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Dear Braillist

We trust your Braille reading fingers have been kept warm throughout the winter curled up with a good book. But if your Braille skills are a touch rusty, we are sure that in 2016 innovative Braille technology and meeting fellow Braillists will reinvigorate your enthusiasm for the dots.

Dates for your diary:

  • Friday 11th of March - Braille carvings unveiled. Southmead Hospital, Bristol
  • Monday 14th of March - Bristol Braillists. Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, Bristol
  • Wednesday 23rd of March - Presentation: Making a Braille eReader. San Diego, California 
  • Saturday 2nd of April - Reading Braillists. Quaker’s Meeting House, Reading
  • Friday 22nd of April - Lunchtime talk. Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, Bristol
  • Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th of April - Sight Village Scotland. Glasgow
  • Sunday 22nd of May - International Council on English Braille General Assembly. Baltimore, Maryland

Canute back on track

Braillists in Bristol will get a sneak preview of the latest Canute Braille eReader on the 14th of March. We hope you will join us?

After overcoming prototyping hurdles in the autumn, the Canute affordable multiline Braille eReader, from Bristol Braille Technology, is now taking great strides toward a final design. 

Braillists meetings are not just an opportunity to show off new technology, they give the space to understand the challenges as well as enjoy the successes. So BBT met with the Bristol Braillists on the 15th of December to discuss the state of play.

Notwithstanding a fire alarm that disgorged us out in to the inclement weather; or a sighting of the comedy writer Paul Whitehouse, “Suits You, Sir”; we all came away from the meeting with a renewed sense of purpose.

After the successful Canute Mk6 home testing program last summer, a collaboration between Bristol Braille Technology and the Braillists, The Information Technologists Guild has generously extended their sponsorship of the Canute project making further development possible.

With funding for a Canute MK8 in place, BBT came back in the New Year with an improved Canute that met the approval of Braillists regulars, Hazel and Paul Sullivan, at a test session held 5th of February.
The updated Canute design eliminates the need for pins and reduces the number of moving parts by over 3,000 per unit. The new iteration is smaller and faster than predecessors. BBT are keen to hear your feedback.

Now you can be one of the first to get hands on the latest Canute before it is whisked away to be presented at the International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities in San Diego later this month.

Join the Bristol Braillists at 6:30pm on Monday the 14th of March at the Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, 1 Canon's Rd, Avon, Bristol BS1 5TX.

Or join the Reading Braillists at 2pm on Saturday the 2nd of April at the Quaker’s Meeting House, 2 Church Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 2SB.


Braille unveiling in Bristol

Alistair Park, a wood carver who has been consulting with Braillists in Bristol, has completed panels featuring Braille to be installed at Southmead hospital.

The unveiling, by the chair of the NHS trust, will be at 2.30pm on Friday the 11th of March at the new Brunel building of Southmead hospital in Bristol.

Volunteer guides will be available to help anyone who needs assistance. Braillists will be made very welcome.

Alistair extends his deep appreciation to everyone on and off the forum who helped with the panel design.


Calling Braillists in London

From our Beer and Braille events in 2015, we know a number of Braillists in London are interested in a local group. We just need a chair person to step up and volunteer to lead this effort. Does that sound like you?
If you think you could help get a London Braillists group up and running, email



The Braillists is undergoing a transformation to become more sustainable. We have established a voluntary steering committee and are heading toward registering Braillists as a Charitable Foundation this summer. Adopting a recognized legal structure will help the central Braillists organization to independently accept donations and apply for funding.

To support the work of the committee, establish a Braillists group in your area, change your newsletter subscription, give us a shout: email; follow @Braillists on Twitter; join us on our discussion forum.

Until next time!

Your Dotty Braillists Team

Bea, Dave, Ed and Jen



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