Finally, an affordable braille display!
Image of the Orbit Braille Reader
Refreshable braille displays are amazing devices that can revolutionize reading and writing for people who are blind. But they’re definitely not cheap. Most braille displays cost around $3,000, and that puts them out of financial reach for a lot of people not only here in Canada – but in developing countries worldwide.
That’s why CNIB was so thrilled to help officially launch a new affordable braille display, called the Orbit braille reader, last week at the Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego, California.
At a price point of under $400, the Orbit is the most inexpensive product of its kind on the market.
“In some countries there is little to no level of braille access,” says Diane Bergeron, Executive Director of Strategic Relations and Engagement at CNIB. “Several international organizations for the blind, including CNIB, understood the real need for a braille display at a reduced cost. So we worked together to develop a device for a fraction of the cost of current models.”
CNIB is one of ten organizations worldwide who were involved in creating the new technology, along with the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) in England, NFB (National Federation of the Blind) in the United States, American Printing House for the Blind, New Zealand’s Blind Foundation, Perkins, the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, Association Valentin HauY (AVH), Sightsavers, and Vision Australia. CNIB provided research and development funding, expertise and testing.
The Orbit reader has the potential to make a tremendous impact in developing countries, where access to braille can be severely limited due to cost. It will also provide an affordable option for people right here at home, including students who are learning braille. And with 32 gigs of memory, students will be able to upload all their textbooks onto this one portable device.
The Orbit reader isn’t available for purchase yet, but it will be soon! The product will be sold in Canada through Shop CNIB. Stay tuned to find out when it’ll arrive in a Shop CNIB store near you.
Orbit Research website: