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Fascinating facts about the invention of
by Louis Braille in 1824.

When Louis Braille was fifteen, he developed an ingenious system of reading and writing by means of raised dots. Today, in virtually every language throughout the world, Braille is the standard form of writing and reading used by blind persons

Invention: Braille in 1824
TGIF in braille 6-dot cell  Vaunt Design Group
Function: noun / named for its inventor Louis Braille
Definition: Braille is a tactile writing system used by blind people. Braille generally consists of cells of 6 raised dots conventionally numbered and the presence or absence of dots gives the coding for the symbol.
Inventor: Louis Braille
 Louis Braille image  Vaunt Design Group
Criteria: First practical. Modern day prototype.
Birth: January 4, 1809 in Coupvray, France
Death: January 6, 1852 in Paris, France
Nationality: French
1812  Louis becomes blind, the result of an accident while playing in his fathers shop.
1819  Louis sent to Paris to live and study at the National Institute for Blind Children. He learned to read by tracing raised wooden letters in large books, designed by school's  founder, Valentin Hay 
1821 Louis learns about Sonography developed by Charles Barbier de la Serre, who actually invented the basic technique of using raised dots for tactile writing and reading.
1824 Louis had developed the system that we know today as braille, employing a 6-dot cell and  based upon normal spelling
1829 Louis published the Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Song by Means of Dots
1852 His 6-dot method, became a world wide standard, helping the blind read books, clocks, wristwatches, thermometers, sheet music and even elevator buttons.
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Young Inventors, A Class Act   from The Great Idea Finder
Louis Braille Biography
   from The Great Idea Finder
Communication History   from The Great Idea Finder

Braille for the Sighted
by S. Harold Collins, Jane Schneider,  Kathy Kifer / Paperback: 32 pages / Garlic Press (1998)
An introduction to braille for those who are sighted. Learn the alphabet and numbers to complete a variety of games and activities
Louis Braille, The Boy Who Invented Books For The Blind
by Margaret Davidson, Janet Compere / Paperback: 80 pages / Scholastic Paper, Reissue (1991)
The poignant story of the man who developed the Braille system of printing for the blind.
Out of Darkness : The Story of Louis Braille
by Russell Freedman / Paperback: 96 pages / Clarion Books (September 20, 1999)
A biography of the 19th century Frenchman who developed Braille. The book spans Braille's life from childhood through his days at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth and into his final years, when the alphabet he invented was finally gaining acceptance.
Do You Remember the Color Blue: And Other Questions Kids Ask About Blindness
by Sally Hobart Alexander/ Hardcover: 78 pages / Viking Books (March 1, 2000)
Blindness is a fascinating mystery to children. Sally Hobart Alexander lost her sight at the age of twenty-six, and although the experience was devastating, eventually her life changed in positive ways she never expected

Braille On the Internet
The New York Institute for Special Education. Serving students with special needs since 1831
The Braille System
Alphabet and number charts provide the basics of the Braille code.
The Blind Lead the Blind
From age 12 to 15, he experimented with codes, using a knitting
needle to punch holes in paper to represent letters. He shared his progress
with officials at the institute but wasn't taken seriously. How could a blind boy
invent a better reading method.
Louis Braiile Biography
A New Method: The Story of Louis Braille by Carolyn Meyer
The National Library for the Blind
This organization is a registered charity. They believe that visually impaired people should have the same access to books and information as sighted people. There website provides a range of exciting, innovative services to meet this need.

Store for People With Vision Loss
The Ann Morris Enterprises businesse is dedicated to people with vision loss. For your convenience they have developed the site in full compliance with accessibility standards. Visitors using screen-reader software should find the site friendly and easy to use. Low vision visitors should find it comfortable as well.

"Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded that we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals, and communication is the way we can bring this about."  - Louis Braille, 1841


  • Braille is also notable for being a binary code that predated the invention of the computer.


Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised October 25, 2006.

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