Braille is a writing system that uses raised dots to express the letters of the alphabet. This system of writing was developed in the early 19th century by Louis Braille, a French educator who was blind. Braille is widely used by people who are blind or have low vision, as it allows them to read and write with independence. Braille is also used for other forms of communication, such as tactile signage and computer keyboards.
What is Braille?
Braille is a writing system that is composed of raised dots arranged in patterns that represent the letters of the alphabet. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a unique combination of raised dots, from one to six dots. This system of writing was developed by Louis Braille in the early 19th century to allow people who are blind or have low vision to read and write with independence.
Braille is written in cells of two columns by three rows, with each cell containing up to six raised dots. Each cell represents a letter, number, punctuation mark, or symbol. The combination of raised dots that are used to represent each letter of the alphabet is known as a "braille cell."
How Braille Works
Braille is read by running one’s fingers over the raised dots. The reader traces the arrangement of dots to identify the letter, number, punctuation mark, or symbol represented by the combination of dots. The reader then interprets the meaning of the text by recognizing the words and phrases that are formed by the braille cells.
Braille can also be used to write, by using a device called a "braille writer." This device is similar to a typewriter, except that it has six keys that correspond to each of the six raised dots in a braille cell. The writer presses the keys to form a combination of dots that represent a letter, number, punctuation mark, or symbol.
Braille can also be printed on paper using a device called a "braille embosser." This device is similar to a regular printer, except that it prints raised dots instead of ink.
Braille is an important writing system that allows people who are blind or have low vision to read and write with independence. By using a combination of raised dots, Braille provides a tactile way to read and write that is accessible to people who are visually impaired.
Braille is a writing system that is based on raised dots that are specifically grouped and arranged to express the letters of the alphabet. It has been used since 1824 by people who have visual impairment, as a way to interact with written words. Braille has now become a global writing system and is used in numerous countries around the world.
The inventor of Braille was Louis Braille, who was born in the small town of Coupvray in France in 1809. He was blinded following an accident in his childhood, which led him to be inspired to create a simpler way for the blind to read and write. Braille worked to perfect his writing system during his studies in the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris. Until that time, the existing system was to transcribe printed words into raised dots on paper. Braille’s system simplified the process, by using symmetrical raised dots that could be felt with the fingertips.
The fundamental feature of Braille is a total of 63 raised dots that are grouped in a 2×3 cell pattern. The dots are numbered 1–6, the first cell consisting of dots one, two, and three, and the second cell consisting of dots four, five, and six. Each arrangement of dots is used to represent different letters, numbers and symbols. This system is preferred by its users as it is simple and flexible to learn.
More recently, due to the rise in technological advancements, tools such as voice-based screen readers and Braille keyboards are now available to help improve accessibility for visually impaired people. Additionally, books that have been transcribed into Braille can now be easily printed as well.
Braille is not only a simple system of dots embossed on paper, but it has over two centuries of history and dedication to making written works available to the blind. It is an invaluable system for the visually impaired and is the foundation for them to gain access to education and employment opportunities.