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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Free Online Course from AFB Teaches New Techniques for Transcribing Instructional Materials into Braille

NEW YORK (September 15, 2005)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is teaching new ways to braille textbooks and other instructional materials through a free, online course. AFB's one-of-a-kind, self-paced web course teaches braille transcribers to translate print educational materials into braille from publishers' source files.

"We hope transcribers throughout the country will take advantage of this exciting, new program so they can more efficiently convert textbooks, tests, and other instructional materials into braille for students," said Carl R. Augusto, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind.

AFB's course can facilitate the translation process by helping braille transcribers update their skills and learn the latest techniques for translating textbooks and other instructional material into braille.

To produce this informative and easy-to-access course AFB partnered with braille translation experts from across the country as well as faculty and staff from the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado. Participants can register for the class online at www.afb.org/brailletranscriber.asp. After simply choosing a user name and password, they can work their way through course materials on their own time, at their own pace, and in a manner that suits their specific needs.

Braille transcribers offer an invaluable contribution to the education of blind and low-vision school children by translating inaccessible materials into braille. At the same time that the number of blind and low-vision school children has grown, the pool of volunteer braille transcribers has decreased due to retirement and changes in the make-up of the labor force. States and local school districts cannot always meet the ever-expanding needs of blind and visually impaired students for braille textbooks and supplementary learning materials without significantly increasing the availability of skilled braille transcribers, which is why AFB is making this course available now.

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Contact:
Adrianna Montague-Gray
AFB Communications
212-502-7675
amontaguegray@afb.net

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