Braille: Connecting the Dots in 2021 (Episode 31)

Perhaps you’re thinking about learning braille, but don’t know whether it’s worth it. Maybe you learnt braille as a child, but haven’t used it since. You might know braille and want to use it in your daily life, but can’t work out where it will fit. Or you could be bamboozled by braille technology, gadgets and gizmos.

A panel of passionate braillists met in front of a live audience on Tuesday 12 October 2021 to celebrate National Braille Week. They explored how to overcome common obstacles faced by people who could benefit from reading by touch, sharing a diverse range of perspectives from braille learners to braille experts, technology enthusiasts to people who just need to get on at home or in the workplace. The audience also had the opportunity to ask questions and contribute their own tips and suggestions.


Dave Williams
Claire Amoroso
Darren Paskell
Laurent Cadet de Fontenay
Ben Mustill-Rose
Matthew Horspool

Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Braille Essay Contest (Episode 1)

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 [email protected].
  • 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.