Introducing BrailleBlaster (Extra 73)

According to its website, “BrailleBlaster™ is a braille transcription program developed by the American Printing House for the Blind to help transcribers provide blind students with braille textbooks on the first day of class.” It uses markup from source documents to automate formatting, and provides “tools to make advanced tasks quicker and easier.”

Although it is “Designed primarily for editing textbooks that meet the specifications published by the Braille Authority of North America,” the adoption of Unified English Braile in most English-speaking countries makes it suitable for use in a wide variety of applications in many parts of the world. It is free of charge and compatible with virtually all braille embossers.

On Tuesday 20 February 2024, we were delighted to be joined by two representatives from APH to introduce us to BrailleBlaster and demonstrate some of its features:

  • Willow Free is the Tactile Technology Product Manager and based in the United States
  • Michael Whapples is the Lead Developer of BrailleBlaster and based in the United Kingdom

Using Braille for Language Learning (Extra 6)

This session introduced participants to the many ways of using braille when learning a language. Knowledge of English braille would be helpful when listening, but is not essential.

We took a look at using braille in conjunction with various language learning apps, where to learn other language codes and accessing books in other languages. We also heard from blind people who have used braille when travelling and how this has helped them. The session was led by Holly Scott-Gardner.

This session was recorded on Tuesday 17 November 2020. For further information please visit the Braillists Foundation Media Page.