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The blind community is not without its fair share of innovators: Louis Braille himself, of course, alongside many others who brought us the braille code we know and love today. Elsewhere, the blind community has invented talking book players, screen readers, notetakers and so much more. For blind musicians, many of the most notable technological in…
 
Linux: it powers everything from laptops to toasters, braille displays to coasters. You may have heard of the world’s most popular operating system if you follow technology related news, but what is it and how do you get started exactly? In the second of our computer science themed Masterclasses, we explored how to get started using Linux with tech…
 
The Braillists Foundation recently held its first face-to-face event since the Coronavirus pandemic. In this episode, we catch up with some of the people who attended, and we also hear recordings of the three presentations which took place: Reading multilingual text using an iPhone, the Kindle app and a Focus 14 Text enntry with an iPhone and a Bra…
 
George Bell has been at the helm of Techno-Vision Systems for at least 35 years. In that time, he has brought many blindness products to the UK market, repaired numerous machines which would have otherwise been condemned, and provided countless hours of technical support. He is particularly well-known for his involvement with the Duxbury Braille Tr…
 
Volume LXI January 2023 No. 7Published by the American Council of the Blind Table of Contents President’s Message: Humble and Proud to Start the New Year, by Dan Spoone 2022 in the Rearview Mirror, by Eric Bridges Holiday Auction a Big Success, by Leslie Spoone Announcing Our 2023 Convention Tours, by Janet Dickelman Call for Nominees for 2023 ACB …
 
In our last Masterclass before the Christmas break, we’re delighted that Kim Charlson, Executive Director of the Perkins Library (part of Perkins School for the Blind), was able to join us again. Kim is author of the book “Drawing with your Perkins Brailler”, which includes step-by-step directions for creating 36 different drawings including shapes…
 
On Tuesday 15 November 2022, we hosted an incredibly informative panel discussion around writing software and working in the technology industry in general when using a braille display. We heard from people in a variety of different IT rolls about the techniques they use, when they use braille and when they use speech, and left plenty of time for a…
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: Happy Holidays and ACB Reflections!, by Dan Spoone A Preview of the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, by Janet Dickelman Glimpses of Croatia, by Maria Kristic Furry Travels, by Maria Kristic and Gabriel Lopez Kafati How I’ve Visited Over 100 Countries, and You Can, Too, by Tony Giles Posh Gabriel…
 
The ACB Braille Forum November 2022Volume LXI November 2022 No. 5Published by the American Council of the Blind Table of Contents A Brief Message from the President, by Dan Spoone Join Us at the ACB Media Holiday Auction Join ACB in the Land of Lincoln, by Janet Dickelman Tune into the 2022 Audio Description Awards Gala Describing While Blind: Audi…
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: Congratulations! We Did It!, by Dan Spoone Traveling to Schaumburg, by Janet Dickelman 2022 ACB Conference and Convention Summary, by Katie Frederick ACB Awards Scholarships to 20 Outstanding Students, by Denise Colley Sleepless in Omaha, by Cachet Wells My ACB Braille Forum Raffle Story, by Allan Peterson ACB…
 
There are two well-known braille keyboards on the market today, the Orbit Writer and the Hable One. What are the similarities? What are the differences? Which one would suit your needs best? On Tuesday 4 October 2022, we were joined by a user of each keyboard. They told us more about how their preferred keyboard works and why they like it, and we l…
 
In April 2022, our Chairman, Dave Williams, travelled to Boston Massachusetts in the US to run the Boston Marathon. While he was there, he took a trip to the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown and recorded a tour of the facility where Perkins Braillers are manufactured.The Braillists Foundation による
 
The International Council on English Braille held its Mid-Term Executive Committee Meeting from 5-9 June 2022. As well as transacting various items of business, there were lively discussions around the history of braille, braille music, braille technology and the braille code itself. In this episode of Braillecast, we were joined by ICEB President …
 
Connor Scott-Gardner is an avid reader, and on Tuesday 6 September 2022 he demonstrated how to download books from RNIB Reading Services, transfer them to a braille display and read them. He also explained how Reading Services differs from other offerings from RNIB and elsewhere. For further information please visit the Braillists Foundation Media …
 
The ACB Braille Forum September 2022Volume LXI September 2022 No. 3Published by the American Council of the Blind Table of Contents President’s Message: The Audio Description Project Is Making a Difference, by Dan Spoone 2022 Conference and Convention Wrap-Up, by Janet Dickelman Thank You from the Auction Committee Section 508 Audio Description in …
 
The ACB E-Forum August 2022 Volume LXI August 2022 No. 2 Published by the American Council of the Blind Be A Part of ACBThe American Council of the Blind™ is a membership organization made up of more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates. To join, contact the national office at 1-800-424-8666. Contribute to Our WorkThose much-needed contrib…
 
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android device, it’s highly likely that you can braille in grade 2 directly on the touch screen and have it back translated instantly – a perfect replacement for the on screen keyboard. In this episode, Matthew Horspool and special guest Chris Norman demonstrate how this works on both iOS and Android. We also briefly …
 
The ACB Braille Forum July 2022Volume LXI July 2022 No. 1Published by the American Council of the Blind Table of Contents President’s Message: Welcome to the 2022 ACB Conference and Convention, by Dan Spoone Tips for Convention Attendees – Both In-Person and Virtual, by Janet Dickelman Thank You from the ACB Auction Committee Public Transportation …
 
It’s often said in the industry that garbage in = garbage out, but what does this mean in practice? On 17 May 2022, our Chairman Dave Williams held a conversation with Kawal Gucukoglu, who worked for many years as a braille transcriber at RNIB. They discussed the principals of effective braille layout – headings, paragraphs, lists, tables and so on…
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: My First In-Person ACB Convention, by Dan Spoone ACB’s 2022 Convention Will Be Hybrid, by Penny Reeder In-Person Convention Attendance Details, by Janet Dickelman Walking Everywhere for ACB and Its Affiliates, by Donna Brown Affiliate News In Memoriam: Travis Johnson, November 10, 1945-March 30, 2022 Being Pro…
 
In this session, Matthew Horspool explains how braille is still relevant in the 21st century and demonstrates how free and low-cost braille technology is significantly improving the independence and productivity of blind and partially sighted people of all ages. We paid particular attention to Braille Screen Input and the Orbit Reader, both of whic…
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: Crisis, Chaos, Opportunity and Optimism, by Dan Spoone Convention Registration Information and Sneak Preview, Part 2, by Janet Dickelman Walking Everywhere, by Donna Brown Volunteer at the Information Desk in Omaha, by Vicky Prahin Extra, Extra, Read All About It in the Goldenrod Gazette Affiliate News When In…
 
The annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference took place in March in California, and there were lots of exciting braille and tactile graphics announcements. We assembled a line-up of braille-using panellists who attended the conference who talked us through what was announced and gave their first impressions of the new products they saw.…
 
We know about braille in the UK, of course, and we regularly hear about braille in other developed English-speaking countries – the US, Australia, New Zealand and so on. But there are many other countries in the world about which we hear much less. How is braille taught? How is it produced? How easy is it to obtain? What braille technology is in us…
 
The Perkins Brailler has been a staple in the lives of braille users ever since the first one was manufactured in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1951. To this day, the Perkins is widely considered to be the most durable braille device on the market, with machines over 50 years old still going strong. They are so popular, in fact, that it is easy to fo…
 
The ACB E-Forum Volume LX April 2022 No. 10 Table of Contents President’s Message: Dad, Thank You for the Legacy, by Dan Spoone Convention Sneak Preview, by Janet Dickelman Calling All Candidates, by Katie Frederick The ACB Constitution and Bylaws Committee Wants to Hear from You The Strength of My Grandmother’s Culture, by Cheryl Cumings A Mother’…
 
We were delighted to be joined by Scott Davert, one of the most well-known authorities on the use of iOS with a braille display, for the third and final part of his exploration of this winning combination. Scott is the Coordinator at the Technology, Research and Innovation Center, part of the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Ad…
 
Following the first successful Masterclass, we were delighted to have been joined once again by Scott Davert, one of the most well-known authorities on the use of iOS with a braille display, to continue his exploration of this winning combination. Scott is the Coordinator at the Technology, Research and Innovation Center, part of the Helen Keller N…
 
ACB Braille Forum for March 2022 Table of Contents Board Makes 2022 D.C. Leadership Conference Virtual, by Penny Reeder President’s Message: Sharing a Positive Message from an ACB Affiliate President, by Dan Spoone Learn About Continuing Education and Professional Development Hours, by Janet Dickelman Time to Plan for Summer Auction MMS March Madne…
 
Following our brief introduction to Braille on iOS last year, we’re delighted this year to have been joined by Scott Davert, one of the most well-known authorities on the topic, to explore this winning combination in more detail. Scott is the Coordinator at the Technology, Research and Innovation Center, part of the Helen Keller National Center for…
 
In our first Masterclass of 2022, Matthew Horspool tackled the hows, whys and wherefores of braille embossers: choosing them, setting them up and making the most of them. The session covered: The purpose and function of an embosser and why you might want one Different types of embosser Different types of paper Connectivity options The user interfac…
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: It’s All about People and Relationships, by Dan Spoone In-Person Plus Virtual Equals Hybrid, by Janet Dickelman Get on the Fast Track to Advanced Leadership! Apply to Become a 2022 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellow, by Kenneth Semien Sr. In Memoriam: Bernice Mae Kandarian, December 5, 1946-October 2, 2021, …
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: New Year’s Reflections for 2022, by Dan Spoone American Council of the Blind Salutes Audio Description Award Winners Come One, Come All to the 2022 D.C. Leadership Conference, by Clark Rachfal Announcing ACB’s 2022 Tours, by Janet Dickelman Call for Nominees for 2022 ACB Awards, by Carrie Muth and Koni Sims Th…
 
Happy Christmas! In this special episode, James Bowden talks us through drawing some stars. The instructions are provided in written form below: Star 1 Line 1: ow sign (Dots 246); comma (dot 2) Star 2 Line 1: o (dots 135; k (dots 13) Star 3 Line 1: capital sign (dot 6); ar sign (dots 345); gh sign (dots 126); apostrophe (dot 3) Line 2: dot 4; wh si…
 
We were delighted to be joined by Kim Charlson, Executive Director of the Perkins Library (part of Perkins School for the Blind). Kim is author of the book “Drawing with your Perkins Brailler”, which includes step-by-step directions for creating 36 different drawings including shapes, animals and subjects with holiday and transportation themes. In …
 
We were delighted to have been joined by Sean Randall for the second in a two-part series. Sean is something of a computing and IT mastermind and now works at New College Worcester, training many of their students in the use of assistive technology including screen readers and braille displays. This session covered sources of reading material that …
 
Table of Contents President’s Message: I’m So Thankful!, by Dan Spoone ACB and Walmart Team Up on White Cane Day to Amplify the Importance of Health for Independence for Blind and Low Vision Americans Convention 2022 Preview: The Hilton Omaha, by Janet Dickelman Summaries of the August and September Meetings of the ACB Board of Directors, by Penny …
 
Freedom Scientific is perhaps best known for its popular JAWS screen reader, but it also manufactures the Focus line of refreshable braille displays. The first generation of these well-known units was released in the early 2000s, and now the fifth generation is available in 14, 40 and 80-cell configurations, with the 40-cell version being an integr…
 
For at least the past 30 years, blind people have been well-served by notetakers: electronic, computer-like devices with a Perkins-style keyboard and speech and braille output. At their most basic level, they've functioned as an electronic brailler for composing documents and, of course, taking notes, but they've also included functionality such as…
 
We were delighted to have been joined by Sean Randall for the first in a two-part series. Sean is something of a computing and IT mastermind and now works at New College Worcester, training many of their students in the use of assistive technology including screen readers and braille displays. This session primarily discuss the various braille devi…
 
George Bernard Shaw, in his play Pygmalion, wrote that "the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain." That line has its roots in spoken language, though of course in English rather than Spanish! But what about written language? We quite often talk about braille being useful as a tool when learning languages, but María García Garmendia of Madrid, Sp…
 
Transcription, for anyone who doesn't already know, is the process of taking content in one format and converting it into another. In this case, print is being converted into braille, a process ubiquitous in the production of braille books, magazines, bills, bank statements, legal documents and much more. Humans have been at the heart of this proce…
 
It's a question we get asked all the time – how can I read braille more quickly? To answer it, we were delighted to be joined on Tuesday 19 October by Kit Aronoff of Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and founder of Main Line Accessibility Consulting. Kit has a background in elementary education and, using principals of teaching literacy…
 
Perhaps you're thinking about learning braille, but don't know whether it's worth it. Maybe you learnt braille as a child, but haven't used it since. You might know braille and want to use it in your daily life, but can't work out where it will fit. Or you could be bamboozled by braille technology, gadgets and gizmos.A panel of passionate braillist…
 
What is computer braille? Are there different flavours? What are all the signs? Why would you want to use it? Is it still relevant now that we have UEB?The latest occasional Masterclass from RNIB’s braille expert James Bowden answered all of these questions and more.This session was recorded on Tuesday 21 September 2021. For further information ple…
 
Dave Williams, Chairman of the Braillists, explored how to use braille displays with various combinations of screen reader and web browser, unpicked some of the jargon that appears on the display, and explained how to navigate without a QWERTY keyboard or touch screen.This session was recorded on Tuesday 7 September 2021. For further information pl…
 
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