A Question Concerning Refresherbraille 18

Braille on Apple Products


I hope I'm 'in the right place' here :-) ...

Last December, I got an iPhone 4s, and, after the Firmware version was upgraded, I could pair my SuperVario2 40 braille display with it. That was great, but since the braille display is rather big, I couldn't 'carry it around' easily. So I ended up not using it much with the iPhone.

A few days ago, I got the Refresherbraille 18, and I like everything about it. IPhone 4s and Refresherbraille 18 seems like a good combination :-) . It's 'so cool' :-) .

Since I haven't had it long, and some of the things I've noticed may be my fault :-) , I'll just ask this for now.
I've searched the forum, but haven't found anything about this. I wonder why, since it seems HUGELY important to me.
When you pair a bluetooth keyboard with an iPhone, and the iPhone screen is locked, you can 'wake it up' by pressing any of the cursor keys (and perhaps other keys too, I'm not sure). But with the braille displays I've got, this doesn't work. I mean, one cannot press some key (or combination of keys) so that the iPhone 'wakes up' from its standby mode, but one has to press the Home button on the iPhone. I can understand why this shouldn't work with the SuperVario2 40 display, since one is not very mobile with this rather big display anyway. But I still can hardly believe :-) that there's no command to 'wake' the iPhone 'up' from its standby mode on the Refresherbraille. Or am I wrong? I'd hope so :-) . After all, according to the manual, one is supposed to be able to use only the Refresherbraille and 'leave' one's 'iPhone in' one's 'pocket'. But you obviously can't really do that if you have to reach for the iPhone to press the Home button so you can unlock the screen with the Refresherbraille. Or is there some command, and it's just that I haven't found it :-) ? That's also possible :-) .
But if not, I do hope something can be done about it! Of course, it's also possible that Apple cannot fix this, and it's all 'the fault' of Refresherbraille.

If anyone has some 'strategic advice' or tips on what one can do so that one doesn't have to reach for the iPhone to press the Home button (maybe never lock the screen or something), I'd be grateful if they could share their 'strategy' :-) !

Apologies for any typos or errors. Clearly, I'm not a native speaker of English :-) .

Thanks for any advice!



Submitted by Travis Roth on Friday, July 4, 2014

There is not a command to wake up the iPhone from any Braille display. If the wakes up, you can unlock it using the Braille display by moving to the Unlock button and clicking, and some displays have other one key commands to do this also. Unfortunately, there is not a command to actually wake up the phone to begin with like a headset can do to get to Siri.

OK. Thanks for your reply!
Yes, so I really was right :-( . I wish I wasn't :-( .
But don't you think this is 'unfair'? It works with bluetooth keyboards and headsets, so why not with braille displays? Why? Especially with the Refresherbraille, this should really be possible, so that one wouldn't have to always reach for the iPhone! Don't you agree? If it works with other devices, it must be technically possible, right?
I've written to APH about this :-) .
It doesn't have to work with ALL braille displays, but it really should be possible with small, portable ones!
So do you have any 'strategic advice' for me :) ? I mean, do you always press the home button on your iPhone? Isn't that extremely inconvenient? How do you solve this issue?
Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply so nicely :-) !

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Friday, July 4, 2014

Currently, the phone disconnects from braille displays upon the phone locking. Although this prevents waking up the phone, it is by no means unchangeable. This is something that could be asked for from apple's accessibility department, and would in fact be a small change in the scope of things.

Submitted by a woman on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thanks so much for your 'encouraging' reply :-) !
You know, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping to hear :-) ! Really!

So what must we do to get Apple's accessibility department to change this? Who can we contact?

It would be great if one could 'wake up' the iPhone with a braille display! Don't you all agree? One wouldn't always have to press the Home button, and could do everything without even touching the iPhone. This really would be ideal! And I must say I'm wondering why this hasn't been brought up before. Do you all have some 'special strategy' :-) , or is it just that you don't mind 'constantly' having to reach for the iPhone and press the Home button :-) ? Well, I do mind! Other devices can be used to 'wake up' the iPhone, so why not braille displays?

I'd be so GRATEFUL if this could be fixed! And that is not just an empty phrase. I mean it!

Thanks so much!

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Friday, July 4, 2014

What all who like this idea should do is e-mail to
describing the issue. Basically, the suggestion is to not disconnect from bluetooth braille displays when the device is locked.

Submitted by a woman on Saturday, July 5, 2014

In reply to by synthesizer101

Wow, you're really helpful! Thanks so much!
I've sent them an email ...

I'm sure everyone agrees that it would be great if you could 'wake up' your iPhone (or iPad or whatever you may have) by pressing some keys on your braille display so you don't have to press some button on the iPhone to be able to continue using the braille display. So please 'support me with my appeal' :-) ! But seriously: please send them a quick email! Imagine if this was fixed ... that would be so cool, wouldn't it? It would make controlling the iPhone with a braille display so much more easy and convenient!
And - members of the AppleVis Editorial Team - don't you agree that it would make life a great deal easier?

Thanks so much! I'm really grateful that I'm getting such kind and helpful responses here!

Ideal :-) !

Submitted by Diego Garibay on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I called one of the representative NDF to civility phone number. He said that yes it is theoretically possible to do this they will just have to integrate the command the real display manufacturers just have to put the command to unlock the phone into the braille display and of course the Bluetooth disconnection thing must be fixed i'm glad to
I'm not the only one who has noticed. And yes it would be extremely helpful if it works like it's supposed to

I really don't know what to say to this ... Thank you sooo much!!! It is so great that you're so proactive! Thanks sooo much!!

No, you're not the only one! I have been extremely unhappy about this since I first paired my display with my phone. Are you also wondering why not more people are going on about this :-) (I seem to be the only one :-) )? It would make a real difference to us if it was fixed, and it's not such a big deal for Apple. The representative you talked to confirmed that. And that is really great because it means that they may fix it! Imagine how cool this would be!!

But the command to activate the Home button already exists: dots 1, 2, 5 (=h) + Space. But if this was the only way to 'wake up' the phone with a braille display, it would of course only work with displays that have a keyboard, which would be a pity. Don't you agree? I think it would be better if one could (also) press the cursor routing buttons.

Let's continue to 'campaign'! The more of us write to accessibility@apple.com about this, the better :-) . Who knows – when the next update of iOS comes along, our iPhones may no longer disconnect from our displays when the screen is locked! And just think about how ideal that would be ...

Thanks so much!!!!