Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Braille Squad -- Free app!

Braille Squad

UNC students have created Braille Squad - a free game for emerging braille readers.  The game uses the iPad paired with the refreshable braille display (RBD).  This is a great first pass at this game; the UNC students would like your feedback on how to improve the game. Please send any comments back to me: dianebrauner@me.com

Braille Settings:

Before playing the game, you will need to confirm that your braille settings are set correctly for this beginning braille game.  Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille.

        Contracted Braille - Off

        Automatic Braille Translation - On

        Eight-dot braille - Off

        Status Cell - Off

        Equations use Nemeth Code (no Nemeth code is used in this game, so this setting does not matter)

        Show Onscreen keyboard - Off

To add Braille Squad game icon to your Home screen (so you do not have to go to Safari and type in the address each time you want to play):

The first time, click on the link provided in this email or launch Safari and type in the game URL.  When Braille Squad is open, type the Share button (a popup appears).  Tap on “Add to Home Screen”, which is located at the bottom of the line of the popup.  The Braille Squad game will now have an icon on your Home screen.  (It will automatically be placed as your last app on your last Home Screen.  Next time you play the game, simply go to your Home screen and tap on Braille Squad.

This game is designed for the iPad to be in portrait position, to be used in conduction with the refreshable braille display and to be used with VoiceOver on.
 

Games:

Scribble:  Use the refreshable braille display to make letters.

Students can “scribble” by making any combination of braille dots.  Example: The student can press dots 1 and 3; the game will say “K”.

Matching:  Buttons On/Off (This toggles between using the braille display and using the on-screen keyboard.  If someone with vision is learning braille, then activate the Buttons On/Off so that the individual visual letters on the iPad screen can be selected. However, in this mode the braille will only display “btn” for “button”; the individual tactile braille letters on the RBD will not be displayed.  Activate the Buttons On/Off again to use the tactile braille letters on the RBD.

Four braille letters appear on the RBD.  The game will say a letter and the student will select the correct letter by pressing the Routing button directly below and one space to the right of the desired letter.  (The Routing buttons are the small black raised circle below each braille cell on the RBD.  Pressing the Routing button will move the blinking VoiceOver cursor to that braille cell.)

Easy Typing:   The game will say, “Type the letter ___”.  The student will type the desired letter.

Hard Typing:   The game will say, “Type the letter ___.”  The student will type the desired letter.

Training:   The game will say dot numbers to make a specific letter.  The student will press the desired braille input keys to create the letter.

 

Hints:

To go back to the Braille Squad home screen, select Menu.  (Remember, VoiceOver is on, so you must touch Menu (listen to VoiceOver say “menu”) and then double tap.  If the Menu button does not appear at the bottom of the page, use three fingers and drag up to move the screen up in order to reach the Menu button.  Activate the Menu button by touching, (listen to “menu”) then double tapping.

There is currently an Apple glitch with the on-screen keyboard.  (The RBD command to hide the on-screen keyboard currently does not work.)  The on-screen keyboard should not appear (as we turned it off in Settings); however, currently the on-screen keyboard will appear sometimes.  If it does, activate Hide keyboard button (bottom right key on the on-screen keyboard - remember VoiceOver is on, so you tap, listen to Hide Keyboard and double tap).  Then activate the Restore Focus button at the bottom left side of the screen.

Comments

Awesomeness

Posted by Kathi Loudon

Thank you so much for this post! I am going to get this and recommend this to my parents who have access to getting this app

Previous comments for Braille Squad -- Free app!

Kathi Loudon commented on February 7, 2014

Thank you so much for this post! I am going to get this and recommend this to my parents who have access to getting this app