Our Commitment to Inclusion: Braille Assessments and Accommodations

Our Braille Services team ensures blind and visually impaired learners have the best experiences to learn and succeed during their GED journey.

Have you ever wondered how a blind or visually impaired person might experience a science test, or a geometry exam? How do you represent tables, graphs, and diagrams in Braille so that they can be easily understood? How do we ensure equity of opportunity so that all students have the same shot at the assessment?

Ask Pearson’s Braille Services team. Based in a state-of-the-art production facility in Houston, Texas, our team of experts produce Braille and tactile graphics for customers all over the US. Pearson continues to be among a very small number of companies to produce Braille for assessments.

How it’s done

The process of transcribing assessments to Braille is complex. It starts by examining each print test question to determine how it will be modified (as necessary) for Braille. Text is transcribed into Braille, and charts, graphs, images are transcribed into tactile graphics.

Kim Rowland, development manager and senior program lead for Pearson Braille Services offers an example. “Consider a test question that relies on a map to complete the answer. That map may have rivers, streets, canals. In transcribing this to Braille and a tactile graphic we must think critically about what elements of the map are essential to answer the test question. We must simplify the transcribed version without compromising the integrity of what the question is assessing.

Once test questions are vetted for Braille, the tests are transcribed, and tactile graphics developed. A rigorous proofreading step is followed by embossing (Braille text reproduction), thermoforming (graphic reproduction), binding, and a final quality check.

The quality of our transcriptions, machines, technology, equipment, paper, delivers a Braille experience that is, what Braille readers call, very clean –– and that is critical for student accessibility.

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