Braille on Mac

Braille on Apple Products

I haven't got Mac yet but I will get it soon. I'm using Alva and I want to know is Alva good too use with Mac. Which Brailles are you using?
Thank you



Submitted by Brian Tew on Thursday, October 20, 2016

I read you can turn off cursor tracking in osx.
Ios is terrible for me in braille as it snatches the focus away every time a new message arrives.
That makes it impossible to keep up with a normal conversation on irc.
How is osx and the mac in this regard?
Does the focus or screen jump when new messages arrive?

Submitted by Jake on Thursday, October 20, 2016

Braille is, in my opinion, excellent on Mac particularly with the latest version of the operating system. As far as I've been able to tell, all supported displays work equally well (save the latest HumanWare Brailliants due to a firmware bug). Which Alva display do you have? There's a whole long list of Alva displays. As long as it doesn't require a serial or parallel connection, most Alva displays will work.
Personally, I use a Smart Beetle from HIMS. However I've used the Mac with a Refreshabraille, a Baum SuperVario and Vario Ultra, as well as a Braillenote Apex in terminal mode. They've all worked flawlessly.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Thursday, October 20, 2016

I've always found Braille on macos to be frustrating at best. When I tried using my display in Sierra, none of the keyboard commands would work, even after resetting all VO preferences. Only buttons that would work were the panning buttons and other buttons on the front.

I wish the Braille key commands could be made to mirror those in iOS, as I find certain keys on my display (Focus 40 blue), to be invaluable, but you can't duplicate them in macos. IMO Braille is one of those things that's better implemented in Windows screen readers.

You'll be just fine with the BC640. That's one really awesome display.

First, what Braille display are you using? What you're saying sounds like some sort of driver issue, as I've certainly not seen anything like that with the displays I've worked with.
Second, you can remap any Braille command you wish on MacOS. In VO utility, Braille category, go to the displays tab then, under your display, press assign commands. You can add, remove, or modify any Braille mapping you can imagine. For the most part, I've found a great deal of the commands do mirror iOS to a large degree. Of course, there are and must be some differences as certain aspects of MacOS are different from iOS and these differences must be accounted for. That said, the default commands vary by display and your manufacturer might have set a much different set of defaults.

Submitted by Jake on Friday, October 21, 2016

Sorry, missed the mention of the Focus 40 Blue as your display. That's not one I've worked with. Have you assigned your own commands? My experience has been the opposite of yours, and I find Braille on MacOS to be infinitely superior to what any of the Windows screen readers, save perhaps Baum's Cobra offering, have ever had. Everyone's experience is different of course, however I always feel stifled when I have to use Windows and Braille together regardless of which modern screen reader I work with.

Submitted by Dominique Stansberry on Friday, October 21, 2016

What I like about Braille on Mac, is you can use literary grade to Braille every where. My problem right now, is that I'm using my Brilliant Bi 40 right now, but I'm not being shown what is being typed. This only rather, son I know is because thy I have speech on too. I can do every thing, but press, his tab and shift+ tab" with the Brlike keyboard. Any body know a work do? I currently just use the Left right, up, down, and panning keys to move the vo cursor. I can't press CMD+Tab so have to use the Application chooser instead, or use the Doc. I hope it's not just me. But, do any body else have this problem with the Brilliant Bi 40 with the 6? Braille Cell, where you either have extra cells, or not enough cells working when riding/typing? Some times it is working, some times it's not. It's weird.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Saturday, October 22, 2016

In reply to by Jake

I haven't done much assigning my own commands. Since upgrading to Sierra though, I noticed that all the Braille keyboard commands seem to have somehow gotten unassigned. I thought I could reset VO preferences, hoping it'd set them all back to their defaults and I could tweak them, rather than having to reassign them all manually, but it didn't work. VoiceOver just says "menu button" next to the name of the display command, indicating that it's not assigned to a command.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Sunday, October 23, 2016

1. When trying to assign commands in Braille section of VoiceOver utilities, most utter as: dimmed menu button
2. I've not found commands for switching tabs, windows, or apps.
3. I've found that using navistick on VarioUltra 40 will result in VoiceOver reading elements in Safari/Chrome, but Braille continues to show title of page.
4. Terminal doesn't seem to work well with Braille