Annotated Links


These are links to pages that we've mentioned on this site. (There are many search engines you can use to get additional information.) Selecting "More information" will take you to our write-up about the site which is followed by a link to the site.  You can also click immediately on "link to site". In either case, selecting a link will take you directly to the site without opening  a new window in your browser. You can use your Back button to return here.  (The quotations in our information are from the sites.)



The Braille Authority of North America, formed in 1976, is the recognized "authority for approving and adopting changes in all existing braille codes" in the United States and Canada. It was formed with the support of a number of organizations including government agencies and blind advocacy groups who remain part of its board of directors. "The mission of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) is to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA's purpose is to promote and to facilitate the uses, teaching and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing and future codes."

BRL -- Braille through Remote Learning --is a free "online instructional program that provides teachers,  parents, social workers, and current/future braille transcribers with a series of  three integrated online courses in braille and braille transcribing." This excellent site is sponsored by The Shodor Education Foundation and I've found it very useful.

Computers Helping People, Inc. is a private, nonprofit  organization with a mission to  "apply computer technology to the problems of people with disabilities." One of their main activities is the transcription of science and math books  into braille using the Nemeth code. The Director of CHPI, John J. Boyer, has been of enormous inspiration to getting this page going and I am especially grateful for his kindness and generosity in answering my many questions about  braille and accessibility issues.

Duxbury Systems, Inc. is the producer of the most-widely used full-featured braille transcribing system in the world: Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT). Duxbury was also the first commercially successful braille translator; the company officially started in 1975 although their work had begun earlier. Their website includes interesting information about the development of computer-based  braille transcription systems as well as number of useful braille links.

The only official certification for braille transcribers and braille proofreaders  in the United States is through the Library of Congress. They are also currently involved in designing ways to certify teachers  of blind children. "The Braille Development Section, National Library Service for  the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress administers a program of courses leading to certification in braille transcribing and proofreading in cooperation with a network of volunteer groups throughout the United States."

The Science Access Project group at Oregon State University is doing research "to develop methods for making science, math, and engineering information accessible to people with print disabilities." They are focussed on difficult areas like graphs and have done creative work with a wide variety of new tactile displays. Their approach is somewhat the inverse of Dotless Braille in that they hope that their new approaches to braille will eliminate the need for  sighted persons to deal with dots by replacing braille dots with print-like characters and by trying to make braille and print more directly equivalent without the need for any intermediate process. Their six-dot and eight-dot DotsPlus extended character sets, which are  "a set of tactile fonts that permits virtually any computer document written  in a language based on the Roman alphabet to be printed in a form readable by  a blind person", include small graphic symbols that require a special embosser.  Inkprint representations of DotsPlus characters are intended to be directly recognizable by sighted persons.