Braille Embosser


an image of a Braille embosserA Braille Embosser is a hardware device for "printing" a hard copy of a text document in Braille. A Braille translation software program is required to translate the electronic text from the computer into Braille. Most Braille embossers come with the following features:

  • Transcribe print text into embossed Braille output
  • Speech feedback as you use the embosser
  • Embossers vary with printing speed, line width and type and weight of paper used
  • Available in single or double sided

It is important to consider the following capabilities: supporting grade 1, 2, etc. level Braille, Braille page preview; support of formatting tables, mathematics and symbols; languages available; type of files accepted, etc.

Other types of Braille software to consider include:

  • Optical Braille Recognition Software which allows you to scan a Braille document and convert it to printed text. This is useful for people who work with individuals who read Braille but do not read Braille themselves.                                                  
  • Braille Music translation software that will convert music notation into Braille.


Points to Ponder

Questions to consider when choosing a Braille Embosser

  • Is it compatible with your computer's platform? Is the Braille translation software compatible with your computer’s platform?
  • How does it connect to your computer?
  • What is its embossing speed (measured in characters per second, or CPS)? This information will help you decide when looking at the volume of Braille you are going to produce and how frequently you will use the embosser. 
  • Is the height of the characters adjustable?
  • Is it stationary or portable? Do you need to move it between your home, school or work? Consider the weight of the embosser.  Single sided Braille embossers are more compact and transportable.
  • How loud is it? Consider the environment in which the embosser will be used. Do you need a soundproof case?
  • Does it print single-sided or double-sided? Single sided Braille embossers are ideal for occasional use; double sided Braille embossing reduces the numbers of pages and weight of the finished document. This is ideal for those who carry their work around.
  • Does it allow you to work in both print and Braille? Does it support graphics?
  • Is there technical support available in case the embosser breaks down? How is the company’s customer service support?
  • Do you need special characters or layout in Braille? E.g., for mathematics, scientific or music notations. Consider the Braille translation software chosen, as not all software provides the same features.


Braille Embosser Manufacturers

SNOW does not endorse any of the following software/hardware. These links are provided for information purposes only.

Enabling Technologies
Index Braille
ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.

Braille Translation Software Manufacturers
Duxbury Systems
Index Braille
Quantum Technology
ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.

Braille Music Translation Software Manufacturers
Dancing Dots

Optical Braille Recognition Software
Quantum Technology

Free or Open Source Braille software

Free Dots (Linux)
Louis Braille Translator (Mac)
QuickTac Braille Graphics Software (Windows)

Other useful tools

Want to learn more about Braille and other alternative formats? Visit our section on Alternative Formats!


Helping you meet Ontario's AODA
How It Relates to the AODA legislation: 
AODA Significance: 

1. A Braille Embosser with the Braille translation software are necessary technology required in order to create Braille materials – an alternative format to convey and receive information for people with visual disabilities. 
2.  People interact, learn and communicate in diverse ways. Learning opportunities are increased when flexible ways of engaging with learning materials are provided. Considering how people communicate is important for knowledge to be exchanged. Alternative formats take into account diverse ways of exchanging information.
3. The AODA legislates that educational institutions and its employees know how to produce accessible or conversion ready versions of textbooks and printed material and be knowledgeable at interacting and communicating with people with disabilities who may use alternate formats and devices.

Additional Resources: 

To learn of ways to innovate, develop & design for accessibility, visit OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre website.                                                                      
To learn how this section relates to the core principles of the AODA Customer Service regulation, visit the AODA page on SNOW.