MAKING TECHNOLOGY ACCESSIBLE
BrailleEasy, a custom one-handed Braille keyboard developed in Qatar, has now been launched on the iOS App Store.
The app combines the comfort of one-handed typing with the speed of two-handed Braille-like typing, and can be used by both Arabic and English-speaking users. It comes with an extensive tutorial that walks the user through step by step, the set of gestures is easy to learn and execute, and being self-voicing makes it possible for those who do not depend on screen readers to use it fully. It also paves the way for those with limited hand movement to type in Braille on their touch screen.
The application was developed by researchers at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI). Stephan Vogel, the Research Director of QCRI's Arabic Research Technologies, said the app was released for free and its code has been released as open source. “The idea is to send BrailleEasy out into the community so that other developers, both local and worldwide, can add to it, improve it, adapt it to other languages,” Dr Vogel said.