Leadership

The members of the NBA Board of Directors and members of Skills Committees are all volunteers who are committed to supporting the organization and its mission. They participate in:

  • two Board meetings per year, for dedicated time to discuss and act upon recommendations on the business of the association (e.g. budgets, policies, fund development)
  • an annual Professional Development Conference, often serving as presenters of conference workshops
  • writing articles and skills columns for issues of the NBA Bulletin
  • development of website content and Ask an Expert discussions

The Board invites members who are interested in serving to contact either the Skills Committee Chair or any member of the Board of Directors.

  • Heidi Lehmann, President

    Photo of Heidi LehmannUpon graduating from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in 1999 as summa cum laude, Ms. Lehmann attended Florida State University for her Master’s Degree. A year later she married her husband, Paul and moved to France where she completed her Library of Congress certification for both Literary and Music Braille Transcription while raising their four children. With a desire to work alongside her children during their formative years, she started her entrepreneurial journey by establishing Bach to Braille, Inc.

    Located in Upstate New York, Bach to Braille is a company which specializes in the transcription of musical scores for visually-impaired musicians. Each semester her company provides braille materials to educational institutions across the United States and Europe to assist students in their accessible media needs.

    Ms. Lehmann is an active member in her field of professional development. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Braille Association as Music Braille Chairman in 2010, Secretary in 2012 and is currently serving as President of the organization.

  • David Shaffer, Executive Director

    Director

    As Executive Director it is my pleasure to work closely with the Board of Directors, members, volunteers and staff.

    I have come to realize how important the NBA’s services are to braille transcribers and readers. It is a great honor to represent the NBA in the many ways I have been asked to serve. The dedicated Board of Directors, the staff, and many volunteers are the heart of this outstanding organization.

    The National Braille Association seeks to enhance and expand the services we offer. I encourage our members and our website visitors to submit new ideas and suggestions. Contact me.

  • Officers

    PresidentHeidi Lehmann, New York
    President ElectCindi Laurent, Minnesota
    Vice PresidentBetty Marshall, Alberta
    SecretaryDiane Spence, Texas
    TreasurerJan Carroll, Kentucky
    Immediate Past PresidentVacant
    Elected Member from the BoardKyle DeJute, Kentucky

    Directors

    Robert BeatonMichigan
    Saul GarzaMichigan
    Jana HertzCalifornia
    Cindy OlmsteadMichigan
    Rebecca SherwoodWashington
    Julie SumwaltWisconsin
  • SKILLS

    Braille Formats/Textbook Committee: Cindi Laurent, MN, Chair
    Makes available to transcribers and instructors of braille transcribing interpretations and usage based on rules contained in the official braille codes as they pertain to the transcription of textbook materials. Also develops and implements the self-study NBA Braille Formats Study Guide and conducts the examination leading to certification as a braille textbook transcriber.

    Computer-Assisted Transcription: Jan Carroll, KY, Chair
    Makes available information concerning the techniques required for preparing braille with the assistance of a personal computer, and keeps transcribers informed of new developments in the field.

    Foreign Language: Rebecca Sherwood, WA, Chair
    Makes available to transcribers and instructors of braille transcribing interpretations and usages based on rules contained in the official braille codes as they pertain to the transcription of foreign languages.

    Mathematics, Science and Computer Notation Braille: Kyle DeJute, KY, Chair
    Makes available to transcribers and instructors of braille transcribing interpretations and usages based on rules contained in the official braille codes as they pertain to the transcription of mathematics and science texts, including the special formats, tables and figures in such texts.

    Music Braille: Kathleen Cantrell, NY, Chair

    Makes available to transcribers and instructors of braille transcribing interpretations and usages based on rules contained in the official braille codes and all subsequent materials approved by the Braille Authority of North America as they pertain to the transcription of music.

    Tactile Graphics: Saul Garza, MI, Chair

    Makes available information concerning the equipment and techniques required for production of tactile graphics, and keeps tactile graphics producers informed of good practice and new developments in the field.

    Transcriber/Educator Services: Jana Hertz, CA, Chair
    Provides education and timely information to volunteer groups and educators of persons who are visually impaired.

    Unified English Braille: Julie Sumwalt, WI, Chair
    Makes available information concerning the upcoming transition from EBAE to UEB.

    ADMINISTRATIVE

    NBA’s Representative to the BANA Board of Directors: Diane Spence, TX

    Bylaws, Policies and Procedures: Cindi Laurent, MN, Chair
    Reviews, frames, and proposes amendments to the NBA Bylaws and to the Policies and Procedures in accordance with actions taken by the Board of Directors. The committee also interprets these documents.

    Bulletin Editor: Betty Marshall, Canada, Chair
    Is responsible for production of the Bulletin – NBA’s quarterly membership publication, produced digitally and in print and braille. The Bulletin contains articles about new materials and equipment, modification of braille codes, skills columns, tips to transcribers, and news of activities of interest to the membership.

    Fund Development: David Shaffer, NY, Chair
    Maintains ongoing relations with existing supporters, seeks new funding sources for NBA programs and services, and submits applications to appropriate grant makers.

    Meetings: Robert Beaton, MI, Chair

    Identifies sites for NBA professional development conferences, establishes local contacts, if available, and coordinates the details of the meetings.

    Membership Development: Robert Beaton, MI, Chair
    The purpose of the committee shall be to increase and retain membership in the National Braille Association.

    Nominating: Diane Spence, TX, Chair
    Presents a slate of candidates for offices and directorships to be elected at each Annual Membership Meeting, and submits to the board of directors names of candidates to fill vacancies occurring in the interim between Annual Membership Meetings.

    Planning and Program Development: Cindi Laurent, MN, Chair
    Devises long-range plans for the Association and reviews specific projects.

    Publications: Betty Marshall, Canada, Chair
    Examines for content, format, and style any educational materials such as guidelines, manuals, and lessons developed for publication. 

    Skills Coordinating: David Shaffer, NY, Chair
    Coordinates the activities of the skills committees: Computer-assisted Transcription, Literary Braille, Mathematics and Science, Music, Tactile Graphics, Textbook Format, and Transcriber and Educator Services.