April Project of the Month: odt2braille

One of the great things about open source software is how much of it is created to help solve problems for people. April’s Project of the Month, odt2braille, is a terrific example of just that. According to its developers, “odt2braille is a free and open source extension for the word processors OpenOffice.org Writer and LibreOffice Writer. Its goal is to make Braille available to anyone who knows how to use a word processor. The extension enables users to use Writer as a Braille authoring environment, to print Braille to a Braille embosser and to export to various Braille formats.” Now, how cool is that?

Under development since 2009, odt2braille has already been integrated into tool used by universities in Scotland to meet with disability compliance laws and other organizations are looking at ways to incorporate it into their software packages as well. Project leads Bert Frees and Christophe Strobbe are pleased odt2braille is gaining traction but now they face some logistical issues.

“Probably one of the biggest challenges is the large scope of the project and the fact that different countries in Europe (and the rest of the world) have different Braille conventions, alphabets, rules, and conventions. A comprehensive and ambitious approach requires people all over the world to work together and share their knowledge. In addition, it makes flexibility one of the key objectives of the project,” says Strobbe.

Visit the April’s SourceForge Project of the Month page to learn more about odt2braille.

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