One of the coolest things about living in the 21st century is the ever-evolving technology we’re surrounded by every day, like televisions, computers, and smartphones.
Yet this same coolness often comes with a steep learning curve that makes certain pieces of technology inaccessible to blind or visually impaired individuals.
This article will explain why braille has been added to TV remotes, how it works, and whether you’ll find braille on other devices in your home.
The braille of TV remotes is a unique writing system to aid people with visual impairments use the TV remote and other remotes.
Braille on the TV remotes enables visually impaired users of the TV remote to feel their way around and control their television without relying on sight.
TV remotes are amazing devices with endless buttons and switches, but even the most tech-savvy person can’t remember every single button that does what.
This becomes especially true when you’re in the dark and want to change the channel or increase volume, but there’s no light.
This is where TV remotes with braille come in handy. You just stick your fingers on the buttons, and if you feel bumps in a certain pattern, you know what it does.
Remotes help control the TV and other electronic devices that make our lives so much easier today.
Although sighted people use most remotes, some still find them useful for blindness or other reasons.
That is why some remotes are made with Braille on the buttons to allow the user to know what each button does without needing to see them, similar to a blind person reading braille on books and magazines.
Why is there Braille on a TV remote?
The answer to this question can be found in the history of television, as Louis Braille originally developed braille in the early 1800s to help blind people read and write.
With this invention came the need to communicate the content of each letter and number so that the blind could read printed material.
When televisions became popular in the 1950s, braille was already used worldwide, making it an obvious choice for labeling remote controls, especially since braille was already available on teletypewriters (TTYs), which were also commonly used by individuals who were visually impaired.
A person might wonder what visually impaired people need a TV remote for if they can’t see it. The answer is, in addition to looking at it, the television can be listed to as well.
Using your active imagination, you could replay what’s happening on the TV even if you’re not watching it.
A visually impaired person can decide to listen to the news on the television and know exactly what the media is communicating without getting to see their faces or a look at the incident.
Hence, with the braille of the TV remote, they can turn the television on and off, and also regulate both the channel and volume.
The invention of Braille
Invented by Louis Braille in 1821, it consists of a system of six dots arranged in two rows on each finger.
The tactile writing system allows blind people to read and write independently. In 1829, Louis Braille invented a numbering system based on 6-dot patterns called Cellular numerals. The number 1 was represented as one dot, 2 as two dots next to each other, etc., etc.
This made it possible for blind people to use a standard typewriter or computer keyboard with only slight modifications.
This new system was first used by Charles Barbier in 1845 when he created an alphabet planche (Braille plate) for his printing press.
Today, most computers are equipped with special software designed specifically by visually impaired users.
Most of these programs allow for reading, editing, and saving documents in text format and Braille.
Some also include features such as speech synthesis, which can be helpful to those who are completely blind.
Many websites also offer access through screen readers, who speak out web content using synthesized speech or prerecorded audio files.
Today, there are more than 20 different variations of Braille being used around the world.
The original version is called Grade 1 or French Grade 1 and is used most often in North America; however, many others are used all over Europe (and beyond). These include Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Slovenian, and Dutch Braille.
There’s even one language that uses its unique Braille system: Turkish. Some of these systems use different numbers of characters and assign letters to different values, but they all have one thing in common: they allow those who can’t see to read.
Which other home appliances have braille on them?
Like braille on a big-screen TV remote, there’s braille on oven doors, stove knobs, and dishwasher controls.
But why? Ovens, stoves, and dishwashers can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. Having something tactile is helpful for people who are visually impaired.
Braille symbols are placed on appliances in a way that makes sense when they’re being used; they aren’t just randomly placed.
The symbol for on/off is located right next to where your hand would go when using it, for example.
It may seem unnecessary, but even tiny details can make life easier for those with visual impairments.
For instance, having braille labels on an appliance helps prevent confusion about which button does what (looking at an appliance from a distance).
And, if you’ve ever had to ask someone else to help you turn off your oven or unplug your washer, then you understand why braille markings are important.
The same goes for light switches. Knowing where light switches are located is critical to avoid walking into walls or tripping over furniture in your home if you’re visually impaired.
Even though most of us take sight for granted, many devices in our homes require sighted assistance to use properly.
Not only do these devices need instructions printed on them, but some, like microwaves, also need additional instructions written in braille.
Additionally, many other household items have their unique forms of identification.
Aside from these appliances having braille on them, some appliances use other techniques to ease usage for the visually impaired.
And one of them is The MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven, which is able to hear spoken prompts for power level, setting time, and many other settings.
With that, visually impaired users can control the microwave without seeing anything on the microwave. You may want to check it out here.
Some TV remotes have braille on them to help visually impaired people find and adjust their TVs’ channels and volume.
Braille allows the individual to change things without having to read the remote control and without drawing attention to the fact that they can’t see. French educator Louis Braille originally developed Braille.
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