Posted: Mon 24th Oct 2016

Leo’s High-Tech E-Brailler Is A First For Wales /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 24th, 2016

Just like any seven-year-old, Leo Burgess loves the challenge of a spelling test, and the visually-impaired schoolboy is enjoying them even more now that he can use a state-of-the-art brailler imported from America. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leo, who attends Trelales Primary School, has become the first pupil in Wales to use the high-tech Cosmo Electronic Brailler, which is a vast improvement on a traditional brailler. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By typing out different combinations of the e-brailler’s six keys, Leo can spell out any word he chooses, and his Mum Lauren, from Stormy Down, said: “The new e-brailler is making a big difference and Leo really enjoys using it. The keys are softer and don’t require as much pressure to press as those on other braillers, so Leo is finding it much faster and easier to use. It’s also a lot lighter, and quieter too.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leo is quickly picking up the language of braille, which was created by Frenchman Louis Braille in the 1820s. Based on an earlier code developed for the military, Braille came up with a tactile code of raised bumps, or dots, that represent the letters of the alphabet. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Nearly 200 years on, braille is used by blind and visually impaired people across the world, but is made much easier thanks to modern technology. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leo’s e-brailler has been provided by Bridgend County Borough Council, and the council’s Leader Huw David said: “It is wonderful to hear that Leo is getting on so well with his new e-brailler, which is a first for Wales. Technology influences our lives in so many ways, and we are keen to make positive use of it whenever we can so that learning becomes more accessible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In addition to providing the e-brailler, our local education authority has also recently funded the latest amplification technology that is helping a number of children with hearing loss to be able to hear their teachers better. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We look forward to seeing this technology used in local classrooms every day.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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