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Mountbatten in the classroom

The Mountbatten Brailler is an electronic braille writer, notetaker and embosser. The Mountbatten has a braille keyboard or can be connected to a QWERTY keyboard from which documents can be typed and translated into hard-copy braille. Hard-copy braille is available immediately on braille or normal copy paper – or the file can be saved and embossed later. Editing of the file is also available. The file can be sent to a printer for a print copy. Voice output is also available.

Below is an article by Julie Bangura which appeared in the Quantum Technology newsletter.

Mountbatten in practice

Last year, a braille using Grade II student of mine (Saito), was experiencing problems in obtaining teacher feedback during class writing activities. To overcome this, I investigated the purchase of a Mountbatten Brailler, which would enable a print copy to be produced simultaneously with a braille copy. During my investigation, to both Saito’s and my delight, we were introduced to a new piece of technology, the Mimic.

The Mimic is a small LCD screen that connects to the Mountbatten and simultaneously displays in print, what is being brailled. This piece of equipment has made a huge difference to both Saito and myself.

Saito now enjoys the advantage of immediate teacher feedback in the context of her own writing activities, in line with that enjoyed by her peers. This has had a very noticeable effect on the development of her writing skills, as any corrections are made in a meaningful context.

Saito is now able to make adjustments during each activity in the light of feedback obtained. This was just not possible in the past. Feedback was often not received from the class teacher, or was too late to be of much use. In addition, the use of the Mimic has boosted Saito’s self esteem. She is able to act as scribe during group activities, as her peers are able to read Saito’s braille on the Mimic, and she is on a more equal footing with them in obtaining teacher support.

I have also personally found the Mimic to be an invaluable tool in the production of braille for Saito. It enables me to check my braille as I go along, and to correct any errors immediately.

It is so much faster to read what has been brailled on the Mimic, than to undergo the tedious task of reading the braille itself by sight. It has been a huge time-saver and great value!

Editor’s Note: Julie Bangura is a vision itinerant support teacher who works for the NSW Dept of Education & Training.

For more information about the Mountbatten Brailler or the Mimic contact Quantum Technology: www.quantech.com.au

Return to SVRC braille page.