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Your Weekly Update from the Braillists Foundation

Next Tuesday: An Introduction to Braille on Android

If you’re a blind Android user, you’re bound to have come across Steve Nutt at Computer Room Services. He’s blind himself, been in the accessible smartphone business for over 20 years, and has a vast amount of knowledge and experience when it comes to using smartphones with braille displays.

We’re delighted that he’ll be joining us on Tuesday 18 May at 7:30 PM to present an introduction to using an Android device with a braille display. We’ll cover which braille displays work with Android, how to connect them, how to navigate the operating system, other key concepts, and how to use braille input. There will also be time for your questions.

To register for our Android session, please use this link: https://is.gd/RUH5vc

Book Club Begins “Just William” by Richmal Crompton

Our Book Club has now finished reading its third book and will be starting its fourth on Thursday at 6:00 PM.

Just William, the famous book of short stories by Richmal Crompton, was chosen because it’s available in both electronic and hard copy editions, in both grade 1 and grade 2, and it’s not especially long. The hard copy braille edition can be obtained from the RNIB Library, whilst the electronic braille edition can be downloaded from RNIB Reading Services or found on the SD card which shipped with Orbit Readers from the RNIB from April 2020 onwards. For readers in the US, we understand that Just William is also available via BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Download facility of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.

We will be reading this book in three breakout groups to suit different reading speeds: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You don’t have to choose your group in advance, and you can move to another group at any time if you think it would be more suitable.

Anyone is welcome and no registration is required. Just turn up and enjoy reading!

Join link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89353220947
Meeting ID: 893 5322 0947

Catch the Braillists on the AT Banter Podcast

Based in Canada, the AT Banter podcast provides a balanced and entertaining look at the field of Assistive Technology, with insights and discussions from varied specialists.

Braillists Secretary Matthew Horspool Appeared on episode 329, where he talked about the state of braille in the UK and some of the challenges faced by organizations which work to advocate for, and teach, braille.

The Braillists Foundation got a mention too, of course! Check it out via the links above or search for “AT Banter” wherever you get your podcasts.

HumanWare is Seeking Private Beta Testers!

If you use a BrailleNote Touch Plus notetaker or Brailliant BI X braille display, and would be interested in testing new software before it’s released to the general public, we encourage you to read the below message from Andrew Flatres, Product Manager – Braille Products, HumanWare:

In light of new improvements to the products life cycle, HumanWare seeks beta testers to ensure stability and customer satisfaction in new firmware. HumanWare knows the importance of these products, so we want to ensure that any future software enhancements have been thoroughly reviewed and tested by actual users.

By becoming a beta tester, you will have first use of the latest firmware, where you’ll be asked to use and validate new features introduced in addition to its normal usage. Beta testing does, however, involve good communication skills and dedication.

If you are interested in potentially becoming a beta tester and have already got in the hand a new BI X display (20X or 40X) or a BrailleNote Touch Plus, please register your interest by filling out this Google form.

Please note there is limited space available. Therefore, please ensure you have submitted your interest by the Closing date 31st May 2021.

For further information about this opportunity, please email Andrew directly.

The Final Friday Forum has Just Started

Thank you to everyone who has attended one of our Friday forums since last March. It’s been a pleasure hosting them.

There’s an “end of term” feeling tonight as we bring them to an end. Pour yourself a drink, grab a snack and come join us to toast the future of the Braillists.

Join our Friday call: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84894050254
Meeting ID: 848 9405 0254

Lots of Free Equipment Still Available!

We have unfortunately now run out of abacuses. However, we do still have a large quantity of other braille equipment to give away, including:

  • A4 braille frame.
  • Stylus.
  • Samples of A4 braille paper.
  • 8-cell braille word forming block (for learners).

This offer is available to anyone living in the UK or Ireland. All we ask is that, if we send you some equipment and you decide you no longer want it, you agree to give it away rather than selling it.

For introductions to using this kit, please see recordings of our previous Masterclasses, available at braillists.org/media or via the Braillecast podcast.

To request any or all of the items above, please email Stephanie on equipment@braillists.org or call her on 020 3893 3392. Please be sure to include your postal address when you write to her, otherwise she won't know where to send it!

N.B. logistics are being handled by our partner, Vision Through Sound CIC. Your data will therefore be held by them in addition to the Braillists Foundation. However, please be assured that they will only use your data in order to dispatch Braillists Foundation products and will not use it for their own marketting purposes.

If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can ask on the Braillists' email forum for advice on similar resources in your country.

Links and Meeting IDs for our Regular Events

Masterclasses, First and Third Tuesday of the Month at 7:30 PM

Registration Link: https://is.gd/RUH5vc

Meeting ID: 824 7645 2710

Passcode: 123456

Braille Bar, Second and Fourth Tuesday of the Month at 7:30 PM

Join Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88035088878?pwd=NHdkR2s1aDZsV1RCUmpQNWh3YWNaQT09

Meeting ID: 880 3508 8878

Passcode: 123456

Book Club, every Thursday at 6:00 PM

Join Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89353220947

Meeting ID: 893 5322 0947


For more information, visit braillists.org/events. To join by phone, refer to the instructions at braillists.org/events/instructions. Our events are carefully moderated in line with our policy at braillists.org/events/moderation. Note that all events take place in the UK and are listed in UK time.

Join the Braillists on Social Media

Twitter: @braillists

Facebook: braillistsfoundation

SoundCloud: braillists

Clubhouse: Braillists Foundation


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