Braille is not a language but a code for blind or visually impaired people. It consists of embossed dots that can easily be read by finger. With the help of braille Keyboard, many languages, as well as numbers, can be read and written.
Each cell of braille consists of 6 raised dots-2 rows of 3 dots in each. 64 characters can possible by using one or more of these dots. The position of these dots, represents an alphabet letter, number, space, etc.
Have you ever thought about how blind people can use smartphones? Is there any phone for them too? How can they type something using a keyboard like ours? The answers to your questions have been solved now.
How blind people can use smartphones?
But, these 64 combinations are not enough to cover all possible letters therefore, sometimes combinations of cells are used. For Example – to write a Capital letter or a number, ‘indicator’ cells are used.
The whole story was about a physical Braille system that was invented over 150 years ago by Louis Braille. Today, braille display made typing easy on computers and most phones. For which a physical Braille Keyboard is required quite difficult for the users to connect it each time before they reply.
Google made it more convenient for blind or visually impaired people by introducing the TalkBack braille keyboard which is directly integrated into Android devices. The best part is, it’s fast, convenient and doesn’t require any subsidiary hardware.
According to Google, their team collaborated with braille developers and users while coming up with this feature. Therefore, it would be easy to use by every braille user. Like braille writer, it consists of standard six key-layout, representing six dots which will result in a letter/symbol, when tapped in combination.
According to Company, the mission behind TalkBack Braille Keyboard is to expand literacy and exposure of braille among blind and visually impaired people. Moreover, to make information about world accessible universally
To enable TalkBack Keyboard, you need to turn off magnification. Now open your device’s Settings app > Select Accessibility > Select Talkback > and Select Braille keyboard. You can see full instructions on Google’s official website. Here clear instructions are given step by step about:
- How to set up the Braille Keyboard.
- How to type in the Braille Keyboard with some further commands
You can simply turn the braille keyboard on and off just like switching between international keyboards. Note that when the keyboard is on talkback Gesture is not supported.
Once the keyboard is on, you can open apps with text field like Gmail, Social media or Google Keep etc. The TalkBack braille keyboard isn’t yet supported in Google Docs or Messages.
Talkback keyboard can be used to type normally as well as it allows you to add lines, delete and submit any text, it is supported by Android devices with a 5.0 version or newer. It supports Grade 1 and Grade 2 Braille.
If you are a new user, then Grade 1 would be useful for you. If you want to use abbreviations or you are a more advanced user, then Grade 2 is best for you. It works beyond every app on your Android devices. Currently it’s available only in Unified English Braille.