"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.  New

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.

Related Information

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share with others

The Web Diva for the Accessible Techcomm website since 2012. Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. STC member since June 1979. A founder and former webmaster for the STC Special Needs Committee, which became the STC AccessAbility SIG (2001-2011).