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braille

Meaning: a writing system composed of raised dots that represent letters. It allows blind or visually impaired people to read.

For example:

  • He is blind, but he can read braille.

  • There is braille on the doors of the washrooms.

Origin: Louis Braille (1809-1852) suffered an eye injury as a small child, and went blind. He found it difficult to read using a raised alphabet system that was being used at a French institute for the blind in Paris. At the school he learned about a man who was developing a secret system that allowed soldiers to read messages in the dark. The system was too complex, but it inspired Louis to experiment with his own writing system of raised dots. Louis Braille taught his code to blind students, but it wasn't until a few years after his death that the system became popular around the world.

Quick Quiz:

How do blind people read braille?

a. They detect small lights that form symbols.

b. They listen to recorded messages.

c. They touch raised dots that represent letters.

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Contributor: Tara Benwell