22 February 2023
In today’s world, advanced technology and voice activation make life much easier for the blind. However, one invention, in particular, has aided a large number of blind people. This invention, known as braille, was created nearly 200 years ago.
Braille enables blind people to read and even write letters. The system is made up of raised dots that form letters and words that are read through touch.
On 4 January 1809, Louis Braille, the inventor of braille, was born in France. Braille was blinded in both eyes in an accident, but he overcame his disability while still a child.
Despite his inability to see, he excelled in school and was awarded a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth.
During his studies, he developed a tactile code system that allowed the blind to read and write quickly and efficiently. This was inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier of the French Army.
Braille presented the results of his labor to his peers for the first time in 1824 at 15-years-old.
He published his first book, “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them,” in 1829.
The braille system works by displaying the alphabet letters as a series of six dots arranged in three rows.
Because of the simplicity of his concept, books began to be mass-produced in a format that thousands of blind people can read.
They did so by running their fingertips over the dots.
As a result, blind students can be educated alongside their peers and read for pleasure just as easily as any other seeing person.
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Source: The South African