If you order braille textbooks for students from MDE-LIO, you and your students might start noticing that the text and accompanying graphics are extra crisp.

MDE-LIO recently began using four new American Thermoform machines, which are used to reproduce braille text and graphics for textbooks. The new equipment replaced 15-year-old machines, which found new homes in Michigan school districts. The new machines' first project was a math book that was sent to Genesee Intermediate School District for the 2019-2020 school year.

One benefit of the new machines is that they are made by the company that now owns the Braillo company, which manufacturers our braille printers. The machines now have the same braille template, said Braille Production Coordinator Robert Beaton. 

Previously, staff members who created copies of books would often have to redo pages because extra air would get in or the pages wouldn’t line up well. Now, says Beaton, each page only needs to be copied once to achieve a crisp finish.

“This adds efficiency and helps save a ton of paper,” says Beaton. “Every penny counts in the production process, and we are always looking to increase textbook quality while reducing our costs.”