Similar to ink printers, braille embossers emboss braille characters onto paper for tactile reading by a blind reader. They can be for personal use at home, the office, or mass production. This publication provides an alphabetical listing of braille embossers currently available for sale. It also lists the vendors who sell braille embossing appliances. In addition, it discusses specialized braille paper, braille translation software, and sources to purchase these items. A selection of references and resources is provided as well.
Prices given are subject to change without notice and do not include shipping and handling or other charges that may be incurred. Please contact the vendors directly to verify current prices and product specifications.
Items listed are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.
Note: CPS means Characters Per Second; DPI means Dots Per Inch.
- Braille Embossers
- Braille Translation Software
- Braille Paper
- Sources for Braille Paper
- Sources for Braille Embossers
- Sources for Translation Software
- Selected Resources
Braille embossers emboss information that they receive from computers, braille notetakers, mobile devices, or USB flash drives onto specialized heavyweight paper. Braille embossers can emboss single-sided or double-sided (called interpoint) and can produce 6- or 8-dot braille. Speed of printing, line width, and weight of braille paper are all differentiating factors for embossers.
BL-1000 Braille Labeler (Enabling Technologies)
Creates sturdy, transparent labels with Windows-based computers and is compatible with screen-reading software. Comes with the Braille Labeler Utility, which translates text into braille and sends it to the labeler. Weighs 2 lb.
Enabling Technologies: contact for pricing
BrailleBox (Index Braille)
Embosses interpoint braille at 300 CPS (approximately 1,000 pages per hour) on braille paper up to 17 by 11 inches in size. In addition to embossing on braille paper, is capable of brailling labels, business cards, and other media. Has a graphic printing capacity of 50 DPI. Equipped with wireless and Bluetooth capability, the ability to emboss material from a USB drive, and the capability to automatically translate text items into braille. Comes with a sound buffering cabinet to reduce noise output. Has menu buttons with print and braille description as well as speech feedback in multiple languages. Also has the capability to create tactile graphics. Uses single sheets of paper instead of tractor-fed paper. Weighs 150 lb.
Embosses single-sided braille at 25 CPS. Small and portable. Can produce tactile graphics. Users can add wireless embossers through GoBraille.
Irie AT: $1,495–3,243
Braille Express 150
Embosses interpoint braille at 150 CPS and 44 characters per line. Comes with ET Speaks and an external speech synthesizer that provides spoken menus and feedback. Weighs 50 lb.
Braille Place (Enabling Technologies)
Embosses interpoint braille at 300 CPS (approximately 1,000 pages per hour) and 45 characters per line. Designed to be a high-production embosser. Weighs 950 lb.
Enabling Technologies: contact for pricing
Embosses interpoint braille. Also has the capability to emboss tactile graphics. Sheet-fed; can braille smaller items such as business cards and labels. Allows users to send data to the embosser through their mobile devices. Weighs 20 lb.
Embosses interpoint braille on tractor-fed paper at 120 character per second. Has the ability to produce high-resolution graphics. Allows users to send data to the embosser through their mobile devices. Weighs 20 lb.
Braillo 300 S2 (American Thermoform)
Embosses interpoint braille at 300 CPS (900 pages per hour) and 10 to 42 characters per line with 168 electro-isolated printing systems. Can produce either six or eight dot braille and use braille paper in a variety of formats. Comes with Duxbury Braille Translator. Fits on a tabletop. Weighs 232 lb.
American Thermoform: $25,000
Braillo 450 S2 (American Thermoform)
Considered the “big brother” of the Braillo 300 S2. A very similar model with the added capability of brailling 150 extra CPS, 450 CPS in total (1,350 pages per hour) with 168 electro-isolated printing systems. Embosses six or eight dot braille and 10 to 42 characters per line. Weighs 236 lb.
American Thermoform: $35,000
Braillo 600 S2 (American Thermoform)
Embosses interpoint braille onto continuous/fanfold braille paper at 600 CPS (1,800 pages an hour) with 168 electro-isolated printing systems. Can emboss 10 to 42 characters per line. Built on a chassis that can be adapted for a Braillo 600 SR should the user’s needs expand. Weighs 254 lb.
American Thermoform: $45,000
Braillo 600 SR2 (American Thermoform)
Embosses at 600 CPS (1,800 pages per hour), 27 to 42 characters per line, and uses a continuous roll of paper instead of tractor-fed. Equipped with a built-in blade to cut the sheets after jobs are completed. Weighs 662 lb.
American Thermoform: $75,500
Braillo 650 SF2 Braille Embosser
Embosses 1,950 interpoint braille sheets an hour. Fully automated and built for high-demand jobs. Can produce a book or magazine from an uploaded braille file without further intervention from the user. Uses a continuous roll of paper; each roll yields 15,000 braille sheets. Weighs 353 lb.
American Thermoform: $120,000
Braillo 650 SW 2
Embosses single-sided and interpoint braille at 650 CPS and 10 to 44 characters per line from 180 electro-isolated printing systems, using a continuous roll of paper instead of tractor-fed.
The 650 SW can cut and stack the embossed braille paper sideways and is also used around the clock in many centers. Braillo 650 SF weighs 1,257 lb. Braillo 650 SW weighs 705 lb.
American Thermoform: $83,000
Columbia 2 (ViewPlus)
Embosses interpoint braille at 120 CPS. Capable of creating tactile graphics. Uses continuous, tractor-fed braille paper. Able to adjust dot heights to three separate levels. Weighs 20 lb.
Delta 2 (ViewPlus)
Embosses 120 CPS on cut-sheet paper. Also has the capability to emboss tactile graphics at 100 DPI. Weighs 20 lb.
Usable as a stand-alone electronic braille typewriter or can be attached to a computer and converted into an embosser. Weighs 9 lb.
Elite 200 (ViewPlus)
Prints both ink and braille (interpoint and single-sided at 200 CPS). Uses the Tiger Software Suite, which is included with the embosser, but is also compatible with Duxbury. Weighs 60 lb.
EmBraille Desktop Embosser (ViewPlus)
Embosses interpoint and single-sided braille up to 25 CPS onto tractor-fed braille paper, computer paper, oversized paper, labels, plastic, and card stock. Designed as a desktop embosser. Weighs 11 lb.
Gemini Super Braille Embosser
Prints ink and embosses 32 CPS braille (24 lines for single-sided, 20 lines for interpoint) onto tractor-fed paper. Weighs 54 lb.
Index Basic-D V5 (Index Braille)
Embosses interpoint and single-sided braille at 140 CPS and forty-eight characters per line. Also embosses tactile graphics at 20 DPI. Has built in Wi-Fi, allowing users to connect wirelessly and braille their materials from smartphones or tablets. Has a braille and text keypad with multilingual speech output. Uses tractor-fed paper and has a compact size for desktop use. Weighs 17 lb.
Index Everest-D V5 (Index Braille)
Embosses interpoint and single-sided braille at 120 CPS and up to 48 characters per line. Has a tactile resolution of 50 DPI. Able to connect via Wi-Fi, allowing users to emboss material from their mobile devices. The control panel features buttons labeled in braille, speech feedback, and backlighting. Uses cut-sheet paper, plastic, or thin metal instead of tractor-fed paper. Has a braille and print front panel and multilingual speech feedback. Weighs 28 lb.
Index FanFold-D V5 (Index Braille)
Embosses braille at 330 CPS and 48 characters per line. Tactile graphic capability with 50 DPI resolution. Control panel features braille labeling, backlighting, and a speech output with multi-language capability. Wi-Fi enabled for users to connect to it through their mobile devices. Weighs 220 lb.
Humanware: contact for pricing
Embosses 120 CPS interpoint braille from BRF DOC, PDF, and TXT files. Can connect to computers via Wi-Fi. Weighs 16 lb.
Max Braille Embosser (ViewPlus)
Embosses interpoint and single-sided braille at up to 60 CPS. Uses tractor-fed paper, braille paper, computer paper, oversized paper, labels, plastic, and card stock. Weighs 22 lb.
Mountbatten Braille Whisperer
Serves as an electronic braille typewriter and also interfaces with other devices to emboss material. Can connect with USB or wireless connection. Weighs 10 lb.
Phoenix (Enabling Technologies)
Embosses single-sided braille at 50 CPS and produces tactile graphics. Combines the Romeo system with a tactile graphics embossing system and comes with the Firebird Software Suite, which includes the Firebird Graphics Editor. Weighs 25 lb.
PIAF Picture in a Flash (HumanWare)
Produces tactile graphics using capsule (or swell) paper size up to 11by17 inches. Like the Swell Form Graphics II (see below), the tactile images are made when regular laser printers or copiers are used with swell-touch paper that is placed in the PIAF, which “swells” the black ink to create raised lines. Also has audio indicators. Weighs 13 lb.
Premier 100 (ViewPlus)
Embosses interpoint braille at 100 CPS. Also equipped with Tiger Graphics to allow for the production of tactile images. Uses tractor-fed paper, braille paper, computer paper, oversize paper, labels, plastic, and card stock. Weighs 60 lb.
Embosses 60 CPS and can connect through Wi-Fi, allowing users to print without the use of cables or drivers. Control panel has high-contrast keys and voice output. Also has the capability for tactile graphics at 50 DPI. Weighs 16 lb.
Embosses braille at 50 CPS and can print braille and ink at 40 CPS. Uses single-sheet paper—including regular letter paper, envelopes, and card stock—and the same ink and paper as an HP Inkjet printer. Embosses tactile graphics using color ink at 300 DPI. Weighs 26.6 lb.
Swell Form Graphics II Machine (American Thermoform)
Uses swell-touch paper to create tactile images. Works with a standard printer or copier to print an image and then recreate it in raised black lines. Weighs 15 lb.
Embosses at 100 CPS and is also capable of printing tactile graphics. Uses thermal printing, allowing it to print 3D images. Users can connect to the device via USB, LAN, or wireless signal. Weighs 1 lb.
Braille translation software converts documents or other forms of digital text into a braille file. These software systems may differ in editing capabilities and system compatibility. Please contact the vendors directly to verify product specifications.
Free, open-source braille translation software created by the American Printing House for the Blind. Based on the LibLouis open-source project, which can be downloaded at www.brailleblaster.org/download.php External.
Compatible with all machines running Windows 95 through Windows 10. Supports the sharing of braille files over the Internet, simplifying delivery to other users. Also supports braille XML and has multiple add-ons for purchase, including a braille-to-print interpreter and a Children’s Braille Grade Relaxer.
Braille2000, LLC: contact for pricing
Braille emulation software that converts specific keys on a QWERTY keyboard into Perkins-style braille inputs. Braille files written using the software can be printed with a braille embosser.
Duxbury Braille Translator
Supports a range of embossers and works with both PCs and Macs. Supports more than 170 languages and comes with braille mathematics capabilities and the ability to import braille music files created in GOODFEEL (see below).
Duxbury Systems: $695
Firebird Software Suite
Includes the Firebird Graphics Editor, which is used to create tactile graphics on the Juliet 120, Romeo 60, and Phoenix embossers from Enabling Technologies. Can open most image files and has side-by-side windows of the original image and the tactile graphic image. Able to automatically determine the correct DPI for the embosser. Allows users to create and edit graphics.
Enabling Technologies: free with the purchase of the Juliet, Romeo 60, and Phoenix Embossers
Converts MusicXML files (standard music notation software files) to braille and can convert music braille files to MusicXML. Comes with Lime Aloud, a notation editor that works with GOODFEEL and JAWS to provide user-friendly editing tools for computer input or for MIDI keyboard (piano) input. Also supports other screen readers such as NVDA and Narrator. Standard package comes with SharpEye 2, which scans print music, converts it to multiple formats for editing, and has a playback feature that enables listening to the scanned score with a computer.
Dancing Dots: $1,595
Braille emulator that converts specific keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard into Perkins-style braille inputs. Users can write documents in this manner, which can then be embossed.
Duxbury Systems: free
Tiger Software Suite
Consists of three components: VP Formatter, Tiger Designer, and VP Translator. VP Formatter works with Microsoft Word and Excel to convert text to braille; Tiger Designer is a tactile graphics design application; and VP Translator translates text-to-braille outside of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Note: This software can only be used with ViewPlus embossers. Version 5.0 of the Tiger Software Suite is specially formatted to work with EmBraille and the VoiceEye app.
TranSend SE (Enabling Technologies)
Allows for the synchronous translation of print and braille on one document so they will be adjacent to each other. Can be used with any of the braille embossers in the Enabling Technologies product suite; however, users must have an Epson dot-matrix printer.
Enabling Technologies: contact for pricing
Because standard paper is too thin to withstand the embossing process, specialized braille paper is needed when printing braille material. Braille paper has varying thicknesses; therefore, it is important to be aware of the type of paper that an embosser requires. If the paper is too thin, the embosser may punch holes through it instead of making raised dots; if the paper is too thick, it may damage the embosser. The standard braille paper sizes are 8.5 by 11 inches and 11 by 11.5 inches.
Braille paper also comes in three different layout formats: continuous (tractor-fed), cut-sheet, and rolls. Continuous paper is used for tractor-fed printers. This paper has holes on its edges that enable it to be fed through the printer and is connected to the next sheet of paper at the top and bottom. Cut-sheet paper is pre-cut and does not have holes on its edges. Rolls are used mainly for high-capacity printing. There is also swell-form paper, which is used by graphic embossers such as the PIAF and Swell Form Graphics II.
Independent Living Aids
137 Rano Rd.
Buffalo, NY 14207
855-937-3906 toll-free fax
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
National Federation of the Blind
Attn. Independence Market
200 Wells St. at Jernigan Pl.
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-659-9314 ex. 2216
5600 Apollo Dr.
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
800-235-1305 toll-free fax
954 33 Gammelstad
++46 920 2030 80
42 Executive Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
800-522-6294 toll-free (orders)
1754 Quarry Ln., Ste. DD
Phoenixville, PA 19460
The organizations below provide information on and evaluations of assistive technology for individuals with visual impairments, their families, and professionals who work with them.
Provides a database of assistive technology products and additional resources pertaining to the interests of people with disabilities. Users can perform search queries on specific products, manufacturers, or assistive technology resources.
Includes reviews of assistive technology products and other articles of general technological interest for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Published monthly by the American Foundation for the Blind.
Adaptive Computer Products
Links to websites providing information on assistive technology. Also links to sites to purchase computer-access software, input devices (keyboards, pointing devices, eye control, and switches), augmentative communication devices, speech-recognition/voice-controlled systems, and products for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
AssistiveTech.net—National Public Website on Assistive Technology
Has a searchable database to find vendors of assistive technology products. Created by the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access.
Flying Blind, LLC
Posts classified ads for previously owned assistive technology products, offers reviews of new products on the market, and publishes a weekly newsletter offering subscribers new information on assistive technology available to users.
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