go to sections menu

The Technology blog and podcast

This is for the technology blog and podcast Commentary, articles, and podcasts

header picture for Ingegno theme

You are here: Braille 2000

Go to Homepage [0], contents or to navigation menu



Self voicing prototype take 1 for braille 2000 beta 2.274

This is only opinion and not necessarily the opinions of Braille 2000 staff.

Braille 2000 is a braille transcription software used in many different places. While the goal of braille 2000 is to not be self voicing, but to be a full piece of software for all, it lacks some accessibility in regards to key components of braille transcription.

  • It laks a clear capability to allow a blind transcriber to get coordinates of a braille document where the cursor is
  • It lacks the capability to read in grade 2 as Jaws reads in ASCII equivelants like it would in note pad
  • Braille 2000 lacks the capability to work with NVDA, another screen reader
  • Both NVDA and JFW will read the menu system, although there are some aspects of the menus where even Jaws has issues

There are probably more, but now, with the assistance of the self voicing aspect, we can be more independent.

  • There is a speech menu that can be accessed by keyboard command that can give you some very extensive commands to utalize the on demand speech, or the as needed speech.
  • Some of the commands can have Braille 2000 read to you while you use your arrow keys by word, character, dot patterns, and the like.
  • I’ve tested it in limited form with Braille 2000’s Bob Step and it does work as advertised. There are some issues, but for the most part it works.

Version 1 of the speech interface speaks each and every menu item by default. This could be confusing to JFW users where JFW will read these menus and most dialogues without a problem. The Self Voicing on first testing reads controls of dialogue boxes, but doesn’t read most of those items. While I’ve not played with NVDA very extensively in menus and the like, NVDA does read menu items and I believe it runs through most of the dialogues that I’ve encountered without a problem. Further testing needs to be done.

Braille 2000’s speech interface can be accessed without the speech menu with a hotkey. The hotkey initiates the sequence, and with control held down, other letter sequences design it to do specific tasks as discussed in the first list. My impression has already been mentioned to Bob, but I found the cross keyboard work a little tricky. For Example, ctrl+q to initiate, plus t, plus l will have it read the current line as you wish. This is just an example of what it can do.

Here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see, and have already voiced, the opportunity to have it not read menu items, unless its switched on. While it is handy, the screen reader can do that, but if it gets stuck, the option should be available for you.

Also, in this release of the 2.274 beta, were some translation issues and other under the hood improvements.

As I continue to test, I will provide updates when I can on my initial impressions.

One serious bug was the fact that braille 2000 forgot my settings completely. In earlier builds, it wasn’t remembering the license info, but this time, it reverted settings altogether. Certain settings need to be turned off within the display dialogue for it to better work with access technology. It turned those back on, as well as forgetting that it needs to be maximized as that option in the system menu is disabled or what Jaws says is unavailable.

Again, these are initial impressions, and the work is not finished yet. I’m hopeful we can have a co-existing self voicing option for braille 2000 for those who would rather utalize it instead of, or if they don’t have, a screen reader. This is going to be fun.

Have thoughts or would like to talk to me about my work with Braille 2000? Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at tech at menvi.org and other information can be found on the info you need page on the blog.

Comments (0)

Braille 2000 beta now out

Hi all,

Braille 2000 is now in beta. It is not widely available, however, it can be retrieved. For instructions on how to get the beta, please contact me or Braille 2000 directly.

The beta does introduce some new features, fix bugs, and as far as braille 200 is concerned, stable.

As with any beta software, it could have some side effects, and could have effects you’re not expecting. The next release will hopefully be sometime this month, if all goes well.

Remember to report bugs directly to Bob, as he’s the person who codes the software. I can assist with the accessibility side and getting it installed.

The beta will install over the current released version.

I’m looking forward in having fun. Thanks for reading!

Comments (0)

go to sections menu


navigation menu

go to sections menu