Braille Display Pilot Resources

This section has useful guides and help for braille display pilot patrons and their families. It contains an online version of the materials provided to pilot participants and some extra materials that were not included in the package mailed to participants, along with updated materials based on feedback from pilot participants. When available, materials are offered in audio, downloadable braille and large print. The last section contains a useful BARD overview for anyone using a Braille Display

Braille Display Pilot Braille materials

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Braille Display Pilot Audio materials

Humanware has created some useful MP3 audio guides about the Brailliant 14 that can help the braille display pilot patrons learn to use their assigned device.

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Braille Display Pilot Large Print materials

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Braille Display Pilot Maintenance Tools

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BARD Quick Overview for Braille Display use

Searching for Braille Materials on BARD

Your user profile is set to display both audio and braille titles by default. To find just braille titles from BARD search results, you can note that the link to the media of each type of item is always at heading 1, so you can easily find the book format you want. Audiobooks will be displayed first. Then above the list of audio titles, you will find a “Go to Braille” link which will let you jump over all of the audio titles and get right to the braille titles.

Occasionally audiobook users will accidentally downloaded braille books instead of audio and find that the book will not play in the NLS digital talking-book 
machine DTBM). To avoid this mistake, check the book number prefix before downloading. All narrated audiobooks have the letters DB (which stand for Digital 
Book) before the book number. All braille materials have BR (for braille) preceding the number. There may be an additional letter after the DB or BR denoting that 
the book is part of a special collection.

If you don’t have any interest in seeing audio titles, you can set your profile so that only braille titles are displayed. Here’s how:

  1. After logging into BARD, press Enter on the “Update Account Settings” link, located about two-thirds of the way down the BARD main page under the heading Additional Links.
  2. Find the Display Results combo box. This is the second form field on the Update Account Settings screen, and it's set to “Both” by default.
  3. Press Alt-Down Arrow to open the combo box, arrow down to “Braille Only,” and press Enter.
  4. Tab to the “Update” button, and press Enter.

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Downloading and Reading Braille Materials

Braille books and magazines are in zip files. Each zip file contains all the volumes of that title. So to read a braille book or magazine, download the title you want, unzip it to a folder, open the volume you want, and start reading. If you want to read your book on a device with a braille display such as a notetaker, copy the unzipped folder and move it to your notetaker and use its braille reader to enjoy your book. Yet another option is to use a notetaker that can log directly onto BARD. Download the braille title you want, and open the book or magazine into the default braille reader.

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Reading Braille Using BARD Mobile

On mobile devices that run iOS, you can use BARD Mobile to read braille books and magazines using a Bluetooth braille display. BARD Mobile for Android does 
not support braille. As with audiobooks, BARD Mobile unzips your braille files automatically, so you don't need to worry about doing this. Even though you may 
be reading 6-dot braille from BARD, you should set your braille display to 8-dot braille. Also, single-letter QuickNav should be turned off so you can use the BARD 
Mobile navigation commands. If it isn’t, you can turn it off by typing dot 7 with the Q-chord command. For more information about reading braille on BARD 
Mobile, please see Chapter 7 of the BARD Mobile User’s Guide, located on your BARD Mobile bookshelf under the Help category.

If you’d like to read it in braille, but don’t have any prior experience with reading braille in BARD Mobile, you might want to start out accessing the guide on the web:  https://nlsbard.loc.gov/apidocs/BARDMobile.userguide.iOS.1.0.html

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YouTube Videos and Other Thoughts

Alternatively, you can access the NLS video "How to Read a Braille Book instructions" on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cYkEbkgRwQ&t=33s

Braille books and magazines are the only materials on BARD that you can read directly with your computer, provided you have a refreshable braille display 
attached. Each braille file is a text file that uses various symbols and punctuation marks to produce braille characters. In order to access braille books and magazines, a device must have a braille display. Please note that the DTBM does not support a braille display and, therefore, cannot be used to read braille books and magazines.

If you have questions on these or other BARD-related topics, you can email the NLS BARD support team at this address: NLSDownload@loc.gov
Happy downloading and reading!

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