Louis Braille was born on 4 January 1809. He invented the unique Braille method of reading and writing in 1824 which we still use today.
There are different levels of the braille language with the standard being known as non-contracted (grade 1) and contracted (grade 2). Non-contracted braille is the simplest form of braille with words being made up of individual letters or braille cells. Contracted braille uses some cells for groups of letters such as ‘th’, ‘ing’, etc.
Each braille character or ‘cell’ is made up of 6 dot positions, arranged in a rectangle comprising 2 columns of 3 dots (like the number 6 on a die). A dot may be raised at any of the 6 positions or any combination making 64 combinations.
The dots in each cell are numbered 1 – 6, 1 through 3 from top to bottom on the left and 4 through 6 from top to bottom on the right.
The braille alphabet is listed below with the dot arrangement for each letter, for example, A = dot 1 and B = dots 1 and 2.
RNIB produce a braille alphabet card. This is a simple card showing the letters of the alphabet in both print and embossed dots and can be used by sighted and touch readers to learn the braille alphabet. The card also has numbers and some basic punctuation signs. It is free to order at: https://shop.rnib.org.uk/braille-alphabet.html
RNIB also have a self-learn package for learning braille. It is called the Fingerprint Braille course and is designed to help you learn contracted (grade 2) braille. It costs £39 and can be purchased at: https://shop.rnib.org.uk/fingerprint-braille-course.html
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.