[Athen] Does anyone have experience using Robobraille?

Sean J Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Thu Feb 19 15:16:19 PST 2015

Hi Debi,

Just a note - Sensus Access is an alternate version of Robobraille. Last I checked, the Robobraille version is more up-to-date in its functionality.

We built a customized version of the Robobraille platform here at Stanford that we call SCRIBE (https://oae.stanford.edu/scribe-project). It is different than Robobraille in that it is hosted onsite and is not the cloud-based version of the tool. The reason we did that is because the cloud-based version of Robobraille did not exist at the time and much of what was experienced here led to that solution.

My opinion - stick to a cloud-based model. It can be a total pain to replicate such a service onsite (albeit amazingly fun and educational).

As Gaeir mentioned, one consideration of the platform is garbage in/garbage out...although I have joked sometimes that it might be more accessible garbage! There are various factors that come into play with such a system, but a critical point is that this platform is *not* intended to be a replacement for an alternate format program at your institution. Rather, it is a solution by which students may obtain a quick conversion of academic materials into his/her preferred alternate format. We hear from students routinely that they need something fast and accurate, but it does not need to be perfect, and we have found the Robobraille solution to fit that need at this time.

This conversation came up about two years ago and there are still relevant posts on this topic in the ATHEN archives. Joshua Hori and I posted some messages on the Robobraille discussion back then:

Joshua's message: https://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/htdig/athen-list/2013-November/007843.html

Sean's message: https://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/htdig/athen-list/2013-November/007850.html

The full thread of the discussion starts with a very good question:

Just as an FYI (and to remain vendor neutral) - there is now another cloud-based solution that has emerged called ClaroRead Cloud from the developers of the Claro Read software program. I have not tested the system at this time, but more information is available at: http://www.clarosoftware.com/cloud

Take care,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gaeir Dietrich" <gdietrich at htctu.net>
To: "Access Technology Higher Education Network" <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:17:57 AM
Subject: Re: [Athen] Does anyone have experience using Robobraille?

I am sure that Sean will weigh in at some point as Stanford has implemented a customized Sensus Access (Robobraille) system.

I am looking at a similar customized package for the CCCs, and I literally just started testing (yesterday ;-). The biggest thing to remember about this service, from my perspective, is that the system is automated—so garbage in, garbage out.

My intention is actually not to use it for braille (we already have pretty good systems for braille in place in the CCCs) but for DAISY, MP3, and accessible PDF documents. I like the fact that Sensus provides a cloud-based solution—removing the time consuming rendering of TTS from local machines so that the CPUs are freed for other work.


Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
HTCTU Director


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of theoldog at gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 6:37 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Does anyone have experience using Robobraille?

We are currently evaluating Robobraille and would appreciate hearing any feedback from anyone using it or Sensusaccess.

Thanks in advance for any and all comments!


debi.turner at humber.ca

Debi Turner

Assistive Technician, Disability Services

Humber ITAL

Student Success & Engagement

Room A120, Lakeshore Campus

3199 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

Toronto, Ontario

M8V 1K8

Tel: (416) 675-6622, ext. 3268

Fax: (416) 252-8800

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