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How Do I Become a Braille Transcriber?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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People who have lost their vision may still be able to read by using Braille, which is a system of language consisting of raised dots pressed into a page. The most basic type of Braille is Grade 1 Braille, which means each letter is directly transposed into the Braille equivalent. This method can take up too much space, so Grade 2 Braille uses a series of contractions to represent common words. In order to become a Braille transcriber, you will need to learn both Grade 1 and 2 Braille. You will also need to undergo certification to become a Braille transcriber in most countries.

Decide whether you want to become a Braille transcriber who works as a volunteer, or whether you would like to get a paying job as a transcriber. These jobs are not especially common, and competition for these jobs can be fierce, so you will need to develop your skills by taking classes and practicing consistently until you master both Grade 1 and 2 Braille. Volunteer organizations very often hire transcribers to work directly with texts provided to the blind, though if you become a Braille transcriber who works on a volunteer basis, you will not get paid for your work.

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Professional Braille transcribers can work with a variety of companies that create Braille words or texts on packaging, banners, posters, or even on commonly used public spaces such as elevators, telephones, and more. Companies will generally only hire certified transcribers, so if you want to become a Braille transcriber who gets paid for his work, you will need to find the certifying body or organization in your country. Training will be necessary, and a training course can take up to a year or more to complete. Once you finish the training, you must take the certifying exam and pass it successfully in order to become a Braille transcriber that is recognized by that governing body.

It helps to develop strong reading skills as well as strong writing skills if you intend to become a Braille transcriber. You will need a firm grasp on the language of the country in which you intend to work as a transcriber, or on the language of several countries if you plan to do translations. You will also need to have basic computer skills, as some of the transcription will be done on computers. Typing ability will be important as well.

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A Braille transcriber plays a very important role in determining the accuracy of a braille version of any printed, educational, academic or other text so students and professionals who are blind get the same benefit of information as their normal friends. To be a braille transcriber, one should have deductive reasoning skills, along with excellent computer skills, translation skills, electronic publishing skills and formatting knowledge.

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