A New Choice in Braille Transcription Software

BrailleBlasterâ„¢ is a braille transcription program developed by the American Printing House for the Blind to help transcribers provide blind students with braille textbooks on the first day of class.

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What is BrailleBlaster?

BrailleBlaster takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files to automate basic formatting and gives you tools to make advanced tasks quicker and easier. Designed primarily for editing textbooks that meet the specifications published by the Braille Authority of North America, the purpose of BrailleBlaster is to help braille producers ensure that every student has their 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.

Screenshot of BrailleBlaster's side-by-side print and braille views

BrailleBlaster Features

  • 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 table styles
  • Translate and edit single line math
  • Do much more!

The development of BrailleBlaster and modifications to Liblouis are part of the REAL Plan (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning). The REAL Plan is an ongoing initiative of the American Printing House for the Blind to improve the conversion and delivery of braille and other accessible formats to students who are blind.

BrailleBlaster Patent Information

In August 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued APH Patent No. US 11,410,575 B2 for BrailleBlaster's Spatial Math Editor. Under the title “Interface and Tools for Accessible Textbook Generation,” the patent has 17 granted claims covering the features and methods of the mathematics tools operable through BrailleBlaster's transcription system and interface.

Patents grant intellectual property rights on new and useful inventions, giving the patent owner the exclusive right to prevent others from using, making, or selling the invention without permission for 20 years from the filing date.

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