CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Corrections and the New Hampshire Department of Education jointly announced that a Braille Transcription program began at the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women in Goffstown. The women incarcerated at that facility are transcribing textbooks to braille as part of a New Hampshire Correctional Industries job skills development program.
A Vision Professional was contracted by the Department of Education and has been provided to the Department of Corrections through a $90,000 two-year grant. She coordinates and provides training to prison staff and inmate participants to transcribe Braille in conjunction with the Library of Congress and National Federation for the Blind Braille Transcription Certification Course.
There are 16women participating in the class, which began on February 27, 2017. The goal is to complete the training to coincide with the completion of the new women’s prison in Concord. Once the new facility is open, the women will move from the phase of learning braille to the actual transcription of textbooks.
Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn said, “This is an exciting new opportunity for the woman as well as Correctional Industries. It fills an educational void for students who are blind or vision impaired and helps the women in the program to develop potentially marketable skills and abilities.”
“The New Hampshire Woman’s Prison Braille Transcription Program will provide a dedicated source for the transcription of textbooks and related educational materials in Unified English Braille to agencies and school districts not only in New Hampshire but across the country to meet the need for accessible textbooks for students in grades K-12,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “As the population of people in the U.S. who are blind increases, the need for braille continually outpaces its availability at all educational levels.”