LEADERSHIP

The National Braille Association is led by a dedicated team of volunteers from around North America who make up our Board of Directors. Each member of the board brings a unique set of skills from their experience as braille transcribers, teachers of the visually impaired, and program directors.

The Board of Directors oversees our Executive Director, who in turn provides leadership and oversight to our headquarters in Rochester, New York.

PRESIDENT

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HEIDI LEHMANN

Upon 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.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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DAVID SHAFFER

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.

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

Creating and presenting web-based learning materials

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OFFICERS

PRESIDENT - Heidi Lehmann (New York)

PRESIDENT ELECT - Cindi Laurent (Minnesota)

VICE PRESIDENT - Kyle DeJute (Kentucky)

SECRETARY - Diane Spence (Texas)

TREASURER - Jan Carroll (Kentucky)

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT - Vacant

ELECTED MEMBER FROM THE BOARD - Jana Hertz (California)

DIRECTORS

Robert Beaton (Michigan)

Randy Davis (Georgia)

Saul Garza (Michigan)

Patrick Janson (Ohio)

Betty Marshall (Alberta)

Cindy Olmstead (Michigan)

Julie Sumwalt (Wisconsin)

Guy Toles (Georgia)

COMMITTEES

SKILLS

Braille Formats/Textbook: 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: Patrick Janson, OH, 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.

Nemeth Code for Math and Science: Kyle DeJute, KY, Chair
Makes available to transcribers and to instructors of braille transcribing, interpretations and examples based on the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, the Nemeth-based Chemistry Code, and the Guidance documents from BANA for using these codes within UEB contexts, including special formats and code switches.

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.

Prison Braille: Cindy Olmstead, MI, Chair
Makes available information and resources for administrators and corrections officials of prison braille programs. Providing advocacy, inclusion, communication, knowledge, and experience in starting up and operating a prison braille program, and information sharing/gathering as it affects the incarcerated men and women braille transcribers.

Tactile Graphics: Saul Garza, MI, Chair
Makes available information concerning the equipment and techniques required for the 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 Literary: Julie Sumwalt, WI, Chair
Makes available to transcribers, and to instructors of braille transcribing, interpretations and examples based on the rules of Unified English Braille.

Unified English Braille Technical Material: VACANT
Makes available to transcribers and to instructors of braille transcribing, interpretations and examples based on the rules of Unified English Braille and on the UEB-based Guidelines for Technical Material.

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 the 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 grantmakers.

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
Organizes activities related to increasing and maintaining 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.

PR and Marketing: Guy Toles, GA, Chair

Skills Coordinating: David Shaffer, NY, Chair
Coordinates the activities of the skills committees.

Webinars: David Shaffer, NY, Chair
Plans, implements and evaluates high-quality educational offerings that are delivered via webinar.