Braille is a tactile system of writing that is read with one’s fingertips. MTM produces books in Braille for adults, children and teenagers, in a variety of formats and for a range of different needs.
Legimus.se lets its users search through all of MTM’s Braille books, including those still in production. Readers can also purchase Braille books from MTM.
An international system
The first usable Braille system was created in 1825 by Louis Braille. His system is now used in most of the world. A Braille character consists of a square with up to six raised points. This is called a cell. The size of each cell enables it to be completely covered by a fingertip. These six points in various combinations and patterns form the letters of the alphabet, numerals, punctuation marks and more.
Many books are produced based on suggestions from Braille readers. Other than that, MTM primarily produces new works of fiction, as well as some non-fiction books. Braille readers can submit suggestions for new Braille books through legimus.se or their local library.
MTM’s Braille and subscription service
MTM’s Braille and subscription service is an individual service for persons who are deaf and blind, or who have impaired vision. This programme allows Braille readers to borrow books, subscribe to periodicals and order articles in Braille, all free of charge. They can also have printed materials transcribed in Braille, such as instructions, lyrics, newspaper articles, food recipes and knitting instructions, again, all free of charge.
The Swedish Braille Authority
The Braille Board is a council at MTM, and has been given a government directive to promote and develop Braille as a written language for persons with visual impairment. The tasks of the Authority include publishing books about Braille and tactile pictures, as well as arranging conferences and seminars in this area. The goal of MTM’s Braille activities is to develop the Braille service, and contribute to the maintenance of knowledge of Braille in society.
Production of Braille
Decisions as to which books MTM will produce are made on weekly, based on special guidelines for book selection. Production is done through a number of procurement procedures with a number of suppliers. Producing a Braille book takes between three and six months. The Braille is produced according to the writing norms and recommendations of the Braille Authority. All the books are done in uncontracted Braille text. Picture books can be done is various ways, such as interfoliated books, books for side by side reading, tactile picture books and books with text pasted in.
Before the book is sent to the production, decisions are made about how the book should be produced. Should there be double-line spacing (for inexperienced readers)? Should various pictures be rendered as relief pictures or be described? What format should the book have?
MTM has contracts with the following suppliers:
- Berit och Hans Bergström konsulter AB
- EMB-konsult AB
- Punkt Design AB
- Annica Norberg Design
- Eva Eriksson Design AB
- Valja Infodesign
- Maria Beskow
- Scandic Serigrafi
- HM Solutions AB
- SG Access AB
MTM has developed a new method for producing Braille books. The result is faster and more cost-effective production. For the reader, this means more user-friendly design. Innovations include:
- Supplemental title pages with information about the publisher are now placed last in the book
- The text on the back page is placed last in the book
- Every book has both the Braille book’s own page numbers, and the publisher’s page numbers in the header
- The title page has a different design
- Syllabification is done by machine
The volumes of the book can end anywhere in the text (e.g., in the middle of a sentence), but not at a new chapter or section.