Brian: Learning to Write with an iPad and Refreshable Braille Display

WRITING: In this video, Brian demonstrates how he can write braille letters and sight words using an iPad paired with a Refreshable Braille Display (RBD).  Brian is a high school student with multiple disabilities who began to learn braille concepts during an I-M-Able  braille study.  I-M-Able - which teaches braille letters and sight words - is geared for students who have struggled to learn braille using traditional methods. This is Brian's second time to using a RBD.

Brian, who can name the dot combinations associated with each braille letter, struggles with the isolated finger movements and strength required to create braille on the traditional Perkins Braille Writer.  However, his light touch will activate the braille keys on the RBD.  VoiceOver - the iPad's built-in screen reader - provides instant, motivating feedback either character by character or word by word.  Brian was not successful using VoiceOver gestures (swipes and double taps).  However, in his first RBD lesson, Brian quickly learned to navigate through the iPad screens and to select the Pages app using the RBD's joystick; he then progressed to using RBD chord commands.  An RBD chord command is a combination of keys (typically a braille letter) + space.  In the video, Brian remembered that D Chord (1 + 4 + 5 + space) would delete his mistake.

Go to Brian: Learning to Read with an iPad and Refreshable Braille Display Video to view a related post. 

Go to Cody's O&M Adventures: iBook post to view another related post about Brian and his good friend, Cody.

Editor's Note:  AFB has recently published Dr. Diane Wormsley's book, I-M-Able: Individualized Meaning-Centered Approach to Braille Literacy Education.  This successful comprehensive guide provides practical strategies and activities to teach Braille literacy to non-traditional Braille readers.

In this video, Brian used an iPad, APH 18 Refreshabraille Display and Pages app.

Read more about: Assistive Technology