Frequently Asked Questions

What is BrailleBlaster?

BrailleBlasterâ„¢ is a revolutionary new tool for producing braille textbooks, and other braille material, faster, easier, and less expensively. It takes advantage of the rich markup found in digital files, such as NIMAS, to automatically take care of much of the translation and formatting of text for braille. Additionally it provides tools to make many of the common tasks performed by braille transcribers easier and faster.

What is BBX?

BBX is a BrailleBlaster XML document file. When NIMAS or other types of files are opened in BrailleBlaster it converts them to its own BBX format. The BBX file may then be exported to various file types. The export features are yet to be implemented.

What is BBZ?

Often other resource files such as images, book sections, cover pages, etc. need to be included along with the BBX file. A BBZ file is an archive (ZIP) that packages all of these resources. BrailleBlaster works with BBZ or BBX files directly.

What is NIMAS?

NIMAS stands for the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard. It is an XML-based source file format, and NIMAS files are used exclusively to produce accessible formats for K-12 students with qualifying print disabilities. Under IDEA 2004, states and school districts can require that K-12 publishers submit NIMAS files to the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC) as a part of their print book adoption contracts. Once the NIMAC receives these files, they are available to states for use on behalf of eligible students in the production of formats such as braille, DAISY, large print, and audio.

Who developed BrailleBlaster?

The American Printing House for the Blind adopted the BrailleBlaster project that was initiated by APH, View Plus, and Abilitiessoft. For the past few years APH and the BrailleBlaster team have sponsored and developed BrailleBlaster.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

If you have questions that are not answered on this web site or in the BailleBlaster documentation, we invite you to register to be a beta tester and use the BrailleBlaster beta mailing list. Please . For users on stable releases, . Alternatively you may contact BrailleBlaster support via email at . Lastly you may contact APH Customer Service at 1-800-223-1839