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The Development of the Braille System in 19th France Language Essay (Essay Sample)


THE development of braille system and the societal view of people with learning disabilities


An Appeal to the Senses: The Development of the Braille System in 19th France
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An Appeal to the Senses: The Development of the Braille System in 19th France.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots, widely used by blind and visually impaired people, was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. Although it initially met with resistance from sighted people, Braille eventually became central to blind people's education and autonomy, giving them unprecedented access to cultural activities and social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new; Braille adapted and simplified existing methods to create the first writing system specifically for blind people. But its success depended on acceptance among sighted people before the social status of blindness could truly be transformed, and this process was shaped by broader debates about disabled people’s place in society.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from cultural and professional participation. Indeed, vision loss was widely regarded as the worst disability (Weygand, 2009). It was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture, rendering them useless to society (Weygand, 2009). Occasionally, a prosperous family or benefactor would support a person with vision loss (Mellor, 2006), but even then, that person would struggle to fully integrate into society.

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