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Providing Medical Information in Braille: Research and Development of Automatic Braille Translation Program for Japanese “eBraille“

Authors: Aki Sugano, Mika Ohta, Mineko Ikegami, Kenji Miura, Sayo Tsukamoto, Akihiro Ichinose, Toshiko Ohshima, Eiichi Maeda, Masako Matsuura, Yutaka Takao


Along with the advances in medicine, providing medical information to individual patient is becoming more important. In Japan such information via Braille is hardly provided to blind and partially sighted people. Thus we are researching and developing a Web-based automatic translation program “eBraille" to translate Japanese text into Japanese Braille. First we analyzed the Japanese transcription rules to implement them on our program. We then added medical words to the dictionary of the program to improve its translation accuracy for medical text. Finally we examined the efficacy of statistical learning models (SLMs) for further increase of word segmentation accuracy in braille translation. As a result, eBraille had the highest translation accuracy in the comparison with other translation programs, improved the accuracy for medical text and is utilized to make hospital brochures in braille for outpatients and inpatients.

Keywords: Automatic Braille translation, Medical text, Partially sighted people.

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