“In spite of the appearance of remarkable blind men [and women] and other blind people who could lead comfortable lives because of family wealth, the great mass of the blind were forced to attempt sustaining themselves by begging” - Berthold Lowenfeld 
“Blind woman seated at a table, using Braille typewriter” http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/miscpics/gid/slv-pic-aab22907/1/mp011857 (Dec 7, 2009)
As far as contributions to society, braille provided and easy and useful system for people to use. By learning braille, blind people became literate and had access to a good education . Once a person is well educated, they can much better contribute to society by pursuing a career and succeeding at their job. This is much more productive than begging on the street. For example, these days, around 90 percent of blind people with jobs in the United States are braille literate . Being literate in braille gives blind people access to jobs that they might not otherwise be able to have. For example, Chris Coulter, a woman we interviewed has been blind since birth, but because of braille, she is able to persue a job as a voice actress, which means she does things like radio commercials . To do this her script must be in braille, and without braille she couldn’t read the script . Braille is still an invaluable tool in the lives of the blind, and the evolution of technology has not rendered it useless, but made it even more useful.
 The above Video clip shows a braille printer in action. This is one example of how braille is still used today, and that technology has been adapted to help the blind learn braille.
1. Carolyn Meyer "A New Method: The Story of Louis Braille" <http://louisbrailleschool.org/resources/louis- braille/> (Dec 8, 2009) 2. Berthold Lowenfeld, The Changing Status of the Blind, (Springfield, Il: Thomas, 1975) 3. "Facts about Sight Loss and Definitions of Blindness" <http://brailleinstitute.org/facts_about_sight_loss#5> (Dec 3, 2009) 4. Chris Coulter (blind since birth) interview by Rose Hinson and Sayaka Yamamoto (Dec 9, 2009) 5. "Braille Printer/Embosser in action."<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gWWl3f278s&feature=related> (Jan 1, 2010)