Academic journal article Information Technology and Disabilities

Library of Congress Launches "Web-Braille" on the Internet

Academic journal article Information Technology and Disabilities

Library of Congress Launches "Web-Braille" on the Internet

Article excerpt

Ask any avid braille reader if they'd like to add a few thousand titles to their collection, and most would undoubtedly say yes, but would be quick to follow that with "and how about the extra rooms to store them in?!" One of the unfortunate drawbacks to traditional hard copy, or "embossed" braille reading matter has always been its bulkiness, with the average braille novel taking up several times the shelf space of its traditional print counterpart.

With the advent of computerized text, all of that changed. Braille readers can access the contents of a computer screen with a refreshable braille device, a strip with a series of braille cells that change to represent, line-by-line, the contents of the computer's monitor. The National Library Service of the Library of Congress has recently instituted a program that takes advantage of this cutting edge technology to make its braille offerings available over the Internet, in electronic format, for registered, braille proficient readers.

As this issue of ITD goes to press, NLS provides access to more than 2,700 electronic braille books on the Internet, with plans to increase that number by many hundreds of new titles in the future. …

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