APH Braille Transcription Specifications
The following specifications have been designed to transcribe braille textbooks with the highest quality and most useful methods for blind students.
When transcribing a textbook for APH we require you to read and follow these specifications. We have included attachments and samples for your convenience.
APH encourages all transcribers to use these specifications for transcribing braille textbooks. APH staff is available to answer questions whenever you have them. Please see the listing of contacts at the end of this document.
It is our goal to provide quality materials and references to braille transcribers.
- Volume Size:
- Volumes are not to exceed 150-160 INTERPOINT pages, which is 80 sheets of paper. Single-side volumes are 80 pages.
- CONSUMABLE/EXPENDABLE books are not to exceed 100 one-side braille pages.
NOTE: For grades K-3 see Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks and Materials.
- Labeling Diskettes/CD's:
- Label all Diskettes/CDs as follows:
- Catalog #: A-B0000-00
- One-side, Consumable, or Interpoint
- Transcriber/Agency Name:
- Save all volumes with the same file name using the Catalog number first, and changing the end with each different volume: A-B0555-P01, A-B0555-V01, A-B0555-V02, and A-B0555-S01.
- Preliminary volume(s): P0#
- Volume(s): V0#
- Supplement(s): S0#
- Label all Diskettes/CDs as follows:
Deliver files in the following format:
- BRAILLE FILES: Braille Ready files .brf
- GRAPHIC FILES: Adobe .pdf, CorelDraw .cdr
- PRINT FILES: Word .doc, WordPerfect. .wpd
- Set files for interpoint or one-side braille per your contract.
- Save each volume in a file of its own.
Keep a copy of all files on record until the end of the textbook in case there are delivery issues.
Apply the rules set forth in all BANA Publications, including English Braille American Edition, Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription, and BANA Braille Code Update 2007.
Read the Agency Decisions section. See Example #1.
OMIT Periodic Table of Elements in each book. It will be substituted with an APH product.
OMIT Atlas sections in APH transcriptions.
Read the Consumable/Expendable definition in Braille Formats, Rule 13, Sec. 2c(2), page 134, and Rule 13, Sec. 9, page 140.
- CONSUMABLE pages are for one time use and can be written on. Pages must be single-side.
- APH Format for Consumable Books (Agency Decisions)
- Add the name and date line at the top of each page as a new lesson begins. (Follow the print page layout.)
- Each new lesson starts a new braille page.
- No textbook material brailled below line 20.
- Contact an APH Accessible Media Editor for more details on each textbook contract.
4a. Preliminary Pages:
Number INTERPOINT preliminary pages in the lower right hand corner of each odd page. (p1)
Insert on each Title page:
- In ____ Volumes and ____ Supplements
This information will be filled in when the total volume count is known.
- Name end matter as Supplements. Include: Identifier: Glossary, Index, Gazetteer.
- Count only the braille pages with text on them when inserting the numbers on the title page. Do not include the blank page inserted at the end of the preliminary pages, or at the end of the volume.
- LEAVE NO BLANK PAGES IN THE PRELIMINARY’S unless it is the last (even) page!
- Indicate the print lettered page number (example: 1-c47) on the title page when a braille volume either begins and/or ends with a lettered continuation page. (Braille Formats, Rule 2)
- Name a preliminary volume (front end matter) if it includes: information on the authors/editors, special symbols, and entire contents, and is 90/100 or more pages 45/50 sheets. (Rule 2, Sec. 1c, page 27.)
- Place a running head on all pages--EXCEPTION: title page and the first page of text in each volume.
- Place the Transcriber Identification page on the back of the Title page.
- Follow TRANSCRIBER IDENTIFICATION template provided. See Examples #2 & #3.
- Omissions: Consultants and Reviewers, Atlas, Periodic Table, and Credits (see full list in examples).
4b. Transcribers Note Page
Double cap "TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES"
Insert the following on the Transcriber's Notes page(s) of all transcriptions containing COMPUTER notation:
- Computer Braille Code has been used to braille the electronic addresses (file names) in this volume. No contractions are used.
Numbers are brailled in the lower part of the cell and no number sign is used.
See list of Computer Braille Code symbols on special symbols page. Computer Braille Code, Revised 2000.
CONSUMABLE pages are for one time use only. They can be brailled on by the student removing it, and inserting it into their Braille writer.
Insert the following on the Transcriber's Notes page(s) of all NEMETH translations:
- This volume has been transcribed according to The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Rev.
Insert the following on the Transcriber's Notes page(s) of all FOREIGN LANGUAGE transcriptions:
- This volume has been transcribed according to the NBA Interim Manual for Foreign Language Braille Transcribing.
Insert the following on the Transcriber's Notes page(s) of all CHEMISTRY transcriptions:
- This volume has been transcribed according to the Braille Code for Chemical Notation 1997.
Insert the following on the Transcriber's Notes page(s) of all MUSIC transcriptions:
- This volume has been transcribed in accordance with the provisions of the Manual of Braille Music Notation, American Edition, with its International Supplement.
Force a BLANK PAGE if necessary, at the end of the preliminary pages, and at the end of the volume, to ensure these sections end on an EVEN page.
4c. Text Pages:
Number INTERPOINT text pages with the print page number at the end of line 1 on odd and even pages; and the braille number on odd pages only, at the end of line 25.
Number each new volume with braille page 1.
Insert the complete title of the book on the first line(s) of the first Arabic numbered page. (Braille Formats, Rule 2, Section 12a)
End volumes at the end of a Unit, Part, Chapter, Lesson, Section, Article, or at a logical break in thought.
Set up any "test material" as actual "tests." Rule 13 in Braille Formats
Answer Sections go at the end of each volume, NOT as a separate volume
End each volume with the words: END OF VOLUME #. (Center with a blank line above.)
End the final volume of each book with the words: END OF TEXT. (Center with a blank line above.)
End the final supplement of each book with the words: END OF SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL. (Center with a blank line above.)
A Supplement must be at least 50 pages (2-sided interpoint), or 100 pages, or it will have to be added to the last volume.
Volume numbering must be given consecutive Arabic numbering. Braille Formats Rule 1, Sec. 9f, page 13. See also, Rule 2 Sec. 2c (7).
Books with only one Supplement, write Supplement 1 on title page. (with a blank line above.)
APH has created a Tactile Graphic Image Library (TGIL) for transcribers use. You can register to use this website free at: imagelibrary.aph.org For additional information on the TGIL e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Select graphics that provide necessary information to be included in tactile preparation. Include all pie charts, Venn diagrams, line graphs, bar graphs, and graphic organizers as graphics.
Follow BANA and APH Tactile Graphics Guidelines. Preserve the original intent and purpose.
Create graphics that are tactually clear and readable.
Create graphics in one of the following ways: collage (including combination of collage and spur wheel tooling, Tiger graphics embellished with collage elements) or electronic drawings. Other methods must be approved by the Accessible Textbook Department.
Keep the graphic within the boundaries of 40 cells wide and 25 lines down. See sample template for tactile graphics. See Example #4.
Consider the heat of thermoforming when choosing materials for collage graphics. Do not use materials that may melt or change shape, e.g., Foamies, Wikki Stix, puff paint, soft plastics, etc. See Example #5, MATERIALS LIST.
Retain the graphic pages within the brf file for removal and replacement with the actual tactile graphic. Page numbering should be shown on these otherwise blank pages. Consider all blank pages before a graphic as a numbered braille page, but not a continuation of print page numbering. All pages containing a graphic include a print and braille page number. See Example #6, GRAPHICS PAGINATION SAMPLE.
Consider replacing or accommodating graphics with description, identification, or explanation as transcriber's notes if it will make it more understandable for the reader. Use transcriber’s notes to explain changes made to the print graphics.
If keying technique is needed, assign 2 braille cell symbols in the key that are logically related to the represented information. Use ISO standard for abbreviations of country names and USPS Postal Codes for US state names.
Insert a key as a transcriber’s note below the title. Place key prior to the graphic on the same page when possible, or on the immediately preceding page. See Example #7, PLACEMENT OF GRAPHIC KEYS.
Complex diagrams can be simplified by elimination, consolidation, distortion, or separation for clarity without compromising the original intent and purpose.
Maintain consistency with choice of symbols, key assignments, and layout and format throughout a transcription.
Include a completed Graphic Tally Sheet with each shipment. See Example 8, GRAPHIC TALLY SHEET SAMPLE.
For collage graphics, label each graphic master with the catalog and volume numbers on the back. Submit graphic masters to APH when you submit transcription.
When two or more diagrams are placed on one page, the page is considered as a graphic (one graphic page) and is compensated for as one graphic. Not each individual diagram on one page.
Follow these directives when one print map requires more than one tactile graphic:
- Each graphic page should contain a title, a key, and the actual graphic.
- If the key will not fit on the page with the graphic, place the key on the even numbered page preceding the graphic.
- If a map requires multiple pages to display different features, such as: population, cities and states, industries, etc., insert a transcriber's note. E.g. Map 1--population, Map 2--cities and states, Map 3--industries.
Proofreading MUST be done for all transcriptions, including graphics.
Contact the Braille Textbook Coordinator (see contact info below) or e-mail email@example.com if a proofreader is not available.
Proofreading by the transcriber of the text is NOT acceptable.
Two people are used when proofreading, one to read print (copyholder) the other to read braille/simbraille. Transcriber of text may be the print copyholder.
Use the enclosed ERROR SHEET for proofreader to submit to transcriber, and transcriber to submit to APH. See Example #9.
- Ink Print Pages:
Send Word document in the same file with the .brf (and graphics if applicable) that it belongs with.
Do not send all Word documents together in one file.
Each Volume should have two (2) or four (4) files:
- 2 Files = Braille .brf, and print .pdf
- 4 Files = .brf, .pdf, and Graphics .cdr
- ALL files for entire book can/should be placed on one CD or email attachment.
Submit the ink print pages as a separate word-document file or text file.
- Ink Print Files:
- Title page
- Transcriber's Identification page
- Special Symbols page(s)
- Transcriber's Notes page(s) listing all transcriber's notes throughout the volume, by page number. Exception: Do not repeat Keys for graphics.
See SAMPLE TN PAGE for format and content. This ink print page will contain the same information that appears on the braille TN page, PLUS a listing, by page number, of all the transcriber's notes throughout the volume. See Example #10.
Send 3 to 5 volumes at a time, starting in this order:
- Volume(s) of text 1-3
- Supplement(s) 1-3
- Volumes of text 4-6
- Supplement(s) (if any additional)
Send no less than three volumes at a time, if delivering the text piecemeal, unless it completes the book or you have been given special instructions by the Accessible Textbook Department Staff.
Submit corrected/updated work within 5 business days. This includes work that has been returned due to not meeting Accessible Textbook Dept. standards, not following Braille Formats, incorrect page numbering, problems with graphics, proofreading, etc.
Ship complete volumes: text + graphics.
E-mail or ship materials to the Accessible Textbook Dept. Choose only one method of delivery: UPS, or e-mail (if text and graphics are both electronic).
Save your UPS receipt and the Accessible Textbook Dept. will reimburse 100% of the cost.
Dispose of textbook and/or other materials (when finished with project), unless requested otherwise by Accessible Textbook Dept.
Submit a numbered invoice with each piecemeal shipment or at the end of the project.
Invoices should be mailed or emailed to APH to the attention of Joanie O’Brien in Accounts Payable.
Insert project status on each invoice:
- This DOES NOT COMPLETE the book.
- This DOES COMPLETE the book.
Blank pages are not counted as pages of text on an invoice.
- Summary of shipment to Accessible Textbook Department:
E-mail or ship materials to Accessible Textbook Department.
- Disks/CD's (ink print and braille files)
- Tactile Graphic Masters and/or CD's
- Graphic Tally Sheet(s) per volume
- Error Sheet(s) per volume
- Invoice with project status
- Packing slip--list contents of shipment
American Printing House for the Blind
ATTN: Accessible Textbook Department
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
Email Files to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to your editor (see list below)
These specifications were created as a result of a focus group of VI teachers, transcribers, and those responsible for the ordering of braille textbooks. We thank them for their everlasting contribution.
- Invoice Information
- Order preliminary pages
- Tactile graphic guidelines
- Transcriber check list
- Special Symbols page
- Essential Reference Books for Braille Transcribing
Accessible Media Editors: (Telephone: 1-800-223-1839 + ext #)
Jean Moore (ext. 371) email@example.com
Nancy Bayens (ext. 379) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Thompson (ext. 370) email@example.com
Joanie O'Brien (ext 286) firstname.lastname@example.org