Topics

Refreshable Braille Display Help #msftaccessibility #NVAccess

just1brill@...
 

Hello,
We are a group of students entering our country's top science exhibition, doing our project on refreshable braile displays, as we were interested in the idea of making the computer more accessible to all. We came across NVDA and found out it was perfect for what we stood for and needed.

But, we are having trouble making our board compatible with NVDA and was wondering if anybody could guide us on how it could be done or if it can be done at all. I understand this may be quite a complex topic, especially over messaging, but even help on where to turn to for advice would be great. We understand that other displays have been made compatible also.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated and would be extremely beneficial.

Thanks

 

I approved this message because I know that certain NVDA developers are regular readers and some drop by on occasion.  That being said, you might want to consider asking on the NVDA Developers Group directly, as those are the eyes that need to be on this particular level of request.

Here are the addresses for the NVDA Developers Group:

--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

just1brill@...
 

This was the only group I could find at the time but I will make sure to post there too.

Thanks.

 

Hi,

Hmmm, where do we begin…

Typically, when users request support for a braille display, it is usually an existing product or a product that is about to be released to the general public. If we do get this request, NVDA developers would contact the product manufacturer and ask for protocol documentation so we can learn how the screen reader should communicate with the braille display.

A few questions:

  • Is your board an example of a braille display idea you are prototyping at this competition?
  • Is your board recognized by operating systems when you connect it to a computer i.e. shows up in Linux, Windows, and macOS as a hardware device?
  • Is your braille display board working with other screen readers such as Narrator in Windows, VoiceOver in macOS and iOS, Talkback in Android, Orca in Linux GUI environments and what not?

 

I advise taking the following steps:

  1. Try making sure your board is recognized by computers, specifically ones running Microsoft Windows (NVDA is a Windows application).
  2. Try making sure components of the board is working properly such as input and output modules, power, connectors and other user visible components.
  3. Make sure any input and output modules are working properly when connected to a computer system – try using hardware debuggers to make sure the computer can see what’s going on when you perform actions on the board.

 

Only after the braille display board is working properly should you consider letting NVDA talk to it (I assume the board is working properly, but just to make sure), and to do so, you need to define a protocol layer – communicating to NVDA what your braille display’s input module will do, and letting NVDA talk to the board and get things shown on the output module.

 

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of just1brill@...
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 9:06 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Refreshable Braille Display Help #msftaccessibility #NVAccess

 

Hello,

We are a group of students entering our country's top science exhibition, doing our project on refreshable braile displays, as we were interested in the idea of making the computer more accessible to all. We came across NVDA and found out it was perfect for what we stood for and needed.


But, we are having trouble making our board compatible with NVDA and was wondering if anybody could guide us on how it could be done or if it can be done at all. I understand this may be quite a complex topic, especially over messaging, but even help on where to turn to for advice would be great. We understand that other displays have been made compatible also.


Any help at all would be greatly appreciated and would be extremely beneficial.


Thanks

just1brill@...
 

I understand that trying to support a board that won't be comercially available would not be in the interest of developers so I greatly appreciate your help here. The board is recognised as a hardware device by Windows devices (and likely other OSs, but I don't have access to them right now). Unfortunately,our own code is not quite complete but we are definitely making efforts to have it done as quickly as possible (while obviously still being as functional as possible). But, I have taken all of that on board and will go through the process outlined above.

Thanks very much.

 

Hi,

You’re welcome – I think you made the right choice in asking around for guidance, something I should have done more when I studied computer science many years ago.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of just1brill@...
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 9:43 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Refreshable Braille Display Help #msftaccessibility #NVAccess

 

I understand that trying to support a board that won't be comercially available would not be in the interest of developers so I greatly appreciate your help here. The board is recognised as a hardware device by Windows devices (and likely other OSs, but I don't have access to them right now). Unfortunately,our own code is not quite complete but we are definitely making efforts to have it done as quickly as possible (while obviously still being as functional as possible). But, I have taken all of that on board and will go through the process outlined above.

Thanks very much.

Felix G.
 

Hello,
sounds like an interesting project. A lot of success with this!
Right now there is no way to develop hardware to be immediately
compatible with NVDA. You will need to write a driver. But before you
start panicking, you won't need to write any Windows drivers in kernel
mode. If your device is a HID or serial port device, you implement
your protocol on top of those. So technically what you will write is
more of an interface than a driver.
For starters, you will want to read:
https://github.com/nvaccess/nvda/wiki/AddingSupportForABrailleDisplay
Some Python knowledge will be useful.
All the best,
Felix Grützmacher

Am Mo., 25. Nov. 2019 um 18:10 Uhr schrieb <just1brill@...>:


Hello,
We are a group of students entering our country's top science exhibition, doing our project on refreshable braile displays, as we were interested in the idea of making the computer more accessible to all. We came across NVDA and found out it was perfect for what we stood for and needed.

But, we are having trouble making our board compatible with NVDA and was wondering if anybody could guide us on how it could be done or if it can be done at all. I understand this may be quite a complex topic, especially over messaging, but even help on where to turn to for advice would be great. We understand that other displays have been made compatible also.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated and would be extremely beneficial.

Thanks

Lino Morales
 

I suggest you join and ask the folks on the NVDA dev list. Good luck with your project.

On 11/25/2019 12:06 PM, just1brill@... wrote:
Hello,
We are a group of students entering our country's top science exhibition, doing our project on refreshable braile displays, as we were interested in the idea of making the computer more accessible to all. We came across NVDA and found out it was perfect for what we stood for and needed.

But, we are having trouble making our board compatible with NVDA and was wondering if anybody could guide us on how it could be done or if it can be done at all. I understand this may be quite a complex topic, especially over messaging, but even help on where to turn to for advice would be great. We understand that other displays have been made compatible also.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated and would be extremely beneficial.

Thanks

just1brill@...
 

I was looking through all the GitHub files for something like that, but with all the files it can get fairly overwhelming, so I appreciate the link. We will definitely get onto developing that driver and get it up and running.

Thanks a lot for the help!

 

Well as long as it works with open braille and brltty its probably ok.

Of course its going to probably work better with an actual supported driver but brltty is everywhere including linux so if it works with that then it will work with most things supporting that at least.



On 26/11/2019 6:42 am, just1brill@... wrote:
I understand that trying to support a board that won't be comercially available would not be in the interest of developers so I greatly appreciate your help here. The board is recognised as a hardware device by Windows devices (and likely other OSs, but I don't have access to them right now). Unfortunately,our own code is not quite complete but we are definitely making efforts to have it done as quickly as possible (while obviously still being as functional as possible). But, I have taken all of that on board and will go through the process outlined above.

Thanks very much.

 

Hi,

No, this one is a competition entry to create a braille display from scratch, so a lot of work is needed (hence the advice to post on development mailing list).

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shaun Everiss
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 12:27 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Refreshable Braille Display Help #msftaccessibility #NVAccess

 

Well as long as it works with open braille and brltty its probably ok.

Of course its going to probably work better with an actual supported driver but brltty is everywhere including linux so if it works with that then it will work with most things supporting that at least.

 

 

On 26/11/2019 6:42 am, just1brill@... wrote:

I understand that trying to support a board that won't be comercially available would not be in the interest of developers so I greatly appreciate your help here. The board is recognised as a hardware device by Windows devices (and likely other OSs, but I don't have access to them right now). Unfortunately,our own code is not quite complete but we are definitely making efforts to have it done as quickly as possible (while obviously still being as functional as possible). But, I have taken all of that on board and will go through the process outlined above.

Thanks very much.