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Learning Braille

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 are identified.

 

On-line Braille Training Resources

BRL: Braille through Remote Learning

http://www.brl.org

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 Braille.


Hadley School for the Blind - Professional Program

http://www.hadley-school.org/Graphical_Site/3_i_professional_w.asp

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.

 

Correspondence Courses

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
(202) 707-5100

 

Transcriber guilds in California

ftp://ftp.loc.gov/pub/nls/reference/directories/vols96.txt

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.