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BRAILLE BOOKS AND BRAILLE MUSIC

To find out what has already been published, consult the two online retrospective catalogs.
WEB-BLND, of the National Library Service of the Library of Congress, which covers books produced at the national level and by local libraries for the blind, as well as books brailled in small quantities by volunteer groups and added to the national collection. Novice searchers may find the Help file useful. And:
The American Printing House for the Blind, "Louis: Database of Accesssible Materials for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired," which covers braille (and, of course, books in other formats) produced by local agencies and held by them in their own collections or offered for sale.

If a book has never been brailled or recorded in an accessible format, you may be able to find a local volunteer organization that will produce it for you by consulting two directories produced by the National Library Service: "Sources of Custom-Produced Books: Braille, Audio Recordings, and Large Print " (2001)and "Sources of Braille Reading Materials" (1996).

If you cannot locate a braille text, you can use a braille translation program to braille it yourself and either print it out or read it on a refreshable braille display. Some frequently used braille translation programs are:

2003 Calendars: The National Library Service has prepared a Fact Sheet listing organizations that produce calendars in braille, print/braille or large print.

The National Library Service makes braille books, magazines and music available as downloads through Web-Braille. Contact your local library for the blind to register for Web-Braille.

The music collection of the National Library Service of the Library of Congress includes more than 30,000 braille and large-print music scores, texts; and instructional recordings about music and musicians on cassette and audio disc.

Duxbury producers of Duxbury and MegaDots braille translation software, maintains a comprehensive list of "World Wide Braille Producers," organized by first digit of the zip code for producers in the U.S.A. and by country for producers in more than thirty countries. Brailleplanet has recently combined with Duxbury, but the complete run of 102 Raised Dot Computing Newsletters, 1983-1994, is available on the Web. "These newsletters are a rich source of material about the blindness field" during those years.

Neal Kuniansky, of Duxbury Systems, describes a project under development called "eBraille": "A web-based gateway where documents could be received, translated to braille, perhaps even embossed and shipped; all with minimal human intervention. Thereby making it possible to respond to requests for information in braille quickly and easily without having to locate an expert."

"Braille Books for Children" lists the major suppliers, including some religious sources and ones in Canada and England.

Alcoholics Anonymous makes some of its publications available in braille and large print:
General Service Office
Attn: Special Needs
P.O. Box 459
Grand Central Station
New York, NY 10163

American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults: free braille calendars; lending library of children's books in braille and print/braille; offers a monthly free Goosebumps book in braille. Though the American Action Fund is no longer producing new books in the Animorphs series, it still has Goosebumps and Babysitters Club books in braille. The Fund has recently begun production of three new series: the Nightmare Room by R. L. Stine, the Nancy Drew and the Little House chapter book series.

The American Foundation for Disabled Children "provides actual 'print to braille' transcription of textbooks, newspapers, class notes, etc. . . . for blind and visually challenged children or provides financial and technical assistance to establish similar programs in special schools or programs throughout the country." The AFDC also provides "collections of recreational books to school, state and regional libraries for the visually challenged."

American Printing House for the Blind: braille books and, of course, much else, including pre-reading activities.

Marjorie Arnott sells braille books about knitting, crocheting and cooking.

Bibles for the Blind and Visually Handicapped provides free Braille Bibles to people who cannot otherwise afford them.

Braifo is a program under development for converting documents written in SGML into braille as specified in a style sheet.

Braille Bible Foundation
P.O. Box 948307
Maitland, FL 32794-8307
Phone: 407-834-3628.
[no web site as of October 2002]

Braille Circulating Library: lends a wide variety of religious texts and tracts.
2700 Stuart Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220-3305
Phone: 804-359-3743
Fax: 804-359-4777.
[no web site as of October 2002]

Braille Institute Press: in addition to many kinds of braille books, also publishes "Expectations," a free annual anthology of children's literature; "Brailleways," an annual braille anthology for young adult readers; and "a braille special collection of Children's Classics," more than 600 titles available free. A catalog will be published quarterly.
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Phone: 1-800-BRAILLE
Phone: 1-800-272-4553

The "Partners in Literacy Program" of the Braille Institute Press allows teachers and librarians to order up to 25 braille books from the Braille Institute's "Special Collection" of more than 1,200 titles for a flat annual fee of $150.

Braille International /William T. Thomas Bookstore: provides a broad range of braille material for all ages, from the very young to the older reader; braille or print catalog of more than 1,000 titles for sale. They also have an on-line catalog.
3142 S.E. Jay St.
Stuart, FL 34997
407-286-8366

The Braille Resource and Literacy Center (The BRL Center) has over 50 children's storybooks available in double-spaced, non-interpoint, Grade 1 (or alphabetic) Braille. The Braille appears on the right side of the page and the print equivalent of each line appears on the left side. Titles include many children's classic fairy tales and other stories, such as "The Little Mermaid," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Hansel and Gretel," "Mother Goose Rhymes," etc. Other titles are for beginning readers, such as the series of "Frog and Toad" books. Teachers and parents may purchase the books at a price of 2 books for $6.00. One free book will be given to any child upon request. For more information contact:
The BRL Center
1094 South 350 West, Orem, UT 84058
Phone: 801-224-333

CARE Ministries provides a list of more than sixty organizations that provide religious materials in formats (braille, cassette, large print) accessible to the blind. "This list includes only national organizations which provide materials without regard to geographical or denominational affiliation. Geographical and denominational resources, including church referrals are available at the CARE Ministries office and will be gladly shared upon request."

Christ for All Nations has made available in braille about forty works of evangelical Christianity by the Rev. Reinhard Bonnke, in English and ten other languages. Contact:
Christ for All Nations
International Department
Highway House
250 Coombs Road
Halesowen
West Midland
B62 8AA
United Kingdom

Christian Record Services: primarily religious literature, in a variety of formats, including braille and print-braille.

Christian Services for the Blind: A Link Between the Sighted, Blind and Deaf-Blind has a lending library of over 600 books in braille and audio formats, as well as magazines.

"Les Doigts Qui Revent" is a French producer of tactile books and other objects for children. They are researching tactile multimedia. The site is in French and English.

The Catholic Guild for the Blind (Chicago, IL) produces taped, large print and braille books, including cookbooks, hobby books and children's pre-readers.

Helping Hands for the Blind has over fifty braille cookbooks for sale, as well as a Cookbook of the Month Club. A list of their offerings is available on-line.

Horizons For The Blind (Crystal Lake, IL) produces braille to order for schools and businesses and sells a selection of brailled craft and cooking material to individuals. There is a browsable online catalog.

HotBraille is a free braille transcribing service on the internet. It will braille a letter or document up to four Braille pages long, print it out, and mail it for you.

Howe Press: sells large print and braille books, as well as the Perkins Brailler:
Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02172
Phone: 617-924-3490

I Can See Books offers over 1,000 titles in braille and cassette formats; their catalog, with a very wide selection of children's books, is available online. They also have a children's book-of-the-month club, with braille or cassette books available.

The Imperium Proviso Publishing Company produces texts in a variety of languages and formats, including print-braille.

The International Braille Research Center's International Electronic Braille Book library contains over 1000 titles, downloadable as ASCII text files which appear as Grade II English Braille on paperless Braille displays and Braille printers.

Louis Braille Center: online catalog of books about Louis Braille, braille, Helen Keller, general literature, children's classics and inspirational and devotional works:
320 Dayton St., Suite 125
Edmonds, WA 98020-3590
Phone: 425-776-4042.
e-mail: louisbraille@worldnet.att.net

National Braille Association, in addition to its work with transcribers, has more than 2,100 titles available for sale, including textbooks, music and general interest books; catalogs are available.

The National Library for the Blind (UK) has created an accessible version of the Book Forager system for choosing books based on a selection of desired qualities such as age and gender of the main character or qaulities rated on one of eleven sliding scales, such as from bleak to optimistic, romantic to realistic or easy to demanding. The site requires registration (free) and includes about 1000 braille books.

Print/Braille children's Book-of-the-Month Club:
National Braille Press:
88 St. Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 800-548-7323.

National Braille Press: PortaBooks are books on diskette in a Grade 2 braille format designed to be read on a portable braille reading device. They can also be accessed with a computer and refreshable braille display or a braille notetaker.

The National Library Service makes braille books, magazines and music available as downloads through Web-Braille. Contact your local library for the blind to register for Web-Braille.

OBR (Optical Braille Recognition) uses a standard scanner to scan and read single and double-sided braille documents, producing a text file that can be word-processed or translated and re-embossed into braille. It is available in the United States from Sighted Electronics.

Quick-Scrybe (Northridge, CA) produces a variety of brailled material, including user's manuals for Creative Labs Awe 64 Gold and the Adaptec EasyCD Pro.

Seedlings: braille books for children; catalog available; they also produce encyclopedia articles in braille on request:
P.O. Box 51914
Livonia, MI 48151-5924
800-777-8552

Select-A-Braille-Book sells about two dozen children's books in Print/Braille, including some Christian titles.

TACTUS is an award given to the two best tactile books for visually-impaired children created by writers in Belgium, Finland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Triangle Braille Services produces lesbian and gay literature in braille. There are also links to other sources of gay/lesbian literature in accessible formats. For a catalog in braille, diskette or by e-mail, contact them at:
P.O. Box 50606
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Phone: 612-822-0549
E-mail: jenshar@concentric.net

Turbo Braille is a freeware braille translation program, running under DOS, by Kansys Inc.

Very Bumpy Stories is a service of Volunteer Braille Services that provides leisure and recreational reading material to children in preschool through grade 12. They charge a fee of $40.00 for four years and lend up to four books at a time for a period of three weeks. Both braille and print/braille books are available.
4139 Regent Avenue North
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
Phone: 763-971-5231.
[no web site as of October 2002]

American Thermoform Corporation sells braille printers and a wide variety of braille papers.


WISCONSIN BRAILLE PRODUCERS

Braille Ready, Inc.
6913 Colony Drive
Madison, WI 53717-1108
Phone: 608-833-2876

Computers to Help People: print-to-braille services, specializing in technical braille for scientific and mathematical users; assessment and consulting in adaptive computer technology:
John J. Boyer, Executive Director
825 East Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53703

Volunteer Braillists and Tapists braille and tape all sorts of material; they also have a free lending library of over 1,500 items for children and adults. Part of their catalog is browsable online.
517 N. Segoe Rd.
Madison, WI 53705
Phone: 608-233-0222

Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped braille and tape textbooks, music, fiction and nonfiction for children and adults.
803 W. Wells St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1436
Phone: 414-286-3039

Wisconsin Braille is an organization "concerned with the availability, quality, and distribution of brailled materials in the state of Wisconsin."

The Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped Media Center serves all visually impaired students in Wisconsin. Students and teachers from other schools may borrow WSVH Media Center materials by requesting specific items using the state-wide interlibrary loan system or by calling the WSVH Media Center Directly. The WSVH Media Center's collections include braille, twin-vision, 4-track cassettes, 2-track cassettes, large print, regular print and descriptive videos. [Note to Wiscat searchers: limit your search to books materials held by WSVH by using location field; enter "Wis Sch Vis Hand."]
Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped
1700 West State Street
Janesville, WI 53546
Phone: 608-758-6118.

For other braille producers in Wisconsin, see the Duxbury list.


BRAILLE MUSIC

The National Library Service lends from its collection of over 30,000 music scores in braille and large print, and books and magazines about music and musicians in large print, braille and recorded formats. Contact the NLS Music Section at 800-424-8567.

BrailleM is an e-mail list aimed at both beginners and experts and devoted to "discussing and learning about all aspects of braille music code." This page also has links to the Braille Music FAQ and to the Braille Music Page which has an excellent brief summary of braille music and a chart of the most common braille music signs.

Midi-Mag is a mailing list for blind people using adaptive technology to create Midi music. To subscribe, send an email to:
listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu
Leave the subject line blank and in the body of the message, write:
subscribe midi-mag

MENVI is the Music Education Network for the Visually Impaired, a coalition of parents, educators and students for the benefit of blind students and musicians.

Music Division of the National Federation of the Blind
President, Linda Mentink
1737 Tamarack Lane
Janesville, Wisconsin 53545-0951
608-752-8749.
[no web site as of October 2002]

Dancing Dots has published a new curriculum for music instruction, by Richard Taesch, "An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student: A Course in Braille Music Reading," in three print volumes and four braille volumes, for $299.

"How to Read Braille Music," 2nd ed., by Bettye Krolick (Opus Technologies, 1998; 52 pages; ISBN: 1-892195-05-4) is available in print, braille and on CD-Rom, as is the "New International Manual of Braille Music Notation," also in those three formats, from Opus Technologies.

"They Shall Have Music: Manual for Instruction of Visually Handicapped Children in Playing Keyboard" by Dorothy Dykema (90 pages, regular print; $6.00, shipping included):
604 N. Allyn
Carbondale, IL 62901

Smaligo, Mary A. "Resources for Helping Blind Music Students: A Variety of Resources is Available to Help Educators Teach Blind Students How to Read Music and Become Part of the Music Classroom." Music Educators Journal (September 1998), pages 24-27. Includes bibliography and resource list.

The SharpEye Music Reader is a music scanning program that can convert printed sheet music into a MIDI file or a music notation file which can then be imported into a MIDI sequencer or music notation program and ultimately into a braille music translation program like Toccata or GOODFEEL.

Toccata transcribes braille music in a variety formats, either from scanned sheet music or from scratch. The music can be played back in real time. Magni-Ccata plays and scrolls any music that is entered either by mouse or from a scan, in a magnified window with a highlighted marker to assist the musician focus on the notes being played.

GOODFEEL is a braille music translation program that allows musicians to braille music texts stored as MIDI or Lime files and then to print out the braille score or save it as a text file.

Musitek produces Midiscan and its lighter version Pianoscan. They convert printed music into multi-track MIDI files. Midiscan also supports the NIFF format. These files can then be processed into braille music notation by a braille music translation program.

OpusDots Lite is braille music transcription package consisting of a music notation editor, a music-to-braille translator and a braille editor, designed to allow sighted people to transcribe printed sheet music into music braille.

CakeTalking is a tutorial for Cakewalk (recording-studio software for a personal computer), combined with Cakewalk scripts for JAWS.

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