A Brief History of Braille

Topics: Braille, Louis Braille, Slate and stylus Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: March 1, 2013
A Brief History of Braille
Braille is a system of raised dots that allows blind people to read and write tactilely. Named for its inventor, Louis Jean-Philippe Braille (1809-1852), the Braille code is the universally accepted method of reading and writing for the blind. It is the only system that allows blind people to read and write independently and to do both interactively. Because of its effectiveness, Braille has been adapted for almost every written language. Other Braille codes represent mathematical and scientific notation and music. Even blind computer programmers have a Braille code, computer Braille. All of these codes are based on Louis Braille’s original system, a cell consisting of six dots in parallel vertical columns of three each. The Braille code was first introduced into the United States in 1869 but was not adopted until 1932 as the Standard English Grade Two Braille code. Braille cell

Braille alphabet
For most of human history no method existed allowing blind people to read and write independently. Some blind people did learn to read print in a tactile form, but usually they had no way to write tactilely; even if they learned to reproduce print characters accurately, they could not read what they had written. In addition, the difficulty and expense of producing books with embossed print lettering made such books rare. As a result most blind people were condemned to illiteracy, along with the 7poverty and deprivation accompanying it. If they earned a living at all, they did so as storytellers or musicians or through certain kinds of manual labor, including basketry and massage. This was the state of affairs when Louis Jean Philippe Braille was born in the small village of Coupvray, France, just outside Paris, in 1809. At the age of three Braille was blinded in an accident, probably resulting from playing with tools in his father’s harness-making shop (Lorimer, 1996, 2000; Mellor, 2006). Braille’s family was not wealthy, but...
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