Making a computer accessible, particularly for people with visual impairments, can be a difficult process. The people at Freedom Scientific made a major advancement in accessibility technology with the JAWS screen reader, and they’ve gone even further with the Focus Blue keyboard.
The Focus 40 Blue is a fully functional Braille keyboard with an 8-button Perkins-style Braille interface and a 40-cell display for screen reading. It uses thumb keys for panning through text vertically and horizontally. Selector buttons at the front of the keyboard allow for simple, intuitive mouse navigation through the device. The Focus 14 Blue comes with all the same features, albeit with a smaller Braille display. However, its smaller size also makes it easily portable and ideal for use with tablets and smartphones.
Since it is designed by the same company that created JAWS, the Focus Blue is compatible with JAWS for both screen reading and Braille instruction. The keyboards connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to devices and are compatible with Windows, Mac and Android operating systems. Both Focus Blue keyboards are also compatible with third party Braille software such as BrailleBack.
To see the Focus 14 Blue in action, check out this video demonstration.