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Career Profile of a Braille Translator

Job Descriptions November 27, 2012

Are you planning on pursuing a career as a braille translator? Then, this article is for you. We will discuss how you can launch yourself into a career as a braille translator, including training and education prerequisites.

As the job title suggests, a braille translator mainly focus on translating novels, magazines and textbooks among other written documents into braille. Other related tasks that a braille translator may perform include the duplication of braille texts and the preparation of documents for use with electronic media. Braille translators need to have certification by an organization such as the Library of Congress or the National Braille Association, and knowledge in translating texts into braille. To pursue a career as a braille translator, you need to obtain certification by an organization such as the Library of Congress or the National Braille Association. Experience in the translation of texts into braille will improve your chances in landing a job.

Braille Translator Prerequisites

Normally, an ambitious braille translator needs to obtain a certificate relating to braille code of one or more categories, such as mathematics, music, literature, and several others. It takes about two to four years of experience in braille translation to strengthen their career prospects. To ensure accuracy of transcript and editing of braille documents; a braille translator need to demonstrate knowledge of writing braille with a Perkins brailler along with a stylus and slate. The potential braille translator will need computer skills, such as knowledge of transferring files via the internet and email, and how to use current braille software. Technical expertise required includes knowing how to use braille devices, as for instance, a refreshable tactile display.

Other key skills a braille translator must bring to their job include details of images with succinctness and precision (Information source: American Foundation for the Blind).

Stage 1: Getting a Braille Transcription Certificate

Braille translators need to be certified by an organization such as the National Braille Association or the Library of Congress. They can attend certification training courses conducted by nonprofits and community colleges. There are online and correspondence courses. These courses generally do not draw a fee and any American citizen with a bachelor degree or equivalent thereof may join them. A braille certification course typically runs for twelve to eighteen months. Prospective students are required to bring their own computer and related software, braille writing equipment and paper. After a potential translator obtained a braille translation certificate, s/he can aim to get certification related to specialized forms of braille translation such as proofreading of literature, transcription of mathematics, or music. Braillist career prospects are brighter in educational settings that require the knowledge of more than one type of braille code, such as chemistry, music and computer.

Stage 2: Gaining Braillist Experience

About two to four years of braille translation experience are required by employers. Much of braille translation works are effected by volunteers that opens up the opportunity to gain valuable experience. For instance, many volunteers are employed by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and they are required to meet the translation needs of organizations such as schools and libraries, thereby giving prospective braillists an opportunity to handle different types of translation work. Experience with multiple translation equipment such as a Perkins brailler, a stylus and slate, and refreshable tactile displays will help improve the profession of a prospective braillist.

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