A man using the orbit reader

Braille displays and note takers

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A refreshable braille display, or braille terminal, is a device for displaying braille characters. Moveable electronic pins generate the braille on its surface.

Computer users with sight loss who can't use a computer monitor, along with Deafblind users, use this device to read text output. Speech synthesizers are also commonly used and  a blind user may switch between the two, or use both at the same time.

Most modern braille displays can be connected to mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Prices for braille displays have been dropping thanks to efforts to make them more accessible, like the Orbit Reader 20, produced by Orbit Research in partnership with CNIB and several other blindness organizations around the world.

Braille displays are often integrated into devices called Note Takers. These allow a user to quickly take notes, browse the internet and read books. They’re often based on Android or Windows 10 and work across applications.

Examples of Note Takers include the BrailleSense Polaris and the BrailleNote Touch.