Btw, there was a thread recently mentioning that ITC wanted ITC Kabel sorted like 'Kabel' in lists. So again, have the cookie and eat it. Plus it makes some users unhappy.
Actually, that was me mentioning that I would prefer ITC Kabel sorted as Kabel. I have no idea what ITC would prefer (though IIRC, the version of Kabel from ITC is called ‘Kabel ITC’, whereas the one from Adobe is called ‘ITC Kabel’).
Adobe apps still sort ‘ITC Kabel’ as ‘Kabel’, but they also sort ‘New York’ as ‘York’ — which illustrates the dangers with apps trying to impose their own rules on sorting — their internal rules might make sense in some cases (e.g. sorting ‘New Baskerville’ as ‘Baskerville’), but generally not in all cases.
Yes, I saw the Co.Design article. Once again, it mentions research but doesn't actually point to the actual research. I'm not suggesting that they are lying, but it's not possible to objectively evaluate research that hasn't been made public.
With respect to the fact that Braille has a low readership, that doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the difficulty in learning Braille (and if it did, even fewer people know the Moon alphabet which is based on principles similar to Elia). This may simply indicate a lack of available educational opportunities for many people with visual impairments.
I visited the Elia Life website and I confess that I am a bit skeptical of many of their claims -- particularly because they claim to have done extensive research but don't actually provide any links or references to this research.
The claim I am most skeptical of is that their systems is significantly easier to learn than Braille. I don't think that similarity to latin characters is going to be a major advantage to learning a tactile alphabet — after all, there are only ~40 symbols to learn which isn't a difficult feat.
Much more difficult is learning to read using an entirely different modality (touch vs. visual) and the fact that a given pattern might be easy to discern visually does not necessarily translate into be easy to process tactilely.
I think a major reason that the Moon Alphabet (which is only slightly less old than Braille) hasn't caught on is precisely for this reason -- dots are probably the simplest form to learn to process tactilely, whereas I suspect more complex shapes require considerably more effort.
I would suggest, therefore, that you're really putting the cart before the horse here — if you feel that traditional Braille is not adequate, then a fairly major research programme would be required to confirm this and to identify strategies which might be preferable. Proposing an alternative to Braille should be the absolute last step in this process. The focus really should be on determining which sorts of tactile patterns are easiest to recognize, both individually and in running text.