As part of the BEST Grant’s goals to support the implementation of braille instruction and braille technology, BEST is offering a professional development workshop focused on JAWS screen reading software and how to utilize the FOCUS Braille display and ElBraille technology with JAWS. In collaboration with VFO, representatives will facilitate the sessions with hands-on learning opportunities. The training is open to educators and support staff serving students with visual impairments, as well as parents and students at no cost. Devices will be available but are limited.

February 14, 2019, from 9:00am – 3:00pm

OCALI, 470 Glenmont Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43214

Mike Wood, VFO – Education (

Register Online via OCALI Pass

Registration deadline: TBD

The trainings are limited to the first 15 participants to register. Classes fill-up fast, so don’t delay signing up!


This in-service training is designed to re-introduce participants to the key functionality of JAWS screen reading software along with how to utilize FOCUS Braille display technology with JAWS. In addition, the program will introduce participants to Freedom Scientifics’ newest hardware device, the ElBraille portable Braille computer.

The program will start with a review of JAWS screen reading technology, basic screen reader concepts and usage, as well as, coverage of help systems and key learning tools. A review of key "What’s New" features in the most recent JAWS version along with a tour of the FOCUS Braille display design and functional capabilities. Utilizing the newest FOCUS 40 Blue Braille display, participants will be introduced to Braille Study Mode and the JAWS’ BrailleIn features.

As a Braille literacy tool, Braille Study Mode can be used as an adjunct to Braille training, providing immediate assistance when the user of JAWS and a Focus Blue Braille display encounter a contracted Braille sign, or single or multi-cell contraction which has been forgotten, or not yet learned. The JAWS’ BrailleIn feature reinforces Braille literacy by providing an input "conduit" for text entry in contracted English Braille or Unified English Braille code as a student is using a computer.

Building off of the concepts, functionality and skills described above, the El Braille, portable Braille computer will be introduced and demonstrated to participants. The ElBraille combines the power of a mainstream computer running the Windows® 10 operating system, JAWS® and a FOCUS Braille display to offer a fully accessible compact computer to users.

Learning Objectives

The participant will:

  • Review JAWS screen reader technology and current “What’s New” JAWS features;
  • Learn FOCUS Braille Display key attributes and functionality;
  • Demonstrate the ability to navigate the JAWS Braille Study Mode;
  • Learn JAWS BrailleIn Capabilities;
  • Be Introduced to the ElBraille portable Braille computer;
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions.

Contact Hours

Five (5) Contact Hours will be offered


Julie Pashovich | 614.410.1042 (p)

The content of this course was developed under a grant from the United States Department of Education. However, this content does not necessarily represent the policy of the United States Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.