I am a technology integration specialist, and teach kindergarten-6th grade students. The initial design concept was a keyboard overlay in traditional English for kids with specific needs in my classroom who benefitted from the raised letters and color coding, as well as the increased letters. The photos show the original design of the raised keyboard in my classroom.
After finding Makers Making Change, I was excited to create a project that was beneficial to a greater audience, and easy to use. The letters can be printed in a single color for the Braille user, and affixed to a keyboard with hot glue. Even with almost 5 months of use in my classroom by two students, the letters haven’t come off!
Being a prototype, and I myself not being able to read Braille, I am interested in feedback to make the item user friendly. I enlisted my nine year old daughter’s help in creating the Braille alphabet. I believe that empathy and compassion are a trained skill, and the earlier conversations start about helping others, the better!
Questions that come to mind concerning possible design flaws are:
- in relation to the normal Braille encountered in “real world situations”, are the dots presented here too large?
- are the dots too far raised or not raised high enough?
- are any of the symbols, letters or numbers inaccurate?
- is it better to spell out the word “back” in Braille, or type it in English (as the word enter is)?
- I have a “key” with the symbols, possibly for a sighted person assisting in the project, but these symbols will print with the job – are they necessary?