A debate has started on how to make braille more attractive and for more teachers to be available to teach it.
Louis Braille was born in 1809, near Paris.
Numerous other forms of embossed type existed before the development of Braille.
A number of languages have a Grade three braille, which is highly abridged and similar to shorthand.
Grade three braille is more complex, requires a good command of language and a good memory, and is only used by a small minority of readers.
Braille characters are much larger than their printed equivalents, and the standard 11" by 11.5" (28 cm Ч 30 cm) page has room for only 25 lines of 43 characters.
To reduce space and increase reading speed, virtually all braille books are transcribed in Grade 2 Braille, using a system of contractions to reduce space and speed the process of reading.
In 1547, an Italian doctor named Girolamo Cardano suggested a system that somewhat resembled Braille.
The creation of Braille, opening the doors to the written word to the blind the world over, is one of immeasurable value to humankind.
Braille is also sometimes rendered using a refreshable braille display.
Each braille character, or "cell," is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each.
Different braille codes are also used for different uses like mathematics and music.
Grade two braille makes reading and writing quicker and significantly less bulky.
The dots themselves are the same size as dots in standard braille, but the added spacing makes them easier to feel.
The braille system, devised in 1821 by Frenchman Louis Braille, is a method that is widely used by the blind to read and write.
English braille codes the letters and punctuation, and some double letter signs and word signs directly, but capitalization and numbers are dealt with by using a prefix symbol.
The Moon system is still used by those who have difficulty reading braille and need a clearer, bolder type.
Initially developed in French, Braille has been adapted for use in most languages around the world.
The Library of Congress's Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing runs to nearly 200 pages.
Braille has also been adapted for use in languages other than English.
Six dot braille, however, remains the best form for general reading purposes.
Louis Braille, himself blinded at the age of three, developed his system as an improvement on the books used at the school he attended for the blind.
By age 15, he had developed the basic system now knwon as braille.
Braille's invention overcame the limitations of the old system, incorporating a code he learned from a soldier and modified to be simple enough for all to learn.
English braille uses twenty six symbols to represent the alphabet.
Braille was by no means humanity's first attempt at touch reading.
A standard braille page is 11 inches by 11.5 inches and typically has a maximum of 40 to 43 braille cells per line and 25 lines.
Braille may be produced using a "slate" and a "stylus" in which each dot is created from the back of the page, writing in mirror image by hand.
Today, different braille codes (or code pages) are used to map character sets of different languages to the six bit cells.
Large Cell or "Jumbo" Braille is often used by those who have difficulty feeling standard Braille.
Barbier is generally credited with providing the inspiration for Braille.
The dot combinations are the same as those used in traditional Braille, but the spacing between dots and cells is somewhat increased.
Braille generally consists of cells of six raised dots arranged in a grid of two dots horizontally by three dots vertically.