Browse Prior Art Database

Thermal Printing of Raised Dot Braille-Like Characters for the Vision Impaired

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120481D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dove, DB: AUTHOR

Abstract

There is a growing interest in providing means to assist persons with vision impairment to interact with the computer. This disclosure describes a method for obtaining embossed Braille-like output using specially coated paper in a thermal printer. Such output can be read by sense of feel using the Braille or similar coding of raised dots to represent letters or special symbols. Typically, printing of such raised dots is carried out with a special impact device that is not commonly available to the average blind person.

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Thermal Printing of Raised Dot Braille-Like Characters for the Vision
Impaired

      There is a growing interest in providing means to assist
persons with vision impairment to interact with the computer.  This
disclosure describes a method for obtaining embossed Braille-like
output using specially coated paper in a thermal printer.  Such
output can be read by sense of feel using the Braille or similar
coding of raised dots to represent letters or special symbols.
Typically, printing of such raised dots is carried out with a special
impact device that is not commonly available to the average blind
person.

      The special paper disclosed consists of a normal paper coated
with a layer of thermally expandable plastic.  Heat supplied by the
print-head of a desktop thermal printer is commonly used to melt ink
or to cause a dye layer to react to produce visual output.  By using
the special paper, the localized heat generated produces a reaction
in which the plastic layer softens and at the same time small gas
bubbles form, thus creating a series of raised dots.  Such technology
for expanding plastics is well known; an example of such a material
is the styrene compound used in the formation of the so-called
styrofoam material.

      A simple computer program may be used to create the dots within
the six locations employed within the Braille system or may be used
to produce a series of raised dots representing data in graphical
form, such as charts or maps. This...