Louis Braille And The History Of Braille System

Monday, March 02, 2009

Louis Braille
The Story Of Louis Braille
Louis Braille was born in a small town near Paris, Named Coupvray on 4th January, 1809. He is the 4th child from a pair of saddle horse maker that is Simon and Monique Braille. Louis grow into an intelligent children, and have a great curiousity. Because of his curiousity then at three years old an accident deprived him of his sight. At the time he was playing in his father's shop, accidentally sharp objects have been making a cuts on one of his eyes. Because of medical devices are so limited at that time, He then experienced a permanent blindness on both of his eyes.

The Beginning of the Invention
At the age of 10 years, in 1819 Louis Braille was sent to Paris Blind School named Royal Institution. He showed a remarkable development in there, in addition to the academic field, he also has a talent in playing musical instrument such as Cello, Piano and Organ.
Young Louis Braille desperately wanted to read. He realized the vast world of thought and ideas that was locked out to him because of his disability. And he was determined to find the key to this door for himself, and for all other blind persons.
Louis knew there must be a better way. There must be a way for a blind person to quickly feel the words on a page. There must be a way for a blind person to read as quickly and as easily as a sighted person. That day he set himself the goal of thinking up a system for blind people to read. He would try to think of some alphabet code to make his 'finger reading' as quick and easy as sighted reading.

He knew that he was as intelligent and creative as any other person his own age. And his musical talent showed how much he could accomplish when given a chance. One day chance walked in the door. Somebody at the school heard about an alphabet code that was being used by the French army. This code was used to deliver messages at night from officers to soldiers. The messages could not be written on paper because the soldier would have to strike a match to read it. The light from the match would give the enemy a target at which to shoot. The alphabet code was made up of small dots and dashes. These symbols were raised up off the paper so that soldiers could read them by running their fingers over them. Once the soldiers understood the code, everything worked fine.
Louis got hold of some of this code and tried it out. It was much better than reading the gigantic books with gigantic raised letters. But the army code was still slow and cumbersome. The dashes took up a lot of space on a page. Each page could only hold one or two sentences. Louis knew that he could improve this alphabet in some way.

Finally the invention is realized
On his next vacation home, he would spend all his time working on finding a way to make this improvement. When he arrived home for school vacation, he was greeted warmly by his parents. His mother and father always encouraged him on his music and other school projects. Louis sat down to think about how he could improve the system of dots and dashes. He liked the idea of the raised dots, but could do without the raised dashes. As he sat there in his father's leather shop, he picked up one of his father's blunt awls. The idea came to him in a flash. The very tool which had caused him to go blind could be used to make a raised dot alphabet that would enable him to read. The next few days he spent working on an alphabet made up entirely of six dots. The position of the different dots would represent the different letters of the alphabet. Louis used the blunt awl to punch out a sentence. He read it quickly from left to right. Everything made sense. It worked...

Louis Braille's invention continues to inspire new and innovative products that help build a world that is more inclusive for people with disabilities, such as ADA ramps, also known as "braille for the feet."
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