Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

LRC Services: Braille Textbooks

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Resource Center provide?

The Resource Center offers a lending service through which the School Division may borrow the following items that are appropriate for teaching students who are blind, visually impaired, and deafblind.

  • Adaptive equipment and instructional materials.
  • Braille textbooks, workbooks and LRC (Library and Resource Center) produced novels are loaned through a cooperative arrangement between the agency’s LRC and AIM-VA.
  • Many Braille novels are loaned through a cooperative arrangement between the agency’s LRC and the NLS (National Library Service) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.

Who qualifies for Resource Center Services?

Children who reside in Virginia, age 0 – 22, are still in an educational program through high school level, and are blind or vision impaired and need Braille textbooks, qualify for textbook services. The student must have an IEP or 504 Plan on record with the school division in which he/she is enrolled.

Children who reside in Virginia, age 0 – 22, are still in an educational program through high school leave, and are blind and vision impaired such that their development and education are effected, qualify for materials from the Resource Center. The child must be open for services with the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

Who can order textbooks and materials?

Textbooks must be ordered through AIM-VA (Accessible Instructional Materials-Virginia), by the Digital Rights Manager.

Materials can be ordered by Teachers of the Vision Impaired, Directors of Special Education and their designees, and must be named by the Director of Special Education.

Can any book be ordered in Braille?

Through AIM-VA, the LRC will provide books that are required for a student’s academic program, such as texts, novels, (SOL) Standards of Learning test preparation materials.

How do college age students obtain Braille textbooks?

Contact the DBVI Regional Office that serves your area.

What is AIM-VA?

AIM-VA is Virginia’s Department of Education ordering system for books in adapted formats for students age 0 – 22, through grade 12.

What is Braille?

Braille is a tactile reading system based upon a cell made of combinations of up to 6-dot cells. More information can be found in the "What is Braille?" pamphlet.

How can my child learn Braille?

What adaptive products are available through the Adaptive Equipment Department (AE)?

The majority of adaptive aids and supplies provided are listed, described and indexed in the APH (American Printing House for the Blind) Instructional Products Catalog. Every educator that accesses the LRC should have a current copy. Call APH at 1-800-223-1830 to obtain a current copy and ask to be placed on the mailing list for future editions. The non-APH items that are available through AE (Adaptive Equipment Department) are CCTV’s, Braille Writers and Braille Writer accessories. The APH catalog number should be used when ordering APH products, or in any communication with the LRC concerning APH products. Contact AE for info prior to requesting any non-APH products. An AE Order Form must be used for all AE orders.

How long is the loan period for AE items?

Some AE items are consumable and are not expected back at the LRC, but many are “tracked” by a serial number or copy number and are loaned for a student’s use as long as the student is open to the DBVI Education Services Program. When an item is no longer needed by the student it was requested for or the student’s case is closed to the Ed Services Program, it must be returned to the LRC or reassigned to another eligible student. An AE Reassignment Form must be used for all “tracked” equipment reassignment requests. Broken “tracked” items must be returned to the LRC for repair or replacement. An AE Return and Repair/Replacement Form should be used for all “tracked” item returns and must be used for all repair/replacement requests.

Procedures for Ordering and Returning Braille Textbooks and Workbooks

  1. Braille textbooks and workbooks are ordered through AIM-VA and may be ordered anytime during the year.
  2. In order to ensure that the first sections of Braille textbooks will be available when school begins the LRC must receive the orders no later than April 30. Earlier orders are encouraged.
  3. If the book is not already available in Braille the LRC will request that two print copies of the book be sent to the LRC along with a copy of the order. When the LRC transcribes a book into Braille, the LRC will retain one of the print copies, and can return the other copy to the School Division upon completion of the transcription process, if requested.
  4. A class syllabus with dates is strongly recommended to accompany all orders. If a syllabus is not received along with the textbook order, the textbook will be transcribed from front to back, according to the transcribers’ schedules.
  5. Priority will be given to textbooks and workbooks. Consideration for transcription of SOL test preparation materials and novels will be based on the availability of personnel and fiscal resources.
  6. Every effort will be made to include graphics with new transcriptions of math, science, geography and social studies textbooks. Graphics will not be included with other subjects.
  7. School divisions should check all shipments for accuracy. Discrepancies must be reported to the LRC within 30 days of receipt of shipments. The LRC will address discrepancies, replace any missing items and make the necessary changes to its records. After 30 days, school systems are responsible for all items listed on packing slips.
  8. Braille volumes may be returned to the LRC throughout the school year, as students no longer need them. The LRC Textbook Return and Confirmation Form should be used.
  9. School divisions will be assessed $16.06 for each volume of Braille that has not been “retained” or “reassigned” through AIM-VA by May 31 or received at the LRC by July 1 or that is received damaged beyond use.
  10. School divisions must include a “textbook return confirmation” form in each grey shipping container that lists the contents of the container.
  11. “In person” delivery of Braille textbooks, workbooks and novels to the LRC at the end of the school year is encouraged. Deliveries must be scheduled in advance by calling the LRC. Textbook return confirmation forms can be issued if the School Division delivers the books to the LRC in person and has completed the corresponding forms.
  12. If books are shipped to the LRC, the contents of each container will be reviewed by LRC staff and the person who completed the return form will be notified in writing if there are any discrepancies.

Procedures for Ordering and Returning Braille Novels

Many novels are already available in Braille for loan through the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress system. The DBVI Library and Resource Center (LRC) provides this service for Virginia.

It is important that all available Braille resources be utilized, so that more Braille can be newly transcribed. The LRC expects School Divisions to use the NLS system when books are available. Books may be loaned for as long as needed. NOTE that NLS is not affiliated with AIM-VA.

  1. To receive this free service, students must be registered with NLS. School Divisions should determine if students are already registered for NLS service by calling the LRC toll free at 800-552-7015 and speaking with staff in “Library Services.” If a student is not registered, an application must be completed for that student and mailed to the LRC. The “Application for Service” form is available in Word or PDF formats.
  2. School Division personnel can search the NLS catalog to determine if books are available in Braille, by going to: http://www.loc.gov/nls/
    1. If a novel IS LISTED IN THE NLS CATALOG, it must be ordered directly from the LRC by calling the LRC toll free number and speaking with Library Staff.
    2. If a novel IS NOT LISTED IN THE NLS CATALOG, it can be ordered through AIM-VA so that it can be transcribed into Braille.
  3. Novels that were borrowed through the NLS system should be returned in the black box in which they were sent as soon as the student has completed use.
  4. Novels that were loaned through AIM-VA should be returned in the grey plastic containers in which they were sent.
This File Was Last Modified: Thursday September 24 2015