Back in 1824, when Louis Braille developed his system, there was no audio technology to assist blind people. Now, of course, they have a multitude of ways to take in information. However, based on what I read, it sounds like Braille is still a vital method of communication. Among other things, I learned:
- Every widely-spoken language has its own Braille system, and there are also systems for math, computer science, and music.
- Six-dot Braille cells have 63 possible combinations
- The Missouri School for the Blind (right here in St. Louis!) was the first American educational institution to use the Braille system in 1854.
- Eighty-five percent of legally blind students attend mainstreamed classrooms where the teachers don't know Braille, but more than half the states now have laws that require blind children to have access to Braille resources.
- With accommodations, 75% of legally blind people can read printed materials.