World Braille Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the significance of Braille as a means of communication for visually impaired and partially sighted people.
Here is a brief overview of World Braille Day, its history, inventors, themes, and significance. Read about the significance, observances, and quotes of this day.
About World Braille Day
What is Braille?
- Braille is a system of raised dots that blind or visually impaired people can read with their fingers.
- The system is named after the inventor Louis Braille.
- Six raised dots are used to create Braille characters.
- Different combinations of these dots are used to create Braille characters, arranged in 3 × 2 matrices, called a Braille cell.
- Braille device is a system through which blind people can easily recognize letters.
- There is a wide range of electronic devices to meet the needs of blind people, such as refreshable braille displays and Braille e-book
- These devices use different technologies to transmit various types of graphic information such as images, maps, graphs, text, etc.
- World Braille Day is celebrated internationally on January 4 every year on Louis Braille’s birth anniversary to recognize his efforts.
- The day has been recognized as an official day of celebration by the United Nations since 2019
World Braille Day 2024 Date
- World Braille Day is celebrated on the 4th of January every year.
- This year, i.e. 2024 World Braille Day will be celebrated on Thursday (4 January 2024).
- On January 4, 2024, we commemorate the 6th World Braille Day, coinciding with the 215th birth anniversary of Louis Braille.
- It is an annual event to honor Louis Braille, the inventor of the Braille writing system.
- This system is used by people who are blind or have low vision to read and write using raised dots on a page.
World Braille Day Themes
- The focus theme of World Braille Day is chosen by the World Blind Union (WBU), the international organization that coordinates and promotes the day.
- The theme for a given year is to focus on specific aspects of Braille for people who are blind or have low vision.
- The World Blind Union has adopted a 20-year long-term vision to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by people who are blind or partially sighted.
- The theme of the vision of the World Blind Union (WBU) is “a world in which the rights and dignity of blind and partially sighted people are respected and they can fully participate on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.”
World Braille Day history
- World Braille Day was first celebrated on January 4th, 2019, the 210th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth.
- The Braille system was first published in 1829 and was quickly adopted by the National Institute for Blind Youth.
Who is Louis Braille?
- French educator Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France in 1809.
- He lost his sight at the age of three after an accident in his father’s harness-making workshop.
- At that time there were not many resources for curing blindness.
- Despite his disability, Braille still excelled in his studies, and at the age of 10, he received a scholarship to the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France.
Who Invented Braille Script?
- Braille was invented by Louis Braille, a French educator who was blinded by an accident with a sewing machine in his father’s harness shop.
- Louis Braille developed the present-day Braille system by modifying Charles Barbie’s Night Write system.
How was the Braille system invented?
- While studying at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, Braille began to develop a tactile code system of raised dots used to represent letters and numbers, called night writing.
- Louis Braille’s system was inspired by the system invented by a French army officer Charles Barbier.
- The French military leader Napoleon wanted a way for his military units to communicate without speaking and without using torchlight at night.
- French army officer Charles Barbier set out to find a way to make this possible, according to Napoleon.
- In 1824, he developed a system based on the Polybius Square message transmission method, which allowed users to transmit messages using torches to indicate the columns and rows of a grid.
- Barbier presented his system to the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris and gave lectures to children explaining how to use his system for night writing.
- The system invented by Charles Barbier was a bit more complicated, unable to use punctuation or symbols, and could not even spell all French words correctly.
- A young student who was in one of these lectures simplified the system by arranging them in such a way that every letter of the alphabet and all the signs could be made by hand and read skillfully by touch.
- This student was named Louis Braille, who spent nine years developing this system to allow blind people to communicate effectively and efficiently.
Significance of World Braille Day
- Braille’s system was revolutionary because it allowed people who are blind or have low vision to read and write independently.
- Before Braille, blind people had to rely on others to read to them or write for them.
- Today, braille is used in many different languages and is recognized as a standard form of communication for people who are blind or have low vision.
- It is also a day to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or have low vision and to advocate for their equal rights and opportunities.
How to celebrate World Braille Day
• Here are the 13 different ways to celebrate World Braille Day:
1. Learn Braille yourself with resources available online, including Braille alphabet charts and Braille translation software.
2. You can also support organizations that promote braille literacy, such as the Braille Institute or the National Federation of the Blind.
3. Another way to celebrate World Braille Day is to advocate for the inclusion of braille in public places.
4. You can promote the work of artists, writers, and other creative individuals who are blind or have low vision.
5. You can also advocate for equal opportunities and access to education and employment for people who are blind or have low vision.
6. You can advocate for better compliance with these laws and for the inclusion of braille in more public places.
7. Encourage schools and other organizations to make their materials available in Braille.
8. Support businesses that are owned and operated by people who are blind or visually impaired.
9. Donate to organizations that provide education and resources for people who are blind or visually impaired.
10. Share information about Braille and its importance with your friends and family.
11. If you know someone who is blind or visually impaired, offer to help them with tasks that may be difficult for them, such as reading mail or shopping.
12. Teach someone how to read and write in Braille.
13. Learn about the history of Braille and the impact it has had on the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.
World Braille Day 2024 Quotes
• Here are some quotes that can be used to celebrate World Braille Day 2024:
☛ “Braille opens the world of literature and knowledge to the blind. It allows them to fully participate in society and lead independent lives.”
☛ “Braille is the key to independence for the blind and visually impaired. It gives them opportunities to learn, work and participate fully in society”
☛ “Braille is a gift. It has opened doors and changed the lives of the blind and visually impaired”
☛ “Braille made it possible to acquire knowledge, become independent and participate fully in society”
☛ ‘It is not so much being vision-impaired that will bar the way forward, but how we react to oncoming obstacles’
☛ “Braille has given blind or visually impaired people more power to read and interact with the world.”
☛ “The ability to read and write braille is still key to independence for many blind and partially sighted people all over the world.”
☛ “Braille literacy is a right, not a privilege. It is essential for equal opportunities and full participation in society.”
☛ “Braille means I can pursue my dream of becoming an author. It’s amazing to think that this is all down to the work done by Louis Braille as a 15-year-old boy.” __ Andrew Pettigrew (Student of Royal Blind School)
☛ “Braille has really helped me. I was told when I was younger that I might not be able to sit any exams. Then I came to the Royal Blind School and I learned braille. It helped me to pass my National 5s and I was able to prove the people who said I might not sit exams wrong.”__ Joe Carberry (Student of Royal Blind School)
☛ “Braille helps me to do all my work in class and it helps me to be able to access newspapers and bank statements through my BrailleNote Touch which is a laptop with a braille display.”__ Connor (Student of Royal Blind School)
☛ “I learned braille when I came to the Royal Blind School. I find it easier to write and read using it and it helps me to write my songs and music.”__ Namarra (Student of Royal Blind School)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answer: 4 January
Answer: World Braille Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a medium of communication for the blind and visually impaired.
Answer: World Braille Day is celebrated internationally on Louis Braille’s birthday on January 4 every year to recognize his efforts in developing the Braille system.
Answer: In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly decided to make January 4 as World Braille Day.
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