Book Production Process

Braille printers

MDE-LIO uses Braillo machines to emboss braille text.


Braille Production Services

When a book is unavailable in braille, MDE-LIO is here to help. Our team in the Instructional Materials Center can help facilitate both the transcription and production process for you. If you have questions about our services, please contact Braille Production Coordinator Robert Beaton at 517-373-2107.

Braille Transcription

The braille transcription process includes converting text to braille, creating tactile graphics to represent images, and proofing for accuracy to create a “master” copy. The master copy is then used to produce a braille book. Braille transcriptions can take six to eight months, depending on the book’s size.

MDE-LIO only transcribes books that have not been transcribed by another agency, unless the request is for a different code. We will only produce an “original” braille transcription to expand our catalog of braille books available to students.

Braille transcriptions are expensive. When using MDE-LIO, however, you can be assured that a high-quality transcription will be created in the appropriate state-adopted code and format—a standard that is expected by the Michigan Department of Education. You will also make an investment that benefits students in Michigan and across the nation. This process increases the likelihood that the next book you need will already have a master copy available for production at a significantly reduced rate.

Braille Production

Each time MDE-LIO creates a master copy, it is added to our library. Master copies include digital files that are ready to be embossed and tactile graphics that are ready to be thermoformed. Because the transcription process has already been completed for books that have a master copy, they can be reproduced quickly and inexpensively. The production process includes embossing, thermoforming, binding, and packaging books for shipping. This process typically takes 7-10 days, depending on the book’s size and our production schedule.

student reading braille

MDE-LIO uses Thermoform machines to create plastic replicas of tactile graphics.


How do I get a book transcribed?

  1. If you are requesting a book for a Michigan student, submit a Book Request Form. If you are an out-of-state agency, submit an Out-of-State Braille Request Form.
  2. For Michigan students, we will perform a book search to see if we can find a free copy.
  3. If we can’t find a free copy, or if you are an out-of-state agency, we will ask you to send in two copies of the book so we can provide an accurate quote. The books are also used for the transcription process if the quote is accepted.
    • If you accept the quote, one book will be kept by MDE-LIO and one will be returned to you.
    • If we do not receive the books within 30 days, we will cancel the request.
  4. After we receive the books, we will send you a quote for the cost to transcribe and produce the book.
  5. To accept the quote, please let us know via email and provide your expected method of payment.
    • If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we will cancel the request and return your books.
    • If you reject the quote, we will return your books as soon as we hear from you.
  6. After you accept the quote, we will start the transcription process. As soon as the process is complete, we will produce a copy of the book, ship it, and email the tracking number to you.

Shelves full of Braille master copies

MDE-LIO's master files contain braille as well as tactile graphics.


What if a book already has a master copy?

  1. If you are requesting a book for a Michigan student, submit a Book Request Form. If you are an out-of-state agency, submit an Out-of-State Braille Request Form.
  2. For Michigan students, we will perform a book search to see if we can find a free copy.
  3. If we can’t find a free copy but have a master file, or if you are an out-of-state agency, we will email you a quote for the cost to produce the book.
  4. To accept the quote, please let us know via email and provide your expected method of payment.
    • If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we will cancel the request.
  5. After you accept the quote, we will start the braille production process. As soon as the process is complete, we will ship the book and email the tracking number to you.

Large print materials

An example of a textbook that has been enlarged by MDE-LIO.


Large Print Production Services

MDE-LIO’s large print process is a fast and inexpensive way to get books with enlarged text for your students. We enlarge books on 11-by-15-inch paper with the maximum font size possible. Fonts and font sizes vary based on the original book. A large print copy typically takes one week to produce, depending on our production schedule.

MDE-LIO’s large print production services are only available to Michigan students.

How do I get a large print book produced?

  1. Start by completing the Book Request Form.
  2. We will perform a book search to see if we can find a free copy.
  3. If we can’t find a free copy, we will ask you to send in one copy of the book so we can provide a quote.
    • We will return the book at the end of the large print production process.
    • If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we will cancel the request.
  4. After we receive the book, we will email you a quote for producing the book.
  5. To accept the quote, please let us know via email and provide your expected method of payment.
    • If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we will cancel the request and return the book you sent in.
    • If you reject the quote, we will return the book you sent in as soon as we hear from you.
  6. After you accept the quote, we will start the large print production process. As soon as the process is complete, we will ship the book and email the tracking number to you.