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Optacon Documentation

The Optacon was one of the pioneering devices in the realm of assistive technology products. First manufactured in 1970, the Optacon (Optical Tactile Converter) is no longer in production, but it still has dedicated users to this day. The OPTACON is an electromechanical device that enables blind users to read printed material that has not been transcribed into braille. It consists of a camera lens connected to a main electronics unit that contains a “tactile array” that consists of vibrating rods that users feel with their index finger. Printed text is, essentially, translated into tactile vibrating images.

As a service to the remaining Optacon users, Freedom Scientific is posting for download copies of the training and documentation manuals for the Optacon.  The training materials are image-based PDFs rather than accessible text-based PDFs as the exercises are meant to be scanned by the Optacon.

Note: Freedom Scientific does not manufacture, repair, or provide training or technical support for the Optacon.  If you have questions, there is an active user group at

User Manuals:

Training Materials: