Communication Aids26th June 2014
'Laptop' for Deafblind People gets them online
The BrailleNote Apex device is helping Deafblind people to communicate with the world around them
A piece of technology is helping Deafblind people to communicate with the world around them. It's called a BrailleNote Apex and it looks something like a small laptop but has a Braille keyboard and screen.
It allows users to read books, calculate bills, use social networking (e.g. Facebook) and send or receive emails. When they type into laptop it will speak to them and also show them what they've entered in Braille. When emails arrive on the device they are able to read them one line at a time on the special display. With access to the Internet and email it means they can stay in contact with friends and family who might otherwise struggle to communicate with them.
It's changing lives for many people, including a 90 year old lady who could only previously send letters to her family in Braille – which they didn't understand. Now she’s able to send them quick messages for the most basic things like asking them to pick up milk.
It's currently being provided to Deafblind people living in certain parts of the United States through the iCanConnect Programme. It is for sale online, costing over $5000 (around £3000) but we're currently unaware of any programme offering them for free as is happening in America. If you'd like more information about the product you can check out the iCanConnect website at http://www.icanconnect.org.
Article by SL First
posted in Technology / Communication Aids
26th June 2014