New assistive technology for Braille-reading WESC Foundation students

18 March 2021

WESC Foundation has recently taken delivery of updated BrailleNote Touch Plus devices

The upgrade programme replaces older Braille notetakers, and was funded thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Closeup of someone using a Braille note touch plus notetaker. You can see some of the apps on the screen as well as the Braille display

These new devices allow our students increase their independence. They provide a tactile and aural experience that working on a traditional mechanical Brailler does not offer, and have improved accessibility features not found on the older technology they have replaced. 

BrailleNote Touch Plus devices allow Braille users to browse the internet, create and edit documents, send emails and access lots of the apps and programmes that are in use by computer users around the world like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The Braille “display” gives tactile feedback, whilst the physical input can even be used with a mobile phone as a separate keyboard. 

Braille can be a great alternative to screen readers for people who have additional needs. For example, one end user with audio processing difficulties and short term memory issues finds it too difficult to remember the keystrokes needed for a screenreader like JAWs, but finds the Braille display on her Braille Note Touch Plus invaluable.  

These devices mean that our young people are able to recognise that their tactile skills will enable them to go onto the internet, search and resource and in time, lead to independence and opportunities. 

Each new device costs between £3,700 and £4,600. Providing this type of assistive technology is not covered by local authority fees or other grants, so we rely on our supporters to help us continue to provide this equipment.

Please consider making a donation to WESC Foundation to support our work.

 

 

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