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ASB’s Braille Division Stands the Test of Time


Philadelphia, PA, Monday, October 10th----More than 176 years ago, a 12 year-old blind Frenchman named Louis Braille developed a system of raised dots that has made it possible for people who are blind or visually impaired to communicate.  Prior to this, students who were blind listened to a recitation of a lesson plan, while sighted students read from textbooks.  Dissatisfied with the educational options for people who were blind, Braille developed a system comprised of a rectangular six-dot cell on its end, with up to 63 possible combinations using one or more of the six dots.  Using this system, blind schoolchildren gained the ability to receive an education equal to that of their sighted peers.

Today, braille is widely regarded as the only reliable method of literacy for people who are blind because it enables them to read, write, and in most circumstances, is an equal substitute for print.  “Everyone deserves a level playing field in our society,” states Patricia C. Johnson, CEO & President of ASB.

As one of only five production braille houses in the United States, ASB’s Braille Division brailles pages for both custom and mass production projects.  The need for braille can range from one student’s need for a textbook to be translated from print to braille, to the production of hundreds or thousands of copies of a specific book for an organization such as the Library of Congress.

“ASB’s greatest impact on the education of children is through the work of our Braille Division,” says Ms. Johnson.  “Through the production of braille textbooks and other learning materials, we help ensure that students throughout the nation have the same opportunities to learn and succeed as their sighted peers.”

Since 1929, Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired has been providing quality braille for individuals who are blind and visually impaired in an effort to support independence and self-determination.   During the early 1960’s, production was expanded to include braille magazines, which are sold nationwide.   This was in addition to braille materials for schools and learning institutions, which were already being produced on a daily basis.

Since that time, ASB’s Braille Division has continued to grow, receiving customized requests for books, music, and the like.  With the help of modern technology, scanners and computers are used to transcribe print books into braille.  ASB is also able to Braille music, math, foreign language books, and produce raised line graphics.

ASB makes braille available to everyone.  Individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, and government agencies have benefited and will continue to benefit from our brailling services.

Any material can be brailled on an individual basis.  There is no limit to the number of copies that can be duplicated.  No job is too large or too small.  

If you need materials brailled, or if you are interested in learning more about the Braille process, please call Associated Services for the Blind at (215) 627-0600 extension 3214.

ASB is always pleased to offer tours of the Braille Division.  Please call ahead to schedule a tour.

With roots dating back to 1874, ASB has as its mission to promote self-esteem, independence, and self-determination in people who are blind or visually impaired.  ASB provides a full spectrum of rehabilitation and life skills education from computer training to hands-on gardening, Latino outreach, and support groups. ASB also produces approximately eleven million pages of Braille per year.  Visit us online at www.asb.org.

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