For AT Enthusiasts BrailleNotes provide a way for students' who have visual impairments to write notes, papers, emails, surf the internet, access ebooks and texts and perform a variety of other functions which are lesser known and/or utilized.

 

Even though the older BrailleNotes provide these vast array of features and functions for the user there are apparent limitations inherent with these devices.

These limitations mainly affect teachers and support staff working with the student.  Teachers and support staff often do not know Braille and this coupled with the complex menu structure of the device along with the lack of visual support to access desired and/or selected options often leads teachers and support staff to an endless loop of menus and options.

Additionally, since students with visual impairments are often in inclusion classrooms, information entered by the student on the device needs to be exported and translated in order to be accessible for the teacher to review and grade.  This process often requires a flash drive or the BrailleNote to be hooked up to a computer or internet to access the student’s information.  This process sounds simple in theory but in an actual classroom environment it can be cumbersome and time consuming.

Never fear the BrailleNote Touch is here!! The people at Humanware have addressed many of these concerns. Listed below are some of the most beneficial changes and improvements inherent to the new device:

The well known KeySoft user experience is now coupled with the power of an Android operating system.

BrailleNote Touch is the first certified Braille Tablet providing Play Store access.  This means support is available for accessible third party apps.  This is important because most AT apps are developed by third parties.

Automatic updates are now supported.

First letter navigation is supported throughout the device

Simple menus are available that are visible to the teacher or support staff

Contextual help available anytime anywhere

Teachers can instantly utilize the touch screen display to review the student's work, help with edits, and assist the student with device navigation.

Familiar layout of KeySoft apps for classroom work are still available including:

KeyWord to create and edit documents

Victor Reader app for reading books

KeyMail (any email provider) to send and receive emails in class

KeyWeb for web browsing - powered by Firefox

Quick access to mainstream apps that are widely utilized in schools including cloud storage, Google Docs, DropBox and YouTube.

In conclusion, we have talked and Humanware has listened and has provided us with a device that supports inclusion and access to the 21st century.

For more information about the BrailleNote Touch please visit

http://www.humanware.com/microsite/bntouch/index.php

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