“Materials in Braille Increased,” Ensign, Mar. 1991, 79
More Church resources are being made available in braille to assist visually impaired members to better understand the gospel and to feel more a part of the Church.
Thanks to a two-sided braille printer purchased in 1988, the Church has been able to increase the number of its materials available in braille (see list). Previously, braille printing had been sent to a commercial company, explains Douglas L. Hind, manager of Special Curriculum for the Church. But now materials can be printed at Church headquarters.
“In order to print materials outside headquarters, we had to order large quantities—and braille takes up so much room,” observes Brother Hind. “For example, the Book of Mormon currently comes in six volumes. So this new printer allows us to print on demand, which saves space, and also reduces the overall production cost.”
To produce braille materials, text previously entered on computer disks is arranged with appropriate braille codes and then sent through software that changes the text into grade-two (contractional) braille, Brother Hind explains.
Although not all blind Church members learn braille (many lose their eyesight with advancing age), Brother Hind says the need for braille resources will probably increase in the future. “Braille is more accessible with the computer software now available, and I feel many more visually impaired individuals will be learning braille.”
For members who don’t read braille, many Church materials are available on audiocassettes. For more information about either braille or audiocassette materials, contact Douglas Hind at Special Curriculum, 24th floor, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, (801) 240-2477.