Amazing Kids! Magazine

Louis Braille: An Amazing Kid from History

By Jordan Brunk, Amazing Kid from History Editor and Contributing Writer


Louis Braille is an amazing kid from history who showed us that every single person is important despite their disabilities and can all accomplish great things in life. He was born on January 4, 1809 in Coupvray, France. His father created saddles and other pieces of equipment for horses. When Louis was just three years old, he hurt one of his eyes with a special tool called an awl, which is used to cut out certain pieces in leather. Throughout two years, both of his eyes grew worse and obtained a disease. Before Louis turned five years old, he was blind in both eyes. However, despite not being able to see, Louis adapted a system from a veteran soldier that allows blind people to read and write.

Eventually, it was time for Louis to start attending school and his parents didn’t want him to miss out on learning just because he was blind. With few blind opportunities to support his education, Louis’s parents sent him to the school where they lived. At the school, Louis strived and learned many things by using his ears. When he was just ten years old, he was able to transfer to a blind school in Paris from a scholarship.

The National Institute for Blind Youth was the only school dedicated to blind students at the time. Louis was able to learn more and better because the teachers taught in ways specific to blind children. He experienced many different skills and was also exposed to a veteran soldier named Charles Barbier. While Charles was in the French Army, he had come up with a secret system that used a certain number of three-dimensional circles to create symbols that represented sounds. The circles were positioned in certain ways so other soldiers could feel and learn different messages throughout the night without talking and if someone couldn’t see, they just had to feel the circles.

Since Charles’s method wasn’t used well in the military and proved to hard to learn, he figured it could benefit the blind. Louis was very interested in Charles’s system and decided it could be very helpful. However, he wanted to make the method simpler so it was easier to learn and also base it on the alphabet instead of sounds.

For three whole years when Louis was still young, he adapted Charles’s system. Instead of twelve three-dimensional circles, Louis changed it to six. He then made pairings of several circles to represent letters and punctuation. When he was finished, there were sixty four pairings. Louis’s system was called his last name, Braille.

Louis went on to become a teacher, writer, and he also published a book about Braille. The Blind Youth in Paris sometimes used Braille. It became very popular and many blind people used it and still use it today. Braille is accepted by blind individuals and they use it to read, write, communicate, and more. Braille now helps many blind people do what would be difficult for them otherwise.

We can learn many things from Louis Braille. He shows us that every person in the world is loved and important and that they can all accomplish great things despite their disabilities. He tells us to care for the people in the world and treat them as equals to ourselves. He also tells us that even though we are different from many of those around us, we should always be kind, grateful, and nice. He shows us that if we persevere at something and try our best even if it’s arduous, we can achieve anything we set our minds to. He teaches us to never stop dreaming, exploring, and inventing. Louis inspires us today to help others and make the world a better place. In this way, Louis Braille truly is an amazing kid from history.

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