Existing Braille displays are single line and akin to reading a computer through a calculator screen one line at a time. This is hugely limiting when learning technical subjects like computer science that often involve reading graphs and tables.
In response to these challenges, Bristol Braille has developed a multi award-winning Braille reader (Canute 360), that scans much larger volumes of information than is possible with other systems, including spreadsheets and tables. The technology has the potential to widen access to STEM subjects and support the learning of advanced technology skills.
This is an area in which people who are blind or visually sighted can excel, but only when supported by tools and training that meets their non-visual learning requirements. The decline in Braille use coupled with the focus on visual learning methods for computer science have created a barrier to entry which this project hopes to address.
By bringing together existing hardware, software and e-learning content in a new, accessible and scalable teaching solution, the project aims to advance the careers of people who are blind or visually impaired working in computer science.
The project has the potential to open up technology skills and STEM subjects to learners who have previously been unable to access them and will enable literacy and engagement with graphics for the first time.