This project goes by the name “Braille Buddy” and it’s created by designer Yasaman Sheri. What this Braille Buddy consists of is a 2-phase educational device aimed at the visually impared, hoping to help them out with the most difficult stages of learning Braille, that being the reading and the writing. It’s a small device with two setups: the Braille Cell and the Braille Keyboard, in place in such a way as to make the transition from one to the other easier than ever before.
An interesting observation Sheri notes is that there’s a move away from society-employed or public-service sort of visually impaired help (like Braille on signs, for example), and a move toward useful products and tools used by each individual. Sheri hopes to participate in this move with this Braille Buddy device.
Both the Braille Cell and the Braille Keyboard are integrated into the learning process of Braille now, this Braille Buddy turns two into one to assist with the transition from the Cell to the Keyboard, a transition that should be more fluid as they are based on the same system. Simple surface changes are employed throughout the device such as raised keys, raised screen (made of Electro-active polymer,) and Braille indicators throughout. This device was tested and worked on directly with a visually impaired teacher in the field and went through multiple iterations before the version you see before you was made ready for presentation.
This device is meant to make the transition into visually impaired literacy easy, and to make it (or in some cases keep it) inexpensive. Sheri intends to have these devices available at libraries and schools for checkout, allowing them to be used during the transitional period for which they were designed, then turned back in for the next person to use.
Designer: Yasaman Sheri