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Braille Assessments

At National Braille Press, standardized assessments are customized for student accessibility, integrating specifications provided by our clients. We produce superior materials within fixed schedules.

Our text transcription is created and curated by transcribers and proofreaders certified by the Library of Congress, and adheres to all guidelines adopted by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).

Our tactile graphics are carefully rendered, making all considerations for fairness and parity with the print assessment. They are proofread and tested for viability by a braille reader, ensuring not only accuracy but also that they convey information in a clear way for students to answer corresponding questions.

National Braille Press subjects each assessment to a full quality control check on site, requiring several rounds of rigorous proofreading and editing. We often produce an addtional copy for client review. After outstanding edits have been implemented and approved, we move to final production.

Our committment to quality extends to all reaches of our production department, as we emboss, assemble, and package to unique and exacting specifications for every project. We are proud of our work, and we ensure it's delivered on time and in the best possible condition for students we serve.

National Braille Press believes that comprehensive literacy includes tactile graphic literacy. We are extremely proud of our tactile graphics, where we find dynamic design, unwavering accuracy and clear, accessible information meet.

A tactile graphic is transformed representation of a print image, adapted to provide information through touch. Tactile graphics enhance learning, and allow students with visual impairments to interact with diagrams on the same level as sighted peers.

National Braille Press utilizes several principles in our approach to creating tactile graphics:

  • We gather critical information about the student and the purpose of the graphic, particularly with regard to the grade level and subject matter.
  • We evaluate a variety of methods for developing a good tactile graphic, including collage, emboss, and swell. We also consider elements which may not render successfully, warranting the use of description or a three-dimensional object.
  • We analyze content, determining what critical information must be included for a student to understand and interact with the tactile graphic.
  • We prioritize the importance of the tactile elements to be included in context, eliminating unimportant noise and layering other elements to convey the purpose.
  • We retain the integrity of information using varying but weighted points, lines, and textures, never compromising the most accessible design for visual aesthetic.

At National Braille Press, accuracy and completeness are essential to our process. Our tactile graphics are scrutinized several times for usability by braille readers to ensure excellent adaptation.

As sighted students move to computer adaptive testing, National Braille Press is committed to ensuring an equivalent experience for blind and visually impaired students. Since 2012, we have been working in adaptation of electronic items, stimuli, and tactile graphics. We are proud of our work, collaborating with agencies to ensure the best possible outcome for students in a real-time testing environment.

Braille can take many forms, and we find that consulting with the end user is the most useful way to determine the best set of codes to apply to a particluar project.

National Braille Press is a founding member of Braille Authority of North America (BANA) and is represented on the board. We follow all standards and guidelines adopted by BANA, and offer the following trasncription types.

  • Unified English Braille (UEB). In 2012, UEB was adopted by the BANA as the official code for literary materials in the United States.
  • English Braille American Edition (EBAE). Prior to 2012, EBAE was the primary braille code for the United States. While we still offer transcription and production in EBAE, it is not recommended unless specifically requested by the end user.
  • Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics, 2010. Utilized for the design, transcription, and reproduction of all tactile graphics.
  • Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972, with updates. Nemeth can be utilized in conjunction with UEB literary code.
  • Unified English Braille for technical materials. UEB is a full code, which means there are conventions for transcription of both literary text and technical information (mathematics and science).

Like print APA, MLA, or Chicago styles, braille has conventions for formatting or styling on a page.

Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2016. These formatting guidelines are designed to be applied in UEB transcription.

Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011. These formatting guidelines are designed to be applied in EBAE transcription.

Contracted or Uncontracted? Contracted braille, sometimes referred to as "Grade 2" braille, contains all contractions and is the standard for readers in the US. Uncontracted braille, which is letter-for-letter and does not include contractions, is often employed for younger users still learning braille.

Interpoint or Single-sided? Most regular reading materials are treated as interpoint braille, which means braille is duplexed, or embossed on both sides of a single page. In some cases, particularly for education or assessments, material is preferable as single-sided, and the braille is embossed only on the front side of a single page.

National Braille Press exhibits at several national conferences each year. We would love to meet you! Find us at:

  • CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
  • CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment
  • National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention
  • AHEAD: Accessing Higher Education and Disability