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World Braille Usage

Welcome to the World Braille Usage digital download page. This third edition of World Braille Usage includes 133 languages that have been transcribed into 137 different braille alphabet and punctuation codes, and represents 142 countries. It has been made possible by hundreds of people who use and produce braille throughout the world, and captures a new perspective on the global use of braille.

Book cover for World Braille Usage.Braille, as the world’s pre-eminent system of touch reading and writing used by people who are blind, continues to be a vital tool of literacy. Allowing immediate and direct access to written communication, braille has broadened from a method for reading embossed books to a multimodal tool encompassing a myriad of uses, from braille signage and product labeling to refreshable braille displays. As a tool for writing, it also allows a person who is blind to easily record accurate information and access that information quickly for later use.

Developed with support from Perkins, the International Council on English Braille, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, this third edition of World Braille Usage attempts to document the current state of braille around the world. But many changes and innovations—both technological and political—remain on the horizon. We hope that the trend toward codifying additional languages, standardizing current codes, and developing new tools for access will continue, making braille literacy accessible in every native tongue to people who are blind.

A PDF copy of this book can be found online at

Because of the highly graphical nature of the PDF publication, the symbols for the characters are not readily accessible to assistive technology users.

To download an electronic braille (.brf) version of this publication that is accessible to users within the braille-reading community, please use the links below. The book is in five volumes, each with its own .brf file presented in uncontracted braille. For users who want to emboss a paper hardcopy, these files are 25 lines by 40 cells.