Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 build 15025 for those users participating in the insider program. I am happy to let you know that braille support for Narrator has finally arrived. Jenny Lay-Flurrie, in an exclusive announcement to Cool Blind Tech, revealed back in November that braille support for Narrator was coming to Windows 10, and now We can give it a test run. Dona Sarkar also revealed that mono audio mode has been added to Ease of Access which allows you to listen to audio content using only one earbud without missing out on any other content. Read the release note for accessibility improvements below.
Announcing braille support in Narrator:
We love getting feedback from our visually-impaired Insiders and implementing features to support your needs. It’s so important that we keep our diverse customers in mind as we co-create with you. Today, we are excited to announce braille support for Narrator . This experience is currently in beta. So try it out and give us feedback! In order to use braille with Narrator, you will need to do the following:
• Ensure Narrator is running. Then go to Settings > Ease of Access (WIN + U) and under the Narrator settings, activate the “Download Braille” button. You will be prompted to install braille support.
• Under Settings > Ease of Access, activate the “Enable braille” button and add a braille display. Note that USB and serial connections for the display are supported.
• Under Settings > Ease of Access, choose the language and braille table you want to use.
Note detailed documentation about braille display key mappings will be made available in the Narrator User Guide closer to when the Windows 10 Creators Update is released.
NOTE: There are coexistence issues with braille support and third party screen readers. Until the documentation is available, we recommend that braille be enabled for Narrator only on PCs that do not also have a third-party screen reader configured to use a braille display.
New mono audio option in Ease of Access settings:
Visually impaired users use a screen reader application to read the PC screen content and information to them, and frequently use headphones or earbuds to hear the computer when in meetings or having conversations with others. When doing so, they generally use only one earbud to hear the PC in one ear so the other ear is free to hear conversations and sounds around them. That can cause them to not hear sounds that may be directed to the other earbud. In order to change the sound to be mono mode and so all audio is directed to both ears, they used to need a physical earphone adapter. You can now switch your audio to mono straight from the new Audio section under Settings > Ease of Access > Other options.