A braille display is typically a box with a line of braille cells.

Pins in each of the braille cells move up and down to show the contents of a line of text on a screen. They range in size from 12 cell lines to 80 cell lines. Braille displays can be connected to computers, smartphones and tablets.

They typically require a screen reader to send and control the output from the screen to the braille display. Some displays can also be used to input characters into the computer or smart device.

Setup

Most braille displays connect via USB cable or wirelessly by Bluetooth. On the device you set up the braille display and from then on both devices will communicate when turned on. Some braille displays can connect to more than one device and you can easily switch devices.

Use

A braille display is a great way to read and write documents and text. Speech and braille can complement each other. With a braille display you can easily check spelling, syntax and formatting.

Verdict

Everyone has the right to read and a braille display can give access to books, documents, web sites, etc. You can download Kindle books to your smart phone or tablet, then translate them into braille to read in your preferred format on a braille display. You can read the same book as your friends at the same time. A braille display is also good in a working environment where you might be passing on information to colleagues or customers.

Braille displays range in price from £600 to £9,000. It is recommended that a hands-on demonstration is requested and undertaken before a purchase is made.

Further resources