The American Printing House for the Blind is continuing to work hard to make BrailleBlaster a professional-quality tool for braille transcription. Work is on-going and very active. We have made a decision to keep development and testing internal until we have a product that we believe meets our, and our customer's, high expectations. The code and binaries on this site are very much out of date. We have left them open and available for anyone who wishes to use or study them. Be advised that we do not support or endorse their use. It is our hope that in the next few months we can make an updated and much improved version of BrailleBlaster available.
The BrailleBlaster team at APH.
What is BrailleBlaster
BrailleBlaster is a revolutionary new software tool for braille transcribers and others who need to produce high-quality braille material! It takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS files (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) 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 their braille textbooks on the first day of class.
BrailleBlaster relies on LibLouis (http://liblouis.org/), 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. Testing results indicate a substantial increase in the number of textbooks that a transcriber can be produced compared to the current methods.
- 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
- 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.