HumanWare Communicator


Description of App: 

***Warning - $109.00****HumanWare, in partnership with Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB) and its foundation, has designed the HumanWare Communicator, the first multilingual face-to-face conversation app for deaf-blind people. This unique app will help deaf-blind individuals communicate on an everyday basis by connecting a HumanWare Braille device (BrailleNote Apex or Brailliant) with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.How Does It Work?The HumanWare Communicator application is intended to establish a text conversation between a deaf-blind person and a sighted person. All interaction appears both on the deaf-blind person’s refreshable Braille display, as well as visually on the screen of the iOS device.Using a Bluetooth connection, pair a HumanWare Brailliant braille display or a BrailleNote apex with any of Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad). With Apple’s screen reader (VoiceOver) enabled, the braille device will be able to control the iOS tool, along with showing all text in Braille on the Braille display.When the HumanWare Communicator app is launched, and a new conversation is started, the sighted participant will be presented with a visual introduction message on the screen of the iOS device. This introduction message is customizable and once the sighted user taps the OK button, the conversation will begin. The deaf-blind user typing their messages on the Braille input keyboard, and the sighted participant using the touch screen keyboard for their portion of the conversation. All interactions can be read by the deaf-blind user using the refreshable Braille display. Please note that for longer conversations, a traditional Bluetooth keyboard can also be paired with the iOS device to facilitate faster text input from the sighted participant.Other Functionality:

  • Customize your conversation greeting message.
  • Create commonly used phrases, which can be used during a conversation with shortcut symbols.
  • Save important messages in the archives to review at a later date.

The full user guide can be accessed from the app’s opening menu.

Apple Watch Support: 

Not Known



Free or Paid: 


Device(s) App Was Tested On: 


Accessibility Comments: 

App works well with VoiceOver. However, appears to be some issue when people with sight access the on-screen keyboard and rather than the msg "typing" on the Braille display, the Braille user gets each character that is being typed on the on-screen keyboard. Also, issue with the Send button for the sighted user as they have to double tap on it.

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling: 

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments: 

For those not wanting to spend a fair bit for this app, similar functionality could be achieved by using the Notes app and iOS short-cuts or a Bluetooth chat app. Would be nice if there was a free version with an in-app purchase to try. Also wondering whether this app indeed works with other Braille displays, not just Humanware.