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Issues, Solutions, Commitment to Quality

APH SMART Brailler by Perkins

July, 2016

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to update you on the recent design improvements made on the APH SMART Brailler by Perkins.

In partnership with Perkins, APH launched the SMART Brailler in 2014 as a new braille teaching device for early learners. The SMART Brailler introduced new technology to teaching braille, including an on-board display module that offers both audio and visual feedback along with an application with supplemental exercises for the Building on Patterns Kindergarten curriculum. These new features, combined with standard tactile braille output and file-saving capability, provide the child with an interactive, multisensory experience to learning braille.

The SMART Brailler was designed to be smaller and lighter than the Light-Touch Brailler to accommodate its use by young children. Soon after the launch, it became evident that some of these same features would become problematic and pose potential reliability issues related to the durability and the functionality of the brailler.

Having realized certain deficiencies in the design, Perkins has embarked on a quality initiative to address the inherent weaknesses. Since that time, Perkins has made significant product improvements, which include changes to the plastic housing to increase the durability and capability to withstand the rigors of daily use. In addition, careful study of the paper feeding process has led to several design changes to the paper drum assembly. These changes will improve the ease of loading paper and reduce the potential for mis-feeding paper which has often led to paper jams.

APH and Perkins are committed to providing the highest quality products to the community of people who are blind and visually impaired. To that end, Perkins, in conjunction with APH, will work closely with those customers with older SMART Braillers, specifically those falling outside of the 1-year warranty period, to evaluate and determine the proper replacement of parts to bring their SMART Brailler up to current quality standards.

Dorinda Rife,
Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development, APH
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Bill Oates,
Vice President, Perkins Solutions
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