Braille is a system of raised dots read through touch. People with visual impairments read and write in Braille. People without visual impairment can read Braille with their eyes. Values are assigned to Braille symbols according to the sort order of the alphabet in various languages. Most Braille alphabets follow the French sorting order of the 26-letter Latin alphabet. Japanese and Korean Braille are very different from other Braille transcriptions, and they assign codes using abstract principles.


1. Military Origins

Braille was originally developed by Charles Barbiera, a French army captain, in 1819. It was called "night writing," and was used for officers to read commands and communicate during the night without candles or lamps. Enemy soldiers may have heard speech, and light from candles or lamps would have attracted enemy attention as well. Louis Braille was a 15-year-old student with a visual impairment. He learned of Barbier's 'night writing' and worked to turn it into the Braille used today.

military origins Braille XiXinXing / Getty Images

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