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Access to printed publications for people who are able to read Braille.
Braille is a reading system of raised dots. Named after its inventor, Louis Braille, the system's basic "Braille cell" consists of six dots grouped in two vertical columns of three dots each.
These patterns, identifiable to the touch, represent letters of the alphabet, small words, contractions, numbers and punctuation signs.
There is English Braille and French Braille. Grade 1 Braille is the most basic representation of letters, numbers and punctuation while Grade 2 combines approximately 300 contractions and is the most commonly used.
It is important to proof-read Braille not only to catch errors which may have been made in the full-text template but also because errors can occur during conversion. Use trained Braille proof-readers.
Also consider the use of a disclaimer to explain errors in the conventional print product converted to Braille. Here is suggested wording:
"Errors that appear in spelling, grammar or punctuation, and breaks in text continuity are Brailled as printed."
Can Braille be produced in-house?
Using special software and a Braille printer, it is possible to print short text documents in Braille on your own. However, be aware that you will need someone proficient at using the equipment, Braille transcribing and Braille proofing.
In-house production may be appropriate for letters and basic communication with clients. But using a professional Braille supplier is strongly recommended for publishing projects. Even then, do not assume all Braille output is accurate. Just as there are editors and proof-readers for standard print, you should consider independent Braille proof-readers.
Can Braille be used with computers?
A wide range of devices allow Braille users to access information on a computer screen. Refreshable Braille displays, for example, consist of small pins which move up and down to form Braille letters in accordance with single-column text on a screen.
While these devices can read text, they cannot interpret graphics (or text that has been produced as a graphic). Increasingly popular are devices that combine Braille display with synthesized speech output giving blind users faster and more accurate interpretation of the computer screen.
Is it possible to produce a Braille graphic?
In some cases, as with flow charts and mathematical diagrams, a Braille illustration can be produced. Consult your Braille supplier.