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NNELS Braille? How does that work?

NNELS advertises braille materials, yet NNELS is a digital library so how can that be? How does digital braille work?  Do library patrons read in braille and electronic braille very much anymore?  And what is the future of physical braille collections for libraries?

The NNELS collection does include about a hundred titles with Braille files. We are working at NNELS to diversify the filters for our collection search results so you can locate just Braille files.

Braille-ready files are meant for refreshable braille displays. A braille display is a device that uses pins to 'display' braille it has decoded in a file. Most e-text formats are also accepted in these devices, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes for Braille readers.

Braille reading both electronically and from physical collections of braille books is an important part of the reading life of many print-disabled Canadians. If you want to find out more about braille there are many resources you can look at and listen to, for example, here is a short video about the popular Braille Note:

Just like reading in print or reading in e-audio is changing reading, changes for Braille is an ongoing concern for literacy.  Many different tastes come into play when anyone chooses to read, in print or in braille.  Braille is taught in schools and in the community.  Here's an example of a local community braille class for sighted and folks otherwise new to Braille.   Braille as a thriving and relevant form of literacy.

Electronic Braille files can typically also be used to print Braille, provided you have Braille printing software and a Brailler (Braille printer).