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Patricia Smith is a teacher of visually impaired students in Detroit’s public school system. She mailed me a copy of my YA novel Little Brother that she had run off her school’s Braille embosser and supplied to her students. She reports, “What I could not enclose is the gratitude from my Braille reading students. For various reasons, most books in Braille are aimed at younger children. My students are all between the ages of 12 and 15 and have no real interest in reading a Kindergarten level book. I was finally able to give them something interesting, compelling, and, most importantly at their grade level.” Patricia notes that she was able to do this only because the text of the novel is available as a free, Creative Commons licensed download (though US copyright law grants her the right to prepare a Braille edition of any book, the cost of doing so from a traditional printed book is prohibitive, and converting from a DRM-crippled ebook is technically difficult).

Braille Little Brother, courtesy of Patricia Smith of the Detroit public school system, the office, Clerkenwell, London, UK