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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have other options besides those listed in the estimate form?

In some cases, yes. Our estimate request form requests information for our typical braille production jobs. If your job is specialized, please provide details at the end of the estimate request process, and we will get back to you with answers or suggestions.

How can I assess how many pages my current print document will be when converted to braille?

If your braille document is to be produced on a standard-size braille paper, typically 11" x 11.5", you can estimate that a print document in 12 point font will be about double the amount of pages when produced in braille.This is a rough estimate; the ratio depends on many factors, such as font size, desired layout, and print page size.

How is braille produced?

Take our tour!

How long will my project take to produce?

While we currently quote 20 business days for production time but are happy to work with your schedule.

What does "emboss" mean?

The embossed dot can be described as a raised mark on a plate or page so as to be noticeable by touch. Braille is embossed onto plates and paper using machinery which will create the embossed dot by striking or stamping a pin on the reverse side of the plate or page, creating a relief.

What about large print?

Large print is useful for people with low vision, whereas braille is essential for people with little or no vision. We produce large print documents using 18- to 24-point fonts and can emboss the same text in braille, right over the print, so that both remain readable. In this way, you can serve more visually-impaired people.

Why can't I receive a price to have my document produced in braille per braille page?

Prices for braille production services vary considerably depending upon job specifications. Set-up fees, finish work, and the level of difficulty of transcription and proofreading can all dictate price.

Can NBP produce braille in various sizes, similar to font sizes?

The size of a braille cell is uniform, unlike print font sizes, and cannot be changed.

What is uncontracted versus contracted braille?

Uncontracted braille represents one braille character or cell per letter of the alphabet. Contracted braille is achieved by shortening common letter combinations or words, usually down to one or two characters or braille cells. There are 180 contractions in braille and they are often compared to shorthand. To learn more about braille contractions, pick up our tutorial Just Enough to Know Better!

What is braille transcription?

Braille transcription is the process of translating printed information into braille code. Braille transcription requires the transcriber to be trained to read and write braille code. Literary, math, and music braille transcription all require specialized training, with the goal of being certified by the Library of Congress. Our transcribers follow braille code specifications set forth by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).

Why does National Braille Press produce so much of their finish work by hand?

Finish work, in particular, is a manual process of properly collating, folding, and binding braille pages. Standardized manufacturing equipment, intended for print materials, does not handle the embossed pages easily and can often crush braille dots and compromise quality. In general, equipment and automated processes for braille production are either hard to find, very expensive, or non-existent.

What if I don't need finishing services?

We can easily supply transcription and/or proofreading services only, without actually pressing or binding a final product.

What is a braille cell?

The braille cell is a unit of six raised or embossed dots - two horizontally and three vertically. Each dot in the cell is referenced by its placement number of dot 1 through dot 6. Various combinations of the six dots represent letters, numbers, and word contractions. For example, if the top-left dot of the cell -- dot 1 --, appears by itself, this is the letter a. To learn more about the braille cell, pick up our tutorial Just Enough to Know Better or view our alphabet card!

Download a Braille Alphabet Card

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