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Braillecast

Education Podcasts

Celebrating braille and keeping braillists informed with exclusive interviews, independent reviews, comprehensive demonstrations, clear presentations, thought-provoking commentary and up-to-the-minute braille news.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Celebrating braille and keeping braillists informed with exclusive interviews, independent reviews, comprehensive demonstrations, clear presentations, thought-provoking commentary and up-to-the-minute braille news.

Twitter:

@braillecast

Language:

English

Contact:

07429171736


Episodes
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From Print To Braille: The Key to Accessible Word Documents (Extra 68)

5/20/2024
For many years now, Sight Scotland have championed National Braille Week, an opportunity to celebrate braille usage and raise awareness of the importance and value of braille. It runs in the second week of October, to coincide with World Sight Day. In 2023, we celebrated National Braille Week at the Braillists by running five Masterclasses, one each day, following the journey “From Print to Braille”. These episodes are the recordings of these Masterclasses. In this episode, discover how making a few small tweaks to your Microsoft Word documents will not only lead to better automated braille, but also speed up your word processing tasks! Using styles, inserting proper characters and ensuring tables are created effectively will all be covered. The session was presented by Barry Coates, Technology Training Manager at RNIB.

Duration:01:00:46

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From Print To Braille: What Should Our Braille Look Like? (episode 55)

5/13/2024
For many years now, Sight Scotland have championed National Braille Week, an opportunity to celebrate braille usage and raise awareness of the importance and value of braille. It runs in the second week of October, to coincide with World Sight Day. In 2023, we celebrated National Braille Week at the Braillists by running five Masterclasses, one each day, following the journey “From Print to Braille”. These episodes are the recordings of these Masterclasses. This week, we unpack the rules and conventions of braille layout in different parts of the world. Are headings always centred? What happens if a table is too wide for the braille page? Find out the answers to these questions and so much more! Our panel of braille transcribers was comprised of:

Duration:00:58:15

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The Braille Features of Supernova (Extra 67)

5/6/2024
Supernova is a screen magnification and screen reading package from Dolphin Computer Access Ltd, based in Worcester in the UK. Braille display support is a core part of its offering, but we don't hear very much about it. In this session, we were joined by Aj Ahmed, proprietor of AAT Solutions, an independent provider of assistive technology training and support. Aj talked us through how to set up a braille display to work with Supernova, the various settings which are available, and the keystrokes which will help you make the most of this functionality.

Duration:00:51:42

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Setting Up Braille Displays on Windows and iOS (Extra 66)

4/29/2024
If you have a new braille display and you’re struggling to connect it to your computer, iPhone or iPad, or you have a new computer, iPhone or iPad and you’re struggling to connect it to your braille display, this session is for you. We covered: The session was presented by Matthew Horspool.

Duration:01:01:04

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Adding Your Own Contractions to Your Screen Reader Using Liblouis (Extra 65)

4/22/2024
Many screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA, make use of the popular, open source Liblouis braille translation engine as part of their braille display support. In this session, we explained and demonstrated how to harness the power of Liblouis braille tables to implement additional contractions in your screen reader of choice. If you use a long word regularly and find it is taking up too much space on your braille display, this is the session for you! It also serves as a brief introduction to Liblouis translation tables in general. The session was presented by James Bowden. In addition to his work as Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, James is also the Chair of the Braille Technology Committee of the International Council on English Braille, and is the primary developer of the default UEB translation table in Liblouis. Over many years, he has not only added new symbols to the UEB tables, but has also corrected numerous errors with existing contractions, and he actively contributes to discussions about the future development of Liblouis. Please note: although we did our best to present the concepts in this session in as simple and straightforward a way as possible, modifying Liblouis tables involves advanced file and folder manipulation, administration rights and working with computer code in a text editor. You do not need to be a computer programmer in order to benefit from this session, but it is best suited to people with intermediate to advanced computer knowledge.

Duration:00:55:58

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The Braille Shorthand Code (Extra 64)

4/15/2024
“What’s wrong with grade 2?” In many cases, nothing. It strikes a good balance between compactness, readability and lack of ambiguity. However, in some cases, a code which is even more compact than grade 2 is extremely advantageous, especially when information needs to be written down at speed. The Braille Shorthand Code was one attempt at creating such a system. Devised and used in the UK, it was last updated in 1959 and still has a loyal following. In this event, we were joined by Dr Norman Waddington, a prolific user of the Braille Shorthand Code for many years. Norman explained the principals behind the Braille Shorthand Code and took us through some examples of some typical shorthand phrases. He also talked about the equipment which was traditionally used to produce braille shorthand and discussed who would benefit from using the Braille Shorthand Code. To order The Braille Shorthand Code book from RNIB, quote archive number 513871. A BRF version of The Braille Shorthand Code can be downloaded from the Shorthand Braille Codes page of the ICEB website.

Duration:00:54:58

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The New Braille Features in iOS 16 and 17 (Extra 63)

4/8/2024
iOS 17 was released last September, bosting a number of significant braille enhancements. In this Masterclass, we were joined by Scott Davert to find out more. Scott is well regarded in the blind community as an expert in braille on iOS. He regularly contributes braille-related content to the AppleVis website, and presented a series of three Masterclasses introducing us to braille on iOS in 2022. This was an extensive presentation followed by your questions. We also covered some of the new braille features in iOS 16 which have not been covered in other sessions.

Duration:01:00:45

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CSUN Round-Up 2024 (Episode 54)

4/1/2024
The 39th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference took place from 18 to 22 March in Anaheim, California, hosted by the Centre on Disabilities, Division of Student Affairs at California State University, Northridge. There were many exciting braille product announcements at the conference, and the latest prototypes of previously announced braille products were also exhibited. In this episode, we are joined by a panel of braille experts who attended the conference. They will help us unpack the announcements and share their thoughts on the products they saw. If you are planning to attend any of the Sight Village exhibitions in the UK, this episode will help you decide which products you might like to see for yourself. Products discussed in this episode: MonarchAPHHumanWareBlazie TechnologiesOrbit SpeakOrbit Reader Q20Orbit Reader Q40Orbit ResearchCadenceTactile EngineeringOptimaOrbit ResearchAccess MindBraillePen24HarpoNewHapticsPaige BrailleBraille eMotionHimsOneCourtProcter and GambleSonyElegant Insights On the panel: Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book LibraryA. T. GuysBlind BargainsBlind Bargains QastInternational Council on English Braille

Duration:00:56:28

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Tactile Diagrams at the Open University (Extra 62)

3/25/2024
Getting tactile diagrams at University is often not as easy as it should be. However, the Open University has an excellent reputation for accessibility, and has developed robust processes for students to request diagrams and for those diagrams to be designed and produced. This session was presented jointly by Jeff Bashton, former Visual Impairment Adviser at the Open University; and Andrew Whitehead, Graphics Media Developer within the OU’s Learner and Discovery Services. It briefly outlined what the Open University is, before explaining what gave rise to the tactile diagrams initiative and how it was developed. Andrew illustrated how diagrams are prioritised, and described the tools and techniques he uses to design and produce them. We learnt how these techniques are applied to standard graphs and charts, as well as more complex images such as a cross-section of part of the brain! If you are currently studying at University, or thinking of starting a University course soon, this session serves as a case study of how Universities can provide effective support in this area. We gave details of DSA funding models at the end of the presentation. If you are interested in tactile diagrams in general, this session offered valuable insights into the tools and techniques available and the reasons for choosing them. Decision Tree: Deciding if a Tactile Diagram is Necessary StartIs the information a repeat of the facts? Yes: go to 5.go to 3.Would the information be more meaningful in text form? Yes: go to 6.go to 4.Return to 2.Does the graphic require the reader to use visual discrimination or visual perception? Yes: go to 7.go to 8.Return to 3.Do not produce graphic. Return to 2.Create a figure description. Do not produce a graphic. Return to 3.Modify the graphic. Return to 4.Is the actual object unavailable, too small, too large, or too dangerous to examine by touch and perceived details? Yes: go to 11.go to 9.Return to 4.Does the reader need the information from a map, figure or graph to complete an assessment/task or to participate in discussions and/or answer questions? Yes: go to 11.go to 10.Return to 8.Do not produce graphic. Return to 9.Produce graphic. Return to 8.Return to 9. Tactile Diagram Transcribers A2IAll FormatsPiaRNIB Business ServicesRNIB Personal Transcription ServicesScottish Braille PressSwansea University Transcription CentreUniversity of Leeds Equality and Inclusion Unit Sources of Tactile Diagrams RNIB Bookshare - Accessible ImagesAPH Tactile Graphic Image Library (TGIL)National Braille Press (NBP)Tactile Images and Maps from the Lighthouse for the Blind, San Francisco Sources of Swell Paper and Heat Fusers HumanWare Swell Form MachineSight and Sound PIAF Tactile Image PrinterHumanWare Swell Touch MarkersHumanWare Swell Touch Paper A4 100 sheetsHumanWare Swell Touch Paper A3 100 sheetsSight and Sound PIAF Swell PaperBraillists Consumables page Other Links of Interest Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics from the Braille Authority of North America (BANA)InkscapeCurriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision ImpairmentTactile Reading Conference 2025Visio Tactual Profile and Feel Free

Duration:01:03:58

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Catching Up with Bristol Braille Technology: Canute 360 and Canute Console (Episode 53)

3/18/2024
Bristol Braille Technology CIC recently released version 2.1 of the firmware for Canute 360, the world's first multi-line braille E-reader. Canute has come up in conversation many times before, but never specifically: what is it, and what can it do? In this episode, we sit down with Ed Rogers, Managing Director of BBT, to find out. Links of interest: Specification for supplementary Canute BRF metadata fileInformation about Bristol Braille's braille music event on 13 April 2024

Duration:00:37:29

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Multi-Line Braille in the Classroom (Episode 52)

3/11/2024
The braille community is buzzing about the next generation of braille display: multi-line devices which can show anything from tables to tactile graphics at the press of a button are now a reality, and enthusiastic early adopters around the world are putting the technology through its paces. These multi-line braille displays will, sooner or later, undoubtedly disrupt all our experiences of refreshable braille in many places, but perhaps most notably in education. What does this mean for teachers, and what does this mean for students in the classroom, doing their homework and progressing to further and higher education? We'll be digging into the detail in two parts: Firstly, we will hear from HumanWare, Bristol Braille Technology CIC, Dot Inc and Orbit Research, all of whom are developing multi-line braille displays, and each of whom will give a ten minute presentation on how they see their products working in the classroom. Secondly, we'll hear from a panel of education professionals. They will share their reactions to the presentations, discuss how current practice might evolve to take advantage of emerging braille technologies, and engage with the manufacturers to find answers to some of their most pressing questions. This episode is presented in collaboration with the Professional Association for the Vision Impairment Education Workforce (VIEW). Manufacturers, their Products and Representatives HumanWareMonarchBristol Braille Technology CICCanute 360 (£2495.00)Canute Console (£3995 or £1650 for existing Canute 360 owners)Ed RogersDot IncDot Pad (£11995)Mazi ZarrehparvarOrbit ResearchOrbit Slate 520 ($3495 USD)Orbit Slate 340 ($3995 USD)Venkatesh Chari Panellists RNIBVisual Impairment Education Workforce (VIEW)New College WorcesterRNIB The event was hosted by Dave Williams and produced by Matthew Horspool. Extracts from the Chat What are the dimentions of the Dot Pad please? Participant: 273.2 mm × 228.1 mm Mazi: 20 braille cells per line and 10 lines on the large screen. 20 cells on single line below graphics area. Dot Pad pricing is not fixed but our goals is to make the Dotpad economically accessible. Can you send information from the dot pad back to an iPad? Mazi: We are working on two way interaction between the Dot Pad and connected devices. At this time, the Dot Pad is a printer. It receives content from the iPad, iPhone, PC, or Mac. It is interactive in the sense that you can scroll up and down pages and make selections. You can also scroll across icons showing on your iPhone or iPad. If you would like more information, please be comfortable contacting me. We are rapidly innovating and all ideas and advice is welcome. Do the graphical devices allow a tactile diagram and a braille label on the same page? Ed: Yes. You can mix them up. We typically use a lot of Braille to make sense of the diagrams. For the Canute Console, that was. Andrew: For Monarch, Yes, it can display both graphics and braille on the same array. I'd be very interested to know if manufacturers were intending to (or have) produce progression charts/teaching ideas for supporting student development of skills in using these products? We can't afford to have one for us to learn on as well as one for the student, so any help on how to use them effectively and to think about skills progression is really helpful! Andrew: HumanWare appreciates there is a lot to learn when it comes to these types of new technology, therefore before Monarch will be released we will be conducting in-person teachers training across the UK. The objective will be to show how a Monarch could be used in a classroom along with getting a better understanding on this new ebraille file format. Please register your interest so you can stay updated on when these days become available. Participant: I am familiar with human wear products and they have a fantastic set of training videos for all of their devices. These are easily accessible for LSAs and BSAs as well as...

Duration:01:01:33

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Two Conferences in the Summer … Or Should That Be Winter? (Episode 51)

1/8/2024
It's an exciting time for braille as we approach the 200th birthday of the braille code, and the International Council on English Braille will be celebrating in style this year with its eighth General Assembly, the theme of which is "Two Centuries of Braille". It will take place from Saturday 25 May to Thursday 30 May at The Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland, 71 Mayoral Drive, Corner Vincent Street, Auckland Central, New Zealand. But what is the International Council on English Braille, what is the purpose of its General Assembly, and how can we get involved? James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, Chair of the Braille Coding Group of the UK Association for Accessible Formats, Chair of ICEB's Braille Technology Committee, and UK representative on the ICEB Executive and Code Maintenance Committees, tells us more. Join the iceb-announce group on groups.io by sending a blank email to iceb-announce+subscribe@groups.io The Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities is holding its Annual Conference the week before the ICEB General Assembly. It will be taking place at Novotel Perth Langley, 221 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia, and early bird registration is open until 29 February 2024. The conference theme is Information Equity: Empowerment through Technology, Advocacy and Collaboration. The Annual Meeting of the Australian Braille Authority will be held on Saturday 18 May, followed immediately by the Round Table Conference from Sunday 19 May to Tuesday 21 May. Chantelle Griffiths, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at New Zealand's Tactile and Technology Literacy Centre and good friend of the Braillists Foundation, tells us more.

Duration:00:32:47

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The Braillists at NFB 2023 (Episode 50)

1/1/2024
The Braillists Foundation held a face-to-face meeting at the 83rd annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, Texas, in July 2023. Our Chairman, Dave Williams, was there with a microphone to soak up the atmosphere. We spoke to: Bristol Braille Technology CICHableA Cubed DesignKa LiNational Network for Equitable Library ServiceAustralia and New Zealand Accessible Graphics Group (ANZAGG)EBrailleDEQ SystemsBlind SVG Study GuideAndrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, New YorkA. T. GuysBlind Bargains With thanks to the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library for allowing us the use of their room for our meeting.

Duration:00:20:12

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Braille Into Christmas (Extra 61)

12/25/2023
As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, a few people joined us for a cosy fireside chat to round off the year on Tuesday 19 December. How do you write and address your Christmas cards? How do you know whose Christmas presents are whose? And what part does braille play in all of this? We were joined by our expert Braille for Beginners team, Mel Pritchard and Chantelle Griffiths, to get the conversation started, and we heard plenty of ideas from the audience too, on a multitude of Christmas-themed topics.

Duration:00:56:29

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The Braille Doodle (Episode 49

10/2/2023
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could just pick up a tablet of sorts, draw on it, and have the drawing in a tactile form? And wouldn't it be even more wonderful if you could simply erase the drawing and start over if you didn't like it? The Braille Doodle does just that, and we catch up with the Touchpad Pro Foundation to find out more.

Duration:01:02:29

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Transferring Content to your Braille Display (Extra 60)

9/25/2023
Have you ever downloaded a book from Bookshare or Reading Services, but struggled to extract the zip file? Have you ever had a BRF file emailed to you, but not been able to copy it to your braille display? Does your braille display only support text or BRF files, but you want to read Word or PDF files on it? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, this episode is for you! Matthew Horspool was in the presenter’s chair on Tuesday 19 September 2023 and took us step by step through extracting zip files, converting files from one format to another, and copying files from your computer to your braille display. Demonstrations using a screen reader formed an integral part of the presentation, and as ever there was plenty of time for questions at the end. N.B. most of the demos were carried out on Windows, but the concepts discussed should apply equally to other operating systems.

Duration:00:58:51

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Revitalise your Braille Reading Technique (Extra 59)

7/3/2023
Whether you're new to braille or an experienced braillist, reading is an important and fundamental process. To fully appreciate the brilliance of braille for use in daily life, reading is something you should enjoy and feel comfortable with. But what can you do to improve your reading skills once you have learned all the letters and perhaps some contractions as well? How can you enhance your reading speed and accuracy even if you've been doing braille for a while? On Tuesday 20 June 2023, Chantelle Griffiths, Co-Founder and CEO of New Zealand's Tactile and Technology Literacy Centre, shared some practical tips and tricks to get you on the right track with your reading, no matter how much braille you've done or where you are on your braille journey. There is something here for everyone. We learnt: This was a very practical session. If you'd like to follow along with the recording, please have some hardcopy or electronic braille handy and a couple of random objects that feel nothing like braille. For further information please visit the Braillists Foundation Media Page.

Duration:01:21:17

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An Introduction to the Orbit Reader (Extra 58)

6/26/2023
The Orbit Reader range is now very extensive and comprises the Orbit Reader 20, the Orbit Reader 20 Plus and the Orbit Reader 40. On Tuesday 30 May 2023, James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, talked us through what these products can do, how they work, and the differences between Orbit Readers and other braille displays and notetakers. We learnt: For further information please visit the Braillists Foundation Media Page.

Duration:01:16:41

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UEB Indicators: How to show capitals, bold, italics, underline and more (Extra 57)

5/22/2023
“This new braille has so many extra dots!” This is something we hear a lot, and it’s often followed by the question, “What do they all mean?” This Masterclass will help to solve the mystery. James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, Chairman of the Braille Coding Group of the UK Association for Accessible Formats, and the UK Representative to the Code Maintenance Committee of the International Council on English Braille, described the common indicators in UEB and gave some real world examples of their use. In particular, we covered: This session was recorded on Tuesday 16 May 2023. For further information please visit the Braillists Foundation Media Page.

Duration:00:52:13

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CSUN 2023 (Episode 48)

4/3/2023
Dave Williams, Chairman of the Braillists Foundation, and Ed Rogers from Bristol Braille Technology discuss the braille products to emerge from this year's event.

Duration:00:25:56