On this page you can find resources produced by the Braillists Foundation, including recordings and notes from previous events. If you find these resources helpful, please consider attending a Braillists event.
All audio recordings are also available on our Braillecast podcast, which can be found in your podcast app of choice.
Braille Master Classes
The Braillists Foundation runs a variety of one off webinars where we introduce you to various aspects of using braille and available braille technologies.
Using Braille on iOS
Led by Matthew Horspool, this session explained how to pair a braille display with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and how to get the most out of using braille with these devices.
Using Braille on Windows
Led by Holly Scott-Gardner, this session explained how to pair a windows PC with a braille display, which screen readers support braille output and some tips and tricks for using braille output.
An Introduction to Unified English Braille
Led by James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, this session answered questions such as: How does UEB differ from Standard English Braille? Where can you learn about the changes? What tips and tricks are there for switching to UEB?
Braille in the Real World
We looked at how braille can enhance all areas of our lives, particularly in education, work and for leisure. Where are you using braille? Where do you wish you could use more braille? How can the Braillists support you to reach your goals? All thoughts were brought to this discussion.
World Braille Day 2021
For World Braille Day we were joined by a panel of braille users to discuss how braille enhances their lives, and the future of braille as the needs of the blind community changes. Thanks to Saima Akhtar, Fred Reid and Gary O’Donoghue for participating in this panel.
An Introduction to the Abacus
What is an abacus and why would you use one? In this session, led by James Bowden, you will learn about the various features of the abacus and why it is ideal for use as a blind person.
The session covers:
- Physical description and orientation
- The beads and their meaning
- Setting numbers
- Basic addition
- Overflows and carries
An Introduction to Braille Labelling
This event, led by Matthew Horspool, acts as an introduction to the various types of braille labels available and how to create your own labels using a range of materials. The session covered using a slate and stylus, a Perkins brailler and a braille labeller to produce labels, as well as tips for labelling various products around the home.
An Introduction to Braille Music
In this practical introduction to braille music we introduce you to braille music notation, how to both read and write braille music, where to access braille music and how to continue learning. This event was led by James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB.
Knowledge of contracted braille is required to follow along with the session and the handout, which is located below the media player.
Using Braille for Learning Languages
This session looked at how to use braille when learning a language, including accessing BRFs and using your iPhone to assist with reading. We discussed various language codes used around the world, including for biblical language study. Participants shared their own experiences learning languages and the various resources they have accessed.
This session was delivered by Holly Scott-Gardner.
Links to the resources discussed in the recording can be found in the notes, which are available for download below the media player.
An Introduction to the Slate and Stylus
This event, led by James Bowden, Braille Technical Officer at RNIB, was a practical introduction on using a hand frame (also known as a slate and stylus). The session covered inserting the paper, holding the stylus and writing some characters, as well as some basic types of frame and where to get them. If you have a braille hand frame you can complete the activities as you listen, and use the written notes (found below the media player) to support your learning.
Getting Around the Orbit Reader 20
Dave Williams, Brailleists Foundation Chair and Customer Experience Manager at RNIB talks us through the Orbit Reader. What is it, how does it compare to other displays on the market and how can you get one?
Stay Safe, Stay Connected
During the Coronavirus pandemic the Braillists Foundation held a large number of Zoom calls, helping to keep the blind community connected and engaged. Recordings of these calls are now being archived.
Stay Safe: Stay Connected call with Stuart Lawler
This session explained how various levels of braille technology, for example a note taker or display, might be advantageous for you in different situations. It also covered how mainstream technology has embraced braille to all our advantages.
Stuart focused particularly on the ElBraille with Focus 5th edition display, the Braille Sense Polaris and the QBraille from Selvas Healthcare.
Stay Safe: Stay Connected call with Judy Dixon
Judy Dixon is something of a braille icon, and owns what is widely considered to be the largest collection of braille slates and styluses, containing over 280 unique designs. On Friday 7 August 2020, we joined the dots on her incredible story.
Orbit Reader 20
This is an overview of the Orbit Reader 20, held as part of a Stay Safe: Stay Connected call on Monday 27 July 2020.
Stay Safe, Stay Connected call with Brian MacDonald
National Braille Press, based in Boston Massachusetts since 1927, is a global leader in producing high quality, affordable braille materials and developing innovative technologies advancing braille literacy for blind and visually impaired children and adults everywhere. In addition to its first class braille transcription facility, producing everything from standardised tests to restaurant menus, NBP has a unique specialism in publishing original books by blind authors expressly for blind people, from cookery to technology.
On Friday 15 May, the Braillists Foundation was privileged to host Brian MacDonald, NBP’s President, on its weekly Stay Safe: Stay Connected conference call, and participants had the opportunity to ask questions about how more high quality braille is finding its way into the hands of more readers throughout these challenging times.