Enabling opportunities: a Polytech student introduced a new Braille-inspired code for the blind and partially sighted
Entertainment and profit are not the sole goals of IT-technology since it also serves humanitarian purposes. This statement has been proven true at the Hackathon Socialhack where IT-specialists had a chance to work together with social activists. A new version of Braille developed by an IAMM student and Fablab resident Gleb Miroshnik won the “Technology of opportunities” nomination.
The contest was one of a series of events dedicated to social innovations whose objective was to highlight the most promising startups in social services using the up-to-date technology and interdisciplinary experience. For two days the Socialhack participants were working to improve their projects under the watchful eye of their mentors – social researchers, sociologists and IT-experts.
The new device is meant to facilitate Braille’s learning. Its low cost allows it to be used by both rehabilitation and learning centers and individual learners.
A traditional Braille includes six raised dots arranged on a large platform whereas Gleb’s invention translates Braille dots into flat-type symbols. The sample Braille has a wooden framework which has curved top with a light indicator on one side and six raised dots with a red enter button on the other side. “A person unfamiliar with Braille but willing to read a text can feel the six-dot code and enter it into the device, the symbol lights up an indicator after pressing the red button. This way a person can read and enter various combinations, the device will display a letter or a sad smiley, if the symbol was entered incorrectly”, - explains the inventor. The new Braille is used by students mastering in typhlo-pedagogy, teachers studying Braille and late-blind people.