• 39th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18-22, 2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

    The Premier AT Conference

39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Use of Braille in the Workplace by People Who Are Blind

Date & Time
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 2:20 PM PDT  
Platinum 1  

This presentation will provide the results of new research about the use of braille and refreshable braille technology (RBT), which includes braille notetakers and refreshable braille displays, among employed individuals who are blind. While prior research has explored braille teaching and learning, there's a gap in understanding its practical application in the workplace. The research aimed to determine the proportion of workers who use braille and RBT on the job, the work tasks RBT is used for, how RBT devices are acquired, and RBT users' personal and job characteristics. Data were from a longitudinal survey study focused on assistive technology use in the workplace by people who are blind, collected during 2021 and 2022. Results revealed that two-thirds used braille at work, with 52.6% utilizing RBT. RBT was most commonly used for notetaking (82.9%) and making presentations (64.4%). Device acquisition varied, with personal and agency purchases common for braille notetakers, while employer provision of braille displays was more common. RBT use wasn't significantly associated with job characteristics, except for those working in organizations serving people who were blind, who were less likely to use RBT. The study also documented variations in RBT use across job sectors and highlighted that braille skill level and age were pivotal in determining RBT use. The findings highlight the importance of braille and RBT in the workplace among many workers who are blind.

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 26, 2024, 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.

  • Disability Specific
  • Research & Development
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
We will present new research on the use of braille and refreshable braille technology (RBT) at work by people who are blind, including the acquisition of RBT, tasks for which it is used, and personal and job-related factors associated with its use.  
Primary Topic
Blind/Low Vision  
Secondary Topics
  • Employment & Workplace
  • Research
Session Type
Journal Track  


  • Michele McDonnall
    National Research & Training Center on Blindness & Low Vision
  • Rachael Sessler-Trinkowsky
    University of Massachusetts Boston

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