"Web-Braille: A New Distribution System for Braille Books" by Judy Dixon, consumer relations officer for the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.

Web-Braille is a data file format that can be read on a Braille display or transmitted to a Braille embosser. Web-Braille files have the extension .brf. The Braille codes in Braille-ready files allow blind people to read electronic documents from computer disks or from the Internet.

Web-Braille files contain 25 lines per page. Each line holds up to 39 characters. A single printed page translates into several Braille pages; the exact ratio depends on the nature of the document. Mathematical expressions and symbols, as well as graphics, can be converted into words before being translated into Braille-ready files. Complex mathematical documents have the highest Braille-to-text page conversion ratios.

Several thousand Web-Braille books are available for downloading from the National Library Service (NLS) in the U.S. About 40 new books are published online in this format every month. The NLS Web-Braille material is available only to citizens or residents of the United States, or to qualified institutions.

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