Braille – What Is It?

On this page

  • What is Braille?;
  • Sighted Adults Learning Braille; and
  • Blind Adults Learning Braille

What is Braille?

Braille consists of arrangements of raised dots that stand for individual letters, combinations of letters (contractions), punctuation signs and other print symbols. By using a six-dot cell, 63 different patterns can be formed. Uncontracted braille uses 26 of these symbols to stand for the letters of the alphabet, while contracted braille makes use of all 63 symbols to represent whole words, combinations of two or more letters and punctuation marks.

For more information follow our useful links.

Sighted Adults Learning Braille

A Distance Braille Course is offered by the Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ). This is designed for parents of blind children, teacher aides and teachers. For more information phone Marion Satherley 09 267 9941; email

Blind Adults Learning Braille

Blind Low Vision NZ teaches braille to blind adults. They offer two courses. Keeping In Touch teaches uncontracted braille. This is for people who want to know enough braille to make labels around the home and keep track of personal information such as bank account numbers and phone numbers. People who want to learn contracted braille can take the course called Simply Touch And Read (STAR).

To find out more about learning braille phone 0800 243 333 or go to the Blind Low Vision NZ website.

Last updated 4 January 2022