Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind, the organization to which Helen Keller devoted her life, is a national nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired enjoy the same rights and opportunities as other citizens. The American Foundation for the Blind promotes wide-ranging, systemic change by addressing the most critical issues facing the growing blind and visually impaired population: employment, independent living, literacy, and technology. In addition to its New York City headquarters, the American Foundation for the Blind maintains four National Centers in cities across the United States, and a Governmental Relations office in Washington, DC.
Bookshare’s goal is to make the world of print accessible to people with disabilities. With a dynamic leadership team, dedicated Members and capable partners, Bookshare™ is making this goal a reality.
Online Print-to-Braille Dictionary
If you want to know how a word is written in contracted (English Grade 2) braille, check this accurate and easy-to-use online Braille Contraction Lookup Dictionary.
Braille Music for Guitar
Resources for transcribers, educators, and blind guitarists who read braille music or who would like to learn braille music! Includes a regularly updated blog about the braille music code and guitar music.
Byzantine Music Braille Notation
Didymus the Blind was revered by his contemporaries as the foremost Christian scholar of the fourth century and as an influential spiritual leader. He devised a system of tactile writing 1500 years before the invention of braille and had great knowledge of many subjects, including music. Although the Second and Third Ecumenical Synods condemned Origenist aspects of his speculative theology, they never condemned Didymus himself. St. Nikolai Velimirovich includes him as a saint in the Prologue on October 18th. This is an online resource devoted to early Byzantine music notation and methods for its braille transcription. There are a lot of great resources and links on this site, including links to braille-ready Bibles, an Orthodox braille library, and many instructional aids for transcribers.
Certified Music Transcribers currently accepting assignments.
Christina T. Davidson: Certified Braille Music Transcriber & Professional Print Music Copyist. Introduction to Braille Music, free transcriptions of Guitar music in braille and print: audio files, PDF, and BRF files. Including contemporary pieces by Marc Lamberg, Dag Arve Lindsetmo, and Jubing Kristianto and classical pieces by Giuliani, Carulli, Bach, etc., Happy Fingers: Easy Songs for braille music readers. Books 1 & 2 available for FREE. Resources & Links: books, libraries, and websites about braille music.
Any sighted musician can scan and edit print notation and convert it to the equivalent braille notation with our GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator. These sighted copyists need not necessarily know braille. Blind musicians can independently create sound recordings and printed scores with CakeTalking for SONAR and Sibelius Speaking for Sibelius. We can train you to use any of our technology, more mainstream applications or to learn to read braille music. We offer a variety of products including braille music courses, and assistive technology such as JAWS and Duxbury Braille Translator. Dancing Dots can consult with you and supply your needs. We represent the leading manufacturers of assistive technology and music supplies.
The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) in Braille
IPA Braille was published by CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) under the auspices of the International Council on English Braille in April, 2008. BANA (the Braille Authority of North America) adopted IPA Braille as the authorized BANA code for phonetics in February 2010. The publication is available for free download at http://www.iceb.org/icebipa.htm. If you do not have a braille embosser and equipment to print the tactile images, you may also order a hardcopy from the Braille Institute of America (ordering information given at the above site).
At the Music and Arts Center for Humanity, we believe in the power of art to shape and change our world. Creativity is a method of sharing and communicating and the universal language of the arts allows us to articulate both common and diverse human experiences. It is through the arts that we learn tolerance and understanding and begin to take an active role in our community. In an atmosphere of spontaneity and creativity, MACH offers instruction visual art, music, dance, theater and creative communication, and various computer technologies. Students learn to create with their hands, move with their bodies, sing with their voices, and listen with their ears and in the process, learn to imagine with their minds and express themselves with their hearts.
MENC, among the world's largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school.
Music Education Network For The Visually Impaired (MENVI) is an information network composed of musicians, specialists, students, parents, and music educators of visually impaired students. The MENVI Advisory Committee is made up entirely of blind musicians and teachers. MENVI exists for, and is guided by blind musicians.
The National Braille Association
Equal Access to Print through Excellence in Braille.
The National Federation of the Blind
Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the nation's largest and most influential membership organization of blind persons. With fifty thousand members, the NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters. As a consumer and advocacy organization, the NFB is considered the leading force in the blindness field today.
The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians
A division of the Music and Arts Center for Humanity in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The resource center provides information and referral services for visually impaired students of all ages, their parents and teachers; learning opportunities for blind students headed to college; and maintains a network of visually impaired musicians willing to share their expertise in braille music, technology and coping strategies. The Resource Center is best known for its Summer Institute for Blind College-bound Musicians, a residential program which brings together students from several states and countries, who are studying music at the college level. Other activities of the resource Center include development of programs for blind children in Connecticut and teacher training.
Music transcription and consultation service for the blind and visually-impaired. (You are currently at this website.)
Scouting Resources for Boy Scouts with Disabilities
Many resources for Boy Scouts and Scout Masters. Includes resources for audio recordings, enlarged print, and braille editions of the scouting manuals, training guides for Scout Masters, and also includes resources regarding autistic Boy Scouts.
Sign Language Alphabets from Around the World
“I must inform all my Deafblind, Blind and Visually Impaired friends that this section will contain graphics. I must apologize for this but why I am writing this little note is because some of the pages linking to this section of A-Z to Deafblindness will contain graphic images of the Sign Languages from all over the world. Like yourselves I cannot see these graphics and they are pretty useless to me, but perhaps to a sighted hearing person they may learn some signs that may perhaps one day be useful to them if they meet a deaf person. I know that this can be very annoying for us if we visit pages and there is no description. I dislike this very much myself. But perhaps one day someone, perhaps a deaf person, will give me a full text description of the graphics contained here and of the Sign Language Alphabets from all over this little world of ours.”
A self-help resource center for vision loss. Associates for World Action in Rehabilitation and Education (AWARE) is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit public charity, founded in 1990. Our mission is to provide information, resources, and education that can increase independence and enhance quality of life for individuals with vision loss. AWARE is committed to increasing the visibility of organizations and resources that address the unmet needs of people who are blind or have low vision.
A friendly, accessible, interactive global Internet portal for people who are partially sighted or blind, the professionals who work with them, the families and friends who support them -- and anyone looking for the latest information on vision impairment, its prevention and vision.
We Connect Now
We Connect is dedicated to uniting college students with disabilities in access to higher education and employment issues.
This list includes sources for both lending and purchasing Braille music. Some libraries produce and sell material and also hold a collection for loan. For inter-library loans from foreign libraries, please contact your own national library who will organise this for you. This list was compiled by Inge Formenti, Resource Services, American Printing House for the Blind: 800-223-1839.
South African Braille Music Library
P.O. Box 933, Worcester, 6849 South Africa
Phone: Tel: +27 23 3422313 Fax: +27 23 3423959
Web site: www.blind-institute.org.za/print.htm
Based at the Pioneer Printers, who provide Braille, large print and audio to visually disabled people in South Africa and neighbouring countries, items can be borrowed on inter-library loan via your national library.
National Information and Library Service, Australia
557 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004
Phone: +61 (03) 9522 5222, Fax +61 (03) 9529 3589 Web site: www.rvib.org.au
A joint venture between the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (RVIB) and Royal Blind Society of New South Wales (RBS), NILS has a significant collection of Braille music.
Biblioteca italiana per I ciechi
Via G. Ferrari 5/A - 20052 Monza (MI)
Phone: +39 039 83.32.53/54 Fax +39 039.83.32.64
Web site: www.bibciechi.it/spartiti.htm
This is the division for the blind and visually impaired at the National Library in Italy. Their catalogue (in Italian) can be downloaded and contains braille music scores.
Braille Press Zurich
Albisriederstrasse 399/400, CH-8047 Zurich, Switzerland.
Phone: +41 1-491-25-55
Web site: www.sbszh.ch (German)
Contact: Lia Cariboni, Music Department
Large producer of Braille music. Their catalogue (in German) is available on the Web site.
Centre du Transcription Musicale Braille Indépendent 103, rue du Cd Gâté, 44600 Saint-Nazaire, France.
Phone: +33 02 40 53 54 31
French Braille music producer.
Danish National Library for the Blind
Teglvaerksgade 37, DK-2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark.
Phone: + 45 39 27 44 44.
Web site: www.dbb.dk
The Braille Music Library at DBB is one of the world's leading producers of Braille notes with a current collection of 6,000 titles. DBB also offers a transcription service.
Molenpad 2, 1016 GM Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Phone: +31 0486 486 486; Fax: +31 6208459
Web site: www.fnb.nl (in Dutch)
FNB is the new umbrella organisation for the libraries for the blind in the Netherlands. The organisation is responsible for delivering information (text, music, drawings etc.) for print-impaired people. International projects are one of the core activities of the FNB and they participate in and co-ordinate innovative projects about accessibility to information for print-impaired people.
National Library for the Blind
Far Cromwell Road, Bredbury, Stockport, SK6 2SG, UK.
Phone: +44 (0)161 3552045; Fax +44 (0)161 3552098
Web site: www.nlb-online.org
Contact: Melanie Baker, Music Librarian
NLB's music library contains around 13,500 titles in Braille, covering a variety of instruments and ranging from classical to popular music. The full catalogue can be browsed via the Web site.
Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos Epanoles (ONCE) Jose Ortega y Gasset 18, 28006 Madrid, Spain.
Web site: www.once.es (Spanish)
Large Spanish producer of Braille.
Royal National Institute of the Blind
RNIB Customer Services, PO Box 173, Peterborough, PE2 6WS, UK.
Phone: 0845 702 3153 (UK only)
Web site: www.rnib.org.uk
E-mail: UK customers - firstname.lastname@example.org
Overseas customers - email@example.com
RNIB have a large amount of Braille music for sale, some of which can also be loaned.
Regione Toscana, Via Aurelio Nicolodi 2, I-50131 Firenze, Italy.
Web site: www.libroparlato.org/stamperia.htm (Italian)
Verein zur Förderung der Blindenbildung
Bleekstrasse 26, 30559 Hannover, Germany.
Phone. +49 (05 11) 9 54 65 - 0
Web site: www.vzfb.de
Large German Braille producer with a range of Braille music for sale.
American Printing House for the Blind (Louis database)
Web site: www.aph.org/louis.htm
The Louis database contains more than 152,000 titles of accessible material, including music, from over 200 agencies throughout the United States. Items produced by APH are available for sale.
Braille Jymico Inc.
110 51e rue Est, Charlesbourg, Québec, Canada G1H 2J9
Phone: +1(418) 624-2105, 1-877-272-4553 Fax: +1(418) 624-0994
Web site: www.braillejymico.com (English and French)
Braille Jymico Inc. produces braille music, braille in the nemeth code, tactiles and literary braille. Their braille music is available for purchase.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4G 3E8.
Phone: +1-416-480-7520 Toll-Free: 1-800-268-8818 Web site: www.cnib.ca
Contact: Rachel Murray, Music Librarian
CNIB produces Braille music for sale as well as running a library service containing approximately 18,500 titles of Braille music and a variety of audio instructional courses.
1754 Quarry Lane, P.O. Box 927, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0927.
Phone: +1 610-783-6692
Web site: www.dancingdots.com
Dancing Dots produce a variety of aids for blind musicians, including the Goodfeel Braille music translator which turns print music into Braille and can be used by both sighted and blind copyists. They also provide a transcription service.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress
Web site: http://lcweb.loc.gov/nls/
Music section e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NLS has the largest collection of Braille music in the world. They also hold audio cassette courses and large print music. Their catalogue can be searched via the Web site.
Braille Music Code 1997
Online version of the current international Braille music code.
This is a Braille music e-mail list for the purposes of discussing and learning about all aspects of the braille music code. It is a communication tool for beginner, intermediate and advanced braille music readers and transcribers. For a list of some of the most common Braille music signs, visit:
Hadley School for the Blind
The Hadley School for the Blind offers more than 90 distance education courses to eligible students completely free of charge, including courses in Braille music. Course materials arrive in the mail (a few are downloadable), and for students in the U.S. and Canada, instructors are just a toll-free call away.