Local Braille Production Centers

Project Description and Design

The Braille Excellence for Students and Teachers (BEST) Grant awarded to the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio/OCALI, is funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

One objective of the BEST Grant is to expand braille production capacities within Ohio local school districts and/or vocational and technical education centers. To accomplish that goal, the BEST Grant strives to establish at least three Local Braille Production Centers (LBPCs) in school districts during each year of the grant.

School districts/agencies chosen as an LBPC site will receive a braille embosser, braille production software, specialized training and technical assistance. Establishment of these centers will expand braille production capabilities at the local school district level and increase the quality of braille for students within the districts.


School districts (K-12) and/or vocational and technical education centers, individually or in collaboration with State Support Teams or Educational Service Centers, serving students who use braille to access the curriculum, are eligible to apply.

Project Design

This project is designed to assist Ohio districts in providing the means to produce:

  • Incidental braille materials that include the following text materials:
    • Supplemental reading materials
    • Workbook materials
    • Teacher created materials
    • Testing materials - This excludes standardized tests except when permitted by the Ohio Department of Education and/or the testing agency to provide accessible formats of testing materials.

The hardware and software are not to supplant the districts/agency responsibility to purchase braille textbooks.

BEST Responsibilities

BEST Grant collaborative partners and technical assistance consultants will provide:

  1. Equipment and software(based on indicated need in initial application)
    1. Braille embosser. This will remain the property of the BEST Grant and will be placed in the school district/agency on loan as long as needed. The embosser must be returned to the AT&AEM Center at OCALI when no longer needed by the district/agency.
    2. Duxbury Braille Translation Software. A single user license will be purchased for the school district/agency.
    3. ABBYY FineReader PDF Software. An optical character recognition application developed by ABBYY, with support for PDF file editing.
    4. Braille Paper. Two boxes of continuous feed 11x11.5 braille paper
  2. Trainings offered with BEST Grant funds:
    1. Duxbury software training. Will be offered once a year with various follow-up and networking opportunities with trainers and consultants. Each year upgrades for the software are offered through participation in the training.
    2. Scanning for Braille, Large Print and Electronic Text. This training course is offered once a year and various recorded training resources are available on the BEST Grant website. Upgrades for ABBYY FineReader are offered for participation in this training each year.
    3. MathType/EquatiO. This training is offered every two years and with participation a one year subscription to MathType is offered. This software will assist in the production of braille mathematics.
  3. Technical Assistance.
    1. A BEST Grant technical assistance consultant will assist in installing and setting up the LBPC’s hardware and software.
    2. Training and technical assistance (on-site, phone, email or zoom) for LBPC personnel in operating the equipment and in the procedures for producing instructional materials in braille.

Local Educational Agency (LEA) Responsibilities

The school district/agency will be responsible for:

  1. Staff member.
    1. This school district/agency staff person will be responsible for:
      1. Transcribing materials into braille.
      2. Attending BEST Grant sponsored trainings as mentioned above.
      3. Communicating with BEST Grant staff as needed and completing the annual follow-up survey
      4. Requesting to move equipment if necessary.
  2. A separate room to adequately house the LBPC equipment.
    1. A site which isolates equipment from general populations, because of the noisy nature of this equipment.
    2. Eight-foot table or equivalent surface for equipment.
    3. Power outlets in proximity to table location.
  3. Networked Windows computer and printer.
    1. At least 4 gigabytes of RAM (8 preferred).
    2. Hard disk drive or network storage capacity to accommodate large files.
    3. At least two USB ports.
    4. Windows 10 or higher.
    5. Microsoft Word 2010 or higher installed.
    6. Access to a networked printer/copier/scanner capable of producing multi-page PDF files
  4. Technical support at the local level
    1. To assist the BEST consultant with administrative access for the installation and configuring of software.
  5. Embosser maintenance and upkeep.
    1. Maintenance of equipment beyond the warranty period. Once the initial equipment warranty/maintenance agreement has expired, the district/agency must pay for any necessary hardware repairs and software updates.
    2. Performance of annual stress test on equipment. An instructional video on how to complete is available on the LBPC page of the AT&AEM Center’s website. Consumable materials including braille paper.
    3. If the equipment is lost or stolen, it’s the responsibility of the district/agency to replace.
  6. Software Upgrades.
    1. The school district/agency is responsible for purchasing all software upgrades beyond initial purchase. Please see BEST Responsibilities: 2. Trainings.
  7. Annual Survey.Because this project is funded by a federal grant (the BEST Grant), we are required to provide quarterly and annual reports that include data from the LBPC site.
    1. As part of the agreement, we ask that each school district/agency awarded an LBPC annually complete a quick survey that will provide the following information about the LBPC site:
      1. Grade levels of students being served and the district they attend
      2. Status of LBPC equipment and software
  8. Incidental office supplies to support the project at the LBPC location.

For questions contact:

Thank you for your interest. 

Interested in Applying?

Applications for Year 5 have closed.

Local Braille Production Center Map

Local Braille Production Center List (PDF)