January 4 every year is internationally observed as World Braille Day to commemorate the birthday of French educator Louis Braille. Reading and writing are important foundations for a person’s educational development, however, the visually impaired face marked difficulty on these grounds.
Braille is a system created by Louis Braille, who used a sensory military code called night writing developed by Charles Barbier, to create words that a blind person can decipher by touching.
Louis Braille was blinded at the age of three after an incident involving a stitching awl. He accidentally stabbed himself in the eye while poking leather with the awl. He lost his sight after the infection spread to both pupils.
– The Braille system is included in the Convention on the Rights of Persons and Disabilities.
– There are Braille codes in 133 languages, as per the third edition of World Braille Usage.
– Though Braille is not a language, it is a system of tactile symbols, consisting of raised dots organised in cells. This cell has a matrix of three rows and two columns.
– The UN website states, “World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.”