In braille, the number and arrangement of the raised dots correspond to letters of the alphabet. A blind person can feel the dots and be able to figure out what they say. While it may seem like a tedious chore, the blind can read braille quite efficiently. Just imagine how tedious reading would be without all that practice growing up.
This unique system of reading and writing developed in the early 1800s, and is generally attributed to a man named Louis Braille, who went blind after a childhood accident. While a student at the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, Braille heard of a system of raised dots developed by a French army captain. These dots (and dashes) were developed as a way for soldiers to write and read messages silently at night without using a light—a smart way to outwit the enemy.
As a military code, the army used sets of 12 embossed dots representing 36 sounds. Though a good idea in theory, in practice it proved too difficult to use effectively. Braille took the concept, however, simplifying and improving it for public, practical use. Braille decided to use 6-dot cells, assigning a specific pattern to each letter of the alphabet.
Determined to make a better life for himself and other blind people, Braille published the first Braille book in 1829. Later, he would add symbols for math and music, and while his system wasn’t widely accepted during his lifetime, it would eventually become the standard form of reading and writing used by blind people all over the world.
At Erie Custom Signs, we create ADA compliant custom signs for businesses and organizations with a quick turnaround and excellent quality. Visit our website to start making your building more accessible for those who rely on Braille every day.