In all its shapes and forms, braille is used across the world supporting the independence and quality of life for the visually impaired. Since it’s discovery in the early 1800’s, it has become a worldwide essential communication tool for those with poor sight. Read below to hear some interesting facts about braille and how it is also incorporated in language learning.

The History of braille

Louise Braille who was blinded at the age of 3, invented braille in 1824 whilst being a student at an institution for blind children. At the age of 10, he had introduced and formulated the innovative, coded, dotting system which we still use today. Since then, braille has become an internationally recognised form of reading.

How is braille created?

The simplest way to make braille is to use a pointed stylus to push dots into paper. With standard slates or writing frames the dots are created on the reverse of the paper, means that the braille must be written back to front.

Where can you find braille?

Whilst books and other reading material are the obvious choice, brail is also found in places such as doorways to lifts, the buttons on your ATM, public bathrooms and many more.

Does it differ in other languages?

Yes, is the answer – whilst the differences maybe understood more greatly for someone who can read Brail, it does differ in other languages.

How do visually impaired people learn languages?

Typically, language lessons are delivered using visuals to help individuals learn to spell, pronounce and overall learn the ins and out of a second language. However, for the visually impaired, learning another language differs in its techniques as they rely solely on sound and touch for this task. Also, in the same way the alphabet and words differ in other languages, braille is not a one size fits across the world. Other learning methods include –

  • Online dictionaries – Online Dictionaries rely on sound as well as visuals, assisting in those engaging to understand a word in their own language or a second one.
  • Braille USB keyboards for computers – Brail Keyboards are rather self-explanatory; each key provides the dotted code for the letter allowing the user to type freely. Remember, brail provides its own alphabet as does each language, which is why brail changes in each language as does the visual alphabet.
  • Braille Readers – These are electronic devise which allow users to read content form a computer screen in Brail. Combing this with keyboards, gives users full independence of using computers. It allows visually impaired people to practice their language (particularly reading) through braille.

 

Overall, the journey of braille has not faced any barriers when facing technology and languages. Fusing together these aspects, has resulted in a better future for the visually impaired learning another language and general quality of life. The education of technology and learning languages are two significant across the world and the survival and adaptation of braille alongside these factors, demonstrates a revolutionary breakthrough for the future of the visually impaired.

 

References

https://www.robobraille.org/sites/default/files/resourcefiles/teaching_foreign_language_-_blind.pdf

https://www.royalblind.org/national-braille-week/about-braille/who-was-louis-braille

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Braille-Publication.html

https://www.quora.com/Is-Braille-the-same-in-every-language

 

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