Braille is nearly two centuries old, but, rather than being supplanted by new technology, advocates say the script is having a new lease on life
Blind from birth, Graeme Innes can’t remember the last time he sat down to read a book in braille. Instead, he listens to audiobooks. Yet Innes, who is Australia’s former disability discrimination commissioner, and Vision Australia’s first chair, still uses braille every day.
To seeing eyes, braille reads like an indecipherable morse code. Invented by Louis Braille in 1824, the 64 character script, made up of a matrix of six dots, was developed as a means of efficient communication for blind people. By the 2000s, however, the advance of technology led many to believe that braille would become redundant; teaching braille declined and many vision-impaired young people did not learn it.