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About Braille

The Braille Code was invented by Louis Braille. Braille became blind at three years of age, due to an accident with his father’s stitching awl which caused an infection in his eyes.

When he was 10, he earned a scholarship to attend the National Institute of the Blind in Paris.  At the school he was taught to read using raised letters. The students were never taught to write. A former Captain in the French army, visited the school, and shared his invention of a method of writing using 12 raised dots which allowed soldiers to share top secret messages.

Braille later reduced the number of dots to 6. By the time Braille was 15, he had created the code now known as the Braille Code.

Using patterns within a 6 dot cell, every letter of the alphabet, any number and several contractions can be easily read and written. Without the Braille Code many blind or visually impaired people would not be able to read or write.

Definition of Braille Literacy: www.BraillePlus.net
This term has been adopted by the blindness community in many countries as the central concept for advocating that children be taught good braille skills at an early age. Advocates equate braille literacy with literacy for sighted people and point to some critical statistics to bolster their position. In the United States, unemployment for blind and visually impaired people runs at approximately 73%. Conversely, only 26% of the blind people available for work have jobs. However, among those with good braille skills, 90% have jobs. The logic then runs that if children are taught braille literacy, their opportunities for gainful employment more than triple.