Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired. It is traditionally written with embossed paper. Braille users can read computer screens and other electronic supports using refreshable braille displays, they can write braille with the original slate and stylus or type it on a braille writer, such as a portable braille notetaker or computer that prints with a braille embosser. Braille is named after its creator, Louis Braille, a Frenchman who lost his sight as a result of a childhood accident. In 1824, at the age of fifteen, he developed a code for the French alphabet as an improvement on night writing, he published his system, which subsequently included musical notation, in 1829. The second revision, published in 1837, was the first small binary form of writing developed in the modern era; these characters have rectangular blocks called cells. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Since the various braille alphabets originated as transcription codes for printed writing, the mappings vary from language to language, within one.
Braille cells are not the only thing to appear in braille text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, bullets that are larger than braille dots, etc. A full braille cell includes six raised dots arranged in each column having three dots; the dot positions are identified by numbers from one to six. There are 64 possible solutions using zero or more dots. A cell can be used to represent a letter, punctuation mark, or a word. In the face of screen reader software, braille usage has declined. Braille was based on a tactile military code called night writing, developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon's demand for a means for soldiers to communicate silently at night and without a light source. In Barbier's system, sets of 12 embossed dots encoded 36 different sounds, it was rejected by the military. In 1821 Barbier visited the Royal Institute for the Blind in Paris. Braille identified two major defects of the code: first, by representing only sounds, the code was unable to render the orthography of the words.
Braille's solution was to use 6-dot cells and to assign a specific pattern to each letter of the alphabet. At first, Braille was a one-to-one transliteration of French orthography, but soon various abbreviations and logograms were developed, creating a system much more like shorthand; the expanded English system, called Grade-2 Braille, was completed 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 Braille's 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: ⠁⠃⠉⠙⠑⠋⠛⠓⠊⠚. These stand for the ten digits 1–9 and 0 in a system parallel to Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy; the next ten letters, k–t, are identical to a–j apart from the addition of a dot at position 3: ⠅⠇⠍⠝⠕⠏⠟⠗⠎⠞: The next ten letters are the same again, but with dots at positions both 3 and 6.
Here w was left out as not being a part of the official French alphabet at the time of Braille's life. The next ten, ending in w, are the same again, except that for this series position 6 is used without position 3. In French braille these are â ê î ô û ë ï ü ö w; the a -- j series lowered by one dot. Letters a ⠁ and c ⠉, which only use dots in the top row, were lowered two places for the apostrophe and hyphen: ⠄⠤. In addition, there are ten patterns. There had been nine decades; the fifth through ninth used dashes as well as dots, but proved to be impractical and were soon abandoned. These could be replaced with what we now know as the number sign, though that only caught on for the digits; the dash occupying the top row of the original sixth decade was dropped, producing the modern fifth decade. There have been three principles in assigning the values of a linear script to Braille: Using Louis Braille's original French letter values.
New York Institute for Special Education
The New York Institute for Special Education is a private nonprofit school in New York City. The school was founded in 1831 as a school for blind children by Samuel Wood, a Quaker philanthropist, Samuel Akerly, a physician, John Dennison Russ, a philanthropist and physician; the school was named New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. It was located at 34th Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. Early in the 20th century, the school was renamed the "New York Institute for the Education of the Blind" to emphasize its educational character. In 1986, the school was renamed the New York Institute for Special Education to reflect its expanded focus on providing programs for children with learning and emotional disabilities as well as for those who are blind; the institute's multiple facilities now serve children ranging in age from newborn to age 21. Samuel Wood was a wealthy school-book publisher, a teacher until he was 40. Recognizing that reading books for children were few, he prepared and published a primer, The Young Child's A B C, or First Book.
Wood had seen eager-to-learn blind children in the city's poorhouses, where their future was bleak, had heard of a movement in Boston interested in training the blind. Wood was of a philanthropic bent. Samuel Akerly had been for ten years the superintendent and attending physician of the New York Institution for the Deaf, he had been active in developing instruction for deaf-mutes and became interested in doing the same for the blind. Akerly knew how to propose legislation, he, Wood and 15 other citizens presented a petition to the New York State Legislature proposing an institution to "...improve the moral and intellectual condition of the Blind, to instruct them in such mechanical employments as are best adapted to persons in such a condition." The legislation passed, but was amended by one state senator to limit the institution's purpose to children. John Dennison Russ, a philanthropist and physician, had proposed on his own to instruct blind children in the poorhouse before Akerly made him aware of the newly approved institution.
Russ served without salary as the first teacher of the first class — three blind orphan boys brought from the poorhouse to a private home on Canal Street. After two months, three more boys were added and the school moved to Mercer Street. Teaching was with successful methods discovered as time progressed. A demonstration of the students' progress was given at the end of the year, generating public interest and stimulating contributions and new benefactors. By 1833, ten more students, four of them girls, had joined the original six. In 1834, New York State began paying for some students, New Jersey began sending children to the school. By now there were 26 students in all, Russ was assisted by "one teacher of literary subjects, a foreman of mechanical pursuits, a teacher of music." According to the school history, Dr. Russ achieved results most remarkable. Besides carrying on instruction of his pupils and conducting the business of the Institution, he invented apparatus for the use of the blind, essayed to discover a means of reducing the size of books for the sightless, proposing a phonetic alphabet with forty characters and representation thereof by dots and lines and improved the methods used in European schools for representing geographical information.
While teaching, Russ maintained his private medical practice, but the move of the school from Spring Street to larger quarters at the then-remote location of Ninth Avenue and 34th Street created difficulties. Russ resigned from the school in 1835. Fanny Crosby, a poet who wrote the lyrics for thousands of Christian hymns, was both a student and a teacher at the institute. Blind since infancy, she entered the institute in 1835, at age 14, she was a student for 9 years a teacher from September 1847 to March 1858. Grover Cleveland and his brother William came to be employed at the school in 1853 and 1854, during the years Crosby was teaching. At that time there were about 116 pupils, ranging in age from 8 to 25, half female. To finance his further studies for the ministry, William was teaching the older students history, philosophy and introductory physics and chemistry, he persuaded the school to hire Grover as a bookkeeper and as teacher of the basic subjects — reading, arithmetic, geography — to the younger students.
Neither brother was trained to teach and it was a matter of staying one step ahead of the students. The food at the school was poor, the pay was low, the buildings were cold and damp. A martinet superintendent made life miserable for students and faculty alike; the Cleveland brothers would recall their time at the institute as the bleakest in their lives. Reflecting their lifelong friendship, Crosby prepared a series of recollections of Cleveland's days at the institute for his first run for the White House, she spoke of Cleveland as a hard worker who encouraged her to stand her ground against the domineering superintendent. William Bell Wait, a teacher at the institute, invented New York Point, a system of writing for the blind that enjoyed wide use in the United States before the Braille system was adopted. Wait invented the Kleidograph, a typewriter with twelve keys for embossing New York Point on paper. Ed Lucas, a sports writer and motivational speaker, was a student; the NYISE is part of the 4201 Schools Association in New York.
Blindness and education Official website
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree; the story of Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, was made famous by Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, its adaptations for film and stage, The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day", her June 27 birthday is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and, in the centenary year of her birth, was recognized by a presidential proclamation from Jimmy Carter. A prolific author, Keller was outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism and other similar causes, she was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Helen Adams Keller was born on June 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Her family lived on Ivy Green, that Helen's grandfather had built decades earlier. She had four siblings, her father, Arthur Henley Keller, spent many years as an editor of the Tuscumbia North Alabamian and had served as a captain in the Confederate Army. Her mother, Catherine Everett Keller, known as "Kate", was the daughter of Charles W. Adams, a Confederate general, her paternal lineage was traced to a native of Switzerland. One of Helen's Swiss ancestors was the first teacher for the deaf in Zurich. Keller reflected on this coincidence in her first autobiography, stating "that there is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, no slave who has not had a king among his."At 19 months old Keller contracted an unknown illness described by doctors as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain", which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both blind, she lived, as she recalled in her autobiography, "at sea in a dense fog." At that time, Keller was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs.
In 1886, Keller's mother, inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, dispatched the young Keller, accompanied by her father, to seek out physician J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice. Chisholm referred the Kellers to Alexander Graham Bell, working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised them to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, located in South Boston. Michael Anagnos, the school's director, asked 20-year-old former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired, to become Keller's instructor, it was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship during which Sullivan evolved into Keller's governess and her companion. Sullivan arrived at Keller's house on March 5, 1887, a day Keller would forever remember as my soul's birthday. Sullivan began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with "d-o-l-l" for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present.
Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for "mug", Keller became so frustrated she broke the mug, but soon she began imitating Sullivan’s hand gestures. “I did not know that I was spelling a word or that words existed,” Keller remembered. “I was making my fingers go in monkey-like imitation.” Keller's breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of "water". Writing in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, Keller recalled the moment. "I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten — a thrill of returning thought. I knew that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something, flowing over my hand; the living word awakened my soul, gave it light, set it free!"
Keller nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world. Helen Keller was viewed as isolated but was in touch with the outside world, she was able to enjoy music by feeling the beat and she was able to have a strong connection with animals through touch. She was delayed at picking up language. In May 1888, Keller started attending the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Keller and Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, to learn from Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts, Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College of Harvard University where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House, her admirer, Mark Twain, had introduced her to Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers, with his wife Abbie, paid for her education. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller gradu
English Braille known as Grade 2 Braille, is the braille alphabet used for English. It consists of 250 or so letters, punctuation, formatting marks and abbreviations; some English Braille letters, such as ⠡ ⟨ch⟩, correspond to more than one letter in print. There are three levels of complexity in English Braille. Grade 1 is restricted to basic literacy. Grade 2, nearly universal beyond basic literacy materials, abandons one-to-one transcription in many places and adds hundreds of abbreviations and contractions. Both grades have been standardized. "Grade 3" is any of various personal shorthands. It is never found in publications. Most of this article describes the 1994 American edition of Grade 2 Braille, equivalent to British Grade 2 Braille; some of the differences with Unified English Braille, adopted by various countries between 2005 and 2012, are discussed at the end. Braille was intended, is portrayed, as a re-encoding of the English orthography used by sighted people. However, braille is an independent writing system, not a variant of the printed English alphabet.
Braille was introduced to Britain in 1861. In 1876, a French-based system with a few hundred English contractions and abbreviations was adopted as the predominant script in Great Britain. However, the contractions and abbreviations proved unsatisfactory, in 1902 the current grade-2 system, called Revised Braille, was adopted in the British Commonwealth. In 1878, the ideal of basing all braille alphabets of the world on the original French alphabetic order was accepted by Britain and Egypt. In the United States at the time, three scripts were used: non-braille New York Point. A contracted English Braille, Grade 1½, was adopted in Britain in 1918, contracted Grade 2, with a few minor concessions to the Americans, was adopted in 1932; the concessions were to swap the British two-dot capital sign with the one-dot emphasis sign, omitted anyway, to drop a few religious contractions from general usage, to introduce a rule stating that contractions and abbreviations should not span'major' syllable boundaries.
In 1991, an American proposal was made for Unified English Braille, intended to eliminate the confusion caused by competing standards for academic uses of English Braille. After several design revisions, it has since been adopted by the Commonwealth countries starting in 2005, by the United States; the chief differences with Revised Braille are in punctuation and formatting, more reflecting print conventions in matters such as brackets, mathematical notation, typefaces. The 64 braille patterns are arranged into decades based on the numerical order of those patterns; the first decade are the numerals 1 through 0, which utilize only the mid row of the cell. In addition, for each decade there are two additional mirror-image patterns, there are three patterns that utilize only the bottom row of the cell; the final pattern, the empty cell ⟨⠀⟩, is used as a space. Cells 1 through 25 plus 40 are assigned to the 26 letters of the basic Latin alphabet; the other 37 cells are used for punctuation and assigned different values in different languages.
The English grade-two values are as follows. * Formatting marks, explained below § Abbreviation signs, illustrated below † Abolished in Unified English Braille ¤ The period, ⟨⠲⟩, is distinguished from the decimal point, ⟨⠨⟩. The apostrophe, ⟨⠄⟩, is distinguished from the single quotation mark; the English Braille alphabet has letters that correspond directly to the 26 letters of the English print alphabet, but ligatures that are equivalent to digraphs and sequences in print. † Abolished in Unified English BrailleSome of these ligatures transcribe common words, such as and or of, but they are not words: Pronunciation and meaning are ignored, only spelling is relevant. For example, ⠮ ⟨the⟩ is used when the sequence of print letters the appears, not just for the word "the"; that is, ⠮ ⟨the⟩ is the letter "the" in braille, as in the two-letter word ⠮⠝ then. Hand is written h-and, roof is written r-o-of, forest is written with three letters in braille, ⠿⠑⠌ for-e-st. Numbers are used this way as well—7th is written ⠼⠛⠹ #-7-th, here printed English approximates normal practice in braille.
There are numerous conventions for when a print sequence is "contracted" this way in braille, when it is spelled out in full. The ligatures ⟨ - ing ⟩ and ⟨ - ble ⟩ are used everywhere else; the ligatures of the third decade, ⟨and, for, of, with⟩, take precedence over the letters of decades. For example is written ⠮⠝ the-n, not *⠹⠢ th-en; when standing as words adjacent to other such words, or to ⠁ a, no space is left between them. For example, the, for a, with the, of a are al