We hope you've had a wonderful summer. Here's an update of what's been happening in Braillists, and what to look forward to.
* Sight Village Birmingham
* Bristol Braille and Beer on the 12th of September
* Dublin Braillists no.3 in October or November
* Vote to help us get £500 sponsorship
* Sight Village London
* A Braille calliper
* BBC Micro:Bit collaboration
* Canute Mk9 in America
* Canute Mk10 in New College Worcester
To comment on any of these stories don't forget to join us on the forum: http://braillists.org/forum/
Sight Village Birmingham
Once again the Braillists had a stall at Sight Village Birmingham. We'd like to extend a warm welcome to all our our new sign-ups.
Bristol Braille and Beer
Event: Monday the 12th, 630PM in The Stables, Bristol, with a Canute and (possibly) a camera.
Paul Sullivan has been testing the Canute Mk9 so we're holding a special Bristol Braillists meeting next Monday (the 12th) to hear the feedback. We'll agree advice and instruction for BBT as it builds the next Canute prototype.
We'll also be joined by Isabel Rogers, shooting a piece that will be shown to Points West (local BBC TV news). Its a great opportunity for us to reach those who don't yet know about the Braillists. (If you'd rather not be filmed this is fine and can be arranged.)
Dublin Braillists no.3 in October or November
The details are still being sorted out, but we are planning to hold a third Dublin Braillists meeting at the NCBI in late October or early November. Let us know if you would like to attend!
Vote now for £500 sponsorship
The Bristol group has been shortlisted for £500 worth of sponsorship from Skipton Building Society. If we win BBT has said they'll match that with another £500 for other local groups.
Vote here! https://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/2016-shortlisted-groups/south-west/bristol-braillists/
Sight Village London
With SV London coming up, now's the moment to start planning. Its not too late to book a stall, but we'll need volunteers to man it. Alternatively we could do another Braille and Beer in the Elephant and Castle pub, like last year.
Ed Rogers visited Squirrel Devices in Boston, MA, who have designed amazing Braille callipers. They are using an innovative non-digital technology for rendering refreshable Braille numbers on the head of the callipers.
They sell in America for around $20, and they're planning on bringing them to the UK and Ireland as well. They have sent the Braillists eight sample units, six of which we've already distributed to teachers of Braille to trial in educational settings.
They are keen to work with the Braillists; be that helping distribution or a series of brain storms to come up with alternative uses for their very exciting technology.
The BBC have been developing a new miniature computer to teach children how to code. Its a little like a Raspberry Pi (not a pie, mind), but with its own small screen, cheaper and simpler to program.
The Braillists will be assisting the BBC to develop blind and VI accessible add-ons to the Micro:Bit and to run trials to test accessibility for blind users. Watch this space...
Bristol Braille took the Canute Mk9 to America...
As most of us know, the Braillists were instrumental in designing the Canute, and now its starting to get interest from fellow Braille organisations in the States.
BBT attended the International Council for English Braille, then visited the American Printing House for the Blind, the National Federation for the Blind, the National Braille Press, Perkins and Harvard.
There was also interest from the Clovernook Centre in Cincinnati, who'll be testing the Canute at some point. Perhaps we can weave a Cincinnati Braillists event around that!
Canute Mk10 in New College Worcester
BBT is in the middle of finishing off the first Canute Mk10 unit, then it'll go to New College Worcester for the next pilot programme, to be tried in educational settings. We'll have news from the field with this soon...
Issues with registering
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We look forward to seeing you all soon!
The Braillists team