Braille /ˈbreɪl/ is a tactile writing system used by people who are blind or visually impaired. It is traditionally written with embossed paper, braille-users can read computer screens and other electronic supports thanks to refreshable braille displays. They can write braille with the slate and stylus or type it on a braille writer, such as a portable braille note-taker. Braille is named after its creator, Frenchman Louis Braille, who lost his eyesight due to a childhood accident, in 1824, at the age of 15, Braille developed his code for the French alphabet as an improvement on night writing. He published his system, which included musical notation, in 1829. The second revision, published in 1837, was the first binary form of writing developed in the modern era, Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another, since the various braille alphabets originated as transcription codes of printed writing systems, the mappings vary from language to language. Braille cells are not the thing to appear in braille text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, arrows, bullets that are larger than braille dots, a full Braille cell includes six raised dots arranged in two lateral rows each having three dots. The dot positions are identified by numbers from one through six,64 solutions are possible from using one or more dots. A single cell can be used to represent a letter, number, punctuation mark. In the face of screen-reader software, braille usage has declined, in Barbiers system, sets of 12 embossed dots encoded 36 different sounds. It proved to be too difficult for soldiers to recognize by touch, in 1821 Barbier visited the Royal Institute for the Blind in Paris, where he met Louis Braille. Brailles solution was to use 6-dot cells and to assign a specific pattern to each letter of the alphabet. At first, braille was a transliteration of French orthography, but soon various abbreviations, contractions. The expanded English system, called Grade-2 Braille, was complete by 1905, for blind readers, Braille is an independent writing system, rather than a code of printed orthography. Braille is derived from the Latin alphabet, albeit indirectly, in Brailles original system, the dot patterns were assigned to letters according to their position within the alphabetic order of the French alphabet, with accented letters and w sorted at the end. The first ten letters of the alphabet, a–j, use the upper four dot positions and these stand for the ten digits 1–9 and 0 in a system parallel to Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy
Image: Braille closeup
Silver wedding bands with names Henri(que) and Tita written in braille
Braille on a box of tablets. The raised Braille reads 'plavix'.