The Use of Braille in Public Places
A Frenchman by the name of Louis Braille was the inventor of Braille: Louis became blind after a childhood accident and later developed this unique and amazing communication system.
Most of us are familiar with those strange little bumps you feel when on an elevator and you press one of the buttons. Well, those little bumps are part of a tactile writing system for blind people. Tactile means perceptible to touch, and this system consists of a pattern of raised points or dots that represent letters, allowing people to analyze them in order to understand words.
The Inventor of Braille
A Frenchman by the name of Louis Braille was the inventor of Braille: Louis became blind after a childhood accident and later developed this unique and amazing communication system. The system was developed based on a different communication technique known as ‘night writing’, which also uses raised dots for reading and writing. This particular system was created by a French Army Captain by the name of Charles Barbier de la Serre who needed a method for soldiers to communicate both silently and in the dark.
Many people are not aware just how much Braille is used in public places. Once you become aware and start observing your surroundings you’ll discover that these raised dots can be found in many places. As an example, next time you need to make a bank transaction, have a look at your Automatic Teller Machine and note how the keypad contains Braille. Most public telephones and some landline phones have Braille dots and you’ll also notice that many product boxes containing televisions and other electronic appliances contain Braille writing on the boxes. This confirms to the visually-impaired customer that they are buying their desired product. You may also notice that warning signs, or signs providing important information, are also written in Braille in many public places. If a visually-impaired person is at a subway stop it’s important that there’s signage to warn them of the dangers of riding the subway.
Public Bathrooms and Other Buildings
When next using a public bathroom, check underneath the signs indicating ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ bathrooms to see if there is Braille underneath the signs. Imagine if a man accidentally walked into the ladies bathroom just because there was no sign for him to read! In fact, check out signs in public buildings and it’s highly likely that most of them will contain Braille. And when you look at those signs you may even notice that the numbers or letters written are either indented, or raised: this is just a different method for blind people to ‘read’ signs.
What is a Braille Translator?
It’s actually a software programme, designed to translate text into Braille cells: it’s then sent to an embosser which delivers a hard copy of the original content in Braille script. The language itself is not transformed, just the script.
So, now you have an interesting exercise to do when next you’re out and about in your town or city. You’ll probably be very surprised at just how much Braille you’ll find!
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