The EmBraille: my Favorite Piece of Technology
by – Jane Carona Sheehan
I’m no stranger to Braille embossers. Years ago I had a Romeo RB-20, and then I graduated to a lovely Juliet interpoint embosser. Those devices and I had many productive years together, and many hard-copy documents eminated from my basement.
However, as I became more dependent on refreshable Braille, and a various succession of notetakers entered my life, I began to feel really guilty about having this huge embosser sitting on my desk, going unused. So I found a new home for the Juliet, as I had previously done with the Romeo.
Things went along really well until I decided to start using the Blue Apron food service. This required me to access three recipes a week on my computer, copying them into hard-copy Braille with my trusty Perkins Brailler so that I could use them in my kitchen to prepare the meals. (I could have copied the recipes onto my notetaker and read them that way while cooking, but I’m extremely careful of my braille displays, and dislike using them around food.
So I decided that maybe those embossers that had seemed so obsolete before might just have a place in my life.
So the search began. I really didn’t want one of the big, expensive embossers from places like Enabling Technologies, and the Braille Blazer was truly obsolete, so after an exhaustive Google search, I found a company and an embosser I’d never even heard of: this is the EmBraille from ViewPlus. And I was pleased to find out that this company has a distributer in my area.
When the local dealer brought the EmBraille to show me, it was love at first sight, and even to this day, I marvel at how great this little embosser is!
This embosser is about 10 pounds, and is totally cute! It uses a USB port for computer connection, and only accepts 8.5 by 11-inch paper and only embosses on one side. But the neat thing though is that you can either use tractor-fed paper or the included single-sheet feeder. This means that if you just want to print something for a one-time use, you can just grab a piece of copy paper or as I do, use paper that has been printed on that’s destined to be recycled.
The embosser isn’t nearly as fast as the more expensive models, printing 25 characters per second, but it’s half the price at $1,995.00 plus shipping, and is truly a workhorse. I printed 400 pages yesterday. My only problem now is keeping myself stocked with enough printer paper from American Thermoform Corporation!
The embosser comes with the Tiger translation/embossing software, which works seamlessly as an add-on with Microsoft Word; but the EmBraille works equally well with Duxbury software.
I truly love this little embosser, and I’m so glad that I have it.