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 braille transcribing upon successful completion of the course.
There is no tuition charge. Necessary instruction materials are provided free of charge by the NFB. They include An Introduction to Braille Mathematics (and errata), and The Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision. Students who withdraw from the course are required to return these materials.
- United States citizenship or residency
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Knowledgeable in recommended braille formats for textbooks and technical materials
- Library of Congress certification in literary braille transcribing for a minimum of six months
- A forty-cell slate, a braillewriter, or a computer using direct input or a software program
Some sources of manual braillewriters and slates 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.
Instructional manuals will be sent directly from the NFB. They include An Introduction to Braille Mathematics (and errata) and The Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision. Students who withdraw from the course are required to return these materials. There are three ways to receive instruction:
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.
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.
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.
Final certification tests are sent upon request from the NFB and are evaluated by the NFB. When requesting the test, students who have taken the course locally must include a letter from their Library of Congress-certified mathematics braille instructor attesting that the student has successfully completed the course. Candidates scoring eighty points or above will receive a Library of Congress certificate in transcribing.
Applicants can enroll in the course in two ways.
Complete the application online.
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.
Codebook and Updates
The book and documents listed below contain the code on which the older Nemeth course was based. 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.
- Nemeth Code Book (BRF), Volume 1
- Nemeth Code Book (BRF), Volume 2
- Nemeth Code Book (BRF), Volume 3
- Nemeth Code Book (BRF), Volume 4
- Nemeth Code Book (BRF), Volume 5
- Nemeth Code Book (PDF), Complete
- Nemeth Code Updates
Course Manual Revision (Provisional)
The course manual is currently being updated to align with use of UEB with Nemeth. The provisional lessons previously posted here have been removed to make way for new versions which are significantly revised. The new lessons will be posted here soon.
For more information, please email our braille certification training program at [email protected] or call us at 410-659-9314, extension 2510.