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Interactive Braille Tutor with Speech capability

Quick Links on this page:

  1. Video of Braille Tutor's working on our Youtube channel
  2. How will this Braille Tutor help?
  3. Key Features of this concept/product
  4. Our Blog posts on this technology

See Also:

  1. Genesis of the Braille Tutor concept
  2. The Glove project

Prototype# 4 (Latest prototype) of Braille Tutor Concept. This can teach Indian languages too!

Interactive Braille Tutor with Speech Capability is an interactive tutor that helps teach Braille to blind students (young or adult), with potential to reduce load on educators, introduce an element of self-learning and also enable teaching of Braille easily in a rural environment as well.

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Video Demo of the Interactive Braille Tutor

Video of the working of Braille Tutor - Prototype #3

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How will this Braille tutor help?

During a visit to the government blind school in Mysore, we observed how Braille script is taught to children in school. Braille is more than a century old script and system is being taught with very simple tools. However, both the instructor and student being blind, often adds difficulties in the process of teaching and learning.

The development of this concept has been incremental. (Read the page: Genesis of Brialle Tutor)We developed a Prototype, demonstrated it to braille teachers and blind schools and collected feedback to improve the next version.
  1. Availability of Qualified Braille Teachers in all places:
    • Most of the Braille tutors are themselves blind. Very few people with healthy eyes opt to learn Braille
    • Rural scene, the availability of Braille teachers is very difficult. Some NGOs operating in the rural area told us that the teacher to student ratio is very difficult to manage due to non-availability of qualified Braille tutors.

    Conventional method of teaching Pre-Braille in classrooms

  2. Efficiency of Teaching Method:
    • The schools still rely on a method of teaching Braille with a wooden plate with six dips that represent a Braille cell and place a glass marble in the dips to form a Braille Character (See Picture).
    • Usually the children drop the marbles and so their teachers teach them on the floor or sometimes a lot of time is spent in recovering the marbles in classroom.
  3. Load on Braille teachers in classrooms:
    • Unlike conventional classroom teaching where one teacher can teach many students, Braille teaching is a 1:1 system as the children are blind and have to tune the sense of touch to learn Braille.
    • The teacher has to arrange dots during initial learning for each child in the class, then take it to each child an verbally speak out what it means. This has to be repeated every day till the children get skilled in the script.
    • At the end of the day the teachers most of whom are themselves blind, are exhausted due to both verbal and activity overload.
    • Given the work involved, a typical class is recommended to have not more than 10 students, but many government schools have close to 18-20 students in same class due to lack of teachers.

    Teaching Aids available, but still requires a fully qualified teacher to teach

  4. Possibility of Self-Learning/Assisted Learning in Braille?:
    • Given the difficulty in teaching Braille until now the possibility of Self-Learning of Braille has not been explored. This device opens up the possibility of Self-learning and/or assisted teaching of children by an adult who is not a qualified Braille teacher!
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Key Features of this concept/product:

Some highlights of what the device tries to address:
  1. Teaching Indian Languages (Bharathi Braille) The final prototype of the device has two braille cells so that it can teach Indian language braille script (Bharati braille) as well, along with braille abbreviations.
  2. Teaching of Braille teaching in local languages: The device is designed in such a way that by just changing the SD cards content, we can change the languages taught by the device and also the language of Instruction!
  3. Reduce load of teaching Braille in a classroom setup: The device helps in addressing the load on Braille teachers in a classroom teaching young children (aged 5-12 in a typical entry level classroom) and also adults.
  4. Self-Learning: This Braille tutor is probably the only thing that can introduce Self-learning to blind children in a rural setup where it is very difficult to find qualified Braille teachers. The interactive Quiz mode helps a learner asses his/her learning levels!
    • Alternately the device opens up the possibility of an adult who doesnt have formal Braille training can assist and help a child in a rural setup learn Braille.
  5. Increase interest of students to learn: The novelty of the device, we have been told by the teachers and students who used the prototypes, will help in increasing the interest levels of the students.
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Our Blog posts on this technology

  1. Sept 2012: Electronics For You Magazine - Sept 2012 Issue features our Braille Tutor under 'Innovation' section
  2. Aug 2011: Braille Tutor concept becoming a formal product: Prototype 2
  3. May 2011: Concept: Braille Tutor with Sound playback support
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