Microsoft collaborated with Apple and industry organizations to develop an USB-IF Human Interface Design (HID) standard for braille displays.
Announced by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) today, the standard will enable plug and play support for braille displays and has received broad support from the tech industry, assistive technology (AT) companies and non-governmental organizations advocating for people who are blind or have low vision.
The result of HID standardization will improve braille display implementation, decrease costs and time to market, and ultimately empower people who are blind and have low vision. This will simplify development, removing the need for braille devices to have custom software and drivers created for a particular operating system or screen reader. We anticipate support for the standard starting in 2019.
Braille is a critical component for literacy, education and employment for people who are blind or have low vision.
Members of the USB-IF HID Working Group include Microsoft, Apple and Google.
The World Health Organization estimates that 253 million people have a form of visual impairment.