Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Day In The Life of a Braille Transcriber

A lot of people are curious about my job. What does a braille transcriber do? How are braille books made?

Well, I’ll take you through the process of making a book today. :)

First of all, here’s a quick peek at my office. There’s a computer, a printer, a braille embosser, a braille typewriter, quilts on the wall, extra supplies, boxes of paper... and a snoozing guide dog on the couch. 

So today I got a request for a book: How to Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell. The first thing I need is the text in electronic form. Since Bookshare has this book, that makes it easy. And the book is for my daughter so I can use her Bookshare account. 

I download the text, extract it from the zipped file and open the XML file in a piece of transcribing software called Duxbury. 

Then I set Duxbury to transcribe the text to braille. I check that the braille is correct, that the page and embossing parameters are set correctly and then send the book to the embosser. This one didn’t need a lot of clean-up. A math book might take hundreds of hours of clean-up before it’s ready to emboss. 

My old Juliet Pro 60 embosser will crank out 70 pages in an hour. So this book took about two hours to emboss. 

After it’s done embossing, I print the cover information on the printer, and braille a sticky label to put on the hard cover. If it’s a soft cover, I’ll braille this information directly onto the printed cover. 

Once the book is embossed, I need to tear off the tractor feed edges, separate the pages and bind them. 

The book is bound with the comb binding, then I write the title on the spine or use the label maker to put a title on the spine of the book. 

There’s a finished braille book! This one is going home to my daughter but often they will get shipped all over the world. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Triple Play

End-of-the-year prize for our homeschool. :)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day Camping Chaos

The car was so full you can’t even see all of the kids. 

Kids lined up for dinner in the cabin. Some camping pluses: new frisbee rings, fun junk food, get away from home. Minuses include lots of bees, high fire danger so no outdoor fire, and Miss Abi had a really rough time. 

Mini church service. 

The stove barfed... the kids thought that was hysterical of course. 

Our 5 gallon water jugs emptied after the first day and the public faucet in town was padlocked. We improvised in the restroom in order to refill the jug. 

Swimming in the Palouse River was chilly! The kids didn’t last long and we were back to the cabin roasting marshmallows. 

Although I don’t have more pictures, the night was eventful, because Abi had a bad episode and also managed to let the dogs out. The older kids rounded them up and brought them back in, but later on, Fritz was still on edge because when I accidentally set my foot on him in bed, he bit my foot. I scolded him and went to hold his nose, and he attacked my fingers, biting four fingers with quite a bit of blood. 

Hubby patched me up and we took everyone back home at 3:30 in the morning in case I needed to go to the ER. It turns out I didn’t and we slept the rest of the night at home. 

We decided to go back out and finish our planned trip anyway, so headed back out in late morning and had our last lunch before packing up properly and heading home.  

When we got home, we were looking back through the blog at past camping trips that Abi enjoyed but she doesn’t remember them and thinks that every trip has been bad. I sure hope she settles down pretty soon because she is a hot mess right now!