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Mobile Accessibility on Android phones

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Pairing Braille Devices:

Pairing Braille device is simple and is similar to any Bluetooth device pairing with the phone. First step in using Braille with Mobile Accessibility is to pair the Braille display with your Android powered Mobile device. Please check the documentation for your Braille device to find out the passcode used to connect with other devices. This may be specific to the serial number of the Braille device unit. Otherwise, you may use any string of numbers, normally no shorter than four digits, like 1234 which is the default passcode used by most Bluetooth-enabled devices. All Bluetooth devices use an authentication number when users attempt to establish a connection between them, thereby securing that connection. Follow the below steps to pair your display.

  1. Start your braille device, check the device manual for instructions to start and enable Bluetooth on the device.
  2. Go to Mobile Accessibility > Apps > Settings > Wireless and Network > Bluetooth Settings.
  3. Check the option „Bluetooth”.
  4. In the same window use, „Scan Devices” to let the device scan nearby Bluetooth devices.
  5. After few seconds, Scroll in the window to find your Braille display device.
  6. It will prompt you to enter passcode / pin for the device.
  7. Enter the pin of the device, for pin information for pairing, check the device user manual.


Configuring Braille Display with Mobile Accessibility (Post pairing Braille display with phone)

  1. Go to Mobile Accessibility > Settings > Braille Settings.
  2. Activate the option „Braille Device”
  3. In the list select the Braille device you wish to use. This list contains all the Bluetooth device paired with the phone.
  4. Stay in the braille settings and activate the option „Device Model”
  5. In the list, select the model of the braille device you wish to use. The list contains all supported models with their manufacturer name.
  6. Exit the Braille settings and the setting window, congratulations, the braille device is configured.


Removing Braille Display configuration.

Follow the steps below

  1. Go to Mobile Accessibility > Apps > Settings > Wireless and Network > Bluetooth Settings.
  2. Check the option „Bluetooth”.
  3. In the same window, scroll down to find the device you wish to remove.
  4. Hit Long enter on the device and select „Unpair”


Enabling / Disabling Braille

To enable or to start braille with Mobile Accessibility:

  1. Activate quick menu, use the menu key or triple tap the screen within Mobile Accessibility window.
  2. Select the option „Enable Braille”.
  3. Mobile Accessibility will beep and will announce „Braille Ready”.


To disable or to stop Braille with Mobile Accessibility:

  1. Activate quick menu, use the menu key or triple tap the screen within Mobile Accessibility window.
  2. Select the option „Disable Braille”.
  3. Mobile Accessibility will beep and will announce „Braille off”.


Braille Configuration options:

Location: Mobile Accessibility > Settings > Braille Settings:

  1. Braille Device: the option lists all the Bluetooth devices paired the phone, you need to select the braille display you wish to use with Mobile Accessibility.
  2. Device Model: the option lists all the supported Braille device models with their manufacturer name, you need to select the model of the braille device been selected in the Braille device option.
  3. Show control Indicator: checkbox (selected by default) – apart from text, Mobile Accessibility also helps you determine if focus is on a control, and to know the control type and state.
    Language-dependent Braille indicators for control information are also displayed before the label of the control in focus. Indicators are always displayed in computer Braille, no matter what Braille grade is set, and dots 7 and 8 appear in all their cells to help distinguish them from regular text. If the control does not change state, then the Braille indicator consists of only two characters which are letters that relate to the control type name. The letters used in the indicators also vary according to the language of the selected text-to-speech engine. For example, a button is indicated by the letters bt in English, but by the letters kn in Dutch where a button is called „knop”. On the other hand, if the control changes state, then there is a third character in the indicator, which is a symbol that is kept constant in all languages though the dot patterns may differ. For example, a full 6-dot cell will indicate that a checkbox or radio button is checked/pressed, while dots 3,6 means that it is not checked or selected.
  4. Uncontract word under cursor checkbox (selected by default) – this option will cause the word under the cursor to be expanded to its uncontracted form if Grade 2 / contracted Braille is selected for output. It lets you route the cursor more quickly on a character in that word if you want to insert text at that point, delete that character, or delete the one before it.
  5. Supress capital Sign: checkbox (note selected by default), the option allow you to enable supressing of the capital sign when displaying test in he braille display. This option is useful for small braille device so the maximum text can be displayed.
  6. Show control Prompts: check box (selected by default), the option allow you to see prompts associated with certain controls. If the option is disabled, the help prompt if available for the control, will not be available on the Braille display.
  7. Automatically Mute Speech: checkbox (not selected by default) the option allow you to mute speech as soon as braille is enabled. This option is useful for Deaf blind users and for those wish to use the phone with braille display in meeting place.
  8. Display Caller ID: allow you to select the action that Mobile Accessibility will perform when the device receives a call. The available options are: Display caller ID-on the braille device, shows the caller information on the braille display as long as the phone keeps ringing, Braille Flash-shows caller information on braille device as a flash message and Do Nothing- will not show the caller information on the device.


Grades and Braille Table configurations:

Location: Mobile Accessibility > Settings > Braille Settings > Grades and Tables

  1. Input Braille Grade: allow to select the braille grade for input (typing text using Braille keys).
  2. Out Braille Grade: allow to select braille grade for output (text displayed on the braille device).
  3. 6 Dot computer Braille table: allow to select the 6 dot computer braille table for output and input in 6 dot computer braille.
  4. 8 Dot computer Braille table: allow to select the 8 dot computer braille table for output and input in 8 dot computer braille.
  5. Grade 1 Braille table: allow to select the Grade 1 braille table for output and input in grade 1 literary braille.
  6. Grade 2 Braille table: allow to select the grade 2 braille table for output and input in grade 2 (contracted) braille.


Braille Connection Settings:

Location: Mobile Accessibility > Braille Settings > Connection Settings

  1. Keep Phone On: check box (not selected by default) allows preventing the phone to go in sleep, so when the braille device is connected, the phone would not go in sleep and will enable user to stay connected.
  2. Automatically Reconnect: checkbox (deselected by default) – if this option is enabled, Mobile Accessibility will attempt to reconnect your phone with the Braille device if the connection was dropped or after the mobile device starts up. It will attempt the reconnection 30 seconds after the devices were disconnected or the end of the start-up process.
  3. Automatically Turn off Bluetooth: checkbox (deselected by default) – if this option is enabled, Mobile Accessibility will automatically disable Bluetooth as soon as the command to disable Braille off is performed to break the connection between the Braille device and the mobile phone.
  4. Speak Braille Status: check box (selected by default), enable Mobile Accessibility to announce the connection status when activating / deactivating Braille.


Enabling Braille Support outside Mobile Accessibility

In order to have Braille support outside MA, it is important to:

  1. Mobile Accessibility Screen reader service enabled under Accessibility settings. Check user manual section 5.3.2 Enabling the system wide virtual keyboard
  2. Mobile Accessibility Virtual keyboard must be enabled for system wide use. Check User manual section 5.3.2 Enabling the system wide virtual keyboard

Please note, navigation, typing text and text review functionality should will not work if MA screen reader and Virtual keyboard are not correctly set.


Quick Menu > Edit options

(Version 1.9)

The option is only available if the currently focussed control is an edit field. The option allows you to perform editing options, like selection, copy, cut and paste. Braille commands are available for performing edit action when using a braille display with Mobile Accessibility. In specific the options are:

  1. 1. Select all, allow selecting the entire text in the edit field so to be able to copy or cut or delete text.
  2. 2. Copy, allow copying the text to the clip board and retaining the text in he edit field as well.
  3. 3. Cut, allow to cut the text to the clip board and also deletes the text from edit field.
  4. 4. Paste, allow to paste the text from the clip board to the edit field.


Entering and Editing Text Using Braille

When focus lands on an edit control, Braille output automatically switches to edit mode so that Mobile Accessibility displays the text cursor by raising dots 7 and 8. At present, this tactile cursor is only available when 6- or 8-dot computer Braille is selected. If there is an uppercase character at the cursor position, the dots will alternate; meaning that dot 8 is raised while dot 7 is not. If text selection commands are used, dots 7 and 8 will both appear in all the cells of the selected text.

When typing text using Grade 1 or 2 Braille, remember that the text is not translated until you press Space or Enter, or perform a command that moves focus or displays a message. Keep in mind that the Braille grade used for input is not necessarily the same one set for Braille output, so use the appropriate commands for configuring input and output Braille grades in order to be certain.

You can use the backspace command assigned to the key combination specific to your Braille device while typing in whichever grade to delete the character to the left of the text cursor. Note that this command may be used even before the text typed in grade 1 or 2 Braille is translated. If you wish to clear everything you have typed so far that has not yet been translated, use the Braille Escape command available on all supported Braille devices.


Braille Output Mode

In Mobile Accessibility, screen contents are displayed in Braille in a way that will give you an idea of visual information such as format, hierarchy, control type, and state. This is the default Braille output mode called „Braille format”. In this mode, Mobile Speak sends information to the display that is relevant to the current cursor position. The information sent includes things such as control type, dialog name, or number of items in a list (where the list index is not really displayed visually).

It is possible to change the Braille Output mode to „Speech emulation”. In this mode, Mobile Accessibility sends to the Braille display exactly what it sends to the speech engine. Instead of Braille indicators for control information, the words that are spoken by Mobile Accessibility when it comes across that control are displayed. For example, in Braille Format mode, li and bt are used to indicate the list and button. In Speech Emulation mode, the words „list” and „button” are shown in Braille instead.

Each Braille device has its own Braille command for switching between these two Braille output modes.

Command Description (ANDROID) Keystrokes
Simulate Enter key Joystick Enter, or Space+E
Simulate Space key Space
Braille Backspace Space + B
Delete Key Space + dots 4 5
Braille Escape (to clear G1 or G2 text buffer)Shift + Space
Dot 7Shift
Dot 8Control
Previous Control Space + dots 2 3 or Ctrl + Shift
Next ControlSpace + dots 5 6 or Space + Control
Previous character Space + dot 3 or Joystick Left
Next characterSpace + dot 6 or Joystick Right
Previous line / List ItemSpace+dot 1, or Joystick Up
Next line / List ItemSpace+dot 1, or Joystick Up
Previous Word Space+dot 2, or Ctrl+Joystick Left
Next Word Space+dot 5, or Ctrl+Joystick Right
Previous Paragraph Space+Shift+dot 3, or Ctrl+Joystick Up
Next Paragraph Space+Ctrl+dot 6, or Ctrl+Joystick Down
Page Up Space+Shift+dot 2
Page Down Space+Ctrl+dot 5
Start of Line Space+Shift+dot 1
End of Line Space+Ctrl+dot 4
Top of Text or List Space+dots 123
Bottom of Text or ListSpace+dots 456
Read from the top Space+Shift+dots 123, or Ctrl+Left Pan
Read from cursor positionSpace+Ctrl+dots 456, or Ctrl+Right Pan
Select Previous CharacterShift+Joystick Left, or Space+Shift+dot 3
Select Next CharacterShift+Joystick Right, or Space+Shift+dot 4
Select Previous WordShift+Ctrl+Joystick Left, or Space+Shift+dot 2
Select Next WordShift+Ctrl+Joystick Right, or Space+Shift+dot 5
Select Previous LineShift+Joystick Up, or Space+Shift+dot 1
Select Next LineShift+Joystick Down, or Space+Shift+dot 4
Select All TextShift+Ctrl+Joystick Up, or Space+Shift+Ctrl+dot 3
Select Text from CursorShift+Ctrl+Joystick Down, Space+Shift+Ctrl+dot 6
Toggle Navigation ModeSpace+Shift+dot 6, or Space+Right Pan
Open Configuration ScreenSpace+Ctrl+C
Speak Date and TimeSpace+D
Open Quick MenuSpace+Ctrl+M
Toggle Braille CursorSpace+N
Interrupt SpeechCtrl
Toggle Speech MuteSpace+Ctrl+U
Open Web Browser Address BarSpace+Ctrl+dot 1
Speak Position inside Web PageSpace+Shift+dot 4
Simulate Dial (Answer) KeyShift+Joystick Center, or Space+Shift+dots 15
Simulate Hang Up Key Ctrl+Joystick, or Space+Shift+dots 125
Toggle Puntuation Level Space+Ctrl+P
Speak Device Status Battery, Signal, etc.)Space+Ctrl+S
Cut TextSpace+dots 13467
Copy TextSpace+dots 147
Paste TextSpace+dots 12367
Toggle Secret ModeSpace+dots 16
Change only input Braille GradeSpace+I
Change both output and input Braille GradesSpace+G
Change Braille Output ModeSpace+O
Close Current WindowSpace+X, or Shift+Space+Ctrl
Pan LeftLeft Pan
Pan RightRight Pan