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Kent Cullers, Ph.D SETI R&D Director
I am the world’s first totally blind physicist, and, at 52, I’ve been using Braille 48 years. Not that Braille is my only medium. I type, use speech, opticons, and raised line drawing kits. All these things help me do my work, designing radio telescopes and computer algorithms.
This is to convince you that I know my subject matter. Tiger doesn’t just make Braille, it makes BRAILLE.
The Tiger can certainly make the kind of Braille text everyone is used to in a quality unexcelled by any other embosser. However, it can also make Braille of a kind never before touched by human hand.
This embosser can make three-dimensional Braille. It’s like going from a mechanical phonograph to a CD or from coarse sandpaper to the finest relief map. You can get graphics, or pictures, from a snapshot of your girl friend to a deep field galactic cluster. Is that neat, or what? Now. Here is the magic. All this detail and phenomenal verisimilitude comes virtually at the touch of a few keys. Many marvelous Braille “images” have been made by intensive human effort. With Tiger, it’s all software. If your printer will ink a picture for a sighted person, Tiger will emboss the corresponding tactile representation. I emphasize corresponding. You touch what someone else sees, and, after a little training, even totally blind guys like me can understand the zany two-dimensional representation of the three dimensional world that sighted people work with every day.
This embosser is a revolution. It will allow everyone to have access to what only a few privileged people have been able to touch and comprehend. Take a look at what Tiger can do. It will show you not a new view of the world, but a new world to discover.
I photographed 28 people who are blind in the Lansing area and had all of the portraits reproduced in tactile graphics. The portraits were a big hit during the show. People were able to identify most facial features. Frankly, what was most rewarding was people identifying features that sighted people take for granted. For example, people were surprised to learn that someone had long or short hair, or was bald, or had facial hair, or wore glasses. Most people who are blind do not know what their blind friends look like, so to get that information was very rewarding.
Jeanette McAllister, PhD President & CEO, A Heart Staffing
Oh my goodness, where do I start? I absolutely love my Embraille. I travel a lot on business, and I may be in one location for a couple weeks at a time. I use Braille constantly, and there are times when I need Braille notes to be able to conduct my Seminars and meetings. The Embraille is perfect. It is so much easier than carrying my Perkins Brailler!
The Embraille is very lightweight and easy to operate. It has an automatic paper feed (there is no guessing where to put the paper and the paper guides are adjustable). The Embraille offers the capability of using tractor feed paper as well. This works great when I am working with it in the office. When I am traveling, I prefer to use single sheet paper. Another great thing about the Embraille is the function keys on the front which are labeled very nicely with raised icons.
I have a Braille Note, which I absolutely love as well; but my Embraille is my new go to when preparing for my meetings! As someone who is completely blind, one of the biggest problems I have is learning how to set up my own equipment. The Embraille makes it so easy. If I can do it; ANYONE CAN!
I have been looking for an Embosser that was user friendly, that could keep up with my hectic schedule and I can honestly say the Embraille fits the bill. The Tiger braille software that came with the Embraille is self-explanatory and very easy to use. I had never worked with Braille Translation software before and I have to admit I was a little nervous. But it was so easy to learn and even easier to work with!
I don’t know what else to say, other than, if you are looking for an inexpensive embosser that is of exceptional quality the Embraille is for you! For something so small, it packs a punch!
Penny Chong Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School (Singapore)
When the Premier arrived, we arranged with the friendly ViewPlus staff for an online training tutorial on SKYPE on how to use the Tiger Suite Software (TSS) that comes with the Premier. The TSS is both simple and user-friendly. We managed to equip ourselves with a good basic knowledge of TSS and we were ready to use our new Premier for our Braille production!
We were thrilled and pleased with the fast speed and relatively less noisy feature of the Premier. We can emboss materials even during our coaching sessions with our students. With its fast speed and user-friendly TSS, we were able to produce materials in a much shorter time.
It has one very powerful advantage over other embossers, that is, it embosses excellent tactile diagrams! Instead of having to draw diagrams manually on paper (which is only a single copy each time), we can now make use of the soft-copies of the diagrams, do some simple editing and send the diagrams for embossing on the premier (multiple copies)! I have not seen better quality tactile diagrams produced on other embossers; they are excellent!
Not forgetting ViewPlus customer service is excellent as well! We communicate constantly via emails to solve some problems when we do not know how to execute a certain command. Their customer support manager and her team constantly help us trouble-shoot and solve the problems we faced. Their almost immediate response is impressive! Currently, they are still helping us resolve some issues due to our brailling needs in Singapore, but they are always there when we needed help. When Viewplus CEO and marketing manager visited Singapore in April this year for an exhibition, they helped us update the software and firmware for our Premier. It greatly enhanced the quality of the Braille dots and now it embosses better quality Braille and tactile diagrams.
We are truly happy and satisfied with our new Premier. I call it my little baby despite the frequent teasing from my colleagues and even students!
Dr. Samuel Maddimadugula Alternative Format Center Coordinator, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
It gives me great pleasure to write this testimonial in support of the Tiger suite of the latest embossed print technology. Two years ago, I started working with the first model of the haptic emprint embosser (the first in New Zealand) to produce tactile formats in biology and math and was absolutely fascinated at its ability, flexibility and the high quality of the embossed prints. It is easy to work with and converts anything that is created in Word into a tactile format in a matter of minutes.
As the demand for information in tactile format increased, the Pro Gen II embosser was acquired to produce Braille on a larger scale using tractor feed and other paper sizes with varying thickness. We are absolutely thrilled at its excellent performance and high quality output. We did not stop there. Convinced that the tiger technology developed by ViewPlus is the best in terms of supporting and enabling our blind students to become independent and self-directed learners, we acquired the IVEO Touchpad which offers yet another whole new dimension to the world of tactile learning. We will be looking next at acquiring the Audio Graphic Calculator to complete our pool of Tiger Braille print technology.
I strongly recommend practitioners of alternate formats to acquire these invaluable products as they offer unsurpassed support for blind and low vision students who wish to undertake hitherto inaccessible and challenging disciplines like science, math, engineering and so on.
A final word about training and technical assistance – and I state this with gratitude, admiration and appreciation – I have not experienced a more friendly, immediate and highly efficient response whether in terms of on-line training or technical support than with the team at ViewPlus Technologies. The fact that I am on the other side of the world makes it all the more unique.
Amanda J. English Kalamazoo RESA Mobility Specialist
I wanted to share with you the wonderful opportunities my student has had with the new AGC software. Brandon is a 9th grader in Kalamazoo County. He has been a hard working technically inclined student all of his life.
This year, Brandon began Algebra. He understood the concepts and was doing very well in his class. About 3 weeks into class, things changed. Brandon began a section that required him to graph equations. His graphs were elementary at best and were created using wikki stix and tactile graph paper. He worked for at least a half an hour per graph and when he’d arrive to class, the graphs were falling apart and he was unable to reproduce the work he had done. His math teacher and I were completely disheartened and Brandon was discouraged to say the least. When we first discovered AGC, I though it might be too good to be true. However, we needed to try something, so, Brandon, myself and the math teacher worked diligently testing it to see if it would do the trick. I must say there were some glitches the matrix part didn’t work at all), but overall, we were elated. Brandon’s ability to work with the software was uplifting! He was able to produce his line graphs in about 2-5 minutes tops! Homework that was taking him up to 6 hours a night became about 1/2 an hour to an hour of work. Brandon’s confidence rose! He was embarrassed about his graphs prior to AGC. When he comes to class now, his classmates are jealous of his professional looking graphs, and he is proud to show them how he made them. We also purchased an Emprint, so now, he is printing the graphs and getting tactile feedback….fantastic! The most exciting news I received this semester is that Brandon scored the highest score in the class on his Algebra class. I attribute this to his persistence, his great ability to adapt, and to his skills that were greatly boosted by using the AGC.
Brandon and I were so thrilled with his success with the product, we felt it necessary to share with others. Feb 9th, Brandon and I will be presenting at the Michigan Tech Blizzard in Livonia. I will also be presenting about the AGC at the CEC conference March 1st in Grand Rapids and April 26th at the MAER Conference in Livonia. Thank you so much for creating such a beneficial piece of software!
Suellen Hozman Facial Vision art show
Facial Vision is an art show that premiered July 9, 2006 at the Creole Gallery in Lansing, MI. I am a dinosaur black and white photographer who shoots with available light and prints on fiber based paper. I photographed 28 people who are blind in the Lansing area and had all of the portraits reproduced in tactile graphics. Viewplus generously participated by supplying several Tiger emprint and embosser prints in ink and without ink. The portraits were a big hit during the show. People were able to identify most facial features. Frankly, what was most rewarding was people identifying features that sighted people take for granted. For example, people were surprised to learn that someone had long or short hair, or was bald, or had facial hair, or wore glasses. Most people who are blind do not know what their blind friends look like. So, just to get any information was rewarding. Some people who once had sight and then lost it were thrilled to see their own pictures and would say, “I’ve haven’t seen myself in ten years.” In general, braille readers were extremely comfortable with the braille type technology. The inked pieces were enjoyed by people who had high partial vision. People learned that if a simple black and white photograph can be reproduced by the Tiger Braille Printers there are many unexplored applications that really should be explored. I’m delighted that Viewplus chose to participate in this first of a kind art show.
Dorine in’t Veld Bartimeus Education, Project Manager "Filling in the Gaps (in Braille Learning Materials)"
I think Tiger Embosser has a great potential to make blind students more independent learners. In mainstream schools learning materials adapted with Tiger (embossed + ink print) would stimulate integration, since it is easy for teachers and sighted students to have access to the brailled material. All advanced Braille learners doing maths and sciences should have a Tiger, an Accessible Graphic Calculator and an IVEO touchpad. Since at present much learning materials are only partially and often not timely available, working with these devices would very much improve the quality of teaching Braille students!
In the fall of 2005 I received my PIA, (Pro Ink Attachment), for my Tiger Pro. I realized its true power and flexibility only a month later.
In early September, I took a class in formal computer languages from a professor for whom English is a second language. I couldn’t have taken this class from this knowledgable man without the Pro and PIA. It would have been difficult for him to help me with the class’s lecture notes downloaded from the web if he could not see where I was pointing. The ability to have ink and Braille print simultaneously made all the difference in the world.
Also, the Pro’s ability to simultaneously and conveniently print/Braille computer graphics without a special braille package or set of mark-up codes made real time interaction with computer produced diagrams a reality. What the sighted see is what I feel. This technology didn’t exist before and I can do things I couldn’t do before.
Viewplus’s suite of hardware and software really make Windows applications come alive. I can look at tables in word just like a sighted person and actually see the shape of the cell change as text is inserted or deleted. I can speak with my sighted colleagues using the same visual metaphores as they would when describing page layout.
This is the first really revolutionary product for the blind and it simply blows away the competition if there even is any. It presents as big a break through for the blind as when Louis Braille invented the stuff. My life is impacted forever, it’s like salvation … You may think this is an over statement on my part but you have to feel it to believe it. The party has started; everyone’s invited ; and the price of admission is to own this fabulous machine. You wont regret it, I promise!
Patti Walsh Oregon State University, Computer Science Student
The TIGER provides me access to anything that can be created in the Windows environment. Since most of my professors create class materials with Windows, they don’t have to learn Braille – they simply email materials to me and I print them on my TIGER. And since my notes are in their original spatial form, I can use them directly in conversations with my professors, there’s no learning curve for them. The TIGER makes it possible for me to excel in a competitive university environment.
Susan Osterhaus, M.Ed. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Instructor
This past summer my students and I used the TIGER to graph linear, quadratic, and trig functions – and they produced their own spreadsheets on the TIGER as well. This is the only embosser that can produce such quality in computerized tactile graphics. In addition, you can emboss directly from a Word or Excel file. All my students find the TIGER graphics superior to other embossers’ graphics.
Susan Queller University of Arkansas, Director of Disability Support Services
I had been looking for a Braille printer that could do complex graphics and integrated labels for a long time. We are extremely happy with the quality of graphics we can produce. Students are pleased both with the quality and the speed compared with the low-tech methods we had been using. Our Tiger graphics surpass by far what I have seen any other Braille printer produce.
Lawrence Euteneier Industry Canada, Manager of Web Accessibility Office
We were looking for a way to demonstrate universal design principals in our communications activities. With the Tiger, we created a one-page document that conveyed all the information we needed. On one side we printed in color and large print and on the other we printed the same information in Braille – including the graphics and logos. The ability to present the same information both visually and tactilely on one piece of paper has drawn significant attention at our exhibit booths.
Tom Johnston Loughborough University, Mathematics & Accounting & Financial Management Student
As a user, Tiger is truly the information equalizer. I am studying mathematics and accounting and financial management at Loughborough University and it is the first time that I have been able to receive all my maths in a tactile format since I started. We did initially begin with a highly recommended setup of top quality translation software and a very good embosser but soon found that the level of mathematics I was studying was growing too complex for this system to support. We then discovered Tiger and it has solved almost all of the problems we used to face. Now all my mathematics can be translated into a coherent tactile code that I can read and not only this but any integrated diagrams within assignments or lecture handouts – or indeed my own lecture notes – can be easily included in the document.
Because Tiger operates as a windows printer, the complex translation programs that are usually used are not necessary, a hotkey runs the in-built translator and windows solves any formatting and layout issues. Also, this means that Tiger works with a whole host of programs because, obviously, anything where the font can be changed into the braille font that Tiger uses can be reproduced as if using a normal printer.
“We did initially begin with a highly recommended setup of top quality translation software and a very good embosser but soon found that the level of mathematics I was studying was growing too complex for this system to support. We then discovered Tiger…”
I think, however, it is important to appreciate how much simpler this arrangement makes document creation because producing a document for a blind user it almost identical to producing one for a sighted user. The translator may need to be run to convert the text into contracted braille and, naturally, the size of braille does need to be considered to a degree, but this is nothing compared to producing a document the old way – where a file had to be saved, opened in the special translation program, translated, possibly formatted after translation (which requires an intimate knowledge of braille) and then embossed on a noisy and complicated machine with absolutely no graphics capability whatsoever.
It is not just Tiger’s current advantages that make it a crucial piece of hardware for future braille production but also its potential. Because of the very nature of Tiger as a “printer” with normal windows drivers, modifications and updates to both software and firmware make it a far more expandable device for the 21st century.
Matt Tominey Director of Student Disability Services, Cornell University
The Tiger gives us a greater ability to provide students with visual impairments independ ent access to their educational environments. We now have the capacity to make tactile images (graphs, charts, figures) for students along with the ability to create Braille formats of complex mathematical and scientific equations.
The Tiger system has been very easy to learn and takes very little effort to translate visual information into tactile and Braille formats in a timely manner. I highly recommend the Tiger to all my colleagues who work with individuals with visual impairments.
Tolga KaratasI have a embraille embosser and it’s the worlds best embosser! I have had it for over two years and it’s great.I have been using braille since after I was born and it has made me independent again. before I was using jaws but I’ve gone back to braille again thanks to one of my academic mentors at uni.Braille is the way forward! I really thank the viewplus team for creating such a wonderful device!Many Thanks Viewplus for all your hard work!
Love what ViewPlus has done for you? Add your own thoughts to our testimonials!