Hello GTT members across Canada:
For those of you who are blind and may be thinking of connecting an electronic braille display to your iPhone or iPad the following are tips from one of our GTT Edmonton student members, Owais Patel.
Thanks to Owais for sharing his experience.
Here are the important things that I would like you to share with all of our Gtt members regarding using a Braille Display with your iOS device. Finally I have completed them now. Thanks for sharing them for me.
Note: These instructions apply to the iPhone but for most of the part are same for all iOS devices and the following instructions apply to the Braille Sense U2, however make sure with the Tech Team of your Braille Display that these instructions also apply to you. Most likely they should be the same.
How To Connect a Braille Display to iDevices:
- Locate to Utilities and Terminal For Screen Reader on the Braille Sense and select Bluetooth Serial Port, press F1 and then F4 which will put you in a mode where all of your display will be blank.
- Now on the phone locate to Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver and then Braille. Find the Heading labeled Choose A Braille Display and scroll down once. Here your Braille Display’s name should appear. Double-tap and you will be placed in the Text field of entering a 4 Digit Pin Code. If you want to remember it easily try to keep one number repeated 4 ts. Quickly
- do this and click on Pair Button. Now on your Braille display you will have a Pop-up saying Pin Code. Here enter the code which you entered on the phone quickly and press enter. You should be now connected.
Keystrokes To Use With The Braille Display:
- When you are connected to a Braille Display you don’t need to touch the screen of your phone and everything becomes even faster but everything you do also changes.
- In the situation of a Braille Sense your Home Button is the Function Key 2.
- To scroll up and down you may use the Scroll keys on the sides of the U2/.play. If these keys don’t appear there, use Space bar and Dot Dot 1 to go up or to the previous item and Space bar and Dot 4 to go Down or to the next item.
- Press Space bar and Dots 1 2 4 5 to toggle between the Braille codes in which the stuff from your iPhone is displayed on your Braille Display.
- Although this is different when you write because this code doesn’t apply to the Output of the phone onto your Braille Display.
- To manage this code press Space Bar and Dots 2 3 and 6. To swipe up poess space and dot 3 and to swipe down press space and Dot 6.
- To Delete something in a Text Field press Space and D.
- To write something from the Writing field of the Braille Sense into the real iPhone field press Space and E. For example when you trying something in search field and you you write “Weather Today”
- to paste this into the Search field press space and E. This can also be used to insert a blank line in a document. It works like the enter key on your Qwerty keyboard.
- To go to the very top of the screen press space and Dots 1, 2 and 3. To go to the very bottom of the screen press Space and dots 4, 5 and 6.
- To Double-Tap using the Braille Sense use the Cursor Keys.
- To open the help menu to see what each keystroke does press Space and K, or a 4 finger Double-Tap. When you’re here you can do any keystroke to see what each does for you. Don’t worry because Voiceover will speak each keystroke’s action or the the spoken words will pop up text on the display. Although the real keystroke in this section will perform its action.
- Once you would like to close this don’t press space bar and K, instead you will have to do the 4 Finger Double Tap on the iPhone screen.
- To activate Rotor options press Space bar and Dots 5:6 to go forwards and Space bar and dots 2 and 3 to go back. Then swipe up and down to select and deselect text.
- Press Space bar and S to see all of your bars Battery Remaining Etc.
- When your done with this do the keystroke to go to the top of the screen and this will take you back to the home screen or where you were before you activated this Status Bar Screen.
- To go out of a Window on your Phone or go back to something press space and letter B.
Voiceover Braille Display Short Forms:
When you just use Voiceover to use the phone you will not notice the short forms which Voiceover uses to label things in several places on the iPhone, because Voiceover just speaks the original phrase or words directly.
- Firstly the short form used for Heading is Hd. The short form of Button is B.T.N. These are the main ones only. Hope they help.
- There are several places on iOS devices where Pop-ups happen. As a result if your a slow reader you may not be able to read what was on your screen before the pop-up happened. A tip for this is to wait for the pop-up to disappear and then read without moving up or down what’s on the Braille Display. To refer back to the Pop-up scroll down-up and go back to where the pop-up appeared.
- You can adjust all the Braille Settings based on your opinion in the Settings and this will really help.
- Sometimes the doesn’t connect to the Braille Displays we use. It’s a great idea to reset both devices and then retry. If it still doesn’t work try turning your Bluetooth on your iPhone off and retry. Hopefully this will help.
- Sometimes when entering a password or a Username it may be a problem to enter it because of the Braille Code translation. However if this happens. Use your screen to type for this time only and you should be all right.
- It’s a great idea to turn the Speech Off when you’re using a Braille Display with your Ios device because the speech slows everything down. For example if you on an app title, Voiceover will still speak the title even though your at the next app on your Braille Display.
- Whenever you’re in any Text Field it is a great idea to do the keystroke Space bar and Dots 2, 3 and 6. It’s a great idea because it might mess up your writing in my experience.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you face any problems. I will try my very best to help. My email address is written below.
Also using a Braille Display with all of the MacBooks is extremely accessible as well. To get all the keystrokes regarding the use of Braille Displays with the Mac please contact Kim the Gtt Coordinator in Ottawa.