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August 27, 2007

Hello Colleagues:

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to offer braille translation software training with NIMAS updates on November 28 and 29, 2007 at St. Petersburg College in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The training will be held prior to the Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference (GITWL).  The November training will be provided by experts in braille software development and braille transcribing.  The training sessions are designed to help  people who currently transcribe instructional materials into braille learn more about the new updates associated with NIMAS and the three braille translation software programs.  The November training will be a train-the-trainer approach for national capacity building.  All  sessions will be held at St. Petersburg College.   You may apply online at   Once you receive e-mail confirmation from AFB (after September 14, 2007), you will be asked to send your payment to AFB.  The address will be given in the email.  

For more information about the hotel and Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference, visit

 We hope to hear from many states.  Please pass this note to other colleagues.  If you have questions, contact  me at 

Thank you,

Mary Ann


The AFB Textbooks and Instructional Materials Solutions Forum addresses one of the most serious issues affecting the education of students with visual impairments today. Despite everyone's best efforts and advancements in technology, many visually impaired students do not receive textbooks and other instructional materials in braille, large print, audio or other needed special media at the same time as their sighted classmates.

The AFB Solutions Forum is a collaborative national effort represented by agencies and organizations involved in the production and distribution of textbooks and instructional materials. Textbook publishers, producers of specialized media, assistive technology specialists, educators, Instructional Materials Resource Centers, parents, consumers, and others are examining the multifaceted process of producing and delivering educational materials in accessible media to students who are blind or visually impaired. The AFB Solutions Forum is a direct result of issues identified in Goal #7 of the National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including those with Multiple Disabilities.

The goal of the AFB Solutions Forum is to develop a coordinated action plan for assuring equality of access to instructional materials for students who are blind or visually impaired. Five work groups have taken the initiative to improve the delivery of textbooks in the appropriate media. Information posted on the AFB Solutions Forum Web page of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI ) Website highlights the activities of the following five work groups: Electronic Files, Legislation, Production, Training and Other Needs, and Communication and Collaboration. Additional information may be found on the web site of the American Foundation for the Blind at  

AFB Solutions Forum Coordinator:

Mary Ann Siller
American Foundation for the Blind
Project Manager
Professional Development Department
11030 Ables Lane
Dallas, Texas 75229
469-522-1803 or

General Information

Working Groups