The Boston-based National Braille Press has established a Center for Braille Innovation
(CBI), whose mission is to research and develop affordable braille literacy products. The
primary focus has been to facilitate the development of dramatically lower cost electronic
braille display devices, and the much-sought-after "Holy Braille" of a full-page electronic
Developing affordable new braille technologies is crucial to improving the extremely low
braille literacy rate (around 12%) of blind students.
Our CBI team is working to aid developers of braille technology by focusing attention
and resources on the development of the underlying braille actuator technologies. We
are also developing braille-related information resources to aid braille display
The CBI braille requirements summary (available through the NBP website
(http://www.nbp.org) is one of these resources. The braille specifications include braille
dot dimensions, spacing, displacement, lifting force, and response time requirements.
In addition, mentoring, helping to evaluate new braille display ideas, and openly sharing
braille display technology are all part of the activities of the NBP braille innovation team.
NBP has expanded the CBI project with domestic and international partners including
the China Braille Press, World Braille Foundation, National Federation of the Blind,
American Printing House for the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, and many
university and research partners.