Braille Education

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress has awarded a contract to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to conduct NLS braille certification programs. The Librarian of Congress and the NLS director will continue to authorize and issue certifications for braille transcribers and proofreaders.

All inquiries related to the literary, mathematics, and music transcribing and proofreading courses should be addressed to:

Jennifer Dunnam
Manager of Braille Programs, Jernigan Institute
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
[email protected] External

General Information about Braille

Braille Alphabet Card: A brief explanation of the braille reading and writing system that contains a tactile representation of the braille alphabet.

Fun with Braille: A printable four-page activity booklet that introduces children to braille. Three sheets with activities include coloring and word matching games using simulated braille. The fourth sheet contains basic information about NLS. Printable PDF available for download.

Frequently Used UEB Symbols (BRF file): A list of UEB symbols arranged by category in an ASCII text file that represent finished braille pages.

Facts: About Braille: A detailed description of braille, its history, the structure of the braille alphabet, and information on how braille is produced.

Braille Literacy for Children, Teens, and Adults covers a broad scope of resources for learning braille, and its resources are organization by the age of the prospective learner.

Directory of Producers of Accessible Reading Materials: This resource lists volunteer groups, individual transcribers, and nonprofit and commercial organizations who produce braille, recorded, and large-print material for readers with visual, physical, and print disabilities.

The NLS Music section also has information about the Music Braille Code and maintains a list of Braille Music Transcribers who have completed certification.

Print and embossed copies of these resources are also made available by using the order form for general information about braille.

Learn more about the NLS Braille eReader Program

NLS has been authorized to loan refreshable braille displays to eligible readers. The NLS Braille eReader allows NLS patrons to read electronic braille files (BRFs) as well as Word files, HTML files, DAISY files, and PDF files. The unit has 20 braille cells, a Perkins-style keyboard, 16GB of internal memory, and the ability to use an SD card and a USB drive for external storage. It connects to Wi-Fi so that braille files can be downloaded directly from BARD and has Bluetooth capability so patrons can connect directly to a smartphone and read the info on the screen in braille.  It also can connect to a computer so that the information on the screen will be displayed on the braille display. Other features include a braille translation application and settings to display files in uncontracted and contracted braille. It can connect directly to NFB Newsline. Its navigational capability includes searching for a passage and moving by sentence, paragraph, and volume. Interested NLS patrons should ask their network library about the availability of these devices.

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