On 8 October 2018, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) will launch the Orbit Reader 20 onto the UK market.

Refreshable braille devices, which use mechanical braille generated by moving computer-driven pins to translate digital text, were first developed in the 1970s but have remained prohibitively expensive.

The Orbit Reader 20 represents the first device to significantly reduce the expense of refreshable braille technology and opens up the language to a new audience – who will be able to access content on digital devices affordably for the first time.

The device was developed by Orbit Research and the Transforming Braille Group, of which RNIB is a founding member. It will be a fraction of the cost of similar specification devices, which can be priced at thousands of pounds.

Claire Maxwell, RNIB Senior Product Developer, said: “As we mark our 150th anniversary and look to the future, we’re very excited to announce the launch of the Orbit Reader 20 in the UK.

“The release of this revolutionary product, to coincide with National Braille Week, shows our commitment to breaking down the major cost barrier that has prevented many blind and partially sighted people being able to enjoy the reading freedom of braille.

“We’re proud to have played a part in the development of this new and game-changing generation of product.”

The Orbit Reader 20 features a refreshable 20 cell eight-dot display with USB and Bluetooth connections to Android, Apple, Kindle and Windows devices. It also reads SD card data and has braille input keys for simple note-taking.

The Orbit Reader 20 has been very well received by blind and partially sighted people who were involved in extensive user trials.

The Orbit Reader 20, is available to order exclusively through RNIB’s shop at www.shop.rnib.org.uk where it can be purchased for £449 (excluding VAT). Connect members will be able to purchase at a discounted price of £399 (excluding VAT). Contact RNIB’s helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more about the benefits of being a Connect member and to sign up.

About RNIB
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and we’re here for everyone affected by sight loss – that’s over 2 million people in the UK. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem, RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk