-
x

Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Friends ff8c072dd79a91c1300f032d674241a8d64367100ffb1f25fa3f9bec4a05319f
Kidzworld Logo

Braille & The Blind

Thanks to one brave teenager, a system of reading and writing is available to blind and partially blind people all over the world.


Louis Braille

There was a time, not long ago, when most people thought the only way to read was to look at words with your eyes. Louis Braille thought otherwise. Born in 1809 in a small village near Paris, Louis’ father made harnesses, using sharp tools to cut and punch holes in the leather. While playing with one of his father's tools, Louis accidentally poked one of his eyes. A few days later he lost sight in both his eyes.


The first few days after becoming blind were very hard. But Louis learned to adapt and lead an otherwise normal life – he wasn’t going to let his disability slow him down. When he heard of a school in Paris especially for blind students he went off to find himself a solid education.



Louis loved to read, and his new school had special books for the blind with large letters that were raised up off the page. Since the letters were so big, the books were large and bulky – and very expensive to buy. The school had exactly 14 of them. Louis set about reading all 14 books in the school library. He could feel each letter, but it took him a long time to read a sentence. It took a few seconds to reach each word and by the time he reached the end of a sentence, he almost forgot what the beginning of the sentence was about. Louis knew there must be a better way for a blind person to quickly feel the words on a page and to read as quickly and as easily as a sighted person.


Louis had a new goal: create a system for blind people to read. He heard about an alphabet code used by the French army that was made up of small dots and dashes raised up off the paper so soldiers could read them by running their fingers over them. Louis tried it out. It was much better than reading the gigantic books with gigantic raised letters.



During a vacation home to see his parents, Louis thought about how he could improve the French army’s system of dots and dashes. He liked the idea of the raised dots, but could do without the raised dashes. As he sat in his father's leather shop, he picked up the same type of tool that had blinded him, which was used to punch holes in leather. The idea came to him in a flash, and he spent the next few days creating an alphabet made up entirely of six dots. The position of the different dots would represent the different letters of the alphabet. He used the leather-punching tool to punch out a sentence. He read it quickly from left to right. Everything made sense. It worked … and Braille was created!


How it Works

Braille consists of patterns of raised dots arranged in cells of up to six dots in a 3 x 2 configuration. Each cell represents a letter, number or punctuation mark. Some frequently used words and letter combinations also have their own single cell patterns.



There are a number of different versions of Braille:

  • Grade 1: Consists of the 26 standard letters of the alphabet and punctuation. It is only used by people who are first starting to read Braille.
  • Grade 2: Consists of the 26 standard letters of the alphabet, punctuation and contractions. Books, signs in public places, menus and most other Braille materials are written in Grade 2 Braille.
  • Grade 3: Mainly in personal letters, diaries and notes, and also in literature. It is a kind of shorthand, with entire words shortened to a few letters.


  • Braille has been adapted to write many different languages, including Chinese, and is also used for music and math. Its invention has also led to new ways to help people with disabilities.



    0 Comments

    Related Stories

    Micro winterparalympics article
    The Paralympics are underway this week in Vancouver for the 10th Winter Paralympics since 1976. T...
    Tamika Catchings is a basketball powerhouse for the Indiana Fever. Find out more ab...
    About 20% of students suffer from dyslexia, a learning disability that makes them reverse letters...
    F1117229776000

    What would you do if you were blind?

    • Cry like a baby.
    • Become a musician like Ray!
    • Learn how to read brail.
    • Lie around all day.

    General In The Forums

    IndigoSapphire
    IndigoSapphire posted in Food:
    Lemon juice... (fizzy)
    reply about 1 hour
    boredlol
    boredlol posted in Food:
    Water
    reply about 1 hour
    XxRuby_PhoenixxX
    I'm serious about the Phandom though. To convince you, you should check out the cherry fic.
    reply about 3 hours
    AwesomeIvysaurGirl34
    *evil laughing in the distance* You know You should join ThE InKlInGs
    reply about 4 hours
    AnnaOfExquizurd
    (So, along with being a fanfiction of  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time , this story is an attempt at a [character] x reader thing, with Duana representing the reader. It'll be Sheik x reader, but... well, you'll see how it works in the story. There'll be plenty of action and people-hitting to go 'round during it, and the buildup to the ship will be gradual. I promise that things that happen in parts 1-3 aren't necessarily terrible attempts at showing affection. I'm not sure how long it'll go, but it'll have at least ten parts of varying length. At the moment, I have four parts done, but I'll not be posting twice in a day. Feel free to voice any ideas or opinions through comments/PM! If you don't like it, I'd appreciate  constructive criticism , not a rant. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the story!) Part One A Man and a Lyre [Image courtesy of some random person on the Internet. Taken from Google Images.] Duana’s eyes snapped open. A forest. But her last memory was… of being cut into by a Thief's scimitar and falling… in the desert . Was this death? She grunted; attempted getting up. Failed. The nausea finally registered, and the trees spun about her vision. But she couldn’t go unconscious. The king’s forces could be anywhere. Duana would be easy pickings if she was unconscious and they happened to stumble upon her. A second attempt at rising succeeded, and she tightly gripped a tree, sagging against it as the spinning intensified, and she nearly vomited. Slowly, it faded, and she became alert again. She stood upright, looking around; scanning for signs of movement. Her sharp, red eyes at first saw nothing, then noticed a slight trembling of some undergrowth. Duana tensed, but knew she wouldn’t put up much of a fight--regardless of whether she actually fought or decided to run. Promptly, the swaying increased, and then the bushes parted… and a figure came into sight, heading straight towards Duana… ...with the red eye and tear on the navy blue tunic he wore. His eyes were also red, and his ears were pointed. The symbol was the symbol of Duana’s own race; a people trained in shadow and dedicated to protecting the royal family as well as their country, but who had failed miserably in it. Duana gasped in relief, releasing the tension. “I was so paranoid that you were someone working for Ganondorf….” The young man, a fellow Sheikah, tilted his head and frowned. “Ganondorf? He was exiled two decades ago.” “Wha…?” “Nabooru, Sage of Spirit, is now temporarily serving as the Gerudo queen until the next male is born. How do you not know this?” “I….” He peered at her. “What tribe are you from?” “Kakariko.” For a few seconds, he remained staring silently, his face unreadable. “What is your name? And who is your father?” “Duana. My father is Alechjo.” “Alechjo… he doesn’t have a daughter named Duana.” “What… what tribe are you from, then? What is your name?” He paused, drawing himself from thought. “Sheik, son of Geron, of Kakariko. You seem discombobulated. Are you alright?” Duana smiled. Her lips parted to say something, but another wave of nausea slammed into her. It felt like a punch, and she lurched, but the tree kept her upright. “I’m sure you’re not alright,” Sheik firmly said. As he dug through a pouch on his belt, Duana then noticed the lyre peeking around him, held in place on his back by a leather strap running across his chest in a diagonal line. Some of his blond hair escaped a ponytail a few inches long, hanging around his face as it was bent to see inside the pouch.
    reply about 5 hours