Welcome to the AxArd (Accessible Arduino
These pages contain resources (e.g., documentation, sketches) on the Arduino (etc),
as a way of making it more accessible for blind and visually-disabled developers.
At the moment, most of our sketches are based on the Arduino UNO
with a strong emphasis on Seeed
's Grove System
However, we are definitely open to other approaches
(e.g., migrating to Nerves
for larger-scale systems).
Although AxArd's resources can be used by anyone,
they are primarily intended to help blind or visually-impaired users
come up to speed on Arduino development.
AxArd is being developed in conjunction with AxAp
However, users are encouraged to use (and tell us about!) any other tooling that serves their needs.
If you have something to recommend or suggest, please send email to Rich Morin (email@example.com
putting AxAp and/or AxArd in the subject line.
Many Arduino "sketches" make the assumption that the user is sighted.
For example, the canonical "first sketch" for Arduino users
blinks a light-emitting diode (LED
Also, the standard Arduino development environment (IDE
is based on a graphical user interface (GUI
and may not play nicely with screen readers, etc.
The hardware side is also problematic for blind or visually-impaired users.
Manipulating pin wires into tiny holes in headers (to say nothing of identifying parts and pins)
can be a difficult and frustrating challenge.
So, it shouldn't be allowed to get in the way of learning about electronic circuits
or programming computers to interact with them.
We were delighted to find out about Seeed
's Grove System
a set of single-purpose devices (Groves) with a convenient system of four-pin "port" sockets and cables.
Using this system as a starting point,
we could create a set of documentation and software that is optimized for use by blind or visually-impaired users.
We already had a start on this, having prototyped a "Control Shield" for the Arduino
and developed several example sketches for it.
Unlike the typical Arduino sketch, these use audio and tactile cues, rather than visual ones.
We plan to port them to the Grove System, then adapt other Grove sketches to be more accessible.
(Naturally, we'd love
to have help in this! :-)
For detailed information, see the following pages:
Joshua Miele's Blind Arduino Blog
is a collection of news and information
about blind makers working with Arduino.
It includes tutorials, advice, and projects of particular interest to the blind.
The Blind Arduino Project
, led by Dr. Miele, is a collaboration
between LightHouse Labs
and The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin
an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation.
Please feel free to email
comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!