Meet Our Team
Melissa Klepper joined the VAV team in 2010 having previously earned certification in both literary braille transcription and textbook formatting. She is currently in the process of her Nemeth Certification. She gained experience working as a braille transcriber, project coordinator, and quality assurance clerk before being appointed Executive Director in 2013. Her duties involve implementing policies and procedures developed in coordination with the Board of Directors.
Melissa is currently serving on the National Braille Association Textbook Format Course Committee and was an associate writer of the NBA Braille Formats Exam. She also serves as a Braille Testing Committee member for TExES. Melissa is dedicated to ensuring that all braille materials produced by the VAV team meet the high standards of quality established by the organization.
Cindy Harris Associate Director
Cindy Harris, the Associate Director, was hired in 2004 after graduating from a braille class held at VAV. Mrs. Harris is responsible for day-to-day operational duties including financial administration, organizational planning, purchasing, etc. As a certified braillist, she serves as an integral part of the braille production team, and also fulfills the roles of both the Volunteer and Proofreading Coordinator. She is currently working toward her NBA Format Certification. In addition to her work at VAV, Mrs. Harris is a member of the National Braille Association Tactile Graphics Committee and has presented at several National Braille Association Professional Development Conferences.
Visual Aid Volunteers, Inc. employs a team of individuals certified by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the National Braille Association. Our transcribers have earned certifications in Literary Transcription, Textbook Formatting, and Proofreading, Unified English Braille (UEB) and are skilled in transcribing Nemeth (Math/Science), Chemistry, Foreign Language, and Computer Braille Code.
Beverly North is the newest member of the VAV team. She has been producing braille for over 10 years. She earned her NLS Literary Braille Certification in 2006. In 2009, Mrs. North received certification in Mathematics Braille from the Library of Congress. As a certified braille transcriber, she has spent most of her years specializing in the Nemeth Braille Code. However, that has not prevented her from serving as a mentor to those learning the basic rules of braille transcription. In addition to her duties as a braille transcriber, Mrs. North serves as a reviewer in the Quality Control Process. She is responsible for ensuring that all braille materials produced by the VAV team meet the high standards of quality established by the organization.
John (Pat) Canty
Pat Canty, a Library of Congress certified proofreader, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and has been with VAV since 2002, bringing more than 45 years of braille experience to the organization. Mr. Canty joined VAV while also working as a volunteer braille instructor at Texas Commission for the Blind. He is a wonderful asset to the team as the primary proofreader of both Literary and Nemeth materials. His perspective as a braille reader is a tremendous benefit to VAV.
Linda Bedwell joined VAV in 2010 as the Billing Coordinator. Ms. Bedwell is responsible for processing all shipments, inventory control of all instructional materials, maintenance of internal reports, and assistance with braille and tactile graphics. She attended the VAV braille transcribing course and is presently working toward her literary braille certification.