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Valley Academyof Arts & Sciences

Mr. Mike Cheverie » For Teachers - What You Should Know About Converting Documents to Braille

For Teachers - What You Should Know About Converting Documents to Braille

We here in the Low Incidence Learning Center (LILC - Room 111 - Kim Stone and I) do our best to accommodate your requests for converting documents into Braille for your Braille-reading students. I would like you to have a better idea of what is involved in the conversion of some types of documents. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired deal with conversion of documents, particularly pdfs, on a regular basis, as do we here at VAAS. Please see the link below about their explanation of what is involved:
In the LILC we use Kurzweil 1000 to do optical character recognition (OCR) and conversion into Braille for your students. Please be aware that OCR is not perfect, and requires a great deal of editing for a document to be ready for conversion to Braille. Once we run the document through OCR, we are able to produce a rough version of the document in Microsoft Word (.docx format). This rough version needs to be edited before conversion to Braille. This is where we can use your help.
If you are willing to edit the document you sent us once we have run it through OCR, your student will receive their Braille document more quickly. I can send the rough version to you by email. You can email the edited version to me, and Kim and I can convert it to Braille. Microsoft (MS) Word documents are easily converted to Braille.
When possible, please send us MS Word documents.
PowerPoint presentations can be easily converted into MS Word format by the following process:
In your PowerPoint
  • click "File"
  • then "Save & Send"
  • then "Create Handouts" (at the bottom of the Save & Send File Types list) 
  • then click the "Create Handouts" button (under "Create Handouts in Microsoft Word" on the right side of the Save & Send window in PowerPoint)
  • then in the pop-up window titled "Send to Microsoft Word" click "Outline only" and "OK". 
The resulting document will be in MS Word format. One extra step that would help tremendously is for you to scroll through the resulting document and add parenthetical slide numbers in appropriate locations in the document; this actually is essential if you don't send us the original PowerPoint.
I hope this helps! If you have any questions, let me know!