BrailleBuzz, a Braille training device for children, is coming soon to a market near you thanks to a BME Senior Design project from 2003. Taking its name from the distinctive yellow and black bumblebee-like stripes on the device, the BrailleBuzz was created to teach children how to form and recognize specific braille symbols and to associate letters with their phonetic sounds. The product itself is a toy computer, roughly the size of a standard notetaker, and features a Perkins-style keyboard along with two rows of alphabet buttons. When a braille letter is pressed, the letter is spoken; likewise, when the correct combination of keys are pressed to form a braille letter, the letter name can be heard. Diane Brauner, orientation and mobility specialist at UNC, through collaboration with students and Drs. Richard Goldberg and Gary Bishop, brought the prototype to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), who agreed that the product has fantastic potential for helping young learners. The BrailleBuzz is currently field testing and plans for manufacturing will be coming soon.
Senior Design Project Inspires Braille Training Device
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