Braille transcription & proofreading
Handid produces braille transcriptions from print or digital documents -- we can even work from handwritten documents. Our braille transcriptions always use established braille codes for the language(s) represented in those original documents. Readers of those languages will be able to make use of braille produced by Handid Braille Services immediately!
Even with computer based tools to augment transcription, proofreading remains an essential step. Computer-based tools still produce errors, and those tools are not always able to ensure the documents are formatted for best readability. This means that a braille transcriber has to know how what is required, and to use production and proofreading techniques to ensure the product is as good as it can be.
It is also the case that braille in applications such as museum placards and exhibits, wayfinding signs, restaurant menus and retail signage, music lyrics, and instructional materials, all require different formatting methods to provide the same information to braille readers as the print documents provide to sighted readers. Handid can ensure your braille is appropriately formatted, no matter the application.
All of Handid's work will meet and exceed requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Transcription and proofreading of languages other than English
Knowledgeable transcription and proofreading is even more critical with braille in languages other than English. This is because all computer braille translation tools are "English centric" and will insert English punctuation symbols, rather than punctuation symbols native to braille codes for languages other than English.
Accessible digital documents
Handid can also take your print and digital documents and produce digital files that are accessible by people who use computer based "screen readers." Screen readers require documents to have special formatting so that contents of the documents can be spoken aloud by computer based tools with synthesized speech. This formatting also allows a screen reader user to search for and/or navigate a document easily. Handid tests all of its work with Windows-based NVDA and iOS VoiceOver tools to ensure your readers will be able to access the documents.
Handid has a wide range of experience with braille, digital accessibility, and working with readers who are blind and low-vision. We can draw upon that experience to provide you with state of the art guidance on how your print and digital materials can be designed or redesigned for easiest use by your readers.
Handid Braille Services uses state of the art disk encryption, firewall, and VPN technologies, and employs policies and technical standards that meet regulations from the USA "Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act" (HIPAA) and the European Union "General Data Protection Regulations" (GDPR) for confidentiality, integrity, and availability to protect and secure your materials. Even our E-mail meets enhanced security standards!
There are several ways of producing braille, each of which is used by Handid depending on the job. Currently, the most common way of transcribing braille for large documents makes use of computer-assisted translation programs. However, it has been documented that even these systems are not 100% accurate at producing accurate translations. Manual proofreading remains an essential step and requires a skilled and knowledgeable proofreader.
Additional knowledge and skills are required to produce documents with formatting that complies with National and International standards. For documents that contain more complicated formatting requirements including multi-level headings, and tables and figures, even specialized software requires more "hand-holding" and sometimes interactive tweaking to get proper results. Graphs and other sorts of figures often require manual production methods and knowledge of the requirements for proper formatting and inclusion of braille.
Manual-input computer tools analogous to typewriter software or standalone word processors are also available for producing braille. These tools require that the user know the specialized "six-key" method for producing braille symbol-by-symbol.
Small transcription jobs can sometimes be done more efficiently using a hand-held "slate and stylus" (analogous to paper and pencil for a sighted writer), but only when the transcriber has mastered braille, and the manual skills necessary to work quickly and accurately .