World Braille Day 2023: In memory of the birth of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille, World Braille Day is celebrated on January 4. The day also recognizes that visually impaired people should have the same access to human rights as everyone else.
Braille is an essential means of communication for blind and visually impaired people and can help achieve #GlobalGoals.
— United Nations (@UN)
January 3, 2023
What is a Braille system?
Each letter of the alphabet and each number are represented by six dots in the tactile writing system known as Braille. Additionally, the dots represent mathematical, scientific and musical symbols. Blind or visually impaired people can read and write with this system. They can read books with visual fonts using Braille.
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World Braille Day 2023: History
January 4, 2023 is designated as World Braille Day to promote understanding of the importance of Braille as a form of communication and the full realization of the human rights of people who are blind or visually impaired. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 4 as World Braille Day in November 2018. The following year, the first World Braille Day was commemorated and recognized as a global holiday.
In a statement, the United Nations General Assembly chose the day of the celebration, which also coincides with Louis Braille’s birthday. When Louis Braille was a small child, he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s awl, causing him to lose his vision. He spent time at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France starting at age 10, where he developed and perfected the raised dot system that eventually became known as Braille. Unfortunately, Braille was unable to prove the usefulness of its creation. Two years before the Royal Institute began teaching Braille, in 1852, he died.
World Braille Day 2023: Importance
Braille has gradually gained acceptance as a primarily written information format for blind people around the world. The purpose of the day is to promote understanding of the value of Braille as a communication tool and the full realization of the human rights of blind and partially sighted people.
According to a report from the World Health Organization, people with visual impairments have higher rates of poverty and endure inequality throughout their lives. The problem has reportedly become more serious since the pandemic.
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World Braille Day 2023: interesting facts
- Developed in 1819 by the French army, soldiers used Braille to communicate at night without speaking or using candles.
- In 1999, NASA’s Deep Space 1 passed by an asteroid on its way to photograph Comet Borrelly and named it ‘9969 Braille’ in recognition of Louis Braille.
- Braille is an alphabet that can be used to write in almost any language, and versions are available in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and more.
- Uncontracted Braille spells out each word, while contracted Braille is an abbreviated version that abbreviates familiar words.
- There is a unique version of Braille specifically for math and science, called the Nemeth Code.
- Family classics such as Uno, Monopoly and LEGO are available in Braille versions.
- The Braille Institute, an annual competition for blind students, hosts more than 1,400 students from the U.S. and Canada to test their Braille skills.
- While a sighted person can read 300 words per minute, some fast braille readers can read a book at a speed of 400 words per minute.
World Braille Day offers the opportunity to promote conversations about the Disability Rights Act and the prevention, identification and treatment of eye diseases. World Braille Day also highlights the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face every day. Braille Day also draws attention to the authorities’ contempt for the blind.