[BCAB] Connecting a Braille Display With the amazon Fire Tablet

Kerry Fielding littlemisslovely1973 at me.com
Mon Jul 17 12:07:20 BST 2017

HI folks.

So, as I'm sure many of you are awear, Amazon have now added braille 
support to their fire tablets and I can confirm that, after much strife 
and stress I've managed to get my Vario Ultra and Fire tablet 
connected.  If this is something you are interested in then grab a cuppa 
because this is going to be a fairly long email and one you might wish 
to save.  Note that at the time of writing, amazon say that only 
displays from Humanware, Baum and, of course, the orbit have been tested.

Firstly, I want to quash some myths.

   1.  Brailleback is not necessary.   However, if you do happen to have 
Braille Bac on your tablet, confirm that there is a braille option in 
your Voiceview settings before uninstalling.  If there is not, it's 
likely that you do not have the most up-to-date software and therefore 
do not have native braille support.  Try updating manually to see if you 
can grab the latest software and take advantage of the new native 
braille support.

   2.  you do not have to swipe across the screen to get the kindle app 
to change pages whilst reading.  This happens automatically as it does 
when reading via the kindle app on IOS.

   3.  If you are a VarioUltra owner like myself, you do not have to 
change your bluetooth emmulation mode to VarioConnect as the manual 
suggests that you do to take advantage of braille support for Android 
devices.  It works on the default which is VarioUltra emmulation mode.

Assuming your tablet has the latest fire OS installed, you have Braille 
as an option in the voiceview settings, your braille display has 
bluetooth turned on and is discoverable,do the following to connect them.

   1.  Go to voiceview and swipe to braille and double tap on it.

   2.  Double tap on the scan button and your braille display should 
appear after a few seconds.  If it does, double tap on it. You will then 
be prompted to enter your bluetooth pin code.  There is a tickbox on 
this page which you have to tick in order to get the keyboard to allow 
you to enter text.  It says something to the effect of "my bluetooth 
code contains numbers, letters and symbols.

   3.  Enter your pin and tap on the "Done" button.  At this point, you 
maybe fooled like I was and think that your code has not been accepted.  
This is not the case.  You simply have to confirm your code by double 
tapping on the OK button.  I went round and round with this and in the 
end saught sighted assistance because i knew my code was not wrong.  The 
OK button is difficult to find so save yourself the grief and get 
sighted help while pairing.

You should now be good to go.  However, if your screen locks, it seems 
that your display and fire tablet become disconnected. Simply go through 
the pairing process up to and including the scan portion and you will be 
connected once again.  NO need to re-enter your pin, but you do have to 
manually find the display again should you become disconnected.

For me, once I had connected and was moving around my fire tablet to my 
kindle app, I was getting both braille and speech output. However, once 
I had located the kindle app and gone into the book that I wanted to 
read, speech appeared to mute itself and the only sound I heard was the 
sound of each page turning as I panned using the display.  Some people 
have reported that their notification says that their bluetooth is 
disconnected when reading with a display.  I did have this initially but 
can't confirm whether I have it now i have my emmulation mode as 
VarioUltra.   I'll keep you posted.  It would also seem that while 
Amazon have been working hard on getting Braille support, they haven't 
worked so hard on their support documentation.  Peter Corn from amazon 
was contacted and provided this very basic list of keystrokes.  Pasted 
from an email on another list.  Sorry about all the > signs.

>> We’re a little behind in getting documentation up for customers on
>> Amazon’s new braille support in VoiceView on Fire Tablets.   We support
>> the BAUM and HumanWare protocols, and thus far we have explicitly verified
>> that the following displays work:
>> APH Refreshabraille​​
>> BAUM SuperVario2
>> BAUM VarioConnect
>> BAUM VarioUltra
>> HumanWare Brailliant BI
>> Orbit Reader 20
>> You can send commands by pressing chords on a refreshable braille display
>> which has a braille keyboard. There are 8 keys corresponding to each dot.
>> The term "chord" stems from pressing multiple keys at once in a "chord."
>> Some of the chords correspond to a particular letter, others do not.
>> Chord
>> Mnemonic
>> Command
>> 1-3-4-6 SPACE
>> z
>> Navigate Back
>> 1-2-5 SPACE
>> h, "home"
>> Navigate to Home
>> 1-2-3-5 SPACE
>> s, "switcher"
>> Show App Switcher
>> 1-3-4-5 SPACE
>> n, "notifications"
>> Show Notifications & Quick Actions
>> 1-2-3-4-5-6 SPACE
>> none
>> Go to VoiceView Settings
>> 4 SPACE
>> none
>> Navigate to Next Item
>> 1 SPACE
>> none
>> Navigate to Previous Item
>> 1-2-3-7 SPACE
>> none
>> Navigate to First Item
>> 4-5-6-8 SPACE
>> none
>> Navigate to Last Item
>> 1-5 SPACE
>> e, "enter"
>> Activate selected item
>> 1-3-4 SPACE
>> m, "mute"
>> Toggle Mute On/Off
>> 2-4-5 SPACE
>> j, "jump"
>> Jump focus to first item on braille display
>> 7-8 SPACE
>> none
>> Show/Hide focus Indicator
>> Regards,
>> Peter
>> --
>> Peter Korn | Accessibility Architect | Amazon

Hope you find this useful.


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