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Braille Certification Training Program

We are pleased to inform you that the National Federation of the Blind has been awarded the contract from the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, to conduct the courses leading to Library of Congress certification in braille transcribing and proofreading. We will begin operation of the courses on December 22, 2017. As you may be aware, the courses have been on hold since the end of July, 2017; we appreciate your patience while we work as quickly as possible through the backlog that has accumulated.

Braille Certification Courses

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute offers courses in literary, mathematics, and music transcribing as well as literary and mathematics proofreading for Library of Congress certification.

For information on Unified English Braille for existing transcribers and proofreaders visit UEB Resources.

Literary Braille Transcribing Course: Application and Trial Manuscript Information

The literary braille course, a prerequisite for the other courses, consists of twenty lessons and takes a minimum of twelve to eighteen months to complete. The final requirement is a thirty-five braille-page trial manuscript that is sent to the Jernigan Institute for grading. Those receiving a passing grade on the trial manuscript will be certified by the Library of Congress.

A person accepted into a course receives links to download all required instructional materials and must supply his/her own paper and braille writing equipment or computer with direct-input software. Hard copies of course materials are available upon request.

Locating an Instructor

Courses are provided without cost to the volunteer and may be taken through correspondence or through local classes. To locate a recognized local braille group in your area, consult the directory Directory of Producers of Accessible Reading Materials.

Eligibility for the Courses

To qualify for enrollment, a person must be a high school graduate, a citizen or resident of the United States, or a U.S. citizen residing in a foreign country.

Brailling after Certification

It is important to note that braille transcription is usually an avocation or a volunteer activity. Experienced braille transcribers may find full-time employment working for major braille producers, working for school districts transcribing handouts and/or textbooks for students, or working for a business or government agency preparing braille copies of materials for customers and/or staff. Some braille transcribers work at home typically producing piecework.


To highlight the work of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading and writing system used by blind people everywhere, and to emphasize the importance of the system, it is practice of the National Federation of the Blind to use a capital B when writing any instance of the word "Braille." However, it has been a convention of the Library of Congress to begin the word with lowercase b when used in any context other than a title or as a name. Therefore, to maintain uniformity within this program, the National Federation of the Blind uses the lowercase b on the word "braille" in all written material pertaining to the braille certification courses, unless the word is part of a title or indicates a name.

More Information

For more information, please email our Braille certification training program at [email protected] or call us at 410-659-9314, extension 2510.