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All About Braille

louis braille
Portrait of Louis Braille

Who invented Braille?

The Braille alphabet was invented by a boy who started out not blind, but curious about his father's work.

His father worked with leather and sharp tools. One day he went into his father's workshop and accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with one of his father's tools.

The boy's name was Louis Braille. An infection in his right eye traveled to his left eye and he went totally blind.

When he was 15 he wanted to figure out a way how to let blind people read and write quickly.

So he invented Braille.

Today, braille is used in most countries in the world and you can even write numbers in braille.

How Does Braille Work?

A braille cell is combination of six dots, three on one side and three on the other. Louis Braille invented a way to make letters out of the six dots in different combinations.

Braille numbers begin with the braille number sign, three dots up and one dot to the left just like this,

In braille, pages are separated by a line that you can feel going across the page.


Six braille dots make letters you can touch.

Six dots in different combinations
make letters you can touch.

People who do not have a brailler can buy other machines that will press the braille letters onto paper, but some of them are very noisy!

You can even surf the Web and turn it into braille. The machines that do this are called Braille readers. You hook them up to your computer and the brailler will translate the words on the web pages into braille. It's very important for people who make web pages to label the pictures so the brailler can "see" what they are!

There's another machine that scans pictures translates them into dots so blind people can feel them. Another machine looks like a metal rectangle. You use punch holes into the stencil to make braille cells.

More Information About Braille:

One company that makes braillers is Perkins Braillers.

You can find out more about braille here:


Braille Bug

Who Is Louis Braille?

All About Braille by Anthony FrankAbout the author: Anthony Frank lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he attended classes with a visually-impaired classmate. Anthony learned a lot about braille from her and from her teacher. Says Anthony, "I would recommend braille to anybody because it's a cool thing to learn and know."

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