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AFB Solutions Forum
October 2001

Survey of Training and Availability of Braille Transcribers:

Below are the action steps/issues that were identified from the analysis of the national survey dealing with training and availability of braille transcribers. The national survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 by AFB. The results were announced at the October 2000 AFB Solutions Forum meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The following action steps/major impressions were identified and prioritized during the March 15, 2001 meeting held in Washington, D.C. Each participant was asked to rank his/her top three action steps that needed to be addressed immediately to complement the purpose of the survey. The number by each action step reflects the number of people who chose that specific issue area.

For the complete results of the survey, go to .

The Training and Other Needs Work Group has developed an action plan and addressed many of these issues.

Suggested action steps:

  • Develop an in-service training program for existing braille transcribers on how to use XML and publishers' electronic files. 26
  • Create a list of advantages for becoming a braille transcriber. Develop a recruitment and cause-related marketing packet. Develop a public education paper about why the career as a braille transcriber is so important. 14
  • Create a training and certification program for tactile illustrators. 13
  • Advocate for training programs for Music, Science and Nemeth codes. 9
  • Conduct a national study on student use of braille: reading speed and competency (what barriers are there to learning braille with miscue analysis). 9
  • Develop training for using alternative techniques for producing braille when there is no braille transcriber on staff. 5
  • Work with organizations to provide distance learning for training in all forms of braille. 4
  • Work with other organizations to change international copyright law to cover production and/or distribution of specialized formats. (Work with World Blind Union) 4
  • Provide workshops for parents about the importance of braille. 2
  • Contact drafting and engineering firms and training programs about getting involved with tactile graphics. 2
  • Create and define title and job description for classroom assistants who do braille transcription. 2
  • Collect job descriptions and career ladders regarding braille transcribers. 1
  • Publicize American Printing House for the Blind's national registry of braille transcribers and other national resource services, i.e. training of transcribers. 0
  • Establish an international database of music braille transcribers. 0