Sunday, February 14, 2010

Using Braille in Modern Technologies

Braille on a box of tabletsImage via Wikipedia

by Tom Babinszki

After taking a look at what Braille is, let us find out its current status and the interesting innovations related to this reading and writing system for the blind.

Facts About Braille

Almost every country has adopted Braille as its official communications code for the blind. The United States, European countries such as Germany, Portugal, and Hungary, and Asian countries such as China, Japan, the Philippines, and Malaysia have their own distinct Braille codes. Presently, one of the newest Braille codes is the Tibetan Braille code.

In the U.S., around ten percent of the 1.3 million legally blind individuals can read and write Braille. This is according to a 2009 report done by the National Federation of the Blind (resource opens in new window). The vast availability of assistive technology and publications in audio format are believed to be the main reasons behind this small figure.

Braille literacy, however, increases the opportunities of the blind in employment. In the U.S., approximately thirty-two percent of the total blind community is employed. And in this figure, around ninety percent of blind people who have jobs can read and write Braille.
Incorporation of Braille in Various Facilities and Devices

Below are examples wherein Braille has been included in public facilities and specific products.
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