Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sources for Braille Math and Science Textbooks

Fred's Head would like to thank Susan Osterhaus of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, for allowing us to reprint this information. The comments that follow some of the entries in this list are hers, unless otherwise noted.

  1. APH
    P.O. Box 6085
    Louisville, KY 40206-0085
    Toll-free: 800-223-1839
    Fax: 502-899-2274
    Web: American Printing House:

    • Also check the LOUIS database.

  2. Computers to Help People
    825 East Johnson Street
    Madison, WI 53703
    Phone: 608-257-5917
    Fax: 608-257-3480
    Web: Computers to Help People:

    • If you are a blind engineer, mathematician or scientist you may be interested in the Technical Braille Center established by a non-profit organization. This center will produce highly technical material in Nemeth Code braille. Tactile graphics will be included where practical. Books will be available to anyone at prices depending on the cost of production.

  3. Emerald City Braille Center
    Lane Regional Program
    200 North Monroe
    Eugene, OR 97402

    • Transcription of print materials into Literary or Nemeth Braille; interlined Literary Braille on a Transcend System; minimum order: 20 pages.

  4. gh, LLC
    3000 Kent Ave.
    Suite E2-201
    West Lafayette, IN 47906
    Phone: 765-775-3776
    Web: GH, LLC:

    • Math and science textbooks in braille, tactile graphics, other products and services.

  5. National Braille Association
    3 Townline Circle
    Rochester, NY 14623-2513
    Phone: 716-427-8260
    Fax: 716-427-0263
    Help-Line: 800-244-5797
    Web:National Braille Association:

    • Mission: To provide continuing educationto those who prepare braille, and to provide braille materials to persons who are visually impaired. (For example: Nemeth Code Reference Sheet, publications and workshops on Nemeth Code, tactile graphics, and Nemeth translation software).

  6. National Braille Press Inc.
    88 St. Stephen Street
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone: 800-548-7323
    Fax: 617-437-0456
    Web: National Braille Press:

    • Math textbooks

  7. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
    Library of Congress
    Washington, DC 20542
    Phone: 202-707-9275 or 202-707-5100
    Toll-free: 800-424-8567
    Fax: 202-707-0712
    Web: National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped:

    • Administers a free library program of braille and recorded materials circulated to eligible borrowers through a network of cooperating libraries. Can also supply a booklet listing others willing to braille materials.

  8. Region IV Educucation Service Center
    Computer Braille Center
    7145 West Tidwell
    Houston, TX 77092-2096
    Phone: 713-744-8144
    Fax: 713-744-8148

    • Producer of Nemeth Code and tactile graphics materials including textbooks and standardized assessments.

  9. Region 20 Education Service Center
    Braille Department
    1314 Hines Ave.
    San Antonio, TX 78208-1899
    Phone: 800-514-9310
    Fax: 210-370-5696
    Web: Region 20 Education Service Center:

    • Producer of Nemeth Code and tactile graphics materials including textbooks.

  10. Braille Works
    941 Darby Lake Street
    Seffner, FL 33584
    Toll Free: 800-258-7544
  11. Visual Aid Volunteers
    617 State Street
    Garland, TX 75040
    Phone: 214-272-1615

    • Producer of Nemeth Code and tactile graphics materials including textbooks.

  12. Valley Braille Services
    4615 Swenson Street
    Suite 210B
    Las Vegas, NV 89119
    Phone: 702-733-6941
    Web: Valley Braille Services:

Even if a textbook is available, worksheets,reviews, tests, and other math materials will need to be transcribed into Nemeth code. I would suggest using translation software for these. [Fred's Head notes: Ms Osterhaus recommends using either MegaDots or else Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT WIN 10.3) in conjunction with Scientific Notebook. See her comments following MacKichan Software below]

The resulting Nemeth code materials need to be proofread and any errors corrected by an expert.

If the student is at the college level, it would be advisable to speak with people who are experienced with producing college materials in Nemeth code.

[Fred's Head would like to add that Ms. Osterhaus' web site contains a great deal of useful information refined through her 20+ years of experience teaching at the TSBVI. The URL follows below. It is well worth a visit!] Computers to Help People, Inc. (CHPI) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1981 and based in Madison, Wisconsin. One of the organization's central services is its Technical Braille Center (TBC). The TBC produces textbooks in Braille, large print, and electronic formats for scientists, engineers and other professionals who are blind, dsylexic or paralyzed. TBC textbooks are transcribed according to the Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation, 1972, and all graphs are provided on thermoform sheets. The organization takes custom orders and, once completed, offers copies of transcribed text books for sale. You may also search for CHPI text books in the Louis Database of Accessible Materials on the APH web site.

CHPI's founder and Executive Director, John J. Boyer, is himself both deaf and blind. In addition to his duties with CHPI, Mr. Boyer provides computer-training for disabled Madison-area residents and refurbishes old, donated computers for disabled people who could not afford them.

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