World Braille Day
World Braille Day on January 4 is celebrated to honor the birth of Braille’s inventor, Louis Braille. Braille’s gift to the world has brightened the lives of millions of people worldwide who are blind or visually impaired, and they benefit from his work every day. The day also acknowledges that those with visual impairments deserve the same human rights as everyone else.
History Of World Braille Day
The term ‘Braille’ was dubbed after its creator. Louis Braille was a Frenchman who lost his eyesight as a child when he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s awl. From age 10, he spent time at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France, where he formulated and perfected the system of raised dots that eventually became known as Braille.
Braille completed his work, developing a code based on cells with six dots, making it possible for a fingertip to feel the entire cell unit with one touch and moving quickly from one cell to the next. Eventually, Braille was accepted worldwide as the primary form of written information for blind people. Unfortunately, Braille didn’t have the opportunity to see how useful his invention had become. He passed away in 1852, two years before the Royal Institute began teaching Braille.
Braille’s marvelous aid that opened up a world of accessibility to the blind and visually impaired was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In November 2018, January 4 was declared World Braille Day. The first-ever World Braille Day was commemorated the following year and celebrated as an international holiday.
The date for the event, as chosen by UNGA via a proclamation, marks Louis Braille’s birthday. We love to see people coming together to celebrate events and good causes, and World Braille Day on January 4 is one such event!
World Braille Day Faqs
What is Braille?
Braille is a tool that uses combinations of raised dots to spell numbers and letters. Blind or partially sighted persons use it to help them read and write.
Do all blind people know Braille?
Many people learn the important Braille symbols to be able to read signs and labels. But sadly, it is believed that only one in 10 blind people can read it.
Can I use Braille for music?
Blind musicians can benefit greatly from learning to read music in Braille. Braille music utilizes the usual six-dot cell but also features its syntax and translations.
How To Observe World Braille Day
- Raise awareness
- Spread the word! Not everyone is aware of the importance of Braille. Use your social media platforms to raise awareness.
- Give a gift in Braille.
- Donate or give a partially sighted or blind person a gift in Braille. This gift could be a book, toys, or learning tools.
- Learn to read Braille
- Why not learn how to read Braille? It could be beneficial, as you could use your knowledge to instruct and help someone who needs it.
5 Amazing Facts About Braille
- Braille is also an asteroid.
- In 1999, NASA’s Deep Space 1 flew past an asteroid to photograph Borrelly’s Comet and named it ‘9969 Braille’ in acknowledgment of Louis Braille.
- Braille is not a language.
- Braille is an alphabet that can be used to write almost any language; versions are available in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and more.
- There are two versions.
- Uncontracted Braille spells out every word, whereas contracted Braille is a shorthand version that abbreviates familiar words.
- There’s a version for maths and science.
- There’s a unique version of Braille specifically for mathematics and science called the Nemeth Code.
- There are toys in Braille.
- Family classics, such as Uno, Monopoly, and LEGO, are available in Braille versions.
Why World Braille Day Is Important
- It is a day to raise awareness.
- Braille, just like education, should be a legal right. Awareness of Braille’s importance cannot be overemphasized.
- We recognize the blind and the visually impaired.
- We often take our sight for granted and don’t understand the unique challenges that those with little or no view face daily. Those with visual impairments deserve not only our recognition but also respect.
- We remember Braille himself.
- Let’s not forget to honor Louis Braille. The invaluable tool he created has helped many people over the years.