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Braille Codes

Braille can be seen as the world's first binary encoding scheme for representing the characters of a writing system. Today different braille codes (or code pages) are used to map character sets of different languages to the six, or eight bit cells.


The Braille cell

Numbered dots of a Braille cellBraille generally consists of cells of six raised dots arranged in a grid of two dots horizontally by three dots vertically. The dots are conventionally numbered 1, 2, and 3 from the top of the left column and 4, 5, and 6 from the top of the right column.

The presence or absence of dots gives the coding for each symbol.

Braille celll dimensions differ according to the language and use of the Braille code.

Braille for other scripts

Different Braille codes are used to map character sets of different languages as well as for some special uses, such as mathematics and music.

When Braille is adapted to languages which do not use the Latin alphabet, characters are generally assigned to the new alphabet according to how it is transliterated into the Latin alphabet, and the alphabetic order of the national script is disregarded. For example, in the Greek Braille code, "gamma" is written with a Latin "g", despite the fact that it has the alphabetic position of "c".

The links below offer access to more information about braille codes for different languages and uses:

Standards

  • DIN 32976 (2007) Braille - Requirements and dimensions
  • DIN 32982 (1994) Information processing 8-dot-Braille graphic characters - Identifiers, names and assignation to 8-bit codetables
  • DS/ISO/TR 11548 (2002) Communication aides for blind persons - Identities, names and assignation to coded character sets for 8 dot Braille characters
  • ISO/IEC 8859-1 (1998) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 1: Latin alphabet No. 1
  • ISO/IEC 8859-2 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 2: Latin alphabet No. 2
  • ISO/IEC 8859-3 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 3: Latin alphabet No. 3
  • ISO/IEC 8859-4 (1998) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 4: Latin alphabet No. 4
  • ISO/IEC 8859-5 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 5: Latin/Cyrillic alphabet
  • ISO/IEC 8859-6 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 6: Latin/Arabic alphabet
  • ISO/IEC 8859-7 (2003) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 7: Latin/Greek alphabet
  • ISO/IEC 8859-8 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 8: Latin/Hebrew alphabet
  • ISO/IEC 8859-9 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 9: Latin alphabet No. 5
  • ISO/IEC 8859-10 (1998) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 10: Latin alphabet No. 6
  • ISO/IEC 8859-11 (2001) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 11: Latin/Thai alphabet
  • ISO/IEC 8859-13 (1998) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 13: Latin alphabet No. 7
  • ISO/IEC 8859-14 (1998) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 14: Latin alphabet No. 8 (Celtic)
  • ISO/IEC 8859-15 (1999) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 15: Latin alphabet No. 9
  • ISO/IEC 8859-16 (2001) Information technology - 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets - Part 16: Latin alphabet No. 10
  • ISO/TR 11548-1 (2001) Communication aids for blind persons - Identifiers, names and assignation to coded character sets for 8-dot Braille characters - Part 1: General guidelines for Braille identifiers and shift marks
  • ISO/TR 11548-2 (2001) Communication aids for blind persons - Identifiers, names and assignation to coded character sets for 8-dot Braille characters - Part 2: Latin alphabet based character sets
  • JIS S 0011 (2003) Guidelines for all people including elderly and people with disabilities - Marking tactile dots on consumer products
  • JIS S 0022-3 (2007) Guidelines for older persons and persons with disabilities - Packaging and receptacles - Tactile indication for identification
  • JIS T 0921 (2006) Guidelines for all people including older persons and persons with disabilities – Methods of display Braille sign – Public facility
  • JIS T 0922 (2007) Guidelines for older persons and persons with disabilities – Information content, shapes and display methods of tactile guide maps
  • ONORM ISO 11548 (2003) Communication aids for blind persons - Identifiers, names and assignation to coded character sets for 8-dot Braille characters

Acknowledgements

  • American Foundation for the Blind (n.d.) What is Braille? [accessed 22/09/08].
  • Library of Congress (1990) World Braille usage. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
  • Wikipedia (2008) Braille. [accessed 18/09/08].
  • Wikipedia (2007) Braille code. [accessed 18/09/08].