Tek Talk presents Brian Mac Donald, President and CEO, National Braille Press (NBP)

This coming Monday Brian will be discussing the NBP Notetaker/computer, the B2G. We have heard about the B2G, but haven’t really received too much information about its benefits and features. This program will be a great opportunity to get a lot of information on this unit from a company we have all learned to appreciate over many years with a tremendous amount of Braille production at a reasonable cost.

Brian Mac Donald’s bio is as follows:

Brian Mac Donald joined National Braille Press (NBP) as its President in May, 2008. He is responsible for the overall management, operations, production, and the strategic direction of the organization.

In October 2008 he founded the
Center for Braille Innovation
(CBI) – a R&D think tank for National Braille Press, which focuses on identifying and developing new technologies for production efficiencies, tactile graphic development, and affordable accessible technology products for the blind and visually impaired. This included the creation of
Team CBI,
a committee of engineers and researchers to create and develop an affordable Android refreshable braille computer for the blindness community. MacDonald has formed collaborations with the national organizations for the blind and visually impaired, and has developed working relationships with Michigan, M.I.T., Educational Testing Service (ETS), IBM, and Disney Research in efforts to develop affordable refreshable e-braille and digital graphic tablet solutions for the blind.

The Center for Braille Innovation is currently working on identifying the lowest cost, and most reliable approach to render raised images, tactile diagrams and braille. Other projects include developing a lower cost refreshable braille computer called the
a multi-line braille and graphic display for the blind, and the
Tactile Caliper
, a mechanical, refreshable braille ruler designed by two PhD students from M.I.T. that allows accurate measurements.

Mac Donald presents at a number of conferences on braille, technology and education, to increase awareness and an understanding of how National Braille Press is developing products for braille literacy. He is an advisory board member of DIAGRAM, and the IMLS Committee on 3D Printing via Benetech, the Disability Task Force in Boston, and is a member of the VisionServe Alliance, and the World Blind Union.

Prior to his employment at National Braille Press, Mac Donald worked for a number of organizations
in both the profit and non-profit sector as a CFO, COO, and Senior Director, with experience in business development, environmental protection, educational programs, and international marketing. He received his undergraduate degree (Biology) from the University of Vermont, did graduate research in Bio-Environmental Oceanography (F.I.T.), and has a MBA with finance and marketing concentrations from Boston College.

Non-Profits where MacDonald has worked prior include: New England Aquarium, NH Audubon, MA Special Olympics, and the Island Alliance.

Co-Chair, Ken Metz

Co-Chair: Alan Lemly