An international conference on visual impairment, hosted by the National Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind in Plovdiv, was used as the venue for the launch of RoboBraille on April 4, 2014. Representatives from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs participated in the event along with local government representatives, representatives from the Union of the Blind in Bulgaria, the Association of the Deaf-Blind in Bulgaria, the Library for the Blind in Bulgaria, regional rehabilitation centres, experts and educators.
RoboBraille is now available to Bulgarian students and others who need to be able to convert educational material and other text into alternate media such as Braille, audio books and ebooks. In Bulgaria, the service is available free of charge for non-commercial use.
The launch follows 18 months of localising the RoboBraille service to support the Bulgarian language in terms of text-to-audio and text-to-Braille conversion. Although minor parts of the interface still needs to be translated into Bulgarian, the vast majority of all services and supporting documentation is available in Bulgarian. The launch of the RoboBraille service will be followed up later in the year with the launch of an accompanying digital library of material in alternate formats.
RoboBraille in Bulgaria is part of a three-year, three-country project aimed at implementing the service in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The project is funded by a grant from the VELUX Foundations.