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Welcome to MoAT!

January 4th is World Braille Day

A 15 year old boy named Louis Braille created what would become a language used by partially sighted and blind individuals around the world.

Louis lost his slight at the age of 10. In 1821, Louis learned of "Ecriture Nocturne" (night writing), a tactile communication system from the French army. This form of communication was used for transmitting battlefield communications in the dark. The night writing technique used a code of dots and dashes set on thick paper. This created impressions that could be read by the fingertip, removing the need to speak or use light to read on the battlefield.

This is where we started our story, as at the age of 15, Louis Braille created a revised version of the night writing techniques. This young boy simplified the night writing 12 dots, into six dots, and found 63 ways to use this system.

Braille is amazing. Braille symbols are formed within units of space known as cells that are felt with the fingertips. A full braille cell consists of the six raised dots arranged in two parallel rows each having three dots. The dot positions are identified by numbers from one through six. Sixty-four combinations are possible using one or more of these six dots. A single cell can be used to represent an alphabet letter, number, punctuation mark, or even a whole word.

Louis’ 6 dot Braille version was only used at the university where he worked through the rest of his life. It was after Louis’s death that Braille entered the community. By the late 19th century, Braille was used across the world adapted to every language. With today’s technology the 6 dot cell in used in assistive technology that connects with computers or works independently in a portable electronic device.

We want you to be aware that assistive technology can play an important role in lightening your responsibilities and helping your address the barriers you and your family member might face. From services such as information and referral and device demonstrations, to programs to help you acquire assistive technology like our device re-utilization and Show-Me Loans Program, our services are here to help you provide the best care possible.


Missouri Assistive Technology strives to increase access to assistive technology for Missourians with all types of disabilities, of all ages. To the right are navigation links to the programs and services of MoAT.

MoAT Service Snapshot

In State FY 2020, Missouri Assistive Technology enhanced the lives of over 50,000 Missourians with disabilities, family members and professionals. Our programs provided 6,339 individuals with appropriate assistive devices and an additional 17,415 Missourians participated in training, received AT demonstrations, borrowed devices through our loan program, or received AT guidance.

  Assistive devices loaned
 Individuals participated in device demonstrations
  TAP for Telephone & Internet devices provided
  Families assisted through the Kids Assistive Technology Program (KAT)
  Show Me Loans approved
  Deaf-Blind (iCanConnect) devices provided
  Money Follows the Person (MFP) consumers assisted
  Students with disabilities received devices through ATR
  Gently used devices transferred to new owners
  Individual information and assistance requests handled
  Individuals attended trainings, workshops and public outreach events