Finding the right Braille display.
Submitted by Shersey on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
Braille on Apple Products
So, the subject probably sums it up, but I'll explain a little more. I'm looking for a Braille display that will connect both to my iPhone and Windows 7 computer. I use NVDA as my screen reader, so I would like support for it. I have been considering the APH Refreshabraille 18, as well as the Eurobraille Esys 12 or 24. I also just came across the Optelec EasyLink 12, although I'm not sure if that has cursor-routing buttons or not. Those are a definite must in my eyes, as editing or activating items is made much easier with them. I have just heard tell of a display called the Braille Writer, according to my Rehab councilor. It is supposed, according to her, connect to the iPhone, apparently through the doc connecter. It is also supposed to cost around USD 1300. I have Googled this name, and have not been able to find such a display. I asked her if she knew what company produced or sold it, but she didn't know. I think I would like to stay away from 12-cell displays. Having at least 18 or more cells seems more comfortable to me. I don't think I want to go higher than 32, though. I am currently receiving tech lessons from Rehab, and have asked about demoing a few units. I am also possibly going to receive an adaptive tech evaluation, so having units to demo there seems possible. I have had little experience with Braille Displays outside of HumanWare's BrailleNote product line, and no experience what-so-ever with using a display on the iOS platform. The thought that I will have the ability to use my phone without having to resort to using headphones in noisy environments is extremely exciting! The added benefit of being able to control the phone through the displays keyboard is also nice. I'm wondering how much use I would get out of the notes and document storage features some displays offer. Seeing as I do not want too big of a display, this rules out the HIMS Braille Edge. As far as document storage, I'm all right with storing documents on the phone. The only reason I could see for using this feature is for reading .brf files. I'm also not too concerned over the ability to take notes directly to an SD card in the display, as I have an external battery for my phone. The only case I could think of for taking notes directly on the display is that my phone's battery is low, but not the displays; but the external battery mitigates that factor somewhat, making it less important. Maybe I should just ignore the displays with those features. They seem less important than I first thought they would be, after examining all the facts. I'm sorry if this post was kind of unfocused. I want to make the right choice for me, and seeing as these pieces of hardware are rather expensive, I want to make sure I really like what I choose. Thanks, Shersey
For the IPONE you will also want eight dot braille support. Iphone uses the dots 7 and 8 to access capital letters and special characters in grade 1 braille mode. My husband says the picture for the Optelec EasyLink 12, is too small and blurry to tell if it has routing keys. You could call the company to confirm. Apple lists the supported displays on their website. I really liked the refreshabraille 18. Its very well layed out even though it's one of the larger small displays. One refreshabraille drawback is the tiny braille panning buttons. I felt like I was carrying around a box of valentine chocolates. And its useable in the carrying case sold for it, which is not the case for many of the other displys I've tried.