5 (more) interesting things about braille

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5 more interesting things about braille

Our previous article about 10 Interesting Things About Braille was pretty popular so, today, we have decided to share with you 5 more interesting things on the tactile writing system for the blind. Here they are:

1) Pop stars and rappers discover braille.

Pop music stars like Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar have recently decided to include braille messages in their albums. The singer from Barbados included five poems in braille in her last album , while the US rapper decided to insert the full title of the album printed in braille in the CD booklet.
Pop music can also help teaching braille: Lynn Horton and Tammy Whitten have written a rap song to help blind children learn the braille alphabet. ‘The Braille Rap Song’ together with the lyrics can be downloaded for free from the website of the American Printing House for the Blind.

Album cover of "Anti" by Rihanna, with braille artwork

2) The Rubik’s cube is also in braille.

Moving to other forms of entertainment, we have some good news: people suffering from visual impairments no longer have to give up one of the most popular logic-based games in the world, the Rubik’s cube. After the news of the first do-it-yourself conversion kit that we reported in February, we have spotted the ‘Braillecube’, a full-blown version of the Rubik’s cube that uses braille symbols instead of colors, by the German designer Konstantin Datz. Demand was so high that for the moment the ‘Braillecube’ is out-of-stock. You can still send an e-mail to get on the waiting list and be notified when it will be available again.

‘Braillecube’, Rubik's cube with braille symbols

3) Braille magic words to master Pokémon.

Among the many interesting factsabout the world of Pokémon, there is also the use of braille. In several editionsof the game (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Fire Red and Leaf Green), the video game designers used braille “magic words” – although only in graphic form – as part of the clues required to open the magic gates in three caves that host the legendary Pokémons Regirock, Regice and Registeel.

 Screenshots of the Pokémon video game with graphic clues in braille

4) Ready-to-wear braille.

Let’s move  from video games onto braille word puns … on clothing, specifically on t-shirts! We were surprised to spot this t-shirt sporting the sentence: “Love is blind but reads Braille, touch me…“, followed by the letters in braille for “I love you.” The t-shirt was the centerpiece of the #accessibilityiscool national campaign launched by the Italian movidalia.it. The campaign was also supported by Gianni Morandi, a famous Italian singer and Facebook personality.

Gianni Morandi wearing the T-shirt that reads "Love is blind but reads braille"
From the other side of the globe, in the United States, Gracie Benedith, mother to a blind child, designed a line of clothes with braille “instruction” patches to help blind children to be more independent while getting dressed. Gracie developed several types of braille patches: from the ones to use with socks and shoes – to help telling left ones from right ones –  to patches for the inside of dress shirts that number buttonholes and buttons.

Shoes and socks with braille patches Baby shirt and a baby polo with braille patches

5) Braille gold at Rio Paralympics.

It is not a high fashion accessory, but it will be worn with pride for sure. We are talking about the design for the Olympic medals of the upcoming Paralympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from the 7th to the 18th of September. We love the design and, of course, the braille text on the verso of the medal. Rio’s medals most interesting feature is, however, its unique inside mechanism. It is composed by small steel spheres that make a different sound for each medal class when shaken, allowing visually impaired athletes to distinguish the medal class.

Official gold medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympics with "Rio 2016 Jogos Paralímpicos" logoOfficial gold medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with braille sign

Do you know any other interesting fact on braille to share?
Let us know in the comments.

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Sofia Zuccalà
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Sofia Zuccalà

I'm a 23 years old MSc student in Communication of Science and Sustainable Innovation and I am a communication lover. I have a BSc in Communication, Innovation and Multimedia and at the moment I'm writing for several blogs about technology, science and current news.
Sofia Zuccalà
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