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The Braille System in the 21st Century


Focus :School Years

Topic: Access to Literacy


Natalia Belykova


Our anniversary conference devoted to 50 years to the activity ICEVI,

passes per one year, when the world public recollects Louis Braille - the

founder of the universal system of reading and letter for the blind

people.  In it to a year 150 years are executed from the date of it of



The name Louis Braille is known by millions blind people worldwide.  The

system, created by him, is universal, most simple and most convenient and

consequently till now unsurpassed relief - dot system of the letter for

blind.  They are books notes, mathematical and other denotations granting

to blind possibility to take possession by all values of spiritual culture



Unfortunately, we can state, that in the world the number of blind people

aware and using the Braille system is reduced.    The engineering of

reading and letter blind on Brail is worse.  The number of sighted people

aware of the given system is reducing.  These questions repeatedly were

lifted on conferences ICEVI.


Invented more than 170 years back Braille system remains for a blind

irreplaceable means for derivation, professional work and familiarizing

with culture.  It gives the invalids an opportunity of being independent.

In modern society, when life actively includes information and computer

technologies, the person should have optimum receptions of obtaining and

information processing.  This question is even more urgent rises before

the blind people.  Radio, television, dictaphones have also come in their

life. An active way of familiarizing blind to the book is the record of

the books on a recorder film.


The tempting perspective of distribution of reading machines and computers

for blind has caused opinion, that if they have all these things, the

books printed on Brail, will be not necessary, and therefore system of

Brail will lose the significance.


In this connection in the environment of the blind pupils, and adults the

tendencies to reduction of reading Brail literature were scheduled, that

conducts to aggravation of engineering of reading and letter on Brail,

aggravation their spelling and education.  Even under condition of further

development of new technologies the necessity in use of the literature

printed on the system of Brail does not pass, as any derivation is not

possible without written language.  And the person, who does not know how

to read and to write, is considered illiterate.  Besides the knowledge of

Brail system is necessary not only for total blind, blind with residual

sight, but also partially sighted, the pathological process in which

visual system continues to develop and can result in practical or complete

blindness. Therefore learning has these Vision Impaired people to the

system of Brail huge preventive and rehabilitate significance, as enables

the most pupil to select after leaving school a method of obtaining of the

information with the purposes of adaptation in the environment of the

normally seeing people. The new information engineering for blind though

facilitates access to the printed documents, but cannot replace  the

Braille system, and, on the contrary for mastering by computer

technologies blind should know the relief-dot font.


The computer technologies adapted for operation of the blind user assume

use by him of hearing and touching.  The speech outprint, in connection

with insufficient perfection of speech synthesizers, frequently is

tiresome, and use Braille line similarly to read of the book printed with

the relief-dot font.    Therefore knowledge of the system of Brail for

blind not only does not lose the significance with mastering of the

computer, and acquires still large urgency.


Thus, the learning remains to blind reading and letter on the system of

Brail urgent and in our modern society. >From here and problem of the

teachers, tutors and all people have the attitude to learning blind: to

promote distribution, use, learning to the system of Brail, issuing of the

literature by the relief-dot font.


And today making an anniversary ICEVI, and in further our operation it is

necessary to use the best efforts for promotion of the relies-dot system

Louis Braille.










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