Although the new school year has just begun, MDE-LIO would like to encourage districts to start thinking about submitting textbook requests for next school year.

When a district submits an early request, MDE-LIO staff has adequate time to produce the book and get it into students’ hands at the start of the school year. Producing a braille textbook can take up to eight months and includes getting digital files ready, transcribing, creating tactile graphics, proofreading, embossing, and assembling.

Submitting an order early also helps districts access funds that can supplement braille textbook costs. These limited funds are available starting October 1 on a first come, first served basis.

In late August, Braille Production Coordinator Robert Beaton was thrilled to ship out several boxes of textbooks to districts that submitted orders as early as last December for this school year. It isn’t always possible to know which textbooks will be needed so far in advance, but contacting MDE-LIO as soon as the decision is made will increase the likelihood that students will have the books they need at the beginning of the school year.