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January 2011



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First Published Friday, 6 March 2009

Louis Braille

Louis Braille, born in 1809, invented braille when he was a teenager

Braille users in Wales aged five to 19 have a chance to show off their writing skills as part of World Book Day celebrations of its inventor’s birth.

The RNIB in Wales is holding a competition for the best story written in braille.

The stories can be written in either English Braille or Welsh Braille.

Braille was developed by Frenchman Louis Braille, born in 1809, who became blind at age three after an accident in his father’s workshop.

The contest, part of World Book Day on Thursday, has three age groups: 5-7 years, 8-12 years, 13-19 years.

Entrants must use learners’ (grade one) Braille, which mostly represents each print character as one Braille cell, to write a story of no more than 500 words.

Entries will be judged on creativity and accuracy by a panel of judges.

The deadline for entries is 17 July 2009, with winners announced on 2 September.


Six-dot system

All the stories submitted will be made available in both English and Welsh languages and will be included in a book marking the bicentenary of Braille’s birth.

Braille’s school taught pupils to read by letters raised above the surface of the page, but these letters were difficult to tell apart and none of the children were taught to write.

His invention was inspired by Napoleonic solder, Charles Barbier’s visit to his school, who told the pupils of the writing system he had invented called ‘night writing,’ which was intended to pass information on in the trenches silently.

Braille set out to simplify the system, creating much of the six-dot braille system as it is known today, by the time he was 15.

Director for the RNIB in Wales, Sarah Rochina said: “Braille is a vital communication tool for many people who have severe sight problems and this is their chance to get creative.”

Source:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7926086.stm

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