About Us – Through the Years

Learn more about Seedlings’ history through this pictorial timeline.

A photo of the founder of Seedlings in her original office.


Debra Bonde learned how scarce and expensive children’s braille books were so she became a Certified Braille Transcriber.


Seedlings Braille Books for Children, located in a tiny office in Debra’s basement in Detroit, was incorporated as a Michigan nonprofit. 

Image from 1990 when Seedlings moved to a new office.


A small braille printer made by Debra’s father arrived and the first 221 braille books were printed and sent to children in need.


Production expanded to 5,000 books per year, leading to a move to The Bentley Center, a bigger facility in Livonia, MI.

Photo of Linda Grimm smiling while sitting at her computer, transcribing a Rose Article.


With its first bequest, Seedlings added the first giveaway program: The Rose Project (free encyclopedia articles in braille).


Continued growth led to a move to a bigger office at the MetroPlex complex in Livonia. 

A photo of a framed newspaper article celebrating Seedlings' founder as Michiganian of the Year.


The Detroit News honored Seedlings’ Founder as a Michiganian of the Year.


The Book Angel Program was launched, enabling thousands of children with vision loss in the U.S. & Canada to receive free books each year.

Open house display with signs detailing some of Seedlings 2009 statistics. In the background, there is a world map showing all the countries Seedlings has shipped to.


Production grew to over 20,000 free & low-cost braille books per year!


Seedlings’ produced the 250,000th book since its inception.

Image of the Bolotin Award


The prestigious Bolotin Award was given to Seedlings by the National Federation of the Blind.

Seedlings' former employee, Katelynn, giving the camera two thumbs up while standing next to a table full of boxes of braille books.


Production grew to over 30,000 free & low-cost braille books per year!


Seedlings’ reached a lifetime milestone by producing its 500,000th book!

A vase of yellow flowers next to a sign that says "Happy 500K Day!" There are five 100 Grand candy bars sitting next to the sign.


The Teachers of the Visually Impaired Program was launched, providing 5 free braille books to teachers in the U.S. each year.

Photo of Ann with her daughter Avery observing a seedlings book
Seedlings' employees, Lori and Mary, smiling faces peak out behind a large 52 box shipment of braille books.


Seedlings placed more than 48,000 free and low-cost braille books into the hands of children worldwide! 

A small table with two braille books, a vase of yellow flowers, and a sign that says "Hooray for 750K".


Seedlings has now produced over 3/4 of a million of books in its lifetime!