Braillecast, Episode 5 – Perk up your Perkins

Paul Sullivan of the Bristol Braillists speaks with Alan Thorpe from EYECAN about manual braille writing equipment. Alan shares tips on caring for your Perkins Brailler and how the design has endured for over half a century.

We also discover other historic Braille Writing machines including Pike Glouser, a British machine from the first half of the 20th century.

History of the Perkins Brailler
Braillists Foundation

Braillecast, Episode 4 – Orbit Reader

In this episode, we have a detailed chat about the Orbit Reader 20, the long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated low-cost Braille electronic reading device.

In Braille News:

Braillecast, Episode 3 – UKAAF AGM

Dave williams and guests catch up with all the latest news from last month’s UKAAF AGM, explore issues facing blind students needing Braille in higher education, and we debate the value of the survey from the International Council on English Braille.

In Braille News

Braillecast, Episode 2 – BrailleNote Touch

This is Episode2 of Braillecast. Thank you for listening!

Our host Dave Williams discusses the BrailleNote Touch, interviewing several teaching assistants at schools in the UK where the Touch is used. He talks to Greg Stilson from Humanware about the product.

In Braille News

Braillecast, Episode 1 – Braille Essay Contest

This is Episode 1 of Braillecast, a Podcast produced by and for Braillists everywhere.

Our host Dave Williams interviews Megan Paul. Megan’s essay, “The Bumpy Road”, won the Junior category of the 2016 Onkyo Braille essay competition. In this chat over a cup of tea, Dave talks to her about the essay and her views on Braille more widely.

In Braille news:

  • The world premiere of a musical entitled “The Braille Legacy” is being staged at the Charing Cross Theatre London until Saturday 24 June. Directed by Tom Southerland and starring West End star Jérôme Pradon, it depicts the life of Louis Braille. There will be two audio described performances on the afternoon of 27th May& the evening of Monday 29th May. To find out more, follow @braillelegacy on Twitter or contact the theatre box office on 02079258040 or by email at
  • The RNIB in the UK and other blindness organisations around the world are accepting entries for the annual Onkyo Braille essay competition. This year’s themes include “Amusing stories about Braille” and “The future of Braille”, and cash prizes of up to $2,000 USD are available. download an entry pack in the UK by visiting the RNIB.
  • Apple recently released iOS 10.3 with a number of Braille fixes, notably better focus within the Mail and news apps when using Braille displays, and stability improvements for the Focus models. Some iOS users are still reporting connectivity issues with certain Braille display manufacturers, specifically the EuroBraille offerings.
  • A year after the initial release of the BrailleNote Touch, HumanWare have released KeySoft version 3.0 with better document-switching, extra voices and more Braille tables.
  • Baum VarioUltra customers can now download a public beta of firmware version 1.4 which includes initial support for Unified English Braille translation along with other bug fixes.
  • And finally, RNIB have moved their “Wear Dots… Raise Lots” month from October to May. The month seeks to improve awareness of braille whilst raising money for RNIB. They are now sending out fundraising packs on request.