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Sustainable Braille: The History of Paperless Braille, August 12 thru December 31, 2015

Prototype of the APH PocketBraille, an electronic braille note taker introduced in 1988.

As part of the 2015 YESFest in Louisville—YES stands for Year of Environmental Sustainability—the APH Museum will open a new exhibit, “Sustainable Braille,” on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Just as the print industry is moving away from paper books and magazines, printing for blind readers has also been shifting away from paper braille. Some of this has to do with improved industrial efficiency, but the computerization of braille and the use of electronic braille displays also plays an important part. In 1964, APH embossed 68 million pages of braille and printed 12 million pages of large type. Last year, serving more readers, APH embossed only 17 million pages of braille and printed 14 million pages of large type. That is a lot less paper, requiring a lot less trees. The exhibit will explore the history of computerized braille, notetakers like the Braille ‘n Speak, and the rise of the refreshable braille display, as well changes in industrial production that reduce the amount of paper we consume each year. The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind opened in 1994 and is located in the Printing House’s historic original plant at 1839 Frankfort Avenue. For information and tour schedules, see or call 502-895-2405.

, ©2015, American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.