Mathematics Braille Transcribing

Under a contract with the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress, the National Federation of the Blind offers a course in mathematics (Nemeth Code) braille transcribing to teach students to transcribe print mathematics and science materials into braille.

Students receive a Library of Congress certificate in mathematics (Nemeth) braille transcribing upon successful completion of the course.

There is no tuition charge. Necessary instruction materials are provided free of charge by the NFB and can be downloaded from the website.

Eligibility

  • United States citizenship or residency
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Knowledgeable in recommended braille formats for textbooks and technical materials

Prerequisite

  • Library of Congress certification in literary braille transcribing for a minimum of six months (If the Literary Braille Transcribing certificate carries a date earlier than January 1, 2016, the student must also have achieved a Letter of Proficiency in Unified English Braille).

Equipment Required

  • A computer using direct input or a software program, or a Perkins braillewriter

Some sources of manual braillewriters include the NFB Independence Market, the American Printing House for the Blind, and Howe Press. Some sources of braille paper (11 by 11 ½ inches, for those not submitting exercises via email) include the NFB Independence Market, the American Printing House for the Blind, Howe Press, and American Thermoform.

How the Course Works

  • Instructional manuals can be downloaded from the NFB website. 
  • Students take the course by correspondence with the NFB. When submitting exercises, a line length of forty cells is to be used, regardless of method of production. Students are encouraged to submit their exercises on a regular basis (at least monthly) and may submit only one lesson at a time.

Local Classes

In some areas local braille transcribing groups include mathematics braille code transcribers who have been certified by the Library of Congress. Classes taught by certified transcribers are one way to receive instruction. For information about local groups that sponsor braille classes, consult Directory of Producers of Accessible Reading Materials or call the National Library Service at 800-424-8567.

Local Instructors

In cases where there are not enough students to form a class, a transcriber certified for mathematics braille may be able to instruct a single student.

Correspondence

Students unable to find a local class or instructor may take the course by correspondence with the NFB. A local instructor or the NFB will evaluate lessons, depending upon how you receive instruction. Telephone correspondence and consultation is available. Please call Jennifer Dunnam at 612-767-5658.

When submitting exercises, a line length of forty cells is to be used, regardless of method of production. Students are encouraged to submit their exercises on a regular basis (at least monthly) and may submit only one lesson at a time.

Certification Test

Final certification tests are sent upon request from the NFB and are evaluated by the NFB. A letter from the student's mathematics braille instructor must be sent to the NFB attesting that the student has successfully completed the course. Candidates scoring eighty points or above will receive a Library of Congress certificate in Mathematics (Nemeth) transcribing.

How to Enroll

Applicants can enroll in the course in two ways.

Prospective students must submit this application before the course begins.

Or mail a complete print application (Word doc) to:

National Federation of the Blind
Braille Certification Training Program
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230

Whether intending to take the course with a local teacher or through correspondence, prospective students must submit this application form before the course begins.

Instructional Manuals

Course Manual, 2022

The course manual has been updated to align with use of UEB with Nemeth. The provisional lessons previously posted here are now out of date and should be replaced with the following lessons, available in printable PDF, PDF with links for use online, and BRF.

At this time, students are being enrolled in the new course based on the waiting list, and exercises are being provided to students once they have begun. Prospective students will be contacted when we are able to have them begin.

The codebook on which these lessons are based is under review and will be posted here when it is available.

If you find any errors in this instruction manual, please contact us at [email protected].

Printable PDF

Revision Log of PDF Uploads (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Front Matter (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Preliminary Lesson (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 1 Introduction to Code Switching (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 2 More About Punctuation (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 3 Words (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 4 More About Letters (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 5 Signs of Operation, Cont. (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 6 Format (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 7 Displayed Formats (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 8 Introduction to Fractions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 9 Arrows (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 10 Review of Format for Spatial Arrangements (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 11 Signs of Shape (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 12 Modifiers and Modified Expressions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 13 Miscellaneous Symbols (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 14 Function Names and Their Abbreviated Forms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 15 Mathematical Expressions Requiring Runovers (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 16 Spatial Arrangements of Fractions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 17 System of Equations (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 18 Tables (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Final Lesson (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix A Reading Practice (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix B Glossary Of Terms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix C Nemeth Code Format Summaries (file uploaded September 21, 2022)

PDF With Links

Revision Log Of PDF Uploads (Updated As Revisions Are Made—Not Yet Posted)
Front Matter (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Preliminary Lesson (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 1 Introduction to Code Switching (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 2 More About Punctuation (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 3 Words (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 4 More About Letters (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 5 Signs of Operation, Cont. (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 6 Format  (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 7 Displayed Formats (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 8 Introduction to Fractions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 9 Arrows (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 10 Review of Format for Spatial Arrangements (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 11 Signs of Shape (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 12 Modifiers and Modified Expressions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 13 Miscellaneous Symbols (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 14 Function Names and Their Abbreviated Forms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 15 Mathematical Expressions Requiring Runovers (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 16 Spatial Arrangements of Fractions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 17 System of Equations (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 18 Tables (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Final Lesson (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix A Reading Practice (file uploaded 21, 2022)
Appendix B Glossary Of Terms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix C Nemeth Code Format Summaries - PDF with Links (file uploaded September 21, 2022)

Braille-Ready Format (BRF)

Revision Log Of BRF Uploads (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Front Matter (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Preliminary Lesson (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 1 Introduction to Code Switching (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 2 More About Punctuation (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 3 Words (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 4 More About Letters (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Lesson 5 Signs of Operation, Cont. (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 6 Format (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 7 Displayed Formats (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 8 Introduction to Fractions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 9 Arrows (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 10 Review of Format for Spatial Arrangements (file uploaded 21, 2022)
Lesson 11 Signs of Shape (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 12 Modifiers and Modified Expressions (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 13 Miscellaneous Symbols (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 14 Function Names and Their Abbreviated Forms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 15 Mathematical Expressions Requiring Runovers (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 16 Spatial Arrangements of Fractions  (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 17 System of Equations (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Lesson 18 Tables (file uploaded October 28, 2022)
Final Lesson (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix A Reading Practice (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix B Glossary of Terms (file uploaded September 21, 2022)
Appendix C Nemeth Code Format Summaries (file uploaded September 21, 2022)

Codebook and Updates

The book and documents listed below contain the code on which the older Nemeth course was based; students are no longer being enrolled to take the older course.  A newly updated version of the codebook is under development by the Braille Authority of North America, and it will be posted here when it becomes available. The five volumes of this braille version of the Nemeth Code were created from scans of the plates of the original press braille publication. There are twenty-six braille lines per braille page and thirty-eight cells per line; please adjust your embosser accordingly if embossing these volumes. Also, the tactile graphics included in the hard copy pressing are not included in this digital version.

More Information

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