When Was Braille Invented?

Braille was invented by Louis Braille in 1821 when he was just 12 years old and is now the standard system used all over the world. Braille is a method of reading for the blind using six raised dots to communicate letters, numbers and symbols. When he was three, Louis Braille became blind due to an accident in his father’s shop. While at a special school for the blind, Louis learned about night writing -the basic technique of using raised dots for tactile writing and reading, which was developed by Charles Barbier. Based on this technique, Louis developed the six dot system for reading that correlated to normal spelling.

More about braille:

  • Louis Braille was passionate about music and extended his tactile reading system to musical notation.
  • Of the 285 million people who are visually impaired worldwide, 39 million are blind.
  • Instead of paper and pencil, people use the slate and stylus to communicate in braille.
More Info: bbc.co.uk

Discussion Comments


I really like the name "night writing". I have to admit that I would rather that Braille was still called that. It sounds more like a superpower than an alphabet to help people with a disability.


@pleonasm - There are some awesome volunteers out there who do a lot of work for people with low vision or who are blind. I know there are groups in almost every town who will read out the whole newspaper into the phone so that blind people can call up the service and get the news and all the other articles whenever they want.

There are others who do things like recording blog posts and books and even erotica so that people can hear it instead of having to read it.

I remember as a child I thought that modern medicine had made it so that people simply didn't go blind any more, but that's not true. People get eye diseases all the time that cause them to lose their sight, or they are born without ever being able to see. Louis Braille's system is still being used by millions of people every day.


The great thing about modern technology is that, since braille correlates to the standard alphabet, there are fewer barriers to communication, once a person learns how to use a braille keyboard.

I suppose there are also applications that will read out text for people as well. Although I think it would be kind of cool to have some kind of electronic braille embosser that worked with a computer.

It wouldn't be that difficult if someone worked at it. And, for people who are blind and deaf, it might be the only way for them to communicate.

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