Topics: Braille, Blindness, Slate and stylus Pages: 6 (2202 words) Published: July 20, 2013
Imagine being a blind person and having the opportunity to read, it definitely sounds like a miracle come true, or making the impossible, possible. This creation has helped thousands of visually impaired people better their lives. This life changing invention is called Braille. Braille has evolved from many different things like its system, teaching, and learning. It has changed the lives of millions, allowing them the opportunity to read and learn the same as their peers.

Louis Braille, the creator of the magnificent tool for the visually impaired, was born on the January 4th, 1809 in Coupvray, France. When Louis was three years old, he injured his left eye with his father’s stitching awl. He became blind in his left eye and by the age of four he lost his vision completely. Even though he could not see a thing, he was still required to go to school as well as read and write. He hated that he could not read books anymore.

When Louis was ten his father sent him to the Royal Institute for the Blind Youth, in Paris, France. In this school the children were taught practical skills like weaving cane seats and how to make slippers, as a way to earn a living after they graduated. All of the students were taught how to read, but were not taught how write. When the students read the letters, they were pressed up, which was supposed to make it easier for them.

Between the ages of twelve to fifteen years old, Louis experimented with a knitting needle. He would punch holes into a piece of paper and then use the holes as letters. He told the school officials about his invention. Unfortunately, he was not taken seriously. At fifteen, he made an alphabetical code using raised dots. Two years later, at the age of seventeen, he did the exact same thing, only this time it was for musical notes.

His system consists of six raised dots. Depending on their order and placement, the dots could represent numbers, letters, punctuation marks, or math symbols. Louis finally showed his classmates his invention. They absolutely loved it and began using it. He graduated that exact same year and became an assistant teacher where he secretly taught the students his amazing method. At nineteen years old, he became a full-time teacher at the institute where he had studied.

Later on in life, Louis Braille invented raphigraphy, which was another way for both the visually impaired and sighted to communicate with each other. The device was similar to a typewriter and made it easier for the sighted and visually impaired to communicate.

Louis’ first book was published in 1827 and was written in Braille. The book was titled, “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for use by the blind and arranged for them.” In 1839, he published a second book, which was full of details on how he invented Braille.

On January 6th, 1852, Louis Braille passed away in Paris at the age of forty-two; due to tuberculosis. Not a single one of Paris’ newspapers wrote about his death, but by 1990, Braille was being used in many countries worldwide and in many languages. This outstanding creator was finally recognized as one of France’s national heroes in 1952. He now rests in the pantheon, which is a where, the greatest French achievers rest in peace.

Braille can be learned in many different ways. Legally blind and visually impaired people can learn to write Braille on a slate and stylus, a braillewriter, and visually impaired people can learn electronically by using computers. Braille is read from left to right, and is written in a way that is understood internationally. There are two types of Braille; contracted and uncontracted.

Contracted Braille is a simplified Braille that shortens words by combining syllables and letters that are constantly put together. Alphabetic-Braille (ABC Braille) has done studies and they have shown that people that know contracted Braille learned it as a young child. Contracted Braille is not easy to learn and...
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