Question about designing for Blind Accessbility

Hey all,

I was inspired by our convo and Tracy’s project to attempt transforming a previous calculator project into a talking calculator.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/334824249/

As far as designing the physical side, I need to know more about designing for blind accessibility. Initially, I was going to make the braille dots on the braille cell conductive, but I realized that if they are touching the braille cell.

So initially I wanted to have them touch the braille cell to put the number into the Scratch calculator. But I don’t know if I will need to add a significant delay- so I was thinking of making the braille on top of a button. But this would mean making 16 buttons!

Any thoughts to help guide me?

Thanks!

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Hey Colleen,

If the kids can hear the sounds, you can try making single button to increase the count value, it’s like at each press it scratch will increase the count and spell the current number, and it will stop incrementing if say for 5seconds there is no key press detected…!!
Then scratch can ask for operation (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication) with same or other buttons which can be made. And then same process for selecting 2nd number by pressing multiple times to increase the number value and then finally scratch can spell out the result ??

Let me know if you need more clarification :heart:

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That’s a really cool idea! I would have to start my calculator project over, but I do like that as an assistive device. Maybe my current calculator should remain for kinesthetic learners! :smiley:

Here is what my original calculator looks like: https://makeymakey.com/blogs/blog/carnival-sized-games-for-steam-day

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@Gurbaksh_Singh, a great idea. It would be a good device of math game for kids.
@gravescolleen I think having 16 buttons is fine for braille accessibility.

Thought you might have something to add @mcantino @stephengduke ? If not it’s ok. Saw your posted previously about maps for the blind? Colleen is talking about this project Tracy(Specialist) Makey Makey for Blindness/Autism

Wow! I read through the posts on Tracy’s project, and this is all kind of blowing my mind. I’ve gotta go get one of these Makey Makey kits.
It sounds like you want braille entry and not necessarily braille output or labels. Is that correct?
I haven’t worked with Scratch before (feeling kind of inspired now, so that will probably change), so I don’t know how difficult this would be to program, but you might consider using 6-key entry. I recently made this video demonstrating 6-key entry for another project I’ve been working on. The video shows 6-key entry on a Perkins brailler, and then I demonstrate what six key entry looks like in braille translation programs (in this case, Braille Blaster). The end of the video shows how the software won’t enter a character until I release all of the keys.
With 6-key entry, which all braille users will likely be familiar with, you strike multiple keys at once to form the different characters. If you could code this properly for the calculator, you’d probably need 7 keys (6 for braille and one for space or enter), and users could create any character they needed.
The braille math code may vary depending on where you’re located. Most English speaking countries are using the Unified English Braille (UEB) code for math content. In the USA, we switched to UEB a few years ago for everything but math, and we’re clinging to our precious Nemeth code for math and science content. For this calculator project, there are some important difference between the two codes. Nemeth numbers are formed differently. Operators are typically a single character in Nemeth, but they’re two characters in UEB.
I hope this is useful information. I’d be happy to answer any follow up questions.

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@mcantino, thanks. Scratch is not hard to learn. Makey Makey truly has endless applications. The braille going to use in this project is pretty limited: only 0-9 numbers, operations, and a few commands. No typing braille is needed. The information you showed here seems very interesting. A lot to learn. Thanks. @brentcourson Brent from May We Help is helping to design a case with braille on the top of the pad.

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