Refreshabraille 18 and the iPad

I've known, for some time now, that the IOS devices will support a braille display. I had never tried to connect one to my iPad to see how it worked until last Saturday.

While working in the Product Showcase area of the APH Annual Meeting, I decided to give it a try. Would I be able to connect a Refreshabraille 18 with my iPad running the latest version of Apple's IOS software? I took out my Refreshabraille 18, made sure it was charged and turned on the iPad.

I had connected other bluetooth devices to the iPad, wireless keyboards and headphones, so I knew where to go to get started. My finger glided over the various apps on my startup screen, then found and double tapped "settings". When the options screen opened, I found bluetooth and tapped to open it. I found a list of the devices that I had previously connected to the iPad and a list of items that were currently available to pair. My wife's cell phone was there with a few others that I didn't recognize. The one device that I didn't see was my Refreshabraille.

"Very strange," I thought. "Why wouldn't my Refreshabraille be showing up in the list of available devices?"

I thought something was wrong with my display, so I tried the unit on the table next to me. It didn't show up in the list of devices either.

Well, i knew exactly where to go for help. Like so many who are blind or visually impaired or sighted people who want to learn about blindness, I went to the Fred's Head account on Twitter. I asked the followers of the @fredshead account if they could help me figure out why the display wasn't showing up. Within minutes, I received a tweet from the Alaska Center BVI (@alaskabvi) that said "Look under Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille, it'll search for the Braille display."

So, I went back to my settings screen, double tapped "accessibility", then "Voiceover" and found a button labeled "Braille".

As soon as I double tapped that Braille button, I saw the Refreshabraille! I double tapped its serial number and immediately the two devices connected!

It was really cool to navigate the various apps on the iPad with a braille display. I could access all the menus and links and when I landed on an edit box, I could enter text in grade II braille and it took my entry exactly as it should!

To see a list of the available keyboard commands (chords) that can be used with Voiceover, click this link.
To see a list of commands specific to the Refreshabraille 18 with the iPad, click this link.

APH’s Refreshabraille 18 Becomes a Teaching Tool!

Here's a YouTube video about using an iPad2 with APH's Refreshabraille 18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9XKB1fb5I

Demonstration of how the iPad and a Refreshabraille 18 can be used as an instructional tool for parents and regular education teachers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

President Trump Signs Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act

UPDATED! Oldies but Goodies: "Established" APH Products