• CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Logo

    The Premier AT Conference

37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Educational Tools: APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 3:20 PM PST  
Grand ABCD  

The APH Mantis Q40 (Mantis) is a QWERTY keyboard with a 40-cell refreshable braille display. The APH Chameleon 20 (Chameleon) is a notetaker with audio output, a braille keyboard, and a 20-cell refreshable braille display. Both devices support literacy, access to information, and production of school and homework for students with visual impairments. This presentation will highlight the most common uses of these devices and discuss how to implement their use.

These two devices are available from the American Printing House for the Blind.

Native Mode and Applications

The latest firmware should always be installed in the Mantis and Chameleon.

Both devices have several native applications (apps), demonstrated throughout the presentation. The devices do not have a print function; however, they can be connected to a computer while in the Editor, and files can then be transferred to the host computer. The native apps include:

  • Editor
  • Terminal
  • Library
  • File Manager
  • Calculator
  • Date and Time
  • Settings
  • Online Services


The Mantis and Chameleon work well with Windows/JAWS. Response from students has been positive to the Mantis due to the device's ergonomics and 40-cell braille display. The JAWS Braille Math Editor is awesome, but currently, the Mantis does not support six-key braille entry when connected to external devices.


The Mantis is the recommended device for use with Chromebooks. Students have received it well because the braille display is integrated into a QWERTY keyboard. QWERTY input works great with Chromebooks. Braille input does not work well yet. We have found that some basic modifications, such as changing the Caps Lock key to Search, or using a permanent marker to write the Chrome OS equivalents above the Function Keys, are beneficial for students. Additional tips such as these will be shared during the presentation.


Both the Mantis and Chameleon work well with iPads. It is required that iOS 15 or later be installed to avoid negative experiences.

Almost everyone uses word prediction. Equity is critical, and it is unfair that, up to now, blind students have not had access to word prediction. With the Mantis and iA Writer, we will demonstrate how word prediction is accessible.

Downloading and Marking Up Books

The Mantis and Chameleon have a built-in Library. DAISY or BRF books from BookShare can be downloaded via wi-fi or an external storage device. Formats are BRF, TXT, HTML, PDF, DAISY, DOCX, and RTF. Press O to go to Online Services, select Bookshare or NFB Newsline. Bookshare options are Most Popular, Most Recent, Browse Categories, and others.

Students can move through the books with the arrow or thumb keys and press Enter on the title they want to open. The Book List is in alphabetical order. Students can use the panning keys to read the book. While reading, bookmarks can be set. Bookmark Shortcut Keys allow students to navigate the book or locate certain bookmarks easily and efficiently.

Support for Literacy

Everything in school is about literacy. The Mantis and Chameleon provide students with access to books. Both devices allow students to produce their work by writing in the Editor. Students can write in braille or type on the Mantis using the QWERTY keyboard. When written information is saved as a file, it can be uploaded onto a device such as a Chromebook/Windows computer.

The Calculator allows students to perform basic mathematical functions. When used with the JAWS Braille Math Editor, students enhance their math learning by being able to read/write in braille.


The Mantis and Chameleon are tools that can improve students' access to/production of information. Both devices support literacy. Attend this session to learn about the instruction and implementation of its use for school-age students.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of March 14, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
The APH Mantis Q40 & APH Chameleon 20 are excellent educational tools used nationwide. Learn how to use the native apps in these devices, Editor, Terminal, Library, File Manager, and Calculator. Download and read books. Learn how to use these devices with Windows/JAWS, Chromebooks, and iPads.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Education
  • Mobile Technology


  • Bruce McClanahan
    WA State School for the Blind
  • Leslie Weilbacher
    American Printing House for the Blind

Add to Outlook/iCal (How it works)

Back to Session List