Braille File Formats

Braille File Formats

Background

Current file formats used for distributing publications to be read in braille have limitations including:

  • Limited support for navigation (text based braille formats e.g. BRF, BRA, BRL, and PEF)
  • Limited support for transcribed and pre-formatted braille (digital text file formats e.g. DAISY, EPUB, HTML and Word)
  • No standardized way for tactile graphics to be encoded for reading on digital devices in either text-based braille or digital text formats
  • Limiting braille files to specific regions of the world due fixed braille encoding and formatting.

DAISY member American Printing House for the Blind is on a mission to create a groundbreaking electronic braille text and graphics device to revolutionize braille learning and accessibility. This inspired them to start work on developing a new braille format that would address the issues with existing solutions and will work with new and existing braille displays.

APH has been working collaboratively with international braille authorities and organizations, and several DAISY members expressed interest in the ambitions of the project.

Objective

In May 2022 the DAISY Board decided to explore whether the new file format should be developed as a DAISY Consortium chartered project. The following activities will be conducted:

  • Work with DAISY members from around the world to develop a statement defining what is the problem to be addressed.
  • Based on this internationally relevant problem statement, invite DAISY members, friends and supporters to create use cases for future developments in braille file format(s).
  • Evaluate the availability of experts in DAISY member organization to contribute to this activity.
  • Report back to the DAISY Board by November 2022, to include analysis on options for using existing or developing new solutions.

How can I join?

If you would like to help shape future braille formats then consider joining our active working group. Participants are warmly welcomed and encouraged to contribute their expertise and perspectives.

Please complete the application form which will be reviewed by a member of the project team before inviting you to join our working group email list. The email list is where we announce meetings, discuss relevant topics, and share notes. You can leave the mailing list at any time.

Current status

  • A page has been created on the DAISY website for the pre-charter incubation phase.
  • An email discussion list is operational.
  • A problem statement has been created by the working group.
  • A working group is meeting regularly (at the time of writing this is every two weeks) to develop the use cases.
  • A GitHub site is in place for the development of the use cases.