ARACU undertakes Braille transcription and we've been getting lots of queries, so here is some basic information on getting material converted into Braille.

What is Braille?

Braille is a system of raised dots that enables a non-sighted person to read by touch. It was introduced by a Frenchman called Louis Braille in the early 19th century. 

How do you convert text into Braille?

You can emboss by hand, by a Braille typewriter or electronically. ARACU uses Duxbury translation software on a computer and an Index Basic-D embosser for either single or doubled sided Braille.

How can I get material converted into Braille?

The easiest way is to send us the file electronically in a Word or text document. If the material you require is not electronically available send us a citation and we will scan, proofread and convert it into Braille. 

Will I need to do anything to the electronic file before I send it?

Quite possibly! You will need to think about the information and not the visual impact of the document. The conversion software and Braille layout relies on the document using styles and headings in Word and a consistent layout in paragraphs. Please read our handy tips on making your material Braille conversion friendly

Is there a charge for the service?

Yes there is, but as with all of ARACU's charges, it's a cost-recovery fee only to cover administration and resource costs such as paper. If you require the material to be scanned and proofread before it is brailled this will add to the cost.

How long will it take?

If material is sent to us electronically and requires no editing to make it Braille ready we can send material back to you within 1 week of receipt. If material is not sent to us electronically it will depend on size. A 300 page book will take at least 5-6 weeks to convert.

Maths Braille? Music Braille?

Unfortunately the staff at ARACU do not yet have the skills to help with conversion of maths and music braille. There are several external transcription services you can contact to discuss converting material into these formats including the RNIB.

I'm confused!

Don't be! If you would like more information please email us on


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