Product review: Braille keyboard cover

Steven Morris
Close up of keys on the keyboard with coverBraille keyboard cover from A2i
Price: £60
Available from: A2i website

It is always exciting to investigate new technology which can help to open up the world of computers to those like myself who are deafblind and I was therefore very interested to review this new product from A2i.

The Braille keyboard cover is a moulded cover which fits over the keyboard meaning that a Braille user can easily identify what they are typing. The cover is designed to fit a specific USB keyboard which is provided as part of the product. When the box is opened, you will find that the cover has already been fitted for you to the keyboard.

Setting up the Braille keyboard was very easy. If you are using a PC, simply plug the provided USB keyboard in to one of your USB ports. If you are using a desktop, you will probably want to replace your existing keyboard with this one to avoid having two keyboards plugged in. I simply plugged it in to the USB port on the side of my laptop and the keyboard was ready to go. I used it for a week constantly before writing this review.

I was impressed with the feel of the Braille on the keyboard. The Braille characters are moulded into polyurethane film so cannot be squashed or damaged, and will not come loose like stickers can over time. This is a real advantage if you intend using it regularly. The cover will also protect to the computer while you are working, and the keyboard from dirt/finger marks as well.

I think this is a terrific product and would be particularly useful to those people who are not confident touch-typing or those who have learnt Braille but have not yet used computers. You’ll have the confidence of knowing what you are typing as you go along. If you have some useful hearing, you’ll be able to use this keyboard alongside screen reader software such as JAWS which will allow you to listen.

My thanks to A2i for allowing me the opportunity to review their Braille keyboard cover.

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