Tuesday, 12 January 2016

iOS Apps for the Visually Impaired: Pocket Braille App

Hello everyone. In this video I demonstrate another iOS app for people with a visual impairment called Pocket Braille. This app is free.

Pocket Braille is a braille reference app that contains information for grade 1 and grade 2 braille including lists of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and an extensive list of contractions.

The video is nearly 12 minutes long and it contains a full set of subtitles or if you would prefer to read a full transcript of the video, you can find it below.

Start of Transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to my video.

in this video I will be looking at the iOS app called pocket braille.

Pocket braille is a very thorough braille Reference Guide.

It is VoiceOver compatible. VoiceOver is the screen reader that is built into iPhones and iPads.

It is a free app but unfortunately doesn’t have any ratings.

So from the App Store, let’s type in

So let’s type in pocket braille and there you go, it is in the top right hand corner of our screen.

On your screen in blue you will have a +Get button on mine it says +open because I have already downloaded it.

Now let’s open the app.

The look of the app is pretty clean and simple. Against a blue background at the top Pocket Braille is written in Braille below that there is a welcome message.

Just above the blue Background are two buttons on the right hand side and left hand side of the screen.  the button on the right says show dots  And by pressing this the dots in the braille cells reveal themselves. The  button on the left says hide dots  And by pressing this  the dots around the braille cell disappear.

the most important button is in the top left hand corner.  this  button is labelled Braille tables.

When you press that button a menu appears.  the menu has three sections.  section 1 contains  grade one literary Braille- letters,  numbers and punctuation. Section 2 is contracted braille and it contains one letter word contractions and 1 symbol word contractions.  section 3 contains potted history about  braille.

OK.  Let me turn VoiceOver on. let us dive into section one. If we touch alphabet all the letters in the alphabet appear along with the braille code and a description of what the braille code is for each letter. The alphabet is split into two parts- lowercase letters and uppercase letters. The reason for this is that an uppercase letter needs a dot 6 before it in braille. It is a shame that VoiceOver can’t label each uppercase letter with the prefix “uppercase or capital”.

When we select a letter the menu disappears and a larger view of the individual letter appears showing its braille code. Remember to use the “show dots” to display the full braille cell. This is the case for lowercase and uppercase letters.

Below the braille code is an example sentence using the letter. A description underneath this sentence informs us what dots make up the letter, what number the letter represents (if appropriate) and if the letter represents any contractions in grade 2 braille.

What is great is that the braille code (shown on the screen) works fully with VoiceOver, so if you touch any braille letters or words, VoiceOver will read them out.

The next part of section 1 is the number section. This works much the same as the letters.

At first a long list appears displaying all of the numbers and then when a number is selected a page loads with information about it in Braille and in English. We are told what dots represent the number, what letter it is (without the number sign) and also there is an example sentence to accompany it.

Let’s move onto Section 2

Section 2 is all about contracted Braille.

The first part of this section is one letter word contractions. When we touch on this option, a list of all the one letter word contractions.

This menu shows us the word, the dots and the braille cell and then when we select a word we have the familiar page showing the one letter word contractions as a braille cell, an explanation of the symbol and a sentence that contains the relevant contraction- in our case, this is but.

The second part of section 2 is a list of one symbol word contractions. Once we open the menu, it has a consistent look to it. It contains a list of words and once we select a word then a familiar page opens up that contains the braille cell, an explanation of the symbol and a sentence that contains the relevant contraction.

The third and last section on this app is labelled Braille History. This section contains a couple of paragraphs about how Louis Braille invented the Braille code.

Before I go, I want to just test Voice Over on this app- just to see how compatible it is.

So let’s turn on VoiceOver.

Now I am just going to select some of the different menus and options to see how VoiceOver interacts.

And you can hear that it is very thorough and extremely accurate.

And that is it. A nicely presented Braille reference app.

If you have any questions about this app or about Braille, please do so below. Or if you have a favourite Braille reference app, then please let me know.

End of Transcript.

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