Bristol Braille Technology

Experiences with Braille

Ed Rogers

Thanks to those who've responded so far.

Blaine;

Your experiences raise an important point, which is that, as software is vital to the success of any hardware, so low cost Braille displays must be accompanied by affordable screen reading solutions.

TAS;

My only complaint is the severe limitations of Braille books that are available. only 7% of printed books are available in Braille, large print or audio titles. Of those less than roughly 2% of all printed books are available in Braille alone.

... And as a consequence less people use Braille, therefore the print runs for titles get smaller and more expensive. Ebooks, coupled with affordable speach and Braille EBook readers, have the potential to break us out of this cycle.

Braille can be far more than just something to use for the quick shopping list. It has the potential to open up the world and to let the imagination roam where it will. To boldly go where no blind readers have gone before. To have freedom of choice the same as any sighted reader. I want to be able to read in Braille what I want when I want and where I want. That is my dream.

I've never heard it put more eloquently!

Ann P.;

Today, I use Braille for record keeping, calendar, notes on students, any time I have a detailed set of instructions to follow, any time I want to read math or French or anything technical. I may spend hours reading audio books, but when push comes to shove, I want info under my fingers.

Though the focus for the Quixote mk.1 will be on EBooks (as mentioned above), you are right to point out that Braille is often regarded as a superior format for technical work. Usually this requires eight dots per cell, which is a future target for us.

Keith;

... we have a service here in the U.S. known as bookshare.org ...

I wasn't aware of this until you pointed it out, thank you. I wonder if Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org) would be similarly useful?

Harry;

Why did I learn it? ... Because at that time, it was important for blind children to learn to read and write in braille.

You allude to the possibility that it is no longer considered important for children. Is this an attitude that others can testify to? We would be particularly interested to know which countries hold which attitudes.

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