World Braille Day is observed every year on January 4 as it is Louis Braille’s birthday. He is the inventor of braille.
Louis was born in 1809 in France and became blind after a childhood accident. But, he quickly mastered his new way of living. When Louis was only 15 years old, he created a reading and writing system based on Charles Barbier’s night writing system. We know Louis’ system today as braille. Adjusted over time, braille is now easier to read and used all over the world.
What is Braille?
Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols. Braille is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.
History of World Braille Day
In November 2018 (Resolution A/RES/73/161), the UN General Assembly decided to proclaim 4 January as World Braille Day, recognizing that the full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms relies on an inclusive written promotion.
The World Health Organization estimates that globally, at least 1 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
Persons with vision impairment are more likely than those without to experience higher rates of poverty and disadvantage. Not meeting their needs, or fulfilling their rights, has wide-reaching consequences: vision loss often represents a lifetime of inequality, poorer health, and barriers to education and employment.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The Convention considers Braille essential for education, freedom of expression and opinion, access to information and social inclusion. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, further pledges that no one will be left behind in the aim to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives.
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