Use Your Regular Keyboard As A Perkins Braille Keyboard
After Robert Menzel posted his ControllerMate setup for Morse Code Input to a computer I asked him, only half seriously, if he would be able to use ControllerMate to make a regular keyboard emulate a Perkins Braille style chording keyboard.
Evidently he has far too much free time, because he's now produced a setup for Keyboard Braille! His setup uses the keys F S D J K L for dots 1 through 6, and the regular space bar. It understands Grade 1 Braille only - no contractions or shorthand included as that would make the setup hugely more complicated.
Please note that neither Robert nor I are braille users, if there are mistakes in what he's done it's probably because I suggested the wrong reference materials for him. Constructive criticism and suggestions will be happily received, and Robert is eager to know if anybody is interested in using this on a day to day basis and would like changes or improvements. You can leave comments here or email him over at his blog.
I know that the vast majority of blind people, braille users or not, learn to touch-type on a regular keyboard which is a far more efficient way of input. But there are some people for whom chording braille input is the best solution, so it's good to know there's a way to accomplish it without expensive hardware. Remember, though, you will need the ControllerMate software to use this.
This system would not be difficult to adapt to use a setup with any 6 switches as input, if anybody uses such a system and wants a hand with the adapting let Robert or me know.
Website: Keyboard Braille
- Ricky Buchanan