Braille Institute Announces 2024 Community Hero Awards Recipients

LOS ANGELES, June 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Braille Institute has introduced the “Community Hero Award” to honor organizations that significantly motivate children who are blind and visually impaired to focus on braille literacy.  Rachel Antoine, Director of National Programs, states, “This award spotlights organizations that demonstrate support of braille literacy and its crucial role in the educational and long-term success of blind and visually impaired children.”

This is the inaugural year for the Community Hero Awards, which will be incorporated into Braille Institute’s renowned Braille Challenge Finals Awards Ceremony. The event will be hosted and livestreamed on June 22 at the University of Southern California (USC) campus. Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind for blind and visually impaired kids in grades 1-12 from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The 2024 Community Hero Awardees were nominated based on recommendations from more than 100 Braille Institute staff members across three key categories: corporate, government, and nonprofit. A carefully selected committee of internal and external stakeholders reviewed and evaluated contributions based on well-defined criteria. Congratulations to these esteemed organizations who are leading the way.

About the Awardees

Mattel (Corporate Awardee) has been recognized for its commendable portrayal of individuals with disabilities, exemplified by the Helen Keller doll. This realistic and positive representation plays a crucial role in combating the stigma many individuals face. Additionally, the integration of braille into games like UNO promotes inclusivity during play.

Partners for Pediatric Vision (Non-Profit Awardee) provides vital support services addressing the holistic needs of children, extending beyond education. The organization’s dedication to assisting families in advocating for the needs of blind and visually-impaired children both within and beyond the school environment is commendable. Their mission strongly aligns with Braille Institute’s own philosophy of “no boundaries in sight.”

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (Government Awardee) has made invaluable contributions to braille literacy. Their support of Braille Institute’s library services and their endorsement of braille as fundamental to literacy are commendable and life-changing for many individuals.

Additionally, Braille Institute extends gratitude to the 2024 Braille Challenge sponsors: Waymo (Gold Sponsor), City National Bank and Life Light Educational Foundation (Silver Sponsors), Bank of America, Delta Gamma, Lime, Sensee, and Vispero (Bronze Sponsors).

Organizations interested in getting involved in Braille Challenge through nominations or sponsorships may reach out to Brian Sheridan, Director of Institutional Giving, at [email protected].

About Braille Institute
Braille Institute, a non-profit organization, has been positively transforming the lives of those with vision loss for more than 100 years. Programs and classes are provided to more than 20,000 children, youth, and adults each year. All programs are free of charge due to the generous support of donors.

SOURCE Braille Institute of America

Braille Institute of America Logo (PRNewsfoto/Braille Institute of America)

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