Reading and braille research

To enjoy and talk about books and special interests is a key element of social inclusion. Research shows that reading is a very high priority for blind and partially sighted people. But less than 5 per cent of titles are available in accessible formats.

Impact report on braille standard for medicine packaging

Research exploring the consumer experience of braille on medicines; a collaborative report from the University of Birmingham and RNIB. Published in 2013.

Accessibility of top 1000 titles of 2012

RNIB research into the availability of accessible eBook and commercial audio versions of the most popular books in the UK. Published in 2013.

Producing braille on swell paper

Research into the legibility of braille produced on swell paper. Published 2011.

Why transcription quality matters

Research investigating the importance of the quality of accessible information, to users of accessible formats, transcribers who produce them, and service providers who pay for them. Published 2008.

Identifying areas for research into an alternative tactile reading code

Research to inform planning around tactile reading - particularly looking at potential audiences for a tactile code other than braille, and existing codes which could meet this need. Published 2008.

Comparing Standard English Braille and Unified English Braille

Research to look at the effect of UEB on the size of braille documents compared to the existing braille code. Published 2008.

Accessibility of top 1000 titles of 2011

RNIB has commissioned research into the availability of accessible versions of the most popular books in the UK in 2011. Published 2012.

User requirements for Moon

This study collected information from Moon experts to understand who uses the Moon code, its strengths and weaknesses and what the future is for Moon. Published 2011.

Braille users views on Unified English Braille

This piece of research was commissioned by The UK Association of Accessible Formats (UKAAF), the independent standards organisation in the UK. They were considering the possibility of adopting the Unified English Braille code (UEB) in the UK and wanted to know more about the views of the "silent majority" of braille users. Published 2011.

Accessibility of top 1000 titles of 2010

RNIB commissioned LISU to undertake research to identify a baseline for how many of the 1,000 most popular books of 2010 were available in unabridged audio, braille and large print. Published 2011.

Availability of accessible publications

New research into the availability of accessible publications has now been completed for RNIB in two research reports. Published 2011.

User research into Unified English Braille (UEB) in the UK

The Unified English Braille (UEB) code has been adopted by various English-speaking countries. The UK is yet to decide whether or not to adopt the code. This project aimed to involve braille readers and other stakeholders (transcribers and braille teachers), to give them opportunity to try out UEB coding and share their views on how implementation might affect them. Published 2011.

Feasibility of developing a diagnostic touch test to determine braille reading potential

This paper considers existing research evidence looking at the relationship between age, disease and tactile sensitivity. The purpose of this work was to investigate the feasibility of developing a touch test which could determine whether someone has sufficient sensitivity in their fingers to pursue braille reading.

Braille profiling project

RNIB recognises that the world is changing quickly and the way in which we access information continues to rapidly evolve. RNIB therefore, wanted to explore the context of braille reading today and identify the characteristics and needs of different market segments. This report outlines the findings of both the quantitative and qualitative research. Published 2011.

Implementation of Unified English braille (UEB) code in Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand adopted the Unified English Braille code in 2005 with a five year implementation period. The UK is currently considering adopting the code. This piece of research aims to inform that decision by collating the views of a number of Australian and New Zealand braille users. Published 2011.

Unified English Braille implementation: state of the nations

Review of what is happening with Unified English Braille (UEB) around the world. Published 2011.

Use of braille displays

Primary research was carried out with 13 users of refreshable braille displays to investigate how braille displays are used in practice, what users like and dislike about them and the types of information accessed via them. Published 2011.

Accessible format transcription in the UK: State of the nation

The purpose of this project was to better understand the transcription industry in the UK. The project aimed to bring accessible format transcribers together, so all can benefit from sharing successes and good practice. Published 2011.

Braille in the 21st Century

RNIB commissioned the University of Birmingham to conduct research into the teaching of braille to people who have lost their sight in adulthood. The report details findings from interviews with visually impaired people and service providers. Published 2009.

Evaluating synthetic speech

This paper highlights the different approaches to synthetic voice evaluation, exploring the different purposes of evaluation, advantages and disadvantages of particular methods and the complexities involved. Published 2010.

Survey of tactile reading codes

An international survey was carried out to explore the use of, and perceived need for tactile reading codes alternative to braille around the world. Published 2009.

Exploring synthetic speech

This review considers potential uses of synthetic speech by blind and partially sighted people. Published 2008.

eBooks review

A review of eBook players, formats and service providers, considering how accessible this new way of reading will be for blind and partially sighted users. Published 2008.

Synthetic speech for Talking Books

RNIB has started to consider whether synthetic speech could be used for some Talking Books. This paper reports findings from a study with 48 Talking Book customers, looking at their initial thoughts and feelings on this idea. Published 2009.

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