Braille Displays

Braille displays are designed for people who are proficient in Braille. They take information from the screen and translate it into Braille. A Braille display user gets access not only to text (in regular text documents, in tables, in spreadsheets), but also to font attributes, such as font style, font size, font color, etc. The user can, literally, feel the formatting changes in the document under his fingers. When the TAB key is pressed, for instance, to indicate the beginning of the paragraph, the user will feel a few blank spaces before he encounters the text. Formatting of complex documents, therefore, may be easier to do with Braille displays than with a screen reader, because the user can feel the format changes in the document, rather than just hear about them. Braille displays are especially useful when a user works with many special characters, i.e. math signs or programming code. The user can read the edited document on the Braille display, just like a sighted persons can read their documents on a computer screen or on a printed page, rather than rely on listening to it through the screen reader.

Braille displays must be used in conjunction with a screen reader. They come with various navigation keys, i.e. an option to scroll through the screen – something similar to whiz wheels of a mouse. This enables faster navigation on the entire screen.

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