About Us


Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy and education by providing high quality, free, and low cost braille books for children.

Seedlings’ Letter of Determination from the IRS


When Debra Bonde founded Seedlings in 1984, braille materials were scarce and expensive. Her goals were to increase the availability and lower the cost of braille books for children in order to promote their literacy skills and the love of reading. In 1985, the first year of book production, Debra made 221 books in her basement office. By 1990, Seedlings was producing 5,000 books per year, which precipitated its move out of Debra’s basement in Detroit, Michigan, into the Bentley Center in Livonia, and eventually to our present location on Farmington Road.

Since that time, we have added several giveaway programs in our quest to fill the existing braille book desert with thousands of wonderful books for children. In 2023, with a small staff, and a group of loyal volunteers, Seedlings produced over 48,000 braille books and articles (68% of which were given away for free). In May 2024, Seedlings reached a grand total of 750,000 books produced since 1984, equaling millions and millions of pages of braille!


Seedlings’ braille materials have opened up new worlds for countless children. All too often, the written word has been inaccessible to children with vision loss, and this is what we are working to change. Seedlings is keeping visually impaired children within the mainstream of popular literature and is reaching braille readers in all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries. Seedlings prioritizes literacy by providing visually impaired children an equal opportunity to develop the love of reading. Just as sighted children learn to read as they are exposed to the printed word, so do children with vision loss who are exposed to the tactile page at an early age.

Seedlings provides braille books at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. New titles are added every year as highly skilled volunteer braille transcribers spend countless donated hours translating print books into braille and preparing them for production. Once the original translation is complete, additional books are printed as needed. Exposure to popular, high quality braille literature throughout childhood increases the likelihood of success in school and beyond.

Photo of a smiling boy sitting on the floor reading a braille picture book surrounded by his collection of braille books.

Erik, 3

“Reading is truly Erik’s favorite thing to do from the moment he wakes up to when he goes to sleep at night.”

— Erik’s mother, Diana