The RoboBraille team is continuously engaged in several national and international projects to improve the service in terms of quality, functionality and language support. The objective is to create an unlimited supply of accessible material to anyone, anywhere with a need. Below is a list of current and recent RoboBraille projects:
- RoboBraille in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (2016 – 2019)
- Inclusion in Europe through Knowledge and Technology (2015 – 2017)
- Prosperity4All (2014 – 2018)
- RoboBraille SMART Alternate Media (2013 – 2015)
- Synthetic Greenlandic Voice/RoboBraille Greenland (2013 – 2015)
- RoboBraille Central Europe (2012 – 2015)
- RoboBraille for People with Low Vision (2012 – 2014)
- RoboBraille in Education (2011 – 2013)
RoboBraille in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (2016 – 2019)
Implementation of the RoboBraille service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The project is implemented in collaboration with a network of partner organisations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and with the endorsement of the governments of both countries. The project has the following long-term objectives:
The short-term objectives of the project is to localise RoboBraille in Czech and Slovak, establish one of more digital libraries of educational material in alternate formats; disseminate information about the RoboBraille service amongst both professionals and end-users and to release free, localised e-learning courses on alternate media conversion.
The longer-term ramifications of the project is to contribute towards the following objectives:
- That a larger proportions of visually impaired children are admitted into mainstream schools and receive quality education.
- That a larger proportion of the visually impaired children and youth receive further education. The proportion of visually impaired students at colleges and universities should at least resemble the proportion of the general population at colleges and universities.
- That dyslexic students are accommodated through provision of – for example – accessible educational material produced by RoboBraille and adequate teaching practices.
The project is supported by a grant from the VELUX Foundations.
Inclusion in Europe through Knowledge and Technology (2015 – 2017)
Drawing from experience from multiple European projects, the objectives of the project were:
- To document fundamental pedagogical principles, methods and tools for teaching key subjects to the blind, partially sighted and dyslexic by exploring the practice at specialised educational institutions;
- To collect and document good practices to support the transition from segregation towards inclusion amongst mainstream and specialised educational institutions; and
- To create scalable educational material on the RoboBraille service to ease adoption of automated production of alternate media.
The rationale behind the project was transnational by nature and impossible to complete without transnational collaboration. Knowledge on teaching principles, methods, educational materials and teaching aids must be documented in countries where it still exists. Countries transitioning from segregation towards inclusion must learn from others how best to support mainstream integration and how to avoid the pitfalls of others. And training material on efficient conversion of educational material into alternate formats such as digital Braille, audio books and e-books must be made available on a broad scale to students with special needs in mainstream education, as well as to their teachers and relatives.
The project brings together eight partners from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Italy and Romania.
The project was funded by the European Commission under the eRasmus+ programme.
Prosperity4All (2014 – 2018)
Over the course of the next four years, Prosperity4Allwill bring a holistic design approach to create an infrastructure that will allow an ecosystem to grow, one that helps generate the rich milieu of options needed to bring a diverse population of populations into the digital future. One-size-fits-one digital inclusion. Through Sensus, RoboBraille is part of the project.
Over 2 billion people worldwide have different types, degrees, or combinations of disability, literacy, digital literacy or aging related barriers that impede or prevent use of ICT. Not long ago you could live without access to ICT quite well. However today access to ICT is required for most education, employment, and commerce, and is increasingly required for travel, health, safety, daily living and participation in most of our society. Yet we currently only reach 3 to 15% of these – in developed countries. We cannot socially, economically or politically afford to have this cumulatively large percentage of our society offline going forward. Yet there is no way to reach them with our current model.
- Project web site: http://www.prosperity4all.eu
- RoboBraille contributions to the Prosperity4All project: http://www.prosperity4all.eu/?s=robobraille
- RoboBraille in the GPII Developer Space: https://ds.gpii.net/develop/components/robobraillewebapi
The project is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.
RoboBraille SMART Alternate Media (2013 – 2015)
The goal of the project was to explore new smarter and easier methods to prepare and produce educational material in alternate formats (e.g., digital Braille, audio books, e-books and other accessible documents) using RoboBraille and other relevant free ICT tools, and to further educate teachers, parents and professional alternate media producers supporting people with visual and reading impairments to use such methods and tools. RoboBraille is a free, award-winning service capable of automatically converting documents into alternate formats.
Throughout the project, partners from different settings across Europe collaborated to collect information and created a complete training course comprising training activities, course material and a collection of methodologies and technologies. Participating countries included Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Austria.
The training course can be implemented throughout Europe on a cross-curriculum basis and will improve the quality of education for visual and reading impaired students by providing the appropriate tools and methods for preparing and creating educational material in alternate formats in an efficient, timely and easy-to-use manner. The Course Handbook and training material is available in the SMART Training Course section in the Resources area of the website.
The project was supported by the European Commission under the Leonardi da Vinci part of the Life Long Learning programme.
Synthetic Greenlandic Voice/RoboBraille Greenland (2013 – 2015)
The development of a synthetic Greenlandic voice was part of a larger project conducted by Synscenter Refsnæs in collaboration with key stakeholders in Greenland. With endorsements from the Government of Greenland and the Association of Municipalities in Greenland, the project included three main deliveries:
- The development of a Greenlandic speech synthesizer that will be free to use for everyone with a need. The speech synthesizer will be directly available for use in combination with a wide range of existing IT-based enabling technologies.
- The establishment of a Greenlandic equivalent to the Danish IT-backpack that is being issued to Danish pupils and students with special needs.
- The implementation of RoboBraille in a Greenlandic context. RoboBraille is a free service that can convert educational material and other textual material into a range of alternative formats including mp3 files, digital talking books, Braille and e-books.
The project was supported by a grant from the VELUX Foundations.
RoboBraille Central Europe (2012 – 2015)
Implementation of the RoboBraille service in Bulgaria, Hungaria and Romania. The project was implemented in colaboration with a network of partner organisations in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, and with the endorsement of the governments of the tree countries. The project had the following main objectives:
- Facilitate inclusion of blind and partially sighted pupils in mainstream primary schools by ensuring that proper educational material is available in alternative formats in a timely manner.
- Improve the quality of the secondary education of the blind and partially sighted by ensuring availability of proper educational material in alternative formats, hence paving the way for a growing number of visually impaired students in further education.
- Support the development of educational practices for the dyslexic by (1) ensuring that educational material in alternative formats is available in timely and cost-effective ways; and (2) by developing a catalogue of best practices for teaching the dyslexic.
The project was supported by a grant from the VELUX Foundations.
RoboBraille for People with Low Vision (2012 – 2014)
The objective of the project was to explore how tablet computers can be used to support the reading needs of people with low vision. The project was divided into three separate development activities:
- Development of an ebook reader that supports the individual needs of people with low vision in terms of magnification, contrast, fonts as well as foreground and background colours.
- Develop a solution to stream content from interactive boards to tablet computers in a classroom.
- Develop an aggregation app for iOS and Android for information, reviews, evaluations and case stories on apps that are suitable and useful for people with visual and reading impairments.
The project was supported by a grant from the Tryg Foundation.
RoboBraille in Education (2011 – 2013)
The overall goal of the project was to explore, compare and develop the use of the Robobraille service as an educational tool for teachers and other educators (VI professionals) working with learners with reading or visual impairment (primary schools, vocational education and training as well as higher education).
Through international collaboration, project partners from Denmark, Ireland, the UK, Italy, Hungary and Cyprus explored and identifed the didactic advantages using the service in teaching learners with special needs. The VI professionals are in need of refining their teaching methodologies to include new ICT and thereby improve the quality of education. The partnership and its work groups included a range of expertise – educators, teachers, special education teachers, university lecturers, researchers, private consultants, together with users organizations – and will explore various ways the RoboBraille service can be exploited by VI professionals to support learners in their education. For both learners with reading or visual impairment and their teachers, getting easy access to high quality teaching material is a major challenge. Therefore, the partnership seeked to explore possibilities, make suggestions and develop practices showing how to overcome these challenges, thus supporting the implementation of the UN Declaration of Rights for People with Disabilities in all our member states.
The objective of the project was to collect and develop new knowledge as to how RoboBraille can be used to support education of the reading or visually impaired. Through a series of workshops, the project participants developed new knowledge and practices, that can be directly implemented in the educational system throughout Europe (i) support the integration of the visually impaired in the mainstream educational system; (ii) to improve the quality of the education of the visually impaired in a mainstream environment; and (iii) to establish best-practices as to how teachers can use information technology such as RoboBraille to meet these aims.
The result of the project was a RoboBraille Best Practices Catalogue.
The project was supported by the European Commission under the Leonardo da Vinci part of the Life Long Learning programme.