Principles of Print to Braille Transcription
Exercises, Drills, Tests and Test Booklets
- General provisions. This Code section contains general provisions for transcribing exercises, drills, and tests that are found in textbooks. Additionally, other sections of this rule provide specific formats for certain materials, as follows.
Expendable braille materials, Section 9
Tests and test booklets, Section 10
- Caution. In transcribing exercises, drills, and tests, care must be taken to avoid the possibility of inadvertently suggesting a particular answer or solution by means of the braille format used.
- Bound braille texts. Unless otherwise directed, it must be assumed that the braille edition of a text is to be bound so that answers will not be written directly in it.
- Omissions. Just as the running head printed on every page of a textbook is omitted in the braille edition, when each page of a workbook or a test booklet carries items such as repeated book unit or part identification publisher and/or copyright information, directives for use by the teacher or parent, blanks for recording the student's name, class, and date, this material should be omitted in the braille edition unless its inclusion is required by the sponsoring agency. Notice of such omission need not be given in the braille edition.
- Altering, editing the print text. Review the provisions given in Rule 1, Sections 2-5 and 7.
(1) The chance for errors to occur increases with each alteration made to the print text. Alterations pose a particular problem whenever several braillists are involved, as when the book is part of a related series of textbooks or when the transcription of a single text is done by a number of braillists.
(2) When alterations of the print text are requested by an individual teacher, the braille edition may not be suitable for use by students in different classrooms.
(3) Alterations may make it impossible for the braille edition to serve simultaneously as teacher's and student's editions of the print text.
- Cross-references and incidental notes. When cross-references or incidental notes, e.g., See chapter 4 or Answers on page 145, are printed at random points outside the exercise material, place these notes at an appropriate point in the braille text. They must be preceded and followed by a blank line and left-justified in cell 7.
- Score values. If the score value of an exercise, drill, or test is shown in the text it must be included in the braille edition. Follow the print copy for placement of score values shown with the exercise title or directions. Those shown at the end of an exercise, drill, or test must be preceded by a blank line and placed at the left margin. Ignore any lines or boxes intended to be filled in except as provided in Section 9d below for expendable braille material.
- Blank lines
- Each exercise, drill, or test (with its accompanying directions) must be preceded and followed by a blank line except when it immediately precedes or follows the page change indicator. EXCEPTION: Following a running head no blank line is required before exercise, drill, or test material or before any directions that may precede these materials. In transcribing materials for kindergarten and first grade, leave two blank lines where one blank line is required in regular braille format.
- A blank line must not be left after the directions that precede exercise, drill, or test materials unless required by other braille formats such as lists or multiple columns of unnumbered/unlettered answer choices.
- Within an exercise, drill, or test, no blank lines must be left between the questions or between questions and answer choices unless required by other braille formats, as follows.
(1) Displayed material. If exercises, drills, or tests include unnumbered or unlettered displayed items that regularly require use of the full width of the braille line, e.g., lines of poetry, paragraphs of text, facsimiles of dictionary entries, lists, multiple columns, or related columns, such items must be precede and followed by a blank line. Transcribe displayed materials in their regular formats, using the full width of the braille line as needed.
(2) Expendable material. Extra blank lines may be required as noted in Section 9 below when transcribing expendable braille material.
- Exercise directions. For the purposes of this Code rule, directions are defined as specific instructions given to the reader for use with exercise, drill, or test items that immediately follow. See Section 10b below for transcribing the directions printed in test booklets.
NOTE: The provisions given below do not apply to simple directive sentences and paragraphs in the text that no application to exercise materials. Transcribe these sentences and paragraphs with normal indention.
- Directions given in the text must be brailled as printed. It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher-not the transcriber-to provide the student with specific instructions for recording answers.
- When the directions show italics, boldface, small caps, or underlining to indicate simple emphasis or distinction, follow the provisions given in Rule 3, Section 1.
- Simple rewording, e.g., changing sentences at the left to sentences below does not require explanation in a transcriber's note.
- When explanation of the print directions is necessary, this material must be brailled as a transcriber's note according to Rule 1, Section 7.
(1) If a general explanation is needed for all or most of the directions in a volume, this explanation should be placed on the Transcriber's Notes page accordance with Rule 2, Section 6.
(2) When a specific explanation is needed at a given point, the print directions may be interrupted at that point to insert a transcriber's note of explanation.
- Unnumbered or unlettered directions must be left-aligned beginning in cell 5. If several paragraphs of directions are shown, after the first one each succeeding paragraph must start in cell 7.
- Numbered and lettered directions must be placed and indented according to Section 7 below.
- Exercise examples, models, sample questions and answers. Regardless of how they are identified, when the text shows exercise examples, models, or samples of questions with answers or solutions provided, retain the special typeface that is shown for any labels used in the text according to Rule 3, Section 1. No blank line is required before or after exercise examples. The indentions of sample questions, answers, and their runovers should be the same as that used for the questions and answers in the exercise material that follows.
- Answer sections
- Follow the print copy for placement of answer sections that are shown at the end of each chapter.
- Answers that are shown in a special section at the back of the print book may be placed at the end of the braille volume in which the accompanying questions appear. To indicate such a transposition in the braille edition, follow the provisions given in Rule 1, Section 11.
- Unnumbered or unlettered exercises, drills, or tests
- Questions. Start unnumbered or unlettered questions in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3 when no answer choices are shown. Runovers must begin in cell 5 when there are answer choices.
- Answer choices. Although answer choices need not be placed on the same braille page with the question(s) they accompany, it is preferable to place all answer choices together on one braille page.
(1) Answers for a single question. Unnumbered or unlettered answer choices should be listed vertically, starting in cell 3 on the line below the question with runovers in cell 7. However, when answer choices are shown in columns, follow the print copy using the format given in Rule 7, Section 1e with cell 3 as the margin. If the full width of the braille line is required, see Section 2c(1) above.
NOTE: When columns of unnumbered or unlettered answer choices are printed in alphabetical order, they must be brailled in alphabetical order either vertically or horizontally as shown in print.
(2) Answers for multiple questions. When the text shows unnumbered or unlettered answer choices that apply to more than one question, the answer choices must be brailled first, leaving one blank line before beginning the questions. If answer choices are shown in columns, follow the print copy using the format give in Rule 7, Section 1e with cell 3 as the margin. When the full width of the braille line is required, see Section 2c(1) above. If print answer choices are shown in alphabetical order, they must be brailled according to the note in (1) above.
- Items that are not answer choices Depending upon the number and whether they are parts of words, words, phrases, etc., unnumbered or unlettered items that are not answer choices may be placed either on a single braille line separated by three blank cells or in columns placed as provided in (1) and (2) above.
- Numbered or lettered exercises, drills, or tests. The provisions given below must be followed in transcribing all numbered and/or lettered items that appear in exercises, drills, or tests even though the items are printed as run-on lists in paragraph form rather than as set-off, vertical lists.
- Follow the print copy as to the sequence, punctuation and capitalization of all arabic numerals, roman numerals, and letters. For the one exception, see Section 7d below.
- Begin each main numbered or letter item in cell 1. If there are no subdivisions within a main item, runovers must start in cell 3.
- When a main item contains subdivisions, start the main item in cell 1 with runovers in cell 5. Subdivisions must start in cell 3 with runovers in cell 7, sub-subdivisions must start in cell 5 with runovers in cell 9, and so on.
- When the numbers or letters of a division and a subdivision are shown on the same print line, in braille the subdivision number or letter must be placed on the line below the division number or letter. The subdivision and its runover, if any, must be indented according to Section 7c above.
- Numbered or lettered answer choices. Although answer choices need not be placed on the same braille page with the accompanying question(s) it is preferable to place answer choices on one braille page.
- Answers for a single question. Numbered or lettered answer choices should be listed vertically starting on the line below the question. However, when the number of short answer choices is extensive (requiring more than six braille lines), they may be placed in two or more columns with two blank cells separating adjacent columns. In the braille edition, the order of numbered or lettered answer choices must be left to right across the braille page.
- Answers for multiple questions. When the text shows a group of numbered or lettered answer choices that apply to more than one question, braille the answer choices first, before the questions. If the number of short answer choices is extensive (requiring more than six braille lines) place them in two or more side-by-side columns with two blank cells separating adjacent columns. In the braille edition, the order of numbered or lettered answer choices must be left to right across the braille page.
- Numbered or letter items that are not answer choices. When lists of short numbered or lettered items that are not answer choices appear in exercise questions or their subdivisions, these items may be presented consecutively across the braille page. No blank lines must be left before or after these numbered or lettered lists, but two blank cells must separate adjacent columns.
- Unnumbered or unlettered items in a numbered or lettered exercise
(1) Unnumbered or unlettered answer choices, words, phrases, or sentences that appear in a numbered and lettered sequence must be given a cell placement that fits within the established indention pattern.
(2) Answers for multiple questions. When the text shows unnumbered or unlettered answer choices that apply to more than one question, the answer choices must be brailled first, leaving one blank line before beginning the question. If the number of short answer choices is extensive (requiring more than six braille lines) place them in two or more side-side columns with two blank cells left between adjacent columns.
(3) In numbered or lettered exercise material, when lists of unnumbered or unlettered answer choices are arranged in alphabetical order, the items must be brailled in alphabetical order either vertical or horizontally as shown in print.
- Displayed material. Displayed material that is shown in a numbered and lettered sequence must be brailled according to Section 2c(1) above.
- Formats for exercises, drills, and tests
- Blanks to be filled. Follow the provisions of Rule 14, Section 4 in addition to those given below.
(1) Blanks before or after questions. When lines, dashes, circles, or boxes that are intended to be filled with answers are printed either before or after questions, they must be omitted in braille.
(2) Blanks within questions. Within a sentence or question, the braille double dash (36, 36, 36, 36) must be used to represent a blank of any kind that is to be filled. The contractions for to, into, and by must not precede the braille double dash.
(3) Numbered or lettered blanks within questions
(a) When a number alone or a number with a printed line indicates a numbered blank, the appropriate number must be followed unspaced by the braille double dash.
(4) If a question mark alone or a question mark over or under a printed line represents a blank, substitute the braille double dash for the print line and omit the question mark.
(b) When a letter alone or a letter with a printed line indicates a lettered blank, the appropriate letter must be followed unspaced by the braille double dash.
(5) When a number of printed lines, boxes, etc., are shown indicating the number of answers to be given and there is no mention of this number in the text, insert the number enclosed in parentheses or other enclosure signs not used in the surrounding text at the most appropriate place in the material where these blanks appear. Explain this usage in a transcriber's not similar to the following.
Numbers in parentheses show the number of answers to be given.
- Items listed as choices to fill blanks. When the print text shows a sentence containing blanks that are to be filled from a list of words or short phrases, the sentence must be brailled first. Begin the list of words or phrases on the next line. If the sentence or the listed items are not numbered or lettered in print, do not insert numbers or letter in braille.
- Columns of material with line-by-line relationship. Follow the provisions given in Rule 7, Section 1f.
- Side-by-side columns of items to be matched
(1) Short items. If the items are short enough to be contained across the width of the braille line, follow print copy and braille the items in accordance with Rule 7, Section 1e(2).
NOTE: When column items are numbered or lettered and heading are shown, if there is sufficient space it is permissible to place braille column headings followed by separation lines above the side-by-side columns.
(2) Long items. If items in the columns are too long to be brailled as printed, transcribe the first column with the second one beneath it. Insert heading that are shown or suggested in the text as cell-5 braille headings. When no headings are shown insert cell-5 headings, such as Column 1, Column 2 or Left Column, Right Column. This alteration of the print text does not require explanation in a transcriber's note.
- Words or sentences with superscript numbers or letter. When sentences within an exercise or words in those sentences are identified by superscript numbers or letters in the print text, follow copy as to the punctuation used with the numbers or letters. Place the numbers or letters, followed by a blank cell, before the items they identify.
- True-False exercises or tests. When the answer choices to be used throughout an exercise, e.g., True-False, Yes-No, Right-Wrong, are not included in the print directions, insert a transcriber's note stating the answer choices that are indicated in print. Omit individual answer choices that are printed before or after each item.
- Expendable braille material. Extensive alteration of the print text is usually required in order to produce a braille edition that is to be used as expendable material, i.e., where answers are recorded directly on the braille pages. Text editing of this nature and extent is the responsibility of the sponsoring agency or the classroom teacher-not the transcriber. When such editing results in a braille edition that cannot be used in different classroom situations, the text must not be listed with a central agency such as the Central Catalog of the American Printing House for the Blind.
Additional factors that must be taken into consideration when transcribing expendable materials are given below.
- Omissions or alterations of the print text. See Sections 1c and 1d above.
- Spacing. Extra horizontal and vertical spacing must be provided in an expendable braille edition of exercise, drill, or test materials to allow for the insertion of answers.
- Recording of answers. Before a transcription is started, the specific method(s) to be used for recording answers must be established by either the sponsoring agency or the classroom teacher.
(1) When answers are to be written directly on previously embossed braille or Brailon pages using either braillewriters or slate and stylus, it may be difficult for the student to maintain accurate register of the braille dots and lines. Some braillewriters may not produce legible braille on pages of Brailon.
(2) If answers are to be marked directly by underscoring or circling, use of the same material by several students is possible when felt tip pens of different colors are used. However, this method may make is impossible for each student to independently review the answers he has recorded.
- Recording of scores. Blanks or boxes that are shown in the print text to record exercise or test scores must be represented by the braille double dash placed at an appropriate place in the exercise or test.
- Tests and test booklets. Many governmental and educational agencies require the use of specific formats in the transcription of tests and test booklets. When transcribing test materials that are not governed by such agencies, in addition to the provisions given in Sections 1-9 above, observe the following.
- General format for tests
(1) Placement of test sections
(a) Follow the print copy for the placement of test sections that are shown at the end of each chapter.
(2) All test materials must be transcribed so as to require the shortest amount of reading time.
(b) Tests that are shown in sections at the end of the print text may be placed at the end of the braille volume in which references to them appear. To indicate this transposition in the braille edition, follow the provisions given in Rule 1, Section 11.
(3) Begin each test on a new braille page.
(4) Words should not be divided at the ends of lines except where the division of words is an element of the test itself.
(5) Test questions and answers
(a) Numbered or lettered test items. When test questions and answers are numbered or lettered in the print text they must be similarly numbered or lettered in braille.
(b) Test questions. A question must not be divided between braille pages unless it is absolutely necessary.
 When a question can be contained on one braille page, it must be placed on a single page regardless of the amount of space left blank on the preceding page.
(c) Test answer choices
 If a question is too long to be contained on a single braille page, division between pages must be made at a point where these is a logical break in thought.
 Do not insert a transcriber's note to indicate continuation of a question except where such continuation is not made obvious by context.
 If possible, answer choices must be presented on the same braille page as the question they accompany. If this is not possible, all answer choices should appear together on one page wherever space permits.
 Following a question, answer choices must be listed vertically, starting on the line below the question.
- Format for test booklets. When a print text contains only test materials, in addition to the general provisions given in Section 10a above, follow the directives below.
(1) If the print directions and/or instructions for recording answers require alteration or additional explanation in order to be applicable to the braille edition, such changes are to be made only after consultation with the examining body.
(2) Test material frequently contains incidental instructions to the student, often at the end of a test or test section, e.g., STOP or Wait. Leave a blank line before inserting these directions starting at the margin, and follow the print copy for capitalization. Since such instructions as GO ON that appear at the end of a print page are meaningless to the braille reader, they should be ignored in the braille edition.
(3) Instead of placing transcriber's notes before each test in a test booklet, the Transcriber's Notes page(s) at the front of a test booklet should carry explanations of general changes made in the braille edition, e.g., modifications of the print directions to apply to the braille edition, instructions for recording answers, and so forth.
NOTE: Any specific instruction or explanation must be stated as clearly and briefly as possible and inserted as a transcriber's note at the point where it is required.
(4) As an aid to a test administrator who may not read braille, it is recommended that a typed copy of the Transcriber's Notes page(s) be placed with the test booklet.