The Braille system was invented in 1829 by a blind gentleman called Louis Braille. He developed a system which would allow blind people to read and write. It is today one of the most widely used alphabets for the blind.

The Braille system consists of dots. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a combination of dots. These combinations are punched onto paper, so that they appear as raised bumps. A blind person reads the dots by moving their fingers over the bumps, recognizing each letter to spell out the words.

There were earlier systems of reading for the blind. Even as far back as 1517, alphabetic letters were engraved onto blocks of wood for the blind to read. This system was good to read by, but the drawback was that the blind could not see how to form the letters when they wanted to write.

Fact File

Semaphore is a means of communicating by using flags. Different flag positions represent different letters and numbers. It was widely used between ships sailing near each other in the days before radio.


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