QBraille XL – Combining QWERTY and Perkins benefits

Do you have braille students using a computer and screen reader? If so, then the QBraille XL might be the most underrated braille display you’re missing out on. What makes the QBraille XL so different from any other braille display is the keyboard. Basically, we took a QWERTY keyboard, removed the letters and numbers, and replaced them with a Perkins keyboard. This means your student has access to a Perkins keyboard along with standard QWERTY keys like Control, Shift, Tab, Alt and so on.

A Better Approach

Why is this such a big deal? Many students who use a braille display with a screen reader either struggle to remember the Perkins keystrokes or simply are not taught all the command keystrokes. Many teachers skip teaching common keyboard commands using a braille display and instead teach students to use a QWERTY keyboard. For example, how do you paste unformatted text (Ctrl + Shift + V) using a Perkins keyboard with JAWS? The answer is you press DOTS 3-7-8 CHORD, release the keys, and then press V (DOTS 1-2-3-6). Now imagine remembering dozens of similar keystrokes for your everyday commands. 

QBraille XL 40-cell braille display with Perkins keyboard and QWERTY system and function keys

This is just one of countless examples where the braille display is abandoned to perform a common keystroke, and where the QBraille really shines. Using the same example with the QBraille, your student will press the Control and Shift keys along with the letter V (DOTS 1-2-3-6). We call this little piece of magic “Hybrid Mode”, where the QBraille XL works as a regular keyboard using Perkins for letters, numbers, and punctuation. If you want to have your students use it more like a traditional display, like pressing Space + Dots 4-5 instead of pressing the Tab button, just press the Mode button once to turn Hybrid mode off.

What this means for you and your student is that they can use a single braille device to control their computer. You also eliminate the ergonomic issues and task switching delays of moving from the braille display to a different keyboard and back again. You will be able to teach your students common keyboard commands, both braille and QWERTY, from a single braille display.

With the QBraille, we also made it easy to switch between devices. Using the Pair and Function buttons, you can switch between 6 Bluetooth devices and one USB connected device. Want to jump from your computer to your iPad? Hit Pair + F2. Want to go back? Hit Pair + F1. It’s that easy.

The QBraille works great with Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS, and Chrome OS so it will be compatible with your school’s existing devices. What’s not to love!

Want to learn more?

If you need a braille display for your student and you want a device that can do more, then consider the QBraille XL. We offer free virtual demonstrations where we can show you how the QBraille XL can help you and your student, and answer questions specific to your situation. You can request a free virtual demonstration, or request a quote, by sending an email to sales@hims-inc.com.