Braille and Braille Publishing

Braille is a system for publishing text for blind readers.  It uses patterns of raised dots to represent letters, which are read by touch.

This article covers the major sources of printed braille in the US.

Although not all print materials are converted into braille, there is a wide variety made available.  There are 3 major sources of Braille publications in the U.S.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is a division of the Library of Congress. They loan books to qualified disabled U.S. citizens in various alternative formats including Braille, large-print, audio and electronic text. They also offer a small number of free magazine subscriptions.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) sells Braille textbooks as well as other educational products.

National Braille Press (NBP) sells a variety of books at near the price of the print edition. These books include computer tutorials, bestsellers, cookbooks and self-help publications.

A newer international source is RoboBraille:

RoboBraille is an email service which will convert digital text documents into either Braille or audio files. You can email or use the web to give them your file and the system will give you a document that is either an audio file or Braille file. Your file can be a .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, .xml, .html, .htm, .rtf, .epub, .mobi, .tiff, .tif, .gif, .jpg, .bmp, .pcx, .dcx, .j2k, .jp2, .jpx, .djv and .asc file.  The file they give back can be mp3 audio, DAISY Consortium.

">Daisy full text and audio, e-Book, document conversion, or Braille. You can choose 12 languages other than English, as well. It is free to individuals.

In addition to printed braille, many books and other reading materials are available in electronic form, formatted for 'refreshable' electronic braille displays. This is a growing trend as more materials are published in mainstream electronic forms, and as braille displays drop in price.

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