Hello again, young learners. It’s me Kiki, back with another episode of Knowledge Corner. I wish you a Happy New Year and I am looking forward to learning so much more with you.
This episode falls on World Braille Day 2022. I am going to tell you what Braille is as we look at some interesting facts about it. To put it simply, Braille is a code that visually challenged people use to communicate – read and write.
This is how it looks.
Seems pretty genius and inventive, right?
Before we get into five interesting facts about Braille, let’s learn about its inventor. It was invented by Louis Braille, a Frenchman, 200 years ago. He lost his eyesight when he was just three years old! Being a visually challenged person himself, he devised a whole new ‘language’ of his own.
Now, let’s dive into the facts!
In the early 1800s, Charles Barbier of the French army developed a dotted code to help soldiers read important messages without light at night! Using that as the base, Louis Braille got inspired to create his own code.
Braille letters are a lot bigger in size than English letters. And naturally, when you try to translate English books into Braille, you will end up getting heavier versions of the books! For instance, a regular English dictionary will need 72 volumes if it’s converted into a Braille one. That would take up one whole book shelf, don’t you think?
Braille has been in use for reading and writing for two centuries now, but it’s only recently that Braille versions of popular games have been developed! Yes, we are talking about our favourite games like Monopoly, card games, magic cube, etc, all of which have their own Braille versions.
Here is another fun fact: Lego, one of the famous game companies, has made a Lego Braille Kit, just so that those without sight can not only enjoy playing with the blocks, but also learn in the process.
So far, we have been talking about using Braille to communicate via language. But, have you wondered how the visually-challenged do math and science? Well, they use another system of learning called the Nemeth Braille Code. It was developed by Abraham Nemeth in 1952, who made the code in such a way that one could learn even really advanced concepts in maths and science using this code.
Speaking as a math and science lover who spends a lot of time in the lab, I love how this code makes everyone explore the wonders of these subjects.
Smartphone makers are using the latest tech to make it easy for the visually challenged to use smartphones. There are some amazing developments made in this department, such as the Braille keyboard. For Android phones, it’s called TalkBack! It can be used by the visually challenged who are familiar with Grade 1 (basic) and Grade 2 (advanced) Braille.
Awesome, isn’t it?
I am so happy I was able to learn such valuable and interesting information about Braille with you. What would you like to learn next time? Share your answers with us in the comments.
Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.
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