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Supreme Braille Quality

Why does the quality of braille matter?

(What if every assignment, every pop quiz and every exam including finals is written in poor quality type like this.)

There is no such thing as a magnifier for braille. Braille dots should be as bold as the paper will hold. Would you want to struggle to read your final exam? Wouldn’t you learn more if the reading was easy so you could focus on the content instead of struggling with just reading the text? Reading good braille, like reading good print is an essential foundation for a good education.


How to achieve the supreme quality braille dot?

With decades of experience hearing the most expertized braille readers in the world and be focused in the braille quality as top priority in each machine we special make for you.


How to define the supreme quality braille dot?

If you noticed already some small cracks in the top of the braille dots, those small visible cracks tell you that the dots are as high as they CAN be without tearing the paper. If you want to see well-formed dots for the sake of comparison, examine a sample made on a Perkins mechanical Brailler in good condition. These well-formed, uniform dots constitute the standard for the industry. You will see tiny cracks in these dots where tiny pockets of the paper are trapped for an instant against a pin, which creates the actual shape of the dot. Dots without small visible cracks are probably made too quickly or with too little impact. In any case, they are likely to weaken or disappear over time. The same can be said for dots which are misformed by poking holes all the way through the paper. This can lend a jagged or scuffed feel to the Braille.

When in doubt about the quality of a Braille sample, show it to a Braille reader and listen carefully. It takes training to prepare a visual inspector to recognize good, uniform, clear Braille. But for the person who reads it tactually for information purposes, no training is needed. It's both clear and uniform, or it isn't, and most any Braille reader can tell you right away which is true.


Is there a standard for braille characters?

Every major braille producing country has standards for braille character spacing and minimum height of the dots in each braille cell. The majority of countries have adopted the braille character standard produced by the Perkins mechanical braille writer. When this standard was first established large decades ago, extensive testing was done with a large number of braille readers to determine the optimum characteristics for good quality braille. This is the standard used today by the United States Library of Congress and several other international agencies that oversee the production of books, magazines and other materials in braille. 

There are other standards that have been created for specific applications. The European Union has recently adopted a standard known as Marburg Medium braille that has been specifically designed for use on pharmaceutical labels. To date, Enabling Technologies is the only braille embosser manufacturer that has been certified to produce braille meeting this stringent specification. 

Enabling Technologies embossers exceed every national braille standards worldwide by a very wide margin. Producing consistent, high quality, properly spaced braille characters is what has made us the world’s leading manufacturer of braille embossers. There are only two other manufacturers in the world that have proven a comparable level of consistent, high quality in their braille products. One is located in Tonsberg, Norway and the other in Marburg, Germany.


Does the quality of the paper I use matter?

Absolutely! Most paper that is used for the production of braille is fairly heavy in weight and corresponds to the type of card stock often used for index cards and file folders. This type of paper varies widely in quality and thickness. The single largest enemy of all braille embossers, regardless of the manufacturer, is paper dust. This extremely fine dust is created when the paper is embossed and the microscopic fibers that compose the papers formulation are broken when the braille dots are formed. This process is unavoidable when making high quality braille.

Using the best quality papers that have been formulated for braille production greatly reduce the accumulation of paper dust in your braille embosser. This in turn reduces the frequency in which you need to have the paper dust professionally removed from your embosser. When selecting a brand of braille paper cost should not be the sole factor you consider. Cheaper, lower quality papers might save money in the short run but the savings could easily be taken back in higher equipment maintenance costs and poorer quality finished braille materials.