It’s Here – the SMART Brailler!
So we meet again. I’ll admit. I am intimidated but charmed by this machine. It takes my fear and makes it manageable by being so easy to use. It was set up and Tom and I were banging on the keys in like 20 minutes.
So what’s the big deal about the SMART Brailler? It talks.
Do I need to say anything else to parents of blind children? No. I don’t! Tom loves anything that makes noise, music, sounds, voices, or even fart noises…it’s all good! He loves it all. So basically this is a braille typewriter with a computer interface that speaks what the user types. It can speak exactly what you type or it can speak in words as you type. Every button speaks so Tom will be able to adjust it himself. You can create files and save them for homework assignments. There is a headphone jack so that children can work in school without disturbing their classmates.
I think this brailler came at just the right time. Tom knows his alphabet and when he bangs on the keys and makes a letter he hears it say “T” or “A” and that means something to him. For now this is constructive play but there is also real learning going on here. Unfamilliar with braille? Look at they keyboard. It’s not a “QWERTY” keyboard like on your computer. This keyboard is set up for braille, which is made of six cells, so there are six keys plus a space key. That’s all you need and it’s been working just fine for blind people for a long, long time.
The SMART Brailler is here through the generosity of our friends and family. We raised money for the SMART Brailler after participating in the Wonderbaby Backpacking SMART Brailler Event last year. Here’s an article that Perkins did on Tommy’s use of the SMART Brailler. (He looks so little!) We got to trial the brailler along with several other families and then one family won it! We did not win but everyone pitched in via a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the money in less than 10 hours. It was amazing.
The SMART Brailler has arrived! School is in session. Let’s do it.