Braille is the main method blind people use to both read and write. The Braille system is an ingenious method of communication for blind people all around the world. This article will tell you who invented Braille, discover how Braille works and give four interesting facts about Braille.
Braille was invented by a man named Louis Braille and, hence, the name Braille. The system is based on a communication method developed by Charles Barbier. Barbier created the system for the military as Napoleon wanted a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently, without light and very covertly. The military rejected the code as they found it too complex to learn and use. In 1821 Barbier visited the National Institute for the Blind and found Loius Braille. Braille identified the problems with Barbier’s code and modified it to make it easy for communication for blind people. Now, 187 years later, Braille is still the primary form of reading and writing for those who are blind.
Now that you know who invented Braille, let’s look at the very basics of how Braille works. Like any language, Braille is based on characters. Each of these characters in Braille is based on a cell with six dots, two horizontally and three vertically making a rectangular shape. The number of dots in each character and their position on the cell tell the reader what letter (or number or other symbol such as apostrophes) the character is. There are 64 possible characters that could be represented by this simple Braille cell. This allows Braille to be used by people who speak a variety of different languages. So that is the very basics of the Braille system. Now for four amazing facts about Braille.
Fact 1: Today, Grade 2 Braille is commonly used. This uses contractions to shorten common words. This quickens reading time and also saves space!
Fact 2: There are also Braille codes to represent mathematics and music.
Fact 3: Braille may soon become a thing of the past. Many young blind people are now using electronic text on computers.
Fact 4: Mexican bank notes have special symbols which make them recognisable to the visually impaired. They do not use standard Braille but each note has its own special symbol.
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed learning who invented Braille, the basics of how it works and four fascinating facts about Braille.