RoboBraille is an e-mail and web-based service capable of automatically transforming documents into a variety of alternate formats for the visually and reading impaired.
RoboBraille is accessible 24/7 as a self-service solution and is available free of charge to individual, non-commercial user not affiliated with an institutional setting obligated to provide support (academic institution, organisation, association or similar). Users need not register in order to use the service. The objective is to support and promote self-sufficiency of people with special needs socially, throughout the educational system and on the labour market. As an additional benefit, RoboBraille helps to protect the privacy of of those who need material in alternate formats.
For institutional use (including academic institution, organisation, association or similar), the RoboBraille web interface is available in customised versions to academic institutions and other organisations that wish to include it on their websites as an accommodation. The document conversion capabilities of RoboBraille can also be integrated with library systems and learning management systems in order to support users with special needs. Institutional use is subject to a subscription fee. Please contact Sensus at firstname.lastname@example.org or +45 48 22 10 03 to obtain a service agreement to use RoboBraille for academic and/or institutional purposes.
RoboBraille was originally created by Synscenter Refsnæs (the National Centre for Visually Impaired Children and Youth in Denmark) and Sensus ApS. Today, the service is developed and operated by Sensus and RoboBraille Outreach, a non-profit association. Since its launch in 2004, RoboBraille has received numerous international awards including the WISE 2012 Award for Inclusion in Education, the BETT 2010 Award for Best Special Education Needs solution and the 2008 European Commission e-Inclusion Award for e-Accessibility.
RoboBraille is part of the Raising the Floor Initiative to improve accessibility and further inclusion. RoboBraille is also a friend of the DAISY Consortium, implementing several parts of the DAISY Pipeline into RoboBraille. RoboBraille wishes to thank the DAISY Consortium for providing access to its open source projects. RoboBraille also wishes to thank Microsoft for donating Microsoft Office-licenses to the service.
RoboBraille offers four different categories of services:
Transcription of documents to contacted and uncontracted Braille in accordance with the Braille codes for Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Unified English (UEB), British English, American English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian and Spanish. The documents can furthermore be formatted and paginated, and delivered as ready-to-emboss files in a variety of digital Braille formats.
Conversion into plain MP3 files and well as DAISY Talking Books, including DAISY books with spoken math. The audio conversion features currently include high-quality voices for Arabic, Arabic/English bilingual, Bulgarian, British and American English, Czech, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese), Danish, Dutch, German, Greenlandic, French, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Castilian and Latin American), Swedish and Welsh.
Documents can be converted into both EPUB and Mobi Pocket (Amazon Kindle) e-book formats. Furthermore, EPUB may be converted into Mobi Pocket and vice versa. To accommodate users with low vision, the base line of the body text in an e-book may be raised to allow for more appropriate text scaling in mainstream e-book readers. RoboBraille can also convert documents into EPUB3 e-books with media overlays.
Otherwise inaccessible documents such as image files in GIF, TIFF, JPG, PNG, BMP, PCX, DCX, J2K, JP2, JPX, DJV, image-only PDF and all other types of PDF documents can be converted to more accessible formats including tagged PDF, DOC, DOCX, Word XML, XLS, XLSX, CSV, TXT, RTF and HTML. The service furthermore supports conversion of Microsoft Office documents into tagged PDF and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into RTF files and web-projects.