The telebraille is a communication device which enables people with combined hearing and vision loss to make telephone calls to a standard telephone user. It can also be used to allow face-to-face communications between a deaflbind person and a sighted person. A telebraille system usually combines a standard phone line with a modified braille display made up of refreshable cells and dots. Typed information is then translated via the telebraille machine and displayed on the refreshable cells.
During telephone conversations the Telebraille device works by placing the telephone handset on the acoustic coupler or by connecting the device directly to the telephone line. You can then use the braille display for reading and either a standard keyboard or specially designed braille keyboard for writing.
Many Telebraille systems can be split into two units to enable face-to-face conversation between a sighted person and a non-sighted partner. The sighted partner uses the keyboard and phone section by typing on a keyboard and seeing the messages on a visual display. The deafblind partner then keys in messages using the braille keyboard and is able to read messages on the braille display. Some Telebraille systems vibrate certain braille cells to indicate ringing tones, busy tones or speech signals on the line. In addition, many also come with an answering machine which can record incoming messages and may also include an ink printer or braille embosser in order to print a hard copy of saved messages.