Braille technology is assistive technology which allows blind or visually impaired people to do common tasks such as writing, browsing the Internet, typing in Braille and printing in text, engaging in chat, downloading files, music, using electronic mail, burning music, and reading documents. It also allows blind or visually impaired students to complete all assignments in school as the rest of sighted classmates and allows them take courses online. It enables professionals to do their jobs and teachers to lecture using hardware and software applications. The advances of Braille technology are meaningful because blind people can access more texts, books and libraries and it also facilitates the printing of Braille texts.
"Despite the Braille system's universal reach, the National Federation of the Blind estimates that only 10 percent of the vision-impaired are able to read Braille”.
Some of the software available currently:
- Duxbury DBT, is a program that translates inkprint to braille and braille to inkprint for over 100 languages.
- JAWS, is a program that reads the words on the screen and enables the browsing of folders, documents and programs on Microsoft Windows. Words on the screen can also be sent to a Braille display.
- Kurzweil, a device that scans texts into the computer and narrates them.
- nvda, open source screen reading software with braille support.
- Braille display
- Braille keyboards, which were in use only with Braille typewriters. Braille reading computer users prefer the standard keyboard as a text composing input device. Braille computer keyboards are extremely rare.
- Braille embosser
- Braille notetakers
- Braille e-books, using electroactive polymers, so far only as a concept design
- Dean, Katie (2000-02-24). "All Eyes on Braille Software". Wired. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- Bar-Cohen, Yoseph (11 September 2009). "Electroactive polymers for refreshable Braille displays". SPIE.
- Braille Technology, American Foundation for the Blind