New Standards for Braille Accessibility on Mainstream Tech

June 4, 2018

New USB Standard adopted by major manufacturers may have a positive impact on braille users. According to a recent blog post on AppleVis https://applevis.com/blog/apple-assistive-technology-braille-news/new-usb-standard-aims-make-it-easier-use-braille, a recent press release from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) received support form companies such as Microsoft and Apple. This standard may enable braille display users a more uniform experience when connecting braille displays to a variety of different platforms and operating systems. In a comment posted by Scott Davert, a member of the AppleVis editorial team, this standard may offer a greater level of reliability for connecting braille displays to mobile devices, which will become increasingly essential as TTY communication for deaf-blind users gives way to Real-Time Text. Currently, users who rely solely on braille access to a device may not be able to use the device independently if Bluetooth pairing fails, as it sometimes does with current standards. While this standard may directly impact braille display users, the cooperation of industry leaders like Apple and Microsoft on the new USB-IF standard  seems to demonstrate a more global commitment to accessibility with mainstream technology.

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