The Braille Division at Anamosa transcribes print materials into Braille, reproduces Braille materials already transcribed and now produces Brailled business cards.
Inmates employed in the Braille Division are certified in Literary Braille, Nemeth Code (For Mathematics), Music Braille and Literary Proofreading by The Library of Congress - National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Stringent guidelines require inmates to train for six months to over a year to receive each of these certifications.
wide range of materials can be transcribed: music, math, grammar,
history, social studies, foreign languages, biology and other sciences,
and literature. Maps or diagrams in the original text are reproduced as
raised-line drawings and included in the material. Entire textbooks may
take 6-12 months to transcribe, depending on its length and complexity.
Large projects such as textbooks are done in sections and shipped as
each section is completed. A new component to the program features a
process called Kurzweil. This is similar to reading programs that
produce audio as the user points to the words.
All transcribed materials are listed on the
LOUIS database located at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky. Copies of IPI-transcribed items in this database are ordered directly through IPI.
Prison Industries can also reproduce copies of Braille books already
completed. Duplicates are made either on a high-speed Braille embosser
for books done on a computer or by a heat/vacuum process for older
books. An order can generally be produced and shipped within 2 weeks.
In 2015, IPI launched it's new Braille on Demand service, which allows for educators to order the transcription of documents up to four pages into Braille for students. This allows educators to provide students material from a variety of sources. September marked Phase II of the program implementation which included the launch of the dedicated Braille on Demand website (bod.iaprisonind.com) and expansion of the students being served by the program to two of Iowa's AEAs.
2008, the Braille staff and offenders were recognized by the Iowa
Corrections Association (ICA) for Outstanding Correctional Program. The
criteria for this award is “a group of correctional workers or a program
which has shown outstanding achievement, perseverance, dedication,
and/or vision in an area of endeavor. The recipients should be employed
directly in the field of corrections in the State of Iowa, however they
do not necessarily have to be members of ICA”. Deputy Director Larry
Brimeyer nominated the Braille shop for this award... “no program better
exemplifies the meaning of giving back to society than this year’s
For more information on our Braille services, please contact the Anamosa plant at 800-332-7922.