© Hable One
Author profile picture

The Braille Plume, awarded annually on World Braille Day by the Dutch Unlimited Reading Association, goes this year to Hable for the Hable One. Hable won a 2019 Gerard & Anton award for their pioneering work around digital accessibility for the blind and visually impaired.

  • Hable has won the annual Braille Plume
  • Hable invented a small smartphone keyboard for use by visually impaired people, the Hable One.
  • Hable won a Gerard & Anton Award in 2018.

Co-founder Ayushman Talwar came up with the idea for Hable. His grandfather was slowly going blind and could no longer use his phone. That’s where Ayushman wanted to help his grandfather. He came up with a kind of phone case with extra buttons, an idea not further developed in India. Ayushman came to the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2018 for his master’s degree in Industrial Design. His idea went with him, and he pitched it at the TU/e contest, winning him the ASML Makers award.

The Hable One has since been further developed into a small, handy device that allows blind users to type Braille easily and quickly on smartphones. The six keys allow them to type all letters, numbers, and punctuation based on the braille script.

Motivation for the Braille Award

According to the jury, Hable deserves the Braille Plume mainly because this start-up has used braille writing to make new technologies, specifically smartphones, more accessible. “Young people are also enthusiastic about it. And Hable is serious about involving users in testing to improve their product.”

Co-owner Freek van Welsenis is “super proud” of winning Braillepluim 2024. “At Hable, we think it is hugely important to encourage Braille use. We will work with our users to further promote Braille in the coming years. The Hable One is just the beginning!”

Importance of Braille

With the Braille Plume, Association Unlimited Reading aims to draw attention to the importance of Braille writing for people with visual impairments. The Braille Plume is awarded annually on World Braille Day, January 4, the birthday of Louis Braille. The awarding of the Braille Plume is an idea of the member working group Braille Education & Promotion of Association Unlimited Reading. The script dates back to 1829, but the importance of Braille is unchanged anno 2024.