Edit Microsystems will exhibit different assistive technologies and devices for learners during the elearning conference/expo in Worcester on 9 March 2019. A refreshable Braille device will be one of them.
People who are blind use Braille, a tactile writing and reading system. Traditional Braille is written with embossed or raised dots on paper. Today, technology enables blind persons to read computer screens and electronic devices using refreshable braille displays; electro-mechanical devices which translate on-screen text into braille characters.
Albert Ruel; an advisor to the Canadian council of the Blind; says “Braille frees your ears and your mouth in a meeting or lecture. Braille also allows you to work faster, work independently and listen and read at the same time.”
According to the Canadian Institute for the Blind’s website, those who use braille are more likely to be employed than those who rely on voice synthesizers for those very reasons.
In January 2013, Edit Microsystems introduced the e-Braille Project through which refreshable Braille devices, namely, the BrailleNote Apex and BrailleNote Touch are being deployed in 22 South African schools for blind and partially-sighted learners in order to help improve literacy and increase the possibility of further education and employment.
Blind learners from the Athlone School for the Blind in Cape Town benefit from the e-Braille Project and have access to refreshable braille devices, while those with low vision benefit from using the Eye-Pal Solo text reading device and magnification devices. With these technologies, students can access and edit digital content as well as write and answer assessment questions in braille, while silently typing on the touch screen or touch keyboard using TouchBraille technology.
As part of this project, Kyle Williams, a Junior e-Braille Project Manager at Edit Microsystems and former learner at Athlone school, offered training and support to the learners and teachers whilst stationed at the school three days a week for four years.
Listen/watch an 8 minute video where one story is read in three languages using 7 different techniques. https://www.facebook.com/editmicrosystems/videos/2092393244333619/?t=3