Photo of Clovernook Center employee sitting in front of her computer as she transcribes braille

July 30, 2020

In addition to producing embossed braille copies of The New York Times’ special ADA section, Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House also produced digital braille files for each article. These are downloadable files that can be read on a refreshable braille display or printed on a personal braille embosser, providing the reader with immediate and equitable access to the articles. Refreshable braille displays generate “live” braille, with pins that rise and fall as the reader navigates a document.

To convert a written New York Times article to a digital braille file is a detailed multi-step process requiring the specialized training and expertise of a braille transcriber. Braille transcription is a complex endeavor due to the number of braille rules and formats that need to be applied to any transcription. Also, braille transcribers must have specialized computer training to transcribe the printed text into braille. They must also be well versed in Unified English Braille code, and for this reason, Clovernook Center requires its transcribers to be professionally certified in the field.

Our transcribers initially assess the printed text documents then determine how best to format the information in braille in the most accurate way so that braille readers get the same benefits from the information as sighted readers. The transcriber uses specialized translation software to produce a braille translation of the text. This translation is then proofread twice by professionally certified braille proofreaders to ensure accuracy. Any errors found are corrected by the transcriber. After this step, and a few more quality assurance checks, the file is ready to be saved and shared.

Click here to read the 20+ articles in the New York Time’s special series “The A.D.A. at 30: Beyond the Law’s Promise”, including digital braille files.

Back to News