GWKB1043 : Configuring the Braille Sense to Work as a Braille Display via the USB Port

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Jeremy Curry
Date Added: 03/01/2006
Last Modified: 11/08/2010

These instructions are relevant to all firmware versions up to 5.51 of all Braille Sense notetakers. The term "Braille Sense" is used to refer to all Braille Sense models.


If you are using Window-Eyes 5.5 (or later), the Braille Sense is able to be used as a refreshable Braille display. It can be used as a refreshable Braille display using the serial port, the USB port, or Bluetooth. To use the Braille Sense as a Bluetooth Braille display, you can reference GW Micro Knowledge Base article GWKB1027.

Installing the Required Patch

In order to use the Braille Sense as a Braille display via the USB port, you must first install the Braille Sense USB Patch for Window-Eyes.

After you have downloaded the patch, activate the patch by pressing Enter on it. You will not need to do anything else with the file. It will begin running, and install the needed files. When it is done, you will hear, "The Window-Eyes patch wizard completed." After you hear this message, you will know that you have the correct files installed.

Please note: The USB patch is currently not supported under Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Braille Sense Setup

Perform the following steps on the Braille Sense:
  1. Turn off USB mass-storage from the global options dialog box. This dialog box is accessed by pressing O from the main program menu. It is the very last option.
  2. Once USB mass-storage mode is set to Off, Close all programs on the Braille Sense which may be running.
  3. After you have closed all programs, and you are in the Main program menu, press U followed by S. This will open the Terminal for Screen Reader program.
  4. Press the letter U to activate the USB Port. The Braille Sense will say, "Terminal Mode."
  5. Once the Terminal for Screen reader program is running, connect the client USB port on the Braille Sense to a USB cable.
  6. Connect the other end of the USB cable to a host port on the computer running Window- Eyes.
  7. As long as you start the Terminal for Screen reader program before connecting the Braille Sense to the PC, the ActiveSync program should not come up. If it does, you can safely close it as it is not needed.

Window-Eyes Setup

Perform the following steps on your computer:

  1. If this is the first time that you have used your Braille Sense as a refreshable Braille display via the USB port, you will be asked to install new hardware. You will see a dialog that asks, "Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?" Press the DOWN ARROW to select, "No, not this time."
  2. Press ENTER.
  3. You will see a dialog that asks, "What do you want the wizard to do?" Press the DOWN ARROW to select "Install the software automatically (Recommended)."
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Windows will then search for the USB driver. The dialog should eventually say, "Braille Sense USB driver for WIN-EYES."
  6. You will then see a Hardware Installation dialog with a Continue Anyway button and a STOP Installation button. Make sure that you are on the Continue Anyway button, and press ENTER.
  7. The wizard should then have found and installed the hardware, and you should be taken to a dialog that tells you this information. Navigate to the Finish button, and press ENTER.
  8. If Window-Eyes is not running on the computer attached to the Braille Sense, press CTRL-ALT-W to start it.
  9. Open the Window-Eyes Control Panel on your computer by pressing CTRL-BACKSLASH.
  10. Press ALT-F on the computer keyboard to open the File menu.
  11. Press B to open the Braille display dialog.
  12. You will then be taken to a list of Braille displays that are supported by Window-Eyes. You can press B until you find Braille Sense in the list, or you can use the UP or DOWN ARROW KEYS.
  13. After you have selected Braille Sense, press TAB.
  14. Press U to select USB in the list of ports. Or, you can use the UP or DOWN ARROW KEYS to navigate to USB.
  15. Press ENTER.

The Braille Sense will now be working as a Braille display via the USB port. When you want to stop using the Braille Sense as a refreshable USB display, you can press BACKSPACE-Z from the Perkins keyboard or ALT-F4 from the Qwerty keyboard to exit Terminal Mode.