Guide

Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad iOS 8

A Refreshable Braille Display (RBD) provides access to information that is on the iPad screen by electronically raising and lowering different combinations of pins in braille cells.

Smiling four year old in a preschool classroom writing using a refreshable braille display paired with an iPad.A Refreshable Braille Display (RBD) provides access to information that is on the iPad screen by electronically raising and lowering different combinations of pins in braille cells.  The RBD is refreshable – the braille cells change continuously as the user navigates the cursor around the screen. The Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad manual will teach the refreshable braille display (RBD) commands that are commonly used to navigate the iPad, interact with core educational apps on the iPad, and how to edit, select, cut, copy and paste.   The Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad manual is designed to follow the first manual, iPad Accessibility Features for Blind and Low Vision Students.  These manuals are written specifically for teachers of the visually impaired as they instruct academic students with visual impairments to successfully and efficiently use an iPad in mainstream classrooms.  

Each section of the manual contains information about the task, teacher hints and teaching strategies, and step-by-step activities that can be used with students.  The activities build on each other, creating a strong iPad accessibility curriculum. This manual was written to accompany the corresponding Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad workshop. For information about the full-day iPad accessibility workshops, please contact [email protected]

Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad manual, written by Diane Brauner and Ed Summers, is being shared on the Paths to Technology website with permission from SAS Institute Inc.  Using a Refreshable Braille Display with the iPad  © 2013 SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC USA.  All Rights Reserved.

iOS 8 had numerous broken RBD commands.  These issues were resolved in later versions of iOS 8 and/or iOS 9. The correct commands and reactions were included in the manual.  If there was a known glitch or bug – at the time the manual was written – a side note was added to alert the user that the command was broken at that time the manual was published.  The attached RBD commands should reflect the current iOS 9 RBD commands; the manual reflects the iOS 8 commands.  There are only a few differences between iOS 8 and iOS 9 commands.

The manual is organized into the following four chapters.  Under each chapter are links to the accompanying videos, Paths to Technology posts, RBD command charts and worksheets. In addition to the attached documents, you will need two free iBooks to complete the activities: The Very Wimpy Kid and Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson (free sample).  The video uses the free iBook, Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn.

00 Introduction High school student with multiple disabilities brailling using a refreshable braille display.

The introduction includes terms used in the manual and the Table of Contents.

01 Settings

The iPad has numerous general features and accessibility features to enable users to customize the iPad for a specific user.  The Settings chapter explains the various options and provides information to help you determine which options are best for you/your student.  Note: See the iPad Accessibility Features for Blind and Low Vision Students  O1 Settings for the complete Settings chapter for iOS 9.  

Note: Braille Input and Braille Output options have changed in an iOS 8 update – the manual does not reflect the changed RBD commands but the video does demonstrate the change.

RBD Navigation Commands chart for iOS 902 Navigating Apps with the Refreshable Braille Display 

This chapter introduces the RBD features and teaches the basic RBD commands used for navigation.  Participants should already be familiar with VoiceOver gestures and with the core educational apps.

Middle school student with progressive eye condition learning braille by typing the alphabet using a refreshable braille display paired with an iPad.03 Manipulating Text with a Refreshable Braille Display

This chapter will demonstrate how to manipulate text using the Refreshable Braille Display.  Note: iOS 9 added the “Text Selection” feature to the rotor.

04 Modifying, Navigating & Answering Homework Questions

Creating properly formatted digital documents is critical for students with visual impairments to be able to successfully integrate using technology into the classroom.  This chapter will discuss the issues surrounding accessible educational materials along with suggestions on how teachers can create accessible materials and how students can place their answers on digital worksheets.

 

Additional Paths to Technology posts on using a refreshable braille display with an iPad:

Preschooler learning the iPad and RBD

High School student with multiple disabilities learning braille with an RBD

Attached File(s)

https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/RBD%20Navigation%20Commands.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/RBD%20Manipulate%20Text%20Commands.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/Superhero%20Joey%20.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/A%20Fright%20on%20Carpenter%20F.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/The%20Wooly%20Bear_0.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/Jupiter%20Inlet%20Lighthouse%20copy_1.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/From%20Rattlesnakes%20O%20copy.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/From%20Rattlesnakes%20Example.docx https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/00%20Introduction.pdf https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/01%20Settings.pdf https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/02%20Navigation.pdf https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/03%20Manipulating%20Text.pdf https://www.perkins.org/sites/elearning.perkinsdev1.org/files/04%20Homework.pdf

By Diane Brauner

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