The Death And Rebirth Of Braille

January 31, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist took a look at Braille, the writing system that represents letters as dots for blind individuals:

  • The number of blind children has fallen in the rich world. This has led to fewer people learning the language.
  • Increasing numbers of individuals are losing their sight later in life and they’re unwilling to invest in learning a new language, further reducing the number of people who know it.
  • Technology has made it easier to be blind without knowing Braille. Text to speech programs aid those without vision.
  • The language itself is a little unwieldy. The final Harry Potter book is over a foot tall when converted to Braille.
  • All this has meant that the language is now “on life support”.
  • However technology maybe coming to its rescue. Tactile touchscreens and alloys that can mimic dots on a tablet may save the language and help it live alongside audio technology.

Read more about the benefits of Braille, the reason why the incidence of blindness in children has fallen, and more over here.

Source: The Economist