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Bookshare’s Braille Gets an Upgrade!

Image of the Braille Alphabet represented in a sequence of dots.
Braille Alphabet represented in dot sequences.

Notice anything new about how you read Bookshare titles in braille? It’s gotten even better. Reading in electronic braille is popular among many of our members, who download titles in BRF, or braille ready format, on compatible reading tools.

The Bookshare team is committed to braille literacy and providing braille content that is high quality and timely. If you want to learn more about Bookshare’s position on braille literacy, read this post titled “On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates,” written by Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager of Benetech’s Global Literacy Program.

About the Upgrade

In a recent update, our development team fixed a lingering issue that nagged our braille readers. Members who previously downloaded and read our titles in BRF would encounter extraneous dot fours adjacent to punctuation symbols that were often mistranslated. This interrupted an otherwise smooth reading experience. We are pleased to say that this problem has been eliminated, and Bookshare members who read titles in BRF can now enjoy a significantly improved braille reading experience. We’ve also made improvements to our systems that produce BRF files and updated our LibLouis conversion software to enable future improvements. Our goal is to keep getting better, so if you want to share some ideas on how we can improve, please comment in this blog.

What are Bookshare members saying about the braille upgrade?

Bookshare member Sharon von See says, “I’ve been able to download a few novels in Bookshare and have found the translation of the braille to be much improved! It’s a wonderful resource for braille readers to download and read literature at the push of a button.”

Rob Turner, a Bookshare staffer and braille reader says, “Reading braille books is much smoother now that the extra dot fours and mistranslated punctuation marks are gone. I read lots of Bookshare titles, so I appreciate this update.”

P.S. For specific issues with particular books, please submit a book quality request so our team can follow up.

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  1. Elizabeth Aldworth

    Will the dot 4 which appears before other punctuation such as open and close parentheses, colon and comma also go away? So glad that the dot 4 before periods is gone. Thanks much.

  2. Bruce Toews

    Great to see braille getting an upgrade. But I don’t understand why some very basic ussues remain unresolved, such as why “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” still do not get correctly translated? I would have thought this would be one of the easier fixes to make. Not to detract, though from the changes that have been made, which I gratefully applaud.

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