BANA Announces Winner of Braille Excellence Award

Those who have had the privilege to know Joe Sullivan or who have benefitted from his development of the Duxbury Braille translation system will be delighted to read the media release below

Press Release

December 5, 2011

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Judy Dixon, Chair
Braille Authority of North America
Phone: 202-707-0722, Email:

BANA Honors Joseph Sullivan with Braille Excellence Award
at Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) will proudly honor Joseph Sullivan, President of Duxbury Systems, with its Braille Excellence Award on December 7th at the opening session of the Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference in Louisville, KY. BANA created this award in honor of Louis Braille’s 200th birthday and awarded it for the first time in 2009. Mr. Sullivan is the second recipient of this prestigious award that recognizes people or organizations that have developed or contributed to a code, have developed code materials or software that supports codes, and/or who represent the highest standards of braille production.

As the chief architect of the original Duxbury Braille Translator, now the world’s premier braille translation software, Joseph Sullivan has made a remarkable and lasting contribution to the production and availability of braille, yet his contributions and commitment neither begin nor end with this accomplishment. Through his decades of professional work and extensive volunteer service, he has not only increased world-wide access to braille and expanded the ability to produce braille, but he has consistently focused on expanding our field’s capacity to produce quality, accurate braille.
Mr. Sullivan’s efforts for the past 30 years have focused on bringing braille codes more directly into alignment with print while retaining readability and on enabling more efficient, accurate braille production. The current version of the Duxbury Braille Translator now supports 130 languages.
Mr. Sullivan is currently the president of Duxbury Systems, Inc. He is a mathematician by schooling (Boston College H.S. 1958, Boston College A.B. Mathematics 1962, Northeastern University M.S. in Mathematics 1968) and has designed software for most of his working life. He earlier worked at the U.S. Navy’s David Taylor Model Basin, at Bunker-Ramo Corporation, and at MITRE Corporation before helping found Duxbury Systems. At MITRE, Joe was part of the team that developed DOTSYS III, the first braille translator written in a portable programming language.
Joe Sullivan’s remarkable commitment to braille and to those who rely on it has been the hallmark of his career and his contributions. His work has increased both the availability and the accuracy of braille production around the globe. His work has truly brought braille to the world.

BANA invites you to join us in honoring Joe Sullivan. You can leave messages of congratulations on BANA’s Facebook wall at:

For additional resource information, visit

The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching, and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets, and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.


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