Those interested in Braille transcription can request free training materials from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), but will need to purchase their own braille writing equipment. After students finish the training program they submit their 35-page transcription test, and upon passing, are awarded certification.
The one year certification training program requires a high school diploma or GED. All of the materials are available online.
Braille Transcription Training and Certification
The NFB is responsible for providing braille transcription training and scoring certification tests, while the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) awards the certification. Those enrolled in a training program can complete lessons on their own time or at scheduled sessions with a braille organization. Some of the topics studied are:
- Braille alphabet marks
- Braille contractions and shorthand
- Literary braille codes and rules
- Literary braille formats
- Braille representation of images
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
In a braille transcription survey conducted by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in October 2000, the number of braille transcribers that the United States needed was expected to increase considerably (www.afb.org ). Some braille transcribers volunteer their services, but they can also find freelance or contract work.
In October 2000, full-time salaried certified transcribers earned between $18,000 and $50,000 per year, as reported by the AFB. Braille transcribers may be employed through braille publishing companies, organizations for the blind, school districts, libraries, business, government agencies and personal clients.
Literary braille transcribers can continue their braille education by studying specific subjects like music notation, Nemeth code mathematics, scientific notation, chemical notation, columns and table code or braille formats. They could also study literary, music or mathematics braille proofreading.
Students can enroll in a certification training course to study braille and transcription in preparation for their certification exam through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Graduates can pursue more education and/or work as braille transcribers.