PRE2019 3 Group4 State Of The Art

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State Of The Art

On this separate wiki page the State Of The Art (SOTA) regarding braille teaching devices and methods to learn braille are described.

Braille reading and writing teaching devices:

  • Mobile Applications for Teaching and Learning Arabic Braille [1]
    • Summary: The literacy rate of visually impaired people is decreasing, which poses problems with reading. This causes a gap of information to emerge amongst this certain target audience. Due to the lack of properly skilled braille teachers, this problem is hard to handle. When a braille teaching device is introduced on the market, it is mostly focused on the roman alphabet, not including other languages. Now an Arabic braille learning device is introduced that works with an Arduino Uno and miniature solenoids. Tests have only yet been performed with LEDs lighting up to represent the braille dots.
  • Fittle: A Novel Braille Toy [2]
    • Summary: Braille teaching toys for blind or visually impaired kids are very limited. Therefore a 3D-printed braille puzzle for educational use has been developed. Fittle is based on fitting pieces of a braille puzzle on a certain place, and when it is correct, one is able to spell the braille word and feel the dots that the word denotes. The best results occurred after performing multiple runs with the Fittle.
  • An Interactive Math Braille Learning Application to Assist Blind Students in Bangladesh [3]
    • Summary: Since there is a lack of assistive tools to learn mathematics, blind students in Bangladesh are still using outdated learning tools. A study has been performed to create an effective and affordable assistive tool based on the needs of the blind students learning mathematics. Interactive methods, such as hearing and touching, were an important criterion in the design. By performing empirical tests and evaluations with teachers, experts, and end users, the use of this novel design proved to be promising in practice.
  • “Bangla Braille learning application” in smartphones for visually impaired students in Bangladesh [4]
    • Summary: Educational software for visually impaired students is widely available. However in the Bangla language there is a lack of proper braille teaching software that is affordable. The Bangla Braille Learning Application (BBLA) is a novel approach for low-cost braille teaching to visually impaired students. With vibrations and audio feedback, users get proper responses to their inputs.
  • Learning to read braille through play [5]
    • Summary: This research is about an engaging co-design process to create a device to help visually impaired children to identify letters and short words in braille as a first step towards reading braille. Current barriers regarding braille teaching devices are accessibility, portability, durability, usability, and functions. A design has been tested in practice, with the feedback to add various learning modes, and the reduction of the size, weight, and cost of the design.
  • E-Braille-a self-learning Braille device [6]
    • Summary: Since the literacy rate among visually impaired people in many countries is very low, a braille learning device was developed that uses a braille keypad and microphone as input and produces speech and pins of a single braille cell as output.
  • Spoken dialogue system for learning Braille [7]
    • Summary: In the process of learning braille, it is important to have another person helping with identifying correspondence between a braille pattern and a character. A new system is introduced which bans the need for external help and boosts the individual capacities of blind or visually impaired people with a spoken dialogue system. The system consists of a braille display, speech recognizer, speech synthesizer, and a dialogue manager. Furthermore the speech was created on a system with a multimodal interaction architecture.
  • Self-learning of braille using haptic interface for children [8]
    • Summary: A target group of children between the ages 3 to 6 has been considered for testing a novel design to teach the basic concepts of braille in the Tamil language. A haptic interface has been created which incorporates active learning by speech recognition. Also different levels of complexity are incorporated in the design to cover a broader braille spectrum.
  • Braille Grade 1 Learning and Monitoring System [9]
    • Summary: This paper introduces a low-cost prototype for reading, writing, and audio-assisted evaluation in the process of learning braille. Writing was done with 10 buttons placed in matrix form. Reading was performed with 10 push-pull solenoids. Also memorization and final evaluation of the braille language was tested. The complete design was running on a Raspberry Pi 3B due to its high-speed performance and relatively low cost.
  • A cost effective electronic braille for visually impaired individuals [10]
    • Summary: Learning for blind or visually impaired people is much harder, since they cannot receive visual information in the process. Now a novel affordable braille teaching prototype is considered. The prototype is based on solenoids to represent the braille dots, controlled by an Arduino Uno. Eventually it could be used to learn the basics of the braille language and to learn all the letters one by one.

Braille mathematics teaching devices:

  • Numerical Braille Module for Learning Simple Mathematical Operations [11]
    • Summary: Mathematics is a key to properly functioning in our current society. For visually impaired or blind people learning mathematics is expensive and does not yet comprise all the challenges to solve proper mathematical operations. Now a design with 12 miniature solenoids controlled by an Arduino Uno is introduced. The input of the solenoids had to match the output to get a correct result in an exercise. Tests have been performed for additions, subtractions, and multiplications. It was found that this way of teaching braille mathematics could eventually be used to solve simple calculations.

Braille teaching techniques and process:

  • Teaching identity matching of braille characters to beginning braille readers [12]
    • Summary: Three visually impaired children were taught to make tactile discriminations of the braille alphabet within a matching-to-sample format. A braille character as sample stimulus was presented to the children, and they had to select the matching stimulus from a three-comparison array. To increase the ease of use, braille characters were divided in sets where there was a maximum difference between the braille dots of a stimulus. Over time the difficulty was increased, which also increased the braille level of the children.
  • Teaching braille to children [13]
    • Summary: This article is about everything that comes into play when teaching braille to children. There is not one proper way to teach braille to children, since there are a variety of braillists that need to be taught in a variety of contexts. Regarding the future, it is important to do further research in teaching braille and the literacy of the pupils.
  • Teaching braille line tracking using stimulus fading [14]
    • Summary: The first steps towards learning braille are line tracking, which is moving ones finger horizontally across a line until the line ends. Current methods for line tracking are incomplete, since these apply lines with small gaps between subsequent characters. This study focused on applying larger gaps between subsequent characters to increase braille reading mastery.
  • Learn Braille through good vibrations [15]
    • Summary: In the United States only 10% of the blind school-aged children learn braille due to the lack of teachers. Now gloves are introduced with vibrating motors at each knuckle and when one of these motors vibrate, the user presses the corresponding key. Audio feedback is given about what character was typed. By applying this method passively, one can learn braille via passive haptic learning.
  • The today and tomorrow of Braille learning [16]
    • Summary: Braille literacy has been declining mostly due to the use of electronic text and assistive software, such as screen readers. However Braille literacy is still the most empowering form of literacy for blind people. Therefore the research goal is to provide new tools to improve Braille literacy. First the problems with the nowadays used methods for learning Braille are stated. Next hardware and software tools for alternative Braille-based applications are shown/discussed.

Design of a braille tactile cell:

  • Design of a Tactile Braille Cell [17]
    • Summary: Braille is vital for the learning process of visually impaired or blind people, since it empowers education. Therefore it is important to design a low-cost braille cell that is also efficient and has minimum latency. A braille cell has been designed that helps blind or visually impaired people by having two outputs, namely audio and the tactile. A process that involves hearing and feeling improves the overall learning rate of the braille language.


  1. Rahimi, N. A. Z. N. M., Hany Mohamad Hanif, N. H., & Janin, Z. (2019). Mobile Applications for Teaching and Learning Arabic Braille. 2018 IEEE 5th International Conference on Smart Instrumentation, Measurement and Application, ICSIMA 2018, November, 1–4.
  2. Jain, T., Christy, B., Das, A. V., Bhaumik, D., & Satgunam, P. (2018). Fittle: A Novel Braille Toy. Optometry and Vision Science, 95(9), 902–907.
  3. Nahar, L., Sulaiman, R., & Jaafar, A. (2020). An Interactive Math Braille Learning Application to Assist Blind Students in Bangladesh. Assistive Technology.
  4. Nahar, L., Sulaiman, R., & Jaafar, A. (2019). “Bangla Braille learning application” in smartphones for visually impaired students in Bangladesh. Interactive Learning Environments, 0(0), 1–14.
  5. Lopez, R. M., Pinder, S. D., & Davies, T. C. (2019). Matuto, Magbasa, Maglaro: Learning to read braille through play. Assistive Technology, 0(0), 1–9.
  6. Wagh, P.M., Prajapati, U.B., Shinde, M., Salunke, P.M., Chaskar, V.A., Telavane, S., & Yadav, V. (2016). E-Braille-a self-learning Braille device. 2016 Twenty Second National Conference on Communication (NCC), 1-6.
  7. Araki, M., Shibahara, K., & Mizukami, Y. (2011). Spoken Dialogue System for Learning Braille. 2011 IEEE 35th Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, 152-156.
  8. Srihari, C., Prashanthi, S., Sriranjani, V., & Sobithaahila, S. (2018). Self-learning of braille using haptic interface for children. IEEE International Conference on Power, Control, Signals and Instrumentation Engineering, ICPCSI 2017, 900–904.
  9. Vaca, D., Jacome, C., Saeteros, M., & Caiza, G. (2018). Braille Grade 1 Learning and Monitoring System. 2018 IEEE 2nd Colombian Conference on Robotics and Automation, CCRA 2018, 6–10.
  10. Adnan, M. E., Dastagir, N. M., Jabin, J., Chowdhury, A. M., & Islam, M. R. (2018). A cost effective electronic braille for visually impaired individuals. 5th IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference 2017, R10-HTC 2017, 2018-Janua, 175–178.
  11. Tahir, M. S. M., Hanif, N. H. H. M., & Yusuf, H. M. (2019). Numerical Braille Module for Learning Simple Mathematical Operations. 2019 7th International Conference on Mechatronics Engineering, ICOM 2019, 1–5.
  12. Toussaint, K. A., Scheithauer, M. C., Tiger, J. H., & Saunders, K. J. (2017). Teaching identity matching of braille characters to beginning braille readers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50(2), 278–289.
  13. Keil, S. (2004). Teaching braille to children. The British Journal of Visual Impairment, 22(1), 13–16.
  14. Scheithauer, M. C., & Tiger, J. H. (2014). Teaching braille line tracking using stimulus fading. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47(3), 612–616.
  15. Hodson, H. (2014). Learn Braille through good vibrations. New Scientist, 222(2974), 22.
  16. Guerreiro, J., Gonçalves, D., Marques, D., Guerreiro, T.J., Nicolau, H., & Montague, K. (2013). The today and tomorrow of Braille learning. ASSETS '13.
  17. Reddy, S. B., Rohan, R., Alvina, G., & Giriraja, C. V. (2018). Design of a Tactile Braille Cell. 2018 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics, ICACCI 2018, 1744–1747.
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