Braille is a dot based alphabet which uses perforations or bumps rather than visual symbols. Particularly useful for blind or visually impaired people, the adept can touch the words and read as casually as you or I with letters. For most people who don't understand it, it perhaps feels very daunting. Being able to determine where the dots are without seeing them is one thing, but remembering what they mean is another, Two challenges we must face if we need to learn to read it.
Named after Louis Braille, a nineteenth century French teacher, the system was invented in order to allow the blind to read. Louis Braille was blinded in both eyes due to an accident in childhood. Having been awarded a scholarship for blind children, Braille was able to achieve a good education regardless of his disability.
He created the system of physical lettering to help himself and others to continue education through reading. Having spent his whole life adapting his system and fine tuning the letterings, it was only until after he died that the system began to be adopted. Now as an internationally recognised alphabet, which is read by millions of blind people around the world, Braille is due for a modern day facelift.
Thanks to the knowledge of Kosuke Takahashi the dot based system of Braille has been superimposed onto actual letterings. Visual Braille, or the visual representation of the dots, together with the traditional letters make one font. He's called it Braille Neue and we now have an open window into the world of Braille. Thanks to the font sighted people learning to read Braille have a neat and easily reproducible guide. Putting it another way, we can now type out in “AlphaBraille” and double up on the translation thus saving space, time, and money.
It seems like such a simple step, adding this to that to make the other, but it seems that it takes a special kind of thought to actually visualise a thing before it has been a thing. Let's keep having great ideas, especially ones that help to make our lives more enjoyable.
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