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My Industrial Revolution topic is about the evolution of Braille. The Braille system is a method that is used by people who are blind or visually impaired to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing. Braille was invented in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Before Louis Braille invented the Braille system we use today, a man named Abbe Hauy began inventing a way of reading and writing for the visually impaired. Unfortunately, Abbe Huay died before he could complete his system.
A man by the name of Guillie continued with Huay’s system by using etched alphabet letters on metal plates which were difficult to read. His method was also unsuccessful because his books were about 9 pounds each which were too heavy to hold, rest on laps, or carry around. Then Charles Barbier was asked by Napoleon to develop a system where could communicate silently which he called night writing. At age 15, Louis Braille figured out that Charles Barbier, a captain of the French Army, had two major defects of his night writing code: first, by representing only sounds; this code was unable to give the orthography of the words.
Second, the human finger couldn’t enclose the whole symbol without moving, and so could not move fast enough from one symbol to another. Louis Braille’s changes were to use a 6 dot cell which represents all the letters. At first the system was an arrangement of French language, but soon various abbreviations were developed, creating a system much more like note taking.
Braille is derived from the Latin alphabet. In Louis Braille’s system, the points were assigned according to the position of the letter in the alphabetic order of the French alphabet, with diacritic (a glyph added to a letter) letters sorted at the end.
Braille can be seen as the world’s first binary encoding scheme for presenting the characters of a writing system. Braille consists of two parts: characters encoding for mapping characters of the French language to tuples (in a database, an ordered set of data constituting a record) of six dots. Braille could be made by using a slate and stylus in which each dot is created from the back of the page, writing in mirror image, by hand, or could be made on a Braille typewriter.
It may also be rendered using a refreshable Braille display. As you can see the Braille system was started just never finished until Louis Braille invented his system of reading and writing for the blind which was the only successful system. Braille is an excellent way for the blind to read and write. Also it gave the visually impaired a sense of knowledge. Even today many people underestimate the effects of Braille. Braille is essential for note-taking and helpful for studying such things as math, spelling, and foreign languages.
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