Post Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Hi! Welcome to my guide on BARD Mobile.

BARD Mobile (Braille Audio Reading Download Mobile), is a service that offers braille books and audiobooks from NLS.

With this app that is fully accessible, you can easily download, listen and read these books.

Talking books and braille books are free.

I will be explaining the elements the app, as best as possible, and as in much detail as possible.

Post Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Before We Begin

Braille Screen Input is a feature of iOS/iPadOS that allows you to type braille directly on your device's screen. You can use this input method anywhere an on-screen keyboard is available. If you prefer to listen, you can hear an audio demonstration of braille input in iOS8 here. Note that, though this podcast was made under iOS 8, its content is still relevant to more modern iOS versions. Similarly, we keep this guide as up-to-date as we can.

Post Date: Saturday, February 27, 2016

Since iOS 8.0, it has been possible to load the desktop version of some webpages in Safari in a comparatively easy manner.

Most people do the following to load a page:

1. Find the webpage.
2. Double-tap on the Share button.
3. Double-tap on "Load desktop site".

but there is a way of doing this that is much simpler.

To do it, find the "Reload" button and double-tap and hold on this button. A box will open from which you can choose to load the desktop site.

Post Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Public libraries are providing more and more of their content in a digital format. For libraries, it saves on space and staff time, and providers are stepping up to deliver video, music, eBooks and audiobooks electronically.

Why it works

libraries purchase collections from a provider. This gives their patrons the ability to "borrow" content using a computer or mobile device. When the loan period is over, the content is automatically "returned". For example, if you check out an eBook, it becomes available on your device for reading immediately.
Post Date: Sunday, February 3, 2013

Enabling the Status Cell

If you have ever paired a braille display with your iOS device, you have seen that option that appears above the display name in braille settings: "Status Cell". You may, like me, have double tapped it, decided if you wanted it on the left or the right, then gone about your business, keeping a finger on that mysterious cell to see what it might do. You may have, like me, used it for a while and finally given up on it, having no idea what it was for or how it was useful, so you went back to settings and turned it off.

Post Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Note October 17, 2016: a new and updated guide on iOS text editors is now available here.

Post Date: Monday, October 17, 2016

Note: This guide is an updated version of my article “An Overview of Five Text Editors”, submitted to the AppleVis community in February, 2014.

Post Date: Monday, April 17, 2017

Starting in iOS 10, a new way exists through the actions rotor to move apps around your various home screens. While the old method is still available, the new way of accomplishing this task seems to be preferred by many. In iOS 11, it then became possible to drag multiple apps at the same time. The below process was written for iOS version 12.1, and if the instructions do not work as outlined below, chances are good you are not running that version of iOS.

Post Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Last week, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt UEB (Unified English Braille) as the primary braille code in North America. For details on this, see their website Over the past few days, I have received many questions about how this will impact braille devices. When will it be supported in various devices? Will firmware and software need to be updated? Typically, the answer is no. UEB has already been adopted in several English speaking countries, and all one needs to do to enable UEB on their iDevice is the following. 1.
Post Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013
To complete this process, you must have agreed to the BARD Service agreement, and be signed in to a BARD account. This will not work for people who do not have accounts with the national Library Service for the Blind and Physically handicapped . For more info on whether you qualify, and to apply if you do, see the Bard main page Note that the only reasons you would hav needed to sign in is because the app will not work until you have done so.
Post Date: Monday, June 23, 2014

This guide has been written by myself so hope you like it.

Installing Mac OS X from a USB flash drive

Post Date: Sunday, August 5, 2012
For some time now, users of braille displays have wantted to be able to read brf files from various sources such as the NLS Web Braille collection, Bookshare, and other sources around the world. I'm here to tell you that it's possible to do so using the following steps, but you'll still be very limited in the way in which you can navigate through content. For example, there is no way to bookmark a place in your file, and since iOS does not have a find function, you can't get there quickly through that manor either.
Post Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011
If you have a BrailleNote Apex BT from Humanware and an iOS device running 4.0 or later, you can use the Apex to both view, in braille, what VoiceOver says and to type, in braille, when you are in any edit field. Below are the steps to pair the two devices. This assumes that bluetooth is enabled on both the iTouch and BrailleNote, that you have not tried to pair the devices before in any way, and that the device name of your BrailleNote Apex has not been changed. The device name can be viewed by going to options, connectivity, setup options, computer name.
Post Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Freedom Pro Bluetooth keyboard from Freedom Input may be used as an alternative to the touch screen for typing text. This can be particularly helpful for performing text entry tasks such as taking notes and writing e-mail. As of June 28, Freedom Input has not provided instructions for connecting the keyboard to the iPhone in its knowledge base or manuals. This document provides those instructions in a format that is especially useful for blind people. The gestures and instructions in this document assume VoiceOver is enabled.
Post Date: Monday, April 27, 2020

Due to its length, this page contains only the first few pages of Michael's book. The full version is attached below as a downloadable file. More information on the book and downloadable versions in other file formats are available on Michael's website at

Post Date: Sunday, August 12, 2012
When I read .brf files with my iPod touch and Braille display, I convert the brf into html format files, and transfer them to the Filer app with iTunes. In this way, I can navigate line by line with left/right swipe and page by page with up/down swipe. You can also use a 3-finger tap to search for a word if you know which character represents which dot; for example j is dots 2-4-5 and 0 is dots 3-5-6 and such. You can download the script I wrote at: The script I made is for Windows, but it's possible to make the same kind of scripts with Perl or Apple Scrip
Post Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last edited by Scott Davert on September 27, 2020.