Braille is the tactile writing system used by blind and visually impaired people. But did you know that a child invented the revolutionary communication system? Born in 1809, Louis Braille was blinded in both eyes when he was just a few years old. But nonetheless he was able to excel in his education, earning a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While there, Braille learned about ‘night writing’, a code that had been devised by Captain Charles Barbier. Made up of dots and dashes impressed into thick paper, the code allowed soldiers to communicate silently and without any light. Inspired by this, Braille set about creating his own system, specifically for the needs of the blind. By 1824, at the age of 15, Braille’s system was complete. But his school refused to teach it. Braille spent the rest of his life refining and extending the system, but it wasn’t until 1854, two years after his death, that the Institute finally adopted the system. Braille’s invention eventually spread throughout the French-speaking world and today it is used internationally.