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See Article History Braille, universally accepted system of writing used by and for blind persons and consisting of a code of 63 characters, each made up of one to six raised dots arranged in a six-position matrix or cell.
These Braille characters are embossed in lines on paper and read by passing the fingers lightly over the manuscript.
Louis Braillewho was blinded at the age of three, invented the system in while a student at the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles National Institute for Blind ChildrenParis. His printing of normal letters in relief led others to devise simplified versions; but, with one exception, they are no longer in use.
The single exception is Moon typeinvented in by William Moon of Brighton, England, which partly retains the outlines of the Roman letters and is easily learned by those who have become blind in later life.
Books in this type are still in limited use by elderly people, particularly in Great Britain. When Louis Braille entered the school for the blind in Paris, inhe learned of a system of tangible writing using dots, invented in by Capt.
Charles Barbier, a French army officer. It was called night writing and was intended for night-time battlefield communications. The system was first published in ; a more complete elaboration appeared in To aid in identifying the 63 different dot patterns, or characters, that are possible within the six-dot cell, Braille numbered the dot positions 1—2—3 downward on the left and 4—5—6 downward on the right.
The first 10 letters of the Latin alphabet —a through j—are formed with dots 1, 2, 4, and 5. When preceded by the numeric indicator dots 3, 4, 5, and 6these signs have number values.
The letters k through t are formed by adding dot 3 to the signs that represent a through j. Five of the remaining letters of the alphabet and five very common words are formed by adding dots 3 and 6 to the signs representing a through j.
When dot 6 is added to the first 10 letters, the letter w and 9 common letter combinations are formed. Punctuation marks and two additional common letter combinations are made by placing the signs that represent letters a through j in dot positions 2, 3, 5, and 6.
Three final letter combinations as well as the numeric indicator and two more punctuation marks are formed with various combinations of dots 3, 4, 5, and 6. Like the numeric indicator, these signs serve as modifiers when placed before any of the other signs.
Through the application of this principle, the various signs can function in multiple ways. This illustration shows the formation of each six-dot cell and its simplest designated meaning.
A universal Braille code for the English-speaking world was not adopted untilwhen representatives from agencies for the blind in Great Britain and the United States met in London and agreed upon a system known as Standard English Braille, grade 2.
In Anglo-American experts again met in London to further improve the system. A girl reading the Braille edition of a Harry Potter book in the library of a school for the blind.
AP Images In addition to the literary Braille code, there are other codes utilizing the Braille cell but with other meanings assigned to each configuration. The Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation provides for Braille representation of the many special symbols used in advanced mathematical and technical material.
There are also special Braille codes or modifications for musical notationshorthandand, of course, many of the more common languages of the world.
Writing Braille by hand is accomplished by means of a device called a slate that consists of two metal plates hinged together to permit a sheet of paper to be inserted between them. Some slates have a wooden base or guide board onto which the paper is clamped.
The upper of the two metal plates, the guide plate, has cell-sized windows; under each of these, in the lower plate, are six slight pits in the Braille dot pattern. A stylus is used to press the paper against the pits to form the raised dots. A person using Braille writes from right to left; when the sheet is turned over, the dots face upward and are read from left to right.
Braille is also produced by special machines with six keys, one for each dot in the Braille cell. Hall, superintendent of the Illinois School for the Blind.
A modified form of this device is still in use today, as are later, similar devices. One innovation for producing Braille is an electric embossing machine similar to an electric typewriter, and electronic computer processing is now routine.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Braille was the first writing system with binary encoding. Interpoint refers to braille printing that is offset, the feature uses a system developed in consultation with blind and low vision Canadians after research indicated that braille was not sufficiently robust and that not all potential users read rutadeltambor.com systems: Night writing, Early braille, Braille.
DEVELOPMENT OF WATER-BASED INK SYSTEM FOR BRAILLE PRINTING Saurabh Varma, M.S. Western Michigan University, The most commonly used system of writing by and for blind persons is called. AT A GLANCE: 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. William Bell Wait (–) was a teacher in the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind who invented New York Point, a system of writing for the blind that was adopted widely in the United States before the Braille system was universally adopted there.
Mr. Braille: Braille, universally accepted system of writing used by and for blind persons and consisting of a code of 63 characters, each made up of one to six raised dots arranged in a six-position matrix or cell.
These Braille characters are embossed in lines on paper and read by passing the fingers lightly. A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication.
It is generally agreed that Sumerian writing was an independent invention; however, it is debated whether Egyptian writing was developed completely independently of Sumerian, or was a case of cultural diffusion.