[nfbmi-talk] full screen Braille display

Ann Petrous annpetrous at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 01:46:24 UTC 2010

So does this mean that a person would be able to have full access to any website that might be unaccessible for screen readers? Such as websites that use flash media etc? if so, sign me up for two  I would definetely like to see this for myself.lol

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From: nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Christine Boone
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 8:48 PM
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Subject: [nfbmi-talk] full screen Braille display


Breakthrough Design Opens Door to 'Full Screen' Braille Displays for the
ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2010)
- Imagine if your computer only allowed you to see one line at a time, no
what you were doing -- reading e-mail, looking at a Web site, doing
research. That's
the challenge facing blind computer users today. But new research from North
State University is moving us closer to the development of a display system
would allow the blind to take full advantage of the Web and other computer
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"Right now, electronic Braille displays typically only show one line of text
at a
time. And they're very expensive," says Dr. Neil Di Spigna, a research
professor at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. In
to develop a more functional, and affordable, tool that would allow the
blind to
interface with their computers, Di Spigna and his colleagues are working to
a full-page, refreshable Braille display. Braille uses a series of raised
dots to
represent letters and numbers, allowing blind people to read.
Such a display would also translate images into tactile displays,
effectively mapping
pixels in an image and allowing the full-page Braille display to represent
the images
as raised dots.
The researchers have developed a concept called a "hydraulic and latching
which would allow the development of such a display system. The mechanism
would be
made of an electroactive polymer that is very resilient and inexpensive,
when compared
to current Braille display technologies. "This material will allow us to
raise dots
to the correct height, so they can be read," says Dr. Peichun Yang, a
research associate at NC State and co-author of the paper. "Once the dots
are raised,
a latching mechanism would support the weight being applied by a person's
as the dots are read. The material also responds quickly, allowing a reader
to scroll
through a document or Web site quickly."
Earlier this month, the researchers presented their findings on the
hydraulic component
of the mechanism, showing that it is a viable technology. The next step is
to demonstrate
a proof-of-concept model of the latching mechanism. "We hope to have a fully
prototype of the mechanism within a year," Di Spigna says, "and that could
as the functional building block of a full-screen refreshable display."
"Reading Braille is essential to allowing blind people to find employment,"
Yang, who is blind. "We're optimistic that this technology will give the
blind additional
opportunities in this area."
"The last 20 years of computer technology have been relatively inaccessible
-- and
today's common mobile computing devices, from smart-phones to digital
and iPads, have been completely nonexistent -- to blind people, because the
technology for the blind has not kept pace," says David Winick, a researcher
at NC
State and co-author of the paper. "We hope to enable the development of
that will give the blind more complete access to the internet and other
resources, such as e-books."
The research, "The integration of novel EAP-based Braille cells for use in a
tactile display," was presented March 8 at the 12th International Conference
on Electroactive
Polymer Actuators And Devices in San Diego. The work was funded by the
National Institute
of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which is part of the U.S.
Department of
Education. The work was co-authored by Di Spigna, Yang, Winick,
Parthasarathi Chakraborti,
an NC State graduate student, Dr. Tushar Ghosh, a professor of textile
chemistry and science, and Dr. Paul Franzon, a professor of electrical and
NC State's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is part of the
College of Engineering. NC State's Department of Textile Engineering,
Chemistry and
Science is part of the university's College of Engineering and its College
of Textiles.
Email or share this story:
Story Source:
Adapted from materials provided by
North Carolina State University
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the
North Carolina State University (2010, March 29). Breakthrough design opens
to 'full screen' Braille displays for the blind.
. Retrieved April 1, 2010, from http://www.scienced <http://www.sciencedaily.com-> aily.com-

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How many children in America are not taught to read?
The answer is 90 percent if the children are blind.� 

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