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How Louis Braille's Method makes the Blind and Visually-Impaired Read

Updated on June 20, 2011

If a blind leader will lead several other blind persons? What will happen? I'm sure they'll be in danger and probably fall on the canal beside the road.

But wait! With just a help of a rod, they'll avoid dangers along the road, like bumping at other people or falling head on.

That's not too farfetch! Most of the blind and vision-impaired people nowadays are well-educated.

Thanks to the man who started it all; to bend the belief that blind and deaf people are liabilities of the society. Louis Braille said NO! And the story of his accomplishment that started in Coupvgray, France.

 

Young Heroes: Louis Braille (with Captions and Description) c/o dcmpnad

Louis Braille in Braille

The totally blind and the vision-impaired

Healthwise, we cannot do anything about those who are totally blind but to encourage them boosting their self-esteem.

My cousin, Erwin, in his 30s, is a very independent man, who is totatlly blind, since he was five years old. He's a victim of a very high-fever then, that his eyes were affected when the medication was delayed. But his mother (my cousin), didn't gave up hope for her child. With the help of special education teachers in the city, she was able to send him at the SPED (Special Education) classes until he was able to graduate high school via the Braille System for Blind Education.

These days, he is able to support himself by giving massage (reflexology, etc.) to his captive clients, situated at one of the malls in Naga City.

Whenever I have time, during weekends, my way of relaxing is to have a reflex massage done by him.

Meanwhile, vision-impaired senior citizens in our place were able to avail of the free-operation for cataracts. My mother, who's one of them, weren't able to undergo operation because she was afraid (or just lacking persuasion) of the operation, cleaning of the outer layer of the eyes.

Here in the Bicol Region (Philippines), or in the entire archipelago, the Bicol Eye Center, local government units, midwives and barangay health workers conducted a free eye examination and cataract screening , last September 11, 2010 in order to reach out and identify eye-blinding diseases such as cataract which is the most common eye problem especially among the elders.

Both the public and private sectors supported the program to help eliminate or lessen visual problems, especially the indigents.

Aside from this, free reading glasses were also distributed to help those identified patients, recapurate well, after the operation.

Nowadays, blindness can be avoided or prevented by immunizing newborn babies. Unlike before, vaccines were limited to other diseases, like polio, yellow fever, etc.

Blind, totally or partially, the society is ready to accept their handicap. They're not a liability anymore. That's an accepted fact. Thanks, to Sir Louis Braille.

Getting to know Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852)

 He's a Frenchman and became famous due to his contribution for the blind and visually-impaired, when schools for the blind accepted his method to totally educate them. That was 1854 and we can imagine how the European society were just embracing Braille's idea on how to make the blind read and write through a dot system (usually six pairs and embossed). It has been adapted in many known languages of the world.

A son of a saddle maker, a 3-year old Louis Braille was poked (by himself) by a  stitching tool (awl) which he found at his father's shop. He's not totally blind yet, but his other eyes succumbed to blindness due to sympathetic opthalmia.

When he was admitted at the National Institute for the Blind in Paris at the age of ten, he was able to develop his other talents by playing cellist and organist in the school and even all over France.

His invention was not new. In 1821, Charles Barbier, former captain of the French Army visited the school and introduced his invetion, called night writing, a code of 12 raised dots and and number of dashes, that were used by soldiers for their top-secret information.

But Braille improved and simplified it that it was became popular all over the world up to these days.

 

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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, jolits27! Please be inspired by his works.

    • jolits27 profile image

      jolits27 

      7 years ago from Cavite

      nice job

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, Sir Reynold. What a great way to know an authority on the subject I've tackled, through this hub.

      -Ireno Alcala

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, wearing well. can't help to salute the man who gave hope to all who are blind.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      This must have taken a lot of research to produce this well documented article including the links, photos, etc. I've worked with deaf and blind for 3 decades and loved everyone one of them. RJ

    • wearing well profile image

      Deborah Waring 

      7 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

      Excellent account of Louis Braille and what good work the National Institute for The Blind do :)

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