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Braille Displays and Notetakers

2018

This reference guide discusses devices used to access and represent information in braille and provides a list of available models, organized by manufacturer. It also lists dealers and a selection of articles on the subject. While NLS has been authorized to provide refreshable braille displays to eligible readers, NLS is still in the early stages of development. This document is for individuals who may have a need for such devices before NLS is able to provide them.

Prices given are subject to change and do not include shipping, handling, and other incidental charges. Contact the dealers directly to verify product specifications and current prices. Being listed does not imply endorsement by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.

Contents

Braille Displays and Notetakers

Braille displays and notetakers provide a tactile version of what is on the screen of PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This equipment must have screen reading software to communicate with the braille display or notetaker. Connectivity options include USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial port. While all braille displays function as terminals for the devices to which they are connected, braille notetakers have built-in computers of varying capacities and can function as stand-alone units. Most braille notetakers can also function in terminal mode.

Displays

Braille displays represent the text on a computer or mobile device screen in braille. A simple braille display does not have any functionality on its own and must be connected to a computer or mobile device to receive or transmit data via a screen reader.

Output
Braille displays render text in refreshable braille, in which the 6- or 8-dot braille cell for each letter is represented by small pins that raise and lower. The cells are arrayed in a linear display ranging in length from twelve to eighty-eight cells that change as necessary. An extra button above each cell, called a cursor-routing key, allows the reader to summon the text to that point and interact with it—for example, to edit it.

Input
Some displays have a braille or QWERTY keyboard to enter information. While a list of compatible screen reading software is provided for each unit, it may be out of date, so contact the manufacturer or distributor to inquire about specific screen reader compatibility.

Notetakers

Notetakers are stand-alone units that offer expandable memory and have built-in productivity apps and mobile phone or tablet functionality. Many also serve as braille displays for mobile devices and desktop computers. In this mode, they work with the screen reader associated with the device to which they are connected.

Output
Output is via refreshable braille. Many braille notetakers also have synthetic speech capability.

Input
Input is by entering braille characters using a braille keyboard. Some can be connected to, or come with, a QWERTY keyboard.

All sizes are in inches rounded to the nearest tenth, and weights are in pounds.

BAUM Retek AG

Pronto! 18 V4
18-cell notetaker with an 8-button braille keyboard, a mini navigation stick, and four function keys
Size: 6.8 x 3.6 x 1.3
Weight: 1 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion; lasts up to twenty hours
Screen readers supported: Nuance Vocalizer with English speech installed. Additional languages and voices are available upon request.
Other features: Microphone and stereo 3.5-mm jacks. Supports up to five devices simultaneously. Includes 32 GB of Flash memory and a 4 GB SDHC card. Users can switch seamlessly between uncontracted, contracted, and computer braille. It is considered a notetaker because of its stand-alone functionality, which includes a word processor, PDF document viewer, planner, address book, file manager, timer, calculator, spreadsheet viewer, DAISY reader, and voice recorder.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Baum USA, $4,995

Refreshabraille 18, Version 3
18-cell display with an 8-dot braille keyboard, two panning buttons, a five-way directional button and a ridged space bar
Size: 5.1 x 3.5 x 1
Weight: 0.7 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion 3.7V, 700 mAh; rechargeable
Screen readers supported: NVDA, System Access, and JAWS for the PC; VoiceOver for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch; and BrailleBack and Talks for smartphones and tablets.
Other features: Choice of simple or secure Bluetooth. Rotate the display so the braille is closer to you and switch the scroll bars so you can read with the right hand and advance with the left hand.

Warranty: One year limited

Dealer(s)/price: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. and Baum USA: $1,695; Flying Blind (used) $1,295

SuperVario2
32-, 40-, or 64-cell braille display with six function keys
Size: 32-cell, 10.2 x 3 x 0.8; 40-cell, 12.2 x 3 x 0.8; 64-cell, 18.2 x 3 x 0.8
Weight: 32-cell, 1 lb.; 40-cell, 1.2 lb.; 64-cell, 1.9 lb.
Battery: Lasts up to twenty-five hours; charge via USB
Screen readers supported: BrailleBack, COBRA, JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver
Other features: Connectivity is via USB or Bluetooth. Optional external USB charging device. Drivers are not needed to install the device.

Dealer(s)/price: Baum USA, contact dealer for price

Vario 340
40-cell braille display with six function keys
Size: 11.9 x 2.8 x 0.8
Weight: 1.1 lb.
Screen readers supported: COBRA, JAWS
Other features: Connects via USB. No drivers needed.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Baum USA, $2,895

VarioConnect
24-, 32-, or 40-cell display with an 8-button braille keyboard, six navigation keys, a joystick, and four function keys
Size: 24-cell, 8.5 x 3.9 x 0.8; 32-cell, 10.2 x 3.9 x 0.8; 40-cell, 12.2 x 3.9 x 0.8
Weight: 24-cell, 0.9 lb.; 32-cell, 1.1 lb.; 40-cell 1.3 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion; holds a charge for thirty hours on Bluetooth or one hundred hours on USB. Recharges in 2½ hours.
Screen readers supported: Blindows, JAWS, Mobile Speak, Mobile Speak Pocket, Pocket HAL, Talks, VIRGO
Other features: Stereo speakers, headset jack, and 16-voice polyphonic FM synthesizer with musical instrument sounds

Dealer(s)/price: Magnifying Aids, 24-cell, $2,595; 32-cell, $3,495; 40-cell, $3,995

VarioPro 64/80
64- or 80-cell display with three navigation keys on the left of the braille display and three on the right. It has four roll-bars with key-functions on the front side. Three add-on modules are available: (1) a slider and rotary wheel for tactile-acoustical screen navigation, (2) four braille cells for status information and four individually configurable function keys, and (3) a 16-key number panel for handling incoming/outgoing calls or performing calculations, four individually configurable function keys, one additional roll-bar, and an additional 12-cell braille display.
Size: 64-cell, 18 x 10.2 x 0.9 in.; 80-cell, 22 x 10.2 x 0.9
Weight: 64-cell, 6.64 lb.; 80-cell, 8.2 lb.
Screen readers supported: COBRA, JAWS, and other major screen readers
Other features: For the 64-cell version, the audio, speech, telephone, status, and screen magnification modules attach to either side of display. For the 80-cell version, the horizontal slider and wheel gives audible screen orientation with additional braille cells for showing status information. Switchboard operating module for call-center applications can also be used for tasks such as digital audio editing.

Dealer(s)/price: Magnifying Aids, 64-cell, $9,995; 80-cell, $11,995

VarioUltra 20/40
20- or 40-cell notetaker with an 8-button braille keyboard, two space bars, three navigation keys to the left and right of the braille display, a navigation stick, and four function keys
Size: 20-cell, 7 x 3.5 x 0.7; 40-cell, 12.4 x 3.5 x 0.7
Weight: 20-cell, 0.7 lb.; 40-cell, 1.1 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion; holds charge for ten hours
Screen readers supported: COBRA, Dolphin, SuperNova, JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver
Other features: Provides connectivity for up to five devices. Has 32 GB of flash memory. Includes Excel and PDF viewers, calculator, scientific calculator, file manager (with zip archives), time and date indicators, alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Baum USA and Magnifying Aids, 20-cell, $2,395; 40-cell, $3,995

Elita Group Ltd

ElBraille
14- or 40-cell braille notetaker and stand-alone computer running on the Windows 10 operating system
Size: 14-cell, 7.4 x 4.7 x 1.5
Weight: 1.7 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable, 10,400 mAh battery; holds charge for twenty hours
Screen readers supported: JAWS for Windows screen reading software, including Vocalizer Expressive voices, at an additional cost
Other features: LTE high-speed data access. Reads DAISY books like those produced by NLS, and has a mini HDMI port to transmit audio and video. Has a built-in microphone, two stereo speakers, additional system speaker with sound and vibration feedback, and 3.5-mm headphone jack. Supports two additional devices and has 160 GB internal memory plus an SD card slot for up to up to 256 GB of additional storage. The unit consists of a docking station only. The Focus 14 Blue braille display that fits into it and the JAWS license are sold separately.

Dealer(s)/price: Freedom Scientific, 14-cell, $1,795; 40-cell, contact manufacturer for availability

Esys Series
12-, 24-, 40-, 64-, or 80-cell notetaker with a 10-key braille keyboard and two joysticks. The 12- and 24-cell models have two scrolling wheels; the 40- and 64-cell models have four wheels; and the 80-cell model has six.
Size: 12-cell, 5.7 x 3.9 x 0.8; 24-cell, 9.1 x 3.7 x 0.8; 40-cell, 12.8 x 3.9 x 0.8.; 64-cell, 21.9 x 3.7 x 0.8; 80-cell, 25.9 x 3.7 x 0.8
Weight: 12-cell, 0.4 lb.; 24-cell, 1 lb.; 40-cell, 1.5 lb.; 64-cell, 2.6 lb.; 80-cell, 3.1 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion; lasts up to seventeen hours
Screen readers supported: JAWS, NVDA, SuperNova, Talk-Back/Braille-Back, VoiceOver
Other features: Connection is via Mini USB or Bluetooth. Has a microSD card slot. Built in are a notepad, agenda, alarm clock, calculator, and auto-sleep function. Version 1.4 supports Unified English Braille.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Bapin Group and Boundless AT, 12-cell, $1,295; 24-cell, $2,395; 40-cell, $3,595; 64-cell, $5,995; 80-cell, $7,795

EsysLite
24-, 40-, or 80-cell braille display with two joysticks. It has two scrolling wheels for the 24-cell model, four for the 40-cell model, and six for the 80-cell model.
Size: 24-cell, 9.2 x 3.7 x 0.9; 40-cell, 12.8 x 3.4 x 0.8; 80-cell, 26 x 3.7 x 0.9
Weight: 24-cell, 1 lb.; 40-cell, 1.5 lb.; 80-cell, 3.1 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion; fifteen hours of autonomous service
Screen readers supported: Cobra, JAWS, Mobile Speak, NVDA, Supernova, Talk Back, VoiceOver
Other features: Connection is via USB or Bluetooth. Has a microSD card reader with a 2 GB card included. Duxbury files can be read from the card. Built-in functionality includes text editing, braille transcription, file management, a math tool, calculator, schedule management, optical character-recognition (OCR), and auto-sleep mode.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Bapin Group, 24-cell, $2,195; 40-cell, $2,995; 80-cell, $6,995

esytime 32
32-cell notetaker and Windows 7 computer with a 10-key braille keyboard, two joysticks, and eight function buttons
Size: 10.2 x 7 x 0.9
Weight: 2.6 lb.
Screen readers supported: Comes with NVDA and is compatible with Cobra, JAWS, Supernova.
Other features: Built-in microphone, audio in/out jack, and stereo speakers. Connectivity is via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Has three USB ports and one Mini USB port, VGA and Ethernet ports, 320 GB of internal memory, and SD card reader. Built-in applications include text editing, file management, calculator, schedule management, OCR, math tool, audio, and DAISY player. It allows you to manage different types of braille in the same document, such as 8-dot computer braille, uncontracted and contracted braille, mathematical braille code with integrated scientific calculations, and international braille music code. It can be used in terminal mode as a braille display. Cable lock-slot for anti-theft protection.
Warranty: Two years

Dealer(s)/price: Bapin Group, $4,995

Harpo

BraillePen 12 Touch
12-cell braille display with 6-key braille entry that lets you switch between 6- and 8-dot braille. It has a joystick, two braille navigation keys, and three function keys.
Size: 5.9 x 3.7 x 1
Weight: 0.6 lb.
Battery: Internal rechargeable battery; ten hours of service
Screen readers supported: Braille Pen Mobile, Dolphin, JAWS, MobileSpeak, NVDA/BRLTTY, SuperNova, System Access, Talks, VoiceOver
Other features: Bluetooth connection, clipboard function. Comes with headphones and battery charger. Also known as EasyLink 12 Touch by Optelec.

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot, $1,595; Flying Blind, $895; Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, $995

Help Tech GmbH

Actilino
16-cell concave braille display with an 8-dot braille keyboard, two triple-action keys, and one central control stick (for thumb)
Size: 6.5 x 4.3 x 1.1
Weight: 0.9 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion 3000 mAh rechargeable; up to thirty hours of use, three hours to recharge
Screen readers supported: JAWS, NVDA, Supernova
Other features: Has adjustable pin firmness and autoscrolls when you reach the end of a line. Provides access for up to four devices at once through three Bluetooth connections, one USB Type C port for a PC or charger, and one USB Type A port for a keyboard. Has a microphone, mini loudspeaker, and 3.5-mm headphone jack. Applications include an editor, calculator, scheduler, timer or alarm clock, interactive games, and MusikBraille, which plays music notes as you type them and allows you to modify musical pieces. Includes microSD card slot.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, $2,495

Active Braille
40-cell concave notetaker with an 8-dot braille keyboard and two triple-action keys.
Size: 12.4 x 4.8 x 1.1
Weight: 1.9 lb.
Battery: Takes rechargeable or standard AA batteries; holds charge for twenty hours, recharges in three hours.
Screen readers supported: HAL/Supernova, JAWS, VoiceOver
Other features: Has adjustable pin firmness and autoscrolls when you reach the end of a line. Diagnostics allow braille teachers to monitor students’ reading progress. Connectivity is via wireless Bluetooth. Has two USB ports, 4 GB of memory, and a microSD card slot. Includes an editor, calculator, and clock.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, $6,495

Active Star
40-cell concave notetaker with an 8-dot braille keyboard, two triple-action keys, and a compact QWERTY keyboard.
Size: 12.6 x 8.6 x 0.9
Weight: 2.4 lb.
Battery: Lithium; holds a charge for forty hours, takes six hours to charge via USB
Screen readers supported: Works with all major screen readers.
Other features: Has wireless Bluetooth connectivity plus two USB ports and 8 GB of memory. Comes with stereo speakers, headset jack, and polyphonic sound chip. Applications include an editor, calculator, timer, alarm clock, interactive games, and MusikBraille. Has a magnetic surface on which you can place the keyboard or a laptop. Compartment underneath for mobile phone.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, $6,795

Basic Braille
40-, 64-, 80-, or 84 -cell braille display and six function keys
Size: 40-cell, 13.6 x 3.6 x 0.8; 64-cell, 19.7 x 3.6 x 0.8; 80-cell, 23.7 x 3.6 x 0.8; 84-cell, 24.7 x 3.6 x 0.8
Weights (USB and Bluetooth models): 40-cell, 1.5 and 1.6 lb.; 64-cell, 2 and 2.5 lb.; 80-cell, 2.5 and 2.9 lb.; and 84-cell, 2.6 and 3 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion rechargeable; holds charge for twelve hours in the Bluetooth version, takes three hours to recharge
Screen readers supported: HAL/Supernova, JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver
Other features: Connection is via Micro USB or Bluetooth

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, 40-cell, $2,995; 64-cell, $5,795; 80-cell, $7,795

Braille EDGE 40
40-cell notetaker with a Perkins-style keyboard, two four-way navigation keys, and eight function keys
Weight: 1.7 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable; lasts up to twenty hours
Screen readers supported: BrailleBack, JAWS, Mobile Speak, NVDA, SuperNova, System Access, TALKS, Voice-Over
Other features: Connectivity is via Bluetooth or USB. Has SDHC-card slot. Applications include notepad, scheduler, alarm, calculator, clock, stopwatch, and countdown timer.
Warranty: Two-year limited parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot and Magnifying Aids, $2,795; C-Tech, $2,750; Enablemart, $2,595; Flying Blind and HIMS, $2,495

Braille Sense Polaris
32-cell notetaker with a Perkins-style keyboard and user-definable touch sensors on the media buttons
Size: 9.7 x 5.7 x 0.7
Weight: 1.7 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable via AC adaptor, USB, or wirelessly; holds a charge eighteen hours, recharges in five hours.
Screen readers supported: Supernova, VoiceOver
Other features: Operates on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. Has 64 GB of Flash memory and stereo speakers. Preinstalled apps include Polaris Office (Word, Slides, Sheets, email), Web browser, terminal for screen reader, DAISY reader, file manager, schedule manager, address manager, calculator, calendar, media player, time and date, alarm, stopwatch, and FM radio. Optimized for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, and Classroom, and has APH Nearby Explorer. Has HDMI output and IrDA remote control functionality. A flippable LCD display allows collaboration between blind and sighted people. Has a Kensington lock.
Warranty: One-year limited parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot, Boundless AT, and Magnifying Aids, $5,795; HIMS, $5,495

Braille Sense U2 and U2 QWERTY
32-cell notetaker with a Perkins-style or QWERTY keyboard
Size: 9.8 x 5 x 1.5, (braille keyboard), 10.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 (QWERTY keyboard)
Weight: 2 lb. (braille keyboard), 1.8 lb. (QWERTY keyboard)
Battery: Seventeen hours battery life, five hours charging time
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Connectivity is via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. Has three USB ports, one Mini USB port, 32 GB of Flash memory, and an SDXC-card slot. Applications include file manager, macro manager, Excel Viewer, word processor, PowerPoint viewer, Dropbox, schedule manager, address manager, scientific calculator, database manager, DAISY player, FM radio, YouTube, media player. Has VGA output, folding LCD display, stereo speakers with eleven equalizer settings, GPS, and compass. Vibrates for navigation prompts and other notifications.
Warranty: One-year limited parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price:
U2: C-Tech, $4,950; Enablemart and HIMS, $4,595; Innovative Rehabilitation Technology and Magnifying Aids, $5,595
U2 QWERTY: Enablemart and HIMS, $4,595; Innovative Rehabilitation Technology and Magnifying Aids, $5,595

Braille Sense U2 Mini
18-cell notetaker with a Perkins-style keyboard and four function keys
Size: 6.7 x 3.5 x 1
Weight: 0.9 lb.
Battery: Holds a charge for nine hours, takes three hours to recharge. Extra battery included.
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Connection is via Ethernet, WLAN, Bluetooth, and USB. Has an SDXC-card slot and a DAISY player. It has the same productivity and entertainment apps as the Braille Sense U2, as well as VGA output. Optional LCD screen.
Warranty: One-year limited parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: C-Tech, $3,450; Enablemart, $2,295; Flying Blind and HIMS, $2,995; Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, $3,995; Magnifying Aids, $3,995

Braille Star 80
80-cell concave braille display with an 8-dot braille keyboard, two extended up/down keys, and two triple-action keys
Size: 23 x 9.7 x 0.9
Weight: 6.2 lb.
Screen readers supported: All major screen readers
Other features: Has two stereo jacks, USB and serial ports, and 4 MB of text memory. Supports two devices. Applications include a notetaker. User-definable 16-key pad can be used for dialing within a telephone application. A PC keyboard can be placed directly on top. Up to five files can be open at once.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, contact dealer for price

Easy Braille Bluetooth
40-cell concave braille display with an 8-dot braille keyboard and two navigation keys
Size: 12 x 3.5 x 1.1
Weight: 1.8 lb.
Battery: Four rechargeable batteries (AAA or 1000 mA, NiMH); lasts up to twelve hours in Bluetooth mode
Screen readers supported: All major screen readers
Other features: Choose between voice edit and braille edit modes.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, 40-cell, $2,995

Modular Evolution
64- or 88-cell display with two navigation keys, two triple-action keys, and control and function keys
Size: 64-cell, 20.9 x 10.4 x 2.4; 88-cell, 25.3 x 10.4 x 2.4
Weight: 64-cell, 6.4 lb., 88-cell, 7.7 lb.
Screen readers supported: All major screen readers
Other features: Has adjustable pin firmness and autoscrolls when you reach the end of a line. Three USB connections, 4 GB of memory, and choice of an 8-dot braille keyboard or a 105-key QWERTY keyboard with tactile markings. Number pad also is available.

Dealer(s)/price: Triumph Technologies, HIMS, contact dealer for price

Smart Beetle
14-cell notetaker with a Perkins-style keyboard, two scroll keys, and four function keys
Size: 5.9 x 3.4 x 1.1
Weight: 0.62 lb.
Battery: Holds a charge for twenty-four hours, recharges in four via USB. LED battery indicator.
Screen readers supported: BrailleBack, JAWS, Mobile Speak, SuperNova, System Access, TALKS, Voice-Over
Other features: Connection is via Bluetooth or USB, and you can connect up to six devices. It offers audio alerts.
Warranty: Two-year limited parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: Enablemart, Flying Blind, and HIMS, $995; Magnifying Aids and MaxiAids, $1,345

Humanware

BrailleNote Apex
18- or 32-cell notetaker with an 8-dot braille keyboard (BT model) or computer-style keyboard (QT model), thumb keys, and scroll wheel
Size: 9.6 x 5.6 x 0.8
Weight: 18-cell, 1.6 lb.; 32-cell, 1.8 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable, user-replaceable lithium-ion battery
Other features: Operates on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Ethernet and has three USB ports, 32 GB of internal memory, and an SDHC slot. Has a Duxbury braille translator, word processor, book reader, Web browser, email, voice memo, media player, audio streaming, chat, clock, and a visual display. Stereo speech output with choice of TTS, external speaker and headphone jacks, an internal omni-directional microphone, and a microphone jack. Available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian.

Dealer(s)/price: C-Tech, 18-cell, $3,450; 32-cell, $4,950

BrailleNote Touch
18- or 32-cell notetaker and touchscreen tablet with an 8-dot braille keyboard, thumb keys, and a scroll wheel
Size: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.8 in.
Weight: 2 lb.
Battery: Rechargeable, user-replaceable 5100 mAh lithium-polymer battery; holds charge for twelve hours
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Internal stereo speakers, internal omni-directional microphone, external speaker/headphone jack, and microphone jack. Operates on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and has 32 GB of internal storage. Touchscreen tablet has Perkins-style input that learns where your fingers are, or you can cover the screen with a Perkins keyboard flap. Available in English, French, Norwegian, Swedish, and Arabic. Supports accessible apps in the Google Play Store.
Warranty: Provided with unit.

Dealer(s)/price: C-Tech, 18-cell, $3,950; 32-cell, $5,950. Humanware, 18-cell, $3,995; 32-cell, $5,495

Brailliant BI
14-, 32-, 40- or 80-cell display with an 8-key braille keyboard. The 14-cell model has a notetaker-style space bar, thumb keys, and joystick; the others have four thumb keys, six command keys, and two spacebars.
Size: 14-cell, 6.5 x 3.9 x 0.9; 32-cell, 10.2 x 3.4 x 0.7; 40-cell, 12.2 x 3.4 x 0.7; 80-cell, 22.3 x 3.1 x 0.7
Weight: 14-cell, 0.6 lb.; 32-cell, 1.2lb.; 40-cell, 1.4 lb.; 80-cell, 2.4 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion polymer. The 14- and 80-cell models hold a charge twenty hours; the 32-cell and 40-cell hold a charge thirty hours.
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Connection is via USB or Bluetooth with up to five devices supported plus one additional USB device on the BI 14. Physical switch on the back indicates if you are using internal storage or connected devices. Syncs notes. Clock and stopwatch. Available in English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

Dealer(s)/price: C-Tech, 32-cell, $2,550; 40-cell, $2,950; 80-cell, $7,950. Flying Blind, 32-cell, $2,595; 40-cell, $2,995; 80-cell, $7,985. Humanware, 14-cell, $995; 32-cell, $2,595; 40-cell, $2,495; 80-cell, $7,985

B2G (Braille to Go)
20-cell notetaker with an 8-dot braille keyboard, space bar, navigation pad, and forward and back buttons.
Size: 7.8 x 4.4 x 1.1
Weight: 1.3 lb.
Battery: 5400 mAh lithium polymer; rechargeable
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Operates on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, has 8 GB internal memory and 32 GB SD card slot. Applications include an accelerometer, vibration motor, GPS, compass, 5-megapixel camera, and composite video output with RCA-style jack. You can select whether you want to type in contracted or uncontracted braille. Has stereo speakers, synthetic speech output, 3.5-mm headset jack, and microphone. Plays MP3s and comes with earphones.
Warranty: One-year parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: National Braille Press: $2,495

Neo Access

NeoBraille AI
32-cell notetaker with an 8-key Perkins keyboard, two spacebars, four function keys, and two thumb buttons.
Size: 9.3 x 5.9 x 0.8
Weight: 1.5 lb.
Batteries: Two 3500 mAh lithium ion
Screen readers supported: Works with a variety of screen readers.
Other features: Operates on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the LTE mobile band. Has internal stereo speaker, internal mono mic, external stereo mic, two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, 64 GB of Flash memory, and microSD card slot. Has Amazon Alexa, an AI system that allows users to ask questions about the weather, tell it to play music, get the latest news headlines, etc., as well as GPS, FM radio, accelerometer, compass, haptic feedback, and mini HDMI video output that supports audio.
Warranty: Two-year parts and labor

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot and Irie AT: $4,995

Orbit Research

Orbit Reader 20
20-cell notetaker with 8-key Perkins-style keyboard, four-way arrow key with center select key, and two rocker-type panning keys
Size: 6.6 x 4.4 x 1.4
Weight: 1 lb.
Battery: User-replaceable lithium-ion 2200 mAh battery; lasts three days
Screen readers supported: NVDA, System Access, and VoiceOver. Can be set to emulate Refreshabraille 18.
Other features: Connectivity is via Bluetooth, USB 2.0, and Micro USB. Has SD card slot. Built-in applications for reading, writing, file management, searching, bookmarking, and note-taking. Reads high-quality braille from NLS, American Printing House for the Blind (APH), and National Braille Press (NBP) as well as braille from Bookshare.org, DAISY Pipeline, and APH’s Send to Braille.
Warranty: One-year limited

Dealer(s)/price: APH, $449

Papenmeier

Braillex EL
40-, 60-, or 80-cell braille display with a choice of concave or flat cells
Size: 40-cell, 11.7 x 3.6 x 0.7; 60-cell, 18 .2 x 3.6 x 0.7; 80-cell, 21.9 x 3.6 x 0.7
Weight: 40-cell, 1.4 lb.; 60-cell, 2 lb.; 80-cell, 2.6 lb.
Screen readers supported: JAWS, NVDA, Supernova, Talkback, VoiceOver
Other features: Has adjustable braille firmness. One-handed operation is possible using the four-way bar on the front of the unit.

Dealer(s)/price: Papenmeier, contact dealer for price

Braillex Live
20- or 40-cell display with an 8-dot braille keyboard. There is also a QWERTY keyboard option.
Size: 20-cell, 6.7 x 4.4 x 0.7; 40-cell, 11.7 x 4.5 x 0.7. (In both versions, this is the reading height; add 0.2 in. to the last measurement to get the writing height.)
Weight: 20-cell, 1.2 lb; 40-cell, 1.98 lb; 40-cell with QWERTY keyboard, 2.7 lb.
Battery: Both models hold a charge for twenty hours
Screen readers supported: Brailleback, JAWS, NVDA, Supernova, TalkBack, VoiceOver
Other features: They operate wirelessly with connections for two devices. One-handed operation is possible using the four-way bar on the front of the unit.
Warranty: Three-year service guarantee

Dealer(s)/price: Papenmeier, contact dealer for price

Seika (formerly Perkins Products)

Braille 40 and Braille 80 Displays
40 or 80 cells and an 8-key Perkins-style keyboard
Size: 40-cell, 13 x 3.5 x 1; 80-cell, 23 x 3.5 x 1
Weight: 40-cell, 1.4 lb.; 80-cell, 2.2 lb.
Battery: Holds charge for ten hours.
Screen readers supported: Works with all major screen readers.
Other features: Connectivity is via Bluetooth or USB. Supports two devices.

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot, 40-cell (version 5) $2,595; 40-cell (version 3) $2,395; 80-cell, $3,995

Mini Seika
16-cell notetaker with 8-dot braille input keys, left and right buttons, left and right navigation joysticks, and two space bars
Size: 6.3 x 3.8 x 0.9
Weight: 0.7 lb.
Battery: Lithium battery; holds a charge for ten hours and recharges by USB in four hours
Other features: Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity and a microSD card slot. Also known as the Perkins mini.

Dealer(s)/price: Brailler Depot, $1,549

VFO (includes the brands Ai Squared, Freedom Scientific, and Optelec)

ALVA 640 Comfort
40-cell display with an 8-dot braille keyboard, five navigation thumb keys, and four navigation keys
Size: 13.3 x 2.9 x 0.7
Weight: 1.1 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery; holds a charge for ten hours
Screen readers supported: BrailleBack, BRLTTY, Dolphin, JAWS, Mobile Accessibility, Mobile Speak, SuperNova, System Access to Go, Talks, VoiceOver
Other features: Has high-speed USB port, wireless Bluetooth that works up to 300 feet away, Mini USB port, and 8 GB of memory. Has a time and date function.

Dealer(s)/price: NanoPac, Inc., $2,995; VisionCue, $2,895

ALVA BC640 and BC680
40- or 80-cell displays. The 40-cell version has five navigation thumb keys; the 80-cell version has ten. The 40-cell has a smartpad with a five-way navigation key; the 80-cell has two smartpads.
Size: 40-cell, 13.3 x 2.9 x 0.7; 80-cell, 22.4 x 2.9 x 0.7
Weight: 40-cell, 1.6 lb.; 80-cell, 2.6 lb.
Battery: Holds a charge for up to ten hours, recharges in two hours via high-speed USB port.
Screen readers supported: BrailleBack, BRLTTY, JAWS, Mobile Speak, SuperNova, System Access to Go, Talks, VoiceOver
Other features: Has 4 GB of memory. The 80-cell version has a “split-point” that divides the cells into a pair of separate displays with individual keys for each device, but you can use just one PC keyboard.

Dealer(s)/price: NanoPac, Inc., and VisionCue: 40-cell, $3,810; 80-cell, $7,495

Focus Blue
14-, 40-, or 80-cell braille display with an 8-dot Perkins-style braille keyboard, two panning buttons, two selector buttons, two navigation rockers, and two navigation mode buttons
Size: 14-cell, 6.3 x 3.2 x 0.7; 40-cell, 13 x 3 x 0.7; 80-cell, 22.9 x 3.5 x 0.9
Weight: 14-cell, 0.84 lb.; 40-cell, 1.43 lb.; 80-cell, 2.3 lb.
Battery: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The 14- and 40-cell versions hold a charge for twenty hours; the 80-cell holds a charge for ten hours. Recharging takes three hours via USB on the 14-cell version.
Screen readers supported: JAWS and other major screen readers.
Other features: The 14- and 80-cell versions support two devices, the 40-cell supports five. All have adjustable braille dot firmness.

Dealer(s)/price: Freedom Scientific and Bapin, 14-cell, $995; 40-cell (regular), $2,495, 40-cell (5th generation), $2,995; 80-cell, $7,795

Selected Bibliography

American Foundation for the Blind, “Refreshable Braille Displays Orbit Reader 20 Details,” American Printing House for the Blind, Inc., www.aph.org/research/orbit-reader-20-details/ External.

Scott Davert, “VarioUltra 20: A Great Display,” AppleVis (blog), February 6, 2017, www.applevis.com/reviews/braille-devices/varioultra-20-great-display/ External.

———, “Live on the Edge, or Have an Ultra Lifestyle? An In-depth Review of HIMS and BAUM Braille Displays,” AccessWorld 18, no. 4, April 2017, www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw180405 External.

Eric Duffy, “The BrailleSense Polaris—A First-Look Review from the National Federation of the Blind Access Technology Team,” August 30, 2017, https://nfb.org/blog/braillesense-polaris-first-look-review-national-federation-blind-access-technology-team External.

Chancey Fleet, “#CSUNATC17 Audio: HandyTech’s Actilino Is a 16-cell Swiss Army Knife,” Blind Bargains (blog), March 21, 2017, www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=16907/ External.

Amy Mason, “The BrailleNote Touch as a Braille Notetaker—How Does It Stack Up,” National Federation of the Blind (blog), July 20, 2016, https://nfb.org/blog/braillenote-touch-braille-notetaker-how-does-it-stack External.

J.J. Meddaugh, “Freedom Scientific Focuses on Ruggedness with Updated 40-cell Display,” Blind Bargains (blog), August 18, 2017, www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=17612 External.

James Oates, “NeoBraille Display Incorporates Amazon Alexa at CSUN 2017,” Cool Blind Tech (blog), February 28, 2017, https://coolblindtech.com/neobraille-display-incorporates-amazon-alexa-at-csun-2017/ External.

Maya Purseava, “Review of Esys Braille Displays,” AppleVis, (blog), February 26, 2017, www.applevis.com/reviews/braille-devices/review-esys-braille-displays External.

Sean Randall, “ElBraille First Impressions,” Braillists (forum), Google Groups, July 3, 2017, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/braillists/mhMugN06BGo External.

Larry Skutchan, “Orbit Reader 20 Details,” American Printing House for the Blind, Inc., Research & Development (blog), www.aph.org/research/orbit-reader-20-details/ External.

U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Library Services for Those with Disabilities: Additional Steps Needed to Ease Access to Services and Modernize Technology,” April 2016, www.gao.gov/assets/680/676309.pdf External.

Selected Resources

The resources below provide information on and evaluations of assistive technology for people who have a visual impairment and the families and professionals who work with them.

AbleData
www.abledata.com External
Information on products, solutions, and resources to improve productivity.

AccessWorld
www.afb.org/accessworld.asp External
A monthly web magazine published by the American Foundation for the Blind. Includes reviews of assistive technology products and other articles of general technological interest for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Adaptive Computer Products
www.makoa.org/computers.htm External
A collection of resources with links to computer-access software, input devices (keyboards, pointing devices, eye control, switches), augmentative communication devices, speech recognition/voice controlled systems, products for people who are blind or visually impaired, possible funding sources, and low-cost assistive technology programs.

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Assistive Technology
www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/using-technology/assistive-technology/123 External
The American Foundation for the Blind’s resource on assistive technology information. Includes information about OCR systems, speech systems, AFB product evaluations, and more.

AssistiveTech.net–National Public Website on Assistive Technology
http://assistivetech.net External
A searchable database of vendors of assistive technology products. From the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access.

Center on Technology and Disability
www.ctdinstitute.org External
Offers information on assistive technologies to families of children and youth with disabilities and professionals who work with them. Has links to organizations, factsheets, newsletters, and online discussions.

Fred’s Head
www.fredshead.info External
Blog from the American Printing House for the Blind contains product reviews, tutorials, in-depth articles, and general interest information for people who are blind or visually impaired.

National Federation of the Blind Technology Resource List
https://nfb.org/technology-resource-list External
Includes links to braille devices, print-reading hardware and software, screen access and low-vision programs for Windows, speech synthesizers, and tutorials.

Perkins School for the Blind eLearning (formerly CANnect)
www.perkinselearning.org External
A collection of special educational resources that also provides technology instruction for people with visual impairments. Shares tech tidbits, education resources, and helpful links for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Perkins Scout
www.perkinselearning.org/scout/assistive-technology-overview External
Sources for assistive technology as well as agencies that help set the standards for evaluation of AT.

Contact Information for Sources

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave.
PO Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
800-223-1839 toll-free (U.S. and Canada)
(502) 895-2405
(502) 899-2284 fax
[email protected]
www.aph.org External

Bapin Group, LLC
PO Box 1582
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(415) 580-2448
[email protected]
www.bapingrouponline.com External

BAUM USA Inc.
13 Branch St., Ste. 205
Methuen, MA 01844
855-620-7985 toll-free
(978) 674-8371 fax
[email protected]
www.baumusa.com External

Boundless Assistive Technology
Sales Office
7490 SW Bridgeport Rd.
Portland, OR 97224
866-606-8551 toll-free
(503) 821-6355
(503) 821-6355 fax
[email protected]
www.boundlessat.com External

The Brailler Depot
107 Trimble Ave.
Clifton, NJ 07011
(973) 272-7667
(973) 928-6646 fax
[email protected]
www.braillerdepot.com/index.html External

C TECH
2 N. William St.
Pearl River, NY 10965
800-228-7798 toll-free
845-735-7907
914-490-8446 mobile
www.ctechlowvision.com External

Canadian Assistive Technologies Ltd. (formerly Aroga Technologies)
3020 Aries Pl.
Burnaby, BC V3J 7E9
Canada
(604) 367-9480
844-795-8324 toll-free
(604) 431-7995 fax
[email protected]
https://canasstech.com External

Elita Group Ltd.
20-131, Aviakonstruktora Milya st.
Moscow, 109431, Russia
+7 (495) 748-96-77
[email protected]
www.elitagroup.com External

EnableMart
865 Muirfield Dr.
Hanover Park, IL 60133
888-640-1999 toll-free
800-235-1305 toll-free fax
www.enablemart.com External

Eurobraille International
36 av. du Général de Gaulle
93170 Bagnolet
France
+33 (0) 1 55 26 91 00
+33 (0)1 55 26 91 91 fax
http://www.eurobraille.fr/fr/ External

EYE Can See, Inc.
6117 N. College Ave., Ste. #3
Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 413-7835
(317) 258-6747
[email protected] or [email protected]
http://eyecansee.lowvision.com External

F.H. Papenmeier GmbH & Co. KG
Talweg 2, D-58239 Schwerte
Germany
+49 (0) 2304 205-0
[email protected]
https://www.papenmeier.de/de/home.html External

Flying Blind, LLC
955 Pembrook Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44121
(216) 381-8107
[email protected]
www.flying-blind.com/index.html External

Freedom Scientific
11800 31st Ct. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
800-444-4443 toll-free
(727) 803-8000
(727) 803-8001 fax
www.freedomscientific.com External

Harpo Sp. z o. o.
ul. 27 Grudnia 7
61-737 Poznań
Poland
+48 61 853 1425
+48 61 853 1419 fax
[email protected]
http://int.harpo.com.pl/ External

Help Tech GmbH (formerly Handy Tech Elektronik GmbH)
Brunnenstraße 10
72160 Horb-Nordstetten
Germany
+49 (0) 74 51 55 46-0
+49 (0) 74 51 55 46-67 fax
[email protected]
https://handytech.de/en/welcome External

HIMS Inc.
4616 W. Howard Ln., Ste. 960
Austin, TX 78728
888-520-4467 toll-free
(512) 837-2000
(512) 837-2011 fax
[email protected]
http://hims-inc.com External

HumanWare
1 UPS Way
PO Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919
800-722-3393 toll-free
888-871-4828 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.humanware.com External

Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, Inc.
15344 Green Way Pl.
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(530) 274-2090
800-322-4784 toll-free
(530) 274-2093 fax
[email protected]
http://store.irti.net/braille/ External

Irie-AT
1750 SW Third St. Ste. C
Corvallis, OR 97333
888-308-0059 toll-free
(541) 257-1032
(541) 205-4400 fax
[email protected]
www.irie-at.com External

Leading Edge Vision
14807 N. Forestdale Dr.
Rathdrum, ID 83858
877-551-6658 toll-free
(208) 818-1553 text
(888) 516-7778 fax
[email protected]
www.leadingedgevision.com External

Magnifying Aids
4760 East Bay Dr., Ste. E
Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 526-2020
866-691-2450 toll-free
(727) 531-7224 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifyingaids.com External

NanoPac, Inc.
4823 S. Sheridan Rd., Ste. 302Tulsa, OK 74145-5717
(918) 665-0329
800-580-6086 toll-free
(918) 665-0361 fax
[email protected]
www.nanopac.com External

National Braille Press
88 Saint Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
800-548-7323 ext. 520 toll-free
(617) 266-6160
(617) 437-0456 fax
[email protected]
www.nbp.org External

Neo Access Ltd.
3rd Floor, 24 Hyoryeong-ro 4-gil
Seocho-gu
Seoul 06698
Korea
+82-2-6959-2250
+82-2-6959-2270 fax
[email protected]
www.neoacc.com/EN/ External

Northstate Assistive Technology
PO Box 2112
Paradise, CA 95967
877-682-0452 toll-free
(530) 877-1625
[email protected]
http://northstateat.com External

Orbit Research
3422 Old Capitol Trail, Ste. 585
Wilmington, DE 19808
888-606-7248 toll-free
(302) 380-3285 fax
[email protected]
www.orbitresearch.com External

Perkins Solutions
175 N. Beacon St.
Watertown, MA 02472
855-206-8353 toll-free
(617) 972-7308
(617) 926-2027 fax
[email protected]
www.perkinsproducts.org External

Seika
Nippon Telesoft
Hanzomon MK Bud., 1F, 1-8-1 Kojimachi
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 102-0083
Tokyo, Japan
+81-3-3264-0800
+81-3-3264-0880 fax
[email protected]
www.telesoft.co.jp/menu_eng/disp_004.html External

Triumph Technologies
4110 Central Ave. NE, Ste. 201
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
(651) 636-5184
866-347-8249 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.attriumph.com External

VFO (includes the brands Ai Squared, Freedom Scientific, and Optelec)
11800 31st Ct. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
(727) 803-8000
(727) 803-8001 fax
[email protected]
www.vfogroup.com External

VisionCue, LLC
4824 SW Scholls Ferry Rd.
Portland, OR 97225
888-318-2582 toll-free
(503) 297-1510
(503) 459-4003 fax
[email protected]
www.visioncue.com External

Compiled by Yvonne French

December 2017