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Writing aid for the blind undergoes tests in Bengaluru school


An electronic Braille writing tutor, which helps visually impaired students learn how to write Braille using a slate and stylus is being tested at a school for the blind in India.

Developed by a team at the Carengie Mellon University, it is being seen as an instance of compassionate engineering.

The group at CMU, called the TechBridgeWorld research group, develops or adapts technologies to meet the needs of people who are underserved.

The Braille writing tutor was developed in 2006 and since then different versions have been tested in India, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Zambia and other nations where Braille typewriters and specialized keyboards, common in developed nations, are not available.

Hardware designs and software for building the tutors, which provide audio feedback to students as they learn to write, are available online. Initially it was seen as a tool that would motivate and reinforce learning, but field-tests have shown it could be a diagnostic tool for blind teachers as well.

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