Alternate media specialists should be able to read and edit contracted
(grade 2) Braille. Without at least a basic reading knowledge
of contracted Braille, specialists have no way of knowing whether or
not textbooks and testing materials have been accurately transcribed.
Learning the basics of reading and editing contracted Braille have traditionally
occurred through specialized classroom courses, correspondence courses
and, more recently, through online Web based courses.
Most authorities agree that a knowledge of uncontracted (grade 1) Braille
is a necessary prerequisite to learning contracted Braille. Both correspondence
and online courses referenced here all include as a prerequisite, knowledge
of uncontracted Braille. This list will continue to expand as new resources
On-line Braille Training Resources
BRL: Braille through Remote Learning
These courses are offered free of charge. Alternate media specialists
should pay special attention to the courses entitled: Introduction
to Braille and Transcribers Course. Together they provide
a good introduction to the basics of reading and editing contracted
Hadley School for the Blind - Professional Program
The introductory course, which includes uncontracted Braille, is still
being developed and will not be available for a few months. Hadley
School for the Blind has a long and successful history of teaching both
sighted and non-sighted persons to read Braille. Courses are offered
at no charge.
The Library of Congress offers four courses to individuals interested
in transcribing books and other print materials into braille. Interested
persons must be citizens or residents of the United States and must have
a high school diploma or equivalent. The first course is in literary braille
transcribing. Successful completion of the course is a prerequisite for
other transcribing and proofreading courses and qualifies the individual
to transcribe general literary materials.
For more information or an application form contact:
Braille Development Section
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542
Transcriber guilds in California
In many communities, volunteer groups of braille transcribers may also
be available to provide assistance for those wishing to learn more about
reading and editing contracted Braille.