Museum of Science and Industry

Read Without Seeing

Step 1 of 4:

Here's the Materials You'll Need:

Dried peas or beans, or small beads
Braille chart (PDF)

Step 2 of 4:

Decide what you are going to write. Start with something simple, like your name, before trying to write something longer. Use the Braille chart to find the letters you need. Place and glue the beans on the paper in the appropriate pattern to write your name in Braille.

Step 3 of 4:

Switch Braille writing with someone else, close your eyes and try to read the paper only using your fingers.

Step 4 of 4:

Braille is a system of raised dots that is read with the fingers. It was invented in the early 1800s by Louis Braille of France, who became blind when he was a boy. Each Braille character is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle comprising two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions, or any combination. Counting the space, in which no dots are raised, there are 64 such combinations.

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