Braille is a system of raised dots that is read with the fingers of people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired, but Educators, Parents, and anyone else who is not visually impaired will ordinarily read Braille with their eyes instead. Braille is used by millions of people, all over the World.
A lot of people do not realizes that Braille itself, is NOT a Language. Rather, it is considered a written code by which Language—such as English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese (and any of the other 130+ Languages that use Braille) — may be written and read. There are also Braille codes for Mathematics (Nemeth Braille Code), music, and computers.
Braille may be produced in many ways. By hand using what is called a slate and stylus by which each letter or combination of letters are created from the backside of the page, writing in mirror image.
Braille may also be produced by way of a Braille typewriter or the more commonly used Perkin’s Brailler or eBrailler.
It may also be produced electronically via what is called a Braille Notetaker, such as the Braille Sense manufactured by HIMs, the PAC Mate manufactured by Freedom Scientific, or the BrailleNote manufactured by Humanware.
The specific code used in the United States has been “English Braille: American Edition”, but as of January of 2016 the main code for reading material has switched over to what is known as “Unified English Braille” (UEB), a code already widely used in seven other English-speaking countries.
There are 3 Grades of English Braille. Grade 1 Braille is purely alphanumeric with punctuation, general symbols, general composition signs and numeral and letter indicator notes. Most children’s books are printed in Grade 1.
Grade 2 is largely alphanumeric (with punctuation, general symbols, composition signs, Grade 1 indicators, and numeral and letter indicator notes) with contractions added as both a space saver when printing and a time saver when reading. Grade 2 is widely used by most adults and most textbooks and Braille Literature (unless otherwise stated) is printed in Grade 2.
Grade 3 Braille is very densely contracted and considered by many Braille users to be the “Preferred Shorthand Method” (compared to the Adam Speed Braille and General Braille Shorthand forms) of Braille. Grade 3 and the two other aforementioned forms of Braille are not widely used, simply because its rules more often than not conflict with those of Grade 2.
Here is an example of Grade 1 and 2 forms.