How does Braille help people with visual impairment?

Braille is a language that is used to represent letters, numbers, punctuation marks and even entire words. The pattern of raised bumps or dots called Braille can be read with the fingers by those who are visually impaired or blind. Those who are not visually impaired such as school teachers, parents, and counselors may read Braille with their eyes.
In Grade 1 Braille, every letter of each word is expressed using dots within system cells. In Grade 2 Braille, fewer cell spaces are used to create words. Also, some letters are combined to make words in Grade 2 Braille. In Grade 2 Braille, there are 189 letter contractions and 76 short form words. Using short cuts like this reduces the amount of paper needed for creating books in Braille. Short cuts also make the reading process simpler and less confusing.
Braille can be reproduced using a typewriter, printer, or paper and pencil (slate and stylus). The slate holds the paper and the stylus pushes the paper to create the dots. The dots bulge out on the opposite side. Many visually challenged people use the slate and stylus to take notes at meetings or during class.
A machine called a braillewriter also produces Braille. The braillewriter has a space bar and six keys that are numbered to correspond with the six dots of a Braille cell.  In addition, software programs are now available to let those who use Braille save their work and edit it at a later time.

Continue Learning about Visual Impairments

Visual Impairments

Optical issues with the eye are quite common, possibly because we started as cavemen who did not have to read tiny letters on a computer screen as you may be doing right now. Conditions that may be corrected with optics include as...

tigmatism, near and far sightedness and some forms of visual field distortion. Some eyes have trouble seeing color the way other's do. This is called color blindness, and is more common in men. As we age there are common diseases and concerns including cataracts and glaucoma. Having diabetes can make you more likely to develop retinopathy, when blood vessels in the retina break and leak into the eye. Some conditions may lead to partial or total blindness. Legal blindness is a legal term more than a medical one, but meeting the standard for legal blindness can qualify you for special help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.