West Virginia Assistive Technology System

Nemeth Code Fact Sheet

What is NEMETH Code?

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Nemeth Code signs and symbols

Individuals who are blind use Nemeth Code to do mathematics and science. Nemeth is the system used to turn mathematical equations into tactile images.  Individuals who are blind can then read the equations much as they read Braille.

Nemeth Code was created in 1952 by Dr. Abraham Nemeth, whose determination to pursue his love of math and science despite the lack of Braille materials in these fields, led to the creation of what is now known as the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation. This unique and revolutionary idea became the official code in the United States, and later Canada and New Zealand.

Publications are available to help individuals learn Nemeth Code for math and science.

How is Nemeth Code created?

A combination of computer software programs can create Nemeth Code which can then be printed on a Braille printer.  Scientific Notebook is a software program that creates Nemeth Code.  

The software works as a "word processor" for math notation and generates Latex files.  Then, a program such as Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) that is used to create Braille from word processing files, reads the Latex files.  The mathematical information entered in Scientific Notebook is imported into DBT, translated, and a Braille printer can then produce Grade Two Braille and Nemeth Code.

Where can I receive assistance with creating Nemeth Code?

The West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) has Scientific Notebook and Duxbury Braille Translator.  WVATS staff can provide technical assistance to groups or individuals interested in learning how to create Nemeth Code.

What if I want someone to create Nemeth Code for me?

The Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living (NWVCIL) in Morgantown will produce Nemeth Code for individuals, agencies, school systems and organizations for a fee.  
The NWVCIL will produce quizzes, exams, class notes and other documents in Nemeth Code.  Books are not produced.

Braille production:
The NWVCIL will also produce Braille for individuals, agencies, school systems and organizations at a cost of $1.00 per page.  
The NWVCIL will produce syllabi, quizzes, exams, class notes and other documents for interested groups or individuals.  Books are not produced.

Publications available to learn Nemeth Code

The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation 1972 Revision, American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky, 1979 (available in Braille and print).

Helen Roberts, et al. An Introduction to Braille Mathematics, Based on the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972, Library of Congress, Washington (available in Braille and print from the American Printing House).

Ruth H. Craig, Learning the Nemeth Braille Code, A Manual for Teachers, Brigham Young University Press, 1987 (available in Braille and print from the American Printing House).

For books in Braille & Nemeth Code visit:

  • The American Foundation for the Blind at www.afb.org or call 800-232-5463
  • The National Braille Press at www.nbp.org or call 888-965-8965
  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic at www.learningally.org or call 866-732-3585
  • The West Virginia Library Commission - Special Libraries at e-mail calvertd@wvlc.lib.wv.us  or call 800-642-8674

Contact information:

For more information about how to create Nemeth Code, call WVATS at 800-841-8436 or e-mail wvats@hsc.wvu.edu

For more information about the cost of Nemeth Code production, call the NWVCIL at 800-834-4070 or e-mail jderry@nwvcil.org

West Virginia Assistive Technology System

Center for Excellence in Disabilities at West Virginia University,
a part of Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center
959 Hartman Run Road  Morgantown, WV 26505
1-800-841-8436  Fax  304-293-7294
E-mail: wvats@hsc.wvu.edu