — has grown far beyond that. They now offer a huge range of technology programs, job placement, life skills training and social interaction opportunities for people with all kinds of vision problems.

Seeing, like life, is not black & white. It works on a grayscale, from 20/20 clarity all the way to total blindness. As people age, for example, they may develop macular degeneration or cataracts or diabetes-related retinopathy. These folks are also at the heart of Braille Institute’s transformational work.

Communicating all this to the institution’s donors is the focus of Light, the organization’s annual report, which we designed for the first time this year. It’s a challenge. Many of our readers have the conditions Braille Institute helps support, so we worked with large text and high contrast, while still trying to provide a great reading experience for people with fully intact vision.

Photographer Joel Lipton, senior designer Kevin Consales and writer Lynne Heffley deserve kudos for helping to create a powerful piece that positions Braille Institute as the far-seeing organization it truly is, helping people face the challenges of visual impairment with fresh ideas and hope for the future.

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