Please read this manual before using the brailler.
APH SMART Brailler by Perkins
Catalog No. 1-00820-00
Updated August 30, 2017, for software update 184.108.40.206
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and Perkins Products welcome you to the new APH SMART Brailler by Perkins.
In addition to embossing braille, the SMART Brailler provides immediate feedback to a child or adult who is learning braille via text to speech and a screen that displays what is brailled. This audio and visual feedback also provides access for someone who does not know braille, including parents, peers, and general education teachers.
APH SMART Brailler by Perkins features include:
This brailler embosses
Note that regular manual brailler functions, including embossing, are available when the power is off.
This manual is written with the assumption that the braille code is familiar to the braille user or to the instructor or parent who works with a beginning braille student. This manual is available online at http://www.aph.org/manuals.
Instructional information for the SMART Brailler is also available in the Audio Tour located in the Welcome! Menu of the brailler.
Additionally, there is an email list dedicated to the use of the APH SMART Brailler by Perkins. It is a great place to make suggestions, provide tips, and ask questions. To subscribe to the list, send a blank email message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to keep the original box and all the packing materials described below in case the brailler ever needs to be shipped for any reason.
Along with the SMART Brailler, you will find the following items in the box:
Additional Packaging Information
A small packet of desiccant labeled “DO NOT EAT” is included in the bag with the brailler. Keep it and all packaging materials away from children.
The SMART Brailler has a transparent blue film covering the metallic parts of the frame to protect it during manufacturing and shipping. You may notice this film starting to peel off in places. It can be removed or left on the brailler at your discretion.
Notes: Do not plug in the brailler until the battery has been installed. To avoid risk of personal injury, do not install the battery if it is damaged.
You will need a small Phillips head screwdriver to install the battery.
All of the items labeled on the photographs in this section are described in the Exploring the Parts of the SMART Brailler section of this manual.
Braille Entry Mode and Braille Tracking When the brailler is in Braille Entry mode and Braille Tracking is on, the brailler records your keystrokes as you braille. It also displays a visual representation of a portion of the current braille line. You can enter any combination of the six braille keys to braille characters, or use the space bar to enter a space. The SMART Brailler also tracks the Carriage position if you manually move the Carriage, use the backspace key, or use the line spacing (or advance) key.
Any time the paper is moved using the Paper Feed Knobs, Braille Tracking is automatically turned off. When Braille Tracking is off, the Smart Module ignores any input from the brailler keyboard, Carriage movement, Easy-Erase Button, or Paper Feed Knobs.
Before toggling Braille Tracking back on, make sure that you move the Carriage to the line and cell that you were on before Braille Tracking was turned off. Alternately, you can just move the Carriage to the last line you brailled, turn Braille Tracking on, press the line spacing key, and move the Carriage all the way to the left to start a new line. To turn Braille Tracking back on, press the Select Button.
Braille Tracking may turn off when you remove paper from the brailler and insert a new piece of paper. (See the Inserting and Removing Braille Paper section of this manual for instructions.) After loading the new piece of paper, press the Select Button to reenter Braille Entry mode and turn Braille Tracking on.
Note: To explore the parts of the brailler using the information in this section, place the brailler in front of you with the keys toward you.
Easy-Grip Handle The Easy-Grip handle is the rounded portion of the frame below the keys. Since the bottom of the brailler is flat, you can rest the brailler against your leg while you carry it as you might carry a briefcase.
Power Switch The power switch is a round rocker switch on the lower right side of the brailler. Rock the switch away from you to turn on the brailler; you will hear a short audible tone. After a pause, you will hear some introductory music and the words “APH SMART Brailler by Perkins.” After approximately 40-50 seconds from turning the brailler on, you will hear the word “Welcome” and the name of the current user. The default user is “Guest.” At this point the brailler displays the Welcome! Menu. (See the Appendix A: Welcome! Menu section of this manual for a list of the menu options.)
Note that regular manual brailler functions, including embossing, are available when the power is off.
Power Supply Port The power supply port is located on the bottom left side of the back of brailler. Plug the power adapter into this port and the other end into a power outlet to power the brailler or charge the battery.
When the brailler is plugged in and charging, the Smart Module displays a battery icon with a lightning bolt inside it on the upper right corner of the screen. When the brailler is fully charged, you will hear the words “the battery is fully charged” and the icon will go away.
When the brailler is not plugged into a power source, it displays a battery icon with the charge level in the upper right corner of the Smart Module screen. The levels displayed are 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% (very low battery). When the brailler is fully charged, battery power should last approximately 5 hours.
Battery The SMART Brailler is powered by a high-performance lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
Smart Module The Smart Module is a rectangular electronic unit located in the middle of the front of the brailler. The Smart Module is attached to the brailler with hinges and a ribbon cable on the bottom of the module. It can be tilted forward for optimal screen viewing angle and to access the Margin Guides. (See also Machine Layout, Front View.)
At the center of the module is the 4-inch color video screen. While you are brailling, the screen displays a visual representation of a portion of your current braille line. Two display modes and six color combinations are available.
To the left of the screen are four Quick Buttons and a speaker. The speaker is located to the left of the Quick Buttons. The small, round Menu Button is located next to the upper right corner of the screen. The diamond-shaped Select Button, surrounded by the four Navigation Buttons, is located to the right of the screen. At the right end of the top of the Smart Module is the Headphone Jack. At the top of the right side of the module are two Volume Buttons. The USB Port is in a small, rectangular cutout at the bottom of the right side of the module.
Quick Buttons The four black Quick Buttons are located to the left of the video screen.
Menu Button The Menu Button is a small, round, green button with a raised dot in the middle. It is located at the top right of the screen. You can use this button to enter and exit the Main Menu where you can save files, switch users, change settings, or access other features. The menu choices in the first level of the Main Menu are listed here. (See Appendix B: Main Menu and Submenus in this manual for a complete list of the menu options.)
The Menu Button may also be used to exit to Braille Entry mode from most levels of the Main Menu and Welcome! Menu.
While in Braille Entry mode, if you press and hold the Menu Button for at least 6 seconds and then release it, the brailler will announce the following information:
When setting up a new user, while the Enter User Name screen is displayed, you can press the Menu Button to repeat the instructions for entering a user name.
Navigation and Select Buttons The Navigation and Select Buttons are located directly to the right of the video screen. The left, right, up, and down black Navigation Buttons form a circle around the diamond-shaped, green Select Button. The Select Button has a raised checkmark on it.
Navigation Button functions:
Select Button Functions:
Headphone Jack The headphone jack is located at the right end of the top of the Smart Module.
Note: It is recommended that you do not wear headphones during the brailler power-up routine and that you remove headphones before turning off the brailler. This is due to the volume of the start-up and shutdown sounds.
Volume Buttons The Volume Buttons are located at the top of the right side of the Smart Module. Press and release the top Volume Button to turn the volume up. Press and release the bottom Volume Button to turn the volume down. Once the brailler has powered up, the Volume Buttons adjust the loudness of the audio speaker, or the headphones if they are inserted.
USB Port The USB Port is located in a small, rectangular cutout at the bottom right side of the Smart Module. Using this port, you can save or copy files to a USB flash drive, or connect the brailler to a printer with a USB cable to print text documents from the internal memory of the brailler.
Once a file is on a USB drive you can plug the USB drive into another device to save it on the device or e-mail it.
Keys There are nine keys across the front of the SMART Brailler. The spacebar is in the middle. To the left of the spacebar you will find the keys for dots 1, 2, and 3, then the line spacing or advance key at the far left. To the right of the spacebar you will find the keys for dots 4, 5, and 6, then the backspace key at the far right. Each time any of the keys for dots 1–6 are released, the Carriage advances one cell to the right.
Paper Feed Knobs These flat “wing” knobs project out from the left and right sides of the brailler. They are used to roll or “feed” the paper into and out of the machine.
To move the paper back, roll the knobs toward you. A click occurs each time the paper moves back a line. It is important to know that any time the paper is moved with the Paper Feed Knobs, Braille Tracking is automatically turned off. To turn it back on, press the Select Button. (See the Terms to Know and Inserting and Removing Braille Paper sections for more information.)
Paper Release Levers There are two release levers, one at each end of the brailler on the top, near the back. If you move one lever, forward or back, the other moves as well. They are used to control the space between the Paper Rollers and to secure the paper in place before rolling it into the brailler.
Paper Rollers There are two rollers that extend from left to right on the back top portion of the brailler; they are used to roll the paper in and out of the machine. The top roller is metal with rubber O rings at intervals to hold the paper securely in place. The bottom roller is coated with rubber and rotates when you turn the Paper Feed Knobs.
Carriage – including the Embossing Head, Carriage Release Button, and Easy-Erase Button The Carriage is located at the top of the brailler and includes the smooth, triangular Carriage Release Button. The Carriage’s function is to move the Embossing Head across the paper, brailling the dots and spaces keyed as it moves from left to right.
To move the Carriage to the left in order to begin brailling on a new line, simply place the inside of your right hand to the right side of the Carriage and gently move it to the left. You must do this WITHOUT depressing the Carriage Release Button on the top of the Carriage or exerting any downward pressure. To move the Carriage to the right, use the spacebar to move cell by cell. You can also depress the Carriage Release Button, and slide the Carriage to the right to move multiple cells.
The Embossing Head, which makes the braille dots, is located at the base of the Carriage. Immediately to the right of the Embossing Head is the Easy-Erase Button. It is a smooth, oval button connected to the Embossing Head, and is slightly higher than the Embossing Head.
Easy-Erase Button If you make a mistake, simply backspace until the Easy-Erase Button is directly over the mistake (the Embossing Head and the cursor on the screen will be over the cell before the mistake). Then, press down firmly in the middle of the Easy-Erase Button several times to eliminate all of the dots in the cell. The brailler will tell you what it is erasing the first time you press the button. To braille a replacement character, press the space bar once so that the Embossing Head is in the correct cell.
The Embossing Head must always be one cell to the left of the cell in which the mistake was made before using the Easy-Erase Button. Because of this, the first cell of a line cannot be erased with the Easy-Erase Button. (See also the Correcting Braille Errors section of this manual.)
Reading Rest The Reading Rest is a panel at the back of the brailler that can be raised to provide a flat surface for reading the page; a raised line on the left side can be used to help guide the paper into the brailler. To raise the Reading Rest, locate the finger indentations on the back panel of the brailler. The indentions are on both sides and at the bottom of the panel. Gently pull up on the rectangular piece so it is level and parallel with the table surface.
Do not push down hard on the Reading Rest or it will drop back down into position against the brailler. Also, be sure to lower the Reading Rest to its original position before picking up the brailler with the Easy-Grip Handle. Do not pick up the brailler by the Reading Rest.
Left and Right Margin Guides and Bells The left and right margin guides are located in a long slot on the front of the machine, underneath the Smart Module video and audio panel. Tilt the module towards you from the top to access the margin guides. Above the slot are 36 raised lines to indicate cell markings for orienting the cell position. The marking for every fifth cell is slightly longer to assist in setting the margin more quickly. The first five markings on the left and the last three markings on the right represent the permanently set minimum margins. No braille can be embossed in these cells.
There are two warning bells that indicate you are nearing the end of the line. The first bell is fixed at cell 21. The second bell is attached to the right margin guide and rings at three cells before the end of the line. If you try to braille past the right margin, the brailler will make a low “bong” sound.
When setting the margins, use the markings above the slot. To set the left margin, first move the Carriage to the far right. Then, push down on the left margin guide and shift it to where you want the margin to be set. To set the right margin, move the Carriage to the far left and then push down and shift the right margin guide. Once the margin guides are positioned, you may need to move them slightly from left to right until they click “up” into place.
Note: If the margin guides are not in the “up” position, the Carriage may not move freely to the set margins.
The SMART Brailler is designed to use paper up to 8 1/2 inches wide and 11 inches long. It can accommodate up to one sheet of heavyweight braille paper, which is 7/1000 thick (or between 60 and 100 pound weight measurement), or the same thickness as two sheets of newspaper. Paper thicker than this will not easily fit between the rollers.
Lightweight braille paper or any other paper that is relatively stiff (approximately 60 pound weight) is fine. Notebook or copy paper should not be used because it can easily tear and get caught in the paper rolling mechanism. These types of paper also do not hold braille dots well.
Please be aware that the use of self-adhesive labels in the brailler can cause difficulties. Over time, glue from these labels can build up on the rollers and embossing pins. Labels can also peel off in the brailler and adhere to the rollers or other parts of the machine. If this should happen, maintenance by a trained brailler repair technician is recommended.
If you need to use a different type of paper, try it first to determine if it will work. Contact APH for guidance if you experience poor performance or poor quality of braille. It is possible to make adjustments to your brailler to accommodate non-standard paper weights. This should be done by a trained brailler repair technician.
Step 1 Press the Line Spacing key – the key farthest to the left – until it will not depress any further. Or turn the Paper Feed Knobs away from you until they stop turning.
Step 2 Move the Carriage to the left as far as it will go by placing your hand to the right of the Carriage and pushing to the left. Do not press the button on the top of the Carriage or exert any downward pressure.
Step 3 Pull the Paper Release Levers toward you as far as they will go. You can use either or both levers. This separates the two rollers slightly so you can insert the paper between the rollers.
Step 4 Gently lift the Reading Rest until it clicks into place and is parallel with the table surface. Take the shorter edge of the paper and place it on the Reading Rest. Slide the left edge of the paper against the raised line on the Reading Rest which acts as a paper guide. Slide the paper into the brailler under the Embossing Head and between the rollers.
Step 5 Hold the paper in place with one hand and push the Paper Release Levers away from you with your other hand, as far as they will go.
Step 6 Turn one or both Paper Feed Knobs toward you to roll the paper into the machine. Keep turning the knobs toward you until you cannot turn them any further. At this point the paper should be in the machine as far as it will go, with about 1 inch showing at the top of the brailler.
If the Paper Feed Knobs will not turn, then the paper was not inserted correctly. Roll the paper back out of the brailler, pull the Paper Release Levers forward, and remove the paper. Then reposition the paper and repeat steps 1 through 6.
Step 7 Press the Line Spacing key once. Doing so engages the line spacing mechanism and positions the top margin correctly.
To remove paper from the brailler, first roll the paper out all the way by either pressing the Line Spacing key repeatedly until it stops moving the paper or turning the Paper Feed Knobs away from you until they will not turn any more.
Note: If you use the Paper Feed Knobs, Braille Tracking may turn off. After you load a new piece of paper, press the Select Button to turn Braille Tracking back on.
Once you have rolled the paper out all the way, pull the Paper Release Levers toward you and remove the paper. Do not pull the levers toward you unless the paper is completely rolled out. Do not yank or roughly pull paper out of the machine by force.
When the paper is rolled in, you have pressed the Line Spacing key once, and the Carriage is at the far left, you are ready to start brailling. The following tips should help you produce high-quality braille:
When you have brailled as much as you want on a line, press the Line Spacing key and move the Carriage back to the left margin. If you move the Carriage to the left before pressing the Line Spacing key, it may damage the dots you have brailled.
If you want to correct errors on a page, it is best to correct them as you go. The Smart Module will only keep track of erasures made with the Easy-Erase Button, and will only keep track of erasures and added dots if they are made on the current line as indicated by the cursor on the screen.
If you just need to add missing dots, backspace until the Embossing Head and the cursor are located over the cell that needs the dots, and then press the keys needed to add the new dots.
To erase dots on the current line of braille, either use the Easy-Erase Button or erase them manually. Bear in mind that the Easy-Erase Button cannot be used for the first cell of a line.
To use the Easy-Erase Button, backspace until the Easy-Erase Button is directly over the mistake (the Embossing Head and the cursor on the screen will be located over the cell to the left of the mistake). Then press down firmly in the middle of the Easy-Erase Button several times to eliminate all of the dots in the cell. The first time you press the Easy-Erase Button, the brailler tells you what it is erasing. When finished erasing, space once so that the Embossing Head is over the correct cell to braille a new character.
To erase manually, move the Carriage so the Embossing Head is one or two spaces to the right of the character. The plate under the Embossing Head provides a hard surface for manually erasing the dot. The Smart Module will not keep track of changes made this way.
Another option is to finish brailling the page, manually erase any unwanted dots; then, reinsert the page and work through it, adding necessary dots in the order you find the errors. The Smart Module will not keep track of changes made this way.
The methods above are preferred to correct errors because repeatedly rolling the paper back and forth can cause it to creep, or move out of alignment. Any additional characters you braille would then be higher or lower than those already on the line, making correcting mistakes difficult. The more you roll the paper back and forth, the more noticeable the creeping becomes. The amount of creeping also depends on the thickness and stiffness of the paper you are using. If you roll a sheet of paper out of the brailler, and reinsert it using the method discussed above, text should be aligned within five thousandths of an inch, which is fine for most practical purposes.
The default user is Guest. You can select New User to create other user accounts in the Welcome! Menu or in the Users Menu of the Main Menu. After you select New User, you will be prompted to use the Navigation Buttons to locate and select characters for a user name from the following grid.
The cursor starts on the letter A. The left and right Navigation Buttons move one letter or number at a time; the up and down Navigation Buttons move row to row for faster navigation. Selecting < deletes the previous character, and Sp. inserts a space. For example: To enter the letter D, press the right Navigation Button until D is announced and highlighted; then press Select. When you have completed the creation of a user name, navigate to OK and select it. After a few seconds, the brailler will say, “User [name of user] has been created.” At this point, this user is logged on, and any information that you save will be in this user's account. If you created the user from the Welcome! Menu, the brailler will go to Braille Entry mode; if you created the user in the Users Menu, the brailler will return to that menu. The new user’s initial settings will be the same as those of the previous user.
To save any information for a different user, that user must be logged on either in the Welcome! Menu or in Change User in the Users Menu of the Main Menu. After logging on as the desired user, braille the text to be saved or change the settings to be saved.
You can exit the New User grid without creating a new user by selecting Esc.
You can create up to approximately 30 different users. See the Appendix B: Main Menu and Submenus section of this manual for a list of other options in the Users Menu.
The SMART Brailler has several setting options available in the Settings Menu to tailor the audio and visual feedback to a particular user, in addition to the options available via the Quick Buttons.
Language: The only language available on the APH SMART Brailler by Perkins is English. However, this settings menu allows you to choose the braille code used for translation: English-U.E.B. (Unified English Braille) or English-American E.B.A.E. (English Braille American Edition). The default is English-U.E.B. The brailler will prompt you to reboot it if you change the Language setting.
Voice: Three English (USA) Acapela voices are available: Heather, Ryan, and Laura. The default is Heather.
Colors: Six combinations of text and background colors are available. The default is Black on White.
Brightness: Ten brightness settings are available.
The Power settings let you set the amount of time the screen will stay on when the brailler is not being used. When the Power Adapter is in use, the default time is 30 minutes. When the Battery is in use, the default time is 5 minutes.
See the Appendix B: Main Menu and Submenus section of this manual for a complete listing of other options in the Settings Menu.
You can log in as a different existing user from the Welcome! Menu or the Change User option in the Users Menu. When you change from one user to another, any text the brailler has been keeping track of for the first user is saved for the next time you log on as that user. Then, text that was brailled by the second user is loaded along with the second user’s settings (voice, color, etc.). Following that, the brailler will go to Braille Entry mode and automatically read the saved text via text to speech. (Pressing any button that provides audio feedback will stop the reading of the text; pressing the Screen Off/On Quick Button twice is recommended.) You can also use the up Navigation Button to scroll up to review the saved text. (See Creating and Saving a File for more information on the text the brailler keeps track of.)
If the second user has a different voice setting than the first user, the brailler will notify you that it is loading the new voice before going to Braille Entry mode.
You can save files to the SMART Brailler's internal memory, or to a USB drive. When the SMART Brailler first enters Braille Entry mode, it says “Braille Entry.” As you braille, the brailler converts the braille to text and keeps track of what you type, as well as showing it on the screen. To save what you've typed into a file for later retrieval or for printing, first press the Menu Button to go to the Main Menu.
Note: If you wish to save your file to a USB drive, the drive must be plugged in at this point.
Next, scroll to the Files option and press Select. You then have the option to select New File, Internal Files, USB Files (if you have plugged in a USB drive), or Exit Menu. After you select the desired file storage, select Save File. This saves what you have typed under the current user name as a text file with the first line of text (maximum 28 print characters) as the file name. The brailler will say “[filename] has been saved.”
Note: For files saved in internal memory, you must be logged in as the same user as when a file was saved in order to retrieve that file.
You can now start a new file or continue brailling in the current file. The brailler will not clear what you've typed until you select New File from the File Menu. Follow the process described above to save the additional information in the same file. If you add to the current file and wish to save it under a different name, select Save New from the Internal or USB Files menu. The brailler saves the updated file with a name composed of the first line (maximum 28 characters of text) followed by the number 1 in parentheses (1). The number in parentheses is increased by 1 in the name of each subsequent selection of Save New, for example, Bobby(1), Bobby(2), Bobby(3). To start a new file, select New File from the File Menu.
When you turn the brailler off or change users, it stores what you've typed from the last time you selected New File under the current user. Then, when you turn the brailler on and go to Braille Entry or log in as another user, it loads any text that was typed from the last New File selection for the user selected. You must select New File in the File Menu to clear this text. If you change users in the Users Menu the brailler will read back the stored file for the new user.
See the Appendix B: Main Menu and Submenus section of this manual for more information about the options available for files.
The file name is the first line of the file or the first 28 characters of text in a file, if the print version of the line has more than 28 characters. For example, if you type your name followed by a line space, your name will be the file name. If you do not want the file name to be on the embossed braille document, you can insert another piece of paper, write the desired file name, then remove that paper and insert the paper for the actual document.
If you create another document with the same first line, or select Save New after adding to an existing file, the brailler saves the second file with the same name followed by the number 1 in parentheses (1). The number in parentheses is increased by 1 in the name of each subsequent file saved with the same name.
If the first line of a file contains a colon, asterisk, or slash, that character will not be included in the name of the file, but it will be included in the first line of the file.
You can copy one or all files from the brailler’s internal memory to a USB drive or from a USB drive to internal memory. Insert a USB drive and then go to the File Menu for the location from which you want to copy. To copy a single file, select Copy File to Memory or Copy File to USB, then select the file you would like to copy. The brailler will tell you that the file has been copied from Memory to USB or from USB to Memory. To copy all files from one location to the other, select Copy All Files to Memory or Copy All Files to USB.
Internal files can be printed directly from the brailler to most printers if you connect the brailler to the printer via the USB port. You will need a USB cable with a USB standard A connector at one end and the appropriate connector for your printer at the other end. Many printers have a USB standard B port. Insert the USB A end of the cable into the USB A port on the brailler and the other end into the printer's port. (Note: APH does not sell this cable.)
Once you connect the brailler to the printer with the cable, go to the Main Menu; select File, then Internal Files, then Print File. Scroll to the file you would like to print and press the Select Button. The file will be transmitted to the printer. When the brailler finishes sending the file to the printer, it will go to the top of the menu and say “Print File Menu.”
If you wish to print a USB file directly from the brailler to a printer, you must first copy the USB file to Internal Memory. Then, follow the steps above to print the file.
If you follow the instructions above and your file does not print, you will need to follow the instructions below for printing via another device.
To print a file via a personal computer or other device, save the file to the USB drive. Then plug the USB drive into your other device and print or send it as you would any other file. You may also send files with or store files in another device by transferring the files from the brailler this way.
Turn the brailler off and unplug it before cleaning it.
Use a microfiber cloth to clean the SMART Brailler's video screen. Rub the cloth gently across the screen; do not use a circular motion. If needed, lightly dampen a section of the cloth with water and gently wipe the screen, and then go over it again with a dry section of the cloth to wipe away any moisture. Distilled water is preferred because it will not leave a film when it dries.
A microfiber cloth is also preferred for cleaning the body of the brailler and the plastic parts of the Smart Module. However, another type of soft cloth can be used. You can lightly dampen the cloth with plain water, or water with a small amount of mild dishwashing liquid, if needed. Dry the brailler immediately after cleaning it.
Do not allow moisture into the speaker, around the bases of the buttons, or into the headphone jack or USB port on the Smart Module. Do not allow moisture around the base of the power switch or into the power supply port. Do not spray any type of cleaning liquid directly onto the brailler or use any type of abrasive cleaner.
Try not to drop your brailler. Though it is designed to withstand normal wear and tear and deliver years of service, it is a precision machine which can be damaged by a fall.
The brailler is thoroughly oiled at the factory with non-oxidizing oil, so you should not oil it yourself. Only non-oxidizing oil should be used. Oiling should be done by a trained brailler repair technician; otherwise, your brailler may be permanently damaged or made inoperable.
Do not leave the brailler in hot places such as on a radiator, in direct sunlight, or in a hot car. The rubber in the feet of the machine and on the paper feed roller could degrade. Excessive heat or cold can also affect the battery performance.
Because the SMART Brailler is an electronic device, it is best to keep food and drink away from it. Try not to expose it to excessive dampness. Exposing the machine to liquid can be particularly damaging.
When you are not using your brailler, push the Paper Release Levers away from you, and cover it with a dust cover. Dust combines with oil to form an abrasive substance which can damage the machine over time. The dust cover available from Perkins for the Standard Perkins Brailler® or the APH Light-Touch Perkins Brailler® will fit over the SMART Brailler; a clean, soft cloth may also be used as a cover.
If there is a problem using the brailler, please contact APH. For more timely support, phone or e-mail communications are preferred.
AMERICAN PRINTING HOUSE FOR THE BLIND
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY, USA 40206-3148
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Staff will assist you to either solve the problem or make arrangements for returning your brailler. The APH SMART Brailler by Perkins has a one year warranty covering defective materials and workmanship.
Note: Please do not attempt to take the brailler apart. This will void the warranty.
If you are having minor difficulties with your brailler, contact APH before sending it in for repairs to see if the problem can be solved. If you do need to return the brailler, send a letter along with the machine describing the problem. Be sure to include your contact information and the serial number of your machine. The serial number is on a label on the bottom of the brailler.
IMPORTANT: If you do not have the original packing material for the brailler, contact APH before shipping your brailler.
When packing up your brailler, please do the following to protect it during shipping:
Send the brailler to:
AMERICAN PRINTING HOUSE FOR THE BLIND
ATTN: REPAIRS DEPARTMENT
1839 FRANKFORT AVENUE
LOUISVILLE KY 40206-3148
If you are mailing your brailler from within the U.S., write “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” in the upper right corner of the address side of the box. This allows you to send it without postage, in accordance with Free Matter for the Blind, Public Law 87-793. Current relevant U.S. Postal Service standards are available at http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/703.htm#wp1113979 online.
APH does NOT pay for shipping damage, so it is recommended that you insure your brailler. U.S. Postal code allows the sender to pay for additional insurance on braillers shipped as “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped.”
Once your brailler is received, a repair technician will examine your machine, identify problems, and make necessary repairs. We understand a broken machine is an inconvenience and will repair and return your brailler as soon as possible.
The Building on Patterns Kindergarten (BOP-K) app supports the Kindergarten Level of Building on Patterns: The Primary Braille Literacy Program which teaches language arts to students using braille as the teaching medium. The BOP-K app provides extra brailling practice for students through letter, word, and sentence exercises and gives immediate audio feedback on what the student has brailled. The app also keeps track of the student's progress by saving the student's score for each exercise as a percentage of correct responses. The software does not keep a cumulative record of student progress, but it will keep all of the scores for each of the exercises. If you have more than one student using the Smart Brailler, you will need to create different user accounts for each of them in order to keep their scores separate.
The student should practice braillewriting using the exercises in the BOP Kindergarten program before using the BOP-K app on the SMART Brailler. Use the exercises in the BOP-K app for additional practice. The student should find these drills challenging and motivating. Make sure that the student has completed all of the writing in the corresponding lessons from the BOP Kindergarten program before using the drills in the BOP-K app.
The app includes 13 modules lettered A through M. Modules H-M include some Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words and the word “is.” Practice is not offered in the BOP Kindergarten program for writing these words. Although they are introduced orally and in the reading material, mastery of writing and spelling is not expected for students being taught with BOP Kindergarten. Give help as needed with any of these words. The words the student may need help with are listed in the audio descriptions provided with each module. (See the section titled Appendix C: Building on Patterns Kindergarten App Instructions, Descriptions and Exercises in this manual for the text of the descriptions.)
To use the BOP-K app, go to the Main Menu by pressing the Menu Button. The brailler will say Main Menu. Scroll down the list of menu items with the Down Navigation Key and select Apps. Then scroll down and select Building on Patterns Kindergarten. You will hear some introductory music, “Building on Patterns Kindergarten,” and the current user name. The menu choices are listed below. (See the section titled Appendix C: Building on Patterns Kindergarten App Instructions, Descriptions and Exercises in this manual for more details.)
About Building on Patterns
The selection titled About Building on Patterns (after Module M) is a short explanation of the BOP-K program and app.
To hear the instructions, scroll to Instructions and press the Select Button. The text of the instructions is shown here:
Exercises are organized into modules that correspond to the Kindergarten Building on Patterns program content. Scroll down to open a module and select an exercise. Start a letter, word, or sentence exercise and then follow the instructions when the exercise begins.
For each module in the BOP-K app, the following menu items are available:
Letter Exercise 1
Word Exercise 1
Sentence Exercise 1
The description tells which BOP Kindergarten student textbook and lessons the exercise supports. (See the Appendix C: Building on Patterns Kindergarten App Instructions, Descriptions, and Exercises section of this manual, to read the text of the descriptions for each module.)
Each letter and word exercise has eight “items,” which are prompts to braille a letter or a word. Each sentence exercise prompts the user to braille five sentences. Three attempts at a correct response are provided for each item in each exercise.
To use an exercise from the BOP-K app, select a module and then an exercise. Each exercise menu contains these choices:
The exercise will begin after a short pause, once you select Start.
The Exit Menu selections in the main BOP–K app menu, the module menus, and the exercise menus take the brailler completely out of the app and into Braille Entry mode.
Recommendations for Working with Students Using the BOP Kindergarten App
It is recommended that a student start each letter and word exercise on a new line, space between each item brailled, and that beginning braille students double-space their work. Make sure the student presses the line spacing key twice to create the blank line between exercises. Also, be sure the carriage is moved as far left as possible before starting each new exercise.
For the sentence exercises, have the student begin each sentence on a new line and use double-spacing. This will make reading easier for the student. If a sentence needs to be rewritten, be sure the student begins the new sentence on a separate double-spaced line.
Although the BOP Kindergarten program teaches braille in the contracted form, in the BOP-K app, word and sentence item responses brailled in any combination of uncontracted and properly contracted braille are accepted as correct. This is meant to support a student effort to spell a word correctly. If a student uses uncontracted braille, you might direct the student to repeat the exercise using contractions.
To give you an idea of what the exercises are like, the following paragraph describes Module A, Letter Exercise 1.
After you select Start, the brailler will display and say, “Braille the letter g.” If nothing is brailled, this prompt will be repeated approximately every 15 seconds. When g has been brailled, the brailler will display and say: “Well done. Next item: Braille the letter y.” If the user continues with correct responses, after five more items, the brailler will display and say, “Last item: Braille the letter g.” After the user has responded, the brailler will display and say: “Complete, __% success.” Then applause will be heard.
During each exercise, the brailler displays the current item number over the total number of items in the exercise and the percent correct (up to, but not including, the current item) in a box in the upper right corner of the screen. Example:
To hear this information, press the Up Navigation Button. The information is updated when the next item is presented after a correct response or after a third incorrect response. In the word and sentences exercises, you can press the Down Navigation Button to hear what has been brailled so far for the current item before you press Select.
Reponses to letter items are checked immediately after a cell is brailled; word items and sentence items are checked after the Select Button is pressed. You can backspace and erase or add dots to correct a response before pressing Select in the word and sentence exercises.
If the first response is brailled incorrectly, the brailler will display and say, “Sorry, try again” and repeat the item after a pause. To hear the item repeated more quickly, press the Left Navigation Button. If the second response is brailled incorrectly in a letter or word exercise, the brailler will give a hint:
If a third error is made, the brailler will go on to the next item.
When the carriage reaches cell 26 during an exercise, the brailler will say, “Move carriage to the left.”
Press the Right Navigation Button during an exercise to skip the current item. That item will be counted as an incorrect response in the user's score.
At any time during an exercise you can press the Menu Button to go to the Exercise Paused menu and choose from the following options:
You can also resume the exercise by pressing the Menu Button again. This action or choosing the Continue option will return you to the exercise, but the item will not be repeated immediately.
After completing an exercise, you can scroll up and down using the Navigation Buttons and select from these choices:
Play Again restarts the exercise from the beginning. High Scores shows all of the scores for the current user for this exercise in descending order. Exit Menu returns you to the current exercise's menu.
Press the left Navigation Button to return to the Module prompt, where you can choose again from the description and exercise choices for the current module. Press the left Navigation Button again to return to the beginning of the list of Modules.
Note: The BOP Kindergarten App uses the text-to-speech voice currently selected on the brailler. In general, the Heather voice provides the clearest audio feedback in the App.
This list contains the Welcome! Menu options and explanations of their functions.
Welcome [name of last user]!
User name of last user (default is Guest)—Puts the brailler in Braille Entry mode (You can also get to Braille Entry mode by pressing the Menu Button or by pressing one of the brailler keys.)
User names—Names of other user accounts that are on this brailler; select one to log in as that user and go to Braille Entry mode
New User—Navigates to a screen where you can enter a new user name
Audio Tour—Starts an audio tour of the Smart Brailler
This list contains the options in the Main Menu and its submenus. Additional information is given for some of the options.
Note: Selecting Exit Menu always takes the brailler completely out of the Main Menu and into Braille Entry mode. You can also press the Menu Button from most locations in the menus to return to Braille Entry mode.
Important: Check with APH Customer Service before performing this process. Follow the instructions. Do not press any other keys than the Space key until the calibration is complete.
|Colors||Black on White|
|Power adapter||30 minutes|
|screen display mode||SimBraille|
|braille translation mode||Contracted Braille|
|speech mode||Speak Everything|
This section contains the letters, words, and sentences in the Building on Patterns (BOP) Kindergarten App exercises, along with the text of the Instructions and Descriptions.
Note: Capital letters are required where shown in all the exercise items. However, the BOP App also accepts capital letters at the beginning of each sentence item and punctuation (period, question mark, or exclamation mark) at the end of each sentence item.
Instructions: Exercises are organized into modules that correspond to the Kindergarten Building on Patterns program content. Scroll down to open a module and select an exercise. Start a letter, word, or sentence exercise and then follow the instructions when the exercise begins.
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-3148