Know the Ins and Outs of Starting a Braille Transcription Business

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Braille Transcription Service Business Overview:

Starting a Braille transcription business is the perfect opportunity for an entrepreneur to provide a valuable service to the visually impaired community. Braille is a system developed in 1821 by Louis Braille that helps the blind read and write by feeling a “code” of raised dots. There is a huge market for transcribing standard texts into Braille. Unlike standard transcription or even more specialized medical transcription, which turns audio files into electronic text files, with Braille transcription you will typically take an electronic text file and create a Braille electronic file, although smaller publishers may want you to produce a physical product that will be mailed back to them. If they want a hardcopy you will need to obtain a Thermoform printer. If you already know how to transcribe into Braille, you can start accepting jobs immediately. However, if you are not familiar with this process, you can easily hire Braille transcriptionists to work for you. You may also choose to be trained and become certified. The genres of publications that need to be transcribed are endless. A few examples of materials your business could transcribe are fiction books, children’s books, textbooks, books about health issues, and even magazines. Part of the Braille transcription process involves writing descriptions for the images on the page. Few people realize that there is quite a demand for mathematics Braille transcription and even for musical scores to be transcribed into Braille. Contacting publishing companies directly to see if any new publications have come out that they need transcribed is a great way to get started in this business. These companies will mostly likely send you a digital file which you will then transcribe and, depending on their process, either mail back the physical Braille version to them or send it to them in an altered electronic format. To make this business idea a success, you will need to not only provide excellent service but it’s important to price your services competitively. The American Council of the Blind provides a list of transcribers online. Getting your business on this list would be a great way to reach out to the Braille community. It’s also a great way to contact other transcribers to see how their businesses work and what rates they charge. Since you don’t need a storefront to transcribe and most of the communication is done via the Internet, this is the perfect online business idea for someone who wants to work from home. You can also start this business part-time and ramp up to full-time as demand rises.

A Day in the Life of a Braille Transcription Service Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.Your day will begin by checking on any new orders. You will contact the clients to discuss their needs and deadlines. Next you will continue to work on any ongoing projects ensuring you are completing work on time. If you have a staff working for you, coordinate their projects and check in on their progress. If you don’t have any projects lined up, you will need to spend your day contacting publishing houses and advertising in publications and on websites that cater to the visually impaired community.

About Your Customers:

Your customers will be publishers who need their publications transcribed into Braille. You might also have an occasional individual who needs your transcription services.

What You Need to Start:

  • Ability to transcribe text to Braille
  • Staff of transcribers (if not doing the work yourself)
  • Transcription software
  • Thermoform printer (optional)
  • Computer with high-speed Internet access

The Good:

  • You can easily run this business from your home, part time.
  • It’s highly rewarding to help people gain access to literature.
  • You can hire transcriptionists to do the work for you.
  • You can charge top dollar for high quality transcription services.
  • The demand will always be high for this type of service.

The Bad:

  • Since this is such a specialized skill, you will need patience when looking for a staff (if you are not a Braille transcriptionist yourself).
  • This is a highly competitive business that may take some time to break into.


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