Braille phones: Helping the blind connect with the world

Published: May 25, 2014

Operating via 3D printing techniques, and a 'braille' keyboard with assisted finger pads, this phone lets the blind communicate efficiently. DESIGN: ZEHRA QURESHI

It’s sad that even with the leaps and bounds mankind has made in technology, there are no special offerings for the disabled or the visually impaired. However, with the launch of a new phone by a British company called ‘OwnFone’, their dilemma with technology is finally over.

This new cell phone uses a braille board and finger pads to communicate efficiently and  also includes the option of adding raised text so anyone, who can’t read braille, can still make a call.  Moreover, this wonder phone includes many common apps such as messaging and email services while some sets even have the option to play music.

Tom Sunderland, Founder of ‘OwnFone’, stated that this is a big achievement for his company. He further added that his company is planning to kickstart a campaign that will help him advertise his product internationally. More importantly, he wants to make the product accessible to a relatively larger number of people.

The concept of braille phones is not new and many companies are currently engaged in introducing such devices. But this phone is the very first one that is available for sale. It can be purchased at a very affordable price of approximately £60 (Rs9000) and also gives user the option of adding pictures and customising the colour and body of the phone. Unfortunately, due to supply constraints, the phone is currently not available worldwide. Those interested in purchasing, however, can place an order through their official website.

For a society to progress, it is imperative to include all sections of the population. Providing supportive tools like the braille phone is a step in the right direction and will do wonders in harnessing their potential.

Afrasiyab Khan

Afrasiyab Khan

An HSC student who has an immense interest in the country's politics. A lover of cricket who expresses his feelings for the game by writing on it. He tweets as @AfrasiyabKhan1 (

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