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Helen Keller, 1880-1968
Braille's work inspired Helen Keller, an American writer and activist who was herself blind and deaf

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Louis Braille is Born
January 4, 1809

The braille alphabet uses a system based on dots in cells. A basic cell is a group of six dots, arranged three down and two across. A cell represents different letters and numbers depending on how the dots are organized. It is easy to feel under one fingertip. Louis spent the rest of his life teaching and promoting his systems to help the blind communicate.

During his lifetime, only a small group of people knew braille. After Louis died in 1852, the popularity of the braille alphabet spread to other countries. Helen Keller, the great American writer and activist, was blind and deaf. She read braille. She compared Louis Braille’s work to the invention of modern printing.

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