It’s World Braille Day today, January 4th, offering a celebration of the innovation of braille. World Braille Day aims to spread awareness about braille as well as other forms of accessible communication. It offers a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired.
The fact is that there are many everyday establishments such as banks, hospitals etc that are not equipped with braille forms of communications. This can result in those with visual impairments not enjoying the same freedoms, privacy etc as other members of society.
What happens during World Braille Day?
The reason World Braille Day is on January 4th is that it is Louis Braille’s birthday, the inventor of braille. Born in 1809 in France, Louis became blind following a childhood accident. At the age of 15, Louis created the system now known as braille. Based on a system of writing developed by Charles Barbier, over the years braille was adjusted, making it easier to read.
What is braille?
Braille is a method of reading and writing through touch for blind and partially sighted people using raised dots representing the letters of the alphabet. There are also braille equivalents for punctuation marks as well as symbols to show letter groupings. It is read by moving the hand or hands from left to right along each line.
Braille is found on objects we use every day including ATMs, lifts, calculators, and more. There are constant innovations that change the way that Braille is used.