Braille Equipment

Free Slates, Styluses and Forming Blocks Still Available!

We still have some A4 braille frames, styluses and 8-cell braille word forming blocks to give away to anyone living in the UK or Ireland. All we ask is that, if we send you some equipment and you decide you no longer want it, you agree to give it away rather than selling it.

For introductions to using this kit, please see recordings of our previous Masterclasses, available on our Media page or via the Braillecast podcast.

To request your free equipment, please email Stephanie on [email protected] or call her on 020 3893 3392. Please be sure to include your postal address when you write to her, otherwise she won’t know where to send it!

Paper for the A4 hand frame can be obtained from a number of suppliers – please see our Consumables page for more information.

N.B. logistics are being handled by our partner, Vision Through Sound CIC. Your data will therefore be held by them in addition to the Braillists Foundation. However, please be assured that they will only use your data in order to dispatch Braillists Foundation products and will not use it for their own marketting purposes.

If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can ask on the Braillists’ email forum for advice on similar resources in your country.

Perkins Brailler

We recommend searching for second hand braillers in the first instance. They can often be obtained for around £100 on websites such as EBay, and even braillers which are apparently in poor condition can often be repaired relatively inexpensively.

If you do wish to purchase a new brailler, the following options are available:

Note that the Smart Brailler listed above is based on the Next Generation Perkins (no longer available) and hence does not accept Perkins-size braille paper.

For Perkins Brailler Repairs, Please Contact:

Perkins Brailler Repairs, The Royal National College for the Blind, Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DT: 0800 027 6574, 01432 376 378, [email protected]

Alan Thorpe, 1, Carter Road, Sheffield, S8 9CS: 0114 220 7007, 0114 200 7007, 07961 406739, [email protected]

Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, 33, Earlsdon Avenue South, Earlsdon, Coventry, CV5 6th: 024 7671 7522, [email protected]

Harry Thompson, Parsonage Farm, South Street, Blewbury, Oxon, OX11 9PR: 01235 850 904, [email protected]

In The Republic Of Ireland:

Greg Flanagan, Arbour Hill Braille Unit, Arbour Hill Prison, Dublin 7: 01 472 4058

Mountbatten Brailler

This product family is a well-known electronic alternative to the Perkins Brailler. With significantly reduced key travel, it is particularly suited to people with motor and physical difficulties. However, children also appreciate the speech feedback, and the options that it has for connectivity equip it for basic braille-to-print and computer-driven embossing tasks.

Other Braille Writers

Please note: in practice, the maximum paper width for the Tatrapoint is US letter size or A4.

Braille Frames (Slates) and Styluses

Using the Janus Frame

To put paper into the frame you slide it in the open side. You can find this because it has a small intent in the plastic around the edge of one of the short sides. Note that the frame does not unfold like a standard frame.

Paper slides in there and now can be embossed using the stylus included. This is a flat, sculpted stylus, very handy for keeping in a purse or pocket or similar (compared with the conventional more bulbous handled ones).

You can write on both sides of the paper, just turn the frame over. The spacing is inter-line, meaning the lines are off-set on one side compared with the other. When you take the card out and put it back in again to make a correction be careful to put it in the same way around, otherwise the lines will not line up.

Braille Labelling

Braille Keyring

Braille and Tactile Graphics Embossers

In the UK, the two most common embosser manufacturers are Index Braille AB (best for braille) and ViewPlus Technologies (best for tactile graphics). Other manufacturers, such as Braillo and Interpoint nv, make extremely high speed braille embossers for large braille production units and are not discussed here.

Index

These embossers produce industry-leading braille dots at high speed, spare parts are easily obtained and technical support is world class. However, only low resolution tactile graphics are possible.

The following models are available:

ViewPlus

The dots produced by these embossers are often described as “watery” or “spikey” and are not generally considered satisfactory as braille dots. Prolonged reading of ViewPlus braille dots often causes fatique in the fingers. However, these embossers produce excellent tactile graphics, with resolutions and variable dot heights which other embossers cannot match.

Sight and Sound Technology Ltd sell the following models:

Geometry

For best results with geometry, we recommend also purchasing some cork tiles, pins and rubber bands.

Heat Fusers, Thermoform Machines and Related Accessories