NU|ACES Recognized By National Braille Press with Volunteer Group Award
Students participating in the Northeastern University Alliance of Civically Engaged Students, or NU|ACES, commit to an academic year of weekly community service at nonprofit organizations around Boston. One of NU|ACES’s yearly partners is National Braille Press, which sparks and supports a lifetime of opportunity for blind children through braille literacy and provides access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs. With an office tucked between buildings on Northeastern’s Boston campus, National Braille Press is one of the few partners of Northeastern’s Office of City and Community Engagement that has a national reach.
NU|ACES students have supported National Braille Press by being the first point of contact for many customers and clients who call or stop by the office. Students have also worked on other projects such as soliciting auction donations, connecting the organization with teachers for the visually impaired at schools and colleges across the country, and sending braille copies of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence to senators, Congressional representatives, and other elected officials.
NU|ACES has supported the production of braille publications, including Navigating Healthcare When All They Can See Is that You Can’t, and Dinner Delivered: Accessible and Easy Ways to Receive Meals Direct to Your Door, and kids books like Totally Silly Jokes, and Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman. In January, the National Braille Press dedicated their book What’s New in iOS13: A Guide to Blind Users to their NU|ACES volunteers. The inscription in the book reads: “This book is dedicated to our friends of the Northeastern University ACES Program who continue to provide amazing volunteer support to NBP.”
National Braille press was awarded one of the 2020 City and Community Engagement Community Service Grants for two laptops equipped with the necessary software and VPN licenses for NBP proofreaders and transcribers to be able to continue providing free digital downloads of various publications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 25, 2020, NU|ACES was recognized at the National Braille Press Virtual Annual Meeting as the Volunteer Group Award Recipient. National Braille Press has been a partner since the first NU|ACES class entered Northeastern in 2017 and was previously a partner with the Civic Engagement Program, the predecessor program of NU|ACES. Former NBP volunteer and CEP student leader Amy Chen helped develop the initial partnership and was a recipient of the Community Service Leadership Award in 2018 after being nominated by National Braille Press.