A pocket electronic Braille dictionary

With the help of their teachers at ESIGELEC (École Supérieure d'Ingénieur en Génie Électrique), engineering students are developing an electronic Braille dictionary with audio playback of the definitions.

Social and Employment

Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, France

Julie Chavaribeyre

€3,000 (2011 Student Solidarity Prize) to the Selection Committee at 2011/06/28

Project leader

Captive 2000 - École Supérieure d'Ingénieur en Génie Électrique

The students of ESIGELEC (École Supérieure d'Ingénieur en Génie Électrique) are implementing the lessons learned during their training to carry out a multidisciplinary project of community interest, with the assistance of their teachers.

From market survey...

A group of six students decided to launch the production of an electronic dictionary for the visually challenged. To evaluate demand, they first made a survey of products available on the market with the help of Eurobraille, a company specialized for 30 years in France in the production of hardware and software for the visually challenged.

Their study confirmed the need for a small dictionary for visually challenged persons, including Braille and audio playback of the definitions. The students are therefore working on an electronic pocket dictionary (the size of a mini PC) featuring a Braille keyboard with a translation of the alphabet, a Braille display screen and audio playback of the definitions.

... To production

To optimize the ergonomics of the product (particularly in the keyboard arrangement), the students worked with a Rouen nonprofit of visually challenged persons. The latter suggested a keyboard in alphabetical order rather than a conventional Azerty keyboard.

The product is as complete as a conventional dictionary, with 30,000 words. The term researched is entered in Braille on the keyboard and the definition is displayed on the screen in Braille and can be heard by audio playback.

All through the production of the dictionary, the students are assisted by their teachers. The project is part of their training, which includes the completion of a multidisciplinary project of community interest, implementing their knowledge.

The six students enlisted the help of Captive 2000, a nonprofit active since 1999 on the Esigelec campus, to propose their project to the jury of the Student Solidarity Prize. The jury gave them a grant for the acquisition and programming of the electronic hardware and the database of the dictionary.

Julie Chavaribeyre, communication assistant with Veolia Environment and sponsor of the project, is herself visually challenged, and has provided the students with her network of relations, in particular the nonprofit "Voir Ensemble" (Seeing Together).