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FineReader OCR Helps Connecticut Braille Association Convert Textbooks to Braille

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FineReader OCR Helps Connecticut Braille Association Convert Textbooks to Braille

“It used to take me seven or eight minutes to type, proof and format a page. Now, with ABBYY FineReader, it takes me one or two minutes.”

Danny Fein,
high school student volunteer, Connecticut Braille Association

Since 1960, the Connecticut Braille Association has serviced the needs of visually impaired students in the state by converting standard textbooks into Braille. The organization is made up of several volunteers that take the hardcopy books and digitize the text. Many of them, like Danny Fein, a sophomore high school student, used to spend hours manually typing in text, proofing and formatting.

“I used to type word-for-word, page-by-page,” said Mr. Fein, who started volunteering at age 11.

His current project, entails digitizing the text from Helen Keller: From Tragedy to Triumph. It was a book that inspired one of the association’s clients, an elementary-aged student, to want the book in Braille. Equipment used for processing this book was Canon s20 MultiPass multifunction device and ABBYY FineReader 7.0 Professional software.

Mr. Fein said that using ABBYY FineReader has streamlined his process significantly. Before using FineReader, Mr. Fein had to type in a page, proof the typed page against the original, format as necessary, then begin typing the next page. Now, during his proofing process Mr. Fein is able to read through a full page (instead of comparing word-for-word against the book).

“I’ve never had to go back and edit because FineReader is so reliable,” said Mr. Fein. “I don’t think I’ve had one typo, not one mistake.”

Mr. Fein chose FineReader because it was easy to use. “There are a lot of OCR programs out there that are not user friendly,” he said. “FineReader is really easy to use; there’s just a few buttons you have to push.”

The Connecticut Braille Association

is one of the oldest non-profit Braille organization in the United States. Its main objective is to provide textbooks for visually impaired students in Connecticut.

Micki McCabe, Computer Coordinator

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