[NFB-Braille-Discussion] Braille transcribing question

Dean Martineau topdot at gmail.com
Fri Dec 13 22:37:40 UTC 2019

I'm almost positive they were hand-transcribed.  It's amazing the devotion
of those transcribers in the Perkins days.  

-----Original Message-----
From: NFB-Braille-Discussion <nfb-braille-discussion-bounces at nfbnet.org> On
Behalf Of Josh Kennedy via NFB-Braille-Discussion
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2019 5:32 PM
To: nfb-braille-discussion at nfbnet.org
Cc: Josh Kennedy <joshknnd1982 at gmail.com>
Subject: [NFB-Braille-Discussion] Braille transcribing question

When I was in elementary school back in the early 1990s through 1995 or so,
all my textbooks were in braille including math. And they were mostly on
thermoform paper. In those math textbooks they had addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division problems and they were in columns across the
page. They wrote the math problems in braille like you would see them in
print. For example, if they wrote 3 times 4 equals 12. They used nemeth
braille, and before the problem they wrote the number of the problem in
literary braille with regular numbers with the number sign and the number in
the upper part of the cell, sometimes they used nemeth in the higher grades
with a period represented by dots 4-5-6 2-5-6. 
Then a space, then they would use nemeth with no number signs and write in a
vertical column down the page, 3, then on the next line, dot4, dots 1-6 and
the nemeth number4 dots 2-5-6.
And on the next line they wrote 4 to 6 dashes, dots 3-6.
And on the last line if it was a sample problem they wrote the answer, also
in dropped nemeth braille with no number sign.
My question is how did they do this? Was almost the whole math book written
with a perkins brailler and the drawings of geometric shapes done with a
tactile maps kit on aluminum sheets, and them thermoformed? Or did mega-dots
translator have the ability to do math in columns and the transcriber just
hand-drew any tactile shapes like circles and triangles and other such
things? I am curious as to how my books were made back then. I just had to
read them and do the work and did not think much about it. But now curiosity
has the best of me and I wonder how such complex books were made and what
equipment those transcribers used? 


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