Vikas Kapoor had the opportunity to get a first-hand experience of using Braille Face at the Blind Relief Association, New Delhi. Here, he explains its interface in brief to give us an idea of how it works:
To use the software Braille Face (developed by Satvir Singh), you need to start the main application (that is, Braille Face). Then, just minimise it and open Microsoft (MS) Word in the usual way.
Once your document is open, JAWS will announce a message: “Press ‘insert’ to switch to Braille Face and ‘escape’ to come to the normal mode.”
Once you press the insert key, you are ready to write anything in Hindi in Braille mode. The F, D and S keys will be 1, 2 and 3 and the J, K and L keys will be 4, 5 and 6, respectively.
You just have to write as if you are working on a Brailler. As you continue typing, the text being written by you will automatically keep converting itself immediately into the print mode on the screen for a sighted person to read.
While staying in Braille Face mode, you can execute some of the basic commands of MS Word, for example, Control+J for justify, Control+L for left align, Control+R for right align, Control+E for centre align, Control+B to make the text bold, and so on.
However, some commands will work only when you are in normal mode. At any time, you can press the escape key to come to the normal mode and execute some basic commands of MS Word. For example, Control+O to open a previously made document, Control+N to open a new document and Control+S to save will work only when you come out of Braille Face.
While writing in Braille Face mode, your typing echo will be in the character mode (there’s no way at this time to convert your typing echo to words or none). Once you have come out of Braille Face mode by pressing the escape key, you’ll first have to focus once into Braille Face and only then can you come back to Word in order to work in Braille Face mode again. When your work is done, you can give the print command to print the document.
A fascinating aspect of this software is that it can read any previously made document in Hindi, provided it is written in Unicode character.
After having experienced it first-hand, I’m now able to answer any specific query you may have. You can also contact Keshav Kumar (a close associate of Singh and a music teacher in the same school). The software should be ready for sale once it has been fully tested and there are adequate funds. Though its cost has not yet been decided, it will probably be reasonably priced and thus quite affordable.
To contact Keshav Kumar, call +91-9312510476. To contact Kapoor, e-mail him ator . His Skype ID is dl_vikas, Telephone: 9891098137