January is Braille Literacy Month

By Alliyah Maduro | January 14, 2022

What is Braille Literacy?


 The Braille system was designed by Louie Braille in 1821 when he was just 12 years old. At the age of 3 years old, Braille suffered from an accident that left him blind. While trying to discover a new way to communicate and read, he discovered the French Military code known as "night calling". The French soldiers used this system to communicate at night without having to verbally speak. Braille was inspired by the military code and made it his own. 



Here are some quick facts to know about Braille from Ocls.info: 


  1. Braille wasn’t the first raised letter system. Before braille was designed, other written communication systems created for the visually impaired included bent wire letters, wood letters and series of pricks.
  2. Braille is not considered a language. However there are different codes for almost every language including Spanish, Chinese and French. There is also a separate code used for music and math.
  3. There are six dots that primarily create the coding system. These six dot braille cells have 63 possible combinations, arranged as two columns of three dots.
  4. Braille is for feet too! Have you ever come across those big, yellow ends of a sidewalk or store? That’s braille for your feet.
  5. There are two versions of braille – contracted and uncontracted. Uncontracted braille spells out every word, while contracted braille abbreviates common words (example would be do not and don’t).
  6. There is a Braille Olympics, known as the Braille Challenge which takes place at the Los Angeles Braille Institute. Students from Canada and the United States compete to demonstrate their braille skills in reading comprehension and writing. 


Fact credits: (Six facts about Braille for Braille Literacy month . Orange County Library System. (2021, January 20). Retrieved January 14, 2022, from https://www.ocls.info/ocls-blog/six-facts-about-braille-braille-literacy-month%C2%A0)