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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Refreshable Braille Display

Refreshable Braille Displays are electronic devices used to read text tactually that is typically displayed visually on a computer monitor. The refreshable braille display is connected to the computer by a serial or USB cable and produces braille output (with small plastic or metal pins that move up and down to display the braille characters) for the reader.

Photo of a refreshable braille display and a standard computer keyboard

Refreshable braille display and a standard computer keyboard

(Note: Some portable note takers (or PDAs) can be used as a refreshable braille display by a computer user. Although this option may be less costly, these devices are so much smaller that they may not be as effective for the braille reader and the viability of such an option would need to be discussed with the employee.)

To view a short video about screen reading technology and refreshable braille displays choose one of the following links:

Video on screen reading technology and refreshable braille displays in Windows Media format
Video on screen reading technology and refreshable braille displays in Real Player format
Transcript of screen reading technology and refreshable braille displays video

For more information on where to purchase different types of braille displays, visit AFB's Product Database.

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