Estelle B. Williamson Braille Literacy Awards

Since 1996, Friends has awarded an annual stipend and a scholarship to promote Braille literacy. The awards are offered to teachers, teachers-in-training, Braille transcribers and visually impaired children and adults.

These awards are named the Estelle B. Williamson Braille Literacy Awards, to honor the memory of Estelle B. Williamson, a charter member, leader, and guiding spirit of Friends. Estelle lost her battle with cancer on October 24, 2000. They remind us of Estelle’s dedication to promoting and improving the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Recipients have used the stipends in various ways to enhance or promote Braille literacy.

  • The award has been used to purchase Braille equipment and/or materials such as Braille writers, Braille printers, electronic notetakers with refreshable Braille displays, and textbooks for teaching Braille.
  • The award has paid for classes or programs where the recipient has learned basic or advanced Braille reading and writing skills.
  • Some have used the award to develop or expand innovative programs, such as a Braille storybook collection for preschoolers.

Estelle B. Williamson Award
Applications for this award are accepted at any time. For questions, contact Barbara Cheadle, Scholarship Chair, at bacheadle at

You may download the award application here.