November 10 is a special day called Forget Me Not Day. It’s a day that we reach out to other people. It’s fun to get letters from people. We know they are thinking of us.
But what if you wanted to write to a person who is blind? You might use braille. Braille is a system for writing named after its inventor, Louis Braille. Blind people can use braille to read and write.
Blind people can’t see letters, so braille uses a set of raised bumps or dots people can feel with their fingers. Each set of dots stands for a letter in the alphabet, a number, or a punctuation mark.
Louis Braille wasn’t the first person to think about how blind people could read or write. Charles Barbier created a code that soldiers could use to send messages silently and without light. But the code stood for sounds and not letters. The system was difficult to learn. The human finger could not feel the whole symbol at a time.
So Braille created a six-dot system instead. It was much easier for people to learn.
Braille can be made using a slate, in which each dot is created from the back of the page. People can also write in braille with a special typewriter or with a machine attached to a computer.
What Do You Think? Why do you think that braille is important?
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