**This article is based on information from educational, APH and news websites, which are quoted throughout the story**
American Printing House for the Blind (APH), a world leader in designing innovative products for the blind and visually impaired, was recognized by TIME for his invention of a new Wi-Fi compatible assistive device for the visually impaired. It’s called “Polly”, named after Polly Thomson, companion and interpreter of Helen Keller. and it earned a spot on TIME’s list of the best inventions in the accessibility category.
APH and Thinkerbell Labs collaborated on the development of the product, which aims to help users with braille concepts, including input and output components. Polly helps students learn and practice braille gameplay style with its electronic game type construction.
Students can use Polly in any environment and it is equipped with a headphone jack and a loudspeaker that gives auditory instructions. Features include learning letters, Braille contractions, and phonics, plus practicing keyboard typing and writing on the e-slate while playing games. Polly will give students the opportunity to receive immediate positive feedback while learning or practicing Braille.
With Polly, teachers can create personalized lessons for students via the online portal, Helios (standard with purchase), or the device can be used standalone. Thinkerbell Labs took to Twitter to praise the device.
According to APH website, Polly’s offerings include US English localization, non-contractual/contractual braille content, and Jack Hartman alphabet songs. Polly will be available in 2023, so the site also has a waitlist form for those who are interested to fill out.
To join Polly’s waiting list, click on here.
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