Louis Braille

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Who invented braille?

Louis Braille

When Louis Braille was three years old, he became blind in one eye after an injury in his father's workshop. His other eye soon lost sight as well. In the early 19th Century in France, blind people were almost always destined to a life on the streets, begging for money. Louis Braille's parents instead sent him to school where he learned quickly until he was required to read and write.

Braille won a scholarship to a school for the blind where the teachers tried to teach the students to read letters that were raised on the page. These letters were very difficult to produce and read and didn't provide a way from blind children to learn to write. The raised letters were the first invention idea that contributed to Braille's own invention.

The second contributing invention idea was that of Charles Barbier, a former student at Braille's school who visited and showed the children a system of writing that he had invented. His "night writing" system involved twelve raised dots that symbolized sounds. The purpose was to allow people in the military to communicate to each other in the dark without speaking, but it was too complicated for soldiers to learn.

Louis Braille was still a kid inventor when he synthesized "night writing" and the raised type reading that he had been taught. His new invention was called "braille." It involved a system of six dots that could be reproduced using a stylus and paper. It quickly became very popular at the school.

It wasn't until after Braille's death that his invention became popular. Now, books all over the world are translated into braille. Many blind and partially sighted people are able to read because of the ingenuity of kid inventor Louis Braille.

   

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