Braille Technology: What’s New and Emerging?
The Braille AlphabetTraditionally, braille is embossed on paper of heavier stock than printer paper, and a book or magazine in braille is much larger than its print counterpart. Braille is a representation of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols made from “cells” of dots. There are 6-8 possible dots in a cell, and one cell makes a single letter, number, or punctuation mark. For example, imagine a domino that has the potential to hold either 6 or 8 dots on it. One dot is painted in the top left corner. This is how the letter “a” is represented in braille (pictured at left). On paper, of course, it is much smaller, and the dots are small bumps made in the paper that can be seen and felt. Braille is not another language. It is simply the existing alphabet, numbers, and symbols represented in a way that can be read by touch. The following chart provides a helpful example of the 6-dot cell design of the braille alphabet.
If you’d like a copy of this chart, you can get a free embossed braille card from the National Braille Press website or you can go to the printable braille alphabet card available from the American Printing House for the Blind’s Braille Bug.