System Access and Braille Displays

Using your Braille display with System Access is easy and seamless. Best of all, you can use supported displays with System Access on your home computer as well as any other computer you may encounter in the field. Because System Access supports only those displays which do not require driver installation, you need only plug your Braille display in to an available USB port or pair it to a computer via Bluetooth, and you'll have accessibility anywhere, right at your fingertips.

Supported Braille Displays

System Access supports the following Braille displays:

Connecting your Braille Display

To use your display with System Access, you'll first need to connect it to the computer you'd like to use. To begin, please look at the list of supported displays above and familiarize yourself with which methods of connectivity are allowed. Once you've done that, decide how you intend to connect your display. If you'd like to use USB, simply plug the USB cable for your display in to an available USB port on the computer you'd like to use. Windows will play a sound indicating that you've connected a device. If connecting via Bluetooth, please consult your Braille display's documentation for pairing your display with your computer.

Now that your display is connected, we're ready to begin using it with System Access. To restart or launch System Access, press Control+Alt+S if running from your installed copy, or by running if using through System Access to Go. When System Access launches, it will automatically detect your display and you'll immediately receive Braille output.

Using your Display with System Access

Now that System Access has recognized your display, you can navigate through documents, menus, and applications with ease. In addition to using your panning bars to scroll through documents, System Access has several Braille navigation hotkeys that will help you get the most out of your display. See the list of these hotkeys in the Braille HotKey Quick Reference below. Note that at any time, you may turn on keyboard help with Modifier+H, and you can press keys on your display to quickly learn their function.

Braille Preferences

The Braille preferences dialog can be found by opening the System Access menu with Modifier+F, pressing the letter P for Preferences, and choosing the Braille Preferences option. Braille preferences contain two options; the first allows you to set which translation table you want to use. The default is English 8-dot braille. the second and final option is a checkbox, allowing you to have speech while your braille display is connected. Uncheck this box to turn off speech once your display is connected. Don't worry, once your display is disconnected, speech automatically returns. This way, you are not left with no access, or the fear your computer has crashed.

Braille Input with System Access

On certain displays which have a Perkins-style keyboard, such as the Alva BC640 and the APH RefreshaBraille 18, System Access supports Grade II Braille input directly from the Braille keyboard. Using this functionality is easy. Whenever you encounter a control which allows you to type in text, such as a search field in your browser or a Microsoft Word document, simply begin entering the text you'd like to type using your Perkins-style keyboard. This text is automatically backtranslated, and is entered in to the field, just as if you had typed it from your computer's keyboard. In this way, you can operate your computer completely from the Braille display, with no need to touch your computer's keyboard.

Note about the Alva BC640

For those who purchased the Alva BC640 with the optional feature pack, System Access can be installed directly on the display and can be run from the unit, eliminating the need to carry a USB drive or log in to SAToGo when you'd like to use your display on another computer. You need to have a license for SA Mobile to take advantage of this functionality. Please note that you can either use the Alva BC640, a U3 Smart drive, or a USB driveHere's how to make it work.

First, make sure that you have plugged the Alva BC640 in to a USB port, and that it has been recognized by System Access. Next, open the System Access menu with Modifier+F. From this menu, you may use your arrow keys to navigate to the item entitled "Install System Access on Alva BC640." Press Enter on this item, and system Access will present you with a screen showing the available space on your unit, and the space which will be used to install System Access and any add-ons you choose. When you're ready, simply tab to the Install button and press the Spacebar. Once System Access has been installed on your unit, you may plug it in to the USB port on any computer to run System Access and use your display for Braille input and output.

Braille Navigation Key reference Universal Keystrokes

Note: on many Braille displays and notetakers, pressing Space with any other key is called a Chord command. So, for example, Chord-M means to press Space+M. M-Chord: Menu Bar

ST-Chord: Start Menu

OU-Chord: Recent Applications Menu or Alt+Tab

T-Chord: Read Title

S-Chord: Read Status

Dot 8 or E-Chord: Enter

Dot 7 or 2-3-Chord: Backspace

4-5-Chord: Tab

B-Chord: Shift+Tab

1-2-3-4-5-6 or FOR-Chord: Say All

Dot 1-CHORD: Read Previous Line

1-4-Chord: Read Current Line

Dot 4-Chord: Read Next Line

Dot 2-Chord: Read Previous Word

Dots 2-5-Chord: Read Current Word

DOT 5-Chord: Read Next Word

Dot 3-Chord: Read Previous Character

Dots 3-6-Chord: Read Current Character

Dot 6-Chord: Read Next Character

Dots 1-2-3-Chord: (Top Of Document

Dots 4-5-6-Chord: Bottom Of Document

K-Chord: HOME or Beginning Of Line

Dots 4-6-Chord: END or End Of Line

Control Key: Stop Speech

Z-Chord: Close or Escape

Keystrokes for the seika 4 Display

Left Button: pan left

Right Button: pan right

Right Control 1: previous line

Right Control 2: next line

Left Control 1: start of document

Left Control 2: end of document

Right Shift+Left Control 1: page up

Right Shift+Left Control 2: page down

Left Shift+Right Control 1: Tab

Left Shift+Right Control 2: Shift Tab

Right Button+Left Control 2: Control Tab

Right Button+Left Control 1: Control Shift Tab

Last modified January 22, 2016

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