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NLS Reference Circulars

Braille Embossers

May 2000

Contents

Braille embossers transcribe print text into embossed braille output. They differ in such factors as printing speed, line width, and type and weight of paper. Embossers may print on either one or two sides of the paper and may produce either 6- or 8-dot braille.

Prices given are subject to change without notice and do not include shipping and handling and other charges that may be incurred. Please contact the companies directly to verify current prices and product specifications.

Items listed are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

Braille Embossers

Braille Blazer

Embosses at fifteen characters per second in either 6- or 8-dot braille. Has a built-in speech synthesizer that may also be used with a computer. Handles paper up to 8-1/2 inches wide, in any length. Blazie Engineering, $1,695

Braille BookMaker

Does two-sided embossing at 80 characters per second. Can adjust the braille for different weights of paper. Comes with built-in ET Speaks as standard equipment. Enabling Technologies, $8,995

Braille Express 100

Has same features as Braille BookMaker, but embosses at 100 characters per second. Enabling Technologies, $10,995

Braille Express 150

Has same features as Braille BookMaker, but embosses at 150 characters per second. Enabling Technologies, $15,995

Braillo Comet

Has two-speed capability at 50 and 75 characters per second. Includes graphics access and serial and parallel ports. American Thermoform, M4/0-0600, $3,295

Braillo 200

Embosses braille on either one or two sides. Produces 600 pages an hour utilizing standard continuous pinfeed fanfold paper. American Thermoform, M4/0-0200, $36,995

Braillo 400

Has twice the speed of the Braillo 200 to produce 1,200 pages per hour. American Thermoform, M4/0-0400, $77,995

Dot and Print

Produces braille and print on the same page simultaneously. Has braille-only or print-only options and a speed of 50 characters per second. American Thermoform, $3,950

ET

Is similar to the Juliet Classic, but has a shorter 40-character line and more speed. Enabling Technologies, $3,795 HumanWare, $3,795

Index Basic-D

Produces two-sided braille text or graphics at 100 characters per second using continuous tractor-feed paper. American Thermoform, M7/E-0200, $3,695 Sighted Electronics, $3,695

Index Basic-S

Is similar to Index Basic-D, but embosses one-sided at 50 characters per second. Sighted Electronics, $2,995

Index Everest-D

Acts as a two-sided printer using single-sheet paper, with a speed of 91 characters per second or 340 pages per hour. American Thermoform, M7/E-0100, $4,295 Sighted Electronics, $4,295

Index 4x4 PRO

Prints at 100 characters per second or 380 pages per hour to produce magazines, books, and newspapers in a saddle-stitch binding format. Sighted Electronics, $8,140

Juliet Classic

Has a speed of 55 characters per second, two-sided embossing, and graphics capabilities and can use standard and variable paper sizes and weights. Enabling Technologies, $3,795 HumanWare, $3,795

Juliet PRO

Has a speed of 55 characters per second, two-sided 56-character line, and graphics capabilities and can use standard and variable paper sizes and weights. Enabling Technologies, $4,095

Juliet PRO 60

Has 60 characters per second speed, two-sided 40-character line, and graphics capabilities and can use standard and variable paper sizes and weights. Enabling Technologies, $4,095 HumanWare, $4,095

Marathon

Runs at 200 characters per second. Is equipped with both serial and parallel ports to allow interface with virtually any computer system or host device. Enabling Technologies, $14,995

Mountbatten Brailler

Can be used as an embosser, a braille writer, a notetaker that can type braille directly into an electronic memory rather than on paper, a forward translation system that translates print into braille, and a back translation system for the braillist who wants a print copy. Can be driven by an external keyboard for one-handed use. HumanWare, $3,695-$3,945

Paragon

Has an operating speed of 40 characters per second or 120 pages per hour. Allows text embossing in either the vertical or horizontal axis. HumanWare, $3,295

Porta-Thiel

Embosses two-sided 6- and 8-dot braille on single sheets, continuous forms, plastic, and magazine sheets. Uses a built-in speech synthesizer to signal when paper is out and waits for more to be inserted. Has both serial and parallel interfaces. Sighted Electronics, $1,995 (single-sided), $2,835 (double-sided)

Romeo RB-25

Embosses one-sided braille at 25 characters per second. Enabling Technologies, $2,495-$2,995 HumanWare, $2,495

Romeo RB-40 (Classic)

Embosses one-sided braille at 40 characters per second. Will emboss on plastic or light metal foil. Enabling Technologies, $3,795

Thiel IMPACTO 600

Offers 6- or 8-dots collating or continuous two-sided printing at a rate of 600 pages per hour. Sighted Electronics, $37,000

Thomas

Has a speed of 40 characters per second. Can combine graphics or tactile pictures with text and print them on a separate sheet without stopping. Enabling Technologies, $3,295-$3,595

TIGER (Tactile Graphics Embosser)

Embosses text into braille and reproduces graphics in tactile form simultaneously. Uses a standard Windows graphics-capable printer driver that allows printing from any application running in the Windows 95, 98, or NT environment. ViewPlus Technologies, $9,750

VersaPoint Duo

Embosses either 6- or 8-dot braille and tactile graphics at 60 characters per second across its 40-character line length in one- or two-sided mode. Blazie Engineering, $3,795-$4,045

WinBraille

Supports Index embossers. Provides a software package that allows for braille translating, formatting, and embossing from the print icon in the Windows editor. Free for Index users; download at http://www.indexbraille.com/winbrail.htm.

Selected References

American Foundation for the Blind. National Technology Program. Braille technology. Feb. 2000. http://www.afb.org/technology/fs_brailtech.html.

Andrews, David. How fast is it really? Braille monitor, Jan. 1996: 10-14.

Connell, Tim. The Mountbatten Brailler: an update. Dialogue, v. 34, winter 1995: 56-61.

Dotson, Nick. Romeo and VersaPoint: a comparison of two braille embossers. Tactic, v. 10, winter 1994: 41-45.

Leventhal, Jay. A review of an inexpensive interpoint braille printer. JVIB news service, v. 88, Mar.-Apr. 1994: 18-20.

Selected Resources

The organizations below provide information on and evaluations of assistive technology for individuals with visual impairments and their families and professionals who work with them.

American Foundation for the Blind
National Technology Program
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
(212) 502-7642
800-232-5463
techctr@afb.net e-mail
http://www.afb.org/technology web site
National Federation of the Blind
International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314
nfb@iamdigex.net e-mail
http://www.nfb.org/IBTC/ibct1.htm web site

Addresses of Direct Sources

American Thermoform Corporation
1758 Brackett Street
La Verne, CA 91750
(909) 593-6711
800-331-3676
(909) 593-8001 fax
atc@atcbrleqp.com e-mail
http://www.atcbrleqp.com web site
Blazie Engineering
A division of Freedom Scientific
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
(561) 223-6443
(561) 223-6413 fax
http://www.freedomsci.com web site
Enabling Technologies
1601 Northeast Braille Place
Jensen Beach, FL 34957
(561) 225-3687
800-777-3687
(561) 225-3299 fax
800-950-3687 fax
enabling@brailler.com e-mail
http://www.brailler.com web site
HumanWare, Inc.
6245 King Road
Loomis, CA 95650
800-722-3393
(916) 652-7296 fax
info@humanware.com e-mail
http://www.humanware.com web site
Sighted Electronics
464 Tappan Road
Northvale, NJ 07647
(201) 767-3977
800-666-4883
(201) 767-0612 fax
sighted@idt.net e-mail
http://www.sighted.com web site
ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.
Business Enterprise Center
800 NW Starker Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97330
(541) 754-4002
(541) 738-6505 fax
vpt@viewplustech.com e-mail
http://www.viewplustech.com web site

Addresses of Selected Vendors

AccessAbility, Inc.
320 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 751-6455
888-322-7200
(415) 751-5262 fax
Info@4access.com e-mail
http://www.4access.com web site

Sells: Braille Blazer, ET, Juliet, Romeo, VersaPoint Duo

Access Technologies
The HEDJ Group
7917 Highway 72 W
Madison, AL 35758
800-343-3122
(256) 830-5632 fax
info@hedj.com e-mail
http://www.hedj.com web site

Sells: Braille Blazer, ET, Juliet, Romeo, Thomas, VersaPoint Duo

Electronic Visual Aid Specialists (EVAS)
39 Canal Street
P.O. Box 371
Westerly, RI 02891
(401) 596-3155
800-872-3827
(401) 596-3979 fax
inforequest@evas.com e-mail
http://www.evas.com web site

Sells: Braille BookMaker, Braille Express, Index Basic, Index Everest, Juliet, Marathon, Mountbatten, Porta-Thiel, Romeo, Thomas, VersaPoint Duo

Freedom of Speech, Inc.
2344 Nicollet Avenue South, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 544-3333
877-367-4228
(612) 872-7374 fax
fos@freedomofspeech.com e-mail
http://store.yahoo.com/fos/index.html web site

Sells: Braille Blazer, Juliet, Marathon, Romeo, Thomas, VersaPoint Duo

Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803-4404
800-537-2118
(516) 752-3135 fax
can-do@independentliving.com e-mail
http://www.independentliving.com web site

Sells: Basic-S, Basic-D, Braille Blazer, Porta-Thiel

LS&S Group
P.O. Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60065
800-468-4789
(847) 498-1482 fax
lssgroup@aol.com e-mail
http://www.lssgroup.com web site

Sells: Braille Blazer, Braillo Comet

Maxi-Aids
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(516) 752-0521
800-522-6294
(516) 752-0689 fax
sales@maxiaids.com e-mail
http://www.maxiaids.com web site

Sells: Index Basic, Porta-Thiel

Priority Products and Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 472150
Tulsa, OK 74147
888-756-9261
(918) 252-0266 fax
info@priorityone.com e-mail
http://www.priorityone.com web site

Sells: Braille Blazer, Braille BookMaker, Braille Express, ET, Juliet, Marathon, Romeo, Thomas

Synapse Adaptive
3095 Kerner Boulevard, Suite S
San Rafael, CA 94901
888-285-9988
(415) 455-9801 fax
info@synapesadaptive.com e-mail
http://www.synapseadaptive.com web site

Sells: Index Basic, Index Everest

WoodLake Technologies, Inc.
650 West Lake Street, Suite 320
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 655-9200
800-253-4391
(312) 655-8615 fax (312)
665-8614 TTD
http://www.woodlaketec.com web site

Sells: Braille BookMaker, Braille Express, Index Basic, Juliet, Marathon, Romeo, Thomas

Compiled by
Carol Strauss
Reference Section
May 2000


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