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Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translations of the official Portuguese versions of these materials are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.

Decree Law No. 126/2017

Publication: Republic Diary No. 192/2017, Series I of 2017-10-04
  • Issuer: Work, Solidarity and Social Security
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 126/2017
  • Pages: 5594 - 5595

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law makes the Braille system used in Portugal official, and publishes it in its annex.

The Braille system is a universal code of tactile reading and writing used by blind people, and is adapted to all writing systems — for example, Portuguese, mathematics, chemistry, music and computing.

What will change?

New rules will be created for the use of the Braille system in Portugal.

The Braille system will update all writing systems. For example:

  • Portuguese language
  • mathematics
  • chemistry
  • music
  • computing.

The different writing systems will be proposed by the Centre for Braille and Complementary Reading, of the National Institute for Rehabilitation, and approved by the ministers of:

  • science, technology and higher education
  • education
  • labour, solidarity and social security.

Once approved, these writing systems will be published on the websites of the National Institute for Rehabilitation and the Directorate-General for Higher Education.

The approved Braille system is based on a 6-dot matrix and is updated with:

  • dot 7, below dot 3
  • dot 8, below dot 6.

These additional dots will allow for the representation of each of the code points of the character encoding tables that computers use to display letters and symbols.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to:

  • adapt the Braille system to current writing needs
  • formalise the signs used and the different applications of Braille
  • define suitable conditions for framing, structuring, standardising and guiding the use of Braille
  • create conditions for the development of Braille as a natural way of reading and writing for people with visual impairment and an indispensable tool for their integration into family, school, professional and social life.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after being published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.