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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Refreshable Braille Displays

Braille displays provide access to information on a computer screen by electronically raising and lowering different combinations of pins in braille cells. A braille display can show up to 80 characters from the screen and is refreshable—that is, it changes continuously as the user moves the cursor around on the screen, using either the command keys, cursor routing keys, or Windows and screen reader commands. The braille display sits on the user’s desk, often underneath the computer keyboard. The advantages of braille displays over synthetic speech are that it provides direct access to information; allows the user to check format, spacing, and spelling; and is quiet. The price of braille displays range from $3,500 to $15,000, depending on the number of characters displayed. Later models of braille displays offer note-taking and file storage capabilities. Some personal digital assistants (PDAs) may be connected to a computer and used as a braille display or speech synthesizer. Typically, braille displays are available with 40, 70 or 80 characters. A 40-character display is sufficient for most jobs. Examples of jobs that could require a 70- or 80-character display are computer programmer and customer service representative. Here are some questions to ask when purchasing braille displays:
•   How does the display connect to your computer?
•   How well is the display supported by your screen reader?
•   Are the buttons and switches on the display comfortable and easy to use?
•   How many braille cells do you need?
•   How does the display feel? Do you prefer braille dots that are “rounded” or “sharper”?
•   Is the display supported and repaired in the United States?
•   How large is the actual display? Does it fit in your work space?

20 Products in Category

Product Table

Product NameProduct DescriptionDistributor Contact
ALVA BC680 Compact 80-cell braille display designed to work with a variety of products including PCs, Macintosh, mobile phones and PDAs. Includes Bluetooth and USB connectivity and built-in Windows access utility. The ALVA BC680 is like having two Braille displays in one device. It?s the only 80-cell Braille display that offers simultaneous connectivity with two PCs/Macs. Or you can connect one PC/Mac and a Smartphone for the ultimate in flexibility and usefulness. Order ALVA BC680 from The Chicago Lighthouse Store
ALVA USB 640 Compact 40-cell braille display designed to work with a variety of products including PCs, Macintosh, and Linux. Includes USB connectivity and built-in Windows access utility. at.info@visioncue.com
Braille Star 40Portable display that provides a “scratchpad” on which users can jot a few notes independently while connected to—or disconnected from—a computer. Allows users to download data from a computer into the scratchpad, and then disconnect from the computer to read, edit, add to and save the data. Braille Star 40 is an ergonomically optimized Braille display with 40 piezoelectric Braille cells. It is designed for the combination with a laptop. Its integrated note taker function turns Braille Star 40 into a real star. Combined with a keyboard, Braille Star 40 can be used as a stand-alone note taker. Braille Star 40 is extremely compact and equipped with both a serial and USB interface. Optionally, Braille Star is available with Bluetooth? technology for wireless connection. info@triumphonic.com
Braille Star 80Desktop display that provides a “scratchpad” on which users can jot a few notes independently while connected to—or disconnected from—a computer. Allows users to download data from a computer into the scratchpad, and then disconnect from the computer to read, edit, add to and save the data. info@handytech.us
Braille Wave40-character braille display with a built-in notetaker. May be connected to a notebook computer. Software package supplied allows notes to be easily transferred to Microsoft Word on a personal computer. This portable 40-cell refreshable Braille display that can be used either connected to a computer through either a serial cable or Bluetooth(Optional). info@handytech.us
Brailliant B 80Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or laptop computers. Offers both Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Brailliant BI 32Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or laptop computers or mobile devices. Offers both Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Brailliant BI 40Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or laptop computers or mobile devices. Offers both Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Easy Braille40-cell braille display with USB or optional Bluetooth connection. The braille display is concave, so the user's fingers fall directly on the braille characters. info@handytech.us
Focus 14The new Focus 14 Blue combines a highly responsive 8-dot keyboard and comfortable control layout with both USB and Bluetooth connectivity in a pocket-sized design. The fusion of comfort, portability, and advanced features makes the new Focus 14 Blue the ultimate go-anywhere Braille interface device. Read text messages, navigate your Smartphone screen, and enter text - all without taking your phone off your belt or out of your bag. With Focus 14 Blue, you have an efficient, full-featured Braille keyboard for your Smartphone, plus the ability to read your Smartphone's display silently.
Focus 40 Blue Braille DisplayPortable and adjustable refreshable braille displays. Include easy-to-remember braille commands and braille settings. Used with the JAWS screen reader, the refreshable braille cells act as a tactile monitor that allows users to navigate and read information in dynamic braille. It is both Bluetooth and USB compatible, and works with iOS, Mac, and Windows
Focus 80 Blue Braille DisplayPortable and adjustable refreshable braille display. Includes easy-to-remember braille commands and braille settings. Used with the JAWS screen reader, the refreshable braille cells act as a tactile monitor that allows users to navigate and read information in dynamic braille. It is both Bluetooth and USB compatible, and works with iOS, Mac, and Windows
Modular EvolutionAvailable with 88 or 64 braille cells, it is the first braille display to use the Active Tactile Control (ATC) technology, which senses the location of the user's fingers on the display. info@handytech.us
PAC Mate 20 Display20-cell refreshable display initially designed to be used with the Pac Mate PDA. May also be used with desktops and laptops using a USB connection.
PAC Mate 40 Display40-cell refreshable display initially designed to be used with the Pac Mate PDA. May also be used with desktops and laptops using a USB connection.
Seika Braille DisplayA 40-cell braille display that is lightweight and portable. This braille display connects to the computer with a USB cable or an optional Bluetooth. gayle.yarnall@perkins.org
Sync Braille (20 Cell)Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or laptop computers. Offers USB connectivity. sales@gwmicro.com
Sync Braille (32 Cell)Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or laptop computers. Offers USB connectivity. sales@gwmicro.com
VarioPro 64Small, modular display with additional modules for different work situations. Includes navigation rollers and thumb keys.
VarioPro 80 Small, modular display with additional modules for different work situations. Includes navigation rollers and thumb keys.

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