Not-for-profit, Open Source,
Bristolian Braille-enthusiasts

Our team

Bristol Braille Technology CIC is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving blind communities through invention and the provision of Braille devices. We started designing the Canute since 2012. In 2020, after eight years of love, it was launched.

Some of us are engineers, others specialise in supporting accessible products. All of us are here to develop radical technological solutions to the promotion of Braille.

The current team is a mix of staff and freelancers, doing anywhere from five days a week to a couple of hours a month.

See previous team members.

Why we are doing it

Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has been declining for decades, due in no small part to stagnant technology.

Canute was designed by the community

The Canute was co-designed with out partners in the Braillists Foundation CIO. Hundreds of people put in thousands of hours to test and feedback on the designs, break them, shape them and generally make the whole thing work.

In a pre-pandemic world we would hold regular public meetings testing, redesigning and explaining Canute’s electro-mechanical design. These were held at local Braillists groups, membership of which is open to everyone with an interest in Braille.

Please sign up to the Braillists Foundation newsletter to hear about when these meetings can restart.

We were also grateful for the support from other partners, including but not limited to the staff at ChildVision and the various committees and members from the National Federation of the Blind.

Canute 360 trials

The following partners have run or are running Canute 360 trials and tests in their local areas.

Suppliers

Our manufacturing partners include:

Our backers

Our funders.

Thanks and dedications

We are devastated to annouce the death of Zac Wilcox, our friend and colleague, without whom the Canute project would never have come close to succeeding. Zac died earlier this year, aged 40.

We also remember the redoubtable N Krishnaswamy, who was a true inventor at the vanguard of affordable Braille who inspired the Canute project. NK died in 2017.