4 Jan 2018
Time: All Day
World Braille Day celebrates the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted people all over the globe. Though not a public holiday in any country, World Braille Day provides an opportunity for teachers, charities and non-government organizations to raise awareness about issues facing the blind and the importance of continuing to produce works in Braille, providing the blind with access to the same reading and learning opportunities as the sighted.
The History of World Braille Day
Louis Braille, the inventor of braille, was born in France on January 4th, 1809. Blinded in both eyes in an accident as a child, Braille nevertheless managed to master his disability while still a child. Despite not being able to see at all, he excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. During his studies, inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier of the French Army, he developed a system of tactile code that could allow the blind to read and write quickly and efficiently. Braille presented the results of his hard work to his peers for the first time in 1824 when he was just fifteen years f age. In 1829, he published his first book about the system he had created, called “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them”. The braille system works by representing the alphabet letters (and numbers) in a series of 6 dots paired up in 3 rows. The simplicity of his idea allowed books to start being produced on a large scale in a format that thousands of blind people can read by running their fingertips over the dots. Thanks to this, blind students have the opportunity to be educated alongside their peers as well as read for pleasure just as easily as any seeing person can.
More information on the World Braille Day website