Salsa is a voice output program designed for use with individuals learning braille. This program reads braille files created by many braille translators and editors, including DBT and MegaDots (see entries), as well as programs such as Braille 2000, PokaDot, and others. To create lessons for SAL, the instructor creates the braille using the desired method and reads the braille into Salsa. The program shows the braille lesson on screen in Braille View. Color coding indicates Nemeth Math Braille and Literary Braille. Small blue underlining indicates where Salsa has determined that two or more cells are combined to have a single meaning. For example, in the illustration to the right, the two cells "dots 4-5" and "t-h-e sign" are combined to have the meaning "t-h-e-s-e sign." The software automatically determines where such cells are combined and what each word and cell on the page says. All that is required of the instructor is telling Salsa whether the page is written in English Literary Braille or Nemeth Math Braille, and the software does the rest. Using Braille View, the user can change the braille code from English Literary to Nemeth Math, or vice-versa, and the software automatically re-determines the meaning of each word and cell. Switching to Words View enables the user to ensure that the software has properly interpreted each word on the page. Corrections can be made where necessary. The program also gives the flexibility to control how each word is spoken when the student presses that word on SAL. Cells View, like Words View, offers complete control over what SAL says when a user pushes to read a word. Cells view is used to control what SAL says on the second press (on most pages) that the student uses to ask SAL to spell a word. The Page Properties view shows an overview of how SAL will behave when a page is loaded. For example, the user can choose to set SAL's "Response to Reading Presses" to make SAL read cells as they are pressed, or read words on the first press and spell them on the second.
It is usually necessary to set a Page Name here, so that SAL will identify the page correctly when it is inserted. It is also often helpful to add Instructions for the student. Map View is used to tell Salsa where there are activities. Using the mouse, or a connected SAL unit, the user selects the area for each activity and each answer within it. Activity View is used to add instructions for each activity, when this is needed. Activity View also provides a way to remove activities or answers, and to re-arrange the order of them. This software provides the ability to create the braille pages for SAL on the user'a braille embosser. It also allows the user to create barcode labels for these sheets on almost any laser or inkjet printer. The software comes with extensive online help,
a CD-ROM containing more valuable information resources, a template to help apply barcode labels accurately, and a serial cable to connect a SAL unit to a computer.