January is Braille Literacy Month. This portion of the year is a time in which many organizations raise awareness about the incredible language that is braille. Although braille is effective for those with blindness, it also helps others with different disabilities. It’s beneficial to know about braille as it becomes more and more known. We have a few facts to discuss.

If you’re interested in learning more about braille, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn about six of our favorite facts about braille. We don’t think you know these, but if you do, you’re an expert on the subject! Braille was an incredible innovation for blindness, and it continues to allow access and communication worldwide.

Braille Levels

There are two “levels” of braille users can interact with on paper. Each provides a different experience.

Uncontracted braille occurs when each letter or number exists through a braille cell. There is an individual grouping for each symbol.

Contracted braille is where common letter groupings or words sit in one braille cell. It is considered the shorthand version of braille.

Louis Braille

Although many think of the inventor of braille as old, he was only fifteen years old when he developed the language. That’s an incredible feat for a teenager. Since then, braille has grown and progressed to benefit many lives.

Braille Cells

A braille cell is made of six raised spots arranged in a specific way to represent a letter or a number. In the longer form of braille, six dots represent a single number or letter. In shorthand, these six dots might show a word or a combination of letters.

Braille Space

Braille takes up a lot of space, as there must be enough room for individuals to successfully feel each of the dots. In braille, Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary becomes 72 books when extended into a braille format.

Braille Code

Although many consider braille to be a language, it is not. Braille is a tactile code representing a language. You can read Spanish, English, Chinese, and Arabic in braille. It’s likely more languages will emerge in time.

Everything Can Be Braille

Most things in the English language will translate to braille for an easy reading experience. It’s possible to translate symbols, letters, numbers, and punctuation in this code. You can even add bolding and italics for further emphasis.

Final Thoughts

Braille is an incredible form of communication, providing a way of reading and communicating for those who can’t see. There are tons of interesting facts behind braille, making up an exciting history that leads to a new future for blind individuals. Braille Literacy Month is a time of celebration and wonder for this incredible language.

If you’re interested in learning more about braille, contact us at Literacy Gulf Coast. We are a non-profit group ready to improve the reading and writing skills of adults and children in Southwest Florida. Braille is a critical skill for those who cannot see, and we want to enhance the quality of life and skills for those who need braille.