Since the launch of SwiftBraille project in the beginning of 2016, we started to implement the most important features for blind and visually impaired, in my opinion this project still needs a lot of works to let the keyboard as a default keyboard for blind and visually impaired on their Android devices.
Of course, with the efforts that have been done by blind and volunteers to make the project better and better, Swift Braille wouldn’t reach to this level even it hasn’t passed the first year from its age yet!
In the past few months, I’ve got messages said that the project is a good one for students to learn Braille language more easily than ever, compared to other apps that providing the learning functionality. But what makes this project is a good one for learning Braille along with keyboard input method?
@SwiftBraille thanks! I will. Some of our students will be needing this on Android.
— Antti Peltoniemi (@APeltoniemi_edu) September 20, 2016
To type using Braille on Perkins machine, the user needs to use his two hands and click on the buttons/keys to type the needed letter, as an example “L” letter in Braille is dots (one, two, and three). You can read here the English letters in Braille language representation.
The most important feature of this project is the user can connect the Braille dots together using one finger along with typing over them using his six fingers with different Braille dots layouts. It will be easier for the students to memorize the path of needed letter in Braille language rather than memorize the dots numbers! Here is an example of “L” letter represented in Braille language by connecting dots (one, two, and three) using SwiftBraille keyboard.
Since the version 2.0 of this project, and the efforts of blind themselves, we supported more two languages in user interface and Braille language (Spanish and French) beside of English and Arabic languages. Here is a list of supported languages in SwiftBraille project, and more is coming soon.
To manage each single piece of the keyboard, still this a big task! Starting from changing the width and height of the keyboard, Braille dots layout, changing the style of the Braille dots for visually impaired and other lots of advanced settings with sounds and text to speech engines, makes this project is a good choice to be used by students to learn Braille language! For more details about a list of features, please visit “How To Use” page.
Of course, those messages are containing a lot of demands and functions asked to be implemented in this project, includes:
– Support Braille grade two inside the keyboard.
– Support other many languages in user interface and Braille language.
– Add more visually effects that help the students to learn Braille language.
– Provide more visually (video) or sound contents of how to use this keyboard and project at all.
Well, it’s hard to give a specific time to make this real to interact with, of course as I have more works to do besides the lack of the support for project (How to support the project?), but of course I’ve a plan to work on and make sure from the current provided version clear of bugs/problems, focus on providing more functions for blind and visually impaired which is most important.
Starting from the next year (2017), talking and collaboration with blind and visually impaired institutions should be started to support more features that might help the students who would like to learn Braille language to be built in inside the app.
This is a message to developers and programmers to invest some of their times to develop more projects and apps for this important category on the society.