Teaching the APH Braille Plus and RefreshaBraille 18

I received the APH Braille Plus and the Refreshabraille 18 in January of 2011. It has now been 4 months of learning how to use it myself, and providing instruction to students, parents, and teachers. Learning to use the APH Braille Plus myself has taken more time than I expected in terms of creating Bluetooth connections, USB connections, File transfers, Mounting the Braille Plus as a disk drive, Creating Wifi connection, and locating instructional resources for assistance. Teaching the device to students is always easier for me than teaching it to parents and other staff members. I've learned teachers and staff like short "How To" guides with pictures as they will have to be able to provide support when your not there. Below I'll attempt to list common problems I've encountered with solutions, suggestions for additional equipment, activity suggestions for implementing the use of the APH Braille Plus and Refreshabraille 18 within the classroom, as well instructions detail instructions with picture references. I'll continue to add additional guides as I complete activities with my students which I'll list on this page by Application. Feel free to copy, share, and make suggestions or add resources you find useful as well. Equipment Suggestions for Regular Education Teachers and Parents
Visual Display using Google Talk.pdf
The APH Braille Plus manual states you can obtain a visual display to assist students using Google Talk and an Internet connection. I've tried and have encountered several problems such as loading a google email address, obtaining network access within the school district as many have blocked this feature, and following the APH directions given to create this type of connection. Even with this connection it will not allow the classroom teacher or the parent to navigate the Braille Plus, make corrections, relocate the cursor, as it is only a visual display. iPad and iPod Touch Options
  • Connect the RefreshiBraille 18 to an iPad or iPod Touch utilizing VoiceOver and a Bluetooth connection.
  • Set the iPad or iPod to turn on/off VoiceOver using 3 click of the home key button.
  • While using the iPad or iPod with notes the teacher will have the ability to independently create documents and have them displayed in Braille on the fly. The can add, delete, or assist in document navigation using the touch screen while the student uses the Braille Display.
  • The teach will have a visual display of the students writing, screen navigation, internet navigation, and the ability to save data using screen shots, printing, or saving files.
  • VoiceOver changes the way the iPad or iPod responds to finger gestures such as selecting or opening and application. You (the classroom teacher or parent) don't have to know how to use VoiceOver commands or Braille to use the iPad or iPod. Simply tap the home key 3 times to turn off VoiceOver, type normally to add information, make corrections, or redirect the cursor. Then tap the home key again 3 times to reactivate VoiceOver.
  • For students with limited vision the iPod Touch will work great for about $225.00
  • For students with low vision use the iPad as the student will be able to use the magnification options and other Apps. (iPad or iPod VoiceOver commands and compatible Apps to be posted this weekend)

Problems Encountered

  • The APH Braille Plus will not connect to the Refreshibraille 18 via Bluetooth.
  • The APH Braille Plus freezes, gets stuck, or stops responding.
  • The While recording the APH Braille Plus begins to vibrate and emit a high pitch sound.
  • The APH Braille Plus won't mount as a disk drive because the hard drive is being used by another program.
  • The APH Braille Plus date and time setting keep resetting
  • The RefreshiBraille 18 does not display Braille even when connected
  • The RefreshiBraille 18 doesn't keep the name I have given it.

Braille Plus Activities, Lesson Plans, and Cheat Sheets