BrailleSense, ElBraille and Canute (Episode 13)

This episode features a couple of interviews that we recorded at the recent Sight Village South East exhibition. We also hear one person’s perspective on the ElBraille.

  • Jenny Axler, Technical Support Manager at Hims and Stuart Lawler, Manager of Sight & Sound Ireland, join us to discuss the BrailleSense Polaris and Polaris Mini, QBraille XL, and the fifth generation Focus line of braille displays from Freedom Scientific.
  • Sean Randall from New College Worcester was loaned an ElBraille in 2017, to be tested by himself and his students. His thoughts were captured in this interview which, in spite of being a few years old and based on an older model of the product, is still broadly relevant. For a snapshot of ElBraille as it was in 2017, listen to episode 141 of the FSCast podcast, or for a demonstration of the 5th generation version, listen to episode 16 of the Sight & Sound Technology Podcast.
  • Finally, Liam Smyth from Bristol Braille Technology CIC brings us the exciting news that Canute 360 is now available for purchase from Techno-Vision Systems for £1895. We also find out a bit more about the user interface and hear what it sounds like when it refreshes.

Chapter markers have been inserted throughout this episode to aid navigation.

Braille Art Competition (Episode 12)

4 January is Louis Braille’s birthday (he would have been 211 this year if he was still alive). It’s no coincidence, then, that, since 2019, the United Nations has formally celebrated this date as “World Braille Day”, an international day of observance “… to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.” In spite of its recency, it already feels firmly established in the calendars of the sight loss industry, attracting a great deal of online publicity this year. Perhaps that’s because, for many, the significance of Louis Braille’s birthday predates the UN’s intervention: organisations in the United States of America have observed National Braille Literacy MOnth in January since at least 2011, and Royal Blind’s National Braille Week in the UK was held in the week containing 4 January until 2013. (It’s now held in the second week in October to coincide with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s “World Sight Day”, held on the second Thursday in October.)

One of the more creative announcements to spring from this year’s World Braille Day came from VICTA, a national charity in the UK that provides support to blind and partially sighted children and young adults (aged 29 or under) and their families. They’ve launched their first ever competition to challenge children and young people to push the boundaries of their creativity and use the braille system to produce a piece of art. Blind and partially sighted 0-10-year-olds are invited to present a creative way of displaying their name in braille using different objects, whilst 11-29-year-olds should find a way to use braille to create a picture. £50 and £25 Amazon vouchars are up for grabs respectively for the winners and the runners up in each category, and chosen finalists will be displayed in a booklet and an online gallery. Entries close at 5:00 PM on 31 January 2020.

We spoke with Luke Wakefield, Head of Activities & Strategic Programmes at VICTA, about the competition and the charity as a whole.

Advent Of Change (Episode 11)

We hear from Kristina Salceanu, founder of Advent Of Change about their braille advant calendar. It’s available for £29.95 online via both Advent of Change and John Lewis and it’s also available at John Lewis’s Oxford Street store.

Braille News Roundup (Episode 10)

We’re back! And we start our new series with an overview of the braille landscape, including:

Holly Scott-Gardner (Episode 9)

In this episode, we talk with Holly Scott-Gardner about studying Spanish, living abroad and the impact of braille on these pursuits.

we also discuss:

Orbit Reader (Episode 4)

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:

UKAAF AGM (Episode 3)

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

BrailleNote Touch (Episode 2)

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