WORKSHOP: How to write in Braille?
phone +385 (0)1 4920 673
The system of writing and reading for the blind, known as the Braille alphabet, was invented by Louis Braille in the 1830s. Due to its practical and logical nature and universal applicability, it became accepted worldwide, allowing it to become the standard alphabet for blind people around the world.
Braille is a raised-dot alphabet for the blind. To create characters we use six-dot cells, arranged in two columns of three dots each, which can form 63 subsets of characters. Combining one, two or more six-dot cells, we get a certain letter, mathematical character, musical symbol or punctuation marks.
The dots within the cell are numbered. The left column consists of dots 1, 2 and 3, and the right column contains dots 4, 5 and 6.
Braille writing aids
The Braille alphabet is written with the slate and stylus, a mechanical writing machine, while the modern era brought about the use of computers.
Slate and stylus
The slate is a two-part hinged device, with paper placed in between the two parts. The upper part of the slate consists of rectangular openings corresponding to individual Braille cells which guide the stylus, while the bottom part has rows of indentations arranged in cells allowing the stylus to emboss dots on paper.
Braille writing tablet Stylus
The stylus has the same function as the pen. The characters are embossed from right to left. In order to read the text, the paper should be turned so that the characters could be read by passing the fingers over them. It is read from left to right.
The Perkins Brailler is the most renowned Braille writing machine. It functions on the principle of the common mechanical writing machine. It consists of a metal case, a side knob and seven keys – six of them for writing letters and a space key. By pressing different combinations of the six keys, a specific Braille letter or character is embossed.
Each letter-writing key has a number from 1 to 6, thus by simultaneously pressing the first and the second key we emboss the lower-case ''b'', while pressing the first and the fourth key embosses the lower-case ''c''. The Perkins Brailler enables a simpler, faster and neater reading and writing without having to turn the paper.
The Braille Display
The Braille display is an electronic tactile device attached to a personal computer, and it is usually placed under the keyboard. Using the screen reader software, the content visible on the computer screen turns to Braille characters on the Braille display. The letters are formed by character cells made of metal, crystal or plastic. The upward and downward movement of the cells forms a text in Braille which is read by passing the fingers from left to right.