World Braille Day, observed on 4 January every year, highlights the importance of Braille as a means of communication for partially sighted and blind people.
- The day has been marked by the United Nations since 2019.
- World Braille Day marks the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, who was born on 4 January, 1809.
- The French educator invented the Braille system, after being blinded at a young age.
- 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 it was celebrated as an international holiday.
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”.
- The language is used by partially sighted and blind people to read books and periodicals.
- People use their fingers to touch and figure out the Braille code and understand the information being given through the language.
- The invention of the code helped visually impaired people communicate more easily and also made a wider range of reading materials available to them.
- Before Braille, people with visual disabilities used to read using the Haüy system, which involved Latin letters being embossed on leather or thick paper.
- According to the UN Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities, Braille is seen as necessary for social inclusion, education, freedom of expression and opinion.
- Braille is a tactile writing system. It is written on a special type of raised paper. Earlier It’s code was based on 12 dots. The 12 dots were placed in rows of 66. However, at that time punctuation, numbers, and mathematical symbols were not present in it.
- Louis Braille further improved upon this by inventing 64 letters and symbols, using 06 points instead of 12, which also provided the symbols needed to write punctuation, numbers, magnification, and musical notation.
- Braille first published the Braille script system in 1829.
World Braille Day 2022 Theme
- The theme is yet to be announced.
- Last year (2021) World Braille Day’s theme was “Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities—one billion people worldwide— are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community”.