How to Write and Read Braille




About: Business Owner (, Engineer major at GVSU

Being blind is a terrible disability.  But knowing how to write and read braille you can communicate with blind people. So if you know how to write it or read it then that's really good for you. But if you don't then stick with me for these next few steps and you will know my unique way of writing it.

Let's start with this picture below so you become familiar with braille.:

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Step 1:

 First were gonna learn how to read it:

The Braile Alphabet:

You must memorize these to understand braille.

Step 2: Braille Numbers

 The number system is also pictured below:

You should also memorize these.

Step 3: Phrases and Abreviations

This is where it gets complicated. When braille letters are capitalized there is a box before the word with a dot in the lower left hand corner. When an entire word is capitalized then there are two of these boxes before a word.

There are also the phrases and abreviations. For example cd is could. Abv is above. Qk is quick and sd is said. For the rest of these you are on your own. The link below should help you out if your still confused.

Step 4: Writing Braille

 There are braille printers that can be hooked up to a computer and they print braille and there are lots more.I made up an okay way to write braille. Using a pencil and a sheet of paper you can stab the pencil in the back of the paper so that a small dot extends out on the front side of the paper. From here you can write sentences and paragraghs so that blind people can understand it!

Step 5: Braille History

 Louis Braille was blind and became blind when he was 3 years old by an accident in his dads work shop. He was playing with an awl (a sharp tool that cuts holes.) and it slipped punturing his eye. The infection in his eye spread to the other eye then he was blind in both eyes. Lois wanted to go to a different school by the age of 10. He didn't like how the fact that all he could do was listen. There wer 14 books with raised letters but those were tough to read. Then in 1821 a former soldier named Charles Barbier shared his invention of night writing which was a 12 dot code for soldiers. This was to tough for soldiers but not for louis!Lois then invented the 6 dot braille system! He was born in a city near paris in January 4, 1809.  He died on January 6, 1852 in paris.  

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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great read. In addition to braille products, a product called Live Braille Sense Pro is a ring-like, fully wearable device which fits into the user's finger and scans the environment around him/her. It also has the capability to read braille through its lens and give feedback through bone conduction. Check out

    It's wonderful that someone has taken the time to put information together for others in regards to vision issues. I would like to add a few things to help since I saw many comments regarding obtaining Braille devices or services.

    Braille Typewriters are great, but expensive to repair & weigh a good bit. The upside is that you can find them on ebay these days (the shipping alone is pricey). The Library of Congress is a good place to source many materials for reading/writing/etc & can also direct those interested in becoming Braille Transcribers (the people who take the written word & put it in Braille form **which sounds easier than it really is**).

    Braille is 'graded' with 1 being what most people start with & that 'grade' alone has over 186 contractions that must be memorized in order to read/write on a basic level. Without the contractions, Braille reading material would be 4x's larger than regular printed materials (think of it this way: Harry Potter Deathly Hallows was over 800 pages in regular print, now times that by 4 & make the shape of the book like a laptop. Scary visual isn't it?). Check your local library for Braille reading material or books on tape. The main library in Fort Lauderdale Fl has a area reserved strictly for Braille materials (books, games, etc). The Braille Superstore (you can find it on the net) also has tons of materials (they are rather pricey). Lighthouse for the Blind is another place to check into.

    I have been reading/writing/transcribing Braille since I was 16 (I wanted to teach Blind/Deaf students) & I'm now in my late 40's.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Can anyone please tell me what the average cost is to have a restaurant menu converted to braille?

    what would be nice is a typewriter modified into typing braille (well, I mean, if you can somehow reconfigure the types...)! I found that memorizing 3 letters a week does the trick (unfortunately, it would mean that it would take about 2 months (plus or minus a few)), because, well, a few letters per day kills me. A more sensible method would be 2-3 letters every 3 or more days (which would mean at most 2 each day, preferably 1 each day). Depends on your style of learning.

    3 replies

    There is a numeral symbol that goes in front indicating that a-j are to be read as numerals. I have a slate and stylus so I can write braille using heavy paper. If you are using this method, you need to know how to do it backwards since you are pushing the dots. Then turn the paper over and proofread it.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    you know there are braille type writes and they only have 6 keys one for each dot and you just press the combo you want


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, yeah, but at the time I forgot there were braille typewriters so my previous comment was a result of not knowing where in this country I can get such typewriters.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i noticed how a-j are the same as 1-0. do you determine which one you feel by context of the sentence?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    There is a numeral symbol that goes in front indicating that a-j are to be read as numerals. I have a slate and stylus so I can write braille using heavy paper. If you are using this method, you need to know how to do it backwards since you are pushing the dots. Then turn the paper over and proofread it.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is not a bad Instructable.  It's missing some information (resources for people who are blind or low-vision, devices for writing in Braille), and probably the "history" could be fleshed out some, or you could at least provide links to more details.  Thank you for putting it together!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Being blind or low vision is not necessarily a "terrible disability."  I would highly encourage you to do some research on the blind and low-vision community, and the resources available.


    9 years ago on Step 4

    On Step 4:  There are lots of ways to "write" Braille, technically to type it.  There are single-letter punches, keyboard writers, even Braille printers you can connect to your computer.  A Google search can give you lots of resources, which would be great for you to include in this Instructable.