Text to Braille

Overview

    Text to braille conversions used to take many hours of work by highly training professionals; often these translations would be quite costly to commission. Throughout the 1960-70s this processes was automated into hardware and software systems (Jones & Flechsig, 1993). While originally these programs relied on a computer, an optical scanner, optical character recognition software, and braille translation software (Jones & Flechsig, 1993); with technological advances these entire systems are now much more compact, often just a software package loaded onto a personal computer.

    These software packages have been developed and tested in a variety of languages and content subjects. This software has been shown to convert text and diagrams to braille with good accuracy in many languages including English (Bano, 2011), Thai (Wongkia, Naruedomkul, & Cercone, 2012), and Japanese (Sugano, 2010).

    Braille text can be printed out using a braille printer or displayed on a refreshable braille display.

Research Rating: Due to the experimental nature of the information cited in this description this information is to be trusted as valid and reliable.

Advantages:

  • Easy to use.

  • Cheap.

  • Converts the text quickly

Disadvantages:

  • Although rare, there is a possibility for error in conversion. 

Exact prices change frequently, which is why only approximate ranges are listed. 

$ - Under $5

$$ - Between $6 and $50

$$$ - Between $51 and $250

$$$$ - Over $250

References

Anirban Mukherjee, U., & Biswas, A. (2014). Experimenting with automatic text-to-diagram conversion: a novel teaching aid for the blind people.

Bano, I., Naqvi, S. A. H., Hashmi, M. A., Raza, S. A., & Shaikh, F. M. (2011). Comparative analysis of computer software and braille literacy to educate students having visual impairment. Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, 1(8), 85.

Bickford, J. O., & Falco, R. A. (2012). Technology for early braille literacy: comparison of traditional braille instruction and instruction with an electronic notetaker. Journal of visual impairment & blindness, 106(10), 679.

Jones III, R. R., & Flechsig, S. (1993). Converting text to Braille. Library hi tech, 11(1), 34-41.

Sugano, A., Ohta, M., Oda, T., Miura, K., Goto, S., Matsuura, M., ... & Takaoka, Y. (2010). eBraille: a web-based translation program for Japanese text to braille. Internet Research, 20(5), 582-592.

 

Wongkia, W., Naruedomkul, K., & Cercone, N. (2012). i-Math: Automatic math reader for Thai blind and visually impaired students. Computers & Mathematics with Applications, 64(6), 2128-2140.

Written by Harrison McNaughtan, Last Revision May 2018

Academic Intervention Lab

Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, Canada
     Email: academicinterventionlab@utoronto.ca

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