The most important scientific invention of the nineteenth century was braille. Braille is the only written language available for the visually impaired. When Louis Braille invented braille, a window opened up to sightless individuals everywhere; they were no longer at disadvantage to peers who could easily read written language. In 1829, Louis Braille published the first braille book entitled, "The Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Song by Means of Dots, For Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them." (www.duxburysystems.com/braille.asp). Even though braille was not widely accepted at first, it eventually became the standard of reading and writing for the visually impaired.
Braille opened up a whole new world for people with visual disabilities. It gave them new opportunities to learn in all language methods, except for the visual method. Instead of being limited to the minimal books available with raised letters that were very difficult to read, visually impaired individuals had the ability to read more books with a lot less difficulty. Around 1837, Louis Braille introduced the use of braille symbols for math and music. However, due to lack of public support, students with a visual disability had to learn braille without assistance, and it remained unsupported until after Louis Braille's death in 1852. Finally, in 1868 braille spread worldwide with "The Royal Institute for the Blind." Over time, braille has had some modifications to it. Contractions and groups of words have been added that are common to the language the braille is written in. This permits braille users to read faster, and a faster reading rate allows them to gather information quicker than any other means. This is an advancement and great achievement for the visually disabled.
Today, braille is used in virtually every language throughout the world, for almost everything for visually impaired individuals, from navigation signs, to simpler forms, like the raised dot on the...
References: http://www.afb.org/braillebug/louis%5Fbraille%5Fbio.asp. Copyright © 2005 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.
http://www.duxburysystems.com/braille.asp. Copyright Duxbury Systems, Inc. Wednesday, July 06, 2005
http://www.acb.org/resources/braille-history.html. Copyright 2005, American Council of the Blind. All rights reserved.
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