27 Facts About Louis Braille

1.

Louis Braille was a French educator and inventor of a reading and writing system for use by people who are visually impaired.

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2.

Louis Braille's system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.

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3.

Louis Braille was blinded at the age of three in one eye as a result of an accident with a stitching awl in his father's harness making shop.

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4.

Louis Braille presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.

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5.

Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, a small town about twenty miles east of Paris, on 4 January 1809.

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6.

Louis Braille eventually lost sight in the other eye, likely due to sympathetic ophthalmia.

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7.

Louis Braille survived the torment of the infection but by the age of five he was completely blind in both eyes.

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8.

Louis Braille's parents made many efforts – quite uncommon for the era – to raise their youngest child in a normal fashion, and he prospered in their care.

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9.

Louis Braille learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seemingly at peace with his disability.

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10.

Louis Braille designed and manufactured a small library of books for the children using a technique of embossing heavy paper with the raised imprints of Latin letters.

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11.

Louis Braille was helped by the Hauy books, but he despaired over their lack of depth: the amount of information retained in such books was necessarily minor.

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12.

Louis Braille read the Hauy books repeatedly, and he was equally attentive to the oral instruction offered by the school.

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13.

Louis Braille proved to be a highly proficient student and, after he had exhausted the school's curriculum, he was immediately asked to remain as a teacher's aide.

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14.

For much of the rest of his life, Louis Braille stayed at the Institute where he taught history, geometry, and algebra.

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15.

Louis Braille was determined to invent a system of reading and writing that could bridge the gap in communication between the sighted and the blind.

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16.

In 1821, Louis Braille learned of a communication system devised by Charles Barbier.

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17.

Louis Braille worked tirelessly on his ideas, and his system was largely completed by 1824, when he was fifteen years old.

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18.

Louis Braille made uniform columns for each letter, and he reduced the twelve raised dots to six.

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19.

Louis Braille published his system in 1829, and by the second edition in 1837 he had discarded the dashes because they were too difficult to read.

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20.

Louis Braille created his own raised-dot system using Barbier's slate and stylus tools.

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21.

Passionate about his own music, Louis Braille took meticulous care in its planning to ensure that the musical code would be "flexible enough to meet the unique requirements of any instrument".

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22.

Louis Braille produced several written works about braille and as general education for the blind.

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23.

Many of Louis Braille's original printed works remain available at the Louis Braille birthplace museum in Coupvray.

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24.

Louis Braille had always been a sickly child, and his condition worsened in adulthood.

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25.

Louis Braille's memory has in this way a security greater than that of the memories of many men more famous in their day.

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26.

Louis Braille has been commemorated in postage stamps worldwide, and the asteroid 9969 Braille was named for him in 1992.

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27.

The Braille Legacy, a musical which tells the story of Louis Braille, directed by Thom Southerland and starring Jerome Pradon, debuted at the Charing Cross Theatre in April 2017.

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