Louis Braille was a French teacher and inventor who is also credited with designing the coding system using a pattern of raised dots which can be used by blind people to read through touch. He was born on January 4th 1809 in a middle class family of Coupvray, France. His father ran a leather business. Louis was not born blind.
At the age of 3 years, while playing in his father’s workshop he stuck a sharp tool into his eye. At that time advanced medication / antibiotics was not available so the infection spread into his other eye also. By the age of 5 years, he lost his sight completely.
Quick Facts: –
- In honor of the birthday of Louis Braille on January 4th, this day is celebrated as “World Braille Day” and the month is marked as “Braille Literacy Month”.
- Braille published his reading system for blind people when he was just 20 years old.
- In 1916, the Braille System started being used officially in the United States.
- Before the Braille System, there was Valentin Haüy’s system to help blind people in reading.
- Braille System was also the world’s first binary system of writing.
- The original system excluded the letter ‘W’ as it was not a part of the French Alphabet.
- During his childhood Louis Braille was taught to read by feeling upholstery studs being hammered into wood pieces.
- He also learned to play cello and the organ, he became a notable musician.
- Braille died on January 6th 1854 after a long battle with tuberculosis. He was 43 years old at that time.
- In the United States approximately 50,000 blind people rely on the Braille System for reading.