WonderBaby.org founder Amber Bobnar wins National Braille Press volunteer award

Amber Bobnar holding her award

Amber Bobnar was honored with the volunteer award from National Braille Press for her work on the Great Expectations program, which brings popular children’s books to life. Photo Credit: Anna Miller.

June 18, 2015

Perkins’ Amber Bobnar wears many hats in her mission to support the families of children who are blind.

In addition to her work at Perkins, where she manages digital projects including WonderBaby.org, an online resource for parents of children with blindness or other disabilities, Bobnar volunteers her talents at the National Braille Press (NBP), which promotes braille literacy among children who are blind.

Her many contributions have not gone unnoticed: at its annual meeting on June 17, NBP presented Bobnar with its prestigious volunteer award for her work on the Great Expectations program, which brings popular children’s books to life using a multi-sensory approach.

“I’m very happy to present this award to a very deserving individual in appreciation of her enormous creative talents and exceptional contributions to the advancement of literacy for blind children and their families,” said NBP publisher Diane Croft.

Bobnar first got involved with NBP in 2009, when Croft sought out her opinion on a new product idea. At the time, Bobnar was working full-time on WonderBaby.org, which was rapidly growing in popularity.

“I could see right away it was creative, it was smart, it was sensitive,” said Croft of the website, which is now supported by Perkins and has a weekly audience of more than 100,000. “Obviously I’m not the only one who thought that.”

Bobnar began assisting NBP with various promotions, helping them reach a wider audience with a clearer message. She joined a committee to develop the Great Expectations program, which provides a range of activities to accompany popular picture books for children who are visually impaired.

The project hit home for Bobnar, who is constantly thinking up creative, accessible activities for WonderBaby readers and for her son, Ivan, a student at Perkins School for the Blind.    

“Picture books are a staple of childhood because they are bright, colorful and fun...but what if you can't see the pictures?” Bobnar said. “I have loved working with NBP to make picture books accessible to all kids and families.”

Enter to win the latest Great Expectations publication at WonderBaby.org, now through June 25.