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Frequently Asked Questions

Photo collage of children reading braille books Is Seedlings a nonprofit corporation? and why?
Yes, Seedlings is a 501c3 organization. Nonprofit status was requested and granted in 1984 so that donations could be obtained to subsidize the cost of book production. Braille books are very expensive to produce, but with the help of grants and donations, we are able to make our braille books available at a much-reduced cost (at an average of approximately $10 per book!)

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What geographic area does Seedlings serve?
From our small office in Livonia, Michigan, we have shipped our braille books to every state in the US, every province of Canada, and to more than 70 other countries!

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What is the age range for Seedlings' books?
For the most part, our books are for children ages 0-14. But please keep in mind that older children (and even adults) will enjoy many of these stories too!

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Are your books in Uncontracted (Grade One) Braille or Contracted (Grade Two) Braille and what is the difference?
While most of our books are in Contracted (Grade Two) Braille, we do have a section dedicated to Uncontracted (Grade One) Braille. Uncontracted Braille is the simplest form of braille. It consists of a symbol for each letter of the alphabet and a few for punctuation. In Contracted Braille, several dozen special symbols (contractions and short forms) are added to make the braille less cumbersome. Some teachers start children with Uncontracted Braille and then move them on to Contracted Braille. Others have the children jump right into Contracted Braille. Please consult with your child's VI teacher or early intervention specialist.

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Do you have any Print-Braille-and-Picture Books (sometimes called "Twin Vision" Books)?
Yes! Seedlings has a nice selection of Print-Braille-and-Picture Books for toddlers and preschoolers. These books provide a wonderful way to introduce braille to visually-impaired children. They are also very popular with blind adults (or older children) who enjoy reading to sighted preschoolers.

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How do you make your Print-Braille-and-Picture Books?
We purchase the print books and add the braille to them using clear plastic strips that have an adhesive backing. That way, the print book remains intact, and the braille words appear right on the same page with the print words and the pictures.

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Do you have any Print-and-Braille Books for older children?
Yes, Seedlings produces several "easy-reader" books (for children ages 4-8) in a print-and-braille format. These are different than our Print-Braille-and-Picture Books because there are more words, but no pictures. These books are printed right here in our office on braille paper, with the print words directly above the braille words. Books in this format are wonderful learning tools for beginning braille readers.

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How do you make your braille books for older children?
These books are made in a "braille only" format (no print or pictures). To make them, we select popular print books for children ages 6 and up, which are then entered into our computers by certified braille transcribers. After being proofread 2 or 3 times, the books are printed onto braille paper, and then bound using plastic combs and covers.

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How quickly can you ship your books once you receive an order?
Our staff works hard to make sure that all books are in stock everyday and to ship orders within five business days of receiving them! Please keep in mind, however: if you choose to have your books shipped "Free Matter for the Blind", they may take awhile to get there!

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What does it mean to ship things "Free Matter for the Blind"?
Books in braille can be shipped postage-free through the US Postal Service (for more information, ask for Publication 347 at your post office). While it is wonderful to have this free service, the disadvantage is that delivery time is somewhat unpredictable and the packages cannot be tracked or traced.

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What shipping method do you recommend if we need our order by a specific date?
For people in the continental US, we recommend UPS. For UPS Ground, please add 15% to your total ($9.50 minimum). For UPS Overnight, 2nd Day Air, or 3 Day Select, please call the Seedlings office and we will calculate the shipping charges for you (800-777-8552).

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What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept checks and money orders (in US funds, please). We also accept payment by credit card (VISA, MasterCard and Discover only, please). Schools, libraries, and other agencies can mail or fax their purchase orders to us, and we will bill them when we ship their books (net 30 days).

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Does Seedlings offer discounts?
All of the prices listed in our catalog are "pre-discounted" and unfortunately, no additional discounts can be offered. We already sell our books "at a loss"--for less than it costs us to make them. This is why Seedlings is a nonprofit organization! Grants and donations are needed to keep our prices low, and we would like to thank the many generous people who have donated their time and money to subsidize the cost of our braille books.

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Does Seedlings have any books available on loan?
Unfortunately, no. We have a very small office, which helps keep our costs low, but prevents us from having adequate space for a "books on loan" program.

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We have some used braille books that we'd like to donate to someone who could use them. Can we send them to you?
We really do not have the space to store used books, but if you would like to call or email us, we might be able to suggest a family or an agency who could use the books.

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Does Seedlings have a "Book-of-the-Month" Club?
No. All of the books in our catalog are available all of the time. The National Braille Press has a wonderful Children's Braille Book-of-the-Month Club, however, and you can reach them at 800-548-7323.

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We are interested in having some printed material translated into braille. Can you do this for us?
Unfortunately, no. We often refer people to a directory called "Volunteers Who Produce Books" from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. To view an online textfile version of this directory, just go to: ftp://ftp.loc.gov/pub/nls/reference/directories/vols96.txt

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How did Seedlings get its name?
The name comes from the idea that placing a book in a child's hands is like planting a seed. And with the proper nourishment (like good books to read!), we can help our children grow and flourish!

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Other questions? Please visit the Contact Us section of the web page. We will make every effort to promptly answer any questions that are sent to us!

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© 2005 Seedlings Braille Books for Children P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924 • (734) 427-8552 or (800) 777-8552 info@seedlings.org

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