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Independence Through Technology

Blind

CSB was founded in 1997 to assist blind adults and children in accessing Torah through technology. Over the past 16 years, CSB has developed many new hardware/software solutions and has adapted other existing technologies to indeed give these individuals the greatest level of access to Torah possible.

These technologies include:

  • Auditory seforim software, which allow for random access. This technology has been used by over a two hundred clients who have no other access to Torah.
     
  • Embossed Braille volumes of any sefer available digitally.
     
  • Braille/Print. CSB has developed software which produces Hebrew Braille volumes with visible print beneath the Braille. This is a significant aid for the parents and teachers of blind children in that they can now assist their children in reading. Estimated 750 volumes of Braille/Print distributed around the world each year.
     
  • Braille Chumash/Rashi, Gemara/Rashi. CSB developed software which produces a single Braille volume for Chumash with Rashi or Gemara with Rashi. The main text of the Chumash or Gemara is on the top of the page and the accompanying Rashi commentary is on the bottom [as is the case of standard seforim]. A full set of Braille/Print Chumash/Rashi which is 22 volumes takes a week to prepare!
     
  • Braille display system. This system provides Braille readers with instant access to almost every sefer available. 22 clients are fully productive and independent learners using this system.
     
  • Zemanim Hotline (718) 331-TIME for US and Canada. This technology was developed by request of several blind clients who were unable to access daily zemanim. Presently, the hotline receives 1.3 million calls annually!
     
  • Special Hebrew Braille Projects. CSB has done many innovative projects for clients who require Braille. One example was a blind teacher who required that her Braille reader match the line and page numbers of the sighted students’ books to enable her to teach them. An estimated 50 volumes each year are heavily customized.
     
  • Artscroll and Feldheim Braille. CSB provides the blind with Artscroll and Feldheim books in Braille. These books include Braille books with the pictures and accompanying captions for blind mothers’ to read to their sighted children!
     
  • CSB Conference. CSB periodically makes a full day conference for blind clients and parents of blind children. These individuals gather from around the country to learn about new CSB services and to network with others in their situation.
     
  • Workplace and school integration. CSB plays a vital role in the seamless integration of clients into their environments, such school or the workplace. CSB addresses every aspect of the technologies necessary for integration. These include screen magnification, text to speech and speech to text software, electronic Braille systems, paper forms and electronic image conversions, specialty keyboards, mice, trackballs, keyguards, embossers, Braille and audio note takers, and almost always a few pieces of custom written software to fill in the gaps.
     
 
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