Blasting Braille into the Future!
NEW! BrailleBlaster™ software now released! BrailleBlaster is provided free to everyone, and can be used by transcribers, teachers, parents, students – anyone who wishes to produce high-quality braille! For more information and a free-of-charge download, visit www.brailleblaster.org.
BrailleBlaster software is a revolutionary new tool for braille transcribers and others who need to produce high-quality braille material quickly and efficiently! It takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files and EPUB files to automate basic translation and formatting and to make more advanced tasks quicker and easier. Designed primarily for editing textbooks that meet the specifications published by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), the purpose of BrailleBlaster is to help braille producers ensure that every student has his or her braille textbooks on the first day of class.
BrailleBlaster relies on Liblouis, a well-known open-source braille translator, for translating text and mathematics to braille. BrailleBlaster provides all the tools necessary for a trained transcriber to efficiently produce a quality embossed braille textbook from an original publisher file, using the raw translation from Liblouis. Using BrailleBlaster, testers have seen a substantial increase in the number of pages that a transcriber can produce compared to the current methods.
One of many features of BrailleBlaster is the Special Symbols Finder, which scans the entire transcription, identifies all special symbols, and inserts them appropriately into each volume.
The BrailleBlaster editing tool offers braille transcribers a rapid means to:
- Translate braille accurately in UEB or EBAE
- Format braille
- Automate line numbered poetry and prose
- Split books into volumes
- Add transcriber notes
- Describe images
- Automate braille table of contents, glossaries, preliminary pages, and special symbols pages
- Automate a variety of tables
- Do much more!
Other BrailleBlaster features include:
- Style, Print, and Braille Views that allow the transcriber to see the print text and braille text simultaneously and operate styles, all at the click of a key
- Both Windows® and MacOS® versions available.
The development of BrailleBlaster and modifications to Liblouis are part of the REAL (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning) Plan. The REAL Plan is an ongoing initiative of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to improve the conversion and delivery of braille and other accessible formats to students who are blind and visually impaired.
BrailleBlaster screen with Style, Print, and Braille Views simultaneously visible.