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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?

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There are 17 Products in the Category

Product Table

Product NameProduct DescriptionDistributor ContactImage/Multimedia Available?
ALVA BC680 Compact 80-cell braille display designed to work with a vari... https://us.optelec.com/
ALVA USB 640 Compact 40-cell braille display designed to work with a vari... at.info@visioncue.com
Braille Star 40Portable display that provides a “scratchpad” on which users... info@triumphonic.com
Braille Star 80Desktop display that provides a “scratchpad” on which users ... info@handytech.us
Braille Wave40-character braille display with a built-in notetaker. May ... info@handytech.us
Brailliant B 80Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or lap...
Brailliant BI 32Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or lap...
Brailliant BI 40Small, light and compact display for use with desktop or lap...
Easy BrailleForty-cell braille display with USB or optional Bluetooth co... info@handytech.us
Focus 14 Blue Braille Display Pocket-sized braille display with an 8-dot keyboard and 14 r... https://store.freedomscientific.com/collections/braille-display-and-embosser-accessories/products/focus-14-blue
Focus 40 Blue Fifth GenerationPortable braille display with 40 braille cells and an 8-dot ... https://store.freedomscientific.com/collections/braille-display-and-embosser-accessories/products/focus-40-blue-5th-generation
Focus 80 Blue Braille DisplayPortable and adjustable refreshable braille display. Include... https://store.freedomscientific.com/products/focus-80-blue
Seika Braille DisplayA 40-cell braille display that is lightweight and portable. ... gayle.yarnall@perkins.org
Vario 340Compact 40-cell braille display for use with computers at ho... sales@baumusa.com
Vario Ultra 20Mobile braille display with 20 braille cells and an 8-button... sales@baumusa.com Image
Vario Ultra 40Mobile braille display with 40 braille cells and an 8-button... sales@baumusa.com Image
VarioPro 80 CellsEighty-cell refreshable braille display designed for desktop... sales@baumusa.com

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