Google announces the debut of a braille keyboard for blind and vision-impaired Android users

Photo Credits: KnowTechie 

According to CNET, Google has introduced a braille keyboard to Android phones to help those who are visually impaired. This keyboard was added due to Google’s TalkBack Accessibility Service. It splits the screen into six sections to allow those who are comfortable with braille to use a system they are used to. Each letter and action, like backspace and tab, has a specific combination of these six buttons that Braille users understand. The keyboard takes these different combinations and types in the corresponding letter for it to be used. Google’s TalkBack braille keyboard can support braille grades one and two. It is able to be toggled as easily as any other international keyboard and can be easily turned on in the accessibility section of the Android settings. ~

Google has made it clear that they intend to ensure that everyone can have full access to the internet. In the past year, Google has put in place applications to allow for those with hearing problems to access the internet easier, claims XDA Developers. Now that they have helped those with hearing deficiencies, they are able to jump into the visual-impairment field to help those in need with access to the web. “As part of our mission to make the world’s information universally accessible, we hope this keyboard can broadly expand braille literacy and exposure among blind and low vision people,” reads Google’s press release (CNET). ~

This step to help those who are visually impaired is a step towards universal accessibility. But, this step had already been taken by Apple with a similar keyboard in iOS 8 in 2014. This IOS keyboard is in over 80 languages and corresponds with Apple’s other applications. Apple also has an application called VoiceOver which reads the screen for those with vision deficiencies. Although Apple has already been able to develop this technology, Google adding similar software for the visually impaired allows for those with this deficiency to access Android phones as well. ~

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