Braille Patterns 2800—28FF

  • Number of characters: 256

In Unicode, braille is represented in a block called Braille Patterns (U+2800..U+28FF). The block contains all 256 possible patterns of an 8-dot braille cell, thereby including the complete 6-dot cell range.

Braille /ˈbreɪl/ is a tactile writing system used by the blind and the visually impaired. It is traditionally written with embossed paper. Braille-users can read computer screens and other electronic supports thanks to refreshable braille displays. They can write braille with the original slate and stylus or type it on a braille writer, such as a portable braille note-taker, or on a computer that prints with a braille embosser. Braille is named after its creator, Frenchman Louis Braille, who lost his eyesight due to a childhood accident. In 1824, at the age of 15, Braille developed his code for the French alphabet as an improvement on night writing. He published his system, which subsequently included musical notation, in 1829. The second revision, published in 1837, was the first binary form of writing developed in the modern era. Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Since the various braille alphabets originated as transcription codes of printed writing systems, the mappings (sets of character designations) vary from language to language. Furthermore, in English Braille there are three levels of encoding: Grade 1, a letter-by-letter transcription used for basic literacy; Grade 2, an addition of abbreviations and contractions; and Grade 3, various non-standardized personal shorthands. Braille cells are not the only thing to appear in embossed text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, arrows, bullets that are larger than braille dots, etc. In the face of screen-reader software, braille usage has declined. However, braille education remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children, and braille literacy correlates with higher employment rates.

Text is also available in the following languages: Русский;