Learn About Braille

Basic Facts About Braille

Braille is the tactile reading and writing system used visually impaired people who need accessible reading materials. The braille characters are patterns of raised dots that represent the letters of the print alphabet.

Braille also includes symbols to represent punctuation, mathematic and scientific characters, music, computer notation, and foreign languages.

The braille cell is a matrix consisting of 6 dots, arranged in two columns of three. This provides Sixty-three potential patterns from which each braille character is formed. These dots are numbered downward 1, 2, 3, on the left, and 4, 5, 6 on the right.
The braille code has evolved over the years, especially through the addition of contractions for commonly used words and letter combinations. The use of contractions enables faster braille reading and reduces the space taken up by the braille characters themselves.
picture of a page from a book printed in braille showing braille raised dots