Welcome to the Braillists

Latest News

  • Adding Your Own Contractions to Your Screen Reader Using Liblouis, Tuesday 16 April at 7:30 PM

    Many screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA, make use of the popular, open source Liblouis braille translation engine as part of their braille display support. In this session, we will explain and demonstrate how to harness the power of Liblouis braille tables to implement additional contractions in your screen reader of choice.

    If you use a long word regularly and find it is taking up too much space on your braille display, this is the session for you! It will also serve as a brief introduction to Liblouis translation tables in general.

    The session will be presented by James Bowden. In addition to his work as Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, James is also the Chair of the Braille Technology Committee of the International Council on English Braille, and is the primary developer of the default UEB translation table in Liblouis. Over many years, he has not only added new symbols to the UEB tables, but has also corrected numerous errors with existing contractions, and he actively contributes to discussions about the future development of Liblouis.

    Please note: although we will do our best to present the concepts in this session in as simple and straightforward a way as possible, modifying Liblouis tables involves advanced file and folder manipulation, administration rights and working with computer code in a text editor. You do not need to be a computer programmer in order to benefit from this session, but it is best suited to people with intermediate to advanced computer knowledge.

    Register for the Masterclass here.

    To join by phone, please use these details:

    • Phone number: 0131 460 1196
    • Meeting ID: 814 7463 2995
    • Passcode: 123456
  • Braille Music on the Canute: Face-To-Face Event, Saturday 13 April 2024 from 12:00 midday

    Calling all Braille music lovers:

    Bristol Braille Technology are now opening up the Braille invention centre in Bristol, so that we can gather interested people to try out the Canute Console, and participate in its development.

    On Saturday, 13th April, we are holding a Music gathering, where we will be displaying Braille music scores on the nine line by 40 character display on the Canute Console.

    This means you will be able to have more than one line of music and the lyrics all on one page, without having to scroll from line to line to gain the whole picture. We will be meeting at: The Braille invention centre: G11, 37 Philip St, Bristol, BS3 4EA, UK, from mid day until 3pm.

    Ed Rogers and Steph Sergeant from Bristol Braille and Stuart Lawler from Sight and Soundwill be hosting the meeting.

    “We are looking for people who are interested in building something exciting with us.” Even if you cannot attend on the day, email what you would like to see developed.

    We will do live prototyping of any ideas that have arisen.

    James Bowden, RNIB’s Braille Technical Officer, will be bringing a variety of braille music scores to display on the Canute. He will also demonstrate using MuseScore and SMB (etc).

    Jay Pocknell, one of RNIB’s music officers is coming to talk about access to music etc. He runs ‘Sound Without Sight’

    Roger Firman cannot come unfortunately, so he is sending a recording of his experience of several years of using a Canute with Braille music.

    Another exciting development is that we are in touch with MuseScore to discover how well, their new version of MuseScore will work with the Canute Console. In a future event we will be inviting Peter Jonas to explain MuseScore, including six-key input.

    Please get in touch To let us know you are interested:. Email [email protected] (mobile 07793 906 745)

    Please let us know the time your train will be arriving at Bristol Temple Medes, and we can co-ordinate taxis. You may bring a sighted guide if that would help.

    Bristol Braille will be able to cover standard class travel expenses.

  • Exciting Opportunity to Help Shape the Future of Braille Learning

    If you live in the UK and are an experienced braille reader with access to a Windows computer and screen reader, you are invited to test a new braille learning tool. In as little as one hour you could make a huge difference to the way braille is learnt in the UK. Contact us here at the Braillists and we will pass along your details.

The Braillists is a grass-roots community group offering high quality training and support to emerging and established braille users. We also work with family members, friends, colleagues and teachers of braille users, and connect braille users with braille technology developers and funders.

What Is Braille?

Braille is a simple code for representing written language. We believe braille has the potential to transform the life of any blind person who has the opportunity to learn it.

Discover more about braille on this page.

Learn Braille

We support hundreds of adults to read braille by touch in a few short weeks through our innovative and approachable Braille for Beginners course. Free of charge, it comprises hard copy resources through the post and a series of short pre-recorded lessons, supplemented by email and Zoom support from highly qualified and experienced tutors.

Find out more about Braille for Beginners and register here.

There are plenty of other courses available too, for both children and adults, reading by touch or by sight. We have made a list of these on our Learn Braille page.

Perkins Repairs and Other Braille Equipment

The Perkins Brailler is the most established braille writer in use today, and even machines from the 1950s can still be serviced and repaired. We have compiled information about Perkins repairs, places to purchase Perkins Braillers, and other types of braille equipment on our Braille Equipment page.

If you are looking for braille paper, you can find it on our Braille Consumables page.

Our Aims

  1. Promote the value of braille as a proven literacy tool that enriches the lives of blind people.
  2. Support efforts to make affordable braille and tactile reading technologies available to all blind people irrespective of education and employment status.
  3. Provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas about the development of future braille technology.

Find Out More

Join our announcements only mailing list to receive our weekly newsletter.

Join the conversation and meet other Braillists on our discussion forum.

Connect with us on Twitter (@Braillists) or like us on Facebook for up to the minute Braillists news.

Listen to some braille-related audio on Soundcloud (braillists).

Please see our Sponsors and Partners for information on organisations who are supporting us.

Get In Touch

Email [email protected] or call 020 3893 3392. Further details on our Contact Us page.