Apple Backs New Human Interface Device Standard for Braille Displays

In an effort to make it easier for blind and low-vision users to use USB-connected Braille displays, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has introduced a new Human Interface Device standard, that makes Braille displays work across several operating systems and with different types of hardware.


Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s director of global accessibility policy and initiatives, announced that the company is “proud” to help advance the new USB-IF standard as it improves the experience for all people who rely on braille displays (via MacRumors). “Technology should be accessible to everyone and Apple designs all products with that in mind,” said Herrlinger.

Microsoft accessibility program manager Jeff Petty also voiced support for the new standard. “Developing an HID standard for braille displays is one example of how we can work together, across the industry, to advance technology in a way that benefits society”.

Helen Keller Services president and CEO Joseph Bruno applauded the USB-IF and its members like Apple, Intel, HP, Microsoft, and others, pointing out that the new standard will greatly reduce the friction that visually impaired, blind, or deaf-blind users can face when navigating between accessible devices. “It allows these individuals to more seamlessly connect to their favorite devices, which is a major step in helping them connect to the world around them.” 

The company is yet to show off any new physical hardware products that take advantage of the new USB standard.