More on BRAILLE
In a previous post, we discussed how Louise Braille invented reading for the blind by way of raised dots. Here, we will explore the different methods of writing braille.
When writing braille, there is the original way of pressing dots onto a page with a stylus and sometimes a slate. The stylus has a round tip that fits into indented dots of the metal or plastic slate, pressing the paper out and creating a dot when the page is turned over. With this traditional slate and stylus the dots must be pressed ‘backwards’ or mirrored from right to left, so that when the page is flipped over, the braille can be read from left to right. This popular method of writing braille is inexpensive.
Another way is a new slate and stylus that allows people to braille the same way you read it. A recent slate and stylus involves a stylus with a hollow tip. The slate has raised braille cells, and the hollow tip goes over the raised braille dot, pushing the paper down and creating a dot on the page. This is nifty, because the dots making up the letters do not need to be ‘backward’.
A Perkins brailler has seven buttons, including a space bar in the middle with three levers on either side. Each lever represents a dot in the braille cell. To make the letter a, for instance, you would need press only one lever. For a letter like ‘n’, you would need to press a few before going on to the next letter. Prices for these start at around $200.
Lastly, there is a braille printer. Prices for this machine start at about $2,000.