Exploring Braille Learning Apps: Shaun Breaks Out Of His Comfort Zone

iPhone screen

Shaun Preece humorously discusses his reluctance to leave his comfort zone, specifically his garden shed-turned-studio, to learn braille. Despite the convenience of talking tech, Shaun acknowledges the importance of braille for literacy, independence, and information access, especially when technology fails due to power cuts or dead batteries.

He initially faced obstacles such as lack of local government support and the high cost of braille resources like the Perkins Brailler and braille displays. Shaun decides to explore learning braille through apps, aiming to use braille input to type on his iPhone.

He reviews several apps from the Apple App Store:

1. Pocket Braille: A reference tool rather than a learning app, it lists braille characters, punctuation, numbers, and contractions. It costs a few dollars, with a free lite version covering just the alphabet.

2. Braille Academy: A free app with in-app purchases for advanced lessons. It uses quizzes to teach braille but has an inaccessible custom keyboard and lacks feedback for correct answers.

3. Bump Bump Braille Learn: A free and accessible app that provides a basic lesson and quiz on grade one braille. It is well-described and easy to follow but is short and lacks information on purchasing additional lessons.

Sean concludes that while Bump Bump Braille Learn is the best of the apps he reviewed, the overall state of braille learning apps is disappointing. He suggests that the most effective way to learn braille is through local blind organizations, such as CNIB, RNIB, or the Hadley Institute, which offer classes and resources.

Relevant Resources:

1. Pocket Braille (Apple App Store)
2. Braille Academy (Apple App Store)
3. Bump Bump Braille Learn (Apple App Store)
4. CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
5. RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)
6. Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Note: The links provided for apps and the organizations are based on the information available as of the knowledge cutoff date. Users can search for these apps directly in their relevant App Store on their devices.

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